Dan Abnett’s Misbegotten is a Primarchs short story set just prior to the Ullanor campaign, in which Horus joins Captain Hastur Sejanus to see out the bitter end of a grinding compliance action. Where other systems have welcomed the Imperium with open arms, Velich Tarn resists with deadly force, its tiny population utilising horrifying biomechanical constructs in battle against the Lunar Wolves. To Sejanus it’s a blot against the record of the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet, but Horus believes he sees the root of what would drive someone to fight so hard against an Imperium promising hope for mankind.
Beware the unreliable narrator. Told in a slightly mythical, historical tone as though related orally many years after the fact, this offers a different take to usual on…well, on many things actually. It’s as close to a morality tale as you’re likely to get from Black Library, reading like almost like an extended story from a background book, but with added Abnett-esque world-building details and offering a contentious anti-Imperial perspective on events. It’s perhaps not going to be to everyone’s tastes, and certainly doesn’t chime with the style of most Heresy tales, but there’s plenty to enjoy in this deliberately different story.
At present Misbegotten is only available in the event-only Sons of the Emperor anthology.