"Make war upon the Imperium of Man? What is it you think the Legions have been doing for the last ten thousand years? War does not end with a single victory or a single planet. It is an eternal creature that outlives men and their tiny triumphs."
- — Arzyn the Silencebringer, warrior of the World Eaters
The World Eaters, originally known as the War Hounds, were also once the XIIth Legion of the twenty First Founding Space Marine Legions, and one of the first to betray the Emperor of Mankind for the service of Chaos and the Warmaster Horus.
This Legion was a collection of nearly inhuman monsters long before Horus became corrupted and monsters they would remain, only with what little remained of their restraint and their humanity stripped away after their fall to Chaos.
The World Eaters are now the dedicated servants of the Blood God Khorne, the Chaos God of war and murder, and live for nothing more than to spill blood in his name. The World Eaters' Primarch Angron was one of the first of the Space Marine Primarchs to join with Horus when he turned against the Emperor and began the Horus Heresy.
The Legion is no longer united, having long ago surrendered to the pure bloodlust inspired by their patron Khorne. Instead they now operate as separate warbands of Chaos Space Marines who seek to spread death and terror in the name of the Blood God across the galaxy.
The World Eaters were known from their very inception as the most brutal and direct of assault troops. Their fearsome doctrine was very much the result of the early life of their Primarch.
Angron was raised on the world of Nuceria as a slave-warrior, driven by a cybernetic cranial implant called the Butcher's Nails into savage bouts of uncontrollable violence for the entertainment of the masses.
But Angron did not remain a slave for long, for he was possessed of the indomitable will of a Primarch, and he rallied his fellow gladiators to break the chains of their bondage, slay their oppressors and escape to freedom.
Having led his army of escaped slave-warriors into the mountains, Angron found himself hunted relentlessly, until only a thousand or so of his companions survived, cornered by five entire armies of Nucerian overseers. Determined to sell their lives dearly, Angron and his warriors dug their own graves, a signal to the enemy that no quarter would be asked and the fight would be to the death.
But Angron was not to fall the following morning, for it transpired that the Emperor had been observing his deeds from orbit. The Emperor came before His long lost gene-son and told him, as He had the other Primarchs, of the purpose for which he was created. Yet Angron rejected the Emperor's words, determined instead to fight and to die at the side of his fellow slave-warriors.
As the sun rose and the encircling armies closed on Angron's band of warriors, the Emperor saw that not even a mighty Primarch could prevail against such odds. As battle was joined, the Primarch was teleported to the Emperor's vessel, and though he was saved from certain death as all his comrades died in his absence, he never forgave his gene-father for what he would forever view as a gross betrayal of a warrior's vows to his battle-kin.
Taking his position as Primarch of the XIIth Legion, which he renamed the "World Eaters," Angron instigated a program of replicating the cranial implants he himself had been fitted with as a slave-warrior, knowing that the devices granted such advantages in speed, aggression and strength that no enemy in the galaxy could stand before his Legion once all had received them.
Yet, it was soon found that the implants were based on lost technology of which the ancient Mechanicum was ignorant, and while they used Angron's own implant as a template, they were never able to fully recreate it.
Nevertheless, the Mechanicum did succeed in creating devices that greatly boosted the abilities of the bearer, making him stronger and even more aggressive than he already was. The World Eaters became the most effective shock troops in the Imperium's armies, proving time and again that none could stand before them.
Yet, the glories came at a price, for the aggression unlocked by the implants proved all but impossible to temper once given full reign, and at the world of Ghenna, an entire planetary population was butchered in a single solar night by World Eaters unable or unwilling to deny the bloodlust unleashed by the implants. Angron was censured, and ordered by the Emperor to cease the practise of implanting his warriors in such a way, yet he continued regardless.
When the Horus Heresy erupted, Angron's Legion was at the very forefront of the bloodshed. Most notably, the World Eaters led the assault upon the walls of the Imperial Palace, taking the breach with no regards to their own losses. By this point, the World Eaters had given full vent to their most destructive urges.
While Angron had once been a great man possessed of a fearsome sense of martial pride and honour, now he was a frothing, blood-soaked berserker Daemon Prince, as were his warriors. Any reason that had survived the implant process was driven from their minds, replaced with the will of Khorne, the Blood God.
It is said that when the Emperor defeated Horus and the hordes of Chaos assaulting Terra were finally routed, the World Eaters were the last of their number to quit the field of battle.
None can say how close the World Eaters came to destroying the palace, or whether they would have come face to face with the Emperor Himself had not Horus lowered the shields of his Battle Barge, precipitating the final confrontation in orbit.
In the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, the World Eaters descended to new depths of bloodlust and destruction, reaving across the already shattered Imperium before plunging into the twisted depths of the Eye of Terror. None can say exactly what happened within the Eye, but it is apparent that the Legion all but consumed itself in a bitter internecine conﬂict that saw it fractured into countless smaller warbands.
Perhaps the Blood God was pleased with the slaughter, for Angron had already been raised up to become a Daemon Prince, even as his Legion ceased to exist as a coherent whole.
Though its Daemon Primarch would periodically gather the disparate warbands into something resembling the glory of the old Legion, the World Eaters were condemned to roam the battlefields of the galaxy in search of war, individual squads and warbands joining other Chaos forces and fighting for nothing more than the opportunity to spill blood and take skulls.
"Because we couldn't be trusted. The Emperor needed a weapon that would never obey its own desires before those of the Imperium. He needed a weapon that would never bite the hand that feeds. The World Eaters were not that weapon. We've all drawn blades purely for the sake of shedding blood, and we've all felt the exultation of winning a war that never even needed to happen. We are not the tame, reliable pets that the Emperor wanted. The Wolves obey, when we would not. The Wolves can be trusted, when we never could. They have a discipline we lack, because their passions are not aflame with the Butcher's Nails buzzing in the back of their skulls. The Wolves will always come to heel when called. In that regard, it is a mystery why they name themselves wolves. They are tame, collared by the Emperor, obeying His every whim. But a wolf doesn't behave that way. Only a dog does. That is why we are the Eaters of Worlds, and the War Hounds no longer."
- —Captain Khârn of the World Eaters Legion's 8th Assault Company, from his unpublished treatise The Eighteen Legions
Of all the Space Marine Legions created by the Emperor of Mankind during the First Founding, none were so savage and dreaded as were the World Eaters. For while others such as the Night Lords could justly claim to have brought worlds into Imperial Compliance through fear alone, and others such as the White Scars and the Space Wolves could descend without warning and leave a world burning in their wake, for the World Eaters to be assigned to a campaign meant only one thing for the enemy -- extermination. Extermination not by Virus Bomb or atomic firestorm, but by Chainaxe and Bolter, worlds drowned one-by-one in the blood of their inhabitants.
The Emperor of Mankind sought to unite all of Humanity under one banner following the Long Night of the Age of Strife, and end inter-Human conflict. Once united, the Emperor intended to begin the next stage of His great plan to ensure Human domination of the Milky Way Galaxy, which He judged to be necessary if Humanity was to survive the never-ceasing threats to its existence embodied by Chaos, myriad xenos races and its own fragile Human nature.
In time, when the Emperor's eye first began to fall beyond Terra, He began to raise new armies to fight His Great Crusade. He drew these new troops in part from the forces that had already unified Terra during the Unification Wars of the late 30th Millennium. To carry out the Great Crusade and reunite all the scattered colony worlds of Mankind beneath the single banner of the Imperium of Man, the Emperor created the genetically-enhanced transhuman warriors known as the Legiones Astartes, the Space Marine Legions.
These elite forces would serve as the speartip of His Great Crusade, bringing the light of the secular Imperial Truth and enforcing Imperial Compliance with the new regime on every Human-settled world encountered.
Such sources that survived the later Siege of Terra at the height of the Horus Heresy regarding the origins and formation of the XIIth Legion of the Legiones Astartes are fragmentary at best, and in compiling their record Imperial scholars were forced to rely on second-hand accounts from those who fought alongside them, and the apocryphal accounts handed down by those many who had cause to fear and resent this most feared of Space Marine Legions.
It appears that the Terran origins of the XIIth Legion showed no particular bias as to the techno-barbarian tribe or city-state from which the initial influx of recruits were taken as there was in the case of the other Legions.
There has been some circumstantial evidence that there may have been psychological screening used to single out the most inherently aggressive and competitive recruits in an experimental pre-selection program. Whether this came to pass is merely supposition, for it is apparent from such records that survived that the XIIth Legion were from the outset deemed a highly aggressive force, its warriors hot-blooded and savage.
During the Unification Wars the XIIth Legion's first recorded engagement was during the Sa'afrik Liberation where they served as a spearhead of shock troops, mounting direct annihilation assaults on enemy forces, both in open battle and against fortified positions, and able to carry the attack despite their then relatively small numbers by sheer courage and the fury of the violence they could unleash.
After its initial battles, however, the nascent XIIth Legion seems to have been largely held in reserve by the Emperor during the latter Unification Wars and right through the subsequent re-conquest of the Sol System. This may have been done in case of a sudden reversal of the fortunes of war, or as certain veiled evidence implies, as a weapon to be unleashed in case of disloyalty amongst the Emperor's own.
During this time the XIIth Legion was kept in a state of constant readiness, relentlessly training and steadily growing in numbers. On the occasions when it was unleashed into battle, the Legion's Astartes performed with almost gleeful savagery, tearing apart whatever enemy they were given to fight without mercy or falter, heedless of the risk and uncaring of the Legion's own losses.
It is believed that during this period the Emperor Himself dubbed the XIIth Legion His "War Hounds" as a tribute to the savage and tenacious way they fought to pacify the narco-sprawls of the Cephic Hives.
The Emperor chose this name because the XIIth Legion reminded Him of the white war hounds the Yeshk warriors of the north of Terra once used in battle. In remembrance of this campaign and the Emperor's praise, a red hound became the XIIth Legion's new badge of war.
"Dorn made builders, and Magnus thinkers. Guilliman raised bureaucrats, while Lorgar made priests and the Khan vagrants. Of all the Legions, we are the only ones who are exactly what the Emperor wanted, all that the Legiones Astartes were ever meant to be. Conquerors. We aren't meant for the world that is coming, the new world that will rise from the ashes. We are only meant to burn this one down."
- — Attributed to Ibram Ghreer, Master of the War Hounds
As the early solar decades of the Great Crusade progressed after ca. 800.M30, and the first of the Primarchs were discovered across the galaxy where they had been dispersed by the Ruinous Powers, the XIIth Legion was broken up temporarily into a number of independent sub-commands, each several thousand Space Marines strong.
The largest of these, at some 8,000 War Hounds, along with dedicated assault and fleet support elements, was designated the 13th Expeditionary Fleet, or the "Bloody 13th" as it became quickly known. These detachments were sent as a mobile reserve where the fighting was fiercest on the Great Crusade's frontlines.
There they served as frontline assault troops in glorious campaigns alongside the Space Wolves, Iron Warriors and Dark Angels Legions. Elsewhere they would often provide the killing-strike for larger Imperial Army formations in war zones where an impasse had been reached, breaking a strategic deadlock in a single furious attack which sent an enemy reeling.
The War Hounds developed a reputation for victory, although at a cost, and it was said every assault they conducted ended in only one of two ways: victorious slaughter or simple slaughter, either of which left the foe in no condition to resist further. However effective the Legion was, there were many who fought alongside them who found them also to be unpredictable, intemperate and dangerous to anything that stood in their path, combatant, civilian or otherwise.
Rumours soon began to circulate that the War Hounds would put to the sword Human auxiliary regiments of the Imperial Army they saw as failing them in battle, and they kept a guarded distance from other Legions. It was noted by outsiders that the War Hounds' officers enforced an unusually harsh code of discipline in their ranks which was indeed needed, as the Astartes of this Legion often proved fractious, and bloodshed between Battle-Brothers was far from uncommon.
The XIIth Legion was increasingly deemed by the Imperial War Council as being more suitable for use against targets where annihilation was the goal rather than Imperial Compliance or liberation, a task to which they seemed eminently suited. The War Hounds were brought together again under the banner of the "Bloody 13th" alongside a variety of units who, like the War Hounds, had gained a dark reputation for unrestrained violence rather than military discipline, or who were otherwise deemed as unusable for actions where collateral damage was to be kept to a minimum and liberation rather than destruction was the goal.
They mustered on the harsh, volcanic world of Bodt which had been taken by the War Hounds as a training ground some years before, included regiments of Feral World head-hunters inducted into the Imperial Army and brute Abhumans on the edge of the Imperium's tolerated genetic deviance.
To these were added units such as the Titans of the Legio Audax around whom a pall of suspicion had fallen ever since the Lorin Alpha Massacres, and the distrusted Numen Gun Clans -- nomadic techno-barbarians who had bitterly fought against Compliance for many standard years before their recent and grudging induction into the Imperium.
Primarch of Wrath
A very great deal about the life story of the Daemon Primarch Angron remains unknown to the wider Imperial record. During the scattering of the Primarchs' gestation capsules from the Emperor of Mankind's gene-laboratories deep beneath the Himalazian (Himalayan) Mountains, Angron was cast through the Warp to a "civilised" human world far from Terra.
How Angron came to be separated from the Emperor so soon after his creation and the name of the planet he eventually came to call home was removed from the Imperial record. Indeed where this planet was or even if it still exists is often uncertain to the Imperial savants of the present time.
There is in fact evidence that this information, including the true name of the world he was found upon was known but was kept deliberately secret by command of the Emperor and those close to Him.
The truth is a dark tale of the Primarch's brutal upbringing, murderous violence, and Angron's revolt against his cruel masters.
After Angron came to be separated from the Emperor and Terra by the mysterious machinations of the Ruinous Powers he was deposited through the Warp on the world of Nuceria. Where this planet is located in the galaxy or if it even still exists is uncertain, though most signs seem to point to somewhere in the Ultima Segmentum.
Carpinus' Speculum Historiale speaks of Angron's world as technologically advanced and ruled over by a wealthy elite who lived in decadent opulence while the populace of their cities lived in abject poverty in the slums that surrounded their walled palaces and villas.
To distract the populace from their poverty, the oligarchic rulers of Nuceria held regular gladiatorial deathmatches in massive arenas, using cybernetically-enhanced gladiators who battled to satisfy the endless bloodlust of the oppressed people. It was on this world that the Primarch Angron was eventually discovered, though little else about the circumstances of how he came to be there remains known.
After his arrival, Angron was discovered by a slaver who chanced upon the battered and bleeding figure of the young Primarch surrounded by scores of alien corpses, high in the northern Desh'elika Mountains. History does not record what species these aliens belonged to, but many Imperial scholars believe them to have been Aeldari who attempted to kill the Primarch, due to some psychic foreknowledge of the plague upon the galaxy he would one day become.
The young Angron had been badly wounded in the combat, but remained alive.
Taken as a slave by the planet's ruling masters, known as the "High-Riders," the young boy was brought to the Palace Praxica, the seat of the Reksium Throne of the powerful Nucerian city-state of Desh'ea, where he was sold to the ruling clan, House Thal'kr.
Still a frightened young child, he was subsequently dumped into a pit consisting of a single ziggurat with hundreds of other slaves. Acid filled the pit, and to the cheers of the spectators Angron was eventually forced to kill all around him to remain standing upon the ziggurat's uppermost platform and survive. Shedding a tear for the last time, Angron was proclaimed a promising newcomer to Desh'ea's arena combat.
With the youth's obvious potential as a gladiator apparent, he was bought by the largest and most popular arena in the capital. The young Primarch was given a name, Angron Thal'kyr, which meant "Child of the Mountain," and was nursed back to health.
The young Primarch quickly grew to a formidable size, and was forced to take part in the gladiatorial games of Nuceria. After only a few solar months, Angron Thal'kyr had become a proud warrior of fearsome skill and an even stronger sense of honour, known to the crowds as "the Lord of the Red Sands." He killed hundreds of other gladiators, but those who fought well he always spared.
Reaping many victories, Angron soon became a fan-favorite of Desh'ea and came to be known as "The Unbeaten." Although he seemed to enjoy the life of a gladiator and the adulation of the Desh'ean crowds, Angron secretly resented his slavery, and was always plotting to escape. He proved to be a troublesome champion, prone to escape attempts whenever he saw an occasion, but such efforts always failed.
During this time, Angron was mentored by an older gladiator named Oenomaus, who formed a deep bond with the younger gladiator and became somewhat of a father-figure to the impressionable warrior. Together, the two formidable warriors slew a deadly tally in the gladiatorial arenas of Nuceria, which culminated in an astounding victory against a pair of berserk Ogryn that were surgically equipped with the deadly cybernetic implants known as the Butcher's Nails.
Their momentous victory, however, proved short-lived as the High-Riders demanded that the two gladiators fight one another in a duel to the death. The fiery Angron refused and openly insulted his Nucerian masters. This resulted in Angron having the Butcher's Nails implanted as a form of punishment. These crude neural implants were hammered into the Primarch's skull and surgically grafted to his cerebral cortex.
Relic devices from the Dark Age of Technology, these cortical implants artificially boosted a warrior's adrenaline, resulting in greater strength and aggression in battle. However, they bleached a warrior's mind of all reason, all caution, all the instincts of mortality. The Nails rewarded rage with spurts of electrochemical pleasure, tingling synapses and deadening enjoyment of everything else. No better machine for slaughter had ever been contrived by the minds of men.
The cells below the massive arena were home to several thousand gladiators, all implanted with the Butcher's Nails, and Angron would soon take his place amongst them. Following the successful surgery, Angron was loosed upon Oenomaus and tore apart his friend in a blind, berserk frenzy.
Upon regaining his senses, Angron realised the horrible transgression he had committed against his mentor, and was driven to such depths of despair that it was said that he unleashed a bestial howl that lasted for several solar days.
The death of Oenomaus proved to be too much for Angron to bear, and he swore that one day, he would make good his escape and make all the High-Riders pay dearly.
Within a few standard years Angron's fame had spread to every corner of his homeworld. Under his training, the gladiators of his arena soon became the greatest their world had ever seen and none could stand against them.
Yet Angron also learned, following a final failed escape attempt, that he would never succeed alone. His unbending warrior's code and sheer combat skill had made him a well-respected leader amongst the other Desh'ean gladiators and when the largest death games ever held on Nuceria were announced, Angron planned his most daring escape attempt.
For these new games, Angron was allowed to stage a vast combat that would involve every gladiator of his arena. As the Desh'ean crowd drowned out the sounds of battle, Angron's gladiators turned on their armed guards, butchering them and fighting their way to freedom. Against the guards armed with firearms, the gladiators' casualties were grievous, but nearly 2,000 survived to escape into the streets of Desh'ea, stealing what weapons and supplies they could before fleeing into the northern mountains where Angron had first been discovered.
Over the next few years, the rulers of the world dispatched many armed forces to kill or recapture the rebel slaves, who soon named themselves the "Eaters of Cities," but all were destroyed in turn by Angron's leadership, martial skill and the cybernetically-enhanced fury of the gladiators. But attrition and hunger slowly took their toll on the slaves and eventually only 1,000 men and women remained, half the size of the original force of escapees.
On a mountain named Fedan Mhor, on a bleak spit of land known as Desh'elika Ridge, Angron and his forces were finally surrounded by no less than seven large Nucerian armies. Not even a Primarch could stand against such sheer numbers, yet it was at this time that the Emperor of Mankind came to Nuceria, drawn by the psychic emanations of his gene-son the Primarch.
The Emperor had observed Angron secretly from orbit for many solar months and had watched with pride as he had led his freed slaves in battle against the forces of tyranny. The Emperor and a small cadre of Legio Custodes descended to the world's surface, and after the shock of the august meeting had worn off on the Primarch, the Emperor offered Angron the leadership of the XIIth Space Marine Legion, the War Hounds, which had been created from Angron's own genetic material, and a place at his side in the Great Crusade.
To the Emperor's disbelief, Angron refused, claiming that his place remained with his fellow slaves amongst the Eaters of Cities and he would die before deserting them. Reluctantly, the Emperor teleported back to His flagship, shocked at His son's refusal.
Appraising the situation, the Emperor saw that for all of Angron's might as a Primarch and a leader, he would die in the coming battle. Losing one of His irreplaceable sons to the assault of rabble on a backwater planet soon to be brought into Imperial Compliance was simply unacceptable.
Bringing His flagship into low orbit over the world, the Emperor teleported Angron from the surface against his will, away from the mountain of Fedan Mhor and the Battle of Desh'elika Ridge. Without their leader, the morale of the gladiators was destroyed and the next day they were slaughtered to the last warrior by the armies of Nuceria's rulers.
Angron watched helplessly from orbit as his brothers and sisters were quickly annihilated. Sensing his uncontrolled rage, the Custodians surrounded Angron, their Guardian Spears pointed menacingly at the smoldering Primarch. In a fit of sudden violence, Angron killed one of the Custodians, but the Emperor intervened and the Primarch was forced into a state of submission by the Emperor's potent psychic abilities.
Angron angrily asked his father why He had not intervened to save the lives of his comrades on the planet below, but the Emperor dismissed the question as lacking vision. He was the Emperor of Mankind, and He possessed a much grandeur vision for Human life such as reuniting the galaxy on behalf of all Humanity. He had little concern for a small group of former slaves battling a group of petty tyrants on a backwater world.
The Emperor expressed His hope that in time, Angron would come to understand His actions and why He had done what He did. Angron replied that he had been meant to die alongside his comrades on Nuceria, and now only a ghost remained. The Emperor replied that a ghost would suffice for what he had planned for his son.
Allowing his fellow gladiators to die was a deed Angron would never forgive the Emperor for, and a stain upon the Primarch's honour that would never fade but fester into a soul-deep wound.
The exact records of the Emperor's intervention and Angron's acceptance of his new circumstances is a matter of shadowed rumour and conjecture, but what can be said with certainty is that Angron's first reaction to his new life was simple rage. For some time any War Hound of his Legion who came before their Primarch was met with a grisly death for their efforts.
At this time the Legion Master of the War Hounds, Ibram Ghreer, a respected leader who had commanded the XIIth Legion for nearly three solar decades, disappeared without explanation from any records of the period and no explanation was given by his taciturn Legion for his absence. Only after murdering at least seven high-ranking officers within the Legion, including Ghreer, Captain Khârn of the 8th Assault Company voluntarily went forth to Angron's private quarters to confront the always enraged Primarch.
Nearly beaten to death for his efforts, Khârn's unwillingness to accept defeat even at the hands of a much superior foe finally convinced Angron of his Legion's worthiness and honour as fellow warriors, and he assumed his place as the rightful general and commander of the XIIth Legion.
Khârn manged to form a rapport with Angron, talking about the rituals of Angron's gladiators and the traditions of the War Hounds, and showing how similar they were to each other.
With Khârn's actions convincing him of the worthiness of his Astartes to become his new band of warriors, Angron finally and swiftly took charge of the XIIth Legion. The Primarch renamed the War Hounds the "World Eaters" after he assumed command.
Angron did this in part to honour the gladiator force he had led in rebellion on his homeworld whose warriors had been known as the "Eaters of Cities" for their wrath and violence. He chose the new name for his Legion when Dreagher, a Terran-born War Hounds Legionary who served as Captain of the Legion's 9th Company, promised Angron after meeting his Primarch for the first time that under his leadership the War Hounds would become, "...the eaters of worlds."
Soon after, the newly renamed World Eaters were influenced by Angron's own thirst for battle. During the course of the Great Crusade, Angron and the World Eaters reaped many victories, although some criticised the extreme and bloodthirsty tactics the Red Angel used to ensure the destruction of his opponents.
"I have heard it said that the Twelfth is beyond trust. This is ridiculous of course, a false claim made by those who mistake "trust" for "control". Within the bounds of their own misperception, they are correct. We cannot be collared, not before Angron, and certainly not after.
To truly trust a thing is to understand its nature. Doing so is simple enough, just as one can trust fire to burn. In this regard, our Legion is the foremost of all in trustworthiness. Because across the length and breadth of this galaxy, no matter where you might find him, you can trust that a World Eater is doing but one of two things: he is either making war, or he is readying himself to do so."
- —Gahlan Surlak, Apothecary of the XII Legion
Angron returned to the Great Crusade and took charge of his Legion at the mustering grounds on the War Hounds' garrison world of Bodt. After his return from Terra he swiftly worked many changes on his forces. He was given a surprisingly free hand for a newly invested Primarch, for he was not required to undergo a period in which he shadowed one of his Primarch brothers while he grew into command, or even spend time in his new-found gene-father's company.
Instead he was given license to simply take charge of his host. With his usual bellicose energy, Angron prepared it for war. The regime of discipline and training the XIIth Legion had abided by in the past would prove to be but a shadow of what came to pass under Angron's direction and reform.
Conflict became the only measure and the only judge, and training beyond its most basic elements was as real as any war or battle a World Eaters Astartes would find themselves in. Blood, live rounds and bared blades, fighting pits and gladiatorial combat; these were the methods now used to test the mettle of the Primarch's gene-sons, to make them more brutal and efficient killers, in the image of their genetic father. Each warrior soon bore scars by which to count the lessons learned amid heat and the bitter volcanic sands, and those that failed did not live long enough to try again.
Knowing how successful his own cortical implants could be at boosting a warrior's prowess in battle, Angron ordered his Apothecarion to insert the Butcher's Nails implants within every Astartes of the World Eaters Legion to enhance aggression and pain tolerance far beyond that which even the gene-engineered flesh of a Space Marine was capable.
But the drawbacks were that the implants and the such surgical procedures required to place them in the brain left the individual devoid of joy or peace save for that found in battle, just like their Primarch.
In this dark endeavour, Angron ordered the study of his Butcher's Nails implant by the XIIth Legion's Techmarines to serve as a template for the manufacture of new versions of the devices. However, this proved a difficult task, for Angron's implants were a relic of a long-lost Human technology, little understood by its makers, while removing them from Angron for closer study would have proved fatal to the Primarch.
Early attempts to duplicate these implants by the combined efforts of the Legion's Techmarines and Apothecaries were far from successful. Under the supervision of Apothecary Gahlan Surlak, the implantation of new copies of the Butcher's Nails resulted in a 100% mortality rate among the Astartes volunteers, but Angron persisted in his demands that all his warriors ultimately be implanted with the same crude device.
Eaters of Worlds
"The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and... you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth."
- — Fragment recovered from a treatise on Pre-Unification religious mysticism, author unknown
In the early days of Angron's leadership of the XIIth Legion, the Primarch still refused to acknowledge most of his sons, since none were strong enough to survive the implantation of the Butcher's Nails. At one point, Angron simply abandoned his Legion after hijacking a frigate, and disappeared without a trace.
It took two Terran years of searching, but eventually, the World Eaters' missing Primarch was tracked down by Centurion Khârn, the Primarch's Equerry, who discovered him upon a backwater Feral World. Here, Angron lived like a savage, seeking a foe that would put him out of his misery.
Shocked by this revelation, Khârn chastised Angron and reminded him of his Nucerian comrades, and how they would have loathed to see him in such a pitiful state. This argument finally convinced Angron to re-join his Legion with the promise that he would try to lead the World Eaters in such a way that they would shed their weakness.
In the years that followed, the Liber Malus speaks of whole star systems surrendering wholesale when the World Eaters' fleet was detected entering the system rather than face the wrath of Angron's Space Marines, so potent had their bloody legend grown. With this legend came dark tales of atrocity and wanton destruction that froze the blood of even hardened Imperial Commanders and caused concern even at the level of the Imperial War Council and the other Primarchs.
Not least of the XIIth Legion's detractors was Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines, who fought beside Angron and his Legion during the Cleansing of Arigatta and saw at first hand the bloodbath they left in the wake of their attack on the Basalt Citadel, where the last defenders of this non-Compliant Human world had made their stand.
Guilliman had seen the ramp of World Eaters corpses that had been used to finally mount a breach in the mighty fortress and the vengeful horror the Space Marines had wrought within and been sickened. Angron soon earned the nickname the "Red Angel" for the bloody atrocities committed across the width and breadth of the galaxy.
Of all his titles, given in glory or earned in infamy, Angron most despised being named the "Red Angel." The Imperium already had an Angel in Sanguinius, and Angron had no desire to ape the fey mutant that commanded the IXth Legion. For all his flaws, he was his own man, and took pride in that above all else. Though Angron loathed this particular epithet, it later proved among his most fitting titles.
Despite the tally of victories garnered by this brutal Space Marine Legion, it came at a dire cost. Most infamously, Angron ordered his warriors to conquer a targeted world within 31 solar hours -- the length of a single Nucerian local day -- and the time in which it took Angron to score his greatest victory upon his former homeworld.
Despite their best efforts, the World Eaters consistently failed to subjugate worlds within this set time limit. Each time they failed, they were ordered by their gene-sire to undergo the barbaric punishment known as decimation, forcing 1 out of every 10 World Eaters to be killed by 9 other Battle-Brothers in his unit.
This brutal punishment proved to be too much to bear for one Veteran World Eaters officer, and matters quickly came to a head during the campaign known as the Second Compliance of Ghenna.
Ghenna was an isolated Human world that had endured many of the horrors of Old Night. Its society was fairly technically advanced, but unfortunately, its population was overcome with genetic diseases. By the time of the Great Crusade, there were less than a thousand Gehennans that remained, kept alive in life-pods.
When this world classified as "Ninety-Three Fifteen" by the expeditionary fleets of the crusade, was re-discovered by the Imperium, they initially accepted Imperial rule peacefully. But after several Terran years of Imperial occupation, all contact with the world was lost.
The World Eaters under their Primarch Angron were despatched to investigate, and negotiations quickly broke down with the Ghennans when it was discovered that they had modified their own forms and were using an apparent form of Abominable Intelligence.
Angron ordered a hasty invasion of the planet, and per the Primarch's tradition, the World Eaters demanded that the world be subjugated within 31 solar hours.
Failure to do so, the Primarch declared, would result in the draconian punishment known as decimation, in which 1 of every 10 World Eaters was executed.
The prospect of 1 of every 10 World Eaters being executed for their failure as well as inadequate orbital, armour and artillery support led to a hasty and poorly executed landing on the planet under the command of the veteran, Terran-born Centurion Mago of the 18th Company, who was desperate to avoid yet another series of deaths among his own Legion brothers.
Yet when the World Eaters forces reached Ghenna's surface they faced no resistance, for the entire planetary population actually consisted of billions of artificially intelligent "simulacrums" designed to appear Human. These simple, unarmed constructs used their sheer numbers to swarm the Astartes, killing Space Marine after Space Marine no matter how many simulacrums were destroyed. Despite Mago's best efforts, for a time it seemed the World Eaters would be overrun.
Though the World Eaters finally received adequate heavy armour and artillery support just as they forced a breach and broke their way inside the confines of the main Ghennan city, the World Eaters once again failed to meet their Primarch's allotted time-frame of 31 solar hours to subjugate the planet and were forced to withdraw to the flagship, the Conqueror.
