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Question About Russ's Involvement in the Burning of Prospero


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#1
NemesorSobekta

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I've heard that the emprah wanted his costodes to go to prospero and arrest magnus, take him back to terra and have him stand trial for his actions,

The space wolves got involved, forced theuir way in and basically pressured the custodes to let them attack prospero and try to kill magnus.

Any ksons loremasters want to fill me in on this?



#2
Kite Senet

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I believe this is inaccurate; as I understand, it was Horus, at that time still trusted by the Emperor, who modified the order from "arrest" to "annihilate."


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Brother Tyler

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The OP's description is, based on a reading of The Horus Heresy Book Seven: Inferno, wholly inaccurate. Based on that book, Russ and his Legion were charged with bringing Magnus the Red in for censure. They didn't force their way into the affair. However, the disdain (some might call it hatred) that Russ felt for Magnus was well known, even to the Emperor, and his selection for the mission might be construed as tacit approval for the mission to result in Magnus's execution if capture seemed impossible/unlikely. The attack on Prospero, the death of so many of his Legion and his world's inhabitants, and the destruction of so much that was dear to him prompted Magnus to retaliate with all of his power. In this, it might be said that Russ was forced into the execution goal since Magnus made it clear that he wouldn't be taken willingly. Regardless, we'll never truly know for certain since Magnus escaped Russ's intended deathblow, preventing Russ from achieving either outcome.

I haven't read The Burning of Prospero, so someone else will have to weigh in on whether or not the OP is consistent with the lore in that book.

Note that I've moved this to the Age of Darkness forum. Posing the question in any specific faction's forum is sure to get an answer that is skewed towards the views of adherents of that faction, whereas the event itself took place during the Horus Heresy and the larger audience is very knowledgeable.

Note that I've also changed the title to something that will give people an indication of what this discussion is about. "Lore Question" is, to say the least, extremely vague.
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#4
NemesorSobekta

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Wasn't the custodes the force assigned to the arrest of magnus originally?

#5
Commander Dawnstar

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I believe this is inaccurate; as I understand, it was Horus, at that time still trusted by the Emperor, who modified the order from "arrest" to "annihilate."

 

I was just reading something earlier on the 40klore subreddit where this was brought up among other common misconceptions. I haven't read the books in question myself, but that comment included a link to this thread where someone expounds on the point. Horus certainly aimed to poison Russ against Magnus, but he did so by playing to his temper rather than by changing his orders.


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#6
Noserenda

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Pretty sure in the original art book Horus specifically altered the orders but thats been superseded/clarified left and right for years :D  Still, some people will be working off that.

Russ was always the one in charge of the mission itself though, the Custodes (And i think more importantly, Sisters of Silence here) here sent to assist and add some direct Imperial authority, given the Talons incorruptible nature and well known lack of taking orders from anyone but the Emperor himself.

Given the typically unreliable narrators of most books though i suspect we will never know for certain unless we get a flashback scene in a BL novel, which seems unlikely at this point.


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#7
MARK0SIAN

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There’s also the fact that Russ himself states that the wolves are the Emperor’s executioners and strongly hints that they’ve been sent on missions of censure before. I think that also makes it pretty certain they were given the mission deliberately rather than forcing their way into the affair.

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#8
Brother Tyler

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Pretty sure in the original art book Horus specifically altered the orders but thats been superseded/clarified left and right for years biggrin.png  Still, some people will be working off that.

Russ was always the one in charge of the mission itself though, the Custodes (And i think more importantly, Sisters of Silence here) here sent to assist and add some direct Imperial authority, given the Talons incorruptible nature and well known lack of taking orders from anyone but the Emperor himself.


I just consulted my copy of the first printing/edition of The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions and it doesn't say anything to the effect of Russ altering the orders. It describes the force being sent to capture Magnus (first section) and then, during the attack on Prospero, Russ mentioning killing Magnus in a discussion with Valdor. No argument or protest is made by Valdor, as if killing Magnus is within the remit of Russ's orders. There is a disconnect between the first part mentioning capturing Magnus and the second part mentioning killing him, but the reason for that shift isn't given. Some might draw the conclusion that Russ changed/altered/violated his original orders, but it's just as easy to conclude that killing Magnus was always an extreme sanction that was part of the original orders. That's consistent with the more recent (retconned) lore in the black books (and presumably the Black Library novels since no one has indicated otherwise).


