"There can be no greater hatred than the one reserved for traitors to your own kind. They are just like us, except in every way that matters."
- — Princeps Ultima Dae Vergos, Legio Praesagius, during the Crusade of Iron.
The Legio Praesagius, ("True Messengers"), is a Loyalist Titan Legion of the Collegia Titanica. The Legio is foremost known for its venerable status, being amongst the most ancient Legios of the Collegia Titanica still in existence.
Most of its god-engines that participated in the Great Crusade seemed to have survived the terrors of the Age of Strife, and only very few Titans have been commissioned since its reunification with the Imperium.
The True Messengers are long-standing allies of the Ultramarines Legion with whom they have fought before. This naturally led to their nomination to serve alongside the XIIIth Legion at the great muster at Calth at the end of the Great Crusade, per the Warmaster Horus' orders.
In the aftermath of the fighting on Calth, a mere dozen Titans, with only three of these being Battle Titans bestowed on the Legio at its founding, were all that remained of the once proud Legio Praesagius.
It would take many solar decades to rebuild the True Messengers into a viable Titan Legion once again.
- 1 Legion History
- 2 Legion Combat Doctrine
- 3 Legion Traits
- 4 Notable Legion Maniple Configurations
- 5 Notable Titans
- 6 Notable Personnel
- 7 Legion Allies
- 8 Legion Strength
- 9 Legion Appearance
- 10 Sources
- 11 Gallery
The personnel of the Legio Praesagius were noble champions of the Imperium, masters of a host of god-engines of cataclysmic power which sought not only to destroy, but to inspire through pageantry, pomp and ceremony. Bedecked in secular finery, the Titans of the Legio Praesagius were an enduring symbol of the righteous cause of the Great Crusade.
Its Titan crews fought with a strict chivalric honour code which forbade the indiscriminate use of ordinance and collateral slaughter of Human life, which they saw as unbefitting a true god-engine, instead favouring the precision duelling of individual Titans with worthy opponents.
Through this method of warfare did the Legio Praesagius seek to leave a functional realm in their wake, its cities intact and its peoples prosperous.
Given patent on Mars at the outset of the Great Crusade, the Legio Praesagius was one of the many Titan Legions born to support the Imperium's expansion. Scions of the storied and ancient Legio Gryphonicus, the Legio Praesagius was provided at their founding with a large complement of Battle Titans, and were thus destined from their inception to become one of the grandest of the Titan Legions.
They would walk time and again throughout the Great Crusade, forging their reputation not as brutes prone to indiscriminate destruction, but as warriors of precision who treated their allies with consideration and compassion, not as a currency to be spent in the brutality of war.
Valuable for its prodigious manufactoria and its many ancient and long-forgotten remnants of Mankind's earliest golden days amongst the stars, Tentrion's Human populace refused to yield their hegemony to the rule of the Emperor.
Reports prepared by the most lauded of tacticians stated that the expected war against Tentrion would cost the Great Crusade millions of lives, exhaust its burgeoning resources and momentum and ravage the worlds of Tentrion beyond hope of repair. Were it not for the actions of the Legio Praesagius, the Great Crusade may have floundered in its first moments.
When dispatched, the Terran War Council expected the Legio to inspire fear by bellowing fiery destruction upon the great cities of Tentrion. Instead, the Legio's commanding grand master, Bohemond, and the other Titans of his maniple took to the field alone, far from the populous cities, and there laid a challenge of single combat at the feet of the mightiest war machines of Tentrion.
After five solar days of arduous duelling with the mighty guncrawlers of Tentrion, the Legio Praesagius stood victorious, proving its prowess and the Imperium's noble intent in a statement of supremacy which awed the denizens of Tentrion peacefully into the fold of Imperial Compliance.
The Emperor Himself honoured the Legio Praesagius after this incredible feat. For their courage and skill in turning an unfathomably costly siege into a grand and swift victory, He named them "the truest messengers of His grand intent," a cognomen they proudly adopted forevermore as the True Messengers.
Tentrion was but the first of a long roll of prestigious honours won by the Legio Praesagius. Other hard-fought battles followed as the True Messengers found themselves assigned to the vanguard of a number of expeditionary fleets, often fighting alongside the XVIIth and XIIIth Legiones Astartes (Word Bearers and Ultramarines, respectively).
In many campaigns they found themselves summoned to battles others had dubbed impossible, called upon to champion the armies of the Great Crusade and to bolster flagging morale.
Amidst the howling dust wastes of Akeron Cards and the towering cities of Benthur, they fought with stoic pride and utter devotion to the cause of the fledgling Imperium, and paid a high price in blood and the precious Battle Titans that were the soul of the Titan Legion to achieve victory.
On other worlds, where true victory required that the target, be it a single city or an entire world, be captured with a minimum of destruction, the renowned skill of the True Messengers' moderati and the discipline of its princeps ensured time and again that the Imperium secured vital factory worlds nearly intact, a crucial objective were its far-flung fleets to remain supplied with the munitions of war they required.
