History Main / NightLords

26th Mar '13 3:14:22 PM Xtifr
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-> ''"Death is nothing compared to vindication."''

The Night Lords are one of the most iconic legions of Chaos Space Marines in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Even before the Horus Heresy broke out they were infamous for their brutal attacks (which often involved excessive amounts of force) and terror tactics. Essentially, think of an entire army of eight-foot-tall genetically enhanced supersoldiers in power armour, and now they incorporate all the darkest aspects of {{Batman}} filtered through the characteristic [[DarkerAndEdgier grim darkness]] of the far future. This will only come a fraction of the way to summarising what the Night Lords are, but for our purposes it will do.

The Night Lords were originally the subject of only one book, ''Lord of the Night'' (2005) by Simon Spurrier, which presented an alternate interpretation of their history where their Primarch and progenitor, the Night Haunter, was a highly focused individual who shunned the accolades that were heaped upon his peers. Instead, he prosecuted his own brutal kind of warfare precisely because none of the other Legions would and was loyal to the Emperor up until the end, even when his father had abandoned him. This interpretation, bolstered by the quality of the book, proved popular and enjoyed renewed interest with the release of Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Soul Hunter series, which includes, in chronological order, included the short story ''Shadow Knight'' (2009), the novel ''Soul Hunter'' (2010), the audio drama ''Throne of Lies'' (2010), the novel ''Blood Reaver'' (2011), the short story ''The Core'' (2010), and finally the final novel ''Void Stalker'' (2012).
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!! ''Lord of the Night'' contains the following tropes:
* BerserkButton: If not for the narrator explicitly telling the reader that Cog is not an Ogryn, one would assume he is one from the description. People regularly make this mistake, making Cog extremely angry.
* BlessedWithSuck: Mita, who has incredible psychic powers but is treated like garbage by the people she protects and constantly thrust into danger. By extension, all psykers in the book are in this boat, as this is a general W40k theme.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The whole book, really. The good guys are often worse than the bad guys. The bad guys are even worse than that. Wait, why are we still being designated the bad guys?
* BoardToDeath: When Zso Sahaal was uniting gangs and underhive elements into he personal army, he has the respective leaders brought to him and intimidated into swearing their people to his service. [[OffWithHisHead Then he kills them all at once]], to keep power firmly in his control.
* KnowledgeBroker: Pavulti's trade after going renegade from the Mechanicum.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:The Eldar also want the Corona Nox, and to this end a Seer Council took control of an Inquisitor to look for it.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: All part of TheReveal.
* MobWar: Sahaal orchestrates one to delay the Inquisitor's retinue while he searches for the Corona Nox.
* PowerOfTrust
* RequisiteRoyalRegalia: The Corona Nox.
* TheReveal: Just between you and me, it wouldn't be much of a reveal if I spelled it out here.
* RevengeByProxy
* SmokeShield: [[spoiler:The result of Zso Sahaal's attempt to kill Krieg Acerbus at point blank range with a holy bolter given to him by the Primarch of his chapter. He emerges from the smoke completely unharmed and backhands Sahaal across the room, cracking his power armor.]]
* SuccessionCrisis: A very large one after the death of the Night Haunter lead to the start of the story.
* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler:Inquisitor Kaustus was under control of the Eldar throughout the entire book and was waiting until he could break free or for Mita to kill him.]]
* TwistEnding: Played straight because it probably wasn't the twist you were expecting.
* TooKinkyToTorture: Being a cogboy would already mean that the knowledge broker can switch his pain receptors as desired, but Sahaal's interrogation of him shows that he takes some pleasure or satisfaction from the whole thing.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: This takes place within the Imperium of Man, even the nominally human Cog is heavily discriminated against.
* WhatYearIsThis: Sahaal asked this of one of his victims, as an afterthought, he asked what millenium it was, as well. He first thought he had been gone longer than expected, but he was completely taken aback when he found out that he was gone not a few centuries, but for ten millenia.


