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Alpharius


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#176
mc warhammer

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thing is though, this stuff needs to be cleared with the IP gods etc etc so there is at least the intent that some, most or all of it can be taken to be true by the fanbase. while you could argue it's all a lie, the argument that it's all true also has to hold weight or its a totally meaningless work (unless the sum total of the lies reveals some truth about alpharius to the reader).

 

if everything was simply meant to be taken as a lie, you could just go nuts with the writing. no need to get anything approved: "i am alpharius, the lone sister among a fraternity of primarchs".


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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

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#177
b1soul

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The Alpharius entry is essentially an in-universe document by a narrator of questionable reliability. Not that much unlike the Forge World Black Books really...and probably subject to the same level of IP scrutiny, i.e. anything too silly "shall not pass".

It's interesting to note the two versions of the parlay over the Warmaster position in First Legion by Wraight and Alpharius by Brooks (both nicely done). Does this mean Wraight's version is the true one?

First Legion

Spoiler


Alpharius
Spoiler


Edited by b1soul, 22 April 2021 - 05:18 AM.

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#178
Karhedron

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Same story, different versions. And all are true!
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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.

#179
Doghouse

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I think it's quite an interesting idea that plays well into the nature of the Legion as a whole. For me personally where I might see Dorn and his Fists as two entities of leader and subordinates I tend to see the Alpha Legion as an entity as a whole rather than Astartes led by two Primarchs.

 

Again for my personal tastes I do like the idea of their deception but I think that in all likelihood this is intended to be taken as written, that this is a true account of how he came to be. I think it would be quite clever if this was the intention.

 

But I also like the idea that this could be read as an account given by someone that if you took to extremes may not even be Alpharius. As the story is being recounted to no one in particular like I say I personally think it's probably intended to be truthful and does add some interesting twists to how things occurred and his relationship with the Emperor.

 

Spoiler



#180
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Excellent book, but I have doubts about the importance of 'revelations'...

Spoiler


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#181
b1soul

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Horus was

Spoiler

 

I actually think treating Alpharius as the simple truth would run counter to the theme of the Alpha Legion. I think it makes more sense to treat this as truths seeded with many lies or vice versa. 

 

Alpharius says in the book

Spoiler
 

 

I used to say no one does the Alpha Legion justice except Dan Abnett (even John French falls just a tad bit short), but I think Brooks is up there. This right up there with Legion, perhaps even more enjoyable because it actually gets into Alpharius' headspace. 


Edited by b1soul, 22 April 2021 - 11:45 AM.

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#182
DarkChaplain

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Excellent book, but I have doubts about the importance of 'revelations'...

Spoiler

 

Horus getting the short end of the stick in the latest Primarchs anthology makes even less sense as a result, too.

 

As for "doing the AL justice" thing, isn't it strange to say that the only author who supposedly did is the one who initially rewrote them for his novel, then only touched them again once iirc in a brief antagonist role where they were acting like they were Ultramarines to the degree that even the UM Primarch was caught off-guard?

 

I mean, that's not really doing an established faction justice, it's rewriting the rules to make them suit the novel you wanted to write based on them, then leaving the subject matter behind for others to play around with.


Edited by DarkChaplain, 22 April 2021 - 12:37 PM.

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#183
b1soul

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How did Dan rewrite the legion?

To me, Legion is just a really enjoyable book which presents a compelling concept for an unconventional legion.

I guess if Dan created the concept, he created a good one. I don't think he indulged in any over-the-top meme-worthy shenanigans back in Legion.
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#184
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Nah, as far as what the book did for the Alpha Legion specifically, even I have few issues with it.
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- Dan Abnett -

 

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#185
mawhis

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Does anyone think we'll get a separate Omegon Primarchs Book?



#186
mc warhammer

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i doubt it, but a short story detailing a bit if his pre alpharius life would be welcome.
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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#187
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We will but it'll be a reprint of Alpharius: Head of the Hydra with every mention of Alpharius crossed out with a marker pen and changed to Omegon. :D

 

All joking aside, I would actually like to see how he gets to where he is when he is discovered.



