Sons of Horus
The Sons of Horus, originally known as the Luna Wolves, were the XVI Legion of the original twenty Space Marine Legions. Their Primarch was Horus, known to them as Horus Lupercal, and to Imperial history as the instigator of the Horus Heresy, the first great Imperial civil war. Following the Horus Heresy most of the Sons of Horus escaped into the Eye of Terror, where they were largely shattered during the Legion Wars. Following the Battle of Harmony large amounts of the Legion were later absorbed into former First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon's Black Legion. A few warbands, later known as the "Thrice-Cursed Traitors", were able to remain independent and still operate as Sons of Horus.[13b]
- 1 Homeworld
- 2 History
- 2.1 Unification
- 2.2 The Great Crusade
- 2.3 Combat Disposition and Record
- 2.4 The Horus Heresy
- 2.5 Post-Heresy
- 2.6 Notable Engagements
- 3 Gene-Seed
- 4 Culture and Organization
- 5 Noted Elements of the Sons of Horus
- 6 Images
- 7 Sources
The Luna Wolves are said to have originated from a world called Cthonia; this planet allegedly existed in one of Terra's closest neighbouring star systems. Being within reach even for non-warp spacecraft, Cthonia had been colonised, built upon, tunneled and mined out most likely since the dawn of space travel. As such, all natural resources had been stripped away and used up millennia before the arrival of the Primarch Horus Lupercal, and the ancient mining technology had long since been rediscovered and removed by the Adepts of Mars. The planet that remained was largely redundant and abandoned, completely riddled with catacombs, crumbling industrial plants and exhausted mine-workings. It is noted as no longer extant in current Imperial records, believed to have cataclysmically lost geo-structural integrity in the centuries after the Horus Heresy. Many put this down to the fact that the planet was tunneled and mined right though to the (dead) planetary core, but there is much conjecture that Cthonia was deliberately destroyed, by person or persons unknown.
During the Unification Wars the initial recruitment pool of the XVIth Legion was believed to made up of members of the 'hunter clans' of both the Jutrigan Bowl and Samsatian sub-plate slums of Terra. These areas were reckoned to be harsh places to live, with their inhabitants noted for their ruthless, independent character. Whether it was this nature, or the Emperor's genetic design for the legion template, or a mixture of both, the nascent Terran XVIth soon became known for being exemplar shock troops during the initial Imperial expansion campaigns, used successfully to both quickly start and finish fights, either in an initial, fully successful blow, or in being deployed from reserve to enact the killing strike. [3a]
One of their earliest campaigns proved important to the development and formation of the XVIth as a legion was the First Pacification of Luna. Playing the most important role in the action, the XVIth achieved both the critical objective and notoriety during the conflict, gaining the unofficial moniker of the Emperor's Wolves. As a result, they were tithed the bulk of the output of the captured gene-labs for a time, allowing them to rapidly build their numbers. This, in turn, necessitated more recruiting stock. [3a]
Thus, many of the original XVIth are believed to have had a separate, somewhat unusual origin; they were effectively kidnapped from the world of Cthonia by 'recruitment squads' sent from Terra charged with the task of rounding up thousands of individuals from the violent gangs that infested the ancient world. These 'recruits' were then taken to the geno-laboratories on Luna for the modification and indoctrination required to become Space Marines.
Upon the discovery of Horus, the Emperor officially renamed them the Luna Wolves in honor of their past victories and baptism of fire on Terra's moon.[3a] Despite this somewhat unusual beginning, the end results were reckoned to be exemplary loyal and ferociously motivated troops. By the time Horus was placed in charge of them, the Luna Wolves were ten thousand strong..
The Great Crusade
Horus, the Primarch of the Luna Wolves, was the first of the Primarchs to be recovered by the Emperor, having been cast much closer to Terra than the others. Horus was for many years the Emperor's only discovered son, and there was a great affinity between them. The Emperor spent much time with his protege, teaching and encouraging him, and soon gave him command of the legion created from his own genetic code. With these warriors to lead, Horus accompanied the Emperor for the first thirty years of the Great Crusade, and together they forged the initial expansion of the young Imperium.
