Chaos Space Marines Tanks

When the Traitor Legions rebelled, they took with them vast arsenals of mighty warmachlnes and highly destructive weaponry. Ten thousand years after the defeat of Horus, the Traitors continue to plague the Imperium. and their twisted and defaced armoured vehicles are the equal of any tank the loyalist Chapters can field. Adept Hoare has received clearance to investigate further.

When a Space Marine Chapter goes to war, it does so transported by the sturdiest of armoured carriers, and supported by the mightiest of tanks in Humanity's arsenal. Land Raiders, Predators and Rhinos are all integral components of a Space Marine task force, and the same is true of the Traitor Legions and their own armoured vehicles.

The Horus Heresy

The First Founding Space Marine Legions were not the formations of the Imperium today: they were far larger forces, with many more men, vehicles and ships at their disposal than a post-Heresy Chapter could ever muster. Where a 41st Millennium Chapter can subdue a single world, a First Founding Legion had the manpower and resources to conquer a complete sub-sector.

NURGLE

The plague carriers of Grandfather Nurgle ply the battlefields of the 41st Millennium, spreading disease and decay wherever they pass. These nightmare vehicles may take the form of a Rhino, Predator or a Land Raider, and in each case will appear as a horrific blotted corpses of the Plague God's victims. Foul smog belches, from unholy censers, filling the atmosphere with the spores of corruption and death. As the tank passes, new bodies are added to the heap, where foul Nurglings caper amongst the welcome dead.

TZEENTCH

Tzeentch is the master of the Warp, and wields its energies as the deadliest of weapons. Many vehicles belonging to the forces of the Changer of the Ways are adorned with leering gargoyle faces that writhe and cackle, crawling through and over the fabric of the vehicle with a life of their own. The mouth of each gargoyle spouts incandescent warp-flame, wreathing the tank in sheets ot sorcerous fire. Any enemy approaching the vehicle will be engulfed in sheets of witch-fire, burned hideously by the dancing fire-spirits of the Warp spurting from the mocking gargoyles' mouths.

SLAANESH

The armoured vehicles of the servants of Slaancsh are often filled with all manner of outlandish organ pipes, horns and grilles. These emit psycho-sonic waves that render nearby sentient creature all but insensible. Audible only at the very edges of hearing. these siren songs promise ecstatic delirium, and whisper of forbidden pleasures. Other vehicles project discordant crescendos or screams of agony, and in each case, the enemy must force his full attention to blocking out the sound lest he become swept up in the oblivion it promises. Only the strongest willed of warriors can stand before such a vehicle and remain unaffected as swathes of lesser troops sink to their knees or flee before it.

KHORNE

When the Berserkers of the Blood God take to battle, they do so aboard Rhino armoured personnel carriers in order to get to grips with their enemies as swiftly as is possible. True to the credos of the God of War. the Berzerkers seek nothing but to tear their foes asunder in the bloody storm of hand-to-hand combat. Their vehicles adhere to the same philosophy, and are fitted with horrific devices of death and destruction referred to as Destroyers. All manner of wicked blades, brutal spikes and churning buzz saws are mounted upon the hull of the vehicle, designed to cut down the enemy and grind them beneath its tracks for the greater glory of Khorne.

Entire companies of armoured vehicles supported these massive armies, and when Warmaster Horus' treachery was revealed, nine whole Legions declared for him. placing many thousands of tanks at his disposal.

Corruption

To look upon a Traitor Marine is to witness the tragic blasphemy of Chaos; a once proud warrior perverted into a hate-fuelled murderer, his armour adorned with vile sigils where once the icons of the blessed Imperium were displayed. The same is true of their vehicles: where once the sanctified engines of the Adeptus Astartes proudly bore the livery of the Emperor's finest, their hulls are now bedecked with grisly trophies and emblazoned with runes painful to behold.

