Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

Deathwatch, Talon, and the Rise of the Weekender…

The Black Library Weekender is mere days away.

As anyone who knows me can attest, I’m “not a big events guy”. At GDUK, you’ll usually find me taking longer breaks than the other authors, or signing for less time, and going to spy on people’s armies instead. I like doing panels with Graham of the McNeill Clan, and John of the French bloodline (and anyone from Forge World who will sit next to me for more than three minutes with me lavishing kisses upon them), but BL’s brand new events overseer (who is called Claudia, and is lovely, by the way) was very thoughtful in arranging a slightly less hectic schedule for me than last year’s Weekender. I barely survived last year’s one. And this year, I may not have a surprise midnight kiss with a burly male prison guard to boost my morale.

So while I’ll miss the Everyone Sit In A Room With Aaron event (which was humblingly full, last year), I’ll be less frantic and rushed with 800 panels and stuff, so I won’t constantly be saying “Uh, fuck off, I have to go to a thing now” if you happen to stop me in the hallway or the bar.

You can find a schedule thingy here: http://www.blacklibrary.com/Events/weekender-2013.html.

Also of note, I think my Mum and Stepdad are showing up to collect Shakes on the Saturday morning/afternoon, so if you want to see what I’d look like if I was a couple of decades older (and female) then I’ve got you covered.

I should (should…) have finished The Talon of Horus by the weekend, as well. If you ask me about it at the event, and all I do is hang my head and weep soulfully, then you’ll know just how well that intention worked out in the end. As with every book I write, I hate it and I’m sure everyone will hate it, too. We’ll see if time plays it out that way. It’s the story of the warriors who form the Black Legion first coming together to seek the lost First Captain Abaddon, and ends with Abaddon’s inevitable return to confront the clones of Horus – the first thing of note in the Black Legion/Sons of Horus’s famous post-Terra history.

Which all obviously leads into the second novel being about the Black Legion’s first few years of struggle.

I’m a little worried about a storm of 1-star reviews (“Abaddon doesn’t show up until really late!”) just because he’s on the cover, but whatever. If I wasn’t second-guessing myself and rewriting every line three times in a state of awkward discomfort, it wouldn’t be me. I’d be, y’know, someone brave instead.

I feel a little guilty about anyone who makes the main characters, though. First Claw aren’t equipped to be great on the tabletop, but at least they’re pretty easy to model. The ‘main character squad’ equivalent in The Talon of Horus (and going forward through the series) is the Ezekarion, and they’re not going to be easy to model. They’re also not actually tabletop legal, and would cost about 3,000 points if they were. So I apologise in advance.

The Tale of Five Heretics is, as you can see, massively delayed. I’ve accidentally started a Minotaurs army, and the maddest thing is that – for once – I’m actually painting them. And it’s fun. I’m enjoying it. This is progress on an unprecedented scale for me, given that I’m the guy that recently fielded 1,000 points of unpainted Chaos Marines, and still claim victory with 4,000 points of unpainted High Elves in my teens. The good news is that from mid-November onwards, I have a lot more free time again. I’ll have a proper update around then, hopefully with my first 3-man Sky Hunter Squad in the bag. I went from hating those models to absolutely adoring them in the space of about a week, and now I can’t get enough of them.

In other news, here are some of the fruits of my Facebook wall and various inboxes.

Is it inboxes? Inboxii. Inbeexes.

Whatever. You may recognise Defreee’s freaking killer representation of these fine, polite young men:

'Sons of Nostramo', by Defreeee.

‘Sons of Nostramo’, by Defreeee. I may have given a small, ladylike sigh of contentment at seeing this.

Here’s Benjamin Sephton-Smith’s Warhound with an ursus claw armament. My exact comment on seeing it was “Sacred bronze balls of Mars, that’s fucking mega!”

Jai Livingstone's Celestial Lion Scout. I'm in love with the gold and the skin tone.

Jai Livingstone’s Celestial Lion Scout. I’m in love with the gold and the skin tone.

Michael Garbo's First Claw. I never get sick of seeing these guys, and this is one of the most beautiful versions of them I've ever seen.

Michael Garbo’s First Claw. I never get sick of seeing these guys, and this is one of the most beautiful versions of them I’ve ever seen.

And here's Keith Bruce's "Rough WIP" (in his words) of Abaddon. How much do I fucking love this one? The answer is "Lots".

And here’s Keith Bruce’s “Rough WIP” (in his words) of Abaddon. How much do I fucking love this one? The answer is “Lots”.

