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Blackshield (Short Story)

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Short Story; for the other uses, see Blackshield (disambiguation).
Author Chris Wraight
Publisher Black Library
Series Horus Heresy Series
Released August 2016
Collected in Heralds of the Siege

Blackshield is a short story in the Horus Heresy series, by Chris Wraight. It was released 15 August 2016 in a digital format as Day 1 of the 2016 "Summer of Reading."

Cover Description[1]

Even within the dread annals of the Horus Heresy, few events have provoked as much horror as the dropsite massacre on Isstvan V, when the Space Marines turned on their brothers in an orgy of slaughter. The Legions were torn apart, the civil war spiralling outwards to all corners of the Imperium, shattering the trust that once bound them together. Along with a handful of other renegade Death Guard legionaries, ex-Deathshroud Terminator Sergeant Khorak has begun to raid the fringes of the Imperium - until they are cornered by mysterious warriors in crudely painted black armour, led by another fallen son of Mortarion, the Blackshield Crysos Morturg. Can the two gene-brothers set aside their differences, or is history deemed to repeat itself?


This page contains spoilers for: Blackshield (Short Story)

On the Ghogolla, ex-Deathshroud Terminator Sergeant Khorak of the Death Guard Legion stood on the bridge as they travelled to Agarvian in the Leops system. The mortal master of the ship, Narag, approached regarding ships pursuing them but they could not tell their allegiance but their intent to destroy them was clear. Khorak made it clear that they must try to read Agarvian. They were able to pass the gas giant Hereb as they made haste, and Khorak left the bridge to speak with the four remaining of his fellow legionaries, including Hesch, his lieutenant. Urgain, Turgalla, and Lyphas. They board their Stormbird Skarvor as they came under fire, determining to fight on the planet then die in space, and they make their way down to the planet as the Ghogolla was blasted apart behind them, using the ship's destruction to hide their actions.[2]

The pursuing ships were soon able to target the Stormbird but it was able to hide in the thick methane and sulfur clouds of Agarvian. The planet itself was similar to Barbarus, covered with swamps. After landing and debarking, the legionaries moved out as three black-clad Thunderhawks appeared out of the clouds. Urgain stayed behind, taking the Stormbird to meet the threat. He was able to hit one before his one of own engines was blasted. Turgalla took up a missile launcher, firing and downing one of the ships, but the two remaining ships fired on the Stormbird more. As the dogfight continued, Khorak led his men away to make use of Urgain's sacrifice. Eventually, Urgain was able to down another Thunderhawk but was brought down by the last.[2]

As night fell, the legionaries continued to hide from pursuit as they travelled. They could hear more gunships canvasing the area and troops landing. Hesch was wounded, but they made progress through the swamp. Eventually, they made it to rising land as dawn broke, and they finally stopped as they made it to a large, rocky gorge covered in jungle. There was one way in, with swamp covering the way, and they used the area to make their defensive stand. They waited for 4 days before their pursuers reached them, 12 black-clad legionaries without any identifying symbols and marching in different manners. Khorak ordered the ambush to take them out, quickly killing 10 of them. More reinforcements came, but they too were downed.[2]

Khorak's men were able to kill many before Turgalla was blasted. Soon after, Lyphas was killed, and their attack stopped in order to confuse the pursuers. Eventually, the pursuers came into hand to hand combat, and Khorak used his scythe to slay those who came near. Hesch was blasted, but Khorak was safe due to his Terminator plate. As Khorak came down to meet the pursuers, they stopped firing and instead backed away. He challenged them, and a heavily augmented warrior came forward, saying Khorak's appearance was impossible that a Deathshroud could have been given a voice and leave from his primarch, Mortarion. Khorak called them blackshields and demanded the warrior's name, and he removed his helmet and revealed himself as Crysos Morturg, formerly of the Death Guard but allied to no one. Morturg admitted that he was once on Isstvan III, but that no one survived.[2]