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#9
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Edit - the Original Post asked for references from the Horus Heresy novels, so that's what I provided.  Really useful to have the verbatims!  However, as I later explained, those are usually just people's accounts of what happened.  This recounting is so typical in the novels that I think it's deliberate, to give some loose ends (for possible future books to expand on).  I provide these exactly as what they are: references.

 

Fratres.  Brother Sobekta asked a great question, even the right question.  I have studied long & hard today to keep this as short & sweet as possible.  There are at least THREE Horus Heresy novels (possibly more), to form the most complete answer that we can get right now.  I will try to assemble it as best I can, but my brain is full of heresy from re-reading them today:

 

  • Horus Heresy Novel II: False Gods
  • Horus Heresy Novel XII: A Thousand Sons
  • Horus Heresy Novel XV: Prospero Burns

 

The last of which is the one you're thinking about, it's totally okay if you misremembered its name, because...

 

 

+++ Disclaimer or "there are no wolves on Fenris" +++

 

 

"There are no wolves on Fenris" is a running gag in Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett.  Of course there are wolves on Fenris, but the point is we're not supposed to take things too literally, even especially in the novels, as he later writes:

 

 

History only recorded broad strokes and general phases of development, and almost arbitrary dates to human accomplishments that had been made in far less definitive installments.

 

It turns out everything everyone said here was right, but it's nice to have evidence from the novels to confirm.  That's what I bring to you.

 

One of the things I looked for in the Horus Heresy novels were the actual quotes, commands, orders for the events that shaped Warhammer 40,000.  Specific to this topic, whom did the Emperor (beloved by all) command when Magnus breached the Webway Project, the Space Wolves or the Custodes?  What was his command, to arrest or annihilate?

 

I have not found those direct quotes, but I may not have to.  What's important isn't the letter of the lore, but the spirit of the lore.  After all, there are no wolves on Fenris.

 

 

+++ In False Gods +++

 

 

Many have read, or heard from others, on how Warmaster Horus, corrupted by Chaos, twisted the Emperor's orders to Leman Russ from bringing Magnus to trial to outright execution.  Here are the words we have from Horus himself, speaking to his equerry/right-hand man, Maloghurst the Twisted:

 

 

"But what of Magnus?" asked Maloghurst urgently.  "What happens when Leman Russ returns him to Terra?"

 

Horus smiled.  "Calm yourself, Mal.  I have already contacted my brother Russ and illuminated him with the full breadth of Magnus's treacherous use of daemonic spells and conjuration.  He was...suitably angry, and I believe I have convinced him that to return Magnus to Terra was a waste of time and effort."

 

Maloghurst returned Horus's smile, "Magnus will never leave Prospero alive."

 

"No," agreed Horus.  "He will not."

 

We don't hear the conversation between Horus and Russ.  Horus merely recounts it.  This is typical of the Horus Heresy novels, where things happen off-screen.

 

Before this, while Horus was being corrupted by Chaos, Magnus actually uses his psychic sorcery to appear to him in his visions/dreams/the Warp to convince the Warmaster to remain loyal to the Emperor.  Horus even acknowledged Magnus at his brother at that point.  Now that Horus has turned traitor, Magnus is no longer his brother, but a witness to his treason.

 

Maloghurst thinks the Emperor sent Russ to arrest Magnus, but it doesn't mean he's right.  He isn't stupid, in fact, Horus depends on him for his cunning, because his mind is so twisted  (hence his nickname) that he thinks of all possible outcomes.  To Maloghurst, the worst case scenario is if the Emperor brings Magnus in for interrogation and he reveals Horus's heresy, because they're relying on the element of surprise.

