The Swords of Khargoth are a warband of Chaos Space Marines who were formerly Loyalist Astartes of the Swords of Praesium Chapter. Their current allegiance is to Chaos Undivided. Descended from two once-loyal companies of those Space Marines, these Astartes turned to the service of Chaos out of desperation after being trapped on the world of Acropolis Vega within a Warp Storm for 70 Terran years.
Sometime during the 41st Millennium the Forces of Chaos attacked the Imperial world of Acropolis Vega. Two companies from the Swords of Praesium Chapter were sent in response to aid the beleaguered planet. Shortly after making planetfall, a Warp Storm of great magnitude engulfed the entire star system, effectively cutting off the Loyalist Astartes from the rest of the galaxy for nearly seven solar decades.
Records of what transpired on Acropolis Vega during this period of time were lost. It is not known how long the two companies of Swords of Praesium Astartes fought against the minions of Chaos on the Warp-tainted world, but eventually they succumbed to the dark allure of power offered by the Dark Gods. Isolated and outnumbered, the Loyalist forces were evidently overwhelmed by the Forces of Chaos, for when they finally emerged from the star system after the Warp Storm dissipated, several squads had sworn their fealty to Chaos in return for their own survival.
When an Imperial Reclamation Fleet arrived in the system to investigate whether the lost Imperial planet could be restored to the light of the Emperor, it was the newly-anointed Swords of Khargoth Heretic Astartes who led the initial assault upon their former allies. Despite the success of the Imperium in retaking Acropolis Vega, it was a pyrrhic victory at best, as the Swords of Khargoth had escaped the Emperor's wrath. Since then, the Swords of Khargoth have become known as bloody reavers of Imperial commerce across that sector of Imperial space -- exalting in the mayhem and bloody slaughter of small outposts and vicious boarding actions against Imperial vessels.
- War of Ashes (Unknown Date.M41) - It was in the closing days of the War of Ashes, against the Swords of Khargoth warband, that the Imperial Knights of House Terryn's Honourable Company turned Freeblade. The Renegades had been fighting a war of scorched earth against the Imperium, falling back across the Laimean System, burning worlds in their wake and throwing armies of mutants, Chaos Cultists and worse against the Crusaders. Khargoth, the warlord of the Traitor armies, had noted the prowess of the Knights and had singled them out for retribution. Khargoth's daemonic assassins infiltrated the Imperium's forward camp and murdered one of the House of Terryn nobles while he slept in his pavilion, dissecting his body and laying it out in pieces for his lance-brothers to find. Not only was this perceived as a vile act of treachery by the nobles; it was also a terrible insult. For a member of the house to die outside his Knight suit was to dishonour him in the most fundamental of ways, a slight that could not be ignored. As one, the other nobles vowed to slay Khargoth and destroy his warband at any cost. In the final battles of the war, the company strove to hunt down the Renegade Space Marine, often placing themselves or their allies in great danger. When the Swords of Khargoth escaped from the system the Knights followed, choosing the path of the Freeblade in order to fulfil their vow, and set off into the void after their hated quarry.
The Swords of Khargoth wear black coloured Power Armour with red trim and red, lava-like imagery on the leg plates of their armour.
The Swords of Khargoth's badge is the face of a bone white, horned-skull centred on a field of black. They are also known to wear the usual blasphemous iconography and fetishes associated with the worship of Chaos.
Notable Swords of Khargoth
- Khargoth - Khargoth was a Captain of the Swords of Praesium Space Marines who served as the Force Commander for the 2 companies of Astartes sent on the original mission to Acropolis Vega. He is now the Chaos Champion who leads the Swords of Khargoth warband.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 24
- The Imperial Knight Companion (6th Edition), pg. 23
- Games Workshop - Tips for Creating Your Own Renegade Space Marines (Archived)