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At the battle of Prospero, the thousand sons were decimated by the space puppies, then Ahriman turned the majority of the survivors into warp dust inside their battle Armour, turning them into walking, fighting, not-thinking-very-well ghosts.

Each of the chaos marine forces is able to replenish their armies, either by dealing with Fabius for geneseed, accepting marines from other chapters and absorbing them into their ranks or turning their own warriors.

How do the thousand sons replenish their forces though? I can’t see them willingly making more of their ghost warriors, even if they could, and the remaining non-dusted members are some of the most powerful and oldest Psykers around.

General attrition must mean the thousand sons lose warriors. The battle of the fang killed a load of them, but how do they replenish those they lose. Or are they a truly dying legion and one day there will be no more?

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2 Answers 2

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The Rubric Marines are immortal

While for a while there was a theory, that they can turn new/captured Marines into Rubric ones, Phill Kelly (one of the GW designers) confirmed in the Thousand Sons Codex another hypothesis: Ahriman has developed a ritual, which allows to bring back Rubric Marine soul from the warp and bind it to another/repaired set of the armour.

When a Rubric Marine dies the dried remains of his material form pour from the rents of their armour and are scattered to all winds of the battlezone. After this, only the most powerful sorcerers could re-collect this dust, reseal the armour and through the complicated ritual reanimate the Rubric Marine to a new "life". The sorceries required for this deed are very dangerous and just one syllable misspelled could drive the Sorcerer insane or kill him outright. source

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  • That explains the Rubric Marines, but what about the Sorcerers? it seems there are all manor of rituals that can result in death, in addition to just the usual, shot by a boltgun to the head/chain axe through the body. Or are these slowly dying out one by one?
    – Richard C
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 8:38
  • @RichardC They re the best sorcerers in the galaxy - I'm sure they are harder to kill than an average cultist. And in general, they can (probably) still produce marines in the regular fashion or "adopt" psykers from other legions/chapters - it almost has happened to one of the Blood Ravens librarians
    – Yasskier
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 8:49
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TLDR

  • The Rubricae are basically immortal.
  • The Thousand Sons are known to have used resurrection spells.
  • There is a theory that they utilize a cult network to reinforce their losses as well.

This was getting too long for comment on Yassiker's answer... But he is correct about the Rubric Marines. Those guys are basically immortal.

Regarding their sorcerers, the Thousand Sons have been known to cast resurrection spells. The hard part with fighting Chaos is that you don't really kill them; they are banished. When a loyalist dies, they are pretty much done for good. When a warrior/daemon falls there is a high probability that their spirits will return to the warp, waiting to be reborn and fight once again. After falling in battle the sons of the Crimson King are simply brought back to life ready to lead the Rubricae into battle once again.

There is also a theory that the cultist worshipers of the Thousand Sons may be used as recruitment tools as well. Pretty much all of Chaos use cultists in some capacity or another. It is well know that the Thousand Sons send their cultists out to gather information and steal items or even people that they have use for.

It is possible that the most loyal of these cultists are selected as potential recruits for the legion, though I don't think there is any information about how that is possible. Following the Rubric of Ahriman the vast majority of their geneseed "stock" was destroyed. I suppose it is possible they had one or two good ones from back in the day that they have been holding onto using to create new Marines, but that is all speculation.

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