Khorak explained he was a traitor until Molech, which caused him to have doubt in the new allies and ways of the Death Guard. He felt that Mortarion betrayed them by allying with witches. This provoked him to take back his name and become independent from all, still of Barbarus but no longer following Mortarion. Morturg asked if Khorak would be willing to kill Mortarion, and Khorak admitted he would and was all he strove to do. Before Morturg could say something, the wounded Hesch was able to move forward and fire his bolter to kill Morturg. The bolt was stopped, and Khorak believed it was through witchery. Morturg's form began to waiver, which confused Khorak and he wondered how he was there if no one survived the massacre. The use of sorcery upset Khorak, and he tried to strike Morturg but was shot multiple times. He fell, brought down by the shots, and looked up at Morturg as he was dying, accusing him of being a ghost.[2]

Morturg's legionaries pillaged all they could and brought it back to the strike-cruiser Malice. His troops were a mixture of Death Guard loyalties, members of the Shattered Legion, and others unidentifiable. Morturg was locked in a chamber with a hololith depicting Calleb Decima of the Mechanicum. Decima was the one that placed Morturg's psyche in the metal body, relying on technology and sorcery that would have been prohibited by Terra or Mortarion in the past. Morturg's mission was to hunt down Death Guard loyal to Mortarion, and he lamented to Decima how useful Khorak could have been. In reflection, Morturg decided that it was time to return to Terra and speak with the Emperor.[2]

