Thousand Sons

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Thousand Sons
Battle Cry "All is dust..."
Number XV
Original Homeworld Prospero
Current Homeworld Sortiarius (latin for sorcerer), also known as the Planet of the Sorcerers
Primarch Magnus the Red
Champion Ahzek Ahriman
Strength Near one thousand, if you count the Rubric marines.
Specialty Psykers, Chaos Sorcerers
Allegiance Tzeentch
Colours Blue, yellow/gold

“The point was to learn what it was we feared more: being misunderstood or being betrayed.”
―Adam Levin

If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.
—Woody Allen

The Thousand Sons are a Chaos Space Marine legion that fully devote themselves to Tzeentch. Their Primarch is Magnus the Red, an extremely psychically powerful Daemon Primarch with one eye and a magnificent red mane. The legion, when founded, had a mutation in the gene-seed that caused uncontrollable mutation that led to quick death (presumably because it was corrupted by the warp). Magnus became desperate in saving his legion, so he made a pact with Tzeentch and sacrificed one of his eyes to seal the deal. By that time only about 1000 marines remained alive. Turns out this sacrifice was in vain because Tzeentch tricked Magnus into believing that the deed was done, when in fact the sacrifice was only done to post-pone the mutation in the gene-seed. During the siege of their home planet Prospero by those damned furries, the Thousand Sons started to succumb to random mutation and turn into something that must not be named before dying violent deaths. Later, on the Planet of the Sorcerers, Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons cast the Rubic of Ahriman to save the legion again, but failed, because their mortal bodies were turned into dust and their souls bound to their power armor forever.

No, seriously. Incredibly pissed-off dust. Due to this, they have the single coolest battle cry ever...

...That actually is an otherworldly whisper and that makes it all the more terrifying and awesome.

They are also the only known Traitor Legion to still have their own PDF equivalent called the Spireguards which used to defend Prospero back in the Great Crusade and is now defending Sortiarius. Spireguards unlike the raging retards of other Chaos Cultists are well disciplined and thought well by the Thousand Sons, acting more like an armed and trained militia rather then a rag-tag team of drug addicts and serial killers. This is to not only pay sentimental homage to their original home but it also allows allied support for the Thousand Sons during a campaign to kick the furries in their hairy ass nuts. Therefore making the Thousand Sons one of the few reasonable traitor legions that is not Alpha Legion or Blood Gorgons.



During the pre-Heresy era, when the Great Crusade was underway, the Thousand Sons was the first legion to exhibit psychic powers and were the deadliest, the killiest of all the legions because on top of being Astartes, they extensively (and freely) used their psychic powers from all kinds of different disciplines at the same time. Naturally, because of the Imperium's never ending fear of psykers, they were usually distrusted by most of the Imperium, especially Mortarion and his Death Guard. Nevertheless, they were tolerated because they were totally awesome, used their abilities to wondrous effect in service of the Imperium, and in general were exceptionally badass (Superhuman warrior-monk magicians for the win!!).

However, the Thousands Sons' luck ran out eventually. Magnus and his Legion were called to the Council of Nikaea: a grand gathering of the Emperor and most his sons to decide if the Imperium would allow Astartes to use warp based abilities. At the Council of Nikaea it was determined that these powers were too dangerous, so therefore restricted. While they were never proved to be sorcerers, the Thousands Sons were forced to dissolve their Librarius along with everyone else, except for the White Scars, who ignored it, the World Eaters, whose Librarium was so small they didn't even bother disbanding it, the Space Wolves who believed that their librarians somehow weren't working with the warp, and the Word Bearers, who were already quietly sacrificing people to chaos. Predictably, Magnus didn't give a shit either and headed home to Prospero to continue being a sorcerer in secret.


The Thousand Sons' custom/basic infantry unit:The Rubric Marine.

Before the actual start of the Horus Heresy, Magnus learned of Horus' corruption and used his powers of sorcery to warn the Empra about his oh-most-favored son's impending treachery, and that his favored son, if not stopped, was about to fuck everything up and destroy everything the Emperor had sought to build. Unfortunately Magnus' contacting the Emperor in this fashion could not have occurred at a worse time: it caused the Webway portal and the Golden Throne which the Emperor was building to suffer a Blue Screen of Death (Windows has stopped responding. In space there is only Windows Vista) and become damaged beyond repair, and in addition caused a massive psychic blowout across all of Terra, crippling Astropath communication and inducing psychosis-related rebellions and suicides world-wide (see Outcast Dead novel).

