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Buried Dagger: Doom of the Death Guard


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#301
DarkChaplain

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When was the last time Abnett wrote Garviel Loken? Horus Rising? While Abnett has introduced him initially for the opening trilogy, he was always a shared character for that same opening trilogy, and McNeill may be the one to have the most control over the character out of Dan, Graham and Ben Counter. John French also has more claim to his progression at this point than Abnett, if we go by number of relevant publications.

 

Besides, it is pretty damned clear that Abnett never intended him to be a psyker, even a latent one. If anything, his experiences in Horus Rising, including the Whisperheads, Murder and the Interex, had more than enough opportunities to even hint at psychic resonance. The book never did, if anything, it's highlighting that Loken was just a regular old Captain. So if Abnett came out now to say "yeah, Loken was always psychic, for sure", it'd hold no more value than J.K.Rowling's rampant pandering on social media.


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#302
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Not only that, but if it was to be Abnett, that would leave use with another what, 5 books? and assorted novellas and shorts that still don't reveal him to be a psyker. Only for him in the very last book of the entire series, that he's been appearing in for at that point over a decade and a half, to suddenly be revealed to be a psyker and then promptly die in all likelihood. No thanks.



#303
Lord Lorne Walkier

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When was the last time Abnett wrote Garviel Loken? Horus Rising? While Abnett has introduced him initially for the opening trilogy, he was always a shared character for that same opening trilogy, and McNeill may be the one to have the most control over the character out of Dan, Graham and Ben Counter. John French also has more claim to his progression at this point than Abnett, if we go by number of relevant publications.

Besides, it is pretty damned clear that Abnett never intended him to be a psyker, even a latent one. If anything, his experiences in Horus Rising, including the Whisperheads, Murder and the Interex, had more than enough opportunities to even hint at psychic resonance. The book never did, if anything, it's highlighting that Loken was just a regular old Captain. So if Abnett came out now to say "yeah, Loken was always psychic, for sure", it'd hold no more value than J.K.Rowling's rampant pandering on social media.



I understand that you are pretty much 100% convinced that Loken's not a psyker. I must ask if you have ever looked for the hints you say are not there? They will not be apparent if you don't want to see them. I will again ask y'all who are against this idea, to re read Horus Rising, with the idea that Loken is a psyker firmly in your mind. Like its a black light and you are looking for bio matter at a crime scene. After you are done, go back to you're camp.

"Death comes in many forms, but i would count aerial bombardment amongst the most satisfyingly efficient."

 

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#304
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When was the last time Abnett wrote Garviel Loken? Horus Rising? While Abnett has introduced him initially for the opening trilogy, he was always a shared character for that same opening trilogy, and McNeill may be the one to have the most control over the character out of Dan, Graham and Ben Counter. John French also has more claim to his progression at this point than Abnett, if we go by number of relevant publications.
Besides, it is pretty damned clear that Abnett never intended him to be a psyker, even a latent one. If anything, his experiences in Horus Rising, including the Whisperheads, Murder and the Interex, had more than enough opportunities to even hint at psychic resonance. The book never did, if anything, it's highlighting that Loken was just a regular old Captain. So if Abnett came out now to say "yeah, Loken was always psychic, for sure", it'd hold no more value than J.K.Rowling's rampant pandering on social media.


I understand that you are pretty much 100% convinced that Loken's not a psyker. I must ask if you have ever looked for the hints you say are not there? They will not be apparent if you don't want to see them. I will again ask y'all who are against this idea, to re read Horus Rising, with the idea that Loken is a psyker firmly in your mind. Like its a black light and you are looking for bio matter at a crime scene. After you are done, go back to you're camp.

Are you going to do the same with the idea that he isn’t?
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#305
Lord Lorne Walkier

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I will agree not to post at all on this matter until who ever agrees to do it is done. I have allready reread the book 4+ times. I would agree to reread it again for sure. And to look for signs that he is a blank.

