Fall From Grace PART 3: What Chaos God Would Each Loyal Primarch Follow If They Turned Traitor?
May 19, 2020

Fall From Grace PART 3: What Chaos God Would Each Loyal Primarch Follow If They Turned Traitor?



“The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time.” - Logar, Primarch of the Word Bearers

Hello again wargamers and dear readers. I am Vito from and welcome back to the Gentleman’s Reserve. If you have been following thus far we have been on a thought-provoking journey together that has asked a quintessential question that I am sure you have asked yourself at one point or another. What chaos god would each loyal primarch follow if they turned traitor? So far we have covered 6 out of the 9 that stayed true to the Emperor’s cause. If you have yet to read my findings, I invite you to do so. I will provide the links down below. But for now, allow us to conclude this finale with the last 3 primarchs. 

Click Here To Read Part 1

Click Here To Read Part 2 


Rogal Dorn


Ah yes, Rogal Dorn. The Unyielding One. The Praetorian of Terra. Rogal was primarch of the Imperial Fists legion during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. To be honest, dear reader, I did not know much about Dorn as I entered the hobby. Either through uninterest or ignorance, Dorn had never seemed to be a character to be that interesting.

But then again, I never gave him a chance. However, over the years of doing my own research, I have come to learn the figure he is and the man behind the stoic presence. I might even dare say that Rogal Dorn would make it on my Top 3 favourite primarchs list. But please forgive my ramblings as we must continue. 

If the Emperor’s will and ideals were made manifest, his stern nature a concrete tangible thing you could touch, it would be the unwavering and unyielding quality of Rogal Dorn. Even when the Emperor first met Rogal the pair shared a bond.

Perhaps not the same as it was between Horus and the Emperor, but for many years the Praetorian fought alongside his father. During the Great Crusade, his victories with the Imperial Fists were countless. For not only did he conquer worlds, but he rebuilt them, so that they would never rebel against the Imperium again or they would be impenetrable bastions.

Horus had remarked at the time that his Rogal Dorn had taken a fortress and was the defender, while he and his then Luna Wolves were the attackers, Horus believed that the battle would be a never-ending stalemate.

Not only was Rogal relentless in his attacks, unyielding in his defence, but he was also a master strategist both decisive and calculating. Besides Horus’ exemplary record during the Crusade, Dorn came in a close second. After thousands of worlds had been brought into compliance, the Emperor had decided to retire to Terra to build his Throneworld and he would bring his greatest builder with him, Rogal.

It was there that Rogal and his Imperial Fists were declared Praetorians of Terra, as they were masters of constructing fortresses. However, before they could begin their defences in full, news of Horus’ betrayal reached Dorn. At first the Praetorian did not believe that his brother, the Emperor’s favoured son, could be capable of such treachery, but as he gathered the evidence that he needed, Rogal began turning the entire Sol system into a network of interlocking strongholds. 

Now dear reader, to say that it was nigh impossible to breach the barriers that Dorn had created would have been true. You would need an army of tens of thousands to breakthrough. However, sometimes in war twenty soldiers can be just as devastating as two thousand.

With this in mind, the Alpha Legion was able to navigate through some of these defences and activate their sleeper agents that they had hidden for decades on terra. What they had unleashed throughout the system could be simply classified as guerilla warfare.

They even managed to destroy all the statues of the primarchs on Terra except two, that of Alpharius, primarch of the Alpha Legion and Rogal Dorn. A clear message and declaration of war. Rogal soon learned the identity of the attackers and when the saboteurs had done their work, the Alpha Legion managed to break through some of the outer workings of Dorn’s layered defences and take a few of the moons that orbited Pluto. 

The fortress moon of Hyrda that orbited Pluto was the primary target for the Alpha Legion. Horus had ordered Alpharius to attack the moon as it was a major astropathic monitoring station. Dorn and his elite guard met Alpharius at Hydra where the two demigods of war collided in battle.

Both were trying to end the other, Alpharius with taunts and attacks of his spear while Dorn ever silent and indomitable struck with his chainsword. Alpharius thought that he had the killing blow but it was part of Dorn’s plan. He allowed himself to be impaled on Alpharius’ spear to ever get closer, ever get the advantage on his foe. Rogal sliced his brother’s wrists off and with a mighty swing brought down his chainsword upon Alpharius’ head. 

Now dear readers, comes the most pivotal moment for the Praetorian of Terra. The true work had to be done as now came the time for the defences of Terra to be made. Horus and the traitors were coming. What was once a beautiful city had become a bastion of walls, towers, steel plating, and millions upon millions of weapon batteries.