!!Tropes demonstrated by the Talos trilogy:
* AGoodWayToDie: [[spoiler:Double Subverted with Xarl's "death" in the ''Blood Reaver'' epilogue]]
** Then played straight by [[spoiler:Xarl in ''Void Reaver'']].
* AerithAndBob: First Claw circa the Great Crusade: Talos, Cyrion, Xarl, Sar Zell and ''Vandred''.
* AlwaysNight: A defining characteristic of Nostramo, and by extension ''The Covenant of Blood'' and the ''Echo of Damnation''.
* AnimalMotifs: Sharks are often used in reference to anything voidgoing.
** There are a number of bird-of-prey motifs for the Night Lords, such as their use of Raptors and referring to their squads as "[X]th Claw".
** Lucoryphus acts more animalistic than human.
* AntagonistTitle: ''Blood Reaver'', and apparently ''Void Stalker''.
* AtopAMountainOfCorpses: The parts of the Mausoleum on Tsagualsa which weren't made of living flesh were generally statues of rockrete shaped from slain civilians.
** [[spoiler:Repeated on Tsagualsa when Talos returns there]] in ''Void Stalker''.
* BadassBaritone / EvilSoundsDeep: Demonstrated in Throne Of Lies, although Xarl, the most martial, is noticeably deeper than Talos, Cyrion and Mercutian.
* BadassBoast: '''"Even in death I will avenge myself."'''
** Additionally, from ''The Dark King'' CD: "Death haunts the darkness, [[PunctuatedForEmphasis and he knows. Your. Name.]]"
** In ''Blood Reaver'', when Third Claw challenges First Claw, the former claims to outnumber the latter seven to five. Talos, wanting Third Claw to back off, replies that one of the five is Xarl.
** In ''Void Stalker'' [[spoiler: "I am the Prophet of the Eighth Legion. My name is Decimus."]] Pure badassery.
* BadBoss: To be expected in the 40K universe, but surprisingly averted in the case of the Night Lord's slaves. Yes, they are enslaved to vicious demi-gods who commit acts of horror and slaughter as standard procedure, but the Night Lords still treat their slaves and crew better than other chaos legions (and possibly a few Imperial organisations).
** However, the Night Lords will not hesitate to do something horrible to their slaves if they misbehave.
** Specifically averted and lampshaded in The Core. A sensor officer flinches whilst telling Talos that the ship they are looking for is hidden inside a space hulk the size of a small moon. Talos then informs him that he is not going to kill him just for giving him irritating news.
* BlackSpeech: Nostraman, although subverted in that it isn't as much a language of evil, as a language spoken primarily by those who regularly ''do'' evil.
* BandOfBrothers: Inherent in the nature of Astartes, but ZigZagged throughout Tenth Company, given the nature of the VIII Legion (although that is not strictly atypical in the Traitor Legions). First Claw plays it straight, despite the immense suspicion and near hatred some members have for each other.
* BattleInTheRain: The covers of ''Soul Hunter'' and ''Void Stalker''.
* BittersweetEnding: The ending of Void Stalker. [[spoiler:There are only a handful of survivors from the entire warband, including Variel, Lucoryphus, Malik and his surviving Atrementar; all the others, including the rest or First Claw are dead, but they succeeded in taking down a Phoenix Lord, though in all truth, [[LegacyCharacter she will probably be back]]. Octavia and Septimus manage to get away alive, and Talos' leacy lives on...]]
* BloodFromTheMouth: Ruven attempting to use his powers after they were bound by the Red Corsairs for months. Probably also overlaps with PsychicNosebleed.
** [[spoiler:Talos]], as Variel is convinced that [[spoiler:his body is rejecting the Night Lords' geneseed]].
* BoardingParty: First Claw boards the Imperial ship ''The Sword of the God Emperor'' and proceeds to slaughter the bridge crew in ''Soul Hunter''. They also did this on a space station in Blood Reaver.
** The favor is later returned to them [[spoiler:by The Blood Angels]].
** ...which they return to the [[spoiler:Red Corsairs aboard the ''Echo of Damnation'']]...
** ...before having the favor returned to them ''again'' by [[spoiler:the Genesis Marines]].
* BridalCarry: After Septimus and Octavia finally admit their love to each other, he scoops her up in his arms and would have carried her back to his quarters if the plot hadn't intervened.
* BrokenFaceplate: Talos' helm at the opening of ''Blood Reaver'', echoed in the damage to the helm of the Marine Errant.
* BulletHell: First Claw's duel with Third Claw.
** Mercutian's heavy bolter.
* CanisLatinicus: ''Ave Dominvs Nox'': allegedly, ''Hail the Lord of the Night''. (it should be ''Ave Domine Noctem'')
* CityNoir: Nostramo Quintus--the city that had spawned of the Night Haunter, Talos and Xarl--[[UpTo11 took this trope practically to 11]] before Curze took control and after he left to lead his legion.
* AChatWithSatan: Talos' encounter with the Ruinous Powers in ''Soul Hunter''. Originally intended to initiate a DealWithTheDevil, but Talos' HeroicWillpower twisted it into this.
** When Talos speaks with [[spoiler:Ruven's dead remains]]... [[AllJustADream kinda']].
* ColdBloodedTorture: The Legion's [[PlanetOfHats hat]] alongside being TheDreaded, as demonstrated ''extensively'' in ''Void Stalker'' [[spoiler:to the point where Talos weaponizes it into an astropath-annihilating pulse]]. Put to use explicitly in ''Throne of Lies'' and ''Blood Reaver'' and used in ''Soul Hunter'' during an ImagineSpot.
* ColdFlames: [[spoiler:Used by the Eldar to ignite Cyrion's corpse in Talos' nightmare in the Blood Reaver epilogue, Variel isn't as lucky and dies much more slowly.]]
* CombatMedic: Talos and Variel. Talos doesn't really do much medic stuff any more, even by 40k's standards of the word. Variel on the other hand, does and still finds the time to be a murderous badass.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: When Octavia goes to talk to Talos while he's [[spoiler: torturing the captive astropaths]], the smell coming causes her to begin throwing up uncontrollably upon entering the room, which Talos mistakenly assumes is [[spoiler: morning sickness.]]
* ComputerVoice: Of the masculine type for servitors in ''Throne of Lies''. ''The Covenant of Blood'' itself sounds more gender neutral.
* CoolChair: Konrad Curze's Osseous Throne in the Tsagualsan mausoleum/fortress
** The command throne in ''The Covenant of Blood'' [[spoiler:and ''The Echo of Damnation'']]
* CoolStarship: ''The Covenant of Blood''
* CoupDeGrace: Talos beheading J'sara in ''Throne of Lies''. It plays out a bit like a MercyKill, but given Talos was the one doing the [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing]] that left her in that much pain, the mercy is lessened somewhat.
** [[spoiler:The Genesis Marines' company captain]], delivered by [[spoiler:Xarl, of course]].
** After half her body is blown up by Talos, [[spoiler: Jain Zar is [[FinishingStomp crushed under Malcharion's Dreadnought feet]]; "I...HAVE TO FINISH EVERYTHING...FOR THAT BOY"]].
* CreationSequence: The first half of ''Shadow Knight'', depicting Talos' biological and mental transition from an accomplished child thief in the slums of Nostramo Quintus to a hardened junior SpaceMarine watching [[WhereIWasBornAndRazed his homeworld]] go up in an EarthShatteringKaboom.
* CyberpunkWithAChanceOfRain: Talos' dream flashback to his childhood in the slums of Nostramo Quintus.
* TheDeadHaveNames: Invoked by ''The Exalted'' of a all people.
* DeadPersonConversation: Talos' dream "conversation" with [[spoiler:Ruven's crucified skeleton]].
* DeadpanSnarker: A lot of Night Lords do this, given that Nostramans seem to be known for their poetic linguistics. Xarl in particular does this a lot.
* DecapitationPresentation: Most commonly Uzas, but other members of 10th company have been known to do it.
* {{Determinator}}: Neverborn, who survive anything short of having their body dismembered.
** First Claw also has its moments, most noticeably the duel with Third Claw, after which Talos sustained severe enough damage to temporarily blind him and eventually merit a new arm and Talos' nightmare sequence at the end of ''Blood Reaver'' [[spoiler:which features Mercutian fighting past the point of death and running on sheer hatred and brotherhood to defend Cyrion and Variel's corpses for a few moments, and Uzas pulling a OneManArmy maneuver physically impossible even for a SpaceMarine]].
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: In ''Soul Hunter'', Talos is out in a trance and meets representations of the Chaos Gods in the form of himself dedicated to the respective gods. After getting offers from Slaanesh and Tzeentch, Talos tells them to go back to hell. He would have said the same thing to the other two, but Nurgle tells off ''Talos'' and leaves without even making his offer, and Talos wakes up before he can properly tell off Khorne.
** In ''Void Stalker'' Talos goes to Septimus and [[spoiler:beats Septimus to within an inch of his life for getting Octavia pregnant]]. When he demands an explanation, Septimus defiantly answers him in [[BlackSpeech Nostraman]]. [[DidntSeeThatComing Talos is briefly left speechless]] after, for the first time ever, one of his slaves tells him to "eat shit."
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Briefly invoked in both books. Talos ends up meeting two of the most powerful Chaos Warlords in the galaxy (including Abbadon himself). Despite knowing how powerful they are, Talos is remarkably casual about voicing opinions that would see anyone else slaughtered in a moment. There are mitigating circumstances in both cases; Talos genuinely finds Abbadon a broken, twisted warlord with delusion of grandeur (even mentioning the consistent lack of success in all his Black Crusades); and in the other case, he is deliberately being cocky to endear himself to Lufgt Huron.
* DramaticIrony: Often hits like a brick during flashbacks to the golden age of the Night Lords.
* DramaticSpaceDrifting: Used in ''Soul Hunter'' to emphasize how little The Exalted cares for the lives of First Claw after it decides the fastest way to liberate them from ''The Sword of the God Emperor'' is to blow a hole in the side and let the difference in pressure suck them out into the void for easy collection.
* DuelToTheDeath: A Night Lords tradition of Murder Duels. Just a step up from another tradition of Honor Duels, which is often used as a way to decide who gets to be sergeant.
** Used in squad-to-squad level between Between First Claw and Third Claw, over Uzas' Khornate delusion-fueled slaying of their sergeant.
** A number of Night Lords want to do this to resolve who will lead the restructured claws at the start of ''Void Stalker''. The commander [[spoiler:Talos]] allows honor duels, but says that anybody who wants a DuelToTheDeath has to fight Xarl. [[{{Badass}} This makes everyone back down in a hurry.]]
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: With [[spoiler:Vandred/The Exalted]] at the end of Blood Reaver. Vandread [[spoiler:reassumes control over his body and takes out at least five Red Corsair ships with him and the ''Covenant'']], and then [[spoiler:''dies'', forcing the Exalted to take his place as the Covenant is destroyed]].
** [[spoiler:Xarl versus the Genesis Marines captain.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Septimus and Octavia. [[spoiler:After spending years in captivity and surviving all three novels escape the Night Lords and rejoin the Imperium, where they will be looked after as Octavia being a Navigator makes her too valuable to misplace, both are in love with each other and Octavia is pregnant with Septimus's son and end the series by both revealing their real names to each other]]. One of the few unambiguously happy endings in 40k.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Maruc in a bar in Hell's Iris eyes one of the "waitresses". Septimus warns him against it for her [[GenuineHumanHide fashion sense]], as well as looking too hard at ''anything'' living on a semi corrupted planet.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Talos' seizure in the opening ''Soul Hunter''.
** Variel's handling of surgery at his introduction in ''Blood Reaver''.
** In a flashback, when Uzas [[spoiler:takes the freshly-killed Sar Zell's chainaxe]], seemingly cementing First Claw's hatred for him ever since.
* EverybodysDeadDave: Talos' nightmare in ''Blood Reaver''s epilogue.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood:
* EyeScream: Talos scoops out J'sara's eyes in the process of torturing her for information in ''Throne of Lies''.
** He also blinded M'shen with his acidic spit in the process of hunting her down and earning his epithet.
*** ''Throne of Lies'' mentions that J'sara and M'shen sound nearly identical. The eye damage may be a MeaningfulEcho.
* FlayingAlive: Done with great glee to a loyalist Astartes in the opening of ''Blood Reaver''.
** Also mentioned as a means of punishment that the 10th company use to keep their slaves and / or brothers in line.
** Taken UpToEleven with the flaying pits, where they are flayed, thrown into a huge hole in the ground, and left to die. This becomes the fate of [[spoiler:many of the ''ten million'' people purged from on Tsagualsa]] in the first half of ''Void Stalker''.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: First Claw at the beginning of ''Soul Hunter''. Played for the worst of each humor, because to do otherwise wouldn't be Grimdark.
** Sanguine -- Uzas. His emotions are all or nothing; he's almost universally violent, irritated or sullen when he isn't an unreadable shell. Thinks only of himself, which is how he became corrupt in the first place. He himself admits he all but runs on a slow, seething rage.
** Choleretic -- Xarl. Cynic, chronic complainer, suspicious pessimist, and yet somehow a very capable [[TheLancer Lancer]] for Talos. Throws his whole life into the sword and it shows in every sense of the word.
** Melencholic -- Talos. His romanticism of his Legion's past and the power his prophetic abilities have over his life have left him worn thin all around. Known to brood over both. His stubbornness won't let him put anything less than his heart and soul into what he does however, and it's nearly killed him before.
** Phlematic -- Cyrion. Possibly the most easy going of the group, and the most vocally distressed at the state of the Legion, although it also means he stands out the least in the shambling wreck of a squad.
* FriendshipMoment: A rather grim example. When Talos is shredded following [[spoiler: the duel with Third Claw]], he reaches out first to Cyrion, then Septimus, Mercution, and he surprises himself by asking for Xarl as well.
** [[spoiler:Cemented even deeper by Talos' harvesting Xarl's geneseed himself by hand and giving him a makeshift VikingFuneral in his own quarters. He realizes many commendatory, honorable or brotherly things could be said over Xarl's corpse, but the truest thing was that if there was a hell, Talos would join him there soon.]]
* GeneralFailure: Discussed in a bit of back-and-forth between Talos and one Abaddon the Despoiler on why his Black Crusades haven't yet succeeded.
** [[spoiler:Talos himself]] isn't much of a general when given the chance to lead, which is part of why he doesn't like leading.
* GhostlyChill: Indicative of the presence of a [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Neverborn]].
* {{Gorn}}: Descriptions of Night Lord initiated combat or torture usually teeter between this and straight up nauseating.
* HeelRealization: Septimus has one while going off to kill disruptive new inductees into ''The Covenant's'' crew in exchange for a lasrifle for Maruc.
* IGaveMyWord: Why Night Lords let their primarch be assassinated.
** Subverted by [[spoiler:Talos]], hence his [[MeaningfulName nickname]].
* IOweYouMyLife: Variel to Talos
* ImpaledPalm: A minor part of the damage to the crucified, flayed and mutilated loyalist Astartes in the opening of ''Blood Reaver''
* InsigniaRipOffRitual: Every piece of scavenged Imperial material must have the insignia removed or (in the case of warplate, where this would be too difficult), ritually defaced. [[spoiler: When Talos takes command, he renames them the "Warband of the Broken Aquila" in recognition of this.]]
* InsistentTerminology: The contention between the two of the mare brought up when Mercutian insists to Xarl that 10th company did not ''steal'' from Ganges Station, they "liberated materials".
* IntercontinuityCrossover: With the ''Literature/{{Salamander}}'' saga in the short stories, ''The Core'' and ''Promethius Requiem'' in the ''Fear the Alien'' anthology.
** Zso Sahaal can be seen in a number of Talos' flashbacks, and Acerbus is mentioned at least once
* ItGetsEasier: ''Shadow Knight'' and ''Soul Hunter'' both feature Talos' memory of his first kill at the age of 12. He's more contemplative than anything after the fact, while his unblooded friend Xarl, the future BloodKnight and MasterSwordsman, is the one freaked out.
* ItWasAGift: Subverted when Talos loses his bolter and no less a hero than Malcharion the War Sage casually hands over his own as a replacement. Despite Talos' initial misgivings over a Legion relic, Malcharion points out that he is now a Dreadnought and doesn't need it.
** Occasionally the human characters will barter around legion coins, signifying the legion's protection over that person. The voidborn's parents are given one, [[spoiler:not that it helps]].
* JobTitle: ''Soul Hunter'', ''Blood Reaver'' and ''Void Stalker''
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind
* LastStand: [[spoiler: Vandred's death]]
** [[spoiler: Then the 10th Company in ''Void Stalker'']]
* MakeAnExampleOfThem: A core part of the Nostraman/VIII Legion doctrine, demonstrated with the stringing up of the gangers in ''Blood Reaver'' [[spoiler: and the crucifixion of Ruven's corpse on the bridge of The Echo of Damnation]]
* MadeASlave: Fates of Septimus, Eurydice (later Octavia) and Maruc
* MaliciousSlander
* MassOhCrap: During the Tsagualsa Reprisal, the Night Lords reaction to the Ultramarines and their successor chapters arrival was to start screaming "Get to the ships!" in every dialect of Nostraman.
