|The Fourth Fellowship, Thousand Sons|
The Thousand Sons Legion
The Fourth Fellowship
The Fifteenth Legion was formed on Terra, their gene-seed being created and implanted in the first legionaires during a brief resurgence of warp-storms within the boundaries of the Sol system itself. This brief warp-storm was said to have generated psychic flashpoints all across Terra's globe, resulting in outbreaks of madness, suicide and random violence. Whether it had any effect on the legion's gene-seed is doubtful, but upon learning of it years later Magnus himself considered it to be a poor omen.
At least part of the initial crop of legionaires - termed student-aspirants - were found amongst the population of the once geo-political entity known as the Achaemenid Empire. This area of Terra had been under the rule of the Emperor for at least a century at this point, and as a result had suffered little during the just-completed Wars of Unification. The Emperor himself, accompanied by a retinue of scientists, visited the region and had each and every family tested for compatibility with the Legion XV gene-seed. Those that were found suitable were taken to the gene-laboratories underneath the Himalayas to begin their transformation into Astartes. Present as one of these first student-aspirants was Ahzek Ahriman and his twin brother, Ohrmuzd. Upon completion of this process the Fifteenth Legion was used to quell what few pockets of isolated resistance to the Emperor's rule remained upon Terra, before being named the Thousand Sons by the Emperor himself and sent out into the galaxy as part of his Great Crusade. Their name is believed to originate from the first step of the Legion's creation process; for unknown (but presumably notable, if the Legion was named because of them) reasons, exactly one thousand Marines were created and trained first, with the Fifteenth brought up to full Legion numbers afterwards. There only being one thousand Thousand Sons in existence at a point in time is a fact that, tragically, would repeat itself in the future on more than one occasion.
Having been thus deliberately removed from the board by the machinations of Chaos, the Thousand Sons played no part in the birth of the Horus Heresy. In fact, exactly when and why they chose to ally themselves with Horus and his traitorous rebellion is not clear, although it is believed that their chief motivation was to gain sanctuary and protection from further Imperial attack. Of course, considering how Tzeentch had orchestrated events so far, it is likely that they had little choice in the matter at all.
After their escape from Prospero, the Thousand Sons discovered that - once again - they had been reduced to only around one thousand living members. Their actions during the bulk of the Heresy are not currently known, but when Horus's forces fell on Terra itself some years later, Magnus and the Thousand Sons were with him. Noted to be a very small contingent of the Chaos forces, the Thousand Sons contented themselves with summoning daemonic reinforcements and casting supporting spells rather than engaging in pitched battle for most of the Siege of Terra. However, once the outer walls of the Imperial Palace had been breached, the Thousand Sons found themselves required to break down the final wards and fortifications of the inner palace itself. Advancing to the Ultimate Gate, part of the legion held off Imperial counter-attacks while the senior sorcerers attempted to destroy the defences with psychic power and sorcerous ritual. This assault came to naught however, as a contingent of Imperial Fists led by Rogal Dorn arrived in the combat zone and drove the Thousand Sons off at much the same time as the Emperor himself directed the surviving Librarians of the Blood Angels and Imperial Fists to block the attacks of the Thousand Sons sorcerers.
During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy Veterans of the Thousand Sons wore the Achean Pattern MkIV Power Armour with distinctive helmets and shoulder pads.
The Fourth Fellowship
The Fourth Fellowship were present during the scouring of Prospero, and consequently undertook the passage into the realm of chaos. There, segments of their command hierarchy linked up with several stragglers of their lost fleet (dispersed by Magnus the Red in the lead up to the Siege of Prospero) and have begun forays into Imperial/Occupied space in search of whatever is demanded in the name of their commander, Ahhāk, former Adjutant of the third Company. Their goals are uncertain, seemingly the gathering of relics and resources, likely in an attempt to rebuild the broken Legion, but if anything at all is known, it's that they harbour an unfathomable rage for the Space Wolves Legion, and will seemingly go out of their way to inflict woe upon that legion.
