|This article, Dawn's Wolves, is currently under active construction. The author, Urthan, apologizes for the inconvenience.|
- "The Wolf strike not from the front as a rabid dog, but from behind, to cut the legs of his prey. Do not ever let others tell you that you aren't Sons of Russ when you act likewise!"
- — Iemnos Ironfang, First of the Dawn's Callers addressing the newly inducted Dusk Claws
The Dawn's Wolves are a rare successors of the Space Wolves Chapter, an oddity made possible by the creation of the Primaris Astartes. They have been created extremely recently, coming together as a Chapter only after the end of the Indomitus Crusade, from the ranks of the Unnumbered Sons. Since that time, the errant Chapter has made is best to defend the borders of the Imperium and bring the wrath of Leman Russ upon the enemies of Mankind. This origin explains why they are far less independent and more prone to cooperation with other Space Marines.
Over the course of the Indomitus Crusade, the Astartes who would end forming the Dawn's Wolf Chapter proved themselves to be extremely competent in war of guerrilla, hunting down fleeing enemies and all manner of close-quarter battles. Those tendencies haven't earned the Dawns much applause, but for the Brothers of this new Chapter, the death of their enemies and the pride of their packs more than compensate for a lack of glorious bloodsheds.
- "I still remember it, pup. I remember Leman Russ smiling when I departed to Mars. I remember the devastation of Terra at the hands of the Traitors before that. To woke in a Galaxy without the former while the seconds ran rampant... is abhorrent to say the least."
- —Soros the Fist of Dawn, oldest of the Ancient Wolves
Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl had created hundreds of thousands of Primaris Space Marines beneath his forge on Mars during the 10,000 standard years he spent on the project at the direction of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman. When that massive undertaking finally came to fruition after the resurrection of Guilliman and his return to the position of Lord Commander of the Imperium in 999.M41, the Primarch directed Cawl to divide half of the newly-awoken Primaris Space Marines of the Ultima Founding into new Chapters of Adeptus Astartes. Each of these Chapters were composed of Primaris Astartes wholly descended from a single one of the nine original Loyalist gene-lines. The other half of the Primaris Astartes created by the Ultima Founding were divided up into nine armies the size of the massive Space Marine Legions of the Horus Heresy era. Unlike those Legions, however, these formations were created from a mixture of Primaris Astartes belonging to all nine of the Loyalist Primarchs' gene-lines. Each of these Primaris Astartes wore the livery of his progenitor Primarch, and each Unnumbered Sons Legion was further divided into Chapter-size units of 1,000 Primaris Marines. These units were further divided into companies and squads, each of which was a mixed formation.
Guilliman had ordered the Unnumbered Sons to fight as mixed gene-line units in the hope that the Primaris Astartes would learn how to deal with the differing temperaments and personalities of their brethren from the other Loyalist lineages in a way that had eluded their ancient predecessors. The Lord Commander believed this might prevent the eruption of inter-Chapter disputes that had so plagued the Adeptus Astartes even after the great betrayals of the Horus Heresy.
The Unnumbered Sons proved to be a potent force during the course of Guilliman's Indomitus Crusade to retake the Imperium of Man from the ascendant Forces of Chaos and the myriad xenos assaults that threatened to consume it. However, as the Crusade wore on into the second century of the 42nd Millennium, their numbers began to dwindle, both as a result of battlefield attrition and because large numbers of the force were increasingly detached to other duties on the orders of Guilliman. Whenever the Crusade encountered embattled Chapters of standard Astartes, the Lord Commander ordered members of the Unnumbered Sons of the same gene-lines to become replacements for the depleted Chapter's losses. As such, members of the Unnumbered Sons who were scions of Guilliman himself could become new Aurora Chapter Primaris Marines, or Doom Eagles Primaris Marines, or even replacement Battle-Brothers for the Ultramarines themselves. Primaris Space Marine scions of Rogal Dorn became new members of the Black Templars, the Imperial Fists, and so on for each original Loyalist Astartes lineage encountered as the Indomitus Crusade pushed outwards from Terra.
At other times, Guilliman simply created a whole new Chapter of Prime Space Marines from the Unnumbered Sons formations to meet a given need such as the defence of a strategically important Imperial world. However, these new Chapters were not mixed and composed of only a single Primarch's lineage like their standard counterparts.
During all this time, the would-be Dawn's Wolves remained a part of the Greyshields, fighting alongside all manners of Primaris. This long era left its imprint on the Dawns, who came to relish the closeness and versatility offered by the 9 lineages of Astartes among the Greyshields. To this day, the Dawn's Wolf favour campaigns alongside Brothers descended from other Primarchs over lone operations, even if they fight alone quite well when they have to.