The master defender had outdone himself. When the traitors came the battles were indescribable. But it all came down to Rogal Dorn to command and oversee it all. He watched as hundreds of thousands of Astartes died and he could do nothing but make sure that all battle plans were in position.

He watched as The Angel, the best and brightest of all the primarchs Sanguinius, held the Eternity gate alone for countless hours and even fought the greater daemon of Khorne, Ka’Bandha. Still all he could do was watch. Finally, when he reached Horus’ flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, he could only watch in horror as he was too late.

Before him was the corpse of his brother Sanguinius, and the broken body of his father, the Emperor of Mankind. For Horus did his work well. He had slain The Angel and mortally wounded his father, not before being obliterated by the Emperor. It is in this moment dear reader, that the stoic and emotionless Rogal, in my mind, felt anguish, sorrow, and pain. He was the one who lifted the body of the Emperor and carried it back to Terra, where it would be placed upon the Golden Throne. 

As the events of the Horus Heresy came to a close and more and more of his loyal brothers either disappeared or were presumed dead, Rogal was one of the last who remained. He threw himself into battle against the forces of chaos but was said to have fallen on the chaos flagship, the Sword of Sacrilege. When his loyal Imperial Fists came to his rescue all that remained was his gauntleted fist.    

Now dear reader, who does this unyielding and relentless defender follow if he were to turn traitor? It is of my mind’s eye that he would fall to Grandfather Nurgle. While Nurgle is often associated with being rot, death and decay, he is also correlated with resilience.

The lord of flies is the god of perseverance and survival. All of these qualities The Praetorian of Terra has in abundance. If it wasn’t for his stern loyalty to the Emperor I have no doubt that Rogal would have fallen to Nurgle. Dorn can handle but more importantly endure almost any difficulty. Something he instilled into his Imperial Fists. With this doctrine so ingrained, all it would take is the right nudge, the right seed of decay to be planted, and Nurgle’s rotten roots will ever be planted into the Rogal Dorn and the Imperial Fists. Thus, the plague god claims the Praetorian. 

If you would like to see two bitter rival primarchs go head to head in the MiniWargaming Vault Click Here To Watch The Imperial Fists vs Iron Warriors


Roboute Guilliman


The Master of Ultramar, Robby G himself. Roboute Guilliman is Primarch of the Ultramarines Space Marine legion and was known to be a statesman, patrician and strategic genius without equal, save Dorn. Much like all the primarchs who were raised on the adoptive homeworlds, Guilliman rose to predominance quickly on the world Macragge.

When Guilliman was eventually given command of the Ultramarines they too reflected their gene sire’s gift of being great warriors. Additionally they were renowned for being strategically and tactically the best legion in all the Legiones Astartes. Are we starting to see a trend here? (Insert the crazy “aliens” guy meme from the History Channel but replace it with “Strategy”). Sigh. 

During the Great Crusade, under the leadership of Roboute, the Ultramarines liberated more worlds than almost any other primarch. Now this may contradict my earlier musings about Horus and Dorn, however, there is a big difference between liberating and conquering. The untold planets that were brought under Guilliman’s rule were fast but it was the governmental structure that was the ultimate key that the Imperium truly needed.

When Horus had turned traitor he waited until the time was right to strike against his brothers for he knew not all would not turn against the Emperor. His first act was to deal with the ever-loyal Master of Ultramar. Horus had staged a trap for Guilliman and the Ultramarines on the world of Calth.

He ordered Logar, primarch of the Word Bearers and his legion lay in wait for the Ultramarines to arrive, as Guilliman was under false pretenses, thinking he was to engage the greenskins. What would come to be known as simply the Battle of Calth would severely hurt the Ultramarines during the Horus Heresy. The battle was wracked by a massive warp storm that would affect the entire conflict. The intent was the utter destruction of Guilliman and his forces however all it did was prevent Roboute from reaching Terra. Perhaps it worked out in Horus’ favour after all. 

Managing to escape and not knowing what was going on due to the warp storm, Guilliman returned to Macragge. He did not know if the Emperor lived or not but knew that the Imperium must go on. So he created the Imperium Secundus; a second human Imperium with all of the ideals of the Emperor.

He did not name himself Emperor as he saw it would lower his character in those that respected him. But there needed to be a ruler. For a time the seat remained empty until both primarchs Lion El’Jonson and Sanguinius came to Macragge. Guilliman offered the title to the Angel but Sanguinius refused.

