- "Without the light of Chaos, the universe would stagnate and collapse. Only through this struggle, can any advancement occur."
- — From the Book of Magnus
Magnus the Red, the Primarch of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion, is one of the few surviving Primarchs and is currently an extremely powerful Daemon Prince of the Chaos God Tzeentch. He was also known during the early years of the Imperium as the Crimson King and the Red Cyclops. A giant in both physical and mental terms whilst still an inhabitant of the Materium, the copper-skinned Magnus possessed tremendous innate psychic ability, and constantly sought to understand the nature of the Warp, becoming a Sorcerer of formidable power. Magnus thought he would be able to control the Great Ocean of psychic energy that was the Warp; however, his prodigious and careless application of his psychic gifts eventually caused him to fall out of favour with his father, the Emperor of Mankind, as well as with the majority of his brother Primarchs. His psychic immaturity, recklessness, and arrogance also caused his own undoing, as it eventually brought about his own damnation and servitude to the Dark God of Change Tzeentch. In the end, Magnus lead his XVth Legion to the banner of Horus and fought on the Arch-Heretic's side during the Great Betrayal of the Horus Heresy. He survived those events and ascended to the position of a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch as a reward for his service to the Changer of Ways. He has spent the majority of the ten millennia since the end of the Horus Heresy ensconced atop his tower upon the Planet of the Sorcerers within the Eye of Terror, planning the ultimate destruction of the Imperium he believes betrayed him and his Legion. Magnus' greatest grudge, however, is with the Space Marines of the Space Wolves, who he holds accountable for the destruction of his homeworld of Prospero and the corruption of his Legion during the early days of the Horus Heresy.
- "There is no sin but ignorance."
- —Attributed to Magnus the Red
Magnus the Red, known also as the "Sorcerer of Prospero," "The Logos Maxima," "The Cyclopean Giant," and "The Crimson King," was unique among the Primarchs. While all the Emperor's sons were transcendent beings, forged not just of physical matter but of psychic force, in some this quality channelled into superhuman physicality, but others held the power to manipulate the Warp either directly or subconsciously as prophetic foresight, preternatural stealth or an aura of majesty beyond the mere mortal. But above all his brothers, Magnus the Red was the most numinous, a psyker of prodigious power. It is said that alone amongst the Primarchs, Magnus met the Emperor in the Realm Beyond long before they met in the flesh.
Magnus' very essence boiled with psychic potential, to the extent that his physical form seems likely to be more matter of will, or a reflection of a deep spiritual imprint than a mere physical constraint, and those who fell under his cyclopean gaze would feel their thoughts and substance to be no more opaque than glass, and their innermost secrets laid open beneath the Crimson King's stare. In battle, Magnus the Red fought like a mythical god; fire wreathed him and followed in his wake like a burning cloak, and solid matter was unmade with a gesture. Armies of mere mortals, powerless before him, would fall to their knees, weeping as their nightmares danced before their eyes. It was said that the paths of the future were laid bare before him and no artifice or subtlety of warcraft could deceive the Primarch of the Thousand Sons. Such power, though, came at the price of suspicion and fear, even by those who called him brother.
But destruction and war was only a means to an end for Magnus. Possessed of a supreme intelligence and a hunger for knowledge, he saw himself and his Astartes Legion as creators of the future. Others might think of themselves as working for the betterment of Mankind, even of being bearers of the Imperium's ideals, however Magnus saw another path. To him the Great Crusade, and each step on its bloody path, was a step from the darkness of ignorance into the light of reason and knowledge. Beyond this he also saw a second ascension, that from the mundane confines of the human mind to the transcendent potential of a psychic race. It was his obsession and belief which drove him to achieve all that he did, and also that which would claim him and his Legion for a future of damnation.
Magnus was unique among the Primarchs in that he remembered his origin and creation as a gene-son of the Emperor -- and possessed a form of psychic communication with his father even during his gestation. Magnus' development of tremendous psychic talent may thus have been planned by the Emperor, as an intentional attribute engineered within his genetic structure. After the Ruinous Powers intervened to scatter the Primarchs, still in their gestation capsules, across the galaxy through the Warp, Magnus found himself on the remote colony world of Prospero. Prospero was a planet that had been settled by a large population of human psykers who possessed the mutant ability to wield the potent psychic energies of the Warp. They had chosen Prospero for its inaccessibility, as they were generally shunned, feared, and often persecuted by "normal" humans on many worlds across the galaxy since the last days of the Dark Age of Technology. When the gestation capsule bearing the infant Magnus fell from the skies, it was like a portentous comet. His capsule landed in the central plaza of the planet's only settlement of note, Tizca, the City of Light.
