- "I am the Arch-fiend, the Despoiler of Worlds, and by my hands shall the false Emperor fall."
- — Abaddon, Warmaster of Chaos
Abaddon, also known as Abaddon the Despoiler, once named Ezekyle Abaddon, is the Warmaster of Chaos, a Chaos Lord and the greatest Champion of Chaos Undivided in the galaxy. He is the commander of the Black Legion of Chaos Space Marines and is rumoured to be the clone-progeny of the Warmaster Horus, the greatest Traitor in Imperial history, and at one time his most favoured son amongst the Space Marines of the Sons of Horus Legion. He is now infamous for leading Black Crusades, the terrible military campaigns during which the normally fractious Forces of Chaos unite under his leadership and launch a massive attack against the Imperium from within the Eye of Terror. The most recent of these attacks, the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, led to the fall of the vital Imperial Fortress World of Cadia, the birth of the Great Rift that divided the galaxy in half and the start of the Noctis Aeterna.
The name of Abaddon, the Warmaster of Chaos, has become a bitter curse within the Imperium. During the Great Crusade, Abaddon rose to become Captain of the 1st Company of what was then called the Luna Wolves Legion. When the Horus Heresy came to a head, it was clear that Abaddon's loyalty lay with his Primarch. He led the Terminators of the re-named Sons of Horus across Istvaan, Yarant, and Terra itself. Abaddon's anguish at his master's death at the hands of the Emperor drove him deeper into madness and hatred than any mortal should ever sink. Before retreating, Abaddon took up the Warmaster Horus' body and fought his way out of the quickly deteriorating battle before the Imperial Palace. With their cadaverous prize, the Sons of Horus Legion fled before the Emperor's victorious armies.
When Abaddon returned, it was at the head of a diabolic horde ravaging star systems around the Eye of Terror. His Heretic Astartes, now called the Black Legion, were at the forefront of the attack, destroying all in their path. During this 1st Black Crusade, Abaddon formed many bloody pacts with the Chaos Gods. Below the Tower of Silence, he recovered a Daemon Sword of prodigious power, making him nigh unstoppable. Since then, Abaddon has dreamed of forging an empire of Chaos upon the ruins of the Imperium. Twelve more Black Crusades have followed, each achieving some dark purpose that even the mightiest sages of the Imperium cannot discern. It is said that he alone has the power to unite the Traitor Legions and finish the treachery begun ten thousand standard years ago, ripping the Emperor from His place on the Golden Throne and at last claiming the galaxy for the Ruinous Powers.
In the days of hope that preceded the Horus Heresy, Ezekyle Abaddon fought amongst that most noble of brotherhoods, the Legiones Astartes. Originally the firstborn son of the most mighty of Cthonia's gang warlords, Ezekyle killed his father in single combat after a disastrous Cthonian coming of age ritual. Though he lived in exile after that point, his massive build and natural ferocity saw him grow to be a legend amongst his people. Before long, the vicious young warrior came to the attention of the Luna Wolves Space Marine Legion, and he was recruited into their brotherhood. Within the space of a few short years Abaddon had distinguished himself on the training grounds and fought his way through the echelons of the Luna Wolves to be given the newly founded rank of First Captain. After the development of new and powerful war-technology by the Mechanicum, Abaddon was gifted a suit of custom-made Cataphractii Pattern Terminator Armour to accommodate his mighty stature. So powerful a warrior had Abaddon become that he was used as a military model for the entire brotherhood of the Luna Wolves' elite 1st Company, known as the Justaerin. With a long history of victories behind him, Abaddon was soon respected as a leader and fighter alike, for he waged war like the warrior kings of old. Better yet, he earned a place at the right hand of Horus Lupercal, most favoured of all the Primarchs. He became a lord of the new superhuman elite who were to redefine the course of human history; at first to the betterment of the Imperium of Man, and later to its tragic downfall.
By the time of the Great Crusade, Ezekyle Abaddon had been recognised as the greatest warrior of the vaunted XVIth Legion after their Primarch Horus. He was blessed with being able to serve at the right hand of the Primarch himself, for to witness such a being in the flesh was to be in the presence of a demigod. Abbadon was the first and most respected of them all, a man who worshipped his Primarch as a god, just as Horus worshipped his father the Emperor of Mankind in turn. Horus Lupercal was raised up by the Emperor Himself as the greatest of all the Primarchs' number, an accolade never surpassed before or since. Yet amongst Horus' many virtues was his humility. He listened well to the counsel of his warriors, learned from his mistakes, and considered every action before committing to it. Amongst his advisers in the Luna Wolves, he trusted four officers above all. This council of warrior captains was known as the Mournival. At the time of the Horus Heresy's beginnings it was comprised of Abaddon himself, Tarik Torgaddon, Captain of the 2nd Company, Horus "Little Horus" Aximand, Captain of the 5th Company and Garviel Loken, Captain of the 10th Company. It was after the battle for the world designated Sixty-Three Nineteen by the XVI Legion, in which Tenth Captain Garviel Loken managed to reach and slay the impostor Emperor who ruled the world ahead of Abaddon, that the First Captain recommended Loken's elevation into the Mournival to replace the 4th Company's Captain Hastur Sejanus. Sejanus, a particular favorite of Horus, had been slain shortly before the battle.
As the Great Crusade conquered its way across the stars, it reunited many of the scattered domains of Mankind that had been abandoned and isolated by the chaotic tides of the Warp. Always at the fore was Horus Lupercal, with Abaddon at his side. They were the first into battle, the first to exhort their brother Legions to acts of greatness, and the first to encounter the strange new threats that had grown in the dark corners of the galaxy. One of these threats was a danger so insidious that it slowly corrupted many of the Legiones Astartes, including the Primarch Horus himself. Abaddon was also a member of the Legion's Warrior Lodge, the "quiet order" within the Luna Wolves, inspired by similar lodges on the Feral World of Davin -- which the Luna Wolves had brought to Imperial Compliance many years earlier. Erebus, first amongst the Chaplains of the Word Bearers Legion and first amongst the worshippers of the Chaos Gods, had spread his secret warrior lodges to the brethren of the Luna Wolves as well as many of the other Space Marine Legions. In the daylight hours, those of the Legiones Astartes who had secretly come to worship Chaos used their twisted logics to sway more of their number to their cause.
During one particular Imperial Compliance action, Abaddon notably stood against Horus' attempts to negotiate with a stray branch of humanity known as the Interex, preferring to adhere to the Emperor's stated policy, and simply demand surrender or force Imperial Compliance upon newly discovered human cultures. This attitude was reversed in desperation after Horus was critically injured by the Chaos-corrupted Imperial Planetary Governor Eugen Temba upon the XVI Legion's return to the world of Davin. Horus was mortally wounded after slaying the Nurgle-corrupted Temba upon the bridge of his downed starship on Davin's moon, which had been transformed by Nurgle's corruption into a reeking swamp infested with undead Plague Zombies, Temba's own former Imperial Army garrison. Temba had wielded a blade dedicated to Nurgle known as the Kinebrach Anathame that had infected the Primarch with a toxin so virulent that even a Primarch's superhuman immune system and all the advanced technologies of his Legion's Apothecaries could not defeat it.
Blinded by grief, Abaddon and his fellow company captains took the Primarch's body on the advice of the Word Bearers' First Chaplain Erebus to a mystic healer who belonged to the Chaotic Temple of the Serpent Lodge on Davin and who was actually a Chaos Sorcerer -- an act in utter contradiction of the Imperial Truth (which was stridently atheistic) and which opened Horus up to the influence of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. Yet instead of salvation, the priests of that Davinite moon brought eternal damnation. When Horus emerged, a change had been wrought in him, and a shadow lurked behind his eyes that would never leave. The seed of bitterness that had been planted in Horus’ heart ultimately blossomed into a fullscale heresy that nearly tore the Imperium apart.
Following Horus' corruption by Chaos and his resurrection through its profane power, Abaddon backed his Primarch to the hilt and firmly aligned himself with Horus against the Emperor, ultimately giving his soul over completely to the service of Chaos Undivided. Horus, under the guise of putting down the religious rebellion against Imperial Compliance on the world of Istvaan III, amassed his troops in the Istvaan System. The corrupted Warmaster had a plan by which he would destroy all the remaining Loyalist elements of the Legions under his command, a plan that would ultimately unfold into the nightmare of what Imperial scholars would later name the Istvaan III Atrocity. During the resulting campaign of attrition, Abaddon was responsible for the wounding and abandonment of the Loyalist Captain Garviel Loken within the ruins of the Istvaanian capital known as the Choral City, although Loken survived the combat and witnessed the beginning of the orbital bombardment of the planet and the remaining Loyalist Astartes on it by the Traitor Legions' fleet on Horus' orders.
Throughout the seven brutal standard years of the terrible Imperial civil war that was the Horus Heresy, First Captain Abaddon led the elite squad of the renamed Sons of Horus Space Marines from the 1st Company known as the Justaerin, who wore singular black-coloured Cataphractii Pattern Terminator Armour. Abaddon led this elite unit during many of the most infamous actions by the Forces of Chaos during the Horus Heresy, including the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V, the battle against the Loyalists on Yarant as well as in the climactic Battle of Terra. Yet the Warmaster fell at the last. As he duelled his once-beloved gene-father, the Emperor, upon the bridge of the Vengeful Spirit, Horus' flagship, the Warmaster was vanquished by a psychic blast. Abaddon and his most heavily-armed warriors fought their way through squad after squad of yellow-armoured Imperial Fists Terminators to the command centre of the starship, but they were too late. Running across iron decks that were slick with the blood of demigods, Abaddon took up the lifeless body of his father with great tenderness. Wracked with emotion, Abaddon detached the taloned claw that Horus had used to kill the Primarch Sanguinius from his Primarch's armour and resolved to use it to one day throttle the Emperor Himself.
With his gene-father dead, Abaddon abandoned the conquest of Terra and instead retreated with the Sons of Horus Legion and all of their remaining assets, Legion slaves and starships, blazing a trail across the stars to the forbidden realm of the Eye of Terror. The Traitor Legions retreated in his wake, cursing the hour that had stolen their destiny. With this act, Abaddon passed from mortal space and into legend.
Rise of the Black Legion
- "Speak not to me of Abaddon, blackest of hearts, basest of fiends. Who else amongst the hosts of the traitors embraced damnation with such a fierce glee?"
