Table Ready Feature: Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers

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The Aurelian, The Golden One, The Bearer of the Word

And Also The First To Fall

The Space Marines are post-human super soldiers that inspire both dread and awe in mortal men. As powerful as a Space Marine may be, they are mere children compared to the Primarchs from which the legions were born. First the Emperor of Mankind created the Primarchs. Fashioned through hyper-advanced technology and amalgamated with questionable warp powers, each child-demi-god was gifted with an aspect of the Emperor himself. For good or ill, and not every gift was as beneficial as the others.

Then the powers of Chaos stole the twenty infant Primarchs from the chamber in which they were formed. Using the genetic make-up of the Primarchs, the Space Marine legions were formed, and used to take back the galaxy. Along the way, the grown Primarchs were discovered, and given control of the legion that was based on their genes. The Great Crusade continued, until it stalled out and the legions turned upon one another in a Galactic scale civil war.

While twenty Primarchs were bred, raised and handed a legion, only eighteen of the near-demigod Primarchs still remained by the closing era of the Great Crusade. They created a lot of drama, with friendships and rivalries sparking off between them. While they may be super humanly powerful, with impossibly sharp minds, and superb physical prowess, they also have super-powered humanity. Both the good and the bad aspects of being human are enhanced, sometimes without the ability to cope. Many of the Primarchs have extreme personality quirks or mental issues. Most of them are quick to anger, or are capable of holding grudges. Their obsessions are legendary. They are prone to intense feelings of jealously, insecurity, emotional distress and fear, primarily of failing their god-like father. They are capable of great things, inspiring mortal and immortal men alike to great feats, but when they let their emotions take control of them, planets burn.

All of the Primarchs are interesting in their own right. I have a few favorites, and one such Son of the Emperor is Lorgar. In Lorgar, the Emperor’s faith in humanity would be endowed. Where the Big E has a secular faith that mankind could rise above, his golden skinned son would not be able to stay away from the influence of religion, to the detriment of all.

The Man

You ever have that friend, co-worker or child that you tell specifically not to do a thing, and then they repeatedly do that thing? Well that’s fuckin’ Lorgar! The Emperor conquered Old Earth, took over the Solar System and set himself on a course to take back the galaxy in the name of Humanity. Along the journey of murdering aliens and beating down human worlds that didn’t immediately say, “Sure, we’ll join your fascist dystopia, here are our children, please send them to die on other planets like ours”. The Emperor had a Golden Rule: No Religion. Period. End of sentence. This included him, as he insisted he was but a man, and not a god.

The Emperor found his son Lorgar upon the desert world of Cholchis, which was effectively Space-Mesopotamia. Lorgar had “defeated” the old, largely chaos-worship style religion in preparation for the being to arrive like he did in his dreams, bathed in golden light. The Emperor arrived just like he expected, patted him on the shoulder for conquering the planet he got dumped on, and handed him control of the of post-human super soldiers of the XVII Legion. Lorgar was told to claim worlds in the name of the Master of Mankind. So he did.

Lorgar. Copyright Games Workshop

The thing with Lorgar, was that he looked on his father and saw a man with the power to move worlds. The Emperor sent trillions of soldiers to die on millions of worlds to make things the way he wanted them to be. In the mind of Lorgar, if you wield the power of a god, you are a god, for what else could be the definition? Lorgar went about his business, taking over worlds, but he left behind planets that worshiped the Emperor as a god. This wouldn’t turn out well, but we will get to that in a second.

You know that religion that Lorgar “defeated”? Well, his shitty, ill-tempered and abusive adoptive-father, Kor Phaeron, had kept it alive behind Lorgar’s back. That’s nice, huh? Then he was like, “You know, your Dad’s a douche and you should find something else for us to worship, and I happen to have a few ideas”. He tents his fingers and cackles, pushing Lorgar down a dark path.

The Myth

I did not enjoy Battle for the Abyss. It’s a book few could love. It was a book full of cliches and the only cool thing about the book was made nearly worthless later in the series. When I embarked on my journey to read all of the heresy series, I asked the buddy and long-time Warhammer opponent which books I should listen to while driving to and from work. I had the idea that the short story collections and any books that were not as great would be easier to digest if I was already stuck in the car; the time was already a waste, so I might as well use it well.

When I got to First Heretic, I assumed, it would be full of cringe-worth cartoon caricature villains. I literally expected the Word Bearers to be tugging at their mustaches and laughing maniacally. I was so wrong: I got an amazing book about the nature of worship, the quest for meaning, the ease at which one can be mislead and how good intentions can end badly. I also met my favorite traitor and got to experience his fall to chaos as he did what he was told, like a good son. Honestly, I was disappointed that I listened to this book instead of reading it.

