|This article, Dusk Howlers, is currently under active construction. The author, Algrim Whitefang, apologizes for the inconvenience.|
- "Our enemies may be many, but so long as there remains even one Son of Russ still fighting, one who still rages in the name of justice and truth, then by the Allfather, the galaxy shall yet know hope."
- — Wolf Lord Bulveye Bloodaxe, Blood Maws Great Company
The Dusk Howlers, known as the Vlka Hrímherjar (translated as the 'Wolves of Hrímgard'), are an Ulitma Founding Successor Chapter created from the lineage of the mighty Space Wolves. This ferocious Chapter is comprised entirely of Primaris Space Marines -- the next stage of evolution of the Space Marines -- to help offset the severe losses sustained by the Adeptus Astartes. Their inception took place in the wake of Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41. The Dusk Howlers were created as a shock-assault force, to take back those worlds lost to the Traitor Legions in the wake of the formation of the galaxy-wide tear in reality known as the Great Rift, which has essentially rent the Imperium of Man in half, allowing the vile servants of the Ruinous Powers to run amok across countless Imperial worlds.
Following their creation the Dusk Howlers quickly garnered a reputation as tireless pursuers and peerless hunter-killers of those enemies of Mankind who attempt 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.
There are few amongst the Ultima Founding Chapters whose tally of victories are as numerous as the Dusk Howlers. Like their genetic forebears, this Chapter continues to pride themselves on being fiercely independent, answering to no one save the High Lords of Terra themselves. Their tenacity in the pursuit of their foes and the ferocity displayed in battle is legendary, as they aim to tear and rend their foes until they lay in ruins or driven to their deaths. 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 also known to make up part of the Sons of Russ, an unofficial collective comprised of several Space Wolves Successor Chapters.
The Dusk Howlers are a Space Marine Chapter that was created in the latter 41st Millennium as one of the few Successor Chapters of the Space Wolves. Following the catastrophic events of the Horus Heresy and the dark years of the Great Scouring, Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman decided to enact the ultimate contingency plan, to create new legions of superior transhuman warriors - the Primaris Space Marines - to serve as Humanity's last line of defence. Even then, Guilliman foresaw a time of encroaching darkness when Chaos would threaten the galaxy itself. These gene-crafted warriors were intended to protect the Imperium of Man against the gathering darkness from Chaos, xenos and the myriad threats that assailed the Imperium on all sides. Following the destruction of the Fortress World of Cadia and the formation of the Great Rift, a small contingent of loyalist Imperial forces managed to escape the destruction of the doomed Imperial world and made their way to the Realm of Ultramar. Through the genius of Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl, combined with the power of Ynnead, the Aeldari god of the dead, they were able to resurrect the Primarch Roboute Guilliman from his millennia-long, deathless slumber.
Guilliman had anticipated the need for a new breed of hero for this, the darkest age in the Imperium's history. He knew that the galaxy would need warriors resilient enough to stand against the Forces of Chaos as the Imperium found itself poised on the brink of annihilation. To that end, for 10,000 standard years, Archmagos Cawl had been working upon improving the Adeptus Astartes themselves. The result were the Primaris Space Marines, a more powerful corps of transhuman warriors, more potent than even the original Astartes. New armies were raised in breathtaking numbers and new and terrible weapons were developed whose fury even the worshippers of the Dark Gods would be unable to withstand. This host of newly created transhuman warriors were not only created just as reinforcements to existing Chapters, for Guilliman had decreed that new Chapters should be created as well, composed entirely of Primaris Space Marines. The warriors of these new Chapters were created entirely through the new processes discovered by Archmagos Belisarius Cawl and established with all the necessary weapons, armour and equipment that they would need to conduct their defence of the Imperium. These Chapters still trace their genetic lineage back to the gene-seed of the First Founding, and scions of all nine Loyalist Space Marine Legions emerged from the vaults beneath the Red Planet.
With Roboute Guilliman re-instilled as the Lord Commander of the Imperium, the resurrected Primarch wasted no time in enacting his plans to take the fight to the Forces of Chaos. Guilliman called for action, and ordered the mustering of a mighty armada. With elements from the Adeptus Custodes, a contingent of the Silent Sisterhood as well as several Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes as well as newly created Chapters of the Ultima Founding, Guilliman launched his Indomitus Crusade. As the Crusade pushed outwards from Terra towards their many destinations, their ranks were swelled with ever more Imperial forces eager to join the Crusade led by the only known living son of the Emperor. As the Indomitus Crusade pushed ever deeper into the galaxy, Archmagos Cawl awoke thousands of Primaris Space Marines from stasis deep within the labyrinthine holds of his Ark Mechanicus Zar-Quaesitor. Some of these superior transhuman warriors were designated to be reinforcements for existing Chapters, while others comprised entirely new Chapters. One of these newly formed Primaris Chapters were named the 'Dusk Howlers', proud inheritors of the legacy of the feral and powerful Leman Russ, led by its first Great Wolf, Bjorn Grimjac Ragnarsson.
Once deployed, the new Chapters made their way towards their designated sectors and immediately took the fight to the enemy. Following their victories in the Kaeriolis System, the Dusk Howlers sought to consolidate their gains and established their fortress-monastery upon the newly discovered death world of Hrímgard, a planet of ice and fire. Hrímgard was a comparable world to their genetic forebears, mirroring the Space Wolves own deadly world of Fenris. Located on the outskirts of the galactic west of the Segmentum Pacificus, Hrímgard is also dominated by extremes of climate, and is a deadly and turbulent world inhabited by mankind. The extreme geography of Hrímgard had resulted in the human population of this world in becoming one composed largely of primitive, nomadic, pre-industrial barbarian tribes. The tribes constantly sought to secure territory, and as a result skirmishes and feuds over land between rival tribes were common. The Hrímgardian people were hardened to the changes in temperature and environmental extremes, and so was the fauna.
Claiming the untamed world as their own, with the help of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Dusk Howlers' Iron Priests oversaw the construction of their mighty fortress-monastery of Útgarðar, the 'Wolves Hould', built within the tallest peak of the mountains of Helgard. The Dusk Howlers had been granted everything they needed to establish themselves as a fully functioning Space Marine Chapter including -- newly forged ships for the foundation of their Chapter fleet as well as new armouries and several Space Wolves' Priests. The Dusk Howlers also had the Adeptus Mechanicus import all matter of Fenrisian fauna, including -- drakes, elk, and great white bears to their new Chapter home world.
Once the Dusk Howlers had firmly established a working foundation for their Chapter and a fully functioning base of operations, they began sending individual Great Companies, or small task forces comprised of several Great Companies, on multiple campaigns to assist several besieged Imperial systems. Though the Dusk Howlers have achieved many notable victories and triumphs, their achievements are but a sliver of light piercing the vast darkness that now covers most of the known galaxy. But despite the odds stacked against them, the Dusk Howlers continue to bring sword and flame to the enemies of Mankind, endeavouring to live up to the legacy of their genetic forebears as true Scions of Russ.
Chapter Home World
Hrímgard is a Death World located in the westernmost reaches of the Segmentum Pacificus near the borders of the Segmentum Obscurus, not far from the warp rift known as the Eye of Terror, from which the Forces of Chaos come forth from, to raid and pillage. This world of fire and ice serves as the Chapter homeworld and recruiting ground for the 'Vlka Hrímherjar', the Dusk Howlers Chapter. Hrímgard is the location of Útgarðar, the Dusk Howlers' massive fortress-monastery, considered by Imperial savants to be one of mightiest bastions of Imperium of Man, almost on par with their progenitor's formidable citadel, The Aett, known by the wider Imperium as 'The Fang'. From their home world the Dusk Howlers maintain their vigil that began during the dawning of the 42nd Millennium and watch over a hundred other worlds besides. Their demesne stretches far and wide across the the scattered stars that girdle the Hrímgardian Sector.