Renowned for the fervour with which the Titan Legion accepted the doctrine of the Imperial Truth, and indeed for many of those who fought in the Great Crusade alongside it, the Titans of the Legio Praesagius, bedecked in all the secular finery of the Emperor's grand vision, remained its most enduring symbol.
The True Messengers became well-known throughout the Great Crusade, becoming the envy of many of their brother Legios. These rivals cursed them as cowards unable to face the realities of war; they accused the True Messengers of taking little risk and making few sacrifices for the Imperium, instead winning victories with showmanship and trickery to earn unjust accolades.
Indeed, it could be said of the Legio Praesagius that they haughtily would not engage a foe if they could not do so without causing collateral damage, and would simply withdraw from the field if massed infantry were utilised by the enemy.
While their detractors would decry such actions as timidity, the Titan Legion's own battle reports show that they honourably refused to be the cause of massed, casual slaughter.
The True Messengers did not deliver merely the burned and broken corpses of worlds into the burgeoning Imperium, but functional realms, ready to contribute to the great empire they now served.
In this they were considered by many superior to others of their like, who knew only the utter destruction of those they came to conquer. Sworn into the Emperor's service as avatars of His justice and of the ancient Mechanicum's commitment to the Great Crusade, the Legio Praesagius has ever borne a far greater burden than any other Orders of the Collegia Titanica.
Where others of its kin served simply as engines of destruction, killers of cities and burners of worlds, the Legio Praesagius held itself to higher standards. Simple destruction was but one facet, and to many within the Titan Legion the least desirable one: their task was not to destroy Humanity, but to unite it beneath one empire.
To this end, the warriors of the Legio Praesagius sought by their actions, conduct and presence to champion the future of the Imperium. In war they fought as honourable warriors, following a code which forbade the indiscriminate deployment of ordnance in populated areas and encouraged a tradition of duelling with enemy Titan class war engines, and long-range precision engagements.
In peace they personified the technological achievement and pageantry of the newborn Imperium that was being forged among the stars, serving as a rallying point for those who pledged themselves to the future envisioned by the Emperor.
Venerable and ancient Legios with much political influence, such as the Legio Mortis and Legio Suturvora, came to hate proud Praesagius in time, for though they were larger and equally successful, they were not vaunted gloriously but rather haunted by rumour of unnecessary massacre and marred by a dark hunger for bloody atrocity.
The petitioning and auspices of the princeps of these jealous Legios saw the Legio Praesagius pitched time and again into awful conflicts every bit as mired in terror and brutality as any that the Collegia Titanica encountered.
Through the political auspices of both the Legio Mortis and Legio Suturvora, and the magi on Mars and beyond who championed their cause, the Legio Praesagius found themselves increasingly pitched into the forefront of the most brutal conflicts of the Great Crusade with little support.
While the True Messengers emerged victorious again and again, the toll on them was terrible. Though they were undaunted and emerged victorious from these awful wars, attrition wore away at the strength of the noble Legio, until they were no longer of sufficient strength to remain at the tip of the spear of the Great Crusade.
By the dawning of the 31st Millennium the True Messengers had been crippled by the continuing pace of their deployment, reduced to a third of their strngth by casualties and with many of their surviving Titans unable to take to the field due to damage.
Though the reputation of the Titan Legion remained intact, it could ill-afford to remain at the tip of the spear of troops and machines that was the Great Crusade.
Hope was not lost, however, for in recognition of the Legio Praesagius' noble bearing and history of service with distinction, Roboute Guilliman, primarch of the Ultramarines, invited the Legio to take up a new home within his realm of Ultramar on the Forge World of Gantz, an honour which the Legio accepted with solemn dignity.
However, the Legio Praesagius did not tarry long upon their Warden world, staying only long enough to regroup and re-supply before demi-Legio forces were dispatched to the many border worlds of Ultramar.
Ever the crusaders, the Legio Praesagius were entrusted with the scouring of the shadows at the edges of Ultramar, such that many more worlds could come under its banner and be equally prosperous given time.
For seven Terran years the bulk of the Legio Praesagius was to remain on Gantz, both as a sentinel force to protect the growing forge cities and to rebuild and repair their damaged god-machines.
The True Messengers were not idle in this time however, for Ultramar yet remained a border realm, ever ready for attack and still expanding its reach. Though it could not yet muster in full force, it was rare for an Ultramarines task force to leave Ultramar on campaign without at least a maniple of the True Messengers in support, and many worlds of Guilliman's realm were to host demi-Legio forces during times of crisis.
The worlds of Magniat and Orizus were both brought into Ultramar at the point of Legio Praesagius cannon, and the Hrud migrations which threatened Prandium in 005.M31 were only repulsed by the efforts of their Titans and veteran crews.
By mid-006.M31, the Legio Praesagius was once again at full strength, now fully entrenched as wardens of the growing and prosperous forges of Gantz and renowned throughout Ultramar for their valour.
At the dawn of the Horus Heresy, the might of Praesagius was called to war to help counter the growing Ork threat at Ghaslakh. The True Messengers assembled for their first full-Legio deployment in solar decades.
