"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."
- – Friedrich Nietzsche
"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it. Molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, and by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!"
- – Bane, The Dark Knight Rises
"Know how I stayed alive this long? All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me: I cut off his hands. He offends me: I cut out his tongue. He rises against me: I cut off his head, stick it on a pike. Raise it high up so all in the streets can see. That's what preserves the order of things. Fear."
- – Bill the Butcher, Gangs of New York
Konrad Curze was the Primarch of the Night Lords Legion (his @ was Night Haunter). A Psyker (albeit a latent one), Curze was also well-known for the fact that he was plagued from the moment of his awakening by visions of the most horrific future imaginable, terrifying waking dreams that would follow him from cradle to grave. Whilst /tg/ has joked that he suffered the lamest death in history due to falling to a Callidus Assassin's blade (hence the "was" earlier). This was only because he let her kill him, for what he had done, and what he became. He is probably the most badass primarch in terms of getting shit done, especially compared to these buffoons.
Equal parts upstanding vigilante and psychosis-wracked terrorist, Curze's schtick was obedience through fear. To wit, if you're sat behind locked doors shitting yourself in terror for the majority of your existence, you're probably going to struggle to lead a life of crime. And if that logic doesn't make you reconsider your wayward ways, perhaps being skinned alive, then disembowelled and finally crucified will be the wake up call you need. Either way, Curze cut a somewhat tragic figure; he foresaw the events of the heresy only to be stitched up and censured by his arsehole brothers, possibly due to the fact he made for a nightmarish poker opponent. Of course, having a personality and approach that can be accurately summarized as "some unholy Batman-Punisher-Vlad the Impaler-Predator-Santa-Cassandra-hybrid" didn't win him many fans amongst his brothers, either. Though it might be more succinct to describe both his personality and methods as a combination of The Batman who Laughs and
Judge Dredd Judge Death.
His name is an oblique reference to Heart of Darkness.
After the Primarchs were scattered by Chaos, Konrad Curze found himself upon perhaps the worst of all the planets that any Primarch landed on, Nostramo. While not technically a Death World by way of either it's environment or fauna, the world was very poorly suited to human habitation, and made worse by overpopulation and pollution. The planet was shrouded in almost complete darkness due to its faint star and the industrial smog that choked its atmosphere. The air and the rain were acidic from pollutants, and the population of the Hives was kept in check by suicide more than anything else. Nostramo had been a mining colony during the Age of Technology, as the world possessed a tremendous amount of naturally occuring adamantium in its crust. The planet managed to weather the Age of Strife relatively intact (for whatever that was worth), and had continued on as a large scale mining operation into the era of the Great Crusade. The planet's population had retained the technology necessary to travel in the void, and so the Nostramons were able to export their adamantium off-world. Nearby systems would pay a premium for the incredibly rare and useful metal, which generated phenomenal wealth for Nostramo. However, this wealth was hoarded by Nostramo's corrupt upper echelons, who hired criminal gangs to enforce their will over what were essentially small fiefdoms within the Hive Cities. Whatever culture the miners had originally possessed had long since been replaced by a strange fusion of gangland territorialism and feudalism.
This corruption, and what came of it, were the elements that made Nostramo possibly the worst of all the planets to receive a Primarch. It wasn't just the environment which made the planet awful; other Primarch homeworlds had biospheres as bad or worse. For instance, Mortarion's home planet of Barbarus had a just barely breathable atmosphere, and Sanguinius's world of Baal was like living in a burned out nuclear reactor. However, the people of Barbarus still held a sense of communal solidarity which grew even greater when Mortarion rallied them against their Overlords, and the people of Baal still had the compassion to raise Sanguinius as one of their own. What made Nostramo truly hellish was its populace. On Nostramo, there was no compassion or fraternity. The planet's only resource was adamantium, and its mining and shipping were the planet's only industry. With the adamantium trade under the strict control of criminal kingpins, the vast majority of Nostramo's population was utterly destitute, and had turned to crime practically en masse long ago in order to simply survive. This environment had bred a population so used to depravity and horror that behavior like murder for the sake of cannibalism was quite commonplace. To get a sense of how crappy Nostramo was, Curze himself would later state that he considered Terra of all places to be a paradise.
From the moment he landed Curze got fucked over as, unlike the usual stasis-pod-descending-from-a-beam-of-light type landing his brothers made, Konrad punched through the crust of the planet (the entire planet was made of adamantium, though... warp phukery perhaps?) and had to crawl his ass out from the core as a TODDLER. After somehow surviving an asteroid level impact event, Curze's life got even worse as, when Curze reached Nostramo's surface, exhausted and starving from his climb out of the planet's crust, he killed and ate the first living thing he could find. His meal was a member of the human populace of Nostramo, and like most people on the planet, was a criminal. As a Primarch, Curze possessed the innate ability to absorb the memories of any creature whose brain matter he consumed, and Curze's first meal included every even remotely edible piece of the criminal. He saw in the man's memories a broken, fearful, pitiless lifeform existing amongst countless others just like him; beings who environment and circumstance had reduced to a status little better than that of feral beasts. Needless to say, this was just about the worst first impression of humanity that Curze could have gotten, and it started him immediately down the path of believing the worst of the human spirit. To top it all off, unlike his brothers, Konrad wound up with no one to take care of him. Nobody on Nostramo would have even considered something as altruistic as willingly taking on another mouth to feed. Konrad was forced to raise himself on the lawless hell-hole of Nostramo, eating animals and garbage when he could find such things, and people when he couldn't. The more people he consumed, the more memories of evil he experienced, and the more he became convinced of humanity's unworthiness and cruelty. As he grew older, Curze became increasingly disgusted by the behavior of Nostramo's populace, and he decided to take matters into his own hands after he became large enough to do so.
Stalking the eternally-dark streets as a sort of Space Marine Batman, Curze began hunting down anyone he saw commit a crime. At first Curze's solution was simply to kill any and all offenders, a perfectly simple matter for him even as a child. As a Primarch, there was nobody on Nostramo who could come close to so much as seriously harming him despite his juvenile status. Other potential means of stopping crime besides execution were, for whatever reason, not considered by Curze. It is likely that killing the offenders would have been, for the child Curze, the simplest means by which he could both punish a criminal and ensure that the individual did not reoffend; there were no prisons on Nostramo and no other law enforcement besides himself. Additionally, he would often consume the brains of these criminals to gain access to their memories, whereby he could learn the names and locations of other criminals. Or, if the criminal was part of a gang, Curze could learn much about the gang's membership, various haunts, and potential defenses. As he killed more and more criminals, his reputation began to spread, and the syndicates began hunting him. However, the assassins were but ordinary humans, and they never really stood a chance. Curze developed a habit of killing all but one of any particular hunting party, then gouging out the survivors eyes and returning him to his comrades with the message of "I'm coming for you".
But why bother doing any of this in the first place? It gained him nothing, and if anything it made him the enemy of essentially every single powerful person on the planet. Additionally, Curze never seemed to even consider the possibility of either allying with the corrupt nobles or forming a gang of his own, both of which would have made life significantly easier for him. Well, it was because each of the Primarchs had been created by the Emperor to serve a particular purpose, though there was significant overlap between many of them. For instance, Leman Russ had been designed to be the Emperor's executioner and IA guy, Dorn was the Emperor's architect, Guilliman was the Emperor's administrator, and Angron was... well he had undoubtedly been designed to be useful in some way (to this humble editor’s knowledge, he was an amazing healer with Jesus-type “cure the leper,” powers before the Nails). Anyway, Konrad Curze had been designed to be the Emperor's arbitrator, to be the ultimate judge. In fact one of the titles used to refer to him during the Great Crusade, and a pretty awesome one at that, was "The Last Judge". As such, he had a pre-programed knowledge of what justice was, and of what crime was (generally speaking). However, he had no understanding of why the concept of justice mattered, or any context by which to evaluate it. The child Curze simply had an instinctive desire to order his surroundings, rather like a giant grimdark sheepdog. All he knew was that crime was bad, and that justice involved punishing those who commited crime. So that was what he did. It is important to note that these "crimes" were not offenses under any sort of Nostramon law; the only law on Nostramo was the law of the jungle. It was all simply based on Curze's own innate understanding of what constituted a crime. Additionally, despite having been created with an innate sense of justice, Curze seemed not to possess any understanding of the concept that crime could have varying degrees of severity. As such, he also possessed no understanding that differing criminal offenses could have varying degrees of punishment. Curze's sole method of justice, execution on the spot, was parsed out to any criminal whether he be a serial murderer or a petty thief.
However as time went on, Curze began to notice something disheartening. Though his initial rampages were effective in terms of simply stacking bodies, no matter how many criminals he killed, the rate of crime seemed not to lessen. He'd hoped that his killings would have had a deterring effect on the remaining criminal populace of the city, but nothing seemed to have changed. At first he couldn't understand why this was, but after a time the answer dawned on him; most people committed crime on Nostramo simply to survive. He realized that people viewed him as simply one more murderer on a planet full of murderers; a more effective murderer than any to be sure, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary. It didn't really matter to the people of Nostramo if they met their end at the hands of an 8-foot tall monster child (Curze at the time), those of a couple of baseline human gangsters, or starvation. The choice for most of them was between committing crime, or dying, so ultimately there was nothing to lose by at least attempting to commit crime.
Unfortunately, instead of this realization sparking the aforementioned understanding in Curze that not all crime was the same, and thus not all crime should have the same punishment, he went in the exact opposite direction. He came to the conclusion that his murders were not having the desired effect because people weren't afraid enough of him. So Curze reasoned that if people were perfectly willing to commit crime to have a chance at survival, then all he had to do to stop them was to make the punishment for crime worse than death. He had to make the punishment for crime so terrible as to make survival itself not worth it; to become an object of such horror that people would rather see themselves and their loved ones starve than risk his wrath. There was also an element of simple practicality in this tactic, as Curze was keenly aware that he alone was never going to be able to kill enough criminals to have any real impact on crime rates on a planet populated almost entirely by "criminals". Nostramo was a Hive World, and such a world on average had a population of between 100 and 500 billion. Even a Primarch would have needed something significantly deadlier than his own two hands to kill that many people before the heat death of the universe, and that's assuming they stopped breeding. If he wanted to bring order to Nostramo, the people would have to voluntarily abandon crime. Or at least, they would somehow need to be... convinced to.
