The Legio Astorum ("Warp Runners") is a Loyalist Titan Legion of the Collegia Titanica, one of the military arms of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Legio Astorum is an ancient and honoured Legion based upon the Forge World of Lucius, located in the Segmentum Obscurus. This Titan Legion is suspected to have been founded before the Age of the Imperium, during the Age of Strife.
The Warp Runners are well-known for setting the tempo of war and marching swiftly to the sound of battle, their god-engines devouring kilometres beneath their massive stride. Astorum Princeps call this the "War March," and gladly endure the rigours placed upon both machine and mind to reach the foe sooner.
Over time, a Princeps learns to wear their Titan like a second skin, as aware of its workings and armour plates as they are of their own bones and sinew. The Warp Runners contain many old and lauded Titans of the Great Crusade, and the skilled Princeps who command them. A skilled Princeps can master the Machine Spirit (artificial intelligence) of their Titan, and the Warp Runners learned many tricks for forcing the Machine Spirits of their war engines into action even as the ancient mechanisms rebelled against them.
The Warp Runners fought throughout the Great Crusade and still retain a number of Titans blessed by the Emperor of Mankind Himself. Of all of the Titan Legions to fight in the Great Crusade, few won as much glory for themselves as the Warp Runners. During this time, they earned a reputation for their devastating spearhead attacks, claiming victory in campaigns such as Tyrrel's Lament, Kamenka Trokia and the Dagar Insurrection.
The hollow Forge World of Lucius, homeworld of the Legio Astorum, was the site of some of the largest Titan works in the Imperium. Reaver Battle Titans were turned out by its manufactoria, constructed over a span of Terran years to the exacting standards of the Mechanicum. Even a planet with the prodigious manufactoria of Lucius would struggle to replace the Legion's losses during the Horus Heresy, and in the end, like so many other Titan Legions, the Legio Astorum would be forced to scavenge fields of dead Titans to keep their god-machines alive.
By the start of the Horus Heresy, they were lauded veterans, their Princeps arrogant and aloof. Despite this hubris, their crews remained utterly loyal to the Emperor, and joined battle against the Traitors more than willingly.
Later, the Legion fought throughout the darkest days of the Horus Heresy, and participated in numerous engagements including the Battle of Tallarn and the destructive Battle of Beta-Garmon campaigns. Legend has it that a battlegroup of Legio Astorum Titans was present at the defence of the Emperor's Palace during the Battle of Terra and ever since those dark days of the Great Betrayal, the Warp Runners have continued to faithfully serve the Emperor and His Imperium.
- Kamenka Troika Campaign (Unknown Date.M30) - Sometime during the middle years of the Great Crusade, the Legio Astorum fought alongside the Thousand Sons Legion and a Lifehost of Pan Pacific Eugenians drawn from the Imperial Army. The Emperor had issued the writs of war commanding this combined Imperial task force to undertake the difficult task of driving the savage Greenskin menace from the three satellite planets (collectively known as the Kamenka Troika) of the world of Kamenka Ulizarna -- a world originally claimed by the Mechanicum of Mars. The savagery of that war, the slaughter and relentless, grinding attrition had left tens of thousands dead in its wake. Imperial forces were finally victorious after two years of fighting and earned a score of honours for their war banners. Victory had been won, but the cost had been high with the loss of nearly an entire Warp Runners' detachment of Titans. With the successful conclusion of the campaign the Thousand Sons honoured the Legio Astorum by recovering Canis Vertex, the last Warp Runners Titan to fall. They repaired and restored the great war machine and then had it transported to their homeworld of Prospero where it was mounted upon the pyramid of the Legion's Pyrae Cult of Sorcerers.
