View Full Version: The Word Bearers Legion

The Great Crusade > XVII: Word Bearers/Imperial Heralds > The Word Bearers Legion


Title: The Word Bearers Legion
Description: New background revealed!


VESPASIAN - September 9, 2008 06:49 PM (GMT)
Think that you know everything about the Wordbearers Legion? Think that the Burning Book from the Index Astartes was their Legion symbol during the Pre-Heresy/Heresy period?...

Well think again!

Horus Heresy: Battle for the Abyss has augmented, changed and improved the rich background of the Word Bearers Legion; to find out more all you need to do is accept the Word and read on!

The Word Bearers Legion:

The Word Bearers Legion, like many others is sub-divided into Chapters. A full Chapter consists of 1000 Astartes, sub-divided into 10 Companies each 100 strong and led by captains. (Page 12)

However importantly despite being part of the '...Greater Word Bearers Legion. Every Chapter [has] its own traditions and its own role within Lorgar's Word.' (Page 174) Furthermore each Chapter has its own iconography, symbology, and specific tactical role within the Legion, giving each their own distinct appearance.

Word Bearers Chapters:

The Quillborn (Chapter Symbol: A Quill with a drop of Blood at its base):
QUOTE
The Quillborn were so named because their traditions emphasised their birth, created in the Labratories and Apothecarions of Colchis. They were written into existence, born as syllables of the Word. A dedicated naval formation, the Quillborn were true marines, fighting ship-to-ship, completely at home battling through the cramped structure of a starship.
(Page 174)

Chapter of the Void:
QUOTE
...Chapter Master Tenaebron bowed in supplication behind his Lord. The Chapter of the Void was probably the least respected among the Wordbearers Legion for it was by far the smallest, with less than seven hundred Astartes. There was little glory in its history, used moreover as a reserve force that enacted its missions behind the front line. This grim dishonourable purpose fell to the Void and Tenaebron. Their Master did not complain, for he knew that his Chapter's true role was to create and test new weapons and tactics for the rest of the Legion. it had not gone unnoticed that Lorgar's most recent orders to Tenebron had concerned the exploitation of the Word Bearers' psychic resources.
(Page 310-311)

Chapter of the Opening Eye:
Chapter Master Faerskarel

The Crimson Mask Chapter:
Chapter Master Rukis-
QUOTE
...the faceplate of his helmet was wrought to resemble a fearsome red-skinned snarling creature


The Burning Hand Chapter:
Chapter Master Deinos-
QUOTE
...in keeping with the name of his Chapter, Deinos's gauntlets were permanently wreathed in flames from gas jets built into his vambraces.


The Ebony Serpent Chapter:
Chapter Master-Skolinthos
QUOTE
Skolinthos's oesophagus had been crushed in the early years of the Great Crusade when it was the Emperor whom the Word Bearers vaunted above all others. His voice crackled sibilantly through a vocal synthesiser on his chest...


Other Chapter Symbols:
QUOTE
Wordbearers' banners hung...bearing the symbols of the Legion's Chapters: A quill with a drop of blood at its nib,an open hand with an eye in the palm, a burning book, and a sceptre crowned with a skull.
(Page 214)

The Quill banner mentioned I believe is that of the Quillborn. The others are yet to be identified.

More details to follow soon!

Kaleb 'Angelus' Dante - September 9, 2008 09:32 PM (GMT)
Would the "open hand with an eye in the palm" not be the chapter of the opening eye possibly?

VESPASIAN - September 9, 2008 09:34 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kaleb 'Angelus' Dante @ Sep 9 2008, 09:32 PM)
Would the "open hand with an eye in the palm" not be the chapter of the opening eye possibly?

You know I was thinking exactly the same myself! :D

I think that it is certainly a very strong possibility! Glad I'm not the only one who thought it! :D

Lord_Mortirion - October 8, 2008 11:54 PM (GMT)
well, i think im gonna be living on this thread for a while... nods

Apologist - October 9, 2008 08:24 AM (GMT)
Cheers for the collection of background notes I hope it inspires some Word Bearer models!

Note should also be made of the 'Horns of Colchis' that the Word Bearers have on their helmets p'raps the reason that M41 Chaos Space Marines have horns! :o

Lord_Mortirion - October 9, 2008 04:02 PM (GMT)
how was the higher ranking officers organised... would it have been captain, chaplain, librarian (Oook!!!! :blink: ) and so on... or did they have different names???

malika - April 2, 2009 03:29 PM (GMT)
Any more info on their armour and colourscheme? Somebody on Warseer mentioned that the Word Bearers all destroyed their original grey armour after the Emperor told them to stop worshipping him and all that.

