Fluff Thursday: Magnus the Red

Probably like you, I have always been fascinated by the "fluff" or narrative which drives the background of Warhammer 40,000.  The tales of tragedy and triumph make the Warhammer 40k universe one of the most expansive sci-fi settings of all time.  I'd like to take an opportunity each week to highlight and write about something from the fluff of the 40k universe.  And of course, considering the news leak this week where better to start than by the Crimson King himself; Magnus the Red.

Magnus the Red was one of the sons of the Emperor of Mankind and the Primarch of the XVth Astartes Legion, the Thousand Sons.  Like all the Primarchs, during his infancy the forces of Chaos intervened during his gestation and scattered the infant to the planet known as Prospero.  While there, Magnus showed great signs of psychic potential and became the pupil of the powerful sorcerer known as Amon.

It wasn't long before Magnus realized his potential being even greater than his master.  He surpassed Amon's abilities and took to pouring over the volumes of lore and sorcery contained in Prospero's Libarium.  The people of Prospero, recognizing Magnus' gifts, appointed him their leader. 

Magnus turned the city of Tizca into one of the most beautiful settlements in the galaxy raising glass and marble pyramids with psychic energies.  During this time of peace, Magnus set about collecting knowledge on the Immaterium (the Warp).  He built a great library in Tizca's center which became a repository of knowledge which could rival any in the galaxy.

Magnus' potent psychic energy soon alerted the Emperor of his presence on the world and he set about to reunite with his son.  The two, recognizing one another instantly, embraced and thus the Emperor gave control of the Thousand Sons legion, the Astartes borne of Magnus' gene seed, to his son.

All was not well, however, as the Thousand Sons, having been formed from Magnus, retained a connection to the Immaterium which ultimately resulted in twisted mutations.  Many of the legion would eventually form into what would become known as Chaos Spawn.  Magnus pleaded with the Emperor to allow him to pursue a cure, to which the Emperor finally agreed.

Magnus, being tricked by the forces of Chaos into thinking he had discovered some secret, returned and the mutations seemed to stop.  As a result of this, his right eye was lost, replaced by a growth of skin covering where the eye had been. The Thousand Sons would end up being 100 years late to the Great Crusade, with many of the other Astartes Legions suspicious of the Thousand Sons, primarily Leman Russ of the Space Wolves.

During the Great Crusade, Magnus used his potent psychic abilities and those of his sorcerers to bend worlds to the Imperium's will rather than full on frontal assaults.  This angered many of the Primarchs, notably Russ who thought the actions of Magnus to be cowardly.  The two continued to work together despite their clash of personalities.

Eventually, after witnessing the mutations and destruction caused by the use of psychic abilities, the Emperor and his closest advisor, Malcador, along with all of the Primarchs met on the planet of Nikaea.  This became known as the Council of Nikaea.  Despite Magnus' insistence that the powers of the warp could be utilized and understood, the Emperor ordered the permanent and immediate prohibition of the use of psychic abilities except under special sanction. The Legions were ordered to disband their Librariums and the position of Chaplain was created to oversee this and to ensure the Legions were following the Imperial Truth.

Magnus, being outraged considering his Legion's devotion to sorcery and knowledge, was devastated, but returned to Prospero.

During the Horus Heresy, Magnus was given a vision of Horus' impending treachery.  Despite orders and the terms of the Council of Nikaea, Magnus attempted to project himself through the Warp to warn his father about Horus.  In doing so, he cost the lives of thousands on Terra.  The Emperor, angered at Magnus breaking the terms of the Council and suggesting his favorite son Horus would be a traitor, sent Leman Russ and his Space Wolves to Prospero to bring Magnus back to Terra to face punishment.

Horus, already having succumbed to the forces of Chaos albeit unknown to the rest of the Imperium at the time, intercepted the orders and instead ordered Russ to destroy the Thousand Sons and kill Magnus. 

Magnus fell into a depression knowing he had disappointed his father.  He knew of the impending assault by the Space Wolves but failed to warn his Legion or the citizens of Prospero.  When the Wolves assaulted the planet, the razed Tizca and killed thousands of combatants and civilians alike.  Magnus, angered by this could hold back no longer.  He confronted Russ and the two fought.  Russ, winning the battle, broke Magnus' back across his knee. It was at this moment that Tzeentch, the Chaos God of Change, intervened offering to spare Magnus and his Legion if he would devote himself to his service.

Magnus, seeing no other way out of saving his Legion, agreed.  Tzeentch turned Magnus into a Daemon Prince, making him one of the most powerful sorcerers in existence.  He took Magnus and the Thousand Sons to a planet he had prepared in the Eye of Terror called the Planet of Sorcerers.  There Magnus and his legion would dwell in a twisted version of Tizca.

Magnus joined Horus and his other traitorous brothers having no where else to turn.  The full turn to Chaos of the Thousand Sons was complete.
Fluff Thursday: Magnus the Red Fluff Thursday: Magnus the Red Reviewed by Robert Chandler on 1:18:00 PM Rating: 5

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