- "That you failed to uphold the duties belonging to any citizen of the Imperium is a fact. That such failure came from your weaknesses is a fact. That your failure call a punishment is a fact. That such punishment can only be your death is a fact. "
- —2nd Captain Alvar Hagström before the Purge of LXZ-328; 987 M.41
The Sons of Iron Chapter is a 26th Founding Successor Chapter of the Iron Hands. Hailing from the perilous world of Suami, the Sons have begun to gain a reputation, among the kin of Ferrus Manus, as an effective Chapter, whose sole and yet infamous stain is their beliefs tantamount to heresy in the eyes of the Iron Hands and many of their successors, while the Imperium at large consider them as a cold and unforgiving gathering of devoted Space Marines, exemplifying the better traits from their Progenitor without the strained relationships which are often the lot of Ferrus Manus lineage. Like all those who bear the Seed of Manus, they feel the drive to replace their flesh with bionics, but try to resist it, a strain which adds to their already grim demeanour.
Centuries before the 26th Foundation, the High Lords of Terra gathered to discuss the necessity to strengthen the borders of the Imperium thanks to new Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Although the High Lords were guided by the divine will of the Emperor, the question of the gene-seed which would be used to create the new Chapters was problematic, for the intentions of the God of Mankind were unclear at the beginning. Only after decades of discussions did the Tarot of the Emperor began to reveal the choices necessary for the future protection of the Emperor. Among those revelations, was the necessity to attach a Chapter using the Iron Hand's gene-seed on the ravaged world of Suami, in the south-western corner of the Ultima Segmentum. One of the most common informations, reappearing countless time was the short poem :
"And the Lord of tempest will awaken,
At his side, his armies of undefeated Forgotten;
The sons of the Hand of Iron will stand against him,
And Mankind's Rampart won't fall at his whim;
The terrors of the past, broken by the Sons of iron,
born out of steel's rejection"
However, those choices created some tensions, for the representative of the Mechanicus saw in the use of Ferrus Manus gene-seed in a new Chapter the mean to strengthen their ties with the Iron Hands and other successors Chapters. To the contrary, the Ecclesiarch and the Inquisitorial Legate tried to fight the Mechanicus influence and managed to obtain that the new Chapter, codenamed Chapter number 956, would follow the Codex Astartes and thus possess Chaplains and Techmarines with separated roles, instead of Iron Fathers. After decades of discussions on this point and hundred of others concerning all the Chapters from the Foundation, the preparations were finally launched, the forges of the Mechanicum crafting the weapons, armours and equipment for the future Chapters.
The Iron Hand's Chapter was thus contacted so he could grant to the Chapter n°956 its first cadre of superior officers. All of them were recruited in the Sorrgol Clan from the Iron Hands, as a mean to insure that the possibilities of future division in Clans instead of Companies in the still unborn Chapter would be kept minimals. Among the selected officers were Clan Commander Kardan Rauth, designated to be the future Chapter Master, Techmarine Arven Stronos, promoted Master of the Forge, Archivist Comech Tallumen who was nominated at the position of Master Archivist, and sergeant Dozeph Santor who became a Chaplain, becoming the de facto Master of the Faith for the nascent Chapter. The selected Iron Hands were trained to insure their capacity to rule the Chapter 956; in 738M.41, when the Foundation was made official, the Iron Hands left Medusa to Suami so they would begin the recruitment. The officers then gathered and named their Chapter the Sons of Iron.
From this day, their Chapter's Symbol remained unchanged, a stylized black spear with a double cross-guard, whose pommel encase a black skull.
The early years of the Chapter where tumultuous, to say the least. The recruits from Suami proved headstrong and abrasive, refusing to compromise their beliefs, brought from more than ten thousands years of devotions to the Emperor and the Parchment of Neimerel. The former Iron Hands commanding them were left with a cruel dilemma, either purge the first recruits to replace them with new ones under a stricter psycho-conditioning, or accept at least some of their beliefs. It was the fact that Kardan Rauth himself saw the killing of the first aspirants as both a bad omen and, more importantly, a waste of resources for the Chapter which spared their lives.
During the twenty years that the Chapter spent building itself, it mainly partook in small raids against smugglers and pirates of low importance in the sector, as to train its new warriors and to cement the relations between the former Iron Hands and the Suami. However, the difficulties persisted until the time that Dozeph Santor truly converted himself to the beliefs of the Suami, and managed to convince most of the upper echelons of the Chapter to do so. The armours of the Chapter were then painted anew and the Sons of Iron were truly born.
