View Full Version : Post your Warhammer (40k) fluff here!

2006-12-17, 02:46 PM
Since someone mentioned it somewhere else and I thought it wasn't a bad idea, I made this thread so you could post your Warhammer Fantasy Battle or Warhammer 40,000 fluff here for others to peruse.

2006-12-17, 02:59 PM
Fluff? Sorry Im a bit tired now.

2006-12-17, 03:30 PM
Fluff is a term for background material.

I might get something up later, suffice with these freeform RPGs:

Also, have this poorly written and rather boring Space Marine fluff:

2006-12-17, 04:41 PM
This is the backstory I made to my renegade space marines chapter. These space marines, a mixture of Black Templars and Dark Angels among others, left the forces of the Emperor after they fought for him in the battles under the Horus Heresy, but did not join the forces of Chaos.
The story is long, therefore the spoiler tag.
History of The Emperors 2nd Legion The Ring of Steel
The 2nd legion, The Ring of Steel was founded second to the Dark Angel legion, and is therefore one of the eldest legions of space marines. At first, as the name implies, it was assigned the task of being the ring of steel around the emperor himself.
In the beginning of the first crusade, after the recovery of most of the primarchs, the ring of steel continued to be led by the emperor himself, rather than a primarch.

The legion was almost disbanded after refusing to slaughter the inhabitants of the rebel cities of Shar.
As the emperor could only call upon another legion, lead by primarch Mortarion, a small detachment of ultramarine led by Roboute Guilliman himself and 3 regimetns of imperial guard soldiers he could not fight his own legion there and then. A bargain that saved the cities was made thanks to Guilliman, and the Ring of Steel was sent on an eternal crusade to gather technology for the empires Adeptus Mechanicus.
The emperor and his advisors believed that the 2nd legions lack of obedience was caused by the fact that they had no primarch to guide them, and assigned the newly locaed primarch moloh to the ring of steel legion.

Many of the stc equipment and vehicles employed by the space marines and the imperial guard, like the landraider and the basilisk was recovered on this crusade.
At the beginning of the Horus heresy, the 2nd Legion was returning from terminus, the farthermost planet in the galaxy settled by humans, with the blueprints of the heaviest tank at that point known, the Heavy tank STC T 334.

the newly assigned primarch of the legion of the ring of steel was one of those who fell under the sway of tzench, but rather than joining him in the ranks of hours army, like many legions before them, magister roland and magister sigismund of the ring of steel exposed this treachery against mankind to the whole of the army and executed primarch moloh.

The ring of steel was one of the legions that fought on terra defending the imperial palace, fighting together with the warriors of the imperial fist, but abandoned it as the emperor teleported to fight Horus and the legion of the sons of Horus concentrated their attack on the city around the palace.
In the battle for terra magister roland was mortally wounded, and his spirit and what was left of his body was enclosed in a dreadnought and magister Arthur was chosen to lead the legion. Magister sigismund was at the same time made second in command in the imperial fists.

After horus was defeated, the 2nd legion fought valiantly on planets of segmentum solarum, fighting against squads of spacemarines, groups of the alpha legion, various planetary governments, an onslaughtering orc waagh and dark eldar pirates.

When Roboute guilliman split the space marine legions according to the codex of adeptus astartes, the ring of steel and the imperial fists were amongs those who was most against the new founding.
Magister Arthur proclaimed that the emperor, the primarchs and the high lords of terra had not done enough to defend the civilian population during the first crusade and the horus heresy and said he would not longer follow any orders issued by the empire.

The 2nd legion became splitted. Many veterans of the ring of steel, led by magister Roland himself, saw the danger of making the emperor into a god and sided with magister Arthur. Others, encouraged by former magister sigismund abandoned the legion and was admitted into the legion of the imperial fists. When that legion later was split, they became a part in the black templars, who Sigismund was given command of.
The 2nd legion was by the influence of sigismund allowed to depart on e.s.s Arcturus from the segmentum solar almost without resistance. The only forse to challenge them was the Ordo Maleus, the chapter of grey knight demonhunters that was newly created by decree of the emperor himself.
The encounter between the grey knight and the knights of the first file became an epic battle of swordsmanship and devotion to the two armies different vision of what the world should be.

In the records of the ordos maleus and the adeptus ministerium it is said that the rebellious 2nd legion was defeated and that the traitor magisters Arthur and roland was executed, but in lord Sigismunds personal records, hidden in the archives on Barbarossa IV, it is said that the renegade legion escaped out of the segmentum solar and he prays that the battles that magister Arthur will fight to defend mankind from the followers of horus will make the eperor look more kindly on them and grant his divine mercy on their souls.

After this there was little interaction between the empire and the legion of the ring of steel. Some border worlds received help from them in time of need against dark eldar pirates and ork invasions.
The legion had some trading with the elven craftworlds, but was mostly concentrated on learning about the warp and how to survive there so they could do battle there.
Around M 30 the ring of steel managed to make their battlecruiser resistant to the powers of the warp and to attack the legions of chaos on their own ground.
Later, in M 31 they reched an agreement with the orkish tribe “heavy thunder” by which the orks would receive medical education and equipment in exchange in hot attacking any human or elf settlement.

The 2nd legion again appears in the imperial records when Lord Vandire seized power in M 36. when the legions of the ring of steel supported many worlds that rebelled against the rule of the eccleciarchy.
After the reforms imposed by Sebasthian Thor consuls of the legion helped the worlds close to Terra to make profitable peace treaties with the high lords of Terra and the space marine chapters. The most remote worlds on the other hand was offered put themselves under the protection of the Ring of Steel.
The worlds that did neither was mostly reclaimed by the Space marines or conquered by xenos races.

After this the knights of the ring of steel started to interfere with the subjects of the empire on a very irregular basis.
IN M 38 inquisitors of the Ordo Maleus recorded that a large armed group, calling themselves the first file of the ting of steel, rumored to be led by magister roland landed on the same planet where the Wich-cult of Mnestteus had molested and slain Katherine of the Adeptus sororitas. Before the inquisition forse reached the planet to look into this appearance and expunge the wich-cult, both was gone without any trace, remaining only as rumors.

Later, cannones of the order of the bloody rose lady Aspira reported that a man came to her dormitory when she started a war of faith against the tyrant of denescura and offered her help to defeat him if no questions was asked.
In her report she claims that he wore a space marines armour, but not in the colors of any existing chapter.
She believed the man, who called himself Galahad, to be a daemon and attacked him. He defeated her and returned a whole week. On the seventh night she agreed, and her thousand warriors strong detachment of battlesisters and imperial guard soldiers was able to liberate a hundred worlds with the help of what she thought was 3 allied space marine chapters.
When she in the end faced the tyrant, that showed to be a demon prince of Nurge, the demon was defeated by the same space marines warrior.
After the descriptions made by her and other sisters of battle of the force that helped them, the commanders became convicted that she was aided by the renegade 2nd legion.

because the inquisition themselves had proclaimed her a living saint, they could do nothing but officially say that she acted correctly and plot her downfall in secrecy.
They did not se her dead through, for she disappeared a year after the defeat of the demon tyrant.
Only resent, with the imperial rediscovery of the planet Trantor, rumors has come to the high lord of terra that she was not removed by the eccleciarchy but became part of the ring of steel allied government on that planet.

Imperial intelligence reports state that the Ring of steel legion discovered the planet of T’au sometime in M 35. Merchants of the empire report the existence bunkers on the planet that might have been made by the legion and beings resembling space marines figure in some of the early legend of the population.
Still, the ring of steel must have some interest in the T’au worlds, as it helped defend the planet of Altur’Rang from some unknown skeletal invaders in 862. M 39 and defended the sept of D’Hara from the tyranid invation in M. 41. Both time they appeared ansvering request for aid from the water clans, so there must be some form of continuous communication between the 2nd legion and the T’au Empire.

Resent expeditions of the Adeptus MEchanicus have discovered the demise of several planets in the galaxy. The unifying factor for all these worlds is that the worlds was reported to have massive tomb structures of unknown origin and that neighboring worlds have reported the appearance of space marines in the sector before the destruction.
After the battle between the necrontyr and the ultramarines on planet Angelis that space marines the native of one of these destroyed worlds reported to the authorities that space marines landed on his homeworld, the planet of Iblis and ordered the population to evacuate.
The entire capital city of the planet was ordered to enter a battle cruiser of ancient construction which he was sure would fall apart as soon as the left the planet and taken to a scarcely populated planet under the Macrage government.

Be avare that the story is under editing, and most rules violation will be corrected after I've gone through this with the experienced players I'm going to play with.

2006-12-17, 07:21 PM
>:) My turn!

The Crimson Raiders are a large group of Tau warriors of unknown origin. Their armor colors do not match any known warbands or battleforces, and they do not have many Kroot or Vespid auxilaries among their numbers. The time they were formed is also unknown. All that is known is that they are sadistic, and almost insane. The reason they are called the Crimson Raiders is due to their colors: Red of multiple shades, splattered all over their armor and vehicles. These Tau specialize in hit-and-run attacks, sneak attacks, and ambushes, but they are skilled in trench warfare and mobile assaults as well. It is believed that these soldiers are like the Delta Force of the Tau Empire. They seem loyal to the Ethereals, and their commander, Shas'O Uamyi, rather than the Greater Good or the Tau Empire.

2006-12-17, 11:01 PM
I don't have any army fluff, but is it alright if I post a treatise I wrote summarizing my vast knowledge of the original 20 legions? It's only 7 times longer than the maximum post length.

2006-12-18, 07:19 AM
You walk upon our worlds and claim them, but they were ours before you thought of sunlight. You build engines and weapons of war, mighty citadels, that are as dust before our feet. Our might cannot be challenged - we who have laid the stars themselves bare. The greatest of your heroes are only weak flesh - we are metal, unyielding in perfection. We are the deathly sleepers, the lords of stars and space. We are the rulers of this galaxy.

We are the Necrontyr.

2006-12-19, 03:59 PM
I don't have any army fluff, but is it alright if I post a treatise I wrote summarizing my vast knowledge of the original 20 legions? It's only 7 times longer than the maximum post length.

Summarizing? Seems more like lengthening.:smallconfused:

Go ahead anyway. I'm guessing it's based mostly off Index Astartes and Horus Heresy sourcebooks?

2006-12-19, 06:04 PM
+++The Primarchs+++
(Information from all over the place)
The Emperor never made the mistake of underestimating the threat of Chaos, and in order to meet that threat he put the best scientific brains on Earth to work. Weapons and spacecraft poured out of the Martian factories to bolster beleaguered forces throughout the galaxy.
The Emperor's most long-sighted plan to counter the insidious influences of the Chaos Powers was the creation of the Primarchs: genetically engineered super-humans with god-like powers. The Emperor's intention was to create a whole race of super-humans from the genetic blueprint of the Primarchs. By making them loyal and strong he hoped that they would prove immune to the malign psychic influences of Chaos.

The Primarchs were to be shining examples of humans free from the taint of corruption. The energy of the uncorrupted warp would flow through them as it flowed through the Emperor himself, invigorating them and conferring special powers such as were possessed by the shamans of old.

Unfortunately, things did not go quite according to plan. Despite the Emperor's best attempts to shield the project from the penetrating eyes of the Chaos Powers they still managed to learn of it. The Primarchs were still in their fetal stage, growing in special amniotic tanks, when the Chaos Powers combined their energies to spirit them away in an unexpectedly bold move.
Even for the Chaos Powers this kidnapping represented a colossal expenditure of energy. The Primarchs were sucked through the warp and scattered on separate human worlds in distant parts of the galaxy. The Chaos Powers did not have the resources to kill the Primarchs, but they did the next best thing which was to hide them from the Emperor. They were to remain hidden until after the wakening of Slaanesh.

The Space Marines

The Emperor had lost the Primarchs and the first action of his renewed war against the Chaos Powers. The Primarchs could not be recreated and even if this were possible there was not time to do it. The birth pangs of Slaanesh grew louder and louder as the time of his waking grew near but the Emperor evolved another plan. Using genetic material which had been imprinted from the Primarchs into laboratory golems, some of their qualities could be reproduced as discrete biological organs. By implanting these organs into a young growing body, a person with some of the qualities of the Primarchs could be created. In this way the first Space Marine Chapters were founded. Each Chapter utilized genetic material derived from one of the Primarchs.

The Great Crusade

By the time that the warp storms were ended, the Space Marines and other Imperial forces were ready to being their reconquest of the galaxy. The forces of Chaos were already strong, and many human worlds had been taken over by Chaos Cultists or other aliens. It was a long hard struggle, but with every victory the Imperium grew stronger as new warriors joined the Great Crusade.

The initial conquests concentrated in areas where the Primarchs had been hidden. Using his psychic powers the Emperor gradually located and found each of his original creations and united them with the Space Marine Chapters created form their genetic imprints. They seemed none the worse for their brush with Chaos, having grown up to be great leaders and warriors among the local human populations. In fact this appearance of normality was to prove deceptive, for some of the Primarchs had become tainted by their early contact with Chaos. With the help of the Primarchs the Great Crusade swept across the galaxy. Humanity rose to the task of rebuilding its ancient heritage, and everywhere the alien oppressor was defeated and driven out. Chaos retreated to its own realms, to the zones of warp-real space overlap such as the Eye of Terror.

+++The Founding Legions+++
No, Legion Name, Primarch, Notes

1. Dark Angels: Lion El' Jonson

2. *All known records expunged from library - order origination unknown*

3. Emperor's Children: Fulgrim (Excommunicate Traitoris)

4. Iron Warriors: Perturabo (Excommunicate Traitoris)

5. White Scars: Jaghatai Khan

6. Space Wolves: Leman Russ

7. Imperial Fists: Rogal Dorn

8. Night Lords: Konrad Curze/Night Haunter (Excommunicate Traitoris)

9. Blood Angels: Sanguinius

10. Iron Hands: Ferrus Manus

11. *All known records expunged from library - order origination unknown*

12. World Eaters: Angron (Excommunicate Traitoris)

13. Ultramarines: Roboute Guilliman

14. Death Guard: Mortarion (Excommunicate Traitoris)

15. Thousand Sons: Magnus the Red (Excommunicate Traitoris)

16. Lunar Wolves: Horus (Excommunicate Traitoris)

17. Word Bearers: Lorgar (Excommunicate Traitoris)

18. Salamanders: Vulkan

19. Raven Guard: Corax

20. Alpha Legion: Alpharius (Excommunicate Traitoris)

Dark Angels

To understand what happened to the Dark Angels, we must return to a time more than 10,000 years ago; to a time before there were any Space Marines, to a time when the Emperor created Primarchs. To help him in his Great Crusade to reclaim the galaxy for humanity, the Emperor, in his wisdom, created the genetically-engineered superhuman Primarchs. The mutant genes used as the basic building blocks for these elite warriors had taken centuries to gather and refine, and despite the Emperor's best efforts of psychic shielding, his industry did not go unnoticed by the Dark Gods of Chaos. Not having the resources to actually destroy the incubator capsules in which the embryonic Primarchs grew, the Chaos Powers combined their energies and instead stole them away from the Emperor, scattering the amniotic tanks and their fetal occupants throughout the warp.

The twenty incubation capsules drifted through the warp for decades or even centuries, until finally coming to rest on human-inhabited worlds throughout the galaxy. The capsule of one Primarch, he who was to become known as Lion El'Jonson, founder of the Dark Angels, was dropped on an isolated planet on the northern fringe of the Eye of Terror - the death world of Caliban.


Caliban was as cruel and harsh an environment as any in the galaxy. In the bleak forest that covered the globe lived creatures that had been by Chaos, and which were of such ferocity that mere day-to-day survival was a constant struggle. The human inhabitants of Caliban were forced to live in huge fortresses and castles, located in clearings hacked from the forests of the planet. Cut off from earth by the Warp storms that savaged the galaxy in the Age of Strife, civilization on Caliban devolved back into a semi-feudal state, with most of the population ruled over by a small warrior elite.

The nobility of Caliban were a bluff and pugnacious race. Raised from childhood to live and die by the sword, they were great warriors and extremely brave. They fought in a form of power armor much like that used by the Space Marines, and like them their main weapons were the chainsword and bolt pistol. Most other forms of advanced technology had, however, been lost, and the warrior nobility therefore rode into battle on huge warhorses known as destriers.

The nobles' life was one of constant struggle as they fought against the multitude of chaotic creatures that threatened to overrun their small settlements. Sometimes a particularly fearsome creature would stay in one area and terrorize it, in which case the ruler of the community would declare a quest against the monster, and the nobles from all around would come and attempt to kill the beast. Slaying a quest-creature could bring honor and fortune for the noble lucky enough to kill it - more often than not though it brought only a bloody and horrific death at the teeth and talons of a hell-spawned abomination.

The Young Lion

Such then was the planet where the young Primarch's capsule crash-landed. Most of the other Primarchs were fortunate enough to be found and raised by the local human inhabitants of the planet they landed on. Such was not to be Jonson's fate, for his capsule landed in a remote and isolated region of Caliban many miles from the nearest human settlement.

How Jonson survived those early years on Caliban is a complete mystery. By rights he should have died within the first few minutes he was exposed on the planet. But Jonson did not die. Somehow, as a young child on one of the most deadly death worlds in the Imperium he not only survived, but grew strong and tall. What it was like for him in those grim and dark days none can say, for there was no-one there to record the events of his life, and Jonson never spoke of those times himself. All that can be said for certain is that for a decade Jonson was forced to trust to his own wit and skill in order to survive. He had no-one to aid him; he could rely on only himself. And so it was, in this state, that at the turn of the decade since his arrival on the planet, the Primarch encountered his first humans.

The Order

The brave warrior knights he encountered belonged to a group known simply as the Order. The Order had a reputation across all of Caliban for the honesty, nobility and fearless skills of its brother-knights in battle. Uniquely amongst the knights of Caliban, then members, or brothers, of the Order were selected by merit rather than inheritance. Anyone could join the Order, no matter how low born they might be. Contingents of brother-knights from the Order traveled across the planet, giving their aid whenever it was needed.

It was while on one of their great expeditions that a band from the Order came upon the wild man that lived in the forests. Thinking him a monster, the knights were ready to kill the Primarch when one of their number, sensing that there was something more to the creature than was at first apparent, halted his fellows. Luther, for such was the name of the Primarch's savior, and the other knights returned to civilization, taking with them the man born of the forest.
Because of his appearance and the place of his discovery, the Order gave the wild man the name of Lion El'Jonson, which meant 'The Lion, the Son of the Forest'. Jonson easily adapted to the ways of humans, learning to speak remarkably quickly. But of his time growing up in the forest he never spoke.

Within the fortress monastery of the Order of the Primarch was assimilated into human society on Caliban. There he and Luther formed a close friendship. It appeared that the two men filled in the gaps in each other's personality. Where Jonson was temperamental and taciturn, Luther was charming and charismatic. Where Luther was rash and emotional, Jonson was a brilliant strategist and unstoppable once decided upon a course of action. They realized that they complimented each other and, as such, became an incomparable team.

Over the following years Jonson and Luther rose through the ranks of the Order. Their exploits became the stuff of legend on Caliban, and the reputation of the Order rose accordingly. The number of young warriors wishing to join the Order grew and grew, so that in time many new fortress monasteries had to be built. As the Order grew in size Jonson and Luther argued for a crusade against the monsters that infested the forests, to cleanse the planet once and for all of their foul presence. The oratory of Luther convinced the Grand Masters of the monasteries and most of the nobles of the planet to join in the crusade, but it was Jonson's supreme ability at planning and organization which ensured that within the course of a single decade the entire planet of Caliban was cleared of the monstrous creatures that had once inhabited it. A golden age dawned for the inhabitants of the once troubled planet.

In recognition of his triumph against the creatures of Chaos Lion El'Jonson was proclaimed new Supreme Master of the Order and Caliban. Although Luther did not openly begrudge Jonson the honor he had won, he would not have been human if he did not feel some twinge of jealousy. Thus was lit the first small spark that would lead to the schism which would tear the Dark Angels Chapter apart. But all this was in the future - for the present the people of Caliban enjoyed a time of peace and plenty.

The Emperor Reaches Caliban

Meanwhile, unbeknown to Jonson and the people of Caliban, the Emperor was waging his Great Crusade across the galaxy, reuniting humanity and purging entire star systems of their alien oppressors. As the Imperium's wave of conquest advanced across the galaxy, Imperial Scouts rediscovered the isolated world of Caliban.
It was not long before the Emperor was at last reunited with the Primarch and was filled with joy as would be a father on finding his lost son. The Emperor's first action was to give Lion El'Jonson control of the Dark Angels Legion. This body of Space Marines had been created by the Emperor from its Primarch's gene-stock and had fought alongside the other Imperial forces as the Great Crusade was waged across the galaxy.

Caliban was made the home world of the Dark Angels and the whole of the Order moved to join its ranks. Those knights who were still young enough had the Legion's gene seed implanted within them, while those too old for this process underwent surgery to transform them into elite warriors of the Imperium. The first to be brought into the Legion in this way was Luther, who became Jonson's second-in-command, just as he always had been within the Order.

The Great Crusade, of course, had to go on: there were countless human worlds that were still under the influence of Chaos or suppressed by the harsh rule of alien races. So it was that Jonson and many of the Dark Angels set out with the Emperor to continue the battle for humanity and Luther was left behind in charge of the remainder of the Legion on Caliban. Despite the importance of Luther's position, it was not one that suited his ambitious personality.

As Jonson's fame spread throughout the galaxy and reports of his great deeds and prowess in battle reached the Legion's home world, Luther felt robbed of his share of the glory. He wanted the fame and recognition that he felt he deserved as Jonson's equal. His role as planetary governor of some half-forgotten backwater world seemed more and more to him like an insult. The seed of jealousy and dissension that had been planted within Luther when Jonson was made the Supreme Master of the Order now began to grow and rankle within his heart as the Primarch became more and more celebrated and famous.

The Fall of Caliban

Then came the terrible days of the Horus Heresy. As the Emperor fought Warmaster Horus for the possession of the Earth, Lion El'Jonson was far away fighting for humanity alongside Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves Legion of Space Marines. Hearing of the potentially disastrous proceedings taking place around the Earth, the two generals hurried back as quickly as they could. Coming into Earth's orbit they realized that they had arrived too late. Events had already taken their terrible course and the cataclysmic final battle was over.

The forces of Chaos had been defeated, but they had left the Imperium in ruins. And for Jonson one final, shattering betrayal remained to be discovered on his return to his home world of Caliban. It had been many long years since Jonson had been to Caliban, and he longed to see his home world once more. As the unsuspecting ships of Jonson's fleet moved into orbit they were met with a devastating barrage of defense laser fire. Ships exploded into flame and crashed to the surface like monstrous comets. Stunned by the attack, Jonson withdrew and attempted to find out what had happened.

A captured merchant ship soon provided the answer: Luther had used his skills at oratory to lead the Dark Angels under his command to the path of Chaos, instilling his own feelings of jealousy and rage in the Dark Angels who had been left on the Caliban during the Great Crusade. Luther had convinced them that they had been shamed, that the Emperor had turned his face from them.

While Jonson and those Space Marines who had gone with him battled for humanity light years away, Luther's feelings of anger and jealousy had grown within him like a corrupting canker until they were his only purpose and driving motivation. Luther was now a man obsessed, whose own neuroses had pushed him over the edge and made him dangerous beyond imagining. The fury of Jonson and the loyal Dark Angels at learning this horrible information knew no bounds. They had fought from one end of the galaxy to the other and thought that the curse of Chaos had been cleansed from the planets of the Imperium, and now they found that their own home world and their own brethren had been corrupted and turned against them. Jonson immediately ordered an assault on the planet, driving the rebel Dark Angels back to their fortress monasteries.

Knowing that one surgical strike was all that was needed to end the conflict Lion El'Jonson led an assault on the greatest monasteries himself. He knew that this was where he would find Luther: and so it was that there, the two former friends, now mortal enemies, faced each other. Even thought the Primarch possessed superhuman powers, the two opponents were equally matched, for Luther's own, already considerable abilities had been enhanced by the dark gods of Chaos.
What followed was a fight of titanic proportions during which the two equally-matched adversaries laid blow for blow against each other, tearing down the monastery around them until the whole massive edifice had been leveled by their battle. Meanwhile the massed guns of the fleet carried on pounding the planet, reducing the fortress monasteries to rubble. The very surface of Caliban began to crack and heave under the strain of the bombardment.

As the planet itself started to break apart, the battle between Jonson and Luther reached its climax. Luther, weakened by the long combat, staggered and fell, leaving himself open to a death blow from Jonson's power sword. But Jonson could not bring himself to strike the fatal blow. As he hesitated, Luther, aided by the powers of Chaos, unleashed a furious physic attack that knocked Jonson to his knees and left him mortally wounded. But as the dying Primarch struggled to stand, his noble features racked with pain, it was as if a curtain was lifted from Luther's eyes and he realized the full extent of what he had done. His was a triple betrayal: of his friend, of the Dark Angels, and of the Emperor. The truth shattered his sanity and he slumped down beside Jonson, no longer willing to fight.
Luther's psychic cry of pain and despair echoed through the warp and the Chaos gods realized that once again, they had been defeated. They lashed out in fury and frustration. A rent appeared in the very fabric of space and a warp storm of unprecedented fury engulfed Caliban. In an uncontrollable, swirling flood of psychic energy the warp rushed into the physical universe. Those 'fallen' Dark Angels who had served under Luther his clandestine masters were sucked from the face of Caliban into the warp and scattered throughout space and time. Caliban, already weakened by the loyal Dark Angels bombardment, was ripped apart and destroyed, the debris being sucked into the warp.

The only part of the planet that survived the storm was the huge fortress monastery where Jonson and Luther had fought. Protected by force fields of awesome power the monastery and a huge chunk of the bed-rock of Caliban held together. When the storm abated this was all that was left of the once magnificent home world of the Dark Angels.
The Dark Angels flew down to the dark surface of the rock and gazed about them in horror at all that remained of their once beautiful home world. The great fortress had been razed to the ground and of all the living things that had once teemed across the face of Caliban only one remained. At the heart of the ruined wasteland the Space Marines found Luther. The warriors were unable to get anything coherent out of the shell of the man who had once been Jonson's closest friend and second-in-command. Luther just constantly repeated the same words over and over again: The Primarch had been carried away by the Watchers in the Dark and one day he would return to forgive Luther for the terrible sins he had committed. Of the mighty Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, there was no sign.

The Lion Sword
The Lion Sword is the weapon that Lion El'Jonson wielded in his final confrontation with the arch-heretic Luther. The blade of the sword was broken in half in the epic struggle, but was saved by Cypher before the Dark Angels homeworld was destroyed and all of the Fallen Angels were scattered through time and space. He carries it at his side to this day. It cannot be used in combat, but is a potent holy relic for both the Dark Angels and Fallen Angels none-the-less. Some believe that if the sword is taken before the Emperor then the two halves will rejoin as one piece, and this act will show that the Emperor bestows his forgiveness on the Dark Angels and Fallen Angels for their failure and betrayal all those millennia ago.

White Scars

The Apocrypha of Skaros speaks of the White Scars only rarely and even then the text is colored by the fact that much of what is said comes from the White Scars themselves. One legend tells that their young Primarch set out on his own from Terra to discover the galaxy for himself, while another speaks of him being abducted as a baby. The truth is likely to be somewhere in-between. Whatever the true story, the Liber Historica Vangelia records that Jaghatai Khan arrived at a world in the Segmentum Pacificus designated by Imperial cartographers as Mundus Planus, but known to its inhabitants as Chogoris. It was, and still is, a fertile world with lush greenery, soaring mountains and azure seas, which at the time of the Great Crusade had achieved a blackpowder level of technology. A Census Imperialis of the day records that the dominant empire of Chogoria at this time was an organized aristocracy, which had conquered most of the planet with well-equipped and highly disciplined armies. Armored horsemen and densely packed blocks of infantry had won every campaign their ruler, the Palatine, had fought.

The history of the White Scars begins with Jaghatai Khan, one of the greatest military strategists of all time. It is thought that one of his generals, Ogedei, penned `The Great Khan of Quan Zhou' after the Primarch's disappearance and it is this ancient text which has provided Imperial historians with one of the best accounts of his life. Chogorian sources have also left copious and often wildly exaggerated records of his exploits.

To the west of Palatine's empire was a vast, wind-blown steppe, known as the Empty Quarter, home to nomadic tribes of savage horsemen who for centuries had roamed the vast grasslands. The tribes of the steppes lived in tents and followed a cycle of seasonal migration from summer pastures to protected winter valleys in the Khum Karta Mountains. Consummate horsemen and archers, these disparate tribes frequently fought one another for control of ancestral pastureland or - as Ogedei's Opus would have it the sheer joy of battle.

Chogorian armies had never invaded the Empty Quarter as the dry and desolate lands were of no value to the Palatine. However, Chogorian nobles would often lead hunting bands into the steppes and take whole tribes east as slaves or capture lone tribesmen to hunt through the mountains for sport. (Many passages in `The Great Khan' are devoted to detailing the full extent of Chogorian atrocities. The blood rituals and sacrifices described within these passages have led many Imperial scholars to postulate that the Palatine's empire may have been dedicated to worship of the Dark Gods.)

Jaghatai Khan's legend began near the Quonon River when Ong Khan, the leader of a small tribe known as the Tals Kasr, encountered the Primarch. He believed that the glowing child was a gift from the gods and took him into his family and named him Jaghatai. It was said of Jaghatai that since his early childhood he had a 'fire in his eyes', a Talskar term for a great warrior. It was also said about him that rival tribes hated the child because he had the wisdom to see beyond the constant warfare of the steppes.

A colorful passage in `The Great Khan of Quan Zhou' known as `The Blooding' relates that while Jaghatai was young, raiders from the rival Kurayed tribe slew his adopted father and killed many of the Talskar men in a vicious ambush. Jaghatai was already the greatest warrior amongst his tribe with many ritual scars of courage, and warriors flocked to join him when he set out to avenge these deaths. He led an attack on the Kurayed village and razed it to the ground, killing every man, woman and child in a frenzied massacre. Jaghatai bathed in his enemies' blood and took their chieftain's head to mount above his tent. It was these events that were to shape the Primarch into the man he would become - a man of fierce honor, loyalty and ruthlessness. With blood and honor satisfied, Jaghatai swore to bring an end to the destructive internecine wars that were destroying his people, to unite the people of the Empty Quarter, and to bring an end to brother fighting brother.

Following this victory, Jaghatai became Khan of the Tals Kasr and fought many battles against Chogorian hunting bands and other tribes of the steppes. Each defeated tribe was brought within the Tals Kasr and became part of his army. His military talents and the sheer force of his personality won him many followers and soon his warriors numbered like the stars, the army becoming known as the Mathuli, a Talskar word meaning `irresistible force'. He made military service mandatory and combined warriors of different tribes into the same units to break up tribal associations, fostering a fierce loyalty to the army and ultimately to himself. He promoted men purely on the basis of ability and brought a feeling of shared purpose to everyone he came into contact with.

Ten summers after Jaghatai's victory against the Kurayed, while the army was moving to its winter camp in the mountains, Jaghatai was pitched from the treacherous cliffs when a freak avalanche carried him and dozens of others thousands of feet to the rocks below. After much lamentation, the tribe continued onwards. But while the fall had killed the tribesmen, the Primarch managed to survive. Chogorian history records that at this time a hunting band led by the Palatine's only son discovered a wounded tribesman deep in the mountains and began hunting him through the snows. What exactly happened in the freezing valleys of the mountains is unknown, but a single, horribly mutilated rider tied to his saddle was all that finally returned to Chogorian lands, the head of the Palatine's son hung around his neck. The man also carried a message from Jaghatai, `The people of the steppes are yours no longer.'

When the snows retreated, the enraged Palatine gathered an army and marched west, determined to wipe the barbarian tribes from the face of the planet. But he had underestimated the skill and cunning of Jaghatai Khan. In the Valley of the Khans, on the Lon-Suen Plain, the Palatine's armies met Jaghatai's forces. The battle was said to have lasted a day and a night. The tribes of the steppes fought like they hunted, a ring of lightning fast horsemen coordinating movements to corral their human quarry. Unlike their enemy, who wore heavy steel mail, the Mathuli wore light leather armor, allowing for less protection, but greater mobility.

Accustomed to decisive hand-to-hand combat with their foes, the Palatine's army was no match for the Khan's horsemen and their relentless bowfire. Though significantly outnumbered, Jaghatai outmaneuvered, out-thought, and out-fought them. The defeated Palatine and his bodyguards were only just able to fight their way through the Mathuli ring of death and fled to the capital city. Those soldiers who remained were slaughtered almost to a man. One Chogorian survivor described the battle plain as an ocean of blood. The tribal leaders and holy men, the Stormseers, gathered after the battle and proclaimed Jaghatai the Great Khan, Ruler of All Within the Lands.
Jaghatai Khan then began the invasion of the Palatine's realm, three of his armies drawing off forces by attacking cities on the outskirts of his enemy's domain. Jaghatai and his most able general, Subedei, led another army across a secret route through the Kuzil Quan desert, a region believed to be impenetrable. Emerging seemingly from nowhere, Jaghatai's army surprised the Palatine's garrison at the gates of Kushaba and slaughtered the entire force. Other cities fell in quick succession and Chogorian historians record that bodies littered the roads like stones in a quarry, razed fields smoldered, and those few who were spared the carnage prayed for deliverance from the fury of the Khan.

In the years that followed, Jaghatai's army overran Chogorian lands, defeating their best armies, storming their walled cities, and slaying its nobles. Cities that lay in Jaghatai Khan's path had two choices: surrender or face total destruction. Never before had such pillage and plunder been witnessed, some sources claim that millions were killed by the bloodthirsty tribesmen, but contemporaries of Jaghatai Khan assert that these figures are vastly inflated. However, it is certain that many hundreds of thousands died and the people of the Chogorian empire believed that the `devil-faced savages' were supernatural demons exacting divine vengeance for the sins of man. Eventually Jaghatai's invasion reached the Palatine's stronghold, Cophasta, a magnificently rich city on the eastern coast. He demanded his enemy's head on a spear or the city would die and he would leave no stone standing. Within the hour, a group of nobles from the city brought him that very thing.

The Khan's power now stretched from ocean to ocean, the largest empire the planet had ever known, conquered by a single man in less than twenty years. Though Jaghatai Khan dominated a vast area, he knew that his people had no desire to rule such a realm. His new empire had grown from his urge to unite the tribes and exact vengeance upon his enemies, not from any hunger to occupy their lands. Ultimate power rested with the Khan and his generals and although they were well organized militarily, the tribes had no developed concept for ruling settled populations.

The historian, Carpinus, who compiled a detailed history of the Great Crusade (the so called Speculum Historiale), notes that Jaghatai's armies finished the destruction of the Palatine's realm a mere six months before the Emperor reached Chogoris. When the two men met, it is said that the Khan knew he had met someone who embodied the ultimate ideal he had striven for, a man who could unite all the stars in the sky. At his palace in the city of Quan Zhou, in front of all his generals, he dropped to one knee and swore eternal fealty to the Emperor. The Primarch was given command of the 5th Legion, which adopted the long facial scars of the Talskar tribesmen that ran from forehead to chin, and renamed themselves the White Scars. The Great Khan ascended to the heavens with the Emperor, passing the Khanship to his general Ogedei. Many of Jaghatai's followers elected to join their Khan and became Space Marines within the Legion.

The White Scars went on to fight in some of the bloodiest battles of the Great Crusade and the lightning fast style of warfare employed by Jaghatai Khan on the steppes would prove to be equally effective on the nightmare battlefields of distant worlds. During the Horus Heresy, when the Imperium tore itself apart in a bloody galactic civil war, the White Scars fought on scores of different worlds and their banners indicate that the Legion helped to defend Terra and fought at the gates of the Imperial Palace.

Jaghatai Khan fought alongside his warriors for perhaps another 70 years before his eventual disappearance in a region of space close to the Maelstrom. After the defeat of Horus, Jaghatai had embarked on a quest to rescue his fellow tribesmen captured by the Eldar in his absence during the Great Crusade. The White Scars maintain that he and his veteran warriors fought the leader of one of the murderous alien cabals and that they were drawn into the horrifying realm that exists outside of space and time to battle the Dark Eldar for all eternity. How much of this tale can be taken at face value is uncertain, and it is more than likely that the Khan's ship was simply lost in the warp as travel through this region of space is fraught with peril.

The Space Wolves

Leman Russ
As already described, the young Primarchs had been stolen by the powers of Chaos and cast to planets across the galaxy. At this time the Emperor had no idea where they were or even whether they were alive at all. By the time they were recovered during the Great Crusade, the Primarchs had grown into adulthood amongst whatever civilizations existed on the planets where they happened to be. Leman Russ was found and raised upon the planet of Fenris.
The world of Fenris was discovered early on during the Great Crusade, lying, as it does, in the north-western part of the galaxy. The youthful Leman Russ was identified by the Emperor's agents and united with the Space Marine Legion that bore his genes. Legend has it that it was the Emperor himself who finally confronted the barbaric Primarch and won his fealty by defeating him in single combat.

One of the most ancient tales of Russ how he went fishing one day and caught the Father of Kraken, the legendary monster whose tentacles girdle the world and hold entire continents in their grip. Russ is said to have pulled the monster from the sea by lifting it by its tentacles. When his awed comrades shuddered in terror, Russ declared it was too small and threw it back, saying he would return later when the toddler was full grown.

