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Fan Fic / The Roboutian Heresy

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"Roboute... Wise Roboute... Roboute with his scratching quills and his plans and his hope! Too understanding... Too strong... Too damn perfect... I wish I had seen it before it was too late!"
Warmaster Horus

Inspired by The Dornian Heresy by Aurelius Rex, The Roboutian Heresy describes an alternate universe for Warhammer 40,000, where Roboute Guilliman was the one to lead nine Space Marine Legions in rebellion against the Emperor. The Legions which were loyal in canon are traitor in this universe, and vice-versa.

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Because this is a fanfiction of Warhammer 40,000, please consult that page for tropes pertaining to the original universe of which this fanfic is set.

It can be found here and here


Tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The Alpha Legion's origins are revealed in this story, as their canon counterparts origins still remains a mystery.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • The Emperor seems to be much more openly caring of his sons, with the fic detailing several heartwarming moments between him and characters such as Lorgar, Perturabo, Angron, etc., when they first meet. There is one aversion of this trope, however: when the Emperor comes to rescue Corax from the Tech-lords, he seems to view Corax as nothing more than a tool to be used (which is disturbingly similar to what the canon Emperor told Guilliman). However, it's implied the Emperor merely pretended to act coldly in order to avoid looking weak in front of the Tech-lords, who might have tried to manipulate him into an unfavorable bargain if he openly displayed affection and concern for his son. in addition the scene is from Corax's perspective, who may be an Unreliable Narrator.
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    • In general, the loyal Legions seem a lot more polite and appreciative of normal humans in general than the canon loyal Chapters.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Famous Traitor Space Marines in the canon are Loyalist in this story like Abaddon, Sevatar, Lucius and Kharn. Averted with Fabius Bile, who remains evil in both canon and RH continuity. Interestingly, though, this universe's Fabius was "driven mad" by the Dark Eldar, whereas the canon Bile has no such excuse.
    • Ahzek Ahriman gets a big dose of this due to the fic taking an alternate interpretation of his Rubric. Unlike canon, where the Rubric is treated as folly Ahriman is desperate to undo and Magnus took thousands of years to forgive him for, in this story Ahriman with help from a returned Magnus, who is not angry with him realizes the fault for the deaths is Tzeenthch's as the mutations in this universe were slowly killing the legion anyway and thus the Rubric saved those who could be saved.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Like the above, famous Loyalist Space Marines in canon are now traitors in this story like Cato Sicarius and Gabriel Angelos, "the Blood Raven".
    • There are also quite a few notable aversions to this trope. The first are loyalists from the canon Traitor Legions such as Nathaniel Garro, Barbaras Dantioch, and Garviel Loken, who remain heroic in both timelines. There are also several marines from the RH Traitor Legions who remain loyal such as Yesugei, Xa'ven, and Alexis Pollux, some of whom ultimately join together to form the RH's version of Malcador's Knights-Errant.
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    • While all the Loyalist-turned-Traitor Primarchs are examples of this trope, Vulkan in particular stands out among them. In canon, Vulkan is a Pro-Human Transhuman and a Nice Guy. Here, he's The Sociopath, driven by greed and lust for power.
    • The Cabal, the secret Xenos organization that fought Chaos in canon, are villains in this fanfic as the Alpha Legion and some former members of the Cabal learned the organization was unknowingly serving Chaos and had Chaos corrupted members in their ranks.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: in the Iron Hands chapter, it's implied that all Abominable Intelligences turn on Mankind because they inevitably come to the conclusion that the species is a threat to the galaxy.
  • And I Must Scream: Roboute's fate, which destroyed whatever little goodness was left in him, before he was freed from stasis at the conclusion of the Black Crusade on Macragge.
  • Anti-Magic: Necrons apparently developed planet wide versions of this.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: The Death Guard and the pre-heresy Space Wolves; the Death Guard because Mortarion remembered his Dark and Troubled Past under Sorcerous Overlords all too well, the Space Wolves largely because of cognitive dissonance.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Both the Word Bearers, who are utterly atheistic and proud of it, and the Iron Warriors who know how horrible the galaxy is but are still willing to fight for humanity. The Alpha Legion is an interesting variation: The world has no God, so they're going to create one.
  • Army of the Dead: In the final stages of the Siege of Terathalion, as Ragnar Blackmane attempts to invade the sanctum, Iskandar Khayon awakens the Rubric Marines, a long-held secret of the Thousand Sons, to unleash a brutal and devastating counter-attack against the invaders.
  • The Atoner:
    • Several Legions have or are connected to organizations made of people who want redemption for their sins.
    • Eldrad Ulthran and Asurmen have regrets that they were unknowingly used by the Chaos corrupt Cabal to try and turn two of the Primarchs to Chaos which led Eldard almost attacking Angron and Asurmen accidentally killing Konrad's adoptive mother.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: How many Chaos warbands work: in particular, Ultramarines warbands practice a twisted sort of meritocracy.
  • Awesome Mccool Name: The Salamanders really like these and will fight to the death if they find out that two of them have the same name.
  • Awful Truth: Whatever it was that drove the Raven Guard off the deep end.
  • Ax-Crazy: When we see from the perspective of Imperial Fists it comes across as this in part.
  • Badass Boast: Plenty. Ephrael Stern and Ahzek Ahriman in particular have this trope down in the bag during the latest chapter of the Siege of Terathalion.
    "You may think you have won the day, traitors, but we own the night!
  • Batman Gambit: The reason Fabius Bile attacks Chemos? It's all because he wanted to see if Fulgrim will come running to save the planet and it's Legion. Fulgrim doesn't appear, so Bile concludes he must be dead.
  • Becoming the Mask: Happens depressingly frequently when the Alpha Legion is infiltrating Chaos. Still, they keep it up, because the alternative is all-out war.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Corvus Corax, who was raised as a lab subject and who may well be the worst of the Primarchs.
  • Berserk Button: Really, every Legion has them. Don't trick the Night Lords into putting down a well-intentioned rebellion or support slavery in front of the World Eaters, unless you want your death and humiliation to be spectacular. The Dark Eldar are a rather sore topic for the Emperor's Children, for very good reason. The Death Guard have two: Never try to blow up a planet if the Death Guard thinks it can be saved. And never tell a Death Guard marine they take in survivors from their purges. They don't leave survivors.
  • Beyond the Impossible: After being forced to kneel before Guilliman, the sheer rage inside Titus allows him to overcome the holds enforced by Guilliman’s genetic code and Khornate blessings.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Part One of the Terran Crucible, Inquisitor Czevak is saved from Dark Angels by Cypher. Near the end, Cypher is himself saved from Lion El'Johnson by Lorgar - though Cypher dies soon afterwards.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Sons of Horus constantly have bad luck.
  • Blood Brothers: In this universe, Angron ranked brotherhood first, discipline second, and fighting prowess third on the list of things he wanted the World Eaters to value.
  • Blue Is Heroic: The World Eaters never changed their regimental colors to red due to Khorne worship, retaining blue and white. Being a Legion of Nice Guys, they fit. Similarly, the Night Lords have dark blue as their main color scheme and are one of the most virtuous Loyalist Legions. Averted by the Ultramarines, for obvious reasons.
  • Body Horror: The traitor Raven Guard dabble in this, as a result of their fleshcrafting obsession. This is particularly pronounced in their Spawn Marines, mass-manufactured clone Space Marines with utterly warped features.
    • As in canon, the Thousand Sons suffered from a high mutation rate that exploded after the heresy (here the explosion blamed on Tzeentch's wrath). Ahriman's Rubric put a stop to it...at the cost of killing most of the legion and trapping their souls in their armor as Rubrics. In-universe, this is treated as the right decision as it at least ended up saving who could be saved.
    • Bile's experiments, as in canon.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Azkaellon and the rest of the Sanguinary Guard.
