The Phoenix Guard was the elite unit of Astartes of the Emperor's Children Legion who were responsible for performing various formal and ceremonial roles and also served as the Primarch Fulgrim's Honour Guard during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy in the late 30th and early 31st Millennia.
The number of Phoenix Guard always stood at 200 warriors to commemorate the first days of the IIIrd Legion's rebirth after Fulgrim was reunited with his gene-sons when the Emperor's Children had numbered only 200 remaining Astartes. The members of the Phoenix Guard followed their beloved Phoenician wherever he went as part of their duties, even when he was travelling within the relative safety of the starships of the Imperial Army and the vessels of the other Space Marine Legions.
The bird of ancient Terran myth known as the phoenix was a potent symbol amongst the Emperor's Children Legion before its corruption, an exemplar of the Legion's all-consuming and transformative quest for perfection. Taking inspiration and title from the legendary bird, the Phoenix Guard formed an elite cadre within the Emperor's Children Legion, serving primarily as the Primarch Fulgrim's personal retinue. When the Legion was about its day-to-day duties, they served as ceremonial honour guards and sacred aquilifers, replete in polished, tyrian-chased armour adorned with fluttering oath papers and bearing gold-chased arms of intricate manufacture. On the field of battle, the Phoenix Guard were no less impressive and were storied as providing an impenetrable ring of courage and steel, barring the approach of any enemy who dared challenge their Primarch. They fought many spheres of battle, from lightning swift assault forces to veteran tactical units, but it was their Terminators who were most feared, their martial skill all but unmatched across the Legions.
During the IIIrd Legion's battle to conquer the xenos world of Laeran, the Phoenix Guard took part in the final extermination of the serpentine Laer species. The entire unit was slain on the world of Tarsus in the Perdus Region of the galaxy after Fulgrim, already under the influence of Chaos through the Laer Daemonsword he had captured on Laeran, took offence at the Eldar Farseer Eldrad Ulthran's warning about Horus' corruption by Chaos, and proceeded to open fire on the Farseer and his troops from Craftworld Ulthwe.
A new Phoenix Guard was then recruited and accompanied Fulgrim during both his fateful meeting with Horus where he finally embraced Chaos and in his abortive attempt to recruit Ferrus Manus to the Traitors' cause aboard Ferrus' own flagship where they successfully slaughtered the Morlocks Terminators who served as Ferrus' own bodyguard unit. While the Phoenix Guard served Fulgrim through the Battle of Terra, it is unknown if the unit still exists and serves as the Daemon Prince's bodyguard on the unknown Daemon World he now calls home.
- 1 Phoenix Captain (Squad Leader)
- 4-9 Phoenix Terminators
- Tartaros Pattern Terminator Armour
- Phoenix Power Spear - Patterned in imitation of the deadly and arcane power halberds wielded by the Legio Custodes, these elegant blades, while merely pale imitations of those legendary polearms, are still hugely lethal weapons in their own right.
- Grenade Harness (Phoenix Champion (Squad Leader) Only)
- Sonic Screamers - Towards the end of the Great Crusade, the Legion's armourers and Apothecaries had begun to experiment with surgical augments and psycho-sonic weaponry based in part on xenos-designs. Although their true breakthroughs in these fields would not occur until given unholy impetus and inspiration during the Legion's fall, some success had already been reached in creating effective combat implants which were finding selective use as the Horus Heresy dawned.
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal, by Alan Bligh, pg. 107
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre, by Alan Bligh, pg. 220
- Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill