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Traitor General (Novel)

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Traitor General
Traitor General.jpg
Traitor General, cover art by Adrian Smith.
Author Dan Abnett
Publisher Black Library
Series Gaunt's Ghosts
Preceded by Sabbat Martyr
Followed by His Last Command
Editions ISBN 1-84416-113-7


Traitor General is the eighth novel in the Gaunt's Ghosts series by Dan Abnett, and the first novel in the third story arc, collected in the omnibus "The Lost."

Traitor General was the first novel in the series to be published in hardcover.

Cover Description

An Imperial general has defected to the enemy, and the secrets he carries could spell the end of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and a small team from the Tanith First must infiltrate an enemy-held world and gain the trust of the local underground, all the while trying desperately to avoid the ever-present taint of Chaos. Their mission: to stop the traitor general from revealing his secrets – by any means necessary.

Synopsis

Spoiler!
This page contains spoilers for: Traitor General (Novel)

Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt is asked to lead a team of guardsmen on an infiltration mission to the planet of Gereon, held by the forces of Chaos in order to eliminate a captured traitor Imperial Officer who holds secrets pertaining to the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Gaunt leads eleven of his regiment to the planet where they are met by Jerome Landerson, a member of the Gereon Resistance. Landerson and the resistance lead the Gereon Twelve across the planet the fortress where the Imperial Officer is being held. Before getting there the team has to deal with chaos garrison soldiers, glyphs and wirewolves as well as the Chaos Space Marine Uexkull. To escape their pursuers Landerson leads Gaunt and his team into the Until, home of the Partisans, an old rebel force who opposed the Imperial Government centuries ago. The Until is a large dark swamp filled with poisonous creatures, the most notable of which being a large species of moth. The Tanith and the resistance meet with the Partisans and help defend them from Uexkhull and his squad of Chaos Space Marines. It is through this action that Gaunt is given Eszrah ap Niht, son by his father, the Chief of the Partisans. The Tanith and Resistance then leave the Until and make for the occupation fortress.

Meanwhile the traitor or pheguth, as it is called by the Chaos forces is being kept prisoner by the forces of Chaos Magister Anakwanar Sek under the command of Mabbon Etogaur. The pheguth is protected by the life-ward Desolane, a sexless beast risen from birth to protect its wards with its life and brutally gruesome martial skills. The pheguth was captured by Chaos forces whilst on an Imperial Transport awaiting trial for desertion. However as the pheguth knew sensitive secrets the Commissariat psykers put a mindlock on him, locking away his memories and identity. The pheguth is then subjected to the prying claws of the Magister Sek's psykers as they try to peel back the layers of psychic encryption on the pheguth's mind. The process is excruciating but eventually meets some success. The pheguth remembers that he is in fact Lord General Noches Sturm, leader of the 50th Royal Volpone. Realising that he must of been betrayed by the Imperium and especially Gaunt, he begins to help Mabbon Etogaur form, train and discipline the Sons of Sek, a new chaos army modelled on the Imperial Guard. It is planned that the Sons of Sek will grow to rival the Blood Pact in strength, allowing Magister Sek to challenge Archon Urlock Gaur for leadership of the Chaos forces in the Sabbat Worlds.

Having reached the resistance safehouse near the location of the pheguth Sturm's location, Gaunt asks Landerson to have the resistance gather their forces so that they may make a strike on the fortress. The resistance does so, getting slaughtered in the process but allowing Gaunt and his strikeforce to slip in to the fortress and fight their way to Sturm's room. Upon Gaunt and his ghosts entering his room, Sturm finally remembers certain important moments in Vervunhive, concerning his desertion and his dishonourable conduct. Sturm, once again faced by Gaunt, asks once again for the right to commit suicide. Skeptically, Gaunt grants this request, allowing Sturm to finally regain some of his honour through blowing his own head off. Desolane enters the room at this point and is enraged at his charges fate, flying into a fury beating Gaunt and Mkvenner in personal combat, taking three lethal toxin-laden quarrels from Eszrah's reynbow and is only killed by a close range hotshot from Feygor who uses Larkin's sniper-pattern lasgun.

Characters

The Gereon Twelve

Chaos Forces

  • Former Lord General Noches Sturm
  • Mabbon Etogaur - A former general of the Blood Pact who has defected to Anakwanar Sek's camp. Has new hands grafted onto his arms to replace his original pair as they were scarred during the initiation ritual of the Blood Pact. This was done to show his change of allegiance to Anakwanar Sek.
  • Uexkull - Chaos Space Marine in charge of security on the planet of Gereon. It is not specified which Legion he belongs to.
  • Desolane - A semi-daemonic creature bred from birth to guard senior officers and ordinals among the forces of the Anakwanar Sek. Abnormally tall, slim, sexless creature with reverse jointed legs and vestigial horns, it conceals its face at all time beneath an enclosing bronze mask. It wears a shimmering silver mail suit and a cloak that hangs about it like a pall of smoke, and appears to have no fastening.

Natives of Gereon