Combat Disposition and Record
Unlike almost all other Legions, the Luna Wolves were led by their Primarch almost from inception. Not only that, they spent decades fighting under the direct supervision of the Emperor himself. This led to them thinking of themselves as the pre-eminent Legion and led to a prideful and confident mentality. They strove to be the best; to conquer more than the other Legions, faster than them, and better than them. It is arguable that they succeeded in these aims, but equally arguable that their 'successful' combat records do not exactly stand up to close scrutiny.
The Early Crusade
As Horus and the Emperor spent much of the initial Great Crusade together, the Luna Wolves were present at all of the Emperor's early victories, winning great glory for themselves. Incidents from these early campaigns that highlighted the bond between the ruler of the Imperium and their commander would become legend throughout the galaxy. At the Siege of Reillis, Horus was knocked senseless by a plasma blast that sent him sprawling to the floor; the Emperor stood over his downed son and slew all that came near until reinforcements arrived. Horus was able to repay this life-debt later, on the Ork world of Gorro, when the Emperor found himself being choked by a huge Ork warlord in hand-to-hand combat; Horus stepped in and struck the Ork's arm from his body.
Eventually, however, the Emperor received word that another Primarch had been discovered, and left the side of Horus and the Luna Wolves to meet his newly found son. Horus was given temporary command of all the Imperial Legions during this time, an indicator of how highly he was esteemed. While Horus was pleased that one of his missing brothers had been found, the thirty years spent as the Emperor's only child had made their mark; he determined that he would always make the Emperor proudest of his and his legion's achievements.
As more and more Primarchs were discovered, and other business of the growing Imperium required the Emperor's direct attention, Horus found himself placed in overall strategic command of large swathes of the Imperial Crusade forces on several occasions. His excellence in this role drew praise not only from his father, but from his brothers; Horus was apparently universally respected by the other Space Marine Legions and their Primarchs. One of the reasons for this was that Horus appeared able to use his forces in flexible ways; able to unleash his Luna Wolves if required, but also able to use them as diplomats. He developed a habit of partaking in local customs whenever bringing a new world into the Imperium, and the Luna Wolves were exposed to many such traditions as a result. The most important of these would be the practice of warrior-lodges. While a form of warrior-lodge had existed in the legion since its early days, after the compliance of a world known as Davin, it became more popular and even somewhat ritualized. This would be something that would have serious implications in the legion's future.[3a][4a]
The Luna Wolves also acquired all the glory of being the greatest Primarch's personal guard, and they shared Horus' credo of fighting to be the best. Under his ambitious command, the Luna Wolves were always at the forefront of the latest campaign, energetically pushing the boundaries of the Imperium ever wider, driving further and further into the galaxy and striving to conquer and liberate more worlds than the other Legions, destroying all enemies of humanity in their way.
The Ullanor Crusade
Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Luna Wolves, the Ullanor Crusade became a feted military campaign of the Imperium and to many is seen as the high watermark of the Great Crusade itself. The Ullanor sector was the domain of the Ork Overlord Urlakk Urg, who ruled over dozens of human-founded worlds. Determined to exterminate the Orks, Horus distracted them by ordering secondary attacks on the outlying worlds by other Space Marine Legions and Imperial Army regiments. With the focus of the Orks on these invasions of their borders, the Luna Wolves dove straight for the throat, initiating a surprise orbital drop directly onto Urlakk Urg's capital world. Horus led his 1st Company Terminator elite into a personal teleport attack on Urg's palace. With the majority of the Terminators dealing with the Ork defenders, Horus led ten of the best into combat with Urg and his own forty-strong retinue. The fight was a hard one, but Horus eventually slew the Ork, casting his broken body out from the battlements of his tower, demoralising his Ork followers. Of the fight between the ten Terminators and the forty Orks, there was only one survivor: First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon.