In due course and reluctantly, Sanguinius accepted and became regent of Imperium Secundus. Interesting to note, Malcador the Sigilite, the Emperor’s right hand, ascertained that Guilliman would do something like this. He had hoped that The Lion would stop Roboute from creating a second Imperium as it was a direct challenge to the Emperor, but the Sigilite never knew that Jonson had joined Guilliman.

At some point the triumvirate had discovered that the Emperor and his Imperium was still alive but under attack. Roboute realized that Imperium Secundus was a mistake and dissolved it. The three went their own ways but due to the warp storm, only Sanguinius was only able to make it to defend Terra.

After the Horus Heresy Guilliman began to restructure what was left in the aftermath. Under his guidance and in a few short years order was restored to the Imperium. He developed a new proposition on how the armies of the Imperium should be organized. No longer would they be arranged into legions, where one person could have full control of untold numbers. There would be division and order. So the Codex Astartes was created. Guilliman led the Ultramarine Chapter for a century after the Horus Heresy until he was fatally poisoned by his now traitor daemon primarch Fulgrim. His body was placed in a stasis field and brought back to Macragge where he remained entombed. 

So, which chaos god doest Roboute Guilliman followeth shouldst that gent turneth trait'r? (Thanks English to Shakespearean translator!) I doth believeth yond that gent wouldst falleth to the clutches of Tzeentch. The lord of flux and change is ever the schemer. But to scheme does not necessarily mean one has a negative connotation. It simply means that one is planning, and what is Guilliman than one of the best planners of all the primarchs. Additionally, he is a gifted leader, organizer, logistician the galaxy has ever seen, save his father.

These are all qualities that Tzeentch admires a thousandfold. Furthermore, when Guilliman would liberate a world he would stay to build an empire there. When you create something so intricate you better believe that you will draw the attention of the Changer of Ways, for if someone has the power to change entire nations, entire worlds and link them all into an empire, Tzeentch is the embodiment of that power. It doesn’t help either that Guilliman’s armour is blue. But I jest. For these reasons, I hope that you can see why I believe Guilliman would follow Tzeentch if he turned traitor. 

If you would like to see the Guilliman and his sons go head to head against Mortarion and his Death Guard Click Here To Watch The Ultramarines vs Death Guard

Corvus Corax 


Corvus Corax or more commonly known as The Shadowed Lord or The Raven Lord was primarch of the Raven Guard legion during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. Corax, much like his brother Magnus the Red, had skin that was drastically pigmented.

It was said that his skin was the colour of alabaster stone and his hair was as black as his legion’s namesake, a Raven. Additionally his eyes were the most blackest voids one could look upon. The Shadowed Lord was the master of passing undetected at will.

He could use this extraordinary gift, no doubt given to him by the Emperor, even if he was in plain sight of an enemy. Come to think of it, they really leaned hard into the whole black and Raven motif into this poor chap. Even his name. Corvus in Latin means raven. Corax is a type of large black bird, sometimes a crow or you guessed it, a raven. Poor guy never stood a chance. But we will get to that later. 

By the time Corax had taken control of the Raven Guard legion the Emperor’s Great Crusade had seen a hundred years of battle. It didn’t take long for The Raven Lord to thrust his unique style of combat and war tactics he had developed on his adoptive homeworld of Deliverance onto his legion.

These tactics were most used during the  Istvaan Campaign where it was tasked to Corax to bring the Istvaan System into compliance. If Angron and his World Eaters are the savage, blunt instrument of the Astartes, then Corax and his Raven Guard were the surgical knife. They struck with precision and stealth, always without warning. With these stratagems in place the Istvaan System fell to the Raven Guard and The Shadowed Lord.

Corax did not know that he and his gene-sons would eventually return to that system. But this time they would be fighting their own brothers. As we have come to know, the loyalist Iron Hands, Salamanders and Raven Guard legions, along with their respective primarchs, were sent to Istvaan V to bring Horus and their traitor brothers to heel. However, what has come to be known as the Drop Site Massacre, tells a different story. The battle at Istvaan was bloody and grotesque.

It was nothing short of a slaughter. However when the so-called “loyalists” came as reinforcements, then the true carnage could begin. Unbeknown to Corax and his loyal brothers, their supplementing forces of the Iron Warriors,  Night Lords, Word Bearers and Alpha Legion, with their primarchs, had all turned traitor and had turned their weapons on their fellow brothers.

The annihilation was biblical. Many attempts of retreat were made but all were thwarted by the traitors. Even Corax had managed to board and take off mid-flight in a Thunderhawk gunship, however it was shot down and plummeted back into the vortex of battle.