Hrímgard is dominated by extremes of climate, listed in official Imperial Cartigraphicae records as one of most deadly and turbulent worlds inhabited by humanity. Early Great Crusade expeditions by Rogue Traders deemed this world inimical to life, but as always, the early human settlers of this frozen outpost found a way not only to survive, but to thrive. Before Old Night, this world was originally settled as a mining colony. The world of Hrímgard was rich in many of the ores used in the construction of space faring vessels and technology used at the time. But with the advent of the horrendous warps storms and the Age of Strife, the stranded settlers were cut off from the outside world and were barely able to survive the harsh environment. Only the hardiest survived.
Over the following millennia, the forgotten technology of that era was irrevocably lost and the world became overrun by the denizens of Chaos. The survivors reverted to a barbaric state. This was the state of Hrímgard when this world was rediscovered by Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators in the latter years of M41. They saw a world that reflected the Space Wolves' own savage home world of Fenris. They knew almost immediately, that their search was over, and that the the Space Wolves' successors would easily adapt to the similar environs.
The native tribes of Hrímgard prefer to live in the frigid, arctic lands with glaciers and heavy snowfall. Living in a very hostile and isolated region, the Hrímgardian warrior tribes are forced to rely on their resourcefulness and their unwavering courage to survive. They survive the harsh and unforgiving hell-winters by hunting amongst the icy tundra of the Frozen Wastes. They mostly eat meat, which they can hunt or kill for themselves. During the long, cruel winter months the days are short and the nights are unbearably long and snowy. Game becomes scarce, making the Hrímgardian hunter's task of foraging for food a race for survival. But during the long summer months when the snow caps melt and the fjords are free of ice, the Hrímgardian tribes take to their longboats and raid other settlements, plundering them for sustenance and wealth. Despite their savage reputation the Hrímgardians also survive by farming and herding, spreading to colonize faraway lands as opportunities present themselves. Where their intuitive natures and wanderlust takes them, they engage in trade; when other tribes encroach into their territories, they exact tribute. For millennia, the Kaeriolians have dominated the sea lanes and the few lands that possess forests, where wild game is plentiful.
For millennia, the image of the Hrímgardian warrior has engraved itself in the minds of those whom have come in contact with this feral society; the image of the bloodthirsty barbarian with axe, sword and hide-covered armor. They are the epitome of savage fighters and terrifying raiders, sweeping across the continents of their frigid world and the water lanes of the turbulent seas. Although they are considered uncultured and primitive, these fierce people have developed a highly ritualistic and distinctive culture. The Hrímgardian people resemble vikings from ancient Terran history. According to ancient legends, Hrímgard's original space-faring ancestors mixed their blood with that of the Frost Giants, thereby producing a robust and hearty race of humans who possess a near immunity to the cold and an affinity for battle. The origins of these tales are dubious at best, and the veracity of such claims are highly disputed by Imperial scholars as to the identity of this mysterious race of so-called 'giants'.
The Hrímgardian males builds are robust; somewhat sinewy and very muscular. They have well defined and rough-hewn features due to the constant exposure to the extreme elements of the harsh Hrímgardian winters. Most of the males possess long unkempt hair (sometimes worn braided), and they grow long, course beards. Hrímgardian males also have somewhat pale skin like those of their supposed distant Frost Giant cousins. The Hrímgardian females builds are somewhat smaller; athletic and well proportioned. They possess a frontier beauty that can only be found amongst such a hardy race of women. Their beautiful locks of hair are often worn in long, braided tresses. Hrímgardians can generally live to 100 years of age or older, although the males generally have shorter life spans than their female counterparts. If they are lucky they may survive to the ripe age of fifty years old if they are fortunate enough not to be killed in battle, by wild beasts, or the notoriously foul weather of their home world. It is a rare thing indeed to meet a Hrímgardan male of venerable age. An elder Hrímgardian is a warrior without peer, who has literally survived hundreds of battles and decades of Hrímgardian hell-winters, due to their fortitude, strength, cunning and intelligence. It is these venerable warriors who become a tribe's chieftain or Jarl.
Hrímgardians are robust and outspoken, unafraid to speak or act on impulse. They are somewhat boastful and known to be braggarts, but they will back up their words with either their fists or with the sharpened edges of their battle-axes. Einvig, a duel to the death with no restrictions, are quite common when there are slights of honour. To a Hrímgardian, action literally speaks louder than words. Honour is another concept that the Hrímgardians have a high regard for. Whether it is upon the field of battle, or defending one's pride when someone sullies their family name, honour must be maintained. The warriors of Hrímgard are brought up on the heroic sagas of the Einherjar, the mythical 'Sky-Warriors', maintaining a proud martial tradition. Even amongst the hardy Kaeriolian women, there are those individuals who wish to earn honour and glory in the heat of battle, and thereby, securing themselves a place within the sagas. These female warriors are known as Skjaldmær, or 'Shieldmaidens', fight alongside the men in battle with shield, sword, axe and spear.
To prove one's worth as a warrior to the other members of their tribe, a Hrímgardian warrior must constantly meet any challenge bestowed upon them by the venerable elders and senior warriors within their tribe. A young warrior must prove their battle prowess by acquiring numerous war trophies and battle scars if they are to be judged worthy. Some warriors are so dedicated to achieving this goal that they strive for nothing less than the chance to be immortalized forever in the form of a Hrímgardian epic saga. Years after their death, they will be remembered when the sagas are recited by the old shamans of their tribes during the 'The Feast of The Great Hunt', held every twenty years during the rising of the Hunter's Moon.
When a Hrímgardian has proved his worth or is slain in glorious battle they believe that they will earn a place amongst the honored ranks of the Einherjar. These are the fell-spirits of the warriors whom died in glorious battle and were raised from the dead; chosen to continue fighting by the side of the Emperor, (whom Hrímgardians refer to as the 'All-Father') against the enemies of Mankind. According to the ancient Hrímgardian sagas the 'All-Father' will face Hel, the Goddess of Death and the underworld, and her other three aspects (lust, wrath, and transformation) and her daemonic hordes during the final days of all of creation, known as the Ragnarøkkr, or the 'End-Times'. It is every Hrímgardian's fondest wish to be judged worthy enough to join their God-Emperor in eternal battle. These fanatically devout warriors are constantly trying to prove their worth in battle through insane acts of bravery or by slaying the most enemies.
At the center of the planet's largest continent, Jǫtnarheim, the great citadel of Útgarðar, the 'Wolves Hould', hewn into the cliff face of the tallest mountain, within Hrímgard's highest peaks. Against the gathering dark of the dwindling atmosphere, tiny lights shine at the distant summit. The Hrímgardian tribes mark this habitation of the 'Einherjar' - the 'Sky Warriors' - as the abode of the demigods, itself a tiny fraction of the bulk of that vast peak. Lesser summits are clustered around the formidable citadel in the shadow of the mighty peak, 'Forn einn', the 'Ancient One'. The ways between the peaks are treacherous and known only to those who have trodden its paths as Aspirants. All are scarred with precipitous drops and deep crevasses. Some hunt-ways were built on solid stone, whereas others are on bridges of ice that will crumble to nothing with the first application of weight. Some lead true, taking the hunter from the clefts in the shadow of the summits down to the plains where their prey dwell; others lead nowhere but into darkness, to the caves that riddle the bowels of the ancient landscape, full of nothing but ice-gnawed bones and despair.
Over the long history of its existence, many times has Útgarðar stood inviolable while the Forces of Chaos have dashed themselves against it. Útgarðar is clad in armour of immense thickness and strength and is cloaked by void shields more powerful than those found on even the most mighty of the Imperial Navy's warships. The mountainside conceals potent defence lasers hidden within miles of dark shafts cut into the mountain itself. These ancient weapons, powered by geothermal reactors within the citadel's core, are capable of blasting apart even the most heavily armoured spacecraft from orbit. Even a ground assault would be considered suicidal, as Útgarðar possesses two external gates, known as the Sunrise Gate and the Wolves Heads Gate, built high up on the sheer sides of the mountain. These two gates connect at opposite ends of the internal region of the fortress known as the Vanirhould. The two gates were built to overlook entirely bare approaches, made up of huge causeways of stone, each kilometres wide and worn smooth by the endless gnawing of stone by the Helgard's high winds. If a massed advance upon these approaches was undertaken, they would provoke a slaughter. Even if an enemy were, by some miracle, able to reach one of the gates, which in themselves, are colossal structures comprised of adamantium, granite and ceramite, they bristle with all manner of deadly weaponry - twin-linked bolters turrets, static plasma cannons and missile launchers.
