A place for you to ask questions of some of the Black Library authors themselves.


Postby Lord of the Night » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:44 am

Lord of the Night wrote:Hey Ser ADB,

I have just finished Blood Reaver. First of, congratulations, you've done it again. Secondly congratulations again, its that good. I have many questions for you, and some thoughts. Many spoilers below, so watch out.

Spoiler: 1. In regards to Uzas. He comes across as a much deeper character in this novel, and I was surprised as hell that he was a Sergeant during the Heresy, how the mighty fall. And what happens to him at the end is grim but I feel that it brings some hope, he will die eventually but it doesn't have to be meaningless, and he can regain what he lost. My question is, what is your own opinion of Uzas and what prompted his story to turn like this?

Spoiler: 2. When you showed Talos's childhood I was very surprised. It was, warm. Despite the crappy world, crime-ridden city and harsh situation he lived in, his mother was quite kind, supportive and, despite her own situation, good to Talos and their relationship was sad and bitter sweet. Sad for the harsh parts of it, sweet for the good parts, and bitter for what we know came years later. After this scene I thought back to Soul Hunter, where as we all know by now, Talos saw his mother die right in front of him and didn't recognize her until Xarl pointed it out hours later. My question, the scene when Xarl tells Talos it doesn't show a reaction, or if it did I forget it, will that scene be continued later, that we can see how Talos reacted to learning his only blood family had died?

Spoiler: 3. Nostramo was quite an interesting world, I didn't think that scholams would exist the way it had been described, yet life did continue on, though what Xarl and Talos saw as children in that alley shows just how bad the world was that two children ignored that as a common act. How did you conceive Nostramo like this? What did you do to portray the sunless world and will it appear again in Void Stalker?

Spoiler: 4. When Vandred is finally able to repel the Exalted, even just for a bit, it was one of the most epic scenes in the novel. Did you always plan that this would happen? Or did you change the story to make this happen? I also wish to know something about the nature of Vandred and the Exalted. You once mentioned that The Exalted couldn't be categorized neatly, he wasn't a Daemon Prince nor was Vandred possessed, but rather both. This novel seems to indicate possession much stronger, was this always how they were or did you change things for Blood Reaver.

Spoiler: 5. Xarl. He is regarded as dangerous by all, even Astartes are wary of him. In the incident with Third Claw Dal Karus was actually nervous when Talos said that Xarl was with them. And Uzas, in his thoughts, notes that Xarl is the dangerous one. What is it that makes Xarl so respected and feared?

Spoiler: 6. First off thank you for not killing Malcharion, he's too awesome to die a second time. I can't wait for his return but I do recall that when I asked you, many moons ago, if Malcharion had survived his fight with Raguel you responded "He daayed". Did you plan to keep him alive from the start or was it something that came to you when writing Blood Reaver? Also will Malcharion remember what happened during his fight with Raguel or will he need reminding?

Spoiler: 7. The Bleeding Eyes are a very cool cult, and Lucoryphus's final line in the novel is freaking excellent, and made me laugh with its coolness, "I am going to eat your eyes!". And they descend as one, that Corsair had no chance in hell :). Though one thing I notice, you seem to put the Bleeding Eyes through quite a pounding, both in Blood Reaver and The Core. Nearly a third of them dead in the former, and another nine in the latter. Is this intentional, perhaps you are wittling them down until only the core Raptors are left to form a squad, or is it just coincidence?

Spoiler: 8.The children that have been abducted by the Night Lords are an interesting plotline. Is this how the entire Legion recruits now? And also if these children actually pass the trials and inherit the gene-seed of Curze will their skin become pale and their eyes become completely black? Zso Sahaal was Terran and he had Nostraman features, but that was for Lord of the Night and things may change for your story.

Spoiler: 9. One thing I would like clarified. When Hound mentions that all Nostramans have black hair you had previously stated that Talos's mother had blonde hair, which he did admit was a rarity for Nostramo. Is Hound just wrong or was that an oversight?

Spoiler: 10. You've shown Talos's childhood and a bit of Xarl's, their relationship as children was interesting. Will Mercutian, Uzas and Cyrion's lives on Nostramo be shown at any point? I especially want to see Mercutian's, Xarl's barbs at him about being a rich boy and having an easy life are interesting, i'm curious if he is right on the easy part. Because if Mercutian had such a good life on Nostramo, why did he join the legion.

Spoiler: 11. The fate of Secondus was quite a surprise, not what I had expected mainly for the exact reason that Septimus stated when he found out. Will you ever pen a short story that actually shows what happened to Secondus and what he did to provoke Ruven?