Following the dire events of the Horus Heresy during the final epic Battle of Terra and the death of the Warmaster Horus aboard his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, First Captain Abaddon and the surviving Sons of Horus broke orbit over Terra and fought their way free of the battle and escaped into the void. A time of reprisal and retribution known as the Great Scouring followed, and countless worlds were put to death by the Loyalists for siding with Horus, their corpses left as a warning to others. Those Traitor Legions that remained in the Imperium were hunted mercilessly and hounded across the stars by pitiless Loyalists. Abaddon and the remaining Sons of Horus took refuge in the Eye of Terror, choosing to plunge into that maelstrom of madness rather than face extinction at the hands of the Emperor's vengeful warriors.
The Sons of Horus managed to reach the Eye of Terror with the bloodied survivors of the Scouring, but the once mighty XVI Legion was reduced to a fraction of its former size. Led by only a few remaining captains, the Legion struggled with its loyalty to their fallen Primarch and the cold reality of their defeat at the hands of the Emperor and His lackeys. Bereft of their glorious Primarch, the Legion floundered, and in desperation turned to each of the Chaos Gods in turn in their search for renewed power, inviting daemonic possession and the ever more costly blessings of the Warp. All the while, the Legion suffered the jealous attacks of their former allies. As the Traitor Legions turned upon one another, the Dark Gods subverted and manipulated their new playthings, reshaping the Legions for their own ends and the never-ending war between the gods.
Ezekyle Abaddon abandoned the Legion; broken by the death of Horus and sick of war, he wandered alone into the Eye of Terror. Taking his Legion's massive flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, Abaddon left his brothers behind and plummeted into the furthest reaches of the Eye. The former First Captain knew the Legion Wars would never end. These were not his battles. Shedding blood for slaves and territory -- Abaddon wasn't a barbarian, to fight over trivial nothingness. He was a soldier, a warrior. If the Nine Legions wished to raid one another's hunting grounds for table scraps and steal each others' toys, then he would let them. Of his own Legion, he felt no need to save them from their petty fate. They chose to fight and die in a worthless war. Abaddon's Dark Pilgrimage took him across the thousands of worlds of the Eye. He walked the surface of every world in their purgatorial prison. He felt that he had to -- to learn the realm's boundaries, to see its secrets. Abaddon would not mourn a Legion he had left behind. His time as a pilgrim layered wisdom and perspective atop the brutality of his former command.
Meanwhile, the Sons of Horus carried the body of their Primarch, preserved in stasis, further into the Eye, ignoring the wars that raged around them. On the Daemon World of Maeleum, a graveyard world of steel and rust, the Sons of Horus raised a fortress, fashioning a mighty citadel from the wrecks of decaying vessels lost to the Warp with the aid of the thousands of slaves they had taken from the worlds of the Imperium. The Legion interred Horus' body within a great tomb, where many fell into worship of their fallen demigod. Lupercalios, the Monument, was a mausoleum to the XVIth Legion as much as a stronghold. It was where the body of their Primarch had been interred after the Terran Breaking. Few of the other Legion were permitted anywhere near the Sons' last bastion. It also served as a fortress from which they would launch further attacks upon both the Imperium and their fellow Traitor Legions. All the while, the XVIth Legion suffered the jealous attacks of their former allies amongst the Forces of Chaos as the brief unity between the Dark Gods and their servants during the Heresy once more broke down into the normal state of internecine rivalry, unleashing the Slave Wars.
With their Primarch dead and their Legion on the verge of extinction, the Sons of Horus stagnated. Some captains suspected that it would be but a matter of time before they and their Battle-Brothers were drawn into the wars between the Traitor Legions, and so they pushed for the Sons of Horus to replace its losses by increasing the Legion's gene-seed stocks. These same captains knew that any fortress, no matter how grand, could not hope to hold back a determined Space Marine assault, and called for more warriors to be found. Unfortunately, the majority of surviving captains were convinced that the Warp would provide all the power they needed, if only they could master the methods of merging daemon and Space Marine.
The wars between the other Legions who had sided with Horus during the Horus Heresy raged across the Eye of Terror even as the Sons of Horus ignored the events happening around them, and continued to raise their fortress ever higher, worshipping the corpse of their Primarch. The Sons of Horus had remained largely apart from these conflicts; however, jealous eyes now turned their way. Traitorous forces gathered against them and conspired to rob them of the remains of Horus to further vile and selfish ambitions. The Primarch Horus' body, with its potent genetic information and biological secrets, was a great prize indeed. In a sudden assault, the remnants of the debased Emperor's Children, having grown vastly in power after firmly cementing their terrible pacts with Slaanesh, easily smashed their way through the defences of Maeleum and into the central chambers of the Sons of Horus' stronghold. They stole the body of the slain Primarch from the heart of its tomb and spirited it away, some say with the purpose of handing it over to the dark Apothecary Fabius Bile who intended to clone it in order to create a new and still greater Warmaster of Chaos to restore the Traitor Legions' unity and fortunes.
The Search for Abaddon
Following the sundering of the XVIth Legion and the destruction of Lupercalios, Falkus Kibre, Chieftain of the Duraga kal Esmejhak warband, master of the warship Baleful Eye, and former commander of the Justaerin, summoned his erstwhile allies to a secret meeting. He had summoned the former Thousand Sons Chaos Sorcerer Iskandar Khayon, leader of the Kha'Sherhan warband, as well as the former World Eaters warrior Lheorvine Ukris, leader of the Fifteen Fangs warband. They had been called to meet aboard the grand wreckage of the long-dead Sons of Horus Battle Cruiser His Chosen Son. Falkus informed his allies that Lupercalios was no more. The Monument was gone -- it no longer existed beyond ashen ruin. As for the shattered Legion, he did not know how many had survived the Emperor's Children's brutal assault. For all he knew, his warband were the last survivors. Having lost everything, Falkus turned to those he could trust. Those who had been his allies in the past. He also brought them the dire news that the Warmaster Horus' body had been stolen. The IIIrd Legion had taken the body to harvest it, to reap its genetic bounty. They wanted to clone the Primarch's body. The assembled Astartes did not want to contemplate the dire consequences of such blasphemy. By resurrecting the First Primarch, the IIIrd Legion hoped to be able to end the Legion Wars.
There was little recourse left to Falkus -- his Legion had all but been driven into extinction, the fortress of Lupercalios was gone, and he had no hope of retaliating against the Emperor's Children's capital world of Harmony with his meagre forces. There was little else he could do, but the shrewd warleader had one last desperate hand to play -- he would seek out the Vengeful Spirit. With it, he would destroy the Canticle City and the abominations the III Legion were attempting to resurrect. Those of the Nine Legions knew the vessel well -- an immense battleship, majestic beyond majesty, with its spinal fortresses and armoured prow delineating the bulky murderousness of a Scylla Pattern variant of the ancient Gloriana-class Battleship hull. It was the only Gloriana vessel in all the Emperor's fleet born from the Scylla Pattern variant construction scheme. But the task Falkus had set forth for them was all but impossible. Hundreds of warbands throughout the centuries had sought the mighty ship for centuries -- none had returned. But those hundreds of warband had no idea where to look. Falkus did.
To prove his point, he brought forth a prisoner. His name was Sargon, once of the XVIIth Legion, the Word Bearers, and the Brazenhead Chapter. He was a former warrior-priest of the Word Bearers, for Sargon had cast aside Lorgar's teachings. He claimed to bring enlightenment and illumination, but it was no longer the Word of Lorgar. Sargon could not speak to the gathered warleaders with his own voice, as he had suffered a vicious plasma burn that had taken both his larynx and voice box during the Battle of Terra. Utilising his innate psychic abilities, he spoke through a reanimated corpse, one of many fallen Sons of Horus Legionaries that lay in piles, scattered around the once-mighty battleship. Sargon claimed that he had not only seen the Vengeful Spirit, he had also trod the decks of the mighty flagship himself. He knew its location -- the Radiant Worlds -- located in the Eleusinian Veil on the far age of the Eye, near Imperial space, beyond the massive Warp phenomena known as the Firetide. Sargon had surrendered himself to Falkus following the destruction of Lupercalios. He had done so, claiming that fate demanded it. He knew where the Vengeful Spirit was hidden, and brought forth the lore to those who needed it most. Though the Chaos Sorcerer Khayon sensed that the priest was telling the truth, he was unable to probe the priest's mind any further for answers. Whoever had sent him had placed powerful psychic wards that locked the Word Bearer's mind from unwanted intrusion. After some thought, he agreed to assist Falkus. The World Eater warleader never had the chance to agree or disagree. Their enemies did not allow it.
A small fleet of Emperor's Children vessels appeared from the surrounding Warp Storm -- seven vessels that bore Imperial purple armour plating bleach-burned into ghostly lilac. Falkus and his allies had five ships against the IIIrd Legion's seven. Even one-on-one the mighty Emperor's Children ships would destroy the rag-tag warbands' vessels. Whoever wanted them dead had arranged their murders to perfection. The lead vessel that sailed at the front of the murder-fleet was a Battleship, it blunt prow shaped into the golden, ripped-wing avatar of a crucified Imperial Aquila. This ship alone was capable of tearing all five of the opposing vessels to pieces. The commander of the vessel hailed the sorcerer Khayon. He identified himself as Kadalus Orlantir, born of Chemos, Sardar of the Emperor's Children warband comprising its former 16th, 40th and 51st Companies, and commander of the warship Perfection's Lament. He informed the sorcerer that he had no quarrel with either Khayon or the World Eater but demanded that they hand over Sargon. Both warleaders audaciously refused the Sardar's "generous" offer. Enraged, the IIIrd Legion commander launched boarding assaults against both Khayon's vessel, the Tlaloc, and the wrecked warship where the three leaders were undertaking their secret meeting. In the fight that followed, Falkus and Lheor attempted to flee to their separate vessels, but Lheor's ship was destroyed. Utilising his psychic arts, Khayon was able to cut a hole in the fabric of reality that led to the bridge of his vessel, allowing them to escape. But not before taking the Emperor's Children's severely wounded commander and seven of his Legionaries as prisoners.
The Radiant Worlds
Reaching the Eleusinian Veil meant passing through the Radiant Worlds. Only a fool would take their ship directly into them and face the destructive waves of Warp energy known as the Firetide. Though Khayon's vessel could not sail through the region of psychic flame, they could cut past it, by utilising the secret paths behind reality and unreality alike, the Webway. Though most of the Webway's pathways inside the Great Eye's border were worthless and shattered from Slaanesh's devastating birth-scream, for those who knew where to look, there were a rare few that were considered viable avenues through the Traitor Legions' purgatorial domain. Khayon knew of one such secret path into the Webway -- the so-called Avernus Breach. He had learned of it a century before -- and the price of that knowledge was six standard years of service to a Night Lords Legion warband -- six years of binding daemons and destroying the warband's enemies. After approximately a solar month's time of travel through the stygian depths of the null dimension of the Webway, the Tlaloch reached its destination -- the Radiant Worlds. Located on the edge of Imperial space, where the Warpspace of the Great Eye and realspace collided, most of the worlds within this region were uninhabitable, lost in the lethal crash of conflicting psychic energies. The Radiant Worlds were forever bathed in the psychic light of the Astronomican, the psychic beacon that guided the Imperium's vessels through the Immaterium, without burning in it.