By the time of the Battle of Raukos at the very end of the Indomitus Crusade, only 20,000 Primaris Astartes remained within the depleted ranks of the Unnumbered Sons. The fight to defeat the Chaos forces emanating from the ancient Warp rift in Wilderness Space known as the Pit of Raukos proved to be the last campaign of the Unnumbered Sons, for at its successful conclusion, Guilliman brought the Indomitus Crusade to its end and disbanded the remaining Greyshield armies as he moved to intervene in the Plague Wars of Ultramar. Some were formed into new Primaris Space Marine Chapters such as the Knights Cerulean, the Praetors of Ultramar and the Wolfspear, which was tasked with defending the Pit of Raukos. The remaining Unnumbered Sons were dispersed to already established Space Marine Chapters, where they would take the lessons they had learned fighting alongside Astartes of different lineages into units descended only from their own Primarchs.
It was a terrible time for the Dawns, cut off from friends and sent out into the cold ocean of star. But as true sons of Leman Russ, they have met those difficulties head on. Forging a new heritage, from the Space Wolve's legacy and the very wisdom of Guilliman's commands during the Indomitus Crusade, the Dawn's Wolves are trying to become better than the sum of their part and to find a way to operate reliably in the service of the Imperium..
The Dawn's Wolves have recently petitioned the Dusk Howlers, Kelpher's Hunters and Crimson Prowlers to join them in the "Sons of Russ", becoming the fourth member of this newly formed alliance between Chapters hailing from the genetic lineage of Leman Russ.
- "Some would like to see us abandon the legacy of Russ to fully embrace the Codex Astartes. Others wish to see us reject the teachings of Guilliman altogether to rely only on the lore of the Pack. Only by combining the two parts of our heritage can we become greater than their sum."
- —Excerpt from Personal Meditation about the Trained Wolf by Rasmus Bluebear
The Great Companies
The Dawn's Wolf organization is extremely reminiscent of the original sons of Russ, the Space Wolves, with small differences. Their forces are divided into ten Great Companies, all possessing their own Strike Cruiser to call home, where their forges, barracks and feasts halls can be found. Each Great Company pride itself in its ability to wage war on its own when the need arise, therefore their members are comprised of all kind of Primaris Squad formations. However, all Great Companies boast an extremely high number of Reivers Primaris, called the Dawn Fangs, at least 25 in each Company.
Those Dawn Fangs are in fact the core of each Great Company, and while each Wolf Lord will make his forces evolve according to his whims and favoured method of battle, the stealthed approach favoured by the Dawn Fangs is pervasive and most of the other units are used to ensure that those silent killers may reach their intended target quickly, slay it and return hiding in the shadow to strike again. For this reason, the Great Companies rarely boast a great number of Aggressors, except among some rare Moonlight Hunters who favour firepower over mobility.
While they have served for a long time under the command of Roboute Guilliman, the Dawn's Wolf do not make use of distinctive ranks found in the Codex Astartes, and in some case combine the roles of several officers in Codex Chapters into a unique rank. However, those ranks have still to take truly hold into the Chapter, for they are still new.
- Alpha Wolf - The equivalent of a standard Chapter Master, the Alpha Wolf is the leader of the whole Dawn's Wolf Chapter. He resides in Fenrissian Dawn, the massive Battle-Barge which serves at the fortress-monastery for the Chapter. An Alpha Wolf is elected by the Wolf Lords from their ranks when the previous holder of this title die in battle or is rendered unable to retain this office.
- Wolf Lords - Also known as Jarls, the Wolf Lords are the leaders of the Great Companies, roughly equivalent to Captains in Codex Chapter . While the Jarls of other Sons of Russ Chapters may posses a great deal of autonomy when it comes to the choice of their interventions in wars, those from the Dawn's Wolves are far more subservient to the will of the Alpha Wolf, since the Great Companies rarely leave the Dawn's Crusade-Fleet to operate on their own. However, when they are granted permission to embark on separate operations, the Alpha Wolf allows them absolute autonomy, in the limits of what is allowed to a servant of the All-Father and the Twin Primarchs.
- Greyshields Alpha - Those warriors are the seconds in command of their Wolf Lord, selected from his retinue of Greyshields, and more often than not its putative heir, should the Jarl fall in battle. The Greyshields Alpha's missions are those of a common Space Marine Lieutenant, to lead half his Great Company in battle when the need to spread the forces of the Chapter arise.
- Alpha - The equivalent of a Space Marine's sergeant. They leads the packs of the Chapter into battle.
- Dawn Callers - Those powerful warriors clad in black combine the roles of Apothecary and Chaplains among the Dawn's Wolves. Tasked with the preservation of the Chapter's gene-seed and its faith, they are an absolute necessity for the Dawn's Wolves continued survival. Tending to the needs of their Brothers, both spirituals and physicals, they are a part of the Alpha Wolf's own Great Company and dispatched to the other Great Companies when the need arise.
- Skaalds - The Skaalds are the Librarians of the Dawn's Wolves. Contrary to the other Sons of Russ Chapter, the Dawns do not exhibit mistrust of pyskers. Therefore, there isn't among the Dawns what they call the "hypocrisy" of using psykers by pretending that they aren't able to use the energies of the Warp. However, the runic knowledge that can be found among tribal shamans recruited into the Chapter have been preserved, leading to a strange blend of basic runic manipulation combined with the common training of Librarians. They are also responsible for the important task of examining the minds of all Aspirants of the Chapter for any sign of Chaotic taint or treachery, en especially important role considering the way the Chapter recruit its aspirants.
