"The Ember Wolves do not shirk from the fight. For we are ferocity made metal. The doom of mightier machines. We bring gods to their armoured knees."
- — Princeps Balthus Voltemand, Commander of Canis Ulteriax
The Legio Audax ("Ember Wolves") is a Traitor Titan Legion of the Dark Mechanicum that repudiated its oaths to the Emperor of Mankind and followed the Warmaster Horus into the service of the Ruinous Powers during the Horus Heresy.
The Ember Wolves assisted the World Eaters Space Marine Legion throughout the Great Crusade after they were attached to the 13th Expeditionary Fleet's order of battle, and they shared this Astartes Legion's savage approach to combat.
In the final days of the Great Crusade, the Legio Audax received most of its supply and maintenance services from the Redjak Mechanicum of the Forge World of Sarum, which was liberated by the World Eaters and had pledged itself to the service of the 13th Expeditionary Fleet thereafter.
This alliance allowed the Titans of the Legio Audax to be equipped with scaled-down versions of Ursus Claw systems -- the great harpoons used by the World Eaters' flagship, the Conqueror, for boarding actions.
Another peculiarity of the Legio Audax was that its complement consisted solely of Warhound Titan-variants that possessed more armour plating than was standard, and used pack tactics when engaging larger foes.
It is known that the Ember Wolves numbered approximately 90 god-machines in the aftermath of the destruction of Armatura.
During the opening years of the Great Crusade, the Legio Audax, or "Ember Wolves," as they were more commonly known, were one of several elements deemed by the Terran War Council as being suitable for use against targets where annihilation was the goal rather than Imperial Compliance or liberation, a task to which they seemed eminently suited.
A pall of suspicion had fallen upon the Ember Wolves ever since the Lorin Alpha Massacres. As such, they were brought together under the banner of the 13th Expeditionary Fleet, known commonly as the "Bloody 13th," alongside a variety of units who, like the Ember Wolves, had gained dark reputations for unrestrained violence rather than military discipline, or who were otherwise deemed as unsuitable for actions where collateral damage was to be kept to a minimum and liberation rather than outright destruction was the goal.
Originally a Vanguard demi-Legio, the Ember Wolves had quickly developed an alarmingly savage and dangerous reputation, and was looked on as becoming almost bestial by the Titan Legions it fought alongside.
The Legio Audax were a rare example of a Titan Legion employing solely Warhound Scout Titans within its hosts, a deviation attributed to the corruption of many of the Legion's STC patterns during conflict with the xenos empire of Zlassalr.
Though the Ember Wolves lacked the reserves of firepower commonly available to other, more conventional, Titan Legions, they overcame such challenges through the deployment of hunting packs that lurked out of sight until the most opportune moment to strike.
The match of this savage set of semi-outcasts with the World Eaters was a natural one, and in battle the tendencies of both for brutal, direct assault married well together. However, the close allegiance of the Ember Wolves to the Primarch Angron rather than their distant Mechanicum masters was cause for growing concern for the Collegia Titanica.
After liberating this Mechanicum outpost, the grateful Tech-priests of the Redjak Covenant quickly embraced their saviours the World Eaters as allies. They swore to Angron and his Legion directly many oaths of fealty and entered into pacts of mutual protection and support.
For the World Eaters this provided the Legion and its Techmarines with a ready source of resupply and armament far outside the lmperium's inner spheres.
This allowed, among other benefits, the reconstruction of the Legion's badly damaged flagship Battle Barge, the Adamant Resolve, into the heavily-armoured Conqueror, fitted with arrays of Ursus Claw systems -- great void-harpoons designed to spear enemy vessels and drag them within reach of bloody boarding actions.
Smaller-scaled versions of these Ursus weapons would be modified to also arm the Warhound Titans of the Legio Audax and the World Eaters' assault Dreadnoughts in turn.
- Istvaan III Atrocity (ca. 007.M31) - The campaign known in later times as the Istvaan III Atrocity began when the Imperial Planetary Governor of Istvaan III, Vardus Praal, was corrupted by the Chaos God Slaanesh whose cultists had long been active on that world. In 205.M31, Praal declared his world to be independent from the Imperium. Unaware of the change in Horus' loyalties after his corruption by Chaos on the world of Davin, the Council of Terra charged the Warmaster with the retaking of that world, primarily its capital, the Choral City. When the Imperium finally gathered its forces, the Sons of Horus, Death Guard, Emperor's Children and the World Eaters Legions arrived in the Istvaan System, mustering in orbit above the doomed planet. Under the guise of putting down the Istvaanian rebellion against Imperial Compliance, Horus hatched the plan by which he would destroy all the remaining Loyalist elements of the Legions under his command. He purposely gathered those Astartes who were not loyal to him and used them in the assault on the non-Compliant world. With elements of the Legio Mortis, the Legio Audax and the Legio Vulpa Titan Legion in support, the invasion of Istvaan III then began in earnest. The Ember Wolves are known to have taken part in the final attack on the Precentor's Palace alongside the Titans of the Death's Heads, but little mention of their other actions during the campaign are currently present in Imperial records.