Magnus became a ward of the psychic scholars and leaders of Prospero, and quickly developed psychic powers similar to their own. Within only a few years of his arrival Magnus surpassed his primary master in the psychic arts, Amon, perhaps the greatest Sorcerer and psyker on Prospero at the time. Magnus mastered every psychic training program and voraciously went through the arcane volumes concerning sorcery and the Warp contained in Prospero's Librarium. By that time he had mastered his psychic powers, he was by far the most powerful psyker on the planet. Eventually he lead a campaign to rid Prospero of the Psychneuein, terrible psychic predator-beasts that roamed the countryside and the many empty cities present on the world, which had been ruined in a mysterious, psychic-related catastrophe decades before Magnus' arrival on the world.
Elevated as the leader of Prospero due to his psychic gifts, Magnus unified its sometimes squabbling Cults of Sorcerers, and set about rebuilding Prospero's civilisation. Tizca, the capital, was transformed into a city of breathtaking beauty. Beautifully designed buildings in the form of pyramids and towers composed of glass and marble, wide boulevards, paradise-like parks, and a constant pleasing psychic background, resulted in immediate bliss for all visitors. This period of peace, prosperity and psychic well-being reflected on the world's population of powerful psykers, and Prospero became known as a planet of physically and spiritually beautiful humans. Magnus also set himself the task of consolidating and expanding the Prosperans' knowledge of the Great Ocean (the Prosperan name for the Immaterium) and of the Primordial Creator (Chaos), the unseen but immensely powerful energy that powered its currents. To further this goal, Magnus built in the center of Tizca a Great Library within a magnificent pyramid where all of the knowledge the Prosperans gained about both sorcery and the nature of the Warp was kept. Brushing aside the warnings of his wise teacher Amon about the dangers of delving too deeply into the Immaterium (later repeated by the Emperor of Mankind, and similarly ignored), Magnus undertook long and far-reaching psychic journeys into the furthest reaches of the Warp.
Discovery by the Emperor
With such a potent mind within the Warp, it was not long until the Emperor of Mankind noticed Magnus' presence and directed his Great Crusade expeditionary fleets to make for Prospero. When his fleet arrived at Prospero and the Emperor set foot within the grand precincts of Tizca, he and Magnus immediately embraced and conversed as if the two had known each other for years. Following his discovery, Magnus and the Emperor engaged in decades-long joint travels and study of the Immaterium, with the Emperor imparting further knowledge to his son, along with multiple warnings about the dangers inherent in overindulging the gifts of the psyker due to the dark entities that existed within the Warp and sought to manipulate mortals for their own benefit.
The XVth Legion, the Thousand Sons, had inherited Magnus' psychic talents, as their gene-seed had been created from samples of Magnus' own psychically-potent genes. However, the XVth Legion's gene-seed was genetically unstable, often resulting in rampant and unwanted mutations, Space Marine-organ rejections, and mental instability. The Legion was dramatically under-strength because of these problems and its eventual survival was questionable. It was said the Legion owed its name to the fact that only about a thousand stable Astartes remained functional within it by the time Magnus was found on Prospero by the Emperor. The Thousand Sons Legion was not allowed to join the Great Crusade at its beginning, with some in the young Imperium advocating its disbanding and the euthanising of its members; however Magnus pleaded with the Emperor to give him a chance to find a way to stop the rampant mutations after he accepted his rightful position of leadership over the Legion. The Emperor agreed to this, and after several decades of often desperate effort, Magnus was finally successful: the aberrant mutations decimating his Legion stopped. This effort had a visible cost, and a hidden one: Magnus lost his right eye, the skin becoming smooth where the eye had previously been. To stop the mutations, Magnus had willingly consorted with entities from the Warp whose true nature he did not at the time understand. He was unknowingly fooled by the Chaos God Tzeentch into believing he had bested the Warp entities and that he had genuinely found the "cure" for his Legion though in fact he had only made a devil's bargain for the sorcerous power required to stop the mutations. All of this was a ruse crafted by Tzeentch to make Magnus even more arrogantly beholden to his psyker's gift to drive him to pursue more corrupting forms of sorcery that would eventually lead to his corruption by Chaos.
Because of the setbacks that had befallen the Thousand Sons and the continuing suspicion of many in the Imperium towards the Thousand Sons' use of psychic abilities and the flaws in their gene-seed, the Primarch and his Astartes developed an extremely close emotional bond. Approximately 100 Terran years after it had begun, the Thousand Sons Legion was finally permitted to join the great effort as the 28th Expeditionary Fleet of the Great Crusade.