* MauveShirt: Maruc
* MeaningfulRename: Talos renames all of his slaves for (presumably) High Gothic [[YouAreNumberSix ordinal numbers]].
** Konrad Curze is said to have nicknamed a number of his brethren.
* MeaningfulEcho: "It was a curse, to be a god's son"
** "Death is nothing compared to vindication." Echoed by Talos, [[spoiler:whose actions in ''Void Stalker'' seem to echo Konrad Curze's end-of-life breakdown. Only Talos seems like he's going to take the entire 10th Company down with him...]]
* MeatMoss: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Screaming Gallery]] in the mausoleum on Tsagualsa. Made of the fused flesh of hundreds of shrieking faces which were kept alive with fleshcraft for the sole purpose of being both terrifying and {{Badass}}. Konrad Curze was not particularly fond of cheery design.
** Some parts of the lower decks in the ''Echo of Damnation'' feature steel walls mutating into flesh due to the warp mutations the ship went under when the Red Corsairs had it.
* TheMole: Septimus at the start of ''Blood Reaver''.
* MomentKiller: Cyrion acts as one between Septimus and Octavia before they admit their feelings to each other. After they do, and Septimus is in the process of {{Bridal Carry}}ing Octavia to his quarters, Talos interrupts them once again.
** First Claw eventually stops cock-blocking them, though, given that [[spoiler: Talos's vision in the Epilogue shows Octavia is pregnant...and running from the [[StateSec Inquisition]].]]
** By ''Void Stalker'', it seems that the cock-blocking was on purpose, as if Talos [[spoiler:beating Septimus half to death as if he should've known better]] is anything to go by. {{Justified|Trope}}, considering Octavia is the 10th Company's sole navigator and they can't get very far (at least no FTL) without her.
* MonsterFromBeyondTheVeil: Octavia killing people with her [[EvilEye Warp Eye]] tends to pull ghosts from the Void back into the vicinity. This results in shambling, in(post)humanly tough zombies called Neverborn.
* MySensorsIndicateYouWantToTapThat: Ruven notes he can smell Septimus' attraction to Octavia.
** Talos's super-hearing is what first alerts him to [[spoiler:Octavia's pregnancy]]. His super-smelling would've tipped him off first, but, especially ignominious for a CombatMedic, what he doesn't know about [[spoiler:human pregnancy]] could fill a battle barge.
*** [[spoiler:Given Crusade-era Astartes probably weren't trained in obstetrics, it isn't that unusual]]
* NamedWeapons: Well...
** Aurum, the power sword Talos stole from the Blood Angels
** Anethema, his old bolter
** Mordax Tenebrae, Zso Sahaal's bolter
** Executioner, Xarl's chainsword
** Banshee, Cyrion's bolter.
* NayTheist: The Night Lords' theology in a nutshell, applying in equal measure to both the [[CrystalDragonJesus Emperor]] and the [[GodOfEvil Chaos Gods]]. The only reason some Night Lords even dignify the Chaos Gods is to momentarily channel their power and then abandon them when their blessings are no longer needed. Uzas is constantly trying to explain this to First Claw in his more lucid moments, not that any of them care.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Talos In ''Soul Hunter''.
* NightmareSequence: Talos' dream of the Eldar at the end of ''Blood Reaver''
* NotMeThisTime: Uzas is held guilty for killing [[spoiler:Arkiah, the father of the Voidborn]], despite his constant lucid insistance that he did not.[[spoiler: Turns out in ''Void Stalker'' he's been telling the truth, it was ''Cyrion''.]]
* NotSoDifferent
* NotSoSafeHarbor: Hell's Iris. The name alone should be enough explanation.
* NounVerber: ''Soul Hunter'', ''Blood Reaver'' and now ''Void Stalker''. Also, Night Haunter.
* OddFriendship: [[spoiler: Malcharion and Lucoryphus. Or as they call each other, "Mal" and "Luc". It would be heartwarming if it wasn't so unnerving.]]
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: [[spoiler: You know the Blood Angels? The guys we've been saying are one of the nicest Chapters of Space Marines? They kill the Void-born and her mother during the boarding of the ''Covenant of Blood''. It doesn't even appear to have been by a Death Company brother, which might be excusable.]]
** [[spoiler: This troper didn't even find that particularly surprising. Like all the crew of the ''Covenant of Blood'', The Void-born and her mother were heretics and traitors. Besides, the Night Lords are big on TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty. Where you or I see mercy, they see opportunity.]]
* OneHeadTaller: Septimus to Octavia
* OneHundredAndEight: When the crew of ''The Covenant of Blood'' finds Eurydice on a shard of Nostramo, she is scooped up along with one hundred and seven servitors.
* PardonMyKlingon: Septimus swears in nothing but Nostraman, even when speaking [[CommonTongue Gothic]] for Octavia's benefit.
* PeopleJars: The titan princeps in Deltrian's posession.
* PersonaNonGrata: Subverted, ''The Covenant's'' populace is surprised they ''aren't'' banned from Hell's Iris. [[spoiler: By the end of ''Blood Reaver'', though, it has been changed from "PersonaNonGrata" to [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim "Kill On Sight".]]
* {{Phlegmings}}: Shows up about as often as TearsOfBlood, usually as a milder version. Bonus points for most incidents involving acidic spit.
** Uzas drools near constantly as a result of his Khornate corruption.
** The Exalted drools as a result of being physically incapable of closing its mouth, which in turn is the result of daemonic possession and Warp-induced mutation.
** In two separate books Talos has found a human psychically fused to a machine who drooled when the link was damaged.
** Ruven drools constantly as a prisoner of the Red Corsairs, as he is chained in an uncomfortable position, psychically bound and perpetually in a state of mild MindRape.
** On at least one occasion Talos has begun drooling in rage.
** The [[CoolPet Hamadrya]] does this on occasion, even ''its'' spit in acidic.
* PickyPeopleEater: Uzas takes great joy in eating the geneseed of his [[ImAHumanitarian fallen enemies]] on multiple occasions. One could take it solely as a sign of his status as the resident AxCrazy, but Talos makes mention of the practice in a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to a fallen dreadnought.
** [[WordOfGod Aaron Dembski-Bowden]] eventually confirmed this as a Legion-wide tradition.
** When confronting the father of the Voidborn about his desire for revenge, Talos tells the man he ate the heart of the Blood Angel who killed his daughter, and that that should satisfy vengeance.
* PraetorianGuard: The Atramentar, one of the results of the Terminator First Company fracturing into bodyguards around other company captains after [[TheNeidermeyer Zso Sahaal]] [[UnderNewManagement inherited]] [[TheCaptain Sevatar's position]].
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: Used as a framing device in ''Shadow Knight''.
* ProphecyTwist: [[spoiler: Done at the worst possible moment in Void Stalker. In Soul Hunter, Talos has a vision of Uzas and Cyrion trying to kill each other. He initially thinks that he saw it happening on Crythe, and assumes he was just wrong when it doesn't come to pass. During the final endgame, Talos realises the vision showed Tsagualsa instead of Crythe and rushes to stop it from happening. And even then, he got it wrong]].
* PowerHigh: What Slaanesh offers Talos in exchange for his eternal servitude, along with her usual SenseFreak "benefits".
* PowerLimiter: In the form of a runic collar on Ruven while he is held captive by the Red Corsairs.
* RadioVoice: Used in ''Throne Of Lies'' to indicate vox transmissions.
* RapeAsDrama: To Octavia In ''Soul Hunter''. By Blood Reaver, she's pretty well adjusted, but Maruc mentions to Septimus that the trauma isn't completely gone.
* RavensAndCrows: ''Lord of the Night'' recounts Zso Sahaal's memory of Curze appearing to his men clad only in a cloak of raven feathers following the Siege of Terra. Additionally, one of Sevatar's epithets was "Prince of Crows".
* TheReveal: In ''Void Stalker'': [[spoiler: The Eldar of Craftworld Ulthwe aren't trying to kill Talos because of the psychic scream that he unleashed, they're trying to kill him because the Seer Council (heavily implied to be at the direction of Eldrad Ulthran) believe that he is the destined "Prophet of the Eighth Legion" who will unite the Night Lords in the 13th Black Crusade to destroy Craftworld Ulthwe. Talos himself rejects the idea, as he couldn't unite a single claw, but Variel had already foreseen this and was instead after his progenoids.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Any place Talos sleeps or has his prophethetic seizures in turns into this.
** Uzas' chamber is shown to be very messy version of this. In the entire room there is nothing but rubbish, a small altar to Khorne made mostly of skulls, half cleaned skulls, and the waste products of said cleaning.
* SalvagePirates: The 10th company/Warband of the Exalted. Depicted in ''Shadow Knight'' and mentioned elsewhere upon occasion. Having (for the most part) rejected the gifts of Chaos, they are denied the OffscreenVillainDarkMatter given to most of the traitor legions.
* SandInMyEyes: A variant with Melcharion the War Sage. Talos claims that he serves as an inspiration to everyone else, to which Melcharion replies that all he did was shout loudly and kill things. His dreadnought body then makes a rattling crunching noise which he claims is his cannon's autoloaders cycling. He's actually laughing instead.
* SapientShip: The ''Covenant of Blood'' has a machine spirit of its own and it doesn't like or trust its new navigator.
** The ''Echo of Damnation'' is a little more accommodating, but more as a feral, eager beast that Octavia has to keep restrained.
* SeeYouInHell: [[spoiler:Said by Talos during Xarl's improvised funeral without any malice whatsoever. it's both an honest assessment of their lives and a warped, classically Nostraman gesture of brotherhood.]]
* SequelHook: The epilouge of ''Blood Reaver''
** Talos' visions of [[spoiler:fighting Eldar]], which as of the end of ''Blood Reaver'' are never realized.
* ShadowArchetype: In Soul Hunter, there's a theme of the Night Lords being this to the Blood Angels. Although in terms of tactical doctrine, they're more of a shadow archetype to the Raven Guard.
** Bizarrely enough, Night Haunter is this to Konrad Curze, making the man ''his own'' shadow archetype.
* ShatteredWorld: The VIII legion homeworld of Nostramo following the EarthShatteringKaboom at the end of ''[[HorusHeresy The Dark King]]''. The Talos saga opens with Eurydice being found on one of the remaining shards.
** A moon around Tsagualsa, which [[spoiler:Talos shoots with [[NoKillLikeOverkill planet-busting torpedoes]], allowing them to blow up a nearby retreating Genesis Marine battle barge that hid behind it.]]
* ShoutOutThemeNaming: Most things related to the VIII legion are named for something related to Creator/JosephConrad or his works, when they don't relate to fear in some way.
* SoiledCityOnAHill: Nostramo as a whole upon Curze's return.
* SpacePirates: The Red Corsairs, who appear in ''Blood Reaver''. The 10th company has to resort to this occasionally, [[ImpoverishedPatrician much to Talos' disgust]].
* TheSquad: First Claw is a very dysfunctional example.
* TakeUpMySword: Talos' acquisition of the former Captain's bolter makes it even harder to deny his suitability as a leader.
* TarotTroubles: Konrad Curze regularly read Nostramo Quintus' version of the Tarot. Following the annihilation of the planet at the end of ''The Dark King'' it only bodes ill for him.
* TearsOfBlood: Seems to show up a lot
** The Exalted produces black, oily bloody tears whenever it attempts to smile.
** Lucoryphus is constantly shedding them, leading to his epithet.
** Ruven, when exposed to light too bright for Nostraman eyes (although presumably not too much for a someone not born on a night world).
** When psychically stressed, Octavia will cry blood from her third eye.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The Night Lords were driven from Tsagualsa by the Primogenitor Chapters, the Ultramarines and their successor chapters. ''All'' of their successor chapters, meaning about two-thirds of all the Space Marines in the Imperium. When told this, Variel, formerly of the Astral Claws (which are implied to be Ultramarines descendants) is aghast.
-->'''Variel:''' You mean the Ultramarines' kindred Chapters? How many of them?
-->'''Talos:''' All of them, Variel. AllOfThem.
* ThisIsUnforgivable: After Uzas kills fourteen serfs/slaves, some servitors, and [[spoiler: the sergeant of Third Claw]], just mere days after getting his slaughter on at Ganges station, the members of First Claw debate what to do. The consensus is kill Uzas, and Talos tells them that the Exalted has ordered Uzas's death, so if they spare him, they better have a damn good reason. [[spoiler: They get one when the more numerous Third Claw comes looking for payback.]]
** Once Talos finds out that [[spoiler:Septimus got Octavia knocked up.]]
* ThreePointLanding: Talos on the cover of ''Void Stalker''.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: Talos' visions, and Uzas' Khornate fugues when he's given some perspective in Blood Reaver.
** A less insane variant for Deltrian in ''Void Stalker''.
* ThrownOutTheAirlock: Threatened to Octavia in ''Throne of Lies'' if she continues to make trouble with The Exalted.
** Actually, it's what Septimus says that the crew will do to Octavia if she causes trouble for the Exalted and the Legion. The Night Lords themselves would never throw someone out an airlock...[[FalseReassurance they're]] ''[[FalseReassurance much]]'' [[FalseReassurance more imaginative than that.]]
* TookALevelInJerkass: The Tenth Company in general and Talos in particular in ''Void Stalker''. Justified, as their evil was always there, ''Void Stalker'' just didn't have a foe more evil than them like the BlackLegion and the Red Corsairs to contrast against, and one of the themes of ''Void Stalker'' is Talos coming to accept that the Night Lords really are just a bunch of murderers, rapists, and sadists who just kill for their own amusement. [[spoiler: In fact, the Night Lords' primary antagonists in the books, the Eldar, are often considered one of the few groups to have moral superiority over the Imperium.]]
* UnderNewManagement: Zso Sahaal replacing Sevatar as [[NumberTwo First Captain]] after the Siege of Terra. The majority of the Legion did not appreciate this.
** When [[spoiler:Talos]] takes (unwilling) command.
** ''Void Stalker'' explains that Night Lords have traditionally very poor track records at uniting their entire legion under one commander since Kurze's assassination. Their legion is just too fractured, so it's not like it's entirely Sahaal's fault.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: For a small and seemingly insignificant company like 10th, they sure seem to run into a lot of big name chaos marine commanders (Abaddon in ''Soul Hunter'', Huron Blackheart in ''Blood Reaver'').
** Possibly explicable due to Talos' rare gift as a prophet untainted by the Warp.
* ThemeNaming: Many things important to the Night Lords are named for the works of Creator/JosephConrad.
* ViceCity: The city of Nostramo Quintus
* [[spoiler:VikingFuneral / BurnBabyBurn: Following Xarl's fatal HeroicSacrifice in ''Void Stalker'', Talos harvests his brother's geneeseed by hand in his own quarters and incinerates the corpse and everything in the room with a looted flamer, telling Xarl he'd see him in hell soon.]]
* WeCanRebuildHim: Huron Blackheart, Septimus following a run in with Black Legion slaves in ''Soul Hunter'', Talos after [[spoiler:the duel with Third Claw.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: Most of the legion.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Cyrion's Slaaneshi gift isn't brought up at all in ''Blood Reaver''. It gets brought up in ''Void Stalker'', by Lucoryphus of all people.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: The Night Haunter does '''not''' agree with this trope.
* WhereIWasBornAndRazed: Night Haunter destroyed Nostramo, the Night Lords did little more than watch.
* WildChild: Curze raised himself on Nostramo. He subverted the trope, but that's because he was a [[PhysicalGod Primarch]].
* WindowsOfTheSoul: Throughout the franchise, but most notably in ''Savage Weapons'', the most obvious indicator of Konrad Curze's growing madness and eventual SuperpowerMeltdown is the continual "fever bright" state of his eyes.
* WombLevel: The mausoleum/palace on Tsagualsa is an unusual variation; it's made of an amalgamation of thousands of living human corpses as opposed to one creature.
* TheWorfEffect: Xarl, the most skilled combatant of the Claw, is the first to die against [[spoiler:the Eldar]] in Talos' [[DreamSequence vision]] at the end of ''Blood Reaver''.
** When the rest of First Claw (sans Xarl at that point) attempt to fight the heavily-armed [[spoiler:Genesis Marine champion]]. Then Xarl shows up and evens up the score.
* WretchedHive: Nostramo (and later Tsagualsa) on a planetary level
* YouExclamation: [[spoiler:Ruven is unable to say anything else to Talos as he dies]]
* YouShallNotPass: [[spoiler: Vandred holding off the Red Corsair armada so the ''Echo of Damnation'' and the surviving portions of Tenth Company can escape.]]
* YouShouldHaveDiedInstead: Cyrion says this to Uzas in a half-joking manner before a boarding action, wishing Uzas had died in a previous raid instead of the apparently uncorrupted Sar Zell.
** We later see exactly how this went down in a [[WholeEpisodeFlashback two-chapter-long flashback]] in ''Void Stalker''. Sar Zell was [[spoiler:gunned down by Ultramarines as First Claw tried to board their Thunderhawk]], after which then-tagalong-sergeant Uzas added insult to injury by [[spoiler:unceremoniously claiming Sar Zell's chainaxe]]. No one was thrilled.
----

