Space Wolves have been decimated in recent years with Wulfen curse, Daemonic incursions in Fenris system etc.
What is the current state of the Chapter and is the knowledge of the Wulfen curse now known to the rest of the Imperium?
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Earlier in the week, we discussed many of the trials and tribulations that have befallen the Space Wolves in their recent history. Yet thanks to the introduction of Primaris Space Marines into its ranks, the Chapter has recovered much of its strength and is now set to do what it does best once more, take the fight to the enemies of the Allfather. With Saga of the Beast on the horizon, it looks like the Space Wolves have their sights firmly set on the Orks – and one greenskin in particular…
Visions of the Beast
One of the many roles performed by the Rune Priests of the Space Wolves is using their gifts to scour the skeins of fate to glean what they can of future events. They channel the wyrd utilising a number of shamanic methods that have been practised by the people of Fenris for countless generations, ranging from casting bones to trance-like dream quests.
In recent months, the Chapter’s Rune Priests have been universally plagued by disturbing visions of grotesque trolls, green of skin and gnarled of flesh. Most troublesome of all was the monstrous beast that ever loomed in the distance, barely visible. As ever, the exact nature of the future that awaited them remained unclear, yet there was one undeniable truth that could be discerned – the greenskins were abroad once more, guided by a beast that was both single-minded and powerful enough to unite them.
The Wolf and the Beast
One glimmer of hope in the dread prophecies of the Rune Priests was the presence of a Blackmaned Wolf fearlessly facing down the monstrous beast in their visions. It didn’t need a seer’s insight to understand that it was Ragnar Blackmane’s wyrd to face Ghazghkull in battle. Yet Logan Grimnar knew that in order to discover Ghazghkull’s location, the Space Wolves would have to engage the Orks on multiple fronts. To that end, he called upon all of the Great Companies to provide warriors with which to bring the fight to the greenskins, wherever they could be found. Only by drawing them out could Ghazghkull’s exact location be discovered.
As the Space Wolves mustered to set out across the Sea of Stars to combat the rising Ork threat, word was sent urgently to Ragnar, relaying to him the auguries of the Rune Priests. Never one to back down from even the deadliest challenge, Ragnar began the hunt for Ghazghkull in earnest, determined to cut the head from the beast and put an end to him once and for all.
One Fight Too Many?
The last the Space Wolves heard of Ragnar’s strike force was a garbled astropathic transmission from the Wolf Lord claiming that he had tracked the beast to its lair on the hive world of Krongar. What little could be understood from the message was that Ragnar’s Great Company was divided between a number of different war zones, so he didn’t have the numbers with him to launch a full-scale planetary attack. Instead, he planned to lead a covert mission that would infiltrate the Orks’ foremost stronghold and force a direct confrontation with Ghazghkull, enabling Ragnar to kill the beast in person. It was a bold plan, but one that came at tremendous risk to the Wolf Lord and his warriors…
As of yet, no word has reached the Space Wolves of the mission’s outcome. Fearing the worst, the Blackmanes of Strike Force Icefang have raced towards the last known coordinates of their Jarl in a desperate bid to discover his fate. Had Ragnar Blackmane fallen in battle? Was the Young King dead?
So first, following Magnus' incursion into the Fenris system the Space Wolves have been beaten pretty badly. During the Siege of the Fenris System we learned a lot more about the domain of Russ. Planets, populations, etc. were all detailed really well in the Warzone Fenris series... And right after we learn about them three of them were destroyed...
Resulting from those events a lot of things happened.
I do not have my Warzone Fenris series with me, but regarding what is known of the Wulfen wide scale we do not know. We do know that all the planets where the Wulfen appeared the potential of them being seen was there. As the Space Wolves arrived they basically snatched up the Wulfen and bounced without even purging the daemons that followed the Wulfen to real space...
On one of these worlds elements of the Dark Angels were there and both witnessed the Wulfen and almost came to blows with the Space Wolves before they bounced. Following that event the Dark Angels called for aid to censure the Wolves and a fleet of multiple parts was collected and they all made their way to Fenris to see what was going on.
The Dark Angels would have given warning to what they might have been about to face so the elements in this task force would have been made aware. I don't remember all the chapters that were a part of it off the top of my head, but I do remember the Iron Hands were there as there was a ship master who was plugged into his ship talking about how machines were more preferable to organics, and then obviously the Grey Knights were there as well.
Suffice to say that if the Dark Angels knew... it's probably common knowledge by now...
After the reveal of the Primaris and the return of Guilliman the Space Wolves were first dismissive to Cawl's creations. However, with their numbers recently decimated and their stock of recruits in jeopardy Grimnar ordered the Primaris to be included in every company as reinforcements. It is interesting to note however that they all still had to conduct the Test of Morkai (dropped out of the fang without armaments to return) and some of them didn't make the trek back...
Since their inclusion then they have fought side by side in numerous battles and they have begun to welcome the Primaris more openly.
Now, with the Psychic Awakening getting ready to release the Rout/Orks update we have been getting new details regarding them. Part 1 is an overview of pretty much everything I mentioned above and Part 2 is the new buildup for the PA release.
Part 2 mentions how Ragnar Blackmane was contacted about the Ork threat and since he didn't have enough troops for a full scale battle he opted to try a more stealthy incursion to kill the boss and end the Waagh! before it got messy. In the last couple paragraphs however we learn that all contact with his team was lost and Ragnar's current status is unknown.
To date, that is all we know. Warhammer Community just released the preview for White Dwarf #452, which features the Wolves on the cover, and the banner on the homepage says we should expect something big to drop on March 9th (three long days) where we will likely get our first taste of more information.
Essentially, thanks to the Primaris it is business as usual for the Space Wolves, but we don't exactly know how many humans were purged following the Siege of Fenris. It is possible that the Space Wolves might be forced to seek recruits elsewhere than the tribes of Fenris or it is possible that only those tribes that witnessed the Primarch were purged... The lore wasn't very clear on that as I recall...
Regarding the Primaris and the Curse of the Wulfen:
As was mentioned in the comments above from the current codex within the 'Annals of the Space Wolves/ M41 Saga of the Maledictum/ The Curse of Russ' we see the details on the Primaris susceptibility.
...Ulrik the Slayer proposes that within the Primaris Marines, the key to curing the Wulfen's curse may be found. But he is soon proven wrong. Whilst purging a Drukhari party on the mining world of Smelter's Heap, several packs of Inceptors fighting alongside the Wulfen succumb to the bestial affliction... through their genetic link to the Primarch, these Sons of Russ are just as susceptible to the Curse of the Wulfen as any other member of the Space Wolves..."