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Characters / Horus Heresy - Loyalist Legions

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Characters from the Horus Heresy who belonged to the Legions that remained loyal to the Emperor.

Here you may add both characters from the Horus Heresy book series, and the Forgeworld series.

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The Loyalist Legiones Astartes.

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     I Legion: Dark Angels 

The Legion

Number: I
Original Name: First Legion
Primarch: Lion El'Jonson

The very first Legion, the Dark Angels are the most ancient and one of the most revered of Space Marine Legions although they also are one of the most aloof. The Dark Angel were the first of the Space Marines to be created and deployed, before the idea of Legion was even relevant. At that time, they were known as the Emperor's "Angels of Death". Present since the earliest days of the Great Crusade, the Dark Angels had to build all the battle doctrines of the Space Marines from scratch, growing to be excellent in all aspects of warfare because of their "wings", each specialized in one style of warfare. For this reason, they struggled for a while to figure out their identity until the Emperor sent them to the far-flung world of Caliban. There they found their Primarch Lion El'Jonson and an Arthurian knight culture which they were quick to adopted.

In Lion El'Jonson the Dark Angels found a great military commander who would lead them to even more glorious victories. However, when El'Jonson sent his second-in-command Luther back to Caliban to build up more strength yet never came back, a schism occured. On Caliban, Luther turned his recruits into secessionists who were loyal only to Caliban. More, Luther and his Space Marines eventually turned to Chaos. Meanwhile, the Horus Heresy was raging in the galaxy, tying up Lion El'Jonson's forces into battles against the Night Lords with his Dark Angels being trapped in Guilliman's Imperium Secundus for a time. Lion El'Jonson is currently setting course for Terra.

As the first force of Astartes, the Dark Angels had to develop the basics of waging war as a Legion. They eventually developed six hosts (or "wings") known as the Hexagrammaton, each specialized in one style of warfare. These allowed the Dark Angels to become Jack-of-All-Trades who can wage many different kinds of war at an excellent level. Moreover, they were also given a much more important arsenal of archaeotech weaponry. The influence of the Order also gave them a more knightly culture where Lion conversed with ordinary Astartes as "little brothers" instead of sons. On the other hand, the Dark Angels became very aloof toward other Legions, believing that as the first legion, they were the "first" among the space marines. This aloofness was amplified by Lion El-Jonson, who was himself given to standing apart from others. The Dark Angels wear black armour.

For more information from the rule books, go here.

  • The Ace: The first Legion, the one that has been operating for the longest and one of the most accomplished.
  • Aloof Big Brother: It's mentioned that sometimes they act like this towards other Legions, especially early in the Crusade.
  • Badass Long Robe: They took up Caliban's habit of wearing long robes over their armour, which doesn't look as bad as it sounds.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Not only they wear black armor, but they have a disquieting tendency for being secretive and wearing sinister hoods. Still, most Dark Angels are honorable knights.
  • Death World: Caliban, before Imperium arrived there, used to be full of monsters that forced humans to live in few very well-walled settlements. And once those are gone, it turns out that they were keeping something even worse in check...
  • Dented Iron: Of a sort. The Dark Angels were the largest and most prestigious space marine legion at the onset of the Great Crusade. However, after several brutal campaigns and crippling casualties, he Dark Angels eventually lost their status as the largest Space Marine Legion to the Ultramarines. Downplayed, in that they still remain among the largest legions, just not the largest.
  • Divided We Fall: Lion and Luther have a falling-out at the beginning of the Crusade, leading to the latter falling to Chaos and, in the future, to destruction of Caliban.
  • Doomed by Canon: Caliban is blown to smithereens. Half of the Legion turns traitor. In 40K, those are pretty much two basic facts about Dark Angels.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In the Lion El'Jonson: Lord of the First novel, it is revealed that the Dark Angels possesses forbidden weapons and technologies that were publicly disallowed by the Emperor but which the First Legion has kept in secret with only the Emperor. Exemples include psy-arcana weapons from the Dark Age of Technology meant to attack the very soul of the enemy, or true Silica Animus automatas shackled with kill switches. Lion El'Jonson has the prerogative to order these weapons to be deployed if he deems it necessary and these measures prove their worth when they help the First Legion defeat a race of powerful xenos psykers.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: While all Legions use swords, Dark Angels are the only ones to put them on their logo.
  • Hidden Army Reveal: In Wolf King Russ discovers that on Lion's orders, the Legion has been building its strength and massive space forts that make the Legion the biggest fighting force in the Imperium... and nobody else knows about it.
  • A House Divided: The Angels left on Caliban are slowly going traitor, while the ones with Lion remain steadfastly loyal. Even then, the higher-ups on Caliban suffer from an unusually high degree of scheming and backstabbing because of so many contradicting loyalties that they harbor, from the Imperial loyalists, to the secessionists who want an independent Caliban, to the worshippers of the Ouroboros and so on.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Back on Caliban, the knightly orders which were later absorbed into Dark Angels were hunting the beasts living there.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Their missions statement was pretty much "be Space Marines", which resulted in them acquiring proficiency in all aspects of warfare without really excelling in any.
  • Meaningful Name: In-universe, it comes from a story in which "dark angels" are a greatly destructive force - see destruction of Caliban. Out-of-universe, it's a title of a poem by Lionel Jonson, inspiration for Lion El'Jonson's name.
  • Super Prototype: They were prototype for all other Astartes, which meant all new operational procedures were first tested on them. The division into six "Wings" remains from that era.
  • Undying Loyalty: The part that follows the Lion, at the very least, doesn't give in to temptation, even when Kairos tells them the future will probably see them as traitors. To quote Lion:
    Loyalty is its own reward.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Oh, boy...
    • The slaughter of beasts gives way for Ouroboros to try and wake up to corrupt Caliban.
    • They're tricked into giving siege engines they've been defending from Horus into Perturabo's hands.
    • They take Tuchulcha from its holding place and carry it straight into the heart of Guilliman's empire... just as it wanted.
    • They send part of their legion back to Caliban, opening them to Chaos corruption.
  • Warrior Monk: Their hat, such as it is, as they base themselves off medievalesque knight orders.
  • When You Coming Home My Primarch?: The half of the legion on Caliban gets this treatment. They send repeated missives to Lion saying they are ready and want to fight. Lion just ignores them. This leads to...
  • You Are Grounded!: ... Luther and a battle force from Caliban answering a call from (pre-heresy) Horus to put down a rebellion. When he finds out, Lion El'Jonson crashes the victory party to drag Luther and said marines back to Caliban. For added effect, Lion outright says to Luther "I will deal with YOU when we get back to the flagship!"

Lion El'Jonson
Handsome bastard
The Primarch of the Dark Angels Legion. Jonson was stranded on the death world of Caliban, a world of monster-infested forests and knights. Having lived a while inside the forest as a savage child, Jonson was eventually found by knights belonging to a group named the Order and went on to become the leader of the Order itself, cleansing the planet of its monsters just in time for the Emperor to arrive and make him Primarch of the First Legion. While he is loyal to the Emperor, he is naturally mistrustful of the other Primarchs.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Does he know about what's going on back on Caliban? Why did he exile Luther? Did he know what effect it'd have on his only friend? Or did he think that Luther understood his motives without need for explanation? What is his connection to the Watchers In The Dark? What is his endgame? What exactly was he doing throughout the events of Pharos?Note  Good luck figuring it out, 'cause novels sure aren't giving answers.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ironically for being one of the most prideful primarchs, El'Jonson decides to beg Sanguinius to spare Curze (whom he hates with a passion), just to ensure Curze is actually killed by an assassin sent by the Emperor and thus ensuring that Terra doesn't fall.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Flat-out kills a guy for defying him on the matter of psykers. That being said, this is almost considered a case of Continuity Snarl, as in other situations he is perfectly willing to take criticism. Given that the guy he killed was his second-in-command, that they were in the middle of a daemon infestation while stuck in the warp, and that psychic powers the only thing working against the enemy, it's guaranteed that some manner of warp fuckery was going on.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He stabs Curze without warning during a parley. Even if he apologises in advance.
  • Cool Sword: The Lion Sword.
  • The Dreaded: Among the most feared Primarchs and not just on the loyalist side. It's often said that when he appears people feel the chilling dread of being discovered by a predator. Typhon (and pretty much every Astartes present) drops to one knee the minute El'Jonson enters a room out of sheer terror. Mortarion mentions in Lords of Silence that he admired the Lion. Let that sink in. Malcador describes him as such.
    Of all the Primarchs, save perhaps Mortarion, Lion El'Jonson stands apart. Partially this is due to his taciturn nature - a brooding silence hangs over him at all times. Yet there is something more... something buried beneath his noble exterior. Perhaps this is a result of his upbringing, growing to maturity alone in the monster-ridden forests of Caliban. Even at a council of war, the Lion moves like an apex predator. He is always watching, always planning, always hunting. He unnerves even his brothers.
  • Dual Wielding: While he's famous for the aforementioned sword, he actually has a habit of fighting with two blades.
  • Foil: To Leman Russ. Russ acts like a barbarian wildman, but in reality he is incredibly wordly and wise. The Lion has a majestic, royal appearance, but he has a better time relating to beasts than to humans.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Acknowledged to be one in-universe. For all his tactical brilliance, El'Jonson's horrible at reading people and discerning if they could be trusted or not. He relied on Luther to make those judgements for him until Luther was "exiled" back to Caliban.
  • I Am a Monster: Before the Emperor found him, he would sometimes wonder whether he's just not another of the great beasts.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Back on Caliban, his intelligence made him feel incredibly isolated from his fellow knights, to the point that he compares himself to the great beasts that they hunt.
  • Just the First Citizen: Afer a fashion; he's the only Primarch to refer to his Astartes as "brothers" rather than "sons" or "men", in spirit of brotherhoods of knights he grew up with. This has changed with time and he calls his astartes "sons" more frequently these days.
  • Knight Templar: Becomes this over time, eventually unleashing his Legion's dreadful, last-resort archeotech weapons against a city on Macragge to catch Konrad Curze.
  • Loners Are Freaks: One of the Lion's defining traits is his distance and inability to relate with most of Humanity or even his sons of his Legion, due to his prodigous intelligence and singularly powerful nature as a Primarch. This is lampshaded by Lion himself, who compared himself to a lion which was told to guard an anthill, noting that no matter how well-trained or well-meaning said lion is, it would never be able to truly understand the ants placed under its protection, just as vice versa the ants will never understand it. Lion in general finds the mighty Beasts of Caliban which he had slain more relatable than most Human beings.
  • Loophole Abuse: During his hunt for Curze, Guilliman and Sanguinius forbid the Lion from using orbital bombardment to flush Curze out in the interest of protecting Ultramar's citizens. Lion complies with the letter of this decree but instead stuffs drop pods with phosphex and rad-bombs, killing millions but driving Curze into the open. However Guilliman still considers him to have broken his word after Curze reveals it, breaking Lion's sword to drive the point home.
  • Master Swordsman: The Lion can draw and strike with his blade faster than Konrad Curze can react.
  • Meaningful Name: Translates to "The Lion, Son of the Forest", which is where Luther found him.
  • Minor Insult Meltdown: Completely flips out when Nemiel protests his using of psykers. This seems to be a rare occurence, as he is usually completely fine taking criticism.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: English poet Lionel Johnson, who penned a poem called The Dark Angel.
  • Non P.O.V. Protagonist: He's conspicuously the one without POV sections. We got a look into pretty much every Primarch other than him - but nothing about the inside of Lion's head. This extends to his primarch book Lord of the First.
  • No Sense of Humour: Played with. On one hand, Luther notes that Lion's intellect is so ahead of others, when he makes a joke no-one else can understand it. On the other, he doesn't understand what's so funny in their Kill Steal dispute with Leman when Russ starts laughingWhat's so funny?  and ends up thinking that the Wolf is mocking him.
    • Corswain notes that outsiders simply would not recognise it when the Lion does show amusement.
    • The Lion's jokes also tend to be very dry and he doesn't change his tone. After his second-in-command pointed out they were outnumbered 2 to 1 during one battle, the Lion joked that he can make spatial calculations in his head, so he can count 30 ships just fine. His second nearly pissed himself thinking that he had offended the Lion.
  • The Quiet One: One of the most reclusive Primarchs, preferring to let his adopted brother/best friend Luther do all the socializing.
  • The Rival: To Leman Russ, and the two are often knocking heads. One episode from the backstory has them fighting for three days, accidentally setting up a tradition between their two Legions. It's unsure what Lion thinks about the rivalry, but Leman seems to consider them Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Shout-Out: To Lionel Johnson (a gay poet who authored The Dark Angel). The gay theme was also applied to the Dark Angels' base (The Rock) which was apparently named for a gay bar near Games Workshop headquarters.
  • Sudden Name Change: Used to be named Lyyn Elgonsen. This was changed fairly early.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "There is no strife among the Dark Angels." Then again, YMMV as to whether he knows about the Fallen.
  • Tranquil Fury: In direct contrast to Leman Russ. It's not easy to get Johnson riled up, but it's even harder to calm him back down.
  • Undying Loyalty: Rivals Dorn and Ferrus for sheer loyalty to the Emperor. He was tempted by Chaos countless times, yet never turned. He followed his father's orders without any complaint and was ready to murder Guilliman when it seemed like the latter had betrayed the Emperor. Doubts about his lack of loyalty were one of the few things that could throw him into Unstoppable Rage.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Russ, after a fashion. It's probably the closest Lion can come to being friends with any peer of his.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: El'Jonson is committed to benevolent goals, but doesn't hesitate to use dreadful methods for the sake of expediency and to get results no matter the costs. He consorts with the Tuchulcha Engine, a shady warp entity, and deploys weapons of mass destruction against civilian settlements to get rid of Curze.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In his Primarch novel. During a trip to Fenris and an almost violent encounter with his sibling Russ, after a bit of digging Lion discovers the Space Wolves darkest secret, their mutant gene-seed trait, alongside the results of said-mutation, the Wulfen. After a series of extremely smug and cruel comments towards him and his sons (resulting in Leman going into a blood-frenzy and wanting to attack the Lion), Lion leaves. Leman waits for the worst to come...and nothing happens. It was only after the Horus Heresy itself that Leman discovered that the Lion had went out of his way to help the Wolves conceal it secretly, wiping the recordings he'd aquired of the Wulfen. All without telling Leman. This massive Pet the Dog moment convinced Russ that the Lion "was the best of us" and his only true friend.
    Leman Russ: He saw our imperfection, and he suffered it to remain, and that was the heart of his nobility. In the end, then, he truly was better than us. The archetype of Legions, First of us all.
  • Wild Child: By all rights that forest should have killed him. The forest failed.

Luther during the Heresy
The second most accomplished knight of Caliban, Luther has been Lion's best friend throughout years both before and after Emperor's arrival but a sliver of jealousy drove a wedge between them as Luther was frustrated to forever be in Lion's shadow. Tainted by jealousy, Luther is caught almost committing treason by Lion and is "honored" with the task of supervising recruitment back at Caliban while the rest earn glory during the Great Crusade. It is known that Luther will eventually turn traitor but recant at the last moment.
  • The Ace: He's pretty much the best fighter on entirety of Caliban apart from Lion, and certainly the best politician.
  • Bash Brothers: With Lion, they were pretty much non-romantic Battle Couple, and legends were told about the deeds they did together.
  • Broken Ace: After Lion out-chases him in honours and deeds, Luther gets increasingly jealous and start to harbour a lot of hidden anger.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: In Descent of Angels, he first decides to let the bomb aboard the flagship blow out of his jealousy to Lion, but realizes he can't do this and returns to save the day at the last minute.
  • Evil Former Friend: To the Lion after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • The Face: Luther is exceptionally charismatic and did a lot of the negotiations and political dealings for Lion in the days before the Imperium. Even after he's exiled to Caliban, the first thing he does is make a grand speech to the waiting recruits and marines about how they've been given an important duty that gets the whole crowd motivated and inspired, before offhandedly admitting to Zahariel that everything he said was a lie.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Switches sides due to frustration and jealousy.
  • Force and Finesse: Finesse to Lion's Force. His fights are more of political ones, while Lion excels in direct combat.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: His fatal flaw, really - as time goes on, he becomes more and more jealous of the Lion's accomplishements and all the glory El'Jonson gets while Luther is labeled "the other guy". It comes to heed when he's recalled to Caliban.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Used to be very close with Lion, to the point that when one was mentioned, the other followed soon thereafter.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Luther enacts as very successful ploy to convert visiting Dark Angels to his cause, mixing hard logic, flattery, appeal to tradition and mind-control to get the majority of those around him to agree with his plans.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Lion's only friend, in fact, and he's never became a "true" Space Marine.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It turns out that he truly regretted his betrayal of the Lion, but by the time he fully grasped the severity of his crimes, it was too late.
  • Older Sidekick: Has some twenty years on Lion.
  • Parental Substitute: Before Lion grew up faster than anyone thought possible, Luther's been like a father to him.
  • The Philosopher: Savage Weapons opens with his writings, in which he ponders the moral cost of creating the titular weapons that are the Space Marines.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Caliban is far from being any "Antarctica" since it's the Dark Angels' home base but any bureaucratic assignment during the greatest military campaign of the Imperium would be this for a warrior like Luther. After the Dark Angels' first campaign, Luther gets sent back to Caliban to "build up Legion's strength" but many suspect it is a form of punishment. It's implied that things has been going south between him and Lion for a while.
  • Sanity Slippage: He grows increasingly erratic after his banishment.
  • The Social Expert: Back before Empire's arrival, he was the politician to Lion's visionary, making deals and negotiating on behalf of the Order.
  • Start of Darkness: For him, Lion being chosen as the new Grand Master of the Order. Luther was a prime candidate for years, and his best friend being chosen above him kindled jealousy that slowly poisoned their relationship.

The Man Behind the Man Behind The Man
A Dark Angels Librarian, Zahariel was one of the last knights of Caliban to earn his rank before Empire's arrival. He's sent back to Caliban along with Luther and becomes one of his chief advisors.
  • And Then What?: While he tries to shove the thought aside, for a time he worries about the future of knight orders after Caliban is scoured of the great beasts, seeing how they formed the keystone of Calibanite way of life.
  • Back from the Dead: Luther brings him back to learn Ouroboros' true name.
  • Badass Long Robe: His outfit of choice.
  • The Conscience: For Luther, he's the Good Angel to Lord Cypher's Bad Angel.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Direct contact with the Ouroboros corrupts Zahariel, who becomes convinced that it is Caliban itself and kills some of his fellow legionaries to make it thrive on conflict.
  • Demon Slaying: One of the first, seeing what the "great beasts" of Caliban actually are.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Nemiel, his best friend. Zahariel believes that if it wasn't for their rivalry, neither would reach as high as they did.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dies to learn the true name of Ouroboros. It doesn't stick, though.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Zahariel is one of the few knights of the Order who had the honor of having slain one of Caliban's beast, notably a Calibanite lion which El'Jonson has slain as part of his quest.
  • The Idealist: One of the most idealistic Astartes out there, and an eternal optimist to boot.
  • Intangibility: When his Psychic Powers kick into highest gear, he can reach inside people's bodies and do Mola Ram impression.
  • Jumped at the Call: Eagerly joins the Astartes when they start to look at the adepts.
  • Magic Knight: He's a Librarian, being trained both as a warrior and a psyker.
  • Number Two: For Luther during their exile on Caliban.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: With Namiel, who's actually his cousin, but the two are so close they're called "brothers among brothers". While Namiel is pessimistic and mistrustful of the Imperium, Zahariel is an idealistic optimist.
  • Psychic Powers: He's a fairly powerful psyker.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Due to some misunderstanding, Lion El'Jonson reassigns him to Caliban to supervise recruitment, making him miss the Great Crusade. Zahariel is devastated by this but chooses to uphold his new office.
  • Time Master: Thanks to his psychic powers, Zahariel can manipulate time to some degree, notably the perception of it.
  • White Sheep: Among Calibanite Angels, he's pretty much the only good guy.
  • You Killed My Father: Zahariel develops a great hatred for El'Jonson after he learns the primarch killed his cousin Nemiel without prosecution and despite Nemiel's opinions being only that of the Emperor's.


The Champion of the Ninth Company, Corswain finds himself at the Lion's side during the Thramas Campaign.
  • Badass Boast: Regarding his lost sword:
    "I left it in a Primarch's spine."
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Conversing with two Night Lords, he turns out to be fluent enough in Nostraman that the Night Lords compliment him.
    • He later tells Alajos that he said their ancestors "mated with pigs."
  • David vs. Goliath: Attacks Konrad Curze to help the Lion.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Perhaps the most sympathetic Dark Angel, and a literal knight to boot.
  • Master Swordsman: The short story Savage Weapons mentions that Alajos, Captain of 9th Company, was one of the twenty best warriors in all Legions... and that Corswain managed to beat him in duel.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Is seriously injured attacking Curze, and Curze didn't even give Corswain his full attention.
  • Recurring Dreams: Until Tsagulsua, he experiences these about his first hunt on Caliban.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Normally he speaks roughly as you'd expect a knight in space to speak, but then he gives his opinion on Tsagulsua.
    "The enemy has summoned us to a purgatorial shithole."


Once a chapter master of the legion but reassigned to Caliban. Merir Astelan harbors a grudge against the Lion and becomes one of the Fallen.
  • Immune to Mind Control: When Asmodeus and Zahariel try to read his mind, they find themselves stunned by a psychic barrier left by the Emperor himself.
  • Master Swordsman: One of the two Dark Angels that managed to defeat Captain Alajos of the Ninth, one of the twenty best warriors in all Legions, in duel.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He is one of the most devious schemers on Caliban, able to make himself look useful to Luther and getting rid of potential rivals through assassinations.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: On Byzanthis, Astelan tries to negotiate a peaceful compliance only for the world leaders to be killed mid-parley by Belath and then Belath reporting on Astelan's "cowardly" behavior.
  • Older than They Look: Astelan looks like a middle-aged legionary but in fact was one of the original 5,000 space marines, having served directly under the Emperor.
  • Old Soldier: He is one of the oldest space marines alive, being part of the original 5,000 legionaries even before Horus was found.

     V Legion: White Scars 

The Legion
Number: V
Original Name: Star Hunters
Primarch: Jaghatai Khan

The White Scars are the Fifth Legion, a horde of warriors on jetbikes who prefer to operate at the fringes of the Imperium. The Fifth Legion was originally known as the "Star Hunters" and were one of the first Legiones Astartes to be deployed, having fought alongside thr Thunder Warriors during the Unification. Both on Terra and during the early days of the Great Crusade, they were used as scouts, exploring and mapping hostile territories as well as harassing the enemy ahead of the Emperor's main forces. The Legion eventually found Chogoris and Jaghatai Khan; the former Star Hunters were quickly assimilated into the Chogorian culture, notably because the Chogorian's raiding style of warfare was similar to their work. The Legion was subsequently renamed the "White Scars".

