Previously only available in the limited edition Visions of War: The Art of Space Marine Battles, the Scythes of the Emperor short story Heloth sees LJ Goulding continue to lay the groundwork for his novel Slaughter at Giant’s Coffin. We join the action partway through a mission, the remaining Scythes of 2nd Company falling back under the devastating assault of the tyranids disgorged by a crashed hive ship – the titular Heloth. With their captain dying and little hope remaining, things are looking bleak for 2nd Company…and the entire Chapter, in fact.
The Scythes of the Emperor are defined (for now, at least) by the losses they’ve suffered at the hands (claws?) of the tyranids, and in this story we get that idea in microcosm. It shows a single snippet of the wider battle taking place on Miral, highlighting the futile bravery of the Scythes against the waves of monstrosities, but it also poses some interesting questions. What were 2nd Company hoping to achieve? Why did the tyranids behave the way they did? Don’t expect answers here, or much detail on the Chapter’s overall situation, but it’s another interesting piece in the puzzle, and should tie in nicely with Slaughter… once that’s released.