|Jaghatai Khan battles Orks during the Chondax Campaign|
|Conflict||Great Crusade/Horus Heresy|
|Outcome||Ork infestation largely cleared|
Imperials escape Alpha Legion blockade
| Primarch Jaghatai Khan
Knight-Centura Calistis Merovin(WIA)
|Warboss Urlakk Urruk|| Unknown, primary commander listed as pseudonym "Desidero"|
Praetor Siridor Vhen (KIA)
| 67,600 White Scars
10,000 Imperial Army
4,000 Solar Auxilia
63 Sisters of Silence
|Waaagh!|| ~30,000 Alpha Legion|
|At least 15,500 White Scars killed or seriously wounded||Millions||Unknown|
The battle was initially waged against Orks led by Warboss Urlakk Urruk, a former follower of Ullanor Warboss Urlakk Urg. In truth, the entire campaign was orchestrated by the treacherous Warmaster Horus to keep the White Scars far away from the Imperium's core while he enacted his Rebellion. Horus did not wish to destroy the White Scars, viewing them as future allies. Instead, he sought to distract them at Chondax while his initial plans unfolded. The Chondax System was infested with Orks, and its layout meant tha tit would take a lifetime of bloody fighting to clear them all. However The Khan did not complain, and instead dutifully set about the task of clearing the region of space from Greenskin infestation. Unknown to the White Scars, Chondax was also home to many hidden Alpha Legion assets who were ordered by Horus to keep the Scars busy there for as long as possible.[3a]
The battle in Chondax began when the Imperial vessel swept aside Ork fleet assets in the area, losing the Imperialis Armada Light Cruiser Forsworn to Greenskin boarders over Chondax Prime. The Scars subsequently made planetfall on Chondax Prime, targeting the Ork Fortress known as Black-Blight with the Legion's Kharash Terminator elite. The Kharash conducted devastating but surprisingly swift hit-and-run attacks on Greenskin defensive positions. Meanwhile, accompanying Imperial Army siege units of the Charonid Sentinels were tasked with breaching the Fortress Walls. After a six hour battle the Orks broke and retreated into the forests of Chondax. Despite this early victory, the campaign to root out the Orks would last seven more years and see heavy Imperial losses. Notable battles of the campaign include the battle on Shaln, where Nogai Noyan-Khan led a successful eradication effort with Reconnaissance Marines and Burkhut's Claws Veterans. Though victorious, Nogai himself fell to a Alpha Legion Headhunter ambush orchestrated to appear as if conducted by Orks. Another significant became known as the Phemus Massacre broke out when on the White Scars assaulting the gas giant Phemus were ambushed by Alpha Legion forces based on the planet. Taken by complete surprise, the Scars were massacred and the Alpha Legion triggered volcanic landslides to hide the evidence of the battle.[3b]
The White Scars had received little to no communications from the wider Imperium during the campaign, but this changed after the destruction of Tenebrae Station which allowed Jaghatai Khan to finally receive some garbled Astropathic communications. The Khan called his forces back to Chondax Prime, triggering a wave of sudden Alpha Legion assaults across the System. Alpha Legion vessels targeted lone White Scars ships and Alpha Legionaries wearing the colors of the Scars attacked their allies throughout the region.
Only Chondax Prime escaped Alpha Legion attack, drawing the Scars and their allies to this location. Instead Chondax Prime and the White Scars high command were assailed by disinformation: stating that Leman Russ had turned renegade and was igniting a civil war on Prospero. The messages included direct summons from Horus himself, giving credence to the tale. Simultaneously however, the Scars received messages from Rogal Dorn that stated Horus had turned against the Emperor on Isstvan III. As the Khan was wracked with what decision to make, the Alpha Legion fleet arrived over Chondax Prime.[3b] After a tense standoff with the Alpha Legion, Jaghatai Khan took control of his fleet from the Swordstorm and skillfully executed a formation known as The Chisel which smashed a wedge in the Alpha Legion fleet and allowed their escape. Multiple Alpha Legion ships were destroyed during the brief but intense battle in space.
The battle over Chondax was not the only one in this final phase. On Herkon, 10,000 White Scars embarked upon their transports while holding back an Alpha Legion armored assault. So few Frigates were left in orbit that the Scars had to draw lots to determine to go on, with most instead desiring to stay and take the fight to the enemy. In the jungles of Epihelikon, the confident Alpha Legion expected no resistance but were instead assailed by the Saturnyne Rams and White Scars. The Imperials were able to steal a number of craft from the Alpha Legion and escape.[3b] On Phemus IV, the Alpha Legion's hidden base was revealed to be the repudiated lair of Alpharius himself. The White Scars under Ulkanor Khan led a Keshig attack on the base, suspecting its beacon was important to the Alpha Legion's plans. Ulkanor attempted to engage in a duel with Alpha Legion Praetor Siridor Vhen, who instead had his men gun down the brave White Scar. On Byfrust, Tsolmon Khan's forces as well as the Sisters of Silence under Calistis Merovin were overwhelmed by a massive Alpha Legion assault and fought to the last. They decided to not die on the defensive and instead launched a massive Jetbike and Keshig assault into the Alpha Legion ranks, laughing all the way. The Alpha Legion Consul Striga was forced to unleash Sorcery upon the Scars to stem the tide, but were countered by the Sisters of Silence. However the Scars and their allies victory proved short-lived as the Alpha Legion Cruiser Phi-Hekator emerged over Byfrust to devastate the Imperials.[3b]
Due to the extreme speed of the White Scars ships, they were quickly able to outrun their enemy once they had broken through the blockade. The Khan's fleet arrived at outlying systems of Chondax long enough to rescue any stranded forces while also delivering brutal vengeance upon the Alpha Legion. On Phemus, the Khan confronted and slew the Alpha Legion commander Siridor Vhen, who before his death stated that he had saved the Scars from the terrors that now gripped the Galaxy. The Khan later encountered the crippled cruiser Hawkstar, which carried the last survivors of Tsolmon Khan's forces and exacted a vengeful bombardment of Phemus IV.[3b]
Once the White Scars fleet led by the Swordstorm escaped into the Warp, The Khan stated his determination to discover the truth of this mayhem for himself and set course for Prospero, ignoring the Space Wolves plea for aid as they were beset by enemy forces in the Alaxxes Nebula.
Later Mortarion remarks that that something foul had taken place at Chondax, as the original plan by Horus was for the Alpha Legion to recruit the White Scars. Instead, either under orders from Alpharius or Omegon, they took overtly hostile actions, avoided any attempt at communication, and kept the White Scars occupied until they could recieve a message from Rogal Dorn warning them of the Heresy. Indeed, the only reason this message could be delivered was because Omegon had dispatched his Effrit Stealth Squad to destroy a Pylon blocking White Scars communications. It seems that the Alpha Legion, or at least elements of it, wished for the Scars to remain true to the Emperor.
Some scattered groups of White Scars survivors were discovered ten years after the Heresy, having waged a solitary war against the Alpha Legion until they withdrew from the System.[3b]
- 1: Scars (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 2: The Serpent Beneath[Needs Citation]
- 3: The Horus Heresy Book Eight