Khur, originally designated Forty-Seven Ten by the Imperium of Man, was a Civilised World brought into Imperial Compliance during the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium by the Word Bearers Space Marine Legion, approximately a Terran century before the events of the Istvaan III Atrocity at the outset of the Horus Heresy.
The beautiful planetary capital city of Khur, known as Monarchia, also called the "Perfect City" by the Word Bearers, was built by the people of Khur at the direction and exhortation of the XVIIth Legion to demonstrate their faith and devotion to the God-Emperor of Mankind, whose faith was brought to them by the Word Bearers' Primarch Lorgar.
Six solar decades after being brought into Compliance and approximately 40 standard years before the start of the Horus Heresy, the XIIIth Legion, the Ultramarines, utterly destroyed Monarchia, forever after earning the bitter hatred of the Word Bearers. This action was done on the personal order of the Emperor as an example to both Lorgar and his Word Bearers that violations of the secular and atheistic Imperial Truth through the encouragement of the continued error of religious faith and the spread of idolatrous doctrine would not be tolerated.
This action by the Emperor did not have the affect He had intended. Instead, it crushed the faith and spirit of Lorgar and his Space Marines in the Imperial project and led them to seek out new gods more worthy of their worship -- the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.
The world designated Forty-Seven Ten was the tenth world brought into Imperial Compliance in 903.M30 by the 47th Expeditionary Fleet of the XVIIth Space Marine Legion, under the command of Primarch Lorgar Aurelian. The Word Bearers not only brought the knowledge of the Imperial Truth to the people of Khur, but their zealous religious fervor and beliefs in regards to the divinity of the Emperor of Mankind, whom they referred to as the God-Emperor.
The people of Khur willingly embraced the Word Bearers as their saviours. The greatest Chaplains of the XVIIth Legion extolled the divinity and righteousness of the Emperor, and Lorgar himself delivered countless speeches and sermons, converting millions to the worship of the Emperor with his words alone. At the direction of the Word Bearers, the Khurians demonstrated their faith and devotion to the God-Emperor by building their new planetary capital city of Monarchia, which would come to be known as the "Perfect City" -- the model city of perfect, abject devotion to faith in the God-Emperor.
Judgement of Khur
- "People of Monarchia, capital city of Forty-Seven Ten, hear these words. We, the warriors of the XIIIth Legion, are oathed to this moment, honour-sworn to this duty. We come bearing the Emperor's decree to the tenth world brought to Compliance by the Forty-Seventh Expedition of humanity's Great Crusade. Your compliance with the Imperium of Man has held for sixty-one years. With the greatest regret, the Emperor of Mankind demands that all living souls abandon the city of Monarchia immediately. Moments ago, your planetary leaders were given the same warning. This city is to be evacuated within six days. On the final day, your planetary leaders will be allowed to send a single distress call. No one is to remain in Monarchia by dawn of the seventh day. Go now to your homes. Gather your belongings. Evacuate the city. Resistance will be met with bloodshed."
During this period, the absolute loyalty of Lorgar and the Word Bearers Legion to the Emperor and His Imperium was unquestionable. Their Compliant worlds regularly delivered tithes in the Emperor's name, and the orders of Terra were accepted without question throughout the worlds liberated by the Word Bearers. Lorgar and his XVIIth Legion had successfully prosecuted the Emperor's Great Crusade for almost a standard century, and in that time the Emperor had never once admonished His zealous son or the Word Bearers Legion for their fervent worship of Him as a divinity even though such doctrine clashed with the Emperor's stated policy of spreading the atheistic Imperial Truth.
But the Emperor, for all His love for his son, was deeply disturbed. He had initially tolerated the beliefs of His deeply religious son, but as the Great Crusade reached its height, the Emperor found Himself increasingly frustrated with the slow pace with which Lorgar conquered and then brought worlds into Compliance for the Imperium. The Emperor finally ordered the Word Bearers to cease their religious activities, as their mission was to reunify the galaxy under the banner of the secular Imperial Truth, not preach the word of the Emperor's personal divinity.
The Emperor had long opposed the spread of organised religion and was determined to use the creation of the Imperium of Man to enshrine reason and science, not religion, as the true guiding light of a new interstellar human civilisation. The Emperor was particularly troubled by any notion that He should be worshipped as a god and the actions of the Word Bearers Legion in slaughtering those who refused to accept the Emperor's divinity stank of the religious excesses that had so often poisoned human history.
A Legion Rebuked
The Emperor ordered a task force composed of the entire Ultramarines Legion led by their Primarch Roboute Guilliman and accompanied by a force of his elite personal bodyguards and agents, the Legio Custodes and the Imperial Regent, Malcador the Sigillite, to raze the capital city of Khur, a world dear to the Word Bearers. They considered it the "Perfect City" due to the intense religious devotion of its citizens and the sheer number of cathedrals and monuments dedicated to the worship of the Emperor as the God of Mankind.
Following the capital's destruction by the XIIIth Legion, the entire Word Bearers Legion, 100,000 Space Marines strong, were ordered to assemble on the planet's surface, within sight of the smoldering ruins of Monarchia, where its Astartes were humiliated and rebuked by the Emperor Himself. The Emperor unleashed a small portion of His psychic might, forcing everyone, including Lorgar himself, to kneel before Him. He explained to them that they had failed both Him and humanity. Lorgar was stunned by his father's reproach and refusal to accept his worship, and fell into a deep melancholy.
Feeling betrayed by the Emperor, he refused audience to all but Kor Phaeron, the Word Bearers' First Captain and Cardinal of its cult dedicated to the God-Emperor. Kor Phaeron was Lorgar's adoptive father and had raised him from infancy on the world of Colchis as a member of the religious order known as the Covenant. Kor Phaeron had served as Lorgar's chief lieutenant and advisor since the time when he had ruled as the theocrat of Colchis. Lorgar also called the XVIIth Legion's First Chaplain Erebus to his side, who had long been another trusted advisor.
Kor Phaeron and Erebus sympathised with Lorgar's unrequited religious longings, and felt that the Word Bearers Legion should serve gods truly worthy of their worship. Kor Phaeron and Erebus explained that they knew of such gods, the divine beings once worshiped by the Old Faith of Colchis and thus, Lorgar first learned of the existence of the Chaos Gods, who not only accepted the zealous worship he offered, but demanded it.
He determined to begin a great pilgrimage, later known to history as the Pilgrimage of Lorgar, to seek out the truth of whether these entities truly existed. Thus were the seeds of the Horus Heresy first sown amongst the Word Bearers as the result of the human heart's eternal desire to find faith in something larger than itself.
After the Horus Heresy
Like all of the worlds tainted by the influence of the Traitor Legions, Khur was subjected to an Exterminatus during the Great Scouring of the early 31st Millennium by the Imperium. This was done to eliminate all remaining Chaos corruption within the planet's population, as they had remained staunchly loyal forever after to the "angels" from the stars who had first taught them the potent power of faith.
Khur today is a Dead World, though its location remains a highly classified secret of the Inquisition, to prevent any from searching out whatever Chaos relics and artefacts might remain upon the planet.
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 140, 260
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 16-17, 21, 28, 31, 56, 106, 254
- The First Heretic (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, pp. 17, 22, 25, 27-28, 57-58, 60, 62, 84-85, 87, 90, 123, 156, 158, 441
- Betrayer (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, pg. 236