But aboard the Conqueror, Angron ordered the next round of decimation for his Legion. Mago refused, which amused his Primarch, who instead ordered Mago to personally execute the first World Eater who would die. When Mago again refused, Angron fell into a burning rage that saw him begin to murder dozens of his own gene-sons.
Only the Librarians of the XII Legion, under the command of Lectio Primus Vorias were able to finally subdue Angron by psychically forcing him into unconsciousness, though it cost the lives of several. However, Angron would not wake from his slumber, and soon, a crisis erupted within the World Eaters over what actions should be taken.
During this time of instability, Apothecary Gahlan Surlak announced that he had created a stable method of implanting the Butcher's Nails within Astartes by reverse-engineering Ghennan technology. The World Eaters could now implant these archeotech devices into warriors throughout the Legion as Angron had demanded since assuming control of the XII Legion. Mago found himself absolutely horrified at the prospect of his Legion being overwhelmed by the uncontrollable rage produced by the Butcher's Nails, and began to plot with his fellow Terran veterans of the War Hounds to prevent such an outcome and halt Surlak's plans.
Mago subsequently made an appeal to Centurion Kharn, and pleaded with him to reverse the dark direction their Legion was taking. However, his call for change fell on deaf ears. This forced Mago to take more drastic measures, and he gathered other disenchanted World Eaters that were loyal to him aboard the frigate Hound's Tooth.
They plotted to destroy Apothecary Surlak's equipment before he could fully perfect the Butcher's Nails implants for mass production and implantation. However, this attempt failed, and shortly thereafter, Kharn became the first World Eaters Legionary to be successfully imbued with the Butcher's Nails. With this initial success, Surlak proceeded to quickly implant a further 1,000 World Eaters with the cortical implants.
At this time, Angron awoke from his slumber, and with the Primarch leading these newly enhanced Legionaries, the World Eaters immediately launched a counterattack against the upstart Ghennans. The World Eaters, enhanced by the rage brought by the Butcher's Nails, slaughtered all those they came across, despite the massive numbers of simulacrums arrayed against them.
Thanks to Surlak's efforts, through his reverse-engineering of Ghennan technology, he was able to localise and pinpoint the location of the command signal that was controlling the actions of the simulacrums. By tracing the signals, the World Eaters discovered the shrivelled remains of the last true living Ghennans where they lay in their life-pods. There were only a little over a thousand true Ghennans, with each mentally controlling thousands of simulacrums.
The Ghennans pleaded with the blood-maddened World Eaters to be spared, but Kharn replied disdainfully that the galaxy belonged to the Imperium and proceeded to massacre them all.
Meanwhile, Mago and his conspirators felt they had no options left to save their Legion. They plotted to subdue Angron, Kharn and the other World Eaters who had been imbued with the Butcher's Nails. They intended to bring them before the Emperor Himself for judgement.
After the massacre of the Ghennans was carried out, the World Eaters on the surface were confronted by Mago and his supporters. They pleaded with their Primarch and Kharn to halt the madness, but once again, their pleas were ignored, and soon, a battle broke out between both factions.
During the subsequent fighting Mago was confronted by, and bested, his former friend Kharn, and before he was beheaded, made a final declaration. The XIIth Legion would be damned by their actions and the dark path Angron was forcing them to walk
The Centurion's final words would later prove to be prophetic. With the death of their commander, the remaining rebels halted in mid-battle and submitted themselves for Angron's judgement.
With the XIIth Legion once again unified, the World Eaters proceeded to scour the surface of Ghenna clean of life, leaving no structure intact and no Ghennan left alive in a single night of monumental bloodshed. It was said that the psychic death screams of the dying were audible to Imperial astropaths across half the sector.
In the aftermath of this massacre, calls for censure against the World Eaters resounded within the Terran Council. Soon after, the Primarch Leman Russ and his Space Wolves Legion were dispatched to Ghenna to confront Angron and his World Eaters and to halt the implantation of the deadly cortical implants.
The Night of the Wolf
Following the infamous events of the Ghenna Massacre, the World Eaters were publicly censured by the Emperor and commanded to stop using the cortical implants. Imperial records state that two Primarchs came to Angron, both claiming to have been sent by the Emperor, intending to convince him to stop the dangerous practice.
The first arrived soon after Angron joined his Legion following his unwilling rescue from Nuceria. The second would not come until almost a Terran century later. But by then, it would be too late to stop the tragedy that had already begun to unfold for the XIIth Legion.
The "Night of the Wolf" is a little known incident that occurred shortly after the massacre of the entire planetary population of Ghenna. The Primarch Leman Russ had been charged by the Emperor to take his Space Wolves Legion to Ghenna to bring the World Eaters to heel.
The two Legions met at Malkoya, on the fields beyond the dead Ghennan city of that same name. The World Eaters, battered and bleeding from Ghenna's Imperial Compliance campaign, formed ragged lines before the assembled Space Wolves Legion.
The Primarchs stood before their hosts, armed and armoured -- Angron awash with blood and carved up by fresh wounds; Leman Russ in resplendent battle-plate the colour of the storms on his tempestuous homeworld of Fenris.
In these early years of the Great Crusade, Angron still carried his first axe, the precursor to all others. He called it Widowmaker. It would break this very day, never to be used again.
Russ carried Krakenmaw, his immense Chainsword, toothed by some Fenrisian sea-devil from that blighted world's many myths.
Angron refused to recognise his brother's authority, and warned the Wolf King to depart before the situation became something that he would regret. But Russ refused to be cowed by the warlike Primarch. He informed Angron that the implantation surgeries must end, for the Emperor Himself had deemed it necessary.
Once they reached the Imperial Palace, everything would be done to remove the parasitic Butcher's Nails implants from the World Eaters' minds.
Angron was not amused by Russ' implied threats.
No one ever saw who fired the first shot. In the decades after, the World Eaters claimed it came from the Space Wolves' lines, and the Space Wolves claimed the same of the XII Legion. Without either Primarch giving an order, the two Space Marine Legions fought.
"The Night of the Wolf," it was later called. Imperial archives later referred to it as the "Ghenna Scouring," omitting the moment the World Eaters and Space Wolves drew blood.
The conflict would prove to be a source of pride for both Legions, and a source of secret shame. Both claimed victory. But both feared they had actually lost, and in truth, the battle proved bloody but inconclusive.
Yet, at its end, the World Eaters did not return to Terra, and Angron refused to stop the implantation of his Astartes with the Butcher's Nails. Paying no heed to the Emperor's command, Angron ordered his Techmarines to continue to use the Butcher's Nails cortical implant technology until nearly every World Eater Space Marine had undergone the surgery.
Blood rites like blood-drinking and vicious gladiatorial combats became an increasingly important part of the World Eaters' Legionary rituals and customs as they continued to slaughter their way across a broad swathe of the galaxy.
It soon became common practice for World Eaters to compete in the number of skulls that they could take in battle. For some World Eaters Space Marines, the result was an uncontrollable thirst for slaughter even away from the battlefield.
However, the results produced by the World Eaters on the frontlines were so effective that the Imperium -- and its Emperor -- proved willing to turn a blind eye to the World Eaters' savage practices for quite some time during the rest of the Great Crusade.
This would prove to be a terrible miscalculation, as the World Eaters were already falling under the sway of the Blood God Khorne and would prove a ready ally of the Warmaster Horus once he began his great betrayal of the Imperium.
"The moment Angron was given mastery over us, we stopped being what the Emperor wanted, and became what our father wanted instead. How could He have not foreseen the madness to come when it was He who made it happen? Or did He even care, so long as we spilt the blood that He needed spilled to expand His realm? If you desire to cast fault for the path that the XII Legion embarked upon, the true blame could be placed nowhere other than at the Throne of Terra, at His feet."
- — Eighth Captain Khârn, from his unpublished treatise The Eighteen Legions
By the dawn of the 31st Millennium, as the World Eaters' vicious savagery only worsened, many of Angron's brother Primarchs voiced their concerns to the Emperor, yet the Master of Mankind, having left the Great Crusade to return to Terra, proceeded to seek help from an unfortunate source. He dispatched Horus, the Primarch He trusted over all others, to confront Angron and bring him back into the Imperial fold.
In Angron, Horus saw a warrior consumed by bitterness and resentment towards the Emperor and it was simple for the Warmaster to feed that bitterness and emphasise the Emperor's betrayal of the World Eater Primarch at Nuceria. This fed Angron's perception that the Emperor was a weakling in need of replacement by a stronger ruler -- a ruler like Horus.
Horus had told Angron exactly what he wanted to hear. When the Horus Heresy began, plunging the galaxy into civil war, Angron's World Eaters joyfully marched beside the Warmaster into treachery. Thus, the World Eaters became one of Horus' original four Traitor Legions, along with the Death Guard, the Word Bearers and Horus' own Sons of Horus.
Istvaan III Atrocity
During the first battle of the Horus Heresy, the Istvaan III Atrocity, Horus at last declared his traitorous hand and openly defied the Emperor. Angron led the World Eaters personally in the first surface assault on Istvaan III to destroy the remaining Loyalist Astartes of the four original Traitor Legions, including his own Loyalist World Eaters, who had survived the traitorous virus-bombing of Istvaan III's planetary capital of the Choral City by Horus' orbiting fleet.
Horus had deceitfully launched this treacherous saturation bombardment of the planet after the four Traitor Legions' known Loyalists were already engaged against the Slaaneshi rebels who held the world. The deadly cargo which contained the ferocious, flesh-eating life-eater virus held within the virus bombs killed billions of innocents, whose psychic death scream was said to be louder than the holy beacon of the Astronomican.
But much to the Traitors' surprise, nearly two-thirds of the Loyalists from the first wave survived the orbital bombardment, thanks in no small part to the timely warning of the Loyalist Emperor's Children Captain Saul Tarvitz.
Taking matters into his own hands, Angron defied Horus' plans and spearheaded a second Drop Pod wave after the bombardment failed to eliminate all of the Loyalists. The Warmaster and his allies could only look on in outrage as the Red Angel made planetfall at the head of a full 50 companies of his bloodthirsty Astartes, landing in the plaza areas to the west of the Precentor's Palace, hunting for their own kin with fratricide in their hearts.
The World Eaters bloodily massacred most of their Loyalist Battle-Brothers, plunging into their former comrades' ranks like a white hot dagger. Incensed at his brother's disobedience, the Warmaster saw no choice but to support his ill-tempered and impulsive ally since the atmospheric after effects of the global firestorm unleashed by the virus bombs made it impossible to carry out an immediate, accurate orbital bombardment.
Horus ordered all of the Traitor forces to commence a ground attack to salvage victory from disorder. Nearly two full solar months passed on the Dead World of Istvaan III as the Loyalist survivors stalled the Warmaster's plans by tenaciously holding out against the Traitor forces. But their numbers quickly waned against the Traitors reinforcements and steady supply of munitions.
Eventually, once the world's atmosphere had cleared enough to make accurate orbital fire once again possible, the Traitors leveraged their superiority of arms, and soon the slaughter swung decisively in the Warmaster's favour following another orbital bombardment of the Loyalist positions. The gauntlet had been thrown down and the Horus Heresy had truly begun.
Shadow Crusade and the Return to Nuceria
"Let history mark my words well, for I care nothing about who sits proud on the Throne of Terra when the last day dawns. Horus is a fine commander, but that’s the limit of my admiration for that arrogant, preening bastard. I joined his rebellion because I can tolerate him easier than I can endure the abomination that names himself Master of Mankind. You want the truth of my life and death? I am Angron, the Eater of Worlds, and I am already dead. I died over a hundred years ago, in the mountains north of the city that enslaved me. I died after Desh'elika."
- — Primarch Angron talking to his brother Lorgar
During the opening days of the Horus Heresy, Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion, had ordered his two most trusted advisors, First Chaplain Erebus and the Dark Apostle Kor Phaeron, to unleash their wrath against the Realm of Ultramar. This was done in retaliation for the humiliation the XVIIth Legion had been forced to endure by being forced to kneel in disgrace before the Emperor and Roboute Guilliman and his Ultramarines on the world of Khur by the XIIIth Legion at the Emperor's orders during the Great Crusade for their failure to enforce the Imperial Truth.
The Word Bearers proceeded to achieve a monumental victory at the Battle of Calth which ensued. The Ultramarines Legion was badly crippled and no longer presented a viable threat to Horus' plan to drive on Terra. Erebus had managed to complete his blasphemous ritual on Calth's surface, which summoned the beginnings of the sorcerous Ruinstorm to the galaxy's Eastern Fringe -- a monstrous Warp Storm larger and more destructive than anything space-faring Humanity had witnessed since the days of the Age of Strife.
Simultaneous with the Word Bearers' assault on Calth, Lorgar and the more reliable Word Bearers under his command launched a second offensive, a joint Shadow Crusade with Angron's World Eaters Legion into the rest of the Realm of Ultramar, laying waste to the Five Hundred Worlds with reckless abandon, slaughtering twenty-six worlds in rapid succession.
This campaign was intended to ensure the success of the sorcerous Ruinstorm, which would ultimately split the void asunder, dividing the galaxy in two and rendering vast tracts of the Imperium impassable for as long as it lasted, effectively cutting Ultramar off from the rest of the Imperium.
This prodigious Warp Storm would deny needed reinforcements to the Loyalists as Horus drove on Terra in an attempt to overthrow the Emperor of Mankind. Nothing from Terra would get in and nothing would get out. Not even an astropathic whisper would be able to pierce this storm of Warp energy bleeding into realspace.
At some point during the Shadow Crusade, while fighting alongside the Word Bearers, the World Eaters fought in a direct confrontation against the Ultramarines Legion upon the War World of Armatura. During the brutal assault, the Ultramarines managed to lure the enraged World Eaters into a trap as they assaulted the main quarter of the ruined capital city, collapsing buildings and burying many of the World Eaters and Angron under tons of rubble.
The Red Angel's twin Chainaxes were ruined, as they had lost their teeth during the brutal fighting. After Angron managed to crawl from the strewn rubble, he threw his axe Gorechild away, for it would never function again.
In the aftermath of the battle, Angron's Equerry Khârn found the discarded weapon and picked it up. He knew he risked his Primarch's wrath by violating Angron's superstition that inherited weapons brought ill luck, a gladiatorial conceit taken from Nuceria, but still had Gorechild repaired, and has used the mighty weapon ever since that day.
During this campaign of destruction, Lorgar came to realise that over the course of their Shadow Crusade, Angron's temperament and mental stability had steadily grown worse. The Butcher's Nails were killing him faster than the Emperor's experts or Lorgar had originally imagined, faster than anyone realised. The rate of neural degeneration had accelerated very quickly in the months after the Battle of Calth.
The implants had never been designed for the peculiar genetics of a Primarch's brain. Angron's physiology was constantly trying to heal the damage produced by the implants as the Nails bit deeper. To save his life, Lorgar convinced the lord of the World Eaters to go back to his homeworld of Nuceria. The overlords of the gladiatorial games on that world who had first inserted the foul device into Angron's skull would know more of the implant's function than the Traitor Legion's savants and the Dark Mechanicum.
Lorgar promised that the two Primarchs would learn all that was known about the Nucerians' insidious cortical implant technology, and then they would burn that loathsome world until its surface was nothing but glass. Angron would at last take the vengeance he pretended to no longer desire. Whether Angron fought him, hated him or trusted him mattered little to Lorgar, who intended to drag Angron into the immortality that he deserved from the Dark Gods whether he wanted it or not.
Once on Nuceria, Angron paid his respects to his fallen brothers and sisters amongst the Nucerian gladiators he had once fought beside, whose bones now lay exposed to the elements on the Desh'elika Ridge where they had died. The painful memories of that day, long ago, were too much for the Primarch to bear.
After paying a visit to the city-state of Desh'ea to see who ruled the Nucerian city-state that had once claimed to own him, he became enraged when he was told the version of his disappearance told by the Nucerian slavemasters. It was explained that he had fled in fear from the Battle of Desh'elika Ridge and the subsequent massacre of the rebel army in the mountains. The rebels had died to a man in his absence.
Enraged by the lies that had been told about him over the last century, Angron ordered his Legion to kill everyone in the city. Then they were to kill everyone on the planet.
Roboute Guilliman's Ultramarine retribution fleet, which had been tracking the rest of the Word Bearers Legion in the wake of the Battle of Calth, finally caught up to the Traitors while they carried out their massacre on Nuceria. The XIIIth Legion's warship Courage Above All, Guilliman's temporary flagship, broke Warp at the system's edge, at the head of a large void armada consisting of 41 vessels.
The Ultramarines armada looked wounded, cobbled together from separate fleets. It was not a dedicated interdiction war-fleet, but clearly a ragtag strike force, a lance thrust intended to strike at the enemy's heart. Guilliman himself had done the best he could with limited resources.
The XIIIth Legion's cruisers and battleships ran abeam of the enemy fleet for repeated exchange of broadsides, offering targets too big and powerful to ignore, while the rest of the Ultramarines fleet used calculated Lance strikes from safer range. The armada then divided its assault potential, doing its utmost to destroy Lorgar's flagship Fidelitas Lex, and attempted to capture the World Eaters' flagship Conqueror in a boarding action.
But the Ultramarines' warships not only fought a void war, they also took the fight to the surface of Nuceria, for this conflict was personal. The Ultramarines had come for revenge against Lorgar and the Word Bearers, just as they had pursued Kor Phaeron all the way to the Maelstrom on the other side of Ultramar.
Several Ultramarines warships attempted to make a run on Nuceria, hemorrhaging Drop Pods, landers and gunships, forcing planetfall by any means necessary. The Ultramarine fleet swept over and against the Traitors like an insect horde. But the tenacious commander of the Conqueror, Lotara Sarrin, put up a difficult fight and destroyed a number of Ultramarines vessels that attempted to make a run for the surface.
Though the World Eaters' flagship transformed a number of the smaller vessels into flaming wreckage, the Ultramarines eventually punched through her tenacious defence and managed to land troops on the surface of Nuceria.
As was their way, the Ultramarines established footholds at defensible positions, clearing room for their reinforcements to land. For every position they held, another was overrun by the World Eaters in a storm of roaring axes, or lost to the Word Bearers' chanting, implacable advance. The XIIth Legion crashed against the XIIIth in rabid packs, showing why Imperial forces had feared to fight alongside them for decades.
Uncontrolled, unbound, unrestrained, they butchered their way through Ultramarines strong points, enslaved to the joy of battle because of the Butcher's Nails implants sandwiched within the meat of their minds. The Ultramarines returned the World Eaters' ferocity in kind, hungry for vengeance against the vile Traitors who had defiled Calth and damaged its star. Word Bearers units also marched into the fray against the Loyalists, droning black hymns and chanting sermons from the Book of Lorgar, bearing corpse-strewn icons of befouled metal and bleached bones above their regiments.
Meanwhile, far above Nuceria, the Fidelitas Lex was already a ruin, its armour pitted and cracked, its shields a memory. The cathedrals and spinal fortresses barnacling along its back were gone, laid waste by the Ultramarines' incendiary rage. The XIIIth Legion's armada attacked in strafing runs and protracted exchanges of broadsides, trading fire with the superior warship and accepting their own casualties as the cost of bleeding the bigger vessel dry.
Each assault left the Lex weaker, firing fewer turrets and cannons, taking punishment on its increasingly fragile armour. But she fought on. Crawling with smaller ships, the Lex lashed back with its remaining Macrocannons, rolling in the light of its own burning hull. Guilliman guided the battle from the command deck of Courage Above All, and had decided that the Fidelitas Lex would die first, killed in the death of a thousand cuts and swept from the game board, while the Conqueror would be boarded and killed from within.
In the course of the battle in Nucerian orbit, the Conqueror could not rise to its sister-ship's defence. Both Traitor Legion flagships fought alone, starved of support and suffering the endless attacks of the XIIIth Legion's ragged armada. Salvation Pods streamed from the Lex's sides and underbelly, along with heavier Mechanicum craft and bulk landers.
With the Legionaries of the Word Bearers already on the surface, the ship's Human population fled in the vessel's final minutes. And still the great vessel fought -- rolling, turning, raging. The Ultramarines cruisers that drifted past burned as badly as the warship they were killing. This void battle was a form of dirty fighting between warships, too close for the neat calculations of ranged battery fire. Instead, it was an up-close and personal slugfest.
The Ultramarines Battle Barge Armsman intercepted the Conqueror and came abeam, launching Assault Carriers and Boarding Torpedoes. While the World Eaters flagship was busy repelling boarders, a number of smaller XIIIth Legion vessels slipped past her defences and launched Drop Pods, gunships and troop carriers.
The first Drop Pods hammered home on the planet's surface. Sealed doors unlocked and the Ultramarines poured forth, Bolters raised, moving in perfect and well-trained unity. But the World Eaters were waiting for them. Those not lost to the rage of the Butcher's Nails at once had the presence of mind to note that these Ultramarines were not the pristine cobalt-blue warriors they had previously faced on Armatura.
These Legionaries of the XIIIth wore cracked Power Armour, still scarred and burnwashed from some horrendous battle solar weeks or months before. These were hardened veterans of the Calth Atrocity. They burned with a cold intensity to carry out the vengeance in their hearts, and were intent on getting to grips with the Word Bearers and their Traitor allies.
As the fighting raged, the burning shell of the Fidelitas Lex cut through the clouds into the planet's atmosphere, shuddering on its way east, rolling ever downwards, achingly slow for something of such scale. The weight of the Lex's massive plasma engines dragged the stern down first, colliding with the Nucerian ocean's surface far from shore.
In the meantime, the demigod in gold and blue had finally found the object of his obsession amidst the clamour of war. Guilliman confronted Lorgar, possessing the advantage of two weapons, but Lorgar's Crozius gave him a reach his brother lacked. When they first met, there was no furious trading of frantic blows, nor were there any melodramatic speeches of vengeance avowed.
The two Primarchs came together once, Power Fists against War Maul, and backed away from the resulting flare of repelling energy fields. Their warriors killed each other around them, and neither Primarch spared their gene-sons a glance. Lorgar flicked the clinging lightning from the head of his Crozius, shaking his head in slow denial.
Both Primarchs fought without heed, their godlike movements an inconceivable blur to the Space Marines fighting around them. None had ever imagined the heroes of this new age would take the field against each other, nor could they have predicted the wellsprings of spite between them. Guilliman confronted Lorgar for what his Legion had done across the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar.
In his righteous anger the Ultramarines Primarch struck Lorgar with one of his fists, battering the Word Bearers Primarch's sternum. Lorgar repulsed him with a projected burst of telekinesis, weak and wavering, but enough to send his brother staggering. The Crozius followed, its power field trailing lightning as Lorgar hammered it into the side of Guilliman's head with the force of a cannonball.
Both Primarchs faced each other beneath the grey sky, one bleeding internally, the other with half of his face lost to blood sheeting from a fractured skull. As the two Primarchs were locked in their furious life-and-death struggle, they were oblivious to the destruction being wrought around them.
Suddenly, Angron burst forth from the Ultramarines' ranks, his armour a shattered wreck, and both of his Chainswords spat gobbets of ceramite armour plating and scarlet gore. Angron was plastered with the blood of the slain after hours in the crush of the front lines of intense combat. On his chest hung a bandolier of skulls taken from the mass grave at Desh'elika Ridge. Blood painted them as surely as it marked Angron.
Even through the constant pain generated by the Butcher's Nails, that pleased him. He wanted his deceased brothers and sisters to taste blood once more. He had carried them with him across Nuceria, letting their empty eyes witness the razing of his former, hated homeworld.
The World Eater launched himself at Guilliman with murderous hatred. The two Primarchs fell into a seamless, roaring duel where Lorgar and Guilliman had abandoned theirs. Guilliman found himself forced back by the storm of Angron's blows.
As the two Primarchs fought, Guilliman landed a glancing blow, his fist pounding across Angron's breastplate. One of the skulls of Angron's fallen fellow gladiators that hung from the chain worn across his breastplate was partially shattered and scattered across the ground.
Guilliman stepped back, his boot crushing the skull's remnants to powder. Angron saw the desecration, and threw himself at his brother, his howl of wrath defying mortal origins, impossibly ripe in its anguish.
Lorgar saw it, too. The moment Guilliman's boot broke the skull, he felt the Warp boil behind the veil. The Bearer of the Word started chanting in a language never before spoken by any living being, his words in faultless harmony with Angron's cry of torment. Lorgar enacted his dark plan to save his brother's life, summoning the Ruinstorm to the world of Nuceria, tearing the sky open and unleashing a crimson torrent, formed from the ghosts of a hundred murdered worlds, raining blood down upon the battlefield.
Lorgar focused his concentration on the triumphant form of his mutilated brother, calling for the Neverborn, the entities Humanity called daemons, to answer in kind. He locked Angron's muscles, setting fire to the synapses in his brain. The first spasms wracked their way through Angron's sinews, turning his blood to quicksilver, then to lava and at last to unholy fire.
His cries of thwarted rage were tainted by an agony beyond comprehension. His body started tearing itself apart, growing, rising. Perfecting, after a lifetime of broken torture. This was the moment of Angron's apotheosis into daemonhood.
The World Eaters Librarians, those few who had never received the deadly Butcher's Nails implants which were inimicable to psykers, sensed the fey powers summoned by Lorgar from the Warp. In an attempt to halt the Urizen's dark plans, the 19 remaining Librarians harnessed their collective psychic powers to manifest a psychic entity known as the "Communion," the gestalt consciousness of 19 psychic minds. In the midst of Lorgar's incantations, the Communion pulled the soul of the Primarch from his body.
The two psychic entities confronted one another within the Warp, locked in a deadly contest of wills, each convinced that they were the one responsible for saving Angron. But ultimately, the Communion failed, for Lorgar was just as powerful in the Warp as he was in the material universe.
After Angron's completed metamorphosis into a new Daemon Prince, the Daemon Primarch turned his attention to the Librarians. The creatures that had pained him for solar decades. The warriors that had made the Butcher's Nails sing and his brain bleed just for the sin of standing near them. Now they moved against his brother, hurling their foulness at Lorgar, who crouched one-handed and wounded, down on his knees.
The newly ascended Daemon Primarch's rage killed the remaining Librarians, each of them tasting a different doom. Angron finally expunged from his Legion the weakness that had plagued his gene-sons since his reunification with them a century earlier. The Librarius of the World Eaters, the last fragment of the original War Hounds within the XII Legion, was no more, a fact which greatly pleased the Blood God Khorne, who would not brook the existence of any psykers amongst his chosen servants.
Lorgar had offered up the XIIth Legion to the whims of the Blood God as his loyal servants. Now there would only be blood, an ocean of blood carried on a tide of eternal slaughter.
In the wake of Angron's transformation, a gravely wounded Roboute Guilliman escaped from Nuceria, unable to face or even fully comprehend what both of his brothers had become through their corruption by the Ruinous Powers. The World Eaters completed their purge of Nuceria until not one Human life remained on the benighted world. Angron, now the very embodiment of the Blood God's Eight-Fold Path, shook the dust of the world from his feet and did not think of it again.
Lorgar believed that he had "saved" his brother. In his mind it was the only way, for he alone had sought to save Angron from the implants that were killing him by degrees. Only Lorgar had found a way to free Angron from an existence of unrivalled agony, and he alone had acted to save his tormented brother. Now the Shadow Crusade could move on from Ultramar and rejoin Horus. The next target for the Traitors would be Terra itself.
Once back aboard his flagship Conqueror, the newly ascendant Daemon Primarch spoke his first words in his new form. He ordered Khârn to massacre the slaves in the lower holds and build him a massive skull throne.
After the Shadow Crusade, the Daemon Primarch Angron and his Worlds Eaters proceeded to go on a bloody rampage throughout the width and breadth of the galaxy, ignoring the Warmaster Horus' calls to muster at Ullanor in preparation for the final drive on the Throneworld. Perturabo, the Lord of Iron, Primarhc of the Iron Warriors Legion, was ordered by Horus to bring Angron at all costs to Ullanor.
The Iron Warriors tracked the World Eaters to the world of Deluge, where they discovered the planet's entire population had been butchered and stacked into mountains of corpses. Shortly thereafter, they were set upon by berserker-crazed World Eaters and Khornate daemons. After withstanding this initial onslaught, the sky opened up and the Daemon Primarch Angron entered the carnage.
Perturabo and Angron engaged in a brutal battle, with the Daemon Primarch having the upper hand in both power and speed. However, despite sustaining several wounds, the Lord of Iron endured, and goaded Angron. He declared that Angron had been born a slave and would now remain one, enslaved to darkness for all eternity.
Utilising his superior tactical acumen and with the aid of the Iron Warriors and his Iron Circle of robotic honour guards, Perturabo was able to outmanoeuvre and bombard the World Eaters, pounding them into submission and besting Angron in the process.
However, at that moment, an Ultramraine fleet appeared in orbit above the planet. Angron merely laughed, declaring that they were now all going to die. Perturabo retorted by reminding Angron that he had once seen his own warriors butchered by the slavemasters on Nuceria and had done nothing to stop it.
This moved the Daemon Primarch to act, and after conjuring a Warp Storm, both the Iron Warriors and World Eaters fleets managed to evade the Ultramarines and make their way towards Ullanor.
Angron would subsequently appear during the climax of the Solar War, when a massive Warp Rift opened up over Luna. This allowed the primary Traitor strike force to assail the Throneworld itself. The Daemon Primarch was seen perched during the battle over Luna aboard one of the battlements of his flagship Conqueror.
Siege of Terra
By the time the Siege of Terra commenced, Angron had become fully enslaved to the will of the Blood God Khorne and his own unquenchable blood lust. He demanded that Horus allow him to directly assault the Imperial Palace, regardless of the fact that the Emperor's powerful psychic barrier around the Throneworld would more than likely kill the Daemon Prince until the Traitors had found a way to weaken it.
When word reached Angron that the Death Guard would instead be the ones to spearhead the Traitor assault on Terra, Angron fell into an incandescent rage and massacred all those within the bowels of the Conqueror who had the misfortune to cross the Daemon Primarch's path.
Lotara Sarrin, the mortal Human captain of the Conqueror, feared that if Angron wasn't stopped, he would inadvertently murder the Tech-priests responsible for attending to the vessel's Plasma Reactor, putting the Conqueror at risk of a catastrophic explosion.
To prevent this, Sarrin conspired with the Night Lords Captain Gendor Skraivok, the "Painted Count," as well as Khârn, to have Angron teleported to the shifting maze aboard the Night Lords' flagship Nightfall that had long been used by Konrad Curze to torture and kill captives. Forcing Khârn's hand, the Eighth Captain confronted the enraged Daemon Primarch himself.
Angron informed his Equerry that the Dark Gods had whispered to him of Khârn's ultimate fate and pre-ordained destiny as the Chosen of Khorne. The Daemon Primarch wished to supplant Khârn as the Blood God's chosen, and so, the two battled one another.
