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Titandeath Facepalm

Titandeath Horus Heresy

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#26
Morovir

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The problem is that pretty much from the very beginning, the two main facets of Typhus' background have been incompatible - that he was a Librarian in the Dusk Raiders, and that he had Overlord blood in him. This is compounded by the fact that whenever an author decides to reference Typhus' background, they choose one of these facets to focus on at the expense of the other - James Swallow focuses on his heritage from Barbarus, whereas Gav Thorpe and Chris Wraight chose to focus on his history as a Librarian in the Dusk Raiders. Since both of these backgrounds are still referred to, but with no real attempts to reconcile the conflicts that they bring, we basically have no idea what is actually the case.


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#27
DarkChaplain

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That's why I wish Haley had gotten to write the Mortarion Primarchs novel instead of Swallow wasting the Barbarus stuff in The Buried Dagger and ruining whatever potential Typhon had as a character. He's shown before that he can reconcile disparate pieces of character development and fluff into a new amalgamation that works.

 

Swallow just didn't do anything meaningful with Mortarion or Typhus in The Buried Dagger, all while ignoring years of buildup and mistrust. That's not the mark of a particularly invested author...

 

 

I'm still cross about that, because Alan Bligh's alien necromancers, "thrice the height of a man" and who could never die unless by great violence, just felt a lot cooler to me.

 

That from the Black Books? Because if so, it's easily reconciled with the Overlords being somewhat abhuman, nurgle-tainted abominations. Keep in mind that the Black Books are supposedly in-universe accounts, and let's just say it sounds a lot better for Mortarion to lose against his adoptive father when he's pretty much unkillable, gigantic and alien, rather than one dude of a fallen human civilization that turned towards a particular god that doesn't officially exist in your Imperium.


Edited by DarkChaplain, 06 July 2020 - 11:14 AM.

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#28
Rob P

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So ...

 

(1) Overlords are xenos and Typhus is a half-breed

(2) Overlords are not xenos and Typhus is a half-breed

(3) Overlords are not one race and Typhus is a half-breed

(4) Typhus is not a half-breed but he thinks he is - particularly with him being, uniquely, a psyker, and what he thinks he knows of his background

(5) Typhus is Terran


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#29
bluntblade

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That's why I wish Haley had gotten to write the Mortarion Primarchs novel instead of Swallow wasting the Barbarus stuff in The Buried Dagger and ruining whatever potential Typhon had as a character. He's shown before that he can reconcile disparate pieces of character development and fluff into a new amalgamation that works.

Swallow just didn't do anything meaningful with Mortarion or Typhus in The Buried Dagger, all while ignoring years of buildup and mistrust. That's not the mark of a particularly invested author...


I'm still cross about that, because Alan Bligh's alien necromancers, "thrice the height of a man" and who could never die unless by great violence, just felt a lot cooler to me.


That from the Black Books? Because if so, it's easily reconciled with the Overlords being somewhat abhuman, nurgle-tainted abominations. Keep in mind that the Black Books are supposedly in-universe accounts, and let's just say it sounds a lot better for Mortarion to lose against his adoptive father when he's pretty much unkillable, gigantic and alien, rather than one dude of a fallen human civilization that turned towards a particular god that doesn't officially exist in your Imperium.

Yes, but I also just found the idea cooler and I think the Crusade needed plenty of solid examples of proper vile xenos to fight.

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#30
Indefragable

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You really think so?

 

Dunno, maybe it's been too long since I've read the really good ones in the series (Prospero Burns and, surprisingly, Know No Fear - man, my process with that one was "Meh, Ultrasmu....hold on, this is good!")

 

I've finished The Buried Dagger. I would have rated it better than Titandeath, though it didn't really have it's "strong moment" like the previous one.

Morty's youth was, well, something, I guess, but nothing shocking.

 

I'd say the worst flaws of it was;

 

A- How can't a primarch tell he's being duped, and why is he content to go along with it for so long after finding out?

 

B- The end reveals nothing new; They travel in the warp, they get infected, Morty sees Nurgle, and his reaction to the whole affair is; "Ok."

 

I hoped the acceptance of Nurgle would be more conflicting, and only done bitterly, after much horror (we've got one description on the first victim and a few passing mentions of others being sick, with the primarch being mostly unaffected); There's no despair, there's no dilemma over saving his sons, just a "Why not, I've planned nothing better for this Wednesday."

 

Bonus:

 

Scrounging a giant hand-held schyte from a harvesting machine.

 

Second bonus:

 

Typhon being gene-seed compatible despite being half dark-eldar. (His background was established before the "scientific" aspects of space marine creation; I thought we'd see some kind of retcon here.) Next thing you know well'be implanting tamed gretchin.

 

Know No Fear is one of the top 3 books in the HH series. And I say that as an avowed Guilliman/UM basher. 

 

 

 

So ...

