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World Eaters 16th Company


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Numeration: Legio XII, Company XVI

Primogenitor: Angron the Conqueror

Battlebarge: The Merciless

Tactical specialization: Boarding assaults, Exterminatus and Zone Mortalis operations, Line-breaker attacks

Allegiance: Traitoris Perdita




Dramatis Personae

[From Isstvan III to The Fall of Virtus Prime]


The World Eaters Legion

Tiberius Thanatos, Captain of the 16th Company

Irex Nornas, Legate Commander [KIA: Isstvan III]

Solomon Drakon, Champion of the Pits

Borg “Redhands”, Champion of the pits [shadow Crusade/Pits of the Merciless – Drakon]

Skath, Chaplain

Garalth, Master of Signal [KIA: Isstvan III]

Verjell, High Codicer [isstvan V/Pits of the Merciless - Thanatos]

Kallax “Night Lord”, Primus medicae

Arkadios, Apothecary

Drapaes, Apothecary

Abyron, Apothecary

Ancient Daegron, Contemptor Dreadnought

Balon, Contemptor Dreadnought

Rhaskos “Headbutter”, Sergeant – II Tactical squad

Lennar “Blooddrinker”, Sergeant – IV Tactical squad

“Bad Luck” Kull, Sergeant – XII Tactical squad

Urron, Sergeant – I Outrider Squad [MIA: Isstvan V]

Gerakh, Sergeant – I Outrider Squad

Rakhan, Sergeant – II Assault Squad


Personnel of the Merciless

Val Kheren, Senechal



BIRTH: Hounds of war

The first known references to the 16th company of the 12th Legion come from the fragmented accounts of the 32nd Fleet, where it is reported as one of the three War Hounds companies assigned to the Expedition.

By that time, the Legion had already cemented his savage reputation by repressing the Cerberus Insurrection [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA], and the Merciless -as the 16th was named by their horrified comrades of the Imperial Army- lived up to that fame, acting as brutal shock troops for the Expeditionary Fleet.



In 817.M30 the 32nd came across the world of Baeblonia, a non-compliant human planet which developed nevertheless a high level of tecnology.

After a few weeks of tractatives, nine out of ten Imperial ambassadors on the planet were beheaded and sent back to the fleet, the last one spared just to show the horrible avatars of refusal.

One hour later, the War Hounds slipped the leash and assaulted the capital city, turning blood red the white marble in which it was built.

Three hours later, the planet declared unconditionate surrender, but the Expedition's command had no success in calling back the Astartes, who slaughtered the whole population of Baeblonia and displayed their severed heads on every building of their cities.

This “incident” resulted in a fraction between the Imperial officers and the 12th legion commanders, and the War Hounds were mostly held in reserve in latter compliances, only to be unleashed when extermination or at least crippling submission remained the only viable options.

Their new fame alone, though, proved to be more than enough to cast a great number of worlds into compliance without shedding a single drop of blood.



In 841.M30 the 32nd Expedition found itself on a dead point, as the Imperial Militia proved unable to break the siege of Hierotzelem, a fortress-world ruled by a caste of fanatic warrior priests devoted to a degenerated variant of the old Catheric religion.

The Fleet's officers had to choose between a shameful withdrawal or sending the 12th: the capital was swiftly taken, but an auto-destruction device activated by Hierotzelem's mad priests to prevent their precious relics to fall in “unworthy” hands provoked the death of more than a hundred Astartes and thousands of humans from the Imperial Army and the planet's populace aswell.

Urron Morekh, Logan Dethorf and Fjell Brockhurt, Centurions of the War Hounds Legion, were counted among the dead.

Tiberius Thanatos, a terran-born Astartes and recently appointed Champion of the 16th company, was the most senior officer left: he proceeded to reorganize the legionary force by annecting the survivors of the other two companies to his own, slaying their potential leaders one by one in the pits of the Battlebarge Merciless, evidently so named after the legionnaires it hosted.

So two Warhounds companies were cast in the oblivion of history, and the 16th Great Company was born.



EVOLUTION: Sons of a broken God

As the Legions grew in size and many came to be reunited with their Primarchs the task of reinforcement became less important, and the 12th Legion was brought back together under the banner of the “Bloody 13th”, the Expeditionary Fleet with the largest number of War Hounds along with dedicated assault and fleet support elements.

The 16th mustered on the planet Bodt along with the rest of the Legion, and saw its ranks refilled with new stocks of wargear and fresh recruits to be trained on volcanic sands.

Available informations about the finding of the Primarch Angron can be found here [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA].
In this account, it will be enough to say that in a Legion already based on honor and fighting prowess the martial ideal represented by Angron found a vast number of devoted followers, not least among them Centurion Thanatos of the 16th.

Having been told of the latter's escalade to command the Primarch laughed his approvation, thus “officially” confirming his position as captain of the Battlebarge Merciless and commander of three hundred Astartes.

After reshaping the War Hounds and making them his World Eaters, Angron departed Bodt with his men and launched himself in a bloody rampage across the galaxy, where his Legion gave a total new meaning to its fame for brutality and bloodshed.

