Welcome back to our third instalment of exploring the series and animations from the universe of Warhammer. Here we take a look at some of the more obscure titles revealed by Games Workshop and talk a little about each one. 

So, without further ado, let’s dive back into the worlds of Warhammer.  

Black Talon 

Unlike the previous animations we’ve discussed, Black Talon breaks the mould by switching the setting from space-faring sci-fi to the fantasy genre of Warhammer Age of Sigmar. This change of pace into the worlds of swords and sorcery really brings out a new dynamic from the classic grit and guns of 40k.  

However, this unfortunately is the only animation confirmed at this point to be set outside the 41st Millenium. While this can be a little disheartening, it does show that Games Workshop isn’t just going to concentrate on Space Marines and are willing to expand their other universes.  

While most of the plot for Black Talon hasn’t been revealed, there are some hints and minor speculations that we can discuss. 

The series follows the adventures of a Knight-Zephyros known as Neave Black Talon from the forces of the Stormcast Eternals. Now for those of you who don’t know, the Stormcast Eternals are supersoldiers forged from the souls of dead mortal warriors to fight against unspeakable evil. 

A Knight-Zephyros is one of those warriors forged for the single purpose of hunting down the champions of Chaos, kind of like an assassin but without all the stealth and more brute force. If Chaos sounds familiar, that is because the faction exists in both Age of Sigmar and 40k, with many of the demon characters featuring in both.  

With that in mind, let’s discuss a little bit about the protagonist of the series. Neave Black Talon began her infant life as part of a human tribe in the Realm of Life (also known as Ghyran) that was raided by a force of Rotbringers. Rotbringers are the mortal followers of Nurgle, who is the Chaos God of Plagues and Disease.  

Luckily, the young Neave was saved by a clan of the Sylvaneth. The Sylvaneth are the tree-humanoid servants of life, so naturally, they would oppose Nurgle’s corruption. While in their care, Neave would grow to become a skilled warrior and eventually would be dispatched with a host of Sylvaneth to hunt down the very same Rotbringers that destroyed her tribe. Sadly this host would be overwhelmed until only Neave remained, surrounded and infected. However, at the moment of her death, a lightning bolt would strike her and carry her soul to be reforged into a Stormcast Eternal.  

Now a supersoldier, armed with two dual-wielding axes and a new purpose, Neave would go on to serve in the Blight Wars and hunt down the agents of Chaos.  

With our protagonist’s backstory, let’s discuss the Concept Sketch released by Games Workshop of Black Talon.  

The art style seems very detailed with a traditional comic book feel to it. This makes it fit in more with the Hammer and Bolter design than the photorealistic appearance of Angels of Death, possibly suggesting that this series too could be about several different adventures of the protagonist instead of a progressing story through each episode. We don’t know this for sure, but it would be cool. 

Other characters suggested to be starring in the show are an unnamed Idoneth Aelf whose stated to be accompanying Neave on her sojourn. The Idoneth (formally known as the Idoneth Deepkin) are basically elves that live under the seas and occasionally go out raiding coastal settlements for souls. A key factor to note here is the word Sojourn used, which means a temporary stay. This word denotes the stay to be positive or enjoyable, which is very out of place in the setting of Warhmmer. For speculation, could this mean that Black Talon knows this sea elf? Or is the word used ironically? Especially since we do know that the Idoneth do steal souls during their raids but who knows (barring Tzeentch) for sure? 

The last character concept sketch to be released is of a Putrid Blightking, one of the most powerful of Nurgle’s pustulent mortal followers and old-time foes of our hero. This does make for a nice nod to Neave’s backstory of fighting against the forces of the Plague God while also arranging a nice rematch between the two.  

While there aren’t any more details for this series, it does seem to be quite the adventure into the realms and tales from Age of Sigmar.  

Broken Lance 

We don’t know much about this animation in terms of the overarching story or characters,but there does seem to be a lot of potential for a very compelling narrative. 

