Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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

Alan Bligh

1

My friend Alan died tonight.

Better posts than mine will come. They’ll be more detailed, more insightful, and with the benefit of time to take a finer form. I had to get this down, get it from skull to fingertips to screen, in the brief but merciful expanse of numbness between emotional poles. Right after I heard the news I went to speak with the others that had known about his illness for a while, only to find I had an hour of missed messages from them trying to contact me, to tell me he’d died.

I’d known for a while that he was sick, and then a few of us learned recently, privately, that he was much, much sicker than we’d all thought. The words “weeks to months left” were given out, and I clung to those words the way my five-year-old son Shakes clings to all of my “In five minutes, buddy…” delaying tactics. I held them to the same sacred standard of absolution, when really they’re expressions of timeless vagueness.

Ultimately, it leaned heavily on the side of Days and Weeks, not so much in the Months corner.

Alan was one of my closest friends. He was much smarter than me, without ever making me feel shitty about it. He drank more tea than any other human being I’ve ever met. He often read my work before it hit print, suggesting X, saying he liked Y. He smuggled me out WIPs of his own. I first read the text for two Space Marine Legions in Microsoft Word, f’rex, with Alan’s typos still baked into the text. He sent the kids book vouchers at Christmas. Our various channels of communication were filled with 40K lore talk more than anything else, which is practically a given if you’re a good friend of mine, though there was a significant amount of him telling me to stop putting it off every year and write some non-40K stuff, and there was a roughly equal amount of lamenting and laughing about life’s ups, downs, zigs, and zags. Nothing unexpected. Nothing unusual.

When I was at my most furious and least reasonable with the tick-tocking madness of Games Workshop behind the scenes (during the Dark Times a few years ago), it was almost always Alan that would calm me down. That was Alan in a nutshell. Insert vexation; receive wisdom.

He’d say things like “This too shall pass”. He said that one often enough that those who knew him would quote it in doing impressions of him. Alan always said it with the knowing smile of a man that knew. And he was always right. They always did.

As Alan was dying in England, I was here in N. Ireland, inking an Ophidian Archway. Given how often he teased me for not painting enough, I suspect that would’ve amused him immensely. As glad as I am at the cold comfort of coincidence, I would much rather have been at his side.

My flight to see him was tomorrow morning. We’d heard from the ward nurse that he wasn’t up to visitors this weekend, so earlier this afternoon I’d changed my flight to next weekend instead. All useless, all pointless. He died tonight.

I had so, so much left to say to him. There was no doubt a bajillion things he still had left to say to me over the course of X years, but even without that much time left, I was ready with a host of what I wanted to say to him. He was weak and drained, and frankly I was braced for him to just lie there in his bed and look despairingly at me, hoping I’d shut up, while I talked and talked and cried and talked.

Everything I wanted to say is meaningless now. I can tell him none of it. It will evaporate over time, occasionally forming chunks of conversations that I have with his other close friends, occasionally surfacing as regret wreckage in the oceans of 2am melancholy that seem intrinsic to the human condition.

Earlier this week, Shakes caught me crying. He looked awkward, worried I was upset because he’d done something wrong. When I told him the reason, he said “Your friend might not die if they find a way to make him better.”  

I hugged him hard, too hard, and sent him back outside into the sunshine. In my office, the pressure of emotion inside my skull was beyond crying. I had to shout into my cupped hands just to discharge it, just to get it out of my head.

I’ve done that more than once this week. My head space was a compass. North was an inability to think about it at all; it was too much, too impossible, too much, too much, so for those hours I was perfectly fine since it wasn’t happening. South was a practical and cold look at the truth: He was going to die, so what needed to be done, what times were flights, what needed to be said before there wasn’t a chance to say any more? What would the 40K fandom say? What would Horus Heresy meetings be like (and the email sessions afterwards) without Alan? East was mostly trying and failing to look at it critically, to imagine what other people in the know were thinking and feeling. I’ve wasted a lot of hours this week being unable to see anything from anyone else’s point of view. West was a place of pathetic but earnest, tear-streaked hope – it was Googling “Terminal cancer survival percentages” and screaming into my hands so the poison wasn’t behind my eyes any more.

Now my friend is dead. My life is poorer for it, but immeasurably richer for what he brought to it. From the confidence and wisdom he gave me, to the fucking way he’d say “The perfidious Elllldaaaaaarrrr” which has stuck in my head for years now, unable to be shaken.

