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The Sons of the Emperor (The 17th Primarch) by kokoda39 The Sons of the Emperor (The 17th Primarch) by kokoda39
Requested by ladtec

Lorgar, also once called Lorgar Aurelian and the Urizen before the Horus Heresy, is a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided and the former Primarch of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion. Always determined to uplift humanity through a deep belief in the divine, once the Emperor of Mankind rejected his attempts at worship, Lorgar discovered new Gods, the Ruinous Powers of Chaos, more worthy of his devotion during his infamous Pilgrimage. He was the first Primarch of the Space Marine Legions to fall to the corruption of Chaos before the Horus Heresy and it was he who ordered the corruption of the Warmaster Horus. He and his large Traitor Legion of Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines can today be found on the Daemon World of Sicarus within the Eye of Terror.

Colchis was a world of old gods. It was said that religion was in the air, in the touch of the sun and the taste of the dust. To its people, worship of higher powers was as much a part of them as the beating of their hearts and the crying of their children. Bound in feudal traditions, Colchis had once been a world of high technology, but those days lay forgotten in Old Night. Life was easy for some and hard for others, and all the people knew the same truths that their fathers had known and their mothers had taught. That disease came and culled generations, but that these times would pass for nothing could remain unchanged. That war would come like rain and stain the land with blood, but there were always the promises of joy even when all seemed lost. All men died, and kings fell and new kings rose, but the gods remained.

The infant Primarch Lorgar vanished from the Emperor's gene-laboratory beneath the Himalazian (Himalayan) Mountains on Terra while still an infant in his gestation capsule, along with the 19 other Primarchs, who were all transported through the Warp and scattered to random human-inhabited worlds across the galaxy. His gestation-capsule came to rest on the theocratic Feudal World of Colchis. When the infant Lorgar fell from the sky, his Legion had yet to be born on Terra, and the faith of Colchis was held in the hands of a ruling priesthood called the Covenant. Discovered by the followers of this predominant religion on Colchis, the Covenant, later known as the Old Faith or the Old Ways, was a polytheistic religion dedicated to the worship of entities that were in fact the Chaos Gods in more benevolent guises, and Lorgar was raised amongst this priesthood. Studying within a temple of the Covenant, Lorgar quickly became a devout preacher, his skill in oratory and the power of his charisma winning him many followers. Perhaps Lorgar's staunchest ally and friend was the High Priest of the Covenant, a cleric named Kor Phaeron. However, as Lorgar grew in standing amongst the people, the other members of the Covenant's ecclesiastical hierarchy began to grow jealous of his popularity.

Lorgar's youth was plagued by visions of a mighty warrior in gleaming bronze armour coming to Colchis, a cyclopean giant in blue robes standing beside him. At one point, the visions reached such an intensity that Lorgar claimed that the prophesied return of Colchis' one, true God was soon to occur. He began to preach this news to the people of Colchis, causing disruptions to the theocratic rule of the Covenant as people converted to his dissident beliefs in the One God, creating a new faction within the Covenant who called themselves the Godsworn. Lorgar's enemies in the Covenant saw this as the opportunity they had been waiting for to remove the threat that Lorgar presented to the status quo, declaring him a heretic to the Old Ways.

Those of the Covenant who came forward to arrest Lorgar were killed by his followers. The Covenant split into two factions, and a holy war of immense proportions erupted, eventually forcing the entire population of the world to choose a side. This war lasted six standard years, ending when Lorgar and his Godsworn supporters stormed the temple of the Covenant known as the Cathedral of Illumination in the heart of the City of Grey Flowers, the world's capital of Vharadesh, at which the Primarch had trained, killing the monks within and eliminating the heart of the conservative religious resistance to his ideas concerning the One God. Lorgar, now the Archpriest of the reformed Covenant, promised the masses that their new God would arrive on Colchis no more than a year after their victory and that they would know him only as "The Emperor." Kor Phaeron expressly explained to his adopted son that he remained a believer in the other gods of the Old Faith, but that he also believed that the One God was the most powerful of their number. This continued belief in the Old Ways, also maintained by many other Colchisians after the Godsworn's victory, would lay the foundation for the Word Bearers' eventual turn to Chaos. When the Emperor and the Great Crusade's Expeditionary Fleet reached Colshis less than a year after Lorgar's final victory over the Covenant, and He descended from his landing craft with Magnus the Red at His side, there could be no doubt in Lorgar's mind that he knelt before his god. Beside him a planet knelt and believed the same. Lorgar saw this preordained meeting as the confirmation of his many visions and prophecies, and so, the Primarch and his people wholeheartedly embraced the ruler of the Imperium as their promised messiah and God-Emperor.

