Difference between revisions of "Horus Heresy"

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For the last few years, [[Black Library]] has been publishing novels that explore the events of the Horus Heresy, looking at the rivalries among the [[Primarchs]] and exploring just why everything went down the tubes. The novels are by a selection of different authors, which is a total pain if you like to organise your books alphabetically by author. The reception to the series has been somewhat... mixed; books generally considered to be good include [[Dan Abnett|the first trilogy]], [[Aaron Dembski-Bowden|Betrayer]], [[White Scars|Scars]], and the short story [[Alpha Legion|The Serpent Beneath]] (generally considered to be the best story in the series).
 
For the last few years, [[Black Library]] has been publishing novels that explore the events of the Horus Heresy, looking at the rivalries among the [[Primarchs]] and exploring just why everything went down the tubes. The novels are by a selection of different authors, which is a total pain if you like to organise your books alphabetically by author. The reception to the series has been somewhat... mixed; books generally considered to be good include [[Dan Abnett|the first trilogy]], [[Aaron Dembski-Bowden|Betrayer]], [[White Scars|Scars]], and the short story [[Alpha Legion|The Serpent Beneath]] (generally considered to be the best story in the series).
  
Of course, like we mentioned, there's some that are... um... Well, let's just say that the worst are a [[skub|matter of much debate]]. <s>ALL OF THEM ARE BAD!</s>
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Of course, like we mentioned, there's some that are... um... Well, let's just say that the worst are a [[skub|matter of much debate]].
  
 
*'''''Horus Rising:''''' A prologue story, introducing us to the series and Garviel Loken who will grow into a very significant character. An Emperor (not [[Emperor|Him]]) is killed at the beginning and some bugs are killed on a planet called Murder for no reason other than they were there. The Interex show up and ask "whadya do that for?". [[Erebus]] steals the '''MURDER SWORD''' from them.
 
*'''''Horus Rising:''''' A prologue story, introducing us to the series and Garviel Loken who will grow into a very significant character. An Emperor (not [[Emperor|Him]]) is killed at the beginning and some bugs are killed on a planet called Murder for no reason other than they were there. The Interex show up and ask "whadya do that for?". [[Erebus]] steals the '''MURDER SWORD''' from them.

Revision as of 22:51, 28 May 2014

It was pretty much this.


The Horus Heresy is the single biggest event in Warhammer 40,000 fluff. The only real competition is the War in Heaven between the Old Ones and the Necrons and maybe the creation of Slaanesh by the Eldar.

In the Horus Heresy, the Emperor's favorite son, Horus Lupercal, formerly Warmaster of the Imperium, rebelled against the Emperor, taking eight Space Marine Legions, their respective Primarchs, and a large part of the Imperial Army and Mechanicum with him. After waging war across the galaxy, Horus and his traitors eventually reached Holy Terra itself, hoping to murder the Emperor himself. He beat the Emperor within an inch of his life but was killed in turn. The Chaos gribblies he had been allied with disappeared and the now Chaos Marines that had followed him sulked back to the Eye of Terror, starting the Long War.

Because the Emperor was fucked up to the point where he had to be permanently attached to a life-support machine known as the "Golden Throne" just to survive, logic within the Imperium gradually decreased, eventually turning into the Grimdark empire it is today. And it was already pretty damn grimdark.

Warhammer 40,000 Fluff

The Horus Heresy screwed almost everyone's plans (except the Chaos Gods' of course, but they always win) and changed the flavour of the Imperium's Grimdark from Stalinist Soviet "if you breathe a word about religion, we rape you with knives" to Catholic Inquisition "if you breathe a word about the wrong religion, we rape you with knives" unless you can find an Ecclesiarch to come and say nope, that's just another aspect of the Emperor. Don't count on this happening without hefty "donations".

The heresy lasted for several years (somewhere between seven and ten) and was fought all over the galaxy. The following are the most important battles and campaigns during the Heresy:

The Board Game

First published in 1993 by Game Designer's Workshop, it was the Emprah versus his evil bastard of a son in the scorched earth of Terra. Units include titans and Chaos spawn. *GLARBLBLBLBLBLBL*


The more recent edition (2010) is published by Fantasy Flight Games. Also a two-player war game, it includes over 100 sculpted minifigs, sculpted buildings, and even Horus and the Emprah themselves are units on the board. It also adds more territory, as the fight can be pushed back onto the traitor's flagship Vengeful Spirit. Combat is less dice-y and more card-y. (Not to be confused with the lame Horus Heresy card game, who's only saving grace was the awesome card art that would appear in the Horus Heresy artbooks anyway)

The Book Series

For the last few years, Black Library has been publishing novels that explore the events of the Horus Heresy, looking at the rivalries among the Primarchs and exploring just why everything went down the tubes. The novels are by a selection of different authors, which is a total pain if you like to organise your books alphabetically by author. The reception to the series has been somewhat... mixed; books generally considered to be good include the first trilogy, Betrayer, Scars, and the short story The Serpent Beneath (generally considered to be the best story in the series).