Imperial scholars think that this story is mere legend but with a core of truth. Russ may have encountered a kraken and killed one. It would not have been beyond the power of a Primarch such as he. Indeed, this kraken may be the source of the so called kraken's egg, a giant leathery piece of flesh more than fifty feet across that lies within the trophy room of the Fang.

The Lion and the Wolf

The relationship between the many Space Marine Chapters have not always been cordial despite their common loyalties to the Emperor and the Imperium. Ancient rivalries, territorial conflicts and all manner of other circumstances exist to create discord amongst them. Few rivalries, however, are as deep-rooted or as well known as that between the Dark Angels and the Space Wolves.

The Space Wolves maintain that it was Lion EI'Jonson, Primarch of the Dark Angels, who began the feud with the Space Wolves. Supposedly the Space Wolves and Dark Angels were fighting, alongside each other when, suddenly and without orders, EI'Jonson broke ranks and led the Dark Angels into the attack. The Space Wolves found their flank unprotected, and many warriors were slain when the enemy counterattacked. More galling to the proud Leman Russ was the fact that the Dark Angels swept all before them and easily won the battle.
After the conflict, hot-tempered and fearless, Russ stormed after EI'Jonson and set about the Dark Angels leader. After a long and close fought battle the two Primarchs collapsed with exhaustion, each swearing vengeance upon the other. Thus began the long and bitter feud between the two Primarchs, which never really ended and which continues to this day, after a fashion. Though the two Chapters have fought alongside each other since, and won many battles together, their mutual loyalties have done little to dispel their enmity. More than once they have fought each other, and suffered greatly as a result. Yet neither is prepared to forget the vows of vengeance made by their progenitors so many years ago.

The Horus Heresy

The rebellion of Warmaster Horus tore the Imperium apart at its very birth. Horus was the Emperor's most trusted General and commanded almost a third of the forces of the Imperium at the time he rebelled. The conflict set Space Marine against Space Marine as Legions (as the Chapters were then known) sided both for and against Horus. At first, few suspected the heinous evil that was to be revealed as the Horus Heresy, and some Legions stood aside from the conflict unsure of what to do. Some of the Legions that sided with Horus did so out of a sense of loyalty to their old Warmaster. Legend has it that Horus denounced the Emperor and convinced his followers that the leader of humanity had been stricken with a murderous insanity spawned of warp-contagion or worse still, daemonic possession. His loyal troops had no reason to suspect Horus at the time. It was only later that they had cause to regret their decision, for it was Horus who had pledged allegiance to the Chaos gods in return for powers unimaginable to mortals, even such mortals as the Primarchs.

The Space Wolves remained loyal to the Emperor throughout the Heresy and took part in some of its most renowned actions. From those times, ten thousand years ago, come few details of any certainty. It was a time of legends. It was an age of war. Such records as made have not survived, and only later did chroniclers of the Administratum describe the bloody events of those days. According to their own tradition, the Space Wolves were pivotal in one of the early campaigns of the war, when the entire Legion attacked and devastated the Thousand Sons Space Marines on their home world of Prospero. The Primarch of the Thousand Sons, the cyclopean giant Magnus the Red, is said to have fought Leman Russ whilst all around the rival Space Marines battled for supremacy. Eventually the Thousand Sons gave way and Magnus the Red fled with what remained of his forces. It was while pursuing the Thousand Sons that the Space Wolves lost the Thirteenth Company, the Wulfen. Since then the Space Wolves have never had a thirteenth Company nor has any Wolf Lord born the badge of the Wulfen.

The Space Wolves were not present during the final battle for Earth which ended the Heresy and doomed the Emperor to a living death in the stasis field of his Golden Throne. Afterwards, Leman Russ was to rage against events that kept him from his beloved Emperor. He led the Space Wolves deep into the Eye of Terror in pursuit of the renegade Space Marine Legions of Chaos.

With the enthronement of the Emperor came a different age, and the rule of the Imperium passed into the hands of the High Lords of Terra. Both the High Lords and the Primarchs feared the resurgence of Chaos. Many worlds were purged. On many planets the tainted were sought out and destroyed. Everywhere the rapidly expanding ranks of the inquisition prospered.

Never again would the Imperium tolerate the possibility of Space Marine armies falling under the influence of the great enemy. The original Space Marine Legions were broken up into smaller Chapters and a code was drawn up to redefine their role and jurisdiction within the Imperium. The new Chapters that were created became known as the Second Founding. The Space Wolves were never a very large Legion and so were divided only once, creating the ill-fated Wolfbrothers Chapter.

The Ghost Of Russ

No one knows what happened to Leman Russ. Some say he disappeared in the Eye of Terror while searching for his old friend and rival, the Primarch of the Dark Angels. Some say that he was on a secret mission from the Emperor when he was slain in battle by a Greater Daemon of Chaos, and that his spirit is lost in the warp. Others say that, to this day, he walks disguised among mankind, watching over the people of his Emperor and guarding them from the Power of Chaos.

All that is known is that he vanished on the Feast of the Emperor's Ascension in the year 197 after the Emperor was incarcerated within his Golden Throne. It is said that his eyes glazed over and that he had the look of a man who was overcome with a vision. He rose from the great table, put down his drinking horn, and summoned his most favored retainers. Of these, only Bjorn the Fell-handed, the youngest, was left behind when he departed.

No one knew where Russ had gone. The Space Wolves waited for his return. Every year his place was laid at the feast table, and every year his great drinking horn was filled in case he should return. Seven years passed and still he did not come.

After seven years the surviving Wolf Lords gathered and elected Bjorn their leader, awarding him the title Great Wolf. Bjorn gathered all of the warriors together in the Great Hall of the Fang, and announced the Great Hunt. Russ's people would seek their master. The Companies took to their ships and sailed in separate directions across the Sea of Stars. They sought him in many worlds and many places. They fought battles and overcame monsters and the tale of their deeds is too long to recount, save on Allwinter's Eve when the Rune Priests gather to chant the sages. They sought and they sought but of Russ they found no sign till eventually they were recalled to Fenris bearing nought but a few dismal prophecies and the tale of their adventure. Thus the first Great Hunt ended in failure and sadness.

Since that day there have been other Great Hunts. Sometimes Russ appears to a Great Wolf in a vision and tells him it is time. Sometimes he haunts the dreams of the Chapter's Rune Priests and their words cause the Great Wolf to declare another Great Hunt. These are times of daring deeds and high adventure when the Chapter takes to the Sea of Stars and seeks their lost leader. They have never been successful but each Great Hunt has achieved some great good.

The second Great Hunt led to the recovery of the Russ's armor from the Temple of Horus on Rudra on the edge of the Eye of Terror. The fourth Great Hunt uncovered the Corellian Conspiracy and foiled its efforts to overthrow the administration in a bloody coup. The ninth Great Hunt led to the destruction of the Genestealer infested worlds of the Gehenna systems. It would seem that whenever the ghost of Russ appears to his people he has some mighty task in mind for them. Who knows what the next one will be.

Leman Russ is one of the most famous of the ancient heroes of the Imperium. Many legends tell of his deeds during the dawn of Imperial History.

"Thus it came to pass that Russ was hailed as King of all Fenris, his judgment as strong as his sword-arm and his authority indisputable. Neither man nor beast could best the Wolf-King.
No tribe could stand against his armies. Within Russ kingdom a truce existed between man and wolf. His court was attended by the fiercest of warlords and the most beautiful of maidens. Tales of his mighty conquests spread like forest fires, and it was not long before the eyes of Terra turned upon his deeds.
Such was Russ’s fame and so great were his accomplishments, The Holy Emperor of Terra did take it upon himself to meet with the Wolf-King. He believed, in the core of his soul that this mighty warrior was one of his true sons. He knew well that Russ would not bow to his rule without being beaten in a contest. The Emperor was convinced of his own power, and knew that such a challenge would be as nothing to him. Who could best a living god? Who could stand firm in the presence of Humanity’s king? And so it was that the great, sky-spanning ships of the Emperor traveled to the centre of the sea of stars.

2006-12-19, 06:06 PM
Settling on the hard, cold skin of Fenris scant years after Russ s ascension to the throne,
the Emperor, clad in a long, plain robe, entered King Leman Russ court. Through a yawning cave mouth in the south of Fenris he came. His divine aura was hidden from the curious eyes of the King’s court. And his towering physique was cloaked with runes of disguise and confusion. Half his face was within the shadow of his hood. In his hands he carried the oaken staff of the wanderer. But to the sharp-eyed and sober, his nature was clear: The great wolves of Fenris slunk away at the strangers passing.

Slouched on his oaken throne sat Leman Russ, A flagon of fine mead in one hand and the leg of a roast bear in the other. Freki and Gcri, the Kin-Wolves, lay curled about his bare feet, and a great pool of blood glittered in the torchlight around the base of his throne. The court had been hunting, and did not take kindly to the interruption of their feast. The wanderer approached the gnarled wood of the throne and its gargantuan occupant, and stood firm, staring hard at where Russ was presiding over the feast. The court grew silent as the Wolf-Kings growl reverberated around the walls. Freki stood at the sound, baring his fangs, Geri, old beyond his years, proved wiser than his brother. The stranger was meeting their master’s gaze unflinchingly.

It was then that the stranger offered his Challenge. The nature of the contest was for the King to decide. If he won, the stranger asked for nothing but to be allowed to drink at the right hand of Russ during the feast. The shouts of the household rang against the shields strung around the roof, the laughter at this preposterous suggestion shared by all present. Russ demanded that should the wanderer fail, he would serve at the King s behest for a year. Grimly, the stranger accepted.

The Wolf-King did not wish to spoil a good feast; His first challenge was to an eating competition. The food was brought forth on vast brass shields, and the stranger ate well indeed, consuming many times more than the stoutest warriors present without pause. But by the time he looked up from his platter, Russ was finishing his third Auroch. The vast, red bones lay around him, not a morsel of meat to be seen. Giving voice to a thunderous belch, Russ grinned at the wanderer, fangs glittering red in the torchlight. The stranger bowed his head.

But the King was enjoying his sport. He realized that the brown-cloaked traveler had the spirit of a Fenrisian; and so challenged the newcomer to a drinking bout. The second contest began, sounded by a clarion horn. But by the time the wanderer had reached his sixth barrel of strong Fenrisian mead, there was no more to drink. The Wolf-King had drained the entire feast dry, consuming enough to fell a whole Great Company. The light of anger appeared in the wanderer’s eye.

If he was not to be given the chance, how could he prove his mettle? If all that would greet him was derision and scornful laughter. How could he welcome this warrior, so fond of his mead, as his lost child? Driven by disappointment, the wanderer called Leman Russ a drunkard and a glutton, Able to achieve nothing more than filling his face and bellowing hollow boasts.

At this, the court fell silent. None even dared to breathe as the Wolf King drew himself up to his full height, the bloodied carcass of his meal crunching beneath his feet. Russ drew his greatsword and stepped onto the banqueting table, a growl rising in his throat. The Wolf-King calmly laid down the consequences of his last challenge, and his court backed away as one.

Time seemed to stop as the Emperor of Mankind threw away his cloak, the hood falling from his face, his true form revealed. Standing far taller than any man present, swathed in light and clad in baroque golden armor, the God-Emperor of Terra stepped onto the banqueting table. His sword shimmered as it was drawn from its gem-encrusted scabbard and with a roar that shook the walls of the court, the Wolf-King leapt and battle was joined between the two titanic figures.

The Emperor fought gracefully and with precision. His every act like liquid fire, his swordsmanship faster than the eye could follow. The Wolf-King attacked with the force of pure fury, tempered by years of living by his skill and wits alone. The lustrous gold of the Emperor’s burnished armor reflected the glimmers of torchlight and the eyes of a thousand onlookers. The Wolf-Kings skin glistened with sweat and blood, His matted hair flying around him as he roared and howled.

The speed and passion of Russ attack a perfect fusion of martial prowess and a focus that was nothing less than total, convincing the Emperor without doubt that this was one of his lost sons. Swinging his power fist around in a blurring golden arc The Emperor struck Leman Russ full in the face."

(It has been noted in the transcription that at this point in the recording a great cheer erupts from all present. This part of the legend seems to be the cause of much mirth amongst the audience, all of whom have evidently heard the tale before).

"It is testimony to the fortitude of our Lord Russ That within the hour he was able to think clearly once more. Recovering quickly from a blow that would have destroyed any mortal man, Russ made little show of his headache. It was as a result of ingesting mighty quantities of Fenrisian mead Rather than the result of the duel. But nevertheless, with bloodied smile and broken fang, He swore fealty to the Emperor of Mankind."

Leman Russ settled into his role as the Primarch of the Space Wolves. He was gifted with a great suit of armor blessed thricefold by the Emperor himself. His greatsword was replaced with the legendary Frostblade Mjalnar, whose teeth were fashioned from the maw of the Great Kraken Gormenjarl and whose blade, it was claimed, could cleave the very ice mountains of Fenris in twain. It was without question that the Space Wolves Legion accepted the towering Wolf-King as their Primarch and leader and, over the next few years, they became as sons to Leman Russ.

In time, all of the Primarchs were united with their respective Legions; the records of that time speak of a golden age of conquest and success. The forces of the Imperium were unstoppable in their quest to unite the galaxy in the worship of the God-Emperor. Russ plunged headlong into the fighting at the forefront of every battle, vanquishing all before him. Throughout the long and various battles of the Great Crusade, the Space Wolves and their lupine allies were at the front line. Russ strode at the head of his Legions, slaughtering all who dared stand before him, his coming announced by the howling of the pack.

He was one of the twenty bio-engineered superhumans who would become the founding fathers or Primarchs, of the original Space Marine Chapters. They were created by the Emperor to be stronger and tougher than any Human before or since. From their bio-engineered genes the Space Marines were cloned. Yet even they were a pale reflection
of their awesome progenitors, whose genetic material had to be diluted a thousand times for a single Marine.

Even before his birth, Leman Russ was the subject of titanic events. As the twenty fetal Primarchs slowly developed, suspended in their bio-support medium, Daemonic eyes observed them from the warp. The Daemons saw the pink and naked Primarchs lying in their amniotic tanks, and perceived the Emperor's plan. From the twenty Primarchs, a whole race of superhumans would be created. They would be Humanity's greatest champions and the scourge of aliens and Daemons alike. The Daemons saw this and raged. Aware that they could not face the Emperor himself, for he was a being of god-like power, the Daemons hatched a plan. Combining their strength, they broke down the mental barriers constructed by the Emperor to cloak the infant Primarchs, and, prevented from hurting them, sucked them into the warp. The babes were scattered throughout the galaxy, thrown onto twenty different worlds to be adopted by whatever parents they could find - parents that were not always human.

Thus it was, on the planet of Fenris, that a mewling infant was discovered by a she-wolf as she hunted for her new-born cubs. A lesser child would have been torn apart by the giant wolf that stood as tall as a man, but no such fate would befall this golden man-cub with eyes like a wolf-king. Gently taking the child in her mighty claws, the she-wolf bore him back to the safety of her cave where he grew up amongst the wolf pack as part of the she-wolf's family. Within a few short years the child was an adult, for as a Primarch he was more than a normal man and grew as rapidly as his wolf-brothers.
He might have lived out all of his years with the wolves, had not Thengir, King of the people of Russ, sent his hunters into the forest to clear the pack from his land. The old grey she-wolf, and many of her cubs and claw-kin, died upon the spears and arrows of the King's hunters, but the wolf-man was spared, and brought, bound and gagged, before King Thengir himself.

The King took the wild man from the forests into his care, and named him Leman - Leman of the Russ. Amongst men for the first time in his life, Leman quickly learned their skills, showing a natural aptitude for the way of the warrior. He mastered their weapons - iron axes and swords - and won many glorious victories. Great tales were told of his strength and courage: how he could pluck a tree from the ground and break it over his knee; how he could stand against a hundred men in battle, and within mere minutes have them begging for mercy; and how he could consume an entire ox and wash it down with a whole barrel of beer. When Thengir died, Leman became King of the Russ. Under his leadership, they won many victories, for in battle Leman was all but invincible. When his armies marched, the howling of wolves heralded their path; when he fought, a pair of giant wolves battled by his side. Kings themselves, they were Freki and Geri, his wolf-brothers that had escaped from the King's hunters, and now had countless wolf-packs of their own to command.

The tales of King Leman were told far and wide, and came to the notice of the Emperor himself. Recognizing the power of a Primarch at work, he traveled to Fenris and confronted the Wolf-King, who blindly refused to pay him homage as the Master of Mankind. Challenged, Russ boasted that he could out-eat the Emperor, and proceeded to consume three whole oxen. Forcing the Emperor to back down, Russ boasted he could out-drink the Emperor, and drained the royal cellars dry to prove the point. Russ boasted he could defeat the Emperor in combat; the Emperor held his powerfist aloft for a moment, and brought it down on the Primarch's head, felling him with a mighty blow which would have killed a lesser man. Leman Russ admitted defeat, acknowledged the Emperor, and swore to serve him faithfully.
Within years, all the Primarchs had been found, and became the fathers of twenty Chapters of Space Marines. Leman Russ became the progenitor of the Space Wolves and was counted as a loyal servant of the Emperor.

Within a hundred years the Space Marines had reconquered the galaxy, and the Imperium was born. Throughout the Great Crusade the Space Wolves were at the front line, their leader at the head of the battle with two great wolves at his side, his coming announced by the howling of the pack.

On the world of Dulan, the Space Wolves and Dark Angels were to assault an enemy held fortress. Russ claimed the right to lead the attack, but 'Lion' EI'Jonson, commander of the Dark Angels, refused and started the attack early. Russ was furious, and began a feud which was to continue for three centuries. The Emperor intervened to quell the fighting and ordered that the disagreement be settled with a duel. Leman Russ faced his friend in combat and took a blade through the heart; the duel was declared a draw, and the normally fatal wound healed within weeks.

The Primarchs were to fight four more times before the death of El'Jonson. Friends to the end, they were united by shared rivalry and sense of honor. The feud would arise again, but not in Russ's lifetime.

Then came the betrayal, like Russ, Horus was a Primarch. Unlike Russ he bore the title of Imperial Warmaster, and had complete control over five Chapters of Space Marines. Perhaps Horus was tainted by Chaos when abducted as a babe, or perhaps he was weakened by the exposure to the warp. Whatever the cause, Horus was responsible for the largest treachery Mankind has even known. In a single moment he threw away his love for the Emperor and the Imperium, he cast his pride into the dirt, discarded everything he stood for, and struck out. Across a hundred worlds, a thousand million men wept for their Emperor, who had been so cruelly betrayed by a man he called friend. For the first time, Marine would fight Marine in what would become known as the Horus Heresy.


The Ultramarines are a Codex Chapter descended from the Ultramarines Legion led by Roboute Guilliman (Row-baut Jewl-a-man). When the Primarch was rediscovered by the Emperor, Guilliman had ruled the planet Macragge for five years. In that short period of time, the planet had gone from a corrupt aristocracy supported by impoverished slaves, to a world where the people were prosperous and well fed. Guilliman destroyed the old social order, and in its place he instituted a system that rewarded honest and hard work, placing honorable men in charge of the government. It became a world whose cities had been rebuilt in glittering marble and shining steel. Macragge's small fleet of spaceships ran regular trade routs between the local systems, bringing raw materials, more people, and prosperity to Gillman’s thriving planet. The Emperor was astounded to find a world so well ordered and prosperous, and realized at once that Roboute Guilliman was a Primarch of great ability and vision. During the Great Crusade, he commanded the Ultramarines whose base had been relocated to Macramť. His greatest talents were waging war, and he led the Ultramarines to many great victories in the Galactic South. Guilliman succeeded in liberating more worlds than any other Primarch. In addition, through his organizational skills and tactical expertise during the Crusade, the Ultramarines suffered fewer casualties and grew to be the largest Space Marine Legion. Unfortunately, the great success of the Ultramarines had taken them to the southern edge of the galaxy just when they would be needed the most.

The 'Horus Heresy' plunged the Imperium into a savage civil war, far from the loyalist forces of the Ultramarines. The traitor Horus had moved with such speed, that even the news of his treachery did not reach Guilliman until Terra itself was under siege. Being so far out of position, the Ultramarines were unable to provide much help to those heroic forces fighting on Earth against far superior numbers. Their most notable action during those times was the destruction of a large force of Traitor Marines moving to reinforce Horus' position. (Most likely, of the Night Lords, possibly of the Alpha Legion.) After the death of Horus and the retreat of the Traitor Legions, the Ultramarines liberated many human worlds from Chaos occupation.
Due to the heavy losses suffered by loyal Marine Legions during the Heresy, the Ultramarines were divided and deployed across the entire Imperium in order to keep or restore order. They defended much of the galaxy from Ork hordes, Eldar pirates, and other threats to Imperial order.

Roboute Guilliman is credited as being the primary author of the 'Codex Astartes'. The holy tome created subsequent to the Heresy which detailed the reorganization of Imperial forces. Its objectives included the recognition and correction of gene-seed defects revealed as a result of the corruption of the traitor marines by the Powers of Chaos. Seven years after the Heresy, the Codex was implemented in the Second Founding. The Ultramarines Legion was divided into a large number of 'Chapters', consisting of about one-thousand men. The exact number and names of Chapters created from the Ultramarines Legion has been lost through time. However, the 'Apocrypha of Skaros' is said to list the total as twenty-three, without listing the Chapters by name. Because the Ultramarines were divided into so many more Chapters than other Legions, their Gene-seed became the stock type for Marine Chapters.

The Youth of Roboute Guilliman

After drifting for decades or in some cases even hundreds of years, the twenty incubation capsules came to rest on human worlds throughout the galaxy — distant planets inhabited by a variety of human cultures. The capsule containing the developing form of one Primarch fell upon the world of Macragge. This was a bleak but not inhospitable world that mankind had inhabited for many centuries. Its industries had survived the Age of Strife and its people had continued to build spacecraft throughout the period of intense warp storms. The people of Macragge had successfully maintained contact with neighboring systems, despite the loss of many ships and crews.
The Primarchs capsule was discovered by a group of noblemen out hunting in the forest. They broke the capsule’s seal to reveal a striking child surrounded by a glowing nimbus of power. The amazing infant was brought before Konor, one of a pair of co-rulers, or Consuls, who governed the civilized part of Macragge. Konor adopted the child as his son and named him Roboute. The young Primarch grew quickly, and as he did so his unique physical and mental powers became obvious for all to see. By his tenth birthday he had studied and mastered everything the wisest men of Macragge could teach him. His insight into matters of history, philosophy and science astonished his elders, but his greatest talent lay in the art of war. A genius for military organization prompted his father to give him command of an expeditionary force in the far north of Macragge. This mountainous area was called Illyrium, a barbarous land which had harbored bandits and brigands for as long as anyone could remember.
Although many wars had been fought against them, no one had ever pacified the region for long. Roboute fought a brilliant campaign and won not only the submission but also the respect of the fierce Illyrian warriors. Returning home he found the capital in turmoil. During Roboute’s absence his father’s co-Consul, a man called Gallan, led a conspiracy against Konor. Gallan was one of many amongst the wealthy nobility who were jealous of Konor’s power and popularity. These trial contents were used to easy living on their vast estates where they were supported by impoverished slaves. Konor had changed all that, forcing the old aristocracy to provide slaves with reasonable accommodation and food. He had also passed legislation which obliged them to contribute to his ambitious program of improving and enlarging the city. All these reforms were of great benefit to the people of Macragge, but were unpopular with all but a few of the more far-sighted aristocrats.

As Roboute and his army approached the gates of Macragge City they saw the smoke of burning and hurried to investigate. Soon they met citizens fleeing from the anarchy, and Roboute learned how troops in the pay of Gallan had attacked the Senate House with Konor and his loyal bodyguard inside. The rebels surrounded the Senate, whilst drunken soldiers roamed the city looting and murdering at will.
Roboute hurried to his fathers rescue. Leaving his troops to deal with the drunken mob, he fought his way into the Senate House. There he found his father dying of wounds inflicted by a hired assassin. For three whole days the Consul had directed the defense of the building even as surgeons fought for his life. With his dying breath Konor told his son of Gallan's treachery: how he and his fellow conspirators had attempted to murder him as he arrived at the Senate House to declare a public holiday in honor of Roboute’s victory. Roboute crushed the rebels and quickly restored order within the city.
Thousands of citizens flocked to the Senate House and amidst a wave of popular acclaim Roboute assumed the mantle of sole and all-powerful Consul of Macragge. The new ruler acted swiftly to crush the old order. Those who had acted against his father were executed and their lands and family titles taken from them. New, honest, hard-working settlers were given the old farms and property. With super-human energy and vision the Consul reorganized the social order of Macragge, rewarding the hard-working, placing men of honor in high office, and building the armed forces into a powerful and well equipped force. Macragge flourished as never before.

The Emperor Reaches Macragge

While the capsule containing the Primarchs drifted through the warp the Emperor and his armies advanced across the galaxy. This Great Crusade liberated many worlds from alien domination and re-established contact with human planets which had endured isolation and danger for thousands of years. As the young Roboute Guilliman waged war against the Illyrian bandits in the northern mountains of Macragge, the Emperor and a force of Space Marines reached the planet of Espandor in a neighboring system. From the Espandorians the Emperor learned of Macragge and the astounding son of Consul Konor. He immediately realized that he had found one of the long lost Primarchs.

The Emperor took ship to Macragge. His ship ran into a sudden and unexpected warp-squall, a brief but intensely strong disturbance of warp space that threw the craft off-course. By the time the Emperor reached Macragge, Roboute Guilliman had ruled for almost five years. In that time the world had undergone a transformation. Its people were well-fed and prosperous, its armies well-equipped and powerful, and its cities had been rebuilt in glittering marble and shining steel. Spacecraft from Macragge ran regular routes between the local systems, bringing raw materials and more people to the flourishing world. The Emperor was astounded to find a world so well ordered and prosperous, and realized at once that Roboute Guilliman was a Primarch of great ability and vision.

Fortress Macragge

The Ultramarines Legion of Space Marines was assigned to the control of Roboute Guilliman and its forward base relocated to Macragge. The Primarch quickly assimilated the many wonders of the Imperium and set about his new role with skill and enthusiasm. His chief talents, as ever, lay in war, and he soon led the Ultramarines to fresh conquests in the galactic south. He succeeded in liberating more worlds during the Great Crusade than any other Primarch and the worlds he brought within the Imperium were to benefit from his organizational skills and passion for efficient government.

Whenever Roboute Guilliman freed a world from the tyranny of Orks, Chaos or other aliens, his first priority was to set up a self-supporting defense system. Once a world was safe he could move on, leaving behind enough advisers to ensure that industry would be created, trading routes set up with the Imperium, and government directed towards the prosperity of the people. In this way the Ultramarines could conquer worlds faster than any other Space Marine Legion.

Meanwhile, the fortress of the Ultramarines grew on Macragge. Some Ultramarines remained behind to supervise the work, which progressed rapidly thanks to the ready trading network and advanced industries of the planet. Within a year a training base was established, and recruiting began on the planet Macragge and surrounding worlds. It was not long before the Ultramarines Legion received its first influx of warriors born and bred on Macragge. Thanks to their usual thoroughness of organization, the Ultramarines were able to receive constant recruits throughout the Great Crusade. Because of its strong recruitment base and Roboute Guilliman’s tactical expertise the Ultramarines soon became the largest Space Marine Legion having more recruits than any other Legion and suffering fewer casualties.

After the Heresy

Whilst the Horus Heresy plunged the Imperium into savagery and civil war, the Ultramarines were engaged on the southern edge of the galaxy. Their very success had carried them far from Earth and isolated them from the conquering armies of Horus in the north-east. News of Horus’s treachery did not even reach the Ultramarines until the attack on Earth was underway. Thanks to the speed of Horus’s attack there was little that Roboute Guilliman could do. None of the worlds already liberated by the Ultramarines was in serious danger from the forces of Chaos. Consequently, the Ultramarines were poorly placed to contribute much during the early stages of the Horus Heresy. Their main success was the destruction of a large force of Chaos Space Marines which was heading to reinforce Horus’s position. Afterwards the Ultramarines took part in several important battles to recover human worlds from the dominion of Chaos.

As fate would have it, the Ultramarines were therefore largely untouched by the fighting of the Horus Heresy. Other loyal Space Marine Legions had lost thousands of troops during the fighting, and half of the original Legions had sided with Horus. As a result the number of Space Marines left was very few, and never were they more needed.

The confusion and disorder following the Horus Heresy had left the Imperium weak and vulnerable. Everywhere the enemies of mankind prepared to attack. Many worlds remained in the grip of Chaos. Into this breach stepped Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines. Always the largest Legion, the Ultramarines found themselves divided and dispatched all over the Imperium in a desperate effort to stem the tide of invasion and unrest.

The Ultramarines successfully held the Imperium together during a time of intense danger. Macragge was able to supply new recruits at such a rate that soon the Ultramarines alone accounted for more than half the total number of Space Marines. Within a decade order was restored to the Imperium. Even as the Ultramarines re-conquered a new theory of warfare was emerging. Under the guidance of the Ultramarines' Primarch, the Codex Astartes was taking shape. Its doctrines would reshape the future of all Space Marines and lay the foundation for the Imperium's military strength.

The coming of Roboute Guilliman was a time of great omen for the people of Macragge. Scribes recorded many strange sights and a passage in Konor’s journals offers a significant clue to the mystery surrounding the Space Marine Primarchs. These writings have been preserved by the Librarians of the Ultramarines and its words have enlightened and divided Imperial historians in equal measure.

"Such dreams as might make a man believe he had lost his mind, or worse, fallen prey to a daemon, beset me nightly. It has been three months since I spent a night not woken from sleep by a scream so terrible I scarce believe it to be my own. Every night, dark terrors of fang and claw seek to rend my flesh and feast on my soul. The physicians prepare me infusions of Lassiam root, but they do not help. Until tonight I felt like I should go mad. But as I dreamed of dark monsters that longed to suck the marrow from my bones, I beheld an armored figure in a molded breastplate of iron, embossed with an eagle and polished so that it shone like silver. A close fitting helm of bronze obscured the warrior’s face and he stood with a wide-bladed sword that crackled with powerful energies. The dark beasts swarmed around him, but he smote them with his mighty weapon and, as each creature fell, it howled and vanished from sight. As the last beast was slain, the warrior turned to me and I suddenly found myself beside Hera’s Falls in the Valley of Laponis. Spray from the mighty waterfall drenched me and I saw a golden haired child on the ground. The warrior bade me protect the child and as I reached to gather the babe in my arms, I woke, feeling more refreshed than I have in months. Dream or vision? I do not know, but I awoke with a fine mist of fresh mountain water on my face."

According to legend, the Valley of Laponis was the site of the crowning of the first Battle King of Macragge and, the following day, Konor rode east at the head of his bodyguard to Hera’s Falls. Weeks later, the king’s expedition eventually crested the impenetrable, snow-capped peaks and reached the vast falls, glacial water thundering to the rocks tens of thousands of feet below. Here, wrapped in swaddling clothes, they discovered the child that Konor had seen in his vision. How the child came to be in this isolated valley farcical for Roboute to remain at the training barracks as he was already the mightiest warrior on Macragge. He could best every one of his instructors in hand to hand combat and none could out-think his battlefield stratagems.

As Roboute took his place within the military, Macragge itself was in a state of change. Konor was a well-liked ruler, yet his fellow Consul, a vain and jealous man named Gallan, plotted against him. In these times of prosperity, Gallan and a powerful group of the wealthy elite of Macragge had grown fat off the labor of slaves and vigorously opposed Konor’s proposed reforms that would oblige them to provide their slaves with reasonable food and accommodation. Konor also pushed through legislation that forced the wealthy to contribute to his ambitious program to enlarge and improve the capital city. His reforms were of great benefit to the people of Macragge, but Gallan and his supporters were fearful of losing their wealth and power. Such was Roboute’s fearsome reputation, Gallan knew that he could not strike while Konor’s son was still in the capital, and secretly arranged to have him removed from the city. Spreading gold amongst the Illyrium tribes, Gallan had the tribesmen launch a series of bloody raids against the northern communities of Macragge. He then counseled Konor that the pacification of these tribes would be the perfect task for Roboute. Konor readily agreed; he had been seeking a task worthy of his son and he believed that this was the perfect opportunity for him to prove his readiness for command.

Roboute marched north into the untamed lands of Illyrium and launched a brilliant campaign against the tribesmen. His genius for military strategy and organization was nothing short of legendary, and within two months his expeditionary force had not only pacified the entire region but had earned the respect of the fierce tribesmen. Roboute became blood brother to Bardylis, head man of the strongest tribe, after sparing his life in battle and accepted oaths of loyalty from the leaders of every other tribe at the Gathering of Paonia. Bardylis then told Roboute of the gold that had come north from Gallan and begun the bloodshed. Roboute immediately gathered his men to march south to the capital but, as they came within sight of the city, they saw thick pillars of black smoke and the flickering glow of many fires.

Roboute led his army towards the gates, advancing through hordes of citizens fleeing from the terror within. The city was in anarchy, drunken soldiers looting and killing at random, and fires raging unchecked. Roboute marched to the Senate house, executing any looters he came across, and formed work details to fight the fires that threatened to engulf the city. A hundred soldiers in the pay of Gallan blocked the gates of the Senate house, but Roboute butchered them and forced his way inside. Leaving his troops to deal with the drunken mob, he fought his way through the Senate building to find Konor lying near death, an assassin’s blade lodged in his heart. With his dying breath, Konor told his son of Gallan’s betrayal and implored him to continue his works. The physicians did what they could for the Battle King, but the wound was poisoned and they could do nothing to save him. Roboute’s thoughts filled with vengeance as he began the task of restoring order within the city. Those soldiers who had remained faithful to Konor were besieged within their barracks, but when word reached them of Roboute’s return, they broke out and linked with other forces loyal to the Battle King.
With Roboute at their head, the rebels were soon crushed and not a single man was spared the Primarch’s wrath. Gallan had fled the planet, but Roboute hunted him down and dragged him back to Macragge in chains, personally beheading him with Konor’s sword. By popular demand, Roboute assumed the mantle of Battle King of Macragge and he worked swiftly to destroy those who had betrayed his father, executing them and seizing their lands and titles. He distributed these amongst his loyal supporters and set about continuing his father’s works. A year later, the rebellion was forgotten and Macragge flourished like never before. Soon Macragge had been almost completely rebuilt with wondrous structures of smooth marble, steel and glass. The people prospered and wanted for nothing. Disciplined, well-equipped armies from Macragge kept the King’s peace, and starships traveled regularly between neighboring systems. It was, in all respects, a perfect model of human society, and when the Emperor learned of this Utopian civilization he took ship for Macragge to meet its legendary King.

The Speculum Historiale records the meeting of the Emperor and Roboute Guilliman in great (and often unnecessary) detail and many historians cite this as proof that the Emperor had set Roboute Guilliman on Macragge deliberately. The Emperor met Roboute wearing a polished silver breastplate with an eagle at its centre and an all-enclosing bronze helm. He carried a glowing power sword and welcomed Roboute as an equal. Roboute instantly recognized the Emperor from the description in his father’s journal and knew that he had at last met his true father. The Emperor was astounded by the prosperity and strength of this world and immediately assigned the forward base of the Ultramarines Legion to Macragge. The Ultramarines had been created from Roboute’s genetic template and they established their base high in the Laponis Valley, beginning construction of a mighty fortress on the exact spot of Roboute’s discovery.

The Primarch soon assimilated the wonders of the Imperium and readily took command of the Ultramarines Legion. As ever, his greatest talents lay in the art of war and he led the Ultramarines to victory after victory, further expanding the Emperor’s realm. He liberated countless worlds from the domination of aliens and foul Chaos renegades, but where some of his brother Primarchs left a trail of death and destruction in their wake, Roboute brought peace and fresh prosperity. Every world the Ultramarines liberated rapidly took its place amongst those loyal to the Imperium, and Guilliman’s genius for planning campaigns ensured that the planet’s population and industry suffered the minimum amount of collateral damage. On Macragge, the Fortress of Hera took shape, a building of such magnificent proportions that it defied the human mind with its grandeur. Upon its completion, those Ultramarines who had remained behind to oversee its construction began recruiting from Macragge and the surrounding systems. The training academies provided many fine candidates for the Legion and soon the Ultramarines received the first influx of warriors born and bred on Macragge. The surrounding systems also provided warriors for the Legion and, before long; the Ultramarines were the largest Legion in existence.

When Horus turned against the Emperor and led the galaxy into the most destructive civil war it had ever seen, the Ultramarines were engaged deep in the galactic south. Their very successes had carried them far from Horus’ armies in the north-east and Guilliman did not receive word of the betrayal until the battle for Terra was under way. Gathering his Legion, Guilliman led his forces towards Terra, en route destroying a rebel fleet on its way to reinforce Horus. The war had been won by the time Guilliman’s warriors reached Terra, but the Imperium was in turmoil. Half the Space Marine Legions had sided with Horus and the remaining loyalist Legions had been badly mauled in the fighting. There were desperately few Space Marines, and never were they more needed. The enemies of Mankind, sensing the weakness of the Imperium, prepared to attack, but Roboute Guilliman vowed that the Emperor’s realm would not fall and took it upon himself to hold it together. He dispatched his Legion throughout the galaxy to stem the tide of invasion and unrest, holding the fragile Imperium together through a time of great danger. Macragge provided recruits as fast as it could, and soon the Ultramarines accounted for more than half of the Space Marines in the field. After almost a decade of total war, stability was restored to the galaxy and the philosophies of the Ultramarines’ way of war had permeated almost every Legion. Under Guilliman’s guidance, the holy Codex Astartes was taking shape and its doctrines would shape every future Space Marine force and lay the foundations for the Imperium’s conventional military might.