When the Emperor finally met His long lost son face-to-face, as Lorgar had foreseen, the Primarch immediately dropped to one knee in obeisance, leading the population of his world in rejoicing and worshipping the Emperor as the one, true God of Mankind. At the conclusion of these festivities, the Emperor bade Lorgar to take his best warriors and induct them into the XVII Space Marine Legion, the Imperial Heralds, who had been derived from his own genome. Lorgar gratefully took up the Emperor's purpose, expressing his deeply-held desire to spread his faith in the God-Emperor to every world in the Imperium, despite the Emperor's continuing admonishments that His Imperium was to be built on the foundation of the Imperial Truth, an atheistic, rationalist doctrine that forbade the practice of religious faith as mere superstition. Lorgar then joined his father and his Legion on the Great Crusade to reunify the human worlds of the galaxy under the new Imperium. Lorgar appointed trustworthy regents to rule over Colchis in his absence and devoutly complied with what he believed were his father's divine commandments. That the Emperor claimed He was not divine paradoxically only further strengthened Lorgar's faith in Him, as who else but a true God would claim that He was not divine?

Every facet of the Covenant's belief structure was reorganised as the worship of the Emperor as the saviour of Mankind, and the people of Colchis united behind their new living god. The elaborate celebrations and displays of piety lasted for months, although it was said that the Emperor did not approve of this, wishing to rejoin the Great Crusade as soon as possible and being dismissive of organized religion in general. The Emperor had not begun the Great Crusade to reshackle humanity within the chains of superstition and ignorance but to spread the light of reason and science. At the conclusion of the celebrations, Lorgar was made commander of the XVII Space Marine Legion, which came to be known as the Word Bearers. Kor Phaeron survived the augmentation process to become an adult Space Marine and became Lorgar's chief adviser, lieutenant and the commander of the Word Bearers' elite 1st Company.

The belief that the Emperor was a god was not a new one. From the days of His first conquest, there were some who whispered that He was not of the mortal realm. Many of His conquered enemies were amongst the first to call Him divine. Faced with His power and the destruction of everything they had known, they called Him by ancient names, that being their only way to rationalise what had happened. Some called Him an angel, others a spirit, some a daemon, others placed His nature higher still. God they called Him, and spoke prayers to Him in the watches of the night and under the light of lost suns. That Lorgar believed the Emperor a god is beyond doubt, and it is likely that he held this belief before he met the object of his devotion, and maintained it even after becoming the lord of a Space Marine Legion charged with purging idolatry, religion and superstition in the name of the atheistic Imperial Truth. In those first years of the Great Crusade, Lorgar hid his true conviction, never stating it openly but also never disavowing it. In all the records of his words in that time, of which there are many, there is endless praise for the Emperor's vision and for the course He charted for Mankind, but not one word denouncing the specific belief that the Emperor was divine. The worship of idols, the practices of mystics, and the falseness of countless gods; all were condemned without measure, but on the nature of his lord and father, Lorgar remained silent. Perhaps the most manifest display of this belief was the now infamous Lectitio Divinitatus, a document written by Lorgar expressing his belief and the rational basis for this belief in the divine nature of the Emperor of Mankind. Ironically, this document created the foundation for what would later become the Imperial Cult during the Emperor’s own lifetime, for the new religion would eventually emerge during the 32nd Millennium on the myriad worlds of the Imperium following the Emperor's interment in the Golden Throne to become His Imperium's state religion.

