Interesting bits from the "Darkness in the Blood" novel by Guy Haley aka the third Dante novel.
This isn't a summary. I don't do those. This is just me recounting the things that caught my interest in the novel. Here we go!
-In the intro of the novel, Guy Haley says that GW had it be all hush hush over whether the Primaris Angels can fall into the Black Rage or not. The answer they can but since there are no Black Company Primaris models yet, GW decided to make it vague for the time being.
-New Blood Angel supplement is coming soon featuring the Blood Primaris connection to the Black Rage. The novel acts as a tie in to it. Guy Haley is happy that his work is influencing the studio material. It’s part of the efforts to make novels and studio stuff be more in line with each other in terms of canon.
-Novel takes place months after the DoB
-The Warp was being disturbed to an extreme by the Great Rift. Vortexes of raw emotion are gathering so much energy from the chaos around them that they threatened to develop sentience but ultimately, they fail and collapse into nothing. Stillborn gods dying in the wound of the Warp.
-Dante is described the greatest hearted of all the marine heroes. But a few lines later, we see him submerged in the “stolen blood of innocents” in his healing coven so whatever, Guy Haley/GW.
-Warp travel in the Dark Imperium era is danger af. Each moment in the Warp courts disaster. Ships in the Dark Imperium have to do short hops, having nothing to guide them. Not so for the Blood Angel fleet. The Blood Angel fleet follow the spirit of Mephiston in the Warp that's being projected from the Bloodcaller. Mephiston is following Sanguinor who is guiding the Blood Angels through the Warp. This allows the Blood Angels to do long Warp jumps unlike the rest of the imperium north.
-Warp walking is extremely dangerous. It's dangerous for the body, mind, and soul. Only misguided and foolish sorcerers do it and not without dire consequences. Yet Mephiston does this with ease such is his power. The Warp holds no fear for him. However, each time he Warp walks, he returns to the mortal realm more power than before. A subject of concern to him. What is he becoming?
-Navigating the Warp in the Dark Imperium is extremely dangerous for Navgators. Where once navigator lives were measured in centuries, now they are measured in voyages. All navigating techniques are useless in the stormy darkness of the north. Previously, one navigator sufficed to guide a ship, now a whole team is needed. During the voyage, a navigator succumbs to the terror and madness. Rather than allow his madness to spread of the Navigator team, the lead navigator activates a kill switch that kills the maddened navigator. The soul of that navigator departs into the Warp where it was swiftly devoured, the lead navigator witnessed it all.
- Sanguinor as he is guiding the Blood Angel fleet is engaged in fierce battle with a powerful entity in the shape of a dark angel. The crossing of their swords sends shockwaves into the Warp.
-Sex slaves are apparently a thing in the Imperium.
-Dante doesn't like his men looking at his naked face. He doesn't want them to see the worn-out tired features of his aged face. He is more comfortable behind the face of his Primarch
-Kyriss the Perverse makes an appearance in this book. It's manner of entry into reality is gorey af. It rips its way out of a hundreds of feets high living pillar of flesh made from thousands of helpless ship crewmen.
-Kyriss offers the Dante and Mephiston the same offer given to their Primarch. He reveals that Slaannsh like Khorne covets the Angel's bloodline. They are a bloodline of temptations and artistic excess the perfect champions of Slaanesh. The offer is if Mephiston goes with Kyriss to the Warp to become Slaanesh's champion, then Kyriss would extinguish the Black Rage. When the time comes, the Blood Angels will rule alongside Slaanesh as lords of their own kingdoms. Naturally, this generous offer is refused and battle is joined.
-After a very intense fight, the Blood Angels managed to kick Kyriss back into the Warp. During the fighting, A black angel manifested behind Mephiston matching his movement and attacking in tandem with him like some kind of JoJo stand. When the fight is over, Mephiston is overwhelmed by his power and gets KO'ed
-It's revealed that somehow during his ordeal on Armageddon, Mephiston’s geneseed was somehow activated. Rewriting his genes and changing him into something. Body and soul, Mephiston is transforming.
-Daemons are all over the place. Previously chapters were mind wiped and entire worlds were extermintus'ed for seeing a fraction of the mess that's happening galaxy wide. Secrecy about daemons is becoming very difficult to outright impossible.
-Guess who is back? The Hivemind. It's not finished with the Blood Angels. While in the Warp, the Hivemind directs its attention to the Blood Angel fleet. So powerful is its presence that it stills the Warp and turn it as calm as a moonlet pond. But the Hivemind is still diminished and healing from the Great Rift shockwave so all it can do is stare. A Bonus thing is that we have confirmation that the Hivemind is a Warp entity. Something akin to an alien Warp god.
-Qvo-87 makes an appearance in this book. He offers Dante the Rubicon Primaris procedure. It has a 60% success rate for normal marines but in genetically divergent chapters like the Blood Angels the success rate is lower.
-Principia is Cawl's term for the old version of marines
-Dante has no idea what Thunder Warriors are
-Legion era marines are functionally immortal. They did not/do not age like 40K era marines.