The synopsis for this series is, “towering war machines stride the battlefield in a drama that sees the survivors of a once-noble house of Imperial Knights facing the sins of their predecessors”. Unlike our previous discussion of Black Talon, this animation is firmly entrenched within the chaos and carnage of Warhammer 40K.  

To break down this synopsis, an Imperial Knight is one of the most formidable weapons within humanity’s vast arsenal. They are basically towering bipedal war machines with a human pilot inside. These engines of destruction are split between two major categories, those that swore to serve The Emperor (master of the human empire called The Imperium) and those that swore service to The Omnissiah (a machine god who’s venerated by some factions in The Imperium).  

These two categories are respectively known as The Questor Imperialis and The Questor Mechcanicus. Both share a lot of themes with medieval noble houses and knights, giving them a strong sense of honour. 

With that the explanation is done, there is another particular detail to be noted about the synopsis. The part of facing the sins of their predecessors is pretty cool and lines up nicely with the theme of honour that’s ingrained within Imperial Knights, making for an interesting story. 

For speculation, this could also mean literally that they are facing the sins of their predecessors. Could a contingent of knights turned against the rest years ago and have returned to reap a bloody toll? Or perhaps something more malevolent is afoot concerning the eldritch dimension of the Warp, as dark deeds can sometimes act as bacon to the daemons that lurk within and allow them access into the physical world. Could these sins be so great that it caused daemonic incursions 

While both of these ideas are very interesting, even if they’re guesswork, we can’t wait to see what mechanical might this series has in store for us when these tectonic titans are released for battle. 

High Lords 

Like with Broken Lance, we don’t know the overall narrative but there is some promising potential with this animation.  

To start, the synopsis reads, “Politics and treachery abound in the Imperial Palace. For ten thousand years, the High Lords have governed the Imperium in the Emperor’s stead. Such power brings corruption, intrigue and danger to all who grasp it”. 

As both the title and synopsis show, this series revolves around the ruling body of the main human faction known as The Imperium. A harsh, hopeless empire fueled by war and fear where millions of lives are sacrificed in a hundred different ways.  

While not the most jovial venue, someone needs to run it and considering that its original absolute ruler known as The Emperor is kinda dead, that leaves it firmly in the hands of the High Lords.  

However, it isn’t as simple as just ruling an immeasurable empire beset by thousands of threats and wars. After the Emperor’s demise, he was revered as a god with a very strong state religion (which is ironic, as during life he was very against religious belief). 

This is important to note because the High Lords official role is to interpret and enact the will of the Emperor, which is very difficult as he’s kind of a semi-dead corpse kept from the literal brink of death by sacrificing hundreds of psychic human souls to him. This also allows for some of the High Lords to ‘creatively’ interpret the Emperor’s will in a way that greatly benefits them or puts their political rivals at a disadvantage, hence where the whole treachery and corruption comes into play.  

Due to how powerful the position of High Lord is, hundreds of bureaucracies have struggled against each other for centuries to gain a place at the table. However, there are some organisations that are so important and influential within the Imperium that their seat is secured.  

This goes for several members such as the Ecclesiarch of the Adeptus Ministorum (kinda like a space pope that controls the state religion and ensures its the only religion within the Imperium), the Grand Master of the Officio Assassinorum (who basically commands a legion of master assassins), the Fabricator – General of the Adeptus Mechcanicus (leader of the cyborgs who make pretty much everything and have their own military force) and the Inquisitorial Representative (space Spanish Inquisition who fight off daemons and terminate threats from within the Imperium).  

While we aren’t sure about the serie’s plot, we can give some speculative ideas. Maybe it will be an anthology series where each episode features around one of these factions and then delves deep into how important they are for humanity’s continued survival. This could really build up the more obscure and lesser-known departments of the Imperium, showing how even a little mistake like misspelling a word on some documents could lead to some disastrous consequences.  

Or maybe this series will dive into the recent power struggle between the High Lords and one of the Emperor’s resurrected sons. Primarch Roboute Guilliman (yes that’s his name) was awakened from death, becoming the Lord Commander and Imperial Regent. 

