Only in Death (Novel)
|Preceded by||The Armour of Contempt|
|Followed by||Blood Pact|
|Collected in||The Lost|
The Sabbat Worlds Crusade has reached the Fortress World of Jago, and the Tanith First are given a vital – and dangerous – mission to defend a key pass against the enemy, garrisoned in an ancient mansion – the Hinzerhaus. Strange things are happening there. There are voices on the wind and people are disappearing. With enemy outside and ghosts within, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his men must face their fears – for only in death does duty end.
|This page contains spoilers for:||Only in Death (Novel)|
On the fortress-world Jago, Lord-General Van Voytz addresses the Tanith First personally. He 'asks' the Ghosts to secure an empty stronghold to the east of Elikon, the central Imperial bastion on the planet. It is clear from the start that Gaunt resents these orders. After six days of marching through Jago's desert-like terrain and enduring dust-storms, the Ghosts reach their objective: Hinzerhaus, dubbed the house at the end of the world.
As they attempt to secure the fortress, the Ghosts make numerous discoveries. There is no water source on site, the maps that they have been given of Hinzerhaus are inconsistent and incorrect, and strange echoes fill the halls. Many of the men become convinced that the place is haunted. These findings only cause more issues when the Blood Pact attempt to storm Hinzerhaus, and the Ghosts are forced to mount a defence against a superior foe. At the same time, strange apparitions begin to eat away at the courage and morale of the men...
The title of the novel is part of an old Imperial proverb; only in death does duty end. The beginning of each chapter opens with an extract from Commissar Viktor Hark's field journal, which is written in a font which resembles handwriting. This style changes slightly at points when Nahum Ludd scribes on Hark's behalf.