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Siege of Terra - Saturnine by Dan Abnett


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#51
Taliesin

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To quote from the Bill King short story, the part of it that could pertain to "Saturnine". 

 

 

Reinforced by this fresh wave of troops, the hordes swept on, driving through the exhausted and demoralised Imperial troops to the very walls of the Emperor's palace. Khornate warriors howling their bestial war cries raced towards the marble and steel outer ring. Hordes of unstoppable Thousand Sons marched relentlessly forward, bolter fire raking the defenders. Slaaneshi Noise Marines swept aside the Imperial Guard infantry and reached the Saturnine Gate. Round the walls bitter fighting ensued as the Imperial soldiers sallied forth, trying to drive the attackers back before the main body of the assaulting troops arrived. Men died in their thousands. From pillbox emplacements in the palace walls Imperial gun crews rained death down on the relentless attackers. Again and again the streets outside the palace were swept clear of heretics. Again and again new foes stepped forward to take their place.

 
Now indeed it seemed that the tide of battle had turned against the Emperor. The spaceports were firmly in the grasp of the minions of the Warmaster. Hundreds of thousands of troops poured down from orbit. Gibbering mutants and hideous amorphous Chaos Spawn surged out of the dread ships. Under the banner of the great eye, the sign of Horus, the lackeys of the four great powers of Chaos marched united. Mounted in Rhinos, lurking within mighty behemoths and clinging to the sides of gigantic war-engines, they made their way en masse to the Emperor's palace.
 
Looking down on the seething sea of foulness, the defenders' hearts went cold. Mingling with the daemons and the mad-eyed cultists and the mutants, they could see heretical Space Marines and traitor Guardsmen. These were people they might have once fought alongside, who had once been as loyal to the Emperor as themselves. They looked upon a dark mirror of their souls. Down there they could see martial honour become berserk madness, human cleverness become sly treachery, hope become foulness and love become abominable lust. The brave men on the walls knew that there was no way out. Here they must stand and fight and die. There would be no mercy from those below.
 
This was a war where there could be no honourable peace. It was destroy or be destroyed. For a moment all was silence, then Angron strode forth. In his brazen voice he demanded that the loyalists surrender. He told them that their cause was hopeless, as they faced a foe which could not be defeated. They were cut off, outnumbered, and defending a ruler too weak to be worthy of their loyalty. In that moment the men on the walls felt their resolve weaken. Looking at the transformed face of the Primarch who had once been one of the Emperor's finest warriors, they saw an invincible, relentless foe backed by a numberless horde and all the daemonic might of Chaos.
 
There was a clamour on the walls as Sanguinius and the Blood Angels arrived. Standing on the wall, the angel-winged Primarch glared on Angron with angry contempt. For long moments their gazes locked, each Primarch seemed to be measuring the other, searching for chinks in the armour, for any sign of weakness and lack of resolve. Who knows what they saw there? Perhaps they communicated telepathically, brother Primarch to brother Primarch. The truth will never be known. Eventually Angron turned and walked back to his lines. He told his troops that there would be no surrender; they should kill everyone they found within the palace. No stone should be left upon stone.
 
With a roar the horde advanced towards the walls. Great Lords of Battle lurched forward on iron wheels, crushing anything in their way, unloading racks of missiles and turning the area on the top of the walls into blazing storms of death. Doom Burners sent tongues of superheated metal licking out at the emplacements. Molten brass filtered through the windows and scalded those inside. Multi-tracked Cauldrons of Blood squirted jets of obscene daemonic ichor onto the defenders. Enormous Flesh Hounds of Khorne loped forward in their wake. Titans armed with specially constructed siege weapons lumbered into position. Battle cruisers dropped megatons of explosive death onto the defenders.
 
Every loyal warrior knew that he was already dead, that there was no way he could survive the coming of the daemonic army. The soldiers fought with the desperate ferocity of hopeless men, firing until their weapons were empty, snatching up the bolters of the fallen, and facing monsters with the butts of their guns when all ammunition was exhausted. Three times the horde managed to scale the walls, and three times it was driven off by the valiant efforts of Sanguinius and the Blood Angels. Wearily the Primarch marshalled the defenders, rallying the broken, speaking words of comfort to the mortally wounded, fighting with cold, implacable fury when he was called upon to do so. Slowly though, despite his efforts, the Chaos forces managed to erode the defence. They seemed numberless as the grains of sand on a sea shore and Horus spent their lives carelessly.
 
