Hello again 40k fans! Chris Morgan, Chief Librarian of the Forge the Narrative Podcast, is here again with the next weekly segment of Tomes of the Librarius. Also, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!
In the Beginning
The Crusade (Contains Some Information From the Horus Heresy Weekender 2019)
What little is known of the Blood Angels and the great crusade up to this point speaks only to their ferocity as warriors and loyalty to the emperor. Recently unveiled lore indicates that the IXth legion was known as the Eaters of the Dead before his coming, and that they were often sent alone into inhospitable systems to conquer in the name of the Emperor. Their gene-seed was specially tailored to raise mutated, irradiated, or otherwise unhealthy warriors to the ranks of the legion, and Sanguinius’ beatific genetic heritage would transform these broken and disheveled peoples into nigh-perfect physical specimens. In this way, the legion could replenish its ranks from an otherwise unclean or imperfect population, and continue semi-autonomously away from much support. This transformation came at a cost, as the transformation process was extremely arduous and had a high mortality rate. The trauma that they experienced during this process often left warriors with mental quirks and violent tendencies. A large portion developed psychic potential, making them extra dangerous. When reunited with Sanguinius, his gene-seed helped to temper their more wild tendencies and brought down the attrition rate, though it remained one of the most difficult transformations throughout all the legions. Sanguinius taught his warriors to temper their wrath through discipline in the arts, and soon their armor, weapons, ships, and fortresses were home to masterpieces of artwork. These, like Sanguinius himself, were not there to brag or boast, but to pursue a transcendent enlightenment and gain mastery over themselves through devotion to creation, even as they devoted their martial skills to destruction.
It was not long before the IXth legion gained a different reputation. They were used as close-quarters shock troops, and their tempered ferocity saw them win over and conquer many systems in the name of the Imperium. Sanguinius would brook no opposition, and he would not waste time debating rebellious or errant worlds. Upon arriving on a world, Sanguinius and his warriors would deploy in their majesty and splendor – red-golden gods of war bedecked in the highest forms of art known to man – and give the world one chance to join the Imperium peacefully. Many wars were averted as the disparate tribes of mankind were awed into submission by Sanguinius, and the rest were forced to capitulate. It was not long before the Blood Angels were recognized for their successes and became an honor guard for the Emperor himself during several campaigns. Sanguinius himself performed many feats of strength, including single-handedly destroying an Eldar Revenant titan.
Sanguinius’ presence inspired hope among his human army allies, and often jealousy among his own brothers. He and Horus were as close as brothers could be, instantly gravitating towards each other’s charisma and tactical acumen, and they fought together on many battlefields. Sanguinius was part of the coalition of three primarchs, also including Magnus and Jaghatai Khan, which was responsible for forming the Librarius among the legions. This lasted until the Edict of Nikea, which banned the use of psykers within the legions shortly after the Ullanor campaign. He was loved and respected by most of his brothers, and envied or feared by the rest. Dorn acknowledged him as a superlative warrior, Vulkan held him in awe for his angelic visage, Lorgar never doubted his loyalty, and even Kurze said he was the only one of his brothers he would never be able to kill. No other primarch carried the Emperor’s vision for humanity closer to heart than Sanguinius – a fact that Horus admitted after his wounding on Davin. Even so, Sanguinius often had his own doubts. He was a walking symbol of faith in a secular empire, and that ferocity that brought fear to his enemies was a darkness in his heart that he was keenly aware of. He strove to overcome it as much as his sons did, and it is perhaps this constant war against the shadow within that gave him the strength of will and character to resist the trials that were coming…
There’s a lot to say about Sanguinius, and I don’t have the space to say it all at once. Keep your eyes peeled for part two coming in two weeks as I take a week off to help Reece with the Las Vegas Open.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!