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Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work


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#176
Lord_Caerolion

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That he was, as was Fabius, although he's died plenty of times, so doesn't really count.


"And then Horus landed on the Moon, which looked like the moon. Funny that, isn't it?"


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#177
Taliesin

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Almost all of it is in the Scythes of the Emperor omnibus

 

Sadly out of print again I found.



#178
DarkChaplain

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Looking at BL's recent track record, it may be back before long, especially after they've become relevant again. A lot of omnibuses seem to be mainstays these days.



#179
Moonreaper666

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That he was, as was Fabius, although he's died plenty of times, so doesn't really count.


Khârn only died once and it was on Terra, against an opponent much, MUCH more powerful than him. Bile has never died, he uses clones as body doubles

#180
Lord_Caerolion

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You may want to read the Fabius novels, he has died countless times, creating new bodies as he tries to fix the gene-plague that affects him, and his bodies are lasting less and less time with each regeneration.


"And then Horus landed on the Moon, which looked like the moon. Funny that, isn't it?"


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#181
The Observer

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That he was, as was Fabius, although he's died plenty of times, so doesn't really count.


Khârn only died once and it was on Terra, against an opponent much, MUCH more powerful than him. Bile has never died, he uses clones as body doubles

 

 

"Fabius Bile was dead. He had been dead before, and would be again. Such was the nature of the universe, and his place in it. Death was not the end. Instead, for him it was akin to an enforced rest. A period of quiet inactivity, during which his mind turned in on itself, like some ancient mollusc seeking the safety of its shell. In death, he could explore the great storehouses of knowledge within himself at his leisure."  Josh Reynolds, Fabius Bile: Clonelord, p. 17-18 of the hardcover edition; emphasis mine.


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#182
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Skraivok was tortured in the Warp for six times six hundred and sixty six years

That's just shy of four thousand years, so maybe not aeons, but the guy has experienced millenia of sanity-crushing pain in the Warp.

#183
Xisor

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Skraivok was tortured in the Warp for six times six hundred and sixty six years

That's just shy of four thousand years, so maybe not aeons, but the guy has experienced millenia of sanity-crushing pain in the Warp.


The Warp, where famously time is fixed and measurable and linear and reliable.
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#184
b1soul

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The point being he would subjectively experience a very long period of torture in the Warp, regardless of how much time would pass in realspace.

#185
Moonreaper666

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The point being he would subjectively experience a very long period of torture in the Warp, regardless of how much time would pass in realspace.


He is still alive and a Daemon Prince though. Unlike Raldoron who is dead and his soul is being tortured in the Warp for all eternity

He is probably smiling at the fact that he outlived so many Blood Angels and Night Lords. Would not surprise me if he attacks the Blood Angels or Dark Angels again for revenge

#186
Xisor

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The point being he would subjectively experience a very long period of torture in the Warp, regardless of how much time would pass in realspace.


And you know how you can dream many day's worth of events in the space of a single night?

---

In terms of headcanon, I think it's worth stating that my reading of everything about the Warp is it represents an "anything can happen for no reason at all" sort of thing, albeit with a heavy weird & horror bent. It doesn't lend itself to randomly living happily ever after...

However, in terms of measurements and whatnot - I've always viewed it as a discontinuity.

From the perspective of reality, someone disappears into the Warp.

From the perspective of the person, reality dissolves.

When someone emerges from the Warp into reality, that could be a facsimile, a doppelganger, a daemon, the person, the person from any number of alternate universes, the person flipped inside out, the person flipped left to right, the person's evil twin brother...

It's just coincidence that thanks to Navigators and Geller fields characters have got it to a reliable point. (And it's awkward for the story of characters keep dissolving and being replaced by similar differents.)

The person who comes back from a warp journey won't be the same person who left, and the world they come back to might well not be the same reality they came from originally. (If its any reality whatsoever... Gotrek's attitude at the start of Realmslayer is a telling one.)

It's some concerted, esoteric luck and art and widespread insanity and horror that keeps "getting people back to this reality", or at least resolving to agree that they have and gloss over the differences.

It's like SF teleporters, but much worse. The person who arrives is discontinuous from the person who left.

And in real life, we have sleep.

We go to bed, we stop existing, our minds devise hellish nightmares of unreal possibilities with fragments of memory and desire and despair woven through it.

Our clocks say eight hours have passed. Our minds retrofit that only several minutes of haunted rest were gained, and assert that we're definitely the person who went to sleep.

But I can't be sure. I wasn't there. I barely existed, if I existed at all.

Maybe I shouldn't call it an alarm, but a summoning, drawing a sleepy monster from beyond reality back to possess this tired fleshy vessel...

Perhaps I'm just tired and my mind is wonky.

Perhaps I'm right! :D
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#187
Panzer

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Unless a certain Dark Angel is still around (and not counting the Emperor or any Primarch who may still be living), Ahzek Ahriman should actually be the longest-lived Space Marine in the universe, as he was inducted on Terra as one of the original thousand sons of the Thousand Sons Legion. I mean, there may be other Terran-born Chaos Space Marines still around, but he's the only one I can think of who's definitely still alive.

