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PLACEHOLDER COVER

The Dornian Heresy


Includes
Alternate
Heresy
Index
Astartes
articles
for the

World Eaters

Emperor’s
Children
Raven Guard

Word Bearers

Ultramarines

White Scars

Space Wolves

Thousand
Sons

and

Blood Angels
Introduction & Contents
Welcome to the first issue of the Legio Imprint, an
electronic magazine produced by the Bolter and
Chainsword, the Ultimate Space Marine Resource Site.
The Legio Imprint aims to showcase the best of the
articles and features to be found on the Bolter and
Chainsword, as well as including original content
created especially for the publication.

This premier issue is devoted to chronicling something


a little different; a twisted alternate timeline in which
Warmaster Horus was able to cast off the daemonic
influences that sought to possess him, and where the
Ruinous Powers were instead forced to corrupt Rogal
Dorn to overthrow the Emperor. The Dornian Heresy
is the tale of an alternate universe where choices,
sometimes large, sometimes small, have led to the
familiar primarchs and legions meeting very different
fates. For instance, how different might things have
turned out if Sanguinius had instead been found and
raised by the mutant tribes of Baal, or if Angron‟s first
meeting with the Emperor had been as an honourable
ally against the slavers at Fedan Mhor? Well, read on! ROGAL DORN – THE ARCH-BETRAYER

The first article – The History and Legacy of Dorn‟s


Betrayal – gives an overview of how different things
are in this alternate timeline, with different aspects of Introduction & Contents ..................... 1
the story told from the perspective of individual Space The History and Legacy
Marine Legions in their own Index Astartes articles. of Dorn’s Betrayal ............................... 2
The Dornian Heresy is such a large undertaking that
we can only present the fates of the first nine legions Index Astartes: World Eaters ............. 9
here, although the plan is to publish the second half of
the project in a future issue of the Legio Imprint. Index Astartes: Emperor’s Children... 15

For those of you who have been following the Dornian


Index Astartes: Raven Guard ............. 21
Heresy as it has been released on the Bolter and Index Astartes: Word Bearers ............ 29
Chainsword, we have given the articles a polish, added
some amazing original artwork, and have also included Index Astartes: Ultramarines ............. 39
articles for three legions not yet seen on the board – the Index Astartes: White Scars ............... 48
Khornate Space Wolves, the soul-bound psychic
Thousand Sons and the plague-infected Blood Angels. Index Astartes: Space Wolves ............ 56
So thanks for downloading this first issue of the Legio Index Astartes: Thousand Sons .......... 65
Imprint. We hope you enjoy it!
Index Astartes: Blood Angels .............. 73
Aurelius Rex - Editor
Credits .................................................. 81

1
E laidanath was dying; poisoned and ravaged by the Death

The
Guard.

It shouldn‟t have been this way.


Dornian
The Farseer had been there at her birth; seeding the ball of rock with
Heresy life. He had watched the Maiden-World of Elaidanath mature over
the millennia into a verdant paradise; a place of peace and
unparalleled beauty. That was, until the arrival of the Death Guard.

He had foreseen the threat too late to avert it, with only a small
group of his companions from the Em'brathar Craftworld arriving
before the webway portals succumbed. Thus, trapped on the doomed
planet, they had done what little they could against the Plague
Marines, but it was clearly a lost cause. Animals lay bloated and
glassy-eyed, awaiting the end; the once-great forests were reduced to
endless swathes of slime-coated tree trunks. The only creatures to
flourish were Nurgle‟s favoured pets; the flies and maggots, but even
that wouldn‟t last. Elaidanath was rapidly returning to the lifeless
rock it had once been. It was such a pointless waste.

With the eastern horizon lightening from black to a deep bruise-


purple, Exarch D‟Larha signalled for them to seek shelter during the
daylight hours in nearby caves. Even before the warriors had
The History declared the refuge safe, the Farseer had slumped down wearily in
the entrance of the cave. He was tired, worn thin by his wounds, age,

and Legacy and the heartbreak of what he had witnessed. Within seconds, he had
settled into a fitful, febrile sleep.

of Dorn’s This fate was wrong. Not just that of his companions, or even of this
world; the whole galaxy had taken a wrong turn, with The Ruinous
Betrayal Powers corrupting everything they touched. His thoughts went back,
investigating what could have been… It shouldn‟t be this way… It
needn‟t be this way… If only he could change things, find a different,
better path…

Rather than detaching his consciousness to search the possible


futures, he felt himself being pushed back; moving into the past. He
traced the strands of history back further and further, feeling the
alternate universes flowing together, with even the tiniest choice
causing a division, innumerable streams joining and flowing into the
sea of time. From his view outside of history, the mon-keigh‟s Heresy
was the greatest confluence; the place where a single choice could
by have changed the course of history so profoundly. He searched for a
strand where the Death Guard and their ilk had never turned to
Aurelius Chaos; for a path where this wrong fate, both on this planet and in
the wider galaxy, could be averted.
Rex Before he could find his utopia, a dark presence slammed him back
into the time-stream, forcing him down into a brutal and twisted
alternate history…

2
Pre-Heresy: their snare, the Ruinous Powers turned large part due to Guilliman‟s
The Seeds of Destruction their attentions elsewhere. organisational skills, and so a suitably
overwhelming force was assembled in
In the closing years of the thirty-first
The ordeal revealed to the Warmaster opposition. Dorn summoned the might
millennium, the Emperor‟s Great
the true dangers of Chaos - a power so of nearly half the Emperor‟s legions to
Crusade to reunite humanity under His
great that even he and his fellow the task, although offers of forces from
banner was continuing apace. Vast
primarchs were not immune to its long-time rival, Perturabo of the Iron
expeditionary armies, spearheaded by
corrupting touch. Horus was severely Warriors, were pointedly rebuffed.
His primarch sons, surged out across
weakened by the events of Davin, and
the galaxy, bringing enlightenment and
out of position to deal with what was to Such was the size of the task of
compliance wherever they went. The
come. First, Curze of the Night Lords bringing the secessionist realm back to
future seemed assured, and during a
attacked Rogal Dorn, before going on heel that two whole legions were sent
mighty celebration on Ullanor, the
the run with his legion. Worse still, deep into Ultramar Segmentum. The
Emperor announced that He would
word came from the galactic east that Alpha Legion, never friends of the
return to Terra, and that Horus,
Guilliman had declared independence Ultramarines, were to infiltrate and
Primarch of the Luna Wolves would
from the Imperium, claiming dominion undermine the rebel worlds, while the
command the Great Crusade in His
over a massive region of space that he religious zealots of the Word Bearers
stead. Some say that this event was
called „Ultramar Segmentum‟. used a more direct approach: bringing
where the seeds of disaffection were
the light of the Emperor to the very
planted amongst the primarchs, with
Even as the Imperial forces assembled core of Guilliman‟s powerbase on the
one of their number being so publicly
to confront the Ultramarines, terrible Eastern Fringe.
elevated above the rest. In truth, the rot
news came from Prospero that the
had started long before.
Space Wolves had fallen upon the The first to join the Imperial Fist fleet
homeworld of the Thousand Sons. outside the Istvaan system were the
After the Ullanor Declaration, the
cracks began to appear. Bitter disputes Raven Guard and the increasingly
over the use of psychic powers came to With the Warmaster insular and secretive marines of the
a head at Nikaea, with legions Iron Hands. These were closely
vehemently split over their use. The
having escaped their followed by the Salamanders, led by
their burned, bitter primarch. Shortly
Emperor's final ruling, and the special snare, the Ruinous after came the Emperor‟s Children,
concessions he gave to the Thousand
Sons, enraged Russ and his Space Powers turned their fresh from extinguishing the xenos
Wolves. They saw Nikaea as a terrible threat on the planet Laer. The events of
mistake, and secretly vowed to save the
attentions elsewhere... that campaign had affected Fulgrim
Emperor from himself. deeply, and on arrival he declared that
They proclaimed that Magnus was his legion had achieved the pinnacle of
On the feral world of Davin, mired in foul sorcery, and sought to the Emperor‟s „Perfection‟. The relish
Warmaster Horus was struck down by destroy them before they could betray with which they embraced the chance
a mysterious contagion which baffled the Emperor. With the dream of to prove their superiority over other
the finest of the legion‟s apothecaries. mankind coming apart at the seams, the Astartes bordered on the unseemly.
During his recovery, Horus attended an legions came into high orbit around
initiation ceremony of one of Davin‟s Istvaan V. Then, in precise, well-ordered
primitive warrior lodges, after which formation, came Angron‟s World
the Warmaster‟s condition dramatically Betrayal at Istvaan Eaters. Long-gone was the savage
worsened to critical. That a primarch Guilliman and the lion's share of his gladiator mentality of Angron‟s early
could succumb to any natural pathogen massive Ultramarines Legion were years – his first meeting with the
should have given a hint that what identified as being present at his Emperor on the slopes of Fedan Mhor
happened in the halls of the Knife of newest conquest, the fifth planet of the had seen him reject his former brutality
Bone involved the supernatural. It was Istvaan system. This was set to be the as the impetuosity of youth. The final
in fact an act of possession by a place that the Imperium would crush force to break from the warp was
powerful warp entity, although at the the rebellious primarch and his dreams composed of vessels belonging to the
time the concept of the daemonic was of an independent domain. Dark Angels, whose arrival came as a
widely regarded as errant superstition. surprise to those assembled. Lion
Only with the aid of the psychic might With Horus still recovering after El'Jonson himself had sent word that
of the blind Primarch of the Thousand Davin, Rogal Dorn used his position as they would not be able to return in time
Sons, and spiritual counselling from the Emperor‟s Praetorian to take from their assignment among the
Chaplain Erebus of the Word Bearers, command of the forces congregating Ghoul Stars. It was explained that the
could the entity finally be cast out. So, around Istvaan. The Ultramarines were force had arrived directly from their
with the Warmaster having escaped by far the most numerous legion, in homeworld of Caliban, and Luther, the

3
The Arch-Betrayer - Primarch Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists

legion‟s second in command, was in an act of base treachery. In the in the device, until eventually it
welcomed into the burgeoning fleet. greatest betrayal and military disaster unhinged his mind, and he was claimed
the Legionnes Astartes had then faced, by the Pantheon of Chaos. He was not
On the eve of the battle, Dorn went the Imperial Fists, Dark Angels, Iron beholden to one, but to the glory of
down to the planet‟s surface under flag Hands and Salamanders decimated the Chaos Undivided.
of truce to speak to Guilliman. On his survivors of the planet-fall. It was only
return, he gravely reported that no the timely intervention of the cruiser, Ultramar Segmentum's neutrality in the
peaceful solution was possible, but that Eisenstein, which had been Heresy had been bought with the blood
he had taken the opportunity to view commandeered by loyalists among the of three loyal legions, and as agreed,
the defences and had formulated a plan turncoat forces, which allowed even a the traitors left Guilliman and his
to crack them wide open. Knowing small percentage of the ambushed realm. The Chaos powers had not even
Dorn‟s tactical expertise at siege legions to fight their way back into needed to corrupt Guilliman to split
warfare, no-one questioned the wisdom orbit, and escape. him from the Emperor - his pride and
of this plan. The Imperial Fists, Dark the need to entrench his position was
Angels, Salamanders and Iron Hands When Horus had slipped from their enough to ensure temporary
made planet-fall first. Their stated clutches, the Ruinous Powers had quiescence. The Imperial Fists,
intention was to draw an ever- moved to groom another for the role of Salamanders and Iron Hands headed to
tightening ring of steel around Arch-Betrayer. True, they had been the Sol system to tighten their grip on
Guilliman, so that the Raven Guard, able to corrupt other primarchs, but Terra, while Luther and his Dark
World Eaters and Emperor's Children Rogal Dorn was chosen for his Angels went to rendezvous with their
would be able to sweep in from orbit potential to bring the entire Imperium brothers under Lion El'Jonson on
and land the crushing blow. crashing down. They preyed upon and Caliban. What occurred on the Dark
magnified his feelings of jealousy at Angel homeworld is unrecorded by
Instead of the pressurised, demoralised being passed over as Warmaster, and Imperial history, except that it ended
opponents Dorn had predicted, the then being withdrawn to Terra while with the utter destruction of the planet.
second wave found the drop-zones to his brothers were carving a reputation
be heavily fortified killing grounds, across the galaxy. Feeling revulsion at The Space Wolves that left the ruins of
well-garrisoned by the Ultramarines. such thoughts, Dorn had sought to Prospero and set course for Terra were
The three legions took horrendous drown out these shameful doubts of his a much changed breed. Although they
losses fighting their way to link up father‟s judgement in the scourge of arrived believing that they were
with their allies, only for their the Pain-Glove. As the pressure protecting the Imperium, the ferocity
supposed brothers to open fire on them increased, he spent longer and longer of their battle with the Thousand Sons

4
stripped away their veneer of Night Lord fought Imperial Fist, but possessed Imperial Fists and the
righteousness. By the end, the Space this time the reason for it was clear. plague-ridden Blood Angels across the
Wolf Legion had been baptised in Characteristic of the Night Haunter‟s globe using his Sky-Fortress, but still
blood, and anointed into the overt favoured tactics, the battle through the the civilian uprising grew apace.
worship of Khorne, the Blood God. Imperial Palace was brutal and swift.
Then, without warning, they withdrew The loyalists, however, had their own
The events on Istvaan had revealed a to take the fight elsewhere across troubles. The Death Guard were
third of the Legionnes Astartes as Terra. stranded on the other side of the
traitors to the Emperor, with five loyal galaxy, having been ambushed by
legions left either effectively This respite was short-lived, though, as Eldar raiders, which had left their warp
destroyed, or entangled on the other within days the Arch-Betrayer, Dorn, engines wrecked and their navigators
side of the galaxy in an interminable arrived back from Istvaan in force, dead. The White Scars were thought
conflict. With the news growing worse along with the Salamanders. The Iron lost in the warp, having not been heard
by the day, the remaining loyalist Hands moved to secure Mars for the from since their first astropathic recall.
legions scrambled to get back to Terra, rebellion, silencing all word from the At any other time, the Palace‟s great
and to save the Emperor... Adeptus Mechanicus and their Titan Cassius bell would have rung out ten
Legions. Shortly after, the fleets of the thousand times in mourning, but in
The Siege of Terra Sons of Horus and the Iron Warriors such blood-soaked days even a lost
With Dorn's Betrayal on Istvaan battered their way through the legion would have to wait for proper
prematurely revealed, the Emperor and blockade to make planet-fall, before remembrance.
his Custodes were able to seal encircling the Imperial Palace in a
themselves off inside the Imperial counter-siege. This forced the Imperial By the 55th day of the siege, the Iron
throne-room complex. Dorn‟s intention Warriors had broken through to the
had been to quietly dispose of the Ultimate Gate. Perturabo himself led
legions he could not corrupt, and then Before them stood the assault that he fervently hoped
return to the palace before his would bring him face-to-face with
treachery was discovered to deal with
Sanguinius of the Blood Dorn. As the mighty gates were blasted
his father. Dorn, however, had allowed Angels, skin pocked and open, it was not Dorn that defended
for this eventuality. As the Emperor‟s them, but Sanguinius of the Blood
Praetorian, a portion of his legion welted, and his once Angels, skin pocked and welted, his
garrisoned the Imperial Palace, and white-feathered wings once white-feathered wings now
when the time came, guards became balding and slicked with necrotic pus.
jailers, trapping the Emperor and His now balding and slicked As the two brothers fought, the wider
Custodes within the armoured bunker battlefield grew still. All eyes fixed
of the Imperial throne-room. with necrotic pus. upon the epic clash as they traded
blows that would have crippled lesser
Dorn‟s grip upon Terra was tightened Fists to defend the outer walls of the beings. In the end, Sanguinius hefted
as, according to his plan, the Blood palace at the same time that they tried the stunned Perturabo aloft, and
Angels fleet broke from the warp. to break into the heavily fortified brought him down across his knee,
What emerged from the landing craft at throne-room. The combination of the breaking his spine. Sanguinius then
the Eternity Wall spaceport were not Warmaster‟s cold fury and Perturabo‟s took flight, carrying his dying brother
the proud, red-armoured sons of Baal, siege-craft slowed Dorn‟s progress into the air, and drained him of blood.
but gaunt, diseased creatures, who fell towards the Emperor. As the Ultimate Gate was bulldozed
upon the terrified defenders to feast shut once more by the defenders,
upon their blood. The legion had fallen In those bloody days the war hung in Sanguinius contemptuously threw the
prey to some form of malady that first the balance, with neither side able to corpse back down at the broken Iron
rotted their blood, forcing them to take land a fatal blow. With the Iron Hands Warriors.
fresh stocks from unwilling victims, incommunicado, seemingly following
and in the process ate away at their their own agenda on Mars, and the As it transpired, the Ultimate Gate was
sanity and loyalty to the Emperor. renegade Space Wolves and Dark never assaulted again, and within a day
Angels unaccountably slowed to a Dorn broached the adamantium walls
A ray of hope came for the embattled crawl in the warp, Dorn turned ever- of the throne-room. What he found,
defenders as the mercurial Night Lords more towards the daemonic to win the however, drove him to a fury. The
appeared from nowhere. Nothing had war. Through foul sorceries and blood- Emperor was long-gone - spirited away
been heard from the legion since their pacts, Terra became a playground for by the Night Lords at the start of the
primarch, Konrad Curze, had all manner of entities from the siege. While Chaos had focussed its
physically attacked Dorn and taken his Empyrean. To try to crush the attention upon the throne-room, the
followers into hiding. Once more, resistance, Dorn despatched units of Emperor had used the time to organise

5
resistance across Terra. The skeleton constantly tormented to ensure that the brother. More wary than Horus, the
force of Custodes that had remained to worst excesses of his visions would not Emperor hung back, and as though
maintain the illusion bore the brunt of come to pass. compelled by some unexplained urge,
Dorn‟s anger. kicked aside a fallen tapestry to reveal
Before he could be asked more details the brutalised corpse of Konrad Curze.
Despite strenuous assertions from of his plan, Curze was gone. True to
Horus that He must leave Terra, the his word, though, at the appointed hour With his deception revealed, Dorn
Emperor flatly refused. He had spent sensors registered an internal explosion raised the broken standard pole and
the whole of his long lifetime battling aboard the Phalanx and the shields plunged it deep into Horus' chest. The
to unite Terra and mankind, and had preventing teleportation flickered and Warmaster died, never realising that he
fought at the forefront of the Great died. The Emperor, flanked by his had been betrayed a second time.
Crusade. He would not be driven away Custodes, and Horus along with his Spurred into action, the Emperor leapt
from His own planet. He also had a Mournival of captains teleported onto at Dorn. The room had seen the deaths
plan. In the time since His rescue by the ship, but were scattered across the of two of his sons, and He hardened his
the Night Lords, He had been working vast command decks by sinister heart to cause a third. Dorn, though,
to this end, and just after the death of magicks. Called by the psychic had been endowed with all the gifts of
Perturabo, the Emperor completed His presence of the Emperor, the loyalists the Ruinous Powers, and was a match
modifications and bonded a portion of fought their way back to their leader. for even the Master of Mankind. The
His consciousness with the two battled for what seemed like an
Astronomicon. In an instant, the warp- Horus reached the Emperor just outside age, but when the Mournival, led by
influence weakened planet-wide, with of Dorn's personal Sanctum, to find the Captain Abaddon, reached the
whole legions of lesser entities primarch's Terminator armour-clad devastated site of the battle, they found
banished from the physical realm. guards dead, and the armoured both of them broken, burned and
doorway already open. A wail of shattered beyond aid.
The rebellion was wounded, but not
finished. Then, beyond all expectation, Dorn's Heresy had been ended, but
the White Scars arrived. Thought lost, The Phalanx had seen doing so had claimed the Emperor's
their ships filled the comm-channels mortal life. All that remained was an
with disturbing, discordant harmonics the deaths of two of his echo of His spirit that had been bound
before swooping down into the sons. The Emperor to the Astronomicon. It bade Abaddon
embattled Lion's Gate spaceport. They to reclaim the bodies of the Emperor
murdered the Imperial defenders, and hardened his heart to and His loyal sons, and to re-unite the
without even fortifying their positions, cause a third. physical shell with what remained of
the corrupted White Scars took to their His immortal soul. They fought their
vehicles and scattered across the planet unutterable anguish echoed from the way off the ship with cold fury, and
at high speed to make sport with the chamber beyond. The pair ventured after that the Phalanx, under the
cowering civilian population. inside and found the room a wreck. command of Sigismund, stayed in orbit
Fine tapestries had been ripped from just long enough to collect the
With another fresh legion throwing its remaining Imperial Fists. The coalition
the walls, and Dorn was smashing the
weight behind the traitors, and the of traitors fractured, and then scattered,
complex mechanisms of his Pain-
fleets of the Dark Angels and Space with the Blood Angels, Salamanders
Glove with the sheared adamantium
Wolves only days away, the Emperor and White Scars commandeering
haft of his personal standard – the
had no choice but to cut out the Heresy whatever vessels they could to escape.
banner awarded to him by the
at its source. He and his finest troops The Dark Angel fleet turned from its
Emperor. The pair advanced, ready for
prepared to board the Phalanx and Terran course, and even the blood-
the kill, but Horus recognised the look
destroy the Arch-Betrayer, Dorn, on crazed berserkers of the Space Wolves
in his brother's eyes from his time just
his own battle-barge. after the possession on Davin and faltered, before falling to fighting
urgently waved his father back. amongst themselves.
The Phalanx
As soon as the Emperor announced His Dorn mumbled that he had been freed - The Emperor was brought to the
decision to board the Phalanx, Curze that the pulse from the Astronomicon Astronomicon, where His shattered,
appeared from the shadows and had given him enough strength to lifeless, flesh was integrated with the
volunteered his services. It was known finally banish the daemon. He said that psychic machinery of the beacon, and
that the Night Lord Primarch was privy he had killed his corrupted bodyguards fed and nourished with a thousand
to prophetic visions, often of the worst and retreated to the Pain-Glove to souls a day to sustain His wavering
possible fates, and yet even to the atone for his sins. Empathising with life-force.
Emperor he rarely spoke of what he Dorn, the Warmaster put aside his
saw. It was said that these nightmares weapons and advanced, open-handed The Long War to drive the traitors
were not inevitable, and that Curze was in friendship, to embrace his returned from the Imperium could then begin.

6
enemies they faced, Abaddon made the were regarded with bitterness by the
Black Templars the core of an other traitors. If they had won, the
“Horus was weak. Horus overwhelming force composed of as Imperium would have been forced to
was a fool. He stayed his many legions as possible. The idea was accept the Traitor Legions as the heroic
hand and allowed the Arch- to prevent the legions becoming liberators they knew themselves to be,
Betrayer to cripple the isolated, both so that they would not be but Dorn‟s failure, and perceived
Emperor. If he had survived I destroyed piecemeal, and that they weakness, had ultimately broken the
would have executed him would watch over one another to rebellion. Now they would forever be
myself. prevent any further legions falling to condemned as pariahs. Worse, the
the Ruinous Powers. Initially there was ravages of extensive daemonic
“We are no longer the Sons resistance to such a cautious approach, possession and the brutal meat-grinder
of Horus. Neither are we the especially from legions whose battles of the Siege had reduced the
Luna Wolves. That is the primarchs had survived. However, the Imperial Fists to a shadow of their
past, we are the future, and tragic fate of the isolated Raven Guard, former strength. Inheritor of Dorn‟s
must crusade to take back and the grievous losses the Iron mantle was Sigismund, who, to avoid
what was lost, and to destroy Warriors sustained trying to dislodge the hated 'Imperial' associations,
the traitors. From this day the Imperial Fists from their Iron Cage renamed them as the brooding 'Black
forth, we are the Black worlds reinforced the wisdom of Legion'.
Templars” Abaddon's proposals.
Such was the bitterness surrounding
Legion Master Abaddon, Soon he was able to command the the legion that Sigismund could not
First High Lord of Terra fealty of the surviving primarchs, and expect to command the loyalty of the
played on their individual preferences other traitor primarchs - he could not
and prejudices. For instance, Mortarion even prevent elements of his own
would commit to a force to drive the command from rebelling. Alexis Polux
The Bitter Harvest:
Space Wolves from Fenris proposed by led many of the possessed marines to
Post-Heresy to M41 their own fate, and these bloody-
Magnus, on the understanding that
The Heresy had been averted, but reciprocity would be observed when it handed butchers showed even the
amongst the many casualties had been came to mounting a xenocidal crusade Space Wolves the true meaning of
the Imperium‟s Manifest Destiny to against an Eldar Craftworld. For savagery. Another group despised the
rule the galaxy. The Emperor‟s vision Fulgrim and the Emperor's Children, way Sigismund had turned his back on
of a Great Crusade was but a memory, an attack on Guilliman deep inside their primarch. Proudly and defiantly
and although the eight Traitor Legions Ultramar Segmentum in revenge for calling themselves the Scions of Dorn,
had failed to claim Terra, they were far Istvaan was the prize, and Lorgar was they set about carving a reputation by
from defeated: Guilliman‟s secessionist pacified with leadership of the newly targeting a selected Great Company, be
Ultramar Segmentum was only the formed Ecclesiarchy and support for they loyalist or traitor, and not resting
largest and most organised of the his legion's Wars of Faith. Painfully until it had been annihilated to the last
rebellious realms. slowly, but surely, the tide turned and marine.
the borders of Imperial-controlled
With the Emperor hovering as a ghost space rolled back once again. The Imperium slowly pushed the
in the machine, the Warmaster and Traitor Legions out of their traditional
most of the loyal primarchs scythed In the course of a long lifetime, enclaves, and most set up bases on the
away, it was Abaddon who stepped Abaddon saw his patience rewarded. hellish worlds in and around the Eye of
forward and became de facto leader of The remaining loyalist legions were Terror. Each seemed driven to
the Imperium. Hating his primarch for rebuilt and expanded, and the Traitor periodically strike out from their
not protecting the Emperor, he first Legions were pushed from their daemon-worlds for spoil, pleasure, or
reorganised, and then re-named his homeworlds and enclaves towards the necessity. The contagions afflicting
legion to shun their past, and to reflect massive warp-rift which became Sanguinius and his cadaverous Blood
their crusading future. Thus, the Black known as the Eye of Terror. He died as Angels grew worse over the centuries,
Templars were born, and just as the he lived; leading the Imperial forces and they were forced to raid further
Warmaster had done before him, from the front. On the world of Uralan, and further afield to provide the fresh
Abaddon proved supremely adept at in the shadow of a monumental tower, blood and replacement organs they so
manipulating the disparate parts of the Abaddon was struck down by a huge desperately needed. The worst afflicted
shattered Imperium back to some golden-skinned creature bearing an brethren were driven insane as the
semblance of order. enormous blade of warp-construction. build-up of toxins rotted their brains
The first High Lord of Terra was dead, beyond recovery. These wretches are
Accepting the numerical weakness of but his philosophy would live on. often grouped together and in battle
the Legionnes Astartes at that time, and herded towards their enemies.
the vast numbers of threats and After the Heresy, the Imperial Fists Although little more than beasts, their

7
warp-boosted vitality, maniacal was only narrowly averted by a joint War, when the legion assaulted and
strength and inability to register pain action of the newly rebuilt Emperor's spirited away several of the arcane
make them more than a match for even Children and World Eaters, and this Blackstone Fortresses that had
veteran Astartes warriors. early success cemented bonds of formerly defended the sector. A being
brotherhood between them. Imperial claiming to be Ferrus Manus himself
Although their home-world of Caliban cogniscii have proposed that the led the successful assault on
was reduced to an asteroid field, Luther Salamanders have formally aligned Blackstone II, but if it was Manus, the
and his Dark Angels have stubbornly themselves with an aspect of the Warp fabled liquid metal that covered his
retained a strong presence in the they call 'Malal', although what this hands seemed to have enveloped his
system, although they have also been means in practice is unclear. What is entire body. The Mechanicus has never
seen to appear from nowhere and certain is that the Salamanders remain been able to account for what the Iron
destroy targets throughout the galaxy. an unpredictable and dangerous foe. Hands excavated from beneath the red
The reason for these attacks has been sands of Mars, but as the frequency of
hotly debated by Imperial strategists The actions of the Iron Hands are, if attacks by the legion increases, so too
over ten millennia, with theories anything, even more bizarre. Other does pressure for a proper explanation.
ranging from institutionalised insanity than at Istvaan, the legion has never
to that they are searching for, or trying been seen to fight alongside the forces To the galactic east, Guilliman took
to obliterate, someone or something... of Chaos, and it is widely believed that advantage of the anarchy of the Heresy
Manus fought there solely to further to further cement his realm. Despite
The intentions of other Traitor his own agenda of raiding Mars. Their strenuous crusades and the
Legions, such as the White Scars and objective there has remained shrouded insurrectionist actions of the Alpha
the Space Wolves, are much clearer. in mystery, as they ignored priceless Legion, the massive size, military
The White Scars now exist only for the stores of archeotech to instead excavate efficiency and organisational ability of
thrill of speed, sensation, and battle, the Ultramarines and their off-shoot
while the Space Wolves have successor 'chapters' meant that any
submerged themselves wholeheartedly Inheritor of Dorn‟s losses were swiftly reclaimed into the
in the worship of Khorne. The mantle was Sigismund, Ultramar fold. This has changed in
disappearance of Leman Russ during recent centuries, as wars within its own
the Purging of Fenris saw the legion who, to avoid the hated borders with xenos races have sapped
disintegrate into warbands, each their prodigious military strength. The
competing to be the most brutal and
'Imperial' associations, arrival of the extra-galactic hive-race
bloodthirsty in honour of their god. renamed them as the of 'Tyranids' was proclaimed by the
The Space Wolves' attentions extend Ecclesiarchy as a judgement from the
little beyond slaughter, and scant brooding 'Black Legion'. Emperor, although this line of rhetoric
attention is given to the crafting of has been dropped recently as hive-
weapons or armour. Instead, the Space something from deep beneath the fleets have started attacking into the
Wolves have chosen to scavenge such mountains of Noctis Labyrynthus. heart of Segmentum Solar.
things from slain foes, which act both After leaving Mars, the Iron Hands
as trophies to proclaim their combat vanished, and were thought lost to As dangerous as the incursions from
prowess, and to repair the battle history, appearing once or twice in a the Tyranids may be, they are only one
damage they inevitably sustain. millennia. A collation of confirmed of the rising threats to the Imperium.
sightings, usually from attacks on After ten thousand years, the Traitor
Vulkan's nihilistic disillusionment with archaeological excavations of dead Legions at last seem to be putting aside
what he saw as the hypocrisy of the worlds, showed a creeping their differences. That Chaos should
Imperium spread over the centuries to mechanisation of the body, replacing finally follow the tactics dictated by
encompass his fellow traitors. He and flesh with metal. Some Iron Hands, the Abaddon of a massed crusade would
his legion came to despise the petty so-called Rubrics of Paullian, appear to be a terrible irony. What their
excesses of the Chaos Gods and their revel in total mechanisation. intentions would be are unknown, but
servants, and made war with both the if the Ruinous Powers were to attempt
Imperium and their fellow traitors. The Iron Hands only revealed a second assault on Holy Terra, the
Their attempted Burning of Skalathrax themselves fully during the Gothic bloodshed would be truly apocalyptic.

8
Of all the Space Marine legions, none exemplifies the virtues of
martial honour and strict self-control more than the World
Eaters. Just as Angron transcended his violent youth, he ensured
that his legion would shrug off every setback and betrayal to
become paragons of the warrior creed, and ardent supporters of
The the Emperor's intention to unify the galaxy.
Dornian Origins were implanted directly into the brain,
turning the subject into little better than
According to Carpinus‟ Speculum
Heresy Historiale, the best record of Angron‟s a mindless berserker. After suffering
this fate, Angron bent all his will to
early years, the young primarch was
born and raised into bloodshed and escaping these puppet masters.
death, but never let these things claim
him. Stolen away from the Emperor by The walls were high and the guns of
the Ruinous Powers and scattered their guards powerful, but using his
throughout the galaxy, the infant natural talent as a warrior and leader of
Angron was found, on an un-named men, he found a way. During a massed
planet, surrounded by the corpses of display of gladiatorial combat, the
what were thought to be armed bandits slaves, as one, turned their weapons on
that prowled the region. He was taken their guards. Angron‟s meticulous and
in by the locals, was fed and clothed, inspired planning saw to it that they
and according to their traditions took control of the arena with a
promptly sold into slavery to repay minimum of casualties, but the
their generosity. Given his obvious bloodshed that followed shocked him
skill in the combat arts, he was forced to the core. With freedom in sight,
first into small-time pit-fighting, and many of Angron‟s gladiator brothers
inevitably was traded to the capital became uncontrollable, and with the
city‟s gladiatorial arena. guards routed, continued to fight rather
than make good their escape. In the
Index The planetary rulers used the grand
spectacle of the gladiatorial arenas to
height of blind fury, some of the
berserkers turned on the fleeing crowds

Astartes: slake their population‟s bloodlust, and


to remind them of the penalty for
and even, in their madness, their
brother gladiators.
thoughts of revolt. As the primarch
grew, so too did his reputation, and his The slave army escaped the city, but
frustration. Ever-eager to boast of the without their berserker brethren, which
World brutality of their fighters, the slavers remained to kill and be killed. The
experience brought home to Angron
had named him Angron, but the
Eaters Emperor had made him to be more
than a bloodthirsty taker of skulls. It
that without iron-willed self-control
they would lose themselves. The look
was his name, but not what he was. in the eyes of his blood-drunk former
brothers he had been forced to kill that
Angron resented that he and his fellow day convinced Angron that he himself
gladiators were being forced to fight must never suffer that fate.
and kill for the pleasure of their
masters, and that of the baying crowds. While the gladiators fled into the wild-

by Even worse were the physical and


mental mutilations imposed upon them
lands, the rulers of the city assembled
and despatched an army of mercenaries
to provide better sport. Implants, to chase them down. Angron and his
Aurelius „glanding‟ and the replacement of arms brothers ambushed the overconfident
with hooks or blades were all and ill-disciplined soldiery, stripped
Rex commonplace in the arenas. Angron
saw them all as an attempt to steal the
them of their weapons and provisions,
and sent them back to the city as a
only things the slaves still possessed; bloodied warning not to pursue them
their dignity and sense of self. Worst of any further. However, with word of
all were the psycho-surgical Angron‟s escape spreading and
procedures where „aggression chips‟ fomenting unrest among the gladiators

9
in other cities, this was not efficient warriors, and with
something the planet‟s rigid self-control they were
rulers were able to ignore. nothing to be feared. When
Fearing for their grip on the Twelfth Legion finally
power, and no longer arrived to formally meet
underestimating this „simple their primarch, Angron was
gladiator‟, a force a hundred ready for command.
thousand strong was
mobilised and sent to scour Angron had not forgotten
the land. Against such his old comrades, and the
overwhelming force, army of former slaves were
Angron‟s only option was to the first from the planet to
press further and further into join his new legion. The
the mountains, but aggression chips were cast
eventually there was off as tools of the oppressor,
nowhere left to go. At the and the legion was
summit of Fedan Mhor, dedicated to the course of
Angron and his brothers martial honour and iron-
prepared to make their willed self-control.
stand. Berserker fury became a
shadow of the past; a legacy
In the time since the loss of of their enslavement that
the primarchs, the Emperor would never again be
had not been idle. Guided permitted. Committed to the
by His unparalleled psychic glory of the Imperium and
talents He homed in on His the Emperor, they would be
lost sons. And so it was that masters of their own fates.
as Angron prepared to Tactical squad Brother-Sergeant of the World Eaters Some aspects of his past -
address his army for the such as his own name -
hopeless battle to come, Imperial ships Emperor and His cause. Accepting the Angron retained, and even embraced as
of the Great Crusade hastily entered inevitable, the planet‟s ruling elite reminders of what they must always
orbit. Unwilling to risk losing his son quietly stepped down from power, and fight against. Back in the arena, the
before they had even been reunited, the the world rapidly acceded into the slavers called Angron and his fellow
Emperor ordered that Angron be Imperium. gladiators the 'World Eaters' to brag to
teleported aboard, but Horus, who was other cities of how violent and frenzied
accompanying his father, urgently Horus took Angron under his wing, they were. Thus, to the surprise of
counselled against it. Horus' peerless educating him in every aspect of the members new and old, he chose it to
insight into the psychology of the Imperium. In doing so, he was able to remind them of the darkness against
warrior recognised that to whisk a true assuage his brother‟s lingering doubts which they must always guard. He
leader to safety while his army was that he would simply be swapping one renamed the Twelfth Legion the World
butchered would be intolerable. He set of chains for another; that the Eaters.
saw that such an act would irrevocably Emperor was far from being just
taint the relationship with bitterness another slaver who wanted him to fight The Heresy
and resentment from the start. and die for his own amusement. Their In the following years the World Eaters
first meeting on Fedan Mhor had gone became synonymous with martial
Horus successfully convinced his a long way towards this, and the honour, and were paragons of the
father that there was a better way, and presence of Horus and his Luna Emperor‟s dream to re-unite humanity
when the sun rose on the mountain, the Wolves overcame Angron‟s initial in the galaxy. Their grand companies
slaver's armies were faced not only by misgivings about the implants and often fought alongside those of the
Angron's former gladiators, but by The psycho-conditioning that becoming a Luna Wolves, with Angron‟s idealism
Master of Mankind, and the Astartes of marine entailed. At first, the process tempering Horus‟ more pragmatic
the Luna Wolves. Against such seemed to be eerily similar to the approach. In fact, at a banquet to
powerful adversaries, the slaver‟s aggression chips and cybernetic celebrate the successful completion of
forces were easily routed. As they fled implants that the slavers had forced the Herax compliance, Horus
the field in disarray, Angron upon the gladiators, and which had publically praised Angron as his „moral
approached his father through the made them less than human. However, compass‟. When Horus was elevated to
smoke, and knelt in supplication, after seeing the Luna Wolves in action, the rank of Warmaster at Ullanor, none
recognising the bond between them, Angron knew that such things were was more forthcoming in support for
and respecting the true nobility of the merely tools to make them more his mentor than Angron, and it seemed

10
that even with the the transports were
Emperor returning to silenced, and the few
Terra, the Great Crusade survivors of the three
would be in safe hands. legions evacuated to
safety. Angron‟s
Sadly, it was not to be. ultimate fate is a matter
First the Warmaster was of heated conjecture.
laid low by an unknown The World Eaters and
malady, and then word Emperor‟s Children both
came that Roboute assert that he met his end
Guilliman had declared in combat with the
the vast swathes of the turncoat Vulkan, while
galactic east liberated by scurrilous black
his Ultramarine Legion propaganda spouted by
to be an independent the Salamanders hint at a
realm - the so-called considerably less heroic
Ultramar Segmentum. end. Needless to say,
Such an affront to the ever since the Heresy the
Imperial dream saw the World Eaters have taken
World Eaters pledge every opportunity to take
themselves immediately the fight to the
to bringing Guilliman Salamanders. Any
back to his senses, or to campaigns involving
end this betrayal once these two legions, such
and for all. Under the as the Battle of
command of Rogal Skalathrax or the
Dorn, the Emperor‟s Cleansing of Gorthan-
Praetorian, seven legions Liess, are bitterly
assembled in orbit contested in the extreme.
around the Ultramarine‟s
latest conquest, at the
fifth planet of the Istvaan After Istvaan, the World
system. The World Eaters were reduced to a
Eaters, along with the shadow of their former
Emperor‟s Children and strength. They limped
The scars that resulted from removing the
Raven Guard, made back to their homeworld
aggression chips became a palpable reminder
planet-fall into what they with the intention to
of the World Eater’s rejected past.
were told was a shattered rebuild their forces, and
and broken rebel legion, must not stand unchallenged, but even to play some part in
but instead were devastated by the he knew there was nothing to be gained ending Dorn's treachery, but it was not
guns of both the Ultramarines, and from suffering a glorious massacre. to be. The Heresy had reached even
their erstwhile allies. Dorn had been Their mission now became to warn the their own planet. The former rulers of
corrupted by the Chaos Gods, and had Emperor of Dorn's treachery. After the world were gone from power, but
taken the Imperial Fists, Iron Hands, dragging as many of their fallen still retained much wealth and
Dark Angels, and Salamanders with brethren as they could onto the influence. On their isolated estates,
him into damnation. Knowing the evacuation landers, they came under away from prying eyes, they continued
World Eater‟s legendary idealism and intense fire from heavy weaponry from their decadent ways and fell into the
loyalty to the Warmaster, Dorn had not Salamanders commanded by Vulkan, worship of Chaos. History is unclear
even attempted to turn them to his their hideously disfigured primarch. whether this happened independently,
cause. Instead, he opted to use them as With shuttles and landers full of his or as part of Dorn's plot to destabilise
a blood sacrifice to his Dark Masters, brothers exploding around him, the legion, but when they realised that
and to buy the Ultramarine‟s neutrality Angron took this final opportunity to the World Eaters had been decimated,
in the coming war. save his legion, and to fulfil his and the Imperium wracked by civil
personal code. He threw open the hatch war, they seized their opportunity.
Wading through rivers of their own and leapt out of the slowly rising vessel Private armies besieged the legitimate
blood, the shattered remnants of the into the midst of the Salamanders. Imperial government, and paid
three loyal legions fought their way to agitators, sought to raise mobs in
evacuation. Angron‟s martial code rebellion. The war was short, though,
demanded that such a gross betrayal The heavy weapons directed against as even in their weakened state the

11
is able to select the finest candidates
wherever they may be found. Each
grand company‟s battle barges have the
knowledge and resources to recruit and
train the next generation of World
Eaters. The legion is well respected
and universally regarded as being fair
and honourable, and most planetary
governors are eager to become a
recruiting world, with all the added
protection this entails.