Jaghatai respected the Emperor but disagreed with him on many topics, leading Jaghatai to bring his White Scars to the fringes of the Imperium and fight alien threats instead of bringing human worlds to heel. As a result, they were ignored by the Imperium at large, which suited them. They did entertain a longstanding friendship with the Luna Wolves. When the Horus Heresy broke out, Jaghatai was so far out of the loop that he initially didn't know who to trust or side with; both sides were actively trying to recruit him. After learning the truth and stopping a pro-Horus coup, Jaghatai stayed loyal to the Imperium. The White Scars began a campaign of raids and rearguard actions to keep the Traitors distracted and off balance. Eventually, they managed to reach Terra, participating in the Sol System's defence.

The White Scars are based on the feral world of Chogoris and have their own unique culture, way of life and also style of warfare. They are a force of free-spirited warriors with relatively primitive ways (for instance their scarification rituals) but an appreciation for art and philosophy. The White Scars are focused on speed, using plenty of jetbikes to perform lightning-fast attacks; this makes them extremely good at raiding and outmaneuvering the enemy but they cannot field as much armor or firepower as other Legions. Their isolation and healthy respect for their psykers have allowed the White Scars to keep fielding their Stormseers in battle despite the Edict of Nikaea. The White Scars wear white armour with red trim.
  • Ambiguous Situation: For other Primarchs, their loyalties are a very questionable thing, seeing how the Khan was best friends with Horus and Magnus, two traitor Primarchs, yet is considered honorable and loyal to their father. Of course, people with even cursory knowledge of 40K know already what side they'll take, although it's a pretty close call.
  • The Atoner: Several White Scars tried to perform a coup and turn the Fifth Legion to Horus' side. Jaghatai stopped them and as punishment and atonement, turned them into the Sagyar Mazan before commanding them to become Fake Defectors performing suicide missions against the Traitor Legions.
  • Badass Biker: Their hat is performing lightning-fast assaults with jetbikes.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: As Mortarion and the Alpha Legion find out quite painfully, the fact that the White Scars distance themselves from the rest of the Imperium and rarely call home doesn't mean they can be underestimated.
  • Blood Knight: Most of the legions are proud of their martial culture but the White Scars uniquely encourage their members to find war "fun". They typically go to battle with a smile on their faces and even laugh in the middle of battle, but fighting the Traitor Legions has eroded their enjoyment significantly.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The White Scars refer to Chaos daemons by the Chogorian term for evil spirits, yaksha.
  • Culture Clash: The White Scars suffered from this notably more than other Legions because Chogorian culture was very exotic. Terran legionaries and staff in general were notably frustrated by how the Chogorians had their unique style of warfare that they committed to, and the different way they understood the universe compared to standard Imperial practice. The warrior lodges easily infiltrated the legion through these Terrans.
  • Blade on a Stick: Lots of Scars favour glaives over swords.
  • Color Motif: White, both in their name and armour.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Speed freaks, every single one of them. Their combat doctrine is based on them being Badass Bikers.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Of Mongols. The White Scars come from Chogoris, a planet of vast steppes where they developed a taste for cavalry and lightning raids, translating into bikers and hit-and-run tactics. Their Legion is made of "hordes" led by Khans, with Jaghatai Khan at their head.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: For the Traitor Legions, the White Scars have become this in the four years between Scars and The Path of Heaven, having gone from being a minor irrelevance to a genuine thorn in the side of the Traitors that is having a damaging effect on their momentum. As it is the only Loyalist legion not cut off, decimated or tied to the defense of Terra, the Traitors are being forced to divert ever greater amounts of manpower to try and crush the Vth Legion: Horus himself notes that his forces cannot begin the assault on Terra while the White Scars are still roaming wild with sufficient numbers to harry them.
    ''"For years uncounted the White Scars had been an irrelevance, something to be reminded of in-between greater endeavours. Now though, with the might of Ultramar contained within the galactic fracture of the Ruinstorm and Dorn's praetorians leashed to their master's fortifications, only the unregarded Vth Legion still remained in sufficient numbers to challenge the Warmaster's main onslaught.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: After years of fighting alone against the Traitors, it turns out that many Loyalists had assumed the Scars had joined Horus.
    • Averted during the Crusade in Prospero Burns when an Army officer comments on serving with them for a campaign, mentioning their dedication.
  • A House Divided: They have a brief schism in the ranks, with one side, chiefly concentrated around the warrior lodges, wanting to side with Horus, while the other half prefers to stay loyal to the Emperor.
  • I Work Alone: They rarely ally with the Imperial forces, thanks to some degree of mutual dislike. In fact, for the last few years before the start of the Heresy, they had barely any contact with the rest of the Imperium.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Of a kind. Their original name of Star Hunters didn't last very long; one the rare occasions they were encountered by other Crusade forces, observers fixated on their white armour and the scars they made on their cheeks in keeping with Chogorian tradition, and started referring to them as White Scars. They went along with it.
    • The Scar part of the name also came into prominence because Jaghatai referred to the legion as a continuation of his clan on Chogoris, the Talskar. Observers heard the last syllable and ran with it.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The White Scars were all ordered to cleanse the Chondax system from Orks, which combined with warp storms and the Alpha Legion's secretly prolonging the campaign, isolated the legion from the outside world and left them ignorant of the Horus Heresy for a long time. When contradictory messages came to them, the White Scars were almost swayed to Horus' side because of their ignorance of his actions and naturally trusting him more than the Emperor.
  • Meaningful Rename: It's traditional for a White Scar to change his name when becoming an Astartes to mark the ascension. They often take the names of great Chogorian heroes.
  • Mildly Military: The White Scars are lax when it comes to discipline, in accordance to Jaghatai Khan's laissez-faire management. Khans are free to go wherever they want as long as they fight the enemies of the Imperium and answer his call, they are quite informal about hierarchy compared to other legions, and they also don't keep track of their numbers and inventory, frustrating their staff to no end.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Pretty clear Expy of the Mongolian hordes, complete with nigh-identical backstory.
  • Out of Focus: Only two novels and a handful of short stories - and an audiodrama - to their name. This also bled over into their character in canon - they were at the periphery of the Great Crusade and thus the least well known out of all of the Legions (with the possible exception of the Alpha Legion).
  • The Quiet One: Known for being withdrawn and distant from the rest of the Imperium.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The White Scars kept their "weather-makers" or psykers active within their ranks, as Jaghatai disapproved of the Edict of Nikaea and thought depriving psykers of a natural weapon but also not having an organization to control their powers was stupid.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Go is a popular game among the Legion, first because it is from Chogoris and because Jaghatai has encouraged the practice. It supposedly helps White Scars see threats coming from all sides, compared to regicide where all the pieces have set positions at the start.
  • Super Speed:
    • The White Scars privilege speed above all other qualities, and their tactical doctrines are focused around lightning fast engagements with jetbikes, bikes and the such. Even the Chogorian sword style is based on fast strikes.
    • Their ships are chiefly geared towards being as fast as possible and then some. They break through an Alpha Legion blockade by going so fast, the Legionnaires only start to react once the Scars are already among them.
  • Warrior Poet: During their training, White Scars are encouraged to take up disciplines like poetry, hunting or singing and know the greatest works and legends of Chogorian art & history. According to their leaders, it helps them see the beauty in things and make them more than brutes.

Jaghatai Khan
Shut up and ride
The Primarch of the White Scars Legion. Stranded on the world of Chogoris and adopted by one of its nomadic tribes, Jaghatai managed to unite the tribes of the Empty Quarter, transforming them into a mighty horde which conquered Chogoris. Shortly after, the Emperor arrived and made him Primarch of the Fifth Legion, which Jaghatai swiftly modified to suit his style. Despite a close friendship with Horus and Magnus and a strained relationship with the Emperor, he knows the dangers the Warp represents and instead sides with the Emperor.
  • Badass Biker: A jetbike is pretty much his Weapon of Choice.
  • Badass Boast: Delivers a cracking one to the Keeper of Secrets Manushya-Rakshasi, having overpowered the Greater Daemon and carved its heart out of its chest.
    Jaghatai Khan: There is nowhere left to hide. We know you now. We shall hunt you in every plane of reality. We shall cleanse the void, then we shall cleanse the warp. So look on me now, yaksha, and know your slayer!
    • He delivers another beforehand as the White Scars prepare to fight against an army of Slaaneshi daemons determined to stop the Vth Legion escaping back to Terra via the Webway.
    Jaghatai Khan: They come now, hungry for more blood. But we have bled enough, and others had bled to bring us here, and they shall have no more. They seek to bring us down because we guide the others! We must not fall! So we stand here! We stand in this place! We are the Talskar, Sons of Chogoris, and this is the last test! To the ends of time! WE DEFY THE DARK!
  • Blood Knight: Jaghatai Khan's piece of the Emperor in him is his love of battle. Not killing, but warfare as an art form. In particular, he joined the Emperor to unite all of the stars into one empire and unlike other Primarchs, after succeeding in conquering his homeworld, he had no interest in actually ruling it.
  • Cool Helmet: Shaped into the visage of a Qo dragon from Chogorian culture. If a Primarch's going to be sent into a situation where he needs a helmet, it's going to be a damn cool helmet.
  • Cool Sword: A dao blade.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Fulgrim: I heard from a contact on Mars, Jaghatai, that you do strange things to your ships.
    Jaghatai Khan: I heard you do strange things to your warriors.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Teeters on one when Yesugei sacrifices himself (meaning that Jaghatai has lost all his old comrades from Chogoris). Revuel Arvida and Ilya Ravallion pull him back.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In The Path of Heaven, advisors to the Khan note that his love of battle and desire to keep hitting the Traitor Legions long enough to buy time to bolster Terra's defences has resulted in them becoming trapped. Though, as Ilya observes, it's more likely a case of Honour Before Reason.
  • Drives Like Crazy: His personal military philosophy emphasizes speed and maneuverability, and he had all his vehicles modified for increased speed.
  • Irony: Was distrusted by loyalists and allowed the warrior lodges to meet. He turns out to be loyal and few, if any, of his men fell to Chaos as his open door policy and sense of brotherhood meant his men never felt persecuted or looked down upon. While he did see the Emperor as a pseudo-tyrant, he realized Chaos was much, much worse and that he could only stay as independent as he wanted under the Emperor.
  • Master Swordsman: He and Fulgrim are described to be among the best duelists and swordfighters of the galaxy. His ability combines both his incredible speed AND his technique.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Pretty obviously like Genghis Khan in his background. Fortunately his temperament is much more humane. He is also named after Genghis's second son, Chagatai, who was apparently similar in temperament to how Jaghatai is portrayed.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The only other Primarchs Jaghatai is close to are Magnus and Horus. Most of the other Primarchs, like Dorn and Guilliman, respect his abilities as a warrior but don't consider the Khan trustworthy because of his insular nature. This causes problems when the Heresy breaks out (for both sides) with the White Scars having dropped out of communication after completing their campaign against the Orks on Chondax; most of the Loyalist Primarchs assume the Khan and his legion have gone rogue, and the Traitors are completely unsure as to where Jaghatai's loyalties actually do lie.
    Lion El'Jonson: I am certain there is more treachery to be revealed. [indicates a Vth Legion banner]
    Guilliman: The White Scars? You suspect them too?
    Lion El'Jonson: The Khan is a mercurial figure. Who among us can say we know him, or trust him? His nature is rebellious and he keeps himself much apart from us.
  • Hidden Depths: As with his Legion, many assume he is a barbarian who just wants to hunt. In truth he has a rich intellect, cares about culture and the spirits of his sons, and is at odds with his father for philosophical reasons above all.
  • Killed Off for Real: Narrowly averted. In his second duel with Mortarion at the end of Warhawk, Jaghatai allows the Death Lord to impale him with his power scythe so that he can get in close enough to behead his corrupted brother. The wound is apparently fatal, but Ilya Ravallion recognizes that he is still clinging to life and gets him to Malcador in time for the Khagan to be put into an Auto Doc machine that starts putting him back together.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: He actually realises that the Emperor, for all his benevolent intents and purposes, is a tyrant and has screwed up majorly. However, after seeing what the traitors have become and some advice from Magnus, he decided to stay with the Imperium.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: In terms of philosophy and lifestyle, the Khan and the Emperor are poles apart. While never questioning his father's brilliance, Jaghatai is a nomad at heart and regards the Imperial Truth as a plain lie.
  • The Philosopher: He believes that warriors should do more than just train their bodies for war. From calligraphy to poetry, he instills the belief in his Astartes to develop their minds. As an example, he explains to Ilya the importance of Go, and how it hones the White Scars in such a way that they will always try to see combat in a bigger picture.
    • This is also the reason he is often distant from the Imperium. His own beliefs sometimes clash with those of his father and his followers. The most glaring example is the treatment of psykers amongst the Legiones Astartes. As mentioned above, he also regards the Imperial Truth as a plain lie. Events prove him right in both cases.
  • The Quiet One: He's one of the more reclusive Primarchs. While he's not rude - quite the opposite, actually - he's very private, and he eschewes bragging. His love of battle over statesmanship leads him to be far more independent from the rest of the Imperium, and far less engaged in the political controversy, intrigue and turmoil that goes on prior to and during the Horus Heresy - the Emperor even regretfully admits to Horus that he was made to be that way. He's also a man who likes to hold his cards close to his chest and rarely reveals his secrets to others. This caused many people to overlook him and the White Scars, which allowed the White Scars a great deal of independence (which is what they preferred anyway). Secretly, the Khan chafes at the lack of recognition, though.
  • Only Mostly Dead: In Warhawk, Jaghatai lets himself be beaten down and then impaled on Mortarion's scythe to get himself in position for a killing stroke. Despite this and his sons suffering the standard effects of a Legion's Primarch dying, he's not completely dead, as Malcador seems convinced he can save Khan and later lore has him still active during the Scouring post-Heresy.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jaghatai delivers a stinging one to Mortarion in Scars after the latter tries to talk him into switching sides. He first figures out that Mortarion has come looking for him on his own initiative and not Horus's orders, then mocks Mortarion for the fact that his life's work (to corrall and contain psykers) is in ruins; though Mortarion succeeded in getting the Librarius disbanded at Nikea, he now finds himself part of an army where sorcerers and witches have been given free reign to make use of their power, and the other Traitor Primarchs either condone and even encourage such practices (such as Magnus, Lorgar and Horus) or don't give enough of a damn about it (i.e., Angron and Curze) to help Mortarion with his personal vendetta. The Khan then concludes that Mortarion has only come looking for him because he's in over his head and is looking for a way to back out, which Jaghatai mocks because he knows that now, like the other Traitor Legions, the Death Guard have tasted the power of Chaos, there is no going back. He finally concludes by mocking Mortarion's plans to become the Dragon Ascendant with Jaghatai at his side should Horus perish in the campaign to reach Terra, pointing out that neither of their legions were empire-builders, and thus Mortarion would be grossly unsuited to take Horus's place. And, as following events show, Khan was totally right here.
    Mortarion: You think that-
    Jaghatai Khan: I see it perfectly. Magnus showed me. Your Legion may be free of it for now, but the change WILL come. You made your pacts and now they will come to collect. You fool... And that is why you came to find me. You've run out of friends. Who will stand with you against the aether-weavers now? Angron? What an ally. Curze? Good luck. You've tasted the fruits of treachery and found them bitter. Don't drag me into your ruin. You're on your own, brother.
    • Finally, once the Khan is done, Mortarion, who has steadily been suffering a breakdown as Jaghatai verbally eviscerates him, angrily gives the Khan a Join or Die ultimatum. The Khan's response is to laugh in the Death Lord's face, draw his sword and essentially tell his fellow Primarch to bring it on, and the pair hurl themselves into the novel's Final Battle.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He actually allows the warrior lodges to meet, which as the series shows, is very disliked by most primarchs since it instills too many thoughts disparate from the interest of the Imperium.
    "I let them meet. I am not a tyrant."
    • Also ties into his reputation as The Quiet One. Whilst he values his independence, he's more than happy to accept outside advice on things that he knows his Legion isn't good at, such as organisation.
    • Also shown by his willingness to let Ilya, a Terran woman who could never pass for a warrior, take charge of his Legion's organisation.
  • Red Baron: The Great Khan, the Warhawk of Chogoris, Master of the Ice-Blue Heavens.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Or at least smart. He recognizes the value of psykers, and campaigned for their acceptance in the Imperium as a whole. When the Emperor basically banned the use of Librarians (Space Marines with psychic powers) at the Council of Nikaea, the Khan quietly ordered his legion to ignore the ban and continue using psykers. This meant they were better prepared to face the daemons during the Horus Heresy.
    • His decision at the end of Scars: whatever his issues with the Emperor and his loyalist brothers, Jaghatai declares that one way or another, he will stand shoulder to shoulder with them against Horus.
    "I am the Warhawk, the berkut, the wide-ranger. I am the spirit of wildfire, the uncatchable, the master of the ice-blue heavens. I have travelled further than any of my brothers, and none of them know my mind. [...] What they say of hawks is also true... we never forget the shape of the hunt. In the end, we always come back to the hand that loosed us. So when the hour comes, whatever the fates demand, the White Scars will be on Terra".
    • In The Solar War, he disobeys an order from Rogal Dorn to keep his legion forted up in the Imperial Palace and takes half of them out to defend Terra's hive cities from marauding traitor forces, promising his brother that he will return when he's needed to fight Horus.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He plays Go, and stresses its perceived superiority to the chess-equivalent "regicide". It's all but stated outright that no one's beaten him.
  • Victory Is Boring: Khan finds ruling your planet to be nowhere near as entertaining as conquering it.

Targutai Yesugei

The Chief Stormseer of the White Scars Legion, and Jaghatai's oldest adviser.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: During Scars, Yesugei suffers nightmares of Jaghatai battling "a spectre of the underworld on a world of ruins". After the novel's climax, the Khan is convinced Yesugei merely saw him duelling Mortarion, but Yesugei is not convinced, as in his dream, he claims he saw the Khan slain and fears he is dreaming of something still yet to come.
  • Elemental Powers: these are the mainstay of his art - specifically lightning, the "weather-magic." Early on, he flattens a boarding party with this.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: He's very outspoken and eloquent, even poetic, in Chogorian, but not so much in Gothic, which comes to bite him when he's forced to be the one to negotiate the continuing existence of the Librarius project in front of Imperial authorities.
  • The Heart: He's this for many; Shiban, Ilya and even Jaghatai are shown to be missing his presence, since he would give good counsel, be it who a White Scar is supposed to be, how to deal with the Legion, or anything else the Primarch desired to discuss.
  • Heroic Willpower: For pretty much every other character, particularly every other psyker, in the universe, the Chaos Gods offer them power and they either succumb or manage to resist with huge heroic effort. The four Chaos Gods offer a young Yesugei a goblet and command him to drink, with a great urge to do so, while a shining figure that would seem to be the Emperor wants him not to. He takes a sip, then puts it down and steps back. To explain, he accepts just enough of the power of the Warp and is not only strong enough to resist going further but masters it and becomes one of the most powerful and stable psykers in the Imperium. That restraint will become the key difference between him and the Thousand Sons.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself near the end of The Path of Heaven to open a Warp portal that will allow the White Scars to escape the Death Guard and Emperor's Children and return to Terra.
  • Meaningful Rename: On Chogoris, Jaghatai gives him a new name after rescuing and taking him in.
  • The Mentor: For many, but Shiban was quite close to him, since it was the Stormseer that found and recruited him.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He serves as a mentor figure to Jaghatai Khan, Ilya, Shiban, Arvida and numerous others within the Vth Legion and ultimately dies to allow his Legion to escape their enemies.
  • Nice Guy: He is perhaps one of the nicest and kind warriors of the Astartes. Calm, polite and quite willing to help a young human child.
  • Number Two: Semi-official one for Jaghatai.
  • Psychic Powers: Stormseer, which is the Chogorian way to say psyker.
  • Old Retainer: One of the oldest advisors on Jaghatai's payroll.
  • Old Soldier: He's one of the original White Scars from Chogoris, and served as part of Jaghatai's army that conquered the planet. In addition, Magnus himself notes that if he was part of the Thousand Sons, he would be amongst the best of the legion.
  • The Philosopher:
    Yesugei: "Significance, that is the real madness - to assume we matter at all."

Qin Xa

The leader of Jaghatai Khan's Keshig bodyguard.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: He guards one of the eighteen mightiest warriors in the Galaxy, but that Galaxy is dangerous enough for him not to be redundant.
  • The Consigliere: When Jaghatai is fulminating, it's Qin Xa who calmly waits and reiterates the facts.
  • Cultured Badass: He practices calligraphy, and he's certainly badass.
  • Defiant to the End: Despite being mortally wounded by Eidolon, Qin Xa still has the strength to shut up Eidolon's Evil Gloating about how their plan to use the Kallium Gate, a Warp Gate that would allow them passage back to Terra, was doomed to fail from the start, by retorting that what Eidolon thought was the main attack was just another feint by the Vth Legion, and their true target was one of the worlds whose defences Eidolon stripped bare to reinforce Kallium.
  • Dual Wielding: A rare example of this among the Space Marines.
  • Genius Bruiser: He suggests the move which confounds the Alpha Legion at Chondax. Jaghatai modifies it, but at root it remains Xa's plan.
  • Honest Advisor: Fulfills the role as necessary.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Is mortally wounded this way by Eidolon at Kalium.
  • Not So Stoic: Is frantic when the Khan vanishes on Prospero.
  • Odd Friendship: Has one with Revuel Arvida. Especially when you consider that it started with Arvida holding Xa at gunpoint.
  • Old Retainer: One of the last warriors who had fought with Jaghatai on Chogoris.
  • Tranquil Fury: In contrast wth his more flamboyant brothers, Qin Xa is preternaturally calm in battle.

Shiban Khan

A young Khan of the White Scars, Shiban discovers intra-Legion violence and begins to investigate. This draws him to the heart of the conflict as the Heresy erupts.
  • Badass Boast: Delivers one to Ravasch Cario of the Emperor's Children before their final duel and after Cario has made it personal by killing Shiban's friend and second-in-command Jochi seconds before.
    Cario: I have hunted you since Memnos. What are you named, steel-helm?
    Shiban: You wish to know my name? Tamu of the plains. Tachseer of the Legion. Shiban Khan of the Brotherhood of the Storm. But you need not those names, oathbreaker. For you, I am only retribution!
  • Bladeona Stick: Wields a glaive in combat.
  • Blood Knight: He is this for much of The Path of Heaven, due to the disfiguring injuries he sustained during the climax of Scars.
  • The Captain: Khan of the Brotherhood of the Storm.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Averted. Shiban's scars seriously disfigure him.
  • Hunter of Monsters: This is what took him so far away from his Legion, pursuing a xenos champion.
  • It's Personal: With Prefector Cario of the Emperor's Children during The Path of Heaven. After their first encounter ends in a stalemate, Cario becomes obsessed with finding Shiban and finishing their duel to prove himself superior. Seconds before round two, Cario slays Jochi, Shiban's best friend.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: During Brotherhood of the Storm and Scars, he has a pleasant face. In Path of Heaven, half that face is gone, and the cybernetics distort the remainder into a constant snarl.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Shiban was one of the most joyous and idealistic khans of his legion but takes very badly his cyber-implants which he calls "shackles" and which hinder his combat ability. He heavily blames the traitor legions and the White Scars who betrayed Jaghatai and becomes a sour and cynical legionary who'd rather engage in a suicidal retribution campaign than doing the sensible thing.
  • Tooka Levelin Badass: Partially, as a result of his actions in Scars. The Brotherhood of the Storm swells, he becomes a counsellor to his Primarch and leads some of the Legions's deadliest missions during the Heresy. However, in personal combat his augmetics hinder him, to the point that he dubs them "shackles".
  • Uncertain Doom: Towards the end of Saturnine, Shiban's aircraft crashes into the Eternity Wall after his pilot is shot and killed by the World Eaters. His death isn't outright confirmed, but considering the fates of the other defenders of the port, it doesn't look good for him. Subverted in Warhawk, where it turns out he survived.
  • Warrior Poet: Literally. He studies Khorchin verse during his training, and writes poems about the worlds he enjoys fighting on.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Torghun Khan during The Path of Heaven. Shiban, out of bitterness over Torghun's role in the pro-Horus uprising at the end of Scars that left him near crippled, treats his former comrade like crap, assigning him the worst duties and denying him a place in the battleline, as well as telling Torghun he can never atone for what he's done. Ultimately subverted at the end when, after hearing how Torghun and his fellow Sagyar Mazan's Heroic Sacrifice in fighting Mortarion and the Deathshroud bought enough time for the rest of the White Scars to escape to safety, Shiban Khan forgives his former friend, acknowledging that Torghun's last act did make amends for his past wrongs, as well as expressing regret that he wasn't there to fight beside Torghun at the end.

