After Desh'ea (Short Story)
|Series||Horus Heresy Series|
|Collected in||Tales of Heresy|
|Length||1 hour 7 minutes|
With the discovery of the lost primarch Angron came violence and confusion, and what should have been the defining moment of the War Hounds Legion instead became a humbling embarrassment. As their senior officers fall one by one to the rage of the newly freed gladiator-king, it seems that they are doomed – perhaps their last chance for redemption comes in the form of the Eighth Captain, Khârn. Will this calm and level-headed warrior be able to lead his father into the Emperor’s light, or will he join the rest of his Legion in death?
A tense conference takes place on the bridge of the flagship of the War Hounds Space Marine Legion. Their primarch, Angron, was just teleported aboard their ship from his homeworld. For every other legion, the finding of their primarch has been a day of joy, but for the War Hounds it is one of violence and uncertainty. Their primarch has been confined to a hold in the bowels of the ship, and every Captain who has tried to treat with him has failed to return. The remaining Captains are at a loss what to do, until one of their number, Khârn, volunteers to be the next to try.
Entering the dark hold alone, Khârn trips over the bodies of the slain Captains, before Angron lunges at him and slams him against the wall. The primarch is seething with rage and grief in equal measure, having been torn away from battling his world's tyrants and forced to leave all of his comrades from the gladiatorial arena behind to be slaughtered. He has killed all the previous envoys with his bare hands, and is more than ready to do the same to Khârn.
Yet even as he is thrown around the room, Khârn refuses to raise a hand against his gene-father. Angron is confused; he can see from Khârn's bearing that he is a warrior, so why does he not fight back? Khârn says the entire Legion has the same reverence for their primarch, and every one of them is at his command. Khârn adds that if Angron's rage and grief needs to find an outlet in battle, then all the Legions are engaged in a Great Crusade that offers a whole galaxy of enemies to slaughter.
Angron and Khârn emerge from the hold onto the bridge, where the remaining captains pledge their loyalty to the primarch. One of them, Captain Dreagher, hearing Angron describe his makeshift army as "the eaters of cities," declares that with him as their leader, the War Hounds can be the "eaters of worlds!" The primarch approves of the epithet, and invites his "little brothers" to join him down in the hold, to discuss the future of the Legion.
- The flagship of the War Hounds