"The only reward for loyalty is betrayal."
- — The Tyrant of Badab
Lufgt Huron, also known as Huron Blackheart and the "Tyrant of Badab," was once the Chapter Master of the Astral Claws and self-claimed Imperial Governor of the world of Badab Primaris in the Maelstrom Zone of the Ultima Segmentum.
But ultimately, Huron was corrupted in his ambitious pursuit of power and he tainted most of his Chapter as well, leading them into an open rebellion against the Imperium of Man, known as the Badab War, which lasted from 901-912.M41.
Badly wounded at the end of his rebellion, and now bound to machines which keep him alive and forever in pain, Huron is now a scarred creature of hate. His machine claw clicking, he has strode to battle time and again, followed by the daemonic Hamadrya, and each time the agony of his existence grows and the spite within him deepens.
Reborn as the Chaos Lord Huron Blackheart, he is an inhuman servant of Chaos who now lives only to bleed the Imperium he once served. Master of the warband of piratical Chaos Space Marines called the Red Corsairs and Lord of the Maelstrom, he is the dark-souled king of an empire of monsters.
Dwelling within the swirling madness of the Maelstrom, Lord Blackheart has slowly built an empire amongst the Renegades and Heretics of that great Warp rift that will soon rival the strength of the forces of Chaos that call the Eye of Terror home. Reaving into the Imperium at the head of a fleet of Renegades and Traitors, he has grown in power even as the light of the Imperium has grown dim and tattered.
As a rebel Space Marine, Lugft Huron was critically injured by a melta blast during the fighting inside the Palace of Thorns on Badab Primaris at the culmination of the Badab War. His Chapter, the Astral Claws, had sworn to fight to the death protecting their Chapter Master and their world, but when they saw that Badab was lost, they seized Huron's body and fought their way past the Imperial blockade in a handful of voidships. Once away from the Badab System, they plunged into the Warp rift known as the Maelstrom to evade pursuit.
But the Tyrant lived. One side of his body had to be almost entirely reconstructed while the Astral Claws' ships hung in the Maelstrom. Within twelve solar days, Huron could stand, and he donned his power armour with grim determination. His followers hailed his recovery as a dark miracle. Huron's limited forces were still powerful enough to overwhelm the first pirate stronghold he found, slaughtering the corsairs in a matter of solar hours.
The survivors soon learnt to fear his fury, swearing allegiance to the Tyrant and becoming his slaves. As he claimed the allegiance of ever more of the Maelstrom's denizens, Huron Blackheart was born. His power continued to grow, and he welded together a piratical empire of Heretics and Renegades. His Space Marines became the Red Corsairs, named for the blood-red colour they used to obliterate their old heraldries.
In recent years, the Red Corsairs' attacks have become less frequent, as though they are waiting for something. When Huron himself leads a raid, however, they are much more brazen, known to ambush well-protected convoys and relying on speed and overwhelming force to take their prizes. The strength of the Red Corsairs grows daily, and the name of Huron Blackheart is whispered fearfully across a score of Imperial sectors.
As a consummate raider with dozens of fleets at his disposal, Huron Blackheart has more material wealth that any warlord within a hundred light years of the Maelstrom. His Tyrant's Claw is a masterwork bionic that combines a set of serried talons, each swathed in a crackling disruption field, with an internal Heavy Flamer that can incinerate those who displease him. The strange quadruped that slinks in Blackheart's shadow is known as the Hamadrya, a bizarre and possibly daemonic Familiar that bestows powerful psychic ability upon its master.
No matter how rich and esoteric his trappings, however, the Tyrant can never escape the wracking pain that has haunted him since his fall during the Badab War. Perhaps it is this near-constant agony that adds fuel to the fires of wrath in Blackheart's soul; perhaps it is nothing more than pure hatred. Either way, this lord of mayhem is possibly the deadliest Renegade in the annals of Imperial history.
The Astral Claws were one of a series of Space Marine Chapters tasked with watching over the blighted region of space known as the Maelstrom. An open wound in reality, the Maelstrom is a place where Daemons walk the worlds drowned in its depths, where aliens swarm like carrion feeders, and the outcasts of Humanity gather and grow strong.
