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The Great Crusade > XVI: Sons of Horus/Luna Wolves > Index Astartes: Luna Wolves

Title: Index Astartes: Luna Wolves
Description: THE SONS OF HORUS

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:44 AM (GMT)
The Primarch of the Luna Wolves was the infamous Horus, first and greatest of all the Primarchs. His Legion conquered countless worlds during the Great Crusade before Horus betrayed the Emperor and led a violent rebellion that devastated the Imperium.

The early history of the First Founding Space Marine Legions is largely lost to the relentless march of time. Accounts and details of those Legions that rebelled (and especially of the Arch-Traitor Horus himself) were further expunged from Imperial records after the Horus Heresy, to deny any knowledge of those events from the vulnerable minds of Imperial citizens. Indeed, only a select handful of powerful individuals know any of the truth and it is likely that none know it all. Such information that does exist is sketchy and anecdotal, and lies in ancient heretical tomes closely guarded by certain Inquisitors or handed down within the secret orders of the original Legions that remained loyal.

These records suggest that the Space Marines of the Luna Wolves Legion were created using human stock taken from the violent hive gangs inhabiting a planet called Cthonia. This planet allegedly existed in one of Earth's closest neighbouring systems. Being within reach even for non-warp spacecraft, Cthonia had been colonised, built upon, tunnelled and mined probably since the dawn of space travel. As such, all natural resources had been stripped away and used up millennia before, 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.

Fierce gangs inhabited the lawless depths of Cthonia, enjoying freedom from the rigours of Imperial citizenship; but at the time of the First Founding they provided an easy source of Human specimens whom nobody would miss. One report talks of so-called 'recruitment squads' rounding up thousands of gangers and shipping them away, chained together in the holds of prison-shuttles, to geno-laboratories on Luna. Here they were modified using the genetic code of the Primarch Horus. It is more common for Space Marine genetic stock to be gleaned from feral or primitive worlds, however after the usual hypno-psychological indoctrination process, the Luna Wolves recruits emerged as excellent and ferociously loyal specimens.

Information about Horus himself is even harder to uncover. It is thought that he was the first of the Primarchs to be recovered by the Emperor, having been cast much closer to Terra than the others, and was found at a much younger age. As a result, Horus was for many years the Emperor's only son, and there was a great affinity between them. The Emperor spent much time with his protege, teaching and encouraging him. Horus was soon placed in command of the Luna Wolves Legion - ten thousand Space Marines 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.

The two fought together on many occasions. At the fortified city of Reillis, a Human settlement unwilling to accept the Emperor's beneficent will, the defending army used secret tunnels to infiltrate behind the besieging Imperial army and hundreds of shock troops swamped the command encampment. Unprepared and unarmoured, the Emperor and Horus fought back to back until a plasma blast stunned Horus and sent him staggering to the floor. The Emperor stood over the Primarch and refused to give ground until reinforcements arrived to drive their attackers back. On the Ork-infested planet of Gorro, Horus repaid the debt by hacking the arm from a huge, frenzied Greenskin warlord as it struggled to choke the Emperor's life out of him.

Then came the day that the Emperor divined the presence of a second Primarch in their proximity and immediately set out to find him, leaving Horus in temporary command of the massed Legions of the Great Crusade. While he rejoiced at the discovery of one of his brothers, Horus was determined that the Emperor would always remain most proud of him, his first son.

As other Primarchs were discovered, the Emperor's time was pulled more and more in other directions and, while many of the other Legions now had their destined leaders, Horus was often given overall strategic command. It was a position he relished, proving himself time and again a consummate general, winning praise and decorations from the Emperor for his achievements and conquests. He had the approval and admiration of all the Space Marine Legions, including their Primarchs.

It is said that as well as being a great warrior and strategist, Horus was fiercely intelligent. He was charismatic, persuasive and had an innate understanding of psychology. He could read men in order to use their strengths or exploit their weaknesses. These skills made him a well-loved leader, but also allowed him to find non-military solutions when others would simply have attacked. On many worlds, a blunt explanation of the destructive might at his disposal and a day's parley with the planetary leaders was enough to bring them into the Imperial fold without bloodshed. Horus always took trouble to follow the local Human customs and modes of greeting if he thought it would lessen the chance of a hostile reaction to his arrival. His practice of taking part in local rituals to establish ties for later exploitation soon became Imperial policy.