The Recollections of Ahhāk
From the recollections of Ahhāk, a journal created during the dark days of the Heresy, here follows the events directly preceeding the Siege of Geigenhive from his perspective;
The Cruiser Tuthmoses moved into the system. The metallic red hull gliding gracefully through the void. Several other warships were in the region, vessels of most of the legions were present. Ahhāk, former Adjutant of the third Company, fourth Fellowship, surveyed the vessels. ”Are we obscured?” ”Our Sorcerors have successfully obscured our vessel. None are aware of our presence. In this system.” replied one of the bridge staff. ”Good. I do not want any interference from either task force. The followers of the Warmaster cannot be trusted, and the Imperial forces still seek our blood.” Ahhāk said. He took in the view. The vessels in orbit were in a stand off, they were half crippled from the fighting. ”I must enter the ennumerations, I will be in my chambers. If there is any change as we translate in system, inform me.” ”Yes, my lord.”
Ahhāk sat alone in his chambers. He sat amid intricately carved sigils and wards, wards he himself placed onto the floor. He despised the wards, but the flesh change had taken hold of him. Now, more than ever, he needed knowledge. He had to venture into the empyrean. He braced himself for the pain to come, knowing that to use his powers was courting disaster. The snakes upon his shoulders began to writhe as the psychic energy welled inside him. He closed his eyes, and his mind drifted from his body. He rose from his physical body, and quickly left the ship. He ventured from ship to ship in turn, taking in the situation aboard them. The loyalist ships were few in number, outnumbered by Horus’ forces, it appeared that ground forces were being committed to the world below before they fled the system. Principle among the targets, was a the main hive... Geigenhive they called it.
Ahhāk took in the thoughts of the Loyalists as he drew near.... Yes, he could see it, loyalist reinforcements were coming.... He would have to act fast if he were to gain his objective, a rare Luminiferous Resonator, prized by Thousand Sons sorcerors for the boost it grants their powers. But wait- what was this? Word Bearers? Ah, fools, thinking that they could consort with the denizens of the warp and come out the better for it. They never were a bright legion, too fueled by zealotry, fire and brimstone. But they had artifacts of their own with them. Great tomes, volumes on daemon summoning, on maelific words of power... yes, these could prove most useful. Ahhāk began to feel a burning sensation, the flesh change was biting at him again. Too long he had dwelt in the warp, too long was he using his power. He must return to his body, he required fresh blood for the serpents upon his shoulders.
As his mind crashed back into his physical body, the pain took him. As he convulsed on the ground, he schemed and planned, even now. He would fight on Geigenhive, knowing that his forces were ill prepared, but he also knew something very important, that he had surprise on his side, for nobody knew he was there, and when they found out, his enemies would have no idea whose side he was on.
Even as he lay there, blood frothing in his mouth, he allowed himself to smile.
You cannot simply interrogate a marine. They are bred tough, they are made strong by the divine blood flowing through their veins. They have witnessed countless atrocities across hundreds of wars. But in the Age of Darkness, some have been corrupted. Madness took hold among the forces of both sides, the Imperial forces driven insane at Calth, at Istvaan, and the followers of Horus... well, they aren’t exactly stable anymore...
Of course, some legions take the pain better than others. Salamanders? They have resolve. Death Guard wear it as a badge of pride. Iron Warriors? They’re more afraid of their Primarch than you. Word Bearers? Their faith gives them the will of a madman. Iron Hands think their flesh is weak, they become all but immune to mortal pain. Then... then there are the warriors of the third legion, the ‘Emperors Children’. They don’t feel the pain anymore, they feel pleasure. They are sick in the mind, corrupted by a warp deity, a Legion of madness driven solely by the pursuit of pleasure, and everything is pleasure. That makes them hard to break.
