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Warhammer 40k Lore – The Thousand Sons: Sorcerers of Tzeentch


The Thousand Sons are a Chaos Space Marine legion whose destiny is inextricably tied to the god of change, Tzeentch.

Once proud and loyal Space Marines, the Thousand Sons underwent a tragic transformation that left them as a twisted and sorcerous force dedicated to the Lord of Change.

Origins and Loyalty

The Thousand Sons began their existence as the XV Legion of Space Marines, initially known as the “Legion of One Thousand.” Their Primarch, Magnus the Red, was a psyker of immense power who had a natural affinity for sorcery and the warp. The Thousand Sons embraced psychic powers, seeking to harness them for the betterment of the Imperium.

During the Great Crusade, the Emperor of Mankind welcomed psychic abilities and allowed the use of psykers within the ranks of the Thousand Sons. They were known for their pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment, which included the study of psychic disciplines and the exploration of the warp.

The Rubric of Ahriman

The turning point in the Thousand Sons’ history came during the Horus Heresy, a galaxy-spanning civil war that tore apart the Imperium. Magnus the Red, in an ill-fated attempt to warn the Emperor of Horus’s treachery, utilised forbidden sorcery to breach the walls of the Imperial Palace on Terra.

This forbidden act resulted in a catastrophic backlash of psychic energy, creating a rift that allowed daemons of Tzeentch to enter the material realm. The Emperor, in response, sent the Space Wolves Legion to arrest Magnus and punish the Thousand Sons for their transgressions. The ensuing conflict, known as the Burning of Prospero, ended with the Thousand Sons scattered, their homeworld in ruins, and their Legion severely depleted.

In the aftermath of this disaster, the sorcerer Ahriman conducted a forbidden sorcerous ritual called the Rubric of Ahriman. The ritual was intended to save the remaining Thousand Sons from mutating into monstrous, warp-twisted abominations, but it had a devastating consequence. The Rubric stripped the majority of the Legion’s psychic powers and purged their flesh, binding their souls into their power armour. As a result, many of the Thousand Sons’ warriors were transformed into dust-enshrouded automatons known as Rubric Marines, with only a few remaining sorcerers retaining their psychic abilities.

Loyalty to Tzeentch

Following the Rubric of Ahriman, the Thousand Sons found themselves in a complex predicament. Their loyalty to Tzeentch, the Chaos God of change, sorcery, and plots, had been sealed by the Rubric’s consequences. Tzeentch embraced the Thousand Sons and empowered their remaining sorcerers, granting them new gifts of psychic power and knowledge.

The Rubric Marines, however, became mindless, soul-bound automatons, forever trapped in their power armour, unable to wield sorcery and doomed to serve as a reminder of their Legion’s fate. This

division within the Legion led to internal strife, as the Rubric Marines were little more than empty suits of armour, while the sorcerers retained their individuality and control over their psychic abilities.

The Planet of the Sorcerers

In the warp, where the normal laws of reality do not apply, the Thousand Sons’ homeworld of Prospero was transformed into a daemon-infested and ever-changing realm known as the Planet of the Sorcerers. This nightmarish world serves as a bastion for the Thousand Sons and their followers, a place where Tzeentch’s influence is all-encompassing.

Sorcerous Prowess

The sorcerers of the Thousand Sons are among the most potent psykers in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. They wield a vast array of psychic powers, from mind-bending illusions to destructive warpfire. Their mastery of the warp allows them to manipulate reality itself, changing the course of battle or even the fates of their foes. Each sorcerer often carries an arcane staff or wand, a focus for their power.

The Changeling

The Changeling is a unique daemon who serves as a herald of Tzeentch and a patron of the Thousand Sons. He is known for his deceitful and ever-changing nature. The Changeling plays a pivotal role in many of Tzeentch’s schemes and plots, further weaving the web of deception that characterises the Lord of Change.

Quest for Knowledge

The Thousand Sons’ obsession with knowledge and sorcery endures, albeit in a twisted and often self-destructive form. They seek to unravel the mysteries of the warp, harness its power, and unlock the secrets of Tzeentch. This pursuit often involves summoning daemons, delving into forbidden texts, and performing enigmatic rituals that warp the fabric of reality.

The Tzeentchian Cults

The Thousand Sons’ loyalty to Tzeentch has led to their involvement with various cults dedicated to the Changer of Ways. These cults often collaborate with the Thousand Sons in enacting Tzeentch’s schemes, further expanding the influence of the Lord of Change in the galaxy.

In-Game Representation

In the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop wargame, the Thousand Sons are a faction of Chaos Space Marines. Players can field armies composed of sorcerers, Rubric Marines, and other Tzeentchian followers. The Thousand Sons are characterised by their psychic mastery, utilising psychic powers and sorcerous abilities to manipulate the battlefield and defeat their enemies.


The Thousand Sons are a tragic and enigmatic faction in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Once loyal defenders of the Imperium, they were brought low by their pursuit of knowledge and sorcery, leading to their transformation into an army of sorcerous warriors dedicated to Tzeentch, the ever-changing Chaos God. Their history is one of internal strife, shattered brotherhood, and a ceaseless quest for power and understanding in the warp.

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