Horus was also skilled in getting the best out of the other Primarchs and their respective Legions. Many of them excelled in a particular style of fighting, and Horus encouraged this diversity and endeavoured to deploy them to war zones that would suit them best.

If a sudden strike was needed, he would send the White Scars or the Night Lords. If a protracted campaign was expected, then the Death Guard or the Salamanders were used. When precise timing or covert operations were required, the Alpha Legion were favoured, and if simple ferocity was called for, other Legions were brought to the fore. Horus wielded the Space Marine Legions as a lesser commander would wield the squads of his army, positioning them so that each could perform to their advantages and win glory for all. There is also evidence that he sent dispatches detailing the World Eaters' most ferocious victories to the Blood Angels Legion and vice versa, presumably to foster a competitive rivalry. Likewise, it can be assumed that Horus was well aware of the feud between the Space Wolves and the Dark Angels. These two Legions were repeatedly deployed in joint actions, spurring them both on to greater military feats in order to outdo each other.

His own Legion had all the glory of being the greatest Primarch's personal guard, and they shared Horus's credo of fighting to be the best. Under his inspiring command, the Luna Wolves were always at the forefront of the latest campaign, 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. In the Aartuo, Keskastine and Androv Systems, the Luna Wolves are .known to have moved swiftly on to planet after planet as soon as the local armies had been subdued. The Ultramarines and the Iron Warriors, who were fighting alongside Horus's Legion at this time, were repeatedly left to mop up any final pockets of resistance and establish garrisons on the conquered worlds. The Luna Wolves officers apparently refused point blank to assign any troops to these duties, Insisting that every man was required for the ongoing crusade. Further rebellion flared up on a number of the planets after the Luna Wolves had left, and it is believed that the Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman subsequently had words with Horus on the matter. At the time it seems that Horus pacified the Primarch by admitting that Guilliman was much better at this sort of thing than he was, however in his great work, the Codex Astartes - completed much later - Guilliman prescribed a much more thorough tactical doctrine for the suppression of a planet.

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:46 AM (GMT)
The Ullanor Crusade saw Horus battling a huge Ork empire. At its conclusion, 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. The most notable reward was the renaming of the Legion. The Emperor sent word that henceforth they would be known as the Sons of Horus, in honour of their Primarch. Horus himself was given the title Warmaster - now officially supreme commander of the Emperor's forces. Despite these great honours, there is some suggestion that Horus was less than content. The wording of the Emperor's proclamation clearly claimed the glory of Horus's victories as his own. This was the usual rhetoric for such announcements - after all, the Primarchs were the sworn vassals of him and his Imperium. And yet in the Primarch's eyes, the Emperor now spent his time in safety at his palace on Terra while Horus won his Imperium for him. It seems likely that a deeply-rooted resentment had surfaced.

Before he could return to Terra to be officially invested with his new title, Horus apparently fell ill on a small feral world called Davin. During his convalescence, he took part in the induction ceremony of a warrior lodge on the planet. This was the Primarch's well-tried practice to develop ties with local populations - feral natives were more easily recruited into the Imperial fold when the 'Warriors from the Stars' had become brothers. However, this time was different. In the days that followed, Horus's officers detected a change in his character. It is now presumed that the warrior lodge was in fact a Chaos coven, which somehow managed to ensorcel the Warmaster.

The Primarch proceeded to introduce similar 'warrior lodges' into his own Legion, and then others under his command. Horus's fealty had changed; his Legion 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. Whether the events on Davin were planned by the gods of Chaos or just the work of an isolated group is unsure. Certainly a Primarch becoming ill was almost unheard of, and it would surely have required a virulent and unique ailment to affect him, perhaps indicating a greater conspiracy.

The Sons of Horus, already fiercely loyal and proud of their Warmaster, had no hesitation. They quickly renounced their oaths to the Emperor and started to worship Horus and his new gods. The corruption spread to every organisation with which Horus 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 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 as Earth was invaded, and the Emperor's palace itself was besieged and breached.

