The Sons of the Eye were a large warband of Chaos Space Marines dedicated to Chaos Undivided. The Sons of the Eye were a splinter warband of the Black Legion that was founded and commanded by the infamous Chaos Lord Drecarth the Sightless, the Blind Butcher of Irridous VII, a former Battle-Brother of the Sons of Horus who had fought alongside Abaddon during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy that followed. Always jealous of the Primarch Horus' favour for the Despoiler, the Sons of the Eye considered Abaddon a usurper. During the 6th Black Crusade, launched in 901.M36, Abaddon visited his wrath upon Drecarth the Sightless and his treacherous warband. Abaddon aided the Sons of the Eye in an assault on the Forge World of Arkreach, fighting side-by-side until the defenders were finally crushed. The triumphant Abaddon then slowly killed Drecarth, even as he made him watch every member of the Sons of the Eye bow before their new master.
Following the dire events of the Horus Heresy during the final epic Battle of Terra and the death of the Warmaster Horus aboard his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, Abaddon and the surviving Sons of Horus broke orbit and fought their way free of the battle and escaped into the void. A time of reprisal and retribution known as the Great Scouring followed, and countless worlds were put to death by the Loyalists for siding with Horus, their corpses left as a warning to others. Those Traitor Legions that remained in the Imperium were hunted mercilessly and hounded across the stars by pitiless Loyalists. Abaddon and the remaining Sons of Horus took refuge in the Eye of Terror, choosing to plunge into that maelstrom of madness rather than face extinction at the hands of the Emperor's vengeful warriors.
The Sons of Horus managed to reach the Eye of Terror with the bloodied survivors of the Scouring, but the once mighty XVIth Legion was reduced to a fraction of its former size. Led by only a few remaining captains, the Legion struggled with its loyalty to their fallen Primarch and the cold reality of their defeat at the hands of the Emperor and His lackeys. Bereft of their glorious Primarch, the Legion floundered, and in desperation turned to each of the Chaos Gods in turn in their search for renewed power, inviting daemonic possession and the ever more costly blessings of the Warp. All the while, the Legion suffered the jealous attacks of their former allies. As the Traitor Legions turned upon one another, the Dark Gods subverted and manipulated their new playthings, reshaping the Legions for their own ends and the never-ending war between the gods.
Abaddon abandoned the Legion; broken by the death of Horus and sick of war, he wandered alone into the Eye of Terror. Meanwhile the Sons of Horus carried the body of their Primarch, preserved in stasis, further into the Eye, ignoring the wars that raged around them. On the Daemon World of Maeleum, a graveyard world of steel and rust, the Sons of Horus raised a fortress, fashioning a mighty citadel from the wrecks of decaying vessels lost to the Warp. The Legion interred Horus' body within a great tomb, where many fell into worship of their fallen demigod. With their Primarch dead and their Legion on the verge of extinction, the Sons of Horus stagnated. Some captains suspected that it would be but a matter of time before they and their Battle-Brothers were drawn into the wars between the Traitor Legions, and so they pushed for the Sons of Horus to replace its losses by increasing the Legion's gene-seed stocks. These same captains knew that any fortress, no matter how grand, could not hope to hold back a determined Space Marine assault, and called for more warriors to be found. Unfortunately, the majority of surviving captains were convinced that the Warp would provide all the power they needed, if only they could master the methods of merging daemon and Space Marine.
The Slave Wars
The wars between the other Legions who had sided with Horus during the Horus Heresy, known as the Slave Wars, raged across the Eye of Terror even as the Sons of Horus ignored the events happening around them, and continued to raise their fortress ever higher, worshipping the corpse of their Primarch. The Sons of Horus had remained largely apart from these conflicts; however, jealous eyes now turned their way. Traitorous forces gathered against them and conspired to rob them of the remains of Horus to further vile and selfish ambitions. The Primarch Horus' body, with its potent genetic information and biological secrets, was a great prize indeed. In a sudden assault, the remnants of the debased Emperor's Children, having grown vastly in power after firmly cementing their terrible pacts with Slaanesh, easily smashed their way through the defences of Maeleum and into the central chambers of the Sons of Horus' stronghold. They stole the body of the slain Primarch from the heart of its tomb and spirited it away, some say with the purpose of cloning it in order to create a new and still greater Warmaster of Chaos.
Rise of Abaddon
Their fortress in ruins and their Legion decimated, the Sons of Horus stood on the brink of vanishing forever from the galaxy and fading into cursed memory. The XVIth Legion devolved into in-fighting amongst themselves, giving in to dark despair or uncontrolled rage. The divisions between the Legion's captains turned into bitter bloodshed and murder, as order completely collapsed. The salvation of the Sons of Horus came when one of its greatest captains, Ezekyle Abaddon, returned from his Dark Pilgrimage in time to watch the battle from afar. It was in that moment that he saw, with cold clarity, that it was Horus' failure that had led the Legion here, to them tearing each other apart in the blood-soaked ruins of Maeleum. Finally, sickened by how far the Legion had fallen, he stalked through the ruins hunting down his fellow captains, cooling his rage with their final screams. In the end, Abaddon alone remained of the Legion's leaders, demanding obedience from his brothers.