Of course, like we mentioned, there's some that are... um... Well, let's just say that the worst are a matter of much debate.

  • Horus Rising: A prologue story, introducing us to the series and Garviel Loken who will grow into a very significant character. An Emperor (not Him) is killed at the beginning and some bugs are killed on a planet called Murder for no reason other than they were there. The Interex show up and ask "whadya do that for?". Erebus steals the MURDER SWORD from them.
  • False Gods: Horus falls at Davin when wounded by the MURDER SWORD and gets a crash course in the chaos gods from Erebus & Magnus. After getting shown a few "truths" that WILL HAPPEN in the future (like the Emperor being worshipped as a god, Horus being reviled and forgotten) he decides to make war on the Imperium to prevent all this from happening.
  • Galaxy in Flames: Isstvan III happens and the traitors send the loyalists down to the planet without reinforcements and proceed to bomb them to fuck. Things don't go to plan when Angron decides to invade turning it into a Not as Planned drawn out conflict that the Warmaster can't really afford - Loken dies
  • Flight of the Eisenstein: the other side fo Galaxy in Flames, Nathaniel Garro escapes and gets marooned in the warp fighting daemons, eventually gets saved by Rogal Dorn.
  • Fulgrim: one of the more forgettable stories in the series. Attempts to tell the story from Great Crusade all the way up to the Drop Site Massacre in one book. In short Fulgrim finds a sword, gets possessed, kills Ferrus Manus - the end. It is written by Graham McNiel though, and it has an awesome quote from Fulgrim "My Emperor's Children. What beautiful music they make." .
  • Descent of Angels: This is the Heresy book that isn't about the Heresy, instead focusing on Zahariel's time on Caliban. It also portrays Lion El'Jonson as having Aspergers. and hints that the Great Crusade does more harm than good.
  • Legion introduces the Cabal, the Perpetuals and Omegon. READ THIS BOOK
  • Battle for the Abyss: The book is so bad that other authors tried to retcon it out of existence. This book is so bad that you would have it was cobbled together from Wardian fluff stitched together by C. S. Goto. Reading this book may, in fact, cause brain cancer so you should avoid it if at all possible. Everyone dies, so it does not affect much. The only thing you need to remember is Lorgar built a fuckhueg space ship and filled it with Dreadnoughts.
  • Mechanicum: Tech Priests turn renegade after Horus tells them they can do whatever they like with technology, so they release forbidden viral scrapcodes and screw everything up. Also turns out that Big E invented the Machine-God by sealing a C'Tan on Mars back during the Saint George era, giving everyone visions of technology. Also more subtle hints that the Emperor is a god himself by using divine golden light to heal machines and know Everything and one tech priestess tries to harness this power. Contains a lot of Titan awesomeness and Knights badassery.
  • Tales of Heresy: short story collection, including The Last Church
  • Fallen Angels: the sequel to Descent of Angels, is actually two stories rolled into one book that never converge. 1. The Lion fights a war to reclaim some Ordinatus devices and then hands them to Perturabo to gain his trust, not realising that his brother has already turned. 2. Zahariel and Luther clean out a daemon cult on Caliban... but not really.
  • Thousand Sons: Part 1 of the Battle for Prospero. Runs through the Great Crusade where Magnus discovers the webway, but his Father already knew about it. Then the Edict of Nikaea where Magnus gets all passionate about not restricting psychic powers, then to Horus's vision quest where Magnus fails to keep his brother on the right path, then does the WORST thing possible by telling his father, breaking the Golden Throne in the process. Space Wolves come knocking shortly after. Tragedy ensues.
  • Nemesis: Malcador the Sigillite invents the Officio Assassinorum and sends six assassins to kill Horus. They fail, but in the process slay an shapeshifting daemonic counter-assassin sent by Erebus. While it is a good book and we learn a lot, it didn't contribute much to the overall plot.
  • The First Heretic: Lorgar's turn to get a back story. Feels less rushed than "Fulgrim". Goes from Monarchia to a bit of soul searching in the Eye of Terror and discovers Cadia.
