The Legio Crucius ("Warmongers") is a Loyalist Titan Legion of the Collegia Titanica, one of the military arms of the Adeptus Mechanicus. This Titan Legion is known to have been founded before the Great Crusade, most likely during the tumultuous era called the Age of Strife.
This Titan Legion has its great perceptory and base of operations at Ryza, a major Forge World within the Segmentum Ultima. Ryza is renowned for the manufacture of Plasma Reactor and magnetic containment field technology. The arts and sophistication of this Forge World is claimed by some to be second only to that of Mars itself.
It is then unsurprising that the Legio Crucius, whose associations with Ryza are said to predate the Great Crusade, is renowned as one of the most well-equipped Titan Legions in Imperial service, and sufficient in number to provide garrison forces for several smaller outlying Forge Worlds and Adeptus Mechanicus outposts whose magi maintain fealty or alliance to Ryza and its masters.
At some point in its history, Ryza was unsuccessfully invaded by Ork WAAAGH! Grax, and the greenskins have continued to threaten this vital Forge World in the 41st Millennium, mounting two more invasions -- the latter of which is still ongoing.
As the green tide sweeps over Ryza, once more the god machines of the Legio Crucius walk to protect their homeworld, supported by Astra Militarum regiments sent to aid the world and by entire armies of Leman Russ Executioner tanks driven straight from the factories into the maelstrom.
The mighty weapons of the Adeptus Mechanicus light the horizon with their fury, and yet still the Orks advance.
Located with the Ultima Segmentum, its position was secured by both its raw manufacturing power and its tactical location, which lent great aid to the Great Crusade's efforts to expand towards the galactic east.
Above all else, Ryza possessed both unparalleled expertise in the engineering and production of plasma technology and a Titan Legion which, at its zenith, rivalled the power of the original three Titan Legions of Mars' Triad Ferrum Morgulus in size and strength.
The history of Ryza before the coming of the Imperium is well-documented, for its archivist-magi were supremely diligent in their work. Though the Age of Strife had brought many trials to Ryza and its people, they had weathered them all and emerged from the other side greater for it.
In the centuries following the colonisation of Ryza, a sect of the ancient Mechanicum quickly grew in power, becoming known as the Omnissiah Igvita, literally the "Life Blood of the Omnissiah."
It was the Igvita that drove the planet's focus towards plasma technology, believing that plasma was the lifeblood of the Omnissiah Himself and, through its usage, the people of Ryza were bestowed a measure of His power.
In time, the Omnissiah Igvita became ingrained within the culture of Ryza with many of the sect's most ardent followers modifying their forms to incorporate some measure of plasma technology.
By the time of Ryza's rediscovery, the Forge World had built an empire that spanned numerous star systems and the Omnissiah Igvita was hailed as the primary motive force behind such glory.
No more evident is the influence of the sect than in the initial communiqués dispatched by Imperial emissaries sent to Ryza upon first contact, with one delegate noting in her report that "Their passion burns hotter than a furnace...like many of their ilk, they are esoteric and strange, none more so than those that have shackled the stars within their hearts".
Thus was born the title "The Furnace of Shackled Stars", an honorific that has held to this day.
Though agreement between the Imperium and Ryza was reached with little issue, there were those amongst the Cult Mechanicus, especially within sects native to the Red Planet, who noted with much trepidation the substantial resources and knowledge Ryza claimed as its own.
Attempts to allay those suspicions, in the form of shared schematics for improved plasma drives and other similar innovations, were only partially successful for, like all Forge Worlds, Ryza hoarded its most precious knowledge, shielding it from the prying eyes of outsiders.
Compared to their contemporaries, the majority of Legio Crucius Titans were fresh from the forges. These Titans enjoyed the benefits of systems that had not faced the excesses of plasma overloads or countless combat repairs, and so fared better in those critical first moments of an engagement between god-engines.
Concerns escalated as the Great Crusade progressed, for the strength of the Legio Crucius continued to expand, fuelled by the extensive manufacturing capacity of Ryza. Indeed, the strength of the Legio Crucius was not contained solely to Ryza and the Warmongers eagerly sought out new worlds over which they could claim feudal rights.
So it was that, by the outbreak of the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium, the Legio Crucius had laid claim to nearly two dozen outposts, each representing a significant forge-fortress garrisoned by a dedicated battlegroup of god-engines tasked with the defence and prosperity of their charge.
