The Legio Tempestor ("Stormlords") 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.
During the Great Crusade the Legion fought for solar decades at the leading edge of the Imperium's expansion alongside the most celebrated of the Legiones Astartes. Countless worlds were brought to Imperial Compliance and numerous xenos empires cast down for which the Legio became so well known, earning it the epithet "Stormlords."
Later, however, the loyalties of the Legio Tempestus would be cast in doubt and the shadows of treachery attain its name.
For while their lord and his retainers fought valiantly against the Traitors during the Martian civil war during the opening days of the Horus Heresy, others in their ranks, who had spent years on the dark frontier fighting under the flag of Horus, would be counted amongst the most dedicated of the Warmaster's treacherous forces during the wars of the Heresy.
During the Heresy, there were major elements within the Legio that declared their allegiance for Warmaster Horus and his cause. Many elements, including those left on Mars during the Schism of Mars, and those elements of the Legion serving further afield, refused to submit and share the betrayal of the traitorous senior Princeps Maximus Karania, who took control of the Legion following the death of the Order's former lord.
These Loyalist elements would ultimately break away and form their own Legion, retaining the name Legio Tempestus.
At the end of the Heresy the Legio Tempestor were present during the Siege of Terra, but when the Warmaster fell, they were driven towards the Eye of Terror along with the rest of the forces of Chaos.
The Legio Tempestor's current whereabouts are unknown.
The Legio Tempestus is a Titan Legion of the Collegia Titanica, its towering god-engines counted amongst the mightiest and most accomplished of the Emperor's crusading hosts in the years before the Horus Heresy.
One third of the fabled "Triad Ferrum Morgulus," the Legio Tempestus was founded alongside the Legio Mortis and Legio Ignatum in the distant Age of Strife on Mars.
Throughout the blood-soaked insanity of that age, the Legio Tempestus stood firm against all foes, from machine-mutant abominations rising from the waste-strewn oxide deserts to rival Titan Orders marching from their own strongholds to battle. Their home fortress, cut from the red basalt of Ascraeus Mons, in the Ascraeus Chasmataone, one of the mightiest of Mars' many volcanoes, remained inviolate.
Concentric rings of impregnable fortifications rose atop each of the solidified lava ridges surrounding the fortress, whilst below, Tempestus god-engines walked from towering armoured gates and scoured the surrounding plains of the tides of degenerate tech-savagery that broke continuously against them.
Much of the anarchy that befell Mars during the long Age of Strife is lost to history or sealed away in forgotten data-crypts beneath the industrial wastes -- with the treachery revealed in the opening years of the 31st Millennium, few can imagine a complete history will ever be composed. It is known, however, that the region claimed and defended by the Legio Tempestus bordered that of the Legio Mortis -- the Death's Heads -- and on countless occasions the two Titan Orders came to blows over territorial rights and access to the priceless caches of archaeotech to be found beneath the rust runes of the Tharsis region.
Their mighty fortress was located in close proximity to Ascraeus Mons, at Pavonis Mons. The engines of these ancient Orders battled across the oxide deserts until, at length, the region was divided by the Tempest Line.
To cross this line in the red sand was to unequivocally declare war, an act that the Legio Mortis initiated on many more occasions than Tempestus if rumour was to be believed, and though both Orders shared a common enemy in the Cy-Carnivora and other phantasms of Old Night that plagued Mars throughout the age, a deep and mutual loathing developed between them that would later bear bitter fruit.
The Great Crusade
With the coming of the Emperor to the Red Planet and the signing of the Treaty of Mars, the Legio Tempestus took its place in the glorious hosts of Mankind's all-conquering armies. Tempestus engines walked upon worlds the length and breadth of the ever expanding Imperium, serving alongside some of the most celebrated forces of the Great Crusade.
Individual maniples were detached to Mechanicum Explorator fleets and Rogue Trader Militant pathfinder squadrons, but the bulk of the Legio's most celebrated battle honours were earned during service with the 12th Expeditionary Fleet, in what some historians later dubbed the "Long March to Ultramar." Later on, when the Lord of Ultramar, the Primarch Roboute Guilliman, took personal command of the 12th Expeditionary Fleet, the Tempestus played a pivotal role in the arduous wars of the Epsiloid Binary Cluster.
It was during this epic conflict that the Legion's master, Princeps Senioris Indias Cavalerio, earned the title "Stormlord," a name soon used by allied Imperial soldiers to refer to the entire Legion and which was thought to echo ancient myths. The term was appropriate, for the Stormlords had proven themselves masters of planetary assault under enemy fire in hostile circumstances many other princeps would never have allowed their own forces to be risked at such hazard.
