Start your review of Garro: Sword of Truth The Horus Heresy Audio Drama Write a review Shelves: horus-heresy , audio , black-library , notablereleases , releases-read "Nathaniel Garro, knight errant and agent of the Sigillite, returns from the battlefields of Calth to find a new mission already waiting for him a ragged fleet of Space Marines from several Legions lingers at the edge of the Terran system. With the presence of World Eaters and Emperors Children causing concern among the loyalist defenders and drawing a grim parallel with his own frantic flight, Garro must look beneath the obvious if he is to determine friend from foe" "Nathaniel Garro, knight errant and agent of the Sigillite, returns from the battlefields of Calth to find a new mission already waiting for him — a ragged fleet of Space Marines from several Legions lingers at the edge of the Terran system. Well, pretty much anything I say here is going to be redundant because I, like my fellow reviewers above, loved everything that Sword of Truth had to offer. The longer format, the narrative, the narrators — everything about this particular Audio Drama reinforces my belief that it is simply the best that Black Library have to offer, beating even the tremendously enjoyable Throne of Lies by Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Firedrake by Nick Kyme.
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Origins Battle-Captain Nathaniel Garro Like so many of the Astartes of the Traitor Legions who remained Loyal to the Emperor at the start of the Horus Heresy , Nathaniel Garro was born on Terra , in the small techno-barbarian state of Albia, situated in the area of southeastern Europe near what once had been the ancient nation-state of Albania.
Garro was one of the few remaining Terran Astartes of the XIVth Legion when it had still been named the Dusk Raiders , so known because of their signature tactic of attacking a foe at nightfall. The Dusk Raiders had worn armour without the green trim of the later Legion.
It was the dull white of old marble, their right arm and shoulders coloured in a deep, glistening crimson. Many enemies had thrown down their weapons the moment the sun dipped beneath the horizon, rather than dare to fight them.
But that too had changed. Garro had been there as the Emperor crossed the galaxy in search of his lost sons -- Sanguinius , Ferrus Manus , Roboute Guilliman , Magnus the Red and all the rest. With each reunion, the Lord of Mankind gave his sons the command of the Astartes forces that had been created in their image. When at last the Emperor came to Barbarus and discovered the gaunt warrior foundling named Mortarion who lead its oppressed people, he knew he had located the Primarch of the XIVth Legion.
But by the last days of the Great Crusade in the early 31st Millennium, only a comparative handful of Terrans remained in the Legion. In his darkest moments, Garro imagined a time when there would be none of his kinsmen left amongst the XIVth, and with their deaths the traditions of the old Dusk Raiders would finally fade away.
His refusal to relinquish these old Terran traditions and "high-handed" leadership caused a rift between himself and some of the Barbarus-born captains of the Legion, who often referred to the staunch and reserved Battle-Captain as "Straight-Arrow Garro. Yet the old ways of the XIVth Legion were fading, and there were few among the senior Battle-Brothers of the Death Guard who deigned to keep the careworn traditions of the Legion alive. The Emperor further compounded this rift by his refusal to recognise the growing fraternity of the warrior lodges within the Legions, despite being offered membership on multiple occasions.
The Death Guard differed from many of their brother Legions in the manner of their command structure and rank system. Tradition had it that the XIVth Legion should never number more than 7 Great Companies, although those divisions held far more men than those of other Astartes cohorts like the Space Wolves or the Blood Angels; and whilst many Legions had the tradition of giving the honorific of "First Captain" to the commanding officer of the elite 1st Company, the Death Guard also held two more privileged titles, to be bestowed upon the leaders of the 2nd and 7th Great Companies, respectively.
Thus, although they held no actual seniority over one another, Captain Ignatius Grulgor of the 2nd Great Company could carry the rank of "Commander" if he so wished, just as Garro, as Captain of the 7th Great Company, was known as "Battle-Captain. Garro was proud to bear the honourific centuries later. The two Astartes shared a close bond as "honour brothers. Towards the end of the Great Crusade, Battle-Captain Garro earned high accolades during the Jorgall Persecution, for his actions against those psychically powerful xenos when he fought alongside a cadre from the Sisters of Silence.
