Dark Apostle

The Traitor Legions have a lot of things that are basically "Evil Knockoffs!" to stuff the Loyalists get. And even the Chaplains aren't exempt. Whereas the Chaplains focus on treating the spiritual and mental health of their fellows and ensuring they stay loyal to the God-Emperor of Mankind, their Traitor Counterparts, the Dark Apostles, are twisted priests and seers of the Chaos Gods, leading the profane rituals that serve and honor their blasphemous masters.

The Dark Apostles proper are traitor Chaplains of the Word Bearers Legion. Indeed, they are the true leaders of the Word Bearers even in their current state; the warbands, or Hosts, of that Traitor Legion all operate under the authority of the Dark Council, a collection of the oldest Dark Apostles who lead the Word Bearers while Lorgar spends his time thinking about the Chaos Gods. This also makes the Word Bearers legion possibly the most dangerous of all, seeing as they are still unified (basically).

However, the name is also used for other Chaos Marine leaders, serving as a generic term for charismatic preachers and zealous orators among the servants of Chaos - in essence, a Champion gifted with leadership skills instead of pure, raw killpower, especially one who focuses on spreading the worship of Chaos (usually, but not always, Chaos Undivided) as a corrupt priest-figure.

In 3rd edition, when Chapter Approved released the Word Bearers as part of the Codex Astartes series, it stated that Dark Apostles are the only Traitor Legion Chaplains who fell from the Emperor's light, forcing all other Traitor Legions to massacre their Chaplains. With the edition change and especially the Horus Heresy novels, that fluff has been retconned; in the days preceding the Heresy, the Emperor championed the Imperial Truth, which basically goes "there are no gods and you shall not worship anything, not even me - are you listening, Lorgar?!" As a result, no other Legion of the time HAD Chaplains, except for the Word Bearers (and Dark Angels and Blood Angels, to some extent); they were just being phased into place (as, essentially, Space Marine Commissars rather than warrior-priests) when the Nikea broke out to enforce the disbanding of librariums. Although most of them initially were Word Bearers chaplains sent to other legions (to secretly corrupt them through warrior lodges), most legions quickly started to train their own chaplains (mostly to get rid of the annoying outsiders), and they became adopted by both Loyalists and Traitors afterward. However, while loyalists found the Chaplains' ability to monitor and enforce loyalty to the big E invaluable, traitors weren't so fond of that particular role - after all, no one ever betrayed Chaos to the Emperor. Most the traitor legions' Chaplains became your average Chaos Lords or Sorcerers, but some particularly pious warbands kept them to maintain their religious rituals, while some freshly turned traitor chapters just kept their chaplains and converted them into apostles because they liked the idea of fanatical warrior-priests leading the charge while screaming litanies of HATRED at the top of their lungs. This change is why Dark Apostles went from a Word Bearers-exclusive unit to something any Chaos Marine army can field.

Notable Dark ApostlesEdit

Forces of the Traitor Legions of Chaos
Leaders: Chaos Champion - Chaos Lord - Daemon Prince - Dark Apostle - Master of Execution
Sorcerer - Warsmith - Master of Possession - Lord Discordant
Unaligned: Chaos Chosen - Chaos Raptors - Chaos Spawn - Chaos Terminators - Cultist - Havocs
Mutilators - Obliterators - Possessed - Tech-Assassin - Warp Talons - Warpsmith
Negavolt Cultist - Greater Possessed - Dark Disciple
Faction Aligned: Berserkers - Berserker Dreadnought - Plague Marines
Noise Marines - Sonic Dreadnought - Rubric Marines
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Chaos Dreadnought - Dreadclaw Assault Pod - Kharybdis - Helbrute
Infernal Relic Predator - Land Raider - Mastodon - Predator Tank - Rhino Transport
Sicaran Battle Tank - Stalk Tank - Vindicator - Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
Spartan Assault Tank - Rapier Armoured Carrier - Whirlwind Scorpius - Termite
Cerberus Destroyer - Fellblade
Flyers: Harbinger - Hell Blade - Hell Talon - Doomfire Bomber - Swiftdeath Fighter
Fire Raptor - Storm Eagle - Xiphon Interceptor - Thunderhawk - Stormbird
Titans: Daemon Knights - Chaos Emperor Titan - Feral Scout Titan
Ravager Battle Titan - Chaos Warlord Titan - Woe Machine
Unaligned
Daemon Engines:
Decimator - Defiler - Death Wheel - Forgefiend - Heldrake
Maulerfiend - Soul Grinder - Wirewolf - Venomcrawler - Helstalker
Daemon Engines
of Khorne:
Blood Reaper - Blood Slaughterer - Brass Scorpion - Cauldron of Blood - Death Dealer
Doom Blaster - Kytan - Lord of Skulls - Skull Reaper - Tower of Skulls
Daemon Engines
of Nurgle:
Blight Drone - Contagion - Foetid Bloat-Drone - Myphitic Blight-Hauler
Nurgle Plague Tower - Plague Hulk - Plagueburst Crawler
Daemon Engines
of Slaanesh:
Hell-Scourge - Hell-Knight - Hell-Strider
Questor Scout Titan - Slaanesh Subjugator
Daemon Engines
of Tzeentch:
Aether Ray - Doom Wing - Fire Lord of Tzeentch
Mirrorfiend - Silver Tower of Tzeentch - The Auruntaur
Auxiliaries: Chaos Daemons - Death Guard - Thousand Sons - Fallen Angels