Amidst a massive asteroid field located on the edge of the Eleusinian Veil, the Tlaloch came to the former Eldar world of Aas'ciaral, which meant "Heart's Song" in the Eldar Lexicon. Its most drastic wound was the source of the asteroid field, for an entire half of the planet was simply gone. Such horrendous damage to an astral body should have destroyed the world completely, yet Aas'ciaral still lived, deformed as it drifted through the vast ash cloud. The face of the planet was cataracted by turgid storms covering the entire world in milky clouds. Lightning wracked the occluded skies in random dances. After several solar days of searching the surface for any signs of life, the crew of the Tlaloch discovered a gigantic downed voidship, half-buried in the snow at the bottom of a deep ravine. Khayon, his bound she-wolf daemon Gyre, Lheor and the swordsman Kadalus took to the surface. Searching the ravine, they came upon the massive warship. Abaddon had taken this vessel, the Vengeful Spirit itself, past the Firetide of the Radiant Worlds, into the unscannable depths of the Eleusinian Veil, and powered the ship down beneath the surface of this broken world. The audaciousness of the plan was truly overwhelming for the Traitor Marines who had come seeking the former First Captain.
The Legionaries finally made their way inside the massive vessel and began their search in earnest. After many hours, they finally were approached by a massive Legionary who wore weathered and colour-faded armour scavenged and cannibilised from warriors of all Nine Traitor Legions, with a long fall of ratty, snarled black hair stringing across his features, half hiding his face. He possessed unnatural, inhuman gold-coloured eyes. After brief introductions, the Legionary raked his fingers through the mane of filthy hair, revealing a pitted, pale face that defied any attempt to discern age. War was written across his features in a lattice of old cuts and the pockmarks of heat-scarring. Battle marked him even if age had not. Though he no longer wore the great black war-plate of the Justaerin, nor was his hair bound up in the ceremonial topknot of the Cthonian subterranean work-gangs, he was still easily recognisable. The Sons of Horus Legionary was now a hollow shadow of the invincible warrior who once graced victory hololiths and Imperial propaganda transmissions, but he was easily recognisable by the other assembled Legionaries. He had worn the same expression on Terra, as the Imperial Palace had burned around them. They had found Ezekyle Abaddon.
- "We were born for battle, Khayon. We were made to conquer the galaxy, not to rot in Hell and die upon our brothers' blades. Who are the architects of the Imperium? Who fought to purge its territory of aliens and expand its borders? Who brought rebellious worlds to heel and slaughtered those who refused the light of progress? Who walked from one side of the galaxy to the other, marking their passage in a trail of treacherous dead? This is our Imperium. Built across the worlds we burned, over bones we broke, with the blood we shed. You see it too. You feel it now, don't you? - A new war. One not born of bitterness nor founded on revenge. - The Long War, Khayon."
Abaddon explained to his fellow Legionaries that it was he who had summoned them there. He had sent Sargon to Falkus in order to lure them to the Vegeful Spirit. Though they were not the only souls he had called to him, they had the honour of being the first. Abaddon sought warriors who wished to be more than the legacies of their diminished Legions. He knew that these warriors who had sought him out no longer considered themselves brothers of their respective Legions. Their former Legions' names no longer rang proud in their heats and souls. They were no longer the sons of their fathers, respecting them and embodying their failures. Abaddon's prophet Sargon had looked into the skeins of fate and saw that there was more to all of them than the call of worthless bloodlines. But that was not the only reason he had summoned them. Abaddon knew that a reborn Horus could not be allowed to walk once more. Not because of destiny, or fate, or the whims of the Pantheon of Chaos. The First Primarch, mockingly called the Sacrificed King by the Neverborn (Daemons), had died in shame and failure. The former First Captain's gift to his Legion when he abandoned them was to let them die with dignity. The Emperor's Children and their allies now threatened that dignified end. Abaddon was done with cold allegiances and temporary alliances. If he was to return to the battles raging throughout the Eye of Terror, he sought something more real, something pure. A war that meant something.
Sharing his vision with the assembled Legionaries, Abaddon knew that they all could become so much more than their fathers' sons. Both he, and those Legionaries before him, all craved true, honest brotherhood. They all missed it -- a Space Marine Legion's unity and its bonds of loyalty. Its explicit purpose. Its focused pursuit of victory. Abaddon missed what a Legion could do, and the fact it was empowered to do it. All of the Nine Traitor Legions, they were Legions in name, colour and the dregs of culture, but they were a horde, not an army, linked by fading loyalties and fighting to survive. Once they were bound by brotherhood and fought only to win. Their kind no longer waged war, they raided and pillaged. They no longer marched in regiments and battalions, but scattered in packs and warbands. Abaddon had no wish to change how things were -- he wished to embrace it. He knew that many amongst the Nine Traitor Legions cried out to be part of a true Legion once more. Abaddon's pilgrimage with Sargon had been more than learning how the tides of the Eye of Terror ebbed and flowed. It was about seeking those who would stand with him.
The former High Chieftain of the Justaerin saw the true strength and purity in what they had become. There was a savage honesty in the Nine Traitor Legions' warbands now. They followed warlords of their choosing instead of those assigned to them. They created traditions rooted in the cultures of their parent Legion, or completely defied their origins according to their own whims. Abaddon shared his vision for taking what the Nine Legion now had and refining it -- perfecting it. He meant to form a new Legion. A new war. The real war, the Long War. Not a petty rebellion swallowed by Horus' pride and his hunger for the Terran Throne. A war for the future of Mankind. Horus would have sold out Humanity to the Pantheon of Chaos for the chance to sit on the Golden Throne for a single heartbeat. But the Nine Traitor Legions could now allow themselves to be used the way Horus had been. The Chaos Gods existed and they could not pretend otherwise, nor could they allow a sacred duty to devolve into such weakness, as Horus did.
Revelation was a long process. Abaddon was now wiser than he had been during his father's rebellion. He had seen a great deal more of what the galaxy could offer, as well as what lay behind reality's veil. But he was not arrogant. He knew there was a great deal left to do, and a great deal left to learn. All he knew for certain was that he was finished with his years walking along. So now he reached out to those most like him -- in thought, in action, and in ambition. Abaddon did not offer any of them a place in a tyrant's plan. What he offered them was a place at his side as they found a path together -- brotherhood. A brotherhood for the brotherless.
Attack on Canticle City
After being reunited with former Justaerin Commander Falkus Kibre aboard the Tlaloch, the Legionaries returned to the dormant flagship. They gathered on the Vengeful Spirit's command deck, where Horus and his Primarch brothers had once stood with the lord-captains of the Space Marine Legions, first presiding over the fate of the Great Crusade, then deciding the fate of the rebellion. Now these few Legionaries, with Abaddon at their head, the genesis of the Ezekarion and the future Black Legion, had gathered around the central hololithic table to plan their assault upon the Emperor's Children's Canticle City. Falkus Kibre, the "Widowmaker," last chieftain of the broken Justaerin and lord of the Duraga kal Esmejhak warband stood with them. With Kibre were almost thirty of his brothers, clad in the heavy war plate of their murderous clan. Telemachon Lyras, Sword-Captain of the Emperor's Children. Ashur-Kai, the "White Seer," sorcerer and sage of the Thousand Sons. He stood with a phalanx of Rubricae, numbering one hundred and four of his ashen brothers. Lheorvine Ukris, known to all as Lheor, and much to his gall, as "Firefist," gunner-captain of the World Eaters and commander of the Fifteen Fangs warband. He stood with former Sergeant Ugrivian and their four surviving brothers, each one holding a massive Heavy Bolter. Sargon Eregesh, Abaddon's oracle, a former warrior-priest of the Word Bearers' Brazenhead Chapter. And finally, Iskandar Khayon, sorcerer and sage of the Thousand Sons and warleader of the Kha'Sherhan warband. There was no formal order beneath the dusty banners of the past, only warriors speaking of their intent. Each of the gathered Legionaries spoke of Legions they no longer believed in, of Primarch fathers they no longer idolised, of daemonic Legion homeworlds they refused to claim as havens. These were soldiers citing their histories, laying out how their hatreds and talents alike bound them together to a greater whole.
These were mere formalities before Abaddon spoke the reason they were gathered together. These warriors had not been brought together to talk of the past, but by living through battle in the present. For Abaddon's ambitions to bear any weight, he would have to give them victory. He spoke of the Canticle City and how they would plunge a spear tip through the fortress's heart. He spoke of how the Vengeful Spirit would be able to sail with a skeleton crew of the damned, guided by the powerful Machine Spirit of Khayon's ship, known as the Anamnesis. Abaddon spoke of the threat posed by Horus Reborn. Distant as the threat seemed to be, for surely the Emperor's Children had decades of failed alchemical experimentation ahead of them, they would hit it before it became a threat, striking to prevent the Emperor's Children winning the Legion Wars. Abaddon cared nothing for extinguishing the XVI Legion's shame -- he cared only for casting aside those last shackles from the past. The Primarchs were dead or ascended past mortal concerns in the tides of the Great Game of the Gods. As he finished speaking, Abaddon promised them a place aboard the Vengeful Spirit if they desired it -- if they would stand with him for this one brutal assault. They would form a new Legion -- forged as they desired, not as slaves to the Emperor's will and cast in the image of His flawed Primarchs. Bound together by loyalty and ambition, not nostalgia and desperation. Untainted by the past they would no longer be the sons of failed fathers.
The first time any of the gathered warriors had seen the Canticle City was the night they darkened the skies of the Daemon World of Harmony. Despite the breaking of Emperor's Children at Skalathrax, the Canticle City served as a haven to many IIIrd Legion warbands and their allies. It was a populated world with ore-rich moons claimed in turn by feuding Dark Mechanicum city-states. yet, for all of the Vengeful Spirit's size and strength, only a handful of warriors populated the Battleship's halls. Even in orbit, their enemies outnumbered them twenty to one. Though the odds were heavily stacked against them, Abaddon and his fellow Legionaries would carry the day through the assault's audacity and through loyalty to one another. They would win by going for the throat. The sorcerer Khayon was burdened with a heavy duty at Abaddon's request. A monumental task that did not allow for Khayon to spare his attention for anything else. As the Vengeful Spirit sailed towards Harmony, the Thousand Sons sorcerer used all his psychic abilities to pull a monumental weight in their wake.
After several months' passage, the Vengeful Spirit arrived at their intended target. Waking Khayon from his meditative state, Abaddon asked the sorcerer if he was ready to do his duty. As the Vengeful Spirit moved closer to their intended target they were beset by an unrelenting barrage from the Emperor's Children fleet which ringed the massive flagship. Weapons-fire hammered uselessly against the Vengeful Spirit's inviolate shields. The moment of truth came at last. Abaddon ordered Khayon to launch the spear. Mustering his strength one last time on the immense weight out there in the void, Khayon first raked back the concealing shroud of Aetheria hiding the spear from sight. The enemy fleet immediateley turned their guns upon it. Abaddon screamed at Khayon to launch the spear. The sorcerer rose to his feet, hands curled into claws as he screamed at the city he was about to kill. With every iota of concentration he possessed, Khayon hurled the spear at the world called Harmony.
The Canticle City was prepared to repel assaults, with its skyline's armoured bastions aiming defence turrets and flak cannons towards the heavens. But while fighting back an invasion was one thing, resisting a cataclysm was another. A black shape swallowed the sun, burning as it fell. The Tlaloc was almost two kilometres and eight megatonnes of ancient, ironclad anger. Once it had sailed the stars in the name of the XVth Legion, crewed by twenty-five thousand loyal souls. Khayon had telekinetically dragged its empty corpse across the Eye of Terror, just as Abaddon had asked of him. And then he hurled it right into the heart of the IIIrd Legion's fortress. Less than a solar minute passed from the moment the derelict vessel entered Harmony's atmosphere to the second it struck the ground. Long enough to let the population see death falling towards them. Not long enough to do anything about it. The Vengeful Spirit 's sensors recorded tectonic unrest grave enough to send tremors rippling across the other side of the world. Harmony itself heaved with torment. In the aftermath of the devastating attack, Canticle City was no more. A screaming maelstrom of liquid fire and violence had torn out in all directions from the Tlaloc ' impact site. Everywhere was dust, ashes and flame. Satisfied that rightful vengeance had been served upon the IIIrd Legion, Abaddon ordered his flagship to be taken back up into high orbit.
Killing a Primarch
As the Vengeful Spirit rose higher into orbit, the first ships rose from the battered surface of Harmony. They came without formation or order, fleeing their doomed planet. The mighty Gloriana-class Battleship was merciless as its guns opened fire on the enemy refugee ships, sending some back to the ground in flames, letting others pass untouched. As the Vengeful Spirit continued its brutal barrage, Sargon informed Abaddon that their primary objective had been spotted -- the Pulchritudinous, a Lunar-class Cruiser, Halcyon Pattern variant hull of the IIIrd Legion. It had been born on the orbital docks above sacred Mars. Abaddon ordered his crew to let the other voidships run. Though they could have decimated the enemy vessel with the Vengeful Spirit's mighty prow Lances, Abaddon ordered the guns to stand down. They would take the enemy vessel by conducting a boarding action. The taking of the Pulchritudinous would shape Abaddon's Traitor Legionaries before they formally wore his newborn Legion's black. It would be the first time the preferred style of warfare of the nascent Black Legion would be displayed -- striking with overwhelming force to achieve a single goal. Let the Four Gods empower whomever they chose. Abaddon had cast the enemy in disarray, then went for the throat. Victory above all else -- the mantra of the Black Legion. The Legionaries struck the enemy ship's hull. Drills and magna-melters quickly chewed their way through compacted adamantium alloy, as the assault pods bore their way down into the iron flesh of the Pulchritudinous. As Abaddon's warriors entered the enemy vessel, they soon came upon a flesh-crafted horror -- part Daemon, part lab-forged monstrosity, that was prowling the deck. They quickly dispatched the vile creature. Khayon inquired of the former Emperor's Children swordsman, Telemachon, who commanded this vessel. The swordsman informed him that it was commanded by none other than Primogenitor Fabius, the so-called "Clone Lord." He also remarked that they did not call the vessel the Pulchritudinous any longer, now the Emperor's Children called it the Fleshmarket. Telemachon also informed his companions that they should count their dark blessings that they boarded this ship during the confusion and chaos of an evacuation. This ship was a fortress of horrors. If the Primogenitor had prepared for them, they would already be dead.
Even so, the Legionaries pressed on, encountering no shortage of resistance from the foulness left to wander and rot in the ship's halls. Bonecrafted human thralls and monstrous Daemons that reeked of alchemical meddling. The assault party fought for an indeterminate amount of time before reaching a chamber large enough for the next stage of Abaddon's plan. Khayon contacted his fellow sorcerer Ashur-Kai aboard the Vengeful Spirit's bridge. Both of them utilised their powerful sorcery to simultaneously tear open portals in the fabric of reality, which would enable the Terminator armoured Justaerin to stride forth between the two ships, instantaneously. The first to step through the conduit was an armoured giant in massive black Terminator war-plate. It was Abaddon himself. His veins ran black beneath his sallow skin. His gaze burned with psychic gold. In one hand he carried a battered Power Sword, in the other -- the claws of his right hand were scythe blades still ringing with the resonance of the Emperor's murder. For the first time, he wore the Talon of Horus. It was in this first moment that Abaddon became his warriors' Warmaster as well as their brother-in-arms. Behind him came the hulking forms of Falkus and the Justaerin, shadows coalescing into reality as they passed through the conduit. Abaddon had chosen to wear the Talon in the poetry of the moment. With his father's own weapon, he would destroy all hope of his rebirth.
The battle was brief with Abaddon leading the way, followed by thirty Justaerin, six World Eaters and one hundred Rubricae, the Black Legionaries slaughtered everything alive on the ship between where they came aboard and where they found Primogenitor Fabius. The warship's halls ran with blood and filth, runnels of it straining through to the lower decks, raining gore on the slave too wise to stand against the intruders. Squads of Emperor's Children took positions at critical junctures to defend their master's vessel, pouring Bolter fire down the corridors. But the Terminator plate of the Justaerin was proof against most of the punishing barrage. Implacably, the Justaerin advanced, and those who stood against them died beneath claws and hammers, each falling blow ending a life. Those who fled bought their lives at the cost of pride. Abaddon led them, killing with his sword and the double-barrelled Storm Bolter mounted on the Talon's bulk. But the claw's blades, still stained with Sanguinius' and the Emperor's lives, remained unsullied. Only when they reached the Apothecarion did they break their stride. All of the Traitor Legionaries present had long been inured to horror, for it was not the abundance of flesh heresy taking place inside the chambers that brought them to a halt. It was the fact that the overseer of this foul place had succeeded in his endeavours. This was not a laboratory of those who struggled and failed to manipulate one of the most arcane and flawed sciences. This was the sanctum of madmen who had already succeeded.
They had been wrong all this time. The Emperor's Children were not unknowable years away from a cloning genesis. They had already mastered that darkest lore. Here was the Emperor's sacred genetic project rebuilt through daemonic lore and gutter genius. Row upon row of life pods contained mutated children and deformed adolescents. These were not just any children, they were replicated clones of the twenty Primarchs! The chamber had room for hundreds of tanks. Many sockets were empty, but the majority housed thrumming life pods with barely visible limbs moving through the carrion water. This chamber alone represented heresy beyond measure. It was not known if there were any more such tanks or whether this was all the Primogenitor could evacuate from Harmony. The Chief Apothecary of the IIIrd Legion came forth from an adjoining annex chamber and approached the band of interlopers. He had the audacity to entreat Abaddon and his warriors to take his side with sympathy, lamenting the loss of centuries of study and irreplaceable work. Disgusted by the fleshcrafter's words, Abaddon ordered Khayon to destroy the vile hell-spawned creations. The sorcerer sent a mental command to his Rubricae warriors, "Leave nothing alive," and with a roar of a hundred Bolters, the Rubricae rained a tide of explosive fire across the laboratory. A second later the Justaerin and every warrior present joined in. After what seemed an eternity, the guns fell quiet. Fabius taunted Abaddon that some things never changed, chiding him for still using the brute application of violence to solve all his problems. Abaddon explained to the Chief Apothecary that everything had indeed changed. Suddenly the sound of more bootsteps could be heard from the same annex chamber from which Fabius emerged. A heavier tread. Measured, confident. The Apothecary's eyes focused on the Talon Abaddon wore on his right hand, commenting that "He will enjoy the irony of that." Abaddon narrowed his eyes and asked, "He?" And that is when death came for them.
A massive figure emerged from the annex chamber, swinging the immense maul Worldbreaker, a gift made to Horus by the Emperor Himself upon the First Primarch's ascension to the rank of Warmaster, into the first rank of Rubricae, sending three of them crashing against the shell-pocked walls. The figure then turned towards the Traitor Legionaries' loose ranks and charged. This was not a child cloned from scraps of tissue and drops of blood. Nor an abomination half lost to mutation's touch. It was Horus Lupercal, cloned from dead flesh harvested directly form his stasis-preserved corpse, clad in the breathtaking black war-plate stripped from his dead body, replete with the long fall of his white-wolf fur cloak and the pale shimmer of a kinetic force field protecting him like a halo. Horus Reborn charged into the Legionaries and began to slaughter them with Worldbreaker. Lheor and the last warriors of the Fifteen Fangs reacted faster than any of their comrades. Their Heavy Bolters opened up, firing their explosive rounds at the former Warmaster of the Imperium, with every bolt hitting home. But even as their bolts tore at Horus's armour and flesh, their initiative did little but doom them before the rest of their fellow warriors. The gathered warriors broke before the cloned Warmaster's onslaught and fell back, scattering to the edges of the room to escape the immense war maul of the enraged revenant. Khayon hurled bolt after bolt of mutagenic warpfire at Horus Reborn. It burst what remained of the creature's force field in a whiplash of air pressure, and boiled the skin and hair from its head. He came for the sorcerer and beat him mercilessly with the deadly maul, nearly killing him. Others attempted to cease the revenant's rampage, but all fell before the cloned-Primarch's might.
Abaddon stood behind Horus, and with a single word he halted the Primarch's rampage. "Enough." He had barely even raised his voice, as the absolute authority in his tone was all that was required. Horus turned in a blur, swinging the massive war maul at this newest threat. Abaddon not only parried the mace, he caught it. He held it. He gripped it in the great Talon stained with the blood of a god and His angel. Father and son faced each other, breathing spite into each other's snarling features. For the first time the Primarch spoke, "That. Is. My. Talon." Abaddon closed the massive fist. Worldbreaker broke, shattering against a superior weapon. Scrap metal fell from Abaddon's finger. Despite the legends and stories told about this moment, there were no entreaties made to his gathered sons and nephews; no glorious speech about the possibilities of a new era, or how he begged for mercy when faced with Justaerin blades. There was no impassioned judgement delivered by Abaddon as destiny changed hands from one Warmaster to the next. There was only a cloned father and a prodigal son, surrounded by the dead and the wounded, so similar that only by their weapons and wounds could you tell them apart.
