A Brief History of the World Eaters

by Kessel Run Games Inc.

As I mentioned last time I would be talking about the colour scheme of my World Eaters. 

In The World Eaters Lore it has been ten thousand years since the 12th Legion’s fragmentation at Skalathrax and now the World Eaters are all but unrecognisable from the warriors they were in the Great Crusade. This is in no small part due to the influence of the Butcher's Nails, which have been warp-corrupted and ever-experimented on by those insane operatives collectively known as Berserker-surgeons.

These individuals are the inheritors of the legacy set down by the Apothecaries and Techmarines who first developed the Butcher’s Nails for the legionary implantation. In the  mind of a World Eater, the link between pleasure and killing is unbreakable thanks to the Nails, and when scions of Angron are not at war these horrific devices twist in their brains demanding blood. Only in death does the Nails' endless grinding relent.

Each World Eaters warband operates in a different manner. Some strike out from well-defended territories and fortresses, others from a single ship or mighty armada. With so much of their focus purely given over to killing, maintaining these resources has proven to be an impossible task for many Legionaries, who instead steal what vessels they can or seek passage with other Heretic Astartes who can promise them bloody wars. 

The warriors or the 12th legion care for little more than slaughter, carnage and taking skulls in Khorne’s name. They retain barely any control of their own impulses thanks to the endless pounding of the Nails and the corruption of the warp, and in battle any sense of cohesion within a warband often collapses within minutes of fighting commencing.

Though leadership and strength was a core part of the legion’s culture, it existed within a command structure that was reliable and effective, as befitted a space marine legion. Then after Skalarthrax, all such constraints and checks fell away. The main concern of all World Eaters warbands became survival, and for many it has remained so. With no purpose or external authority, some degenerate and break apart as warrior after warrior left to form their own warbands, or become so consumed with infighting and leadership challenges they destroy themselves.


It is now impossible for anyone, World Eater or otherwise, to know how many of these fragmented warbands exist, or how many warriors make up the Legion’s overall strength. Over time countless warbands have risen and fallen; even as some are destroyed, others newly form, or merge with others, or declare full independence, so that World Eaters warriors can never truly be tallied. 


Many World Eaters Lords have attempted to unite the disparate warbands under one banner through sheer brutality and force of will. Some have succeeded in  maintaining coalitions of such kinds, but there is a limit of how far they can go. Eventually they will be challenged and cut down by a rival, or succumb entirely to the Butcher’s Nails, or find that their many followers become too widespread to assert any real authority over. Only Angron or perhaps Khârn could truly untie the Legion, but both are too lost to bloodlust to do so, until a unifying force surfaces, the fragmented warbands of the World Eaters will each carve their own bloody path, diverging ever further into their own methods of war.


Now I’ve given you a brief history of the World Eaters. Let's look at the different warbands.


First up; Gladiator Cadre 331

Exhibiting behaviour highly unusual amongst the warbands or the World Eaters, the chaos Space Marines of Gladiator Cadre 331 still wear the white and blue of the Horus Heresy legion colours, although most often it is stained red with the blood of slain enemies.


The Voidbutchers 


Specialising in void warfare, the warband has been under the control of Lord Selakis Myrmillo for some two millennia. The warband has embraced a savage joy in the deep intensity of boarding actions and the carnage that follows. When they storm a ship, they fight with relentless momentum and give their enemies no hope of gaining the initiative or coordinating a defence.

In ship-to-ship warfare, the Voidbutchers make extensive use of Ursus Claws, bringing enemy vessels to range and easy to board. Once they have captured a ship, the Voidbutchers slaughter or enslave all inside then strip it of supplies. Such actions have earned them not only the enmity of the Imperium, but also the Leagues of Votann and Eldar Corsairs. They are also particularly hated by the Rampagers and Black Templars, due to their fondness for modifying and corrupting seized enemy vessels for the service of Khorne. Unfortunately no official colour scheme currently.