As such, Curze began to commit utterly horrific acts of torture upon his victims before killing them and displaying their bodies in the most public of manners. Leaders of the corrupt administration disappeared, only to be found later hung from administration buildings and horribly mutilated, their faces often untouched so people could instantly identify them. Notorious criminals (as defined by Konrad) were found in the streets, eviscerated or impaled and left to die on the spires of manufactorum rooftops. The blood of those who had committed "crimes" flowed in the streets, with body parts stopping up storm drains. He apparently even saw suicide as a crime, and would sometimes show up at the potential perpetrator's residence before they could carry out the deed. Not to talk them out of it, but rather to torture the person to death in order to set an example. What the fuck. And as before, no matter the crime, the sentence was always the same; death. Only now it was via the most horrific means that could be dreamt up in the superhuman mind of a deranged Primarch, rather than simple execution.
The really scary part? It worked. Within a year, Curze had terrified the people of his home hive city, Nostramo Quintus, to the point where the crime rate had reached damn-near zero. Where once the nighttime streets had bustled with activity, now everyone maintained a self-imposed curfew to minimize the casualties from Space Marine Batman. Mothers began to threaten their kids that if they continued to misbehave, the Night Haunter would come for them. Additionally, absolutely nobody was safe. The planet's most powerful kingpins, crimelords, and political officials were killed just as regularly and barbarically as the lowliest of petty thieves. The criminal syndicates and planetary nobles (tautology) had continued their attempts to find and kill Curze, but after a number of years of him slaughtering their ever larger kill-teams with ever increasing barbarity, they essentially just gave up.
However, it is at this point that things started to unravel for Curze. Growing up on Nostramo had, just by itself, caused significant damage to Curze's psyche. Nostramo was a world that displayed an entire population full of the absolute worst humanity had to offer, even if the people themselves weren't entirely to blame. This left him with quite a dim view of human nature, and it would show in how he dealt with the planets he would go on to conquer. Curze had also never had anything approaching friends or family upon Nostramo, which might have allowed him to develop some understanding of comradery. All of this aside, Curze might have been able to shift his view of humanity once he got off of Nostramo but unfortunately, he had an even worse problem compounding his all-consuming pessimism. For as it turned out, Curze was a potent psyker, and his talents manifested largely in the form of visions of the future. These visions seemed unerringly accurate and were exacting in detail, but almost all of them depicted the most horrifically violent of all possible outcomes for any given situation. Curze conducted practically all of his actions around these visions, attempting as best he could to avoid, or at least mitigate, whatever terrible future he saw coming to pass. Sadly, he was almost never successful, and some brutal permutation of his visions would almost always come to pass. This left him with the hopeless view that life was both unspeakably awful and virtually impossible to change. However, sometimes Curze would have visions that presented outcomes that were not so terrible. One important example of this came when Curze stopped two boys from assaulting some random woman. He killed the first boy, than played cat-and-mouse with the other until eventually cornering him. As he prepared to kill the second boy, he had a vision. In this vision, he offered the boy a chance to live rather than killing him as per usual. This had two outcomes; the first being that the boy became a disciple of Curze's justice and helped him form a sort of vigilante group to enforce law and order upon Nostramo. In the second, the boy grabbed a knife laying on the ground, stabbed Curze, and escaped. This escape would hurt Curze's reputation, and force him to redouble his killings as the crime rate skyrocketed amongst the now less fearful populace.
Under better circumstances, these more optimistic visions might have provided Curze with an impetus for introducing some genuine positivity to Nostramo. As stated previously however, the nature of Nostramo's people had polluted Curze's outlook on life. The world was a place where practically nothing good ever happened and having experienced only this planet sized Sin City for his entire life, Curze was convinced that the most negative outcome of a situation was virtually guaranteed to occur. The fact that the vast, vast majority of his visions bore this out didn't help either. It follows then that Curze chose to kill the boy, believing the negligible possibility of a positive future to not be worth the risk. After killing the boy however, he noticed that the knife that he had seen the boy grabbing in his vision seemed too far away for the boy to have physically reached it. This confused and disquieted him, and he believed for a moment that he might have made a mistake. However, he ultimately dismissed his doubt and assumed that he must simply have missed something during his vision, for it was unthinkable that the vision could have been false. It is thus heavily implied that Curze's noblebright vision had in fact been the real future, but his own biases caused him to disregard it. On that note, it it is highly likely that his ability to see the future was fucked with by the Chaos Gods while he was in the Warp, as Sanguinius had a similar ability which was not so grimdark. These visions also caused Curze to engage in the practice of punishing "pre-crime". That is, if he saw a vision of someone committing a crime, he would punish them as though they had successfully committed that crime, even if no actual crime had occurred. For instance, the two boys he had butchered in the above incident had not yet assaulted the woman, he had simply foreseen that they would (and to be fair to him they were about half a second away from doing so). It was also how he managed to find and kill those about to commit suicide, as obviously suicide is a rather unpunishable crime once it has been carried out. In reality of course, the entire concept of "pre-crime" is idiotic. If someone is prevented from committing a crime, even if they absolutely would have committed it if not stopped, then what that person is at worst guilty of is attempted whatever-the-crime-was. For instance, one definitionally cannot be guilty of murder if there is no murder victim. As has been noted however, Curze was not big on making distinctions when it came to his vigilantism.
The problems of Nostramo's environment, Curze's own vigilante butcherism (rip enough people's guts out with your bare hands and even the hardest motherfucker is gonna have some PTSD), and his horrific visions started to create an alternate personality within Curze's mind. As Curze continued to drown himself in blood and guts, this personality began to develop a taste for murder and torture that was independent of any greater goal. Curze managed initially to keep these dark impulses under control but as his killings continued to escalate in scope, scale, and creativity, these impulses would grow ever stronger. This additional personality would come to be known as the Night Haunter in order to distinguish it from Curze for posterity. This becomes slightly confusing however, as Night Haunter was initially just Curze's "nickname" on Nostramo, as obviously nobody knew his actual name. This confusion is then further amplified by the fact that Curze used the moniker to refer to himself long before his true descent into madness. The most simple (and least canon-breaking) way to view the situation is that Curze and the Night Haunter were essentially interchangeable for the majority of the Great Crusade, and the Night Haunter would not truly begin to manifest itself as a separate personality until the tail-end of the conflict. Basically, at any point before the destruction of Nostramo, the Night Haunter was just Curze having a particularly bad day. It should be noted however, that those bad days steadily increased in frequency and intensity as time went on.
In light of his progress in curtailing crime, Curze became convinced that his way of order through terror had been the correct one. He deemed himself to have taken on the mantle of evil in order that his people might be spared it, and judged his work to have been an ugly but noble and more importantly, successful, pursuit. Seizing the moment, Curze appeared before the few remaining nobles that had survived his vigilante purges - the few who basically weren't complete assholes - and gave them a choice: Obey his rule, or die horribly. One or two protested that he had imposed an order based on fear, but it made no difference (and was kinda the point). Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter, was made the undisputed ruler of Hive Quintus. Shortly thereafter however, he came to rule the entire world by simply hinting to the nobles of the other hive cities that if they didn't fall in line with his laws, he would be paying them a visit. He was that scary. This makes him the only Primarch to have conquered his entire planet single handedly (not counting the Primarchs who were loved into rulership for being awesome, like Magnus or Sanguinius).
To the surprise of most, Curze proved to be a capable ruler and was surprisingly just and temperate. He made strong attempts to educate himself on absolutely everything he could learn, and his skill as an adjudicator would have made a Reasonable Marine proud. This was, of course, until word of an injustice reached Curze's ears. At that point he would leave his palace to pursue the culprit himself, wearing down his prey until they could run no longer before gruesomely torturing the perpetrator to death. Curze had also made it mandatory by law that all citizens own a television, and would broadcast these torture sessions every time he conducted one in order to present everyone on the planet with examples of what happened to criminals. This unpredictable pattern of benevolent wisdom, contrasted by such jaw-droppingly savage violence that an Eversor would look askance, ushered in a new era of efficiency and honesty across Nostramo. Exports of adamantium tripled and unlike previously, the prosperity caused by this economic boom was spread across all of Nostramon society. The general populace, once so destitute as to have regularly resorted to cannibalism to survive, now saw wealth the likes of which they had never conceived of.
However, peace and order came at a steep price. Though material quality of life had improved unimaginably for the majority of people on Nostramo, everyone lived in abject terror of the Night Haunter. People policed their every word and action religiously, as nobody could ever be completely sure if something they had said or done might be misconstrued as a crime. Prosperity had spread throughout Nostramo not out of generosity or selflessness, but rather because everyone was terrified that having more than their neighbor might draw the Night Haunter's attention. Furthermore despite the order and prosperity Curze had brought to Nostramo, he was hated by the vast majority of its populace. He was simply too fearsome to engender any other response in baseline humans, and this would have dire consequences in the future. Had Curze ever learned how to delegate to minions made up of the local populace, he might have been more effective but alas. Or if he had followed the occasional visions of noblebright he had and shown mercy to some of his victims. Sadly, this was never truly an option for Konrad; his opinion of humanity in general was almost certainly too low to entrust anyone else with the execution of his justice. As would be seen later during a rather narrow minded "demonstration" to Dorn, Curze believed that humans could only be made to be orderly through fear of consequences. Without that fear, humans would behave as he had seen them behave on lawless Nostramo; doing whatever they could get away with to whomever they could overpower. Given this, his desire to be the planet's sole judicial arbitrator is understandable.
The Great Crusade
Soon after Curze took over and began ruling the planet, the Emperor's Great Crusade reached Nostramo. The coming of the Emperor of Man was an event long prophesied in Nostramo's history, and an event which would eventually bring about the apocalypse of that world. The Emperor and his delegation, which consisted of Rogal Dorn, Ferrus Manus, Lorgar Aurelian, Fulgrim, and their respective Legiones Astartes. proceeded to the Palace on foot. The Emperor's radiance was said to be so great that, as the Nostromans were adapted to see in the dark, it blinded those who looked directly at him, but mesmerized those who did not. It was also noted that, having performed a cursory inspection of Nostramo, the Emperor was quite pleased with what Konrad had accomplished there. On the surface, Nostramo was a superb example of social order, economic efficiency, and industrial production; basically the foundation of everything the Emperor wanted to accomplish for mankind. Of course, everyone on the planet was pants-pissingly terrified at virtually all times, but the Emperor didn't stick around long enough to delve much into Curze's methods of achieving success. This opinion was also shared by Fulgrim, which Curze quite appreciated. At the end of the road leading to his Palace, Curze himself stood, waiting for the delegation, when he had one of his visions. This vision was the most violently powerful of any he had yet experienced, and consisted of the eventual fates of his present brothers and himself. The vision was so terrible that he fell to his knees screaming, and would have succeeded in clawing his own eyes out if the Emperor hadn't stopped him. The Emperor psychically soothed Curze and the vision subsided, allowing Curze to regain his composure. He and the Emperor then had this badass exchange:
"Konrad Curze, be at peace, for I have arrived and intend to take you home."