The Dusk Howlers Chapter recruit from Hrímgard and the surrounding worlds of other systems occupied near their star system. Most of the colonists who settled the Hrímgard System came from the nearby systems of Novaya Zemlya and Norwegia. On Hrímgard and the other worlds in the surrounding systems, strangers clad in armor as black as shadow, stalk the lands. In the Jarl's long halls, tales are told of these strangers known as the Choosers of the Slain - whom watch silently from the hills overlooking the battlefield, choosing those who show true valor and commit the most insane acts of courage. These warriors, though mortally wounded, are taken by the ebon-armored 'Sky Warriors' to join the ranks of the Einherjar, never to be seen again. These mysterious strangers are the Wolf Priests of the Dusk Howlers. The youths they pick are tested to the extreme, to see if they are worthy to have the legacy of Leman Russ implanted into their bodies, and eventually become one of his chosen sons.
Those selected as potential Space Marines must undergo several initiation rights, the first of which is the Trial of Morkai. After partaking in a sacred ceremony where they imbibe the Canis Helix, the 'Spirit of the Wolf', the genetic cocktail drawn from the genome of Leman Russ is used as a catalyst to activate the genetically-engineered viral machinery of the Aspirant's gene-seed implants. This mixture is drunk from an ancient Chapter relic of the Dusk Howlers known as the Cup of Russ. After drinking from the Cup of Russ, the Aspirants are then taken through the Gates of Morkai, a mystic portal deep within Útgarðar, where every Aspirant's mind is picked and probed by the Chapter's Runecasters (Librarians) for signs of corruption or mental weakness that will make them easy prey for the blandishments of Chaos. These Aspirants are then taken by Thunderhawk gunship and dropped naked on the shores of the southern continent armed with only a combat knife. The Aspirants must then make their way through Niflheim, the inhospitable tundras and hinterlands that surrounded the foot of the mountains of Helgard. If the Aspirant returns to Útgarðar from this Trial of Morkai, he is implanted with the remaining components of the Dusk Howlers' gene-seed, which stabilise the effects of the Helix. Although this procedure is extremely hazardous, the remaining components of the Dusk Howlers' gene-seed will prove ineffective at initiating the metamorphosis into an Astartes unless the Canis Helix is implanted first to serve as a catalyst for the transformation.
- "Somewhere, deep in your memory, you know the ancient ways. This is why you find yourself drawn by a deep-seeded 'urge'. An urge so powerful that you don't even question it. Or fight it..you long for it!"
- — Deathspeaker Flóki Blóð-Wyrm to a group of Blooded Claws
The Dusk Howlers claim to be blessed with the most potent of all gene-seeds as the heritage of Leman Russ is as unique as it is deadly. The so-called Canis Helix is a particular genetic sequence which endows the Scions of Russ with their unusual feral traits. But the first stage of an Aspirant's transformation would often be their last, for many were killed, or worse, transformed into slavering beats. The Horus Heresy had revealed weaknesses in the gene-seed of several Space Marine Legions. These defects had been exacerbated by the accelerated gene-seed cultivation techniques needed to keep the huge Space Marine Legions up to strength during the centuries between the start of the Great Crusade and the outbreak of the Heresy. With the Imperium of Man expanding so quickly across the galaxy during the Great Crusade, the need for fresh recruits in the Space Marine Legions was great. So much so that some Legions had not been as particular in their gene-seed screening practices and recruit selection processes as they should have been.
Heritage of Russ
During the time of the Great Crusade, the Imperium's most brilliant gene-wrights and fleshcrafters were tasked with building the numbers of the Space Marine Legions and to to expunge identified genetic weaknesses. Many genetic engineering technologies were put into effect, reducing the processing time required to create a battle-worthy Astartes. But removing the genetic deficiencies of the Canis Helix identified within the Space Wolves' gene-seed proved a much more difficult prospect. While studying the various Legions' gene-seed, the gene-wrights soon discovered that certain samples had gene sequences deliberately deleted from the base Primarch genome, while other samples showed the addition of clearly non-human DNA. Intriguingly, the genome of the Primarch listed as 'Subject VI' had added canine-like DNA. Although it is not clear whether the sample numbers corresponded to the actual Primarchs of the numbered Space Marine Legions, this could explain the wolf-like affinity of Leman Russ and the unexpected feral mutation of many Space Wolves Astartes into the Wulfen.
Before the transformation of a Space Wolves Aspirant could begin, they had to first imbibe the Canis Helix. Unfortunately for many, the genetic coding of the helix contained a number of substances that were not synthesised by the human body, and they had a dramatic effect upon the potential Space Marine. The ravages of this unique gene first take effect during the aspirant's indoctrination. Ultimately, he is cast out into the wilderness to make his own way back to The Fang - the Space Wolves' mighty Fortress-Monastery. The gene works its hideous changes upon the warrior's mind and body; he would revert to a primal state where his bones split and buckle, hair sprouted across his body, and his only desire was to gorge on fresh meat and blood. His body mass would grow by almost eighty percent, many of his bones fused, and vestigial fangs would sprout from his gums as he underwent the transformation. Whilst his body was wracked with pain, the warrior had to overcome the gene, lest it overcame him. If the aspirant found his way back to the Fang across the chasms and glaciers populated by snarling predators and blasted by freezing winds, he was implanted with the remainder of the Space Wolves' gene-seed, stabilising the Canis Helix and completing his genetic indoctrination into the ranks of the Sons of Russ. A minority of these warriors do not entirely conquer the gene-seed's effects, however, and in times of great stress would revert to the hulking, bloodthirsty state that haunted their genetic structure. This was the Curse of the Wulfen, and it was rightly feared.
The Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman, always an optimist, but never a fool, had learned from the mistakes of the Horus Heresy. He had foreseen that the Forces of Chaos would never relent in their aim to bring the Imperium of Man low. He anticipated that the threats Chaos and the xenos presented to Humanity would engulf the galaxy and knew that warriors resilient enough to stand against them would be needed as never before. Therefore, he set a task for the Priesthood of Mars: to develop a new legion of transhuman warriors -- the Primaris Space Marines -- who were bigger, more physically powerful and possessed faster reaction times than their original Astartes counterparts. Following the Great Scouring, Guilliman tasked Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl with this most important of projects. It was the Sangprimus Portum, a device containing potent genetic material harvested from the Primarchs and entrusted to Cawl shortly after the Second Founding in 001.M32, that allowed for Cawl's breakthrough in creating the genetically superior Primaris Astartes. It is also known that in addition to the general advancements in their gene-seed, Primaris Space Marines possess three additional gene-seed implant organs compared to their standard brethren and that their gene-seed is far more genetically stable than that of their forerunners. Primaris Space Marine gene-seed has only a .001% chance of genetic deviancy from the original baseline with the passage of each generation, which makes it nearly immune to the severe genetic instability suffered by Chapters such as the Blood Angels and Space Wolves over the course of their existence.
In the pursuit of his attempt to improve upon the original Space Marine template, Archmagos Dominus Cawl collected samples of the genomes of all twenty of the original Primarchs, including those deemed Lost or Traitors, though Roboute Guilliman made clear to his overeager servant that Primaris Astartes were to be created only from the lines of those of his brothers who led the nine Loyalist Space Marine Legions. In regards to the Space Wolves' gene-seed and the creation of new Successor Chapters, Archmagos Dominus Cawl was able to refine the gene-sequences of the Canis Helix, altering it to deliver the supernatural strength of a Space Wolf Astartes without unleashing the ravages of the Wulfen within. The products of these experiments created within the flesh labs of Mars with the altered Canis Helix were as powerful as a true Space Wolf, as quick in the hunt and as skilled with a blade, but they did not degenerate into the Wulfen, nor did their personalities take on bestial characteristics. They possessed the qualities that made the Space Wolves superb warriors, and purged the genetic factors that would have prevented them from creating successors. Thus, the path was laid to forge anew, Chapters derived from the genetic heritage of Russ.
