With my next novel Legion of the Damned (see right) hitting bookstore shelves in April - and hopefully not staying on them for very long - I thought that it was time to highlight the arrival of the Damned Legionnaires with a sequence of blog posts. First up is background. The Legion of the Damned have a fascinating background - detailed in numerous editions of the Index Astartes, codexes and White Dwarf Magazines. This material was my first port of call when it came to planning the novel and served as an inspiration while writing about the Damned Legionnaires and the mystery of their macabre intrusions on the grim reality of the 40K universe.
The Legion of the Damned are a strange and unexplained occurrence. In times of great adversity the Legion will come to the aid of Space Marines in battle, turning crushing defeat into glorious victory, or even protecting the Imperium from some terrible catastrophe.
Documented appearances of the Legion of the Damned are few and far between. They seem to move throughout the galaxy, coming to the aid of hard-pressed Space Marines in what appears to be a random manner. These silent warriors are Space Marines in appearance, their black armour adorned with chilling images of bone and fire, yet they are not of any known Adeptus Astartes chapter. Most eyewitnesses dispute even the Legionnaire’s mortality, for an eerie glow suffuses their sable armour and a halo of ghostly fire dances about their feet. There are corroborated accounts of Legionnaires enduring firepower that would annihilate mortal men. The bolters carried by Legionnaires, though in aspect no different to those of other Space Marines, discharge flaming projectiles that can pierce the strongest armour. Nothing can stay the spectral wrath of the Legion.
The nature and origin of the Legion of the Damned is a topic much debated by scholars. Some believe the Legion to be the survivors of the lost Fire Hawks Chapter, transmuted into a new and terrible form by the warpstorm that claimed their vessel. Others consider the Legion to be an extension of the Emperor’s superhuman will, time-lost saviours or even the vengeful and immortal spirits of Space Marines slain in the Imperium’s many wars.
Who, or what, guides the Legion of the Damned is an enigma to all save the beneficent Emperor himself. They appear only in times of greatest need, coalescing unexpectedly out of the fires of a desperate battlefield to turn disaster into victory. The Damned Legionnaires fear no foe, and they fight with a chill precision that few mortal warriors can match, passing through the bloody ground like vengeful ghosts. When the battle is done and the foe eliminated, the Legion of the Damned depart as suddenly as they arrive. They seek neither reward nor thanks from those they save, and leave only the bodies of the slain and an enduring mystery in their wake.
Seven Days of Damnation: Day 2 - Game On!
Seven Days of Damnation: Day 3 - New Skin
Seven Days of Damnation: Day 4 - Damnation's Calling
Seven Days of Damnation: Day 5 - Visions of Damnation
Seven Days of Damnation: Day 6 - Legion of the Damned Extract