"That is not my name, Father. I am Night Haunter, and I know full well what you intend for me."
Awesome. Curze began training under Fulgrim, who taught him the Adeptus Astartes combat doctrines and began molding him to be a suitable leader for his role as the leader of the Eighth Space Marine Legion - the Night Lords. Despite Fulgrim being one of the Primarchs least similar in both aspect and manner to Curze, he would ultimately be the only one of Curze's brothers who made any real effort to befriend him. Curze would remark on several occasion how much Fulgrim's efforts had meant to him, and noted that Fulgrim had been the only person in the Emperor's retinue upon Nostramo who had been willing to meet his gaze. Interestingly, another draw for Curze towards Fulgrim was the fact that during his awful vision upon meeting the Emperor, he had not seen anything violent happening to Fulgrim. Instead, his vision of Fulgrim was unusually devoid of detail; the scene was never entirely visible, and it was filled with the sounds of slithering and laughing. As such, Curze had not been able to discern Fulgrim suffering any one particular fate. This was contrasted to, for instance, his vision of Ferrus, who he saw quite clearly being beheaded, or Dorn, who he saw being torn to pieces. This was such a pleasant oddity for Curze that he immediately became more positively disposed towards Fulgrim than anyone else he had ever met. It would later become evident that this was because Fulgrim would essentially "cheat" death by becoming a Daemon Prince in the future, and so would become incapable of dying in any conventional sense. The aforementioned "slithering and laughing" sound made a lot more sense when we already knew which Chaos Gods Fulgrim shall serve. It should be noted that while Lorgar also became a Daemon Prince and was in the Emperor's retinue on Nostramo, Curze's vision of him seemed to indicate a violent death was in store for him. This was either a misinterpretation by Curze of his vision, or else Lorgar's violent death has simply yet to occur. Either way however, Curze did not come to have any sort of relationship with Lorgar during the Crusade.
Though Curze and his legion excelled in many different hot-zones throughout the Great Crusade, a disturbing tendency arose in short order; the Night Lords would never use anything other than total, decisive force to achieve their goals. Precision strikes, assassinations, and especially diplomacy were simply out of the question, as Curze's strategic doctrine ultimately involved terrifying a foe into such total compliance that the presence of enforcers would never be necessary. He also noted that the terror his legion inspired tended to make a complete mess out of any plans his enemies might have thought to employ. Lion El'Jonson was once known to have said "no plan survives contact with the enemy" but Curze was of the opinion that if you could scare an opponent badly enough, then that opponent's plans would not survive long enough to make contact in the first place.
The Night Lords legion had already been the Emperor's primary terror weapon even before the introduction of their Primarch. As such, they changed very little when Curze arrived, and quickly adopted their Primarch's combat and tactical ethos. Under Curze's guidance, they rapidly grew to become one of the most brutally efficient and effective of the Astartes legions. In one notorious example, one Night Lord recalled dealing with a non-compliant planetary governor; Curze murdered the man and then broadcast the screams of the man’s daughter across an entire city for 3 HOURS to frighten the remaining rebels into submission. The Night Lords decorated their armor with iconography designed to inspire terror in the enemy, a tactic that proved incredibly effective. Unsurprising, considering how terrifying Space Marines are without it. Where they struck, the Night Lords left examples such as those Curze would leave on Nostramo in days past, grim reminders of the price for disobeying the Imperium. Due to this effectiveness, the Emperor often used them not just as a compliance force, but as enforcers to ensure the loyalty of suspect areas of the Imperium. In time, it became so that even the mere mention of the Night Lords' approach would cause a system to pay all outstanding tithes, cease all illegal activities, stop downloading torrents of Blossom, and put to death any mutants or heretics. In hindsight, though, we here on /tg/ can't really be all that surprised by their brutality when we remember it was Fulgrim who tutored the VIII Legion's primarch. How else would the Night Haunter interpret the Phoenician's excessive battlefield perfectionism than a need for excessive violence?
Despite the Legion's horrific brutality however, there was (at least initially) a method to their madness which was outlined best during a conversation that Konrad had with his First Captain, Jago Sevatarion. In response to a question from his Primarch as to why the Night Lords committed the horrors they were known for, the First Captain responded that the Legion's terrible butchery "spilled blood to save blood." Approving of this answer, Curze added that terror was a weapon which could subdue without violence, which ultimately seemed to be the goal of his strategic outlook. The Night Lords broad tactical doctrine would most often involve descending upon a segment of a world's population in overwhelming force, and so horrifically massacring that segment that the rest of the population would surrender. Not only would this serve to limit casualties to a fraction of what other legions, such as the Iron Warriors or Dark Angels, might cause or sustain, but it also kept the vast majority of a planet's infrastructure intact. This way, the Imperium would acquire a world that was not only fully functional in terms of industry, but with a readily compliant, and largely intact, populace. This doctrine was demonstrated on numerous occasions, such as the Devastation of Zoah. Here, Curze's assault on the planet killed roughly 10% of its population, but when Magnus accused him of committing a series of massacres, Curze pointed out that the remaining 90% had surrendered without further bloodshed due to the terror of his assault, and that planetary compliance was achieved in only half the time predicted by Guilliman. It was also a somewhat grimly hilarious thing for Magnus to say, as the incident in question saw him ignore Curze's "massacres", but later risk the lives of his own legionaries to save a library. Priorities.
Another such example was a joint assault on the planet Kharaatan by the Night Lords and the Salamanders. The Salamanders had prepared for a standard assault upon Khar-tann City, but there was an unusual problem facing them. The humans of the world had been psychically manipulated into worshiping a coven of Eldar psykers, and would fight tooth and nail to protect their supposed saviors. This marshalling of the civilian populace put Vulkan in a significant quandary, as he would not countenance killing psychically coerced civilians, but subduing them without killing would mean that his Salamanders would take many unnecessary casualties. Being Vulkan, he chose to go with the latter option and the Salamanders gritted their teeth and prepared themselves. When they arrived at Khar-tann City however, they found the Night Lords winding down one of their typical terror campaigns. When Vulkan saw the unholy butchery that Curze had perpetrated he was so horrified that he nearly attacked his brother, especially after Curze sardonically told him that the ruined city was a gift to him. However, Curze had not simply been joking, as the planet surrendered without further conflict very shortly after Khar-taan City was destroyed. In the aftermath, even Vulkan was grudgingly forced to admit that Curze's terror assault had killed far fewer people than would have been lost to a conventional compliance action. Ultimately it didn't matter as the Imperium would end up killing all the human civilians anyway; too much xenos corruption. In fact, Vulkan himself would end up being in charge of the purge. Had Curze not been a Primarch, he likely would have died laughing when he found out.
One other matter of importance with regard to Curze's overwhelming reliance on terror tactics was his outlook on humanity in general. Curze was noted on many, many occasions to have expressed how much he hated humanity as a species. This was not based on his own physical or mental superiority, but instead on the fact that virtually everything Curze had ever seen or experienced of humanity ranged from selfish at best to Silent Hill levels of horrific at worst. He believed humans to be weak, pathologically selfish, cruel, and devoid of intrinsic virtue. Furthermore, he believed that because humans were so terrible as a species, they did not deserve kindness or compassion; such consideration was wasted on them. In his mind, humans could only be made to be orderly through unremitting terror. Their own well-being had to be placed into constant doubt, illusory or otherwise, if they were to behave in a civilized manner.
Problems arose, however, as the Great Crusade dragged on - reinforcements to replace the Night Lords that fell in battle were, as was the case of the other Legions, selected from the population of Curze's homeworld, Nostramo. Unfortunately, in Curze's absence, the population collapsed into the same corruption, criminality, and despair that had ruled the roost before his arrival. Nostramo had no police force due to Curze insisting on being all of law enforcement by himself, which meant that nobody was particularly interested in enforcing the law once he left. As such, the most ruthless of the criminals were the strongest and healthiest people on the planet, and these were the most common replacement recruits for the Night Lords. Not only that, but the corrupt planetary government would deliberately give the worst of these criminals to the Night Lords in order to give these gangster underlings superhuman power and a presence within the legion. The criminal culture of Nostramo began to subsume the original ethos of the Night Lords, and with this culture the Night Lords devolved into a group of transhuman gangland monsters. Instances of legionaries committing acts of barbarism not for a greater goal but for their own amusement became increasingly commonplace. These acts of insubordination were dealt with by Curze the only way he knew how; the horrific murder of those responsible.
But even Curze could simply not keep up with the ever increasing deterioration of his legion. He eventually realized that sadistic disobedience of his edicts on torture was running absolutely rampant throughout his legion, and launched his own investigation into the matter. To his horror, he found that the Night Lords were so corrupted that he essentially couldn't purge the criminal elements. There were simply so many perpetrators that to kill them all would render the legion non-functional, and he had no idea where to even begin. To make matters worse, his visions continued to increase in both frequency and graphic severity. One of these visions caused him to have a violent fit worse than any he had previously had, and he only barely managed to clear the room of occupants (or so he thought) before succumbing to the vision. When he came to, he realized to his horror that he'd done goofed. There on the floor was a clearly dead legion archivist, and Curze had been his killer. Due to the fact that Curze was totally nuts and evidently possessed no understanding of nuance, he considered this individual to have been the first "innocent" that he had ever killed. In his mind, he was now a criminal who deserved punishment no less than any of his own victims, which only served to further batter his crumbling psyche. Of course this was almost certainly not the first innocent Curze had killed, and it had been a complete accident to boot. But sadly Curze's idea of justice was zebra levels of black and white. At least he was consistent...