The Traitor Legions launch their genocidal invasions from the Eye of Terror, razing worlds and slaughtering untold numbers of Imperial citizens. These assaults are frequently supported by the armoured might of the Legion, in the form of Land Raiders carrying their lethal cargo of Chaos Terminators, Rhinos transporting squads of Traitor Marines and Predator tanks lending their fearsome anti-armour and anti-personnel firepower to the attack. Across a thousand blasted warzones the forces of Chaos wage their long war against the Imperium. transported and supported by armoured vehicles bearing the dread sigils of their blasphemous patrons.

Construction

Although many of the Traitor Legions' armoured vehicles have been in service since the Horus Heresy, many more have been procured or built since that time. All the Legions will loot captured vehicles from their Imperial counterparts, twisting the machine and dedicating it to the Dark Gods. Such vehicles are a source of great bitterness when faced by loyal forces, who will often go to extreme lengths to remove the stain on the original Chapter's honour, and to end the suffering of the vehicle's Machine Spirit.

Some Traitor Legions have the means to manufacture their own armoured vehicles. Although few of the Legions have Techmarines as such, they all employ traitor Tech Priests and artificers who are capable of repairing or even constructing new vehicles. The most common source of newly manufactured vehicles is a captured forge world, whose industrial capacity can be forced to produce a staggering quantity of machines in the short period of time before Imperial retribution arrives.

The Rhino

The Rhino is as ubiquitous a transport vehicle amongst the Traitor Legions as it is amongst those Chapters loyal to the Emperor. When the Traitors rebelled, each Legion had an enormous stock of these transports, and a great many of these ancient vehicles are still in sen/ice 10,000 years after the Horus Heresy.

One particular Rhino, belonging to the World Eaters Legion, was reportedly present at the Siege of the Emperor's Palace, and has been identified on numerous occasions over the millennia since. The vehicle, identified as 'Barbarus' by its nameplate, is covered in iron spikes, each adorned with the severed head of an Imperial warrior. The records of the Ordo Malleus state that Barbarus belonged to the squad of Sergeant Solax of the World Eaters 3rd Assault Company before the Heresy, and this individual is thought to be the beast now known as Kossolax the Foresworn. If this is indeed the case, Sergeant Solax has risen to the command of an entire company of Berzerkers, and Barbarus has served with him and his warband the entire time.

The Predator

The Liber Proditor Armorum, a treatise written in 812.M39 by Techmarine Suprema Lysol Blane of the Imperial Fists Chapter, contains many startling insights into the Traitor Legions' use of armoured vehicles.

One aspect focused on by the learned Techmarine is the practice employed by several Legions of permanently grafting crew and vehicle together to form a symbiotic combination of man and machine. Though many loyal Chapters utilise permanent linking of crew and vehicle, what Blane was researching was a far more fundamental union. Critics point to the fascination with contrition and self-imposed penance that characterises the Imperial Fists' gene-seed, claiming this as the root of Blane's conclusions. Despite his detractors, Blane's research has proved invaluable in many conflicts against Traitor Legion armour.

Blane was certainly guilty of focusing his efforts into researching the practices of one specific Legion, the Iron Warriors, with whom the Imperial Fists have a long and tragic history of enmity. Blane observed that the crew of the Legion's armoured vehicles, in particular Predator crews were routinely sealed within their vehicle in a manner similar to the 'pilot' of a dreadnought. The Iron Warriors are noted for their inordinate use of cybernetic augmentation, and this is believed by Techmarine Blane to allow the crewman to link to his vehicle in a manner impossible for a wholly organic being. Crew and vehicle become one; the vehicle an extension of the pilot and the pilot the mind of the vehicle.

XCERPTS FROM THE DIARIES OF
INQUISITOR LE GUINN

226337.M41 Now the Beast is under my jurisdiction, our researches can proceed. Upon the morrow I shall invoke the Lesser Fiend I suspect is bound within the core of the vehicle. In truth, this nutter fills me with dread, but doubt has no place in my work, which I pursue for the benefit of all Mankind.

