The Lords of Silence is a powerful warband or vectorium of the Death Guard Traitor Legion. The Lords of Silence maintains a force of over 600 Heretic Astartes dedicated to the service of the Plague God, as well as thousands of Chaos Cultists and Nurgle-warped mutants.
Led by the Chaos Lord Vorx, the Lords of Silence are primarily known for carrying out raids across Imperial space, spreading their master's contagions as they go, but their might has grown to the point that they are easily capable of conquering new worlds for the Plague Lord.
The most potent force available to the Lords of Silence is known as the "Kardainn," an elite unit of Blightlord Terminators commanded by Captain Garstag, the warband's second-in-command and constant rival for power with Vorx.
The Lords of Silence is a Death Guard warband that was formed at some point after the end of the Horus Heresy in the Eye of Terror by the Death Guard Lord Vorx, a Siegemaster of the Death Guard Legion who had originally been recruited on Barbarus during the Great Crusade.
- 13th Black Crusade (ca. 999.M41) - During the 13th Black Crusade, the Forge World of Agripinaa near the Cadian Gate came under assault by an enormous World Eaters army under the command of Kossolax the Foresworn, who sacrificed millions of its citizens over forty solar hours to summon a horde of Khornate daemons, including a Bloodthirster. Eventually, however, thanks to the efforts of four companies of the Blood Angels, the World Eaters and their daemonic allies were defeated and pushed off the devastated world. After Cadia fell to Abaddon the Despoiler, the Chaos forces launched another assault on Agripinaa, of which the Lords of Silence were one small part. Daemon Engines led by many Warpsmiths invaded the Forge World, diseases and maladies brought by the forces of Nurgle ravaged its surface, after the world was infected by Space Hulks that emerged from the Eye of Terror. Hordes of shambling Plague Zombies crawled from the vents and cog clusters of its forge cities. Later, the battle was joined by the fleets of the World Eaters, Night Lords, the Black Legion, the Thousand Sons and the Death Guard Traitor Legions under the command of the World Eaters Chaos Lord Kossolax once more. The Astra Militarum troops of the Cadian Diaspora -- those who had survived the fall of that world or been elsewhere at the time of its destruction -- proved decisive in the world's defence, and the forces of Chaos once again were repulsed.
- Fall of Sabatine (Unknown Date.M42) - In the aftermath of the Great Rift's birth, during the ongoing operations of the 13th Black Crusade, the world of Sabatine, the Chapter homeworld of the White Consuls Chapter, was left almost unprotected. It was defended only by the Astartes of the 4th Company of the White Consuls, regiments of the Astra Militarum's Praetorian Guard and the world's own Planetary Defence Forces. Blocked from the light of the Astronomican by the onset of the Noctis Aeterna and already under assault from daemons emerging from the rift, Sabatine was attacked and overrun by several warbands of Heretic Astartes, including the Lords of Silence of the Death Guard and the Weeping Veil of the Word Bearers. The remnants of the White Consuls managed to escape before their world fell to the minions of the Dark Gods. After the victory, the Lords of Silence Chaos Lord Vorx convinced Slert, one of his Biologus Putrifiers, to use his arcane science to convert the world's population into Plague Zombies and Poxwalkers rather than allow them to be used as sacrifices to the Chaos Gods to bring three Greater Daemons and their daemonic legions to the world. Once this was done, the world was no longer of interest to the other Chaos Gods save Nurgle and so the Word Bearers warband withdrew in disgust to seek new avenues to expand the reach of Chaos. Sabatine then fell wholly under the control of the Lords of Silence, which was re-made into a Daemon World dedicated to Nurgle, and became almost a perfect copy of the Plague Planet itself.
