|Status||Dark Angels victory|
|Night Lords||Dark Angels|
|Commanders and Leaders|
|Konrad Curze||Lion El'Jonson|
|100,000 Night Lords||70,000 Dark Angels|
Konrad Curze missing.
Legio Ulricon destroyed.
First Captain Sevatar captured. Around 40,000 Night Lords killed.
Billions of citizens massacred. Around 10,000 Dark Angels killed.
|The capture of Curze and the break-up of the Night Lords Legion into smaller independent warbands.|
The Dark Angels would then split with the Lion joining Imperium Secundus while the bulk of the Legion would go on to engage the Death Guard.
In order to distract the Dark Angels and keep them out of the war, Horus ordered his brother Konrad Curze to take his legion out to the Eastern Fringe and ruin everyone's day/night/life. So Curze fucked off and spent 2 years playing a hit-and-run game while slaughtering civilians all over the sector, with the Lion and Dark Angels hot on his heels.
The campaign started out easily enough for the Night Lords, as during the first few months of fighting there were no loyalist Astartes forces present. They had a great time practicing their particular skills against the mortal forces standing against them, and easily conquered the three key forge worlds that were the true prize of the campaign. With these three worlds under traitor control, Horus would be able to resupply his armies more easily. With the conquered territories close to worlds that were still pledged to the Night Lords, it looked like a complete victory for the VIII Legion, right up until a small number of sleek dark ships arrived in orbit.
The Lion, upon learning of the full extent of the Heresy, had sent a number of his fastest ships ahead of him. Upon sighting these advance ships, the Night Lords knew it could only mean one thing: the Lord of the First now knew what was happening, and was coming for them. What followed was one of the most bloody and violent campaigns of the Heresy.
For the most part, the Night Lords opted to play to their strengths. Knowing they couldn't win a stand-up fight against the Dark Angels, they executed ambushes and lightning assaults across the sector, never lingering too long in one place; they were helped in this by the currents of the Warp being unusually favorable when it came to the traitors. Essentially they were running in, kicking a kitten to death (or at least crippling it so it lives the rest of its miserable existence suffering), and then running away shouting in childish glee "you can't get us, you can't get us".
During the campaign, the Night Lords encountered a force of White Scars. These White Scars were considered veterans of the Crusade but had only ever heard rumours of the First Legion, and given their earlier reputation, these rumors weren't exactly flattering. The Scars believed the Dark Angels to be a bunch of vain glory hounds, so it wasn't hard for the Night Lords to convince them that they were the loyal ones and the Angels had turned traitor. The Scars aided the Night Lords until it finally dawned on them that the guys who were literally wearing the skins of their enemies might not be telling them the truth. Just goes to show how effectively the Dark Angels had removed themselves from the minds of the Imperium at large, and how incredibly unreliable information during the Heresy was.
After a while Curze offered a parley to the Lion on the world of Tsagualsa. They each brought their honor guard to the meeting: Sevatar and Shang for Curze, Corswain and Alajos for the Lion. The talks ended in battle as Curze revealed to the Lion that while they had fought for two years in the dark whilst the galaxy burned, he had foreseen that future generations would look to the legacy of the Lion with doubt; because of the delay caused by this campaign, the Lion's name and deeds would be forever tarnished by suspicion and mistrust. Where was the Lion, people would ask? Could he have been waiting to see who was victorious before declaring for a side? The Lion would never be trusted ever again (the audience is meant to believe hunting an entire traitor legion and its Primarch going on a murder spree would cause them not to be trusted; yes, we know, GW doesn’t understand people and it's not like records of the campaign wouldn’t exist on worlds fought over by the two legions, exonerating the Dark Angels). The Lion, not giving a shit about how he looked in the future, because ("loyalty is its own reward"), apologised to his brother before striking him a lightning fast blow. The meeting instantly devolved into an all-out brawl. As the brothers fought, so too did their honor guard; this would prove to be the first time the two brothers had matched blades, as the Lion mentioned that they had never sparred before. The Lion's skill with a blade proved to be the better as he continued to inflict injuries upon his brother. Curze was nowhere near the Lion's equal at swordsmanship, but he was fast enough to avoid a fatal blow. After abandoning any pretence of matching blades with the Lion, Curze finally just spear-tackled him, sending them both plummeting to the ground. Curze ended up on top of the Lion smashing the back of his head in against the hard rock while slowly choking the life out of him. As these two demigods fought in the dust of some forgotten world, their hands around each other's throats, Curze continued to rant and rave, claiming that the Lion should just die, and that the future would be far more kind to him if he did so. Sevatar and his companion fought Alajos two on one before removing his head from his shoulders (the last time Sev and Alajos had fought, Sev had removed the skin from his face) as he tried to hold them both off before reinforcements could arrive. Corswain performed a heroic intervention, stabbing Curze through the spine, wrapping a chain around his neck and then riding him like a bucking bronco (the author's intent was to demonstrate the difference in attitudes and priorities between the two legions). Reinforcements would arrive from both Legions and the bloodied and injured primarchs dragged away, screaming abuse at each other.
After the shit-show of the talks, the Lion decided to take a break from fighting the Night Lords to engage the Death Guard over ownership of a warp device known as Tuchulcha which could allow instantaneous travel between two points and give the owner a tremendous edge in maneuverability. Winning, the Dark Angels could now successfully ambush the Night Lords fleet and kinda just fuck up their mojo in general. The Lion didn't actually use the device straight away as he knew that as soon as the Night Lords got a whiff of what was going on they would scattering and leave the sector. He waited months before finally springing the trap, when most of the Night Lords had gathered at a single location.
Once again the two Primarchs fought, this time with the Lion putting Curze into a coma. The Night Lords were forced to flee and Sevatar took command for the time being. He decided that they had fought enough of Horus' wars for him and needed to break free, whereupon Sevatar murdered most of the Legion's Captains who didn't agree with him. He then ordered the remainder of the Legion to split up into six Grand Companies and go their separate ways, effectively breaking the Legion into a raiding force where they could rape and pillage to their hearts' content.
While Sevatar did this, the Dark Angels managed to track him down and launch a second attack. Sevatar launched a counterattack and led the Atramentar (his Terminator elite) aboard the Dark Angels fleet. The First Captain managed to help Curze to recover from his coma and the awakened Night Haunter met with the Lion and fought yet again. What happened next, in Sev's words, was a pathetic display of a last stand. The Night Lords were now deep within enemy territory and completely surrounded. As the Dark Angels tightened the circle Curze took one look around, realised the game was up, abruptly performed the fastest heel turn you have ever seen, and ran away, abandoning his sons to their fate.
Curze would later escape from the Lion yet again while the I Legion fleet was in orbit over Macragge, performing a one-man commando operation against the realm of Ultramar for a couple of years - at least until he was captured by the Lion one more time at the cost of one of Macragge's cities.