Mustering on Calth in a grand procession as they embarked upon their landing craft, they were betrayed by the Word Bearers Space Marines. Caught unawares, the majority of the Legio Praesagius was ruthlessly destroyed in the opening salvo of treachery, as their dropships were blasted from near-orbit and their parade-ready Titans were ambushed by their erstwhile allies amongst the treacherous Legio Suturvora.
It is a testament to the courage and discipline of the Legio Praesagius that, faced with such shocking catastrophe and brutal losses, they succumbed neither to panic nor disarray in the face of the onslaught.
Those of the True Messengers who remained active after the initial storm of firepower quickly recovered and mounted vital counter-attacks in support of the Ultramarines and Imperial Army regiments on Calth.
Though they were diminished, the Legio fought bravely to the last in the hell-haunted ruins of Ithraca City as Calth's star died, ravaging the planet below. Every Titan of the Legio Praesagius on Calth sacrificed themselves in battle against the Legio Suturvora, allowing other loyal survivors to seek shelter and live to fight another day.
When news reached Gantz of the betrayal at Calth, the remainder of the True Messengers swore a Crusade of Iron against the Traitors rampant within the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar.
The Legio Praesagius, alongside their allies of the Legio Oberon and the Ordo Sinister, dispatched their maniples across the worlds assailed by the enemy, to hunt and to punish the Traitor Legios in dozens of brutal conflicts, and though they were few, every Titan tallied many times their own number in kills before being laid low.
In the wake of this crusade, the remnants of the Legio Praesagius would not be content to limp back to Gantz, but once again began the effort of re-marshalling their strength, to join the Ultramarines on their long and difficult road to Terra.
- Battle of Calth -- Battle for Ithraca (007.M31) - Ordered to assemble on the landing fields outside the Calthian city of Ithraca for subsequent deployment, the Legio Praesagius began embarkation alongside their kin from the Legio Infernus. Half of the Legio, the Legio's princeps maximus amongst them, were already on board their massive conveyor transport, the Aratran, when the Traitors revealed their hand. One of the first shots of the battle hit the Aratran, the mighty landing-ship falling from the skies and crashing in the centre of Ithraca. The transport however failed to explode upon impact, thus leaving its precious cargo intact. Meanwhile the surviving True Messengers -- after having suffered initial casualties -- rallied around the almost unscathed Battlegroup Argentus commanded by Princeps Senioris Mikal. The Fire Masters had superior advantage as they possessed almost three times the True Messengers' number and held the high-ground. The True Messengers princeps senioris ordered his Titans to withdraw into the city proper, where the high buildings would provide them some cover. The Battle for Ithraca, as it would be known afterwards, would quickly turn into a race between the two rival Titan Legions for the wrecked Aratran, both sides having learned that the Titans on board the landing-ship were still operational. With battle engaged nearly across the entire city and the Ultramarines otherwise occupied, it would fall to the Legio Praesagius to defend the crash site so that recuperation teams could open the cavernous holds of the Aratran and release its precious cargo. Mikal succeeded both in establishing a security-cordon around the downed ship and preventing the Traitors from destroying it. As the gathered might of the Legio Suturvora was a mere four kilometres away, the doors of the Aratran finally opened and released the Legio Praesagius' most powerful Titans and its most experienced fighters, amongst them the mighty Warmonger-class Titan Immortalis Domitor commanded by their princeps maximus. Thanks to these fresh reinforcements and after a gruesome struggle, the Legion would ultimately free Ithraca and force the Word Bearers and their allies to retreat.
- Crusade of Iron (ca. 008-010.M31) - Tetaros Kast, master-princeps of Battlegroup Avalon of the Legio Oberon, was one of the few princeps to fight on Calth and return alive. He brought word to the Forge World of Gantz, homeworld of the Legio Praesagius, of the fate of their fellow Titans and the betrayal that had occurred on Calth. The Traitor Legions were at large among the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar, and their very survival was at stake. Princeps Dae Vergos, master-princeps of the Legio Praesagius Warlord-class Titan Pride of Konor, assumed the mantle of the Legio's commanding princeps ultima and swore vengeance upon the Legio Infernus. She vowed to purge the Five Hundred Worlds of the Traitors' god-engines. Already astropathic cries for aid were reaching Gantz, as the Word Bearers and World Eaters Space Marine Legions, alongside the Legio Infernus, Legio Audax and Legio Mordaxis, spread out from Calth, bringing ruin and despair to the Five Hundred Worlds. Heeding the call of Gantz, Mechanicum fleets gathered, Battle Titans in their holds. Vergos sent emissaries to gather the Legio Oberon and summon the Legio Lysanda back from the Eastern Fringe, while missives were sent to dozens of Knight houses throughout the Five Hundred Worlds, calling in debts of honour. Multiple houses heeded the summons, including House Orhlacc, House Vornherr and House Vyronii. In spite of the betrayal brought to the Five Hundred Worlds, the Legio Praesagius gathered its allies and convened its councils of war; the horrors that the Loyalist Titans had faced at Ithraca on Calth would not go unanswered. Princeps Ultima Vergos promised her allies and her fellow princeps that the Fire Masters of the Legio Infernus would face the fury of those still loyal to the Imperium, and wherever the Traitor Titans set foot upon a world, they would find only death. Other Imperial forces soon flocked to their banner and the Legio Praesagius and their allies repeatedly clashed with Horus' forces. This "Crusade of Iron" would leave worlds burned by its battles and hideous and terrifying weapons were unleashed, such as the Psi-Titans of the Ordo Sinister. While it raged, the Loyalists fought to preserve the Ultramaran way of life, while the Traitors desired only to leave ruin in their wake.
