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Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology)

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Heroes of the Space Marines
Heroesspacemarines.jpg
Cover art by Hardy Fowler.
Editor Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley
Publisher Black Library
Series Space Marines (Anthology Series)
Authors Darren Cox, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Peter Fehervari, Richard Ford, Nick Kyme, Graham McNeill, Dylan Owen, Steve Parker, Chris Roberson, Gav Thorpe
Followed by Legends of the Space Marines
Released 2009
Editions 9781844167319

Heroes of the Space Marines is an anthology edited by Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley.

The Skull Harvest

By: Graham McNeill

Synopsis

Honsou is on New Badab in the heart of the Maelstrom with the intention to win the Skull Harvest, a contest between warbands where the champions of said warbands fight each other to determine which leader gets control of each other's men. Only one warband can survive and Honsou intends to be the victor... with the ultimate aim of leading a new army into the heart of Ultramar.

Setting

The world of New Badab, inside the Maelstrom, during the Skull Harvest. The particular locations visited include a bar and the streets of the "mountain city" where Huron Blackheart's fortress can be found. The fortress itself is visited, as are a temporary Iron Warriors camp and the camps of many other warlords. The Skull Harvest itself takes place in the Arena of Thorns, a large venue for murder sport where the decapitated heads of the fallen are mounted on spikes.

Characters

  • Honsou's Retinue
  • Present during the Skull Harvest
    • Huron Blackheart - Tyrant of New Badab and commander of the Red Corsairs.
    • Pashtoq Uluvent - Warlord and servant of the Blood God, Uluvent declares a blood-feud against Honsou after Honsou kills Vosok Dall. Honsou eliminates the more powerful warlord by a mixture of martial skill and trickery, after having ordered Cadaras Grendel to infiltrate Uluvent's warband under the guise of a turncoat.
    • Vosok Dall - Once a member of the Scythes of the Emperor, Vosok Dall ended his life as a champion in Pashtoq Uluvent's warband, slain in a duel with Honsou.
    • Notha Etassay - Warlord and servant of the Dark Prince, Etassy survives the final three-way battle between Honsou, Uluvent and itself, swearing allegiance to the victorious Iron Warrior.
    • Votheer Tark - Adept of the Dark Mechanicus, eventually swears allegiance to Honsou.
    • Kaarja Salombar - Corsair Queen, eventually swears allegiance to Honsou.
    • Xaneant - warlord of the Loxatl warband sent to the Harvest, eventually swears allegiance to Honsou.

Gauntlet Run

By: Chris Roberson

Synopsis

An Imperial Fists Scout bike squadron are pursued across a desert by Ork Speed Freaks. It's a trap!

Setting

The alkaline flats of the Ork-invaded Imperial planet Tunis.

Characters

  • Imperial Fists 10th Company
    • Veteran Sergeant Hilts - Wounded in action, Hilts is rescued by Scout Zatori.
    • Scout du Queste - Laconic member of the squad.
    • Scout Kelso - Impetuous and a finder of joy in battle, Kelso's desire for combat would see him beheaded by the Speed Freak Nob, Rotgrim Skab.
    • Scout s'Tonan - Rather emotionless member of the squad.
    • Scout Zatori - Native to the planet Triandr, he first saw a Space Marine on the battlefields of Eokaroe. An strong adherent to the teachings of the Imperial Fists battlesage Rhetoricus, he attempted to respond to and interpret battlefield events in the light of Rhetoricus's words. This led to a novel interpretation of his vaporising of Rotgrim Skab.
  • Imperial Fists 1st Company
  • Orks of the Evil Sunz Clan
    • Rotgrim Skab - Nob of a group of Speed Freaks, Skab picks up and pursues the scout bikers across the desert for some time, attempting to herd them into a trap. He is somewhat nonplussed when this plan is turned inside out by the arrival of the Imperial Fist Terminators and is eventually killed by a melta-gun blast from Scout Zatori.

Renegades

By: Gav Thorpe

Synopsis

Amidst heavy casualties and combat unceasing, a number of Space Marines of the Avenging Sons chapter - currently on "penitence patrol" due to previous dishonourable actions - grow disillusioned with their role in the quelling of a global uprising and decide upon a most rebellious course.

Setting

The Imperial planet Helmabad, currently in the closing stages of a rebellion and civil war. Most of the story is set in the mammoth underground complex of the Imperial Governor's palace, a construction whose corridors and halls were large enough for armoured vehicles to be used in co-ordinated assaults against fortified positions. The inner area of the underground palace was called the Sepulchre.