227337.M41 Upon Merric's World I bound the vehicle behind the Seven Seals of Abjuration, and now I must break these Seals one by one. This process will require great dedication and purity of purpose. Even now. I feel the Dark Servant is aware of my intent. Only a [FRAGMENT MISSING] conjuration of the Abyssal Minion would [FRAGMENT MISSING]

The First Seal is broken! As we invoked the Rites of Release I sensed the tides of the abyss strain at the skein of reality. Though we still ply the gulf, is we would be suicidal to attempt the invocation whilst traversing the Empyrean. I feel forces are aware of our work, and watching from afar. I shall proceed with the Second Seal with caution.

228337.M41 Seven hours it took us, but we have successfully unbound the Second and Third Seals. Such was the malignince of the Lesser Fiend that I lost Adept Silvanus. His death will haunt me I am sure, for its manner was the worst fate one of our order could suffer I fear he has joined the ranks of the damned, a Dweller in the Pit.

229337.M-11 At the unbinding of (FRAGMENT MISSING] Egan Belisarius. my Navigator. I fear for his soul, for he would surely have [FRAGMENT MISSING]. We must press on though, for the Fiend tests us, gauging our defences and gaining more knowledge of us at each turn. Seventh Seal is unbound, else all will be lost.

230337.M41 Fate has taken an ill turn to be sure, and I pray the Emperor will deliver us from our predicament. Somehow, the Fiend gained dominion over [FRAGMENT MISSING] entered the Empyrean. That such a ritual as we performed today should be attempted whilst [FRAGMENT MISSING] powers I dare not think, let alone commit to paper. By Thor, what are we to do without Belisarius?

I have it! By incorporating the Rites of the Ingrediantia Minoris I can gain dominion over the Nefarious Power. Sacrifice will be required, but such is the life of one sworn to the service of Mankind.

231337.M41 [FRAGMENT MISSING] lay dead, but their sacrifice was not in vain. My will prevailed, and I am now shure I have it.

I feel it [FRAGMENT MISSING] and I can hear its thoughts, evil, repugnant notions Emperor is my shield!

I must perform the Unbinding of the Seventh Seal alone, for my compatriots are [FRAGMENT MISSING] and the crew I consider of insufficient purity to [FRAGMENT MISSING] punish them

[FRAGMENT MISSING] I gained access. The Dismal Text contained no warning that could have prepared me for what I discovered within. I was enjoined, bound, carried up, though the grace of Emperor shielded me from the touch of the Abyss. A cold mind clamoured, but through it all I [FRAGMENT MISSING] blood, sinew, pulsing [FRAGMENT MISSING] investing me with the clarity of purpose I now entertain. All is changed now the truth is revealed to us I now [FRAGMENT MISSING] the folly of their ways, and the wisdom of our own. Such is the order of reality and the Hell-regions both.

As one we [FRAGMENT MISSING] the ship [FRAGMENT MISSING] those who through ignorance would seek to sabotage my efforts. Our departure is [FRAGMENT MISSING] but with the (FRAGMENT MISSING] gouge out the eyes of the ignorant as I have gouged out my own. My blood has mingled with that of the Beast and its [FRAGMENT MISSING] through my veins. [FRAGMENT MISSING] they shall listen, they shall know the truth. I shall bring it to them and make them acknowledge me.

Blane's research proved invaluable at the Battle of Ramisen Point, where an Iron Warriors' armoured salient was defeated utterly by an Imperial Fist counter-attack. The Imperial Fist Devastators were provided with specific firing solutions via Techmarines accompanying each squad, allowing them to target points on the enemy tanks that would cripple the pilots and render them incapable of controlling their vehicles.

Blane's work was to be integrated into the Codex Astartes, but upon reviewing the data the Iron Fathers of the Iron Hands Chapter objected strongly enough that the notion was set aside. Many point out that the Iron Hands share the Iron Warriors' practice of cybernetic enhancement, believing the Chapter was protecting its own interests in suppressing the information. The Iron Hands insisted they wished merely to protect the Adeptus Astartes from the consequences of the information falling into the wrong hands.