  • Prospero Burns: Part 2 of the Battle for Prospero. An civilian hangs out with a squad of the Space Wolves, where we learn a lot about their culture and attitudes. Turns out that Chaos infiltrated everything, so the outcome of Nikaea was practically rigged. The civilian himself even turns out to have been an unwitting spy for Chaos, but the Wolves knew anyway and didn't give a shit.
  • The Outcast Dead: A mess of continuity errors, at least when compared with the rest of the series, the other authors later claimed all the errors were absolutely intentional and a result of the messed-up nature of Warp-based communication. Riggggghhhhtttt. Best bits are the portrayal of the Emperor, playing chess in dreams.
  • Deliverance Lost: The Alpha Legion infiltrates the Raven Guard and out-Just As Planneds Corvus Corax. This is, of course, ridiculous; how could a non-existent Legion infiltrate a Legion that does exist?
  • Know No Fear: Word Bearers get their revenge on the Ultramarines and the Battle of Calth happens, we get introduced to Ollanius Pius.
  • The Primarchs: Another anthology.
    • The Reflection Crack'd: Lucius and friends Anally Rapes Fulgrim. Yeah.
    • The Lion: Dark Angels fight daemons and reinstitute Librarians, then they steal a warp engine from Typhus then set course for Macragge to sort out Guilliman.
    • Serpent Beneath: Alpharius/Omegon plots against himself and destroys a facility keeping the White Scars out of the war. Except than none of the main players are Alpharius or Omegon.
  • Fear to Tread: Despite being Black Library's most financially successful book ever and hitting thirteen (!) on the New York Times bestseller list (without Oprah's recommendation, even), many fa/tg/uys find it a bit ridiculous. Why? Well, there's planets with giant frowny faces inhabited by garbage monsters, ships getting blown up by city-sized rocks launched from the aforementioned planets, a nearly-stereotypically-gay Slaaneshi daemon that doesn't actually serve much of a purpose in the story, and a villain named the Red Angel, despite the fact Angron already claimed that as a nickname (although he was first introduced in Horus Heresy: Collected Visions, so it's not James Swallow's fault). Oh, and Sanguinius acts like an idiot about Chaos the whole time, which fits the fluff, but come on, how many freaky supernatural signs do you need to see before you decide it's not just foul xenos?
    • In all fairness, of course, Fear to Tread does have quite a few good moments, especially when it comes to Warp-related terror. It also has a priceless bromance between Horus and Sanguinius, not to mention Sanguinius and his Legion get characterized very well.
  • Angel Exterminatus: Perturabo & Fulgrim raid a crone world, Fulgrim gets made into a daemon prince. Is a bit of a skub novel because the depiction of Perturabo is so different from expected, rather than being the bitter Rage machine from every other depiction, he's a quiet nerd-with-muscles who plays with toys as a hobby.
  • Betrayer: Lorgar and Angron rampage over the Ultramarines 500 worlds. Lots of references to Angron's past and his Butcher's Nails are killing him slowly. Turns out one of the Ultramarine worlds was his own Homeworld, so he destroys it and Lorgar makes him into a daemon-prince. Also remember the Furious Abyss? Lorgar has two more.
  • Vulkan Lives: What happened to Vulkan after the Dropsite Massacre? He got made Konrad Curze's bitch. Plenty of fun with dining implements and an awesome ending involving a hammer.
  • The Unremembered Empire: Matt Damon killed Martin Luther King. This happens in the book. Also, unlike the cover and synopsis would imply, it's not about Sanguinius and Guilliman working together to build a back-up Imperium around Ultramar, which leads to the question of why that's on the cover? Is actually the aforementioned Lion sorting out Guilliman as his new Imperium is starving resources from Terra.
  • Scars: technically book 3 of the Prospero arc. The Khan returns to the Imperium after killing Orks leftover from Ullanor and can't decide what side to join. Turns his back on Leman Russ during a fight with the Alpha Legion and goes looking for his best friend Magnus.
  • Vengeful Spirit Horus goes looking for power to make him equal to the Emperor. Loken comes back.