-Normally, Tyranids would leave things they are not interested in alone. Not so with Baal. The Hivemind directed its Tyranids to despoil and ruin the Blood Angel monuments and art in an act of pure spite. It tried to deface and despoil all what the Blood Angels held dear.
-The Blood Angels Librarius is powered by a boon from the Emperor. A star plucked from space and crushed by the Emperor's will. It serves a reactor of the Librarius and it wards. In DoB, the proved matched to the Hivemind itself since no Tyranids managed to breach the wards
-Beneath Baal there are mysterious stone tunnels. The material that comprise the tunnels are not confined in space-time. The only thing known about these tunnels is that they weren't built by humans.
-Dante wanted to go through the Primaris procedure but the normal marines strongly objected not wanting to risk losing him. The Primaris were divided on the issue. It was decided that Mephiston is going get it instead. The might of a Primaris body might be able to contain his growing psychic powers at least for a time. In the novel, Dante continues to be tempted by the Primaris transformation. His body is aging, his wounds are not healing completely. Eventually, his body will give out. The Primaris strength could be the answer for his woes but the risks are too great at the moment. He is needed. However, he is determined to undergo it in a future date. Primaris Dante get HYPE!
-In the spiritual odyssey that Mephiston goes through during the procedure a few interesting things are revealed :
Within the Warp, the golden angel of light fights the angel of darkness and shadow. The golden angel represents the nobility of Sanguinius’ bloodline. Each time one of his sons creates a work of art or give his life to protect the innocent the golden angel grows stronger. On the other hand, each time one the sons of the blood succumb to the Black Rage and slays his brothers, the angel of darkness grows stronger. It's revealed that these angels have been fighting for an eternity. Long before the Primarch was born, long before mankind settled the Baal system. The xenos civilizations that lived on Baal were influenced by them and so did the humans that settled Baal after them. After mankind passes from the galaxy and another race takes its place on Baal, they too will be influenced by the angelic struggle but that's assuming that Chaos won't win and reduce all existence into its eternal playground.
The angel of darkness is winning, slowly overpowering the golden angel. The reason for this is that the children of the blood are all doomed to be consumed by the Black Rage. The only agency they have in this is whether they will end their service as monsters or heroes.
What's also revealed in the Warp is that the Emperor is stirring, the minds of men are opening to the Warp, and the Black Rage is closing its grip tighter than before thanks to the Great Rift.
The Golden Angel is Sanguinor. He was once a mortal marine but into him was poured all the nobility and heroism of the sons of blood across the ages. The angel of Darkness is no one (not yet). It is rage set loose with no limit. Sanguinor can no longer contain it. So, it needs an anchor, an avatar in the material realm to vent some of its rage in order to balance the struggle for a time. Mephiston must be this avatar. He must take the burden in order to save his chapter but they will not know his burden. They will grow to hate him more than they already do but they won't know why.
Because of the Warp ignores time. The Angel of Darkness exists, have always existed and will forever exist. It is Mephiston since he will transform into it one day, and yet it's not him. I am getting headache from this. Anyways, because of the connection between the Angel of Darkness and Mephiston, he will become its avatar no matter what. If he refuses, he will die and his soul will be cast into the Warp to meet its final fate however his body will be possessed by the Angel of Darkness turning it into a dark version of Sanguinor that will destroy all the children of the Blood. If he accepts, he will be more of an outcast within his chapter and one day he will become the crystallization of all that's monstrous in the bloodline.
All of this is explained by a figure that appears as bloody masked angel. The Angel in the end removes his mask to reveal that he is Sanguinius. Sanguinius tells Mephiston that Abaddon's desperate gambit unleashed forces he cannot hope to control. Things that were not possible before are now possible. He says that the Warp is not evil. It is corrupted but it contains everything including evil as well as good.
Suddenly the angels stop fighting and they stand besides Sanguinius looking down on Mehpiston. Mephiston's soul is dragged back into to the waking world but before he fades, he apologies to his Primarch. Sanguinius smiles sorrowfully and tells him that he isn't Sanguinius. Sanguinius is dead.
-When Mephiston's soul returns to his body an outburst of psychic energy and he is lifted into air in vortex of material and psychic energy. Dark wings shoot from his form and some of the librarians fall dead. Everyone shits their pants. Mephiston managed to contain his power and he withdraws it back in. He halted the Black Rage flaring in his fellow Angels.
-When an uneasy peace descended on the chamber, Astrorath demanded that Mephiston be killed before it's too late. Dante quieted him down and asked Mephiston who he was. He said he isn't Calistarius nor Mephiston but something else. Mephiston’s Librarian friend confirms that he is Mephiston yet isn't. This is okay with Dante and he spares the Lord of Death.
-Dante and Mehpston discuss their sightings of their Primarch. They could not confirm it was him. It might be a Warp illusion or it's possible that it's a part of Primarch's soul that lingered in the Warp. Mehipston explains that powerful psychic souls can survive in the Warp for quite a while and the Blood Angel Primarch was one of the most psychic of the Emperor's sons
It was a fun read. Qvo was a treasure. I can't wait for its follow up in the Psychic Awakening series