Kor Phaeron

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Kor Phaeron, The Master of Faith
Got just a bit more sleep than Azariah Kyras. Also "We don't bust heads like we used to. We prefer to tell long and rambling stories that lead to nowhere, like the time I went to Shelbyville. I had an onion in my belt, which was the style at the time...."

"I still do believe as they did. But unlike them, I also believe in your vision of the One True God coming to enlighten us, son. Time will tell whether your vision is everything you believe it to be or not."

– Kor Phaeron, to Lorgar, after taking over the Covenant and watching the last of them burn. Yes, he's a dick like that.

Kor Phaeron is the First Captain of the Word Bearers and Keeper of the Dark Faith. On Colchis, he was a former priest in the Covenant turned wandering missionary and the one primarily responsible for raising Lorgar. When young Lorgar began having visions about a messiah coming to Colchis, members of the Covenant tried to have him killed, and Lorgar led a civil war against the Old Faith. Phaeron sided with Lorgar, more out of loyalty to his foster son and his personal grudges with the Covenant than any kind of belief in the Emperor

Pre-Heresy[edit]

According to Lorgar: Bearer of the Word Kor Phaeron had been exiled from Colchis' capital city following a dispute with the Covenant regarding how aggressively they should be converting and had since taken up life as a wandering preacher. One day, when he visited one of the Colchisan tribes, he discovered Lorgar who'd been found by the tribesmen. At first, Phaeron saw the young Primarch as nothing more than a vessel for the Ruinous Powers. Fearing the Covenant would find out about Lorgar, he ordered the massacre of the entire tribe and took the boy to tag along with him. Forced into assuming a role of 'father' he absolutely wasn't suited for, Kor Phaeron didn't exactly make a stellar job of it (he'd be runner-up to Big E for the "Galaxy's worst dad" award). While he did teach the young Primarch everything he knew he also regularly beat Lorgar when the "boy" displeased him, usually because of the young Primarch's inquisitive nature.

Oh, and he was a firm believer in slavery and that not everyone was equal in front of the Chaos Gods. What a dick.

Still, Lorgar endured, grew and became a respected member of the Covenant under Phaeron's harsh guidance. Eventually he manipulated the young Primarch into rising against the leaders of the Covenant. After six years, Lorgar's forces won and Phaeron and Lorgar became the Arch-Deacon and Ecclesiarch of the Faith respectively. Around this time Lorgar received visions of the Emperor, and he began spreading his belief of the One. In his heart and soul, Kor Phearon was a firm believer of the Primordial Truth, however (unlike many others in the Covenant) he was willing to pretend to be open-minded and see where his adoptive son's visions would lead them. For all his many other flaws, he was well-aware that he did not possess all the answers and that he could be wrong, so he put a lid on his personal belief and stood by Lorgar to await the coming of the one that would be known as "Emperor of Mankind".

Shortly afterwards, the Emperor did arrive on Colchis, seemingly vindicating Lorgar's visions to the Colchisians. Big E made Lorgar commander of his XVIIth Imperial Heralds Space Marine Legion, which Lorgar renamed the Word Bearers. Kor Phaeron wanted to join Lorgar in his new crusade, but since he was already an old man by this point he could no longer become a proper Space Marine. So at Lorgar's urging they gave Phaeron those organs his old body still could accept along with a ton of juvenat treatments, and he was appointed Captain of the First Company. Half the Legion in turn hated Phaeron for the nepotism and the fact that he was not a true Astartes, while the other respected his skills as a preacher.

Phaeron's relationship with Lorgar was weird. While he did act as a counselor and confidant, more than once he would harshly rebuke the Primarch, belittlingly calling him "son" despite the fact Lorgar could now kill him with a flick of his wrist. Lorgar, for his part, seemed to hold no grudge against his foster father for his harshness and manipulation (and went to great lengths to make sure Phaeron could accompany his Legion where he could just have left him behind) and valued his counsel, making him First Captain of the Word Bearers (despite many hating him for not being a full Astartes) and his equerry. Maybe Lorgar just appreciated that there still was someone in his Legion who'd talk back to him instead of just be in awe of him.