The Astral Claws once watched over the Maelstrom, but even as they waged their war against the dark, they found themselves part of a dwindling host. Its fellow Maelstrom Warders Chapters were drawn off to fight other wars, and every request for aid was answered with silence.
Perhaps fate would have taken a different path if another had sat on the throne of Badab, but it was Lufgt Huron who watched as the malignancy of the Maelstrom waxed, and his Chapter alone paid the blood price of vigilance.
How could such a father of warriors accept the slow death of his Chapter? How could he accept failure? Perhaps in pride, perhaps in desperation, Huron broke with the iron law of the Imperium.
Rise of Lufgt Huron
Most of the Imperial records pertaining to the Astral Claws have been lost or purged following the Edict of Obliteration that was issued by the Inquisition following the conclusion of the Badab War. But there is evidence that Lufgt Huron first came to prominence within his Chapter as a Scout Novitiate during the later stages of the Ribos Crusade.
He first displayed his valour during the campaign to conquer the outcast Aeldari Exodite world of Lylogir, where he fought through a psychic assault and killed an Asuryani Warlock with his bare hands, saving his squad. He was later reassigned to his Chapter's Devastator reserve upon becoming a full Initiate of the Astral Claws. He soon proved that he was a natural leader and insightful tactician in a number of battles.
As time progressed, Huron proved to be an unusually skilled master of the tactical application of firepower. His rise was meteoric from this point on, as he ascended first to the Chapter's 3rd Battle Company and then joined the Veterans of the Astral Claws' elite 1st Company, where his superlative combat skills saw him raised to command other Space Marine Veterans with far more practical experience than he.
Huron excelled as a warrior and a leader, and was soon named the captain of the 3rd Battle Company. In this role he displayed his true strategic prowess and unleashed innovative tactics that saw his battle-brothers defeat enemy forces several times their size and power.
But within the ranks of the Astral Claws, there were those who saw Huron's rapid ascension and the fanatical devotion of those that served him as a threat, for they feared that the growing loyalty to Huron was greater than their fellow battle-brothers' love for either their Chapter or the Emperor.
Hand of Destiny
In 587.M41, the High Lords of Terra pronounced an Edict Imperialis in response to these dire predations, ordering several Space Marine Chapters to permanently base themselves in the Maelstrom Zone in order to protect the Imperium's interests and pacify the region. In recognition of their past glorious service to the Imperium, the Astral Claws Chapter was given the high honour of the senior role in commanding the newly formed Maelstrom Warders.
Once this force was put in place, the Astral Claws Chapter took over an orbital battle station in the strategically vital Badab System, which became their fortress-monastery and base of operations. Soon the wealth of the Maelstrom Zone once again began to flow into the coffers of the Imperium.
Disaster soon struck, as a series of Ork raids originating within the Maelstrom struck deep into the Badab Sector. The Astral Claws' Chapter Master Rovik Blake went against his own doctrine to never enter the great Warp Rift and pursued the Orks back into the Maelstrom itself. Having led the Astral Claws for the last two centuries, he fell in single combat with the Ork Warboss Vorg Manburna, a defeat which forced the Astral Claws to retreat.
On return to the Badab System, Captain Lufgt Huron was appointed as the Astral Claws' new Chapter Master by popular acclaim of his peers in 715.M41. He became the youngest warrior in the Chapter's history to attain this esteemed rank. Imperial historians now point out that such a man of flawed character should never have been allowed to rise to the command of a Space Marine Chapter.
But Lufgt Huron had already proven to be an exceptional warrior as well as a skilled tactician and charismatic leader. He quickly reorganised the Chapter's strategic deployments and established a policy of expanding his Chapter's fleet which had been badly depleted, including within its ranks captured corsair vessels in aggressive raids.
He also established the questionable scorched-planet policy against their enemies and increased his Chapter's stockpile of Exterminatus-class weapons. This resulted in several fringe worlds that harboured Renegade ships in the past being turned into lifeless husks.
