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Battle of Skalathrax

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Battle of Skalathrax
Conflict Legion Wars
Date M31
Location Skalathrax
Outcome World Eaters Legion shattered[1a]
World Eaters Emperor's Children
Captain Khârn[1b]
Brother Goghur[5a][5b]
Master Shellsmith Jareg[5b]
Captain Argus Brond[5b]
Captain Dreagher[5b]
Acting-Captain Solax[5b]
Captain Rokgur[5b]
Captain Hans Kho'ren[5b]
Captain Zhârkhan[5b]
Apothecary Kargos[5b]
"Red Centurion"[3]
Centurion Gruner(KIA)[4]
Lord Commander Lucius the Eternal[3]
Lord Emissary Tiberius Angellus Anteus(KIA)[5c]
Unidentified Lord Admiral(KIA)[5c]
Most of the World Eaters Legion[1a][5b] Much of the Emperor's Children Legion[5b]
Heavy Heavy

The Battle of Skalathrax, also known as the Skalathrax campaign,[1a] was the final action of the World Eaters Chaos Space Marines as a unified Legion. Skalathrax is a Daemon World within the Eye of Terror and was the site of conflict between the World Eaters and the Emperor's Children.[1a][1b]


Located in a system of relative calm within the Eye of Terror, Skalathrax was a possible sanctuary for any Traitor Legion seeking refuge from the Great Scouring. The system was first discovered by the Emperor's Children who laid claim to it,[5a] seeking to turn it into the center of their operations. They were joined by a host of other Chaos followers, including Chaos Knight Houses and Traitor Titan Legions.[5e] Even as they began to build fortresses amid the system's ancient Xenos ruins, however, a large World Eaters fleet also arrived in the system. The Emperor's Children sent one of their ships forward, and its arrogant captain delivered an ultimatum to the World Eaters: Leave this domain of the III Legion, or fight.[5a] The Emperor's Children force was much larger than the World Eaters fleet,[2] even though the bulk of the XII Legion was present.[5a][5b]

Furious at the behavior of the III Legion, a large number of World Eaters commanders, foremost the de facto Legion head Goghur, urged to immediately attack. More level-headed officers like Argus Brond and Solax advocated to either leave the system or negotiate with the Emperor's Children for supplies. Ultimately, the dispute was ended by the sudden appearance of Khârn who had been in a coma until a few hours before. Khârn convinced both the World Eaters officers as well as representatives of the III Legion to parlay on a moon of Skalathrax.[5b] In truth, Khârn had no interest in a peaceful solution at all, instead maneuvering his Legion so that a major battle would erupt, ostensibly to reunite the leaderless World Eaters through shared bloodshed.[5c]

Khârn led a delegation of 300 World Eaters, including many of the most sane and level-headed officers, to the moon's surface. There, they met a large delegation of Emperor's Children, led by Tiberius Angellus Anteus and a Daemon called the "Hedonarch". Though tense, the talks initially appeared to proceed fruitfully, with the III Legion delegation expressing thanks for the safe return one of their own, Palatine Blade Egil Galerius (who had been saved by the World Eaters on Terra). When Anteus reaffirmed that the system belonged to the Emperor's Children, however, Khârn provoked unrest and inspired Captain Dreagher to open fire.[5c]


The parlay thus broke down and a bloody quagmire erupted on the moon.[2][5c] Both sides suffered heavy losses, with most of the World Eaters officers present cut down, leaving the most aggressive commanders dominant in the Legion. The surviving World Eaters mostly tried to escape the moon before the nearby Emperor's Children fleet could bombard their position.[5c][5d]

Meanwhile, Khârn led a small World Eaters strike group to hijack an III Legion shuttle and board the Emperor's Children battle cruiser Golden Absolute. Led by their champion, the small group managed to surprise their opponents and slaughter their way to the vessel's bridge where they killed the III Legion's Lord Admiral before setting the Golden Absolute on a collision course with Skalathrax.[5d] Khârn and his comrades subsequently descended onto the planet in escape pods, from where the 8th Captain contacted the World Eaters fleet. In a rousing speech, he declared that the World Eaters would not whittle away but instead were fated to stand and fight as "one Legion".[5e] This indeed inspired the entire World Eaters host to attack as one force; ironically, Khârn had thus united his long broken Legion for this one battle, only to himself shatter the unity not long after.[5e][5f]

Led by Khârn, the World Eaters fell upon Skalathrax, and slaughtered their way across the planet. The III Legion offered heavy resistance;[1a] the Emperor's Children on the planet included the faction of Lucius the Eternal, and he killed many World Eaters champions after the battle had erupted.[3] Regardless, the World Eaters nearly overwhelmed the Emperor's Children in their unrelenting fury.[1a]

Before they could achieve victory, however, Skalathrax's extremely cold night fell. The night's temperature was deadly and unrelenting, killing both sides and forcing them to seek shelter. Many World Eaters still tried to keep fighting, yet the cold helped the Emperor's Children Noise Marines to hold their positions. Khârn, furious with his fellow warriors for their weakness, took up a flamer, burning his fellow berserkers and the nearest building. He then walked into the night, and continued to kill everyone he could find. Driven from their shelters and inspired by Khârn's bloodlust, many other World Eaters also turned against their comrades, causing the legion to descend into fraternal violence.[1b] World Eaters led by Centurion Gruner attempted to stop Khârn's rampage, but were ruthlessly killed by their former comrade.[4] As Skalathrax burned, the World Eaters shattered into hundreds of warbands and anarchy reigned, while Khârn continued to kill in Khorne's name.[1a][1b]


The World Eaters were utterly broken as a Legion at Skalathrax and have remained so ever since, fragmented into countless, marauding warbands. Khârn has become the mortal incarnation of Khorne's ideal of maddened bloodlust and hate, killing any worthy enough to serve as a blood offering to Khorne. Only those who share his insanity would fight alongside him, for Khârn knows no friend or ally. In all his years of war he has known only victory, for only death could halt the rampage of one as relentless as Khârn.[1a][1b]