Spoiler: 12. Your decision to bring Ruven back was surprising, I half expected Talos to pull his bolter out as soon as the prison doors opened. But he was a welcome addition to the story and while he was still a traitor, his motives were not what I had expected, I almost felt bad at the end when Talos cleaved him in half, but I did not. What made you choose to bring Ruven back for the second novel?

Spoiler: 13. The Atramentar. At the end of the novel when the Covenant dies the Atramentar are nowhere to be found, but I highly doubt that some of the very few Night Lords Terminators would do something like go down with the ship, Vandred only did so because he had no other option. Are they dead, or just MIA?

Spoiler: 14. I also wanted to make a note of something in the story that I very much enjoyed. Variel the Flayer. He is the most badass Apothecary ever! His first fight scene was amazingly quick, and his quip afterwards was really funny. Plus he actually pistol whipped an Astartes. I like his cold and detached attitude, and yet he is very loyal to those who are loyal to him. The incident he mentions, Fryga, when Talos saved his life sounds very interesting, I don't suppose you'll ever shed some more light on that?

Spoiler: 15. When Septimus and Octavia are confronted by Ruven Octavia was very broken up about her abduction by the prisoners in Soul Hunter, with that and Nonus's advice to Septimus I can guess that she and TFH's Cyrene have something in common. Am I right?

Any answers you can provide would be great. Really awesome book here, can't wait for the third :). I have also written my review for the novel. ... hp?t=87417

Lord of the Night
Hey ADB,

I was wondering if you'd be able to answer these questions I had about Blood Reaver, i'm quite curious about some of them.

Thanks in advance.

Lord of the Night ... %20Reviews - Black Library Reviews by Lord of the Night@Talk Wargaming
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Postby revelation » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:12 pm

I just recently finished ‘Helsreach’ and it was an amazing read.

A handful of things in particular stood out to me:

I’ve always felt that good prose has a musical quality to it. The "music" of your prose complimented the subject matter perfectly. It was more Stravinsky than Mozart, but that’s a good thing imo.

Your writing also has a way of cutting right to the emotional core of the reader without being campy.

Your portrayal of the interactions between "mortals" and Astartes is extremely convincing. You can feel the disconnect and that feeling doesn't go away when perspectives change. That gulf always exists, to greater and sometimes lesser degrees.

You capture the essence of the Astartes: their demeanor, their nature, and their power. They exude dominance, are absolutely forbidding, and stand apart from "mortals", yet you are able to give them a very human quality. I admire your ability to skillfully balance the contradiction.

You also understand the aesthetic of 40k and always seem to get the details just right (The little bits of technology and mythos). One thing that immediately pops to mind is your portrayal of the Titan Princeps. That character was rendered brilliantly. A genetically altered, partially cybernetic, old woman, that's linked to the AI mind of a massive war machine, floating in a tank; brilliant (I don't ever recall a Titan Princeps being depicted exactly like this in 40k codices or other background material), not to mention the interaction/relationship between her and Grimaldus; which was also brilliant.
Edit: I was told by a fellow forum member that the "princeps-in-a-tank" thing was done before by Abnett and McNeill in Titanicus and Mechanicum, which I've yet to read. Maybe I should do that. Nevertheless, your rendition of it was great. :)

In my humble opinion you are one of the few BL authors that does real justice to the WH40k universe. You breathe life into the source material and at times reinvent it for the better. Please keep writing so that I can keep reading.

A few questions:

Do you plan on writing more about the Black Templars in the future?

Why the use of the term "human" to refer to non Astartes as opposed to "mortal"? I know it's a small detail, but as a writer I'm assuming you labor over details like that. Personally, I think both terms though interchangeable in some ways, imply very different things, thus the question. Anyways, maybe it’s a silly question, but it's something that came to mind while reading the novel.

As a fellow wow player, do you have time to raid or are you a casual nub that does daily quests and heroic dungeons and calls it a day? :)
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Postby S. M. LaBounty » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:10 am

Hello Mr. Dembski-Bowden,

I was wanting to know if you have any intentions of ever writing any stories in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Is it possible?
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Postby MC Warhammer » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:46 am

Seems to be a backlog of questions here. One more won't hurt.

Did your intentions regarding Vandred and The Exalted change over the course of the first two Night Lords book?
In Soul Hunter, I had the impression that Vandred was still present and in partial control of his own body, declaring "I. Control. This" as a way of empty affirmation.

Blood Reaver gave me the impression that Vandred had been in "hiding" within the Exalted's form for a long time, perhaps decades, with the barest of presence left to fight his possession.