Chapter Master Huron's had stamped his mark on the Astral Claws Chapter in an almost unprecedented manner, wielding the power of the Maelstrom Warder Chapter as none had done before. Delivering victory after victory despite the direst circumstances and against fearful odds, Huron swiftly silenced his detractors.
Rise of a Tyrant
In 718.M41, a failed coup on the Hive World of Badab Primaris led to an abortive civil war, and the Astral Claws stepped in and brutally crushed the conflict. In the aftermath, the elements behind the coup were brought forth to Lufgt Huron for judgement. Mindful of the lesson of Cygnax, the Chapter Master personally took matters into his own hands, swiftly reimposing order once more.
This time he employed the Astral Claws much more brutally as they executed much of the planet's ruling class as well as purging those they perceived as morally recidivist. Taking upon himself the mantle of planetary ruler, Lufgt Huron stylised himself the "Tyrant of Badab," claiming the inhabited worlds in proximity to the hospitable region of the void around the Badab System as his Chapter's fiefdom.
In his subsequent pronouncement, he echoed the example and precedents of the sovereign realm of Ultramar and the Warder's charter. The nearby system was soon purged wholesale of the ruling elites and in the decades afterward, a number of Astral Claws "watch bastions" were established. The Tyrant's chosen servants and political allies were placed in positions of power, turning the Badab Sector into a pocket empire, commanded by the Astral Claws.
To further cement his power, in a massive reorganisation of the uneven and often isolationist native planetary defence forces in the region into what would become known as the "Tyrant's Legion." Following a unified command structure these forces now followed a standard dictated by Huron. The Astral Claws assigned detachments to further train the Tyrant's Legion in order to purge them of weak elements.
Soon the Tyrant's Legion proved their worth as they repulsed numerous corsair raids, freeing the Astral Claws from their defensive stance. The Chapter was able to conduct a series of lightning raids into outlying areas to harass and destroy heretic and xenos controlled areas. With the increase of Huron's tally of victories, and the curtailing of corsair activity and the increase of production never before reached, the fame of the Astral Claws "tyrant" grew beyond the Maelstrom Zone.
The formation of the Legion was far from Huron's only deliberate move to concentrate all military power within the Badab Sector in his own hands and that of his Chapter, as through a system of patronage, charisma, might and political skill he also inveigled the noble houses and commercial interest of those worlds he protected under his direct control, and even suborned the local officers of the Maelstrom Fleet squadron under his personal authority.
Spurred by this success, Huron had his servants deliver a formal and lengthy petition to Terra, making a detailed case for completely subduing the Maelstrom and the surrounding area, which would greatly benefit the Imperium in the long term.
In order to achieve this, Huron advocated the deployment of several more Space Marine Chapters to the Warder's ranks, suggesting even that a new Founding might even be warranted to meet the needs of his plan. Unfortunately, Huron's petition was dismissed without full hearing on the grounds that the requirements of the Imperium were better met elsewhere.
During the mid-700s.M41, the Astral Claws submission of required gene-seed tithes to the Magos Inviglia of the Adeptus Mechanicus became infrequent and incomplete. Although initially a cause for concern, such matters were not uncommon, particularly those Space Marine Chapters deployed to border areas or on crusade, simply because the Chapter itself might have a temporary need to retain the gene-seed itself to sustain battlefield losses.
But as the omission persisted, this signaled to the Mechanicus that there was some darker motive at work. This would later prove to be true with the Astral Claws, as evidence later indicated that this first great sin against the traditions of the Astartes would arguably result in the Chapter's fall into heresy.
Repeatedly denied the reinforcements he had requested to aid him and the Maelstrom Warders in carrying out their tasks, in his arrogance and pride, the Tyrant sought to expand his forces into a force equal to a Space Marine Legion of old. Further covert investigation would later uncover that the Astral Claws Apothecarion were conducting heretical experiments in rapid zygote cultivation. Though largely unsuccessful, the Astral Claws eventually stood at around an estimated 3,500 battle-brothers strong.
In protest, Huron also withheld Badab Primaris' planetary tithe to the Administratum and further blocked the passage of trade through his realms in protest over the adepta's failure to provide him and his allies sufficient resources to police the Maelstrom.
