An Accursed Crozius is a special form of Daemon Weapon, and serves as the mark of office and primary melee weapon of a Dark Apostle of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion. It resembles a heavy mace whose head has been formed into the shape of the eight-pointed Star of Chaos. Twisted and warped from the pure Crozius Arcanum of Loyalist Space Marine Chaplains into something hideously blasphemous, the Accused Crozius mocks the Imperium of Man with its mere existence. Even worse, some are home to vengeful Daemons that seek not only the violence that surrounds a Dark Apostle, but also the endless supplications of the Apostle’s mortal followers. An Accursed Crozius is a power maul degraded with foul enhancements. Within the matter of the weapon is often bound a Lesser Daemon of Chaos Undivided, put there as a reward to the Dark Apostle for his travails spreading the corrupting influence of Chaos; and as a watchkeeper to ensure the Apostle does not falter in his devotions and actions on behalf of the Ruinous Powers.
While not as destructive as some more mundane Daemon Weapons, the inhabitant of the Accursed Crozius grants its bearer unholy resilience, allowing him to shrug off blows that would maim even a Chaos Space Marine. But the most insidious power of the Accursed Crozius is its ability to infuse the very words spoken by its bearer with the energies of the Empyrean. Combined with the oratory prowess of the Apostle, it makes their blasphemous speeches utterly convincing, and many worlds have fallen into Chaotic corruption without a shot being fired in anger, simply by listening to a Dark Apostle spread the words of his Primarch Lorgar.
The fall of Lorgar Aurelian and his Word Bearers to Chaos is a long and painful story. The Primarch Lorgar was a deeply faithful and devout man, who believed his father, the Emperor of Mankind, to be the one, true God of Mankind. His writings on this subject, the Lectitio Divinitatus, ironically still form the core of the Imperial Cult. But for all his love for his sons, the Emperor could not tolerate the spread of a doctrine in direct violation of the rationalist and secularist Imperial Truth he intended to use to bind together His Imperium, and so he ordered the Ultramarines Legion to raze the city of Monarchia on the planet Khur, the greatest embodiment of the Word Bearers' attempt to spread the worship of the Emperor, while at the same time he psychically forced all of the Astartes of the XVII Legion and Lorgar himself to kneel before him as an outward sign of their obedience to the Imperial will.
This demonstration shattered Lorgar's faith, and so he set out on a journey later known as the Pilgrimage of Lorgar to find once and for all if Gods worthy of human worship existed in the universe or not. He fell into the eagerly waiting embrace of the Ruinous Powers and turned his back on the Emperor, whom he now saw as a weak-minded fool unwilling to accept his own divinity.
Lorgar, with the help of his closest aides Erebus and First Captain Kor Phaeron, quickly but covertly began to convert the entire Word Bearers Legion to the service and worship of the Chaos Gods. At first, it was slow going, for the XVII Legion was still being monitored by the Legio Custodes to prevent any further transgressions. Yet, it was the Emperor Himself who would provide Lorgar with the means to spread the influence of Chaos far and wide: when the office of Chaplain was made mandatory in all of the Space Marine Legions after the edicts pronounced by the Council of Nikaea, Lorgar was swift in promoting Erebus, Kor Phaeron and those amongst his converts who were both zealous and good orators to the position. These devils in angelic disguise then spread the fell influence of Chaos to the their whole Legion and beyond while working as ambassadors, eventually managing to corrupt Warmaster Horus.
When the Horus Heresy broke out, the Word Bearers abandoned all pretense at discretion, and openly enforced worship of the Ruinous Powers wherever they went. The Chaplains ritually debased their former Imperial wargear, an act that combined with their previous actions pleased the Chaos Gods to no end. They rewarded the former Chaplains, now called Dark Apostles, by binding a Lesser Daemon into their profaned Crozius. In this way were created the weapon known as the Accursed Crozius, a mark of the favour of the Chaos Gods; and of the office of one of their most devout and successful servants.
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd edition, second version) pg. 42
- Deathwatch: Achilus Assault (RPG), pg. 79
- Black Crusade: The Tome of Excess (RPG), pg. 37
- Horus Heresy Book III: Visions of Death by Alan Merrett
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
- Index Astartes II, "For the Emperor - Space Marine Chaplains"
- Index Astartes IV, "Dark Apostles - The Word Bearers Space Marine Legion"
- White Dwarf 270 (US), "Index Astartes: Dark Apostles"
- The First Heretic (Novel) by Aaron Demski-Bowden
- Know No Fear (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Word Bearers Novel Series:
- Dark Apostle (Novel) by Anthony Reynolds
- Dark Disciple (Novel) by Anthony Reynolds
- Dark Creed (Novel) by Anthony Reynolds
- Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)