Death of a Silversmith (Short Story)
|Horus Heresy series
|Shadows of Treachery
Death of a Silversmith is a short story by Graham McNeill in the Horus Heresy series. It was first published in Games Day Anthology 2011/2012, and later in Shadows of Treachery (Anthology), as well as online.
On the floor of his workshop aboard the Vengeful Spirit, a remembrancer is dying. As his life slips away, he reflects on the many honors he has received. A silversmith by trade, he has created wondrous artworks to commemorate the various triumphs of the Space Marine Legions - the inlay for a commemorative banner in the Imperial Palace, the display box for Ferrus Manus's armoured gauntlet.
His greatest honour came after he was assigned to the Luna Wolves and the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet, when he was commissioned by Captain Hastur Sejanus to craft four silver rings, depicting the phases of the moon, to be worn by Sejanus and the three other members of the Mournival. At the same time, the silversmith was also commissioned by another Captain to craft the mold for a series of wolf medallions - a crude and insignificant task by comparison.
Moments ago, the Captain arrived, inspected the finished mold and pronounced it perfect... then crushed the silversmith's throat. Now, in the final moments of his life, the silversmith is aware of Captain Sejanus rushing to his side, overturning his worktable and inadvertently crushing one or more of the Mournival rings beneath his boot. Sejanus calls for medics, while urgently asking the silversmith who attacked him. With his last breath, the silversmith can only whisper the same words his killer said, when the silversmith chokingly asked why: "I can't say."