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The Face of Treachery (Short Story)

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The Face of Treachery
Author Gav Thorpe
Publisher Black Library
Series Horus Heresy Series
Collected in Age of Darkness

Cover Description

The Raven Guard have arrived at Isstvan V to rescue Corax and other survivors of the treacherous Dropsite Massacre, but the enemy still encircle the world. As starships clash in fierce void war and the life of a primarch hangs in the balance, the key to victory lies in the hands of one Space Marine in the rebel fleet, a warrior who is not what he appears.


Nigh Vash Delerax, World Eater commander of the battle-barge Dedicated Wrath, hunts escaped loyalist ships amidst the rings of Isstvan VI after the Dropsite Massacre. He hears that Angron has taken over from Perturabo in hunting the remnants of the Raven Guard, but ignores his call to return in favour of finishing off a Salamanders ship carrying loyalist survivors. Branne, commander of the Raven Guard garrison on Deliverance who has abandoned his post prompted by the prophetic dreams of Imperial Army praefector Marcus Valerius, arrives with a rescue fleet in the Isstvan system and deduces the full scope of Horus's betrayal from drifting ship wreckage. Stealthing towards Isstvan V they learn of Corax's survival and Branne uses Valerius's Imperial Army ships as bait to draw patrolling traitor ships away so he can make a rescue run to the surface. Delerax is ordered to move against Branne's decoy fleet by an Alpha Legion emissary from Horus posted on his ship, but refuses as he missed the ground battle of the Dropsite Massacre and wants to join his primarch in wiping out the Raven Guard in close quarters. Branne's rescue fleet is detected, but thanks to the decoy fleet the Dedicated Wrath is the only traitor ship close enough to intercept it. Horus's emissary demands that Delerax ignore it and follow his standing orders, and when Delerax refuses his second-in-command reveals himself as an Alpha Legion agent and shoots him in the head, leaving him to die on the deck. The two Alpha Legionnaires discuss their Legion's infiltration of the Raven Guard as on Isstvan V Branne's fleet rescues Corax and the survivors just in time. Coming on board last, Corax announces his intention to travel to Terra.


Isstvan V local space.