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We Need A Good Khorne Series

Khorne World Eaters XII Legion Wish

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#1
Bobss

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We need a good book series to delve into the finer points of Khorne worship. We already have brilliant titles such as The Lords of Silence and almost/completed series like Fabius Bile and Ahriman, that all dig into their patron god's complexities and the nature of their followers very nicely. In particular I loved Chris Wraight focusing on things like numerology and slothful acceptance in Nurgle worship from a variety of perspectives. That scene of Vorx waving to a fellow Death Guard legionnaire tending to his crops in the soil of the Plague Planet is brilliantly wholesome and picturesque. Likewise I loved Kasperos Telmar dancing with demonettes and Ahriman's entire journey is dripping in scheming and foiling. Really good stuff all round

 

But Khorne is the pup left out. There have been some solid portrayals of Khorne's legions and followers over the years, but nothing that has really got the neurons firing. The best I can think of was that swordsman villain in the final Grey Knights book by Ben Counter. Has Khorne been Flanderized and isn't easy to dissect nowadays? Has 'from whence the blood flows' stymied any hope of an intellectual Khorne book?

 

I disagree. There are a number of directions I would take Khorne worship in without bulldozing any existing material or perceptions

 

What would you focus on - and more importantly what would you want written and by whom?


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#2
aa.logan

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(Don’t call me) Firefist in the Black Legion series is good. And, on reflection, I’m pretty happy with most World Eater portrayal in the Heresy- the inconsistency in degrees of RAGE seems pretty fitting really; full frothing must be pretty hard to maintain and must wax and wane.

#3
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Khârn: Eater of Worlds probably would have wound up as this if it had received a sequel. More WE specifically than Khorne generally in that it was pulling from Betrayer and, before that, 'After De'shea'. Meant that the subject matter was more about the old saws of brotherhood, purpose, organisation, etc. which have been explored well in other CSM series. That said, it did cover the variety in attitudes towards Khorne pretty well through how individual warriors relate to the nails and the growing descent of the legion.

 

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'd second that there have been some good Khornate characters scattered throughout. Khârn himself often enoughFirefist definitely but also Ugrivian was pretty memorable for his philosophising. Arrian from the Fabius Bile books. Uzas from the NL trilogy. Bloodspitter and Delvarus from Betrayer. Dreagher from Eater of Worlds. Maybe Kroeger from Storm of Iron. All but one of them WE.



#4
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The various Khârn shorts have been good, most of the best Khorne stuff i recall is in ancient WFB shorts though... Maybe an oversight they will fix when they get around to sorting their 40k model range? 



#5
Moonreaper666

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Doesn't the portrayal of the Blood Pact in the Gaunt's Ghost series count?

#6
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It counts in the sense that they're a good non-stereotypical Khornate force but it's not like there's any books that really delve into them or with prominent Blood Pact characters. Maybe a little with the defector dude but there's nothing there on the order of what we see with the WE.



#7
Xisor

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I quite enjoyed the "absolute tide of Madness" of the Khorne force in "Legion of the Damned" - but from a characterising perspective, it's pretty much the polar opposite of what you're after!

Appropriately, or inappropriately for the forum, a lot of Guy Haley & colleagues' work in Age of Sigmar has been from very positive, very engaging Khornate perspectives.

I think it's the Call of Archaon anthology that has some in particular that were decidedly enjoyable.

I've also got WHFB's Blood for the Blood God on my desk looming ominously at me, and for the Chaos Wastes/Realm of Chaos, I'm sure that'll definitely count as "actually 40k".

I've not yet read (red?) Gav's The Red (Read?) Feast either, but it's likely to be very heavily Khornate.

Broadly, however, I absolutely agree with the conceit - I'd love to see the explicitly 40k aspects of Khorne get novels entirely appropriate to them.

As an aside, I've long felt the tropes of the Legions get in the way of 40k stories, Chaos or loyalist.

Thousand Sons are lovely and all, but there's a limit to the Tzeentchian stories told there, given their history and priorities - how often are Tzeentchian plots agnostic to the Thousand Sons in stories? Offhand, I only really recall the first Mephiston novel of Darius'.

Similarly, with the Death Guard, already being superhuman and somewhat inhuman makes for a peculiar, even limiting angle on Nurgle.

Worse, Fabius is almost *not* an angle on Slaanesh! Even the Emperor's Children are a very limited view. (Fortunately, the almost complete dissolution of the Legions means this is less prevalent than it could be.)

Now, let's cast a sideways glance at the Dark Angels, poor buggers, as what stories do they really get that don't touch on the Fallen and Chaos?

I know the concept's endemic, but I'd love a DA/Xenos story, where it's all coloured by the DA obsessions with secrecy and convoluted paranoia, but not strictly relevant to the plot.

