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Titan Legions (1994), p12 — Legio Mortis (Deaths Heads - Traitor Legion)

The very name of Legio Mortis has long since become a foul taint to the defenders of humanity, uttered only with fear and loathing. Their infamy stretches back 10,000 years to the time of the Horus Heresy when the daemon-possessed Warmaster Horus sent the new-born Imperium tumbling into bloody civil war.

Legio Mortis had fought for the Warmaster in a hundred campaigns during the great crusade, their loyalty had long since been pledged to him rather than the distant Emperor. When Horus began the heresy by virus-bombing the defenceless world of Isstvan III the Deaths Heads made the landings to scour the corpse-packed hives for the pitifully few survivors. Some say that mutated strains of the virus brought their final corruption, some say the madness inspired by the billions of putrefying corpses turned their faces to Chaos.

What can say where the truth lies? Certainly when the Legio Mortis landed on Earth to besiege the Emperor's palace they were warped and mutated almost beyond recognition. The adamantium skins of their Titans were pocked and bubbled with foul effluvia, great tentacles of twisted flesh and metal lashed, spiked tails whipped back and forth. Their Titans' heads had been transformed into drooling daemonic visages filled with malice and their engines roared like angry beasts.

Horus granted the Deaths Heads the honour of breaking through the outer walls of the palace and with wreckers, power rams, warp missiles and their own fiendish bravery they did so despite suffering the loss of over thirty Titans in one night.

But despite their efforts the siege failed and Horus was defeated. The remnants of the Legio Mortis fled from Earth and were hunted and pursued, system by system, to the Eye of Terror. There, where warp and real space overlap, time has flowed strangely for the Deaths Heads. They remain trapped in servitude to the gods of Chaos, fighting a war that ended 10,000 years ago, building their strength and testing the Imperium's defences for the time when they shall return and wreak terrible vengeance on all living things for the defeat of their beloved Warmaster.