Recognition finally flared in the revenant's remaining eye. "Ezekyle. My son. My son." All five of Abaddon's claws rammed so deeply into Horus's chest that they burst from his back. Dark redness spread across what was left of the white fur cloak draped in tatters across Horus's shoulders. A genetic god's blood rained down to the filthy laboratory floor. The Storm Bolter on the Talon's back kicked three times, burying six bolts inside Horus's exposed chest and neck. They blasted him apart from within, sending viscera and blood splattering upon those left prone, watching in mute witness. Horus' knees buckled but Abaddon would not let him fall. Horus's mouth worked but no sound came forth. If his last words found any voice, Abaddon was the only one to hear it. With a slow, smooth withdrawal, Abaddon pulled the Talon clear of his father's body, and the moment before Horus fell -- the moment before the light finally went out in the reborn Primarch's eyes -- Ezekyle Abaddon whispered five soft words. "I am not your son."
Vanquishing the Past
- "Horus was weak. Horus was a fool. He had the whole galaxy within his grasp and he let it slip away."
Their fortress in ruins and their Legion decimated, the Sons of Horus stood on the brink of vanishing forever from the galaxy and fading into cursed memory. The XVI Legion devolved into in-fighting amongst themselves, giving in to dark despair or uncontrolled rage. The divisions between the Legion's captains turned into bitter bloodshed and murder, as order completely collapsed. The salvation of the Sons of Horus came when one of its greatest captains, Ezekyle Abaddon, returned from his Dark Pilgrimage in time to watch the battle from afar. It was in that moment that he saw, with cold clarity, that it was Horus' failure that had led the Legion here, to them tearing each other apart in the blood-soaked ruins of Maeleum. Abaddon swore that he would succeed where Horus had failed in overthrowing the "Corpse-Emperor" and proclaimed himself the new Warmaster of Chaos. Finally, sickened by how far the Legion had fallen, he stalked through the ruins hunting down his fellow captains, cooling his rage with their final screams. In the end, Abaddon alone remained of the Legion's leaders, demanding obedience from his brothers.
Some saw Abaddon as Horus' rightful successor and fell at his feet willingly, while others recognised his raw strength and bowed their heads to his might. A few turned their back on Abadodn, and were either cut down by their brothers or managed to escape into the Warp. With his Legion brought to heel, Abaddon turned his attention to the clones of Horus; he commanded his warriors to extinguish all trace of their former Primarch and free themselves from his shadow. He then personally led an attack on the Emperor's Children that destroyed the body of the Primarch Horus and all its clones, and in so doing, ushered in a new age for the XVI Legion. He had the Sons of Horus repaint their viridian Power Armour black, the colour of mourning and of vengeance, and cast-off the XVI Legion's former moniker of the Sons of Horus. From then on, they became known as the Black Legion. Through his actions, the Despoiler had reinvigorated the Legion, reviving the old notion that none could stand in their way and that they stood first amongst the Traitor Legions, destined by the will of the Dark Gods to one day inherit the galaxy itself. When the warbands of the Black Legion and the other Forces of Chaos gather under the wrathful banner of Abaddon the Despoiler to unleash yet another of their Black Crusades to overthrow the False Emperor, the words of Horus are heard upon their lips -- let the galaxy burn. The Long War for control of the galaxy by Chaos and the Black Legion had begun.
The Folly of Drecarth
When Abaddon ascended to command of the Sons of Horus, not every warrior of the XVIth Legion swore allegiance to him. Many of the Traitors clung to their worship of Horus as a god, believing that he would one day return to lead them and punish those who had forsaken their oaths. Others considered the Horus Heresy to be the end of their subservience to gods and masters; the Emperor and their Primarch were the last overlords they would ever bow down to and they saw no reason to make an exception for Abaddon. Most of these Renegades were gradually lost to the Warp, disappearing into the Eye and vanishing from record, though some prospered and would return to be a thorn in the side of Abaddon.
One of these splinter warbands was the Sons of the Eye, led by Drecarth the Sightless. A former Battle-Brother of Abaddon's, Drecarth had been one of Horus' captains, escaping in the chaos after Maeleum fell. Abaddon had heard whispers of Drecarth's escape and treachery from his cabal of Chaos Sorcerers, who also claimed that an old ally would one day rise to subert the Black Legion, twisting its loyalty with the memory of the dead Primarch. So, under the guise of truce, Abaddon made a pact with the Sons of the Eye and allied with them during the 6th Black Crusade in 901.M36. Abaddon wanted to make an example of the Sons of the Eye, a dire warning to any that would consider challenging his power, but he needed to set the stage for his vengeance just right so that none would ever doubt his resolve.
During the 6th Black Crusade, Abaddon besieged the Imperial Forge World of Arkreach, offering Drecarth and his Sons of the Eye an equal share of the plunder. For months, the two forces of Chaos Space Marines fought side-by-side against the defences of the Adeptus Mechanicus, bombarding their great forge cities from space. Finally, the Traitors stood triumphant in the smouldering ruins of the great manufactoria, dead littering the ground. As Drecarth extended his hand in greeting, Abaddon grasped it with his own, only to thrust the claws of the Talon of Horus into his fellow Chaos Space Marine's gut. Drecarth lived long enough to see the Sons of the Eye bow to Abaddon and be reabsorbed into the Black Legion before the Warmaster of Chaos tore out his skull and spine. Thus did Abaddon deliver a dire warning to any who dared challenge his power.
A New Champion
His control secured, Abaddon started expanding the ranks of the Black Legion, consumed by the desire to launch an assault against the Imperium. Word spread across the Eye of Terror that any Space Marine who bowed before the Despoiler would be granted a place in his Black Legion and a part in his grand plan for revenge against the False Emperor. Many of the other Traitors mocked and derided Abaddon for his arrogance. However, the endless wars and corruption of the Warp had sown disillusion in the hearts of others and the promise of a place in a Legion led by a warlord determined to continue the war against the Imperium appealed to a great number. The insulting defeat at the hands of the Loyalist Space Marine Legions was still fresh in the minds of many of the Chaos Space Marines, and they hungered for a chance to spill the blood of their former brothers. Other Traitor Legionaries cared not whose blood they spilled, only that Abaddon could lead them to worlds where they could tear piteous screams from the dying and crush the corpses of their foes underfoot. The legend of Abaddon was also spreading, and those Traitor Marines who respected only strength, cruelty and dark majesty already marked him out as a Chaos warlord to rule all others.
Abaddon soon earned an enduring reputation among the Traitor Legions for the terrifying vengeance he visited upon those who betrayed him. Some Traitor Legionaries and daemonic warlords attempted to use the Black Legion for their own ends, infiltrating its ranks with false promises of loyalty. Others attempted to whisper promises in the ears of those that had sworn fealty to the Black Legion and tried to turn them against the Despoiler. In the end, the heads of all those Chaos Champions and Chaos Lords adorned Abaddon's trophy rack, their warbands destroyed and their fortresses torn down stone by stone. Eventually, only the very foolish or terminally insane would break their oath to Abaddon the Despoiler.
The new Warmaster was a master of manipulation and knew just what combination of fear, greed and vanity would sway the minds of both men and daemons. Warlords would come before Abaddon merely to verify this Champion of Chaos and his Black Legion for themselves, but found themselves scorching their armour black and joining his cause. As the numbers of the Black Legion swelled, Abaddon ravaged the worlds of the Eye of Terror with his fleet, claiming more warriors and slaves for his cause. This time, the Despoiler was careful not to create such an easy target for his foes, and the Black Legion remained a fleet-based formation, slipping like shadows across the Warp. Aboard the Vengeful Spirit Abaddon led his war against the other Traitor Legions, their allies and their enemies, creating an army to rival any force in the galaxy.
Such is the nature of the Traitor Legions that no individual warlord could ever rule over all of them, but Abaddon hoped to one day unite them toward a single goal as Horus had done before him. The Black Legion could only hope to destroy the Emperor and His Imperium with the help of the other Traitor Legions, combining to brush aside the armies ranged against them and launch a single massive assault on Terra. This was Abaddon's dark dream and the path that would shape his destiny for centuries to come.
While other Chaos Space Marine warlords were content to make pacts with individual Chaos Gods and daemons, eagerly giving up control for a sliver of power, Abaddon was different. In the long decades of the Great Crusade and the bloody years of the Horus Heresy that followed, he had studied the way in which Horus had waged his wars and dominated his allies. What Abaddon observed was, first, the hand of the Emperor and then later the influence of the Dark Gods at work, limiting the greatness of his Primarch and ultimately leading to his demise. Abaddon would make no such mistake, and though he would court the Chaos Gods as allies, he vowed, foolishly perhaps, never to be completely in their thrall.
It is still unclear how Abaddon was able to use the will of the Dark Gods for his own ends while remaining unscathed by their power. Some say that it is the blood he shares with Horus, fuelling old rumours that he was the Warmaster's one pure clone son. Others say that Abaddon was broken in some fundamental way by the death of his Primarch and the defeat on Terra, his mind consumed by hatred and rage until nothing of his humanity remained. Another tale maintains that Abaddon was never human at all and is instead a construct of the Dark Gods -- an expression of their hatred for Mankind. Whatever the reason, the Ruinous Powers chose Abaddon to be their champion and gifted him with a freedom of will denied to so many of their servants, perhaps impressed by the audacity and grandeur of his vengeance.
Regardless of how this favour was won, the period after the destruction of the clones of Horus during the Slave Wars and the renaming of the Sons of Horus was a time of war and domination for Abaddon and the Black Legion. As it grew in size and strength, it exerted its power over the other Chaos Space Marine warbands within the Eye of Terror, crushing and absorbing countless lesser warbands, bending them to the will of the Legion and adding their strength to its growing ranks. Meanwhile, Abaddon also sought other ways both to increase his personal power and to learn all he could about the new and dangerous realm in which the Traitor Legionaries found themselves. The Despoiler had already discovered much during his own Dark Pilgrimage, the journey he took in the lost years between the end of the Horus Heresy and his return to the ruins of Maeleum. On his travels, he had learned that the power that daemons represented and embodied could be harnessed and controlled, just as one man might control another. He also realised that the Eye of Terror was a place containing unnumbered arcane devices, forbidden weapons and lost worlds, the likes of which were unknown to much of the galaxy -- and that many of them could be turned to his ends.
