Hive World Terra

Word Bearers

Warning: This definition may contain spoilers from any number of Games Workshop novels or source books.

Word Bearers: Homeworld: Colchis (destroyed) Sicarus (daemonworld) Ghalmek (Forge World).
Battlecry: Changed each battle.
Colours: Red and Silver
Primarch: Lorgar

The Word Bearers were the 17th Legion of the First Founding, granted to Lorgar after he was rediscovered on Colchis by the Emperor and Magnus the Red. Lorgar had always been a zealous devotee to ritual and worship, and his devotion to the Imperial Cult bordered on fanaticism. Under his leadership, the Word Bearers bore the Emperor's Word to many planets during the Great Crusade; as part of Lorgar's driving desire to eradicte heresy and lawlessness from the Imperium. Ancients texts and icons of other faiths were torn down and burned en masse; each captured planet saw the construction of vast cathedrals and immense monuments commemarating that world's conversion to the true faith and venerating the Emperor. Chaplains of the Word Bearers devoted their time to writing lengthy treatises on the divinity of the Emperor, delivering fiery sermons and speeches to the populace of taken worlds.

Lorgar and the Legion were of the mind that they left behind worlds which were secure in their absolute belief; the Emperor was of the belief that not only was the progress too slow, but that Lorgar was merely creating a new kind of slavery. The Emperor's reprimand drove the Primarch into a depression and the Word Bearers advance halted entirely whilst Lorgar undertook penance.

It is generally agreed, and Lorgar has stated so, that at this point the Legion began its turn towards Chaos. His faith in the Emperor destroyed, Lorgar sought and found new divinity in the Chaos Gods. Even before Horus had been corrupted, the Word Bearers worshipped Chaos Undivided. Indeed, the Word Bearers senior Chaplain, Erebus, was instrumental in drawing Horus into a trap on Davin, where his near-fatal wounding enabled Erebus to expose the Warmaster to Chaos.

Horus ordered the Word Bearers to prevent the Ultramarines from reaching Terra during the Heresy. Lorgar dispatched the greater part of the Legion under his second, Kor Phaeron, to assault Ultramar. There, the Word Bearers delighted in driving their most hated foes before them, taking vengeance for the criticisms of Roboute Guilliman. The Ultramarines were driven back to Calth, and there waged a defence which ultimately lead to the Word Bearers retreat. But, the Word Bearers had held the Ultramarines long enough; they would arrive too late to break the Siege of Terra.

This lead to two seperate forces of Word Bearers, who fled in different directions - Lorgar and his retinue to the Eye of Terror and Kor Phaeron and the bulk of the Legion to the Malestrom. Although seperated by many light years, the Legion maintains the same stucture - squads of 12 lead by a champion, organised into larger forces known as Hosts, lead by one of the Word Bearers fallen Chaplains, the Dark Apostles. Adopting similar tactics to those they employed as loyalists, the Word Bearers encourage cults on the worlds they attack, helping to break down order and weaken resistance for when the Host strikes. When attacking, the Host will often appear unbalanced, lacking totally in particular troops, for their tactics and strategies are based entirely on the visions and pronouncements of the Dark Apostles. Deamons are often summoned and sent before the Host as shock troops, since the Word Bearers believe daemons to be a part of a lower order of Chaos than themselves.

Before the Heresy, the Legion had stone grey armour, with no embellishments save for religious scripture. The symbol of the Legion was an open book, with a fire superimposed. Their armour is now red with silver trim, and although the scriptures remain, they now speak an entirely different creed. The Legion have replaced their former emblem with the star of Chaos Undivided, a horned daemon with an open maw superimposed upon it.

The Legion has no set battlecry. Instead, a verse is chosen from the Book of the Epistles of Lorgar before each battle; the Host will chant this over and over as they advance.

Source: Codex: Chaos, 2nd Edition by various, Codex: Chaos Space Marines, 3rd Edition by various, Codex: Chaos Space Marines, 4th Edition by various

Submitter: Simguinus