Combat Doctrine
Given their primarch‟s origins as a pit-
fighter and gladiator, and Angron‟s
devotion to martial honour, it is
unsurprising that the legion places such
a particular emphasis upon close
combat. This is reflected by the high
World Eaters were quickly able to rout of the question. Angron had seen the number of Assault squads found in
the enemy and re-establish order. damage that the blood-drunk could do, their orders of battle, but far from
to both themselves and their erstwhile being bloodthirsty maniacs, its roots
Enraged at having power snatched friends, and decreed that iron-hard self- come from their own code of martial
away a second time, the deposed control was vital to become one of his honour, and ironically, a desire to
leaders enacted their final solution: If legionnaires. avoid indiscriminate slaughter. Where
they could not have the planet, then no- many legions routinely use orbital
one would. At their command powerful Part of this was the removal of their bombardment and saturation firepower
explosives detonated along seismic aggression chips, and the ugly scar against a rebellious world, the World
fault-lines and inside the planet‟s tissue that resulted from the procedure Eaters take great pains to minimise
geothermal power plants, spewing lava became a palpable reminder of their civilian casualties, even when it means
across the land and choking the rejected past. In solidarity the Terran that they themselves suffer greater
atmosphere with ash. This triggered legionnaires that had never had the losses as the result. It is against an
further waves of volcanic activity that procedure took to tattooing the scalp enemy‟s leaders and military forces
plunged the world into darkness, and above the left temple, and even ten that they take the fight, and test their
caused a global extinction event. The millennia later, this practice still mettle; there is no honour to be gained
World Eaters, protected by power endures. in butchering the old, infirm or infants,
armour, were the only survivors of the especially when done from orbit. In
cataclysm, but even their fortress- After the destruction of their close combat the World Eaters know
monastery on Fedan Mhor was homeworld the legion necessarily had and suitably value each human life
seriously damaged. Evacuating to their to draw their recruits from other they take.
orbiting fleet, the legion stood vigil systems. The World Eater fleets range
over their dying homeworld for one far across the Imperium, so the legion On many occasions, most notably the
hundred days, and then left, vowing
always to remember, but never to
return. Skalathrax

Recruitment Their shared experiences on Istvaan brought the legions of the World Eaters
and Emperor's Children together, and forged a strong bond of friendship
Before the Heresy, the World Eaters
between the two despite their philosophical differences. Just decades after
recruited extensively from the former the heresy, while both legions were still in the midst of rebuilding, they
gladiator and pit-slave population of deployed together to defend the world of Skalathrax from the Salamanders.
their homeworld. These proved to be a The traitors claimed that the incineration of Skalathrax would anoint it as
hardy and talented source of marines, their new daemon-world, but together the loyalists managed to avert this, and
although to their regret they found that in doing so extracted a measure of vengeance for the Salamander's betrayal
not all were suitable. A proportion, be at Istvaan. The phrase 'Remember Skalathrax' became a rallying cry for a
it through ill-treatment or by resurgent Imperium, one that echoed from the halls of the High Lords on
inclination, took such enjoyment and mighty Terra to the darkest depths of the Eye of Terror.
abandon in the spilling of blood that to
become a World Eater was simply out

12
famous assault on the rebellious
Partrum Junta and the boarding of the
Battle Barge Black Narcissus, entire Khârn the Deathless
grand companies of World Eaters have
taken to the field armed solely with Angron‟s noble sacrifice on Istvaan allowed a precious few World Eaters to
bolt pistol and chain-axe. However, escape the carnage, and with them they dragged as many of their wounded and
that is not to say that the World Eaters dead brothers as they could. Among the corpses was Captain Khârn, equerry to
the primarch himself. Covered in the blood of a hundred grievous wounds,
eschew ranged weaponry - particularly
Khârn woke in the makeshift morgue, later saying that Angron had come to him
when facing xenos and warp-tainted in a vision and told him that it was not yet time for Khârn to join him, and that
opponents. The bolter is as holy an he still had a mighty task ahead. This proved to be the case. Khârn led the
instrument of the Emperor‟s will to tattered shreds of the legion back to their homeworld, and as legion master
them as it is to any of the other loyal overcame insurmountable challenges to rebuild and revive the World Eaters.
legions, and since their earliest days, Having passed into the vale of death, and yet returning all the stronger, Khârn
World Eater Devastator squads have the Deathless is an analogy for the legion itself.
been referred with genuine honour as
„The Teeth of the World Eaters‟. The
legion is clinical in its assessment of scale invasions by heretics and warlike machination to serve their own
the best method to eliminate the alien races. agendas.
Imperium‟s foes, and on the battlefield
Assault, Tactical and Devastator
The diffuse nature of the World Eater While the legion does maintain a
squads mesh seamlessly into an
Legion means that, in practice, each Librarium of psychically gifted battle
unstoppable white and azure engine of
grand company retains a great degree brothers, they are few in number, and
power armoured death.
of independence. The ultimate their remit specialised. This springs
authority is the Council of Captains, primarily from their innate distrust of
Organisation headed by the legion master, which by the immaterial, instead preferring to
Having no homeworld, the World necessity meets almost exclusively by rely on the heft of an honest chain-axe
Eater Legion is now fleet-based, and astropathic means. It is essential in to the summoning of eldritch fire. After
has spread itself out amongst the stars. coordinating the actions of the World the Heresy revealed the horrifying
Each grand company, numbering Eaters across the Imperium, as well as scope of the threat posed by the
upwards of a thousand battle brothers ruling on the commitment of forces to Ruinous Powers, successive legion
and commanded by a captain and his Imperial crusades, and on rare masters began to realise the value of
lieutenants strive to perform their occasions sanctioning the creation of a being able to fight on the aetheric plane
assigned duties to the utmost. new grand company. as well. To this end, World Eater
Normally at least two-thirds of World librarians are charged with the vital
Eater grand companies are to be found role of sensing the malefic, and
engaged in the Crusades proclaimed by Beliefs
warding the souls of their brethren
the High Lords of Terra, a proportion The World Eaters retain their
from harm. These roles do not exempt
unmatched by any other legion. These primarch‟s sense of martial honour,
librarians from their normal duties.
grand companies are at the vanguard of discipline and iron-willed self-control.
They are World Eaters, and so are
the battle against the Ruinous Powers They are, if anything, even more
expected to prove themselves at the
and xenos threats and reclaiming areas organised and regimented than the
bloody edge of battle - a place in which
of the galaxy long-lost to Imperial rule. secessionist Ultramarines and their
their psychically attuned force
Such a role is a dangerous one even for successor chapters, although the World
weaponry comes in extremely useful.
the Legionnes Astartes, and the Eaters restrict themselves to military
vehemence with which the World matters rather than extending it into the
Eaters pursue this task is enviable. civilian side of things. Despite the Gene-seed
betrayals and losses they suffered Gene-seed of the Angron line suffers
Once the crusade has achieved its during the Heresy, the World Eaters an unusual degree of genetic drift, and
objective, they return to the Imperium have never lost their idealistic belief in the omophagea implant is absent
proper to recruit, train and replenish the concept of the Emperor's altogether. Adeptus Mechanicus
their strength. Though this could be Imperium. To this end they are records showed that the implant
considered as reserve status, there are endlessly willing to contribute forces to abruptly and inexplicably disappeared
still many battles to be fought inside crusade alongside other legions and the from samples submitted for purity
the Imperium. Rebellions against Imperial Army. Unlike some of the testing in mid-M34. When the offer
rightful Imperial rule are sadly all-too other legions though, the World Eaters was made to return gene-seed from
common, pirate fleets plague the are motivated by a deep-seated belief tithed stocks which still contained the
space-lanes and even the Imperial that it is the right thing to do, rather omophagea, the legion declined the
crusades are unable to prevent wide- than as part of some political offer, stating in no uncertain terms that

13
such an implant was no longer
required.
Varren stepped aside of the wildly swung frost-blade. In return he brought the
The general degradation in gene-seed chain-axe round and caught the Space Wolf in the vulnerable area between
upraised arm and toughened breastplate. Energised teeth churned easily into
quality is attributed to the use of higher
armour and flesh, sending an arterial spray across the room, and coating his
than recommend doses of certain face and once-white and blue armour in darkest crimson.
chemicals involved in marine
hypnotherapy and indoctrination. This The traitor slumped to the floor, nearly chewed in half by the blade. He was
hazardous treatment allows World incapacitated, but still clinging to life. It saddened Varren that one of the
Eater marines to control their Emperor‟s legions could have fallen to the worship of the Ruinous Powers,
responses, emotions and autonomic dedicated only to the spilling of blood and the taking of skulls. Looking into the
reactions beyond that of other legions, madman‟s eyes, a chilling thought struck him; would this have been his fate if
in line with their compulsion to enforce Angron hadn‟t turned his back on bloodshed? There but for the grace of the
Emperor...
iron-willed self-restraint on the
battlefield. While this genetic drift has „Do you have any last words, oath-breaker?‟ Varren asked, raising his chain-
not yet been observed to have axe in preparation for a warrior‟s execution.
materially affected implant quality,
there is serious concern that eventually „Blood for the Blood God. He cares not from where it flows,‟ rasped the Space
the long term viability of the gene-seed Wolf with a burbling chuckle. „We are brothers in blood now –‟ the sacrilegious
as a whole could be in jeopardy. The insult was cut off abruptly by the falling blade.
Imperium can ill-afford to lose the
World Eaters, but despite this the Varren absently licked his lips, and tasted the coppery tang of the traitor‟s
blood. Just for the briefest second his mind filled with the memories of his
legion has strenuously resisted pressure
opponent, and he experienced the joy of losing himself within the rising blood-
to modify its procedures. tide...

Battlecry Then the walls of self-control slammed back into place, and with revulsion he
“For Angron and the Emperor!” is a fell to his knees. Over the sound of his own retching, Captain Varren was
common battlecry, although where certain he could hear the taunting laughter of the Dark Gods.
World Eaters face traitors of the
Salamanders Legion, “Remember
Skalathrax!” is often used instead.

14
Before the Heresy, Fulgrim proclaimed that his legion had
achieved a state of perfection, and for their pains were targeted
for destruction at Istvaan by the Ruinous Powers. Through their
peerless abilities they survived and ever since have fought
tirelessly against the entropy and decline that has afflicted even
The the Legionnes Astartes. With their meticulously maintained
marks of ancient equipment and weaponry, they are the epitome
Dornian of a small, but elite, mobile strike-force.
Heresy Origins their gene-seed the legion was only
So concerned were the Ruinous Powers 200 strong, but the return of their
by the Emperor‟s plan to create the primarch would change this. In front of
primarchs that they stole the infants the massed Terran dignitaries and even
away and scattered them throughout the Emperor Himself, Fulgrim
the galaxy. Not even this, though, addressed his warriors, saying: “We
could deflect Fulgrim from his fate. are His children. Let all who look upon
The planet of Chemos, like many us know this. Only by imperfection can
before the Emperor‟s reunification, had we fail him. We are the Emperor‟s
been settled during mankind‟s first Children, and we will not fail him.”
expansion into the cosmos, but having
lost the gift of spaceflight, had become The onlookers were shocked by the
isolated over the ages. By the time presumption of appropriating the
Fulgrim fell to earth, the inhabitants of Emperor‟s name for the legion, but the
Chemos had slipped perilously close to Master of Mankind simply laughed,
extinction, clinging to survival by and further indulged His son. The
scavenging from deserted settlements newly named Emperor‟s Children were
and endlessly recycling their allowed the signal honour of being the
increasingly sparse stocks of food and only legion to bear the Emperor‟s
water. Aquila on their armoured breastplates,
Index a distinction that endures to this day.
Thus named and anointed, the arduous
It was five decades later that the
Astartes: Emperor finally set foot on Chemos,
and it is a testament to Fulgrim‟s
process of building the legion to
fighting strength began. In his
exceptional abilities that in that time he eagerness to prove himself, Fulgrim
had risen from a foundling to become volunteered his legion for duty at the
earliest opportunity. Unfortunately,
Emperor’s the ruler of the entire planet. What is
more, he had transformed it from a they were so few in number that they
faltering society in terminal decline to had to accompany another force.
Children a powerful, resurgent world reclaiming Fulgrim chose that of the Emperor and
His praetorians, the Imperial Fists.
the lost settlements and rediscovering
long-forgotten knowledge. No longer
were they living day to day: Fulgrim The first meeting between the brothers,
had given the population of Chemos Dorn and Fulgrim, was cordial, but this
hope for the future. state of affairs did not last. The source
of the hostility stemmed from a clash
On meeting his father and hearing the of personalities, and Fulgrim‟s opinion,
by Emperor‟s story, Fulgrim was struck
by the parallels between their lives.
perhaps borne out by what followed,
that he rather than Dorn should be the
Emperor‟s Praetorian. Fulgrim was
Aurelius
Both had risen to power purely through
merit, and the Emperor‟s Great certainly forthright when it came to
Crusade to reunite the lost human criticising the performance of the
Rex worlds into a galaxy-spanning Imperial Fists, and was the first to
Imperium echoed his own boast of his warriors‟ achievements to
achievements, and reassured Fulgrim the Emperor. Fulgrim clearly saw
of the truth of his father‟s words. Back himself as the favoured son, and when
on Holy Terra, Fulgrim was introduced the Emperor‟s Children finally reached
to his legion. Due to a catastrophe with full-strength, a lavish ceremony was

15
held on the newly compliant guardians of genetic purity,
world of Pelthan. shone as they performed
Expectations among the miracles in keeping their
legion were that at this brothers alive and fighting.
coming of age, they would From weightless conditions
take their rightful mantle as aboard orbital defence
the Emperor‟s new platforms to dog-fights
Praetorians. When they among freezing clouds and
were instead merely granted lethal close-range meat-
their own expedition of the grinders aboard deep
Great Crusade, a palpable submersible habitats, the
sense of shock and outrage Emperor‟s Children scoured
at the injustice spread the Laer from existence. The
through the hall. Dutiful son very last Laer was cut down
that he was, Fulgrim stood, in one of their blasphemous
silenced his troops, and temples, three days before
contritely thanked his father the allotted month was out.
for the honour. Despite being regaled with
tales of its haunting beauty,
The voyage from Pelthan Fulgrim declined to tour the
was a lonely one for the site, saying he had no wish
Emperor‟s Children. There to so dignify the xenos or
was a sense that their fate, their superstitions. He
and indeed the entire instead had the fane
universe, had been upended. pounded to dust by orbital
Worse was to come as the bombardment, along with
demoralised legion suffered every other remnant of
a succession of gruelling, Emperor’s Children Battle-Brother Laeran culture.
drawn-out campaigns of of the 16th Grand Company
compliance, the last of Back in orbit around the
which left Fulgrim critically and turned them instead towards a dead world, Fulgrim
wounded. Lord Commander Eidolon xenos world inhabited by a hostile and addressed his entire legion. He said the
immediately suspended the expedition, powerful race known as the Laer. campaign had proved that they had
and the fleet returned to Chemos, fully indeed achieved the Emperor‟s
expecting to lay their primarch to rest Such was the threat posed by the Laer perfection. Driven to constantly change
on his home soil. Rather than succumb that Imperial planners had projected and adapt, the Laer had twisted their
though, Fulgrim awoke reinvigorated, any force attacking them would be minds and bodies beyond all
and demanded to address the legion. wading through rivers of blood for recognition, and yet the Emperor‟s
He spoke with eloquence and passion decades. As the Laer were seemingly Children had defeated them through
that they had collectively been blinded content in their isolation, they had been their unsurpassed skill and devotion to
by doubt and fear, but on the brink of left until now. Fulgrim, however, saw purity. Similarly, the legion must be
death he had been gifted an epiphany. them as his legion‟s greatest test. He wary of diluting their Emperor-given
Their path was to seek out and achieve would exterminate them, and state of perfection in the guise of
perfection in the arts of war, and once furthermore achieve this task within a „progress‟, as to corrupt the ideal in
they achieved it, they must hold to it standard solar month. The Emperor‟s this way would be an unforgivable act
unflinchingly. Children found that rather than a single of sacrilege.
race, the Laer had adapted and
Just as Fulgrim had done when he first specialised their bodies to such a
came to Chemos, this second arrival degree that they were barely
brought hope to the population. Thus recognisable as the same species. The This war is the crucible in
armed, the Emperor‟s Children, with only traits they held in common were a which we will be tested, my
brothers. In their ignorance, the
Fulgrim at their head, returned to the mastery of their own sphere of combat
foul Laer offer us the chance to
Great Crusade with renewed purpose, and the desperate tenacity of those achieve perfection. Apotheosis
knowing that they would not fail again. facing total extinction. is within our grasp!”
After innumerable stunningly
successful campaigns that brought The war wrought a terrible toll on both Fulgrim, on the eve of the
countless worlds into the growing sides as weapons of incredible power Cleansing of Laeran
Imperium of Man, Fulgrim redirected were unleashed. The skills of the
the fleet from their assigned course, legion‟s apothecaries, long the

16
On that day, the Emperor‟s Children
became a bastion of constancy in an
ever-shifting galaxy. Fabius Bile

Despite Fulgrim‟s declaration that the Emperor‟s Children had reached


The Dornian Heresy perfection during the Laer campaign, a small faction within the legion defied
No sooner had the Emperor's Children their primarch‟s injunction. Most prominent amongst these conspirators were a
reached their apotheosis than they group within the Apothecarion who covertly continued their experiments under
received an urgent astropathic the cloak of treating their wounded brethren. These perversions included re-
communiqué concerning the wiring the pleasure centres of the brain and even using xenos biological material
Ultramarines. Guilliman‟s legion had from the vanquished Laer in their blasphemous works. This unforgivable breach
brought much of the far galactic east of discipline was swiftly rooted out on the voyage to Istvaan. The leader, a
talented but misguided apothecary by the name of Fabius Bile, took the
into Imperial compliance, but now by coward‟s way out rather than having to answer to Fulgrim for his crimes. By the
right of conquest had claimed the area time they were able to break into the apothecarion, Bile's body had been rotted
as their own. Rather than showing to an organic stew inside his armour by powerful enzymes. If he had lived,
dismay and disbelief that one of his Bile‟s punishment would undoubtedly have been an order of magnitude worse.
brother primarchs could turn his back
upon the Emperor, Fulgrim took the
news with quiet satisfaction. It erstwhile allies also opened fire upon inevitable fight-back. The Emperor‟s
reinforced his feeling of superiority, them. Children had risen from the ashes once,
and gave him the chance to put his they would do so again.
legion to the test against the closest The comm-channels were awash with
thing that remained to a challenge: pleas for their brothers to cease fire, After the Heresy
other Astartes. The only thing to sour and it was Fulgrim who first guessed Despite their betrayal and near-
the moment was the news that the force the terrible truth. This was no accident: extinction at Istvaan, Fulgrim‟s
sent to discipline the Ultramarines Dorn had betrayed them. The assertion that his legion had achieved
would be commanded by his Emperor‟s Children vented their the heights of perfection remained
adversary, Rogal Dorn. frustration on the turncoats before unshakeable. If anything, these events
them, and Fulgrim led what remained reinforced his view. They could not
The Emperor‟s Children set course for of his personal retinue against the have been corrupted or defeated in a
the Istvaan system. It was the site of Primarch of the Iron Hands. Fulgrim fair fight, so instead Dorn had tried –
Guilliman‟s latest addition to his had considered Ferrus Manus to be a and failed - to obliterate them beneath
„Ultramar Segmentum‟, and both the rare friend rather than a rival, and so overwhelming numbers. Dorn‟s Heresy
rebellious primarch and much of his the betrayal was all the deeper. Legion was brought to a bloody end before
massed legion were present on the fifth records tell that Fulgrim managed to they could properly reconstitute their
planet. Seven legions were called to mortally wound Manus, and even sever losses. Chief among the casualties was
Istvaan, with the Imperial Fists, Iron one of his fabled metal hands. Sadly, the Emperor Himself, who was left as
Hands, Salamanders and Dark Angels this account has been proved to be little more than a ghost in the
making planet-fall first to encircle, apocryphal, as Manus was later seen on Astronomican machine.
devastate and demoralise the Mars, and personally commanded his
defenders. The Emperor‟s Children, legion in the Gothic Sector as recently Although Fulgrim never spoke openly
World Eaters and Raven Guard were as early M41. of it, he clearly grieved for his father,
given the task of falling upon what and perhaps even regretted his choice
remained to administer the coup de Through daring, skill and to rebuild the legion rather than trying
grâce. On Dorn‟s command the three determination a tiny fraction of the to fight their way back to Terra. Dorn,
legions descended from orbit, only to three legions escaped back to orbit to the Arch-Betrayer, was dead, and yet
find themselves caught in an ambush. spread word of Dorn‟s Great Betrayal other traitor legionnaires still drew
Far from demoralised, they found the to the wider Imperium. Despite their breath. The urge to track them down
Ultramarines well dug-in, heavily brutish demeanour, the World Eaters and mete out bloody retribution was
armed and highly organised. Landing had impressed Fulgrim on the field of powerful, yet Fulgrim never once
craft were torn apart by concentrated battle, and genuine bonds of friendship compromised his principles to boost
anti-aircraft fire and drop pods were forged that persist to this day. their numbers. Only the finest recruits
incinerated before their hatches were Corax and his Raven Guard left, as was were inducted into the Emperor‟s
even blown. Under the peerless their way, silently and swiftly for their Children, which meant that while their
leadership of the Emperor‟s Children, home-world. Though it pained Fulgrim high standards were maintained, the
the mauled remnants of the three to do so, it was agreed that their legion remained pitifully small.
legions broke out to link up with their numbers were so few that the only For this reason they deigned to fight
supporting legions, only to uncover the option was to return to their home- alongside other loyalist legions, first
true depths of the betrayal, as their worlds and rebuild their legions for the with the World Eaters, where they

17
spiritual level, and that it was a
physical manifestation of this
“And what of Fulgrim?” rumbled the first voice. transcendence. Few though, within the
“He and his legion are ripe with pride, arrogance and jealousy,” said the legion, truly believe that their primarch
second voice. “Even now they are walking straight into the embrace of my is dead. They only differ over how and
children, the Laer. By the time they reach Istvaan, they will be willing when he will return.
supplicants to -”
“No! I forbid it!” roared the primarch through the pain.
Homeworld
“Forbid?” whispered the second, as silky and dangerous as an unsheathed
Before the arrival of Lord Fulgrim,
blade.
Chemos was isolated from the wider
The four paused. Could their control have slipped?
galaxy, its inhabitants clinging to
“They don‟t deserve to be elevated like that,” said the primarch more levelly.
existence on their desperately polluted
“They don‟t deserve such a reward.” The poisonous animosity between the two
world. Fulgrim reversed this decline,
was a livid wound upon his psyche. It was clear to the four that the outburst was reclaiming previously abandoned
motivated by loathing rather than mercy. settlements and giving the population
“Very well, my lord,” said the third in the phlegmy rattle that passed for a hope for the future. With the arrival of
voice. “In any case, I know my brother has his eye on another morsel, the White the Emperor and an influx of Imperial
Scars.” technology, this development leapt
“So be it – we grant you this boon,” said the fourth voice, “but you must make forward dramatically. Chemos became
sure that you have sufficient forces to crush them utterly.” the site of the legion‟s fortress-
“It will be my pleasure,” said Rogal Dorn as he deactivated the Pain-glove, monastery, and extensive new mines
climbed out, and strode rigidly from the empty room. and manufactories were built to arm
the Emperor‟s Children for their wars
in the Great Crusade.
saved the planet of Skalathrax from the territory of Ultramar Segmentum, and
Salamanders, and eventually took their it was Fulgrim who met, and bested This increased level of production
place in Abaddon‟s massed Crusades. Guilliman on the blood-soaked world darkened the skies with pollution, an
To finally strike back was cathartic, but of Prandium. image akin to the desperate days before
Fulgrim was horrified at the short-cuts the coming of the primarch. This,
the other legions had taken to replace Such a deed would have made Fulgrim along with the desire for perfection and
their losses, in particular the new, the only person, bar the Emperor, to the call of his artist‟s soul prompted
inferior marks of war-gear being have killed one of the traitor primarchs, Fulgrim to decree that they would turn
rushed into production. Though it and yet he willingly forwent this the planet itself into a place of beauty:
significantly slowed the rate at which singular honour in favour of a far more a world fit for the Children of the
the Emperor‟s Children could fitting punishment. Using their superior Emperor. Using influence that only a
reconstitute their ranks, Fulgrim was pre-Heresy technology, the Emperor‟s primarch could wield, Fulgrim ordered
confident he had made the right choice. Children placed the dying Guilliman that the planet be terraformed.
They would not compromise their within a temporal stasis field and Pollution was scrubbed from the air
principles and their purity. returned it to Holy Terra so that his and water, and Chemos was
eternal torment might be witnessed by transformed into a wild, verdant world
Ever since the dark days of the Heresy, the Emperor. The body is housed of azure skies, shining lakes and
the Emperor‟s Children have been within the deepest vaults of the deepest forests. So as not to spoil this
dedicated to the protection of the Purgatory Falls Sepulchre, and idyll, Fulgrim also ordered the
Imperium. However, while they do although it should be impossible, it is manufactories, mines and main
fight against xenos incursions and said that the agonies of his long final population centres be relocated below
bring heretical regimes back into the second have been felt by generations of the surface in vast, hermetically sealed
Imperial fold, they rarely see such telepaths down the millennia. caverns.
opponents as a worthy challenge.
Their real passion is ignited by the Of Fulgrim‟s own fate, nothing is Such a mighty task took many
chance to test themselves against the known for certain. He disappeared centuries to fully complete, interrupted
Traitor Legions, and especially those without a word from the inner sanctum as it was by the Heresy, the near-
that betrayed them on Istvaan. It was of his flagship, the Pride of Chemos. destruction of the Emperor's Children
Fulgrim who proposed a Crusade Much has been read into the physical at Istvaan, and the dark times that
against Roboute Guilliman himself, evidence in the chamber, such as the followed. Eventually, Fulgrim was
that it was their duty to finally end the etched adamantium wall-panels. Some rewarded for his labours with a world
existence of the man who had triggered speculate that it was caused by some to rival even the lushest pleasure-planet
the Heresy. It was Fulgrim who led the unknown type of weaponry; others said in its beauty. Only the Emperor‟s
nine loyal legions deep into the hostile that Fulgrim had ascended to another Children themselves and civilians

18
charged with the upkeep of the hopeful that the lost knowledge might Speeder. Another example of the
environment and for the production of one day be reclaimed. superiority of the legion‟s venerable
fresh food for the legion are allowed war-gear is the Raptor jump pack. The
access to the surface. The remaining Combat Doctrine complexity of manufacture and
population labours endlessly in the Marines of the Emperor‟s Children are maintenance of these devices became
buried hive cities, producing the pre- expected to be proficient, nay, to excel prohibitive even for the Legionnes
Heresy patterns of equipment and in each and every battlefield role. This Astartes. When the STC for the
weapons demanded by the Emperor‟s means that a battle brother would be simpler, but far less effective DH2
Children. The skill of these artisans in expected to crew a vehicle as capably pattern jump pack was discovered,
keeping alive knowledge of patterns as they would fire a heavy weapon or only the Emperor‟s Children opted to
and marks used during the Great fight in close combat. Although this is retain the older form in service. Such
Crusade is unparalleled even, so they sought through endless training, as it is rigid adherence to Fulgrim‟s pre-
boast, by the Adepts of Mars. among the other loyal legions, the Heresy vision of perfection, along with
Emperor‟s Children add a different the luxury of limitless access to the
Sadly, despite their best efforts, the aspect to their regimes – the manufacturing base of an entire planet,
beauty of Chemos has faded over the incorporation of artistic pursuits. is a defining feature of the combat
millennia. In the absence of the Lord doctrine espoused by the Emperor‟s
Fulgrim, entropy has taken a heavy toll The most obvious benefit of this is Children.
upon the little-understood terraforming their approach to close combat. Where
equipment, and catastrophic cave-ins the World Eaters are coldly clinical Organisation
have scarred the once-pristine world. and methodical, with each member of While other legions have increased in
In addition to the death-toll, these the force meshing together seamlessly, size and adapted their command
disasters have caused irretrievable the Emperor‟s Children have a fluid structures over the millennia, the
losses of ancient technology. For grace borne of the study of dance and Emperor's Children have defiantly
instance, Persuai sub-hive was poetry. They flow across the remained the same. They are composed
responsible for vital power generation battlefield, darting aside from blows of thirty grand companies, the same
systems used in mark 3 Iron pattern and bullets before sweeping past their number that made up the legion during
power armour. The catastrophic foes to strike three more before the first the ascension of the Laer campaign.
collapse that destroyed it in late M39 corpse has hit the ground. Officers of Each grand company is led by a lord
has meant that ever since these suits the Emperor‟s Children are renowned commander, an instrument of
have incorporated non-authentic for their powerful rhetorical style, Fulgrim‟s will, who through his
elements cobbled together from later honed through intense study of the subordinate captains directs upwards of
marks. To this day, search-teams still form and function of literature, poetry a thousand marines. Respect for their
excavate the ruins of Persuai, ever- and the oratorical arts. superior officers is ingrained into the
psyche of the Emperor‟s Children, with
Their steadfast rejection of each successive rank moving closer to
technological developments has meant Lord Fulgrim, and by extension, closer
The Chemos Curse that many vehicles commonly used by to an unquestionable ideal.
the other legions are absent from the
From orbit, Chemos was
infamously compared with the
armouries of the Emperor‟s Children. The excessive care taken over both
face of “an aging courtesan, far For them the trusted, ancient marks of gene-seed purity and the calibre of new
past her prime but gamely Predator, Rhino and Land Raider are recruits has meant that even in the
applying rouge and powder to more than sufficient. Modifications aftermath of the Istvaan Betrayal, the
cover her pitted, pock-marked such as the Tilvius APC or the brutish Emperor‟s Children have never
face.” Admiral Markovich, Vindicator are looked upon as at best a compromised their standards simply to
received orders to patrol the corruption of the purity of the fill out the ranks. Similarly, given the
Ghoul Stars shortly after venerable Rhino chassis. Even smaller degree of time and effort required to
uttering this unflattering variants in weapon system such as the produce their venerated wargear, it is
witticism, a tour from which his
grand cruiser and escort cadre
Predator Dominator and the Land unsurprising that they are by far the
never returned. This has led to Raider Incinerator are shunned. smallest of the Emperor‟s legions.
an Imperial Navy superstition What they lack in numbers, they say, is
that to speak ill of Chemos is Their laborious production of older more than compensated for with their
deathly bad luck, and that weapons and wargear mean that the unparalleled skill. This is something
anyone doing so is roundly Emperor‟s Children are the only legion which they are all-too eager to
flogged, be they the lowliest able to field appreciable numbers of demonstrate to Astartes of other
ship's rating or the commanding jet-bikes, which they maintain, with legions, be it in the duelling cages, or
officer. some justification, are more than a on the battlefield against the Emperor‟s
match for the slow and ungainly Land enemies.

19
implants. This solemn duty falls to the
legion‟s apothecaries. From the
battlefield harvesting of progenoid
glands from critically wounded
brethren to the testing, culturing and
implantation into new recruits, they are
the guardians of Fulgrim‟s genetic
legacy. As such, the gene-seed of the
Emperor‟s Children is of unmatched
purity, with all nineteen implants
working as well today as when they
were first gifted by the Emperor.

