A suitably dark and grisly tale, Ian St. Martin’s short audio drama A Lesson in Darkness is a Primarchs story concerning Konrad Curze, primarch of the Night Lords. When the human world of Piamen refuses to join in Imperial unity, the Imperium sends Curze and his legion to bring the Piameni to heel. Newly reunited with his legion, Curze demonstrates his instinctive mastery of terror tactics as he brings compliance to the horrified population of Piamen. For his legion, and Captain Nivalus in particular, it’s an early taste of what’s to come under Curze’s leadership.
Let’s be upfront, this is pretty dark and gory throughout, although the most shocking moment – making effective use of the audio medium – conceals the really gross stuff to actually ramp up the impact. Don’t expect big battles or full-scale actions, this is restricted mostly to Curze and Nivalus in order to highlight the personal impact of Curze’s introduction into the legion, but it’s powerful nonetheless. The audio elements are excellent, both the cast – particularly Jonathan Keeble’s gravelly narration and Toby Longworth’s creepy (albeit a little Russ-like) depiction of Curze – and the often quite disgusting SFX, and the whole thing sits together as a well-written, genuinely dark but compelling story.