Included in the beautiful Limited Edition version of Guy Haley’s novel Dante and named for a specific Blood Angels vessel, the short story Eminence Sanguis takes place in 428.M41 and features as its main protagonist High Chaplain Hereon. Astorath the Grim’s predecessor, Hereon leads a small group of his brothers on a mission to the Chapter homeworld of the Angels Vermillion to ask some pointed question of this unusually secretive Chapter. Despite receiving a decidedly frosty reception, Hereon persists only to find that some answers reveal secrets best left untold.
The Flaw that the Blood Angels and their successors struggle with is at the heart of what makes them so interesting; with this story, Haley takes a look at how one particular Chapter deals with it, and the implications of the choice they make in doing so. All 40k stories are dark, but this one…it’s really, really dark. It’s interesting to see the way Hereon discharges his duty – it’s hard not to imagine current-era Astorath acting differently, which is perhaps why Haley chose to set the story when he did. Overall this is typical of Haley’s work – vivid, characterful, thoughtful and not quite what you’d expect. Hopefully it will see a non-Limited release soon.