The Land Raider

The Land Raiders of the Adeptus Astartes are amongst the most awe-inspiring sights on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium. They are mighty behemoths that crush all before them under adamantium tracks, and their Godhammer pattern lascannons are the bane ot enemy vehicles and bunkers. A Land Raider is capable of carrying a squad of Space Marine Terminators within its armoured hold, and the combined assault of the vehicle and passengers is a force few enemies of the Imperium can hope to stand against.

If the Imperium's Land Raiders are objects of such dread, then those employed by the Traitor Legions are the very stuff of nightmares.

In the year 337.M41, Imperial forces recovered a Land Raider belonging to the Word Bearers following the successful defence of Merric's World, in the Segmentum Obscura. The Blood Reavers Chapter captured the crippled vehicle, and were planning on destroying it. However, Inquisitor Le Guinn of the Ordo Malleus had his own agenda, and invoked the rights granted him by the Juris Inquisitorum. The Blood Reavers voiced the strongest of objections, but were overruled by the Inquisitor, whose Xanthite rhetoric swayed his fellow Inquisitors into allowing him custody of the captured vehicle.

Imperial Land Raiders are invested with a sanctified Machine Spirit: a machine intelligence that performs myriad functions and can control the vehicle should the crew be incapacitated. Land Raiders belonging to the Traitor Legions appear to be inhabited by something far more malicious, and Le Guinn was determined to discover its nature. Binding the Land Raider with pentagrammic wards, Le Guinn transferred the vehicle to his transport vessel for the journey back to the Inquisition Fortress world of Nemesis Tessera.

Portions of Le Guinn's diaries survive, and tell an incomplete story of what occurred during the three month journey through the Warp.

Rather than allowing the beast to remain quiescent behind the seals and bindings, Le Guinn commenced his investigation en route. Quite why he took such a risk when the Ordo Malleus oubliette on Nemesis Tessera was undoubtedly the safest place in the region to perform such an examination, is unknown. From his notes, it is obvious Le Guinn was grimly fascinated by the malignant intelligence lurking within the vehicle's armoured core.

The Inquisitor's notes go on to describe his methodical breaching of the hull: a painstaking process that took six days to accomplish and cost the lives of three of his acolytes and his most valued savant. The being occupying the vehicle put up a hideous defence, projecting waves of malevolence at any who approached and straining at the great chains restraining it. At length, Le Guinn gained access to the interior, and his descriptions bare witness to a man pushed to the limits of sanity by his vocation.

What happened next aboard the Inquisitor's vessel is shrouded in mystery, but eleven weeks later the ship emerged from the Warp at the fringes of the Tessera system. Defence pickets attempted to raise the ship, but no response was forthcoming. A team of Inquisitorial troopers boarded the vessel, and discovered all crew and passengers dead. Many had been brutally murdered, but others showed no outward signs of injury other than contorted expressions of anger and delirium.

The investigators recovered the fragments of Le Guinn's diaries, and swiftly came to the conclusion that he had overstepped the bounds within which all Inquisitors must operate. He had attempted to discern the nature of the entity inhabiting the Chaos vehicle, and in so doing had opened himself up to it. The being must surely have been a form of Daemon, and as such was able to possess Le Guinn, driving him to murder his compatriots.

A conclave of Puritan Inquisitors renounced Le Guinn's folly, and concluded that his vessel should be set adrift, declared Perdita. They would not risk freeing the malevolent entity by destroying the ship, and it is assumed that it remains trapped there to this day, screaming with rage, sealed within the hold of the ship doomed to drift upon the tides of deep space for eternity.

Conclusion

The armoured vehicles of the Traitor Legions serve as much as battlefield support as they do physical reminders of the blasphemies of Chaos. They bear the grisly trophies of 10,000 years of marauding, as well as the horrifying gifts of the Ruinous Powers. These beasts of steel and ceramite will continue to reap death and destruction in the name of the Legions exist as a power to rival that of the Imperium.