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DarkChaplain
11-11-2013, 02:10
So I just finished reading the Horus Heresy story "Luna Mendax", by Graham McNeill, which appeared in the Black Library Weekender Anthology.

I'm not sure if it saved or drowned the giraffe, though.

Here's a fairly detailed rundown of what I thought was a pretty good story, if a bit blemished by the circumstances and prior references and hints. Read it if you must know what it is about and don't want to wait for months.

I am fairly sure they're going to release it as an eshort around the time Vengeful Spirit or Hunters Moon get released next year, since it bears relevance to those two. I recommend waiting til you can read it for yourselves, unless you are too curious.


The story plays after Legion of One and Grey Angel, the audio drama about Loken and Iacton Qruze's mission on Caliban. It does not reveal who helped them in the guise of Cypher, sadly.

Loken is on Luna, and his mind is seemingly in shambles. He suppresses memories, does not recognizes faces or names, and.... became a gardener. No, I'm not kidding, he takes care of a biodome on Luna, which belonged to a Sister of Silence, who fell on Prospero. He overhauls the thing after reporting back to Dorn, who sent him and Iacton to Caliban (and Loken thinks Dorn seemed diminished, like the burden of being Terra's Praetorian weighs him down).

Garviel feels disgusted by Malcador's shadow war, and wants no part in it. Caliban was a favor for Dorn, who he feels put in a good word for him after Garro brought him back - nobody really knew whether he could be trusted and wasn't one of Horus's traps. Malcador, Garro and Dorn apparently believed in his loyalty, whereas others (probably the Council of Terra) distrusted him. Thus he also thinks Qruze was supposed to execute him on Caliban, should there be any doubt of his fealty.

So now Loken hides in his garden, killing spiders. The spiders remind him of something, and he gets quite agitated. Somebody, an Astartes, appears to tell him that the spiders aren't bad-natured, and actually help his garden a lot. Loken is dismissive of the man, cannot see or recognize his face. The Astartes picks up a stone and throws it, so it skims over the surface of the lake in the center of the biodome. The stone reaches Garviel on the other side, who tries to catch it, but can't grasp quickly enough. It leaves a bruise on his palm.

The stranger claims Loken knows him, and after a bit of teasing around Isstvan III, he realizes: Tarik Torgaddon.

Tarik is touchable, feels real, knows of his demise, touches his neck and his fingers come away full of blood. Loken and Torgaddon try to figure out what exactly he is, and Tarik thinks he is still on Isstvan, in a way. He also believes Garviel conjured him up as form of punishing himself, for not being able to save him, or avenging him by killing Abaddon and Aximand. Loken's memories seem to return bit by bit, but there are still barriers.
They discuss the dead things on Davin's moon, and what Torgaddon is:


'I suppose,' agreed Loken. 'In fact I seem to remember hauling your sorry **** out of a swamp as a bunch of dead men were dragging you down.'
'You see? These days, death isn't the handicap it used to be.'

Loken explains how he lost his way after regaining consciousness on Isstvan III, how he did not know where to direct his anger. He is a bit embarrassed at calling himself Cerberus back then, which makes Tarik chuckle. He also considers suicide for a moment, out of a sense of guilt and failure, but banishes the thought.

Garviel believes that Horus needs to be beaten in the open, not from the shadows. He needs to be defeated for all the galaxy to see, for it to have a meaning, and that doing so is going to take a lot from the loyalists.

Then Torgaddon points out what Loken has done to the biodome. He recreated the water garden where he took the Mournival Oath, back on 63-19. Tarik reminds him of the oath, the things that happened, the role he was supposed to play. Loken's mind reassembles itself, and they realize that they can't hide from the past or their memories forever.

Loken still rebels against the idea of waging a shadow war under Malcador, but Tarik assures him that both the open and hidden wars are in need for soldiers, and that he, as an Astartes, is bred to fight both. Loken is being told to not be weak, that a cornered wolf is still a force to be reckoned with, and then tells Loken he has to leave.


'Are you really here or is this just my mind's way of convincing me to do something I know I have to do?'
'I don't know,' confessed Torgaddon. 'Either explanation sounds unbelievable, but what do I know? I had my head cut off.'

