Bloodquest (Graphic Novel Series)
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Comprised of three graphic novels and an audio drama, the Bloodquest series follows the exploits of the exiled Blood Angels Captain, Leonatos, as he journeys through the Eye of Terror on a mission to reclaim a Chapter relic, the Blade Encarmine. Written by Gordon Rennie and illustrated by Colin MacNeil, the graphic novel series was published in Warhammer Monthly between 1999 and 2003. The series was later continued in 2013 in the form of an audio drama, written by Ben Counter.
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Plot Summary: Book One
Chapter Commander Lord Dante sent Leonatos and his company of one-hundred Space Marines on a mission to protect an Adeptus Astronomica warp station on Sekundar Prime from a massive Ork invasion. To aid Leonatos in this task, Lord Dante presented him with the Blade Encarmine — the sword of Belarius, a servant of Sanguinius, which was given to him by the Primarch himself.
The Marines duly travelled to Sekundar Prime and, after teleporting to the surface, held out for five days against repeated attacks from a force of Orks which outnumbered them one-hundred to one. On the fifth day of combat, the Orks pressed the attack once more. Leonatos faced their leader in single combat, and though victorious, the captain lost the Blade Encarmine as it was embedded in the Greenskin leader. Knocked unconscious during the fight, he was unable to retrieve the sword before the warboss' corpse was drug away. Only 10 marines survive the action to greet the relief force of three-hundred Blood Angels the following day.
Leonatos was put on trial and sent into exile for losing the Blade Encarmine. One condition to his exile is that should he return the sword Encarmine, he would be allowed to rejoin the chapter. He was given a ship The Exile. Eight other marines decided to join him in his quest: Veteran-Sergeant Tranio, who refuses to abandon his friend; Brothers Palamon and Valerius, who fought with Leonatos on Sekundar Prime and refuse to leave his side; Codicier Furion was getting old and wanted to go on one last mission; Brother Cloten is afflicted with the Red Thirst, which sends him into a berserk fury during combat, and wants to die a hero's death before it overtakes him. Three Novices — Proteus, Lysander and Menelius — stowed away on the ship to join Leonatos' quest.
In their journey, the Blood Angels make a few stops. The first is to a monastery on the planet Tarsis. Owned by the mysterious Brotherhood of the Watch, the Astartes decided to stay for a short time. During the night, Menelius is kidnapped by the Brotherhood and offered as a blood sacrifice to Khorne. The Blood Angels arrive too late to save their brother but prevent the awakening of the Great Devourer, a Daemon Prince of Khorne. Furion stays behind to distract the daemon while his brothers escape. The monastery is then bombarded from orbit, sealing the daemon underground.
The crew of the Exile come across a Rogue Trader ship, Light of Diogenes, under attack by an Alpha Legion vessel. After teleporting aboard and cleansing the ship of Chaos, they open a channel to the Diogenes. As it so happens, an inquisitor is aboard the ship. Knowing of Leonatos's exile, he orders the captain to break off contact. But before doing so, the trader tells Leonatos of a large Ork warband massing at the Leptis system in the Segmentum Obscurus; he also mentions rumors of a force massing in the Eye of Terror, and that all available Space Marine Chapters, including the Blood Angels, are being sent to repel an attack, leaving the Imperium vulnerable to Ork attacks.
Several weeks later and after being trapped by a warp storm, the Blood Angels find themselves near a Space Hulk. Knowing that these wrecks sometimes held powerful technology from the Dark Age of Technology, Leonatos orders a boarding party sent to a colony ship that predats the Great Crusade. After being aboard for a time, the Astartes are attacked by the mutant descendents of the original crew of the ship. Knowing that they cannot defeat all their attackers, the Marines fall back to their Thunderhawk. When escape seems unlikely, Brother Valerius stays behind to buy the others time. Due to his sacrifice, the marines escape.
After escaping the warp storm, the Astartes finally catch up with Garshull the Destroyer, as his Waaagh! is attacking the world of Leptis. After identifying the Ork command ship, Leonatos and his marines make a teleport strike. After fighting their way to Garshull's throne room, the Ork warlord is revealed to be possessed by the powers of Chaos. After ambushing the Blood Angels alongside his Chaos Marine allies, the daemon tells Leonatos that it is seeking a new host body and that Leonatos will be that host. The daemon is defeated along with the traitor marines. Before its host body is obliterated, it reveals to Leonatos that the Blade Encarmine was sent into the Eye of Terror, and the daemon will be waiting for Leonatus when he arrives there. After the daemon's banishment, the Ork fleet falls into disarray, and the remaining Chaos forces open a warp gate to the Eye of Terror to escape. Seizing the opportunity, the Blood Angels return to the Exile and follow through the open gate.
Bloodquest: The Movie
On April 6th 2000, Exile Films announced that they had successfully petitioned Games Workshop to develop a CGI made-for-tv film adaptation of Bloodquest. In August of that year, issue 248 of White Dwarf confirmed that the film was in the early stages of pre-production. By 2001, a 90 second trailer was released and a full-draft script (from 2000) was made available for viewing online (it can be read here). At that time, Exile Films was approaching a number of production companies, including Dreamworks, attempting to secure £25M of funding for project development. Production continued throughout 2002, however, by March 2003 the project was put on indefinite hold; the Exile Films website wasn't updated further and went offline at some point in 2005, signalling the death of the project. An archived version of the Exile Films website can be acessed here; it includes images and other media associated with the project.
- 1:Exile Films: Press Release (saved archive page, dated August 2005, last accessed 25 July 2019)
- 2:The Telegraph (last accessed 25 July 2019)
- 3:Exile Films: News (saved archive page, dated August 2005, last accessed 25 July 2019)