The Blighted Claw are a warband of Chaos Space Marines. They were once a Loyalist Chapter of Space Marines of unknown origin and Founding, known as the Sanctors of Terra. They were corrupted after entering the Eye of Terror in 321.M37 as part of the Imperial Abyssal Crusade. It is unknown what they endured during their sojourn into the Eye, but by the time they made their way back into realspace, they had become the warband of Chaos Space Marines known as The Blighted Claw, servants of Nurgle.
Following the Ecclesiarchal Purges of 321.M37, a dozen star systems were engulfed by Warp Storm Dionys, its echoes rippling along the spiral arms of the galaxy as it raged through the Empyrean. Records of mutation and Chaos Cultist activity quadrupled overnight. Worse yet, it was not only the citizens who were affected by the sudden influx of Chaos. Many of the Space Marine Chapters with homeworlds affected by the Warp Storm found that the secret imperfections in their gene-seed were writ large upon their new recruits, giving rise to a wave of disturbing manifestations both physical and psychological. The Sanctors of Terra were one such Loyalist Chapter of Astartes that had been affected by these Warp Storms.
When the Ecclesiarchy heard of this sinister tum of events, Saint Basillius the Elder demanded that all those Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes whose homeworlds had been touched by the Warp Storm be rendered unto his judgement. Such was the elder's influence with the High Lords of Terra that within a standard year this had come to pass. After a series of stringent tests and prognostications, hundreds of Chapters were deemed unaffected by the Warp Storm. No less than thirty were found wanting. The Judged, as these fallen Chapters came to be known, volunteered for a redemptive Penitent Crusade. The most militant of their number demanded the right to purify their tainted flesh in the fires of battle, to make a noble end from tragic misfortune. To the surprise of his closest advisors, Saint Basillius agreed to this proposal. He saw it fitting to send the accused into the Eye of Terror, taking the fight for the Imperium's future to the Daemon Worlds inhabited by the Traitor Marines.
A representative from each of the doomed Chapters held an emergency Council of Dismay to discuss the proposed Crusade. After scant hours of debate, they acquiesced to Basillius' demands, for they believed that martyrdom was preferable to an existence of suspicion and doubt. The last few days of 321.M37 saw a solemn procession of Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges pass through the Cadian Gate into the Eye of Terror, relay systems dormant and heraldic colours obscured by black mag-plates. One by one, the Chapters of The Judged disappeared into the iridescent dust nebulae that surrounded the Eye. As the massive Space Marine flotilla entered the Eye of Terror, they were set upon by a massive Chaos warfleet. The resultant battle was so fierce that the ships of The Judged were forced to retreat and were scattered to the furthest corners of the Eye.
Chapter after Chapter fell to the perils of the Eye, for the Abyssal Crusade had entered a hell from which very few emerge unchanged. The true account of what occurred within the Eye to the Sanctors of Terra is unknown, but most of the tales of the Chapters of The Judged ended in tragedy and sorrow. By the time they reemerged from the Eye many standard centuries later, the Sanctors of Terra were no more, for they had become the Chaos Space Marine warband known as The Blighted Claw, wholly dedicated to the service of the Plague Lord Nurgle.
- The Devastation of Gehöft (Unknown Date.M41) - The Imperial Agri-world of Gehöft came under assault by The Blighted Claw, who spread a virulent, daemonic plague across the planet. The plague not only destroyed the world's crops and livestock, but killed vast swathes of its population. To the horror of Gehöft defenders', the plague did not simply kill its victims, but turned them into Plague Zombies who sought to consume the flesh of the still-living. With The Blighted Claw overpowering the planet's defenders and the undead rapidly increasing their numbers, Gehöft was nearly overrun within only solar months of the warband's invasion. Despite this bleak outlook, the Brindelweld regiments of the Astra Militarum, as well as elements of the Dark Angels Chapter, came to aid the world's defenders against the servants of Nurgle. Kor'sarro Khan, the White Scars' Master of the Hunt, also led his 3rd Brotherhood to Gehöft, but knew the world was already doomed before he even set foot upon it. Instead, he came to conclude a Great Hunt against the Blighted Claw's Chaos Lord, Paramyx, and put an end to the warband's similar infectious assaults of worlds across the Imperium. Leading a squadron of Attack Bikes, Kor'sarro pursued Paramyx across the dying planet, as the other Imperial and Chaos forces clashed around them, hoping to catch his prey before he moved on to his next target. The squadron had nearly run the Plaguelord to ground when they were ambushed by a large group of Blight Drones. With their prey escaping, Kor'sarro looked for aid from Sammael and the Dark Angels fighting nearby, only for them to abandon the White Scars and pursue one of their own mysterious goals elsewhere on the world. Despite the lack of assistance, the White Scars managed to destroy the Blight Drones, but only Kor'sarro was left standing; the other White Scars in his squadron lay dead or too badly wounded to continue. With his brethren broken, Kor'sarro was forced to retreat, and grudingly allowed Paramyx to escape off-world. Soon afterwards the remaining Imperial forces were routed by the growing horded of undead. The order to evacuate Gehöft was given and once the survivors were in orbit, an Exterminatus was launched to prevent the Zombie Plague from despoiling yet another one of the Emperor's worlds.
Notable Blighted Claws
- Plaguelord Paramyx - Paramyx was once the Chapter Master of the Sanctors of Terra before they were deemed corrupted by the powerful Saint Basilius and their ill-fated journey into the Eye of Terror during the Abyssal Crusade. When they returned, they were wholly corrupted and dedicated to the worship of Nurgle. Now Paramyx is the Chaos Lord who leads his warband in spreading Nurgle's plauge across numerous worlds of the Imperium. These plagues not only cause death amongst a world's population, but turn their victims into Plague Zombies who fall upon the living, seeking their flesh and spreading the curse. Currently his warband's rampage of infection has made Paramyx a target of the White Scars' Master of the Hunt Kor'sarro Khan, who leads his 3rd Brotherhood in pursuit of The Blighted Claw. Kor'sarro hunted Paramyx across half of a Segmentum and has vowed he will claim the Traitor's head no matter how long it takes, a vow that was nearly fulfilled on Gehöft.
The Blighted Claw warband's colours are not listed in current Imperial records.
The Blighted Claw warband's badge is not listed in current Imperial records.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 17, 19
- Kor'sarro Khan: Huntmaster (Short Story) by Graeme Lyons, pp. 1-3