He was singled out by his Primarch Mortarion, who offered Garro the rare opportunity to share a celebratory drink with him. It was said that there was no toxin too strong, no poison so powerful and no contagion of such lethality that a Death Guard could not resist it. The Death Guard were known to harden themselves through stringent training regimens as Neophyte Astartes, willingly exposing themselves to chemical agents, contaminants, deadly viral strains and venoms of a thousand different shades.
They could resist them all. From a set of bowls was mixed and poured dark liquids into a pair of ornate goblets. The senses of the chosen Astartes often rebelled against the odour of the toxins, their implanted Neuroglottis and Preomnor organs rebelling at the mere smell of the poisonous brew; but to refuse the cup would be seen as weakness.
The poured distillate often contained a potent mixture of agent magenta nerve bane, some variety of sword beetle venom, and other, less identifiable compounds. They would drink and they would live, cementing the unbreakable strength of the Legion they embodied. Mortarion knew Garro frowned upon such traditions as the cups, but he explained to him that honours and citations were sometimes necessary.
Warriors must know that they are valued. Without it, even the most steadfast man will eventually feel unvalued. Mortarion talked to Garro privately, trying to gauge the Battle-Captain and figure out where his loyalties truly lay.
The Primarch wanted to ensure that Garro would be loyal to him and the cause of the Traitors when the Warmaster launched his campaign to usurp the Emperor and topple the corrupt Imperium. Mortarion also wanted to know why the Battle-Captain eschewed membership in the warrior lodge ] that had been established within their Legion, a custom that had spread from the Luna Wolves Legion to many of the other Astartes formations.
Garro felt that as Astartes, they had been set on a path by the Master of Mankind, tasked to regather the lost fragments of humanity into the fold of the Imperium, to illuminate the lost, castigate the fallen and the invader. They could only do so if they possessed truth on their side. If they did not do this openly then he had doubt that the XIVth Legion would eventually expunge the fallacies of gods and deities, but they could not bring the secular Imperial Truth to bear if any of it was hidden, even in the smallest part.
Only the Emperor could show the way forward. Garro felt that these lodges, though they had their worth, were ultimately predicated upon secrecy and the act of concealment, and he would take no part in it.
Whilst fighting against a powerful Slaaneshi psyker known as a Warsinger, Garro sustained serious injuries; crushing damage to his torso, arm as well as the loss of his right leg from the mid-thigh down. Garro was livid, feeling his anger surge each time the new leg made him limp. The minute gyroscopic mechanisms in the limb would take time to learn the motions and kinetics of his body movement, and until they did, he would be forced to walk as if lame.
His command also remained on limited duty until their commander was fit to reenter combat. As a result, Garro and his company would not be going down to unleash the final assault upon Isstvan III.
Garro was to be stationed instead aboard the frigate Eisenstein during the assault on Istvaan III, while Commander Inatius Grulgor of the 2nd Company kept a close eye on the Terran-born officer.
They were both to be assigned to duty stations with their Command Squads aboard the Imperial warship, where they would supervise its operations.
The rest of their Great Companies would remain in reserve. During the assault on Isstvan III and the Choral City, they would provide standby tactical support for the Drop Pod deployment operation, and remain on alert to perform rapid-reaction interdict duties. Grulgor realised that the Warmaster sought to isolate those elements of the soon-to-be Traitor Legions that did not share his convictions.
When the turning point arrived, Typhon informed Grulgor that there were certain duties that Horus would want him to perform. The Commander relished his part in this conspiracy against Garro, whom he had long found insufferable. Betrayal Death Guard Frigate similar to the Eisenstein The Eisenstein was an unremarkable Imperial starship, an older pattern of vessel in the Frigate tonnage grade, just over two kilometres in length from bow to stern.
It bore some resemblance to the newer Sword-class craft, but only inasmuch as most Imperial starships shared a similar design philosophy. Garro knew that they would not be making much history on this day. Their Primarch had ordered that they maintain orbit at high anchor and watch for enemy ships that might attempt to escape Istvaan III under cover of the ground assault.