- Shadow Crusade (007-008.M31) - In the wake of the Battle of Calth, the Word Bearers and the World Eaters Legions launched the Shadow Crusade against the Realm of Ultramar in the hopes of keep the Ultramarines tied down and unable to aid the defence of Terra from the assault of the Warmaster. This campaign saw Titans fighting alongside Space Marine Legions from both sides.
- Battle of Armatura (ca. 007.M31) - During the Battle of Armatura, Legio Audax Warhound-class Titans stalked Legio Lysanda Titans at the behest of the World Eaters.
- Battle of Nuceria (ca. 008.M31) - The Legio Audax found themselves following the Word Bearers and World Eaters upon Nuceria, homeworld of the Primarch Angron. Enraged by the lies that had been told about him over the last century by the ruling class of his former homeworld, namely that he had cowardly fled the world and let his former army of gladiators be massacred in his stead, Angron ordered his Legion to kill everyone in the planet's capital city of Desh'ea, the masters of which had once claimed to own him. Then they were to kill everyone on the planet. At the height of the final battle against the last city on Nuceria, Word Bearers Primarch Lorgar was confronted by his wrathful brother Roboute Guilliman, who had been chasing him and the XII Legion since the destruction of Calth. Guilliman and the Ultramarines failed to defeat the Traitors and the world of Nuceria was utterly devastated as Angron achieved apotheosis with the aid of Lorgar, and was transformed into a Daemon Prince of Khorne.
- Crusade of Iron (008-010.M31) - In response to the Traitor Legions' assault across the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar during the Battle of Calth and the Shadow Crusade, the Loyalists within the region declared the Crusade of Iron. Spearheaded by the Titans of the Legio Praesagius, they led their allies from the Legio Oberon, Legio Lysanda and dozens of Imperial Knight households to isolate the Traitor forces and slaughter them piecemeal. The Legio Audax, alongside their allies from the Legio Infernus and Legio Mordaxis, took part in a number of notable campaigns against the Loyalists during this particular crusade.
- Doom at Bormina (ca. 008.M31) - As this campaign unfolded in the southern region of Ultramar, the Legio Praesagius had its first taste of battle since the battle for the city of Ithraca on Calth. In the rain-drenched warrens of the macro-jungles, the Loyalists faced the Legio Audax's wolf packs, the close tangle of the world favouring the smaller Titans of the Ember Wolves. Here House Orhlacc shone, its Nobles bringing the battle to the Ember Wolves in the green hell of Bormina, their Knights able to dart among the roots of the great jungle trees and go places even the savage Legio Audax's Warhounds could not follow.
- Ambush on Espandor - War for the Agri-Sprawl (ca. 008.M31) - In the wake of the conflict on Ulixis during the Crusade of Iron, the Loyalists sought to press the advantage, working to divide the Traitors in order to more efficiently dismantle their strength. When word reached the Legio Praesagius of a gathering invasion intended to seize the Agri-world of Espandor, the Loyalists laid plans to intercept the Traitor efforts, focusing their forces on the Boreaus Agri-sprawl, a heavily developed area containing a maze of feed-towers and macro-granaries that would serve to negate the numerical advantage of the Traitors. Though only a handful of Titans from the Legio Praesagius could be mustered, they were supported by several maniples from the Legio Oberon, alongside dedicated companies of both Titan Killer infantry and super-heavy tanks. Amongst their number stood the Psi-Titan Occedentalis-Damysus, the Warlord-Sinister Titan lending its support to Princeps Ultima Dae Vergos' forces for reasons known only to its Preceptor-Intendant. Having marshalled their forces, the Loyalists hoped to spring a devastating ambush on the approaching Traitor force, consisting of Titans drawn from both the Legio Audax and the Legio Suturvora. Though Vergos had constructed her plan with meticulous detail, she could not account for the powers to which the Traitors now bowed. The Occedentalis-Damysus, tasked with striking the opening blow against the Traitors, found its talent stifled by the forces the Traitors employed. With the Psi-Titan brought low by packs of Legio Audax Warhounds hiding amongst the very buildings Vergos sought to use against the Traitors, the Loyalists were forced onto the back foot. In an effort to secure victory, Vergos ordered her forces into the city in order to limit the numerical advantage of the Traitors, drawing them into a bitter, close-quarters fight. Amid the devastating crossfire, the protective storm-coils surrounding Boreaus were hit repeatedly, dozens toppling in flames. Without the coils to hold it back, the storm raced in to cover the city. In the gloom, rain and flashing lightning, the two sides met with a mighty crash, like gods of old fighting over the fate of Mankind. Filled with battle rage, Vergos bulled her way toward the Traitors' commander -- Princeps Tesarius Orcan Rex, and his Warbringer Titan God Hammer -- leaving savaged enemies in her wake, and destroyed God Hammer by squeezing its head into scrap with its power claw. Her rage receding, Vergos realised that, despite the death of Orcan, her force was still badly outmatched. Vox messengers were coming in from orbit, the Loyalist fleet was heavily engaged and calling for retreat, and reluctantly Vergos had to comply. Yet someone had to stay and cover the withdrawal -- and for this task the Legio Oberon stepped forward. Its Titans accepted their fate willingly to save Dae Vergos and the remaining True Messengers. For their princeps it was a chance to repay a debt owed since the battle at Ithraca on Calth, where they could not save their allies from the Traitors' surprise assault on the voidport. As the Legio Praesagius drop-craft made for orbit and their waiting fleet, the last communication from the surface was from the Legio Oberon maniples striding into the teeth of the enemy's guns, their vox blaring with a single repeated phrase: "For Ithraca!"