A report of the late Heresy era states that “The planets upon which the World Eaters fell were not merely crushed – they were destroyed utterly.

Where once resistance had been found, now were left only grave worlds in their stead – planets not merely burned or blasted from on high but slaughtered in their streets and palaces, factories and fortresses […] the World Eaters Legion became a byword for unbridled violence and slaughter on a gran scale, shunned by many of their fellow Legions for their excesses and whispered of in fear by those who in theory they had been created to protect”.

The first known target to have suffered their wrath was the Golgothan Sector [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA].

The campaign that ensued lasted eleven terran years and entered in the annals of the Imperium as the “Golgothan Slaughter”, and saw “no less than forty-eight worlds and outposts ravaged […] and seven separate dangerous xeno species rendered extinct”, though only minor documental evidence of these conflicts survived to these days.

Most of the informations we currently have focus on what is spoken of as the first and most important battle of the whole campaign: the Siege of Sarum.

Non-16th company specific informations about the siege can be found here [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA]



Thanatos was as keen as any other legionnaire -and perhaps even more so- to impress his new-found father in battle, and the Merciless was selected as one of the two hundred Battleships to be part of the initial spearhead.

It is said that it was him to propose the idea of hammering the smaller enemy ships in close formation, once the strike force found itself outgunned and outnumbered inside the Brotherhood's fleet, and this proved to be a vital part of the plan deviced to rescue Sarum.

After breaking the line of the enemy fleet the World Eaters were able to enter the planet's orbit and release a great number of gunships and drop pods on its surface, but the 16th was not among them: the Merciless remained in orbit, where their good fame for void warfare would be put to better use.

Some retrieved files from the archives of the 12th Legion state that the 16th Company successfully boarded and captured four smaller ships and a Battlebarge, while destroying an indefinite number of ork Terror ships.

As the battle in space had been won and the Primarch led the final assault on Sarum, the battered Astartes of the Merciless made planetfall and joined the slaughter.


Its wargear repaired and restocked by the Red Priests of Sarum, the 16th Great Company is also reported to have partecipated in Space Hulk cleansing operations during the extermination of the Ork empires of Blitzklaw and Neverlight and in line-breaker assaults against the xeno Khrave of Serreak-17 and the Craftworld Tuonoetar.

The same report previously quoted in this account states that “nor were human and abhuman worlds spared the Legion's wrath: Susa, Gwydion, Jubal, Badlanding and a dozen more all fell before those Angels of Death[...]” and altough no documental evidence survived of the 16th's involvement in such massacres, it's not hard at all to hypotize it, as there is no other document stating XII Legion activity anywhere else in the galaxy at that time.

The first documental evidence we have about the 16th Great Company after its involvement against the Craftworld Tuonoetar comes in the form of a sworn testimony made by Praetor Tullius Maemnionem of the Ultramarines Legion during Lord Guilliman's denounce of his brother's methods that ensued their collaboration on the rebel planet Arrigata.

General informations about the conflict can be found here [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA].



Towards the end of the Great Crusade, Warmaster Horus Lupercal led a combined force comprising of his own Sons of Horus, the Ultramarines and the World Eaters Legions to take back the technologically advanced planet Arrigata from the separatists who controlled it.

At the start of the conflict the 16th was tasked with conquering an hive city close to the fortified capital, as many other companies were, in order to cut it off from receiving any reinforcement or even basic resources.

The hive city was taken after three days of wholesale slaughter and its population completely exterminated by the uncontrollable Astartes of the 12th Legion, much to the horror of their Ultramarines allies.

This was but an omen of what was going to pass in Arrigata's capital, for the sons of Guilliman yet had to discover that the World Eaters used their dead brothers' corpses as a ramp to breach the city's walls and butchered all of its inhabitants and their political leaders, contrarily to the Warmaster's own orders.

The Merciless, still wet with the blood of a whole hive city, were redeployed and are reported to be present in this final assault.


The World Eaters' spiral of violence had its apex in the most dreaded Scouring of Ghenna [RECORDS UNAVAILABLE], when the planet was deprived of its whole population in the course of a single night.

As the massacre's bloody legend began to circulate, so did the rumors about widespread use of psycho-surgery within the Legion.

The confession of Hjell Serask, berserker of the warband “Angron's Chosen” that is suspected to originate from the 16th company, should be certainly taken as that of a snake-tongued heretic, but also represents the only direct sources we have about the company's involvement in such practices.

The studies conducted on Serask's body about the cortical implants called “Butcher's nails” can be found here [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA].

The berserker revealed that the Primarch Angron himself had been implanted such devices on [REDACTED], and wanted to pass them on to his sons to boost their battle prowess and ferocity to yet higher levels.

Most of the Legion accepted it: some enthusiastically, others reluctantly, but all willing to be closer to their genetic father.

The Merciless were among the first kind: the Nails quickly saw widespread use within the Company and Centurion Thanatos greatly encouraged their use, being one of the first in the whole Legion to willingly submit himself as a tester for the implancts reproduced by the Apothecarion of the Conqueror.