Despite the stability of the Fulgrim


gene-seed, the stringency of the
screening process still results in a
relatively high proportion of rejections.
Although this is in part compensated
for by an implantation success rate
unmatched by the other legions, it does
mean that the Emperor‟s Children are
slow to replace brothers lost in battle.
The legion has been brought twice to
the brink of destruction, and twice they
have emerged triumphant. They see
Among lord commanders there is a pristine specimens of gene-seed. This
this as a testament to the strength of
strictly defined hierarchy. In the obsessive attention to detail means that
their gene-line, and a vindication of
absence of Lord Fulgrim, what would while the Emperor‟s Children will
their zeal in guarding its integrity with
elsewhere be called the post of legion never be a large legion, each member
terminal intensity.
master resides with the Lord is a paragon of what it means to be an
Commander of the First Grand Astartes. They believe that the only
Company. Even before the Heresy, being to surpass them is the Emperor, By long tradition, the progenoid gland
each grand company had its own and while they do not view him as a in the chest is surgically removed as
favoured style of combat. This was a god, their respect and admiration for soon as it matures, while the second is
reflection of their lord commander‟s him is unbreakable. harvested only upon the marine‟s
personality, something encouraged by death. The early elective removal of
Fulgrim himself. This was reflected in Fighting alongside allies, such as the one progenoid minimises the chances
unofficial, but enduring names for each Imperial Army or even Astartes from that it will be damaged or subjected to
grand company. For example, the other legions is often a source of contamination. In the event that some
Seventh Grand Company are friction. Their superiority can catastrophe should destroy the legion‟s
informally known as the „Hawk Lords‟ sometimes be mistaken for arrogance stocks of gene-seed, surviving battle
for their unmatched skill at aerial or high-handedness. Despite this, the brothers carry within them the means
warfare with Raptor pack and jet-bike. Emperor‟s Children enjoy to continue the Fulgrim line. As a
demonstrating their skills to others, but legion that has faced extinction on
ultimately are most comfortable more than one occasion, the Emperor‟s
Beliefs Children are acutely aware of the need
With all their hearts, the Emperor‟s fighting alone, where they only have to
rely upon their own trusted battle- to consider such things.
Children believe in their own purity
and innate superiority. They cling tight brothers.
to Fulgrim's assertion that they Battlecry
achieved perfection just before the Gene-Seed The legion has, of course, kept its Pre-
Heresy, and will do nothing to dilute Since the gene-seed disaster that nearly Heresy battlecry - "Children of the
this, be it with the new, inferior marks wiped out the legion in its infancy, the Emperor! Death to His Foes!"
of weapons and equipment, or Emperor‟s Children have taken
accepting anything less than the most obsessive care in the screening of

20
Corrupted while attempting to rebuild their legion after the
Istvaan massacre, the Raven Guard have dedicated their lives
and souls to Tzeentch, the God of Change. Flesh follows desire,
as bone and armour is moulded into wings and claws. Even
before their Fall the legion was able to strike from the darkness,
The to end battles before they even began. Now, guided by their
powerful sorcerers, they are able to manipulate the fates of
Dornian entire worlds.
Heresy Origins
free the downtrodden population of
Lycaeus from their brutal masters.
When the infant primarchs were
scattered across the galaxy, most came Despite the sickly surroundings, Corax
to rest on worlds outside the bounds of matured rapidly to become a warrior of
the growing Imperium. The infant superhuman proportions. As he did so
Corax, though, landed on a moon the convicts taught him all manner of
orbiting a planet that had recently been techniques honed in Kiavahr‟s criminal
brought into compliance, yet there was underworld. Tactics such as sabotage,
no way for the Emperor to know that misdirection, intimidation and
His lost son was already within His assassination would be vital in freeing
domain. The pale youth was found on them from the iron grip of their jailers,
Lycaeus, an airless mining moon and Corax put all these skills and more
orbiting the world of Kiavahr. to use. It was clear that they could not
Unfortunately, the Imperium‟s hope to match their overlords in open
presence on the planet extended little combat as the only weaponry they
beyond a handful of officials sent to possessed were mining tools and
ensure that the ruling Tech-Guild kept machinery.
up the flow of equipment and weapons
to nearby expeditions. Lycaeus was a Corax clinically analysed his enemies‟

Index penal colony, with the mines worked weaknesses and constructed an
by criminals and dissidents opposed to ingenious plan to bring about their
Kiavahr‟s rulers. To be shipped up to demise. Through a subtle campaign of
Astartes: Lycaeus was a life and death sentence sabotage, Corax's followers steadily
increased the pressure on the guards
combined, as the back-breaking labour,
bad air and ever-present risk of cave- without ever drawing their wrath. The
ins meant that life was ugly, brutish prisoner‟s mining skills were
Raven and short. Protests were quickly
stamped upon by the guards, backed up
invaluable in this, first in gaining
access to restricted areas, and later to

Guard with the ultimate sanction that if unrest


ever became too vocal, the force-
outflank and surround their enemies. A
series of „accidents‟ at the spaceport
domes that enclosed the settlements grounded much of Kiavahr‟s small
would be deactivated and the unruly fleet of mining shuttles which saw the
elements vented to open space. guards‟ tours and shifts constantly
extended as their replacements were
The boy-primarch was found by the trapped on the planet below. By the
convicts, who recognised something time Corax‟s revolution finally ignited,
exceptional about him. They hid the the warders were exhausted,

by child from the guards and named him


Corax, or „the Deliverer‟, so certain
disgruntled and easy prey. The
greatest threat came from the towering
were they that he held the key to their black mountain from which their
Aurelius salvation. This vision was shared by overlords ruled the moon, but it too
Corax, who from an early age had was neutralised when the defenders
Rex dreams of a vast, winged presence, a
raven that guided him in times of
found their control of the force domes
had been subverted. Their attempts to
trouble and spoke of a great destiny to vent the rioting prisoners into space
protect mankind from its enemies. The only resulted in their fortress‟s blast
first steps on this long road were to doors grinding open and the force

21
dome over the tower failing, out across dozens of
flushing the guards expeditionary campaigns
themselves into space. alongside many other
legions. Indeed, it is said the
Incensed by the rebellion, reason Horus claimed so
the rulers of Kiavahr used many victories was because
their remaining shuttles to he so readily used the Raven
carry military forces up the Guard to crack open the
gravity well. They fared no defences of worlds, which
better than the guards before his own legion then
them, and were torn apart by followed up and took credit
Corax‟s grim-faced rebels, for liberating. In other cases,
made all the more deadly by though, the cultural
the weaponry taken from differences were just too
their former warders. great. Corax had forbidden
Finally recognising the the creation of a psychic
seriousness of the threat Librarium within his legion,
they faced, the leaders of the and considered that the way
Tech-Guilds called for aid the Thousand Sons‟
from the Imperium to put embraced their burgeoning
down the revolt. Without psychic potential bordered
access to their moon‟s upon sorcery. He forbade
mineral resources the forges the Raven Guard from
would rapidly fall cold, and fighting alongside them, and
the expeditions they even spoke out against
supplied would soon falter. Magnus at his trial at
Nikaea.
The Imperial fleet arrived
with creditable haste, heading directly fortress-monastery, and named the The other legion the Raven Guard went
for the turbulent moon, and after only a „Ravenspire‟. out of their way to avoid was the
brief time the heads of the Tech-Guilds Imperial Fists. Rogal Dorn‟s distain
were curtly informed that the rebellion It has been suggested that the great for tactics he deemed dishonourable
was at an end. When the Imperial raven in Corax‟s dreams was a was legendary, publicly decrying
flagship‟s landing craft touched down manifestation of the Emperor reaching camouflage as being “the colour of
at Kiavahr‟s main spaceport, the rebel out to find him. Certainly, after father cowardice”. It is not clear if offense
leader was brought out not in chains, and son were reunited, Corax was was intended, or if it was simply part
but emerged proudly as a victor, rarely visited again by this mysterious of Dorn‟s brash insensitivity, but in the
alongside none other than the Emperor presence. At Ullanor, Corax famously wake of such pronouncements the
Himself. All assembled fell to their asked his father about this Raven Guard saw fit to remove
knees before the Master of Mankind, phenomenon, but, ever enigmatic, the themselves from Imperial Fist led
who proclaimed Corax as His son, and Emperor simply smiled knowingly. campaigns.
the man who would from that day
onwards rule the Kiavahr system in His The Great Crusade Despite this, the list of worlds brought
stead. Even with the power of a legion of into the Imperium thanks to the Raven
Astartes at his disposal, Corax Guard‟s subtle application of military
Cowed by this edict, and the legion of continued to follow the precepts with pressure continued apace. The fortress-
Astartes placed under Corax‟s which he had been brought up. He system of Sangramor had withstood the
command, the now subservient Tech- trained his commanders to observe the might of the Imperium for decades, but
Guilds were given the task of enemy, to strike at the place they were within three months of arriving
providing arms and armour for his new the most vulnerable, and to cripple Corax‟s legion succeeded in isolating
„Raven Guard‟. Conditions for the their ability to strike back. While some and crippling the system's rulers. With
miners were dramatically improved, primarchs used their forces as a the planetary confederation fractured,
and the moon of Lycaeus, now bludgeon to bring worlds to the system‟s planets easily fell one
renamed „Deliverance‟ for Corax‟s compliance, the Raven Guard were the after another and accepted the
achievements, became the legion‟s rapier of the Legionnes Astartes. Emperor‟s rule. Their mastery of
home. The forbidding black tower that warfare was not restricted to battling
had been the symbol of the Tech- Because of this, the Raven Guard human societies, either. When the
Guild‟s power was reinforced and rarely needed to operate in large Tanaburs sub-sector was threatened by
expanded to become the legion‟s groups. Instead they spread themselves a massive Ork uprising, the Raven

22
Guard were able, through assassination malaise set in. This found form when turmoil, Corax's dreams were visited
and sabotage, to kill and discredit the the Warmaster himself was struck once again. As on Nikaea, the presence
most troublesome leaders without down by a sickness, and was unable to was elusive and did not reveal itself,
detection. The inevitable squabble for respond to the stories coming from the but this time it spoke to him. Corax had
power stalled the Orks long enough for Eastern Fringe that Roboute Guilliman, been counselled by the raven countless
the Imperium to amass a large enough Primarch of the Ultramarines, was times before, and so the warning that
force to exterminate the xenos threat about to secede from the Imperium. the legion faced a great disaster chilled
once and for all. With Warmaster Horus indisposed, him to the core. Corax‟s journal
Rogal Dorn, in his role as the describes the dream:
With the future of His Imperium Emperor‟s Praetorian, assembled a
seemingly assured, the Emperor fleet sufficient to bring the massive „I begged the figure to show itself, to
withdrew to Terra, but before He did, Ultramarine legion to heel. Along with explain what must be done to avert
He called His sons together at Nikaea. many others, the Raven Guard was one this terrible fate. From behind me I
Evidently Corax was not alone in his of the legions summoned in their heard a scratching of claws in the
concerns over Magnus, who stood entirety to the Istvaan system. shingle floor and turned to see not the
accused of pushing beyond the raven that had guided me in my
boundaries of the psychic and into the youth, but a thing far more like a
forbidden realms of sorcery. One after vulture in aspect. The creature
another Russ, Mortarion, Corax and “Do not ask me to approach spouted bile, hissing that the Emperor
even Dorn spoke out against their the battle meekly, to creep had forsaken me, but that the lives of
brother. The Raven Guard were not through the shadows, or to my men could be saved if I denounced
the only legion to have rejected approach my foes quietly in my father and dedicated body and
librarians, and at Nikaea the nature of the dark. soul to the God of Change.
psychic ability itself was put on trial. I am Rogal Dorn...
Imperial Fist... I confess to be so revolted and
On the night before the Emperor Space Marine... stunned that I could not speak.
rendered His judgement, Corax‟s Emperor's Champion.” Perhaps mistaking my silence for
dreams were again visited by a great consideration of its offer, the thing
bird. Rather than a comforting came closer and asked again if I
presence, it was troubling and elusive, would betray my father. “Never!” I
an indistinct figure spied out of the shouted, and pushed it roughly away.
corner of his eye. This disturbing omen
The Istvaan Betrayal
Guilliman‟s new „Ultramar It reared up into the air, plumage
presaged the Emperor‟s decision, flushing pale blue, and fixed me with
which not only allowed the legions, Segmentum‟ composed a sizable
portion of the galactic east, and in their its evil, malevolent gaze. In a sibilant
with certain precautions, to continue hiss it claimed that I would run like a
the use of psychics, but went further relative seclusion the Ultramarines had
grown to vast proportions. To oppose coward on the battlefield of Istvaan,
and gave significant concessions to the and consign my legion to utter ruin.
Thousand Sons. Magnus was to be them, fully half of the Legionnes
personally instructed by the Emperor in Astartes had been called to the task,
with seven alone assembled to strike at I picked a stone from the ground, and
the subtle arts of the psychic, and could
Guilliman in his forward base of pouring into it all my revulsion and
pass this knowledge on to his legion. In
Istvaan V. Though disturbed that it anger, cast it at the apparition. It
return, he and his marines would
could have come to brother fighting caught the vulture in one of its
submit to the soul-binding process. By
brother, and worse, doing so at the hateful, blue-filmed eyes, provoking it
merging their essences with that of the
command of Rogal Dorn, Corax into a fit of screeching curses. Its
Emperor, it was claimed, they would
approached the task with his usual final threat of “Nemo me impune
be shielded from the horrors and
analytical nature. His offers to aid in lacessit”, or „No one attacks me with
temptations of sorcery. This
the planning of the assault were impunity‟, echoed in my ears long
compromise did little to allay the fears
brushed aside by Dorn, whose own after I awoke.‟
of the most sceptical primarchs and led
to bloodshed later, yet the Emperor skill at siege-breaking was legendary.
seemed blind to the resentment it Corax was dismissively informed that Disturbed by the dream, Corax re-
caused. Dorn would lead the first wave of four examined anything he could find about
legions to make planet-fall. They the coming battle to make sure that the
The primarchs returned to their legions would weaken the Ultramarines, while prediction would not come to pass. At
to continue the Great Crusade. Under the Raven Guard, World Eaters and the final briefing Corax raised his
Horus‟ stewardship as Warmaster the Emperor‟s Children waited in orbit concerns about the lack of visibility
list of worlds under the Emperor‟s ready to strike the killing blow. over the drop-site, but was mocked by
dominion continued to grow, but On the eve of the attack on Istvaan, as Dorn for is caution. The Praetorian
without His presence a sense of often happened at times of great even portrayed it as cowardice in „not

23
loyally followed to their doom. Finally,
with only a score of his brothers left
around him, Corax realised what his
pride had done to the legion. He
bitterly ordered the retreat, and the
tattered remnants of the once-mighty
Raven Guard faded back into the fog of
war to join the evacuation.

With the Imperium alerted to Dorn‟s


betrayal, the three broken legions
evaded the traitors and paused, before
returning to their respective
homeworlds to rebuild. Corax silently
fumed, not only at the traitors but at his
allies for not supporting his final,
catastrophic attack upon Rogal Dorn.
He was certain that if they had
followed his lead they could have
killed the Great Betrayer and ended his
treachery there and then. This
resentment only deepened as the true
scale of the war reached Deliverance.

The Fall
Nothing was heard from the legion for
some years after Istvaan. This in itself
was not surprising as the entire
Imperium was in the midst of a civil
war, and the Raven Guard was ever a
taciturn legion. When Imperial forces
finally investigated rumours of dark
wanting to take to the battlefield in an fast drop pods meticulously blown goings on in the surrounding area of
honest fight for once‟. Before this apart by the Ultramarines‟ defences. space, they found not just Deliverance,
escalated further, Dorn threw down a but also Kiavahr completely deserted.
sheaf of images of the planet below, Corax assembled the survivors, only to Even the force domes which retained
taken, he said, the previous night be set upon not just by the the atmosphere around the Ravenspire
during his unsuccessful visit to Ultramarines, but also Dorn‟s vanguard were down, the great gates flung wide,
persuade Guilliman to surrender. None legions gone turncoat. Stung by the and the fortress-monastery exposed to
of his brother primarchs would return prophesy that he would run like a the vacuum of space. The account of
Corax‟s gaze as they filed out to start coward, Corax assembled what what happened in that dark time has
the attack on Istvaan V. remained of his legion for an attack been drawn from what are thought to
against their betrayer, Rogal Dorn. be Corax‟s own words, although their
The four vanguard legions landed and Time and again the Raven Guard accuracy, and completeness, are
reported good progress, and after what struck out of the darkness at Imperial matters of much conjecture.
seemed like an eternity of waiting Fist command positions, and yet Dorn
Dorn gave the command for the second himself was nowhere to be found. Corax‟s journal tells that in his desire
wave to attack. Despite having scoured Certain that Dorn had finally been to rebuild his legion, he used the kind
the images, Corax could find no fault located, Corax appealed to the World of accelerated zygote implantation
in Dorn‟s plan. An orbital strike was Eaters and Emperor‟s Children for techniques used in the earliest days of
part of the Raven Guard‟s favoured support, only to find them making a the Imperium. These methods had been
approach, so they took to their drop fighting retreat to their rescue landers. abandoned for good reason, as the vast
pods and ships with confidence, but Cursing his brother primarchs for their majority of the test subjects proved to
even before they reached the ground it weakness, Corax led the remnants of be grossly deformed. Rather than
became clear that something was very his legion in a forlorn, hopeless attack dramatically increasing their numbers,
wrong. They were targeted by ground into the teeth of the Imperial Fist‟s it instead resulted in the depletion of
fire far beyond that predicted, with guns. Heavily outnumbered, they their stocks of gene-seed. The lowest
jump pack equipped brethren cut to sustained hideous losses, but while levels of the Ravenspire were filled
bloody shreds and even the lightning- their primarch marched on, his men with slavering monsters that became

24
known as the „Weregeld‟, and their Clonelord, Progenitor or even the saw about me made the Weregeld look
rhythmic, hypnotic hammering against Manflayer. Extant records such as like beatific angels in comparison.”
their prison walls – like his shame – Corax‟s journal talk in glowing terms
haunted Corax wherever he went. of an individual that had „solved‟ the It appears that Corax had been drugged
problem with the creation of new and imprisoned by the Clonelord as
At this low ebb, Corax‟s dreams were marines, although any reference of both a vital source of genetic material,
again taunted by the daemonic how this was achieved, or the identity and a cruel demonstration of what his
presence. It did not speak, and only of the Clonelord, had been carefully legion was becoming. Corax went on
looked down in silent judgement upon removed. As the Raven Guard‟s to describe, in painful detail, how the
him with those cold, dead, vulture numbers rose, so did Corax‟s spirits. Clonelord went about perverting his
eyes. The next day, as Corax walked He took to training the new battle genetic legacy, and repeatedly
the corridors of the Ravenspire‟s vaults brothers and even wrote of taking a chastised himself for a wilful blindness
and happened to stare at one of the force to help in the Siege of Terra. of how his new brothers had been
pitiful wretches penned within, he However, this was eventually replaced created. He told of the breeding of
noticed the same vulture-like gaze by disquiet at the nature of his new monsters, the forerunners of those who
staring mockingly back. Down the marines, in particular their increased would go on to become all-too familiar
rows of Weregeld he searched, and level of uncontrolled psychic abilities, opponents of the loyal legions.
inside each cell he found the same and the disturbing methods used to Through blasphemous rites their
corruption of the soul looking back at create them. natural psychic potential was
him. Knowing what he had to do, dramatically enhanced, turning the
Corax dismissed his assistants and After this the journal entries end, most skilled into sorcerers able to
went from cell to cell to systematically although further information has been effortlessly manipulate the powers of
expunge his mistakes from existence. gleaned from writing on the wall of a the Warp. The majority were only able
The rhythmic hammering of the specially constructed cell in what to use their latent powers to
creatures rose to a shuddering would have been the fortress- reconfigure their own bodies, and to a
crescendo in the hour of the wolf, but monastery‟s Apothecarion. The lesser extent their armour and
by the dawn, it was at long last following was written in what was weapons.
silenced. undoubtedly Corax‟s hand, and indeed
in the primarch‟s own blood: “For these abominations, form
The full story of what happened later – follows desire. Fingers mould into
of how Corax was deposed and of his “At first I thought I was still asleep; talons. Nascent wings are extruded to
eventual fate – is far from clear. The all I could hear was the same lift them aloft. The failures, and those
bloody raids that brought the Imperium rhythmic thumping that has haunted unable to control the changes they
back to Deliverance were commanded my dreams for so long. Then I invite upon themselves, become little
not by the legion‟s primarch, but a opened my eyes and realised I was more than amorphous sacks of claws
shadowy figure known variously as the truly in a waking nightmare. What I and spite.”

The remainder of Corax‟s writings


The equerry paused before the inner sanctum‟s door, his knuckles inches from become ever-more incoherent as
the dark wood. The Lord Corax had wallowed in the depths of depression since imprisonment, realisation and
the night of slaughter, shifting between raging anger and black melancholy. whatever experiments the Clonelord
Feeling the calculatingly expectant gaze of the visitor at his back, he rapped subjected him to took their toll. The
sharply three times, and entered at the grunted response. final marking, drawn in blood, was a
simple representation of a raven.
“My lord,” he said, “the honoured envoy from the Emperor‟s Children has
arrived and seeks an audience.” His primarch stood before the window in finely
polished power armour, but looked haggard, as though he had not slept in weeks.
What ultimately became of Corax is
Receiving a curt nod, the visitor was ushered in. Rather than coming as a unknown. When the Imperium came to
warrior in armour, he wore the simple white robes of an apothecary, overlaid investigate Deliverance the door of the
with a tabard of soft, finely tanned leather. prison cell was open and no body was
ever found. At first it was thought that
On his way out, the equerry heard Lord Corax rumble that he had thought they rapid decompression when the
had been forgotten after Istvaan, but then brightened, his voice filled with hope fortress-monastery‟s force dome failed
once more. As the door swung shut he heard the expectant, almost pleading had vented all of its occupants into
words from his primarch.
space, but the rest of Deliverance, and
“So, Fabius, you have come to help me rebuild the Raven Guard... Do you really
Kiavahr were similarly deserted. The
think you can do it?” Imperium has recorded seventeen
different instances of Raven Guard
warlords and daemon-princes claiming

25
to be Corax, but all have been
discredited over the millennia. As the
corrupter of one of the Emperor's loyal Corax loped through the shadows, slipping effortlessly back into the role of the
legions, much time and effort has gone terror in the dark. It was only a matter of time before the bodies were found
and the alarm was raised, but for now he ruled the darkness. The raven, though
into establishing the real identity and
bloodied and broken, had returned to him at long last and had purged his mind
fate of the Clonelord, though after ten of the madness that had poisoned him. He didn‟t even want to consider the
thousand years the trail has grown deeper significance of the apparition's torn flesh and ragged plumage. Here
cold. No-one by that name has been and now he knew what he had to do. With the controls to the force domes and
associated with the Raven Guard since the fortress-monastery‟s blast doors set and locked down – a repeat of his
they fled Deliverance, although he earliest visit to the tower - only one thing remained.
could easily have taken another.
He caught sight of his prey, surrounded by those monstrous acolytes. Corax
was emaciated, exhausted and unarmed, but he was one of the Emperor‟s
Post-Heresy primarchs, and still more than a match for the grubby little apothecary that had
In the wake of Dorn‟s Heresy, the murdered his legion. Then the alarm howled through the halls of what had once
corrupted Raven Guard fled their home been his home, and more of the creatures started to arrive. There was no other
moon of Deliverance and scattered to choice. Without a sound he scaled the wall, the better to leap over the heads of
the whims of the Warp. While many of the beasts and get as close as possible to the Clonelord. Whatever else
the Traitor Legions gravitated to the happened with the force dome, however thorough it might be at expunging his
Eye of Terror to craft daemon worlds mistakes, he had to end the life of the traitor no matter the cost.
in their own images, the Raven Guard
Embracing his fate, Corax leapt.
rejected such stagnation and have
never been observed to stay in one
place for long. Instead they endlessly
move from planet to planet and from these small, seemingly unconnected aetheric conflagrations have been left
place to place, following the attacks were part of something far as uninhabitable husks.
unfathomable whims Tzeentch, their more sinister. For instance, a chain of
dark God of Endless Change. events that started with a small raid on Recruiting
a promethium refinery in Pinosa Minor
Anywhere touched by their foul Sometimes on their twisting path
has been shown, with nudges from the
presence is never the same again, as through the galaxy the Raven Guard
Raven Guard, to have caused the loss
crops grow twisted and insanity and choose to take captives rather than
of the entire Jhadra sub-sector a
mutation run rampant. Investigations simply kill their victims. Among those
century later.
by the Adeptus Mechanicus, Thousand destined to become slaves and
Sons and the Ecclesiarchy have each sacrifices for their dark rituals, a few
put forward theories to explain these
Because of this, confirmed attacks by may be chosen to join the legion‟s
the Raven Guard are analysed time and ranks. Given their eldritch powers, it
phenomena, yet none have been able to
again by Imperial commanders for fear has been postulated that they are drawn
effectively combat the corruption.
of where it might lead. Sometimes the to claim those with psychic potential.
Purging the area with fire and sowing
very reinforcements and pursuit forces Be it an isolated agri-world settlement
the ground with salt seems to be the
requested to bolster a region pays or the depths of the underhive, it seems
only way to prevent further loyal
directly into their hands, as defences that nowhere is beyond their grasp.
Imperial subjects from becoming
around the legion‟s true target are
corrupted.
drawn away and left ripe for Whereas in most legions the creation
destruction. Such are the subtle and implantation of new marines is the
For all the many changes that their
weaving of fates the Raven Guard seek responsibility of the Apothecarion, in
corruption had wrought, they retained
to engineer. the Raven Guard this grisly duty is
their primarch‟s ability to cripple an
enemy before they even know they are solely the domain of their sorcerers.
fighting. In the centuries following Of all the loyal legions of Astartes, the The process is an abomination of warp-
their Fall, the Raven Guard carried out one with the best record of deflecting craft which transcends any mere
raids on disparate targets that left and thwarting the Raven Guard‟s wiles chirurgical procedure. It wipes away
Imperial commanders bemused. While are the Thousand Sons. Their psychic the conscience and morality of the
they had been bloody and militarily divinations have enabled them to set victim and opens them up to the God
successful, the targets themselves were traps for the Raven Guard, to counter of Change, and in doing so unlocks
unusual, leaving other, much higher their sorcerers, and banish their their psychic potential. This horrific
priority locations untouched. Initially it daemonic allies back to the warp. This process unleashes an uncanny ability to
was attributed to the inevitable insanity rivalry has led to titanic battles twist flesh and armour so that, as
associated with the worship of Chaos. between the two legions, although Corax put it, „form follows desire‟, and
In time, though, it became clear that many of the worlds caught in these in the most receptive individuals

26
produces psychics amongst the most teleportation array, although the Raven such cogitation is to invite only
powerful in the galaxy. Guard have only been observed to use insanity, and that no good can come
the smallest types of capital ships. from trying to know the mind of a
Combat Doctrine Given the power of their sorcerers, it is Chaos god.
The Raven Guard has retained the possible that this ability may be warp-
ability to attack without warning where derived, or, given their battles with the Organisation
the enemy is most vulnerable, and a Farseers of the Ulthwé Craftworld, the
Raven Guard covens are led on the
favoured tactic is to strike under the Raven Guard may have forced access
battlefield by their greatest warriors,
cover of darkness, be it true night or a to the fabled Eldar Webway.
although careful examination has
form of stygian gloom conjured up by shown that the true leaders are the
their sorcerers. As befits their Beliefs sorcerers. As direct conduits to
lightning-fast ambush tactics, the After leaving Deliverance, the Raven Tzeentch, the cabal of sorcerers guide
legion favours infantry over heavier Guard fragmented to all intents and their charges and direct them towards
vehicles. At the forefront of attacks are purposes, and has never fought as a whatever incomprehensible mission
always their assault squads, who sweep legion since. They broke into warbands they might be intent upon. The number
in on sable wings before rending their called „covens‟ and spread out to every of sorcerers in a coven varies
victims apart with razor-sharp talons. corner of the galaxy to further their depending upon its size and prestige,
In their wake come all manner of own vision of how best to serve and the coven will sometimes split
daemonic creatures spitting balefire Tzeentch, the God of Change. These apart or merge with another seemingly
and hate, and the grossly mutated missions are frequently inexplicable, on a whim.
spawns that can only be directed, if not and on some occasions have led them
controlled, by their sorcerer masters. into bloody conflict with rival covens. According to Chief-Librarian Mieuren
With a great deal of hindsight and of the Thousand Sons, the success of a
The youngest, least mutated marines infinite patience, dozens of seemingly Raven Guard coven can be judged by
are tasked with providing a strong gun- minor nudges at history by the legion its composition. Older, more
line to suppress the enemy. These over the course of centuries have been established forces are composed
brethren, whose abilities to transform shown to have catastrophic largely of assault troops. Ones that
their bodies and armour are yet to fully consequences. Imperial scholars and have recently split off from a larger
mature, fight instead with bolters and strategos have spent lifetimes trying to warband, or that have taken heavy
on occasion with heavier weaponry. unravel the greater meaning behind the losses, contain more of the younger,
An over-reliance on static firepower is Raven Guard‟s actions, to as they say bolter armed marines that have yet to
rare though, and the role of laying „unweave the strands of fate‟. The fully manifest their abilities to
down the heaviest ordnance is most Adeptus Terra conducts periodic transform. According to Mieuren,
often provided by the monstrous crackdowns upon this kind of research, covens rarely grow beyond a hundred
Annihilators. These abominations have saying, with some justification, that marines in size – not including the
willingly given themselves over to
daemonic possession to enhance their
natural abilities, and are able to
transform their bodies and armour into Kayvaan Shrike -
a wide array of exotic weaponry. Be it Daemon-Prince of the Raven Guard
a mob of Orks or an Imperial Land
Of all the Raven Guard covens at large in the galaxy, the most feared is
Raider, there is no target that these undoubtedly that led by Kayvaan Shrike. He claims to have been born on
living tanks are unable to deal with. Kiavahr, which the Adeptus Mechanicus have periodically tried to repopulate,
and rose swiftly through the ranks to command the Subtle Blade Coven. His
How the Raven Guard are able to campaign to destabilize the Targus system, long a bulwark against the local Ork
travel so rapidly between battle-zones empires, reduced the million strong Imperial Army stationed there to a fraction
without the aid of conventional of its former strength. Even the arrival of the Sixth Grand Company of the Iron
transportation has never satisfactorily Warriors could not halt this decline, who themselves lost more than half their
been explained by the Imperium. The number and three associated Ordinati to the crippling Raven Guard raids.
most mundane theory has it that they
The loss of the Targus system, and the subsequent Ork rampage across the
have well-camouflaged transport surrounding sub-sector crowned Shrike‟s ascension to daemon-princehood. His
vehicles away from the site of the taunting proclamations that 'We are closer than you think, and our blades are
battle. In recent centuries, though, sharp' strikes fear into what little remains of the Imperial Army in the area.
credible reports have claimed seeing What deeper reason Tzeentch might have for unleashing this tide of greenskins,
Raven Guard forces both appearing out beyond fomenting chaos and unrest, is unclear, but the High Lords of Terra
of, and disappearing into, thin air. This themselves watch for Shrike‟s next appearance with great apprehension.
could point to their ships possessing
some advanced form of massed

27
psycho-indoctrination, the sorcerers of
the cabal utilise other, more esoteric
... because of the nature of the targets the Culexus Temple was approached, who methods to create new brethren.
dispatched six of their operatives to locations throughout the Dortask sector. Many of the original implants, such as
The Eternal Night Coven was finally identified on the northern continent of
the Mucranoid, Betcher‟s gland and
Argosa II, and Operative Dervlas Rykhart was rushed to the scene. On arrival,
Operative Rykhart was able to infiltrate the Raven Guard defences and carried often the Haemastamen are absent in
out his primary objective of executing every one of the coven‟s cabal of the Raven Guard, while the intent of
sorcerers, but was killed while attempting to evade the remaining Traitor others have been changed radically,
Astartes. and completely new ones added. These
changes, in particular the drastic
The follow-up operation was delayed by a warp-squall, and when Imperial alterations to the catalepsean node, are
forces arrived on Argosa II more than a month later, they expected to find the primarily focussed on enhancing
coven long gone. While the initial settlement was abandoned, it was clear that psychic abilities. In true prodigies this
the coven had not left the continent. Aerial scans revealed sixty eight shapeless
spawn creatures aimlessly wandering the surrounding area, the exact number of
leads to the creation of sorcerers of
Raven Guard that remained after Operative Rykhart‟s mission. This supports incredible power, and in time can
Magos Karsarno‟s theory based on observations of captured Raven Guard stimulate transformational abilities in
marines that the sorcerers somehow keep their brethren‟s transformations in others. While the remarkable ability of
check, and without their presence they eventually degenerate in an uncontrolled Raven Guard brethren to grow wings
manner... may be due in part to a hyper-
stimulation of ossomodula and
Officio Assassinorum mission status report (Extract) biscopea, nothing short of warp-craft
would explain the way that ceramite
and adamantium can be re-shaped at
attendant spawns and summoned marines are given respect based upon will into razor-sharp talons.
daemonic entities - as their style of the extent to which they can transform
warfare achieves with lightning strikes their bodies. The monstrous Despite the seemingly infinite variety
what others would attempt with a Annihilators and the raven-winged into which the Raven Guard twist
massed assault. The number nine also Assault squads are held high above themselves, one constant remains. Just
seems to hold a fascination for them, their younger bolter-armed brethren. like their tragic, betrayed primarch,
with units composed of nine members Even the youngest initiates, though, their skin is as white as snow and their
being particularly favoured. look down in pity upon the amorphous hair and eyes are black as night. If this
spawn. These unfortunates have proved is an immutable part of Corax‟s genetic
Because of the vital role played by the unequal of Tzeentch‟s gifts, and in heritage or a bitter, taunting joke at his
sorcerers to the continued existence of doing so have paid the price with their expense, only the God of Change
the coven, on only the most critical and sanity. knows for certain.
sensitive occasions does a senior
magus venture onto the battlefield.
Usually lesser members of the cabal Gene-seed Battlecry
are sent in their stead, but such is the The shadowy Clonelord's perversion of Due to their chosen role in conducting
importance of even these individuals the Raven Guard intentionally and ambushes, assassinations and covert
that they are inevitably surrounded by irrevocably altered the legion‟s gene- operations, the Raven Guard prefer to
a cadre of brutal killers, summoned seed; not only was Corax betrayed, his approach their prey silently. Instead the
daemonic entities and the hideous genetic legacy was murdered. In legion‟s motto is simply “Nemo me
results of their failed genetic addition to the usual methods of impune lacessit”.
experiments. Outside the cabal, implantation, chemotherapy and

28
The Word Bearers are tireless in their crusade to have the galaxy
worship the Emperor as divine. It is a duty they carry out with
both impassioned, fiery rhetoric and the cleansing purity of the
bolt gun. They were one of the first legions to comprehend the
existence and threat of Chaos, and that faith in The God-
The Emperor was soul-armour against its wiles. They used this
knowledge to save Warmaster Horus from possession on Davin,
Dornian but to their eternal regret were unable to prevent the Dornian
Heresy Heresy, which crippled their living deity. As Guardians of the
Faith, they founded the galaxy-spanning Ecclesiarchy, and after
witnessing how it nearly plunged the Imperium into another civil
war, now act as its moral compass to ensure that such a powerful
body can never again be corrupted.

Origins gave his political enemies a chance to


Uniquely among the Emperor‟s eliminate what they saw as a powerful
primarchs, Lorgar‟s formative years rival.
were spent not on the battlefield, but
It was only with an army approaching
within the cloistered halls of the
that Lorgar‟s innate skills in warfare
seminary, struggling with concepts of
came to the fore. Over the course of
faith and the nature of divinity. The
eighteen months, his small entourage
planet of Colchis had been settled early
of clerics and civilians was
in the first wave of human expansion
transformed into a battle-hardened
into the galaxy, but had become
army numbering in the hundreds of
isolated and fallen into feudalism
thousands that swept away all who
during the Age of Strife. Through the
opposed them. Lorgar had not started
long millennia an order known as the
the fight, but he was determined to
Index Covenant remained a spark of hope
against the darkness. Though much of
finish it. Whenever he wearied of the
slaughter, Kor Phaeron was there to
the meaning behind their belief had
Astartes: been lost to superstition, they kept
assure him of the righteousness of their
cause, and by the time the final enemy
alive the knowledge of a humanity that
stronghold was razed to the ground and
had colonised distant stars, and the
peace restored, the death-toll was truly
promise that one day they would be
monumental. His actions were
Word reunited.
vindicated, though, when shortly after
the Emperor, accompanied by Magnus
Bearers The tale of how Lorgar came to the
Covenant is recounted by Carpinius in
of the Thousand Sons, did indeed land
on Colchis. Unafraid, Lorgar knelt
his Speculum Historiale. It posits that before the Master of Mankind, and
Lorgar was subconsciously aware that pledged the planet to His worship.
the Emperor was searching for him,
and this was the reason the Covenant‟s Lorgar was instructed by Magnus on
tenets resonated so strongly. Once the marvels of the Emperor‟s
initiated into the Covenant, he Imperium, and given command of the
absorbed every aspect of the vast and legion of Astartes based upon his
by complex creed, and as would be
expected of a primarch, excelled in its
genetic pattern. He named them the
Word Bearers, and inducted his most
Aurelius practice. Driven by the knowledge that
re-unification was at hand, and urged
devout followers into their ranks. Kor
Phaeron was of course amongst the

Rex on by his friend and mentor, Kor


Phaeron, Lorgar undertook a
first members of the Covenant chosen
to join the legion, but in a tragic twist
pilgrimage across Colchis, preaching to of fate, suffered catastrophic side-
whoever would listen. His speeches effects during the gene-seed
were electrifying, and soon drew implantation process. Though the death
crowds in their tens of thousands, but of his closest friend since childhood

29
was a source of great pain his brother primarchs to
to Lorgar, he bore the loss incorporate chaplains into
stoically, as an event pre- their own legions, and
destined to occur. while many rebuffed the
idea as outside interference,
Despite such views being the Thousand Sons, Dark
regarded as laughable Angels and Luna Wolves
superstition on all but the were the first to embrace
most primitive Imperial the concept. Lorgar sent
worlds, Lorgar was his personal confessor,
unashamed by his beliefs. Chaplain Erebus, to Horus'
He saw to it that the Word legion, and he became a
Bearers and the Covenant frequent visitor and
embraced the worship of confidant to the man who
the Emperor with would eventually become
unrivalled devotion. They Warmaster.
made it their duty to bring
enlightenment to the As Lorgar‟s tenets for the
galaxy. worship of the Emperor as
divine spread through the
The Great Crusade Imperium, it incorporated
Lorgar and his legion of other nascent cults
Astartes were charged with dedicated to the Master of
reclaiming the scattered Mankind. One of the most
worlds settled by humanity influential sects they
under the rightful dominion absorbed was that of
of the Emperor, and they Lectitio Divinitatus, a faith
took to the task with zeal. The black votive cloth covering this Word Bearer’s right prevalent amongst the
Each world they liberated pauldron denotes his squad's assignment to Devastator artists, poets, iterators and
required a lengthy period in duties for the coming battle. even military forces that
which they built great accompanied the Great
cathedrals to the Emperor, Crusade‟s expeditions. The
of worlds in the Great Crusade be the co-opting of this group strengthened a
and won the people over to the cause.
way we praise Him”. religion already in the ascendant, and
They would not continue on to the next
planet until the previous one‟s devotion By the time the Word Bearers reached brought with it a group of people adept
was unquestioned. Although their their next world, the expedition had at catching the imagination and stirring
progress was much slower than that of transformed its practice beyond all the passions.
other legions, the planets converted by recognition. The task of converting
the Word Bearers, such as Yara and newly compliant worlds to the worship At Ullanor, the Emperor announced
Fortrea Quintus, stand among the most of the Emperor was instead given over that he was going to return to Terra,
devout in the Imperium, unwavering in to men and women from outside the and that Horus would command the
even the darkest days of the Heresy. legion. These preachers and Great Crusade as Warmaster in his
However, with a million worlds to missionaries were given the task of stead. His last act before leaving was
claim, the Emperor grew concerned. to call a conclave at Nikaea to rule
guiding the worlds in worship after the
upon the allegations of sorcery
Word Bearers had gone. Beyond the
When the summons came to attend to ad-hoc army of zealots that gravitated surrounding the Thousand Sons, and
The Master of Mankind, the Word to their banner, a new, highly trained indeed that of all psykers within the
Bearers took it as a pilgrimage, and the and well resourced military formation Legionnes Astartes. The brother-
entire fleet set aside their plans of was created, called the Frateris primarchs were sharply divided in their
conquest to attend to their lord. Lorgar Militaris. Nominally independent of opinions, and not even Lorgar‟s robust
took his audience with the Emperor as the Imperial Army and Navy, they defence of his friend could sway Russ
a great honour, and hung on every would ensure the preachers‟ voices and Mortarion from their stance. The
word his father said. He emerged were heard. Emperor eventually ruled that there
transformed; his eyes opened to how would be tighter restrictions on
he might even better serve the great These changes greatly accelerated their Astartes librarians, and in addition the
work. By making such slow progress, progress in the Great Crusade, but not Thousand Sons would be „soul-bound‟,
they were denying so many other content with spreading the word to and merge their essence with Him to
worlds the Emperor‟s Truth. In the their one small corner of the galaxy, grant them greater protection from the
words of Lorgar: “Let the reclamation Lorgar went further. He approached dangers of the warp.

30
Lorgar disappeared behind the great armoured doors of the throne room. Outside, Horus stood stiffly to attention amongst the
Custodes, unable to relax. He had witnessed events that had moulded the fate of the Imperium, and the meeting going on beyond
that armoured wall had the feel of another pivotal moment.

He had only met Lorgar once before today, and that briefly. His brother had struck him as intense and earnest, even brittle, but
Magnus classed him as a friend, and Horus had learned to value his judgement. That was why he had been so ardent in trying to
change the Emperor‟s mind. Certainly the Word Bearer expeditions had been slow, but it was borne from the best of intentions.
Horus knew the Emperor was uneasy that some of His subjects had taken to deifying him as a living god, preferring a form of
empirical rationalism to such errant superstition, but perhaps such beliefs could be harnessed for the good of the Great Crusade.

