Burning of Prospero: When Legions Battle


Let’s take a quick look at the two Legions that are going to duke it out in Burning of Prospero!

Many of us already know about the Thousand Sons and the Space Wolves. It’s a bitter rivalry that’s been burned into our psyche from all the lore that we’ve read over the years. However, many folks may not have a clue as to who the two major Legions are or why they are set against each other. So this one if for all the new people or for anyone needs a quick primer on the Burning of Prospero, courtesy of Games Workshop:

via Games Workshop (Warhammer 40000 Facebook)

Space Wolves primer thousand-sons-primer

This is a battle that pits Brains vs Brawn. The feral warriors of the Space Wolves have been ordered by the Emperor to destroy the sorcerous Thousands Sons. While we may already know the outcome in the lore, will your experiences on the tabletop match the history or will you be able to challenge fate? I guess we will soon find out…

Want to learn more about the combatants? Check out our sister-site Lexicanum for more info!

Space Wolves


Thousand Sons



Which side will you choose? Will you execute the Emperor’s Orders with the Space Wolves or will you challenge fate with the Thousand Sons?

  • SilentPony

    More like the battle of the massive mutant hypocrites vs the dudes who got a bad rap for no adequate reason.
    I mean ffs the Sons were the only legion actually expected to follow the Decree of Nicea, Everyone else either completely ignored it or just decided to bring Librarians back because you know…reasons.

    • Nobody brought the Librarians back until the Heresy, and even then not right away, and usually only when confronted with daemons for the first time. Even on Isstvan V during the Dropsite Massacre, the Loyalist Librarians didn’t let loose, and the one we know of at Calth who did use his powers to save his squad got shunned by his brothers afterwards.

      The Thousand Sons and White Scars were the only ones who ignored it, and the Space Wolves got around it through a loophole (a dumb loophole, yes). Jagathai did his own thing regardless and was closest to Magnus though.
      The Space Wolf geneseed/Primarch genestock was also manipulated / spliced with canine material by the Emperor himself, so yeah, that.

      The Thousand Sons got a bad reputation because they were prone to fits of arrogance and hubris. They didn’t know restraint and ignored straight warnings by the Big E, and ended up screwing everyone over and causing years of chaos on Terra.

      • SilentPony

        The Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Alpha Legion, World Eaters and Night Lords all ignored it. The Death Guard, Emperor’s Children and Iron Warriors never had them to begin with.

        And if you remember correctly, Magnus left Nicea when he realized Horus had been injured and was being corrupted by Chaos. Roughly a year later the Space Wolves, under Horus’s command, destroyed the Thousand Sons. After that Horus and his traitors reinstated their Librarians.

        Soon after Dorn started using his Librarians in secret. Then the Ultramarines and Blood Angels starting using theirs again. And after the DropSite Massacre the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders all started using them again.

        So yeah…Thousand Sons were basically the only ones who the edict, and its consequences, applied to, for the full year it was ever enforced.

        And the Space Wolf loophole wasn’t a loophole at all, it was a straight up lie. They simply said the Rune Priests aren’t psykers, they’re magic shamans who use snow magic, therefore it doesn’t count as psychic powers, because its technically magic instead. Which is just a straight up falsehood.

        • Dark Angels only started ignoring it late in the Thramas Crusade. Heck, Johnson punched a head off because his Legion was reluctant and they were facing death otherwise, with Fateweaver aboard!

          And well duh that the traitor Legions stopped following it when they turned. Regardless, the Night Lords weren’t happy with it, and Sevatar resisted it, again, til the Thramas Crusade’s end.

          There’s a difference between “ignoring” something entirely and reintroducing them as a last resort when all hell broke loose.
          Dorn still hasn’t returned his Librarians to service, and even rebuked Malcador and the Knights Errant for it. In fact, they seem to be incarcerated aboard the Phalanx.

          As per the timeline, the edict of Nikaea was issued in 001.M31, and Horus didn’t get wounded until 004.M31, when Magnus sent the message.

          Isstvan III didn’t occur until 005.M31, and the Lion’s decision to use psykers again didn’t occur until 008.M31, for example.

          You’re also ignoring that the punishment of the Thousand Sons was a reaction to their highly damaging actions, and Magnus’ refusal to go easy on it even when the Emperor warned him personally. The Wolves were also sent out before the Heresy was revealed.

          • SilentPony

            Actually in one of the short stories Dorn secretly uses librarians to screen Space Marines

        • Bulvi Nightbane

          The Space Wolves did not lie, you are massively oversimplifying things. Read Prospero Burns, Thousand Sons, Scars, Wolf King, and Stormcaller.

          • SilentPony

            I did. I also read Fear to Tread where the Space Wolves are still using Rune Priests, and their justification to the Blood Angels is that they aren’t psykers, they get their power from Mother Fenris and are thus pure, and exempt from the Decree of Nicea.

            Which is bull and a lie.

          • Bulvi Nightbane

            First name one time in Thousand Sons or Prospero Burns where a Rune Priest actively uses a psychic power against the TSs. Second, in Stormcaller Njal explains how Rune Priests work. They do draw their power from Fenris. It has a world-spirit like an Eldar maiden world. It is the warp, just not the part controlled by the dark gods. Also, Rune Priests can still die, the Spirit of Fenris which Njal describes as a giant black wolf in form, will kill them if they over step. Further, the point in the stories is the Space Wolves and White Scars know to use restraint and never take the warp for granted. The Khan realizes that Horus must have manipulated it so that he and Sanginius could not be at Nikea. They wanted psychers, just to be cautious in their use (they were the voices of reason). Russ did not want psychers banned either, he just wanted to be even more cautious than the Khan did. (Russ is a psycher too, he uses the runes to see the future. Librarians were banned because the Primarchs who spoke at Nikea were Magnus, who was arrogant and completely lacking in caution, and Mortarion who absolutely hated psychers.