to:

-> ''"Death is nothing compared to vindication."''

The Night Lords are one of the most iconic legions of Chaos Space Marines in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Even before the Horus Heresy broke out they were infamous for their brutal attacks (which often involved excessive amounts of force) and terror tactics. Essentially, think of an entire army of eight-foot-tall genetically enhanced supersoldiers in power armour, and now they incorporate all the darkest aspects of {{Batman}} filtered through the characteristic [[DarkerAndEdgier grim darkness]] of the far future. This will only come a fraction of the way to summarising what the Night Lords are, but for our purposes it will do.

The Night Lords were originally the subject of only one book, ''Lord of the Night'' (2005) by Simon Spurrier, which presented an alternate interpretation of their history where their Primarch and progenitor, the Night Haunter, was a highly focused individual who shunned the accolades that were heaped upon his peers. Instead, he prosecuted his own brutal kind of warfare precisely because none of the other Legions would and was loyal to the Emperor up until the end, even when his father had abandoned him. This interpretation, bolstered by the quality of the book, proved popular and enjoyed renewed interest with the release of Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Soul Hunter series, which includes, in chronological order, included the short story ''Shadow Knight'' (2009), the novel ''Soul Hunter'' (2010), the audio drama ''Throne of Lies'' (2010), the novel ''Blood Reaver'' (2011), the short story ''The Core'' (2010), and finally the final novel ''Void Stalker'' (2012).
----
!! ''Lord of the Night'' contains the following tropes:
* BerserkButton: If not for the narrator explicitly telling the reader that Cog is not an Ogryn, one would assume he is one from the description. People regularly make this mistake, making Cog extremely angry.
* BlessedWithSuck: Mita, who has incredible psychic powers but is treated like garbage by the people she protects and constantly thrust into danger. By extension, all psykers in the book are in this boat, as this is a general W40k theme.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The whole book, really. The good guys are often worse than the bad guys. The bad guys are even worse than that. Wait, why are we still being designated the bad guys?
* BoardToDeath: When Zso Sahaal was uniting gangs and underhive elements into he personal army, he has the respective leaders brought to him and intimidated into swearing their people to his service. [[OffWithHisHead Then he kills them all at once]], to keep power firmly in his control.
* KnowledgeBroker: Pavulti's trade after going renegade from the Mechanicum.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:The Eldar also want the Corona Nox, and to this end a Seer Council took control of an Inquisitor to look for it.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: All part of TheReveal.
* MobWar: Sahaal orchestrates one to delay the Inquisitor's retinue while he searches for the Corona Nox.
* PowerOfTrust
* RequisiteRoyalRegalia: The Corona Nox.
* TheReveal: Just between you and me, it wouldn't be much of a reveal if I spelled it out here.
* RevengeByProxy
* SmokeShield: [[spoiler:The result of Zso Sahaal's attempt to kill Krieg Acerbus at point blank range with a holy bolter given to him by the Primarch of his chapter. He emerges from the smoke completely unharmed and backhands Sahaal across the room, cracking his power armor.]]
* SuccessionCrisis: A very large one after the death of the Night Haunter lead to the start of the story.
* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler:Inquisitor Kaustus was under control of the Eldar throughout the entire book and was waiting until he could break free or for Mita to kill him.]]
* TwistEnding: Played straight because it probably wasn't the twist you were expecting.
* TooKinkyToTorture: Being a cogboy would already mean that the knowledge broker can switch his pain receptors as desired, but Sahaal's interrogation of him shows that he takes some pleasure or satisfaction from the whole thing.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: This takes place within the Imperium of Man, even the nominally human Cog is heavily discriminated against.
* WhatYearIsThis: Sahaal asked this of one of his victims, as an afterthought, he asked what millenium it was, as well. He first thought he had been gone longer than expected, but he was completely taken aback when he found out that he was gone not a few centuries, but for ten millenia.