The Black Crusades
In 781.M31, five centuries after his retreat from Terra, Abaddon returned to Imperial space at the head of a host of Traitors and daemons. It was the Imperium's first encounter with the newly founded Black Legion and the return of a brutal and bitter enemy many had thought lost to the graveyard of history. Since the Great Scouring, Abaddon had remained within the Eye of Terror, rebuilding the Black Legion as a vengeful reflection of its former glory. At last, the Black Legion and the other Traitors returned to realspace, the first chapter in their Long War against the Emperor ready to be written in the blood of Imperial worlds. Through alliance, threats and promises, Abaddon was able to muster the largest force of Traitor Legions seen since the Horus Heresy and took the Imperium by surprise. Worlds close to the Eye of Terror fell into mayhem and chaos as Legions descended from the sky and daemons tore their way into reality. Only Cadia, with its formidable defences, stood firm, its brave regiments fighting from the towering gates and bastions of their cities.
To counter the invasion, the Imperium was forced to divert many of the newly-formed Space Marine Chapters of the Second Founding from war zones across the Segmentum Obscurus. The Traitor Legions basked in their return from the Eye of Terror, bathing in the blood of innocent worlds and filling the holds of their voidships with slaves. On a dozen planets, the Black Legion proved worthy of their fallen Primarch and the martial prowess of the ancient Luna Wolves. Abaddon had chosen his generals well, and each competed for glory as the Legion tore a bloody gouge across the stars. The Black Legion's greatest achievement was not only its brutal victories, but also the unity it had managed to forge among the Traitors and their daemonic allies. Even though the Traitor Space Marines, daemons and Heretics turned on each other once Imperial resistance had been crushed, in the presence of the Black Legion, they gave grudging respect. This was the Legion of fear and domination Abaddon had wrought, and it was to be an ominous sign of things to come for the Imperium.
In what would become a festering thorn in the side of the Imperium, the Traitor Legions, often led by the Black Legion or even Abaddon himself, would repeatedly spill out of the Eye of Terror to burn and pillage entire sectors. In the light of dying stars and flaming cities, the Black Legion would indulge their hatred of the Imperium, indiscriminately killing the servants of the False Emperor and tearing down anything they saw as a symbol of the Corpse-God. During these so-called "Black Crusades", whole star systems would be destroyed in conflicts that would drag on for standard decades or centuries until, as suddenly as they had appeared, the Black Legion would retreat into the Eye of Terror, their holds filled with slaves and plunder. The Segmentum Obscurus suffered terribly in these endless wars against the fallen Space Marine Legions, but in truth nowhere was safe from their treacherous reach. This was something the Black Legion proved time and again as it cemented its infamous reputation among the armies of the Imperium as a pitiless foe.
The Tower of Silence
As the bloodshed of the 1st Black Crusade reached its frenzied heights, cities burned and worlds were stripped of people to feed the dark desires of the Traitor Legions. Leaving his Black Legion to continue their brutal reprisals and raids against Imperial worlds, Abaddon pursued his own plans. Using the howling souls unleashed into the Warp by so much death and destruction, he made a secret daemonic bargain. In payment for the feast of despair, pain and anguish Abaddon had created with his Black Crusade, the Dark Gods gifted him with knowledge of the secret location of the Tower of Silence on the world of Uralan.
Cloaked in the shadow of the Eye of Terror, Uralan was whispered of in daemonic lore as a place where the gods themselves locked away their secrets. Following strands of fate unravelled by his cabal of Chaos Sorcerers, Abaddon had discovered a concealed path through the Warp and across the shifting sea of worlds beyond to reach Uralan without needing to breach the Cadian Gate. With a cadre of the Black Legion's elite warriors, each one a brutal veteran of a thousand battles, Abaddon set foot on Uralan and entered the Tower of Silence. Almost at once, the tower's guardians set upon them, ancient constructs of dark energy that shifted and flickered, their claws tearing at the ragged edges of his warriors' souls.
After the bitter battle, Abaddon climbed down into the mirrored heart of Uralan. There, Abaddon wandered the massive haunted labyrinth for what seemed an age, fighting off the spirits of the dead that threatened to add him to their ranks. Eventually, Abaddon made his way towards the centre of the labyrinth where a shard of shifting darkness hung suspended in the air. Reaching out into the void, Abaddon felt the cold hilt of a blade meet his palm and he pulled it into reality; the Daemonsword Drach'nyen took terrible shape before his eyes. After the recovery of the malefic sword, Abaddon's power swelled to inhuman proportions and the new Warmaster of Chaos become nigh unstoppable. Whole cities were burned in sacrifice to the every-hungry daemons of Chaos, and entire armies were torn apart by gibbering Warp entities. Abaddon's power swelled to inhuman proportions as the Gods of Chaos rewarded him lavishly and he undertook acts of fiendish bravery which horrified those who stood against him.
Black Legion Ascendant
Infused with the might of Chaos, the Black Legion grew in power and glory during the 1st Black Crusade. Under the command of Abaddon, they seized ever more victories and triumphs. It was a glorious time for the XVIth Legion, as the bloodshed and death of the Crusade washed away some of the memories of the Horus Heresy and their great defeat before the gates of the Emperor's Palace. However, despite the reckless carnage and terrible destruction it caused, eventually, the 1st Black Crusade ended. Responding to the deadly peril, the Imperium had gathered its newly founded Space Marine Chapters and Titan Legions and sent them against the Traitors. Even so, scores of worlds had been silenced forever and millions of slaves were dragged screaming back into the Eye of Terror. Abaddon had tested the defences of his enemies and vastly increased his power with his newly acquired Daemonsword Drach'nyen. He also took to using the title of Warmaster of Chaos, rising to claim all that Horus had once possessed. None within the Black Legion argued Abaddon's right to the title, the 1st Black Crusade proof of his right to lead.
For the Black Legion, their first foray out of the Eye of Terror had done much to restore their position among the Traitor Legions, fostering a new grudging respect for the black armoured warriors and their self-proclaimed Warmaster. If nothing else, Abaddon had proven that the Dark Gods favoured him, something not even the Daemon Primarchs could ignore. Conflict still sputtered and flared between the Traitor Legions, but they now had a new purpose, something they had almost forgotten in the half millennia since the fall of Horus. In the wake of the 1st Black Crusade, a time of constant raiding of Imperial space began. Abaddon was content to give a Black Legion warlord and his warband of Chaos Space Marines the chance to make a name for themselves, allowing them the freedom to strike where and when they would. He fostered this independence on one condition: the atrocities they committed must be done in the name of the Black Legion and at cost to the Emperor.
The Black Legion
Abaddon has long since fought to rebuild the pride and reputation of the warriors he named his Black Legion. At first, he accomplished much through sheer determination and a talent for slaughter that exceeded that of every Chaos Lord outside the gates of Khorne's own fortress. Slowly but surely, Abaddon won the grudging respect of the other Traitor Legions, leading his shattered armies again and again against the reviled Imperium of Man. As his deeds grew mightier and his base of power more solid, Abaddon succeeded in winning their support too. His impassioned words rekindled the Traitor Legions' smouldering hatred of the Emperor on dozens, perhaps hundreds of worlds. As the centuries rolled on, warriors of all the Traitor Legions fought beneath his banner. Those who opposed him were crushed, and those who joined him added their strength to the greatest army ever assembled in the Eye of Terror. When the warbands of the Black Legion gathered anew under the wrathful banner of Abaddon the Despoiler, the words of Horus were heard once more upon their lips — "let the galaxy burn!"
Abaddon has tested the strength of the Imperium many times in the Long War, and with each victory his power grows. Over the millennia, he has led no fewer than thirteen Black Crusades, each of which has emerged from the Warp and culminated in a spectacular invasion of realspace. The first of these saw him recover the Daemon Sword Drach'nyen, a writhing Warp entity that can rend reality wherever it strikes, and every crusade since has seen him destroy a prospective foe or claim another valuable relic for his own. During the 12th Black Crusade early in the 41st Millennium, a conflict better known in Imperial records as the Gothic War, Abaddon unleashed upon the Imperium of the "Corpse Emperor" his newest superweapon, the Planet Killer. This was a massive starship crafted through the amalgamation of Imperial technology and Chaotic sorcery that was capable of destroying entire worlds. However, even this formidable weapon was but a deceit, as Abaddon's real goal behind the Gothic War was not to destroy planets, but to seize the six Blackstone Fortresses, ancient weapons originally created to oppose the Necrons, which the Imperium had found abandoned and used as mere space stations, unable to divine their true purpose. Abaddon's ultimate success was only foiled by the Eldar, who had foreseen his plan through the visions of their Farseers and entered a desperate alliance with the Imperium in order to stop the Black Legion's attempt to seize all of the Blackstone Fortresses. Abaddon was forced to retreat after seizing only two of his six prizes. Though these would prove devastating enough when they were unleashed upon the Imperium nearly a thousand standard years later.
Though the High Lords of Terra believe that these Black Crusades have been repelled, albeit at great cost, they are unaware that each was keyed to a specific goal. As epic in scale as they may be, Abaddon's Black Crusades are but stepping stones, rungs in the ladder that leads to the Despoiler's ultimate vengeance. The destiny the Despoiler has chosen is not that of daemonhood -- though he has been offered the ultimate reward of immortality by each of the Chaos Gods, he has held back from surrendering his soul to their ultimate control. The prize he seeks is nothing less than to tear the Emperor from his Golden Throne upon Terra and, in the process, plunge the Imperium into the darkness of anarchy forever. Without the Astronomican, the psychic beacon with which the Emperor steers His flock across the stars, the Imperium will swiftly collapse into a scattering of cold and lonely worlds, each easy prey for the Despoiler's nightmarish allies.
13th Black Crusade
The last and greatest of Abaddon's thirteen Black Crusades has plunged the crucial Cadian System into a war of unsurpassed intensity. The ninth planet in the system, St. Josmane's Hope, has already been utterly destroyed, and war rages across every district and kasr of Cadia itself. The uninitiated question the Despoiler's motives, for he has ploughed the broad-bladed spear of his invading forces right into the heart of Fortress Cadia and her many-layered defences. Those who know of the daemonic bargains Abaddon struck in the depths of the Eye of Terror realise the true scale of his ambitions. Within the toxic swamps of the Plague Planet, Abaddon bartered the Chaos relic known as the Hand of Darkness for the aid of the gaunt monstrosity Mortarion, Daemon Primarch of the Death Guard, and earned the blessings of Nurgle. Within the surreal, spawn-infested planescapes warped by the power of Tzeentch, Abaddon gained the use of the Rubricae of the cursed Thousand Sons. Within the red bowels of the Goreswirl, the Despoiler duelled the finest of Angron's champions, cutting off their heads one after another with the Daemon Sword Drach'nyen before gifting the Hellfire Stone to the Daemon Primarch of the World Eaters and earning his respect in the process. Upon the flesh-world of Oliensis, the serpentine Daemon Prince Fulgrim swore his aid in exchange for a Pythonian psyker-innocent and the promise of a third-share of those civilians caught in the path of the Black Crusade to come. All that remained was to pave the way for the Daemon Primarchs and their hordes to breach realspace.