In the face of these ever escalating problems, Curze decided that the issue with the Night Lords recruits had to be dealt with at the source. He had been receiving reports that Nostramo had once again descended into a wretched hive of scum and villainy, and he decided that he needed to do something about that if his legion was to remain true to its original ethos. Unfortunately the only Primarch Curze had any real connection to or trusted was Fulgrim, and circumstance had made him unavailable at the time. The other Primarchs, instead of listening to him and trying to help, bitched him out and said that it wasn't their problem. To be entirely fair to them however, Curze had always been rather cagey when it came to his visions, as he knew that openly announcing that the Emperor was going to kill him and that the Imperium would be torn apart by civil war would not be well received. In fact the only one of his brothers who knew about his visions was his buddy Fulgrim, and only then because Curze had had one of his vision induced seizures right in front of him. Once it ended, Fulgrim had naturally asked Curze why he had just violently spazzed out, and Curze broke down and told him everything. Fulgrim was aghast, and tried to comfort Curze by telling him that it was inconceivable that the Emperor could do such a thing, nor that the Imperium could fall prey to such an imperfection as civil war. Once Curze had regained his composure he essentially told Fulgrim that he was probably right and to just forget the whole incident; he didn't want knowledge of his visions spreading.
Unfortunately, Curze didn't count on Fulgrim being an incorrigible gossip and seemingly didn't make it clear enough that he wanted the incident kept private. This would come back to bite him later, but for the time being, Curze needed to salvage the situation with his legion. He decided that if he could provide irrefutable proof to his brothers that the Night Lords were irreparably corrupted, and that the Nostramon government had been deliberately sending him the planet's worst criminals as recruits, he might be able to rebuild his legion properly. He managed to gather the evidence he needed and prepared to present his findings to his brothers. Before he could however, disaster struck in the blunt, socially-retarded form of Rogal Dorn.
Rogal Dorn had confronted Curze while he was overseeing a long line of prisoners of war who were to be executed as a punitive action. Dorn had taken issue with Curze's way of doing things, saying that peace through fear was not what the Emperor of Mankind had intended, and that this was no way to build a stable Imperium. Konrad Curze decided to prove his point to Dorn that without the fear of consequences, people wouldn't stay loyal. To illustrate this, Curze gave one of the prisoners a gun and then ordered his men not to kill him, no matter what might happen. Curze pointed the gun in the prisoner's hand right under his chin, saying "Go ahead, kill me." The prisoner refused, to which Curze stated his Astartes would not kill him. The prisoner, now confident that the Night Lords wouldn't shoot him, raised the gun when Curze turned his back. The prisoner fired, but the bolter round bounced harmlessly off of Curze's armor. Curze of course immediately butchered the prisoner. Using intimidation and the predictable reaction to it, Curze "proved" his point: once the fear of consequence was removed, people would feel no loyalty. In reality of course, Curze had actually not proven anything at all. Not only had his test subject not been a loyal Imperial citizen to begin with (in fact his world had just been conquered by the Night Lords of all people), but the prisoners had all been about to be executed. So the man in question was a member of a newly (and undoubtedly horrifically) conquered world who had nothing to lose as he was about to die anyway. Curze would have been hard pressed to have found a worse test subject. That's not to say that Dorn's argument was any less stupid; that conquest through fear would necessarily result in rebellion, but ultimately neither was even remotely convinced of the other's arguments.
Now, if Rogal Dorn had been better with people, he might just have left well enough alone, or perhaps sensibly told Curze that while fear was capable of enforcing obedience it could never create loyalty, and that his inability to differentiate the two was causing him problems. But as established before, Dorn had all the tact and subtlety of a whoopie cushion, and despite his typically stolid nature, he had quite a temper when roused. So in an effort to win the argument, Rogal revealed that Fulgrim had told him all about Curze's visions. Due to the fact that the visions were of such things as Astartes killing Astartes and the Imperium falling apart, Dorn was personally insulted by the visions and berated him, accusing Curze of having lied about it all. Furious at Fulgrim's violation of trust and upset at Dorn for being a stupid asshole, Curze suddenly found himself in the grip of another of his visions. This vision was one of his worst yet, as was his accompanying psychic fit, and he attacked Dorn with his lightning claws. Despite not being conscious of his actions, he managed to maul Dorn so badly that if Dorn hadn't been a Primarch he would have died. Curze was found afterwards weeping over Dorn's broken body, as he had not meant to harm Dorn at all, and as with the murdered archivist, Curze hadn't even realized what he had been doing until after the vision subsided.
As it was, Curze was just put on house arrest/grounded until the matter of an unsanctioned attack (read two missing primarchs) by one Primarch on another could be resolved. Curze, however, after reading a special batch of Nostraman tarot cards, said "Screw you guys, we're going home". After killing the Imperial Fists and Emperor's Children who were guarding him grimdark Batman-style, he and the Night Lords set course towards Nostramo. Curze tried to salvage things while on his homeworld, but the Emperor's arrival had removed the one last barrier the people of Nostramo had between themselves and utter despair: ignorance.
Of course, as the "Prince of Crows" heavily hints at, Curze didn't do anything other than horrifically kill people and incite fear by doing so. No improving the infrastructure, setting up a police force, or anything. And Curze refused to see this as a problem. The knowledge of other worlds beyond Nostramo inflicted a hopelessness that guaranteed that nothing on Nostramo could ever change... which makes no sense given both the fact that many in the Imperium had massively improved their lives and that Nostramo had been trading its adamantium to several other human star systems long before the Imperium arrived (though "Prince of Crows" shows that this was because Curze made it so to ensure that there was nothing to do on Nostramo besides "behave and slowly die in an adamantium foundry" or "become a criminal and die either slowly or quickly (depending on Curze's mood)"), leaving the world to fester in corruption and depravity like a metastasized tumor. This was almost certainly due to Curze's belief that humans were essentially evil at their core, as Curze had never seen baseline humans display behavior that even resembled altruism without being terrified. This situation was made worse by the Imperial governor appointed to rule Nostramo in Curze's absence, whose corruption-heavy regime more-or-less plunged the entire planet into the same shit that had given birth to the Night Haunter in the first place. Without Curze there to personally scare everyone into behaving, his "compliance through terror" schtick was doomed to failure. The inevitability of this failure was driven further home by the level hatred Curze was held in by most of the populace. He had been so effective in terrorizing the people of Nostramo that nobody really cared all that much that their lives had seen astronomical levels of material improvement. To most, it wasn't worth the improved conditions to have to endure living under the rule of such an unpredictable monster as Curze. He had essentially done his job too well. Nobody on Nostramo ever really thought about there being any underlying goal in Curze's butchery; most were too afraid to ever think about much of anything. This was the consequence of never really having explained his goals to anyone on Nostramo, nor having delegated any of his work to anyone else.
It is worth noting however that the Imperial government that was initially in place on Nostramo had attempted to keep the world as Curze wished it. Curze's heavy-handedness had served its purpose and created order and with him gone, perhaps there would have been a chance for the people to keep his overarching legal system, but add some nuance (no death by torture for jaywalking). However Curze had evidently not killed enough of the old syndicates' power structures to keep them from coming back. Like a dead weed with still-viable roots, the syndicates quickly sprouted back into being and were largely responsible for the planet's decay, rather than the people themselves being at fault. These syndicates eventually gained back enough power to simply overrule the government and rule from behind the proverbial throne, and the hopeless, terrified and powerless population could do very little about it. They simply didn't have it in them. Unfortunately, Curze either didn't know or didn't care, and he was not in the mood to do much investigating when he returned.
Imperial pursuit craft, determined to stop Curze for abandoning the Great Crusade and checking on his homeworld, arrived just in time to see the lance batteries of Curze's fleet put an end to the nightmare that the planet's inhabitants had found themselves in - the only way he knew how: remorseless mass murder. Curze destroyed the planet with sustained orbital fire to the fissures his own arrival created.
According to Curze's recollection/opinion exterminating Nostramo was a test for the Night Lords themselves. Had they stopped Curze it would have proven that at least some of them were worth something to Curze's goal: to use fear to create a true order. But even Sevatar (whom Curze favored) simply followed orders. Ironically Curze's other equerry (who Curze thought was a kiss ass), begged Sevatar to talk Konrad out of it. There were some Night Lords who did refuse to aid in Nostramo's destruction, but they got put down pretty quickly.
Blowing up Nostramo was more or less the tipping point for Curze in terms of his sanity. The Night Haunter persona came stridently to the fore of Curze's personality after this, and the Legion more or less abandoned its original ethos of using terror to decrease a campaign's casualty numbers. The reason for this was that Curze believed that he had utterly failed in implementing his philosophies. Nostramo had been the greatest proof that his methods worked; an entire world of corruption and crime brought to heel by one individual wielding one instrument; terror. But the planet had fallen back into ruin, and if all his actions had been for naught, then all he really was was a monsterous mass murderer whose means had failed to even produce an end, let alone justify one. This allowed the Night Haunter persona to take advantage of his guilt and despair and strengthen itself in Curze's psyche to a point of ascendancy. Ultimately the Night Haunter, in conjunction with Curze's psychic visions, convinced Curze that he had always been doomed to be a monster. As such, there was no longer any point in attempting to resist the darker impulses of the Night Haunter.
Somewhat oddly, the whole incident appears ultimately to have been written off by the Imperium at large. Even Curze almost killing Dorn, which in all honesty was probably a lot more significant than him destroying Nostramo in the eyes of the Emperor, was seemingly just kinda forgotten about and the Night Lords went on their merry way. Considering that other Legions like the World Eaters, Death Guard, Dark Angels, and Iron Warriors were all still tearing their way through the galaxy with similar efficacy to the Night Lords, it may simply be that there wasn't enough distinction between one bunch of rampaging mass murderers and another for it to matter. As seen with the Word Bearers and their sanction by the Emperor, all he seemingly cared about was how quickly the Great Crusade could be brought to a conclusion. The World Eaters would never be sanctioned for any of their butchery, and Perturabo killed an entire tenth of his own Legion out of spite, yet the only sanctioned Legion was the 17th, for they had committed the unspeakable crime of... being slow. Given how the Imperium functioned at the time, it is also highly likely that nobody actually cared enough about Nostramo to kick up much fuss about it being destroyed. The place was admittedly an absolute garbage heap, and it was certainly nowhere near the first planet to be blown up by the Imperium. Adamantium was the only thing of any value to the Imperium on it, and who knows; turning the world into a debris field might have actually made the metal easier to get at.
