" Viris colratha dath sethicara tesh dasovallian. Solruthis veh za jasz!"

— Call to arms of the Night Lords 10th Company in the Nostraman dialect of Low Gothic; literally means "Sons of our Father, stand in midnight clad. We bring the night!"

Night Lords Legion Badge

The 1st Claw is an elite squad of Chaos Space Marines of the Night Lords Traitor Legion's 10th Company.

The first known squad leader was then-Sergeant Vandred Anrathi, who led the 1st Claw during the Great Crusade and during the Horus Heresy. He is known to have commanded the 1st Claw right up to the final days of that great conflict during the Siege of Terra, where the 1st Claw took part in the forces of Chaos' siege of the Imperial Palace.

During this time Talos Valcoran, the legendary "Soul Hunter," was still an Apothecary who served with the 1st Claw. His life was saved by Sergeant Anrathi during the siege.

After the end of the Horus Heresy, and before the Night Lords had fled alongside their traitorous brethren into the Eye of Terror, their Primarch Konrad Curze was assassinated by a Callidus Assassin on the world of Tsagualsa. At some point following the death of the Night Haunter, Anrathi was promoted to the rank of Captain and elevated to command the entirety of the Night Lords' 10th Company.

Talos eventually rose to the position of the 1st Claw's de facto sergeant not long after, though he was never explicitly promoted above his original station of Apothecary.

The actions of the 1st Claw during the last ten millennia are not recorded, though Warp-travel aboard the 10th Company's warship, the Covenant of Blood, led to the passage of only a subjective Terran century for Talos and the other members of the 1st Claw between the end of the Horus Heresy and the present day in the late 41st Millennium.

During this time the Night Lords' 10th Company had changed into a disorganised warband of Chaos Space Marines under the command of the Possessed Chaos Space Marine known as The Exalted, who was in fact the daemonically-possessed former Captain Vandred Anrathi.

Notable First Claw Members

With the exception of Variel the Flayer, the members of 1st Claw were all born on the Night Lords' homeworld of Nostramo, and served during the Great Crusade, the Horus Heresy and the Scouring.

  • Talos Valcoran - Talos Valcoran was once an Apothecary of the Night Lords Legion before assuming command of 1st Claw. Noted for his prophetic gifts, he was given the title "Soul Hunter" by his Primarch Konrad Curze. Following the demise of The Exalted, Vandred Anrathi, Talos became the new leader of his former master's warband. Talos was slain on Tsagualsa by the Craftworld Aeldari Phoenix Lord known as the Void Stalker.
  • Adhemar - Adhemar was the former sergeant of 7th Claw. He joined 1st Claw following the near-annihilation of his squad on Crythe by the Warhound Titan Hunter in the Grey. He was slain by the Blood Angel Dreadnought Raguel the Sufferer when the Covenant of Blood was boarded over Crythe.

Captain Malcharion prior to his internment into a Dreadnought.

