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Ragnar Blackmane: Saga of the Beast

ragnar blackmane saga of the beast audio audio drama black library orks annandale

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#1
Roomsky

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Anyone given this a listen yet?

 

I thought it was a fun audio, the voice acting is good as usual, and as someone who doesn't follow 8th ed. developments outside of Black Library I'd say it was worth the 4.5 hours. 

 

While there's plenty of spectacle, it falls on the less action-oriented side of Annandale's works. It has a fair bit of the introspection that I think he does well, and follows his usual spiritual odyssey tropes: enormous creatures, epic journeys, and everything but the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. For the same reason, it did feel a bit all over the place, it's very Annandale and won't be changing anyone's opinions on his work. For a wyrd bonding Ragnar and Ghazghkull, we see less of the ork than I would have expected. That said, the scenes from Thraka's POV are definitely the highlight of the drama, Annandale nails the character's voice, and makes him noticeably different from the more standard orks surrounding him.

 

This doesn't tell the full tale found in the Psychic Awakening supplement, but it works better for it in my opinion; it ends exactly when it should. I'm curious if this is doing well, and if we'll see a sequel covering the rest of it. 

 

While I'm eternally thankful BL's team isn't being forced to cover big events on the tabletop anymore, I appreciate something that actually goes over the recent developments. I hope more authors jump on these opportunities in future, or even better, start backfilling. We still don't have a coherent account of Wrath of Magnus.

 

I'd give it a strong 6 to light 7 out of 10.


Edited by Roomsky, 21 April 2020 - 04:24 AM.

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#2
Kelborn

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Wanted to start a thread by myself but laziness won. ;)

I enjoyed it, as well. It's not on the same level as Realmslayer but it's still one of the better audiodramas.

Seconded, Ghaz' scenes were also my personal highlights. Steven Conlin really nailed Ghaz. Would love to habe a seperate only Ork themed one.

My only issue would be the voice acting of Ragnar. It reminded me too often of Thanquol from the Realmslayer audios. Once I finally reckognized the actor I couldn't stop hearing it.

Besides that, a good story and audio. And yes, I'd be down for backfilling and that stuff!

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#3
b1soul

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Spoiler

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#4
Lord Marshal

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We've already had "HAHA I WAS ONLY A HOLOGRAM!" in PA:1, so just think of the dumbest play fight you had as a kid and pay 'professionals' to write it.
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#5
DarkChaplain

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Spoiler

 

Spoiler

Edited by DarkChaplain, 21 April 2020 - 05:58 PM.


#6
Fedor

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From what i've come across on other sites, the Ghaz vs Ragnar lore and idea of a Marine captain being able to stand up to the supposed mightiest ork in the Galaxy has riled a lot of people into a frenzy. It seems to have become more a battleground for how xenos are treated by GW than anything else.

 

I've not read the BL take on it, but it seems any author had a mountain to climb in turning around the reaction to the studio lore.



#7
Kelborn

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Just a side note:
It is truly covered in the Ork codex that a chopped off head continues to live for a while, enabling Dokks to stitch them to the body again.

So nothing new and weird stuff happening in here.

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#8
Robbienw

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From what i've come across on other sites, the Ghaz vs Ragnar lore and idea of a Marine captain being able to stand up to the supposed mightiest ork in the Galaxy has riled a lot of people into a frenzy. It seems to have become more a battleground for how xenos are treated by GW than anything else.

I've not read the BL take on it, but it seems any author had a mountain to climb in turning around the reaction to the studio lore.


To be fair though Ragnar has always been shown to be a cut above an average Captain/wolf lord. First captain type status.

#9
Lord_Caerolion

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Orks surviving as just heads has existed for literally as long as Orks have actually been a thing. Hell, back in Rogue Trader days they not only had the squig-brain transplant (which still exists in current fluff), but “dual occupancy bodies”, where the Painboy runs out of spare bodies for a viable head, so just stitches it onto another Orks body and tinkers with the nervous system (using safety pins and rubber bands), resulting in them both controlling an arm each. Sometimes they even get fancy and graft two additional arms on, so you end up with a six-limbed, two-headed Ork.

As for Ghaz getting taken down by a Captain, Ragnar’s one of the best single combatants in the galaxy, and Ghaz took him down too. If it were Captain Bob of the GeneriMarines, then sure, you can get angry.
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#10
Fedor

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The belief seems to be that Ghaz as supposedly being much stronger now than in the past and the galaxies current most dominant warboss/current orky prophet should more realistically be by now far beyond being defeated by any individual Marine in a direct melee and be getting closer to the likes of the prime orks from the Beast series, or some of the more formidable 30k ones.