To explain this, the Primarchs were the genetically-engineered sons of the Emperor who made them to lead his armies in conquering the universe. Guilliman making himself Lord Commander basically means he is now the highest military leader, besides the Emperor of course. The title of Imperial Regent also makes it so that he is the living voice of the Emperor. Even with just one of these, it puts Guilliman above the High Lords, having both cements that he is in charge of now.  

This did lead some of the lords to plot against Guilliman but they were executed for it. For speculation, could we possibly see the ramifications of such a drastic change of leadership within the Imperium? This would certainly fall into the category of treachery and corruption, maybe even revealing a civil war brewing from within humanity’s empire?  

While we can’t say for certain right now, we are most definitely looking forward to this series. 

Pariah Nexus 

Next up on our list is the Pariah Nexus animation, a series that is firmly rooted in the more current 40k lore concerning the Imperium’s struggle against the metal aliens known as The Necrons.  

The synopsis begins with “Explore silence and death in the darkest corners of the galaxy. As the Indomitus Crusade reaches the Pariah Nexus, strength and faith will be tested to the limit.” 

To expand upon this, The Indomitus Crusade was a vast fleet made up from thousands of different armies within the Imperium. It was set up by the Primarch Roboute Guilliman (the guy we mentioned in High Lords) after appointing himself the new Lord Commander with sole intent to reconquer lost planets and regions of space from humanity’s many enemies.  

The Pariah Nexus was one such region, having been heavily contested over between the numerous armies of the Imperium and the remorseless forces of The Necrons. This species is kinda like a legion of humanoid robots armed with disintegrator guns that just don’t die, making them one of the most terrifying machines since Skynet from The Terminator came online.  

During the Indomitus Crusade, a force was dispatched to investigate the region and war broke out. From here, Games Workshop has released many products revolving around the Pariah Nexus. This includes a box set of miniatures called Indomitus (of which represents the imperial force sent to fight the Necrons in the Pariah Nexus), several rule books for Warhammer 40k and for Kill Team (another tabletop miniatures games that is smaller scale to 40k and with different rules. However you can still use the models from both in each game). 

With all this background out of the way, we can only hypothesize about this series, as we don’t know much about the plot or characters.  

Maybe this animation will revolve around the events of the Indomitus box set, setting the stage for a brutal war between the forces of the Imperium and the metal might of the Necrons. This would be pretty epic, especially when you get to see the models from that set brought to life on screen in all their dark glory.  

Or perhaps this series will be more inspired by Kill Team, where we see small squads fighting against each other within shadowy ruins. This could lead to a very tense, cutting animation where every decision has drastic consequences for each side that could play into the larger war for The Pariah Nexus. 

Eisenhorn 

Last but most certainly not least, we have the long-awaited TV series known as Eisenhorn. Unlike all the previous series and animations we’ve discussed thus far, this program really breaks the mould by being a live-action series.  

Created by a collaboration between Games Workshop and Big Light Productions, this series is an adaptation of the novels written by New York Times best-selling author Dan Abnett. These books were first published back in 2001 by Black Library (the publishing print for Games Workshop) but have sold over a million copies worldwide since. 

The program revolves around the exploits of a relentless figure known as Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, a member of the brutal organisation named The Inquisition whose task is to root out all internal threats from within The Imperium, no matter if they are alien, heretic or daemon. We’ve briefly mentioned them in the High Lords animation, but in this show, we’ll probably get a much more in-depth view of such an uncompromising and downright deadly bureaucracy. 

Frank Spotnitz, best known as the writer for X-files and executive producer of Amazon’s Man On The High Castle, will be serving as both one of the series executive producers and showrunner. In addition, Big Lights Production’s creative director, Emily Feller, will be serving as another executive producer for the show.  

Other works by Big Light Productions include Medici and Leonardo, authentic period pieces that not only capture the characters but truly bring them to life. With that in mind, it does seem that the Eisenhorn series is set to be as grim and gritty as the novels, perfect for the setting of Warhammer 40K. 

But that’s just our opinion, what do you think of these series so far? Are you ready for your voyage into the Sea of Souls? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *