Gathering Storm III – Rise of the Primarch

tacticsJust finished reading the latest “Gathering Storm III – Rise of the Primarch


A quick (but not too quick) summary of the story (SPOILERS):


  • Celestine, Greyfax, Amalrich, and Cawl (the pilgrims or Celestinians) arrive to one of the Macragge system planets lead through the web way by Yvraine and the Visarch (the Ynnari).
  • The 13th Black Crusade (including Iron Warriors, Night Lords, Alpha Legion and Black Legion) has reached Macragge.
  • They make it to an Ultramarine outpost and from there catch a flight to Macragge to meet Marneus Calgar.
  • Belisarius Cawl has been appointed by the Master of Macragge (and it is not Calgar).
  • In his box he is bringing an armour that could save Roboute Guilliman but Yvraine has to help and the Primarch has to die first. Calgar doesn’t like the sound of that.
  • Cawl and the Ynnari revive Guilliman as the Ultra Marines are fighting for their lives inside the shrine that holds the Primarch’s body.
  • Chaos Space Marines heads start rolling.
  • Calgar gives full control of the chapter to the Primarch.



  • Fulgrim tries to enslave Guilliman through a laurel crown imbued with his own essence. Roboute does not succumb.
  • Nurgle brought the Sorrow (a Weeping Plague) upon some of the systems in Ultramar. When the Primarch neared any of the sick they miraculously became healthy again. Guilliman spends weeks going from camp to camp. But where he left the sickness returns. Nurgle had made a trap to keep the Primarch from the war effort.
  • After more than 7 months of fighting Guilliman sets for Terra accompanied by Cato Sicarius, Grand Master Voldus, Amalrich, Celestine, Greyfax and Cawl.
  • The Ynnari leave the Primarch to fight their own wars though Guilliman doesn’t want to let them go. It seems there is some sort of real alliance and not just an “on edge” thing.
  • Travelling through the Warp the Terran Crusade found that Chaos has been engulfing systems all over the galaxy. Travelling through the Immaterium was close to impossible.
  • The Terran Crusade is forced to leave the Warp near the Maelstrom and ambushed by the fleet of Magnus and his Thousand Sons who batter them and send them to the Maelstrom. It is suggested that Magnus could have destroyed the fleet but didn’t. He’s up to something.
  • The Crusade travels through the Maelstrom not being able to find a way out and stumble upon different ordeals similar to the Greek Odyssey.
  • An Eldar vision shows the way to escape but the Primarch’s fleet is intercepted and captured by Red Corsairs and Kairos Fateweaver who puts a spell upon Guilliman.


  • Kairos imprisons Guilliman and the other in a Red Corsair Black Stone fortress to use him later.
  • Skarbrand attacks the fortress and creates a distraction probably manipulated by someone.
  • Harlequins accompanied by Cypher save the Terran Crusade, releasing them from their cells. The same Shadowseer (Sylandri Veilwalker) that helped Belisarius Cawl in Gathering Storm I had appeared to help Guilliman through the Maelstrom and has enlisted Cypher to help free the Primarch. Cypher makes Guilliman promise to take him to the Golden Throne if he frees him.
  • A great battle ensues as the forces of the Primarch (Voldus, Sicarius, Saint Celestine, Amalrich [he’s an Emperor’s Champion now], Inquisitor Greyfax, Belisarius Cawl, Cypher and The Harlequins of the Veiled Path) fight against Red Corsairs, Skarbrand and daemons of Khorne and Kairos and daemons of Tzeentch, which fight among each other also.
  • Amalrich dies fighting Skarbrand. Guilliman shoots at Amalrich’s Black Sword which was driven into Skarbrand’s chest and it shatters, defeating the daemon.
  • The “good guys” escape through the webway portal from which Cypher and the Harlequins came.
  • In the webway they find that Magnus knew exactly how the ordeals in the Maelstrom would unfold and has prepared a trap with the help of Ahriman, but not to kill the Lord of Ultramar, but to follow him into the Golden Throne chamber.
  • Realizing the danger Guilliman follows the Harlequins to Luna (the Moon) where a fight begins and Guilliman fights Magnus in a hand to hand combat.
  • Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence (their first appearance in fluff of the 41st Millennium) join the battle.
  • With the help of the Sisters of Silence and Sylendri Veilwalker Guilliman banishes Magnus from Luna into the webway. The banishing seemed to have been some greater ploy from the Harlequins’ side to use Magnus probably but we don’t know what. The Eldar disappear after Magnus is defeated.
  • The Terran Crusade is taken to Terra and they go to the Throne Room where only Guilliman is let into the chamber. He orders the Custodes to capture Cypher. Cypher’s sword is mentioned and the Primarch doesn’t want to let that blade near the Emperor for some reason.
  • Cypher escapes within a few hours from the prison no one has ever escaped before without a trace.
  • Belisarius Cawl leaves the Crusade for Mars. His secret pact fulfilled (maybe).
  • Roboute Guilliman enters the Throne Room and returns after a day. Assumes the position of Lord Commander of the Imperium of Mankind. Addresses the High Lords and forcibly replaces several of them.
  • He warns the High Lords of a Warp phenomenon that is manifesting itself across the galaxy from end to end. The Great Rift is opening.
  • Guilliman promises that even though things are dire, humanity will be triumphant and push back the forces of Chaos, aliens, mutants and traitors.


TLDR: Roboute Guilliman is revived by Belisarius Cawl and Yvraine. Takes over the Ultramarines. Pushes back the Chaos forces from Macragge. Travels to Terra through great ordeals similarly to the Greek Odyssey. Is helped by Cypher and Harlequins to defeat his brother Magnus. Reaches Terra and assumes the position of Lord Commander of the Imperium of Mankind.

I love how in all the Gathering Storm books there are tiny inserts of “other stuff happening”. The stories in these books make you feel like all that is happening in the galaxy of the 41st Millennium is happening here in this book. But this is not so. Tyranids are still invading Baal. Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka is engulfing systems in Waaagh!. Chaos is invading all over. And so on, and so forth. These little texts remind you of that. Glorious!!!

The new models and the storytelling are great. It is a fun read. I love how the story is progressing and not stagnating as before. It is still all out war but things are changing. I hope GW continue in the same manner.

Happy Wargaming,


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