 

Depending on the vagaries of the Eye of Terror, Ahriman is also a candidate to have the longest subjective experience of the galaxy, though Iskandar Khayon's comment in the Black Legion series about how some legionaries remember the Siege of Terra like it happened only months ago, while for some it's incalculable aeons in the past, make that a hazy prospect.

 

On average, though, it wouldn't surprise me if Ahriman is the closest we have to having actually "lived through" the more than ten thousand years of his calendar life.

Belisarius Cawl, the original man, is younger than Ahriman, but it seems certain that some of the minds he's absorbed such as Sedayne and the magos from Wolfsbane are older than any Space Marine. He has not, of course, retained the memories of those lives intact, but it's also true that he's been more or less active in the material universe for ten thousand years and so some of his memories would predate Ahriman and all the rest.

 

Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.


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#188
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Getting back on topic and away from discussion about characters like Fabius:

I just finished reading this book a second time, it's amazing how much is missed on the 1st run, so to speak.
I've also read the short story "To speak as One" by Guy Haley, which acts as a direct prequel to "The Great Work" and fills in a few gaps in the story.

After my second read, I actually think this might be one of the absolute best 40k stories with the caviat that the statement applies to fans of the setting.
The insight, revelations, interactions and featured characters are fascinating to fans of the lore. I think the plot featuring the Scythes is the weakest part of the story but acts as a nice way to wrap up the past stories featuring that chapter. I'm really hoping lots of people have read/listened to this novel.
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#189
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Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.

 

It seems unlikely that the majority of Traitor Astartes couldn't have lived through more than 1,600 years of subjective time in the past 10,000 years, though, and Ahriman has a 300-year head start.

 

Dante's definitely the loyal Astartes who's lived the longest continuously active span of time, no doubt about that!

 

I think it's an interesting topic when it comes to Cawl because his perspective is so different - alive for all that time but with blended memories, lost backups, et cetera.


Edited by Ascanius, 04 January 2020 - 12:44 PM.


#190
Panzer

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Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.

 

It seems unlikely that the majority of Traitor Astartes couldn't have lived through more than 1,600 years of subjective time in the past 10,000 years, though, and Ahriman has a 300-year head start.

 

Dante's definitely the loyal Astartes who's lived the longest continuously active span of time, no doubt about that!

 

I think it's an interesting topic when it comes to Cawl because his perspective is so different - alive for all that time but with blended memories, lost backups, et cetera.

 

 

GWs official stand though isn't that Dante is the oldest loyal Astartes. He's the olderst Astartes full stop. There are a lot of ifs and buts but at the end of the day this is the official thing so any ifs and buts seem to be nothing more than that.


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#191
Ascanius

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I think you are severely misinterpreting that statement, mate.


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#192
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Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.


It seems unlikely that the majority of Traitor Astartes couldn't have lived through more than 1,600 years of subjective time in the past 10,000 years, though, and Ahriman has a 300-year head start.

Dante's definitely the loyal Astartes who's lived the longest continuously active span of time, no doubt about that!

I think it's an interesting topic when it comes to Cawl because his perspective is so different - alive for all that time but with blended memories, lost backups, et cetera.

GWs official stand though isn't that Dante is the oldest loyal Astartes. He's the olderst Astartes full stop. There are a lot of ifs and buts but at the end of the day this is the official thing so any ifs and buts seem to be nothing more than that.

I will need a source on this one because this reads as a severe misinterpretation.
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#193
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Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.


It seems unlikely that the majority of Traitor Astartes couldn't have lived through more than 1,600 years of subjective time in the past 10,000 years, though, and Ahriman has a 300-year head start.

Dante's definitely the loyal Astartes who's lived the longest continuously active span of time, no doubt about that!

I think it's an interesting topic when it comes to Cawl because his perspective is so different - alive for all that time but with blended memories, lost backups, et cetera.

GWs official stand though isn't that Dante is the oldest loyal Astartes. He's the olderst Astartes full stop. There are a lot of ifs and buts but at the end of the day this is the official thing so any ifs and buts seem to be nothing more than that.

I will need a source on this one because this reads as a severe misinterpretation.

 

 

What source? Whenever they talk about Dante they straight out say he's the oldest Marine alive.


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#194
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Certainly you are not including Chaos Marines in that are you? Some of them are Pre-Heresy. Dante is not that old.


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#195
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The Imperium barely acknowledges Chaos exists, let alone that they might live longer, healthier, more fulfilling quality-adjusted life years than their own Brave Troop Heroes. <3

I expect the Dante source is "normally living" and "Well known to the Imperium", as it certainly doesn't account for Bjorn (who might have been older at internment than even Dante is?).

Not least because I don't think the Imperium can easily compare or list all living Space Marines, let alone how many proper material years they've been known to be active in the Materium for. (Warp travel etc accounted for/casually dismissed.)