!!Tropes demonstrated by the Talos trilogy:
* AGoodWayToDie: [[spoiler:Double Subverted with Xarl's "death" in the ''Blood Reaver'' epilogue]]
** Then played straight by [[spoiler:Xarl in ''Void Reaver'']].
* AerithAndBob: First Claw circa the Great Crusade: Talos, Cyrion, Xarl, Sar Zell and ''Vandred''.
* AlwaysNight: A defining characteristic of Nostramo, and by extension ''The Covenant of Blood'' and the ''Echo of Damnation''.
* AnimalMotifs: Sharks are often used in reference to anything voidgoing.
** There are a number of bird-of-prey motifs for the Night Lords, such as their use of Raptors and referring to their squads as "[X]th Claw".
** Lucoryphus acts more animalistic than human.
* AntagonistTitle: ''Blood Reaver'', and apparently ''Void Stalker''.
* AtopAMountainOfCorpses: The parts of the Mausoleum on Tsagualsa which weren't made of living flesh were generally statues of rockrete shaped from slain civilians.
** [[spoiler:Repeated on Tsagualsa when Talos returns there]] in ''Void Stalker''.
* BadassBaritone / EvilSoundsDeep: Demonstrated in Throne Of Lies, although Xarl, the most martial, is noticeably deeper than Talos, Cyrion and Mercutian.
* BadassBoast: '''"Even in death I will avenge myself."'''
** Additionally, from ''The Dark King'' CD: "Death haunts the darkness, [[PunctuatedForEmphasis and he knows. Your. Name.]]"
** In ''Blood Reaver'', when Third Claw challenges First Claw, the former claims to outnumber the latter seven to five. Talos, wanting Third Claw to back off, replies that one of the five is Xarl.
** In ''Void Stalker'' [[spoiler: "I am the Prophet of the Eighth Legion. My name is Decimus."]] Pure badassery.
* BadBoss: To be expected in the 40K universe, but surprisingly averted in the case of the Night Lord's slaves. Yes, they are enslaved to vicious demi-gods who commit acts of horror and slaughter as standard procedure, but the Night Lords still treat their slaves and crew better than other chaos legions (and possibly a few Imperial organisations).
** However, the Night Lords will not hesitate to do something horrible to their slaves if they misbehave.
** Specifically averted and lampshaded in The Core. A sensor officer flinches whilst telling Talos that the ship they are looking for is hidden inside a space hulk the size of a small moon. Talos then informs him that he is not going to kill him just for giving him irritating news.
* BlackSpeech: Nostraman, although subverted in that it isn't as much a language of evil, as a language spoken primarily by those who regularly ''do'' evil.
* BandOfBrothers: Inherent in the nature of Astartes, but ZigZagged throughout Tenth Company, given the nature of the VIII Legion (although that is not strictly atypical in the Traitor Legions). First Claw plays it straight, despite the immense suspicion and near hatred some members have for each other.
* BattleInTheRain: The covers of ''Soul Hunter'' and ''Void Stalker''.
* BittersweetEnding: The ending of Void Stalker. [[spoiler:There are only a handful of survivors from the entire warband, including Variel, Lucoryphus, Malik and his surviving Atrementar; all the others, including the rest or First Claw are dead, but they succeeded in taking down a Phoenix Lord, though in all truth, [[LegacyCharacter she will probably be back]]. Octavia and Septimus manage to get away alive, and Talos' leacy lives on...]]
* BloodFromTheMouth: Ruven attempting to use his powers after they were bound by the Red Corsairs for months. Probably also overlaps with PsychicNosebleed.
** [[spoiler:Talos]], as Variel is convinced that [[spoiler:his body is rejecting the Night Lords' geneseed]].
* BoardingParty: First Claw boards the Imperial ship ''The Sword of the God Emperor'' and proceeds to slaughter the bridge crew in ''Soul Hunter''. They also did this on a space station in Blood Reaver.
** The favor is later returned to them [[spoiler:by The Blood Angels]].
** ...which they return to the [[spoiler:Red Corsairs aboard the ''Echo of Damnation'']]...
** ...before having the favor returned to them ''again'' by [[spoiler:the Genesis Marines]].
* BridalCarry: After Septimus and Octavia finally admit their love to each other, he scoops her up in his arms and would have carried her back to his quarters if the plot hadn't intervened.
* BrokenFaceplate: Talos' helm at the opening of ''Blood Reaver'', echoed in the damage to the helm of the Marine Errant.
* BulletHell: First Claw's duel with Third Claw.
** Mercutian's heavy bolter.
* CanisLatinicus: ''Ave Dominvs Nox'': allegedly, ''Hail the Lord of the Night''. (it should be ''Ave Domine Noctem'')
* CityNoir: Nostramo Quintus--the city that had spawned of the Night Haunter, Talos and Xarl--[[UpTo11 took this trope practically to 11]] before Curze took control and after he left to lead his legion.
* AChatWithSatan: Talos' encounter with the Ruinous Powers in ''Soul Hunter''. Originally intended to initiate a DealWithTheDevil, but Talos' HeroicWillpower twisted it into this.
** When Talos speaks with [[spoiler:Ruven's dead remains]]... [[AllJustADream kinda']].
* ColdBloodedTorture: The Legion's [[PlanetOfHats hat]] alongside being TheDreaded, as demonstrated ''extensively'' in ''Void Stalker'' [[spoiler:to the point where Talos weaponizes it into an astropath-annihilating pulse]]. Put to use explicitly in ''Throne of Lies'' and ''Blood Reaver'' and used in ''Soul Hunter'' during an ImagineSpot.
* ColdFlames: [[spoiler:Used by the Eldar to ignite Cyrion's corpse in Talos' nightmare in the Blood Reaver epilogue, Variel isn't as lucky and dies much more slowly.]]
* CombatMedic: Talos and Variel. Talos doesn't really do much medic stuff any more, even by 40k's standards of the word. Variel on the other hand, does and still finds the time to be a murderous badass.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: When Octavia goes to talk to Talos while he's [[spoiler: torturing the captive astropaths]], the smell coming causes her to begin throwing up uncontrollably upon entering the room, which Talos mistakenly assumes is [[spoiler: morning sickness.]]
* ComputerVoice: Of the masculine type for servitors in ''Throne of Lies''. ''The Covenant of Blood'' itself sounds more gender neutral.
* CoolChair: Konrad Curze's Osseous Throne in the Tsagualsan mausoleum/fortress
** The command throne in ''The Covenant of Blood'' [[spoiler:and ''The Echo of Damnation'']]
* CoolStarship: ''The Covenant of Blood''
* CoupDeGrace: Talos beheading J'sara in ''Throne of Lies''. It plays out a bit like a MercyKill, but given Talos was the one doing the [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing]] that left her in that much pain, the mercy is lessened somewhat.
** [[spoiler:The Genesis Marines' company captain]], delivered by [[spoiler:Xarl, of course]].
** After half her body is blown up by Talos, [[spoiler: Jain Zar is [[FinishingStomp crushed under Malcharion's Dreadnought feet]]; "I...HAVE TO FINISH EVERYTHING...FOR THAT BOY"]].
* CreationSequence: The first half of ''Shadow Knight'', depicting Talos' biological and mental transition from an accomplished child thief in the slums of Nostramo Quintus to a hardened junior SpaceMarine watching [[WhereIWasBornAndRazed his homeworld]] go up in an EarthShatteringKaboom.
* CyberpunkWithAChanceOfRain: Talos' dream flashback to his childhood in the slums of Nostramo Quintus.
* TheDeadHaveNames: Invoked by ''The Exalted'' of a all people.
* DeadPersonConversation: Talos' dream "conversation" with [[spoiler:Ruven's crucified skeleton]].
* DeadpanSnarker: A lot of Night Lords do this, given that Nostramans seem to be known for their poetic linguistics. Xarl in particular does this a lot.
* DecapitationPresentation: Most commonly Uzas, but other members of 10th company have been known to do it.
* {{Determinator}}: Neverborn, who survive anything short of having their body dismembered.
** First Claw also has its moments, most noticeably the duel with Third Claw, after which Talos sustained severe enough damage to temporarily blind him and eventually merit a new arm and Talos' nightmare sequence at the end of ''Blood Reaver'' [[spoiler:which features Mercutian fighting past the point of death and running on sheer hatred and brotherhood to defend Cyrion and Variel's corpses for a few moments, and Uzas pulling a OneManArmy maneuver physically impossible even for a SpaceMarine]].
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: In ''Soul Hunter'', Talos is out in a trance and meets representations of the Chaos Gods in the form of himself dedicated to the respective gods. After getting offers from Slaanesh and Tzeentch, Talos tells them to go back to hell. He would have said the same thing to the other two, but Nurgle tells off ''Talos'' and leaves without even making his offer, and Talos wakes up before he can properly tell off Khorne.
** In ''Void Stalker'' Talos goes to Septimus and [[spoiler:beats Septimus to within an inch of his life for getting Octavia pregnant]]. When he demands an explanation, Septimus defiantly answers him in [[BlackSpeech Nostraman]]. [[DidntSeeThatComing Talos is briefly left speechless]] after, for the first time ever, one of his slaves tells him to "eat shit."
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Briefly invoked in both books. Talos ends up meeting two of the most powerful Chaos Warlords in the galaxy (including Abbadon himself). Despite knowing how powerful they are, Talos is remarkably casual about voicing opinions that would see anyone else slaughtered in a moment. There are mitigating circumstances in both cases; Talos genuinely finds Abbadon a broken, twisted warlord with delusion of grandeur (even mentioning the consistent lack of success in all his Black Crusades); and in the other case, he is deliberately being cocky to endear himself to Lufgt Huron.
* DramaticIrony: Often hits like a brick during flashbacks to the golden age of the Night Lords.
* DramaticSpaceDrifting: Used in ''Soul Hunter'' to emphasize how little The Exalted cares for the lives of First Claw after it decides the fastest way to liberate them from ''The Sword of the God Emperor'' is to blow a hole in the side and let the difference in pressure suck them out into the void for easy collection.
* DuelToTheDeath: A Night Lords tradition of Murder Duels. Just a step up from another tradition of Honor Duels, which is often used as a way to decide who gets to be sergeant.
** Used in squad-to-squad level between Between First Claw and Third Claw, over Uzas' Khornate delusion-fueled slaying of their sergeant.
** A number of Night Lords want to do this to resolve who will lead the restructured claws at the start of ''Void Stalker''. The commander [[spoiler:Talos]] allows honor duels, but says that anybody who wants a DuelToTheDeath has to fight Xarl. [[{{Badass}} This makes everyone back down in a hurry.]]
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: With [[spoiler:Vandred/The Exalted]] at the end of Blood Reaver. Vandread [[spoiler:reassumes control over his body and takes out at least five Red Corsair ships with him and the ''Covenant'']], and then [[spoiler:''dies'', forcing the Exalted to take his place as the Covenant is destroyed]].
** [[spoiler:Xarl versus the Genesis Marines captain.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Septimus and Octavia. [[spoiler:After spending years in captivity and surviving all three novels escape the Night Lords and rejoin the Imperium, where they will be looked after as Octavia being a Navigator makes her too valuable to misplace, both are in love with each other and Octavia is pregnant with Septimus's son and end the series by both revealing their real names to each other]]. One of the few unambiguously happy endings in 40k.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Maruc in a bar in Hell's Iris eyes one of the "waitresses". Septimus warns him against it for her [[GenuineHumanHide fashion sense]], as well as looking too hard at ''anything'' living on a semi corrupted planet.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Talos' seizure in the opening ''Soul Hunter''.
** Variel's handling of surgery at his introduction in ''Blood Reaver''.
** In a flashback, when Uzas [[spoiler:takes the freshly-killed Sar Zell's chainaxe]], seemingly cementing First Claw's hatred for him ever since.
* EverybodysDeadDave: Talos' nightmare in ''Blood Reaver''s epilogue.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood:
* EyeScream: Talos scoops out J'sara's eyes in the process of torturing her for information in ''Throne of Lies''.
** He also blinded M'shen with his acidic spit in the process of hunting her down and earning his epithet.
*** ''Throne of Lies'' mentions that J'sara and M'shen sound nearly identical. The eye damage may be a MeaningfulEcho.
* FlayingAlive: Done with great glee to a loyalist Astartes in the opening of ''Blood Reaver''.
** Also mentioned as a means of punishment that the 10th company use to keep their slaves and / or brothers in line.
** Taken UpToEleven with the flaying pits, where they are flayed, thrown into a huge hole in the ground, and left to die. This becomes the fate of [[spoiler:many of the ''ten million'' people purged from on Tsagualsa]] in the first half of ''Void Stalker''.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: First Claw at the beginning of ''Soul Hunter''. Played for the worst of each humor, because to do otherwise wouldn't be Grimdark.
** Sanguine -- Uzas. His emotions are all or nothing; he's almost universally violent, irritated or sullen when he isn't an unreadable shell. Thinks only of himself, which is how he became corrupt in the first place. He himself admits he all but runs on a slow, seething rage.
** Choleretic -- Xarl. Cynic, chronic complainer, suspicious pessimist, and yet somehow a very capable [[TheLancer Lancer]] for Talos. Throws his whole life into the sword and it shows in every sense of the word.
** Melencholic -- Talos. His romanticism of his Legion's past and the power his prophetic abilities have over his life have left him worn thin all around. Known to brood over both. His stubbornness won't let him put anything less than his heart and soul into what he does however, and it's nearly killed him before.
** Phlematic -- Cyrion. Possibly the most easy going of the group, and the most vocally distressed at the state of the Legion, although it also means he stands out the least in the shambling wreck of a squad.
* FriendshipMoment: A rather grim example. When Talos is shredded following [[spoiler: the duel with Third Claw]], he reaches out first to Cyrion, then Septimus, Mercution, and he surprises himself by asking for Xarl as well.
** [[spoiler:Cemented even deeper by Talos' harvesting Xarl's geneseed himself by hand and giving him a makeshift VikingFuneral in his own quarters. He realizes many commendatory, honorable or brotherly things could be said over Xarl's corpse, but the truest thing was that if there was a hell, Talos would join him there soon.]]
* GeneralFailure: Discussed in a bit of back-and-forth between Talos and one Abaddon the Despoiler on why his Black Crusades haven't yet succeeded.
** [[spoiler:Talos himself]] isn't much of a general when given the chance to lead, which is part of why he doesn't like leading.
* GhostlyChill: Indicative of the presence of a [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Neverborn]].
* {{Gorn}}: Descriptions of Night Lord initiated combat or torture usually teeter between this and straight up nauseating.
* HeelRealization: Septimus has one while going off to kill disruptive new inductees into ''The Covenant's'' crew in exchange for a lasrifle for Maruc.
* IGaveMyWord: Why Night Lords let their primarch be assassinated.
** Subverted by [[spoiler:Talos]], hence his [[MeaningfulName nickname]].
* IOweYouMyLife: Variel to Talos
* ImpaledPalm: A minor part of the damage to the crucified, flayed and mutilated loyalist Astartes in the opening of ''Blood Reaver''
* InsigniaRipOffRitual: Every piece of scavenged Imperial material must have the insignia removed or (in the case of warplate, where this would be too difficult), ritually defaced. [[spoiler: When Talos takes command, he renames them the "Warband of the Broken Aquila" in recognition of this.]]
* InsistentTerminology: The contention between the two of the mare brought up when Mercutian insists to Xarl that 10th company did not ''steal'' from Ganges Station, they "liberated materials".
* IntercontinuityCrossover: With the ''Literature/{{Salamander}}'' saga in the short stories, ''The Core'' and ''Promethius Requiem'' in the ''Fear the Alien'' anthology.
** Zso Sahaal can be seen in a number of Talos' flashbacks, and Acerbus is mentioned at least once
* ItGetsEasier: ''Shadow Knight'' and ''Soul Hunter'' both feature Talos' memory of his first kill at the age of 12. He's more contemplative than anything after the fact, while his unblooded friend Xarl, the future BloodKnight and MasterSwordsman, is the one freaked out.
* ItWasAGift: Subverted when Talos loses his bolter and no less a hero than Malcharion the War Sage casually hands over his own as a replacement. Despite Talos' initial misgivings over a Legion relic, Malcharion points out that he is now a Dreadnought and doesn't need it.
** Occasionally the human characters will barter around legion coins, signifying the legion's protection over that person. The voidborn's parents are given one, [[spoiler:not that it helps]].
* JobTitle: ''Soul Hunter'', ''Blood Reaver'' and ''Void Stalker''
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind
* LastStand: [[spoiler: Vandred's death]]
** [[spoiler: Then the 10th Company in ''Void Stalker'']]
* MakeAnExampleOfThem: A core part of the Nostraman/VIII Legion doctrine, demonstrated with the stringing up of the gangers in ''Blood Reaver'' [[spoiler: and the crucifixion of Ruven's corpse on the bridge of The Echo of Damnation]]
* MadeASlave: Fates of Septimus, Eurydice (later Octavia) and Maruc
* MaliciousSlander
* MassOhCrap: During the Tsagualsa Reprisal, the Night Lords reaction to the Ultramarines and their successor chapters arrival was to start screaming "Get to the ships!" in every dialect of Nostraman.