As soon as the wispers about this practice became openly voiced demands for censure from Imperial authorities -Roboute Guilliman first among them, after witnessing the Legion at work on Arrigata- the Emperor sent Primarch Leman Russ to meet Angron on the very field of Ghenna and make him stop with such a prohibited and foul surgery.

This resulted in the incident known as “The night of the Wolf”.



A rare cronique made by Eyrasemus Reyedhaam in 239.M31 states that “The two Legions met at Malkoya, on the fields beyond the dead Ghennan city of that same name.”, and Primarch Leman Russ informed Angron of the Emperor's decree: the implantation surgeries had to stop as well as the massacres of newly discovered non-compliant human worlds, and the 12th Legion was to be escorted by the Space Wolves on Terra where the Butcher's Nails would be forever removed from the legionnaires' brains.

Angron “refused to recognise his brother's authority, and warned the Wolf King to depart before the situation would become something he would regret […] No one ever saw who fired the first shot”.

The two legions came to battle, yet the clash proved to be both bloody and inconclusive, as “both sides claimed victory […] But Angron did not return to Terra, nor did he stop the implantation of his Astartes”.

I decided to report this event for the sake of completion, but there are no other sources to confirm its existence, except for the claims of some World Eaters themselves.

It should be therefore taken as an inconsistent rumor, or as a legend from the days of old.

Quite interesting, tough, a pic capture taken by a Benheventan rememberancer during the Shadow Crusade [GO TO DATA FOR MORE INFORMATION] shows Sergeant Kull of the Merciless 12th Tactical squad shooting a bolt pistol with Space Wolves iconography on it.


After that, the Emperor directly called Angron before him for reprimand, forbidding once more the use of the Butcher's Nails and exiling the World Eaters in the northern fringes of the galaxy, where they could slaughter a great number of xeno races aways from the Imperium's core worlds.

Unfortunately, there is no surviving source regarding this period of the Company's history.



BETRAYAL: The blood of my brother

The name of the World Eaters returns in the annals of the Imperium in occasion of the mustering called by Warmaster Horus Lupercal in order to suppress the Isstvan III uprising.

General informations about the rebellion and the infamous Atrocity that followed can be found here [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA]



Given the enthusiasm shown by the Merciless in receiving their cortical implants, it comes to no surprise that they sided with their Primarch -and therefore Horus- in the events to come.

There is little evidence regarding how those to be sent in the first wave of the Isstvan assault were chosen.

It's accepted as a fact that the warrior lodges tak took hold in other Legions didn't work for the World Eaters, because the 12th's bonds of brotherhood were forged in its Gladiatorial Pits.

It's safe to hypotize, though, that accepting the Nails or not could be a discriminating criteria.

Lacking the words of loyalist survivors or material evidence due to the planet's destruction, I am forced to heavily base this account upon the words of the previously named heretic Hjell Serask.

He says that the Merciless returned from the northern fringes two hundred and fifty men strong and left Isstvan V with less than a hundred Astartes.

How many among those dead were chosen for the first wave on Isstvan III, how many died at their hands or how many were killed on Isstvan V is extremely hard to tell, though Serask insists that at least seventy legionnaires were sent to their death under command of Irex Nornas, one of the company's most appreciated officers.

The Battlebarge Merciless remained in orbit, launching its sons to their death sentence.

As the fighting turned in the Space Marine's favour, the ship cut off every vox-link and retired to allow the bombardment of the planet by the gathered Gloriana battleships of the Legions: exterminatus-class weapons were wasted on the surface of Isstvan III in order to wipe it off of every living form and complete the inter-legionary purge, killing those who had survived the hard assault to the planet.

Six billion souls died in less than a minute, as organic matter collapsed and the air became fire.

As Horus' treachery finally unfolded, some within the fleet tried to run away and bring notice to the unknowing Imperium: a precious few -like Captain Saul Tarvitz or Garro of the Eisenstein- managed to escape, but many others were put down by a sea of daggers waiting at their back.

The Merciless was one of those daggers, boarding ships and destroying thunderhawks with his weapon arrays after repressing a minor internal rebellion led by the Master of Signal Garalth.

Thanks to the messages received by those comrades in orbit, a great number of loyalist Astartes found shelter in sealed bunkers and bastions, surviving the bombardment and forcing their traitor brothers to make planetfall.

Following the first wave of World Eaters from the Conqueror that defied the Warmaster's command and assaulted Isstvan III, the Merciless withdrew from the void combat and swarmed its warriors on the planet's surface where they joined the mayhem in the Choral City plazas.

At this point the remaining members of the Merciless were already battered and bloodied, the Nails singing hard in their heads: they killed with no remorse, once and for all giving up to their berserker madness and bathing in the blood of their brothers of the 12th Legion.

The bulk of the company went on assaulting a network of Death Guard defended bunkers in the attrition war that followed, while many among them became little more than rabid beasts hungry for slaughter and dispersed in the chaos of the northern city.

