Chaos Space Marines: Damnation Eternal – The Nightmarish Betrayal of the Heretic Astartes

Chaos Space Marines: Damnation Eternal – The Nightmarish Betrayal of the Heretic Astartes

I am Brother-Captain Ardias of the Ultramarines Chapter. In my centuries of service to the Emperor, I have battled the Chaos Space Marines and seen the devastation they wreak first-hand.

I will share with you the terrible truths about these heretic Astartes, their dark powers, and the threat they pose to the Imperium of Man. Have faith and steel yourself, for to know the Traitor Legions is to gaze into the darkness at the heart of Chaos itself.

The Chaos Space Marines, also known as Traitor Marines, Renegade Astartes, or Heretic Legions, are the most feared and powerful mortal servants of the Dark Gods of Chaos. I have spent many years studying these fallen angels of death, and will share the terrible truths I have uncovered about their origins, their nature, and the unending threat they pose to the Imperium of Man and all life in the galaxy.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Chaos Space Marines are former Imperial Space Marines who turned traitor to serve the Ruinous Powers of Chaos
  • Originating in the Horus Heresy 10,000 years ago, 9 Traitor Legions now reside in the Eye of Terror
  • Chaos Space Marines have been granted powers and mutations by the Chaos Gods, making them deadly foes
  • In addition to the original 9 Traitor Legions, many other Space Marine Chapters have fallen to Chaos over the millennia

Origins in the Horus Heresy

Ten thousand years ago, the Imperium was rocked to its very foundations by the treachery of the Warmaster Horus and fully half of the Emperor’s Space Marine Legions.

In an apocalyptic civil war known as the Horus Heresy, brother fought brother as once-loyal sons of the Emperor were corrupted by Chaos and turned against the Imperium they had sworn to defend.

The following Primarchs and their Legions rebelled against the Emperor during the Horus Heresy:


The resulting conflict saw the death of trillions, the near-destruction of Terra, and the Emperor mortally wounded by Horus himself. Though Horus was slain, the traitor Primarchs and their Legions survived and escaped into the Eye of Terror, where they remain to this day.

Though Horus was slain, the traitor Legions escaped into the hellish realm of the Eye of Terror, and have remained the most implacable foes of the Imperium ever since.

The Horus Heresy rent the Imperium asunder and paved the way for the never-ending assaults of Chaos in the millennia to come.

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The Traitor Legions of Chaos

Following their defeat in the Horus Heresy, the nine Traitor Legions claimed the Eye of Terror as their new domain, each Legion nursing their hatred of the Emperor and plotting their vengeance.

Though they march under the banner of Chaos Undivided, four of the Legions became the dedicated servants of a single Chaos God:

The World Eaters, savage berserkers who live only to spill blood in the name of Khorne

The Emperor’s Children, debased pleasure-seekers following the tempter Slaanesh

The Death Guard, bloated and diseased pestilent warriors of Nurgle

The Thousand Sons, powerful Sorcerers using the magic of Tzeentch

The other Legions – the Black Legion, Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, Night Lords, and Alpha Legion – serve the Chaos Gods as a pantheon, though each have their own unique character.

The Word Bearers are dark apostles of Chaos who spread corruption across the stars. The Iron Warriors are siege masters and creators of daemon engines.

The Night Lords are fear-mongering terrorists haunting the darkness between worlds. Most enigmatic are the Alpha Legion, whose labyrinthine schemes defy understanding.

Once brothers-in-arms, the Traitor Legions now constantly vie with each other as well as their Loyalist enemies

Rivalries and vendettas burn hot, and all dream of the day they will overthrow the weakling Imperium and claim the galaxy for the Dark Gods.

At the head of this crusade is Abaddon the Despoiler, heir of Horus and Warmaster of Chaos, whose Black Crusades have ravaged the Imperium time and again.

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Renegade Chapters

The Traitor Legions were not the last Space Marines to fall to Chaos. Many Chapters founded long after the Heresy have also turned, lured by the siren call of Chaos or maddened by tragedy, hubris, or the fickle nature of the Warp.

Renegades like the Red Corsairs, Crimson Slaughter, and The Purge, among others, fight alongside the ancient Traitor Legions as part of a never-ending quest to tear down the Imperium.

I myself once bore witness to the fall of the Brazen Drakes, who turned on their own during the Scouring of Hive Thrassos. Could any fate be more tragic than to betray oaths sworn to the Emperor and embark on a path of damnation?