At the successful conclusion of the Ullanor Crusade a year later, the Emperor declared it the greatest victory yet for his mighty Imperium and was said to bestow much praise upon the Luna Wolves and Horus for their part in the campaign. At the subsequent Triumph of Ullanor, the Emperor himself bestowed upon Horus the title of Warmaster, making him the supreme commander of the Emperor's forces and effectively giving him complete military control of the Great Crusade. The Emperor also suggested, before he returned to Terra and left the rest of the Crusade to Horus, that Horus should rename his legion to cement his position as Warmaster. The suggested name was the Sons of Horus. Horus initially declined this honour and his Legion continued as the Luna Wolves.[5b]
Transformation - The Sons of Horus
Increasingly concerned, however, with a belief that some of the other Primarchs and their Legions did not show him and his Wolves enough honour in their roles as the Warmaster and his personal Legion, Horus, at the suggestion of Sanguinius[3b], eventually took up the offer made to him by the Emperor to change the name and iconography of Legion XVI. Shortly after the Interex campaign the Luna Wolves became the Sons of Horus.[5c]
Not long after the change, Horus was wounded on the moon of Davin by Eugen Temba, an old subordinate who was under the influence of the Chaos Power Nurgle. Horus recovered in the Temple of the Serpent Lodge, a warrior and healing lodge on the planet. During his convalescence, he took part in the induction ceremony of the lodge. In the days that followed, some of Horus' officers detected a change in his character. It is now known that the warrior lodge was in fact a Chaos coven, which somehow managed to ensnare the Warmaster, allegedly due to scheming from Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers.[4b]
A similar warrior lodge already existed in his own Legion, started after the Luna Wolves' first visit to Davin - this was an example of the Primarch's well-tried practice to develop ties with local populations at work; feral natives were more easily recruited into the Imperial fold when the 'Warriors from the Stars' had become brothers - and it is believed it was subsequently used by the Primarch to aid in the corruption of his Marines. Warrior lodges in other legions under his command were similarly used. Horus' fealty had changed; his Legion eventually came to believe that he was actually possessed by a Daemon. Whether or not this is true, it is certain that he was now allied body and soul to the Powers of Chaos, and he had a new vision for the Imperium with himself at its head.
The Horus Heresy
The majority of the Sons of Horus, already fiercely loyal and proud of their Warmaster, had no hesitation at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy. They quickly renounced their oaths to the Emperor and started to worship Horus and his new gods. The remaining portion of the Legion was betrayed and wiped out by their brothers on the world of Isstvan III, but not before reverting to the use of their original name, the Luna Wolves.[5a] Few loyalist Sons of Horus survived this purge. The best known was Iacton Qruze who fled the Isstvan III system on the Eisenstein; he too reverted to the name and even the iconography of the Luna Wolves. Other Sons of Horus had not been present at Isstvan III, and some of these stayed loyal, becoming Blackshields.
Outside the Legion, Horus' corruption spread to every organisation with which he had dealings, including a division of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and from there to the Collegia Titanica and the Legio Cybernetica. The other Primarchs Horus knew like brothers, and he was already well practiced at motivating them. Appealing to their pride, martial prowess and courage while playing upon past grudges and favours, the Warmaster gained the loyalty of fully half the Primarchs. The war that followed was the most terrible in the history of the Imperium and came close to shattering it forever. Space Marines fought Space Marines and Titans fought Titans. Horus carved out a vast swathe of the Northern Imperium which became known as the Dark Empire.
On Molech, the Sons of Horus scored a major victory and Horus was able to acquire the same powers of the Emperor. During this same battle, the pre-Heresy Mournival was reunited aboard the Vengeful Spirit after an infiltration team of Knights-Errant including Garviel Loken was captured and brought before Horus in Lupercal's Court. After a fierce battle that saw the Warmaster slay Iacton Qruze, the Knights-Errant managed to escape.[7a] Horus was later confronted by Leman Russ, and was badly wounded by the Spear of Russ during the Battle of Trisolian despite the traitor military victory.
