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The Crimson King (Novel)

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the novel; for the Primarch known by that name, see Magnus.
The Crimson King
Cover art
Author Graham McNeill
Performer Jonathan Keeble
Publisher Black Library
Series Horus Heresy
Preceded by Shattered Legions
Followed by Tallarn
Released June 2017
Pages 456
Length 14 hours 46 minutes

The Crimson King by Graham McNeill is book 44 in the Horus Heresy Series. It was released in electronic, hardback, and audio format on 3 June, 2017. The audiobook has a running time 14 hours and 46 minutes, and it is narrated by Jonathan Keeble.


After the razing of Prospero, Magnus the Red spirited the Thousand Sons away to the aptly un-named Planet of the Sorcerers, deep within the Eye of Terror. Removed from the concerns of the galaxy at large and regarding the Warmaster's unfolding Heresy with cold detachment, he has dedicated his hollow existence to the preservation of all the knowledge once held in the great libraries of Tizca, should mankind ever seek such enlightenment again. But his sons can see the change in their primarch — he is a broken soul, whose mind and memories are slipping away into the tumult of the warp. Only by returning to the scenes of his greatest triumphs and tragedies can they hope to restore him, and allow the Crimson King to be crowned anew by the Ruinous Powers.[1]

Dramatis Personae

The Primarchs

  • Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons
  • Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers

The XV Legion, "Thousand Sons"

The VI Legion, "Space Wolves"

  • Bodvar Bjarki, Rune Priest of Tra
  • Svafnir Rackwulf, Woe-maker of Tra
  • Olgyr Widdowsyn, Shield bearer
  • Gierlothnir Helblind, Shield bearer
  • Harr Balegyr, Beserker

Imperial Personae

  • Dio Promus, Knight Errant, former Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines
  • Antaka Cyvaan, Former Librarian of the Raven Guard
  • Umwelt Uekull, Cybertheurgist, Taghmata Omnissiah
  • Credence Araxe, Mechanicum magos, Master of Ursarax
  • Zygman Videns, Mechanicum magos, statistical prognosticator
  • Vindicatrix, Corax-class battle automata
  • Caesaria Laventure, Warden of Kamiti Sona
  • Lady Veleda, Cartomancer
  • Jambik Sosruko, Migou, son of Lady Veleda


This page contains spoilers for: The Crimson King (Novel)

A fragment of Magnus the Red contemplates his nature as a fragmentary statement and his morality. He believes himself that he is good, and he recognizes that there are many other fragments created by the shattering of his physical body by Russ. However, he does not know if they realize they are just fragments, but he assumes that they all know that the main aspect dwells on the Planet of Sorcerers. He also contemplates the ignorance of the warp placed upon them by the Emperor and the arrogance of mankind.[2a]

Part One

Sent by Magnus, Ahriman, along with Hathor Maat, Sobek, Menkaura, Sanakht, Tolbek, and Lucius of the Emperor's Children, travel to the Torquetum, massive celestial ship composed of interlocking rings that rotate around a central globe. The ship-sized device monitored the Eye of Trror, and it contained a daemonic oracle known as the Iron Oculus. Once landing, they were met with Yokai automatons, powered by warp entities, who took the party into the structure. There, they met Temelucha, mistress of the Tartaruchi guardians, and she acknowledged that they were awaiting the legionaries coming. She led them into the warp distorted structure, taking the party into a museum of various artifacts, known as the Kyauna ("Silver Pavilion"), before leading Ahriman alone up a warp distorted staircase that led to the Iron Oculus. Ahriman questioned Temelucha about the place, the nature of the Iron Oculus, and her purpose, but he received only vague answers and a warning to change his fate. Instead, he pressed onward, recognizing the nature of the situation when he witnessed the metal bindings keeping the Iron Oculus contained. At the same time, Temelucha recognized that Ahriman wished to take the Iron Oculus, and she used her warp ability to paralyze him as the Yokai were ordered to attack the other legionaries.[2b]

The artifacts of the Silver Pavilion were the possessions once owned by visitors to the Iron Oculus who were murdered by Tartaruchi and the Yokai. However, the legionaries proved more difficult than previous travelers, and they were able to resist the sudden onslaught. Menkaurai was gravely wounded at the beginning, and the rest tried to form a mandala around his prone form to protect him. However, Sobek broke free, turning to the warp powers and summoning the Voydes of Drekhye to defeat the Tartaruchi and end their control over the Yokai. Although this worked, the Voydes soon turned on the legionaries. Ahriman quickly struck a deal with the Iron Oculus, who helped him defeat Temelucha then banish the Voydes back into the warp. Sobek was not so lucky, and the change began to take over. Ahriman ordered that Sobek and Menkaurai be put into stasis, and he determined that he would prevent the change from taking another of his brothers.[2b]


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