The Great Crusade
When the XVth Legion had first been created, its Astartes were used to quell the last few pockets of isolated resistance to the Emperor's rule that remained on Terra following the Wars of Unification. Boetia was a nation that had existed since the Age of Strife and was chiefly known for holding out against the Unification for a considerable period of time until it was finally forcibly incorporated in the newborn Imperium. The ruling family, the Yeselti, attempted to stubbornly cling to power, forcing Imperial Army forces to invade their province. The Astartes of the newborn XVth Legion were sent in to finally crush any further resistance in a brilliant campaign that lasted only six weeks. Shortly after achieving this objective, the XVth Legion was formally named the Thousand Sons by the Emperor Himself and was sent out into the galaxy as part of his Great Crusade. This particular conflict holds the distinction of being the final campaign of the Unification Wars that took place during the Great Crusade.
Approximately 5 standard years after the Thousand Sons began the Great Crusade to reclaim and reunify the human-settled galaxy, the Thousand Sons began to display powerful psychic abilities, which was a welcome development for its Astartes as they sought to further emulate the Emperor. This development was reluctantly tolerated by the Emperor, who was greatly wary of psychic abilities wielded by anyone other than Himself or Malcador the Sigillite, but the Thousand Sons' abilities proved to be a powerful weapon for the Imperium during the Great Crusade. Throughout that long campaign, the Thousand Sons made extensive use of Sorcerers, and their Warp-derived powers would leave whole populations in thrall to their will rather than carrying out a planetary conquest through a costly full frontal assault like the other Space Marine Legions. This tactic earned the ire of the Primarch Leman Russ of the Space Wolves Legion who saw anything less than a frontal assault as dishonourable and cowardly. But soon, the XVth Legion's joy at their psychic gifts turned to revulsion and horror as a wave of ghastly, degenerative mutations once more manifested across a wide swathe of the Battle-Brothers of the XVth Legion. These mutagenic changes were known as the "Flesh-Change" amongst the Astartes of the Thousand Sons, and were much feared, as the spiral of degenerative mutation ultimately reduced a proud Astartes into a mindless mutant abomination that would later be recognised by the Imperium as a gibbering Chaos Spawn. The majority of those afflicted by the Flesh-Change were put into stasis by the Legion in the hope that someday in the future a cure could be found to reverse the onset of these crippling mutations. The number of active Astartes within the XVth Legion soon began to dwindle to dangerously low levels as a result of the ravages of the Flesh-Change.
Fortunately for the XVth Legion the Emperor's Great Crusade finally arrived at the isolated world of Prospero and the Thousand Sons were reunited with their Primarch Magnus at this time. The flesh-change had become a pandemic in the Legion at this point, but the entire Legion was transported to the newly discovered world to meet their gene-father. After the initial joyous reunion with one of His lost sons and the celebrations that followed, the Emperor and the vast majority of the Great Crusade's large fleet departed Prospero, leaving the Thousand Sons behind. Unfortunately, the rampant mutations within the Legion only increased after the departure of the Emperor. It was then that Magnus intervened to save his genetic children, and through mysterious sorcerous means was able to save those Astartes that had been the least affected by the rampant mutations. In the end, only a thousand Battle-Brothers of the XV Legion had been saved. As mentioned above, Magnus then moved to rebuild the Legion, and approximately 100 standard years into the Great Crusade, the Thousand Sons were granted permission to form the 28th Expeditionary Fleet and begin bring new worlds into Imperial Compliance for the Emperor.
Council of Nikea
Magnus fought bravely and successfully during the Great Crusade, but he was always a wild and impetuous commander. Magnus had an inherent affinity for the Warp and the secrets hidden within its fabric. Throughout the Crusade he came into contact with long-isolated human cultures scattered on worlds across the galaxy where psykers had been allowed to flourish. Although warned by the Emperor to shun such matters, Magnus began to gather arcane lore about the practice of sorcery from other cultures across the galaxy. From this material he compiled the monumental tome of sorcery and psychic practice known as the Book of Magnus. The book, whose simmering covers, inscribed with strange wards, were made from the psychically-active hide of a slain psychneuein, was always fastened to Magnus' armour with a heavy gold chain, kept closed by a lock made of lead.
One of the things Magnus discovered during his 28th Expeditionary Fleet's conquests was the existence and nature of the Eldar Webway and of the realspace portals into it. However, his knowledge of the Webway's geography and functions was incomplete and fragmented -- a fact that later cost him dearly. Nevertheless, he managed to enter its star-spanning corridors by brute psychic force.
The further from Terra the Great Crusade's fleets travelled, the more strange Warp-influenced creatures they came across. This naturally made Magnus look suspicious to his fellow Primarchs, as his control over the Warp and the sorcerous powers he derived from its chaotic energies were very similar to the abilities displayed by these malevolent creatures. The Space Wolves' Primarch Leman Russ and the Death Guard Primarch Mortarion both distrusted Magnus due to his and his Legion's use of the powers of the Warp and because of his mastery of deceit in warfare where they preferred a more straightforward use of physical strength and brute force. Another point of contention between the Primarchs was the Thousand Sons' love of knowledge in general; they always sought to preserve and study the knowledge of newly Compliant worlds, carrying libraries' worth of material on the 28th Expedition's starships for eventual archiving on Prospero. The other Astartes Legions found this obsession with the collection of knowledge -- whatever the source -- counterproductive to the goals of the Great Crusade which sought to spread the specifically Imperial strain of human civilization across the galaxy. They also believed it to be dangerous because of the malevolent nature of so many of the beings that lived within the Immaterium.
