- "Horus was weak. Horus was a fool. He had the whole galaxy within his grasp and he let it slip away."
- —Abaddon the Despoiler
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 partial capture of the vital Imperial Fortress World of Cadia and an expansion of Chaos-controlled space into Imperial territory for the first time since the Horus Heresy.
During the Great Crusade, First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon was the commander of the elite 1st Company of the Luna Wolves Space Marine Legion, a unit known as the Justaerin, and was recognised as the greatest warrior of that Legion after the Primarch Horus himself. He, Tarik Torgaddon, Captain of the 2nd Company, Horus "Little Horus" Aximand, Captain of the 5th Company and Garviel Loken, Captain of the 10th Company, were members of an informal advisory council for the Legion known as the Mournival -- four senior company captains who served as the primary advisors to Horus. After the battle for the world designated Sixty-Three Nineteen by the Legion, in which 10th Company Captain Garviel Loken managed to reach and slay the impostor Emperor who ruled the world ahead of him, Abaddon recommended Loken's elevation into the Mournival to replace the 4th Company's Captain Hastur Sejanus, a particular favorite of Horus, who was killed shortly before the battle.Abaddon was also a member of the Legion's Warrior Lodge, the "quiet order" within the Luna Wolves, inspired by similar lodges on the world of Davin - which the Luna Wolves had brought to Imperial Compliance many years earlier. Abaddon notably stood against Horus' attempts to negotiate with a stray branch of humanity known as the Interex, preferring to adhere to the Emperor of Mankind'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 Legion's return to the world of Davin, where 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 his superhuman immune system could not defeat it.
Abaddon, along with other members of the Sons of Horus' warrior lodge, took the dying Primarch 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. Following Horus' corruption by Chaos and his resurrection through their 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.
Abaddon was responsible for the wounding and abandonment of Garviel Loken during the Battle of Istvaan III in 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 years of the terrible Imperial civil war that was the Horus Heresy, First Captain Abaddon led an elite squad of Sons of Horus Space Marines from the 1st Company called "the Justaerin" who wore black-coloured Terminator Armour. Abaddon led this elite unit during many of the most infamous actions by the Foprces 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. After Horus' defeat and death at the hands of the Emperor, Abaddon led a swift counterattack by the forces of the Sons of Horus to retrieve Horus' body from his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, in orbit of Terra and retreated with the Sons of Horus Legion and all of their remaining assets, Legion slaves and starships, into the Eye of Terror.
After the Heresy
- "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?"
As the events of the Heresy reached their tragic conclusion, the Traitor Legions began their fighting withdrawal from Terra after Horus' death, and in the anarchy and confusion Horus’ body was recovered by his Legion. Having fought their way clear of the Sol System and fled for the Eye of Terror, the Sons of Horus established a world that was at once the tomb of their lost Primarch and a fortress from which they would launch further attacks upon both their fellow Traitor Legions and against the smouldering ruins of the Imperium. Bereft of their glorious Primarch, the XVI 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. At length one such rival, the remnants of the Emperor’s Children Legion, stole the body of the slain Horus from the heart of his tomb and spirited it away, some say with the purpose of cloning it in order to create a new and still greater Warmaster to reunite the now fractious and scattered Forces of Chaos.
The salvation of the Sons of Horus came when one of its greatest captains, Abaddon, led an attack on the Emperor's Children that destroyed the body of the Primarch and in so doing ushered in a new age for the XVI Legion. The Traitors changed their name once more, this time in reference to the fact that their armour was now coloured black in mourning for Horus, calling themselves the Black Legion. Abaddon then claimed Horus' mantle as the Legion's new Warmaster. The former First Captain had lost his once great respect for Horus due to his failure to defeat the Emperor and believed that the slain Warmaster had forfeited his right to power. Instead, Abaddon believed himself to be the new Champion of the Chaos Gods and Horus' rightful heir as their instrument in the mortal realm. Through his actions, Abaddon re-invigorated the XVI Legion, reviving the old notion that none could stand in their way and that they would one day inherit control of the galaxy itself.
