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Comic Book / Bloodquest

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The Bloodquest series was a three-part graphic novel set in the Warhammer40000 universe, by Gordon Rennie and illustrated by Colin MacNeil. It follows the story of Blood Angels Space Marine Captain Leonatos, who is sent on a quest to retrieve the Sword of Belarius, an very important relic to their Chapter that he himself lost.

This comic provides examples of:

  • An Arm and a Leg: Cloten loses his arm and has it replaced with a chainsword.
  • The Atoner: Leonatos, first and foremost, has to atone for losing an important chapter relic to the Blood Angels that he was ordered to safeguard. His squad is with him mostly out of loyalty.
  • Band of Brothers: Leonatos' squad.
  • Big Bad: The nameless Daemon Prince of Tzeentch is responsible for the entire conflict in the story. He possesses the Ork Warboss who stole the Sword of Belarius, has it sent through the Eye of Terror to lure Leonatos and his squad just so he can have their souls, and after possessing him and using as his host he launches a massive Black Crusade rampaging through several planets.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Just barely a Downer Ending, as typical for Warhammer 40K. In the end, the Sword of Belarius is returned to the Space Marines and a new Black Crusade is stopped, but Leonatos' men were all killed in action with the exception of Lysander. To make things even worse, Leonatos himself was possessed by a Daemon and manages to wrestle temporary control just in time to perform a Heroic Sacrifice and bring down the Black Crusade with him.
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  • Blood Knight: Due to his Red Thirst, Brother Cloten's approach to problems tended towards aggression.
  • Body Horror: As their stay in Eidolon's progresses, Cloten's condition worsen and his body slowly mutates.
  • Continuity Nod: Fabius Bile from the Emperor's Chidren appears in Cloten's flashback to torture him.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Cloten was experimented on by Fabius Bile, which would trigger the Red Thirst within him.
  • Death Seeker: Brother Cloten was brought along because he has a death wish and he wishes to die in combat rather than have the Red Thirst consume him.
  • Death World: The Daemon World of Eidolon. Its a planet inside the Eye of Terror split into four empires that worship the Chaos Gods and are constantly fighting among themselves over control for the world.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Leonatos is The Hero for the first two parts, then the focus shifts to Lysander and Cloten for the third part when Leonatos makes a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • Garshûl is merely a puppet used by the daemon who stole the sword.
    • Palamon is killed and briefly taken over by the Daemon Prince of Nurgle, before being gunned down.
    • Most tragically, Leonatos is taken over by a Tzeentchi daemon and becomes a Chaos Lord in charge of a new Black Crusade.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Garshûl the Destroyer, the Ork Warboss responsible for the sword's loss is defeated on Part I and revealed to be a puppet to a Deamon.
  • Dwindling Party: The comic starts with a one-hundred company, until it gets reduced to 10 men at the start of the quest. However, only three (Tranio, Palamon, and Valerius) joined in his quest with rest being an aging Librarian, Red Thirst afflicted sergeant, and three stowaways (Lysandar, Proteus, and Menelius). All of the total number of the party being nine members. By the end of the series, only Lysander is left alive.
  • Dying as Yourself: Leonatos, at the end of the series
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The comic came out before it was established in the canon that Orkz couldn't be possessed by Daemons (or at least not very effectively). Also, according to the later Horus Heresy novels, Blood Angels can't fall to Chaos, though since it only happened as a result of possession here it may not count.
  • The Exile: Leonatos and his squad for losing the Sword of Belarius. Until they have redeemed themselves, they are forbidden from returning to their homeworld on Baal and are effectively pariahs within Imperium space with everyone forbidden from lending help in anyway. Hell, even their ship is titled this way.
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Lysander wears this after having his eye injured by an Slaaneshi warrior.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Proteus and Leonatos are lost to Chaos, though only the former turned himself willingly, while the latter was possessed.
  • A Father to His Men: Captain Leonatos cared for his fellow Exile (along with three scout marines who stowed away) to the point where third part of the chapter focused on two survivors—Lysandar and Cloten—searching for him in the warp.. Even before his quest, the Undying Loyalty of three subordinates and his refusal to grant Mercy Kill to Cloten emphasized his nature as benign Captain.
  • Fake Defector: Cloten and Lysander pretend to have gone renegade in order to blend within a Chaos warband.
  • Femme Fatale: The Daemon Princess of Slaanesh, as she successfully corrupts Proteus.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: A slave girl is briefly seen collared to a Slaaneshi warrior.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: Lysander and Cloten are forced to do shoot civilians when they pretend they have gone renegade in order to infiltrate a Chaos warband in Part III.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Several Blood Angels die like this, including Furion, Valerius, Tranio, Cloten and Leonatos.