Only later could the company's officers reunite those mindless killers, with the worst among them reorganised in the brutal units called “Red Butchers” that were soon to be unleashed upon their foes on Isstvan V.



MASSACRE: Void hunter

It would later be clear that many of the experimental implancts received by the Merciless were particularly strong, and degenerated faster than those of their brothers.

After the Betrayal many of them had already reached the point of no return, though a pirric majority still retained some kind of control over the Nails.

Those members who returned from the ruined surface of Isstvan III were quickly reorganised and resupplied on board of the Merciless as the Warmaster prepared the next stage of his plan, which would come to be known as the Isstvan V Dropsite Massacre.

General informations regarding the battle can be found here [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA].



The Merciless was part of the fleet that ambushed the Imperial vessels after the loyalist force was deployed on Isstvan V.

Retrieved registrations from the wrecks of two different Raven Guard cruisers that crushed on the planet's surface show Thanatos single-handedly killing the opposing Astartes Commander, leaving the defenders in chaos while his company methodically proceeds to slaughter every living-being on board.

Capturing the enemy ship does not even seem to be considered as an option, though video trasmissions from a failed boarding attempt on the Merciless in M37 showed a pair of ragged Raven Guard vexillas exposed in the ship's command bridge.

There is no sign of involvement on the surface's events until the end of the infamous battle that was taking place while they fought in the void.



When the 16th company landed on Isstvan V, they found their brothers and allies massing around the great iron tower built for Horus in the Urgall Depression.

They rejoined the survivors of their Legion as the Warmaster celebrated his unholy triumph and promised them a swift victory over the Emperor, a goal that would prove far harder to obtain than Horus had figured.

After that night the bulk of the traitor force left the Isstvan system, heading for new destinations such as Paramar, Phall and Thramas, but the 12th Legion indulged his bloodlust and remained on the surface for ninety-eight days more, stalking the black desert as feral predators needing to feed on loyalist survivors.

The Merciless particularly focused on the hunt for a well organized group of Raven Guard legionnaires led by a terran born Praetor named Huginn.

Those desperate Astartes exacted an heavy toll on their pursuers and survived for more than two weeks, but were ultimately tracked down while retiring from a supply raid and crushed under the 16th's overwhelming force of blood thirsty berserkers, their skulls taken as trophies or used to create an enormous cairn in the place of their final stand.



CONQUEST: The Five Hundred Worlds Burn

After the ninety eight days of Isstvan V, the World Eaters were sent in the Segmentum Ultima along with the Word Bearers to begin the bloody campaign which would come to be known as The Shadow Crusade [OPEN EXTERNAL DATA], meant to shed enough blood and despair to tear the veils of reality and unleash a violent warpstorm capable of isolating the realm of Ultramar from the rest of the Imperium. The Merciless were sent right outside the borders of the Five Hundred Worlds, in the Australis Ultima Sector, and tasked to unleash as much devastation as possible to cause a minor storm which would cut off that border of the Ultramarine Empire from every possible link with Australis. Other than the aid given by the massive presence of traitor solar auxilia, it is safe to assume that the ranks of the 16th had been refilled before the attack, as their numbers after the Isstvan Campaign would have never been enough to sustain the amount of losses required in the invasion of a System.

The amount of destruction caused by the Merciless in this darkest period of the Imperial History was extremely severe, and little remained in their wake, other than corpses, broken worlds and terrible legends.
Writing in depth about this side conflict of the Shadow Crusade is therefore extremely hard, if not impossible, and we have to heavily rely on the Prosperinian myths, without a clear vision about their intersection with history.
I managed nevertheless to retrieve a small series of war bulletins and vox reports about two different battles of this time, the Assault on Mardrion and the Siege of Iulia Augusta, both of which seem to suggest a way more complex situation than mere slaughter on an undefended population.



 The first prey of the World Eaters was Mardrion, an Imperial Hive World and the outest planet of the Prosperine System.

The Merciless started with the bombardment of Alpha-51, the PDF's main complex, believing to directly destroy most the planet's military defences and be therefore able to swiftly slaughter the remaining population.

When they made planetfall, though, they discovered that a Raven Guard company fled from Isstvan V and preceeded their arrival on Madrion, willing to bring word of Horus' betrayal, receive fresh supplies and now protect the Emperor's domains.

Despite their honourable determination, though, they were too few and battered.

The Merciless quickly overrun Mardrion's capital and Alpha-51, and Centurion Thanatos proved once again his combat prowess by single handedly slaying Praetor Rahalderic Vosan and his Honor Guard in the ruins of the military complex.

The Raven Guards were left no other choice than to withdraw from the planet with those few Imperial citiziens they could evacuate, while the World Eaters turned the roads of the hive cities into rivers of blood.



While the Merciless fought on Mardrion, Antroth was attacked by a renegade section of the Imperial Army, which started a long attrition war with the Planetary Defense Force.

The call for help of the Prosperine sector was heeded by the ninth company of the Salamanders Legion, led by Praetor Nocturus.