  • Break the Haughty: The Emperor's Children go through a legion wide example when they all end up in the Webway fighting the Dark Eldar. Fulgrim came out of it no longer the pretty one.
  • Came Back Wrong: Implied to happen when the Raven Guard Apothecaries bring someone back to life. Also happend to Jaghatai Khan, who wound up as a daemonhost.
  • Cloning Blues: Obviously when Fabius Bile is around. He is a bunch of clones, in fact.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The Raven Guard seem to be living one.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bile's personal bodyguard and assassin "the Eldest" inflicts it two times during the Chapter 33. During his firt appearance he slaughtered 47 Astartes from the Third Legion and didn't seem to get any crippling injures. When he appeared for the second time, "the Eldest" killed most of Inquisitor Covenant's retinue.
    • Daemon Primarch Corvus Corax alone versus Cadmean Citadel's garrison. It took him a single mental command to incapitate three Warhound Titans.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Cypher is revealed to have Resurrective Immortality due to being possesed by a mostly dormant piece of an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Night Lords and the post-Dark Eldar Emperor's Children; the former are justice-obsessed mystics, the latter have a not-so-odd acceptance of pain and hardship, and both are some of the most magnanimous and humble Chapters.
    • The difference between the Night Lords in this AU and the ones from canon is that the former see justice as the ultimate end, and terror is just a means to attain it. The canon Night Lords saw terror as an end in itself.
    • The Emperor's Children's acceptance of pain and hardship is based on their experience against the Laer and the Dark Eldar. You have to earn perfection, otherwise you wouldn't have the wisdom and honor that makes perfect perfect.
      "We bleed. We endure. And in enduring, we grow strong."
    • Garviel Loken, now Cerberus, is revealed to not only be still alive in the present, but he has become infused with the power of the Warp, making him "more daemon than man" in the mocking words of Bile. Despite this, however, he is still a firmly heroic character who utterly rejects the corruption of Chaos, and has dedicated the rest of his existence to destroying Bile and his clones once and for all.
    • Aeonid Thiel was able to fake being a Daemon Prince (he might have been one, technically), but he never lost his loyalty to the Imperium; he actually managed to successfully turn Chaos upon itself.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Gulliman is trapped in a state between life amd death before reviving.
  • Death by Adaptation: Gaunt's Ghosts, and Colonel-Commissar Gaunt himself, all fall in battle on Tanith when the planet was assaulted and razed by an Imperial Fists warband. Gaunt's body was never found, however.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Just before Horus kill him, Sanguinius breaks down and allows Slaanesh to take his pain away. He just has to kill Horus first...
  • Determinator: Against the one Primarch considered Horus' equal, who by then had slain Horus and had ascended to become a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh, the Mournival take him on in a last-ditch counterattack after the Emperor's Children and Night Lords attack the traitors in the rear. Granted, it was four-on-one, and the Mournival were wearing Terminator armor, but even then they barely won. Towards the end of the battle Abaddon was reduced to crawling through dirt, Tarik had lost an arm, and Aximand had half his face torn off and his guts ripped out, and even Loken was sporting several injuries. It took a last-minute trans-Human burst of power (possibly psychic in nature, given Abaddon and Aximand gained them when they picked up Horus' weapons) to allow them to banish Sanguinius.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • The Mournival defeat Daemon Prince Sanguinius after Horus kicks the bucket.
    • While assisting the Mournival in their rescue of Horus' soul in the Warp, Ahzek Ahriman inflicts a blow on Tzeentch. And ten thousand years later, he and the spirits of the original Mournival would do it again, to ALL OF THE CHAOS GODS while rescuing the soul of Magnus the Red from the clutches of the Chaos Gods.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Daemon Prince Marius Gage is actually Aeonid Thiel, who somehow pretended to be Marius for millennia. Even the Chaos gods were fooled!
  • Doomsday Device: Vulkan, just like in canon, built many of these. Unlike his canon self, however, he was more than happy to use them, attaching them to the Chalice of Fire.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Thiel's ultimate fate is to die peacefully knowing he completed his final duty to the Imperium despite how deeply he dove into Black Magic to save it.
  • Eldritch Abomination: All Daemon Primarchs, the Unkind, the Yellow King and Weregelds.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: "Normal" is a bit of a stretch for a Space Marine, but Thiel has no psychic potential at all and became something that could pose a fair fight to Guilliman.
  • Enemy Civil War: The other eight Traitor Legions have never forgiven Roboute and the Ultramarines for not only using them as cannon fodder during the Roboutian Heresy but also abandoning them when Roboute fell. Their hatred was so great that when two Black Crusades led by the Ultramarines and the other Traitor Legions respectively were launched after the end of The War of the Beast, a perfect opportunity since the Imperium was at its weakness, rather than both forces uniting and finally crushing the Imperium, they instead went to war with each other to settle their grudges, allowing the Imperium to rebuild their forces and attack the now-weakened remnants. Operatives of the Hydra who infiltrated the two forces did have a hand in it though, as did Thiel in his guise as "Gage".
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: What saved Lorgar from continuing to be lost in the Warp was him noticing the Fallens's calls to save Cypher's life when in the Webway. Daemons never tried to lure him into an ambush with a cry to help someone else, and so he actually followed it to get into the Webway - and from there, realspace.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • All the other Traitor Legions despise the Space Wolves for their occasional alliances with xenos.
    • The Traitor Legions as a whole thoroughly despise the Ultramarines for abandoning them when Guilliman fell, to the point that they, as a united Black Crusade, chose to attack a separate Black Crusade led by the Ultramarines instead of attacking an Imperium weakened by the War of the Beast. Though this may not be moral outrage as much as it is a desire for vengeance.
    • The RH Raven Guard are considered thoroughly evil and despicable even by the other Traitor Legions, and dabble in darker powers that even your "standard" Chaos Space Marine would balk at. According to Zahariel's beta-reader Janeara Targaryen, Fabius Bile broke his association with them out of DISGUST.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Bile just like in canon.
    • Corvus Corax and Apothecaries from his legion.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Thiel made a pact with an entity (likely Malal) and spent thousands of years in the Ruinstorm turning the Ultramarines upon themselves; one of the quotations in the Battle of Macragge reveals his actions have changed fate, making it so that it's possible for Roboute to lose the final battle.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Dorn's is rage: lots and lots of rage. Meanwhile, Lion El'Jonson suffered from paranoia (due to the whispers of Kalros Fateweaver). Sanguinius was willing to do anything to save his Space Marines, and Ferrus Manis couldn't stand weakness, including his own. Finally, Leman Russ couldn't trust psychic powers (despite making use of them) and Roboute ultimately made an impulsive descion when a demon brought up his adopted family.
    • Subverted with Magnus as his own temper is almost this, but he reigns himself in to be the leader his men and the Imperium as a whole need after his absence.
  • Foreshadowing: All over the place.
    • Some is done by having something be similar to canon. Magnus was in a coma-like state to preserve his life while his soul was trapped in the warp, making him an analogue to canon!Roboute and therefore the first Primarch to return. (Although technically Omegon never left.)
    • Marius Gage seems to often regret what he has become and tries to invoke redemption a lot with other Ultramarines, which is pretty strange for a Daemon Prince. Because he isn't Gage, let alone a Daemon Prince; he's the loyalist Aeonid Thiel, and he regrets turning to Xanthist-esque ideals of turning Chaos against itself.
  • For Want of a Nail: As a result of some changes in this timeline, the Primarchs that turned traitor in canon remained loyal while the loyals one in canon turned traitor.
    • For the Loyalists:
