The Warrior Lodges were a group of secret fraternities formed by members of the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade. They eventually led to the division of the Legions into factions that facilitated their fall to Chaos and the start of the Horus Heresy. Warrior Lodges were covertly spread by the Word Bearers, who had secretly fallen to Chaos, as a means to subvert the loyalties of each Astartes Legion.
|This page contains spoilers for:||Horus Heresy series|
Officially, there were no secret societies within the Adeptus Astartes, not least because the Emperor of Mankind disapproved of them, feeling that they were dangerously close to the cults that he had outlawed after the adoption of the Imperial Truth.[1a] Nevertheless, according to Captain Serghar Targost, the Lodge Master for the Luna Wolves, some form of these fraternities had existed in almost every Legion for thousands of years, since before the Unification Wars.[1b]
Approximately sixty years before the Battle of 63-19, the Luna Wolves and the Word Bearers participated in a joint undertaking to subjugate the world of Davin, ruled by a fierce warrior society organized into a series of quasi-religious cults, each of them centered around the veneration of "totem" animals. The Davinites were fierce enemies, worthy of the Legions' admiration, and the Space Marines could not help but adopt their customs. Before long, similar lodges could be found in the other Legions, forming tight-knit fellowships between "elite" warriors.[1a]
Several of the Legions' more strait-laced officers, such as Garviel Loken of the Luna Wolves[1a], Nathaniel Garro of the Death Guard[2a][2b], and Macer Varren of the World Eaters[3a], forbade the men of their Companies to have anything to do with the lodges. Loken's friends, Captains Tarik Torgaddon and Horus Aximand both defended their membership in the lodges, arguing that even super-human Astartes needed a place to speak their minds and feel the kinship of their brothers, regardless of rank or unit affiliation. After attending a lodge meeting, Loken was somewhat assuaged, but still had misgivings: the lodges were, after all, a secret institution, and secrecy was anathema to a military organization.[1b]
Eventually, the lodges became the vehicle by which rebellion spread through the Legions, beginning with discontent over the Emperor's withdrawal from the Crusade and some of the dictates being issued by the newly-formed Council of Terra. By the time of the Battle of Isstvan III, the Legions were clearly divided between those officers and marines who would follow Horus in his treason, and those who would not, leading to the massacre of those loyalist forces at Isstvan.[2c]
In M41, ten thousand years after the Heresy, the formation of secret brotherhoods between self-appointed "elite" soldiers was still regarded as a warning sign of Chaos corruption. Commissar Ciaphas Cain made a point of lecturing his students at the Schola Progenium about it, the better for them to spot, and hopefully head off, the development of Traitor Guard units.
- 1: Horus Rising (Novel)
- 2: The Flight of the Eisenstein (Novel)
- 3: Garro: Sword of Truth (Audio Book)
- 4: Cain's Last Stand (Novel) - Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium (Omnibus) by Sandy Mitchell: Chapter Five, pg. 563
- 5: The First Heretic (Novel) - Chapter 22