 

I don't care much myself, but it's amusing seeing the amount of annoyance it has generated.



#11
Roomsky

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Re: the Ragner v Thraka matchup:

 

Spoiler

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#12
b1soul

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I would've preferred it if there was a definitive winner to be honest, and the losing side manages to crawl back from near-death via Rubicon or head reattachment or whatever

Having both be
Spoiler


#13
Bobss

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I haven't read/listened to this and I don't intend to either (so I'm automatically talking guff let's be honest, and I'm probably going to unfairly criticise Annandale's work here never mind the guy who drew the gorgeous art for this... and I try to avoid dumping on Black Library's stable most of the time...), but I just want to chime in on a few points I've skimmed through

 

Spoiler


Edited by Bobss, 23 April 2020 - 09:14 AM.

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#14
Kelborn

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Imho it would have had more importance or a bigger impact if released before Prophecies of the Wolf.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but we already knew how that duel would end because of the Warhammer Community previews.

 

Having this audio as first release/ tease to the new box would have made its impact way more significant.

 

Reactions like "Holy ****! What happened? Did GW/ BL really do that? Dude ...!" would be the case. Afterwards, the preview/ release of the Prophecies of the Wolf would be a logic follow-up.

 

Instead, it's a nice audio, giving us some backstory of an event teased by GW. But...nothing more. Nothing of impact. Just a nice addition.


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#15
b1soul

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I'm OK with Space Marines winning or losing, but this

Spoiler


It just strikes me as something thought up by a 12 year old

Spoiler


#16
DarkChaplain

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#17
Kelborn

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Remind me, guys.
What was a pyrrhic victory again? ;)
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#18
b1soul

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Yeah...this is quite different from Horus vs. the Emperor in some obvious ways (to me)

If you think they're similar, I could just agree to disagree.

#19
DarkChaplain

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Care to elaborate on why you think it's quite different? One could even make the comparison that Horus' body was recovered by the Sons of Horus, stolen by everyone's favorite 40k Mad Scientist and cloned with at least some semblance of the original's character and prowess.



#20
b1soul

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I think Ragnar vs. Ghaz would be more similar to Emperor vs. Horus if the results were:

Ragnar entombed in some sort of immobile dreadnought

Ghaz dead as a dodo

I wouldn't have found this to be as silly.

#21
Kelborn

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Which would strip GW of two of their Most iconic models/ characters.

And don't forget that this audio intended to give us the teaser background for Prophecies of the Wolf. It is not an independent story of its own.

Again, I would've found the order releases to be better if this audio did came first. But in the end, it's additional background for their two newest models, explaining their changes, etc.

So the train of thought about if the story is poor (which it is not) and the execution is rather obsolete, I fear.
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#22
b1soul

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How about Ghaz winning and Ragnar seeking Primarisation (and bionics) to help with the rematch.

Or even Ghaz truly dying and his spores being used to create Prime Orks by the mad dok.

Or some combination of the ideas above.

Anything other than a pointless double-KO and both get right back up to carry on as before.

#23
Roomsky

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If they were to actually give one the axe, it should have been Ragnar. I'll take both of them being injured unto death and coming back stronger than killing off the Ork's most iconic character to hype a Space Wolf / have yet ANOTHER named marine pass the rubicon without issue.

 

Some famous marines still need to die tbh. I continue to have a hard time believing a galaxy of perpetual warfare has left practically all of them unscathed.

 

That said, I don't think the fluff we got was great either, but as an audio adapting an excuse for models into an actual story, I think Annandale does well.


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#24
b1soul

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"That said, I don't think the fluff we got was great either, but as an audio adapting an excuse for models into an actual story, I think Annandale does well."

Yes, Annandale makes do with what he's been given

"If they were to actually give one the axe, it should have been Ragnar."

I think Dreadnought Ragnar would also be acceptable either after losing to Ghaz or beating him ("acceptable" to me of course)

Primaris Ragnar would rob the the defeat of long-term consequences for the character, but would be more acceptable if Ragnar had simply been bested by the monstrous Ork.

Spoiler


Some people might enjoy a double-KO, just not my taste





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ragnar, blackmane, saga of the beast, audio, audio drama, black library, orks, annandale

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