The major thing I took out of the First Heretic are on page 296 in the chat between Argal Tal, Dagotal and Xaphen:
"But the 11th Legion-"
"Is expunged from Imperial record for good reason. As is the 2nd. I'm not saying I don't feel temptation creeping over me brother. A single sword thrust piercing that pod and we'd unwrite a shameful future"
"And deny the Ultramarines a significant boost in recruitment numbers"
... "Those are just rumours"
"... The 13th definitely swelled to eclipse all the other legions around the time the 2nd and 11th were forgotten by Imperial archives."
All I can say to this is wow
This raises so many questions for me:
For the Ultras to have absorbed the 2nd and 11th Legions marines the Emperor must have approved it, as must Guilliman. This raises a question of what was their crime that was so bad that their entire Legions were dissolved and removed from the archives, but was not so bad that the Emperor and the Primarch who most liked to play by the rules Guilliman, was able to absorb the marines from the 2 Legions into his own? This would indicate that the 2nd and 11th geneseed was not corrupted as Guilliman would not have accepted them. Therefore I theorise that the 2nd and 11th Legions weren't corrupted by Aliens or Chaos as neither the Emperor nor Guilliman equally would have accepted such marines.
I wonder if the rumours about the Ultras is what made the Word Bearers dislike them amongst other reasons considering they saw the 2nd and 11th Legions actions as shameful and yet the Ultras absorbed these "shamed" marines and yet the Emperor still lauded their actions while shaming them and Lorgar?
Finally on this bit (that I can currently think of, more may yet come
), since 2/3rd of the current space marine geneseed comes from the Ultras, if they did absorb the 2nd and 11th Legions marines with their geneseed, some of the current Chapters may in fact be descended from the 2nd or 11th Legions?
The other bit I find fascinating is on page 163 where Lorgar and Magnus discuss the lost Primarchs and Magnus calls them the lost and the purged. This can either be taken to mean the 2nd Legion was lost (in some way) while the 11th were purged. Alternatively they were both lost and purged in some way. Also the Emperor talked to the other Primarchs about what to do about the Word Bearers and Horus, Magnus and Russ supported Lorgar and his Legion, with Russ saying he'd lost 2 brothers and had no desire to lose a third (interesting considering his later attitude towards Magnus and his Legion).
On a side note, since Russ and the SW are considered to be the Anti-Legion Legion, I wonder if they did the purging of the 2nd and 11th Legions?
From this I interpret this as even Russ saw what happened to the 2nd and 11th Legions as sad rather than something to be rejoiced on and he didn't want to see it repeated. This is supported by Dorn and Malcadors attitude towards the Traitor Primarchs statues in the Lightning Tower where Malcador asks Dorn if he'd tear them down (which is what is hinted happened to the 2nd and 11th Primarchs statues) rather than just shrouded. Why did the Emperor simply laugh when tearing down the traitor Primarchs statues was suggested in comparison to the 2nd and 11th statues. It gets stranger and stranger!!
Sorry this is a long post (my first in a while) but reading the book has had my head buzzing!!