Horus' wound by Russ proved severe, sending the Warmaster into a comatose-like state as his soul was fought over by the Gods of Chaos. Without his guidance the war effort faltered, with many Primarchs refusing to listen and Horus Aximand and Falkus Kibre proving indecisive and stubborn despite Maloghurst's best attempts to retain cohesion and enact Horus' will. At Heta-Gladius, the Vengeful Spirit itself faced destruction under the leadership of Aximand as Maloghurst enacted a ritual to try and restore Horus. Thanks to the sacrifice of Maloghurst, Horus' soul was restored, and the Sons of Horus arrived at Ullanor for the general muster of traitor forces before the move on Terra. Meanwhile, the Sons of Horus' own homeworld of Cthonia was besieged and conquered by the Imperial Fists.[34a]
At the climax of the war, the traitors struck towards the Sol System and brought closure to the Solar War. By this point, the Sons of Horus had begun deploying Newborn Legionaries, new Space Marines hastily created during the Heresy itself.[10b] A large splinter Sons of Horus force, called the "True Sons of Cthonia", was allowed by Horus to attempt to retake Cthonia. This group, led by Captain Vheren Ashurhaddon, remained loyal to their Primarch, but believed that the Legion was losing itself due to the influence of Chaos, seeing salvation in the old traditions of their homeworld.[34b]
After his victory in the Solar War, Terra was invaded by Horus, and the Emperor's Palace itself was besieged and breached. However by this point the constant pull of the Ruinous Powers had seen Horus' mental state deteroriate, and he became increasingly withdrawn from the day-to-day affairs of the siege as his emissary Argonis became horrified by his apparent senility.[11b] In a bid to end the war to save the ever-decaying Horus, Abaddon and the Mournival led a subterranean assault on the Saturnine Gate. However the assault failed due to preparations by Rogal Dorn, and all the Mournival save Abaddon himself died in the assault.[11a] Following the disaster figures such as Indras Archeta, Azelas Baraxa, and Xhofar Beruddin rose to prominence, but these were poor copies of their predecessors and the Legion began to fracture into warlordism amidst Terra's ruins.
In the end, it was Horus who was slain, and with him died the rebellion. On the 55th day of the siege, Horus, in a bid to end the campaign quickly, lowered the shields around his flagship, daring the Emperor to board it. He did so, and although the Emperor was brought low in their resultant duel, Horus was killed. It was a traumatic and devastating blow for the Sons of Horus, who immediately broke off from their assault upon the planet below. However, they launched a costly counter-attack to retake their fallen Primarch's body.[25a] The remnants of the Imperial boarding party who had not already left were thus scoured from the vessel by Abaddon and his 1st Company Terminators.
Horus' death broke the Sons of Horus' morale, and they began to retreat from Terra after recovering Horus' corpse. This act further undermined the Traitors' cohesion, as they were left leaderless. Several factions of the other Traitor legions would come to blame the Sons of Horus for the ultimate failure of the Siege of Terra, claiming that victory could still have been achieved.[25a] Meanwhile, Vheren Ashurhaddon's attempt to retake Cthonia was foiled when the Dark Angels destroyed the planet, killing most of the still-fighting traitors and loyalists on it. However, Ashurhaddon and some of his followers were able to escape, hoping to use the memory of Cthonia to eventually reforge their Legion.[34d]
With the Great Scouring's conclusion, the entire Legion regrouped on the world of Maeleum inside the Eye of Terror. There they built a fortress-tomb for the safe-keeping of the Warmaster's corpse and even in death still revered him as their commander. Nobody was appointed in his place and the Captains of the Legion would offer sacrifices and pray for guidance in his shrine. Many Sons of Horus venetrated their dead Primarch as a god, believing that he would eventually be resurrected to return them to greatness. Some Sons of Horus rejected this devotion outright, however, leaving Maeleum and deciding that they would never again bow down to anyone, be it mortals or gods.[13b]
