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The Great Crusade > XVI: Sons of Horus/Luna Wolves > Some provisional text for the "Notitia/VC" Project

Title: Some provisional text for the "Notitia/VC" Project

Mithras - August 28, 2010 02:55 AM (GMT)
Version 1.2 - As of 9/16/2010

Contributors: Yvraith, Algrim Whitefang

Primarch: Warmaster Horus
Homeworld: Cthonia (Destroyed)

The Luna Wolves were raised, like most of their brethren, from the earlier “Thunder and Lightning Army” regiments commanded by the Emperor during the Wars of Unification. As the name implies, the original recruits were undoubtedly taken from Terra, but at least one source suggests that Cthonia was close enough to Terra to allow Cthonian recruits to take part in the Wars of Unification, suggesting that the Legion was among the first to integrate Terran and non-Terran humans.

These “firsts” continued. Perhaps because of this same proximity to Terra, Cthonia was among the first worlds liberated by the Great Crusade and, consequently, Horus was the first of the Primarchs to be rediscovered. As the most favored son of the Emperor, Horus’ Legion was rapidly expanded under the watch of the Primarch, and played a critical role on the leading edge of the campaigns that followed. By the time that the Ullanor Crusade drew to a close (-2 HE), other Legions were more popular with the public, more glamorous, even better known, but the Luna Wolves were undoubtedly the most blooded and, informally at least, the seniormost of the Adeptus Astartes.

In -2 HE, the Emperor granted Horus an Imperial Triumph and the title of “Warmaster,” a title that has not been held since. In effect, this made Horus commander-in-chief of the forces arrayed for the Great Crusade, vastly increasing his already considerable influence, and placing Legio XVI in an enviable position as his chosen command. Over the next two years, the Luna Wolves followed Horus in every major campaign waged by the Warmaster, from the bloody mess of Murder (-2 HE) to the staunch Xeno resistance on Interex (-1 HE.) The Primarch was immensely popular with the Luna Wolves, not least because he often fought alongside them, rather than remaining aloof. For many, who believed privately that the Emperor had abandoned them after Ullanor, Horus became a surrogate father figure.

After Interex, the Luna Wolves spent a brief period of time in the supposedly compliant Davin system, where an assassin aligned with local chaos cults greviously wounded the Warmaster with cursed blade. It was during this recovery that the Warmaster fermented his doctrine of rebellion, and the seeds of the Great Heresy were sown. The Heresy seems to have been widely accepted by the Luna Wolves, particularly in the secret warrior lodges that had formed within the Sixteenth over the past decade. It was within these sects that loyalty to Horus was exacerbated, at the cost of loyalty to the Emperor.

In 1 HE, Horus finally acted on an Imperial offer made during the Ullanor Triumph and, at the urging of none other than his most trusted brother Sanguinius, he rechristened the Sixteenth Legion as “Sons of Horus.” The transition from “Luna Wolves” to “Sons of Horus” seems to have been somewhat incomplete at the time of Horus’ first open act of defiance on Istvaan V in 2 HE, with elements of Luna Wolf iconography and colors remaining among some veterans of the Legion. The name, however, remained in use only among elements of the Legion remaining loyal to the Emperor, most of whom were apparently eliminated at Istvaan III.

Those few Luna Wolves who survived the massacre eventually returned to Terra, and their fate is, as yet unknown. It is speculated that some survivors may have played a role in the formation of the Grey Knights, the Death Watch, or other Imperial organizations. The name “Luna Wolves” was never again used by Imperial forces, though it seems to be less tainted in source material than the name of the Sons of Horus who followed.

Power Armor Variants
Because there are precious few depictions of the Luna Wolves, we know very little for certain about common power armor variants in use by their forces. Our most reliable picture of the Legion comes quite late in the Great Crusade, primarily framed in the narrative of Horus Rising by Dan Abnett. Based upon his descriptions, it appears that the Luna Wolves were, as has been suggested in the subsequent entry for the Sons of Horus, extremely well equipped.

