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Authors: Dan Abnett

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Horus Rising

BOOK: Horus Rising
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T
HE
H
ORUS
H
ERESY

Dan Abnett

HORUS RISING

The seeds of heresy are sown

v1.2 (2011.11)

The Horus Heresy

It is a time of legend.
Mighty heroes battle for the right to rule the galaxy. The vast armies of the Emperor of Earth have conquered the galaxy in a Great Crusade – the myriad alien races have been smashed by the Emperor’s elite warriors and wiped from the face of history.
The dawn of a new age of supremacy for humanity beckons.
Gleaming citadels of marble and gold celebrate the many victories of the Emperor. Triumphs are raised on a million worlds to record the epic deeds of his most powerful and deadly warriors.
First and foremost amongst these are the primarchs, superheroic beings who have led the Emperor’s armies of Space Marines in victory after victory. They are unstoppable and magnificent, the pinnacle of the Emperor’s genetic experimentation. The Space Marines are the mightiest human warriors the galaxy has ever known, each capable of besting a hundred normal men or more in combat.
Organised into vast armies of tens of thousands called Legions, the Space Marines and their primarch leaders conquer the galaxy in the name of the Emperor.
Chief amongst the primarchs is Horus, called the Glorious, the Brightest Star, favourite of the Emperor, and like a son unto him. He is the Warmaster, the commander-in-chief of the Emperor’s military might, subjugator of a thousand thousand worlds and conqueror of the galaxy. He is a warrior without peer, a diplomat supreme.
Horus is a star ascendant, but how much further can a star rise before it falls?

CONTENTS

HORUS RISING

The Horus Heresy

CONTENTS

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

PART ONE

ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX
SEVEN
EIGHT
NINE
TEN

PART TWO

ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX
SEVEN

PART THREE

ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR

TIMELINE

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

The Primarchs

H
ORUS
, First Primarch and Warmaster, Commander-in-Chief of the Luna Wolves

R
OGAL
D
ORN
, Primarch of the Imperial Fists

S
ANGUINIUS
, Primarch of the Blood Angels

The Luna Wolves Legion

E
ZEKYLE
A
BADDON
, First Captain

T
ARIK
T
ORGADDON
, Captain, 2nd Company

I
ACTON
Q
RUZE
, ‘The Half-heard’, Captain, 3rd Company

H
ASTUR
S
EJANUS
, Captain, 4th Company

H
ORUS
A
XIMAND
, ‘Little Horus’, Captain, 5th Company

S
ERGHAR
T
ARGOST
, Captain, 7th Company, Lodge Master

G
ARVIEL
L
OKEN
, Captain, 10th Company

L
UC
S
EDIRAE
, Captain, 13th Company

T
YBALT
M
ARR
, ‘The Either’, Captain, 18th Company

V
ERULAM
M
OY
, ‘The Or’, Captain, 19th Company

L
EV
G
OSHEN
, Captain, 25th Company

K
ALUS
E
KADDON
, Captain, Catulan Reaver Squad

F
ALKUS
K
IBRE
, ‘Widowmaker’, Captain, Justaerin Terminator Squad

N
ERO
V
IPUS
, Sergeant, Locasta Tactical Squad

X
AVYER
J
UBAL
, Sergeant, Hellebore Tactical Squad

M
ALOGHURST
, ‘The Twisted’, Equerry to the Warmaster

The 140th Imperial Expedition Fleet

M
ATHANUAL
A
UGUST
, Master of the Fleet

Imperial Personae

K
YRIL
S
INDERMANN
, Primary iterator

I
GNACE
K
ARKASY
, Official remembrancer, poet

M
ERSADIE
O
LITON
, Official remembrancer, documentarist

E
UPHRATI
K
EELER
, Official remembrancer, imagist

P
EETER
E
GON
M
OMUS
, Architect designate

A
ENID
R
ATHBONE
, High Administratrix

Non Imperial Personae

J
EPHTA
N
AUD
, General Commander, the armies of the interex

D
IATH
S
HEHN
, Abbrocarius

A
SHEROT
, Indentured Kinebrach, Keeper of Devices

M
ITHRAS
T
ULL
, Subordinate Commander, the armies of the interex

The Word Bearers Legion

E
REBUS
, First Chaplain

The Imperial Fists Legion

S
IGISMUND
, First Captain

The Emperor’s Children Legion

E
IDOLON
, Lord Commander

L
UCIUS
, Captain

S
AUL
T
ARVITZ
, Captain

The Blood Angels Legion

R
ALDORON
, Chapter Master

The 63rd Imperial Expedition Fleet

B
OAS
C
OMNENUS
, Master of the Fleet

H
EKTOR
V
ARVARUS
, Lord Commander of the Army

I
NG
M
AE
S
ING
, Mistress of Astropaths

E
RFA
H
INE
S
WEQ
C
HOROGUS
, High Senior of the Navis Nobilite

R
EGULUS
, Adept, Envoy of the Martian Mechanicum

PART ONE

THE DECEIVED

I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor…

‘Myths grow like crystals, according to their own recurrent pattern; but there must be a suitable core to start their growth.’

