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The Devastation of Baal- Discussion


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#1
caladancid

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Not quite done with the novel yet but had a couple questions come to mind from the start.

First, when discussing Dante’s age, Haley writes that the number of people in the Imperium who are his equal “would hardly fill a strike cruiser.” That seems like a lot of people older than 1k to me. Did I miss something? I thought Dante was the oldest kid on the block.

Second, the Arx Angelicum is “built for a Legion, the fortress monastery could have housed twenty Chapters.” Again, 20 chapters or 20k Astartes isn’t even close to a Legion. Any ideas? Or just maybe a careless turn of phrase?

Other than that, so far the novel hasn’t let me down from Dante!

#2
m0nolith

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Dante is the oldest Astartes thats not in a Dreadnought, but there are plenty of Mechanicus members out there that are far older.

How is the book compared to Dante? Better or worse?


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#3
Swarmlord Unleashed

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from what I've read so far, either Seth doesn't know about the extents of Cawl's modifications or they retconned that bit from earlier where they mentioned that Cawl didn't mess with the Red Thirst, Black Rage, Canis Helix etc.


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#4
b1soul

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Regarding that strike cruiser comment...Dante is around 1500 years old according to Dante

The onle beings older would be Mechanicus members, ancient dreadnoughts, and adeptus custodes

Probably enough to fill a strike cruiser?

#5
Urriak Urruk

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Considering the galaxy has billions of people in it, a strike cruiser of 1,000 year olds doesn't sound crazy.


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#6
pandion40

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Others have answered your age question, my guess on the Arx Angelicum holding 20,000 is either it’s a turn of phraseas as you say or maybe it was never designed to hold the whole legion at once, since the whole legion being at Baal at once would be extremely rare. I’d say it was designed as a headquarters and recruitment centre, and was never intended to hold the whole legion, so it holding 20,000 marines would be in line with its purpose.

It’s also extremely likely there are other fortresses in the system that have either been abandoned or reduced in size like the Arx Angelicum

#7
caladancid

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Dante is the oldest Astartes thats not in a Dreadnought, but there are plenty of Mechanicus members out there that are far older.
How is the book compared to Dante? Better or worse?


I would say it is as good as Dante. I’m a sucker for origin stories, and Dante was so unexpectedly great that it would be hard to top for me. Definitely still a must purchase though.

And thanks for all the thoughts so far!

#8
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Well the 20,000 figure could be exactly what Haley means. Sanguinius was one of the earliest Primarchs rediscovered during the Great Crusade and the legions at that stage were were probably still in the low tens of thousands. The Arx could well have been designed to hold the legion, just when its numbers were a lot smaller.


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#9
TheRealMcCagh

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It also mentions that haven't even unearthed the full Arx. They are finding parts of the Arx Angelicum they didn't even know existed as they excavate to place defenses. Maybe it could house the full 120,000 legionnaires when most of it isn't buried under the desert


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#10
caladancid

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from what I've read so far, either Seth doesn't know about the extents of Cawl's modifications or they retconned that bit from earlier where they mentioned that Cawl didn't mess with the Red Thirst, Black Rage, Canis Helix etc.


This changes a bit as the story goes on. I left with the impression that the things that make the BAs and successors unique are still very much there even in Primaris. I really like the way the Primaris are handled to be honest.

Edited by caladancid, 20 November 2017 - 08:43 PM.

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#11
caladancid

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It also mentions that haven't even unearthed the full Arx. They are finding parts of the Arx Angelicum they didn't even know existed as they excavate to place defenses. Maybe it could house the full 120,000 legionnaires when most of it isn't buried under the desert


Yeah I thought of this later also. 10k years is a looooong time.

#12
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Wait, Devastation of Baal's initial release is in paperback? So it gets a paperback before Dante does.

 

That's an... interesting marketing choice, to say the least.



#13
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Apparently Baal will no longer be a Deathworld. Seems like Guilliman is intent on reversing the culture of Astartes being recruited from Death Worlds in general. In fact this might mark a major shift in the culture of the Imperial itself...

 

**SPOILERS**

 

“He lifted his hand up to encompass three worlds. ‘These planets were hells. For generations we have recruited the strong over the weak, in the belief it makes our warriors better. I do not think this is so. Cruel men make cruel warriors make cruel lords. We need to be better. We need to rise over the need for violence and recognise other human qualities in our recruits. Your Chapter has ever understood this. If we do not, then we will fall prey to our worst excesses, the kind of thing that that represents.’ He pointed at Ka’Bandha’s name. ‘It has long been in your capability to transform these worlds. Baal Primus is dead, but you need not let your remaining people suffer unnecessarily. Will they fight any better for dwelling on a world that kills them? By sacrificing their children to the Emperor’s service, they have earned a better life. Once you have torn that blasphemy down, raise up the population of Baal Secundus. Teach them what we are fighting for. A line must be drawn between what is good and what is evil, for if the Great Enemy comes with offers of power to a wretch, what reason does he have to refuse hell if he dwells in it already?”
 