It seems likely that Lorgar shared his belief with others, discussing and nursing their faith alongside his own. It might be easy given later events to say that figures such as Erebus and Kor Phaeron were his chief confidants, and perhaps they were. Others though seem equally likely to have played their part. Halik-gar, High Herald of the XVII Legion and its commander before Lorgar's return, seems to have been converted by his gene-sire, and with him such devoted Iconoclasts as Maedro Vessar, and Ustun Cho. Through these and others, Lorgar began to change his Legion's soul. Lorgar's return to the XVII Legion did not change the Legion's nature on the surface, the manner in which they waged war was the same, but, underneath the surface, the return of their gene-father changed the Imperial Heralds in far more profound ways. The old ways of devoted service were no longer enough, devotion to an ideal was not enough, victory was not enough. The reason one fought, the fire that drove one on step-by-step on the path of truth, that was everything. If victory was certain, and who could doubt it as stars and systems fell to the Emperor's Great Crusade in their hundreds, then the measure of true victory was not in death and blood, but in what a warrior carried within him. What one believed and the mark one left on Mankind were of the utmost importance. This sense of heightened fervour spread through the XVII Legion like fire, as if Lorgar's mere presence had raised his sons up into a brighter light.

One of the tangible changes that came with the return of the Primarch Lorgar was an increase in the importance of ceremony amongst the warriors of the XVII. The black clad and skull helmed heralds of the old Legion were given new authority to ensure the moral strength of their brother Legionaries. These new Legion officers, called Chaplains, would be the core of the XVII Legion's strength, showing the way of truth through word and deed, not just to the conquered but those who held the sword. When a city burned or a people were put to death, the deed was done with the solemnity of a rite. The death notice of enemies were spoken in ritual phrases by a Chaplain, as he scattered the ashes of dead and defiant worlds over the bowed heads of warriors. New words and phrases began to enter the vocabulary of the XVII Legion, words which tasted of the dust and incense of Colchis: apostle, athame, creed. Some even began to refer to the dangerous and deviant modes of thought within the Legion by a name which itself came from the shadows of lost religious creeds: heresy.

Lorgar led his Legion throughout the Great Crusade, as the Word Bearers sought to eliminate all blasphemy and heresy within the new Imperium of Man. Ancient texts and icons of other faiths were burned. The construction of vast monuments and cathedrals venerating the Emperor was supervised. The greatest Chaplains of the Word Bearers produced enormous works on the divinity and righteousness of the Emperor, and gave grand speeches and sermons to the masses. The progress of the Word Bearers was slow in bringing new worlds under Imperial Compliance, but domination of the defeated was complete. At some point during this period, Lorgar penned the work known as the Lectitio Divinitatus, which laid out the case that the Emperor of Mankind was a divine being and was worthy of worship as the rightful God of humanity. This book would later, ironically considering the identitiy of its author, become instrumental in the founding of the Imperial Cult and the 

Lorgar was an unusual Primarch because he was less martial in nature than his brothers, and possessed an abiding faith that religion represented the pinnacle of human expression and a deeply-held belief that the Emperor of Mankind was actually a divine being made manifest in the mortal realm. As a result, Lorgar was determined to spread his own faith in the Emperor to every world that his Legion encountered in the course of the Great Crusade, a policy that would be in direct contradiction to the principles of the 
Imperial Truth. Yet Lorgar also was never respected by his brothers, largely because he was never comfortable with his own gifts and less prone to violence than they. This caused the other Primarchs to believe their soulful, intellectual brother to be a weakling, the runt of the Emperor's litter. While other Legions left conquests like bloody footprints on the stars, the Word Bearers lingered.