(Well, the Purging of Kadillus.)

In that line, I'd almost prefer to see a properly non-World Eater, even non-Marine focus for a 40k story.

Or at least for that to make up a bunch of the supporting struts to any more Marine/Primarch/Named Character-driven stories.
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#8
Lord_Caerolion

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One of the bugbears I've had with GW and 40k Chaos for quite a while is their seeming inability to distinguish between the followers of a God and their Cult Legion, best shown off in the 3.5 Codex, where it was literally impossible to have non-Cult Marked units. Want Tzeentch Marines? Too bad, they're Rubrics now, even though your guys are recent traitors that fell to Tzeentch. Want Nurgle Bikers? Too bad, Death Guard don't use 'em, so neither do you. Even look at the Black Legion fluff, where the god-specific Warbands are explained in a way that only makes sense if they're all ex-Emperors Children/World Eaters/Death Guard/Thousand Sons. 

 

While we've got a number of good World Eater stories, the fact is that the implantation of the Butchers Nails makes World Eaters inherently different from other Khorne worshipers. Treating World Eaters as if they're the only way Khorne devotees act is incorrect. We need to have more stories about non-Cult Legions. I want to see Khornate snipers, rabies-infected Nurgle, slovenly, ugly Slaanesh, and non-magic Tzeentch. That sort of thing. No more "well, Death Guard are all morbidly obese, slow hulks, so everything Nurgle is!"

This is partly why my Death Guard are red-armoured cannibals, and my planned main Chaos Warband are comprised of Slaaneshi Iron Warriors that have fully forsaken their Legion, with an allied Tzeentchian Alpha Legion "numerologist" who sees patterns in everything, and is convinced that Alpharius faked his death, and watches over all. As you could guess, he's a paranoid wreck, constantly waiting for Alpharius to spring out of the shadows and take him away.

 

EDIT: I'm trying to think about the last time we got non-Cult "Marked" units in Chaos books, and the only things I can think of are the Iron Warrior Berserkers in Storm of Iron, and arguably some of the Night Lords in the Night Lords trilogy. Everything else has followed the "default settings".


Edited by Lord_Caerolion, 28 May 2020 - 06:50 AM.

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#9
DarkChaplain

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I'll second that, strangely, AoS is way ahead on how it depicts Chaos in these things. Then, WHFB was as well, I'd argue. Way more insidious, more nuanced, less on the nose, those were the days....

But yeah, lacking Legions, AoS had to build up a bunch of characters, cults and themes around the Pantheon. Even at their most tie-in product placement marketingy, like the Black Rift of Klaxus serialized novel by Josh Reynolds, he still managed to make the Khorne Bloodbound run the whole range from bloodcrazed bloodberserkers of bloody murder to calm and composed slumbering volcano smith and conflicted yet also fully set on his path Lord who has to keep up a front of strength to prevent more challenges for his leadership because everybody seems too stupid to understand that he's looking at the bigger picture rather than the skull next door.

Likewise, Josh has given birth to delightful greater daemons, a knightly order turned Nurgle, and Tzeentch's use of Tzaangors (which also exist in 40k, iirc, but haven't really made any waves in the fiction) has made for some good crazy times. Even Slaanesh, despite almost being squatted, had its showings, albeit fewer of them.

 

Meanwhile, 40k's Chaos is extremely tropey and restricted. Actual renegade chapters are rare, comparatively, and Khorne especially always seems to fall back to World Eaters - despite the Legion being basically non-existent anymore and Warbands few and far between due to cannibalizing one another after Skalathrax. They pretty much dropped the Crimson Slaughter, too, after they got a strong showing one edition, being the Starter Set anti-Imperium faction (a set that lasted two editions, actually), two novellas, some shorts, a mini Codex..... and then poof. Quickly mentioned in one of the Black Crusade campaign books - which had Khârn on the cover, 'member? - and footnotes in 8th. That's it. Fiction died, probably with Christian Dunn's desire to write.

 

Chaos in 40k seems severely limited these days. It's one of the reasons why I appreciated Annandale from the start - he brought some of the more whackier ideas of Chaos back in a bunch of his works, while pronouncing the religious aspects, rather than simple corruption.


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#10
Petitioner's City

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Having more books set on chaos 'worlds', like Traitor General, but not in a warstate, but rather 'domestic' or 'away from the war' 40k would be excellent - perhaps better matching some of the work being done for AoS?
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#11
Xisor

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Having more books set on chaos 'worlds', like Traitor General, but not in a warstate, but rather 'domestic' or 'away from the war' 40k would be excellent - perhaps better matching some of the work being done for AoS?