 

Horus is a master manipulator.  He's very much the type of king who would ask, "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" instead of ordering a direct assassination.  Horus believes Leman Russ was convinced to kill Magnus after he contacted him.  I believe Horus is right in that regard...but how much convincing did Leman Russ need?  I agree, not much, but it may not be for the reason you may think.

 

Interestingly, this is the only time anyone said anything about Russ bringing Magnus back to Terra, to presumably stand trial.  It presumes the trial hasn't happened yet.

 

 

+++ In A Thousand Sons +++

 

 

I think people think Russ and Magnus hated each other because of the classic trope of Swords & Sorcery fantasy genre; those with swords, like barbarians, hate those with sorcery, like sorcerers.  Neither of these characters are that straight-forward; in fact, they've worked side-by-side, and Russ usually plays up that preconception people have of him being barbaric to his advantage/amusement.

 

There is indeed a clash in their personality, and imho a single quote from this novel sums up both their characters perfectly:

 

 

"Not everything needs an explanation, Magnus," said Russ.  "Some things just are.  Now gather your warriors, it's time to finish this."

 

In other words, Magnus's nature is ask, "Why?" whereas Russ's nature is to ask nothing at all.  This is the wisdom of the wolf, to accept things as they are.

 

The most important part of this book is the Council of Nikaea.  It was supposed to be a conference about the use of psychic powers in the Legions by Space Marine Librarians.  However, more importantly to this topic, it's also known by another name: the Trial of Magnus.  After different Legionnaires and Primarchs (including Magnus) made their case, the Emperor made the following ruling:

 

 

"Henceforth, it is my will that no Legion will maintain a Librarius department.  All its warriors and instructors must be returned to the battle companies and never again employ any psychic powers.  Woe betide he who ignores my warnings or breaks faith with me.  He shall be my enemy, and I will visit such destruction upon him and all his followers that, until the end of all things, he shall rue the day he turned from my light."

 

I believe the above quote, straight from the Emperor himself, to be the best answer to this topic's question, and it is complete in and of itself.  Did the he want Magnus to stand trial?  Yes, he did.  Did Russ have to bring Magnus back to Terra for that to happen?  No, he did not.

 

Consider the Emperor, beloved by all, the Master of Mankind who plans for millennia and has the power of prophecy.  Magnus's trial happened BEFORE his crime.

 

This isn't some time travelling Minority Report plot twist.  His foresight isn't perfect, like he did not predict the Horus Heresy happening at the time it did according to Malcador (he expected it to happen later).  Rather, the Emperor already issued an order, if X happens, we do Y.  It is not a police action; it is policy.  It is not a prediction; it was a promise.  Magnus, to his credit, accepts his judgment.

 

It sounds strange, but this is the closest I...a mere mortal...could get to how the Emperor thinks.  He already told you what he wants, then he has to follow through.

 

(I also did read Fury of Magnus, where the Emperor offered him a chance at redemption, that he obviously turned down.  It's complicated so I won't go into that here.)

 

Later, when Magnus did breakthrough the Webway, the Custodes bore witness (alongside a lot of people working on the Project).  This is how it described them:

 

 

No sooner had the first alarm sounded than the Emperor's Custodes were at arms, but nothing in their training could have prepared them for what came next.

 

Perhaps this is why you may have heard the Custodes wanted to capture Magnus, but I don't know.  However, if they weren't ready to defend against Magnus even though they're the specialists in the Imperial Palace's defense (no offense to them, the Webway was a mystery even to the Emperor himself), I don't think they were equipped to assault him on his own turf.  For that, you needed different specialists...

 

 

+++ Back to Prospero Burns +++

 

 

Aside from there being no wolves on Fenris, this novel constantly refers to wyrd, or fate.  It was a Space Wolf Runepriest that explains the Emperor's wyrd for Russ:

 

 

"When the Allfather sired His pups," said the priest, "He gave each one of them a different wyrd.  Each one has a different life to make.  One to be heir to the Emperor's throne.  One to fortify the defenses of the Imperium.  One to guard the hearth.  One to watch the distant perimeter.  One to command the armies.  One to control the intelligences.  You see, skald?  You see how simple it is?"