The cover of False Gods appears to depict a mixture of MkII “Crusade” and MkIII “Iron” armor. It would be reasonable to assume that the Luna Wolves were among the first to access stocks of the new, MkIV armor, at least in theory. In practice, because they were constantly deployed at the front line of the Great Crusade, it is entirely possible that large issues of MkIV armor did not become practicable until the Heresy Era. Based upon what we know of the current power armor development timeline, it is highly unlikely that the Luna Wolves were issued MkV “Heresy” armor. Mk VI “Corvus” armor is a virtual impossibility. (See the subsequent section on the Sons of Horus for information about appropriate use of this armor by Legio XVI.)

The original timeline for the Horus Heresy envisioned decades of fighting before the conclusion of events at Terra. As a result of that previous mindset, and the belief among earlier authors that the Luna Wolves were “Sons of Horus” for a longer period of time prior to the Heresy than we now know, most depictions of Legio XVI concentrate upon the Sons of Horus period.

Our best depiction of Legio XVI is, once again, the cover of False Gods, the second book in the series of Horus Heresy novels. Based on this single detailed illustration, it would appear that members of Legio XVI were equipped with off white or extremely pale grey power armor, accented with black trim. Inscriptions are shown on the black trim of some Legio XVI shoulderpads. Optics are not clearly visible. The “Legiones Astartes” illustration likewise depicts a member of the Luna Wolves in pale grey armor with black trim. Optics in the second illustration are red.

The legionary device of the Luna Wolves was the silhouetted face of a wolf superimposed in black over a recumbent waning crescent moon, picked out in white.

user posted image

At least two units within Legio XVI, both of the 1st Company, are described/depicted in black armor, occasionally with red trim. These would appear to include the elite Justaerin and Catulan Reaver squads.

Personal embellishment of armor seems to have been relatively uncommon, but not unheard of. This usually took the form of furs or trophies. The use of dismembered human body parts as trophies, however, was apparently frowned upon until the Legion’s descent into heresy.

Romano-Hellenistic style embellishments are sometimes depicted with high-ranking officers and elite units within the Sons of Horus, though they are more common with the depictions of the Luna Wolves. These include leather peturges and transverse helmet crests, usually of horsehair dyed red in the Greco-Roman style. It appears that the latter were probably an indicator of rank, though there has been little explanation thereof.

One unique embellishment was used by members of Horus handpicked advisory council, the so-called “Mournival.” This body of Astartes personalized their armor by marking the right eyes of their helmets with phases of the moon equating to their position within the Mournival. At the time of Istvaan III, these symbols were as follows:

First Captain Abbaddon – Full Moon
Captain Torgaddon – Gibbous Moon
Captain Aximand – Half Moon
Captain Loken – New Moon

Vehicle Livery
There are, at present, no canonical depictions of vehicles in Luna Wolf service. Based upon the pattern common amongst virtually all depictions of these vehicles under the Sons of Horus, the base color of the vehicles was likely dull grey, with comparatively little embellishment.

There is, however, one tantalizing reference in “Horus Rising,” which describes the drop pods descending to the planet Murder as looking like “black seed pods.” This might be an argument for painting vehicles a dark, charcoal grey, or even black.

Prominent Astartes of the Luna Wolves
Horus – Primarch
Ezekyle Abbaddon – First Captain
Tarik Torgaddon – Second Captain (Loyalist)
Iacton “The Half Heard” Qruze – Third Captain (Loyalist)
Hastur Sejanus – Fourth Captain (Assassinated, Sixty-Three-Nineteen)
“Little Horus” Aximand – Fifth Captain
Serghar Targost – Seventh Captain and Lodge Master
Garviel Loken – Tenth Captain (Loyalist)
Luc Sedirae – 13th Captain
Tybalt Marr “The Either” – 18th Captain
Verulam Moy “The Or” – 19th Captain
Maloghurst “The Twisted” – Equerry to the Primarch

Primarch: Warmaster Horus
Homeworld: Cthonia (Destroyed)

At the conclusion of the Ullanor Crusade in -2HE, Primarch Horus of Legion XVI, the “Luna Wolves”, was granted an Imperial Triumph, feted as an Imperial hero, and awarded the title of “Warmaster.” As part of the privledges that came with this newly created position, the Emperor decreed that Horus should be permitted to re-name XVI Legion in order to that Horus might honor his own accomplishments in the Emperor’s name.

