Chosen of Khorne
The World Eaters Space Marine Legion
Of all the Space Marine Legions created by the Emperor to reconquer the galaxy during the Great Crusade, none were more feared than the World Eaters. At the forefront of the bloodiest assaults and most vicious battles, the name of World Eaters became a byword for bloodshed and terror on a horrifying scale.
Kept chained within the deepest dungeon of the Library Sanctus on Terra, the bloodstained pages of the Liber Malum records the fate of those who have trod the path to damnation. To even mention its name is to risk madness. Many are the blasphemous heretics and tyrants whose names sully the pages with their treacheries, but foremost amongst these damned souls is the name of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters Space Marine Legion.
The legend of Angron is incomplete and there is much that is not known, or so shrouded in dark legend that the true facts are impossible to discern. How Angron came to be separated from the Emperor so soon after his creation and the name of the planet he eventually came to call home, is unknown. Indeed where this planet was or even if it still exists is uncertain. Carpinus' Speculum Historiale speaks of Angron's world as technologically advanced, (though does not name it), ruled over by a caste of wealthy elite who lived in decadent opulence while the populace of their cities lived in abject poverty in the slums surrounding their walled palaces. To distract the populace from their daily woes, the rulers of this world held regular death games in colossal arenas with cybernetically enhanced gladiators who battled in mortal combat to satisfy the bloodlust of the people. It was on this world that the Primarch Angron was eventually to be discovered, but how he came to be there is unrecorded.
However it came to pass, it is known that Angron was discovered by a slaver who chanced upon the bleeding figure of the Primarch, surrounded by scores of alien corpses, high in the northern mountains. History does not record to what race these aliens belonged, but many Imperial scholars believe them to have been Eldar, perhaps attacking the Primarch with some foreknowledge of what the future held for him. Angron had been grievously wounded, but was alive and, seeing that all his wounds were to the fore, the slaver realised that Angron must be a formidable warrior. Taken as a slave, Angron was nursed back to health and bio-neural implants were surgically grafted to his cerebral cortex.
Relics from the Dark Age of Technology, these would boost a warrior's aggression and strength in battle and turn him into a frenzied killer. Angron was taken to the planet's capital where his obvious potential as a gladiator was soon realised and he was bought by the largest and most patronised arena in the city. The cells below the arena were home to several thousand cyber gladiators, and Angron now took his place amongst them.
After only a few months, Angron had gained a bloody reputation as a proud warrior of fearsome skill with a strong sense of martial honour. He killed hundreds of warriors, in single and multiple combats, but those who fought well, he spared. Angron was a firm favourite of the baying crowds, and while he appeared to relish the life of a gladiator, he was always plotting ways to escape his life of slavery. He was a troublesome slave, with an instinctive anti-authoritarian streak and several times attempted to break out of the arena's dungeons. The fighters were held under extremely heavy security, with hundreds of heavily armed guards constantly on duty, and every attempt met with failure.
Within a few years, his fame had spread to every corner of the globe and his reputation as a fearsome killer was well established. Thousands flocked to watch Angron fight and, under his tutelage, the gladiators became deadlier and deadlier until no other arena's warriors could stand against them. Following another failed escape bid, Angron finally understood that he could not succeed alone. His unbending warrior's code and training methods had made him a well respected leader amongst the gladiators and, with the largest death games on the planet rapidly approaching, Angron began planning his most daring escape attempt yet.
For these games, Angron was permitted to stage a vast display of battle involving every one of the arena's gladiators and, at its height, as the crowd drowned the arena in cheers, Angron's followers turned on their guards, butchering them and fighting their way free. Against soldiers armed with guns their casualties were horrendous, but nearly two thousand managed to escape into the city, stealing what weapons and supplies they could before battling their way into the mountains. Angron's army took refuge in the highest reaches of the northern mountains, close to where he had been discovered by the slaver many years ago. The rulers of the planet immediately dispatched a force to destroy the escapees, but woefully underestimated the capabilities of Angron's slave army. Within days, a few pitiful survivors was all that remained of the once proud host, stumbling back to the city, their weapons taken and comrades slaughtered.