Current state of the Chapter
The Sons of Iron strength has recently been tested and it has failed them. Indeed, the very last massive operation they took part in, the Clash of Iron (995-999.m41) saw the 2nd Company suffer atrocious losses against the mechanical cohorts of the Pirate-Lord Thaszar the Invincible, from the Sarnekh Dynasty of the Necrons. Fifty-eight members of the Chapter were killed, the worlds they were tasked to protect striped of their citizens and resources by the xenos. Most terrible of all was the loss of Tuali, an agri-world were all the citizens were killed for having refused to bend the knee before their mechanical invaders. It was on this world that 24 of the Astartes died in vain.
This sounding defeat is a stark contrast with the Purge of Tainted Steel, which saw the Chapter as a whole waging a war of extermination against the Necron Dynasty of the Atunkar, with the help of various Chapters, millions of Guardsmen and even Deathwatch kill teams, from the awakening of the Dynasty in 788.m41 to its final destruction in 813.m41 when the last crypt was destroyed on the Dead-World of Thanos VI.
As of today, the Chapter is trying to replenish, having vowed for the first time an Oath of Eternal Hatred against the Sarnek Dynasty. It is almost certain than in the future, the Chapter will gather to hunt down those specific Necrons.
The Return of Roboute Guilliman
- "Your answer breaks my soul, Lord Guilliman. And yet, it gives me some form of hope. I shall return to Suami and protect this region of the Imperium against all odds. Ave Imperator!"
The return of Guilliman, while hailed as a glorious time for the Imperium has brought despair to the Sons of Iron. Kardan Rauth himself chose to travel to Terra to speak with the Primarch. Once he had reached Terra, the Chapter Master from Suami petitioned for an audience with Guilliman. After weeks of waiting, his wish was granted. In the most sacred halls of the Imperial Palace, under the unflinching gaze of Custodians and Maccrage's Honor Guards, Rauth knelt and dared to ask but two questions to the Brother of Ferrus Manus: Was the Gorgon the author of the Parchment of Neimeriel? And was he alive as his Brother ?
To the first question, presented with a copy from the Parchment, Guilliman answered that it was indeed his Brother's thoughts which had been written down, or at least thought he had during a period of time. At this, Rauth's hearts pumped blood faster, for he knew that he was doing his Father's work in resisting against his urges to replace flesh by metal. But the answer to the second question almost broke the Inflexible. The Gorgon was dead, killed on Istvaan V and nothing could bring him back from his final rest. This devastated Rauth and he knew that his Brothers would be too. Still, to lie to them would have been weakness.
Departing Terra after this encounter with Guilliman, Rauth was caught in the creation of the Cicatrix Maledictum. His vessel was almost destroyed by the waves of the Empyrean but it still managed to reach Suami, a mere two days after his initial departure. Temporal anomalies were wreaking havoc in the whole Ougrean Rift, some planets almost stuck in a phasic field, while other were experimenting decades as hours went by on Suami. Even in those desperate times, the Inflexible broke the truth to his Chapter. The Sons of Iron were devastated, their hope dashed, but in that time of despair, Kardan Rauth found the words to reignite their spirits.
- "Are we so weak that we need a reward for our devotion to Ferrus Manus' wisdom ? Are we so feeble that we cannot endure the truth ? Are we sons of flesh or of Iron? Now, rise Brothers, for we have an Imperium to defend!"
- — Kardan Rauth to the whole Chapter of the Sons of Iron on Suami
Since the return of their Chapter Master, the Sons of Iron have learned of the Primaris Founding, and while they were both circumspect and strangely proud of being part of a Founding which wasn't the last one, they did not let this stop their efforts. Planets after planets in the Ougrean Rifts and beyond have been defended, purged or reinforced by the Sons of Iron. And with the coming of a full Company of Primaris Astartes to bolster their strength, the Space Marines of Suami are ever more willing to protect the Imperium.
- The Campaign of the Grimfield Sector (758.M41) : In their first campaign of great magnitude and the one which finally cements the relations between the former Iron Hands and their new brothers, the First, Second and Third Companies join together to destroy the numerous pirates and xenos infesting the Grimfield Sector, situated in an unconquered portion of space lying at the south-west of Suami. The first Master of the Faith, Santor, push his brothers to an ever greater dedication and in less than one year, Imperial compliance has been brought to this dark corner of the Galaxy.
- The Lion's Encounter (783.M41) : The Sons of Iron, while pursuing Chaos cultists encounter the White Lions. The ancient Chapter quickly earns their respect, despite its many traditions which seem alien to the sons of the Gorgon. To this day, the two Chapters remain allies, despite some glaring differences in their modus operandi and behaviour.
