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Rune Priest

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Space Wolves Librarian; for the Adeptus Mechanicus Rank, see Rune Priest (Adeptus Mechanicus)‎.
A Rune Priest[Needs Citation]

The Rune Priests of the Space Wolves are the equivalent of the Librarians of other Space Marine Chapters.


Like the Librarians of Codex Chapters, Rune Priests are combatant psykers, using their psychic abilities to aid their brothers on the battlefield; off the battlefield, they are the keepers of the chapter's librarium and store of knowledge. The major difference is that Rune Priests do not believe their psychic abilities are derived from the Warp, but rather from the animistic spirits of their homeworld, Fenris, channeled through totems and runes on their armour.[2][3][4] These traditions are descended from the shamanistic rituals of Fenris's native tribes, and have remained unchanged for countless centuries.[3][4]

In a way, the Rune Priests do not consider themselves to be psykers at all; during the Great Crusade, Leman Russ, the primarch of the Space Wolves, was among the voices in favour of disbanding the Librarius in each Space Marine Legion and prohibiting the use of psykers in any of them.[Needs Citation] Yet after the Emperor of Mankind issued his Decree at the Council of Nikaea, the Rune Priests continued to serve among the Space Wolves, stubbornly insisting that their powers had nothing to do with psychic ability.[7] Much like White Scars Stormseers Rune Priests channel their power through the natural powers of Fenris and this serves as a limiting intermediary to protect them from the malign influences of the Warp.[10]

Rune Priests preserve their Chapter's entire history not in written form, but memorize it in great sagas.[3][4] A Rune Priest who begins his training as a Skald is usually assigned to a single Great Company where he is taught its tales. With every new Great Year he joins another Company until he has learned the Chapter's full history and can be sent to whichever Rune Priest needs an apprentice.[3]

The Space Wolves' sagas are chanted at their feast days and during the Festival of the Wolf Time which celebrates the Chapter's founding.[2][3] This festival is held every twelve Great Years and each time great contests of saga-telling and psychic duelings are held to determine if a new High Rune Priest will be chosen. The High Rune Priest is the leader of the entire Chapter's Rune Priests and adviser to the Great Wolf.[3] The Space Wolves field one Rune Priest per company, according to the novel Grey Hunter

Speakers of the Dead

During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy the Speakers of the Dead were a specialized Order of Rune Priests, then simply known as Priests of Fenris. These priests were the most strong-willed and self-controlled Priests, serving as masters of discipline, instillers of culture, and wardens of both the gene-seed and memory of the Legion. It was they who encoded the Legion's history within 'sagas' and record and judge the deeds of the living and the dead.

The Speakers of the Dead were also responsible for training new recruits and instilling them with discipline while also keeping watch for any genetic instabilities.[8]

Abilities and Equipment

The basic weapons of Rune Priests are their psychically charged runic weapons. A common power among Rune Priests is the ability to summon storms across the battlefield which can cover the armies advance. Furthermore, they can cast runes which predict the ebb and flow of future events. These runes are usually carved from the bones or teeth of totem animals.[4] [6]

Many Rune Priests are psyber-linked to ravens which are known as "Choosers of the Slain" to the Space Wolves. Their link enables them to see through the ravens' eyes and control them, thus allowing their use as scouts and messengers.[3]

The 13th Company

Main article: 13th Great Company

Within the lost 13th Company of the Space Wolves, the Rune Priests must guide their brothers through the perils of the Eye of Terror. They have learned how to open small, temporary Warp gates. These allow the Priests to step through them in order to divine the path ahead.[5] The 13th Company has a disproportionately higher number of Rune Priests, as constant exposure to the Warp inside the Eye has endowed many of their battle brothers with psychic ability.[Needs Citation]

Notable Rune Priests



Space Wolves Forces
Command Great WolfWolf Lord (Primaris Wolf Lord)Battle Leader (Wolf Guard Battle Leader • Primaris Battle Leader)Chapter AncientCompany AncientChapter ChampionCompany Champion
Priesthood Rune Priest (Primaris Rune Priest)Wolf Priest (Primaris Wolf Priest)Iron Priest (Primaris Iron Priest)
Veterans Wolf GuardChapter AncientsThunderwolf CavalryGreat Company ChampionVeteran Intercessors
Battleline Grey HuntersIntercessors (Heavy Intercessor) • Infiltrators
Close Support Blood ClawsAssault IntercessorSwiftclawsSkyclawsInceptorsReivers (Hounds of Morkai) • IncursorsWulfenFenrisian Wolves (Cyberwolves)
Fire Support Long FangsAggressorsHellblastersEliminatorsSuppressorsCenturion
Scout Wolf ScoutsLone WolvesWolf Scout Scout Bikers
Vehicles Dreadnoughts (WulfenVenerableRedemptorContemptor)Land Raider (CrusaderRedeemerWrath of Mjalnar) • Repulsor (Executioner) • Land Speeders (Storm) • Storm SpeederRhinoRazorbackImpulsorPredator (AnnihilatorDestructor) • InvictorGladiatorInvaderVindicatorWhirlwindStalkerHunter
Aircraft StormwolfStormfangStormhawkThunderhawkDrop Pod
Special Characters Logan GrimnarRagnar BlackmaneHarald DeathwolfCanis WolfbornKrom DragongazeArjac RockfistNjal StormcallerUlrik the SlayerLukas the TricksterBjornMurderfang