Lord_Mortirion - February 4, 2010 12:21 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (VESPASIAN @ Sep 9 2008, 06:49 PM)

QUOTE
...Chapter Master Tenaebron bowed in supplication behind his Lord. The Chapter of the Void was probably the least respected among the Wordbearers Legion for it was by far the smallest, with less than seven hundred Astartes. There was little glory in its history, used moreover as a reserve force that enacted its missions behind the front line. This grim dishonourable purpose fell to the Void and Tenaebron. Their Master did not complain, for he knew that his Chapter's true role was to create and test new weapons and tactics for the rest of the Legion. it had not gone unnoticed that Lorgar's most recent orders to Tenebron had concerned the exploitation of the Word Bearers' psychic resources.
(Page 310-311)



so librarians were still in service, even though the Bearers do the whole Chaplain thang???

The Red Sorcerer - February 4, 2010 11:02 AM (GMT)
By the time the Chaplains started being used by other Legions to maintain the Nicaea Edict regarding Librarians, the Word Bearers had already begun worshipping the gods of Chaos so were little concerned by the instructions of the Emperor regarding wheather to use warpcraft. Of course, they would have kept it secret - they were still outwardly loyal until Istvaan V.

Chaplains as originally developed by the Word Bearers were not responsible for keeping an eye on psykers anyway - that was added to their responsibilities after Nicaea.

malika - December 19, 2010 08:32 PM (GMT)
According to The First Heretic not all Chapters consisted of ten companies of each a hundred marines. The Serrated Sun Chapter for example seems to consist of only three companies which each originally consisted of a 100 marines each. Also note that the order of companies in those Chapters is rather Chaotic. If I recall correctly the Serrated Sun Chapter includes the 7th, 15th and 37th Companies of the Legion. Other Chapters are known to even have 20 or more companies.

The Red Sorcerer - December 20, 2010 05:14 PM (GMT)
Battle for the Abyss had already established that some Chapters are smaller than the standard 1000 marines - see the notes on the Chapter of the Void above, although seeing as the Chapter of the Serrated Sun are apparently only 300 marines then the Chapter of the Void can no longer be the smallest Chapter, or at least wasn't the smallest until the point covered by Battle for the Abyss.

Worth noting that The First Heretic mentions some other Chapters to add to the list. Aside from the Chapter of the Serrated Sun, it mentions:
Chapter of the Osseous Throne
Chapter of the Crescent Moon
Chapter of the Coiled Lash
.

Also, it appears that Word Bearers Chaplains wore the grey armour of the Legion, being distinguished by gold armour trim and their Crozius. The Chaplains repainted their armour black following the Legion's reprimanding by the Emperor on Monarchia - 'in remembrance of the ashes coating every warrior's armour'.

Interesting spot on the somewhat odd Company numbering traditions.


malika - December 21, 2010 02:38 PM (GMT)
I guess, but I'm not sure though, that the Legion was originally divided into companies, then when they found their Primarch they kept it for a while until the Chapters were introduced as a means of dividing the Legion, resulting in the somewhat odd structure we see now.

Propaganda - December 21, 2010 04:08 PM (GMT)
The numbering makes sense if you think of the Legions not as full formed units at their inception, straight from the factory floor, but growing organisations who are adding companies as they become available.

The serrated suns for instance would probably have existed for some time with a single company. As more companies where made available to the legion through recruitment they where assigned to different chapters depending to their respective influence with the central command at the time, hence the sporradic numbering within each Chapter

The Serrated Suns, being less influential would have less chance of getting a 2nd, 3rd, 4th company to add to their assets because they don't have the ear of the inner circle.

I dont have a reference Im afraid, but Im sure Argel Tal muses to himself that the Serrated Suns dont have much influence hence they dont have many numbers. Horse-trading and politicing being the key to numbers and big chapters find it correspondingly easier to stay big as long as they stay in favour etc...

Also...

A possible justification for the Chapter of the Void being considered the smallest chapter at the time of Ullanor/ early Heresy despite the Serrated Suns being numerically inferior; Where the Serrated Suns considered at that point in the timeline to be the Serrated Suns or the Gol Vorbak?
It seemed to me that they're no longer considered to be a chapter following their special commision from Lorgar, instead being thought of as the Gol Vorbak, a special unit and almost an anomaly outside of the Chapter system rather than the Serrated Suns. Whilst the Gol Vorbak where all Serrated Suns, thats not what they identified with after they gained their "special" gifts.




Hosted for free by zIFBoards