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Dark Heart Type Anthology Short Story Series The Horus Heresy Author Anthony Reynolds Publisher.
Table of contents

The Traveler is pretty much that, but for an entire short story. It is a little ponderous at times, but it is good. It tells the story of a man who believes himself faithful; in microcosm, it effectively sums up what the Imperium will become, how what it will be and the acts of the main character, are essentially the same.

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A slow slide into deprivation and the cleansing of those who do not believe in the Emperor as God in an effort to keep the arcology clean of criminals and Word Bearer collaborators. The possession is slow to take hold, but it builds and I feel David Annandale did quite a good job of making the build to the inevitable conclusion tense and relatively engaging. Athame is a really interesting story, with a premise that tickles the Chaosician heh in me, perfectly summarized by the quote that opens the short story:.

Was it the death of millions then?

Did those that touched it feel blood on their hand? Did they know what it would become? It really is short, but so very sweet.

Event Information

It tells the story of an Athame, a ritual blade, from its beginnings in the earth, to its fashioning to the many who have wielded it over time, all the way to its current user: Oll anius the Pious. The quality of the writing on display is gripping; I started, learned of the enveloping premise, and before I knew it, the story was over.

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In the beginning, it seems that humans and the shades of their emotions shaped the titular Athame, but as time went on, it began to shape them and their purpose; to have a soul of its own. A machine-spirit, but not artificial; a soul for ore, birthed by the illicit emotions inflicted by it.

Like A Deeper Darkness , it succeeds in a supreme and satisfying way.

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It is a hallmark of excellence, one that provokes thought, certainly! Athame leads directly into Unmarked , being the ritual knife that Oll anius the Pious uses to follow Erebus into the immaterium. Alas, Maloq Kartho rears his ugly head Maloq Kartho! Maloq Kartho!

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Combined with his innocent, tired pragmatism, I do find myself actually rooting for him. Dan Abnett manages to tell his story without making anyone come off as ridiculous or inadequate. Also keep in mind that, in my opinion, one quarter of this anthology fails to deliver at all, really, while the rest is excellent to very mixed. At the best of times, I enjoyed the stories within immensely… Though at the worst of times, I wanted to close the book and never open it again.

Seeing how a character got from point A to point B is certainly not inherently rotten if the execution is exciting or intriguing, but in this case — as with Angel Exterminatus — I feel that it is not. In summary, the story of Calth That Was is simply enough.


Several weeks after Kor Phaeron is driven from Calth, the Ultramarines are in a strong position, having regained control of the Calth noosphere an intricate data network and thus are in control of orbital defence platforms. They have not yet established contact with all of the groups of survivors, but enough to launch co-ordinated raids against the Word Bearers remaining within the Calth cave network.

Remus Ventanus returns as the protagonist, with Maloq Kartho as the antagonist. There are no surprises in this story; I guarantee that upon reading that plot summary, you will entirely guess the outcome and events along the way. Believe me, amusement quickly turned into boredom as I began skipping larger and larger chunks towards the end of the novella, then forcing myself to go back and read them, as more and more of my predictions came to pass; replete with a total lack of balance to the conflict.

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  6. Know No Fear firmly establishes that the tables are turning against the Word Bearers; Betrayer and Underworld War firmly establish the Word Bearer forces sent to Calth as, more or less, sacrificial lambs, but both of those stories present the conflicts therein with respect to both the source material and the factions involved.

    In some ways, it just means that the plot and events of it make sense, in other ways it means making an antagonist credible. For starters, the Ultramarines appear to be fully supplied with ammunition and power armour. There is a brief firefight wherein the Ultramarines do not take a single casualty. They take pot shots at the Ultramarines and fire a small artillery piece at them, but to no avail. The troublesome 4th are proof against such petty attempts at retaliation! Maloq Kartho ascends to daemonhood, not by means aligning with those of Horus or Lorgar, but by… Well, you can probably guess.

    Ventanus fairs little better as he and his character arc mirror that of Uriel Ventris almost exactly.

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