The Codex Astartes laid down the tactical doctrines of the Imperium’s fighting forces and was to grow and evolve over the millennia into a massive tome that detailed everything from battlefield stratagems to uniform markings for various squad types. The most immediate change was the decree that each Legion would be split into smaller units known as Chapters. One Chapter would keep the name and heraldry of the original Legion, whilst the remainder would take a new name and iconography. No longer would the power of an entire Space Marine Legion rest in one man’s hands. Some Legions resisted this change and refused Guilliman’s orders, but when the matter threatened to erupt into a new and bloodier civil war, they eventually relented. Most of the original Legions split into five or less Chapters, but the exact number created from the Ultramarines is uncertain. According to the oldest known copy of the Codex Astartes, the so-called Apocrypha of Skaros, the Ultramarines were split into twenty-three Chapters, but it does not name them all.

Roboute Guilliman continued to lead the Ultramarines for the next hundred years until he and his warriors fought against the traitor Primarch, Fulgrim, and the Emperor’s Children on the world of Thessala. Fulgrim had changed beyond all recognition. The noble man he had once been had died long ago upon his elevation to a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh and now he was corrupt beyond words. His serpentine body was multi-armed and each taloned fist carried an envenomed rapier. Billowing clouds of heady musk enveloped the Primarchs as they met in single combat on the red fields of Thessala. None who were present on that day can say for sure what happened, yet when the cloying musks cleared, the Emperor’s Children were gone and Roboute Guilliman lay unmoving, a single bright slash of blood across his throat. Not even the Primarch’s god-like physique could halt the spread of Fulgrim’s poison and, as Guilliman died, the Apothecaries set up a stasis field and transported their leader back to Macragge. To this day, Roboute Guilliman remains entombed within the stasis field, held immobile on his marble throne in the Temple of Correction on Macragge. There are those who claim that the Primarch’s wounds are healing, but this is clearly impossible within the time-locked bubble of a stasis field. Despite this self-evident fact, many believe such tales and await the time when Guilliman will be fully recovered.

Blood Angels

The inhabitants of the desolate planet of Baal and its twin moons has never been culturally advanced enough to maintain written records of their history. Nevertheless, the oral tradition of the Baalite tribe known as The Blood describes the infant Sanguinius as bearing tiny vestigial wings even when he was first found, in the place now known as Angel’s Fall. And not without reason, for Sanguinius was indeed angelic, not just physically, but also within his unblemished soul.
Many of the parables and psalms still recited by The Blood have been transcribed by Blood Angels Librarians over the years (the contemporary equivalents of the first Baalite tribe claim to house remote descendants of the original line), and are kept with reverence in the most holy shrine-archives of the Blood Angels.

Alas, the history of the tribe is unrecorded until the time of Sanguinius’s descent. It can only be assumed that they were typical of the tribes of Baal Secundus, a miserable, godless group of individuals attempting to eke out some kind of existence upon their harsh, irradiated world. Baal Secundus has levels of radiation that would debilitate an unprotected man in seconds. As such, it can be surmised that when the tribe-brothers of The Blood found an unblemished cherub lying safe but naked on the scalding sands of their home world, his back adorned with tiny feathered wings, they considered him a mutant.

Ironically, it is said that many of the tribe wanted to put the one who would later show them salvation to a quick death. Although such ultimate blasphemy is difficult to credit, it must be remembered that at this stage the inhabitants of Baal were little more than barbarians. However, they must have felt the divinity of Sanguinius even before he could speak; compassion prevailed and the child, in every other respect more perfect and complete than any of those around him, was taken in.

Although the details of Sanguinius’s early life are lost to time and memory, the notable events of his childhood have been told and retold so many thousands of times by the Baalite tribes that they are ingrained in racial memory. One of these tales describes how, before he had seen three weeks, he was the size of a child of as many years, fully capable of walking. He exhibited this capacity by wandering from the tribe’s vigil, as curious as he was fearless. When his wards finally found him, he had strayed into the lair of a Baalite Fire Scorpion, a grotesque predator which, when rearing up, is twice the height of a man. The unarmed infant bested the creature, despite repeated blows from a sting coated with virulent poison that is said to burn a man from within in seconds.
Allegedly, the tribe ate well that night.

Like the other Primarchs, Sanguinius grew at an incredible rate, and his wings grew also. The feathers were as white and pure as a swan’s, but as strong as those of the Imperial Eagle itself. His wings ultimately became mighty pinions that could bear him aloft through the scorching desert air, inspiring awe and devotion from the lesser beings beneath.

A single year after his discovery at Angel’s Fall, Sanguinius stood taller than any man the tribes of Baal’s shriveled moons had ever seen. His form was perfection, his beauty such that many could not look upon him lest their impure gaze be blinded. He could walk under the fiercest rays of the sun whilst his adoptive family scuttled at his feet, encumbered by the weight o1 their rad-suits. He could smash a path through a rockfall with the blade of his hand, best wild animals with but a glance and soar high into the sky on his mighty wings to observe the land below from the perspective of a god.
As Sanguinius reached maturity, the tribe prospered and grew under his guidance.

The transcription of Baalite myth provided by the ancient and venerable scholar Hyriontericus Lucidio (2342345M33) has been preserved with the greatest care since its internment in the altar-tomes of the Blood Angels. Hence, the following quote remains in its rawest form, transcribed from the words of Elder Imrait'il'thax directly into Lucidio’s Baalite Scripture.

"They, the cannibal-mutants, numbered in their hundreds, far more than we. Blade sprouted from mouth, curdled eye stared, buckled hand clutched rusted sword. We knew death in that moment. Then the Angel started his work.
He, the Pure One, wanted no harm to befall us. He raged, at first a white, blazing light, then, as death walked beside him, a terrible red thing. His eyes and crown seemed to burn, intense, a corona of bright violence, a sandstorm of destruction. We were caught in the deadly beauty of his dance. And then there were no mutants, only silence, and he stood before us, dripping, still as the cairn."

Sanguinius soon rose to the pinnacle of society upon Baal Secundus, and under his leadership, the pure-blooded Baalite tribes soon united against the infestation of mutants that had begun to plague the radioactive wastes of Baal. Despite being grossly outnumbered, those of the pure blood won the war against the foul mutants. Sanguinius’s perfect and divine leadership, coupled with his total mastery of physical combat, drove back the tide of filth that threatened to drown the true people of Baal Secundus. In battle, his wrath was total and unstoppable. Perhaps inevitably, Sanguinius was worshipped as a god by his followers. They were convinced that paradise would follow in the crimson footsteps of the Angel.

2006-12-19, 06:10 PM

When the gods of Chaos scattered the Emperor's nascent Primarchs across the galaxy, one came to rest on the harsh volcanic world of Nocturne. The Primarch was found one morning by a blacksmith named N'bel, as he entered the yard of his smithy. For along time the people of Nocturne had been plagued by Eldar pirates, whose constant raids pillaged the small settlements and enslaved Nocturne's children. The wise men had prophesied the arrival of a savior, who would come to them from the heavens to rid them of the decadent Eldar. So it was that N'bel instantly recognized the greatness within the infant that he found lying on the bare stones of his yard. He named him Vulkan, after the first king of the salamanders, the giant lizards that roam Nocturne, and raised him as a son.

Vulkan's growth was extraordinary. Within three years he was bigger and stronger than any man in the town, and his mind was sharper than any Nocturne-forged blade. He had rapidly learnt all the skills of metalworking taught to him by N'bel, soon surpassing even the master smith's renowned ability. It was Vulkan who taught the people of Nocturne the most hidden secrets of alloys and bonding, improving their already considerable skill at weapon-making and artifice.
It was during Vulkan's fourth year that the Eldar came to his town, intent on raiding and pillaging. He roused the town's populace from their hiding places in attics and cellars, standing at the forefront of the defense and single-handedly slew a hundred Eldar that day, wielding a huge blacksmith's hammer in each hand. The Eldar fled from Vulkan's wrath and the story of the town's triumph spread across Nocturne. Soon the headmen of the seven most important settlements traveled to pay homage to Vulkan, praising him for his example in fighting the Eldar. They swore to never again hide in fear, but to face their foes and crush them. It was decided to hold a huge celebration, including a massive contest of skill at arms and craftsmanship.

It was at the opening ceremony of the celebrations that a stranger appeared. His skin was pale and his garb outlandish. He announced that he could best any man in any contest. The gathered crowds laughed uproariously, believing that none could be more superior in intellect, physique or skill than their superhuman leader. Vulkan and the stranger wagered that whoever lost was to swear eternal obedience to the victor. The competitions lasted for eight days and including many feats of strength and endurance. At the anvil lift, the strongest men could hold an anvil above their head for an hour and a half - Vulkan and the stranger carried the heavy anvil aloft for half a day before the judges declared the contest a draw so that they could proceed to the next event. And so it was that they were almost equally matched in skill and strength. Occasionally one would slightly best the other, but when it came to the start of the final event, the salamander slaying, they were evenly matched. Each had a day and a night to forge a weapon and then hunt down the largest salamander they could find. Whoever brought back the heaviest carcass would win the wager and the allegiance of the other.

The ringing of hammers on metal echoed across the volcanic hills for the whole day, neither man pausing for a moment to rest or refresh themselves. As the Nocturne sun sank below the mountains they watched the highest peaks for signs of the giant salamanders. Vulkan vowed that he would climb to the summit of Mount Deathfire, where the largest firedrakes could be found, huge beasts weighing several tons. The stranger said that wherever Vulkan went, he would follow.

It is claimed that the two climbed the precipitous mountains with astounding speed, bounding from rock to rock, the stranger carrying a keen-edged blade, Vulkan with his immense silver-headed hammer held ready. They passed from sight, but soon the skies were rent with the sound of battle and the flames of the firedrakes licked the clouds of smoke that gathered over the volcanoes. It was Vulkan who found his prey first, smashing its armored head from its shoulders with a mighty sweep of his hammer. The stranger spied another, even mightier still than Vulkan's conquest and set off in pursuit. As Vulkan carried his prize back to the settlement, ill fate beset him, Mount Deathfire erupted into violent life, hurling rocks and lava high into the air. He was flung to the edge of a precipice, where he clung for several hours by one hand, the other grimly held onto the tail of the dead salamander, Vulkan determined to keep his prize.

It was then that the stranger appeared, calling Vulkan's name from the other side of a wide lava flow. Vulkan answered the cry, and could see that the stranger's prey was indeed larger than his own. But by now even Vulkan's almost endless constitution was growing slim, weakened as he was by over a week of hard contest. His grip began to shake, and yet he was too proud to call for help. But it seemed that the stranger realized the Primarch's peril, and hurled the corpse of his salamander into the lava, making himself a bridge to cross. With great leaps the stranger hurled himself towards Vulkan, hauling the wearied Primarch from the edge of the abyss. Even as Vulkan felt himself being pulled up by the stranger's strong arms, he saw the salamander's body being consumed by the lava and swept away.

When the two returned to the settlement, it was the ruling of the judges that Vulkan had won, for the stranger had returned with no prize at all. The gathered throng cheered heartily, but were silenced by Vulkan. As they watched, he knelt on one knee and bowed his head to the stranger, saying that any man who valued life over pride was worthy of his service. The stranger revealed himself to be the Holy Emperor himself and, from that day forth, Nocturne was to be the home of the Salamanders Legion, in memory of the mighty beasts which had united the Primarch and his Lord.

Of all the Emperor's Primarchs, the legend of Vulkan is among the better known tales. The Promethean Opus (source of much Imperial knowledge of Vulkan) tells of a mighty comet blazing a trail of fire across the skies of the world of Nocturne during the Time of Trial, a period of great upheaval when the planet was wracked by massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Whether this was indeed the arrival of the Primarch or merely the herald of his arrival, none can say. The world of Nocturne was a harsh, volcanic place, a land of rocky crags and soaring, basalt mountains with little to offer its early colonists save the riches of its vast mineral deposits. For as long as anyone could remember, Eldar pirates had plagued the people of Nocturne, constantly pillaging the small settlements and enslaving their children. As a result Nocturne's people were hardy and practical, with little time for rest or leisure.

It is said in the Promethean Opus that the Primarch was found one morning by a blacksmith named N'bel as he entered the yard of his smithy. Whether as a babe in swaddling clothes or as an infant child is unclear, but the unknown child's presence in a smithy's yard was unusual enough for N'bel to bring him before the ruling council of his settlement. For many of the long, Nocturne years, the wise men had prophesied the arrival of a savior, a warrior who would come to them from the heavens to rid them of the decadent Eldar. So it was that the people instantly recognized the greatness within the infant that N'bel had found. No one dared claim the Primarch as their own and thus it was decreed that N'bel take the Primarch in as his son and apprentice. The master smith named him Vulkan, after the first king of the salamanders, the giant lizards that roam the volcanic mountains of Nocturne.

Vulkan’s growth was extraordinary. Within three years he was bigger and stronger than any man in the settlement, and his mind was sharper than any Nocturne-forged blade. He had rapidly learned all the skills of metalworking taught to him by N'bel, soon surpassing even his adopted father's renowned ability. It was Vulkan who taught the people of Nocturne the most hidden secrets of metals, the mysteries of pattern welding, metal folding, alloys and bonding, improving their already considerable skill at weapon-making and artifice.
The Opus tells that during Vulkan's fourth year, the Eldar came to his town, intent on raiding and pillaging. The people of his settlement had long become used to the Eldar’s raids and had devised many ingenious methods of hiding from their attackers. Vulkan declared that he would hide from no-one and, over the pleas of the wise men, stood at the centre of his settlement with his smith's hammers crossed over his shoulders. Stirred by his courage, the men of the settlement rose from their hiding places in attics and cellars to stand beside Vulkan in defiance of their attackers. Vulkan stood at the forefront of the defense and single-handedly slew a hundred Eldar that day, wielding a huge blacksmith's hammer in each hand. The raiders fled from Vulkan's wrath and the story of the town's triumph spread rapidly across Nocturne. Soon the headmen of the seven most important settlements traveled to pay homage to Vulkan, praising him for his example in fighting the Eldar. They swore never again hide in fear, but to face their foes and crush them. It was decided to hold a huge gathering of the people of Nocturne to celebrate this great victory, including a massive contest of skill at arms and craftsmanship.

In a passage of the Opus known simply as The Outlander there is the tale of how Vulkan came to be reunited with the Master of Mankind. It recounts that it was at the opening ceremony of the celebrations that a stranger appeared at the gates to Vulkan's settlement. All he asked was to be allowed to take part in the contests and, though he would not say where he had come from, he was allowed to compete. His skin was pale and his garb outlandish, though all could see that he was a powerful figure. He announced to the gathered spectators that he could best any man in any contest. The gathered crowds laughed uproariously, believing that none could be more superior in intellect, physique or skill than their superhuman leader. Vulkan and the stranger wagered that whoever lost was to swear eternal obedience to the victor.

The competitions lasted for eight days and included many feats of strength and endurance. At the anvil lift, even the strongest men could only hold an anvil above their head for an hour and a half, but Vulkan and the stranger carried the heavy anvil aloft for half a day before the judges declared the contest a draw so that they could proceed to the next event. And so it was that they were almost equally matched in skill and strength. Occasionally one would slightly best the other, but when it came to the start of the final event, the salamander slaying, they were evenly matched. Each had a day and a night to forge a weapon with which to hunt down the largest salamander they could find. Whoever could bring back the heaviest carcass would win the wager and the eternal allegiance of the other.
The ringing of hammers on metal echoed across the volcanic hills for the whole day, neither man pausing for a moment to rest or refresh himself.

As the Nocturne sun sank below the mountains, they watched the highest peaks for the fire plumes that gave sign of the giant salamanders. Vulkan boasted that he would climb to the summit of Mount Deathfire, where the largest firedrakes could be found, huge fire-breathing monsters weighing several tons. The stranger nodded in agreement and said that wherever Vulkan went, he would follow.
It is claimed that the two climbed the precipitous mountains with astounding speed, bounding from rock to rock, the stranger carrying a keen-edged blade, Vulkan with his immense silver-headed hammer held ready. They passed from sight, but soon the skies echoed to the clamor of battle, and the flames of the firedrakes licked the clouds of smoke that gathered over the volcanoes. Vulkan was to find his prey first, smashing its armored head from its shoulders with a mighty sweep of his hammer. Further up the mountain, the stranger spied another, even mightier salamander than Vulkan's conquest and set off in pursuit. As Vulkan carried his prize back to the settlement, ill fate beset him as Mount Deathfire erupted into violent life, hurling rocks and lava high into the air. He was flung from the edge of a precipice, where he clung for several hours by one hand, the other grimly holding the tail of the dead salamander.

Vulkan was determined to keep his prize, no matter the cost. As the mountain continued to erupt, Vulkan knew he could not hold on much longer, yet still he refused to release his grip on the salamander.
Just as Vulkan's grip was beginning to slip, the stranger appeared, calling his name from the other side of a wide lava flow. Vulkan answered the cry and could see that the stranger's prey was indeed larger than his own. By now even Vulkan's almost endless constitution was growing slim, weakened as he was by over a week of hard contest. His grip was shaking, and yet he was too proud to call for help. But it seemed that the stranger realized the Primarch’s peril, and hurled the corpse of his salamander into the lava, making himself a bridge to cross. With great leaps the stranger hurled himself towards Vulkan, hauling the wearied Primarch from the edge of the abyss. Even as Vulkan felt himself being pulled up by the stranger's strong arms, he saw the salamander's body being consumed by the lava and swept away.

When the two returned to the Primarch’s settlement, it was the ruling of the judges that Vulkan had won, for the stranger had returned with no prize at all. The gathered throng cheered heartily, but were silenced by Vulkan. As they watched, he knelt on one knee and bowed his head to the stranger, saying that any man who valued life over pride was worthy of his service. The stranger bade Vulkan stand and threw off the illusion that had disguised his true form, revealing himself to be the Holy Emperor of Mankind. The people of Nocturne fell to their knees in awe and, from that day forth, their world was to become home to the Salamanders Legion, in memory of the mighty beasts that had united the Primarch and his Lord.

The Horus Heresy
Unfortunately for the Salamanders, they were one of the Legions called to Istvaan V to reinforce Horus’s Legions there before the battle, and were almost completely decimated by their brothers in the Sons of Horus, Death Guard, and World Eaters. Vulkan himself vanished in the massacre and is still presumed dead. Due to their heavy losses, the Salamanders were unable to take part anywhere else during the Heresy, and they were not completely rebuilt until long after the Heresy was over.

Home World

The Salamanders Chapter hails from a binary planetary system in the western reaches of the Ultima Segmentum. The two worlds, Nocturne and its oversized moon Prometheus, circle each other in an erratic orbit, causing massive tectonic activity across the thin crust of Nocturne. The world is girded by chains of active volcanoes and rent apart by frequent earthquakes. Once every Nocturne year, some fifteen Terran years long, the two worlds approach so closely that Nocturne is almost torn asunder. Known as the Time of Trial, this period is marked by tidal waves sweeping across the rough seas, the ash and smoke from thousands of volcanoes blotting out the dim fight of Nocturne's sun, and the ground gripped by constant earthquakes. Towns and villages are thrown into ruin, continents shift and a cold winter envelops the lands for the next quarter of a year, freezing the young and killing the majority of the livestock that can survive the normally harsh and hot climate of the planet.

Some would say that the people of Nocturne are mad to endure such conditions, but over hundreds of generations they have been molded by their world into a hardy race. And Nocturne's Time of Trials brings great rewards too. The upheavals open up veins of precious gems and metals, uncovering vital ores for smelting. When the lava flows cool, they can be mined for other precious elements, pockets of gas that can be used to power engines, diamonds and other crystals valuable to the Adeptus Mechanicus for lasers and energy transmission systems. And this is how Nocturne survives, by trading its vast mineral wealth with other worlds, using its resources to bring in additional livestock, building materials and the few weapons that the Salamanders Space Marines cannot construct themselves.

The Chapter's fortress-monastery is based upon the giant moon, Prometheus. It is the only settlement on Prometheus and is little more than a spaceport linked to an orbital dock where the Chapter's strike cruisers and battle barges can be refitted and restocked. When not at war, the Chapter's warriors spend most of their time on Prometheus or living amongst the inhabitants of Nocturne. The Salamanders maintain very close links with their home world, mingling with the people rather than living aloof as many other Chapters do. The Salamanders are the settlements' leaders, a source of inspiration and guidance for the Nocturne populace, and it is as much this position of authority and respect that young aspirants crave as the chance to become a legendary warrior of the Emperor.

Recruitment starts very young for the Salamanders, with a hopeful coming to work as an apprentice to a Salamander at the age of six or seven Terran years. They will then spend several more years learning the skills of the smith, as Vulkan did in his early life. From these apprentices, the most able will then be judged by the Chapter's Apothecaries and Chaplains and the worthy wilt be taken to Prometheus to undergo the bio-surgery required to make them into Space Marines. At various points in their adaptation and training, the young Scouts must endure the same trials and tests that Vulkan and the Emperor competed in, their final initiation culminating in them hunting down a salamander and slaying it.

Imperial Fists

The Great Crusade had reached the Ice Hives of Inwit when Rogal Dorm presented himself to the Emperor for the first time. He arrived at the helm of Phalanx, the great mobile station that was to become the Imperial Fists' fortress-monastery. The ship was his gift to the Emperor and its like had not been seen since the Dark Age of Technology. The size of a small mote, its foredeck could dock a dozen cruisers and its superstructure was a towering forest of spires interlaced with flying buttresses. It shone like a small star, a precious treasure and a momentous portent in the days of the Crusade. The Emperor duly welcomed Dorn and appointed him to the command of the 7th Space Marine Legion - the Imperial Fists, returning Phalanx to serve as their Fortress Monastery.

The 7th Legion had been formed on Terra as evidenced by its earliest battle honor 'Roma', now only discernible on a ceramite icon too precious even to be displayed in the inner Reclusium. The 7th Legion had recruited heavily on Inwit and over 70% of its strength was aspirants. The Imperial Fists were therefore a rarity in that Battle Brothers and Primarch were united very early in their service to the Emperor and quickly formed an unbreakable bond. Born from the same gene-stock, Primarch and Legion had the same uncompromising self-discipline and total commitment to order.

The handful of Terran Battle Brothers brought a tradition of honor duels that was readily embraced by the Legion as a whole. Brothers still duel with swords following the same conventions. No man knows the true age of this form of ritual combat but it binds the brothers together, giving and receiving honor and remembering their Terran heritage even if far from their home.

The Legion's early actions were extremely successful; while the Great Crusade pushed forward, the Imperial Fists acted as the strategic reserve of the Emperor's forces. Able to deploy quickly and reliably where and when required, the Imperial Fists struck the decisive blow in many battles. Their detailed planning made them especially efficient at sieges and their resolute endurance made them superb city fighters. They remained the Emperor's Praetorians throughout the campaign and when he returned to Terra to build a capital from which to rule an Empire of a million worlds, the Emperor took Rogal Dorn with him. Dom was charged with the task of fortifying the Imperial Palace, a tour that did not go unnoticed by the other Primarchs.

All this time Rogal Dorn had sought favor and exemplified the qualities of truth, courage and humility more than any other Primarch, although some of the other Primarchs resented his closeness to the Emperor, most held him in high esteem. On Macragge, home of the Ultramarines, Dorn's statue is one of the four Primarchs that stand alongside Guilliman's in their Hall of Heroes. Jaghatai Khan is shown gifting Dom with a dozen of his finest stallions as a gesture of eternal brotherhood shortly after the defeat of Horns in the illuminated preface of the Apocrypha of Skaros. Dorn's rivalry with Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors, was the most marked exception. One of Dorn's qualities was that he always, without fail, told the truth. On Schravann, the Iron Warriors won a great victory when they stormed the final refuge of the Badoon. They breached the defenses and held while the other Legions carried the city beyond. During the victory feast, Horns proclaimed Perturabo the greatest master of siege warfare in the Crusade. Fulgrim Primarch of the Emperor's Children then asked Dorn whether he thought even the defenses of the Imperial Palace could resist the Iron Warriors. Dom considered carefully and then said that he regarded the defenses as be proof against any assault. Perturabo flew into a rage arid unleashed a torrent of vitriol at Dom. accusations so unfounded that the onlookers were dumbstruck. After this the two rarely spoke, neither Legion serving in the same campaign again. The Imperial Fists were ever at the Emperor's side and the Iron Warriors were part of Horus' vanguard.

After the Imperial Fists won a major victory against the Orks on the ash wastes of Necromunda, the Hive Lords consented to recruits being drawn from their population in gratitude. A Fortress-Chapel was duly consecrated but the Imperial Fists were there as esteemed guests, not masters. Rogal Dorn asked no special rights on the worlds where the Fists recruited. Some Primarchs, such as the increasingly mercurial Perturabo, took every opportunity to garrison a world and claim its tithes. Dorn is famously recorded as saying "I want recruits not vassals," and was always satisfied to keep his Legion as a military unit with none of the civil responsibilities that came with having a home world.

The Horus Heresy

When the drop site massacres an Istvaan revealed the full extent of Horus' treachery, the Emperor, accompanied by the faithful Rogal Dorn, was on Terra, determined to prevent Horus claiming the throne of the Imperium without a challenge. Along with the White Scars and the Blood Angels, the Imperial Fists put up a heroic defense of the Imperial Palace that has since passed into legend. Then, when all hope seemed lost, they accompanied the Emperor in his last battle aboard Horus' battle barge. It fell to Dorn to discover the bodies of the Emperor, Horus and Sanguinius after the final drama had run its course. His grief was immense. Until that point Dorn had been true, noble and enduring, but now he became an avenging son. While the Ultramarines maintained order within the Imperium, the Imperial Fists hunted down the traitors, leveling fortress after fortress. Dorn led them, dressed in the black of mourning, his customary mercy set aside until the guilty were punished. While others shaped the new Imperium, Dorn immersed himself in implacable justice. It was rumored that he saw the Emperor's death as his personal failure and his crusade as penance. After all, were the Traitors not his brothers? Whatever the cause, Rogal Dorn was absent from the highest councils until he was summoned back to Terra when Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines presented his Codex Astartes as the future of the Space Marines.

Dorn was shaken, his quest for redemption had blinded him to changing times. He could not see why humanity would not trust the Imperial Fists because of what the Traitor Legions had done. Without the fire of battle to engage them, Rogal Dorn and the Imperial Fists hovered on the brink - the Emperor was gone and now it seemed that their very brotherhood was to be sundered. At this time of uncertainty, the Iron Warriors issued a clear challenge to the Imperial Fists by building a formidable fortress and daring them to attack.

The Iron Cage

Imperial Fist Chaplains teach that Dorn found strength in meditation. For seven days he resisted the pain glove until at last he was gifted with a vision of the Emperor. The Imperial Fists had wavered in their faith, thinking the Emperor gone, but they knew that he was still watching them from the Golden Throne. The Imperial Fists could no longer serve the Emperor that had been but they knew they must still be true to the Emperor that was. Rogal Dorn decreed that the Imperial Fists would symbolically enter the pain glove as a Legion and emerge redeemed as a Chapter. Dom knew that many of his Battle Brothers did not wish to found new Chapters as the Ultramarines were eager to do. There would be far too many left for one of the new thousand strong Chapters. Leaving Phalanx, he led these die-hands against the Iron in their lair.

His doubts gone, Dorn focused on the enemy ahead. Perturabo was a master of fortification whose writings had been retained by Guilliman in his Codex. Dorn had always been his match though and, what was more, his honest warrior's soul was indignant. The Iron Warriors had rebelled and lost. Their master was dead and the Emperor still ruled. Yet still they dared raise their heretical banners over another Imperial world as if they had some right to be there. Dorn would not tolerate this. Without his customary caution and planning, Dorn led his men into the heart of the Iron Warrior defenses. The battle should have favored the treacherous trench-fighters, but the Imperial Fists endured. They countered every ambush and fought their way out of every trap. Rogal Dorn was a colossus who personally turned back attack after attack. Ammunition expended, Brothers fought in half flooded trenches with combat knives, giving and expecting no quarter. Eventually it became apparent that the Iron Warriors could not finish them. For all their skill and ferocity, the Iron Warriors lacked the faith to make the ultimate sacrifice that victory demanded- While they paused, the Ultramarines intervened: Guilliman had teed that Perturabo's destruction eras not worth the loss of Rogal Dom and had brought his Chapter to drive off the Iron Warriors.

Cleansed by their sacrifice, the Imperial Fists immediately began their reorganization. For the next two decades they went into retreat, their successor Chapters taking to the field in their stead, Dorn used this time to retrain the Chapter to embrace all aspects of the Codex Astartes. When they later emerged their adherence to the Codex was matched only by the Ultramarines

The New Imperium

Early in that reorganization Space Marines from the Imperial Fists departed to found the Black Templars and the Crimson Fists. The willingness of Dorn to put his initial misgivings aside and embrace the Codex Astartes reassured the High Lords of Terra. Because they were not tied to a home world and had a mobile Chapter Fortress the Imperial Fists could be more responsive to calls for help- In particular Rogal Dorn was more amenable to requests from other institutions for assistance than other Primarchs, and this built a valuable store of goodwill. When the Age of Apostasy engulfed the Imperium none of the protagonists were willing to risk their good relations with the Chapter, which continued to conduct a campaign against the Ebon League unaffected. Often the Imperial Fists were able to unify the rival factions to face a local threat which would have otherwise found them divided and vulnerable. Rogal Dorn outlived many of his other Primarchs and each loss saddened him greatly. Also, as fewer Primarchs remained, each began to attract unhealthy respect. With the Emperor on Terra, some distant systems began to deify the Primarchs they encountered. To Dorn, only the Emperor was worthy of this attention and he feared the consequences. However, sacrifice came easily to Dorn.

Soon after the disappearance of Corax, Primarch of the Raven Guard, the Imperial Fists were asked to help against a Black Crusade bludgeoning its way through the Cadian Gate. Phalanx and the majority of the Chapter were committed to shadowing the movements of Ulthwe the Eldar craftworld, and could not be spared. Rogal Dorn managed to piece together three Companies to join the Cadian campaign, which he led himself. The Black Crusade threatened to envelop Cadia, and the Imperial Navy had failed to see the threat until it was too late. With his infallible sense of timing, Rogal Dorn with three Strike Cruisers surprised the heretic anchorage in the Pelenos Belt before they could strike. The Imperial Fists force struck at the centre of the Black Crusade; their Thunderhawks wreaking tremendous damage, on the unprotected troopships while Imperial Fists Space Marines teleported aboard the largest warships before they could raise their shields. Although the powerful Chaos armada was able to overwhelm the Strike Cruisers one by one, they were unable to deal with the Imperial Fists assault teams. Rampaging through the enemy vessels, the boarding parties sought out the engine rooms and succeeded in disabling many warp drives. Their tasks accomplished, the boarders would call in Thunderhawks and move on to another vessel. Some managed to use their victims' own teleporters to move on and a few even captured batteries long enough to redirect their fire against the other Chaos ships. The uneven battle could end only one way, but Rogal Dorn was determined to inflict every last grain of damage, whatever the cost. He made his final stand aboard the crippled Sword of Sacrilege, a Despoiler class Battleship that had been rammed by the last Imperial Fist Cruiser. The final report by the serving Chief Librarian commended their souls to the Emperor before Dorn led a desperate attack on the Sword's bridge.

There was no Chaos attack on Cadia. The Imperial Navy arrived in force while the Traitors were still licking their wounds. Released by the sudden disappearance of Ulthwe, Phalanx and the Imperial Fists led the Imperial counter-strike. They caught the Chaos fleet in the midst of repairs and routed it decisively. Even without them Primarch, the Imperial Fists were able to get to the right place at the right time. They boarded the Sword of Sacrilege before it could flee and recovered what remained of Rogal Dorn. His engraved skeletal hand continues to be maintained in stasis their holiest icon, and serves as a constant reminder of the commit expected of a Space Marine.
Raven Guard

Of the early history of the Raven Guard’s Primarch Corax, very little is known for sure. The Raven Guard’s own legends are vague concerning the pale skinned youth who was raised on the mineral rich, but desolate moon of Lycaeus. This moon orbited Kiavahr, a technologically advanced planet, its surface covered with sprawling machine shops and forge cathedrals. Lycaeus was exceedingly rich in mineral wealth and populated by exiles from the planet below who lived in crude force domes to protect them from the vacuum of space. The ruling Tech-Guilds of Kiavahr used the mineworkings on Lycaeus as a dumping ground for their worst criminals and those who could not meet their production-quotas. Heavily armed overseers ruled the moon from a dark mountain spire that towered above the mineworkings, and it was, to all intents and purposes, a death sentence to be banished to Lycaeus.

Ancient, faded texts within the Chapter Lirarius of the Raven Guard tell that the inhabitants of Lycaeus had long been the slaves of Kiavahr, working in the massive mines under armed guard in horrendous conditions. Accidents killed many of the workers and the polluted atmosphere took a heavy toll on the health of their children. Once condemned to a life in the mines, there was no escape and the slaves of Lycaes prayed to the Emperor for a savior. He came in the form of a child whose skin was as white as snow.

There are many stories concerning the discovery of Corax and the truth of the matter may never be known. One tale tells of a cave-in that claimed the lives of hundreds of slaves mining beneath a glacier and revealed a hidden chamber containing the infant Primarch. Another speaks of a fiery comet that broke apart on a massive mountain of iron and a child wreathed in ghostly light who walked unscathed from the rubble. Yet another talks of a dying warrior giant delivering the babe to the slaves and begging them to protect the infant from the Dark Ones. Whatever the circumstances, the slaves of Lycaeus took the white skinned babe with midnight black hair and named him Corax, which means ‘the Deliverer’. They hid the infant from their jailers and raised him as one of their own. Within the space of a few years, when his abnormal maturation became obvious, the slaves rejoiced, seeing this as a sign of favor from the Emperor. They trained the young Primarch in all manner of skills, the varied backgrounds of the exiles giving Corax a thorough grounding in urban warfare, sabotage, demolition and killing. They taught him all the qualities they believed a general and leader would need and Corax learned at an astonishing rate, his strength, keen intellect and taciturn demeanor making him a quick and voracious learner.

From the earliest age, Corax had been told that it was his destiny to save the people of Lycaeus and as the years passed he began sowing the seeds that would bring about their freedom. With the slaves’ limited resources, only the crudest of weapons could be fashioned and great stockpiles of these were hidden in secret caches throughout the mineworkings in key strategic points. Corax organized the slaves into storm squads, appointed competent leaders and drilled them thoroughly in their assigned tasks. He also began psychological warfare on their jailers, organizing regular strikes and staging riots that stretched the garrison’s resources thinly and sapped the guards’ morale. Each event was choreographed to seem like a gradual build up of pressure and soon Lycaeus was a powder keg waiting to explode.

When the time came, Corax and his trained squads of slaves struck. Massive mining machines were driven through the streets and key security points. Sabotage teams armed with rock drills and las-cutters were able to sever power lines, communications and life support to many of their enemies’ strongpoints. One particular dome, home to a significant portion of Lycaeus’ military might, was shut off completely, exposing its occupants to the hard vacuum of space. Simultaneously, Corax and a small group of his deadliest warriors assaulted the fortress-like tower of their taskmasters, capturing it in a single night’s fighting. After centuries of abuse, there could be no mercy for those who had kept the slaves in bondage and every prisoner taken was executed.

The Tech-Guilds of Kiavahr were shocked at the fall of Lycaeus and immediately dispatched troops to crush the rebellion. The war was short and brutal. Sitting at the top of a long gravity-well, Corax’s troops were able to bombard the planet from afar with cargo containers laden with crude atomic charges, laying waste to vast portions of Kiavahr’s industrial landscape. When troops from Kiavahr did land on the moon to fight, Corax was there with his handpicked warriors. The raven-haired Primarch out-thought and outfought his enemies and every turn, surgical strikes decapitating the Kiavahr command structure, destroying their supply lines and keeping them on the defensive.

In the end, Corax was to prove victorious, and the Kiavahr troops withdrew as their planet’s economy collapsed without the mineral resources of Lycaeus to plunder. Kiavahr descended into anarchy as the various Tech-Guild factions fought amongst themselves for control of the remaining materials still on the planet. The celebrations on Lycaeus went on for many days and, in memory of their victory, the slaves renamed their home Deliverance.

The most complete record of the Great Crusade, the Speculum Historiale, has little to say on the matter of Corax’s reuniting with the Emperor of Mankind. It is left to the Raven Guard’s Librarians to recall how such a momentous event came about and, as always, there is much that is shrouded in mystery. It is said that during the victory celebrations, the Emperor descended to Deliverance to find Corax waiting for him, curious to meet this stranger who had landed alone on his world. The Emperor spoke to Corax for a day and a night, but whatever passed between them is unrecorded. At dawn the following day Corax accepted command of the Raven Guard Legion of Space Marines and took his place at the Emperor’s side. One condition of his acceptance was that the Emperor aid him in bringing peace to Kiavahr. Peace through force of arms, but peace nonetheless. Already reeling from their defeat on Deliverance and unable to muster a coherent force against the Raven Guard, the power of the Tech-Guilds was broken and the Adeptus Ministorium stepped into the void left by their destruction. Mineral production soon began again on Deliverance, under a much improved regime, and gradually the world of Kiavahr was rebuilt under the guidance of the Imperium. The dark tower that had once housed the slaves’ oppressors, now became the fortress of the Raven Guard and was renamed the Ravenspire.