Characters

  • Avenging Sons
    • Brother-Captain Gessart - Company Captain of the disgraced, Gessart comes to feels the strain of 40 days of continuous warfare and is angered by the amateur behaviour of the Helmabad PDF, as well as the perilous supply situation faced by his men. Determined to survive and avoid what he perceived as pointless self-sacrifice, upon learning from Zacherys that Helmabad was mere hours away from a massive daemonic incursion none could stand against, he resolves to withdraw from the planet. When this plan is met with resistance and then hostility by Chaplain Herdain, Gessart resorts to killing the Chaplain in cold blood in order to ensure his scheme's success. After removing further unreliable members of his company, he ordered the subjugation of the PDF and securing of Governor Mu'Shan. After turning over the Governor to the rebels in exchange for safe conduct off-planet, Gessart realised that he and his marines had become truly renegade, unable to fit back into their chapter. Regaining command of his Strike Cruiser, he ordered course set for the Eye of Terror
    • Chaplain Herdain - Believed in fighting against one's enemies, no matter the odds. Assigned to the company after their dishonourable withdrawal from action during the Archimedon campaign, he sought to absolve them through achieving noble deaths. Refused to countenance Gessart's order to withdraw and provoked a confrontation over leadership. When he began to browbeat members of the company into choosing his side in the discussion, Gessart ended matters by shooting him in the head.
    • Librarian Zacherys - His prophecies, interpreted and acted upon by Gessart, drive the missions of the company. Stands with Gessart after discerning that to stay on the planet would mean certain death.
    • Apothecary Tylo - Sided with Gessart against the Chaplain, claiming that to allow Astartes gene-seed to fall into enemy hands was unthinkable.
    • Brother Hechsen - Siding with the Chaplain, he chose execution at the hands of Brother Nicz rather than taking part in the withdrawal.
    • Brother Heynke - Initially unsure whose side to take, he elected to go with Gessart's majority group.
    • Brother Karlrech - Siding with the Chaplain, he refused to switch sides after Herdain's death. Immediately executed by Brother Nicz.
    • Brother Lehenhart - Sides with Gessart, declaring that tactical withdrawal is not cowardice, but survival, and that to fight against impossible odds is tantamount to suicide.
    • Brother Nicz - Sides with Gessart, if effecting a more extreme viewpoint; that the situation was so bad that Chapter and company honour meant nothing compared to simple personal survival. Appreciates the dark humour of Gessart's plan to get off-world, but once the Captain has declared the survivors renegade he attempts to assert authority over Gessart. Gessart dares Nicz to take a shot if he thinks he can best him, and Nicz stands down.
    • Brother Ruphen - Siding with the Chaplain against Gessart's orders to withdraw, Ruphen was the first Avenging Son to draw a weapon and aim it at a battle-brother.
    • Brother Rykhel - Stood against Gessart, declaring his oaths of loyalty to the Chapter meant that he had no choice in the place or manner of his death. Reluctantly goes along with Gessart's plan after the death of the Chaplain, but elects to desert in an escape-pod at the last minute in an attempt to bring news of Gessart's treachery to the chapter. Considering the world he would land on was in rebel hands and about to be over-run by daemons, Gessart thought it unlikely he would survive to do any such thing.
    • Brother Willusch - Believes similarly to Gessart; that there is no point in throwing away Astartes lives in needless self-sacrifice.
    • Kholich Beyne - Chief Serf aboard strike cruiser Vengeful

Imperial Forces

  • Imperial Governor Mu'shan
  • Colonel Akhaim - Commander of the Sepulchre Guard, Helmabad's PDF. Killed by the Avenging Sons.

Rebel Forces

  • Serain Am'hep, Third Apostle of the Awakening - Senior figure in the rebellion and with whom Gessart bargains.

Honour Among Fiends

By: Dylan Owen

Synopsis

Scaevolla, a veteran of the Great Heresy, Black Legion champion and squad-leader, is compelled to seek out and duel the genetic descendants of his once-friend and eventual enemy, Captain Alpeh of the Imperial Fists. As much as he enjoys such hunts, he also despairs at his personal, seemingly eternal role in the Long War, apparently blinded to the easy way out by his Chaotic masters...

Setting

The polluted warzone of Zincall VI, where Imperial forces under the command of Captain Demetros battle the forces of the Traitor-Lord H'raxor. The main battles described surround and eventually penetrate an industrial city, where Scaevolla and Demetros have their duel.