However, Khârn proved unable to match his gene-sire's prowess. Before Angron could slay him, Khârn placed a Teleport Homer on the Daemon Primarch and had him teleported off the Conqueror and into the bowels of the Nightfall.
In the bowels of the Night Lords' flagship, Angron found himself trapped within a labyrinth of singular purpose. At the request of the Night Haunter, the Iron Warriors' Primarch Perturabo had crafted his grim brother a singular prison, unlike any other, in imitation of Perturabo's own private sanctorum known as the Cavea Ferrum.
This special prison was an elaborate labyrinth, whose featureless walls and strange geometric design made it all but impossible to map and therefore escape. Anyone who attempted to mentally map the labyrinth would be hopelessly knotted in turns that should have been physically impossible.
Even after trying scores of times to map the labyrinth, an individual would only manage more than a handful of turns within its twisting corridors before it all stopped making sense. Following the Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V, the Night Haunter had captured his brother Vulkan, the Primarch of the Salamanders, and utilised the labyrinth as a means to torture and psychologically break him over a period of several solar months.
Angron quickly became trapped within the maze, forever trying to find his way out of its twists and turns, and battling assaults by the multitude of traps hidden within the labyrinth.
Meanwhile, the Traitors on Terra's surface had used a series of rituals to finally weaken the Emperor's psychic barrier around the Throneworld so that they could deploy their daemonic allies on its surface. The Daemon Primarch was shot from the hold of the Nightfall and into the void of space. Angron soon hurtled towards the Throneworld's surface.
When the Daemon Primarch entered Terra's atmosphere, he appeared as a massive, flaming meteor. As his body slammed into the surface of Terra, the shockwave of the Daemon Primarch's impact slew friend and foe alike.
Wielding the Black Blade, Angron proceeded to rampage through the Loyalist forces, fighting his way to the walls of the Imperial Palace itself. Here, he saw his brother Sanguinius, the angelic Primarch of the Blood Angels, and bellowed a challenge. In response, Sanguinius merely saluted his brother and refused. Before withdrawing back into the confines of the Imperial Palace, Sanguinius claimed that while they would one day battle, it was not that day.
The Daemon Primarch roared in frustration, unable to circumvent the lingering effects of the Emperor's psychic barrier to pursue what he perceived as his cowardly brother into the palace.
As the Siege of Terra raged on, during the battle for the Lion's Gate Spaceport, Angron destroyed both a Capitol Imperialis super-heavy Imperial tank and then a Leviathan transport, but was still unable to advance past the Imperial Palace's walls.
But eventually, the Lion's Gate Spaceport fell to the Traitors when they launched a massive assault. As the Emperor's psychic barrier shrank to encompass the Sanctum Imperialis, Angron led a horde of blood-maddened Worlds Eaters onto the Eternity Wall and began slaughtering the Loyalist defenders.
Newly blessed with daemonic gifts, Angron and his World Eaters overtook the Loyalist defenders of the Eternity Wall. Later, the World Eaters had the duty and privilege of leading the frontal assault on the palace. The surviving video logs from the siege show the World Eaters breaching the walls of the palace, the twisted, red form of Angron wielding his glowing runesword at their head.
Among those first into the breach was Khârn. Despite contrary claims by the Sons of Horus, World Eater records indicate that it was Angron's daemonic Black Blade that was responsible for the downfall of the great gate of the Imperial Palace.
The World Eaters reaped a true harvest of blood on Terra, but they were denied ultimate victory. With both the Dark Angels and Space Wolves Legions on their way to Terra to reinforce the Loyalist defenders, Horus gambled everything in order to win the siege, lowering the Void Shields on his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, and daring the Emperor to come aboard and face him.
The Master of Mankind rose to the challenge and faced his betrayer in the combat that decided the fate of the galaxy. The two fought a titanic combat that was both physical and psychic, until at last the Emperor had slain Horus and utterly obliterated even his soul from existence, but only at the cost of His own humanity and eternal internment in the Golden Throne.
The mighty Chaos army disintegrated with the loss of its greatest champion and fled Terra. Angron was the last to leave, looking back from his drop ship longingly at the Imperial Palace, which had stood against even his fury.
He led his surviving World Eaters deep into the refuge of the great Warp rift that was the Eye of Terror in the northwestern reaches of the galaxy. He and his Heretic Astartes would now have all of eternity to seek revenge as part of the Long War against the Corpse Emperor's forces to come.
With the Horus Heresy ended, the World Eaters fled into the Eye of Terror to a Daemon World specially prepared for Angron by Khorne, though the Legion swiftly degenerated into roving warbands of Chaos Space Marines as the incessant and bloodthirsty demands of Khorne drove the World Eaters to turn in upon themselves.
As such, even to the present time they have no particular home base, with each band generally operating from whatever starship they can lay their bloodstained hands upon.
After Horus' death at the hands of the Emperor, the tide of the battle for Terra turned and the remaining forces of Chaos were scattered. Angron and his World Eaters fought their way across the galaxy to reach the Eye of Terror.
Once inside the Warp rift, the bloody Chaos Space Marines chose a Daemon World to settle, which Khorne blessed and perverted into a realm of constant battle, bloodshed and pain where Angron, now a Daemon Prince of Khorne, ruled over all.
Battle of Skalathrax
Following the end of the Horus Heresy, the World Eaters Legion was finally sundered as a coherent military force during the Legion Wars at the Battle of Skalathrax on the Daemon World of the same name.
There the World Eaters faced off against the Emperor's Children Chaos Marines, the devoted servants of the Chaos God Slaanesh, the chief rival among the Ruinous Powers of the World Eaters' patron Khorne.
The two armies of Traitor Marines clashed through the planet's storm lashed cities of black rock and ice. City after city fell to the berserker assaults of the World Eaters, as the chosen of Khorne hurled themselves at the Emperor's Children, slaughtering the hated Slaaneshi devotees until forced to halt their attack as the Daemon World's freezing night fell.
The potent Champion of Khorne and former Equerry Khârn screamed his frustration as the Legion paused in its attack, demanding that he be allowed to continue killing. Furious with his comrades for taking shelter while there were still enemies left to slay, Khârn took up a Flamer and turned its heat upon his fellow World Eaters Berserkers and those who tried to stop he cut down with great sweeps of his chainaxe.
As the flames spread to the rest of the city, the World Eaters Legion tore itself apart, berserkers fighting both each other and the Emperor's Children for what little shelter remained. Khârn burned and hacked his way through the flaming ruins of Skalathrax, having become the living incarnation of the Blood God himself.
From that day forth, the World Eaters were broken as a Legion, becoming instead scattered warbands of berserk Heretic Astartes, forever in search of more blood to spill. Khârn now stalks the Eye of Terror and only the most insane of Khornate warriors dare to fight alongside him, since few who do so ever survive.
Following this conflict the raving blood thirst of the World Eaters broke down any form of organisation and control. Units of World Eaters of varying sizes broke off from the main force to seek out glory and skulls for Khorne.
In the wake of Khârn's slaughter, all of the captains who had led the Legion before the battle had been killed. This ensured that in the future no warband leader of the World Eaters could claim a right of command due to their prior position rather than by dint of their sheer martial ability. Such was the way of Khorne.
Squads of ancient World Eater berzerkers can now be found as parts of larger Chaos armies, in Khorne-sworn forces, or even in small teams called warbands -- always seeking combat, blood and skulls.
Dominion of Fire
In the mid-38th Millennium, Angron and 50,000 Chaos Space Marines and troops drawn from the other forces of Chaos slaughtered their way through a large swathe of Imperial space for over two standard centuries. They took control of over 70 sectors.
In response, a combined force of four Space Marine Chapters, 2 Titan Legions and more than 30 Astra Militarum regiments participated in a massive Imperial Crusade to retake what the Imperium had lost to the Red Angel's assault.
Ninety percent of the territory that had been lost to Angron's forces was eventually recovered by the Imperium's defenders. This protracted campaign is known in Imperial archives as the "Dominion of Fire."
First War for Armageddon
The conflict later known as the First War for Armageddon began within the Eye of Terror. The forces within, being devoted to the service of Chaos and the Ruinous Powers, usually fought against each other as was their fractious nature, but occasionally and inexplicably they put aside their rivalries to launch an assault on their common enemy, the Imperium of Man.
In this case, the unity of the Ruinous Powers was triggered by the arrival of the space hulk Devourer of Stars around a Daemon World within the Eye of Terror that was controlled by Angron and his World Eaters. Angron had spent much of the 10 millennia following the Horus Heresy attempting to restore some level of unity amongst the divided warbands of what had once been his XIIth Legion of Space Marines.
The World Eaters' dedication to the Blood God Khorne during the Horus Heresy had reduced them for much of that time into a fractious force of Khornate Berserkers just as likely to kill each other as their true foes. The emergence of the Devourer of Stars into orbit around Angron's Daemon World provided just the opportunity he had been looking for to recreate some semblance of common purpose for his scattered Legion.
The space hulk proved sufficiently large enough to carry large numbers of Chaos troops but only on an erratic course into realspace. This is how the forces of Chaos unexpectedly emerged from the Warp aboard the space hulk in the Armageddon System in 444.M41.
The arrival of Angron at Armageddon probably had nothing to do with Angron's own desires, rather the location was determined by the chaotic currents of the Warp which sent his space hulk to that Hive World in the Segmentum Solar, possibly at the whim of one of the Chaos Gods, if there was any intent behind the Devourer of Stars' course at all.
Meanwhile, on Armageddon, a series of strange events culminated in an armed rebellion breaking out in half a dozen of the world's large hive cities against the Imperium's authority at the same time that massive Warp Storms cut off the world from Imperial communications and commerce.
The revolts, largely initiated by Chaos Cultists taking advantage of food shortages caused by the Warp Storms to stir up trouble, were quickly put down in the eastern region of the world's southern sub-continent of Armageddon Secundus, but amongst the more widely scattered hives of the western region of the northern sub-continent of Armageddon Prime the rebels proved more difficult to eradicate.
As Armageddon's Planetary Defence Forces (PDF) and the few regiments of the Astra Militarum's Armageddon Steel Legion present on the world seemed capable of dealing with the revolt, no additional units were sent by the Imperium to handle the problem once the Warp Storms cleared. Armageddon was a very long way from the Eye of Terror in the galaxy's Segmentum Obscurus, and no one in the Imperium suspected any more sinister cause for the revolts than simple civil unrest.
Busy containing the rebellion, the Imperial forces were caught by surprise when the Devourer of Stars suddenly emerged from the Warp in the Armageddon System. On board the Devourer of Stars was an enormous Chaos army led by the Daemon Primarch Angron, including millions of Chaos Cultists called the Children of Sanguinary Unholiness and the Twelve -- the Cruor Praetoria, the twelve strongest daemons of Khorne whose lives and deeds most pleased their wretched Blood God.
Chaos Space Marines from the World Eaters Legion and hordes of other daemonic creatures dedicated to the Blood God also poured from the space hulk onto the surface of Armageddon and swept across the land.
The insidious effects of Chaos were quickly felt as nearly half the Planetary Defence Force of Armageddon unexpectedly went over to the invaders, declaring their loyalty to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. The few remaining Loyalist defenders were quickly routed from the sub-continent of Armageddon Prime.
Falling back through the equatorial jungles in the south, the survivors joined up with the Armageddon PDF units that had been left on the sub-continent of Armageddon Secundus and prepared to make a last ditch defence along the banks of the Rivers Styx and Chaeron.
But the expected Chaos attack did not manifest itself. The Warp Storm that had carried the Devourer of Stars to Armageddon had started dying out, cutting off the vital supply of Warp energy that allowed Angron and the other daemons to remain in the Materium.
Angron had reluctantly halted his advance on Armageddon Secundus and ordered his forces to build monuments to the Blood God in the equatorial jungles separating both continents. The Chaos army spent the following solar weeks erecting colossal piles comprised of the skulls of the fallen defenders, anointing them with the blood of sacrificed prisoners and slaves, as well as their own.
The Imperial defenders gained valuable time while Angron raised bloody monuments to the Blood God. Many wondered why the monstrous Primarch halted with victory in his grasp, but in truth, Angron had no choice: without the supply of raw Warp energy generated by the construction of the monuments and the sacrifices, the daemonic components of his army would soon start to dissolve back into the Warp, unable to maintain their presence in the Materium.
When his "supply lines" were finally secured, and his army emerged from the equatorial jungles that separated Armageddon Prime from Armageddon Secundus, Angron found the Imperial defenders ready and waiting -- and reinforced by the Space Wolves.
Unknown to the forces of Chaos, the Great Company of Space Wolves Astartes led by the Chapter's Great Wolf (Chapter Master) Logan Grimnar had been assigned to the defence of this sector of the Imperium, and they moved quickly to provide aid to the beleaguered defenders as soon as they received the astropathic distress messages from Armageddon describing the Chaos invasion of the Hive World.
Huge battles erupted along the entire front. In the east, along the Chaeron River, the Imperial forces held, but towards the west on the Styx River Angron led the way himself. He smashed through the Imperial lines and led his forces towards Hive Infernus and Hive Helsreach.
But there Logan Grimnar unleashed his secret weapon. He had called for the assistance of the Grey Knights, the psychic Space Marine Chapter that served the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition as its Chamber Militant, as soon as he had heard of the daemonic nature of the attacking forces. Only the Grey Knights had the ability to truly defeat a daemonic entity of such malevolent power as Angron.
As the very existence of Chaos was one of the most closely guarded secrets of the Imperium of Man, few amongst even the Space Marines knew of the existence of the Grey Knights, the most elite Chapter of Astartes ever formed who were tasked specifically with combat against daemons.
But Grimnar had seen them in action on more than one occasion and as the lord of an Astartes Chapter he had never been forced to submit to the Inquisitorial mind-wipe that was required of nearly all witnesses to the Grey Knights in action.
Amongst the Grey Knights units deployed for action on Armageddon was Squad Castian, which joined an ad hoc "Ragged Brotherhood" of Grey Knights under the command of Taremar Aurellian, the Brother-Captain of the 3rd Brotherhood.
When the call came, the Grey Knights teleported directly into the midst of the advancing Chaos horde, surrounding the gigantic Daemon Primarch. Taking heavy losses from Angron's battle prowess, the Grey Knights inflicted their own punishment, and eventually Squad Castian engaged in melee with the Daemon Primarch.
After Angron mangled the squad, the only Grey Knight left standing was the pyrokine (master of psychic flame) Hyperion. Trying to protect a still-surviving squad mate, in a tremendous display of faith, power, and effort, Hyperion used his psyker abilities to shatter the Primarch's daemonic sword, the hideous Khornate relic known as the Black Blade -- while he collapsed into unconsciousness from the sheer effort.
Captain Aurellian then confronted the bladeless Daemon Prince of Khorne and managed to banish him back to the Warp, though at the cost of his own life.
Hyperion was one of only 13 Grey Knights to survive the battle, out of the 109 Astartes of the 3rd Brotherhood who had been deployed for the campaign. Found alive but in terrible shape by the Space Wolves on the hellish field after the battle, Hyperion soon acquired the honorific "Bladebreaker" for his feat.
He had to be put in temporary stasis in order to survive, and underwent surgery that replaced half his face and skull with augmetics. He eventually reported back to duty more than 4 solar months later.
The Grey Knights had defeated the Daemon Prince, hurling his spirit back into the Warp from where he could not return for over one hundred Terran years. At the same time as the Grey Knights were teleporting directly into the centre of the daemonic force to launch their attack on the Daemon Primarch, the Space Wolves launched their own massive counter-offensive all along the Imperial lines.
The forces of Chaos were routed after they watched their leader defeated and only the World Eaters managed to retreat back to the space hulk and escape into the safety of the Warp. The Imperial victory was complete and overwhelming -- though it had come at a great and terrible cost.
During the period of the Noctis Aeterna after the birth of the Great Rift in the Era Indomitus, reinforcements were cut off for both sides in the ongoing Third War for Armageddon, and those en route to the system were swept into oblivion.
Those combatants who remained on Armageddon were forced to face not just each other, but oncoming waves of daemons. At times, so desperate were the defenders that Orks and Humans fought alongside each other against the greater threat. Such temporary ceasefires never lasted long.
By the time the beacon of the Astronomican burned bright once more and easy travel through the Immaterium was possible, an Imperial relief force arrived to find the landscape of Armageddon greatly changed. At the height of the Warp Storms, the daemonic forces of Tzeentch and Khorne had battled each other as part of their eternal competition in the Great Game.
The Orks and Imperial defenders sought cover as titanic Greater Daemons duelled for supremacy. Fully half the planet was reshaped into a hellish landscape reminiscent of many Daemon Worlds -- a nightmare born of the Warp merged with the ruins of a war-torn Hive World.
The Imperial reinforcements, led by elements of nine Space Marine Chapters with the Salamanders in overall command, succeeded in halting a daemonic ritual that would have brought Angron back to the world that had defied him during the First War for Armageddon.
The World Eaters have kept true to Khorne's battle-hungry creed ever since their Primarch allowed himself to be completely consumed by his rage during the Horus Heresy.
Across the millennia, this shattered Traitor Legion has spilled enough blood to drown worlds, stacking high the skulls of their foes until their mountainous offerings to Khorne reach the clouds above.
- Sa'afrik Liberation (Unknown Date.M30) - The XIIth Legion's first recorded engagement was during the Sa'afrik Liberation of the Unification Wars where they served as a spearhead of shock troops, mounting direct annihilation assaults on enemy forces, both in open battle and fortified positions. They proved able to carry the attack despite their then-relatively small numbers by sheer courage and the fury of the violence they could unleash. After its initial battles in the conflict the nascent XIIth Legion seems to have been largely held in reserve by the Emperor during the later Unification Wars.
- Pacification of the Cephic Hives (Unknown Date.M30) - The Pacification of the Cephic Hives was another early campaign of the XIIth Legion during the latter days of the Unification Wars. The Emperor Himself dubbed the XIIth Legion His "War Hounds" at this time as a tribute to the savage and tenacious way they fought to pacify the narco-sprawls of the Cephic Hives.
- Cerberus Insurrection (Unknown Date.M30) - The newly dubbed War Hounds were tasked alongside the Terran XXIInd Dracos Regiment of the Imperial Army to subdue the asteroid prison colony of Cerberus which had risen up in anarchic revolt in a state of near-continuous rioting and mob violence. Initial attempts to impose order by Terran troops had been thrown back in disarray as it became apparent that among the insurrectionists was a renegade cadre of outlawed Thunder Warriors, long believed dead, calling themselves the Dait'Tar. With many of the Space Marine Legions already assigned to the first expeditionary fleets of the Great Crusade and en route to the stars, the Emperor Himself dispatched His War Hounds to Cerberus with explicit instructions to reclaim Cerberus colony and carry the Emperor's wrath to those that had defied Him. Within five solar hours, a signal was received from Praetor-Commander Calyb Hax of the XIIth Legion that Cerberus-Primary had been returned to Imperial Compliance. When asked by the leader of the waiting second wave how many prisoners to expect to transfer into custody, Hax replied that he had not been ordered to take any. The second wave of Imperial Army troops were tasked with the bleak task of clean-up operations in the wake of the War Hounds' assault, hunting down any survivors hiding in the warren of the asteroid's tunnels and passageways, of which there proved to be precious few. There were multiple reports of more than once coming across the hulking carcass of an armoured Thunder Warrior, often with three or four of his number in Astartes dead around him, of choke-points and defence posts turned into blood-soaked charnel houses and of scores upon scores of insurgents cut down from behind while fleeing in blind panic, their weapons abandoned.
- Nove Shendak Campaign (Eight-Two-Seventeen) (ca. Mid-800s.M30) - Nove Shendak was a world inhabited by worms; giant xenos creatures who were both intelligent as well as hateful. Their weapons were filaments, metal feathers that they embedded in themselves to conduct potent bioelectrical energies out of their bodies. The surface of the world would roil with these filaments before the worms broke out of it almost at the Imperial attackers' feet. The filaments were as thick as a man, and longer than a person was tall. The worms of Nove Shendak had three mouths in their faces, and a dozen crystalline teeth in their mouths. They spoke through the mud in sonic screams and psychic witch-whispers. Early in the Great Crusade, the War Hounds Legion had found three star systems under their thrall, and had proceeded to burn them out of their colony nests and chase them back towards their homeworld. But on their cradle-world of Nove Shendak the XIIth Legion had, to their immense surprise, discovered humans. Humans lost to the knowledge of Mankind for who knew how many millennia, crawling on the land while the worms slithered in the world's marsh seas, hunting the humans, and farming them for food. The War Hounds, alongside their fellow Astartes Legion the Iron Warriors, and a large contingent of Imperial Army soldiers were charged with exterminating the worms and liberating the humans of Nove Shendak. Fighting the worms was next to impossible as the lunar tides dragged the mud oceans to and fro across the jagged stone continents, making the ground very unstable. The Imperial forces had to use sentries with high-powered lasguns to read the movements of the mud and to hear the worms moving through it towards them. Explosives were seeded around newly-constructed earthworks and allowed to sink to where the worms burrowed. Perturabo had his Iron Warriors build the needed earthworks. They constructed trenches and dykes, penned in the mud seas and drained them. This allowed the Imperial forces to drive the worms back, and reclaim the land the wretched humans of Nove Shendak could build upon. And when the worms finally emerged to assault their attackers, they met the Emperor and His War Hounds. Though the casualties were horrendous, the War Hounds eventually emerged triumphant and the worms of Nove Shendak found only extinction. The people of that world inherited the planet and became fervent supporters of the Imperium.
- Xenocide of the Osiran Psybrids (899.M30) - A sub-fleet of the XIIth Legion, under the command of Praetor Erad Krüg, was fighting on the south-western extreme of the Great Crusade's frontier near the Eurydice Terminal, against Ork raiders of the self-styled Glortian Empire from the untracked abysses beyond. As both sides fought one another, they were suddenly best upon by a mysterious third party -- the deadly xenoforms known as the Osiran Psybrids. As nightmarishly powerful xenos teleported aboard the War Hounds' vessels, only their savage tenacity allowed them to survive, as they lost dozens of their own ships and hundreds of Ork vessels were shattered. Primarch Roboute Guilliman received word, and in reply ordered the War Hounds to hold at all costs, and if possible, to track the Psybrids' vessels to their source. The Ultramarines despatched a powerful Retribution fleet to the Eurydice Terminal, and soon joined their fellow Legion. With their combined might, the Ultramarines systematically wiped out the Psybrids, and when they died, so too did their slave armies. They soon made short work of the remaining Glortian Orks as well, driving them into the outer darkness. The blood price of the battle had been high, but it was a price the Ultramarines were willing to pay for the defeat they suffered nearly six decades earlier.
- Golgothan Slaughter, Siege of Sarum (Early 900s.M30) - The first known target to suffer the wrath of the World Eaters Legion after their Primarch Angron took command of the XIIth Legion sometime in the last two centuries of the 30th Millennium was the stellar wasteland of the Golgotha Sector. The Golgotha Sector was sited near the galactic core in the Segmentum Ultima close to the realspace Warp rift known simply as the Maelstrom. The breaking of the Siege of Sarum would soon become a cornerstone of the World Eaters' legend and serve as a portent of the dark path yet to come. Driving his Navigators perilously close to destruction in the Warp, Angron ordered his warships to form a single strike force aimed at the Sarum System. They came upon the besieged Adeptus Mechanicus station world of Sarum on the edge of the Maelstrom, founded during the Age of Strife and long cut off from aid. Sarum was being besieged by the Abhuman empire known as the Brotherhood of Ruin who wished to take the Mechanicum's technological secrets for themselves. The Tech-priests of the Mechanicus' Redjak Cult had endured alone for ages, subjected to the privations of raiders and enemies all around them, with only intermittent contact with distant Mars and the Forge World Anvilus, requesting aid that had never yet managed to reach them. The World Eaters arrived as their saviours, smashing into the heart of the besiegers. Though dramatically outnumbered and outgunned, the World Eaters drew into close formation and smashed through the enemy armada. Once the enemy line of defence was breached, the World Eaters' fleet unleashed swarms of gunships and Drop Pods upon the planet's surface. In the meantime, baying for blood, Angron and his World Eaters ravaged the enemy armada, plunging in close so that the wild fire of their foes struck their own ships as often as those of the Imperials. Boarding torpedoes and assault rams screamed out from the World Eaters' vessels and slammed into the hulls of terror ships and Abhuman vessels, disgorging the World Eaters in their unstoppable, inhuman rage, turning the enemy ships into charnel houses. Meanwhile, on the surface below, Abhuman cyborg troops and their Ork mercenary lackeys died by the thousands, unable to coordinate a defence against this unforeseen direction of attack. The battle raged on for hours, and the World Eaters took horrific casualties but fought on nevertheless. The Abhuman warlords sensed at last that the battle was turning in their favour and called upon reinforcements from across the planetoid's surface to aid them. It was then that a false dawn flared blood-red in the skies above. Seconds later, a Cyclonic Torpedo barrage smashed into the surface all around the World Eaters, who fought on. In their wake came hundreds of gunships and assault rams that represented the World Eaters' second wave, led by Angron himself. These warriors descended upon the Brotherhood of Ruin like a god of wrath. Behind them came 17 great black metallic cylinders which disgorged the towering Titans of the Legio Audax, which strode forth, weapons blazing. Seeing the shadow of the Omnissiah's wrath descending, the Redjak Mechanicum emerged from their fortifications and speared the fleeing enemy with barbed harpoons and dragged them back for their masters to rend. The Siege of Sarum had been broken and the Redjak Mechanicus swore to Angron and his Legion directly many oaths of fealty and entered pacts of mutual protection and support. This provided the World Eaters and their Techmarines with a ready source of resupply and armament far outside the Imperium's inner sphere. The campaign that was to follow would last eleven standard years and see no fewer than 48 worlds and outposts ravaged and destroyed by the World Eaters, and 7 separate dangerous xenos species, including a branch of the Lacrymole, rendered extinct as the XIIth Legion's fleet cut a swathe of destruction through the wastes of Golgotha, and even ventured into the perilous fringes of the Maelstrom itself. Of course, this campaign also destroyed the miniature stellar empire that the Crimson Priesthood of Sarum had established in the sector, but they were no longer in any position to gainsay the Imperium that had saved them from destruction. The hated Lacrymole had arrived in force in the sector sometime during the 30th Millennium, enslaving the highly regressed human population which was easily subdued and herded into camps to serve as livestock for the xenos.
- Liberation of Alpha Shalish (900s Date.M30) - It was during the XIIth Legion's campaign in the Golgotha Sector that the World Eaters' 203rd Expeditionary Fleet encountered the Lacrymole-infested world of Alpha Shalish. Remembrancers and Imperial artist-scribes of the 203rd Expeditionary Fleet recorded the auspicious events surrounding the liberation of the xenos-controlled world of Alpha Shalish. The Imperial forces, spearheaded by World Eaters Space Marines, burst into the mounded Lacrymole cities with righteous fury, cleansing the planet of their foul, man-eating kind with extreme prejudice.Thus was the shackle of alien rule thrown off and the Emperor's Imperial Truth brought to Alpha Shalish. Repopulation proved quick, aided by a restarting of the agri-machines and STC devices present on the world from the time of the Dark Age of Technology, many of which were found to still be in working order. Within four generations, hive cities were raised over the old ruins and the growing world of Alpha Shalish eventually became a part of the hub of what was later declared the Imperium's Segmentum Solar.
- Ghenna Scouring (900s.M30) - This was an infamous campaign conducted by the World Eaters against the world of Ghenna, where the entire planet's population was butchered in a single night of bloodshed. The World Eaters were censured by the Emperor and commanded to cease the implantation of the Butcher's Nails cortical implants. Angron paid little heed to the Emperor's dictates and ordered the work of his Legion's Techmarines to continue until all of his Astartes had been implanted.
- The Night of the Wolf (900s.M30) - Imperial records state that two Primarchs came to Angron, both claiming to have been sent by the Emperor. The first arrived soon after Angron joined his Legion after being unwillingly rescued from Nuceria. The second would not come until almost a century later. By then, it would be too late. The Night of the Wolf is a little known incident that occurred shortly after the massacre of the entire planetary population of Ghenna. The Primarch Leman Russ had been charged by the Emperor to take his Space Wolves Legion to Ghenna to bring the World Eaters to heel. The two Legions met at Malkoya, on the fields beyond the dead Ghennan city of that same name. The World Eaters, battered and bleeding from Ghenna's Imperial Compliance campaign, formed ragged lines before the assembled Space Wolves Legion. The Primarchs stood before their hosts, armed and armoured -- Angron awash with blood and carved up by fresh wounds; Leman Russ in resplendent battle-plate the colour of the storms on his tempestuous homeworld of Fenris. In these early years of the Great Crusade, Angron still carried his first axe, the precursor to all others. He called it Widowmaker. It would break this very day, never to be used again. Russ carried Krakenmaw, his immense Chainblade, toothed by some Fenrisian sea-devil from that blighted world's many myths. Angron refused to recognise his brother's authority, and warned the Wolf King to depart before the situation became something that he would regret. But Russ refused to be cowed by the warlike Primarch. He informed Angron that the implantation surgeries must end, for the Emperor Himself had deemed it so. The massacres of newly discovered human worlds were to end with the fall of Ghenna. The World Eaters were to submit to the Space Wolves as their escorts for their Legion's return to Terra. Once they reached the Imperial Palace, everything would be done to remove the parasitic Butcher's Nails implants from the World Eaters' minds. Angron was not amused by Russ' implied threats. No one ever saw who fired the first shot. In the decades after, the World Eaters claimed it came from the Space Wolves' lines, and the Space Wolves claimed the same of the XIIth Legion. Without either Primarch giving an order, the two Space Marine Legions fought. The Night of the Wolf, it was later called. Imperial archives referred to it as the Ghenna Scouring, omitting the moment the World Eaters and Space Wolves drew blood. A source of pride for both Legions, and a source of secret shame. Both claimed victory. But both feared they had actually lost, and in truth, the battle proved bloody but inconclusive. But the World Eaters did not return to Terra, and Angron refused to stop the implantation of his Astartes.