I once brought my fear to him that I wasn’t a worthy successor to Andy Chambers and co.; that the Codex Imperialis of 2nd Edition 40K was never going to be surpassed, but that I wanted to at least equal it. I thought his Badab War books for Forge World were on the same level as the old greats. I meant that, wholeheartedly. He could see that I meant it.

He looked me dead in the eyes and said “You worry about the strangest things.” He then gave me a look, the look he always gave me when I was charging up some ill-advised path but there was time yet for a Blighian scowl to make me rethink things. I sipped my gross tea and realised why he – an avid tea-drinker, hadn’t got any here himself. He’d known it was gross.

I miss him dearly already, with the insane selfishness of being caged by my own feelings.

I’m in pieces. I am in pieces. I miss my friend.

May 27, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

57 Comments »

  1. This too shall pass in time.

    Comment by Geordie Irvin | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  2. Here I am, wishing to quote you “Come what come may; time and the hour runs through the roughest day”, but then again, despite being across Europe in Poland, I’ve also lost a friend. I’ve only known him for his works, but in a sense he wrote them for me – for the fan. I’ve dedicated some years in my life to translating his work on the FFG 40k RPGs, as well, one of the most enjoyable commissions ever.

    And now he is gone. As I say a quiet goodbye to our friend, I want you to know, Aaron, that you are a friend as well – through your work, how you handled Templars and Night Lords, with your reaching out to the community at B&C.

    You have my quiet, faraway support in those hard times. All these times you scream in your hands – there is a calm hand on your shoulder from a friend you will never meet.

    There are Legions of us, standing with you – missing Alan and having your back through this.

    Comment by Bartosz Chilicki | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  3. He is a legend to me. It is all I can really say. My Forge World books have just become relics of a golden age.

    Comment by Steve Lennon | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  4. I’m really sorry to hear of your loss. If it’s any consolation, he knows all the things you wanted to say. If he didn’t know in life, he knows now. You told us, you told the universe. I’m sure he heard your thoughts along with all his friends thoughts.
    I have been in your position where I just missed out on saying goodbye in person. I hope, like me, you come to peace knowing that he knows and appreciates all you shared. I’m sure his guiding hand will always be in your work.

    Comment by Beardy Hammer | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  5. REQUIEM aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.
    ETERNAL rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
    My condolences to his family and friends. Well written ADB.

    Comment by Matt Grimaldus Ross | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  6. I was working at GW in direct sales with Mr French when Alan joined the team, there was an instant connection between the two of them, it was amazing to listen to conversations between them, they far surpassed the 40k fluff talks myself and John used to have after our 40k RPG sessions with a great group of friends, most of which I sadly have lost contact with. It was like two kindred spirits had stumbled upon each other in some great happenstance. Both with the same passion and the similar goals.

    From the limited time I knew him I could tell he was probably one of the smartest, wisest people I could ever meet. The kind of person that wouldn’t say much, but when he did people would listen on tenterhooks. He was pretty much the opposite of me as a 19/20 year old massive socially awkward in the “talk as much as possible” kind of way. One of the first time I met him we were at lunch talking about general stuff, who we were, what we’d done previously, aspirations etc, the kind of thing work colleagues do. He told me he wanted to be a writer, the same as Mr French had done when I met him. Of all the people who had stated “I want to work in the studio or for Black Lirbrary.” Those two were the ones that secretly I had no doubt that they would make it. Unfortunately I left shortly after Alan joined us, just before the huge head office cull.

    I didn’t know him for long, occasionally bumping into him a events or if I was at GW some times, but the time I did know him he was a gentleman, and I don’t mean that in the pretentious way people sometimes are these days, coming across as a gentleman when they’re truly a bit of an idiot, he was, as I like to say, a gentleman and a scholar in the purest and truest embodiment of that phrase. You were lucky to have counted him amongst your closest friends. He was a fantastic artist and I honestly think the gaming will be left a little greyer without him.

    Please accept my condolences, focus on the joy and wisdom he brought to your life. Whenever you feel down, read some of his work, for the one boon of being a writer is that he left a legacy of work that gives insight into his mind where most people have nothing but photographs.

    I apologise that this is so long.
    Dave.

    Comment by David Rider | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  7. Dear Aaron,

    My condolences to your loss. Alan Bligh was indeed a gifted man and a great loss for the 30k and HH community. Take as much time as you need to grieve your loss. But when you’re done, get back to what you do best and continue writing as that’s the best way to make your friend proud.

    Take care!

    Louis, Heresy fan from Hong Kong

    Comment by Louis Li | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  8. My condolences, Aaron. Alan had one of the most beautiful jobs in the world, writer. I hope that he had a good life. Buen viaje, amigo.