Jubal Khan

A Khan of the White Scars who returns to his legion during the Heresy, having been absent during Prospero.
  • The Ace: Perhaps the White Scars' finest bladesman after the Khagan.
  • Blade on a Stick: Uses a glaive.
  • Blood Knight: Of the cheerful, laughing variety.
  • Challenge Seeker: The reason given for him duelling Sigismund is that the Scars hadn't expected to share the glory of a battle, but he clearly relishes the prospect of fighting such a legendary warrior.
  • Famous In Universe: A rare instance for the White Scars.
  • Graceful Loser: He knows he will lose his duel with Sigismund before it ends, but deems it a worthwhile fight.
  • Heroic Spirit: While many of the Scars are ground spiritually down by the horror of the Heresy, Jubal remains defiant and optimistic.
  • Killed Off for Real: Jubal is slain by Abaddon while targeting Sons of Horus forces during the initial stages of the Siege of Terra.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Absurdly fast in battle, even for a veteran Space Marine.
  • Number Two: Becomes this to Jaghatai Khan in the wake of Qin Xa and Yesugei's deaths.
  • The Red Baron: The Lord of Summer Lightning, Master of the Hunt, the Death that Comes with Laughter.
  • Roundhouse Kick: It's hard to tell, but he seems to use this move when he kicks Sigismund in the face.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Does this with Sigismund during the Great Crusade.

Torghun Khan

A Terran Khan of the White Scars and an active member of the warrior lodges.

Hibou Khan

First a respected warrior of the White Scars, and then a member of the penitent Sagyar Mazan squads.
  • The Atoner: He's this from the end of Scars onwards.
  • Cool Sword: A Chogorian blade with a dragon engraved on the blade.
  • Death Seeker: Becomes this as one of the Sagyar Mazan.
  • The Ghost: After Dwell, he's this to his own Legion, as the Sons of Horus offensive makes it impossible to work out where he is or even if he's alive.
  • Heel Realization: Experiences this when the Khan reveals what Horus has become, and what joining him would have cost the White Scars.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Uses this to ambush Horus Aximand in Little Horus.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Adopts these when his warband joins Shadrak Meduson.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In comparison to Bion Henricos, his fighting style is less solid but faster.
  • Master Swordsman: Bion Henricos, despite disliking him early on, admires his swordsmanship.
  • Number Two: In Scars he is this to Hasik Noyan-Khan as the warrior lodges try to take control of the Legion.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: By the end of Grey Talon he and Bion Henricos have become this.

     VI Legion: Vlka Fenryka (Space Wolves) 

The Legion
Number: VI
Original Name: Not given
Other Names: The Wolves of Fenris, Space Wolves, The Rout
Primarch: Leman Russ

The Vlka Fenryka, also known as "the Rout", are the Sixth Legion. Already in their first days, the Space Wolves were comprised of warriors from Terra's most savage tribes. The Legion naturally became shock assault specialists, loving violent close-quarter engagements and also inflicting punitive actions on occasions. While useful, their berserker tendencies made them feared and mistrusted by other Imperial forces, and they even had to have a group of specially designated Astartes known as Consuls to police them when they got too far out of line. Their savagery earned them the nickname of "The Rout" and they were seen as the Emperor's executioners. Fortunately for them, their primarch was the second to be rediscovered in the course of the Great Crusade. Leman Russ quickly set about reshaping the VI Legion in the image of his Fenrisian warriors, tempering their savagery and making them into a powerful and close-knit force.

Russ led his Legion to many victories, although he also kickstarted rivalries and enmities against other Legions, from the Dark Angels to the World Eaters and the Thousand Sons. When the Horus Heresy broke out, the Vlka Fenryka was fiercely loyal to the Emperor, but they were initially manipulated by Horus into fighting Prospero's Thousand Sons. Harassed by the Alpha Legion until they escaped to guard Terra, the Sixth Legion was noticeably absent from major engagements, save the Battle of Trisolian where Russ fought Horus. However, squads of Space Wolves were scattered among the remaining loyalist Legions after Prospero, ostensibly to watch over their Primarchs and ensure they didn't turn traitor by any means necessary.

Based on the frigid death world of Fenris, the Legionaries of the Vlka Fenryka are misunderstood as dangerous brutes who still believe in spirits. In truth, they also have a deep sense of camaraderie and honor, and understand the dangers of the Warp in a roundabout way. Their reputation hides good discipline and shrewd ability to conduct warfare. Being of savage stock, the Vlka Fenryka still largely prefers close-quarters combat where they can use hand weapons instead of firearms. Their geneseed is unique in that it incorporate canine elements, giving them superior senses compared to other Astartes. The Space Wolves wear grey armour with yellow pauldrons, often decorated with runes, totems, and wolf furs.
  • An Axe to Grind: Their signature weapon is an axe. Russ breaks the trend by using a sword instead as well as the Spear of Russ originally gifted by the Emperor (which he hated and only used against Horus during the Heresy), although he also packs an axe (The Axe of Morkai) as a second weapon.
  • Animal Motifs: Wolf. Wolfity wolfy wolf. Thankfully, it's less pronounced than in the 41st Millennium.
  • Big Entrance: The Wolves are fond of making an imposing impression, even during diplomatic meetings with fellow Astartes. In A Thousand Sons, their ambassadors bring a war summons to Magnus by hurtling their warships toward a planet unannounced, nearly crashing on the surface, and approaching the Thousand Sons in full battle armour and horrific masks, bristling with weapons and aggression, giant snarling wolves at their side. Magnus assures his men that the Wolves are merely posturing.
  • Blood Knight: One of the most bloodthirsty Legions out there, and they enjoy it greatly.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Loud, heavy-drinking and happy to break into a fight at any given opportunity.
  • Does Not Like Magic: One of their chief characteristics is their huge mistrust of psykers, to the point of very unfriendly rivalry with the Thousand Sons. This is of course despite the very blatant presence of the Rune Priests in their midst, although that is a whole different can of worms in itself.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Space Wolves are essentially Vikings IN SPACE!. They come from Fenris, a planet of seas and ice where tribes sail and raid each other constantly. The legionaries of he Vlka Fenryka are bearded, savage warriors who like to fight up close, believe in spirits and look up to the Emperor as the "Allfather", and compose sagas of their deeds. There are hints that the culture of Fenris was deliberately encouraged by the nascent imperium to ensure strong recruits for the Space Wolves. There are even rumors that tribes of mind-wiped barbarians were sent to the planet to reproduce and increase potential recruits.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With the Dark Angels, stemming from a joint operation which resulted in Russ and Lion becoming Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Grim Up North: Fenris is like Viking sagas brought to life, and breeds equally tough warriors. Recent works suggest that the plnet was deliberately engineered during the Dark Age of Technology, and again during the early Great Crusade.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: They're seen as barbaric, Knight Templar-ish brutes, but are unflinchingly loyal.
  • Hypocrite: Vlka Fenryka Does Not Like Magic and openly condemns the likes of the Thousand Sons and opposed the Librarium at the Council of Nikea - while openly ignores the presence of Rune Priests in their midst, who they adamantly insist are not Psykers and draws their power from the 'World Spirit' of Fenris and is thus 'safe', which seemed superstitious at best and heretical in itself at worst. As it turns out, as revealed in the Wrath of Magnus, that such a World Spirit does exist and are not connected to the Ruinous Powers, although as admitted by Rune Priests in a later Horus Heresy novel some psyker talent IS needed to access it. If nothing else, at least some among them eventually do acknowledge their hypocrisy.
  • I Know Your True Name: One Daemon pulls it off against the Vlka Fenryka. Because the Legionaries consciously obfuscate their real Fenrisian names to others, a chaos entity is able to learn the true names of some legionaries and overpower them.
  • Ineffectual Loner: For all their martial prowess, Russ considers the Legion in its current state to be this. Appearing as a mob of bloodthirsty barbarians made them feared as the Emperor's executioners, but this turns against them during the Horus Heresy. Their attitude leads them to be easily manipulated into a costly battle against the Thousand Sons because Russ didn't question the extermination of Prospero. Their reputation also robbed them of allies at key moments, as after Prospero, the White Scars refused to trust them and left, leaving the Space Wolves outnumbered by an Alpha Legion fleet and trapped in a nebula for a good part of the civil war. As such, Russ' fears of being isolated and accomplishing little in the Imperium's time of need were revealed to be true.
  • Internal Affairs: Took up this mantle among the Astartes and dubbed themselves "the Emperor's executioners", and it is hinted that they were responsible for the disappearance of the lost legions by massacring them for undisclosed incidents. The Emperor clearly intended that the Space Wolves take on this role. They often pop up alongside other Legions to keep an eye on them at the behest of Malcador or the Emperor.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: Super Soldiers with Viking culture, fear of witchcraft and belief in runic magic.
  • Meaningful Name: Each Space Wolf has a "real" name that poorly transcripted in Gothic into overly descriptive names. For instance one of their legionaries is named "Thirteen Stars Falling", but is known to the Imperium as "Khargir", which is a child name given to young Fenrisians at birth and isn't earned. Since they want to avoid the hassle of giving these names and do not deem the citizens of the Imperium at large to be worthy of hearing them, most Wolves decide to give their child name.
  • Mirroring Factions:
    • Angron calls them out on this, noting that they are the Emperor's leashed hounds, much like the World Eaters, and that the only difference between them is that Angron's Legion calls things as they are, while the Wolves prefer pretty euphemisms. This ignores the cunning and discipline the Space Wolves show that the World Eaters simply don't have.
    • Much like the Thousand Sons, they continue to use Psychic Powers after an explicit ban on them and hide hideous mutations among their ranks, but are much more cautious in the use of their powers than the Thousand Sons, earning themselves the special dispensation to maintain their rune priests after the end of the Librarius program.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: They like to be seen as little more than low-tech barbarians, while in truth they are very professional and very effective.
  • Red Baron: The Rout, thaks to their tendency to scare the enemy off the field with their mere presence.
    • The noun "Rout" as used here is an archaic term for "muster," usually referring to regiments as in the folksong The Rout of the Blues, but also meaning a gathering or crowd of tribes.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The barbaric slobs to the Thousand Sons' high-culture snobs, and both sides hate each other for this.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Team Imperium is mostly composed of nice and idealistic people with none of the deep problems or barbarism that characterizes the Traitors... and then there are the Wolves.

Leman Russ
Go ahead. Run. You'll just die tired.
The Primarch of the Wolves of Fenris Legion, aka the Space Wolves. Stranded on Fenris, Leman Russ was raised by a she-wolf before meeting with King Thungir who educated him in the Fenrisian ways. Russ became High King and then met the Emperor. After a series of challenges, Russ was defeated in combat and recognized the Emperor as his father and leader, accepting to lead the Sixth Legion. He is unquestionably loyal to the Emperor, and considers himself and his Legion the "Emperor's Executioners" - but dislikes that the Emperor had him take on this role.
  • Achilles in His Tent: After Alpharius chases his Legion into the Alaxxes nebula and the Khan refuses to help, Leman locks himself up in his apartments aboard the Hrafnkel and doesn't come out until his second-in-command is getting ready for a Last Stand.
  • The Alcoholic: He and his Legion are pretty much the only Space Marines to consume alcohol (though they have to imbibe it in quantities that would kill a normal human several times over in order to overcome their superhuman constitution). Notable in that when the Emperor first came to Fenris, Russ challenged him to a drinking contest... and won!
  • Beneath the Mask: He looks and acts like an inebriated Viking with Hollywood's own grasp on tactics, but Wolf King reveals that he's adopted the persona to fit in Fenris' society and he's actually quite serious, analytical and fiendishly intelligent.
  • BFS: Mjalnar, a huge power sword.
  • Big Eater: As well as Big Drinker. When the Emperor challenged him to an eating and drinking contest, the Wolf actually won.
  • The Big Guy: In the sense that the Emperor specifically made him to take out the other Primarchs, if needs be.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Spear of Russ, a gift from his father. It is a Power Spear the Emperor himself forged and poured a portion of his power into. Its main ability is to reveal the truth beneath anything it pierces. Amusingly enough, he hates it and keeps on "losing" it everywhere, to the woe of his huscarls. Nonetheless, it always finds a way to return to its proprietor. He finally uses it in Wolfsbane against Horus. Said novel reveals the Spear's actual name is the Dionysian Spear, which was forged by The Emperor, and it has the ability to show the true form of whatever it hits. The blow it inflicts on Horus cleanses him of Chaos corruption and outright cuts out a chunk of his soul. Russ ends up becoming more fond of the spear after learning its true nature.
  • Blind Obedience: He'll do anything his father asks him to, even if it's killing one of his brothers. After Prospero, he starts to recognize this as his character flaw.
  • Blood Knight: A heroic example - he loves a good scrap.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He is one, but he tends to inflate this concept to help create the 'barbarian king' persona to others.
  • Canine Companion: Russ is always accompanied by his two wolf "brothers," Freki and Geri. One is killed by Magnus on Prospero, while the other's fate is left ambiguous.
  • Canis Major: He was raised by these as a child. His legion later started to use them in battle.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Leman Russ earned such a brutal reputation during the Great Crusade that the Space Wolves were nicknamed "the Rout."
    • Leman himself is on the receiving end of one at the hands of Angron in a duel... Which was exactly what Russ wanted to prove - while he would lose, his warriors would kill Angron in return. Lorgar's baffled that Angron never understood the lesson the Wolves primarch was trying to teach.
      • Later played with during the height of the Heresy. Russ confides that he could probably take out all but 3 Primarchs in single combat. In his mind, Sanguinius has the perfect balance of technique and warrior fury, Kurze has the violence borne from insanity, and Horus is... Horus.
    • Russ also delivers one to an Alpha Legion Contemptor Dreadnought.
    • On the tabletop, this is the result of Russ fighting any other Primarch. Any other Primarch.
  • Death World: His home of Fenris, known for its brutally cold climate, cold people and giant wolves prowling the landscape.
  • Does Not Like Magic: As a result of being raised on Fenris, which had the clearest view of Chaos of all the worlds the Primarchs were founded on, Russ advocated for heavy restraint in the use of, if not the wholesale ban on psykers. He later grows out of this, but still have some reservations against the Thousand Sons, though for far more understandable reasons.
  • Drinking Contest and Eating Contest: His first meeting with the Emperor had the two going through both and Russ winning, at which point Emperor called for a proper duel and promptly won against a drunk and full Wolf King.
  • Fatal Flaw: His judgement and decision-making. On paper, he is almost always right, but the way he decides to act leaves much to be desired. He thought Magnus and his legion's use of their psyker ability was dangerous, but he also jumped at the chance to kill Magnus without a second thought. He was correct in thinking that there was still good in Horus, but he didn't realize that it would take Horus being on death's door to bring it out. When the loyalists needed him to be reasonable, he was a savage (Magnus). When they needed him to be a savage, he was reasonable (Horus).
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's rude, blunt, somewhat hypocritical when faced with psykers, and has no vocal filter - but he's loyal to a fault and a lot of his fear of psykers is good sense.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: His main motif is "wolves" and he has two accompanying him at all times.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Mjalnar, his BFS. It is shown in Wolfsbane that Russ does have a rationale for his preference for swords. He appreciates swords for their nobility, hard to forge, comparatively hard to wield in battle, for in all this difficulty, Russ thinks, is the legacy of kings.
  • He's Back!: After having several long days of not-quite-Heroic BSoD, he comes back just in time for the final battle against the Alpha Legion. The Wolves' reaction to this is almost ecstatic.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • A lot of this in the Wolf King novella. It turns out he never thought that leading a berserker army was a good idea, but with his father demanding that the VI Legion be based on the culture of Fenris, he became "more Fenrisian than Fenrisians themselves". He's also plagued by doubt about killing Magnus - unfortunately, only after the fact - and sees that his "Emperor's Executioner" persona should be ditched, or else the Wolves will soon find themselves with no allies. Further shown in earlier books like Prospero Burns, Leman absolutely despises his position (what basically amounts to internal affairs) as well as holding severe resentment towards the Emperor for giving him said position.
    • His flashback cameo in Betrayer has him quoting the oft-derided Lorgar to Angron, trying to explain the Crusade's moral underpinnings.
    • Another flashback to his first meeting with Horus during the earliest days of the Crusade has him talking haltingly and occasionally misusing words - he doesn't have fluency in Gothic yet. He then explains that he only learned the language five days prior. Horus is suitably impressed that he can communicate so well already.
    • In The First Heretic, Magnus reveals to Lorgar that when the idea of censuring and destroying the Word Bearers was debated, Russ argued in Lorgar's favor.
  • Horny Vikings: Leads an entire army of these guys.
  • Hypocrite: Is one of the most outspoken anti-psyker Primarchs, rivalled only by Mortarion, but believes that his own Rune Priests are not tainted like all other forms of psykers, despite the fact that they draw their power from the Warp. However, recent books imply that his hatred of Magnus has more to do with the lack of control he shows than him using psykers at all, and the Rune Priests prove highly resistant to Chaotic corruption compared to the Librarians of other Legions.
    • He later admits that he might well be hypocritical, but his point about resistance was still valid - he points out the Khan's Stormseers as a similar tradition to his Gothi; one that kept them on the straight and narrow, compared to Magnus's sons, who studied the Warp without limit and were consumed by it. He acknowledges their use as a practical necessity towards the end of the Heresy.
    • He also shows contempt for the Flesh Change that afflicts the Thousand Sons. The Vlka have a similar problem with the Wulfen, and Russ was outright terrified when Lion'El Johnson learned this secret, believing the Lion would immediately reveal it to the Emperor and have the Wolves exterminated.
  • Jerkass: Out of all the Primarchs, only Angron's more prone to starting fights amongst his brothers. To wit, Leman quarreled with Magnus (over his use of sorcerers), Jaghatai Khan (over his founding of the Librarius program), Guilliman (over being asked to split up his legion), Angron (over his bloodthirsty way of waging war), and El'Jonson (see the Kill Steal entry below), not to mention his hypocrisy when it comes to psyker powers.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: All too often, Russ is in fact, right. Magnus fell because he delved too deeply into the warp and was tricked into it by Tzeentch, and the cuddly "familiars" the Thousand Sons were using were in fact, Daemons, while the spirit of Fenris was provably real. Angron's inability to turn away from his singleminded pursuit of bloodshed led to the entirety of the World Eaters falling into a mass of frenzied berserkers, a far cry from the War Hounds they once were, and the Lion's hubris and inability to take any slight, no matter the severity would be his downfall.
  • Kill Steal: He was a victim of this at the Lion's hand - when the leader of the planet Dulan insulted Russ, he fought his way to the man's throne room just in time to see El'Jonson behead him. Russ promptly punched the Lion in the jaw, leading to a protracted battle that abruptly ended when Russ started laughing at his own immaturity. El'Jonson, who was not amused, responded by knocking Russ cold.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: While we don't see this trope, his demeanour in Scars implies it. Russ castigates himself, and in Battle of the Fang Magnus muses to a statue of Russ that he remembers his brother's face being contorted with grief during their fight.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: He doesn't care if he is ordered to kill an entire legion of Space Marines, even if they are led by his own brothers. If the Emperor says it, he will do it without question.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Viking Werewolf Space Marine Demigod.
  • Raised by Wolves: Gigantic space wolves, as it turns out.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The leader of the watch pack he sends to Terra refuses and spits at his feet. Russ doesn't even threaten to lose his temper for another several paragraphs.
  • Red Baron: The Wolf.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He plays hrafnkel, which is like chess, but with more tactics and moving board. Serves to highlight his Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Undying Loyalty: Even after ten thousand years of the Emperor being stuck on the Golden Throne, he still travels the galaxy in an attempt to find anything that can cure his father.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: How he sees his relationship with the Lion - they fight every time they have a chance, but it's mostly good-natured on Leman's side and Russ trusts El'Jonson.
  • Wild Child: He was one of these when the people of Fenris found him.
  • You Are What You Hate: If rumours of him being a latent psyker are ever confirmed, this is very much the case. Big if, though.

Kasper Ansbach Hawser

A human scholar from Terra, he became Skald of the Space Wolves' Third Great Company and accompanies them to Prospero for the burning.
  • Accidental Misnaming: The Astartes who shot his ship down wasn't really Bear. It was Bjorn.
  • The Bard: What he was turned into by the Wolves. He follows them in battle and recite good stories for them.
  • Going Native: During his stay with the Wolves, he became much less of a Remembrancer and much more of a Fenrisian bard.
  • The Mole: He was turned into one unwillingly. A demon of chaos wanted to indulge the mutual distrust of the Thousand Sons and Space Wolves Legions to a point that they would engage in open combat against each other. What is truly interesting about the situation, is that Kasper didn't even had the need to relay information to anyone, all he had to do was stay close to the wolves and think some Thousand Son has a connection with him. This works brilliantly, because Russ tried to reach Magnus through Kasper thinking the Primarch knew what was happening through the skald eyes. Because of this, neither side got hold of the knowledge that a peaceful negotiation could happen, which lead to the Burning of Prospero.
  • The Smart Guy: He was an academic of great renown, to a point that Fulgrim knew of him and the Sigilite shown interest in his work.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After he was saved from the barbarian tribes in Fenris, Kasper body was reconstructed by the Wolf Priests. He's faster and stronger to the point where he can break a human hand just by stopping it's punch.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He unknowingly leads to the Burning of Prospero via the daemon that has possessed him.
  • Walking Spoiler:As if you couldn't guess that by now.

