“…Thus in each flower and simple bell, that in our path untrodden lie, are sweet remembrancers who tell how fast the winged moments fly. Time will steal on with ceaseless pace, yet lose we not the fleeting hours, who still their fairy footsteps trace, as light they dance among the flowers.” -Charlotte Turner Smith | GarettPhotography
Just finished reading “Horus Rising” by Dan Abnett, the first in an incredibly lengthy series of novels chronicling a major event in the Warhammer 40K universe. I hadn’t read any other novels or anything about this series, so i came in blind (except for the jokes and memes i’ve seen on the internet).
I was pleasantly surprised at how much i enjoyed this novel. The W40K universe is, from what i’ve heard, fairly ridiculous and ludicrously violent. However, the author grounds a lot of the over the top elements through the narrative characters, such as Loken (the even-tempered, genetically enhanced captain of a space marine company) and various “remembrancers” (basically embedded reporters). They bring up valid questions about their 200-year long crusade to unite the galaxy, and humanity, under the rule of their Emperor, and there’s a running theme of the inevitability of war, and if man is doomed to be in conflict for all time. The Imperium they serve is obviously super-militaristic, and xenophobic, but the text sets a background where this makes sense; most aliens they encounter are monstrous, aggressive, and hostile, and can only be fought by 8-foot-tall genetically enhanced space marines. The text makes a note of their pride at being completely secular, having abolished religion, but this also makes them completely unprepared for horrifying instances that are essentially demonic possessions.
I’m intrigued by the characterization of the crusade “Warmaster”, Horus. From title of the series, and from what little i know about WH40K, I think he’s supposed to turn evil somehow. In this book though, he’s portrayed as basically the world’s best boss. He’s charismatic, clever, makes everyone feel appreciated, and the entire army loves him to death. I’m interested to see where this story goes, and how his downfall could have began.
In conclusion, I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s an unexpectedly thoughtful look at a universe that is inherently ridiculous, with engaging characters and brutal action. I’ll be continuing the series for the near future.
Frag and krak charge. Standard issue to every Legionary. Classics.
That one? Fyceline melta charge. That’ll put a hole in ten inch adamantium plate, that will. And a few fingers, if you’re not careful, lass.
What’s in the canister? Ah, now that’s a good question…
- Attributed to a Lieutenant of the Siegebreaker Corps, interviewed in remembrancer logs.
Every Legion had its dedicated cadre of siege breakers, officers whose understanding of the arts of beleaguering and demolitions were second to none, and the Iron Fourth were no exception. Pictured is an unnamed Lieutenant of the 117th Grand Battalion’s Siegebreaker Corps, a division of hard-faced warrior-smiths to whom the task of systematic destruction of enemy fortifications and armour was the finest of pursuits.
- Thunder hammer: Standard issue template, personalised field modifications. An entirely uncomplicated weapon for an entirely uncomplicated purpose.
- Ordnance canister: Chemical dispensation unit, time-fused. Carrying anything from fyceline melta-charges to highly proscribed phosphex, Siege Breakers were given license to use these tools as they saw fit, often in concert with specially authorised Rapier and Medusa batteries.
- Combi-melta: Mk.I ‘Godwyn’ pattern prototype, combination bolt/melta firearm. The Iron Warriors received stock of many prototype arms during their initial campaigns alongside the Mechanicum in the Sol System, and this weapon appears to be a well maintained survivor of that bygone age.
- Power Armour: Mark III ‘Iron’ pattern power armour. The Lieutenant’s augmetic right arm speaks of a long career in his chosen role – or perhaps a misplaced detonator – while his right pauldron displays a single Stone Chevron. A mark of favour within the 117th, Stone Chevrons denoted acclaim from the stratego-masons of the Dodekatheon, though the precise nature of what this award meant – or even how it was individually displayed – was up for debate to outsiders of the Legion.
It is through hymns and prayers that we best understand the feelings of the worshippers towards their deities and the hymns to Thoth certainly reflect the worshippers’ love. They are inspired by feelings of affection. “Let us come and give thanks to Thoth, the God of Knowledge.” Many other hymns praise the deities in general or recount myths. In hymns to Thoth we often find references to his relationship with people as individuals. “Who recalls all that is forgotten; wise for him who is in error; the remembrancer of the moment and of infinity.” This joyous adoration and love of the deities is more prevalent from the 18th Dynasty. Perhaps before then it wasn’t considered seemly. “My heart belongs to him.” Along with Ra, Horus, Amun and Hathor, Thoth was one of the few deities who were addressed as ‘hearing’ deities; that is they responded to the petitioners’ prayers and needs rather than just listening to them. Thoth is referred to as “Dhwty-stm” or “Dhwty sdm” - Thoth who hears. Thoth never abandoned his followers. “Heeding the supplications of him who calls to him. Who comes at the call of him who pronounces his name, who hears the prayers of him who sets him in his heart.” Thoth’s wisdom was available to those who were thoughtful, he was “open for him who is silent”. Only the silent, that is the faithful and diligent, can find this source of divine love and sustenance.
WIP self insert remembrancer since that’s the cool thing to do. But struggling with the whole design put me out. Finish tomorrow. Hopefully in addition to a second doodle. Keeping up is a challenge!
Should I post the selfie that helped spawn this too?