Although legions had been renamed by their primarchs in the past (most notably Legio XIV) this decree was significant in that it was the first and only time that an Imperial patent was granted allowing Primarch to name a Legion in his own honor. This kind of self-aggrandizement would not be permitted again until the Post-Heresy era and the creation of the successor chapters.
We are told that Horus modestly declined this offer at first, despite the personal encouragement of the Emperor and Primarch Sanguinius. Matters changed, however, approximately one year later, following the conclusion of the Interex Crusade in -1HE. At this time, it seems that the Warmaster had a change of heart, deciding that it would be appropriate to honor his loyal Luna Wolves for their sacrifices during that extraordinarily difficult campaign.

The reasons for Horus’ decision are not clearly enumerated in the source material, and frequently contradictory. The most common explanation is that the Warmaster felt that his Legion had been slighted in favor of more glamorous commands, such as the Imperial Fists and the Ultramarines. Equally likely, however, the Warmaster’s bitterness toward the Emperor for perceived abandonment of the Legions following Ullanor, and his growing feelings of doubt regarding the Imperium, played a role in the decision.

Legio XVI maintained its identity as “The Sons of Horus” throughout the Heresy Era, and continued to do so until approximately 200-300CE, when First Captain Abaddon, who had been default leader of the Legion since the death of Horus, chose to rename the remnants of the Legion to “The Black Legion” following a long internecine struggle with other Traitor Astartes in the Eye of Terror.

The one exception to this seems to have occurred in approximately 1HE, during the Battle of Istvaan III, when the Loyalist companies of the Sons of Horus spontaneously began to refer to themselves as “Luna Wolves” once again in deference to their loyalty to the Emperor over Horus. This seems to have been maintained by surviving Loyalists at least until the Siege of Terra, after which time the name “Luna Wolves” once again disappears from the historical record.

Power Armor Variants
The Sons of Horus were the most favored Legion of the seniormost Primarch in the service of the Emperor. As such, it is fair to assume that they received first priority in terms of resupply and equipment. By the time they were called the “Sons of Horus”, the Sixteenth Legion undoubtedly had access to the latest Mark IV “Maximus” power armor. It is highly likely that Horus’ influence and subsequent control over many of the major forgeworlds and production centers of the Imperium, as well as his frequent raids on Imperial shipping, provided ready access to Mark V “Heresy” style armor. Later in the Heresy Era, with the capture of Mars, we are told that some suits of the new MkVI “Corvus” armor fell into the hands of the Warmaster’s forces. It is highly likely that the Sons of Horus would have been given priority when receiving such armor, though there is no “official” artwork depicting Sons of Horus in Corvus style armor.

In terms of artwork, most Sons of Horus seem to be depicted in Mark II “Crusade” and Mark III “Iron” armor. A minority of depictions show the Sons of Horus in Mark IV “Maximus” armor, or Mk V “Heresy” armor, usually in their guise as Traitors. It is worth noting that the covers of Horus Rising and False Gods are actually reversed. The cover of the former actually depicts Legio XVI as “Sons of Horus,” while the cover of the latter depicts the ‘sixteenth as “Luna Wolves.” This was apparently an error at the printer which has not been subsequently corrected.

By order of the Warmaster, the Sons of Horus were to paint their power armor “pale metallic sea green with black trim.” A new legionary device, the so-called “Eye of Horus,” was also adopted, to be displayed in black.

user posted image

Nevertheless, the source materials seem to depict considerable license in use by the Legio XVI during the era of the Heresy. The preponderance of evidence, in fact, displays a light to medium slate grey armor with gold trim and the legionary device in gold in the majority of cases. It is also known that at least two elite elements of 1st Company, the Justaerin and the Catulan Reavers, retained the black armor with gold trim that had been worn during their time as “Luna Wolves” (although they, too, seem to have adopted the new legionary device without complaint.)

Another common variation seems to have occurred in those sets of power armor issued with “gauntlet” style armored gloves, which are often displayed as being painted blood red.