- Doom at Bormina (ca. 008.M31)
- Defence of Tyros (ca. 008.M31) - During the Defence of Tyros, a new and terrible ally of the Legio Praesagius entered the fray. Unheralded, black armoured Psi-Titans of the Ordo Sinister appeared on the battlefield. Like a giant apparition of death, the Warlord-Sinister-class Titan Occedentalis-Eurytus spread dismay and ruin among the Titans of the Legio Mordaxis and the Knights of House Ærthegn. Supported by only a handful of Loyalist Knights and Titans, the Warlord-Sinister infected Knight Nobles and Titan princeps with visions of despair and defeat. Their vox-net crippled, and their commanders imprisoned by their own doubts, the Traitor forces become easy prey for the Loyalists, who drove them from the cities of Tyros and hunted them across the world's vast Alkaline Badlands.
- Ambush on Espandor - War for the Agri-Sprawl (ca. 008-009.M31) - In the wake of the conflict on Ulixis, 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 in Ultramar, 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 reporting that 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!"
- Battle of Drooth II: Crusade's End (010.M31) - This battle represents the final confrontation between the forces of Horgoth Nyr and Dae Vergos, bringing an end to the Crusade of Iron. Though the Traitors had achieved many victories, Nyr found his forces bloodied by the vengeful Loyalists that pursued him. In the eyes of both himself and those around him, Nyr's record of conquest and slaughter across Ultramar was tainted by his failure to eradicate every trace of the Legio Praesagius. As the rampage across Ultramar undertaken by the Word Bearers and World Eaters drew to a close, Nyr knew he must settle the running battle between Vergos and himself. Committing to luring his foe to him, the Traitor forces burned a dozen worlds, each an open challenge to the Loyalists that pursued them. Though it was clear such actions were committed to bait Vergos into a fight, the Loyalists had little choice if they wished to punish their enemy. Gathering what remained of those forces committed to the Crusade of Iron, the Loyalists set sail for Drooth II and the battle that awaited. Known for its burning, sand-like mineral deserts, Drooth II was originally populated solely by a research station and listening outpost, placed there by the Ultramarines Legion to watch over the eastern edge of Ultramar. The Drooth outpost of Helgarn's Furnace was connected to a massive geo-orbital station by the slender needle of a gravity elevator, sprawled across hundreds of kilometres of metallic desert wastes. Macrocannon and lance batteries defended all approaches from orbit, and made landing within the bounds of the outpost suicidal. This outpost was quickly overrun by the Dark Mechanicum as war engulfed Ultramar and turned into a profane manufactorum capable of churning out debased weapons infused with powers pulled from the Immaterium. It was here that Nyr chose to make his stand against the Loyalist forces, aware that the veil lay thin and the entities within the Warp were easily called upon should the Traitors lose the advantage. With both sides drawn to the world, the stage was set for a battle of cataclysmic proportions. Vergos chose her landing zones accordingly, and the Legio Praesagius set down in the desert 600 kilometres from the Traitor defences, their landing shielded by the curvature of the planet. Similar landings took place all around the outpost, the Legio Lysanda and Legio Oberon taking up position along with several Psi-Titans of the Chamber Occedentalis -- the Loyalist forces keeping their distance from the dark god-engines. Upon a signal from Vergos, the Titans walked, the shimmering desert dunes shuddering to their every step. On all sides of the outpost, dozens of Titans were fully engaged in brutal exchanges of fire. With unnatural speed and strength, the Traitor Titans fell upon the Loyalists, ripping and tearing at them like savage beasts. But, unlike on Calth, the Loyalists were prepared. From amongst the ranks of the Loyalist Titan Legions the Psi-Titans let their might be felt. The darkly majestic Warlords of the Ordo Sinister unleashed torrents of psychic energy into the Traitor forces rising against them. However, the Psi-Titans were caught unawares, as the Warhound wolf packs of the Legio Audax attacked the unsuspecting Loyalists from their unprotected flank, pulling the larger Titans down with their deadly Ursus Claws, like a ravenous packs of wolves pulling down a bear. Though the carnage and burning Titans, Vergos' Warlord, the Pride of Konor, pulled its way into the heart of the outpost, her guns tearing apart the structure and any who barred her path. Finally, she confronted her nemesis -- Princeps Maximus Horgoth Nyr and his Warbringer Titan Mons Ingnum. But as the two princeps fought one another in a deadly struggle, Vergos realised that Nyr's Titan displayed an unnatural Warp-enhanced endurance, which allowed it to rise like a revenant risen from the dead. Seeing no other options, Vergos fired her Titan's remaining Volcano Cannon upon the magnetic locks holding the research outpost's gravity elevator in place, causing the massive structure to collapse in on itself and down upon the battlefield, killing both Nyr and Vergos. Though the Horus Heresy would drag on for years yet to come, the Crusade of Iron ended that day on Drooth II. Whatever rage had driven Princeps Dae Vergos and her followers to hunt down Horgoth Nyr died with her, and the Legio Praesagius returned to Gantz to count its losses and rebuild its strength. By contrast, the death of Nyr tore what little unity of purpose remained among the Fire Masters, and its princeps fell even deeper into the thrall of the Warmaster Horus. Not until the dark days of the Battle of Beta-Garmon, the Titandeath, and the invasion of the Sol System itself, was the Traitor Legion to gather again in significant numbers, guided by the hand of a single grand master. By then, of course, the Legio Praesagius had rebuilt its numbers, and hastened to join the fight against their old foes, both Titan Legions playing their part in the final battles for the future of the Imperium.