The Sons of Horus were initially the most aggressive Legion against the Imperium, as if to atone for their previous cowardice on Terra or perhaps to attempt to 're-prove' that they were still the best Legion. The Sons dedicated themselves not to one single Chaos Power but constantly shifted their allegiance to whatever god suited them at the time. Marines willingly became possessed by the Chaos Gods' daemons; with every change in loyalty, the daemons of the rejected god abandoned the hosts, leaving them lifeless husks. The once great Legion constantly dwindled in number, until they neared extinction. Eventually the desperate experimentation and research by the Legion's Sorcerer-Librarians uncovered a method of possession that did not destroy the mortal host, saving the Legion. Soon, the Sons of Horus were regrowing in strength, and intended to reassert their former position as predominant legion among the Traitors.[25a]
The Traitor Legions, along with the restored but still numerically inferior Sons of Horus, then became embroiled in a series of internecine wars triggered by the Emperor's Children legion. These conflicts dragged on for centuries, and particularily weakened the Sons of Horus,[25a] culminating in the destruction of their fortress on Maleum. The legion was shattered during this battle, and suffered massive losses.[12a] To the horror of the surviving Sons of Horus, the Warmaster's corpse was taken by the Emperor's Children and several clones were created by their self-styled 'Primogenitor', Fabius Bile. Meanwhile, the other Traitor Legions hunted down the remnants of the Sons of Horus, bringing the legion close to extinction.[12a]
It was at this point that the old Sons of Horus Justaerin Captain Falkus Kibre was able to track down the Vengeful Spirit and Abaddon deep inside the Eye of Terror. Abaddon revealed his intent to destroy the clone of Horus and reform the Sons of Horus into a Legion to finish the war Horus had begun. After smashing the Emperor's Children fortress and killing the clone of Horus, Abaddon declared himself the rightful successor of the Warmaster. Painting their armor black, Abaddon renamed his forces the Black Legion, rejecting Horus' name and all the failure that went with it.[12b] Abaddon managed to reunify the bulk of the old surviving Sons of Horus under his banner. In addition, he gathered disparate warbands which had originated in the other Traitor Legions, thus transforming the Black Legion into an entirely new force which now continues the Long War against the Imperium in the form of Black Crusades.
Not all of the surviving Sons of Horus ended up joining the Black Legion willingly. Many actually opposed Abaddon's rule at first, and Sons of Horus warbands such as Korosan Myrlath's force were among his earliest enemies. Most of these groups did not survive, however, being either wiped out or ultimately agreeing to bend the knee to Abaddon.[13a] A few, such as the Sons of the Eye, Wolves of Horus, and True Sons were able to evade him, and continued to operate independently. Known as the "Thrice-Cursed Traitors", these last remnants of the Sons of Horus now face persecution by Abaddon's hands.[13a][13b]
The Great Crusade
- ???.M30 — First Pacification of Luna[34c]
- ???.M30 — Battle of Luhman[34c]
- ???.M30 — Siege of Reillis
- ???.M30 — Battle of Gorro
- ???.M30 - Astranii Campaign
- ???.M30 — Overseer War
- ???.M30 — Melchior Compliance
- ???.M30 — Battle of Gyros-Thravian
- ???.M30 — Castigation of Terentius
- 881.M30 - Emancipation of Drune
- ???.M30 — Battle of Gate Forty-Two
- ???.M30 — Dagonet — Compliance action. Victorious.
- ???.M30 — Battle of Davin — Compliance action. Undertaken in concert with the Word Bearers. Victorious.[1, 4]
- 000.M31 — Ullanor Crusade; liberation action against an Ork Empire. Victorious.
- 001.M31 — Battle of 63-19 — Compliance action. Victorious.[5d]
- ???.M31 — War on Murder — Extermination action. Campaign abandoned.[5b]
- ???.M31 — Compliance action against the Interex empire on Xenobia. Compliance attempted by negotiation. Campaign abandoned.[3c]
- 004.M31 — Battle of Davin's Moon — Police action against an apparent rebellion by Imperial forces; combated daemons. While victory was achieved, Horus was gravely wounded.[4a]
- ???.M31 — Compliance action against the Auretian Technocracy. Victorious.[4c]
- ???.M31 — Battle with the Eldar on the Tza-Chao
The Horus Heresy
- 005.M31 — The Battle of Isstvan III. Legion split; Horusian faction ultimately victorious.[5x]
- 006.M31 — The Drop Site Massacre. Victorious.
- 006.M31 — Battle of Diamat
- ???.M31 — Ohmn-Mat — Destruction of world
- ???.M31 — Scarato Uprising
- 006-014.M31 - The Siege of Cthonia
- 006-008.M31 — Battle of the Coronid Deeps
- 008.M31 — Horus survives an assassination attempt on Dagonet and purges the planet. Victorious.
