Today we delve deep into the history of the Space Wolves during the Heresy and the Scouring. Come Loremasters…
Space Wolves During the Horus Heresy
Over time each of the twenty Primarchs were reunited with the Emperor and took control of their respective legions. Unarguably the most powerful of them all was Horus. Horus was indeed the first Primarch found and became the Emperor’s most favored son. He would come to lead the whole of His armies as the Emperor returned to Holy Terra for other works. With Horus named Warmaster, the galaxy slowly unified and the Emperor’s Imperium began to take shape. During this time all of the Primarchs were tempted by the Chaos Godsand some were slowly twisted by their treacherous ways. Though unknown to them ten of the Primarchs ultimately failed the test of loyalty and were swayed by the promise of ultimate power. The greatest of this triumph by the Gods of Chaos was the turning of the Warmaster Horus. The Emperor however was always sure that Leman Russ would never fall to Chaos.
During the Horus Heresy, the Space Wolves were not present at the Drop Site Massacre nor the Siege of Terra. Space Wolves are known to have been ordered to retrieve Magnus the Red and return him to Terra after the Primarch’s violation of the Council of Nikea. After the now-corrupted Horus quietly changed his orders from simply bringing Magnus to Terra to an all-out assault on his legion, Leman Russ had the Space Wolves Legion attacked the Thousand Sons Legion homeworld, Prospero, in an attempt to fulfill their Emperor’s charge. Though the planet was devastated in the assault the bulk of the traitor legion escaped and made for the Eye of Terror. The13th Great Company, led by Jorin Bloodhowl, pursued the traitors and elements of the Wulfenkind would not be seen for the next 10,000 years. After Prospero, the Space Wolves were assailed in space by the Alpha Legion and routed at Yarant and forced to flee to the Alaxxes Nebula, the Wolves were ultimately saved by a force of Dark Angels. Afterwards at least some elements of the legion managed to return to Terra, as Russ was able to meet with Malcador and organize the plot to have the Knights-Errant assassinate Horus.
Bjorn – Invasion of Prospero
After the Heresy Leman Russ was infuriated for not being at the Siege of Terra to aid the Emperor. He personally led a force into the Eye of Terror in the hopes of revenge. Eventually Russ disappeared altogether, pleding to return in the final battle of the “Wolf Time”. Leman Russ then vanished and the true whereabouts of the Primarch remains a mystery. Many within the Chapter maintain that Russ has sought out the fabled Tree of Life in a bid to heal the Emperor. Apparently Magnus the Red knows, but the Daemon Primarch and his Thousand Sons are not sharing that information with any outside their traitorous ranks.
Nonetheless the Space Wolves waited for his return. Every year, his place was laid at the feast table, and every year his great drinking horn was filled, in case he should return. The years slunk past and still he did not come. After seven years, the surviving Wolf Lords gathered and elected Bjorn their leader, awarding him the title Great Wolf. Bjorn gathered all his warriors together in the Hall of the Fang, and announced the first Great Hunt. Russ’ people would seek out their master if it took the rest of time to do it. So did the twelve Great Companies take to their ships and sail forth in separate directions across the Sea of Stars.
The tale of their deeds is too long to recount in full, save on Allwinter’s Eve, when the Rune Priests gather to chant the sagas. They sought Russ on many worlds and in many places. They fought intense battles against aliens and overcame voidspawn and raging Daemon alike. The Space Wolves hunted in this dimension and the next, but of Russ they found no sign, until eventually they were recalled to Fenris bearing naught but tales of their adventures. Thus the first Great Hunt ended in failure. Since that day there have been many other Great Hunts – on occasion, Russ has appeared to a Great Wolf or Rune Priest in a vision and told him it is time. These are periods of daring deeds and high adventure, when the Chapter takes to the Sea of Stars to seek their lost leader. Though they have never been successful in their goal, each Great Hunt has struck a decisive blow against the enemies of Mankind.
Leman Russ – Invasion of Prospero
The Scouring and Codex Astartes
Following the end of the Heresy, a great deal would happen. With the Emperor confined to the Golden Throne the High Lords of Terra found themselves the new leaders of the Emperor’s domain. Both the High Lords and surviving Primarchs became paranoid of the possibility of such events repeating themselves. The armies of the Emperor once again scoured the galaxy seeking out all forms of heresy and removing even the slightest chance of rebellion. Even the great Legions were not exempt. Concerned that once again their could be a threat from such a terrible force each Legion was to be divided into smaller Chapters and a new set of regulations was created to govern them.
The Codex Astartes was a code developed by the Primarch of the Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman. This tome would contain everything a member of the Astartes would need to know to function. From recruitment to organization to tactics and beyond, the Codex Astartes became a sacred text to the majority of the Chapters. The Space Wolves Legion never fully accepted the new doctrine. Rather they hold sacred the teachings of their Primarch. One of the most significant changes within the new Codex was the newly founded Chapters. Where the Legions could number more than 10,000 strong the Chapters would be limited to about a thousand. Each original Legion would be divided as many times as needed into Successor Chapters. This division would come to be called the Second Founding. The remaining thousand bodies in the original Legion would survive as a new Chapter of the same name, while their newly created Chapters would claim their founders origins and be known as their Founding Chapter. Beyond this however the chapters would operate independently, and come to develop their own namesake, culture, and customs.One of the few ideals the Codex implemented that the Space Wolves Legion actually accepted was the succession of Chapters. However, the Space Wolves Legion was never very large. This, combined with the genetic instability of the legion gene-seed and grievous losses to their gene-seed in the Battle of the Fang of M32 led to the Legion only founding one successor Chapter, the ill-fated Wolfbrothers.
~More Space Wolves Lore in the days ahead!