Outside the walls, Imperial forces frantically raced from their bastions to try to relieve the palace. Titan legions boldly cut their way towards the centre of the rebel army. The White Scars Space Marines harried its flanks. No attempt to break the rebel line succeeded. Breaking through that blood-mad horde was a near impossible task. All four of the daemonic Primarchs inspired their followers to feats of fiendish bravery. For every Chaos warrior who died it seemed that two more stood ready to take his place.
 
In orbit, the Warmaster watched approvingly. If the palace fell and the Emperor died, loyalist legions across the galaxy would lose heart and the war would be over. Without the psychic shield of the Emperor's power, Humanity would swiftly fall prey to Chaos. Horus would stand triumphant amid the rubble of Humanity's greatest empire. He would become a new and angry god. If he did not win soon, reinforcements would filter in from the corners of the Imperium, and his attack would falter. For the Warmaster this was the desperate, ultimate gamble. Everything was staked on this attack. It had to succeed, and at that moment it looked as if it might.
 
Day by day the siege wore on, casualties rose from the thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Bodies had to be bulldozed from the access ways to the Saturnine Gate by war machines. Chaos Titans blazed at the walls, specially constructed missiles ripping great chunks from the masonry. The Titans of the Fire Wasps answered their fire with volcano cannons. The smell of burning flesh filled the air as the corpses of the dead were incinerated in funeral pyres a hundred foot high. Obscene ash parched the throats of the defenders. The World Eaters built a pyramid of scorched skulls sixty foot high in Temple Square. By night the chants of degenerate cultists echoed through the streets and daemons flitted among the ruins of Earth.
 
Slowly, foot by torturous foot, the defenders were forced back. The great walls of the palace were riddled with hundreds of kilometres of bulkheads and corridor. Within this maze, bitter hand-to-hand fighting ensued until entire sections of passage were filled with bloated corpses. Feeling that progress was too slow, Horus ordered the Titans of the Death's Head Legion to demolish entire sections of the wall. Despite taking tremendous casualties, the great Warlord Titans broke through, and the forces of the Warmaster flooded into the palace grounds.
 


#52
drooling blood

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There was a Saturnine Gate in the old bill king story. Which was the outer gate theyve been fighting over so far. Cant remember if it was called that in universe.

The series so far seems to vaguely mirror the events of the story.

Which is about where we are after Khan retakes Lions Gate. Dunno if hack thorpe mentions the eternity wall port.

 

So at a guess.

Saturnine is the Deaths Heads rolling in and smashing up the place. Kind of appropriate, given its Abnett.

The fight for the inner palace. The BA will probably be firemen, rushing from one fight to the next.

The retreat to the inner palace and Sanguinius holding a gate again because GW like telling the same tale 2 or 3 times.

Where he duffs up  KaBanda again.

 

I wonder how accurate that will be.

 

Imagine complaining about the repetitiveness of defending a gate in a siege battle. Whatever you do, don't read any medieval history. Or lord of the rings. Or anything involving layered defenses. 

 

I wasnt really complaining, just stating how GW like doing the same thing multiple times. They tried it with the WOTB, or the siege series test run. It pissed most off then.

It might do so again.

 

 

So Saturnine jumps past the WS action at the Lion's Gate, and I assume Wraight's novel will jump back to that?

 

Its about the same time. Not sure what the last wall covers havent read it.

The next paragraph of Taliesin post.

 

While all this was taking place Jhagatai Khan had implemented a change of plan. Rather than throwing away his forces against the near invincible bulk of the main Chaos army he launched a lightning raid against Lions Gate Space Port. This night attack was spearheaded by the shaven-headed warriors of the Whitescars, who led the remnants of the 1st Tank Division and elements of the surviving Guard armies against the surprised heretics. Khan threw a defensive perimeter around the space port and held it against all counter-attacks. The flow of men and materials towards the palace was halved at a stroke.

 

 

Though Im just guessing tbh. I do wonder how much they will stick to the source.

 


Edited by drooling blood, 20 December 2019 - 06:23 AM.