Faith in secrecy might be sincere but, ultimately, it cannot satisfy a driven soul. With the Great Crusade reaching its zenith, Lorgar was faced with worlds brought to compliance by his Legion: broken worlds, worlds that had lived under the yoke of aliens, witches and belief in false gods, worlds that now had nothing but the cold comfort of being united with a universe that seemed to hold nothing greater than the truth they saw blowing on ash-laden winds. How could he know the truth and deny it to these worlds? At least that seems the likely path that led him to make his crusade not one of rationality but of faith. As worlds and star systems fell to the Word Bearers, they were brought to believe in the Emperor as a god. Amidst the devastation they raised temples. Chaplains and mortal vassal preachers would go amongst the conquered to speak of the god who now reigned over them, producing enormous devotional works on the divinity and righteousness of the Emperor, and Lorgar himself delivered countless speeches and sermons, converting millions to the worship of the Emperor with his words alone. The foundations of new cities were sunk in the embers of the old, vast monuments and cathedrals dedicated to the worship of the Emperor were erected upon the mounds of corpses belonging to those who had resisted conversion. The worlds they re-founded grew and prospered. Their people utterly loyal to the Imperium and the Emperor; they were compliant, but they were alone in an unholy land. Though they did not see it, their piety was doomed from the moment the Word Bearers brought them to it.

The rumours came first: whispers passed between Imperial forces who had fought alongside the Word Bearers. Talk began to circulate of the ritualistic practices of the XVII Legion, of the fervour of their zeal and devotion to the Great Crusade. Some even went so far as to wonder if the Iconoclasts of old had not succumbed to the superstitious practices they had once persecuted. The rumours multiplied, but if they reached the highest circles of the Imperium, they triggered no action. The Great Crusade was a war of expansion spread across the galaxy. Numberless fleets and hundreds of thousands of armies came into operation, separated by vast distances and joined only by the tenuous links of Warp travel and astrotelepathy. The sheer scale and dynamism of such an endeavour made absolute knowledge a rare commodity. The Emperor and the War Council did not have the time or means to do anything but trust that those who led the Crusade acted as the Emperor would wish. Rumour, hearsay and unkind suspicion were not enough to call the motivations of one of the Legions into question.

At the last, it was not talk of belief that brought the Word Bearers' wrongs to light, but the arithmetic of conquest. Conquering worlds took time and resources, but rebuilding them and bringing them to believe in the Emperor as a god took far longer again. Over the years, the Word Bearers' rate of conquest had slowed to a crawl. Where the other Legions brought dozens of worlds to Imperial Compliance, the Word Bearers would claim a handful by comparison. The disparity eventually became too much to be ignored. The military bureaucracy that had grown up around the War Council sent expeditions to a cluster of worlds conquered by the Word Bearers. Was there some factor that had caused the Word Bearers greater difficulties than other Legions? The emissaries and expeditions found their answer. The XVII Legion had not been slowed by resistance, but because they lingered after their conquests. The rebuilding of a planet's faith and social structures took time, as did the rebuilding of cities and the raising of temples from which the faith could be maintained. And the faith gifted to the worlds they conquered was the belief that the Emperor was a god, the one, true God of all Mankind.

During this period, the absolute loyalty of Lorgar and the Word Bearers Legion to the Emperor and His Imperium was unquestionable. Their Compliant worlds regularly delivered tithes in the Emperor's name, and the orders of Terra were accepted without question throughout the worlds liberated by the Word Bearers. Lorgar and his Legion had successfully prosecuted the Emperor's Great Crusade for almost a standard century, and in that time the Emperor had never once admonished His zealous son or the Word Bearers Legion for their fervent worship of Him even though such doctrine clashed with the Emperor's policy of spreading the Imperial Truth.

But the Emperor, for all His love of his son, was deeply disturbed. He had initially tolerated the beliefs of His deeply religious son, but as the Great Crusade reached its height, the Emperor found Himself increasingly frustrated with the slow pace with which Lorgar conquered and then brought worlds into Compliance for the Imperium. The Emperor finally ordered the Word Bearers to cease their religious activities, as their mission was to reunify the galaxy under the banner of the secular Imperial Truth, not preach the word of the Emperor's personal divinity. The Emperor had long opposed the spread of organised religion and was determined to use the creation of the new Imperium of Man to enshrine reason and science, not religion, as the true guiding light of a new interstellar human civilisation. The Emperor was particularly troubled by any notion that He should be worshiped as a god and the actions of the Word Bearers Legion in slaughtering those who refused to accept the Emperor's divinity stank of the religious excesses that had so often poisoned human history.