Excerpt From: Guy Haley. “The Devastation of Baal.” iBooks. ”

Edited by DogWelder, 20 November 2017 - 09:32 PM.

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#14
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Apparently Baal will no longer be a Deathworld. Seems like Guilliman is intent on reversing the culture of Astartes being recruited from Death Worlds in general. In fact this might mark a major shift in the culture of the Imperial itself...

 

**SPOILERS**

 

“He lifted his hand up to encompass three worlds. ‘These planets were hells. For generations we have recruited the strong over the weak, in the belief it makes our warriors better. I do not think this is so. Cruel men make cruel warriors make cruel lords. We need to be better. We need to rise over the need for violence and recognise other human qualities in our recruits. Your Chapter has ever understood this. If we do not, then we will fall prey to our worst excesses, the kind of thing that that represents.’ He pointed at Ka’Bandha’s name. ‘It has long been in your capability to transform these worlds. Baal Primus is dead, but you need not let your remaining people suffer unnecessarily. Will they fight any better for dwelling on a world that kills them? By sacrificing their children to the Emperor’s service, they have earned a better life. Once you have torn that blasphemy down, raise up the population of Baal Secundus. Teach them what we are fighting for. A line must be drawn between what is good and what is evil, for if the Great Enemy comes with offers of power to a wretch, what reason does he have to refuse hell if he dwells in it already?”
 
Excerpt From: Guy Haley. “The Devastation of Baal.” iBooks. ”

 

I actually think that's really cool, I wonder if something similar will happen to Fenris? Though admittedly Fenris would probably be a 'bit harder to tame (plus I don't think the Wolves themselves would readily agree to any tampering with their homeworld traditions).


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#15
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Apparently Baal will no longer be a Deathworld. Seems like Guilliman is intent on reversing the culture of Astartes being recruited from Death Worlds in general. In fact this might mark a major shift in the culture of the Imperial itself...

 

**SPOILERS**

 

“He lifted his hand up to encompass three worlds. ‘These planets were hells. For generations we have recruited the strong over the weak, in the belief it makes our warriors better. I do not think this is so. Cruel men make cruel warriors make cruel lords. We need to be better. We need to rise over the need for violence and recognise other human qualities in our recruits. Your Chapter has ever understood this. If we do not, then we will fall prey to our worst excesses, the kind of thing that that represents.’ He pointed at Ka’Bandha’s name. ‘It has long been in your capability to transform these worlds. Baal Primus is dead, but you need not let your remaining people suffer unnecessarily. Will they fight any better for dwelling on a world that kills them? By sacrificing their children to the Emperor’s service, they have earned a better life. Once you have torn that blasphemy down, raise up the population of Baal Secundus. Teach them what we are fighting for. A line must be drawn between what is good and what is evil, for if the Great Enemy comes with offers of power to a wretch, what reason does he have to refuse hell if he dwells in it already?”
 
Excerpt From: Guy Haley. “The Devastation of Baal.” iBooks. ”

 

I actually think that's really cool, I wonder if something similar will happen to Fenris? Though admittedly Fenris would probably be a 'bit harder to tame (plus I don't think the Wolves themselves would readily agree to any tampering with their homeworld traditions).

 

 

Wonder what a millions-strong 'professional' Guard regiment from Fenris (like the Ultramar Auxilia) would look like. That would be glorious. Also curious what a modern, hyper-civilized Fenris would be like as well.

 

I'd say it'd have the society similar to what Scandanavian countries like Finland and Denmark do.


Edited by DogWelder, 20 November 2017 - 09:48 PM.

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#16
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Noblebright...
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#17
DogWelder

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Noblebright...

 

Eh more like Nobledark. The reason Baal is being built up like this is so that it will be strengthened against further attacks and serve as a powerbase for Imperium Nihilus. The motivation for these actions is military and political logic not compassion imo.


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#18
Sulemain

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Noblebright...

 

Eh more like Nobledark. The reason Baal is being built up like this is so that it will be strengthened against further attacks and serve as a powerbase for Imperium Nihilus. The motivation for these actions is military and political logic not compassion imo.

 

 

One can do both, of course. Enlightened Self-Interest is a thing. 



#19
MrDarth151

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Apparently Baal will no longer be a Deathworld. Seems like Guilliman is intent on reversing the culture of Astartes being recruited from Death Worlds in general. In fact this might mark a major shift in the culture of the Imperial itself...