- Battle of Tallarn (010-012.M31) - The Legio Astorum is known to have fought in various engagements during the Horus Heresy, including the famed Battle of Tallarn. Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors, launched an all-out planetary invasion of the verdant Imperial staging world of Tallarn, his Legion bolstered by dozens of allied Traitor Imperialis Auxilia regiments, the Traitor Titans of the Legio Krytos and the Knights of House Caesarean. Both the Loyalists and Traitor high commands were taken by surprise by Perturabo's actions and the invasion quickly escalated after he ordered Exterminatus upon the world, scouring its surface of living matter by way of a voracious Life-eater viral barrage. While the population of the world was all but wiped out, many defenders survived thanks to extensive subterranean shelters. The ensuing campaign was fought between vast formations of Imperial Army and Solar Auxilia tanks, the Titans of the Legio Gryphonicus, the Knights of House Megron, the indentured Automata of the household army of the Rogue Trader Sangrea as well as armoured forces of the Iron Hands, Imperial Fists, White Scars and Ultramarines Legions. No infantry can survive in the poisoned wastes, and the war quickly draws in other forces from across the region, including the Titans of the Legio Astorum. It soon became painfully clear to the Imperial forces the futility of fighting over a destroyed planet, but by then there was no turning back. Though it was not known at the time, the Traitor Legion was motivated to attack the world beyond their mere appetite for destruction as Tallarn was the site of a hidden and potentially powerful Chaos artefact. The toxic environment of the world made it impossible for infantry troops to operate outside of their protective shelters, and so the only available option was to make use of armoured tank warfare and the support of the Titan war machines of the Legio Astorum. The Warp Runners fought their traitorous kin from the infamous Legio Mortis Traitor Titan Legion, while the largest tank battle in human history erupted on the surface of Tallarn, involving some 10 million armoured vehicles. By the end of this brutal conflict, the Iron Warriors were defeated, and the wreckage of over a million tanks littered the sands.
- Battle of Beta-Garmon, "The Titandeath" (006-013.M31) - The Legio Astorum took part in the long and savage Beta-Garmon campaign, which included hundreds of war zones across dozens of worlds. During this conflict, the Legio Astorum was supported by the Knights of House Hawkwood, House Mortimer and House Terryn. Even before the greater armies of the Warmaster Horus reached the star cluster, the battle lines had long since been drawn, and fighting had been going on for many Terran years. It was a cauldron of battle that would consume millions of lives before its end and see the demise of entire Titan Legions, earning this campaign the dire moniker of the "Titandeath." The Beta-Garmon Cluster, also known as the gateway to the throneworld of Terra, was the last hurdle that the Warmaster Horus' forces had to overcome before they reached the Imperium's capital world. Heavily fortified by the Loyalists, Beta-Garmon would become one of the greatest and bloodiest battles of the Horus Heresy, as well as one of the longest-lasting.
- The Battle of Nycron (010.M31) - Under the direction of the Imperial Fists Primarch Rogal Dorn, a Loyalist battlegroup led by elements of the Salamanders Legion, and supported by thirty regiments of Solar Auxilia and a strike force of Legio Astorum Titans, engaged the Emperor's Children Millennial assigned to garrison the Beta-Garmon System on the edge of the Segmentum Solar. The Emperor's Children contingent was surprised at Nycron City on Beta-Garmon II and after a hard-fought battle, the Emperor's Children, along with their Legio Mortis allies at Beta-Garmon III, were driven out, placing the system into Loyalist hands and triggering within the year the first in an escalating series of Traitor counterattacks.
- Scouring of the Ollanz Cluster (012.M31) - The Warmaster Horus' advance on Terra reachedf the Ollanz Cluster, encountering Loyalist reinforcements bound for Beta-Garmon rearming and refuelling at the Borman System. The Loyalist fleet rapidly redeploys to oppose the Traitors' advance and to protect the valuable resource worlds of the cluster. The turning point of the brief but intense conflict comes at Borman IV, when a Legio Astorum demi-legio launches a daring offensive towards the world's beleaguered capital city. The crucial Titan battle takes place in the volcanic Yrevendi Desert immediately to the north of the capital, as Princeps Seniores Varr Harax leads a surprise thrust through rough terrain at a weak point in the Legio Fureans lines, accompanied by ground forces drawn from the Iron Hands Legion. The Legio Fureans, also called the Tiger Eyes, having been drawn away by a bold diversionary attack, are annihilated by the Warp Runners, who are able to break through Traitor Emperor's Children Legion lines and reinforce the beleaguered capital. Ultimately, Borman IV and the entire Ollanz Cluster are delivered from the Traitors' possession, allowing for Loyalist forces to be redeployed to their original destination at Beta-Garmon.