Sealed Badass in a Can? No! Right now, I'm fresh!
One of warriors in the Vlka, he gets progressively closer to Leman Russ after Prospero.
  • An Axe to Grind: Like many a Space Wolf, Bjorn has a fondness for a power axe.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: He gets to "babysit" Kaspar Hawser after shooting his ship from the skies.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: To atone for shooting down Kaspar Hawser, he gets to become his guardian.
  • The Confidant: Bjorn becomes one to Leman Russ, who feels more comfortable speaking his mind to a young warrior than he does to his grizzled commanders.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Bjorn is rather embarassed about the moniker "Fell-Handed".
  • Foreshadowing: The final pages of Prospero Burns not only confirm his moniker as 'Bear' as mistranslated from Bjorn, but have him remarking on a Dreadnought lumbering by, hinting at his future in a sarcophagus.
    • Scars goes further when he climbs into a boarding torpedo:
    This must be how Dreadnoughts feel. Poor bastards.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He's on the receiving end of this - a lot of the Legion's officers are annoyed that such a junior legionary has become the confidant of Russ himself.
  • Insistent Terminology: He prefers to be called "One-Handed" rather than "Fell-Handed".
  • Handicapped Badass: The waiting lists for augmetics are very long after Prospero, so Bjorn has to fight some battles with one hand. Lampshaded by a fellow Wolf in Scars after he bludgeons an Alpha Legionary almost to death with his armoured stump.
  • Kill Steal: Yet another person to take victory from Leman Russ - he slays a daemon prince who murdered his comrades before Leman can dish out his own punishment. In this case, though, Russ is more proud than angry.
  • Revenge: Is motivated by this for a long, long time.
  • Secret-Keeper: Non-supernatural variety - he becomes the only person to whom Leman confesses his doubts about the Legion's purpose.
  • Wolverine Claws: His other Weapon of Choice is a Lightning Claw, which is basically this with Shock and Awe added.

Ohthere Wyrdmake

A Rune Priest amongst the VI Legion who plays an instrumental role in the condemnation of the Thousand Sons

     VII Legion: Imperial Fists 

The Legion
Number: VII
Original Name: Not given
Primarch: Rogal Dorn

The Imperial Fists are the Seventh Legion, hailed as one of the shining paragons of the Legiones Astartes. The Imperial Fists were designed to be ideal Space Marines, their recruits tsken from a variety of sources and their geneseed and organization being in the standards of a typical Astartes. The Legion actually discovered their Primarch Rogal Dorn so early that the majority of the first recruits were still aspirants. Dorn immediately took command of his Legion and set out to conquer the stars. During the Great Crusade, the Imperial Fists participated in dozens of campaigns and earned countless honors, compiling a record of battle second only to the Luna Wolves. Their zealotry, discipline, and proximity to the Emperor as his Praetorian Guard earned them a reputation as the most exemplary of Legions, closest to the Emperor's ideals. They were also bitter rivals with the Iron Warriors.

Just before the Horus Heresy, the Imperial Fists were ordered to fortify the Sol System due to their expertise in siege warfare. Rogal Dorn and the bulk of the VII Legion were tied to the Sol System for the entirety of the Heresy to oversee the fortification of the Imperial Palace, but most of the Legion's fleet set out to the Istvaan system to join the loyalist counterattack. They were becalmed in the Phall system, however, and nearly destroyed by an Iron Warriors armada led by Perturabo himself. The survivors wound up joining Guilliman in the Imperium Secundus. The Imperial Fists are currently leading the defense of the Imperial Palace in the Siege of Terra.

The Imperial Fists are a stoic and professional legion, totally dedicated to the Imperium's cause. Their culture is based on ancient Prussic traditions, which contributes to these characteristics. They are also known for using pain-gloves and other devices of mortification to test their physical resilience and hone their willpower and focus. As part of their goal to make each conquered planet a permanent hold, the Imperial Fists have become experts in siege warfare, both offensive and defensive. They are based on a huge space fortress named the Phalanx although their official homeworld is Terra. The Imperial Fists wear yellow armour with black trim, though elite units such as the Templar Brethren tend to reverse that colour scheme and add some gold.
  • The Ace: One of the most accomplished Legions of the Crusade and pretty much The Face of the entire corps.
  • BFS: Their Weapon of Choice, Legion-wide, is a two-handed sword.
  • Body Motifs: The fist. Their symbol is that of a clenched fist, and they have a habit of torturing themselves by wearing pain-gloves to build up their pain resistance and hone their resolve and mental focus.
  • Color Motif: Yellow and gold, with black for the Templars.
  • Cool Starship: The Phalanx, which is huge enough to serve as a mobile base for the entire Legion, and has enough firepower to take on the entire Battlefleet Solar with a reasonable chances of success.
  • Determinator: Their defining characteristic, and one that has helped them excel as siege experts. The Fists can be more stubborn than a mule and drive their heads into the wall endless times, but by the Throne, they don't give up.
  • Elite Army: The Templar Brethren are their elite cadre. They take their names from the Temple of Oaths on the Phalanx, where every Imperial Fist takes his final vows and which they are sworn to protect at all costs.
  • Emotions Versus Stoicism: Firmly on the latter's side. An Imperial Fist's mind should be as impenetrable and well-guarded as the fortresses he raises.
  • The Engineer: The Imperial Fists are experts on siege warfare, with an emphasis on defense. As a corollary, they are excellent engineers and can fortify any place into an impenetrable stronghold.
  • The Face: For the majority of the Imperium, especially on Terra, they're the default image of a Space Marine.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Inverted - golden yellow is the typical colour, but it's the black-armoured Astartes that are the elite.
  • Internal Affairs: Become one after the Heresy breaks out, hunting down traitorous legionaries in the Sol system.
  • Out of Focus: By necessity, as they're tied up fortifying Terra, which makes them unavailable for the current plot. It's likely they'll become much more prominent when the storyline moves to the Siege.
  • Praetorian Guard: Become this for the Imperial government, though somewhat reluctantly.
  • Protect This House: As an unquestionably loyal legion and experts in defensive siege warfare, the Imperial Fists are called back to the Sol system to defend Terra and the Imperial Palace. Although it ties them up for the entirety of the war, the Imperial Fists create one of the most elaborate and impregnable fortresses in the history of the galaxy, which actually begins several systems around Terra itself, and is perfected down to individual sandbags.
  • The Rival: They have quite a bitter rivalry with the Iron Warriors (though it's more bitter on the Warriors' end), thanks to overlapping, yet opposing mission statements.
  • Space Navy: Their other, somewhat lesser speciality are naval operations.

Rogal Dorn
The Primarch of the Imperial Fists Legion. Stranded on the ice-world of Inwit, Dorn managed to build a multiplanetary empire from the low-tech tribes of the world, and then sought the Emperor aboard his flagship, the Phalanx. Unquestionably loyal to the Emperor, he is made the commander of the loyalist Imperial military and Protector of Terra after the fall of Horus.
  • Berserk Button: Disobeying his orders and questioning his brothers' loyalty without solid evidence.
    • He hits Nathaniel Garro hard enough to send him flying across the room and dislocate his jaw for denouncing Horus as a traitor. Then, when Garro has the temerity to challenge him, he nearly kills him then and there.
    • He later goes absolutely ballistic when he learns that Sigismund disobeyed his orders becaus he believed the words of an Oracular Urchin, up to the point of declaring his own first captain "no son of his".
  • Brutal Honesty: He never sugarcoats anything and never conceals his opinions, which doesn't endear him to several of his brothers. On the flip side, whenever he praises someone, he means it. Loken is taken aback by this.
  • Chainsaw Good: Uses a chainsword known as Storm's Teeth. Whether it is the same as the previously mentioned Teeth of Terra is unknown.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Rogal Dorn will not lie under any circumstances, even if it could help his cause. This really pisses off Perturabo.
  • The Consigliere: After Horus was made Warmaster, Dorn spent some time travelling with him and advising him, as he was one of the few primarchs who genuinely supported his brother's elevation to the position and had accumulated almost as much experience as Horus.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In Burden of Duty, when Nathaniel Garro calls him out for seemingly imprisoning his Legion's Librarians aboard the Phalanx when their talents could be of use in the war, Dorn retorts that he is mistaken; he is not imprisoning the Librarians out of obedience to the Edict of Nikaea, he is keeping them safe. Dorn states that he is aware the Librarius will be an invaluable weapon against the daemons Horus now commands, and thus he is keeping them close at hand, ready to unleash them on such monsters when the time comes.
  • Determinator: Even more so than other Primarchs. His skill in sieges comes partially from his incredible will to never give up. Scholars assume that his inheritance of the Emperor's countenance is the liege's discipline in the eternal quest for his ideals. The Imperium is so aware of this that one of his titles is 'The Unyielding One'.
  • The Emperor: Before The Emperor found him, he had his own interstellar empire and was referred to by the title. It seems to have been folded into the greater Imperium by the times of the Heresy, though.
  • Four-Star Badass: Rather than in direct combat, his genius lies in strategy.
  • Herald: He's one of the people who suggest elevating Loken to the Mournival.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Considers his rivalry with Perturabo to be childish in hindsight and hates himself for "destroying" the Imperial Palace by fortifying it.
    • It's noted that he never showed any envy for Horus' elevation, despite his own arguable fitness for the role.
  • Hidden Depths: He turns out to have a keen sense of architectural beauty, and political nous to boot.
    • In Blood Games it's revealed that he's running a false double agent to spy on Horus.
  • Humble Hero: He admits that the sheer scope of his personal ability to change the galaxy, for better or for worse, frightens him. He believes this is wise, though, and supports Loken's promotion to the Mournival to bring a similar voice of humility into Horus' circle of advisors.
  • Meaningful Name: "Dorn" is old Celtic for fist.
  • Not So Stoic: For all his stoicism, there are significant instances in which his temper was shaken. In The Flight of the Eisenstein, Dorn nearly kills Nathaniel Garro for daring to slander Horus after Garro tells him about the Isstvan III Massacre. He also confesses in The Lightning Tower that he fears Konrad Curze. He's also afraid to know why Horus of all Primarchs would turn traitor, in case the answer makes sense to him.
  • Only Friend: Dorn kept himself distant from virtually everyone, even with the brothers he got on cordially with (to the extent that shaking Horus's hand on the latter's ascension to Warmaster was considered a monumental gesture). The only person who could be considered a genuine friend to him was the remembrancer Solomon Voss, who was one of the very few people that could get Dorn to smile and laugh, let alone have a friendly conversation. It ends up getting used against him by Horus.
  • Only Sane Man: One of the very few Primarchs who could be called normal people, alongside Guilliman. As the Fatal Flaws of his brothers go, Brutal Honesty is probably the least crippling.
  • The Philosopher: Talks to Loken about how frightening his own potential is. Whilst fortifying the Imperial Palace, he voices worries about Horus' reason for rebelling resonating with him.
  • Praetorian Guard: His main contribution to Heresy is being this to the Emperor.
  • Raised by Grandparents: While most Primarchs had father figures, Dorn considers the man who raised him a grandfather.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Tries to be this during the Heresy, commanding the Imperial forces while his father is fighting the Webway War underneath the Palace.
    • This can be seen in his initial unwillingness to give more soldiers to the conflict in the Webway, until he is told just how bad it's got down there.
  • Red Baron: "Emperor's Praetorian", "The Unyielding One".
  • The Siege: His speciality is building fortresses that can't be taken by anyone save for other Imperial Fists (or Iron Warriors, but better not mention this).
  • The Stoic: He's hard to rile up and doesn't mind in the slightest that his Legion is being recalled to Terra in the last years of the Great Crusade. Sanguinius describes a firm handshake from Dorn to be akin to a shout of joy from someone else.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Underplayed, but he continues to wear the heavy coat of his long-dead grandfather even in the times of Heresy.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: The Lightning Tower short story, while not having him face his greatest fear, is this for Dorn, as he finally accepts that there is something that terrifies him - Konrad Curze.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the audio drama, Burden of Duty, Dorn angrily calls out Garro (and by proxy, Malcador) for trying to infiltrate the Phalanx without his knowledge; Dorn warns that while he will let it slide this time, he won't tolerate it again, arguing that he has enough on his plate preparing Terra for Horus's inevitable assault without having to worry what his allies are doing behind his back.
    • He also begins one to the Custodians when Diocletian demands more troops for the War in the Webway. He gives in, however, once he realises the stakes.
    • In the short story The Chamber at the End of Memory, he starts giving Malcador such a speech upon finding out that the Sigillite has psychically sealed or erased everyone's memories of the second and eleventh primarchs. Malcador shuts him up by revealing that it was Dorn's idea to begin with, and then unseals his memories to show him why he came up with such an extreme solution. Whatever Dorn remembers is horrible enough for him to conclude that the entirety of the Heresy has been a lesser evil by comparison, and that the Imperium would already lie in ruins if the two lost primarchs hadn't been scoured from the galaxy.

For Heresy-stomping, accept no substitutes
The First Captain of the Imperial Fists, and right-hand man to Rogal Dorn. He is hailed as the most skilled duelist in all eighteen Space Marine Legions and is said to have never lost a duel. The future founder and first High Marshal of the Black Templars chapter.
  • The Ace: Its mentioned he's a Master Swordsman of such proportions that he has never once lost a duel. This means that either 1) he's never dueled any Primarchs, or 2) he doesn't consider it a loss if his opponent cheats in the fight, as it did with Sevatarnote  or 3) any match that didn't end with him winning ended in a draw. While these are each possible, all of them being true at once is extremely unlikely. It doesn't mean anything at all, because a sparring bout (even amongst Astartes who are at real risk of being maimed) does not accurately represent the fighters' true potential; He's just lucky and had a lot of bad opponents to hone his skills on.
    • In Templar this is clarified: he's never lost in true battle either.
    • This is reflected in his rules, very few non-Primarch fighters stand a chance against Sigismund in a duel due to his stats, and very few, if any non explicitly supernatural fighters can stand up to him in a challenge.
  • BFS: The Black Sword, a two-handed paragon blade that is forged from lustrous black metal. It previously belonged to the Emperor. Oddly enough, it didn't have a name when it was given to him, and the Black Sword was an appelation that was given to Sigismund himself when he was sent out to slay traitors during the end of the Siege.
  • Blood Knight: He seems downright happy when proclaiming that the Great Crusade is never going to end.
    • He's deeply sombre, however, when he first goes into battle against his own kind.
    • By the time of Warhawk, he has become cold, stoic, and almost mechanical in combat, cutting down traitor captains and champions as though they're nothing more than training dummies.
  • The Captain: Technically, this is his rank, and he's badass at being one.
  • The Champion: If anyone's going to bat for the Fists in matters of honour, it's him. He also is given the title of Emperor's Champion after being given the Black Sword during the Siege of Terra, although neither were given to him officially.
  • Colonel Badass: While he has an Astartes rank of Captain, his responsibilities make him more of a colonel, and he's certainly awesome.
  • Determinator: Sigismund absolutely never gives up, even trying to take on Fulgrim in Saturnine until his Primarch steps in.
  • Emotions Versus Stoicism: Wrestles with this successfully on Mars, evacuating people and materiel instead of staying to fight.
    • He chooses emotion, however, when Euphrati Keeler tells him that he will die a pointless and inglorious death if he leads the VII Legion fleet to Istvaan as Dorn has ordered, but that he will serve a greater purpose if he remains at his gene-father's side. Sigismund chooses to listen to Keeler. Dorn, needless to say, is pissed when he finds out.
  • Empty Shell: When he takes up the Black Sword in Warhawk, Sigismund becomes a cold, pitiless and remorseless embodiment of the Imperium to come, not uttering a word even as he duels his former friend Kharn to the death.
  • Going Native: During the Great Crusade, he lived among the World Eaters more than he did among his own legion, and he has taken to some of their habits, like chaining his weapons to his hands.
    • Funnily enough, he seems to view the custom with more reverence than the World Eaters. When Sigismund duels Jubal Khan, the White Scar cuts his chain, which amuses Khârn when he finds out.
  • Heroic BSoD: Has a brief one when Rogal Dorn disowns him.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's known among his fellow Fists for his hotheadedness.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Towards the end of Praetorian of Dorn he he is full of broken metal and his armour is ruined, but still reaches for his sword when he hears that the Alpha Legion are in retreat.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: By the time of Warhawk, he has come to recognize that the Imperium he fought to build can never exist again, and that he must now fight for what it will become. As a result, he becomes cold, stoic, and withdrawn, even as he's cutting down Sons of Horus captains like they're training dummies and dueling Kharn himself.
  • Knight Templar: The first of the Black Templars, an entire Chapter of those.
  • Legacy Character: He is the creator of the legacy of the Emperor's Champion.
  • Master Swordsman: With a BFS no less. He's known throughout the eighteen Legions as one of the best swordsmen ever.
  • Memetic Badass: invokedEvery time an Astartes is thinking about duelling or close-quarters combat, you can bet that Sigismund will be mentioned, and he will be mentioned as one of the best at it.
  • Number Two: The second-in-command to Rogal Dorn.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: He is assigned to guard the very limits of the Sol System. While no one else knows it's a punishment, Fafnir Rann declares it an unworthy task for the First Captain.
  • Red Baron: After taking up the Emperor's sword, Sigismund is dubbed the Black Sword.
  • Religious Bruiser: Starts listening to Euphrati Keeler, one of the first people to proclaim Emperor's divinity. Dorn, suffice to say, is rather pissed about this.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: He chides Loken for believing that there can ever be peace in the galaxy.
  • The Stoic: To the point that Jubal chides him for his lack of joy in combat. Come the Siege of Terra, upon realising what the Imperium is destined to become as a result of the Heresy, he fully embraces the role he must play, turning into a cold, soul-dead warrior fueled by nothing but pure fanaticism, a pitiless killing machine who proceeded to scythe his way through the Traitor Legion's champions without remorse.

Alexis Polux
The Crimson Fist
The Captain of the Imperial Fists 405th Company. Also known as the Crimson Fist. Future founder and first Chapter Master of the... Crimson Fists.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Used to have one he lost during their trek to Fists' fortress-monastery. Alexis always thought it should've been Helias who became an Astartes.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Loses a hand during the Battle of Phall. It gets better, though - regeneration tech can do wonders in the Imperium.
  • The Captain: Of the 405th Company.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The burden of commanding the Retribution Fleet lies heavily on him, and he realizes he can't share his doubts with anyone, because everyone's going to look to him for reassurance.
  • The Big Guy: For the Imperial Fists; he's a giant even for an Astartes, and he can kill with a fist as easily as others may swing a sword. He's noted to even be able to see an Primarch eye to eye instead of looked down like most.
  • Brutal Honesty: Like his progenitor, he's always blunt and to the point, to the ire of the Ultramarines he's supposed to be advising.
  • Field Promotion: His commanders and mentors die when the Retribution Fleet becomes stranded at Phall, leaving him in charge of the fleet.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: While he warms up to Dantioch over time, it's only after Curze's attack that the two become friends, so much so that when Dantioch sacrifices himself during the battle of Sotha, Polux is found weeping over his friend's body, and insists that he alone be the one to carry Dantioch from the battlefield.
  • Four-Star Badass: Ends up in command of the massive Retribution fleet, comprising 363 warships and 20,000 Legionaries.
  • Genius Bruiser: One of the biggest and most powerful Space Marines, but also one of Dorn's best siege experts. Note that siegecraft is not as much art as it is applied mathematics.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Despite performing excellently at Phall and making leaps and bounds in learning how to operate the Pharos, he has this in spades and sometimes thinks that his late Aloof Big Brother would've performed better.
  • Hope Is Scary: After the Pharos shows him his gene-sire still alive, he's quick to jump to conclusion that it must've simply projected his hopes rather than shown him the truth.
  • Humble Hero: He shows very little pride in his achievements.
  • Memetic Badass: invokedAnother one known throughout the Legions.
    • Eventually. In his first appearance he's a minor captain who's just been handed a massive responsibility.
  • Odd Friendship: With the Iron Warrior Warsmith Dantioch.
  • Red Baron: The Crimson Fist.
  • Spanner in the Works: If it weren't for Polux being in command of the Retribution Fleet at Phall, the Fists would most likely have lost, since Perturabo's battle plans were made with the assumption that Sigismund would be in charge.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: What his work with Dantioch looks like at first from his side; he hates the Iron Warriors utterly and with passion.


Commander of Dorn's personal guard, the Huscarls.

  • An Arm and a Leg: During his training, he made a mistake that got him blasted by an energy weapon, costing him his right arm and leg. Fortunately, the Legion Apothecaries deemed him worthy of augmetic reconstruction, rather than discarding him as a failure.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: When this is invoked by another character, Archamus points out that it's about more than simple physical protection.
  • The Consigliere: More than any of the captains, it's Archamus who counsels Dorn.
  • Drop the Hammer: His Weapon of Choice is a power mace made from super-heavy stone.
  • Hidden Depths: Much like Dorn, he has a talent for civil architecture. In his younger days, he spent his free time sketching and designing grand buildings.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Even though he's on the verge of death, he lunges at Alpharius just as the Alpha Legion primarch is apparently about to land a killing blow on Dorn in an effort to stop him. Subverted, however, because Dorn saw it coming and turned in just the right way to block the attack.
  • I Call It "Vera": His mace is named Oathword.
  • The Kirk: As the leader of the team assembled to hunt down the Alpha Legion operatives who have infiltrated Sol, he serves as the balance between Kestros and Andromeda, taking advice from both of them while he considers how best to run down and eliminate the Alpha Legion.
  • Last of His Kind: He is the last survivor of the Twenty, the first Astartes raised to the VII Legion after Dorn took command. Many of the Imperial Fists, even those who are his equals in rank and seniority, regard him with awe because of this.
  • Meaningful Rename: Archamus' original name was Kye. At the end of his training, he renamed himself Archamus to honor a squadmate who was killed because of a mistake he made during a combat exercise. After the events of "Praetorian of Dorn", Sergeant Kestros also renames himself Archamus to honor the fallen soldier.
  • My Greatest Failure: During a training exercise, he questioned his team's orders so strongly that the team leader decided to reposition. This meant that they were caught out when the attack came, which got his team leader, the original Archamus, killed and cost him his right arm and right leg. He takes Archamus's name so that he will never forget the cost of failure.
  • Old Retainer: He's one of the oldest Astartes in the VII Legion, and Dorn turns to him for counsel more than any of the other senior officers.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: During the events of Praetorian of Dorn, he has this dynamic with Sergeant Kestros, serving as the Blue to Kestros' Red.
  • Tragic Keepsake: His name, which originally belonged to a fellow aspirant and friend who died during their training because of a mistake he made. He took it as his oath name upon being inducted into the Legion.

Fafnir Rann

The Seneschal of the VII Legion's assault cadre, and a close companion of Sigismund.

  • An Axe to Grind: carries two into battle.
  • Brutal Honesty: About and to Sigismund, no less.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In *Praetorian of Dorn* he makes his first appearance as Sigismund finishes chaining his sword to his arm, asking if he's sure he won't drop it yet.
  • The Lancer: Is this to Sigismund. He serves under him, but will readily criticise him in the full knowledge that if Sigismund took offence, he couldn't beat Rann that easily.
  • Shield Bash: Is pretty handy with it, opening a Word Bearer to Sigismund's killing blow.


A sergeant of the VII Legion who is detailed to aid Archamus in hunting down the Alpha Legion infiltrators that have attacked Sol.