"Death comes in many forms, but i would count aerial bombardment amongst the most satisfyingly efficient."

 

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#306
Angel_of_Blood

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When was the last time Abnett wrote Garviel Loken? Horus Rising? While Abnett has introduced him initially for the opening trilogy, he was always a shared character for that same opening trilogy, and McNeill may be the one to have the most control over the character out of Dan, Graham and Ben Counter. John French also has more claim to his progression at this point than Abnett, if we go by number of relevant publications.

Besides, it is pretty damned clear that Abnett never intended him to be a psyker, even a latent one. If anything, his experiences in Horus Rising, including the Whisperheads, Murder and the Interex, had more than enough opportunities to even hint at psychic resonance. The book never did, if anything, it's highlighting that Loken was just a regular old Captain. So if Abnett came out now to say "yeah, Loken was always psychic, for sure", it'd hold no more value than J.K.Rowling's rampant pandering on social media.



I understand that you are pretty much 100% convinced that Loken's not a psyker. I must ask if you have ever looked for the hints you say are not there? They will not be apparent if you don't want to see them. I will again ask y'all who are against this idea, to re read Horus Rising, with the idea that Loken is a psyker firmly in your mind. Like its a black light and you are looking for bio matter at a crime scene. After you are done, go back to you're camp.

 

 

On the against side, we have: 

- The complete absence of any kind pf psychic ability.

- The utter inability to detect demons or possessed individuals when they are right next to him.

- Unable to sense impending betrayal at all.

- No outward offensive abilities like active psykers show.

- No kind of extra stealthy abilities like Severain for instance.

- No mind reading of any kind.

- No kind of premonition.

- No comments from the countless other psychic individuals he's encountered or demons.

- Unphased by the Sisters of Silence, when even if latent, he should be feeling more than the usual revulsion towards them.

- Been exposed to countless trauma and literal mind breaking events, and still not had any power manifested.

- Been in the presence of the Emperor of Mankind, the most powerful psyker in existence, and still not shown any hint of manifesting.

- Many, many more.

 

I mean, literally the only thing I can see for the camp: Loken is a psyker is: 

- That one comment from Rubio.

 

 

 

Are you going to do the same with the idea that he isn’t?

 

Indeed.

 

 

I will agree not to post at all on this matter until who ever agrees to do it is done. I have allready reread the book 4+ times. I would agree to reread it again for sure. And to look for signs that he is a blank.

 

I'd rather you post all the reasons to support your side of the debate. As for him being a blank? None at all. Psykers have been next to him and shown no sign at all of being diminished in any way.

 


Edited by Angel_of_Blood, 29 September 2019 - 06:07 PM.

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#307
Lord Lorne Walkier

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Maybe I misspoke. By blank I mean a non psyker. Not a null.

"Death comes in many forms, but i would count aerial bombardment amongst the most satisfyingly efficient."

 

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#308
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Nothing is "clear" until the Heresy Cabal finishes the tale. Maybe Abnett will have the final say on Lokenyes.gif..... maybe notunsure.png Maybe he is a latent psycher…… maybe not.

 

When Loken was first introduced in Horus Rising, he quickly became my favorite character (and still is), but it was clear that by the end of 'Galaxy In Flames' when the whole world fell on top of him, he was meant to be a witness to the fall and nothing more. It broke my heart to see him die, but that was that. Then out of the blue he's alive and unhinged in James Swallow's audio drama, 'Garro: Legion of One'. I was surprised and glad to see him, but more than a little disquieted by his resurrection. It all seemed more than a bit improbable and it still doesdry.png Could that have been the first hint of psychic shenanigans..... maaybeee…… and maybe not. I've not seen anything to convince me that he's a latent psycher, but I didn't find his survival at Isstvan III at all probable either without some sort of unexplained intervention.