    Comment by Agustin Puig | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  9. Ultimately, there are no words that will make the pain any less severe. While welcome, words of comfort won’t make it burn any less intensely.

    While you scream into your cupped hands at the injustice and unfairness and bleakness of it all, I hope Alan’s wise words come back to you as it is these moments such wisdom is needed most:-

    This too shall pass.

    Comment by Alex | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  10. The night that picture was taken was one of the funniest nights of my life. We all had tears in our eyes, but for a different reason. If you thought Alan was a good writer, it paled in comparison to his narrative skills. He could tell a story like no other. That night he told us a tale of a Warhammer Fantasy game that had us laughing so hard Aaron was banging his fist on the table.

    We were supposed to play Call of Cthulhu that night at the Trip, but by the time Alan showed up we were already too drunk to play but that was fine. I will miss him too Aaron. Your write up is fantastic and as I got to the part with “The perfidious Elllldaaaaaarrrr” I could hear it in his voice.

    Comment by Carl V Tuttle | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  11. I don’t think there can be better or lesser posts about a loss. Only yours, personal expression of inner feelings. You have your ways and that’s all that import.
    Damn, I didn’t had a single chance to meet the man, but I always heard about his niceness.
    I offer you my apologies, for that matters.

    Comment by Vivien Voillot | May 27, 2017 | Reply

    • Condoleances, not apologies.
      English is not my native language :/

      Comment by Vivien Voillot | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  12. Losing a friend is never easy. My condolences on your loss.

    Comment by Darryl | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  13. Dear Aaron Dembski-Bowden, please accept my condoleances.

    Comment by Jeff | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  14. A beautiful, fitting memorial to a great man. I only met him a few times but his passion and humour always shone through. He shall be missed

    Comment by Cerri Love | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  15. My deepest condolences to you and his family. His memories will live on with his art, he will always be with you.

    Comment by Fred B | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  16. Dear Aaron,

    I have been a fan of both your work and Alan’s for years; your writings brought the Horus Heresy universe to life for me, and got me back into the hobby after a long hiatus.

    I am truly sorry for your loss. I hope you can take some solace in knowing that Alan’s amazing art touched a great many people.

    Sincerely,

    Enrique Periam

    Comment by Enrique Periam | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  17. Thank you for sharing this Aaron and my deepest condolences. I like to think that each person who reads this somehow shoulders a bit of the grief that you and Alan’s family are going through right now, if only to lessen the burden a bit through our own empathy.

    Your friend still lives, just in a different place. The happiness he’s experiencing right now couldn’t possibly be articulated if all of the Black Library authors pooled their collective talent together and tried to pen an encyclopedia of what Heaven is like. You will see each other again one day and all that was left unsaid won’t matter.

    You and Alan’s family are in my prayers.

    Comment by Toby O'Hara | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  18. Aaron,

    I’m so sorry. Everything I’ve ever heard about Alan echos your sentiments and his loss will be keenly felt.

    If there’s anything that we can do for Alan’s mother will you let us know?

    He was a solid, decent fellow, both kind in word and industrious in deed. Few are ever remembered with such grace and compliments and fewer still have such a friend as that.

    Comment by liketheroom | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  19. Pick up a paint brush….make him laugh.

    Comment by Mike edwards | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  20. Well said.

    Comment by Jacob | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  21. We may not have known him very well, Aaron, but I hope you know you are not alone. The whole community stands by you, as Legion, to collectively grieve the loss of what I can only equate to a champion of the Imperial Truth. May he live on in the hearts of those who have had the chance to meet or know him, as befits a hero loyal to the Emperor.

    I would offer more consolation and words if I thought it would help, but I lack the oratory skills befitting such a deed. I am no Chaplain; though I make the effort, I am not so gifted with the force of character to rally men’s hearts.

    Comment by Kyle Nguyen | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  22. Aaron, I am sorry for the loss of your friend, Alan Bligh was a grate man.

    Comment by Felis Catus | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  23. Aaron no words can say, heal or change or bring back the loss you have suffered, no words ironically can, but hang on to those positives, the way he said and did things, the things that made you both Laugh Out Loud, the things that made you both shake your heads knowingly that what you heard wouldn’t work. Try not think of the evil that took him away, focus on here and now, the future is always tomorrow, hug those you love and tell them that and never ever, ever take life for granted, live it. Life is for living, for laughing over a pint / cuppa and a pie and chips with those you love, I’m sure he would not want you to mope around, he would want you to laugh as you bloody paint something 40k or HH – do it! Take it easy and smile he was a good close friend to you and yours and your life is richer for it, RIP Alan Bligh, sincerest condolences and take care Aaron.