Though the Battle-Captain suspected something was terribly wrong, he could not place his finger on what it was. Had they been carrying Drop Pods and Astartes for a second assault wave, then the reasoning behind the orders would have been clear, but the Frigate was not configured for those sorts of operations.
It was, in the most basic sense, only a gun carriage. When he saw them unload a crate and opened it to inspect its contents, the dark liquid contents contained within the glass pods represented something utterly lethal.
He also observed the work gangs busy detaching the warhead cowlings from thruster-guided glide bombs, exchanging the explosive charges inside for the globes of liquid. Kalab shared with the Astartes what he had witnessed. Digesting what the housecarl told him, Voyen realised with growing horror that the deadly cargo were Life-Eater virus bombs -- an engineered viral strain of such complete lethality that it could only be deployed in the most extreme circumstances, usually against the most foul xenos.
The Life Eater virus was a true weapon of mass destruction, a world-killer. Only the largest capital ships were permitted to carry them in their armouries. Grulgor had brought the virus bombs over from the Death Guard capital ship Endurance.
During the opening stage of the first assault wave, the Eisenstein picked up an unscheduled movement in their battle sector.
But they soon realised that the lone craft was a Thunderhawk , and behind it a cluster of Raven interceptors were in an attack delta formation. At the same time, the Eisenstein also received a message from the Thunderhawk. Was this some kind of test? Or could it be true that Saul Tarvitz had indeed turned Renegade and was fit only for execution? Horus had betrayed the Emperor! Tarvitz swore on his life that he would not lie to his honour brother.
Coming to a quick decision, Garro acted of his own volition and ordered the Eisenstein to destroy the Thunderhawk. But in actuality he altered the firing coordinates so that the Frigate destroyed the lead Raven interceptor, whose explosion caught the other interceptors in its wake, due to their close formation.
This was dereliction of duty, grounds for severe chastisement at a minimum. Garro soon saw the larger picture. The sheer horror of it, echoed inside his thoughts. The idea of it made him go weak.
And with that realization there came another. If Horus had prepared this treachery, then he had not done it alone, it was too big, too monumental an endeavour even for the Warmaster to have managed by himself. With only Apothecary Voyen, Battle-Brother Sendek and his housecarl, Garro confronted Commander Grulgor and his entire command squad and a handful of naval crew.
The Emperor held no authority over the Death Guard. Only Horus and the Death Lord could command them. During the ensuing melee, the housecarl saw Commander Grulgor taking aim with his Bolt Pistol at Garro while he was preoccupied fighting off one of his men.
Reacting with preternatural speed, Grulgor turned and threw his Combat Knife at the housecarl, killing him. Using the last of his ebbing strength, Kaleb launched himself forward and hit an emergency release switch. Garro flung himself under the closing blast shield door, landing hard and rolling out to where Voyen and Sendek were crouched in the next compartment.
The hatch was proof against the virus. The housecarl had saved their lives, as well as the ship, at the cost of his own. Grulgor and his men suffered the lethal effects of the Life-Eater pathogen and died screaming in agony. Garro explained to the rest of his men his confrontation with Grulgor and the virus bombs.
He continued to explain to his horrified men the entire truth. Grulgor and Eidolon were not two errant souls pursuing some personal agenda, but soldiers in a war of betrayal that was about to unfold. What they had done was not of their own volition, but under the orders of the Warmaster himself.
Horus, with the support of Angron, Fulgrim, and though it sickened him to say it, their own Primarch Mortarion, had done this. There has been talk of the Warmaster at second- and third-hand in the lodges. Talk of how far away the Emperor was and of discontent over the commands of the Council of Terra.
The tone of things had been strained ever since Horus was injured at Davin , after he returned from his miraculous healing at the hands of the shamans of the Temple of the Serpent Lodge. Horus had personally chosen all the units for the assault on the Choral City.
Garro: Sword of Truth (Audio Drama)
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