- 009.M31 — Battle of Arissak
- 009.M31 — Battle of Dwell
- 009.M31 — Battle of Molech — Assault on the Knight World of Molech. Victorious.
- 010.M31 - The Burning of Ohmn-Mat.
- 010-14.M31 — Solar War — Horus begins his march on the Sol System. Victorious
- ???.M31 — The Battle of the Aragna Chain — Tybalt Marr defeats and executes Shadrak Meduson
- ???.M31 — Battle of lantana Minor — Loyalist Sons of Horus launch a suicidal attack with captured stasis weapons on the legion's 38th Company, destroying both armies.
- 011.M31 — The Second Battle of Paramar. Victorious.
- ~011.M31 — The Battle of Trisolian. The Vengeful Spirit is boarded by Leman Russ and Horus engages his brother in a vicious duel.
- ~011.M31 — The Battle of Yarant
- ~013.M31 — The Battle of Heta-Gladius
- 013.M31 - The Siege of Barbarus
- 014.M31 - The Solar War. The Sons of Horus take part in the conquest of the Sol System before the drive on Terra. Victory.
- 014.M31 — The Siege of the Emperor's Palace. Death of Horus. Defeated.
- ???.M31 — Legion Wars — Against the other Traitor Legions. The Sons of Horus are ultimately shattered at Maeleum by the Emperor's Children, and their remanant warbands face persecution. Most eventually join the Black Legion, though a few continue to operate on their own.[13b][25b]
- 892.M32 — Battle of the Keening Deep: The Sons of the Eye defeat a World Eaters warband.[13c][25b]
- 901.M36 — 6th Black Crusade: The Sons of the Eye and the Black Legion cooperate before Abaddon betrayed the former's leader and absorbed his group.[13a]
The gene-seed of the Luna Wolves was always considered reliably pure. However, following their dedications to Chaos, the Space Marines of the Sons of Horus started to exhibit random mutations, and it is likely that this taint went right down to the gene-seed level. The regular practice of seeking Daemonic possession may also have accelerated the effect.
One unique feature of the Luna Wolves pre-heresy was the high incidence of battle-brothers bearing a strong physical resemblance to Horus. These "Sons of Horus", as they were so nicknamed, were prone to rising through the ranks faster than their brothers.[3c]
Culture and Organization
The Luna Wolves were a highly efficient military force that thrived on the personal charisma, ambition and pride of their Primarch. These traits carry on into both their organisation and their motivation, with ambition, brotherhood and pride all being notable features of their inner workings.
The overriding belief of the Legion prior to the death of Horus and their defeat at Terra was their complete superiority above all the other Legions, and indeed any and all enemies. In continually seeking to prove themselves as the greatest Legion, they did indeed achieve most in terms of sheer numbers of worlds brought into compliance prior to the outbreak of the Heresy; the Legion in its loyalist incarnation was a flexible fighting force that performed well and adapted quickly to almost any combat situation. It was trained to respond sharply and decisively to the tactical orders of its Warmaster and consequently the chain of command within the Legion was very efficient.
Each Company was commanded by a Captain, but not all Captains commanded a Company: The 1st Company was considered the elite unit in the legion and sported at least two renowned squads led by senior officers, the Justaerin Terminator Squad commanded by Captain Falkus Kibre and Catulan Reaver (Assault) Squad, commanded by Captain Kalus Ekaddon. These squads, and possibly all of 1st Company, wore black-painted armour, in contrast to the white and later pale green of the rest of the legion. Companies contained mixed squad-types, to ensure tactical flexibility. This included fielding Terminator Squads outside of the 1st Company.[5d]
The principle tactic of the legion - one illustrative of their overall attitude - was a decisive surgical assault aimed directly at the command element of the enemy. A compact but hard-hitting force of marines up to several companies strong would compose the initial (and ideally total) thrust of the effort; this battle philosophy was referred to as the Speartip.[5a]
Their defeat and exile was a crushing blow to the collective ego of the Legion, and they broke down and fragmented easily without a purpose or powerful leader to act as the point of their spear. The Legion suffered significantly during the early years of exile when it was leaderless, though since Abaddon's overlordship it has regained a sense of discipline and purpose. Horus' favoured doctrine of 'tearing the throat out of the enemy' by eliminating their high command in a swift strike remains a well-used tactic. After the death of Horus, proper structure within the squads and companies disintegrated, and their later dispersal in various spacecraft further fragmented the Legion.