- Destruction of the Auretian Technocracy (004.M31) - Shortly after Horus' miraculous recovery on the Feral World of Davin, the newly renamed Sons of Horus encountered the human civilisation of the Auretian Technocracy on the world of Aureus during the Great Crusade. This human society had been founded during Mankind's early exploration of the stars in the Dark Age of Technology and had evolved along lines very similar to that of the Imperium, and more particularly to that of the Mechanicus of Mars. Horus and a contingent of Sons of Horus Astartes met with the Technocracy's leader, the Fabricator Consul, who represented the human government in its diplomatic talks with the Imperium. During their initial discussion aboard the landing bay of the Vengeful Spirit, Horus learned that the Auretian Technocracy made use of highly-coveted, lost Standard Template Construct (STC) technology. Upon learning this, the Warmaster turned his Bolt Pistol upon the Fabricator Consul and summarily executed him. He then ordered his men to annihilate the Fabricator Consul's personal guard who were known as the Brotherhood and who made use of Power Armour and weapons very similar to those of the Space Marines. Unknown to most of the Astartes within the Legion, the rot of corruption had begun to spread throughout the XVIth Legion shortly after Horus made his dark bargain with the Ruinous Powers. The official explanation for the Sons of Horus Legion's grievous actions against the Technocracy stated that the staff brought by the Fabricator Consul aboard the XVIth Legion's flagship possessed a weapon which he planned to use to assassinate the Warmaster. This prompted the resulting conflict with the Auretian Technocracy which lasted for over six bloody months. The World Eaters were finally called in and fought alongside the Sons of Horus on the Technocracy's homeworld of Aureus, and their Primarch Angron personally lead the final Imperial assault on the Iron Citadel held by the Brotherhood of the Auretian Technocracy. When the blood-maddened warriors of the World Eaters' Assault Companies stormed a breach in the walls, the Brotherhood detonated explosive charges that buried the warriors under thousands of tonnes of rubble. Angron tore his way free and butchered the remaining warriors of the Brotherhood with his monstrous Chainaxe Gorefather. Ephraim Guardia, the Senior Preceptor of the Brotherhood Chapter Command and Castellan of the Iron Citadel, died in the first seconds of Angron's attack. The campaign had been a brutal one, as the Brotherhood made use of highly advanced power armoured suits similar to those employed by the Legiones Astartes, but they were eventually defeated and their technology was requisitioned by the XVIth Legion. Horus would later use the seized Auretian STC databases to entice a faction of the Adeptus Mechanicus led by the Fabricator-General of Mars, Kelbor-Hal, to turn against the Emperor and join his rebellion. These Traitors would eventually form the core of what became the Dark Mechanicus and their treachery would unleash the terrible civil war within the Mechanicus that became known as the Schism of Mars.
- Cleansing of Arrigata (ca. 004.M31) - Towards the end of the Great Crusade in the early 31st Millennium, Horus assembled three Space Marine Legions to take back the technologically advanced planet Arrigata from the Imperial separatists who controlled it: the Sons of Horus, the World Eaters, and the Ultramarines. Most of the planet was quickly conquered, except for the massive fortress within which most of the leaders of the planet cowered. Eager to be on his way, Horus commanded Angron to take back the citadel and kill only the leaders. Eagerly, Angron led the assault. However, the fortress was heavily defended and the casualties were horrendous, a dozen World Eaters falling for a meter of land. Eventually, a ramp of corpses led up to a single breach in the wall, and the Astartes of the World Eaters Legion plunged in. Filled with rage over their fallen brothers, they were merciless. By the time the Ultramarines arrived, the battle was all but over. The inside of the fortress was filled with the dismembered and mangled corpses of the defenders, for not one soul had been spared the vengeful fury of the World Eaters. It was an absolute slaughter, the fortress having been transformed into an abattoir of human blood. The Ultramarines were disgusted by this savage behaviour and reported the World Eaters' growing barbarism to the Emperor. But Horus, already corrupted by the tempations of Chaos, knew that the World Eaters' savagery would make the service of Chaos a good fit for the Legion -- and particularly for its rage-fueled Primarch.
- Istvaan III Atrocity (005.M31) - During the first battle of the Horus Heresy, also known as the Istvaan III Atrocity, the Warmaster Horus at last declared his traitorous hand and openly defied the Emperor. But in breaking Angron's bonds of loyalty to the Emperor, such as they had been, Horus let slip a beast that, once unchained, was minded to heed no master's will, including that of the Warmaster. Even at this early stage, it became apparent that Angron, and his Legion with him, would prove a law unto themselves rather than loyal soldiers, prey to their own homicidal urges as much, if not more, than any tactical or strategic needs of the rebellion. Angron led the World Eaters personally in the first surface assault on Istvaan III to destroy the remaining Loyalist Astartes of the four original Traitor Legions, including their own Loyalist World Eaters, who had survived the traitorous virus-bombing of Istvaan III's capital of Choral City by Horus' orbiting fleet. Horus had deceitfully launched this treacherous saturation bombardment of the planet after the four Traitor Legions' known Loyalists were already engaged against the Slaaneshi rebels who held the world. The deadly cargo which contained the deadly life-eater virus killed millions of innocents, whose psychic death scream was said to be louder than the holy beacon of the Astronomican. Much to the Traitors' surprise, nearly two-thirds of the Loyalists from the first wave survived the orbital bombardment, thanks in no small part to the timely warning of the Loyalist Emperor's Children Captain Saul Tarvitz. Taking matters into his own hands, Angron spearheaded a second Drop Pod wave after the bombardment failed to eliminate all of the Loyalists. The Warmaster and his allies could only look on in outrage as the Red Angel made planetfall at the head of a full 50 companies of his bloodthirsty Astartes, landing in the plaza areas to the west of the Precentor's Palace, hunting for their own kin with fratricide in their hearts. The World Eaters bloodily massacred most of their Loyalist Battle-Brothers, plunging into their former comrades' ranks like a white hot dagger. Incensed at his brother's disobedience, the Warmaster saw no choice but to support his ill-tempered and impulsive ally, and so Horus ordered all of the Traitor forces to commence a ground attack to salvage victory from disorder. Nearly two full solar months passed on the Dead World of Istvaan III as the Loyalist survivors stalled the Warmaster's plans by tenaciously holding out against the Traitor forces. But their numbers quickly waned against the Traitors reinforcements and steady supply of munitions. Eventually the Traitors leveraged their superiority of arms at last, and soon the slaughter swung decisively in the Warmaster's favour following another orbital bombardment of the Loyalist positions. The gauntlet had been thrown down and the Horus Heresy had begun.
- Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V (566.006.M31) - In response to Horus' betrayal of the Loyalist Astartes in the Sons of Horus, Emperor's Children, Death Guard and World Eaters Legions at Istvaan III, the Primarch of the Imperial Fists Legion, Rogal Dorn, on the direction of the Emperor who had learned of Horus' actions from the Loyalist survivors aboard the Eisenstein, ordered 7 Loyalist Space Marine Legions to Horus' base on the world of Istvaan V to challenge the rebellious Warmaster. They would attack in two waves and fall under the supreme command of the Iron Hands' Primarch Ferrus Manus. The Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V became one of the major turning points that occurred during the great galactic civil war that engulfed the Imperium of Man in the early 31st Millennium. During the massacre three Loyalist Space Marine Legions that comprised the first assault wave -- the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and the Salamanders -- were betrayed by 4 other Legions they believed were loyal to the Emperor of Mankind. The second assault wave was composed of the traitorous Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors, Night Lords, and a large contingent of Word Bearers that their Primarch Lorgar had stationed in the star system. Unknown to Dorn and Ferrus Manus, the Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors, Night Lords and Word Bearers had all repudiated their oaths to the Emperor and pledged their loyalty to Horus, and had been instructed to keep their new allegiance to Chaos a secret. The Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders deployed in the first wave of the assault and quickly secured the drop site. They were to have been followed by the arrival of the other four Legions in support. The first wave secured the drop site at heavy cost. Horus ordered his frontline troops to fall back, tempting Ferrus Manus to overstretch his already thin lines. Against the advice of Primarchs Corax and Vulkan, Manus led his veteran Terminators, the Morlocks, against the fleeing Traitor Marines unsupported. Manus then brought his brother Fulgrim to combat. As the two Primarchs drew their weapons, the Raven Guard and Salamanders fell back to regroup and allow the second wave's Legions to advance and earn glory. However, as they returned, they were mowed down by the four Traitor Legions that had landed to supposedly support them, thus revealing their new allegiance to Horus and to Chaos. The outnumbered Loyalists were then surrounded and brutally butchered. Refusing to surrender, the remaining Raven Guard and Salamanders Astartes stubbornly defended themselves, trying to hold off the inevitable slaughter for as long as possible. Though they suffered an atrocious number of casualties, the Loyalists managed to hold their own, until the Primarchs Mortarion of the Death Guard and Angron of the World Eaters joined the fray. The World Eaters fought a series of brutal counter-attacks against the Loyalists' landings, sallying out repeatedly from within the Traitors' fortress-line defences, each time halting only through sheer losses inflicted upon them or stymied by curtains of heavy ordnance fire, slashing deeply into the Raven Guard main assault force and the Avernii Clan forces of the Iron Hands, before erupting in a murderous tide as the Traitors' trap was sprung, caring not who they killed. Bolstered by the support of the infamous Imperator-class Titan Dies Irae, the Traitors killed tens of thousands of Loyalist Astartes. At the height of the massacre the Warmaster Horus entered the fray, at the head of the elite Sons of Horus Terminators known as the Justaerin, slaughtering the Loyalists in wrathful anger. Horus pressed the advantage, his attack sandwiching the Loyalists between the two Traitor forces, killing most of them. Barely a handful of Loyalist Space Marines escaped with their lives from Istvaan V to bring word of the further betrayal of 4 more Astartes Legions to the Emperor. The Salamanders, along with the Iron Hands and the Raven Guard, would spend the remainder of the Horus Heresy rebuilding their decimated Legions and were too weakened to play any further role in the great conflict.
- Shadow Crusade and the Purge of Nuceria (007-009.M31) - In the wake of the Battle of Calth, the Word Bearers Legion, led by the Primarch Lorgar, linked up with the World Eaters to launch a Shadow Crusade against the Realm of Ultramar's Five Hundred Worlds in an attempt to spread the massive Warp Storm known as the Ruinstorm that had been conjured by the Word Bearers at Calth across the Eastern Fringe. This would split the galaxy in half and deny needed reinforcements to the Loyalists as Horus drove on Terra in an attempt to overthrow the Emperor of Mankind. But Lorgar noticed that the mental stability of Angon, the Primarch of the World Eaters, was rapidly deteriorating because of the damage caused by the Butcher's Nails, the cortical implant that had been forced upon Angron by the slavemasters of his homeworld of Nuceria. With the savants of the Traitor Legions and the Dark Mechanicum unable to divine a way to either remove the implant without killing the Primarch or to prevent the escalating deterioration of Angron's mind, Lorgar suggested that the Word Bearers and the World Eaters return to Nuceria to gather knowledge about the implants and then raze the world to the ground. When Angron returned to his homeworld, he learned that in the Terran century since the Emperor had rescued him unwillingly from certain death beside the rebel band of gladiators he had led, the Nucerian slavemasters had concoted a story that he had cowardly run away from the rebels' last stand and left them to be slaughtered alone. Enraged by the lies that had been told about him over the last century, Angron ordered his Legion to kill everyone in the city of Desh'ea, the masters of which had once claimed to own him. Then they were to kill everyone on the planet. At the height of the final battle against the last city on Nuceria, Lorgar was confronted by his wrathful brother Roboute Guilliman, who had been chasing him and the XIIth Legion since the destruction of Calth. As the two Primarchs fought, Guilliman gravely wounded Lorgar and was about to deliver a killing stroke to his wretched brother. But Angron intervened, facing the Lord of Ultramar in single combat. As the two fought, Guilliman landed a glancing blow, his fist pounding across Angron's breastplate. One of the skulls of Angron's fallen kinsman that hung from the chain worn across his breastplate was partially shattered and scattered across the ground. Guilliman stepped back, his boot crushing a skull's remnants to powder. Angron saw it, and threw himself at his brother, his howl of wrath defying mortal origins, impossibly ripe in its anguish. Lorgar saw it, too. The moment Guilliman's boot broke the skull, he felt the Warp boil behind the veil. The Bearer of the Word started chanting in a language never before spoken by any living being, his words in faultless harmony with Angron's cry of torment. Lorgar enacted his dark plan to save his brother's life, summoning the Ruinstorm to the world of Nuceria, tearing the sky open and unleashing a crimson torrent, formed from the ghosts of a hundred murdered worlds, raining blood. Lorgar focused his concentration on the triumphant form of his mutilated brother, calling for the Neverborn, the entities men called daemons, to answer in kind. He locked Angron's muscles, setting fire to the synapses in his brain. The first spasms wracked their way through Angron's sinews, turning his blood to quicksilver, then to lava and at last to holy fire. His cries of thwarted rage were tainted by an agony beyond comprehension. His body started tearing itself apart, growing, rising. Perfecting, after a lifetime of broken torture. This was the moment of Angron's apotheosis into daemonhood. The remaining World Eaters Librarians sensed the fey powers summoned by Lorgar. In an attempt to halt the Urizen's dark plans, the 19 remaining Librarians harnessed their collective psychic powers to manifest a psychic entity known as the Communion, the gestalt consciousness of 19 psychic minds. In the midst of Lorgar's incantations, the Communion pulled the soul of the Primarch from his body. The two psychic entities confronted one another within the Warp, locked in a deadly contest of wills, each convinced that they were the one responsible for saving Angron. But ultimately, the Communion failed, for Lorgar was just as powerful in the Warp as he was in the material universe. After Angron's completed metamorphosis into a new Daemon Prince, the Daemon Primarch turned his attention to the Librarians. The Daemon Primarch's rage killed the remaining Libarians, each of them tasting a different doom. Angron killed the last of the Librarians, expunging his Legion of the mutant weakness that had plagued his gene-sons since his reunification with them a century earlier. The Librarius of the World Eaters, the last fragment of the War Hounds within the XIIth Legion, was no more. Now there would only be blood, an ocean of blood carried on a tide of eternal slaughter.
- Siege of Terra (014.M31) - The World Eaters took a leading role during the climactic battle of the Horus Heresy, the Battle of Terra. The walls of the Imperial Palace seemed to touch the very sky, so tall were they. Before the walls milled the combined forces of the Traitors, an army so vast and terrible that its like has never been seen before. Nor will its like be seen again until the end of times, and the final battle. All manner of corrupted mutants, all the Greater and Lesser Daemons of Chaos, and the Traitor Legions in their fell might surrounded this last bastion of the Loyalists on Terra. The walls of the Palace were ultimately breached by the Titans of the Death's Heads Legion. Into those breaches, at the forefront of each assault, went the World Eaters. They charged recklessly through the maelstrom, leaving heaps of their dead, consumed by madness and their lust for slaughter. It was here, in the desperate and close fighting in the breaches that a World Eater named Khârn became a bloody legend, butchering and carving his way toward the Emperor's inner sanctums. They moved into the corridors running through the mile thick walls, and the tunnels and chambers swam with blood. Even as the Emperor fought Horus above the ruins of Terra, Khârn fell at last before the Eternity Gate, atop a great pile of corpses. As the World Eaters withdrew with the other Legions after Horus' fall, some dark impulse or whispering from Khorne bade them take the bloodied carcass of Khârn with them, alone out of the millions of corpses left around the Imperial Palace. Khârn would be revived to life by the Blood God Khorne as his new Champion following the arrival of the World Eaters in the Eye of Terror.
- Legion Wars (Unknown Date.M31) - The first major conflict between the most powerful servants of the Dark Gods following the Horus Heresy was started by the Emperor's Children Legion, that Traitor Legion dedicated to the service of Slaanesh, whose excesses grew more wanton and uncontrollable in the days after the Heresy. As the supply of slaves the IIIrd Legion had acquired on Terra and other Imperial worlds as they fled to the Eye was exhausted, the Emperor's Children began to assault the positions of the other Traitor Legions within the Eye of Terror, plundering their own slave stocks for use in satisfying their perverse, hedonistic whims. It is for this reason that these campaigns are collectively called the Slave Wars. One of the actions known to the Imperium that occurred during these conflicts was the Battle of Skalathrax between the Emperor's Children and the World Eaters that saw the World Eaters finally shattered as a unified Space Marine Legion. The Emperor's Children also destroyed the fortress of the Sons of Horus Legion on the Daemon World of Maeleum, leading to a failed attempt by the corrupt Emperor's Children Apothecary Fabius Bile to clone Horus and provide a new leader for the forces of Chaos. Abaddon the Despoiler led the Sons of Horus to reclaim Horus' corpse, and destroy the primary fortress of the Emperor's Children. Abaddon returned it to Maeleum where he had it destroyed so that no further attempts to clone Horus could ever be attempted. Following this triumph, Abaddon declared himself Horus' successor as the Warmaster of Chaos and the master of the XVIth Legion. At the same time, he came to the epiphany that Horus was dead because Horus had been a weak fool, unable to complete his task of slaying the Emperor and taking control of the galaxy in the name of the Dark Gods. Abaddon swore that he would succeed where Horus had failed in overthrowing the "Corpse-Emperor" and proclaimed himself the new Warmaster of Chaos. He had the Sons of Horus repaint their viridian Power Armour black, the colour of mourning and of vengeance, and cast-off the XVIth Legion's former moniker of the Sons of Horus. From then on, they became known as the Black Legion. The Black Legion then abandoned the ruins of the Sons of Horus' fortress and left Maeleum behind, choosing to become a fleet-based Legion with scattered holdings all across the Eye of Terror. Though long, terrible, and bloody, in the end the dwindling Emperor's Children Legion faced their inevitable defeat at the hands of their fellow Traitor Legions. The Emperor's Children, like the World Eaters before them, were finally shattered as an organised Space Marine Legion and broke up into hundreds of disparate and often opposed Chaos Space Marine warbands. It is said by the adversaries of those who serve Slaanesh that during the Slave Wars the Daemon Primarch Fulgrim was himself killed by Abaddon and the Black Legion, but the Emperor's Children counter that he was given lordship by Slaanesh over an unknown Daemon World of unending pleasure, its location unknown even to many of their own ranks.
- Battle of Skalathrax (Unknown Date.M31) - On the Daemon World of Skalathrax in the Eye of Terror during the Slave Wars that erupted shortly after the Horus Heresy, the World Eaters and the Emperor's Children fought. Amid the World Eaters was the Champion of Khorne named Khârn. After a full day of vicious fighting in what would become known as the infamous Battle of Skalathrax, the terriblly frigid Skalathrax night began. Horrified, Emperor's Children and World Eaters alike ran to their shelters, for the freezing night would kill even a Chaos Space Marine in a matter of moments. Khârn raged over being delayed from slaughter for even a single night. Filled with anger when he saw that his brother Chaos Marines were creeping back to the shelters, he took up a flamer and burned them down, slaying with his chainaxe Gorechild any who tried to stop him. The night was filled with the screams of the dying and the freezing as Khârn strode the streets of the dead city of black stone, killing Emperor's Children and World Eaters alike, burning any shelters he found. The night was lit by flames as the Emperor's Children and the World Eaters fought each other and themselves for the few remaining shelters. By morning, most of the World Eaters were dead, the survivors split into small warbands, the shattered remnants of the once great Companies of the Legion. The Legion would never reunite and would remain scattered in warbands for the next ten millennia.
- Feast of a Hundred Duels (Unknown Date.M41) - The centennial Feast of Blades, where the descendants of the Imperial Fists Legion compete against one another in ritual duels, is the target of a massive World Eaters invasion. The sons of Rogal Dorn quickly unite against the Khornate maniacs smashing their way through the chosen world's defences. The finest Space Marine bladesmen of the age match their Power Swords against the Chainaxes and flails of the World Eaters. Though the Chaos Space Marines finally fall to superior numbers, the skies rumble with Khorne's approval, for the feast halls are awash with the hot blood of champions.
- Gladius Anathema (Unknown Date.M41) - Upon the quarantined world of Gladius, the Drukhari Wych Cult of the Seventh Woe fight their way into the great fang-lined fighting pits of the World Eaters in search of a challenge. The violent duels that result are amongst the fastest and most vicious that Gladius' Daemon Prince masters have ever seen. Though dozens of Wyches and World Eaters die upon one another's blades, Khorne is pleased by the intensity of the carnage, and blesses the occasion with a rain of blood that brings the dead back to life. A bond of wary respect is forged between the two factions, ultimately leading to the invasion known as the Great Blood Wager of Anathema Quartus.
- Red Tide (Unknown Date.M41) - The peaceful commune world of Exotia falls into the worship of a charismatic but sinister figure known as the Red Messiah. After a planet-wide chanson held on the solstice of a blood moon, the planet is harried by midnight attacks from roving bands of Bloodletters. The Red Messiah reveals himself as a devotee of Khorne, and forces his astropathic choir to call out to the raiders of the Maelstrom. Soon after, a force of Red Corsairs bolstered by no fewer than three hundred Khorne Berzerkers descends to push the planet over the edge of madness.
- The Skull Hunt of Octarius (Unknown Date.M41) - The Skullhunt of Vodha Bloodprice invades the Octarius System. After hearing about the Tyranids and Orks that clash there in an ever-escalating spiral of violence known as the Octarius War, they reason that the fighting there will be intense indeed, and that Khorne's eye will be drawn to the furore. The World Eaters are not disappointed -- within the space of a single Terran year, over eight thousand skulls are offered to the Blood God, the smallest of which is the size of a boulder. Vodha ascends to daemonhood after slaying a Hierophant Bio-Titan with the greataxe of the fallen Ork Warlord Magza da Kollossus.
- The Fall of Ebon Vale (Unknown Date.M41) - The Watch Fortress of Ebon Vale is assailed by the gore-slicked World Eaters of the Chaos Lord Invocatus. Together with Daemon Engine allies from the Brazen Beasts, Invocatus raids the arsenals of the Deathwatch to claim state-of-the-art wargear and powerful artefacts of battle from Ebon Vale's reliquaries. When the attack is quarantined and whittled down by the Deathwatch air cover, the World Eaters make their departure, leaving empty weapons vaults and hundreds of black-armoured corpses in their wake. With the Deathwatch greatly reduced in strength in the region, a Hrud infestation spreads throughout the Ebon Vale soon after, reducing several Civilised Worlds to useless mulch.
- Blood Runs Hot (Unknown Date.M41) - The famously ferocious T'au Fire Warriors of Vior'la face an incursion of World Eaters. The Chaos Space Marines are so thoroughly lost to the worship of Khorne that their ranks contain as many Chaos Spawn as they do Khorne Berzerkers. The T'au's impeccable fire discipline sees the World Eaters warbands kept at arm's length -- that is, until the infectious rage of the Khorne devotees begins to catch in the souls of Vior'la's foremost cadres. The T'au, voices raised in primitive Fio'taun war cries that have not been heard for many Terran centuries since their homeworld of T'au was first unified, begin to engage the Chaos Spawn at close range and even charge in to face them in close combat. It does not end well for the T'au. Millions die before a council of six Ethereals are scrambled to the site to lend their calming influence to the Fire Caste cadres, restoring order and allowing the T'au to withdraw into low orbit before the World Eaters can complete the slaughter.
- First War for Armageddon (474.M41) - The arrival of a massive and ancient space hulk at the outer edge of the Imperial Armageddon System in the Segmentum Solar in 474.M41 heralded the first of the terrible conflicts to plague this strategically vital Hive World. In this costly First War for Armageddon, the Daemon Primarch Angron led his World Eaters in a massive invasion of the planet. Imperial resistance on the continent of Armageddon Prime was swiftly crushed, and the defenders withdrew beyond the vast equatorial jungles dividing Armageddon Prime from the continent of Armageddon Secundus. Here, under the guidance of the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar of the Space Wolves Chapter of Space Marines, the Imperial forces established a new line of defence and awaited the renewed onslaught of the forces of Chaos. Complacent, and believing the campaign to be all but won, Angron wasted weeks erecting great temples and monoliths to his patron Chaos God Khorne -- or so it seemed. In reality, the local Warp Storm which had allowed a large portion of his army to be summoned to the world by the minions of a Chaos Cult native to Armageddon was dissipating, and without its influence, much of his army, which was composed of Khornate daemons, was likely to be pulled back into the Warp. So Angron's hand was forced into erecting the monuments and temples in order to strengthen his daemonic forces' hold on realspace. This proved to be a strategic mistake. When Angron renewed his offensive, pushing through the sweltering jungles to reach Armageddon Secundus his host was met by a solid wall of defence. Nonetheless the World Eaters crashed recklessly into the Imperial line, and they were aided by the daemons of the Warp. The Imperial defences were almost overwhelmed by the sheer fury of the World Eaters assault. Angron himself led his bodyguard of Khornate Daemon Princes and the Khornate Greater Daemons known as Bloodthirsters against the centre of the line, held by the Space Wolves, hoping to come before the Great Wolf and slay him. It was at this point that Grimnar played his trump card; an entire company of Grey Knights teleported into the midst of Angron's daemonic Honour Guard. The titanic struggle that ensued saw earth rending energies unleashed, as the burning white light of the Emperor's most elite psychically-empowered Astartes came against the darkness of Khorne's dread daemonic servants. Angron's retinue was destroyed by the Grey Knights at a terrible cost, and the survivors now faced the corrupted Daemon Primarch. It was this combat that would decide the fate of the world of Armageddon. The Grey Knights, through a supreme sacrifice, summoned the energy for a massive psychic blast that completely annihilated Angron's corporeal form and banished his spirit to the Empryean, from whence it could not return for a hundred years. A great part of the Grey Knights Company, including a Grey Knights Grand Master, were destroyed in this action, for Angron was a Chaotic foe of nearly unparalleled strength not seen since the days of the Horus Heresy. With the destruction of the Primarch, the World Eaters fell into disarray and were routed. The Warp-summoned Daemons of Khorne vanished as swiftly as they had appeared, losing their fragile grip on the material plane. The survivors of the World Eaters Chaos Space Marine warbands gradually fell back into the Eye of Terror. It is said that the now-recovered Angron hungers for revenge against the Imperium and the Space Wolves in particular.
- Battle for Grand Al'gul (666.M41) - The warband of the World Eaters known as The Sanctified were intercepted by the Loyalist Fire Angels Space Marine Chapter amongst the Cemetery Worlds of the Grand Al'gul System in a series of brutal assaults and counter-assaults. The Fire Angels Chapter paid a heavy price before victory was achieved, including the martyrdom of its Chapter Master when he battled a powerful Lord of Change, a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, and the self-immolation of their Chief Librarian in order to avoid daemonic Warp-possession.
- Siege of Vraks (813-830.M41) - The warband of the World Eaters called The Sanctified was one of the units of Chaos Space Marines that 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.
- Winter Assault on Lorn V (Unknown Date.M41)- The Ice World of Lorn V had been governed by the Imperium of Man for millennia until the sudden arrival of a warband of World Eaters and a WAAAGH! of Orks on its frigid surface. For many years a vicious struggle raged on the snowy fields of Lorn V between these Orks and the warband of the World Eaters called the Blood Legion of Khorne that was commanded by the Chaos Champion Lord Crull. It was a one-sided fight for much of that time, as the Orks were often too divided amongst themselves, as is the wont of that species, to pose any threat to the World Eaters. But after the arrival of the fierce Ork Warlord Gorgutz and his reinforcing WAAAGH!, the Orks of Lorn V suddenly became a real menace for the World Eaters and managed to successfully assault one of their primary bases on that world. As a result of Gorgutz's arrival the conflict between the two sides became even more savage. General Sturnn of the Imperial Guard, having learned that the salvageable remains of an Imperator-class Titan called the Dominatus that had been knocked out of action during the Horus Heresy were still on Lorn V, launched an Imperial invasion of the icy world with his 412th Cadian Shock Troopers Regiment to reclaim both the planet and the ancient Titan for the Imperium. The Aeldari of Craftworld Biel-tan under the command of Farseer Taldeer also secretly invaded the planet, which had long been a secret Necron Tomb World. The undying Necrons had slumbered away the millennia in their stasis tombs while the younger races had fought for control of the freezing world far above them. The Eldar of Biel-tan had foreseen that the conflict between the Orks and the human Traitors would stir the Necrons from their uneasy sleep and they were determined to stop the awakening of another Tomb World of their ancient foes at any cost. When the 412th Cadian Shock Troopers Regiment of the Imperial Guard arrived, Lord Crull and Gorgutz struck a brief and uneasy alliance that they named the Forces of Disorder against their common Imperial and Eldar foes and worked together to obtain the power of the ancient Titan. Imperial records are not entirely clear about the course of events during the campain but it is known that Farseer Taldeer and her Eldar was able to stop the Necrons from rising by destroying their Necron Lord, but lost one of her own Farseers to the Orks and many of her warriors to the allied Forces of Disorder. General Sturnn was killed by Gorgutz and his head was put on his "pointy stikk" along with that of the World Eaters' champion, Lord Crull, after the Orks broke their short alliance with the Traitor Marines, who were also driven from the planet and scattered after the loss of their leader. It is unknown what happened to the Titan Dominatus or the 412th Cadian Shock Troopers Regiment. Following these events, it seems that the Imperial Ultima Segmentum Command despatched Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander to the Civilised World of Kronus to track down and capture Farseer Taldeer after her actions on Lorn V. This began the campaign remembered in Imperial records as the Dark Crusade.
- 13th Black Crusade - The Diamor Campaign (999.M41) - Khârn the Betrayer and his berzerkers were sent by Abaddon the Despoiler, the Warmaster of Chaos, during his 13th Black Crusade to wreak havoc upon the Forge World of Amethal, a planet that houses a relic from the Dark Age of Technology that keeps innumerable daemons caged beneath its crust. Alongside the Renegade Astartes of the Crimson Slaughter, Khârn and his warriors kill so many Cult Mechanicus Servitors and cyborg Skitarii that blood rains from the skies as a sign of Khorne's favour. When a force of Blood Angels descend to bolster the Adeptus Mechanicus' troops, the World Eaters find themselves matched against a worthy foe, but Khârn still proves unstoppable. Once Abaddon's objective -- the cracking of the daemon cage -- is achieved, his forces withdraw. Shortly afterwards, Khârn and his Berzerkers disappear in a tempest of gore.
- Battle of Lion's Gate (Unknown Date.M42) - After the birth of the Great Rift, a sudden invasion of Khornate daemons assails Mankind's sacred homeworld during what becomes known as the Battle of Lion's Gate; led by eight Bloodthirsters, it causes utter havoc before being hurled back by the defending echelons of the Imperial Palace, led by the newly resurrected Lord Commander of the Imperium, Roboute Guilliman. Word travels far of their defeat. Inspired by the prospect of victory erasing the defeat of ten millennia hence, the World Eaters gather in great strength to make their own attack upon Terra.
- Blood Crusade (Unknown Date.M42) - World Eaters warbands participated in the great Khornate offensive unleashed across the galaxy in the wake of the Great Rift's birth. The unrelenting Blood Crusade eradicated the entire populations of worlds from the Imperium and Necron dynasties and even destroyed whole hive fleets, as his worshippers honoured Khorne's name. However, as suddenly as the Chaos God created the Blood Crusade, it was ended, after Tzeentch whispered to Khorne of the existence of Nurgle's Scourge Stars. Once Khorne learned of Nurgle's new empire of corrupted worlds in realspace, the Blood Crusade was ended and the Chaos God's forces immediately invaded the Scourge Stars, in what became known as the War in the Rift.