- The Thunderstorm on Valian II (783-787.M41) : The Sons of Iron answer a call for help from the agri-world of Valian II, near their Suami's homeworld. There, they discover this world infested by greenskins. Facing a world nearly beyond redemption, the then Captain of the 5th Company, Yaren Oldrak chooses to bombard the planet. For three days, the massive concentrations of Orks suffer under heavy fire. At the morning of the fourth day, the Fifth Company launch a deadly attack against the Warboss fortress, using their Drop Pods en masse. It is the first use of their renowned battle tactic when launching a campaign. The remaining four years are used to totally eradicate the Orks from Valian.
- The Purge of Tainted Steel (788.M41-813.M41) : A Necron Dynasty awakes in the systems near Suami. On the Chapter world itself, ancient tombs systems are reactivated and cohorts of machines never seen before emerge to attack the humans. Kardan Rauth leads a vicious counter-offensive on his world and once it is squashed, summons all the Chapter and send a call to arms to all Imperial Forces able to send troops. The Crusade then begins to attack the Atunkar armies. The need to discover ambushed forces leads to the creation of the unsanctioned Auspex Voidshadow. After twenty five long years, the Purge of Tainted Steel comes to an end when the Iron Sergeant Alvar Hagström kill the Phaeron by using his own weapon against him. Their last world, the Dead-World of Thanos VI being annihilated at last, only token forces of the Atunkar manage to flee the fury of the Imperium.
- The Unmarked War (837.M41) : During the Enlightenment of Freygia the Sons of Iron answer a request from the Ordo Hereticus to help with the purge of the Freygia system, overwhelmed by Witch Cults. In mere months, all resistance is squashed, but the fanatical and more importantly religious zeal displayed by the Sisters of Battle and the Inquisitors greatly displeases the Fifth Captain Vahanen and the Eighth Captain Taavetti Ollanketo. They know better than to voice their feelings, but despite the applause they have won with their behaviour, they leave the system immediatly after the last battles have been fought. Since that day, the Unmarked War is seen with a sense of shame from the ones who took part in it and set a precedent for any and all joint intervention between the Brothers and the Witch Hunters.
- The Containment (870.M41-900.M41) : Hordes of pirates, xenos and other scoundrels flee towards the centre of the Galaxy and try to enter Imperial Space. The Sons of Iron mount a defense which ensures that most of the ill-equipped and out-gunned invaders are repelled, even if many a spaceship manages to slip through their net. During those thirty years, the Reserve Companies spent most of their time fighting, insuring a great deal of experience to their recruits. In the same time, many a battle-brother in the Battle Companies is dispatched to the Deathwatch. The massive exodus cease as suddenly as it has begun. Scouting forces from the Sons of Iron enter the regions of space emptied by their inhabitants. There, they discover only barren worlds, still reeling from massive destruction. Some seem to have been destroyed by means of weapons but others have even lost their atmosphere and all biomass. The Chapter assumes that some unknown xeno threat destroyed the worlds and returns to its routine of protecting the Imperium.
- The Clash of Iron (995.M41-999.M41) : Answering calls of distress, the 2nd Company, led by Alvar Hagström, gathers its full might and launches an attack against the troops of the Sarnekh Dynasty. This brutal campaign is mostly fought by the forces of the 2nd Company and millions of guardsmen, as the Imperium can't afford to throw more armies into this war. The clashes are heated but remain in the advantage of the Imperium for most of the four years of battle. However, in the last six months, the Pirate-King Thaszar the Invincible dedicated the full force of his armies to the war. On the mining world of Enosch XIX, 16 battle-brothers and the First and Second Chaplain meet their end at the hands of whole squadrons of Necron Destroyers. Their bodies are retrieved, but most of their gene-seed has been destroyed by the enemies' weapon. On the agri-world of Tuali, 24 more Brothers are killed but their bodies are brought to the starship of the Company relatively intact, which brings the total death toll of this campaign to an astounding 58 Marines killed in action; the highest ever suffered by one Company since the Sons Founding. Mere hours after their evacuation, the Invincible reduce Tuali to ashes.
Having been founded in extremely recent years, comparatively to the Astartes and Imperium history, the Sons of Iron organization is almost totally Codex, with well defined roles for each Company and ranks inside said Companies. The principal differences compared to more traditional Chapters but also with the Iron Hands from whom they have been created is the existence of Chaplains and Techmarines (called Iron Remembrancers) who share their spiritual role, the Chaplains preaching the Chapter's beliefs while the Iron Remembrancers exalt their brothers' hatred toward their foes and the disappearance of the Primarch. Such organization is an obvious legacy from the Iron Hands, despite the heavy influence of the High Lords of Terra wishes and Suami traditions.Such importance for the Chaplains and Iron Remembrancers explains why the Apothecaries and Archivists don't posses a preponderant role in the Chapter.