Once the truth was revealed, it was only a matter of time before the Emperor would be moved to censure the Word Bearers. The links of cause and effect are poorly recorded, but it seems that the Emperor waited for some time after the initial reports reached his court. That He sent missions to assay many more worlds conquered by the Word Bearers is known. We can only speculate as to why: perhaps He did not want to believe it of His son, perhaps He wanted to be sure, perhaps He was simply gathering information before acting. Some sources indicate that the Emperor confronted Lorgar during this time, that He even told him that if he persisted he would have to suffer the consequences. Imperial scholars cannot know now if this is true, too much has been forgotten, and too much more must never be remembered. What is known, at least, is that the Emperor acted.

The Emperor rose from his endeavours and called another of His sons to his side. Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the XIII Legion, had a reputation for careful leadership and unbending honesty. No one else witnessed what passed between the two, and Lord Guilliman refused to speak of it, but it can be speculated why the Emperor chose the Ultramarines to be His tool of censure. It seemed clear that the Emperor did not wish Lorgar or his sons broken, merely set back on the correct path. The Ultramarines Legion were a Legion with an exemplary record of victories and Compliant worlds. Ultramar was even then a growing realm of hundreds of obedient and prosperous star systems. Across the galaxy the Ultramarines had pushed back the boundaries of the Imperium with energy and a mind for what should follow in the wake of war. They were the Word Bearers' mirror and shadow, alike in so many ways and different in so many others: a living example of what the Word Bearers could be. Perhaps that was the message carried by the choice of the Ultramarines; that there was hope for glory beyond the shame that must come. Whatever the subtleties of the message of censure, it would, however, be delivered in a manner that could leave no doubt to its meaning.

The Emperor ordered a task force composed of the entire Ultramarines Legion and accompanied by a force of his elite personal bodyguards, the Legio Custodes and the Imperial Regent, Malcador the Sigillite, to raze the capital city of the planet Khur, a world dear to the Word Bearers, whom considered its capital, Monarchia, the "perfect city" because of the intense religious devotion of its citizens and the sheer number of cathedrals and monuments dedicated to the worship of the Emperor as the God of humanity. Following the city's destruction by the Ultramarines, the entire Word Bearers Legion, 100,000 Space Marines strong, were ordered to assemble on the planet's surface, within sight of the smoldering ruins of Monarchia, where its Astartes were humiliated and rebuked by the Emperor Himself, who psychically forced everyone, including Lorgar, to kneel before Him in the ashes of a city which stood for all they had believed and done, and explained to them that they had failed both Him and humanity. He was no god, and would suffer no such belief in His realm. The Emperor departed, leaving a Primarch chastised and a Legion humbled. Lorgar was stunned by his father's reproach and refusal to accept his worship, and fell into a deep melancholy. Some may say that future generations could see all that would come to pass was born in that moment.

After the razing of Monarchia, the history of the XVII Legion divides. One is the history of the Legion that the Imperium believed existed for decades after, the history of a Legion pulling itself from the pit of the past and embracing its true calling, a false history. The second is a shadow history, the true history that hid behind the mask of seeming loyalty. This true history can never be known, and what Imperial scholars do know of it are only distorted glimpses. On the surface, Lorgar's response to the Emperor's censure was to withdraw. For a time his Legion seems to have played little part in the Great Crusade. When they returned, it was clear that they were a changed force. Whereas before they lingered after conquests, now they drove forward with relentless momentum. Worlds burned, civilisations were made to kneel, and a trail of swift conquest and Imperial Compliance actions stretched behind them like a bloody cloak. It is said that the Emperor was pleased that His son had understood his error and would, in time, become what he was destined to be. To every other eye, the Word Bearers seemed possessed by a penitent fury and grim resolve to burn the past. All were deceived.