#196
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A different assumption behind dante being the oldest could be that he is legitimately old in a manner we have only really seen once before - sigismund in the black legion books.

The fact it happens to sigismund too is also possibly a fairly good reason to discount any arguments of the geneseed of the traitor legions meaning they dont age or anything like that.

Also, dante is still noted as being chapter master for 1100 or so years despite the 100+year jump between the point the rift opened and real time kicking in again. Which suggests his age is going off his perception of time, not the imperium at large.

Edited by Blindhamster, 04 January 2020 - 07:00 PM.

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#197
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Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.

It seems unlikely that the majority of Traitor Astartes couldn't have lived through more than 1,600 years of subjective time in the past 10,000 years, though, and Ahriman has a 300-year head start.

Dante's definitely the loyal Astartes who's lived the longest continuously active span of time, no doubt about that!

I think it's an interesting topic when it comes to Cawl because his perspective is so different - alive for all that time but with blended memories, lost backups, et cetera.
GWs official stand though isn't that Dante is the oldest loyal Astartes. He's the olderst Astartes full stop. There are a lot of ifs and buts but at the end of the day this is the official thing so any ifs and buts seem to be nothing more than that.
I will need a source on this one because this reads as a severe misinterpretation.

What source? Whenever they talk about Dante they straight out say he's the oldest Marine alive.

A source that he is the oldest marine *period*, not just the oldest loyalist - because the former is just factually incorrect with people like Khârn, Ahriman and Abaddon running around.
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#198
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Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.

It seems unlikely that the majority of Traitor Astartes couldn't have lived through more than 1,600 years of subjective time in the past 10,000 years, though, and Ahriman has a 300-year head start.

Dante's definitely the loyal Astartes who's lived the longest continuously active span of time, no doubt about that!

I think it's an interesting topic when it comes to Cawl because his perspective is so different - alive for all that time but with blended memories, lost backups, et cetera.
GWs official stand though isn't that Dante is the oldest loyal Astartes. He's the olderst Astartes full stop. There are a lot of ifs and buts but at the end of the day this is the official thing so any ifs and buts seem to be nothing more than that.
I will need a source on this one because this reads as a severe misinterpretation.
What source? Whenever they talk about Dante they straight out say he's the oldest Marine alive.
A source that he is the oldest marine *period*, not just the oldest loyalist - because the former is just factually incorrect with people like Khârn, Ahriman and Abaddon running around.

The warp. They are from a time longer ago. But may not have been physically "alive" all that time due to the weird nature of time in the warp.

Again, we know that marines do actually get older and slower. We saw it with sigismund who had been alive a bit longer than dante. If those other marines were alive as long, they'd be the same and they arent.

Dreadaughts are similar, they spend most of their time in stasis.

We know dante is by his perception of time 1600ish, we also know that by wider imperium standards he is probably closer to 1800 as he lost at somewhere between 100 and 200 years with the events that saw the rift open and baal do a time warp.

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#199
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Except that Ahriman spend a lot of time in the Eye of Terror where time works differently, like all the other Chaos Marines did as well. Dante is officially the oldest Marine alive with his ~1600 years.

It seems unlikely that the majority of Traitor Astartes couldn't have lived through more than 1,600 years of subjective time in the past 10,000 years, though, and Ahriman has a 300-year head start.

Dante's definitely the loyal Astartes who's lived the longest continuously active span of time, no doubt about that!

I think it's an interesting topic when it comes to Cawl because his perspective is so different - alive for all that time but with blended memories, lost backups, et cetera.
GWs official stand though isn't that Dante is the oldest loyal Astartes. He's the olderst Astartes full stop. There are a lot of ifs and buts but at the end of the day this is the official thing so any ifs and buts seem to be nothing more than that.
I will need a source on this one because this reads as a severe misinterpretation.
What source? Whenever they talk about Dante they straight out say he's the oldest Marine alive.
A source that he is the oldest marine *period*, not just the oldest loyalist - because the former is just factually incorrect with people like Khârn, Ahriman and Abaddon running around.
The warp. They are from a time longer ago. But may not have been physically "alive" all that time due to the weird nature of time in the warp.

Again, we know that marines do actually get older and slower. We saw it with sigismund who had been alive a bit longer than dante. If those other marines were alive as long, they'd be the same and they arent.

Dreadaughts are similar, they spend most of their time in stasis.

We know dante is by his perception of time 1600ish, we also know that by wider imperium standards he is probably closer to 1800 as he lost at somewhere between 100 and 200 years with the events that saw the rift open and baal do a time warp.

So assumption, not a canonical statement. Warp being weird with time could go both ways, nothing to say of the possibility of its influence on biology. Khârn could for all we know have expirienced 8 millennia of life and yet not degrade due to the will of the gods, or simply "the warp willed it".
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#200
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Assumptions are not the same as actual statements of existing lore.

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