- Iron Masters - The Iron Masters are the Techmarines of the Dawn's Wolves. Sent to Mars to learn how to tend to the weapons, armours and vehicle used by the Chapter, Considering the needs of the constant Crusade undertaken by the Dawns, they have also to ensure that the vast fleet remains self-sufficient and able to repair and resupply itself as much as possible. They also stand guard over certain troves of weaponry and schematic patterns gifted to them by the Iron Priests of Fenris and uniquely developed by these ancient artificers. Priests of Iron are traditionally attached to the Great Wolf's Company and re-assigned to other fighting forces on a situational basis. Iron Priests also have a place in the transformation and initiation of new recruits by calibrating their armours to their needs.
- Ancient Wolves - The Dreadnoughts of the Dawn's Wolves are generally ancient and wise warriors, who spend a great deal of time in dreamless sleep deep into the bowel of Fenrissian Dawn. These were the first Terran and Fenrisian Aspirants of initial candidates who were inducted into the Primaris Project and eventually became the first Primaris Space Marines. Many of them can still recall when Russ still walked amongst men and of his powerful presence when they first boarded the transports that ferried them to the flesh labs beneath the surface of Mars. These venerable brothers are only awakened from their deep slumber in times of great need. The pain of their mortal wounding often drives them bitter carnage when awoke for too long. They are roused from their slumber only the Chapter requires the utter annihilation of the enemy, for these war engines of destruction are never subtle weapons. Furthermore, because of the way the Dawn's Wolves conduct warfare, the number of those venerable is lesser than among the more openly belligerent Sons of Russ.
Like their Space Wolves forefathers, the warriors of the Dawn's Wolves are formed together into Packs when they formally join the Great Companies. Most of those Packs will endure for centuries, their members learning to use their keen senses and instincts in a cohesive way, which grant them greater efficiency and versatility on the battlefield. Contrary to most scions of Russ, the bonds of the Pack tend to weaken when a Moonlight Hunter grow in age, to become simple brotherhood, as in other Chapters. Some Dawn Fangs lose even more of their connection to the Pack and become Lost Wolves, bereft of Pack or companionship, longing only for a glorious death in battle.
When inducted into the Chapter, the young recruits become Dusk Claws. Those young warriors take upon themselves the role of close-quarter specialists, equivalent to the Assault Squads of Codex Astartes, Inceptors Primaris or, to a better analogy, the Blood Claws of the Space Wolves. Those Dawn's Wolves are full of fury and exuberant pride, full of themselves and their abilities and always eager to demonstrate them. They are also quite prone to make pranks, be they replacing the drink of a Wolf Lord by some disgusting liquid or stealing a Thunderhawk to make loops in space. Except when such behaviour lead to lasting injuries inflicted upon their elders, the Dusk Claws are never punished for their pranks.
The most reckless and headstrong among them are gathered into the equivalent of Inceptors and Assault squads, where their feeling of invulnerability and their innate pack behaviour, combined with the battle doctrines of the Dawn's Wolves, make them excellent assets. The hit and run assaults of those flying Dusk Claws are renowned indeed among the Sons of Russ for their savagery and effectiveness. Others use Land Speeders and Assault Bikes to harass the enemies in a never-ending wave of assaults.
Once a pack of Dusk Claws has endured for at least one hundred years, its members ascend to the rank of Moonlight Hunters. Those determined warriors still feel the call of the Pack, even if the older they grow, the weaker it becomes. Instead of being specialised in melee, the Moonlight Hunters are the more versatile elements of the Dawn's Wolves Great Companies. They can be tasked with the equivalent roles of Intercessors, Hellblasters or even Aggressors Primaris Squad but also those of Devastator or, in some case, Centurions. Their superlative skills with their weapons are made even better by the havoc caused by their younger Brothers, which often offer them preys of choice.
Honed by decades of experience, the Moonlight Hunters skills allows them to operate during long weeks without direct guidance for the commanders of the Dawn's Wolves. Whole campaigns of successful guerrilla have been orchestrated by Moonlight Hunters on the field, while the leaders of the Chapter devised vectors to reach the most important targets quickly and easily. This ability to operate by themselves often confound the enemies of the Dawns, for even if a Moonlight Hunter was to be captured, he couldn't jeopardize the whole campaign.
So far, all the Moonlight Hunters served in the Indomitus Crusade, for the Chapter is too young to have already recruited and hardened by himself aspirants from the rank of Dusk Claws to the role of Moonlight Hunters.
The Dawn Fangs are the older members of the Dawn's Wolf Chapter, all part of the very first wave of inductees into the Primaris Project, thousands of years ago. Long are their fangs and grey their hair. They are what most Dawns aspire to become : silent and deadly hunters, renowned for the patience and superlative skill when it comes to infiltrate enemy s' lines. In that regard, the Dawn Fangs are among the best Reivers and Scout a Chapter may posses. They are the very core of each Great Companies, the keeper of their traditions and the wise mentors who teach young Dusk Claws how to canalize their fury in the service of the All-Father and the Twin Primarchs. Their primal savagery has let its place to a cold, calculated craving for their foe's heads.