    • When Magnus was purging Prospero of the Psychneunn, he encountered a "Psychneunn Prime", which could nullify his psychic powers and nearly killed him. The creature also wounded him, destroying his right eye, and Magnus only managed to kill it by body-slamming it to the ground and pummeling it to pulp. This implicitly taught him that psychic powers and the Warp weren't everything, and that things are more than they seem (the Psychneunn Prime was frail physically, but it certainly didn't stop it from briefly dominating Magnus). This would later allow Magnus to see Tzeentch for what he was (the Lie), and by literally turning his back on Tzeentch in the Warp, broke his hold over the legion (the Flesh Change). Much later, in the Council of Nikaea, Magnus remained silent throughout the proceedings rather than join the pro-psyker camp as expected, which is implied to have been a factor in the Emperor's final decision being to not ban the use of psyker powers, ensuring that psykers, while still feared, are treated with more respect than in canon.
    • Konrad Curze was raised by a human mother who cared for and loved him, preventing his rise as a psychotic Punisher expy in canon while becoming a noble Batman-like figure who valued life.
    • Librarians of the Emperor's Children noticed the trap in the Laer temple much earlier, alerting everyone to the Chaos corruption in a timely manner. Also, Fulgrim never picked up the Blade of the Laer and it was instead used on Vespasian, who resisted the daemon's corruption until the Thousand Sons could banish the daemon back into the Warp. Because of this, there was nothing to corrupt him and he remained loyal. Later, their encounter with the Dark Eldar, while horrific, taught him much-needed humility and reminded him of he and his Legion's mortality.
    • Eldrad ordered the Eldar not to attack the baby Angron when he crashed landed. As he was not injured, Angron was not captured by Slavers and given the Butcher Nails, which made Angron in this timeline not driven to anger and madness and not falling into Chaos, and raised by peasants who taught him to despise pointless war.
    • As they were no Poor Communication Kills between them, The Sons of Horus did not exterminate the Interex after both sides were able to clear up any confusion between them with the latter helping the former prevent Horus from being corrupted. Sadly, the Interex are still killed off by an unknown force after the Sons of Horus were forced to leave their new allies when the Roboutian Heresy began.
    • While Alpharius and Omegon don't have enough of a canon backstory to to state where the divergence was, Curze gave them both a What the Hell, Hero? moment that reminded them there's a point where I Did What I Had to Do stops being a justification for the means. One thing that change with canon was their relationship with the Cabal. Unlike their canon counterparts, the Alpha Legion didn't join the Cabal but destroyed them as both the Chapter and ex-Cabal members like Eldrad Ulthran learned the organization was infiltrated by Chaos agents and unknowingly serving for Chaos.
    • Mortarion escaped from the Witch-Lord earlier and chose to live among normal humans peacefully for a time, causing him to value life more. More importantly, unlike in the HH timeline, the Witch-Lord actively attacked and killed everyone in Mortarion's village that he had grown close to. His need to avenge his family gave him a resolve and motivation that he lacked in the original timeline, and allowed him to kill the Witch-Lord himself where he would have failed in the canon timeline. As a result, the Emperor never took the kill from him, and there was no resentment between him and his father, even when the Emperor later ruled in favor of the Librarius at the Council of Nikaea, a decision that Mortarion was adamantly opposed to but ultimately respected (it helped that he was given the Sisters of Silence to compensate for a lack of a Librarius).
    • Perturabo's hated foster father died before the Emperor showed up, and having authority and responsibility thrust on him caused him to mature and become a Humble Hero who was content with the Boring, but Practical work.
    • On Colchis, Lorgar grew up as part of a family in Colchis that directly suffered under the Covenant's oppression. Instead of becoming a religious zealot, when he grew up he became the Covenant's worst enemy and the most ardent supporter of the Imperial Truth, as well one of the most anti-Chaos Primarchs in the entire Imperium.
    • For the Traitors:
    • In addition to some rather deep personal tragedies (especially the loss of his wolf-siblings), the Emperor's decision to allow psychic powers greatly angered Leman Russ, who became obsessed with proving to the Emperor that psychic powers were evil. This led him and his legion to obsessively search for xenos evidence to prove his point, destroy Prospero (a loyal world) of his own accord, break the Webway in an attempt to assassinate Magnus, and fully turn traitor through Lion'El Johnson's influence.
    • Large armies of orks found Inwit before the Emperor did while Rogal Dorn was in command, ultimately resulting in the destruction of Inwit, an event which would haunt Rogal Dorn and bring out the worst aspects of his personality.
    • Instead of being raised by the prisoners of Kiavahr, Corvus Corax was handed over to the Tech-lords to be tortured and experimented on, which played a huge role in his corruption. It also didn't help that when the Emperor arrived to recover him, he had to hide any emotional attachment to Corax and instead pretend that his interest in him is purely that of an amoral scientist wanting to recover his creation simply because he had a use for them, even to the point of referring to Corax as "it"... and poor Corax was conscious enough to hear that, leading him to draw the worst possible conclusions about the Emperor.
    • Kairos Fateweaver drove Lion'El Johnson mad through voices in his head, ultimately luring him to Tzeentch's side. This had the side effect of making Luther and his Fallen the Loyalists instead.
    • Instead of being found by humans when he landed in Nocturne, Vulkan was found by a salamander who raised him only to attack him when he grew older, which emotionally scarred him forever and led to him and his legion being one of the cruelest and most brutal, instead of one of the compassionate.
    • Be'lakor stirred up war in Macragge that led to the deaths of the two people Guilliman considered as parental figures, and years later Guilliman furiously pursued Be'lakor into the Warp and exposed himself to the corruption of the Ruinous Powers.
    • Sanguinius, in his desperation, accepted a pact with Slaanesh to free the Blood Angels of the Black Rage, damning them all.
    • Jaghatai Khan was found by the Palatine (who turned out to be a Chaos worshipper) instead of the tribes, exposing him to the corruption of Chaos early and allowing the Warp Storms at Chondrax to whisper into mind and corrupt his heart, and giving him a fundamental distrust of anyone who called themselves Emperor, causing him to become even more isolated than in canon.
    • After his/her attempt to corrupt the Emperor's Children through the Laer failed, Slaanesh collaborated with Nurgle to bring Ferrus Manus and the Iron Hands to Nurgle and to lure the Dark Eldar to attacking Fulgrim (and indirectly claim vengeance for refusing Slaanesh's corruption).
  • Glamour Failure : Blood Angels can suffer from this, which they don't like at all. A big example of this is the beginning of Ahzek Ahriman's confrontation with Rafen the Kinslayer, the leader of the attack on the Black Library. Ahriman briefly is lured by the angel's unholy beauty, but quickly remembers all of the atrocities committed by Sanguinius and the Blood Angels. This realization immediately destroys the Glamour, which reveals Rafen's hideous true form and sends him frothing with rage.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Death Guard is not called in to carry out Exterminatus. No, they're called in when Exterminatus wouldn't be thorough enough. Or if they can't reach the planet to do an Exterminatis.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The Raven Guard like to do this to people.
    • Subverted by Magnus: after he confronted and rejected Tzeentch in the Warp, he rushed to see the Emperor at once, distraught at what he had learned. The Emperor personally checked Magnus for taint, and after swearing Magnus to secrecy he reassured Magnus by telling him that he had a plan to deal with it.
    • Also subverted by Lorgar: his reaction to the 'Primordial Truth' is to put everything he has to its destruction.
    "No god worthy of worship would demand such horror committed in his name."
  • Guile Hero:
    • The Alpha Legion, naturally. They've also become something of a Terror Hero Legion as well, because they're smart enough to outwit Tzeentch cultists a significant portion of the time.
    • Aeonid Thiel spent millennia as The Mole pretending to be Marius Gage, all to cripple the Ultramarines before the final battle.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Plenty. At Istvaan, Typhon sacrificed his life and rammed his ship Terminus Est into the Traitor Legion formations to open a hole for the Loyalists to escape, Kroeger led a sacrificial assault to distract the traitors from the inner defenses in the final stages of the Siege of Terra, Dantioch sacrificed his life to allow Lorgar and Angron's forces to escape the Ruinstorm and transport them to Terra, etc. etc.