 

(1) Overlords are xenos and Typhus is a half-breed

(2) Overlords are not xenos and Typhus is a half-breed

(3) Overlords are not one race and Typhus is a half-breed

(4) Typhus is not a half-breed but he thinks he is - particularly with him being, uniquely, a psyker, and what he thinks he knows of his background

(5) Typhus is Terran

 

Woman inherits the earth. 

 

*******************
 

I agree with all the sentiments that the parts on Barbarus would have been better served in their own standalone book. They are the best (and only good?) parts of The Buried Dagger for me. Barbarus is one of the creepiest, most dreadful places in all of 40k (in a great way) and so getting to delve into that a bit was pretty cool. I took the Overlords as Others: terrifying creatures that can at least appear human enough on some level as to make them only that much more terrifying. Personally I got a sorta Voldemort meets Kuato from Total Recall, meets The Thing, meets Shang Tsun from Mortal Kombat vibe. 


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#31
Lord_Caerolion

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I think that's why I actually prefer the Overlords as being at least somewhat human, it shows just how horrific humans can become through unrestrained experimentation and sorcery. 


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#32
Xisor

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'Humans, the worst monsters of them all' works for Barabarus.

 

Whilst I used to favour the idea that they were xenos, I've long since come around on it. If they're human, but 'far gone', that's fine. It doesn't take some fundamental difference to become evil or monstrous. I doubt it's the changes & differences that made them horrible, either.

 

It'll be the choices of the mind and the culture they move within, give or take.

 

---

 

Fortunately, that wasn't especially dealt with in The Buried Dagger. Instead, we had a shaggy dog story about Calas Typhon and his three Grandfathers.


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#33
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The buried dagger suffers from being Swallow, rather than Haley/wraight/ADB.

I thought some bits of know no fear were good but others were terrible. Also, 1 ultramarine appears to be worth 10 word bearers in a stand up fight. Which is a bit silly. They should be better at spontaneous reactive planning... but wildly disproportionate combat abilities? They are all marines...

#34
Lucerne

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The buried dagger suffers from being Swallow, rather than Haley/wraight/ADB.

I thought some bits of know no fear were good but others were terrible. Also, 1 ultramarine appears to be worth 10 word bearers in a stand up fight. Which is a bit silly. They should be better at spontaneous reactive planning... but wildly disproportionate combat abilities? They are all marines...

KNF suffers for turning into an Ultramarines centric action movie.


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#35
MetalMammoth

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The buried dagger suffers from being Swallow, rather than Haley/wraight/ADB.

I thought some bits of know no fear were good but others were terrible. Also, 1 ultramarine appears to be worth 10 word bearers in a stand up fight. Which is a bit silly. They should be better at spontaneous reactive planning... but wildly disproportionate combat abilities? They are all marines...

 

It absolutely would be. But that happens in every book. I think it's a veteran hero vs freshly inducted marine thing. And plot armour.

 

Still, gotta love the baneblade rain or Roboute's space walk.



#36
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The buried dagger suffers from being Swallow, rather than Haley/wraight/ADB.

I thought some bits of know no fear were good but others were terrible. Also, 1 ultramarine appears to be worth 10 word bearers in a stand up fight. Which is a bit silly. They should be better at spontaneous reactive planning... but wildly disproportionate combat abilities? They are all marines...

KNF suffers for turning into an Ultramarines centric action movie.

 

 

I do not wish to derail this thread, but I feel I have to speak up in ​Know No Fear's defense. 

 

Again, to be perfectly clear, I :cuss -ing can't stand the Ultramarines for so many reasons. But I love KNF and think it's one of the top books of the series. 

 

Why?

 

In essence, it cinematically shows us how horrific Calth was; a ground view perspective to the mad scale we fans of the hobby take for granted at times...

 

Hidden Content

 

...and the ability for a small group of dudes to actually somewhat keep their wits about them, which truly is the superhuman element of it all. It's ok for it to be a bit lopsided towards the UM because the moments it depicts are the rare instances during the battle where the UM weren't massacred. It's the exceptions that prove the rule, so to speak. The fact that the UM even exist is testament to the heroic actions it took for them to leave one finger on the cliff edge. 

 

 

***********

In contrast to the above, one of the issues of Titandeath to me was that it did a not-great job of portraying the scale of Beta-Gammon, and so any heroics that happen do not have the same weight as they might otherwise. At least my take on it. 


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#37
bluntblade

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The buried dagger suffers from being Swallow, rather than Haley/wraight/ADB.
I thought some bits of know no fear were good but others were terrible. Also, 1 ultramarine appears to be worth 10 word bearers in a stand up fight. Which is a bit silly. They should be better at spontaneous reactive planning... but wildly disproportionate combat abilities? They are all marines...

 
It absolutely would be. But that happens in every book. I think it's a veteran hero vs freshly inducted marine thing. And plot armour.
 