Surprisingly, for a Chapter founded from the genome of Leman Russ, the Dusk Howlers tend to be stoic and more disciplined than their progenitors. Imperial genetors theorise that this might be a byproduct of the events that occurred during the Horus Heresy. Created as they were, from the surviving stock of Space Wolves' gene-seed, these Scions of Russ also tend to display a propensity for bitterness and paranoia - a result of the betrayal perpetrated by so many of the Primarchs of the original Space Marine Legions - who led their sons down the path of damnation and ruination. Many believe, that because of this, the Dusk Howlers have a tendency to see themselves more as the All-Father's true warriors - fervently loyal and dedicated - rather than as an extended pack of their Primarch Leman Russ. Though they still acknowledge the Wolf King as their genetic father, they hold their loyalty to the Emperor above all else.
The Dusk Howlers Chapter is known across the galaxy for its martial exploits. Of all the Space Marines, the Dusk Howlers, like their progenitors, the Space Wolves, are most like their Primarch in character. Uncouth, undisciplined and barbaric by comparison to the other Chapters, the Space Wolves were nonetheless a powerful force of arms, admired by their allies and feared by their foes. Leman Russ was never one for following rules; as long as his Space Marines were prepared to fight and die for him, he was satisfied. He knew his troops had superb battlefield instincts and he trusted them to achieve their objectives without being burdened with a host of what he regarded as petty regulations. Because of this, the organisation and structure of the Dusk Howlers is quite different from that of other more Codex-oriented Chapters. Like their forebears, the Dusk Howlers Chapter is organised into twelve Great Companies, each one a sizeable army numbering many hundreds of warriors. The Great Companies are more akin to barbarian warbands than to formal military organisations, each led by a mighty Wolf Lord.
The Dusk Howlers is a close-knit brotherhood and there is a great deal of respect and comradeship between the Space Marines from Hrímgard and the warriors of Fenris. The Chapter's first officer corps and elite Wolf Guard were initially drawn from the populations of both Terra and Fenris.
- Great Wolf - The Great Wolf is the Dusk Howlers' equivalent of a Chapter Master. The Great Wolf is chosen by acclamation from amongst the Chapter's Wolf Lords upon the death of his forebear, and he will remain the Great Wolf until his own death.
- Wolf Lords - A Wolf Lord ('Jarl') is the Dusk Howlers' officer who is the equivalent of a standard Space Marine Captain and who commands one of the 12 Great Companies that comprise the full Dusk Howlers' military force. A Wolf Lord may be accompanied by the huge Hrímgardian Wolves and is always protected by a contingent of Hearth Guard specifically loyal to him. The Chapter's Great Companies are led by the 12 current Wolf Lords, a number that includes the current Great Wolf, Einar Nighthowler. Much of the time the attrition rate for Wolf Lords is fairly significant because of the Chapter's preference for close combat.
- Pack Leader - A Pack Leader ('Thegn') is the Dusk Howlers' equivalent to a standard Primaris Marine Lieutenant. They often act as the right hand of the Wolf Lords by providing flexibility and helping to direct their battle-brothers in engagements. They will often lead part of a Great Company when it is divided into two 'Packs' (Battle Demi-Companies) in order to spread their forces across multiple combat zones.
- Claw Leader - A Claw Leader is the Dusk Howlers' equivalent to a standard Space Marine Sergeant, who leads a 'Claw' (Squad).
- "Even in the sheath the sword must be sharp – so too must the mind and the spirit be within the body."
- — Deathspeaker Harald Freysgothi, of Fyf (5th Great Company)
- Deathspeaker - Deathspeakers are a unique officer class within the Chapter. A combination of the roles of Chaplain and Apothecary found other Chapters, the Deathspeakers administer to the physical and mental well-being of the Chapter's warriors and also choose the Aspirants for the Chapter from among the feral barbarian tribes of Hrímgard.
- Æther Seer - The Dusk Howlers do not possess Librarians as such because of their great abhorrence of psychic abilities, which they equate with foul sorcery; instead the Chapter maintains a number of warrior-mystics known as Æther Seers -- potent psykers whom consider themselves a breed apart from the Librarians of other Chapters. They manipulate their powers of the Æther through little understood runic matrices and adopted ritualistic practices of Freyan shamans. They provide the Chapter with prognostication and shield it from Empyreal threats. 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. Armed and equipped differently from Librarians, Æther Seers wear ancient runic artificer armour gifted to them by their genetic forebears. When they call upon their unique abilities, they are aided by a unique lattice of psycho-memetic pattern field technology incorporated into the armour which helps safeguard their person against outside forces as well as preventing them from drawing too much power from the Warp. Uniquely, Æther Seers do not wear psychic hoods and do not always carry force weapons, what the Dusk Howlers prefer to call Runic Weapons. In battle, Æther Seers are actually quite potent psykers in their own right and are as fierce as any man born of Hrímgard.
- Priest of Iron - The Priests of Iron are the Chapter's equivalent of Techmarines. Sent off for training at Mars with the Adeptus Mechanicus like all Techmarines, they posses an iron mask of vast technological lore behind their outwardly barbaric show of tech-mysticism. Their role is not simply supply their Chapter with arms and maintain their wargear, but ensure it is as self-sufficient 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.
- Sons of Múspel- The Dreadnoughts of the Dusk Howlers are generally ancient and wise warriors, who spend a great deal of time in dreamless sleep beneath Útgarðar. 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 Sons of Muspel, or 'Eldthursar' possess a particular war-like mien, as most of these warriors had suffered terrible wounds before being placed within the sarcophagus of a Dreadnought. The pain of their mortal wounding often drives them to bouts of killing mania when left conscious. They are rarely awoken from their slumber unless the Chapter requires the utter annihilation of the enemy, for these war engines of destruction are never subtle weapons.
Like their genetic forebears, the Dusk Howlers form their Battle-Brothers into Packs. Each Pack will generally be made up of Astartes who have fought together for some time and will work together as a pack of Hrímgardian Wolves do on the hunt. For the Dusk Howlers their finely honed senses of smell and hearing are just as important to them as their keen eyesight. Packs will work together to sniff and sound out their foes, hunting their prey like the wolves of Hrímgard, identifying the locations of their comrades as much by their enhanced sense of smell as by any technological means. The Dusk Howlers have four primary types of Packs in the Chapter, including; the Blooded Claws, Grey Slayers, White Beards, and the Hearth Guard. There are also Wolf Scouts, who are an oddity amongst the Adeptus Astartes.
- Vaerangi - On Hrímgard, a Jarl will often chose those closest to him to be his boon companions, a Hrímgardian tradition carried over from the hirð warbands. In return for their loyalty throughout their lives, the hirð receive special consideration. If the leader is a Jarl or other reaver, then the hirð receive first choice of the spoils. If the leader is a petty king, then the hirð sit at the head of his table, drinking mead as well as ale, and their Lord gifts them with arm rings of silver, coats of fine mail, weapons, food and lodging. So long as the leader can fulfill his side of the bargain and bring them glory and riches, the hirð are pledged to stand at his side, be his men in all things, and die with him in battle. Similarly, a Wolf Lord will hand-pick a core group of Dusk Howlers who are utterly loyal and have achieved feats of exceptional valour and martial prowess, to serve as his Vaerangi or 'Hearth Guard'. These mighty Astartes can lead smaller forces of Dusk Howlers drawn from other Packs, serve as the Dusk Howlers' version of an Honour Guard for the most experienced warrior in a deployed Dusk Howlers force or serve as the Pack leader for a Great Company's squads, imparting their knowledge and experience to their younger charges and serving as the equivalent of standard Space Marine Sergeants. In true Hrímgardian tradition, in addition to access to the best suits of power armour and the most advanced wargear available to the Chapter, the Hearth Guard have earned the right to wear Terminator Armour. Unlike other Chapters, entrance into the elite ranks of the Hearth Guard is not the result of seniority or Veteran status but is an honour earned directly through merit, through the display of extraordinary acts of courage and heroism under fire. Eventually, it is possible for a Hearth Guard to rise to the position of Wolf Lord, the mighty officers equivalent to standard Space Marine Captains who command one of the 12 Great Companies that comprise the entirety of the Chapter. Because a position in the Hearth Guard is so rewarding and envied by the warriors of the Chapter, there are always those who are eager for glory and a chance to be forever remembered within the Chapter's sagas. This can lead to some friendly rivalry between competing warriors, eager to draw a Wolf Lord's attention to their martial prowess in the heat of battle. But sometimes rivals will choose to settle a dispute of honour through holmgang - a ritual trial by combat. But on rare occasions, there is such bitter resentment and ire between competing rivals, that the only way to settle the dispute is through an einvigi - a duel to the death.