Before I go, did I tell you a few of us are gearing up to play some Deathwatch in January? Hopefully a long-running campaign, and we’re looking to make it more than just a series of shooty-death-kill scenes. I’ll have more info soon, but right now the line-up runs a little like this:

  • Varianus Noster, Praesarius of the Ultramarines 5th Company. [Devastator]
  • Jorran, Battle-Brother of the Imperial Fists 5th Company. [Tactical]
  • Droitus Mallory, Battle-Brother of the Lamenters. [Assault]
  • Deiphobus Lorec, Intendant of the Minotaurs. [Apothecary]

Given my shameless love of Apothecaries, it’ll be no surprise that I’m playing Dio. It was hard resisting Devastator, Tactical, and Librarian (because of heavy bolter, awesome bolter, and psychic powers, respectively) but nothing beats a narthecium.

Some interesting tensions between the Chapters, too. Hope it works out.

And lastly, you can see Katie thinking about whether to join in or not, over at her blog right here. It’s a conundrum. She likes her D&D gnome, and Space Marines… aren’t D&D gnomes.

October 28, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. One of the highlights of last years Weekender was Alexander heckling you during your QnA seminar. Plus getting newborn gift advice from Katie and asking you which you would fight – a dozen duck sized horses or one horse sized ducks. I still respect your answer of taming the horse sized duck as a mount.

    Comment by Alex Edwards | October 28, 2013 | Reply

    • Oh, that was hilarious.

      “Sorry, am I BORING you, son?!”

      Comment by Vijay | October 28, 2013 | Reply

    • That was brilliant, he had amazing timing.

      Comment by Jimmy Carmine | October 29, 2013 | Reply

  2. Minotaurs. Bunch of self-righteous assholes. Long live the Lamenters, they are the real heroes! (Whoever’s playing the Lamenter has good taste.)

    Also loving those models, I myself have a small Bl based project in mind. I plan to make some of the Angels Penitent from Peter Fehevari’s Crown of Thorns. Looking forward to seeing your non-Minotaur stuff.

    Comment by Lord of the Night | October 28, 2013 | Reply

  3. Were you not tempted to play Black Crusade, Aaron? What with your Chaos affiliations and all… I’m thinking of getting into DW with my gaming buddies over Christmas, it’s just a matter of deciding on a fething Chapter and getting the required rulebook(s) and dice. On the plus side, if we ever swing to BC I’ve got the SICKEST Night Lords Raptor Champion to use… Inspired by you of course 😉

    On a side note, any chance of a Talon-off-Horus-themed extract hitting the blog any time soon? I miss the days when you used to post your extracts… 😦

    Comment by Vijay | October 28, 2013 | Reply

    • I’m one of the tossers who bought ‘Black Crusade’ with absolutely no intention of playing it “just for the fluff”, and it is a totally gorgeous game, in its disfigured, hideously burned, sick-with-corruption way. I’m guessing after writing ‘Betrayer’ and ‘Talon Of Horus’, it might be a bit of a busman’s holiday for Aaron. Wow, that’s the first time I’ve ever used that phrase…

      Comment by machen impostor | October 29, 2013 | Reply

  4. As a fellow accidental Minotaur painter I’m interested to see how yours turn out.
    And, for the second time in a row, it turns out I’m in Nottingham but elsewhere for the BL Weekender. My timing is impeccable…

    Comment by Joe | October 28, 2013 | Reply

  5. What about Master of Mankind? You haven’t mentioned that recently

    Comment by TheSGC | October 28, 2013 | Reply

  6. The inquisitor running the show must be sadistic. Minotaur’s and Lamenters in the same kill team is a recipe for friendly fire. I can already see the scene where the Lamenter hands the Minotaur a friendship bracelet. You know, part of the 12 step recovery program for recovering traitors. The Minotaur looks at the bracelet and swipes the Lamenters bolt gun instead. Thanks man, the last one I took from you guys wore out.

    Comment by John Stiening | October 30, 2013 | Reply

  7. Dammit, this is the second time I Talon in one of your titles on this blog and yet no cover! You damn cock-tease! But that art is killer! Way better than the omnibus cover.

    Comment by Forkmaster | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  8. On the bright side, the day you send a manuscript off to the printer feeling pretty good about it is the day you fail as a writer.

    Comment by Nurglitch | January 20, 2014 | Reply

  9. […] may remember that I’m starting a Deathwatch game soon – this weekend, in fact – with a few of the members of my 40K campaign […]

    Pingback by Deathwatch – The Vigil Begins « Aaron Dembski-Bowden | January 24, 2014 | Reply

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