These Astartes had been fighting on the outest fringes of the Ultima Sector and could not join the rest of the Legion on Isstvan V: receiving news of galaxy-wide betrayal by the scattered Raven Guard survivors, they decided to immediately intervene in the conflict, crush the traitors and then go deeper in the Segmentum Ultima to join forces with the Ultramarine empire.

As these warriors landed on Antroth, the balance of the conflict irremediably shifted and forced the World Eaters to redeploy and face their new foes.

After a series of small engagements, the Salamanders were slowly forced on the defensive and chose to bunker themselves in Antroth's fortified capital, Iulia Augusta.

The siege went on for three bloody months before the city's walls were eventually breached: the Salamanders posed a glorious last stand, making the Merciless pay in blood for every step, until a solitary World Eaters Dreadclaw crashed in the core of their defenses and caused a series of explosions that scattered the fighters and made vox communication almost impossible.

In the subsequent chaos, Sergeant Lennar killed Praetor Nocturus, putting Augusta's hopes to an end.

The leaderless 18th Legion fought valiantly, but they couldn't do anything more than delay an unavoidable carnage.


With no Astartes left to protect it, and with the local militia severely weakened by the attrition war sustained against his traitor counterpart, the Prosperine System was little more than a hopeless victim waiting for the final, murderous strike.

The World Eaters were free to unleash their savage instincts on its worlds, each of them ravaged beyond recognition and forever scarred in its history.

As I wrote earlier in this report, everything that remains of this period are the horrific Prosperinian tales about the atrocities and slaughterfeasts committed by the sons of Angron, which I renounce to describe in detail in this account. A collection of those stories can be found in the volume [REDACTED] by [REDACTED].
















Captain Tiberius Thanatos, Commander of the Merciless





Great Crusade.

First born son of a Terran tech-barbarian warlord, Tiberius Thanatos was taken as a tribute and recruited in the Emperor's 12th Legion after his father was cast into submission at the end of the Unification Wars.

He swiftfully emerged from the ranks, being the exact kind of officer the twelfth needed at the time: a brutal, cunning but noble leader driven by his own pragmatic honor code, as he had been raised up to be when he was meant to inherit the mantle of command in his tribe.

When the 16th Company's Centurion died in the Siege of Hierotzelem, Tiberius won command over the Merciless by defeating every other pretendant in the ritual fights that followed: not yet satisfied, he also challenged those of the other two companies attached to the 32nd expedition along with the 16th, who too had lost their respective Centurions during the Siege.

Bending or killing every opponent, Thanatos found himself alone to command a battleship and -at full strenght- three hundred Astartes, a position that would later be confirmed with a laughter of approval by the Primarch Angron. In the following years he proved himself a skilled void commander and a warm brother for all of the 12th Legion, respected for his insight and martial sense of humor as well as for his physical resilience and hand-to hand skills, but he was never animated by the same fervour some of his brothers had towards the Emperor of Mankind.

To Tiberius he was a distant, brutal tyrant who destroyed the life he was meant to live and whom he was forced to serve by lack of choices.

This is why when Angron came to the Legion with his tragic story and his bloody warrior code he was seen by Thanatos as a similar soul to him, and easily won his loyalty over that for the Emperor.

In Angron, Thanatos found a true leader to follow and someone he would gladly fight for: such was Tiberius' devotion to his genesire that he was among the first to volunteer as a test for the cortical implants soon to become widespread within the Legion.

The Conqueror's Apothecarion was nowhere near creating a stable, final product at the time, and as it would soon turn out, Tiberius' implants were too similar to those of his Primarch.

Too strong even for an Astartes to endure, they soon took away the best from him -but he resisted them for long, stoic, functioning as best as he could as a leader for his men and never regretting this act of devotion to his genesire.


Tiberius also wielded Gorebringer, a massive two handed chainsword crafted by Archmagos Veneratus Vel Kheredar.

“The Primarch's gift”, as it is often called, was given to Tiberius by Angron himself, not yet completely overrun by the Nails and the despise for his genetic sons, as a reward for the captain's vital contribution during the void war fought in Sarum's atmosphere.

The weapon's teeth, made with a misterious xeno material found during the Golgothan Slaughter, proved enough to tear through a Tactical Dreadnought Armor during the dark times of the Horus Heresy.


Isstvan III.

Given Tiberius' admiration for his Primarch, it comes to no surprise that he sided with him in the grim events that would come to be known as “The Horus Heresy”.

The Captain had to personally choose those of his warriors who would be part of the initial assault to Isstvan III, and thus be betrayed and condamned to die under the virus bombs of their own fleet.

Ever obedient and loyal to Angron, he chose almost seventy Astartes and put Irex Nornas in charge of this spearhead.

Nornas was Tiberius' second in command and perhaps his closest friend, but he never even tried to hide his resentment for Angron's reshaping of the Legion: sending him to his death on Isstvan was unavoidable, though this -along with having to secretly betray almost a third of his warriors- would undoubtedly mark the breaking point for a caring officer such as Thanatos, whose only solace had been found in brotherhood for all the years of the Great Crusade.