The Night Lords spent the next 20-some odd years terrorizing any non-Imperial population they could find, honing their methods of psychological warfare on their helpless victims. They would deliberately target primitive or defenseless worlds so as simply to sate their sadism, and their campaigns would grow ever more butcherous and unjustifiable. Their previous strategic goal of using terror to limit casualties and quickly end compliances was abandoned, and instead the Night Lords began to conduct their terror campaigns on a planetary scale. They would descend upon the population of entire worlds and conduct their barbaric tortures upon the entire populace, rather than brutalizing a small segment of them as an example to the rest. Word of the Night Lords' increasing transgressions would make their way back to the Emperor, who would eventually decide to recall the legion to Terra for investigation, though apparently he did so largely because many in his inner circle were pleading with him to do so. Before the summons could occur however, word reached Terra that Horus had rebelled, and so everything else was essentially put on the back burner until he could be dealt with. The Night Lords were subsequently ordered to the Isstvan system to help destroy the traitor forces. It's a bit bizarre that the loyalists thought it was a good thing that the Night Lords showed up to support them at Isstvan and didn't see a double-cross coming considering how butcherous they had become. Then again, the Iron Warriors were sent to help as well, so they may have just been grateful for whatever support they could get. So the Night Lords having A talent for Murder was probably seen as helpful, at least in the short term.
While not one of the initial traitor Primarchs, Curze was quick to fall in alongside Horus when he rebelled. His only real friends in the entire galaxy had been Mortarion, Fulgrim, and Horus, and all three were amongst the initial traitors on Isstvan V. He even ended up saving Lorgar from Corvus Corax, although after seeing the Gal Vorbak, the very first squad of Possessed Marines, he felt it was a mistake. Says a lot about how horrific those things were that Konrad Curze, a man who literally decked himself out in the rotting flesh of his enemies, would be disgusted by them. This intervention also shook Corax himself to his very soul, as he saw in Konrad the very thing he might have become had he fallen to Chaos and possibly adopted a different view on disemboweling innocent civilians.
Curze seemingly never had much of an ideological motivation for joining the rebellion, but it is known that he deeply hated the Emperor. He believed that the Primarchs had all been designed with a purpose in mind, and believed that his purpose was to be the monster that he had become (which wasn't entirely false but more on that later). He believed that his various psychoses, horrific visions, and his landing upon Nostramo had all been engineered deliberately by the Emperor in order to turn him into a more perfect monster. Conversely he saw Primarchs like Sanguinius or Guilliman and hated the fact that they had seemingly been engineered to be noble, resplendent luminaries while he had been condemned to his twisted nightmare by design. He also believed both the Emperor and many of his brothers to be exceptionally hypocritical, as quite a few of them had complained about his methods when his ways achieved less overall bloodshed. Why were, say, the Iron Warriors or the Space Wolves not looked upon with disgust when they killed far more than the Night Lords did? To Curze, the answer was simply that they killed cleanly. In his mind, they did not have the gumption to do what he did; to slaughter in a brutal and honorless way, but ultimately to kill far fewer for these methods. He also hated the Emperor for the fact that he knew the Emperor would one day kill him, which he had known since he was a child. The hatred and fear created by that knowledge festered within him, deepening his madness with the belief that he ultimately could not escape his future or change it for the better. In reality, it is very nearly impossible that the Emperor actually did orchestrate the scattering considering how significantly the event had stymied His plans. However Curze reasoned that if he and Sanguinius could see the future to the degree that they could, than the Emperor's ability to do so must have been incomprehensibly more potent. If that was in fact the case, how would it be possible to so thoroughly thwart such a being?
Of course, Curze's hatred of the Emperor, as with most things regarding his philosophy and outlook, ignored the reality that Curze was ultimately responsible for his own actions. As hinted at previously, he had almost certainly been cast in the mold of what he had been on Nostramo, but he chose to be a cruel, sadistic butcher rather than the reasonable and temperate (though still terrifying) arbitrator that the Emperor would most likely have wanted him to be. Essentially, he was always going to be some version of Batman, but he chose to be the Batman Who Laughs instead of the mainline one. Additionally, after losing his inner battle to the Night Haunter, any claim he had to killing the few brutally to spare the many went right out the window because he simply stopped doing that. After Nostramo, the Night Lords instead killed the many, but they did not lessen their brutality; if anything they became worse over time. However, this does not absolve the Emperor of responsibility in the matter of Curze's descent. Though the Emperor almost certainly was not responsible for the scattering, nor was He malicious in his plans for His Primarchs, He did seem to be supremely apathetic towards quite a few of them. In Curze's case, the Emperor's apathy towards helping him with his visions absolutely doomed Curze. Curze himself was completely helpless when it came to both his visions and the fits he had during his most intense ones; he could neither avoid nor control any of it. However the Emperor clearly knew about the visions and the fits; Curze had one of his worst vision-induced meltdowns right in front of the Emperor when they first met. The Emperor even displayed the ability to bring Curze out of his fits as He did so during their first meeting, yet that was seemingly the only time He ever did anything to address the visions. Not helping Curze at all with his visions is actually quite a gigantic oversight on Big E's part, as the visions were the primary motivator behind everything that ultimately went wrong with Curze.
The Night Lords remained impious, siding with none of the Chaos Gods and instead using them as mere tools in their terror campaigns. Almost entirely populated by criminals and murderers, the Night Lords led the Dark Angels and the Lion all over the Eastern Fringe. The insanity doesn't end there. In the middle of dicking with the Angels, he invited Lion El'Jonson to a dead planet (future place of his new palace and his own death...) to deliver a message from Horus, which actually predicted the Dark Angels' fate of everyone hating their guts for not being on Terra because Curze had lead them all over the Eastern Fringe (HAR HAR HAR).
The Lion, who has zero tolerance for insults, proceeded to attack Curze and managed to sucker-stab him straight through the torso. The fight then descended into a brawl in which Curze nearly strangled the Lion despite his giant stab wound, but Corswain jumped onto Curze's back and ran him through the spine. The two Primarchs were then dragged back to their respective fleets.
The Dark Angels would eventually get the upper hand, presumably because Curze was partly pre-occupied by his "guest" (see below) and because the Lion would start using a powerful and sentient warp engine that allowed him to out maneuver the Night Lords and capture Curze temporarily, essentially breaking the back of the Night Lords Legion. Strangely enough, the most (or second most) brilliant tactician of the entire universe couldn't crack a thing or two when dealing with this one-trick
pony batman psychopath, but had to rely on plot-device to bend his brother over (the Lion may be a good tactician but he's not clairvoyant, and Curze is still a Primarch). Anyway, with Curze out of the picture Sevatar took over the Legion. Read that as murderfucked most of the leading captains and told the fleet to disperse and do whatever it was they wanted.
Vulkan became Konrad's prisoner after Isstvan V. Unfortunately, Vulkan is immortal or some shit, so he kept coming back from the dead. This pissed the shit out of Curze, who decided to torture him instead (well actually his failure to kill Vulkan for good increasingly "frustrated" him so he started to get "creative"). Vulkan had to do all kinds of shit, including being forced to kill his own Salamanders, watch prisoners starve themselves, and fight Corax in a dream. In the end, though, Curze couldn't bring Vulkan down to his level, causing massive amounts of rage.
|This article contains spoilers! You have been warned.|
Vulkan ended up in a maze built by Perturabo, with his hammer at the end of it. Vulkan had a teleporter in his hammer, which he figured Curze didn't know about, which made him hopeful. He couldn't navigate the maze worth shit though, and he was pretty much fucked, but after a couple of days, he pissed off Curze, who then led him to the center so they could fight. Vulkan revealed that Curze had just given him a teleporter and Curze was all "fuck you, teleporters don't work here", to which Vulkan replied, "It's also a hammer". Vulkan then proceeded to beat the shit out of Curze, but didn't kill him (because that would be stooping to his level, apparently).
When he was done, Vulkan said (essentially) "Fuck you Curze, I'M VULKAN! So MY teleporters work here. I just wanted to beat the shit out of you." He then escaped, leaving Curze more emo, depressed, and filled with more RAGE than ever before. This was due in no small part to the fact that Curze was not only completely hopeless regarding the future but also suicidal, and had genuinely wanted Vulkan to kill him. Not that this mattered because Curze subsequently went on to take out his considerable ire against the entire Dark Angels Legion, leading to an impressively murderous trip to Macragge where he role-played a combination of every slasher movie killer and went with whatever felt natural; his ire got worse, however, when he went after big Bobby G's mother. He tried his usual shtick of freaking her out with how much of a creepy bastard he was. It worked for five seconds before she told him to piss off and die. He would have killed the Lion AND Roboute with a powerful explosion (he had set the chapel of Hera to explode with them in it) if it hadn't been for the power of friendship. Seriously...friendship truly is magi-*BLAM*. He also managed to fight a 1v2 duel against the both of them for a short time in order to stall them until the explosives went off. Batman indeed.
After having a running battle with Vulkan through the streets of Macragge in which he ended up killing Vulkan several times, taking a morbid delight in seeing how long it would take for him to revive after every kill, he ended up being jumped by a bottled demon and briefly being dragged into the warp. Curze managed to kill (as in completely, not just banishing) the demon, and was dumped back onto Macragge. He had yet to reappear but had the entire planet on curfew while he was still (theoretically) around.
After spending some time terrifying the locals, he eventually snuck into Sanguinius’s throne room. Here, Curze took Azkaelion hostage in order to entice Sanguinius into having a chat with him. Before the chat could occur however, the two of them proceeded to have an extremely cool but totally pointless duel. For despite Curze being fully armed and armored while Sanguinius was not, they both not only had constant visions of what would happen during the fight (ie, this fight had more slow motion action visions than a Zhang Yimou film), but they each already knew how both themselves and the other was going to die, and each knew it wouldn't be during the duel. Despite this, and despite Curze even humorously pointing out how silly the two of them fighting would be, Sanguinius seemingly couldn't help himself and attacked Curze anyway. True to form, the entire thing played out in their heads à la the Sherlock/Moriarty brain fight in the A Game of Shadows movie, only in real time. After a long stalemate Curze got bored, backed off, and began to expound on his theory that the scattering had been a deliberate ploy by the Emperor, and that the circumstances of where and how each Primarch had been raised had likewise been the Emperor's doing. To Curze's brief delight, Sanguinius was actually somewhat receptive to his brother's theorizing, but it didn't change his outlook on the Emperor or the Imperium. Curze then gave Sanguinius the chance to kill him and thereby prove that the future could be changed, but Sanguinius stopped the blow in mid-air out of pity. Curze, royally pissed at Sanguinius's mercy, proceeded to mutilate Azkaellon and blow up a whole lot of Sanguinary Guard, before he threw what remained of Azkaellon off a cliff and disappeared. Almost miraculously, Azkaellion actually managed to survive.
