Brotherhood remained strong at the Chapter’s heart in that time, and was the test that truly mattered. For especially deserving Astartes, the Hounds even opened their pits to those born of other Astartes bloodlines. The Hounds duelled because in their hearts they knew that nothing forged a stronger bond of brotherhood than fighting.
It is during this period that Konrad Curze earned the name “Night Haunter” for the vicious murders of literally hundreds, if not thousands, of Nostraman criminals and corrupt aristocrats. Within a standard year of his arrival in the hive city, the crime rate of Nostramo had fallen away to nothing. Nostramo Quintus developed a self-imposed curfew; none dared to stray out later than the early evening. Mothers threatened disobedient children with the depraved attentions of the “Night Haunter.”
In terms of combat deployment, the World Eaters were champions of the drop-pod assault, usually choosing to appear in the heart of the enemy’s defences, in order to rip it apart from within. When heavy firepower was required to support such a tactic, the World Eaters were not averse to advancing under danger-close orbital bombardment or direct Titan support. While infantry assault was their primary stratagem, the legion did possess respectable amounts of armour bonnie knight rider and artillery units, and were highly adept in their use. Transports and those vehicles able to closely support infantry were obviously prevalent, and the assault doctrine of the legion was so strongly ingrained that even vehicle crew carried assault weapons as standard issue, and would often find a means to employ them. It is said he never forgave his father for the incident, and that the blow to his honour would eventually fester into a soul-deep wound.
As the Crusade wore on and the various Legions grew in size to the point where they no longer needed a standing reserve reinforcement force, the scattered units of War Hounds were consolidated into the 13th Fleet, upon the legion muster-world of Bodt. Added to the 13th were many other Imperial forces, especially those who had similarly dark or questionable reputations for violence, particularly Feral World and Abhuman troops. Notable additions to the 13th were the Titans of Legio Audax and the warriors of the Numen Gun Clans, both powerful elements whose conduct had fallen under a pall of suspicion and distrust. The war record of all of these various forces led to the 13th Expeditionary Fleet becoming known as “The Bloody 13th” in various Imperial circles.. Kargos, “Bloodspitter” – Kargos was an Apothecary of the elite 8th Assault Company as a part of Captain Khârn’s command squad during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.
Non-psychic World Eaters would depart instinctively from their presence and spit on the floor before them, to ward off ill-fortune, a superstitious habit taken from Angron’s homeworld, and one that had resonated throughout the XIIth Legion. Ultimately the existence of psykers in the Imperium such as Astropaths and Navigators was allowed but tightly restricted under centralised Imperial control, while the potent and unrestricted use of psychic abilities that was defined as sorcery was officially banned. In His wisdom, the Emperor of Mankind invited advocates of both sides of the debate to a great Imperial conclave on the world of Nikaea in 001.M31.
During this time the XIIth Legion was kept in a state of constant readiness, relentlessly training and steadily growing in numbers. On the occasions when it was unleashed into battle, the Legion’s Astartes performed with almost gleeful savagery, tearing apart whatever enemy they were given to fight without mercy or falter, heedless of the risk and uncaring of the Legion’s own losses. In time, when the Emperor’s eye first began to fall beyond Terra, He began to raise new armies to fight His Great Crusade.