We see that a few times - in passing - in Atlas Infernal and Fabius Bile: Clonelord (I think, might be Primogenitor) wherein we've got Mos Eisely-esque bustling Daemon Worlds with markets and esoteric meeting places and whatnot. (There's also one in Path of the Outcast I think, not for Chaos-y types, but for Miscellaneous Eldar - not even really Corsair-y, but properly 'not strictly any of the above' Eldar.)

 

But that's said in complete agreement: that sort of setting, like Terra in Wraight's Vaults novels, would be exquisite to see, even in the background of whatever foolish plot shenanigans are being the focus of the book.

 

---

 

Speaking of Path of - Andy Chambers' Dark Eldar novels really channelled this with Commorragh and (in implication) Shaa-Dom. It's quite lovely. For a 'civilian' look at downright diabolical evil propagating itself, it's pretty damn entertaining. Not exactly wholesome, but, y'know, it's a more varied look than Archon Evil and his best pal Sybarite Nasty, slaughtering their way across battlefield after tedious battlefield.

 

I'd appreciate that a lot with Khornate types, I'm sure, too.



#12
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The Crimson Slaughter had novellas and shorts?
Didn't knew that. Are those worth a shot?

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#13
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Archon Evil and his best pal Sybarite Nasty, slaughtering their way across battlefield after tedious battlefield.

 

 

At the risk of getting off-topic, that's exactly what I found the Path Of series for the Dark Eldar to be. Characters with no motivations other than twirling their moustaches while gleefully plotting their next attempt to seize power. Not to mention the "Kabal" led by a Succubus and formed of nothing but Wyches. Why isn't it a Wych Cult? Chambers wanted to have the organizations be those named in a piece of fluff, and they're all Kabals, but he wanted a Cult too, so a Kabal is now inexplicably actually a Cult.

 

Throw in the Harlequin character whose only ties to being a Harlequin is "he's always doing a jig, and skips/waltzes instead of walking", Vect being able to look out a window and see all of Commorragh as if it's just one big city instead of an M.C. Escher fever-dream scattered across sub-realms all over the galaxy, and in general I really didn't like that trilogy.


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#14
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The Crimson Slaughter had novellas and shorts?
Didn't knew that. Are those worth a shot?

 

No idea, I never got around to them. There's the Dark Vengeance novella tie-in to their starter set (which, I guess, you could couple with the DA audio drama The Ascension of Balthasar). Then there's a prequel novella about the as-yet loyal Crimson Sabres. All by Dunn. Joe Parrino also featured a Sorcerer of theirs in Assassinorum: Execution Force, and it appears that the Steel Demon novella from Novella Series 1 by Ian St. Martin also had them as antagonists.

 

That does appear to be the extent of it.


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#15
DukeLeto69

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It counts in the sense that they're a good non-stereotypical Khornate force but it's not like there's any books that really delve into them or with prominent Blood Pact characters. Maybe a little with the defector dude but there's nothing there on the order of what we see with the WE.


Obviously not as the protagonists of the story but we got loads of insight to the Sons of Sek in Anarch. They’re still Khornate right?

#16
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Having more books set on chaos 'worlds', like Traitor General, but not in a warstate, but rather 'domestic' or 'away from the war' 40k would be excellent - perhaps better matching some of the work being done for AoS?


I know it is old cannon but didn’t Ian Watson’s Jaq Draco books have substantial elements on a chaos world?

Also one of the Uriel Ventris books by McNeill.

#17
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It counts in the sense that they're a good non-stereotypical Khornate force but it's not like there's any books that really delve into them or with prominent Blood Pact characters. Maybe a little with the defector dude but there's nothing there on the order of what we see with the WE.

Obviously not as the protagonists of the story but we got loads of insight to the Sons of Sek in Anarch. They’re still Khornate right?

I thought they were Tzeetchian 😂
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#18
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The city in Draco was oh so memorably Slaaneshi, the buildings were literally copulating.

 

I believe the forces under Gaur in Gaunt’s Ghosts are most commonly Khornate, but there’s examples of the other alignments throughout. Sek is ambiguous, there’s suggestions of both Khorne and Tzeentch in Anarch. For someone with the apparent physique of an old fat guy, he certainly fights like someone blessed by Khorne, but I think he’s a powerful sorcerer as well.

The Son of Sek with the most screen time in Anarch seems to generally follow Chaos Undivided.

 

I agree Khorne needs a deeper dive in 40k, be it for World Eaters or otherwise. It's an easy alignment to reduce to ANGEREY, but the lack of work done with it makes it an easy springboard for an author with talent.

 

Semi-related, Khârn, Lucius, and Ahriman all have at least one book to their name now. Typhus needs some love.