Notable Lords of Silence
- Chaos Lord and Siegemaster Vorx - Vorx was among the first Aspirants taken from Barbarus to join the Death Guard Legion after the Primarch Mortarion was rediscovered by the Emperor and given command of the XIV Legion. Vorx took part in many of the battles of the Great Crusade and eventually rose to become a Death Guard fleet commander, known as a "Siegemaster" within the Legion. When the Horus Heresy began, Vorx willingly joined his Primarch in turning upon the Imperium, for his loyalty was to Mortarion, not to a distant ruler on Terra. After the Warmaster Horus' forces were defeated in the Battle of Terra, Vorx fled with the other Traitors into the Eye of Terror in order to escape the Imperium's wrath during the Great Scouring. It was within the that Warp rift, at some unknown date, that he founded the Lords of Silence, which later become one of the Death Guard's most powerful warbands. After the opening of the Great Rift in the wake of the 13th Black Crusade, Vorx and the Lords of Silence allied with the Weeping Veil warband of the Word Bearers and attacked Sabatine -- the homeworld of the White Consuls Space Marine Chapter. This alliance was forged because with the onset of the Noctis Aeterna, the Weeping Veil proved unable to determine Sabatine's exact location in the Warp, no matter what instruments of technology or sorcery they employed. Their difficulties ended when they were approached aboard their Styx-class Heavy Cruiser Ayamandar by the Death Guard Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser Solace and the Lords of Silence. Vorx made clear to the Weeping Veil's Dark Apostle Mor Jalchek that the Lords of Silence also desired to conquer Sabatine and that he knew its location and promised to lead the Weeping Veil to the White Consuls world if the Word Bearers Chapter agreed to join with them in carrying out the planetary assault. After some consideration, Jalchek agreed to Vorx's proposal, but also secretly planned to betray the servants of Nurgle and allow the Word Bearers' daemonic allies to claim the world for their own once it was conquered. Vorx and the Lords of Silence managed to not only defeat the White Consuls, but Vorx personally killed their Chapter Master Cymar Xydias before driving what remained of the Chapter off-world. Next, the Lords of Silence under Vorx's direction were able to disupt the Weeping Veil's attempt to claim the remainder of the world's population as sacrifices to bring three daemonic legions led by Greater Daemons to the world by transforming them all into Plague Zombies and Poxwalkers before the sacrifice could be undertaken. The Word Bearers departed the now-useless world, leaving the Lords of Silence to transform it into a Daemon World dedicated to the pursuit of all-new diseases and pathogens. In a short time, Sabatine had essentially become a veritable copy of Mortarion's own Plague Planet in the Eye of Terror. But Vorx remained uncertain about what should be his next course of action -- to remain on Sabatine and oversee its continued metamorphosis into another extension of the Plaguelord's realm in realspace -- or join with his Primarch in the great assault upon the Realm of Ultramar that became known as the Plague Wars.
- Captain Garstag - Garstag was a captain of the Lords of Silence warband and the commander of its Blightlord Terminator elite known as the Kardainn. He was recruited into the Death Guard from an Imperial Hive World some two thousand Terran years after the end of the Horus Heresy, an origin that constantly gnawed at Garstag's sense of legitimacy within the Legion, where most of the Heretic Astartes had come from Barbarus before the start of the Heresy. Garstag was often taunted by these members of the Legion because he had not been with them at the Battle of Terra or endured the Legion's other hardships. As a result, Garstag was hungry for more power and constantly sought opportunities to wrest power over the warband away from Vorx, who was fully aware of the open rivalry brewing with the Terminator.
- Dragan - Dragan was a high-ranking Plague Marine within the Lords of Silence, though he also had not been born on Barbarus or been a part of the original complement of the XIV Legion, having been recruited only 2,000 Terran years before the birth of the Great Rift. Dragan had originally been a Loyalist Space Marine who turned Renegade, but he can no longer remember anything about the events which surrounded his betrayal of the Emperor's cause. Like Garstag, Dargan is forced to constantly prove that he is the equal of the other Heretic Astartes within the warband. As a result of such ridiculous prejudice from his fellows, Dragan has come to grow contemptuous of all the ancient Primarchs, including Mortarion. Dragan is a proponent of a faction within the Death Guard that desires an immediate drive on Terra to overthrow the False Emperor, rather than first weakening the Imperium through different campaigns on its outlying worlds as Mortarion and his allies prefer.