Abaddon managed to unite all the Forces of Chaos that exist within the Eye of Terror under his leadership as the Warmaster of Chaos in 999.M41, after many solar decades of preparation to unleash the greatest Chaotic assault upon the Imperium of Man since the Horus Heresy, more than 10,000 standard years ago. This great campaign, Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade against the realms of the Emperor of Mankind, focused its assaults upon the sectors of the Segmentum Obscurus surrounding the Fortress World of Cadia and the Cadian Gate it protected. The Cadian Gate is the only known free passage through the roiling Warp Storms of the Eye of Terror into Imperial space, and the capture of Cadia would allow the Forces of Chaos their first uninterrupted chance to assault the heart of Imperial space in millennia. In the end, after solar months of truly titanic fighting that spread across hundreds of worlds and tested the resources of the Imperial military as never before, the campaign proved successful for the servants of the Ruinous Powers despite the heroic resistance of the Cadian defenders led by the Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed. Cadia fell when Abaddon sent the damaged wreckage of the Blackstone Fortress Will of Eternity hurtling to the planet's surface like an artificial meteor. The massive impact exterminated most of the defenders and caused the Necrontyr-built Cadian Pylons which had held the expansion of the Eye of Terror at bay for millennia to fail, allowing the great Warp rift to envelop the Fortress World at long last.
Though Cadia itself has fallen, possession of the Cadian Gate -- the only stable path from the Eye of Terror -- still hangs in the balance. Should Abaddon triumph, the dark tide of Chaos will pour from the Eye of Terror along the length of the Crimson Path to strike at the most prized world of all -- Holy Terra itself.
With several hundred thousand Chaos Space Marines falling upon Cadia in his name, Abaddon spilt enough blood that the walls of reality thinned to the point of total collapse, giving birth to the Great Rift that cut the Imperium in half. The gates of hell are yawning wide. Abaddon intends to drive the speartip of his Traitor Legions deeper and deeper into the Segmentum Solar, numberless daemon hordes sowing utter destruction in his wake. His ultimate goal is to capsize realspace itself in a localised swathe of ever-escalating battles that allow the poisonous half-realm of the Eye of Terror to bleed outward all the way to Terra. Once he completes his evil pilgrimage, the Despoiler will dash the "Corpse-Emperor" from His throne of lies and forge an empire of madness in the name of the Dark Gods.
As the various Tyranid Hive Fleets are also inexorably moving towards the shining Astronomican beacon of the Emperor's mind that shines out like a light in the darkness from Terra, and the Adeptus Mechanicus reports that the Golden Throne is finally failing, it may well be that the current era of the Age of the Imperium, the Time of Ending, is well-named. In the face of the terrible threat presented by Abaddon the Despoiler and the other enemies of the Imperium, only one true hope may remain for the salvation of Mankind, drawn from the most ancient litany of the Imperial Creed: the Emperor protects...
Chosen of Abaddon
- "Each of Abaddon's chosen have might enough to crush armies, conquer worlds and shake the very foundations of the stars. And yet every time we slay one of their number another warlord of equal strength takes his place. What hope is there in opposing such foes?"
- — The Betrayer of Kaldonia
The Chosen of Abaddon are four powerful Chaos Lords that serve under the patronage of Abaddon the Despoiler, the Warmaster of Chaos and master of the Black Legion of Chaos Space Marines. Rather than a single force with a single leader, the Black Legion became after the Horus Heresy a mighty host of many warbands and warlords. Within this host, all would swear complete allegiance to Abaddon, and through an inner circle, he would lead them with absolute dominion. These favoured lieutenants became known as the Chosen of Abaddon.
The Chosen were his favoured generals, standing above all others and enacting his dark will; a warped shadow of the Luna Wolves' Mournival in which he had once served. Nowhere in the galaxy can a more feared and merciless collection of tyrants be found, always eager to put entire worlds to the sword in the name of Chaos. Nowhere in the galaxy can a more feared and merciless collection of tyrants be found, always eager to put entire worlds to the sword in the name of Chaos. The last recorded deployment of a full Officio Assassinorum Execution Force was against the so-called Chosen of Abaddon. These four individuals were so hated by the Imperium of Man that an entire team of Assassins infiltrated Abaddon's flagship. This was an extraordinary event, for it is rare for even one Assassin to be sent to deal with a threat. Abaddon learned of the impending attack and laid a trap for the Assassins, slaying all four and protecting his Chosen.
The Chosen bear an assortment of titles, reflecting their role in a past Black Crusade or honouring particular acts of cruelty for which they are infamous. Their numbers are ever-changing, for Abaddon has little tolerance for failure amongst those who serve him. The current holders of these four titles are described below.
The Lord Ravager leads the invasion fleets of the Black Crusade. It is he who first makes landfall on the surface of a world.
- Devram Korda - Devram Korda, also known as "The Tyrant of Sarora," is a servant of the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure. A former Veteran Sergeant of the Sons of Horus Legion, after the events of the Horus Heresy, he rose to prominence and became a Chaos Lord. He became infamous for his blasphemous actions on the doomed world of Sarora, where he distilled the life essence of the citizens of the planet's largest hive city for a single vial of a sorcerous elixir which made him virtually invincible. He eventually became the current Lord Ravager, the individual who leads the invasion fleets of the Black Crusade in the name of Abaddon the Despoiler. It is Korda who first makes landfall on the surface of a world about to be assaulted by the Forces of Chaos. Korda also commands the personal retinue of the Despoiler, known as the Chosen of Abaddon. In the closing days of the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, Devram Korda returned to his master's side, bringing with him two individuals (later identified as Skyrak Slaughterborn and Urkrathos) who had journeyed to the centre of the Eye of Terror. Together with the Chaos Sorcerer Ygethmor the Deceiver, they presented Abaddon with the Heart of Chaos, a powerful artefact that Zaraphiston, a Chaos Sorcerer and rival Chaos Lord of the Despoiler, had long claimed could not exist.
- Ygethmor the Deceiver - Ygethmor the Deceiver, known also as the "Twice Damned" and the "Purgator of Corrialis," is a formidable Sorcerer Lord of the Black Legion. He currently serves as one of Abaddon the Despoiler's lieutenants and a member of his personal retinue, the Chosen of Abaddon. Ygethmor is the current Lord Deceiver, whose visions of the Warp lead the Black Crusade from star system to star system. During the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, the Officio Assassinorum sanctioned the deployment of an assassin team to eliminate Ygethmor, amongst other notable targets in service to the Archenemy. Whilst scrutiny of their field records is impossible, at least seven Assassinorum agents are known to have failed in the attempt to take the life of the Deceiver. Ygethmor led the assault of the Forces of Chaos during the campaign known as the Fall of Medusa V in an attempt to become a Daemon Prince. This effort failed and Ygethmor was slain by the blade of the Eldar Autarch Elarique Swiftblade of Craftworld Alaitoc, and those Champions of the Dark Gods who had followed him were left to their fates on the dying world as Medusa V was consumed by an onrushing Warp Storm. However, death rarely represents an end to the service of a Chaos Lord, if the Dark Gods still have use for him. The galaxy may yet suffer the tread of Ygethmor the Deceiver once more.
The Lord Corruptor is tasked with instilling fear and hatred amongst the Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion. His trophy rack is adorned with the skulls of failed servants.
- Skyrak Slaughterborn - The Chosen of Abaddon lieutenant named Skyrak Slaughterborn, the current Lord Corruptor, leads the warbands of Nurgle within the Black Legion into battle. Collectively known as the Bringers of Decay, they spread their disease and corruption throughout the Realms of Man. Skyrak is known to have led the large warband of Chaos Space Marines known as the Slaughterkin in the assault on Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade.
It falls to the Lord Purgator to ensure that every man, woman and child left alive on a world conquered by the Black Legion is dragged in chains into the hold of the Legion's starships, and that no edifice remains undedicated to the Dark Gods.
- Urkrathos - Within the ranks of the Black Legion are those who are bloody-handed servants of Khorne. Though not a single unified warband within the Black Legion, they are collectively known as the Hounds of Abaddon. Urkrathos, also called Urkanthos, is the current Lord Purgator of the Chosen of Abaddon and commander of the Legion's Black Fleet, claims all followers of Khorne within the Legion as his own and directs them according to the will of Abaddon. Ironically, Urkrathos, who had become a Daemon Prince after pleasing his patron, was temporarily slain during the 13th Black Crusade on Cadia itself. He fell just before Cadia's destruction at the siege of Kasr Kraf combatting Saint Celestine and her two Geminae Superia, the Living Saint's protectors, the former Adepta Sororitas Canonesses Eleanor and Genevieve of the Order of Our Martyred Lady. Urkrathos had previously killed both in combat before their resurrection by the power of the Living Saint to serve as her eternal honour guard.
Bringers of Despair
Abaddon also formed from the Black Legion's ranks a personal bodyguard known as the Bringers of Despair, among other dark titles. Selected from the strongest and most vicious of his Terminator elite, these fearsome warriors are a terrifying sight, their arrival announcing the presence of the Despoiler himself.
Prior to the Horus Heresy, Ezekyle Abaddon looked up to Horus as his rightful leader and a father figure, equal to, if not above the Emperor of Mankind in his esteem. As the loyal First Captain of the Luna Wolves' 1st Company, Abaddon was proud, irascible and someone who could inspire men to "cry out for Abaddon's return" if he were to die, though Abaddon became inexplicably darker and quicker to anger as the Great Crusade reached its final stage in the early 31st Millennium. Abaddon was prone to panic and desperation when Horus' life was in danger and quick to cast blame on others (such as the Emperor and the Luna Wolves' Apothecary Vaddon, who attempted unsuccessfully to treat Horus after the Primarch was wounded on Davin's Plague Moon).
Initially displaying examples of dogmatic devotion towards Imperial doctrine and the traditional Imperial distrust for anything inhuman or alien, Abaddon followed Horus unquestioningly into service to Chaos and rebellion against the Emperor after the Primarch's recovery from his mortal wounding. Abaddon came to believe that the Horus Heresy was the best outcome for the Great Crusade since it would allow humanity to be ruled by a true leader like Horus rather than a weaker ruler like the Emperor. As he fell more and more under the spell of Chaos, Abaddon came to believe that winning and victory were the only things that matter and that the acquisition of power was the rightful role of the Astartes, since they should rule over their fellow men rather than just serve as their protectors and guardians as the Emperor had intended. The very fact that the Emperor had sought to replace the Primarchs and the Astartes with legions of "mortal" officials and bureaucrats in the governance of the Imperium after the Ullanor Crusade only further convinced Abaddon that the Emperor was a weakling and a fool who did not deserve to rule over Mankind.