Despite having the resources of almost 3 full legions, the rulers of Imperium Secundus had great difficulty tracking Curze down. When it was revealed that Curze had never ever even left Macragge once in the years since his arrival, the Lion put the planet under almost total martial law and brought in his official overkill brigade to deal with him. Curze had been fomenting rebellion amongst the Illyrians, a part of Macragge that had never really accepted the civilisation of Konor and Guilliman. After the Dark Angels massacred an entire nation in response, Curze laid his final endgame in a mountain fortress. The Lion, in response, broke his word to Guilliman, and contrived a devastating (and forbidden) orbital bombardment using droppods and assault rams converted into barrage bombs and torpedoes. When the smoke cleared, the Lion went solo hunting again, walking into the trap Curze had set for him. Unfortunately, for a precog, Curze hadn't anticipated that the Lion had already cleared all the traps set for him and he was captured after a duel (the Lion cheated by calling in Fire Raptors to prevent Curze from escaping).
Despite being finally caught, Curze had both the penultimate and last laugh. He managed to do what the Word Bearers, World Eaters, and Night Lords legion had not managed to do with soldiers and fleets, and broke the Imperium Secundus. His official court trial had barely started when he told Guilliman that that the Lion had broken his word by staging an ersatz orbital bombardment. Guilliman, having finally lost his patience with the Lion's ends justify the means crap, snapped the Lion's sword in two and Sanguinius told him and his legion to GTFO of Imperium Secundus (because sending a legion into what he thinks is certain death by Warpstorm for the crime of shooting the bad guy and not even hurting anything but the damn fortress is a brilliant decision). However, just as the Lion was about to leave the system, he remembered Curze's words of prophecy, that his back, the Lion's sword, and word would be broken (as well as Curze's proclamation that he would be killed by an assassin sent by the Emperor). The Lion teleported back to Macragge, just as Curze was about to be executed and explained the situation. Guilliman had a mini breakdown over everything he had done on the premise the greater Imperium had fallen and Curze laughed himself into an aneurysm at the whole situation.
He would remain in custody throughout the journey back to Terra, initially kept under lock and key by the Dark Angels, but was later "broken free" by Sanguinius, who dragged him down to Davin so that they could possibly change their destinies together. This frightened the absolute crap out of Curze, not least because of the potential fact that if Sanguinius could change his destiny to die by Horus' hands, then that would mean that Curze could avoid his own assassination later on, which in turn would make all of his life meaningless because he was such an evil bastard based on his absolute certainty of how events would unfold.
However, this would not be, as Sanguinius realised that to make the change in his fate, he would need to become something worse than even Horus, so he allowed fate to continue on course. What's worse is that although Sanguinius accepted his own fate, he threatened Curze with the possibility that the Emperor could even forgive him for all of his crimes, pushing Curze into silent horror at the thought that his universe was not what he thought it was. But in a cruel twist, Sanguinius decided to leave his brother to his destiny, while also pointing out that while he could pin down the actual time and location of his death to the bridge of the Vengeful Spirit at the Siege of Terra; Curze's assassination might not actually occur for millennia, and thus he promptly jettisoned his brother's stasis coffin into space.
These interactions firmly establish Sanguinius as a foil to ol' Konrad, in the sense that both were cursed from birth with precognitive abilities that would shape their personalities and ultimately their fates. Sanguinius believed it possible to avert and alter the path of his future, but accepted it instead upon realizing that doing so would entail becoming something even worse in the progress; Konrad actively rejected even the possibility of doing so, as he considered his fate to be set in stone, to the point he'd lived his whole life based on that notion. And as he had just discovered, Sanguinius was also a scary motherfucker in his own way.
"The horror, The horror..."
After being jettisoned into space, Curze's stasis coffin was picked up by a freighter. The future victims were eager to sell his coffin for a big payday instead of being smart and chucking it into a sun, so naturally Konrad escaped. When Curze got out Horus was long dead and took a moment to ask a crew member the date. Guess what Curze did to the crew. Please, fucking guess.
After the battle was lost, they fled back to Tsagualsa with what was left of the Legion. The Emperor, however, wishing to stop the Night Lords forevermore, dispatched an Officio Assassinorum operative from the Callidus Temple to kill him. He presumably did this at some point before the Siege of Terra, though why the Emperor Himself would have thought that a lone Callidus assassin could do anything to a Primarch is a bit odd. Perhaps Big E himself had heard about Curze's visions and what Curze himself thought would happen to him?
Curze spent his last hours crafting a statue of Big E to whine about how daddy never loved him, and how his ways were necessary. By the way the statue was made of human flesh. He was, by this time, taking insane to whole new levels, and now had the added issues of talking to himself and having severe, second-to-second mood changes. He would rage uncontrollably one second and in the next, start apologizing to the corpses that comprised his Emperor statue and thanking them genuinely for their pain and sacrifice. During this few final hours, he argued with the statue that everything he had done was necessary and just due to the inevitability of the future, but heard a voice gainsay this, which told him that it was his own choices that had led to this future. It is interesting to note that it is impossible to tell if it was in fact the Emperor speaking, or Curze hallucinating, as it is well known that Curze had always had doubts about the true inevitability of the future, buried as deeply as possible in order to keep the remaining shreds of his mind functional.
When his confession was done, he burned the corpse-statue of the Corpse-Emperor and walked in his corpse-fortress and put on his armor, told his Legion to fuck off his damn corpse-lawn, and sat down to wait for his corpse-mama to come.
Curze had foreseen everything, or had chosen a fate believing the future was set, just as Sanguinius had. With his final prediction coming true, Curze waited for his just punishment.
Confronted with the Callidus Assassin M'Shen, it is believed that Curze proceeded to make jokes about how she had butt-sex with Macha before getting down to brass tacks and explaining why he'd allowed her in so easily:
"Your presence does not surprise me, Assassin. I have known of you ever since your craft entered the Eastern Fringes. Why did I not have you killed? Because your mission and the act you are about to commit proves the truth of all I have ever said or done. I merely punished those who had wronged, just as your false Emperor now seeks to punish me. Death is nothing compared to vindication."
Whilst it's never been confirmed who came out on top (or whether or not the Callidus and he engaged in hardcore ball-busting sex), it is believed by many that Curze allowed himself to be killed, having given explicit orders to the Night Lords to allow M'Shen to escape. Only one Night Lord, Apothecary Talos Valcoran of the 10th Company, pursued her out of vengeance (the Night Lords did eventually join in pursuit, but that was only after the senior Captains realized that M'Shen (no connection to Martin Sheen, none at all) had looted Curze of all his bling, which they wanted for themselves). It is believed that Curze had come to see himself as a murderous and corrupt villain - the very thing he had sought out to destroy (or perhaps he wished to prove that his decision to destroy Nostramo and join Horus was justified, as the Emperor had become one more tyrant who had to be slain). Maybe he was a heroic Space Marine Batman who lived long enough to become the villain.
Although knowledge of his gifts apparently were not widespread amongst the ranks of his brother Primarchs, Curze was capable of mild feats of psychic display (when compared to someone like Magnus at any rate, as he was never trained in their use). The first and most impactful of these traits were his visions of the future. Likened to waking nightmares, these visions most often were of how people would die, or some calamity involving mass death and destruction (such as the Heresy, which he had known would happen long before it did). He was no exception; as stated above, the Night Haunter had foreseen his own death from the moment he awoke on Nostramo. These visions also often extended to those he would lay eyes upon. These visions could also be applied in battle, allowing Curze to see what his opponents would do before they did it. This made him borderline broken in terms of melee combat, and the only times he was ever bested involved him essentially forgetting to use this power. While using it, he was capable of entering into a protracted stalemate with Sanguinius, who was arguably the most martially powerful of all the Primarchs, and who had similar but (ordinarily) less frequently active ability. Though Sanguinius was not armored at the time, it ultimately didn't make a difference as the future-seeing abilities of both combatants kept either from ever landing a hit.
The Night Haunter also displayed a few other feats of psychic development, such as telekinetically destroying a series of lights to aid in his escape from a VII Legion detention chamber. The fashion in which he did this was described as being akin to "the blast wave of an explosion, with Curze at its epicenter." He was also capable of telepathically conversing with Jago "Sevatar" Sevatarion. Sevatar, a latent psyker, was exploring Konrad's psyche during the latter's unconsciousness resulting from wounds inflicted by the Lion El'Jonson during the Thramas Crusade. Apparently the Night Haunter had a role in helping to suppress Sevatar's psychic potential, as revealed in the conversation between them - and that, because Sevatar was not trained in their use, those psychic abilities would be increasingly self-destructive. Why he simply did not start training him will probably forever remain a mystery. He must have been the legion's only psyker or there is no rationale explaining why Sevatar was not just passed over to the Night Lord's Librarius for training his abilities. (The Night Lords Trilogy explains this by an incompatibility between the gene-seed and the host, the visions being a 'side-effect' of that struggle as it grows worse over time.) He also seems to have some sort of odd and presumably psychic ability to transform briefly into a shadowy/smoky cloud thing, which he did a few times during his 2v1 duel against the Lion and Guilliman to evade attacks, and also when a Perpetual called Damon attempted to kill him on Macragge after the duel. He also has the ability to hide his mind from other psykers, as seen, once again on Macragge, when John Grammaticus states that he can seemingly only find Curze when he wants to be found. Another example occurred when Curze ambushed an Ultramarines squad with a Librarian, named Prayto. Prayto was unable to sense Curze until Curze attacked, when he stunned the Librarian by allowing him to sense, at the last second, just how horrible Curze's mind really was.