- Last Stand on Absolom (Unknown Date.M31) - Having clashed repeatedly with the Legio Audax, the Legio Castigatra retreated to the world of Absolom in the Gorgonopsii Maestrale region of space. As the Horus Heresy raged across the galaxy, this world soon fell prey invading forces of the Dark Mechanicum, who proceeded to turn the planet into a battleground. Loyalist Mechanicum forces stood defiantly against the Traitor forces, with Titans from the Legio Catigatra, Skitarii and Taghmata forces fought against the traitor Titans of the Legio Audax and traitor Ordo Reductor. During the height of the battle, the Loyalist Legio Castigatra Warmonger-class Titan Tantorus Magnificat led an assault through a Traitor-occupied hive city. During the fierce fighting that followed, Princeps Balthus Voltemand of the Legio Audax and his Warhound Titans brought down the larger Titan through the use of his Legion's dishonourable wolf pack tactics. The pack harpooned the larger Titan with their dreaded Ursus Claws and pulled it to the ground, like a pack of hyenas assaulting a lion. After the Warmonger Titan was brought down, a Traitor Thallax cohort boarded the fallen Titan with the intent to capture it intact. However, the Loyalist crew refused to let the Traitors have their prize, and instead, overloaded their plasma reactor, which caused the larger Titan to suffer a catastrophic meltdown and massive explosion, which wiped out the remaining Legio Audax forces in the immediate area. As a result of the Ember Wolves' actions during the fierce fighting for this strategically insignificant world, the Legio Castigatra suffered heavy casualties.
- War Within the Webway (010.M31) - When the forces of the Warmaster Horus gained access to the Aeldari Webway, several contingents of mortal Chaos forces were deployed in support of the Warmaster's daemonic allies in a great push to attack Terra directly. Supporting an unidentified second Titan Legion, several Warhound Scout Titans of the Legio Audax fought within the confines of the Webway before sacrificing themselves in order to break the wall of the Impossible City during the Siege of Calastar.
Legion Combat Doctrine
Unusually amongst the Titan Legions, the Legio Audax relied solely upon various classes of Scout Titan in the prosecution of war, a practice that saw the Titan Legion develop a reputation as peerless hunters.
Armaments such as Vulcan Mega Bolters, Turbo Lasers, Inferno Cannons and Natrix Shock Lances were common amongst the battle-packs of the Legio Audax, suiting the close-ranged warfare the Ember Wolves were famed for.
In concert with close assault elements of the World Eaters, maniples of Legio Audax Titans would stalk the streets of enemy cities, the greater speed and manoeuvrability offered by their Warhound Titans allowing them to flank enemy contingents and purge them with ruthless efficiency.
The Ursus Claw was a weapon originally designed for use upon the voidships of the World Eaters Legion. Owing to their close association with the XII Legion, the Ember Wolves soon adopted a modified version of the weapon for use on their god-engines, which proved effective in hunting xenos beasts during the Great Crusade.
When the Legio Audax turned against the Imperium, it turned these tactics upon Loyalist Titans, with packs of Warhounds tearing down larger Titans with deadly efficiency.
The Legio Audax became infamous for its prolific use of ambushes utilising Ursus Claws. Their Warhound Titans often strode into battle bedecked with trophies taken from the larger Titans they had felled.
