Commander Eugen Temba was the Imperial Governor of the planet Davin during the Great Crusade. Originally a close friend to Horus, Temba would eventually fall sway to the predations of Chaos and, possessed by daemonic energies, attempt to kill his commander and benefactor.
Viewed with trust and friendship by Horus, Primarch of the Luna Wolves, Temba found himself placed in charge of Davin once it had been conquered by the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet. However, he soon found that the inhabitants of Davin's moon refused to comply with Imperial rule. According to Word Bearers Chaplain Erebus, Temba led his occupying forces to the moon in an attempt to bring the tribes there into the light of Imperial Truth, but at a parley with the tribespeople he and his men were struck down by a sorcerous attack that twisted their perceptions away from loyalty to the Imperium. More plainly said, they succumbed to the temptations of the Chaos powers. This event must have taken place not long after the 63rd Fleet left the system, as upon their return 60 years later, they discovered that the wreck of Temba's flagship, the Glory of Terra, had been derelict for almost that long. A significant number of rotting bodies found in the swamps nearby wore the uniforms of the 63rd. It appeared that Temba and all his men had perished.[2a]
This was not exactly the case. While Temba's men reanimated as Plague Zombies, their commander had been more markedly favoured by the Chaos God Nurgle, or Nurg-leth as Temba referred to him. His body also long-deceased, Temba had become a grossly enlarged figure, a corpulent mass of rotting flesh surrounded by flies and wearing the ragged remains of his uniform. When the Warmaster Horus led an assault group of Sons of Horus Space Marines into the Glory of Terra, Temba was first found by Captain Verulam Moy, whom Temba killed after a brief attempt to convert him to Chaos. Horus arrived shortly afterwards.[2b]
During their confrontation, Temba appeared to express extreme bitterness at being left behind by his friend and commander to (almost literally as it turned out) rot in command of a backwater world. He attempted to sway Horus to his way of thinking with dialogue, but was forced to engage the Warmaster in combat. In his Chaos-form he was immune to most forms of conventional injury, and possessed of incredible swiftness for a being so bloated and bulky. Horus also noted his formidable swordsmanship, a skill he believed Temba had possessed little aptitude for. This may be explained by the fact that the corrupted Eugen Temba was armed with the anathame, a xenos weapon secretly stolen by Erebus from the Interex some scant weeks earlier. With this, Temba was able to inflict the devastating wound that brought the Warmaster to the point of death and eventually caused his sojourn to the Serpent Lodge for treatment.
Occasionally Temba's outline would shimmer, briefly showing an image of the pre-corruption Temba screaming in extreme distress. When defeated in combat and separated from the anatheme, Temba seemed devastated and horrified at his embrace of Chaos and apologised to Horus for his actions. He also attempted to warn Horus against the power of the things that lived in the Warp and prophesised that only Horus could avert a grim future where the Emperor was dead and there was only war. He finally died on the deck of his ruined flagship, with his friend Horus beside him.[2c]
- It is not explicitly explained how the anathame changed hands, but the obvious implication presented by the source text is that Erebus somehow caused it to come into Temba's possession.
- Eugen is a word of Germanic origin which means "noble", whilst Temba is an alternate spelling of Themba, an African word which means "trusted'.
- 1: Horus Rising (Novel) by Dan Abnett, Part Three, Chapter Four, pg. 411
- 2: False Gods (Novel) by Graham McNeill