  • History Repeats: The destruction of Rafen the Slayer, Slaanesh's chosen champion in the invasion of the Black Library, causes a repeat of Sanguinius' death where all of the Blood Angels are consumed in their leader's death throes, reducing the Blood Angels to utter uselessness and leading to a complete and total victory for the defenders of the Black Library.
  • Hive Mind: The original Fabius Bile is dead, but he preserved his consciousness through clones of himself that share thoughts when close together.
  • Hope Spot: The Interex are spared by the Sons of Horus thanks to their help in preventing Horus being corrupted by Chaos with the Primarch himself hoping to learn more about the ways the Interex deal with Chaos and a possibility of having xeno races living peacefully with the Imperium rather than be exterminated. Then Horus is killed during the Siege of Terra and the Interex were wiped out by an unknown race of Chaos-corrupted xenos during the Heresy.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • Some Children of the Raven are this. All Blood Angels are underneath their Glamour.
    • Unusually given the nature of the setting, Garviel Loken is at least implied to have become a heroic version.
    • And let's not forget about Spawn Marines and Purebloodes from the Nineteenth Legion.
    • Roboute Guilliman after his awakening in Chapter 31.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: What drove the Raven Guard into the arms of Chaos.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Many Iron Warriros and Alpha Legionnaires are willing to do horrible things for the greater good. The Death Guard destroys planets for the greater good, and still feels horrible about it despite knowing it must be done.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Luther, to Zahariel after the latter was possessed by the Ouroboros. Which actually worked, causing Zahariel to become the dominant personality and assume the identity of Cypher.
  • In the Blood: the Children of the Raven, unfortunates who had Raven Guard Apothicaries play with their family's genomes and turning them into lineages of latent mutants. The Inquisition is so understandably terrified of them that some minor Radicals keep Genestealer Hybrids around, because Children can't be infected, and they can detect Tyranid infection. Some more Radical ones, naturally, keep Children who only mutate physically around as secret weapons and Chaos infiltrators.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Fabius Bile still turns traitor, even though the Emperor's Children remained loyal to the Imperium.
    • The Imperial Webway still gets wrecked, this time by a failed assassination attempt by the the Space Wolves, only Magnus was working in the Webway at the time... In addition, the Space Wolves also still attack Prospero and destroy it.
    • The War of The Beast-era High Lords are still a bunch of incompetent, bickering manchildren here, driving Drakan Vangorich to purge the lot of them in The Beheading.
    • Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM, exists, and he's the same Lovable Coward he always was; he just bumbled into being an operative of the Alpha Legion as well when he did the Fake Ultimate Hero act in front of one.
    • Despite some roles being swapped around, after the backstories we're still in a place where the Demon Prince Primarchs are mostly inactive and the Loyal Primarchs are absent or incapacitated. Similar to the long time it took for canon to rouse just Roboute, it takes a long time to get any Loyal Primarch active again, in this case, Magnus.
  • Immortality Seeker: Vulkan, sort of. He was already immortal, but he wanted to be invincible.
  • Internal Affairs: Fabius Bile has a weird version of this. His greatest creation, the Eldest, is tasked with covertly eliminating potential threats to Bile's rule. Where this trope comes into play is that the Eldest also eliminates Bile clones that are lacking in...Bile-ness.
  • Inverse Ninja Law: Justified with the Thousand Sons; besides the fact that Magnus' geneseed only works with psykers, they have to combine the implantation with the incredibly dangerous Rubric of Ahriman to stabilize the implantation. The very few who survive were already the toughest psykers around, and Magnus' power makes them even more so. Also averted, as the Sons usually fight with their personal detachment of the Imperial Guard, the Spireguard, backing them up.
  • Irony: Given that this is a mirror universe of the canon WH40k universe, there are too many instances of this to count.
  • The Juggernaut: "the Eldest", Fabius Bile's bodyguard and assassin.
  • Jerkass:
    • Ferrus Manus and the Iron Hands Legion in this continuity were, to quote the Emperor from If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, "brutish asscracks with a survival of the fittest mindset" who openly disdained those who they deemed as weak. Ironically, they end up being one of the more sympathetic and least villainous Traitor Primarchs, having lost less of their humanity and kept more of their unity and brotherhood, at least in comparison to the likes of the Blood Angels, the Salamanders, and the Raven Guard, probably due to Nurgle's influence.
    • There's also Rogal Dorn and Vulkan, both of whom shared Ferrus Manus's philosophy of Might Makes Right and were also assholes even before turning Traitor and falling to Chaos.
  • Knight In Sour Armor:
    • The Iron Warriors, who are aware of how impossible their task is, but on going in knowledge that even one planet saved for a while longer matters.
    • The Alpha Legion as well, after realizing how truly corruptive Chaos is, but also that not all aliens are threats. They know they're the Legion of Dirty Business, and they accept that, for nobody else in the Imperium wants to do their job.
  • Last of His Kind: Cypher is the very last loyalist Dark Angel; all others have been captured and killed.
  • Last Stand: One of the most notable is that of an Alpha Legionnaire (who turns out to be Kernax Voldorius) finally having run out of sneaky tricks to use against the enemy meets the traitors on the battlefield alongside the Imperial Army. Deprived of any means of evacuation, the newly-formed Tanith 1st to 3rd regiments resist the Chaos invasion of their planet to the last.
  • Lighter and Softer: Zahariel has stated that this universe is a bit better off than the canon one because he cannot match that level of Grimdark. To elaborate, the Imperium as a whole is much more unified than in the HH timeline, especially since the Loyalist legions have not been divided by the Codex Astartes. The regular citizen is intelligent enough to recognize and report corruption by Xenos or Chaos (as opposed to being utterly ignorant), and the Inquisition, while still as ruthless as ever, is more reasonable or at the very least more pragmatic than in the HH timeline. The Emperor and the Loyalist Primarchs are much more firmly heroic and sympathetic (with the Traitor Primarchs being more firmly evil as a result), and Guilliman's strategy of Istvaan III was not as effective as Horus's since the Night Lords and the Alpha Legion sensed a trap was coming. Finally, the Traitor Legions after the Heresy are overall much more divided and arguably less effective than in canon. They are more securely trapped in their respective Warp Storms thanks to the Iron Cages and also thoroughly hate each other (especially between the Ultramarines and the rest of the traitors) to the point that have even given up opportunities to attack a weakened Imperium to wage war with each other instead (such as the Unborn Crusade).
    • Inverted with the RH Raven Guard and RH Salamanders, which are arguably the darkest and most evil Traitor Legion out of both the canon and RH Traitor Legions combined. The former are insane, nihilistic masters of Body Horror; the latter are utter monsters as well, but their evil is based on the all-too-human attributes of Greed and Pride rather than the unholy nature of Chaos. Also, the fact that Zahariel has started to write the End Times doesn't bode well for this universe.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Blood Angels are still creatures of shining light with superhuman charisma...and then the Glamour breaks. To an extent, the Imperium has an extremely uneasy view of angels, since both the Blood and Dark Angels are traitors here.
  • Mad Scientist: The Raven Guard is infamous for being even more darkly innovative than Fabius Bile. Not that the latter is any lacking in this category compared to his canon counterpart, mind you. Thrar Haldir of the Space Wolves also qualifies.
  • Mama Bear: Curze's adoptive mother. Despite being elderly, she insisted on accompanying him onto the ship of a potential invader in case it was a trap, and took a blow meant for him.
  • Meaningful Rename: 'I am Barban Falk no more, father. That man died in the Noctis Labyrinthus. I am the Warsmith.'
    • Garviel Loken gave up his past entirely and has taken on the name and identity of Cerberus, marking his change into a silence hunter dedicated to destroying Fabius Bile once and for all.
  • Mind Rape: One of the trials an Emperor's Children Scout goes through upon graduation is the Pilgrimage to where Fulgrim initially landed on Chemos, attacked by a strange Warp entity that shows them visions of themselves as a canon Emperor's Children Space Marine. By the end of it, no Neophyte wants to journey through the desert ever again.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: The Primarchs and Legions are this to the Imperium prior to the heresy:

     Primarchs (Based on Word of God): 
  • Angron
  • The bro among his siblings in their timeline. The man refused to be lorded over his legion, applying the father-son dynamic between Primarch and Astartes both in form and essence. Hated slavery with a passion, refusing to give any concessions to worlds which practiced it, and earned the respect and loyalty of peoples he liberated and empowered by ending the practice for good wherever and whenever he came. Angron also saw the weaknesses and faults of Humanity, and instead of condemning them acknowledged them, simultaneously recognizing the need to ease the burden of acceptance while offering examples and means to overcome those weaknesses and faults. He also acknowledged the possibility of redemption for the fallen, and while knowing it is faint set up an example with the Heirs of Regret. Angron also taught his sons not to see regular Human soldiers as subordinates, but as brothers in arms to be respected. Believed the Human race as a whole was a well of potential not to be chained and suppressed, but to be carefully nurtured and protected until it could reach said potential.

  • Sanguinius
  • One of the most charismatic Primarchs, loved or at least respected by just about all or most of his brothers and the people of the Imperium. While Sanguinius can be quite brutal on the battlefield, with him and his legion essentially berserkers with very good self-control, he preferred to use diplomacy before combat and was very successful at it. Patrons of the arts on par with the Emperor's Children, and prior to Roboutian Heresy, much humbler too. He ends up in the number two spot due to his excessive application of the anti-mutation tenets of the Imperial Truth, in particular to civilizations which may have been acknowledged as Abhumans at worst, and as a relatively-extreme but still overall baseline Humans due to environmentally-necessary genetic modifications. Granted, said excessive application was due to his and his legion's hoarding of their conquests' genetic know-how in an effort to fix the Red Thirst and the need to cover up such a fact, but the conclusion doesn't really change.

  • Magnus the Red
  • In addition to unification by force of arms and diplomacy, Magnus also saw the the gathering and spreading of knowledge as critical to achieving the ideals of enlightenment and truth as proclaimed by the Great Crusade. While acknowledging the need for regulation of psychic powers, he also argued for the humane and respectful treatment of Sanctioned Psykers. He did however, sanction or at least turn a blind eye to extreme tactics on the part of his legion, such as the use of mass mind control to force opposing armies to surrender, and constantly struggled with his own pride and hubris, though he repeatedly proved that he could overcome them when it mattered.

  • Konrad Curze
  • Konrad Curze accepted and embraced the legions' roles as defenders of Mankind, and not its rulers, and saw them all as having relatively-specific roles to play. In his and his legion's case, they were enforcers of justice, but also taught that justice was made of two blades that had to be wielded in equal measure: one to protect the weak and helpless, and the other to punish and destroy evil. Prioritized diplomacy in his conquests, and when force of arms was needed made certain to minimize collateral damage and to emphasize the liberating aspects of Imperial compliance. However, their role as enforcers of justice does have a certain degree of inflexibility, with Konrad and the Night Lords seeing the need to apply appropriate punishment to all the varying degrees of wrongdoing, as any leniency may set a dangerous precedent in the future. Also struggled with the darker aspects of foresight and their skills in asymmetric warfare, though Konrad set in place measures to curb their potential consequences.

  • Perturabo
  • The Cincinnatus of the Primarchs, Perturabo genuinely believed and sought to fulfill his mandate to build a better tomorrow for the Human race. Even before being reunited with the Emperor, he saw the need for Humans to govern themselves, and strongly-supported the ascendancy of the Council of Terra after the Ullanor Campaign, and advised Horus on said necessity. Perturabo also saw no glory in war, and taught his sons to see war as a lesser evil to be concluded as quickly as possible with as minimum possible losses. A patron of engineering and architecture, Perturabo and his legion built a reputation as gracious conquerors and noble defenders by actively and extensively involving themselves in postwar reconstruction and integration, and cultivated a healthy reputation with the Mechanicum due to their interest in engineering. However Perturabo and his legion's disdain for martial glory left them with limited ability to socialize with other legions, with Perturabo's own self-conscious character limiting his interactions with all but the more intellectually-minded Primarchs.

  • Horus
  • Much like Sanguinius, Horus was loved or respected by all his brothers, and was seen as a living legend by the Imperium. The finest diplomat among the Primarchs, and indeed preferred it to victory on the battlefield. While not the best strategist among the Primarchs, Horus was the one most capable of synergizing the various strengths and weaknesses of the forces under his command to achieve victory. However, he distrusted the civilian governments of the Imperium, and required convincing on the part of Angron, Konrad, and Perturabo on the need for Humans to govern their own lives. Also prone to losing his temper at the expense of his sense of reason, and just as vulnerable to being misled by his sense of empathy, which led to his death by Sanguinius' hands during the Siege of Terra.