- Kingsguard - Each Wolf Lord maintains a cadre of elite Hearth Guard, comprising the very finest of the warriors under his command. Einar Nighthowler is no exception, and maintains perhaps the largest Hearth Guard of all the Wolf Lords, counting among its number many of the greatest warriors in the entire Legion. Einar's Hearth Guard is so large that it is split into several smaller Packs, many of which have earned great renown for their deeds, yet when they gather for war at the Great Wolf's side they are collectively known as the Kingsguard. These Champions of Hrímgard, the "Fangs of Nighthowler," are always at the Great Wolf's call, accompanying him into every battle and commanding his armies when the needs of war call him away. Nighthowler's Kingsguard defend him with their lives, and slay without mercy those who would raise blades against the master of the Dusk Howlers. They are the shield and sword of the Great Wolf, fending off enemy attacks before landing the killing blow. To face the Kingsguard of Hrímgard in battle is to face death itself.
- Ursine Cavalry - Ursine Cavalry units are a sub-group of the Wolf Guard. According to official Imperial records, the Ice-Bear Cavalry doesn't exist and the Dusk Howlers keep them as a closely guarded secret. Ursine Cavalry are composed of a sleuth of giant Hrímgardian Ice-Bears that stand about the height of over fifteen feet, and are used as mounts by the most elite members of the Hearth Guard. These ice-bears are often augmented with adamantium jaws, Imperial bionics, and black-jointed metal limbs that end in razor-sharp blades. The havoc that these creatures are capable of wreaking is said to be startling to even a hardened Veteran Astartes. The taming of an Ice-Bear is often used as a ritual trial for a Dusk Howlers Astartes who wishes to rise into the ranks of the Hearth Guard.
- White Beards - Within the Dusk Howlers Chapter the White Beards form a cadre of elite veteran warriors. Wisened and hoary with age, these proud and stoic warriors quite literally possess 'white beards', for as they age, their hair will grow course and grey, and eventually turn snow white. They are also endowed with long fangs, for as a Dusk Howler ages his canines lengthen. After centuries of long wars, their esteem stands as a mountain, commanding awe and respect from those of lesser years. There are relatively few White Beards within the Chapter, for many warriors die in battle due to their violent lives and taking part in ceaseless conflict. Only a small minority manage to survive to reach a venerable age. Their saga is almost complete. These veteran warriors are the oldest living members of the Chapter outside those sorely wounded kindred who are entombed in the chassis of a Dreadnought. They are some of the most ancient members of the Chapter, often being a part of one of the earliest inductions into the Chapter sometime after the Great Scouring millennia earlier. They are renowned for their disciplined and steady demeanour even in the heat of battle, and hence are entrusted with the Great Company's heavy weapons. They are the equivalent of a Primaris Chapter's Aggressors and Hellblaster Squads. Some of these venerable warriors are arrayed in modified suits of Mark X Gravis pattern power armour refitted to carry shoulder-mounted missile launchers, they are tasked with heavy long-range fire support. In battle they are also armed with Flame Gauntlets that allows them to unleash blazing streams of promethium, mowing down any foes foolish enough to get in close-proximity of these deadly warriors. Having fought and survived so many wars the White Beards are rarely unsettled even by the most serious set-back. There are many accounts within the Chapter's history that recount the deeds of the stalwart White Beards, who have held the field against overwhelming odds, even after all others have fled or been slain. Others go into battle armed with Mark III Belisarius pattern Plasma Incinerators, their mission - to provide covering fire to their battleline and close support brethren - usually in the form of assassination of prime targets, counter-battery volleys or the destruction of enemy armour. Through their use of target selection, superior marksmanship and the timely application of firepower, the White Beards have achieved many victories in the face of overwhelming odds during countless battles.
- Grey Slayers - If Blooded Claws survive long enough to mature into seasoned Astartes, they are promoted to the ranks of the Grey Slayers. These veteran Astartes are the equivalent of a Chapter's Tactical Marines. The Grey Slayer packs form the greater mass of the Dusk Howlers' warriors. They are strong and resolute fighters, tempered by battle but as hungry for honour as any proud warrior of Hrímgard. They are experienced warriors, dour and sombre, proud of their skills, and rightly honoured by their younger brethren. In battle, they function as all but autonomous units in the field are largely exempt from the reliance on direct commands from their senior command. They are expected to deal with myriad challenges on their own if needs be, and above all to close with the enemy on their own terms; to seek and destroy.
- Blooded Claws - A Blooded Claw is a newly inducted Astartes of the Dusk Howlers Chapter and the equivalent of a Chapter's Neophytes or Scout Marines. Still struggling to control the spirit of the wolf within, Blooded Claws are notoriously savage and fiercely aggressive. These hot-headed young warriors cannot wait to prove themselves, charging in howling packs at the front lines of the enemy in their efforts to garner personal glory. They prefer to fight at close quarters and are armed with melee weapons such as chainswords and bolt pistols. The Blooded Claws are the shock troops of the Dusk Howlers and spearhead the majority of assaults. If they survive to become mature and capable warriors, they will eventually be elevated to the veteran ranks of the Grey Slayers.
- Lightning Claws - A subset of the Blooded Claws, the Lightning Claws are culled from the ranks of the Blooded Claws when the Chapter needs a swift, hard-hitting assault force comprised of bike squads or land speeders. The young and ambitious Blooded Claws are well suited to this role. In addition to forming a lightning assault force, Lightning Claws are also responsible for performing scouting missions and conducting guerrilla attacks deep behind enemy lines. These specialised troops operate as the eyes and ears of their Chapter in the field. Utilising their chief advantage, which is speed, the Lightning Claws' all-Terran armoured ground bikes are able to cover ground far quicker than infantry and go where heavier vehicles cannot. Occasionally they are tasked by a Wolf Lord with a dangerous quest to track down and slay a particularly powerful foes. Given the opportunity to sow the maximum amount of carnage and disruption possible, these young warriors apply themselves with particular relish in the performance of their duties. Some Blooded Claws are so taken by this role -- not to mention the opportunities for raising havoc that come along with it -- that they demand the right to a permanent position as a Lightning Claw.
- Vindthursar - The Vindthursar ('Wind-Giants') are a subset of Blooded Claws. This specialist unit is composed of the most headstrong troublemakers from each Blooded Claw pack and are often "rewarded" by reassignment to a Vindthursar Assault Pack and thus serve as the Chapter's equivalent of Primaris Inceptors. These heavy assault units are entrusted with variant reinforced Mark X Gravis power armour and equipped with heavy jump packs, which features duel cylindrical main thrusters, lateral manoeuvring jets and in-built grav chutes to help control low-orbit drop speeds. Equipped with such formidable wargear, this provides the young warriors with the opportunity to indulge in their desire of breaking the back of any foe, cracking open their lines and sending the remnants of their army fleeing in sheer terror. Heedless of the inherent dangers, Vindthursar are well-suited for this dangerous role, as they must be fast, aggressive and hard-hitting in order to make such breakthrough attacks. It is said amongst the more experienced Battle-Brothers of the Chapter that if these youngsters wish to slake their reckless bloodthirst, let them, and if they die in the process then they will still learn a valuable lesson. Though considered a dubious honour by their more mature brethren, the Vindthursar are bound and determined to prove themselves in the eyes of their elders. Unafraid and uncaring, they drop from the very edge of a planet's atmospheric envelope and leap from the assault bays of low-orbiting attack craft. Once they lock their jump coordinates on their primary targets, they jet towards their objective like living missiles. The Vindthursar take great joy in watching the enemy crumble beneath the reckless fury of their airborne assault as they land with ground-shattering force and open fire immediately with their bulky but rapid-firing assault bolters in a hail of deadly fire. Truly the most rebellious and free-spirited of all the Dusk Howlers, the Vindthursar constantly try to prove themselves. They are known to compete against Packs of Blooded Claws through friendly contests of combat prowess and achieving the highest number of foes slain in battle.