The Great Crusade saw Corax lead the Raven Guard in some of the most stunning victories of that turbulent time. He had not forgotten the training he had received on Deliverance and his talents for sabotage and precision planning were employed to great effect in the Emperor’s Crusade. Planets thought impregnable fell to Corax’s guile and swift, deadly actions of the Raven Guard. Assassinations, covert operations behind enemy lines and sabotage became the watchwords of the Legion and in these areas their skill was unmatched. Corax became a master at observing a planet’s power structure and applying military pressure where needed to topple its leaders or cripple its military capabilities. The full force of the Raven Guard Legion was seldom required but, when it was, Corax would not hesitate to throw every warrior into battle.

Corax’s Legion garnered such a fearsome reputation that Warmaster Horus requested their aid many times in his campaigns and it is thought that it was thanks to the Raven Guard’s assistance that Horus’s tally of victories was so high. The Raven Guard’s records are curiously reticent concerning this period of history and Imperial Historians suspect that the taciturn Corax did not like the more gregarious Horus, finding him overly boastful and manipulative. It is rumored that on one occasion the two almost came to blows and bloodshed was only averted when Corax removed his Legion from the Warmaster’s command.

The two Primarch’s were never to meet again and when the Horus Heresy tore the galaxy apart in the first Inter-Legionary war, the Raven Guard was fighting alongside the Iron Hands and the Salamanders. All three Legions were ordered to assault Horus’s headquarters on the planet of Istvaan V and destroy it utterly. Four supporting Legions would be close on their heel, ready to reinforce the initial landing and consolidate the invasion.

Horus had turned his back on the Emperor, but had lost none of the cunning which had earned him the title of Warmaster. The Loyalist Legions were badly mauled on their initial landings and casualties were appalling. The forces of the Great Betrayer were heavily fortified, and after fierce fighting, the loyalist Legions were forced to fall back to link up with their supporting Legions. The landing zones had been fortified by the Iron Warriors, and when the retreating troops reached the fortifications, they came under withering hail of fire from their erstwhile allies. Unknown to the Legions on the planet, Horus had managed to corrupt four of the seven Legions sent against him. Caught between the enemy they were already fighting and the surprise attack from behind, the Loyalists were shattered and barely a handful were able to escape Horus’s trap and warn the Emperor of this wholesale betrayal.

His Legion shattered, Corax returned to Deliverance with Orders to rebuild it as quickly as possible. It was a bleak time for the Primarch of the Raven Guard; the Imperium was teetering on the brink of collapse and desperately needed brave warriors, but he had none to give. A desperate situation called for desperate measures and Corax locked himself within the shadowed Chambers of the Ravenspire’s Librarius to pour over volumes of forgotten lore in search of a solution. His researches led him back to the earliest days of genetic manipulation, when accelerated zygote harvesting techniques were used to create the first enhanced warriors with which the Emperor had long ago pacified Holy Terra. Corax realized that this process could be modified to produce full-grown Space Marines at a frightening rate. But the ancient tomes also warned of the terrible dangers involved and the unspeakable monsters that could result and, though he knew he risked destroying his Legion, he reluctantly ordered the Apothecaries to begin the process.

Of the Apothecaries’ first creations, nothing is known for sure. The Raven Guard’s records have been sealed with oaths and sigils of unspeakable power and none of the Chapter, or it’s successors, will speak more of those blighted days. Accounts culled from other sources are few and far between as the Raven Guard shunned the other Legions at this time, preferring to fight alone and unseen. One apocryphal tale is told by the Rune Priests of the Space Wolves, the so-called ‘Saga of the Weregeld’, which tells of ferocious monsters, drooling and almost insane with bloodlust, herded into combat by the battle brothers of the Raven Guard. Perhaps the Space Wolves’ experiences with the curse of the Wulfen made them more sympathetic to the Raven Guard’s plight as there is no record of them reporting the use of such forbidden technology. Barely one in ten of these abominations could even hold a bolt gun and yet amongst these there might be one in a hundred whose genetic structure was stable enough to develop into a fully-fledged Space Marine.

Years passed and the galaxy burned with war. Corax and his band of Space Marines gradually rebuilt their Legion and played parts when they could. The Raven Guard’s talent for operating in small squads behind enemy lines offset their lack of resources, and their skills in this aspect of warfare were fully incorporated into their combat doctrine. Corax’s ability to see weak points in a defense and apply precise force allowed his troops to fight battles of their choosing and keep casualties to a minimum. The Raven Guard simply hadn’t the troops to operate in large-scale actions and it was nearly a century after the Heresy had ended before the Legion was able to deploy in meaningful numbers of full battle brothers. Corax had rebuilt his Legion, but at a cost. The dungeons below the Ravenspire echoed with the howls of the Apothecaries’ creations, bestial monstrosities who hungered for battle, and Corax agonized as to what should be done with them. He decreed that none should discover the terrible price his Legion had paid in order to survive and his final solution was to personally administer the Emperor’s Peace to each and every one, praying for their, and his own, souls as he did so

Following the Heresy, Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines, became the de facto head of the Imperium’s armed forces and one of the first edicts is his holy tome, the Codex Astartes, was that the Space Marines Legions be split into smaller units known as Chapters. Amongst many of the Primarch’s there was resistance, but Corax welcomed the decision, knowing that Guilliman’s vision of the future was true. Thus the Raven Guard were to give rise to three other Chapters; the Black Guard, the Revilers and the Raptors.
Like everything in Corax’s life, his ultimate fate is shadowed in darkness. It is said that following the break-up of the Legions and re-establishment of Imperial rule to the galaxy, Corax locked himself in the highest tower of the Ravenspire, praying to the Emperor for forgiveness for what he had ordered done to his Legion. Whether he received the absolution he required no-one will ever know, but a year to the day after he had entered the tower, Corax emerged, haggard and wild eyed. He left Deliverance that very night on a course for the Eye of Terror, never to be seen again, leaving but a single word as his malediction, ‘Nevermore…

2006-12-19, 06:13 PM
Iron Hands

At the very dawn of the Imperium, a time of great deeds and mighty battles, Ferrus Manus broke the darkness of the world of Medusa and became the shining light of its people. The sky, perpetually darkened by a great calamity of the long gone ancients, was ripped asunder as Ferrus descended from the heavens amid a great inferno of light. Never before had the primitive human clans of Medusa seen such light, and they were awed and frightened by the fiery display that burned their eyes. The great star crashed into the highest mountain of Medusa, Karaashi, the Ice Pinnacle. The impact shattered the mountain top, burying Ferrus deep in the ice in a tremendous explosion of steam. The land shook under the impact which could be felt the world over. Mountains were toppled, and great chasms were formed as the world rumbled under the coming of the great Primarch.

Years later, the great warrior-god Ferrus walked unscathed and fully formed from the uninhabited mountain ranges of the far northern wastes where the Ice Pinnacle lies. The legends of the roaming clans, taught from father to son throughout the ages, revolve around the early exploits of Ferrus, tales of fantastic acts of strength and endurance. No one could match his strength of arm, try as he might to find a worthy opponent. He sought out every physical challenge that he could, always returning victorious. According to one often recounted mythic tale, he once challenged a Storm Giant to a competition of strength. The giant lifted a mountain between his hands and set it back down a mile away. The giant’s laugh died as Ferrus lifted the entire mountain range onto his back, carrying it to a neighboring island. The humbled giant was never seen again.
Ferrus traveled the length and breadth of Medusa, becoming well known by all its people, and coming to know the land itself as no one ever had. He traveled areas that any other man would have found inaccessible. He climbed the highest mountains, he swam the deepest oceans – always pushing himself and his body, pushing his levels of endurance and strength to unfathomable levels. His strength and fury made him renowned and feared amongst the people of the clans, who valued such qualities highly, and he was uniformly adopted by them as one of their own. He never sought to end the conflicts between the clans, seeing such competition as healthy and strengthening. He always remained neutral, never participating in their feuds so as not to favor one clan over another.

The most famous heroic story of Ferrus was his titanic battle against Asirnoth, the Great Silver Wyrm. This is recounted in the Canticle of the Travels, an epic poem of unknown origin that is still taught to Clan children at their parent’s knee. He had stalked the great beast for days through the legendary Land of Shadows – the fearful land of the ancients, a place of great fear and mystery. This place, long since lost, was said to be a land of metal and stone relics of giant proportions, remnants of a forgotten age. The ghost-spirits of the clans are said to roam there once they leave the world of the living. The Canticle describes the monstrous creature as having skin made of living metal that was impervious to harm. Try as he might, Ferrus could not pierce the metal hide of the beast, his fists pummeling harmlessly against it. Fighting the creature for days on end, across continents and seas, Ferrus remained undaunted, confident of his own abilities. He eventually slew the great beast by holding the writhing creature submerged in a lava flow, enduring horrific pain, but bearing it stoically. When he finally removed his arms from the lava, the Wyrm was no more. His hands however were encased in the same living metal that the creature’s skin was made of, a metal that was as flexible as flesh, as strong as the hardest ceramist. It is known that myths involving Ferrus and his metal hands precede the Canticle of Travels, but only in the Canticle is this explanation given as to how the metal came to be fused to his body.

After the fall of Shardenus, the rest of the sub-sector was quickly forced into submission, he returned to the clans after his travels filled with new and wonderful ideas, which he taught to all who wished to learn. He created strange and powerful weapons and tools out of metal, shaping them with his living metal hands. He taught the clans such wonders that they never could have imagined possible. It was a time of greatness for the people of Medusa -the civilization of the clans advanced at a tremendous pace, and the people became increasingly strong and proud.

When the heavens split open for the second time in history, and dark Medusa was once again filled with light, the clans were confused and frightened. They could not understand what this might mean for them and their world. They were happy as they were, and saw whatever was coming as a threat. Ferrus did not speak, but left the clans immediately to travel to the Northern Reaches, where the light had descended. The clans grew worried as days passed with no word of their Savior. A great council was called, the first of its type ever formed on Medusa, with representatives from each of the clans present. They argued over what should be done, but could come to no agreement. Days turned to weeks and the people grew desperate in their unease. This unease turned to terror as the land literally erupted beneath their feet. They ran out of the council great-tent in their panic, savage electrical storms ripping the skies asunder above them. They wailed in their dread for the fury of the storm seemed far from natural, and they felt certain the end of their world drew near. The terrible storm assaulted the land for a week and a day, so it is said, after which time an unearthly silence descended. The clans returned to the great council unsure what would come of such dire portents.

The next morning the doors to the great council were thrown wide and Ferrus strode in, resplendent in his magnificence. At his side walked a figure that stood as his equal, a radiant figure who awed the clansmen as much as Ferrus had always done. The very air was said to crackle with the combined power that exuded from the pair, and the bond between them was immediately apparent.

What actually occurred when the two Divine beings met is unknown. The myths surrounding the meeting of these two most powerful and heroic of figures revolve around a clash of wills and power that tore the land asunder. Many of the myths relate to how when Ferrus saw the Emperor, he recognized in him an equal. He strode up the mountains to confront him, confident of his own abilities and wishing to test them against this personage of obvious power. In the ensuing conflict, the two godly beings were evenly matched in all ways, neither being able to better the other. The awesome confrontation of power devastated the landscape, shattering the very heavens and earth alike. Regardless of details, all the stories agree that when the two figures came down from the great northern mountains, the bond and mutual respect between them was unwavering.

Ferrus left Medusa only reluctantly. He was torn between conflicting feelings of loyalty. On the one hand were his people whom he had helped to flourish, his beloved Medusa that had tempered and strengthened him. On the other hand the sense of duty that he felt towards the Emperor was overwhelming. He knew that his people would survive without him, and that his Emperor needed him now. Further, he learnt of his Legion – an entire army of warriors formed in his image, whom he had not even been aware of. Still, he was distraught at the thought of leaving this land and its people that had formed who he was in so many ways.

The Iron Hands Legion, as they came to be known, fought with valor across the galaxy, cutting a deadly swathe through any and all who opposed the Emperor’s word – for surely only those who wished humanity ill would reject His Divine teachings. As the need arose, the Legion recruited many of its members from Medusa, and these warriors proved especially resolute both in body and in faith. Ferrus believed passionately in the Emperor’s attempt to unify all of humanity. Mankind, Ferrus believed, was in grave danger, not least of all from itself. Unless it stood united, it would slowly be destroyed, piece by piece.

He saw many weak people around him, and saw that infirmity as a plague. He would rather see those weak links of humanity destroyed than have them pose a threat, an unnecessary frailty that would pose a burden to the rest. On Medusa, the weak children were exposed to the elements so as not to place an unnecessary encumbrance on the rest of the community. So too, when the time came that an adult was incapable of providing for the community, that person left their clan. Those who accepted the Emperor’s Divine teachings were embraced. Those who did not were cut down without pity. The ruthlessness of the Legion and its Primarch terrified those who stood in the way of their relentless approach, and many worlds turned to the Emperor out of the overwhelming fear of retribution that these callous warriors were becoming renowned for.

The Horus Heresy

It is said that Horus, the first and most trusted of the Emperor’s Primarchs, was held in great esteem by Ferrus, who appreciated his martial ideals. The news of Horus’ treachery was met with an outrage by the Iron Hands and their Primarch alike. They were disgusted at the weakness of those who they had previously called brothers. Their Holy Crusade had led them to a far outlying section of the galaxy, and Ferrus fumed over their remote position. Nevertheless, full of righteous anger the Iron Hands turned their ships for Istvaan V, where the traitorous Warmaster was gathering his might. Ferrus despaired for humanity, when it seemed that even the most devoted of battle brothers could be turned from their divine mission. He raged at the flaws of his fellow men, all of whom seemed susceptible to weakness except those of his own Legion. He became even more strict on himself and his brothers, training against such dangerous fragility in all its forms.

Ferrus chose the fastest of the Legion’s ships, and together with his most veteran troops, sped towards Istvaan V ahead of the rest of the Legion. As they had feared, the majority of the fleet arrived too late to take part in the attack, and it was with dread and horror that they learnt of the disastrous treachery that had greeted their Primarch’s attack. He and the Veterans joined with six other Legions in the planetary assault. Ferrus spearheaded the attack with two other Legions, suffering horrendous casualties as they dropped into the planet’s atmosphere. The four Legions that were backing up the initial attack turned on the unprotected flank of the loyalists in an unforeseen betrayal, sealing the doom of the Legions, who were massacred in the ensuing battle.

What became of the great Primarch Ferrus remains a mystery. It is known that when the Legions showed their true colors, he realized his impending doom and attacked the traitors with renewed fury, so desperate was he to face Horus. The number of the Iron Hands were few, however, and they alone were not enough to back up Ferrus’s attack, though they died trying. The Iron Hands have never forgiven the Salamanders or the Raven Guard for failing to follow his lead. They believe that had they done so, Horus would have fallen, triggering the collapse of the forces of Chaos. The body of Ferrus was never found, however, and many believe he somehow survived. One particular story is that his wrecked body was rescued and restored, and that he took refuge on Mars where he resides still, though this is violently refuted by the Iron Hands themselves.

The Iron Hands despaired as to the fate of Mankind. Their distress and confusion grew when they learned that the God-Emperor had fallen in a titanic battle with the corrupted Horus.

'And to, despair was compounded, for Mankind had lost not only He Who Broke the Darkness, Ferrus Manus, the Shining Light of Medusa, cut down by Foul Corruption and Betrayal: for worse was to come, and there was much anguish and horror, for the Most Holy God-Emperor was, alas, to be lost to the world of Man.'

Extract from the Scriptorium of Iron

Having lost all of its veterans in the disastrous assault on Istvaan V, the crippled Legion returned to Medusa full of anger. Their brooding fury was directed at those whose weakness had forced them into a situation where their Primarch was lost and the Crusade abandoned. Their anger grew as time passed, and even extended to a resentment towards those loyal Legions who could not protect the Emperor. They felt sure that had they been closer to Terra, then things would have worked out differently. They cursed the Warmaster Horus, who they believed had known of the Iron Hands’ unyielding faith and strength, and whose subtle manipulations had surely arranged for them to be far away from both Terra and Istvaan V at the moment he struck.

Taking refuge in their anger, the Iron Hands have used that emotion to further strengthen themselves against the dangers of frailty. This became their guiding devotion, and they use any means necessary to destroy any form of weakness that they perceive in themselves and others. They do this without remorse, for they see that they are doing humanity a blessing by removing such a dangerous failing. Only a strong and united humanity will survive, and so until the return of Ferrus when he will lead Man out of Darkness, the Iron Hands strengthen and prepare themselves, seeking to eradicate any weak links that could once more threaten the eventual unification of humanity. There were dark stories told of the Legion replacing its lost warriors with purely mechanical power armored creations, though these rumors were never substantiated, nor were they widely believed.

That’s all the loyalist Primarchs.

Traitor Primarchs and legions:

Death Guard

During the Horus Heresy, the Death Guard joined Warmaster Horus in many battles and raids on the Imperium. When Horus led his forces against Earth and the Emperor, the Death Guard became lost in the Warp. While they were trapped in the Warp, a strange and deadly infection started to spread amongst the Legion, spreading from ship to ship. The stinking pestilence flooded the gut and distended the flesh and rotted its victims from the inside out. Even the Legion's Primarch, Mortarion, became infected, and in his delirium he called upon the powers of Chaos to aid the Space Marines. His fevered ravings were answered by Nurgle, and he became Nurgle's champion.

After Horus's defeat, Mortarion led his Death Guard in a campaign of destruction over a score of planets, until finally retreating into the Eye of Terror. Here he received Nurgle's ultimate reward, and became a full-fledged Daemon Prince, ruling over one of Nurgle's greatest Plague Worlds in the Eye of Terror. Mortarion sends out fleets of Plague Ships into the Warp to carry their contagions throughout the galaxy.

Following Horus's defeat, Mortarion led his Death Guard in a merry dance of destruction over a score of planets until finally retreating with the remnants of the Legion into the Eye of Terror. Here he received Nurgle's ultimate reward and became a fully-fledged Demon Prince ruling over one of Nurgle's greatest Plague Worlds in the Eye of Terror.

The Plague Planet Mortarion rules over lies deep inside the Eye of Terror. From this dark and slimy orb Mortarion launches fleets of plague ships into the warp to carry their contagion through the galaxy. On board are Champions of Chaos and their followers from the Plague Planet accompanied by warriors of the ancient Death Guard, the heinous Plague Marines of Nurgle.

The Plague Planet itself is a place where sickness and pestilence are the norm, where miasma clouds bring contagion and death and where the diseased pray to Nurgle for relief from their constant agony. Some of them are favored and become Champions, and then fight among themselves for mastery and the chance to become demon princes in their own right. The Plague Marines rarely interfere in battles between rising Champions. In fact they are not commonly seen by the world's inhabitants except during the time when new Champions are selected and enter the ranks of the Plague Marines. Most of their time is spent attending on Mortarion or carrying out his wishes, spreading new diseases and traveling to other worlds to carry Nurgle's plagues to new victims.

When the Emperor’s twenty nascent Primarchs were scattered across the galaxy, the Stygian Scrolls tell of one who came to rest on a bleak moor, strewn with dead and scattered with the carnage of battle for leagues in every direction. The planet was Barbaras, perpetually shrouded in poisonous fog, whose mountainous crags were ruled by warlords with fantastic powers and horrific appetites, and whose human settlers, stranded there millennia before, were crowded into the lowest valleys, beneath the choking mists. They lived lives of unrelenting terror, eking out a peasant’s existence by day beneath a dim sun which never burned completely through the fog, and cowering by firelight after dark from the terrible beings which moved unseen above.

The greatest of these overlords stood in triumph on the battlefield, reveling in his massacre until the silence was shattered by a child’s cry. Legend tells that the warlord walked the sea of corpses for a day and a night in his creaking battle armor, drawn by the wail of the infant. For an instant, he considered ending its young life; but no mere human ought to be able to breathe the poisonous miasma of the heights of Barbarus, much less cry out as this child did. For long moments he contemplated the thing which appeared human but was clearly more; then he gathered up the infant and carried it from the carnage. For all his dark power, until that moment he had not had what this child now promised: a son and heir. Born of death, upon a field of death, the warlord christened the infant Mortarion: child of death.

His master tested the infant’s limits. When he had determined precisely how high into the toxic clouds of Barbarus’s peaks the child could survive, he erected a stony keep and fenced it behind black iron. Then he moved his own manse beyond, to the highest crag, where the atmosphere was deadly even to the nascent Primarch.

Mortarion grew to adolescence in such a world, of citadels of weeping grey stone and cast-iron fences, where the very air was death, and the sun never more than a distant smudge. It was a world of constant war, against opposing lords who came with golem armies of stitched-together dead one day, then tormented shapeshifters, more monsters than men, the next. To survive, Mortarion learned at the foot of his overmaster, and learned voraciously, everything his master would teach him. Mortarion devoured it all: from battle doctrine to arcane secrets, from artifice to stratagem. He learned and he grew, shaped by his grim environs, but a child of the Emperor for all that – superhumanly resilient to the poisonous air around him and superhumanly strong even in the absence of sufficient sunlight or nourishment. Mortarion possessed an intellect which was highly keen and which asked questions his lord was not wont to answer.

Increasingly, the questions centered around the fragile things in the valleys below, which the warlords preyed upon for their corpses to reanimate, or victims to accurse. His master kept Mortarion as distant from the human settlements as he could, but his very act of denial fed the maturing Primarch’s obsession. The day finally came when Mortarion would be denied no longer. Mortarion slipped through the dungeons from his keep. The last thing he heard was the voice of the overlord, the only father he had known, roaring in the miasmic darkness from the high battlements as Mortarion descended from the mountain, renouncing the Primarch for his betrayal, warning Mortarion that to return would mean death.

Descending beneath the mists was a revelation to Mortarion; his lungs were filled with air free of poisons for the first time. He smelled aromas of food being prepared, of crops freshly harvested, heard voices unmuffled by fog and, for the first time, heard laughter. The young Primarch realized that he was among his own kind, that the 'fragile prey' of the warlords were his own people, and with that realization came rage. He determined to bring them the justice denied them by the dark powers which moved above.

Mortarion’s acceptance amongst the human settlers of Barbarus was no simple thing. However like them he felt himself to be, to them he was little different from the monsters above. Towering over even the tallest of them, gaunt and pallid, with hollow, haunted eyes which betrayed the horrors he had seen, Mortarion terrified most of the settlers. They looked upon him with suspicion and fear. It stung the young Primarch, but he bided his time, using his great strength to work the fields for their meager harvest, knowing that his opportunity to prove himself would come. When it did in the twilight hours, he was ready.

From the darkness came shambling dark things. A lesser lord led his corpse-like thralls into the settlement, taking with silent, remorseless strength those they could carry off for their master’s dark purpose. The peasants fought back as best they could, with torches and farmer’s tools rendered into makeshift weapons. It was all they could do not to run, much less offer a meaningful fight. They had played out the futility of this scene their whole lives, and they knew how it would end. Until, that is, Mortarion strode into their midst. Towering over them with an enormous two-handed harvesting scythe, he charged into the ranks of the enemy with all his rage-born might, and drove them from the village. Their dark lord smiled at him as he neared, and withdrew into the poisonous heights where this rebellious human could never reach him. He was still wearing his contemptuous smile when Mortarion caught up with him on the mountainside and exacted his vengeance for the 'fragile prey' below. After that night, Mortarion’s place among the settlers was never in doubt.

As he matured, Mortarion taught the settlers of Barbarus what he knew of warfare. Word of his exploits spread, and many others made the perilous journey to learn. Slowly, villages became strongpoints, and the villagers more effective defenders. Eventually, Mortarion went amongst the people, traveling from settlement to settlement, teaching, building and, when occasion demanded, defending them. Always, however, his ultimate justice was denied; the dark powers could always retreat into the impregnable bulwark of their poisonous mists. His people could only fight in defense. That had to change.
Mortarion recruited the toughest, most resilient of Barbarus’ population, forming them into small units which he drilled himself, teaching them not only defense but also attack. He turned blacksmiths from toolworking to weaponsmaking when time allowed, and crafters to the shaping of armor. And, with the best artificers he could find, he bent his formidable intellect to the problem of the poisonous air.

Inquisitor Mendikoff’s monograph, Cataphract of Death, relates the now-famous result. When next a warlord descended from above, and the villagers mounted a defense successful enough to drive his unholy army back, Mortarion and his retinue of warriors, masked with crude filtering hoses and breathing gear, advanced into the fog after them. For the first time in living memory the prey brought death into the realm of death, killing the warlord and massacring his army. Mortarion continually improved his warrior’s breathing apparatus, and he and his Death Guard, as his retinue came to be known, campaigned ever higher into the dark powers’ domain, encountering ever more virulent pestilence. The constant exposure to ever higher doses of toxins toughened his Death Guard, traits which proved transferable to each new iteration of the Death Guard, growing tougher as though emulating their champion himself.

Only the most toxic peaks were denied Mortarion and the Death Guard and they warred for months across the poisonous spine of Barbarus, until only one grim manse stood against them, one which Mortarion knew well. The concentration of death about it overcame his force, threatening even Mortarion himself, and so he withdrew. Upon his return, however, his world was destined to once again spin out of his control.

Mortarion and his brethren arrived to find the village alive unlike he had ever known it. On everyone’s lips was word of the arrival of a stranger, a great benefactor who brought promise of salvation. The Primarch’s mood darkened; this day of deliverance was one he had worked for all his life, and he found himself altogether unhappy to see it co-opted by the arrival of some newcomer of uncertain agenda.
Taletellers say Mortarion flattened the massive wooden door of the hall upon his entrance. Seated at banquet, he found the elders and a stranger who was their opposite in every imaginable way. Where they were gaunt and pale, he was robust, his flesh bronzed, his physique utterly perfect. The people greeted Mortarion’s arrival expectantly. Despite the affect wrought upon him by Barbarus’s poisons, the connection between the new benefactor and their defender was nevertheless plain to them all. As plain as father and son. However, Mortarion was oblivious to any connection. He greeted the stranger with barely masked hostility, which quickly turned to outright anger at the stranger’s utter unflappability. The elders spoke of the new arrival’s promise to unite the people of Barbarus within a great expanding brotherhood of humanity which could help them be rid of their persecution from above. Mortarion felt his moment of triumph slipping from him. Twisting the haft of his ever-present scythe until his knuckles whitened, he declared that he and his Death Guard needed no help to finish their quest for justice.

It is said that the benefactor quietly challenged the stormy young Primarch’s assertion, pointing out the Death Guard’s failure to reach the last high citadel, and then threw down a gauntlet. If Mortarion could defeat the high overlord alone, he would withdraw and leave Barbarus to its own means. But if he failed, they would join his Imperium of Man and Mortarion would swear total fealty and allegiance to him.

Over the protests of his Death Guard, he spun on his heel and struck out alone for the last manse standing against him, the keep of the overlord he had called father. If some part of him knew that even he could not survive the highest reaches of Barbarus, he did not acknowledge it. Mortarion climbed ever higher, driven by the inevitability of the imminent conflict with his once master, driven by his desire to bring final justice for the people of his world. However he was mostly motivated by a compulsion to prove himself to the stranger below.

The confrontation, when it finally came, was mercilessly brief. Mortarion, choking in air so toxic that the hoses of his protective breathing gear began to rot away, struggled to the very gates of the overlord’s citadel, calling out his defiance. The last thing he saw as he fell to his knees, the world turning grey as he was overcome, was the Overlord of Barbarus coming for him, to fulfill the promise he had made generations before. Then the mighty stranger stepped between them, defying the death-fog, and felling the overlord with a single blow of his gleaming sword.

Mortarion was true to his oath. When he recovered, he bent his knee to the stranger and swore himself and the Death Guard to his service. Only then did the Emperor of Man reveal himself as the young Primarch’s true father, and the destiny such service would bring: command of the fourteenth Legion of the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines.

The Libram Primaris, or Book of Primarchs, tells how Mortarion brought the relentlessness, remorselessness and resilience of his personal Death Guard to the Legion built of his own genetic material, and how in turn they adopted his retinue’s title as their own. The resulting prowess of the Death Guard was recognized from the moment Mortarion took command, but the young Primarch never settled in Imperial society outside of battle. Mortarion was a grim, driven Primarch, fixated on reckoning with the oppressors of the galaxy. The easy camaraderie of the other Primarchs was alien to him. The Shadow Journal of Bellerophan, Dark Angels Librarian, confides that, of them all, he found kindred spirits in only two: Night Haunter, the dread master of the Night Lords, and Horus, the Warmaster of the Imperium, the right hand of the Emperor. Horus above all others recognized the value of the Death Guard. He would often place Mortarion and his Legion in the centre of his battleline, counting on the enemy’s inability to oust them so that he could either lever his advance from the rock of Mortarion’s immovable position, or use it as the anvil upon which the Imperial hammer, in the form of his Luna Wolves, or the Haunter’s Night Lords, would break the foe. It was a mercilessly effective combination.

In the charismatic Warmaster, Mortarion found a mentor who seemed to understand his goals and appreciate his methods. So close did Mortarion appear to be to Horus, in fact, it is believed that at least two of the other Primarchs, Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines and the ever watchful, ever taciturn Corax of the Raven Guard, approached the Emperor with concerns about where the master of the Death Guard’s loyalties lay. The story of his allegiance to the Emperor won through his own failure was by then well-known, and anyone with even a passing familiarity with Mortarion knew that the pallid Primarch chafed at it. The Emperor is said to have dismissed their concerns with a wave; loyalty to Horus was de facto loyalty to the Emperor.

On that matter, the Emperor could not have been more wrong...

The Betrayal

On the feral planet Davin, the Warmaster and his Legion, now named the Sons of Horus in his honor, had fallen to Chaos. Before they would leave, Horus would be utterly possessed, foreswearing allegiance to the Emperor for the cause of Chaos and his own advancement, and would draw the Primarchs and Battle Brothers of half the Imperium’s Legions to his cause. Transcripts of the Council of Charon, convened after the Heresy to ascribe responsibility, suggest that, unlike some of the other Primarchs, Horus did not need to resort to ritual possession to win the Death Guard to his side. Horus promised that under his rule the old order would fall, and a new age would dawn, a just age with right ensured by the mighty. Mortarion turned on the Imperium as he had turned on the overlords of Barbarus, and joined the rebellion which would forever sunder the Imperium – the Horus Heresy. What he did not know then was the price he would be called upon to pay.

Horus was a brilliant strategist; he knew that the heart of the Imperium was Terra, and from the very moment of his rebellion, Terra was his objective. In short order he had gathered sufficient strength to shatter the defenses of the Imperium and lay siege to the Imperial Palace itself. Mortarion was determined that the Death Guard would be there with him. With his entire fleet, he crossed into the Warp and straight into nightmare.

The Death Guard fleet was becalmed by an impenetrable warpstorm, its navigators neither able to guide them through it nor find safe passage into realspace. The fleet was reduced to drifting through the Immaterium, and while they were stilled the Destroyer came.
For Mortarion and the Space Marines of the Death Guard there was nothing so terrifying as the plague which made their legendary resilience meaningless. These were the warriors who the Imperium had sent to conquer worlds no other man could set foot upon, much less fight on and win. Pestilence, contagion, toxin and pollution; there was no environment so hostile which Mortarion and the Death Guard could not overcome, until the plague which raced through their fleet. It roiled in their guts, bloating and distending their once superhuman bodies, transforming them into horrible, pustulent grotesques. They were made corrupt within and sickening to behold without and they grew sicker and sicker, yet could not die, their own constitution becoming their worst enemy. What they endured was unimaginable yet none suffered more than Mortarion. For the Primarch, it was as though he were upon the mountaintop of Barbarus once more, surrendering to the poison, without the mercy of unconsciousness to claim him or the Emperor to come to his salvation.

Whether he perceived, in those terrible hours, the loss of what he had once stood for, and the damnation he had wrought upon himself and his Legion, only Mortarion will ever know. Unable to endure the suffering any longer, Mortarion offered into the Immaterium himself, his Legion and his very soul in exchange for deliverance. A presence in the Immaterium answered, as though it had been waiting all along. In the depths of the warp, the Great God Nurgle, Lord of Decay and Father of Disease, called that debt and accepted Mortarion and the Death Guard Legion as his own.

What emerged from the warp when the Death Guard fleet broke out bore little resemblance to what had entered. The gleaming white and grey armor of Imperial champions was no more, burst and shattered from the horrific bloating of infected bodies, scabbed with boils, putrescence and the filth of corruption. Their weapons and machinery of war were now powered by the sickly sorcery of Chaos, glowing with lambent green luminescence and oozing gangrenous pus. The name Death Guard itself would pass into secondary use, as the walking pestilence-carriers became a terrifying sight across the Imperium. To their victims, to their erstwhile allies, even to themselves, they had become the Plague Marines.

Horus was eventually defeated by the Emperor and Chaos was driven back across space, finding refuge in the weeping sore known as the Eye of Terror. Mortarion and his Death Guard retreated there as well, but not in disarray, as many of the other Legions did.

Even in damnation, the resilience of the Death Guard remained, and under the direction of their Master they withdrew into the Eye intact, Loyalist Space Marines and Imperial Guard regiments breaking upon them time and again.

Within, Mortarion claimed the world which would become known as the Plague Planet as his own; its location near the fabric of reality was ideal for launching new strikes into the Imperium and across the galaxy. He shaped it so satisfactorily and defended it with his Plague Marines so well that his patron, Nurgle the Unclean, elevated the Primarch to daemonhood and gave Mortarion what the Emperor had denied him, and what Horus had not been, able to provide: a world of his own. Mortarion became the overlord of a world of poison, horror, and misery. He had come home.
Word Bearers

Even before Horus had been corrupted, Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers, began to worship the gods of Chaos. He reveled in the different aspects of each of the dark powers, dedicating himself to Chaos in its purest form, as Chaos Undivided, and he quickly led the Word Bearers along the same path. The fanatical zeal the Word Bearers had shown in their worship of the Emperor was quickly diverted into equally fanatical devotion toward Chaos.

Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion of Space Marines, was always one of the most scrupulous and dedicated followers of the Imperial Cult. He was sure that his steady, methodical progress during the Great Crusade, as he converted planets to the Imperial Cult with dedicated zeal, would earn him the Emperor's undying gratitude, and elevate him to a pre-eminent position amongst the Primarchs. It was thus a shattering blow when the Emperor instead reprimanded him for his tardiness in carrying out the primary objective of the Great Crusade. The task of the Space Marines was to fight, not to waste time in pointless ritual and monument building.
Lord Lorgar was to say that his action lifted a veil from his eyes, and he was able to see the Emperor for what he was: not a God at all, but an irreverent man who had failed to grasp that what humanity needed above anything else was religious guidance in order to make any sense of an otherwise pointless existence. Lorgar's faith in the Imperial Cult was destroyed, but he quickly found a substitute in the terrifying form of the gods of Chaos. Here were truly god-like beings that expected to be worshipped, indeed they yearned for displays of devotion and dedication.

So it was that even before Horus had been corrupted, Lorgar began to worship the gods of Chaos. He reveled in the different aspects of each of the Dark Powers, but worshipped no one in preference to another. He dedicated himself to Chaos in its purest form, as Chaos Undivided, and he quickly led the Word Bearers along the same path. The fanatical zeal the Word Bearers had shown in their worship of the Emperor was quickly and easily subverted into equally fanatical devotion to Chaos.

By necessity the Word Bearers had to keep their activities secret at first. Secret covens were set up on the planets that the Word Bearers controlled and conquered, who worked insidiously to create cult followings for the Chaos Gods. When the Horus Heresy began the Word Bearers immediately revealed their true nature, and on a thousand worlds the Chaos Cults they had founded erupted into open rebellion. Lorgar and the Word Bearers, freed from the need to keep their worship of Chaos secret, dedicated themselves to worshipping the gods of Chaos.

Following the defeat of Horus the Word Bearers retreated to the Eye of Terror. From there they continue to spread the word of Chaos. On the worlds they attack the Word Bearers build huge monuments dedicated to their dark gods, and vast cathedrals are erected where the chants and prayers of the faithful mingle with the screams and groans of those being sacrificed on bloody alters dedicated to the Chaos Powers.

The Word Bearers are the only Chaos Space Marine Legion to still have Chaplains, who enforce a strict regime of religious observance upon their brethren. All Word Bearers are expected to spend a considerable period of each day in acts or ritual sacrifice, occult study, or decadent worship. In battle the Word Bearers are zealous in the extreme, marching forward under huge banners dedicated to Chaos in its myriad forms, reciting catechisms as they fight and slaying the enemy for their failure to follow the one true path to righteousness!

Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion of Space Marines, was known as one of the most scrupulous and dedicated followers of the Imperial Cult. His zeal in persecuting the enemies of the Emperor was almost unmatched by any of his brother Primarchs and many were those who felt him to be the most devoted of the Primarchs. It was on the world of Colchis that his character was to be formed, one of the first worlds settled in Mankind's exploration of the stars. Its continental masses were dotted with strange, crumbling edifices, and no amount of exploration and research could fathom their purpose. Explorators at the time of the Great Crusade put the date of its first settlements somewhere around the 16th Millennium, though it is impossible to be certain. Imperial scholars and historians believe that the world of Colchis was once highly advanced technologically, but fell into anarchy during the turbulent time known as the Age of Strife and that its population regressed to the level of a feudal society.

Few records remain of the society that arose from the ashes of the Age of Strife, save those penned by Lorgar himself, and these are sealed in the deepest vaults of the Library Sanctus on Terra. Various fragments of these records are reproduced in the Speculum Historiale, the exhaustive history of the Great Crusade penned by the historian Carpinus. In his description of Colchis, Carpinus tells of a caste of priests calling themselves the Covenant who rebuilt the shattered society of Colchis on the promise that a great leader would one day come to deliver them from the darkness their world had descended into. With harsh religious observance, the Covenant's strict dogma became a gigantic, monolithic belief structure that permeated every facet of daily life on Colchis. Of Lorgar's coming, Carpinus speaks of a fiery comet smashing into the foremost temple of the Covenant bearing the infant Primarch, while Lorgar himself often made oblique references to his 'pilgrimage' to Colchis.

Another tale tells of the arrival of a strange, golden-skinned child at the doors of the Covenant's largest temple, asking to be schooled in their ways. The child was taken into the temple and given the name Lorgar, growing to manhood within its walls and quickly mastering the many tenets and codes of faith imposed by the Covenant. The truth of the matter will, in all likelihood, never be known, and though the answers may lie in the blasted words of the Liber Malum, its pages must never again be opened.

However it came to pass, Lorgar became a devout member of the Covenant, taking fiery words of faith to every corner of the globe, where the power of his oratory and charisma won him many supporters. He rose rapidly through the ranks and though the people of Colchis loved him, he had enemies within the Covenant who grew jealous of his popularity and challenge to their power. The Speculum Historiale speaks of a tale told by Lorgar to Konrad Curze, Primarch of the Night Lords, during the victory celebrations on Boraint following the defeat of the Arch-Heretic of Dulorth. Lorgar spoke of strange dreams and visions that afflicted him in his early years. In them he saw a mighty warrior in gleaming armor with a helm of bronze and a shining sword. A giant in blue robes with but a single, unblinking eye stood behind him, speaking of his lord's coming to Colchis and that Lorgar must be ready for him. Lorgar was convinced that this mighty warrior was the divine leader the Canticles of the Covenant had promised and, at the urging of Kor Phaeron, his closest friend, began spreading the word that their god would soon be amongst them. People flocked to hear his words and waves of popular support followed Lorgar wherever he preached. This was the opportunity Lorgar's enemies within the Covenant had been waiting for and they denounced him as a heretic, fearing the threat to the status quo and their power.

Lorgar's supporters rallied round him, fighting and killing the soldiers of the Covenant who came to arrest him. Lorgar himself fought with strength and passion for his cause, and each time the Covenant's warriors came for him, he slew them. His enemies had vastly underestimated the depth of belief in Lorgar's words and the Covenant split into two factions, each deeply opposed to the other's belief, and each believing that only they could save their people. A holy war of horrific proportions erupted, with more and more of the population forced to choose sides as the battles grew larger and spread across the planet. For six years the fighting raged across Colchis and many were the atrocities carried out in the name of holy righteousness. Lorgar's supporters were outnumbered, but they were led by a Primarch, and his strength and power were beyond compare. Lorgar fought many battles, learning the ways of war with astounding rapidity. His inspired words roused his armies to undreamed of heights of courage and devotion, binding them to the promise of their savior’s coming, and the priests of the Covenant could do nothing to stop him. Eventually, Lorgar led his people to victory, storming the temple he had trained in and killing all the priests within. With the end of the war, the people awaited the arrival of the divine being promised by Lorgar, and less than a year after the final battle, a mighty, sky-borne vessel descended to the temple on a trail of fire. The Apocrypha of Skaros tells that the Emperor and Magnus the Red descended to Colchis with two squads of Thousand Sons Space Marines, to meet its mighty war leader. Lorgar dropped to one knee, immediately recognizing the Emperor from his visions, and swore his undying fealty to him. Under Lorgar's rule, every facet of the Covenant's belief structure was devoted to the worship of the Emperor and the population of Colchis rejoiced, united behind their new and wondrous god.

The elaborate celebrations and pious displays of devotion lasted for many months, and recent translations of some of the more obscure passages within the Speculum Historiale infer that the delays enforced on the Great Crusade by the lengthy shows of fealty Lorgar offered chafed at the Emperor, who wished to resume the conquest of the galaxy as swiftly as possible. These same scholars cite later events in the Great Crusade as further proof of this, though others point out Carpinus's revisionist tendencies and claim that such interpretations are based on the venerable historian's hindsight. At the conclusion of the celebrations the Emperor offered Lorgar command of the Word Bearers and bade him take his best and bravest warriors to become Space Marines for his praetorian guard. Lorgar accepted the honor the Emperor offered him and decreed that he would leave Colchis and take his place at the Emperor's side. He appointed faithful followers to minister to his people in his absence, garbed himself in his battle gear and departed with the Emperor and Magnus.

2006-12-19, 06:18 PM
Lorgar led his Legion throughout the glory years of the Great Crusade, setting out to eradicate and destroy all forms of blasphemy and heresy that threatened the Emperor's realm. All manner of ancient scrolls, books, artworks and icons were burned and smashed before the advancing ranks of the Legion. In their place, vast monuments and cathedrals, all dedicated to the Emperor, were erected upon the mounds of dead of those who had resisted conversion. The greatest Chaplains of the Legions produced enormous works on the divinity and righteousness of the Emperor, and Lorgar himself delivered countless speeches and sermons, converting millions to the Emperor with his words alone.

The progress of the Word Bearers was slow, but complete, with none escaped the crozius or the bolter. Entire worlds were scoured of the living for their refusal to submit to the will of the Emperor. When the Emperor took note of Lorgar's slow advance across the stars, he personally reproached his Primarch. He informed Lorgar that his purpose was not for faith, but for battle. The true mission of the Space Marines was to re-conquer and unify the galaxy under the banner of Imperium, not to waste precious time and resources in vast displays of fealty and piety.

Lorgar was stunned. Upon returning to his personal battleship, the Fidelitas Lex, the Primarch refused to speak to any of his lieutenants or chaplains. He removed his power armor and wore nothing but sackcloth, his golden skin greased with ash, his hair torn and disheveled. He mourned the Emperor's command for a month, and the Legion of the Word Bearers stood idle and silent within the depths of space, waiting for a command, any command, to be issued by their Primarch.

The Master of Mankind did not remain ignorant of Lorgar's reaction. The Emperor was on the verge of once again reprimanding his tardy Primarch when news came that the Legion had suddenly renewed its campaign. Worlds now fell before the Word Bearers like ripe grain. The assaults were quick and devastating; no longer did Lorgar offer redemption or salvation to those he set his Legion against. The embittered Primarch offered only the sword, and in his wrath the holocausts were unnumbered. Pleased with what he saw as progress, the Emperor turned his eyes towards other matters. What he could not know is that he had already been betrayed.

The Word Bearers were the first Legion to be fully corrupted by Chaos. While it is true that Horus was the first of the Primarchs to be tainted, and his Sons of Horus were the first Legion to openly rebel, in truth it was the Word Bearers who were the first to fully embrace Chaos as an entire Legion. When the Emperor rebuked Lorgar's shows of devotion, the Primarch turned his gaze towards gods who would be more worthy of his dedication. In Chaos, Lorgar found what he was searching for. Beyond all mortal comprehension, the gods of Chaos welcomed, even demanded, worship. As such, they were initially generous with Lorgar, as his devotion to gods that accepted his worship unquestioningly was second to none. Lorgar's ego, however, would not allow him to become any single god's champion, instead preferring to worship Chaos in its myriad, infinite forms. The Word Bearers came to worship Chaos as a pantheon of countless gods and goddesses, dark princes and ethereal powers that writhed and seethed in the haunted depths of the Immaterium.

Lorgar would later say that as he turned his faith to Chaos, a veil lifted from his eyes and he was able to see the Emperor for what he was; not his god at all, but an irreverent man who had failed to grasp that what Humanity needed above all else was religious domination, that could only be provided by godlike beings such as himself. The resultant submission and fealty to Chaos would allow Mankind to stave off the countless alien hordes that sought to overwhelm and destroy the young Imperium. At first, the Legion kept their new faith secret, unaware that Chaos had already tainted many of their brethren. Once Horus openly defied the Emperor, and his Legion renounced all ties to Imperial authority, the Word Bearers openly cast their lot with the side of Chaos. The second Legion to spit on their oaths of loyalty, the Word Bearers, soon set upon the Legion they had come to despise the most, the Legion of Roboute Guilliman, the Ultramarines.

While the Emperor had chastised the Word Bearers, they watched with jealous hearts as he championed the Ultramarines as his finest warriors. When the Heresy erupted and the shackles of loyalty were cast off, the Word Bearers set upon the Sons of Ultramar with unbridled hatred. The Ultramarines were initially stunned, and Lorgar was able to push them back to Ultramar, the region of space that the Ultramarines govern and defend. It was upon the world of Calth that the final battle would take place. Famed for its orbital shipyards, Calth was a typical world of Ultramar. Its inhabitants were wealthy and generous, knowing little in the ways of want or fear. In many ways, theirs was a paradise, and as such it was not to last.

When the Word Bearers launched their attack against the Ultramarines, the strike against Calth was led by one of Lorgar's greatest champions, the former Master of the Faith, Kor Phaeron. This mighty champion swore to utterly destroy the planet, and was very nearly successful. From his personal battle barge, now renamed Infidus Imperator, Kor Phaeron directed a full-scale invasion of the Calth System. Calth's three sister planets were all destroyed, massive geo-nuclear strikes ripping them apart at the core. Its once gentle sun was laced with deadly metals and substances that increased the star's radiation output tenfold. Within a century after the Heresy's end, the final elements of Calth's atmosphere were burned off, the world left airless, its populace now dwelling in gigantic underground caverns. Upon its surface, the Word Bearers fought the Ultramarines to a standstill. The traitors held superiority in numbers, weaponry and brutality, but the Ultramarines would never give in. As driven as the warriors of Lord Kor Phaeron were, they could not dislodge the Ultramarines, many of whom had once called the planet home.

The war upon Calth was devastating and horrific. Ancient codes of warfare and martial conduct were broken and set aside by the Word Bearers as all manner of death and destruction was unleashed. The Ultramarines were stunned by the millions of cultists the Word Bearers used as human shields and disgusted by the hordes of daemons unleashed as shock troops. The Word Bearers, in turn, had underestimated the tenacity and resolve of their hated foe. In the end, Lord Kor Phaeron was defeated when reinforcements from Macragge drove the Word Bearers from the surface of Calth. Kor Phaeron retreated all the way to the Maelstrom, a turbulent region of the galaxy where the Immaterium of Chaos seeps through into the material realm of the universe. The Ultramarines were victorious, and their leader, Brother Captain Ventanus, would one day set foot upon a broken Colchis, symbolically capturing the abandoned home world of the Legion that had once threatened to enslave Ultramar.

While Kor Phaeron set his men upon Calth, Lorgar was leading the rest of the Legion against Terra. The horrors of the battles there were beyond the comprehension of mortal beings and fill many vaults of the Library Sanctus. Lorgar helped smash down the realm of the master he had once served with the fanaticism of a zealot. Suffice to say, Horus was defeated, and the legions of Chaos were forced to flee. The Word Bearers were also forced to retreat to the Eye of Terror, and there they have remained, returning to the Imperium to raid, pillage, and destroy, awaiting the chance to reclaim what was once theirs.
As time passed and the atrocities carried out in the name of Lorgar rose to new heights, he was rewarded by his patrons with the gift of daemonhood. Now he truly was the equal of a god, and the birth scream of this newest daemon of Chaos was said by Astropaths to have echoed through the warp with triumphant vindication. From the Daemon-world of Sicarus, Lorgar watches over his Legion, directing its myriad wars and engagements, orchestrating the vast corruption from within that the Imperium suffers at the hands of his innumerable cults and covens. Unlike many of the other Traitor Legions, the Word Bearers have remained a unified, if loosely organized, Legion. Each of Lorgar's champions have become an amalgamation of brutal war leader and divinely inspired preacher of Chaos known as a Dark Apostle. Each is gifted an army roughly equivalent to a Space Marine Chapter, known as a Host, and these armies have proven to be deadly raiding forces against the Imperium.

From the two primary bases of the Legion, the daemon world Sicarus and the factory-world of Ghalmek, located within the Maelstrom, the Word Bearers launch twisted wars of faith against the Imperium. On each world they attack, they plant the seeds of future corruption and an ever-expanding web of cults. Fortunately for the Imperium, the cults of the Word Bearers compete heavily with those of the Alpha Legion, a rivalry that has spread to the Legions themselves. Though the Alpha Legion and the Word Bearers have united several times to take part in the Black Crusades of Abaddon, they are more usually in states of bitter division and rivalry.

On the worlds they attack, the Word Bearers build huge monuments dedicated to their dark gods, and vast cathedrals are erected where the chants and prayers of the faithful intermingle with the screams of those being sacrificed in the name of Lorgar. The Word Bearers are the only Traitor Legion to still observe codes of religion in the form of their Dark Apostles, and under them have retained a strict regimen of blasphemous prayer and evil devotion that fills much of their time. All Word Bearers are expected to be thoroughly knowledgeable in ritual sacrifice, occult study, and decadent worship. In battle the Word Bearers are zealous in the extreme, marching forward under huge banners dedicated to Chaos in its myriad forms, reciting catechisms as they fight, and slaying the enemy for failing to follow the one true path to righteousness. Their war against the Imperium of Man is total, and it will not end until every icon of the Emperor who betrayed them lies shattered at their feet.

Night Lords

Their Primarch, Konrad Curze, called the Night Haunter, knew only one way, that was the use of vicious force. His methods were simple, vicious and direct, if you broke the law you died, there was no appeal, Night Haunter was judge, jury, and executioner upon the world Nostrama, where he had set himself up as a vigilante against the crime lords of the planet. When the Great Crusade finally reached this dark world, and the Emperor was reunited with this dark-visaged young Primarch, Night Haunter was placed in command of the Night Lords. The Night Lords quickly gained a reputation for ruthless efficiency, and a cynical disregard for human life. As long as they achieved their objectives, the means didn't matter to them. When the Emperor recalled Night Haunter to answer the charges of cruelty and destruction against him and his men, Night Haunter quickly defected to the side of Warmaster Horus. Night Haunter, operating from a planet deep in the wilderness area of space known as the Eastern Fringe, led the Night Lords on a campaign of terror and genocide that has rarely, if ever, been equaled. Even after Horus had been defeated, the Night Lords continued their attacks until finally the Imperial Assassin M'Shen was able to infiltrate Night Haunter's base and slay the Primarch, with this act the Night Lords quickly stopped being an organized threat to the Imperium.

The New Lords now strike from the Eye of Terror, where they have retreated to, and they fight for the pure pleasure of it, and for the material rewards it can bring, and not because they worship some deity. They look down upon the more dedicated Chaos Marines, and Loyal Marines, considering them fools.

The Night Lords were the 8th Chapter formed during the First Founding. Their Primarch Konrad Curze - later to be known as Night Haunter - grew up on the mining planet known as Nostramo, a world shielded from its sun by a huge moon, and which therefore rests in almost perpetual darkness. The days on Nostramo, such as they are, are only slightly lighter than the pitch-black nights, and the people of the planet grow up with deathly gray pallor. Suicide and depression are facts of life on such a world, and were it not for the huge deposits of adamantium found beneath the planet's surface, it is doubtful that the world would be inhabited at all.

Violent crime was also a fact of life on Nostramo, until the young Primarch took it on himself to wage a single-handed vigilante war against the crime lords of the planet, taking on the name of Night Haunter as one that would strike terror into the hearts of his enemies. His methods were simple, vicious and direct: if you broke his law, you died. There was no appeal; Night Haunter was judge, jury and executioner.

The Great Crusade finally reached even this dark world, and the Emperor was reunited with his dark-visaged Primarch. Night Haunter was placed in command of the Night Lords, who quickly began to gain a reputation for ruthless efficiency and an almost cynical disregard for human life. Their Primarch's methods became the way of the Night Lords themselves, and as long as they achieved their objectives, the means just didn't matter. Soon stories began to circulate of massacres and atrocities being committed by the Night Lords, some under the supervision of Night Haunter himself, until finally the Emperor was forced to recall Night Haunter to answer the charges against him and his men.

But the Horus Heresy erupted before Night Haunter could return, and then it quickly became apparent that all of the charges against him and the Night Lords were true. Night Haunter had no hesitation in joining Horus against the man he started to see as a weak-willed hypocrite, and operating from a planet deep in the wilderness area of space known as the Eastern Fringes he led the Night Lords on a campaign of terror and genocide that has rarely, if ever been equaled. Even after Horus had been defeated the Night Lords continued to attack the Imperium, though increasingly without any discernible plan or motivation for their steadily more murderous attacks. Finally the Imperial Assassin M'Shen was able to infiltrate Night Haunter's base and slay the Primarch, and with this act the Night Lords quickly stopped being an organized threat to the Imperium.

The survivors made their way to the Eye of Terror, where they continue to take part in raids on the Imperium. They do not appear to worship any one of the Chaos Gods, and have become instead cynical, hard-bitten and frighteningly ruthless warriors. They fight for the pleasure of it, and for the material rewards it can bring, and not because they worship some deity. This attitude means they look down on their more dedicated brethren, be they fanatical Chaos Space Marines such as Khorne Berzerkers, or zealous loyal Space Marines like the Dark Angels or Ultramarines.

According to the heretical handwritten chronicle of his life, entitled simply The Dark, Konrad Curze’s earliest memory was of descending from the heavens in a crackling ball of light to the night-shrouded planet of Nostramo. His embryonic form impacted on the dense cityscape of Nostramo Quintus, smashing though countless levels of debris and moldering architecture, through the planet’s crust and into the geosphere before finally coming to a halt near the liquid core of the planet. His descent left a scar in the virtually inviolable adamantium strata of Nostramo, the result of the supernaturally resilient Primarch’s violent birth into a world that knew no light. The cratered pit his descent had carved into the planet was closed oft and regarded with fear and suspicion. Theoretically, the only way the Primarch could have reached the surface was to have swum through molten metal, borne upwards through volcanic vents to the surface. The Arcana Progenitum of Nostramo Quintus details the incident in vague, awkward terms:

"...a glowing child-form it was, crawled from the Pit onto the broken street, hissing molten metal dripping from its limbs. It was a daemon, no less, with the body of an infant but the expression of an old man, its eyes black and cold as obsidian."

Due to the pollution-clogged atmosphere, Nostramo was barely better lit at noon than at midnight. A shroud of perpetual darkness kept the planet swathed in dull grays and deep blacks. Only the rich could afford the Nostraman idea of light, little more than dim blue illumination-strips in the ceilings of the ruling hierarchy’s luxurious dwellings. The adamantium that riddled the planet’s crust, Nostramo’s chief export to its neighboring worlds, was the reason for the thousands of metalworks and chemical plants that scarred the landscape and choked the air with noxious filth. The vast majority of the planet lived in abject poverty as foundry workers, whilst the rich grew in affluence, trampling down or killing any who dared oppose the status quo. Murder, theft and extortion were rife. Crime ran unchecked, the only gesture toward law enforcement was the horrific brutality meted out by the hierarchy’s hired thugs upon those who opposed them. Depression was inescapable, and overpopulation was prevented not by war, disease or legislation, but by suicide.

Unlike many of his brother Primarchs, Konrad Curze raised himself, and his survival instincts and iron constitution undoubtedly carried him easily through whatever rigors the pollution-choked city of Nostramo Quintus could throw at him. He spent his early life stalking silently through the streets, feasting on the pack animals that prowled the barrens around the hive-like cities. He did not ascend to heights of intellectual prowess, he was not schooled by the finest tutors in the land nor taught the blade or axe by noble mentors. Rather he rose to the top of the food chain, at first eating rats and other vermin, then the black, lean dogs that stalked the choked streets, and finally the corpses of the many victims of Nostramo’s corrupt society. His powerful form, clotted with filth and blood, fuelled the citizenship’s fears of this feral menace.

The Purging of Nostramo Quintus

One of the better known facts about Konrad Curze was that he was cursed by visions of horrifying potency throughout his life. Rather than seeing the myriad possibilities the future could hold, as the sorcerous Eldar claim they are able to, the visions he would experience were inevitably dark and troubled, the blackest paths the future could take unwinding before him. Among the most debated writings of Curze’s history are the revelations contained in volume two of 'The Dark.’

Some unrecorded event during his maturation pitched Curze into a destructive cycle of persecution and murder, with his focus always upon the structured criminal elements of Nostramo’s society. This vigilante war may well have started small, with Curze merely intervening when he witnessed something he thought wrong, hut soon he deliberately hunted down those members of society that transgressed.
At first, several prominent figures among the city’s corrupt hierarchy went missing. Others were quick to fill their shoes. Later that year, as an unusually long and swelteringly hot summer set in, those who protested loudest also began to disappear. The citizens of Quintus quickly ceased voicing their objections. Bodies of known criminals were being found splayed, gutted like fish by the cruel attentions of an unseen assailant. The corpses of hierarchy officials were found hung by their feet from high windows. Headless bodies were found mutilated, opened so that their corruption could be exposed to the acidic air of Nostramo. Many of the corpses found that summer were unrecognizable due to the severity of the beatings they had fallen prey to. Body parts blocked the storm-drains, the beggars and children of the gutters quick to divest them of expensive jewelry and rich fabrics. It was obvious that Curze had no compunction in putting to death those that defied his law in displays of horrific brutality.

Within the year, the crime rate of Nostramo had fallen away to nothing. Society was transformed, and the ripples were felt all over the planet. Quintus developed a self-imposed curfew; none strayed out later than early evening. The midnight streets, previously buzzing with activity, were as silent as the grave. Mothers threatened disobedient children with the depraved attentions of the Night Haunter. Soon the name became more commonplace, used by the populace as a whole. Rumors of a hideous, dark creature that stalked the alleyways and tunnels, its filthy claws ever ready to disembowel those who strayed, abounded within the city. The citizens of Quintus lived a half-life of fear, silent lest their words should be taken as heresy. Nostramo was ripe for the rule of the Night Haunter.

The Dark King

Soon enough, Konrad Curze saw a glimpse of salvation for his world. There was simply no crime left, no killers aside from himself. He was the only object of fear and hate left in his city. No longer did his people live in cringing anticipation of being robbed or shot whilst they slept, now they feared only him. He had taken the burden of evil upon himself, and found he was more than able to stand it. It seemed his martyrdom lent him strength, and soon even he began to refer to himself as Night Haunter. The following excerpt is taken from the last Annals of Ghereticus, a noble of some standing before he swore fealty to the Primarch.

"He was waiting for us, the few nobles left alive in Nostramo, and as he squatted engulfed in shadow we thought he was (fragment missing). He dwarfed the luxurious throne he was perched in, the magnitude of his presence incredible. I could hardly breathe as he (fragment missing), his pallid, sunken features coming into the light of the glow-strips. Just then, I thought he was going to leap, and I could not move.

But it seemed he had a use for us. We were to become his mouthpiece, the instruments through which he would command the people of Nostramo. His word was absolute: anyone straying from his path would be killed; not by us, or by enforcers. He would find the transgressors himself, and make an example of them. There was something in his tone then that made me want to run. Nonetheless, we had no choice but to obey."

And so Night Haunter became the first monarch of Nostramo Quintus, absorbing accumulated knowledge with diligence almost akin to greed. Night Haunter ruled with temperance and reason unheard of until word came to him that some injustice had been done, whereupon he alone would hunt the offender through empty streets until exhaustion forced his quarry to collapse. He would then proceed to mutilate his prey, although not beyond recognition. This unpredictable pattern of benevolent wisdom and hideous vengeance ushered the shocked populace into new realms of efficiency and honesty. Exports of adamantium to their neighboring worlds tripled, The society existed in a terrible harmony of shared wealth and shared fear. None dared have more than his neighbor and under the shadow of Night Haunter’s rule, the city grew well-lit and prosperous. And as Nostramo Quintus led, the rest of the planet followed, anxious to keep the Night Haunter from their doors.

Imperial historians have correlated Night Haunter’s rule over Nostramo Quintus and its surrounding cities with the time the Great Crusade reached the fringes of the galaxy where Nostramo orbited its dying sun. The following is a fragment of Astropath Thoquai’s personal records, transcribed during the Great Crusade as the Imperial battle barge Divinity’s Sword entered Nostramo’s system. So far sixteen Imperial Scholars have been fatally chastened after unwisely expressing their concern over the implications therein.

"I felt I knew well why the Emperor’s ship changed course for that bleak orb, even before consulting the cards of the Lesser Arcanoi. They described great wealth, prosperity, stability. The Moon, the Martyr and the Monster lay in a triangle. The King lay reversed at the feet of the Emperor. Strangely, the sign of Hope was also reversed, and the horrific aspect of Death, ever present, lay above the entire tableaux. But the course was set, my misgivings as a mere breath against the maelstrom of his will."

The history of Nostramo was littered with references to an event called the Coming of the Light. The Emperor’s arrival on Nostramo had such an indelible impact in the minds of Nostramo’s citizens that the world was irrevocably changed. Though the Emperor’s arrival brought hope to the populace, it ultimately brought a terrible curse.
When the eternally dark skies above Nostramo played host to the lights of the Emperor’s fleet, the entire population of Quintus, one by one, overcame their fear. They stood in the cold streets, faces uplifted to the sky, many for the first time in their lives. Undeniably, light was coming to their world. It was growing brighter by the minute. Men stood as children, mouths agape, eyes shielded from a light they could not understand. Many went into seizures of confusion and fear, many cried in joy, many crawled on their bellies, convinced they would all die.

The Emperor of Mankind had watched the way that this world worked from his divine auguries. The citizens were clean and efficient, working towards a common good with determination and silence. The night streets were completely empty as the entire planet slept. Evidently they lived in ignorance of the glory of the Imperium, but their King, undoubtedly possessing great authority and able to command unquestioning respect, had molded the society into a model of productivity. Matchless efficiency. Natural conformity. Total obedience.

Due to the entourage of scribes, attendants and aides that accompanied the Emperor on his journey to the centre of Nostramo Quintus, it is possible to accrue a detailed account of the meeting between the Emperor and Night Haunter. Even some of the Emperor’s words to the Primarch have withstood the ravages of time.

The Delegation of Light, as it came to be known, entered the city of Nostramo Quintus on foot. The drizzle of acidic rain ceased as if in acknowledgement of the Lord of Humanity’s presence. Before them were the citizens of Nostramo, few of whom could bear to look directly at the glowing form of the Emperor, but many of whom wept as the healing light of his radiance reflected from the rain-slicked streets upon their pale faces. Those who dared to glance directly at the burnished gold of the Emperor’s power armor found their delicate sight lost to them forever, the shining image of mankind’s savior burned indelibly into their jet-black eyes.

Strangely, not one of the citizens made a single sound at the passing of the Delegation. In his subsequent report, Captain Lycius Mysander of the Ultramarines mentioned that the pleading look in the eyes of those who dared to raise their faces must have been because the poor creatures had never seen any real kind of light before. Scholars have since speculated that perhaps they sought deliverance from the regime of fear shackling them to what were almost certainly bleak, joyless lives.

At the end of the sprawling roadway that led to Night Haunter’s faceless tower stood the towering Primarch, his lank hair shielding his face from the light as the Delegation marched towards him. The crowds parted like dead wheat before a summer breeze. The Emperor opened his arms wide as he approached Night Haunter.

Suddenly, Night Haunter began to shake violently, his hands flying to his eyes, as if to claw them out. A thin scream issued from the Primarch’s palsied lips, and he dropped to his knees. His closest advisors were taken aback; this was greater in severity than even the fits they had recently witnessed. Then, with a benevolent smile, the Emperor stepped forward and gently placed his glowing hands on the Primarch’s head. His screaming stopped, his hands dropped to his sides, and his body became still. Night Haunter’s advisors, fearing the worst, started forward, only to be stopped by the sheer force of the newcomer’s presence.

The Emperor spoke to the Primarch, and his reply echoed clear across the plaza. Since that day, it has echoed across the gulf of time.

"Konrad Curze, be at peace. I have arrived, and I intend to take you home."
"That is not my name, father. I am Night Haunter, and I know full well what you intend for me."

The Fall of Nostramo

The glimpse of hope given to the citizens of Nostramo by the arrival of the Emperor was ripped cruelly away from them as the Emperor left with their monarch. Many were at first overjoyed that the Night Haunter had been taken from their midst, so that they could talk and act freely once more without fear of gory retribution. But despite the nominal presence of the Administratum, the society soon degenerated into a seething morass of corruption.

In fact, the punctual reports of Administrator-regent Balthius, stationed upon Nostramo after the Emperor’s delegation left for Terra, grew steadily less frequent, eventually straying into depression and irreverence. It is rumored by Administratum scholars of the period that he took his own life.

Worse still for the populace of the planet, the Emperor had shown that there was civilization outside of Nostramo’s tenebrous star system, that there were better places in the galaxy, and that these places had light and splendor. The curse inflicted upon the citizens was that of futile hope, as each knew in their hearts that these places were far beyond their reach. The Emperor’s light had lobbed Nostramo of its last defense against the darkness: ignorance.
Night Haunter quickly adapted to the teachings of the Imperium, though his manner remained dour and silent, even when introduced to his brother Primarchs. With the Primarch of the Emperor’s Children, Fulgrim, as his tutor, he learned the complex doctrines of the Adeptus Astartes perfectly, committing them to memory with consummate ease. He often referred to Terra as a paradise, and his physique adapted to the diurnal cycles so unusual to his home planet. Soon, Night Haunter was incepted as the spiritual and military leader of the Night Lords, his genetic progeny, an entire legion of sons to whom the prodigal father had returned.

As the Great Crusade pushed onward once more, Night Haunter demonstrated a highly unusual grasp of military strategy, and his new Legion adapted to his tactics with intelligence and dedication. Although he excelled in many theatres of war, he was completely oblivious to the subtleties of negotiation and parley. It simply did not occur to Night Haunter to use anything less than total and decisive force to achieve his objective. This tendency spread quickly throughout the Night Lords’ upper echelons until it was accepted without question. Where a simple surgical strike would suffice, Night Haunter regularly used excessive force to achieve his aims. On several occasions, the Primarch is recorded expressing the opinion that by utterly crushing the transgressor in full view of his compatriots, an enforcer not only solves the original problem beyond all doubt but ensures that those who observe it dare not stray from the path of Imperial law. Ultimately, the actual physical presence of the enforcer is not necessary to enforce the law. This was the belief underpinning Night Haunter’s political and military tactics from the beginning.

Over the first few years of his rule as Primarch of the Night Lords, his legion utterly destroyed traces of heresy with the fanatical thoroughness of witch hunters. Night Haunter molded his sons into an efficient, humorless force of warriors to whom killing was second nature, achieving their goals by any means necessary. It is recorded that early in his career as a military commander, Night Haunter led his finest warriors against a temple devoted to the worship of an agricultural deity, burning the entire settlement to the ground.
An incident in which the Night Lords virus-bombed a continent because an emergent cult devoted to Slaanesh had been uncovered on a remote Island was cited as an damning proof of their dangerous use of excessive force. Night Haunter encouraged his legions to decorate their armor with icons of fear and death to further enforce their already terrible reputation. Winged skulls, death masks, screaming faces and other hideous images were painted onto the legion’s power armor with the greatest of care. Even the shrunken heads of their enemies often adorned the armor of the Night Lords.

The tactic proved incredibly effective. Soon the extreme measures of the Night Lords became infamous, the mere mention of their presence in a system enough to ensure that civilized planets paid all outstanding tithes, ceased all illegal activity completely and killed those who bore deformities rather than invite a purge from the Night Lords.

As his Space Marines fell in the front lines of battle, Night Haunter ordered new recruits from his home world of Nostramo. He knew the citizens of his home world would obey him without question, and was convinced that they would work towards the common good of the Imperium with the same dedication they evinced as his subjects. What Night Haunter did not know was that Nostramo had spiraled into the corrupt and decadent society it had been before he arrived. Only the most ruthless, hardy criminals remained healthy and strong on the cut-throat world of Nostramo, and it was these men, possessed of strength and vicious nerve but absolutely no scruples, that ended up populating the Night Lords’ ranks. Warrior cults emerged within these black-eyed, pale recruits, pacts were made and oaths sworn. Incidents of the Night Lords’ culling of defenseless populations increased with worrying frequency.

Although a son of the Emperor was answerable to none but the ruler of Mankind himself. Night Haunter’s behavior was looked upon with suspicion by his brother Primarchs. The scars left by his former life on Nostramo ran deep. Despite the fact that he spent time with his peers, the Primarch kept himself at a distance, never able to join in their camaraderie or share their joy. He still fell into convulsions, plagued by visions of his own death, of his Night Lords fighting war after war with the other Legions of the Adeptus Astartes. But despite the concern of his companions, he would not reveal any more than dark hints of the cause of his tormented spirit. This feeling of isolation gradually grew into paranoia, and the gulf between Night Haunter and the brotherhood of the Primarchs widened.

The matter of Night Haunter’s heretical beliefs did not come to a head until some time later, and only because Night Haunter had managed to maintain some semblance of trust with his former tutor, the Primarch Fulgrim. Fulgrim’s own outlook may have allowed him to understand Night Haunter’s twisted logic, even if the resources the Night Lords expended on their purges could have been better spent elsewhere.

It has been concluded that when Fulgrim came to his aid after a violent fit, Night Haunter felt that he could confide his fears in Fulgrim, Given Fulgrim’s reaction, it seems likely the Night Lords Primarch told of his certainty that he would be killed by his own father, that their children would die fighting amongst themselves rather than their enemies, and that the light the Emperor had brought to Nostramo would destroy it forever.

Fulgrim in turn confided Night Haunter’s story to Rogal Dorn, who took exception to this slight on the Emperor’s name. The following description of subsequent events hints at a confrontation between Rogal Dorn and Night Haunter, and given some of the writings it is obvious that the two came to blows. The excerpt is allegedly part of an account by Lord Princeps Ichabod Lethrai of the victory banquet held in honor of the pacification of the Cheraut System in 7232826.M29. It is kept in a solution of oils to prevent its degeneration, and is among the most closely guarded texts within the cloister-archives of the Library Sanctus.

"...Lying on the stone floor, breathing shallowly, was Rogal Dorn. Blood soaked his robes, great gouges of flesh were missing from his torso. Crouching on the giant warrior’s chest like a hideous white gargoyle was the hunched, pallid form of Night Haunter, his flesh covered in a film of sweat. He was panting heavily, and matted hair fell down over his jet-black eyes as he turned to face us. He was weeping, but his face was contorted into a snarl, his features wracked with hate and guilt in equal measure."

The events immediately following this incident are not recorded, but it appears that the Primarchs held a conference amongst themselves, with Night Haunter exiled to his chambers. What decision they reached has been lost to history, but the conclusion of this terrible chain of events is engraved deeply in the tragic story of the Imperium’s darkest hour.

When the council of the Primarchs disbanded many hours later, they found Night Haunter missing, his honor guard butchered to a man. The corridors, walls and ceiling of the cloisters leading from his quarters were slick with blood and peppered with pieces of shattered bone. Night Haunter had already mobilized his legion’s craft. By the time the Primarchs had enough craft ready for pursuit, Night Haunter had already entered the warp.

Without the supernatural skill and incredible prescience of the Emperor’s Primarchs, many of Night Haunter’s pursuers could have been lost that day as the rogue vessels delved deep into the heart of the Empyrean. The journey, malleable within the warp, may have taken hours or months; no reliable records exist. But one thing was certain, despite their valiant pursuit, his brothers arrived too late.

The Night Lords’ ships orbited Nostramo, hundreds of weapons trained on the shrouded planet, the rays of the system’s dying sun glinting from barrels too numerous to count. As the fabric of space buckled and twisted, disgorging the few craft able to keep pace, the lances and mass drivers of Night Haunter’s flagship opened fire upon the planet.

Beam after beam of incandescent light joined the fusillade, all concentrating upon the same point, a weak spot in Nostramo’s adamantium crust theorized to be left by the Primarch’s initial landing. The lasers of the Night Lords’ ships focused a blinding lance of pure energy into the planet’s core, and with a cataclysmic explosion, the dark planet burst apart.

The Horus Heresy

In the wake of his terrible act. Night Haunter became susceptible to the whispered temptations of Chaos. By this time, he was dangerously unhinged, leaving a trail of devastated worlds across the galaxy. Few civilized worlds were totally without blemish, and the pretexts on which Night Haunter launched full-scale invasions became less and less credible, Imperial reconnaissance craft followed in the wake of the Night Lords’ fleet, reporting back to the Emperor’s throne room across unimaginable stretches of time and space.