 

Hawser tried to make his nodded reply obvious through the vibrations shaking him.  "So what is the Wolf King's wyrd, Heoroth Longfang?" he asked.  "What life did the Allfather choose for him?"

 

"Executioner," replied the old Wolf.

 

The above is the famous quote.  It's not technically from Russ himself, but one of his Marines, and you can see they share a mentality, they accept things just are.

 

This novel does not show the Emperor giving an order to Russ, or the Custodes.  I don't think I can prove either way if Russ lobbied for the task of purging Prospero.

 

However, I believe the Emperor could have prevented him from going if that's not what he wanted.  Previously, he'd sent Roboute Guilliman to humiliate Lorgar.  Later, the Lion Johnson would check on Guilliman on Ultramar edit - and his Unremembered Empire of his own volition.  Thus, the Emperor could have told Russ to stop, or sent another Primarch to stop him, or simply sent another Primarch to Prospero instead.  None of those things happened, the most likely reason being, the Emperor wanted Russ to go to Prospero.  As to what the Emperor expected of Russ when he got there, it would have been according to his design, what the Wolves of Fenris called their wyrd.

 

By sending or simply allowing Russ to go to Prospero, was itself a message imho.  The Emperor was saying, "Your Executioner is coming."

 

Edit - I need to mention, Russ seemed to plead for Magnus to surrender.  Repeatedly, he said, "Please, Magnus."  However, the Emperor sending Russ in particular to Prospero, is in itself an act of provocation.  The Emperor could trust someone like, say, Roboute Guilliman to discipline another Primarch, like he did with Lorgar.  That's not what you would send Russ for.  You send Russ into a violent situation, or to turn a situation violent, imho.

 

 

+++ Concluding with all these pieces together +++

 

 

History, especially in the Horus Heresy, is painted with broad strokes.  The general idea is that the Emperor is good, Horus is evil, therefore they are always of opposite minds.  If Russ went to Prospero at either the Emperor's command or at least his permission, then it must have been for a good cause like to arrest Magnus.  Horus, being evil, must have tricked Russ somehow.  That's what we intuit.

 

Edit - I've edited retroactively the below to better summarise, but after all this, I remain pretty open to what really happened.

 

Following the trail of bread crumbs as laid out in the Black Library novels, this is what those books suggested:

 

  • Horus told his equerry that he convinced Russ to kill Magnus, but I'm not sure he needed much convincing
  • The Emperor had already established an order at the Council of Nikaea, "...I will visit such destruction on him..."
  • The act of sending or allowing Russ to go to Prospero was itself an execution order...because Russ will Russ

 

Thanks for reading, and the question.  Beyond just Russ and Magnus, this exercise tells a lot about the Emperor's broader views on his Space Marines, thus it's relevant to all the Legions.  It's not a criticism of the Astartes as much as it is a critique of...the Emperor?  And don't worry if we disagree, because after all this reading, I'm only certain of one thing: there are no wolves on Fenris.


Edited by N1SB, 23 December 2021 - 11:50 AM.

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#10
MARK0SIAN

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I think it’s possibly a case that the best case scenario for the Emperor was that Russ did bring Magnus back to Terra. The fact that the Emperor offers Magnus an opportunity for redemption in wrath of Magnus would suggest the Emperor still hoped Magnus could be put to better use rather than just killed outright. This would suggest that the original order may well have been to arrest him.

However, the Emperor would also know that there was the chance Magnus would not submit, he’s not naive and so would be aware that Russ may have to kill Magnus instead and seems to have made his piece with that. Russ talking about killing Magnus suggests he thinks that’s a possibility or even the most likely outcome but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s predetermined.

In terms of the books, it might (and I stress might) be that when False Gods was written/planned the Horus Heresy book series was originally meant to be significantly smaller. It’s likely they weren’t planning to devote the amount of time they did to explaining what happened on Prospero. It’s possible Horus’s conversation on the matter was used as a way to explain it that they didn’t feel wedded to when they wrote the later books.

