Adeptus Mechanicus and Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!


My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Force, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood and Skitarii legions, and perhaps the Titan Legion, Legio Gojira (which will never happen because I don't have money for Forge World Titans).

Oh, and I'll throw in the Thousand Sons from time to time because they're my favorite Space Marine Legion. I refuse to believe that they are Traitors! They're just...ahem...secretly loyal to the Imperium!

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Gates of the Devourer

Gates of the Devourer

Gates of the Devourer is an Adeptus Titanicus short story by David Annandale, who you probably know by now from my other book reviews. He wrote the Commissar Yarrick story, Pyres of Armageddon, if I recall correctly and other stuff.

Anyway, how does Gates of the Devourer fare? It's a good story, and considering that it's meant to be a short story, don't go into it expecting an epic tale in the mold of Titanicus by Dan Abnett. It's not meant to be one. Rather, Gates of the Devourer tells the tale of Princeps Captain Ferantha Krezoc of the Legio Pallidus Mor, piloting her Warlord Tian Gloria Vastator, leading the defense of of Hive Gelon on the planet Khania against the Tyranids. Apparently two Tyranid bioships have descended on Khania and are now attacking Hive Gelon. As Hive Gelon is a vital forge world that produced Taurox and artillery for the subsector's military campaigns, the Imperium couldn't let it fall to the Tyranids. So they mobilized the entire 66th Kataran Spears Astra Militarum regiment and two Titan legions to save the planet. We have a Captain Harth Deyers representing the very human element of the defense forces here, and credit to the 66th Kataran Spears, they held out a lot longer than the Planetary Defense Force of Khania and the militia of Hive Gelon.

Speaking of which, Katara is the sole inhabited world in the neighboring system, and they know if Khania falls, Katara will be next. Hence it was important for the Kataran Spears to defend the forge world.

Anyway, the story opens up nicely and very poetically with dreams. I like how it opens up with Krezoc's dreams as it relays her link to the Warlord titan, and how she and Gloria Vastator are intertwined with each other in spirit as much as mind. It also showed us the dreams of the lord governor of Hive Gelon, a certain Albrecht Feisler. It already sets the stage for a promising story.

As the Tyranids descend upon Khania, two Legios of the Adeptus Titanicus are dispatched to save the world. One is Legio Pallidus Mor, headed by Marshal Eras Balzhan, and as we know is the legio of our protagonist Krezoc. The other is the Imperial Hunters, led by an arrogant Marshal Sygarius. The Imperial Hunters are portrayed as arrogant and condescending, looking down on the more practical and serious Pallidus Mor. While Pallidus Mor is supposedly reputed to be emotionless and cold, they are more practical than inhuman, understanding the horrors of war and what it takes to fight them.

The two Legios arrive only to find that while the Imperial Navy had destroyed one bioship, the other survived and continued to pump down Tyranid reinforcements. Sygarius arrogantly seizes control of the operation, taking command, and has both Legios land far away from the bioship. He then recklessly leads a march across the wasteland and desert of Khania toward Hive Gelon, almost putting both Legios at risk. He lost quite a lot of Warhounds and a few Titans, which earned the ire of Krezoc. Already the campaign doesn't start off well, with both Legios almost at odds with each other. Fortunately, thanks to the calm and practical Balzhan, Pallidus Mor avoids conflict with the Imperial Hunters and "do what we can", in other words they follow the Imperial Hunters and try to save their sorry titanic asses.

At the cost of several Tiitans, as I mentioned earlier, Sygarius takes advantage of an opening to charge straight toward Hive Gelon, which Deyers and his Leman Russ tank squadrons are desperately protecting. The Kataran Spears have done very well in the absence of Titan support, their tanks obliterating the Tyranids, but the tide is turned against them when a Hierophant arrives. Credit to Feisler, the lord governor stays until the very end, refusing to leave his hive city, and supporting the Imperial Guard to the very end. Unfortunately that almost proved foolish when the Hierophant wrecks stuff. Sygarius arrives in the nick of time to distract the Hierophant from annihilating the Imperial Guard, but gets his ass kicked until Krezoc, the only titan who could follow, arrived and blasts the Hierophant. The Gargantuan Creature is hard to kill, and she is forced to lure it into a trap before mortally wounding it. However, the Hieriphant is super-resilient and tries to take the Gloria Vastator with it, only for Sygarius to deal the finishing blow and kill it. Of course, the arrogant marshal claims the kill, but Krezoc is like whatever. While the Imperial Navy arrives to destroy the remaining bioship, and the Titan support cleans up the remaining Tyranids on the surface, Sygarius celebrates the triumph. However, Krezoc delivers a cryptic warning, saying that it's weird that the Tyranids only sent two bioships. The story ends with the Tyranids arriving from the Warp again. But we can safely assume that the defenders are in much better position to protect Khania and blast the damned giant bugs to oblivion.

The story is good, Annandale has a good writing style. As I said, I like how the story opens up almost poetically with dreams. Sending two Legios of the Adeptus Titanicus also helped show the different philosophies between the various legios, and I thought that was a nice touch. As always, thanks to the countless worlds and billions of people in the Imperium, the imperial forces are not monolithic, and there will always be conflict. I was glad it didn't turn into a whole "us versus them" scenario like in many Imperial Guard stories where one regiment betrays another. The whole betrayal thing wouldn't have worked in a short story, and Annandale probably recognized that. Plus it's so cliched, so I'm glad he didn't resort to it. The battle is long, taking up a good length of the short story, and intense. We get the typical apocalyptic power of the Titans, reducing swarms of Tyranids to ashes, and the Secutorii serving as the augmented infantry that accompany the Titans. I wish to read more about the combat between the Secutorii and 'Gaunts, and even the Kataran Spears' valiant efforts against the Tyranids, but understandably since this is an Adeptus Titanicus story, much of the attention and focus have been placed on the Titans, not the other characters. To that effect, the story does its job and is pretty good.

I would recommend this book, if you've a kindle or something that can read mob files. Have fun reading it! It's a huge change from reading the usual Space Marine and even Imperial Guard books, especially since it places the reader from the perspective of a Titans princeps. The raw power, the firepower to destroy worlds, all at her fingertips...it felt so good reading that. The battle between the Titans and the Hierophant was also a nice touch, and I guess you do need a titanic enemy for a protagonist piloting a walker of that size after all.

For the Emperor!

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