  • Jaghatai Khan
  • Despite a savage facade born of their homeworld's culture, and his and his legion's preferred role as the Great Crusade's outriders, Jaghatai was actually a very educated and cultured individual, with his legion likewise being patrons of various art forms. Like Magnus he saw the need for regulation of psychic powers, and while seeing the Imperium for what it was, also saw it as a necessary evil to protect and ensure Mankind's future. However, he was left embittered by the dismissal by most of his brothers of him and his legion as a legion of barely-literate savages, and was psychologically scarred and vulnerable to the temptations of the Warp. Similarly, the aforementioned dismissal was also in due part to the legion's preference to remain on the forefront of the Great Crusade, rarely if ever interacting with other legions, giving off a facade of isolation that may have discouraged others from coming close.

  • Lorgar
  • Like Magnus, Lorgar saw the gathering and spreading of knowledge as critical to achieving the ideals of enlightenment and truth as proclaimed by the Great Crusade. Also a brilliant diplomat, capable of convincing opposing armies to surrender by force of his words, though also a hardened warrior and commander in his own right. Despised religion and superstition to the point of obsession, if not zeal, and alienated some of his brothers by his disparaging treatment of their beliefs, and only accepted the necessity of tolerating the Imperial Cult after the heresy as a lesser evil to a religious civil war. Was merciless in his stamping out of the taint of Chaos, up to and including razing almost an entire planet upon discovering their worship of Chaos.

  • Roboutte Guilliman
  • The man who should have been the Augustus Caesar of the Primarchs, the man genuinely believed and sought to fulfill his mandate to build a better tomorrow for the Human race. Not just by unifying the scattered worlds of Mankind across the galaxy, but also by organizing a functioning government, the construction of public works and infrastructure to better the lifestyles of the people, to educate them to better fulfill their potential, and by holding up the legions' duty as defenders, not rulers, of Mankind, at least prior to his fall. However was also arrogant and prone to boast of his achievements, to the point of belittling those of his brothers who had - in his eyes - not achieved as much as he had. Also put too much weight in martial achievement, and once provoked could be as brutal as Vulkan. In particular, was willing and capable of putting his legion's souls at risk in pursuit of revenge, and indeed, would lead them to damnation.

  • Mortarion
  • The Jerk with a Heart of Gold among his brothers for their timeline. While brooding and isolated, Mortarion and his legion see their duty in the darkest regions of space fighting against the worse xenos species in the galaxy as a noble sacrifice to ensure that no or at least a limited number of Human worlds would be preyed upon by such monsters. While very suspicious of psykers, Mortarion was also able to temper his suspicion to accept a compromise between full acceptance and outright persecution in the form of Imperial regulation, and with cooperation with the Sisters of Silence, saw himself and his legion as a countermeasure in the worst-case psychic scenario. Also did not hesitate to return to the Imperium to free Human worlds languishing under the worst remaining tyrants of the Old Night, and while not staying long would leave a legacy of awed reverence from the people he helped.

  • Alpharius Omegon
  • The twin Primarchs genuinely believed in the ideals of unification as proclaimed by the Great Crusade, but a combination of pride, their own past experiences, and belittling on the part of Roboutte Guilliman led the twin Primarchs and their legion to be extraordinarily and unnecessarily ruthless in their campaigns, at least until Konrad Curze's intervention. Afterwards, they moderated their MO, and placed great importance on cooperation with other legions, but did not hesitate to use what they learned while on joint campaigns against their brothers when needed, such as exposing the Space Wolves sorcerous practices during the Council of Nikaea. They also held onto their grudge against Roboutte Guilliman, outright refusing to cooperate with them on the supposed basis that Guilliman and the Ultramarines had nothing to offer them.

  • Fulgrim
  • A skilled warrior and commander, Fulgrim was also an excellent diplomat, like Horus preferring to use it first over force of arms. The patron of the arts among the Primarchs, he initially disdained psykers until taught otherwise by the Cleansing of Laeran, when the few Librarians among his legion proved instrumental in detecting the threat of Chaos. The most arrogant of the Primarchs, tended to treat those who did not meet his incredibly-high standards with sophisticated disdain, an arrogance and hubris that would take the Bleeding War to cut down to size.

  • Lion El'Jonson
  • A bipolar man, Lion was at once brave, noble, and loyal while at the same time paranoid and unforgiving. It did not help that he was hearing voices in his head, voices that actually belonged to Kairos Fateweaver, wearing away at his sense of judgment until his eventual fall during the Ghoul Stars Expedition. Nevertheless, prior his fall, despite being aloof and distant from most of his brothers, Lion was respected by most of them as the best strategist and one of the best fighters among them, and set an example for battlefield performance with his legion.

  • Leman Russ
  • Bitter and melancholy, Russ was consumed with guilt for terrible roles he played in the past. In his desire to find peace, he froze his heart and soul, his legion following in his footsteps to the point they stopped caring for those they fight alongside or supposedly for. For Russ and the Space Wolves, there was only the end and what must be done to achieve that end, and a belief that no matter what he must do and what he must achieve, he cannot be wrong. He is, after all, the Emperor's Executioner. Anyone who thought otherwise was seen as a delusional fool at best, or a traitor in disguise at worst.

  • Ferrus Manus
  • Cold and ruthless, Ferrus Manus cared only for one thing: strength. For Ferrus, weakness was an abomination that must be cleansed no matter the cost, before it can spread and bring ruin to all. Overcoming weakness comes in many ways, such as by cybernetic augmentation, rigorous training to high standards, lifelong study...but in reality all this was a facade, an attempt to escape a terrible truth that haunts Ferrus: he himself is weak, because if he was strong, then he should have been able to save that tribe, and not be left for dead on the sands of Medusa long ago.

  • Rogal Dorn
  • Dorn is a bitter and scarred man. Unable to forgive himself for failing to save Inwit, he saw only the weakness in himself that led to such an outcome, and the weaknesses in others that could lead to other such outcomes, if not worse, in the future. For that reason, he did not hold back in pointing out those weaknesses whenever possible, but his lack of diplomacy in such only led him to be shunned, further feeding into his bitterness. His own sense of failure also led to a desire for glory and recognition, in an effort to wash away what he saw as the stain of shame, however each and only victory only seemed to make the stains darker with the blood of his sons and their allies, while his bitterness was fed by the criticism of such brutality. Dorn was also jealous of Perturabo, the one brother most similar to him, succeeding where he could not, seemingly pulling victories at little to no cost and earning the glory and recognition Dorn wanted...only Perturabo and his sons ignored such praise, preferring to move on to the next battlefield, to the next construction project. Dorn would try to mask the jealousy with accusations of cowardice and dishonor, only to be ignored and humiliated. As his legion's casualties mounted, Dorn took to conscripting entire planets for his legion and the armies and fleets attached to them, and when the Council of Terra attempted to reign them in, he saw only Inwit again, ruined by what he saw as the interference of civilians with no stomach or understanding for war and what needed to be done, not realizing in his rage and bitterness that all he was doing was feed them into meatgrinders for little gain and in a vain effort to sooth his ruined pride.