- "Where wolf's ears are, wolf's teeth are near."
- — Vargar Olaf Nightmane, Grey Slayer, 2nd Pack, of For (4th Great Company)
- Vargr - For some Dusk Howlers Astartes, the close-knit and boisterous brotherhood of a Pack (Platoon) is not well suited to their personality, as they yearn for the open spaces and isolation of the Hrímgardian tundra. Preferring to operate in small, elite cadres known as Claws (squad-sized formations), these warriors are selected to become part of a Great Company's Vargar ('Wraith Wolves') force. This unique combat specialist formation is tasked with performing rapid infiltration and lightning assaults. They are akin to the standard Primaris Reiver Squads of other Primaris Chapters. As elite assault specialists the Vargar are given further specialised training and the finest wargear. Arrayed in Mark X Reiver pattern power armour which has been modified to display a lupine-skull helm, they are the embodiment of the hunger of death that lies in the heart of their inherited genetic heritage of Russ. Their battle-plate is forged with lighter ceramite and a streamlined design, which allows for greater mobility, and its servo-motors are engineered to be completely silent. Unlike other Scions of Russ, the Vargar are masters of terror tactics, utilising their fearsome appearance and vox-amplified roars to stun their enemies, as they scythe down whole enemy units in a cacophony of bolt carbine fire, grenade detonations and deadly blades. The resultant slaughter sees their fallen enemies strewn about the battlefield - broken and lifeless - a perfect psychological tool that sows fear and confusion in the ranks of their still living foes.
- Björndrengr - A martial tradition taken from the native people of Hrímgard, the björndrengr (translated in Low Gothic as 'Bear Warrior') is a lone warrior who seeks his own skein of fate by cementing his legend through individual feats of great battlefield prowess, to be told in the warrior sagas in the drinking halls of longhouses throughout Hrímgard. The totem animal of the björndrengr is, as the name implies, the bear. This Hrímgardian term is a reference to the practice of dressing in a ritual costume made from the hide of the totem animal, an outward reminder of the wearer's having gone beyond the confines of his humanity and become a divine predator. To become a björndrengr, a warrior must undergo a process before being admitted into this elite group of warriors. They spend a period in the wilderness, living like their totem animal and learning its ways, obtaining their sustenance through hunting, gathering, and raiding the nearest towns. The bond with the savage world is indicated not only on the geographic plane – life beyond the limits of the civilized life of the towns - but also on what many civilised Imperial scholars would consider a moral plane. The björndrengr's existence is assured by the law of the wilderness. The candidate ceases to be an ordinary human being and becomes instead a 'bear-man', more a part of the forest than of civilization. Henceforth, the björndrengr has the ability to induce a state of possession by his kindred beast, acquiring its strength, fearlessness, and fury. This ancient shamanistic practice is still venerated and observed by the Astartes of the Dusk Howlers. Within their ranks, such warriors are usually young and gifted Astartes who undergo a similar right. They go into the wilderness to seek out and slay a fearsome Hrímgardian Ice-Bear, whom roam the vast tracts of Niflheim, the inhospitable tundras and hinterlands that surrounded the foot of the mountains of Helgard. Upon slaying their quarry, these warriors forever after clad themselves in the pelt of the ferocious ice-bear. Like their totem animal, björndrengr are known to congregate into a group, known as a 'sleuth', and seek to do battle with the most fearsome of foes. Armed with a variety of melee and assault weaponry, the björndrengr seek to emulate their totem animal, and unleash their calculated brutality and savagery upon their foes. These berserk warriors are usually placed within the ranks of the Chapter's most formidable shock assault elements of a Great Company. Whilst in the throes of a berserk frenzy these battle-brothers seeks nothing more in battle than to rush into close quarters with the enemy and tear them apart in a hail of blood, seeking to accomplish great deeds of heroism and valour upon the field of battle, so that they will be remembered in the Chapter's sagas for all time. Some of the older Dusk Howlers see these warriors as blowhards and impetuous, while their younger brethren in the Blooded Claws see them as inspirations to aspire to.
- "Often times it is not numbers that wins the victory, but those who fare forward with the most vigor"
- — Úlfheðnar Thrond Balewulf, White Beard, of Tra-tra (9th Great Company)
- Úlfheðnar - Over time, as a Dusk Howlers Pack takes casualties and gain experience, they pass through the ranks, and eventually the last few survivors make it into the vaunted ranks of the Hearth Guard. However, sometimes a Pack will suffer particularly harsh casualties, leaving a lone survivor who has not yet earned a place in the Hearth Guard. Úlfheðnar (pronounced "oolv-HETH-nahr" with a hard "th" as in "the;" Hrímgardian Juvik for "wolf-hides") are the last standing warriors of a pack. Like their björndregnr kin, the lone warrior will undertake a Lone Hunt into the unforgiving wilderness of Niflheim - to seek out and slay a mighty Hrímgardian Dire Wolf. These powerful lupine predators are descended from the infamous Fenrisian Wolves that were originally brought to Hrímgard from Fenris, when the Chapter was Founded and later settled upon their home world. Once they successfully find their quarry and slay the beast, the lone warrior will then don the pelt of the slain wolf - in effect, he'll ritualistically take on the spirit of his chosen animal totem. These lone warriors are known to possess an air of vengeance and doom. An Úlfheðnar is vengeance incarnate - who will stop at nothing to avenge his fallen kinsmen, hurling himself into the thick of the fighting without hesitation so that he may win great glory or earn a magnificent death in battle. Úlfheðnar vow to seek out the most monstrous foes they can find and slay them. The Dusk Howlers hold true to the belief that only through deeds of incredible heroism or sacrifice can such a warrior atone for his survival and restore the honour of his dead packmates. So does every Úlfheðnar swear a mighty oath to seek out the mightiest foes and slay them in glorious combat, or die in the attempt. Those who succeed in their quests to seek out and slay dangerous or potent enemies and survive are accepted into the Hearth Guard, while the rest have at least earned an honourable death in combat like their packmates.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
- "Often times it is not numbers that wins the victory, but those who fare forward with the most vigor."
- — Vaerangi Gunnar Red-Axe, of Twa (2nd Great Company)
- "Lo, there do I see the All-Father.
Lo, there do I see the Wolf King and all our fallen brothers.
Lo, there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them.
They bid me take my place in the halls of the All-Father,
Where the brave..may live...FOREVER!"
- — The Rite of Battle
The Dusk Howlers revere the Emperor, known in Hrímgardian culture as the 'All-Father', above all - even above their own Primarch Leman Russ. It has been theorised that this display of loyalty to the God-Emperor above even their own genetic father is a direct result of the actions of the Primarchs during the Horus Heresy. It was the Primarchs who willingly followed the Arch-Traitor Horus into damnation - who spat on their oaths of fealty to the Emperor and his Imperium, and who corrupted their own sons to follow their path of wrath and ruin. This might explain the Wolf Brothers' tendencies to display bitterness and paranoia. Though they revere their own Primarch as their genetic father and one of the most stalwart defenders of the Imperium, above all else, they display an almost fanatical loyalty to the All-Father, who created the Primarchs, and by extension, the Legions of Astartes that followed.
The warriors of the Dusk Howlers have inherited much of their beliefs from their home world's native culture. Much of their martial traditions are still maintained by the Dusk Howlers, even after their induction into the ranks of the Chapter. Dusk Howlers Astartes constantly vie with one another, yearning to achieve the most victories or the highest kill tallies, in order to impress the Legion's more venerable members, constantly striving to earn a place within the Wolf Brothers' sagas. Like the feral tribesmen they recruit from, the Dusk Howlers value personal honour and physical strength at arms over all. Many Dusk Howlers Astartes prefer to challenge enemy commanders to single combat in order to test themselves against the mightiest of enemies. Dusk Howlers often seek out single combat with a foe they consider worthy of the honour, although more than a few Veteran Gray Slayers and Wolf Lords have fallen against particularly dangerous opponents this way.