  • Hot-Blooded: He is notably more hot-tempered than Archamus, meaning that the veteran occasionally has to rein him in. Andromeda-17 notices this and seems to delight in baiting him.
  • The McCoy: During the hunt for the Alpha Legion infiltrators in Praetorian of Dorn, Kestros tends to argue for the bluntest, most direct approach, and gets angrier more easily than does Andromeda. He also debates her on the ethics of her interrogation methods (namely, locking someone in an overheated room until they're suffering from dehydration). It's implied that this is why Archamus recruited him specifically; he wanted someone to provide him with this kind of perspective.
  • Odd Friendship: Though he and Andromeda spend the entirety of Praetorian of Dorn sniping at each other, they seem to have settled into this kind of relationship by the time of Now Peals Midnight, which is set just before the Siege of Terra begins.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Red to Archamus's Blue during the events of Praetorian of Dorn.
  • Take Up My Sword: A variant. Though Archamus doesn't personally ask him to do it, Kestros takes on his name and his position as a Huscarl after Archamus dies fighting Alpharius.
  • Tragic Keepsake: After Archamus is killed in battle with Alpharius on Pluto, Kestros takes his name.

     IX Legion: Blood Angels 

The Legion
Number: IX
Original Name: Revenant Legion
Primarch: Sanguinius

The Blood Angels are the Ninth Legion, one of the most celebrated and admired of all the Legiones Astartes. Their were originally simply the Ninth Legion and were deployed as fast vanguard engaging the enemy in bloody close-quarters engagements. With each of their engagement came reports of Astartes eating the flesh of the dead or drinking their blood, and so this frightful Legion was ostracized. Then Sanguinius was discovered on Baal. The Primarch turned the bloodthirsty Legion into an army of noble warriors, savage in combat but enlightened out of battle. Thus, the Legion eventually was celebrated as one of the Imperium's foremost hosts.

When the Horus Heresy started, Horus knew that Sanguinius would be loyal to the Emperor. Despite an atttempt to corrupt the Legion in the Signus system, the Blood Angel defeated an army of Chaos Daemons but were only saved from damnation through the sacrifice of one of their own. Afterward, they were tied up in Guilliman's Imperium Secundus for a sizeable length of time until Sanguinius had a vision of the Emperor. Sanguinius led the Blood Angels out of Ultramar, waging war in traitor territory until he reached Terra to participate in the Siege of Terra.

The Blood Angels are known as paragons of virtue and refinement. They practice several forms of art and also are very optimistic, believing that things can turn for the better. They culture incorporates many mystical concepts, centered around blood. Indeed, their creation process turned sickly and mutated recruits into handsome super soldiers. In battle, the Blood Angels specialize in shock close-quarters assaults leading up to bloody melees, with a preference for drop pod assaults or airborne jetpack assaults led by Sanguinius, fitting their monikers of "angels". But above all, the Blood Angels are defined by the Flaw, a quirk in their genetic makeup causing Legionaries to succumb to literal bloodlust. Horrified and fearful for his sons, Sanguinius hides the Flaw as best he can from the Imperium. The Blood Angels wear blood-red armour with black trim and lots of gold detailing.
  • Arc Symbol: Blood, as much as you might expect and then some.
  • Barbarian Longhair: They usually wear their hair long, which results in this when they go into combat.
  • Berserk Button: Trying to hurt Sanguinius doesn't pay off even when pressing the button is the point.
  • Berserker: Give off this impression when in combat. They're noted as one of the most savage close-quarters combatants out there.
  • Bling of War: They like to decorate their armour with gold and other prettiness, a practice encouraged by Sanguinius. Unfortunately, with the Emperor's Children's fall the question of who's the blingiest shall forever go unanswered.note 
  • Blood Knight: They indulge in war and enjoy every moment of it.
  • Color Motif: Red, blood-red to be exact.
  • Cultured Badass: They're savage in combat, but are noted as having some of the most beautiful art and decorations out there.
    • Privately, they make art to meditate on their nature and their relation to mortal man.
  • Dark Secret: Sometimes a Blood Angel will snap and get an unquencheable thirst for blood which will turn him into a mindless and savage animal. Not even Sanguinius can bring such a Marine back from the Red Thirst. It's a secret even within the Legion, as Sanguinius fears that if the information of it ever gets out, the Blood Angels will be purged to a man as faulty.
  • Death from Above: Their speciality is launching into combat via jump packs. It helps to have a Primarch with actual wings.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: The Sanguinary Guard, Primarch's personal elite, has Bling of War.
  • Horror Hunger: The Red Thirst makes them hungry for blood and impossible to reason with. After events of Fear To Tread every single one of them feels it to some extent, although it's manageable.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: It's noted that their gene-seed makes them look youngish, especially compared to other Legions, and they have habit of keeping their hair long.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Genetically and surgically enhanced Super Soldiers with thirst for blood and penchant for Paint the Town Red, led by a Winged Humanoid.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Super Soldiers with the thirst for blood somehow connected to their gene-sire - at least, that's what Sanguinius seems to think.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Baal Secundus, the moon that is their homeworld. Apparently, in the past it and the planet it orbits waged a nuclear war that left one uninhabitable and the other a barely-inhabitable nuclear wasteland.
  • Spanner in the Works: Their rage becomes this for the plan of turning them into Khorne worshippers... Let's reiterate this: they're too angry for the divine embodiment of rage.
  • Unstoppable Rage: A demo version of the Black Rage, a full-on berserkerism experienced by later generations, shows up when Sanguinius is injured. It turns a near-defeat into unconditional victory.


Don'tcha wish your Primarch was hot like me?
The Primarch of the Blood Angels Legion, often considered Horus's equal. Stranded on Baal, Sanguinius was taken in by one of the local tribes despite his mutation - a pair of angelic white wings on his back - and eventually grew into a strong leader protecting the humans from the hordes of mutants of Baal. Loyal to the Emperor. Famous for sacrificing his life against Horus in the Siege of Terra.
  • Angelic Beauty: Said to be rather attractive. Fabius Bile notes that while Fulgrim's looks personifies him as the apex of humanity, Sanguinius has an almost inhuman beauty. And just search the Internet for his fan pictures. We dare you.
  • The Ace: The Primarchs are all impossibly strong and capable of learning among human beings, but even so Sanguinius is The Ace above them all - as a result, absolutely everyone likes and respects him, and even Horus feels it's Sanguinius who should be the Warmaster.
    • So much that when Guilliman thinks that the Emperor's dead and the Horus Heresy lost, he convinces Sanguinius to take the Emperor's place as leader of the remnants of the Imperium, since Sanguinius is seen by many to be the most capable of ruling.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The prettiest and one of the most loyal of all Primarchs.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Alongside Vulkan, he is the nicest and most kind-hearted Primarch... And as the image in the right shows, carrying the head of a Keeper of Secrets he just killed. Though the most impressive foe in his kill-tally was the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha, by breaking his back and launching him back to the Warp. He also became enraged when Nassir Amit, after the Red Tear had crash-landed onto the surface of Signus III, dared to say that it was Horus who had sent them all to a trap, resulting in Sanguinius sweeping forth and knocking Amit down with the pommel of his great sword, placing the tip of the blade on Amit's bared throat and ordering him to recant or else he would strip him of his armor and mark him for punishment. Not to mention what he does to Konrad Curze...
  • BFS: He wields a giant two-handed sword.
  • Blade on a Stick: Alongside his BFS, his Weapon of Choice is the Spear of Telesto, supposedly a gift from his father. The Spear of Telesto is recognizable by its distinctive shape: the tip is tear-shaped and hollow, symbolizing the one drop of blood Sanguinius shed when he swore fealty to the Emperor. Apart from that, it was an exceptional weapon, able to pierce through the most durable foes and able to emit deadly energy beams from its tip.
  • Cain and Abel: It's hammered in pretty well that Horus is the Cain to his Abel.
  • Death from Above: How he usually arrives on the field of battle, given his wings.
  • Dynamic Entry: How he arrives on the field of battle when said field is inside a buiding, as Kyriss and Ka'bandha can both attest.
  • The Emperor: For the provisional government known as Imperium Secundus, organized during the Horus Heresy when Terra was believed to have been consumed by the Warp and their father to be dead. In practice, he, Roboute Guilliman and Lion El'Jonson ruled together as a triumvirate, but Sanguinius had the last word.
  • Foil: Is compared to 4 primarchs.
    • To Horus. Horus and Sanguinius are the two most well-liked and charismatic primarchs. Both are renowned for their heroism, even among their brothers. Both get visions of a dark future. Both have certain insecurities (Horus about his fitness to be warmaster, Sanguinius about the mutation that caused his wings). The difference is that Sanguinius is aware of his insecurities and decides to face his fears and doubts head-on, regardless. Horus on the other hand allows a vision and his flaws to drag him into hell and become a puppet of the Chaos Gods.
    • To Angron. He is Angron in reverse. Angron was an empathethic soul who was turned into a bloodthirsty monster due to the Butcher's nails. He took a noble legion and turned them into monsters. He is probably the most unpopular primarch. Sanguinius is a naturally bloodthirsty monster who strives to be noble. He took a legion of derelicts and turned them into some of the most noble heroes of the Imperium. As a result, he was among the most popular primarchs in life and the most beloved in death.
    • He is also compared to Fulgrim by the Khan. Sanguinius has insecurities, whereas Fulgrim IS insecure. Sanguinius wears his finery like it's no big deal if he is with or without, whereas Fulgrim seems to need all the pomp and grandeur to keep his ego together. Both stimulated their legions to pursue the arts, but for different reasons. For Fulgrim it was to pursue perfection, for Sanguinius it was to keep the inner monsters of his legion in check.
    • Finally, like Curze he has horrific visions of dark fates, but whereas the Night Haunter became a fatalist who saw no point in trying to be better, Sanguinius endeavours to be the best version of himself regardless of the outcome.
  • Freakiness Shame: Lorgar claims that Sanguinius fears what his wings might represent.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The noblest of them all, and gifted wih a glorious golden mane.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: His crimson-bladed great sword is archetypical of heroic characters, and Sanguinius is one of the most unambiguously heroic individuals in this franchise.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Though he dies in battle against Horus, he manages to damage his armour enough for the Emperor to exploit this weakness during the final battle.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: In Betrayer, Lorgar claims that this is why Sanguinius is truly incorruptible. He believes that Sanguinius fears that his wings are a sign of corruption and proof that something went wrong with his creation. Thus, Sanguinius is always working to prove himself. He's loyal not only out of love and nobility but also due to fear.
  • He's Back!: After spending a huge part of the last third of Fear To Tread in a coma, he comes back just in time for the final showdown.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: He's called The Pure One for a reason.
  • In the Blood: While all Primarchs have inherited something from the Emperor, Sanguinius is said to posses the best blend of all his aspects.
  • It's All My Fault: Seems to blame himself both for his mutation and the Red Thirst of his gene-sons.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He has long blonde hair and is often described as the most beautiful of his brothers.
  • Nemean Skinning: During his first campaign, Sanguinius slew a carnodon (a big lion-like animal) during his first campaign and has worn its pelt over his armour since then.
  • Messianic Archetype: Played surprisingly straight.
  • Modest Royalty: After being made Emperor of the Imperium Secundus, he dislikes it when Guilliman and Lion defer to him and would rather the three brothers rule as equals.
  • Nice Guy: He saw the worth in everyone, even his preternaturally-unappreciated brother Perturabo... something the latter was always grateful for. Which says a lot, considering Perturabo hated Rogal Dorn and disliked virtually all his other brothers save Magnus, to whom he was closest because of their shared love of culture.
    • He even offered to forgive Konrad Curze, when the latter confronted him on Macragge, for his actions so far in the Heresy and help him try and make things right with the Emperor, and to try and help him fix his damaged mind.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Vampire Angel Giant Super Soldier Demigod.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Well, for starters, he's probably the most badass one out there.
  • Pretty Boy: Even Agent Peacock and coinnoisseur extraordinaire Fulgrim admits that Sanguinius is hella pretty.
  • Red Baron: The Great Angel, Lord of Angels, The Pure One and All-Beloved.
  • Reluctant Ruler: He was unwilling to accept the crown and rule as Emperor of Mankind for Imperium Secundus.
  • Seer: He sometimes catches glimpses of the future, albeit often they're merely a few seconds with a general impression, and sometimes they're highly allegorical.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The Messianic Archetype of the story is slated to die right before the slow tumble towards hell begins.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: According to Lorgar, Sanguinius' mutation makes him compelled to excel in everything to prove to his father that he's a good son and not a freak.
  • Winged Humanoid: He has a pair of giant and functional wings on his back. In-universe, it's noted that there is no apparent way that he ought to be able to fly at all, according to both physics and biology. Sanguinius himself lampshades this by idly calculating that if his bodily dimensions were proportionate to his wings, his sternum bone ought to be over 2 meters long.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: His visions - while he perceives them as long to very long - objectively take a split-second. At one point, he has a several-minute-long nightmare about the future and no-one who's on the bridge with him notices this.


The Commander of the Sanguinary Guard. Later oversees the division of the IX Legion into multiple chapters.
  • Body Double: When Sanguinius becomes the Emperor of Imperium Secundus, Azkaellon has himself acting as his public face so that his Primarch won't be killed by some assassin.
  • Control Freak: Is absolutely dead-serious about Sanguinius' safety and if it was up to him, he'd probably keep his Primarch locked up behind dozens of rows of walls and cannons at all times.
  • Foil: Grumpy and jerkass-y counterpart to the more fatherly Raldoron.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: It applies to the entire Sanguinary Guard. They are plated in golden artificer armour, with white baroque wings attached to their jump packs. Everything to look more akin to Sanguinius and his angelic appearence.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The body in question, "courtesy" of Curze.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Over a hundred years old and very grumpy.
  • Jerkass: He is blunt and dismissive of others.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: But he's loyal to Sanguinius and his beliefs. No one would ever doubt that.
  • Married to the Job: Has very little concerns and friends beyond his occupation as commander of the Sanguinary Guard.
  • The Rival: To Raldoron for Sanguinius' favor, or so Azkaellon behaves. While he never outright says it, it's clear Azkaellon feels threatened by Raldoron and his position as the primarch's First Captain and equerry.
  • Undying Loyalty: You may have noticed that his section mentions the word "Sanguinius" more often than Sanguinius'.


The First Captain of the Blood Angels and equerry to Sanguinius. Future Master of the Blood Angels chapter.
  • The Consigliere: Serves as Sanguinius' equerry in addition to his responsibilities as the first captain.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's older-looking and the stoic pillar of the Legion.
  • A Father to His Men: He's often called "fatherly" when described, and cares greatly for his Legion.
  • Number Two: As First Captain and Chapter Master of the First Chapter, despite what Azkaellon has convinced himself of.
  • Only Sane Man: In comparison to other First Captains (and some more... colourful members of the Legions), he's quite reasonable, calm and serious. He's not prone to choler like Abaddon, nor is he hot-blooded in the same way as Sigismund, he never displayes the same malice as Sevatar (then again, even his own legion has difficulties matching it). This is actually a feat, considering how the Blood Angels will eventually turn out.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one in The Lost and The Damned to Gendor Skraivok, all while battering Skraviok to a pulp, calling the Night Lords an evil legion who should have been exterminated.
    Raldoron: You are and always were an evil Legion. You took the Emperor's mission and twisted it. Selfish. Monstrous. Tormentors of the weak. If Horus had not turned, I would have gladly led the hunt for your kind myself. I thank you from my heart that you came to my sword and saved me the trouble of looking.
  • The Rival: To Azkaellon, or so the lord of the Sanguiniary Guard would believe. For his part, Raldoron just wants to do his dang job, but Azkaellon just won't stop needling him.
  • The Stoic: By Blood Angel standards, Raldoron is the calmest of people. When the Angels are about to board an Ork kruiser, he actually leans back and closes his eyes, almost looking as if he was about to take a nap right before a life-or-death boarding action.

Nassir Amit

The Captain of the Fifth Company, known as one of the most aggressive of the Blood Angels' senior leadership. Future founder and first Chapter Master of the Flesh Tearers.
  • Brutal Honesty: The reason Sanguinius keeps him around. While others might stop at protocol, Amit always says what he believes, even naming Horus Lupercal a traitor... in Sanguinius' presence, knowing the risk that entails.
  • Dark Secret: He has two, one that only he and his men know, and one that only he knows. His first secret is that during the Signus Massacre he and some of his company killed the Space Wolf Helik Redknife and his men under the influence of the Rage. His second secret, that he has never shared with anyone, is that he remembers the taste of wolf blood... and hungers to taste it again.
  • Hidden Depths: On the outside Amit appears as little more than a psychotic Blood Knight. On the inside is a psychotic Blood Knight who's shrewd, loyal to his brothers and primarch, and values honesty in all things.
  • Red Baron: His savage nature earned him the nickname "the Flesh Tearer". He ends up embracing it.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: His power sword is serrated on both sides. When he learned about his nickname, he had the Blood Angels armoury outfit the Fifth Company's combat knives to match. This practice is still maintained by the Flesh Tearers in the "present".
  • Weirdness Coupon: By all rights Amit's personality is at odds with the character of the Blood Angels of the Great Crusade, and his manner would be better in the World Eaters or the Wolves of Fenris. However, Sanguinius values his honesty.


A Blood Angels officer rendered unable to fight by trouble with his bionic arms, Zephon serves as part of the Crusader Host on Terra until he is drafted for the War in the Webway.
  • Artificial Limbs: Has two bionic arms, but it's a subverted trope as they don't interface well with his nerves. It's so bad that he simply can't fight.
  • Chainsaw Good: His melee weapon of choice is a chainsword.
  • Cultured Badass: Plays the harp.
  • Death from Above: Takes on the Daemon of the First Murder in this way.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Confronts the Daemon of the First Murder with a chainsword and a bandolier of grenades. He takes off one of its arms and blows off the best part of its head, weakening it enough for its borrowed shell to be destroyed.
  • Guns Akimbo: Uses two volkite pistols.
  • Handicapped Badass: Unable to fight, he nonetheless travels to a profoundly strange and dangerous realm where a war is raging.
    • Later he loses the handicap, courtesy of Arkhan Land, whilst keeping the badass.
  • Jetpack: Has a "jump pack" but uses it more like a jetpack than the Jump Jet Pack used by most Space Marines.
  • The Load: Is viewed this way by Diocletian and Land, as he's essentially being used as a guinea pig to see whether the Webway would corrupt Astartes.
  • The Red Baron: Bringer of Sorrow.


     X Legion: Iron Hands 

The Legion
Number: X
Original Name: Storm Walkers
Other Names: Iron Tenth
Primarch: Ferrus Manus

The Iron Hands are the Tenth Legion and one of the most implacable and merciless of the Legiones Astartes. Originally known as the Storm Walkers, the Tenth Legion discovered their Primarch Ferrus Manus during the early days of the Great Crusade, who turned them into an army of ruthless, tech-obsessed cyborgs. With ironclad grit and durability, as well as a great number of vehicles among their forces, the Iron Hands became known for being able to perform both large-scale bloody battles and technological warfare. However, things took a turn for the worse at the start of the Horus Heresy.

Offended by Fulgrim's attempt to sway him to the traitors' side, Ferrus Manus rushed to Istvaan V where the traitor Legions were gathered, leaving a large part of his legion behind. On the ground, the Iron Hands drove straight into the enemy lines and refused to fall back when the second wave arrived, which got them pinned between superior forces when the "reinforcements" turned out to be on Team Horus. Ferrus Manus was slain by Fulgrim and many of the Iron Hands were killed during the Drop Site Massacre. The Legion's remnants were scattered alongside the Raven Guard and Salamanders, turning to guerrilla warfare to undermine Horus' side as best they could.

In many ways, the Iron Hands are like their frozen-over, yet volcanic, homeworld of Medusa - seemingly cold, yet with fire boiling underneath. The Iron Hands are known for liberally using cybernetics, voluntarily replacing their limbs and organs with artificial replacements because they believe that "flesh is weak". This results in the Tenth Legion having close ties to the Mechanicum and having access to exclusive bits of technology. Ironically, Ferrus Manus privately disapproved of his sons putting bionics on themselves in such a gratuitous manner. Despite acting calm, the Iron Hands are known for frequent outbursts of anger. In battle, the Iron Hands form an inexorable, unstoppable force of tougher-than-average Astartes. Believing in pure strength, the Iron Hand use straightforward tactics combined with numbers and firepower to destroy the enemy. The Iron Hands wear black armor.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Emperor's Children, as it was their Primarch who slew Ferrus Manus.
  • Artificial Limbs: Thanks to their gene-sire having his eponymous "iron hands", they often replace their real hands with cybernetic ones, even when there's no medical reason to do so.
  • Back from the Dead: Ferrus is among the spirits of loyal Imperial dead who were summoned to the Webway by the Emperor to fight off the daemons seeking to invade Terra.
  • BFS: The Medusian sword, their traditional weapon, is a giant claymore.
  • The Blacksmith: Alongside Salamanders, they're one of the two Legions that craft their own weaponry, although they go for practicality rather than bling.
  • Body Motifs: Hands, signifying their primarch's hands and arms being covered in metal and their habit of replacing their limbs with tech.
  • Break the Badass: The death of their Primarch, followed by their virtual decimation at Drop Site Massacre, pretty much eliminates them as a fighting force.
  • Color Motif: Black and steel.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: They're often noted as cold and heartless, and the most fixated on cybernetics.
  • Cyborg: "The flesh is weak!" If they could, they'd get rid of it completely. It gets to the point that even their Primarch is worried about what they're becoming.
  • Determinator: With their Primarch dead, they feel that there's nothing to hold back for, so it's very hard to stop them.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Their belief in steel being superior to flesh and the importance of replacing parts of themselves with cybernetics has "proof" in the form of their Primarch's own metal hands that allow him to perform remarkable feats of combat and craftsmanship. Ferrus himself, however, viewed the metal not as a boon but a crutch, something he was dependent on instead of being strong in his own right.
  • Electronic Eye: A nigh-ubiquitous feature among them.
  • The Engineer: They can keep any wreck of a ship flying long past its expiry date and have an amazing affinity for all things mechanical, their Iron Brotherhood rivalling the Mechanicum in tech level.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Medusan Iron Hands exhibit some towards their Terran-born warriors.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Scots.
  • Fatal Flaw: Their wrath. The Iron Hands have a very bad temper and have often let it dictate how they conduct a battle regardless of tactics. For instance, Ferrus Manus was so overcome with anger toward the Traitor Legions he let himself be isolated during the Dropsite Massacre.
  • Flesh Versus Steel: As a whole, the Iron Hands are on the side of steel and their catchphrase is "The flesh is weak." Considering natural flesh to be limited, the Iron Hands extensively turn their bodies into metal, replacing everything save the most vital organs with mechanical elements. Becoming a Dreadnought (i.e. a mortally wounded Astartes encased in a gigantic metal battle walker) is considered a great honor.
  • Freak Out: The Drop Site Massacre turns them from "grim and stoic" to "just barely holding back the tide of rage".
  • Grim Up North: Medusa is a good example, a snowy wasteland dotted by volcanic activity and prowled by beasts of Dark Age and implied necron origin.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Because of their diminished numbers, they turn to this after Istvaan V, working in small guerilla cells to hinder the traitors wherever possible, often with no contact with their fellow loyalists for years on end.
  • Not So Stoic: The aforementioned comparison with their homeworld is a surprisingly apt one - they appear cold, but there's a whole lot of pent-up rage ready to explode just underneath the chilly facade.
  • Party Scattering: In the chaos of the Drop Site Massacre, most of the surviving Iron Hands jump on the closest loyal ships available and run off in whichever direction the closest Mandeville point is, which means there are several fleets' worth of solitary ships each carrying a few or several dozen Iron Hands spread out across hundreds of systems.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Sometimes their desire to avenge their Primarch blinds them to things like tactics or common sense.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Go on a prolonged one after Ferrus Manus' death.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Even in a universe where near-dead Astartes are brought back from the brink of death with cybernetics, the Iron Hands stand out. As the Heresy progresses, some grow desperate enough to "turn the Keys of Hel" and resurrect fully dead warriors through technology.