Only slightly Way too bummed that he had screwed-up the Emperor's master-plan, Magnus headed back to Prospero in order to prepare to receive the Empra's mercy (read: to be killed in a very cruel way), and sent the Sons' fleet to buy some drinks. Meanwhile, the Emperor, royally pissed at Magnus for damaging the Throne and unwilling to believe his most favored son could betray him, sent the Space Wolves to arrest him. Horus, who was digging Chaos already, pulled a move worthy of Eldrad Ulthran in terms of dickery, and sent a fake message to Leman Russ - with orders to destroy the Thousand Sons instead.

Unable (or unwilling) to contact the Thousand Sons to offer them a last chance to surrender and evacuate the civilians, the loyalist Space Wolves opened fire on Prospero, Magnus' homeworld, and caused immeasurable damage to some of the largest caches of knowledge in the fucking Imperium. Chief Librarian Ahzek Ahriman then decided to ignore his Primarch's orders and, in a show of true manliness, led the Thousand Sons and the Spireguard in a defence of the capital and the lives of all within. Outnumbered something like five to one against not only the Wolves but the Adeptus Custodes and the Sisters of Silence, the Sons managed to inflict heavy casualties to the Wolves, but everything started to fall when two or three of the Sons' officers exploded after using too much Warp energy, causing a chain reaction of the Thousand Sons randomly mutating and exploding. The defensive line was reduced to the Pyramid of Photep, Magnus' HQ and last shelter for the civilians. Magnus finally joined the battle, unable to watch his Sons get massacred any more, and decided to challenge Leman Russ in single combat. While he put up a good fight, even breaking Russ's breastplate and piercing one of his hearts, Russ eventually beat Magnus down. Just before being hacked to pieces by the angry brother and as the Wolves started to close in on the remnant of his Legion, Magnus gave himself over to Tzeench. He and the rest of the Thousand Sons reappeared on the Planet of the Sorcerers. Magnus swore vengeance against Russ and the other Marines who had stupidly ignored his warnings, and started plotting against the Wolves and the rest of the Imperium that betrayed him.

Inferno puts a different set of events to describe the end of the Battle of Prospero. In-universe, an examination by the Adeptus Astra Telepathica reveals that only a being such as Tzeentch could have teleported anyone across the galaxy, and as always, power demands sacrifice. The writer goes on to suggest that rather than transporting the remaining survivors of the Thousand Sons, Tzeentch only teleported Ahriman to the Planet of the Sorcerors, consuming his remaining brother Legionaries as a sacrifice to fuel the act. Every other Thousand Son after that point was a duplicate created by Tzeentch to have Ahriman cast the Rubric.

After these events Tzeentch walked up and sat on his throne in the Hidden Library, at which point he conjured a martini glass with his alcohol of choice and sipped from it. He then set it down on the arm rest, held his hands together, chuckled and muttered "Just As Planned".

Rubric Marines[edit]

"Just as planned". -Ahzek Ahriman

(Aka The Day Management changed all the employment terms and conditions and forgot to inform the workforce, not even a memo. The Unions were pissed.)

As mentioned previously, the Thousand Sons' army was at one point 66% dust. This was primarily because of Ahzek Ahriman's FML spell: The Rubric of Ahriman.

They didn't take the news well...

This rite damned everyone without psychic powers to be turned into ash and their soul to be sealed for all eternity into their permanently sealed armor unless the armor itself is broken; until Games Workshop gets its head out of its ass (which will probably never happen), it also damned those WITH psychic powers, as Gee Dubs is now claiming Scarab Occult Terminators were psykers who got Rubricked, which also means we currently have no idea who allegedly lived through the spell. Originally this was supposed to stop the mutations they were experiencing as they defected to Chaos; ongoing mutation paired with the earlier slaughter of the Thousand Sons by the Space Wolves meant that they were slowly dying out, and Magnus and the Thousand Sons actively sought a way to stop it. Figuring out his own method from Magnus' spellbooks, Ahriman crafted a ritual that caused any Marines with mutations to either survive with their mutations cured and psychic powers augmented - or turned to dust if they weren't a strong enough to resist the change. It's worth noting that Ahriman's plan was actually to cure the whole legion of mutations, but the Warp being the Warp, things got out of hand. Suffice to say Magnus was fucking pissed and sought to kill Ahriman, but Tzeentch applauded Ahriman and saved his ass. The spirit-armor Marines became known as Rubric Marines.

