A twenty-minute Shadespire audio drama from David Guymer, A Place of Reflection sets a story about identity, memory and purpose in the Mirrored City, a place of endless twisted reflections and tricks of the mind. Told from the usual Stormcast Eternals perspective it sees Moribus of the Sons of Mallus on the hunt for an elusive foe, focusing his mind by thinking back to the various deaths he’s suffered since his forging.
A tale of the Cadian 101st, what’s left of them at least, Justin D. Hill’s short story The Battle For Markgraaf Hive picks up after the events of Cadia Stands, so beware a few spoilers. Called in to help retake an embattled hive from the heretics besieging its heights, the Cadians make an unorthodox insertion but soon find themselves ground down by waves of devolved enemies. No longer a Whiteshield, Minka fights with all the skill, grit and determination that was bred into her as a Cadian, as her regiment is slowly whittled down around her.
When is a Primarchs story not a primarchs story? How about when it focuses on Malcador the Sigillite, as in LJ Goulding’s audio drama First Lord of the Imperium. It might not directly feature any primarchs, but if anyone knows their secrets it’s Malcador, and when he’s called to the bedside of an old friend to witness her final moments he comforts her with talk of the primarchs’ purpose and the grand plan he and the Emperor hold for mankind. Even under these circumstances, however, is it possible to sift Malcador’s words for the actual truth?
A sequel of sorts to City of Secrets, Nick Horth’s short story The Old Ways once again features Armand Callis and Hanniver Toll, sent by the Order of Azyr out through the marshlands outside Excelsis to settle a dispute between two rival houses. Exploring the dangerous Ulwhyr Forest on the trail of a missing – supposedly murdered – young nobleman, Callis and Toll find themselves tangled up in not just a feud between rivals, but also a conflict between the old and the new.
Nick Kyme’s Horus Heresy story Dreams of Unity shines a bleak light on some forgotten heroes of the Imperium. In the poverty-stricken underbelly of the Imperial Palace, a handful of surviving Thunder Warriors – the tattered remnants of the proto-Astartes legions with whose help the Emperor unified Terra – eke out a brutal existence as gladiators despite their ageing bodies and troubled minds, forever defined by their loyalty to an old notion. As Horus nears the Throneworld, even these abandoned warriors are affected by the approaching conflict.
An unusual tale of a rarely-depicted chapter, Ben Counter’s short audio drama Heart of Decay sees two brothers of the Relictors interrogating a captive warrior of the Death Guard in the hope of learning his secrets. Captain Vidarna and Apothecary Achaon are keen to find out what mission the diseased warrior Urbaar had been undertaking before they interrupted it, but in order to do so they must to expose themselves to his corrupting influence. There may be a high price to pay for the knowledge they seek. Keep reading…
Evoking faint memories of his Mathias Thulmann: Witch Hunter series, CL Werner’s The Witch Takers takes place in the Realm of Chamon with two Sigmarite witch hunters on the trail of something monstrous…and Chaotic. When an ancient tomb is looted and a powerful artefact accidentally unleashed, triggering a series of grisly massacres, witch hunters Esselt and Talorcan hunt for survivors through the sands of Droost as they attempt to destroy whatever relic is causing such carnage. Though their order is feared rather than welcomed by the inhabitants of Droost, they may be the only hope of preventing further massacres.
A quiet, measured short story that could only have come from John French, Now Peals Midnight is the calm before the storm, in which Rogal Dorn and the loyal defenders of Terra take a last, deep breath before the Siege of Terra begins. As the ever-present unrest in the Sol system fades away leaving an eerie sense of quiet, Dorn orders the final preparations knowing that Horus is only hours away. Across the breadth of the Imperial Palace, defenders wait…from conscripts huddled in the darkness to Primarchs standing proud on the walls. At last, the wait is almost over.
With the short audio drama The Assassination of Gabriel Seth, Andy Smillie adds another piece to his slowly-growing jigsaw of Flesh Tearers stories. A distant sequel to A Son’s Burden, it returns to Nekkaris as Chapter Master Gabriel Seth comes to pay his respects to the men he left behind to die. In the quiet corridors of a shrine built to remember their sacrifice, Seth is confronted by an assassin sent by powerful enemies to remove him from the head of the Chapter, using his own rage against him.
Following on from events of The Master of Mankind [SPOILER WARNING], Chris Wraight’s Horus Heresy short story Magisterium tackles the Adeptus Custodes as they regroup following the appalling losses incurred in the Webway War. It follows one of the few survivors, Samonas, as he comes to terms with the changed status of the Custodes, watching on while Constantin Valdor clashes with Rogal Dorn over their place in the war to come. Interspersed with recollections of the fighting on Prospero, it’s a powerful story of the differences between the Custodes and the Legiones Astartes, and the preparations taking place on Terra.