Characters

  • The Black Legion
    • Scaevolla - Once a Luna Wolf of the Great Crusade, Scaevolla was honour-brother to Apleh of the Imperial Fists, the pair having fought together in several encounters. During the Siege of the Emperor's Palace they sought one another out and dueled. Emerging the victor, Scaevolla angrily swore by the Chaos gods that he would hunt and slay Aleph's descendants to the end of time. After the end of the Heresy, he dedicated Aleph's skull to the Four Gods of Chaos upon the daemon world Sebaket, and would go on to take around 500 more, descendants of Aleph all, over the 10,000 years since the Heresy. He had prayed at the resultant altar of skulls to be released of his oath many times, but was always denied, coming to realise that the gods demanded his actions purely for petty entertainment. Disillusioned, he felt envious of those who died, but did want to die himself except on the blade of one of those he hunted. This of course, would stop the gods of Chaos enjoying the hunt and so, much to his dismay, Scaevolla found that he had been made immortal...doomed to the hunts, fovever.
    • Lieutenant Larsus - Enthusiastic and committed to fighting Imperial forces in general, but especially during a hunt.
    • Ferox - Once the joker and backbone of the squad, subsequently rewarded by the Chaos Gods with mutation and cannibalistic fervour. Looked upon with awe by everyone in the squad except Scaevolla, who missed the older and more entertaining person Ferox once was.
    • Icaris - Close-combat orientated, Icaris wept tears of blood when killing, as he was denying mortals the opportunity to know real joy in the worship of Chaos. Despite being impossibly ancient, he retained the basic appearance and demeanour of a youngster, earning him the epithet 'boy'.
    • Manex - Gunfighter, armed with two bolt pistols. Regularly operated under the intoxication of several poisons pumped directly into his brain and could go out of control as a result.
    • Opus - The biggest and strongest in the squad, Opus possesses an autocannon and a tuneless singing voice.
    • Sharn - Flamer-trooper and wearer of a distinctive totally-blank helmet.
    • Surgit - Duelist, choosing only to engage enemies deemed he worthy, such as leaders and champions.
  • Imperial Fists
    • Captain Aleph - An Imperial Fist of the Great Crusade, he was slain by his honour-brother, Scaevolla, during the final stage of the Heresy. With his last breaths he spurned Scaevolla's offer to save his life if he forswore his oaths to the Emperor and mocked his killer. This provoked Scaevolla to doom himself with his oath.
    • Captain Demetros - Genetic descendant (through gene-seed donation) of Aleph, he lead the Imperial forces on Zincali VI. Assaulted and forced into a duel by Scaevolla, he succeeded in landing a fatal blow on the Chaos Marine...at least, a blow that should have been fatal if Scaevolla had not been made immortal by his Chaotic masters/tormentors. Demetros was struck down by Scaevolla, who once again seemingly blinded to the import of his actions, took Demetros' skull but left the body of his eternal prey otherwise untouched...allowing the gene-seed to be recovered and used to create a successor once more.

Fires of War

By: Nick Kyme

Synopsis

This story tells of an encounter by the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter battling Chaos forces and the Dragon Warriors Chaos Space Marines.

Setting

The planet of Stratos. It is among the Hadron Belt in the Reductus Sector of the Segmentum Tempestus. The battles were fought among a series of floating cities above the planet.

Characters

The Labyrinth

By: Richard Ford

Synopsis

A Chapter of Renegade Space Marines, the Sons of Malice, gather on a space hulk for traditional slaughter and competition.

Setting

Characters

Headhunted

By: Steve Parker

Synopsis

A Deathwatch Kill-Team of Space Marines board an Ork ship on a mission to recover the head of a Weirdboy Warboss.

Setting

Unnamed Ork ship converted from an Imperial Magellan-Class transport, The Pegasus, in the Charybdis sub-sector.

Characters

And They Shall Know No Fear...

By: Darren Cox

Synopsis

Stygia XII has turned from the Emperor’s light, gripped by the dark powers of Chaos. Castellan Reinhart and his warriors arrive on the world, greeted by representatives of the Inquisition and the Sisters of Battle. But are the Black Templars on Stygia to help the beleaguered defenders, or for their own sinister motives?

Setting

Characters

Black Templar's

Inquistion and Attachments

Nightfall

By: Peter Fehervari

Synopsis

On the world of Sarastus, the True Night has fallen. Young men take part in a Chaotic ritual that they don't truly understand, but one thing is for certain, the only victors will be the traitorous Night Lords.

Setting

Characters

One Hate

By: Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Synopsis

Renowned as some of the staunchest defenders of humanity, surely it is inconceivable that marines of the Crimson Fists Chapter would ever shrink from bringing death to the Emperor's enemies? In the wake of the Battle of Rynn's World, however, priorities may have changed for these sons of Rogal Dorn. Is the future of the beleaguered Chapter more important than the hate of the foe that provides their honour? On the battlefields of Syral, Chaplain Argo finds himself facing that dilemma.

Setting

Characters

Crimson Fists
Imperial Guard
Related Publications

See also