  • Heroic Willpower: The heroes survive being stranded inside a Daemon World where the Forces of Chaos corrupt everything in its domain.
    • Cloten is already compromised due to having succumbed to the Red Thirst and his body is slowly mutating as he nears the Black Rage. He manages to overcome it completely, which is a impressive feat given only two Blood Angels - Brother Rafen and Lord Mephiston - in their entire history had managed it.
    • At the end of the series, Leonatos pulls himself out of the Daemon's possession to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to escape and bring down the Chaos forces with him.
  • How We Got Here: The second part starts with the exiles returning to Baal and recounting to Chapter Master Dante how they recovered the Sword. At the start, only two of them are seen and their faces are obscured, not making clear exactly which one of the members survived.
  • Little Stowaway: Lysandar, Proteus, and Menelius—though only "little" compared to more experienced brothers of the Exiles—who sneaked on Captain Leonatos' ship out of sense of adventure and unable to drop them off due to their communication channel being illegible as The Exile.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Daemon of Tzeentch.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: When the resident psyker Furion probes an Ork's mind to find out where the sword is, he is nearly overwhelmed and driven mad by the experience, but manages to recover.
  • Mysterious Backer: Haeroth the Damned, a Dark Angel Space Marine that was stranded on Eidolon for too long, helps the heroes during their stay in the cursed planet. His motives are predictably revealed to not be noble at all and Haeroth is in fact possessed by a Daemon.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Though their quest to recover the Sword is paramount, Leonatos and his men are very protective of each other.
    • When Bubonnikus offers safe passage through his city to the heroes if they surrender one of their members (who is dying of a daemonic infection), they'd rather fight their way out than give their own brother to the Daemons.
    • Cloten considers breaking into the City of Forbidden Pleasures after Proteus was lost inside it.
    • After returning the Sword to their Chapter, the squad's survivors start a new quest of their own to find and rescue Leonatos, who was lost inside the Eye of Terror.
  • No Name Given: None of Eidolon's Daemon Princes are named in the story, barring Bubonnikus, the Daemon Prince of Nurgle.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Its the Blood Angels, what did you expect? Though only Brother Cloten succumbs to the Red Thirst and manages to partially pull himself out. He ends up conquering it altogether.
  • Polluted Wasteland: The City of Ebolis, capital of Nurgle's empire in Eidolon.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: A Black Crusade is underway in Part III and we see it in grisly detail.
  • Saved by Canon: Fabius Bile plays a minor but important role in the story by afflicting Brother Cloten with the Red Thirst. However, due to being a character integral to the lore, he gets totally away with it and never pays for his actions in any way.
  • Sole Survivor: Lysander at the end of the series is the only member in the squad to make it out alive.
  • Shoot the Dog: While masquerading as Renegade Marines, Cloten and Lysander are forced to gun down Imperial civilians during a Chaos invasion or they would risk blowing their cover. They are horrified and disgusted by what they have done, but they knew it was necessary - given the other possible fates if they were encountered by actual Chaos Marines, these deaths were merciful.
  • Taking You with Me: Tranio takes out a Khornate Prince this way.
    Qug: Any last words, Human, before my master tears out your spinal column and fashions it into a necklace for one of his favorites Daemon brides?
    Tranio: Just... Just this, warp-spawn... Will his brides find your Master so appealing once I've detonate a krak grenade down his throat? (pulls a grenade and shoves it down the Daemon Prince's mouth)
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lysandar began as a simple extra for majority of first two books before his proof as capable warrior in his fight against a Slaneeshi warrior at cost of his right eye. He even proven himself to be on par,if not better, than Proteus until latter was corrupted due to his Glory Hound nature being exploited by a Slaaneshi daemon.. In addition, he is one of two protagonists (him and Cloten) of third book and finally a Sole Survivor of the group.
  • True Companions: Members of Captain Leonatos' Exiles considered themselves as this even Lysandar and Cloten refused to give up by going back and find him again.
  • You Have Failed Me: In Part II, Khorne himself smites his warriors for failing to claim the Blood Angels' souls after they venture out of his domain.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Furion, Valerius, Tranio and Leonatos pulls this to ensure his battle brothers escape from Eidolon.
  • The Unintelligible: The Daemon Prince of Khorne in Eidolon only speaks through barely-coherent grunts and rage sounds. His servant Qug translates what he is saying to Leonatos and his men as well as the reader.