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Hector Thrane

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Hector Thrane was the first Grandmaster of the First Legion and led them during the Unification Wars and Great Crusade.[1a]

He earned the right to do so, after taking part in the First Legion's victorious battle against the Udug Hul soldiers of the Great King of Akkad. The battle's end saw the Great King's head become a trophy that hung from Thrane's belt and he became the Legion's Grandmaster. This also earned him the title, Sinestra of the Emperor, the left hand of the Warlord of Terra, His most fearsome instrument of conquest. The battle also proved the Legio Astartes worth as an army and Thrane led them against the Emperor's foes on Terra and the Sol System. It was under his command that the warped Terran cities of Khadun and Molay were obliterated and who ordered the deployment of gene-phage munitions to purge Enceladus clean of a Khrave infestation. These victories, however, left an indelible stain on both the course of the war and the identity of the First Legion. By the time the Great Crusade began, though, Thrane's actions had forged the Grandmaster's reputation as a ruthless and prideful warlord.[1a]

The continued success of Thrane and the First Legion, saw the Grandmaster rise to become one of the most influential personages in the early Imperial Court. So much so, that Thrane's counsel to the Emperor was second only to that of Malcador and Horus Lupercal. This prominence and success, however, caused Thrane and his Legion to develop an extreme arrogance that led them to believe they could not be defeated. This proved to be their downfall when the First Legion faced an unnamed Xenos species on Canis-Balor. The Legion had sought to claim the world for the Imperium, but the Xenos' proved to be dangerous foe - due to their large numbers, disregard for sane tactics and use of technology that defied rational explanation. This led the First Legion to suffer numerous losses and each invading wave was forced to retreat. Thrane eventfully personally led another invasion of Canis-Balor, after becoming enraged by both the losses and the ruining of his reputation. Under Thrane's direct command the Legion's forces cut a swathe through the Xenos, but could not overcome their superior numbers. This led the First Legion to be nearly destroyed by the Xenos, at which point Thrane realized his hubris had brought them to this point. Seeing now the futility of continuing the invasion, Thrane immediately ordered the First Legion to evacuate Canis-Balor. They began to do so, while Thrane and his Lifeguard sacrificed themselves to act as a rearguard against the advancing Xenos. Once the evacuation was complete, Canis-Balor was destroyed by Exterminatus and Urian Vendraig was chosen as Thrane's successor.[1b]