It is time for me to return once again to the world of Warhammer before the end of the year! But this time I shall return to the time of heresy. The greatest of all heresies. The Horus Heresy where the favoured son of the Emperor began the Imperium’s fall. I have written many articles on the beginnings of Horus’s great fall. However Horus wasn’t the only heretic in the Imperium. Lorgar Aurelian – Primarch of The Word Bearers Legion – is considered the true first heretic. However the telling of his fall will come later.
This particular review is for a short audio drama set during a much later period in the Horus Heresy however the plot will require some set-up. One of Lorgar’s many achievements before he fully fell to the temptations of Chaos was the creation of a particular document. A religious document. The so-called Lectitio Divinitatus. This religious text was Lorgar’s personal bible of sorts. A book which he wrote which praised The Emperor of Mankind as a god. Something The Emperor greatly disapproved of personally for a variety of different reasons.
Through Lorgar’s actions the Divinitatus (as I will be referring to it henceforth) was spread widely throughout the Imperium of Man and several small sects began worshipping the Emperor as Lorgar did using the Divinitatus. Despite the intentions of The Emperor, by the later period of The Horus Heresy some groups still believed in his divinity and worshipped him thusly. However throughout most of The Heresy, Lorgar had no knowledge that the book which he himself abandoned when he fully joined the forces of Chaos and worshipped the Chaos Gods still existed and was still being used by certain groups in the Imperium. This audio drama depicts Lorgar’s reaction to the news and what occurred to the sect he encountered and their leader.
This audio drama despite being quite short by my usual review standards at just under 25 minutes in length is absolutely gripping to Warhammer fans like myself. It has often been wondered if Lorgar knew the truth of the Imperial Cult (The official term for the religion of the Imperium) and if so how did he react when he first heard the news. Now thanks to David Annandale we have an answer and it is absolutely perfect. We are able to see just how far Lorgar has fallen from his original truly good intentions to his plans during the late heresy and how he treats those around him. I can’t go into great detail as I don’t wish to spoil everything – much like I didn’t want to spoil The First Prince – but I can safely promise you a great listen. I’ve listened to it at least four times prior to this review and I’ve owned it for about two weeks or so!
The performances are equally as good as Annandale’s writing. While he portrays Lorgar’s lieutenants as loyal and wilfully blind as those who follow the Imperial Cult the dialogue utterly sparkles. John Banks takes the stage as Lorgar complete with Shakespeare style monologues and a perfect verbal duel. I could imagine the entire scene in my mind! The depth to the character is clear in his performance and the same applies to his opponent in said verbal duel. Emma Gregory performs very well indeed as the leader of the religious sect. Her zeal is like fire! Lorgar’s scribe – Cliff Chapman – is as I mentioned utterly loyal to his Primarch even as the Divinitatus is discovered and his performance very much befits a desensitised librarian. Congratulations to all involved.
In short I recommend this short story audio drama highly. Especially if you have previously experienced Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s masterpiece The First Heretic which I can promise will have a review in time. Perhaps some day…another Month Of Heresies may occur? Hunt this down and obtain a copy as soon as you can. This story is worth it and I will certainly experience more of David Annandale in the future.
Wait a moment? Do I hear a guest approaching?
AHHH AHH Am I late? You were talking about Lorgar human?
Yes indeed my chaotic companion. I wondered if I’d hear from you again some day. Although technically my discourse for the day is ended.
Oh you already completed your text? Excuse me as I compose myself…ahem. Yes isn’t it most amusing? The very religion of The Imperium that is worshipped galaxy wide, written by the first to fall. In fact it was writing that which began his path to damnation, caused by your new leader.
Indeed you aren’t wrong on that score. Monarchia was the beginning of so much. Imperial and chaotic.
We shall have to discuss that some other day mortal creature. I see you alluded to it earlier. Or perhaps we should look at a tale from before the rise of your Imperium. To show what became of the gods of old. Of the last church on old Earth.
That story will indeed have to be told. As will many others. But that will be for another day. I’ll hear from you or my inquisitorial guest soon. I’m sure of it. Goodbye for now though…my final tale of the year will be something else entertaining I’m sure. I repeat once again give this story a listen. It is well worth the effort!
Sayonara! And a Merry Christmas (or Sanguinala to the Imperials) to you all!