The Chaplains themselves are a particularity compared to those from other Chapters, in different ways; the most obvious being that their armours aren't dyed black, but in a blue-grey colour, a difference explained by the Suami's culture which influenced the Chapter, and their great number, since each Company posses three full fledged Chaplains, hierarchically organized as First, Second and Third Chaplains, all under the Master of the Faith, one of most important figure in the Chapter; while there is at least two Iron Remembrancers in each Company.
Another particular trait among the Sons of Iron is the High Strategic Council, created during the last hundred years, another legacy from the Iron Hands, since the HSC is created to balance the Chapter Master's powers and prevent one to ever damn the entire Chapter. The HSC is composed of the ten Captains, the ten First Chaplains, the Chapter Master and the Master of the Faith, who all can vote to make decisions (while the Iron Remembrancers, the Master of the Forge, the Archivists and Apothecaries can't vote, they obviously have influence over the representatives from their own Companies). Among the many duties that belong to the HSC is the choice of the new Chapter Master when the previous one dies, something that hasn't happened yet.
Finally, the last difference with the Codex Astartes is the rank of Iron Sergeant, bestowed upon the sergeant from the first squad in each Company, which is designated as the putative heir from his Captain, should the latter fall.
(Tentative, bound to change when we learn more about them)
While the return of Guilliman has brought a great deal of turmoil for the Sons of Iron, the arrival of the Primaris Space Marines has been hailed unanimously as a miraculous gift. With the Imperium shattered and besieged has never before, the Sons of Iron had found themselves besets on all sides and would not have endured if not for the timely arrival of a full Company of Primaris Marines wearing unpainted armors to Suami, aboard the newly crafted Battle-Barge Honour of Suami.
Those warriors were a part of those sent by Guilliman to replenish losses suffered by conventional Chapters, and specifically the Sons of Iron, for the Lord Commander had learnt of the Clash of Iron and it costs for the Astartes of Suami. When the news of the new Founding had reached their ears, the Sons had feared that they would be made irrelevant, but this gift has bolstered their moral. The Primaris have been mostly affected to the 2nd Company of Alvar Hagström, but the First, Fifth and Eight Company also received reinforcements from those newly arrived Brothers.
The coming of the Primaris had been followed by intense scrutiny and an initial period of distrust, for those warriors had been born in tubes and had not endured the harsh life of the Suami-borns. This period was not to last longer than a few months for, when the A.I. of Suami rose anew after decades of relative peace, the Primaris joined the fray eagerly, wishing to prove their worth to their elder Brothers. Led by Sergeant Urallio Telsius, they demonstrated their usefulness on the battlefield and were quickly welcomed. Only the survivors of the Clash of Iron have voiced their disdain for the new Marines, mainly because they feel that replacing their fallen Brothers by those upstarts is insulting to their memory. The Captain and the officers of the 2nd Company have taken harsh measures to silence those insults, but the Primaris of the 2nd will have to prove their worth in the heat of true war before they are accepted as equals by their comrades.
To the stupor of the normal Astartes of the Chapter, the Sons of Iron's Primaris have proven to be extremely respectful and even awed by their elder brothers accomplishment, a behavior the Sons of Iron are known to have reserved to vaunted Chapter of most ancient Founding, among which those of the Ironclad Brotherhood. This behavior has pushed the officers of the Chapter to even greater length of devotion, especially the Fifth captain. While the Sons of Iron do not wish to see their original gene-seed be replaced by those of their Primaris brothers, the number of the latter is bound to grow in the decades to come, should the Chapter endure this time of troubles.
- "The drive to replace our flesh by the durability of steel is a part of us, and it is a weakness that all of us must overcome. Remember it, my young Brother : not trying to get ride of your weaknesses is the greatest sin that you can commit, for it is the way to failure and betrayal."
- —Aleksanteri Madetoja, Master of the Faith.
The Sons of Iron culture is a strange amalgamation of both the Iron Hands traditions and the Suami beliefs, leading to the difficult first years that the Chapter underwent, when it seemed that neither the Meduseans nor the Suami among them would ever manage to work as one. Thankfully for the Chapter, the conversion of the Chapter Master and most of the former Iron Hands allowed the end of this troubled era.
From their father Chapter, but also the very traditions of Suami, the Sons of Iron inherited a great hatred toward weakness of any kind, with a particular disgust for mental weaknesses. This explain why they particularly loath heretics and traitors, believing them to be so weak of mind that they failed to shoulder the actions necessary to the protection of the Imperium and Mankind itself. However, this loath of mental weakness is also directed inward, for the Sons of Iron suffer, like all the Chapters hailing from Ferrus Manus gene-seed, a need to replace their biological body parts with bionic Such a need is seen as a great and shameful weakness, because of the Suami history of vicious wars against intelligent robots and the teachings contained in the Parchment of Neimerel, the most sacred text of the Chapter, said to have been written by the Primarch himself, where he exposed that his hands weren't his own.