The Inquisition suppresses all knowledge of such incidents, lest the cancer of Renegade Astartes spread further…

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Blessings of the Dark Gods

Whether born of the Traitor Legions or a Renegade Chapter, Chaos Space Marines have been “blessed” by their foul gods, their bodies, minds and souls twisted into something both more and less than human.

Where once they were angels of death in service of the Emperor, they are now death itself in thrall to Chaos.

Warp-spawned mutations warp their flesh into monstrous or whimsical form, sprouting horns, tentacles, wings or other strange appendages.

Their armor fuses to their skin, morphing into daemonic visages or writhing, organic forms. But greatest of all are the “gifts” of raw power, able to unleash the energies of the Warp through fell sorcery or physical might.

The Chaos Gods reward their favored servants with the power to sweep armies aside or rend the very fabric of reality. But such blessings are fickle – one who fails or falls from favor may find themselves transformed into a mindless Chaos Spawn.

Such is the fate of those who truck with the Ruinous Powers…

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An Ancient and Unending War

The Heretic Astartes have been the scourge of the Imperium since the dark days of the Horus Heresy. For ten thousand years they have raided, conquered, and destroyed in the name of their Dark Gods, bringing untold suffering to the galaxy.

From the Eye of Terror and other, darker realms they lash out with hate and hunger, each Chaos Lord a demigod of battle at the head of an army of superhuman warriors.

Few can stand against the might of a Chaos Space Marine in battle, an unholy union of an Astartes’ fearsome abilities fueled by the raw power of Chaos.

I have seen them slaughter entire regiments and rend tanks apart with their bare hands. They are a foe out of nightmare that have haunted Mankind since the Imperium’s very inception.

Only the Space Marines and other champions of the Emperor can hope to match them, locking in an endless cycle of war that spans the stars.

So long as the lure of Chaos spreads and Space Marines fall from loyalty, the threat of the Traitor Legions will remain, a doom that could swallow the galaxy whole if left unchecked.

Let those who read this beware – the Chaos Space Marines are destruction and torment made manifest, a blight upon all of creation in the name of the Ruinous Powers.

Only eternal vigilance and unshakable loyalty to the God-Emperor can protect us from their relentless hatred. For in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.

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Who are the Chaos Space Marines?

The Chaos Space Marines are former Space Marines who have turned traitor against the Imperium of Man to serve the Chaos Gods.

What are the Traitor Legions?

The 9 Traitor Legions are the original Space Marine Legions that sided with Horus during the Horus Heresy 10,000 years ago. They are the Black Legion, Word Bearers, World Eaters, Death Guard, Emperor’s Children, Thousand Sons, Iron Warriors, Night Lords, and Alpha Legion.

What powers do Chaos Space Marines have?

Chaos Space Marines are granted various supernatural powers, mutations, and unholy abilities by the Chaos Gods they serve, in addition to their already superhuman Astartes abilities.

Where do Chaos Space Marines come from?

The original 9 Traitor Legions come from the Horus Heresy, but in the 10,000 years since, many other Loyalist Chapters have also fallen and become Chaos Space Marines.

Why are Chaos Space Marines so dangerous?

Chaos Space Marines combine the fearsome combat abilities of Space Marines with the dark blessings of Chaos, making them incredibly deadly and destructive foes for the Imperium.


If you’re searching for a more in depth overview, checkout the Wiki page!

In conclusion, the Chaos Space Marines are the dark counterpart to the Imperium’s Space Marines – genetically engineered supersoldiers of incredible power devoted to Chaos.

With the strength of a Space Marine enhanced by the eldritch might of the Warp, the Chaos Space Marines are among the greatest threats to Mankind’s survival.

From the Traitor Legions of the Horus Heresy to the Renegade Chapters of the present, the Heretic Astartes seek to drown the galaxy in blood and terror in the name of the Ruinous Powers.

They are hatred, torment, and destruction made manifest, an ancient and unending evil ever seeking to corrupt and destroy the works of the God-Emperor.

To know the Chaos Space Marines is to know the darkest depths of the human soul, where honor and duty have been consumed by madness, ambition, and lust for power.

Their Long War against the Imperium of Man has shaped the history of the galaxy and will likely decide its fate. Only through strength, vigilance and loyalty can the followers of the Emperor hope to resist them. In the shadow of the Traitor Legions, none are safe from the touch of Chaos. Ave Imperator.

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