Rubric Marines are automatons - without a strong guiding presence, they lapse into a passive state - they are immortal beyond even a Space Marine's immortality and thus make the perfect guardians for the libraries and bases of the Thousand Sons. When guided by a Sorcerer or placed in the front lines against a foe, their old battle-hunger returns and they move with more of a sense of purpose. They obey orders without hesitation, and know no fear. Making them far more fearsome, their Sorcerers equip them with modified bolter rounds that are enchanted to explode into bursts of white-hot warp-fire on impact, burning through armor with incredible speed. Additionally, since they're functionally animate suits of armor, they possess phenomenally strong supernatural protection due to their construction and are a bitch to kill as a result. They are, however, incredibly slow.

Whilst the current generation of Rubric Marines date back to the Thousand Sons' expulsion of Ahriman, it's believed they have the ability to make more by using altered and notably scaled-down versions of the rite that resulted in the Rubric. Even with this, however, the creation of them is lengthy and time-consuming, ergo guaranteeing that their enemies will slowly whittle down their numbers by drowning them in corpses, which is pretty much the tactic used by the Imperials against chaos marines constantly. Though like every major Chaos Marine forces Thousand Sons have their own armies of lesser men: surprisingly non-traitor Chaos Guard called Spireguard, which is used to drown their enemies in corpses or do tie up Imperial meatshields while Rubric Marines and Sorcerers doing the job that matters. In editions past it was mentioned, that Thousand Sons Sorcerers can reanimate killed (broken?) Rubric Marines with a simple yet time-consuming ritual and Magnus himself can somehow bring back fallen Sorcerers in his super-awesome Black Tower on the Sorcerers Planet. All of this was possible due to Rubric made the souls of both Golems and Sorcerers all but immune to powers of Warp so they cannot be nommed by daemons - although as Erebus had shown in "Betrayer", it is quite possible (though not easy) to resurrect even one who's soul had being torn apart and eaten by daemons. It was never retconned, so we can assume that this fluff is still valid, and no matter how many Thousand Sons you've killed, they would always come back from the dead. At least they wouldn't do it right the next second after you've killed them.

Tabletop-wise Rubric marines are of debatable use. Yes they're fearless, are fairly good at being shooty especially if their bolters are enchanted, has a +4 invul save, so basically, they rape any kind of infantry that doesn't have the toughness of a Terminator. But on the downside, they're slow like termies and aren't necessarily as tough as them, they're nearly useless if the sorcerer leading them dies, they don't wow anyone in CQC, and overall they're hard to use for beginners. Overall, sort of a bridge between the shootiness of Slaanesh Noise Marines, toughness of Nurgle Plague Marines, and the fearlessness of Khornate Berzerkers. Throw them in a Rhino and let the games begin. You really have to know what you're doing with these guys. They CAN do quite awesome, but you need to use them right. And having Tzeentch smile upon you (in a way) never hurts.

The Thousand Sons have a distinctive battle cry "All is Dust." Only the relatively rare standard Marines they have however, scream it - instead, the sorcerers typically emit it as a sonorous chant, accompanied by flickers of warp-light as the squad emerges from seemingly nowhere.

Ahzek Ahriman, aka The One Who Psy-Bolts your Ass to Death.


Like most other Chaos legions, the Thousand Sons broke their coherence after the Heresy, and split into small warbands, or in their case "warcovens" (because space witches). Those warcovens are usually not just small, but tiny, with few of them having more than four or five sorcerers and a few dozen golems. As the Thousand Sons fleet survived the burning of Prospero and the Rubric pretty much unscratched, every single one of these covens usually has at least one cruiser-class ship and probably a few escort wings, and it's not uncommon for them to fill these ships with some nasty shit like Dark Mechanicum robots, daemon engines, summoned daemons, or animated constructs to make sure they're safe from boarding parties despite their numerical disadvantage when it comes to clashes with other CSM warbands. They usually hire themselves as mercenaries for bigger warbands, Dark Mechanicum forges, or the Black Legion, in exchange for resources, knowledge, and magical trinkets, which they then move to their base of operations on the Soritarius, the Sorcerers' planet; there, they can study them and nerd out in their libraries, while plotting to outshine each other in "the nerdiest sorcerer of the Galaxy" contest. While many of them no longer hold much love for their daemonic Primarch, their loyalty to him stems from the simple fact that he's capable of bringing dead sorcerers back to life without even need for their corpses, with a nice bonus of having the access to the Soritarius' resources and research facilities. Still, some warcovens (like Ahriman's Prodigal Sons) went rogue and cut their ties with their new home world, and some decided to wear black and join the Despoiler in his Long War - in fact pretty much all of the Black Legion's top-ranked sorcerers and diviners are ex-Thousand Sons, and they are amongst the most valued members of the legion, some even part of the Abaddon's inner circle.

