The warband of heretics that would become known as the Serpent Kings, the warlords of the Shiva system of Daemon Forges within the Eye of Terror, began life as the sixth company of the Emperor's Children, known affectionately as 'Fulgrim's Fangs.' The sixth company specialized in guerrilla tactics, striking when the enemy was unprepared, and destroying them before they had a chance to retaliate. The Fangs, while well respected by Fulgrim himself, were often treated with disdain by the other Emperor's Children, because unlike them, the Fangs were not privy to the glories and accolades that usually befell the third legion.
After the Heresy took place, their leader, Captain Virgil, who renamed himself Saint Virgil the Immaculate, declared that no longer would the Fangs operate in the shadows. With Fulgrim's disappearance, the Fangs renamed themselves the Serpent Kings, restyling their armor and styling themselves as decadent, beautiful and passionate demon gods. Settling in the Shiva system within the Eye of Terror, they quickly took over both the Dark Mechanicus forges and the local populace, claiming to be supernatural beings to be appeased. Their new armor, adorned with snarling daemons and snakes, quickly solidified their reputation as the patron gods of Shiva.
The Serpent Kings differ greatly from other Emperor's Children warbands, in that while they do possess sonic weaponry, and use it to devastating effect, the Kings are close combat specialists, utilizing the heightened senses and reflexes that come with being a Noise Marine to dance across the battlefield, a whirling dervish of chainswords and power scimitars that is both beautiful and nightmarish to behold. The Serpent Kings perform a ballad across the battlefield, slicing limbs and opening arteries, precision and specificity valued over brute force, and all in glorious tribute to their goddess, Slaanesh.
Uniquely among the Emperor's Children, Fulgrim's Fangs valued pragmatist thinking and subtlety over shows of force and honorable combat that the rest of the Astartes legion practiced. They carry this thinking over to their post-Heresy ways, thinking of war as a performance art to be planned meticulously.
Despite this, the Serpent Kings relish combat as much as the rest of the third legion, and when engaged, they go out of their way to prove to their leaders and comrades that they are the most effective and graceful performer on the field. While the Kings do utilize Noise Marines armed with sonic weapons, they are unique among Third Legion warbands for being martial experts, who devote themselves to mastering the subtle dance of close-combat weaponry.
While they present a facade of honor and grace to their enemies, the Kings know well that this is a private joke shared between brothers, before they strike down their prey. When the time for battle comes, the Kings fight as dirty as any other Slaaneshi warband, and view masterful manipulation of an enemy's expectations as yet another form of combat.
St. Virgil the Immaculate
Formerly the sixth Captain of the Third Legion, not much is known of Virgil’s past. At some point between the fall of Fulgrim’s Fangs and their rise as the much-feared Serpent Kings of the Shiva System, Virgil completed a great service to Slaanesh, sacrificing the entire population of an Imperial system to the glory of the Eater of Souls, while his warband, supported by thousands of daemons, kept any non Slaaneshi away from the feast of innocents. Because of this, he was rewarded with Slaanesh. To prove his worth, he tore off his own immaculately beautiful face with a chain-knife, leaving only a gaping hole, which Slaanesh replaced with his visage and gifted with wings of an angel. Virgil was reborn as the Archangel of Chaos.
Vasuki the Whirlwind
A former squad leader of the White Scars, who joined Horus during the heresy as a Khornate Warband, the Blooming Blades, Vasuki exemplifies the idea of fighting and killing as an art that requires precision, poise and imagination. After a failed attack on Virgil, Khorne rejected the young Chosen, as his focus on honorable combat and precision had made him neglect his sacrifices to the skull throne. Still, he attempted to match Virgil in an honorable duel and was promptly crushed. Rather than kill him, Virgil saw the skill and finesse of the young warrior and inducted him and his followers into the Serpent Kings as warrior Slaaneshi.
Cruel, vicious and psychotic, Vritra the Howler is like any other Noise Champion of Slaanesh. Like many of the Emperor’s Children, the Screaming Rapture Noise Marines were there on the siege of Terra, and were one of the many warbands that ran roughshod over the civilian populace. Vritra is a man of little self-control and constantly requires a new source of stimulation. Of all the members of the Serpent Kings, Vritra and his crew spend most of their time when not actively engaged in battle preying on the civilian populace of the Shiva System. Prayers are not offered to them, but to avert their depravities. Virgil keeps them around because Noise Marines are difficult to come by and even more difficult to secure the loyalties of.