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Double Misfire

Settra turning up as Stormcast in a new Black Library novel

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I thought this was an interesting enough discussion to continue from the rumour thread (and was halfway through writing a post when Gaz asked to bring the topic back to actual rumours ;)).

To bring everyone viewing this who's not keen to trawl through 885 pages where very little happens, Settra (or at least a Lord Celestant named Settrus, with a special mad-on for Nagash, leading a Stormhost called the Imperishables), got a brief mention in the new Black Library novel Hamilcar: Champion of the Gods by David Guymer. I've not had a chance to read the book yet, but here's the passage in all it's glory:

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Understandably, this has drawn a lot of attention and debate, both from outraged Tomb King fans saying "excuse me, Settra turned down all four Chaos Gods during the End Times, why would he turn up and  as Sigmar's umpthousanth shiny subordinate?!", and from people rationally asking what makes Settra any more "special" than any of the heroes and rulers from the Age of Myth reforged by Sigmar.

In my opinion Settra is more special, in that unlike Imperio, the last emperor of Hydonia, a continent spanning empire in Ghur or Tarsem, Prince of the Nintey-Nine Circles of Helstone somewhere in Shyish, he previously meant something to a lot of people as the and the "protagonist" of his (much loved and now discontinued) army, and as a central character of the previous setting for 20+ years.

With regards to this, it's not that he's turned up as a Stormcast that I'm annoyed at, if GW decided that the route they wanted to take with Settra was to reintroduce him as a Stormcast, I'd grumble at it a bit because I'd think there were better ways to use him, but he's their character and there's absolutely nothing in the background saying that he couldn't have his soul pulled up by Sigmar and reforged - it's how it's been executed  that stinks.  Have Settra turn up as a Stormcast sure, but go all in on it and release him as a special character with the next Stormcast battletome, with a brand new model sat astride a boutique four-dracoth chariot, accompanied by a unique upgrade sprue for the Imperishables, allowing you to arm your liberators with kopeshes. Don't have him appear as a throwaway line with very little fanfare surrounding it in a Black Library novel that there are (presumably) no immediate plans to follow up.

If this is supposed to be fanservice it doesn't work, because anyone invested enough in Settra to care that they've been given a knowing wink is going to be annoyed at how he's been presented.  Josh Reynolds did something similar in Eight Lamentations: Spear of Shadows with with a blink and you'll miss it mention of a character very heavily implied to be, but never named as Aborash living  up a mountain in Shyish who trained vampires for Neferata, that was hugely unsatisfying  because Aborash  as we know him probably wouldn't have agreed to train anyone for Neferata (and by extension Nagash), and if he'd had his personality rewired by Nagash to be subservient, would have lost his defining trait in his independence and thus not really be Aborash anymore. (To his credit Josh Reynolds has handled Stormcast Balthasar Gelt exelently in Soul Wars and The Library of Forgotten Moments, but  Balthus(ar) was reintroduced as a fully fleshed out character with his own hopes/motivations/fears ect, and and appropriate level of special treatment from Sigmar, and nobody reeeally ever cared thatmuch about Balthasar Gelt to begin with ;))

 

What do you think? Do you think Black Library authors have been allowed to be disrespectful to old WFB characters and their fans, or is everyone kicking off about this a reactionary grognard who should be happy that their favourite character got a mention/survived into the new setting?

Fun side topic: Which human WFB characters do you think would make the most inappropriately hilarious Stormcast? My vote's for Marius Lietdorf and Felix (who probably will turn up as a Stormcast somewhere down the line... 🤷‍♂️)

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Honestly I find the ‘outrage’, if genuine, depressing, embarrassing and hilarious in equal measure.

I just wish people would put as much effort into being angry about ****** that actually matters than this constant dull obsession many people into this game (and indeed across nearly all facets of, for want of a better term, ‘nerd culture’) of being helpless victims constantly being ‘disrepected’, ‘slapped in the face’ or other hyperbolic statements of anguish.

 Right now as I see it it’s just a couple of lines in a book to add in some colour to the world at large and if anything probably just meant as a nice Easter egg for those who get the reference, not realising it would be taken as a mortal insult.

Who knows maybe down the line it could lead to a model or two (there’s been at least 1 or 2 times I’ve seen throw away lines in BL books foreshadow, intentionally or not, new models). And there is that mysterious figure in the Warcry art that could lean in to this but who knows so maybe they will bring a range out that reflects that and it will no doubt be greeted with more wailing and gnashing.