During a joint mission between the Thousand Sons and the Space Wolves Magnus and Leman Russ came close to blows over this issue, and over the use of psychic powers in general. Bloodshed was avoided only thanks to the last minute intervention of Lorgar, the Primarch of the Word Bearers. Over the following decades, other Primarchs voiced their displeasure that these so-called psyker Astartes were allowed to exist and serve the Emperor's righteous Great Crusade. Rumours and condemnations began to spread about the Thousand Sons Legion amongst the other Expeditionary Fleets. The most vocal of these detractors were the Primarchs of the Death Guard, Imperial Fists and Raven Guard Legions. Soon the Thousands Sons' detractors raised their objections to the Emperor himself, calling for the XVth Legion's disbandment and for the Legion to be expunged from Imperial records like the IInd and XIth Legions.
However, serious suspicion began to surround Magnus as the hatred towards mutants and psykers spread through the Imperium as the Crusade progressed and the Legions learned how dangerous the use of psychic abilities could be on world after world that had been ravaged by them during the Age of Strife. After much debate in the Imperium over the use of psykers, the Emperor called an Imperial Conclave of all the Primarchs and chief Imperial officials at the remote and volatile planet of Nikaea to deal with the issue once and for all. The highest authorities in the young Imperium were present or were represented, including the Emperor and his Sigillite and Regent Malcador, who officiated over what became known as the Council of Nikaea. At the forefront of the debate was Magnus, who argued very passionately for his cause and the important contributions that psykers and the use of sorcery could make to the improvement of the Imperium and to speeding up the successful conclusion of the Great Crusade. The main opponents to the use of psykers were the Space Wolves who shared their Primarch Leman Russ' hatred of sorcery as unclean and cowardly and the Death Guard, whose Primarch Mortarion testified in person against the use of psychic powers because of his experience with the psychic warlords who had ruled his own homeworld of Barbarus.
When a consensus emerged amongst the Council's participants that psykers and their powers represented a potential danger to the people of the Imperium, the Emperor ordered that in the interest of unity, no one was to be censured for prior actions involving the use of psychic abilities. Use of psychic abilities by the Imperium's military forces was banned (except for Astropaths, Navigators, and very strictly sanctioned and controlled psykers who were authorised to carry out Imperial business). All the Librariums employed by the Astartes Legions were to be disbanded, and their members returned to conventional combat duty, enjoined from ever again using their psychic gifts.
In effect, Magnus and the Thousand Sons were banned from practicing "sorcery" or using the psychic abilities and knowledge they so coveted. The edicts of the Council of Nikaea also created a new position amongst the Space Marine Legions, the Space Marine Chaplain, to uphold the Imperial Truth and help maintain the purity of an Astartes Legion's dedication to the Emperor's commands. Disappointed and unhappy with the decision, Magnus was forced to accept the new prohibitions on sorcery in the Imperium, but he soon tried to find rationalisations and justifications to circumvent it.
Following the great Imperial victory during the Ullanor Crusade against the Orks, the Emperor gave overall command of the Great Crusade to Horus of the Luna Wolves Legion, awarding him the title of Warmaster over all Imperial armies, including the Legions of his brother Primarchs. The Emperor then departed the Crusade and returned to Terra to pursue his secret project to expand the Eldar Webway for human use beneath the Imperial Palace. Magnus, meditating on Prospero, psychically foresaw Horus being corrupted by the malign influence of the Ruinous Powers and the future events of the Horus Heresy: the betrayal of the Emperor by half the Space Marine Legions, and the sundering of the Imperium by a tumultuous and costly civil war. The only fate the vision did not reveal to Magnus was his own. Burdened with this volatile information by this precognitive vision, Magnus decided upon a course that would seal his fate. First, Magnus attempted to psychically contact his brother Horus, but to his dismay, found out that he was too late, and that the Warmaster had already been nigh mortally wounded by a stab from the Kinebrach Anathame.