Refusing the Astral Claws' role as defenders of the Maelstrom Zone, the Tyrant soon diverted the industrial resources and manpower to directly supplement the Badab Sector's defences as well as augmenting the Maelstrom fleet detachment and fortification of key worlds under his command. These space-based defences encircling the outer and inner spheres of the Badab Sector came to be known as the "Ring of Steel."
On Badab Primaris, the Tyrant ordered the demolition of the ancient citadel of the ruling dominars and instead erected the legendary, hugely fortified "Palace of Thorns" to his own specifications and design.
The clashing entitlement of the Administratum's Imperial tithe and the ancient rights of the Astartes commanders to defend the Imperium by any means necessary swiftly came to be known as the Badab Schism and would last for more than a century and a half, during which the Astral Claws and the Maelstrom Warders would continue to carry on military operations as usual, against a volatile backdrop of worsening tensions with the Administratum and Segmentum authorities.
"The strong are strongest alone."
Huron's charmed record did not last however, and when conditions in the Maelstrom Zone worsened and the self-proclaimed Tyrant's plans were thwarted by causes beyond his control, he became increasingly dictatorial and paranoid. He soon embarked upon a dark course that would eventually lead to the lamentable conflict known as the Badab War from 901.M41 until 912.M41.
Not only his own Chapter, but those blinded by their past relationships and allied to the Astral Claws, also followed Lufgt Huron into heresy. In the face of wanton heresy and deceit, the Inquisitor-Legate charged with prosecuting the crusade against the Secessionist forces of the Badab Sector condemned the entire Astral Claws Chapter as Excommunicate Traitoris, and placed their allies under official suspicion of heresy and treason.
The Tyrant of Badab, as Lufgt Huron became known in Imperial histories, was a power-hungry and ambitious individual who should never have risen to power within a Space Marine Chapter. Huron's megalomania became apparent as he steadily distanced himself from the Imperium, hoarding Badab's planetary tithes for himself. He was plainly a dangerous individual, able in many respects but lacking the absolute dedication to humanity vital in a Lord of the Imperium.
It will never be known for sure, but current hypotheses suggest that Huron was either an alien shapechanger, or otherwise subject to alien domination of a most unnatural kind. A sudden and unexpected manifestation of psychic powers may lie at the heart of the matter.
Though Lufgt Huron became an increasingly unstable commander, throughout the Badab War he remained a brilliant tactician who favoured strategies of stalwart defence married to high-speed counter attack and subtle flanking actions. He often turned his enemies' reliance on the Codex Astartes to his advantage in outwitting his fellow Space Marines. He also led many of his strike forces from the frontline where he could, inspiring the warriors that followed him and assuring them of the righteousness of their cause.
"Though my guards may sleep and my ships may lay at anchor, our foes know full well that the big guns never tire."
- — Lufgt Huron, the Tyrant of Badab, 909.M41
The Badab War burnt for almost a solar decade, consuming stars, planets and billions of lives. Seventeen Space Marine Chapters fought on its many bloody battlefields. The uprising came to an end in early 913.M41 with the fall of Badab Primaris and the final defeat of the Astral Claws.
At its end, the rebellious Astral Claws were pushed back to the Badab System, and the fortress of the Palace of Thorns. The forces of retribution closed in, and the scene was to be set for one of the most brutal planetary assaults in Imperial history.
Rolling bombardments turned cities to dust and shattered stone. Pillars of ash and fire rose from the ruins to touch the heavens. And from out of that smoke-clogged sky, seven companies of the Star Phantoms Chapter descended like avenging angels, as the battle raged across Badab and through the Palace of Thorns. The Astral Claws and their vassal forces made the Star Phantoms bleed for every scrap of ground, but hour by hour, more of their defensive positions were lost, and the tally of dead mounted.
At last, Captain Zhrukal Androcles of the Star Phantoms fatally wounded Huron with a melta blast. The Tyrant fell, and the Badab War ended. The Astral Claws were no more. The fears of Huron, that they would die a forgotten death on the edge of the Imperium, had been replaced by extinction at the hands of the Imperium.