HERESY![edit]

When the Emperor gently rebuked Lorgar for spreading the Cult of the Lectitio Divinatus, Kor Phaeron realized his time had finally come and he came forward with the Primordial Truth once again. Along with First Chaplain Erebus, he was the one who told Lorgar that if the Emperor was unwilling to embrace worship, there might be other gods who would welcome it, leading Lorgar down the path to Chaos. During the Horus Heresy, Kor Phaeron led the Word Bearers assault on Calth, in revenge for the Ultramarines role in Lorgar's rebuke. He faced against Roboute Guilliman and managed to beat him down with psychic powers, but then he made the mistake of trying to turn Guilliman to Chaos instead of killing him on the spot. Guilliman, who really wasn't interested in Phaeron's preachings, shook off the effect of the psychic blast and ripped out Phaeron's primary heart. Running back to his battle-barge, Kor Phaeron ran like a bitch to the Maelstrom, pursued by the Macragge's Honour (flagship of the Ultramarines Legion). During what was known as the 'most infamous naval duel of the Heresy', Kor Phaeron promptly got his battle barge blown to smithereens while he looked on in horror. Unfortunately for both the Ultramarines and the Word Bearers he would escape through a warp rift (opened by the anatheme) with a handful of his closest followers to the Word Bearers new homeworld of Sicarus.

Ten thousand years later, Kor Phaeron and Erebus are the co-leaders of the Word Bearers in Lorgar's absence, although "co-leaders" may be a bit strong; the two bicker like an old married couple and can't seem to agree on anything. So they usually do their own business, up to and including trying to kill off the other's followers in games of Just As Planned.

On the Tabletop[edit]

Kor Phaeron brings his Old Man's Strength to the tabletop for your Word Bearers Space Marine Legion in 30k. If taken he must be your Warlord unless Lorgar is also in your army (since Sire of the Word Bearers takes precedence). If Kor Phaeron is your Warlord, the Old Man gives all Word Bearers +1 Leadership. He has a pretty weak statline sadly with Toughness and Initiative of 3 and Weapon Skill of 4 (not too surprising for the so-called "half-Astartes"), but, amusingly, 4 Wounds, something even Praetors don't get. Equipped with a one-use Hand Flamer and twin Lightning Claws, Kor Phaeron has only 2 base attacks, obviously not being a combat monster, but he is a Level 1 Psyker (due to Burning Lore), a count-as (no Preferred Enemy:Loyalists or Daemon USR, but his army do get access to Dark Channeling and he is one for RoW purposes) Diabolist, and a Master of the Legion, which is nice, and 155pts pricetag is a lot lower than for most 30k characters, but still unreasonably high for what he does. Oh, and he allows to take allied detachment of Daemons as Fellow Warriors.

Trivia[edit]

  • In the PSP/DS game Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command, Word Bearer units will occasionally invoke Kor Phaeron's name when injured.
  • His Forge World model is wearing what looks to be a smaller version of Centurion armor, or perhaps a prototype version of Terminator Armor, specially crafted Terminator Armor full of geriatric soothing oils. Because Kor Phaeron was too goddamn old to accept a full Astartes gene-seed, Lorgar had him equipped with a super suit full of geriatric super augments to give Kor Phaeron literal Old Man Strength.
  • Out of battle he uses a power-zimmer to walk around because he's so fucking old.
  • Did we mention that he's old?
Famous members of the Traitor Legions
Originating from
the Canon:
Abaddon - Ahzek Ahriman - Argel Tal - Cypher - Doomrider
Eidolon - Erebus - Fabius Bile - Haarken Worldclaimer - Honsou
Iskandar Khayon - Kharn - Kor Phaeron - Lheorvine Ukris - Lucius
Lugft Huron - Luther - Madox - Necrosius the Undying - Sevatar
Shon'tu - Svane Vulfbad - Talos - Typhus - Ygethmor - Zhufor
Originating from
the games:
Araghast the Pillager - Azariah Kyras - Bale - Crull - Eliphas The Inheritor
Firaeveus Carron - Kain - Nemeroth - Neroth - Sindri Myr - Varius