Traitor Legion Loyalists

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"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil."

– Exodus 23:2

Traitor Legion Loyalists are the rare few Space Marines who, despite hailing from the Traitor Legions, stayed loyal to the Emperor and the Imperium, proving that despite what some characters in 40k think, having geneseed from a suspect source is no sure indicator of bad character. They are a very rare group of individuals given the initial purges of loyalists elements from the traitor legions at Battle of Isstvan III. While most of the information below has just been hints for now, this is a matter that has been popping up every now and then since a few years ago.

As it happens, many of these Traitor Legion Loyalists during the Horus Heresy who did not end up in annals of history became Blackshields, the precursor to the 40k equivalent of the same name where a marine with no emblems or markings can petition to join with the Deathwatch on a permanent basis, no questions asked. The term "Blackshield" by itself leaves it open as to whether the individual marine seeks to redeem himself OR his chapter if it went rogue or was destroyed. Although Blackshields are a rarity in 40k, there were enough in 30k for such a tradition to begin and survive to the present time in the Imperium.

Those groups with enough numbers, or perhaps ties to the right people, were able to pass themselves off as successors of other chapters after the Second Founding. Or their founders purged and changed their own records, so that over time, no one within the chapter knows who their true progenitor is (which can lead to some fun times when an inquisitor comes across evidence that it occurred).

Generic armies of them can be fielded in 30K with the Orphans of Betrayal Rite of War. As is fitting for a rogue, largely unsupported force, the rite doesn't provide many bonuses unless you're fighting Traitor versions of the same Legion you're fielding.

Known Loyalist Members of the Traitor Legions[edit]

Note: Characters whose names are listed in italics have received rules in some form in FW's Horus Heresy releases for the 30k era.