#188
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Alpharius: Head of the Hydra – Mike Brooks

 

In the beginning, there was Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter. And it was mediocre – a collection of barely connected vignettes that, while entertaining, only really served to undermine the book’s namesake. Then there was Luther: First of the Fallen, and it was better. While still too impressed with its own knowledge of lore, it semi-coherently elevated a character in dire need of such development; if only it had a better grasp of how to balance all that character with the filler. But now we have Alpharius: Head of the Hydra, and it is great, for it succeeds in all the ways its predecessors have failed.

 

(Just use your imagination to fit Vulkan Lives in there too because this is a book written in the first person that doesn’t inadvertently :cuss all over the subject matter.)

 

Seriously, this book is great.

 

In some ways it’s the lore-bible style book I’m not huge on, but it’s not at the expense of an actual story being told. The book is (allegedly) about the years from Alpharius’ discovery up to the meeting of his brother, Omegon (this may be a lie.) This works because, from the book’s very beginning, Alpharius is looking for his ultimate equal - first in Valdor, then his brother primarchs, but he’s never satisfied until he’s face to face with his soul-twin. It is a story first. The reason Luther and Curze fail in this regard is because those books, in an attempt not to enter narrative territories already covered, skip the impetus for why those characters’ arcs were happening in the first place. Head of the Hydra is nearly all fresh ground, and thus doesn’t end up hollowed out narratively like those two were. The important parts of the story are actually in the book, instead of being danced around.

The lore bible stuff is still fun, btw. It’s all generally pretty cheeky, very in keeping with the title character.

 

Alpharius himself, ostensibly telling this story, is handled superbly. It’s written very much as “from his mouth” rather than “in his head,” which is an important distinction; it reads as if he’s talking to one of his followers, a behavior he demonstrates in the narrative itself more than once. We get all the benefits of his perspective without noticing that non-superhuman writers tend to struggle when tackling the thoughts of superhuman characters.

 

Alpharius is pragmatic, intelligent, and obsessively reasonable. He’s also obviously arrogant, and that shines through in myriad subtle ways, my favourite of which being the absolute confidence he exudes while mis-reading nearly all of his brothers. Alpharius, for all his smarts, borders on shallow and can’t help but attribute that same flaw to his kin. The book is genius in advertising Alpharius’ complexity addiction as a virtue, all the while poking little holes in his entire schtick.

But, and this is the best part, it’s just ambiguous enough that this isn’t some concrete thing. There’s an entire other reading (and beyond!) of what I just described as Alpharius cutting through the bull:cuss and seeing the core of who they really are as people. And Alpharius’ observations are like this through the whole thing – it’s left to the reader whether or not to take him at face value.

 

As a writer, I think I’d describe Brooks as “Thorpe +1.” The book is full of neat tidbits and fascinating conversations, as are Thorpe’s strengths, with the difference being everything in between isn’t dull as dishwater. Combine that with his deft delivery of “book of primarch trivia” and “book about the Great Crusade” all in one and he really flexes his plotting muscles as well.

 

Oh, and this book has

Spoiler
in it. That makes it a 10/10 no matter what. (That was a lie.)

 

I wouldn’t hesitate to call this the best in The Primarchs series. Go read it.

 

(My favourites under the lable are all written by Heresy irregulars, curious.)

 

Why, it’s almost good enough to make me forgive them for relegating the Guilliman incident to a short story.


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#189
Urauloth

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Oh, and this book has

Spoiler
in it.

 

 

Whoa, seriously? I was going to read a couple other things before getting to this one, but in light of this information it's going straight to the top of the queue.


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Its lonely cry comes shivering through the dark,

As beasts roar at the great biting flames,

"Blessed are the chains that bind him to the darkness

and cursed are the blades that leave him lame"


#190
Lucerne

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Sadly their section is where the wheels come off the bus a little and what feels like an editorial mandate for "wrap it up" kicked in, re: pacing.