He nevertheless followed Angron in his assault to the surface and shed the blood of his brothers, abandoning himself to the Nails and the comfort they offered in exchange for slaughter.

A persistent rumour claims that he managed to speak with a dying Nornas before he surrended his will to their artifical oblivion, while others believe that he personally killed his lieutenant.

In any case, it would later be said by many that Captain Thanatos never made it back to the Merciless, but that a broken monster with his name and face had taken his place at the head of the 16th company.

His cortical implants finally had the better of him, claiming one of the 12th Legion's most exteemed officers among their slaves in a bloody anticipation of what would soon become of all the sons of the Red Angel.

Isstvan V.

The Merciless was part of the fleet that ambushed the Imperial vessels after the loyalist force was deployed on Isstvan V.

Retrieved registrations from the wrecks of two different Raven Guard cruisers show Thanatos single-handedly killing the opposing Astartes Commander, leaving the defenders in chaos while his company methodically proceeds to slaughter every living-being on board.

There is no sign of involvement on the surface's event during this phase of the conflict.
After the battle was considered won and Horus' main forces left Isstvan V, the 12th Legion indulged its bloodlust and remained on the planet for ninety-eight days more, stalking the black desert as feral predators needing to feed on loyalist survivors.

The Merciless focused on the hunt for a well organized group of Raven Guard legionnaires led by a terran born Praetor named Huginn.

Those desperate Astartes exacted an heavy toll on their pursuers and survived for more than two weeks, but were ultimately tracked down while retiring from a supply raid and crushed under the 16th's overwhelming force of blood thirsty berserkers, their skulls taken as trophies or used to create an enormous cairn in the place of their final stand.

From the scarce sources we have, it seems like Praetor Huginn fell under a blood-crazed horde of World Eaters legionnaires.

The event infuriated Thanatos greatly, as he wanted his skull for himself: this seems to be the first manifestation of an head hunting attitute which would come to emerge with greater clarity during the following years of the Horus Heresy.


Shadow Crusade.

When his 16th Company attacked the Hive World Mardrion during the Shadow Crusade, Captain Tiberius Thanatos led the attack to Military Complex Alpha-51, rushing against a well prepared defense made up by the local PDF as well as a small continged of Raven Guard survivors from Isstvan V.

The resistance was brutally crushed by the berserker assault of the Merciless, and Thanatos collected the head of Rahalderic Vosan, Praetor of the Raven Guard, as well as those of his terminator honour guards.


During the siege of Iulia Augusta, Thanatos was heavily wounded by a massive shard of ferrocrete that splattered his secondary heart and left him impotent and agonising on the ground, forgotten by his blood maddened brothers in their need to fight against the garrison of Salamanders defending the city.

Captured by the enemy and taken inside the walls, he was imprisoned and questioned for a brief time.

In truth, Captain Nocturus of the Salamanders had long been separated from his legion, and learned about the events of Isstvan V by the few Raven Guards that managed to escape slaughter on Mardrion.

Perhaps he hoped that a traitor would be better informed about Primarch Vulkan's disappearence, or the ongoing galaxy-wide civil war.

Whichever the case, the humiliation of being convicted and chained by the enemy set Thanatos' Butchers Nails aflame, and he didn't scream anything more than empty threats and meaningless farnetications.

Those often concerned the atrocities suffered by the loyalists on Istvaan III and V, though, and Nocturus gave up to the rage, almost beating Thanatos to death.

Tiberius' captivity did not last for long, for the freshly appointed Pit Champion of the Merciless, Solomon Drakon, soon led a new frenzied assault against the walls of Antroth's capital.

Though the World Eaters were repelled by the defenders, damages to the power generators of Augusta resulted in an energetic black-out which allowed Tiberius to evade his prison and rejoin his brothers. 

The chance for revenge presented itself after three months of bloody siege, when Thanatos met Nocturus at the heart of the breached city.

As their troops clashed among the flames that consumed Iulia Augusta, the two praetors faced each other for the last time.

At the end of a long and brutal fight Thanatos was beaten, his chest smashed by the Salamander's thunder hammer.

Humiliated twice by the same enemy, Tiberius would also see the denial of any further possibility for vengeance: Nocturus, severely injured and alone on the battlefield, was finished off by Sergeant Lennar “Blooddrinker”.

In the aftermath of the battle, Thanatos was recovered and brought to the apothecarion of the Merciless for recostruction.



Contemptor Dreadnought Ancient Daegron



An original Warhound from Terra who fought since the foundation of the Legion, he reported critical wounds after Hierotzelem's self destruction and was interred in one of the recently issued Contemptor Pattern Dreadnoughts.

At first he was a well esteemed veteran among the 16th, and even Thanatos often sought his wisdom, but when Angron's hand reshaped the Legion, not being able to receive the Nails isolated him from the once respectful Merciless.

He was left alone, with High Codicer Verjell and the other outcasts from the Librarium, to remember the times of the Old Legion and see the new one fall into corruption before his eyes.

By the time of Isstvan III the Contemptor's machine spirit had put its capricious roots deep into the warrior's consciousness, who was now awaken by his forgetful brothers only when war called as a weapon to be used and then restrained without remorse.