Either way, I think it’s one of those elements of the heresy that works well because it’s not fully explicit :)
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#11
Indefragable

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I love the passion, especially @N1SB’s academic take, but p16 of Book 7 Inferno says it all. I would post a photo, but I don’t think that’s allowed.


Edited by Indefragable, 19 December 2021 - 02:33 AM.

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Call me Indy. It's less syllables.

 

 

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#12
Runefyre

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I love the passion, especially @N1SB’s academic take, but p17 of Book 7 Inferno says it all. I would post a photo, but I don’t think that’s allowed.

This^

 

Though in my copy it's page 16, fwiw.

 

I won't post the whole thing, but this is the final paragraph of the official letter of sanction handed down from the Emperor:

 

"To this end is Leman Russ, Primarch of the VI legiones Astartes, so charged upon the deliverance of his brother, by any and all means he may find needful, without limit in law, sanction or imposition of attainder, unto the limitless void and the last day. So it is written, so it shall be."


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He is the Lord of Winter and War

He is the Executioner, and the most Loyal Son

He is the Fury and Savagery of the Storm

He is the Vengeance of a Galaxy Wronged

He is the Father of Heros, He Has Come

 


#13
N1SB

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"To this end is Leman Russ, Primarch of the VI legiones Astartes, so charged upon the deliverance of his brother, by any and all means he may find needful, without limit in law, sanction or imposition of attainder, unto the limitless void and the last day. So it is written, so it shall be."

 

 

Oh duuudes, that's right!  Thanks for filling us in.  My friend's the one with the Forgeworld Black Books, so I don't have them on hand, but I do remember this.

 

Then I think the pieces from the novels I put together represents the build-up to that.  It's like we could see the leaks before the whole dam burst.

 

I remember 1 very interesting tie-in between Book VII: Inferno and the novel A Thousand Sons, that the XIIIth Company of the Space Wolves were on Prospero.  In the Black Book it's on the little roster of involved companies.  In case anyone was wondering, but in the novel A Thousand Sons, they were already full Wulfen, like total werewolf mode.  The Thousand Sons, who were afraid of their own Legion being mutated were looking at them in shock, then saying, "Oh, we're the monsters?  What about them!?"



#14
Noserenda

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It is worth bearing in mind that the Black books are a primary source set sometime after the heresy, and the suspected author was not involved in this operation. Not the word of god ;) 


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#15
Brother Tyler

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Page 16 is the actual writ of authorization with the seals of all involved parties as set at the time of the event. It is, in effect, Russ's warrant from the Emperor to bring Magnus in. It's not something that was created "after the fact," but is a primary source. In that, it trumps any unreliable narrator (black book narrative, Black Library fiction, etc.) or interpretation after the fact.


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#16
lansalt

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Facts:

  1. Is a key plot point that the Emperor needed Magnus alive back in Terra to take his place on the Golden Throne. His order in Inferno doesn't say to kill him, and later at the Siege he tried to convince Magnus to come back to the loyalist side, as seen in Fury of Magnus.
  2. Russ didn't know about this.
  3. Horus made think Russ that the Emperor actually wanted Magnus dead AKA "Horus changed the orders". This is stated in several sources in 30k and 40k, both Inferno and BL stories.
  4. Russ was already fully convinced that Magnus was no good after the meddling of Hawser, a unknowingly Tzeench mole all the time, and key in the censure at Nikaea. He also though that Magnus heard anything told to Hawser, and took his lack of response as defiance (yes, Russ was not very smart).
  5. Valdor didn't stop Russ.

The real question is: How is possible that Valdor didn't know about point 1, and made Russ not kill Magnus? Russ may have been a foolish hothead, but the Emperor not telling Valdor about the key importance of bringing Magnus back alive seems like a plot hole to me.


"Infinite power cannot be overcome. We are finite, limited by law. So, deception. You will cheat them. You will cheat all of them. And us."
 


#17
N1SB

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Having meditated on the Zen koan of the non-existence of wolves on Fenris, I have refined my thinking.  It may help with this very pertinent question:

 

 

The real question is: How is possible that Valdor didn't know about point 1, and made Russ not kill Magnus? Russ may have been a foolish hothead, but the Emperor not telling Valdor about the key importance of bringing Magnus back alive seems like a plot hole to me.