And there's another bit before he vanishes, which points towards more recent theories and hints:


'I don't have a neat explanation all tied up with a bow. I feel real, but I think something terrible happened to me after I died.'
'After you died?' said Loken. 'What could be worse than dying?'
'I don't know yet,' said Torgaddon. 'But I think you're the only one who can undo it.'

Iacton Qruze enters, to summon Loken to Malcador. To his surprise, Loken agrees, but not before throwing a stone over the water, like Torgaddon did. Qruze notices the bruise, which is still on Loken's palm. He tells Qruze that it is a reminder of things he still has to do.



So the question is: Is Loken a latent giraffe after all?

MiyamatoMusashi
11-11-2013, 09:37
I'm not sure what you mean by "giraffe" (from context I suppose you mean psyker, except then drowning it doesn't make sense) but I enjoyed this story. You missed the best quote, though:

Don't remember it word for word, but the bit where Loken says something about not being built for Malcador's secret war in the shadows, and Torgadden just says "you're a Marine, you were built for EVERY kind of war".

Soul Hunter
11-11-2013, 21:01
So then this further hints that;

Erebus turned Torgaddon's soul into a Daemon. Tarik reborn, he-who-is-now-Tormageddon. Loken may be able to reverse the change and restore Torgaddon to a human soul maybe, or something... no idea. Much to speculate on.


SH

Nazguire
11-11-2013, 23:00
Damn it. They can't keep anything simple now, can they? They could have kept Torgaddon dead, so his memory torments Loken, etc etc. But no, they have to introduce another convoluted plot line for a character who doesn't need it. They can barely keep all the plot lines they've got going now in one piece throughout the series, without constantly adding more.

Perrin
12-11-2013, 02:54
Called it years ago, and they said I was MAD!!

Honestly though I'm not entirely sure what this does to that theory. I suppose he would have to have some kind of latent power to be able to see Tarik's spirit. I don't think its just his mind messing with him because there is no way he could know that Tarik's soul has been turned into a daemon soul.

Him being a gardener now though is amazing. And the spiders. Never read about a marine having a massive mental breakdown, unless you count turning to chaos.

DarkChaplain
12-11-2013, 07:57
It is also kinda weird that the bruise from Tarik's thrown stone remained on Loken's palm, for Iacton to see. When have I last read about an Astartes getting bruised like that?

MiyamatoMusashi
12-11-2013, 08:41
Damn it. They can't keep anything simple now, can they? They could have kept Torgaddon dead, so his memory torments Loken, etc etc. But no, they have to introduce another convoluted plot line for a character who doesn't need it. They can barely keep all the plot lines they've got going now in one piece throughout the series, without constantly adding more.

I wouldn't get too excited/upset about this. The way I read it was that it was just in Loken's head. I could be wrong of course, it's open to interpretation (and later revelation) but this story seemed to me to about Loken working through his issues, with a little bit of 40K mystique (ie. the bruise, ooooooooooooooooooooh) sprinkled on top. It's why I enjoyed it; these galaxy-shattering events should be messing with people's heads, and Loken has been through more than most; in that respect I thought it was very nicely handled.

Bobske
12-11-2013, 17:53
From what I can gather form ther summary, an excellent short story.
I like it a lot, wonder when I'll be able to read it.

Lord Lorne Walkier
16-01-2014, 23:07
So I just finished reading the Horus Heresy story "Luna Mendax", by Graham McNeill, which appeared in the Black Library Weekender Anthology.

I'm not sure if it saved or drowned the giraffe, though.

Here's a fairly detailed rundown of what I thought was a pretty good story, if a bit blemished by the circumstances and prior references and hints. Read it if you must know what it is about and don't want to wait for months.

I am fairly sure they're going to release it as an eshort around the time Vengeful Spirit or Hunters Moon get released next year, since it bears relevance to those two. I recommend waiting til you can read it for yourselves, unless you are too curious.


The story plays after Legion of One and Grey Angel, the audio drama about Loken and Iacton Qruze's mission on Caliban. It does not reveal who helped them in the guise of Cypher, sadly.