Cradled in the shielded holds of the very heaviest classes of drop transport constructed in the orbital void-factories on Mars, the Legion's brutal descents into battle, shrouded by the fire and storm-turbulence of the drop ship's almost suicidal trajectories, became legendary.
They caused atmospheres to burn and made such ruin of the skies that on some worlds the storms they caused would not fully abate for years. Where the Stormlords walked, cities were shattered and battlefields were swept of the foe by a blistering hail of ordnance.
After an abated campaign of six solar decades on the forefront of the Great Crusade, the Legio Tempestus suffered heavy losses -- including Victorix Magna, the Warlord Titan of the Stormlord himself -- and needed time to regroup and rearm or risk destruction.
Having claimed warden right over key worlds in the Estaban and Orestes Systems, the Legion's master, Cavalerio, returned to Mars with those of his Legion's god-engines in most need of repair and refit, entrusting command of the remainder of a reorganised demi-Legio to his lieutenant, Princeps Maximus Karania.
Thus would begin a chain of events that would lead to a growing rift, more a development of circumstance and distance than any actual acrimony or malice, between the two halves of the Legio Tempestus. In the years that followed, two separate commands developed, with little direct contact between them, each being supplied separately and fighting their wars apart under the light of far distant stars.
The Martian Tempestus began to be deployed as a heavy reserve, called to battle from their base on Mars to re-enforce the line in the most precarious war zones and to punish rebellious worlds before swiftly returning to their home, while Karania's command would pass from the order of battle of one far-flung Expeditionary fleet to another, never seeing the light of Sol.
The events that unfolded on Mars decades after Cavalerio's return to the Red Planet formed a crucial fulcrum in the Warmaster Horus' conspiracy to unmake that which the Emperor had built during the Great Crusade. When the Schism of Mars tore the Mechanicum in two, the entire planet was consumed by war.
Ancient forges that had endured the long millennia of Old Night were cast down and the great fanes of All-Knowledge were lost for all time. So too was the Legio Tempestus, for Cavalerio and his princeps fell in the defence of Magma City, standing defiant to the last against the god-engines of the Legio Mortis, whose betrayal of the Imperium was at last revealed.
The heroic deeds performed in that final battle will never be fully honoured, for most who witnessed them perished themselves as Magma City sank into the Red Planet's savage fiery mantle.
After the tragedy on Mars, there remained only a scattered handful of Loyalist Legio Tempestus Titan maniples and detachments who had not been present on the Red Planet, free and in the Imperium's service, but left leaderless and bereft, and soon to face the double blow of the news that their distant brothers had themselves turned Traitor.
The Treachery of Maximus Karania
After the division of the Legion into two commands, control of the Titan Order's expeditionary force was invested in the senior Princeps Maximus Karania. Where the Stormlord was known for his disdain of the political and doctrinal infighting that had befallen the Mechanicum in the later years after the Unification of the Imperium, Maximus Karania was his mirror, subtle and secretive, although with an unimpeachable war record. So adept at intrigue was he that he had long hidden his machinations and strange preoccupations in plain sight.
Unknown to most, beneath a professed orthodoxy Karania was a disciple of a certain strand of esoteric machine lore called Teleologicalica, itself a form of arcane numerology, a discipline that purported to predict imminent and all-consuming doom by reference to the patterns of past cataclysms. Perhaps these beliefs might have had little impression were it not for prevailing attitudes amongst the Tech-priests of Estaban III, the Mechanicum domain where the Legion was mustered at the conclusion of the Epsiloid Binary Cluster campaign.
The Tech-priests of Estaban III had not accepted the prevailing Mechanicum doctrine that the Emperor was one and the same with the divine being they referred to as the Omnissiah, and paid only lip-service to the Martian Doctrines.
Karania's native political cunning in discovering this and his own schismatic doctrine enabled him to make private and secret alliance with the Tech-priests of Estaban III long before the outbreak of the Horus Heresy. The result was a poisonous cocktail of lies that, now in retrospect, can be seen to have led the Legio Tempestus into the service of the Ruinous Powers of the Archenemy.
As time progressed, Karania moved to purge his princeps cadre according to the patterns revealed to him by the doctrines of cataclysmic teleology, ensuring that only those inducted into the discipline's innermost secrets remained within his demi-Legio, but was careful to keep such apostasy shrouded from outsiders, although it had not escaped the attention of the Warmaster's agents, who worked upon it to secure Karania to their cause.
When at last he received word of Cavalerio's death on Mars, Karania believed it as nothing less than the fulfilment of his own occult prognostications, and he pledged his demi-Legio to the cause of the Warmaster body and soul.