If you havent read it, go find the First Heretic. I’ll wait here… Anyway…

Years after Kor Phaeron pushed Lorgar down the dark and winding path into damnation, he would send the little prick Erebus to treat with Warmaster Horus. This led directly to his fall and the Horus Heresy as a whole. But, it might not ever have been. It’s easy to blame Lorgar, but really it all lands upon the Emperors shoulders. The Word Bearers Legion, yeah, the whole fuckin legion, some hundred-thousand plus Space Marines, were called back to Monarchia. As they arrived a few months later, the Bearers of the Word found their perfect city had been raised to the ground by the Ultramarines.

Furious beyond all measure, and confused as could be, Lorgar freaked the fuck out and the Emperor had to teleport down from his command barge. He then had to use his god-like mind powers to force every Word Bearer to kneel in the dust and debris of their annihilated perfect city. There, with their gazes cast upon the dirt, the Emperor chastised Lorgar and his sons of the VXII Legion for erecting idols in his image and making worshipers out of the worlds they conquered. The Big E told them they had failed. Their God, the object of their love and devotion, told them they were pieces of shit and they quite understandably didn’t take it well. So, the Legion went looking for something worthy of their worship. What they found were the Gods of Chaos, and it was all downhill from there.

As a fun side note, the book that Lorgar wrote prior to his fall was the exact piece of literature that birthed the Imperial Cult and used by the clergy of the 41st millennium as their bible of sorts.

The Model

Early on, when I got talked into collecting and playing the Horus Heresy (scoff, it wasn’t tough) I decided that I was going to get opposing armies, like I am known to do to ensure that my wife and I can play the game against each other with a narrative already built in. I settled on the whole Calth thing, for two reasons. One, Cliff was already planning on doing the Burning of Prospero story himself, and I wouldn’t encroach on that. I mean, I was into this part of the hobby because of him. And Two, I liked the desperation that the Ultramarine Legion find themselves in when the Word Bearers stab them in the back.

I already had a 40k Ultramarines army in the works, and figured I could use some of the Heresy stuff to augment my collection. So I did, but then Cliff decided he was going to do Blood Angels first, which has nothing to do with Prospero, but who am I to say so to him. So I decided to change directions and paint up Kera’s bad guys first. A few years later, I have 6k+ points of painted Heresy Era Word Bearers models painted.

One of those models just happens to be Lorgar… Imagine that…

This model was almost too easy as far as Primarchs go. Aside from a little difficulty with the spikey bits for his war mace, the model went together easily. I primed and airbrushed him just like any other red based Word Bearer model and used washes and drybrushing to bring out the Colchisian script across his armor.

I built and painted Lorgar a long time ago, and I never really loved the model. It seemed uninspired. I did not see the Aurelian, the glowing son of the Emperor. The model just doesn’t’ capture the power and energy that radiates from Lorgar in the stories.

Additionally, the mace was damaged when I received it. It’s unclear whether from naivete or hubris, but I thought that I could just fix it. Well, I couldn’t, and I made things worse. It came together eventually with a frustratingly enormous glob of superglue on the mace. Oh well, I didn’t even like it anyway. My plan was to use the 3D printer I had newly acquired to print a mace I liked better, and replace the fucked up weapon…


Well, guess what I forgot to do? It’s a little embarrassing, but it also shows that after years, decades even, I can still fuck up an expensive project. It’s fine, whatever, he plays fine on the tabletop.

Past that minor fuck-up which realistically can be dealt with in an afternoon of printing, curing, painting and gluing. My one regret with Lorgar is that I didn’t leave him in the Grey of the Imperial Heralds like I did with Kor Phaeron and The Ashen Circle models. I really like the color I achieved with these guys and the contrast between them and the rest of the blood red legionaries.

I am a much better painter now than when I painted Lorgar, and maybe I will buy another and paint him in the color of the Legion before he took over. And again, I never really loved the model. I have an even better 3D printer now, so, instead of printing a mace that looks more like what I would expect him to have, maybe I will find a 3rd party design that fits my vision of Lorgar more accurately…. Until then, why don’t you go bear the word of Lorgar?

Copyright Games Workshop

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Obsessive and neurotic collector of little plastic men, novels about the same little plastic men and paints to make the little plastic men pretty. Married to Kera, who puts up with him and pretends that she doesn’t hear him speaking to the little plastic men in between making pew pew noises in the hobby room. Requires adult supervision. A menace to himself but rarely to others. More beard than man

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