  • Death Guard
    • Nathaniel Garro (became the first of the Knights-Errant, first to bring word to the Imperium about the Horus Heresy)
    • Andus Hakur
    • Solun Decius (member of Nathaniel Garro's command squad. infected with nurgles rot and possessed by the Lord of the Flies following escape from Istvaan system. Slain by Garro)
    • Meric Voyen (former head Apothecary of 7th Great company. defected with Nathaniel Garro. Renounced his vows as an astartes following 'The flight of the Eisenstien')
    • Huron-Fal (Venerable Dreadnought, Killed on Isstvan III)
    • Tollun Sendec (Slain by the lord of the flies on Luna)
    • Ullis Temeter (Killed on Isstvan III)
    • Helig Gallor (Recruited into the Knights-Errant)
    • Bajun Kyda (Recruited into the Knights-Errant. Killed at Proxima Majoris)
    • Crysos Morturg (Became a Blackshield during the battle of Isstvan III, survived and was rescued by Calleb Decima. He ended up surviving the entire heresy and became Captain of the 108th Independent Company, he and his company were eventually sent out to monitor and patrol the Ghoul Stars. Notably, this was over fifty years after the Heresy ended, implying at least some surviving traitor legion loyalists were utilized by the Imperium to form "Independent Companies" instead of chapters)
    • Erud Vahn (Became a Blackshield during the Horus Heresy)
    • Juball (Died on Isstvan III)
  • Emperor's Children
    • Saul Tarvitz (MIA)
    • Callion Zaven (Recruited into the Knights-Errant. Killed on the 'Vengeful Spirit')
    • Argentus Kiron
    • Ancient Rylanor (Contemptor Dreadnought, KIA post Heresy, nearly succeeded in killing Daemon Prince Fulgrim)
    • Rakatio (KIA in Sol System by traitor White Scars who failed to infiltrate Terra)
    • Solomon Demeter (Capitan of 2nd Company, KIA Isstvan III)
    • Lord Commander Vespasian (slain by Fulgrim)
  • Iron Warriors
    • Barabas Dantioch (Sacrificed himself in a glorious battle to save the forces of Imperium Secundus)
    • Zygmund Tarrasch
    • Venerable Vastopol
    • Kyr Vhalen (Became a Blackshield during the Horus Heresy)
    • Nârik Dreygur (Praevian initially allied with the traitors, he eventually defected to the side of Cassian Dracos of the Salamanders)
    • Auric Saxton (Warsmith. Remained fiercely loyal to the Emperor and killed the Lord Commander of the traitorous Emperor's Children during the Battle of the Harrow Ravening).
    • Tubal Cayne (Recruited into the Knights-Errant. Killed on the 'Vengeful Spirit')
    • Zhinnon (Became a Blackshield during the Horus Heresy)
    • Annovuldi (Warsmith)
  • Luna Wolves
    • Garviel Loken (Survived the battle of Isstvan III, Recruited into the Knights-Errant, rules are for Luna Wolf version only)
    • Tarik Torgaddon (Killed on Isstvan III by Horus Aximand)
    • Iacton Qruze (Recruited into the Knights-Errant, later killed by Horus)
    • Severian (Recruited into the Knights-Errant)
    • Nero Vipus (Killed on Isstvan III)
    • Vaddon (Killed on Isstvan III)
    • Unnamed Luna Wolf discovered and revived by the Flesh Tearers (Apparently now on a mission to personally put a boot in the ass of every traitorous Son of Horus he can find).
  • World Eaters
    • Macer Varren (Recruited into the Knights-Errant, killed on Terra by the Lord of Flies during the Battle of White Mountain)
    • Endryd Haar (Became a Blackshield during the Horus Heresy)
    • Tagore (Member of the Outcast Dead, slain on Terra)
    • Subha (Member of the Outcast Dead, slain on Terra)
    • Asubha (Member of the Outcast Dead, slain on Terra)
    • Skraal (Fought with Word Bearers to weaken their forces during the battle of Calth, slain on the Furious Abyss)
    • Ehrlen (Killed on Isstvan III)
    • Karnaugar (Killed by his gene-father on Isstvan III with Angron staying at his side out of respect for wounding him as he died)
  • Thousand Sons
    • Atharva (Executed by Dorn on Terra, though either he or his shade appeared to Magnus after his defeat against Russ)
    • Revuel Arvida (Fused with a fragment of Magnus and took the name Ianius, later the first Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights)
    • Omari Anat (captured by the Flesh Tearers, stayed their captive to test whether or not Nassir Amit would go insane and kill him despite ample evidence of his innocence, fate unknown)
    • Mhotep (Fought with Word Bearers/Chaos to weaken their forces during the battle of Calth, slain on the Furious Abyss)
  • Night Lords
    • Fel Zharost (Former Chief Librarian sent into exile, Recruited into the Knights-Errant)
    • Kasati Nuon
  • Word Bearers
    • Kaspian Hecht/Barthusa Narek (Initially drawn to the Knights-Errant. Went rogue and independent of all other factions. Helped Eldrad kill off the Kabal before returning to the Word Bearers secretly with plans to assassinate Lorgar with the Fulgurite leftover from the attempted assassination on Vulkan. Final fate unknown.)
    • Volkhar Wreth (Member of the Crusader Host. Mortally wounded and forcibly bonded with a Daemon on Terra)
  • Alpha Legion
    • Chaitan Seyhan (KIA alongside his crew on the strike cruiser Sigma by Alpharius's manipulation of the Sisypheum's crew while disguised as Shadrak Meduson)
    • Occam (Considers his legion a tool to test the Imperium. Currently interrogating a Deceiver shard bound in a Tesseract Labyrinth after a very costly battle in M42)

List of suspected chapters[edit]