The BloodStalkers


The Bloodstalkers can trace their origins back to the 89th Reconnaissance Company of the World Eaters, though only a handful of its warriors can remember the time of the Great Crusade. As they always operated far from their legion, they were absent for the Battle of Skalathrax and Kharn's betrayal. As a result, they still operated more or less intact.

Owing to their origins as scouts, the Bloodstalkers operate very differently from other World Eaters warbands. They are patient in their tactics and often score their kills at range. Though far from unwilling to engage at close range with Chainswords and still implanted with the Butcher's Nails, they have little admiration for giving into berserker rage. Those who do fully succumb to the Nails without control are often killed immediately. In imitation of their lord Khulgoz Deadeye, in battle the Bloodstalkers do not target the enemy's head with their long-range weaponry so their skulls may later be presented to Khorne.

They are currently among the World Eaters warbands taking part in their Daemon Primarch Angron's Blood Wave.

Axes of The Forge


They maintain a symbiotic relationship with the Khorne Thralls of the Eightfold Cog Dark Mechanicum Cult, which has been beneficial for both sides. The Warband for their part protects the Eightfold Cog and provides the Cult with technological spoils and slaves from the Axes' raids. The Eightfold in return provides the Warband with ammunition, equipment, repairs, modifications and sacrifice the slaves in their creation of Khorne Daemon Engines. These Engines are then given to the Warband or kept by the Eightfold, who are always in need of more slaves to create additional Daemon Engines. This has resulted in the Axes launching countless slave raids in order to find worthy souls for the Cult to sacrifice to the Blood God. The Eightfold are also aided in the creation of the Daemon Engines by their enslaved Sorcerers, who are kept in line with Collars of Khorne and other anti-psyker technologies the Cult has created to keep them prisoners. This technology has been given to the Axes as well and the Warband has since made extensive use of it.

The Eight Sons


The Eight Sons are a World Eaters Warband, composed of eight brothers born from the same mother.


Each is a Champion in their own right and after the Great Rift's creation, the Warband and their slaves joined the Blood Crusade that began tearing its way through the Galaxy. This led the Eight Sons to fight against the Tyranids and Orks in the Octarian War, until the Blood Wave that brought them there moved to another location. However once the Warp Storm had disappeared, the brothers found themselves left behind with their slaves. Not willing to miss the Crusade's further bloodshed, the Eight Sons decided to commit so much butchery amongst the Tyranids and Orks, that Khorne would notice the deaths they were reaping. They used the Xenos bodies to create the Blood God's symbol and killed so many that reality began to flicker as a bloody Warp Rift began to form. Sensing that Khorne was now watching them, the Eight Sons then killed their own slaves in order to hasten the Rift's opening. When it was complete, the brothers stepped through it and found themselves on another world, where a great battle was taking place. They immediately joined it while praising Khorne and now know their duty is done on a world, when another Warp Rift opens for them to charge through into the next conflict.

66th Armored Company 


The 66th Armored Company, also known as the Goretreads and Molossans, is a warband of the World Eaters.



Specialising in armoured warfare, many warriors of the 66th Armored Company are completely fused to the machines they operate. Their neurosystems are entirely entwined with their vehicles, so that when they crush an enemy beneath their treads they feel it as if it were in their own gauntlets. Nonetheless, they are fond of close combat and each tank has been covered in blades, spinning saws, and chain flails that are just as good as smashing waves of infantry as they are anti-tank obstacles. The Goretreads are notorious throughout Ultima Segmentum, having annihilated Imperial forces many times their number. Their greatest enemies are the Aurora Chapter, who also specialise in tank warfare. This enmity is said to extend back ten millennia to the now-mysterious Battle of the Crimson Forge.

They are currently among the World Eaters warbands taking part in their Daemon Primarch Angron's Blood Wave.

These are only a few of the many Warbands that operate under the World Eaters. Primarily the colours of the world are red and gold. 



I haven’t decided on my colour scheme yet but I really do like the white and blue or white and red that was Prominent during the Horus Heresy Era. 


9th edition World eaters codex. 

Lexicanum 40k.

Images courtesy of Google.



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