* MauveShirt: Maruc
* MeaningfulRename: Talos renames all of his slaves for (presumably) High Gothic [[YouAreNumberSix ordinal numbers]].
** Konrad Curze is said to have nicknamed a number of his brethren.
* MeaningfulEcho: "It was a curse, to be a god's son"
** "Death is nothing compared to vindication." Echoed by Talos, [[spoiler:whose actions in ''Void Stalker'' seem to echo Konrad Curze's end-of-life breakdown. Only Talos seems like he's going to take the entire 10th Company down with him...]]
* MeatMoss: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Screaming Gallery]] in the mausoleum on Tsagualsa. Made of the fused flesh of hundreds of shrieking faces which were kept alive with fleshcraft for the sole purpose of being both terrifying and {{Badass}}. Konrad Curze was not particularly fond of cheery design.
** Some parts of the lower decks in the ''Echo of Damnation'' feature steel walls mutating into flesh due to the warp mutations the ship went under when the Red Corsairs had it.
* TheMole: Septimus at the start of ''Blood Reaver''.
* MomentKiller: Cyrion acts as one between Septimus and Octavia before they admit their feelings to each other. After they do, and Septimus is in the process of {{Bridal Carry}}ing Octavia to his quarters, Talos interrupts them once again.
** First Claw eventually stops cock-blocking them, though, given that [[spoiler: Talos's vision in the Epilogue shows Octavia is pregnant...and running from the [[StateSec Inquisition]].]]
** By ''Void Stalker'', it seems that the cock-blocking was on purpose, as if Talos [[spoiler:beating Septimus half to death as if he should've known better]] is anything to go by. {{Justified|Trope}}, considering Octavia is the 10th Company's sole navigator and they can't get very far (at least no FTL) without her.
* MonsterFromBeyondTheVeil: Octavia killing people with her [[EvilEye Warp Eye]] tends to pull ghosts from the Void back into the vicinity. This results in shambling, in(post)humanly tough zombies called Neverborn.
* MySensorsIndicateYouWantToTapThat: Ruven notes he can smell Septimus' attraction to Octavia.
** Talos's super-hearing is what first alerts him to [[spoiler:Octavia's pregnancy]]. His super-smelling would've tipped him off first, but, especially ignominious for a CombatMedic, what he doesn't know about [[spoiler:human pregnancy]] could fill a battle barge.
*** [[spoiler:Given Crusade-era Astartes probably weren't trained in obstetrics, it isn't that unusual]]
* NamedWeapons: Well...
** Aurum, the power sword Talos stole from the Blood Angels
** Anethema, his old bolter
** Mordax Tenebrae, Zso Sahaal's bolter
** Executioner, Xarl's chainsword
** Banshee, Cyrion's bolter.
* NayTheist: The Night Lords' theology in a nutshell, applying in equal measure to both the [[CrystalDragonJesus Emperor]] and the [[GodOfEvil Chaos Gods]]. The only reason some Night Lords even dignify the Chaos Gods is to momentarily channel their power and then abandon them when their blessings are no longer needed. Uzas is constantly trying to explain this to First Claw in his more lucid moments, not that any of them care.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Talos In ''Soul Hunter''.
* NightmareSequence: Talos' dream of the Eldar at the end of ''Blood Reaver''
* NotMeThisTime: Uzas is held guilty for killing [[spoiler:Arkiah, the father of the Voidborn]], despite his constant lucid insistance that he did not.[[spoiler: Turns out in ''Void Stalker'' he's been telling the truth, it was ''Cyrion''.]]
* NotSoDifferent
* NotSoSafeHarbor: Hell's Iris. The name alone should be enough explanation.
* NounVerber: ''Soul Hunter'', ''Blood Reaver'' and now ''Void Stalker''. Also, Night Haunter.
* OddFriendship: [[spoiler: Malcharion and Lucoryphus. Or as they call each other, "Mal" and "Luc". It would be heartwarming if it wasn't so unnerving.]]
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: [[spoiler: You know the Blood Angels? The guys we've been saying are one of the nicest Chapters of Space Marines? They kill the Void-born and her mother during the boarding of the ''Covenant of Blood''. It doesn't even appear to have been by a Death Company brother, which might be excusable.]]
** [[spoiler: This troper didn't even find that particularly surprising. Like all the crew of the ''Covenant of Blood'', The Void-born and her mother were heretics and traitors. Besides, the Night Lords are big on TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty. Where you or I see mercy, they see opportunity.]]
* OneHeadTaller: Septimus to Octavia
* OneHundredAndEight: When the crew of ''The Covenant of Blood'' finds Eurydice on a shard of Nostramo, she is scooped up along with one hundred and seven servitors.
* PardonMyKlingon: Septimus swears in nothing but Nostraman, even when speaking [[CommonTongue Gothic]] for Octavia's benefit.
* PeopleJars: The titan princeps in Deltrian's posession.
* PersonaNonGrata: Subverted, ''The Covenant's'' populace is surprised they ''aren't'' banned from Hell's Iris. [[spoiler: By the end of ''Blood Reaver'', though, it has been changed from "PersonaNonGrata" to [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim "Kill On Sight".]]
* {{Phlegmings}}: Shows up about as often as TearsOfBlood, usually as a milder version. Bonus points for most incidents involving acidic spit.
** Uzas drools near constantly as a result of his Khornate corruption.
** The Exalted drools as a result of being physically incapable of closing its mouth, which in turn is the result of daemonic possession and Warp-induced mutation.
** In two separate books Talos has found a human psychically fused to a machine who drooled when the link was damaged.
** Ruven drools constantly as a prisoner of the Red Corsairs, as he is chained in an uncomfortable position, psychically bound and perpetually in a state of mild MindRape.
** On at least one occasion Talos has begun drooling in rage.
** The [[CoolPet Hamadrya]] does this on occasion, even ''its'' spit in acidic.
* PickyPeopleEater: Uzas takes great joy in eating the geneseed of his [[ImAHumanitarian fallen enemies]] on multiple occasions. One could take it solely as a sign of his status as the resident AxCrazy, but Talos makes mention of the practice in a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to a fallen dreadnought.
** [[WordOfGod Aaron Dembski-Bowden]] eventually confirmed this as a Legion-wide tradition.
** When confronting the father of the Voidborn about his desire for revenge, Talos tells the man he ate the heart of the Blood Angel who killed his daughter, and that that should satisfy vengeance.
* PraetorianGuard: The Atramentar, one of the results of the Terminator First Company fracturing into bodyguards around other company captains after [[TheNeidermeyer Zso Sahaal]] [[UnderNewManagement inherited]] [[TheCaptain Sevatar's position]].
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: Used as a framing device in ''Shadow Knight''.
* ProphecyTwist: [[spoiler: Done at the worst possible moment in Void Stalker. In Soul Hunter, Talos has a vision of Uzas and Cyrion trying to kill each other. He initially thinks that he saw it happening on Crythe, and assumes he was just wrong when it doesn't come to pass. During the final endgame, Talos realises the vision showed Tsagualsa instead of Crythe and rushes to stop it from happening. And even then, he got it wrong]].
* PowerHigh: What Slaanesh offers Talos in exchange for his eternal servitude, along with her usual SenseFreak "benefits".
* PowerLimiter: In the form of a runic collar on Ruven while he is held captive by the Red Corsairs.
* RadioVoice: Used in ''Throne Of Lies'' to indicate vox transmissions.
* RapeAsDrama: To Octavia In ''Soul Hunter''. By Blood Reaver, she's pretty well adjusted, but Maruc mentions to Septimus that the trauma isn't completely gone.
* RavensAndCrows: ''Lord of the Night'' recounts Zso Sahaal's memory of Curze appearing to his men clad only in a cloak of raven feathers following the Siege of Terra. Additionally, one of Sevatar's epithets was "Prince of Crows".
* TheReveal: In ''Void Stalker'': [[spoiler: The Eldar of Craftworld Ulthwe aren't trying to kill Talos because of the psychic scream that he unleashed, they're trying to kill him because the Seer Council (heavily implied to be at the direction of Eldrad Ulthran) believe that he is the destined "Prophet of the Eighth Legion" who will unite the Night Lords in the 13th Black Crusade to destroy Craftworld Ulthwe. Talos himself rejects the idea, as he couldn't unite a single claw, but Variel had already foreseen this and was instead after his progenoids.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Any place Talos sleeps or has his prophethetic seizures in turns into this.
** Uzas' chamber is shown to be very messy version of this. In the entire room there is nothing but rubbish, a small altar to Khorne made mostly of skulls, half cleaned skulls, and the waste products of said cleaning.
* SalvagePirates: The 10th company/Warband of the Exalted. Depicted in ''Shadow Knight'' and mentioned elsewhere upon occasion. Having (for the most part) rejected the gifts of Chaos, they are denied the OffscreenVillainDarkMatter given to most of the traitor legions.
* SandInMyEyes: A variant with Melcharion the War Sage. Talos claims that he serves as an inspiration to everyone else, to which Melcharion replies that all he did was shout loudly and kill things. His dreadnought body then makes a rattling crunching noise which he claims is his cannon's autoloaders cycling. He's actually laughing instead.
* SapientShip: The ''Covenant of Blood'' has a machine spirit of its own and it doesn't like or trust its new navigator.
** The ''Echo of Damnation'' is a little more accommodating, but more as a feral, eager beast that Octavia has to keep restrained.
* SeeYouInHell: [[spoiler:Said by Talos during Xarl's improvised funeral without any malice whatsoever. it's both an honest assessment of their lives and a warped, classically Nostraman gesture of brotherhood.]]
* SequelHook: The epilouge of ''Blood Reaver''
** Talos' visions of [[spoiler:fighting Eldar]], which as of the end of ''Blood Reaver'' are never realized.
* ShadowArchetype: In Soul Hunter, there's a theme of the Night Lords being this to the Blood Angels. Although in terms of tactical doctrine, they're more of a shadow archetype to the Raven Guard.
** Bizarrely enough, Night Haunter is this to Konrad Curze, making the man ''his own'' shadow archetype.
* ShatteredWorld: The VIII legion homeworld of Nostramo following the EarthShatteringKaboom at the end of ''[[HorusHeresy The Dark King]]''. The Talos saga opens with Eurydice being found on one of the remaining shards.
** A moon around Tsagualsa, which [[spoiler:Talos shoots with [[NoKillLikeOverkill planet-busting torpedoes]], allowing them to blow up a nearby retreating Genesis Marine battle barge that hid behind it.]]
* ShoutOutThemeNaming: Most things related to the VIII legion are named for something related to Creator/JosephConrad or his works, when they don't relate to fear in some way.
* SoiledCityOnAHill: Nostramo as a whole upon Curze's return.
* SpacePirates: The Red Corsairs, who appear in ''Blood Reaver''. The 10th company has to resort to this occasionally, [[ImpoverishedPatrician much to Talos' disgust]].
* TheSquad: First Claw is a very dysfunctional example.
* TakeUpMySword: Talos' acquisition of the former Captain's bolter makes it even harder to deny his suitability as a leader.
* TarotTroubles: Konrad Curze regularly read Nostramo Quintus' version of the Tarot. Following the annihilation of the planet at the end of ''The Dark King'' it only bodes ill for him.
* TearsOfBlood: Seems to show up a lot
** The Exalted produces black, oily bloody tears whenever it attempts to smile.
** Lucoryphus is constantly shedding them, leading to his epithet.
** Ruven, when exposed to light too bright for Nostraman eyes (although presumably not too much for a someone not born on a night world).
** When psychically stressed, Octavia will cry blood from her third eye.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The Night Lords were driven from Tsagualsa by the Primogenitor Chapters, the Ultramarines and their successor chapters. ''All'' of their successor chapters, meaning about two-thirds of all the Space Marines in the Imperium. When told this, Variel, formerly of the Astral Claws (which are implied to be Ultramarines descendants) is aghast.
-->'''Variel:''' You mean the Ultramarines' kindred Chapters? How many of them?
-->'''Talos:''' All of them, Variel. AllOfThem.
* ThisIsUnforgivable: After Uzas kills fourteen serfs/slaves, some servitors, and [[spoiler: the sergeant of Third Claw]], just mere days after getting his slaughter on at Ganges station, the members of First Claw debate what to do. The consensus is kill Uzas, and Talos tells them that the Exalted has ordered Uzas's death, so if they spare him, they better have a damn good reason. [[spoiler: They get one when the more numerous Third Claw comes looking for payback.]]
** Once Talos finds out that [[spoiler:Septimus got Octavia knocked up.]]
* ThreePointLanding: Talos on the cover of ''Void Stalker''.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: Talos' visions, and Uzas' Khornate fugues when he's given some perspective in Blood Reaver.
** A less insane variant for Deltrian in ''Void Stalker''.
* ThrownOutTheAirlock: Threatened to Octavia in ''Throne of Lies'' if she continues to make trouble with The Exalted.
** Actually, it's what Septimus says that the crew will do to Octavia if she causes trouble for the Exalted and the Legion. The Night Lords themselves would never throw someone out an airlock...[[FalseReassurance they're]] ''[[FalseReassurance much]]'' [[FalseReassurance more imaginative than that.]]
* TookALevelInJerkass: The Tenth Company in general and Talos in particular in ''Void Stalker''. Justified, as their evil was always there, ''Void Stalker'' just didn't have a foe more evil than them like the BlackLegion and the Red Corsairs to contrast against, and one of the themes of ''Void Stalker'' is Talos coming to accept that the Night Lords really are just a bunch of murderers, rapists, and sadists who just kill for their own amusement. [[spoiler: In fact, the Night Lords' primary antagonists in the books, the Eldar, are often considered one of the few groups to have moral superiority over the Imperium.]]
* UnderNewManagement: Zso Sahaal replacing Sevatar as [[NumberTwo First Captain]] after the Siege of Terra. The majority of the Legion did not appreciate this.
** When [[spoiler:Talos]] takes (unwilling) command.
** ''Void Stalker'' explains that Night Lords have traditionally very poor track records at uniting their entire legion under one commander since Kurze's assassination. Their legion is just too fractured, so it's not like it's entirely Sahaal's fault.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: For a small and seemingly insignificant company like 10th, they sure seem to run into a lot of big name chaos marine commanders (Abaddon in ''Soul Hunter'', Huron Blackheart in ''Blood Reaver'').
** Possibly explicable due to Talos' rare gift as a prophet untainted by the Warp.
* ThemeNaming: Many things important to the Night Lords are named for the works of Creator/JosephConrad.
* ViceCity: The city of Nostramo Quintus
* [[spoiler:VikingFuneral / BurnBabyBurn: Following Xarl's fatal HeroicSacrifice in ''Void Stalker'', Talos harvests his brother's geneeseed by hand in his own quarters and incinerates the corpse and everything in the room with a looted flamer, telling Xarl he'd see him in hell soon.]]
* WeCanRebuildHim: Huron Blackheart, Septimus following a run in with Black Legion slaves in ''Soul Hunter'', Talos after [[spoiler:the duel with Third Claw.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: Most of the legion.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Cyrion's Slaaneshi gift isn't brought up at all in ''Blood Reaver''. It gets brought up in ''Void Stalker'', by Lucoryphus of all people.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: The Night Haunter does '''not''' agree with this trope.
* WhereIWasBornAndRazed: Night Haunter destroyed Nostramo, the Night Lords did little more than watch.
* WildChild: Curze raised himself on Nostramo. He subverted the trope, but that's because he was a [[PhysicalGod Primarch]].
* WindowsOfTheSoul: Throughout the franchise, but most notably in ''Savage Weapons'', the most obvious indicator of Konrad Curze's growing madness and eventual SuperpowerMeltdown is the continual "fever bright" state of his eyes.
* WombLevel: The mausoleum/palace on Tsagualsa is an unusual variation; it's made of an amalgamation of thousands of living human corpses as opposed to one creature.
* TheWorfEffect: Xarl, the most skilled combatant of the Claw, is the first to die against [[spoiler:the Eldar]] in Talos' [[DreamSequence vision]] at the end of ''Blood Reaver''.
** When the rest of First Claw (sans Xarl at that point) attempt to fight the heavily-armed [[spoiler:Genesis Marine champion]]. Then Xarl shows up and evens up the score.
* WretchedHive: Nostramo (and later Tsagualsa) on a planetary level
* YouExclamation: [[spoiler:Ruven is unable to say anything else to Talos as he dies]]
* YouShallNotPass: [[spoiler: Vandred holding off the Red Corsair armada so the ''Echo of Damnation'' and the surviving portions of Tenth Company can escape.]]
* YouShouldHaveDiedInstead: Cyrion says this to Uzas in a half-joking manner before a boarding action, wishing Uzas had died in a previous raid instead of the apparently uncorrupted Sar Zell.
** We later see exactly how this went down in a [[WholeEpisodeFlashback two-chapter-long flashback]] in ''Void Stalker''. Sar Zell was [[spoiler:gunned down by Ultramarines as First Claw tried to board their Thunderhawk]], after which then-tagalong-sergeant Uzas added insult to injury by [[spoiler:unceremoniously claiming Sar Zell's chainaxe]]. No one was thrilled.
----
[[redirect:Literature/NightLords]]
24th Mar '13 12:04:24 PM SFH
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Added DiffLines:

** Actually, it's what Septimus says that the crew will do to Octavia if she causes trouble for the Exalted and the Legion. The Night Lords themselves would never throw someone out an airlock...[[FalseReassurance they're]] ''[[FalseReassurance much]]'' [[FalseReassurance more imaginative than that.]]
3rd Feb '13 12:18:18 PM SFH
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* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The Night Lords were driven from Tsagualsa by the Ultramarines and their successor chapters. ''All'' of their successor chapters, meaning about two-thirds of all the Space Marines in the Imperium.

to:

* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The Night Lords were driven from Tsagualsa by the Primogenitor Chapters, the Ultramarines and their successor chapters. ''All'' of their successor chapters, meaning about two-thirds of all the Space Marines in the Imperium. When told this, Variel, formerly of the Astral Claws (which are implied to be Ultramarines descendants) is aghast.
-->'''Variel:''' You mean the Ultramarines' kindred Chapters? How many of them?
-->'''Talos:''' All of them, Variel. AllOfThem.
29th Dec '12 9:36:18 PM Calandir
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Added DiffLines:

** Specifically averted and lampshaded in The Core. A sensor officer flinches whilst telling Talos that the ship they are looking for is hidden inside a space hulk the size of a small moon. Talos then informs him that he is not going to kill him just for giving him irritating news.
25th Dec '12 2:10:38 AM faustishlurve
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Added DiffLines:

* PowerHigh: What Slaanesh offers Talos in exchange for his eternal servitude, along with her usual SenseFreak "benefits".
11th Dec '12 4:47:02 PM Yozzy
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* DyingMomentOfAwesome: With [[spoiler:Vandred/The Exalted]] at the end of Blood Reaver. Vandread [[spoiler:reassumes control over his body and takes out at least five Red Corsair ships with him and the ''Covenant'']], and then [[''dies'', forcing the Exalted to take his place as the Covenant is destroyed]].

to:

* DyingMomentOfAwesome: With [[spoiler:Vandred/The Exalted]] at the end of Blood Reaver. Vandread [[spoiler:reassumes control over his body and takes out at least five Red Corsair ships with him and the ''Covenant'']], and then [[''dies'', [[spoiler:''dies'', forcing the Exalted to take his place as the Covenant is destroyed]].



* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler: Septimus and Octavia, after spending years in captivity and surviving all three novels escape the Night Lords and rejoin the Imperium, where they will be looked after as Octavia being a Navigator makes her too valuable to misplace, both are in love with each other and Octavia is pregnant with Septimus's son and end the series by both revealing their real names to each other. One of the few unambiguously happy endings in 40k.]]
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Maruc in a bar in Hell's Iris. Septimus warns him against looking too hard at ''anything'' living on a semi corrupted planet.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Talos' seizure in the opening ''Soul Hunter''
** Variel's handling of surgery at his introduction in ''Blood Reaver''

to:

* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler: Septimus and Octavia, after Octavia. [[spoiler:After spending years in captivity and surviving all three novels escape the Night Lords and rejoin the Imperium, where they will be looked after as Octavia being a Navigator makes her too valuable to misplace, both are in love with each other and Octavia is pregnant with Septimus's son and end the series by both revealing their real names to each other. other]]. One of the few unambiguously happy endings in 40k.]]
40k.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Maruc in a bar in Hell's Iris. Iris eyes one of the "waitresses". Septimus warns him against it for her [[GenuineHumanHide fashion sense]], as well as looking too hard at ''anything'' living on a semi corrupted planet.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Talos' seizure in the opening ''Soul Hunter''
Hunter''.
** Variel's handling of surgery at his introduction in ''Blood Reaver''Reaver''.