 

What if Valdor did know, and actually had his own secret orders to make Russ not kill Magnus?  He just didn't get a chance to act on them.

 

The reason: Magnus is nigh impossible to kill, just as hard to even capture, so extreme measures are needed, and things didn't go to plan.

 

Magnus, even beyond the sheer toughness of being a Primarch, can do crazy stuff with his sorcery, making him hard to kill or capture.  The Emperor knows he could shed his mortal shell to swim the Great Ocean of the Warp...in fact he kinda taught him to.  In fact, that's what happens at the ending of Prospero.

 

Russ, at his most hot-headed, might be the exact extreme measures needed.  The animosity between the 2 Primarchs meant Magnus might actually fight Russ in person instead of immediately whisking himself away.  For Russ to win that fight on Magnus's own turf, you want him to hold back nothing, go for the kill.

 

What if Valdor knew all this and was, at the Emperor's order unknown to even Russ, to prevent him from delivering the final deathblow, but only when Magnus was down and truly out?  Valdor needed Russ at his fullest, so he didn't try to hold him initially, but would have jumped in at the last moment and talk him down (they had quite a good relationship, after all).  Then, with Magnus at his mercy, he might've gotten him to surrender.

 

It didn't work out, but things don't always go according to plan, rather than a plot hole?  It was a very chaotic situation on Prospero, after all.  But Valdor being on the Prospero mission in itself was like the Emperor wanted direct oversight, to act as a check on Russ and an extension of the Emperor for Magnus's surrender.

 

I dunno, but I just present this because you make a very good case, so it might not even be a plot hole.  Valdor might be the Emperor's leash on Russ, but he just didn't get a chance to yank on it, due to just the fog of war.  Just riffing, it's a good question.


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#18
lansalt

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I wish that was adressed in some way like you say, because I can't picture Valdor knowing that Magnus is needed to allow the Emperor to get free of the chair, and still allowing Russ to go into a full assault, instead of trying first anything else, like a shuttle with a couple Custodians as messengers for example.


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"Infinite power cannot be overcome. We are finite, limited by law. So, deception. You will cheat them. You will cheat all of them. And us."
 


#19
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Russ is my favourite. I like Alpharius and Dorn too but Russ has always been my favourite.

#20
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I know this is about Magnus but- N1SB, the Lion was acting independently in seeing RG in Ultramar. I don't believe he was ordered there. It was more getting a lay of the land and sorting out RG if he wasn't loyal. DA could have definitely done a similar job that the wolves did on Prospero. RG even was shocked when instead Curze activated the DA drop force on Maccrage, that it would have soundly defeated him. 


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My Iron Warriors Project   Guns for the guns god!, Bullets for the Brass throne!


#21
Jareddm

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My reading of the writ is that while the objective was to bring Magnus back for sanction, Russ was the one in charge of operations and had full authority to adjust on the fly as the situation changed.  Valdor could argue and refuse to assist, but to actively prevent Russ from acting would be to go against the Emperor's order, Russ's intentions aside.

 

I've said on other threads before but if there was one change I wish I could make to the Russ-Magnus story, it would be for Russ to have been present in the Imperial Palace when Magnus arrived.  He wouldn't have had to see it, just feel it.  Feel what it was Magnus was channeling.  That alone would've gone a long way towards, if not justifying Russ's decision, at least making it easier to empathize with his choice.



#22
Xenith

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I think people are taking "changed the orders" too literally. 

 

Horus didn't rip up the Emperors words and write new ones. He did use his power and influence to change the actions of Leman Russ.

 

Bear in mind that Russ was supposedly the most unquestioning of the Primarchs (see N1SB's quote), he would never go against an order from the Emperor of his own accord, not because of a suggestion.

 

Horus carried the weight and authority of the Emperor, and all other Primarchs were instructed to follow Horus as they would follow the Emperor.

