Like most fans of WH40k, I knew next to nothing about the White Scars (which is how they like it). Reading Scars made me want to learn more about them. Fortunately, I wouldn’t have long to wait, as Chris Wraight did follow up to that story with The Path to Heaven, which tells how the White Scars made it to Terra. Many Horus Heresy authors have made it abundantly clear that Terra has been cut off by the warp. However, unlike those sitting in Imperium Secundus, Jaghatai Khan knows that Horus has not yet reached Terra. Therefore, he can still reach Terra, and since he’s a White Scar, he will get there faster. Natch.
Has there ever been a short story about the White Scars racing against orks with red vehicles? If not, there should be. Just saying.
Horus Only Has Mortarion
There were quite a few telling moments throughout The Path of Heaven, but the heart-to-heart between Horus and Mortarion made me laugh out loud. The fact that out of everyone Horus recruited to join his side, he only has Mortarion to lean on is downright LAUGHABLE.
“Behold, the tally of my rebellion. Angron has made himself mad – I cannot charge him with the simplest of tasks. Perturabo – by the gods, Perturabo. He would be left standing while the Khan’s savages ran rings around his trenches, and the Scars have no fortresses for him to lay low. Alpharius is silent, and ties himself up in knots of his own devising. The list grows short.”
He mentioned earlier that Fulgrim couldn’t be trusted, which I guess becoming a daemon prince for a sex cult will do make you untrustworthy.
But out of everyone, he can only rely on Mortarion to take care of Jaghatai Khan. Is it just because everyone else on Team Traitor has gone nuts? That would make sense, but the main reason is because Mortarion has kept his Legion “pure.” Perhaps Mortarion hasn’t leaned into daemonology just yet, but what about Typhon? What about his First Captain whom he cannot find right now? What about the daemon Mortarion has locked in the basement of his ship? Horus, you’ve totally backed the wrong horse.
Huntin’ and Killin’ With the Khan
Jaghatai Khan made the decision to return to Terra, but he doesn’t know exactly how to get back there. He’s heard signs of something going on at Ultramar, but he needs to talk to his Father. He needs to tell Him exactly how he feels and find out what is really going on. If he happens to run into any of his wayward brothers along the way, well, that’s just a bonus.
That is all well and good, but eventually Horus sends Mortarion to track him down. And Mortarion has quite the unlikely partner in this adventure, Eidolon of the Emperor’s Children. Horus has no idea what Fulgrim is up to, but hey, Eidolon is here and ready to go. Might as well use him, right? Not like Mortarion has his own First Captain by his side.
While Mortarion is hunting the hunter, the Khan, under advice from his General, Ilya, is hunting down a powerful Navigator whom Ilya believes is their only hope in getting through the storms. They do find this Navigator, in a sense, but more importantly, they find a way to get through the storms and elude Mortarion. In typical WH40k fashion, you have to wonder was it worth the cost to get there. If my kids weren’t in the car at the time, I would have sobbed at Yesugei’s sacrifice.
At the same time, I have to wonder 1) what was the Emperor up to with that device Yesugei found and 2) is it ever mentioned again in lore? Or is this yet another WH40k MacGuffin? Nothing would surprise me at this point.
The next book is YET ANOTHER short story collection. This is killing me, Smalls.
Thirty-six books down, 18 books to go.
Horus Hearsay is dedicated to Keri’s journey through the Horus Heresy saga. The chronicling of the Horus Heresy began over ten years ago, with currently 54 books in total, not counting The Primarchs series or the various short stories. Horus Hearsay will only cover the main novels.