I think it's probably pretty inevitable that Khorne and the nails are going to be closely intertwined in 40k, a bit like Tzeentch's machinations and the tragedy of Magnus/Ahriman's rubric. Do you think this detracts from the Khorne focus, having it so closely tied to the specific events that affected the XIIth legion?
I feel like Khorne worship has been largely pigeonholed by shedding blood for shedding blood's sake, and the World Eaters have been heavily Flanderized by the Nails - in my opinion. A lot of the subtle characteristics that have been brought to the other Chaos Gods and their followers, Khorne simply lacks - at least from what I've read in a 40k context of course. Look at how veneration of Nurlge is presented in The Lords of Silence or how Slaanesh has its claws sunk into Fabius throughout his own titular series but it isn't immediately obvious: there simply isn't a full-length, multi-entry Khorne equivalent of this existing right now
Let's take Uzas for example. We all love Uzas and we all loved Uzas' storyline in the Night Lords trilogy, but his connection to the Blood God amounted to nothing more than 'I take power from this very-real divine force that my Primarch sneered at, and I claim to still own my soul, although my actions sometimes suggest otherwise.' Compare this to, say, Vorx for example. Vorx is a through-and-through follower of the Plaguefather, and we see how his faith shapes his daily life from hanging out on demon worlds to how he interacts with corrupted legionnaires of all stripes and how he responds actual demons. One's relationship with his god is explored in detail and nuance, the other simply isn't (Uzas is still great btw, but Xarl is better)
This isn't really the World Eaters' fault, although I do believe they have been Flanderized quite heavily by the Nails. People mention Arrian, but Arrian isn't your typical member of the XII Legion himself: he is able to control the pain-engine in his head through various means and talks to his bandoleer of skulls. He feels like a Warhammer Fantasy character teleported into 40k and (once again) exudes the genius of Josh Reynolds. It's also worth mentioning how brutal and flavourful Endryd Haar was without grafting a pain engine onto his head as well. 'His anger came from a deeper well.' Yes mate, I love that stuff. tl;dr a World Eater can definitely be the leading figure in a Khorne-exploration series, but only if he isn't presented as a figure who can't stop cutting everything up with his chainaxe because a caterpillar crossed the floor of his chamber
As an aside I've always felt the skull-taking element of Khorne worship to be significantly more interesting. To me, a Champion of Khorne taking skulls and standing atop a cairn of bones holding his grisly trophy aloft, gazing into the sky as if he's looking into Khorne's Realm himself, staring into the Blood God's very eyes for recognition of his grandeur is much more powerful than wading through a lake of butchered civvies. In an applied context I would much rather World Eaters/Khorne-worshipping Space Marines constantly broke ranks because they wanted to hunt down and duel the mightiest champions in archaic Bronze Age ritualistic combat than going bonkers because another caterpillar crawled across the floor of their mess hall. Y-a-w-n
I have always appreciated how Abnett doesn't generally fall into the four god paradigms - his chaos chaps rarely have a deity affiliation (the Blood Pact and Gaur; the khorne cultists in the Caffran story in Ghostmaker; etc). For him the Primordial Annihilator is far more esoteric, varied and hard to define - which I've always appreciated. It's much more interesting, more chaotic, more representative also of chaos being, to an extent, defined by the interpreter and their naming of what they encounter, rather than our rulebook-derived, omniscient terminology.
As much as I love Dan Abnett's ambiguous demonic entities reflecting the Chaotic nature of Chaos, sometimes you need to call a Lord of Change a Lord of Change
Take The Emperor's Gift for example. One moment you have a corpulent demon infesting an corrupted planetary governor of unknown patronage, then you have a bunch of weird warp-angel-mother:cussers ambushing Hyperion and co. but when a Bloodthirster pops up it is quite clearly a Bloodthirster. No unnecessary ambiguity needed
I used to get angry when authors used words like 'Khorne' and 'Slaanesh' and 'Keeper of Secrets' in their books, and preferred either titles or bull:cuss like 'Kharnath' and 'Slaaneth,' but after reading Primogenitor and how well Josh Reynolds handled Kanathara (Whose Hooves Shatter Mountains, and Whose Voice Lulls the Sun) I don't care any more. It's all about execution and presentation
Edited by Bobss, 31 May 2020 - 07:29 PM.