Horus, Warmaster of Chaos, is dead. The Traitor Legions are breaking at Terra, running to the Eye of Terror to avoid the Imperium's vengeful retribution. Commander Arken of the Sons of Horus, upon hearing the terrible news, orders his men to retreat to his ship, the Hand of Ruin, and to bring with them as many Legionaries as they can - regardless of their former allegiance. After a hellish journey through the Warp, these warriors form a warband under Arken's command, discarding their old Legions to become the Forsaken Sons.
The fic, written by Zahariel of The Roboutian Heresy fame, follows the adventures of the Traitor Marines as they seek their revenge upon the Imperium. It has a lot of characters, used to show the points of view of very different individuals in a group of Chaos-tainted traitors. Unlike most of such groups, it has so far been spared the infighting that tends to afflict them, united by Arken against the Imperium.
It can be found on fanfiction.net here.
Because this is a fanfiction of Warhammer 40,000, please consult that page for tropes pertaining to the original universe of which this fanfic is set.
- A God Am I: Asim, when channelling the power of the Warp to teleport the inmates of Parecxis Gamma to the nearby hive-world. It doesn't last, though.
- Arc Words: the question 'what do you want ?' is asked at several times, to several characters. It highlights the motivations of those who would willingly side with Chaos and its representants.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Played with. On the planets conquered by the Forsaken Sons, some aristocrats will ally with them, while others — which are easily slaughtered — will fight to the last. And the governors we have seen so far appear astonishingly more competent than most readers of WH40K will be used to. According to Zahariel, this is because the Imperium is still young and the inbreeding in the nobility still hasn't destroyed the capacities for which they became nobility in the first place.
- Ax-Crazy: We get to see into the mind of a World Eater in chapter four, and he has since become a recurring character.
- Blessed With Suck: Arken does not need to sleep. Nor can he if he wants. This allows him to lead his warband more effectively, but it causes a strain on his mind that he can only release in the Oracle's Chamber.
- Blood Brothers: That is the main reason the Forsaken Sons avoid infighting. They all fought together during the Exodus, and all have saved the life of almost every other Legionary - and been saved in turn.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: Arken has a squad of Sons of Horus as his guards every time he takes to the field. Unlike most examples of this trope, in the third chapter, they save his life by dragging him to the transport while the planet collapses.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Though Horus is long dead by that point, in chapter two, Arken explains to all of the Forsaken Sons why their Primarchs failed and caused the rebels to lose the war. All nine of them.
- Demonic Possession: There are a few Gal Vorbak aboard the Hand of Ruin, though they haven't made an appearance yet. The main example is the Blood Champion, a World Eater who got possessed while butchering humans on a world engulfed in a Warp Storm. And in chapters 6 and 15, first we see a forge-world possessed by a giant daemon, then Arken's warpsmiths create three possessed warships .
- Despair Event Horizon: When Horus dies at the beginning of the fic, Arken feels like he is about to experience this, and muses that he has seen Space Marines of the Iron Hands and Blood Angels react very differently to their own Primarch's death : some with soul-crushing sorrow, the others with fury such as the galaxy had never seen. He then decides that he knows which path he will follow.
- Didn't See That Coming: Serixithar, the daemon prince of Tzeentch who caused the Hand of Ruin to end up far away from the Eye of Terror didn't anticipate that Tzeentch had sent him to Arken as a gift instead of the other way around. This is reversed when he ambushes Arken and reveals himself to be the Tzeentchian daemon sabotaging his campaign.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Arken manages to defeat Serixithar, a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch, and make him his servant. Justified, since he had the support of a coven of Sorcerers, and the daemon was being shot at by over a thousand Traitor Marines. Played straight after he defeats Serixithar in a one-on-one duel.
- Doomsday Device: Chapter three has Arken searching one on a dead world. He finds it, and activates it. It consumes the souls of the billions of the planet's inhabitants, killed by the Word Bearers in preparation for the Heresy. The resulting burst of Warp energy engulfs the entire sector — with one hundred human worlds inside — in a Warp Storm.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Seemingly invoked in chapter 10, where Jikaerus is shocked by what Merchurion plans to do to Governor Tarsis ... before realizing that what he has done is no different, and that they have gone so far that at this point, there is no purpose in clinging to old ethics and morality.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Jikaerus, former Apothecary of the Alpha Legion, is responsible for turning Mulor Secundus into a land where tribes of humans fight against horrible mutants, while he subtly alters the genetics of entire bloodlines to create new, enhanced recruits for the warband.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Zigzagged with Pharod the Reborn. Once, he was a powerful lord of the Mechanicum, but an accident made him little more than a servitor, working as the Gardener. Then he became touched by Nurgle...
- Genetic Memory: During the process of becoming a Marine, Mahlone experiences visions from the Heresy, implied to come from the gene-seed he has been implanted.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Subverted. Arken doesn't wear a helmet in his Terminator armor ... because he has a force-field surrounding his head instead.
- Immortality Seeker: How Arken convinces the Sertanov Patriarch to join with him.
- Mad Oracle: Serixithar. Though he(it?) isn't properly mad, his status as a daemon of Tzeentch means that Arken can only consult him by immersing his mind into a maelstrom of visions and try to make sense of them through sheer willpower.
- Mad Scientist: The entirety of the Fleshmasters. Merchurion also more than qualifies.
- Maker of Monsters: Jikaerus, former Apothecary of the Alpha Legion, released mutated monsters on a world already plunged into eternal night and manipulated entire bloodlines so that natural selection and careful breeding would create monstrous recruits for his master.
- Offscreen Villain Dark Matter : Averted. The Forsaken Sons have forges aboard the Hand of Ruin, plunder the worlds they conquer for supplies, and even make a deal with a daemon-possessed forge-world to get more stuff.
- Power Gives You Wings: Hektor Heker'Arn, a Possessed, gains wings upon his "ascension".
- Pragmatic Villainy: Make no mistake, the Forsaken Sons are monsters. But Arken is a reasonable monster, and his goal is to inflict as much sufferring upon the Imperium as he can — and he is willing to take the long view to do it. The Forsaken Sons avoid much of the over-the-top and wasteful evil of most representations of Chaos warbands.
- The Quisling: The Forsaken Sons use cultists to prepare the way in their invasion of the Parecxis system.
- Reforged into a Minion: It seems to be the fate of Governor Tarsis, whose mortal remnants have been placed in a modified Dreadnought chassis, with its visual feeds altered to make him think he is fighting traitors.