#53
Daemon Prince Marbas

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I hope this is the novel where my favorite primarch, Perturabo, breaks down mentally. I hope there's a moment when another traitor legion betrays him or better yet Horus says or does something untoward against Perturabo or the Iron Warriors. I want my boy to realize finally he's just a pawn in Horus' game. That Horus really doesn't care about him and I want him to break down in a moment of tragedy and insanity. I want him to be at his lowest point and in return finally decide to say screw everybody and especially Dorn and he just snaps, the last straw finally happens that's been building this entire series. That would make me so happy and would do a lot to pull his character away from the caricature he's been the last couple novels.

#54
RedFurioso

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I hope there's a moment when another traitor legion betrays him

It happened like 7 years ago in Angel Exterminatus.


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#55
Daemon Prince Marbas

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That's true.

#56
drooling blood

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He might really lose it when the deaths heads or world eaters smash the walls down.



#57
Marshal Loss

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84095811_10157151877072957_7841004991224

84732651_10157151877102957_4616619458381

 

The Traitor Host of Horus Lupercal tightens its iron grip on the Palace of Terra, and one by one the walls and bastions begin to crumple and collapse. Rogal Dorn, Praetorian of Terra, redoubles his efforts to keep the relentless enemy at bay, but his forces are vastly outnumbered and hopelessly outgunned. Dorn simply cannot defend everything. Any chance of survival now requires sacrifice, but what battles dare he lose so that others can be won? Is there one tactical stroke, one crucial combat, that could turn the tide forever and win the war outright?

Edited by Marshal Loss, 03 February 2020 - 02:48 PM.

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#58
Preliminary Bombardment

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Any word on LE pre Order date?

#59
Grey Angel

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Any word on LE pre Order date?

No dates yet!

#60
Ubiquitous1984

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That cover might just be the best one yet.  Simply sensational!


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#61
aa.logan

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No ‘might’; absolute best. The shadows! The wings! The light! Genuinely unsure if the content will live up to it (Obviously, it will)
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#62
Lucerne

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Here's hoping this at least has a competent grasp of scale...

 

Though it is Abnett so it won't be the dumpster fire that was the rest of the Siege.


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#63
DarkChaplain

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I'd argue that Abnett's last Heresy outing was worse than anything in the Siege to date, by a large margin. The Unremembered Empire, like the Siege, also involves many moving parts from other authors and plotlines.... and Abnett hasn't handled that particular instance well. I fear we'll see lots of hulk smash Angron, if his Vulkan is anything to go by, and a bunch of Oll and Grammaticus, at the expense of stuff other authors had been developing the past years..

 

I want to be cautiously optimistic, but I can't shake the disappointment that was TUE, especially on account of 3rd party characters.


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#64
Indefragable

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My favorite part about that artwork is the way it seems that no one--Imperial Army, Conscript, Astartes, or even vaunted Custodies--is directly blocking Angron's path into the glowing door. It's like Daemon Angron is such a force--mathematical, physics-equation, pure computational force--that any living being can't help but part ways before him. It's amazing.

 

*********

 

The cynical part of me can't help but quip that, based on Abnett's history, Angron will not show at all up in this one until the last 10 pages. 

 

The more optimistic part of me suspects that this is the book where the Siege really "gets going" and all the threads we've seen before are connected to the threads that will be covered in the rest of the books. 

 

The realistic part of me suspects that this one will be different from the rest, both in a good and bad way. Say what you will about Abnett, his stuff is so often quite standalone and apart from other things. Sometimes that comes off gloriously, sometimes it's jarring. For my count, I'm a Believer who thinks the Siege stuff, both Saturnine and ​The Big End One (title to be confirmed) will be some of Abnett's best stuff to date. 


Edited by Indefragable, 03 February 2020 - 09:56 PM.

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Call me Indy. It's less syllables.

 

 

gallery_93095_13980_27776.jpgETL_VI_Banner_Primus_Interpares_Astartes


#65
Knockagh

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Abnett writes in two very different mediums. Comics and novels and he can do both really well. But sometimes I think he gets the two confused and writes 40k like it’s a comic book. I am slaughter was for me the worst example of this. Double Eagle is another example, it’s pure cheese. But thankfully these are rare, most of the time he’s bang on the money, particularly when he can write about humans.
I’ve been delighted so far in the seige series how prominent humans have been in the books. The small people telling the big story. If Dan follows this I think this book will sing. Obviously he has to do some fights and Maine love and hopefully he can step past his love of comics when it comes to these larger than life characters and do what he did in Horus Rising and Legion and give us some great characters.
I’m way more worried I won’t get the limited edition than I am if it’s any good, which really is appalling when I put that feeling in print!