Ahhāk however wasn’t the typical interrogator. He was a son of Magnus, and the sons of Magnus have... gifts. Ahhāk turned to the sorceror on his left. Khunsā was preparing himself, calming his mind. A gifted practitioner of telepathy before the fall of Prospero, he, like many in the legion had only grown since The Fall. Once, long ago, the Thousand Sons each practised one field of ability. They shone bright in this one skill, and were poor in the others. Ahriman was a Diviner, seeing the future. Hathor could heal the body of all ailments on a whim through Biomancy. Kalophis, the light that burned too bright, a skilled Pyromancer. But that had all changed. The Thousand Sons now had mastery over all powers, a strange gift tied directly to their ‘patron’ entity of the warp.
Ahhāk put aside the thoughts. No use thinking of the past, there was work here to be done. He spoke to Khunsā, ++we need more knowledge, the traitors are attacking the hive, we need an edge++ ++yes, we lack the numbers, we must work quickly to achieve our goals++ ++and can you break him?++ Ahhāk stared at the warrior in purple and gold, chained down amidst the circle of glpyhs. The warrior had not been easy to capture, but the Thousand Sons were resourceful. He fought well, and had great skill with the blade, such a shame he lacked the gifts of Magnus’ sons, they held him back. So much for perfection. ++...Ahhāk... I will break him++ ++see that it’s done Khunsā++
As Ahhāk left the interrogation chamber, the screams began. Traitors, always so confident in themselves. The fool actually expected physical torture. Why torture the body, when you can torture the soul? Ahhāk smiled, reveling in his superiority.
The Hero Of Geigenhive
For his part in the Siege of Geigenhive, little is known what became of Ahhāk and the Thousand Sons forces after the traitor victory. Ahhāk's motivations were purely selfish, with the Thousand Sons under his command 'obtaining' numerous sacred relics and ancient texts prior to their vanishing from all records.
What is known of the engagement however is that Ahhāk's forces successfully turned the tide of the battle at every juncture, their fearsome psychic warriors divining the exact locations there were required in at all times, culminating in three key phases;
-restoration of Geigenhives shields,
-the purging of Geigenhives sub-level radiation;
-the sealing of the Geigenhive Category 3 Warp Rift.
It is in no doubt, that Ahhāk's motivations were purely selfish, confirmed by the deliberate lack of direct aid provided to the loyalists, however, due to his surprisingly noble actions, the epithet "Hero of Geigenhive" was bestowed upon Ahhāk.
Ahhāk and his Sekhmet: pict captured at Geigenhive
Magnus placed great emphasis on ensuring that legion officers could operate independently from him, going to lengths to ensure they were taught all that he believed they would need to succeed at command, including otherworldly skills. Before the Heresy the individual Thousand Sons squads were led not by established veteran warriors, but by those who showed the most psychic potential. These junior officers were also effectively apprenticed to more experienced officers for cult training. As a result of the emphasis on leaders having strong psychic ability, senior officers of the legion typically became considerably experienced in both typical battlefield combat and in the use of their powers.
Always a numerically small legion, the Thousand Sons rarely ever took to the field in great numbers. They would normally operate in small detachments, whose leader could effectively hold much more independent authority than officers in comparable positions in other Legions. With the events following the Heresy, this habit has become more pronounced.
Before the Heresy, the Thousand Sons operated several Fellowships roughly equivalent to Companies. While there were originally ten, after the events in the Kamenka Troika the legion was reorganised into nine Fellowships. Each Fellowship was led by a powerful Psyker. Spread out among these Fellowships were several Cults that specialized in different Psychic disciplines.
While Magnus himself remains the ruler of the Planet of the Sorcerers, he is increasingly aloof with the affairs of the Materium and is spending much of his attention waging the Great Game of the Ruinous Powers.