That Lorgar was shaken by the shattering of his universe seems likely, but what action did it prompt? At the time some thought that the XVII Legion had withdrawn in shame, and that its return to the Great Crusade was fuelled by a wish to atone. Such a kind reading of events no longer rings true. Instead it seems likely that Lorgar's fall began after Monarchia, that the dark powers of the Warp reached out to him in his moment of doubt and offered him that which the Emperor had denied him: a higher power to believe in. It is not known whom these voices were that counselled him, and the hands that guided him to damnation. Again much remains hidden, but a number of candidates seem likely. Kor Phaeron, Lorgar's surrogate father on Colchis and close advisor, seems a likely source of poison, as does the Legion's First Chaplain Erebus. Both were steeped in the Old Faith of Colchis, a faith that was likely tainted by the powers of the Warp long before Lorgar fell from the sky. The word "Pilgrimage" is also one of the few fragments that has emerged as linked with that time, thought its precise significance can now only be guessed at. What cannot now be doubted is that the Word Bearers who re-joined the Great Crusade after the razing of Monarchia no longer served the Emperor.

For over four standard decades the XVII Legion wore a false face of loyalty and planted the seeds that would eventually bloom into a galaxy-spanning civil war. The precise nature of their preparations is only open to supposition, but much can be deduced from Lorgar's character and the atrocities that would come later. First, it seems likely that the Word Bearers' renewed energy in the Great Crusade was a cover for its rapid growth in size, as well as the seeding of its new corrupting creed and belief in Chaos onto new worlds. It must also have been during this time that the Legion was cleansed of dissent. The last of the old Iconoclasts, the few Terrans, and those who would not embrace the new faith must have been put quietly to the sword. The corruption of much of the apparatus of the Imperium also must have occurred in this time. So it was that when Horus finally fell to the temptations of the Ruinous Powers, Lorgar had already long prepared the ground for war.

The idea of "the Pilgrimage," a journey to the legendary place where mortals could directly interact with the Gods, was an ancient mythological trope on many human-settled worlds of the Milky Way Galaxy, including Lorgar and the Word Bearers' homeworld of Colchis. Of course, such a place, the Warp, did exist, and one could discover the Primordial Truth of the universe there, i.e. that the Immaterium was dominated by the powerful spiritual entities known as the Chaos Gods.

Prompted by First Captain Kor Phaeron and the XVII Legion's First Chaplain Erebus, both secret devotees of the Chaos Gods through Colchis' Old Faith, Lorgar journeyed with his Word Bearers Legion's Chapter of the Serrated Sun to what was then the fringes of known Imperial space as part of the 1301st Expeditionary Fleet of the Great Crusade. At this time, Lorgar had not yet fallen to the corruption of Chaos, though he had turned against the Emperor of Mankind as a deity no longer worthy of his worship. Lorgar believed that the Emperor was wrong to condemn Mankind's natural instinct to seek out the divine as an unworthy superstition and he intended to discover if there were truly deities worthy of humanity's respect. To this end, though Lorgar no longer had any love or loyalty for the Emperor, he and his XVII Legion rejoined the Great Crusade but did so only so their efforts could serve as a front for their pursuit of the Pilgrimage.

The Word Bearers were also accompanied on this Pilgrimage by 5 members of the Legio Custodes who had been set by the Emperor to watch over everything the Word Bearers did to prevent them from falling back into error once more. The Word Bearers' pursuit of any scrap of information that could be found on the Primordial Truth or the nature of the place where Gods and mortals could mingle ultimately led the 1301st Expeditionary Fleet to the Cadia System near the largest permanent Warp Storm in the galaxy, later known to the Imperium as the Eye of Terror. The Expedtionary Fleet's Master of Astropaths advised Lorgar that unusual "voices" in the Warp were heard in the vicinity of the great Warp rift, voices that spoke directly to the Primarch as well, which were the voices of the Chaos entities within the Immaterium. It would be in the Cadia System that Lorgar would learn that his suspicions had been correct and that the shape of all of the religions across the galaxy that possessed so many similarities to the Colchisian Old Faith were not artefacts of Mankind's collective unconsciousness, but expressions of worship in the universal truth that was Chaos.