Horus‟ concern was that there was something fragile about Lorgar; as though he was a fine blade that had not yet been
tempered. He sensed a great potential within his brother, but that at this stage too brutal a chastisement from the object of his
worship would cripple him. That had been the reason Horus had pushed his father so hard to take a more measured approach.

Something about that conversation puzzled him even now. When he had asked where the harm was with some of his subjects
worshipping him as a god, his father's face had darkened, and He had muttered ‟Better they pray to me than to... others...‟ before
pausing. It was as though He was on the verge of revealing some great secret that had been welling up inside Him, but then the
moment passed as fast as it had arisen.

It was alright, though. Perhaps it was Lorgar‟s infectious faith rubbing off on him, but Horus felt certain that his father would
tell him what he needed to know when the time was right.

Lorgar saw this as a great honour for banished the entity and brought the his so-called „Ultramar Segmentum‟.
his friend, and when he spoke with Warmaster back from the brink. When Rogal Dorn approached Lorgar
Magnus even referred to it as a with evidence that the Ultramarines
“communion with the divine”. It was From that point onwards, the Sons of were set to secede from the Imperium
then that Magnus revealed the dark Horus joined the covert war against and challenge the rightful rule of the
truth that had been haunting him; that Chaos. Emperor, Lorgar was instantly
the words of Corax, Russ and concerned that the Ruinous Powers had
Mortarion held more to fear than even Ultramar Segmentum found a new champion.
they realised. On that night, Magnus The barely averted possession of the
explained to Lorgar the nature of the Warmaster had brought home to Aware of Lorgar‟s suspicions, Dorn
Empyrean, the existence of the Chaos Lorgar the dire threat posed by the laid subtle hints to reinforce the
gods, and the vulnerability of psykers Ruinous Powers, and that not even the impression that the Ultramarines had
too weak, or weak-willed, to resist. It primarchs were immune to the danger. been corrupted. Claiming it was the
was, he said, a truth so devastating that The Imperium was not yet ready to will of the Emperor, Dorn had
the Emperor would rather it not be accept the full horror of what they marshalled fully half of the Legionnes
known, even to most of His sons, for faced, but Lorgar, along with Horus Astartes to assault the Ultramar
the fear it would bring. Magnus, and Magnus, remained alert to the Segmentum. While the bulk of the
however, believed that Lorgar must machinations of Chaos. In a bitter twist forces arrayed against Guilliman
know, and that widespread belief in the of fate, this very caution was used by moved to strike at him on his newly
Emperor would be vital to shield them the Arch-Betrayer to further his own conquered world of Istvaan V, the
from the Sinister Powers. schemes, and is a salutary lesson into Word Bearers and the Alpha Legion
the wiles of the Great Enemy. were tasked with attacking Ultramar
The vigilance of the Word Bearers and Segmentum from within. As was his
the Thousand Sons paid off sooner For some time there had been disquiet favoured tactic, Alpharius scattered his
than they could possibly have voiced over Roboute Guilliman‟s ever- legion far and wide to destabilise the
expected. On the primitive world of expanding realm in the galactic east. rebellious Segmentum, while Lorgar‟s
Davin, Warmaster Horus was laid low, During the Great Crusade his quest for fleet set course for the core worlds on
and while the baffled apothecaries power and control had driven him to the assumption that with Guilliman
misdiagnosed the malady as the effects claim vast areas of the galaxy, and his captured or dead, the rebels would look
of poison, Chaplain Erebus recognised legion had swollen correspondingly. to Macragge for leadership. This plan
the signs of daemonic possession. Even with the Eastern Fringe brought was stymied because of the ever-
Together with the psychic presence of into compliance, Guilliman‟s domain increasing numbers of enemy vessels
the Thousand Son‟s Primarch, Erebus had continued to grow as Imperial that shadowed them through the warp.
carried out an exorcism which worlds bordering it petitioned to join This was seen as yet more evidence the

31
Ultramarines were in clear that Istvaan had
league with the been a ruse. Rogal Dorn
daemonic, and only had been in league with
much later did it become Guilliman, and the
clear that their course Praetorian had plunged
had been given away by the Imperium into a civil
Dorn, the Arch-Betrayer. war. Many of Lorgar‟s
Forced to break out of captains pleaded with
the warp far short of him that they should
Macragge in an area of return to Terra with all
space known only as „the haste, but they were
Abyss‟, the Word over-ruled. Lorgar said
Bearers tore into the that no force could stand
shadowing Ultramar against the Emperor, and
fleet with a ferocity that as a god, He would
borne of the righteous inevitably destroy the
denied. traitors. Their duty
remained the same; they
Despite their triumph, it must destroy Dorn‟s ally
was clear from and prevent them from
astropathic scans and marching on Terra.
readings of the Historians have debated
Emperor‟s Tarot that Lorgar‟s motives for not
overwhelming forces returning to Terra. Most
had been massed for the attribute it to his
defence of Macragge. stubborn dogmatism and
Knowing the Word faith in the divinity of
Bearer‟s dogmatic the Emperor, although a
approach, the few cite practical
Ultramarines had considerations; that they
expected that nothing were so far away and so
would deflect Lorgar deeply mired in combat
from a frontal attack, and that they would never
so had drawn their have been able to return
armies and fleets back to in time to make a
the expected, well defended seemed that it was only a matter of difference. Lorgar had already shown
battleground of their capital world. time before the planet would be weak greater tactical skill than he was
Although not possessing the tactical enough to attack directly. All-too generally given credit for, and this has
genius of Horus or Alpharius, Lorgar‟s soon, though, reinforcements started to been viewed as further evidence of a
decision to split the fleet and attack the flow into the area, and not just from growing tactical maturity.
neighbouring systems to draw the neighbouring sub-sectors, but
Ultramarines away from Macragge Ultramarine forces fresh from their As the war went on, Guilliman himself
caught the defenders off-guard. shocking victory at Istvaan. returned to coordinate the defences,
and the scouring of the core worlds
Displaying a degree of brutal Communication so far back to the degenerated into a bloody stalemate.
inventiveness not previously associated Imperium through hostile territory was Although the legion was gratified that
with the Word Bearers, the lightly problematic, but eventually it became the threat they posed at the heart of
defended Ultramar worlds were
devastated. Iax and Talassar were
invaded and their cities sacked, Masali +++ People of Quintarn, you have turned your eyes from the Emperor‟s Light,
was bombarded from orbit, and Calth‟s and for this heinous crime you must face the consequences. Our fleet will arrive
star was put to death by the Battle- in <crackle> sixty... nine... hours and... twenty... one minutes, <crackle> and
unless every single eye has been plucked out before that time, your entire world
Barge, „Kor Phaeron‟. Even that
will be reduced to ash. <crackle> People of Quintarn, you have turned your
paled compared to Quintarn, which eyes from the Emperor‟s Light... +++
they turned into the World of the Blind
without having to fire a single shot. Fragment of automated recording
The campaign proved successful in broadcast by the Word Bearers fleet
drawing the Ultramarines away from
Macragge, and in the early stages it

32
their realm prevented the Ultramarines In the depths of the gloom Lorgar the Imperium, especially on planets
from moving to reinforce Dorn‟s addressed them. Every brother on where the Emperor Himself had
insurrection, the prospect of the Word every ship heard his proclamation. The walked during the Great Crusade. No
Bearers ever setting foot on Macragge Emperor was not dead, he said. His true Imperial citizen was without a
seemed to diminish with each passing heart still beat and His soul still blazed devotional medallion bearing the
day. That was until the arrival of like a nova within the Astronomicon. thunderbolt and lightning sigil, and
envoys from the Alpha Legion. Had He not destroyed the Arch- shrines in workplaces and homes
Betrayer and banished the Traitor became commonplace. Preachers and
Working together at last, a plan was Legions from His sight? He explained missionaries accompanied the fleets
devised to break the impasse. With that this was an act of transcendence, that brought worlds back into the
Alpharius‟s tactical genius and the pre-ordained, and that just like the fate Imperial fold, with even the most
Word Bearer‟s stubborn determination of his friend, Kor Phaeron, it was not backward feudal world taught a
and indomitable will, Macragge was to their place to question or doubt the suitably simplified version of the
be brought to its knees. Using divine actions of the Emperor. The creed.
Alpharius himself as bait, the Alpha events they had endured were a test of
Legion drew Guilliman and a large faith; some had been found wanting Lorgar used his growing influence to
proportion of his forces to the planet of and been judged accordingly. Those heal the rift between Terra and the
Eskrador. The Ultramarines could not that remained had proved themselves, Adepts of Mars. There was much
pass up this rare chance to strike back and were all the stronger for it. bitterness at the Mechanicus‟s relative
at the Alpha Legion in open battle, and silence during the Heresy, but after
took advantage of the seemingly When Lorgar stepped down from the much discussion, an understanding was
collapsing Word Bearer threat to strike command-pulpit, there was a silence so reached whereby the tech-priests and
with overwhelming force. deep it drowned out the noise of the magos very publically re-affirmed the
fleet‟s warp engines. Then, as one, Omnissiah as an aspect of the
The grand assault upon Macragge every brother raised a cry of devotion Emperor‟s divinity. He also bartered
never came, though. Just as the Word to the Emperor and to their primarch. the Word Bearer‟s support for
Bearers were withdrawing from their With that one speech Lorgar healed the Abaddon‟s Crusades in return for his
scattered battlefields to assemble for a spiritual wounds that had threatened to own Wars of Faith. In the main these
massed planetary assault, their plans cripple the Word Bearers, and by the were directed against the Traitor
were torn apart by catastrophic news; time they reached Terra they stood Legions that most closely aligned
the Emperor had been grievously ready to take their place as paragons of themselves with the Gods of Chaos,
wounded by Dorn and lay dying. faith in The God-Emperor of Mankind. but on occasion it became necessary to
Lorgar couldn‟t have stopped his fight against human worlds that had
legion leaving for Terra even if he had The Ecclesiarchy perverted the Imperial creed for their
wanted to, and they threw caution to The Dornian Heresy had revealed the own ends.
the wind in their flight. In their grief, true, horrifying nature of the Ruinous
the Alpha Legion was forgotten. Powers, and despite, or even because The Age of Apostasy
Withdrawal turned to rout, and many of the Emperor‟s sacrifice, Imperial Although Lorgar was the Ecclesiarch,
brothers died during the return to their citizens turned to worship Him in their he was also a primarch of the Adeptus
ships. Many more lost their lives as trillions. Lorgar‟s talk of faith in The Astartes and continued to lead his
their vessels were destroyed by the Master of Mankind being soul-armour legion into battle. In M36, warp-storms
pursuing Ultramar fleet. against Chaos resonated with a fearful swept across the whole of the
populace, and within decades it had Imperium, disrupting travel and
A feeling of desolation settled over the become the official religion of the
legion on the endless journey back to Imperium. The monumental task of
Terra. Despite Lorgar‟s calming coordinating the worship of The God-
presence, the thought that their God- Emperor across the galaxy was given We Astartes charge the guns of
Emperor could be proved vulnerable, to a new body called the Adeptus the arch-enemy clad in
and therefore fallible, gnawed at them. Ministorum, or Ecclesiarchy. It was ceramite and bearing the most
For some wounded brothers it was all potent weaponry that mankind
only natural that Lorgar, author of most
can devise. They do the same
too much; brethren in the ship‟s of their tenets of faith and son of The wrapped only in a prayer. The
Apothecaria who should have returned Divine Emperor should lead this new next time you speak ill of our
rapidly to their squads died in their body. As Ecclesiarch, he became one pilgrim brethren, boy, you‟ll be
droves. Even proud veterans who had of the High Lords of Terra, the group doing the same.
passed unscathed through the bloodiest that ruled in the Emperor‟s stead.
battles of Calth and Iax succumbed to - Sergeant Dolchac of
the soul-sickness, laying down their Cathedrals, basilicas and monasteries the Word Bearers
heads to rest, but never awaking. dedicated to the faith sprang up across

33
weakening the boundaries between the
physical plane and the realm of the
Ruinous Powers. This led to
widespread unrest as planets were
periodically isolated and the whispers
of Chaos grew stronger. It was the start
of what later came to be called 'The
Age of Apostasy'. To combat this,
Lorgar personally voyaged across the
Imperium, re-igniting the faith of those
who had faltered, and rooting out the
Chaos cults that sprang up in
unprecedented numbers.
On the planet of Dimmamar, Lorgar
led a force of Word Bearers and Frater
Militaris against an outbreak of the
Plague of Unbelief. The scale of the
infection ran far deeper than had been
anticipated, though; most of the
population had degenerated into
hollow-eyed walking dead and
daemons of Nurgle stalked the streets.
Despite Lorgar‟s inspiring presence,
his small force was cut off and
surrounded by enemies numbering in
the billions. When their final bolt
round had been expended and the last
flask of sanctified promethium had run
dry, Lorgar threw open the great doors
of the cathedral they had garrisoned. In
the shadow of his father‟s house of
worship, he and his battle-brothers
strode out, unafraid, into the press of
plague-infected wretches. In a strong,
steady voice, Lorgar recited from the
Scriptures of the Dead, his sacred „Lorgar‟s Great Sacrifice‟, from a tapestry hanging in the
warhammer in one hand, a metre-long
Basilica of the Emperor Ascendant on Dimmamar
adamantium spike of the cathedral‟s
damaged altar in the other.
banished and the Plague of Unbelief Without their primarch, the Word
For days the slaughter went on, and driven from every human on the planet. Bearers were bereft, going through the
Lorgar wearied, not of battle, but of the It is said that there is no zealot like a motions as before, but pale shadows of
waste of his Emperor‟s humanity. convert, and the survivors of their former selves. Into the yawning
Though he could have fought on until Dimmamar set out to demonstrate the chasm left by Lorgar stepped an
the end of time, Lorgar dropped to his truth of this. As living proof of the ambitious and greedy marine by the
knees in prayer to his father. As his power of the Emperor to save their name of Goge Vandire. He excelled in
retinue formed a protective circle bodies and souls from the Fell Powers, organisation rather than in piety, and
around their primarch, the battlefield they returned to the worship of Holy his guiding principle proved to be the
was enveloped by a golden glow and a Terra with a passion. Dimmamar accrual of personal power. Such a
feeling of peace which gave even the rapidly became a shrine world, and person should never have been allowed
pestilent hordes pause. When it faded such was their piety that the Word to become a Word Bearer, but once
away, the Primarch of the Word Bearers even took to recruiting from inside, his manipulative, scheming
Bearers‟ soul had returned to the the planet. nature saw him rise inexorably through
Emperor. Despite the many wounds he the ranks. While the legion grieved,
had suffered, his face was peaceful and For the Word Bearers, the loss of Vandire smoothly assumed command
at rest. This final sacrifice infused the Lorgar was a tragedy second only to of the Word Bearers, and in so doing
world with the Emperor‟s Grace, and the Emperor‟s grievous wounding at became the Imperium‟s new
in doing so every daemon was the climax of the Dornian Heresy. Ecclesiarch.

34
Once ensconced on Terra as a High
Lord, Vandire traded on the deep well
of sympathy over the death of Lorgar Chaplains of the Word Bearers
to further extend his power base. As
his confidence and lust for control Even amongst a legion of the devout, Word Bearer chaplains stand out as
paragons of the Emperor‟s Truth. Charged with ensuring the spiritual health of
grew, he used manipulation, bribery
the legion, those chosen to enter the Reclusiam are trained and tested
and threats of excommunication extensively before they are allowed to bear the Crozius Arcanum and Rosarius
against High Lords who dared to of their office. As befits their dedication to the Emperor, the imagery of His
oppose him. By the time it became ancient thunderbolt and lightning icon is prominently displayed. This device
clear that Vandire had ordered the predates the Aquila, and goes back to the wars to unify Terra. Lorgar selected it
assassination of the Master of the over the double eagle, honouring his father‟s decree that Fulgrim‟s legion would
Astronomicon and replaced him with a be the only Astartes to bear the later image. Just as their souls are sanctified and
more malleable candidate, it was annealed by their training, so too is their armour. The process darkens the slate
already too late – his grip on power grey ceramite plates to midnight black. This, and the distinctive death head
skull mask they wear, makes them a fearsome sight to behold.
was unassailable.

Vandire‟s Imperium was in a


perilously fragile state, though. Still defence, he and their chaplaincy were confrontation with the insane
wracked by warp-storms and beset by branded apostates for defying the will Ecclesiarch.
the resurgent Traitor Legions, his of the Ecclesiarch. With the threat of
response was to call for ever-more whole legions being branded Feeling his control of the Imperium
brutal Wars of Faith. Rather than Excommunicate Traitoris, it seemed slipping away, Vandire revealed the
targeting the true enemy, these inevitable that brother would once existence of a previously hidden and
pogroms were aimed at persecuting again be pitted against brother, to the fanatically loyal force. He had long
parts of the Imperium that showed ruin of all. been concerned over the way his own
even minor doctrinal differences to his legion had responded to his edicts, and
own increasingly idiosyncratic view, or knowing the Frateris Militaris were no
worlds which baulked at the ever- The Fall of a Tyrant match for Astartes, Vandire had,
higher tithes demanded by the The man who eventually rose to though base trickery, groomed a sect
Ministorum. While Vandire‟s radical epitomise resistance to Goge Vandire‟s called the Brides of the Emperor to
interpretation of the lore differed reign of terror came from within the become his enforcers. Their faith was
wildly from Lorgar‟s, the concept of ranks of the Word Bearers; a young subtly corrupted into an unshakeable
disobeying orders came harder to the initiate by the name of Sebastian Thor. devotion to Vandire himself, and using
Word Bearers than to perhaps any He was everything that Vandire was his position armed them with potent
other legion. A sense of deep unease not; devoutly pious and selfless. Thor weaponry and even a crude version of
spread through the legion, and they had in fact been born on Dimmamar at power armour. Thor‟s open defiance
took increasingly creative the time of Lorgar‟s ultimate sacrifice, pushed Vandire to send contingents of
interpretations of Vandire‟s edicts to the symbolism of which was not lost his Brides to ensure the compliance of
minimise the harm that they were upon his followers. Thor claimed with the Word Bearers, but this insult
doing, much to their master‟s great passion and eloquence that the backfired. The resulting bloodshed
displeasure. actions Vandire had taken spat upon pushed ever-more grand companies to
everything that their primarch had side with Thor.
Events came to a head when Vandire stood for, and called for him to
moved to oppose the only group able to immediately step down. In response, By the time the coalition reached Holy
threaten his schemes: the Legionnes Thor was branded a heretic and Terra, Vandire‟s paranoia and
Astartes. Up until that point the other sentenced, in his absence, to death. desperation had reached fever-pitch.
legions had stayed neutral in the power Any forces sent to carry out the The seriousness of the situation had
struggle. The Wars of Faith were Ecclesiarchal decree, be they Frateris even penetrated the secluded, armoured
carefully targeted to avoid systems Militaris, Imperial Army or throne room of the Emperor Himself,
with marine homeworlds or recruiting detachments of Word Bearers only and tragedy struck when a group of
bases, and both sides were unwilling to swelled Thor‟s host, as they were won Custodes were attacked and killed by
be the first to fire for fear of igniting a over by his stirring oratory. the Brides, who claimed that they had
second Inter-Legionary War. This Recognising a sense of the purpose tried to sway them from their loyalty to
uneasy arrangement was broken when they had thought lost, the Word Vandire.
Vandire accused the Emperor‟s Bearers flocked to Thor‟s banner. Even
Children, who had never felt the need marines from other loyalist legions After that outrage, what became known
to have chaplains in their ranks, of joined the great pilgrimage through the as the Second Siege of Terra was
impiety. When the Legion Master of Imperium, which led inexorably bloody and brief. Unwilling to back
the World Eaters spoke in their towards Holy Terra, and the down, even in the face of the

35
Emperor‟s displeasure, the Brides died culled by the butchers of Leman Russ‟ a reputation for tactical inflexibility
to a woman, and their order expunged Space Wolves. and naivety. While it is true that they
from the pages of history. Dishevelled cannot match the skill at arms of the
and raging, Vandire was hauled bodily At long last the greed, corruption and World Eaters, or the strategic acumen
from his hiding place by Sebastian lust for power that had been so rife of the Alpha Legion, it is a foolish
Thor, his time of misrule at an end. under Vandire‟s rule were swept away. commander who underestimates them.
The two Word Bearers were then With the Ministorum returned to its Once dedicated to a goal, the Word
brought by the Custodes to the role of guiding the galaxy in the Bearers are enthused with an
Emperor‟s throne room to face worship of The Divine Emperor, and to unquenchable will to succeed, and the
judgement. While Thor emerged as the protecting the Imperium from the exhortations of their chaplains drive
new Ecclesiarch, Goge Vandire was whispers of the Fell Powers, Sebastian them to incredible feats of strength and
never seen again, and none present Thor announced his final reform: he endurance that can only end in victory
would ever speak of his fate. stepped down as the Ecclesiarch. No or martyrdom. They inspire the same
longer would any Word Bearer hold fervour in those around them, so that
It is a testament to the character of the role. Instead, the legion became the once committed, the only way for the
Sebastian Thor that he was able to Chamber Militant of the Ministorum, battle to end is with the total
rebuild the reputation of both the acting not only as its strong right arm, annihilation of one side or the other.
Ecclesiarchy and the Word Bearers. but as the body charged with ensuring
Part of the act of contrition was to it never again overstepped its bounds. While the Word Bearers are the fatal
make radical changes to the These decisions returned stability to spear-point in any attack, the
organisations of both bodies. While the the galaxy, and marked an end to the psychological effect of an endless tide
High Lords on Terra were purged of Age of Apostasy, and ever since, the of wild-eyed zealots closing on the
Vandire‟s influence, Thor took Word Bearers have remained diligent enemy cannot be discounted. These
advantage of the waning warp storms guardians of the Emperor‟s Truth in mobs are often little more than local
to tour the Imperium and reorganise the Imperium. citizens, untrained and armed with
the Ministorum. Even though Vandire nothing but improvised weapons.
was gone, his cronies were unwilling to Combat Doctrine Individually they are no match for a
yield their petty fiefdoms without a The legion frequently takes to the field well-drilled opponent, and yet they
fight. The Traitor Legions had also of battle leading much larger groups, give their lives willingly in the service
taken advantage of the confusion to such as the Frateris Militaris, Imperial of the Emperor, and are lauded for
venture forth from the Eye of Terror. Army or even massed mobs of doing so. Across the Imperium there
By the time the Word Bearers reached pilgrims. It also places much weight are vast monuments built to honour the
the domain of the Apostate Cardinal upon divinations and interpretations of glorious sacrifice of these martyrs,
Bucharis, they found that the entire the Emperor‟s Tarot, and for these often alongside the mass graves of the
sub-sector‟s population had been reasons the Word Bearers have gained fallen.

Organisation
The Tower of Blood For nearly five millennia the Word
Bearers were commanded by Lorgar,
The tallest monument to the martyred is the recently completed Tower of
and in their primarch‟s absence, this
Blood, on the world of Tanakreg. Traitors of the Iron Hand Legion stormed
role has fallen to the legion master.
the capital-hive of Shinar and drove the survivors into the surrounding
wilderness. The small contingent of Word Bearers that responded found the Aware that the first person to hold the
enemy numerous and well dug in, but were able to rally the scattered refugees position came perilously close to
and whipped them into a righteous fury to re-take their city. Even hardened destroying the legion, subsequent
veterans of the Imperial Army would have faltered at the sight of their masters have been diligent in their
comrades being flayed to the bone by the weaponry deployed by the traitors, attempts to redeem it. Despite the
but the citizens of Shinar were resolute. In a long night of bloodshed the hive moral authority that chaplains wield
was liberated, and though it was reduced to an uninhabitable ruin in the amongst the Word Bearers, they do
process, the mechanical abominations of Ferrus Manus were at last destroyed. not command. Such a task is far too
important to get bogged down in the
In honour of the fallen, a vast tower was constructed where the city had once minutiae of directing the flow of
stood. At the dedication ceremony, Chaplain Veraik, a veteran of the battle. Instead, their role is to provide
campaign, said that the tower had been built, like the Imperium itself, with spiritual guidance, inspire their
the blood of martyrs. The tower extends high into the clouds above, and the brethren, and watch over the souls of
pilgrims contest that it contains one block for every life that was lost that day, those under their charge.
although calculations have shown that if this was truly the case it would reach
into low orbit. Librarians are greatly valued by the
captains of the grand companies, and

36
their divinations and predictive They understand better than most the arrival of Lorgar. His presence
abilities through readings of the threat from the Ruinous Powers, and brought back not only a new era of
Emperor‟s Tarot are used to inform that mankind is beset on all sides by piety, but drew the attention of The
strategy. It is also common for malign forces that would seek to God-Emperor Himself to their world.
companies to be drastically reorganised destroy or enslave it. Only through a In the thousands of years since it was
on the eve of battle based on how the deep understanding and acceptance of embraced by the Imperium, Colchis
cards fall, even if it flies in the face of the Emperor‟s Light can the Imperium has become a focal point for the
what is known of the enemy or hope to survive, and to that end they Adeptus Ministorum. The holy places
expected battlefield conditions. help to spread His Holy Word to the and temples of the Covenant have been
Despite disdain for this practice from furthest corners of the galaxy. expanded, and now there are a
outside the legion, it has proved to be multitude of cathedrals, basilicas and
divinely inspired on countless Though it is routine to carve the words shrines to the saints, and through them,
occasions. Even when it has led to of Lorgar into the ceramite of their the Master of Mankind.
catastrophic defeats, these are borne power armour, some initiates choose to
with stoicism as the Will of the sear large passages of the holy texts Pilgrims flock to Colchis in their
Emperor. into their flesh so that they will never millions, but the holiest site, the place
be without the words of their primarch. where the Emperor first set foot on the
Because of the dramatic changes in This practice is often taken to extremes world, is forbidden, because on that
organisation from battle to battle, by chaplains, with a rare few covering spot was built the legion‟s fortress-
squads are not assigned to Assault, their entire bodies, heads and even monastery. From there, protected by
Tactical or Devastator specialties. their tongues with the sacred script. adamantium walls as strong as their
Instead, marines are expected to be This is done with a red hot stylus and faith, the Word Bearers ensure that
proficient each of the roles. Their the sap of the Black Jula bush, a plant their compact with the Imperium is
designation on the battlefield is native to Colchis. Because of the kept. Engraved upon those walls, just
displayed by coloured votive cloths super-human regenerative capabilities as it is engraved upon their souls, is the
draped from shoulder pauldrons, with of the Astartes constitution, even this credo that Lorgar adopted on returning
sergeants proudly displaying their potent scarring will fade over time, and back to Colchis after seeing the
colours on richly embroidered back just as faith must constantly be Emperor entombed within the
banners. Such ostentatious displays renewed, so too must the devotional Astronomicon: “The Emperor protects,
not only help to identify the squad‟s script branded into their skin. but we must also protect the Emperor.”
position to their officers, it also acts as
a spur to inspire their allies to ever- Homeworld Gene-Seed & Recruitment
greater acts of valour. Colchis, long-isolated from the wider Like their faith, the gene-seed of the
human galaxy, was reborn with the Word Bearers is pure, with all implants
Their role as guardians of the Imperial
creed, enforcing and, where necessary,
checking the power of the Ministorum,
Despite all their interventions, his body was tearing itself apart. He called out
requires the legion‟s strength be
to the Pantheon of Chaos to save him; his great work was not yet complete.
distributed thinly across the galaxy. Lorgar had been blooded, pushed to take the lives of innocents. He had been
For this reason, Word Bearer grand primed for blind, credulous belief. Having passed inspection by the hated
companies are composed of less than Emperor, and in possession of a whole legion of Astartes, he was ripe for
five hundred brethren each, perhaps disillusionment and enlightenment to the true powers of the divine. All the
half the size of that found in most other intricate plans, all those years of work... All ruined by the incompetence of an
legions, the better to cover the vast apothecarion implantation servitor.
distances involved. Their fleets are
accompanied by ramshackle civilian Through the agony, and eyes clouded with rheum he dimly made out a presence;
Lorgar. He tried to speak, to convince him of the majesty of the Chaos Gods,
transports packed with zealots eager to
but his trachea had swollen closed against the breathing tube. He tried to reach
martyr themselves for the cause, as out to the tray of chirurgical equipment to slash open the fool‟s throat, but he
well as regiments of Frateris Militaris. had been firmly restrained to prevent his violent muscle spasms. As the
Encased in matt-black carapace armour Larraman‟s cells began to curdle the blood in his veins, he heard the final,
and wielding powerful hellguns and unknowing insult.
purging flame weaponry, the grim-
faced Frateris endlessly strive to “I am sorry, my brother, but fear not. No one will ever be allowed to forget
emulate their Astartes superiors. your loyalty and service to the creed. You will forever be remembered as
Master of the Imperial Faith.”

Beliefs Trapped inside his meat prison, begging for release, Kor Phaeron howled.
Belief in the Emperor as divine is the
guiding light of the Word Bearers.

37
working as efficiently as when Lorgar importance of sacrifice, and the another way to serve doing menial
commanded the legion. Their willingness to suffer pain and death in tasks for the Ministorum. Because of
apothecaries treat the gene-seed as the face of the unrighteous. Such this, it is not uncommon to see these
sacred; a palpable connection to their lessons are an excellent preparation for pitifully misshapen, hunched figures in
beloved primarch, and regard it with the life of an Astartes. the shadows of cathedrals, acting as
the same reverence the chaplains hold choral page-turners during masses or
the word of Lorgar. Just as the gene-seed implantation ringing the bells to call the faithful to
procedure strengthens the body, their worship.
The Word Bearers draw their recruits lessons in theology strengthen their
not just from Colchis, but from across souls. Despite the skill of the legion‟s Battlecry
the Emperor‟s realm. Strength of faith apothecaries, there are cases where the The Word Bearers do not have a single
is as important a factor as skill at arms, primarch‟s gene-flesh finds the fixed battle cry. Instead, an
and as such Cardinal-worlds and the neophyte wanting. Just as happened appropriate passage is chosen by the
Ministorum-run Schola Progenium with Lorgar‟s friend, Kor Phaeron, this chaplain from amongst the Books of
orphanages are prime recruiting is stoically accepted as the Will of the Lorgar. He then leads the assembled
grounds. Word Bearers are expected to Emperor. Most of those who are marines in a recitation of the faith,
be thoroughly conversant with rejected are granted the Emperor‟s before blessing them for the coming
Lorgar‟s writings, which teach the Mercy, but some are spared, and find battle.

38
Manipulated and betrayed first by the Traitor Legions, and then
by the Imperium, the Ultramarines now stand defiantly against
both great powers. From their fortified realm of Ultramar
Segmentum, the legion and its successor chapters watch with
pity as the Imperium falls ever-deeper into superstition,
The ignorance and corruption. Built firmly upon the inspired
Dornian organisational principles of Roboute Guilliman, they patiently
gather their strength for the day they will invade Terra and re-
Heresy unify humanity under their own benign rule.

Origins instructors. With nothing left to learn,


Although it is commonly stated within he graduated, and re-took his place
the Imperium that the infant primarchs alongside Konor. It was clear that
were abducted and scattered across the Guilliman's gifts for the practice and
galaxy by the Ruinous Powers, the tale organisation of warfare would be of
of Roboute Guilliman‟s arrival upon great use in battling Macragge's
Macragge has led the people of enemies, both on and off the planet.
Ultramar to doubt the received Proving that their faith in him was not
wisdom. According to legend, Consul misplaced, Guilliman delivered an
Konor Guilliman, one of Macragge‟s unbroken series of military victories.
planetary leaders, was granted a vision This culminated with the complete
of a noble child alone in the deep destruction of the pirate fleets that had
forest, and that a shining entity, long-plagued the space-lanes between
supposed later to be the Emperor Macragge and the nearby systems with
Himself, commanded Konor to guide which it had remained in contact.
and protect him. In the shadow of the
mighty Hera Falls, the infant was At a banquet held in honour of
found playing amongst the wreckage of Guilliman‟s achievements, Konor‟s co-

Index his gestation vessel, and sensing the


power within the boy, Konor did as he
consul, Gallan, proposed that an
ancient Macragge tradition be re-
instituted: After performing some great
Astartes: had been instructed. He named the
child Roboute, or „The Great One‟, and deed for the nation, a feted hero would
raised him as his own son. be rewarded with the opportunity to
carve out territory of their own. What
Imperial scholars claim that this was new lands they could conquer for the
Ultra- simply the Emperor seeking to protect
His sons until they could finally be
kingdom, they could keep. Gallan
proposed that Illyrium, Macragge's
marines reunited. However, the Ultramarines
believe that the Master of Mankind
wild, bandit-haunted northlands, would
be the perfect challenge and reward. Its
deliberately engineered the dispersal so savage barbarian tribes had never been
that the primarchs would be able to pacified, and although they attacked
experience life among common the expedition with unparalleled fury,
humanity in their formative years. within six months Guilliman had
Furthermore, they propose that bested each of the tribal leaders in
Guilliman was intended to be found single combat and earned their respect
and mentored by Konor in his unique and fealty.
by style of leadership and organisation.
The conclusion of this stunningly
Aurelius As befitting the son of a consul,
Roboute Guilliman was intensively
successful campaign was tainted by the
news that Konor had passed away, and

Rex tutored, and rapidly absorbed every


scrap of knowledge on offer, before
that as sole remaining consul, Gallan
had taken command of his holdings.
taking his place at the prestigious Gallan sent his condolences, but also
Agiselus Barracks in Macragge City. commanded that Guilliman and his
There he was trained in the military forces leave Illyrium at once to swear
arts, and in short order outstripped his allegiance to him. Guilliman returned
fellow students and even his as requested, but was horrified to see

39
the state of disrepair that his worlds brought to
adopted father‟s former compliance by other
lands had fallen into in the Imperial expeditions.
few short months of its new Recognising the superior
consul‟s stewardship. So it way that Ultramar was run
was that when he stood in comparison to the staid,
before Gallan, he defiantly inefficient Administratum,
refused to kneel. an increasing number
quietly petitioned to join
Before the assembled nobles them. There were even calls
he stated in no uncertain from some planets on the
terms that Gallan was not Eastern Fringe to rename
the only consul; that before Ultima Segmentum as
them stood the Consul of Ultramar Segmentum.
Illyrium, as laid down in the
ancient traditions Gallan This led to bitter exchanges
himself had invoked. Gallan between the Administratum
had no more hold over him and the Ultramarines. The
than the stars themselves. legion was charged with
With that, Guilliman instigating these petitions
returned to the north at the and of undermining the
head of his large, battle- Imperium. This was
tempered army, and after strenuously denied, but the
such a display of martial defiant Ultramarine
strength, no more talk of representatives said that
fealty was heard from they would continue to lend
Gallan. their expertise to those
Ultramarine of the Orpheus Chapter wearing Mark 16 Imperial planets that
Free from the restraints of „Damocles‟ pattern power armour requested it. The war of
tradition, Guilliman forged words escalated to the point
his own vision of legion went to great lengths to avoid where, at the Jhalta
civilisation. Within a decade the once unnecessary civilian bloodshed, even at conference, high ranking
barren wastes of Illyrium were home to the risk of sustaining greater casualties Administratum officials accused the
industries and military forces that put themselves. This, along with the way Ultramarines of attempting to take
those of the rest of the planet to shame. they repaired and improved each control of Imperial worlds by stealth.
By the time the Emperor arrived at world‟s infrastructure, meant that with During one particularly heated
Macragge, drawn by tales of the nation every conquest they gained a stable exchange, a member of the
that Guilliman had wrought, Illyrium world willing and eager to contribute Administratum even dared suggest that
was firmly the centre of political and to Guilliman‟s mission, rather than a they had turned their backs on the
military power. In comparison, resentful population that required Emperor. With the meeting seconds
Gallan‟s stagnant holdings were a mere garrison forces to pacify. In this way from descending into violence,
backwater. The reunion of father and the Ultramarines were able to draw Guilliman himself entered the room.
son, and the relocation of the recruits and materiel from an ever- His superhuman charisma and presence
Thirteenth Legion of the Astartes to the larger area, and in doing so expanded calmed the tense situation, and by the
planet merely reinforced Guilliman's their numbers at a rate unmatched by end of the conference the
position as the true leader of Macragge. any other legion. Administratum representatives had
accepted the primarch‟s intentions as
Ultramar Segmentum The worlds under their control became benign. Many were even discussing
Roboute Guilliman set his legion, closely knit, with an identity as much organisational theories with him and
which he renamed the Ultramarines Ultramarine as it was Imperial. With taking notes. It appeared that the
after the deep blue seas of Macragge, each new world, these Ultramar misunderstanding had been resolved.
to work reclaiming lost human worlds planets grew in military strength and
for the Emperor. First came the planets cultural influence. Often their Istvaan V
with which Macragge had remained in reputation would precede them to such With the Administratum seemingly
contact through their isolation from a degree that invading forces would be pacified, Guilliman was shocked and
Terra, such as Talassar, Calth, welcomed on their arrival by cheering horrified to receive a covert
Quintarn and Tarentus. The crowds rather than armed resistance. communiqué from Rogal Dorn, who
incorporation of these early planets Eventually their expansion reached so brought a warning that the Emperor
became the template for the future. The far that it came into contact with had personally ordered that he and the

40
able to convince several of the
primarchs over the course of the
journey, Corax, Fulgrim and Angron
had been beyond reason. As repugnant
as it was, Dorn proposed that their
legions could be „neutralised‟ by
ambushing them at the newly
compliant Ultramar world of Istvaan
V. Dorn also revealed that the Word
Bearers and the Alpha Legion had been
ordered to strike deep into the heart of
Ultramar Segmentum. To seal the pact,
Dorn transmitted to Guilliman the
projected routes of the Alpha Legion
and Word Bearer fleets so that they
could be more easily tracked, and
eventually countered.

Seeing no other option, with a heavy


heart Guilliman agreed to Dorn‟s plan.
His legion, supported by those that
Dorn had been able to convince of the
Emperor‟s folly, crushed the Raven
Guard, Emperor‟s Children and World
Eaters on Istvaan V. With knowledge
of their transponder codes, the
Ultramarines were able to target the
landing ships and drop pods before
most of their occupants could even set
foot on the planet. The few that
survived fought like lions, and while
they were no match for the forces
arrayed against them, a handful still
managed to escape back into orbit,
carrying with them word of the
rebellion.

