Warhammer 40,000: Mortarion's Heart
written by L. J. Goulding
I'm looking for motivation to paint at the moment so let's round out 30 Days Hath November with a few Warhammer 40,000 audios I found in the same box as those fan made unlicensed “not Doctor Who, honest guv” CDs. First up, because I'm still mired halfway through my Dark Imperium Death Guard, is Mortarion's Heart. Oh, there are also some Grey Knights hanging around, as well.
I joke but, if I'm being honest, I was rather disappointed that this was a Grey Knights story where they fight Mortarion rather than a Death Guard story. Also, the story sort of pauses for the Grey Knight grand masters to have a psychic teleconference.
For the most part this is a straight-up battle story. It doesn't say much about the Grey Knights or the Death Guard, in fact aside from Mortarion there isn't much in the way of speaking rolls for the Death Guard. There's a rather nice confrontation between one of the Grey Knight battle-brothers and an inquisitor who doesn't understand or appreciate the chapter's mystical rituals which is pretty fun for what it is and would have made a nice centrepiece for the story if it had led to anything. As it is its more interesting filler than Goulding trying to say anything about the two allied but separate organisations. Rather it just sort of fizzles out when Draigo tells him to bugger off.
The psychic teleconference itself has an interesting aspect to it: the idea that Mortarion is not Mortarion's true name which makes sense since all the Primarchs were adopted at least some of them might have been given different names. Some, we know, only ever had one name (Perturabo and Magnus, for instance, both awoke on their homeworlds knowing their names). The central idea of trying to bring Mortarion to personal combat where his “true name” can be used to bind and kill him is a good one, especially as the surrounding destruction of an entire world plays well to the Grey Knight's ends justify the means attitude.
Naturally, it doesn't work since Mortarion is a big deal deal sort of guy who isn't going to get jobbed in an audio original (not to mention it being an old release and Mortarion still being around nowadays) but the confrontation has some fun posturing about titles and battle honours between Mortarion and Grand-Master Draigo. This, to be frank, is more satisfying than the actual fight because even with narration a sword fight on audio is not the most thrilling experience. It does end with a fantastic visual, though.
Also, I know its probably a practicality thing, but I question giving Mortarion a deep, booming voice. That's petty, I know.
Anyway, though it doesn't have any deep insight into either force or the two character dueling this is decent listen and certainly useful background for the rituals and admin of the Grey Knights.