— attributed to the remembrancer Koestler (fl. M2)

‘The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time.’

— the Primarch Lorgar

‘The new light of science shines more brightly than the old light of sorcery. Why, then, do we not seem to see as far?’

— the Sumaturan philosopher Sahlonum (fl. M29)

ONE

Blood from misunderstanding

Our brethren in ignorance

The Emperor dies

‘I
WAS THERE
,’ he would say afterwards, until afterwards became a time quite devoid of laughter. ‘I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor.’ It was a delicious conceit, and his comrades would chuckle at the sheer treason of it.

The story was a good one. Torgaddon would usually be the one to cajole him into telling it, for Torgaddon was the joker, a man of mighty laughter and idiot tricks. And Loken would tell it again, a tale rehearsed through so many retellings, it almost told itself.

Loken was always careful to make sure his audience properly understood the irony in his story. It was likely that he felt some shame about his complicity in the matter itself, for it was a case of blood spilled from misunderstanding. There was a great tragedy implicit in the tale of the Emperor’s murder, a tragedy that Loken always wanted his listeners to appreciate. But the death of Sejanus was usually all that fixed their attentions.

That, and the punchline.

It had been, as far as the warp-dilated horologs could attest, the two hundred and third year of the Great Crusade. Loken always set his story in its proper time and place. The commander had been Warmaster for about a year, since the triumphant conclusion of the Ullanor campaign, and he was anxious to prove his new-found status, particularly in the eyes of his brothers.

Warmaster. Such a title. The fit was still new and unnatural, not yet worn in.

It was a strange time to be abroad amongst stars. They had been doing what they had been doing for two centuries, but now it felt unfamiliar. It was a start of things. And an ending too.

The ships of the 63rd Expedition came upon the Imperium by chance. A sudden etheric storm, later declared providential by Maloghurst, forced a route alteration, and they translated into the edges of a system comprising nine worlds.

Nine worlds, circling a yellow sun.

Detecting the shoal of rugged expedition warships on station at the out-system edges, the Emperor first demanded to know their occupation and agenda. Then he painstakingly corrected what he saw as the multifarious errors in their response.

Then he demanded fealty.

He was, he explained, the Emperor of Mankind. He had stoically shepherded his people through the miserable epoch of warp storms, through the Age of Strife, staunchly maintaining the rule and law of man. This had been expected of him, he declared. He had kept the flame of human culture alight through the aching isolation of Old Night. He had sustained this precious, vital fragment, and kept it intact, until such time as the scattered diaspora of humanity re-established contact. He rejoiced that such a time was now at hand. His soul leapt to see the orphan ships returning to the heart of the Imperium. Everything was ready and waiting. Everything had been preserved. The orphans would be embraced to his bosom, and then the Great Scheme of rebuilding would begin, and the Imperium of Mankind would stretch itself out again across the stars, as was its birthright.

As soon as they showed him proper fealty. As Emperor. Of mankind.

The commander, quite entertained by all accounts, sent Hastur Sejanus to meet with the Emperor and deliver greeting.

Sejanus was the commander’s favourite. Not as proud or irascible as Abaddon, nor as ruthless as Sedirae, nor even as solid and venerable as Iacton Qruze, Sejanus was the perfect captain, tempered evenly in all respects. A warrior and a diplomat in equal measure, Sejanus’s martial record, second only to Abaddon’s, was easily forgotten when in company with the man himself. A beautiful man, Loken would say, building his tale, a beautiful man adored by all. ‘No finer figure in Mark IV plate than Hastur Sejanus. That he is remembered, and his deeds celebrated, even here amongst us, speaks of Sejanus’s qualities. The noblest hero of the Great Crusade.’ That was how Loken would describe him to the eager listeners. ‘In future times, he will be recalled with such fondness that men will name their sons after him.’

BOOK: Horus Rising
13.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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