- Imperial Muster at Beta-Garmon (012-013.M31) - For reasons only understood later in the war, the Ruinstorm that had been invoked by Lorgar, primarch of the Word Bearers, several standard years earlier during the Battle of Calth, began to abate across vast swathes of the galaxy. Loyalist high commanders were able to utilise the potent astropathic relay at Beta-Garmon to contact and recall formerly lost or stranded forces from across the war-torn reaches of the northern Imperium. The Imperial Muster at Beta-Garmon rapidly escalated into the largest gathering of Loyalist might since the early years of the war, a concentration of forces so mighty that the Traitors had to respond in kind. The resulting clash of arms would become known as the Great Slaughter, a theatre of war of such scale that it would encompass the "Titandeath" and the Sea of Fire campaigns, each major campaigns in their own right. By its end, both sides were so badly bled that their only remaining option for ultimate victory was to force a final, decisive confrontation. As history related, the final battle would be fought at Terra, but only after the weighty butcher's bill of the Great Slaughter was paid in full.
Legion Combat Doctrine
Scions of the venerable Legio Gryphonicus, warriors amongst the largest of Mars' Titan Legions, the Legio Praesagius were created not as wardens of some far-flung realm of the ancient Mechanicum, but to prosecute the battles of the Great Crusade.
In these earliest days of its existence, the Legio Praesagius ranked as a Legio of the primaris grade, comprising over 300 god-engines of various classes and including Emperor Titans of both Warmonger and Nemesis classes amongst its ranks.
After the last few cataclysmic battles within the confines of the Sol System, the Titan Legion was rarely assembled in its entirety, for few conflicts would require such a force for any end other than utter destruction, a task for which the True Messengers showed little enthusiasm.
Instead, the Titan Legion was assigned in demi-Legio forces to a number of Great Crusade fleets, fighting in actions the length and breadth of the nascent Imperium.
The continued pattern of its deployment as demi-Legio battlegroups fostered a doctrine of dispersed command and individual initiative amongst the various princeps of the Titan Legion.
Many of the veteran warriors of the True Messengers were called upon to take charge of detachments of their brethren whilst crusading alongside other arms of the vast Imperial military, developing their own unique styles of command as well as the confidence and experience necessary to quickly and efficiently marshal such a headstrong force as a Titan battle group while under heavy enemy fire.
On many occasions this style of leadership, as opposed to the more stratified and dictatorial models employed by many of their brethren, was to be the cornerstone of a great number of the Legio Praesagius' victories.
During the fighting on Akeron Carcis, where Craftworld Aeldari pulsar fire had sliced apart the command Titan of the Legio Praesagius force, there was no panicked retreat, nor even a brief space of confusion.
Command was immediately taken up by Princeps Trieste of the Auric Pegasus, a veteran warrior of the Titan Legion already well respected by her peers, and as the wraith-like Aeldari war machines moved in to finish off what they expected to be a demoralised and broken foe, the True Messengers surged forward on the attack, swiftly enacting vengeance upon the xenos warriors for their losses.
During these battles, the princeps and moderati of the Titan Legion displayed a distinct preference for precision weaponry. The indiscriminate destruction caused by such weapons as Void Missiles, Titan class Flame Cannon and Vulcan mega-bolters was eschewed as lazy and ill-befitting the avatars of the Emperor's dream of a united humanity.
As the Great Crusade progressed and the fighting became ever more ferocious, some few of the Titan Legion's most renowned warriors were also noted for their prowess with the Titan-grade Chainfist and Power Fist, skills which some amongst the old guard frowned upon.
This preference in both weaponry and tactics that left the Titan Legion at a disadvantage against hordes of properly equipped infantry had been seen by some as a weakness, leading to some among the more bloodthirsty Titan Legions to make mockery of the fact that on several occasions the True Messengers withdrew from the battlefield in the face of overwhelming numbers of enemy infantry though the warriors of the Legio Praesagius have always maintained that such actions were to avoid the wholesale slaughter of Human soldiers who might later be made into allies.