While suspicions towards Ryza's growing power no doubt stemmed, at least in part, from a desire to control the Furnace of Shackled Stars and its resources, in hindsight, there was some validity in them.
Amongst the expeditionary fleets in which they served, the Legio Crucius were famed as planners and forward thinkers, renowned even among the exacting war-logic of the Mechanicum for their prowess in strategy and contingency planning.
Having observed the methods enacted by Forge Worlds such as Phaeton to avoid the displeasure of Mars, and the anger such a move generated in response, it became evident to many amongst the Legio Crucius that a time would come when a new war might be waged; a war between Titans.
The expansion of the Legio Crucius was, in part, a direct reaction to such a notion. As outposts of Legio Crucius sprung up across the galaxy, under pretence of protecting vital worlds and lending the strength of Ryza to those less able, each was instilled with a directive to ensure that, should a great darkness befall Mankind, the Legio would live on.
This forethought did much to preserve the Legio Crucius' strength during the Horus Heresy. On a handful of worlds, including Molech, battlegroups of the Warmongers fell victim to the Warmaster Horus' wrath and, though the loss of even a handful of Titans was a keen blow to any Titan Legion, the greater strength of Legio Crucius was not harmed by such injuries.
Perhaps the greatest threat to the continued prosperity of Legio Crucius came during the Defence of Ryza, when the Warmaster's allies descended upon the Forge World intent upon claiming it as their own. Though the Horus Heresy was far greater in scope than even the most dire of predictions, a contingency plan designed to combat a direct assault upon Ryza had been enacted.
Following directives issued to them solar decades before, those outposts closest to Ryza were abandoned, each one's personnel journeying to the Forge World. More distant garrisons remained where they were, preserving their corner of the galaxy in acknowledgement of the fact that, should Ryza fall, others must continue its legacy.
When the Traitors were thrown back from the Forge World, the Legio Crucius was much diminished yet stood far from powerless, and what strength remained departed to the stars in pursuit of the invaders and in search of surviving pockets of Warmonger elements.
Following the fall of the Warmaster, much of the Legio Crucius had been reconnected and it was clear that though the war against Chaos remained far from over, the foresight of the Legio's masters had proved enough to preserve them for millennia to come.
- Schism of Mars (005-006.M31) - The Schism of Mars was the deadly civil war that erupted on Mars between the Loyalist factions of the ancient Mechanicum and the Traitors of the Dark Mechanicum during the early days of the broader interstellar civil war in 005.M31 between the Imperium of Man and the forces of Chaos loyal to the Warmaster Horus. This great conflagration between opposing Mechanicum forces mirrored the larger conflict that consumed the galaxy during what became known as the Horus Heresy.
- Battle of Molech (009.M31) - Molech was a Knight World ruled over by House Devine ever since the Emperor Himself led an expedition to bring it into the fledgling Imperium and left a significant garrison there. The planet thrived under the rule of Devine, the populace of its capital city of Lupercalia never knowing the true reason why the Emperor had taken it upon Himself to lead the force that claimed it. Unfortunately for the citizens of Molech, the Traitor Horus knew exactly what lay beneath the city that had been named in his honour -- a Warp Gate which, it was said, had allowed the Emperor to convene with the Ruinous Powers themselves. When Loyalist forces became aware of the Traitor fleet's approach, they mustered at Molech. As well as a trio of Titan Legions -- the Legio Gryphonicus, Legio Crucius, and Legio Fortidus -- there were elements of each of the Imperium's fighting forces, including nearly a dozen Knight Houses which owed fealty to Devine. The Traitor force was equally impressive, featuring no fewer than four Titan Legions: the Legio Vulpa, Legio Interfector, Legio Vulcanum I, and the infamous Legio Mortis. As the Warmaster unleashed a massive coordinated assault, the planet's defenders were thrown into disarray when the Plasma Reactor of an Imperator-class Titan, Paragon of Terra, was destroyed. Thousands of Loyalists were immolated in a blinding flash as a miniature sun erupted from the Titan's core to leave a smoking crater half a Terran mile wide. In the wake of the catastrophic blast, the spearhead of Traitor Titans marched through the gap in the Imperial lines. At the height of the battle, House Devine revealed its true allegiance to the Warmaster, its treachery unveiled at a pivotal moment, heralding a slaughter from which only a handful of Loyalists escaped. Caught between the treacherous Knights of House Devine and Horus' rampant forces, the shattered remnants of Molech's defenders were slaughtered without mercy. They were totally defeated, so brutally that only one in a hundred of the troops of the Imperial Army survived the campaign. After his passage through the portal into the Realm of Chaos, Horus won the full blessing of the Ruinous Powers as their champion. His drive on Terra seemed unstoppable.
- Defence of Ryza (013.M31) - During the Horus Heresy, a great battle took place on the Legio Crucius' home Forge World known as the Defence of Ryza. Forces of the Dark Mechanicum, led by the Traitor Titan Legions and their Chaos Knight allies fought against the Loyalist servants of the Omnissiah. Countless Titans and Knights fell on both sides. Eventually, the Loyalists were able to drive back the Traitors, only to be bombarded by a Chaos Warfleet from orbit. There was little to celebrate, as the guardians of Ryza tasted pyrrhic victory, and the world never recovered the prominence it had known as a true rival to Mars before the Heresy.
- Defence of Kado (Unknown Date.M41) - Titans of the Legio Crucius are known to have participated in the defence of the Hive World of Kado from the predations of a massive daemonic incursion. The god machines of the Legion suffered grave losses in the defence of a certain hive city, the name of which is now lost in Imperial records. As the Titans fired upon the advancing hordes of Chaos, felling hundreds upon hundreds of daemons and Heretics, a large force of Slaaneshi Daemon Knights infiltrated the hive city's massive subterranean transportation network. As the battle raged above them, the Chaos walkers sped through the dimly lit tunnels and corridors, quickly obliterating any resistance they encountered. On the second day of the hive city's siege the Daemon Knights emerged from beneath the ground and burst into the main streets and arcades of the city, finding themselves behind the Titans of the Legio Crucius, and within firing distance. With a single massed salvo from the Daemon Knights' Thermal Lances, nearly the entire Loyalist Titan battlegroup was destroyed, the august forms of the Titans turned into molten slag. Amongst the victims of this attack was the colossal Praeco Deictus, an Imperator-class Titan which had survived the grim days of the Horus Heresy and brought victory to the Imperium on over a thousand worlds.
- Badab War (912-913.M41) - The Chapter Master of the Astral Claws, Lufgt Huron, the "Tyrant of Badab," sought to have the Badab Sector secede from the Imperium of Man in protest against the Imperium's continued attempts to use the resources of the Badab Sector outside the region rather than dedicating them fully to the defeat of the forces of Chaos and xenos threats that emerged constantly in the Maelstrom Zone. This major rebellion involved several Space Marine Chapters who turned Renegade and sided with the Tyrant in his mad cause. The world of Angstrom was a highly militant minor Forge World containing a significantly independent Adeptus Mechanicus presence situated at the edge of the Maelstrom Zone, and by this web of kinship the Legio Crucius became involved in the Badab War's savage closing battles. The Legio Crucius forces deployed to the siege of Badab Primaris itself, comprised of three full maniples of Titans, some fifteen war machines in all, commanded by the Warlord-class Titan Hell's Daughter and the High Princeps Cadmon Krom. The Titans' principal task in the battle was to smash heavy defence points in Badab Primaris' hive cities and industrial zones and crush major pockets of resistance where encountered, a mission they undertook with great relish, fully living up to their Legion's long-standing reputation as savage city-breakers and world burners. The Legio Crucius accounted for untold casualties and devastated the remaining Secessionist heavy armoured forces. The Legion suffered only three losses during the engagement despite the heavy resistance they encountered, and managed to recover all but one of their wrecked Titans in the anarchic retreat from the planet.
- WAAAGH! Grax and the Battle of Ryza (925.M41) - In 925.M41 Ryza was unsuccessfully invaded by the Ork WAAAGH! Grax, and the greenskins continued to threaten this vital Forge World in the last days of the 41st Millenium. Foreshadowing what would happen if Ryza were to fall, the factory world of Proctus Prime has been conquered and its Human populace enslaved to produce weapons for the Orks. After a series of battles, the Battlewagon battalions have overtaken the world of Hybernia and its invaluable promethium mines. Many other worlds in the sector surrounding Ryza have also fallen to the Orks during their drive on the Forge World. As the green tide swept over Ryza, once more the god machines of the Legio Crucius moved to protect their homeworld, supported by Astra Militarum regiments sent to the aid of the world and entire armies of Leman Russ Executioner tanks taken straight from the world's manufactoria to the battlefield. The mighty weapons of the Adeptus Mechanicus lit the horizon with their fury, and yet still the Orks advanced. The Ork invasion of Ryza became a gruelling war of attrition that lasted almost forty standard years. The Orks eventually fell into disarray after the death of the Warlord Grax at the hands of the Warlord-class Titan Pugnus Vindictae. After the loss of their warlord the greenskins began to fight among themselves, making it a simple task for the Mechanicus forces on Ryza to wipe them out.
- Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka launched a second and even more massive Ork WAAAGH! to conquer the Imperial world of Armageddon in 998.M41. During a ten-day battle that raged over the Diabolus manufactorum complex and proved to be one of the most fierce of the Third War for Armageddon, Titans from the Legio Crucius engaged the Gargants of the Warlords Burzuruk and Skarfang. Six Titans and eight Gargants were utterly destroyed in the fighting and many others needed solar months of repairs before they could fight again. The Diabolus complex was wrecked during the battle, its foundries and machine shops blasted apart or crushed underfoot by giant fighting machines.
Legion Specific Wargear
- Plasma Weaponry - The tech-priests of Ryza are keepers of ancient plasma technologies and the secrets of their creation. Sunfury weaponry, plasma reactors and venting systems produced on Ryza are rightly prized by countless Legio, though as with all things, the Ryzan Mechanicum keep back the best examples for themselves.
- Terminus Override Mechanisms - Some Legio Crucius Titans employed ancient terminus override systems for their Titans. These complex devices could read the mood of an unruly plasma reactor, detecting changes invisible even to the princeps and protecting the Titan against sudden overloads or devastating power spikes.
- Bi-Folded Power Containment - Ryzan Titan weapons often employed cunning bi-folded power containment chambers to mitigate the effects on the reactor of particularly energy hungry weapons such as Sunfury Plasma Annihilators and Volcano Cannons, though, as with all such Imperial plasma mechanisms, they were never completely reliable.
- Paragon of Terra (Imperator-class Titan) - The Paragon of Terra was an Imperator-class Titan of the Legio Crucius under the command of the Princeps Magnus Etana Kalonice, and it served as the key element of the Loyalists' defence during the Battle of Molech. The Paragon of Terra was destroyed by the treacherous Renegade Knights of House Devine.
- Praeco Deictus (Imperator-class Titan) - A formidable Imperator-class Titan which had survived the grim days of the Horus Heresy and had won countless victories on thousands of worlds for the Imperium. The Praeco Deictus was destroyed, along with other Titans of the Legio Crucius, defending the Hive World of Kado from the forces of Chaos. During the fighting, a hundred Slaanesh Hell-Knights infiltrated the main hive city and emerged to attack the Emperor Titan from the rear where it was most vulnerable, turning it into a pile of molten slag.
- Deus Praesitor (Warlord-class Titan) - Deus Praesitor was a Warlord-class Titan that took part in the Battle of Molech. Buried underneath the ruins of the Iron Fist Mountain, the Deus Praesitor used its Arioch Power Claw to dig itself from the rubble, and engage the Traitor Legions in close combat in an effort to avenge the wrong wrought against their Legion, both on Molech and across the galaxy.
- Hell's Daughter (Warlord-class Titan) - This Titan was commanded by High Princeps Cadmon Krom during the final Loyalist assault on Badab Primaris during the Badab War.
- Pugnus Vindictae (Warlord-class Titan) - The Pugnus Vindictae was the Titan who killed the Ork Warlord Grax and brought an end to the assault of WAAAGH! Grax upon Ryza in the late 41st Millennium after forty standard years of conflict. With their Warlord dead, the tribes of the WAAAAGH! fell into the infighting endemic to the greenskin race and their assault was quickly crushed by the Mechanicus forces on Ryza.