Despairing, Magnus then decided to utilise the power of his Legion's greatest sorcerers to convey the news of the impending civil war to the Emperor Himself on Terra via sorcery, rather than using the far slower, but legal means of astrotelepathy. Using an astral projection spell, the spirit of Magnus the Red hurtled towards Terra through the Warp. While in the Immaterium, Magnus came across a Webway corridor that led to Terra but found the barrier impenetrable. But then an anonymous entity within the Warp whispered sibilantly to him, offering to provide the Primarch with additional power in order to breach the Webway. Magnus seized upon the entity's offer, breaching the barrier and bursting into the Emperor's throne room. This act penetrated the powerful psychic wards the Emperor had raised around the Imperial Palace and allowed Warp entities to penetrate the human extension of the Webway and launch an assault against Terra itself, killing thousands of the Mechanicus Adepts who had been labouring with the Emperor on his great work. With this breach, the Emperor's work was undone. Horrified, the Primarch's spirit returned to his corporeal body on Prospero. There, he received a vision from Tzeentch, the mysterious entity that had enabled him to breach the Webway. The Architect of Fate informed Magnus that it was his destiny to serve the will of the Ruinous Powers.
The Emperor was furious at Magnus' willful violation of the proscriptions against the use of sorcery set by the Council of Nikaea, especially because Magnus had used the Webway to reach Terra in time, and his actions had damaged the secret Webway Project, a centuries-long attempt to use this Eldar construct to render dangerous Warp travel obsolete and physically connect all the worlds of the Imperium of Man together using human versions of the Eldar's Webway portals. The Emperor saw Magnus as the traitor to the Imperium's ideals, not his beloved son Horus, whom he did not believe was capable of betraying him. Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves Legion, who had always been averse to sorcery and had a general antipathy to Magnus as a result, was ordered to bring Magnus swiftly to Terra to account for his actions before the Emperor. During his voyage to Prospero, Leman Russ was instead ordered by an already corrupted Horus to destroy Magnus' Thousand Sons Legion rather than simply bring them to account. Horus, as the Imperial Warmaster, carried the authority of the Emperor Himself, and was therefore able to fool Russ into believing this was the Emperor's will as if the Emperor had thought about his decision and changed his mind. Accompanying the Space Wolves were a full contingent of Adeptus Custodes, millions of Imperial Army troops, and the elite Imperial anti-psyker (Pariah Gene-bearing) witch hunters known as the Sisters of Silence.
Fall of Prospero
In the meantime, Magnus had finally come to realise that he had been used as a pawn by Tzeentch -- and he also understood that the forthcoming clash between the Space Wolves and the Thousand Sons was also part of a Chaotic plan to destroy two Loyalist Space Marine Legions. He decided to sacrifice the Thousand Sons and himself, rather than be the unwilling puppet of Chaos yet again. For this reason he did not forewarn the people of Prospero or his own Astartes of the coming Imperial assault. He actually placed a psychic veil over the planet so his Legion would have no knowledge of the approaching invasion fleet, did not order the manning of the planetary defences, and sent the Legion fleet of the Thousand Sons away from their home star system.
As a result of their Primarch's actions, the Imperial assault on the world, remembered as the Fall of Prospero, took the Thousand Sons by total surprise. Raining death down from orbit, the invading force reduced the unprotected planet to a burned-out slab of rock. Because the Prosperan capital city of Tizca was always protected by an impenetrable psychic shield generated by the Sorcerers of the XVth Legion, an invasion of the city was staged. In the brutal fighting that followed, Prosperan combatants and civilians were ruthlessly exterminated, and the city was utterly destroyed, along with its libraries and all their hard-won psychic knowledge, which sent Magnus into a deep melancholy. Even as Prospero burned, Magnus was convinced that he had done nothing wrong to merit such a retaliation from his father, and that nothing he had done warranted such destruction. Changing his mind about his inaction, he took to the battlefield and broke the Space Wolves' assault with his great psychic powers, eventually meeting his brother Leman Russ in melee combat. At the climax of the battle, Magnus shattered Russ' breastplate with a mighty punch, puncturing one of his hearts, but Leman clung onto his opponent's arm and when close enough, kicked Magnus in his single eye. With Magnus blinded, Russ seized his opportunity to lift Magnus into the air and break Magnus' back over his knee. In this moment of greatest need, Tzeentch came to Magnus and offered to save all that he had wrought if Magnus offered his eternal fealty to the Changer of Ways. To save himself, his Legion, his world, and all the knowledge he had accumulated, Magnus pledged his soul to the service of the Chaos God of Change and Sorcery.
The response of Magnus' new patron was immediate. The City of Light was transported into the Eye of Terror to a new Daemon World that had already been prepared for its new occupants. Prospero was destroyed that day, but Magnus and his Legion survived. By the time the Thousand Sons were seen next, they had joined up with Horus' force of Traitor Legions on their way to lay siege to Terra, and Magnus the Red had become the most powerful of all Tzeentch's daemonic servants, the first of the Daemon Primarchs.