- Invasion of Tsadrekha (Unknown Date.M42) - During the Noctis Aeterna, the Hive World of Tsadrekha was cut off as a result of the birth of the Great Rift. As the world faced the machinations of Chaos, a psyker emerged with enough power to act as a beacon to allow for contact with the greater Imperium despite the loss of the light of the Astronomican. However, this beacon also drew an Alpha Legion warband known as the Unsung. Battling through the Imperial defenders, the Unsung nearly were successful in their plan to claim the beacon and corrupt it for the Ruinous Powers. However their plans were interrupted by Kharn the Betrayer and his Butcherhorde, which had also been drawn to the planet by the beacon. Another warband of Emperor's Children Heretic Astartes under the command of the Chaos Lord Excrucias the Flawless arrived, and was able to summon the Keeper of Secrets Sl'eth'kryphyr. Another warband of World Eaters commanded by Khordas the Slaughterer next also arrived on Tsadrekha. The infighting between the Chaos forces allowed an Imperial Fists taskforce under the command of Captain Paetrov Dysorian to arrive on Tsadrekha and turn the tide. At the climax of the battle, Saint Celestine herself appeared and slew Sl'eth'kryphyr. After dispatching the Keeper of Secrets, Celestine engaged Kharn in a duel. Despite her best efforts, Kharn killed the Living Saint but her efforts to save Tsadrekha were not entirely in vain.
- War of Beasts (001-025.M42) - Warbands of the World Eaters participated in the assault by the forces of Chaos on the strategic Imperial Hive World of Vigilus in the Imperium Nihilus. The Chaos forces hoped to close off the Nachmund Gauntlet, a naturally-occurring corrdior through the Great Rift that allowed the Imperium to continue to supply the worlds trapped in the Imperium Nihilus beyond the light of the Astronomican.
- Assault on Xendrya (Unknown Date.M42) - Xendrya is an Imperial Cardinal World which was invaded by the World Eaters and daemons of Khorne during the Era Indomitus. The Imperial Fists came to Xendrya's aid. When the world's capital city, Vanheim, was almost overrun, an evacuation was ordered and a small group of rimaris Marines of the Imperial Fists were charged with delaying the invaders by holding the Cathedral of Martyred Souls. Consisting of a squad of Intercessors led by a Primaris Chaplain, they were ordered to hold out as long as possible before escaping, but if that was impossible they were to enact the "Firestorm Protocol." The cathedral was the last building standing in the city and it was soon swarmed by the World Eaters, once they discovered the Primaris Marines were within it. Though they fought ferociously, and killed a number of the Heretic Astartes, the Primaris Marines were outnumbered and were ultimately slain. However, right before he died, the Intercessor Wylan Kord contacted the Imperial Fists' warship in Xendrya's orbit and initiated the Firestorm Protocol. Even as the World Eaters' melee weapons began to carve Kord's body apart, the Imperial Fists' warship fired an orbital barrage that not only destroyed the cathedral, but also the entire city block around it. In the aftermath of the barrage, nothing but rubble and the corpses of hundreds of World Eaters remained.
The name of the world on which Angron was raised has long since been lost to history, though records indicate it was once called Nuceria. The pre-Heresy Legion made use of the world called Bodt for many solar decades as a training site for new recruits during the Great Crusade.
However, in the early days of the Horus Heresy, long before the Siege of Terra, the World Eaters Legion was diverted to crush a single world utterly by Angron during the so-called Shadow Crusade. It is not known if this world was their Primarch's homeworld or not, but popular belief was that it was indeed the world on which Angron had been a slave.
Angron also ordered the destruction of several other worlds, seemingly at random, during the Heresy.
Unlike the other Traitor Legions, the World Eaters at present are not known to hold any world as their own in the daemonic realm of the Eye of Terror that the Traitors now call home.
This is speculated to be due to the fact the Legion is essentially no longer a coherent entity since the World Eaters are actually comprised of multiple warbands of Khornate Berserkers who traverse the galaxy looking for slaughter and maintain no overall organisation or coordination between them.
At its creation, the XIIth Legion, like almost all the Space Marine Legions of the time, followed the so-called "Terran Pattern" of organisation as formulated by the Imperial Officio Militaris at the outset of the Great Crusade.
But even in this earliest period the Legion's procurement and outfitting showed a considerable bias towards direct assault and operations within the close and deadly confines of the kinds of battlefields designated as "Zone Mortalis" in Imperial strategic doctrine. During Angron's transition of command, this would continue, and the Legion's organisational structures were kept largely intact but often further streamlined, with its echelons being biased in make-up towards line infantry formations.
These formations were a hybrid of tactical/close assault troops for the main part, supported by dedicated heavy assault units such as Terminators and specialised units such as Land Speeder squadrons. This organisation lent itself well to a highly aggressive strategic posture and belligerent tactics, which while extremely costly in terms of casualties, were also highly effective.
The rank structure of the World Eaters under Angron remained simple and direct, the Primarch having little but scorn for the trappings of elites and pointless accolades and titles. It is said that Angron refused even to be addressed as "Lord" by his Astartes, but he did see the virtue of a reliable and transparent chain-of-command in war.
The original War Hounds Legion was also known for its harsh enforcement of internal discipline and the hot-blooded temper of its Legionaries. Command within the Legion was gained through a mixture of martial prowess on the battlefield and displays of leadership on the front line, with specialists singled out by aptitude early on.
No rank or role within the Legion was exempt from the expectation that they would fight as hard as the rest, however, nor was the desire to grapple with the foe and cut them down by blade-stroke discouraged if the opportunity arose, be the Space Marine in question an Apothecary or Artillerist rather than a frontline fighter.
Compared to many of the other Astartes Legions, order and discipline did not come as naturally to those of this gene-seed heritage as might be expected. Tempers often seethed, slights perceived or real were met with anger and more often than not violence would result should a World Eater's sense of honour be impugned.
Any officer of the Legion knew they were expected to back up their authority by force if needed, and the punishment of infractors by an officer's own hands was the Legion's way. To disobey an officer's order in battle was a death sentence to be carried out without delay.
Trial by combat soon became the Legion's preferred route for settling disagreements within its ranks, and bloodletting by warriors in open discord was an honourable thing both in Angron's eyes and that of his Legion. Here also could one of higher rank be challenged for the right of command, although such rare contests were always to the death.
In the aftermath of the betrayal at Istvaan III, the World Eaters Legion, under their savage Primarch Angron, became ever more insular as a Legion and uncontrollable on the battlefield, proving a double-edged sword even to their allies. The psycho-surgery rife within the Legion became even more widespread and extreme in its use, and the Neophytes inducted with ever-increasing pace into the World Eaters' ranks to replace the fallen were cerebrally mutilated with the Butcher's Nails implants as a matter of course.
All-out infantry assaults supported by fast moving armour, with the aim of immediately closing into bloody melee with the foe, had always been a hallmark of the Legion, and now became often their goal; carnage for its own sake beyond any strategic objective to the contrary.
At the time of the Istvaan III Atrocity, a precise estimate of the World Eaters' fighting strength and disposition was impossible to make. Best estimates of their observed strength were around 150,000 Space Marines, placing the World Eaters in the middle to high levels of comparative strength amongst its contemporary fellow Space Marine Legions.
The World Eaters were also well-supplied and supported by the Legio Audax (Ember Wolves) Titan Legion and a fleet of at least sixty capital class vessels. It is commonly estimated that of all the Traitor Legions that had fought at Istvaan III in the purge of the Loyalist faction within their ranks, it had been the World Eaters who had suffered the greatest casualties, with well over 35,000 World Eaters Legionaries believed to have met their deaths on both sides.
Aside from the many wounded, it is recorded that a number had succumbed entirely during the protracted fighting to an insane bloodlust and had to be forcibly restrained and removed back to the World Eaters fleet for containment.
Specialised Ranks and Formations
- Devourers - The Devourers were the premier cadre within the World Eaters Legion that served as a dedicated bodyguard unit for their Primarch Angron (whether he needed one is another matter). In battle they fought encased in Terminator Armour and carried the most savage weapons the XIIth Legion possessed. This warrior band had only twelve members, and access to its ranks was only attained by defeating a Devourer in single combat to the death or, should one of its number fall in battle against an enemy, a successor was selected by a contest open to all Astartes in the XIIth Legion, only one of which would survive.
- Rampager Squads - Rampager Squads were near-berserker assault units composed of the most savage and bloodthirsty World Eaters Legionaries who had undergone the dangerous psycho-surgical procedure of having a cortical implant inserted within their brains and who were deemed too unstable to serve in a regular line unit. Within these units, a small minority of those Legionaries that were too far gone to be anything but restrained by force between battles became known as the Caedere or the "Butchers". Others focused their desire for berzerk slaughter through martial discipline, mastering a variety of macabre and savage weapons patterned from those used by Angron's fellow arena gladiators and found on the Feral Worlds from which the XIIth Legion primarily drew its recruits during the Great Crusade.
- Red Butchers - On the killing ground of Istvaan III, there were World Eaters on either side of the conflict who succumbed utterly, devolving into mindless frenzied savages that could not be controlled. Rather than euthanising such individuals as had happened in the past, the Apothecaries had the mad subdued and chained for a far darker fate. The Techmarines made customised Terminator suits from recovered wargear for them, fashioning them as both armour and as confinement; mechanised prison cells that could be immobilised with a remote signal. Hung in chains in the holds of the World Eaters' warships, foaming and screaming in impotent rage, the Red Butchers were born.
- Destroyer Squads - Considered dishonourable by some Legions who made little use of them or eschewed them altogether, the Destroyers were equipped with and expert in the use of otherwise proscribed and forbidden weaponry. Alongside certain factions of the Mechanicus, only Destroyer cadres had the license to use these weapons in the forces of the Imperium by the Emperor's command. Rad-weapons, bio-alchem munitions and the crawl-burning horror of Phospex were among the Destroyer Squads' dark arsenal, weapons which irrevocably tainted the ground upon which they were used. Marked by their fire-blackened and chem-scalded armour, Destroyers were often shunned and deemed somehow tainted by their Battle-Brothers in many Legions and were considered at best a necessary evil, although the effectiveness of their relic-weapons in cracking especially difficult enemy defences could not be denied.
- Triarii - The Triarii were 5 full companies of the XIIth Legion's finest shipboard warriors who excelled in void warfare and boarding actions, commanded by Centurion Delvarus, the undisputed pit fighting champion of the World Eaters. These warriors were honour-bound to protect the World Eaters Legion's flagship, the Conqueror.
Recruitment and Training
Attrition rates within the World Eaters were high, and fatality levels on recruits during training are believed to have been the worst of any Space Marine Legion in the period, so unrelenting were the World Eaters' methods.
Past a certain point in training, gladiatorial contests and battle-exercises became real life-and-death combat with live rounds and wetted blades, with the goal to raise the skill and strength of the warrior to the greatest extent before they would be deemed worthy of joining the World Eaters' ranks.
In order to cope with the rigours of their training and the ceaseless campaigning, under Angron's direction recruitment processes were streamlined and accelerated, and recruits were drawn from a number of Feral and Feudal Worlds scattered across the Segmenta of the Imperium in order to meet the Legion's demands.
Under the World Eaters' regime, not only was individual combat skill their main focus, but the wider arts of warfare as well. Entire companies and even battalions fought one another in great matches and competitions to enforce unit tactics and coherent operations under their Primarch's eye and judgement, but it was always the battlefield that the World Eaters hungered for, and where its champions and officers were chosen.
World Eaters Librarius
Before they were known as the World Eaters, like many of their fellow Legions, the War Hounds once maintained a dedicated Librarius Division made up of potent psykers who were highly talented, and trained to master the power of the Warp. But this changed with the rediscovery of their Primarch upon the world of Nuceria.
The use of psychic abilities within the Space Marine Legions had become a heated topic of debate within the Imperium as some Primarchs had accepted the idea that the use of psychic abilities was beneficial to the Great Crusade's war effort in their own Legions, while others like Leman Russ and Mortarion refused to deal with what they saw as dishonourable deception and unnatural witchery and outlawed the use of all psychic powers as simply sorcery by another name.
In His wisdom, the Emperor of Mankind invited advocates of both sides of the debate to a great Imperial conclave on the world of Nikaea in 001.M31. This was known as the Council of Nikaea, which would determine whether or not the use of psychic abilities represented a boon or a grave danger to Mankind and the newborn Imperium of Man.
Ultimately the existence of psykers in the Imperium such as Astropaths and Navigators was allowed but tightly restricted under centralised Imperial control, while the potent and unrestricted use of psychic abilities that was defined as sorcery was officially banned.
Additionally, the Emperor ordered the Librariums of all the Space Marine Legions to disband and the Librarians to be restored to the general ranks of the Astartes, making them swear an oath to never again use their psychic abilities. In the wake of the Horus Heresy, even this ban would ultimately be overturned when the Loyalist Legions realised that the use of psykers was an essential weapon in the fight against Chaos.
The newly renamed World Eaters utterly refused to heed, or even to acknowledge, the Edict of Nikaea. This was because by the time of the Council of Nikaea, their psychic kindred had already become an afterthought, scarcely worthy of consideration. Soon after the coming of their Primarch Angron, the World Eaters' psychic brethren were avoided and ostracised by all of their fellow Battle-Brothers.
Non-psychic World Eaters would depart instinctively from their presence and spit on the floor before them, to ward off ill-fortune, a superstitious habit taken from Angron's homeworld, and one that had resonated throughout the XIIth Legion. Angron himself barely tolerated the psykers' presence.
He instinctively mistrusted anything that was "unnatural," and hated psykers, feeling that his Legion would be clean only when the last of them finally died. This may have had something to do with the reality that when a psyker was in the Primarch's presence, Angron's neural implants would react badly, causing the Primarch extreme pain.
Knowing how successful his own cybernetic neural implants had been at boosting his prowess and the prowess of his fellow Nucerian gladiators in battle, Angron had ordered his Legion's savants to study the neural implants known as the Butcher's Nails that he had been implanted with by his Nucerian slave masters. He instructed the Techmarines of the World Eaters to attempt to duplicate the process using the Primarch's own implants as templates to reverse-engineer the devices.
However, this proved difficult, for Angron's implants were a relic of a long-lost human technology and little understood. Early attempts to duplicate these implants by the combined efforts of the Legion's Techmarines and Apothecaries proved far from successful, and resulted in high rates of mortality and homicidal frenzies erupting from test recruits. The World Eaters' first experiments with implantation of the Butcher's Nails in other Astartes proved less than pleasant.
However, as time progressed, a viable form of the cortical implant technology was replicated and steadily improved, and soon the Butcher's Nails were implanted within the majority of the Battle-Brothers of the XIIth Legion. The Nails were not actually implants as Remembrancers and archeotechnicians understood the idea.
The implants added nothing to a World Eater's brain. Instead, they stole from it. They bleached a warrior's mind of all reason, all caution, all of the instincts for survival that defined mortality.
The Butcher's Nails rewarded rage with spurts of electrochemical pleasure, tingling synapses and deadening enjoyment of everything else. No better method for the pursuit of slaughter and murder had ever been contrived by the minds of men.
But it soon became readily apparent that there was another problem with the Butcher's Nails implants. The first signs of unease came when implanted Librarians started causing their closest Battle-Brothers to suffer blinding migraines and debilitating facial bleeds. No Librarian could stand in Angron's presence without enduring the same thing themselves; a reflection of the torment they inflicted on their implanted brothers.
But the depths of the flaws became truly obvious in battle. Librarians gifted with the Butcher's Nails lost the ability to control their psychic talents. One of them, a warrior attached to the 100th Company, had been lost to the madness created by the devices in his very first battle after implantation, and immolated three squads of the 100th Company when he could not cease projecting witch-lightning from his eyes.
Several other implanted World Eaters Librarians had just...burst. They had combusted in pyres of flaming gore. More and more died -- none right away, but they never survived for long. In a single solar month, almost every Wold Eaters Librarian had been fitted with the Butcher's Nails. Mere weeks later, they all started dying.
Optimism, albeit cautious, had reigned for a while. After the first deaths, the psychically trained Legionaries had sought to master the implants, to balance their sixth sense with the bionics now altering their brains' biochemistry. It was all just a matter of willpower they had said, and their Battle-Brothers had pretended not to notice the desperation in their eyes. It was all a matter of willpower -- yet the Librarians kept dying.
The Librarians died in battle, in storms of fire or lightning, or -- in several incidents -- by pulsing hateful pain directed through the implants of nearby World Eaters warriors that forced their non-psychic kindred to suffer cerebrovascular blockages. Entire squads died of brain haemorrhages and strokes at their Codiciers' boots.
Angron gave his psychic sons a choice between execution and the removal of their Butcher's Nails implants. The XIIth Legion learned, in those early years after their Primarch's rediscovery, that they had mutilated themselves in the image of a man without mercy. The Butcher's Nails could not be safely removed; every World Eater knew it, for the Emperor's own techno-mages had failed to remove the Primarch's implants after his recovery from Nuceria.
Even so, most Librarians submitted themselves for the attempt. Every one of them died, without exception. With their rewired brains misfiring and enslaved to altered impulses, none of them died easily, and none of them died well. Soon enough, the last Librarians of the XIIth Legion were those who had not yet received the Butcher's Nails in a Legion now defined by the implants. The Librarians of the XIIth Legion came to eke out an isolated existence in the near-empty halls of their Librarius aboard the World Eaters flagship Conqueror.
One by one these Librarians, too, began to die. Not from malfunction or misuse, but because they were World Eaters, and all World Eaters lived brief, violent lives. A hundred remained. Then fifty. Then twenty. No one mourned them. In a Legion that prized the bonds of front-line brotherhood above all else, the silent, psychic Battle-Brothers died alone -- never forgotten, but always ignored. Their gene-seed rotted with their bodies, unharvested in case their genetic legacy resulted in the same psychic curse infecting a second generation.
Vorias, the eldest of the remaining Librarian coven and Lectio Primus of the XIIth Legion's Librarius Division had worked with the World Eaters Apothecarion and their senior attached Mechanicum Magi in trying to determine just why the Butcher's Nails reacted so poorly in the presence of psychic minds, but the line of research was abandoned when they had come to realise the context of their work: no one cared. No one but those cursed with a sixth sense. Besides, their efforts had always ended in vain, and killed too many "loyal" World Eaters who were unfortunate enough to be near the unstable Librarians.
What followed was the gradual deterioration of any sense of brotherhood. With the death of kinship often came the death of loyalty, but the remaining Librarians were gene-born into the XIIth Legion and they would be World Eaters until the day they died. For the most part, the Librarians of the World Eaters did not hate their non-psychic Battle-Brothers for the way they were scorned, nor did they resent them for the way they spurned their talents as something dangerously worthless.
They understood, only too perfectly, that their very presence caused their Battle-Brothers pain, and the XIIth Legion had no need of their psychic gifts. Even before the Edicts of Nikaea, such powers had never been factored into Angron's battle plans, as blunt and uncomplicated as those plans were. The Librarians had come to accept the truth beneath it all: they were not truly World Eaters. Their brothers were World Eaters, but they were still War Hounds. The XIIth Legion had moved on and left their psychic brothers behind to rot away within their ever-diminishing coven.
By the beginning of the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium, there were only 19 Librarians left within the entirety of the XIIth Legion. The few Librarians still living among the World Eaters by this time made valuable Battle-Brothers. They had come together as a coterie-squad, sharing power and silent words between their linked minds, forming among themselves the very brotherhood they were denied by the rest of the Legion. They considered themselves War Hounds rather than World Eaters on account of their lack of the Butcher's Nails. But their fate would soon be sealed upon the homeworld of Angron's youth.
Death of the World Eaters' Librarius
During the Shadow Crusade, Roboute Guilliman faced off against Angron in single combat on the world of Nuceria. As the two fought, Guilliman landed a glancing blow, his fist pounding across Angron's breastplate. One of the skulls of Angron's fallen kinsmen that hung from the chain worn across his breastplate was partially shattered and scattered across the ground. Guilliman stepped back, his boot crushing the skull's remnants to powder. Angron saw it, and threw himself at his brother, his howl of wrath defying mortal origins, impossibly ripe in its anguish.
The Primarch Lorgar of the Word Bearers saw it, too. The moment Guilliman's boot broke the skull, he felt the Warp boil behind the veil. The Bearer of the Word started chanting in a language never before spoken by any living being, his words in faultless harmony with Angron's cry of torment. Lorgar had decided to use the moment to enact his dark plan to save his brother's life from being taken by the Butcher's Nails, summoning the Ruinstorm to the world of Nuceria, tearing the sky open and unleashing a crimson torrent, formed from the ghosts of a hundred murdered worlds, raining blood.
Lorgar focused his concentration on the triumphant form of his mutilated brother, calling for the Neverborn, the entities men called daemons, to answer in kind. He locked Angron's muscles, setting fire to the synapses in his brain. The first spasms wracked their way through Angron's sinews, turning his blood to quicksilver, then to lava and at last to holy fire. His cries of thwarted rage were tainted by an agony beyond comprehension. His body started tearing itself apart, growing, rising. Perfecting, after a lifetime of broken torture. This was the moment of Angron's apotheosis into daemonhood.
The remaining World Eaters Librarians sensed the fey powers summoned by Lorgar. In an attempt to halt the Urizen's dark plans, the 19 remaining Librarians harnessed their collective psychic powers to manifest a psychic entity known as the Communion, the gestalt consciousness of 19 psychic minds. In the midst of Lorgar's incantations, the Communion pulled the soul of the Primarch from his body.
The two psychic entities confronted one another within the Warp, locked in a deadly contest of wills, each convinced that they were the one responsible for saving Angron. But ultimately, the Communion failed, for Lorgar was just as powerful in the Warp as he was in the material universe.
After Angron's completed metamorphosis into a new Daemon Prince, the newborn Daemon Primarch turned his attention to the Librarians. Angron killed the last of his Librarians, expunging his Legion of the weakness that had plagued his gene-sons since his reunification with them a century earlier.
The Librarius of the World Eaters, the last fragment of the War Hounds within the XIIth Legion, was no more, a fact which greatly pleased the Blood God Khorne, who would not brook the existence of any psykers amongst his chosen servants. Now there would only be blood, an ocean of blood carried on a tide of eternal slaughter.
"Commander. They beg for mercy–"
"Mercy! Oh Lord Khorne, truly have you led us to a land overflowing with blood and skulls! Give them the mercy of death."
"Affirm. Blood! Blood! Blood for my Lord!"
"Chosen of Khorne, lead us in the final assault."
"Blood for the Blood God! Suppressing fire. Forward and centre. Heavy Bolters range two hundred and fifty.
- —Ordo Malleus Secret Report: Portrein Raid 8106.960.M41
Banished to the Eye of Terror and tied forever to the worship of Khorne, the blood rituals of the Legion became an even more important part of the World Eaters' daily lives, mighty oceans of blood filled in his praise.
The legendary tactical organisation of the Space Marines broke down, washed away by the years of slaughter that followed. As more and more of the Legion's officers and champions were possessed by daemons or became mighty Chaos Champions, the last vestiges of discipline and organisation fell away, the once-proud Space Marine Legion reduced to howling, berserk killers thirsting for death and bloodshed.
After the Night of Madness on the Daemon World of Skalathrax, when the champion named Khârn turned on his fellow World Eaters, the Legion tore itself apart in a day-long slaughter, becoming nothing more than roving bands of Renegades, endlessly questing for battle and death.
Such bands vary enormously in size from single champions, small squads to company sized forces capable of untold destruction. The champions who lead these marauders will fight alongside almost any other Chaos Lord who is gathering his forces, asking for nothing more than the chance to spill blood in the name of Khorne. But even a Chaos Lord must be wary lest his head be added to the tally of skulls.
In keeping with the doctrine of the Blood God Khorne which holds the use of psychic abilities to be a dishonour in battle, the World Eaters maintain no Chaos Sorcerers amongst their ranks. During the Horus Heresy, Librarians in the other Space Marine Legions that dedicated themselves to the Ruinous Powers were granted new psychic abilities and malefic powers. The only exception were the Librarians of the World Eaters.
As part of a bloody sacrifice to their new master, the Librarians of the World Eaters were hunted down and slaughtered by their brother Astartes, as Khorne despises all practitioners of the sorcerous arts.
The killing came to a head when the World Eaters hero Scyrak the Slaughterer slew the Legion's Chief Librarian, thus removing the last obstacle to the Legion's bloody fall to the Eightfold-Path and their service to the Skull Throne.
Since the infamous Battle of Skalathrax, the once mighty World Eaters Traitor Legion has splintered into countless murderous hosts. Those warriors who worship Khorne are anarchic individuals, their armies little more than ragged coalitions of rival warbands ready to turn upon one another at the slightest provocation.
Only the leadership of a truly mighty individual can hold such a force together for long as its Chaos Lord. Listed below are several such notable warbands that originally were members of the unified World Eaters Legion:
- Angron's Chosen
- Angron's Fury
- Ba'ar Zul's Cleavers
- Berserkers of Skallathrax
- Black Feast
- Blood Legion of Khorne
- Bloody Dawn
- Bloody Path
- Crimson Covenant
- Crushers of Bone
- Dhorngar's Goredrinkers
- Endless Murder
- Fifteen Fangs
- Foresworn (World Eaters)
- Gladiator Group 138
- Harvest Macabre
- Lord Skchalick's Elite
- Oblivion Butchers
- Pistonhand's Daemoniforge
- Skull Takers of Hans Kho'ren
- Sons of Slaughter
- The Anointed
- Wrathful Dead
Legion Combat Doctrine
Hand-to-hand combat was the XIIth Legion's preferred form of warfare, even before it took the Emperor-given name of the War Hounds for itself. This did not mean that the World Eaters lacked ability and competency in ranged engagements or armoured warfare and supporting artillery attack.
Indeed, no lesser luminary in the arts of mechanised warfare than the Iron Hands' Primarch Ferrus Manus praised the War Hounds' armoured assault at Aldabaran Septus as the "epitome of iron-clad rage given form," but for the War Hounds such things were a tactical means to an end.
That end being successfully delivering the killing force of the Legion, its Space Marines, where they could inflict the most harm and come to grapple with their foe at close quarters. The War Hounds had a preponderance of close combat weaponry habitually carried by its rank-and-file.
In addition to the use of the ubiquitous Combat Knives or Gladius, even Legionaries attached to reconnaissance squads and vehicle crews commonly carried chainblades, flay-cutters and mono-serrated bayonets, back-up knives, hatchets and cleavers. In dedicated assault units this profusion of bloody killing tools was added to by a weapon that dated back to the techno-barbarian tribes of Terra, the broad-bladed Chainaxe.
With the coming of Angron as their commander, the XIIth Legion's predilections for hand-to-hand bloodletting reached even greater heights, as the master-gladiator taught his warriors new weapons and new ways to kill, and what can only be described as a cult of personal combat took hold of the Legion at a fundamental level.
The Chainaxe was further refined under Angron's direction, and such was the reputation it gained, that its use spread to several other Legions. But in the abstract the weapon could be seen as a symbol of the World Eaters themselves -- brutal and savage, remorseless and unsubtle, a machine with but one purpose -- to kill.
When the XIIth Legion launched a planetary assault, they did so in a most unusual matter. Upon reaching a planet's surface, the World Eaters would burst from drop pods and charge down the assault ramps of their gunships, rapidly established security perimeters at their respective landing zones. Recon squads ranged out and lines of communication were solidified between adjacent units as companies organised and cohered. Once fully assembled on the ground, the order was given to advance.
It has been widely recorded, both in the recounting of Remembrancers during the Great Crusade and within each Legion's own archival histories, how Space Marines made battle. When the World Eaters made war, they did not enter combat in silence like the Iron Hands, their minds devoid of any distraction and focused entirely on the cold, clinical violence they were poised to deliver. Nor did they deploy like the Space Wolves or the Great Khan's get, joining the fray in a blistering charge, laughing as they leveled bolter and blade.
Since the day of the War Hounds' founding, whether the foe before them was xenos, machine, or even the Emperor's own Thunder Warriors, the XIIth commenced hostilities according to their own fashion. Theirs was the only method more terrifying to an enemy than the sight of a legionary sprinting towards the, light gleaming from their raised weapon, with a bellow tearing from their throat.
The War Hounds, and the World Eaters they became, reached the range of their blades walking. No robotic silence or hysterical shouts rang out from their ranks, but rather the calm, even tones of bonded brothers, spoken as though they were strolling to the training pits and not into the teeth of their foes. Rare were the times when an assaulting centurion sped his phalanx to meet the enemy at a trot, and almost never at a run.
They simply marched, imbued with an easy, natural aggression, and did not alter their stride as they struck, rolled through, cut and crushed any foe that dared stand against them, relentless and indomitable as the fall of shadow over the land at nightfall. By this tactic had the Legion defeated countless enemies before they had even engaged them, such was the fear sown by this inhuman calm.
It was only when the enemy broke, all morale and cohesion shattered as they turned to flee, that the XIIth quickened their pace. In the final pursuit, running down and executing a routed enemy, the Legion was in every way the hounds of war to match their former title, and later, just as fittingly, those who devoured whole planets.
Following the implantation of the Butcher's Nails, the World Eaters no longer deployed in the organised and disciplined matter they once displayed. Gone was the phalanx, the measured march of the shield wall. Now, the World Eaters ran to get to grips with the foe as soon as they made planetfall, and they ran faster as they caught sight of their enemies and savored the coming slaughter that would inevitably follow.
When they finally clashed with the foe, the enemy could not slow or stand against any of the enraged World Eaters as the warriors hacked and tore their way through them. With their minds aflame with the Butcher's Nails, not one legionary would stop to admire their kills, sprinting forward and killing anything that came within reach.
They would run in loose packs at first, but this didn't last long. Each World Eater became his own army, going wherever the Nails led him as he surged down the avenues of a doomed city and butchered everything he saw. Their vox would come alive with an endless disjointed chorus of laughing and spitting and screaming, all set to the throaty roar of active chainblades.
Eventually, they would deplete their ammunition, each World Eater relishing the dry click as the chamber of their Bolter ran hollow. The Nails set a fire within their skulls, and they celebrated it as they threw their boltguns aside, forgotten, focusing solely upon killing by hand.
The slaughter would continue as the Butcher's Nails propelled the World Eaters to untold heights of brutality. Like heathen marauders of Old Earth, the legionaries tore down the entrance to their enemy's holdfasts, swarming within and laying waste to all they found, until nothing remained but a bloody abattoir to mark their passing.
The World Eaters now possess but a single desire in life -- to slay their enemies in savage melee combat and take their skulls for Khorne. To this end, the Legion has cast away their long-ranged weapons completely and have taken up the Chainaxe favoured by Khorne and the Bolt Pistol.
