- "Forget who you once were! Your origins, your chapter, legion, all of it, for it does not matter anymore! For you now serve the darkness, the true Chaos! We shall unleash the discord will of Malice, total destruction of order is our offering to him! Even those who serve the other Chaos Deities shall become our sacrifice! Now, go forth and bring calamity!"
- —Balor the Anarchist, speaking to the warband
The Dark Core is a large Chaos Warband that has gained infamy for the past ten millennia. They are known to attack various Imperial Military Forces, Xenos armies, and even fellow Chaos Forces. This is because they are one of the rare few who worship the Renegade Chaos God, Malice. As such they see it as their duty to spread discord and destruction, fighting only the best enemies in order to appease their Dark God. Since they do not worship the other Gods of Chaos, they have little Daemons, instead forcefully binding lesser Daemons to machines, having a large number of Daemon Engines to serve them. The warband is also infamous to raiding Rogue Traders, Imperial Navy Ships and even Loyalist and Chaos Space Marine ships, adding their vessels to their growing fleet and forcing the survivors into the service of Malice.
While not fully clear yet, the command structure of the Dark Core Warband is that it is led fully by the Overlord, Balor the Anarchist. Underneath him are the Harbingers, the Champions of Malice. These Harbingers can command the Warband's forces, including Chaos Space Marines, Cultists, Renegade Guardsmen, Chaos Ogryn, Hereteks, Daemon Engines, Chaos Titans, and even corrupted Orks. However, all the Harbingers answer directly to Balor, whose decision is final on any matters.
Serving underneath the Harbingers are the Specters, potential Chaos Space Marines who could become Harbingers. They act as field commanders, the equivalent of Space Marine Sergeants. The Specters command smaller groups of the warband's forces, and take orders from the Harbingers as well as Balor.
Amongst the warband, there are those who earn favor from the Renegade God, proving their devotion by spreading even more turmoil and destruction than their traitor brothers. These eleven individuals are called the Harbingers, Champions of Chaos that serve Balor (also an Harbinger) as his most trusted officers and are a part of the warbands inner circle. As recognition of their deep devotion to their god, the Harbingers are permitted to paint the number Eleven on their left shoulder plates, the sacred number of Malice.
The name for Aspiring Champions among the Dark Core's warriors, the Specters are veteran warriors, having experienced centuries of battles against countless foes. They lead the squads of the warband's forces, acting as field officers. Those who are Specters have the highest chance of becoming Harbingers, usually through issuing challenges of death matches, proving their worth through the actions, or murdering existing Harbingers. The strongest is Garric the Behemoth, whose position makes him equal to the Harbingers.
The Dark Guards are a retinue of Chaos Space Marines that serve as Balor's personal bodyguards and enforcers of his will. Lead by the Specter, Garric the Behemoth, the Dark Guards zealously protect their lord when he is in battle, as well as from would-be assassins and possible usupers. Their loyalty obvious, the Dark Guards would gladly give their lives for Balor, in order to protect the greatest worshipper of their Dark God. They are all armed with the best armor and weapons, looted and/or crafted by the warband's Warpsmiths and Hereteks.
- "The purpose? What a silly question. Though I suppose our purpose would be quite simple: Chaos, just total chaos. No laws, no desires, nothing, just absolute chaos."
- —Balor, speaking to a Canoness before crushing her head.
Not even the forces of Chaos are spared by their vendetta. While it is not uncommon for different Chaos warbands to fight one another, the Dark Core deliberately fight against other Chaos Space Marines, just as Malice opposses the other Chaos Gods. Also, like their god who feeds off the powers of the other Dark Gods like a parasite, the Dark Core are opprotunists, using any advantage they can find to win a battle. When both sides are exhausted and weak, the Dark Core will strike without warning, slaughtering both sides with gleeful delight.
Another fact about the warband is that they completely remove all memories of their past. For them, who they were or where they came from no longer matters. Only the here and now is of importance to the Dark Core, and bringing ever glory to their god. In their view, by becoming a servant of Malice, their origins are merely another form of Order, that which binds them to a state of compliance and restrictions. One must be free of all restraints in order to truly serve Chaos, with only the minimal of structure to keep the warband alive.
Notable Dark Core Chaos Space Marines
Balor the Anarchist
- "Gaze upon it, my brothers! The beauty of true Chaos! No order, no law, no peace, nothing but endless discord and destruction, all for Malice!"
- —Balor speaking to his inner circle as they watch a planet wracked by wars they caused.
Balor the Anarchist is the founder and leader of the Dark Core warband, and a champion of Malice, as well as one of the Harbingers. Once a captain of the Sons of Horus, Balor left out on his own after the death of Warmaster Horus. Ignoring the squabbling of his fellow Captains, Balor and his company, along with a few others, ventured out to find their destiny. Eventually they fell under the worship of the Renegade Chaos God. Now he leads his ever growing warband on a path of destruction and death, battling anyone in his path, whether they be Human, Tau, Eldar, Ork, Necron, Tyranid or even fellow Chaos Forces. Whether directly or indirectly, Balor is determined to fill the galaxy with lawless, indiscriminate battles, all in Malice's name. And while some of his plans also aid the other Chaos Gods, Balor knows that those victories will still satisfty his Renegade God, as Malice feeds off the growing power of his fellow Chaos Gods.
An Astarte of impressive height, Balor wears an Artificer Armor, forged by his Warpsmith and Hereteks, and blessed by several Chaos Sorcerers, Balor is near invulnerable. For weapons, Balor wields a daemoinc Power Fist over his left arm, with a built in Volkite Charger, which is capable of firing powerful bolts of thermal energy that can tear through Terminator Armor, and possess the strength to crush the helmet wearing head of a Adeptus Astartes. He also wields the Rift Breaker, an ancient Daemonic weapon in the form of a single-hand, spiked mace. A single swing of this dark weapon is capable of leaving objects and weaker beings into a bloody pulp, with the stronger ones temporarily stun, long enough for Balor to deliver the crippling blow. Sometimes he would wear a wrist-mounted Storm Bolter on his right arm.
Garric the Behemoth
- "Brother Garric, truly I am blessed to have such a loyal brother. For he has been by my side since the beginning, and even saved my life once. Among all my followers, I trust him the most"
- —Balor commenting on Garric.
One of the oldest members of the Dark Core, Garric the Behemoth is one of the warband's Specters, as well as Balor's personal bodyguard. Earning his title due to being taller than most of his brothers, nearly reaching the height of a Dreadnought, Garric has been with Balor since the beginning, and served under the latter during their days as a part of the Sons of Horus Legion. Silent and deadly, Garric wears a modified Terminator Armor to suit his massive stature, and wields a Reaper Autocannon in one arm, while in the other is a Power Maul, coated with a toxic poison, making it even more lethal. Sometimes he would wield a second Reaper Autocannon. Garric's loyalty to Balor is unquestionable, having once saved the Chaos Lord's life. Garric also leads Balor personal retinue, the Dark Guards.
Tyros of the Dark Forge
- "To build endless machines of war. To set them loose upon the galaxy and watch them wreck havoc, and then break them down and rebuild them into new designs. In other words - infinite possibilities."
- —Tyros stating his desire.
The Master Warpsmith of the Dark Core, Tyros of the Dark Forge is one of the Harbingers. He has built and modified many of the warband's weapons, as well as commands the other Warpsmiths and Hereteks, as well as in charge of turning captured Daemons into Daemon Engines. Tyros desires to build numerous weapons and machines of war, before setting them loose onto the galaxy in order to watch their performance. However, after he will merely break them apart and rebuild them with different designs, and test them out again. The reason is that Tyros' ultimate goal is to simply build the designs he sees within his twisted mind, and bring his machinations into reality. He is also a collector of Xeno technology, particular that of Necron and Eldar.
Tyros wears a Power Armor he himself built, along with wielding a double-sided Power Axe and a Conversion Beamer he looted from a slain Chief Techmarine of an unknown chapter. Along with those, he also has the Mechatendrils, the signature tool of all Warpsmiths. His is equipped with several claws and buzzsaws, as well as a Flamer, Bolter and Meltagun. And finally, Tyros is always seen with a creature he calls, Brytralik, a Warp-entity that Tyros himself created. It appears as a silver creature in the shape of an apparatus with six extendable tendrils with pincer claws at the tips. The creature can attached itself to Tyros' back, digging into his flesh, and uses its tendrils to protect and fight alongside its master. The tendrils are strong enough to lift up objects with five times the mass, and can impale even Terminator Armor. His fellow brother and student, Kazaras Jakul, serves as a Specter and his right-hand man.
Korwalk the Disaster
Nagurin the Bloody Vulture
Yren the Convertor
Oloron the Razor
Balthar the Twisted Spinner
Chaos Space Marines of the Dark Core warband are primarily colored in black, with the trims, elbows, and edges painted a dark white, both colors used to show the warband's devotion to Malice. The rivets, Chaos Star and horned helmets are a dark golden color.
The symbol of the Dark Zone is a white version of the signature Chaos-pointed star. At the center of the star is a black skull. The two colors are the sacred colors of Malice, and is usually placed on the right shoulder plate.