Primus Medicae Kallax “Night Lord”



Recruited from a death world during the Golgothan Slaughter, Kallax had pale skin and ice-blue eyes that made him stand out from the rest of his Legion.

Proving himself a quick learner, he was chosen to be part of the Conqueror's Apothecarion and suitably trained by the masters of the 12th.

The match between his world's man-hunting culture and anathomical studies soon gave birth to a cynical and sadist individual with a passion for psycological tortures and those mouse-and-cat situations which he would come to live quite often given the 16th company's -where he was detached at the end of his training- specialization for Zone Mortalis and Boarding actions, and this would prove to him a Nails-feeding method far more satisfying than crude slaughter.

Kallax became Primus Medicae of the Merciless when his predecessor Regran was slain during the Cleansing of Arrigata, being by far the strongest member of the Apothecarion left alive.

He started getting called “Night Lord” after the ninety-eight days of Isstvan V, where after the chase for any loyalist survivor a VIII Legion Praetor had his suit improved with fearful embellishments and silenced serfs for stalking operations in memory of the “great time they had together”.

Kallax is nevertheless a trusted lieutenant to Thanatos, who greatly esteems his feral cunning and discipline-enforcing methods.



Sergeant “Bad Luck” Kull



A Bodt born Astartes who entered service during the Ghenna Scouring, Kull was a cynical officer who had since earned many honours.

He was famous in the company for wielding a bolt pistol with Space Wolves iconography earned in the Night of the Wolf, despite the Legion's belief of inherited weapons bringing bad luck. 

“Only the weak needs luck” he always said, and had so earned the nickname “Bad Luck” Kull. 

During the assault on Mardrion, a Raven Guard terminator punched his head with a powerfist: an ironic fate wanted Kull lucky enough to survive by some dark miracle, though half of his skull and even part of his brain needed mechanical replacement.



Sergeant Lennar



Lennar was a Terran Veteran of renown among the ranks of the Merciless who led the the 4th Tactical Squad through most of the Great Crusade.

Some reports state that he lost his mind on Isstvan III and started drinking his loyalist brothers' blood.

He led a task force in the vaults of the Alpha-51 training complex on Mardrion, retrieving a relic phase-walker device that was stored as a trophy in the armory of the Merciless. The Blooddrinker went on to further glory during the Siege of Iulia Augusta, claiming the life of Nocturus, Praetor of the 18th Legion.


Pit Champion Borg “Redhands”



Arrogant, unsubtle and Nails-driven, Borg was among those recruited on Bodt to replenish the Legion's ranks before the retrieving of their Primarch.

He became the 16th 's youngest officer of all times after leading a band of survivors who had lost contact with the battlebarge against the Khrave of Serreak-17 for more than three months, surviving against all odds and even organising a series of raids against those foul xenos.

After rejoining his brothers he was named a line officer, a position he shared with Irex Nornas: they often clashed, the latter being far more cool headed and reflective than the bold and young Borg, who was instead impulsive and eager to prove himself worthy of his position.

He ultimately did so in the Pits of the Merciless, where brotherhood was forged and legends written in blood.

His elegant fighting style with his charnabal blade earned him a reputation in all of the Legion, and he rarely met any match before Delvarus himself stepped in for a challenge at third blood.

Borg managed to inflict two wounds to the champion of the Conqueror, before being finally defeated in a match that was discussed and remembered for a very long time.

His nickname “Redhands” is due to the rumor that he smashed a Space Wolves Centurion's head with his bare hands during the Night of the Wolf.

Borg met his end in the pits during the Shadow Crusade, finally bested by Vexillarius Solomon Drakon, who took his place as Champion of the Merciless.



Pit Champion Solomon Drakon



First mentioned as a rank and file Astartes during the Cleansing of Arrigata, Drakon rose to the position of Company Vexillarius at the beginning of the Horus Heresy. According to Senechal Val Kheren's personal audio logs, Drakon mantained a singular rationality despite the Butcher's Nails. As the mental conditions of Tiberius Thanatos worsened every day faster during the civil war, Solomon emerged de facto as a leader among men, taking those internal decisions that the Captain did not bother anymore and mantaining the Merciless as united and efficent as possibile. During the Shadow Crusade his importance was contested by Borg “Redhands”, who claimed such an authority for himself, being the Champion of the Pits and a veteran of longer date than Drakon. This conflict inaivoidably led to a face-off in the arena, where to everyone's surprise a new champion was appointed after a spectacurarly brutal fight. Drakon would be put to test again during the Siege of Iulia Augusta, when he led a berserker assault to the city which resulted in the breakout of Captain Tiberius, captured by the enemy Salamanders during the opening phase of the conflict.