* [[spoiler: EverybodysDeadDave: Talos' nightmare in ''Blood Reaver''s epilogue]]
* EvilCannotComprehendGood

to:

* [[spoiler: EverybodysDeadDave: Talos' nightmare in ''Blood Reaver''s epilogue]]
epilogue.
* EvilCannotComprehendGoodEvilCannotComprehendGood:



** Taken UpToEleven when [[spoiler:''ten million'' people are flayed on Tsagualsa in the first half of ''Void Stalker''.]]
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: ''Soul Hunter'' era First Claw. Played for the worst of each humor, because to do otherwise wouldn't be Grimdark.

to:

** Taken UpToEleven when [[spoiler:''ten with the flaying pits, where they are flayed, thrown into a huge hole in the ground, and left to die. This becomes the fate of [[spoiler:many of the ''ten million'' people are flayed purged from on Tsagualsa Tsagualsa]] in the first half of ''Void Stalker''.]]
Stalker''.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: First Claw at the beginning of ''Soul Hunter'' era First Claw.Hunter''. Played for the worst of each humor, because to do otherwise wouldn't be Grimdark.
11th Dec '12 4:33:51 PM Yozzy
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* DeadPersonConversation: Talos' dream conversation with [[spoiler:Ruven's crucified skeleton]], doubles as AChatWithSatan.

to:

* DeadPersonConversation: Talos' dream conversation "conversation" with [[spoiler:Ruven's crucified skeleton]], doubles as AChatWithSatan.skeleton]].



* {{Determinator}}: [[spoiler:Daemon Prince Caleb]], who survives [[spoiler: being sucked out into space, being exposed directly to the Warp,]] being shot in the throat with a shotgun, and having a chainaxe thrown in his face!
** First Claw also has its moments, most noticeably [[spoiler:The duel with Third Claw, after which Talos sustained severe enough damage to temporarily blind him and eventually merit a new arm]] and Talos' nightmare sequence at the end of ''Blood Reaver'' [[spoiler:which features Mercutian fighting past the point of death and running on sheer hatred and brotherhood to defend Cyrion and Variel's corpses for a few moments, and Uzas pulling a OneManArmy maneuver physically impossible even for a SpaceMarine.]]
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu:
** In ''Soul Hunter'', Talos meets representations of the Chaos Gods, and after getting offers from Slaanesh and Tzeentch, unequivocally tells the representations of the Dark Prince and the Lord of Change to go to hell (or back to the warp, whatever you will). He would of said the same thing to Nurgle and Khorne's representations, but the Plague Father tells off ''Talos'' without even making an offer and Talos wakes up before he can properly tell off the Blood God.
** In ''Void Stalker'' [[spoiler: Talos beats Septimus to within an inch of his life for getting Octavia pregnant, and when he demands an explanation, Septimus tells him, in [[BlackSpeech Nostraman]] no less, to "eat shit". [[DidntSeeThatComing Talos is so shocked he's briefly speechless]].]]
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Briefly invoked in both books. Talos ends up meeting two of the most powerful Chaos Warlords in the galaxy (including Abbadon himself). Despite knowing how powerful they are, Talos is remarkably casual about voicing opinions that would see anyone slaughtered in a moment. There are mitigating circumstances in both cases; Talos genuinely finds Abbadon a broken, twisted warlord with delusion of grandeur (even mentioning the consistent lack of success in all his Black Crusades) and in the other case, he is deliberately being cocky to endear himself to Lufgt Huron.

to:

* {{Determinator}}: [[spoiler:Daemon Prince Caleb]], Neverborn, who survives [[spoiler: being sucked out into space, being exposed directly to the Warp,]] being shot in the throat with a shotgun, and survive anything short of having a chainaxe thrown in his face!
their body dismembered.
** First Claw also has its moments, most noticeably [[spoiler:The the duel with Third Claw, after which Talos sustained severe enough damage to temporarily blind him and eventually merit a new arm]] arm and Talos' nightmare sequence at the end of ''Blood Reaver'' [[spoiler:which features Mercutian fighting past the point of death and running on sheer hatred and brotherhood to defend Cyrion and Variel's corpses for a few moments, and Uzas pulling a OneManArmy maneuver physically impossible even for a SpaceMarine.]]
SpaceMarine]].
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu:
**
DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: In ''Soul Hunter'', Talos is out in a trance and meets representations of the Chaos Gods, and after Gods in the form of himself dedicated to the respective gods. After getting offers from Slaanesh and Tzeentch, unequivocally Talos tells the representations of the Dark Prince and the Lord of Change them to go to hell (or back to the warp, whatever you will). hell. He would of have said the same thing to the other two, but Nurgle and Khorne's representations, but the Plague Father tells off ''Talos'' and leaves without even making an offer his offer, and Talos wakes up before he can properly tell off the Blood God.Khorne.
** In ''Void Stalker'' [[spoiler: Talos beats goes to Septimus and [[spoiler:beats Septimus to within an inch of his life for getting Octavia pregnant, and when pregnant]]. When he demands an explanation, Septimus tells him, defiantly answers him in [[BlackSpeech Nostraman]] no less, to "eat shit". Nostraman]]. [[DidntSeeThatComing Talos is so shocked he's briefly speechless]].]]
left speechless]] after, for the first time ever, one of his slaves tells him to "eat shit."
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Briefly invoked in both books. Talos ends up meeting two of the most powerful Chaos Warlords in the galaxy (including Abbadon himself). Despite knowing how powerful they are, Talos is remarkably casual about voicing opinions that would see anyone else slaughtered in a moment. There are mitigating circumstances in both cases; Talos genuinely finds Abbadon a broken, twisted warlord with delusion of grandeur (even mentioning the consistent lack of success in all his Black Crusades) Crusades); and in the other case, he is deliberately being cocky to endear himself to Lufgt Huron.



* DuelToTheDeath: [[spoiler:Between First Claw and Third Claw over Uzas' Khornate delusion-fueled slaying of their sergeant.]]

to:

* DuelToTheDeath: [[spoiler:Between A Night Lords tradition of Murder Duels. Just a step up from another tradition of Honor Duels, which is often used as a way to decide who gets to be sergeant.
** Used in squad-to-squad level between Between
First Claw and Third Claw Claw, over Uzas' Khornate delusion-fueled slaying of their sergeant.]]



* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Vandred reassuming his body and taking five or so Red Corsair ships with him and the ''Covenant'' at the end of ''Blood Reaver'']]

to:

* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Vandred reassuming With [[spoiler:Vandred/The Exalted]] at the end of Blood Reaver. Vandread [[spoiler:reassumes control over his body and taking takes out at least five or so Red Corsair ships with him and the ''Covenant'' at ''Covenant'']], and then [[''dies'', forcing the end of ''Blood Reaver'']]Exalted to take his place as the Covenant is destroyed]].
11th Dec '12 4:00:58 PM Yozzy
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* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The ending of Void Stalker. All members of First Claw, apart from Variel, are dead, but they succeeded in taking down a Phoenix Lord and Octavia and Septimus manage to get away alive.]]

to:

* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The ending of Void Stalker. All members [[spoiler:There are only a handful of First Claw, apart survivors from the entire warband, including Variel, Lucoryphus, Malik and his surviving Atrementar; all the others, including the rest or First Claw are dead, but they succeeded in taking down a Phoenix Lord and Lord, though in all truth, [[LegacyCharacter she will probably be back]]. Octavia and Septimus manage to get away alive.alive, and Talos' leacy lives on...]]



** [[spoiler:Talos]], as Variel is convinced that [[spoiler:his body is rejecting the Night Lords' geneseed.]]

to:

** [[spoiler:Talos]], as Variel is convinced that [[spoiler:his body is rejecting the Night Lords' geneseed.]]geneseed]].



* ColdFlames: [[spoiler:Used by the Eldar to ignite Cyrion's corpse in Talos' epilogue nightmare, Variel isn't as lucky and dies much more slowly.]]

to:

* ColdFlames: [[spoiler:Used by the Eldar to ignite Cyrion's corpse in Talos' epilogue nightmare, nightmare in the Blood Reaver epilogue, Variel isn't as lucky and dies much more slowly.]]



* CompletelyMissingThePoint: [[spoiler: When Octavia goes to talk to Talos while he's torturing the astropaths, the smell coming off the still alive torture victims causes her to begin throwing up uncontrollably upon entering the room, which Talos assumes is morning sickness.]]
* ComputerVoice: Of the masculine type for servitors in ''Throne of Lies'', ''The Covenant of Blood'' itself is supposed to sound more gender neutral.

to:

* CompletelyMissingThePoint: [[spoiler: When Octavia goes to talk to Talos while he's [[spoiler: torturing the astropaths, captive astropaths]], the smell coming off the still alive torture victims causes her to begin throwing up uncontrollably upon entering the room, which Talos mistakenly assumes is [[spoiler: morning sickness.]]
* ComputerVoice: Of the masculine type for servitors in ''Throne of Lies'', Lies''. ''The Covenant of Blood'' itself is supposed to sound sounds more gender neutral.



** [[spoiler:After half her body is blown up by Talos, Jain Zar is crushed under Malcharion's Dreadnought feet; "I...HAVE TO FINISH EVERYTHING...FOR THAT BOY"]].

to:

** [[spoiler:After After half her body is blown up by Talos, [[spoiler: Jain Zar is [[FinishingStomp crushed under Malcharion's Dreadnought feet; feet]]; "I...HAVE TO FINISH EVERYTHING...FOR THAT BOY"]].



* DeadPersonConversation: [[spoiler:Talos' dream conversation with Ruven's crucified skeleton, doubles as AChatWithSatan]]

to:

* DeadPersonConversation: [[spoiler:Talos' Talos' dream conversation with Ruven's [[spoiler:Ruven's crucified skeleton, skeleton]], doubles as AChatWithSatan]]AChatWithSatan.
26th Nov '12 2:54:00 PM Achaemenid
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4th Nov '12 12:00:29 PM SFH
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** In ''Soul Hunter'', Talos meets representations of the Chaos Gods, and unequivocally tells the representations of Slaanesh and Tzeentch to go to hell (or back to the warp, whatever you will). He would of said the same thing to Nurgle and Khorne's representations, but Nurgle tells off ''Talos'' without even making an offer and Talos wakes up before he can properly tell off Khorne.

to:

** In ''Soul Hunter'', Talos meets representations of the Chaos Gods, and after getting offers from Slaanesh and Tzeentch, unequivocally tells the representations of Slaanesh the Dark Prince and Tzeentch the Lord of Change to go to hell (or back to the warp, whatever you will). He would of said the same thing to Nurgle and Khorne's representations, but Nurgle the Plague Father tells off ''Talos'' without even making an offer and Talos wakes up before he can properly tell off Khorne.the Blood God.



** Banshee, Cyrion's bolter.



* NotMeThisTime: Uzas is held guilty for killing [[spoiler:Arkiah, the father of the Voidborn]], despite his constant lucid insistance that he did not.[[spoiler: Turns out in ''Voidstalker'' he's been telling the truth]]

to:

* NotMeThisTime: Uzas is held guilty for killing [[spoiler:Arkiah, the father of the Voidborn]], despite his constant lucid insistance that he did not.[[spoiler: Turns out in ''Voidstalker'' ''Void Stalker'' he's been telling the truth]]truth, it was ''Cyrion''.]]



* PersonaNonGrata: Subverted, ''The Covenant's'' populace is surprised they ''aren't'' banned from Hell's Iris.

to:

* PersonaNonGrata: Subverted, ''The Covenant's'' populace is surprised they ''aren't'' banned from Hell's Iris. [[spoiler: By the end of ''Blood Reaver'', though, it has been changed from "PersonaNonGrata" to [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim "Kill On Sight".]]



** When the rest of First Claw (sans Xarl at that point) attempt to fight the heavily-armed [[spoiler:Genesis Marine captain]]. Then Xarl shows up and evens up the score.

to:

** When the rest of First Claw (sans Xarl at that point) attempt to fight the heavily-armed [[spoiler:Genesis Marine captain]].champion]]. Then Xarl shows up and evens up the score.
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