Thus, the Battle-Brothers of the Dusk Howlers Chapter are known to exhibit a fierce resolve in the face of overwhelming odds and display an unstoppable drive to test themselves against all who would stand before them. Perhaps this feature of their character is a result of the beliefs instilled in each before he has even joined the Chapter, for the warrior tribes of Hrímgard are fearsome and resolute indeed. Others say that the need to test their limits is a result of the bloodshed and atrocities committed during the Horus Heresy, by both sides of the inter-Legionary conflict, for the Legiones Astartes themselves committed numerous fratricidal actions against one another, bringing much woe and misery to the galaxy at large. The Dusk Howlers feel an inherent need to right the wrongs committed by the Heretic Astartes of the Traitor Legions, and to earn redemption in the eyes of the All-Father and His people, who suffered unimaginably during the galaxy-wide civil war.
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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'. During the early years of the Indomitus Crusade, several of these Scions of Russ Successor Chapters find themselves of like-mind and temperament, and so, they agreed to form an unofficial collective, known as the 'Sons of Russ', to stand eternal vigil over the worlds surrounding the hellish realm of the Eye of Terror.
- Dawn's Wolves - Following the end of the Horus Heresy, the Lord Commander of the Imperium, Ultramarines' Primarch Roboute Guilliman, charged the rogue Archmagos Belisarius Cawl, to carry out his ultimate contingency plan - the creation of the Primaris Space Marines - to one day emerge when the Imperium faced it's darkest hour. The Dawn's Wolves were one such Chapter. 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. The as-yet unnamed 'Dawn's Wolves', were newly awakened Primaris Space Marines created from the genome of the feral Leman Russ. They fought amongst the ranks of the Unnumbered Sons - the formations of Primaris Space Marines created from a mixture of all nine of the Loyalist Primarch's gene-lines. They took part in several campaigns of the Indomitus Crusade, fighting alongside both the Crimson Prowlers and Dusk Howlers. Following the end of the Indomitus Crusade sometime in the second century of the 42nd Millennium, they incorporated those Unnumbered Sons from the lineage of Russ, who now made up the newly created Chapter of the Dawn's Wolves, and invited them to become a part of their unofficial collective, known as the 'Sons of Russ', and to help stand eternal vigil over the worlds 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 the same temperament and 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 occasionally emerge from the hellish realms of the massive warp rift, known as the Eye of Terror.
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Notable Dusk Howlers
- Hróðvitnir (Gloriana-class Battleship) - This recently forged and mighty flagship of the Dusk Howlers Chapter is based upon the ancient Great Crusade-era capital ship design, one of many such classes of warship, recently commissioned for construction by the newly returned Primarch Roboute Guilliman to take part in the Indomitus Crusade. This massive battleship is nearly twenty-six kilometres in length, possessing an incredible array of firepower which allows it to single-handedly batter entire fleets or recalcitrant planets into submission. The armour of this vessel is incredibly thick and protected by overlapping void shields which allows them to absorb stupendous amounts of damage. With the recent fall of Cadia and the formation of the Great Rift, never has there been a dire need for such mighty vessels, to take the fight to the myriad enemies that assail the Imperium of Man from all corners of the galaxy. Granted to the Dusk Howlers following their inception, they were tasked to carry out their wrath against the Forces of Chaos and various xenos threats. Serving as the newly commissioned flagship of their substantial warfleet, the Dusk Howlers now eagerly take the fight to the enemy, bringing their unfettered wrath down upon the daemonic, heretic, apostate and the xenos.
- Blóðughófi ('Bloody Hoof', Capital Ship, Unknown Class)
- Einvigi (Capital Ship, Unknown Class Battleship)
- Jótunagandr ('Monster of Jótun', Capital Ship, Unknown Class)
- Ragnarøkkr ('The Doom of the Gods', Unknown Class Battleship)
- Valdrklær ('Wolfclaws', Unknown Class Battleship)
- Kaerisúlfr ('Wolf of Kaeriol', Battle-Barge)
- Rjóðr Muðr ('Red Maw', Battle-Barge)
- Svartrmǫn ('Blackmane', Strike Cruiser)
- Vargrbani ('Wolfbane', Strike Cruiser)
- Adjarr - Blood.
- Æsir - Gods or spirits.
- Aett - Clan hold, hearth or den.
- Annelsa - Foreboding.
- Anzviti - Gunship.
- Banisvatr - A Hrímgardian term that mean 'Black Death' or the 'Black Cull', that refers to those individual warriors who seek a glorious death in battle against the mightiest foes and to attain glory in the name of their slain kinsmen, thereby regaining their lost honour for the 'sin' of survival.
- Blóð Móðr - A Hrímgardian term that means 'blood rage', this is when a warrior enters an enhanced state, and stirs themselves up to such rage and madness that they will boldly attack any foe without being hampered by thoughts of their own or others' safety. This term is used by the Dusk Howlers when referring to those Astartes (Úlfheðnar) who are overcome by the blóð móðr, especially when fighting against the Forces of Chaos.
- Domra - Doom.
- Drakk - Drake.
- Drakkar - A longship smaller than a knorr, usually used for raiding or piracy.
- Einherjar - In Hrímgardian myth, the spirits of the slain warriors who reside within the long-hall of the All-Father, awaiting the day they will fight at Ragnarøkkr. This term is commonly used to refer to those who are selected to join the 'Sky-Warriors', to fight on behalf of the All-Father. They are the blood-sworn, a general reference to the warriors of Russ.
- Einvigi - Unlimited personal combat, a duel to the death with no restrictions.
- Fara tíl Hel, svikari! - Go to hell, traitor!
- Fekke - A Hrímgardian curse that means 'Fuck'.
- Fengr - The wolf within.
- Gann - Death; the Rune of Death.
- Gmorl - Fate; the Rune of Fate.
- Gothi - On Hrímgard, this is a shaman or medicine man. An informal title for an Æther Seer.
- Goði - The closest Suthman equivalent to a jarl. Goði have certain rights and responsibilities in Hrímgard's southern continent, acting as patrons to smallholders, but are not nobles as the wider Imperium would understand them.
- Heidur Rus! - Battle cry.
- Hel - In Hrímgardian culture, Hel is the Goddess of Death and the underworld. She epitomises the aspect of evil itself (Chaos Undivided), and often appears in one of her four aspects (lust, wrath, plague and transformation). This term is utilised by the Dusk Howlers when referring to Chaos or Chaos Undivided.
- Hersir - A veteran, core soldier of the Hrímgardian clans.
- Hirð - The boon-companions of a lord. They eat at his table, sleep in his hall, take his gifts of weapons, armor and wealth, and derive their positions from him. So long as he can feast and gift them, they must stand beside hi1n to the death, both on and off the field of battle. A term commonly used amongst the Dusk Howlers when referring to members of their Chapter's elite Hearth Guard.
- Hiljah kah uhtganjen mev tarvahettan. – Greet the end with courage.
- Hjá – Exclamation of triumph and greeting.
- Hjarz – The Ice-rune.
- Hjolda - Hail.
- Hjammar - A hammer.
- Holmgang - A highly stylized ritual that can be described as either a duel or a trial by combat, depending on your point of view. Combatants exchange sword or axe blows until one is unable to continue.
- Hrímgard Faerir Mord - Battle-cry. Unknown meaning.
- Hrímgard Hjølda! - Hrímgard endures/persists/survives/resists!
- Huskaerls - Officers of the Chapter's armed serfs.
- Huskarl - A member of the hirð, a warrior who makes the bargain of mead and glory for loyal service to a lord. Amongst the elite members of the Hearth Guard, this term is used when referring to a Veteran Sergeant.
- Jarl - A noble of unspecified holdings, usually between those of a landed knight and a baron or earl. Unlike a huskarl, a jarl does not derive his position from his lord, but from his hereditary holdings. While there were formal differences, the mark of a jarl was the ability to keep a hall and men, and the line between jarl and freeholder was often blurry. This term is used by the Dusk Howlers when referring to anyone of a leadership position, usually a Wolf Lord (Space Marine Captain equivalent rank). High Wolf and Packmaster are other alternate titles.