 

Edited by JPjr
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It can mean a lot of things.

Maybe Sigmar just copy&paste Settras formula in another soul. At least, he knows what Settra accomplished in the old world...

Maybe it's Settra, that Nagash couldn't take his Soul and all the Chaos Gods destroyed him and throw his soul away to never be seen again... until Sigmar found and forged him without any memory to have one of the most powerful leaders on the battelfield.

Maybe it's just a joke...

But in the end, it's up to the reader if he/she wants to be upset.

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I’d assume it’s the author adding a little note for tomb king fans in a “gone but not forgotten” sense, meant to be a subtle nod and little more but instead “fans” then take an innocent and likely well meaning gesture as some king of grievous offence and personal insult. It’s little more than a nod with a similar (but not the same) name buried inside a book that isn’t anything to do with tomb kings.

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8 minutes ago, JPjr said:

Honestly I find the ‘outrage’, if genuine, depressing, embarrassing and hilarious in equal measure.

I just wish people would put as much effort into being angry about ****** that actually matters than this constant dull obsession many people into this game (and indeed across nearly all facets of, for want of a better term, ‘nerd culture’) of being helpless victims constantly being ‘disrepected’, ‘slapped in the face’ or other hyperbolic statements of anguish.

 Right now as I see it it’s just a couple of lines in a book to add in some colour to the world at large and if anything probably just meant as a nice Easter egg for those who get the reference, not realising it would be taken as a mortal insult.

Who knows maybe down the line it could lead to a model or two (there’s been at least 1 or 2 times I’ve seen throw away lines in BL books foreshadow, intentionally or not, new models). And there is that mysterious figure in the Warcry art that could lean in to this but who knows so maybe they will bring a range out that reflects that and it will no doubt be greeted with more wailing and gnashing.

 

Fair points, but I don't think anyone's taken it as a personal insult or burnt their army (yet). AoS is a time consuming and expensive hobby though, and I don't think you should begrudge people for being invested in it. Different people can be invested in different aspects of the hobby, and just as much as you get people who see themselves primarily as painters/modellers or competitive gamers, you're going to get folks who's main draw is the game's background and setting. As far as dull obsessions go, we are all posting on an internet forum dedicated to said nerdy hobby discussing a tie-in novel featuring the game's characters... 🤷‍♂️

Everybody enjoys the GW hobby for their own unique reasons, personally I'm into AoS game and background wise because it's a continuation WFB, something I've been interested in and passionate about since I was a kid - hands on the table, if AoS were an entirely new setting, divorced from previous GW stuff I probably wouldn't play it, as I wouldn't have thought any of the characters were cool as an impressionable eight year old. I understand that AoS has drawn a whole host of new fans since it's release in 2015, it's great to see the hobby thriving and they're equally entitled to their likes and dislikes as myself and the other grognards.

Personally, I'm not "outraged" at at all (I'm unsure if you took that impression of my post or of other people), to clarify I think the Settra cameo was a misfire, because while everybody reading Hamilcar: Champion of the Gods is going to be to be a sufficient fan of/invested in the AoS setting (they're sitting down to read a 340 page novel about it after all), they're going to fall into two major camps, people who never played WFB or aren't invested in Settra/Tomb Kings enough to care that Settra's been introduced in the new setting, and people who are invested in Settra/Tomb Kings enough to be varying degrees of miffed at Settras's reintroduction/status in the Mortal Realms. In short you've either got readers who are indifferent or annoyed - the cameo, if intended as fanservice isn't delighting anyone.

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13 minutes ago, Double Misfire said:

they're going to fall into two major camps, people who never played WFB or aren't invested in Settra/Tomb Kings enough to care that Settra's been introduced in the new setting, and people who are invested in Settra/Tomb Kings enough to be varying degrees of miffed at Settras's reintroduction/status in the Mortal Realms

I really love Settra and I have a library of old army books (so, we can say that I'm in the second group). But I don't agree with what you said (I'm the exception maybe?).

I want Settra to be alive in the Mortal Realms and I want him with new miniatures, army and enough background to have a "logic" return (TK 2.0). An easter egg is just some fuel to still believe that's possible even if  I know that not all easter eggs are going to be a new army.