  • Vulkan
  • A complete asshole, which while somewhat justifiable by being raised by a literal fire-breathing monster and then murdered at the moment of his maturity by his own mother only to be resurrected by his powers, does not excuse his brutal treatment of conquered peoples, twisting his legion's psyches into becoming sociopaths as brutal as him, and his looting and hoarding of cultural and artistic treasures for his own selfish greed. And this was before he fell to Chaos.

  • Corax
  • Somehow even worse than Vulkan, with even his inability to develop a sense of empathy or morality or just decency being chalked up to being raised as a lab rat by the Tech-Lords of Kiavhar not even remotely excusing or justifying what he became. A complete and utter hypocrite, Corax performed experiments on his own sons just as the tech-lords did on him, and just like the tech-lords saw them as mere numbers to be added and subtracted when needed. In the end, he condemned himself, and his own brothers, when sent back in time he destroyed the Geller Field generator protecting the infant Primarchs, thus allowing them to be taken away by the Warp.

  • The Remaining Loyalists Legions are this as well from most moral to least:

     Loyalist Legions 
  • As long as you don't dabble on corruption/ slavery, World Eaters are pretty chill to have around. Sure, many nobles kinda twitchy around them, and Administratum might complain when taxes and tithe to Empire got reduced because reformation, but eh. Also, they are pretty much Face Pro Wrestler on their downtime, which pretty cool in itself.
  • While fanatic atheist, Word Bearers took the 'Speak Softly' of 'Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick' more seriously than other Legions. They even try their best to reintegrates local belief and things into Imperial Truth. As long as nobody blatantly worshipped Chaos (in this case, all bets are off). They also often headbutting with Eccleshiarchy (and Sister of Battles) over the whole 'Imperial Cult' things. (However, they much less likely to conflict with lower Eccleshiarchy ranks, partially because lower ranks don't want to antagonize Humanity Protectors, and partially because lower ranks usually too busy to do important job like giving hope and counsel to Imperial Citizens, and Word Bearers aren't that bullheaded to deny these Servant of Imperium their Calling).
  • Night Haunters basically acts like planetary SWAT team and Internal Affairs and Public Auditors. They helped build Arbites Custodes in the aftermath of Heresy. When Night Haunters called to discipline rebelling World/ squash rebellion, they'll do so quietly and efficiently... while also investigates, meticulously, why the whole Rebellion thingies happened in the first place, and take action accordingly. Purging Current Nobility was one option, which happen often enough that many Bluebloods fear them. And why mid-lower class Citizens likes them. Also, they're good enough to make collateral damages miniscules.
  • Iron Warriors are master of siege warfare, often called when certain world was under attack and need to be defended. When Iron Warrior came knockin' (and then entrenchin'), casuality rates tend to drop dramatically. Also, their hobby is post-war construction project, including public facility and such, which makes them pretty popular on besieged Imperial Citizens view.
  • Sons of Horus are pretty much breed of Heroes and Legends, and they take pride and responsibility on this matter seriously. Their recruit pool also came from slummy Hiveworld, which is pretty cool; more prosperous World don't need to send tithe for them, and many aspirants sent to Sons Of Horus considered their situation as improvement. Their geneseed practicaly uncorrupted and had rather high compatibility also helps.
  • Emperor's Children are masochist to N'th dehrgree, who believes that perfection came from overcoming pain and suffering. They also, unsurprisingly, the ones who willingly bleed first for their Imperial Guard allies, and return their pain to their enemies. Tenfold. And more.
  • If you are psykers, Thousand Sons are your bros. If you are Imperial Guard fighting around them, Thousand Sons are your bros. If you involved with Adepta Astra Telepathica, or dislikes psykers in general, Thousand Sons.... certainly less than bros with you, but if you are loyal Imperial Citizen, then they at least won't be prick around you. Hopefully.
  • Alpha Legions are full of on Cloak and Daggers. 'Nuff said.
  • If your world was under attack by Xenos Menace, Death Guard is your bros. If your world cannot be Saved... they won't be your bros, but at least they won't be jerk about it. If you are Blanks, Death Guard will certainly be more bros than most Imperial Citizens. If you are Psyker, most of the time Death Guard just ignore you in the first place, or pointing you to the closest Thousand Sons/ Emperor Children's recruitment center if there's any.

