LEGIO V: "WHITE SCARS"
Primarch: Jaghatai Khan
Homeworld: Mundus Planus (Chogoris)
Status: Loyal to the Imperium
During the Scattering, Jaghatai Khan was transported to the pre-industrial world of Chogoris (known as Mundus Planus to the Imperium of Man.) At the time of his discovery, Chogoris was divided between a city-dwelling civilization bordered by an enormous grassland populated by nomadic horse breeders whose tribes were frequently targeted for slavery by their more "civilized" cousins. Although the nomads were extremely talented warriors and superior horsemen, they were divided by internecine warfare and unable to present a unified front in the face of slave traders.
Fortunately for the nomads, the young Khan was discovered and adopted by one of the leading chieftains among them, and raised in the best traditions of his people. We are told that, even as a young child, the Khan was the most effective warrior amongst his kinsmen, and his position as a leader was as natural as his horsemanship. The boy was, in the terms of his adoptive family, born in the saddle. Although Jaghatai was troubled by the fighting between his people, he chose to follow the example of his adopted father and remained loyal to his tribe. It was only the savage murder of the Khan's father that forced his hand, and the results were inevitable.
The young Primarch led a fiery campaign to unite the tribes before turning on their slave trading oppressors. The campaign was quick, savage, and brilliantly executed. By the time that the Emperor arrived to reunite with his fifth son, Jaghatai Khan had united his adoptive homeworld and was prepared to offer his allegiance to the Emperor, whom he immediately recognized as a being capable of "uniting the stars."
At the time of the Khan's introduction to his gene-progeny in Legio V, the Legion had already been active for at least some time. Their name, though unrecorded, was changed not long after being introduced to the native culture of Chogoris, calling themselves the "White Scars" in reference to the ritual scarification practiced by many of the horse nomads of their new homeworld. Unfortunately, little has been written about the Khan's personality, nor have there yet been any published novels regarding his views of the Heresy, or his campaigns on behalf of the Emperor. However, he seems to have been held in great esteem, both by the Astartes of his own Legion and his brother Primarchs.
Like all of the Primarchs, Jaghatai Khan was a gifted strategist. His particular specialty, learned at the reins of his horse as a child, was lighting assault and harassment - cavalry tactics by any other name. The White Scars soon became known for their mobility and striking power, as well as a capability to "go to ground" and harass a superior enemy before a final killing blow could be brought to bare. Indeed, their form of fighting was particularly well suited to an equally savage enemy - the greenskinned Xenos of the Orc species, against whom the White Scars were frequently employed during the Great Crusade.
Sometime after 3 HE, Jaghatai Khan and his White Scars were engaged in a bitter struggle with the Orks of the Chondax System when news of the Heresy and the Drop Site Massacre reached the Khan. Not long after, the Khan decided to set course for Terra, and Legio V moved as fast as it could to reinforce its beloved Emperor. Sometime during the voyage, the Khan was contacted by Leman Russ of the Space Wolves, who was particularly close to the Khan. Russ, who had just finished the burning of Prospero, offered to join forces with the Khan. The two arranged to meet not far from Terra, but the intervention of the Alpha Legion, which had quietly tracked the Space Wolves since Prospero, forced the two fleets to divide, rather than risk destruction by the superior Traitor fleet. As a result, Khan went on to Terra, while Russ concentrated his efforts on delaying the Alpha Legion long enough to allow the majority of the White Scars to muster at Terra. The Khan, we are told, was never entirely comfortable with this decision, and the White Scars have spent a great deal of time since attempting to repay their blood debt to the Space Wolves in the Post-Heresy era.
On Terra, the White Scars fought to defend the Imperial Palace alongside the Imperial Fists and the Blood Angels. Most famously, it was the Khan whose bold tactics and sorties from the Imperial Palace, alongside remnants of the First Terran Tank Division (Imperial Army) and several Imperial Army infantry regiments , helped to keep pressure on the besieging Traitor forces and their supply lines. A daring raid by the White Scars on the Lions Gate spaceport allowed the port to be opened long enough for reinforcing troops and supplies to arrive for the Emperor's beleaguered forces. When Horus fell, the White Scars helped to lead the loyalist counter-offensive, and the White Scars played a vital role in the Scouring that followed the collapse of the Warmaster's coalition.
At the end of the Heresy, the White Scars were given the task of guarding the Maelstrom, located (perhaps conveniently enough) not far from Chogoris. Not long after their return to the homeworld, the White Scars discovered that the Dark Eldar had lead a series of slaving raids against the Khan's countrymen. During a retaliatory strike, Jaghatai Khan and select elements of the White Scars followed a Dark Eldar Archon through a warp portal and disappeared, where White Scars legend says the Khan continues to battle the enemies of humanity for all eternity. An alternative explanation has been offered, suggesting that the Primarch's fleet was actually lost to the warp, rather than being drawn into any portals. The actual truth of the matter is not, currently, known.
Power Armor Variants
Appropriate Pre-Heresy depictions of the White Scars are fairly scarce. The Legion is known primarily by anecdotes of its exploits, rather than direct accounts, and the same is true of the canon illustrations that have been provided. What few images that do exist depict White Scars in MkV and MkVI armor. At least one White Scars character is clearly depicted in Collected Visions, but he is wearing an elaborately engraved suit of what can only be described as "artificer armor" in Games Workshop parlance. Functional, but elegant, certainly not something that would have seen wide distribution among the Astartes of a full Space Marine Legion.
The official White Scars livery is relatively simple. Stark white, with red stripes on each side of the face plate of the helmet, and a series of jagged "scar like" markings on the left greave of the armor. There is no contrasting trim color. Although the White Scars are occasionally referenced as wearing furs or totemic devices, this seems to be the exception, rather than the rule. In general, the White Scars are not known for their ostentatious behavior, nor is personal embellishment of armor particularly common. As with the characters depicted on occasion, however, it would not be out of the question to find personal engravings and markings etched into long serving battle armor, which might prove an interesting contrast to the otherwise starkly utilitarian nature of the White Scars livery.
The Legionary device is similarly simple, striking, and direct.
<Legionary Device to be inserted, here.>
Virtually all White Scars vehicles depicted or described in the New Chronology are Rhinos and Attack Bikes. These are generally white, occasionally with red trim. LEG V can occasionally be seen depicted on their armor plates, or alternatively the Roman numeral associated with their parent company of the Legion.
It is probable that the White Scars did make use of fast vehicles, and even some heavy armor, as would befit their cavalry style tactics. Some modelers have also chosen to depict them mounted on large horses. However, it is worth noting that the last of these is not attested in any official source. (And at any rate, there have been no "official" mounted Space Marine models since the early days of First Edition.)
Post-Heresy White Scars have a distinct lack of Dreadnoughts, due to a belief that it is better to allow the spirit of a warrior to move on rather than chaining it to a machine. Although i t has not been specifically spelled out as such in the New Chronology, it is a fair bet that the use of Dreadnoughts was also avoided during the Pre-Heresy period.
Prominent Astartes of the White Scars