25 responses to “We Need to Talk About Corax”

  1. Druchii Monkey

    I’m so looking forward to this book and am certainly interested in the aspects of Corax you’ve mentioned above. I also find it interesting to see how he deals with failure, given Isstvan V, and the Raptors etc. These are pretty catastrophic failures and he just gets on with things which i like. He seems an exemplar of continuous struggle. Combined with stealth and lightning claws this is a great mixture.

    1. Ondrej

      I’m not sure if either of the two events you mentioned could be marked as failure. How can something that was a result of enemy operation can be failure? On Istvaan V, the XIX Legion was victim of attack from unexpected side. And in case of Raptors, they were the target of an operation they (Corax and his loyal commanders) didn’t even know that was executed. They lost in both cases, but they survived.
      I think that it was victory that even some of Raven Guard legionaries survived and it was success that even some number of Raptors was able to bolster the legion forces. Corax was struck with grief so much because he, as master strategist of covert operations, blamed himself for not seeing this – well, at least the Istvaan betrayal. But seriously, how could he? XIX Legion didn’t have any forces deployed in the theatre, Corax didn’t have any eyes on target. Without independent source of intelligence he wasn’t able to predict any of this.
      So I think that he’s doing all this (and I really can’t wait to see in Soulforge what “this” would be) to atone the mistakes that weren’t his. And with his abilities, it will be interesting.

  2. Vijay

    Sounds great, Gav.

    A thought, though – I know it’s not really you’re territory, but are either you or ADB ever going to shed some light on Alastor Rushal/”The Raven” again? You know, the Raven Guard 89th Captain who has no tongue and now fights for the Night Lords?

  3. gmort

    I haven’t been particularly inspired by the last few Horus Heresy books but this is one I’m looking forward to reading. Corax and Curze tend to compete for the title of favourite Primarch depending on what I read last, lol.

  4. AVLMP

    I hope you know that you’re always welcome in the damp, dark halls of the Rock. Don’t be a stranger now. 😉

  5. Liliedhe

    Poor Corax. :(

    Why can’t there be a novella (or heck, even a short story) about some Primarchs vacationing on a beach? 😛

  6. Bart Beswick

    Lieiedhe: Write it! Gav: It’s great to see these icons of power expand out from one trick ponies into fully fleshed characters. From “The Emo Primarch” into complex individual.

  7. Ondrej

    I just got e-mail that my book was shipped. Well from UK to Slovakia, it’ll be at least a week, probably two so I have to sit tight. But at least I’ve got great role model who is accustomed to waiting in the darkness.
    Gav, thanks for both Deliverance Lost and for Soulforge as well. I’m curious if there will be something more to shed light on how the XIX Legion is conducting their operations. I missed this in Deliverance Lost or Raven’s Flight. There were no descriptions of multiple-squad rear guard operations, nor some description of scout-led ambushes protecting the vunerable flanks of retreating legion.
    But Raven Guard against Dark Mechanicum – I can’t wait to see what the XIX Legion have prepared for them

    1. Gav Thorpe

      Corax: Soulforge is ALL about the Raven Guard way of war, albeit in tight circumstances. Feints, misdirection and deadly assault combined to terrifying effect.

      1. Ondrej

        Great, I can’t wait to read it and see Raven Guard in action. I’m sure it will be cool, as always.

      2. Ondrej

        I have to read the Soulforge twice to get all the details. And I have to say – it’s amazing. The new infiltration and attack craft, the Shadowmasters even the tactics. All of it is great. Thanks a lot Gav for this book. I’m looking forward to the next one

  8. ethanreilly

    Damn, missed it! Any idea if it’ll ever be available again? I guess not, considering its ‘Super-Limited Edition’ status…

    1. Gav Thorpe

      Missed it? Wow, that probably took some effort. Fear not, the novella will be made available on more general release in a year or two’s time…

      1. ethanreilly

        Thanks Gav! If anybody was capable of missing what I now see is a huge amount of excellent press concerning this release, it was me 😛

  9. Not Alpharius

    Good day, Gavin. I do not want to waste your time, but I hope I can get answers to these questions:

    1. Why did smart and perspicacious Corax left genetech completely unprotected? He had squad of Custodes and his whole Legion, and defence systems of Ravenspire yadda yadda yadda. Why then he placed the most important project of his father in dusty wastes of Kiavahr?
    2. Why, already after genetech was stolen, Corax doesn’t even bothers himself with thoughts about it’s recovery and\or destruction? It seems after reading your books what Emperor’s gift means nothing to him.

    1. Gav Thorpe


      SPOILER ALERT for Deliverance Lost!

      1. Corax did not leave the geneseed completely unprotected. He relocated it to a heavily armed and well-protected training fortress built for the sole purpose of creating and training new recruits. Even with the combination of the Order of the Dragon (including a traitor Imperator Titan!) and infiltrators within, the fortress held militarily.

      2. Omegon escaped without detection, so as far as Corax or anyone else within the Raven Guard are aware the Alpha Legion plot was contained and stopped. As was Omegon’s intent the entire time. The theft was masked as sabotage by the infiltrators, a failed attempt that itself masked the earlier actual sabotage of the Raptor implantations. Corax destroyed the reminaing geneseed store to prevent any further risk of exposure or theft, condemning the warped Raptors at the same time.