  • Malcharion - Malcharion, called the "War Sage," was captain of the Night Lords Legion's 10th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. At some point after the Siege of Terra, Malcharion was interred within a Dreadnought. During the Great Crusade Malcharion was a member of the Kyroptera, commanding the 10th Talon. During the Horus Heresy he went on to slay Xorumai Khan, swordmaster-captain of the White Scars 9th Company, Lethandrus the Templar, paladin of the Imperial Fists Legion, and Raguel the Sufferer, captain of the Blood Angels 7th Company, in a single day at the Siege of Terra. However after this feat, the famed commander and wise strategist of the Night Lords was interred into Dreadnought Armour. The Dreadnought sarcophagus depicted Malcharion holding two astartes helms with his foot resting on a third representing the three Astartes champions he had killed, the Dreadnought's right arm was a Reaper-pattern double-barrelled autocannon and the left arm a power fist and flamer. Malcharion never wanted to be revived as a Dreadnought and initially refused every attempt to awaken him until the battle at Crythe. Like many in the Night Lords, Malcharion is fiercely loyal to the original vision of their primarch, Konrad Curze, and has a disdain for the Ruinous Powers, as well as those Chaos Space Marines who serve them, most notably Abaddon the Despoiler. He is also loyal to Talos Valcoran, whom he believes shares many qualities with their slain primarch. In the late 41st Millennium, the Dreadnought holding Malcharion's remains was awoken by Talos during his power struggle with The Exalted, who attempted to prevent the ancient captain and his hated rival from threatening his power over 1st Claw, as this represented the first time Malcharion had ever been awakened since being placed within the Dreadnought chassis. Malcharion went on to lead the assault on Crythe with the Black Legion against the forces of the Imperium, including the Blood Angels. Just as 1st Claw were to be deployed to the surface, Talos had another vision showing that the Blood Angels were not several solar weeks out as had been predicted but instead were going to arrive imminently. The Exalted refused to take action with this information but when Malcharion was informed he immediately started withdrawing the Night Lords. As Talos predicted, the Blood Angels emerged from the Warp and deployed boarding pods onto the Echo of Damnation. Malcharion responded to Talos' request for reinforcements and once again faced Raguel the Sufferer, now also interred within a Dreadnought chassis. Both Dreadnoughts were mortally wounded in the struggle, leaving Raquel dead at the hands of the Night Lords once more. Talos chose not to let the Dark Mechanicum Tech-priest Deltrian attempt to recover Malcharion so that the Dreadnought could finally have the eternal sleep he desired. However, Talos was countermanded by Malek who ordered Deltrian to repair and sustain the life of Malcharion, the sarcophagus was returned to the Hall of Remembrance but hidden from view to prevent Talos from discovering that Malcharion had survived. Talos would eventually find that Malcharion had survived when Deltrian transferred the sarcophagus onto the Echo of Damnation at which point he ordered Malcharion to be awakened. Initially it appeared that the damage Malcharion had suffered at Crythe was too severe. His mind seemed to have been shattered as attempts to awaken him only resulted in a constant screaming across the vox link of his Dreadnought chassis. Deltrian and Variel both believed Malcharion was ruined beyond recovery and suggested that he could be controlled through pain injectors and focused excruciators making him still a formidable foe on the battlefield. Talos would not allow this as a fate for a hero of the VIII Legion and instead intended to end the perceived torture by killing Malcharion. In the end, however, he couldn't go through with it and intead he chose to destroy the consoles connected to Malcharion to abort the awakening sequence. Although it appeared Talos had succeeded in killing Malcharion, instead the Dreadnought finally awakened correctly and fully functional. Malcharion descended into the catacombs on Tsagualsa to aid Talos and his warband in their final stand against an assault by Ulthwé Asuryani although he chose to fight alone as the constant fawning regard for his status from the other Claws irritated him. The Dreadnought took extensive damage from the Asuryani but managed to return to the surface to summon a gunship for the crew member Marlonah. This was his final action before he was at last granted the permanent sleep he had long craved.
  • Vandred Anrathi, "The Exalted" - Anrathi was a former sergeant of the Night Lords Legion, commanding the 1st Claw up until the siege of the Imperial Palace during the Siege of Terra in which he saved then-Apothecary Talos Valcoran's life. By the time of the late 41st Millennium, Anrathi had allowed himself to be possessed by a Daemon and he had mutated into a Chaos Champion and Possessed of the Chaos God Tzeentch. The Daemon's influence twisted his physical form until he only resembled a shadow of his former self. Following Captain Malcharion's entombment within a Chaos Dreadnought, Vandred succeeded him as the captain of the Night Lords' 10th Company; under his leadership, the company degenerated into a Chaos Space Marine warband that survived by piracy. Anrathi thus disregarded the vision of the Night Lords' Primarch Night Haunter, which proved to be a major point of contention with Talos. Allying himself with Abaddon the Despoiler of the Black Legion during the Crythe campaign, The Exalted eventually grew tired of Abbadon's behaviour and his use of the 10th Company as fodder for the Despoiler's schemes. After escaping from Crythe, Vandred allied with the Red Corsairs during their campaign on Vilamus, then betrayed them when he retook the former Night Lords Strike Cruiser Echo of Damnation from that Renegade warband. During the ensuing battle, Andrathi regained control of his body from the daemon and sacrificed himself and the crippled Covenent of Blood to enable Talos to escape with the Echo of Damnation
  • Cyrion - Cyrion possessed a psychic gift which allowed him to taste and feed upon fear; Cyrion secretly preyed upon Legion serfs and other mortals to satiate this thirst, which marked him out as a growing devotee of Slaanesh. Talos considered him valuable, but Cyrion was hated by the rest of 1st Claw for his Chaos corruption. Cyrion gained an augmetic arm following the Crythe campaign. He was also slain by the Void Stalker on Tsagualsa.
  • Mercutian - Mercutian was a former member of the 7th Claw. He had been recruited into the Night Lords Legion from an aristocratic family and spoke with an upper-class accent. He was known for his staunch loyalty toward his squadmates and for favouring a Heavy Bolter in combat, which made him the 1st Claw's Devastator. Mercutian was slain by the Void Stalker on Tsagualsa.
  • Ruven - Ruven was a former member of 1st Claw and a Night Lords' Sorcerer but at some unspecified point in the past, he had willingly left the Night Lords and joined the Black Legion. He became a willing servant of Abaddon the Despoiler. However, Ruven was eventually cast out by his patron after failing Abaddon one too many times. He was later captured by Huron Blackheart, the lord of the Red Corsairs, though he eventually escaped and rejoined 1st Claw for a short period of time, before being slain by Talos Valcoran. After his death, Ruven sometimes appeared in Talos' precognitive visions.
  • Uzas - Uzas was a Khornate Berserker and the former Sergeant of 4th Claw. He was despised by his comrades in 1st Claw for his mindless slaughter of crewmembers and undisciplined nature in combat. When Uzas confronted Cyrion on Tsagualsa about the latter's own penchant for preying upon mortal crewmembers of the Echo of Damnation, Cyrion attacked him and tricked Talos into killing the blood-maddened Uzas.
  • Variel the Flayer - Variel the Flayer was a former Red Corsairs Apothecary and had been the favoured apprentice of the Corpsemaster Garreon before abandoning his brethren to join the Night Lords. Variel was dubbed "the Flayer" due to his habit of skinning his victims' faces and wearing them upon his shoulder pauldrons. Variel was the sole survivor of 1st Claw following the events on Tsagualsa.
  • Xarl - Xarl was a Tactical Marine and battle-brother of the Night Lords Legion. Xarl grew up with Talos Valcoran in the hive city of Nostramo Quintus on Nostramo. His skill with his double-handed chainsword made Xarl the deadliest warrior in the 10th Company, giving Talos and 1st Claw much of its clout within the warband. Unlike the rest of 1st Claw, which perished upon Tsagualsa's surface, Xarl died of wounds he had sustained following a victorious duel with a Champion of the Genesis Chapter on the Echo of Damnation.
  • Sar Zell - Zell was the 1st Claw's Devastator Marine before Mercutian, and he preferred to wield a Lascannon in combat. He also served as the 1st Claw's pilot at the time of Tsagualsa's fall, when he was killed by the Ultramarines. Zell wielded a Chainaxe when in melee combat, which came into Uzas' possession after Zell's death.