With the Primarch as the apex of the legion's order-of-battle, the next step downwards was filled by the Mournival. Although not an official institution, in practice it was this advisory council that helped the Warmaster finalize and execute his strategies. The four Mournival brothers were seen as the senior Captains of the legion.[5e]
Within the Legion's command structure existed the secretive warrior-lodge, where marines of all ranks and placements could mingle freely and talk openly without having to follow customary rank discipline. Membership was by invite only, and the lodge-members identified each other by the wearing of a silver medallion emblazoned with the Luna Wolf symbol. This system brought individual marines even closer together and increased their bonds of brotherhood and loyalty toward each other, likely increasing combat performance. However, it would eventually aid in the dissolution of the legion's organisation.[5f]
During their time as both the Luna Wolves and Sons of Horus, the Legion recruited first from Terra and then following the discovery of Horus, Cthonia. Cthonian gang-culture still was present within the Legion by the time of the Heresy, often in the form of gang tattoos.[3a]
Known units of the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy
- 1st Company
- 2nd Company[2b]
- 3rd Company[2b]
- 4th Company[2b]
- 5th Company
- 7th Company[16b]
- 9th Company[31b]
- 10th Company
- 13th Company[3c]
- 16th Company[19a]
- 17th Company
- 18th Company[2b]
- 19th Company[2b]
- 21st Company[10c]
- 25th Company[11a]
- 28th Company[16c]
- 29th Company
- 30th Company
- 68th Company
- 71st Company[10c]
- 84th Company
- 345th Company[10c]
- 1st Chapter
- 5th Chapter[34e]
- 19th Chapter[34e]
- 20th Chapter[34e]
- 23rd Chapter[34e]
- 34th Chapter[34e]
- 68th Chapter[34e]
Known post-Heresy warbands
After the Siege of Terra, the Sons of Horus fractured into many warbands. Most of these were eventually destroyed or absorbed by the Black Legion.
- Sons of the Eye[13b]
- Wolves of Horus[13b]
- True Sons[13b]
- Duraga Kal Esmejhak - commanded by Falkus Kibre[12a]
- Vaithan Reaver Squad
Noted Elements of the Sons of Horus
- Vengeful Spirit — Flagship[5d]/Gloriana Class Battleship
- Magna Tyranis — Gloriana Class Battleship
- Throne of the Underworld - Battle Barge
- War Oath - Battle Barge
- Desolation — Heavy Warship [16a]
- King Eater — Heavy Warship[16a]
- Oblivion — Heavy Warship[16a]
- Gore Prow — Heavy Warship[16a]
- Lupercal Pursuivant — Cruiser
- Horus Triumphant — Cruiser
- Fourfold Wolf - Cruiser
- Cthonia Rising[7a]
- Cthonic Blood — Dauntless Class Light Cruiser.
- Raksha — Frigate.[7a]
- Cthonian Scion - Hunter Class Destroyer[18a]
- Horus — Primarch of the Luna Wolves
- Ezekyle Abaddon — First Captain, 1st Company.[2b]
- Tarik Torgaddon - Captain of the 2nd Company[2b]
- Horus Aximand - Captain of the 5th Company[2b]
- Garviel Loken - Captain of the 10th Company[2b]
- Maloghurst - Equerry to Horus[2b]
- Falkus Kibre - Captain of the Justaerin[2b]
- Maral Lupus - Praetor, de facto Legion commander before Horus' discovery[34c]
Trivia and Notes
- Cthonia is presumably a reference to the Greek Chthonia a complex word with connotations to dead domains under the earth and the spirits of the underworld. Cthonic spirits can be both fruitful and destructive; in the positive sense they are referred to as part of the concept of rebirth - the earth that nurtures. In the negative, they are akin to the revenants of the dead come to claim more souls for hell. Compare to the dead, mined-out state of the Luna Wolves homeworld and the role it had in birthing Chaos Space Marines.