 

So... in the end I'm not convinced that anyone here is right or wrong, because in the end it is not in our hands. It's in the writer(s) hands.... and they ain't talkin'.... yetmsn-wink.gif

 

 

=][=

 

While in the process of writing the above commentary I've noticed that things are heating up again in the "I'm right and you're wrong" arena. So, tone it down or knock it off while the choice is still yours.

 

=][=


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#309
Lord Lorne Walkier

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Nothing is "clear" until the Heresy Cabal finishes the tale. Maybe Abnett will have the final say on Lokenyes.gif..... maybe notunsure.png Maybe he is a latent psycher…… maybe not.

When Loken was first introduced in Horus Rising, he quickly became my favorite character (and still is), but it was clear that by the end of 'Galaxy In Flames' when the whole world fell on top of him, he was meant to be a witness to the fall and nothing more. It broke my heart to see him die, but that was that. Then out of the blue he's alive and unhinged in James Swallow's audio drama, 'Garro: Legion of One'. I was surprised and glad to see him, but more than a little disquieted by his resurrection. It all seemed more than a bit improbable and it still doesdry.png Could that have been the first hint of psychic shenanigans..... maaybeee…… and maybe not. I've not seen anything to convince me that he's a latent psycher, but I didn't find his survival at Isstvan III at all probable either without some sort of unexplained intervention.

So... in the end I'm not convinced that anyone here is right or wrong, because in the end it is not in our hands. It's in the writer(s) hands.... and they ain't talkin'.... yetmsn-wink.gif




=][=


While in the process of writing the above commentary I've noticed that things are heating up again in the "I'm right and you're wrong" arena. So, tone it down or knock it off while the choice is still yours.


=][=

First I'll say this topic of Loken really seems to run me ragged. I loose perspective and make assumptions like people know me better then they possibly can. I feel like I'm amongst my best nerd friends and can say what ever I feel however I want. I apologize for all that.

Although Loken was not my favorite character early on, that was the Half-heard. By the end if GIF I was a big fan. It was his apparent death that did not sit right with me. I bugged me that so many people were so willing to write him off. I had just read a book on screen writing that one of my best friends gave me. As a result of it I was sceptical that such an important character could die... Well like that. Not that he couldn't die at all, just bleeding out under a ton of rubble, after loosening an epic climatic fight to Abaddon. So I set off to find if there was any evidence to point to the contrary. One of the the first things I thought of was that if he were to come back, it would have to be for a Real good reason. At the time I had just gotten a copy of the big book Visions of Heresy. When I got to the part where the Sigilite takes the 8 Astartes before the Big E, I was like "that is the kind of reason right there." I became convinced Loken would be one of the 8. ( /giggle. I'm not sure if I was right or wrong...) Now at the time it was not even clear what those 8 were to do exactly. The Grey Knight lore was not revealed enough. I made the leap of faith to say these guys must be the originals. So then if Loken was going to be one of them then it must follow that he was a psyker, right? Cant tell you how happy I was when I first saw the cover to Garro, Legion of One. And now here I am still at it, all this time later.

I just dug this old thread up. Topic is Loken alive... Tee hee.

http://www.bolterand...is-loken-alive/

Edited by Lord Lorne Walkier, 29 September 2019 - 07:22 PM.

"Death comes in many forms, but i would count aerial bombardment amongst the most satisfyingly efficient."

 

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#310
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I mean, without any real incentive or nuggets of supposed evidence of Loken being a psyker in the book, I have no reason to read Horus Rising a sixth time (be it in print, abridged or unabridged audio). I've got literally dozens of novels waiting to be read right now (and keep finding reasons to pick up something else instead unsure.png - one day it's all of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, the next it's a classic that I simply came across the title of one way or another... It never ends), so unless you can actually cite at least one piece of tangible evidence from Horus Rising, one paragraph that actually hints at something, I just don't see a point in participating in a wild goosechase, in the hopes the results will be different this time.

