I just finished reading Descent of Angels, from The Horus Heresy and I do not understand the end.

But first, if what I am about to ask is explained in the other books, please use spoiler formatting.

After beating the Saroshi's "angel" (warp creature), the Astartes left the planet to join the space ship. In the shuttle, the Lion seemed to be angry at Zahariel, or even be scared.

Translated from the French version:

The Lion did not say a word during the way back to the surface, lost in his thoughts, even to congratulate his warriors [...]

Zahariel felt a heavy look on his back. [...] Lion El'Johnson was staring at him.

In the next "chapter" (called "Consequences"), Zahariel is sent back to Caliban, as well as his friends (excepted Nemiel), Israfael and Luther.

Considering what happened with Luther, it is understandable that Lion does not want him anymore. But why did Zahariel, Israfael and others were sent back to Caliban? Zahariel and Israfael, even though they are psykers, proved their loyalty to the legion and the Emperor, and even more to Lion during their (for Zahariel) childhood on Caliban.

Is Lion afraid of psykers?

3 Answers 3


While not wanting to give any spoilers there are actions later on in the books that suggest that the Lion, at this point at least, is wary, very wary of psykers. But that is from reading between the lines of actions yet to come.

However the reasons as to why and how the Angels, including Luther, where picked to be sent back to Caliban by the lion has not actually been confirmed and is a source of much debate on various forums. The standard explanations that people seem to get behind are.

The Lion was genuinely wanting to have those marines train more warriors as he knew some sort of large battle was coming.

The Lion had a premonition that things where going to go bad on Caliban in some way and so sent those he felt he could trust to keep the planet safe, but in a move lifted straight from daddy decided to keep everyone in the dark therefore triggering the very thing he had a premonition about.

The Lion was pissed at those Caliban dark angels and didn’t trust them worried that they where holding to tightly to the ways of Caliban, again showing an emperor level of stupidity in knowing how to deal with people

The Lion just had a bit of a strop and by the time he had calmed down they had all left and he thought he would be able to say sorry later.

Games workshop wrote themselves into a corner and just needed to get Luther and others back to Caliban in order to progress the plot and didn’t really put any thought into the motivations.

Later in the heresy some actions take place that suggest that the Lion just wanted a load of troops trained up ready for when he needed them. But nothing has been definitively explained in any of the books yet. We are still waiting for the Lion Luther moment so it may be explained more there.

Sorry this is not a definitive answer but the answer is that at the moment we don’t know and any reason is just guess work and supposition.

  • honestly considering both the lions skillset and that of Luther's i also genuinely think he send Luther back as a form of punishment but also because he would excel at the given task and he still trusted him. Then again i am a bit biased in favor of the dark angels in general. Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 15:20

I've been reading these books too recently and have a slightly different reason.

My understanding is that the Lion knew that Caliban was tainted by the warp (which spawned the great beasts and later).

the "zombies" and worms

Which make an appearnce in Fallen Angels.

However he wanted to limit this knowledge and avoid anyone from the Terran/Imperial legion finding out about it.

Luther and Zahariel were among a group who were sent back. We don't know Luther's reasons entirely, however as Zahariel is a PoV character we know that he had already encountered The Watchers in The Forest who had told him about the taint.

I believe the Lion itentified that the legionaries who knew (even indirectly) about the taint of Caliban and sent them back home so knowledge of it wouldn't spread further. He believed that if the Emperor was to discover the rotten core of his homeworld he'd have it destroyed.

By sending them home they wouldn't interact with the terran legionaries and the infomation wouldn't escape (remember the Lion loves secrets). He did it after Saroshi because he found the legionaries he's trying to isolate in the middle of a warp battle with a "warp entity". It prompted him to take action.

Of course what actually happened was

The legionaries felt betrayed and began to use these powers becoming The Fallen


The Lion grew up alone in the forests of Caliban, and as such learned to depend only on himself. His brilliance in strategic matters was unrivalled but never did he trust any of his subordinates. His Legion was expected to do what he said, when he said it, exactly how he said it. The Lion could not tolerate anyone deviating from his plans, disagreeing or showing initiative. He was the ultimate micromanager. Anyone who dared to be anything other than a quiet little pawn to be pushed about was exiled, or had their head punched off.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. You could improve this answer by editing it to include one or more relevant quotes from the source material. Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 5:11

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