The Dark King

The Dark King

After a hideous attack on Rogal Dorn, of which he has no memory, Konrad Curze is confined to his quarters. But what nightmare visions of the future has this dark primarch seen and where will they lead him…?

Writer’s Commentary

This story came about when Dan Abnett and I were asked to write a pair of linked short stories that would be sold in a strictly limited edition chapbook at Games Day UK 2009. Having collaborated on the first two Heresy novels (and several times since) we both jumped at the chance. I chose a story about the Night Lords, as they hadn’t been well served in the Heresy yet and they had an incident I could write about that wouldn’t sprawl into a novel. It’s based on a small piece of background in their Index Astartes article, and though it’s messed with folks heads a little in terms of the timeline, it does actually make sense. I wanted to have an action story with a cool primarch who can do and say things the kinds of characters I normally write about would never say. To see the birth of a type of character in a story this short was an intriguing notion, and I liked how it showed a Primarch in action, doing what they do best. It also fitted with a number of things I was reading at the time, concerning the Legalist philosophies of the First Emperor of China, as it seemed to fit how the Night Lords perceived humanity and how best to rule them (which was key to how they thought). Dan’s story was the flip side of this one, though they share DNA in their use of cartomancy and themes of fear and what that means to those who don’t feel an emotion like that. Or do they…