  • Nay-Theist: The Word Bearers, since they don't think the God-Emperor is actually a god, and their utter loathing of Chaos, which is led by four of them. Explicitly because Lorgar was not raised in a temple, and all he saw was the dark side of the Covenant.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: This was what began Vulkan's transformation into the cruel Immortality Seeker he is now, even after becoming a Daemon Prince.
  • Nice Guy: Angron, of all people, due to his significantly less screwed up past, a tendency that's been passed down to the World Eaters.
  • Not Quite Dead: Roboute for the Traitor Legions, Ephrael Stern on the side of the good guys.
  • Not So Different: In the canon timeline, a Chaos Daemon tries to break an Ultramarine's spirit by showing him visions of the Roboutian Heresy, pointing out that despite what the Space Marine believes, Roboute was not perfect and incorruptible, as he would have fallen to Chaos just like the canon traitor Primarchs did had things turned out differently for him.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Played with. All of the Daemon Primarchs have a reason they're sitting around in the Eye of Terror instead of going out to destroy the Imperium. Lion'El Johnson suffers from a debilitating Wound That Will Not Heal until all the loyalist Fallen Angels are dead, and so he sits on the throne until that happens. Rogal Dorn is busy searching for Sigismund, who betrayed him and broke his Legion (and made Dorn so angry that he became a Daemon Prince). Sanguinius is completely insane and spends most of his time in a self-imposed (and imperfect) Lotus-Eater Machine. Ferrus Manus actually isn't fully attuned to Nurgle due to his metal hands, and is waiting for them to flake off. Vulkan is implied to be worried about being Killed Off for Real. It is also implied Vulkan intends to become a full blown Chaos God, which he can safely do from his throne. Finally, Corax is too busy torturing the people who made his life a living hell. The moment they're Deader Than Dead, he gets off the throne.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Salamanders are themed after them, being proud, loot-obsessed conquerors who pillage and dominate largely to prove they can. Their Daemon Primarch, Vulkan, has taken the form of a great black dragon after his ascension, and the Dragon Warriors take similar forms.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Blood Angels do not strictly need blood, but given how they absorb all the memories of people whose blood they drink, blood raids are their only consistent motivation.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Daemon Primarchs.
  • Plague Master: The Iron Hands.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Roboute suffers one as part of his awakening; he's active again, but his Legion has been devastated by Aeonid Thiel, Macragge has been blown up, and he's lost control of the Five Hundred Worlds; Thiel died, but he achieved essentially every single one of his primary objectives to weaken Chaos and divide it against itself.
  • Scary Black Man: Unlike in the Horus Heresy timeline, the Salamanders are every bit as terrifying and brutal as they appear.
  • Screw Destiny: The Robutian Heresy partially happened because the plans of the Dark Gods were derailed unintentionally (Curze being Happily Adopted, the Blade of the Laer being used on Vespasian before Fulgrim could pick it up, Eldrad being present for the raid on Nuceria and realizing attacking Angron was a bad idea..).
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • The Iron Warriors maintain sector-sized ones, the Iron Cages.
    • Roboute is this, with the can keeping him alive.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Pertarubo has been placed in a Dreadnought due to injuries and spends most of his time resting, Magnus is in a coma after a Daemos sealed away his soul. Lorgar was last seen fighting off Chaos Daemons, and is implied to be still fighting them.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Rogal Dorn, Leman Russ, Ferrus Manus, and Roboute started as such. Then they got worse.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Positive version; after his adoptive mother pulled of a Heroic Sacrifice, Konrad Curze entered into a brief mental battle with his Night Haunter persona, one in which his noble side emerged as the sole victorious personality as the King of the Night.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • It's implied a bunch of Tyrannids entered the Ruinstorm because they sensed a signal from their own future selves.
    • Aeonid Thiel is the product of one; a fragment of his soul from his Heroic Sacrifice which contains his fundamental nature as The Determinator embeds itself in his infant self, which causes him to join the Ultramarines before they turned traitor but remain loyal to the end, which leads to his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Members of the Imperial Cult and the Word Bearers don't get along well due to their views on the Emperor. While the former views the Emperor as a God, the latter only sees him as a great man and nothing more and still preaches the Imperial Truth which doesn't please the former. Despite attempts by the Inquisition to keep peace between both sides, some fanatical Imperial Cultists try to have the Word Bearers killed for their "heresy" but these attempts are quickly squashed by the Inquisition.
    • The Dark Angels (lead by Azrael) and the Space Wolves (led by Logan Grimnar) are working together for the Siege of Terathalion. From the dialogue between Azrael and Grimnar, it's abundantly clear that they really don't like each other, with Azrael secretly having attempted to assassinate Grimnar multiple times, but their hatred of the Thousand Sons is outweighing their hatred for each other.
    • Deconstructed and subverted with Ahzek Ahriman and the Eldar defending the Black Library from Slaanesh's invasion. Though Ahriman does momentarily feel some disdain at working with Eldar, he immediately puts that thought aside and recognizes that the defeat of Chaos is much more important, and that he and the Eldar are allies in this goal. There's even a mention of the cooperation between the Interex and the Sons of Horus in his thoughts.
  • Terror Hero: Like their canon counterparts, the Night Lords rely on fear and stealth to demoralize their opponents. Unlike their canon counterparts, they balance this out with a code of honor and respect for human life.
  • That Man Is Dead: Cerberus has cast aside his past identity, otherwise known as Garviel Loken. He is now a completely silent hunter dedicated to destroying Bile and his work, as atonement for allowing his Primarch's remains to be desecrated by Bile and the Blood Angels.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • The Raven Guard, personally led by Corax, sacks Hydra Cordatus, carrying off the entire repository of Iron Warrior geneseed stored therein, and subjecting one of its commanders to a Fate Worse than Death.
    • The Fall of Chemos. The Emperor's Children Legion is dead and Fabius Bile gets everything he wanted out of it.
  • Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: the Raven Guard. True, extensive knowledge of them is enough to drive Inquisitors insane, and they themselves were corrupted by the revelation that Humans Are Cthulhu.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Invoked by Magnus in a saying regarding the Ultramarines.
  • Tragic Monster: Jagatai Khan wasn't so much corrupted as dragged to Chaos by the heels and possessed by a Greater Daemon. Mortarion himself feels that Jagatai and the Khagan are two different entities, with the former trapped within it.
  • Tragic Villain:
    • The Space Wolves, corrupted by their desperation to protect the Imperium. It's all but stated they hate what they are and what they do. Though they lose points due to their hypocrisy regarding Psykers and their Wolf Priests.
    • Sanguinius is one of the few Traitor Primarchs who retains some sympathy. There's regret, and then there's getting Fabius Bile to clone Horus thousands of times largely so that maybe, eventually, one who does not remember Sanguinius killed him is created, and they can be brothers again.
    • Downplayed with Ferrus Manus. While he was very much a Jerkass compared to the other Primarchs during the Great Crusade, he didn't willingly embrace Chaos and instead had Nurglite corruption forced upon him due to the collaboration of Nurgle and Slaanesh. It also helps that, unlike canon Fulgrim's murder of canon Ferrus, RH Ferrus and the Iron Hands didn't deliberately betray and lure the RH Emperor's Children into the Dark Eldar trap when they called for help against the Diasporex.
  • Tranquil Fury: In an inversion of the canon Blood Angels' Death Company, the Word Bearers have the Iconoclast Marines, who, barring the intervention of Lorgar (long gone missing at that point) or an Imperial Saint (very unlikely due to the Bearer's views of the Imperial Creed), are permanently locked into the condition.
  • The Unfettered: Corvus Corax and Vulkan.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Cabal was formed to fight Chaos but was infiltrated by Chaos agents within their ranks and unknowingly serve the very enemy they fought.
  • War Is Hell: The Alpha Legion beats this into the heads of its Neophytes— that's why they prefer To Win Without Fighting.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Several Traitor Marines are, if you ask them, trying to save humanity. Everyone else is... skeptical, to say the least.
    • The Death Guard is called in up planets and sterilize populations if there is no other choice. They feel really bad about it though.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 28, The Rise of Ynnead. Omegon, the Alpha Legion and their allies help Eldrad and the Eldar summoned The Eldar Death God Ynnead while protecting them from the Necrons with Eldrad becoming Ynnead's Avatar. Lord Ur-Pharezon, the Necron Lord who lead the attack, is killed by Omegon, only to be resurrected by Chief Apothecary Vincente Sixx of the Raven Guard in a clone Necrontyr body, revealing Ur-Pharezon is working with the Raven Guard. Also, it's now easier to revive the dead.
    • Chapter 31, The Battle of Macragge - Part Two. Roboute Guilliman is awakened, which everyone expected. But then it turns out "Marius Gage" is an impostor.
    • Chapter 32, The Battle of Macragge - Part Three. Aeonid Thiel somehow impersonated Marius Gage and waged the war with other Ultramarines. The Ascended One, mentioned in the chapter about the Ultramarines, was actually an Alpha Legionary in disguise. Aeonid detonated a bomb he brought with him to Macragge, killing anyone on the planet who did not escape or wasn't saved by Guilliman.
    • Chapter 33, The Fall of Chemos. Fabius Bile and his Black Legion desolated and pillaged Chemos and destroyed all ground forces of Emperor's Children here.
    • Chpater 39, The Terran Crucible Part 1. Cypher is revealed to be Zahariel, who was possessed by the Ouroboros and still has a fragment of the beast within him, Lorgar returns to save Cypher from Lion, gaining Luther's sword and arriving on Luna through the webway gate. Cypher dies giving the sword to Lorgar, but Luther had a daughter who is not only alive but an inquisitor of Malcador-level power and also tied into the Fallen spell.
  • Wham Line: From the Battle of Macragge - Part 2: "You," said Guilliman, "are not Marius."
    • Another one in The Terran Crucible Part 1: "Hands off my nephew, Lion"
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Most of the Traitor Primarchs, but especially Corvus Corax and Sanguinis.
    • Zig-Zagged with Corax. While it is unquestionable that he suffered at lot at Kiavahr, it also prevented him from having any form of cultural upbringing. Because of that, he never developed neither conscience nor empathy. At all. And his morale can be described as "ends justify the means". With all horrible consequences.

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