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Warhammer 40K Lore: The Inner Circle Of The Dark Angels, Part 1

5 Minute Read
Jan 05

A dashing new Primaris Captain has ascended to the ranks of the Dark Angel’s Inner Circle. But the public record is curiously blank on what that is.

Greetings Loremasters and Loremaster-initiates, today we enter uncharted territory as we follow the storied career of the Primaris Captain, Lazarus. It seems he has ascended the ranks of the Dark Angel’s Inner Circle–the first Primaris marine to do so, which seems to be a celebratory event. However, the Imperial records are curiously blank with regards to what exactly the Inner Circle is. Fortunately, an anonymous donor received word of our inquiries and was able to provide us with some information regarding this Inner Circle.

In order to understand the Inner Circle you must first understand the Great Betrayal.

The Great Betrayal is a story that begins during the first Galactic Crusade, when the Dark Angels came into conflict with the Sarosh. The story of the Sarosh is one of intrigue–on the surface, they were a planet that had miraculously survived the Old Night and kept much of their technology intact, making them a prime candidate to rejoin the Imperium. However, their acceptance of the Imperial Truth was only a lie designed to lure forces closer. In truth, they were all cultists of Chaos who were plotting to destroy the Primarch of the Dark Angel, managing to sneak a nuclear warhead aboard the Invincible Reason, flagship of Lion El’Jonson, Primarch of the Dark Angels.

This plot was thwarted by Luther, 2nd in command of the Legion, who had discovered the plot against his Primarch. However, his jealously of the Lion stayed his hand, and even though, in the end, he saved the Lion’s life, El’Jonson knew. He knew and Luther and his forces were ordered to return to Caliban in the aftermath, ostensibly for recruitment and administrative purposes. But many understood this was punishment. They had been banished from the Lion’s side. Later, when the  Luther and The Lion had another falling out after the Zaramund Campaign when Luther left Caliban to fight alongside Horus in direct violation of El’Jonson’s order.

Luther disobeyed the Lion, whatever the benefits of his actions, this is the core of it. Luther’s betrayal was the crack through which the tendrils of heresy could creep. As El’Jonson enacted more punitive measures, remaining absent from Caliban and Luther’s banished garrison forces, Luther felt the bitter sting of abandonment. And when faced with Chaos Sorcerers (from Terra, no less) backing Caliban’s former nobility in open rebellion, Luther fought to swiftly put it down, fearing that should the Emperor learn of the Warp’s tainted presence on Caliban, his world would be destroyed.

But then Luther began to perceive that perhaps the Lion had exiled him here for a reason. After all, these sorcerers were from Terra, were they not? And he had been banished there by the Primarch–leaving would be disobeying an order, but if the Emperor were to send exterminatus to Caliban, what recourse would he have? Disobey or die?


An expedition to Caliban by the loyal Chapter Master Belath arrived before Luther, only to be put down by forces loyal to Luther. These are the Fallen.

Their sins are many.

From killing their own brethren to turning to the very powers they fought against to halt the rebellion on Caliban before the Emperor could learn of it. When El’Jonson returned to Caliban his fleet was attacked, and open combat broke out between the Dark Angels and the Fallen, with Primarch and Luther coming to blows personally.

The fury of the Lion and his Dark Angels at what they perceived as a terrible betrayal knew no bounds; Jonson himself immediately ordered a sustained bombardment of the traitor positions and led an attack against Luther’s position personally. In the resultant battle the two adversaries struck blow upon blow against each other, tearing down the monastery around them until nearly the whole massive edifice had been leveled by their battle. Meanwhile, the massed guns of the Dark Angel fleet pounded the planet, until the very surface of Caliban began to crack under the strain of the bombardment. As the planet itself started to break apart, the battle between the Lion and Luther reached its climax. Luther, apparently aided by the powers of Chaos, unleashed a furious psychic attack that knocked Jonson to his knees and left him mortally wounded. But as the dying Primarch struggled to stand, his noble features wracked with pain, it was as if a curtain was lifted from Luther’s eyes and he realised the full extent of what he had done. Devastated, the realisation shattered his sanity and he slumped down beside Jonson, no longer willing to fight.

Soon after Luther’s breakdown a warp storm of unprecedented fury engulfed Caliban. In an uncontrollable flood of psychic energy, the warp rushed into the physical universe. The immense strain these forces placed upon the planet, in combination with the tectonic shifting and cracking caused by the orbital bombardment caused the horrific end of the entire planet; Caliban itself shattered, breaking into countless chunks of dead and dying rock. The ‘fallen’ Dark Angels who had served under Luther were sucked from the face of Caliban into the warp and effectively scattered throughout space and time. Few know of these events other than the Dark Angels, their Successor Chapters and the Emperor on his Golden Throne. Even within the Chapters themselves very few brother-Marines know the full story.


That warp storm holds many dire consequences. Including a temporal loop that has, in part, led to a legion of Fallen assembled in the Warp–but that is enough for now.

Well this is indeed an interesting tale Loremasters, to be continued later

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