There’s more to the World Eaters than the Butcher’s Nails, and in Prince of Blood LJ Goulding explores the strange relationship they have with their primarch in a dark companion piece to Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Heart of the Conqueror. To the exhausted crew of the Conqueror the presence of daemon Angron is affecting the very nature of the ship and their difficult existence, while to Khârn the impact cuts deeper, to the heart of his identity. Seeking out Angron in the bowels of the ship, he risks everything in a desperate attempt to connect with what’s left of his primarch.
This shows the legion almost at breaking point, abandoned and rudderless and on the verge of self-annihilation, as seen through the eyes of Khârn and Lotara Sarrin. It feels like the tipping point, after which the legion’s path is set – but to get there Khârn has to come to terms with some difficult truths, which to us as readers reveal yet further the complexities of their relationship with a primarch who they just don’t know how to please. Goulding weaves a measured, carefully-crafted tale that’s light on action but still infused with the barely-restrained violence of the World Eaters; it’s an intriguing story in its own right, but works even better in light of those previous tales.
At present Prince of Blood is only available in the event-only Sons of the Emperor anthology.