Therefore, the Sons of Iron believe that their Primarch's hands were tainted by Necron technology, and that the Parchment, signalling the wishes of Ferrus to put an end to the ever growing tendency in his own Legion to replace their limbs with bionics, his the sole guide explaining how to secure the return of the Primarch. Indeed, the Sons of Iron believe that Ferrus Manus is still alive, for during the Istvaan V Massacre, he understood the taint on his hands, rejected it and temporally achieved a state of power so great that even the Archeretic Horus fled before him. Alas, Ferrus was separated from his Sons and barely managed to flee the world. The Sons of Iron believe that the Gorgon is still alive, somewhere in the Galaxy, trying to remove the Necron's taint on his hands once and for all, however, such a monumental task can be achieved only with the destruction of all the Necrons and the enlightenment of at least some of his sons.
That's why, the Sons of Iron swore to purge the Galaxy of the Necron and to resist their drive for bionics use. Despite such oath, the use of bionics is higher than average among the Chapter, for the Chaplains claim that, by replacing their flesh with metal, they can achieve a state not unlike the one felt by their Primarch during the Great Crusade, when he wrote the Parchment of Neimerel. Therefore, it is far from uncommon to see a Son of Iron in prayer, trying to connect to the Gorgon thanks to his bionic. In fact, their Archivists claim that by doing so, they are able to reach their Primarch's mind and then receive his instruction to achieve their purification. Another practice among the Chapter is the replacement of half the skull and one eye of every brother achieving the rank of Sergeant or above, usually the right part of the skull, as a mean to prove their devotion to their Primarch, the Emperor and the Imperium as a whole.
The traditions of Suami interfered greatly with the Chapter's formative years, especially during the 20 first years of its existence. During this time, the Sons of Iron livery bore a lot of similitude with the Iron Hand's, for the armour was clad in black, except for the shoulder-pads, left arm and left knee which had the colour of iron, and the right knee which was painted in a very dark metallic colour. However, on Suami, the black is either the colour of the robotic armies or the colour of exile and loneliness; therefore, the brothers from Suami rejected this livery. It was only when the former Iron Hands converted to the Parchment of Neimerel and the creed it had induced among their Suami's brothers than the livery was changed, 20 years after the Foundation, the armours repainted to the actual colours, the bone white representing Death and Purity among the Suami, while the icy blue is a reminder of the almost ever present toxics clouds in the skies of their homeworld. However, the Sons joining the Deathwatch accept willingly to paint their armour black, and the Champions of Companies and Chapter retain some part of the original livery : their shoulder-pads and right arms are still painted in iron.
Another change brought to the traditional Iron Hands behaviour is the greater leniency during the purges. Even if the Sons of Iron are still far from the Salamanders or Space Wolves behaviours, the Astartes from Suami refuse to "waste the most precious resource of the Imperium", its citizens, in illogical purges. This is why the Sons of Iron almost never kill people under the age of 12 during their purges, instead transmitting them to Schola Progenium or manufactures to be educated or used. For the Sons of Iron, the Astartes must not rule above the normal humans, nor even judge them, for their role is only to keep Mankind pure of mind and body. Only those whose failure is so abject and blatant that they can't ever hope to hide it or be redeemed are the subjects of their wrath, of so their claims. But they have a tendency to see failure and abject weakness quite broadly.
The Sons are also known for their distaste of mechanical warfare, preferring to resort to their own flesh and blood to defeat their enemies. They see tanks and Knights as nothing more than lashes tying them down in the course of their duties. This blatant difference with the rest of their kin stems from the aversion that the people of Suami have to any machine which can move "on its own". Despite the best efforts of technopriests and Iron Remembrancers alike, the natives still see vehicles as potential weapons or even infiltrators serving the robots.
Finally, the most well known tradition among the brothers is the Tiring of Metal, a trial underwent by any Brother seeking to achieve an higher rank; who must eschew his armours, arms and equipment and then face one of the eleven robotic armies roaming on Suami during one month; such ritual must be underwent once to achieve the rank of Sergeant, three times for the Iron Sergeant's rank and no less then eleven times for any rank of Officer, facing each Tytöt only once in the process.