History records that on the 55th day of the battle, overwhelming Imperial reinforcements approached. In a bid to slay the Emperor before it was too late, Horus lowered the shields around his battle barge, daring his creator to teleport on board. But it was Horus who was slain, and with him died the rebellion. It was a traumatic and devastating blow for the Sons of Horus. Everything they had ever fought for was lost. The Legion fell back immediately from the attack on the palace and fought their way back to their shuttles. This action alone is thought to have secured the enmity of all the other Traitor Legions. On board the battle barge, the Captain of the 1st Company led a furious counter-attack to drive the Imperials from the vessel, then fled into space with the Warmaster's body.

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:47 AM (GMT)
Home World
The Legion's home world of Cthonia no longer exists, having apparently lost geo-structural integrity and broken apart into asteroids and debris during the centuries following the Heresy. Certainly the once ore-rich planet was riddled with mine workings right through to its dead core (in fact the numerous gangers that formed the population may originally have been imported as work teams to maintain the crumbling tunnels), however there is much conjecture that Cthonia was destroyed deliberately.

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:48 AM (GMT)
Combat Doctrine
The Legion is a flexible fighting force, that can perform well and adapt quickly to 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. This suffered significantly during the early years of exile when the Legion was leaderless, but Abaddon has done much to restore discipline, mainly through fear and horrendous violence inflicted on those that displease him. Horus's favoured doctrine of 'tearing the throat out of the enemy' by eliminating their high command in a swift strike, remains a well-used tactic.

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:49 AM (GMT)
The overriding belief of the Legion prior to the Warmaster's demise was in the ultimate superiority of Horus and themselves. In continually seeking to prove themselves as the greatest Legion, they did indeed achieve most in terms of sheer numbers of worlds brought into the Imperial fold prior to the Heresy. Their defeat and exile was a crushing blow to the collective ego of the Legion.

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:50 AM (GMT)
The Legion's gene-seed, prior to the incident on Davin, was reliably pure. However, following their corruption by Chaos, Space Marines started to exhibit random mutations, and it is likely that this taint goes right down to the gene-seed level.

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:51 AM (GMT)
"For the Warmaster!"

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:51 AM (GMT)
Anecdotal Archive:

The Ullanor Sector was the domain of Ork Overlord Urlakk Urg. His empire was founded on dozens of conquered and enslaved Human planets. Knowing the Orks love for battle, the Warmaster`s tactics were to lure the Greenskin forces away from his real targets. Other Space Marine Legions were tasked to retake the outlying planets, supported by newly-raised Imperial Guard regiments. As the Ork armadas moved out to resist this invasion, the Luna Wolves fleet drove straight for the central system.

Drop pods crashed to the ground all around Urlakk`s fortress-palace. Heavy shuttles deployed Land Raiders and Predators and armoured Space Marines advanced on the defenses. Then, as hundreds of Orks rushed to join the battle on the perimeter walls. Horus and the entire Terminator armoured 1st Company teleported directly to the foot of the great central tower. As the Luna Wolves blasted away the guards, mobs from the walls raced back to protect Urlakk. Horus left most of the terminators to hold back the Orks and pushed on up the tower with just ten Space Marines at his side. At the pinnacle of the tower they found Urlakk in a grand chamber, accompanied by forty of the biggest Orks in his empire. Horus charged straight into the midst of the Nobs, slicing apart the muscled, green bodies with the twin lightning claws of his battle armour. The terminators with him would not fire into the melee for fear of hitting their beloved Primarch. so they too crashed into the combat. Slowly they hacked a path through the mob until Horus faced Urlakk himself. The Overlord was an enormous Ork. but he was simply no match for the Primarch s skill and unnatural power. First crippling his enemy. Horus hefted Urlakk`s broken body out onto the roof and threw it screaming from the battlements to fall far below amongst the horde of Orks still assaulting the lower levels.

The sudden demise of their mighty leader sent a panic through the Greenskin forces, which started to fall back from the terminators. But the fleeing mobs found they had nowhere to run, as the outer walls had been breached by the attacking Luna Wolves, and the day turned into a slaughter. Back in the Overlord s chamber. Horus found every Ork and Terminator dead, apart from the gore-drenched Captain of the 1st Company, Abaddon, surrounded by crushed and broken bodies.

As word of his death spread, the Overlords empire fragmented. The Imperial forces were able to destroy or drive out the remaining Orks and free the quadrant for Imperial rule within a year (naturally, the Luna Wolves claimed to have liberated substantially more worlds than their allies).

Benedict Arnold - January 22, 2008 03:53 AM (GMT)
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