As father of his Chapter he had not only failed, but brought about the doom he had tried to avoid. Scoured from Imperial records, the honours won by the Astral Claws in their long service became ash, their domains given to those who had cast them down. But the Tyrant lived.
Taken from the battlefield by a cadre of his veterans, he had clung to life through sheer force of will, despite being reduced to an unrecognizable heap of charred flesh and armour and missing most of the right side of his body. Bearing the broken body of their lord, the last of the Astral Claws fled.
Only a contingent of about two hundred of the Renegade Astral Claws, now devotees of Chaos Undivided, managed to fight their way through the Exorcists' blockade and escaped into deep space, taking refuge in the hellish realm known as the Maelstrom, joining the horde of aliens, Renegades and Heretics that made the Maelstrom their lair.
There, amongst the Warp-saturated clouds of dust and gas, the Techmarines and Apothecaries laboured over the remains of Huron for seven solar days and nights. On the eighth day, Huron rose and looked on what remained of his Chapter. He saw a ragged band of loyal warriors, a last remnant of a past that was now dead. Barely a company's strength had survived the fall of the Palace of Thorns. Amongst them stood veterans and new initiates alike. And when his brothers looked back what did they see? A walking body of scar tissue and machinery, its wound-chewed face twitching from an agony held back by his iron will.
Without a word the Astral Claws knelt to Huron then and there. He beheld his remaining warriors in silence and, through the film of pain and near-death madness, saw a new path for him and his brothers.
He spoke then, telling them to rise, to strike out the symbols of loyalty to the Imperium which had betrayed them, and to paint their armour red for the blood of their murdered brothers. They would survive, he said, and they would rise. In that moment, the survivors of Badab shed their last tattered scraps of honour.
The Astral Claws were no more -- only their bloody shadows remained, clad in the crimson that would give them their name: they were Red Corsairs, and if they could not live in honour they would rule in hell. The Tyrant ordered his fleet to seek a new world to conquer.
By the twelfth day Huron could stand and don his power armour once more. His fanatical followers hailed his recovery as a miracle, but if it was any kind of miracle, it was a dark one.
Master of the Maelstrom
In the depths of the Maelstrom, Huron began to gather power. The Maelstrom is a place of broken reality older than the Imperium. Within the folds of its gas and dust clouds, the Warp and reality blend and curdle together. It is a hybrid realm, with one foot in the physical world and one foot in the dream reality of the Immaterium.
At its heart, Daemons walk the stars, and dance across the surface of worlds where no law reigns, and sanity is a joke chuckled from the mouths of dry skulls. Further towards its edge, where the Warp's touch ebbs and flows like the wash of a great ocean, life festers like carrion in an open grave.
Ragged kingdoms of outcasts, mutant shipwreckers, pirates, witches, aliens, the shunned and the lost, all swarm in the margins of the Maelstrom. When the remains of the Astral Claws made it their home, it was a place of cruelty and bloodshed, its darkness was wild and untamed. Huron, and his Red Corsairs, changed that.
Huron's limited forces easily overwhelmed the first pirate stronghold they found, slaughtering all the corsairs within. The survivors swore allegiance to the Tyrant and became his slaves, soon learning to fear his fury. On Renegade worlds Huron slew petty kings and forced mutant lords to kneel at his feet. When the other pirate lords of the Maelstrom refused his demands, he slew their followers, looted their holdings, and gave them to the Warp-twisted mutants infesting his ships for sport.
Soon, the outcasts of the Maelstrom learned not to refuse the Master of the Red Corsairs. From the pirates and Renegade Navigator clans he took ships. From the populations of dank slave worlds and rust-filled space stations he took flesh and muscle to labour in his holds.
Piece by piece, Huron and the Red Corsairs built a dark mirror to the lost realm of Badab. From his throne on the rusted space station of Hell's Iris, Huron watched as his power grew, unbounded by the strictures of the Imperium.
Ragged fleets of ships raided into the Imperium, bled its worlds of slaves and riches, and returned to heap them at his feet. The denizens of the Maelstrom named Huron the "Blackheart", and he wears that title like a crown still.