The atrocities the Night Lords were wreaking in the Emperor’s name were abhorrent. Blasphemous acts and horrendous violence were the signature of the Night Lords’ visitations, the fleet pressing ever onwards so as to avoid retribution. The tastes of the Legion twisted from physical sadism and torture into the infliction of psychological damage, with the dark-armored warriors beginning to slow their frantic orgy of destruction into premeditated campaigns of mind-numbing terror. They became connoisseurs of pain and despair, taking weeks in the infliction of misery and fear upon a planet, feeding upon the dark emotions they conjured. The Night Lords made sure to invade helpless, backward planets where the population could barely comprehend that Hell had come to their world, feeding on their confusion and fright like leeches.

No longer did Night Haunter crusade in the name of the Emperor, who he now denounced as a weak hypocrite without the courage to admit that his own doctrines were just as extreme. Now the Primarch fought in the name of death and fear, knowing full well how the horrific arsenal at his disposal could aid him in his malign work. Night Haunter changed physically during this time, his lips receding completely, his muscular frame hunching over, and his gnarled hands stretching into grasping talons.

Appalled by his son’s grotesque acts, the Emperor was forced by repeated protests to call Night Haunter to account, demanding his presence for a full inquiry into his Legions’ methods. But as the edict was issued, and the slow but powerful arm of Imperial law stretched out to Night Haunter, the greatest betrayal the Imperium had ever seen came to terrible fruition. Horus, first among the Emperor’s chosen, betrayed him by converting several of the Space Marine Legions to the worship of Chaos. The true extent of his treachery became evident to the Emperor at Istvaan V, and the quest to bring the Night Lords to justice was abandoned as the Imperium tore itself apart in all-out war.

Night Haunter was quick to pledge allegiance to Horus, and it became clear that all the allegations leveled at the Night Lords were true. From the planet of Tsaguaisa, deep in the wilderness area of space known as the Eastern Fringes, the Night Lords launched a campaign of genocide and purest evil that made their previous atrocities pale in comparison. They pledged no allegiance to any particular Chaos power, looking upon such devotion with scorn. Instead, their Primarch fed on fear, and eventually became what he most loathed. Soon enough, the ranks of his once-proud Legion were entirely composed of sadistic murderers and criminals granted the power to oppress anyone they chose by the Primarch’s own potent gene-seed. Rather than serving Chaos, the Night Lords used it as a tool In their inhuman works. The galaxy trembled at the very mention of the dread Legion, and slowly but surely, the Night Lords carved a bloody trail towards Terra.
Even at the conclusion of the Horus Heresy, when the Chosen One of Chaos lay broken and beaten on the burning remains of his battle barge, the Night Lords fought on with unforgiving ferocity. They continued to raid the Imperium, all military strategy and carefully planned campaigns of terror discarded in favor of wanton murder and destruction. The hand of Night Haunter was still evident in the acts of his Legion, but it is obvious from field recordings of the time that the battle orders of the Primarch had changed. Where they were originally cold and calculating, the Night Lords now struck against overwhelming odds, their tactics eventually betraying a self-destructive desperation. It is quite possible that Night Haunter was aware of the fact that the Emperor had finally issued the order for his life to be terminated at the hands of the Callidus temple of assassins. Fully half of the existing Callidus operatives were dispatched to locate and destroy the Primarch, hoping his death would disband the Night Lords forever.

The last words of Night Haunter stand as one of the great enigmas of Imperial history. It is thought that the assassin M’shen was consciously allowed to infiltrate Night Haunter’s grotesque palace on the world of Tsagualsa, an edifice constructed entirely from still-living bodies. Expecting to have to deal with numerous guards and loyal retainers, she was surprised to find the halls of bone and flesh completely deserted. The vid-log built into M’shen’s baroque vambraces, kept in stasis at the heart of the most venerated Callidus shrine, shows the final confrontation between the twisted Primarch and the avenging angel. The events are portrayed thus:

Sitting in a pool of shadow upon a throne made from the fused bones of his victims, a carpet of still-screaming faces leading up to gnarled, naked feet, sits Night Haunter himself. His madness and hate radiate from him, palpable even through such a remote medium as a vid-log. M’shen stops in her tracks when the fallen Primarch raises his head, her face reflected in the impassive, deep black pools of his eyes. Long moments pass. Then, in a voice thick with contempt and pain, Night Haunter speaks.

"Your presence does not surprise me, Assassin. I have known of you ever since your craft entered the Eastern Fringes. Why did I not have you killed? Because your mission and the act you are about to commit proves the truth of all I have ever said or done. I merely punished those who had wronged, just as your false Emperor now seeks to punish me. Death is nothing compared to vindication."

Then the vid-log blurs for a fraction of a second as M’shen leaps forwards, and the last image in the recording is of dark, staring eyes brimming with madness above a lipless smile before the recording inexplicably shorts out.

2006-12-19, 06:20 PM
Alpha Legion

The Alpha Legion was the twentieth and last legion created in the first founding. Under the critical eye of their Primarch during the Great Crusade the Legion became renowned for its discipline and strict organization. Though the youngest Legion, the Alpha Legion sought to outshine its brethren in all things as if to prove their worthiness amidst the older Legions. The Alpha warriors adopted the symbol of the hydra as their Legion's symbol. This many-headed, dragon-like creature from ancient myth served to remind the brethren of the Alpha Legion of their ultimate unity in body and spirit. On the battlefield the terrifying coordination of the Alpha Legion was their hallmark, their attacks kept the enemy under relentless pressure while they sought a weak point in their defenses.

When Horus made his pace with Chaos the martial pride of the Alpha Legion was their downfall. The Warmaster was a mighty warrior himself; he commanded armies and fleets and fought at the forefront of the Emperor's wars. By comparison he made the distant Emperor on Terra seem a weak and cowardly individual. The Warmaster was a leader worthy of their respect, the Emperor sought only to exploit Horus's conquests and crush the liberated humans of the galaxy beneath his stifling regime. So the lies were insinuated into the hearts and minds of the Alpha Legion, and if any lie is repeated often enough it begins to be accepted, and once accepted it becomes truth.

Joyously, the Alpha Legion clashed with loyalist Space Marines on Istvaan V and the campaigns thereafter. Here at last was an opponent fully as tough, as war trained, as ferocious as themselves. The brethren of the hydra inflicted stinging defeats on the loyalists at Tallarn, Yarant and dozens of smaller outposts before moving onward into the Ultima Segmentum like an all destroying comet. The Alpha Legion became entirely separated from the forces of Horus but continued to wage war on all that they came across. By the end of the Heresy they were inventing objectives and missions of their own to fulfill their war-lust without reference to their allies.

Even after Heresy failed the Alpha Legion continued to fight a covert war against the Imperium. Small units of Alpha warriors set up hidden bases in asteroid fields, space hulks and barren systems throughout the galaxy while the bulk of the Legion withdrew to the Eye of Terror. Raiding parties sally out from these secret bases to catch the defenders of humanity unaware - sabotaging bases, attacking shipping, terrorizing settlements and destroying small outposts with deadly efficiency.

Far more insidious and dangerous are their connections with Chaos Cultists on the settled worlds of the Imperium. The Alpha Legion coordinates and directs the activities of Cultists across entire sectors to instigate massive insurrections against Imperial rule. These revolts are often used as a cover for a series of shattering Chaos Space Marine raids or as a precursor to a full-scale invasion from the Eye of Terror. The Inquisition holds a special loathing for the Alpha Legion for their part in spreading these iniquitous demon cults and fanning the embers of heresy into the raging fires of outright rebellion.

Following the Horus Heresy, thousands of records, archives and libraries were destroyed to purge ad mention, indeed any memory, of the traitors. Ten millennia later there are now billions of Imperial citizens who remain unaware that the rebellion every happened. However, a few tomes survived, mostly in the hands of those in high authority or heretics whose loyalties still remained undiscovered. It is from these works that historians and Inquisitors have gleaned their knowledge of those ancient times. Of course, sifting out the truth is never easy, because most books are copies of copies or simply forgeries filled with lies.

In the case of the Alpha Legion, reliable facts are even harder to come by, as the legion was notoriously secretive. For example – unlike most of the First Founding Legions of the Adeptus Astartes, the Alpha Legion’s home world is unknown. The reason for this omission is unclear, but Inquisitor Kravin of the Ordo Malleus has recently unearthed an ancient journal that he claims provides and account of the first contact with, and recovery of, the legions’ Primarch. Kravin has estimated the veracity of this journal at 62.6%, but has so far refused to produce it for independent examination.

According to Kravin’s claim, towards the end of the Great Crusade, an advance patrol cruiser of the Luna Wolves Legion entered an unnamed system, searching as ever for lost human worlds. Swarming towards it came a horde of small space ships, of varying types and appearances, mainly one and two-man fighters. Despite the ships being of primitive design and apparently from more than one origin, the attack was highly coordinated. Dozens mobbed the Luna Wolves’ Thunderhawks, while others braved the batteries of turret defense guns to shoot at the huge cruiser. However, the weapons of the fighters made little impression and the attack soon broke off. The Luna Wolves cruiser gave chase, eager to show these puny attackers the power of the Adeptus Astartes. It was only after the first impact that the bridge crew realized they had been lured into a minefield. Maneuvering to escape resulted in two more explosions and damaged the engines seriously enough that the cruiser was forced to halt in place until repairs could be made. The horde of fighters renewed their attacks, leaving the outnumbered Thunderhawks hard-pressed to defend against them.

Two days later, the rest of the Luna Wolves fleet arrived, summoned by the cruiser’s distress signal. The legion’s Primarch, Horus, was shuttled straight to the stricken cruiser, furious at the crew’s failure to deal with such insignificant attackers. He found the command deck in a state of high alert, for a small group of the enemy had somehow managed to board the cruiser. They had split up to evade capture in the ship’s endless corridors and service ducts, and those that had not already been found and eliminated now seemed to be converging on the bridge.

Horus waited for them. As five men burst onto the deck, he shot four of them through the head before they even had a chance to act. Without pause the fifth shot rang out, but the last man was different. More than foot taller even than the Luna Wolves Space Marines, he had piercing green eyes and looked almost a match for Horus himself. Somehow, even at such close range, the man sidestepped fast enough that the bolt shell only grazed his temple and exploded against the bulkhead behind. As the man charged forwards, a second shot slammed into his shoulder, but still he did not slow. More shots were fired by guards and bridge officers as well as Horus. The man staggered under multiple impacts, but incredibly came on through the firestorm to launch himself at the Luna Wolves Primarch. Then at the last instant, with his hands inches from Horus’s throat, the man stopped. The two stared at each other for a long moment, before Horus started laughing. He had found the last Primarch.

The new arrival called himself Alpharius, and claimed to have been traveling this area of space for many years. However, he remained tight-lipped as to where he had originated. Various worlds in that locale were subsequently brought into the Imperial fold, but Alpharius always denied that any of them was his home. The conglomeration of planets he had been leading was persuaded to join the Imperium with little further bloodshed. The wounds Alpharius had suffered healed quickly, but it seems that rather than sending his discovery straight back to Terra to meet the Emperor, Horus kept the Primarch with him for some months. Horus was most impressed with Alpharius’s remarkable success against his cruiser – trapping it, boarding it and then penetrating right to the bridge – and during this time he allowed his new found brother to take tactical command in the various actions that occurred. Alpharius was clearly just as impressed with Horus – with the huge martial power he wielded and with his instinct for when and when not to use it.

Eventually, Alpharius was taken back to the epicenter of the ever-expanding Imperium and reunited with the Emperor. There was the usual rejoicing, pomp and circumstance, but records on Terra suggest that he two spent little time together. Alpharius was quickly sent to take command of his legion, while the Emperor had many pressing affairs of state. The Alpha Legion, as it was now named, was the last of the Adeptus Astartes Legions to be created. With astounding prescience, the Emperor had ordered their founding just a few decades before. The new Space Marines were tall and strong, much reminiscent of their Primarch, and were possessed of a cunning intelligence.

Alpharius led his army, created in his image, to the outer reaches of the Imperium, eager to join battle and emulate the glories of the older legions. His first campaigns were well planned and highly successful, and he worked to develop and mould his legions tactics. He advocated that the best attack comes from many directs at once, assaulting the foe on all sides, in every way. He insisted on having options open, never relying on any one thing, individual person or single victory to win the day. He was always prepared with a back-up plan, a flanking force was always in perfect position, and Alpha Legion infiltrators invariably struck behind enemy lines at just the right moment.

Alpharius added to this doctrine by seeking as many other advantages as he could. He would bargain for allies, encourage treachery within the enemy army and develop a network of informers and spies within the populous. Underground rebel groups and activists would be contacted and persuaded to provide diversionary attacks, demonstrations or bombings at agreed times. By the time a battle started, the Alpha Legion would have so many factors to its advantage that it was virtually impossible to lose. The legion soon gained a reputation for devastatingly coordinated campaigns, and while these methods took longer to execute than a simple frontal assault, they were far less costly in troops, enabling Alpharius to spread his forces more widely.

Most of the other legions had taken planets to be their headquarters and base of operations, generally the worlds where their Primarchs had been found. They had constructed glorious cathedral-like fortresses and many had taken over government of their world and even the surrounding systems. But Alpharius clearly did not believe in this high profile approach. He is thought to have established several bases, but kept their locations hidden from everyone outside the legion. Only the whereabouts of smaller staging posts and supply depots were made known, and even this information was highly restricted.

It is thought that Alpharius worked tirelessly to improve and develop his officers, encouraging them to think for themselves and listening to their counsel. He instigated programs of training, constantly setting challenges to overcome, even in the midst of battle, to force his troops to adapt and improvise. There are even documented occasions when, shortly before or during major offensives, the Primarch simply disappeared, in order to assess how his legion would perform without him.

Alpharius did not seek glory or honors for himself, and rarely attended victory celebrations. Consequently, he never spent much time with the other Primarch’s and it was many years before he met all of them. His first encounter with Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines was reputedly strained. Guilliman believed in rigid structure and hierarchy, and had a firm battle doctrine that his legion never wavered from. He was in the process of documenting the ‘correct’ tactics and operation of a Space Marine force, tried and tested during his long years of command, and suggested that the young Alpha Legion should adopt this ‘codex’ behavior. However, this attitude was anathema to Alpharius’ belief in initiative and adaptability, and a heated debate over tactics and ideology ensued. When it became clear that Alpharius would not bow to his experience and superiority, Guilliman pointed out the thousands of victories and battle honors his legion had won, and told his younger brother that he could never hope to compare.

After that meeting, Alpharius pushed his legion even harder, seeking out the most difficult challenges for his forces. He knew he could not equal the number of worlds conquered by the older legions, for they had been founded centuries earlier, but he seemed determined to win their respect for his legion’s martial prowess.

On the world of Tesstra Prime, the population was violently resistant to the idea of Imperial rule. Alpharius deliberately delayed his assault a full week, allowing the planet’s armies to amass and dig in around the sprawling capital city, and when battle commenced there was close to a million soldiers arrayed against the Alpha Legion. However, the week had not been spent idle. The Space Marines had deployed so that they could attack from various directions, while leaving huge sections of the defensive line untouched. Just as the assault was launched, bombs detonated within the city demolished dozens of bridges and blocked major supply routes. The defending Tesstran commanders found themselves unable to move troops and supplies into the areas under attack, or out of the areas that were being ignored. The divided forces tried to hold out against the relentless advance of the Alpha Legion, but the lack of ammunition and reinforcements made it a hopeless task. And, of course, while help could not be brought in, retreating sliders found they could not get out fast enough either. Thousands ended up herded together down the few remaining escape routes and were cut to pieces in and endless rain of bolter shells. It was two days before enough of the defenders could be redeployed to mount a serious counter-attack. However, officers in the Tesstran army had somehow been compromised and these traitors betrayed details of the plan. The counter-attack advanced into a trap, and found itself beset by armored Space Marines on all sides. Within a week, the Tesstran forces had suffered ninety percept casualties. When he was asked why he had not simply seized the capital before the defending armies had arrived, Alpharius replied “It would have been too easy.” (cf. Inq. File 306621/M.30)


His conduct of the battle for Tesstra brought Alpharius censure from many quarters. Roboute Guilliman is recorded as having called it “a huge waste of time, effort and the Emperor’s bolt shells”. However, concerns about alleged atrocities committed by the Night Lords legion diverted attention away from the incident. Nevertheless, Alpharius was furious at the reaction to his Legions masterful performance. Only Horus openly praised the manner in which the Alpha Legion had overcome opposition that outnumbered them a hundred to one. Horus was the only other Primarch whom Alpharius had any regular contact with. The two appeared to respect each other greatly, and are thought to have discussed tactics on more than one occasion.

At the start of the Heresy, the Warmaster’s forces amassed on Istvaan V. The Emperor sent no fewer than seven legions, fully one third of the entire Adeptus Astartes, to put down the rebellion. The initial wave consisted of three of those legions – the Salamanders, the Iron Hands and the Raven Guard. They were seriously mauled as they made planetfall and battled to secure safe landing zones. This second wave was made up of the remaining four legions, and some sources name the Alpha Legion among them. After their initial landings these ‘loyalists’ attacked their allies instead of the rebels. Utterly betrayed and attacked on all sides, the three allegedly loyalist legions had no chance at all. Just five loyal Space Marines survived the massacre, bearing the previous gene-seed of many of their fallen brethren. Given the average size of legions at this time, the death toll must have reached 30,000, while rebel casualties on Istvaan are estimated at just a few thousand.

Inquisitor Kravin has observed that such a deceitful trap was strongly reminiscent of Alpharius tactics, suggesting that “he and Horus may have devised this brilliant plan together”. Other scholars have made the same connection, though with rather less enthusiastic wording. Exactly when Alpharius chose to side with the Warmaster is not clear. Certainly he spent more time with Horus than he ever did with the Emperor. Perhaps there was an understanding between them right from the beginning.

However, it is not thought that Alpharius was blindly following Horus, for he seemed to have his own agenda. He relished every battle against loyalist Space Marines as the ultimate test of military skill. Again and again the Alpha Legion proved they were the match of the other legions. They started going out of their way to find Space Marine opponents, and inflicted stinging defeats on the loyalist White Scars at Tallarn, a Space Wolves company at Yarant and other legions at dozens of smaller outposts. Well before the Warmaster’s forces reached Terra, the Alpha Legion had become separated, but continued to wage war on all that they came across. Even after the defeat of Horus on Terra, the Alpha Legion continued on unchecked, apparently inventing objectives with absolutely no connection to the rebellion as a whole. They moved into the galactic east towards, whether by coincidence or design, the Ultramarines Legion. The Ultramarines had been posted on he Eastern Fringe when the Heresy began, and were racing back to the Segmentum Solar, enraged at the treachery of their brother Space Marines and the Warmaster’s connivance to keep them too far away to affect the outcome.

It is possible that Alpharius deliberately sought out the Ultramarines, that he wished to confront Roboute Guilliman in battle and prove the superiority of his tactics. Other theories suggest that the Ultramarines tracked down the Alpha Marines, seizing the opportunity to be revenged on one of the Traitor Legions. But, however it came about, the two Space Marine legions met in battle on the world of Eskrador.

First to arrive on the planet, Alpharius was able to choose his battleground, for he knew that the Ultramarines would not rest until they had hunted the traitors down. The Alpha Legion deployed deep within a harsh mountain range, at the pole of planet, riven with gullies, ravines and high passes that would seriously hamper movement, especially for ground vehicles.

Alpharius was convinced that the battle would be won by the side which overcame these problems the best, thought forward planning, coordinated air transport and detachments coping independently of heavy support. Guilliman was a military commander with few peers. However, all the experience, lessons and tactics he had accumulated over the centuries had been carefully documented, compiled and made accessible to the other legions, in the Primarch’s desire to improve the Emperor’s armies as a whole. Now this gave Alpharius the advantage because he knew how the Ultramarines operated. Indeed, Guilliman’s initial deployment followed exactly the doctrines set down in his own writings, and the Alpha Legion moved to trap them. But Guilliman chose the first nightfall to do something unexpected. Breaking his own rules of operation, he led a large portion of his own forces deep into the mountains, deploying by Thunderhawk, drop pods and teleporter into the midst of the Alpha Legion with no lines of support or supply. Guilliman’s target was the enemy command center and none other than Alpharius himself.

The following account appears to be the personal log of a member of the Ultramarines strike force, probably a sergeant. It is included in Inquisitor Kravin’s diatribe ‘Lessons of Strife’, though other Inquisitors and representatives of the Ultramarines themselves have questioned its validity. The original document was purportedly discovered in a system earth-ward of Eskrador;

[0411.0] Out strike force numbered over three thousand Marines, and despite the lack of heavy armor in support (due to our mode of arrival), we soon had the traitors’ command center in disarray. There was no way the lightly armored buildings could stand up to our Devastators’ firepower and a direct assault by the most honored and revered Ultramarines Dreadnoughts. Our enemies were outnumbered five to one and soon started to fall back up the mountain valley, probably to buy time for a relieving force to arrive (my Captain conjectured). But we were zealous with the thought of revenge and pressed them hard, knowing that the terrain would hamper the movement of reinforcements.

With perhaps five hundred Space Marines remaining, the Alpha Legion force made a stand at the head of the valley. Their heavy weapons were deployed well, high on the mountainside, and felled many our number as we fought upwards toward them – but their guns were too few and our resolve unswerving. As we closed upon the traitors, Alpharius himself led a counter attack, charging headlong back down the rocky slope with his bodyguard and slamming into our line. Not even Ultramarines could stand before a Primarch, and his powersword felled every noble Space Marine within reach. Our advance halted and I was forced to recite the Canticle of Faith to steady my squad. But then an imposing figure appeared and my heart was gladdened. Our great Lord and Primarch Roboute Guilliman himself strode forward, ignoring the melee around him, straight towards Alpharius. The two Primarch’s stood before each other. They were equal in stature, both clad in shining power armor and each wielding a glittering powersword, but where one was noble the other was craven, where one was loyal the other was a betrayer. All other combat ceased as we watched them. There was a long pause, neither Primarch moving an inch, then both struck in an instant. Each sword made a single stroke and then both were still again. For a second, the two great men stood facing, before Alpharius slumped to the ground.

Like every other Ultramarines Space Marine on the field, I let out a loud cry of victory. Guilliman’s plan had worked – the very heart of the enemy had been torn out. The remaining bodyguard fought on, but we fell on our adversaries with renewed vigor, and when the last one had been cut down, we turned our attention tot the rest of the Alpha Legion command. Trapped by the sheer mountains at the head of the valley, they had no escape from our bolter fire. We left not one alive.

The body of the dead Primarch was burnt on a great pyre, and Lord Guilliman allowed us a moment of prayer and reflection on our success before issuing orders to move out and commence the destruction of the leaderless enemy army. We are fully confident that the task will be straightforward – the loss of its Primarch is something no legion can recover from. [END ENTRY]

[0413.4] The optimism engendered by our initial victory appears to have been misplaced. Since my last entry we have ascertained that the Alpha Legion’s command function was spread into numerous groups, and the loss of one apparently had minimal impact on their operational abilities, even though it included Alpharius. What is more, our deep strike and the target’s subsequent retreat has drawn our force well out of position, far from support. It has become clear that far from hunting out demoralized pockets of traitors, we were facing a superbly organized foe that is closing in on us from all sides. [END

[0413.9] We have sighted our Thunderhawk gunships overhead, engaged in fierce battles with those of the Alpha Legion. Both legions have, of course, very similar numbers of Thunderhawks, so the aerial battle seems to be a standoff, leaving no chance of an air evacuation. Meanwhile, the enemy has launched several hit-and-run attacks upon our strike force, causing numerous casualties, and Lord Guilliman is commenced a drive back out of the mountains to link up with the rest of our ground troops. [END ENTRY]

[0414.9] We are being harassed and ambushed every step of the way. Groups of Eskrador natives, apparently bribed or coerced into helping the traitors, have triggered rockslides to block our path and delay us. Communications with the rest of our legion have become sporadic – our Techmarines think they are being jammed – however some dialogue has been possible and a relieving force compromising most of our remaining ground forces is pushing into the mountains towards us. However, that too has apparently been under attack, and supply vehicles have been sabotaged. [END ENTRY]

[0420.] After five grim days of intermittent fighting we sighted the distinctive blue armor of our Ultramarines brethren advancing down a valley towards us. However, having approached into range our ‘rescuers’ opened fire. A contingent of the Alpha Legion scum had disguised its heraldry and armor in order to spring a trap. Are there no depths to which these heretics will not sink? The utter dishonor that our erstwhile brothers had shown left me stunned. More of the Alpha Legion appeared to our rear, initiating the biggest attack from our enemies so far. With mountains to either side, we had little option but to stand our ground and fight for our lives. Losses were heavy, and might have been total, if it were not for the timely arrival of the real rescuing force. The reinforcements were in little better shape than our own beleaguered strike force, but the extra numbers allowed us to force a way through and establish a more defendable front line [END ENTRY]

The account goes on to describe how in the next wee Guilliman attempted a number of counter attacks to regain the initiative, but the Alpha Legion seemed to have prior knowledge of their every move, and either were not where augurs suggested or had carefully planned ambushes waiting. Finally the Ultramarines evacuated the planet surface and used their ships to bombard the traitors from orbit. Guilliman is recorded as having said he had no interest in righteous battle against such a dishonorable foe and that they were needed back on Terra with all possible speed. However, it seems hard to dispute the fact that the Ultramarines were soundly beaten by the Alpha Legion, despite killing Alpharius. Certainly the deep ravines of the mountain range would have provided plenty of cover from the bombardment cannons.


The months and years that followed were a chaotic time of regrouping, rebuilding and retribution for the Imperium. When Imperial forces returned to Eskrador there was no sign of the Alpha Legion (although the entire native populace was purged to eradicate any taint of Chaos). However it is thought that he majority of the legion did not flee into the Eye of Terror with the other rebels, instead remaining within the Imperium. Numerous secret bases were already in existence, and the legion fragmented itself in order to hide itself in the midst of its enemies. Small forces kept up frequent attacks on military targets especially those weakened by the carnage of the Heresy, and became a major problem for those trying to rebuild the shattered Imperium. The location and destruction of these groups became a priority, and the Inquisition and remaining loyalist legions devoted considerable resources to this end. The last pockets of Alpha Legion forces were declared eradicated in a proclamation by the High Lords of terra at the end of M.32, but subsequent attacks proved this to be untrue. Similar declarations were made during M.33 and as recently as M.39
Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children were among the units assigned to crush Horus and his rebel Legions on Istvaan V. During a parley, the Legion's Primarch, Fulgrim, and his highest ranking officers were corrupted by the decadent pastimes Horus and his Chaos worshippers offered. The Imperial Cult was quickly supplanted by the gratifying worship of Slaanesh.

While corrupt beyond human comprehension, the Emperor's Children are a savage fighting force. Like many of Slaanesh's followers, they have become known as Noise Marines. Each suit of armor, every bolter or chainsword is worked into fantastic patterns and colored in praise of Slaanesh.

All the First Founding Legions were created to take part in Imperial Crusades. It was, however, nearly sixty years before the Emperor's Children saw action. An accident during gene-seeding almost destroyed the Legion as it was born. Once the Emperor's Children had been re-established with rescued gene-seed they proved to be loyal and efficient, distinguishing themselves in several campaigns.

The Emperor's Children were among the units assigned to crush Horus and his rebel Chapters on Istvaan V. During a parley the Legion's Primarch, Fulgrim, and his highest ranking officers were corrupted by the decadent pastimes that Horus and his Chaos-worshippers offered. Drugged, pleasured beyond endurance, and finally broken, they agreed to aid Horus. The rot quickly spread to the whole Legion, and the Emperor's Children willingly embraced Chaos in all its indolent depravity. The Imperial Cult was quickly supplanted by the more gratifying worship of Slaanesh.

As one of the Traitor Legions, the Emperor's Children invaded Earth, but took little part in the fighting around the Imperial Palace. Simple pleasures had given way to complex debaucheries. While their allies fought and died the Emperor's Children slaughtered more than a million people and rendered them down to create endless varieties of drugs and stimulants. Countless thousands more died to give the Emperor's Children more direct, if cruder, enjoyment.

When the assault failed the Emperor's Children fled into the Eye of Terror with the rest of the Traitor Legions. They were the first to begin raiding the Imperial worlds for captives and plunder. Their excesses soon knew no bounds and simple raiding could not supply enough raw human material for their orgies of worship. At this point the Emperor's Children turned on the slaves and servants of the other Traitor Legions, an action which began a series of wars within the Eye of Terror. The struggles of the Emperor's Children continued until the destruction of the cloned Horus by the Black Legion.

While corrupt beyond human comprehension, the Emperor's Children are a savage fighting force. Like many of Slaanesh's followers they have become what are known as Noise Marines. These crazed followers of the Lord of Pleasure have become depraved and totally decadent warriors who seek and find a perverse enjoyment in battle. The danger of combat is a rediscovered thrill and aphrodisiac, allowing them to reach new extremes of debauchery. The louder and more discordant the noise the more extreme the emotional reaction provoked, until only the din of battle and terrified screams of the enemy can stir them. To further enhance their enjoyment Noise Marines carry outlandish weapons that produce deafening loud and pyrotechnically explosive attacks.

Because the senses of the Emperor's Children have become so distorted only the most extravagant colors and patterns register on their minds. Each suit of armor, every bolter or chainsword, is worked into fantastic patterns and colored in praise of Slaanesh. Each Emperor's Children Space Marine alters and changes his armor slightly, adding to its quality and 'beautifying' it. For the most favored, the weaponsmiths of the Legion sometimes carve scenes of debauchery into shoulder and breast plates.

Long ago, during the Age of Strife, warp travel became impossible and all the worlds which humanity had claimed were cut off from one another, forced to fend for themselves without the support of their neighbors in other star systems. The Libram ex Dominar, one of the few surviving texts from this time, tells that Chemos was one such world, a mining colony dependent on interstellar trade for food. The planet’s rulers made every effort to extract enough raw food from the harsh environment to feed their people, but Chemos was a world dying a slow death. This all changed when one day the guards on the walls of Callax, the largest remaining factory-fortress, saw a meteor descend from the clouds, trailing fire across the sky before impacting barely a mile from the fortress walls. Though little manpower could be spared, the ruling Executive of Callax sent a handful of scouts to investigate the impact site, hoping for some evidence of human survivors on other worlds. What they found became legend.In the centre of the crater, surrounded by the white-hot remains of a stasis capsule, was a child, barely more than a baby. Orphans were normally put to death on Chemos – the Executive spared no resources to look after those who were unable to return their investment by working in the factories – but the captain of the Callax scouts looked into the eyes of the child and saw something more than human. In defiance of tradition, the captain of the scouts appealed to the Executive, Because of his value to Callax, the captain was allowed to adopt the infant as his own. He named his adopted son after an old legend long-since discarded by the people of Chemos, the mythical god of creation Fulgrim. The child named after this legend soon created a legend of his own, one that would become known to all the people of his world.

Fulgrim grew unnaturally fast, becoming a strong, capable man. At half the age of his fellow workers he was able to fulfill his obligations to the Executive, working for days without rest. Not only was he physically proficient, he quickly grew to understand the technology of the machines he worked with, and began to contemplate their improvement. By the fifteenth anniversary of his fall from the sky, Fulgrim had risen from the ranks of the workers, first becoming an engineer then one of the Executive itself. Learning of the slow deterioration in Callax and the other settlements of Chemos, Fulgrim set himself the task of saving his world.

One by one he convinced his fellow members of the Executive to fight against the entropy that was destroying Chemos. Under Fulgrim’s leadership, teams of engineers traveled far from the factory-fortresses, reclaiming long-dead outposts in the planet’s most inaccessible regions. The ancient mines were reopened and expanded, bringing more and more minerals into Callax and allowing the construction of more sophisticated machines. Recycling efficiency grew until, at last, Callax was producing more that it consumed. Seeing his people prosper, Fulgrim took pride in fostering he re-emergence of art and culture, reclaiming the spirit of humanity that had been sacrificed so long ago in the struggle or survival. As Callax grew, the other settlements began to ally themselves with Fulgrim. Fifty years after Fulgrim fell from the sky he rose to sole rulership of Chemos.

It was not long after this that the planet’s isolation came to an end. From the grey sky came a flight of dropships, armored and battle-scarred, each bearing the same symbol, a two-headed eagle. On hearing of this, some fragment of memory stirred in Fulgrim. Chemos had no formal army, but the dropships’ landing zone had been surrounded by the Caretakers, the police-soldiers responsible for maintaining order in the factory-fortresses. Fulgrim sent word to the Caretakers to stand down and allow the visitors from above into Callax.

In his spartan quarters, Fulgrim was faced by armored warriors from the stars. Their faces bore the scars of many battles, and from their shoulders hung scrolls listing their achievements. Their armor and weapons were finely-worked, and their banners and pennants were works of art. Fulgrim recognized that these men were not merely advanced, but civilized – his lost brothers from the stars had preserved the arts he had longed to return to Chemos. From the midst of these warriors stepped their leader, the Emperor of Humanity. Fulgrim surveyed him and, without a word, knelt and offered his sword. On that day Fulgrim swore to serve the Imperium with all his heart.
From the Emperor himself, Fulgrim learned of Terra, of the Great Crusade to reclaim the galaxy, and of his own origins. Though the story was fantastic he knew it to be true, and at the Emperor’s request Fulgrim traveled to Terra to join his Legion, the Emperor’s Children. Unlike the other Legions fighting in the Crusade, the Emperor’s Children were few in number – an accident had destroyed nearly all of the precious gene-seed and, with the Primarch himself lost, the rebuilding had been a slow process. Fulgrim addressed the two hundred warriors who were then all that the Legion could muster. To them he gave the sacred task of bringing the Emperor’s wisdom to all the stars in the sky. "We are His children," the Book of Primarchs relates he told them, "Let all who look upon us know this. Only by imperfection can we fail him. We will not fail!"So inspired was the Emperor by the words of his newly-found son that he bestowed on Fulgrim’s Legion a unique honor: the Emperor’s Children would be permitted to display the Imperial Eagle on their amour’s chestplates, the only Legion then allowed to display the symbol in such a manner. Fulgrim was anxious to begin his conquest of the unknown regions of the galaxy, but realized that his two hundred warriors were far too few to undertake a crusade on their own. With the Emperor’s blessing he and his Legion joined the Luna Wolves, and Fulgrim fought side-by-side with his brother Horus, aiding him in his newly-assigned task of pacifying the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy. The Warmaster himself praised Fulgrim and his Legion, declaring them the living embodiment of the Adeptus Astartes.

Swelled by new recruits drawn from Chemos and Terra, the Emperor’s Children finally mustered the strength to undertake a crusade alone, and Fulgrim proudly led his warriors into the unknown. To countless worlds he brought the rule of the Emperor, crushing any resistance in the certain knowledge that any who fought against the Emperor fought against Humanity itself.

From the growing ranks of his Legion, Fulgrim selected a few individuals, the bravest, strongest and noblest, to become Lord Commanders, each given charge of a full battle company. Fulgrim taught the Lord Commanders personally, taking care that they were worthy of the honor of being the representatives of the Emperor. In turn the Lord Commanders passed Fulgrim’s words on to the officers under their command, and they to their squads. In this way, through their leaders, each Space Marine of the Emperor’s Children Legion followed the Emperor himself. To honor the Emperor, they strove for perfection in all things: battlefield doctrine was obeyed to the letter, tactics and strategy were studied in minute detail and perfected, and the Emperor’s decrees were memorized by every Space Marine, adhered to in every way. While the Emperor’s Children, like many Legions, considered the Emperor a man, not a god, their reverence and adoration for him bordered on the fanatical.

2006-12-19, 06:22 PM
Gah! You may need to get a Home page.

2006-12-19, 06:33 PM
Horus Heresy

With his Primarchs and Space Marines executing the Great Crusade, the Emperor returned to Terra, intent on strengthening the Imperium which his forces were building. Most knew that his place was at the heart of his Imperium, but one man disagreed: Warmaster Horus, master of the now re-named Sons of Horus Space Marine Legion, mightiest of the Primarchs. In his arrogance, Horus believed the Emperor to be weak, a man unworthy of the battles fought in his name. Upon hearing evidence of Horus’s betrayal, the Emperor sent seven entire Legions of Space Marines to challenge the Warmaster, if necessary to destroy him. The Emperor’s Children were the first to arrive in the Istvaan system, where Horus waited, and Fulgrim met Horus in person to demand he account for his actions. Instead, Horus succeeded in corrupting his brother Primarch to the powers that now held sway over him. The Council of Charon, formed after the Horus Heresy to discover the causes of the traitor Primarch’s betrayals, concluded that Fulgrim’s respect for Horus allowed the Warmaster to influence him, weakening him enough for Chaos to lure him away from the Emperor. Slowly, as he and Horus talked, Fulgrim’s loyalty to Terra crumbled, replaced by a burning desire to destroy the false Emperor, whose rule held back Humanity from the perfection Fulgrim had always believed it capable of. Seduced by Horus’s words, Fulgrim turned to the promise of a new Humanity, a Humanity that would rise to the peak of civilization, a Humanity free of the oppressive rule of the false Emperor. Slaanesh whispered to Fulgrim, promising perfection in all things, and Fulgrim gave himself willingly to his new god.