As they grow older, Dawn's Wolves tend to feel less and less tied by the bonds of their packs. While brotherhood remains strong, the almost tribal links betweens sons of Leman Russ weaken, letting in its place a craving for the lone hunt in wild and untamed lands. This makes those veterans perfect to operate during long times deep behind enemy lines. Some Dawn Fangs have been separated from their Chapter during one year or more during especially difficult campaigns and have returned after destabilizing the command structure of the Xenos, Rebels and Traitors alike. Those old but jovial Astartes are often quite loved by their younger brethren and their Lords, for they make great storytellers of old saga and are always of good advice.
To be utterly alone, cut off from the reassuring brotherhood offered by a pack is a traumatizing experience for most Dawns, except perhaps for the oldest of the Dawns Fang, who have transcended the needs to operate in such close-knit units. But for all the other members of the Chapter, to be the lone survivor of his pack without the personal glory to enter the ranks of the Greyshields is a terrible shame, almost unbearable. The only way those warriors can endure it is by pursuing path of almost certain death.
Those Lost Wolves stalk the battlefields alone, seeking out the deadlier foes, be they warlords or great monsters. Should they fail to kill them, they are reunited with their beloved pack-mates, putting a fitting end to their common saga. Should they succeed in acquiring renown ans fame in spade, they may become Greyshields, earn the right to belong to a new pack and fight alongside the Wolf Lords leading the Great Companies. Death or glory, those are the sole destinies open to a Lost Wolf. But, in the end, so are they for all who serves the All-Father.
To be a Greyshield is to be counted among the finest warriors that the Dawn's Wolves Chapter has to offer. Those superlative Primaris serve as bodyguards for the Wolf Lords and the Great Alpha of the Dawns, having earned the right to wear the better armours and weapons that the Chapter possess. The Greyshields have earned spacial rights, such as sitting at the table of their Lord during the feasts and to paint their arms in the same grey as the Space Wolf Legion of old, which was the livery worn by the Unnumbered Sons hailing from the gene-seed of Leman Russ.
In fact, the very name of this very order, the Greyshields, is a remnant of the Indomitus Crusade, when the would be Dawn's Wolves were only individual Greyshields, fighting anonymously alongisde tens of thousands of their Brothers, born from different Primarchs. Therefore, to be admitted into this most revered of order, a Dawn must demonstrate courage and skill beyond anything that can be expected from a Primaris Astartes. Among the Greyshields, young Dusk Claws and gnarled Dawn Fangs fight shoulder to shoulder, protecting their Lord on the battlefield and earning great renown in the process. However, the Greyshields aren't simply bodyguards, they are expected to take the lead of their Great Company should the need arise, and each Wolf Lord is elected by his peers in this order when the previous Lord die in battle.
Great Beasts Cavalry
A most secretive branch of the Greyshields, the Great Beasts Cavalry is the utmost line-breaker formation used by the Dawn's Wolves. Those warriors enter the fray of battle mounted on massive creatures, be they Tolovian Dragon, Hulvian Megatorus or Storm Bears from Belut IV. Those massive creatures are kept into massive biomes inside the better protected ships of the Dawn's Wolves fleet. Those creatures are all able to endure the weight of a fully-armoured Primaris and still charge into the enemy to crush it and tear it limb from limb. Even those herbivores used by some Greyshields are so massive that only the hardiest of tanks can endure one's direct charge.
To tame those beasts is a true test of strength, both physical and mental. A Greyshield must enter the biomes where the monsters are kept and force one to submit to his will, often by managing to stay on its back during long days. Even for a Primaris, such tasks are extremely dangerous and more than one Greyshield has lost his life in the attempt. The Great Beast Cavalry is kept a secret from friends and foes alike, except among the Sons of Russ, both because the Dawns do not wish to lock horns with the Administratum nor do they wish for their enemies to learn about such formidable assault troops.
The descendants of Leman Russ usually crave to claim great tally of kills, hunt down mighty warlords and fell terrible monsters, and the Dawn's Wolves share those traits, albeit in a more subdued way. Instead of drunken boasts and great celebrations, the Dawns embrace a more personnal commemoration, ceremonial scaring or the inscription of runes on their weapons and armours. Furthermore, it is said among the Sons of Russ that the Dawn's Wolves are all touched by the Lone Wolf, for the older they get, the less they feel the calls of pack and the more they turn to the pleasure of the silent and lonely hunt of a very specific prey, joining the ranks of the Dawn Fangs.
This tendency has only been reinforced as the time spent as Greyshields during the Indomitus Crusade, when the future Dawn's Wolves followed the tenets of the Guilliman's organization. The way they were used during this era also left a lasting impact on the glory the Dawn's Wolves crave. Where others seek for a great number of kill during a given battle, the Dawns seek to kill as few as possible, but with each death at their hands being of great significance. The Dawnfang Alexey Twin-Blades once proclaimed proudly that during a ten days long battle, he had only four confirmed kill to call his owns, the enemies commanders. For the Dawns, there is no glory in reaping masses of sacrificial pawns, but to take done one foes and make a whole planet crumble because of it is glorious indeed.
