"Each of Abaddon's chosen have might enough to crush armies, conquer worlds and shake the very foundations of the stars. And yet every time we slay one of their number another warlord of equal strength takes his place. What hope is there in opposing such foes?"
- — The Betrayer of Kaldonia
Rather than a single force with a single leader, after the Horus Heresy the Black Legion became a mighty host of many warbands and warlords. Within this host, all would swear complete allegiance to Abaddon, and through an inner circle, he would lead them with absolute dominion. These favoured lieutenants became known as the Chosen of Abaddon.
The Chosen were his favoured generals, standing above all others and enacting his dark will; a warped shadow of the Luna Wolves' Mournival in which he had once served. Nowhere in the galaxy can a more feared and merciless collection of tyrants be found, always eager to put entire worlds to the sword in the name of Chaos.
The last recorded deployment of a full Officio Assassinorum Execution Force was against the so-called Chosen of Abaddon. These four individuals were so hated by the Imperium of Man that an entire team of Assassins infiltrated Abaddon's flagship.
This was an extraordinary event, for it is rare for even one Assassin to be sent to deal with a threat. Abaddon learned of the impending attack and laid a trap for the Assassins, slaying all four and protecting his Chosen.
The Chosen bear an assortment of titles, reflecting their role in a past Black Crusade or honouring particular acts of cruelty for which they are infamous. Their numbers are ever-changing, for Abaddon has little tolerance for failure amongst those who serve him. The current holders of these four titles are described below.
The Lord Ravager leads the invasion fleets of the Black Crusade. It is he who first makes landfall on the surface of an Imperial world about to be ravaged by the Black Legion. The Lord Ravager leads Abaddon's ground forces and is always found in the vanguard of the assault.
The Lord Ravager is always a devotee of Khorne.
- Threxos Hellbreed - Threxos Hellbreed is the current Admiral of the Black Legion's Black Fleet and also the new master of the Hounds of Abaddon warband. He replaced the former Lord Purgator, Urkrathos, after that Daemon Prince's death on Cadia. Hellbreed has won great favour with his patron, Khorne, due to his skills at launching ship-to-ship ambushes. He has earned a reputation for initiating spectacular boarding actions.
- Urkrathos - Within the ranks of the Black Legion are those who are bloody-handed servants of Khorne. Though not a single unified warband within the Black Legion, they are collectively known as the Hounds of Abaddon. Urkrathos, also sometimes called Urkanthos, the former Lord Purgator of the Chosen of Abaddon and commander of the Legion's Black Fleet, claimed all followers of Khorne within the Legion as his own and directed them according to the will of Abaddon. Ironically, Urkrathos, who had become a Daemon Prince after pleasing his patron, the Blood God Khorne, was temporarily slain during the 13th Black Crusade on Cadia itself. He fell just before Cadia's destruction at the siege of Kasr Kraf combatting Saint Celestine and her two Geminae Superia, the Living Saint's protectors, the former Adepta Sororitas Canonesses Eleanor and Genevieve of the Order of Our Martyred Lady. Urkrathos had previously killed both in combat before their resurrection by the power of the Living Saint to serve as her eternal honour guard.
The Lord Deceiver is a powerful Chaos Sorcerer whose esoteric visions of the Warp guide the Black Crusade from star system to star system, so that they might always find their prey, no matter where they hide.
The Lord Deceiver is always a devotee of Tzeentch.
- Ygethmor the Deceiver - Ygethmor the Deceiver, known also as the "Twice Damned" and the "Purgator of Corrialis," is a formidable Sorcerer Lord of the Black Legion. He currently serves as one of Abaddon the Despoiler's lieutenants and a member of his personal retinue, the Chosen of Abaddon. Ygethmor is the current Lord Deceiver, whose visions of the Warp lead the Black Crusade from star system to star system. During the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, the Officio Assassinorum sanctioned the deployment of an assassin team to eliminate Ygethmor, amongst other notable targets in service to the Archenemy. Whilst scrutiny of their field records is impossible, at least seven Assassinorum agents are known to have failed in the attempt to take the life of the Deceiver. Ygethmor led the assault of the forces of Chaos during the campaign known as the Fall of Medusa V in an attempt to become a Daemon Prince. This effort failed and Ygethmor was slain by the blade of the Eldar Autarch Elarique Swiftblade of Craftworld Alaitoc, and those Champions of the Dark Gods who had followed him were left to their fates on the dying world as Medusa V was consumed by an onrushing Warp Storm. However, death rarely represents an end to the service of a Chaos Lord, if the Dark Gods still have use for him. The galaxy may yet suffer the tread of Ygethmor the Deceiver once more.
The Lord Corruptor is tasked with instilling fear and hatred amongst the Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion. It is he who spreads fear and corruption before the Black Fleet, and also keeps the lesser warlords of the Legion in line through brutality and terror. His trophy rack is adorned with the skulls of failed servants.
The Lord Corruptor is always a devotee of Nurgle.
- Skyrak Slaughterborn - The Chosen of Abaddon lieutenant named Skyrak Slaughterborn, the current Lord Corruptor, leads the warbands of Nurgle within the Black Legion into battle. Collectively known as the Bringers of Decay, they spread their disease and corruption throughout the Realms of Man. Skyrak is known to have led the large warband of Chaos Space Marines known as the Slaughterkin in the assault on Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade.
It falls to the Lord Purgator to ensure that every man, woman and child left alive on a world conquered by the Black Legion is dragged in chains into the hold of the Legion's starships, and that no edifice remains undedicated to the Dark Gods.
The Lord Purgator is a devotee of Slaanesh.
- Devram Korda - Devram Korda, also known as "The Tyrant of Sarora," is a servant of the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure. A former Veteran Sergeant of the Sons of Horus Legion, after the events of the Horus Heresy, he rose to prominence and became a Chaos Lord. He became infamous for his blasphemous actions on the doomed world of Sarora, where he distilled the life essence of the citizens of the planet's largest hive city for a single vial of a sorcerous elixir which made him virtually invincible. He eventually became the current Lord Ravager, the individual who leads the invasion fleets of the Black Crusade in the name of Abaddon the Despoiler. It is Korda who first makes landfall on the surface of a world about to be assaulted by the Forces of Chaos. Korda also commands the personal retinue of the Despoiler, known as the Chosen of Abaddon. In the closing days of the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, Devram Korda returned to his master's side, bringing with him two individuals (later identified as Skyrak Slaughterborn and Urkrathos) who had journeyed to the centre of the Eye of Terror. Together with the Chaos Sorcerer Ygethmor the Deceiver, they presented Abaddon with the Heart of Chaos, a powerful artefact that Zaraphiston, a Chaos Sorcerer and rival Chaos Lord of the Despoiler, had long claimed could not exist.
- Apocalypse: Reload (4th Edition), pg. 55
- Dark Adeptus - The Grey Knights Omnibus (Novel) by Ben Counter, Ch. 7, pg. 355
- Black Legion: A Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement (Digital Edition), pp. 20, 55-63
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), "Black Legion Warbands," pg. 19
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 10
- Gathering Storm - Book One - Fall of Cadia (7th Edition), pp. 36-53
- White Dwarf 390 (UK), pg. 61