The Sanctified are a warband of Chaos Space Marines and a splinter faction of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion that broke away from their parent Legion at the end of the Horus Heresy. They are followers of the Blood God Khorne, which precipitated their split from the Word Bearers, who preferred to worship the Chaos Gods as a whole.
It has been observed that The Sanctified have the innate ability to locate newly founded Imperial colonies and Explorator fleets in the vast tracts of unknown areas of space, preying upon these targets for the last ten millennia.
The Sanctified can trace their origins to the end of the Horus Heresy, when the Forces of Chaos were defeated at the Battle of Terra and the Traitor Legions were driven out of Imperial space over the next few solar decades into the Eye of Terror. The Word Bearers were one of the Traitor Legions that fled, but several of their commanders refused to retreat.
A Word Bearers Lieutenant Commander by the name of Helman Brisch was one such officer. His troops that remained loyal to him became the warband known as The Sanctified. They continued their former Legion's dark crusade to convert the masses of the Imperium of Man to the service of the true Gods of Chaos. Brisch was eventually slain in the 32nd Millennium, but his zealous followers continued to carry on his cause.
They scoured the known galaxy recruiting the most devout Chaos Space Marines from other warbands. At some point The Sanctified dedicated itself to the bloody worship of Khorne. Since that time, they have used their dark abilities as daemonmancers to summon Khorne's daemonic children into the material universe.
- The Battle for Grand Al'gul (666.M41) - The Battle for Grand Al'gul was a series of running battles fought by the Fire Angels Space Marine Chapter against The Sanctified on the Cemetery Worlds of Grand Al'gul System in 666.M41, at the behest of the Inquisition. The Fire Angels acquiesced to the Inquisition's request and diverted from their course to intercept this powerful Chaos warband. During this campaign against the Chaos Space Marines and their daemonic minions, the Fire Angels blocked their efforts to desecrate the resting places of the honoured Imperial dead and work hideous Chaotic rituals in the ruins. These were fraught and brutal combats where not only the lives but the souls of the Space Marines were at stake. The Fire Angels Astartes succeeded in forcing their enemies to fight them in a series of assaults and counter-assaults, with the Fire Angels maintaining disciplined order and using the cover provided by the marble forests of headstones and maze of burial vaults to their advantage. The Sanctified responded with all the foul sorceries at their command, liquefying stone with their dark magicks and summoning roiling, chattering swarms of mindless daemonic beasts to harrow those that would dare to oppose them.The Fire Angels Chapter paid a heavy price in the short but savage combat before victory was achieved, including the martyrdom of the Chapter Master Haran Stark in battle against a frost-rimed Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, known as a Lord of Change, while defending the sacred Narthex of Penitents, and the self-immolation of their Chief Librarian Mathias Dee in order to avoid Warp-possession. Eventually, their forces spent, The Sanctified were driven from the sacred sites and routed from the system; the planed apothesosis of The Sanctified's Arch-Sorcerer Ezrath Cull to daemonhood utterly thwarted. Following the corrupted Chaos Space Marine force's defeat, Cull, a once-favoured Champion of Chaos, was assassinated by his own apprentices in a brutal power struggle to control the shattered remains of his decimated warband as they fled Grand Al'gul.
- The Siege of Vraks (813-830.M41) - The Sanctified took part in the Siege of Vraks, a 17-year long, bloody campaign to take the strategically important Imperial Armoury World of Vraks Prime before the onset of the 13th Black Crusade. The mighty Chaos Lord Zhufor, of the Khornate warband the Skulltakers, was charged by his master Abaddon the Despoiler, to manage the war on Vraks to his satisfaction. Driven by his own ambition and desire to prolong the war, Lord Zhufor, commanding the largest Khornate warband, moved to subjugate the various Khornate warbands and unify them under his leadership. Death was his only motivation -- to continue the killing until the last drop of blood had been squeezed from Vraks. To acquire the services of the Sanctified, Zhufor made them a tantalising offer he knew they would not refuse. The Sanctified were accomplished daemonmancers, and they worked tirelessly to bring Khorne's daemons into realspace. They had the expertise, and Zhufor provided them with the tens of thousands of sacrificial victims needed in order to create a Warp portal through which daemon legions could pour out onto the surface of Vraks. The promise was that Zhufor would facilitate the summoning of the greatest daemon legion in Khorne's endless armies. At the head of this fiendish army would be the Guardian of the Throne of Skulls himself, the Lord of Bloodthirsters, An'ggrath the Unbound. The pact was too alluring to refuse. The Sanctified joined forces with Zhufor and performed their daemonic ritual, summoning forth the Greater Daemon to bring fresh slaughter. Though An'ggrath was eventually summoned at the height of the Vraks campaign, he was defeated by a force of Grey Knights led by Inquisitor Lord Hector Rex who banished him in personal combat with the artefact-sword Arias.
- Ezrath Cull - Arch-Sorcerer and favoured Champion of Chaos, Ezrath Cull led the Sanctified in their foul efforts to desecrate the resting places of the honoured Imperial dead and work hideous rituals in the ruins of the Cemetery Worlds of the Grand Al'gul System in 666.M41. But their efforts were thwarted by the Fire Angels Space Marine Chapter in a series of long running, savage battles. Eventually, their forces spent, the Sanctified were driven from the sacred sites and routed from the system; the planed apothesosis of the Sanctified's Arch-Sorcerer Ezrath cull to daemonhood utterly thwarted. Following the corrupted Chaos Space Marines force's defeat, Cull, a once-favoured Champion of Chaos, was assassinated by his own apprentices in a brutal power struggle to control the shattered remains of his decimated warband as they fled Grand Al'gul.
- Destiny of Pain - The Destiny of Pain is a Strike Cruiser of The Sanctified.
The Sanctified wear blood red coloured Power Armour with silver trim. Some warriors wear different variations that include painting portions of their armour black.
The Sanctified's warband badge is a flaming black Mark of Khorne on a red background.
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 16-17, 138
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 92-93
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost and the Damned by Andy Hoare with additional material by Alan Bligh & Neil Wylie, pg. 43
- Games Workshop - Tips For Creating Your Own Renegade Space Marines (Archived)
- Mephiston: Lord of Death (Novel) by David Annandale, Ch. 2