The Blood Reaver
"Can it be true, can the Tyrant of Badab yet live, at least in some form by some foul agency? I have seen too many miracles both wondrous and nightmarish to claim it cannot be so. Are we, Mankind, then doomed to be always the father of our own torment, the genesis of our own destruction, time and time again? God Emperor help us - ever has it been so."
- — Quoted by an anonymous Inquisitor
Just as Huron's power grew, so too did the strength of the Red Corsairs. As though drawn by fate, the Renegades of many Chapters would find their way to the Maelstrom, and to the foot of Huron's throne. It is said that the oath breakers of a hundred Chapters follow the Blackheart to battle, their colours hidden by the red of betrayal.
All have fallen far from their noble origins. Many of those who find their way to the Maelstrom have already given their souls to darkness, but even those who have not, fall in time. The Warp breathes out into the Maelstrom, and it touches all those that dwell within it. Mutation runs rife amongst the Red Corsairs, as do cults and factions devoted to the Dark Gods.
The Jagged Oath, who eat the flesh of the dead after battle, and the Nine Eyes, a cabal of infamous sorcerers and deceivers, are just two of an ever-changing patchwork of corruption within Huron's followers. Some amongst the Red Corsairs may not give their souls to the Chaos Gods knowingly, but lack of devotion does not lessen their damnation.
In battle, Huron has led his Red Corsairs against the Imperium time and again. "The Blood Reaver" they call him, and it is a title he has earned well. Systems close to the Maelstrom have suffered increasingly bold raids since the rise of the Red Corsairs. Often these raids are as swift as they are brutal. Corsair ships appear, crush their prey with overwhelming force, and withdraw as fast as they appeared.
Besides these bloody raids, Huron has personally led a series of spectacularly grand attacks on the Imperium. On Vilamus, he destroyed the gene-seed stock of the Marines Errant, condemning the Chapter to a slow death, and so repaying in spite the role they played in the fall of Badab. At Parenxes, Huron burned a strike force of the Space Wolves and Death Hawks Chapters, taking the strike cruiser Wolf of Fenris as a prize after slaying Wolf Lord Gnyrll Bluetooth.
In one of his most recent atrocities, Huron descended on the mustering of Battlefleet Aquinas above Oldarian. Learning of the muster from the lips of a Warp-seer, Huron gathered his entire fleet and made for the harbour system. Knowing that his transition from the Warp would alert the Imperial forces, he exited the Warp in the gulf of dead space far from the Oldarian.
Blood sacrifices ensured that he arrived before the muster began, and as the first Imperial ships arrived, none realised that the Red Corsairs were creeping nearer. Only when the Imperial fleet hung at anchor above Oldarian did the Red Corsairs' guns howl. Ten mighty warships died in the first seconds of the attack. Huron himself led the second wave of the assault.
The strike cruiser Wolf of Fenris dove into the burning core of the Imperial fleet and launched boarding torpedoes into the hull of the battleship Chosen of Thor. A hundred Red Corsairs, with Huron at their head, cut their way to the battleship's reactors and quenched them. The Chosen of Thor became dark and silent as the rest of the muster was ripped apart beside it.
It is thought that Huron let some of the Imperial ships flee, holding fire when they broke from battle. When the ships reached other Imperial forces their crews told of a last message, growling from the signal arrays. "Your Empire is dead", it said.
As the End Times spiral towards a final midnight, Huron's strength waxes, and the Maelstrom swells to claim worlds that it has never touched before. From his fastness, Huron watches, while his forces raid ever deeper into the Imperium.
Some say that the Blood Reaver is waiting, that the forces he had so far unleashed are but a fraction of his might. What he waits and watches for none know, but the Lords of Terra fear that when that hour comes, the fallen Tyrant of Badab will return to claim the throne from which he was cast down.
In the aftermath of the death of Badab Primaris, in 913.M41 the remaining Secessionists from the Astral Claws, Executioners, Mantis Warriors and Lamenters were put on trial before a specially convened Consistorial Court of their peers with their very existence at stake. The Consistorial Court also found all of those Chapters who had taken part in the Badab Secession guilty in breaking with both the Codex Astartes and the ancient covenant it represented.
In punishment, all the Astral Claws in custody were blindfolded and shackled in dishonour and then put to the sword. It was further judged that the other surviving Secessionist Chapters -- the Executioners, Lamenters, and Mantis Warriors would have to each undertake a 100-year-long Penitent Crusade to atone for their transgressions, and would have to do so without the right to recruit new brethren to replace their losses during this time of punishment. Their future survival would therefore be left to their own hands and the grace and benevolence of the Emperor.
In addition, the Mantis Warriors would henceforth lose all rights to their ancient domains in the Endymion Cluster, with their goods and chattels given over to the Fire Hawks in perpetuity, and likewise the Lamenters Chapter were condemned to surrender reparations in ships and wargear to the Minotaurs Chapter (this in essence being no more than a rubber-stamp approval of actions already taken place).
The Executioners Chapter in contrast were granted a measure of comparable clemency, and their twin Chapter worlds were given over in trust to the Salamanders Chapter and their own successors rather than forfeited entirely, to be returned to them should they endure their hundred year act of contrition and survive.
In recognition for their efforts in the war's brutal final assault, the badly mauled Star Phantoms Chapter were given the somewhat pyrrhic reward of dominion over the once proud Badab Sector, along with the task of policing its survivors. They were also granted the pick of any world within the sector to settle as their new homeworld.
Long a fleet-based Chapter after the destruction of their former homeworld, the Star Phantoms finally brought their severely damaged Battle-Barge Memento Mori down to the surface of the Ice World of Jahga in the Archaea System to serve as their core for a new fortress-monastery and slowly began the process of rebuilding their Chapter.
In 915.M41, upon returning to Terra, the Inquisitor Legate carried out his last act by ordering an Edict of Obliteration to be carried out under the auspices of the Adeptus Terra in regards to the Astral Claws, the Tiger Claws and their master Lufgt Huron -- the Tyrant of Badab -- wiping their accursed names and their sins from the pages of Imperial history.
Entered into the official record would be sanitised and altered versions of the events of the Badab War for the protection of the Emperor's honour and the moral safety of Imperial citizens.
13th Black Crusade
The Eye of Terror is not the only wound in the galaxy to have become the lair of Chaos Space Marines. Raiders from the Maelstrom plague the void for light years in all directions, the worst of which are the Red Corsairs, led by Huron Blackheart.
At the dawn of Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade, Huron made his own simultaneous assaults upon the Imperium, draining the resources of the Adeptus Astartes who strive to hurl the Chaos Space Marines back to the hells from which they came. With the opening of the Great Rift in 999.M41 following the fall of Cadia to the Despoiler, the Maelstrom has become but a part of a far larger empyric anomaly that spans the Imperium from one side to the other.
Over the course of their near-constant pillaging of the Imperium's domains, Huron Blackheart and his raiders have become expert at negotiating those areas that are in the Immaterium and on the fringes of realspace at the same time. Already the Red Corsairs have been sighted far further afield than the environs of the Maelstrom.
It is all but certain that the Tyrant of Badab has struck some devil's bargain with the powers that dwell in the Warp, for if the Imperium's after-action reports are to believed, he has been seen in two different Segmentums at the same time.
- Terminator Armour - As former master of a well-resourced and equipped Space Marine Chapter, Lugft Huron had access to a plethora of arms and wargear of the highest quality, included among which were a number of suits of armour of various types. Perhaps most famous of these was what was known as his Armour of Pride - a heavily customised set of Terminator armour adapted and augmented for him by the Astral Claws Master Artificer Armenneus Valthex. Since his fall to Chaos, his armour has changed due to long exposure to the warp as well as displaying the usual Chaos iconography and fetishes.
