Traitor Legion Loyalists
|This article contains spoilers! You have been warned.|
"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 or by internal purges such as those enacted by “The Brotherhood” in the Word Bearers. 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
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
- Meric Voyen (former head Apothecary of 7th Great company. defected with Nathaniel Garro. Renounced his vows as an astartes following 'The flight of the Eisenstein', slain after being possessed by the Lord of the Flies)
- 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)
- Solun Decius (Succumbed to Nurgle's Rot, becoming the Daemonic entity calling itself "The Lord of the Flies")
- 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)
- Rakishio (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 (Refused to betray the Emperor. Assisted with the fortification of Ultramar. Activated the Pharos system for Guilliman. Sacrificed himself in a glorious battle to save the forces of Imperium Secundus)
- Zygmund Tarrasch (Iron Palatine of Dantioch's garrison. Survived the Great Siege of Lesser Damantyne. Recruited by the Ultramarines to fortify Imperium Secundas.)
- Zhnev (Chaplain of Dantioch's garrison. Survived the Great Siege of Lesser Damantyne. Recruited by the Ultramarines to fortify Imperium Secundas.)
- Ingoldt (Sergeant of Dantioch's garrison. Survived the Great Siege of Lesser Damantyne. Recruited by the Ultramarines to fortify Imperium Secundas.)
- Baubrista (Battle Brother of Dantioch's garrison. Survived the Great Siege of Lesser Damantyne. Recruited by the Ultramarines to fortify Imperium Secundas.)
- Toledo (Battle Brother of Dantioch's garrison. Survived the Great Siege of Lesser Damantyne. Recruited by the Ultramarines to fortify Imperium Secundas.)
- Venerable Vastopol (Venerable Dreadnought of Dantioch's garrison. Died at the end of the Great Siege of Lesser Damantyne)
- 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 Pre-Heresy Era Luna Wolf discovered in statis on a space hulk and revived by the Flesh Tearers in M38 (Went berserk after getting an update on what happened before “borrowing” a warp jump capable vessel. 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)
- Shabran Darr (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)
- Juljak Nul "The Storm Walker" (killed on Isstvan III during a battle between the loyalist and traitor World Eaters, tho not before killing several of the traitors.)
- 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)
- Izzakar Orr (part of the original defense of Prosporo, he was slain by the Space Wolves in a warp maze. His soul later helped the Space Wolves in M42 find the maze and rescue 200 Space Wolves who had been trapped since the Burning of Prosporo. After reuniting and resurrecting his body, he learned that the attack on Prospero had been ordered by the traitorous Warmaster Horus Lupercal and not the Emperor of Mankind. He later closed the warp gate to the maze in order to prevent Magnus the Red from following the Space Wolves).
- Phosis T'Kar (part of the original defense of Prospero. Came to his senses and realized he had been warp corrupted during the battle. He then immediately stopped fighting, to allow Constantin Valdor to execute him, rather than continue falling to warp mutations/corruption).
- Night Lords
- Fel Zharost (Former Chief Librarian sent into exile, Recruited into the Knights-Errant)
- Kasati Nuon (aided the Raven Guard in their guerilla war against the Traitor Legions)
- Vilnius Malik (Abandoned the Night Lords after becoming disgusted with what they had become. Joined up with the loyalist Alpha Legion warband The REDACTED.)
- 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)
- The Anchorite (Disillusioned Astartes who surrendered on Calth and was spared by Guilliman. Entered contemplation while detained and re-embraced the Lectitio Divinitatus; which he had memorized in his youth. Interred in Contemptor Dreadnought after attempted suicide and secretly taught the contents of the book to a selected few in the Imperial Cult's Ecclesiarchy on Almace. Existence revealed during the Indomitus Crusade and somehow manifests powers of a Living Saint)
- Alpha Legion
- Legate Chaitin (KIA alongside his crew on the strike cruiser Sigma by Alpharius's manipulation of the Sisypheum's crew while the Primarch was disguised as Shadrak Meduson)
- Occam the Untrue (Leader of the REDACTED warband. 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
- 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 Grey Knights believe their gene-seed is derived from the prime template of the Emperor, though whether that's true is a point of contention among the fanbase (despite it being repeatedly and clearly stated in any and all Grey Knight's fluff, its still unclear just HOW Big E made it).
- Exorcists (Successors of the Grey Knights...alternatively Word Bearers) - confirmed by extension from the Grey Knights. Alternatively, the link to the Grey Knights is only due to a small mention by an Inquisitor....and the Grey Knights are notoriously against ANYONE messing with their gene-seed. However, their chapter colors, scripture written on their armour, Specializing in getting possessed by daemon (just the Exorcists then banish the daemons from their bodies) are almost 1 to 1 with Heresy-era Word Bearers.