 

It doesn't matter whether Horus officially changed the order or not (doing so would creata a paper trail), however a word of authority in Russ's ear would not be ignored. The end result, being that the Emperor's will was not observed, Horus changed the outcome of the Burning. 

 

Also remember that the Emperor needed Magnus alive for the Webway project. Killing Magnus was never in his plans. This is the single most important thing regarding the motivations of the Emperor. Maybe he tried to scare magnus staight with the Edict, but he needed him alive. The censure was worded specifically to keep him alive. 

 

Also remember that we have to give Russ some credit. He wasn't a total idiot that would be manipulated into killing Magnus in a rage, no matter wat Horus thinks. Remember the night of the wolf or whatever it was called? Russ loved, loved to teach his brothers lessons. He'd want to take magnus back for a reckoning. He's also more in control than he lets on. Remember that the entire berzerker thing is an act ("it takes a lot of control to be this dangerous") and that Russ is in absolute control of his actions at all times. 

 

In short:

 

  • Magnus breaks the nikeea edict
  • Emperor sends Russ to capture Magnus and bring him before the Emperor to answer for his crimes (then presumably be forced into the golden throne for all time)
  • Horus manipulates russ (unaware of the webway project and the necessity of Magnus) into killing Magnus, likely through a direct (albeit unofficial) order/reccomendation
  • Russ burns Prospero. 

In my head it would be along the lines of: "Leman, the Emperor is busy with his great works, and I have seen the depth of Magnus's treachery. As I am a vessel of Father's will, and I know his mind and plan, there's no point bothering Father with this issue, as the end result will be the same. We should let him work and deal with this ourselves: kill Magnus".


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Xenos XX\


#23
Karhedron

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Also remember that the Emperor needed Magnus alive for the Webway project. Killing Magnus was never in his plans. This is the single most important thing regarding the motivations of the Emperor. Maybe he tried to scare magnus staight with the Edict, but he needed him alive. The censure was worded specifically to keep him alive.


Can anyone remember when the part about the Big E needing/wanting Magnus to sit on the Golden Throne was added to the lore? It is clear by "Last Son of Prospero" that this is the intention but I don't think that was always part of the lore. Basically, at the time the FW books and the early HH novels were written, I don't think the writers had decided that the Emperor wanted Magnus "alive at all costs". The original lore suggests it was "alive if possible, dead if necessary".
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Sanguinius stood up, stretching his wings to their full extent. He flexed his hands. "I need no blade".
It was as though Sanguinius gleamed with pale light, his face white, eyes becoming blood-red, surrounded by the golden crown of flowing hair. Guilliman had witnessed glimpses of of his brother's wrath before, but had never seen the true Blood Angel unleashed. Sanguinius surged forward on alabaster wings, half a meter from the floor, whiteness streaming from him like flames.

#24
Xenith

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Also remember that the Emperor needed Magnus alive for the Webway project. Killing Magnus was never in his plans. This is the single most important thing regarding the motivations of the Emperor. Maybe he tried to scare magnus staight with the Edict, but he needed him alive. The censure was worded specifically to keep him alive.


Can anyone remember when the part about the Big E needing/wanting Magnus to sit on the Golden Throne was added to the lore? It is clear by "Last Son of Prospero" that this is the intention but I don't think that was always part of the lore. Basically, at the time the FW books and the early HH novels were written, I don't think the writers had decided that the Emperor wanted Magnus "alive at all costs". The original lore suggests it was "alive if possible, dead if necessary".

 

 

Well, going by old (old) lore, we have a clear cut answer that Big E wanted him brought back alive, then Horus changed the order.

 

From ~2005 The HH series muddies the waters, then goes on to suggest that Magnus's role was to power the throne. Again, I don't think they out an out say it, but heavily inferred, much like Russ's status as 'the Executioner'. Again, this was cemented in the last son of prospero, where Malcador hopes that the shard of magnus (Janus) will be sufficient to power the throne, so Malcador doesn't have to when the Emperor leaves it. That Magnus could have sat on the throne is known by Malcador, which suggests it was part of the larger plan. 