As the Primarch of the VIII Legion, Konrad had a servant throughout the Great Crusade named Ekra Trez (who bore the title of "Sin-Eater"). Trez was tasked with keeping a record of the Night Haunter's pre-cognitive visions in a massive tome, and would often make note of which ones had been proven correct or false. Trez was also more than aware of Sevatar's psychic ability, leaving some readers of the Black Library's Horus Heresy novels curious as to what role Trez may have played in the Primarch's psychic development - if any.
"You think it's over just because I am dead, but the games have just begun."
- – Jigsaw
The Night Haunter, in his death, may have continued to leave a lasting impression upon the Imperium as inspiration for one of its many institutions. Although his legion continues to sow fear and discord amongst the stars, Konrad Curze's legacy of weaponized fear lives on within the Imperium through the Emperor's Holy Ordos of the Inquisition. Like the inquisitors of the 41st Millennium, Konrad brought loyal citizens into compliance through fear and threats of death/torture beyond imagining to those who weren't sure where their allegiances lay. Those who failed to comply were guaranteed either a swift death at the hands of his legion, or a slow death at the tender mercies of his legion's most depraved souls. Lastly, if those comparisons weren't enough, look at the fate of Nostramo - Konrad essentially carried out an act of Exterminatus. Just as Lorgar's teachings on the Emperor's divinity would later lay the foundation for the Imperial Creed of the Ecclesiarchy, the Night Haunter could effectively be treated as the first author of the Inquisition's playbook. Not that they wouldn't BLAM you for heresy if you said that to their faces though.
Within the Night Lords, Curze and the Night Haunter each left their own legacy, which caused no small amount of schism. Officially, Curze appointed Zso Sahaal as his successor and Talonmaster, because Sahaal understood that a true warrior is more than just a murder machine. A true warrior has focus, and wields fear as a tool to fulfill a purpose. As you can probably predict, every other Night Lord captain decided that they were more deserving of being Curze's successor and tried to get Sahaal dethroned for being "weak" or whatever. Their logic was that Curze wasn't in charge, the Night Haunter was, and the Night Haunter was supposed to choose the true successor. After Sahaal became lost in the Warp, captain Krieg Acerbus "the Axemaster" slowly but surely took over huge swathes of the Night Lords and led them to become Chaos Undivided followers. Ironically, the Night Haunter had no intention of ever choosing a successor as he would have preferred that his legion die out completely for becoming everything he personally despised.
Even after Curze caused so much carnage, particularly to Ultramar and Macragge, it's interesting to note that Guilliman seems to still pity him. During the Plague Wars, Guilliman admits to an associate that, out of the whole fucked up Primarch family, only "poor Konrad" truly saw the Heresy coming, and that if he hadn't been insane, it all might've been avoided.
Multiple Personality Disorder?
Now, we all know the Black Library can range from the godly to the Goto. So this must be taken with a grain of salt. But Lord of the Night implies that Curze suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder, such that he and the Night Haunter were two different people: Konrad, the just leader of men, and the Night Haunter, the murderous vigilante. Blood Reaver also implies it (a Night Lords sorcerer talking about how at one moment he was trying to teach his long-dead father some idealistic lesson, while at another he was only concerned about eating some slave's heart) and shows signs of other mental instability, such as when he has a bit of a manic episode and forgets that his First Captain died several years ago, indicating dementia or schizophrenia; Blood Reaver also suggests that the Emprah's DNA may not have entirely settled in Curze's body, explaining why he was so batshit crazy by the time of his death, not to mention the corpse-like appearance he was sporting near the end. The upshot of this is that only the Night Haunter fell to Chaos, while Curze remained clean. Which one got the other killed is unknown. Other books have inverted the relationship, suggesting that the Night Haunter was the "honest" monster that was needed to do the terrible things required, whilst Curze was the fallible human who fell to his own weaknesses. Or perhaps the Chaos taint was the only constant, corrupting whatever personality was currently dominating, with all the idiosynchrasies implied.
Another thing perhaps tied with his Multiple Personality Disorder is that Konrad Curze towards the end had ended up hating his own legion. In a conversation with First Captain Sevatar, Konrad mentioned that he had spoken with Angron and Lorgar following the Istvaan III purge. Cleansing the untrustworthy elements of the World Eaters and the Word Bearers. The sheer absurdity of the idea was laughable to the Night Haunter, for his brothers knew exactly when to stop the killing of the weak, the treacherous and the corrupt within their bloodlines. He had no idea where to begin culling the Night Lords' ranks. His sons were no longer cast in his image. Less than a decade after he had departed Nostramo that world had sent him nothing but filth to integrate into the VIII Legion as Neophytes; the disgusting dregs of humanity his own Apothecaries had infused with his genetic material and reforged into transhumans. The VIII Legion had become poisoned by their presence. The VIII Legion was now composed of warriors who were murderers in the Primarch's own image, yet devoid of his conviction (which does not make any sense at all because, see above:
Every Space Marine is massively brain-washed during their ascension, and in the 41st millenium chapters even preferentially recruit from either backwater worlds - where killing someone because he has more shiny bling than you is still acceptable - or hive gangers over aristocrats on more developed worlds, simply because they are more likely to survive the transformation process.. Just think of the "blood games" many chapters perform to determine the most fitting candidates "hey, lets see who can work together and kill as many of the other aspirants as possible" Extensive hypno-indoctrination only really became a thing AFTER the Heresy, specifically as a reaction to it to help ensure the loyalty of future marines, it's also why 40k marines have "And they Shall Know no Fear" on the table top. How much good it's done is debatable. During the Great Crusade and Heresy, they were churning out marines at a breakneck pace to keep up all those fuckhueg legion numbers, so a marine's personality remained much intact.). The Night Lords had become nothing more than killers and abusers, bleeding the weak for their own amusements because they enjoyed it as good sport. Fear became an end unto itself, and its propagation was all the Night Lords desired as they fed upon it.
According to his novel Curze was tremendously crazy by the time of his death. He crafted a flesh golem of the Emperor to state his case to it. Soon after Curze heard a voice in his head that Curze might have thought was his statue. He thought Sevatar was still alive at the time, though Sevatar's death hasn't been confirmed yet. An important detail no one mentioned is that the Night Lords are the Eighth Legion. Section Eight is a military discharge for basically being crazy.
This was made even more clear by what Curze told Talos before he and the Assassin gotten it on:
- "Many will claim to lead our Legion in the years after I am gone. Many will claim that they - and they alone - are my appointed successor. I hate this Legion, Talos. I destroyed its world to stem the flow of poison. I will be vindicated soon, and the truest lesson of the Night Lords will be taught. Do you truly believe I care what happens to any of you after my death?"
Now some might say he was overreacting a bit, but still, given how the criminal overlords he had spent most of his life on Nostramo eradicating, took over again as soon as he had left the planet and started sending their henchmen to be turned into Space Marines, it might be understandable. It was not for nothing that Horus had cause to muse that his generals were psychopaths while the Emperor's were noble, statuesque leaders of men.
The Final Battle between Curze and the Night Haunter?
On his way to the chamber where he will meet the assassin, this happens:
- "I am free. I am not free. I am free. I am not free." ‘Stop it!’ he hissed to himself, losing for a moment his regal posture and becoming again the hunched beast. His warriors looked silently at him, and what had been a feeling of delicious vindication turned sour.
Was the Night Haunter trying to stop Curze? The description of him briefly becoming the "beast" instead of the regal primarch, before forcing himself back under control makes it seem so.
- He rallied himself, and began again his slow progress. Very well: if fate were not locked in iron, he willingly chose this death. Let this act be his and his alone, when so much of his life had been beyond his control.
Did his decision to willingly go to his death, not because "fate demanded it", but of his own volition allow him the strength to finally force the beast back into it's cage?
- In pride of place, at a table by his side, sat the battered deck of cards he had consulted so many times. He meant their presence to be his last comment on fortune’s cruel grip. But the cards dragged at his attention, forcing him to reappraise them as a tool of his delusion.
The real Konrad Curze finally regained his sanity?
What sort of seals it is Konrad Curze's final words to M'shen, the assassin who came to end him.:
- Your presence does not surprise me, Assassin. I have known of you ever since your craft entered the Eastern Fringes. Why did I not have you killed? Because your mission and the act you are about to commit proves the truth of all I have ever said or done. I merely punished those who had wronged, just as your false Emperor now seeks to punish me. Death is nothing compared to vindication.
His statement as only "punishing those who had wronged" simply isn't true, if it was really Curze who had willingly killed so many innocent people just for the fun of it. However, if you read it as Curze and the Night Haunter as separate people, it makes perfect sense. Curze had only ever punished those who had wronged, but the Night Haunter killed for fun. And by forcing himself to hold still, so that the assassin could kill him, Curze was finally punishing the Night Haunter. Curze was finally taking control back from whatever the Night Haunter was. The vindication wasn't for his actions (or the Night Haunter's actions). The vindication is that even the Night Haunter is not beyond his judgement.
For so long, people feared that the Night Haunter would come for them, but now Konrad Curze had come for the Night Haunter.
On the tabletop, Curze has the basic Primarch statline plus Shrouded and Stealth. He has several fear based abilities, such as granting fear to all Night Lords (those who already have Fear impose a -1 on the leadership test), fear tests when in combat with him are taken at -3LD, and if he kills a unit in close combat any unit subject to fear within 12' and line of sight must take a leadership test or fall back. Sire of the Night Lords also grants him the Acute Senses and Night Vision USR, and he may elect to have the first turn of any game have the Night Fighting rule, giving his sons 4+ cover in the open. His weapons are 2 Lightning Claws called Mercy and Forgiveness which have AP 2, the Murderous Strike rule and grants +1 attack (Paired) and his armour, the Nightmare Mantle, provides 2+ armour save and 4+ invulnerable save (like most Primarch Armour), plus when he charges, it grants him hit and run and Hammer of Wrath special rules (inflicting d3 HoW hits instead of the usual one).
Due to the combination of being Jump Infantry and his variety of Fear-based shenanigans, Curze is one of the easier Primarchs to use. The ability to ensure Night Fighting helps your force close to melee where it belongs, and Fear makes it more effective once you get there. He can Hit and Run, butchering high-value targets and making enemies who see piss themselves in terror and flee. The real genius of his rules is that, like Mortarion, he's primed to annihilate a certain kind of unit and has the mobility to chase it down, while also making your legion better at what it already does well. That said, he doesn't provide any sort of morale bonus to the Night Lords, who desperately need one, and it's fucking embarassing that he can't even hurt AV13.