Luckily for the Raven Lord, he had survived the crash and managed to regroup with what remained of his legion. It was here that he learned that the majority of the Raven Guard had been completely destroyed. Nevertheless, dropships came in time and were able to rescue the wounded Corax and what was left of his legion. 

The Shadowed Lord returned to Terra and pleaded with his father, the Emperor of Mankind, to help him rebuild the Raven Guard. It was at this moment in history did the Emperor expose the true secrets to one of his sons. His true intentions with the Webway project, the knowledge of the chaos gods, and how the primarchs were created.

After these revelations were imparted to Corax the Emperor agreed to help him rebuild his shattered legion. He gave him pure genetic gene stock that was originally used to create the primarchs in the hopes that this would help rebuild Corax’s forces.

When Corax returned to Deliverance to begin his rebuilding project it was slowly met with sabotage. The forces of the Alpha Legion discovered Corax’s plans and planted a virus within the pure genetic gene stock, resulting in mutations within the marines that were produced.

Not caring what came forth, Corax saw these marines as Raven Guard and put the legionaries to good use against the traitors. Eventually however, these “monsters” became too unstable, and it fell to the Raven Lord to throw them into either the harshest battle conditions or give them the Emperor’s Peace himself. Corax knew he had to recruit marines the old fashioned way which would mean the Raven Guard would have no major roles to play during the later years of the Horus Heresy.   

After the defeat of Horus Corax locked himself away in his tower on Deliverance. Some say it was the guilt he felt for the countless lives of his own marines he took due to their genetic flaw. He was last seen heading into the Eye of Terror, the last words on his lips being “never more.” Once again, really leaning hard on the raven motifs here. 

So we come to the last primarch. To where do we place the Lord of Ravens? If you wanted to take into consideration the whole woe is me, dressed in black, emo thing he has going on maybe you could say Slaanesh. But that is way too cliche and on the chin.

What I truly believe, if Corax turned traitor, he would follow Tzeentch. His candidacy is not as strong as perhaps someone like The Lion was, however, Corax does have his own secrets and I believe that secret is his biggest shame. The secret that caused him to rush the growth of Astartes quickly that then wracked their bodies with mutation. Mutations which of course are Tzeentch’s specialty.

We must also cover the most obvious. The bird motifs. If this is not a blatant call to the Lord of Change to come and swoop him up I don’t know what is, dear reader. Even the mutations that the new Raven Guard were afflicted by were aviane in nature.

Some had bird-like feathers, wings and talons while others developed peaks. We must also take into consideration Corax’s innate psi abilities of being able to be undetectable. If Tzeentch were to take his hold into the Raven Lord we could Corax using psychic abilities to teleport around the battlefield, undetected, only then to feel the ruinous powers descend upon his enemies. For these reasons I believe Corvus Corax would follow the Lord of Flux, Tzeentch should he turn Traitor. 

If you are interested in seeing the Raven Guard in action you can see them in the MiniWargaming Vault. Just Click Here To Watch The Raven Guard vs Iron Hands 

It has been quite the journey we have been on hasn’t it dear readers? Over the last three parts we have covered 9 loyal primarchs and their potential descent into darkness. If these brave defenders of humanity fell to the dark gods of chaos, who would they follow? Ferrus Manus and Rogal Dorn swore to Nurgle. Sanguinius and Leman Russ praised Khorne. Lion El’Jonson, Roboute Guilliman and Corvus Corax hailed Tzeentch. Jaghatai Khan pleased Slaanesh and Vulkan fell to chaos undivided.

These were but my opinions based on my research and my thoughts on the character traits of the characters themselves. It is hard to know for certain what a made-up character would do in a what-if scenario, but it certainly is fun to do, isn’t it?

I thank you dear reader, for embarking with me in this thought experiment. Do you agree with my findings? What are some of your own? I would love to hear them. For your further enjoyment I have provided links down below where you can actually find the legions of these primarchs in the Miniwargaming Vault duelling for supremacy in our battle reports. If you are not a Vault member you can click here for a free 7-day trial. Vault members are what drive MiniWarGaming, so consider joining to support us in making even more miniature wargaming videos for you. Till next time dear reader. Happy Wargaming! 

- MWG Vito


Game: Horus Heresy

Show: MWG Draft Articles

Producers: Vito

Factions: Iron Hands, Raven Guard, Space Marines, White Scars, Salamanders, Ultramarines, World Eaters, Word Bearers, Alpha Legion

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