Since that time, Abaddon has been instrumental in some of the Black Crusades against the Imperium. 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 planets. Abaddon also had control of the two Blackstone Fortresses that he had taken from the Imperium during the Gothic War, which he intended to unleash when the time was right. 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.
13th Black Crusade
Abaddon managed to unite all the Forces of Chaos that exist within the Eye of Terror under his leadership as the Warmaster of Chaos Undivided in 999.M41 after 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 Imperial space in millennia. In the end, after months of truly titanic fighting that spread across hundreds of worlds and tested the resources of the Imperial military as never before, the campaign wound down in a stalemate. Though Abaddon's Chaotic forces were able to gain a territorial foothold upon Cadia itself, the Imperial Navy's Battlefleets proved to be the victors in the massive space battles that were waged high above the world. The Forces of Chaos are currently trapped on Cadia and have lost air and space superiority to the Imperial forces, who daily bombard the Ruinous Powers' servants from the air. However, should Abaddon and his Chaotic allies discover a way to defeat the massive Imperial fleet in orbit over Cadia, the Forces of Chaos would have an open path to drive on the heart of the Imperium and perhaps assault Terra for the second time in its history. 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
The Chosen of Abaddon are four powerful Chaos Lords that serve under the patronage of Abaddon the Despoiler. 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 that an entire team of Assassins (when it is rare for even one to be sent to deal with a problem) infiltrated Abaddon's flagship. 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 the 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. These four titles include:
- Lord Ravager - The Lord Ravager leads the invasion fleets of the Black Crusade. It is he who first makes landfall on the surface of a world.
- Lord Deceiver - The Lord Deceiver is a powerful Chaos Sorcerer whose visions of the Warp lead the Black Crusade from star system to star system.
- Lord Corruptor - 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.
- Lord Purgator - 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.
Current Chosen of Abaddon
- Devram Korda - Known as "The Tyrant of Sarora," Devram is a servant of 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 become 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. Abaddon's retinue of Chosen, led by Devram Korda, returned to his master's side in the closing days of the 13th Black Crusade, bringing with him two individuals 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. Korda is the current Lord Purgator.
- Ygethmor the Deceiver - Ygethmor is a formidable Sorcerer Lord of the Black Legion. Ygethmor is the current Lord Deceiver.
- Skyrak Slaughterborn - Skyrak led the large warband of Chaos Space Marines known as the Slaughterkin in the assault on Cadia. He is the current Lord Corruptor.
- Urkrathos - Urkrathos is one of the commanders of Abaddon's vast fleet, which he leads against the vessels of the Imperial Navy. Urkrathos is the current Lord Ravager.
CharacterisationPrior 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. 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).
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 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 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 Chaotics 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 is shown 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 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.
Wargear and Abilities
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. In his left hand he carries the Daemon Sword Drach'nyen. Drach'nyen was powerful enough to destroy a Space Marine Land Raider and flay the souls from those it struck with a single touch. In his right hand he carries the Talon of Horus, a unique Lightning Claw fitted with a twin-linked Bolter taken from the corpse of the Warmaster Horus himself. Abaddon also possesses the Mark of Chaos Ascendant, which bestows all the benefits of every one of the four other Marks of Chaos, forever branding him as the greatest Champion of Chaos Undivided. Abaddon's armour is covered with many archaic devices, runes, and fetishes that he has collected over time. 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 normal weapons. He is also described as a demagogue, able to sway other followers of Chaos to his cause against the Imperium. Abaddon's extraordinary connection to all 4 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 (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.
- Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook
- 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), p. 17-18, 34, 44
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition)
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pg. 91
- 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' Edited by Matt Ralphs & Marc Gascoigne, pg. 150
- The Fall of Medusa V (Booklet), pp. 12, 16-17
- 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
- Forgeworld - Abaddon vs. Loken Diorama
- Forgeworld - Abaddon vs. Loken Video