For the next few years, many such forces were sent against Angron's slave army and each one was defeated, cut to pieces by the psychotic fury of the cybernetically enhanced warriors. But attrition and hunger were taking their toll on the slaves and soon they numbered less than a thousand. On a mountain named Fedan Mhor, as darkness fell, Angron was finally surrounded by no less than five vastly superior armies and it looked as though the slave rebellion was finally over. Not even the Primarch could stand against such numbers and the following day's battle would surely see him dead.
It was around this time that the Emperor came to this world, drawn by the psychic aura of the Primarch. The Emperor had observed Angron in secret from orbit for some time, watching with pride as he led the slaves in battle. Now he descended to the planet's surface, offering Angron leadership of the World Eaters Space Marine Legion and a place at his side. But, to the Emperor's surprise, Angron refused. His place was here, with his fellow slaves, and he would die before deserting them. Angron and the slaves dug their graves during the night, a signal to their enemies that they would fight to the death rather than surrender. The Emperor knew that even though Angron was a Primarch, he would perish in the coming battle and, bringing his ship into low orbit, teleported Angron away from Fedan Mhor. Without their leader, the morale of the slaves was destroyed and the following morning they were slaughtered by the combined armies of the planet's rulers. In space, as the Great Crusade continued, Angron eventually took command of the World Eaters, but never forgave the Emperor for his abduction from the planet and what he saw as a betrayal of his martial honour.
Knowing how effective at boosting a warrior's prowess the psycho surgery could be, Angron ordered the Techmarines of the World Eaters to duplicate the process, using the implants in his head as a template. However, the art of this technology's construction had long since been forgotten and the early attempts at reproducing it were unreliable, often triggering uncontrollable and unstoppable psychotic episodes in the recipients. Eventually, the Techmarines were able to construct working implants that heightened aggression and strength, grafting them to whole companies of World Eaters Space Marines. Initially, the enhanced companies were highly successful, quickly gaining a fearsome reputation as terror troops. No mercy was offered by the World Eaters, only bloody death at the end of a chain-axe. The Liber Malum speaks of whole systems surrendering wholesale rather than face the wrath of the World Eaters. But it was only a matter of time before the Legion's use of psycho surgery on its recruits became widely known. Following the infamous Ghenna Scouring, where an entire planet's population were butchered in a single night of bloodshed, the World Eaters were censured by the Emperor and commanded to cease the use of implants.
Angron paid little heed to this and ordered the work of the Techmarines to continue, until almost every Space Marine in the Legion had undergone the ritual surgery. Blood rites became an increasingly important part of the Legion's heritage as their slaughter continued across the galaxy, and it became common practice for Space Marines to compete in the number of enemy skulls they could take in battle. Many of Angron's brother Primarchs voiced their concerns to the Emperor, and now the Master of Mankind made a fatal error. He dispatched Horus, the most trusted of all the Primarchs, to confront Angron and bring him back into line. Horus was a master psychologist and, unbeknownst to the Emperor, had already been corrupted by the Chaos powers. In Angron he saw a warrior consumed by bitterness and resentment and it was a simple matter for Horus to feed that bitterness, emphasising the Emperor's betrayal, painting him as a weakling in need of replacing. He told Angron exactly what he wanted to hear and, when Horus eventually betrayed the Emperor, beginning the first galactic civil war, Angron's World Eaters marched beside the Sons of Horus.