- Purge of the Contqual Sub-Sector (812.M41) - The Legio Astorum 's Titan Battlegroup Praxes, under the command of Princeps Firax Lopi, participated in the final campaign of the Purge of Contqual Sub-sector, fighting alongside the Iron Hands Space Marine Chapter and a large force of Imperial Guard regiments and heavy armour. As far as Imperial scholars can determine, the Chaotic taint of the Contqual Sub-sector began late in the year 812.M41 when the Contqual High Governor fell easy prey to the corruption of the Chaos God of Pleasure, Slaanesh. From the High Governor's court on the world of Shardenus the taint spread quickly and within a single month the entire sub-sector seethed with the corruption of Chaos. The cleansing of Contqual was tasked to the Iron Hands who have always burned with hatred for Chaos in all its myriad forms since the disaster on Istvaan V. The Iron Hands stormed into the Contqual Sub-sector with a speed akin to chained lightning, seizing several planets before resistance could even be organised by the region's Forces of Chaos. In short order, the Iron Hands of Clan Raukaan, under the command of Lord Clan Commander Arven Rauth, moved against the focal point of the Chaotic taint in Contqual, the Hive World of Shardenus, where the world's large body of Chaos Cultists, making use of forbidden sorcerous rituals, had torn a hole straight through the space-time continuum and into the Warp. Lord-General Raji Nethata, the overall Imperial commander of the forces on Shardenus, requested Titan support from the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Legio Astorum responded by sending a Warlord-class Titan and four other war machines to take part in the final campaign on the sub-sector's capital world. Though massively outnumbered and sustaining significant losses, the Imperial forces cut through the Heretics and their daemons like an unstoppable storm. The world was brought to heel in short order with the rest of the sub-sector falling to the fury of the Imperial forces with equal speed, the citizens of many worlds turning on their tainted masters and pleading with the Iron Hands for mercy. But the sons of Ferus Manus are not known for their forgiveness and the Chapter fell on the worlds of the sub-sector with a cleansing wrath, executing one in every three civilians in a great and bloody purge, which the Chapter intended to serve as a righteous punishment for allowing the taint of Chaos to sweep over the worlds of the Contqual. In the wake of their bloody passing, the surviving Imperial citizens of the Contqual Sub-sector became amongst the most devout faithful of the God-Emperor in the galaxy.
- Siege of Vraks (813-830.M41) - During the infamous Siege of Vraks, the Legio Astorum Titan battlegroup provided the Imperial 88th Siege Army with its heaviest armour and firepower. Deploying 22 Titans of the Reaver and Warhound classes, the commitment of this battlegroup in support of the 12th Line Korps was the decisive factor in breaking through the inner defence lines during the Kagori offensive on Vraks Prime. The High Princeps Rand Drauca and his Warp Runners continued to support the campaign on Vraks on numerous occasions, and were heavily engaged again when the Red Scorpions Chapter captured the breach in the curtain wall, matching weapons and armour with the Traitor Titans of the Legio Vulcanum I. The exact number of enemy Titans was not identified, although post-battle reports claim that 14 enemy Warhound-class Titans and Reaver-class Titans were destroyed during the campaign. As such, the Legio Vulcanum paid a heavy price for its involvement, and the Legio Astorum can claim a famous victory over their ancient enemy.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - When the Forces of Chaos assaulted the world of Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, the Legio Astorum was one of the Loyalist Titan Legions of the Collegia Titanica to help in the defence of that beleaguered Imperial Fortress World. The Warp Runners fought in multiple campaigns during this Black Crusade, including:
- Amistel Majoris - The world of Amistel Majoris (located in the Agripinaa Sector was besieged by Plague Marines of the infamous Death Guard Traitor Legion. Despite the planet being reduced to a mass of putrefying corpses, the Imperial Guard's 83rd Regiment of the Drookian Fen Guard helped bolster Imperial forces with a masterful defensive strategy which kept the planet in Imperial hands until the arrival of additional Imperial forces in the form of the Howling Griffons Space Marine Chapter and the Titans of the Legio Astorum.
- Demios Primary - When the Skitarii forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus' Forge World of Demios Primary were scattered by the combined Chaos forces of the Black Legion and the Extinction Angels, it was the Imperial defenders of the Legio Astorum and the Space Marines of the Black Templars Chapter which liberated the world's forges.