          • SilentPony

            Yeah, but that’s bull and you know. Fenris isn’t a god, and it doesn’t play favors. That’s just the Space Wolves weakly trying to rationalize how they aren’t psykers, when they very clearly are.
            Case in point they have to use warp charges and take perils of the warp checks on the tabletop. If they were just magicians using planet magic, they wouldn’t need to.
            Also Kharn is immune to their apparently not warp-based magic, even though he’s only immune to warp powers.
            Also in both Propspero burns and the wolf king being around the Sisters of Silence suddenly made the Wolf planet based snow magic not work. Which is weird because the Sisters are only really good against psykers.

            They’re psyker mutants using the Warp, which is 100% Chaos because the two are linked, and they’re just trying to keep their own mutants and powers while telling everyone else to stop using them.

            Also Sanguinius WAS at Nikea. As was Mortarion. Its in Fear to Tread. They’re all there, talking.

          • georgelabour

            The Emperor’s not a god either and he does a bit to keep the warp at bay even as a corpse. In fact it’s because of that non divine being certain imperial psykers are able to operate at all.

            And of course games rules do not equal facts. otherwise we’d never have stories of Titans and gargantuan monsters rampaging through entire armies without harm.

          • Bulvi Nightbane

            First, in Scars it says that Sanguinius was not there. Second, the Rune Priests never claim to not be psychers, but they are clearly different from a standard Librarian just as other psychers such as Navigators are different. Third, the ban was on the Librarius, not psychers as a whole. That is the loophole the Wolves used (sort of, as they still did’t use their powers until Alaaxes) not some claim to have “magic”. Four, I never said that Fenris was a god did I. There is a warp entity associated with it though and you really need to read Stormcaller before calling “bull”. Five, why do only the Rune Priests and Russ have the ability to use Runes to effect the warp? No one else does that. Chaos is not necessarily evil, the Emperor and the Eldar gods are warp entities too. There were other warp entities in the original Rogue Trader fluff as well, all are Chaos but not all are evil. Finally, using the rules on tabletop to justify the fluff is an utterly ridiculous and desperate move. It in no way accurately depicts the fluff. If it did then a single space marine could wipe out an entire guard company single-handed. They do not depict different kinds of psycher differently in game because it would be way too complicated. If you want to just hate on the wolves then fine go ahead, just be honest about spouting your own opinion and not fact.

    • Sonic tooth

      couldnt agree more

    • PrimoFederalist

      “Boo-hoo, our Primarch struck a deal with Tzeentch after ignoring his 80,000 year old father’s warnings about the Warp and the entities of the Warp (and its the Emperor’s fault because he didn’t divulge more information about Chaos – the knowledge of which itself is corrupting) and then tried to warn the Emperor about Horus using forbidden *sorcery* and tore open a gateway through the Warp directly into the Imperial throne room, ruining the Emperor’s magnum opus – the Imperial Webway project – and creating a portal on Terra for daemons to pour into ensuring the Emperor was out of the fight for the Horus Heresy dealing with the catastrophe, and it’s not faaaaiiiirrrr that there were consequences!!! EVeryone else is a hypocrite!!!!”

      Yeah, that’s about it. And the Thousand Sons weren’t just about using psychic powers – they completely misunderstood the nature of Chaos and embraced the use of sorcery (not quite the same as an Ultramarine or Imperial Fist Smiting a daemon). Their tale is tragic, for sure, and they weren’t traitor (at first), but like all good tragedies it was their hubris which brought about their downfall.

  • Scammel

    It’s fun to reflect on how much of a roflstomp this would have been had the Sons not had their fleet dispersed, their powers of foresight negated, their planetary defences left without warning, and their Primarch not in hiding. The legion is suggested to be capable of wrenching ships out of orbit.

    • Bulvi Nightbane

      It never actually suggests or says that. That is a huge assumption by Thousand Sons fan boys. Also, in Wolf King it says that the Space Wolves spent the time between Prospero and Alaaxes hunting down and destroying every single one of the Thousand Sons’ outposts and fortresses in the Prospero sector and hunted down much of their fleet. The Thousand Sons were a formidable enemy to be sure, the fleet not defending the planet and Magnus sitting a lot out means the wolves took much lighter casualties (enough so that they still can fight the much larger Alpha Legion later, continue fighting throughout the heresy, and be in much better shape by the end than most of the other legions) than they probably expected. Many more wolves should have died, but the TSs were not roflstomping anyone. They even had the full strength of the Prosperine Guard and some Mechanicum forces on their side, even a titan, and still lost badly. The point of Prospero is the tragedy. The Sons hubris and Horus’ treachery result in their destruction when they should have fought alongside the Loyalists. That is why Horus changed the orders for Russ. He feared the Wolves and the Sons more than the other legions and wanted one or both of them destroyed.

  • georgelabour

    One are fussy librarians who shoot fireballs, and play with invisible poke’mon-equivalents.

    The others are space viking werewolves, in SPAAAACE! Also they get S&M nuns with guns.

    No matter who’s in the right there’s going to be some epic chainsawing to enjoy!