Battle of Skalathrax
"You wish to see a unified Twelfth Legion, yes?"
"More than anything."
- – Captain Khârn and Captain Dreagher, right before Battle of Skalathrax.
" Nothing unifies like war."
- – Captain Dreagher
"Warriors of the Twelfth Legion. This is Khârn. We are the Twelfth Legion. We are the sons of Angron. Our fate is not to dwindle, to be slowly snuffed out in the darkness, alone and divided. Our fate is to live and die as one Legion. I say we take this world that the Third Legion claims as their own. I say we descend on it and take the skull of every Third Legion whoreson who would stand against us. I claim this world in the name of Twelfth Legion, and I name it… Skalathrax."
- – Khârn
Both legions were on the retreat from Terra during the scouring. The Emperor's Children had largely kept together, whilst the World Eaters were barely keeping themselves from destroying eachother. Whilst traipsing the edge of a warp storm, the World Eaters found a planet - Skalathrax - that was in a pocket of normal space, a safe bastion to fortify, regroup, and rearm the legion. However, the Emperors Children also found it at the same time. Negotiations went predictably south and the two legions started duking it out. However, they were on the planet when it started hitting sub-zero weather that was too much for even Space Marines in Power Armour, not to mention one legion who considers any sensation pleasurable and another legion filled with psychotic berserkers, so that has to count for something. When the World Eaters decided to take a break from the slaughter, Khârn, Captain of the 8th Assault Company and equerry to Primarch Angron, was furious with his fellow battle-brothers over quitting the field. So Khârn decided to do something about it. Grabbing a flamer, Khârn rampaged around the broken city the World Eaters and Emperor's Children were fighting in, burning every building that could house people and killing everything he found. With the number of shelters dwindling, the World Eaters and the Emperor's Children were forced to fight each other for the remaining shelters left. By the time the night was over, both Legions were effectively broken into dozens of marauding warbands.
With the splitting of both legions, the warbands were forced to sell their services as shock troopers for Abaddon or whatever Chaos Lord would put up with them (and trust us, the World Eaters and Emperor's Children are people you don't want to be near). For his part, Fulgrim was content to allow the Emperor's Children to split, and the Emperor's Children now roam the Eye of Terror, looking for the Pleasure Planet that Fulgrim has been given rule over. Angron, however, was royally pissed off (well, more than usual) and spent several millennia trying to put the World Eaters back together. He finally succeeded with the Dominion of Fire, gathering 50,000 World Eaters (the largest such gathering since Skalathrax) and rampaging across Imperial space, capturing over 70 sectors in two centuries before the Imperium got its act together and gathered enough Baneblades, Space Marine Chapters and Titan Legions to retaliate. Still, it took 3 millennia for the loyalists to reclaim 90% of the lost territories. As for Khârn himself, Skalathrax is where he earned his legendary epithet "the Betrayer", and now roams the galaxy killing everything that comes his way. Except Abaddon, for some reason, though he is still a pretty swell guy. This battle is also assumed to cause World Eaters to split regarding religious matters too; half of the legion embraced Khorne, while the other half of the legion swore to never worship chaos.