Therefore the sagas of The Dawn's Wolves tend to share the same basic stories of a young Dusk Claw cleaving untold masses of enemies, to become an hardened Moonlight Hunter selecting carefully which units must be destroyed to win a battle, and finally ascend to the rank of Dawn Fangs where each of their kill is the result of a carefully orchestrated hunt meant to end the war they are in. Those veritable drives now etched in the Chapter's consciousness explain why guerrilla warfare has become the most glorious way for the Dawns to wage full-scale battles. Each small engagement becomes a miniscule part of a planetary-wide hunt to kill one or two leading enemies and destroy all resistance this way.
In the course of those hunts, there is nothing which can stop a Dawn's Wolf, for they then exhibit the single-mindedness and determination of their Primarch. Their more savage and obscure part becomes the drive of the Dawns, giving them the edge over their prey. They are few, indeed, those who can boast truly of being able to avoid the jaws of Russ's wolves when they have been sent on their trail.
When it comes to worship, the All-Father, while greatly respected, remains a secondary figure compared to the Twin Primarchs, Leman Russ and Roboute Guilliman. In perhaps one of the strangest Chapter's Cult currently existing among the Astartes, the Dawn's Wolves show equal devotion to their genetic Father, who has granted them strength, senses and instincts far above those of normal Astartes, and Guilliman, who has allowed for the creation of the Primaris and offered them the wisdom to tame and control their instinctual behaviour to better cooperate with Chapters from all origin.
Contrary to other heirs of Leman Russ, the Dawn's Wolves do not posses an innate link to one species of hounds or wolves. Instead, the Chapter posses vast starships containing various biomes, where great predators may be found and somewhat tamed by the servant beast handlers of the Chapter, and then deployed among the Great Companies. Those predators are held in high esteem by the Dawns for the help they grant into battle, especially those most massive, able to support the weigh of a Primaris in full armour during long period of battles.
The gene-seed of Leman Russ has been notoriously unstable for ten thousands of years and it had prevented any Space Wolf Successor Chapter to be created since the disband of the Wolf Brothers. However, thanks to Belisarius Cawl's work, the gene-seed of the Dawns has been expunged from the more volatile elements which mutated it beyond repair. While some canine traits still manifests (such as growth of fangs or eyes turning golden), the Curse of the Wulfen has apparently been lifted.
Those change haven't taken the strength of Leman's Canis Helix, for the Brothers of the Dawn's Wolves posses senses heightened far beyond the usual for a Space Marine, even a Primaris, and a great strength which makes them deadly in close combat. Their almost supernatural nose makes them superb hunters and once they have taken the smell of their prey, they can hunt them down for weeks on end.
Chapter Battle Doctrine
- "I do not know of a greater joy than to slice the throat of an arrogant fool and see his little rebellion die with him. One death to avoid millions, what a glory it is to claim that kill!"
- — Blagovest Nightson, oldest Dawn Fang of the Dawn's Wolves
Wolves never attack their prey head on. At its core,the Dawn's Wolves way of warfare may be summed up by this one sentence. While they are as capable as any Astartes to do open battles, the Dawns tend to favour operations of guerrilla, where their superior skills, endurance and heightened senses offer them a crushing superiority against most of their foes. Manoeuvrability, more than simple mobility, is paramount for the Chapter, for its Battle-Brothers need to be able to navigate dense jungles, stormy tundra or maze-like Hive Cities without being hindered by the terrain or climate.
When they engage enemy troops, the Dawns are particularly careful to concentrate their attack against the most valuable target in sight, such as a super-heavy tank, an enemy commander or an unit of elite troops. That is not to say that they don't strike at the lesser targets in the same time, for the Dusk Claws are more often than not tasked with such carnage. A typical Dawn's Wolf assault last between 30 minutes and one hour, depending of the resistance they encounter. The ultimate objective in their campaign is to exhaust and demoralize the troops, eroding their confidence in their commanders. Once the guerrilla has gone long enough, Dawn Fangs will always have opportunities to strike and kill the leaders, usually in the most violent fashion possible to finish the moral of their preys.
The Dawn's Wolves campaigns are particularly difficult for their enemies to fight, because it is the standard procedure to see the whole Chapter join in the same wars. The arrival of hundreds of Primaris alone may break the resolve of secessionists and tyrants, and if need be, those sheer numbers ensure that few in the Milky Way may pose a threat to the Dawns. It is customary for the Chapter to let 3 Great Companies in reserve near the Eye of Terror when they are called far from it by the visions of their Skaalds or some distress call, to ensure that their fellow Sons of Russ won't ever have to wage war without their help.
The Dawn's Wolves way of warfare is especially effective when combined with other forces from the Astartes, be they normal Space Marines or Primaris. Furthermore, the determination of the Dawns is heightened by the presence of Brothers born from other Primarchs, for they then remember their glorious days as Greyshields during the Indomitus Crusade.