Dorn and his legions prepared to leave


Istvaan, but before they departed the
two brothers met one last time.
entire Ultramarines Legion be put to Imperium. The situation had spiralled Guilliman offered the renegade legions
death. Despite the unthinkable nature out of control, and in a fit of rage, the asylum within Ultramar Segmentum.
of what Dorn was saying, the haggard, Emperor had commanded that a vast Dorn thanked him for the offer, but
haunted look in his brother's eyes battle fleet be assembled to tear down said that he had to return to Terra to
convinced Guilliman to hear him out. Ultramar Segmentum. Dorn said that explain his actions to the Emperor.
when disquiet was voiced at the Dorn warned that those manipulating
According to Dorn, since the Emperor prospect of brother marines, indeed their father were experts in the arts of
had withdrawn to Terra, He had brother primarchs, trying to kill one twisting the truth, and the same people
become increasingly isolated, and this another, the Emperor had decreed that who had whispered falsehoods against
had been played upon and twisted by anyone who opposed the order be the Ultramarines would doubtless
sinister forces so that He had refused to declared a traitor and be put to death. begin to spread their black propaganda
see even His own sons. Dorn said that against Dorn and his comrades in the
behind closed doors the And so it was that Dorn came to months to come. Whatever news might
misunderstandings with the approach the fringes of Ultramar reach them, Dorn urged Guilliman to
Administratum had been manipulated Segmentum in command of the remember their friendship, and to trust
to the point where their father had Imperial fleet. The Emperor‟s mind, he in him.
become convinced Guilliman was on said, had been clouded by lies and
the brink of seceding from the paranoia, and while Dorn had been With that, Guilliman bade them

41
farewell and good luck. As much as he
desired to return to Terra and help free
his father from the malign forces that The Librarium
surrounded Him, Ultramar was still
under attack from two full legions of Coordination of a realm as large as Ultramar Segmentum is a monumental task,
Astartes. Every marine, indeed, every but it is one to which the rigidly organised sons of Guilliman are equal, and none
are more vital to this than those of the chapter‟s Librarium. With no access to the
citizen of Ultramar Segmentum, would
„soul-binding‟ ritual required to produce astropaths, only the powerful Astartes
be needed to defeat them. psykers of the Librarium have the ability and resilience to the Warp to
communicate across the length and breadth of the segmentum.
Fortress Ultramar
Ultramar mobilised to defend itself, Strong psykers are particularly valued in Ultramar, and the danger of „wild‟ or
with travel, trade and communication even weak psykers is well known. Most are weeded out, but some still lurk on
the fringes of society. It is the responsibility of the librarians to sniff out the
cut off with the Imperium. What news spoor of these misguided fools, as whole cities have been lost to daemonic
did leak in told of all-out civil war, and incursion because of the unguarded mind of a single rogue psyker.
as Dorn had predicted, his forces were
portrayed in lurid terms. They were
accused of having perpetrated acts of
gross excess, torture and genocide. seemingly everywhere, disrupting the significantly slow the insurrectionist
There were even fanciful stories of command structures of each world they cancer the Alpha Legion had spread
sorcery, magicks and daemons, which touched through assassination, throughout the segmentum.
only reinforced their belief of the disinformation, terrorism and sabotage.
desperation of Dorn's enemies. Worse, they were like ghosts: working Better news came when the Word
through networks of human agents and Bearers broke off their attacks on
Within their own borders, the fleets of maddeningly difficult to bring to the Ultramar‟s core worlds and set course
the Word Bearers headed arrow- field of battle. In any realm other than back towards the Imperium. It seemed
straight for the heart of Ultramar Ultramar such an approach would have that the zealots‟ will to fight had been
Segmentum. Thanks to Dorn‟s caused widespread paralysis and broken. In time it became clear that
warning, the Ultramarines were able to thrown every world into selfish this had been sparked by the death of
assemble sufficient forces to intercept isolationism, but Guilliman‟s the Emperor, although it seemed that
their ships before they reached organisational teachings saw them Dorn and his side of the civil war had
Macragge. Denied their primary target, weather the worst of the storm. also been defeated. Despite all that had
Lorgar‟s fleet turned its fire on any happened, Guilliman still grieved for
planet they could find. They seeded Eventually, Guilliman ran Alpharius to
his father, but he knew that this was
Calth's star with arcane minerals that ground on the world of Eskrador. To
merely a pause in the larger conflict.
quenched its celestial fire and plunged throw his brother primarch off-balance,
Wounded and bleeding though the
the planet into eternal, icy night. Guilliman forewent his usual tactical
Imperium was, it was only a matter of
Quintarn fared little better. With the caution and instead attempted to beat
time before their vengeful gaze turned
zealots‟ threat of exterminatus hanging Alpharius at his own game. Taking the
back towards them. War production
over them, the entire population were enemy by surprise, Guilliman‟s force
was redoubled, and a metaphorical
forced to pluck out their eyes. Even to hit them from multiple directions at
“Curtain of Steel” was thrown around
this day, Quintarn is known as the once, overwhelming them and cutting
the Ultramar Segmentum.
„World of the Blind‟. What Lorgar‟s off all chance of escape. With no other
legion lacked in tactics it more than option, the cornered Alpha Legion had
made up for with religious fury and a no choice but to engage in a For decades the only contact they had
fanatical determination never to give conventional battle, and though they with Imperial forces was in the form of
up, whatever the cost. They did fought fiercely, they could not stand the insidious insurrections and guerrilla
horrendous damage, and the against the Ultramarines. actions inspired by the Alpha Legion,
Ultramarines had to expend great effort and some dared to hope that they
After a duel that seemed to last for would be left largely in peace.
simply to prevent the Word Bearers
hours, Roboute Guilliman finally Guilliman, though, remained adamant
from massacring entire civilian
executed Alpharius for his crimes at that they must stay vigilant. He was
populations.
the foot of the Amanthi cliffs. Rather proven right when the hammer-blow
The Alpha Legion‟s approach to than being a catharsis, Eskrador proved came in the form of massed Imperial
warfare was radically different, yet just to be a pyrrhic victory for the crusades. Through meticulous
as deadly. Where Lorgar‟s assault was Ultramarines. Many great heroes of planning, skill and bravery they turned
a battering ram, destroying all in its Ultramar, such as Captain Orar and aside every attack. The death-toll was
path, Alpharius was a debilitating Lord Kharta, Regent of Talassar, died horrendous, with whole planetary
poison that spread insidiously through to achieve it, yet the loss of their populations lost in the fighting, but
Ultramar Segmentum. The enemy were primarch did not stop, or even Ultramar, as ever, endured.

42
Seeing the rise in corruption and Istvaan, and pushed him into choosing Instead, it was the site of a cowardly
ineffectiveness of the Imperium after the wrong side of the uprising against ambush under the flag of truce, and the
the Emperor‟s death, Guilliman refined the Emperor. Guilliman‟s hands were last, best hope for peace between the
and codified his thoughts in his stained with his father‟s blood, and this realms was squandered. The Imperial
organisational masterpiece, the Codex realisation threw him into a bout of delegation lulled them with warm
Ultramar. As well as laying down how black depression and anguished self- words, and discussions between the
civilian authorities should be reflection. This development two sides appeared to be progressing
structured, it also decreed that his own concerned his men deeply, and when well, until the massed ranks of Imperial
legion be sub-divided into more self- he emerged from isolation, he made Astartes tore into their Ultramarine
sufficient units to cover the vast areas two announcements. The first was the hosts without mercy. Guilliman was
of space under their protection. The aching certainty that history had the target of their ire. In his final report
grand companies were reorganised and repeated itself. It had always been as head of the primarch‟s honour
renamed as chapters of the wider thought that Konor‟s death had been guard, Kaisus described cutting
Ultramarines Legion, with chapter accidental, but in light of Dorn‟s plot through the press of bodies, only to see
masters given far greater autonomy. In to isolate Guilliman in his attempt to Fulgrim of the Emperor‟s Children
this way, Guilliman created a structure kill the Emperor and snatch power, strike his Lord Guilliman down from
that was tied closely to the worlds they Gallan‟s actions became far clearer. behind. The two were then obscured in
protected, but was still able to call From sending him far away to Illyrium, a cloud of acrid fyceline smoke, and
upon the rest of Ultramar when faced to the speed with which he took when it had cleared, both were gone.
with overwhelming threats like control, it became obvious that the man
Imperial crusades. who had adopted him had also been They had both been whisked away into
murdered. Under the glare of scrutiny, orbit, and though the Ultramarines
This was put to the test when they Guilliman‟s assertions were rapidly hounded the Imperial fleets all the way
came under attack from hideously proved correct, and the name of Gallan back to the border and beyond, they
perverted forms of marines bearing the and his line were cursed across the could not rescue their primarch. Only
insignia of the legions they had fought whole of Ultramar. later did they find out the awful truth,
alongside at Istvaan. It was that the Imperial forces had trapped
accompanied by an explosion in the Guilliman‟s second announcement was Guilliman in a stasis field a moment
number of bizarre and brutal cults even more shocking. They must heal from death as a special torture, and that
within their borders. Although this was the rift between Ultramar Segmentum he had been brought to Terra as some
initially attributed to a new ploy by the and the Imperium. Despite all the grisly spoil of war.
Alpha Legion, it soon became clear blood that had been spilled, they must
that it was something far more reunite to overthrow Chaos, the Great This atrocity destroyed forever any
dangerous, as the full, hideous nature Deceiver. Much to the consternation of chance of reconciliation between the
of the Warp was belatedly uncovered his lieutenants, Guilliman opened up a realms. It was clear that the Imperium
by the legion‟s librarians. As though détente with those who ruled in the could never be trusted, and that it
the reality of daemonic possession, the Emperor‟s stead, and the world of would not rest until every last Ultramar
existence of the Ruinous Powers and Prandium was chosen as the place for world and citizen was enslaved. From
their ability to corrupt even Astartes what should have been a historic what they could glean from their covert
was not shocking enough, it also meeting. agents and from refugees who fled
brought the sickening realisation of
how Dorn had manipulated them, and
their view of the civil war. It became Ultramarine Successor Chapters
horribly clear that the fanciful tales
from beyond the Imperial borders – The concept of successor chapters was born out of Guilliman's early years on
tales that had been dismissed as Macragge. After he had proved himself, he was sent out into the wilderlands and
given the chance to carve out a domain of his own. The same opportunity has
nothing more than black propaganda -
been given to Ultramarine heroes down the millennia, and hundreds of new
contained a bitter kernel of truth. chapters have been founded, split off from the greater legion and sent out to
garrison the wild border areas of Ultramar Segmentum. The marines that strike
The realisation of how he had been out on their own do so for a variety of reasons. Some, such as the Sons of
used by Rogal Dorn was devastating Guilliman and White Consuls, were founded by marines eager to challenge
for Guilliman. Dorn had played themselves, and to emulate Guilliman. Others, such as the death-cult
expertly on Ultramar's isolation from worshipping Mortifactors did so to gain greater autonomy and acceptance of
Terra and the misunderstanding with their views. Though these successors wear different heraldry and battle-colours
the Administratum for his own ends. from the Ultramarines, and may deviate, sometimes wildly, from the norms of
Guilliman's great Codex, all are unified in their support for the ideals of Ultramar
Guilliman's trust in his brother had
Segmentum.
been used to make him complicit in the
destruction of three loyal legions at

43
across the border, the Imperium was
trapped in a downward spiral of
superstition, corruption, inefficiency The Battle for Macragge
and brutality. Without the Master of
Mankind, the Imperium was slowly Macragge's northern polar defence fortress was the site of the bloodiest battle in
the planet's history. At the height of Hive Fleet Behemoth's attack upon the
dying, but like any badly wounded
planet, countless millions of Tyranid organisms were scattered like seeds across
beast it could still be lethal in its death the land. Seemingly endless swarms converged upon the northern polar fortress,
throes. and deep below it the legion's gene-seed repository, but it was a location that the
Ultramarines could never allow to fall. Though the First, Third and Seventh
Ultramar Ascendant Companies of the Macragge Chapter died to a man in its defence, their sacrifice
Beyond retaking worlds conquered by had not been in vain. It bought enough time for the rest of the planet to mobilise
and exterminate the xenos invaders.
Imperial crusades and building up
defences against the next assault, there Not only did they save the genetic legacy of the Ultramarines, they prevented
was a wide consensus that the borders the horror that would have ensued if the Hive Mind had been able to feed on
of Ultramar Segmentum should such a rich store of biological information. Recognising the vulnerability of
expand. The task of wresting systems relying on a single site, the Ultramarines have since constructed further gene-
from the dead hand of Imperial misrule seed repositories. Needless to say, the number and locations of these sites are
was given primarily to newly founded among the most closely guarded secrets in the segmentum.
successor chapters, who, like their
primarch before them, carved out new
territory to prove their prowess. two centuries ago in 740.M41. A large by the lessons learned in the struggle
Although the borders of Ultramar number of new successor chapters had against the Tyranids, and infused by
Segmentum have waxed and waned just been founded, and the Lord of technology gleaned from their wars
over the millennia, these aggressive Macragge, Marneus Calgar, seemed set with the Tau, they will rise again, all
young chapters have been the cause of to decree just such a crusade to rescue the stronger for their trials.
a gradual expansion of the realm. their primarch. This bold plan, though,
was derailed by the arrival of the Gene-Seed
Though it is but a fraction of the Tyranid Hive-mind from beyond the As befits the legacy of Roboute
Imperium's size, Ultramar Segmentum galactic fringe. These implacable aliens Guilliman, each of the nineteen gene-
continues to be ordered, productive and devoured everything in their path, seed implants operate at the same
efficient, which enables it to support its stripping whole worlds to the bedrock outstanding level of efficiency they did
vast military. It is also enlightened, in their hunger. This first hive-fleet, when they were first created.
tolerant and cultured, a far cry from the designated „Behemoth‟, was only Untouched by the corrupting nature of
bigotry and closed-minded repression stopped by a segmentum-wide the Ruinous Powers, and free of the
of the Imperium. This is why refugees deployment of forces, and the sacrifice superstitious ritual of the Adeptus
take such risks to reach it, and the of the bulk of the Calth Battle-Fleet. Mechanicus, their gene-seed is
reason that populations fight so hard Despite this, the Tyranids succeeded undoubtedly the purest of all the
against being taken back into the where the Imperium had failed so Legionnes Astartes. Their optimised
corrupt and brutal Imperial fold. many times, by landing forces upon the methods of implant culturing and
surface of Macragge. Enemies and aspirant selection minimises rejection
There have also been many calls down allies alike took advantage of the and ensures that the Ultramarines can
the millennia for Ultramar to undertake devastation, with Orks, the Imperium replace losses and produce new
a crusade of its own. Not just to and even the previously friendly Tau marines at an astonishing rate.
liberate border worlds, but to mount a encroaching into Ultramar space.
strike deep into the rotten heart of the To ensure that the high quality of
Imperium and stop the attacks once This stopped calls for an attack on Ultramarine gene-seed is maintained,
and for all. This is also motivated from Terra in their tracks, and for a short each of the legion‟s chapters regularly
a burning desire to storm the gates of while after the realm of Ultramar tithe samples to a facility deep beneath
Terra and finally reclaim the body of contracted. These events were shrilly Macragge‟s northern polar defence
Guilliman from his stasis prison. They proclaimed as being “judgements of fortress. There it is tested for any sign
passionately call for his release, the Emperor” by the Imperium‟s of deviation or genetic drift, catalogued
allowing him either to die with dignity, Ecclesiarchy, and these calls rose to and stored. This process has been
or to be healed, so that he might lead fever pitch in the last decade with the invaluable in replenishing the gene-
the reunification of the whole of emergence of a second Tyranid hive- stocks of chapters that have suffered
humanity into a new era of fleet, code-named Kraken. catastrophic losses, and during the
enlightenment. founding of new successor chapters to
But Ultramar Segmentum does as it expand the borders of Ultramar
The last of these calls came just over always does: It endures. Strengthened Segmentum.

44
Homeworlds and Ulixis have the honour of hosting has been called a „Curtain of Steel‟,
Ultramar Segmentum spans a vast one from the original legion, or one of and is certainly a formidable barrier,
swathe of the galactic east, and with their many successors. Of the core yet despite the Ultramar Navy‟s best
each passing year it encroaches ever- Ultramar worlds, the frozen planet of efforts, raider forces still slip past them
further into the crumbling Imperium. Calth and the shrine-world of to prey upon the more settled worlds
Along with the technological benefits Prandium, where Guilliman fell in beyond. There are even wars within the
that membership of Ultramar brings, battle, have both housed chapter segmentum‟s borders, from skirmishes
the legion also imports its culture and monasteries. Over the millennia, Calth against the Tau beyond the Damocles
values and weaves them seamlessly has grown into an orbital shipyard Gulf and the omnipresent threat of Ork
into that of the original society. This second only to the segmentum Navy infestations to the insidious rabble-
means that while Ultramar Segmentum dockyards in Kar Dunaish. After Hive rousing of the Alpha Legion and the
encompasses a vast array of different Fleet Behemoth came so close to minions of Chaos. Every Ultramarine
cultures, from the savage head-hunters devouring Macragge, a successor and every successor know all-too well
of New Posul to the aeronauts in the chapter, the Lamenters, was founded the threats that face the segmentum,
floating cities of Doromus Minor, each on Prandium. Sadly, both they, and but with courage and honour, they will
one is tied, with great affection, back to another successor, the Scythes of endure.
Macragge. Guilliman set to guard the outer rim,
were completely destroyed in the Combat Doctrine
As befits the world where their Second Tyrannic War against Hive The master of organisation and
Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, fell to Fleet Kraken. strategy, Roboute Guilliman laid down
earth as an infant, Macragge remains the blueprints for these teachings in his
the heart of Ultramar Segmentum. The Despite now being deep inside the Codex Ultramar. It is a comprehensive
fortress-monastery still dominates the borders of Ultramar Segmentum, tome, covering not just military and
northlands of Illyrium, and from there Istvaan V has continued to be a Astartes organisation, but also vital
the chapter master rules with frequent target for Imperial attacks. civilian aspects of governance and
beneficence. Like every world in their Though it has become a veritable trade. The Codex emphasises a
culture, Macragge is home to a great fortress-world, it still holds a special balanced, combined-arms approach to
many military academies, and through attraction for forces headed by the warfare, but is also flexible enough to
the halls of these hallowed institutions Emperor‟s Children and World Eaters. recognise that there are times, such as
have passed countless generations of Sadly, they seem unable to grasp that when Guilliman defeated Alpharius,
Astartes and segmentum guardsmen. the Ultramarines were as much victims when a more extreme approach is
The most venerated academy is the of Dorn‟s Great Betrayal as they were. required. He encouraged additions by
Agiselus Barracks in Macragge City, later commanders to allow for the
where Guilliman himself was trained. Since the schism that tore humanity arrival of new enemies or
apart, the worlds along the border with developments in things such as tactics
While Macragge houses the first and the Imperium have been ringed with or weaponry.
greatest of the Ultramarine chapters, defence platforms and are under
many other planets such as Orpheus constant patrol by fleets of warships. It Each of the legion‟s chapters and
successors has their own copy of the
Codex, each with different changes and
additions to reflect their own
“My brothers, we have become complacent. Yes, our technology is superior to
that of the Imperium, but our advances have come in tiny increments –
circumstances and experiences. The
continual evolutionary improvements - rather than the leaps forward that will original, unamended version, written in
be required to defeat the next hive-fleet, or to finally break the stalemate with Guilliman‟s own hand, is stored in the
the Imperium and reclaim Terra for all humanity. deepest vaults of the fortress-
monastery on Macragge, and is, like its
“Look to the Tau. In the millennia that we have been facing down the Imperium author, preserved in temporal stasis.
and the Ruinous Powers they have grown from dwelling in caves to mastering This incalculably valuable relic is
technology that in some cases exceeds even our own understanding. By their retrieved only for the inauguration of a
unprovoked attacks across the Damocles Gulf, the Tau have rendered their
new chapter master. By placing his
treaties with us null and void, including those about the use of their weaponry.
right hand on the fragile book, he
“The time has come to put aside our pride and our preconceptions and use this signifies his intention to rule according
new source of technology to strengthen our fleets, our defences and our to his primarch‟s tenets and wishes.
Astartes. If we do not, if we instead blindly and timidly continue as we always
have, we will inevitably fall to the enemies that surround us.” The most important examples of
changes to the Macragge Chapter‟s
- Chapter Master Marneus Calgar, after the First Tyrannic War. annotated Codex in the last millennia
are those concerning the best uses of

45
heavy rail-gun technology, and the
extensive tactics built up to combat the
extra-galactic menace of the Tyranids. Chapter Master Calgar felt the buzz of anticipation among his bridge crew
Before any additions to the Codex are as the Seditio Opprimere came to full battle-readiness. The battle barge‟s
allowed by the chapter‟s librarians, the last action had been in the defence of Prandium from Hive-Fleet Kraken,
prospective author must be able to and while she had served valiantly, not even her ultimate sacrifice had been
recite, and show a thorough enough to save the planet from consumption. She had needed more
firepower, and this was now just what she had been given. Not just another
understanding of, Guilliman‟s original
upgrade to her lances and gun-decks, but a wholesale refit with completely
text. In this way their primarch‟s
new technology. The super-heavy rail-guns had astonishing rates of fire,
philosophy and intentions for the and were as devastating at extreme range as when firing point blank at a
Codex have been protected down the target.
millennia.
Calgar had warned his fellow chapter masters after the First Tyrannic
Organisation War, but only a few of them had been willing to listen. Mastery of the
The vast scale of Ultramar Segmentum Macragge Chapter brought with it a great deal of influence over the other
necessitated that Guilliman break his chapters, but he did not control them. According to tradition going back to
Guilliman‟s defiance of Consul Gallan, each chapter master had ultimate
legion into far more autonomous units.
authority within his own realm, and the inertia of history could not easily
Instead of the grand companies, the
be overcome. The concept of gradual evolution had become the norm
chapters of the Ultramarines were within Ultramar Segmentum, and even in the face of dire threats,
created, with ten companies each of a revolutionary ideas and approaches were shunned, despite Guilliman
hundred brothers. Each chapter was himself carrying out such actions on countless occasions. Even on
given stewardship over an area of Macragge alone, Calgar‟s scribes had returned from the archives bearing
space, and charged with ensuring its reports of groundbreaking developments in weaponry that had been
good governance and defence. New rejected by chapter masters down the ages as being too radical. Advances
recruits come from amongst the local that could have saved countless lives had been quietly filed away and
population to closer bind their fates forgotten. He could only imagine what wonders lay mouldering in the
together. Drawn from the most vaults of the other chapters...
promising youths, usually from the
military academies modelled upon the It felt like a betrayal of his primarch to even think such a thing, but in part
Macragge tradition, these potentials are he blamed the Codex Ultramar. Guilliman‟s master-work was so useful
sent to the Tenth, or Scout Company, and all-encompassing that in some cases it seemed to have replaced the
where they are rigorously trained, need for independent thought. He had applied the most promising
tested and implanted with the organs innovations, combined with the best insights gleaned from the Tau, to
necessary to forge them into full resurrect the Seditio Opprimere. In the face of such scepticism, though, it
Astartes battle-brothers. From there seemed that only a comprehensive and overwhelmingly successful field-test
would shake the other chapter masters out of their complacency.
they pass into one of the four reserve
companies, where they are trained in
As predicted by their enhanced auger array, the trio of Imperial cruisers
the arts of war, from piloting a vehicle, broke out of the warp. It was time to put his new ship - and the principle in
providing heavy weapon support, close general - to the test.
combat with bolt pistol and
chainsword, or - the backbone of the
chapter - in the bolter-armed Tactical
squads. feats of heroism. Although a chapter of believe that it is their manifest destiny
the Ultramarines is composed of only a to extend the boundaries of Ultramar
The Second to Fifth Companies are the nominal thousand Astartes warriors, Segmentum so that one day it will
main front-line fighting strength of the these are only the tip of the spear. The encompass all the worlds of humanity.
chapter. In line with the balanced chapter master is in effect the military The misguided, corrupt Imperium will
approach laid down in the Codex, the governor of every world in his domain, inevitably fall and they will subsume it,
ideal is for each of these battle and so also commands every Ultramar be it by slow expansion or a single
companies to contain six Tactical guardsman, Navy ship and auxilia, and strike against Terra to topple the
squads, supported by two Devastator when the Ultramarines go to war, so regime once and for all.
squads and two Assault squads. The too do they.
chapter‟s First Company is composed They see the Emperor as one of the
of the veterans. Clad either in Beliefs greatest men who ever lived, and the
Terminator armour or power armour, Above all things the legion venerates father of their primarch. However,
these marines are tasked with the most Guilliman and his teachings, and the despite the proclamations of the
deadly missions, and by their example realm of Ultramar Segmentum that Ecclesiarchy, they know that the
inspire all those around them to great they have created together. They Emperor is long dead, and have no

46
respect for the incompetent thugs that especially the Traitor Astartes, who Battlecry
rule in His name. For all of this, their have given up all semblance of Each chapter and successor is free to
attitude towards the Imperium is one of humanity. Only once they have the full choose their own battlecry, although
distaste and pity rather than hatred. resources of mankind, though, will "For Guilliman, and the greater glory
Their true loathing is reserved for the they finally be able to extinguish the of Ultramar!" is favoured by the
servants of the Chaos Gods, and Ruinous Powers from the galaxy. Macragge Chapter of the Ultramarines.

47
Though a trusted friend to Warmaster Horus, it was Jaghatai Khan’s
fate to fall to the clutches of Slaanesh. The Dark Lord of Ecstasy
enticed the White Scars’ Primarch with promises of material wealth,
power and above all else, freedom from the confines of the Imperial
war machine. Their betrayal was as swift as their attacks and equally
The devastating; bringing a tear to the eye of the sternest warrior. Though
Jaghatai himself has long-since lapsed into decadent and ecstatic
Dornian repose, his khans still terrorise the Imperium with lightning strikes;
each a mockery of the Emperor they used to serve.
Heresy Origins many of his father‟s bondsmen, though
The inhabitants of Mundus Planus others mocked him for preaching of a
know nothing about the past of their united tribe of the plains.
world, the truth hidden deep in ancient
lore kept secret since the Heresy. The Sensing the power and potential of his
only surviving text, The Terror of son, Ong heeded the young Jaghatai's
Quan Zhou, predates the arrival of the words, approaching many tribes under
Imperium of Man to Mundus Planus, the banner of peace. Initially, few gave
when the people called their home them presence in their camps, deeming
Chogoris. The long verses paint a such friendships signs of weakness and
picture of soaring mountains, vast a plea for aid. Countless times the
green plains and deep turquoise seas. Talskar had to prove their strength in
Cities of white stone sparkled along the arms to be allowed to leave alive. But,
coasts of these oceans, their inhabitants against the odds, and eased by the
living prosperous and comfortable smooth tongue of Jaghatai, a fledging
lives under their leader, the Palatine. alliance grew around Ong and the
Though they had achieved little beyond Talskar. Unfortunately many still
basic black powder technology, these refuted this new nation and war
metropolises were havens of luxury continued to rage across the Empty
and learning. Opposed to these high Quarter. When brute force did not
walls lay the spartan land of the Empty achieve the desired result, raiders of
the Kurayed tribe ambushed Ong and
Index Quarter, which stretched featureless for
as far as the eye could see. Scattered Jaghatai. Father and son fought back-
to-back, the last two remaining souls of
Astartes:
across the plains were tribes of
horsemen; nomads whose savagery and their hunting party. Skill and courage
lust for battle were infamous across the won the day and the two returned to
lands. their encampment more determined in
their quest. Reinvigorated, the united
White Many of the tribesmen‟s own fables
told of the dreaded Talskar tribe and
tribe prospered and gained strength as
more khans pledged themselves and
Scars their khan, or leader. Though he was
called many names, such as Aŭdac,
their families to Ong‟s banner. Soon
their lives were luxurious and
Ciĥttera and Mephaeta, amongst his comfortable; a rarity which had not
own he was Jaghatai, the great warrior. been seen upon the steppes before,
His legend began when Ong, then the where food could be promised and
khan of the Talskar, happened upon a children were allowed to play. Jaghatai
small child wandering lost across the was held as a champion of the times,
plains. Knowing that any soul alone in holding true to the ideals and virtues of
his world should return to the earth his teachings. Even as this young
by within a day, he was astonished to find nation bloomed to life, fate would play
heavily against it.
the boy had survived the passing of the
Ferrata moon. Believing he was a gift from the
Sky Father, Ong took the youngster as While riding the plains one day,
his own. Teaching him the arts much Jaghatai came across three horsemen
valued by their society, Jaghatai from the white cities attempting to
became a master of the bow, the sword ravish a young tribeswoman. Years of
and the horse. His tactical wisdom and luxury had not dimmed the skills of the
foresight earned him the respect of young warrior, who quickly took the

48
heads of two of the attackers and the broken ranks of the Palatine urges of Jaghatai that the Emperor had
allowed the badly wounded third to unwilling to pursue further into the little trouble convincing His son to join
escape as a warning to his people. field of blood. Unfortunately for the the Great Crusade; simply telling him
Jaghatai was not to know that he had tribesmen, amongst the survivors was of the treasures of the shining Imperial
damned himself, his father and his tribe Jaghatai, a son who had lost his father Palace and the glory he could find
that day, for one of the men he had and a man who had seen his dream amongst the stars was sufficient. With
killed had been a favoured son of the shattered by the weaknesses of others. his eyes wide with greed, Jaghatai
Palatine. Soon an army stood on the eagerly pledged himself to the
plains craving revenge. Outraged by their treachery, Jaghatai Emperor, becoming the Great Khan of
swore that the Empty Quarter would the Fifth Legion of Astartes; baptising
The Palatine was not a foolish man; he die by his sword. Riding down upon them the White Scars after the tribal
knew full well the strengths and those who had failed them, the markings of the Talskar.
weakness of his enemy like all great remaining warriors of the Talskar
commanders. As vanguard to his army, became daemons of the plains. Finding
pleasure in the screams of pain that
The Great Crusade
a force of diplomats visited the tribes As with all things in his life, Jaghatai
that made up the alliance, offering surrounded them, they extended the
torture of their enemies as long as took to commanding his legion with
money, horses and countless luxuries if
possible. Though it was the Palatine‟s ease. He abandoned his home world to
they refused to take to battle. The
nation which had shed the blood of the train in the heat of battle, he adapted to
campaign of subterfuge and bribery the bike over the horse with the skill
succeeded in turning the heads of Talskar, it was the tribesmen who
suffered the pain of Jaghatai a only a son of the Emperor could. Not
Ong‟s allies, leaving the Talskar to yet trusted to command an expedition
face the Palantine‟s armies alone when thousand fold. The legends of Jaghatai
Khan took form from these horrors, of their own, the White Scars were
they met on the Fields of Zhangiu.
and by taking their rights of conquest instead enlisted to aid the other, more
Though they had been abandoned, they established legions. Serving alongside
fought like beasts. They were almost in armour, horses and women, the
Talskar grew in strength. Not even a Dorn, Guilliman and Magnus, the
slaughtered to a man before they fled White Scars became infamous for
the battlefield. The few who were able united force, like the one Jaghatai
himself had dreamt of, could withstand being reckless allies; abandoning their
to retreat were left to do so in peace, duties to charge the flanks of the
their fury.
enemy, chasing those who fled and
As the Empty Quarter fell under the bathing in the agony of the foe. It was
When I was a youngling, my terror of the Talskar, the Imperium whilst fighting alongside the Luna
father honoured me with his finally made contact with Chogoris. Wolves that Jaghatai found purpose.
company on a hunt. He was a The Emperor Himself is said to have Horus, angered by the needless losses
man many thought weak due to walked upon the soil of the planet, with his legion had sustained because of
my teachings, my dreams. The Jaghatai‟s rash actions, struck his
vultures of the plains swooped
the Palatine quickly offering his
allegiance. Sensing one of His sons, younger brother, telling the wild
down from their hidden perches,
striking our party. Our strength the Emperor wandered the lands in primarch to act like a commander and
in arms saw victory that day, search for one of humanity‟s greatest not a dog. Instead of lashing back,
but maybe it would have been heroes. The first meeting between the Jaghatai embraced his brother, saying
better if my father had died Master of Mankind and Jaghatai was he had finally met a man he could
instead of falling this night. far from pleasant. The Emperor found respect.
„Words‟ I told my father, His son perched upon a throne in a ger
„promises and pacts‟ was the of luxury, the years of war funding a The White Scars and their primarch
way forward, the way to unite
tent of pleasure and excess. were reborn, the silver tongue that
the tribes, not by sword and
bow. We shared our food, our Surrounded by intricate armour, Jaghatai had used to first unite the
gers and our horses; we gave beautiful women and sumptuous feasts, tribes of his homeland now eased the
and ask for nothing in return. I Jaghatai was not a warrior-hero but a desires of his men, chastising their
was wrong. Whispered words dreaded warlord drowning in his own mindless actions. After barely a year
and dirty handshakes have ecstasy. The Emperor was outraged at they had become a respected ally and
defeated the alliance, slain my how low one of His own had fallen. In Jaghatai a trusted friend of Horus.
father, your Khan. Tonight we a bitter irony, although the Talskar‟s Indeed, the legion became popular
take back our lands, our homes, lightning emblem echoed His own, the amongst expeditions of the Great
our women. Tonight we unite
two leaders could not be more Crusade, their swift strikes timed
the tribes through fear!
different. This ghoul had destroyed beautifully to crush the enemy. When
- Jaghatai Khan as night drew were he could have conquered; the Emperor decreed that Jaghatai
close on the Fields of Zhangiu terrorised those he could have ruled, would lead his own grand campaign,
but the Emperor was forced to embrace twelve of his brothers‟ legions sent
this child of His. So simple were the representatives to congratulate him,

49
with three of them These years were not
personally attending the kind to the wild
great feast. Though sad primarch. He became
to be leaving the less the warlord and
comfort of those he held more the bureaucrat,
dear, Jaghatai‟s face was separated from the rush
alight with pride as his of battle and the
father bestowed the emptiness of the plains.
greatest honour upon His only connections to
him – allowing the Fifth the frontline were the
Legion to bear the few times he was able to
lightning emblem of the abandon his quarters to
Emperor which had spectate selected battles;
been refused when the his khans showing him
legion had been his heroic legion. Once
renamed. Jaghatai had returned to
his chambers, his men
Many new worlds fell to continued to plunder
the war machine of the armouries, reliquaries
White Scars, so swift and treasuries in search
were their actions that of the perfect gift for
the Imperium failed in their lord. Those who
documenting them all. brought him the most
The battle honours for precious items were
the legion did little to heavily favoured, and
represent the number of soon Jaghatai was
victories that the Scars surrounded by
claimed. From the Hive sycophants instead of
World of Kerait to the leaders, minions rather
jungles of Olkhun, it than heroes. As he
seemed wherever the listened to their tales of
Battle-leader of the White Scar Legion
Fifth Legion took to valour, honour and
battle, glory and triumph bravery, warzones were
force had been necessary. Constantly scavenged by blade and blood in the
rode with them. Jaghatai personally confined to his war room, he spent
headed many of the battles himself, his most brutal of ways to satisfy his
sleepless nights poring over tactical greed. The tide of fresh victories
personal banner standing tall at the rear maps, viewing and reviewing the wide-
of his modified jet bike, his huge earned by Jaghatai‟s expedition slowed
reaching arms of his expeditions. He to a trickle, and the poor tactical
shoulders thrusting his power lance became distant from the warfront,
deep before assaulting the enemy with acumen of the new khans caused
swamped instead by petitions for his horrific losses to the Fifth Legion.
his sword. Not only did his men see the presence, local governors seeking aid
honour of the Great Khan, but those in petty disputes or to honour them by The items which garnered the lion‟s
who he defeated would willingly serve accepting invitations for social share of the Great Khan‟s pride were a
him and the Imperium. gatherings. For a man born under the twin pair of gauntlets named Mamonas
night stars with blood on his hands, the and Avauras, which had been gifted to
For a second time when his life looked imprisonment of the diplomatic world him by the High Priest of Ikesentii.
fruitful and promising, Jaghatai was was a grinding axe worse than death. The jewel incrusted gages were of little
struck down. The isolation from his Alone, with no-one to turn to for use in combat, their protection
brothers who he had begun to trust, conversation without sly meanings, he compromised by the golden weaving
love and depend upon troubled the attempted to find tranquillity in the sea and delicately placed precious stones,
primarch deeply. He had felt loneliness of confusion that was becoming his but by then Jaghatai had little need for
like this only once before, during the life. He learned to appreciate the many weapons of war, instead his vanity took
battle against the Palatine. Without great artefacts which had come to dominance. It is said that he became
council from those who he respected, adorn his chambers. Tributes, bribes bound to them, unwilling to leave their
such as Horus and Mortarion, he took and gifts, each tainted by hidden presence, even going as far as to
the responsibility of every death, either meanings, underhand favours and declare that „only a son of the Emperor
brother or ally, as a personal failure. silent wants – though he found an old was equal to their beauty and
He even lamented the deaths of his feeling of comfort and security in such magnificence‟.
enemies, when words had failed and items.