 

That being said, the whole "Loken is a giraffe" thing was a topic discussed way back when on WarSeer as well, before that long-lasting outage (I think they came back at some point?). I've been aware of this debate among fans for probably half the series' runtime, and have done re-reads of the opening trilogy a few times even after that point. It never changed anything or swayed me. If you have tangible evidence, I'll be happy to consider it - there always exists a possibility of missing something, and I myself have engaged in discussions on here about things I thought people missed or misunderstood at times - but at this point, especially after The Solar War? You'd better bring something good to the table. I'm not dismissing you because I want to be mean, but because there hasn't been an argument to convince me yet.



#311
Lord Lorne Walkier

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I mean, without any real incentive or nuggets of supposed evidence of Loken being a psyker in the book, I have no reason to read Horus Rising a sixth time (be it in print, abridged or unabridged audio). I've got literally dozens of novels waiting to be read right now (and keep finding reasons to pick up something else instead unsure.png - one day it's all of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, the next it's a classic that I simply came across the title of one way or another... It never ends), so unless you can actually cite at least one piece of tangible evidence from Horus Rising, one paragraph that actually hints at something, I just don't see a point in participating in a wild goosechase, in the hopes the results will be different this time.

That being said, the whole "Loken is a giraffe" thing was a topic discussed way back when on WarSeer as well, before that long-lasting outage (I think they came back at some point?). I've been aware of this debate among fans for probably half the series' runtime, and have done re-reads of the opening trilogy a few times even after that point. It never changed anything or swayed me. If you have tangible evidence, I'll be happy to consider it - there always exists a possibility of missing something, and I myself have engaged in discussions on here about things I thought people missed or misunderstood at times - but at this point, especially after The Solar War? You'd better bring something good to the table. I'm not dismissing you because I want to be mean, but because there hasn't been an argument to convince me yet.

Challenge accepted. Give me a bit to get my best stuff. I have a laundry list but I'll give you my tip top, staiat dope.

I think we have an open mind...

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Edited by Lord Lorne Walkier, 29 September 2019 - 09:08 PM.

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#312
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I'd like to join Brother Lunkhead. You can discuss as long as you want as long as it stays calm.

Besides, as this talk is focusing one specific character across several novels, I'd recommend to consider a seperate thread as Loken's tale is not the main story arc in Buried Dagger.

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#313
Lord Lorne Walkier

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Yeh, i had said I wanted to open a new thread on this topic or resurrect an old one. Suppose I could get to it...

"Death comes in many forms, but i would count aerial bombardment amongst the most satisfyingly efficient."

 

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#314
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Finished this audiobook.

 

I get annoyed by all the author-bashing on these forums, but I have to say that this one lived up to criticism of James Swallow, for all my attempts at pointing out the positives in everyone's work. The parts that were good were pretty darn good and the parts that were bad were pretty darn bad and the stuff in between was bleh.

 

Absolutely agree that it feels just....off. Like, the final numbered volume of the entire fifty-four book HH series seems a bit closer to the first 10 in terms of tone and quality and the last ones that really stepped up the game. And to be blunt, it goes out with a whimper (or should I say it decays? Oooff that's a bad one).

 

It's 3 stories in one novel:

-Mortarion and Death Guard trying to get to Terra for da siege

-Mortarion growing up on Barbarus

-Knights Errant doing Knights Errant-y things

 

None of those really feel like they get the breathing room they deserve and probably should have been 3 separate novels in and of themselves, or perhaps just 3 novellas. I can understand how the first two are meant to go together: the formative years of Mortation and the impression that leaves on him and how that leads to his choice down the road. The Knights Errant piece feels just stuck in there. I was personally least amused by the Knights Errant stuff...I found it a slog and I'm still trying to figure out how our understanding of the 40k setting is bettered by their existence at all. I know that's a loaded statement and I don't mean to throw shade at anything, but it just feels so superflous to everything else in the setting. The only thing less interesting (to me) is Blackshields....like, we need yet even more power armored dudes running around doing things on their own? Now, granted I have not really kept up with the Garro + Knights Errant strands outside of Flight of the Eisenstein, and Vengeful Spirit, so I'm coming in the end without having all the other materials as well and that's admittedly the wrong way to do it. I know. But, in the context of this book it still feels grossly out of place.

