No prizes for guessing who you can preorder now.
So. Games Workshop have made a mini of one of my characters. That’s a sentence I’ve basically hoped would be true since I was a little kid, and is a pretty significant tick on the bucket list. I thought this’d be a moment where I jumped up and down and shrieked in playgroundish delight, but the truth (just like the day I hit the New York Times bestsellers’ list) is a bizarre sense of awestruck serenity.
More surreal than anything else.
Well, surreal and awesome.
It’s both obvious and weird that it’s Sev. Obvious because he’s easily my most popular and asked-about character, and he has a rank in the Heresy that deserves some time on the tabletop. Weird because authors don’t always write what they love; sometimes they write what they have ideas for at any given time. I occasionally joke about not liking him the way Paul Sheldon doesn’t like Misery Chastain. That’s not true but the analogy always tickles me, and there’s at least a thread-thin sliver of truth there. I like that people like him. That matters more, sometimes, especially when you’re trying to tell people a story.
But I digress. There’s gushing to be done.
Dat mini, tho.
People will ask if he matches what’s in my head, and I’ll say no – because that’s the truth. He looks waaaaay better for a start, and secondly, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really have concrete and definite pictures in my head for every detail of a character’s appearance. When I see artwork or modelled incarnations of my characters, I do the same thing I do when I’m writing them: I look for the 3-4 key details and the overall vibe. Talos isn’t a clear, definite image in my mind: he’s a vague aura of characteristics and details, like the runic faceplate; the exposed cables of Mark V armour; the broken Aquila on his chestplate; and the distinctive weapons he stole – all with an aura of melancholic anger and optimistic self-delusion, which is the core of his personality to me.
Capture a handful of key details and the overall vibe, and I’m sold. That’s how it always is with the many models and pieces of artwork I get sent, depicting my characters. That’s how it is with my novel covers, too.
So… what about Sevatar?
It’s impossible to overstate just how rad and fucking brutal Sev looks in his tabletop incarnation. Alan Bligh and John French gave him awesome, characterful rules, and Forge World’s Steve Whitehead has floored me with this resin-born slice of wickedness.
What can I even say, really? He looks perfect. The model speaks for itself.
(Also, I maximum adore the bareheaded Ravenloft look he’s got going on here, and in his HH book artwork.)
I keep getting asked this one.
Along with “When will we see some Night Lords stuff in the Heresy?” and “Will we get to see any pre-Heresy Curze?”
Most of all: “When will we get to see more of Sevatar?”
The answer to all of these things is “Go away and leave me alo–” Uh, I mean, “Shadows of Treachery is out in October.”
My contribution to this (which was supposed to be in The Primarchs) is Prince of Crows, which is a novella about (gasp!) Konrad Curze, Sevatar, and the Night Lords Legion after another run-in with the Dark Angels. It’s set just after ‘Savage Weapons’ and The Lion, and opens up with the VIII Legion devastated after the Dark Angels kicked their asses left and right across the Thramas Sector. The Legion lost the final battle, Curze is crippled after the Lion cut his throat, and the remaining Night Lord commanders are meeting up to decide just their options are. It also has a significant chunk of what I’d have sliced into a Night Lords novel, which is about Curze’s past and growth on Nostramo, and how he went from beggar child on the streets to their happy, happy king.
Oh, and it explains just why Sev is called the Prince of Crows. It’s really not why you think.
I kinda-wanna also add that this is a novella, not a short story. It’s about 3-6 times as long as a short story (depending on the story) and closer to 30-50% of a novel (depending on the novel). In short, it’s quite long, and took me fucking ages to do. It needed to tell a lot of backstory about Curze, show the Legion in its current state after getting mauled by the Dark Angels, and set up a future Night Lords novel which I’d obviously quite like to do in the relatively near future. But I write slowly, so hold your freaking horses on that score. I’m still doing Betrayer, then (probably?) the first Abaddon/Black Legion novel, still tentatively titled The Talon of Horus.
If any of this sounds remotely interesting, then… behold.
Black Library’s been publishing daily extracts in its newsletter all week, which I’m guessing will include today and tomorrow, too. I’m heading off to London today, and Chicago tomorrow (ooooh, such a jetsetting lad…) so I can’t link or post anything else past the first three extracts, which I was told about last night by some well-meaning soul on Facebook. But for convenience, I thought I’d spin these up here. For the rest, you’ll need to subscribe. Off you go.
Go on, now.
(By the way, if you’re at Games Day US on Saturday, me and Jim Swallow will see you there.)
So, without further wordjunk from Yours Truly: