Index Astartes: White Scars
When the infant Primarchs were scattered, the fifth pod was luckier than most. Rather than fall into the hands of a cruel tyrant, or onto a desolated world, the future Jaghatai Khan landed on the fertile and free plains of a world its inhabitants called Chogoris, and later Imperial expeditions recorded as Mundus Planus.
The child was found by Ong Khan, the leader of a small tribe in this grassland. It was Ong that named and raised Jaghatai. The prodigious gifts that the Primarch possessed- in strength, size, and intelligence- caused him to be seen as a gift from the gods, and it was unsurprising that, at only seven years old, Jaghatai became the heir to Ong Khan’s position. Two years later, Ong died of a wasting illness, and Jaghatai became Jaghatai Khan.
These two years, and the few preceding them, shaped Jaghatai’s character. On hunting raids, the Fifth Primarch discovered his taste for plunder and suffering. As Khan, he waged ceaseless war on the other tribes for his own amusement. Each one ended in a victory, for a Primarch’s military genius was incomparable; and Jaghatai’s keen eye soon spotted a new opportunity.
The steppe of Ong Khan’s and other tribes was known as the Empty Quarter to the other inhabitants of the planet. These inhabitants were humans too, but rather than the divided barbarians of the east, they were an iron empire led by one known as the Palatine. The Empire’s army was widely considered undefeatable, but the Palatine was no fool, and he feared the barbarians of the Empty Quarter. Thus, he did not invade.
Perhaps the Primarch overestimated that fear- he decided that, since the Palatine would not invade the Empty Quarter, the Empty Quarter should invade the Palatine.
It was difficult to unite the tribes of the Empty Quarter, even though Jaghatai did not want a permanent nation but rather a horde with which to raid the Palatine’s domain. The goal was never conquest of the great empire, but only its weakening. This was accomplished spectacularly. For five years Jaghatai Khan bled the Palatine’s empire dry, while its superlative armies ran around the vast domain in vain attempts to arrest the raids. Eventually, the Palatine decided to take matters into his own hands. Taking an army of two million, he chased Jaghatai Khan into the Yunkai Mountains, until at last a great battle erupted between the barbarian and Palatinian forces.
By this time Jaghatai Khan was a giant, magnificent in battle, if slightly arrogant and rather sadistic. He enjoyed the slow despair an enemy felt as his armies crushed them. Now, though, he saw he himself would be crushed if nothing was done. Consulting the Stormseers, the Khan chose an auspicious date and, at that time, charged into the Palatinian army.
The attack was met with less resistance than expected- for all its mass, the army of civilization was not adapted to fighting on mixed terrain. Jaghatai’s lightning horsemen charged through to the Palatine himself. The ruler fought back, and even pierced Jaghatai’s head with a thrice-blessed spear; but the Khan had time to crush the Palatine before falling unconscious. With news of their leader’s death, the Palatine’s armies were routed; Jaghatai was healed, though his forehead received a milky scar from the devastating impact. The Primarch did not try to hide the wound, rather viewing it as a mark of honor.
Jaghatai continued slowly raiding the states that succeeded to the Palatine’s throne; but while he was greatly amused by their slow decline, soon far greater matters would come to occupy his mind. Soon, Chogoris would be designated Mundus Planus, and nothing would be the same again.
The Great Crusade
The Emperor’s arrival on Chogoris was planned. He had seen that one of his children was on the world, and therefore he came personally, with a full complement of the Fifth Legion. As the Fifth Legion conquered the planet, Jaghatai Khan met his father.
It was a brief meeting, for Jaghatai recognized the Emperor immediately and accepted his rule. He asked, in return, that his people be allowed to retain their wild ways- this the Emperor gladly permitted- and that he himself be allowed to fight among the stars in the Emperor’s name.
It is said that the Emperor laughed at this, for that was what he had planned already.
The Emperor decreed that the White Scars should number a hundred thousand Astartes- superhuman warriors bearing Jaghatai’s own gene-seed. At his arrival, they consisted of only twenty thousand. Jaghatai would, with time, bring them up to about a hundred and five thousand, plus or minus battle casualties and new recruits. They had their own methods of war, in many ways similar to the Khan’s, in many ways distinct. Jaghatai learned in detail the operation of war-bikes and their uses in battle, as well as the biology and culture of the many alien species he would have to clash with; he was nothing if not a tactician, after all. On the adoption of Chogoris’ culture, however, the Fifth Primarch stood firm and insisted his Legion follow him. They did.
”You shall be my raiders, my memories, my scars. You shall be the eternity of Chogoris’ plains, and through it you shall taste the sweet tart of a fallen foe. You shall be the horseman that comes in the night and burns a castle. You shall be my raiders, my memories, my scars- my white scars!”
-Jaghatai Khan, in a speech made on meeting his Legion
At first, the campaigns went quite well. Jaghatai met his brother-Primarchs; for a long time he campaigned with Roboute Guilliman, who noted the charm and intelligence of the Khan. He fought alongside Konrad Curze and the Night Lords, at first being interested in their tactics; soon, however, he became disillusioned by the brute oppression they perpetrated on their homeworld. Jaghatai’s own had been left in the state it had been in on the Emperor’s arrival- warring feral tribes and walled city-states- but Curze created a police state, with himself as the head. The Khan saw this as simultaneously boring and immoral.
Many worlds were taken by the White Scars during this span; among them was the Eldar planet Uoserel, which was burned to the ground. Jaghatai noted a high quantity of odd alien technology at the site. For a while, he attempted to figure out its workings, but war called and he was forced to destroy what he could and move on.
The Khan noted, throughout his travels on Imperial worlds, something rather… odd… going on under the surface. Eventually, he learned of the reason. One of his brothers, going by the name of Alpharius, was inclined towards secrecy and was maintaining a web of loyalty throughout Imperial space. Alpharius had the full consent of the Emperor, and besides, when Jaghatai met him, the former Primarch seemed quite amiable; thus good relations were established.
Another fortunate encounter, met during the philosophical debates that often erupted between the Primarchs, was Corax of the Raven Guard. The Nineteenth Primarch agreed with Jaghatai’s ideals of knowledge and freedom. From Corax’ links to the Mechanicum, Jaghatai himself became well-supplied with technology. The Legion prospered.
Still, Jaghatai’s passion wasn’t conquest. It was conflict. As the Great Crusade went on, he recognized that it could not continue forever; the galaxy was finite. To drag on the entertainment, he slowed down his wars, becoming somewhat more focused on the fighting itself than on victory. His new strategy was that of a war of attrition- not as draining to the Legion as it was to conquered worlds, which proved quite difficult to re-integrate into an Imperium that had ruined them. On the upside, Chaos cults blossomed.
During this time, too, Jaghatai contacted the Emperor on what was to happen once the Great Crusade ended. The Emperor said the Legions would become enforcers in the new Imperium. The Khan, though, did not want to become a policeman. In fact, he had severe doubts that the Emperor would need a patrolling force of two million Astartes, leading him to wonder if perhaps the decision would be made to trim some of the Legions away.
The Khan was worried. And during that worry came the flashpoint that was Savarajn.
Savarajn was a human world, the center of a great trade network. Some of the best routes in the cosmos crossed here. Thus, the planet was rich, with great opulent towers and technological marvels. In other words, it was the perfect prize for Jaghatai’s barbarians.
The invasion was a slow one, indeed particularly slow because of the planet’s value. Step by step, the plutocrats were drained of their will to fight. But Savarajn was more than a convenient planet to plunder- it was the designated meeting place of the Fifth and Fourteenth Legions. Upon arrival, Mortarion already knew that the Khan had been in orbit for some time; thus he assumed the planet was almost pacified and, without consulting the White Scars, launched an all-out assault. It was successful- the Death Guard were after all Space Marines- but Mortarion’s Legion suffered massive losses, and Mortarion complained to Roboute Guilliman.
“He did not pacify the world. It is as simple as that. He has violated the duty given to him by the Emperor, and by that he has gravely harmed my Legion.
No, Xibya Khan, I will not show clemency. I cannot show clemency. Certain… irregularities… must be dealt with, no matter the pain.”
The Thirteenth Primarch was by now Warmaster, and from this high office he decided to negotiate the dispute. After fighting with Jaghatai, and examining the planets he had taken, he condemned his former friend for “destroying infrastructures and productivity while giving nothing in return, and not even being fast about it”.
Jaghatai had nowhere to turn. The Crusade would, it seemed, go on without him. His culture and way of war were being censured. Rallying his Legion, he returned to Chogoris, where for some time he brooded. Appeals to the Emperor yielded no response. It was here, in the only place in the galaxy still loyal to him, that Jaghatai confronted an awful truth.
Joining the Imperium had been a mistake.
The Great Betrayal
When emissaries from Lorgar Aurelian arrived to Chogoris orbit, Jaghatai Khan thought of turning them away. When they presented their suggestions, though, he immediately approved. He had been made to raid the Imperium, not to lead within it.
The diplomats also talked to the White Scars of four True Gods, powers of war, cunning, disease and enjoyment. Jaghatai’s interest was piqued by the one the Word Bearers called Khorne, but even more captured by the being they called Slaanesh. He/she was said to be a deity of the utmost pleasure and the deepest pain, and given that the powers the god granted were shown by the delegates to be certainly real, Jaghatai pledged his Legion without much thought.
Actually getting that Legion to follow him was slightly harder. The secret of the change in allegiance was kept until arrival in the Isstvan system. There, Jaghatai sent those most likely to keep the Emperor’s course. The entrenchment of Chogoris’ way of life in the Legion meant that few beyond those that were sent to the surface rebelled upon learning the truth. Those that did, led by Xibya Khan, captured several ships and for five days harassed the White Scars’ fleet before Jaghatai captured and skinned Xibya personally, as a sacrifice to Slaanesh. Some of his Imperials fled with Luthor.
As an additional distraction, an apparent misunderstanding led to Angron’s ships, filled with the World Eaters, firing on the Fifth Legion. A war erupted between the two factions, brought to a stop by Rogal Dorn’s counsel; but perhaps it would have been better had it not been. The World Eaters have harassed the White Scars ever since their second betrayal, even more than other Chaos Legions.
Thus the White Scars- deployed in the First Fleet, led by Dorn- sped to Terra. On the way, some tried to conquer planets lying in their fleet’s path; but Jaghatai kept his focus on Terra. In the final approach, the Night Lords were found to be lurking in the First Fleet’s ships, but to the Khan it mattered little. They were at Terra, and they would enjoy it.
Rogal Dorn tried to marshal the White Scars into regular formations, but the Fifth Legion had its own way of war. It howled across the desolate plains of Terra. It destroyed stronghold after stronghold, city after city. Sometimes it attacked the Imperial palace, swarming its walls to get a breach; but for as long as the siege lasted, victory was assured, and thus there was no real focus on breaking the walls. Some successes were reached- for instance, Jaghatai Khan personally grabbed the leader of the Night Lords, Zso Sahaal, off the Palace’s walls and sacrificed him to Slaanesh- but overall, the siege was for other Legions.
Then, in an instant, everything changed. The air forces inside the Palace and above it rose into the Terran skies, and the Discoverers’ orbital superiority was lost. Imperial forces permeated the planet, and the White Scars were forced back, not only to stop the siege but to retreat- except they had nowhere to retreat to. Without control of Earth’s orbit, the unbroken forces of the White Scars scattered across the surface.
Among the most prominent figures in Jaghatai’s Legion was a Captain, selected after the death of the previous one to hold that post, designated the Lord of the Hunt. That Captain threw off his former name and became the closest advisor to Jaghatai, as well as gaining secondary governing power in almost all matters. The Lord of the Hunt was, quite simply, the second-in-command of the Legion. During the retreat from the Imperial Palace, the Lord of the Hunt rallied the remnants of the Legion, which had become separated and were now a vast array of independent forces clashing both with the Loyalist Legions and each other. In this chaos, the Lord of the Hunt managed to create a warband large enough to protect itself from concentrated attacks, then annexed smaller groups into it to recreate a semblance of organization. His primary goal, however, was finding the Primarch.
He did succeed, a few days before the Second Fleet arrived, but found that the Khan did not dislike the chaos. Rather, he found it to be beneficial, because it fostered a spirit of independence and wildness. Jaghatai had no desire to be a tyrant, after all. Therefore, the Lord of the Hunt’s warband scattered as well, with only a few of the most loyal warriors staying by their leader’s side.
The Lord of the Hunt watched his father’s form recede.
It was foolish, he knew, but even now he wished that it had been different. Things could have gone better. Jaghatai was dashing his Legion against the rocks, and the White Scars were disappearing, for all of his efforts.
He could not, would not betray his gene-father.
But he could fix the Khan’s mistakes.
The Primarch had his own troubles. Not long after he sent off the Lord of the Hunt, the Khan was found by a party of Raven Guard. They could do little to hurt a Primarch directly, but after their escape, Jaghatai began having his prized armor work incorrectly, often either freezing up or trying to twist in a direction other than where Jaghatai wanted it to. The unpredictable errors infuriated the Khan, as well as weakening his abilities in battle; eventually, he was forced to fight without armor on.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the Second Fleet arrived on Terra. They picked up Jaghatai and many of his Legion, by now greatly decreased in strength and numbering about twenty or thirty thousand Space Marines. Nevertheless, upon returning to Lorgar above, the Khan obtained his permission to depart early. Some of his forces, led by the Lord of the Hunt, elected to stay behind and continue to fight on Terra; but the majority scattered once more, led by the Khan. They would be raiders once more, no longer a Legion; but they would be feared by the galaxy.
As for the Lord of the Hunt, he remained at Terra, participating in the Second Fleet’s second attempt to crush the Emperor. After his death, along with those of Lorgar and Fulgrim, the White Scars joined the other Discoverer Legions in taking some ships and fleeing directly to the Eye of Terror, a place where their safety was assured. It was a cowardly way out, in a sense, but one that kept them alive and expanding, thus making certain that the Legion would have a future.
Jaghatai Khan’s forces ran rampant over the galaxy for a time; but the Primarch himself, along with less than a thousand followers, returned to his homeworld. Chogoris was doomed, Jaghatai suspected, but at least he would save its ways and induct its citizens into the Legion. With the unlimited gene-seed the Khan’s blood provided, the intense recruitment drive was a promising possibility.
But it failed. When the Silver Scar
, the White Scars’ flagship, arrived at Chogoris they found only a wrecked asteroid. Their homeworld had been subjected to Exterminatus, demolished with everyone still on it.
It is impossible to explain how furious Jaghatai was at this; he was angry enough to send some of his ship’s missiles into the Chogoris system’s star for no reason whatsoever. Soon, however, the destroyers showed themselves. They bore the markings of the Luna Wolves, and at their head was the Vengeful Spirit
, the personal battle-barge of the Primarch Horus.
A space battle erupted, but it was brief. Though the Luna Wolves had sent only a fragment of their strength to Chogoris- perhaps a fifth- they still outnumbered the White Scars fifteen to one. The ships were wrecked, one by one, Horus’ fleet not losing a single vessel. Desperate, Jaghatai tried to escape, but even that was denied to him. A skillful lance strike by the Vengeful Spirit
hit the Silver Scar
’s Gellar Field generators, and as soon as the battle barge dipped into the Warp, it was subjected to complete disintegration. Most of the crew was destroyed, but that was not the Primarch’s fate.
The weakened demigod was carried through room after room, each one birthing inside him great ecstasy and greater agony. The ones who bore his body seemed to be beautiful humans at times, but at others the Khan, drifting on the edge of unconsciousness, saw only indescribable horrors. At last the daemons- for they were that, denizens of the turbulent Warp- brought him to a massive throne. On it sat a serpent-like thing, seeming at times male and at times female, but both sensual and repelling in every incarnation.
The Khan recognized the figure for what it was- his god.
Jaghatai was forced to sit on a smaller throne, adjacent to that of Slaanesh; and from there, unable to move, he watched. He watched his beloved Legion be dashed to pieces against humans and other Astartes. He heard Horus laugh as he killed his greatest Captains. He smelled fear among his forces, but also joy at being challenged.
He sat on the throne for a thousand years outside. Inside the sanctum of Slaanesh, it is impossible to tell how much time passed, though most likely more. It is clear only that the long isolation let Jaghatai see the truth of what he was doing and break the bounds between pleasure and pain. Positive and negative emotion fused into one, and when Jaghatai descended to the Lord of the Hunt in early M32, his form had changed into that of a bike with five heads dangling from its seat. Another looked forward, replacing the handlebars.
“My sons,” Jaghatai said upon his return, “we have won.”
The Long War
The White Scars have proved throughout the millennia that, when their Daemon-Primarch proclaimed that, he had been right. The Discoverers had failed to destroy the Imperium; but the White Scars achieved their aim. Always fighting against any existing authority, they now had a wonderful enemy, one that was neither too powerful to contest nor too weak to be a credible threat.
On Grendel’s World, the White Scars killed the Night Lords’ Legion Master, Talos. On the wild planet of Chondax, they looted no less than seven Space Hulks from the local Orks. Acquiring new property and enjoying themselves in bloodshed, they Fifth Legion- though it no longer functions as such- is a dangerous force, feared throughout Imperial space.
Among the most significant campaigns over the millennia was the M35 Sabbat Worlds War. There, three factions clashed- the forces of Slaanesh, led by Osnech Khan (known as the Doomrider), the forces of Khorne, led by the Daemon-Prince Sabbat, at the time the area’s ruler, and the Eldar of Biel-Tan, seeking some unknown artifact. The White Scars not only killed the Eldar expedition wholesale, sacrificing their spirit-stones to Slaanesh, but also took over the three hundred Sabbat Worlds for about two centuries. This period did end, but that end did not come from a military invasion; rather, the Doomrider grew bored and abandoned the empire. Since then, the Doomrider has won much renown among the White Scars’ ranks, though his lack of interest in the material has set him aside from most White Scars. His aim is the spiritual and the emotional, and it is unclear why he has not been promoted to Daemon Prince.
Osnech Khan sat on his jetbike, smoking.
He saw a great face, a face half male and half female, appear to him. It seemed to grow closer, and on it appeared a token.
“No,” Osnech said.
He was pledged to another. His fingers touched the eight-pointed star on his chest, and within it the invisible rune of Khorne. The apparition disappeared, as rapidly as it had come.
Osnech paused. The visions were getting more frequent, now. But it was too late to regret choices that were not made to be regretted. The cigar fell out of his mouth, and the jetbike roared to life.
The Lord of the Hunt reigning now is the same one that dominated the Legion during the Discovery War. He remains within the Eye of Terror, but is known to command a fleet of Ghost Ships, including the infamous Celestion
. These travel Imperial space, crewed by daemons and mental links to some of the Lord’s followers. Their mission is to land on planets and take their treasures back to the Eye, and though weak in battle, their element of surprise and robust construction has made them a real menace to the Imperium.
The most recent major campaign of the White Scars was the cleansing of Herodian IV. The world was taken by a Genestealer infection, and the planet’s inhabitants sent out a distress call; but the Imperium is not the only faction to monitor the Warp. The arriving White Scars eliminated or captured the Genestealers, though that took a long time; moreover, they captured most of the planet’s population and abducted them into slavery. The Imperial Army did arrive, and did achieve superiority of orbit; thus the majority of the White Scars were trapped. Thus, the Chaos Marines forced a captured Genestealer leader to breed and produce a new species’ child, which succeeded in summoning the greater Hive Fleet. The Navy did save the planet from the Tyranids, but in the confusion the White Scars (and, unfortunately, many of their slaves) managed to escape.
This underlines the volatility of the V Legion. They do not hold much territory; they do not rule. They are a raiding force, an alliance of barbarians working to destroy civilization- and in many cases succeeding.
Before the Discovery, the White Scars were organized into twenty-five Brotherhoods, each numbering about four thousand Space Marines. Since then, the lines have become blurred. The Legion has regrown, and now numbers approximately two hundred thousand Astartes, but the scattering has left the Legion consisting of a disorganized mass of Warbands.
Some patterns can be seen. Many of them revolve around the Lord of the Hunt- he owns a personal corner of the Legion, the Hunting Companies. These number about a tenth of the Legion’s strength, and consist of ten Companies devoted to raiding within the Eye and ten devoted to protecting the White Scars’ property. The rest are sheer warbands; the largest is led by the Doomrider and numbers about fifteen thousand Astartes, but even single Space Marines controlling the firepower of a spaceship pose a great danger.
There are no Sorcerers among the White Scars; that post is taken by Stormseers. Unlike their psychic brethren in other Legions, Stormseers tend to view Chaos with suspicion. They rely on ancient, tribal sorceries, and despite worshipping Slaanesh, tend to be some of the Legion members more distant from the deity. On Chogoris, Jaghatai Khan was very close to the Stormseers, but since then the psykers’ importance has waned. Conjoined with this is a decreased recruitment of psykers. The Stormseers constitute perhaps one percent of the Legion’s strength, or even less.
Some of their roles have been filled by the Stormpiercers, though the order is also small- two percent of the Legion, or thereabouts. These were at first a splinter sect of the Stormseers devoted to summoning daemons; now, the vast majority of them are non-psykers. Stormpiercers are devoted to the power of Slaanesh and no other, often taking leadership positions in warbands or aiding the destruction of those that they see as unfaithful. At the very least, they are always the ones to perform ritual, agonic sacrifices.
The Apothecaries do not fill that role simply because there are too few of them. Most warbands, recognizing the position’s importance, have given each of their members some Apothecarion training rather than singling out one target. Only the Hunting Companies maintain separate Apothecaries, approximately ten percent of their strength. It is to the Hunting Companies that the warbands come in cases of severe injury, or for passing on gene-seed. They function as arbiters, in a way.
