Attached to the Iron Warriors for the majority of the Great Crusade, Cerberus Cohort developed an ambush-based Synergy with the IV Legio, often camouflaging their automata and war engines to take advantage of foes too hasty to close range with the Lords of Olympia.
Formed from Legio Cybernetica maniples and tech-magi based on Mars when the compact between the Red Planet and Terra was forged, Cerberus Cohort became a dumping ground for the more recidivistic elements of the Martian Priesthoods. Cerberus Cohort was rapidly deployed with the IV Legiones Astartes, as it was felt that the Iron Warriors' aptitude with technology and devotion to duty would inspire the same within the command echelons of the Cohort.
For the early years of the Crusade, Cerberus Cohort was a wild thing, too eager to rush into combat and vent their frustrations at being brought under Terra's rule. Attrition rates were phenomenally high, and yet legitimate victories remained few and far between.
The discovery of the Primarch Perturabo was something of a turning point for the Cohort. In the Lord of Iron, the remaining senior Magi found a kindred spirit. Perturabo's hatred of weakness, and his inherent bitterness struck a chord with many of Cerberus Cohort's Magi, especially the newly-arrived Cybertheurgic prodigies Magi Thexeus and Cyniss.
While the Primarch Perturabo preoccupied himself with the Edict of Decimation and the purification of all weakness from his warriors, Thexeus and his allies quietly seized control of Cerberus Cohort.
The ruling Archmagos was deposed in a bloody coup in which Thexeus and Cyniss were joined by the venerable Magos Kable. Their command of the Cohort's Automata was absolute, and all who opposed them were destroyed by the very machines they had helped create. Thexeus assumed the mantle of Cohort Archmagos, and Magos Kable became critical in Cerberus' restructuring.
Cerberus Cohort was reinvented as a technocracy nominally lead by a triumvirate of senior Magi: Domina Kable, Domina Cyniss, and Dominus Thexeus. These Magi would determine when the Cohort went to war, and in what capacity. For over three hundred years this coalition kept Cerberus Cohort functioning at peak capacity and ensured that the Iron Warriors they served with never lacked for allies.
The Horus Heresy
In truth, the power within Cerberus Cohort rested with Archmagos Thexeus. His iron will and technological aptitude kept his Battle-Automata marching to Perturabo's unforgiving pace, and ensured that his Cohort won favour and esteem amongst the command echelons of the Traitors. Archmagos Thexeus is recorded killed in action during Combat action CC-763-S-48361, known to those outside Cerberus Cohort as the Baylonian Insurrection, defending the Warhound Excorrigatus Nocti from Salamanders forces. The destruction of so many Automata and ultimately the Nocti itself proved costly and allowed the Salamanders to consolidate into new territory.
Magos Domina Kable remained locked in her forge-fane for the majority of the Horus Heresy working on a project she would share with no-one. When the Salamanders finally breached her temple's defences after the Siege of Terra, they found the Magos' dessicated body linked via MIU cables to a machine cradle that had clearly housed something immense. What was left of her data-files revealed little, and not even the Loyalist Tech-Magi brought in to decipher her work could tell exactly what she had been working on. It would be ten thousand years before she resurfaced as purely mechanical being at the head of a force of twisted and corrupt Daemon Engines, carving territory from the Imperium of Man with relentless force.
Magos Domina Cyniss became a flawed but effective tool in Thexeus' arsenal. A cybertheurgy mishap during Thexeus' bloody takeover of Cerberus Cohort almost entirely severed her Corpus Callosum and burned out large portions of her brilliant mind. Now almost completely insane, her atypical thought patterns and unorthodox approach to war has enabled Archmagos Thexeus to secure statistically impossible victories. For all her battlefield brilliance, however, she was not up to the task of commanding Cerberus Cohort in its entirety, failing to live up to the high standards set by her predecessor.
With Kable missing in action, Thexeus presumed dead, and Cyniss unable to command, the Iron Warriors Primarch Perturabo assimilated Cerberus Cohort in its entirely into the ranks of the IV Legio, dispersing its Automata and personnel amongst the various Companies present for the Baylonian Insurrection.
Praevian Kurgax became instrumental in reconditioning the Machine Spirits of Cerberus Cohort's automata to service within the IV Legio. His previous service alongside Thexeus and his innate understanding of the automata themselves allowed them to be rapidly re-oriented to take the Iron Warriors' commands and redeployed back into the field with a speed that caught several Loyalist commanders off-guard.
Several Automata found themselves serving alongside Warsmith Forrix and the First Grand Company's Terminators, where they formed an unbreakable anvil upon which enemy forces were broken by the hammer-blows of Forrix's massed Terminator assaults.
Within months, however, these Battle-Automata had murdered Kurgax and effected a bloody escape, activated remotely by agents unknown to sow havoc amongst the Iron Warriors' encampment before disappearing into the wastes of Dur-Kazit.
The Baylonian Synod
The escape of Cerberus' Battle-Automata was ruled by the Iron Warriors as a Loyalist cyber-attack, and little further thought was given to it. Within months, however, the Automata returned, led by an unidentified Magos with the mark of Cerberus Cohort barely visible upon its heavily-scarred chassis.
Archmagos Thexeus' battered frame had been secretly recovered by agents of the indigenous Baylonian Synod, and repaired with the scarce resources at their disposal.
Returned to some measure of his former glory, and with Cerberus Cohort once more back under his control, Thexeus set his forces to aiding the Synod's push to liberate their system. No longer tied by oaths of loyalty to the Iron Warriors, and possessed of a deep hatred of the Loyalists who had killed him, Thexeus laid waste to everything his gaze fell upon; becoming instrumental in significantly reducing the Loyalists' hold over his adopted home; the Oteal System.
After joining the Synod, Thexeus was shadowed everywhere by Magos Ordinatus Gernatius Nord. Nord served as an advisor to Thexeus, and augmented Cerberus Cohort's already powerful forces with several units of Thallaxi to hold ground and secure objectives. Nord also served as Thexeus' watcher; a constant reminder that the Synod did not fully trust him and had sent a handler to enforce his loyalty. Thexeus' and Nord's hatred for each other would become legendary amongst the Synod, and would dictate everything from deployment orders to when each of them slept.
When the Synod made their presence felt; Archmagos Thexeus sprung his trap against the Imperial Fists, and would continue to punish the VIIth Legion throughout the primary phase of the Baylonian Synod's rebellion. A surprise Dark Angels raid behind Synod lines briefly drew his attention, but his former masters' ancient grudge with the Imperial Fists seemed to dictate much of his activity throughout the Synod's initial push.
With the materials and war machines captured during the initial phase of fighting, Thexeus now possessed enough specialist parts to restore his war-frame to its former glory, and begin the process of expanding his Cohort. He would continue to be a thorn in the side of all forces involved in the Baylonian Insurrection for the remainder of the campaign, and go on to threaten a reeling Imperium for centuries to come.
Combat Reports for A-MECH-3341
Even before the shocking actions of Istvaan filtered through to the Australis Ultima ..→
|Battle Name||Date||Planet||Battle Outcome||Battle Summary|
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 2||158.008.M31||System Wide||Traitor||
Using their holdings on Dur-Kazit as a staging point the Traitors were the first to strike out in a renewed attempt to seize territory after a brief respite fractured by sporadic strike force ..→
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 4||292.008.M31||System Wide||Traitor|
|Baylonian Insurrection~Act 8||541.008.M31||System Wide||Unresolved||
With the act of rebellion the Baylonian Synod brought the wrath of not only the Loyalists but the Traitors as well. Their intention to reclaim their lost empire and stand apart from the warring ..→