Their thirst for blood and slaughter has become such an overpowering addiction that when battle is joined the World Eaters, now all transformed into Khornate Berserkers, rampage across the battlefield, roaring the name of Khorne, all strategy and tactics forgotten in their overpowering thirst for bloodshed.
In combat, these frothing, psychotic berserkers are ferocious and will fight to the death, knowing that their own blood is as welcome to the Blood God as that of their enemies. The World Eaters are a force entirely dedicated to and specialised in close combat.
Reflecting the breakdown of overall organisation and strategy in the XIIth Legion after the Horus Heresy, most World Eater combat consists of rushing a force of World Eater Berserkers towards the enemy line as quickly as possible so they can engage in melee combat.
Once locked into close combat, few enemy units can persevere against the World Eaters' Khornate Berserkers. World Eater armies feature little to no long-range weapons, but they balance this lack with their exceptional close combat and melee prowess. The World Eaters do, however, possess various artillery weapons gifted to them by Khorne.
World Eaters who seek to grow even closer to their bloodthirsty patron may partake in horrific rituals inviting possession by daemons of the Warp. A warrior claimed by a Lesser Daemon of the Blood God like a Bloodletter has their body twisted into a living weapon known as a Possessed, the better to harvest blood and skulls for Khorne, while the daemon itself benefits from a mortal host that provides a permanent anchor to realspace.
World Eaters Names
World Eater names are generally one or two-syllable words with hard consonants derived from those used by the Astartes recruited into the ancient Legion from across the galaxy. World Eaters Heretic Astartes also sometimes possess a by-name derived from a physical feature, personality quirk, past deed, favourite way to kill, or other defining feature.
Examples of World Eater names include: Barask Draxxigor, Khargos Bloodgrin, Gharrax Axefist, Khoran Khrul, Varrak Korgath, Zagrek the Headsman, Trosk Bloodhair, Tarvakh the Reaper, Drakh Khorr, Nharax the Maimer, Macer Kharos, Sarvak the Butcher, Berek the Reaper, Garrek the Hound and Azkor Hakkan.
Though the War Hounds had a reputation for ferocity in battle, they were also known to fight honourably and prided themselves on their fury and courage above all else. To the XIIth Legion, life itself was war, a conflict that never ended from cradle to grave and the Legiones Astartes was this concept in its purest form.
Failure in battle was not tolerated, surrender was never countenanced and mercy was a quick death delivered to a foe that had fought with bravery. Cowards themselves deserved no more than savage butchery in reward for their fear. This simple but resolutely brutal code of war was the War Hounds' article of faith and they extended it to both their own number and their enemy.
When they were reunited with their Primarch, the War Hounds were soon influenced by Angron's Nucerian cultural beliefs and blood rites that would become an important part of the World Eaters' core beliefs as the culture within the XIIth Legion shifted to ever more violent and bloodthirsty mores and values.
These became quickly echoed in the shifting skein of the Legion's own rites and ceremonies, and the martial traditions of Old Terra, never strong in the War Hounds who had prided themselves on their fury and courage above all else, disappeared altogether and were replaced by Angron's own red code of butchery and savage competition.
When the newly-dubbed World Eaters departed their training world of Bodt under their new master for the first time, it was under the new badge of a great fanged maw poised to crush a life-bearing world, an image that was to prove entirely fitting to describe what was to come.
The arrival of the Primarch Angron brought a primitive, almost tribal unity to the newly renamed World Eaters, and Angron quickly became the example of warriorhood to be aspired to by his Legion. His first and most dubious honour was to be the one Primarch to refuse the Emperor's benevolence and to turn his back on the Imperium's claims of conquest.
Angron, master of his doomed slave army, cared nothing for a galaxy's worth of dreams and triumphs. He had wished only to die with those rebels who'd escaped the gladiator pits of Desh'ea with him. This ragged army of his brothers and sisters had been holed up in the mountains with carrion birds and snow bears for company, waiting to starve or fall in battle -- whichever death had come first.
The XIIth Legion were told of Angron's refusal of the Emperor's offer when they had first met upon Nuceria. Their Primarch had defied the Emperor, and the War Hounds did not hate Angron for his choice. They worshipped him for it. No Primarch better understood the bonds of brotherhood than one who had turned his back on the Emperor, on the Imperium, on life itself -- so that he could die side by side with his brothers and sisters.
To the Legionaries of the World Eaters, the mutilated, bloody, reeking, wrathful figure that stalked amongst them as their master swiftly became a kind of savage messiah; a greater warrior than any they had known, an exemplar of a brutal ideal of honour and combat that sang to their souls. Angron became to them their first master, displacing for many the loyalty they had once only given to their Emperor, as Angron became their judge, their general and a conqueror whose banner they would follow into the depths of hell.
Under his influence, the competitive, hot-blooded tension that had always roiled under the surface of the XIIth Legion's psyche was channelled and given form. Gladiatorial combat, never without blood spilled, and when taken to its extremes, fatal, became both the crux of the World Eaters' training, honing their individual battle skills to a razor's edge, and a vital outlet for the pent-up aggression and frustrated bloodlust of the Legion between war zones.
The World Eaters' thirst for battle was artificially amplified by the use of the surgically implanted Butcher's Nails devices that were similar to the technology that had been implanted within Angron's own skull during his Nucerian gladiator training.
Bloodletting was a very common practice carried out by the Astartes of the World Eaters Legion. Angron and his World Eaters were known to cut their left hands and smear the blood on the visors of their helmets before going into a fight.
As time went on, blood rites became more and more an important part of the XIIth Legion's rituals. This would eventually culminate in the corrupted Warmaster Horus turning the Legion's savage rituals towards the bloody-handed worship of Chaos, in particular the Blood God Khorne.
Like their fellow Astartes Legions, the XIIth Legion would often take an oath of moment, a final last act before embarking for combat. Each Legionary prepared their vows to their fellow brothers in the Legion. What they will do for their Emperor, their Legion and themselves.
They witnessed one another's oaths. Some Legions wrote them and then decorated themselves with the written oaths on fluttering paper on their Power Armour. But with the coming of Angron, the Primarch introduced to his gene-sons the tradition of the "Triumph Rope."
This was something that was shown to Captain Kharn by his Primarch. Angron explained that before a battle one would carve a line in one's body, and after said battle you would either let it heal normally, to show that you were victorious, or you would rub some of the dirt from the battlefield into the wound, to show you were defeated. This would cause the scar to appear to be a "red twist" if victorious, or a "black twist" if defeated. Warriors could then keep track of their battle honours and gauge each others' prowess.
Angron had the longest "Triumph Rope" within the Legion. A ridge of scar tissue began at the base of Angron's spine. It traveled up his backbone, then veered to the left and around his body, riding over his hip and curving around to his front.
The length of his continuous scar seemed to expand and thin again, ploughing and gouging the skin, in some places vanishing entirely where the Primarch's healing powers had overcome it.
The scar looped around and around Angron's body, spiraling up over his belly, around his ribs, towards his chest. A little past the right of his sternum, it abruptly stopped.
Angron, it was said, had no black twists. When the Emperor spirited Angron away from his world on the eve of battle where he was ready to give his life fighting side-by-side with his fellow slaves, he was denied the right to return to his world. He couldn't pick up the soil to make a black twist. Unable to wear his failure, he was bitter with the Emperor that he couldn't fight alongside them and even more so that he couldn't even commemorate them properly.
The gladiatorial pits of the XIIth Legion were one of the traditions that carried over from the War Hounds -- and the World Eaters that followed after them. Once, the XIIth Legion had been a proud Legion founded upon brotherhood above all else. They taught it in the gladiatorial pits, bonding warriors from different worlds, chaining them together and forcing them to fight as pairs.
Brotherhood remained strong at the Chapter's heart in that time, and was the test that truly mattered. For especially deserving Astartes, the Hounds even opened their pits to those born of other Astartes bloodlines. The Hounds duelled because in their hearts they knew that nothing forged a stronger bond of brotherhood than fighting. There was no need for pageantry, and no reason to hold back. Rank was disregarded, and all that mattered was the weapon in their hands, and who struck first.
When the World Eaters fought in the pits, the combatants would first come to an accord as to how many wounds they would inflict upon each other to determine who was the victor. They would usually only fight to first blood, but sometimes bouts would go on to second and even third blood. But on rare occasions, they would be fought to Sanguis Extremis -- a bout to the death.
The Legionaries of the World Eaters had an intractable and ambitious nature. Quick to anger, the World Eaters were taught to avenge slights to their honour with blood, even amongst their own. But when there was a dispute between brothers, often they were settled in the pits.
There was little that passed in the way of brawling or boisterous competition amongst the World Eaters in such matters, for all such battles were to the death of those involved. In the World Eaters' extreme view, honour demanded no less.
The violence each World Eater willingly subjected himself to within the pits often resulted in a warrior sustaining a web of scars across his body from the blows of their fellow warrior's chainaxes or blades.
Another notable example of the costs of pit-fighting would be the World Eaters' use of metal prosthetic teeth to replace their own. Legionaries of other Legions often told tales of how they had never met a single World Eater without at least one metal tooth jammed into his gums, and most sported whole sets from their time in the gladiatorial pits.
When losses were incurred during a campaign and entire squads were wiped out, they had to be collapsed and folded into one another, and decisions were needed to be made as to who would lead them. More often than not, the question of leadership was decided in the pits.
Normally, such means would have been forbidden, especially if the Legion was still on an active war footing, but in light of dire events, a Praetor could relent, understanding all too well that his brothers needed the grounded calm that duelling could bring, an outlet to exorcise their frustrations and rage.
Warriors would need to forge new bonds and have trust in the prowess of their leaders, and bleeding together in the pits was a better way to accomplish this than most.
Before the Horus Heresy, the World Eaters' originally wore white Power Armour that was unadorned, save for the chains binding their weapon to their arms. The chains were a personal tradition of the XIIth Legion that had spread even amongst the other Legions from the fighting pits of the World Eaters where the practice had originated.
World Eaters would chain themselves together in the fighting pits and duel to the cheers of their brothers. They entered without armour, naked but for loincloths to show they feared no wound, and to prove every warrior would fight on equal ground. For especially deserving legionaries, the XIIth even opened its pits to those born of other bloodlines.
Sigismund, the First Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion, had taken to the custom with his usual zeal, binding his weapons to his wrists on dense black chains. He made an impressive name for himself when he served with the World Eaters within the bowels of the Conqueror, dueling with the XIIth Legion's finest warriors late in the Great Crusade.
The "Black Knight" they had called him, in honour of his prowess, his nobility and his personal heraldry. Often he would be paired with Delvarus of the Triarii, and the two of them won every fight they entered -- always to first blood, never lasting more than half a minute. No one could keep up with them. No one even came close.
Nassir Amit, a Captain of the Blood Angels Legion, known as the "Flesh Tearer," was another Astartes who earned great glory in the World Eaters' pits in the days before the Horus Heresy, for he fought with the same savagery and brutality as his hosts, a trait that would later be passed on to the Flesh Tearers Chapter he led after the Heresy.
Amit would often be paired with the Apothecary Kargos, and few ever wished to come up against the "Flesh Tearer" and the "Bloodspitter". They were known for always fighting past first blood, third blood and into sanguis extremis (to the death). No dirty trick seemed beyond them, and every one of their matches was a death bout.
Such few honours that the XIIth Legion believed in were warrior-marks of brotherhood and the scars of battle, for these things transcended rank and spoke to the worth of the Space Marine beneath the armour.
The sundered chains of one who had fought overwhelming odds and lived, an allusion that spoke to Angron's own bleak history, and the bloody handprint over the face or heart bestowed by a battle leader for a warrior whose fury had transcended that of his brothers, to the World Eaters these meant more than any mere bauble, title or trinket. Examples of such warrior-marks included:
- The use of several versions of the Legion badge of the fanged maw adorning an individual Space Marine's armour, which denoted long service.
- Red striations on a helm could be a personal decoration that echoed the psycho-surgical cortex implantation.
- Red "tears" (more likely blood drops) painted beneath the eye lenses on a helm were thought to denote an Astartes' ritual scarification.
- Kill tally marks were often incised into a vambrace or a warrior's individual weapon. A "crossed-chain" decoration on a vambrace accorded an individual warrior status as having killed a fellow World Eater of higher rank in a sanctioned arena duel.
Based upon the ritual weapons of the cyber-augmetic gladiators of the savage world on which their bloody-handed Primarch was once cast, it was Angron himself who revived the use of the Caedere Weapons among his Legion's ranks.
Brutal and difficult to master, the weapons of the Caedere remain largely the preserve of the Rampagers -- World Eaters who have responded the best to the addition of the cranial berserker implants which are a hallmark of the Legion, and its champions.
These weapons include:
Before the Horus Heresy, many of the World Eaters had adopted the snarling Sarum Pattern Helmet, though by the time of the Heresy, many of the XIIth Legion's warriors had begun modifying these distinctive helms with the twin mantles of the caedere remissum -- a dubious honour dating back to the gladiatorial traditions of the Primarch Angron's homeworld.
When a warrior was judged too unstable or damaged to fight anything other than death matches, they would wear the bladed horns of the remissum as a warning to their foes.
While Angron himself forbade them amongst his Veteran companies, many World Eaters still risked his wrath and eventually the more stylised mantles became synonymous with the warriors of the Khornate Berserker cults after the Primarch's ascension to daemonhood.
One of the more bloody traditions of the World Eaters were gruesome contests of head-taking between members of individual squad members, various squads, and the Chapter's Companies and Captains. This may just have been an easy way to confirm kills, but it has been surmised by Imperial scholars that the World Eaters saw the head of a foe to be important. It is unknown if the totals of collected heads were kept for just single battles, wars, or the warrior's career.
Another ancient Legion tradition is known as a mortuus -- an official report made to the commanding officer of a Legion vessel, listing those Battle-Brothers who had fallen in battle, much as Apothecaries in the other Legions traditionally relayed them to their commanding officers.
A mortuus was more than simply a casualty list, it was a remembrance -- a roll of honour, a relic for the Legion to treasure. This often took the form of names and ranks inked upon scrolls or names engraved in brass plaques, or chiseled into stone. These names would then be entered into the ship's Archive of the Fallen; other Legions used different names, such as the Thousand Sons' Dirge, or in the case of the Sons of Horus, the Lamentation.
As the World Eaters fully fell into a permanent red haze of rage and blood-soaked madness, they came to care little for recording the names of the dead and the practice of composing a mortuus after every engagement was abandoned like so much else of the Legion's culture.
Now, there is only one thing the World Eaters believe in; the spilling of blood. The sole purpose of their existence is to kill and to shed blood in their god's name. Whether that blood comes from a foe, an ally or even their own veins, it matters not. All that matters is that the pile of bloody skulls laid at the brass throne of Khorne grows ever larger.
Many suspect that Angron's gene-seed was corrupt from the start and the World Eaters were damned the moment they were created. Others point to the known history of Angron and insist that his Legion could have been saved had the signs been noticed earlier.
Whichever is correct, the Space Marines of the World Eaters have a physical need to shed blood and kill, a driving imperative that sends them into a berserk fury of unrestrained bloodthirsty psychosis. So strong is the desire to kill that the World Eaters will turn on one another to satisfy their bloodlust should no other foe present itself.
Notable World Eaters
- Angron - Sometimes called the Red Angel, Angron is the Primarch of the World Eaters Traitor Legion of Chaos Space Marines. He was the most bloody-handed and savage of the Primarchs. When Horus began his rebellion, Angron was quick to join in his treachery, but his only true master was the rage and bloodlust within him. He fell to Chaos during the Horus Heresy and was transformed into a Daemon Prince of the Blood God Khorne, through the machinations of his brother Primarch Lorgar, when the World Eaters moved to cleanse Angron's homeworld of Nuceria of all life in vengeance for the atrocities inflicted upon him in his youth.
- Ibram Ghreer (KIA) - Ibram Ghreer, a Terran-borne Astartes, was a respected general and the Legion Master of the War Hounds who commanded the XIIth Legion for nearly three standard decades until he disappeared without explanation from his taciturn Legion. In truth, he was killed by Angron within the bowels of the flagship Conqueror so that the Primarch could assert his rightful command over the XIIth Legion whose Astartes had been created from his own genetic material. Ghreer was considered to be an axeman to stand with the best of the XIIth Legion's warriors. He had proved to be a poor strategic planner, yet had managed to transform bluntness into a virtue for the XIIth Legion alongside brutality.
- Nigh Vash Delerax (KIA) - Nigh Vash Delerax was a Lieutenant Commander of the XIIth Legion by the time of the Horus Heresy era. He took part in the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V, but much to his displeasure was relegated to commanding the Battle Barge Dedicated Wrath, and instead took part in the void battles in Istvaan V's orbit against the Loyalist fleet. Following the massacre, Delerax was re-assigned to track down and destroy any surviving Loyalist vessels that managed to survive the battle, a task at which he excelled and pursued with ferocious glee. However, he was further enraged by being forced to play host to an Alpha Legion Astartes aboard his ship who served as the Warmaster's ambassador, and whose mission was to ensure the World Eaters under Delerax's command followed the Warmaster's orders. Captain Althix Kordassis, Delerax's second-in-command, acted as a go-between and a minder for the Alpha Legion Astartes that claimed he was actually the Primarch Alpharius. Delerax later received word that the World Eaters were to pursue the Primarch Corax and his surviving Raven Guard Space Marines who had managed to escape the slaughter in the Urgall Depression during the Drop Site Massacre. Following the destruction of a Loyalist Salamanders vessel, Delerax made for Istvaan V with all haste in order to take part in the inevitable slaughter that would ensue that had been denied him earlier. Once the World Eaters neared the planet, however, Delerax received new orders to destroy a nearby Loyalist fleet that was intent on evacuating the surviving Raven Guard on the planet's surface. When it was discovered that Delerax had refused these new orders, his Alpha Legion overseer confronted the lieutenant commander in order to enforce the Warmaster's orders. Enraged, Delerax refused to be dissuaded from reaching Istvaan's surface. "Alpharius" informed the impetuous World Eaters commander that Corax and the surviving remnants of his Legion would be allowed to escape, for they still had a role to play in the wider civil war. Refusing to heed "Alpharius'" words, Delerax ordered the Alpha Legionary to be removed from his bridge. However, Delerax was caught off guard when the Alpha Legion member masquerading as Captain Kordassis placed a bolt pistol to his head. Incensed at such a base betrayal, Delerax attempted to wrest control of the bolt pistol from "Kordassis," but was instead killed by a point-blank shot from his bolt pistol. Following his death, another member of the Alpha Legion took Delerax's face and continued to masquerade as the World Eaters lieutenant commander for several years, until the Battle of Yarant. It was during this engagement against a joint Loyalist force of Raven Guard and Space Wolves that the Delerax doppelganger was killed by an assassination strike by a Dark Fury Assault Squad, led by the Raven Guard Sergeant Ghelt.
- Kunnar (KIA) - Kunnar was a War Hound and Champion of the 1st Company, killed by Angron after he assumed control of the XIIth Legion.
- Shinnargen (KIA) - Shinnargen was a War Hound and Captain of the 2nd Company, killed by Angron after he assumed control of the XIIth Legion.
- Khârn the Betrayer - Previously known as Khârn, this violent and ferocious Legionary once served as the Captain of the XIIth Legion's elite 8th Assault Company. Even before the World Eaters united with their Primarch, Khârn had a reputation as superlative and ferocious warrior and was known by the epithet, "The Bloody." When Angron returned to the XIIth Legion aboard their flagship, then known as the Adamant Resolve, he still raged at being taken from his homeworld against his will by the Emperor and denied the opportunity to fight and die alongside his rebel gladiator comrades' sides during the Battle of Desh'elika. In his blind rage Angron brutally slaughtered, rended and dismembered any who dared come into his presence. Khârn ultimately took it upon himself to convince Angron to take his ordained place at the head of the XIIth Legion, though he took a severe beating in the process. Khârn's fortitude proved to Angron that the War Hounds were worthy successors of his genetic heritage. Angron promoted the man who had shaken him out of his despair to the position of his Equerry, a rank combining the roles of squire, councilor and personal confidante. Yet there were many, both amongst the World Eaters and outside it, who respected Angron's choice but doubted its wisdom: the Equerry's primary role was to serve as a counterpoint to the Primarch's personality and a foil for his decisions. For all his qualities as a warrior, Khârn was neither patient nor particularly subtle, nor a great orator, and instead of guiding and tempering Angron's words and decisions with wisdom, he often was second into the thickest of the fray right behind him. Khârn eventually became a Chaos Champion of Khorne soon after the World Eaters turned to the service of the Chaos Gods. Khârn stood in the forefront of the World Eaters' assault of the Imperial Palace at the Siege of Terra during the closing days of the Horus Heresy and was killed during the vicious, hand-to-hand fighting before the Palace's Eternity Gate. His battered body was discovered laying atop a large mound of Loyalist corpses. When the assault was broken by the defeat of Horus at the hands of the Emperor, his fellow World Eaters found Khârn's body and carried it away. Soon after, they found that Khârn had apparently been resurrected by his patron God, Khorne. After the World Eaters had been driven into the Eye of Terror the entire Legion was ultimately consumed by the bloodlust of Khorne and became his most potent mortal servants, often fighting his eternal battles against his hated rival Slaanesh and the Prince of Pleasure's favoured mortal servants, the Emperor's Children Legion. The Daemon World of Skalathrax in the Eye of Terror was one of the places contested by both Traitor Legions shortly after the end of the Horus Heresy in the 31st Millennium. After a full day of vicious fighting, the terribly frigid Skalathrax night began. Horrified, Emperor's Children and World Eaters alike ran to their shelters, for the freezing night would kill even a Chaos Space Marine in a matter of moments. Khârn raged over being delayed from slaughter for even a single night. Filled with anger when he saw that his brother Chaos Marines were creeping back to the shelters, he took up a flamer and burned them down, slaying with his Chain Axe Gorechild any who tried to stop him. The night was filled with the screams of the dying and the freezing as Khârn strode the streets of the dead city of black stone, killing Emperor's Children and World Eaters alike, burning any shelters he found. The night was lit by flames as the Emperor's Children and the World Eaters fought each other and themselves for the few remaining shelters. By morning, most of the World Eaters were dead, the survivors split into small warbands, the shattered remnants of the once great Companies of the XIIth Legion. The Legion would never reunite and would remain scattered in warbands for the next ten millennia.
- Dreagher - Dreagher was the Terran-born World Eaters Astartes who served as Captain of the XIIth Legion's 9th Company during the early days of the Great Crusade. After meeting his Primarch for the first time, he promised Angron that under his leadership the War Hounds Legion would become "...the eater of worlds." In this way, Dreagher inadvertently inspired Angron to rename the XIIth Legion the World Eaters.
- Ehrlen (Deceased) - Ehrlen was a Loyalist Captain of the World Eaters who took part in the attack on Istvaan III. He led a division of World Eaters Loyalists towards the Precentor's Palace in the Choral City, meeting thousands of civilians who tried to stop them, and with his fellow World Eaters, slaughtered all of them. Ehrlen was encountered by the Emperor's Children Captain Saul Tarvitz, who warned the World Eaters to take cover as the Warmaster Horus was about to virus-bomb the planet. However, Tarvitz's warning came too late, as many World Eaters were too far away from bunkers or other air-tight shelters and were unable to survive the massive bombardment by biological weapons. Captain Ehrlen led the World Eaters' counter-attack on the forces of their Primarch Angron and their traitorous fellow Battle-Brothers, where he is believed to have died at the hands of his Traitor brethren. However, at the end of the fight, a few World Eaters managed to survive and link up with the remaining Loyalist forces on the planet, where they helped drag out the battle against the Traitor forces for a further three months before Horus finally unleashed an orbital bombardment that ended all Loyalist resistance.
- Vostigar Catacult Eres - Vostigar Catacult Eres was a Captain of the World Eaters Legion during the Great Crusade. During this time, he fought alongside the Imperial Fists Captain Amandus Tyr at Varleth Gorge. Following the battle, Tyr gifted Eres with an Achilles-Alpha Pattern Land Raider, which became his most prized possession. Following the discovery and reunification with their Primarch Angron, after he took over command of his Legion, he ordered the construction of the neural cortical implants, known as the Butcher's Nails. After finally finding a viable way to surgically implant these neural implants, the World Eaters began to reap the benefits of enhanced aggression and savagery in the heat of battle. Most unusual, amongst his fellow World Eaters, Eres had a different attitude towards the use of the Butcher's Nails, feeling that his Legion squandered it's gifts, often giving into their inherent rage and killing over petty or insignificant matters. He felt that the Nails degraded with overuse and a Legionary must focus on controlling their emotions and commit their kills outside of battle with cold efficiency. When the Horus Heresy began, Eres following his Legion into damnation, turning against the Imperium and later taking part in the Shadow Crusade alongside the Word Bearers Legion. During this campaign, Captain Eres was ordered to aid the Word Bearers Chapter Master Torquill Eliphas in the invasion of the Ultramarines world of Kronus. When a fellow Captain, Nordas Vyre, heard of this, he confronted Eres and insisted that he should leave behind his prized Land Raider. When Vyre kept insisting, Eres' second-in-command, Khordul Arukka, cut the Captain down for his insolent behaviour. Shortly thereafter, Eres took part in the invasion of Kronus and easily routed the Ultramarines garrison located there. However, Eliphas allowed a small number of Ultramarines to escape, so that they could bring word of what had occurred. After conquering the planet, the Word Bearers proceeded to enslave the population and force them to build the Templum Daemonarchia, a vast cathedral dedicated to the Ruinous Powers, which would allow Primarch Lorgar to set foot upon Kronus once enough blood and souls had been gathered. Forced follow the commands of Eliphas, Eres had nothing to do, but wait, while the massive cathedral was still being constructed. During this time, Eres concluded that he had been forced to undergo his current mission as a form of punishment due to his different beliefs in regards to the Butcher's Nails. Though it troubled him, he laid the matter to rest and put it aside for the time being. Shortly thereafter, the construction of the cathedral was concluded, just as an Ultramarines strike force returned to reclaim Kronus. In the ensuing battle, Eres' World Eaters forces took the brunt of the fighting, while Eliphas was more concerned about harnessing the necessary blood and souls needed in order to power the cathedral. As the battle concluded, the Ultramarines were killed and their souls harvested. With this final contribution, the Templum Daemonarchia was powered up, allowing the Word Bearers Chapter Master to contact Lorgar. However, Eliphas was shocked to hear the news that the Shadow Crusade was concluded and that his forces were to report immediately to rejoin his Legion on Tarsaron. Reluctantly, Eliphas withdrew his forces while Kronus was left in Captain Eres' control. Eres' ultimate fate is unknown.
- Althix Kordassis (KIA) - Althix Kordassis was a Captain in the World Eaters Legion during the Horus Heresy era. During this time he served as the second-in-command for Lieutenant Commander Nigh Vash Delerax. During their mission to Istvaan V, at some point, Kordassis was murdered and his face was surgically removed and later grafted to an Alpha Legion operative, who continued to masquerade as Delerax's second-in-command. The ultimate fate of this doppelganger is unknown.
- Maruuk - Maruuk was a captain in the World Eaters Legion during the Horus Heresy. While the World Eaters fleet was enroute towards the Throneworld to take part in the Siege of Terra, Maruuk was aboard the World Eaters' flagship Conqueror. By this time, the vessel itself had fallen under the corrupting influence of the Blood God Khorne, which resulted in the flagship becoming a hostile environment to those aboard it, which resulted in the rapid depletion of supplies and manpower, primarily due to the World Eaters losing themselves to berserker rages and then slaughtering anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. This led to Maruuk to join a conspirator group of fellow like-minded World Eaters and crew members that wished to depart the flagship for their own safety. This group was led by the ship's own Captain, Lotara Sarrin and Destroyer Sergeant Skane, who served in the 8th Company under Kharn. Meeting clandestinely, this group eventually grew to include 50 World Eaters and over 300 crew members. They were forced to meet in secret as the majority of the World Eaters aboard the Conqueror would view their actions of abandonment as mutiny. Per their plan, Captain Sarrin secured five shuttles to ferry the escapees over to the frigate Bestiarius, and one-by-one, the shuttles were filled and departed the Conqueror. However, the conspirators' plan was discovered, for when Maruuk and his group reached the shuttle bay, Kharn confronted them before they could escape declared them all traitors. When Kharn moved forwards to confront them, Skane charged forward to confront his former commander, telling Maruuk to escape while he still could. However, Skane was no match for Kharn and was soon beaten to the ground, but by then Maruuk managed to steer his shuttle away from the Conqueror. But just as they made their escape towards Bestiarius, the Conqueror suddenly opened fire upon the doom shuttles, destroying them one at a time. Soon, only Marduk's shuttle remained, and he quickly came to the realisation that they had been betrayed. Despite his inevitable fate, Maruuk contacted Captain Sarrin aboard the Conqueror, cursing her for their treachery and asking her why she had betrayed them. The Captain refused to give him a reason, then gave the order to destroy Maruuk's shuttle. With Maruuk's death, the World Eaters brought an end to the escapee's mutiny.
- Nordas Vyre (KIA) - Nordas Vyre was a Captain in the World Eaters Legion during the Horus Heresy era. He took part in the Shadow Crusade, however, before Vyre could take part in this campaign, he confronted his fellow Captain, Vostigar Catacult Eres, when the found out that he had been re-assigned to serve under the command of the Word Bearers Chapter Master Torquill Eliphas and take part in the invasion of the Ultramarines world of Kronus. When Vyre insisted that Eres not take his prized Achilles-pattern Land Raider with him, he was cut down by Eres' second-in-command, Khordal Arukka, for his insolence.