Val Kheren


Val Kheren was a woman at the mid of her twenties at the start of the Horus Heresy. Born from two workers from the lower decks of the 16th's battlebarge, she took great pride about the fact that she never took a single step outside of it, claiming to be “a true daughter of the Merciless”. Towards the end of the Great Crusade, during a battle lost to the annals, the spaceship was boarded by a dangerous xeno species which killed most of the human passengers, including Val's father. The girl was instead found with two xeno corpses around her unconscious body, mutilated of the right arm, still holding a screwdiver. Having lost his senechal during the fight, and believing the circumstances of Val's finding to be singular if not impressive, Thanatos chose her for the role. Her arm refitted with an high quality mechanical replacement, and a bloody hand marked on her clothes as a badge of honor, Kheren has served the commander of the Merciless ever since.

During the Shadow Crusade, while all of the Astartes of the 16th were fighting on Mardrion, the ship was attacked by a boarding party of the Beneheventian army. With her home surrounded and defenseless,Val Kheren successfully rallied the human crew and improvised a defensive strategy that allowed them to resist for several hours before re-establishing contact with the Astartes, whose intervention swiftly put the siege of the battlebarge to an end.







Captain Tiberius Thanatos by Dorhen Guri - Late Great Crusade



Val Kheren, Senechal of the the World Eaters 16th Company by Bartholemew Ish - Late Great Crusade


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@Flint: Sister! Off course you Children of Cuth'Vasi are and awesome sight and fluff read too. 

Glad to hear you again, by the way!


@Augustus: Thank you mate!


@Atia: Many thanks. Talking about awesome, your DG definitely is!



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Thank you both!

Here's another fluff update.

Personal Background for Tiberius and Kallax added under their respectives pict-captures.

Currently on the painting desk are another Apothecary, five Outriders and some Red Butchers!

Wip pictures are coming.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Visions of Blood - One


[isstvan V, Day 32 after the Dropsite Massacre]


It started as a whisper, echoing in the death cries of the last Raven Guard Legionnaires.

Bring me their skulls.

The Nails were still stabbing his brain, making him grunt in pain and twitch his eyes.

There was nothing left to kill, and he stirred like a caged beast not to jump on his brothers to make it stop.

His hands trembled.

He looked at them.

Only now he noticed that he wasn't wielding his chainsword anymore.

From forearm to fingetip he was painted in blood, the shattered skin and interiors of some unlucky XIX Legion warrior still visible among the gore.

The bright white of his battered armour was almost a memory.

Slowly raising his eyes, he witnessed the black sands of Isstvan V once more.

An enormous pile of severed heads was being amassed by his crimson soaked brothers, who roared their rage and triumph to the red dawn, wearing their enemies' blood like a trophy.

Bring me their skulls.

The corpse-pyramid insisted, crossing his senses like a sharp blade walking trough his veins, under the skin.

It punished him as much as the Nails themselves.

Bring me their skulls.

He saw... movement, under the wrecked silhouette of an half collapsed Dreadnought.

Abyron smiled a killer's smile.





Apothecary Abyron, currently fighting along Sergeant Lennar's Tactical Squad.

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Awesome fluff so far!


Your whites are looking quite lovely.


Might I suggest giving the goldy/brass color one more wash to darken it down a bit though? His shoulder pad metal looks a tad parade ground fresh for a World Eater :D

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@Millicant: Thank you! biggrin.png

@Flint: Glad you like him.

I finally managed to nuln oil his trims a couple of times.

Do you think he looks better now, or should I add more layers/try something else?


And here is a wip picture of the last five men of Tactical Squad Kull.

Once they're finished, the squad will have all of his 20 members finally complete and ready for battle!


Hope to post some fluff with dedicated artwork tomorrow.

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@Phalanx Warder: Thank you!

You encouragement is very welcome.


I finished painting the last five dudes of Tactical Squad Kull, and finally started basing my army!







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Oh wow, these guys look ace! Great job, Khârn.


The only small CC I would like to make with is the blood splatter. What are you using for it? The coverage is great, it looks scattered and random, which is great, but it would take it up a notch if you played around with a few brown and black color mixes. Blood isn't going to dry evenly (especially not on a power fist!) so a few variations in color on each splotch would def step it up a notch.

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Oh wow, these guys look ace! Great job, Khârn.

The only small CC I would like to make with is the blood splatter. What are you using for it? The coverage is great, it looks scattered and random, which is great, but it would take it up a notch if you played around with a few brown and black color mixes. Blood isn't going to dry evenly (especially not on a power fist!) so a few variations in color on each splotch would def step it up a notch.

another good alternative would be Vallejos blood effects, 72.132 fresh blood and 72.133 dried blood tongue.png

great work on the tacticals, and the "new version" of your praetor looks awesome!

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Oh wow, these guys look ace! Great job, Khârn.


The only small CC I would like to make with is the blood splatter. What are you using for it? The coverage is great, it looks scattered and random, which is great, but it would take it up a notch if you played around with a few brown and black color mixes. Blood isn't going to dry evenly (especially not on a power fist!) so a few variations in color on each splotch would def step it up a notch.


This makes a lot of sense.

I'll try to work some more on his and Lennar's Powerfists.

As always, thank you for the useful adivce! :D


@Atia: Thank you!

I'll sure try them when I get the chance.

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