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1 minute ago, Beliman said:

I really love Settra and I have a library of old army books (so, we can say that I'm in the second group). But I don't agree with what you said (I'm the exception maybe?).

I want Settra to be alive in the Mortal Realms and I want him with new miniatures, army and enough background to have a "logic" return (TK 2.0). An easter egg is just some fuel to still believe that's possible even if  I know that not all easter eggs are going to be a new army.

Fair enough + good to know, maybe I'm being too presumptive based on my own feelings.

As an aside, is all the "outrage and teeth gnashing" described in this thread supposed to have taken place here on tga or on other forums/discord/social media? I know this place is pretty chilled out, and it doesn't sound like the posts I've read here.

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There is some turmoil on twitter... but nothing too serious.

Personally, I like that Settra is back even if as a stormcast. Someone gave a really good reason why he decided to work with Sigmar. He now have something what he really wanted - immortal body (maybe which each reforging it's becoming more and more golden too) and a chance to finally fight against Nagash and win.

 

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16 hours ago, Double Misfire said:

As an aside, is all the "outrage and teeth gnashing" described in this thread supposed to have taken place here on tga or on other forums/discord/social media? I know this place is pretty chilled out, and it doesn't sound like the posts I've read here.

Imho, even if there are some TGA users that don't like this type of "easter eggs", I believe that we have a healthy forum. I usualy read WHF forums (Carpe Noctum, Ulthuan, etc...) and some of them are AoS-friendly, others just ignore AoS and there are some of them full of angry players writting some ****** about AoS.

If you want to lose some hours reading AoS forums, TGA is one of the best if you look for mature discussions and after working 9 hours, I don't want to read how my hobby sucks.

Edited by Beliman
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Easter eggs are supposed to be fun. Taking it beyond as anything other than just a nod is ridiculous.

if you must have your TK flavor then it’s up to you to either buy the over priced stuff off eBay and count it as something else or focus that energy into sculpting and converting your own. Plenty of people do this with things, like myself for “araby”.

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1 hour ago, Mandzak-Miniatures said:

Easter eggs are supposed to be fun. Taking it beyond as anything other than just a nod is ridiculous.

I agree. I love the Tomb Kings and I would love to see them back in the mortal realms, but in my opinion the mention of Lord-celestant Settrus and his Imperishables is nothing more than an easter egg.

I think that if GW wanted to bring back Settra in AoS, they would do it in grand fashion. Like Morathi who became a huge winged snake lady. Or Archaon on  gigantic three headed Dorghar. Actually the fact that GW let David Guymer write this little nod to Settra in Champion of the Gods is probably a sign that they don't plan to bring him back.

Edited by The Golem
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I think its a tricky one, and can kind of see both sides of the argument.

I have always loved the Tomb Kings, have a vast army of them, and have Settra sat on my shelf as I speak. I'm not massively fond of stormcast, but I certainly don't hate them, and I have a few kicking around.

As tomb kings fans, we have a certain understanding of the lore, and what it means to us. We know that before the curse Nehekhara was the greatest human empire of the Old World, and Settra was its most powerful king. He was an emperor who made Sigmar look like an upstart barbarian. Sigmar's accomplishments pale in comparison to the civilization that was built around Khemri. Thus it feels a bit galling to think of Settra bending the knee to Sigmar, especially given his memetic dislike for compromising with others. As the world burned around him he stood up to the Chaos Gods, and told them to take a walk, Why would he serve some upstart god?

The thing is, I don't think that is how the writers see it at all.

The way the old world was set up, every faction was the hero of its own story. Thus as a Tomb Kings player I view the history of the old world quite differently to someone who is first and foremost a fan of the Empire. The army books were written with that intention, and the way the lore is "taught" was geared towards giving fans of each faction a slightly different view of what the world was really like. This is something which I don't think really carries over into Age of Sigmar.

I think that the lore writers who came up with this idea are coming at it from a very different perspective. From their point of view Sigmar is the one true god of Order, and the stormcast are the greatest champions of Order, regardless of what time or culture they originate from. They don't have to have been Sigmar worshipers in life, they just have to have gone out in style.

I think that if you look at it that way, Settra was one of the greatest champions of order who ever lived, and continued to be long after becoming undead. As the world burned around him he stood up to the Chaos Gods, and told them to take a walk. It would almost be insulting if Sigmar didn't reforge him as a champion of order. Willingly serving Azyr is definitely preferable to being a slave of the hated Nagash after all.