  • Grey Knights (Founders were initially drawn from the Knights-Errant) - outright stated, although only from their history. While several Astartes from traitor legions were among the founders of the Grey Knights, the gene-seed is that of the Emperor himself.
  • Exorcists (Successors of the Grey Knights) - confirmed by extension from the Grey Knights.
  • Blood Ravens (Thousand Sons) - heavily implied but supposedly officially unsupported. Links to the Thousand Sons Corvidid Cult, similar color scheme to Pre-Heresy Thousand Sons, similarly have an extreme thirst for knowledge, and they have an abnormally high number of librarians.
  • Brotherhood of a Thousand (Thousand Sons) - minor chapter with a tiny footnote implying heavy librarius and have a similar name. Use a "M" as their chapter symbol, similarly to the heraldry of the Great Crusade-era Thousand Sons.
  • Minotaurs:
    • (Old Lore) (World Eaters) - Speculated. Similar battle doctrine. Known for being complete berzerkers in battle.
    • (Revamped Lore) (Iron Warriors) - Speculated. Maintain a similar battle doctrine, focused on pragmatic, siege, and attrition warfare tactics. Their Ancient Greek theme also matches up with the Iron Warriors.
  • Soul Drinkers (Iron Warriors) - Speculated. Despite being considered Imperial Fists successors, genetic tests confirmed that they were not. Held similar pragmatic and determined views like the Iron Warriors.
  • Silver Skulls (Iron Warriors or Word Bearers) - All but confirmed (origin suspected to be from the gene-seed of the Iron Warriors contingent that was led by Dantioch into taking refuge on Ultramar and stayed loyal). The Silver Skulls also have a penchant for siege warfare. Alternatively, the Silver Skulls are known for worshiping the Emperor as a god (rare for Ultramarines), having absolute faith in the Emperors Tarot, and will religiously follow the word of prognosticators. All of which is the polar opposite from both the Iron Wwarriors data-driven approach to battle and the Ultramarines, but wouldn't look out of place for Word Bearers...)
  • Fire Angels (Word Bearers) - Speculated. While listed as Ultramarine descendants, they act nothing like their parent chapter. To the point of not even caring much for their Primarch, seeing him as an unworthy, borderline heretical, idol. I mean really, an "Ultramarine" chapter that does not have an obsession with Big Bobby G? Instead the Fire Angels are so religious that they make the Black Templars seem like rational atheists (atleast the Black Templars worship the Emperor AND revere their primarch).
  • Red Scorpions (Emperor's Children) - Speculated. Have an obsessions with the "perfection" of their gene-seed, to the point of being outright hostile to any they see as "imperfect".
  • Death Eagles (Emperor's Children) - All but confirmed (origin suspected due to records of a Loyalist Blackshield warband from the Emperor's Children's Death Eagles company during the Horus Heresy) while the Chapter's recorded actions stretch back as far as M32.
  • Sons of the Phoenix (Emperor's Children) - All but confirmed (It's practically confirmed that Papa Cawl got a hold of uncorrupted III Legion Gene-seed). Similar iconography. Their name also possibly references Fulgrim, who was known as the Palatine Phoenix. Officially Imperial Fist successors operating with the Ecclesiarchy, thus explaining why they have candles on their backs.
  • Carcharadons (Night Lords and/or World Eaters) - speculated. possible chimeric geneseed. Most similar beliefs and battle doctrine to Night Lords. Often have a black and white morality. Focus on shock and fear tactics combined with stealth. Physical traits (black eyes, pale skin) similar to both Night Lords and Raven Guard. Mental mutations and unstable sanity similar to Night Lords.
  • Storm Wardens (World Eaters) - speculated. Similar battle doctrine.
  • Executioners (World Eaters) - speculated. Similar battle doctrine. Known for having some of the most brutal close combat methods, even for Astartes.
  • Iron Snakes (Alpha Legion) - heavily speculated.
  • Sons of Antaeus (Death Guard) - Speculated. Similar genetic traits included an unnatural hardy stock.
  • Castellans of the Rift (Death Guard) - Similar color scheme, iconography, and battle doctrine.
  • Mortifactors (Death Guard) - Similar color scheme and iconography to pre-heresy Death Guard, similar grim attitude, and have a preference for using Power Scythes (the signature weapon of the Death Guard). This chapter is also obsessed with death, I mean really obsessed with it. Like the Fire Angels, these guys really do not like their "official" Primarch.

The Ultramarine Connection[edit]

  • The Ultramarines are confirmed to have harboured loyalist members of traitor legions after the Heresy, rebranding them as their own to obfuscate the newcomer's past (as for why they would do such a thing, Roboute Guilliman himself is characterized as someone who abhorred the waste of any human or Astartes life.) This is not surprising given that according to Malcador the Ultramarines (along with the Imperial Fists) absorbed the remnants of the two lost legions. In any case, Guilliman needed all the manpower he could get when he thought the rest of the Imperium was destroyed during the era of Imperium Secundus, so giving even legionnaires from suspect sources a chance to prove themselves was a practical solution, for which in the end he was not disappointed). Furthermore, it is confirmed that after whatever it was that led to the deaths of the Missing Primarchs happened, the Astartes of the II and XI Legions were mind-wiped by Malcador the Sigilite into thinking they had always been part of the Ultramarines and Imperial Fists- an act backed up by Rogal Dorn and Guilliman voluntarily agreeing to have their memories of what really happened suppressed beyond even a Primarch's ability to recall.


Forge World Horus Heresy Rulebooks

  • Betrayal
  • Retribution

Horus Heresy Novels

  • Flight of the Eisenstein
  • Pharos
  • Vengeful Spirit
  • Corax
    • Weregeld


  • How to Paint Space Marines, pg. 86