I've been wanting to start a 30k army and so far my handful of minis have been hopping from legion to legion with little to no paint to show for it. However we've all seen the 'plastic 30k' sprue pics floating about, and with that news my interest in starting a small 30k army has been renewed once more but my problem persists: which legion? Well, how about none of them? Or better yet, maybe a conglomeration of several legions...
Recently I found the following story & accompanying artwork in the Horus Heresy Book 4 - Conquest, along with a few other references from the previous HH FW books, and they've really piqued my interest. As such I've started work on my now former Emperor's Children Centurion, and my also former but not Imperial Fist recon marines are good to go as is. Additionally I won't have to worry much about decals and legion insignia which is convenient. Anyways, here they are:
The Sundered and the Black
Almost from the outset, the war of the Horus Heresy was a vast cataclysm and one whose events moved with such quicksilver pace that mystery, supposition, lies and simple ignorance cloaked much of the bloodshed even as it occurred, casting a veil over much that would never be lifted. Though the roll call of Space Marine Legions, Titan Legio, Auxilia regiments and Mechanicum Taghmata that sided with the Arch-Traitor and those who remained loyal is largely known and accepted, the full truth is far more complex and far more mysterious than commonly believed.
Of those who fell at Istvaan V during the Dropsite Massacre, there were survivors, remnants and fleeing fragments shorn of command and driven half mad by treachery; from that point onwards they were isolated, alone. These were the shattered Legions and, while some swiftly returned to the Imperial fold, some did not or would not. Some would go on to wage a bitter war of vengeance alone, some would simply disappear, their fates unknown, their stories untold. But there were others of a darker hue. It has long been refuted, but is indelibly the case that in the Legions that remained loyal there were elements, sometimes whole companies and commands, that did not. In some cases the infection of the Warmaster's 'warrior lodges' has been blamed, while in others perhaps grievances long smoldering were the cause, just as infiltration by outside forces, or simply a darker truth applies, that given the option, some legiones Astartes believed Horus had the superior cause and the superior right to command their allegiance, not the Emperor, while some retained the loyalty to their Emperor and the Great Crusade over that of their own Primarch's will. It is true that some quietly slipped anchor and turned their coats to serve another master, and that this happened on both sides of the divide.
Thus can perhaps be explained, at least in part, persistent stories and evidence long since suppressed of midnight clad warriors in defaced Night Lords heraldry savagely attacking Traitor forces at the liberation of Estaban III, or of recurring reports of multiple Space Marine strike forces seemingly in the resurrected livery of the Dusk Raiders thwarting the Iron Warriors at Kibron and Malinche's Fall. Likewise also should be considered the long-denied evidence of a Great Company of the Space Wolves Legion bearing the symbol of the Serpent's Eye slaughtering millions at Neo Cadiz in 008.M31, or of a company of Legiones Astartes present at the Siege of Mezoa bearing the hybrid arms and panoply of the Iron Hands and Sons of Horus Legions both. These were merely a handful of still infamous cases, but here are many more unsubstantiated or simply now forgotten which paint a more complex and uncertain picture of this great civil war than is normally accounted. Further to this, and perhaps an even more sinister enigma, are the persistent reports of Space Marine forces appearing bearing no sign or seal of heraldry or origin at all, or stranger yet, heraldry which bears no mark known during the Great Crusade. Although whether the "black" Legionaries were merely turncoats or, as some have whispered, perhaps raised by the Traitors from the chimeric gene-seed of the Istvaan dead for their own terrible purposes, none can now say for certain.
Story and Artwork copyright of Forgeworld and/or Games Workshop, and obviously used without permission as they came from an illegally made Russian PDF of the Horus Heresy Book 4 - Conquest.