The Rangdan Xenocides were a series of bloody conflicts fought by the Imperium and Rangda Xenos during the Great Crusade in the late 800s.M30. Much of what is known about these conflicts is contradictory and incomplete.
Though now a footnote in history, the Rangdan Xenocides were a massive series of campaigns fought for Humanity's survival. Over the campaigns 80,000 Astartes and millions of Imperial Army gave their lives to hold back the Rangda and their slave cohorts.[6a]
First Rangdan Xenocide
According to one source, the wars began in the 839.M30 when the vicious Rangdan species of Xenos invaded the frontiers of the nascent Imperium. They were first encountered by the Imperium at Advex-Mors and engaged by the First Legion, which lost 5,000 Battle-Brothers of 4 months. However this was later discovered to be but a small outpost for the Rangda. However the sudden apperance of Imperial forces stayed the Rangda's invasion for several decades.[6a]
Second Rangdan Xenocide
In 862.M30 the Rangda reportedly invaded from the galactic north and east, inflicting losses on the Imperium on a scale that would not be seen until the Horus Heresy. Whole Expeditionary fleets went to their deaths without a single survivor, worlds were laid waste, dozens of Titan Legions were obliterated, and entire Space Marine Legions were said to be lost to the Imperium.[6a] Notably, a document called "The Rangdan Xenocides: A Crusade Field Guide", seemingly issued to Solar Auxilia troops during the campaign, offers possible details in this regard. The document includes a mention of the II and XI Legions being deployed alongside Solar Auxilia to fight the Rangda Xenos. It also references a "Warmaster", though this individual is not neccessarily Horus.
It was only by the efforts of the V Legion and XIX Legion that the tide was delayed long enough to allow Imperial forces to rally and make their stand at the Forge World of Xana. At Xana the Vth and XIXth Legions fought a bitter holding action for 8 months at a cost of 3,000 Astartes and many hundreds of thousands of Mechanicum troops. The siege was eventually broken by the arrival of the Dark Angels and Death Guard. What would follow was more than two decades of war and millions upon millions of deaths that saw 19 systems laid to waste. Contingents from nine separate Legions became embroiled in the war with more than 300,000 Space Marines and 3 Primarchs including Lion El'Jonson being deployed during the climatic assault on Taxal.[6a] Much of what happened during this conflict is unclear, but what can be said is that with the breaking of the Labyrinth of Night by the Emperor, the threat was at last stymied.
In 881.M30, an incident known as the Majind Torc Transgression took place when a Basemekanic Barq broke the Imperial blockade of the galactic northeast to make impact at Majind. The Death Guard was mobilized to decimate the activated Macrobeest within by unknown means. Only the quick thinking intervention of the Space Wolves prevented disaster.
The last known battle of the Second Rangdan War was in 882.M30 when a battered Rangdan fleet was encountered and slaughtered. The worlds tainted by the Rangdan beyond recovery were abandoned and the surviving veterans sworn to silence or elimination.[6a] After this conflict, the Dark Angels created the Order of Broken Claws to study the Rangdan and prepare for the possible return of the horrific Xenos species.[6b]
Third Rangdan Xenocide
The accounts of the Third Rangdan Xenocide are highly contradictory, and much knowledge about this war was deliberately destroyed by the Imperium.[6a] It is known that the conflict took place in the 890s.M30, and generally agreed upon that the Imperial extermination campaign was led by the Dark Angels and Space Wolves under their Primarchs Lion El'Jonson and Leman Russ. The existing sources also agree that the Rangdan had grown powerful once more.[6a]
However, some tellings of the Third Rangdan Xenocide describe it as apocalyptic war during which 50,000 Dark Angels were killed as they fought off a massive Rangdan invasion which brought the northern Imperium to the brink of destruction. These losses eventually contributed to the Dark Angels losing their status as the largest legion to the Ultramarines. Another account claims that the Third Rangdan Xenocide was a decade-long series of catastrophic purges organized by the Dark Angels and Space Wolves to wipe out life on all Rangdan-tainted worlds, including Imperial ones. Accordingly, there were many battles "across vast swathes of the galactic north-west" during the Third Rangdan Xenocide.[9d]
These accounts are outright contradicted by yet another tale which claimed that the Rangdan homeworlds were discovered by scouting White Scars in 887.M30, whereupon the Dark Angels and Space Wolves launch a just one-year-long campaign of extermination in often one-sided battles. According to this story, the two Space Marine Legions ultimately destroyed all Rangda and reduced their homeworlds to nothing.[6a] It is known that Xana contributed a large expeditionary force, including Taghmata Scoria[9a] and House Malinax,[9c] to assist in the later Rangdan Xenocides including the "carefully planned genocide [...] at Rangda".[9a]
The claims of an easy and complete Imperial victory are also called into question by the fact that the Order of Broken Claws was not disbanded after the Third Rangdan Xenocide. Instead, it was tasked to watch over a station at Advex-Mors and guard relics associated with the Xenos.[6b] Interestingly, the same account which alleged that the Imperium had successfully purged the Rangdan homeworlds falsely claimed that the Order of Broken Claws was stationed at the Rangda system, not Advex-Mors, by the time of the Horus Heresy.[6c]
Alpha Legion Involvement
During the Xenocides a member of the XXth Legion identifying itself as Alpharius but admitting their primarch had not yet been discovered came before the Lion. This "Alpharius" offered aid to the Primarch against the Rangdan in hopes that the Dark Angels would maintain their prominence and thus one day The Lion would be made Warmaster. The Lion at this time did not even know of the title Warmaster, but still secretly believed that such a title may one day be likely bestowed by one of the Primarch's by the Emperor. Alpharius stated that the XXth Legion would prefer The Lion be Warmaster over someone like Roboute Guilliman, as he was not so different from them in their views of war and secrecy. El'Johnson rejects this offer, explaining to Arnaid that "The offers change. The answer never does", in reference to those who'd turn the Lion from his path as the hunter of beasts.
According to a dubious tale given by Alpharius himself, he was in fact the "Alpharius" present at the meeting with The Lion. Alpharius offered aid to the Dark Angels as he had an interest to move into the warzone to follow rumors of his long-lost brother he believed was on Bar'Savor. Upon Bar'Savor, Alpharius and Omegon were reunited and an Alpha Legion fleet including the Beta purged the planet of Slaugth that had followed in the wake of the Rangdan.
It is unknown and unclear whether these events take place during the 2nd or 3rd Rangdan xenocides.
- 1: The Horus Heresy Book Seven pgs. 81–82
- 2: The Horus Heresy Book Five pg. 96
- 3: The Horus Heresy Book Three pg. 82
- 4: Scions of the Emperor (Anthology) - First Legion
- 5: The Horus Heresy Book Eight pg.16
- 6: The Horus Heresy Book Nine
- 7: Alpharius: Head of the Hydra (Novel), - Hydra Domninatus
- 8: White Dwarf 470, pg. 101 - Chronicles of the Horus Heresy
- 9: The Horus Heresy Book Six - Retribution
- 10: Campaigns of the Age of Darkness: The Siege of Cthonia, pg. 121, The Legiones Inductii
- 11: The Regimental Standard - Field Dressing a Lasgun Wound (archived 17 March 2019)