- Bounty of Mars - Honours earned by the Warp Runners during the Great Crusade included the respect of Mars. From the armouries of the Red Planet, the Legio Astorum was gifted with rare and ancient systems for their Titans, so that they might better serve the Imperium.
- Magna Bellifica - The Magna Bellifica was an Imperator-class Titan that fought in the Third Battle of Nyrcon, the capital city of Beta-Garmon II, during the larger campaign remembered as the Battle of Beta-Garmon, or the "Titandeath."
- Canis Vertex - A Warlord-class Titan that fought during the Great Crusade alongside the Thousand Sons Legion in the Kamenka Troika Campaign. The Canis Vertex was the last Titan of the Legio Astorum to fall. For their service, the Thousands Sons honoured the Warp Runners by recovering and restoring the Canis Vertex. They then had the Titan transported to their homeworld of Prospero and mounted upon the pyramid of the Pyrae Cult of the Legion's sorcerers. Nearly a Terran century later, the Canis Vertex would rise once more, through magical means used by the Thousands Sons sorcerers, to protect their homeworld from the ravaging Space Wolves Legion during the Burning of Prospero.
- Dauntless Wrath - The Dauntless Wrath was a Warlord-class Titan that was one of the legio Astorum Titans to see action during the Battle of Tallarn and survive the scouring of that world. Later in the Horus Heresy, veterans of Tallarn would often recall what they had endured during the fighting on that dead world, and cite it among the greatest crimes wrought by the Warmaster Horus.
- Terribilis Vindicta - The Terribilis Vindicta was a Warlord-class Titan of Battlegroup Praxes that took part in the Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector on the world of Shardenus, fighting alongside Clan Raukaan of the Iron Hands Space Marine Chapter and several regiments of the Imperial Guard against the Forces of Chaos in 812.M41.
- Meritus Castigatio - This Warlord-class Titan of Battlegroup Praxes took part in the Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector on the world of Shardenus, fighting alongside Clan Raukaan of the Iron Hands Chapter and several regiments of the Imperial Guard against the Forces of Chaos in 812.M41.
- Divine Triumph - Reaver-class Titan that fought during the Horus Heresy.
- Fortunata Imperiatrix - Reaver-class Titan that fought during the Horus Heresy at the Battle of Tallarn.
- Honorum - Reaver-class Titan with 13 confirmed heavy vehicle kills as well as numerous "lesser opponents" destroyed during the Siege of Vraks.
- Inviglia Alpha - Reaver-class Titan, first to fall to the guns of the Legio Vulcanum I Traitor Titan Legion during the Siege of Vraks. Standing defiantly, the blasted and scorched war machine stood like a silent sentinel for the duration of the rest of the campaign.
- Praetorian - Reaver-class Titan of High Princeps Rand Drauca.
- Lucius Pretorian - At the Battle of Beta-Garmon, the Reaver Battle Titan was among the most numerous of the god-engines deployed by both sides, proving as its creators had long known, its versatility as a weapon of war. Lucius Pretorian was among those to see some of the heaviest fighting on beta-Garmon II, both as a defender of the city of Nyrcon and an attacked of the ruined city. Damaged and repaired many times, Lucius Pretorian was repeatedly brought back to life by the skills and machine-prayers of the Mechaincum.
- Spirit of Victory - A Titan of unknown class that fought during the Horus Heresy at the Battle of Tallarn.
- Ferus Arma - A Warhound-class Titan that was a part of Battlegroup Praxes that took part in the Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector on the world of Shardenus, fighting alongside Clan Raukaan of the Iron Hands Chapter and several regiments of the Imperial Guard against the Forces of Chaos in 812.M41.
- Gaius Thyrsus - A Warhound-class Titan that was a part of Battlegroup Praxes that took part in the Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector on the world of Shardenus, fighting alongside Clan Raukaan of the Iron Hands Chapter and several regiments of the Imperial Guard against the Forces of Chaos in 812.M41.
- Quis Odio - A Warhound-class Titan that was a part of Battlegroup Praxes that took part in the Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector on the world of Shardenus, fighting alongside Clan Raukaan of the Iron Hands Chapter and several regiments of the Imperial Guard against the Forces of Chaos in 812.M41.