- Slert - Slert is a Death Guard Biologus Putrifier. A twisted monstrosity like all of his kind, Slert is blind save for the dozens of mutant eyes that now exist across his body which can perceive disease and other organic abnormalities in others. He is in charge of all of the Lords of Silence's efforts at developing new diseases, toxins and plagues. Slert proudly maintains a collection of horribly mutated slaves and Plague Ogryns to test his latest ideas upon. Slert takes enormous pleasure in testing out his new contagions, often using them on the crew of the warband's warship, the Solace. He is not considered trustworthy either by Vorx or any of the other Plague Marines of the warband. It was Slert who, at the order of Vorx, assembled the arcane machinery needed on Sabatine to transform its remaining populace into Plague Zombies and Poxwalkers that would spoil the Weeping Veil warband's attempt to sacrifice them to the Chaos Gods.
- Philemon - Philemon is a Tallyman of Nurgle and a close political ally of Vorx within the Lords of Silence. Like most of the Plague God's Tallymen, Philemon is fatalistic and mathematically precise in his outlook on the galaxy. Within the Death Guard Legion's own internal politics he supports the position of Vorx and Mortarion that the Heretic Astartes should seek to weaken the Imperium in a number of different campaigns rather than immediately seeking to drive on Terra once more. In this he is staunchly opposed by other members of the Lords of Silence like Dragan and Garstag. Philemon took part in the attack on Sabatine, and warned Vorx against the planned treachery by their Word Bearer allies who sought to sacrifice who sought to sacrifice the planet's population to summon three Greater Daemons and their daemonic legions to the world, forever placing it beyond Nurgle's reach.
- Kledo - Kledo is a Plague Surgeon of the Lords of Silence who participated in the campaign to take Sabatine.
- Naum - Naum is a Chaos Dreadnought of the Lords of Silence who participated in the campaign to conquer Sabatine.
- Solace (Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser) - When this warship's hull was originally laid down in the 34th Millennium on the Forge World of Lashte, it was named Undying Valour. It entered service with Battlefleet Archon less than a Terran year after structure completion, commanded by an inexperienced captain named Lutrecia Prask. Its complement of more than thirty thousand ratings was largely drawn from Imperial Navy levy stations strung out beyond the Mourn Ring, and was graded as competent by four subsequent inspection visits. Like all the original Corinus-class Grand Cruisers, it was heavily armed, with Lance and Macrocannon arrays out of proportion to its relatively underweight Void Shielding. It transpired that the class gradually fell out of favour with Imperial commanders, though the Undying Valour served with distinction for another five hundred Terran years, gaining a kill ratio marginally higher than its reputation indicated likely. Captain Prask died in an engagement less than twenty standard years after assuming command, and was replaced by a succession of captains promoted from the lower decks. A Grand Cruiser was a world of its own, and only the very greatest Battleships regularly recruited senior officers from outside the hull -- most captains were born, raised and trained on the ship they would later command. The last of the line, Orthan Hemmo, was of this tradition, and was said to have loved the ship more than his own children, of which there were twenty before circumstances intervened to curtail his commendable contribution to the replenishment of Imperial numbers.Those circumstances came at the Battle of the Borghesh Channel, a vicious encounter in which the Imperium lost twenty vessels and had its grip loosened on three sub-sectors. By the time Imperial Navy retribution fleets overwhelmed the region more than sixty standard years later, there was no sign of the Undying Valour at its last reported coordinates -- only a slowly spinning core of metal to which Captain Hemmo's deep-frozen corpse was, it was rumoured later, nailed on tight. In truth, the Undying Valour had been taken into the Eye of Terror and stayed there for five Terran millennia. It was renamed the Solace after it became corrupted by the power of Nurgle, which made the ship semi-sentient. It was eventually taken by the Chaos Lord Vorx, commander of the Lords of Silence, who ensured that the corrupted ship was placated with plenty of flesh and blood, in order to prevent the Solace from turning upon its own warriors. However this did not stop the Solace from occasionally growing tentacles in order to attack and devour members of the warband.
The Lords of Silence's warband badge is a stylised icon of a person holding their index finger to their mouth in the universally-recognised human gesture to be silent.
- Lords of Silence (Novel) by Chris Wraight
- White Dwarf 286 (UK), pp. 64-65
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (8th Edition), pg. 50