Ragnar's Claw (Novel)
|Preceded by||Space Wolf|
|Followed by||Grey Hunter|
|Collected in||The Space Wolf Omnibus|
A deadly plague is ravaging the planet of Aerius and millions of Imperial citizens are dying. Inquisitor Sternberg turns to the fearsome Space Wolves for aid in the recovery of the ancient Talisman of Lykos, which he believes can cure the corruption ravaging the world. Ragnar Blackmane and his squad of Blood Claws embark on a near-suicidal mission to retrieve the talisman before it is too late. But this is no ordinary plague, and the servants of Nurgle await the Space Wolves. Will they be able to overcome the forces of Chaos, or is Aerius doomed?
Inducted as Blood Claws, Ragnar, Strybjorn, and their squadmates are deployed into battle for the first time, as part of a deployment to halt a plague induced by the daemon Nurgle on a world under the Wolves' protection. To stop the plague, they must find and reassemble the pieces of an ancient Eldar artifact, and fight their way through an Ork Waaagh! and a horde of Chaos daemons.
Continuing their attack on Hesperida, the Space Wolves clash with the vile forces of Chaos, including Plague Ogryns. Ragnar Blackmane crosses swords with a Champion of Nurgle, who whispers that "Lord Botchulaz sends his greetings." Ragnar is briefly shaken, but wins nevertheless.
On the night after the battle, Ragnar listens to his Blood Claws boisterously celebrating their victory; Ragnar himself cannot help but mourn brothers lost in the battle, and worry over the battles to come. He starts to long for his own days as a Blood Claw, when life was much simpler...
Ragnar, Strybjorn, and Sven are among the Honour Guard selected by Wolf Priest Ranek to welcome a vistor to the Fang: Inquisitor Ivan Sternberg and his retinue. The Inquisitor may be a mere human, but he is a sworn ally of the chapter, and a personal friend (or the closest equivalent) of the Great Wolf himself. He has come to ask a favour.
Sternberg's homeworld, Aerius, is suffering from a virulent plague. Imperial medicae can do nothing, but Sternberg had a vision that connects the plague with the mysterious Black Pyramid on the planet, that was the site of a fierce battle between the Wolves and the Eldar. He believes there must be a vital clue in the archives of the Fang, and Logan Grimnar grants him permission to consult the Rune Priests.
While Sternberg is doing so, Ragnar makes the acquaintance of his apprentice, Karah Issan. At first the diminutive woman appears no threat to the Space Marine, but she gives a short demonstration of her psychic abilities: freezing Ragnar in place and telling him she can kill him at will. Then it is her turn to be surprised as Ragnar overcomes her control and seizes her by the throat. She concedes, but tells Ragnar that she can also sense a "wolf" deep within his spirit; unlike the other Wolves, who acquire theirs after their transformations, this wolf has always been a part of him, and he must be careful or it will consume him.
- Ragnar Thunderfist – later known as "Blackmane."
- Strybjorn Grimskull
- Sven Dragonblood
- Sergeant Hakon
- Ranek Icewalker, Wolf Priest
|The Space Wolf Omnibus||Space Wolf • Ragnar's Claw • Grey Hunter|
|Space Wolf: The Second Omnibus||Wolfblade • Sons of Fenris • Wolf's Honour|