50
fortress-monastery upon Chogoris and
prepared the citizens for war against a
“A dog they call you – a tamed beast with no claws.” fallen Imperium, the Great Khan left
them with chilling orders, “Isolate
The intertwined voices were in his head, yet Jaghatai knew they belonged to
yourself from the outside, be the viper
Mamonas and Avauras. He couldn‟t remember a time when the two spirits
hadn‟t guided his way – a blessed gift from the Sky Father. in the pit, hidden, but ready to strike.
Bar me or the Emperor Himself, trust
“Caged. No freedom, no power, nothing. Just a pawn to their whims. We can no-one.”
offer you everything. Rule without question, wealth beyond the damned Imperial
treasury. We can give you an escape from this coffin – you can live again. All The arrival of the White Scars on Terra
you have to do is listen, and obey.” was meant to be a beacon of hope to
the loyalist cause; reinforcements to
Jaghatai listened, and Jaghatai obeyed. aid the war against the traitorous Dorn.
Unfortunately, all communications
with the legion were lost in static, with
The Dornian Heresy glistened with an energy which only only the crazed mumblings and
Jaghatai had ventured far from the emphasised the grin which spread screams of the damned breaking the
heart of the Imperium when the direst across his face. Unknown to all bar interference. Jaghatai Khan had lost
of messages reached him. When all Jaghatai himself, he had found a none of his tactical mastery over the
those around him were turning against saviour from the troubles that racked years, leading his host of
his father, Warmaster Horus contacted his mind. Walking amongst his blood- Thunderhawks directly for the Lion‟s
one of the few souls he could trust to brothers, he called them all by name Gate Spaceport. Mindful of the
support him. He was forced to inform and judged their skill with a sword, massacre perpetrated by the Blood
his younger brother that Primarch Dorn their worth as a comrade and their Angels at the Eternity Wall Spaceport,
had turned his back upon the Emperor, eagerness to follow his lead. With his and unable to receive any coherent
and he was not alone. With echoes of renewed vigour he personally fixed the reply to his hails, the spaceport‟s
the Fields of Zhangiu against the warp engines, labouring for many commanding officer ordered that the
Palatine reverberating in his heart, hours alone in the dark confines, with Lion‟s Gate anti-air defences and
Jaghatai flew into a violent rage, only his gauntlets for company. heavy shields remain active. Only
swearing that he would personally through the direct intervention of
destroy all those who had failed When the fleet finally broke into real Warmaster Horus himself were these
mankind. Halting his expedition and space at Chogoris, Jaghatai had systems finally deactivated and the
recalling all of his forces to his banner, organised a patchwork force of all the White Scars given permission to land.
the fleet prepared for warp jump brotherhoods, stating that if the White This proved to be a grave error of
destined for Terra, intending to stop Scars were to fail, then all would be judgement. The details of the slaughter
only at Chogoris to recuperate their represented in the rebirth of the legion. which followed were overshadowed by
losses. Retreating to his chambers to As this detachment secured the later actions across the globe, and the
reclaim his calm, Jaghatai lost himself
among his precious gifts; the intricate
Horus yelled through his vox caster – his usual calm demeanour finally broken
armour plates from Khasa, the hand-
through the stress of the Siege of Terra. Whilst his men, and those of the other
crafted sword which had cost the lives loyalist legions present, were laying down their lives for the Emperor, this
of three Arslanii forge masters, and captain, this damned captain, refused to allow allies to land. Every second the
finally Mamonas and Avauras, which anti-air defences remained up was a second the White Scars could not be
whispered sweet words of comfort into fighting alongside him.
the primarch‟s heart. Even when the
fleet‟s warp engines inexplicably “Lower those batteries captain, or do I have to come down there myself?”
failed, he would not be distracted from
his obsession. “...Warmaster...Scars are...attack formation....no call signs...sounds of
screams...sir?”
The Warp has neither night nor day, The weak voice of the captain struggled to break through the interference which
just a constant stretch of time without had plagued Imperial communications for the past few hours; only the visual
respite. When Jaghatai emerged from sightings of the White Scars‟ Thunderhawks had announced their arrival.
his quarters, his crew and men had lost Horus had to rely on a series of short-distance messages to relay his commands
all morale, believing themselves across the battlefield; his temper shortening with each minute he was left in the
abandoned in the Warp and their dark.
commander distraught from his
brothers‟ treachery. Though his eyes “I don‟t care if they start shooting at you - lower those defences!”
looked sore from lack of sleep, they

51
ground of Terra shook under traitors. As the truth was
the bikes of White Scars told, many refused to accept
dedicated to Slaanesh. that their primarch could
have discarded them. Others
At first Horus refused to wept as it struck chords
believe the reports which within them, their souls
reached his command post, telling them all they needed
but once Jaghatai had to know. Those left behind
accepted the bounty of the were the ones Jaghatai had
Imperial Palace from Dorn - been unable to taint, those
a prize which the Great too noble and pure of spirit.
Khan saw as rightly his after For their virtues, they had
the promises of his father - led their people into a
and began massacring the massacre. A remembrancer
citizens of Terra, the of Abaddon‟s fleet penned
Warmaster was forced to the words for this most
accept that in these darkest harrowing of events;
of days even one of his “Chogoris, burnt to ashes,
closest friends could betray bloodied by war. Though
him. Painting a single tear enemies, though foes; only
drop in the corner of the Eye loyal sons of the Emperor
of Horus which emblazed died that day.”
his chest, he stood amongst
his Sons as they accepted In the first few millennia
the charge of the White after the Great Betrayal, a
Scars. The initial assault Jaghatai Khan, wearing his prized gauntlets,
daemon-centaur claiming to
devastated the loyalist line, Mamonas and Avauras be Jaghatai led invasions
but to universal surprise the into the Imperium, striking
second attack never chronicles of Abaddon‟s Crusades. without warning and
materialised. Having proved their After stabilising what remained of the seemingly without logic. During this
worth on the battlefield against their Imperium; the First High Lord turned time, the beast commanded the legion
Astartes brothers, and with the riches his gaze to the homeworlds of the to such horrors as the Red Highway
of the Imperial treasury now secured in Traitor Legions. A combined force of Massacre, a feat which, even with their
their ships‟ holds, the White Scars Death Guard and Black Templars, bitter hatred of one another, the
capriciously returned to the spaceport. under the dead eyes of Mortarion, was Khornate Space Wolves respect as an
Ignoring the bitter threats from Dorn given the honour of reclaiming act of bloodshed almost without
and the other traitor primarchs, and Chogoris. The patchwork brotherhood comparison. As the centuries wore on,
seemingly indifferent to the fate of the abandoned by Jaghatai fought like Jaghatai became increasingly distracted
Heresy that hung so precariously in the wolves, alongside the endless tides of from his conquests, instead depending
balance, the Fifth Legion left Terra in tribal horsemen and Palatine infantry. upon his khans to fight in his name
search of further plunder. Still heeding the words of the Great whilst he lived in ecstasy surrounded
Khan, none dared to question the by treasures and pleasures. It has been
Since the Heresy righteousness of their cause. Their many millennia since the Daemon-
Whilst the victorious loyalists still hearts were full of sorrow, for the Primarch of Slaanesh has personally
wept at the death of the Emperor, the coming of the enemy meant that made war upon the Imperium, and
White Scars slaughtered world after Jaghatai, and indeed the Emperor, had many scholars doubt he truly still
world and ransacked their riches. Relic failed, and that they were the last commands the legion.
worlds, shrine worlds and forge worlds warriors of his memory.
all suffered from the lightning strikes Homeworlds
of the White Scars, with countless There would be only one result to this Mundus Planus, or Chogoris as it was
treasures lost to the greed of Jaghatai war; a triumphant Imperium. The once known, was a planet of two
before he finally retreated into the Eye tragedy of this conflict would only worlds when Jaghatai rode across its
of Terror. come to light when the few surviving soils. The cities that had belonged to
White Scars were interrogated for the the Palatine were built from white
Jaghatai never set foot upon Chogoris location of their primarch. The rock, a shining beacon of humanity‟s
again, seemingly forgetting his defenders believed themselves the final glory from horizon to horizon. The
childhood home. The fate of the planet guardians of the Emperor‟s dream, the ivory walls secured a life of peace and
is, however, detailed extensively in the invading force, to them, were the prosperity for its inhabitants. Both

52
landscape and lifestyle stood in Of the White Scars themselves, they Beliefs
contrast to that of the Empty Quarter. settled upon the daemon world of The ideologies and practices of the
As grasslands stretched into grasslands, Kaprax, located deep within the Eye of White Scars have travelled a dark path,
it seemed impossible for any single Terror. The vast plains of their home much like the legion itself. The
man to claim it as his own. Hills rolled world were recreated to the whims of teachings of the Stormseers, both
into mountains, of which the elixir of Jaghatai, the very earth given form by skilled in the art of magicks and the
life trickled into the mighty rivers the desire of their primarch. Allowing ways of Slaanesh, are structured
which fed the land. Upon these nomads his men to roam free, doing as their around two core pillars by which all
a strict life was forced, food was urges decreed, the planet became home brothers live and die. These central
scarce, war was frequent and many to excess, greed and indulgence. Those beliefs are that one must attain all that
died young. Master of the horse, the with enough blood-money and power is possible and live to their body‟s
bow and the sword, it was these people erect gers filled with exotic luxuries fullest capabilities. If an Imperial
who raised Jaghatai as their own, and it which ape the great Pleasure Dome of preacher taught these words to his
was they who formed the ranks of the Jaghatai himself. It is unknown how flock they would be virtues of life,
White Scars. many brothers of the White Scars, like creeds that would surely send a soul to
their primarch, have not left Kaprax the table of the Emperor, but the
All the bloodshed in its history paled in since its creation, spending all eternity twisted minds of the White Scars have
comparison to the fate of the world. there without ever growing bored. belittled these tenets into nothing more
Abandoned and deceived by Jaghatai, a than greed and ecstasy. They want for
small force of loyal White Scars stood Recruitment into the White Scars is a all that is not theirs, but once they have
alongside both tribesmen and warriors torment for even the sternest of acquired it, it pales and fails to satisfy
of the Palatine against Abaddon‟s soldiers, and few enter the path their lust. They take their bodies to the
Crusade. Not only was every inhabitant willingly. The ancient rituals which highest of pleasures and the deepest of
slaughtered in the foolish war, the once produced warriors loyal to the pains all in the name of their patron,
culture and legacy of the world was Emperor have become twisted like Slaanesh.
also obliterated. In the centuries to their masters into ceremonies of pain.
come, the planet was transformed into The magicks of Chaos allow any host
the Mundus Planus of today. The cities to be overcome by the power of
Organisation
of marble were replaced by endless Jaghatai‟s gene-seed. Stormseers - the Though all White Scars still remain
factories, pumping smoke and masters of the winds of Slaanesh - bind loyal to the Great Khan, it has been
pollutants into the air whilst the Empty the genes of the Great Khan to the long millennia since he left his palace
Quarter became host to towering hives captive whilst apothecaries carry out of pleasure to lead the legion. Instead,
that would make the nomads turn in the ritual scarring. The transformation groups have formed around inspiring
their graves. Though spared the horror takes many weeks, although to the khans who command by strength of
of Exterminatus, Mundus Planus was recruit it seems to be an eternity of arms, fear and, above all else, the
instead sentenced to become but a agony. During this time the promise of wealth. These brotherhoods
simple, anonymous cog in the Imperial Stormseers never cease in their trance- range from a small band of like-
machine. For century after century it like chants, delivering new souls to the minded individuals to forces equalling
has quietly and unremarkably produced Dark Lord. Many weaklings fail, their that of several loyalist grand
its worth in goods and regiments, physical forms too frail for the power companies in number. Of all the
oblivious to the horrors of its dark past. of Jaghatai. brotherhoods of the White Scars, the
triumvirate of the Rampagers,
Destroyers and Marauders constantly
vie to be the most brutal and feared.
The Red Highway Massacre
Each brotherhood is structured around
Of all the sadistic acts in the history of the White Scars, the slaughter of the the disposition and resources of their
refugees of Urgench is by far the bloodiest. After days of constant attacks which khan, making each one individual and
culminated with the critical destabilisation of the city‟s reactor core, Jaghatai unique. A few commonalities have
retreated to his ger to watch the hive cripple itself with fear. Instead, the valiant survived the fall of the legion, such as
Imperial Governor led his people on a desperate march to the neighbouring hive
of Merv.
the absence of Havoc squads and the
distaste towards Dreadnoughts. Whilst
The onslaught of the White Scars was swift, their bikes allowing them to easily the first is simply antagonistic to the
catch the massive train of civilians. Over a period of six days and nights, the flowing style of warfare taught by
population of Urgench was besieged by the murderous hordes of Jaghatai Khan. Jaghatai, the latter strikes a fear into
the hearts of the fearless. Entombment
Not a single soul made it to the gates of Merv. within the sarcophagus of these beasts
is seen as the greatest of torments for
them, the cold metal devoid of the

53
sense of pleasure. It has been known
for khans to punish those under their
command by imprisoning them inside a The Legend of the Hunter
dreadnought when such behemoths can
be captured from loyalist forces. These Brother-Captain Cato Sicarius was a proud warrior of the Ultramarines, a
poor souls quickly fall to insanity and champion of Guilliman and heir-apparent to the throne of the legion. He was
quick with the blade, precise with the pole arm and deadly with the axe. This
are launched into the heat of battle,
degenerate, this White Scar, had been a competent foe, but he had been a fool
resulting in much consternation to challenge him. Be they loyalist or traitor, none could match the martial
throughout the enemy‟s ranks. prowess of the Ultramarines.

The preference for mobile warfare Sicarius sighed at the waste of such ornate armour. The helmet alone was a
within the legion still echoes from the masterpiece, crafted in the form of a snarling wolf; it was a work of art. His foe
tribesmen of Chogoris, with the use of was crippled, unable to move for the pain racking his body, and yet he seemed
bike squads being heavily favoured. to be revelling in the experience. With a practiced movement of his Talassarian
These brothers will often group in Tempest blade he removed the head of his enemy in a single stroke. It was his
last act as a warrior of Ultramar. From deep within him a voice that was not
sixes, the sacred number of Slaanesh,
his own spoke:
and those who embrace it are smiled
upon by their Dark Lord. The White „Welcome vessel, I am the Lord of the Hunt – and you are mine.‟
Scars are the only Traitor Legion able
to field Land Speeders, though their
numbers are limited by the legion‟s
by scholars. The legend states that a surrounded by the enemy, whilst a foe
inability to produce the vehicle, instead
khan walked the fields at the Siege of thinking itself under attack awakes to
depending on pillaging them from the
Terra, challenging loyalist and Chaos see no enemy but can hear the screams
battlefield. A khan who manages to
champions alike to single combat. The of men in defensive lines behind them.
acquire such treasures will find his
number which fell to his blade is There have been occasions when the
status and power much advanced.
unknown, but since that day, the nobility of humanity has prevailed, and
Though there is no true ranking of the coming of the Lord of the Hunt is a instead of falling apart, a strengthened,
splinter-factions bar that Jaghatai is harbinger of death for his prey. united community stands against the
lord of all, there are positions of great White Scars. Such insults are treated
power within the legion. An Astartes Combat Doctrine harshly, and the brave fools sometimes
known only as the Voice of the Great Since their fall to the Dark Prince of find themselves suffering a fate worse
Khan speaks in the name of Jaghatai, Excess, the White Scars have only than death – forced induction into the
and effectively rules all. It is a foolish furthered their mastery of mobile legion against which they fought so
khan who refuses to follow the orders warfare. Their assaults are reminiscent bravely.
of the Voice for the wrath he can bring of those of the Talskar as they bled the
is almost equal to that of the primarch. Empty Quarter dry. Appearing from all Such is the decoration and wealth of
The Stormseers are also a dominant sides, the only warning is the thunder the armour and weapons which adorns
force within the legion, their expertise of engines as bikes appear on the each marine that many have confused
in the magicks of Slaanesh granting horizon. Strikes come hard and fast, brothers of the White Scars as leaders.
them power beyond the dreams of only for an eerie silence to settle as the Blades worthy of loyalist captains are
others. They extract a high price in White Scars retreat though victory found in the hands of mere warriors. It
treasure and slaves for their services on could easily have been achieved. Such is said that a victory over the legion, if
and off the battlefield, but it is one the tactics are deemed foolish by many it can be achieved, is a lucrative one
khans must pay for the continued strategists, as they allow an unprepared indeed, for the riches earned from
existence of their brotherhoods. foe time to dig in, but such is the pillaging the bodies of the Astartes
brutality of the first blow that the could build a city.
The Lord of the Hunt is a much feared enemy is demoralised and terror begins
brother of the White Scars. Owing no to spread its insidious roots. The White Gene-Seed
allegiance to any force, he roams the Scars watch in glee as the enemy force Even while serving the Emperor during
galaxy in search of his prey. A few tears itself apart from within, unable to the Great Crusade, the purity if the
marines, drunk on the thrill of the hunt, cope with the fear of a second attack White Scars gene-seed was thrown into
follow the stalker on his missions, that might come at any moment. doubt. The genetics of the tribesmen of
though none survive long. The Chogoris proved as resolute and strong
Imperial records on the Lord of the Wherever the sons of Jaghatai tread, as the people themselves, entwining
Hunt are confused at best, whether it is destruction follows. Their ability to itself with the gene-seed of Jaghatai.
a single man who has survived since isolate the weak link in any defensive Their lust for war and savagery became
the Heresy or if as one dies, another force wreaks havoc across the line. A one with the brutality of the Space
takes up the title, is mere postulation once secure flank finds itself Marine to produce a dark stain in

54
humanity‟s history. Even without the genetic integrity. The Marauders are White Scars he is obsessed with want
recruits of their home world, the White renowned for the daemonic forms and destroyed by pleasure - a true child
Scars have become increasingly many of their marines have taken; their of Slaanesh.
sadistic and barbaric in their nature. horror almost rivalling that of the
Even their most hated ally, the myriad creatures of the warp. The Battlecry
Khornate Space Wolves, have been magicks which are used to create new Although many different calls are used
known to call the White Scars cruel. recruits for the legion only further by the White Scars, “For the Khan!”
stifle the purity of Jaghatai‟s legacy, remains a constant across the
Mutations have become rife in a the poison of Chaos flowing early into brotherhoods.
number of the brotherhoods, whilst what was once a holy ritual. Even as a
others have managed to maintain some marine is born into the foul life of the

55
Leman Russ' early experiences on Fenris left him with an abiding
hatred and suspicion of sorcery, a feeling that was reinforced by what
he saw during the Great Crusade. Concerned that the Thousand
Son’s magicks would lead them to corrupt even the Emperor, the
Space Wolves attacked them to avert a worse fate. When Magnus'
The counter-attack brought them to the brink of destruction, Russ called
out to his father for aid, but his pleas were instead answered by
Dornian Khorne, the bane of all enchantments. The Space Wolves prevailed by
giving themselves over to the beast within, revelling in bloodletting
Heresy and bestial fury. Now, as Khorne’s chosen legion, they have turned on
the Emperor, who they see as the Arch-Sorcerer. They now slaughter
all in their path, taking skulls and trophies from their fallen opponents
for the glory of the Blood God.
Origins into a trap set by a wyrd, one of their
Ancient Fenris, the world onto which rune-priests, who planted the
the infant Russ came to rest, was a impression that one of their number
world of violent extremes. Trapped in was wounded and crying out for help.
an acute elliptical orbit, its winters Once hemmed in by the steep walls of
were long and dark, and the a gorge, the dense undergrowth was set
gravitational upheaval as Fenris passed ablaze with flaming arrows, and the
close to its sun threw the scattered maddened animals slaughtered as they
inhabited islands into turmoil. The broke from cover.
human tribes were forced to make their
living from the storm-tossed seas, The boy-primarch saw his den-mother
building boats from the few trees to charge at the hunters, only to be
survive to maturity and the hides from knocked to the floor by the rune-
monsters of the deep. These vessels priest‟s eldritch lightning. With a
were vital not just for fishing, but to wordless howl of fury he leapt to the
Index relocate entire communities to new
islands as their own sank beneath the
mighty she-wolf‟s side, scattering the
humans that sought to harm her.
Astartes: waves. Such a harsh world forged hard
and hardy people, nomads, with little
Despite being struck by many a
poisoned arrow, rage and defiance still
care for knowledge that couldn‟t be burned within him. In the end it was
carried inside their heads. Survival the rune-priest‟s sorcery that finally
rendered him insensible. The wolves
Space meant not just being able to navigate
the waves, but to drive the enemy into were skinned, but the feral curiosity
the sea, be they raiders, or simply a was securely bound and returned to the
Wolves tribe unable to defend, and hence halls of Thengir, King of the Russ
tribe. Seeing a challenge before him,
unworthy of inhabiting, the precious
islands. Thengir boasted that he would tame the
feral child and teach him the human
However, it was not these people that tongue. Though it started as a
the infant primarch was found by, but humorous wager, the king soon grew to
something far more dangerous. regard the boy as his own son, naming
According to Gnauril the Elder‟s him Leman of the Russ. While he
legendary saga, 'The Ascension of the retained a certain lupine savagery, the
by Wolf King', he was raised in the first boy took to his new-found human
heritage with aplomb. His
few years of life by a pack of Fenrisian
Aurelius wolves, suckling from the she-wolf
like a cub and hunting on all fours with
extraordinary strength, skill and
cunning earned him a dominant role
Rex the pack. It was these raids that first
brought him into contact with the tribes
within the tribe, and cemented his
position as the rightful heir to
of man. On hearing of the wolves Thengir‟s throne.
terrorising his vassals, the ruler of the
island ordered his bondsmen to bring In Leman Russ‟ rise to greatness one
back their pelts. The pack was lured group found themselves excluded from

56
the king‟s councils: the Adeptus Custodes who had
once-powerful rune-priests. subtly moved to protect
Some say that Russ could their lord, but the Emperor
never forgive what they bade His guards stand
had done to the great she- aside, and realising what it
wolf who had raised him. would take to convince
Others claim that having him, issued Russ a
only recently gained the challenge.
power of speech and
human reason, seeing the The Master of Mankind
wyrds cloud men‟s minds and the Wolf-King fought
and steal their thoughts bare-handed all through
seemed to be the worst that night, and as the sun
kind of crime to the young rose over the wreckage of
primarch. His instincts the lodge-house, the matter
were vindicated when the was finally settled. The
rune-priests used their Emperor had shown He
powers to twist loyal was willing to spill His
members of the tribe to own blood, rather than just
attack Russ and King demand it of His subjects,
Thengir. Recognising the and by merely surviving
taint of sorcery, Leman that long, Russ had proved
Russ swiftly dispatched the beyond doubt that he was
rune-priests among the truly one of his father‟s
group and ended the attack, primarchs. All that
but not in time to prevent remained was for the
Thengir from suffering a Emperor to establish His
mortal wound. dominance without
Post-Heresy Space Wolf question. With a mighty
The freed bondsmen Note use of Ultramarine cuisse taken as a trophy blow that stunned the
grovelled for their lives at assembled crowd, the
the feet of Leman Russ. Emperor struck Russ
They spoke of how their will had been glowing metal in the blood of an square in the face and knocked him out
stolen, that they had been nothing but enemy. Thus protected, by the time the cold. Then, to the appreciative cheers
helpless puppets in the attack. They Emperor arrived on Fenris the newly of the Fenrisians, the bloodied Master
also claimed to have heard talk of the crowned Wolf-King, had expunged the of Mankind placed His golden sigil
involvement and complicity of other taint of sorcery from the island, and around Russ‟ neck. In doing so, the
rune-priests, both on the island and also from those of their neighbours. Emperor formally passed command of
further afield. Grimly, Leman Russ the Sixth Legion to their primarch,
bade them stand, and in a voice filled Russ‟ early instinctual acceptance of known ever-after as the Space Wolves.
with certainty made the following the Emperor as his true father was
proclamation: severely shaken when it became clear The Great Crusade
that He was not just what the When Russ awoke he was a man
“To beat someone in a fair fight and Fenrisians would call a wyrd, but the transformed: at ease with his place as
prove your dominance is only right. most powerful one in the galaxy. The the enforcer of the Emperor‟s will
To trick your opponent to do so... all Emperor patiently explained the among the stars. The legion took the
the better. But to steal someone‟s difference between wild sorcery and stable and previously unexplored
mind with sorcery; to take from them his own tightly controlled psychic continent of Asaheim as its base and
the very thing that makes them powers, but Russ refused to listen. established their fortress-monastery,
human... that can never be forgiven. Even the honour of commanding a which they called the Fang, at the
legion of the Adeptus Astartes was summit of the highest and most
“We will kill them all.” taken as an insult. He coldly accused forbidding mountain peak. The
the Emperor of being no better than the original Terran legionaries adapted
To this end, the tribe of the Russ took rune-priests who had used others to quickly to their primogenitor‟s whims,
to wearing torcs made of solid, fight their battles for them, and and the hardy islanders of Fenris
dependable iron. A known protective contemptuously threw the offered proved to be excellent candidates to
against sorcery, its qualities were golden thunderbolt and lightning sigil take the Helix Lupus and join their
further enhanced by quenching the to the floor. Russ confronted the ranks.

57
Though savage and unconventional by
the standards of many other legions,
the Space Wolves‟ innate skills as “Books? We keep our knowledge up here! [taps head] Any tribe that used
seafarers and raiders translated well to its wood to make paper rather than spear shafts or axe handles wouldn‟t
the role of bringing the lost human last long on Fenris, I can tell you! We were given some books once to try
worlds into compliance with the to „civilise‟ us, so they said. They came in very useful to get the fire going,
Imperium. Russ‟ legendary charm, and the pages were certainly smoother and more comfortable on the
amply backed by the threat of his cheeks than using ghora leaves after a big meal, [grins toothily] though I
don‟t think that was quite the „civilising‟ effect they had in mind!”
ferocious warriors, persuaded all but
the most truculent planetary leaders as
- Chief Bran Irontooth on the benefits of the Imperium
to the benefits of the burgeoning
Imperium. On occasion the Space
Wolves found themselves fighting
alongside marines from other legions, wholeheartedly that psychic talent was off their fleet and blasting their orbital
and while Russ counted most of his the key to Mankind‟s future, and used defences into wreckage before
brother-primarchs as firm friends, in it as an integral part of his war strategy. descending onto the planet below.
the case of the Dark Angels the rivalry The first and last time the two legions What they found beneath the shining
was far from cordial. The gregarious fought alongside one another, they white cities‟ veneer of purity sickened
and headstrong Russ found Lion came within moments of all-out the Space Wolves to the core. They
El‟Jonson to be cold, arrogant and warfare. The experience convinced uncovered entire libraries of
superior, a fact made worse by them Russ that Magnus‟ explorations into sacrilegious texts, buildings
having brought a greater tally of the nature of the Immaterium were constructed for the sole purpose of
worlds into compliance than the young nothing more than thinly veiled conducting black rites, and a populace
Space Wolf Legion. This antipathy sorceries of the blackest kind. who openly bore the mark of the
spilled over to such a degree that after mutant and the witch. While the Space
their shared enemies had been defeated Russ was not alone in his concerns, Wolves drew the noose around the
it was common for unseemly fistfights and on the planet of Nikaea the Master heavily protected capital city of Tizca,
or even blood-duels to erupt. of Mankind called a council to stand in Russ had no qualms about ordering
judgement on the subject. The Wolf- sustained orbital bombardments to
Despite their complete trust in the King was characteristically forthright scour the lesser cities from the face of
Emperor, the culture of Fenris left the in his views, and supported with the planet.
Space Wolves eternally vigilant for any damning testimony from like-minded
taint of sorcery in the worlds they primarchs such as Mortarion, Corax The Space Wolves advanced
conquered. Where less „superstitious‟ and even Dorn, Magnus‟ fate appeared cautiously beneath the protective
legions blinded themselves to the truth, sealed. When judgement came, the shield-curtain, and at first met only
the Space Wolves took the same direct Thousand Sons were not only allowed scattered resistance. Emboldened, they
and bloody approach to the uncanny to continue their practices, but also pressed on, only to find the city itself
that they had on Fenris. It seemed that given leave to soul-bind themselves to becoming a labyrinth, as though the
on every planet they brought into the Emperor. Fearing that Magnus had buildings themselves were moving and
compliance, no matter how tranquil, a used his corrupt powers to influence re-arranging to divide their forces. It
coven of wyrds lay hidden like the their father‟s decision, Russ stormed was then that the Thousand Sons
maggot within the apple. Though the from the council and laid plans to save finally showed themselves. Isolated
very concept of the daemonic was the Emperor from Himself. and unsupported, the Space Wolves
treated by others at the time as were attacked from all sides by balefire
laughable, the Space Wolves saw them and mind-numbing enchantments.
for what they were. In the face of mass The Burning of Prospero Their iron torcs were of little use
possession and daemonic Believing that the soul-binding ritual against such potent magicks, and with
manifestation, even the oblivion of would allow Magnus to poison the his legion dying around him Russ
global extinction was a kindness. Emperor‟s essence with sorcery, Russ called out to his father, to anyone, for
gathered his entire legion together to aid in destroying the sorcerers.
While Russ himself calmed the attack the Thousand Sons‟ homeworld
misgivings of his men over working of Prospero. To their credit, not a The answer came from deep within
with aberrations like Astropaths and single brother shied away from the him. It was the personification of the
Navigators, he forcefully forbade terrible thing the Wolf-King had asked bestial fury that had boiled inside his
battlefield psykers in his legion, and of them. soul since he had first run with the
was outspoken about their use by other wolf-pack on Fenris. It was the part of
Astartes. The worst offenders in Russ‟ With all of their cunning and skill, the him that yearned to slaughter whole
eyes were the Thousand Sons. Their Space Wolves were able to catch the worlds, to feast upon warm flesh and to
primarch, Magnus the Red, believed legion of sorcerers unawares, chasing swim in oceans of blood. The howl

58
that started at the back of Russ‟ throat Custodes, his father‟s personal the mutants‟ lives, but not to the fleet‟s
echoed from the shining towers and bodyguards. He also found the predicament. Cooped up with no one
was in turn taken up by every Space remains of the golden thunderbolt sigil but each other to vent their frustration
Wolf in the city. In an instant the that had been destroyed by the upon, Russ became concerned they
enchantments faltered, the insane Guardian Spear‟s thrust. With an iron would either arrive too late, or that the
cartography shifted back to the norm certainty Russ knew the truth of the legion would destroy itself long before
and aetheric lightning guttered and matter. From the actions of the it reached Terra.
died in the sorcerer‟s hands. Adeptus Custodes, it was painfully
clear that the Emperor not only Their salvation came from an
Transformed into little more than condoned the sorcery that Magnus had unexpected source: the Dark Angels.
slavering beasts, the Space Wolves fell perpetrated, but stood proudly with When yet another warp-jump deposited
upon their tormentors. Only after they him. Russ also recognised the then far off course and within hailing
had reduced the city of Tizca to a thunderbolt sigil for the focus of distance of a Dark Angels fleet, the
charnel pit did they return to anything psychic power it most certainly was. Space Wolves prepared to continue
resembling sanity. They did so with While he had worn it Russ had been their long-standing feud. Instead they
the name of their saviour on their influenced to be utterly loyal to his were greeted warmly as fellow
reddened lips: Khorne, the God of „Allfather‟. After its destruction, Russ enlightened of Chaos. Luther, the Dark
Blood and Skulls, the bane of all could see the Emperor for what he Angel‟s commander, said that he had
sorcery. There were bodies of truly was: The Arch-Wych. personally slain Jonson for the glory of
Thousand Sons among the piles of Chaos, and further, claimed to have
corpses, but not nearly enough to With the Thousand Sons gone, embraced and studied the Dark Gods in
account for their full numbers. Most Prospero‟s shining cities in ruins and all their aspects. With Luther‟s aid, the
tellingly, of Magnus himself there was its mutant population put to the sword, Space Wolves were able to control and
no sign. Stalking through the rubble of Russ tasked his legion with an even direct their aggression. This was
the primarch‟s tower sparked a greater challenge. The whispers of his performed in a symbolic bloodletting
memory of the battle in Russ that new patron in his ears, Russ declared on the planet of Dulan. Even though
changed the legion forever. He that they would tear down the Imperial the world had sided with Chaos, the
remembered fighting the cyclops Palace and put the Emperor to the two legions tore down the Crimson
primarch, trading blows which shook sword. Fortress of its ruler, the tyrant Durath.
buildings to their very foundations. The blood pact, sealed with Durath‟s
Just as he had Magnus at his mercy, a Drowning in Blood evisceration, gave the Space Wolves a
figure in golden armour appeared from The news that Rogal Dorn had also deeper understanding of Khorne. From
nowhere and parried the death-blow seen the light and had crushed three then on, Russ and his brothers had the
with an ornate spear. The memory of legions loyal to the Emperor roused the chance to be masters of the blood-tide
the heart-strike, only narrowly turned Space Wolves to jubilation. It seemed rather than its servants.
aside by Russ‟ thick chest-plate, that at last mankind was awaking to the
brought back an ocean of pain, but it threat, and was rising up as one against Both fleets continued onwards,
was washed away by the joyous sorcery. In a state of high excitement drawing torturously slowly but surely
remembrance of tearing the assassin the legion returned to its fleet and set towards Terra. With the two Chaos
apart a second later. course for Terra to join the revolution. Legions only days from their
This celebratory mood rapidly soured destination, and the war balanced upon
Magnus the Red was long gone, but the though, as the legion immersed a knife-edge, the Emperor was forced
corpse of the golden armoured warrior themselves in the worship of Khorne into a desperate gamble to attack the
remained. He recognised the man for with riotous bouts of bloodletting and leader of the Heresy on his flagship.
what he was, a member of the Adeptus head-taking. Worse still, what was Though Dorn was killed and the heart
always going to be a long journey torn out of the Chaos Legions on Terra,
seemed to be cursed. The tides of the it left the Emperor a broken, mortally
“Fear not of how Imperial warp had turned against them, slowing wounded husk.
history will judge our their progress to a crawl and sweeping
actions. If we stand aside them far off course. Even with the Chaos Legions in full
this day, the Imperium itself retreat and the vengeful loyalists eager
will soon be history.” The fleet‟s Navigators were blamed, to avenge their fallen lord, Russ still
either through incompetence or by continued onwards. It was only the
- Leman Russ intent, yet even the most bloodcurdling sage counsel of Luther that turned him
on the eve of the of torments failed to right their course. from the path of certain destruction. He
Burning of Prospero Russ‟ realisation that their new-found said that they must have faith that
gifts allowed them to traverse the warp everything had transpired according to
as well as any Navigator put an end to Khorne‟s great plan. With the

59
Imperium in such a state of upheaval though attracted by the worship of the driven by the will of the Blood God to
there was an entire galaxy of skulls Blood God, had swept out to oppose the invaders. The war of
ripe for the harvesting. The idea that encompass Fenris. Still the attrition stretched from weeks to
Khorne himself had prevented them consummate raider, Russ used the brief months, but finally, under a burning
from reaching Terra in time did not go periods in which the warp was calm to sun that filled the sky with ominous
down well with the Space Wolves, bring the judgement of Khorne down portent, the Imperial forces broached
with Wolf Lords openly voicing their upon the already weakened Imperium, the walls of the Fang itself. Though
disgust. At last, however, Russ turned always returning to Fenris just before there were other legions and indeed
them aside, and they set course for the storms descended once more. primarchs fighting across Fenris, only
Fenris, leaving a swathe of butchered the Thousand Sons led by Magnus, the
worlds in their wake. Eventually, three years shy of the Word Bearers commanded by Lorgar
second century anniversary of the and the Black Templars under High
The Scourging of Fenris Emperor's entombment inside His Lord Abaddon set foot inside the Space
As the Imperium regained its strength, Golden Throne, the warp-storms Wolves mighty fortress-monastery.
it took to reclaiming the worlds which enshrouding Fenris briefly cleared and
had sided with Chaos during the a crusade was launched to assault the In the centuries since the Wolf-King
Dornian Heresy. The ancestral world with overwhelming strength. and the cyclops had fought to a
homeworlds of the so-called Traitor The loyalists had hoped that their standstill on Prospero, Russ had
Legions were particular prizes for relative isolation would have caused become both a daemon-primarch and
them, but were something that could the skull-takers to turn upon one an avatar of Khorne. In such a clash no
only be attempted by massed crusades another, depleting their numbers, but mere mortal could hope to survive, and
of the loyalist Astartes. Excepting this was not to be. the Fang‟s massive halls were choked
Macragge, which has not fallen to this with the dead of both sides. Then, after
day, Fenris was the last Astartes During the Scourging of Fenris, every three days, the loyalist simply
homeworld to fall. For long periods it isolated island became a battleground. withdrew and returned to their ships.
was isolated by swirling warp storms The animals and even the landscape The only sign the Space Wolves found
from the Eye of Terror which, as itself seemed to rise up as though of their primarch was his frostblade,

60
Mjalnar, and his massive, empty suit
of daemon-armour scattered outside
the entrance to his personal temple to The Wolf Brothers
Khorne.
Burning with the arrogance and certainty of youth, and no longer burdened by
their fealty to Leman Russ, large numbers of Blood Claws rejected the teachings
Though consumed by the of their elders and struck out to show the galaxy the meaning of unbridled
disappearance of their primarch, there aggression. Wilfully ignoring the structure of Luther‟s teachings, which they
was no time for the Space Wolves to saw as an anathema to the purity of Khorne, each competed to be the most
ascertain Russ‟ location, or even if he brutal and bloodthirsty in honour of their god. Though these so-called „Wolf
was still alive. The loyalists had fled Brothers‟ drowned the stars themselves in blood, such intensity could never be
because the world itself was dying, its sustained. They were rapidly consumed in the crucible of war, dead either at the
ever-eccentric orbit in terminal decay. hands of the enemy, or just as likely, murdered by each other. Such a fate is
The Space Wolves blamed the little deterrent, though, and periodically bands of rebellious Blood Claws leave
the confines of their great companies to follow in the footsteps of the original
Thousand Sons, claiming that only the
Wolf Brothers.
foulest of sorceries could have
performed such a deed. Bereft of their
primarch, and with their world tearing
name of Khorne. Those skilled or killed during raids. In either case such
itself apart, the legion did the same.
lucky to survive long enough to weaklings do not last long before
Some remained on Fenris and slaked
assimilate Luther‟s insights take a running foul of one of their master‟s
their bloodlust by killing whoever they
more measured, and even more rages, or becoming food for the
could find before the end. Most took to
effective approach to battle. These Fenrisian wolves on the long journeys
their ships and were scattered across Grey Hunters use stealth and cunning between battles.
the galaxy by the tides of the warp,
to quietly lope into position, the better
content simply to wreak their Combat Doctrine
to deliver swift death to their
vengeance upon the Imperium.
unsuspecting enemies. The finest On the field of battle, the Blood Claws
exponents of Khorne‟s art rise to the throw themselves madly towards the
Organisation position of Wolf Guard. They are enemy. In their desire to fight, these
After the disappearance of Leman charged with the most important tasks, young marines, often transformed into
Russ, the Space Wolves‟ fiercely such as enforcing their master‟s will bestial Wulfen, lose all thought of
headstrong and independent nature upon a difficult pack, or clearing a path tactics or stealth. The more mature
meant that no single Wolf Lord could for the Wolf Lord to challenge the Astartes use their years of experience
claim the unanimous support of their enemy‟s leaders. to work their way into position, ready
peers. As a result the legion fractured to attack the enemy in its vulnerable
into great companies, with charismatic The legion has no love or need for the flanks. The psychological effect of this
Wolf Lords such as Kyrl Grimblood, written word, instead storing all of its cannot be over-estimated. Even the
Hengst Bloodmane and Bjorn the Fell knowledge and history in the form of most disciplined gun-line has faltered
Handed leading their brothers out on sagas recited aloud. While every and broken on the realisation that they
disparate, uncoordinated rampages. In brother strives to tell the epic tale of face not only an onrushing tide of
time even these allegiances began to their deeds on the battlefield, the claws and teeth, but that the enemy is
fracture. The first to depart were legion‟s specialists use it as an aid to already behind them and slaughtering
groups of younger Astartes who broke complete their own tasks. The Iron its way towards them.
away from what they saw as the staid Priests consign everything to memory
and complacent rule of their in this way, from the operation of While the legion does not intentionally
commanders. As death or spawn-hood starships to the repair of weapons and summon daemons, such acts being
claimed the original Wolf Lords, feuds armour, while the Choosers of the much too akin to sorcery for their
erupted amongst those who sought to Slain use the sagas to recall the liking, the entities are drawn to the
succeed them. Such confrontations procedure for the creation of new sites of their butchery anyway. Lesser
generally end with the victor claiming Space Wolves. daemons have been observed to burst
the skulls of his challengers, but on from corpses or exude themselves from
occasion it has led to the acrimonious The Space Wolves' ships are crewed by pools of freshly spilled blood to aid in
breakdown of once-mighty great humans referred to as bondsmen. They the slaughter. After the fight has been
companies. attend to the marine's needs and even won, and befitting their nomadic
follow them onto the battlefield. Some nature, the legion and its assorted
Newly inducted marines start out are cultists of Khorne who have hangers-on descend to pick the
grouped together into large packs consciously sought out the legion in a battlefield clean. Guided by scent the
known as Blood Claws. With the vain attempt to prove their worthiness battle brothers return to the sites of
vitality of youth, they rush headlong as Astartes. Most bondsmen are simply their kills to take trophies from worthy
towards the enemy to spill blood in the souls taken captive rather than swiftly enemies. In the case of other Astartes

61
bodies. They then had to show enough
composure to return to the Fang so that
„I was barely initiated and full of the spirit of the Wulfen when the primarch the process could be completed and
himself summoned my pack of Blood Claws. He led us deep into the forests of their training begin in earnest.
Asaheim, and put our skills to the test tracking a pack of Fenrisian wolves.