- Centurion Delvarus (KIA) - Centurion Delvarus was born on the jungle world of Novus Principa, which was conquered by the World Eaters Legion in the early decades of the Great Crusade. He gained a reputation as a formidable fighter and for being undefeatable in the Legion's fighting pits, and when he was paired with Sigismund of the Imperial Fists, the pair won every fight to first blood in less than half a minute. Delvarus was one of the few World Eaters not to shave his head. The discomfort of hair in his helm was irrelevant; he'd never cut his long black locks. This may have been a habit derived from his former culture. In the fighting pits, he always wore it loose. His dark skin marked his genesis in the jungles of whatever world he once called home. Like many World Eaters, Delvarus was inducted from a planet conquered in the Legion's earliest solar decades rather than from a specific homeworld. No Legion except the Ultramarines was as diverse as the World Eaters, coloured by so many shades of skin from so many different worlds, reflecting a diversity of flesh overruled by the bonds of brotherhood. During the Ghenna Massacre, most of Delvarus' squad was wiped out by the Ghennan "Simulacrums", including his commander, Captain Barca. Though a mere sergeant, Delvarus was able to hold his own against the numberless hordes of the enemy. Delvarus commanded the 44th Company, specifically he commanded the elite Triarii - five full companies of the World Eaters' finest shipboard warriors that excelled in void warfare and boarding actions far beyond traditional Legion training. Five hundred of Angron's best warriors, led by the Legion's undisputed pit champion, all of whom were vowed and honour-bound to defend the flagship Conqueror. Delvarus had a bad reputation for taking part in planetary assaults with the rest of the XIIth Legion, often "neglecting" to inform command of his intentions. After an unsanctioned planetary drop that left the Conqueror exposed to enemy boarders comprised of Ultramarines above the war world of Armatura during the Shadow Crusade, Delvarus was shot by the ship's captain, Lotara Sarrin, and confined to his quarters. When he was finally released, he was forced to fight twenty-six blood duels in the Legion's fighting pits, contrary to the normal limit of eight pit fights, before being humiliated when Apothecary Kargos 'Bloodspitter' spared his life in a Sanguis Extremis duel. Towards the end of the Horus Heresy, Delvarus had become Possessed. The daemon-possessed Delvarus went on to lead The Riven, a brutal Chaos warband comprised entirely of 'Secondborn' (possessed heretic legionaries). After the Great Scouring, Delvarus exercised his independent nature once again, and both he and the Riven later joined the Black Legion and become the guardians of Abaddon's flagship, the Vengeful Spirit. Delvarus later met his fate during the 1st Black Crusade in 781.M31, when he was killed during the First Battle of Cadia by Thagus Daravek, a prominent Death Guard Sorcerer Lord, during a boarding action aboard the Vengeful Spirit.
- Deranax - Deranax was a Centurion of the World Eaters Legion during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. He was once a great believer in the ideals of the Great Crusade and the Imperial Truth. However, when the Horus Heresy began, he willingly followed his Primarch into damnation and joined his Legion in tearing down everything the Great Crusade had accomplished. Following the Signus Campaign and their temporary isolation in the Realm of Ultramar, Horus learned that the Loyalist Blood Angels Legion was attempting to bypass the Ruinstorm in order to reach the Imperial Throneworld. Intent on denying the Emperor another Loyalist Legion at His side, the Warmaster tasked Deranax with halting their efforts. Given command of the Battleship Gladiator and several of his Legion's warships, Deranax prepared an ambush for the Blood Angels in the Diavanos System, which they would have to pass through in order to reach Terra. However, the world of Diavanos, a planet that embodies the Imperium's ideals, discovered the nearby World Eaters' fleet and sent out an astropathic distress signal requesting aid. Unaware of this, Deranax's fleet was caught by surprise when the Ultramarines Legion fleet suddenly entered the system without warning, after receiving Diavonos' request for aid. During the subsequent void battle that ensued, the World Eaters' fleet was utterly annihilated, but not before Deranax aimed his stricken vessel at the Loyalist world, and with one final act of spite, prepared to launch a Cyclonic Torpedo. However, Deranax had the ordnance rigged to explode, but not destroy Diavonos. He had anticipated that Primarch Roboute Guilliman would attempt to personally stop him in order to save the Imperial planet, and so, the Centurion had planned to personally self-destruct the torpedo within the Gladiator when it was boarded. When Guilliman personally led a ship-to-ship boarding assault upon the Gladiator, the World Eaters set off rigged explosives which destroyed every passageway that led to the bridge, forcing the Ultramarines to make their way, and then enter, the torpedo bays. However, Deranax's plans were foiled, for upon entering the torpedo bay the Primarch quickly assessed and understood the Centurion's true intentions. The Ultramarines charged the World Eaters protecting the torpedo and Guilliman slew Deranax before he could self-destruct it.
- Centurion Gruner - Centurion Gruner was Terran-born veteran of the War Hounds Legion of Jermanic descent who had served in the Unification Wars. He was the XIIth Legion's grizzled Master of Neophytes and a formidable warrior within the XIIth Legion who prepared newly selected Neophytes for battle upon the training grounds of the War Hounds' vassal world of Bodt. Gruner's bare torso rippled with superhuman strength, sporting an elaborate tattoo of a canine predator tearing into its prey. He was responsible for training the future champion Khârn, and introduced him to "The Contest", the XIIth Legion's well-established tradition of taking 1,000 skulls in battle.
- Karak - Karak was a Tribune of the World Eaters Legion during both the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. Following the successful campaigns in the Isstvan System, he was re-assigned to command his Legion's forces in Tredecimmia, the capital city of Bodt. However, he was later killed by Loyalist forces, when the planet was invaded in 008.M31.
- Jeddek - Jeddek was the Standard Bearer of the elite 8th Assault Company under the command of Captain Khârn. At the time of the Horus Heresy, Jeddek was one of the oldest living World Eaters. He'd crusaded across the stars from the Legion's founding, long before they rediscovered the Primarch's homeworld, or started recruiting from worlds beyond Terra. He was one of the first successful volunteers to undergo the implantation of the Butcher's Nails neural implants. Having worn the Nails longer than anyone, Jeddek felt nothing outside of slaughter -- no smiles, no tears, nothing. He possessed a dead-eyed glare, murmuring to himself in a low monotone between battles, until he was once again turned loose upon an enemy. Only then could he feel, experiencing a palette of emotions beyond staring at everything and nothing with his face twitching in pained distraction. Jeddek was eventually killed upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria during the Shadow Crusade by the avenging Ultramarines Legion, who had been tracking Lorgar's whereabouts for the atrocity committed against the Imperial world of Calth.
- Kalibos - Praetor-Apothecary Kalibos was the commander of the Legion mustering point on the Ocean World of Duat. Seeking to rejoin the Legion on the front lines of the Horus Heresy, he tried to prove his worth by experimenting on the World Eaters' gene-seed. he managed to develop a method to speed up the implantation process to produce Neophytes significantly, albeit at the cost of a horrendous loss of life as the new process was survivable by substantially few candidates. Kalibos was slain by Endryd Haar during the raid of his Loyalist Blackshield force on Duat, putting an end to his grisly experiments.
- Kargos, "Bloodspitter" - Kargos was an Apothecary of the elite 8th Assault Company as a part of Captain Khârn's command squad during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. He was known throughout the XIIth Legion by his pit-fighting name "Bloodspitter", earning the epithet for his habit of spitting blood into the eyes of his opponents, the oldest of tricks, when fighting in the World Eaters' fighting pits in the belly of their flagship Conqueror. When the World Eaters deemed those of other bloodlines worthy to fight within their fighting pits, Kargos was often paired with Nassir Amit, a fierce Captain of the Blood Angels Legion, known as the "Flesh Tearer", for he fought with the same savagery and brutality as his hosts, a trait that would later be passed on to the Flesh Tearers Chapter he led after the Heresy. Few ever wished to come up against the "Bloodspitter" and the "Flesh Tearer". They were known for always fighting past first blood, third blood and into sanguis extremis (to the death). No dirty trick seemed beyond them, and every one of their matches was a death bout. Kargos was stalwart and ferocious warrior on the battlefields as well. He possessed a caustic wit and was never afraid to make light of a desperate situation through the use of dark humour, making his brothers laugh with great mirth. Kargos' ultimate fate following the Horus Heresy is unknown.
- Gahlan Surlak - Gahlan Surlak was an Apothecary of the World Eaters during both the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. During his time as a medical officer of the XII Legion, he became obsessed with overseeing a viable way to successful install the Butcher's Nails neural cortical implants without killing their host. However, due to changing command priorities, Gahlan became more involved with the induction of Aspirants as opposed to healing wounded Legionaries. Gahlan was an associate and student of Fabius, Chief Apothecary of the Emperor's Children, he initially failed to successfully implement the Nails within his brethren, as it resulted in a 100% fatality rating. However, during the Ghenna Massacre, Gahlan was able to successfully reverse-engineer Ghennan technology, and with the advent of this discovery, announced that he had finally discovered a viable method of mass induction of the Butcher's Nails without killing their hosts. This caused the Terran veteran, Centurion Mago, to attempt to sabotage Gahlan's work. Sending Techmarine Korit to Gahlan's lab to destroy his work, the Apothecary had taken appropriate precautions for such a treacherous act. Gahlan subdued Korit with a poison dart given to him by Fabius. Rendered physically unable to move, Korit was subjected to Gahlan's sadistic side, when the Apothecary took his time, and with great pleasure, in putting the Techmarine through an agonizing death with his Chirurgeon drill. He justified his brutal methods as punishment for the attempted treachery committed against him. Following the conspirators' failed attempt to sabotage his work, Gahlan went on to oversee the successful mass induction of the Butcher's Nails throughout the XII Legion. Following the aftermath of the Isstvan III Atrocity, Surlark learned the secrets of gene-seed from Fabius, and with the aid of the Word Bearers, established new bio-vats to rapidly produce new Legionaries on the World Eaters' thrall world of Bodt. Following the end of the Horus Heresy, Gahlan Surlak's ultimate fate is unknown.
- Skane (KIA) - Skane was a Sergeant of the World Eaters, commanding the Destroyer Squad in the elite 8th Company under the command of Captain Kharn. Skane's pale skin showed an unhealthy lightning-storm of veins and blood-bruises staining his flesh, from proximity to his own toxically lethal weaponry. He often spent many hours watching medical diagnostic hololiths picturing the exact radiation degeneration of his body from his long years of service. Offered the chance to leave the Destroyeres, he flatly refused. His neck was collared in dark metal, forming armour around his augmetic throat. An aggressive cancer had stolen his vocal chords, but the Apothecary Kargos had given him new ones. As the Horus Heresy drew to a close, and the World Eaters were enroute towards the Throneworld to take part in the Siege of Terra, the XIIth Legion's flagship Conqueror had become corrupted by the insidious influence of the Blood God, which resulted in rapidly declining supplies and unnecessary deaths, as the World Eaters were prone to losing themselves to berserker rages and slaughtering anyone unfortunate to be in close proximity. Skane was among those suffered terribly under the Conqueror's insidious influence, as it greatly affected his radiation-ravaged body. This eventually led Skane to violently corner the flagship's Captain Lotara Sarrin and informing her they needed to leave the Chaos-affected vessel for their own safety. Led by Captain Sarrin, soon a small group of conspirators began to meet in secret, intent on escaping the Conqueror for their own safety. They had to meet in clandestinely, as the majority of the World Eaters would feel this act of abandonment as being tantamount to mutiny. When they were ready to enact their plan, Sarrin secured five shuttles for her fellow conspirators in order for them to escape to a nearby frigate Bestiarius. After most of the shuttles departed, Skane, Captain Marruk and Sarrin remained behind, as Captain of the Conqueror, Sarrin would be the last to depart her ship. However, when they reached the shuttle bay they were confronted by Kharn, who declared they were all traitors. Skane valiantly rushed his former commander, in order to buy Marruk and Sarrin time to escape. However, Skane proved to be no match for the ferocious Kharn and was viciously beaten down. As the last shuttle fled the shuttle bay, Kharn prepared to execute the treacherous Skane. As he raised his chainaxe Gorechild to finish him off, Sarrin stopped him before he could deliver the killing blow. She informed Kharn that Skane's death was her responsibility, and with that, she leveled her pistol at Skane's face and shot him through the eye. Shortly afterwards, Sarrin gave the final order to destroy the fleeing shuttles, thus bringing the mutiny to an end.
- Kharad Huygan - Huygan was an Assault Legionary and a Terran Veteran of long-standing, deployed with the first wave sent to reconquer Istvaan III. He is recorded as being part of the assault force sent to take possession of a northern sector communications relay. His fate following the firestorm after the initial bombardment by the Life-eater virus remains unknown.
- Juljak Nul (KIA) - Juljak Nul, known as "The Storm Walker", was a Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought of the World Eaters Legion. Nul had the dual distinctions of being the first Master of Ordnance of the XIIth Legion -- later known as the War Hounds -- and being one of the first of the Legion's officers interned within a Dreadnought frame after being horribly mutilated by Slaugth murder-minds at Rangda. An Imperial Loyalist, he was betrayed to his death at Istvaan III and was finally destroyed during the great battle between his Legion's two factions following Angron's landing, carrying many of his former brothers with him into death's embrace.
- Hellesek - Hellesek was one of the first War Hounds to be interred as a Dreadnought before the techniques had been perfected. Though they were unstable and volatile, his thirteen early Dreadnought Battle-Brothers, interred within prototype Lucifer and Deredo Pattern Dreadnought chassis, variously abandoned or intentionally forgotten by the rest of the XIIth Legion, still listened to Lhorke as they had in life. Hellesek possessed two crushing Dreadnought-sized Power Fists as his primary weapons.
- Krydal - Krydal was one of the first War Hounds to be interred as a Dreadnought before the techniques had been perfected. Though they were unstable and volatile, his thirteen early Dreadnought Battle-Brothers, interred within prototype Lucifer and Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought chassis, variously abandoned or intentionally forgotten by the rest of the XIIth Legion, still listened to Lhorke as they had in life. Krydal's sarcophagus was bolted into his chassis, still damaged from battle, blessed and consecrated by holy oils but installed without his delicate vocabulator circuitry in place.
- Neras - Neras was one of the first War Hounds to be interred as a Dreadnought before the techniques had been perfected. Though they were unstable and volatile, his thirteen early Dreadnought Battle-Brothers, interred within prototype Lucifer and Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought chassis, variously abandoned or intentionally forgotten by the rest of the XIIth Legion, still listened to Lhorke as they had in life. Neras was the worst of his brothers, and often awoke from stasis enraged, forever lost to the madness of the Butcher's Nails implants, even while he slumbered in stasis. Between battles he had to have his chassis chained up, securing him in case he went on a bloody rampage with his massive Dreadnought-sized Chainswords when he was awoken. Once awoken, Neras was often still frantic and fierce, but always managed to come back from the mental precipice and function as a powerful addition to any assault by the XIIth Legion.
- Styvath the Berzerker - Styvath was a Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought of the World Eaters Legion who was barely controllable and subject to indiscriminate and savage bouts of rage thanks to the unpredictable interaction between his psycho-surgical implants and the Dreadnought's cybernetic control systems. Styvath was kept in a deep coma between battles. At Istvaan III he was unleashed by Drop Pod and rampaged across the battlefield, caring not who he killed.
- Mica Vulkov (KIA) - Vulkov was a section leader for a World Eaters Legion Tactical Squad attached to the first wave on Istvaan III, and he managed to survive the virus bombardment by virtue of being engaged against Istvaanian rebels in the depths of a manufactory unit during the initial attack. Incensed to the point of madness by his Legion's betrayal, he fought relentlessly against them, finally falling alongside Loyalist Death Guard forces in the northern zone of the Choral City.
Loyalist World Eaters
- Lhorke, "The First" (KIA) - Lhorke was a Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought of the War Hounds Legion who was the former Legion Master of the XIIth Legion until he "died" on the world of Jeracau. But he was resurrected, honoured for his service and became the XIIth Legion's first Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought. He served as the leader of the first War Hounds to be interred within Dreadnoughts before the techniques for the creation of those cybernetic veterans had been perfected. Though they were unstable and volatile, his thirteen Dreadnought Battle-Brothers, interred within prototype Lucifer and Deredo Pattern Dreadnought chassis, variously abandoned or intentionally forgotten by the rest of the Legion, still listened to Lhorke as they had in life. Lhorke lived and died as a War Hound in the decades before the arrival of Angron, before the XIIth Legion took the name Eaters of Worlds to honour the Primarch's slain army of rebel gladiators, the Eaters of Cites. Lhorke's chassis still displayed the old Legion scratch kill-markings and on his breastplate he bore the armoured wolf's head, collared by a chain around its throat. He never received the kiss of the cortical implants known as the Butcher's Nails in his brain pan, though it would have been easy enough. Given his circumstances, beating the Butcher's Nails into his skull came with significant risk, and he was a relic by any virtue of the word. The World Eaters feared to risk him in the surgery, so he remained one of the few War Hounds among the rising ranks of the World Eaters. He was disgusted by the changes wrought upon his Legion by Angron, especially the forced mutilation of his Battle-Brothers' minds, which had turned his once noble warrior-brethren into half-lobotomised madmen who abandoned all notions of honour when they lost themselves to the berserker rage. Even so, Lhorke did not hate his brothers, but he did blame them. Every time he awoke from stasis, he was shocked by the continued degradation of his former Legion, particularly after Angron chose to betray the Emperor of Mankind. What tore at Lhorke most was the purge of the XIIth Legion conducted at the Istvaan III Atrocity, when the Traitor World Eaters had slaughtered their own brothers with impunity. During the culmination of the Shadow Crusade upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, the remaining Librarians of the XIIth Legion attempted to save their Primarch, who they perceived was falling prey to some type of unnatural sorcery at the hands of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Lhorke fought alongside Vorias' cabal of Librarians, killing the Ultramarines who battled like lions in the doomed hope of helping their Primarch Roboute Guilliman as he sought to slay Angron. Angered by Lorgar's attempts to corrupt his Primarch and his Battle-Brothers, Lhorke could no longer countenance what was happening to his Legion. The World Eaters had suffered enough. The madness wrought by the Butcher's Nails implants was already enough of a curse, and Lhorke was determined that his Legion would not endure corruption as well. Lhorke attacked Lorgar, his huge claw crashing against the Primarch's breastplate, throwing him from his feet. Seeing his brother in distress, the metamorphosing Angron roared with rage and came to his brother's aid. The metamorphosis of Angron into a Daemon Prince had not yet completed, and the Primarch's flesh blazed with eldritch fire. Beneath the fire, Lhorke saw a sliver of what was coming to be. Lhorke never saw the transformation complete. The Daemon Primarch's own claws crashed against his chassis, tearing the Contemptor Dreadnought's shell apart, and sending its wreckage tumbling across the ground. The biological revenant that was Lhorke himself -- a crippled and withered near-corpse -- broke against the rough earth, still trailing its life support cables and milky with amniotic fluid. It gave one breath, a sudden, sharp inhalation, and then Lhorke moved no more, a terrible monument to his failure to prevent the World Eaters from being consumed by Chaos.
- Skraal (KIA) - Skraal was a Loyalist Captain of the World Eaters who was most notable for his participation in the hunt for the traitorous Word Bearers' unique Battleship, the Furious Abyss. When the Ultramarines vessel Fist of Macragge was destroyed under mysterious circumstances, the Ultramarines Fleet Commander Lysimachus Cestus assembled an ad hoc strike force to investigate the warship's destruction. Skraal and his World Eaters worked alongside Battle-Brothers from the Space Wolves, Thousand Sons and the Ultramarines. Skraal led his World Eaters in a bold raid on the starport of Bakka Triumveron in an attempt to board the Word Bearers' vessel called the Wrathful. On that vessel the World Eaters valiantly fought against daemonic boarders. Those few World Eaters that survived were then led by Captain Skraal and an Ultramarines officer named Antiges during a daring sabotage mission aboard the Furious Abyss. Once on-board, the mission nearly ended in disaster when the Loyalist strike force was all but annihilated with the exception of Skraal. The World Eaters Captain managed to successfully avoid capture or being killed for several weeks, until he was finally able to link up with another Loyalist strike force under the command of Captain Cestus. Skraal willingly sacrificed himself to buy both Cestus and the Wolf Lord Brynngar Sturmdreng time to sabotage and destroy the Furious Abyss. The volatile World Eater savagely cleaved his way through the bodyguard of the Dark Apostle Zadkiel, suffering a score of mortal wounds until he was finally halted by a point-blank Bolt Pistol shot. Before collapsing from his wounds, Skraal managed one final fateful swing, cleaving Zadkiel's Bolt Pistol and hand. Enraged, the Dark Apostle impaled the World Eater Captain through the head with his Dark Crozius, killing him.
- Macer Varren (KIA) - A Captain of the World Eaters Legion, Varren remained steadfastly loyal to the Emperor of Mankind when his Legion became corrupted by Chaos and threw in its lot with the Warmaster Horus during the Horus Heresy. He would later be recruited for Malcador the Sigillite's Knight-Errants, in the early 31st Millennium by Nathaniel Garro, a former Death Guard Battle-Captain, to become one of the seven Astartes who would form the core of what eventually evolved into the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter. According to some legends, Varren was originally thought to have played a part in the seizing of the Death Guard Frigate Eisenstein during the virus bombing of Istvaan III, which was used by Garro to carry warning to the Emperor of the Warmaster Horus' betrayal.
- Endryd Haar - Known as the "Riven Hound", Endryd Haar was once a World Eater. Both he and his command were believed long lost on-Crusade when his brethren cast in their lot with the Traitors. Endryd was driven to cold madness by the revelation of his Legion's betrayal when he returned to find the Imperium riven by civil war, and he cast off all traces of his Legion's insignia and honours and swore a Death Oath to atone for the XIIth Legion's crimes. Leading a Blackshield unit known as "The Fangs of the Emperor", Endryd Haar fought alongside the Loyalists as a field commander in the dark days before the Siege of Terra, accepting any mission -- whatever the odds of survival -- so long as in doing so he could spill the blood of the enemy. Haar's ultimate fate is unknown.
- Centurion Shabran Darr (KIA) - Centurion Shabran Darr, known as "White Eyes", hailed from the Death World of Cuth'vasti. He was marked out as different from his fellow Astartes, possessing sallow stone-grey skin and the white-on-white eyes of its near-Abhuman natives. He was a relatively young World Eaters officer who had risen quickly in his Legions' ranks and distinguished himself in battle many times, earning himself a place in the 11th Assault Company and willingly accepted the Legion's Apothecaries' psycho-surgery to enhance his aggression. It is not known why such a loyal officer was selected for death on Istvaan III, but whatever the reason, Darr took part in the initial assault upon the planet's surface. When it became evident that he had been betrayed by his brothers he became almost insane with hatred, but managed to focus this into a cold, killing rage that allowed him to keep his wits. He was determined to live to kill his enemies rather than die in a blaze of violence as so many other of his Legion had. Darr soon became a leader of a Loyalist World Eaters guerrilla force that made the warren north of the Precentor's Palace in the Choral City their killing ground and there they fought to the bitterest end.
- Secutor-Sergeant Zkorroth - Secutor-Sergeant Zkorroth was a senior squad leader within the Terminator Company of the World Eaters Legion's 3rd Chapter during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. He was known as something of a tyrant within the ranks of the 3rd Chapter, having clawed his way to senior squad command rank as much by the domination of his peers as by the blood he shed in the wars of the Great Crusade. He is known to have slain at least three of his own brother Legionaries as punishment for what he regarded as lack of respect or commitment to the Great Crusade. It is said that Zkorroth finally found his true calling upon the cratered killing grounds of Istvaan III during the Istvaan Atrocity, revelling in the opportunity to test his strength and courage against so mighty an enemy as his own fellow Astartes. Witnesses claim that later, as the Loyalist Drop Pods streaked through the clouded skies of Istvaan V during the Drop Site Massacre, Zkorroth strained and bayed as a beast on the leash, so eager was he to spill the blood of his foe. His status after the conclusion of the Horus Heresy is currently unknown.
- Legionary Zhukel Dror (KIA) - Once a member of the 8th Assault Company of the World Eaters, Legionary Dror was one of many of his Legion betrayed at Istvaan III. His mortally wounded body was recovered during the aftermath, when it was discovered that he lived yet, albeit so grievously broken in mind he no longer knew friend from foe. Whether as cruel jest, experiment or retrieval of usable biological matter, Dror was shipped to Bodt along with hundreds of similarly wounded Legionaries, where ultimately he was inducted into the ranks of the Red Butchers. Legionary Dror was later unleashed upon the Loyalists invading Tredicimmia. Accounts of the bloodshed that followed are fragmentary at best, but Dror alone stood accused of slaying at least a dozen Loyalist Legiones Astartes and twice that number of Solar Auxilia before he was crushed beneath the armoured tread of a Mastodon armoured assault transport of the Iron Hands Legion.
- Legionary Mica Vulkov (KIA) - Mica Vulkov was a Legionary that served during the Great Crusade and the opening stages of the Horus Heresy. During Istvaan III campaign, Vulkov served as a section leader of the Tactical Squad, and was part of the first wave of Space Marine Legionaries sent down to the planet's surface. However, unbeknownst to Vulkov and his fellow Loyalist World Eaters, they had been marked for death by their Primarch Angron due to their continued loyalty to the Emperor. During the initial orbital bombardment by Warmaster Horus and the Traitor Legion vessels in orbit, Vulkov was engaged in fighting the Isstvanian rebels in the depths of a manufactorum unit, therefore, they survived the unleashing of the Life Eater Virus and subsequent firestorm. After the emerged in the aftermath of the orbital assault and subsequent destruction of all life on the planet's surface, they learned of the treacherous actions of their former brethren and those loyal to the Warmaster's cause. Enraged at such a base betrayal, Vulkov was incensed to the point of madness. Filled with seething rage, he fought the Traitor forces relentlessly, until he finally fell in battle. fighting alongside Loyalist Death Guard forces that had also been marked for death, against his former Legion.
- Legionary Wrathe (KIA) - Wrathe was a Legionary that served in the World Eaters Legion during the Great Crusade. A veteran warrior, he was marked for death during the Istvaan III Atrocity by his Primarch Angron, due to his loyalty to the Emperor. Surviving the initial viral bombing of Isstvan III by Horus' Traitor Legions thanks to the timely warning by Loyalist Captain Saul Tarvitz, Wrathe would later meet his ultimate fate when he died fighting alongside his fellow Loyalist World Eaters led by Captain Ehrlen when they were confronted by their traitorous former brethren, led by their Primarch Angron.
- Vorias (KIA) - Vorias was the Lectio Primus of the World Eaters' waning Librarius Division in the opening days of the Horus Heresy. Following the discovery of their Primarch Angron, it was not long before he introduced his own traditions upon his Legion, especially in regards to the use of the infamous neural implants known as the Butcher's Nails. Unfortunately, the Nails didn't take too well to those with psychic abilities, causing many within the Librarius to die horribly due to adverse reactions. Vorias worked in tandem with the World Eaters Apothecarion and the senior Magos of the XIIth Legion in trying to determine the reasons the Nails reacted so poorly in the presence of psychic minds. But this research was soon abandoned when the remaining Librarians realised that no one outside of their coterie cared about their well-being. Despite being ostracised and shunned by his non-psychic brethren, Vorias accepted his lot within the Legion, for he knew that his very presence caused them pain. Vorias was sanguine, accepting the truth beneath it all: he wasn't one of them. They were World Eaters. He was a War Hound. During the culmination of the Shadow Crusade upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, the remaining Librarians attempted to save their Primarch, who they perceived was falling prey to some type of unnatural sorcery at the hands of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Seeing his brother in distress, the newly ascended Daemon Primarch turned upon the creatures which had caused him so much pain over many decades. Vorias died an agonising death due to Angron's overpowering rage.
- Esca (KIA) - Esca was a Codicier of the World Eaters' waning Librarius Division in the opening days of the Horus Heresy. Like the few remaining Librarians within the Legion, Esca was not implanted with the neural implants known as the Butcher's Nails due to their adverse affects upon those with psychic abilities. He served in the elite 8th Assault Company as a part of Captain Khârn's command squad. Esca was the only man in the 8th Company to lack the Butcher's Nails, and therefore the only man who was shunned by his fellow warriors. Esca was brutally scarred, even by Legiones Astartes standards. His face was a smeared mess of pebbled scar tissue -- all part of the legacy of the Loyalist Death Guard Chainsword that had torn his features away during the brutal fighting that occurred during the Istvaan III Atrocity. Though a formidable warrior and powerful psyker, his innate abilities were looked upon as being useless. During the culmination of the Shadow Crusade upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, the remaining Librarians attempted to save their Primarch, who they perceived was falling prey to some type of unnatural sorcery at the hands of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Seeing his brother in distress, the newly ascended Daemon Primarch turned upon the creatures which had caused him so much pain over many decades. Esca was the last Librarian to be killed at the hands of Angron, a bloody offering which sealed the pact between the Blood God Khorne and the doomed World Eaters Legion.
- Damarkien (KIA) - Damarkien was a Codicier of the World Eaters' waning Librarius Division in the opening days of the Horus Heresy. Like the few remaining Librarians within the Legion, Damarkien was not implanted with the neural implants known as the Butcher's Nails due to their adverse affects upon those with psychic abilities. Like his fellow Librarians, he was ostracised and shunned from the company of his fellow non-psychic battle-brothers. During the culmination of the Shadow Crusade upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, the remaining Librarians attempted to save their Primarch, who they perceived was falling prey to some type of unnatural sorcery at the hands of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Seeing his brother in distress, the newly ascended Daemon Primarch turned upon the creatures which had caused him so much pain over many decades and killed the remaining Librarians himself.
- Haskal (KIA) - Haskal was a Codicier of the World Eaters' waning Librarius Division in the opening days of the Horus Heresy. Like the few remaining Librarians within the Legion, Haskal was not implanted with the neural implants known as the Butcher's Nails due to their adverse affects upon those with psychic abilities. Like his fellow Librarians, he was ostracised and shunned from the company of his fellow non-psychic battle-brothers. During the culmination of the Shadow Crusade upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, the remaining Librarians attempted to save their Primarch, who they perceived was falling prey to some type of unnatural sorcery at the hands of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Seeing his brother in distress, the newly ascended Daemon Primarch turned upon the creatures which had caused him so much pain over many decades. The Primarch's psychic rage caused the Codicier to die from a massive brain haemorrhage.
- Kheyan - Kheyan was a Codicier of the World Eaters' waning Librarius Division in the opening days of the Horus Heresy. Like the few remaining Librarians within the Legion, Kheyan was not implanted with the neural implants known as the Butcher's Nails due to their adverse affects upon those with psychic abilities. Like his fellow Librarians, he was ostracised and shunned from the company of his fellow non-psychic battle-brothers. During the culmination of the Shadow Crusade upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, the remaining Librarians attempted to save their Primarch, who they perceived was falling prey to some type of unnatural sorcery at the hands of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Seeing his brother in distress, the newly ascended Daemon Primarch turned upon the creatures which had caused him so much pain over many decades. When Kheyan attempted to flee, he ran into Angron's Equerry, Khârn. His former fellow-Legionaries gripped the fleeing Librarian and threw him to the ground before their Primarch's mercy. Angron brutally killed the Librarian with his own hands and devoured Kheyan's corpse whole down his now monstrous gullet.
- Ralakas (KIA) - Ralakas was a Codicier of the World Eaters' waning Librarius Division in the opening days of the Horus Heresy. Like the few remaining Librarians within the Legion, Ralakas was not implanted with the neural implants known as the Butcher's Nails due to their adverse affects upon those with psychic abilities. Like his fellow Librarians, he was ostracised and shunned from the company of his fellow non-psychic battle-brothers. During the culmination of the Shadow Crusade upon Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, the remaining Librarians attempted to save their Primarch, who they perceived was falling prey to some type of unnatural sorcery at the hands of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Seeing his brother in distress, the newly ascended Daemon Primarch turned upon the creatures which had caused him so much pain over many decades. The Primarch's psychic rage caused the Codicier to die horribly, his skull detonating as though struck by a bolt shell, showering bone fragments and bloody-grey ooze across his last living brothers.