The True Messengers instead relied on the support of the Excertus Imperialis and allied Mechanicum cohorts to engage such foes, and were amongst the most skilled of the Titan Legions in the close support of infantry actions.
Many regiments of the Imperial Army tell of the pinpoint accuracy of the True Messengers' cannon and the stalwart devotion of their princeps to the lowly infantry who fought beside them.
In the latter years of the Great Crusade, after the Titan Legion was settled on Gantz, its power had waned from so many of its god-engines having fallen in battle, and it could only muster less than a hundred engines.
These surviving war machines were almost exclusively of the Warlord or Reaver classes, with only a few remaining Emperor and Warhound class machines, and their crews were veterans, seasoned by the fires of the Great Crusade's wars.
Indeed, the Titan Legion retained more trained personnel than it did operational Titans at the time of its ceremonial grounding on Gantz.
Some among the True Messengers feared that the "prize" they had been granted as the new wardens of the Forge World of Gantz might be the death knell of the Legio Praesagius of old, the systematic destruction of the old crusading traditions of the True Messengers and the slow remoulding of their beleaguered force.
The magi of Gantz would slowly rebuild the Legio until, by the time of the call to arms at Calth, the True Messengers were ranked as a Titan Legion of the Secundus-grade and were to pledge 112 Titans of various classes to the Ghaslakh Crusade against the Orks.
Unlike the Legio Praesagius of old, this force was more varied in composition as many Warhound and Reaver-class Titans that bore the hallmarks of the Gantz magi's unique forge craft now walked beside the ancient Terran Warlords and the last few Emperor grade Titans.
The Ghaslakh Crusade battlegroup that left Gantz in 007.M31 was at the time the majority of the Legio's complement. Only a handful of god-engines remained at Gantz for the defence of the great forges that burned at the heart of that world, mainly those in dire need of repair or whose construction and dedication had yet to be fully completed.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Calth these few warriors, a mere dozen Titans, with only three of these being Battle Titans bestowed on the Titan Legion at its founding, were all that remained of the once proud Legio Praesagius.
The True Messengers showed a distinct preference for precision weaponry, believing indiscriminate destruction was unfitting conduct for a true Titan Legion.
Due to the great size of the Legio Praesagius, the Legio was separated into demi-Legio battlegroups that encouraged a structure of dispersed command and reliance on the initiative of its Titan princeps.
Often assigned to the vanguard of expeditionary fleets, the Legio Praesagius became renowned for achieving the seemingly impossible.
The Legio's princeps were reknowned for being able to quickly assess the ebb and flow of battle, directing the engines under their command with ease. Many of these princeps were true believers in the crusading spirit of their Legio, adhering to a doctrine of marching forwards with relentless purpose.
Notable Legion Maniple Configurations
Arcus Battleline Maniple
A rarely observed maniple, Arcus Battleline Maniples were used against mobile enemy forces, relying on fast scouts to encircle the foe and direct the greater firepower of a Warbringer-Nemesis-class Titan.
- One Warbringer-Nemesis Titan
- Two Warhound Titans
- Two Warhound Titans
Ruptura Battleline Maniple
Ruptura Battleline Maniples were formed to break open the most hardy of fortifications, its faster elements seizing every breach created by the Warbringers before a counterattack could be organised.
- Two Warbringer-Nemesis Titans
- One Reaver Titan
- Two Reaver Titans
Mandatum Battleline Maniple
Mandatum Battleline Maniples rely on intricate battleplans directed by the Warlord's princeps overseeing its subordinate Warhounds into the perfect position.
- One Warlord Titan
- Two Warhound Titans
- Two Warhound Titans
- Immortalis Domitor (Warmonger-class Titan) - The Immortalis Domitor is a Warmonger-class Titan and mount of the Legio's Princeps Maximus Aruthis.
- Evocatus (Warlord-class Titan) - The Evocatus was a Warlord-class Titan, equipped with twin carapace-mounted Gatling Cannons. Evocatus would prove a superb tool of destruction against enemy infantry formations trying to hide out in the city of Ithraca's ruined buildings on Calth. Sadly, Evocatus would perish there due to the long-range fire from the Nemesis-class Titan Revoka of the Legio Suturvora.
- Pride of Konor (Warlord-class Titan) - Commanded by Princeps Ultima Dae Vergos, the Pride of Konor took part in several campaigns during the Crusade of Iron. It was destroyed on Drooth II, during the final epic confrontation with the Legio Suturvora.
- Sonitus Iustitiae (Warbinger-Nemesis Titan) - A relic of a forgotten war, Sonitus Iustitiae once belonged to a now-extinct Titan Legion, having fallen silent during the Age of Strife and remained lost until Explorator fleets found its remains upon the Dead World of Kelossi VI. Painstakingly revived, it remained in the war vaults of Konor for nearly two centuries, awaiting the call to battle. When the Legio Praesagius sought a renewal of their lost strength, Sonitus Iustitiae was awakened for the first time in millennia, the dolorous boom of its guns the herald of grim vengeance.