 

Speaking of gross, the Barbarus parts were the best part of the book. One of the best parts of the HH series, in fact. Even though I have no particular love for Morty or the DG in either 30k or 40k, I have found the anecdotes about Barbarus to be some of the most compelling of the setting. And the bits we get here live up to the billing. What's worse: Mortarion's upbringing on Barbarus or Angron's introduction to Nuceria? Both are like reading horror stories, but Barbarus comes out the best (as in the worst) in my opinion. The entire narrative just oozes despair and fear. And it really puts things in perspective about why Mortarion turned out how he did....which is precisely what any look at a Primarch's homeworld should do. It also does not directly answer the unasked question of "nature or nurture" as to why he turned out as he did: was it impossible for anyone raised in such an environment to turn out as anything else? Or is it the inherent character trait of stubbornness in Morty that refuses to let him overcome his upbringing any more than he does? I loved all these parts, although the Typhon stuff was a bit on the nose.

 

The bits with Mortarion and the XIV trying to make it back to Terra were uninspiring, to put it mildly. It all happens so slowly as to put you to sleep, yet it also happens too fast. If that sounds like a contradiction it is, just like Mortarion's acceptance of the warp and transformation is. And that's the whole point, dontcha get it? It just seemed so phoned in, to be completely honest.

 

The whole thing was pretty anticlimatic as well. The opening of the book feels needlessly action-filled (both the Death Guard and the Knights Errant in their separate threads killing a bunch of mooks not even worth naming), while the second half has hardly a bolt round wracked into the chamber. Weird criticism, considering we all complain about too much bolter porn,  so an author just can't win. Self-aware critique there. But there's very little weight to any of it. Suddenly Morty accepts

Spoiler
and slightly less-suddenly an handful of Knights Errant
Spoiler
. Again, more breathing room for all of that might have had some weight to it.

 

My biggest critique (in case it seems like I haven't trashed this enough already) is that this is the end of the HH series? It just feels so..........empty. That's it? I get that the Siege of Terra is basically a mini-series that caps off the HH, but a 55th book that just sort of ties everything together and does a snapshot of where all the pieces are would have gone a long way. It also feels so weird that these three stories are between the same covers. I get that

Spoiler
. The Barbarus piece is a big letdown for me precisely because if it had been sliced out and put in say its own novella series specifically looking at the origins of each Primarch <hint hint> and thus given even more breathing room, it could have been awesome. Instead, it gets jammed into these other two.

 

In any case, it wasn't terrible and provides more info for us rabid fans to absorb, but it suffered from a lot of things. I don't think I'm changing anyone's opinions with this commentary, but there it is.

 

5/10 arbitrary score and most of that is from the Barbarus parts.


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#315
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I agree that the Barbarus parts were definitely the best bits. I feel Slaves to Darkness would've made for a better ending to the main series, not just in pure quality, but in showing how far the Heresy itself has gone, and the dark mirror to the Ullanor Triumph it ends with.


Edited by Tymell, 31 December 2019 - 06:17 PM.

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#316
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I agree that the Barbarus parts were definitely the best bits. I feel Slaves to Darkness would've made for a better ending to the main series, not just in pure quality, but in showing how far the Heresy itself has gone, and the dark mirror to the Ullanor Triumph is ends with.

Damn, I'd thought it did close the pre-Siege series.


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#317
Angel_of_Blood

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Yeah completely agree that Slaves to Darkness would be a much better book 54.



