Included in the Limited Edition hardback of Fabius Bile: Primogenitor, Josh Reynolds’ The Howling Ship sees Fabius launch a daring attack on the Black Ship Savonarola as it returns to Terra carrying amongst its cargo of psykers a particularly nasty specimen known as The Howling Man. As the crew work to fight off the void assault, Inquisitor Borja races to where The Howling Man is being held, determined to use any means necessary to prevent the psyker being taken. Faced by the Butcher of Terra however, all of his certainties are challenged and his willpower tested to the limit.
Told from Imperial viewpoints we see Fabius as the Imperium does – a semi-mythical horror, capable of driving The Howling Man to compromise even the psychic defences of a Black Ship. Pitting the iron determination of an Inquisitor against the ancient will of Fabius is a clever move, and while there’s action aplenty as Borja faces off against Fabius’ minions it’s the tension between the two characters that proves the strongest draw here. It’s a well paced and nicely structured story that does a good job of getting to the core of Fabius as Reynolds sees him, and while it doesn’t directly impact the main story of Primogenitor it leaves a dangling plot arc that’s crying out to be followed up.