The Techmarines can also take that role. There are lots of them- seven thousand, plus or minus a few hundred- and they are organized. Though Mars experienced little tumult during the Discovery, outlying Forge Worlds turned to Chaos in large numbers; and from their technical knowledge, Jaghatai himself has assembled an incredible Dark Forge rivaling that of the Salamanders. Despite the Khan’s uncivilized nature, he is quite fond of new and improved ways to kill one’s foes.
“Ah, my brother from the First. I am afraid I must decline your offer. You see the Warp as a tool to achieve the goals of technology, you see. I am more in support of using technology to achieve the goals of the Warp.”
-Techmarine Taresk of the V Legion
The White Scars rarely defend what they have taken. Only some of the Hunting Companies stand on fortress walls and obliterate the enemy with blasts of death from mighty cannons; and even then, the territory the Lord of the Hunt keeps is often lost. The rest of the Legion wanders the galaxy in packs, warbands, each of which can rely only on itself in its struggle for survival, fun, and profit.
A White Scar raid is not typically preceded by orbital bombardment. Rather, the pirates land, take what they want, and leave. In the Great Crusade, the V Legion was fond of attrition and slow, demoralizing victories; those are rarer nowadays. Instead, drop-pods rain down from the sky, and the Astartes emerge to plunder whatever terrain they land in before taking back off.
Bikes are common, as much as they can be transported through Drop Pods or other insertion methods. Daemonic steeds are also often used. Close-combat weaponry is more common than ranged, as it is more useful for intimidation and more pleasing in the act of murder; but ranged weapons are still used in large numbers, especially novel types causing greater pain.
Sometimes, the Fifth Legion does assault a planet or sector slowly and in force. In those cases, a long series of raids is staged across various locations within the target. These are followed by an overwhelming assault at the enemy’s center of communications and government. The remaining foes can be picked off at leisure. It is significant that, in such cases, the White Scars often hold the territory taken, at least for some time. They are not fleet-based, after all- they have a homeland, even if it is a shifting one that wanders around the Eye of Terror with the Hunting Companies’ marches and flows, destroying what it meets and leaving it to the next great conqueror when he comes.
While they were an Imperial Legion, the White Scars based themselves on the verdant world of Chogoris. It was a bright world, with brilliant azure seas unspoiled by industrialization and unspoiled viridian steppes. Above, mountains of chalk towered. Mechanicum expeditions reported Chogoris did not possess extraordinary deposits of any ores, but even if it had, Jaghatai would never have given his planet up. In fact, it is likely the Adepts’ decision not to try and mine the body they, insistently, called Mundus Planus was the only thing that prevented an enmity with the Fifth Legion.
After Chogoris was destroyed by Horus, the White Scars built their new base in the Eye of Terror. At any given point, they will occupy a few dozen Daemon Worlds, usually ones devoid of significant resources but located in strategic positions. Currently, Gajnek, the Planet of Pleasure, serves as the basic homebase of the V Legion. It is a festive world, dominated by the Dome, a massive hemisphere covering a quarter of the world that serves as a palace for the Daemon-Princes of the Legion and a home to their attendants. The Dome is encircled by a ring of spaceports and homes for most of the Legion, and the rest of Gajnek consists of a black ocean that traps those who stumble into it for years before releasing them, mutated with the blessings of Slaanesh. It is considered a ritual for young Legionnaries to journey into the ocean, a recreation of Jaghatai Khan’s ascension.
The White Scars believe in the True Gods, and have devoted themselves to the worship of the God of Pleasure and Pain, Slaanesh. They see themselves as merely souls striving for that achievement of positive and negative emotions, though in truth they usually bring pleasure to themselves and pain to all around them. “Life is short, so enjoy it” is a common maxim among the V Legion, and they embrace it wholeheartedly.
The White Scars do revere their Primarch, seeing Jaghatai Khan as above them in every way, but at the same time, somehow, as the first among equals. In general, however, the Fifth Legion is not one of philosophers, and thus such lack of logical clarity is let be.
The gene-seed of Jaghatai’s Legion has suffered from some deterioration and mutation from the crude passage of years. No single organ has stopped functioning in every Marine, but many have been lost in each individual line.
The Khan himself still uses his blood to create new Marines; due to his daemonic nature, though, this process is unpredictable and rife with mutation.
Before the Discovery, the Legion’s battle-cry was “For the Khan and the Emperor!” Modern variants include “For the Khan and Slaanesh!” or simply “For the Khan!”, as well as completely new inventions such as “With joy and pain!”