The ferocity and horror once visited upon the enemies of the Emperor by the World Eaters now fell upon the Imperium. The World Eaters fought in the vanguard of every battle, fighting in the bloodiest assaults, preferring to tear the enemy to pieces at close quarters rather than with long range firepower. Angron's warriors cut a bloody swathe across the galaxy towards Terra, drinking the blood of their victims and taking their skulls in honour of their new master, Khorne, the Blood God. On Terra, surviving vid logs from the siege of Terra show the World Eaters breaching the walls of the Imperial Palace, the twisted, red form of Angron wielding his glowing runesword at their head. The World Eaters reaped a bloody harvest on Terra, but ultimate victory was to be denied them. With the Dark Angels and Space Wolves en route to Terra, Horus gambled everything in order to end the siege, lowering the shields on his battle barge and daring the Emperor to come for him. The Emperor rose to the challenge and faced his betrayer in a combat that would decide the fate of the galaxy. The two fought a battle that was waged in every realm, physical, spiritual and psychic, until at last the Emperor slew Horus, but only at the cost of his own humanity. Without the Great Betrayer to bind them, the Chaos host disintegrated and fled the planet. Angron was the last to leave, leading the World Eaters deep into the Eye of Terror. The battle had been lost, but the war would go on. He and his warriors had all eternity to seek revenge.
The home world of Angron remains a mystery to this day. No known record exists of where the Emperor encountered Angron and none of those histories scanned by the scribes on Terra appear to match the description given in the Speculum Historale of Angron's world. Scholars postulate that Angron himself may have returned to his home world upon the outbreak of the Horus Heresy and destroyed it to avenge the death of his fellow slaves. It is certainly true that the World Eaters destroyed a number of worlds seemingly at random on their bloody advance to Terra, but whether one of these was his home world is a riddle that only Angron knows the answer to.
With the Heresy ended, the World Eaters fled to the Eye of Terror, the Legion swiftly degenerating into roving bands of Chaos renegades. As such they have no particular base or home world, each warband operating from whatever craft they can lay their bloodstained hands upon.
The World Eaters have only one desire: to slay their enemies in close combat and take skulls for Khorne. To this end, the Legion cast aside their long ranged weapons and took up the chain-axe and pistol. The thirst for blood and slaughter has become such an overpowering need to the World Eaters that when battle is joined they rampage across the battlefield, roaring the name of Khorne, all strategy and tactics forgotten in their thirst for bloodshed. In combat, these frothing madmen are ferocious warriors who will fight to the death, knowing that their blood is as welcome to Khorne as that of their foes. Truly it is said that the World Eaters credo is victory or death.
Banished to the Eye of Terror and tied forever to the worship of Khorne, the blood rituals of the Legion became an even more important part of the World Eaters daily lives, mighty oceans of blood filled in his praise. The legendary tactical organisation of the Space Marines broke down, washed away by the years of slaughter that followed. As more and more of the Legion's officers and champions were possessed by daemons or became mighty Chaos champions, the last vestiges of discipline and organisation fell away, the once proud Space Marine Legion reduced to howling, berserk killers thirsting for death and bloodshed. After the Night of Madness on the daemon world of Skalathrax, when a champion named Kharn turned on his fejlow World Eaters, the Legion tore itself apart in a day long slaughter, becoming nothing more than roving bands of renegades, endlessly questing for battle and death. Such bands vary enormously in size from single champions, small squads to company sized forces capable of untold destruction. The champions who lead these marauders will fight alongside almost any other Chaos Lord who is gathering his forces, asking for nothing more than the chance to spill blood in the name of Khorne. But even a Chaos Lord must be wary lest his head be added to the tally of skulls.
There is only one thing the World Eaters believe in; the spilling of blood. The sole purpose of their existence is to kill and to shed blood in their god's name. Whether that blood comes from a foe, an ally or even their own veins, it matters not. All that matters is that the pile of bloody skulls laid at the brass throne of Khorne grows ever larger.
After countless millennia raiding from the Eye of Terror, the gene-seed of the World Eaters has been contaminated beyond redemption. Many suspect that Angron's gene-seed was corrupt from the start and the World Eaters were damned the moment they were created. Others point to the known history of Angron and insist that his Legion could have been saved had the signs been noticed earlier. Whichever is correct, the Space Marines of the World Eaters have a physical need to shed blood and kill, a driving imperative that sends them into a berserk fury of unrestrained bloodthirsty psychosis. So strong is the desire to kill that the World Eaters will turn on one another to satisfy their bloodlust should no other foe present itself.
"Blood for the Blood God!"