As of recently, Magnus has gotten of his ass and united his legion in a colossal scheme of Just as Planned to royally fuck up the Space Yiffs, involving Daemons, Wulfen, and Bringing the Planet of the sorcerers into the material realm. Doing this, they used the fact that the Wulfen only appeared when Daemons appeared to trick the Grey Knights and Dark Angels into thinking that the Wolves had fallen to chaos. This ended with a dead Wolf Lord, The majority of the Fenrisian population being either killed or Sterillised by the Grey Knights, the chapter crippled very badly, and currently bitching and crying their way to Cadia to recover. Also, more Daemon Primarchs are coming. End times confirmed!

They also get a new unit known as Tzaangors; basically Tzeentch beastmen.

Connections with the Blood Ravens?[edit]

It's never proven to be absolutely canon, but in the "A Thousand Sons" novel from the Horus Heresy book series, there are some hints that the Blood Ravens stemmed from a Thousand Sons cult who remained loyal to the Emperor, which was a large force of Thousand Sons marines who were sent outside Prospero before the Space Wolves came to fuck the whole planet over. Specifically, the most painfully obvious of the hints is this particular line from the novel where a remembrancer is using divination:

It's too late... the Wolf is at the door and it hungers for blood. Oh, Throne... no, the blood! The Ravens, I see them too. The lost sons and a Raven of blood. They cry out for salvation and knowledge, but it is denied!

Since these Marines never fought the Space Wolves and weren't drawn into Magnus' plans of heresy and revenge, or didn't even hear about it, after getting their planet bombed, they remained loyal to the Emprah. Probably because they, like Leman Russ, discovered after the fact that it was a trick. Sucks to be Russ when he found out.

In the Age of Darkness short story Rebirth, Revuel Arvida is the last survivor of a scouting party from a ship that made it back to Prospero. The end of the story has him saying "knowledge is power" and focusing on the raven of the Corvidae cult on his pauldron (also, the rest of his armor is red). He gets off of Prospero with the help of the White Scars later, after surviving for ages alone without food or water whilst fighting psychneuin, then getting involved in a fight against Mortarion's bodyguards (need we add that this was a fight between the Terminator elites of two Legions, and Arvida survived despite being clad in regular power armour), and finally creating a psychic beacon to get his and the Scars' arses off the planet. Except that wasn't final, as he spent four years at war beside the Scars, fighting the flesh-change, bitch-slapping Eidolon with his psychic powers and guiding the entire Legion fleet to Terra through the Webway. Compare his name to "Azariah Vidya," the earliest recorded (though not the first) Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens.

Eventually though it was revealed that Arvida merged with his Tutelary spirit and/or a broken Shard of Magnus which he left behind on Terra when he broke the Golden Throne. The resulting amalgamation cured Arvida's body of mutations (but sealed around one of his eyes with scar tissue) and took the name "Ianius" (also the name of his Tutelary) Possibly later to be known as Janus, the founder and the first supreme grandmaster of the Grey Knights, especially since physical descriptions of Janus show him with a squint in one of his eyes. Much shit was flipped by TS, BR, and GK fans that day. On the other hand, it does not explain what happened to his gene-seed (assuming it was replaced by implants from the Emperor like Epimethius having his Dark Angel gene-seed replaced and sealed).

And note that the Blood Ravens have no idea which legion or chapter they originally came from and the fact that they produce an unusually higher number of Psykers than your average marine chapter and the Thousand Sons were known to have a large number of Psykers in their legion, as well as having a fetish for various flavors of knowledge. Also, the Thousand Sons' pre-heresy colors are strikingly similar to the Blood Ravens', the only difference is that instead of a white trim, the Blood Ravens use black, but the armor's overall color and their helmet's visor color are virtually the same.

Additionally, certain records were found upon Kronus that alluded to the Chapter's origin, yet Thule had them destroyed. Some suggest that the evidence was so damning as to link them to prove this theory. Alternatively, it may simply be that the records were in fact Azariah Kyras' perverted /d/eviant porn and Thule destroyed it because of the sheer amount of extra-heresy it contains that it would drive any lesser man to insanity.

