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Literature / Dawn of War

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The Blood Ravens series of novels are a novelisations for the Dawn of War video game, although the first trilogy only follows the game in the original book.

The series consists of:

  • Dawn of War Trilogy by C. S. Goto
    • Dawn of War
    • Dawn of War: Ascension
    • Dawn of War: Tempest
    • The short story The Trials of Isador
  • Dawn of War II by Chris Roberson
  • Dawn of War III by Robbie MacNiven

Tropes used in the novels:

  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • In C. S. Goto's Dawn of War: Ascension, at the Blood Rites, aspirants form bands for this, but many are stabbed In the Back by others whom they had trusted to guard their backs.
    • At the end of the Dawn of War II novelization, Aramus and Thaddeus are surrounded on all sides by Tyranids, and fall back to the temple ruins to hold off the Swarm in a last stand until The Cavalry arrives.
  • Band of Brothers: At one point in C. S. Goto's trilogy, Gabriel confronts another Blood Raven captain with his friends in the room, because he knows he can trust them to have his back even against the other captain that's why they were his friends.
  • Bastard Understudy: In Dawn of War: Tempest, Ahriman reflects on hoe Magnus outdid the "False Emperor" and how he outdid Magnus and how he keeps his own Prodigal Sons down, so no one would supplant him. (For instance, there is no Book of Ahriman, as there as a Book of Magnus, because he stole it.)
  • The Cavalry: After nearly a month's worth of fighting against the Tyranid onslaught, the 3rd Company performs this trope by deep striking into the heart of the swarm at a critical moment, saving the surviving Blood Ravens from annihilation, and providing the soldiers needed to strike a killing blow against the Hive Fleet.
  • Collector of the Strange: They'll take anything that appears of interest to them, including the corpse of the Avatar of Khaine from Dark Crusade, when they canonically defeated the Eldar there.
  • Cool Sword: Wisdom, from Dawn Of War II is explicitly described as a rare sword so marvelous as to have a name. Lost in a fight with a Tyranid, it is found again in a collection of xenos artifacts, and one Space Marine immediately takes it up in order to undo the shame.
  • Culture Clash: In the Dawn of War II, when the Blood Ravens are looking for aspirants among refugees, one speaks to the old woman who is in charge of one group to try to get a boy from her. She contemptuously refuses to speak to him because he hasn't shown her his face. He considers and unhelms rather than use force. That granted, she only asks whether the boy will have a chance to survive if they take him, and being told that he will have a chance to live, tells him to take him.
  • Deep Sleep: In Dawn of War II, when the two boy are exhausted the Blood Ravens carry them, and they do not wake even when the Blood Raven shoots off his gun next to them.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In Dawn of War: Ascension, a captive Eldar is infuriated when he realizes a human woman pities him.
  • Due to the Dead: in C. S. Goto's trilogy, Jonas characterizes the rite "Beacon Psykana" as an honor paid to the dead.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: In Dawn of War: Tempest, Rhamah has his doubts about Ahriman, but wavers because they had, after all, fought side by side against the Harlequins.
  • First-Name Basis: In C.S. Goto's Dawn of War trilogy, an Eldar Farseer calls Gabriel by his first name; he finds it presumptuous but doesn't object.
  • Forged by the Gods: Rhamah's Vairocanum, from Dawn of War: Tempest, was made from part of a Wrecked Weapon that had been forged by Vaul, the Eldar god of smiths.
  • Gladiator Games: Dawn of War: Ascension shows the Blood Raven's selecting their new recruits by ushering the aspirants into an arena and telling them they can't leave. Fighting breaks out shortly, and the Blood Ravens watch with care. Gabriel Angelos remembers his own selection: he drew his sword and killed several people on arrival, before anyone else realized they should fight.
  • In the Back: In Dawn of War: Ascension, aspirants taking part in the Blood Rites are stabbed in the back by others whom they had trusted to protect them.
  • It Was a Gift: In the Dawn of War II novel, the governor tries to justify having the Space Marine sword Wisdom by claiming it was a gift. It doesn't save him.
  • Kid Amid the Chaos: In Dawn of War II, one squad happens on two boys searching for their mother. They bring them back all the way. Part way through, one Marine pragmatically suggests leaving them, to have Thaddeus declare that any Marine who says that will be left himself; Thaddeus looks at the boys who are not crying, though they have tear tracks. They realize their mother is almost certainly dead, and want Revenge; when Thaddeus suggests they could be Blood Ravens, they are eager for it.
  • Last Stand: In Dawn of War II, the defense against the tyrannids looks like a Last Stand by the end and to nearly the very end when The Cavalry arrives.