Ferrus Manus
Twenty five years we've waited for a picture of him. And Perturabo thinks he's The Un-Favourite?
The Primarch of the Iron Hands Legion. Stranded on Medusa, Ferrus Manus battled a mysterious metal monster moments after he exited his gestation capsule. He drowned the creature in a lava flow, and in the aftermath found that doing so had coated his hands in the living metal necrodermis. Ferrus became a grim figure wandering the wastes and recruiting warriors to battle the monsters. The Emperor eventually came to him and after a battle, convinced him to join the Great Crusade, taking the helm of the Tenth Legion. Though Horus and Fulgrim believed that Ferrus would side with them, Ferrus chose the Emperor instead, and became the first Primarch to die during the Horus Heresy, decapitated by Fulgrim on Istvaan V.
  • The Atoner: Ferrus exhibits signs of this after Fulgrim's attempt to convert him to Horus's cause. When Iron Hands First Captain Gabriel Santar asks why his Primarch feels guilt, given that he so violently rebuffed Fulgrim's offer, Manus replies that if Fulgrim thought he could be persuaded, then others will believe the same and his loyalty to the Emperor will be forever called into question unless he proves it unequivocally by killing Fulgrim.
    • This seems to be part of his character even before the above. As a child, when his pod accidentally woke up the deadly wyrm Asirnoth, he vowed to kill it and didn't stop until he'd drowned it in lava.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Ferrus Manus is known to use his titular iron hands as lethal weapons in their own right. He prefers his hammer, though.
  • The Big Guy: One of the physically strongest Primarchs (alongside Vulkan and Mortarion) and considered by Guilliman to be the most steadfast and reliable. Of course, he runs headlong into the Big Guy Fatality Syndrome to show just how bad the Horus Heresy will be.
  • Black Humor: His Forgeworld model has the head as a separate piece. Just... think about this for a moment.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: While he's mainly famous for being the first primarch to die, the description of the fatal duel in Fulgrim indicates he would have been victorious, and nearly was, were it not for Fulgrim's daemonic empowerment.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Vulkan has a chat with him after his death, although it's heavily implied that "Ferrus" is actually his mounting insanity and guilt made manifest.
  • Drop the Hammer: Forgebreaker, his thunder hammer, and originally a gift from Fulgrim. Horus later makes it a gift to Perturabo.
  • Flesh Versus Steel: Ironically, Ferrus Manus is on the former's side, reasoning that while the cybernetics do make the marines stronger, it also weakens their willpower and their reliance on their own natural abilities. He plans to abolish the practice of increasing cybernetization after the Great Crusade was finished, but then Fulgrim cuts his head off.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Massacre and the Legion culture he created make him this. He considers himself and his Legion to be an engine of conquest, regarding all other concerns as "pretty lies."
  • Hidden Depths: He has a surprising philosophical streak, with some strong views on the nature of strength and the human condition. Unfortunately, these views were a little too hidden and his legion ended up missing the point.
  • Informed Ability: Many times in early Horus Heresy books we are told that Ferrus was a great military mind. Horus himself says in Vengeful Spirit that Ferrus is the one primarch who understands, eats and breathes war like he does. We end up seeing nothing of this and his most well-known battle is, off course, his reckless assault at Istvan V, which partially lead to the Dropsite Massacre. Many of the tactician and strategist aspects he was known for ended up going to Lion El'Jonson in later stories.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: An invoked case. Fulgrim's attempt to turn him to the traitors' side puts his loyalty in question. Ferrus thus decides to prove his unwavering dedication to the Imperium by personally killing Fulgrim and rushes to the Istvaan system, leaving behind substantial elements of his legion in his haste. Once there, he completely foregoes the battle plan and simply rushes at the enemy lines, intending to bring his brother to justice, even while Corvus and Vulkan argue for a more sensible course of action. It gets him killed.
  • Made of Iron: Well, duh. His legion is known for its endurance.
  • Meaningful Name: His name means Iron Hand in Latin. Along with his Space Marine chapter, the consequent repetition of this meaningfulness gets a bit silly.
  • Off with His Head!: Suffers this fate at the hands of Fulgrim.
  • Red Baron: The Gorgon, given to him as a joke by Fulgrim.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ferrus goes on one after Fulgrim tries to tempt him to turn on the Emperor and join Horus. Ferrus is so deeply offended by Fulgrim's treachery that he tries to kill him on the spot (he fails only because Fulgrim reluctantly beats him unconscious and the Emperor's Children fleet opens fire on the Iron Hands flagship to cover Fulgrim's escape), and after the escape, he becomes so obsessed with killing Fulgrim that he keeps pressing the attack against the Traitors on Istvaan V, even when Corax and Vulkan urge him to pull back, resupply and wait for the second wave of reinforcements.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Despite his obvious combat prowess he died fairly early on in the Heresy, with his death mainly serving as an indication to the other Primarchs of just how serious the conflict had become.
  • Screw Destiny: In the novella Feat of Iron, Ferrus receives visions from the Eldar about his fate at the hands of Fulgrim, but he rejects them out of distrust of the xenos.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He dies in his second novel, but him and his death continues to have great impact on both his Legion and his brothers.
  • The Social Darwinist: Massacre and other depictions of Medua very much paint him this way. He maintains the harsh way of life endemic to the world, reasoning that it is necessary to produce such fearsome warriors as his Legion needs.
  • Hunter of Monsters: In his youth, he would wander Medusa slaying the many monsters prowling its surface.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: After Fulgrim's treachery, Ferrus exhibits this to a tee.
  • To Be a Master: Ferrus Manus' life goal is to never stop improving himself, trying to share the same goal with all of humanity. Unlike what you'd expect, especially considering 40K, he never quite approached Evilutionary Biologist or Cybernetics Eat Your Soul-levels from this.
  • Troll: Ferrus' intimidating demeanor hid a surprisingly good humor and he would often make blunt, pointed comments that someone would take as an insult to amuse himself with getting a rise out of them. Sadly, Fulgrim's pride and increasing Slaaneshi corruption causes him to take Ferrus' jabs at face value. It's only after Ferrus' death that the Laer Blade demon allowed Fulgrim to realize that Ferrus had been trying to deflate his ego through humor.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Ferrus is able to forge weapons and shape steel with his bare hands, and the weapons he forges for his fellow primarchs are said to be the apex of their kind. Only Vulkan doesn't use his gifted weapon on the regular; Ferrus believes it's because his ability to shape steel without flame unnerves Vulkan.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: ... Or fully conscious infant. Implied in flashback in Angel Exterminatus, when he's fun and excited for the world he finds himself in until his first meeting with Asirnoth.
  • Walking the Earth: Before his discovery by the Emperor, he would walk Medusa alone, going from clan to clan, teaching and aiding.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: His main contribution to Horus Heresy is dying at Fulgrim's hands in its second great battle, in the first book he appears in.
  • Wham Line: His death causes elements of this amongst the Loyalist Primarchs. Guilliman and Jaghatai Khan are both stunned into shock when the Traitor Primarch they are fighting at the time casually lets it slip that Ferrus is dead.
    "Think you can behead me, like Fulgrim did Ferrus?". The Khan missed his aim then for the first time. Could it be true? Was Ferrus really gone?
    Guilliman: ‘You’re lying!’
    Lorgar: ‘You’re dying. Isstvan Five burns. Brothers are dead already.’
    Guilliman: ‘Dead? Who are–’
    Lorgar: ‘Ferrus Manus. Corax. Vulkan. All dead and gone. Slaughtered like pigs.’
    Guilliman: ‘These are all lies!
    Lorgar: ‘Look at me, Roboute. You know they are not. You know it.’ [...] Guilliman steps back. He opens his mouth, but he is too stunned to reply.
    • It is implied that even some of the Traitor Primarchs are having difficulty accepting the truth that Ferrus is dead and the implication it carries that they are not as invulnerable as they thought. The following exchange between Lorgar and Angron from Butcher's Nails indicates as much:
    Lorgar: If it is possible for us to die, you will do so with those loathsome implants buried in the meat of your mind.
    Angron: You know we can die. Ferrus is dead.
    Lorgar: (Beat) I keep forgetting that.

Shadrak Meduson
AnIron Hands captain who organizes the Legion after Ferrus' death.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Has to cut his own arm off after Istvaan V turns it into a ruin.
  • Arch-Enemy: Considers Captain Tybalt Marr of the Sons of Horus to be his, as he is the Captain tasked with killed Meduson by Horus and a lengthy chase happens between the two. Ultimately subverted, as Marr tells Meduson that he never gave much thought to Meduson other than him being a priority target.
  • Artificial Limbs: Due to the above, he gets an artificial hand.
  • Brutal Honesty: He won't stop telling the Clan Council that their plan for the war is deeply flawed.
  • Cavalry Refusal: Is on the receiving hand of this trope after ordering an ill-advised boarding action on the Lupercal Pursuivant. His second-in-command Aug makes sure Meduson's boarding crew is not given reinforcement and Meduson is easily captured by the Sons of Horus.
  • Fantastic Racism: He's actually on the receiving end of this as a Terran-born Astartes.
  • Going Native: He's Terran-born, but you wouldn't guess this. After Ferrus was found, he adopted his homeworld's customs and even changed his surname to "Meduson", as in "son of Medusa", Ferrus' home planet.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: His combat philosophy, quite at odds with what the Iron Hands used to do. He justifies it by pointing out that with Ferrus dead and the Legion almost dead, they can't afford anything else.
  • Off with His Head!: In "Old Earth", Meduson is decapitated by Tybalt Marr as a sick joke.
  • Only Sane Man: The only person not to give in to the general chaos that reigns after Ferrus dies.
  • Meaningful Rename: After Ferrus Manus was found on Medusa, he changed his surname from Smyth to "Meduson" to reflect this.
  • Rebel Leader: Becomes one after the Iron Tenth transforms into guerilla force under his rule.
  • The Ghost: True to his nature as guerrilla commander, most of the stories featuring him have him as a shadow, a mention or a man behind the protagonists' mission.
  • Uncertain Doom: He's rumoured dead, but he's also rumoured to be alive. At any rate, someone is still leading the Iron Hands. He's finally killed by Tybalt Marr.
  • You Are in Command Now: Forced to take command of the Legion after Ferrus and nearly all the Iron Fathers are killed.

Bion Henricos

An Iron Hands survivor of Isstvan V, he gets caught up in Yesugei's attempt to find Jaghatai Khan, and later joins Shadrak Meduson's guerrilla campaign.
  • The Bait: Uses himself as bait for Horus Lupercal, although he settles for Little Horus Aximand in the event. Aximand bests him, but Henricos distracts him from the White Scars lying in wait; they ambush Aximand and nearly kill him.
  • BFS: He acquires a Medusan sword as long as a mortal man is tall.
  • Clean Cut: Splits a Son of Horus right in two. Justified by the superlative sharpness of Medusan steel, and Henricos' sheer strength.
  • Cyborg: To the extent that when he bleeds something like mercury when Aximand cuts his leg.
  • The Engineer: Fulfills this role aboard the Hesiod.
  • Good Is Not Nice: exemplifies this trope.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Is mortally wounded in this way during his fight with Horus Aximand.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Even by Space Marine standards. Fighting him, Horus Aximand is astonished by both his strength and speed.
  • Not So Stoic: He finds it hard to even look at his bionics any more.
  • Number Two: As of Little Horus, he is this to Shadrak Meduson.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: No longer believes in anything but revenge, while those around him cleave to their ideals.

Sabik Wayland

An Iron Hand guerrilla fighter, acting in concert with Raven Guard Nykona Sharrowkyn.
  • Aerith and Bob: Amidst all the Astartes with their names like "Sharrowkyn", "Torgaddon" etc., "Wayland" sounds strangely fit to twenty-first-century America.
  • Colonel Badass: He has a rank of Iron Father, which translates to colonel, and is a superb guerilla operative.
  • Brains and Brawn: Despite being more of a close-combat warrior as compared to sniper Nykona, he's the one with technical know-how necessary for hacking and break-ins.
  • Fish out of Water: He often notes that he's not very suited to the stealth and guerrilla operations that are required of him now.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: His friendship with Nykona started when he carried him to the safety of an escape craft during Istvaan V.
  • Insistent Terminology: Refers to his comrades by their titles, and insists that the others do the same.
  • Odd Friendship: His relationship with Nykona - one's from a Legion that frowns upon subtle tactics, the other is from a Legion that has "subtle" as their hat.
  • Only Sane Man: Comes across as this between dour, revenge-driven Tyro, destruction-happy Thamatica and Nykona "I don't use the floor" Sharrowkyn.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Furious red to Nykona's calm, composed Blue.
  • Revenge: His main motivation is to kill Fulgrim for Ferrus' death.
  • Target Spotter: Nykona's spotter.
  • Those Two Guys: With Sharrowkyn, as you can see from the sheer number of duo tropes he has. Wherever one shows up, you can bet the other is close by.

Frater Thamatica

One of the Iron Fathers. Specifically, the craziest of the Iron Fathers, noted for some eccentric engineering ideas. Still devoutly loyal, at least, although his judgment is kind of in question.
  • Artificial Limbs: Like many fellow Iron Fathers, he has replaced his own arms with prosthetics, likely to honour Ferrus Manus.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Sabik points out that his plan to stabilize Medusa's tectonic plates involves many destructive earthquake, Thamatica starts to defend the project's theoretical principles.
  • Comic Relief: The Funny section calls him "Professor Farnsworth of the 30th Millennium", and they're not far off.
  • Cool Old Guy: The oldest still-alive Iron Father, he's team's calm guy, snarking from time to time, producing amazing gadgets and having some truly insane ideas from time to time.
  • Cyborg: Iron Fathers are crazy with various additions and enhancements they add to themselves, and Thamatica is no exception.
  • Dissonant Serenity: He's amazingly calm and composed even when ship he's on is breaking apart under his feet.
  • Fan of the Past: He often says something to the effect that "men should learn from the past", and seems to follow this saying.
  • For Science!: Nearly dooms the ship he's on by going ahead with an experiment at the wrong time. It's indicated that this isn't the first time he's done so, either.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: His speciality makes him suited for fixing and fine-tuning the equipment for his guerrilla cell.
  • In Harm's Way: In his opinion, the most exciting experiments to run are the ones with the biggest chance of something going catastrophically wrong.
  • Mad Scientist: Although he's generally prevented from carrying them out, his ideas have included stabilising Medusa's plate tectonics at the cost of spectacular earthquakes during the stabilisation period.
  • Not So Stoic: Like many aboard Sisypheum, he doesn't keep his composure when Meduson visits them.
  • Persona Non Grata: While he's never been expelled from the Iron Fraternity or the Mechanicum, he's come pretty close several times.
    Vermanus Cybus: What do you have to do to be exiled from a bunch of scholars?
    Frater Thematica: Oh, that's easy. Both the Mechanicum and the Iron Fraternity has threatened me with expulsion many times. Dangerous experiments, radical thinking, untested weaponry. That sort of thing.
    Vermanus Cybus: The amount of times you've almost blown us up, I almost wish they had.
  • The Stoic: He takes Ferrus' death in stride and remains calm and composed, a rarity among the Iron Hands, who are mostly rage-fuelled after Istvaan V.
  • Team Mom: Funnily enough, but he's the one to calm moods aboard Sisypheum and be the reasonable adult of the bunch.

"Karaashi" Bombastus

A Dreadnought of the Iron Hands and crew member of the Sisypheum.
  • The Berserker: Prior to being recruited into the Legions. He regained these tendencies following his internment in his sarcophagus.
  • Big Damn Hero: Rescues Tarsa and Branthan from Fabius Bile and his creations.
  • The Big Guy: As a Dreadnought, he towers over the rest of the Iron Hands aboard the Sisypheum.
  • Blood Knight: Relishes battle, and welcomes a fight against his once-brothers.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of his weapons is a claw-mounted flamethrower.
  • More Expendable Than You: Demands that his sarcophagus be occupied by his captain. Even after his offer is declined.
  • The Red Baron: The Iron Thunder of Medusa.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Captain Branthan.

Autek Mor

An Iron Father of the X Legion, leader of Clan Morragul
  • Animal Motifs: Aside from being an Iron Hand, he uses a bird of prey's talons as his personal insignia.
  • Bad Boss: Before the Heresy, he was known to have killed several of his own officers in duels over "slights to his honor".
  • Facial Markings: His official Forge World illustration shows him with facial tattoos that resemble a circuit diagram.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Mor is extremely unpopular in his legion, to the point where his clan company was formerly used as a dumping ground for insubordinate or unstable Astartes.
  • Old Soldier: He was among the first Astartes to be inducted into the X Legion, near the end of the Unification Wars, and served in the reconquest of the Sol System.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: Clan Morragul as a whole is this, since it became a dumping ground forIron Hands who were unstable, insubordinate, or otherwise outcasts in the legion.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: He nukes every single colony on a planet that had surrendered to Horus's forces without a fight, simply to drive home the point that no act of treachery, however small, will be tolerated.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: This turns out to be Autek's favorite method of making war. When ordered to take over a Medusan clan crawler after the X Legion officially made Medusa its homeworld, he butchered nearly everyone already living inside said crawler to establish his dominance. During the Heresy, he destroys the World Eaters' recruiting planet Bodt by crashing the planet's moon into its surface, and nukes every single colony on a world that had surrendered to Horus's forces without a fight.
  • Undying Loyalty: Even though Autek and Ferrus Manus didn't like each other very much, Mor did his best to try and save Ferrus and the rest of the Iron Hands on the ground during the Drop Site Massacre, failing only because his ship was outmatched by the traitor fleet in orbit.
  • The Unfavorite: Mor has a reputation for being an unlikable, cold-hearted bastard, even by the standards of the Iron Hands. Even his own primarch didn't think much of him, and used Clan Morragul as a dumping ground for problem Astartes before the Heresy broke out.

     XIII Legion: Ultramarines 

The Legion
Number: XIII
Original Name: War-born
Primarch: Roboute Guilliman

The Ultramarines are the Thirteenth Legion, one of the most respected Legions among the Legiones Astartes. They were one of the latest legions to be formed and also were recruited from the tribes on Terra who showed the most tenacious resistance to the Emperor. When the Emperor discovered Macragge, he saw a prosperous and autonomous world organized by Roboute Guilliman. Guilliman led his Ultramarines to many swift victory thanks to his strategic brilliance, and turned a then sidelined Legion into the most numerous and one of the most decorated of all. One notable incident was their participation in the Word Bearers' censure on Monarchia, resulting in the latter's resentment against them.

When the Horus Heresy started, Horus knew he had no hope of turning the Ultramarines traitor. Thus, the Ultramarines were backstabbed in the battle of Calth, where the Word Bearers destroyed the majority of their fleet and troops, with Erebus and Lorgar completing rituals that created the Ruinstorm encircling the realm of Ultramar. Fearing the Imperium to already be destroyed, Guilliman implemented his own autonomous state, Imperium Secundus, which had the side effect of drawing many loyal Legions and various traitor warbands to him. Guilliman eventually learned that the Emperor was still alive and exited Ultramar to resume the war against the traitors. The Ultramarines thus currently perform various attacks against blockades set up by the traitors and are absent from the first stages of the Siege of Terra.

The Ultramarines are based on the world of Macragge, itself the capital world of an empire of five hundred worlds. Just as Ultramar's culture is heavily inspired by the ancient Roman empire on Terra, the Ultramarines emulate the ways of ancient Roman armies. They're noted for their military efficiency and good results thanks to Guilliman's talent at organization and tactical acumen which he tries to teach to each of his sons. As a result, the Ultramarines are the most numerous and one of the best supplied Legion while its commanders are skilled tacticians and the planets they conquer are left compliant and recovered from the fighting. The Ultramarines all wear blue armour with white and gold trim.
  • The Ace: The largest legion, the most planets under its command and the one that came out the best after 10.000 years.
  • Ancient Grome: Their aesthetics and naming conventions, with a slight tilt towards the Roman side.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: They present an extrememly powerful fighting force, but the Ruinstorm and their mistaken belief that the Emperor is dead make them virtually useless for people fighting for Imperium's survival.
  • Arc Symbol: The Ultima, which is basically an upside-down omega. Or a toilet seat, if you're feeling uncharitable.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: They start to mark their armour with red to differentiate between them and traitors who are Dressing as the Enemy.
  • Color Motif: Blue, ultramarine shade. Yep, it's pretty likely somebody out-of-universe came up with a good joke and then just ran with it all the way.
  • Determinator: One of the aspects they are the less known for but a primordial aspect of the Legion nonetheless. It is often said in works featuring Ultramarines that in order to defeat an Ultramarine, one has to kill him because otherwise he will endure the blows and come back with a vengeance. Their grit allows them to quickly recompose themselves despite everything that's happening on Calth, and turn a complete military defeat into a bitter stalemate.
  • Eagle Squadron: They "adopt" a whole lot of Marines from other Legions to help protect Ultramar.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted; their success comes from the fact that they're really, really good at the logistics game.
  • Elite Four: Four special Ultramarines called the Tetrarchs are charged with governing four of the most important worlds of Ultramar (Saramanth, Konor, Occluda and Iax) and the four subsectors in which Ultramar is divided. These exceptional Ultramarines are both superlative warriors, commanders and governors, and they only answer to Guilliman himself.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Suzerains and the Invictarii, who show off the Bling of War, carry huge shields and are all-around awesome.
  • Foil: To the Alpha Legion. By-The-Book Cops to their Military Mavericks, with completely opposite tactics and strategies, one the poster boy for the Legions and the other the most obscure faction out there. And they can't stand each other.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: They're solid, effective and well-numbered, but their speciality is logistics, not some form of combat as it is with other Legions.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Horus manages to keep them in the dark about Heresy for a good year, and then the Ruinstorm the Word Bearers raise cuts them off from any news of the Imperium.
  • Mark of Shame: During the Great Crusade, it was customary for Ultramarines to mark any brother for censure by painting his helmet red. Sergeant Aeonid Thiel turned this on its head by associating the red helmet with valorous actions against the traitor Legions.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Some Ultramarines officers respect a little too much protocol and Guilliman's propaganda campaigns (to the point they actively deny traitor activity in their sectors because Guilliman said so). It is one of the Legion's weaknesses, and actively hinders the battle against unconventional enemy forces such as minor warbands scouring Ultramar.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: With the Alpha Legion, as Ultramarines epitomize the most straightforward, almost mechanical strategy while the Alphas are all about backstabbery and subterfuge.
  • Poor Communication Kills: They can't contact the Imperium and assume it has already fallen, which robs the still-alive Terra of some one hundred thirty thousand-odd Astartes. For the record, this is thirteen times the entire Raven Guard Legion at its prime.
  • The Strategist: Guilliman made sure that each of his Ultramarines had a good grasp on tactics and strategy, teaching them to make "theoricals" and "practicals" of any situation so that they do strive to acquire the best information possible and make plans to grasp victory. This intellectual approach to warfare has a weakness in that Ultramarines are more susceptible to being wrong-footed in unconventional situations.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Firmly on the technician side of the scale, which earns them some scorn from other Legions.
  • Unknown Rival: The Ultramarines don't realise until Calth how much the Word Bearers hate them for Monarchia.