The Dawn's Wolves armours are the very symbol of a mixed heritage. They are mostly of the same blue that those of the Ultramarines, as to homage Roboute Guilliman, whose wisdom led to the creation of the Primaris Astartes. But they also wear bronze trims around the plates, on their knees and elbows, reminiscent of the more savage legacy of their own Primarch : Leman Russ. The Dawn's Wolves also complement their armours with hides of wild predators found on the various Deathworlds they have encountered during their existence. Fangs, claws and occasional animal skulls also find a place on their armours. Runes of a thousand languages are also etched in the Power Armours, to call upon their wearers the eyes of Leman Russ, Guilliman and the All-Father.
The Chapter's badge, found on the left shoulder, is a crimson howling wolf's head encased in a golden circle. Contrary to the Space Wolves and most of their successors, the Dawn's Wolves Great Companies all share this symbol and are only destinguished by the way they wear talismans, pelts and weapons. Only a Dawn's Wolf can tell at first glance of which Great Company one of his fellow Battle-Brother is. On the right shoulder, stripes of Blue and Bronze will indicate the type of units, much like the right knee's paintings do for the Space Wolves.
The Dawn's Wolves posses an extremely large fleet, with ten Strike Cruiser, one Battle Barge and dozens of smaller military vessels, and hundred of civilian ones, which allows the Dawns to endure their constant Crusades and remains able to field, train and equips troops without the needs of a homeworld. While their fleet is not as deadly as the Crimson Prowlers', the Dawn's Wolves fleet remains one of the greatest weapon at their disposable. Fenrissian Dawn, the Battle-Barge where the Alpha Wolf reside and relocate his Great Company once elected, is almost always at the very core of the fleet, protecting the gene-seed, lore and relics owned by the Chapter.
- "I still remember when the Dawn's Caller came for me. I was but a slave on a traitorous world, but he saw in me potential. I live today to realize it, in the name of the Twin Primarchs and the All-Father above. So will you."
- — Ayur Redmane to newly selected Aspirants
The question of recruitment has always been of paramount importance for the Adeptus Astartes, and doubly so for the Space Wolves, whose gene-seed is notoriously difficult to implant in a human aspirants, even one born on Fenris. While the experiments of Belisarius Cawl have considerably eased this process, the Dawn's Wolves still face difficulties in replenishing their ranks. For the greater part of a century, those Primaris who would found the Chapter had no reason to take the replacement of their battle-brothers into their own hands. As members of the Greyshields, they were reinforced periodically by new Primaris and used to fight alongside brothers born of other Primarchs.
All this changed when they were made into a Chapter, after the Battle of Raukos. The newly formed Dawn's Wolves had to find a way to get new Brothers, but they eschewed the right to claim a homeworld. Used to crusading among the stars, the Dawn's Wolves do not want to be tied down by a world to protect, favouring instead to travel around the Galaxy to help -even if the surrounding of the Eye of Terror are where they are most commonly found in great number, as members of the "Sons of Russ" alliance. Faced with those difficulties, the Dawns have chosen to simply claim potential recruits from the worlds they fight on. To avoid the formation of clannish bonds between members born on the same world, the recruits are immediately dispatched between the Grand Companies so their recruitment process may begin proper.
The screening process for those recruits is excruciating, even for the Astartes, for the Dawn's Wolves seek to ensure that their future Brothers will be pure of mind and bodies, and their devotion must be ascertained with absolute certitude for they are often sons of the very enemies the Chapter has been sent to hunt down.. None are older than 10 terran years when recruited and they are tested for two years before receiving the right to drink the Canis Helix. Out of ten potential aspirants, only four make it out to claim this right. Even then, trials are not over and it usually takes three more years before the Dawns are satisfied with their recruits and make them into full-blown Primaris.
While such a process would be unsuited to most other Chapters, used to great battles and numerous loss of lives, the Dawn's Wolves way allows them to wage war without such a great cost on their numbers. Therefore, their Great Companies never lack recruits to return to full strength. It has, however, had the unforeseen consequence of cutting off the Dawn's Wolves of the ancient culture of the Space Wolves and Fenris. Instead of using one homeworld's language to unify the Chapter. Instead, dozens of dialects are used by the Battle-Brothers, with the standard Low Gothic serving as the primary language for communication, both between the Dawns and outsiders and among themselves.
Only time will tell if the Dawn's Wolves will cling to this method of recruitment, or if they will have to resort to other means, such as the creation of small fortresses on certain worlds they liberate or even petition Terra to obtain a world to call their own.
