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Warhammer 40K: Traitor Guard – The Lost & The Damned

5 Minute Read
May 3 2024

Today we look into the black hearts of those renegades who have turned away from the Astra Militarum and offer up praise to Chaos – The Traitor Guard.

Traitor Guard (or guardsmen) is a term given to the vast majority of disloyal mortals who have left the Imperial Guard and Planetary Defence Forces in order to fight for Chaos. They are not a single coherent force. But rather a faction of the infinite collection of warbands and hosts under the leadership of Chaos Champions and part of The Lost and the Damned.

Traitor Guard Overview

In order to fulfill their own agendas, Champions of Chaos draw lesser Chaos followers to them to form their own personal armies. These can vary tremendously in size and strength. The Traitor Guard are among the better-armed and minded troops that Chaos Champions and/or Arch-Heretics have at their disposal, like other Imperial military deserters who have turned from their Emperor and fled from Imperial justice. Occasionally, entire companies, or even regiments of the Imperial Guard, turn to Chaos, taking with them their vehicles and armory.

These traitors, unlike other mutants and other vile Beastmen, have not completely lost their military skills or sanity. They form a reasonably reliable core force amongst the slavering hordes of the Lost and Damned armies. Often these mortal guardsmen will fight alongside mutants or Daemons of the warp by summoning them by way of blasphemous rituals. Their allies are complemented further with monstrosities of all kinds, such as Chaos Spawns, hordes of mutants and Beastmen, and packs of Chaos Hounds.

When Guardsmen betray their Emperor it is not just themselves who leave to fight for Chaos. Their vehicles and equipment go as well. Rough Riders, as well as Imperial Guard vehicles such as Leman Russ Battle Tanks, Hellhounds, Basilisks, and Sentinels, are known to be in the service of Traitor Guard armies too. Traitor units are also known to use Chimeras and Space Marine Rhinos for transportation.

They often serve alongside smaller warbands of Chaos Space Marines. In the largest Black Crusades, entire armies of Traitor Guard are assembled to throw themselves against the Imperium of Man. Their lives are often thrown away heedlessly by their dark masters.

Infamous Traitor Guard Regiments

Blood Pact

The Blood Pact is a highly organized Chaos Cult devoted to Khorne. Unlike many cultist warbands, the Pact fought as a disciplined army, similar in training and organization to the Imperial Guard. Originating as the personal army of the warlord Urlock Gaur, they quickly became a dominant “elite” of the Chaos forces opposing the Sabbat Worlds Crusade and caused the people of the Imperium no small amount of suffering and woe.

Moebian Sixth

The Moebian Sixth was one of many Astra Militarum regiments raised in the Moebian Domain, tasked with defending the sector’s borders of the Moebian Domain, colloquially referred to as the fringe regions, from Chaos and Xenos threats, locally called the “Darktide”.

Recruited mostly from Atoma Prime, the Moebian Sixth distinguished itself in M41 during the many campaigns and battles of the Fringe Wars against the Darktide. Waged on feral worlds against horrible enemies with little external support, the Fringe War brought the Imperial regiments to the limits of their endurance. For years, the Moebian Sixth served the Imperium loyally and became the most famous and celebrated Moebian regiment.

Over time, however, the Moebian Sixth was pushed too far for too long. Exposed to the horrors of the Galaxy and the Warp, a sharp contrast to the Imperial propaganda at home, eventually resulted in the unit’s corruption.


At first, this remained unknown to Imperial authorities. But when a contagion and Chaos cult uprising erupted in Hive Tertium on Atoma Prime, instigated by the Admonition Chaos Cult, the Moebian Sixth was redirected from frontline deployment in the Fringe War to instead assist in combating the Nurgle corruption and uprising of Tertium. However, once the Moebian Sixth landed and became well entrenched in Hive Tertium, they revealed themselves as traitors and began fighting alongside the cultists against the people they had sworn to protect.

The Moebian Sixth seems to want to spread the “dark truth” they found while fighting the Darktide in the Fringe Wars to their home, Atoma Prime.

Pilgrims of Hayte

An apocalyptic murder cult, the Pilgrims of Hayte are known for their viciousness and atrocities. Mere rumors of their presence in a particular area are enough to create near-panic among the populace. Their goal is a simple one, to destroy the Imperium and slay those serving the Emperor.

The cult’s teachings and recruitment focus on the downtrodden, outcast, and criminal elements of Imperial society. Their core belief is that of the nihilism of the spirit and utter despair, viewing humanity as a squalling blind creature at the mercy of the cosmos. To them, civilization, faith, reason, and love are all lies and dreams concocted by the Imperium to maintain their control. Thus the Pilgrims seek to sow destruction and terror in order to tear down this false reality.

The Cult is led by a council of masters known as the False Prophets. These Sorcerers are capable of wielding the powers of the Warp and summoning Daemons. They seek to corrupt the population of a world with their teachings and widen their cult activities, with a False Prophet at first often masquerading as a charismatic and traveling Preacher. The False Prophets themselves aid and guide promising new recruits, mostly those who have survived long enough in the Cult’s many dangerous raids and operations.


The Stigmartus

The Stigmartus are a Chaos Cult and warband operating in the Jericho Reach region and were key combatants against the Imperium in the Achilus Crusade. They consist of renegades, madmen, criminals, cultists, mutants, and rogue psykers. The Stigmartus are named for the ritual branding of their flesh with the sigil of their masters.

They are brutal and frenzied to the extreme. However, like the Blood Pact, they maintain harsh discipline and military-style professionalism. They are organized closely along the lines of an Imperial Guard Regiment. The commanders of the Cult are believed to be the remainder of the previous heretic rulers of Khazant, which fell early in the Achilus Crusade. Now, they are bound by the charismatic leadership of a cult-general known as Elak Sarda He is said to be sworn to a daemonic entity within the Charon Stars.

Author: Larry Vela
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