Physically, Abaddon was a towering and truly imposing Space Marine, taller even than the vast majority of his fellow Astartes, with a crested top-knot atop his shaven head and the straight nose and wide-spaced eyes reminiscent of Horus' own visage as was common among the Sons of Horus Astartes, though not enough for Abaddon to truly be a doppelganger of the Primarch.
After the end of the Heresy, Abaddon's view of Horus abruptly changed and he came to view the defeated Warmaster with disdain in light of his new view that what truly mattered was the acquisition of power. Abaddon effectively stepped out of Horus' shadow, as was exemplified when he said, "Horus was weak. Horus was a fool. He had the whole galaxy within his grasp and he let it slip away." Abaddon also displayed the psychotic contempt for human life characteristic of most servants of Chaos and was willing to inflict an endless stream of atrocities upon other human beings so long as such actions enhanced his own power and position. Through his martial skill and personal might and the obvious favour he held among the Ruinous Powers after Horus' death, Abaddon won the respect of the other Traitor Legions and proved to be an inspiration to the Chaos Space Marines who dwell within the Eye of Terror. Some of the Traitor Legions, namely the Word Bearers under the leadership of the Dark Apostle Erebus, think that Abaddon is not fit for the position of Warmaster of Chaos and their cause would be better served if it was lead by a leader with more strategic acumen and less temperamental choler.
Abaddon's troops among the Traitor Legions and the other Forces of Chaos know that he will not accept failure in any form, much like his divine masters, and follow his every command without question. He is the only person to command the obedience of all 9 Traitor Legions during a Black Crusade; no other Chaos Warmaster has ever been able to do the same. Abaddon is the personification of the power of Chaos, the ultimate prodigal son whose return will one day bring the apocalypse to the Imperium of Man.
Vengeful Beyond Reason
Whilst his rival Traitor Legions struggle amongst themselves for the fickle favour of their chosen gods, Abaddon has a purity of purpose that all have come to respect. Under his banners march twisted Chaos Space Marines from every Traitor Legion, Renegade Chapters that have defected from the post-Heresy Imperium, hordes of Chaos Cultists, beast-headed mutants, Abhumans, Space Marines who have given their bodies to possession by daemons, war engines from the Soul Forge and a thousand other freakish strains of anarchist and monster. The denizens of the Eye of Terror have learned over the millennia that those who swear an oath of fealty to the Despoiler would do well not to break it.
When the World Eaters that had promised their aid to Abaddon left his armies to join the fighting upon Skalathrax, the Warmaster abandoned his plans, tracked the Berzerkers down and severed their limbs before cauterising their wounds with a Flamer, leaving them as little more than screaming stumps unworthy of a place at the Blood God's table. When the Emperor's Children that had joined the Black Legion turned upon their masters at Faeruthia he blinded and deafened them to a man, tearing out their tongues and sealing them in inert gel-skin so their sensory deprivation was complete. Upon the crystal planet of Liolonac the Sorcerers of the Thousand Sons denied Abaddon the audience they had promised him, having found a Chaotic relic of unsurpassed value. The Warmaster visited a mutagenic plague upon them that twisted them into bulging repulsive mounds of flesh before lobotomising them and hunting them until death with a pack of warped, daemonic hounds.
Abaddon's vengeance is not limited to his brother Traitors. When a wilderness shrine upon Plutol refused to bow to his authority, Abaddon killed every other human upon the planet before personally visiting the shrine and forcing the priests who maintained it to eat the bodies of those they had once prayed for. Such is the magnitude and thoroughness of each act of revenge that even daemons fear to cross Abaddon. In his singleminded quest to bring the galaxy to heel he earned a new name; the Despoiler, he who would stop at nothing to secure his revenge against the Corpse-Emperor.
Abaddon is possibly the most powerful character in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, other than the Emperor of Mankind or one of the other Dark Gods of the Immaterium. Abaddon is a powerful warrior of immense strength and skill who is armed with a deadly array of both Chaos artefacts and abilities that make him an overpowering foe to face on the battlefield. Abaddon bares the Mark of Chaos Ascendant, which bestows all the benefits of the four other Marks of the Chaos Gods, forever branding him as the greatest Champion of Chaos Undivided. He is also described as a demagogue, able to sway other followers of Chaos to his cause against the Imperium despite their natural inclination towards internecine conflict. Abaddon's extraordinary connection to all four of the major Chaos Gods and multiple arcane layers of daemonic protection means that he cannot be killed outright by anything in the purely physical world, even direct fire from a super-heavy tank such as a Baneblade or a Land Raider. Like his predecessor Horus, only the power of the Warp, harnessed by a psyker of immense power and undoubted purity of mind and heart, will be able to slay Abaddon the Despoiler for all time and forever place his soul beyond the capabilities of even the Ruinous Powers to resurrect.
Abaddon is known to bare the following weapons into battle:
- Drach'nyen - In his left hand Abaddon bares the Daemon Sword Drach'nyen. The origins of this fell blade are a mystery. Daemons speak of the blade in fear, calling it the "Thorn in Reality" or the "Shard of Madness." Alive with dark intelligence, Drach'nyen has the power to sunder the material universe with its edge, cutting through matter as a mundane blade moves through smoke. In battle, Drach'nyen has been witnessed to destroy a Space Marine Land Raider and flay the souls from those it struck with a single touch. Even the hardened skin of daemons or armour sealed with the power of the Warp is little proof against its assault, as it drinks in the energy of the Immaterium like water, consuming all in its path utterly. The dark spirit that inhabits this fell weapon can alter the blade's appearance, revealing the skulls and faces of the souls it has devoured. This is because Drach'nyen is actually an ancient daemonic entity of infinite malice -- the cryptical seers of the Eye of Terror maintain that the creature inhabiting the weapon was born from the first act of murder ever committed. The truth is lost in the mists of the Imperium's prehistory, but the daemon itself is still very much at large. The arcane blade borne by Abaddon contains the bound essence of the daemon Drach'nyen -- indeed, some say that the sword is composed of nothing else, that it is a writhing Warp entity in a different physical form. Whatever the truth, the blade can rend reality apart wherever it strikes; Drach'nyen rips through steel, flesh and bone like a hungry ghost, making a mockery of physical armour. It was the blade Drach'nyen which Abaddon used to hew open the gates of the Kromarch's citadel, in doing so disrupting the nullification fields with which they were reinforcing the fabric of realspace. It was this same blade that Abaddon used to impale the Great Technomandrite of Danth, thereby sealing the fate of the anti-empyric Lemuel Cluster. Legend has it that those it slays have their souls consumed by the magic of the sword -- the screaming faces of a thousand victims can still be seen twisting and churning within the blade even as it hacks down it next victims.
- Talon of Horus - Upon his right hand Abaddon wears the Talon of Horus, an archaic Lightning Claw with a built-in Combi-bolter, which he took from his fallen Primarch Horus Lupercal after the siege of the Imperial Palace during the Battle of Terra. With this armoured claw Horus fought the Emperor of Mankind and mortally wounded Him. It was this legendary artefact that strangled the Primarch Sanguinius, digging into the alabaster flesh of the Angel and spilling his rich red blood across the deck of the Vengeful Spirit. After the Warmaster Horus was defeated by the Emperor's last stand, the Talon was torn from Horus' armour by Abaddon. It has claimed unnumbered victims since; perhaps sustained by its own malevolence, it has never once seized up no matter how encrusted with blood and shattered bone it becomes. Over time the Talon of Horus has bonded to Abaddon body and soul; it is now fused to his own armour by its innate psychic energies. Yet the Talon of Horus ' import is far more than that of any mere weapon. The Talon is an icon of evil incarnate to the Imperium, especially the warriors of the Blood Angels, who to this day bear a psychic curse caused by its fell deeds. Their hatred rages strong even ten thousand standard years after their Primarch fell. In this way they echo those they despise, for hate is an emotion known to Abaddon better than any other.
- Armour of Abaddon - Abaddon wears highly customised archaic Catapharactii Pattern Terminator Armour. Abaddon's armour is covered with many archaic devices, runes, and fetishes that he has collected over the millennia during the Long War. The ancient Sons of Horus Terminator Armour Abaddon wears still incorporates a Daemonic Rune gifted to him by the Daemon-Oracle of Asellus Tertius which greatly enhances his protection from mortal weapons.
- Abaddon (also known as Abaddan, Apollyon, Appolyon and Appolion) literally meaning destruction, ruin or perdition — is the Hebrew name of the demon identified as the 'angel' of the bottomless pit, or the abyss, in Christian Bible in the Book of Revelation of St. John; Revelation 9:11.
- Abaddon has also earned the nickname "Failbaddon" by Warhammer 40K fans, due to his many failed Black Crusades -- until the last one.
- Apocalypse: Reload (4th Edition), pg. 55
- Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines" (8th Edition), pp. 90-91, 118
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 11-12, 20, 57, 92
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 22, 46-47
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pp. 8-9, 44-45
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pp. 22-23
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition), pp. 17-18, 34, 98-99
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition)
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pg. 91
- Gathering Storm - Book One - Fall of Cadia (7th Edition), pp. 36-53
- Index Astartes IV, "Sons of Horus - The Black Legion Space Marine Legion"
- The 13th Black Crusade by Andy Hoare, pp. 18, 72, 79
- The Art of Warhammer 40,000 (Art Book) edited by Matt Ralphs and Marc Gascoigne, pg. 150
- The Fall of Medusa V (Booklet), pp. 12, 16-17
- Warlords of the Dark Millennium: Abaddon The Despoiler (Digital Edition), pp. 5-6, 8-10, 12-13, 27-32
- White Dwarf 287 (UK), "Death by a Thousand Cuts," pg. 36
- White Dwarf 239 (UK), "The Slayer of Worlds," by Gav Thorpe, pp. 103-109
- Horus Rising (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- False Gods (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Galaxy In Flames (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Age of Darkness (Anthology) edited by Christian Dunn, "Little Horus"
- Nemesis (Novel) by James Swallow
- Execution Hour (Novel) by Gordon Rennie
- Dark Adeptus (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Soul Hunter (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- The Talon of Horus (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Forgeworld - Abaddon vs. Loken Diorama
- Forgeworld - Abaddon vs. Loken Video