See also


Horus Heresy Series
Novels I Horus RisingII False GodsIII Galaxy in FlamesIV The Flight of the EisensteinV FulgrimVI Descent of AngelsVII LegionVIII Battle for the AbyssIX MechanicumX Tales of HeresyXI Fallen AngelsXII A Thousand SonsXIII NemesisXIV The First HereticXV Prospero BurnsXVI Age of DarknessXVII The Outcast DeadXVIII Deliverance LostXIX Know No FearXX The PrimarchsXXI Fear to TreadXXII Shadows of TreacheryXXIII Angel ExterminatusXXIV BetrayerXXV Mark of CalthXXVI Vulkan LivesXXVII The Unremembered EmpireXXVIII ScarsXXIX Vengeful SpiritXXX The Damnation of PythosXXXI Legacies of BetrayalXXXII DeathfireXXXIII War Without EndXXXIV PharosXXXV Eye of TerraXXXVI The Path of HeavenXXXVII The Silent WarXXXVIII Angels of CalibanXXXIX Praetorian of DornXL CoraxXLI The Master of MankindXLII GarroXLIII Shattered LegionsXLIV The Crimson KingXLV TallarnXLVI RuinstormXLVII Old EarthXLVIII The Burden of LoyaltyXLIX WolfsbaneL Born of FlameLI Slaves to DarknessLII Heralds of the SiegeLIII TitandeathLIV The Buried Dagger
Siege of Terra I The Solar WarII The Lost and the DamnedIII The First WallSons of the SelenarIV SaturnineFury of MagnusV MortisVI WarhawkVII Echoes of EternityGarro: Knight of GreyVIII The End and the Death (Volume IVolume IIVolume III)
The Primarchs Roboute Guilliman: Lord of UltramarLeman Russ: The Great WolfMagnus the Red: Master of ProsperoPerturabo: The Hammer of OlympiaLorgar: Bearer of the WordFulgrim: The Palatine PhoenixFerrus Manus: Gorgon of MedusaGrandfather's GiftPerturabo: Stone and IronMalcador: First Lord of the ImperiumKonrad Curze: A Lesson in DarknessJaghatai Khan: Warhawk of ChogorisVulkan: Lord of DrakesSons of the EmperorCorax: Lord of ShadowsAngron: Slave of NuceriaScions of the Emperor Konrad Curze: The Night HaunterGhost of NuceriaThe Passing of AngelsThe Abyssal EdgeMercy of the DragonLion El'Jonson: Lord of the FirstIllyriumThe Revelation of the WordMorningstarWill of the LegionEmbers of ExtinctionAlpharius: Head of the HydraBlood of the EmperorLoyal SonsMortarion: The Pale KingRogal Dorn: The Emperor's CrusaderSanguinius: The Great AngelHeirs of The Emperor
Horus Heresy Characters Valdor: Birth of the ImperiumLuther: First of the FallenSigismund: The Eternal CrusaderEidolon: The Auric Hammer
Novellas Promethean SunAurelianBrotherhood of the StormThe Reflection Crack'dFeat of IronThe LionThe Serpent BeneathCorax: SoulforgeScorched EarthTallarn: ExecutionerPrince of CrowsThe Crimson FistThe PurgeRavenlordThe Seventh SerpentTallarn: IroncladCyberneticaWolf KingThe HonouredThe UnburdenedGarro: Vow of FaithSons of the ForgeDreadwingSpear of Ultramar
Collections AngronThe Imperial TruthSedition's GateEchoes of RuinDeath and DefianceBlades of the TraitorMedusonBetrayal at CalthEchoes of the ImperiumVirtues of the Sons/Sins of the FatherEchoes of RevelationLupercal's WarCthonia's Reckoning
Short Stories The Lightning TowerThe Dark KingArmy of OneKryptosDistant Echoes of Old NightLost SonsDeath of a SilversmithThe Divine WordThe Kaban ProjectThe Gates of TerraLord of the Red SandsSerpentLuna MendaxRivenBjorn: Lone WolfThe Wolf of Ash and FireHeart of the ConquerorChild of NightThe ShadowmastersThe Devine AdoratriceDaemonologySins of the FatherThe Final Compliance of Sixty-Three FourteenVoraxThe Value of FearBrotherhood of the MoonVirtues of the SonsImperfectHowl of the HearthworldA Safe and Shadowed PlaceGunsightBlack OculusWolf MotherTwistedChirurgeonTallarn: WitnessIronfireHands of the EmperorBy the Lion's CommandAll That RemainsThe PhoenicianArtefactsGhosts Speak NotPatienceInheritorTallarn: SirenBlackshieldMyriadInto ExileThe Grey RavenThe Painted CountExocytosisThe Last Son of ProsperoOrdo SinisterThe Ember WolvesRestorerThe Laurel of DefianceImmortal DutyDuty WaitsMagisteriumNow Peals MidnightDreams of UnityThe Board is SetThe Atonement of FireA Lesson in IronMassacreTwo Metaphysical BladesPrologue to NikaeaOld Wounds, New ScarsAbyssalThe Last CouncilA Rose Watered with BloodBringer of SorrowLantern's LightThe Serpent's DanceThe Lightning HallEater of DreamsBloodhowlAmor FatiThe Fields of AbundanceThe Shel'tain AffairPrimacyThe NineVisageThe Last Loyalist
Audio Dramas Raven's FlightGarro: Oath of MomentGarro: Legion of OneButcher's NailsGrey AngelBurden of DutyGarro: Sword of TruthWarmasterStrike and FadeVeritas FerrumThe SigilliteHonour to the DeadWolf HuntCensureThief of RevelationsKhârn: The Eightfold PathLucius: The Eternal BlademasterCypher: Guardian of OrderHunter's MoonWolf's ClawTemplarGarro: Shield of LiesMaster of the FirstThe Long NightStratagemHerald of SanguiniusThe WatcherThe Eagle's TalonIron CorpsesGarro: Ashes of FealtyRaptorGrey TalonRed-MarkedThe EitherThe Heart of the PharosThe Thirteenth WolfChildren of SicarusPerpetualThe Soul, SeveredValeriusThe Binary SuccessionDark ComplianceBlackshields: The False WarBlackshields: The Red FiefHubris of MonarchiaNightfaneBlackshields: The Broken Chain
Artbooks Visions of Heresy (2013)Visions of Heresy (2018)Art of the Horus Heresy
Script Books Horus Heresy: The Scripts: Volume IHorus Heresy: The Scripts: Volume II
Graphic Novels Macragge's Honour