- Shadow Wolves (Luna Wolves) - All but confirmed. Despite not being Space Wolves successors (being listed as Imperial Fists), they use tons of Wolfish iconography. Author/creator of the chapter (ADB) confirms they were created to represent the concept of loyalist Luna Wolves as a tribute to his wife Katie (who is a fan of the Luna Wolves).
- Blood Ravens (Thousand Sons) - All but confirmed. Links to the Thousand Sons Corvidae Cult, high number and heavy usage of Librarians (especially to look into the future to scry enemy's plans like the Corvidae Cult), similar color scheme to Pre-Heresy Thousand Sons, similarly have an extreme thirst for knowledge. The only known copies of their lineage are currently sealed under the orders of the Ordo Malleus. Just prior to the Fall of Prospero, a psyker named Kallista Eris foresaw the future of the Thousand Sons Corvidae Cult, during which she all but states they will become the Blood Ravens: "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!”
- Brotherhood of a Thousand (Thousand Sons) - Speculated. 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.
- (Old Lore) (World Eaters) - Speculated. Similar battle doctrine, known for being complete berzerkers in battle.
- (Revamped Lore) (Iron Warriors) - All but confirmed. They maintain a similar battle doctrine that favours close combat but is now also focused on pragmatic, siege, and attrition warfare tactics (their special rule is a near exact match for the Horus Heresy Iron Warrior's signature special rules). Their Ancient Greek theme also matches up with the Iron Warriors, and their geneseed is mentionned to have extremely high assimilation rates, just like the IVth legion of old. They even have records of action dating back to M32. Edwin Brown, a playtester for the Badab War books, has also stated that the Minotaurs use Iron Warrior geneseed. Of note: The lore alludes to the possibility of there having been another chapter called the "Minotaurs" more similar to the old lore descriptions, being part of the 21st Curse Founding of M36, and references to chimeric geneseed, adding to the the confusion to it all.
- Marines Malevolent (Iron Warriors) - Speculated. Very similar behaviors to Iron Warriors, some similar iconography. Extremely pragmatic, consider one another disposable, complete disregard for causalities or collateral damage, an extreme disdain for weakness, a tendency to challenge other chapters, and they are pretty entitled little bastards. Like the Minotaurs, they take the wargear of defeated Astartes foes as trophies. They basically are the Minotaurs, if the Minotaurs DIDN'T have the backing of the High Lords. Their veteran's markings are also identical to the Iron Warrior's signature yellow/black hazard stripes.
- Silver Skulls (Iron Warriors) - Speculated. Suspected to be from the gene-seed of the loyalist Iron Warriors, led by Barabas Dantioch, who helped defend Ultramar. The Silver Skulls also have a penchant for siege warfare (including a rank called "Siege Captain"), and their chapter iconography/colors are near identical to pre-Heresy Iron Warriors. They are also highly defensives and secretive of their gene-seed. It's not that clear, though, as they also act a lot like the Word Bearers. The Silver Skulls worship the Emperor as a god (rare for Astartes but not unheard of), and more tellingly they have absolute faith in the Emperor's Tarot and will religiously follow the word of prognosticators (making battle plans and combat decisions based entirely on these). The writers have said this is just due to the culture they are recruited from, making the case less clear. Due to being Second Founding, they are also possibly an example of the Ultramarines Connection.
- Necropolis Hawks (Iron Warriors) - Speculated, officially listed as Raven Guard successors. Similar behaviors to the Iron Warriors, particularly pragmatic, calculating, unrelenting, brutal, and a preference for close quarters combat. Unlike most supposed Raven Guard successors, they do not specialize in stealth, ambush, or guerrilla tactics (or really use them at all). Instead they specialize in urban warfare/city assault (as in siege warfare, once the walls are breached). tl;dr - They act nothing like their supposed progenitors, but a LOT like Iron Warriors. Not like Cawl hasn't made other Primaris chapters from traitor legion gene stocks.
- 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".
- Hawk Lords (Emperor's Children) - Speculated, tho officially considered Ultramarines. Identical color scheme and very similar iconography to pre-heresy Emperor's Children. Due to being Second Founding, they are likely an example of the Ultramarines Connection.
- 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. Known for liking to put on a show when in combat. Causing as much flash and boom as they can, like a rock star concert. The even have groupies.
- Carcharadons (Night Lords) - 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. Preferred tactic is to brutally and horrifically annihilate the target population (be they enemy or civilian), but leave a few survivors to go tell everyone else about what happened. Physical traits (black eyes, pale skin) similar to both Night Lords and Raven Guard. Dagger-like teeth similar to Kurze's own. Mental mutations and unstable sanity similar to Night Lords. Similarly to Night Lords, the Charcaradons recruit from criminal populations. Their newest lore hints at them being at least one part Raven Guard successors; specifically the Ashen Claws: a blackshield warband that was heavily involved in the fights across the Nostramo sector during the heresy, as the Carcharadons share the title for their leader: "Shade Lord" . However, the Ashen Claws warband still exists as of M41. Notably, said Ashen Claws have called the Charcaradons "mongrels" aka "mixed breeds", hinting at either Chimeric gene-seed, or possibly that the Carcharadons use both Raven Guard and Night Lords gene-seed lines in parallel.
- Raptors (Chapter) (Night Lords) - Speculated, only rumored to be Raven Guard. Gene-seed more similar to Night Lords. While they suffer the pale skin/black eyes seen in both Raven Guard and Night Lords, unlike the Raven Guard but just like the Night Lords, they have fully functional Betcher's Glands. Their homeworld is near the Eye of Terror, but despite being a well know and active chapter, their homeworld's name has been "lost", so noone knows what or where it is. The chapter once blockaded a system, with the entire system's population vanishing. Anyone who attempted to investigate, even members of the Inquisition, also disappeared without a trace. While the chapter shares it's name with Corvus Corax's attempt at making a Space Marine 2.0, said attempt ended in complete failure thanks to Alpha Legion sabotage, the mutated products of the program were all killed in battle.
- Storm Wardens (World Eaters) - Speculated. Similar preferred battle doctrine and color scheme to pre-Heresy War Hounds (Armored assaults combined with close-combat infantry, blue armor with white pauldrons). Records of their origins have been deliberately lost or destroyed, and their homeworld sanctioned against contact with the rest of the Imperium.
- Executioners & Successors (World Eaters) - Speculated. Similar battle doctrine. Highly similar chapter culture and behaviors. Iconography made of images minorly associated with the World Eaters (red, axes). Two of their three successor chapters' names invoke more Khornite associations (Crimson Axes and Skull Bearers). Known for having some of the most brutal close combat methods, even for Astartes. A liking for decorating their armour with the flayed skin of their victims. Lineage questioned by other Imperial Fists successors due to lacking traits associated with the sons of Dorn. Known to be reclusive, only closely associating with their own successor chapters. This isn't exactly unique among Imperial Fist successors however, and the HH black books and novels all but state that their unique culture is due to their origins in the VIIth legion's specialist formations.
- Fire Angels (Word Bearers) - Speculated. Highly similar behaviors and chapter colors. Strict follows of whatever rules they are given? Check, they follow the Codex to the letter. Highly Religious? Double check, they make the Black Templars seem like choir boys in their levels of religious zeal. Don't like Guilliman? Check. Their armour colors are even the same as the Word Bearers, just reversed (What the Word Bearers paint red, the Fire Angels paint silver. What the Word Bearers paint silver, the Fire Angels paint red). While they aren't the only highly religious Astartes chapter, nor are they the only Chapter to adhere so strictly to the Codex (especially among Ultramarines), nor the only "Ultramarines" successors to not like Guilliman (see the Mortifactors below). The combination of all of these traits, along with their Chapter colors) makes them essentially loyalist Word Bearers in all but name. Much like the Minotaurs, there are noted records of their possibly having been more than one Fire Angels chapter.
- Sons of Antaeus (Death Guard) - Speculated. Similar genetic traits included an unnatural hardy stock.
- Mortifactors (Death Guard) - Speculated. Similar color scheme and iconography to pre-heresy Death Guard, specialized in night fighting like the Dusk Raiders, 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. Being a Second Founding chapter, they could be a prime example of the Ultramarine Connection.
- Iron Snakes (Alpha Legion) - Speculated, officially from Ultramarine stock. Use combat doctrines and show behaviors extremely similar to the Alpha Legion. Similar iconography (a single headed snake instead of a three headed hydra). The Iron Snakes also have unusually specific design similarities to said Alpha Legion. Such as their Chapter Master being taller than usual for an Astartes, conceals his face, and has been known to swap identities. They also separate their chapter into independent cells, just like Alpha Legion harrows. Due to being Second Founding, they are also likely an example of the Ultramarines Connection.
The Ultramarine's Second Founding Connection
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 life (Astartes or otherwise). Guilliman also 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. The penning of the Codex Astartes and the shattering of the Legions into individual Chapters would also have provided the perfect opportunity to separate the loyalist traitor-legion elements back into separate formations (both to work more as they were intended, and to make it easier to exterminate any of them that decided to betray the Imperium at a later time). Furthermore, it is confirmed that after [REDACTED] 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, as to not waste useful Astartes assets. This act was backed up by Dorn and Guilliman voluntarily agreeing to have their memories of what really happened suppressed beyond even a Primarch's ability to recall. Dorn would later have this mental block partially lifted, making it likely Guilliman did the same.
Of the chapters listed above, the chapters that are suspected of this connections are:
- Silver Skulls - Iron Warriors
- Hawk Lords - Emperor's Children
- Mortifactors - Death Guard
- Iron Snakes - Alpha Legion
Forge World Horus Heresy Rulebooks
Horus Heresy Novels
- Flight of the Eisenstein
- Vengeful Spirit
- How to Paint Space Marines, pg. 86
- Apocalypse by Josh Reynolds