#318
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I wonder how much of it has to do with the authors--writing process, getting the brief approved, etc... --and how much it has to do with BL leadership dropping the ball. The publishing industry is quite weird, so I know even the best people have to deal with some strange factors, so I imagine that's part of it. Yet I also can't help but think that BL shot themselves in the foot with release order for many things including Wolfsbane, Slaves to Darkness, Titandeath, and The Buried Dagger.


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#319
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In fairness, publishing order isn't all its cracked up to be - the whole Heresy is all over the place (in principle).

Like, even without rewrites or edits or trimmings, I think there's a big case to be made for Descent of Angels and Fallen Angels to be back-to-back early days, whilst Abyss should only be a little ahead of Betrayer. A proper "let's step back a bit" novel, but that whets your whistle for what comes next, not whets your whistle* for something that's ages away.

* I realise it whets almost nobody's whistle.

Same with Prospero Burns and A Thousand Sons - I'm fairly confident the reason they came out as they did (the "wrong order", I attest) was that Dan took seriously ill with his epilepsy.

As they were a largely concurrent story, it meant Graham's could go first without great issue, and in terms of their respective pathos - it sort of works - but I'd still say it's superior reversed. (Especially as McNeill's later works follow the ATS characters more closely, whilst Dan's story actually concludes quite neatly, passing across to Chris Wraight in the main, then later Guy.)

Anyway, if re-ordering is a thing - and given that Slaves to Darkness dovetails with the Solar War in such a pleasant way - I'd almost have StD last, and bring TBD forward to near Ruinstorm and Deathfire/Old Earth.

Critically, I'd almost immediately precede Slaves to Darkness with Path of Heaven.

It's not chronological because of Morty, but to hell with the other stories, if by switching order we can adjust the "lasting impression" (what retcon what) then feel of PoH is so very close to being the "final book before the siege" it's almost incredible that anyone who'd read it commissioned other novels...

---

But saying all that, it juts underscores how annoyed I was with The Buried Dagger's lacklustre contribution.

Like, it's fine - it's a serviceable, gripping read.

But jeez, don't sit it too close to Wolfsbane, Slaves, Path and the Solar War.

Contrasting it with them is not a good look. Spread it out a bit, and the actually decent aspects of TBD would have a chance to shine quite pleasantly.

And knowing how the various threads conclude isn't exactly a deal breaker for enjoying the Heresy. (Thanks, Bill King! :D )
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#320
Lord Lorne Walkier

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Haven't read Solar War yet, have you?


I read Solar war b4 the Buried Dagger. There do seem to be some inconsistency. Loken and Malcador have a conversation and it still seems like he is working for him. Also in his action scene he is wielding a chain sword again. I went back to see what I coukd see after I read this book. Books came out really close toghethe. Also in the Solar war there is no sense that anything special is going on with Loken. But that's that and this is this.

 

 

.....am I the only one who remembers that Rubio's "sword" is actually a standard-issue Ultramarines Gladius? A "shortsword" that is closer to a sidearm, which pretty much any Legion brother of his carried? There is nothing at all psychic about that sword. The only thing preventing Wyntor from picking it up and using it to slice his own throat in an attempt to flip off Malcador is that it'd likely be too heavy for him to wield.

 

It's a keepsake with no other value than sentimental - first to Rubio, who clung to it from the first and was deeply upset when he was told he'd have to get rid of everything delineating his lineage, back in Oath of Moment, and was granted this one exception in the end. Rubio dropping it before his departure shows that he has truly abandoned his old allegiances, ready for something greater, while Loken picks it up, as he has not, and now he carries a friend's burden too, in a sense.

 

 

Also, Loken is obviously a giraffe, I've always held on to that. Just look at his long neck, it's like he could meet the Warmaster eye to eye without going tiptoes!

 

I've had some time to reread this book and found this... On pg 48, opposite the picture of Rubio.

 

Spoiler


Edited by Lord Lorne Walkier, 01 May 2020 - 08:17 PM.

"Death comes in many forms, but i would count aerial bombardment amongst the most satisfyingly efficient."

 

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