After the Heresy
After the Emperor defeated Horus on his flagship the Vengeful Spirit at the end of the Battle of Terra and the Traitor Legions fled from Terra, the Thousand Sons returned to the Daemon World that Tzeentch had prepared for them within the Eye of Terror called the Planet of the Sorcerers, that was complete with a twisted, Chaotic caricature of the city of Tizca. Tzeentch had another "gift" for the Thousand Sons, namely the full return of their aberrant genetic mutations, which threatened to turn all of the surviving Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines into mindless Chaos Spawn.
A number of high-ranking officers of the Traitor Legion, lead by the Sorcerer Azhek Ahriman, who had been Magnus' closest advisor since their Legion's earliest days, established a secret Council of Sorcerers to find ways of stopping the mutations. With Ahriman at the fore, these sorcerers eventually invoked a powerful sorcerous incantation that backfired, killing all those Astares of the Legion who lacked psychic abilities and transforming them into living automatons: their organic bodies turned to ash, while their unknowing spirits were trapped within their suits of Power Armour, which were hermetically sealed and fully animated by their trapped souls. Every joint of the armour was magically sealed, and the only way for the soul to escape this prison was for the armour to be destroyed. The minority of Thousand Sons Astartes who did not succumb to the spell later known as the Rubric of Ahriman found their psychic Warp powers increased to a tremendous degree. The ritual also accomplished its goal, for the mutations stopped, both in the surviving Sorcerers and their undead brethren. Magnus was enraged by the outcome of the spell and what it had done to his Astartes and became determined to gain vengeance upon Ahriman and his cabal of rogue Sorcerers.
Thanks to the very close bond Magnus still had with his sons, he keenly felt their unforeseen suffering at the hands of Ahriman. Consumed with grief and anger but also proud of the level of sorcerous knowledge the Legion had attained through their metamorphosis, he assaulted the Council of Sorcerers and Ahriman, until the Daemon Primarch finally caught up with his sorcerer and former adviser and bested him in a duel. However, Tzeentch personally intervened and saved Ahriman's life as the Sorcerer was a useful pawn for furthering the Changer of Ways' byzantine plans. So Magnus, now a potent Daemon Prince himself, exiled Ahriman and his remaining collaborators from the Planet of the Sorcerers and ordered them to forever roam the galaxy in search of understanding and knowledge of the true meaning of Chaos.
At present, Magnus' ever-changing form resides on the Planet of the Sorcerers within the Eye of Terror. Magnus dwells atop the tallest of the towers in his mockery of lost Tizca, the Tower of the Cyclops, and its vast sorcerous eye surveys the entire planet as he plots the destruction of the Imperium of Man and the Emperor he believes betrayed him so long ago.
First Battle of The Fang
- "Do you remember what you said to me, brother? Do you remember what you said to me as we fought before the Pyramid of Photep? Do you remember the words you used? I do. As I recall, your face was tortured. Imagine that - the Master of the Wolves, his ferocity twisted into grief. And yet you still carried out your duty. You always did what was asked of you. So loyal. So tenacious. Truly you were the attack dog of the Emperor. You took no pleasure in what you did. I knew that then, and I know it now. But all things change, my brother. I'm not the same as I was, and you're... well, let us not mention where you are now."
- — Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red to a statue of Leman Russ, during the Battle of the Fang
During the 32nd Millennium, Magnus the Red was determined to have his revenge for the devastation of his homeworld of Prospero at the hands of his former brother-Primarch Leman Russ and his Legion. He devised a cunning plan to lure the Space Wolves into a trap in order to enact his final vengeance against them. Returning from exile in the Eye of Terror at various times over the centuries following the end of the Horus Heresy, the Thousand Sons left devastation in their wake. Precision strikes on Imperial worlds had continued, each aimed at retrieving some valuable piece of knowledge or sorcerous esoterica. Despite the grievous damage Russ had inflicted on them, the Thousand Sons still had the potential to launch raids into protected Imperial space, and the knowledge of that burned within the Great Wolf Harek Ironhelm until nothing else seemed important. Despite all the resources he devoted to hunting Magnus, the chase always come up short. On Pravia, on Daggaegghan, on Vreole, on Hromor the Space Wolves always found their quarry to be elusive. The Daemon Primarch left his calling cards behind on each of these worlds, taunting the Wolves who snapped at his heels. After many fruitless efforts to catch up with the Thousand Sons, Harek became obsessed, and took to searching worlds along the edge of the Eye of Terror itself. Eventually he found what he believed to be the Thousand Sons' secret base on the world of Gangava and launched a full-scale attack against it.