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https://twitter.com/...318432949927938

 

"The Alpha Legion has- in spirit if not in body- remained much the same since its creation."

 

"Agents of stealth and misrule they may be, but when the Alpha Legion unleash their martial might, worlds shake at their tread."


#191
mc warhammer

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Is there still some ambiguity left or is it definitive fact? (Or as close as it can get to from an in-universe point of view)

 
 

apparently it starts and ends by saying

Spoiler

 
so...maybe?

 
That's not really wholly accurate. 
 
Spoiler

 

so i've finally gotten around to this and i have to say, my instinctive read on the

Spoiler
quotes was indeed that
Spoiler
it's obviously written to be open to multiple interpretations but that was my gut read
 


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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#192
DarkChaplain

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Had the same impression. Looking back at the Heresy books, it actually fits strangely well.

 

Spoiler

 

What I'm even more excited to see now is a book dealing with Eskrador. I still want Eskrador to solve the problem of the missing gene-tech, and it could still very much lead into the Primaris project, even though Graham sabotaged that with Sons of the Selenar in a way.

Nothing has happened with the material since Deliverance Lost, and it'd still fit into the timeline for "Alpharius" to hand the tech to Guilliman and through him to Cawl, who was hired for the job around that time anyway.

 

But really, I just want "Alpharius" and Guilliman to meet. If the theories hold up, that could lead to an extremely interesting conversation.


Edited by DarkChaplain, 03 June 2021 - 11:31 AM.

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#193
mc warhammer

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100% on board with everything you've written DC. i think what makes it exciting is that it's obvious brooks wrote this book having read every bit of lore about the twins prior and is  connecting it all in this book. that implies an actual framework and plan for the alpha legion (rather than what has seemed completely random to readers over the years), which further implies that plan could lead up to and beyond eskrador.

 

now, whether this was a BL plan all along or one they've pulled together now through retcon, i don't really care...so long as there does seem to be some sort of driving force of logic behind their story.

 

random thoughts on the book itself:

 

Spoiler

 

easily one of my top primarch books. renewed my faith in BL after a series of disappointments.


Edited by mc warhammer, 03 June 2021 - 01:50 PM.

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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#194
DarkChaplain

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Spoiler

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#195
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The Bequin series should clarify Alpha Legions role perhaps moving forward
The appearance of an Alpha Legion astartes calling himself Alpharius and being on Eisenhorns team should hopefully give us more information.
Given the very serious Lore taking place
It will be interesting to see the outcome of this "the Yellow King"

#196
Mechanicus Tech-Support

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Loved this book, everything I wanted in an Alpha legion novel after Legion..

 

However wishing I didnt read all the spoilers after reading this novel...as I now know the big reveal in the Bequin series...that would have been a nice surprise. Would be nice to keep the spoilers related to the book thread but eh what can you do, my fault for the pile of "to be read" books that I didn't tackle quick enough and has grown.
 
Re: The Perturabo comment

Spoiler


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#197
mc warhammer

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Spoiler

 

i've actually felt that irony re alpharius and guilliman since "legion". in so many ways, they should feel a stronger kinship. if the emperor or malcador had impressed upon the ultramarine the necessity of the way alpharius operates, he might have been more open to it.

 

adding to what you've said about the refugees and the way the alpha legion uses human operatives, it's obvious that they see potential in base-line humans that other legions simply don't. even legions who are predisposed to normal humanity still likely see humans as only capable of x and y and that's where they're best used away, from astartes business. the alpha legion seem to see the entire alphabet of options for their "assets".

Spoiler

 

 

Loved this book, everything I wanted in an Alpha legion novel after Legion..

 

Re: The Perturabo comment

Spoiler

Spoiler

Edited by mc warhammer, 04 June 2021 - 10:41 AM.

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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019




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