Some saw Abaddon as Horus' rightful successor and fell at his feet willingly, while others recognised his raw strength and bowed their heads to his might. A few turned their back on Abaddon, and were either cut down by their brothers or managed to escape into the Warp. With his Legion brought to heel, Abaddon turned his attention to the clones of Horus; he commanded his warriors to extinguish all trace of their former Primarch and free themselves from his shadow. He then personally led an attack on the Emperor's Children that destroyed the body of the Primarch Horus and all its clones, and in so doing, ushered in a new age for the XVIth Legion. The Traitors changed their name once more, this time in reference to the fact that their armour was now adorned black in mourining for lost Horus, calling themselves the Black Legion. Through his actions, Abaddon re-invigorated the Legion, reviving the old notion that none could stand in their way and that they would one day inherit the galaxy itself.
When Abaddon ascended to command of the Sons of Horus, not every warrior of the XVIth Legion swore allegiance to him. Many of the Traitors clung to their worship of Horus as a god, believing that he would one day return to lead them and punish those who had forsaken their oaths. Others considered the Horus Heresy to be the end of their subservience to gods and masters; the Emperor and their Primarch were the last overlords they would ever bow down to and they saw no reason to make an exception for Abaddon. Most of these Renegades were gradually lost to the Warp, disappearing into the Eye and vanishing from record, though some prospered and would return to be a thorn in the side of Abaddon.
One of these splinter warbands was the Sons of the Eye, led by the Chaos Lord Drecarth the Sightless. Drecarth the Sightless formed the Sons of the Eye out of those Sons of Horus who refused Abaddon's oath. A former Battle-Brother of Abaddon's, Drecarth had been one of Horus' captains, escaping in the chaos after Maeleum fell. Drecarth and his warband fled deeper into the Eye, only to return time and again to launch raids against multiple Daemon Worlds as well as other Renegade warbands. They initiated the Battle of Keening Deep in 892.M32, where the Sons of the Eye defeated the Chaos Lord Voslok and his World Eaters warband, claiming their fortress and hurling their foes' skulls into the world's soulfires. Drecarth personally ripped Voslok's Daemon Axe from his grip during the battle, turning the treacherous weapon upon its former master.
Abaddon had heard whispers of Drecarth's escape and treachery from the Daemon Prince Be'lakor and his own cabal of Chaos Sorcerers, who also claimed that an old ally would one day rise to subvert the Black Legion, twisting its loyalty with the memory of its dead Primarch Horus. So, under the guise of a truce, Abaddon made a pact with the Sons of the Eye and allied with them during the 6th Black Crusade in 901.M36. Abaddon wanted to make an example out of the Sons of the Eye, one that would serve as a dire warning to any that would consider challenging his power, but he needed to set the stage for his vengeance so that none would ever doubt his resolve.
During the 6th Black Crusade, Abaddon besieged the Imperial Forge World of Arkreach, offering Drecarth and his Sons of the Eye an equal share of the plunder. For months, the two forces of Chaos Space Marines fought side-by-side against the defences of the Adeptus Mechanicus, bombarding their great forge cities from space. Finally, the Traitors stood triumphant in the smouldering ruins of the great manufactoria, dead littering the ground. As Drecarth extended his hand in greeting, Abaddon grasped it with his own, only to thrust the claws of the Talon of Horus into his fellow Chaos Space Marine's gut. Drecarth lived long enough to see the Sons of the Eye bow to Abaddon and be reabsorbed into the Black Legion before the Warmaster of Chaos tore out his skull and spine. Thus did Abaddon deliver a dire warning to any who dared challenge his power.
Be’lakor’s actions seem to have aided Abaddon’s rise to power, though closer examination exposes possible darker motives at work. Drecarth the Sightless could in time have proven a powerful ally for the Despoiler, had not Be’lakor fanned the embers of vengeance burning in Abaddon’s heart. Hidden behind a veil of secrets and lies, it is impossible to know for sure if Be’lakor is doing the bidding of the Chaos Gods or working against them. However, his plots and plans have ultimately been instrumental in Abaddon’s ascendance to power.
The Sons of the Eye still wore the dark and murky verdigris green-black colours of their former Legion. Their armour also still displayed the Cthonian gang-sigils graven into their armour that recorded their notable kills and deeds.
When Drecarth broke with Abaddon he had his warriors make a cut across the Eye of Horus they wore on their armour, a symbol of the blindness of Horus that had led his Legion to its near-destruction.
- Black Legion - A Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement (Digital Edition), pp. 34-35, 63, 76
- Dataslate: Be'lakor the Dark Master (Digital Edition), pg. 8