Ahhāk's forces embody these philosophies, utilising small surgically deployed units, with maximum emphasis on reconnaissance prior to engagement. They prefer to use tried and tested technology, known for robustness and reliability, such as Volkite and Las weaponry. This is often employed to great effect in defensive situations, where the Legion Heavy Support detachments at Geigenhive defeated hundreds of lesser daemons streaming from the Warp Rift. A large allied Mechanicus contingent is also a part of the collective fleet Ahhāk has assembled, led by the Magos Khinsar Sar Ket, leader of the Cult of the Scarab, who's own history is a tale unto itself.
Their Fleet Assets are as follows:
-The Thumoses, Battlecruiser
-The Wadjet, Strike Cruiser
-The Achemi, Strike Cruiser
-The Vengeance of Prospero, Armoured Cruiser, formerly of the Space Wolves Legion, captured
-The Golden Scarab, Mechanicum Ark
-12 Escorts, various makes
-4 Monitors, Gamma Grade
The Sealing Of The Geigenhive Category 3 Warp Rift
From the Collective Histories of the Fourth, Chapter 12.
During the events of the Siege of Geigenhive, the Sons of Horus and the Ultramarines fought a desperate battle around an ancient gateway. Unbeknownst to these forces, their causalities and the fighting around the artifact loosened the barrier between realities, and allowed the warp to spill over. The immediate effect was hordes of daemons poured onto the battlefield, swarming over both sides of the conflict, and the resulting death engorged the gateway. The Navigator attached to the Ultramarines was forced into the rift, for whatever reason, and the resulting terror created by his sacrifice presided over the wholesale slaughter of all Astartes forces near the newly born rift. However, there were some in the Hive who had the ability to prevent the Rift from deepening.
Ahhāk and the Fourth Fellowship descended the Hive, intent on finding the Rift. Ahhāk had no desire to reach it out of kindness to the people of Geigenhive, much as later stories would tell. In fact, he sought knowledge from the Daemon who had taken the form of the Navigator. The Sorcerors accompanying him were wearied from the fighting, and had drained their powers significantly when they vented the toxic atmosphere from the hive. What greeted the Fourth when they reached the rift was not meant for mortal eyes. The ground was cracked and broken, lava and fire burned through many cracks and fissures that snaked across the landscape. Hellish hordes of daemons, their skin red as blood, with eyes like amber, glowing with their own foul light, were massed between the Sons and the Rift.
The Thousand Sons forces fought for many hours in the chasm of the Rift, their Heavy Support Volkites and the Ancient Contemptor D'goti sending hundreds of horned nightmares back into the empyrean. The Sorceror Khunsā, weakened by his efforts in the Hive was pulled through the portal, into the realm on chaos, his fate, for that time unknown. Through it all waded Ahhāk, his confidence assured, for not a blade could touch him. Confidently he stepped up to the Rift, and touched his hand to the black event horizon. His mind was flooded with images, of death, destruction, torture, sex, suffering and all manner of foul things. At the edges of his vision, the Navigator Daemon appeared, the guardian of the Rift. A mighty battle was fought between the two, with even the mighty Sorceror Ahhāk being almost killed himself by the daemon. In the end, he was however victorious, and he claimed his prize from Rift, before sealing it, lest his prize be learned by another. The Fourth then left the Hive, even as it fell to the traitors, their goals fulfilled and their coffers filled with relics.
The Assault on the Polar Fortress, RS-137
From the Collective Histories of the Fourth, Chapter 13.
After the events of the Siege of Geigenhive, Ahhāk led his warriors to the system of +RS-137+. Here, the Thousand Sons fought once again on the 'Loyalist' side during the conflict, however, their ultimate goal was the destruction of a Traitor fortress in the polar north. A large force of Thousand Sons, aided by operatives from the secretive Alpha Legion assaulted the mighty polar fortress. Ahhāk led almost the entire might of his forces in this assault, with the 4th Fellowship's Mastodon employed in the main assault.
Traitor forces from both the 3rd and 4th Legions, including Super Heavy armoured assets blocked the passage through the ice pinnacles of the tundra, but had not reckoned with the foresight of Ahhāk. Ahhāk chose to deploy his elite terminators and his entire wealth of Sorceror captains in the assaulting Mastodon. The Mastodon delivered this knife directly into the heart of the two enemy forces, whilst specialist Thousand Sons Breacher units assaulted and destroyed the enemy armour, which had been baited into firing at a decoy column of Rhino transports.