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Xenos XX\


#25
Indefragable

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Page 16 is the actual writ of authorization with the seals of all involved parties as set at the time of the event. It is, in effect, Russ's warrant from the Emperor to bring Magnus in. It's not something that was created "after the fact," but is a primary source. In that, it trumps any unreliable narrator (black book narrative, Black Library fiction, etc.) or interpretation after the fact.

 

^This. 

Again, one glance at p16 in Book 7 makes it abundantly clear that it is an official FW product showing an in-setting official written document of the order. About as ironclad as you can get, and you can even tell they did it that way on purpose. 

I know it's annoying to keep talking about p16 without showing it, but no one is going to share an image of it to prevent this site from getting shut down...so go find a copy somewhere and take a look. 

 

We can argue about motives or (mis)interpretations or what song Russ had on loop while flying to Prospero, but the facts of the case that are indisputed are that 

1. The Emperor sent Leman Russ to take into custody Magnus and bring him in custody back to Terra

2. That censure included any and all means necessary as Russ saw fit including killing Magnus if Russ as supreme commander of the operation felt that was necessary.

Basically, a classic Western WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE bounty. 

I think people are taking "changed the orders" too literally. 

 

Horus didn't rip up the Emperors words and write new ones. He did use his power and influence to change the actions of Leman Russ.

 

Bear in mind that Russ was supposedly the most unquestioning of the Primarchs (see N1SB's quote), he would never go against an order from the Emperor of his own accord, not because of a suggestion.

 

Horus carried the weight and authority of the Emperor, and all other Primarchs were instructed to follow Horus as they would follow the Emperor.

 

It doesn't matter whether Horus officially changed the order or not (doing so would creata a paper trail), however a word of authority in Russ's ear would not be ignored. The end result, being that the Emperor's will was not observed, Horus changed the outcome of the Burning. 

 

Also remember that the Emperor needed Magnus alive for the Webway project. Killing Magnus was never in his plans. This is the single most important thing regarding the motivations of the Emperor. Maybe he tried to scare magnus staight with the Edict, but he needed him alive. The censure was worded specifically to keep him alive. 

 

Also remember that we have to give Russ some credit. He wasn't a total idiot that would be manipulated into killing Magnus in a rage, no matter wat Horus thinks. Remember the night of the wolf or whatever it was called? Russ loved, loved to teach his brothers lessons. He'd want to take magnus back for a reckoning. He's also more in control than he lets on. Remember that the entire berzerker thing is an act ("it takes a lot of control to be this dangerous") and that Russ is in absolute control of his actions at all times. 

 

In short:

 

  • Magnus breaks the nikeea edict
  • Emperor sends Russ to capture Magnus and bring him before the Emperor to answer for his crimes (then presumably be forced into the golden throne for all time)
  • Horus manipulates russ (unaware of the webway project and the necessity of Magnus) into killing Magnus, likely through a direct (albeit unofficial) order/reccomendation
  • Russ burns Prospero. 

In my head it would be along the lines of: "Leman, the Emperor is busy with his great works, and I have seen the depth of Magnus's treachery. As I am a vessel of Father's will, and I know his mind and plan, there's no point bothering Father with this issue, as the end result will be the same. We should let him work and deal with this ourselves: kill Magnus".

 

To me it's a simple case of Horus contacting Russ and saying "update to your orders, bro, Magnus is not responding and in fact is doing something nefarious. ​It seems clear he is up to something and unlikely to come quietly.

Horus was a charismatic fella who was trusted by all of his brothers even if they disliked or were competitive with him. Horus would know just what buttons to push or what inferences to make. In this case, the most logical answer is to lead Russ into thinking that the options at his disposal had become quite limited. 

"Ya know bro, when you're all hopped up on that warp magic stuff you aren't in control of yourself and can't listen to commands, even from a close friend. It's sad, but it really messes with you. Like a rabid dog...the best thing for all is to just put 'em out of their misery quickly. If you get to Prospero and Magnus is going all psyker and stuff, I'd hate to have to make that call..."


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Call me Indy. It's less syllables.

 

 

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