There is some more evidence that the Blood Ravens are a Thousand Sons offshoot in the book Dawn of War: Tempest, but that was written by C.S. Goto, so take it with a grain of salt.

The November 2016 issue of White Dwarf almost explicitly states that Blood Ravens are an offshoot of the Thousand Sons.

"Rather nice chaps, I thought - Brother-Captain Jefferies, Classy Marines Fourth Company.

Daily Rituals of the Thousand Sons[edit]

04:00 - The Thousand Sons (At least the fleshbags) awake from their sarcophagi.

04:10 - Rubric Inspection. The Thousand Sons Sorcerers inspect on their Rubric Marines to see if some sense of normality returns.

05:00 - Morning Prayer. The Thousand Sons gather to pray to Tzeentch on not fucking them over.

06:00 - Morning Firing and Sorcery Rites. The Thousand Sons practice on their shooting and magical skills on warp beasts.

08:00 - Battle Practice. The Thousand Sons descend in the twisted Pyramids on Sortiarius to test out their combat prowess.

09:00 - Morning Meal. A morning meal is handed out to the non-Rubric Thousand Sons by the legion's psychic serfs. The Thousand Sons are more forgiving to their serfs as they are most likely psychic and thus, more likely to share common kinship.

09:15 - Tactical Indoctrination. The Thousand Sons congregate on plans to appeal more to the psykers of the Imperium and gathering unknown knowledge.

10:00 - Midday Prayers. The Thousand Sons again gather to pray that Tzeentch won't fuck them over again.

11:00 - Midday Meal. A light meal is prepared by the psychic serfs.

12:00 - Sorcery Training. The Thousand Sons Sorcerers train their magic tricks to further harness the warp.

13:00 - Evening Firing and Sorcery Rites. The Thousand Sons practice on their shooting and magical skills on even more warp beasts.

15:00 - Battle Practice. The Thousand Sons continue to train in CQC combat so they can one day beat the fucking furries.

16:00 - Re-Education Time. The Thousand Sons lecture captured non-psychic Imperial Humans on why their prejudice on psykers are bad and they should feel bad before sending them off as laborers. At the same time they lecture captured psykers on why the Thousand Sons are there to protect and nurture them and why psykers are the next step in Human evolution.

18:00 - Evening Meal. A feast is prepared by the psychic serfs, which are cooked from the warp beasts that was hunted in the morning and afternoon.

19:00 - Meeting up with Magnus. The Thousand Sons meet up with their Primarch on issues concerning them such as the proposal on creating a republic to piss off the Imperium, equality between psychic and non-psychic, the state of the Imperium and humanity on the whole, Tzeentch being a dickhead and why he should not be trusted and why knowledge is power.

20:00 - Sending 'Gifts' to the family. The Thousand Sons secretly steal some loyalist equipment and secretly give it to the Blood Ravens out of family kinship - the Blood Ravens have yet to realize of these heretical trade deals. The Thousand Sons also try and send gifts and 'sorry' cards to their only friends, the White Scars, Emperor's Children and Blood Angels for supporting them even during the failure of the Nikea Council. Heck, they send out gifts to anyone who wasn't a dick to them during Pre-Heresy. Suffice to say the gifts are always destroyed by the Inquisition.

21:00 - Nerdin Out. The Thousand Sons nerd out in the great libraries on Sortiarius. Some use their free time to train captured psykers on how to safely use the warp while others continue to berate captured non-psykers on why the Imperium is bad. Some play vidya games and talk about ancient sci-fi stories such as Star Wars and Star Trek, coincidentally those who play online video games may accidentally encounter Dante and co. doing the exact same thing. Some venture back to their old home of Prospero to get some lost relics/knowledge.

24:00 - Rest Period. The Thousand Sons rest in their sarcophagi.


See Also[edit]


The Traitor Legions of Chaos
Chaos Legions: Alpha Legion - Black Legion - Death Guard - Emperor's Children
Iron Warriors - Night Lords - Thousand Sons - Word Bearers - World Eaters
Warbands: Apostles of Contagion - Bloodborn - Blood Gorgons
Broken Aquila - Crimson Slaughter - Foresworn - Red Corsairs
Sons of Malice - The Flawless Host - The Purge - The Scourged
Skyrar's Dark Wolves - Warband of Subsector Aurelia