Roboute Guilliman
Your Spiritual Liege. Has a face that screams "I'm surrounded by plebians". Also looks strangely like Mark Strong.
The Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion. Stranded on Ultramar and taken in by a noble named Konor, Guilliman rose to become the leader of Ultramar and built an empire of hundreds of worlds. He went on to serve in the Great Crusade when the Emperor found him. He is loyal to the Emperor, but because his personal realm of Ultramar is cut off from the greater Imperium, he instead begins setting up "Imperium Secundus".
  • The Ace: By far one of the most accomplished of the Primarchs, having a five-hundred-world empire, a Big Book of War, crazy-preparedness and insane political insight to his name.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: While Black Library's covers have him black-haired, Forgeworld's army book and model showcase present him as blonde, as do the later books in the Black Library series.
  • Awesome by Analysis: The basis of Guilliman's military philosophy is "war as a science", and it showed with six simple words: "Information is power. Information is victory." In the Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness Gaiden Game, this is represented by a special rule that grants Guilliman a bonus to his Weapon Skill characteristic for each round he is engaged in a Challenge. This means that the longer he fights an opponent the better he becomes at countering said foe's abilities as he studies their moves.
  • Badass Bookworm: Guilliman read everything he could find, and actually preferred reading and writing with a pen and ink. He quite literally Wrote the Book on how to be a Space Marine.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: During the Battle of Calth he fought Word Bearers for ten hours in near vacuum conditions after a daemon ejected him onto the hull of his flagship. Which wouldn't be that impressive if it weren't for the fact that he did this all without a helmet. It goes to show just how resilient primarchs are when ten hours of oxygen deprivation and freezing temperatures don't even slow them down.
  • Blue Blood: He was adopted into one of Macragge's two royal families and grew up groomed to be his father's successor.
  • Boring, but Practical: Though he is quite a powerful fighter, Guilliman's main skill at its core is organization. He is a master of logistics and statecraft, which are attributes not as flashy like Angron's combat prowess, or Magnus's manipulation of the Warp, but at the end of the day you can only build an empire of five hundred worlds and have one of the largest legions if you are capable of making everything work properly and ensure an excellent distribution of resources.
  • Control Freak: He always aims to have all his eggs in one basket and is visibly distressed when Imperium Secundus starts to slip out of his grasp after he made Sanguinius Emperor Regent and named the Lion as its Lord Protector.
  • Crazy-Prepared: One of Guilliman's strengths was his attention to detail, making him gifted in statesmanship and logistics, and he always believed in making contingency plans. Unfortunately, many of his fellow primarchs interpreted this to mean he was an ambitious, anal-retentive control freak.
    • An example was his plan for the "Imperium Secundus". Basically, if the Emperor died, then he would enact to preserve as much of the Imperium as possible, and re-organize the remnants into the "Imperium Secundus", centred around his realm of Ultramar.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Guilliman's part in the destruction of Monarchia leaves Lorgar with a deep hatred of him personally and causes most of the Word Bearers to develop a fanatical desire to destroy the Ultramarines for the insult.
  • The Dutiful Son: Something that earns him scorn from Lorgar and Angron. Guilliman obeys the Emperor and does his duty by the book, even when he personally dislikes his orders.
  • Foreshadowing: Although he complied with the Emperor's orders to destroy Monarchia, seeing it as his duty, Guilliman privately resented the Emperor using his legion as a stick to beat Lorgar with, fearing that relations between the Word Bearers and the Ultramarines would never recover after that humiliation. He had no idea how right he was...
  • Genius Bruiser: For all his organisational genius, he's one of the strongest Primarchs in combat. Over the course of his life, he faces four, and the only one he loses to is the one considered one of the best fighters among them. And even then, he fought against two here and managed to escape and recover. In a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration for Forge World's Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness Gaiden Game, Guilliman is one of the strongest Primarchs in one-on-one combat and will statistically win a fight against any Primarch other than Horus, Fulgrim, and Leman Russ. The reason is very much part of being a Genius Bruiser—every turn he analyses his opponent's skills and techniques, and will improve his Weapon Skill as the combat goes on.
  • Humble Hero: Well, as humble as one can get while still being a genetically-engineered semi-divine posthuman superman. For instance, he keeps his old nanny around as his counselor and to tell him the things he doesn't want to hear. He also refuses to become the Emperor of Imperium Secundus.
  • Insufferable Genius: Comes across as this to his brothers, partly because of his Control Freak tendencies causing him to force his advice on people, whether it's wanted or not. This being said, there's a reason he has advice to give.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Unlike many of his brother Primarchs, Guilliman doesn't dedicate himself to a single style of warfare; as such, the Ultramarines were generally seen as a very universal force, able to be inserted into nearly any situation and perform with aplomb.
  • Jerkass: He doesn't get along with many of his brothers, making it pretty clear he considered said Primarchs untrustworthy. His anal-retentive tendencies lead to him to ignore others' feelings and he openly airs his paranoia toward his brothers.
    • It can't be forgotten, though, that some of his Jerkass tendencies are often imagined by others. Lorgar spends years thinking that Roboute despises him, even though the only thing the Ultramarines primarch did was follow the orders of his father when his forces destroyed Monarchia. When it comes to Alpharius, what many think is him being prone to othordoxy was actually a good point - his brother's way of war, while effective, often caused months of unrest in the planets conquered. He even says that he didn't want the Throne because of how people often thought that he was so ambitious to the point of opportunism. Not only that - he feels that he should stop being an overachiever because others are feeling inadaquate.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Roboute Guilliman is an ass, but he actually cares about the people and believes that anyone can rise to greatness through merit regardless of class. His efforts led the Ultramarines' mini-empire to becoming one of the least corrupt (and nicest) places to live in the Imperium.
  • Lawful Stupid: He has issues with resorting to less conventional tactics in warfare. He gets over a lot of it by the end of the war. One short story even has him trash his first draft of the Codex when he hears an after action report from Thiel. Thiel's squad-level tactics so impress Guilliman in their innovation that he makes the new "Tactical Squad" the backbone of his legion's forces.
  • Mama's Boy: To Tarasha Euten. When Guilliman is stuck on Sotha and trying to figure out how to use the Pharos as a means of travel, seeing Euten stumble causes Guilliman to subconciously trigger the transport to Macragge so he can catch her.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Wants to be this to Emperor Sanguinius when the latter assumed command of Imperium Secundus. Sanguinius quickly proves he can pull his own weight well enough, though.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Treats average individuals perfectly respectfully and clearly cares about them in his decisions of statecraft.
  • Not So Stoic: Loses his cool completely when Lorgar taunts him about the destruction of Calth.
    Lorgar: Have you lost your temper, Roboute?
    Guilliman: I am going to gut you.
    Lorgar: You have lost your temper. The great and calm and level-headed Roboute Guilliman has finally succumbed to passion.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • He doesn't lose it or anything, but upon seeing a Daemon for the first time, his eyes widen, he steps backwards, and he has to calm himself down and remind himself 'he will know no fear'. For a Primarch, and one as composed and rational as Guilliman, that's about as close to panic as you're likely to get.
    • When the Lion points out that Curze's visions mean the Emperor lives, Guilliman is overjoyed...until he realizes that by forming Imperium Secundus, there's a good chance he'd be considered a traitor.
  • Only Sane Man: Tied with Dorn for the title of "the most humanlike Primarch". He seems to be the only one with a normal childhood and without raging psychological problems.
  • Parental Substitute: Konor and his equerry were this for young Roboute, thus making him the only Primarch to enjoy a normal family.
  • Pet the Dog: Guilliman is humble and kind to normal people. His infamous rudeness is reserved for individuals he considers chaotic or not proven worthy of their station.
  • Power Fist: The Gauntlets of Ultramar.
  • Red Baron: The Avenging Son.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Or at least what's smart. He is swift to declare his intention to repeal the Edict of Nikaea after seeing how badly handicapped abolishing the Librarius has left the Loyalists against daemons.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: When adjusted for the universe, he's the Sensitive Guy to Lion's Manly Man in Unremembered Empire. It ends up being a plot point.
  • The Smart Guy: Outside of the man's requisite badassery like the other Primarchs, Guilliman's talents lay in statecraft and logistics.
  • Start My Own: The Imperium Secundus, which he starts because he's convinced that the Imperium proper has fallen.
  • This Cannot Be!: Guilliman initally refuses to believe the Word Bearers are deliberately attacking them at Calth, believing the XVII have misinterpreted the crash of the Campanile as an attack on them. He is forced to reconsider his opinion when Lorgar confirms this is not an accident.

Marius Gage
The Gage, uncaged!
Master of the First Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion.
  • Determinator: Pursuits the Infidus Imperator relentlessly and with no consideration for his fate or what he'll do after he gets them.
  • Four-Star Badass: Chapter Master and kicking much Traitor ass.
  • Number Two: He's the master of the First Chapter, essentially making him second-in-command of the entire Ultramarines Legion.
  • Old Soldier: He was born and recruited on Terra, being one of the original recruits of the legion, which makes him quite old.
  • Power of Trust: He trusts in Guilliman's judgment implicitly.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The solid voice of reason among the Chapter Masters.
  • Silver Fox: One of those Marines who get some grey hair despite being technically immortal.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's unknown if he'll ever manage to return from the Warp, seeing what a sorry state Macragge's Honour is left in.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Last seen commanding the Macragge's Honour in pursuit of the Infidus Imperator, in what is described being the most infamous naval battle in the Heresy. It's not described in the novel.
    • Subverted with the premiere of spinoff graphic novel, Macragge's Honour. He successfully destroys the Imperator, but the wounded Ultramarines' flagship is stranded in the Warp with no way to get back home.
    • It is shown in the prologue of Of Honour and Iron that Gage survived the Horus Heresy, and over ten thousand years later, on the eve of the Indomitus Crusade, Guilliman is shown monologuing to his skull.

Tylos Rubio

A Battle Brother of the 13th Legion's 21st Company and a former Librarian of the Ultramarines Legion forced to resign his position after the Council of Nikaea. Recruited by Nathaniel Garro during the Battle of Calth to become one of the first Knight-Errants of Malcador, the basis of the future Grey Knights and the Inquisition.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Rubio delivers one of these in Sword of Truth when he reveals to Garro that Captain Hakim of the White Scars is the traitor in their midst.
    Garro: This cannot be! The Khan's sons are loyal to Terra!
    Rubio: All of them?! Just as every son of Mortarion and Angron is blindly loyal to the Warmaster?
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: How the rest of the Ultramarines 21st Company sees Rubio's actions at the end of Oath of Moment. Although he saves their lives, and denies the Word Bearers access to Calth's capital city, in doing so, Rubio breaks the Emperor's Edict of Nikaea prohibiting the use of psychic powers, leading the company to shun him and leaving Rubio no recourse but to go with Garro.
  • Dreaming Of Thingsto Come: Rubio has visions of Captain Erikon Gaius's death in Oath of Moment.
  • Genius Bruiser: Evokes this in Sword of Truth.
  • Manchurian Agent: The Buried Dagger reveals Rubio was captured on Calth and turned into one of these by Erebus, programmed to try and assassinate Malcador at the right moment. When Rubio tries to act on his conditioning, Malcador holds him off long enough to undo Erebus's brainwashing, freeing Rubio from the Dark Apostle's control.
  • Meaningful Rename: Takes the name of Koios, that on an ancient Titan, when he is selected by Malcador to be one of the first Grey Knights.
  • My Greatest Failure: Rubio has several of these;
    • In Know No Fear, Rubio and several other former Librarians feel a gathering of Warp energy in the Calth system. Not realising that the Word Bearers have turned traitor and what the ex-Librarians are sensing are preperations for rituals to summon daemons for the coming battle, as well as not wanting to look like they are defying the Decree of Nikaea, Rubio and his fellow psykers dismiss it as just a fatigue-induced headache. Rubio later regrets that they didn't inform the Ultramarine command structure of what they were sensing, as, had they done so, it might have given the rest of the Legion some warning of what was about to happen.
    • In Oath of Moment, Rubio feels this way about the deaths of two of his comrades; an Apothecary killed by a cultist suicide bomber, and the company captain, Erikon Gaius, killed by a Chaos war machine. Rubio believes that, had he been free to use his powers, he could have brought down the suicide bomber and warned Gaius of what was going to happen.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Implied in what happened to Rubio in the wake of the Council of Nikaea; from being a powerful Codicier in the 13th Legion's Librarius division to being demoted back to a rank-and-file battle brother, denied use of the powers that make him who he is, and then deployed to Calth just in time for the ensuing bloodbath that erupted on the planet.
  • Sadistic Choice: Forced to make one in Oath of Moment: Either use his psychic abilities to save the lives of his brethren, but at the cost of violating the Edict of Nikaea, or hold true to the Edict, at the cost of the Word Bearers slaughtering his comrades.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Rubio evokes this twice in Oath of Moment:
    • In the wake of another Word Bearer attack, Garro urges Rubio to come with him while they can still withdraw, but Rubio refuses to abandon his battle-brothers.
    Rubio: No, NO! You would have me leave the side of my sworn battle-brothers in their darkest hour? I refuse!
    Garro: It is The Sigillite's command. His word is the Emperor's word.
    Rubio: The Sigillite's command be damned. You give me no recourse, Garro. And so, on my honour as a son of Macragge, I choose to defy it. Even if it means I will perish here, even if you colour me a rebel like Lorgar's turncoats, I defy it!
    • As the Word Bearers launch their final attack on the 21st Company's position, headed by a squad of Terminators who're gunning down everything in their path, Rubio, realising his battle brothers have no chance of defeating their enemies reluctantly uses his psychic powers to collapse the roof of the tunnel they are fighting in, cutting off the enemy and saving his comrades.

Sergeant Aeonid Thiel
Daemon slayer extraordinaire.
A sergeant of the 13th Chapter, 135th Company who was marked for censure just before the Battle of Calth, he quickly becomes one of the most effective anti-daemon specialists among the Ultramarines.
  • Armor Notepad: During the Underground war he runs out of space on his datepad and has to write new theories and practicals he comes up with on his armor. These later became the groundwork for the Codex Astartes.
  • Beneath the Mask: While he shows the world a facade of being a self-confident Military Maverick, it starts to show that the insults and rants he gets from his more by-the-book superiors are hurting him more than he's willing to admit, to the point that he has to prove it to himself that he's worthy of his Legion.
  • Black Sheep: Notable for his out-of-the-box thinking and pragmatism beyond the Ultramarines' normal theoreticals and practicals. After Calth, these traits become his greatest assets.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The reason for his being censured. The Ultramarines had come up with theoreticals on how to defeat all of their enemies. Thiel realized that no one had ever run such theoreticals on the Legiones Astartes, so began doing it himself. His superiors regard this as treasonous behavior, but it ensures he's one of the few ready to fight the Word Bearers and the first to leap into action against the daemons that infest the flagship Macragge's Honour during the Battle of Calth.
    Gage: That was his infraction?
    Jaer: Looks bloody pitiful from where we’re standing, doesn’t it?
    • Another point is him raiding Guilliman's armory, which was full of relics that were partially essential to the defense of the Ultramarines' flagship. Any other time this would get him something WORSE than censure.
  • Da Chief: Has the misfortune of finding himself under command of many of those, thanks to Ultramarines having By-the-Book Cop as their hat.
  • Demon Slaying: First specialist on it, he develops a theory that blunt and flame weapons are the best tool against daemons. Turns out, he's more or less right about it.
  • False Flag Operation: He's not entirely sure what exactly happened, but an Alpha Legionnaire used Thiel's armor to attack Guilliman. It's later shown that he was still on Calth at the time.
  • Hunter of Monsters: He made daemon hunting his speciality.
  • Insult Backfire: He keeps his helmet red, even though it marks censure, as the very reason for his censure is the reason he's the best at what he does.
    • It helps that with it, it's far easier achieving communication since you can easily identifiy that he is in command.
  • Irony: The very reason that Thiel was censured was also the reason he was so adept at fighting the Word Bearers. Furthermore, the red helmet symbolising his censure and disgrace would later become the standard mark of a squad leader among the Ultramarines.
    • Later this Military Maverick is not only the co writer of the Codex Astartes but is the creator of the tactical marine squad, the two backbones of the chapter.
  • Military Maverick: Ignores a lot of well-worn conventions by which Ultramarines wage war, makes his own tactics, goes against his superiors and yet it's all tolerated, because his results speak for themselves. Not that it makes his superiors like him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Thiel has this reaction when one of his after action reports to Guilliman lead to the Primarch scrapping his first draft of the Codex Astartes. Thiel has to quickly backpedal and convince Guilliman not to throw away everything.
  • Pet the Dog: He makes friends with Rawd, a soldier from Calth. They both save each others' lives through the story 'Censure' and Thiel almost cries when Rawd dies during the Underworld War.
  • Sergeant Rock: Played with. He's not a hardass with others, but he's certainly not a by-the-book soldier, being quite rough around the edges and very pragmatic.

    XVIII Legion: Salamanders 

The Legion
Number: XVIII
Original Name: Dragon Warriors
Primarch: Vulkan

Formerly known as the Dragon Warriors, the Salamanders are the Eighteenth Legion. The early years of the Salamanders' history is shrouded in mystery. They have a specific geneseed turning their skin coal black and the Legion was formed in isolation, speculated to have been made for a specific end. The 18th Legion suffered a crippling loss of troops and were thus deployed in smaller armies to counter threats at the rear rather than being used to conquer. When Vulkan was discovered on Nocturne, he seems to have served alongside the Emperor for some time rather than immediately joining his Legion. Vulkan came to them as a savior against an Ork Waaagh! and managed to crush it, reorganizing his newly dubbed Salamanders into Seven "Realms", representing seven great Sanctuary-cities of Nocturne.

When the Horus Heresy broke out, the Salamanders were deployed on Isstvan V, where they were surrounded by seven traitor legions. They suffered horrible losses and the Salamanders present on Isstvan were scattered among the few bands of loyalist Astartes who managed to escape. For his part, Vulkan was present but disappeared, being taken prisoner by Konrad Curze to be tortured. Vulkan eventually escaped and wound up on Macragge, only to be seemingly killed by John Grammaticus with a spear of fulgurite. The Salamanders on Maccrage took his corpse back to Nocturne, where he was resurrected. Vulkan thus travelled in secret back to the Imperial Palace, where he learns his real purpose: to activate a secret switch on the Golden Throne which would destroy Terra in case Horus won. For their part, the Salamanders continue to perform guerrilla war against the forces of Horus.

The Salamanders are based on the volcanic death world of Nocturne. Hailing from a unique culture and having coal-black skin, the Salamanders are somewhat set apart from the rest of the Imperium. Their Promethean Cult highlights loyalty, self-sacrifice and self-reliance, reflecting the way Nocturneans must live on their volcanic planet. As a result, the Salamanders are skilled weaponsmiths and are known as being stalwart defenders of the common people. They also give mystic meaning to fire. The Salamanders are among the most robust of Space Marines and thus are deployed in especially dangerous battlefields. Their affection for humans lead them to perform more benevolent missions which involve protecting humans such as planetary evacuations or defending the Imperium from alien incursions. As a Legion of blacksmiths, their equipment is of better quality and more ornate than most Legions and they have a preference for flame weaponry. The Salamanders wear green armour with black trim.
  • Animal Motifs: Dragons, even after their rename. Green "skin", association with giant lizards, toughness, glowing red eyes, using fire and fire-based weapons as their chief armament... Not to mention that a Nocturnean salamander is pretty much a flightless dragonnote .
  • Arc Words: "Vulkan lives!". Unlike the Iron Hands who had the displeasure of knowing Ferrus Manus died, the Salamanders had to escape Istvaan V without knowing whether or not Vulkan had survived and this phrase represents their hope for their legion and Primarch.
  • The Blacksmith: Noted for creating and maintaining their own weaponry, and spending years on end making it ornate and better.
  • Bling of War: A Salamander can spend two weeks making a knife and then two months decorating it and tweaking with it until it's like a work of art.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Vibrant emerald green in contrast to the swampy shade of the Sons of Horus or the rotten, sickly green of the Death Guard.
  • Good Is Not Soft: They're the Nice Guys of the Legions, but they're also the toughest and, as Ferrus points out, being burned alive is not exactly a humanitarian death.
  • Fiery Stoic: Despite much of their rituals being based around fire motifs and their penchant for fire weapons, the Salamanders are one of the most stoic and most humane legions among the Astartes. On the other hand, it is explicitly noted that they do have a violent and self-destructive streak which Vulkan tempered through his teachings.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Glowing red, too, and you certainly don't want to see them as your enemies.
  • The Heart: When a lot of them get mixed with Iron Hands and Raven Guard, they often turn out to be the ones most morally-inclined of them all.
  • Honor Before Reason: They're often called out by other Legions as being too focused on protecting civilians, to the point of hindering their actual duties.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: Apparently something about their gene-seed made them very self-destructive and prone to infighting before Vulkan popped up and gave them a life philosophy to rein in those tendencies. Without his moderating presence, it can be seen resurfacing.
  • Kill It with Fire: Their hat is using various heat- and flame-based weaponry.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Their homeworld, Nocturne, is heavily volcanic and with lava boiling just under the surface, with occassional periods of volcanic activity so powerful, the entire population has to hide behind spaceship-class void shields just to survive.
  • Mighty Glacier: They're slow (still much, much faster than normal human, being able to match Eldar in close combat), but can take massive amounts of punishment before going down.
  • Nice Guy: Their reputation is that of the champion of the common man, and they certainly try to match it.
  • The Paladin: The closest you'll get to the actual principles of the trope. Show great kindness? Check. Wields a hammer? Check. Protect the weak? Check. Heal the sick? Check. Slay monsters with merciless violence? Check.
  • Party Scattering: The Istvaan V massacre hit them as badly as the Iron Hands and the Raven Guard, and many of them ended up mixing up with members of the other two legions in various guerrilla packs scattered behind enemy lines.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Very likely to stop by and help you out, and are shown treating humans as their equals - a rarity among Space Marines.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Salamanders, due to a stable geneseed mutation, developed these (and glowing ones, no less) along with onyx-black skin. This, almost demonic, visage, was often quite helpful with pacifying fledgling rebellions on many worlds throughout Imperium without unnecessary bloodshed.
  • Scary Black Man: While nice guys out of combat, their coal-black skin and glowing red eyes, combined with their massive Astartes silhouette, certainly form this image.

