Saturday, December 29, 2007

REVIEW: Deus Encarmine synopsis

When I switched the web address of this blog earlier in the year I neglected to delete the old blog content on my webspace. That meant that if anyone was to search for lone pilgrim through a search engine they'd have a good chance of finding the old blog which halted abruptly in August, and they'd have no idea that I had continued at this address. This point was made forcibly to me recently when a frustrated friend explained he couldn't find my blog at all!

So I've deleted the old blog files on my webspace and hopefully people should find their way here. A side issue, and the reason for this post, is my static HTML website. That is still sitting there on my old webspace with a fistful of content on it. I want to shut that down too, and make this blog my only web presence, but in order to do so I need to transfer the content over here. I don't want to just lose it.

The first things I want to bring over are my reviews. So I'm starting with my book reviews. First up is Deus Encarmine.

Synopsis [Spoiler alert] This bit tells you exactly what happens in the book!

Cybele is a war-grave world in the Ultima Segmentum. The Blood Angels, including Brother Rafen, are trying to stop it's desecration by the traitorous Word Bearers. At the last moment, the beleaguered Blood Angels are reinforced by the returning members of the Bellus expedition, led by Inquisitor Stele. The mission lasted 10 years and successfully recovered the Spear of Telestus, an artifact dating back to the Horus Heresy and which was reportedly used by the Primarch Sanguinius himself. Brother Sachiel has moved quickly through the ranks while on the mission and is now a Sanguinary Priest. Rafen is reunited with his younger brother Arkio, who has matured remarkably.

Meanwhile, Iskavan, the Word Bearers Dark Apostle, has his Sorceror Tancred make a fortune telling. Tancred is too frightened to tell Iskavan of his forthcoming doom.

Arkio leads an attack on the starport and uses its gun batteries to destroy the orbiting Chaos space ship. Arkio saves Sachiel's life during the battle by killing a Daemon single-handedly. Sachiel declares that their Primarch Sanguinius has been reborn in Arkio.

Iskavan is commanded to retreat by warmaster Garand against the Word Bearers tradition. Iskavan flees to Shenlong and the captured Ikari fortress (a munition manufactory).

With Cybele saved, Inquisitor Stele presents the Spear to Arkio. In their bloodlust, the Blood Angels forget their duty to defend Cybele and set out for Shenlong. Veteran Sergeant Koris and Sachiel argue. Commander Dante, back on Baal, orders Stele to remain on Cybele. The Inquisitor kills the Astropath carrying the message.

Flashback to Baal, and Koris the Marine is selecting initiates to become Blood Angels. Arkio, Rafen and Sachiel are among the candidates. Koris takes Sachiel and Arkio but dismisses Rafen as he shows no humility. The Thunderhawk carrying the aspirants crashes. Rafen rallies the survivors against the flora and fauna. Koris reverses his decision and takes Rafen as an initiate.

Back to the present, and Koris and the other skeptics confront Stele. They think the attack on Shenlong is suicide. Stele lies and tells them that the Ikari fortress conceals an Eldar webway portal. Koris accepts the now vital mission, despite the odds. Stele shares a benediction with the Marines. They all succumb to the Black Rage before the attack on the fortress. Just before he dies, Koris tells Rafen of Stele's treachery and that Arkio could destroy the Blood Angels.

Rafen kills Tancred, and the Blood Angels take the fortress, largely thanks to Arkio, wielding the Spear of Telesto. Iskavan escapes.

Rafen secretly sends a message back to Dante on Baal, recounting the abandonment of Cybele and the attack on Shenlong. Stele finds out about the message and executes the Bellus' astropathic choir, so that he has sole control over communications.

Arkio and Sachiel begin the execution of civilians upon Shenlong for hiding the impure. Commander Dante dispatches a force to bring Arkio and the Spear back to Baal. Inquisitor Stele and Arkio reveal their plans to set aside the Codex Astartes and raise an army on Shenlong.

Garand tells Iskavan that his army was a sacrifice to try and corrupt the Blood Angels. In order to spoil Garand's plan, and gain vengeance upon the Blood Angels, Iskavan tries to release chemical weapons which would kill everyone upon Shenlong. He is delayed by Rafen and finally killed by Arkio. During the climactic battle Arkio sprouts wings, just like his Primarch.

When Rafen recovers he is made to pledge his allegiance to Arkio. Sachiel forces him to drink a benediction.

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