    Comment by Mark Andrews | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  24. ❤️

    Comment by bigbossredskullz | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  25. Condolences, Aaron. Your tale of woe made me deeply feel your heartfelt loss. I am so sorry.

    Comment by Augustus b'Raass | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  26. No-one can ever truly understand what it means to lose a friend – Each friendship is different. But he’s not gone, he’s still with you through your memories, and those of other friends – You’re taking the best of him forward with you, and can continue to do things that made him proud, the things that made him smile, and the things that made him bury his head in his hands to say “Oh god….”. You mainly just have to get used to wanting to pick up the phone, and remembering that he’s not at the other end. But you likely know what he would have said, so he’s still there in a way.

    It doesn’t get easier, I still want to call a friend to discuss things almost 15 years after he died. But you can and will cope, and your friends and family will make that possible. Don’t be strong – Be you, and just remember to keep on being you, just the way he would have wanted you to.

    Comment by Mark Canty | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  27. I don’t proclaim to have known the man, but I did love his work. For yourself as a personal friend of his I understand your pain and grief having lost a handful of my close friends over the years.

    I’ts not doing much to say that i extend to you and Alan’s family my condolences, but it’s the little I can do.

    In earnest I think the whole warhammer community would like to see a fitting memorial and dedication to Mr Bligh either at Warhammer World or within a GW publication or two.

    Though he will be sadly missed by many, not least yourself. I for one am grateful we had him for the time we did, alas we could only wish it was for longer.

    I also can only but thank you for at least a little insight into the circumstances of Mr Bligh’s untimely demise – lest it be left to rumour and conjecture upon the internet.

    Comment by Bing Bong | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  28. Crap, I literally managed to escape this news today by the simple matter of arriving at the Forge World seminar today a couple of minutes late and just found out seconds ago. So sorry for your loss. He’ll be missed by many.

    Comment by Tim Duckhouse | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  29. That is probably the worst news I’ve heard in last 3 years. I really hoped that one day I would get UK visa and will visit FW Open Day and will have a chance to meet Alan in person. I hoped I would be able to express my gratitude for his work on HH and that he is the person responsible for returning me into Warhammer after I ragequit. He is not just the best, he is pretty much the only rules author I trust now. I would love to have the collection of all his works for any games or systems, both for FW and FFG. sigh… Should I start selling my HH miniatures now?…

    Comment by Helbrass | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  30. sorry for the loss of your friend

    Comment by Jim McDaniel | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  31. You sir, are a poet. It’s so hard to put into words what you may feel, think when something like this happens – nothing ever seems right. Your message here felt right.
    I only chatted with Alan a few times at various GW/FW events, so can’t claim to have known him. I found him to be insightful, funny, very listenable and – from what little I could tell – a genuinely nice person. It’s always worse losing friends like those (years ago I also lost a friend about whom I felt in a similar way – also gone too young, also missed terribly).
    No amount of condolences from strangers are going to make this any easier for you, but you have them nonetheless. But as well as condolences, you have my thanks. Thanks for showing a bit more about a real person who I would have liked to have known better.
    I know you’d do it anyway, but give your little lad an extra hug for Alan – and for yourself. Keep it real.

    Comment by Dave Wright | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  32. He was an amazing individual… we will all feel his loss.

    Comment by bigblackfiend | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  33. The sorrow never leave us but it fades leaving behind memories.

    Rest in peace.

    Comment by Alexander | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  34. Sorry about the loss, Aaron. It’s not easy to lose a great friend. The community is here if you need to talk about it.

    Comment by Shawn O'Leary | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  35. Aaron,

    While I haven’t had the honor of meeting you or Alan, as usual you have eloquently and honestly put words on the screen and provided a window into your life. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to share your feelings in this painful time. You already know how you will handle this; you have Alan’s kind words to help and guide you.

    Thank you, and my condolences,

    Evan

    Comment by EVAN SLAGLE | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  36. A moving piece, its rare than someone touches so many lives. I can honestly say that for at least the past eight years Alan has personally provided hours or enjoyment every week to myself and many gamers at the club I attend. I met the man himself at least six times at various weekenders, I spoke to him in the awkward way that you do when someone is known to you but not you to them. I regret never introducing myself, it seems a small thing but given the gifts he game me and my friends through gaming, a little friendliness and small talk before the inevitable gaming or background question seems suddenly more important. The release his work gives me helps me at work, home and in the person who is me, it gives me the release I need.