Loken is on Luna, and his mind is seemingly in shambles. He suppresses memories, does not recognizes faces or names, and.... became a gardener. No, I'm not kidding, he takes care of a biodome on Luna, which belonged to a Sister of Silence, who fell on Prospero. He overhauls the thing after reporting back to Dorn, who sent him and Iacton to Caliban (and Loken thinks Dorn seemed diminished, like the burden of being Terra's Praetorian weighs him down).

Garviel feels disgusted by Malcador's shadow war, and wants no part in it. Caliban was a favor for Dorn, who he feels put in a good word for him after Garro brought him back - nobody really knew whether he could be trusted and wasn't one of Horus's traps. Malcador, Garro and Dorn apparently believed in his loyalty, whereas others (probably the Council of Terra) distrusted him. Thus he also thinks Qruze was supposed to execute him on Caliban, should there be any doubt of his fealty.

So now Loken hides in his garden, killing spiders. The spiders remind him of something, and he gets quite agitated. Somebody, an Astartes, appears to tell him that the spiders aren't bad-natured, and actually help his garden a lot. Loken is dismissive of the man, cannot see or recognize his face. The Astartes picks up a stone and throws it, so it skims over the surface of the lake in the center of the biodome. The stone reaches Garviel on the other side, who tries to catch it, but can't grasp quickly enough. It leaves a bruise on his palm.

The stranger claims Loken knows him, and after a bit of teasing around Isstvan III, he realizes: Tarik Torgaddon.

Tarik is touchable, feels real, knows of his demise, touches his neck and his fingers come away full of blood. Loken and Torgaddon try to figure out what exactly he is, and Tarik thinks he is still on Isstvan, in a way. He also believes Garviel conjured him up as form of punishing himself, for not being able to save him, or avenging him by killing Abaddon and Aximand. Loken's memories seem to return bit by bit, but there are still barriers.
They discuss the dead things on Davin's moon, and what Torgaddon is:



Loken explains how he lost his way after regaining consciousness on Isstvan III, how he did not know where to direct his anger. He is a bit embarrassed at calling himself Cerberus back then, which makes Tarik chuckle. He also considers suicide for a moment, out of a sense of guilt and failure, but banishes the thought.

Garviel believes that Horus needs to be beaten in the open, not from the shadows. He needs to be defeated for all the galaxy to see, for it to have a meaning, and that doing so is going to take a lot from the loyalists.

Then Torgaddon points out what Loken has done to the biodome. He recreated the water garden where he took the Mournival Oath, back on 63-19. Tarik reminds him of the oath, the things that happened, the role he was supposed to play. Loken's mind reassembles itself, and they realize that they can't hide from the past or their memories forever.

Loken still rebels against the idea of waging a shadow war under Malcador, but Tarik assures him that both the open and hidden wars are in need for soldiers, and that he, as an Astartes, is bred to fight both. Loken is being told to not be weak, that a cornered wolf is still a force to be reckoned with, and then tells Loken he has to leave.



And there's another bit before he vanishes, which points towards more recent theories and hints:



Iacton Qruze enters, to summon Loken to Malcador. To his surprise, Loken agrees, but not before throwing a stone over the water, like Torgaddon did. Qruze notices the bruise, which is still on Loken's palm. He tells Qruze that it is a reminder of things he still has to do.



So the question is: Is Loken a latent giraffe after all?

For sure, been saying it for years. There are many hints if you are open to them. The original scene in Horus Rising in .. "the water garden where he took the Mournival Oath, back on 63-19," is loaded with hints as to Loken being a latent ... giraffe. It starts when he gets a bad "feeling" when he approaches the ceremony.

Mage
26-01-2014, 08:37
For sure, been saying it for years. There are many hints if you are open to them. The original scene in Horus Rising in .. "the water garden where he took the Mournival Oath, back on 63-19," is loaded with hints as to Loken being a latent ... giraffe. It starts when he gets a bad "feeling" when he approaches the ceremony.