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#19
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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.
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#20
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We need a good book series to delve into the finer points of Khorne worship. We already have brilliant titles such as The Lords of Silence and almost/completed series like Fabius Bile and Ahriman, that all dig into their patron god's complexities and the nature of their followers very nicely. In particular I loved Chris Wraight focusing on things like numerology and slothful acceptance in Nurgle worship from a variety of perspectives. That scene of Vorx waving to a fellow Death Guard legionnaire tending to his crops in the soil of the Plague Planet is brilliantly wholesome and picturesque. Likewise I loved Kasperos Telmar dancing with demonettes and Ahriman's entire journey is dripping in scheming and foiling. Really good stuff all round

 

But Khorne is the pup left out. There have been some solid portrayals of Khorne's legions and followers over the years, but nothing that has really got the neurons firing. The best I can think of was that swordsman villain in the final Grey Knights book by Ben Counter. Has Khorne been Flanderized and isn't easy to dissect nowadays? Has 'from whence the blood flows' stymied any hope of an intellectual Khorne book?

 

I disagree. There are a number of directions I would take Khorne worship in without bulldozing any existing material or perceptions

 

What would you focus on - and more importantly what would you want written and by whom?

Khorne and his followers are relatively boring.

 

Khârn is the only Khorne follower that i am remotely interested in.



#21
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We need a good book series to delve into the finer points of Khorne worship. We already have brilliant titles such as The Lords of Silence and almost/completed series like Fabius Bile and Ahriman, that all dig into their patron god's complexities and the nature of their followers very nicely. In particular I loved Chris Wraight focusing on things like numerology and slothful acceptance in Nurgle worship from a variety of perspectives. That scene of Vorx waving to a fellow Death Guard legionnaire tending to his crops in the soil of the Plague Planet is brilliantly wholesome and picturesque. Likewise I loved Kasperos Telmar dancing with demonettes and Ahriman's entire journey is dripping in scheming and foiling. Really good stuff all round

But Khorne is the pup left out. There have been some solid portrayals of Khorne's legions and followers over the years, but nothing that has really got the neurons firing. The best I can think of was that swordsman villain in the final Grey Knights book by Ben Counter. Has Khorne been Flanderized and isn't easy to dissect nowadays? Has 'from whence the blood flows' stymied any hope of an intellectual Khorne book?

I disagree. There are a number of directions I would take Khorne worship in without bulldozing any existing material or perceptions

What would you focus on - and more importantly what would you want written and by whom?

Khorne and his followers are relatively boring.

Khârn is the only Khorne follower that i am remotely interested in.

The Khornate Daemonkin add more flavor to Chaos Space Marines

I would be interested in Khornate Pirates!
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#22
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I'd be interested in khornate administrators, in khornate economies, khornate relationships, khornate artists, etc.. There are khornate worlds, in and out of the Eye and they have to function in a way that means they can sustain themselves - there are interesting real world parallels, which could serve as good research for an author exploring the sociology of living in regimes and cultures antithetical to our own cultures, but in which day to day normality *has* to occur (taxes, roads, environmental health, farms, policy, etc.).

It's that wonderful sucking whirlpool daemon from Traitor General; how do khornate societies genuinely function? Which is a lot of worldbuilding, but one which I think should be being done by studio and BL.

Some might say that's really boring, but the actual subsumption or contribution as a rational human to a diabolic culture is fascinating and the source of good art and good journalism & historiography. And with examples from recent like ISIS to the past century's cold war proxy dictatorship, facism and Soviet culture, to older lessons of various empires, cultures and systems, I think there's a lot of material GW/BL could be adapting (and then adding in whirlpool water-stealing daemons to)?

Edited by Petitioner's City, 31 May 2020 - 02:38 PM.

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#23
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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 rolleyesclean.gif

 

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.


#24
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I believe the difficulty is that the other God's worships wish to persist. Taken to its ultimate form of expression, Khornate worship seeks obliteration of everything, including the self.

 

Its harder to express those layers, and nuance, when that is the final end point (imo of course) of Khorne.

 

EDIT: I also want to be extremely open that my own views on life completely and irrevocably colour how I view Khorne, so I could easily be reading into things that which others perhaps dont see, or are wrong. I just want to make that clear, as its a topic that is a bit heavier than the other Gods, to me. Suicidal ideation (Passive or Active) is central to how I look at Khorne.


Edited by Scribe, 31 May 2020 - 10:12 PM.

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DISOBEY


#25
Lord_Caerolion

Lord_Caerolion

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While true, it doesn't meant that every Khornate is at that stage of devotion. 


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


You're hired.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Khorne, World Eaters, XII Legion, Wish

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