Because of their cultural beliefs, the Sons of Iron eschew the use of tanks, save for the most direst moment, when every weapon and tool must be used to achieve success in a campaign. Such tendencies led naturally to the heavy use of Devastator, Centurions and Thunderfire Cannons, even if the Whirlwinds are the most common tanks used by the Chapter. The Sons also rely a lot on their orbital assault, which are known for their brutality and used to create an opening where their forces can land, unleash the full fury of their fire-power on the enemy's most vital locations and then advance with an unrelenting and cold fury until the end of the campaign.
Their unyielding resolve, combined with their mastery of firearms explain why the Sons of Iron appreciate urban warfare, their troops manoeuvring to suppress all opposition without resorting to the most obvious ways of communications, using instead the houses, buildings and roofs to travel in the city. Because of their tactics, the 1st Company is mainly comprised of Sternguard Veterans, reputed for their mastery with their bolter, flame-thrower, meltagun and other plasma guns. The Chapter obviously posses Vanguard Veterans, but only in a handful, and they are commonly used as reinforcement striking at the enemies who attempt to kill the Sternguards.
Because of its youth, the Chapter doesn't posses more than five Terminator's armours in the 1st Company, but their users are seen as the epitome of the Sons of Ferrus Manus : unrelenting masses of cold hatred, bitter fury and unwavering resolve, devoted to their Primarch and the Emperor above him.
The Son of Iron Chapter is also known for it's lack of warcry, instead resorting to permanent, almost inaudible, whispers of hatred heard on the enemies communications lines. However, such calm, even cold behaviour can disappear when, just like their Iron Hands forefathers, the Sons of Iron let loose their hatred and anger, becoming truly enraged Angel of Death, whose determination achieve even greater degrees; during those times, the Astartes use a wide variety of warcries.
Chapter unique equipment and Relics
The Grim Destiny is the Chapter's most famous trophy : a two-handed Necron scythe which belonged to the Phaeron Uzdrek of the Atunkar Dynasty, who was killed beyond any hope of repairs at the end of the Purge of the Tainted Steel, when the Iron Sergeant Alvar Hagström managed to to use his own scythe to finally kill him. The scythe was rechristened, after months of debates, by the Master of the Forge Stronos and no less than three Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos, with one of them being the Lord Inquisitor Rashid al-Muhabid. The scythe was covered in seals of purity and the Aquila was etched in the metal of the blade.
Since that time, the 2nd Captain wore Grim Destiny in all his battles, for the scythe is not bound by the common laws of the material universe, always ignoring the armours of its targets and apparently improving the strength of its wielder, a capacity which is invaluable when unavoidable close-quarter combats erupts. When not deployed on a battlefront, the 2nd Captain let Grim Destiny rest in the Recclusiam of the Chapter, in its Fortress-Monestary.
This powerful Thunder-hammer is the weapon wielded by the current and First Chapter Master from the Sons of Iron. If finally crafted, the Foesgrinder is extremely simplistic in its appearance, eschewing almost all decoration, save for the imperial Aquila on one of the largest face of the head, and the Chapter's symbol on the other. Yet, this monster of a hammer was crafted by the Fabricator General of the Adeptus Mechanicus himself, just like the powerful Storm Shield Rampart of the Imperium, as a gesture of good will for the nascent Chapter. Since 738.m41, the Foesgrinder has killed numerous enemies of the Imperium and has become the very symbol of the Chapter Master Kardan Rauth, if not of his rank.
Rampart of the Imperium
If the Foesgrinder is a simple in appearance, the Rampart of the Imperium is a huge Storm Shield covered with the heraldic of the Emperor, Ferrus Manus and the Mechanicum, all so exquisite that for mortal men, the shield is already a relic worthy of reverence by its appearance alone. However, despite this work of art, Rampart of the Imperium is probably one of the better Storm Shield currently existing in all the Imperium, for it was crafted by the current Fabricator General on Mars, with its sister weapon, Foesgrinder. Far larger than most of the Storm Shields, this revered relic require a strength even greater than the one of the usual Space Marines to be used to its maximum potential on the field. That the ageing Kardan Rauth still manage to use it just as easily today than he did 250 years ago is in itself a testimony of the Sons of Iron Master's strength.
Auspex Model Voidshadow
This mark of Auspex is possessed only by the Chapter and are kept a secret from the Imperium since it creation came from the use of both xeno technology (specifically the one of the Necrons) and Imperial knowledge, combined together by the young and eccentric Iron Remembrancer Väinämöinen Filatov at the height of the Purge of Tainted Steel. The Voidshadow was created to detect the ambushed Necrons, who were hiding in a de-phased condition and were thus able to inflict great deal of damages to the forces of the Imperium, especially the Sons of Iron themselves.