    You say what you had to say to him is now meaningless, I’d hope that with time you realise this isn’t the case. I have the privilege of working in the position that tells people “weeks to months” or “days to weeks”, I’m in these situations a lot. Even on the sidelines as I am, it’s possible to see that nothing is meaningless, with time the material being of a person become less important than the thoughts and feelings of those around them, who love, respect and care for them. When you’re with his other friends this will become more apparent and often with the passage of time these things you were going to say will solidify more into the feeling you keep and hold about Alan, that’s important, for him, you and everyone around him.

    I don’t know how many of these comments you’ll read but I hope that helps in some small way.

    I don’t suppose you would know of any way to get tributes from fans or people who’ve known him briefly to his family? I’m sure our club would like to send some flowers.

    Comment by Andy Devlin | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  37. An incredible obituary. Alan would be proud of it.

    Comment by Simon Mclarnon | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  38. He was kind and funny the couple of times we met. His work, like yours, has enriched all of our lives. I’m terribly sorry for your loss, and for the heart ache is family must be feeling. I treasure his books, and will not forget him. Love is a memory.

    Comment by John Stiening | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  39. Condolences for your personal loss. It’s awful when somewhere you care about dies. Sounds like you have some really great memories.

    Comment by robertpettitt | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  40. My deepest condolences.

    Comment by Mark | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  41. Aaron, it takes a lot of courage to be so honest about your feelings at such a hard time. Though I do not know you personally, the depth of your mutual friendship with Alan speaks highly for both of you. My thoughts are with you in your time of grief.

    Comment by James | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  42. Hi Aaron,

    You don’t know me but I’ve followed you since the early days. Your post made me cry a fair amount, it is a hard read. I see much of myself in you, it hurts to read the pain you are in. Unfortunately I can empathise, my Nan who brought me up is also dieing of cancer and she has been given a similar timescale to your friend Alan. Just typing this is bringing tears to my eyes. I feel forlorn for you Aaron.

    Be strong dude, we are made of sterner stuff.

    Crispin

    Comment by gambit2409 | May 27, 2017 | Reply

  43. Hi Aaron.

    This is probably the third time I’ve re-written this message. Condolences to people who are, to all intents and purposes strangers – are hard things to string together.

    I just want to say, Alan’s passing is a great loss to many, many more people than most. But the greatest loss is to his friends and loved ones, most of all.

    But the bond of friendship, of loving a friend and having that love returned is something that goes beyond death. It echoes through, spreading out like ripples on a pond.

    You’ve shared your love for Alan with the world and you’ve made others consider their own friendships. You’ve made me consider mine, and how much they’re really worth.

    And, if Alan was the man that I – as a stranger – believe him to have been, then I’m pretty sure that you spreading the ripples of affection, leading others to see the value in their own friendships is something he’d approved of.

    So please, accept my condolences but also my thanks.

    Your friendship with Alan has made me appreciate that the only thing that remains, the only thing that really counts when we’re gone is memories.

    If I’m right and we are all made up of memories – then I would suggest you continue to make as many memories as you can. I would suggest that you make and keep and hold memories close to you, that you share them with others and give memories to others. I would say you should tie yourself up in memories and tie yourself into the memories of others,, as Alan did with you and those he held close.

    Keep memories and keep them safe. Please, for your own sake continue to make memories and make them good ones. Because even if you lose the ones you hold dear, you can still keep then close. To be human is to belong to others, and so others can keep you safe in their memory. Of all the places in the world, there is no safer place that you can be than tucked up in someone’s fond recollection.

    So, if I have one thing for you to take away from this, (if in some fit of madness you decided to read it,) it would be to continue make memories, to share memories and keep memories; for those who you love and on behalf of those you love.

    That way, no one need ever be lost.

    My condolences and deepest sympathies,

    Lindon.

    Comment by Lindon Layton Best | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  44. Sorry for your loss Aaron I can only imagine how hard it is to lose such a good friend

    Comment by jtomlins | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  45. I can only imagine the horror of such a loss.

    I hope I never have to experiance it in my nearer years, tho it is inevitable.

    I hope the caretakers of his legacy with GW & FW honour and defend what he worked so hard on. (Tho recent 40K fluff has me nervous).

    I pray for your inner peace.

    Comment by Canadian_F_H | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  46. Aaron, this post just break my heart. I hope everything will be alright.