- The Burning Cloud (Reaver-class Titan)
- Gyrfalcon (Reaver-class Titan) - Reaver-class Titan of War Maniple Honouris, present at the Battle for Ithraca.
- Inculcator (Reaver-class Titan) - Reaver-class Titan, Battlegroup Argentus, present at the Battle for Ithraca. Destroyed at Demesnus Parklands, just before the seventh hour and the lowering of the Aratran's assault doors.
- Invigilator (Reaver-class Titan) - By the time of the Battle for Hive Ithraca where the Legio Praesagius faced the Traitors of the Legio Infernus, Invigilator had only been recently commissioned, being the sole newborn Titan of Battlegroup Argentus. Its other god-machines all predated the launch of the Great Crusade. Invigilator was the command Titan of Princeps Senioris Mikal, who would distinguish himself in the fight for the city with confirmed kills of the Fire Master god-engines Revoka and Denola. On Calth, Invigilator was to lead Battlegroup Argentus, finding their talents tested against their own kind rather than the foul xenos they had expected to encounter. Of Battlegroup Argentus, all but Invigilator were to fall whilst valiantly buying time for those True Messenger god-engines trapped within the wreckage of the Titan conveyor Arutan to emerge and join the battle. The wreckage of Invigilator would later be retrieved and remade, going on to participate in the Crusade of Iron, the names of those of Battlegroup Argentus never to rise again engraved upon Invigilator's weapons.
- Kaskardus Killstroke (Reaver-class Titan) - A Reaver-class Titan, present at the Battle for Ithraca.
- Knossos (Reaver-class Titan) - The Knossos was a Reaver-class Battle Titan crushed during an engagement with Chaos forces in a coiling embrace by a gaseous malignancy like a great dark storm cloud writhing with blind serpents, each hundreds of metres long.
- Suilis Vestra (Reaver-class Titan) - A Reaver-class Titan of War Maniple Honouris, commanded by Princeps Owaine Breulin. Suilis Vestra served as the lead Titan of War Maniple Honouris. It fought alongside a pair of Warhound Scout Titans, The Argent Courser and Misericorde. Its role was to follow in the wake of the Legion's heavier Battle Titans, reducing enemy formations designated secondary threats by the towering Warlord and Imperator-class Titans and finishing off wounded enemy Titan-analogues.
- The Argent Courser (Warhound-class Titan) - The Argent Courser was a Warhound-class Scout Titan of War Maniple Honouris that was present at the Battle for Ithraca.
- Deathrunner (Warhound-class Titan) - Deathrunner was a Warhound-class Scout Titan of Battlegroup Argentus equipped with paired Mega-Bolters that was present at the Battle for Ithraca. It was destroyed by the Nemesis-class Titan Revoka of the Legio Suturvora, alongside Evocatus.
- Firewolf (Warhound-class Titan) - A Warhound-class Scout Titan of the Battlegroup Argentus that was present at the Battle for Ithraca. It was destroyed at Demesnus Parklands, just before the seventh hour of the battle and the lowering of the Titan conveyor Aratran's assault doors.
- Lacardio (Warhound-class Titan) - A Warhound-class Scout Titan present at the Battle of Ithraca. Its transmissions cut out whilst it was being despatched into the smoking wasteland of the industrial zone, and of the Lacardio, no further report was ever made.
- Misericorde (Warhound-class Titan) - Misericorde was a Warhound-class Scout Titan of War Maniple Honouris that was present at the Battle for Ithraca.
- Splendour of Palaris (Warhound-class Titan)
- Victorix (Warhound-class Titan) - The Victorix was a Warhound-class Scout Titan of the Battlegroup Argentus that was present at the Battle for Ithraca. It was destroyed at Demesnus Parklands, just before the seventh hour of the battle and the lowering of the Titan conveyor Aratran's assault doors.
The Glorious Dead
- Auric Pegasus - Commanded by Master Princeps Rhiko Trieste, a veteran warrior respected by her peers, Auric Pegasus saw its finest moments upon the surface of Calth. Taking command of the scattered elements of the Legio Praesagius after the felling of the Titan conveyor Arutan, Trieste issued her first, and final, command as mistress of the Titan Legion. Nine Warlords, Auric Pegasus amongst them, charged at the centre of the Fire Masters' line, buying time for the surviving True Messengers to withdraw into Ithraca City. Now known to the annals of the Collegia Titanica as the "Nine Paragons of Ithraca," of these nine Warlord Titans Auric Pegasus was reportedly the last to fall, the severed and crushed head of an enemy Reaver Titan clenched in the god-engine's fist.
- Sabris Regnum
- The Lion of Mars
- The Silver Thorn
- Reason's Thunder
- The Will of Adamant
- The Triumph of Accatran
- Chrysaor's Wake
- Princeps Maximus Aruthis - Aruthis was the commanding grand master of the Legio Praesagius at the time of the Battle of Calth, and the princeps of the command Warmonger-class Titan Immortalis Domitor.