„From the cover of a rock outcropping we watched as the pack brought a herd of After the Heresy, the application of the
snow-elk to bay. The young wolves howled and snarled, then charged straight Helix Lupus became even more brutal.
towards the solid wall of bulls that faced them. I gasped at such brave stupidity, On the battlefield, the legion slaughters
muttering that they would be torn apart upon the elk‟s razor sharp antlers, but indiscriminately, dedicating their kills
Russ just laughed softly and pointed to a patch of scrub. From it burst the older to Khorne, their God of Blood and
and wiser members of the pack. They had taken advantage of the noisy Skulls. Stalking through the carnage
distraction to infiltrate the herd‟s weakly guarded flanks. In the panic the like cadaverous wraiths are the
defensive line was scattered and the young wolves had no trouble bringing the Choosers of the Slain. Part apothecary,
mighty bull elks down one by one without a single casualty.
part acolyte of Khorne, they minister to
„As the pack began to feast, Russ turned to me and said “That is how a true wolf their fallen brethren, deciding if they
fights, Bjorn. That is how we fight...”‟ are worthy to live on, or to yield up
their gene-seed and skulls to their
- Wolf Guard Bjorn the Fell Handed god‟s throne. The Choosers also select
those enemies that have fought with
sufficient valour and ferocity, and
this can include weapons and pieces of had been stolen away and scattered proved worthy of joining Khorne‟s
armour to replace the damage that across the galaxy, the Emperor ordered legion. They are touched by the will of
inevitably occurs. They rarely repaint that the legions‟ implants be created the Blood God himself, with skills that
it, preferring that it remain as a based upon what remained of their far exceed the wit of even the most
reminder of their battles, and as a gene-templates. In the case of the skilled chiurgeon. Under their
taunting sign to their enemies of their Space Wolves, the process was flawed, ministrations, and with the application
previous defeats. resulting in extensive and crippling of the Helix Lupus, even a mortal
levels of rejection and mutation. A wound may be averted.
In their wake come the Choosers of the number of alternate therapies based
Slain. They stalk the battlefield upon their primarch‟s gene-sequence Once marked by Khorne in this way,
selecting skulls adjudged to be were investigated, but the one finally the beast within is released, and the
particularly prized by Khorne. They selected was known as the Helix long, agonising process of
also claim the gene-seed of fallen Lupus. At first the process was almost transforming their bodies and minds
Space Wolves and select those enemies rejected as it transformed the aspirants into those of sons of Russ can proceed.
who fought well enough to be saved into incoherent savages, devoid of all While traditional gene-seed
from the brink of death and forcibly reason. However, when the changes implantation processes require that the
initiated into the legion. Under the had subsided, it was recognised as the aspirant be no older than early puberty,
direction of the Iron Priests, the missing piece of the puzzle, it appears that the ministrations of the
legion‟s bondsmen are sent out to reconfiguring the aspirant‟s body into a corrupted Helix Lupus can allow this
scour the area for anything of use. As form far more amenable to the quirks process even in full grown adult
the Space Wolves have little of the Russ gene-line. candidates. It has even been suggested
manufacturing capacity, and even less that it can even be used to forcibly
interest in settling down to use it, This was initially conducted under corrupt Astartes of other legions to
almost everything they have has to be controlled conditions, with subjects serve Khorne. Though none of the
scavenged, ranging from bolt-rounds to restrained throughout the process and loyal Astartes legions have ever
entire Land Raiders. Only when the intravenously fed with the nutrients admitted this has occurred with any of
Fenrisian wolves have returned from required to fuel their transformation. their brothers, it would certainly bring
chasing down and glutting themselves On taking command of the legion, a new danger to the prospect of
upon enemies that fled in cowardice Russ changed these procedures fighting against the Space Wolves; that
from the battlefield does the legion dramatically. A sterile laboratory was in doing so they risk a fate worse than
start its journey to the next battle. no place for the birth of a Wolf of death.
Fenris, and so immediately after the
Gene-seed & Recruitment Helix Lupus was administered, In addition to the bestial nature of the
Back to the earliest days of the legion, aspirants were dropped into the Helix Lupus, the Russ gene-line has
the Space Wolves‟ method of gene- mountainous wastes of Asaheim. In the always exhibited certain quirks, such
seed implantation has been brutally midst of the change, these bestial as their uncannily sharp senses and
idiosyncratic. Since their conversion creatures were expected to follow their how their incisors grow long and tusk-
to Khorne, this has become all-the urges; to hunt down and consume the like with age. Over the millennia, the
more acute. After the infant primarchs flesh needed to reconfigure their warping power of Chaos has bestowed

62
further beneficial changes which boost
their already considerable strength and
brutality. Under the watchful eyes of The Collars of Khorne
the Choosers of the Slain this process
has been guided to bring them ever- Worn by the warriors of Fenris as a ward against magic, iron neck torcs became
common even amongst the Terran-born members of the Space Wolves. After the
closer to their ideal of the perfect
legion came to the worship of the Blood God, they took to calling them „Collars
killer. of Khorne‟ and carved elaborate skull symbols into the metal. Far beyond simple
superstition, these devices have a potent protective effect against psykers and
Homeworld magic, Khorne being the bane of such things. As the custom is to anoint the
Fenris, the place of the legion‟s birth, collar in the blood of a defeated opponent, the chest armour of a Space Wolf is
was a death-world even before it was constantly splattered crimson. So ingrained is this that collars taken from dead
Space Wolves have been observed to exude blood for months or even years.
claimed by Khorne. Its islands
periodically sank beneath the waves, The most infamous collar was crafted for Bjorn the Fell-Handed, the iron for
forcing the population to brave the which supposedly came from the blood of thousands he had personally slain. It is
kraken-haunted seas in search of new said that Khorne took exception to Bjorn‟s hubris at withholding that which was
homes. The fertile volcanic soils rightly his, and damned the Wolf Lord for his actions. At the climax of the
allowed them to grow crops in season Proxima Rebellion, the moment of his greatest triumph, Bjorn was struck down
to see them and their animals through and consigned to eternity inside a dreadnought. Any son of Russ who dares to
the long, cold winters, as well as grain wear this collar is imbued with Bjorn‟s legendary fury and skill, although not, it
for the brewing of ales. seems, with a long life.

The planet‟s sole continent, Asaheim,


was the only place insulated from this gods of Chaos. Like many other echoes of Skyrar‟s Rift still pulse
tectonic upheaval. Permanently raised legions they have claimed a world through the Fenris system as a sign of
up above the battering seas, its coast there, though not as a home, but a their defiance.
was a single precipitous cliff-face, shrine. It is to this dead world, far
which meant that the first time beyond the prying sensors of the Beliefs
humanity was able to set foot there was Imperium‟s null-ships, that the legion Since their enlightenment at Prospero
with the arrival of the Imperium. The comes to make their offerings to the Space Wolves have dedicated
animals that stalked the forests and Khorne. The mountains of votive themselves to the worship of Khorne,
mountain peaks of Asaheim were no skulls stretch up into the daemon- slaying entire systems in his name.
less dangerous than those found in the haunted clouds, a pile they say that Without the structures of faith gifted to
oceans: bears, mammoths and most supports and raises Khorne‟s throne them by Luther, their wild, self-
dangerous and iconic, the Fenrisian higher with every death. In a realm destructive excesses would long-since
wolves. Packs of these had even been where the warp and the material plane have driven the legion to extinction.
found on the islands, hunting the intersect, who is to say that they are As a mark of respect, the Dark Angels
livestock and inhabitants, and well able wrong? are one of the few of the Chaos
to brave the seas in search of fresh Legions the Space Wolves are willing
prey. Unable to accept that their ancestral to fight alongside. They usually prefer
home is truly gone, some Space to fight alone, confident that even
Though Fenris died when its erratic Wolves are drawn to return to the while heavily outnumbered, they are
orbit plunged it deep into the heart of Fenris system. This knowledge has more than a match for any opponent.
their sun, a more subtle death occurred been used by the Imperium, and in
when Russ returned after the Heresy. particular the Thousand Sons, to bring While the fate of Leman Russ is
Those that would not dedicate them to battle. The presence of the unknown, every Space Wolf has a
themselves to Khorne were culled and legion‟s blood-enemies desecrating the theory. Some say that, like Roboute
the turbulent seas ran red with the site of their homeworld is an insult that Guilliman, he was captured by the
blood of the „unenlightened‟. The twin no true son of Russ could ignore. Many Imperial primarchs and returned to
losses of both primarch and homeworld a Space Wolf warband has gone Terra in chains. Others say that he was
shattered the legion into warbands willingly into the teeth of such a trap, banished to the warp, or that his very
which set off on the sea of stars in the most glorious being the fate of essence was annihilated by Magnus‟
search of new planets on which to ply Wolf Lord Skyrar and his Dark psychic power. They all agree,
their murderous trade. Wolves. They destroyed three however, that even death itself will not
escorting frigates, and even with their be able to prevent Russ from returning
On occasion these warbands tire of the ship debilitated by wild magicks, were to reunite the legion for the final great
Imperium and gravitate to the Eye of able to ram the Thousand Sons‟ battle battle – the Wolftime. Some believe
Terror to test their blades and take the barge and catastrophically breach its that with the forces of Chaos gathering
skulls from worshippers of the other warp core. Long after it had closed, the and finally organising themselves for

63
an almighty attack upon the Imperium, Battlecry
that the End of Days is at hand, and Usually the only thing the Space
that Russ‟ return is imminent. Having Wolves‟ opponents hear before the
been denied setting foot upon Terra attack is the berserk, ravening howl of
during the Dornian Heresy, they the Blood Claw packs, but on
believe that no power in the universe occasions where the whole force fights
could prevent him from taking his part out in the open, “For Russ, for skulls,
in the final destruction of the Arch- for the Wolftime!” is frequently used as
Wych. a battlecry by the Wolf Lord.

64
Magnus was the first of the primarchs to recognise the existence and
the threat the Ruinous Powers posed to Mankind, and because of this
the Thousand Sons became the first legion to be targeted for
destruction by the forces of Chaos. Though it cost them dear, those
that survived the Space Wolves’ slaughter were pivotal in bringing the
The Dornian Heresy to an end. As the most powerful battle-psykers in the
Imperium they are feared and mistrusted, even by the people they
Dornian selflessly defend against the encroaching darkness.

Heresy Origins
During the great diaspora, when
He was most often to be found poring
over the ancient tomes in the city‟s
humanity colonised the galaxy, the extensive libraries and animatedly
world of Prospero was chosen by the debating with wizened scholars many
mutants and psykers that settled it times his own age. Knowledge was his
precisely because of its remoteness and passion, and with the fiery certainty of
lack of mineral resources. In their youth he believed that no subject was
splendid isolation, these outcasts from beyond his mastery. It was the study of
the rest of humanity created Tizca, a the hermetic arts of alchemy and
shining city of light, learning and sorcery that changed his life forever.
culture amidst the barren wasteland. Doing so awakened him to the true
Although they had been cut off for power of the Warp, an act which
thousands of years, tales still abounded levelled the building in which he had
of the howling mobs that had been studying. As his psychic powers
persecuted their forefathers, and they blossomed, he became aware of both
lived in quiet dread that their haven the Gods of Chaos, and his father, the
would be invaded. Unsurprisingly, Emperor of all Mankind.
when the infant Magnus‟ incubation
Index chamber fell to earth amongst the
shining silver towers in Tizca‟s central
Though separated by half a galaxy, the
Emperor and Magnus recognised each
other for what they were. With his
Astartes: plaza, the population was gripped with
terror. Finally overcoming their
insatiable thirst for knowledge,
Magnus eagerly learned about every
trepidation, they found it to be not an aspect of the young Imperium, of the
orbital bombardment or the vanguard Great Crusade, and the search for his
Thousand of an invasion force, but a battered,
scorched and damaged wreck
brother primarchs. Through his
expanded acuity, and the tutelage of his
containing a badly injured child.
Sons father, Magnus became the first of the
primarchs to learn of the terrible threat
Though he was near the point of death posed by the Ruinous Powers. Even as
when they first found him, the boy the Emperor taught him these things,
displayed a tenacious will and He swore Magnus to secrecy,
remarkable constitution. Under the explaining that the threat was so grave
ministrations of the commune‟s healers that even knowledge of their existence
he quickly returned to robust health, would be enough to seduce some to
but nothing could be done to save the their worship. Magnus had seen to his
boy‟s right eye. An ugly welt of scar cost the palpable link between sorcery
tissue covered the socket, but in a and Chaos, but argued that the Ruinous

by society where mutation and deformity


were rife, this was little cause for
Powers could easily use such ignorance
to corrupt the unwary. Despite this, he
comment. He was named Magnus, or, was unable to persuade his father. The
Aurelius more usually and affectionately, Emperor spoke of a grand plan that
Magnus the Red after his ruddy would one day see humanity strong
Rex complexion and the colour of the
unruly mane of hair that he doggedly
enough to resist Chaos‟s wiles, but
until then, He solemnly forbade
refused to cut. Magnus quickly grew to Magnus from telling anyone outside
vibrant maturity and threw himself his own legion, even his own brother
wholeheartedly into learning. primarchs, of what he had learned.

65
Their travels across the galaxy brought
them into contact with many of
The thing shredded old Master Colpek without breaking its stride, and Magnus‟ brother primarchs. Some, in
advanced on Magnus. They had summoned a creature of nightmare... His particular Horus of the Luna Wolves
nightmares! He recognised the same rasping growl and the way its talons
and Lorgar of the Word Bearers,
moved like liquid flame; it was the thing from his earliest memories. It had torn
its way into the vessel that had brought him to Prospero and taken his eye. Now became firm friends. Others, such as
it was back for more. the Mortarion of the Death Guard and
Leman Russ, the feral primarch of the
Something had happened to him. At first Magnus thought that his skull was Space Wolves, took an instant dislike
splitting, but now the pain had gone, and his mind had opened up to something to Magnus and everything he stood for.
far beyond the material plane. His awareness snapped back into the hermetic The uncouth Russ called him mutant,
tower to find himself alone with the entity... the daemon. Before he could react, sorcerer, unclean and even a cyclops
the thing had him pinned to the floor with a talon pinking the flesh around his after the one-eyed giant of Terran
one good eye. It whispered to him, gloatingly, that it had come here to stop him
legend. At every meeting, be it cordial
from becoming a powerful tool of his master‟s rival. The names it spoke of,
„Khorne‟ and „Tzeentch‟, resonated through his soul like shards of ice.
or adversarial, Magnus respected the
Emperor‟s demand to keep silent about
Despite his desperate struggles the creature whispered that it would first take the nature of Chaos, despite the
his eye to complete the set, and then pluck out Magnus‟ heart to appease its crushing certainty that ignorance left
master. Then, just as the talon broke the skin beneath his eye, a total calmness his brothers vulnerable to the
descended. It all became so clear to him. With a smile, Magnus reached out predations of the Ruinous Powers.
with his mind and snuffed out the daemon‟s very essence. The ensuing
explosion was heard all across Tizca. Untouched by the conflagration, Magnus Magnus bore his brothers‟ harsh words
considered the daemon‟s words. He would not be a puppet of this Tzeentch, and with good grace, in the certainty that
no one would take his eye. once on the field of battle all enmity
would be placed aside. This was tested
most sorely on the fortress-world of
By the time the Emperor and the nominal level by the cream of Bartok, where a campaign by the Space
Fifteenth Legion of Astartes had Prospero‟s talents. As they set out to Wolves to bring the planet into
reached Prospero, father and son knew do the Emperor's great work, what they Imperial compliance had degenerated
each other as though they had never lacked in conventional numbers was into a bloody stalemate. In order to
been parted. Despite all of Magnus‟ more than made up for with highly bring the campaign to a rapid
assurances, the arrival of the Master of trained battle-psykers able to kill an conclusion, the Emperor Himself had
Mankind and His fleet of warships was enemy with but a thought. ordered the Thousand Sons to reinforce
greeted with suspicion by the people of the assault. The headstrong Leman
Prospero, but the Emperor‟s legendary The Great Crusade Russ detested the idea of being seen to
charisma quickly won them over. To As Magnus and his new legion need the help of another legion,
further assuage their fears, Magnus had ventured across the stars, it gave them especially one he had so publically
his legion build their fortress- an opportunity to gain that which they denounced, but he grudgingly
monastery at the heart of Tizca in the craved the most: knowledge. Each submitted to his father‟s decree.
hope that they would no longer have to world brought into compliance with the
apprehensively watch the skies. Emperor‟s will revealed to them the Even with the might of two legions, it
learning and insights of a new culture. soon became clear why Russ had
The legion itself had particular reason As well as the countless human struggled. The final and greatest city
to celebrate finding their primarch. societies, the myriad xenos breeds was protected by directed energy fields
Although they had not recruited on the were also a constant source of wonder. and ringed with trenches, strongpoints
basis of psychic talent, the gene-seed From the subtle Eldar to the brutal and bunker networks resulting in
they had been patterned upon had Orks, each new sample was brutally effective interlocking fields of
boosted their innate abilities and characterised, dissected and fire. The approaches had been turned
triggered latent ones. As a side-effect it catalogued. This expansion also into a killing ground worthy of those
also caused a very high incidence of brought with it fresh dangers. Even designed by Perturabo or Dorn. As
both genetic and implant mutation forewarned against the Ruinous Russ prepared to throw his forces into
among the brethren, to the extent that Powers, the Thousand Sons still yet another headlong charge against the
the legion was smaller than most of the suffered losses. Every battle brother enemy guns, Magnus and his legion
others. As the home of the mutant and that fell hardened their hearts against exposed the weak link in the Bartok
the psyker, Prospero was the perfect the evil of Chaos, and turned Magnus‟ defence. All across the battlezone, the
place for such a legion. By the time thoughts to the casualties sustained by Thousand Sons reached into weak,
Magnus was ready to join the Great the other legions who had no concept unguarded minds and urged them to
Crusade, his original „Thousand Sons‟ or defence against the threat they turn their guns on their friends. Even as
had expanded moderately beyond their faced. Russ‟ Wolves advanced, heavy weapon

66
emplacements tracked away Magnus standing proudly
from them to fire upon each alongside his father, his one
other. The doomed forlorn eye socket an empty wound.
hope was transformed into a The process of soul-binding,
famous victory, and once of merging essences with
inside the lines of defence, the psychic might of the
the city quickly fell. Emperor, had burned out his
optic nerve and left the
Perversely, the Space „cyclops‟ blind, but Magnus
Wolves did not appreciate was filled with a second
this intervention, again sight that left him far from
throwing accusations of vulnerable. Though it
sorcery and evil intent. pacified most, the
Though Magnus well knew judgement did nothing to
the difference between assuage Leman Russ, who
warp-tainted magicks and stormed from the chamber,
the pure psychic talents his and into the service of the
legion deployed, Russ could Blood God.
not be reasoned with. Only a
rapid departure from the Before the legions left
warzone averted fratricidal Nikaea, Magnus met with
bloodshed. Magnus hoped his brother primarch, Lorgar
that never again putting his of the Word Bearers. He
legion in a position to fight was a pure soul, genuinely
alongside the Space Wolves happy for the great honour
would allow his brother‟s that he saw his friend had
anger to cool, but by then been given. Magnus had
the damage had already Brother-Sergeant of the Thousand Sons with psychic hood long held his tongue about
been done. and force staff (Post-Heresy) the Ruinous Powers, but it
had cost him his eye, and he
The Coming Storm starting with himself, every member of feared that before long it
Just before the Emperor was set to the Thousand Sons be soul-bound to would cost them all far more. For the
return to Terra, leaving Horus in the Emperor. Just as soul-binding first time, Magnus broke the vow to his
supreme command of the Great fortified Astropaths against the horrors father and warned Lorgar of the threat
Crusade, He called His primarchs of the Warp, the rite would purge and posed by Chaos. The dire news was
together to the planet of Nikaea. There protect the legion from the temptations received gladly, as it reinforced all that
He sought to address the increasingly of sorcery, and be a palpable sign of the Word Bearers believed. Their piety
acrimonious disputes that had broken their loyalty. The Emperor agreed to and dedication to spread the worship of
out over the nature of psychic ability. this elegant solution, and the act was the Emperor as a deity stood vindicated
Mortarion, Dorn, Corax and of course performed that very night. as vital to the continuation of the
Leman Russ led the charge, saying that human race.
there was no boundary between When the primarchs and their
psychic abilities and the use of attendants filed into the council The Thousand Sons returned from
destructive sorceries. It was all a matter chamber the next morning they saw Terra irrevocably changed. Though the
of degrees, with one inevitably leading
to the other. The Emperor‟s decision to
withhold knowledge about the nature In the heart of the Warp, a prized soul that had long been destined to fall to
of Chaos had not stopped the Tzeentch flared like a nova. It incinerated the numberless daemonic entities
primarchs from sensing its dangers, which had been shepherding it along the path, and floated free once more.
Tzeentch, the Weaver of Fates, roared in disbelief as the course of the future
and as Magnus had feared, some lashed
lurch down a new and unexpected path.
out against psykers, the eternal
scapegoats. Magnus and his legion would have been pivotal in the corruption of the
Imperium, but as the God of Change, part of him revelled in this unexpected
Hamstrung by the Emperor‟s decree, turn of events. Searching the myriad branching threads of the future, Tzeentch
Magnus realised that no words of his traced one that caught his vulture eye. It contained a potent brew of loss, pain,
could pacify the growing mob. He degradation and rebirth, and started inside the dreaming mind of the Raven
desperately begged a private audience Guard‟s primarch...
with his father, and in a move both
practical and symbolic, proposed that,

67
soul-binding had taken their sight, they Archenemy had made a move against use lethal force against other Astartes.
were given a psychic awareness of Horus. While visiting the Warmaster, a
their environment that was far superior. Word Bearers chaplain named Erebus Before the Thousand Sons had always
It had also given them a measure of had recognised the malaise that Horus held back their true power for fear of
inner strength – a touch of the had contracted on Davin was in fact alienating their allies, but in the face of
Emperor‟s reflected aura, as it were - nothing less than possession by a extinction they threw caution to the
that they had not even known they had powerful daemonic entity. Only wind. They lured their enemies into
been missing. The most obvious through an epic act of heroism that ambushes on the outskirts of Tizca,
outward sign of their change was required both spiritual salvation from first disorienting them with psychic
shown in their helms, which they had Erebus, and the combined psychic powers, and then cutting them down in
re-forged on the journey back to might of the entire Thousand Sons lethal crossfires. Just as the battle
Prospero into un-nerving, eyeless Legion, could the warp-creature be cast seemed to be tipping in the Thousand
masks. They still retained the ability to out and Horus‟ life saved. In a terrible Sons‟ favour, the power of Khorne tore
obtain detailed information on their irony, before they could even recover through the Empyrean like a tidal
surroundings from their suit‟s from the exertions of saving one wave, affecting every psyker on the
autosenses, something that became of primarch from Chaos, another planet. The Thousand Sons, protected
particular importance in the presence descended upon Prospero intent on as they were by the soul-binding, were
of psychic blanks such as the Sisters of planetary annihilation. left powerless and dazed. The civilian
Silence. population was affected far more
gravely. Those who survived boiled
As well as eliminating the need for the The Dornian Heresy madly from their shelters, only to be
vision-enhancing effects of the Without warning, drop pods and torn apart by the bestial, inhuman
occulobe implant, the soul-binding also assault craft lit up the sky like comets, creatures the Space Wolves had
had the welcome effect of reducing the and the worst fears of the people of become.
rate and severity of mutation within Prospero were realised. Distracted by
their bodies and gene-seed. They also the events of Davin, and, it is With his world turned to ash and its
brought back with them a member of suspected, with their precognitive skills people murdered, Magnus strove to
the Adeptus Custodes. Though blunted by Khorne‟s power, the Space access his psychic powers, but to no
ostensibly sent as the Emperor‟s Wolf fleet devastated the planet‟s avail. Under such physical and mental
personal envoy to monitor the progress orbital defences. Before any kind of assault, it was all the Thousand Sons
of the soul-binding, Magnus suspected effective resistance could be mustered, could do to stay alive. When Leman
that his father had learned of the the newly built cities were turned into Russ inevitably came for Magnus he
confession to Lorgar, and the guard funeral pyres, killing all those who had was unrecognisable: a blood-drunk
was a reminder that he was being come from across the Imperium beast steeped in the power of Khorne.
watched closely. seeking protection. Though shielded Only through the Custodian‟s heroic
from orbital bombardment behind self-sacrifice was Magnus able to
Just as the newly transformed legion powerful energy fields, grey figures escape with his life. With the
prepared to return to the Great were seen massing just outside Tizca disruption to the aetheric plane finally
Crusade, Magnus received intelligence for a grand offensive. Unthinkable as it beginning to wane, Magnus was able to
of the utmost importance: The was, Magnus sanctioned his legion to obscure his remaining brothers from
view, and leave the necropolis that
Tizca had become.
Constantin Valdor had always felt this assignment a fool‟s errand and a
complete waste of his talents. He was of the Adeptus Custodes - one of the
Emperor‟s elite guardians. How could he protect his Emperor from half way Hearing of Dorn‟s betrayal at Istvaan,
across the galaxy? it became clear that the attack on
Prospero was just the opening salvo in
But as he followed the thunderous noise of combat into the Thousand Son a much larger war. Even with their
Primarch‟s private chambers, his master‟s purpose for sending him here numbers so depleted, the Thousand
became clear. Magnus, who only a short while before he had been ready to Sons were determined to do what they
denounce as a practitioner of sorcery, was sprawled on the shattered marble could to save the Emperor. Following
floor, and above him, howling in triumph, stood Leman Russ. Whatever faults Russ‟ much larger fleet at a discreet
the Thousand Sons may lay claim to were as nothing compared to the evil that
distance, they used their mastery of the
emanated from the Space Wolves‟ Primarch. As the inhuman creature before
him raised his weapon high to administer the death-blow, Valdor knew how he warp to delay the enemy and send them
must serve his Emperor. far off track. It was hoped that in this
way they could buy time for the loyal
Knowing that even he could not hope to stand against such an opponent, Valdor legions to end the rebellion before they
energised his Guardian spear, and leapt at Leman Russ. arrived. Their gambit to divert the
Space Wolves into contact with their
bitter rivals, the Dark Angels, sadly did

68
not erupt in the hoped for bloodshed. Terra, saying only that the solution was In Magnus‟ absence, Regent Ahriman
They greeted each other as allies in “to gather together the Emperor‟s went to great lengths to see the
Chaos, although it did at least mean sons”. What was meant by this, he has Thousand Sons rebuilt. His callous and
that from then on they were keeping never explained, not even to his own high-handed attitude towards the lives
two Traitor Legions from the legion or to the High Lords of Terra. of allies, especially those of the
Emperor‟s throat. By this point most of the primarchs Imperial Army, meant that even as
were either dead or turned to Chaos, their numbers rose, the regard in which
Their contribution did not come and as the millennia pass, fewer and they were held fell. This reputedly
without a price, however. The fewer remain alive. earned a furious rebuke from Magnus
continuous strain began to take its toll, on his return, after which Ahriman was
and towards the end every day that The Thousand Sons have never grown careful to show more respect for non-
went past left another brother as a used to the unsettling nature of their psychics, or at least to moderate his
powder-dry corpse inside his power primarch‟s frequent disappearances public comments.
armour. With the Space Wolves and and unheralded returns. At first his
Dark Angels just days from Terra, the quests were measured in months or At the end of his life, Regent Ahriman
Emperor was forced to break the years, and he found the time to lead was finally able to redeem himself.
stalemate and confront Dorn directly. them on the quest to purge the Space When the hexagrammatic wards used
Magnus felt the psychic battle going on Wolves from their homeworld of to seal the webway portal in the old
aboard the Phalanx, but was powerless Fenris. As time went on, Magnus Imperial palace began to decay and
to intervene. Though the Dornian vanished for decades at a time, his threatened to tear wide open once
Heresy was ended that day, it left the whereabouts obscured from even the more, Ahriman was at the forefront of
Emperor wounded to the core, and most determined of seers. researching a way to permanently close
Magnus felt every one of those agonies
across the light-years.
Magnus had shadowed the small band of outlaws through the badlands for more
The Bloody Aftermath than a fortnight, but having searched for years to find his man, he was content to
As the Traitor Legions scattered to the wait a little longer. They had finally shaken off the Arbites squads in the
stars, the Thousand Sons arrived to do badlands three days ago – Magnus had been tempted to subtly lend a hand, but
what they could. Along with the Iron if his target had needed help to escape local law enforcement, he wouldn‟t have
Warriors, Magnus interned the been worth the effort of saving. They always seemed to be troublemakers. They
Emperor‟s paralysed body within the would see a wrong and, filled with the righteous certainty of their convictions,
life-sustaining mechanism of the seemed compelled to right it, be it a corrupt official or a den of possessed.
Despite the man‟s filthy clothes and several days‟ growth of stubble, he had the
Astronomicon. Meanwhile, the rest of
same patrician bearing that he remembered from so long ago. The way their
the legion put their talents to use in inner purity shone out from beneath the often grimy exterior, it was no surprise
cleansing the taint of the daemonic that some had called them „Grey Knights‟. It also explained the devotion they
from the planet. Terra had been the site inspired in their followers. It made sense, Magnus supposed. Their father would
of many desecrations and have been the same even before he rose to power.
summonations, and it took decades to
ward all of the portals that had been Up ahead, wild magicks flickered across the sky from their target. Perhaps it
created. The worst site of all was inside was ostentatious, but he preferred to make contact just as they were fighting for
the old Imperial throne-room. When their lives against the forces of the daemonic. Then, with the bond of
comradeship established, Magnus would reveal to the man his true lineage - the
Dorn had found that the Emperor had
reason for his unearthly powers, and why he had never grown old. The man was
escaped him there he had desecrated one of the Emperor‟s immortal sons, from the days when He had walked among
the nascent webway portal that had humanity and sowed his wild oats. They were, in a sense, Magnus‟ brothers.
been under construction. An army of
daemons had flooded out, and even He would also explain that within them they held their father‟s only hope for
after the Heresy it took an almighty salvation. Down the long millennia, Magnus had dedicated his existence to
effort to seal. contacting every one of these very special individuals. When he had found
enough, they could be gathered together to heal the Emperor‟s soul and bring
Magnus threw himself wholeheartedly Him back from the point of death. They were the hope of all humanity. It was a
into finding a way to restore his mission so audacious and secret that his brother primarchs, and even the
father‟s vitality. It became an members of his own legion could not be trusted to know about it.
obsession, with effective command of
What Magnus would not be able to tell these Grey Knights was the extent of the
his legion falling to Captain Ahriman sacrifice that would be involved. Only by releasing their spirits from their
of the First Great Company. One day physical forms and infusing them into the Astronomicon could the Emperor hope
Magnus emerged from the to be saved. Magnus just hoped that his father would be able to forgive such an
Astronomicon in high spirits, and, act.
eschewing all offers of company, left

69
In a legion of battle psykers, the
captains of the grand companies are
amongst the most potent and skilled,
with powers far exceeding those of the
chief librarians of any other Astartes.
Commanding upwards of a hundred
squads, each captain is charged with a
specific task by the regent. This varies
from guarding Holy Terra and
combating incursions of the daemonic,
to prosecuting the Long War against
the Traitor Legions, in particular the
berserkers of the Space Wolves.
Realising that psychic strength is
nothing without the fortitude of faith in
the Emperor, the Thousand Sons were
the first legion to import Lorgar‟s
concept of chaplains. These individuals
play a vital role in guiding the moral
Thousand Sons Battle Brother and spiritual growth of the legion.
Initiates who, as Lorgar put it, display
the rift. His divinations showed that numbers to frequently work alongside a particularly intense „communion with
this could only be done from within, more numerous organisations such as the divine‟ during the soul-binding
something which, as the pre-eminent the Imperial Army. Ever since the ritual are marked out for further
expert, he insisted on doing personally. damaging days of Regent Ahriman, training within the Reclusiam.
Despite all of this, there are still some Magnus has taken great pains to ensure
who claim that it was a ploy; that he that the Thousand Sons are perceived Just as the chaplains guard their
survived the process, and became the by their allies as an invaluable brethren‟s souls, the grand company‟s
first human to walk the webway‟s advantage in any battle. So important is Apothecarion and Armoury protect
paths and search out the secrets of the this that Thousand Sons of any rank their bodies and wargear. Despite this,
Eldar‟s Black Library. Though such may be reprimanded and even demoted it has been said that comparatively
guile was certainly part of Ahriman‟s for giving their allies the impression little care is given to these roles, with
character, if this was the case he has they are being treated as disposable positions such as the crewing of
never returned to the Imperium to cannon fodder. vehicles being seen as dumping
speak of what he found there.

Organisation Skyrar‟s Rift


Though still nominally commanded by
their primarch, Magnus‟ lengthy Fighting down the rising sense of apprehension, Brother-Captain Iaos extended
disappearances mean that in practice his mental probe of the rent in space-time. It was bad enough that more than
the legion is led by the Captain of the three hundred of his brothers had died in the explosion, but that Wolf Lord
Skyrar and his butcher warband could have survived to emerge on the other
First Great Company as the Regent. It
side was unconscionable.
is rare enough to find a candidate
worthy of becoming an Astartes in a Preliminary scans confirmed the initial report that the rift was indeed a form of
normal legion, but when they must also wormhole, and that the local celestial body was the Fenris system‟s sun. Simple
be strong and resilient psykers, the task triangulation with the Astronomicon confirmed this, but something nagged at
becomes even more difficult. For this him. The star was being orbited by a planet eerily familiar: Fenris! It should be
reason they have never been a large long-dead and gone, but here it was! Mastering the rising sense of panic, Iaos
legion, although they have long ago tentatively interfaced with the Astropathic network beyond the threshold, and
exceeded their nominal thousand despite finding the protocols very different, searched for word of Skyrar.
brothers. Their grand companies are
What he learned revolted him. Not the brief mention of Skyrar, but what had
small, and only Fulgrim‟s self-imposed become of his beloved Thousand Sons in this warped reality... He withdrew his
limit of thirty grand companies has mind from beyond the threshold and bitterly collapsed the rift with a spread of
allowed the Thousand Sons to exceed plasma torpedoes.
their numbers.
Skyrar had not escaped justice, it seemed. Being stuck in that terrible place
Though they intentionally cultivate a would be his life sentence.
distant and mysterious persona, the
Thousand Sons are forced by their low

70
grounds for those who have not
fulfilled their early promise as battle-
psykers. However, this is not always
the case, as among their ranks are
brethren able to manifest psychic
talents invaluable to these specialties.
Such prodigies can perfectly attune
themselves to their subjects, able to
reach inside matter to re-knit flesh,
soothe a restless machine spirit or re-
forge a shattered mechanism, and are
vital to the legion‟s continued
existence.