The treachery of Maximus Karania would at length lead the Legio Tempestus to the hallowed ground of Terra itself in bloody war, and then would the true extent of the Stormlords' fall and the nature of the power behind that fall, be made evident.
Having received word from Mars that he was now the de facto master of the Tempestus loyal to the Traitors' cause, Maximus Karania pronounced that his allied Forge World of Estaban III would henceforth and for all time enjoy the full protection of the Legion in return for the bounty of its mighty foundries. Karania, at the behest of the Traitor magi, led a purge of any Imperial servants on Estaban III that would not bend knee to the Warmaster's cause.
Executing a series of actions that crushed all Loyalist opposition with, it appears, reference to his cultic numerological beliefs, Estaban II and its macro-manufactora were quickly subdued. In barely a solar week of brutal fighting, the rest of the planetary system around it followed, and by the time orders for the Legion's redeployment to the Warmaster's invasion fleet bound for the Coronid Deeps came, the Traitor Stormlords had firmly established a new power base to supply and strengthen them.
A single archival entry, recovered years after the event, suggests that even with the full extent of Karania's treachery revealed, elements of his own Legion serving further afield declined his recall order and refused to share his betrayal.
These he vowed to hunt down and slay, for their very existence made a lie of the teleological precognostications by which Karania was planning and executing, his Legion's future causing him to delve ever deeper into his occult practices. In the aftermath, this hunt would lead Karania and the Traitor Legio Tempestus along many dark and winding paths never before travelled by any Legion of the Collegia Titanicus.
While leading his own division of the Legio Tempestus, Karania proved himself a strategist whose cunning served as a formidable force multiplier and elevated the Legion to the highest tiers of the Warmaster's servants. This rise in favour, however, was ever checked, for its oldest foe, the Legio Mortis, remained of all the Traitor Titan Legions always first in Horus' service.
Despite their common cause in the ranks of the Arch-traitor, Tempestus and Mortis, long rivals, slowly became bitterest enemies even as they fought alongside each other, a diametrical opposition that would at length become horribly evident as the unspeakable powers each had sworn themselves to exerted their hideous influence.
The traitorous elements of Legio Tempestus -- now referred to as the Legio Tempestor to distinguish them from their Loyalist counterparts -- were present during the Siege of Terra at the end of the Heresy, but when the Warmaster fell, they were driven towards the Eye of Terror along with the rest of the Traitor Legions during the era known as the Great Scouring.
There they remain, trapped in servitude to the Chaos Gods, fighting the Long War against the "Corpse Emperor" that began ten millennia before. The Legio Tempestor's current whereabouts are unknown.
- Epsiloid Binary Cluster Campaign (Unknown Date.M31) - A campaign conducted by the Legio Tempestus alongside Primarch Roboute Guilliman's forces during the Great Crusade against the Orks. The Legion suffered the loss of 6 Titans in the course of fighting, as well as many wounded, including the already battle-scarred Victorix Magna, the towering war machine of The Stormlord himself. Because of the injuries his war engine sustained, Princeps Senioris Cavalerio was forced to return to Mars for repairs, leaving the bulk of his Titan Legion under the command of Princeps Maximus Karania.
- Battle of Manachea (ca. 008.M31) - The Battle of Manachea was an early campaign conducted by the Traitor forces of Warmaster Horus against the Manachean Commonwealth, an independent dominion formed as a self-governing sub-sector within the Cyclops Cluster. Considered the lynchpin of the Coronid Deeps, it was also the principal axis of Imperial power based in the northern Imperium. The two systems of Manachea -- principally the Hive World of Manachea Vysidae, which in terms of population and industry the equal of any of the great hive worlds of the Segmentum Solar, and Port Maw which, while still under partial construction and expansion, were one of the most powerful Imperialis Armada bases in the northern Imperium. With the help of the Black Magos of the Dark Mechanicum Forge World of Cyclothrathe, the Traitors had secretly undermined the defences of the Manachean Commonwealth. In a surprise attack, the Death Guard Legion, alongside Traitoris Perdita elements of the Legio Tempestus, attacked Manachea, while the Sons of Horus launched a dual-pronged attack -- a speartip assault on Port Maw and a simultaneous assault alongside their Death Guard allies on Manachea. Within a span of eleven days of brutal fighting, Manachea and everything on it, belonged to the Warmaster.
- Battle of Terra (ca. 014.M31) - The Legio Tempestor took part in numerous engagements during the dark days of the Horus Heresy, but its most notable action occurred when it took part in the Battle of Terra and the Siege of the Imperial Palace.
At the outset of the Heresy, the demi-Legio under the command of the Traitor Maximus Karania was able to field between 80-120 Titans of various patterns over time, most of them of the Warlord, Reaver and Jackal Pattern Warhound classes. Furthermore, the forges of Esteban III were able to produce new Warlord-class Titans in limited numbers to further bolster Karania's forces.
