Hey guys, WRL here with another exciting (ish) journal entry of destiny! Today I am going to talk about a few things but the main entry is of a universe that I have been steadily immersing myself into these past 3-4 months via the novels. That universe is none other than Warhammer 40k.
How it started
I've been a fan of the regular Warhammer novels such as the Adventures of Gotrek and Felix or the Brunner Bounty Hunter omnibus. But after I played the game Warhammer 40k Space Marine, I've been more and more curious to explore the universe more specifically the lore. Of course this was a daunting prospect since there is a LOT of material for the 40k verse and there wasn't really any indication as to where it would be best to start reading.
I mean sure there was the Horus Heresay, but despite the fact that the series took place 10,000 years before the current 40k storylines I still didn't get the feel that I would learn anything of value from it. Which is weird, since it basically sets up the 40k verse, but I digress.
So with little options I started my trek into the 40k verse with the omnibus Enforcer: The Shira Calpurnia Omnibus.
Holy CHRIST was that a bad decision. This particular series follows the Adeptus Arbites faction, specifically Shira, as she navigates her way through a hive city located in the Hydraphur system which in the lore is a system dedicated entirely to the Imperial Navy. There was a lot of terms, intrigues, and various other items that I was really confused by and unable to visualize because I didn't have the reference material to see. Thus this series took me a very long time to read and afterwards I wasn't terribly interested in pursuing it further.
However, that all changed when I decided to give the verse another chance by reading Baneblade and Iron Guard, both books which explore the Imperial Guard faction. My GOD were these one off books so much better because now, after some research, I understood everything that was happening better and I as able to visualize the proceedings much clearer. It helped that both books were very well written with a lot of action and suspense. Enforcer had its fair share of action, but it involved more in the way of talking/investigation since it was a faction that is set up as the police force for the Imperium.
After I read those books I dived headlong into the verse with renewed vigor, knocking out:
-Legion of the Damned by Rob Sanders, an excellent tale following an Adeptus Astartes (Space marine) chapter referred to as the Excoriators as they are basically thrown headlong into what is referred to as the Cholercaust which is a crusade launched by minions of the Chaos God of Slaughter Khrone. It was pretty sweet.
-The Ultramarines Omnibus by Graham McNeil, a three book set basically following a Captain of the Ultramarine chapter who, according to my research, may have been the character that the makers of the Space marine video game based their main protagonist on. It seems legit seeing as how they both were in the Ultramarine blue armor.
Anyway! In this three book set, with connecting short story, they fought a Chaos Marine party, a Dark Eldar raiding party before unleashing the Nightbringer a creature of the Necron faction, a Tyranid hive fleet (which was an amazing battle from start to finish and had various legions of the Imperial Guard to aid them)), and it ended with two of the Ultramarines going on a death quest to the homeworld of the Iron Warriors a faction of the Traitor legions. This last book was hella gross, ugh I can't even describe it to you guys and gals lol. Suffice to say if you ever get into this universe just make sure you aren't squeamish when reading any of it. There were two more books written after this omnibus, one which had the intro of the Grey Knights chapter (which is awesome cause they are becoming my favorite chapter of Adeptus Astartes to date) while the second book had the Ultramarines with Imperial Guard go head to head with the Tau Empire.
First and Only by Dan Abnett, this is probably one of my favorite books of the Warhammer verse. It too deals with an Imperial Guard unit but it is mostly revolved around Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt. Commissar is a political officer whose main goal is to prevent the Guard units from running. If they show any signs of cowardice then the Commissar dispenses with the "Emperor's Justice" which is basically putting a bullet in the back of that guy's head. This guy, on the other hand, genuinely cares for his troopers and instead chooses to lead them into battle from the front, sort of a lead by example kind of guy. The first book was an absolute blast and I really want to get my hands on the next one as soon as I can.
Or get the omnibus, that always works for me too.
And the current omnibus I am reading is The Grey Knights by Ben Counter which follows the Grey Knights on their various adventures fighting against the enemies of the Imperium. But what makes them unique is that they are specifically trained to fight against Chaos demons who are heavily involved in this universe. The only other faction I would like to read about would be for the Adeptus Sororitas, otherwise known as the Sisters of Battle. Heavily armored and crazy women beating the crap out of their enemies before flaming them to death?
And that is pretty much everything that I have read in the lore of the 40k verse, but I understand so much more. It's kinda crazy.