- Avernus Maxima – A Warhound-class Titan deployed as part of the Imperial Titan forces on Vraks during the Siege of Vraks, and was part of a Ventarri Titan Maniple that fought in the Battle of Shatter Ridge.
- Triarii-Dexter – A Warhound-class Titan deployed as part of the Imperial Titan forces on Vraks during the Siege of Vraks, and was part of a Ventarri Titan Maniple that fought in the Battle of Shatter Ridge.
- Canis Secundus – A Warhound-class Titan deployed as part of the Imperial Titan forces on Vraks during the Siege of Vraks, and was part of a Ventarri Titan Maniple that fought in the Battle of Shatter Ridge.
- War Geld - War Geld was a Warhound-class Scout Titan that fought as part of a Lupercal Light Maniple for much of the Battle of Beta-Garmon, earning honours in the void above Theta-Garmon and on the black sands of Alpha-Garmon.
- Rand Drauca - Ancient and venerable High Princeps of the Reaver-class Titan Praetorian, during the Siege of Vraks. He led the Legio Astorum battlegroup that fought during the Siege of Vraks, which was composed of 10 Reaver-class and 12 Warhound-class Titans.
- Firax Lopi - Princeps of the Warlord-class Titan Terribilis Vindicta and commander of Battlegroup Praxes that took part in the final campaign of the Purge of the Contqual Sub-Sector on the world of Shardenus.
- Remona - A young and talented Princeps of the Warlord-class Titan Meritus Castigatio that was a part of Battlegroup Praxes that took part in the final campaign of the Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector on the world of Shardenus.
- Kask - First Princeps of the Titan Fortunata Imperiatrix.
- Talon - Princeps of the Legion with over 100 confirmed kills.
- Silberman - Princeps of the Legion who was shot and killed by a sniper during the Battle of Tallarn.
- Marnoc (Successor of Princeps Silberman) - Princeps of the Legion during the Battle of Tallarn.
- Toal - Moderatus of the Legion during the Battle of Tallarn.
- Hazan - Moderatus of the Legion during the Battle of Tallarn.
- Warden - Moderatus of the Legion during the Battle of Tallarn.
- Kurtz - Warhound-class Titan Princeps during the Battle of Tallarn.
Each Titan Legion has its own idiosyncrasies of operation and ritual, and the Warp Runners have long had the reputation of preferring to adorn their war engines with bold heraldry and striking decoration, while its Moderati and Princeps favour an austere uniform bearing no emblems or gained awards.
The colours of this Titan Legion are primarily blue with gold. An older colour scheme exists, in which the Titans were blue with orange flame patterns.
The symbol of the Legio Astorum (Warp Runners) is a black eclipse symbol on a field of blue. The Black Sun of Lucius is central to the heraldry of the Warp Runners, representing not just the artificial sun at the heart of the hollow Forge World, but also the isolation Lucius endured during the centuries of Old Night.
Astrological precision is central to the heraldry of the Warp Runners, their logicians carefully charting the history of the Legion as solar maps and Warp routes scrawled out across each Titan's armour. Likewise, campaign honours are stamped out machine-like upon each Titan's banner, each icon coded to the great lexicon of Lucius, so that its tech-priests and Princeps might read at a glance a Titan's victories and campaigns. Alongside this accounting of the Titan's war record, the signum nobilis banner details maniple and rank.
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Rulebook (Specialty Game), pp. 16-17, 63, 78-79, 88
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Titandeath (Specialty Game), pp. 19-23, 93
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition) pp. 14, 16
- Codex Titanicus (1st Edition), pp. 4-7, 9-10, 14, 21, 29, 32, 34, 49, 110
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 42-43, 46-48, 52-53, 60, 112-113, 118, 120-123, 199
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 49, 126, 161
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2, pp. 88-89
- White Dwarf 287 (UK), "Forge World: Creators of monsters and builders of Titans (Review)," pg. 38
- White Dwarf 111 (UK), "Adeptus Titanicus", pg. 56
- White Dwarf 110 (UK), "Adeptus Titanicus", pg. 41
- White Dwarf 108 (UK), "'Eavy Metal: Adeptus Titanicus Titans & Banners," pg. 76
- A Thousand Sons (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Wrath of Iron (Novel) by Chris Wraight
- Titandeath (Novel) by Guy Haley