His skin might be coal black, but not his soul. He's way too much of a Nice Guy to complain that Sanguinius got all the beauty genes.
The Primarch of the Salamanders Legion, considered the most compassionate of the Primarchs. Stranded on Nocturne and adopted by a blacksmith namad N'bel, Vulkan became the protector of his people against Dark Eldar raids. After inflicting a decisive defeat on the Eldar, Vulkan met the Emperor, who persuaded him to join the Great Crusade and gave him command of the Eighteenth Legion. During the Horus Heresy, he sides with the Emperor, but is lost in the Drop Site Massacre.
  • Back from the Dead: Happens to him way more often than he'd probably like, thanks to his Perpetuality.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Vulkan is the kindest of the primarchs, even moreso than Sanguinius. He is also prone to burning enemies alive.
  • The Big Guy: Became known as the physically strongest primarch in later books.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: What Curze manages to pull off with him. After he escapes, Vulkan goes completely insane and starts attacking everyone around him, even Guilliman.
  • Break the Cutie: Undergoes one at Curze's hands.
  • Call to Agriculture: He sometimes daydreams about returning to Nocturne and becoming a farmer after the war. Curze seems to find it distasteful.
  • Death by Materialism: Almost happened during his competition with the Outsider (AKA his father). Vulkan could've easily escaped a Literal Cliffhanger he was in if he'd let go of the firedrake he'd caught, but refused to do so, since this would mean he'd lost the contest against the Emperor. In the end, the Emperor had to drop his own salamander to make a bridge for him.
  • Drop the Hammer: His Weapon of Choice is a hammer in many varieties. He used a pair of blacksmith's hammers to fend off a Dark Eldar attack on his world, and throughout the Great Crusade he used a thunder hammer named, quite obviously, Thunderhead. During the Drop Site Massacre, he wields Dawnbringer, which was originally a gift for Horus and which lets him get around teleportation blocks. After his resurrection on Nocturne, he forges a third hammer called Urdrakule ("The Burning Hand") and wields it on his journey to Terra. Urdrakule is the most formidable of Vulkan's hammers, strong enough to smash one of Ferrus Manus' metal hands and spittings arcs of flame.
  • Fantastic Racism: He hates the Eldar with fierce, burning passion and has no qualms about killing them whenever encountered, whether they're adult or children. In-universe, it's justified with how Druchii raiders had been abducting and murdering hundreds of Nocturneans before he managed to fight them off.
  • A Father to His Men: More so than other Primarchs - while others call their gene-sires "my liege", "my lord" or "sire"/"sir", the Salamanders call Vulkan "Father" regardless of whether they're Terrans or Nocturneans.
  • From a Single Cell: Vulkan is a Perpetual, who are capable of this. Enormous amounts of speculation and discussion of the Emperor can stem from how Vulkan got this from his father.
  • Gentle Giant: He's probably the nicest guy out of all the Primarchs, as well as being among the tallest (and physically strongest) of this brotherhood.
    • Played with in an anecdote in Deathfire. Vulkan outright banned the use of Destroyers and their terror weapons in his Legion, calling them unnecessary and cruel. Instead, he utilized the Pyroclasts. Ferrus Manus then pointed out that burning enemies to death with flamers, meltas, and volkites was pretty cruel too. Vulkan's nice, but was still a mono-dominant warlord.
  • The Ghost: After the Drop Site Massacre, he becomes less of a character and more of a motivation for his Salamanders. He does keep on appearing, though.
  • Immortality: Even moreso than his brothers. See From a Single Cell.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: How he won the heart of his Legion in his official debut.
  • The Many Deaths of You: After it turns out he has Resurrective Immortality, he proceeds to be killed by (among others): Macross Missile Massacre, rapid decompression, immolation, crushing, starvation, impaling, fork to the chest, suffocation, orbital drop, beheading, getting shot (multiple times), stabbing (multiple times), magic spear to the heart and finally getting thrown into a volcano.
  • Meaningful Name: The Ultimate Blacksmith named after Roman god of forges.
  • Morality Chain: Numeon claims that if it wasn't for Vulkan, the Salamanders would've destroyed themselves through infighting and internal strife. Given what happens in Deathfire, it's very likely.
  • Nemean Skinning: Wears a mantle made of the skin of Kesare, a firedrake he slew. Justified as it's nigh-impossible to pierce and fireproof.
  • Nice Guy: By far the most empathetic of the Primarchs, even above Sanguinius. He's also extraordinarily kind to regular humans. Best illustrated when he was being tempted by Khorne himself in Old Earth, all he could think of was how sorry he now felt for his traitor brother, Angron. Even after enduring so much tragedy, all Vulkan does is think about others before himself.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of Old Earth, Vulkan is tasked to stand guard besides the Eternity Gate to fight the tide of Daemons coming from the warp rift there. Thus, he doesn't participate in the Siege of Terra raging at the surface of the planet, but at least took some part in the Scouring which happened afterwards.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: In Vulkan Lives, after making his way through Konrad's labyrinth to reclaim his hammer Dawnbringer, and after enduring Curze's Evil Gloating that he can't use its teleporter function to escape, Vulkan responds thusly...
    Vulkan: You forgot one thing, Konrad.
    Konrad Curze: What?
    Vulkan: It's also a hammer. (Vulkan smashes Konrad in the jaw with said hammer and subjects him to a No Holds Barred Beat Down).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: One of the most level-headed Primarchs.
  • Red Baron: Lord of Drakes, Unbound Flame.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has glowing red eyes, and when you see those in combat, you'd better be on his side.
  • Resurrective Immortality: As a Perpetual, Vulkan will come back to life no matter how he's killed. In the wake of the Drop Site Massacre, Vulkan was captured by the Night Lords and tortured by the Night Haunter himself, who killed Vulkan multiple times in extravagantly violent and torturous ways but was frustrated by his returning to life every time.
  • Scary Black Man: At least when Dark Eldar are involved. Subverted Trope to everyone else, he's instead the nicest primarch by miles.
  • Screw You, Dark Eldar!: He fought back an entire planetary invasion army of these guys with nothing but a pair of blacksmith hammers. And this was before he even knew that he was a Primarch.
  • Survivor Guilt: Vulkan Lives has him getting a fair share of this, manifesting as a ghost of Ferrus mocking and belittling him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers a completely brutal, and piercing one to Curze just before their final battle, which pratically causes the Night Haunter to have a mental breakdown.
    Vulkan: You were right, I do think I am better than you. Only a weakling and a coward fights as you do, Konrad. Our father was right to ignore your mewling and discard you. I suspect it sickened him. Only you know true terror, isn't that right, brother? So weak, so pathetic. Nostramo didn't make you the worthless wretch you are, brother. You were languishing in the gutter with the rest of those deviants the moment our father erred in creating you. It was inevitable that one of us would be flawed, so rotten with human failing that he cannot bear his own presence or the presence of others. You can't help it, can you? To measure yourself against each of us. How many times have you found yourself wanting after such observation? When was it you realised that blaming your upbringing or your brothers no longer rang true? When did you turn the mirror and see the worthless parody you had become? No one fears you, Konrad. A different name won't change who you really are. I'll let you in on a secret... we pity you. All of us. We tolerate you because you are our brother. But none of us are afraid of you. For what is there to fear but a petulant child raging at the dark?
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: The weapons/relics that he created are amongst the most powerful and sought after that the Imperium has ever had. Unlike Perturabo and Ferrus Manus, who put more emphasis on function, Vulkan can also create beautiful artefacts that are as much symbols as objects.
  • Warrior Poet: He's not just a general, but also a philosopher. From what he learned at the side of the Emperor, and from the many teachings of his adoptive homeworld of Nocturne, he formed the Promethean Creed, a philosophy of endurance and self-sacrifice that Nocturneans in general and Salamanders in particular would follow for over ten thousand years.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In Vulkan Lives, he immolates a surrendering young Eldar in anger after realizing his personal Remembrancer was a casualty of the battle (though it turns out that she was killed by the Night Lords' "friendly fire").

Artellus Numeon
He won't be so eager to go anywhere in a few hours.
Vulkan's equerry and first captain, he gets separated from his gene-sire during Istvaan V and later takes charge of remaining Salamanders.
  • Break the Believer: His entire arc in Deathfire is him coming to terms with the fact that Vulkan is dead and everything and everyone trying to convince him that he won't come back. Ultimately subverted, as he believes right to the very end.
  • Break the Haughty: Istvaan V definitely changes him.
  • The Chains of Commanding: For all his belief, he often second-guesses himself whether his actions are the right ones, and at first doesn't want to command the remaining Salamanders.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Shows symptoms of all five stages pretty heavily in Deathfire, perhaps save for acceptance.
  • Four-Star Badass: As the Legion Master of the Salamanders, and he proves time and again that he's a supreme badass.
  • Heroic BSoD: After powering through everything between Istvaan V and Macragge, sometimes held together by sheer force of will, he breaks down completely when he realizes that Vulkan is dead.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself to Mount Deathfire to bring Vulkan back. It works.
  • Hurting Hero: The universe seems hell-bent on making his life miserable and he has a lot to angst about, whether justified or not.
  • Made of Iron: He survives what would kill an Astartes some five times over seemingly thanks to his faith. Magnus suggests it was actually his intervention, but Numeon refuses to believe this.
  • My Greatest Failure: He blames himself for Vulkan's death, reasoning that things may've been different if he managed to keep up with him and remain at his side like the commander of the Pyre Guard should. This is despite the fact that on Istvaan, Vulkan is ground zero of a Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Number Two: To Vulkan, as his equerry.
  • Parental Substitute: Seems to consider Vulkan to be this for him and often recalls his teachings.
  • Praetorian Guard: Commands Vulkan's Pyre Guard, and the fact that he wasn't by his Primarch's side when the Guard was needed the most weighs on him heavily.
  • Religious Bruiser: His belief that Vulkan is still out there looks more like faith than simple conviction, especially as he still believes it even after being presented with irrefutable proof of Vulkan's death.
  • Survival Mantra: "Vulkan Lives" and the conviction that goes with it. Sometimes it's seemingly the only thing keeping him alive and sane.
  • The Captain: Commander of the First Company.
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: For a non-Primarch, he has collected quite a list of titles: First Captain, Commander of the Pyre Guard, Primarch's Equerry and Legion Master. And he's all of this.
  • You Are in Command Now: Forced to take charge of Macraggean Salamanders after he arrives, as the most senior of them all.

     XIX Legion: Raven Guard 

The Legion
Number: XIX
Original Name: Pale Nomads
Primarch: Corvus Corax

The Nineteenth Legion, one of the smallest, most reclusive but ultimately noble ones among the Legios. At their beginnings, the 19th Legion was used primarily for reconnaissance and harassing, which deprived them of some glory but made them a highly valuable force during the Great Crusade. They also used terror tactics much like the Night Lords. When the Emperor discovered Corvus Corax on Deliverance, then freshly liberated from their moon-based slavers thanks to Corax, the Primarch quickly added stealth to their arsenal and purged it of its more unsavory aspect to make his Raven Guard into liberators. As Corax thought Horus was exploiting his Legion, he took his forces away from the Warmaster after one disastrous battle in which the Raven Guard were used in a reckless shock assault plan.

When the Horus Heresy broke out, the Raven Guard formed part of the Imperial vanguard sent to Istvaan V, along with the Salamanders and Iron Hands. There, they were surrounded by seven other traitor Legions and nearly destroyed in the Drop Site Massacre. Corax survived the massacre, but his Legion was reduced to a fraction of its already small strength. After a short-lived attempt to manufacture Astartes more rapidly, Corax decided to use his remaining forces to perform a bloody campaign against Horus' rear guard, while bands of Raven Guard scattered among the survivors of Isstvan V also made their own campaigns.

The Raven Guard is based on Deliverance and led by Corvus Corax. Raven Guards are known for being grim, brooding, and approaching war as pragmatically as possible. Moreover, Deliverance's unique culture gave them an affinity for the shadows. When waging war, the Raven Guards mostly use stealth, subterfuge and surprise attacks, all in order to minimize their losses since Deliverance's small population cannot sustain the normal attrition rate of a Space Marine Legion. They mostly use Scouts and Assault Companies for reconnaissance and hit-and-run tactics, and field fewer heavy vehicles than other Legions. The Raven Guard wear black armour with white trim.

  • Animal Motifs: Raven, obviously, and they're often compared to it.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Inverted, as they have all-black eyes like trope page image, but are firmly on the side of good guys.
  • Color Motif: Pitch-black.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Not for them rushing head-on at the enemy with a battlecry on their lips and bright colours on their armour - a Raven Guard is more likely to terminate you with a sniper rifle before you even realize he's there.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They wear black and have all-black eyes, but are loyalists and one of the most pragmatic Legions.
  • Doomed Upgrade: In Deliverance Lost, the Emperor grants Corax with knowledge and material to produce Space Marines at a much faster rate than is usual so that the Legion can replenish its ranks. The new Legionaries baptized "Raptors" quickly prove to be worthy of being called Legionaries in all aspects, but alas sleeper agents from the Alpha Legion corrupt the genetic material, leaving the Raven Guards with hundreds of monstrous Legionnaires (still sentient and loyal) whom Corax can only send on suicide missions.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: They have a quirk in their gene-seed that makes their skin ivory white and their hair all-black, which is often noted as giving them quite an inhuman look.
  • Evil Counterpart: Have one in Night Lords, another shadow-dwelling, pale-skinned Legion.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Their forte are guerilla operations and quick, surgical actions behind enemy lines.
  • I Work Alone: An oft-expressed sentiment in Raven Guard Astartes forced to cooperate with fellow Istvaan V survivors from other legions.
  • La Résistance: In their current incarnation, they grew from Deliverance's resistance movement, with many members being veterans of that conflict. During the Heresy, they also support many resistances on planets occupied by the traitors.
  • Mirroring Factions: With Night Lords. They both prefer skulking in shadows and hitting the enemy at their weakest, they mainly draw their numbers from prisoners - although the Raven Guard is boosted mainly by Kiavahr's old politically-motivated inmates - their operational procedures are similar and back when they were the Pale Nomads, the Nineteenth were as brutal as the Night Lords. It's enough to give Corax a pause when he realizes that Night Lords are what would've happen to his Legion had its history gone only a little differently.
  • Party Scattering: They're one of the three Shattered Legions, like Salamanders and Iron Hands, although thanks to their Primarch resurfacing quite quickly, they largely manage to reform back into a Legion. There's still a lot of them scattered around, though. Given that they are used to operating in a more decentralized fashion than most Astartes, this is significantly less of a handicap than it is for the other Shattered Legions.
  • Perception Filter: The Mor Deythan elites can "wraith-slip", which is basically this trope enforced on everyone (but not everything) around them.
  • Police Brutality: The Pale Nomads were noted as being brutal enforcers of Imperial rule. Corvus changed this, as it reminded him too much of the State Sec of his homeworld.
  • Quality over Quantity: Because of Deliverance's low population, they've always been one of the smallest Legions, so they compensated by being the most professional. The Raptors take this even further - only a single uncorrupted batch of Raptors exist, but they are head and shoulders beyond any of the other Astartes shown in the series.
  • Stealth Expert: One of the very few Legions who specialize in being unseen, as it takes some skill to hide an eight-foot giant in power armour. Speaking of armour, they're the only ones who silence it, which makes them capable of sneaking up behind peopole.
  • The Stoic: They're noted as being rather unflappable, to the point of appearing cold.

Corvus Corax

The Primarch of the Raven Guard Legion. Stranded on Deliverance and kept hidden in a prison, Corax was raised by a group of political prisoners who imprinted in him an appreciation for liberty and the need to fight for it. Corax eventually led a rebellion and liberated Deliverance from its oppressors. Shortly thereafter, the Emperor arrived and gave Corax command of his legion. Long distrustful of how Horus used the other Legions, Corax sided with the Emperor. Surviving the Drop Site Massacre, he began delving into ancient lore regarding the creation of himself and his brothers, in an effort to restore the Raven Guard's lost numbers.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Corax is one of the nicer Primarchs and a true believer of justice. But when pushed too far, he becomes an embodiment of wrath. Possessed Marines and Primarch alike get gutted like fish when he reaches this state.
  • Cultured Warrior: His caretakers on Lycaeus, being poets, artists, and other political dissidents, made sure to educate him in culture, history, philosophy and arts. As one of them puts it, it's not about been able to kill people, it's about knowing why to kill them.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Has shadows as his hat, but is one of the greatest of the good guys.
  • Dynamic Entry: Started an open rebellion on his planet with a sudden attack and kept that rebellion free with sabotage and ambushes against the forces trying to suppress them. His preference for lightning attacks was spread to his Raven Guard Legion.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: His most striking feature is his porcelain-pale face combined with his black hair.
  • Enfant Terrible: His first act upon landing on Lycaeus is ripping the head off an abusive guard and presenting it to a young slave girl. The adults witnessing this are, sure enough, rather appalled.
  • Extremity Extremist: Corax one-upped the usual version of this trope and bladed the feathery wings attached to his jetpack to lethal effect.
  • Clever Crows: Has ravens as his motifs and utilizes the most sneaky and tricky tactics on loyalist side.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Probably the most pragmatic of the Primarchs. He has no problem swallowing his pride and retreating to fight another day and uses every weapon he can, even stones when necessary.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: His - and by extension, the Raven Guard's - speciality is guerrilla warfare.
  • Meaningful Name: Referencing Clever Crows - corvus corax is taxonomical name for common raven.
  • Perception Filter: He can conceal himself from the vision of mortal beings, and they won't see him even when looking on a camera screen.
  • The Quiet One: Yeah, he doesn't say much. Probably got used to that since his youth consisted of hiding from guards while training and preparing for rebellion.
  • Rebel Leader: Used to be this during Lycaeus' rebellion, and he dusts off his La Résistance coat again when Heresy comes and he ends up (by choice, actually) on the wrong side of the frontlines.
  • Red Baron: The Ravenlord.
  • Shout-Out: Carandiru, a prison that he goes through after the massacre, is named after a Brazilian prison.
  • Stealth Expert: He's so good, he can remain unseen even when people look directly at him.
  • Warrior Poet: His plans after the Great Crusade are to retire and write a treatise on philosophy and history.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: Corax is known to use his jetpack's exhaust this way.
  • Whip It Good: He uses an electrified whip as his middle-range weapon. In Raven's Flight, he muses that he's chosen it because the irony of a weapon of oppression being used by a warrior of liberty is just too delicious to let pass.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Raven's Claws, which make their first appearance in the Heresy in Corax: Soul Forge.

Nykona Sharrowkyn

A Raven Guard stealth expert and sniper, working with Sabik Wayland as a saboteur in Traitor-taken systems.
  • Cold Sniper: And a damn good one too. He actually shot a Primarch (Fulgrim) in the face.
  • Death from Above: Utilizes this to the extent that you start wondering whether he knows that there is such thing as a floor.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Underplayed, but he and Atesh Tarsa really start to bond only after the Salamander manages to see him despite Nykona wraith-slipping.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He and Wayland became friends in the aftermath of Istvaan V, when Sabik saved his life.
  • Fish out of Water: He doesn't feel entirely in his place aboard the Sisypheum and the uncertainty of his Primarch's fate continues to gnaw at him, while the Iron Hands at least know that Ferrus is dead.
  • Foreshadowing: In The Seventh Serpent, Sharrowkyn duels Alpharius himself, who defeats but doesn't kill the Raven Guard warrior. When asked why he is being spared, the Alpha Legion Primarch essentially tells Sharrowkyn "Magnus wants you alive", confusing Sharrowkyn deeply as he has never before had any dealings with the Thousand Sons or their Primarch. As of the end of the Horus Heresy series, it's as yet unexplained...
    • Partially explained in Sons of the Selenar when Wayland and Sharrowkyn undertake a mission to retrieve an artefact called the Magna Mater from the remnants of the Selenite Gene-Cults on Luna. During their retreat the Sisypheum is saved from a torpedo attack by the Photep, Magnus the Red's flagship, afterwards Sharrowkyn is left behind on an abandoned coal station while Wayland takes the crippled Sisypheum away to draw any pursuers after him. Sharrowkyn enters a sus-an coma to keep himself alive, but before passing out notices the name Sangportum Primus etched onto the Magna Mater, aka the device that Belisarius Cawl would use to create the Primaris Space Marines. Without Sharrowkyn, there would be no Primaris at all, though why Magnus wanted that future is a mystery.
  • Friendly Sniper: When in Wayland's company.
  • Master Swordsman: Besides wielding two swords, something most of the best warriors in the setting dont even try, he has killed Lucius, known as a supreme duelist
  • Odd Friendship: With Wayland, an Iron Hand who doesn't like to do subtle.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Invoked by Salamanders Apothecary Atesh Tarsa in relation to Sharrowkyn when the latter saves the former from Fabius and the Emperor's Children during the battle aboard the Sisypheum.
    Atesh Tarsa: Brother Sharrowkyn, is there something wrong with the floor?Spoilery explanation 
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Sharrowkyn delivers several to Lucius at the start and end of their final duel.
    "Sharrowkyn... my name. It's Nykona Sharrowkyn. Just so you know who it is that's killed you".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Calm, calculating Blue to Wayland's revenge-driven Red.
  • Shadow Walker: Underplayed, but he can use shadows to travel without anyone seeing him.
  • Stealth Expert: He is capable of Wraith-slip, which is a special ability that allows him to evade light becoming almost like a ghost.
  • Those Two Guys: He and Wayland are pretty much inseparable.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lucius considers him this after duelling with him; however Sharrowkyn makes it plain he doesn't feel the same way seconds before killing Lucius at the end of their final duel.
    "It gives me no pleasure to do this. You are nothing to me, simply a rabid dog that needs to be put down".

Branne Nev

One of four commanders of the Raven Guard, he gets left behind to watch over Deliverance when the Legion goes to Istvaan - thankfully, as it enables him to rescue his Primarch after the Massacre.
  • All the Other Reindeer: Starts to feel this way when surrounded by Istvaan V survivors - he senses they are closer to each other than to the rest of the Raven Guard and he can't fit in with them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Arrives with The Cavalry just as the remaining Istvaanian Raven Guard is about to be cut down by the World Eaters.
  • Colonel Badass: His rank technically makes him this.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Valerius after the latter's visions lead to the rescue of Corax. Nev places far more stock in Valerius and what he says after that.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite knowing perfectly well that psychic powers exist and work in often mysterious ways, he refuses to believe that Valerius' nightmares may be more than just bad dreams.
  • Hot-Blooded: He can be rather choleric and short-tempered, especially compared to his Legion's calm demeanour.
  • La Résistance: As a teenager, he fought for Lycaeus' independance under Corvus Corax.
  • No Sympathy for Grudgeholders: Corax berates him for being vindictive to an Iron Hands commander who has searched his ship before. Justified, as for one, war is no time for grudges, and for other, the man was just doing his job.
  • Number Two: Becomes one to his Primarch after he ends up commanding the largest of Legion's detachments.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Choleric Red to his brother Agapito's calmer Blue. It's implied that before Istvaan, with Agapito being a Glory Hound, it was the other way round.
  • The Nicknamer: He's the one to name the new and improved Raven Guard the Raptors.
  • You're Insane!: Says this almost verbatim to Valerius when the latter wants to take all the forces to Istvaan based on his nightmares.