If the Model Voidshadow allowed the final victory of the Crusade, the Sons of Iron were conscious that both the Inquisition and the Adeptus Mechnicus would probably be ready to enact punishment on the young Chapter, since the Voidshadow isn't based on STC template but is truly a new technology created without the guidance of the ancients technologies and knowledge conserved by the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is only the effectiveness of the Auspex model Voidshadow which explain why the Sons of Iron still use this technology.
Terminator Armours, pattern Neo-Gorgons
The Chapter has continuously worked on the improvement and modification of their Terminator armour since its inception, hoping to achieve the same aesthetic appearance and innovations as their forebear's ancient (and now extinct) 'Gorgon' pattern Terminator Armour. This powerful sub-class of Tactical Dreadnought Armour was notoriously hazardous but an extremely powerful prototype, whose design was said to have been engineered by their Primarch Ferrus Manus himself. With the disappearance of the Primarch upon the black sands of Istvaan V, the remaining Iron-Fathers lost the ability to refine the Gorgon pattern to reach its full potential.
It took the Iron Remembrancers of the Sons of Iron roughly five decades to ensure that their Terminator Armour design wouldn't lose in quality, compared to the more traditional patterns of Tactical Dreadnought Armour, by constantly reworking the design and its technologically sophisticated components. They finally achieved (at least aesthetically) a near-identical Terminator pattern comparable to the ancient 'Gorgon' pattern. The Sons chose to name their armour after their gene-sire rather than claiming a name of their own, thus the 'Neo-Gorgon' pattern was born.
Since the Sons of Iron aren't a crusading Chapter, their fleet isn't as numerous than those of Chapters travelling the ocean of stars. Yet, thanks to the wishes of the Adeptus Mechanicus at the creation of their Chapter, the Astartes of Suami posses vessels of great quality, despite their young age. Their fleet is comprised of three Battle Barges and three Strike Cruisers, which are all designed primarily for orbital assault, as it is through this tactical deployment that the young Chapter prefer to enter the fray of any battle; the Chapter also posses a Light Cruiser class starship, two Frigates class and even a rare Viper-class Scout Sloop. The sole true oddity of this fleet is, perhaps, the fact that half of the spaceships still have to receive a name, for the Sons of Iron wish to name them after their own heroes and campaigns -both glorious and infamous.
- Santor's Will : This Battle Barge was the first starship which earned its name in service of the Chapter; this name was bestowed upon it after the Campaign of the Grimfield system, 20 years after the creation of the Chapter, where the Battle Barge served as an advanced bastion in the purge of the system, which was the den of hundreds of pirates, both humans and xenos, where the then Master of the Faith Santor demonstrated his qualities and his unbent will. Since that time, the Santor's Will remain the main ship in the Chapter's fleet.
- Destroyer of the Atunkar : This Battle Barge earned its name when it partook in the glorious final battle above the last remaining world held by the Atunkar Dynasty, at the end of the 25 years-long gruelling Crusade called by the Sons of Iron the Purge of Tainted Steel (788.m41 - 813.m41), where it destroyed several Necron's monstrosities through its relentless bombardment.
- 0235986xBB.S : The last remaining Battle Barge to be unnamed, 0235986xBB.S is usually called 0235 by the Astartes of Suami. While this Battle Barge saw more than its share of campaigns, none of them were deemed worthy enough to be remembered by the Chapter in the name of a starship, not even the Enlightenment of Freygia in 837.m41, since three Orders from the Sister of Battles and several inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus were presents during the purges of the Freygia system, which had been overwhelmed by Witch Cults.
- 0356497xSC.S : 0356 is the oldest Strike Cruiser in the Chapter Fleet and it should have already by named since it took part in most of the war waged by the Chapter. However, the fact that this starship is often used by the Fifth Company prevented it, since the HSC believe that it should be named after 5th Captain Vahanen, a name which can only be posthumous.
- 0351254xSC.S : 0351 is the second oldest Strike Cruiser, and it as yet to be named since it is mainly stationed above Suami as a reserve, should the need arise to gather all the Chapter fleet, as it happened during the Purge of Tainted Steel.
- Mourning of Tuali : This vessel is the sole Strike Cruiser named owned by the Chapter. It was Captain Alvar Hagström himself who named it after the spaceship was damaged at the end of the Clash of Iron. The 2nd Captain deemed that the vessel earned its name when all the 58 dead bodies of the Sons of Iron killed in the campaign were brought there after the total destruction of Tuali. The Mourning of Tuali will be a grim reminder of the price that must be paid when Astartes fail to uphold their duties.