The most common variations among all these schemes relate to the legionary device. Although officially displayed in black, or more commonly in the gold discussed previously, the “Eye of Horus” seems to have been painted in a wide variety of colors, perhaps identifying the unique tastes of the units represented. The most common variations include subtle changes in the color of the “iris” of the Horus insignia, but the eye itself could also be displayed in a variety of colors.

Prior to the publication of the first official records of the Heresy with “False Gods,” canon officially depicted the Sons of Horus as being dressed in black power armor with white or gold insignia. This has since been “retconned” out of continuity, but some traditionalists continue to maintain that they prefer this paint scheme. The “official” explanation is that early sources confused the Black Legion with their Sons of Horus predecessors.

Personalization of armor was not unheard of amongst the Sons of Horus. The most common variations seem to have included black horsehair helmet crests, perhaps mimicking the “topknot” style headdress popular with First Captain Abaddon and his inner circle. However, furs and trophies taken from fallen enemies (including dismembered body parts) were not unknown. The former appear to have been adopted as early as the Great Crusade, if not the Unification Wars, but the latter were generally disdained by the Legion prior to the Heresy, but became more popular after Istvaan III. After Istvaan III, the infamous “spikes” commonly (but not exclusively) associated with the Traitor Legions also appear to have become common.

Romano-Hellenistic style embellishments are sometimes depicted with high-ranking officers and elite units within the Sons of Horus, though they are more common with the depictions of the Luna Wolves. These include leather peturges and transverse helmet crests, usually of horsehair dyed red in the Greco-Roman style. It appears that the latter were probably an indicator of rank, though there has been little explanation thereof.

Vehicle Livery
The vehicles attributed to service with the Sons of Horus are almost universally depicted in a dull grey, with yellow, gold, or black legionary insignia. In a minority of cases, the “Eye of Horus” appears in red. These vehicles are rarely depicted with decorated trim or any formal embellishments.

Prominent Astartes of the Sons of Horus
Horus – Primarch
Ezekyle Abbaddon – First Captain
Tarik Torgaddon – Second Captain (Loyalist)
Iacton “The Half Heard” Qruze – Third Captain (Loyalist)
“Little Horus” Aximand – Fifth Captain
Serghar Targost – Seventh Captain and Lodge Master
Garviel Loken – Tenth Captain (Loyalist)
Luc Sedirae – 13th Captain
Tybalt Marr “The Either” – 18th Captain
Verulam Moy “The Or” – 19th Captain
Maloghurst “The Twisted” – Equerry to the Primarch

Yvraith - August 28, 2010 05:38 AM (GMT)
It's in Horus Rising, that it says that their Drop Pods resembled "Black Seed Pods" or words similar to that.
From memory this is before the drop on to the surface of Murder.

Whether that carried over to other Legion vehicles or not it doesn't say... :rolleyes:

Mithras - August 28, 2010 07:38 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Yvraith @ Aug 28 2010, 05:38 AM)
It's in Horus Rising, that it says that their Drop Pods resembled "Black Seed Pods" or words similar to that.
From memory this is before the drop on to the surface of Murder.

Whether that carried over to other Legion vehicles or not it doesn't say... :rolleyes:

Well spotted, Yvraith.

Other than that, does it cut the mustard with you, at least as a beginning?


Yvraith - August 29, 2010 01:44 AM (GMT)

When you first mentioned what you wanted to do in your blog, I wasn't quite sure what exactly you wanted to do, but this sort of article, will be very informative and a great source of inspiration for members, new & old.
Especially when combined with the Visual Codex too.

The great thing I can see with this, is that as new information comes to light you will be able to come back and edit the original post, which will reduce the amount of thread searching that happens at the moment.

You may want to look at including information on the Mournival too, like it's role within the legion, the schism that formed in the last months/years prior to Horus' betrayal, including a list of past members etc. (I have the names written down somewhere if you want it.) ;)

ShroudFilm - August 29, 2010 11:36 AM (GMT)
Something which I have been thinking about lately is a kind of 'great revision' of the HH series... basically, one person would be assigned to each novel, and they would exhaustively report EVERYTHING from that novel, to contribute to a huge Horus Heresy Wiki.