As Fulgrim turned, so too did his Lord Commanders. They knew their Primarch to be the embodiment of perfection, and needed little convincing to follow him into Slaanesh’s service. Returning to their Legion, Fulgrim and his Lord Commanders met with their captains, preaching to them the glory of Chaos. The captains in turn passed the worship of Slaanesh to their subordinates, and so on until the entire Legion had forsaken the Emperor. Denouncing the teachings of their former idol, they turned wholeheartedly to Slaanesh, giving the Prince of Chaos the same measure of devotion they had once shown to the Emperor. Slaanesh, in turn, bestowed visions of paradise on the Emperor’s Children, a galaxy of ultimate freedom, where no evil was possible because every experience was a source of pleasure. The Legion’s Chaplains exhorted their brothers to pursue this dream, to savor every sensation. The perfection of the Emperor’s Children became perfect hedonism, limitless in its scope, unstoppable in its fury. When loyal Space Marines arrived on Istvaan V, the Emperor’s Children were first among the traitors who stood against them, aiding in the massacre of the loyal Legions with gleeful savagery.
Horus’s rebellion spread, casting the entire Imperium into turmoil. When Horus laid siege to Terra itself, the Emperor’s Children were at his side, but they took little part in the slow process of whittling down the massive defenses of the Imperial Palace. Instead Fulgrim turned his Legion loose on the uncontested areas of the planet, where billions of terrified humans cowered at the sight of the followers of Chaos, suddenly stripped of the protection they had counted on from the Palace.

The brutality and slaughter of Istvaan repeated itself, but on a far, far greater scale. With the concentration of Chaos around Terra, the Apothecaries and Sorcerers of the Emperor’s Children drew on the power of Slaanesh to enhance their pleasures, wantonly desecrating not only their minds and bodies, but now their immortal souls as well. Daemons were summoned and set loose among prisoners, feasting on their flesh as they died, while the Space Marines themselves sought even greater excesses of carnage and carnality. Fulgrim directed the slaughter with glee, believing that his Legion were setting their victims free from the chains of the Emperor’s rule, and allowing them to feel true Humanity at the limits of experience. In that time, as the Siege of Terra raged around them, the Emperor’s Children are reckoned to have murdered more than forty times their number of unarmed, defenseless people in their efforts to create new stimulants to feed their addiction to pleasure. How many more died simply to sate the bloodlust of their killers cannot be guessed at.


At the height of the Siege of Terra, Imperial history records that Horus faced the Emperor in single combat and was defeated. With his death, the Legions of Chaos fell into disarray, and so the Emperor’s Children were forced to flee, scattered along with the rest of the traitor fleets. Those Imperial vessels which pursued Fulgrim’s fleet from Terra followed a trail of devastated worlds, where corpses were piled high, survivors pleaded to be allowed to die to escape their nightmares and, ominously, thousands more were simply missing, never seen again. Eventually, after countless atrocities, the Emperor’s Children reached the Eye of Terror where they and their fellow traitors hid from the vengeance of the Imperium. According to the Inquisition’s Hades Oracle, the Emperor’s Children quickly exhausted their supply of slaves and playthings, and began to prey upon the only victims available: the slaves and servants of the other Traitor Legions. The resulting wars were terrible and bloody, but there could be only one eventual result, and finally the Legion of the Emperor’s Children was shattered.

Of the fate of Fulgrim himself, none are sure. The enemies of Slaanesh claim he was killed during the battles against his fellow Legions, but robot-crewed Mechanicus travelers recovered neither his body nor the remains of his battle barge. Among the remains of the Emperor’s Children, it is rumored that he was rewarded for his devotion to pleasure, and that he was elevated by Slaanesh to become a Daemon Prince, lord of a Daemon world. Over the millennia, many of the Emperor’s Children, along with other Slaanesh-worshipping Space Marines, sought Fulgrim’s world, hoping to discover limitless pleasure, but none have returned. After ten thousand years the Inquisition still maintains a strike force devoted to pursuing rumors, however slight, of the traitor Primarch’s existence.

The Emperor’s Children, now leaderless, continued to pursue ultimate pleasure, finding solace for the loss of their Legion in the horror of battle, joining with other corrupted Space Marines devoted to Slaanesh in vile crusades. Most became Noise Marines, twisted creatures addicted to fury and tempest, only satisfied by the roar of explosions and the screams of the dying. Only the most extreme sensations can provoke a reaction from these jaded veterans, causing them to decorate their armor in dazzling, clashing colors, and adorn it with shimmering silks and golden chains. Despite their insanity, they remain vicious, savage warriors, delighting in the destruction they cause in battle, willing to serve any master in return for fresh slaves upon which to practice their devotion to Slaanesh. Some even rise to become warlords in their own right, striving to recreate the days millennia ago when Fulgrim led his Legion across countless worlds in an orgy of pain and death. These creatures are even more terrifying than the maniacs who serve them: from beyond pleasure-fuelled insanity they survey the galaxy with savage glee, never content to rest always striving to surpass their latest indulgence with new, even more decadent experiences. Warbands of the Emperor’s Children are thankfully rare, for there cannot be a fate in the galaxy worse than to fall prisoner to them.

Iron Warriors

The Iron Warriors once formed the Emperor's most able body of siege troops. They fought alongside the Imperial Fists on a hundred worlds in the Great Crusade, laying siege to alien citadels and the palaces of heretics who denied the Emperor's divinity. The Iron Warriors' Primarch, Perturabo, excelled in siege and trench warfare above all else, and his treatise on fortifications and their destruction formed the basis of several sections of the Tactica Imperium.

The Iron Warriors betrayed their oaths to the Emperor in the wake of the drop site massacres on Istvaan V. In accordance with Perturabo's doctrines the Iron Warriors, had rapidly established strongholds and trench systems around their drop zones. The loyalists Space Marine Legions which had suffered tremendous casualties during their initial deployment found themselves driven back against the Iron Warriors' fortifications by the ravening Traitor Legions. Instead of offering the hard-pressed loyalists respite the bunkers and bastions proved to be their graveyard as the Iron Warriors mercilessly gunned down anything which moved within range. With the bloody rattle of heavy bolters and the slicing beams of lascannon the Iron Warriors declared for Horus.

After Istvaan the Iron Warriors split up to fight on a dozen other worlds in the Heresy. Contingents of Iron Warriors led assaults by the Chaos hordes against the Imperial palace on ancient Terra. They fought on Vanaheim, reducing its armored cities to twisted ruins one after another. They battled across Thranx and Avellorn, worlds where every scrap of ground is covered by plasteel and rockrete. They struck at loyalist fortresses, temples, keeps and palaces across the galaxy and ground them beneath the tracks of their siege tanks.
Wherever the Iron Warriors fought they threw up great evil citadels in their wake and held them against all comers. Jagged towers mounting heinous weapons of destruction dominated the surrounding terrain from these monuments to Perturabo's cunning. Fields of trenches and forest of razor wire surrounded the Iron Warrior's strongholds such that the loyalist began to dread the bloody assaults needed to destroy them. Even after Horus's defeat the Iron Warriors were only dislodged from the Imperium's worlds at a terrible price.

The surviving Iron Warriors were driven back into the Eye of Terror. There they took a world for their own and fortified it against all comers. Freed from the shackles of physical laws the Iron Warriors' battlements and turrets rose spiraling upwards for miles. Their oubliettes and dungeons pierced the world to its core, donjons and bastions sprang forth like fungi until no world has left, only an impossible tangle of insane structure, a madman's architecture of iron and stone where twisted stairs run at right angles to one another and pinnacles plunge eternally downwards. Within this impossible fortress countless warbands of the Iron Warriors lurk and plot how to crush and imprison all beneath their rule.

The Iron Warriors are a Legion of the First Founding, formed when the Imperium was young and the Emperor walked amongst his people. As with the other Legions, they were created after the Primarchs had disappeared. Although the Iron Warriors did not know their Primarch, during those early years they did inherit common characteristics, notably an affinity for technology and a coldly efficient logic, both of which served them well when calculation was needed, but left them lacking in faith. Tragically for the Iron Warriors, they were ultimately to be confronted by a threat against which the only possible defense was unshakeable faith.

On Olympia the Emperor found the Primarch from whom the Iron Warriors had been fashioned – Perturabo. Dark and melancholy, with a mind like a razor, he was warlord to the Tyrant of Lochos and, like his Legion, was a master of siege craft. By a curious twist of fate, Perturabo had been put in the one place where there was nothing for him to learn but the extent of his own superiority.

Olympia was, in those days ten thousand years gone, a rugged and mountainous world, its population concentrated within a multitude of city states. The ready availability of quarried stone and the terrain made the control of strategic passes and high ground the key to military security.

The young Perturabo was discovered climbing the sheer cliffs below the city state of Lochos. Aware that this was no ordinary child, the city guard brought him before the Tyrant of Lochos, Dammekos. Intrigued by the strange, dark child, Dammekos took him into his household as if he were his own family. Perturabo never trusted the Olympians and, although Dammekos took time and trouble to win the trust and affection of the boy, Perturabo did not respond with any warmth. Many saw him as a cold youth but when one considers that he had been cast alone into a strange world with no clue as to his own origins or the reason, for his unusual abilities, this is perhaps harsh.

When the Great Crusade reached Olympia, Perturabo pledged his loyalty to the Emperor and, as was his custom with his Primarchs the Emperor granted Perturabo command of a Space Marine Legion and suzerainty of the planet as the Legion’s home. The deposed Tyrant of Lochos spent the last few years of his life trying to marshal support to reclaim Olympia. He failed, but created an undercurrent of unrest that was to be harnessed many years later.

There was little time to delay. With the Great Crusade in full swing, Perturabo recruited new Iron Warriors from amongst the Olympians and conducted a lightning campaign against the nearby world of Justice Rock and the heretical Black Judges. The new recruits served well and their triumphant return was celebrated in the Palimodes Fresco, now known only through fragmented holo-recordings.

The Iron Warriors led by Perturabo were devastating siege troops. Expert engineers with cross-training from the Priesthood of Mars, they quickly built on their already impressive reputation. Whilst the Iron Warriors were determined to serve Mankind and their Emperor, their specialization was an unfortunate one. The nature of siege warfare is long periods of dull, back-breaking labor broken by the most brutal, merciless combat imaginable. Men, even Space Marines, cannot withstand hell indefinitely and combat fatigue began to brutalize the Iron Warriors. The custom existed that once the siege lines were complete the besieged must either surrender or expect no quarter. With each campaign the Iron Warriors came to prefer the latter. Battle was to these Space Marines a release from the tedium of life in the siege trenches.

As the Crusade moved forward, many Iron Warrior citadels were established on liberated worlds guaranteeing a safe line of communications. There is a grim irony that the first and last military use of these citadels was to resupply Horus’ forces on their traitorous march on Terra. Tiny numbers of Iron Warriors garrisoned the new fortifications. Where the likes of Russ, Vulkan and Magnus refused to Split their forces, Perturabo obeyed his orders with increasing bitterness. The Iron Warriors were turning into a garrison Legion with tiny deployments all over the Imperium. For example, the infamous Iron Keep on Delgas II was garrisoned by one squad of ten Iron Warriors despite the world having a disgruntled population of almost 130 million. Resentment began to build up throughout the Legion and particularly with Perturabo himself.

The passage of years and the carnage of the Heresy have long destroyed any possibility of proving why the Iron Warriors were treated with such casual disdain. Having finally found the truth of his existence, Perturabo was initially fanatically devoted to the Emperor and was ready to embrace missions that the other Primarchs avoided. The Iron Warriors’ indisputable success then led to them being 'typecast' to the extent that they became an automatic choice for a siege or garrison mission. But all troops need time for rest and reorganization if they are to be at their best. Clearly some authority chose to keep the Iron Warriors in action despite the harm it was doing. The Emperor may have been deliberately testing Perturabo’s faith but, given that Horus, as Warmaster, had control over the precise conduct of many campaigns, it is more likely that he was responsible. When the Heresy began, it was clear that Horus had already established ‘understandings’ with other Legions. In hindsight, it is perfectly conceivable that Horus was working to demoralize and derange the Iron Warriors to make them more malleable.
It is widely claimed that Perturabo was envious of Rogal Dorn. Given Dorn’s well-attested vanity, one can imagine how frequent reference to the perfection of the defenses of the Emperor’s palace on Terra might have antagonized his brother Primarch. Dorn had this effect on a great many people but Perturabo brooded on it and let each boast become an open wound that a cunning manipulator could pull and prod to elicit a response.

It is undoubtedly true that the other Primarchs kept Perturabo at a distance. This may be attributable to his technical genius that was far in advance of any of the others. Perturabo could match wits with Adeptus Mechanicus Magi on anything from warp drives to macro cannons. This was reflected in the way his deeds are recorded in the legends passed down from those times. In one famous story describing the occasion when Leman Russ and Jaghatai Khan routed the Orks of Overdog Mashogg, Perturabo features only as the 'comrade' who calculated the optimum way to bypass Mashogg’s low orbit defenses.

The Heresy

In the midst of the cleansing of the Hrud Warrens on Gugann matters were brought to a head. It was Horus who broke the news to Perturabo that Olympia was in rebellion. Dammekos had died and the population, incited by demagogues, had taken up arms. Perturabo was by this time tired of repeatedly having to prove his worth and now, after all his battles, the thought of being the only Legion unable to hold its own home world appalled him. Horus made the most of the opportunity.
Before his departure, Horus presented Perturabo with the hammer Forgebreaker. It is possible that the weapon acted as a conduit through which the forces of Chaos could manipulate the Iron Warrior Primarch. Alternatively, a mark of respect from such a leader as Horus could have signaled the sealing of a pact between the two.

Perturabo and the Iron Warriors suppressed the rebellion on the streets of one city state after another. No one was spared. It was the principle of surrender or no quarter, and the Iron Warriors had grown accustomed to granting no quarter. Perturabo watched on as unmoved and cold as the fortifications in which he taken such pride were overcome. By the time the massacre was over, Olympia had been culled into slavery with almost 5 million civilians dead.

As the pyres burned through the long Olympian night, the Iron Warriors slowly realized the extent of what they had done. One moment they were humanity’s heroes assaulting the Hrud and the next they were committing genocide. Perturabo was like a man emerging from a drunken stupor, who finds blood on his hands, only dimly aware of how it got there, but is aware of an oppressive feeling of shame nonetheless. He knew that the Emperor could never forgive him his crime.

It was in this doomed mood that the Iron Warriors received news and orders. The news would have been shattering under normal circumstances, but when heard in ruins that were thick with the stench of the dead, it was apocalyptic. Russ’ Space Wolves had attacked Magnus’ Thousand Sons on Prospero. Horus had turned renegade along with his own Sons of Horus. Angron’s World Eaters and Mortarion’s Death Guard were also with him. Fulgrim and the Emperors Children had tried to reason with Horus, but had been seduced into joining him instead. Now the universe exceeded the Iron Warriors in madness. Confused bewilderment gave way to the realization that, with the entire Imperium in flames, their excesses were irrelevant.
According to the accompanying orders they had received, the Iron Warriors were to join six other Legions to face Horus on Istvaan V.
The events on Istvaan V are part of the Heresy legend. The Iron Warriors joined with the Night Lords, Word Bearers and Alpha Legion to destroy the three Legions in the task force who remained loyal.
After Istvaan, the Iron Warriors were let loose. Finally freed from doomed missions, they were possessed with a terrible energy. On a dozen worlds, an Iron Warrior Warsmith replaced the true governor and tithes were paid under the shadow of fortified battlements.

A strong contingent of the Legion accompanied Perturabo to Terra where he supervised the siege of the Emperor’s Palace. Here his skills were invaluable and the Iron Warriors found a sublime pleasure in tearing the edifices of the Imperium down. The end was near for the defenders when the Emperor confronted Horus on his battle barge and defeated him. Like many of Horus’ followers, the Iron Warriors fled to the Eye of Terror, securing a new home world where they could brood on the turn of events and plot vengeance.

The rest of the Iron Warriors defended their small empire based on Olympia, but there was no refuge from the retribution of the loyalist Legions. The Imperial Fists supported the Ultramarines in a decade-long campaign to liberate the subjugated worlds. They discovered the Iron Warriors to be like a barbed hook that, once embedded into a victim, could only be removed with great risk of injuring the patient further. The Olympia garrison held out for two years, eventually triggering their missile stockpiles when defeat was unavoidable. They left a blasted wasteland that, like the other Traitor Legion home worlds, was declared Perdita.

The Iron Cage

The one real triumph in the period following the Heresy was the reason for Perturabo’s ascension to the rank of Daemon Prince. The Iron Warriors had been close to breaching the defenses of the Imperial Palace but had been thwarted by Horus’ death. Afterwards their empire was dismantled by the Imperial Fists by virtue of overwhelming superiority of numbers. On Sebastus IV, therefore, Perturabo set a trap for their Primarch by building the self-styled 'Eternal Fortress’. Upon hearing of the fortress, Rogal Dorn publicly declared that the Imperial Fists would dig Perturabo out of his hole and bring him back to Terra in an Iron Cage. Roboute Guilliman pleaded with Dorn to let him help but just as Perturabo planned, Dorn was arrogant enough to undertake the mission alone Rogal Dorn expected honorable battle but that was not Perturabo’s agenda at all. The Eternal Fortress was a sophisticated trap. At its centre was a keep sitting in the middle of twenty square miles of bunkers, towers, minefields, trenches, razorwire, tank traps and redoubts. Radiating out from the keep in the shape of an eight-pointed star were underground tunnels that connected the surface fortifications. All the entrances to the underground network were concealed and the keep itself was a decoy of no real value. Most fortifications are limited by the need to protect something. The Eternal Fortress was twenty square miles of killing ground.

Perturabo and the Iron Warriors waited below the surface for the first shots of the Imperial Fists orbital barrage. As soon as it commenced they replied with a number of remote weapons silos located well away from the Fortress. The Imperial Fists countered precipitately with Thunderhawk-borne troops attacking the silos and a full combat drop of the rest of the Legion. As soon as the attacks on the silos were under way, the missile stockpiles were detonated. Thousands of tons of debris was hurled into Sebastus atmosphere making communication between ground troops and fleet virtually impossible.

The detonation was the signal for the Iron Warriors fleet to attack. The Traitor fleet was no stronger than that of the Imperial Fists but the loyalist Thunderhawks were on the planet’s surface. Also the Chaos ships had many Iron Warriors amongst their complements eager to man the assault boats. The Imperial Fists fleet tried to hold but was forced inexorably out of position. After a few hours the only targets being engaged on the planet were coordinates pre-planned by Perturabo.

Under fire from space, the Imperial Fists proceeded with their assault in parade ground formation on a four-company front Perturabo watched them from an observation tower and carefully began to destroy them. First the minefields did their work then, when the Imperial Fists reached the first expanse of fortifications, the Iron Warriors manned their trenches and opened fire. While the trenches held the loyalists attention, squads of Iron Warriors with krak grenades and melta bombs emerged from hidden bunkers and attacked the tanks halted by the fortifications. The Imperial Fists turned back to fend off this threat and for a time were pinned down amidst the tank traps. Once more they rallied and swept forward to overrun the Iron Warrior trenches only to find them empty. So it continued Perturabo dissected the Imperial Fists tank by tank, squad by squad. Rogal Dorn remained convinced that victory was in sight and pushed his men on. Perturabo pulled back some of his defenders and called upon others to hold – a stratagem that fractured the Imperial Fists, first into companies then into squads. By day six of the battle, each Marine fought virtually alone, and Dorn’s troops were reduced to burrowing into the mud and piling up the dead bodies of their brethren for cover. Still Perturabo remained patient, he allowed Dorn to rampage around the trenches calling his name and demanding personal combat, content that the sight of their Primarch s impotence would demoralize the Imperial Fists.

The siege of the Eternal Fortress was to last for three more weeks. The Imperial Fists had burrowed into the killing zone and were unable to escape. Although his captains called for a breakout, Rogal Dorn would not give the order. He refused to believe the evidence of his eyes and continued to call for one last charge or for Perturabo to face him. Unable to abandon their Primarch, the Imperial Fists prepared to die with him.

If Perturabo had a failing it was that he had grown to enjoy tormenting his enemies too much. He could have finished off the Imperial Fists at any time but chose not to. Fortunately for Rogal Dorn, Roboute Guilliman put the Imperium before pride and had brought the Ultramarines to the rescue. The powerful Ultramarine fleet forced the Iron Warriors back while their thunderhawks plunged through the dust clouds to evacuate the Imperial Fists. Perturabo had no desire to fight two Chapters and concentrated on preventing the Imperial Fists evacuating their dead and wounded.

Rogal Dorn was a broken man. It was nineteen years before he and the Imperial Fists could once again go to war. They left over 400 Marines at the Eternal Fortress and every refugee carried horrific wounds.
The gene-seed captured was sacrificed to the Dark Gods in return for Perturabo’s elevation to Daemon Prince. One insult had been avenged, and since then the Iron Warriors have lived only to settle accounts with the corpse on the Golden Throne.

Almost done

2006-12-19, 06:34 PM
Thousand Sons

Their Primarch is Magnus the Red, called the Red Cyclops or Cyclopean Magnus, due to his one large eye and his flaming-red hair. Magnus had already been touched by Chaos long before the Horus Heresy, from his long study of the Arcane arts. Even though the Thousand Sons tried to use their occult powers to warn the Emperor of Horus's heresy, the Emperor, mistrustful of anything tinged by Chaos, declared the Thousand Sons heretics and sent Leman Russ and the Space Wolves to devastate the Thousand Sons' homeworld of Prospero. The Thousand Sons were driven to war against their Emperor, and had to fight alongside the Traitor Legions for their survival. The Thousand Sons turned to Tzeentch and asked for his patronage, as she is the greatest wielder of Magic among the Chaos gods.

Magnus the Red was elevated to the rank of Daemon Prince of Tzeentch and given a Daemon World to rule over. He rules from his great volcanic fortress called The Tower of The Cyclops. The topmost level of the fortress has a single living eye, which watches over the landscape and the minions of its Lord, The Eternal Watchdog of The Sorcerer King. Over time, the Thousand Sons started to degenerate and become mutated. The Sorcerers of the Thousand Sons joined together in a cabal led by Ahriman. Even though they risked the wrath of their Daemon Primarch, they cast the spell The Rubric of Ahriman, purging the Thousand Sons of mutation for all of eternity. This caused the great schism within the Legion, and caused the cabal to be banished by the enraged Primarch and scattered to fight in different Traitor Legions across The Eye of Terror.

The name of the Thousand Sons was taken from the initial series of genetic imprints made from the tissue of their Primarch, Magnus the Red. Magnus was a ruddy-hared and extremely large Primarch with a single eye set deep in his broad forehead. Because of this he was sometimes known as Cyclopean Magnus or the Red Cyclops. The truth was that his soul had already been touched by Chaos, and Tzeentch insinuated into him a fascination with the occult forces of the warp and the secrets that lay deep within its fabric. From his imprint a thousand Space Marines were created: the Thousand Sons of Magnus. An entire Legion of many thousands of Space Marines was subsequently raised to take part in the Great Crusade, but the Legion always kept the title of the Thousand Sons.

The path of damnation for the Thousand Sons Legion of Space Marines was longer than most. Even before the Heresy Magnus led his sons in the study of arcane lore and the practice of sorcery despite the Emperor's warnings to stay clear of such matters. However, they remained loyal to both the Emperor and humanity despite their growing preoccupation with magic.

When Horus gathered his forces against the Imperium the Thousand Sons at first tried to use their occult powers to warn the Emperor. Mistrustful of anything tinged with Chaos, the Emperor declared the Thousand Sons heretics and sent Leman Russ and the Space Wolves to devastate the Thousand Sons' home world of Prospero. The Thousand Sons were driven into a war against the Emperor and had to fight alongside Chaos to survive and protect their accumulated wisdom. The Thousand Sons sought the patronage of the Chaos Power Tzeentch, Changer of the Ways, greatest wielder of magic among the Chaos gods. Tzeentch favored them well and the Thousand Sons escaped from the Eye of Terror to find the demon world, which was promised them. This world became known as the Planet of the Sorcerers, where the Thousand Sons established themselves under the rule of Magnus the Red.

When the Primarchs were mysteriously scattered from their incubation on Terra, the infant Magnus fell upon the remote colony world of Prospero. He could hardly have been more fortunate: a grotesque cyclopean mutant who might have been feared and shunned on any other world came instead upon a hidden planet of kindred spirits: a commune of outcast human psykers. It would not be the last time Magnus’s destiny would be so conveniently manipulated.

The original settlers of Prospero had chosen the world for its remoteness from Terra, and had gone to great lengths to sever contact with Humanity. Their single citadel was situated deep in the planet’s ventral mountain range. Nourished by vast underground hydroponics for sustenance and techno-psychic collector arrays for sustainable energy, it was a construct of extraordinary beauty. The so-called 'City of Light' glittered amidst the desolation of Prospero, all gleaming silver towers, soaring obelisks and majestic pyramids. Within this carefully-artificed reclusium, far from the sight of Man, its commune of human refugees devoted themselves completely to the pursuit of knowledge and the mastery of the nascent mutation which had set them apart: their developing psychic powers.

Legend tells of Magnus arriving like a portentous comet, streaking through the thin atmosphere of Prospero and coming to rest in the central plaza of the city. The vulnerability of their sanctuary to approach from above was something the adepts of Prospero failed to recognize: a failure for which they would suffer greatly in times to come.

Magnus became a ward of the scholars of the commune. Perhaps they recognized their kinship in a mutant cast out among mutants. Perhaps they recognized his potential. What is known is how quickly the young Primarch himself began to manifest the sort of powers which had caused his mentors to flee into isolation; and how utterly he brought those powers under his control. Magnus mastered every psychic discipline, quickly surpassing the abilities of the greatest adepts in the commune. By the time he approached physical maturity, Magnus had grown into a giant in the psychic and intellectual, as well as the physical, sense. Then came the day that Magnus opened his cyclopean eye upon the Empyrean, and instead of channeling power from the Warp, Magnus instead saw into it, and life on Prospero was changed forever. The instant his single enormous eye saw into that place of power, Magnus the Red went from student to absolute master.
The Warp is no more a lifeless place than the physical world, and the arrival of so prodigious a psychic presence as Magnus did not go unnoticed. More than one consciousness sensed the new life across the Immaterium and more than one recognized him for who he was. More than one came to find him.

The Apocrypha of Skaros records the day the Emperor and his host arrived upon Prospero.
'It was as though they were friends of old; of many years acquaintance. Magnus’s mutant visage disturbed not the Emperor of Man, who embraced his lost Primarch and proclaimed him his own.'
It has been suggested that the face-to-face meeting of Emperor and Primarch was a virtual afterthought, their minds having long since found each other across the Warp.
The Emperor had chosen as his vanguard force for the expedition his fifteenth Legion, the Space Marine progeny infused with Magnus’s own gene-seed. The Apocrypha records the moment Primarch and Legion were united.

'The Warp-lost Primarch heard his Emperor, and spoke but a simple response, "As I am your son, they shall become mine." Then he knelt and in that moment accepted Primacy of the fifteenth Legion: his Thousand Sons.'

The discovery of their lost master could not have come sooner for the Thousand Sons. Formed from Magnus’s own gene-seed, the Legion was disposed toward psychic mutancy in disproportionate numbers; a circumstance the fledgling Imperium was ill equipped to handle. Deep factionalism divided those who recognized the benefit of stable mutations such as the so-called 'Navigator Gene' of the Navis Nobilite. The Navigator Houses’ 'third eye' allowed them to steer a course through the Immaterium making warp travel possible, but some perceived the increasing and seemingly random nature of human mutation as a destructive internal threat. An entire Legion of potential mutants was seen as a dangerous development. The fifteenth Legion had suffered terribly from the spontaneous, uncontrolled manifestation of psychics amongst their ranks, and those who survived to receive training became amongst the most powerful librarians of the epoch. Many more did not. Moreover, the increasingly vocal anti-mutant 'witch hunting' crusades within the Imperium had seized upon the out-of-control Legion as evidence of the danger of psychic mutation. Cries that demanded purging the Imperium of psykers completely were not uncommon, and those directed at the remote and superhuman Space Marines of the Thousand Sons were among the most strident. Magnus came just in time to save the Legion from the threat of destruction. Relocating its entire depleted strength to Prospero, Magnus turned the might of his intellect to their instruction in the ways of the psyker.

There are scholars, especially among the Librarians of certain Space Marine Chapters, who suggest it was during this time that another threshold was crossed. They believe that the crisis of controlling an entire Legion’s destructive psychic mutancy caused Magnus to seek shortcuts, or explore more perilous paths. There are others, including prominent members of the Inquisition, who suggest no such 'threshold' ever existed; that the original commune of psychic adepts were already students of darker arts before Magnus came amongst them. Thus his initiation into similar rites was inevitable. Still others postulate it was the magnitude of the Primarch’s own insatiable hunger for knowledge that made what followed inevitable. When it happened will never be known, but at some point, Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons Legion pursued knowledge beyond scholarship and psychic discipline, and began to practice sorcery.

The difference was not universally noticed at first. Magnus joined the Great Crusade with vigor. He led the Thousand Sons alongside the Emperor, the other rediscovered Primarchs with their Legions and all the fighting forces of Man. They fought in a grand campaign radiating outward from Terra, liberating colonies long isolated and claiming new worlds for the glory of the Emperor. That the Thousand Sons accomplished their victories through guile and deception as often as by strength of arms did not initially draw concern. Victory was victory after all. However, the further the Emperor’s realm expanded, the more tenacious grew the opposition. Increasingly, Legions of Space Marines or regiments of Imperial Guard would make planetfall expecting to find lost colonies of men, only to discover the thralls of mysterious powers utterly inimical to them. These slave cults resisted with sorcerous powers granted them by daemonic beings from across the Warp, powers few could fail to notice were akin to those wielded by the Thousand Sons of Magnus. There were those amongst the Imperial court suspicious of the Thousand Sons’ methods. Paramount amongst them was Mortarion, sepulchral lord of the Death Guard who knew too well from his own dark past that sorcerous power never came without a price. Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves, for whom any battle fought through sleight of hand and clever deceit was by definition dishonorable also lent his voice to the critics of the Thousand Sons.

The schism grew so great that it threatened the very foundations of the new order, and so the Emperor of Man himself decreed a council to resolve the issue for all time. The mightiest proponents of both sides convened on the planet Nikaea to debate, with the Emperor himself enthroned above the dais as arbiter, in an ancient amphitheatre that seated tens of thousands. There, beneath the glittering starlight, the witch hunters presented their case. They recited a litany of human misery inflicted upon the Emperor’s own subjects by sorcerers enslaved by Chaotic monstrosities; of mutants unable to control what they had become, and despots who turned their psychic gifts to dark and selfish purpose. To speak against these charges came Magnus himself. He climbed the dais in silence, his own visage seeming to confirm everything the witch hunters asserted. But when he began to speak, it was clear none of his accusers could match the charisma or presence of a Space Marines Primarch and least of all this particular Primarch’s certainty of conviction. Magnus told the assembled throng that no knowledge was tainted of itself, and no pursuit of knowledge ever wrong so long as the seeker of that truth was master of what he learned. And, Magnus decreed with finality, there were no secrets the Thousand Sons had not mastered, no ways too labyrinthine for them to know. When he stepped from the dais, the council was divided more sharply than ever: the witch hunters had made their case collectively with great impact, but with insufficient power to blunt the persuasiveness of the Primarch of the Thousand Sons. The assemblage openly wondered if even the Emperor could decide against one of his own sons.

The tension had reached the palpable knife-edge of violence when a contingent of Space Marine Librarians approached the dais. The Emperor acknowledged them with a nod and all fell silent, for visible amongst the librarians were the chiefs of some of the greatest Legions in the Imperium. These mystic warriors formed a semicircle about the podium to indicate they spoke with one voice, but it was a young Epistolary who stepped forward to deliver their words. Though his identity has been lost to history, he is said to have spoken with a passion that bordered on ferocity, and offered to the assembled council a third alternative. A psyker, he proposed, like an athlete, was a gifted individual whose native talent must be carefully nurtured. Psykers were not evil in themselves. Sorcery was a knowledge that had to be sought, even bargained for, and neither man nor paragon could be certain they had the best of such bargains. The other Librarians united around him, and proposed that the education of human psykers to best serve Mankind be made an Imperial priority. The conduct of sorcery would be outlawed forevermore as an unforgivable heresy against Mankind.

The compromise presented by the Librarians offered both factions something, and appeared to be what the Emperor himself had been waiting for. The Emperor ruled it law without allowing any rebuttal, and the Edicts of Nikaea stand to this millennium as Imperial policy regarding human psychic mutation. But it was not the decision favored by Magnus. The Grimoire Hereticus records the fateful face-to-face confrontation between father and son when the Emperor himself barred Magnus’s attempt to storm from the hall in protest. He bade Magnus cease the practice of sorcery and incantation, and the pursuit of all knowledge related to magic. It is said the cyclopean Primarch’s face appeared brittle as aged stone as he received his father’s command. Brittle enough to crack, but the Primarch of the Thousand Sons bent his shoulder and pledged himself and his Legion to obey. Neither Emperor nor Primarch knew that this moment would be the last time they would meet, and that events had been set in motion that would climax in treachery, bloodshed and pain.

The Betrayal

The threat to the fledgling Imperium resolved by the council served to mask other, darker betrayals already in motion. On Davin, events were reaching their tragic climax as Horus, first among equals, Warmaster and right arm of the Emperor fell victim to the manipulations of Chaos. This threat would not be resolved by debate or decree. Enthralled completely by the dark powers, Horus emerged from the events on Davin intent on nothing less than the complete destruction of the Imperium. Suborning brother Primarchs and their Legions to join his own, Horus intended to take the rest of the Imperium and indeed the Emperor himself by complete surprise. He was a brilliant strategist; he believed he had manipulated every possible factor to ensure his success. He had miscalculated in only one regard. Despite the decree of his Father and despite his own sworn promise, Magnus had not turned from the pursuit of the dark arts.
Seeing into the depths of the Warp from his sanctum upon Prospero, Magnus beheld a vision of Horus’ pledge of fealty to Chaos upon the fields of the feral world of Davin. Horus’ treachery was revealed, every detail made known with total clarity. Magnus saw the too-human foibles of Fulgrim of the Emperor’s Children and Angron of the World Eaters played upon masterfully by Horus, and greater forces veiled by the Warp. He saw the terrible trap being laid for Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands, Vulkan of the Salamanders and cautious Corax of the Raven Guard on Istvaan V. He saw the Emperor’s mightiest bastion of unalloyed loyalty, Guilliman’s Ultramarines, being cleverly decoyed to the far side of the galaxy, where they could play little part in the drama to unfold. Alone in the entire galaxy, more clearly than even Horus himself, Magnus was given to understand the events at hand. He saw it all and understood each consequence and every role, except his own.

There are generals, tacticians and great military minds who say that had Magnus acted upon his knowledge and taken ship with his Thousand Sons he could have changed the course of the Heresy. Others point out that the Warp is an imprecise place, and Magnus could not be sure he would arrive in time to prevent Horus’s treachery. Instead of direct intervention, Magnus embarked upon a more perilous path. The Primarch had never accepted the Emperor’s belief in the peril of sorcery, and had broken his oath to turn from the pursuit of such knowledge.
In his precognitive vision of the coming war, and the warning it provided, Magnus was certain he had found proof of the value of his studies. With the combined power of his fellow sorcerers he set about casting a spell across time and space. Breaching all the protective hexes and wards of the Imperial Palace on Terra, he projected his warning of impending revolution into the presence of the Emperor himself, naming Warmaster Horus as its chief architect.

It was to be his moment of triumph and vindication, the occasion of his self-righteous justification. Only the power of Magnus’s sorcery had revealed the viper within. Surely the Emperor would at last see its value. Instead, the Emperor named Magnus’s sorceries themselves as the viper. He judged Magnus’s accusation of his brother Primarch heretical and his blatant deception evidence of the worst sort of oath breaking. Magnus’s pursuit of forbidden knowledge was deemed tragic proof that he had fallen under the sway of the very powers the Emperor had warned him against. The Emperor’s worst fears for the soul of his cyclopean son had been realized.

The content of Magnus’s warning was ignored completely. It is said the Emperor broke contact with such force that psychic wards throughout the Palace arced with lightning and shattered. At the Emperor’s side stood Russ, quaking with barely-contained wrath at Magnus’s actions. The Emperor turned to him, for he knew he could be counted upon to prosecute his next orders without restraint. He ordered the Space Wolves to be unleashed upon Magnus and the scholar-soldiers of Prospero.