The terminator assault was killed to a man, with barely a single Sorceror Lord surviving the battle. The Mastodon effortlessly destroyed the fortifications of the traitors, with the added bonus of killing the Alpha Legion operatives hidden within. All transpired according to Ahhāk's divined plan. With the goal within the fortress reached, the Thousand Sons quickly disengaged from the region and abandoned +RS-137+ to its fate at the hands of the venomous traitors, and their debt to the Alpha Legion seemingly fulfilled.
Breaking of Centrumeh Gate~Ep.1 - ACT of Heresy: Sudeen
The forces around Sudeen called into the void for aid and the splinter fleet of Ahhāk heard their pleas. The arch sorceror, now twisting and mutating massed his forces and traveled in-system. The forces of the 4th Fellowship soon set to work attacking loyalist and traitor alike, their thirst for knowledge and vengeance unquenchable. The first battles were fought over a Mechanicus fortress, the Thousand Sons confronted by massed Iron Hands armoured forces.
The Iron Hands crushed all before them, advancing into the seemingly empty fortress without opposition. When the time was right, the Thousand Sons fell upon their enemies, wiping out the entire column of Malcador Super Heavy tanks with mere infantry, for such was the fell cunning of the Thousand Sons.
Bloodier battles still were fought, combined efforts by the Thousand Sons and Iron Warriors above and below ground, all opposition before them crushed. Upon achieving one victory, several scribes were hauled before the Thousand Sons, their minds ripe for average interrogation. To the surprise of the Sorcerors they were able to glean far more knowledge than they dared dream from their captives: the true aggressors against Knight House Horne were revealed to them.
All that is known was that in the aftermath, the Thousand Sons returned to their vessels and that Horne turned on their urstwhile allies, likely upon hearing the truth of matters from the Thousand Sons of Ahhāk's cursed fellowship. Horne was splintered by the incident, with some knights breaking their vows and taking up the Black Mantle of the Freeblade, with the majority of the house turning Traitor. Truly the Thousand Sons reaped their rewards that day.
The Madness of Ahhāk
Some time after the events of Geigenhive….
Mehmnet was worried. Khunsā was lost withing the warp rift at Geigenhive. Severe losses had been sustained by the fellowship at RS-137. Ahhāk had vanished for a time into his chambers, with the relic from the polar fortress. What had transpired within he wondered. It was his job now to lead the 7th Fellowship in his absence.
In his chambers, Ahhāk set the relic before him. Three scrolls, intricately written in an ancient and flowing script. The Emperors Children and Iron Warriors had sold their lives dearly to protect the scrolls. Ahhāk poured over them, but soon his limbs wearied. The burning sensation had come back. Since Geigenhive, he had been wracked in unending pain, the price for using his powers on the fallen navigator. Pain unimaginable to any less than an astartes. His powers couldn’t hold it in check, they seemed to fuel it the more.
Ahhāk had communed with the surviving sorcerors of the legion in secret. Hathor had no cure, but Ahriman, ah, Ahzek, he had gifted him with what little he had pieced together for a spell. The spell he called the ‘Rubric’ was far from complete, but he believed it would halt the flesh change. Ahhāk had to complete the ritual. These three scrolls held the key, he was sure of it.