      1. Not Alpharius

        Thank you for answering, Gavin.

        Still, Corvus’s decision to keep genetech on Kiavahr seems pretty reckless for me (he couldn’t be unaware of some rebel guilders in his domain), but at least now i know why Corax didn’t ran after stolen tech immediately (this doesn’t mean he don’t uncover Alpha Legion plot after Heresy, right?).

        PS. Now, since I’m here again… Maybe I missed something, but how do You come to an idea with the Emperor’s gift in a first place? Raven Guard background from Index Astartes, where Corvus tried to make some Astartes with some old, forgotten lore about accelerated zygote harvestng etc. seemed pretty good for me, and perfectly explained Corax’s grief and his eventual runaway into the void of space (or stasis lockdown, according to one of the versions from IA8).

        PPS. If there is something wrong with this (and previous) message, or I seemed rude or something, sorry – English isn’t my native language.

        PPPS. Thanks again for Your answers.

        1. Gav Thorpe


          One of the key elements of the Horus Heresy series is that it contains revelation – information about the events and characters that was not previously made known. I think the story of Corax and the geneseed fits with all of the established background in terms of what happens – there is additional detail in how he acquired certain tech and knowledge, that’s all – and then the revelation of how it went wrong. Part of the reason for changing some of the circumstances behind the creation of the weregheld was to differentiate it from the Flaw of the Blood Angels. In the Index Astartes lore both came about simply from gene-tampering and accelerated recruitment processes and that didn’t really play well to the Raven Guard’s uniqueness. Other than that there really wasn’t a lot else about the entire story – like so many Legions the Raven Guard didn’t really do anything except get beaten up at Isstvan and then their Primarch went a bit wobbly after all the fighting was over.

          The disconnect between what Corax believes happened and what the reader knows happened, and how this plays out over the continuing story, is a well-founded narrative technique. Some people think it undermines the tragedy but I disagree. If Corax had simply made a mistake and had to atone for that mistake, there is no tragedy. On the other hand, Corax atoning for the unknown actions of others and ultimately coming to terms with his own misbegotten genetic inheritance and facing a decision whether he has a part in the universe is a much stronger theme to play on.



          1. Not Alpharius

            I do believe that Blood Angels and Raven Guard stories were quite different from the very beginning – baalites suffering from the RT and BR not because of some experiments on the geneseed(however, they impaired these effects), but due to the nature and ultimate fate of Sanguinius himself.
            Corax tried to cosplay the Emperor in attempt to restore his Legion, and succeded in a sense(thousands of ravenous degenerates were pretty good at killing traitors, after all), but the price was high, since Raven Guard now have the most screwed up geneseed among loyal First Founding Chapters(except Space Wolves, maybe).

            But, since Raptors and Raven Guard used different stocks of geneseed, i think there had to be another explanation for coal-black eyes, pale skin and high death-rate of new recruits.

            “If Corax had simply made a mistake and had to atone for that mistake, there is no tragedy.”
            But there is. He made a mistake and his men, his sons, are devolving into gruesome abominations. Worse than that, he created thousands of them to repel traitors from captured worlds and then killed them, since they are mindless mutants. If this isn’t tragedy, then i don’t know, that is.

            PS. Since You’ve decided to expand Raven Guard background, there is much yet to be done. Do You plan to work with RG again?

            PPS. This one is about Aloni. Is he terran-born or he participated in the liberation of Lycaeus? I don’t remember much about him, but I’ve read on some internet-forum, that in “Ravenlord” novel both version are mentioned (like with Iakton Cruze – Chtonian participated in the Unification Wars, LoL).

          2. Gav Thorpe


            I’ll be coming back to the Raven Guard next year, to continue the arc laid out in Soulforge and Ravenlord. Aloni’s recollections of Khiavar are a mistake – both Ravenlord and Deliverance Lost mention his heritage somewhere in Asia on Terra. I’ll be sure to amend it for any reprint!


          3. Not Alpharius

            Almost forgot to ask this one particular question(sorry if I annoyed you already, but I can’t help it) – can you please tell me a little bit more about Corax and these strange nightmares praefector Marcus Valerius had on Deliverance? Do they truly mean Corax can enter someone dreams(or send telepathic messages, like astropaths do) or Therion Cohort is actually led by a psyker? Or maybe it’s just intuition?(and in that case it is tryly a miracle (and AL machinations, of course) Raven Guard made it out from Isstvan)

          4. Gav Thorpe

            Marcus is indeed a latent psyker, a fact that I hope to explore again at some point in the future.



          5. Not Alpharius

            And just one more thing: in the “Red Fury” Blood Angels are actually discussing Corax’s attempts to restore the legion and they know he actually used cloning. They don’t know the history of the XIX very well or it is a contradiction?

          6. Gav Thorpe

            I would say it was unlikely the Blood Angels in the 41st millennium would know specific details of Corax’s attempts during the Horus Heresy. And ‘cloning’ (replication of genetic structure rather than geneseed implementation) was never part of the Raven Guard history.

  10. Not Alpharius

    Thanks again for all your replies, they really helped me.

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