What you've started here is not entirely dissimilar to that idea, so it does make me wonder if such a thing would be a good project to get started...?

Mithras - August 31, 2010 10:12 AM (GMT)
Thanks for the support and comments, guys.

Shroud -

I think that's a generally good idea. One alternative might be to assign specific individuals to specific Legions. I've found that sorting through a source for any and all information can be very difficult, as opposed to looking for -specific- information on a targeted search, but I think either approach would certainly work.

Yvraith -

You have a good point about the Mournival, schism, etc.. Essentially, I wanted to start out with a basic description of the Legion, important information about painting, some examples, etc. I figured we could get into more specific items as the project developed. The Mournival is worth mentioning in the list of notables, at the very least. If you've got that list of notables, by the way, I'd be very interested in seeing it.


ShroudFilm - August 31, 2010 12:19 PM (GMT)
That was my original thought... however I realised that it meant everyone would have to read ALL the novels again. I think we'd persuade people to look at one novel each and make extensive notes, rather than read all the novels again.

Yvraith - August 31, 2010 12:37 PM (GMT)
When I re-read the novels I made sure to take notes on the legions I was interested in.

The Mournival had 13 members up to Horus' betrayal.
Original 4 (as far as I could determine) (source pg 75 HR)
Abbaddon, Torgaddon, Keyshen & Minos.

Followed by in order of death:
Berabaddon, Litus, Syrakul, Deradaedon, Karadon, Janipur & Sejanus.

Of course there is/was "Little Horus" Aximand & Loken.

Helmets were marked with moons over their right eye.
Abbaddon - Full
Torgaddon - The Gibbous
Aximand - Half Moon
Loken - New Moon

If that helps ;)

Everytime I re-read a novel I seem to find reference bits that I missed the first time. :rolleyes:

Algrim Whitefang - September 3, 2010 07:37 PM (GMT)
Just wanted to add to the discussion. Please note, some spoilers follow:

Prominent Astartes of the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus
* Horus - Primarch
* Ezekyle Abaddon, First Captain, 1st Company
* Tarik Torgaddon, Captain, 2nd Company - Remained loyal, killed at Isstvan III.
* Iacton "The Half Heard" Qruze, Captain, 3rd Company - Remained loyal, escaped
with the Eisenstein.
* Hastur Sejanus, Captain, 4th Company - Murdered during compliance negotiations
upon planet Sixty-Three-Nineteen.
* 'Little Horus' Aximand, Captain, 5th Company
* Serghar Targost, Captain, 7th Company and Lodge-Master
* Garviel Loken, Captain, 10th Company - Remained loyal, presumed to have been
killed at Isstvan III.
* Luc Sedirae, Captain, 13th Company - Killed by a Vindicare sniper on Dagonet
while posing as a body-double for Horus who had remained in orbit.
* Tybalt Marr 'The Either', Captain, 18th Company
* Verulam Moy 'The Or', Captain, 19th Company - On Davin's Moy was selected by
the Warmaster to lead his personal security unit into the Glory of Terra, the crashed
flagship of the traitor Eugen Temba. A brief battle took place, in which Moy was killed by the traitorous Temba.
* Maloghurst ‘The Twisted’, Horus' Equerry
* Araghast the Pillager, Champion of the Black Legion

Known Chaos Warbands

* Black Brethren of Eyreas – A Black Legion warband that took part in the siege of Vraks. When Lord Zhufor of the Skulltakers rose to power during the siege, he killed the Black Brethren's Lord and Champions in order to force the other Chaos warbands into submission.

Vissah - September 6, 2010 06:17 PM (GMT)
Nice wall of text :D

The Sons of Horus are my favorite Legion so I really enjoyed reading this.


Mithras - September 8, 2010 08:49 PM (GMT)
Vissah -

You're most welcome:) Glad I could provide pleasant reading...

Thanks for the names, Yvraith. Shall incorporate them when next I put the tech-scribes to work.


And thanks to you too, Algrim. Your post didn't show up for some reason when I last looked at this topic. My apologies.


Mithras - September 16, 2010 08:16 AM (GMT)
New version uploaded. Comments/questions welcome. I'm very happy with this version this time around. My thanks to the contributors.


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