Today we delve into the deepest of mysteries the Second and Eleventh Legions – wiped from Imperial History – and the hints they left behind.
The Missing Legions
Precious little is known about two of the twenty Space Marine Legions, numbered II and XI, and their respective Primarchs, as their records are simply noted as having been “expunged” or “destroyed” in Imperial listings of the 20 Legions.
However, nothing is known for sure about the names of the legions, their Primarchs, homeworlds and their ultimate fate. There are conflicting reports as to whether the two unknown Legions met their fate prior to or after the Horus Heresy and which side they joined in the Heresy if they participated in it.
What is Known
Currently, all that is stated about this issue is:
- The Emperor created 20 Primarchs, who were snatched from Terra by a Chaos vortex and scattered around the galaxy.
- The 20 incubation capsules drifted through the warp for decades or even centuries, until finally coming to rest on human-inhabited worlds throughout the galaxy, “where they were variously adopted by human parents.”
- The only exception to this is the Primarch Konrad Curze, who survived utterly alone (and whose background, in any case, was only described in later material).
- In the listings of the 20 Legions in Imperial records, Legions II and XI are stated as having “all records expunged from the library”. Earlier background (Codex Imperialis and second edition’s Ultramarines codex) less ambivalently states that the records for these two Legions were deleted following the Heresy. Considering that the Traitor Legions are simply listed as excommunicate traitoris but still included in these same lists would mean that the records were deleted deliberately and for a reason only known by those who perpetrated the action.
- Of the various abilities possessed by the Primarchs, one was “invisibility”.
- If this is taken literally, this presumably refers to one of the missing Primarchs, as invisibility is not a power possessed by those known. It could also mean this Primarch was a blank as such individuals are said to be invisible to psykers.
- This could also be referring to Corax who is said to have effective invisibility, whereby he could walk among people without them noticing him. It is also said that only the Emperor knew this about the primarch.
- The Emperor met each Primarch in turn, and each Primarch had risen to a position of authority within the cultures they had found themselves in.
- 20 Legions took part in the Great Crusade, each led by their own Primarch.
- Alpharius was known to be the last Primarch to be found, a fact which even earned him the nickname “The Last”. This suggests that all the other Primarchs had been found already.
- 20 statues of the Primarchs were erected in the Imperial Palace on Terra. By the time of the Horus Heresy, plinths II and XI “…had been vacant for a long time. No-one ever spoke of those two absent brothers [and] their separate tragedies.”
- This suggests that the two unknown Primarchs had been found previously and that something tragic had happened. The two Primarchs were “absent” but not referred as “dead”.
- All Primarchs were tempted by Chaos and “fully half” of them failed that test.
- This suggests that possibly 10 Primarchs were, in some way, corrupted by Chaos influences. The known traitors are nine (Fulgrim, Perturabo, Konrad Curze, Angron, Mortarion, Magnus, Horus,Lorgar, and Alpharius). Whether an additional Primarch was corrupted or not is unclear.
- Prior to sending Sigismund and his Imperial Fists to Mars during the Heresy, Dorn muses to Malcador on the loyalist support of two legions, possibly the two unknown legions, during the Heresy. Malcador quells the Primarch’s thoughts, stating that “They are lost to us forever.”
- Horus convinced “no less than 9” Space Marine Legions to side with him at the onset of the Heresy, a number also referred to as “fully half” of the legions. When he assaulted Terra, this number was given as 9.
- This also implies, but does not categorically state, that the 9 known traitor legions are all of the legions that followed him into rebellion and that 18 legions were the total number of legions active at the time. A passage detailing Horus’ plans for the various legions at the outset of the Heresy mentions by name all 18 known legions.
- “Of the original 20 Primarchs only 9 survived the Horus Heresy. The remainder were either killed in the fighting (like Horus) or fled with their [Legions] into the Eye of Terror. The survivors helped [to rebuild] the Imperium.”
- It is currently accepted that 3 Primarchs died during the Heresy (Ferrus Manus, Sanguinius, and Horus) and 6 are known to have fled into the Eye of Terror (Fulgrim, Perturabo, Angron, Mortarion,Magnus, and Lorgar). The fates of the other 11 are open to multiple interpretations. However it is commonly believed that Roboute Guilliman is in stasis as his throat was cut and Lion El Johnson’s body has been hidden away in the belief that he shall return one day.
- Two traitors, Konrad Curze and Alpharius, did not flee into the Eye of Terror and were killed later on. 7 loyal Primarchs seem to have survived. It is possible that Curze and Alpharius were counted as part of the 9 survivors. However, in the novel Betrayer it mentions the “18 Legions”, a clear statement that the unknown legions disappeared before the Heresy, and played no part in them.
~Speculation engines – ENGAGED! Go for it in the comments!