In this he was deceived, for though Gangava was held by a strong garrison of the Forces of Chaos allied to Magnus, they were but a distraction. Even as Harek attacked Gangava, the Legion fleet of the Thousand Sons and their Chaotic levies appeared in orbit over Fenris. The bulk of the Thousand Sons were prepared to descend upon the Space Wolves' homeworld and level The Fang itself, ostensibly in retaliation for the Burning of Prospero. The real reason behind this retaliatory strike was not to simply strike at the Space Wolves out of revenge -- although most of Magnus' Legion were lead to believe this -- but to prevent the Space Wolves from successfully creating any Successor Chapters. To the Daemon Primarch, preventing the creation of new successors of Leman Russ was a goal without price, and so what remained of his Thousand Sons Legion would be sacrificed if need be to put an end to the Space Wolves' dream. The Fang was held by only a skeleton force of Space Wolves and their feudal thralls. For forty days and forty nights the Thousand Sons assaulted the mighty citadel. Bjorn the Fell-Handed, most ancient of the Space Wolves' Dreadnoughts, was awoken from his long slumber and took charge of the Chapter's defences. Under Bjorn's direction the Space Wolves fell back to the innermost chambers of The Fang, collapsing the tunnels as they went. Simultaneously, a force of Scout Marines, under Haakon Blackwing, managed to escape from the citadel and take ship to Gangava, bringing word of the siege to Harek.
Overcome with fury and shame at his folly, the Great Wolf immediately took ship to Fenris, bringing the might of the Space Wolves with him. Finally, on the upper slopes of The Fang itself, the Great Wolf met Magnus in battle on the final day of the siege. The Great Wolf's violence against the Sorcerer was stoked by rage, the rage he had cultivated ever since leaving Gangava. The faces of the slain on Fenris appeared in his mind, growling in accusation. These dead had been sacrificed on the altar of his hubris, and now they demanded retribution. Ironhelm intended to deliver it. The Great Wolf pummelled the injured Daemon Primarch with his Power Fist, hitting him again, and again, smashing him against the rocks of The Fang’s flanks. Magnus cried out then, a cry of pain that had not been heard since Leman Russ had mortally wounded his first body on Prospero a thousand years before.
For a moment, it looked like Magnus had lost the will to fight. He absorbed the punishment, his back arching against the cliffs. But then, he began to remember himself. Even now, even after enduring so much, having absorbed so much pain, his essential strength, the core of fire that fuelled him, remained inviolate. The Great Wolf was driven back toward the edge and beaten down to his knees. The Daemon Primarch had proved to be too powerful for him and slew Harek, but not before taking a terrible wound himself. Before dying, the Great Wolf took solace knowing that his Wolves had already penetrated The Fang. The Astartes of the Space Wolves would hunt down every invader in those halls, one by one, driven by the remorseless focus that had always been their badge of honour. The fact that they would come too late to save him was unimportant. Magnus had failed and The Fang would endure.
But Magnus took some small consolation in his Legion's defeat, for ultimately, he had achieved his primary objective. Magnus the Red personally destroyed the Space Wolves' gene-laboratories within The Fang. He shattered the birthing tubes and trampled and tore apart the experimental Sons of Russ who had been freed from the genetic curse of the Wulfen. The vials of altered Space Wolves gene-seed were all destroyed, broken into glistening shards of glass and the Cogitators were consumed by flames. Irreplaceable genetic engineering equipment, some of it dating back to the days of the Unification on Terra, had been devastated beyond repair, its priceless inner mechanics now nothing more than useless wreckage. During the Daemon Primarch's rampage in The Fang's fleshchambers he was confronted by the Wolf Priest Hraldir. Though the valiant Space Wolf faced the Primarch, he proved no match for the might of one of the sons of the Emperor, and was slain. With his death, his program to create Successor Chapters of the Space Wolves could not be completed. None now lived within the Chapter who understood Hraldir’s work, and the necessary genetic alteration equipment had been utterly destroyed. After this, the Space Wolves would forever remain alone, the sole inheritors of the legacy of Leman Russ. Magnus had gained his revenge for the loss of Prospero's promise.
More recently, in the late 41st Millennium, Magnus plotted yet more schemes to rid himself of Leman Russ' get, using one of his best apprentices, the Chaos Sorcerer Madox. Madox' task was to foster unrest and corrupt the rulers of the planet Garm, to make the theft of the ancient Space Wolves artefact known as the Spear of Russ possible. Magnus ultimately planned to use the artefact to resurrect some of his fallen Thousand Sons, and, if possible, to manifest himself in the Materium to lead yet another assault on the Space Wolves' homeworld. To blind the Space Wolves to his true objective, Madox fomented a Cult of Tzeentch on Fenris itself. He was thwarted there by Ragnar Blackmane, but, with the Space Wolves busy with scouring their homeworld of the Chaotic taint, Magnus' Chaos Cultists on Garm managed to instigate a planetary revolt, overwhelm the small garrison of Space Wolves guarding the Spear, and initiate the Chaotic ritual. It almost succeeded, but the ritual was disrupted in the nick of time by Ragnar Blackmane, who managed to slay the lead cultist, and then, in desperation, seized the Spear and hurled it into Magnus' cyclopean eye as the Daemon Primarch sought to emerge through the open Warp Gate. This disrupted Magnus' concentration, and ultimately made the whole ritual fail.
