Got some questions about the period directly after the Horus Heresy relating to the changes that happened to the Astartes, particularly to the Space Wolves.
At the end of the Horus Heresy, the Wolves haven't really seen any huge decimations in their ranks as the three legions on Terra and the three legions on Isstvan did (Salamanders were down to 7 companies, Ravenguard to 3,000 marines). Given their numbers must have been high before the heresy (since one of their functions was to annihilate other legions should they turn rogue) where did all the space wolves go?
They spawned only a single sucessor chapter (the wolf brothers) and these went weird and had to be destroyed. If we assume that the Wolf Brothers were chapter sized (about 1000 troops) and the space wolves would have number tens of thousands of troops, at the very least, where did the remaining wolves go?
Option 1) The Space Wolves stopped replacing loses until they were down to 1000 odd men. In which case, where is the geneseed from the slain? Do the wolves still have it on ice in the fang?
Option 2) they split down the middle, half their troops going to the wolf brothers and half staying with the space wolves, when the wolf brothers were exterminated, the space wolves suffered heavy losses, knocking them down to their current level.In which case, why did the wolf brothers all go weird in such large numbers? Surely with so many existing space wolves in their ranks, only the new wolf brothers would have been affected by the flaws, the existing marines would have had pure fenrisian geneseed.
Option 3) chasing the retreating chaos forces the wolves got into some epic battle or series of battles sufficient to reduce them in number to their current levels. Given that this would be a MAJOR battle indeed, ranking alongside the slaughter at isstvan, seems strange there is no mention of it.
Option 4) A wizard did it.
Of course, the real reason is simply that its an area of fluff no one seems to have published about yet and i'm fine with that, but for my own satisfaction, i'd like to come up with a good answer. So my question. What happened to reduce the formerly numerous Space wolf Legion of tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands, down to its current level (somewhere between 1000 and 2000)? What happened to the Geneseed? What happened to the marines?
Another thing to think about. When the Thousand Sons risk everything to attack the Fang in M32, the Space wolves ar at a strength of some 1700 marines, so whatever happened, had lon since happened by then.