 

**SPOILERS**

 

“He lifted his hand up to encompass three worlds. ‘These planets were hells. For generations we have recruited the strong over the weak, in the belief it makes our warriors better. I do not think this is so. Cruel men make cruel warriors make cruel lords. We need to be better. We need to rise over the need for violence and recognise other human qualities in our recruits. Your Chapter has ever understood this. If we do not, then we will fall prey to our worst excesses, the kind of thing that that represents.’ He pointed at Ka’Bandha’s name. ‘It has long been in your capability to transform these worlds. Baal Primus is dead, but you need not let your remaining people suffer unnecessarily. Will they fight any better for dwelling on a world that kills them? By sacrificing their children to the Emperor’s service, they have earned a better life. Once you have torn that blasphemy down, raise up the population of Baal Secundus. Teach them what we are fighting for. A line must be drawn between what is good and what is evil, for if the Great Enemy comes with offers of power to a wretch, what reason does he have to refuse hell if he dwells in it already?”
 
Excerpt From: Guy Haley. “The Devastation of Baal.” iBooks. ”

 

 

So the implication here is that for well over a millennium Dante had the capability to terraform the worlds of Baal system, but consciously chosen not to.

 

Yo, GW. Could you perhaps not portray my favourite chapter as either being immoral, or stupid, because you want to prop up Roboute? Thanks.


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#20
pandion40

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Noblebright...

 
Eh more like Nobledark. The reason Baal is being built up like this is so that it will be strengthened against further attacks and serve as a powerbase for Imperium Nihilus. The motivation for these actions is military and political logic not compassion imo.
 
One can do both, of course. Enlightened Self-Interest is a thing.


Yea I definitely think it’s both. I think Guilliman does care about the citizens but with Dante now being military commander of the Imperium Nihilus he needs a base of power to help him. I don’t think even pre invasion Baal would be enough, it’s a massive role, he needs a mini Terra or Ultrama in my opinion.

It will be interesting to see if it happens, imagine the Blood Angels artistic side let loose on an entire system. It could be spectacular.

Lastly I think it will still be a hard world in some ways. With a better environment the predators of Baal will probably be more numerous and there are some scary beasties on Baal, Fire scorpions, giant spiders, Those giant eagles from Dante, plus Ballite Thirstwater, that stuff is a nightmare and they couldn’t get rid of it even if they wanted to.

#21
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They got rid of the beasts of Caliban pretty well.

#22
Indefragable

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There are some cool ideas, but it still smacks of Spiritual Liege-ness too much for my taste.

If the Lion returned first, would he go around telling all Astartes to get their robes on and hunt monsters in the forests?

“But we don’t have forests. We’re a desert world.”
“So terrascape and grow some, you imbeciles!”

If Russ came back first, would he go around telling all the Chapters to specifically ignore the Codex and stuff?

The Faction nuances and variances are one of the great aspects of 40k. This does not ease my worries of Homogenized Primaris in different colors.

Edited by Indefragable, 20 November 2017 - 11:13 PM.

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#23
pandion40

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They got rid of the beasts of Caliban pretty well.


I’m no Caliban expert but I seem to remember the Beasts there were chaos mutations not normal animals, so there were less of them though they may have been tougher one on one. Baals beasts are strictly mundane and are stable and widespread, they’ve been around for a long time. I’m sure they could be hunted to extinction, except thirstwater, but I can’t see it happening for in universe and out of universe reasons

Edited by pandion40, 20 November 2017 - 11:16 PM.


#24
Marshal Loss

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Assuming they actually followed through on it and it's not just Guilliman talking out of his rear, that sounds like a terrible idea. I'm going to assume/hope that it's just hyperbole.


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#25
MrDarth151

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There are some cool ideas, but it still smacks of Spiritual Liege-ness too much for my taste.

If the Lion returned first, would he go around telling all Astartes to get their robes on and hunt monsters in the forests?

“But we don’t have forests. We’re a desert world.”
“So terrascape and grow some, you imbeciles!”

If Russ came back first, would he go around telling all the Chapters to specifically ignore the Codex and stuff?

The Faction nuances and variances are one of the great aspects of 40k. This does not ease my worries of Homogenized Primaris in different colors.

 

It's funny, because in universe, Seth raises the exact same issue, from what I'm being told about the book.

 

And you know what? People know that I am vocally against more stupid aspects of the Grimdark, but this? Fixing the Flaw? Off-screen? With no issues at all?

 

Are you bloody mad?

 

It is frankly annoying. I would like Imperium to be less stupid at times, but if the price for it is turning the entirety of it into Ultramar, the idea can censored.gif right off.

 

If anything, it makes me want to see other Loyalist Primarchs back, just so we can lower the influence Roboute has over the Imperium.

 

And because I want to see Russ kick him in the balls when he suggests terraforming Fenris or something.


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