- Vodha Bloodprice - Vodha Bloodprice is a Daemon Prince of Khorne. He once served as a Chaos Lord, leading a warband known as the Skullhunt in the neverending violence of the Octarius War, between Hive Fleet Leviathan and the Ork Empire of Octarius, which he believed had drawn the eye of the Blood God. Vodha's suspicions were later proved correct when, after offering 8,000 skulls collected during the subsequent war for the Blood God. The Chaos Lord ascended to Daemonhood just as he killed a towering Hierophant with the great axe of the fallen Ork Warlord Magza da Kollossus.
- Ba'ar Zul the Hate-Bound - Ba'ar Zul, known as the 'Hate-Bound', is a World Eaters Chaos Lord who led his Chaos Warband, Ba'ar Zul's Cleavers into the Traxis Sector Conflict, where they proceeded to wreke terrible havoc everywhere they went from their Space Hulk Kaerux Erameas. During the latter stages of the conflict, Ba'ar Zul ordered his ship to be purposely crashed upon the Shrine World of Sacaellum so that he could thoroughly desecrate the Imperial world in the name of the Blood God.
- Bazrak the Frothing - Bazrak was a powerful Chaos Lord of a World Eaters Chaos Warband. He obtained leadership of this warband after slaying two other Champions of Khorne.
- Lord Crull - Crull was a Chaos Lord of Khorne who led a warband of World Eaters named the Blood Legion of Khorne during the battle for Lorn V.
- Akor Doomflayer - Akor Doomflayer is a powerful Chaos Lord of the World Eaters and Champion of Khorne that took part in the First War for Armageddon. During this conflict, Akor led his warband against the feral Space Wolves Chapter and clashed with the Great Wolf, Logan Grimnar. The insane fury of Doomlfayer gave Grimnar the fight of his life and destroyed the Chapter Master's Frost Blade. But just as he was about the strike the killing blow, Grimnar lunged forward and tore the Chaos Lord's throat out with his sharpened fangs. After Akor fell dead, Grimnar took up Doomflayer's crimson-steel axe and used it as his personal weapon for the rest of the conflict. The Great Wolf later gave the axe over to his Chapter's Iron Priests, which was reforged into the Axe of Morkai.
- Hans Kho'ren - Hans Kho'ren is the current Warband leader of the Skull Takers of Hans Kho'ren. He led his warband at the side of their Daemon-Primarch Angron during the First War for Armageddon.
- The Headsman - "The Headsman" is one of the most brutal of all of the World Eaters Chaos Space Marines known to be active in the Jericho Reach. This individual, whose true name is unknown, has earned the dire moniker "The Headsman" by the countless bloody deeds he has perpetrated across a hundred battlefields and more. First witnessed on the world of Khazant, The Headsman has been encountered leading a warband of his fellow Khornate Berserkers. Of all the bloodthirsty murderers fuelled by the savage essence of Khorne, The Headsman is feared as the most savage and unrelenting. He wields a mighty two-handed Chainaxe with which he beheads his foes, often a dozen with a single sweep. His features are obscured by an executioner's hood, with little more than his baleful eyes visible. However, it is not just his appearance that has earned The Headsman his title, and it has been noted that his deeds are neither mindless nor random. Rather, The Headsman announces to his followers and all who will listen who his next target will be, and then sets out to slay them at any cost. Such targets are often the leaders or champions of the Imperium's armies in the Reach, though on occasion they have been spiritual leaders or even high administrators or nobles. None can discern any pattern in The Headsman's choice of target, but once the name is announced the victim's doom is all but sealed. To date, The Headsman has announced the name of, and subsequently slain, three Space Marine Company Champions, a Chaplain, seven Imperial Guard Colonels, two Adeptus Titanicus Princeps, a Cardinal-Aquilus, and a Commissar-General.
- Khordas the Slaughterer - Khordas is a Chaos Lord of a large World Eaters warband. He took part in the Invasion of Tsadrekha, battling both Imperial and rival forces of Chaos along the way in an attempt to secure the planet's valuable psychic beacon. However, he was ultimately slain by Captain Paetrov Dysorian of the Imperial Fists 4th Company.
- Kossolax the Foresworn - Kossolax was a Chaos Lord who supported the 13th Black Crusade and lead a large Khornate warband known as the Foresworn. One particular Chaos Rhino, belonging to the World Eaters Legion, was reportedly present at the Battle of Terra during the Siege of the Imperial Palace, and has been identified on numerous occasions over the millennia since as being the vehicle of Kossolax the Foresworn. The vehicle, identified as Barbarus by its nameplate, is covered in iron spikes, each adorned with the severed head of an Imperial warrior. The records of the Ordo Malleus state that Barbarus belonged to the squad of Sergeant Solax of the World Eaters' 3rd Assault Company before the Horus Heresy, and this individual is thought to be the beast now known as Kossolax the Foresworn. If this is indeed the case, Sergeant Solax has risen to the command of an entire company of Khornate Berserkers in the form of the Foresworn, and Barbarus has served with him and his warband across 10,000 standard years.
- Lheorvine Ukris - Lheorvine Ukris, usually known as Lheor and nicknamed the "Firefist," was the commander of the Fifteen Fangs Chaos warband and later went on to become a founding member of the Black Legion. A veteran of both the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras, Lheor was once a Centurion of the World Eaters Legion's 50th Heavy Support Company. Following the conclusion of the Horus Heresy and the latter Battle of Skalathrax and the subsequent shattering of the World Eaters as a cohesive Legion, Lheor went on to command a small Chaos Warband of World Eaters known as the Fifteen Fangs, which eventually allied itself with Falkus Kibre, the former Captain of the Sons of Horus elite 1st Company. Allying themselves to the Thousand Sons warband leader Iskandar Khayon, the trio sought out the missing Vengeful Spirit and elusive Ezekyle Abaddon, former First Captain of the Sons of Horus, to help turn the tide against the powerful and unified Emperor's Children during the Legion Wars. After the discovery of the location of the Vengeful Spirit, the trio allied themselves with Abaddon's newly formed Black Legion. It is known that prior to finding the Vengeful Spirit, Lheor's warband destroyed a Word Bearers warband known as the Chapter of the Onyx Maw. Lheor and fellow World Eaters Sergeant Ugrivian led their forces in the subsequent Battle of Harmony against the Emperor's Children. During the height of the battle, hey were confronted by a clone of Horus on Fabius Bile's flagship, Fleshmarket. Lheor and his forces attempted to put up a fight against the cloned Primarch, but were massacred with ease. Lheor managed to survive, and was later seen fighting during the 7th Black Crusade on Mackan. Kharon stated that Lheor died during the fighting against the Blood Angels.
- Skchalick - Skchalick is a Chaos Lord of the World Eaters, commanding his own Chaos Warband knwon as Lord Skalchick's Elite. He his warband at his Daemon-Primarch's side during the First War for Armageddon.
- Umbragg of the Brazen Flesh - Umbragg was a notable Chaos Lord and leading commander of the Cholercaust Blood Crusade. Following the Khornate Daemon Prince known as The Pilgrim, Umbragg carved a formidable history of slaughter and destruction, having fought alongside the likes of Khârn the Betrayer and the Khornate Daemons Doombreed and Skarbrand. After the vicious battle on the Shrine World on Certus Minor, Umbragg was killed while battling against the mysterious Legion of the Damned.
- Lord Zhufor - Zhufor, also called Zhufor the Impaler and the Butcher of Vraks, is an infamous Chaos Lord of Khorne who led a mighty warband of the World Eaters known as the Skulltakers during the Siege of Vraks. Millennia ago, he was known as Balzach, a former Sergeant of the Storm Lords Chapter. During the sacking of the hive cities of Paramar, Sergeant Balzach was severely wounded and taken captive by the Traitor Marines of the World Eaters Legion. Balzach was then drugged and subjected to torture and psycho-corrective surgery to alter his brainwave patterns in order to break his Imperial indoctrination. He was turned into a raging psychopathic killer, tall and muscular beyond even his normal Space Marine physique, and reborn as Zhufor.
- Arrian Zorzi - Arrian Zorzi was a former Apothecary of the World Eaters. Sometime after the Horus Heresy he was exiled from his Legion. He eventually joined the The Consortium of Fabius Bile and rose to become his Equerry. Arrian accompanied Bile and Emperor's Children Apothecary Oleander Koh, during their organisation of The Shattering, the attack of the Emperor's Children against the Aeldari Craftworld of Lugganath in M34.
- Fabrikus - Fabrikus is an infamous Apothecary of the World Eaters Traitor Legion. Fabrikus' name is a dark legend in the Apothecarion of every Space Marine Chapter. A brilliant man, he served with the elite 1st Company of the World Eaters, gaining distinction as a warrior and as a surgeon, before following his Primarch Angron into the service of the Ruinous Powers. In the centuries since the Horus Heresy, his name has become a byword for perverse experimentation. Some said he was even behind many of the mutations undergone by the Chaos Space Marines: the fusion of flesh to armour of the World Eaters, the hellish combination of near-dead warrior and implacable war machine that was a Chaos Dreadnought. His masters required more Space Marines, more than could be provided by the harvest of the gene-seed from those already serving their unholy purpose. Fabrikus had spent the centuries experimenting with the other intelligent races available to him, but the gene-seed refused to take, or else it produced mutations that were unhelpful. Therefore, he had decided to return to take up his earlier role as an Apothecary and harvest the Progenoid Glands from a more pure source, unaffected by the energies of the Warp -- that of captured Space Marines loyal to the Emperor. In this way, these new measures would help ensure his success in the creation of new types of Astartes loyal to the Ruinous Powers of the Warp and unstoppable in battle.
- Akraghar, Berzerker Champion - It was Akraghar, Berzerker Champion of the World Eaters, who first harnessed a Defiler and bound it to his savage will. During the war for Eclipsion Prime, Akraghar leapt from the flames of a burning hivespire onto the legendary Defiler known as "Slaughterfiend" and forced the daemon within the hell engine to submit to his will. He rode the daemon-machine through the shattered hive city like a dark knight upon a hellish stallion, descending upon his foes in a vengeful maelstrom of fire and blade. To the present day, the most reckless Chaos Space Marine Berserkers will attempt to emulate Akraghar's deed and capture a Defiler and ride their own Slaughterfiend to war.
- Korgha the Slaughterman - Korgha was a former Champion of Khorne who led one its warband in battle against the Astra Militarum. However, during the battle, Korgha fell into a blood-maddened state and began to attack anyone that was near him, regardless of whether they were friend or foe. The imprisoned Daemon of Khorne within his daemonic-possessed glaive also furthered his madness by goading him into manic slaughter. The daemon then freely gorged itself on the bloodshed of the living, as that was the only thing that could sate its monstrous hunger for carnage in the name of the Blood God. When Korgha was mortally wounded and could no longer continue killing, the daemon let loose a howl of fury and sliced the glaive across the Champion's throat. Korgha smiled even as he died, and as the Daemon tasted the Champion's death, it knew that as long as blood was spilled, Khorne cared not from whence the blood flowed.
- Roghrax Bloodhand - This formidable Khornate Berserker has amassed more human skulls than he knows what to do with. He has sworn to collect a skull from every warrior species in the galaxy and offer them up to the Skull Throne of his master, Khorne. Bloodhand's masterwork took a dramatic turn when he was presented with a new opportunity to test his martial skills in 992.M41, with the coming of the Tyranid fleets. Hastening to the Eastern Fringe, the maniacal trophy collector led his Chaos warfleet directly into the path of Hive Fleet Kraken. Bloodhand was delighted at the prospect of collecting such large and impressive xenos skulls, and soon reaped a grisly bounty from the foul aliens.
- Scyrak the Slaughterer - During the Horus Heresy, Librarians in the other Space Marine Legions that dedicated themselves to the Ruinous Powers were granted new psychic abilities and malefic powers. The only exception were the Librarians of the World Eaters. As part of a bloody sacrifice to their new master, the Librarians of the World Eaters were hunted down and slaughtered by their brother Astartes, as Khorne despises all practitioners of the sorcerous arts. The killing came to a head when the World Eaters hero Scyrak the Slaughterer slew the Legion's Chief Librarian, thus removing the last obstacle to the Legion's bloody fall to the Eightfold-Path and their service to the Skull Throne. There is some dispute to Scyrak's odious claim that he slew the last Librarian, but since the truth of these events surrounding the eradication of the Legion's Librarians occurred ten millennia ago, only those who were there would be able to confirm the veracity of his claims.
- Varlag the Butcher - Varlag the Butcher was a notable Champion of Khorne. In 802.M41, he challenged Iron Hands Iron Father Kardan Stronos to personal combat during the Defense of Parathen City, but was decapitated by a single swipe of Stronos' Axe of Medusa.
- Dharkalon - Dharkalon, the self-proclaimed "Bone-King" of Cylena, is an ancient relic Contemptor Dreadnought who leads his own warband of World Eaters Chaos Space Marines. By 505.M40, the ancient warrior interred within this Dreadnought had ruled the Feral World of Cylena for over a millennium after his warband was stranded there at the outset of the Storm of Woe. Long dedicated to the Blood God Khorne, whose skull rune is repeated across his armour, Dharkalon eschews ranged weaponry in favour of a pair of mighty Power Claws, their serrated blades encrusted with the blood of countless defeated rivals and foes. It is said that Dharkalon delights in employing the claws' in-build Combi-bolters to shred foes caught within his lethal grasp.
During the Horus Heresy the World Eaters Legion fleet is known to have possessed the following vessels:
- Conqueror (Gloriana-class Battleship) - The Conqueror was the flagship of the Primarch Angron and the XIIth Legion during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy.
- Justified Aggressor (Unknown Class Battleship)
- Merciless (Unknown Class Battleship) - The Merciless took part in the Battle of Istvaan III, during the onset of the Horus Heresy.
- Skullsail (Unknown Class, Battleship)
- Slaverer (Unknown Class, Battleship) - The Slaverer took part in the 13th Black Crusade, and was part of the fleet of Abaddon the Despoiler that attacked the Forge World of Agripinaa. During that battle, it notably engaged the Imperial Navy's Retribution-class Battleship The Throne's Divine Demands, though the Slaverer 's final fate is unknown.
- Iaculum (Unknown Class, Battle Barge) - Horus Heresy era vessel. The Iaculum took part in the Battle of the Diavanos System. There the Iaculum met its end, after it was caught in the explosive destruction of its brethren warships, the Galerus and Clavam.
- Infestus (Unknown Class, Grand Cruiser) - The Infestus took part in the Battle of the Diavanos System during the Horus Heresy and was able to deliver the killing blows to two of the Ultramarines Legion's warships before it was destroyed.
- Bringer of Ruin (Capital Ship, Unknown Class) - The Bringer of Ruin took part in the Battle of the Diavanos System during the Horus Heresy. When the flagship Gladiator was left stricken by the Ultramarines' fire, the Bringer of Ruin took command of what remained of the World Eaters' fleet. However, it was to no avail and the fleet was completely destroyed by the Ultramarines.
- Dedicated Wrath (Capital Ship, Unknown Class) - The Dedicated Wrath took part in the Drop Site Massacre, where it was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Nigh Vash Delerax.
- Gladiator (Capital Ship, Unknown Class) - The Gladiator was the flagship of the World Eaters' fleet elements in the Battle of the Diavanos System during the Horus Heresy. It was destroyed during the battle.
- Gatts' Charge (Capital Ship, Unknown Class) - Gatt's Charge took part in the Battle of Istvaan III at the onset of the Horus Heresy.
- Industrious (Capital Ship, Unknown Class) - Present in the Istvaan System during the Drop Site Massacre.
- Justified Aggressor (Capital Ship, Unknown Class) - Present in the Isstvan System during the Drop Site Massacre.
- Aggression (Unknown Class, Cruiser) - Took part in the conflict that engulfed the Pyrus Reach Sector.
- Blood's Wake (Unknown Class, Cruiser)
- Clavam (Unknown Class, Cruiser) - Horus Heresy era vessel. The Clavam took part in the Battle of the Diavanos System where it was destroyed in the explosion that also took its brethren the Iaculum and the Galerus.
- Galerus (Unknown Class, Cruiser) - The Galerus took part in the Battle of the Diavanos System where it was destroyed in the explosion that also took its brethren the Clavam' and the Iaculum.
- Jaws of the White Hound (Unknown Class, Cruiser) - Vessel of the Fifteen Fangs warband.
- Skulltaker (Unknown Class) - Flagship of Khârn the Betrayer and the Butcherhorde. It was sacrificed in a suicidal ramming attack to take out the Angels Eradicant vessels defending the Shrine World of Salandraxis.
- Blood Shrike (Strike Cruiser) - The Blood Shrike took part in the Battle of Istvaan III, during the onset of the Horus Heresy.
- Silent Fury (Strike Craft) - Horus Heresy vessel.
- Bellicose (Unknown Class, Escort) - Horus Heresy era vessel. The Bellicose took part in the Battle of the Diavanos System where it was destroyed in the explosion that also took its brethren the Galerus, Clavam and the Galerus.
- Bringer of Ruin (Unknown Class, Escort) - The Bringer of Ruin took part in the Battle of the Diavanos System during the Horus Heresy. When the World Eaters flagship Gladiator was left stricken by the Ultramarines' fire, the Bringer of Ruin took command of what remained of the World Eaters' fleet. However, it was to no avail and the fleet was completely destroyed by the Ultramarines.
- Bestiarius (Unknown Class, Frigate) - The bestiarius was among the World Eaters fleet that journeyed to take part in the Siege of Terra. By that time, the World Eaters flagship, the Conqueror, had fallen under the influence of Khorne and had become a hostile environment to those aboard it. This led to the rapid depletion of supplies and manpower -- chiefly due to the World Eaters losing themselves to mindless rages and then attacking anyone near them. In response to this, a group of World Eaters and crew members secretly met and, in order to save their lives, began plotting to escape the cursed flagship. Led by the Conqueror 's own captain, the mortal Lotara Sarrin and the Destroyer Sergeant Skane, the group planned on using shuttles to escape to the Bestiarius the next time the World Eaters' fleet exited the Warp. However, when their plan was under way, Sarrin betrayed the group to their Legion, as she had never planned on abandoning her command post, and she then ordered the Conqueror to destroy the escapees' shuttles.
- Hound's Tooth (Unknown Class, Frigate) - Horus Heresy era vessel.
- Cardoc (Unknown Class, Transport Ship)
- Devourer of Stars (Space Hulk) - Used by the Daemon Primarch Angron as the primary means of conveyance for the Legion to Armageddon during the First War for Armageddon.
- Scion of Grief (Space Hulk) - The Scion of Grief was a World Eaters space hulk that was boarded by an elite Kill-team of the Salamanders Chapter that attempted to destroy the vessel by overloading its Plasma Reactors.
- Banner of Rage - The Banner of Rage contains the bound souls of the most bloodthirsty of Khorne's servants. It radiates palpable waves of anger and an urge for slaughter that beat upon the minds of those nearby, driving them into a killing frenzy.
- Berserker Glaive - The bearer of this inordinately heavy, daemon-infested killing tool is driven to a state of apoplectic frenzy by the proximity of its red-hot steel. His fellow World Eaters treat him with great caution, shunning him as a dangerous maniac even amongst his own bloodthirsty kind whilst venerating him -- from a distance -- as a living totem of rage. A host of Bloodletters are bound into the weapon's fabric, and by channelling the life essence of those it slays, the vampiric Daemon Weapon ensures its isolated host can fight like a man possessed for solar weeks on end, healing his wounds so it can continue the slaughter.
- Bloodfeeder - Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, and this Daemon Weapon is testament to that immortal truth. One struck by this ever-thirsting blade is immediately exsanguinated, reduced to a desiccated husk as his lifeblood is channelled into the lakes of gore that swill around Khorne's brass stockade as sustenance for his Juggernaut Daemon Beasts. Woe betide he who does not answer its call -- if the blade goes without this grisly harvest for long enough, it will gladly siphon away its wielder's blood instead.
- Bloodhunger - Bloodhunger is a sentient suit of Power Armour bonded with the wearer. This unholy union creates a mutual craving for red viscera harvested by battle. If indulged, armour and wearer alike heal grievous injuries and damage. When a Champion of Khorne is linked with this unholy artefact and set loose into the midst of war, their symbiosis imbues them until there are no remaining adversaries to slake their thirst for blood.
- Brass Collar of Bhorghaster - This spiked collar of heavy brass is the bane of Sorcerers, for it has bound within it a Greater Daemon of Khorne named Bhorghaster that despises magic with a fiery passion. A psyker with the temerity to unleash eldritch power near this relic finds his mind screaming with intense pain. Moments later, the empyric energies he has conjured into being are turned back upon him in a raging inferno of white-hot flame. Those who succumb are immediately sucked into Khorne's realm, there to die by Bhorghaster's blades a thousand times over.
- Crimson Killer - This ornate Plasma Pistol fires blasts of crimson plasma that crackle with murderous power, fierce energies that ignite body and soul alike. The bearer will oft follow up with a decapitating head strike and claim the singed skull for Khorne.
- Gorefather - This immense Chainaxe is said to have once been wielded by Angron himself. Though it was ultimately cast aside, just as with its partner weapon Gorechild, it has since been returned to its former pre-eminence on a diet of sacred oil and spiced blood. This relic is of such immense importance to the World Eaters Legion that wars have been fought between rival warbands seeking to claim it for themselves. One strong enough to heft Gorefather can scythe his enemies into scattering explosions of blood and ruined flesh.
- Helm of Furore - The bearer of such a trophy is a champion that puts aside all concepts of loyalty. Only bloodshed and victorious combat matter. Within the helm a spiteful Machine Spirit lurks that stokes the bearer's Butchers Nails implant to even higher levels of frenzy, driving them further into the famed bloodlust that claims the sanity of the World Eaters.
- Talisman of Burning Blood - This bizarre relic constantly drips with thick, bubbling gore. The air around it is so heavy with the charnel stench of the slaughterhouse that it has a stark effect on those nearby, the stink of carnage so potent they find themselves charging forwards with a supernatural eagerness to slake their need for slaughter.
The World Eaters care for one thing above all else -- the thrill of slaughter. Even if they cleaned and sanctified their wargear after each engagement in the manner of Loyalist Space Marines, it would be caked in the sticky, clotted lifeblood of their victims within solar minutes.
Wherever they go, whatever enemy they face, the deep crimson battle-plate of the World Eaters is covered in another layer of arterial red, and then another. Each new jet of gore or splash of vital fluids is a sacrament offered unto Khorne himself.
Before Angron's Legion turned upon their brothers at the Istvaan V Drop Site Massacre, his warriors were clad in stark white and deep blue -- in theory, at least. Such was the violence with which these warriors brought worlds into Imperial Compliance during the Great Crusade that more often than not they were spattered with copious amounts of blood -- a fact that did not go unnoticed amongst their brother Legions, as noted above.
The present warrior elite of the World Eaters have long histories of slaughter. Many fought at the side of Angron himself, the waves of unnatural energy that radiate from the Daemon Primarch leaving their mark on body and soul. It is considered a blessing second only to that of Khorne himself to kill within Angron's sight -- those who truly earn his favour are granted a nod of respect or a growl of recognition in the midst of battle.
The Berserkers of the World Eaters use a variety of weapons optimised for close-range slaughter, but the most favoured amongst them is the Chainaxe. This massive weapon has rows of grinding teeth that whir around the axe's edge with speed enough to gnaw through armour and hack through rockcrete -- should they make it through to the flesh beneath, the destruction they cause is catastrophic.
First as the War Hounds and then in their new incarnation as the World Eaters, the XIIth Legion wore white Power Armour with blue on the shoulder plates and parts of the power pack. The Astartes of this Legion often modified their armour by adding large spikes on the shoulder plates to not only evoke fear but also to turn the armour's surface into a weapon in its own right.
A brazen helm would denote Veteran status. When the World Eaters gave into their bloodlust and fell to the corrupting influence of the Blood God, their white and blue heraldry gave way to blood red and brass, the favored colours of Khorne, although one can often find some pieces of the World Eaters' original heraldry in individual pieces of their armour.
While most World Eaters retain their original Legion badge, the Mark of Khorne, as well as other Chaos icons and symbols like the Star of Chaos, often supplement it. In battle, the World Eaters almost exclusively employ Chainaxes and Chainswords to maximise blood spillage, although some of the most powerful warriors of the Legion use arcane power or daemonic Khornate weapons infused with the power of a daemon of the Blood God.
Other Renegade Space Marines that have given in to the pull of Khorne since the end of the Horus Heresy have adopted the look of the World Eaters, but few can compare to the experience that thousands upon thousands of battles across some 10,000 standard years has brought to the original World Eaters Heretic Astartes.
What was once the most effective shock assault force in the galaxy is now a terrifying collection of savage berserkers and insane, psychotic killing machines that live only to spill blood and take skulls for their master Khorne.
As the War Hounds Legion, the original XIIth Legion badge was that of a large red hound, rampant, centred on a field of white. This symbol was reminiscent of the epithet given to them by the Emperor Himself, for the XIIth Legion reminded Him of the white war hounds the Yeshk warriors in the north of Terra once used.
After the War Hounds' reunion with their Primarch Angron when they were redubbed the World Eaters, their Legion badge changed to that of a great, red-fanged maw poised to crush a life-bearing world, centred on a field of dark blue.
This iconic image was to prove entirely fitting to describe what was to come for the World Eaters. The maw was a literal representation of their Legion's name, the World Eaters, as well as the brutal violence wrought on those enemies whom failed to comply with the tenets of the Imperial Truth and allow themselves to be brought into the folds of the burgeoning Imperium.
After their corruption, many World Eaters Legionaries began incorporating Khorne's stylized skull-rune which is either painted or carved onto their Power Armour. The World Eaters' Khornate Berserkers are also sometimes seen wearing a variant of their original Legion iconography of the fanged maw engulfing a planet superimposed over the eight-pointed star of Chaos.
- Apocalypse (Game Supplement), pg. 171
- Apocalypse: Reload (Game Supplement), pg. 58
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Blood (RPG), pp. 16, 22, 25-26, 28-29
- Black Crusade: Traitor's Hate (7th Edition)
- Black Legion (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Blackshields: The Red Fief (Audio Book) by Josh Reynolds
- Conquest 30, "City of the Dead"
- Citadel Journal 20, "The Slaughterer of Khorne: Scyrak The Slaughterer, Chosen of Khorne, Slayer of Armies, Word Eaters Khorne Berzerker", pp. 91-96
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 9-10, 13, 23-24, 44, 52
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 12-13, 24, 36-41, 48-49, 67, 91
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pp. 5, 8, 29, 48-49
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pp. 26, 32
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition), pp. 18, 21-22, 31, 40-41, 100-101
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 42-45
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Codex), pp. 42-45
- Traitor Legions: (Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement) (7th Edition), pg. 105
- Dark Millennium (Collectible Card Game), "Damnation's Gate — Aggression," (Card Description)
- Deathwatch: First Founding, pp. 82-83
- Psychic Awakening - Phoenix Rising (8th Edition), pg. 12
- Psychic Awakening - Faith & Fury (8th Edition), pp. 90-95
- Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (1st Edition), pp. 168, 259
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions, pp. 38, 195, 301, 376, 384
- Horus Heresy (Collectible Card Game), "Sedition's Gate - Merciless" (Card Description), "Sedition's Gate - Gatt's Charge" (Card Description), Core Set - "Gladiator," (Card Description)
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, p. 26
- Index Astartes Volume III, "Chosen of Khorne - The World Eaters Space Marine Legion"
- Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness, pp. 258-262
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 40-41, 44-47, 49-54, 58-59, 84-101, 250-255
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 14, 18, 35-36, 41, 60-63, 68, 76, 80, 99, 171, 214-217
- The Horus Heresy - Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 106-107, 114
- The Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book) by Dan Abnett, pg. 65
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (8th Edition), pp. 52, 164, 166
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 183, 199, 228, 298, 386
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (4th Edition), pg. 228
- White Dwarf 313 (US), "Frenzy of the Blood God", pp. 126-129
- White Dwarf 286 (UK), "Index Astartes: the Eye of the Storm - Blood Angels", pp.68-69
- White Dwarf 275 (UK), "Index Astartes: Beasts of Steel - Chaos Space Marines tanks - The Rhino"
- White Dwarf 234 (US), "Red Rage - Khorne World Eaters Conversions", pp. 41-45
- White Dwarf 231 (US), "Don't Lose Your Head: World Eaters - Conversions, Painting, Tactics" & "Blood for the Blood God! - Bo Tolstrup's Khornate Chaos Army", pp. 14-21
- White Dwarf 230 (US), "WH40K 3rd: Bitter and Twisted - Khârn the Betrayer", p. 42
- White Dwarf 227 (US), "Chapter Approved: Chaos, Khârn the Betrayer", pp. 73-80
- White Dwarf 201 (US), "The Betrayer", pp. 87-90
- White Dwarf 153 (US), "The World Eaters: Chaos Space Marines", pp. 4-10
- False Gods (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Galaxy In Flames (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Battle for the Abyss (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Age of Darkness (Anthology) edited by Christian Dunn, "Rebirth" by Chris Wraight and "The Face of Treachery" by Gav Thorpe
- Tales of Heresy (Anthology) edited by Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley, "After Desh'ea" by Matthew Farrer
- After Desh'ea (Short Story) by Matthew Farrer
- Lord of the Red Sands (Short Story) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- The Face of Treachery (Short Story) by Gav Thorpe
- The Atonement of Fire (Short Story) by David Annandale
- Inheritor (Short Story) by Gav Thorpe
- A Rose Watered With Blood (Short Story) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Betrayer (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- The Weakness of Others (Novella) by Laurie Goulding
- Conquest of Armageddon (Novel) by Jonathan Green
- The Traitor's Hand (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell
- The Talon of Horus (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Angron: Slave of Nuceria (Novel) by Ian St. Martin
- The First Wall (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- Dark Imperium (Anthology), The Wrath of Khârn by William King
- Khârn - Eater of Worlds (Novella) by Anthony Reynolds
- Black Legion (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Garro: Legion of One (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- Butcher's Nails (Audio Drama) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Blackshields: The False War (Audio Drama) by Josh Reynolds
- Blackshields: The Broken Chain (Audio Drama) by Josh Reynolds
- Blackshields: The Red Fief (Audio Drama) by Josh Reynolds
- Chosen of Khorne (Audio Drama) by Anthony Reynolds
- Dawn of War: Winter Assault (Video Game)
- The Lords of Silence (Novel) by Chris Wraight, Ch. 13
- The Red Path (Novel) by Chris Dows, Chs. 1, 6
- Shroud of Night (Novel) by Andy Clark