Notable Servants of 1st Claw

1st Claw maintained the ancient practice of the original Space Marine Legions of employing dedicated serfs to provide noncombat support for its Astartes, though these individuals would be more accurately described as slaves after the Legion fell to the service of Chaos. These Serfs served Talos directly as the leader of the warband rather than the 1st Claw as a whole. The Serfs were referred to by High Gothic nomenclature indicating numerical primacy of place rather than their given names. The following is a list of the known Serfs of 1st Claw:

  • Primus- Died in an unspecified battle in which Talos was absent, allegedly in a boarding action on the Night Lords' warship Convent of Blood.
  • Secundus – Slain by the former Night Lord Ruven.
  • Tertius - Suffered from Warp corruption and was put down by Talos as a result.
  • Quintus – Slain by The Exalted during one of the latter's rages. He was a mute who communicated with Talos Valcoran via hand signals and/or text uplink from an Auspex to Talos' helmet.
  • Septimus - Born as Coreth on Lok III and served as a pilot on that world before his capture by Talos Valcoran. He served Talos for several years as his Artificer and Thunderhawk pilot. Septimus enjoyed a privileged position amongst the Serfs that served The Exalted's warband and many freedoms as a result of his valuable services, though Talos nearly killed him upon learning that Septimus had impregnated Octavia (and thus compromised their Navigator's abilities). Septimus was finally released from Talos' service on Tsagualsa.
  • Octavia - Octavia was originally known as Eurydice Mervallion, a Navigator who was captured following the destruction of her former master's ship over the ruins of Nostramo. She eventually entered into a relationship with her fellow Serf Septimus and became pregnant with his child. Talos released her from his service before he was killed on Tsagualsa.
  • Nonus - Nonus had originally been known as Maruc. Nonus was taken prisoner by Talos during a raid on Ganges Station and trained by Septimus as an Artificer. He was later slain by a Warp-corrupted Red Corsair aboard the Echo of Damnation.

1st Claw Fleet

  • Covenant of Blood (Strike Cruiser) - The Covenant of Blood served as The Exalted's Strike Cruiser and the flagship of the Night Lords' 10th Company, and was active during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. The Covenant was destroyed in battle against the Red Corsairs, though it took approximately half-a-dozen Red Corsairs vessels with it.
  • Echo of Damnation (Strike Cruiser) - The 1st Claw possesses a single Strike Cruiser, the Echo of Damnation, that was liberated from the piratical band of Chaos Space Marines known as the Red Corsairs.


  • Soul Hunter (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
  • Blood Reaver (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
  • Void Stalker (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
  • Hammer & Bolter 11, "Shadow Knight" by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
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