    Comment by Ave Maleficum | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  47. At one time I truly believed I could be a games designer, I worked with Alan and John French in Direct Sales back in 2003 and along with a couple of friends we tinkered over some fluff for Blood Bowl, Mordheim and Necromunda, We even got a few things in Fanatic. With the same group of our friends we even took a stab at a 40K RPG. It was then that I realized the difference between a fanboy and someone who bled creativity and sweat innovation. I wasn’t even angry, I just watched in awe as Alan took me places my mind would never venture without such a creative (and somewhat twisted) mind to guide me. We haven’t talked in over a decade, I moved to the US, left GW and the hobby behind. Today I remember a friend, a community and a life that means so much more to me than I every believed. I guess what I’m trying to say is I regret losing the only man who could keep up with me in a tea drinking competition.
    Farewell Alan, you are missed more than you ever imagined.
    Harry Harrington.

    Comment by Marc "Harry" Harrington | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  48. Please take comfort from the fact that Alan knows everything you wanted him to know
    It is obvious how much you loved your friend, he knows that too
    The pain will lessen one day at a time
    But remember he is alive in your heart and the hearts of everyone who knew him and always will be

    Comment by Anne Peters | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  49. Terrible news. I’ll never personally know Alan but his writing always entertained me in rough times over the years, and I hope many more people will experience it. Warhammer lore will never be Tolstoy but it is great fun to immerse yourself in the grim darkness of the far future after spending too much time in the more mundane grim darkness of the here and now, and what I read of Alan’s was among the best. He’ll be missed here, in a small way.

    Comment by Thomas Kellum | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  50. sad to hear this, and sorry for your loss aaron.

    Comment by terryshithole | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  51. I am very sorry for your loss, Aaron! For what it matters, you obituary for Alan Bligh was heartbreaking and beautiful, and I am sure he will appreciate it, wherever he may be now.

    Comment by krautscientist | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  52. Rest in peace, Alan.

    A very emotional speech to honour one emotional person who gave it all in everything he planned on…

    He will be long missed

    Comment by Wolfen LTL | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  53. I am just shocked to hear of this news.
    He was still so young. I didn’t attend the HH Weekender in February but saw the seminar on youtube and he looked so vibrant and full of life, with so many plans for Angelus and other things as well. I had no idea he had such a serious illness.

    I always hoped to get a chance to talk to him. I am not an insder but to me he always seemed like the personification of the Horus Heresy. I figured that between him and Goulding, you sort of had the two big Horus Heresy minds that kept it all together, especially with Alan Merrett gone from the company. Bligh’s writing in the Forgeworld black books that I have is excellent, I genuinely treasure these books. I thought someday he might write a novel, but then I also didn’t want him to do that, because it would mean he wouldn’t be able to write a Black Book, and Lord knows we already think they don’t come out soon enough cause they are so good.

    Terrible news this. I am sorry that I am not really responding to your feelings on the matter Aaron, it’s just that this death comes completely unexpected. I had no idea this was imminent.

    Regards

    Taliesin from B&C

    Comment by Jacob Williams | May 28, 2017 | Reply

  54. […] Alan Bligh: The Forgeworld Horus Heresy Lead Writer.  Aaron-Dembski Bowden wrote a very touching tribute to Alan and his […]

    Pingback by Signals from the Frontline #536: The Ultima Founding Will Save Us All | Frontline Gaming | May 29, 2017 | Reply

  55. Hi Aaron,

    Others may write ‘better’ or ‘more insightful’ posts, but yours is the heartfelt words of a true friend and all the more valuable for it. Like so many fans of the Horus Heresy and Warhammer I never met Alan but I’ve been a fan of his work (and yours!) for seven years now and counting. In fleshing out the Horus Heresy, Alan created – in my ‘humble’ opinion – a setting way more interesting than Star Trek and fit to keep company with that other god of sci-fi, Star Wars.The fact that he could make eighteen(!) legions and leaders unique yet nuanced in their own special ways says much for his creativity and skills.

    In an era when so many seek only to tear down and destroy, the loss of such an artist is all the more keenly felt. You’ve expressed with your usual wordsmithery what many of us feel, and I figure his shade raised his tea cup in approval at your tribute.

    Even if that tea was the gross stuff you mentioned 🙂

    I hope the pain of this loss diminishes over the coming years, and that Alan’s death leaves not a void but a furrow from which the seeds of new creative life will spring.

    Vince from Oz

    Comment by Vincent, Maester of House Coles | June 7, 2017 | Reply


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