#66
Laughingman

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Does Angron still use gorefather at this point in the canon? I thought at some point he takes up The black blade.



#67
b1soul

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Daemon Primarch Angron looks T-Rex sized, and Gorefather is the size of two Custodes

Looks like both weapon and primarch grew in size

On Unremembered Empire, I still found it eminently more readable than anything by Swallow, Thorpe, or Kyme in the HH series

#68
Laughingman

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Funny enough its a relic for world eaters characters  in 40K.  head-cannon says  the chain axe  is effectively warp-touched (it was in Angron hand when he ascended), and therefore probably takes on some measure of his power.. 



#69
b1soul

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I thought Gorefather was lost after Angron adopted the black sword

#70
RedFurioso

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I can't shake the disappointment that was TUE

The Unremembered Empire was one of the greatest HH books. All Lion scenes were awesome. Damon Prytanis was such a fresh and interesting character, literally space Matt Damon who killed Martin Luther King. And this is the only book who shows Konrad Curze as capable and fearful primarch. Absolutely loved it then and now.

I wonder if Saturnine will be the greatest Heresy book ever. Perhaps only the the last, eighth book can surpass it.



#71
Marshal Rohr

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I love how the concourse below is a standing room only firefight
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Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

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#72
Taliesin

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Any word on LE pre Order date?

 

Late March I suspect, since the hardcover comes out around end of June/start of July.


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#73
Izlude

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I personally enjoyed UE alot, mostly it was a nice character study on Guilliman and the interaction with him and the Lion was well done. Also I love the Pollux and Dantioch stuff (one of my favorite HH duos...Pharos broke my heart...Dantioch is the man!). The Curze stuff was little over the top and I am neutral on the whole perpetual stuff (don't mind reading about it but can live without it). 

 

The coverart is pretty sweet. In general the art has been really great and this one really captures the scale of the battle with the background...you can see all those pretty flashlights...umm...lasguns working in overtime. I found a nice large hi-res image of the coverart on reddit. Great as wallpaper for the computer. 


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#74
DukeLeto69

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Abnett writes in two very different mediums. Comics and novels and he can do both really well. But sometimes I think he gets the two confused and writes 40k like it’s a comic book. I am slaughter was for me the worst example of this. Double Eagle is another example, it’s pure cheese. But thankfully these are rare, most of the time he’s bang on the money, particularly when he can write about humans.
I’ve been delighted so far in the seige series how prominent humans have been in the books. The small people telling the big story. If Dan follows this I think this book will sing. Obviously he has to do some fights and Maine love and hopefully he can step past his love of comics when it comes to these larger than life characters and do what he did in Horus Rising and Legion and give us some great characters.
I’m way more worried I won’t get the limited edition than I am if it’s any good, which really is appalling when I put that feeling in print!

 

Different folks and strokes and all that but IMO Double Eagle was a fantastic book and one of Abnett's best! He is my favourite BL author and is way more hit than miss but within such a huge output there has been a miss. For me TUE was really weak and I hated the comic book feel to the Primarch's fighting. It felt like a superhero comic. Not my thing.

 

I think Abnett's output is actually one of the reasons he sometimes gets accused of rushing the endings of his novels. He literally runs out of time and pages to properly tie up plot points and finish the novel in a fully satisfying way (I suspect because he needs to move on to another commission for another publisher).

 

However, I do get the impression that THIS TIME BL have given him freedom for a longer page count and Abnett himself has better scheduled his time. So... I am quietly optimistic this could be awesome!

 

And the good news is he is now currently writing Penitent!

 

Edit - Oh and that cover is just amazing. Has anyone seen the full piece. Even more amazing.


Edited by DukeLeto69, 04 February 2020 - 07:09 PM.

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#75
Fedor

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The last two books did well enough at setting the groundwork that i think Abnett has plenty of room to open things up now.






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