- The Tyrant's Claw - The Tyrant's Claw is the monstrous, bear-like bionic arm and shoulder that was built to replace Huron's own arm. The Claw is a Power Fist that incorporates a built-in Heavy Flamer. The Tyrant's Claw was built from the remnants of a relic Lightning Claw known as the Ghost Razors, which fragmentary evidence suggests was gifted to Lufgt Huron by the remnants of the Tiger Claws Chapter in gratitude to their saviour. The Ghost Razors were destroyed during the Fall of Badab when they were struck by a melta-blast. The device exploded catastrophically, incinerating Lugft Huron's right arm and most of his right side. Like its predecessor, the Tyrant's Claw is a heavily-armoured gauntlet that houses a number of articulated blades. In close combat, the Tyrant's Claws is an all but unmatched weapon, the unidentified phase-frequency disruption fields imparted to their cutting edges prove able to slice though solid matter at a sub-molecular level, parting ceramite and adamantine plate effortlessly and sundering energy fields and force barriers they encounter. The Heavy Flamer incorporated into the Tyrant's Claw, is commonly employed as a squad support weapon by Terminator units deployed into closely confined battle zones. The use of such a weapon by a Space Marine commander was an unorthodox choice, but one that clearly reflects Huron Blackheart's preference for participating at the forefront of battle and heavy assaults. The heavy flamer's specific pattern remains unknown, and it was likely a direct creation of Armenneus Valthex in his capacity as the Tyrant's personal armourer and weaponsmith.
- Iron Halo - The Iron Halo on Blackheart's armour emits a very strong gravitic Conversion Field around its wearer, which makes his armour even harder to pierce with enemy weapons. In addition it also provides its wearer with immense resilience to even the most potent weapons on the battlefield such as Lascannons and missiles of all varieties. The shield stands a good chance of deflecting many deadly projectiles that would normally slay a Space Marine with ease.
- The Hamadrya - The Hamadrya is a peculiar creature which seems bound to Huron Blackheart. Slick-skinned, with blank red eyes, it resembles something like a featherless bird or a skinless dog, but when seen on the edge of sight its shape changes, bloating in size, or turning into a flickering pillar of flame. The Hamadrya is, in truth, a creature of the Warp. The Hamadrya began its life as a thought. A potentiality. A tendril of insubstantial Warp-stuff that draped itself invisibly across Huron's mantle. Over solar weeks, months and then standard years it became something more tangible. In its earliest stages, it was nothing more than a wisp. A curl of smoky air that lingered around the transhuman warrior's shoulder like a mist snake wrapping itself protectively around him. Huron himself seemed either oblivious or indifferent to its presence, but over time he began to notice that he was developing a sensitivity, and then a resistance, to psychic intrusions. The Hamadrya seems to gift Huron with strange powers, slowing time, allowing him to see lies, and to know truths that no mortal should. The more he realised this, the stronger the warding became, until eventually the ethereal presence at his shoulder took on a more corporeal form. Sometimes it was reptilian, sometimes avian, other times simian -- but always animalistic and never larger than the breadth of the Astartes' shoulder span. Others could see it, but never for long. Most of the time it could only be glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, leaving the viewer wondering if they had seen it at all. But it has limitations. The further Huron strays from the Maelstrom, the weaker the creature becomes.
- Power Axe - Huron Blackheart's Power Axe may be his secondary weapon, but it is no less fearsome. While the Tyrant's Claw slashes enemies to pieces and sets them ablaze with its flames, Huron wields the axe in his left hand, despatching enemies foolish enough to get within range of the short swings of its heavy blade.
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Cities of Death, "The Palace of Thorns", pp. 58-59
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 87, 122
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 58
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 56-57
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition), pp. 23, 105-106
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two
- Warhammer 40,000 Compendium, "The Badab War" by Rick Priestley, pp. 33-35
- Warlords of the Dark Millennium - Huron Blackeart, pp. 3-4, 6-10, 11-13, 21-25
- White Dwarf 101 (UK) "Index Astartes: The Badab Uprising" by Rick Priestley
- Into the Maelstrom (Anthology), "Into the Maelstrom" by Chris Pramas
- The Gildar Rift (Novel) by Sarah Cawkwell
- Blood Reaver (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Tyrant of the Hollow Worlds (Novel) by Mark Clapham
- Forge World - Space Marine Badab War Characters Update Version 2 (6th Edition)
- Bitter End (Short Story) by Sarah Cawkwell