Sure I would much rather see the Tomb Kings return as a fully fleshed out faction of neutral undead, but since that's not likely to happen I guess its better to serve in heaven than in hell.

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1 hour ago, The Golem said:

Actually the fact that GW let David Guymer write this little nod to Settra in Champion of the Gods is probably a sign that they don't plan to bring him back.

Yeah this occurred to me today. If GW let Guymer write that joke in, it pretty much guarantees that at least right now they have nothing in the works for TK, because if they did it would likely conflict. I think in one of the recent podcasts, a Black Library author said sometimes they come up with something and have to nix it because it strays too close to something GW is actually working on. 

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There's still a chance! Still a chance!42981071_PEPPESTTRA.png.8c876b482413a5937778e8b270fba72f.png

But for real, having Settra reforged makes waaaaaaaay more sense than him submitting to Nagash (pretty sure no Settra fan would like to see him come back as a cursed slave). And the whole hook of the death GA is that it's the most top-down authoritarian; all governed by one entity, so introducing a subfaction which rejects the Undying King would be a poor thematic move.

But the TK aesthetic is still up for grabs if GW ever wants to expand on the Katophranes. Hell, the three glorious plastic 8th ed kits (tomb guard, necropolis knights/stalkers and the sphinxes) has enough kitbashing potential that they could rerelease just those three and you'd have a BCR sized faction, maybe sweetening the deal with Arkhan too. 

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I am one of the Angry Fans, and no shame about it. I started collecting miniatures when i was a kid, and playing when AoS hit the shelves.

My interests are High Elves and Tomb Kings. I really dislike the way GW acts regarding Stormcasts, and really hope AoS doesnt end up like 40k, where if you dont play SM you are screwed.

Aenarion and Settra are my favorite characters in the whole lore of warhammer as a whole. Aenarion died and left a legacy. Aelves are a thing and Tyrion and Teclis are coming back.

Tomb Kings on the other hand, had its lone squashed and its line removed. That in itself wasnt a problem, since it left room for a return of the faction in a reimagined way.

Now the thing is, Settra is like Marvels Dr Doom. He does not serve. He doesnt bend the knee.

Gw could EASILY make a lore excuse to bring Tomb Kings as Order without involving Stormcasts (not excluding Sigmar interference). If Morathi could return as a Demigod, why not Settra, who was a Pharaoh workshiped by Millenia?

Now having Settra as a mindless servant of the god king( and with the umperishables, hell it was His title) is a waste of a great legacy character with a lot of potential and lore. It is like Gotrek comming back as a Sce. People would get pissed.

I wish gw would stop shoehorning characters as Stormcasts. People who want play Stormcast os already playing then.!

 

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14 minutes ago, Thiagoma said:

I wish gw would stop shoehorning characters as Stormcasts. People who want play Stormcast os already playing then.

Honestly stormcasts are kind of just daemons of sigmar. Disclaimer, I am no lore expert

Plaguebearers of Nurgle were once mortals which sets a precident for mortals becoming daemon in mass. When Rotigus fell against nagash's forces he popped up back in nurgle's garden which could allude that reforging is just a less refined derivative of the daemon's "respawning". Skarbrand rebelled against Khorne which shows that daemons can act with their own will and even go against their creators.

So even if tombcast become a thing,  there is nothing that really says Settrus even sees Sigmar as his superior. Settra accepted blessings from the chaos gods then preceded to use those very blessing against them. For all we know Settrus sees Sigmar reforging him as a stormcast as Sigmar paying tribute to the great king settra to try and earn his favor.

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2 minutes ago, TheMuphinMan said:

So even if tombcast become a thing,  there is nothing that really says Settrus even sees Sigmar as his superior. Settra accepted blessings from the chaos gods then preceded to use those very blessing against them. For all we know Settrus sees Sigmar reforging him as a stormcast as Sigmar paying tribute to the great king settra to try and earn his favor.

If they make a new faction outside of Stormcast with TK visuals, i am all in ( but will never call Settra "Settrus")

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Settra is dead, He walked into the realm of chaos and got wrecked, The end.   That line in the novel was just a nod.  

Edited by xking
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1 minute ago, xking said:

Settra is dead, He walk into the realm of chaos and got wrecked, The end.   That line in the novel was just a nod.  