- The Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus were considered a large Space Marine Legion and had at least 25 Companies at one point during the Great Crusade. While no maximum headcount for the legion has been given, when the Luna Wolves 10th Company was deployed in entirety during the Whisperhead action on Sixty-Three-Nineteen it numbered approximately 600 marines.[3x] If 25 companies existed with the same strength, the Legion at one point could have numbered around 15,000 marines. This is worth noting as the generally perceived sizes of Legions have fluctuated over the years; for some time the 'small legions' concept presented by the Index Astartes articles was prevalent, and the initial novels in the Horus Heresy Series were written with it in mind. This was later quietly retconned during the series to fit in with the 'large legions' concept put forth by such works as Collected Visions. When the baseline number for legions was 10,000, there being 15,000 Luna Wolves would indeed make them one of the larger legions, and would fit in with numbers presented later in the series (for the number of combatants present at the Drop Site Massacre as given in Fulgrim, for example). Since the move to the legion baseline being 100,000, the Luna Wolves must be thought of as having between 100,000 and 150,000 (the number of Word Bearers, the 2nd biggest legion) marines and the amount of Legionaries in Loken's company becomes merely an illustrative number rather than a useful statistic.
- 1: Index Astartes IV, The Black Legion
- 2: Galaxy In Flames (Novel)
- 3: The Horus Heresy Book One - Betrayal
- 4: False Gods (Novel)
- 5: Horus Rising (Novel)
- 6: The Flight of the Eisenstein (Novel), Chapter Nine, pg. 229 and Chapter Seventeen, pg. 400
- 7: Vengeful Spirit (Novel)
- 7a: Chapters 9–11
- 8: Wolfsbane (Novel), Chapter 27
- 9: Slaves to Darkness (Novel), Chapters 17–Epilogue
- 10: The Solar War (Novel)
- 11: Saturnine (Novel)
- 12: Talon of Horus (Novel)
- 13: Black Legion - A Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement
- 14: Nemesis (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 15: Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia[Needs Citation]
- 16: The Horus Heresy Book Four - Conquest,
- 17: Old Earth (Novel), Chapter 9
- 18: Sons of the Selenar (Novella)
- 18a: Chapter 4
- 19: The Horus Heresy Book Seven - Inferno
- 20: White Dwarf 99 (2015), Parade Ground - Sons of Horus
- 21: The Horus Heresy Book Two - Massacre, pg. 57
- 22: Warhawk (Novel) - Chapter 7
- 23: White Dwarf 470, pg. 105
- 24: Black Legion (Novel) — Chapter 2
- 25: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition)
- 26: Extinction (Short Story)
- 27: The Horus Heresy Book Six - Retribution — The Hidden Hand of the Blackshield, pg. 18
- 28: Sigismund: The Eternal Crusader (Novel) - Chapter 6
- 29: The Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness Rulebook, pg. 128
- 30: Warhammer Community: Take on the Might of the Warmaster with a Free Download for Warhammer: The Horus Heresy (Posted on 21/07/2022) - The Battle of Trisolian: Vengeful Spirit PDF - pgs. 4-5 (Last accessed on 21 July 2022)
- 31: The End and the Death: Volume I (Novel)
- 32: Warhammer Community: The Bound Daemons of the Ruinstorm Herald a Packed Year for the Horus Heresy - The Burning of Ohmn-Mat PDF, pgs. 2-9 (Posted on 14/03/2023) (Last accessed on 15/03/2023)
- 33: First Founding (Background Book), pg. 10
- 34: Campaigns of the Age of Darkness: The Siege of Cthonia
|Loyalist||I - Dark Angels · V - White Scars · VI- Space Wolves · VII- Imperial Fists · IX- Blood Angels |
X- Iron Hands · XIII- Ultramarines · XVIII- Salamanders · XIX- Raven Guard
|Traitor||III- Emperor's Children · IV- Iron Warriors · VIII- Night Lords · XII- World Eaters · XIV- Death Guard |
XV- Thousand Sons · XVI- Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus · XVII- Word Bearers · XX- Alpha Legion