Only those who witnessed those distant days will ever truly know what happened upon Prospero when the Space Wolves attacked, as extant accounts often contradict each other dramatically. The epic, 'Prospero’s Lament', describes a lengthy orbital bombardment by the Space Wolves, followed by a systematic campaign across the planet that took many days and nights, with a death toll of horrific proportions on both sides. On the other hand, one of the Space Wolves’ strongest oral accounts of the battle, The Edda of the Hammer', asserts the Space Wolves took the Thousand Sons completely by surprise. The Space Wolves fell upon the City of Light from above (as Magnus had, so many years before) and reduced it in one terrible, bloody night of violence and carnage. The single night of burning libraries, crashing towers and feral mayhem is a potent image and the action described in the Edda matches the popular image of the Space Wolves. But the Edda is oft-criticized; for how could a planet of sorcerers, able to see across time and space and into the future, be so completely surprised as to face destruction in the course of a single night? How indeed, unless the dark powers which granted them their visions did not mean for them to see? However it occurred, the sack of Prospero was the ultimate horror for the scholarly Thousand Sons, as Russ and his Space Wolves smashed their way through the sanctuary of the City of Light. Russ’s warriors built pyres from Magnus’s libraries of books, parchments and ancient texts, destroying artifacts unique in all the galaxy with a stroke of the chainsword. Though they differ in their specifics, most accounts suggest Magnus himself met Leman Russ in hand-to-hand combat, Primarch against Primarch, berserker against giant in the ruined heart of the City. The War of the Giants’, committed to print by Inquisitor Bastalek Grim from Space Wolf oral tradition, describes the titanic duel that followed:

'Magnus the Red did take to the field of battle, causing the ravaged ground to liquefy beneath his mighty stride. Russ charged bodily the crimson behemoth and did lift the Cyclops off the ground, The Wolf-King broke the back of the Cyclops, and the last Thousand Sons, seeing their Primarch broken and cast down, did turn and flee. But as Russ raised Frostblade Mjalnar to deliver the killing blow, Magnus spoke a word of power, and did sink away into the iridescent ground.' In accounting what took place at the last, claims of what occurred on Prospero’s final night contradict wildly. Somehow, in the City of Light’s dying moments, Magnus cheated Russ of total victory, and in so doing, paid the very price the Emperor had warned him against all along.

Everything that mattered to him was burning to the ground, and Magnus turned to what he knew best to save it. Magnus was swept upon the currents of the Warp, and there he found the knowledge he sought. His sorcerers, his beloved Legion, all the precious knowledge they had accumulated within the silver spires of the City of Light could still be saved. He discovered the solution looking back at him, as if it had always been there, watching his way, and subtly changing him to its own purpose. He beheld sorcery incarnate, promising knowledge, power and salvation. But this time it was on its own terms. Magnus was no longer the master of the way as he had believed himself, but servant to it. It is said that even then Magnus hesitated, but as he thought back to his city, his works, his knowledge and his brethren, reduced to fiery ruin at the command of his own father, he changed his allegiance for all time.

And in that instant, the City of Light, its silver towers and vast libraries and its Legion of Thousand Sons vanished from the face of Prospero, and the Imperium, forever. When Magnus and his Thousand Sons were seen again, it was above Istvaan V, fighting alongside Horus. Magnus had become a Daemon Prince of the Chaos god Tzeentch, Lord of Sorcery, and Changer of the Ways. The battle for their souls and their fate now so complete, it leaves one wondering whether it was ever truly in doubt.

The Rubric of Ahriman

The Thousand Sons had nearly been destroyed by the threat of uncontrolled mutation in their earliest days before their reunion with their Primarch. Even the salvation presented by Magnus’s instruction was imperfect, requiring constant and vigilant oversight. The terror of it never left some of the Legion’s most veteran members, and the rampant corruption they beheld amongst other Traitor Legions as the Heresy ran its course appalled them. They dedicated themselves exclusively to their new master, and for a time Tzeentch seemed to shield them from a similar fate. Even when the Heresy ultimately failed, and the Thousand Sons were forced to fall back to the Eye of Terror with their comrades in rebellion, Tzeentch’s favor seemed unilateral. Their patron god provided a new planet, rich in magical power for them, a haven from the madness within the Eye for them to continue their research.

But the way of the Master of Sorcery is capricious, and no sooner were the Thousand Sons ensconced upon their new home world than the Changer of the Ways began to alter them. Grotesque mutations in images favored by Tzeentch appeared spontaneously throughout the Legion. Many embraced these manifestations as tokens of their new destiny, but to the senior members of the Legion it was as if all they had been through counted for nothing. All their sacrifices; the loss of Prospero, the bloodshed of the Heresy, all was rendered meaningless. Their valiant pursuit of knowledge had resulted in the very madness and abomination they had always feared.

An inner cabal of the mightiest sorcerers, led by their Chief Librarian and Magnus’s most trusted advisor, Ahriman, determined to counter the warping corruption. They laid the foundations of a mighty spell, and protected their workings with wards of secrecy, for they doubted Magnus would bless so risky an enterprise. They would dispel the violent mutations washing over their battle brothers and render the Thousand Sons immune to the warping effects of Chaos. The Grimoire Hereticus describes a spell of such unimaginable power that even daemonic horrors fled before the singular roaring maelstrom of magic unleashed by Ahriman and his cabal. The Planet of Sorcerers was enveloped in impenetrable storms of blue and yellow lightning, forks of the titanic energy arcing across the planet to strike down corrupted Thousand Sons one after another until it is said Magnus himself was forced to intervene.

The aftermath was nothing like what the cabal had hoped for. Across the breadth of the world, the fighting strength of the Thousand Sons Legion had in a single stroke been destroyed utterly – and preserved for eternity. The reviled mutations were no more, because the flesh of the affected Space Marines had been reduced to dust, sealed forever* inside armor mystically welded shut. Every clasp, joint and seam had been sealed as though by infernal fire, trapping the animate spirit of the Thousand Sons irrecoverably within. Virtually the entirety of Magnus’s Legion had been transformed into little more than implacable automata for all time, Magnus was enraged. The Legion he had sacrificed everything for was no more. The pursuit of knowledge that had always been foremost to each of his brethren was now denied them for all time. By their own hand, the majority of this Legion of scholars could no longer even think.

Everything he had done, all he had sacrificed, every critical decision he had made in his life had been founded upon two sacred beliefs: that knowledge was pure, and that he was its master. With his home world destroyed, his father his sworn enemy, and his Legion in ruin, Magnus of the Thousand Sons ascended his tower in despair. Casting his bitter gaze out upon the war-weary and fragile Imperium of Man, Magnus vowed, as Horus had at the height of the Heresy, that he would see the galaxy burn.

World Eaters
Kept chained within the deepest dungeon of the Library Sanctus on Terra, the bloodstained pages of the Liber Malum records the fate of those who have trod the path to damnation. To even mention its name is to risk madness. Many are the blasphemous heretics and tyrants whose names sully the pages with their treacheries, but foremost amongst these damned souls is the name of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters Space Marine Legion.
The legend of Angron is incomplete and there is much that is not known, or so shrouded in dark legend that the true facts are impossible to discern. How Angron came to be separated from the Emperor so soon after his creation and the name of the planet he eventually came to call home, is unknown. Indeed where this planet was or even if it still exists is uncertain. Carpinus' Speculum Historiale speaks of Angron's world as technologically advanced, (though does not name it), ruled over by a caste of wealthy elite who lived in decadent opulence while the populace of their cities lived in abject poverty in the slums surrounding their walled palaces. To distract the populace from their daily woes, the rulers of this world held regular death games in colossal arenas with cybernetically enhanced gladiators who battled in mortal combat to satisfy the bloodlust of the people. It was on this world that the Primarch Angron was eventually to be discovered, but how he came to be there is unrecorded.
However it came to pass, it is known that Angron was discovered by a slaver who chanced upon the bleeding figure of the Primarch, surrounded by scores of alien corpses, high in the northern mountains. History does not record to what race these aliens belonged, but many Imperial scholars believe them to have been Eldar, perhaps attacking the Primarch with some foreknowledge of what the future held for him. Angron had been grievously wounded, but was alive and, seeing that all his wounds were to the fore, the slaver realized that Angron must be a formidable warrior. Taken as a slave, Angron was nursed back to health and bio-neural implants were surgically grafted to his cerebral cortex.
Relics from the Dark Age of Technology, these would boost a warrior's aggression and strength in battle and turn him into a frenzied killer. Angron was taken to the planet's capital where his obvious potential as a gladiator was soon realized and he was bought by the largest and most patronized arena in the city. The cells below the arena were home to several thousand cyber gladiators, and Angron now took his place amongst them.
After only a few months, Angron had gained a bloody reputation as a proud warrior of fearsome skill with a strong sense of martial honor. He killed hundreds of warriors, in single and multiple combats, but those who fought well, he spared. Angron was a firm favorite of the baying crowds, and while he appeared to relish the life of a gladiator, he was always plotting ways to escape his life of slavery. He was a troublesome slave, with an instinctive anti-authoritarian streak and several times attempted to break out of the arena's dungeons. The fighters were held under extremely heavy security, with hundreds of heavily armed guards constantly on duty, and every attempt met with failure.

Within a few years, his fame had spread to every corner of the globe and his reputation as a fearsome killer was well established. Thousands flocked to watch Angron fight and, under his tutelage, the gladiators became deadlier and deadlier until no other arena's warriors could stand against them. Following another failed escape bid, Angron finally understood that he could not succeed alone. His unbending warrior's code and training methods had made him a well respected leader amongst the gladiators and, with the largest death games on the planet rapidly approaching, Angron began planning his most daring escape attempt yet.

For these games, Angron was permitted to stage a vast display of battle involving every one of the arena's gladiators and, at its height, as the crowd drowned the arena in cheers, Angron's followers turned on their guards, butchering them and fighting their way free. Against soldiers armed with guns their casualties were horrendous, but nearly two thousand managed to escape into the city, stealing what weapons and supplies they could before battling their way into the mountains. Angron's army took refuge in the highest reaches of the northern mountains, close to where he had been discovered by the slaver many years ago. The rulers of the planet immediately dispatched a force to destroy the escapees, but woefully underestimated the capabilities of Angron's slave army. Within days, a few pitiful survivors was all that remained of the once proud host, stumbling back to the city, their weapons taken and comrades slaughtered.

For the next few years, many such forces were sent against Angron's slave army and each one was defeated, cut to pieces by the psychotic fury of the cybernetically enhanced warriors. But attrition and hunger were taking their toll on the slaves and soon they numbered less than a thousand. On a mountain named Fedan Mhor, as darkness fell, Angron was finally surrounded by no less than five vastly superior armies and it looked as though the slave rebellion was finally over. Not even the Primarch could stand against such numbers and the following day's battle would surely see him dead.
It was around this time that the Emperor came to this world, drawn by the psychic aura of the Primarch. The Emperor had observed Angron in secret from orbit for some time, watching with pride as he led the slaves in battle. Now he descended to the planet's surface, offering Angron leadership of the World Eaters Space Marine Legion and a place at his side. But, to the Emperor's surprise, Angron refused. His place was here, with his fellow slaves, and he would die before deserting them. Angron and the slaves dug their graves during the night, a signal to their enemies that they would fight to the death rather than surrender. The Emperor knew that even though Angron was a Primarch, he would perish in the coming battle and, bringing his ship into low orbit, teleported Angron away from Fedan Mhor. Without their leader, the morale of the slaves was destroyed and the following morning they were slaughtered by the combined armies of the planet's rulers. In space, as the Great Crusade continued, Angron eventually took command of the World Eaters, but never forgave the Emperor for his abduction from the planet and what he saw as a betrayal of his martial honour.
Knowing how effective at boosting a warrior's prowess the psycho surgery could be, Angron ordered the Techmarines of the World Eaters to duplicate the process, using the implants in his head as a template. However, the art of this technology's construction had long since been forgotten and the early attempts at reproducing it were unreliable, often triggering uncontrollable and unstoppable psychotic episodes in the recipients. Eventually, the Techmarines were able to construct working implants that heightened aggression and strength, grafting them to whole companies of World Eaters Space Marines. Initially, the enhanced companies were highly successful, quickly gaining a fearsome reputation as terror troops. No mercy was offered by the World Eaters, only bloody death at the end of a chain-axe. The Liber Malum speaks of whole systems surrendering wholesale rather than face the wrath of the World Eaters. But it was only a matter of time before the Legion's use of psycho surgery on its recruits became widely known. Following the infamous Gehenna Scouring, where an entire planet's population was butchered in a single night of bloodshed, the World Eaters were censured by the Emperor and commanded to cease the use of implants.
Angron paid little heed to this and ordered the work of the Techmarines to continue, until almost every Space Marine in the Legion had undergone the ritual surgery. Blood rites became an increasingly important part of the Legion's heritage as their slaughter continued across the galaxy, and it became common practice for Space Marines to compete in the number of enemy skulls they could take in battle. Many of Angron's brother Primarchs voiced their concerns to the Emperor, and now the Master of Mankind made a fatal error. He dispatched Horus, the most trusted of all the Primarchs, to confront Angron and bring him back into line. Horus was a master psychologist and, unbeknownst to the Emperor, had already been corrupted by the Chaos powers. In Angron he saw a warrior consumed by bitterness and resentment and it was a simple matter for Horus to feed that bitterness, emphasizing the Emperor's betrayal, painting him as a weakling in need of replacing. He told Angron exactly what he wanted to hear and, when Horus eventually betrayed the Emperor, beginning the first galactic civil war, Angron's World Eaters marched beside the Sons of Horus. The ferocity and horror once visited upon the enemies of the Emperor by the World Eaters now fell upon the Imperium. The World Eaters fought in the vanguard of every battle, fighting in the bloodiest assaults, preferring to tear the enemy to pieces at close quarters rather than with long range firepower. Angron's warriors cut a bloody swathe across the galaxy towards Terra, drinking the blood of their victims and taking their skulls in honor of their new master, Khorne, the Blood God. On Terra, surviving vid logs from the siege of Terra show the World Eaters breaching the walls of the Imperial Palace, the twisted, red form of Angron wielding his glowing runesword at their head. The World Eaters reaped a bloody harvest on Terra, but ultimate victory was to be denied them. With the Dark Angels and Space Wolves en route to Terra, Horus gambled everything in order to end the siege, lowering the shields on his battle barge and daring the Emperor to come for him. The Emperor rose to the challenge and faced his betrayer in a combat that would decide the fate of the galaxy. The two fought a battle that was waged in every realm, physical, spiritual and psychic, until at last the Emperor slew Horus, but only at the cost of his own humanity. Without the Great Betrayer to bind them, the Chaos host disintegrated and fled the planet. Angron was the last to leave, leading the World Eaters deep into the Eye of Terror. The battle had been lost, but the war would go on. He and his warriors had all eternity to seek revenge.
The First War of Armageddon
Long millennia after the Heresy, Angron lead his World Eaters out of the Eye of Terror to the world of Armageddon. The newly ascended Daemon Prince and his legions of berserkers butchered the people in fearsome orgies of bloodshed, and forced the survivors to build great monuments to Khorne and his favored champion Angron. Luckily for the people of Armageddon, the Gray Knights came in force to the planet with backup from the Ultramarines and multiple Imperial Guard regiments to do battle with the World Eaters. The fighting was fearsome, with massive casualties on both sides, and the Khornite daemons growing more powerful with every death. Finally, in a last ditch effort, the entire Gray Knight legion spearheaded an assault deep into the World Eater lines, hoping to find and destroy Angron. When they reached him, he grown massive and powerful with the bloodshed, and had a bodyguard of sixty-five Bloodthirsters. In a massive battle, Angron and his Bloodthirsters were banished from the materium, at the cost of almost the entirety of the Gray Knights.
The Cleansing of Arigatta
During the heady days of the Great Crusade, the boundaries of the Emperors space were continually being pushed back by his Primarchs. Many worlds welcomed the arrival of the Emperors armies, while others foolishly resisted. Ariggata was a technologically advanced world that had been isolated from the Imperium for many centuries, and when Imperial envoys arrived bearing word of the Emperors return, they were executed in a bloody gesture of independence. The military might of Ariggata was formidable and thus the honour of its pacification fell to warriors from no less than three Legions, the Luna Wolves, the Ultramarines and the World Eaters. The Emperors Warmaster, Horus, was in overall command of the force, and under his masterful generalship, the armies of Ariggata were quickly subdued until only the Basalt Citadel, seat of the planet's rulers, remained in enemy hands.
Imperial forces laid siege to the citadel, but the pacification was taking too long for Horus' liking, he wanted to be away from this world to seek further glory. To quickly end the siege he bombarded the mighty walls of the citadel from orbit, ordering Angron and the World Eaters to storm the breaches created and slay the enemy leaders. The walls of the citadel had been forged during the Dark Age of Technology and, despite a week long orbital bombardment, only a single breach was made. Roboute Guilliman counselled caution, but nether Horus or Angron were willing to wait. Angron threw the World Eaters at the walls of the Basalt Citadel, a firestorm of lasers and bullets wreaking bloody carnage amongst their ranks. The World Eaters were undaunted, a ramp of corpses allowing them to finally crest the breach and, once within the citadels walls, the battle-maddened Space Marines slew everything that came within the reach of their chain-axes. The ancient halls echoed with terrified screams for a day and night as the World Eaters rampaged through the citadel, and when Angron finally led his warriors from the charnel house, not a single soul remained alive within.
When the Ultramarines moved in to secure the citadel, they were horrified at what they discovered. The chambers and vaults of the citadel resembled a madman s abattoir, dismembered corpses lay where they had fallen and the stench of death was an almost physical thing. No-one had been spared, every living thing had been butchered in the World Eaters fury. By the time the appalled Ultramarines left the citadel, the World Eaters and the Luna Wolves had already departed, leaving the Ultramarines to garrison Ariggata until the Imperial Army arrived. Before Guilliman was able to confront his brother Primarchs regarding the massacre on Ariggata, the Heresy erupted, both Horus and Angron spitting on their oaths of loyalty to the Emperor, and Guilliman`s worst fears were confirmed.

Ok, that's all. Any comments?

2006-12-19, 11:39 PM

2006-12-19, 11:40 PM
Is that a good comment or a bad comment?

2006-12-19, 11:44 PM
Its a good comment. Its just a whole lot of text.

2006-12-20, 12:14 AM
Hey, I said it was long

2006-12-20, 05:25 AM
Hey, I said it was long
Nice to have the information, but have you heard of spoiler tags?

2006-12-20, 05:52 AM
....This is why we have spoiler tags.

2006-12-20, 03:56 PM
Ok, for some reason, while I was spoiling the text, it ate a good amount of my writings about the Space Wolves and Blood Angels, so I'm reposting it here.

Settling on the hard, cold skin of Fenris scant years after Russ s ascension to the throne,
the Emperor, clad in a long, plain robe, entered King Leman Russ court. Through a yawning cave mouth in the south of Fenris he came. His divine aura was hidden from the curious eyes of the Kingís court. And his towering physique was cloaked with runes of disguise and confusion. Half his face was within the shadow of his hood. In his hands he carried the oaken staff of the wanderer. But to the sharp-eyed and sober, his nature was clear: The great wolves of Fenris slunk away at the strangers passing.

Slouched on his oaken throne sat Leman Russ, A flagon of fine mead in one hand and the leg of a roast bear in the other. Freki and Gcri, the Kin-Wolves, lay curled about his bare feet, and a great pool of blood glittered in the torchlight around the base of his throne. The court had been hunting, and did not take kindly to the interruption of their feast. The wanderer approached the gnarled wood of the throne and its gargantuan occupant, and stood firm, staring hard at where Russ was presiding over the feast. The court grew silent as the Wolf-Kings growl reverberated around the walls. Freki stood at the sound, baring his fangs, Geri, old beyond his years, proved wiser than his brother. The stranger was meeting their masterís gaze unflinchingly.

It was then that the stranger offered his Challenge. The nature of the contest was for the King to decide. If he won, the stranger asked for nothing but to be allowed to drink at the right hand of Russ during the feast. The shouts of the household rang against the shields strung around the roof, the laughter at this preposterous suggestion shared by all present. Russ demanded that should the wanderer fail, he would serve at the King s behest for a year. Grimly, the stranger accepted.

The Wolf-King did not wish to spoil a good feast; His first challenge was to an eating competition. The food was brought forth on vast brass shields, and the stranger ate well indeed, consuming many times more than the stoutest warriors present without pause. But by the time he looked up from his platter, Russ was finishing his third Auroch. The vast, red bones lay around him, not a morsel of meat to be seen. Giving voice to a thunderous belch, Russ grinned at the wanderer, fangs glittering red in the torchlight. The stranger bowed his head.

But the King was enjoying his sport. He realized that the brown-cloaked traveler had the spirit of a Fenrisian; and so challenged the newcomer to a drinking bout. The second contest began, sounded by a clarion horn. But by the time the wanderer had reached his sixth barrel of strong Fenrisian mead, there was no more to drink. The Wolf-King had drained the entire feast dry, consuming enough to fell a whole Great Company. The light of anger appeared in the wandererís eye.

If he was not to be given the chance, how could he prove his mettle? If all that would greet him was derision and scornful laughter. How could he welcome this warrior, so fond of his mead, as his lost child? Driven by disappointment, the wanderer called Leman Russ a drunkard and a glutton, Able to achieve nothing more than filling his face and bellowing hollow boasts.

At this, the court fell silent. None even dared to breathe as the Wolf King drew himself up to his full height, the bloodied carcass of his meal crunching beneath his feet. Russ drew his greatsword and stepped onto the banqueting table, a growl rising in his throat. The Wolf-King calmly laid down the consequences of his last challenge, and his court backed away as one.

Time seemed to stop as the Emperor of Mankind threw away his cloak, the hood falling from his face, his true form revealed. Standing far taller than any man present, swathed in light and clad in baroque golden armor, the God-Emperor of Terra stepped onto the banqueting table. His sword shimmered as it was drawn from its gem-encrusted scabbard and with a roar that shook the walls of the court, the Wolf-King leapt and battle was joined between the two titanic figures.

The Emperor fought gracefully and with precision. His every act like liquid fire, his swordsmanship faster than the eye could follow. The Wolf-King attacked with the force of pure fury, tempered by years of living by his skill and wits alone. The lustrous gold of the Emperorís burnished armor reflected the glimmers of torchlight and the eyes of a thousand onlookers. The Wolf-Kings skin glistened with sweat and blood, His matted hair flying around him as he roared and howled.

The speed and passion of Russ attack a perfect fusion of martial prowess and a focus that was nothing less than total, convincing the Emperor without doubt that this was one of his lost sons. Swinging his power fist around in a blurring golden arc The Emperor struck Leman Russ full in the face."

(It has been noted in the transcription that at this point in the recording a great cheer erupts from all present. This part of the legend seems to be the cause of much mirth amongst the audience, all of whom have evidently heard the tale before).

"It is testimony to the fortitude of our Lord Russ That within the hour he was able to think clearly once more. Recovering quickly from a blow that would have destroyed any mortal man, Russ made little show of his headache. It was as a result of ingesting mighty quantities of Fenrisian mead Rather than the result of the duel. But nevertheless, with bloodied smile and broken fang, He swore fealty to the Emperor of Mankind."

And so it came to pass that, by the time the Emperor came to Baal, his lost son sat at the head of the Conclave of Blood. The High Majesty of Mankind had correctly divined the presence of one of his Primarchs upon the blighted planet of Baal Secundus, and led the finest of his men to the surface.Note: At this point, scholars cease having to rely upon conjecture and the myths of primitives (however diligently recorded), as the entourage of the Father of Mankind included many distinguished persons and scrivener-artisans.

It is therefore known that, at the climax of the Conclave of Blood, the Emperor entered the massive natural amphitheatre carved from Mount Seraph by the ponderous tides of Baalís geology. Those of the pure blood attended Sanguiniusí address in their tens of thousands. The Emperor stood within their ranks, a shining golden figure among the tattered warriors of The Blood. But the Emperor knew humility as well as divinity, and he listened as intently as any warrior there. Sanguinius gave a speech which lifted the very souls of his people, giving them more than hope, at its conclusion soaring into the air above them with a shout that every man there echoed. Thus, the Emperor was convinced without a doubt that this was indeed one of his missing sons.

It is also recorded that, when approached, Sanguinius recognized the Emperor immediately. Many believe that Sanguiniusís reputed ability to foresee future events informed him of the Emperorís visit, explaining his reaction. He fell to his knees, crystal tears falling from his cheeks into the dust. Where they fell, alabaster flowers thrived upon the barren and foul soils of Baal Secundus. And so the Emperor bade him stand, and looked upon the myriad faces raised unto Him, proud and resolute. He saw that they were both fair in mind and deed, possessed of a small part of the nobility and strength of their leader.

So it was that, under Baalís blistering sun, the Blood Angels were born.

The Horus Heresy

Perhaps more than any other Loyalist Chapter, the terrible events of the Horus Heresy had a horrifying and permanent effect upon the Blood Angels, and it is this tragic fate that has shaped the Chapter since that time. Warmaster Horus, once the Emperorís most trusted and beloved son, turned to Chaos, and plunged the dagger of betrayal so far into the heart of the Imperium that it is yet to recover from his evil deed.

In a tragic sequence of events, the corrupt and evil being that Horus had become managed to manipulate and coerce several other Primarchs, turning them against their own father and mentor, the Emperor himself. These events culminated in the combined attack of Warmaster Horusís forces upon the Emperorís Palace. Space Marine fought Space Marine, traitor battled loyalist until the fortifications of Terraís finest monument to divinity itself looked set to fall. Chaos was ascendant; the powers that Horus had allied himself with had given him power beyond imagining at the cost of his immortal soul.

Sanguinius is immortalized in the magnificent stained glass windows of the Sanctus Praetoria Imperator as fighting high above the raging battle, facing daemons so powerful they could unhinge the minds of great heroes with but a word. He single-handedly held the crenellations from the tides of daemonic filth attempting to wash into the holy chambers of the Emperorís Palace. Many accounts of the time praise the Blood Angelís valor and unceasing efforts in their defense of the Eternity Wall space port. Although hundreds of Blood Angels died, they stemmed a sea of foulness the like of which had never been seen before. Many speak of the bright light bathing Sanguiniusí sons as the Primarch slew his foes in the skies above with his mighty blade of fire. And yet, it was upon Horusís battle barge that Sanguinius was to fulfill his greatest duty.

In his victory, Horus became complacent, watching the battle from the bridge of his bloated leviathan of a command ship. He wanted to experience the Emperorís defeat first hand, to force him to his knees before he fed on the father of Mankindís soul. And in his folly, as his forces breached the defenses for the last and final time, spilling into the corridors and chambers of the palace, Horus relaxed the psychic defenses around his ship. At the speed of thought, the Emperor was aboard the hellish craft, Sanguinius close behind him.
It is known that Sanguinius was gifted with the power of foretelling, able to see visions of what lay ahead. His soul was pure, and the prophesies he spoke of inevitably came to be. It can thus be surmised that he knew full well he was going to his doom when he confronted the Warmaster, and yet he went without hesitation. Whether this act was prompted by fatalism or loyalty to the Emperor is a point debated by many Imperial theologians lacking in faith, however there is no doubt in the minds of the Blood Angels. They maintain that he walked into the lionís den out of duty, knowing full well what the outcome would be.

Ok, now that the text has all been spoiled, any more comments?

2006-12-23, 03:14 PM
My brain has been blown with information, and it feels good.
more info then i ever thought existed for the space marines, completly awsome.

2006-12-23, 08:58 PM
How about some more info for the Necrontyr? The cute, fluffy, cuddlesome Necrontyr!

2006-12-23, 10:15 PM
That'd be your area of expertise, not ours.

2006-12-24, 01:40 AM
These banners are pretty awesome eh?
Thank you Myatar_Panwar!

2006-12-24, 02:30 PM
Yeah, they're sweet. :smallsmile:

2006-12-25, 05:15 PM
I'm writing fluff for an Imperial Guard army right now. It is heavily themed, and tells the story involving many factions of the 40K universe, all with their different agendas. See it unfold here :smallbiggrin::


2006-12-27, 06:50 PM
I'm writing fluff for an Imperial Guard army right now. It is heavily themed, and tells the story involving many factions of the 40K universe, all with their different agendas. See it unfold here :smallbiggrin::


Nice. I liked what I have read so far. Allso fun that you have written it partially as letters between officers, just like a lot of stuff in the imperial guard rulebook is written

2006-12-29, 10:11 AM
Does anyone know what name the Eldar have for the Tyranids?

Mr. Moon
2006-12-29, 09:06 PM
I have some, which concerns the fighting style of Hive Fleet Jaborwok, and a little history. Don't worry, it's not very long.

Hive Fleet Jaborwok is designed to get to the enemy as fast as possible, and rip them apart with all the best close combat weapons and options. They can climb up the sheerest surfaces, which makes them choice for city fights, and can get through any difficult surface with minimal difficulty. Jaborwok has little in the way of phycers, other then Synapse creatures that prowl the ranks. There is little in the way of wings in this army, save the dreaded “Jubjub Birds”, the nickname given to Gargoyles by the Imperial Guard.

Little is known about Hive Fleet Jaborwok, for there are no or few planets who survive such invasions. All that is known of Hive Fleet Jaborwok is gotten from scrambled, frantic transmissions, the most famous being one that had somehow gotten on to the main COMM link, playing on every radio, in every phycers mind, on all the communicators, and over every speaker:

"...day! Mayday! ... under.... so many of them!... Emperor... us, please! ... the jaws... burning acid ...ing claws! ... save ... Spartacus is down... never stop coming... can never stop them ... Send help! ... never make it out... hundred of us lef... anyone hear me?!?!? Respond! ...ond!... of the Emperor, respond!"

2006-12-30, 02:31 AM
Well, there was one story from 2nd, I think, which always makes me snigger a little, but then it's from when orks actually had a personality. Can't remember exactly how it went, but it was something like this:

The battle was not going well. A bunch of them red space marines had thrown back the attack and now the boyz and a few gretchin were huddled behind some ruins, flinching at the occasional ricochet. [The Nob] wasn't happy.
"Look at yez! Cowerin' in the dirt like a load of zoggin' humies! Call yerselves orks?"
"Nah boss, we calls ourselves gretchin."
With a bellow of anger, [The Nob] seized on the unfortunate grot and punted it out into no-mans-land. The high-pitched wail gradually diminished to be followed by a thump and a quick burst of gunfire.
"I'm goin' out there to stomp them beekeez. And yez'll foller me if yer knows what's good fer ya!"

Vespe Ratavo
2007-01-16, 12:27 PM
I found a little something called The Fluff Bible (http://www.electric-rain.net/w40kRPG/Warhammer%2040k%20FluffBible.pdf). Check it out, but be warned, it's a pretty big PDF.

2007-01-16, 05:16 PM
How Grey Knights differ from regular marines:
Recruits are conditioned to ignore pain and fear, and undergo neurosurgery to isolate and bypass their fear centers. They are exposed to wild psykers, mutants and deviants of every kind. They are
trained to destroy them without conscious thought. This training produces a rigidly disciplined and controlled mind to which the presence of Daemons is less of a shock than for normal beings. Their lives are ones of self-denial and spartan purity, filled with rituals to strengthen the mind and the heart against the horrors they must face. The Grey Knights are also imbued with a zeal and purpose to dwarf that of any other Marine Chapter. Often entire companies are granted an audience with the Emperor, a privilege normally reserved for the Adeptus Custodes. To date these extraordinary measures have been effective: in over 10,000 years of combat against the forces of
darkness, not one Grey Knight has faltered in battle or betrayed the Emperor in word or deed. Added to this spirit is the finest equipment in the Imperium. The Grey Knights are given only the best Marine equipment, with battle-proven and improved designs being given to them before any
other Marine unit.

The Grey Knights are based in a secret fortress-monastery on Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. Here the young aspirants are sent to undergo hundreds of trials of both body and spirit. Finally the handful of survivors (for none who fail survive) are implanted with the Chapter's gene-seed and begin their real training. Their bodies are hardened to withstand pain and fear and their minds are disciplined to withstand against the foul machinations of Chaos.

Of the Adeptus Astartes only the Grey Knights are allowed to retain their memories. The centuries have proved that the Grey Knights can keep the secret of the Ordo's hidden war against Chaos as well as any Inquisitor

2007-01-17, 01:06 PM
Does anyone know what name the Eldar have for the Tyranids?

While the Tyranids are techniclly Mon'Keigh, as that is the Eldar word for everything that isn't them, they call the Tyranids the Great Devourer.

As for that fluff bible, it's alright I guess. I already knew everything on it, but seeing as I have a extremely bizzare memory that remembers ever little detail about fluff that is to be expected. After all, how many of you could write that giant text about the Marine Legions or know minor details about obscure chapters? Especially considering I don't even play them.

As for the previously requested info about the Necrontyr, there isn't as much information about them, but I'll do what I can:
Around 100 million years before the rise of the Imperium, on a planet closely orbiting a cold red star, there lived a race called the Necrontyr. All physical descriptions of this race were lost, but their one defining trait was to live longer. For the Necrontyr were not very long-lived in the first place, and being so close to their sun bombarded then with radioactivity, making their life span only about 30 terran years. Obsessed with longetivity, they created more and more marvelous technology including gauss weaponry that flayed the target molecule by molecule and faster than light travel. Then, one day, four marvelous beings came to them, promising immortality and the miraculous regenerating metal Necrodermic in exchange for one minor little thing; their souls. The response was unanimous, Necrontyr everywhere swarmed around these godly beings, these C'Tan or Ymgir begging for immortality. In one swift incantation, the Void Dragon, their leader took their souls and gave them the immortality they desired, but not as they desired it. The tiny fragments of life energy left in each member of the Necrontyr were sealed inside Necrodermis shells, forced to obey their four godly masters.

How is that? If more is wanted I can write about the War in Heaven.

2007-01-17, 03:12 PM
I thought Mon-keigh was the Eldar term for humans. "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you! You look like a mon-keigh, and smell like one, too!"

About the 'crons: there used to be many C'tan (is it pronounced "suh-tan" or "kuh-tan?") with billions of warriors throughout the galaxy. The greatest thing the Eldar ever did was get them to fight each other. That's why there's only 4-ish star gods left, with only a several thousand troops awake so far.

The Grey Knights not only have to pass normal space marine tests, they have to pass the 666 Rituals of Detestation which ensures their purity. Very Conan-ish.

Anyways, I made up my own Guard Regiment: the 2197th Cadian AKA The "Caro Contego." Cosplay is gonna be fun...

2007-01-17, 03:55 PM
No, a common misconception is that Mon Keigh is only used for humans. It does see frequent use against humanity, but the actual Eldar term for humans is Choymp Nzees.

As for the C'Tan, the word is pronounced Kuh-tan and I beleive there was only originally 5, but the Outsider killed one of them which is why he was banished. The amount of warriors per C'Tan varies depending on the C'Tan, with the Dragon having by far the most and best. Most of the Necrons were destroyed during the War in Heaven anyways, when the Eldar were far more powerful and could prevent them from reanimating.

Also, an interesting misconception that many people make is that the Adeptus Mechanicus literally worship technology and can only make any of their devices by copying plans, with no idea what they are doing or how it works. This could not be farther from the truth, while it may seem to be the case with the techpriests, the higher echelons know very well what they are doing and only use the ritual nonsense so that the neophytes remember the information better. As for the Machine God/Omnisiaah, it is not actually a god of technology, but instead of knowledge. Everything the Adeptus Mechanicus does is driven by knowledge and the acquisition of it, it is simply that knowledge of machines is a very important part of that. Imagine the problems that would ensure if the Mechanicus actually acted the way people think they do: "Oh no! Titan 42nd left airvent wingnut #5119 has gone missing! The Machine God and this holy machine's spirit will be angry! Whatever shall we do!".

2007-01-17, 05:03 PM
As for the C'Tan, the word is pronounced Kuh-tan and I beleive there was only originally 5, but the Outsider killed one of them which is why he was banished.

Surely there were far, far more? The Nightbringer was eating them, thanks to the influence of the Deciever.

2007-01-17, 06:57 PM
Surely there were far, far more? The Nightbringer was eating them, thanks to the influence of the Deciever.

Yeah, I say "Kuh-tan" also. I guess it stems from my Cthulhu (I say "Ktoohloo") mythos background.

I also think that there were many more. It is said that the Outsider consumed several, possibly hundreds of its brethren. The shards of so many C'Tan necrodermii twisted and burned inside him, driving him insane.

2007-01-17, 09:14 PM
It's possible, Necrons aren't my strongest point.

I do however know Eldar and the Imperium and during the War in Heaven, Khaine was helped by 4 demigod like figures, reffered to as 'Ymgir Starhungry', a remarkable resemblence to the C'Tan

2007-01-18, 02:30 AM
I think that Yngir is Eldar for C'Tan. There's some funky poem in the Necron Codex.

2007-01-18, 02:37 PM
That was my entire point, that the C'Tan aided Khaine and that there was only 4 of them, not hundreds.

Also, in Xenology, there is a reference to an ancient Eldar writing slab stating how 4 ancient star-eaters were imprisoned after the War in Heaven, another sign there was only 4 or possibly 5 C'Tan. If there was 5, the Deceiver ate the 5th before the war. As an aside, has anyone noticed any concrete proof that the Void Dragon is in Mars other than the Xenology line, "In pearls of Vaul, Void Dragon slumbers"?

2007-01-18, 04:04 PM
*inserts head nervously into this tome of 40K*

So. I've just acquired the beginnings of an Empire army, and I figured that I needed some fluff for 'em. This is extensively based on the Black Company novels by Glen Cook.

The Black Company
Last of the Free Companies of Khatovar

Nobody knows where the Black Company came from. Some say Araby, some say Khemri, and some claim that it arose further east than both. Regardless, the Company has been migrating for generations, and has roved the lands of the Empire for nearly sixty years. The Company is a roving mercenary band, more concerned with whether the job pays well than whether the cause is righteous or not.

Much of the Company's history is stored in massive tomes known as the Annals. Unfortunately, several volumes of the Annals have been lost during the course of the Company's history, such that it is impossible to determine where - or what - Khatovar is.

Though ancient, the Company relies on the weaponry of the land it's currently roving - in this case, handguns, artillery, and ranks of infantry. A few units of skirmishing cavalry are available, as is one lone unit of heavy cavalry.