  • Missing Mum: In the Dawn of War II novel, a Space Marine squad happens on two boys, who are searching for their mother; Sergeant Thaddeus at first thought she had abandoned them, and then realized that she could have been searching for them and been caught in the tyranid attack. When the boys realize that she is almost certainly dead, they are eager for Revenge; Thaddeus tells them to leave the fighting to the Marines, but they might be Blood Ravens one day, and they want to be, so they can fight.
  • Named Weapon:
    • In C.S. Goto's Dawn of War: Tempest, Rhamah's Vairocanum. Made from part of a Wrecked Weapon that had been Forged by the Gods of the Eldar themselves.
    • In Chris Roberson's Dawn Of War II, the sword Wisdom is explicitly described as a weapon so marvelous as to have a name.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: In Dawn of War: Tempest, the Blood Ravens discover that one of their number, who they thought was dead, is still alive. This causes them to engage in a deeply risky warp space maneuver that threatened all their lives just so that they could to retrieve him.
  • Not a Game: In C.S. Goto's Dawn of War: Ascension, Gabriel threatens an Eldar to try to get a translation from him, informing him that it was not a game.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: During C.S. Goto's Dawn of War: Tempest, the Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman claims that he and Gabriel Angelos arn't too different. Gabriel looks at the corpses and declares they are nothing alike because he searches for knowledge only in the Emperor's service.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: Dawn of War: Tempest describes the eyes of the Chaos Sorcerer Ahramin as burning blue with the power of his sorcery
  • Secret Test of Character: In the original Dawn of War trilogy, Sturnn tells Gabriel that his Imperial Guard forces killed Ultramarines; Gabriel asks why and deduces (after he learns that they were disguised Alpha Legion) that Sturnn told him to find out whether he would just attack or ask questions.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: During Dawn of War: Ascension, a Blood Ravens Librarian performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save a new recruit. In Dawn of War: Tempest, however, he is found to be alive on a deserted Eldar world, suffering from Laser-Guided Amnesia. He wanders around trying to figure out just what the hell is going on, being led around by Chaos Marines who are subtly trying to sway him to join them, while an Eldar pushes him to think for himself about what they're really doing. Just when his actual chapter arrives, and he begins to realize just what is happening, the Eldar who had talked to him kills him for no visible reason, and is in turn killed by the Chaos Marines before he could explain himself, if he was even going to bother.
  • Shrouded in Myth: In Dawn of War: Ascension, an aspirant had heard tales of the "Sky Angels" but thought them overblown why, they didn't even agree on the color of their armor! When he actually sees Space Marines in battle with Eldar, he is awe-struck. After a time, he realizes that they are fighting a stalemate, but he concludes that means the foe is worthy of their steel and that he and the other aspirants should help.
  • Spell Book: In Dawn of War: Tempest, Ahriman muses that the reason he doesn't have a book that contains all his arcane knowledge is so that it cannot be stolen by one of his followers as he stole the Book of Magnus from the Thousand Sons' Primarch.
  • Revenge: In Dawn Of War II, when Phaeton hears that the Tyranids have killed his mother, he declares he will kill them all; the Space Marine tells him to let them do the fighting for now, but perhaps he might be a Blood Raven one day, whereupon his younger brother is also eager to be one so he can fight.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: In Dawn of War: Tempest, the amnesiac Rhamah's first serious doubts about the Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman stem from his actions and Rhamah's rebuke is that knowledge brings power, and power brings responsibility.
  • Wrecked Weapon: in Dawn of War: Tempest, Rhamah's Vairocanum was made from part of a Wrecked Weapon that had been Forged by the Gods, and then broken again in the course of the trilogy. Blood Ravens perform funeral rites with the part that was all they had left of him. It was later reformed.
  • You Did Everything You Could: In C. S. Goto's trilogy, Gabriel's battle-brothers try to console him after he had to order Exterminus on a planet and tell him another captain would have done the same. Gabriel is angry, the question is whether the other captain would have let the situation arise in the first place.
  • You Remind Me of X: In the Dawn of War II novelization, the two boys they find in the hive remind Thaddeus of himself at that age—partly because he came from the same sort of hive, and partly because they fit the aspirant profile. (When he suggests that they might become Blood Ravens and kill xenos such as those that killed their mother, they are quite eager to be like him.)

Alternative Title(s): Blood Ravens