Combat Doctrine
As has always been Magnus‟ intent,
the Thousand Sons use their psychic
talents to the full on the battlefield. As
well as wielding powers that make
them formidable opponents, the
legion‟s commanding officers use their
prodigious talents to guide and
coordinate the movement of their
squads and those of their allies. Never
a numerous legion, they rely heavily
upon the Imperial Army, as well as on
guidance from the Emperor‟s Tarot to
strike at the most auspicious time and
place. Though this sometimes strikes Pre-Nikaea Brother-Sergeant of the Thousand Sons
their allies as intransigence, once
committed they are able to turn the tide opponent‟s sight, allowing them to and under the primarch‟s aegis,
of any battle. approach undetected. The most skilled psykers flocked to Prospero from
of veterans can even use their powers across the Segmentum. New cities
Individual squads are led by sergeants to read what an opponent will do even mirroring the beauty of the capital
who are powerful battle-psykers in as they think it, an advantage they use were constructed, and this influx of
their own right. It is their responsibility to the full in the brutal mêlée of the hardy, resourceful immigrants
to coordinate and focus the less mature battlefield. By the time a brother has improved still further the quality of
abilities of those in their charge. earned the right to wear Terminator recruits available to the legion. This
Despite the intensive training they armour his skills are all-but mature. At idyll was short-lived, though, with
receive to do this, it is an exceptional this stage they are able to channel their even the oracles of Tizca unable to
talent who can effectively direct more psychic might through the crystalline foresee the global destruction the
than five or six of his brethren. In this matrix of a force weapon, and the long, corrupted Space Wolves wrought upon
way, each squad is able to employ arduous training to lead a squad of the world. Despite the best efforts of
psychic powers to complement their their own can begin. the Thousand Sons the cities were
battlefield role. Such is their unity that blasted to rubble, its libraries burned to
each feels the other‟s pain. A wound Homeworld & Recruitment ash and the population brutally
suffered by one, let alone a death, is The Thousand Sons‟ homeworld of exterminated.
felt across the mental link by all, and Prospero was originally colonised by
the loss of the sergeant can leave the outcasts from human society, in After the Heresy, with Prospero
squad stunned and without focus. particular by those gifted with psychic nothing more than a mass-grave, the
talent who wished to escape the baying Thousand Sons felt no reason to return
Tactical and Devastator squads are able mob. By the time Magnus the Red there. The place held too many
to telekinetically guide their shots to arrived on their world they had memories and ghosts of dead friends.
hit weak points in an enemy‟s armour, constructed a haven of enlightenment, With Magnus labouring to modify the
or to strike down those who believe a place where learning was pursued for Astronomicon to sustain the Emperor‟s
themselves safely behind cover. Units the simple joy of it. The psychic gifts essence, and the Thousand Sons‟
specialising in close combat use their displayed by the population were a invaluable psychic talents put to use in
skills to blot themselves from their perfect match for Magnus‟ new legion, eliminating the taint of the daemonic

71
from the very heart of the Imperium, Thousand Sons the cause is more likely To this end the legion yearns to
they began to regard Holy Terra as to be due to the effects of progressive reconstitute the original dream of
their new home. Quietly, and with the mutation. Prospero by creating isolated havens
consent of friends among the High for those with psychic talent.
Lords of Terra such as Lorgar and This instability also extends to the Whenever this has been tried over the
Abaddon, the legion fortified and Magnus gene-seed. While it continues millennia it has ended in disaster,
expanded the complex used to carry to enhance the psychic talent of the either through massed daemonic
out the soul-binding ritual into their recipient, its inherent mutability shows incursion or resentment from
new fortress-monastery. From this a noticeable decline in implant neighbouring cities at the extensive and
imposing edifice of silver and white, efficiency within a bare handful of preferential protection offered by the
the Thousand Sons select recruits from generations. Although this has been Thousand Sons to these settlements in
amongst those psykers brought in by remedied by the frequent infusion of times of war. Their staunchest critics
the Black Ships. They are tested in any fresh gene-stock derived directly from leap upon such plans as evidence that
number of ways, the final one being their primarch, this dependence is yet the Thousand Sons are intent on the
the ritual of soul-binding. Those who another cause for concern over forcible replacement of humanity with
survive are declared ready for training, Magnus‟ frequent and lengthy those of the „mutant psyker strain‟.
and for the gene-seed implantation disappearances. Even beyond their There are some amongst the legion
process to begin. anxiety over the risk of losing their who whisper that in the face of such
primogenitor, the Thousand Sons hatred perhaps this would be a good
Gene-seed realise that his death would also be the thing. They are, however, in a very
In the early years of the legion‟s harbinger of their own extinction. small minority, and the legion
history there were severe problems continues to fight as loyally for the
with spontaneous mutations, both of Beliefs Imperium as it has since the day that
the body and among their gene-seed The Thousand Sons believe that the Magnus first knelt in fealty to the
implants. With the advent of the soul- only way humanity as a species can Emperor.
binding the incidences of this ultimately defeat the Ruinous Powers
dramatically reduced. This communion is for it to gain sufficient psychic Battlecry
with the Emperor has been described strength and fortitude to resist its As the Thousand Sons are able to
as alleviating the innate mutability of predations. This brings with it a great communicate far better telepathically
the Magnus gene-seed, although at the dilemma as their very existence, and than with mere words, the legion rarely
time critics claimed it had more to do that of the Emperor, relies upon the uses a conventional battlecry. Their
with the legion being forced to forego Black Ships which bring in a constant silent, coordinated movements, along
the corrupting influence of sorcery. harvest of psykers from across the with their blank-faced helms all
Despite this, the Thousand Sons still Imperium. How, they ask, can contribute to their otherworldly image,
suffer more from spontaneous mutation humanity increase its psychic potential inspiring fear in their enemies and un-
than any other loyalist legion. when psykers live in fear of the nerved respect among their allies.
Although the use of bionic limbs to howling mob, and while the finest
replace ones lost in combat is common talents are constantly being removed
among the Emperor‟s Astartes, for the from the gene-pool?

Magnus sat numbly, barely hearing the assembled High Lords as they discussed the defences being erected against the tendrils of
Hive-fleet Leviathan. Billions of men, whole battle-fleets were being mobilised to fight and possibly die, and yet it seemed
inconsequential compared to what he had learned earlier that day.

He was roused by the representative of the Ecclesiarch – even after all this time it still threw him to see someone else in his friend
Lorgar‟s place. Magnus realised that he had been asked if, during his telepathic communion with the Emperor, the Master of
Mankind had deigned to bless their course of action against the xenos breed. His response was that the God-Emperor was indeed
pleased by their plans, and that those who fell would be welcomed warmly into the afterlife by the celestial hosts as Imperial
martyrs. It was rousing and inspiring, and Magnus wished it had been anything more than a reassuring lie.

In truth it had been centuries since the Emperor had been able to communicate. With each visit his father‟s spirit grew weaker
and weaker, the fractured, screaming elements of His psyche long since having blotted out all coherence. But even that had been
better than the pitiful silence he had faced today. Magnus blamed himself for being too slow in the Gathering. If only he had
worked harder or even reached out to his brothers he could have found them faster. But what was done was done. There, while
the High Lords of Terra ordered the death of worlds, Magnus silently made a decision far more momentous.

The Grey Knights must be assembled before there was nothing left of their father to save.

72
Found and raised by the mutant-cannibal tribes of Baal Secundus,
Sanguinius grew up despising the normal humans who had tried to
murder him as an infant. Taunted with images of his death at the
hands of the Emperor, Sanguinius entered into a pact with Nurgle to
cloak his true nature, a decision which culminated in the damnation of
The his entire legion as unwilling, cadaverous plague-carriers. The Blood
Angels now raid world after world, driven by the need to obtain fresh,
Dornian untainted blood to dilute the toxins running through their veins.

Heresy Origins
Even before the infant primarch of the
Had their convoy not then been
attacked by a war-party of the
Blood Angels came to rest on Baal Changed, the greatest being ever to set
Secundus, the moon‟s history was one foot on Baal Secundus would have
of a struggle against adversity. been slain there and then. The ambush
Although the moons of Baal had once at Angel Falls, which had saved the
been home to technologically advanced babe‟s life, was just the latest skirmish
and bounteous human settlements, in an endless struggle, and the infant
terrible wars had long since scoured primarch grew up harbouring an
them away. All that remained of the abiding and righteous hatred of the
population were tribes clinging to faceless killers who had tried to murder
existence, scavenging for food amongst him. As he matured into robust
a landscape turned to irradiated glass adulthood, seemingly untouched by the
and toxic sludge by the atomic and ravages of the world‟s deadly legacy,
biological weapons of their forefathers. he became an object of worship to the
Lacking even the most basic protective
equipment against the harsh
radioactive environment, mutation and As Rupal raised his spear, ready
Index sickness was rife, and only the to plunge it down into the
winged child, something made
strongest and most resistant survived.
Astartes: Life for these scattered tribes of the
him pause. The creature was
plainly a mutant, and yet there
was something regal, almost
Changed, as they called themselves, divine about the boy.
was one shorn of all sentimentality.
Blood The shadow of starvation was ever-
present, and they did what they must to
In his three decades, Rupal had
slain dozens of mutant-
cannibals, and yet this child was
Angels
survive, including eating the flesh of
those who had lost the battle for different. Spear still raised high,
he turned back to address his
survival, be they friend or foe. The
people, ready to make them
only thing to strike fear into the hearts understand that in some way this
of the Changed were those creatures boy could mean salvation for
known as the Faceless Ones: their whole planet, when the
implacable armies of killers who arrow struck him in the chest.
seemed to exist solely to hunt down
and exterminate them. Stripped of Rupal stumbled backwards and
their heavy protective suits and fell, paralysed by shock and the
characteristic mirrored faceplates they effect of the poisons. He
survived just long enough to see
were nothing more than humans, and
by yet they looked down with contempt
his people running in terror from
the ambushing mutants, and
upon anyone bearing the stigmata of
Aurelius
their twisted leader bearing
mutation. down upon the infant angel.
With the black hand of death
Rex So it was that when a group of Faceless
Ones came across the infant primarch
upon his heart, Rupal‟s final
thought was not for himself, or
lying unprotected in the burning even his tribe, but the desperate
radioactive sands, and saw the stubby hope that the child would be
spared.
wings protruding from his back, they
judged him as a mutant abomination.

73
Changed, and a figure of Sanguinius could act the
terror to the Faceless Ones. dutiful son, the presence
His wings, now full and promised to cloak him in a
plumed with feathers of glamour that would shield
purest white, gave him the his true intentions, and
image of an angel, both make all who laid eyes upon
terrible and divine. For his him see only the purest of
skill and savagery he spirits. Fearing more for his
became known to both sides people than for his own life,
as Sanguinius – the Bloody Sanguinius reluctantly
Angel. agreed, and awoke.
Stumbling from the bunker
The tribes of the Changed he saw the Emperor‟s fleet
flocked to his banner, and arriving in orbit, and their
sensing that their extinction drop-ships streaking the
was at hand, the Faceless night sky with fire.
Ones also banded together.
At Angel Falls, the place the Protected by Nurgle‟s
primarch had first been glamour, the Emperor,
found, a mighty army closed accompanied by Horus,
in upon Sanguinius‟ joyfully accepted
growing warband. Hemmed Sanguinius as his son. To
in on one side by cliffs, and be hailed as “a pure soul,
the guns of their enemy on having grown up unsullied
another, the Changed urged on a world of mutant-
their beloved leader to fly cannibals” tore at
away in the dead of night Sanguinius, but he
and save himself, but he continued the charade.
would not leave them. The Post-Heresy Blood Angel Against expectation, even
first light of dawn glinting his wings were taken as a
upon Sanguinius‟s pristine wings could deflect Sanguinius‟s righteous sign of his angelic nature rather than a
signalled the start of a day of carnage anger. He was the Bloody Angel of damning mutation. Sanguinius longed
unmatched since the world‟s Great vengeance right up until the moment to tear out the Emperor‟s throat there
War. Even though the Changed were the defenders triggered the biological and then, but the image of his lifeless
outnumbered more than five to one, weapon stockpiles the bunker had been body at Horus‟ feet stilled his hand.
they had been trained in the arts of war built to house. As a parting gift, the Emperor handed
by an avatar of destruction who they over control of the newly arrived Ninth
loved more than life itself. The lethal pathogens killed Changed Legion of the Adeptus Astartes –
and Faceless One alike, and even felled mighty warriors patterned upon the
Allegedly, the tribes of the Changed the mighty primarch. In his paralysed gene-line of Sanguinius himself.
ate well that night. state, Sanguinius was haunted by These Terran legionnaires were
fevered dreams of a great power charged with integrating him into
Victory at the Battle of Angel Falls searching the stars to find him. He was Imperial society, as well as
broke the power of the Faceless Ones granted visions of being greeted by the exterminating the mutant tribes so that
across Baal Secundus, and Sanguinius Emperor, who at first professed to be the settlers, who were to provide the
made certain that they would never rise his father, but upon discovering his legion‟s new recruits, would be able to
again. His army scoured every inch of mutation turned upon him and proved thrive.
their blasted world, and brought back to be no better than the Faceless Ones.
numberless rad-suits as trophies. In the Sanguinius felt his heart plucked from Sanguinius was forced to watch
following years the pile of helmets – his chest by the armoured giant at the helplessly as his legion built funeral
each with the mirrored face-plate Emperor‟s side, and witnessed the pyres of his Changed brothers and
symbolically smashed - grew steadily genocide of every tribesman of the sisters, but slowly he came to the point
at the base of the cliff at Angel Falls. Changed on Baal Secundus. where he could control their actions
So it was with great ceremony that without raising suspicion. He slowed
Sanguinius and his honour guard In the silent, funereal chill, a voice the purges by ordering the bulk of the
approached the hiding place of the very calling itself Nurgle offered Sanguinius legion to Baal Primaris to deal with
last group of Faceless Ones - a a way to avoid this fate for him and his their mutant population first. This gave
damaged bunker complex left over people. It said that the Emperor could him the time he needed to learn all he
from the war. No barrier or bulkhead be defeated, but only through guile. If could about the procedure for creating

74
new marines, under the pretext that their sarcophagus-like life-support the exsanguination of their victims
they would need fresh recruits to fulfil chambers. They emerged as echoes of turned from cultural habit to full-blown
the Emperor‟s Great Crusade. During their primarch – stronger, taller and far necessity. In the face of such adversity,
this time, the choking smog from the more deadly than before - and took up Sanguinius became increasingly
pyres made life on Baal Secundus the armour left by the dead Terran resentful of his patron. Since the pact
more deadly than ever. At first legionnaires. had been rejected, Nurgle had been
Sanguinius saw this as a blessing, as silent, with demands about how much
the Imperial settlers sickened and Though Sanguinius was able to longer the Blood Angels would have to
became easy prey, while the tribes of reconstitute the legion‟s front-line keep up the pretence of loyalty going
Changed, long-inured to such a hostile fighting forces, he could not replace unanswered.
environment, were little affected. the technical knowledge that had been
When the apothecaries had completed lost. Their forge sat idle, and the only Every world the legion brought into the
the last batch of gene-seed, cultured maintenance being carried out was the Imperium depleted their resources
from his own body, Sanguinius most basic forms conducted by the further, turning their campaigns into
recalled the Blood Angels from their legion‟s servitors. Nurgle spoke to grinding wars of attrition rather than
pogrom. Then, one by one, he Sanguinius once again, offering aid in the lightning strikes of their early
revealed his true nature to them. this matter in return for being let years. Sanguinius was set to return to
further into their souls, but the pact Baal Secundus to replenish the legion‟s
was roundly rebuffed. Sanguinius ranks when he received an astropathic
intended that the Blood Angels would communiqué from Rogal Dorn, the
Sanguinius fought to control
rely upon shipments of materiel from Emperor‟s Praetorian. Sanguinius‟s
his emotions as the Terran
captain, Thoros, spoke of his the Mechanicus until they had fear that his true intentions had been
victories against the „mutant- mastered the intricacies of producing found out proved to be correct, but
cannibal scum‟ in the southern what they needed themselves. instead of anger, Dorn greeted him
polar reaches. Clearly warmly, and as a fellow conspirator.
unnerved by this personal Sanguinius yearned to simply build up He told Sanguinius things that melted
audience with his primarch, his forces ready for the time they could his suspicions, and requested that he
Thoros was trying to impress, kill the Emperor, but mindful of the bring the Blood Angels to Terra while
but his fate had been sealed the need to maintain the facade of loyalty, Dorn dealt with the three incorruptible
moment he had landed on Baal ordered his new Blood Angels to take legions on Istvaan.
Secundus with the Emperor. their place in the Great Crusade. To
Deciding that he had heard hide their true nature they rarely fought It was what the Blood Angels had been
enough, Sanguinius licked his alongside other legions and kept waiting for, but it couldn‟t have come
thin, angelic lips and asked the themselves aloof from the Imperial at a worse time. Ground down by
question he had posed each of Army. They always met outsiders attrition, sickness and equipment
the Terran Blood Angels who wearing full armour, and officers hid failure, there was little chance of them
had come before him in the last arriving at Terra in time, and even less
their twisted faces beneath beautiful
week: of them being in a fit state to kill the
masks of shining gold. Despite all this,
rumours of their savagery on the Emperor. With a heavy heart,
“Would you bleed for me, my
battlefield became legendary, Sanguinius opened his soul to Nurgle,
son? Would you... die for
me?” alongside darker tales that they drank and ordered his brethren to do the
the blood and ate the flesh of their same.
enemies.
The Siege of Terra
Though true, such lurid tales were To the inhabitants of Terra, the full
The Great Crusade easily eclipsed by the success of the enormity of Dorn‟s actions had yet to
Fired with new purpose, Sanguinius set Blood Angel expeditions, but as time sink in. The destruction on Istvaan and
to work reconstituting the Blood went on their momentum began to the imprisonment of the Emperor
Angels with recruits drawn exclusively falter. The legion‟s lack of technical inside his own palace were all-too
from his own people, the downtrodden knowledge meant that everything from familiar to them from the blood-soaked
mutant tribes of the Changed. Only their vehicles, armour and even civil wars of the Age of Strife. The
the hardiest of individuals were able to warships were becoming increasingly appearance of Sanguinius and his
survive unprotected on Baal Secundus, inefficient and unreliable. Worse still, a Blood Angels as they emerged from
and they made excellent candidates. malaise hung over the legion, souring their landing ships at the Eternity Wall
Using the knowledge gleaned from the their wounds and sapping their vitality. Spaceport brought home the true nature
apothecaries, these new Blood Angel When it was discovered that the worst of Chaos. They were gaunt, cadaverous
initiates were implanted with gene- symptoms of this phage could be and marked with weeping sores, yet
seed and entombed for a year within alleviated with transfusions of blood, also revitalised by the power of the

75
Warp. Even the glamour
could not hide what
Sanguinius had become, or
the fevered, hungry glint in
his eyes. To the defenders,
Dorn‟s rebellion had been
unthinkable, but the Blood
Angels were like
something out of a
nightmare. Pausing only
briefly to feed after their
long voyage, Sanguinius
led his battle brothers to
the Imperial Palace.

Inside, they greeted the


demi-legion of Imperial
Fists that Dorn had left
behind. These palace
guards turned prison
warders had been charged
with trapping the Emperor
inside His own armoured
bunker of a throne room
until Dorn‟s return from
Istvaan. The hatred that
Sanguinius felt for the
Emperor burned so
brightly that in spite of his
legion‟s lack of siege-craft came on the 55th day of the siege, odd choice given the number of more
he summoned his Blood Angels from when the Iron Warriors breached the easily defensible sites available. As
their posts on the palace‟s outer walls Ultimate Gate. As his Blood Angels they closed in on the Astronomicon,
to assault the throne room‟s repelled the enemy and sallied out to the Blood Angels ran foul of the
fortifications. Unsurprisingly, the destroy their mighty war engines, Emperor‟s latest trick: reconfiguring
attack failed, and in the confusion the Sanguinius confronted Perturabo in the psychic beacon to flare with His
Night Lords mounted the unguarded single combat. Energised by the power presence, which weakened the
battlements and briefly ran amok, of Chaos and seemingly impervious to daemonic across the planet. This
before melting back into the darkness. pain, the Bloody Angel triumphed over affected not just the creatures of the
This led to much tension between his brother primarch, snapping his Warp, but the Blood Angels
Sanguinius and First Captain spine over bended knee. Then, in an themselves, reliant as they are upon
Sigismund, the commander of the act that earned them the eternal hatred Nurgle‟s favour.
Imperial Fist contingent, and caused of the Iron Warriors, Sanguinius
even more when the raid‟s true drained the dying Perturabo of blood Though facing the brunt of the loyalist
objectives eventually became apparent. and contemptuously cast the corpse legions, the Blood Angels fought on
back amongst his demoralised progeny. towards the Astronomicon. Every step
Dorn‟s arrival was followed shortly and every death brought them closer
after by that of the vengeful Sons of It was then the turn of the Chaos and closer to the Emperor. They even
Horus and the Iron Warriors. This saw Legions to force a breach of their own, fought on upon hearing that Dorn‟s
the Chaos Legions trying to break into this time against the adamantium walls Heresy had died with him, and that the
the throne room while at the same time of the inner throne room. Once inside, other Chaos Legions were fleeing the
holding off the loyalists besieging the it become clear that the Night Lords‟ planet. All that remained for them was
outer palace walls. Eager to redeem earlier attack had in fact been a that they reach the critically injured
their past failure, and to avoid his diversion to allow the Emperor to Emperor who had been returned to the
entire legion being ordered away in escape. Sanguinius led his Blood Astronomicon. In the face of
disgrace to crush the pockets of Angels in a rampage across Terra to overwhelming numbers and escalating
resistance that were welling up find their quarry, and everywhere they casualties they fought on, but hope
worldwide, Sanguinius threw himself trod, disease and sickness followed. finally died when word reached them
wholeheartedly into the defence of the They rapidly traced the Emperor‟s new that even the berserkers of the Space
palace‟s outer walls. Their greatest test base back to the Astronomicon – an Wolves had turned their fleet aside.

76
With bitter resignation, Sanguinius led violent insanity – the so-called Black Combat Doctrine
the Blood Angels back to Eternity Wall Rage – which made them a grave Even as a youth, leading his tribes to
Spaceport - the first Chaos Legion to danger to friend and foe alike. Known war against the Faceless Ones,
arrive on Terra, and the last to leave. to their brothers as the Lost, these Sanguinius would fly high over the
creatures are locked away in the battlefield before swooping down to
After the Heresy darkest bowels of the fleet‟s ships, tear into the heart of the enemy line.
In the wake of their defeat on Terra, sustained only by the unholy powers of This simple joy, from a time before his
the Blood Angels returned directly to the Warp. life was marred by either Nurgle or the
Baal Secundus. They hoped to Emperor, has been imprinted upon the
reconstitute their dangerously thinned With this constant drain on their soul of each and every Blood Angel,
ranks in preparation for a second numbers, as well as the grinding battle and is reflected in the legion‟s fighting
attempt to kill the Emperor, but instead of simply staying alive, the Blood style. Highly mobile Assault squads
found their homeworld to be dead. The Angels have instead fallen into taking make up the vanguard of every Blood
their pleasure in punishing the Imperial
changes in the atmosphere they had Angels force, and the competition to
observed before departing on the Great worlds they raid. Sanguinius, however, gain a place amongst their ranks is
Crusade had greatly accelerated in their has never forgotten his original fierce. Lacking the technical
absence, shrouding the moon in purpose, and moves between his fleets knowledge required to create or even
pestilent, acrid mists. It was unclear if urging them on to build towards the maintain traditional patterns of
this was a twisted reward from Nurgle long-delayed second assault on Terra. Astartes jump-pack, a brother must
There is a tension between the Blood
for their service, or even a punishment make his own personal pact to create
for their ultimate failure on Terra, but Angels and their patron deity that has and empower their daemon-engine.
in either case the result was the same. echoed down the millennia since that These archaic devices emit a
The tribes of the Changed, who had first misunderstood pact on Baal discordant sound more akin to the buzz
survived the Faceless Ones, the pitiless Secundus. Nurgle has never been able of a swarm of flies than the roar of
to force Sanguinius to fully submit to
rad-deserts and even the pogroms of turbo-fans. In concert with those of
his will, but despite this the Plague
the Terran Astartes, had finally been their squad brothers, they come
annihilated. God has either been unwilling - or together to strike unnatural harmonics
unable - to convert a more pliable that can send their opponents
Cursing the name of Nurgle, legion to his wholehearted worship. It screaming in terror rather than face
Sanguinius ordered his legion to divide is possible that seeing the Blood them.
Angels desperately battle against the
down to the level of individual grand
companies, hoping that smaller, more grinding entropy of his „gifts‟ holds In support of the assault wave come
mobile fleets would be better able to more interest for Nurgle than that of infantry squads in vehicles that despite
evade the Imperial Navy and cover a the blind adoration he receives from their ramshackle and corroded
wider area to find new recruits to their his more obedient followers. appearance can produce a remarkable
cause. Though re-building their ranks
was their goal, it soon became clear
that the phage which afflicted them As if in response to Sanguinary Priest Pelter‟s presence, the sounds of
was far more debilitating than they had scratching from inside the sigil-engraved case rose from insistent to frenzied.
suspected. The frequency with which Pelter unfastened the catch and threw back the lid, and into the air rose a score
blood transfusions were required to of insects, each the size of a human hand. They were not like the ubiquitous
alleviate the symptoms increased, clouds of flies that followed the legion, but forged from brass to bind and house
forcing Blood Angel raids to focus a minor daemonic entity. They were yet another example of the Rite-Master‟s
more upon securing captives than on craft, able to identify those suitable for exsanguination and organ harvesting.
recruitment. Worse still, their Without them, the legion would long-since have fallen to ruin.
requirement for healthy subjects meant
The swarm rose, and then moved towards the ragged lines of captives the Blood
that simply claiming a world and Angels had assembled. They quailed before the approach insects, but it was a
bleeding it dry was out of the question, sign of the terror instilled by the Astartes that not a single captive broke and ran.
as their very presence rapidly tainted Verdigris-mottled insects landed upon petrified faces to sample tears, or capered
the populace with Nurgle‟s plagues. across bandaged wounds to dab at the blood beneath with shining, syringe-like
tongues. Alarmed by the high-pitched trill signalling tissue compatibility, one of
The Apothecarion‟s Sanguinary Priests the captives scrambled at the metal insect, shredding his hands on the blades of
had to become adept not just at its iridescent wings. It tumbled to the ground, and was roughly stamped beneath
transfusing their brethren, but at heavy boots until the entity was released from its casing. Before the stench of
transplanting organs to replace those putrescence and brimstone had dispersed, Pelter had the man pulled from the
crowd. He had to make an example of him, and after all, it would be a shame to
atrophied by the build-up of toxins. In let compatible blood go to waste...
the most severe cases the poisons
rotted away the brain itself, causing

77
turn of speed. These Tactical and
Havoc squads provide invaluable
covering fire, and once the battle is It was in the deepest level of the deserted fortress-monastery that they found
over they cordon the enemy survivors the bones: piles and piles of them stretching out in every direction. They
so that they can be tested for tissue had found hundreds of such sites across Baal Secundus, but as Captain
compatibility by the Sanguinary Garro stepped out upon them he realised that this one was different. They
Priests. Some of those that remain are had not splintered to dust beneath his armoured boots as a normal bone
would have. Kneeling down to examine them closer brought the realisation
gifted by the commander to slake the
that this was not just another bone-pit, but the grave of thousands upon
thirsts of the brethren he deems to have
thousands of Astartes. He picked a femur from the piles and saw, with an
fought most valiantly, but the majority icy chill, that in spite of its ceramically toughened nature, it showed definite
are allowed to live. However, this is signs of having been gnawed.
not done out of kindness. In their flight
to other settlements, these refugees Before he could ponder the significance of what lay before him, the call
carry the seeds of sickness across the came from Mortarion himself to withdraw back to the Stormbirds. As they
land. cautiously made their way back through the catacombs, Garro noticed
Brother Decius shudder and grip at his arm. Despite his protégé‟s protests,
When the Blood Angels wish to ensure the warp-creature‟s knife had clearly caused him more harm than he was
the downfall of a planet they will delay admitting. This whole planet was death incarnate, and the sooner Decius
their return to the plague fleets and had the wound treated by Apothecary Voyen the happier Garro would be.
focus their attention beyond small-
scale raids. In such instances they
unleash the full power of their necrotic the Black Rage, has necessitated that primarchs who turned to Chaos have
arsenal, and become true harbingers of the legion fragment down to the level long-since ascended to daemon prince-
Nurgle‟s power. The land sickens and of individual grand companies. hood, Sanguinius remains as mortal
the cloying stench of death fills the air. Because of the vast distances that and terrible as he was during the Siege
Clouds of flies blot out the sun and the separate the plague fleets, each grand of Terra. Just to be in the presence of
ground becomes slick with company captain has a great deal of Sanguinius, to learn from his millennia
decomposing vegetation. Victims of independence and autonomy, although of experience and to replenish depleted
diseases in outlying settlements are on occasion two or more fleets will stocks of gene-seed fills the grand
herded in their millions against the converge to carry out particularly large company with renewed will and
defender‟s strongholds. Only when the and audacious attacks. purpose. Much is expected of a fleet
enemy‟s morale is at its lowest ebb and accompanied by Sanguinius, and the
stocks of ammunition run low do the Each grand company, indeed, each ship penalty for displeasing the primarch is
Blood Angels finally attack. in the plague fleet, has its own cadre of to meet the same macabre fate as befell
Sanguinary Priests and Rite Masters; the legion‟s original Terran Astartes.
Such strategies are effective against all powerful individuals who wield great
but the most stalwart of opponents, and influence. Without the Sanguinary
yet there is one final, terrible, weapon Being a fleet based legion, the Blood
Priests of the Apothecarion to hold the Angels take every opportunity to bring
in their armoury: the mindless hordes Black Rage at bay, the Blood Angels
of the Lost. Though they are more ships into their service. They do
would rapidly descend into little better this not just by boarding and claiming
undeniably lethal on the battlefield, the than mindless beasts. The Rite Masters
Lost are completely uncontrollable, other vessels, but by infecting the crew
are responsible for the legion‟s ships, with Nurgle‟s plagues, leaving them as
unable to distinguish former friends armour and weapons. Much of the
from foes. Beyond such tactical ghost-ships which can be easily
technical knowledge for proper tracked. The most audacious example
considerations, the Lost are terrible maintenance was lost during
reminders of the fate that lies in store of this was at Port Maw in M34, when
Sanguinius‟s bloody reformation of the a seemingly minor raid allowed the
for them all. For this reason only the original legion, and that which
direst of circumstances would prompt a Blood Angels to contaminate the
survived was useless in the face of supplies for much of Battlefleet
Blood Angel commander to sanction Nurgle‟s corrosive influence. Instead,
their use on the battlefield. Gothic. More than forty vessels,
the Rite Masters use their sorcery to including a dozen capital ships, fell in
bind and compel the myriad daemonic their entirety to the contagion and
Organisation entities that inhabit everything from the became a part of the plague fleet.
The Blood Angels retain the same plague ships, to their vehicles and even
basic organisational structure they had the armour they wear.
during the Great Crusade, and revere Homeworld
Sanguinius as their primarch and Moving between the different plague After the Heresy, with nothing left on
wellspring of their existence. However, fleets, accompanied by his honour Baal Secundus for them to call home,
their renegade status, along with the guard of ancient veterans, is the Blood Angels became fleet-based,
need to raid far and wide to stave off Sanguinius himself. While other the better to raid the Imperium. Unlike

78
most of the Chaos Legions they have mutants can be found on the fringes of measured in weeks or months. Some,
never felt the draw of the Eye of every human society. Captives bearing however, gain the favour of Nurgle and
Terror, and have certainly not been the stigmata are thrown into the build a symbiotic relationship with
lured by the offer of inhabiting a stygian, foetid darkness of the ship‟s their diseases, treating every new sore
daemon-world created in Nurgle‟s holds, and those resilient enough to and pustule as an agonising blessing.
image. Though the Blood Angels had survive until their captors have finished
already turned their back on the place, their work on the organ-harvesting and Gene-seed
Abaddon‟s massed Crusades against exsanguination decks are tested further The original gene-seed borne by the
the homes of the Chaos Legions drew for compatibility with the Blood Angel Terran legionnaires of the Ninth
them inexorably there. By this point gene-seed. If deemed worthy, aspirants Legion was stable, efficient and pure,
the changes wrought by Nurgle were are subjected to batteries of surgical but they, along with their gene-line
so advanced that even Mortarion of the procedures and blood-rites to implant were wiped from existence. Unknown
Death Guard, brought up breathing the and initiate the Sanguinius gene-seed, to Sanguinius, just as Nurgle had
noxious chemical smog of Barbarus, before being entombed within a polluted his soul, he had also tainted
would not risk setting foot on the medicae sarcophagus for a year. These his flesh, and in turn the implants
planet without his armour tightly arcane mechanisms feed and guide the prepared from it to create the new
sealed. The loyalists found something changes wrought by the various Blood Angels. Because of this the
approaching a daemon-world, implants so that when it finally opens, gene-line of Sanguinius has become a
inhabited only by shambling warp they emerge bloody, but transformed, curse, acting as a mark of Nurgle upon
entities of the Plague god. The an echo of their cadaverous primarch. every marine who bears it. These
Imperial forces withdrew to orbit, and Through a combination of psycho- implants act more like a single
subjected Baal Secundus to a sustained indoctrination and gene-line parasitic organism than mere lumps of
atomic bombardment which exceeded transference they become imprinted flesh. They aggressively drain nutrients
even that of its Great War in its with memories and character traits and vitality from their host, causing the
ferocity. from Sanguinius‟s earliest days on Blood Angel‟s characteristic gaunt,
Baal Secundus. In this way they are cadaverous appearance. In turn the
The thrice devastated moon was reborn sharing an unbreakable bond implants produce a seemingly endless
declared Perditia and quarantined by and a unified purpose. array of potent diseases to which the
the Imperium until it was swallowed
marine becomes a carrier. The gene-
by the ever-expanding borders of Those who fail the selection seed shields the host from the worst of
Ultramar Segmentum. Be it through procedures serve the legion for the rest the symptoms, and also protects itself
arrogance or ignorance, the of their lives, guarding and tending to by making the bearer remarkably
Ultramarines chose to settle what their Astartes lords as they slumber resilient to damage, or at least heedless
remained of the moon. The subsequent within their sarcophagi. In part this is of its effects until after the battle has
plague and the renegade actions of the due to fear, but a more powerful ended.
chapter founded to guard the area sent motivation is the desperate hope that
convulsions through the realm for their actions might prompt their The effect of all this is a build-up of
nearly a century afterwards. masters to deem them worthy to toxins in the bloodstream which
become Astartes after all. Given the damages the organs, and if left
Recruitment myriad diseases that proliferate aboard unchecked they penetrate the brain
Although the tribes of the Changed on the Blood Angels‟ fleets, the life causing the insanity of the Black Rage.
Baal Secundus are now but a memory, expectancy of most of these serfs is The Sanguinary Priests treat the
symptoms by administering frequent
transfusions of uninfected blood,
Sergeant Yorah of the World Eaters brought his chain-axe around in a tight although in extremis it can be drunk
arc and decapitated the skittering mutant thing in mid-leap. They were and utilised by the body via a unique
getting bogged down, and every second brought this hulk of a plague ship
adaptation to the preomnor implant, or
closer to the planet. He ordered Brother Kellion to clear the corridor with
second stomach. The Blood Angels
his heavy bolter and checked the auspex for the best route to the life-support
systems. They were so few – a single squad against a whole enemy ship – spend much of the long warp-journeys
that their only chance was to destroy the Blood Angels before they could between raids inside their sarcophagi,
awaken. waking only as the next planet
approaches. Each sarcophagus
In the seconds it had taken Yorah to pinpoint the correct path, his auspex incorporates arcane life support
had filled with encroaching blips. Despite the danger, he urged his brethren equipment which filters the toxin from
on into the fray. They were the sons of Angron, unmatched in martial their blood and allows the marine to
discipline. They would prevail against this Chaos rabble. enter an enhanced state of suspended
animation to slow down his constant
decline.

79
Though the gene-seed wreaks a terrible death of the Emperor, in practice this is survive, and are well aware that to
toll on its host, this becomes far worse all-too often obscured by the need to achieve Nurgle‟s aim of infecting the
if the implants are damaged in any quench their thirsts with the blood of entire galaxy would ultimately lead to
way. In order to regenerate they draw their victims. Despite the fates of their own extinction.
even more harshly on the body‟s Sanguinius and the Blood Angels being
resources and release potent toxins, intrinsically tied to that of Nurgle, the
necessitating further transfusions and relationship is very different to that of Battle Cry
transplants. Needless to say, the only the cult legions of the other Chaos During the Great Crusade the Blood
time that a Blood Angel‟s progenoid Gods. Where the Space Wolves, Raven Angels were careful to give no cause
glands are removed is at the point of Guard and White Scars are eager for suspicion and went into battle
death, as to do otherwise would invite devotees, the Blood Angels spread swearing allegiance to the Emperor.
debilitating sickness. disease across the galaxy not for the Since the Heresy they are far more
love of it, but to hurt the hated honest and open about their loyalties
Beliefs Imperium. They also have little choice, and motivations, and the battle cry
Although the principle that has guided needing to raid far and wide to obtain “For blood and for Sanguinius!” has
the Blood Angels is to bring about the the untainted blood they need to risen to prominence.

80
Credits
Articles written by:
Aurelius Rex and Ferrata. The Bolter & Chainsword would like
to state that this Electronic Magazine is
Artists: completely unofficial and in no way
Nicolas R. Giacondino - „Aerion the Faithful‟ (Front cover) endorsed by Games Workshop
Limited.
Commissions by B&C personal message.
40K Gallery – Futura Illustratum Adeptus Astartes, Blood Angels,
Diego Gisbert - „Badaboom‟ (pages 1, 4, 24 & 60) Bloodquest, Cadian, Catachan, the
Chaos devices, Cityfight, the Chaos
Website - http://diegogisbert.carbonmade.com/
logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, Codex,
Joey Schumaker – „Empty Bolter Clip‟ (pages 11, 20, 34 & 52) Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark
Website - jgs-art.com Eldar, „Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar
symbol devices, Eye of Terror, Fire
„Fire Lizard‟ (pages 12, 32, 70 & 71) Warrior, Forge World, Games
Sergio Camarena (page 76) Workshop, Games Workshop logo,
Genestealer, Golden Demon,
Madscuzzy (pages 40, 41, 50 & 74) Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One,
Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the
Sigismund Himself (pages 10, 16, 22, 30 & 57) Inquisitor device,
Ferrus Manus (page 67) Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of
Secrets, Khorne, Kroot, Lord of
Bloodsaint (original B&C skull emblem) Change, Necron, Nurgle, Ork, Ork
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Production: Slaanesh, Space Hulk, Space Marine,
Space Marine chapters, Space Marine
Aurelius Rex, Wolfbiter, Madscuzzy, OwlandMoonGuy and Brother Argos.
chapter logos, Tau, the Tau caste
designations, Tyranid, Tyrannid,
Thanks to: Tzeentch, Ultramarines, Warhammer,
SCC, Rogue Trader and Commissar Molotov for the initial discussions of the Warhammer 40k Device, White Dwarf,
Dornian Heresy. the White Dwarf logo, and all
associated marks, names,races, race
Ferrata, Sigismund Himself and Ferrus Manus for invaluable feedback and insignia, characters, vehicles, locations,
units, illustrations and images from the
proofreading.
Warhammer 40,000 universe are either
®, TM and/or © Copyright Games
Tomambrosio for pointing out „Skyrar‟s Dark Wolves‟.
Workshop Ltd 2000-2010, variably
registered in the UK and other
GW and their writers for all the great background material. countries around the world. Used
without permission. No challenge to
... And Mrs Aurelius. their status intended. All Rights
Reserved to their respective owners.

Finally - A quick „Hello and we did


Produced by The Bolter & Chainsword. follow all the rules!‟ to GW Legal if
Copyright © The Bolter & Chainsword 2010. All Rights Reserved. they ever read this.
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