Still, gotta love the baneblade rain or Roboute's space walk.
Isn't that Ekios Lamiad with a Dreadnought on his side? While it's not specified, I suspect Lamiad is the Ultras' contribution to the twenty or so Great Warriors, the Sigismund-Abaddon-Khârn-Sevatar tier. He's vastly experienced and rocking the finest augmetics this side of an Iron Hands clan-commander, all of which makes him more lethal.

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#38
Xisor

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In contrast to the above, one of the issues of Titandeath to me was that it did a not-great job of portraying the scale of Beta-Gammon, and so any heroics that happen do not have the same weight as they might otherwise. At least my take on it. 

To riposte in favour if Titandeath - that's one of the qualities I liked about it. We've had stupendously monumental battles taking up the entirety of books. (Know No Fear, Galaxy in Flames, Fear to Tread, Ruinstorm, Tallarn - after a fashion.)

 

But what we've not seen, to my tastes, is a whole lot of what that looks like 'from the ground' over a protracted engagement. I'm don't think Titandeath was the KNF-equivalent of that (I think Tallarn was perhaps closer, but also disjoint and multi-viewed).

 

My mind always goes to that scene in Children of Men - it's not like I'd want a whole novel on the topic per-se. But there's something along those lines that I think's crying out for an author to see it and seize and explore it in a very particular and vivid direction.

 

And that's one of the angles I liked Titandeath for - it's actually quite a tame, focused look at an apocalyptic battle. It's still Titan-heavy, but save for Imperator and Titanicus, I'm still not sure anyone's quite mastered Titan stories yet. (And neither of those are really at their core totally stories about the substance and nature of Titans - not in the way that seminal Marine stories capture the vivid mechanics and high-drama of Marine stories. [E.g. Legion of the Damned.])

 

Anyway - that riposte aside, it's a fair defence on KNF's part.

 

It's another one of Dan's stylistic decisions that's boldly divisive, but I think it's one that - like ​Titanicus and Prospero Burns - is one that Dan pretty much nails right on the head.



#39
Lucerne

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The buried dagger suffers from being Swallow, rather than Haley/wraight/ADB.

I thought some bits of know no fear were good but others were terrible. Also, 1 ultramarine appears to be worth 10 word bearers in a stand up fight. Which is a bit silly. They should be better at spontaneous reactive planning... but wildly disproportionate combat abilities? They are all marines...

KNF suffers for turning into an Ultramarines centric action movie.

 

 

I do not wish to derail this thread, but I feel I have to speak up in ​Know No Fear's defense. 

 

Again, to be perfectly clear, I censored.gif -ing can't stand the Ultramarines for so many reasons. But I love KNF and think it's one of the top books of the series. 

 

Why?

 

In essence, it cinematically shows us how horrific Calth was; a ground view perspective to the mad scale we fans of the hobby take for granted at times...

 

Hidden Content

 

...and the ability for a small group of dudes to actually somewhat keep their wits about them, which truly is the superhuman element of it all. It's ok for it to be a bit lopsided towards the UM because the moments it depicts are the rare instances during the battle where the UM weren't massacred. It's the exceptions that prove the rule, so to speak. The fact that the UM even exist is testament to the heroic actions it took for them to leave one finger on the cliff edge. 

 

 

***********

In contrast to the above, one of the issues of Titandeath to me was that it did a not-great job of portraying the scale of Beta-Gammon, and so any heroics that happen do not have the same weight as they might otherwise. At least my take on it. 

 

Don't get me wrong- KNF is very solid and indeed has good elements- including setpiece vignettes that don't inflict narrative consequences.

 

But any sense of urgency or threat evaporates somewhere past the midway mark. The WB are never allowed to have proper wins in any meaningful confrontation, and the "heroes" get excessively focused on by the narration. The action movie comparison was very much chosen with care. The poor Word Bearers end up more sympathetic due to obvious narrative bias than all of the protagonists put together- hapless underdogs who aren't allowed to win.

 

As you say, other media covers things better in terms of Word Bearers actually being a threat and inflicting permanent damage  that the narrative doesn't actively shy away from presenting other than as a vague set of things for the other characters to be miffed about, and it is a very nice action movie in the second half. But it lacks tension, completely and utterly, and breaks the setting to do it at times. I don't care if they're in blue or red, they shouldn't be immune to bolt shells.

 

Vignettes aside, we can't even pretend anyone in blue armour is in danger anymore around the point they steamroll Samus, aren't bothered by Terminators and skip past the Gal Vorbak- and it's not a convincing illusion of competence, it's simple narrative favoritism. Abnett is talented enough to make up for the flaws, but the flaws are still very much present.

 

Kor Phaeron having plot induced success for all of ten seconds was honestly the most uplifting part of the entire finale...because the writing has now made the treacherous backstabbing sorceror into the underdog fighting against the odds to bring down the calculating, seemingly unkillable superhuman creature.

 

This suggests there are problems with the narrative.


Edited by Lucerne, 10 July 2020 - 09:12 PM.

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