- Grand Master Bohemond of Old Thyre - Bohemond was the first grand master of the Legio Praesagius and took part in the Imperial Compliance of the world of Tentrion. He later perished from wounds received in the final confrontation with the multi-legged gun platforms of the Tentrion Pontifex.
- Princeps Ultima Dae Vergos - Dae Vergos was a master-princeps of the Warlord-class Titan Pride of Konor, and senior-most princeps of the Legion left behind to garrison their homeworld of Gantz. When word was brought of the Battle of Calth and the Betrayal at Ithraca and the death of Princeps Maximus Aruthis at the hands of the traitorous Legio Infernus, Dae Vergos assumed command as princeps ultima and swore vengeance against the Traitors. Taking command of the remnants of her Legion and calling upon several Knightly houses, she declared the Crusade of Iron. For the next two standard years, she ruthlessly prosecuted the Traitors across the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar during the Traitors' Shadow Crusade. Dae Vergos eventually met her end at the climax of the Battle of Drooth II, where she engaged in a fateful duel with her bitter rival, Princeps Maximus Horgoth Nyr of the Legio Infernus, which resulted in both of their deaths.
- Princeps Senioris Mikal - The esteemed and battle-hardened princeps senioris of the Legio Praesagius was the leader of Battlegroup Argentus at the Battle for Ithraca on Calth. In command of his personal Reaver-class Battle Titan, Invigilator, he would lead the retreat of his Battlegroup and successfully escape the ambush at the Ithraca Landing Fields. Assuming his Princeps Maximus had died, Princeps Senioris Mikal took command of the remaining Legio Praesagius Titans and sought shelter in the city of Ithraca to better resist the advance of the Traitor Titans. After learning of his princeps' survival, Mikal would quickly formulate a plan to hold back the Fire Masters, which eventually slowed down the Legio Infernus Titans long enough for the Immortalis Domitor Emperor Titan to enter the fray and turn the battle in the Loyalists' favour.
- Princeps Owaine Breulin - Princeps of the Reaver Battle Titan Suilis Vestra, Breulin commanded War Maniple Honouris. At Ithraca on Calth, the Titans of War Maniple Honouris were forced into the front line, giving a fearsome account of their fighting prowess in the close confines of Ithraca City, claiming four god-engine kills before the last of their Titans, the Misericorde, was destroyed.
- Princeps Rhiko Trieste - Princeps of the Warlord-class Battle Titan Auric Pegasus, a veteran warrior of the Titan Legion who was respected by her peers, Trieste took command during the fighting on Akeron Carcis, when Aeldari pulsar fire sliced apart the command Titan of the Legio Praesagius force. She led the remaining True Messengers in a bold counter-thrust that wiped out the upstart Aeldari war-machines. She later took field command of the Legion's forces during the Battle for Ithraca on Calth. She ordered nine Warlord Titans, including her own, to charge into the Fire Masters' line, whilst some thirty-three god-engines immediately fell back into Ithraca City. These Titans became known as the "Nine Paragons of Ithraca." The Auric Pegasus was the last of the nine to fall, the severed head of an enemy Reaver Titan clutched in the Warlord's giant, Titan-sized Power Fist.
- Moderati Skallan Lockhandt - Moderati for Princeps Senioris Mikal on board the Invigilator.
In the early days of the Legio Praesagius, it was ranked as Primaris-grade with over 300 god-engines to its name, and notably had a significant standing of heavy Battle Titans including Warlord, Imperator and Carnivore-class god-engines.
For much of the Great Crusade, it was rare for the Legio to be assembled in its entirety for war. Due to the great size of the Legio Praesagius, it was separated into demi-Legio battlegroups that encouraged a structure of dispersed command and reliance on the initiative of its Titan princeps. This was the cornerstone of their many victories, for each princeps was a respected commander and a veteran leader of battlegroups.
By their time on Gantz, the Legio Praesagius' size was greatly diminished, numbering only 112 Titans at the time of the muster on Calth, of which most were Warlord and Reaver classes with seasoned veteran crews.
Perhaps as an outward sign of the longstanding alliance between the Ultramarines and the Legio Praesagius, the True Messengers' colour scheme is noted as being blue, white and gold.
The iconography of the Legio Praesagius is a golden pegasus, a mythical winged horse, standing rampant in front of a blue starburst on a field of white.
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Rulebook (Specialty Game), pp. 15, 70-71
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Shadow and Iron (Specialty Game), pp. 6-8, 10, 12, 14-15, 20-24, 26, 51, 64-66, 68, 72
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 51, 55-57, 59-65, 116-121, 126-127, 147, 174
- Legacies of Betrayal (Anthology), "Honour to the Dead," by Gav Thorpe, pp. 212-246
- Mark of Calth (Anthology), "Calth That Was" (Short Story) by Graham McNeill
- Honour to The Dead (Audio) by Gav Thorpe
- Warhammer Community - Adeptus Titanicus: Old Alliances (26 Feb 2019)
- Warhammer Community - Pre-Order: Titans, T'au & Tiny Collectibles (08 Feb 2020)
- Warhammer Community - Shadow & Iron: Crusades of Vengeance (05 Feb 2020)