The decision was made to hold orbit over Cadia and for the 1301st Fleet's elements to make planetfall on the unknown world, designated as 1301-12. The landing force was comprised of Imperial Army, Word Bearers, Legio Custodes and Legio Cybernetica elements. The landing party, led by Lorgar, was greeted by a large number of barbaric human tribes, tribes described as "dressed in rags and wielding spears tipped by flint blades...yet they showed little fear." Most notable were the barbarians' purple eyes, which reflected the colour of the Eye of Terror itself in the spectrum of visible light. Despite the Custodian Vendatha's protests and request to execute the heathens, the Word Bearers approached the natives. A strange woman emerged from the crowd and addressed the Primarch directly, calling him Lorgar Aurelian and welcoming him to Cadia. This woman, the Chaos priestess Ingethel, would ultimately lead the Primarch down a path of spiritual enlightenment that actually marked the beginning of Lorgar's fall to heresy and Chaos. Later, the Priestess Ingethel of Cadia would initiate a ritual that would see her transformed into the Daemon Prince known as Ingethel the Ascended, and then lead the 1,301st Fleet's scout vessel Orfeo's Lament into the Eye of Terror.

Within the Eye of Terror, the Serrated Sun Chapter of the Word Bearers Legion witnessed the failure of the ancient Eldar Empire first hand in the form of the Crone Worlds that had been scoured of all life that littered the Eye's region of space. Ingethel, of course, lied to the Word Bearers about how the Chaos God Slaanesh had truly been born and warned that the Eldar had failed as a species and suffered the Fall because at the moment of their ascension they were unable to accept the Primordial Truth, i.e. worship Chaos. They gave birth to a God of Pleasure, yet they had felt no joy at her coming. Their new God, Slaanesh, had awoken to consciousness in the 29th Millennium to find its worshippers abandoning it out of ignorance and fear, and from the Prince of Pleasure's grief was born the endless storm of the Great Eye (the Eye of Terror), an echo of the birth-screams of the Eldar's new and rejected God. The nature of the Primordial Truth was revealed to the Word Bearers in the ashes of the Eldar empire, and Ingethel warned them that in order for humanity as a species to survive they must not commit the same sins the Eldar did, and must instead accept the worship of Chaos.

The surviving Space Marines of the Word Bearers' Serrated Sun Chapter eventually returned to Cadia and related to Lorgar all that had happened and all that they had learned within the Eye, the place where mortals and Gods could meet. These Astartes had been forever changed by their experience, for they had all become fusions of mortal and daemon while within the Eye, and came to form a new unit of the Word Bearers known as the Gal Vorbak. Following the visits into the Eye of Terror, Lorgar ordered a cyclonic bombardment of Cadia, wiping out the Cadians and leaving the planet abandoned so that no others could stumble upon the secret of the Primordial Truth that had been entrusted to him alone by the Chaos Gods. However, the planet's extremely strategic location meant that it would prove useful to the Imperium and in the 32nd Millennium Imperial colonists were dispatched to resettle the world, becoming the ancestors of the present-day population of Cadians. Perhaps as a result of the Eye of Terror's proximity this later population of Cadians also soon developed the unusual violet-coloured eyes that had marked the first human inhabitants of the planet.

It was the Castigation of Khur that ultimately turned the Word Bearers to the service of Chaos. Whilst Lorgar brooded over the Emperor's reproach, Kor Phaeron, his trusted lieutenant and closest friend, whispered to Lorgar of the great Chaos Gods: beings that welcomed, even demanded zealous worship and devotion, unlike the Emperor, who clearly was not divine if he refused to accept rightful worship. Lorgar was slowly poisoned against the Emperor by Kor Phaeron, who was appointed Master of the Faith, and was tasked with converting the entire Legion to the worship of Chaos. The Word Bearers came to venerate the Gods of Chaos, but instead of throwing their support to one God, they worshipped 
Chaos Undivided, a pantheon composing the four Ruinous Powers.