Any light you could shed on this would be interesting. Including, 'you interpreted it all wrong, MC'
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Postby Erunanion » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:24 pm

To save Sir AD-B the time, those who are have questions about Void Stalker would be wise to first go and look at his answers to Void Stalkers questions on his info-blog:

Also, if I may, many congratulations to you and the missus!
Check out my shiny new website, with genuine new-blog smell! -

The Emperor's Mercy - Prologue - The first piece of fiction I've put up on the Bolthole's new incarnation.

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Postby Skeats » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:37 pm

Hello Aaron,

Loved Soul Hunter and have gotten around half way through Blood Reaver at the moment, loving that too! One thing that has really interested me is that you've put together a fictional language. It also seems to me that there is a great deal more of it in Blood Reaver as well as different new languages when at Hell's Iris. I'd like to know what your process was for creating Nostraman?


"You fight alone, you'll die alone. But if you fight by brothers, you'll live forever"
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Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:31 pm

Was great finally chatting with you in person for those brief moments today.

And thanks for signing the book :)

- That Guy.
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My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
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Postby The_unchanged » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:29 pm

Regecide page 127. Another transformers (the animated movie not the crappy michael bay effort) reference? Getting to the point where after our previous discussion I'm looking out for them all the time lol
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Postby Jelboy » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:58 am

ADB - I'm really interested in what the difference between first draft and final page looks like, with your writing.

Would you be prepared to show us a page(or half page) of first draft 'first heretic''?
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Postby Rob P » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:23 am

All ADB stalkers would have spotted, but I thought i'd post it up if you haven't.

ADB has probably been the most active and responsive author on the Warhammer forums and it's finally drained his soul.

I can only say the same as 'Chinh' at reply 27.

1. Spend time with your family. This above all!
2. Spend time writing. We love your work, appreciate the extra time & care you put into it, and want you to be able to afford food.
3. Read, paint, play games. Please enjoy your life
3. Don’t bother defending other authors, or wasting your time participating in childish or idiotic discussions. But if you do have extra time, we enjoy hearing about how your next novel is progressing, and what you have in the line up.

Comment by Chinh | November 5, 2011 | Reply


Couldn't find one with Cammy AND the caption.

Best of luck.

edit: Forgot the point of the post, which is: You (understandably) might not have your questions answered any time soon and it might be wasted effort to try and contact ADB via this avenue.
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Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:48 pm

Heya Aaron, was just idly wondering.

Are the Atramentar present in every company/warband?

Would the Gal Vorbak as a formation/rank have survived the years since the Heresy?
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
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Postby Anfarius » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:20 pm

Hey Aaron. Fom the start - Sorry for my English
I just finished Prince of Crows\Emperor Gift and have 1 Question between books.


Grand Master of the Eighth Brotherhood

‘Already, you exalt me for my triumphs,

When I ask only that you remember me for my treacheries.

Victory is nothing more than survival.

It carries no weight of honour or worth beyond what we ascribe to it.

If you wish to grow wise, learn why brothers betray brothers.’

I’d never understood the words, though they’d always fascinated me. Was the truth behind the inscription locked in the inner sanctum’s archives, secreted away only for the eyes of our leaders? Who could say? We had as many legends of our brotherhood’s founding lord as there were stars in the night sky. The champions he’d slain, the wars he’d won, the daemons he’d banished – who knew how much had been twisted through the centuries? Even our records, meticulous as we liked to believe them, still suffered from human error when inscribed, and a great deal of our records were sequestered by knight-lords and our Inquisitorial masters.

Please don't tell me that you make sevatar one of g-pride matt ward warriors.
please kill him in his time.
we have enough of Loken who become mery sue in band of equal now fluke charecters which spreads @wtf moments@ and make me sorry cauz they become boring but cheap popular poster boys.
lol they was even on caliban\calth etc with no problems ( warp storms of chaos gods? never heard)
i don't want to see Sev in such awful company

Please don't make Sev one of Ward warriors - they are so DNIWE EBANOE. or he will be 1st traitor GK lol in case if you want to BAMBANOOLO matt wards arse

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Postby Jim Shady » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:21 pm

Ah me lads, ye shud only seen us gannin',
We pass'd the foaks upon the road just as they wor stannin';
Thor wes lots o' lads an' lasses there, all wi' smiling faces,
Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races
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Postby David Earle » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:34 am

ADB on Facebook wrote:Been clean from 40K forums for a whole month now. Still got the shakes, but I'm getting by.
Check out my blog!

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Ogunzhar lives!
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