Notable Legion Maniple Configurations
Canis Light Maniple
Better known as a Battle-Pack, the use of Canis Light Maniples was perfected by the Legio Audax. This maniple configuration utilised a Warhound's speed to launch brutal ambushes as they fell upon their Titan prey with unbridled fury.
- Three Warhound Titans
- Two Warhound Titans
Legion Specific Wargear
- Reinforced Plating - The Titans of the Legio Audax are equipped with additional armour plates to somewhat offset the relative lack of armour most Scout Titans possess.
Note: All Legio Audax Titans are Warhound-class Scout Titans unless otherwise indicated.
- Syrgalah (Ember Queen) - Also known as the Ember Queen, the Syrgalah led the Legio Audax in support of the World Eaters and Word Bearers Legions in their attacks on the worlds of Armatura and Nuceria during the Horus Heresy.
- Canis Ignis - A Warhound-class Titan.
- Canis Ulteriax - The Canis Ulteriax was the leading Titan of Battle-Pack Karnassia under the command of Princeps Primus Balthus Voltemand. The Canis Ulteriax was destroyed by the controlled reactor core explosion of the Legio Castigatra Warmonger-class Titan Tantorus Magnificat during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Lupa Laudator - The Lupa laudator was a member of Battle-Pack Karnassia and was destroyed by the Legio Castigatra's Warmonger-class Titan Tantorus Magnificat during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Pugnax Principio - The Pugnax Pricipio was a member of Battle-Pack Karnassia and was crushed underfoot by the Legio Castigatra's Warmonger-class Titan Tantorus Magnificat during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Rapacia Rex - The Rapacia Rex was a member part Battle-Pack Karnassia and was destroyed by the Vulpium Nox during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Rubella Mortem - The Rubella Mortem, also known as the "Red Death" was a member of Battle-Pack Karnassia. The Rubella Mortem had the greatest number of God-engine kills in the pack. The Red Death was Destroyed by Canis Ulteriax s Ursus Claw during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Vulpium Nox - The Vulpium Nox" was a member of Battle-Pack Karnassia that was destroyed by Rubella Mortem 's Turbo-Laser Destructor beam during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Venric Solostine (KIA) - Princeps Ultima of the Legio Audax and princeps of the Command Titan Syrgalah. Slain by a Legio Lysanda Reaver-class Titan during the Battle of Armatura.
- Toth Kol - Moderati Primus of the Command Titan Syrgalah.
- Keeda Bly - Moderati Secundus of the Command Titan Syrgalah.
- The Ninth - Mechanicum Adept of the Command Titan Syrgalah.
- Audac Lyrac - Princeps Penultima of the Legio Audax. After the death of Venric Solostine he became princeps ultima and took control of the Command Titan Syrgalah.
- Balthus Voltemand - The Princeps Primus of Battle-Pack Karnassia, commander of Canis Ulteriax. Killed by the controlled reactor core explosion of the Legio Castigatra Warmonger-class Titan Tantorus Magnificat during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Shenk - Moderati Primus of Canis Ulteriax. Slain by a beam from the Rubella Mortem's Turbo-Laser Destructor during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Kordella - Moderati Secundus of Canis Ulteriax. Killed by the controlled reactor core explosion of Legio Castigatra Warmonger-class Titan Tantorus Magnificat during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Grental Thrax - Princeps of the Rubella Mortem. Killed by a swipe from the Canis Ulteriax 's Ursus Claw during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Haximiliian Bettanquor - Princeps of the Vulpium Nox. Slain by a beam from the Rubella Mortem 's Turbo-Laser Destructor during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Phestalag - Princeps of Pugnax Principio. Crushed underfoot by the Legio Castigatra Warmonger-class Titan Tantorus Magnificat during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
- Tunstall Haulk - Princeps of Rapacia Rex, one of Thrax's close allies. Killed by the Vulpium Nox during the battle for Gorgonopsii Maestrale.
Each of the Legion's Titans is bulkier from additional armour plating and wears a head of dark metal, resembling a wolf or jackal baring it's teeth.
This Traitor Titan Legion's colours are dark red trimmed with iron, decorated with embers and cracked lava designs.
This Traitor Titan Legion's badge is not listed in current Imperial records.
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Rulebook (Specialty Game), pp. 14-17
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Shadow and Iron (Specialty Game), pp. 8-10, 12, 26, 37-39
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 38-59, 86, 96, 101
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 258
- The Horus Heresy - Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 103-125
- Betrayer (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Master of Mankind (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, pg. 268
- The Ember Wolves (Short Story) by Rob Sanders
- Heralds of the Siege (Anthology) edited by Nick Kyme and Laurie Goulding, "The Ember Wolves" by Rob Sanders, pp. 80-99
- Warhammer Community - Shadow & Iron Crusades of Vengeance (05 Feb 2020)