Best of all, his ranged weapon proves definitely that Konrad Curze is Batman. He figuratively uses Batarangs during the shooting phase. His ranged attack is called a "Widowmaker Volley", which is essentially 3 bolt pistol shots with a special rules that makes 4+ to hit precision shots: 6s to wound ignore both armor AND invulnerable saves. You can't save against the God-Damned Bat Man. The best part is the actual description of the weapons in the Horus Heresy rulebook: "The Widowmakers: Based on the micro-serrated throwing knives utilized for signature-kills by Nostraman assassin-cults, Curze favored the use of these vicious, yet highly precise weapons over more conventional firearms in battle, using them to disable and maim as he wished."
Konrad Curze VS other Primarchs:
Primarch fighting, while fun to see, isn't a very competitive thing to do as it'll usually tie up both Primarchs for the entire game without either of them dying. With that in mind this section is about how Konrad Curze fares against other Primarchs Mathhammer wise. Please note that all the various abilities are taken into accounts when possible and the match-ups assume the Primarchs are the only ones involved in the fighting, so various abilities like Angron's "The Butcher's Nails" and Rampage do not provide any bonuses. In essence, the fights are supposed to happen in a "Vacuum" for simplicity, but notes are added to make things clearer in particular instances. Also all of the Primarch use their most powerful weapons (because why have a contest if you don't do your best?).
- Konrad Curze VS Horus
- Horus hits 3 times (Talon), wounds 2.667 times, 1.333 after saves and IWND will take that down to 1 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 0.75 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.417.
- Konrad loses (not a big surprise) and as always Horus uses his Talons 'cause, even though he would do more damage with Worldbreaker, the Talon allows him to make his opponent basically harmless after a couple of wounds.
- Konrad Curze VS Angron
- Angron Round 1: hits 5.333 times, wounds 4.444 times, 2.222 after saves, and IWND take it down to 1.889.
- Angron Round 2 and thereafter: hits 4 times, wounds 3.333 times, 1.667 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.333 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times (0.75 of which causes ID), 1 wounds after saves and FNP and IWND will take that down to 0.667 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Angron easily wins, doing a lot more damage and receiving less in turn.
- Note: Curze can Hit & Run, but by doing so he would only gain one more attack, while allowing Angron to reset his Hatred, thus actually making himself die even faster. However he would be a much better fight: Konrad on the Charge would do 2.625 wounds (0.875 with ID) which become 1.168, plus 0.1389 for HoW and 0,359 for the Widowmakers, for a total of 1,666 wounds, or 1.333 after IWND. This, thanks to the -1 wound of Angron, actually means that they would kill each other on the fifth assault, at the same initiative step. Provided that Konrad always succeed in his escape, that is.
- Konrad Curze vs Mortarion
- Mortarion hits 2.5 times, wounds 1.667 times, 0.833 wounds after saves and 0.5 wounds after IWND.
- Curze hits 4 times, wounds 2.222 times, 1.11 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.555 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze loses as even though he does more damage, Mortarion has 1 more wound that will make him outlast the Night Haunter.
- Note: with the Hit & Run tactics Konrad would actually win, thanks to the +1 attack on the charge, HoW and the knives, butchering Mortarion in 9 rounds while Mortarion would need 11 (counting Overwatch).
- Konrad Curze vs Fulgrim
- Fulgrim hits 3.5 times, wounds 2.333 times, 1.167 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.833 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 0.75 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.417 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Easy win for Fulgrim. Even with Hit & Run, Konrad would not win this fight. Still, he would outdamage Fulgrim on the charge (1.472 wounds after all saves, 1.139 after IWND) and he would lose only thanks to the superior initiative of the Phoenician, coming extremely close to claiming a surprising draw.
- Konrad Curze vs Ferrus Manus
- Ferrus hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 1.042 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.709 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 4 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.741 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Ferrus win.
- Note: Even though with Hit & Run Konrad could close the gap and do almost the same exact damage as Ferrus over the course of the fight, mathematically winning thanks to his superior initiative, this tactics is not reliable against the Gorgon thanks to the Concussive & Strikedown of Forgebreaker.
- Konrad Curze VS Vulkan
- Vulkan hits 2 times, wounds 1.666 times, 0.833 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.5 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 4 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.741 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.185 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Vulkan is just too tanky for Konrad.
- Note: with the usual tactic of Hit & Run Curze would outdamage Vulkan, but this is hindered by the fact that Dawnbringer has Concussive, making it difficult to foresee: it could go either way. (Because it's also a Hammer.)
- Konrad Curze VS Lorgar
- Lorgar hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.0833 times,1.042 after saves and IWND will take that to 0.708 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze Round 1: hits 3.555 times, wounds 2.369 times, 1.184 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.851 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze Round 2: hits 4 times, wounds 3 times, 1.5 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.167 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad wins.
- Note: as always, psychic powers not included. You know how it would end anyway...
- Konrad Curze VS Perturabo
- Perturabo hits 2 times, wounds 1.667, 0.833 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.5 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 0.75 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.417 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad loses as Perturabo does marginally more damage.
- Note: With Hit & Run Konrad would win, but the chance he is not concussed in the round he wants to escape are pretty slim, meaning that Perturabo has still the edge in this fight.
- Konrad Curze VS Alpharius
- Alpharius hits 2.92 times and wounds 1.701 times, 0.851 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.517 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 4 times, wounds 3 times, 1.5 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.167 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad wins.
- Konrad Curze VS Rogal Dorn
- Dorn hits 2 times, wounds 1.5 times, 0.75 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.417 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 1.125 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.792 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad wins thanks to his superior number of attacks.
- Konrad Curze VS Corvus Corax
- Corvus hits 4 times (Scourge)/3 times (Shadow-walk), wounds 3 times (Scourge)/2.25 times (Shadow-walk), 1.5 wounds (Scourge)/1.125 wounds (Shadow-walk) after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.167/0.792 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Curze hits 4 times/3 times, wounds 3 times/2.25 times, 2 wounds/1.5 after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.667/1.167 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad wins.
- Note: even though they both got Hit & Run, Konrad doesn't get +1 attack to charge Corax, 'cause he has Shroud Bombs, and also doesn't get +1 S and I, making Corax considerably stronger when he charge all things considered. All in all, a pretty balanced fight, even if the stats don't say so. Corax doesn't have Widowmakers, though...
- Roboute Guilliman (with the Hand of Domination) VS Konrad Curze
- Curze Round 1: hits 4 times, wounds 3 times, 1.5 times after the Invuln, 1.286 times after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.953 at the start of the next turn.
- Curze Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 1.125 times after the Invuln, 0.911 times after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.578 at the start of the next turn
- Guilliman Round 1/2: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 1.0416 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.7083 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 3 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.778 times, 1.339 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.055 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman easily wins this fight... theoritically
- Note: As usual, Konrad should attempt to even the odds with Hit and Run, negating Preternatural Strategy while gaining the +1 attack for the charge (and sniping some wounds with his knives). Even with Guilliman using the Hand of Domination, there is a chance Curze doesn't suffer any damage from it (31% when Guilliman is WS7/8 and 20% when he is WS9) so he will actually negate Preternatural Strategy between 37% and 31% of the time, which is enough to give Rob a run for his money or even kill him if the Widowmakers score more than a single wound.
- Konrad Curze VS Leman Russ
- Russ hits 4 times, wounds 3 times, 1.5 time after saves, plus 0.583 wounds from Sever Life for a whole 2.083 wounds and IWND will take that down to 1.75 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad Round 1: hits 2 times, wounds 1.5 times, 0.75 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.427.
- Konrad Round 2 and thereafter: hits 1 times, wounds 0.75 times, 0.375 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.042.
- Konrad gets wrecked.
- Note : Nothing will save Konrad from the Wolf King, but as always the Widowmakers can prove themselves a tricky surprise and Hit & Run mitigates the impact of the exothermic bullshit, making Curze one of the few primarchs who can die to Russ with a bit of dignity.
- Konrad Curze VS Jaghatai Khan
- Jaghatai hits 4 times, wounds 2 times, 1 wound after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.666
- Curze hits 4 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.740 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Jaghatai wins, thanks to his high number of attacks. Curze could use Hit-and-Run to try to even the odds and give himself charge bonuses, but the Khan could do the same.
- Konrad Curze VS Sanguinius
- Curze hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 1.125 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.792 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Sanguinius Round 1: hits 4.667 times (Blade), wounds 4.148 times, 2.074 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.741 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Sanguinius on the charge: hits 5.333 times, wounds 5.574 times (including HoW), 2.787 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 2.454 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Sanguinius Round 2+: hits 4 times, wounds 3.556 times, 1.778 wound after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.444 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad loses.
- Note: With the first turn charge, Widowmakers and H&R Curze can achieve a mutual kill in Round 4, however Sanguinius regaining +1I and +1A in Round 3 lets him do 5.89 wounds average before Curze attacks, so things could go badly for the Batman.
- TL;DR version: Even though he does a lot of damage, Konrad is not really suited for Primarch vs Primarch fights. Do not misunderstand: he is a real beast when he can make use of Hit & Run and the Widowmakers are extremely good, especially against Primarchs with strong invulnerable saves. Still, you have to consider that all of his special rules are primary designed to scare his opponents and make them flee, but since all Primarchs are Fearless he can't use them. Despite this, he can win some fights and, when he struggles, he can still significantly cripple even some of the strongest Primarchs, leaving them weak and vulnerable. But you are arguably best served to employ his mobility to evade them (instead of fighting) and charge something he could actually butcher in a single round, to make the most of his King of Terror special rule. Make their allies flee in panic and then destroy them when they are alone and surrounded...
Christ that looks epic. Even if it's on graph paper.
|The Primarchs of the Space Marine Legions|
| Loyalist |
Corvus Corax - Ferrus Manus - Jaghatai Khan
Leman Russ - Lion El'Jonson - Roboute Guilliman
Rogal Dorn - Sanguinius - Vulkan
| Traitor |
Alpharius/Omegon - Angron - Fulgrim
Horus - Konrad Curze/Night Haunter - Lorgar
Magnus the Red - Mortarion - Perturabo