- Astramos Mortis Æternem (Reaver-class Titan) - A Battle Titan of the Legio Crucius, during the Great Crusade era the Astramos Mortis Æternem was often employed as a shield breaker and area deterrent. A favoured tactic of the Legio Crucius against more cautious foes was to create a no-man's land with a screen of Reavers that tore apart any who dared venture close and subjected those who stayed back to bombardments from supporting Warlords. The Astramos Mortis Æternem would survive the dark days of the Horus Heresy and go on to serve the Legion into the 41st Millennium. It also served during the Badab War.
- Primus Secutar (Reaver-class Titan) - A Battle Titan of the Legio Crucius which took part in the Badab War.
- Black Strider (Warhound-class Titan) - A Warhound Titan of the Legio Crucius which took part in the Badab War.
- Blood of Caldos (Warhound-class Titan) - A Warhound Titan of the Legio Crucius which took part in the Badab War.
- Wolfshead (Warhound-class Titan) - A Warhound Titan of the Legio Crucius which took part in the Badab War.
- High Princeps Cadmon Krom - Krom was the high princeps of the Legio Crucius during the Badab War. He personally led the final attack of three full maniples of Titans, comprised of 15 god machines, during the Imperial siege of Badab Primaris.
- House Devine
- House Donar
- House Indra
- House Kaska
- House Kaushik
- House Mamaragon
- House Sidus
- House Tazkhar
Officially, according to records supplied by Ryza, the strength of the Legio Crucius sat at 152 god-engines a solar decade before the Horus Heresy began. Subsequent events, such as the emergence of House Sidus, throw doubts upon this number as, if suspicions are correct, Ryza concealed a measure of its strength from all outside their domain.
Attempts to further clarify the total strength of the Legio Crucius have proven difficult and require data collated from multiple sources of varying objectivity; of the 17 confirmed outposts dedicated to Legio Crucius, at least 57 god-engines were recorded as part of their garrisons, yet a total of 36 god-engines are recorded to have been garrisoned upon Ryza at the same time and a further 82 in active service upon expeditionary fleets, giving a number above the recorded total.
Further confusion of total strength is added when one considers the emergence of Warmaster-class Titans from many Forge Worlds during the days of the Horus Heresy, of which at least two are now known to have been in service to the Legio Crucius.
It should, therefore, suffice to say that the official count is conservative at best and, in a move no doubt intended to hide the true strength and location of all of its god-engines, a not inconsiderate number of Legio Crucius Titans were concealed from the gaze of others.
The last piece of data that should be considered is the recorded number a solar decade after the Horus Heresy ended, placing the remaining strength of the Legio Crucius at 74 god-engines, a number significantly smaller than even the most conservative of pre-Heresy estimates.
The colours of the Legio Crucius are black and white.
The Legion badge of the Legio Crucius is a black gauntlet curled into a fist, superimposed over an Adeptus Mechanicus gear.
A white letter "T" representing the identifier for the Collegia Titanica is located on the back of the gauntlet.
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Rulebook (Specialty Game), pg. 15
- Adeptus Titanicus - Doom of Molech (Specialty Game), pp. 7-11, 13, 17-19, 66-68, 75
- Adeptus Titanicus: The Defence of Ryza (Specialty Game), pp. 6, 8-9, 22-27, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80
- Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (8th Edition), pg. 21
- Imperial Armour Volume One, pg. 8
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Second Edition, "Principal Forge Worlds of the Imperium," pg. 10
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 43, 45, 49-51
- Imperial Knights (6th Edition), "A Legacy of Honour - The Ancient Tiomes"
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 202
- White Dwarf 457 (Oct 2020), "The Ultimate Guide to the Titan Legions"
- White Dwarf 454 (May-June 2020), "Index Xenos - Goff Orks," pg. 20
- White Dwarf Monthly (May 2018), "Scions of the Furnace," pg. 45
- White Dwarf 190 (UK), "Epic: Slaanesh War Machines", pg. 29
- White Dwarf 142 (UK), pg. 34
- Vengeful Spirit (Novel) by Graham McNeill, Ch. 13
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign
- Warhammer Community - The Defence of Ryza: The Story (23 Jul 2020)
- Warhammer Community - The Defence of Ryza: Your First Look (31 Mar 2020)
- Warhammer Community - Revealed at GAMA! (10 Mar 2020)
- Warhammer Community - What is the Battle of Molech?" (18 Apr 2019)
- Warhammer Community - Doom of Molech: What's In the Book (16 Apr 2019)