However, Magnus is nothing if adaptive, and now in possession of the Spear of Russ, he devised yet another scheme to rid the galaxy of the hated Space Wolves. Sending Madox forth once more, Magnus ordered him to foment troubles on multiple planets in the sector around Fenris, and use the cover provided by these uprisings to perform very specific sorcerous rituals on those planets. The plan would then culminate in a cataclysmic ritual using the alignment of the planets and the Spear of Russ to corrupt every Space Wolf's Canis Helix, and transform them all into Wulfen. This would cause massive slaughter on an unprecedented scale as the Space Wolves devolved into madness, and would see the Imperium ultimately declare them Excommunicate Traitoris, to Magnus' great delight.
This plan nearly succeeded, but was again thwarted by Ragnar Blackmane, who, with the help of the 13th Great Company, managed to finally slay Madox and recover the Spear of Russ. However, the combination of the sector-wide uprisings and isolated eruptions of the Wulfen curse did manage to maul the Space Wolves, with few losses for Magnus and the Thousand Sons. The mighty Daemon Primarch still seeks vengeance against the Get of Russ for the destruction of Prospero and the corruption of the Thousand Sons, and he will never rest until the Chapter has been wiped from the face of the galaxy...
- The Blade of Magnus - Formerly known as The Blade of Ahn-Nunura, this ancient weapon changes form according to Magnus' will, and its mutagenic powers extend to its victims.
- Crown of the Crimson King - The blazing halo of power that plays around Magnus' horns protects both his mind and body from harm.
- The Horned Raiment - The unique and ancient Power Armour worn by the Crimson King since ancient times ten millennia earlier.
- The Horned Raiment - Magnus' armour was believed to be as much a thing of tangible psychic force and Empyreal energy as it was a physical construction, shifting form and appearance as he willed, and the means by which it protected him was proof against the most savage weapons despite its often primitive appearance.
- The Blade of Ahn-Nunura - Taking the distinctive shape of the weapon of the Prosperine war god of ancient myth, this Force Weapon combined ancient lore and Imperial weapons technology and was lethal to living creatures and battle engines alike.
- Arcane Litanies - The bearer of Arcane Litanies was protected from the powers of the Warp and the denizens that dwelled within.
- Psyfire Serpenta - A hand gun of prodigious size seemingly conjured to his grasp at need, there was always some debate even among Magnus' Legion whether this powerful Plasma Weapon was truly a device or simply a manifestation of his psychic powers in physical form.
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition), pp. 17, 46
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pp. 86-88
- Index Astartes III, "Masters of Forbidden Knowledge - The Thousand Sons Space Marine Legion", pp. 62-69
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
- Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned (1st Edition)
- The Horus Heresy - Book Seven: Inferno by Alan Bligh
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition)
- White Dwarf 326 (US), "Psykana Librarius", pg. 76
- White Dwarf 267 (US), "Index Astartes First Founding: Masters of Forbidden Knowledge, The Thousand Sons Space Marine Legion"
- White Dwarf 263 (US), "Runes of Forging - Aaron Dill's Crazy Conversion Competition Finale: Magnus the Red, Demon Lord of Tzeentch", pp. 28-29
- White Dwarf 230 (US), "Bitter and Twisted: Ahriman" and "Chapter Approved: Thousand Sons Terminators", pp. 39-43, 71-79
- White Dwarf 150 (US), "'Eavy Metal: Epic Daemons - Magnus the Red: Primarch of Tzeentch", pp. 68-69
- Horus Heresy Novel Series:
- False Gods (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- A Thousand Sons (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- The First Heretic (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Prospero Burns (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Aurelian (Novella) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- The Outcast Dead (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Age of Darkness (Anthology), "Rebirth" by Chris Wraight
- The Space Wolf Omnibus (Novel) by William King
- Space Wolf: The Second Omnibus (Novel) by William King and Lee Lightner
- Battle of the Fang (Novel) by Chris Wraight
- The Hunt for Magnus (Novel) by Chris Wraight
- War Zone Fenris: Wrath of Magnus, pg. 147
|Horus • Leman Russ • Lost Primarchs • Ferrus Manus • Fulgrim • Vulkan • Rogal Dorn • Roboute Guilliman • Magnus the Red • Sanguinius • Lion El'Jonson • Perturabo • Mortarion • Lorgar • Jaghatai Khan • Konrad Curze • Angron • Corvus Corax • Alpharius Omegon|