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Black Library Competition, Story 1: Fallen Legend (Open for feedback)

One of the best bits of advice for story writing is to create a plan before going into the detail. Annoyingly the next bit of advice is to write the whole first draft before fixing it with a plan. Whilst I'd prefer the comfort of a empirically verified model on how best to write this (all hail the Scientific Method), with the conditions of the Black library competition being what they are I thought I'd give you all a summary and plan for feedback.

Prepare your slings and arrows of criticism.

There's a reason for it. If by some miracle I beat professional writers, you will be the ones reading the story, so it's be best to know there's an audience for what I've got before I get published. In the more likely case of me not winning, the story can be continued on this blog. In which case you'll be the sole audience for it. Might as well ask for what you want!

Without further preamble, here's the pitch, with story sample to come later:

I can't find where I saved this image from... if anyone knows please comment below so I can source it properly.

Story Summary


A Fallen Dark Angel looks to finish out his miserable existence on a back water planet, far from Imperial rule or even the influence of Chaos. He lives in the warp beast infested wilderness, waiting to die, hoping for meaning, but despairing in the certainty of finding none. He survives on his own, but is visited by three people, who irrevocably change his destiny; a boy native to the land who becomes the tyrannical king of the planet following the Fallen's stories of the Imperium; a Sorcerer of the Thousand Sons with a dark errand; and finally a young girl who becomes High Priestess of a Chaos inspired theocracy. Through these people, and the adventures he has with them, he comes to terms with what he has done, who he is, and what it means to be Astartes. A Western inspired adventure story, with strong themes of mystery, horror, spirituality and the paranormal.

Story Plan


  • Fallen Dark Angel living on a Backwater planet
  • Hunts in the wild, but does not interact with the inhabitants
  • A young boy searches him out on a bet
  • He teaches he boy about the Empire, to atone for his rebellion by spreading the Imperial Creed
  • The boy grows up, and creates a small empire of his on
  • Following the Fallen's Imperial teaching it turns tyrannical, and collapses
  • The boy, now a man, runs to the Fallen, seeking help. No help is given, and the boy is hunted down by rebels and executed in front of the Fallen... who does nothing

  • Hundreds, maybe thousands of years later, the planet is visited by Thousand Sons Sorcerer and Rubricae
  • The fallen helps the sorcerer in his errand, mostly out of loneliness, but discovers he intends to sacrifice a village of people.
  • They debate, and then fight, as Fallen recalls and acknowledges his duty as an Astartes.
  • The sorcerer is killed and all Rubriace are destroyed, but one Rubric Marine left, who whispers secrets to him, offering him control and allegiance.
  • The Fallen declines and talks about their time becoming astartes. The rubricae's eyes dim slowly as the conversation goes on, before dipping to a very low glow. Not quite gone, but not strong enough to speak.

  • Hundreds, maybe thousands of years later, the human civilisation continues to grow, and he passes into legend, a mythic creature that saves people from the monsters in the woods.
  • A girl wanders into the forest, and he rescues her from a warp beast.
  • She stays with him for a decade, and a romance of sorts develops.
  • He shows her the Rubricae, who's eyes flare up, and she talks to him.
  • Scared the Fallen drags her away, which in a few short weeks, leads her to abandon him.
  • He discovers she is a psyker, and the reason for their deeper shared connection to each other. 
  • Decades later, the girl becomes the head of a religious group, centred around her "Armoured God of Fate", the Rubric Marine held in the cave. 
  • Her temple is built around the cave where the Sorcerer tried to enact his ritual, and she uses the Rubricae as a throne. 
  • The continued religious practice, clearly chaos inspired, causes a warp rift to form, devouring the girl as she pleads for help from the Fallen. He tries to help but is far too late
  • Daemons ravage the planet for a few years, with Fallen despearatly trying to save as many as he can.
  • Eventually he realises he must close the rift, and he sets out to destroy it.
  • In the final confrontation he encounters Greater Demons of all the gods, but they do not fight him, but call him brother.
  • He destroys the gate, discovering the psychic potential within his own humanity, just as Grey Knights teleport in to deal with the demonic incursion.
  • He is called "astartes" by a surprised Grey Knight, to which he responds; "Not anymore." 
  • He steps through the collapsing warp rift, weapons in hand, and with purpose.
So, what do you think? A good story? Worthy of 40K and Black Library? I've tried to keep it disconnected from any current plot lines to avoid any canon conflicts, but hopefully you can help me keep them from creeping in.


Thanks for reading.

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