Davin is the prime world of the solar system of the same name, conquered during the Great Crusade by the Warmaster Horus, his Luna Wolves Legion, and the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet alongside contingents from the Word Bearers Legion. Davin is one of two habitable worlds in its star system, the other is its moon. Both Davin and its moon were desert Feral Worlds discovered in the 143rd year of the Great Crusade, where the Primarch Horus' 63rd Expeditionary Fleet linked up with a lost strand of humanity on the surface of the planet. It was the eighth world conquered by that Expeditionary Fleet of the Great Crusade, and so for a time Davin had the designation Sixty-Three Eight. It is principally known in Imperial history for being the infamous world upon which Horus made his pact with the Ruinous Powers of Chaos and so began the Horus Heresy. This event took place in the Temple of the Serpent Lodge, an establishment secretly devoted to Chaos Undivided, where he was treated for injuries incurred while quashing a rebellious Chaotic force on Davin's moon.
Davin's known history only covers the brief time of Imperial rule. The indigenous warriors at first attempted to resist the Imperial takeover, but quickly surrendered, completely outclassed in military terms. The warrior tribespeople were allowed to remain mostly intact after they surrendered to the Imperial forces, as they had impressed Horus with their battlefield courage and their willingness to learn and adapt to a new way of life. The actual military campaign on Davin was short, and the Luna Wolves left soon after the surrender of the Davinite warriors, taking with them their concept of the warrior lodge which was established with several of the Astartes Legions against the express wish of the Emperor and the dictates of the Imperial Truth. The re-education and shepherding of the people into the light of the Imperial Truth was left to a detachment of the Word Bearers Legion led by Kor Phaeron, while governorship of the planet itself was given to Imperial Commander Eugen Temba. Over sixty years later in the 203rd year of the Great Crusade, Horus and the 63rd Expedition returned to Davin, at the behest of Chaplain Erebus of the Word Bearers, who reported that Commander Temba and his forces had gone Renegade, betrayed the Emperor and had holed up on Davin's moon. Horus led an assault force to the moon personally, where his forces were confronted by the reanimated zombie remains of Temba's garrison, who had embraced the worship of Nurgle the Plague Lord. Horus slew the grossly mutated Temba himself, but was gravely wounded while doing so. He was eventually "healed" in the Temple of the Serpent Lodge on Davin proper, though only after he was manipulated by the Chaos Gods and agreed to swear himself to them in return for the right to replace the Emperor of Mankind as the new ruler of the Imperium of Man. Davin's history after this momentous period is not currently known.
Luna Wolves' Warrior Lodge
When Davin was brought to Imperial Compliance, the nomadic hunters of Davin had first taught the Luna Wolves of their tradition of creating a lodge for their tribe's warriors. The warrior lodge created by the Luna Wolves in imitation of this Davinite custom was a way for members of all martial classes to meet as friends, where captains could speak freely to their line Astartes, and vice-versa. The Luna Wolves embraced this custom, however it was kept as a secret, non-official gathering because of official Imperial disapproval until after the 200th year of the Great Crusade when Captain Garviel Loken discovered its existence within the heart of the Legion. At the start of the Horus Heresy, the lodge began to make decisions that would have far-reaching consequences throughout the Legion.
Recalled to Davin at the request of the Word Bearers Legion, the Luna Wolves returned to the world in the 203rd year of the Great Crusade. Erebus, the First Chaplain of the Word Bearers who was accompanying the Luna Wolves as a representative of his Legion, had told Horus of how the Imperial Commander he had left behind as Davin's Planetary Governor, Eugen Temba, had turned traitor. Enraged, Horus attacked Davin's moon himself with a spearhead of 400 Luna Wolves Astartes, 3 Titans of the Legio Mortis, including the infamous Imperator-class Titan Dies Irae, and 4000 troops drawn from the Byzantine Janizars Regiment of the Imperial Army. Heavy tanks could not be deployed, as mysteriously the deserts of the moon had become plague-ridden swamps, filled with the reanimated zombie-like corpses of the Imperial Army soldiers Horus had left behind on Davin with Temba. Horus led an assault into Temba's lair, inside his massive downed Imperial starship called the Emperor's Glory. While Horus and 200 of his Astartes were inside, the mighty ship's remaining superstructure collapsed, cutting Horus off from the rest of his warriors.