It was Lorgar and the Word Bearers who ultimately converted the Warmaster Horus to the worship of Chaos, by introducing his Legion, the Luna Wolves, to the warrior lodges which were picked up from the world of Davin. Later, in a plot involving the Word Bearer Chaplain Erebus, Horus was manipulated to return to Davin, where he could be wounded, and in that poisoned state prove more malleable to corruption by the Chaos Gods.

The Legion kept their new devotion secret, until the Warmaster Horus declared his own faith in Chaos, and began the galactic civil war known as the Horus Heresy. The Word Bearers quickly joined the rebellion, and many of the worlds they had conquered since their conversion turned as well, having been corrupted by the Word Bearers to their new faith in Chaos during their conquest.

The majority of the Word Bearers Legion was ordered by Horus to see to the entanglement and possible destruction of the Ultramarines Legion, so that their vast forces could not be brought to bear against Horus' march on Terra. This was a task the Word Bearers took up with joy, for even as he chastised the Word Bearers for their faith, the Ultramarines had become the favoured Legion of the Emperor. The assault on Ultramar was led by Kor Phaeron, who swore to utterly destroy the Ultramarines. The Word Bearers ambushed the Ultramarines at the world of Calth, an attack which eventually turned to defeat when reinforcements from the Ultramarines homeworld of Macragge arrived, and the Word Bearers were routed from the system.

The rest of the Word Bearers were led by Lorgar to Terra, where Horus and his forces were repulsed and ultimately defeated after a fifty-five day siege of the Imperial Palace. The Legion took refuge within the Eye of Terror and the Maelstrom, vast wounds in space where the Immaterium leaked into reality, coming to rest on the daemon world of Sicarus.

Eventually, the atrocities committed by the Word Bearers allowed for Lorgar's ascension to daemonhood, becoming the equal of a god in the eyes of his Legion. It is said his birth scream as a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided echoed across the Immaterium with triumphant vindication, his faith and devotion to Chaos rewarded with immortality and unbridled power. He has since isolated himself within the Templum Inficio on the Daemon World of Sicarus where he has remained for thousands of years, forbidding anyone to interrupt his meditation, thus allowing the Word Bearers to be taken over by a Dark Council of the Word Bearers' most powerful Dark Apostles (the Word Bearers' equivalent of Space Marine Chaplains). From the two primary bases of the Legion, Sicarus and the factory-world of Ghalmek which is located within the Maelstrom, the Word Bearers launch twisted Wars of Faith against the Imperium in the name of the Dark Gods. These conflicts' purpose is to "enlighten" humanity by replacing its worship of the Corpse Emperor with that of the only true divinities of the universe. That this requires the death of billions of people is a price that the Word Bearers are willing to pay to bring the truth first sought by Lorgar Aurelian to the rest of the galaxy.

The War-Gear of Lorgar Primarch of the XVII Legion (Word Bearers)

  • The Armour of the Word - Lorgar's battle plate is a customised suit of Artificer Armour based upon the Mark IV Maximus Pattern, incorporating a defensive energy field generator and graven with ancient Colchisian sigils of protection and Lorgar's own words of anathema from the Book of Lorgar.
  • Illuminarum - This ornate sceptre-maul was fashioned for Lorgar by the master weapon-smith Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the Iron Hands Legion, in a rare display of filial support. Perfectly balanced for Lorgar's strength and size, it is a formidable weapon and apocryphally seen as the pattern on which the Chaplain's Crozius was later based.
  • Archaeotech Pistol - An Archaeotech Pistol is an ancient sidearm dating back to the Dark Age of Technology. This classification of pistol can be found firing a variety of projectiles, be they micro-atomic munitions or searing kill-rays that draw power from a planet's magnetosphere. Archaeotech Pistols were often the sidearms to high-ranking Imperial and Space Marine commanders during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.
  • Frag Grenades- A Frag Grenade is an anti-personnel grenade commonly used by the military forces of the Imperium of Man. It produces a blast of shrapnel that can shred unarmoured troops. The blast has the tactical advantage of forcing the enemy to duck into cover to avoid damage. In effect, the blast of a Frag Grenade neutralises any movement advantage held by an opposing force by pinning them to their position.
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