Relations with other Chapters
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- Crimson Prowlers - The Crimson Prowlers are one of several Primaris Space Marine Chapters created from the lineage of the mighty and powerful Space Wolves, created as one of the first of many Successors. This whole line of descendant Fenrisian Chapters - collectively known as the 'Sons of Russ' - are capable of carving out a star empire the size of Ultramar. Following the end of the Horus Heresy, Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman tasked Archmagos Belisarius Cawl to carry out his ultimate contingency plan - the Primaris Space Marines. Over the course of ten millennia, the rogue Archmagos continued his work uninterrupted, creating scions from the lineage of all nine Loyalist Space Marine Legions, including the feral Space Wolves. In the pursuit of his attempt to improve upon the original Space Marine template, Archmagos Cawl not only collected samples of the genomes of all twenty of the original Primarchs, including those deemed lost or as Traitors, but he also managed to refine the gene-sequence of several genetic lines, altering them to deliver the positive aspects without suffering from the genetic idiosyncrasies that plagued modern era Chapters. From the VI Legion, Cawl was able to create a whole line of Primaris Successors from the lineage of Russ. The Crimson Prowlers were one such Chapter. Taking recruits from the feral Death World of Fenris, Cawl successfully implanted a large intake of Fenrisian Aspirants. After receiving the rest of their genetic zygotes and organs, including several newly created Primaris organs, these newly created transhuman warriors were placed in stasis within large cryo-stasis vaults far below the surface of Mars, where they would remain until such time, as the Imperium faced the darkest age in it's history. When the newly resurrected Primarch Guilliman awoke in the 41st Millennium, he ordered Cawl to go to Mars and carry out the final stages of his ultimate contingency plan. Thus, the newly created Primaris Chapters of the Ultima Founding were unleashed, to take the fight to the Forces of Chaos. One of these Chapters were the newly awakened Crimson Prowlers, proud inheritors of the legacy of the powerful Leman Russ. They deployed alongside the ranks of the Unnumbered Sons - formations of Primaris Space Marines created from a mixture of all nine of the Loyalist Primarchs' gene-lines, including those created from the lineage of Russ. They took part in several campaigns, preferring to fight alongside those Scions of Russ from the as-yet unnamed 'Dawn's Wolves'. Following the end of the Indomitus Crusade sometime in the second century of the 42nd Millennium, the Unnumbered Sons were finally broken down into new Chapters. With the creation of the Dawn's Wolves, the Crimson Prowlers extended an invitation to their newly created brother-Chapter, welcoming them into the ranks of the collective known as the 'Sons of Russ', who have continued to stand eternal vigil over the worlds of the Eye of Terror.
- Dusk Howlers - The Dusk Howlers, known also as the Vulka Hrímherjar ('Wolves of Hrímgard'), are a mighty Primaris Space Marine Chapter created from the lineage of the mighty Leman Russ. Created shortly after the end of the Horus Heresy, the Dusk Howlers were one of several Primaris Chapters that were awakened from stasis from the cryo-stasis crypts beneath the surface of Mars, to take the fight to the Forces of Chaos, following the destruction of Cadia and the formation of the massive galaxy-wide tear known as the Great Rift. The Dusk Howlers were created as a shock-assault force to take back those worlds lost to the Traitor Legions, which ran amok across countless Imperial worlds, as the massive tear in reality unleashed the vile denizens of the Immaterium upon the Imperium of Man. The Dusk Howlers quickly garnered a reputation as tireless pursuers and peerless hunter-killers of those enemies of Mankind who attempted to flee the Emperor's wrath. Since their inception, the Dusk Howlers have remained a Chapter apart from its fellows, content to prosecute the Imperium's wars on their own. Though unexpectedly violent and unsubtle, their campaigns are brutally swift. In the latter years of the M41, such brutal and bloody-handed Space Marine Chapters are all that stand as a bulwark between the numerous enemies of Mankind and total ruination. This Chapter is one of four Space Wolves Successor Chapters, that make up the unofficial collective known as the 'Sons of Russ', which are charged with standing eternal vigil over the hellish realms of the Eye of Terror.
- Kelpher's Hunters - Like several other newly created Primaris Space Marine Chapters, the Kelpher's Hunters were created during the recent Ultima Founding during the closing years of the 41st Millennium from the lineage of their mighty Primarch Leman Russ. They are a very unusual Chapter, whose link to the hounds of the feral death world of Kelpher IX that goes beyond the Great Crusade, and despite their belief in the god-hound Garmr, and the inclusion of many parts of their home world's hunter and shamanistic culture, this Chapter is amongst the most steadfast and loyal of Space Marines. Like their brother-Chapters - the Crimson Prowlers and Dusk Howlers - the Kelpher's Hounds were one of the first newly awakened Primaris Space Marine Chapters descended from the lineage of the ancient VI Legion, and unleashed to take the fight directly to the Forces of Chaos. As they shared like-mind and the same bellicose nature, these Scions of Russ Chapters formed an unofficial collective known as the 'Sons of Russ', to help stand vigil against the myriad threats that still emerge from the hellish realms of the massive warp rift, known as the Eye of Terror.
- Emperor's Vengeance - Space Marine Chapter
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Notable Dawn's Wolves
Iemnos is the second oldest Dawn's Wolf not entombed into an Ancient Wolf and the First of the Dawn's Callers. It has been his duty for decades to nurture the gene-seed of his beloved Chapter, even when he served among the Unnumbered Sons, select new aspirants from the population of subjugated or defended worlds and to teach them the wisdom of the Dawns. Despite this daunting task, Iemnos remains one of the most sympathetic Primaris in existence, always willing to extend an helping hand to the civilians he may encounter in the course of his duties. Perhaps for this reason, he is also the face of the Chapter when the Dawns have to interact with non-Astartes or undiplomatic Chapters.
