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40K Mystery – All About Those Lost Legions

3 Minute Read
Sep 19 2014

40K fans love to talk about the 2 lost legions. But how much recent info do you know about them?

Here’s a quick set of recent Horus Heresy novel hints regarding Legions II and XI:

The First Heretic

The Lost Primarchs were erased from Imperial records at least 43 years prior to the events of Isstvan V, as only eighteen Legions are referenced during the events at Monarchia. This could be a precursor to the Horus Heresy, the belligerents serving the chaos gods. However, this seems unlikely as the primarchs would be aware of chaos, yet are easily seduced by it.
It is implied that the Emperor personally cast aside the two lost Primarchs: “I fear the Emperor will break the Word Bearers – and break me. We would be cast alongside the brothers we no longer speak of.”
Throughout the remainder of the Great Crusade, the remaining Primarchs swore an oath not to even talk about the lost Primarchs.
The lost Primarchs/Legions are referred to as ‘the forgotten and the purged’. 
Around the time that the II and XI Legions were expunged from Imperial records, the Ultramarines Legion swelled in Astartes numbers to eclipse all other Legions.

Deliverance Lost

In the novel Deliverance Lost, in Corax’s reflection on his first meeting with with the Emperor, the Emperor mentions that there are seventeen other Primarchs. When Corax asks how this can be possible, as he is the nineteenth, the Emperor’s face becomes “bleak, filled with deep sorrow”, and he says that it is “… a conversation for another day.”This indicates that the II and XI Legions were already lost, and possibly expunged, by the time that Corax was reunited with the Emperor. It also suggests that they were lost in the earlier years of the Crusade, as the Emperor mentions that most of the other Primarchs had already been discovered by the time that he came to Lycaeus.

A Thousand Sons

In the novel during the Ullanor Triumph, Magnus mentions missing Primarchs in the conversation with Mortarion.

“Brother,” said Magnus, ignoring Mortarion’s words. “A great day is it not? Nine sons of the Emperor gathered together on one world, such a thing has not happened since…”
“I know well when it was, Magnus,” said Mortarion, his voice robust and resolute in contrast to his pallid features. “And the Emperor forbade us to speak of it again. Do you disobey that command?”


Vulkan Lives

In a dialogue between Vulkan and his equery during the Great Crusade, the Drakelord confesses to the Captain that he has seen darkness in the heart of his fellow Primarch Konrad Kurze. At a direct question asking if it was not wise to discuss the matter with Horus or Rogal Dorn, Vulkan replies:

“I am [troubled] Artellus. Very much so. None of us wants another sanction, another empty pillar in the great investiary, another brother’s name excised from all record. It is shame enough to bear the grief for two. I have no wish to add to it, but what choice do I have?”

This response implies that the legions were sanctioned and purged for some reason.

The Primarchs

In the novel The Primarchs when Ferrus Mannus stumbles upon twenty statues of Primarchs (with their faces covered in masks) he states,that some are familiar to him,while others are less familiar. Only two of them were unfamiliar to him,their masks were split and almost destroyed.

The Unremembered Empire

On Maccrage there is table and 21 chairs, built by Guilliman himself for his brothers and the Emperor. The chair backs were draped with banners,while the great seat,at the head of the long table was draped with pennant of Terra.Two of the other pennants were plain and made of bleached,un-dyed cloth.The other eighteen were the banners of Legiones Astartes.Also, Lion El’Jonson says, that two of the Primarchs will never come, to which Guilliman replies:


“Yet their absence must be marked.Places must be left for them.That is simply honor.”

Wheels within wheels, mysteries within mysteries.  What’s your best guess at what happened to the II and the XI?

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