Warhammer TV is a part of Games Workshop’s Warhammer+ subscription service, which gives subscribers access to premium features like things such as the option to watch masterclasses on miniature painting or enjoy riveting battle reports. As well for this small cost they get exclusive animations and an entire vault filled with classic lore from publications in the past.
In this article, Jared Emanuel, reviews the fourth episode of a Warhammer TV exclusive “Awakenings”. Here our band of Space Marines of the Blood Angels Chapter and their human crew continue their trek to uncover dark secrets on the planet Niades.
Introduction: Favorite Episode So Far…
Wow. This is my favorite episode so far. They crammed so much in just seventeen minutes its incredible. In this latest installment of Angels of Death the audience is treated to an appearance of a Warhammer 40k legend on and off the tabletop. We also get a glimpse into the mindset of a non-imperium faction.
This is the exact opportunity I hoped Warhammer TV would provide. So much of their work seems Imperium centric and it is really refreshing to see the other factions get time and depictions as things other than antagonists.
Even though the characters we are introduced to don’t have names (do they even need them?) the insights we receive from their interactions makes me interested in this faction beyond the tabletop This episode also deepens the mystery of the missing Captain Orpheo, loosely suggesting that perhaps a third party could be involved in his disappearance.
This episode also has unity of location. We stay on the planet’s surface throughout, forcing us to wonder how the Sword of Baal and its crew is fairing in orbit of the planet. I anticipate the next episode (five) will focus entirely on the ship’s desperate struggle in space.
Spoilers and Summary
The cold open of this episode takes us back in time. Kazarion is preparing to leave the Blood Angels to join the Inquisition’s Deathwatch and he is experiencing an emotion Space Marines should not: Fear. He goes to pray before the statue of the Primarch Sanguinius the gene-father of the Blood Angels, but he is not alone. Mephiston, Master Librarian (essentially a powerful Mage) of the chapter emerges from the darkness.
Mephiston probes his brother’s thoughts and gets Kazarion to admin that he fears the gene curse of their chapter: The Black Rage. It is a condition that drives the noble sons of The Angel to madness, a psychic echo and curse that forces the children of Sanguinius to relive the traumatic, chaotic, and maddening moments of his death.
Kazarion does not want to succumb to the curse while in service of the Inquisition, an organization charged with hunting down any perceived threats to the Imperium both without and within.
If Kazarion should fall to madness while in their service it would be at best be a poor reflection of the Blood Angels, and at worst bring down the scrutiny of the Inquisition directly on to the chapter. Mephiston can not allay Kazarion’s fears, even though he is the only member of the Blood Angels to successfully (but mysteriously) overcome the Black Rage.
Mephiston instead offers Kazarion an icon of devotion, something to remind Kazarion that even though the curse comes for him, for now Kazarion is blessed to be among the Emperor’s Angels of Death.
We flash forward to the present where the Blood Angels continue their search for Captain Orpheo. Sergeant Ancaeus is hopeful that he yet lives, but Kazarion practically counters that hope is something they cannot afford to do whilst they are still descending into the darkness of the Genestealer lair.
Hundreds of mutants gather to hear the words of the Clamavus. With zeal and conviction he works the Genestealer Cult into a frenzy. They will consume of the flesh of these false angels. They will prepare this world for the coming of the Many-Armed God.
The squad of Blood Angels have made their way to the last location we saw Orpheo in episode one. His arm, power sword, and a trail of his dragged body all suggest that he was captured for some mysterious purpose. Kazarion motivates his brothers to pursue the trail, while Chaplain Rafael and picks up the sword of Orpheo and gives it to Sgt. Ancaeus a clear indicator of who the Chaplain trusts.
Telepathy makes sense
The mutant woman, the Magus, looks out over the city. She telepathically speaks to the Clamavus as he moves about the tunnels. They begin their final tasks before they depart the planet to find the Many-Armed God in the stars. She wonders why he is releasing the Aberrants, mutants that are considered to dangerous even among the members of the cult.
The Clamavus reminds her that every member of the cult not matter how impure has a purpose to fulfill. The Clamavus visits his Abberant kin and gets them to understand that they must hunt.
The mystery thickens. The Blood Angels find more dead cultists, but how could Orpheo have killed them? Ancaues and Kazarion squabble about the fate of their Captain but the Chaplain silences their argument by reminding them that for all intents and purposes this is a rescue mission until a corpse is discovered or they all die.
Thus far we have been led to believe that the Genestealer mutants are of one mind and purpose, so if they did not turn on each other, then who killed them in an effort to get to Orpheo?
Deeper and deeper
The Blood Angels head deeper and deeper into the cult’s lair. Kazarion and Ancaeus slip into reverie. They remember the “good old days” before Kazarion left for the Deathwatch. Ancaueus wonders why Kazarion has changed, what has made him so contemptuous of him, and his squad?
Kazarion angerly defends himself saying that he was and is afraid. From the very moment he was bestowed the honor the Deathwatch he felt cast out, he felt alone, he felt the darkness creeping into him and that he has felt accursed. A very emotional moment for super soldiers. But before this emotional breakthrough registers with the squad, the enemy is on them.
They come with deadly intent on all sides. Hundreds of mutant cultists vs these ten Space Marines. They do their best to repulse the waves of enemies, but the Abberants come with strength to rival their own. Not even their mighty Chaplain Rafael is strong enough to best them. He dies in the arms of Kazarion and then we….and perhaps he too….fades to dark.
>End of Spoilers
This was the most impressive episode so far. It had mystery, melodrama, a new point of view, and some good old blood and guts.
I am excited to see the rest of this story unravel. I really hope that next week the battle is space is afforded the same treatment that the squad of Blood Angels received in this excellent episode.
Are you watching Angels of Death on Warhammer+ Plus? What do you think? Leave a comment below!
About the Author
Jared Emanuel is a hobby enthusiast that loves high fantasy, science fiction, and everything in between.