He summoned three of his most powerful captains, and together, they would cast Ahhāk’s own Rubric. The three sorcerors formed a circle around Ahhāk, who stood in the center of a sigil carved floor. They read the chants from the scrolls, and cast their Rubric. The pain subsided, the flesh change felt weaker. The snakes no longer called to him. He was free at last. Ahhāk laughed, for he had defeated the gods, he had halted his change. But within his head, he heard a voice laughing back at him. Suddenly, the three sorcerors screamed in pain about him. They became wreathed in flames, purples, greens, yellows and many other colours. Faces leered out from the conflagration, and Ahhāk realised his peril. He was at the whim of the suffering sorcerors. The fire filled the room, scrolls, tablets, artifacts burned around him, the fires changed all they touched. Within the sigils, Ahhāk began to scream. His armour, the paint blistered and peeled off it, the ceramite beneath it tarnished to a blue and purple sheen. His snakes morphed and writhed within his flesh, and the armour and he became as one. Ahhāk could only watch in horror as he himself began to change, his pack growing four ghastly arms, the snakes had grown limbs. Ahhāk laughed maniacally, to witness the change.
A voice spoke to him amidst the pain…
”Ahhāk,” it called, “pledge yourself to me, and I will end your suffering” ”Yes, please! Anything!” he screamed. ”Go back to Geigenhive, unfurl your destiny” it spoke…
The fires went out. Ahhāk found himself in a room, much changed. The tomes on the shelves were monstrosities, no longer hand crafted works, but leering volumes bound in human flesh. The mighty trident stolen from Geigenhive had formed into a new shape, covered in eyes and strange sigils. His helmet now bore horns where once his crest had stood, and that was not the worst of changes…
His three captains stood as one. Three monstrosities, remade into new forms, twisted as the flesh changed, by sound of thought. They were three minds made into one, but given three bodies to enact its will. Their aura in the warp was a sickening thing, three minds, three bodies, one master. Three by three, the sacred number of nine. Each bore one of the scrolls as they had at the start of the ceremony, and Ahhāk bound these to his belt. They would form his new bodyguard, three trusted sorcerors, mutated and warped into monsters.
He would return to Geigenhive, a pilgrimage to undo what had been done to him, and the three sorcerors would be his only companions.
The Last Jackal of Prospero
With the disaperance of Ahhāk, the Fourth Fellowship was split. Khunsa led the majority, loyal to a fault to Ahhāk. But there was another, one of the lesser known cults, disbanded by Magnus’ own orders. Their cult alone delved into what the warp itself was. They peered into its depths, and they saw the warp peer back. That’s why Magnus broke the cult. The Cult was growing again. New paths were opening, knowledge gleaned from the Warmasters Legions, knowledge of daemons, of chaos. The cult of Anubis would rise again, led by The Last Jackal of Prospero. This sorceror wasn’t like Ahhāk, Ahhāk was driven insane by the flesh change, in the thrall of the warp and lusting for power. The Jackal, he was different. Vengeance for Prospero was all that he craved, and all were his enemies. The Warmaster for orchestrating it. Russ for carrying it out. They would all fall before his blade. The Jackal is patient, brooding. All is planned out, for all is known. The powers forbidden by Magnus were his to wield, and he would seek further and further in an effort to reach his goal. The Jackal had learned much. The Plaguefather had taught him the power to raise the dead. The Dark Prince had shown him how to harness the lust of others, their secret desires. The Skull Lord provided mindless fodder, blood drenched warp entities which you can unleash upon your enemies.
The Jackal cared only for his damaged pride and the reputation of the Sons. He strides into combat, afraid of no shells, for his will to survive and the power he wields knits together the wounds caused to his flesh. He has no fear, and inspires those around him, his coterie of Khenetai bodyguards. The Jackal is the last God of Death.
Combat Reports for L-XV-4925
|Breaking of Centrumeh Gate|
Prelude to War
While a number of Houses and at least one Company are known to have ..→
|The Rallying of Trugoy|
The Warmasters great betrayal is announced to the galaxy with the bloody brutal ..→
|Battle Name||Date||Planet||Battle Outcome||Battle Summary|
|Breaking of Centrumeh Gate~Ep.1 - ACT of Heresy: Sudeen||058.009.M31||Sudeen||Secessionist|
|The Rallying of Trugoy~Ep.4 - Siege of Geigenhive||617.008.M31||Trugoy||Traitor||