During the Great Crusade era, while fielding some of the rare Maines and Carnivore-class Titans amongst its god-engines, the Legion could also draw on several of the most powerful sub-patterns of the Warlord-class Titan such as the Nightgaunt and the mighty Nemesis.
Most of these older patterns are, however, now believed to have been destroyed on Mars, with the exception of the Nemesis Pattern Warlord of which no traces can be found within the Imperial Archives. Therefore, the latter god-engine may be ranked amongst those of the Order's forces still unaccounted for beyond the Imperium's ravaged borders.
As the Horus Heresy unfolded and the Traitoris Perdita elements of the Legio Tempestus joined the massed hosts of the Traitors, still more elements were drawn to their banner. Freeblade Knights from a score of Houses and more swore service to the Tempestus, most obscuring their erstwhile colours in favour of darker heraldry.
Later, an entire household of Chaos Knights, fleeing the wrath of their staunchly Imperial liege, bent the knee to the Traitor Stormlords. These demonstrated the extent of their allegiance by incorporating the heraldry of the Titan Legion into their own and submitting themselves to their new chain of command.
This process is believed to have been begun in the aftermath of the assault on Hive Ilium at Manachea, where several of the Stormlords Titans were laid low by the Loyalists of House Vyronii, revealing a vulnerability to such war machines which the Traitor Stormlords strove to counter by acquiring allied Knights of their own.
The Traitor Stormlords' current martial strength is unknown.
- Odrysian - Mars Pattern Reaver-class Titan and war engine of the Traitoris Perdita elements of the Legio Tempestus during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. This Titan served as the war engine of Princeps Nero Cotys, who was killed during the Battle of Hive Ilium during the Manachean War during the opening years of the Heresy.
- Raxvalian - Mars Pattern Reaver-class Titan and war engine of the Traitoris Perdita elements of the Legio Tempestus during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. This Titan led War Maniple "Telos Epsilon" during the Battle of Ilium during the Fall of Manachea.
- Durasi - Warhound-class Titan and war engine of Traitoris Perdita elements of the Legio Tempestus during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. Took part as part of War Maniple "Telos Epsilon" during the Battle of Ilium during the Fall of Manachea.
- Scorillion - Warhound-class Titan and war engine of Traitoris Perdita elements of the Legio Tempestus during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. Took part as part of War Maniple "Telos Epsilon" during the Battle of Ilium during the Fall of Manachea.
- Princeps Maximus Karania - After the division of the Legion into two commands, control of the Titan Order's expeditionary force was invested in the senior Princeps Maximus Karania. As time progressed, Karania moved to purge his princeps cadre according to the patterns revealed to him by the doctrines of cataclysmic teleology, ensuring that only those inducted into the discipline's innermost secrets remained within his demi-Legio, but he was careful to keep such apostasy shrouded from outsiders, although it had not escaped the attention of the Warmaster's agents, who worked upon it to secure Karania to their cause. Following the death of the Stormlord at the beginning of the Schism of Mars, Karania received word from Mars that he was now the de facto master of the Tempestus loyal to the Traitors' cause. Maximus Karania pronounced that his allied Forge World of Estaban III would henceforth and for all time enjoy the full protection of the Legion in return for the bounty of its mighty foundries. Karania would lead his Traitor Tempestus along many dark and winding paths never before travelled by any Legio of the Collegia Titanicus.
The colours of the Legio Tempestor are dark blue, light blue and grey which are painted in a unique camouflage pattern. Sometimes black and white checkered patterns are painted on the legs, arms or weapons of their war machines. Blue and white are also sometimes substituted.
The Legio Tempestor 's badge is a lightning bolt centered on a white circle, outlined in red. The field behind the central symbol is quartered in a dark blue, black and white checkered pattern.
The Traitor Stormlords are revealed in Imperial Armour Volume One to be the Legio Tempestor. The Legio Tempestor, however, is mentioned to have taken part in the Third War for Armageddon on the side of the Imperium and is said to have fought there upon the Plains of Anthrand and along the South Primus Front alongside the Legio Victorum and the Legio Ignatum.
Recent canon has revealed that a part of this Titan Legion remained loyal during the Horus Heresy and has survived into the 41st Millennium maintaining its old name of Legio Tempestus but in some sources this name is often interchangeable with the name Tempestor as well. This can at times only add to the confusion.
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions, pg. 356
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pg. 8
- The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest (Imperial Armour), pp. 138-143
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 193
- Codex Titanicus (1st Edition) Titan Legion Colour Schemes
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign - Legio Ignatum