A companion piece to the Primarchs novel Hammer of Olympia, Guy Haley’s short story The Emperor’s Architect is an interleaved tale combining glimpses of Perturabo’s earliest days with a Crusade-era story of two Remembrancers attempting to write the definitive history of the Iron Warriors’ primarch. Until now the Lord of Iron’s story began on the Phyrgean cliffs, but here we see Perturabo’s first days on Olympia and his earliest, almost-forgotten interactions with humans. Meanwhile Olivier and Marissa LeBon’s unusual mission provides a personal drama tackling faith, relationship troubles and different perspectives on the truth as they delve into Perturabo’s complex and challenging character.
As befits a character so filled with contradictions, it’s a story that digs into Perturabo’s fundamental nature, the image he wants to project and the way others actually see his behaviour, wrapped up in a very human tale of a relationship on the verge of collapse. The LeBons aren’t the sort of characters we see a lot of in Black Library fiction, but their troubled relationship and divergent perspectives on their mission mean they’re not just a framing device for Perturabo’s story but valid, compelling characters themselves whose lives and roles offer interesting parallels with Perturabo. It’s an intriguing extension of Haley’s work with Perturabo, and a powerful story in its own right.
At present The Emperor’s Architect is only available in the event-only Sons of the Emperor anthology.