Would this count as one of those things you mean:

When Loken comes accross an old meeting room in the third book I think, where he finds one of Erebus' Chaos books and something appears before him, and it kind of goes chaos-y for a second and he resists it and it goes back to normal? In most instances of 40k it would just sanity blast someone into madness.

Nazguire
27-01-2014, 02:52
Would this count as one of those things you mean:

When Loken comes accross an old meeting room in the third book I think, where he finds one of Erebus' Chaos books and something appears before him, and it kind of goes chaos-y for a second and he resists it and it goes back to normal? In most instances of 40k it would just sanity blast someone into madness.

I saw that as just strength of mind and will. Loken as a psyker would be horrible. Not every character has to be a special snowflake!

The man should have remained dead. His resurrection, his recruitment into the HH version of the Avengers, now some apparent hints he may be a latent psyker have been silly ideas that have completely removed the emotional impact of his death in Galaxy in Flames.

Cyrene being resurrected wasn't a favourite of mine either, but ADB doesn't really seem to leave plot threads undone either, so I'm cool with that.

Eidolon should have stayed dead, Loken should have stayed dead, Torgaddon should remain dead. Can't death just be death?

Mage
27-01-2014, 23:33
As did I, but I thought it was interesting to discuss nonetheless.

Loken was a fan favourite, he didn't have to remain dead, but I see where you are coming from. A Song of Fire and Ice doesen't have people coming back left right and centre, when a character you are attached to dies you feel it and know people are at serious risk page to page, and it has an impact on you emotionally and the overall story itself. I guess it is a little bit comic booky to have people resurrect, it takes away meaning and significance. I don't mind Loken being back or being a latent.

I do agree though that Eidolon, Cyrene and Torgaddon should not be brought back. Each presents its own issues. It is established Eidolon is already alive in modern 40k. ADB, as you say, follows through with his stuff. Tarik, well, it is an interesting idea that he is being made suffer in a state of limbo - perhaps his arc would end with someone finally putting him out of his misery and making him move on?

When you think about it though, I mean, these are 4 characters when billiions of people are dead from the start of the heresy even before it is finished, over a span of so many years. There is not that much resurrection of characters in modern, 40k era novels.

Lord Lorne Walkier
29-01-2014, 06:45
Would this count as one of those things you mean:

When Loken comes accross an old meeting room in the third book I think, where he finds one of Erebus' Chaos books and something appears before him, and it kind of goes chaos-y for a second and he resists it and it goes back to normal? In most instances of 40k it would just sanity blast someone into madness.
Bingo! That is one of the Major hints Loken is a latent. Some wish to only see it as his "strength of mind and will" but cant they see that this is the same thing? Cant a Latent psyker manifest his repressed abilities by being unusually strong minded?


I have a long list of these hints. I have been on this trail for years now. Always there are people who insist im just imposing my wishes on the story. That Loken is just a above average Astartes. The things he dose can be easy explained away as just skill. If you think Loken is not a Psyker you can just stop reading now. I know what you will say. If you are a bit open to the idea, i challenge you to check me on these. Re read the sections im going to point out, with the idea that Loken survived Isstavan III and may just be a Powerful latent psyker who goes on to be a founding Grand Master of the Grey Knights. If he is these things then I feel that the writers knew this before they wrote the story and so then they must have been hinting at this. They did not want people to know these things and so with good writing they buried them deeply.

1 ) As i said above the the water garden where he took the Mournival Oath, back on 63-19. Not only dose Loken have a bad feeling about what is happening two times but as the names are being rolled of of the past members, his mind wonders. He tries to think of his own death but can't quite picture it. He then has two visions of the future. One has already come true, He was left for dead on a blasted planet, (Isstavan III). This is a Major hint. He had a foretelling. He is a "farseer".

2 ) In Flight of the Eisenstien Garro and Loken both have a Strong reaction to the Warsingers recorded Death scream. Only these two can not control them selves from Flinching at the scream. The Warsinger is of course a massively powerful psyker. It makes since to me that some one sensitive to this power would be able to hear the message in a way that more blunt minds would pass over. Garro who has heard the recording before hand, actively looks to see if anyone else shares his discomfort. This is made to big a point to me, to be just wasted words about soft heated Astartes.