- Juvjk - Hearth-cant or casual spoken Low Gothic language of the Space Wolves when not in battle.
- Juvykka – Native dialect of Low Gothic language of the Hrímgardian tribes.
- Kaerls - Armed Chapter Serfs.
- Kjaalhalla – Realm of ghosts who fight for the glory of Leman Russ.
- Knorr - A longship larger than a drakkar, usually used for trade.
- Koldt - Cold.
- Lanx - Drinking bowl.
- Maleficarum - Bad spirits or daemons. Also means bad luck or a bad omen.
- Mijagge Kovness An? – May I enter?
- Mjod - Hrímgardian mead.
- Morkai - In Hrímgardian mythology the Deathwolf, the giant two-headed wolf guardian of the gates of the underworld.
- Øjor Hjøld – Oath of acceptance.
- Øjor va Russ! Leman Russ! - Glory to Russ! Leman Russ!
- Oververse – Realm of the living.
- Ragnarøkkr - The 'End-Times' or the 'Fate of the All-Father', when a long foretold series of future events, including a great battle between the Forces of Order against the Forces of Chaos, foretold to ultimately result in the death of the universe.
- Rhozan – Rune to ward against Maleficarum.
- Riven - A unit of Kaerls (500 personnel).
- Rivenmaster - A mortal Captain of a military unit.
- Rjalka - Maw.
- Russvangam – Hrímgardian battle-cry.
- Sálskjoldur – Soul-ward.
- Sammekull – Summons.
- Sava gudt, hell'ten – A benediction for a hero to rest in peace.
- Seax - Knife.
- Sfar – Rune to ward against Maleficarum.
- Sforja – Hrímgardian rune.
- Skemmdarvargur – Word of power used in the summoning of the Jaws of the World Wolf.
- Skjald - Storyteller, bard, keeper of the sagas.
- Skjaldmær - Known as 'Shieldmaidens', these fierce female warriors fight alongside the men in battle with shield, sword, axe and spear.
- Skjoldtar - Heavy, armour-piercing solid shot weapons favored by the Chapter's armed serfs.
- Sklja Odda? - How many?
- Skira Vordrotta - Translated roughly as 'System Kill', the term means total war or total annihilation.
- Skíthof – Hrímgardian curse for 'shithead'.
- Skítja – Hrímgardian curse for 'shit'.
- Skitnah - Dirty, foul, tainted.
- Skjoldtar - A Hrímgardian firearm with great punch.
- Skulbrotsjór – Skullhewer.
- Stormurstjórn – Stormcaller.
- Svellbrandr – Fangsword of the Ice Wolf.
- Sverdhjera – Blademaster.
- Thegn - The lesser partner in the Hrímgardian equivalent of a feudal contract. A king's jarls are his thegns. Thegn or Thane is a title for Pack Leaders of the Chapter holding the equivalent rank of Sergeant.
- Thing - (Pronounced ting), a thing was a local assembly of district, known as a thingstead, the thing manages affairs of justice and various other issues of local interest.
- Thralls - Chapter Serfs.
- Trysk – Ice; the Rune of Ice.
- Turza – Hrímgardian rune of destruction.
- Underverse - Afterlife (usually referred to in a bleak sense)
- Uppland - Afterlife (usually referred to in a positive sense)
- Vaerangi – Known as the Hearth Guard these are the elite veterans of the Chapter who serve as the Great Wolf's bodyguard, advisors and boon companions.
- Valdelnagh – A misunderstanding.
- Vlka - Warband of a tribe.
- Volda - The world.
- Úlfheðnar - A Hrímgardian term when referring to those warriors who fight in an uncontrollable, trance-like fury, who fight without their mailcoats and are as mad as hounds or wolves. They are known to spit and froth at the mouths and bite their shields, slaying men by the score. It is said that neither fire nor iron has any effect upon them. This term is used by the Dusk Howlers when referring to those Astartes who are overcome by the blóð móðr (or 'blood rage') and enter an enhanced state, stirring themselves up to such rage and madness that they will boldly attack any foe with suck bloodthirstiness and savagery without being hampered by thoughts of their own or others' safety.
- Útlægr - Known as 'The Outlawed', these criminals are beyond the law. A punishment for certain serious crimes. A útlægr has no right to wergild if slain, and his killer need not announce the deed.
- Vargr - Hrímgardian for 'wolf', this term is often used when referring to outlaws and bandits, as well as more mundane wolves. This term is used by the Dusk Howlers when referring to corsairs or pirates.
- Wargeld - Loot taken from battle or conquest.
- Wendól - The Wendól or 'Twisted Ones' are evil spirits given physical form. This is a term utilised by the Dusk Howlers when referring to the Daemonic servants of Chaos.
- Wergild - The amount of compensation paid by a person committing an offense to the injured party or, in case of death, to his family.
- Wight - Corpse.
- Wurgen - War-cant or battle language of Hrímgard.
- Wyrd - An individual's fate.
- Wyrm - Dragon.
- Zhaz - Rune to ward against Maleficarum.
- Onn - One.
- Twa - Two.
- Tra - Three.
- For - Four.
- Fyf - Five.
- Sesc - Six.
- Sepp - Seven.
- For-twa - Eight.
- Tra-tra - Nine.
- Dekk - Ten.
- Elleve - Eleven.
- Tolv – Twelve.
By the Dusk Howlers
Feel free to add your own
- "Be slow to anger and deliberate of action. However, when moved to violence, strike hard and win at all costs."
- — Grey Slayer Jørin Nighthowl, giving advice to a Pack of Blooded Claws before battle
- "Though they appear congenial and friendly to outsiders, make no mistake..the beast inside is merely sleeping, not dead."
- — Atr. Grey Slayer Fafnír Jørmungand, For-twa (8th Great Company), giving his personal insights on his fellow warriors of the Dawn's Wolves
- "Only a coward waits to be taken like a lamb from the fold or a fox from a trap. Fear not death! For the hour of your doom is set and none may escape it."
- — Claw Leader Ranulf Blackclaw, of Tra (3rd Great Company), speaking to a frightened platoon of surviving Astra Militarum troopers during the Siege of Greyfell.
- "No one is a total fool if he knows 'when' to hold his tongue."
- — Thegn Hrafnkel Blackthorn's advice to an impetuous Blooded Claw.
About the Dusk Howlers
Feel free to add your own
- "The warriors of the Dusk Howlers are one of the noblest Chapters that I can speak of. Their fearlessness and duty in battle always makes me envy them."
- — Imar Doon, 'Ten-Bears', Captain of the Bears of the Claw Chapter's 3rd Sleuth, 'Ursa Guard'
- "They are loath to trust and quick to vengeance. Good. Only in the Emperor can we trust. Not in men, not in the lords of Terra, not even in Roboute Guilliman. Only the Emperor is truth. All else is clouded with obscurity and doubt."
- — Lord of Knives, Chapter Master of the Obsidian Blades
- "Hmmm...More reserved than their elder cousins. Pity."
- — Eulitus Ephrain, Chapter Master of the Wings of Salvaxes
- "You think you have overcome your curse? Your...defect? Others thought they had overcome their burdens too - the Lamenters, the Templars, the Thousand Sons. There is always a cost, little wolfling, and all pay the Gods due in the end."
- "Newborn young of vicious seed, bloodied sons in direst need. Gone they think their sins to be, but hidden within, they will soon see. Bargains struck and deals made, their future balanced, on heresy's blade."
- — Unknown Mortarchs Serpentia Astartes.
- "We speak well of the Sons of Russ, for they too are borne of the Emperor's Thunder, and bring His light to the stars beyond. Still, their barbarity and lack of discipline is unbecoming, for while it may make one a fine tavern brawler, such boorish behavior is ill-suited for a soldier of an Astartes' status."
- — Khan Gazryn Khamt of the Storm Riders, 4th Brotherhood
- "They may be even less subtle than an Ork, but when you really need an enemy to be broken, you'll be hard pressed to find better warriors. "
- — Common saying among the Dawn's Wolves Dawn Fangs