The Tabletop Wargame

Forge World is producing a new line of books and models (in addition to Imperial Armour and Warhammer Forge) to allow players to fight battles from the Horus Heresy in Warhammer 40,000. This includes rules and models for the Primarchs (both pre- and post-fall, for the Traitors) as well as ancient vehicles. No xenos, unfortunately. Presumably this came about because GW felt that they just weren't making quite enough money from die-hard marine/chaos players and figured they could literally buy a dump-truck full of gold plated cocaine each if they made a version of the game that requires only Forge World minis AND thousands upon thousands of them. Still worth it, though.

Betrayal

Forge World starts big, as their first book covers the battles on Istvaan III, in which Horus sent the remaining loyalist elements of the Sons of Horus, Emperor's Children, Death Guard, and World Eaters to the surface, ostensibly to rout the anti-Imperial resistance that had taken hold in the capital city, and then fired Exterminatus torpedoes (of the life-eater virus bomb variety) onto the city to wipe them out.

Unfortunately for Horus, not everything went as planned; not only did the loyalist Death Guard frigate Eisenstein escape to the Phalanx with word of Horus's betrayal, but loyalist elements on other ships were able to disrupt the bombardment and warn the loyalists on the ground that it was coming. Between the disruption, the warning, and good old-fashioned Space Marine toughness, only a third or so of the landed force had actually died. Horus would have fired another bombardment, but Angron and his traitor World Eaters jumped the gun and made planetfall; the other traitors were left with no choice but to deploy themselves and destroy the remaining loyalists personally.

Betrayal contains a Great Crusade Legion army list (for which we have a tactica), and rules for special characters and units from the Sons of Horus, Death Guard, Emperor's Children, and World Eaters Legions, including their Primarchs (even Fulgrim, who was not actually at the battle) and several major characters from the book series such as Garviel Loken.

Massacre

The infamous Drop Site Massacre is the focus of the next book, where seven Legions are sent to crush Horus’ rebellion, only for four of those to turn on the other three and crush them utterly.

Massacre contains additional rules for special characters and units from the Iron Hands, Night Lords, Salamanders and Word Bearers Legions including their Primarchs and several more major characters from the book series make their debut such as Sevatar, Eidolon, Erebus and Kharn.

Extermination

Set to be released around Easter 2014. Will focus on the second half of Istvaan V, as well as the Battle of Phall between the Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists; and on that note, it'll include rules for those two Legions, as well as the Alpha Legion and the Raven Guard.

Conquest

Horus Heresy Volume four has been revealed to be entitled 'Conquest'. It will feature Horus' Conquest of the Imperium and the major battles of this time.

See Also

  • Alternate Heresy, for a discussion of other possible outcomes of the (not necessarily Horus) Heresy.

External Links

Timeline of Warhammer 40,000
The Times of Old Wars of Secession - War in Heaven (60.000.000 BC) - Fall of the Eldar (M30)
Pre-Heresy Age of Terra (M1-M15) - Dark Age of Technology (M15-M25) - Age of Strife (M25-M30)
Great Crusade (Late M30-Early M31) The Last Church - Rangdan Xenocides - Interex - Gardinaal - Faash - Council of Nikaea
Horus Heresy (Early M31) Battle of Isstvan III - The Burning of Prospero - Drop Site Massacre - Thramas Crusade
The Battle of Phall - Battle of Calth - Signus Campaign - Imperium Secundus - Siege of Terra
Time of Rebirth (M31-M32) The Great Scouring (M31) - Start of The Long War (M31) - The Legion Wars (M31) - The Battle of Skalathrax (M31)
The Battle of Harmony (M31) - Creation of the Codex Astartes (M31) - Second Founding (021.M31)
The Forging (M32-M34) The War of The Beast (544.M32-546.M32) - The Beheading (546.M32)
Nova Terra Interregnum (M34-M36) 21st Founding (M36)
Age of Apostasy (M36) Plague of Unbelief (310.M36)
Age of Redemption (M37-Early M38) Abyssal Crusade (321.M37-121.M38)
The Waning (Early M38- Early M41) Gothic War (143-151.M41) - The Macharian Crusade (392-399.M41) - The Macharian Heresy (400-470.M41)
Wars for Armageddon (444.M41, 941.M41 and 991.M41) - Damocles Crusade (742.M41)
Time of Ending (Early M41-999.M41) The Vaxi Atrocity (731.M41) - First Tyrannic War (745-746.M41) - Sabbat Worlds Crusade (755.M41-780.M41)
Siege of Vraks (813.M41-830.M41) - Massacre at Sanctuary 101 (897.M41) - Badab War (901-912.M41)
The Vaxhallian Genocide (926.M41) - Second Tyrannic War (990.M41-993.M41) - Third Tyrannic War (997.M41-999.M41)
Taros Campaign (998.M41) - Octarius War (999.M41) - 13th Black Crusade (999.M41-M42)
Age of the Dark Imperium (000.M42-ongoing) Ultima Founding (999M41-012M42) - Indomitus Crusade (999.M41-ongoing, first phase ended on 012.M42) - War of Beasts (001.M42-025.M42) - Plague Wars (~012.M42) - Psychic Awakening (M42)