Nope, the author of the book said on his twitter that he intend to expand upon it.

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I'm of the opinion that the one thing Settra wants more than to rule, is to fight nagash. Soul wars is all about Sigmar and Nagash's little feud so who better for Sigmar to throw at nagash than the one man who literally wouldn't give up even after being rendered to a disembodied head? Besides Sigmar is constantly reforging the souls of human heroes so why not reforge the soul of a badass who's been around almost as long as he has? (if not longer, I'm a little iffy on my old world timeline) I'd hope this throwaway line is a teaser for what's to come for the next soul wars box, seeing Settra released with the imperishables either as a new order army or at least a stormhost/chamber. Settra may not kneel, but he may be inclined to accept an offer of new bodies for him and his legions to go and dispense several cans of pain unto the legions of Nagash. Makes sense from that sort of perspective, Sigmar needs a Lord Celestant experienced in fighting undead, so why not the guy who was undead and hates undead? A few eons of experience and skill certainly don't hurt either. Soul wars could be the narrative vehicle that brings us back even more beloved oldies, I could see Sigmar bringing back even more human heroes, or Nagash resurrecting old champions like Vlad or Krell to refill their empty seats as mortarchs once again (considering we've only met 4 of the 9 from what i can recall) Shoot, why not get other soul related factions in on this? Why wouldn't the Aelven gods resurrect the souls of legends like Alith Anar (hope i spelled that right) or Malice Darkblade? Why wouldn't slaanesh bring back the soul of his/her/it's favourite son Sigvald? If the pivotal matter of soul wars is the exchange of souls through the mortal coil, and how the gods disrupt that by yanking some for their own ends, why not involve other armies doing the same thing or revive other heroes who's souls may still linger?  

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7 hours ago, Double Misfire said:

Fun side topic: Which human WFB characters do you think would make the most inappropriately hilarious Stormcast? My vote's for Marius Lietdorf and Felix (who probably will turn up as a Stormcast somewhere down the line... 🤷‍♂️)

I really want a Gotrek adventure where he goes to duel nagash for Felix's soul so that he can bargain (or also duel) Sigmar to get Felix reforged so they can bro it up in the mortal realms like in the good old days. (what's the point of failing your oath over and over again if you can't do it with your bard best friend?)

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I can understand the frustration although I can't feel it. I think it's fine, a nod to history but looking forward to the future.

I was rather saddened by the reaction that some had on the announcement of the children's stories. 

11 minutes ago, Lucky Snake Eyes said:

 Why wouldn't the Aelven gods resurrect the souls of legends like Alith Anar (hope i spelled that right) or Malice Darkblade? 

1

Maybe they can't and there is a limitation to what they can do, that is if they can find the souls of these legendary heroes in the first place.

1 minute ago, Lucky Snake Eyes said:

I really want a Gotrek adventure where he goes to duel nagash for Felix's soul so that he can bargain (or also duel) Sigmar to get Felix reforged so they can bro it up in the mortal realms like in the good old days. (what's the point of failing your oath over and over again if you can't do it with your bard best friend?)

I think that was a subplot in Realmslayer. Gotrek accepted that even if he could find Felix he'd be changed and likely forgotten about him. A bit of a sad moment, but neat. 

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7 minutes ago, Tiger said:

I was rather saddened by the reaction that some had on the announcement of the children's stories. 

Of course i am not the target audience, also i never read the material, but is rather odd to think about 40k for kids.

That said, people reacted really really bad about it.

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7 minutes ago, Tiger said:

I was rather saddened by the reaction that some had on the announcement of the children's stories. 

Maybe they can't and there is a limitation to what they can do, that is if they can find the souls of these legendary heroes in the first place.

A side note on the kids stories, I was fine with it until they mentioned they'd be involving necrons and chaos slaves. Neither of those are topics kids should be reading about IMO, maybe using comically evil villains like Skaven would be better, that way you could make a comedic relief villain that not only wouldn't feel out of place, but could even work in more mature literature. (it would be a pleasant surprise to see a model of a character from the kids books, might even be a neat way to get kids to start collecting as horrible as that sounds 😅)

I find the limitations proposal to be interesting because where is the line drawn? They literally created entire sub races of Aelves by restoring souls devoured by Slaanesh! To me that should be the one thing an Aelf can't come back from. But hey I don't write the lore, I just read it and blow my money on the plastic that it's designed to sell.

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