3 ) The scene mentioned above ware Loken gets a hold of the Book of Lorgar. The whole time he is struggling to resist the warp effects of the area and book. He is able to do so by focusing on his Imperial Truth. There are 3 or more hints in this scene alone and it starts before he can even see the book.

4 ) Loken Vs Lucius 1 in Horus Rising. Loken watches Lucius fighting and dose not want to join in the fun. Against his will he relents to the spar but warns Lucius that he can "Read" him. Not only is Loken a "Farseer" he is also a Combat precog.

5 ) Loken vs Abaddon in Galaxy in Flames. When Loken is able to tap into a Inner Rage. With it he is almost able to kill Abaddon. This is the same rage he uses to mow down Plaguebearers in Garro: Legion of one. Rubio describes Lokens mind as too strong to read.

I have more but meh.

Nazguire
29-01-2014, 08:40
As did I, but I thought it was interesting to discuss nonetheless.

Loken was a fan favourite, he didn't have to remain dead, but I see where you are coming from. A Song of Fire and Ice doesen't have people coming back left right and centre, when a character you are attached to dies you feel it and know people are at serious risk page to page, and it has an impact on you emotionally and the overall story itself. I guess it is a little bit comic booky to have people resurrect, it takes away meaning and significance. I don't mind Loken being back or being a latent.

I do agree though that Eidolon, Cyrene and Torgaddon should not be brought back. Each presents its own issues. It is established Eidolon is already alive in modern 40k. ADB, as you say, follows through with his stuff. Tarik, well, it is an interesting idea that he is being made suffer in a state of limbo - perhaps his arc would end with someone finally putting him out of his misery and making him move on?

When you think about it though, I mean, these are 4 characters when billiions of people are dead from the start of the heresy even before it is finished, over a span of so many years. There is not that much resurrection of characters in modern, 40k era novels.


Then why kill Eidolon in the first place? His use as the guy who helps Fulgrim turn into a daemon prince was ham fisted and unnecessary. Having Fulgrim kill him was great as a way to show the reader how batshit insane Fulgrim was becoming, where he'd kill his top officer and drink his blood in wine just for the thought of disagreeing him. If it's pivotal that he remains alive because of an obscure IA reference ten years ago, then not killing him wouldn't have changed the story of Fulgrim becoming a daemon prince one way or another.

I'm not too fussed about Cyrene being killed and then resurrected as it both served a plot point (Argel Tal making a deal with the devil when he was told explicitly by Lorgar not to believe a word Erebus said) and ADB obviously has an idea where to go with the Perpetual story line. I just hope that plot point gets resolved and isn't forgotten about like the remembrancers, etc

Torgaddon as a memory of Loken, and no more, that haunts him as a form of PTSD is a cool concept and one I can connect to. Having him be turned into a daemon where Loken is duty bound to end his suffering is just a ore convoluted plot point that will either get forgotten about, or resolved hastily, just like most other side plots of the HH series.

DarkChaplain
29-01-2014, 14:34
As for Tarik, there are some things to note:

His head was with Loken on Isstvan. His geneseed was harvested, however, and bottled up by Erebus, used to summon a daemon, which is told in Know No Fear: "Tarik reborn, he-who-is-now-Tormaggedon"
In the old Collected Visions, there was an artwork titled "Torgaddon - Chieftain of the Sons of Horus", showing him heavily disfigured, sparkling with energy, his head looking feral, with chaos decorations and a lot of augmetics.
In the new Visions of Heresy artbook, the same artwork was once again used, this time titled "Tormageddon", and filed under the Terra section.

Furthermore, there seems to be a daemonic capital ship in Dan Abnett's Salvations Reach novel - for some reason his daemon ships all do the pokemon thing and shout their names into the void. "Tormaggedon Monstrum Rex" is one of them.

At this point it is fairly safe to say that Tormageddon will be back to the Siege of Terra, and that Loken, now tasked with it, will end him there. I just seriously hope that this death will be final, and he won't be pulled back once again to feature in Gaunt's Ghosts novels - please, let this be a coincidence (though with Abnett I kinda doubt it by now)