Alone now, Horus made his way through the bowels of the ruined starship in search of Temba. He found Temba in the bridge of the ship, just as he killed Verulam Moy, one of Horus' captains. Horus killed Temba, but was struck by the Kinebrach Anathame, a Chaos-tainted xenos sword, in the process, a weapon that had been stolen from the Interex world of Xenobia by Erebus when the Luna Wolves had briefly made contact with the Interex before coming to Davin. The Anathame poisoned Horus until he was unable to walk and close to death. The Mournival, a group of Horus' most trusted officers and advisers in the Luna Wolves, rushed him back up to his flagship to save the Primarch's life.
Appearing to be dirty yellow/brown coloured from orbit, Davin's moon was originally charted as being similar to Davin in atmosphere and climate. Some time after the Imperial pacification of Davin, the warping effects of the Ruinous Powers, particularly that of Nurg-leth (Nurgle), grossly altered the moon's once temperate ecosystem. Most of the forest cover vanished, and much of the moorland turned into particularly noxious and fog-bound swampland which eventually would conceal the mass-graves of the Imperial Army garrison. A significant landmark was created by the wreck of the large Imperial starship, the Glory of Terra. After the destruction of Eugen Temba, Nurgle's power seemed to be withdrawn from the world, making it somewhat less foul in general as well as clearing most of the murk and fog from the atmosphere.
House of False Gods
Unable to cure Horus of the Chaotic toxin injected by the Anathame using Imperial medical technology, the Luna Wolves' warrior lodge, now 300-strong, decided to bear Horus to the Temple of the Serpent Lodge on Davin, as Erebus, long a secret devotee of the Ruinous Powers like the rest of his Legion, told the Luna Wolves it was a house of healing. The Temple of the Serpent Lodge was a massive building called the Delphos located inside a large crater. Within, Eberus corrupted Horus by exposing him to the will of the Chaos Gods, who manipulated Horus' emotions and his latent jealousy towards his father the Emperor, and ignited the spark of cruel ambition that would begin the Horus Heresy. Emerging from the Temple apparently healed, the 63rd Expedition rejoiced at Horus' return to full health, never realizing that the seeds of corruption and treason had already been laid within his heart.
In the long years of separation from Terra during the Age of Strife, the inhabitants of Davin physically altered from the baseline human norm. They became taller and more sinuous than Terran humans, and their features more bestial. Their pupils grew until they filled most of the eye. Despite these minor mutations, the Davinites retained their human intelligence, if not their civilised way of life. They regressed to become pre-industrial, nomadic camp-dwellers, with each tribe constantly shifting location across the planet. Davinites characteristically wore animal hides and carried unsafe antique black powder revolvers and handguns, and made use of stone or poorly forged metal knives. Over time, the technological means to travel to the surface of their world's habitable moon vanished, and the nomadic cultures of both worlds grew further apart. When first encountered by the Luna Wolves and Word Bearers some 60 years before the start of the Horus Heresy, the Davinites were keen to embrace the advantages of Imperial life, but their moon-based cousins hopelessly fought against the Space Marines, and were violently subdued.
In the aftermath of the fall of Horus on Davin, many Davinites took part in an exodus to the stars. Some of those fleets travelled as far as the planet Pythos in the distant Pandorax System.
Geography and Planetary Conditions
Classified by the Imperium of Man as a Feral World, Davin's deserts contained many ruins that indicate that it could once have supported a more advanced human culture before the Age of Strife. Davin also possessed notably high mountain ranges, riven with tomb-filled, deep valleys, that descended into wide savannahs and grasslands that in turn ran into the deserts. Great numbers of horned beasts migrated across its plains, hunted by razor-fanged predators, while serpents were common in the deserts. The uplands have earth of a hard clay that supports scrub vegetation and tall trees, while the river valleys are more fertile and contain the townships that hold most of the primitive human inhabitants of the world. Those that do not live in the townships are likely members of one of the various nomadic tribes. The indigenous inhabitants include a fierce warrior caste that regularly warred with one another before the arrival of the Imperium. This warrior caste were organised into different warrior-lodges that each venerated the animistic spirit of a particular form of local predator species.
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions (Artbook)
- False Gods (Novel) by Graham McNiell
- Horus Rising (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- The Damnation of Pythos (Novel ) by David Annandale
- The shards of Erebus (short story) by Guy Haley in the Mark of Calth anthology