In battle however, the First of the Dawn's Callers is a deadly foes, whose wrath is almost unmatched. His Crozus Arcanum has claimed thousands of lives, and while it has not earned him great glory nor renown among his kin, his vibrant prayers in the midst of battle and his deliberate choice to shun his own glorious potential to nurture those of others have granted him immense respect from the Dawns. One can hardly do better than to insult the Ironfang if he wished to earn the ire of the Dawn's Wolves.
Rasmus is the first Alpha Wolf of the Dawn's Wolves, and the transition from the Greyshields to their own Chapter, a daunting task, has left its mark on him. This great tactician, who went from simple line soldier to leader of one hundred of the Unnumbered Sons during the course of the Indomitus Crusade, has always been lacking in pure strategical knowledge, a weakness he knows full well but has never managed to overcome. Still, the Bluebear is a formidable opponent, able to pounce at the weaknesses of any battle line, while allowing his best elements to good deep behidn the battlefront undetected to strike at their enemy's commanders.
Rasmus eschew the use of a Terminator armour, instead using a Mark X Gravis Tacticus reinforced by runes of silence and protections. Wielding in battle master-crafted stalker pattern bolt rifle and a mighty power sword, named Leman's Fang, forged on Mars by the greatest weapons crafter of the Imperium. With this weapon, Rasmus has fallen many a warlord or Chaotic slave, both during and after the Indomitus Crusade. As the Imperium still wrestle to contain the horrors of Chaos spilling from the Great Rift and the devastation endured by the Dark Imperium, Rasmus lead his Brothers to bring back a new dawn for the Imperium and Mankind.
Soros the Fist of Dawn
Soros is one of the oldest Primaris in existence, for he has been a part of the very first wave of recruits sent to this great project thousands of years ago. When he awoke at the very end of M41, he devoted himself to Guilliman and his Indomitus Crusade and quickly proved himself an able commander, able to lead with ease the equivalent of a Space Marine Chapter. Soros earned his nickname because of his predilection to lead assault against enemy positions at dawn and his massive golden power-fist. He took Rasmus Bluebear under his wing and intended to groom him to be a worthy successor. However, Soros was gravely wounded at the Battle of Raukos and was entombed into a Dreadnought. Soros however wished to join the newly founded Dawn's Wolf Chapter.
As the oldest among the Ancient Wolves, he his the living memory of his Chapter, and a source of advice for all who wish to listen. However, his time in the Dreadnought has made him bitter and sometimes confused, for he refuses to be put into stasis while the Dark Rift still scars the Imperium. Even in this state, he remains a formidable presence, able to inspire and lead his Brothers in the thick of battle. His suffering may have eroded his great mind, but his fist his stronger than ever. Woe to those who stand before the Fist of Dawn, for they will not live to see another day.
The Son of the Night is the older Dawn's Wolf, if only one year older than the Fist of Dawn. Blagovest was recruited on Terra, like much of the Chapter's original recruits, and he can still remember the time of the Great Scouring and the ruins left in the wake of Horus' assault on Holy Terra. This hardened veteran is only a Dawn Fang for he has always refused promotion to the rank of veterans and then Greyshields. He favour his duty as a Reiver and the solitude it affords him. Indeed, even the brotherhood of the Primaris is at time to smothering for him to endure, and he then stalks the vast corridors of his Chapter's fleet for months.
Despite a grim, cold and aggressive personality, the Nightson is always ready to teach "young cubs" how to be a proper Dawn's Wolf. Serving in the Grand Company of Ayur Redmane, he is seen with awe by the newly inducted Dusk Claws and his stories are held in high esteem by all. Blagovest Nightson is, by himself, the very reason Redmane's Company is the most adept at ambush and sudden brutal assaults, which sow terror in the hearts of the Dawn's Wolves enemies.
Ayur Redmane, the Young Prince, the Burning Wolf, the Fang of Dawn... Since he joined of the Indomitus Crusade as it entered his final two decades, this young Primaris has skyrocketed through the ranks. A genius fighter, Ayur hasn't found his equal yet. With his power axe, his dagger and combat-shield, he has specialized solely in melee, to the detriment of fire power to engage his preys. While he is an impetuous warrior, he has also demonstrated great patience when needed, and his able to mount extremely effective terror tactics. However, his temper still get the best of him when taunted by an enemy.
Ayur craving from glory comes from a feeling of tardiness. One of the last to join the Primaris program, he was also awakened quite late in the Indomitus Crusade and he constantly feel the need to prove himself. Why Guilliman saw fit to join him to the ranks of the Dawn's Wolves is unknown, even if Soros suspect that the Primarch hoped that the old leaders would cool his head. So far, it hasn't been totally the case, even if Rasmus, Soros and Blagovest have been able to impart some sorely needed control to the Burning Wolf.
- "Though they appear congenial and friendly to outsiders, make no mistake..the beast inside is merely sleeping, not dead."
- — Atr. Grey Slayer Fafnír Jørmungand, Dusk Howlers Chapter, giving his personal insights on his fellow warriors of the Dawn's Wolves