- Hope of Galakrönd : This spaceship is the sole Dauntless-class Light Cruiser earned by the Chapter. It is mainly used to carry small teams of Sons in search and destroy operations in their jurisdiction and the neighbouring region, and as thus be slightly modified to enhance its speed and its fire-power. Its name was bestowed upon it when it managed to repel an invasion of pirates and heretics above the mining world of Galakrönd long enough to allow the arrival of the Chapter in full force.
- 08246632xF.S : This Gladius-class Frigate is one of the two escorts spaceship found in the Sons of Iron fleet, and it has seen more than its fare share of battle, without being decisive enough to deserve a name of its own, yet.
- 08278793xF.S : 0827 is the second Gladius-class Frigate and the twin of 0824, and just like it, it has yet to earn a name for itself.
- Gaze of Kari : How this rare Viper-class Scout Loop happened to be a part of the Chapter's fleet is known only by the Chapter Master and some high ranking members of the Mechanicum; this ship is used to scout on the bastions of the Sons enemies with it wide variety of sensors, among which the strongest Voidshadow Auspex in the Chapter. It was named after brother Kari Ylimäki, the very first member of the Sons who underwent the Long Vigil in the Deathwatch and then returned, only to become the first Dreadnought of his Chapter in 907.m41.
The Sons are actually trying to reinforce their fleet with at least two more Frigate-Class spaceships and a Cobra-class Destroyer.
Chapter Homeworld and Recruitment
The history of the world of Suami as it is known by humans began during the Golden Age of Technology, when a great colonisation fleet discovered this planet, the only one inhabitable in its system of ten worlds. Thanks to their mastery of technology, the colons soon created a paradise on this planet, a paradise that they kept secret from the rest of Mankind, for the Suami had severed all ties with the rest of their species as soon as they had arrived on this world. In a strange twist of fate, this isolationism would both prove itself the greatest weakness of those people and their greater chance of survival in the future. The colons destroyed willingly all the archives and informations containing the knowledge of extra-system space travel, conserving only the knowledge necessary for the exploitation of the resources from the other worlds from their adopted system.
The world of Suami, as it then existed was composed of two super-continents, the northernmost called Kylmä by the colons, and the southernmost Lämpö; those two continents, while disposing of extremely varied environments were globally peaceful, for their were without any great predator and life were easy by nature, a fact which led the colons in the path of personal pleasure, an attitude which should led to their fall.
The inhabitants of Suami quickly discovered that their world was doted by millions of years old ruins; indeed, this world had been an auxiliary world from the Necron's Dynasty of the Atunkar, a minor dynasty, but with strong ties to the Triarcat. The humans explored the crypts and defeated their guardians, claiming the relics and necron's technologies for their own use. Impressed by the mechanical guardians, they chose to craft their own, more and more developed, robotic servants, which allowed them to delve deeper into their own leisures, making an immoderate use of the wonderful plains, lakes, and vales from their world; however, their isolationism, the Suami never heard of the A.I Rebellion in the rest of the galaxy, therefore they continued to perfect their machines so all the humans from their world could live life of wealth and opulence.
The colons thus created an A.I., two thousand years after their installation, which sole goal was to control all the robots on the planet, that they named Äiti Hyväntahtoinen(the Beloved Mother), only some retrogrades, inhabiting the Ironback Mountains, the greatest mountainous chain from the northern continent, continued to work and preserve the life-style of the first colons, rejecting what they saw as a decadence, behaviours which would quickly reveal life-saving.
Indeed, when the Age of Strife began, Aïti changed and considered that human beings were unable to preserve their own lives; therefore, the A.I concluded that only the transfer of memories data in robotic bodies would allow humans to truly "live"; of course, organic beings should see their data expunged from erroneous codes and other error of programming. The Mother sought the informations which would allow her to realise her project, going as far as scanning the necron's crypts, searching in their data banks until she get enough knowledge to launch the project she called "Reborn".
During thousand of years, the humans of Suami were thus reduced in slavery by their own creations, and only a few groups managed to escape the first waves of capture, seeking refuge in the most inhospitable places of their world such as the Ironback Mountains, the Scar of Night from Lämpö or the Lonely Marshes. There, the humans tried to rediscover the the warrior technologies from their forefathers, which were never used before. In 759M.30, a scientist from the Ironback Mountains managed to rediscover the secrets of the atomic weapon, and used this knowledge to create a bomb which was launched on the data centre from the Mother, where the memory and thought of the captured humans were conserved until it was purified and reconfigured to serve the Project Reborn. Following this attack, the Mother came to the conclusion that the remaining humans were corrupted beyond any hope of restoration for their memory's data, and launched her armies on the humans encampments, which proved to be resilient enough to remain unconquered nor destroyed for the most part.
Facing this dilemma, Aïti came to terrific conclusion that only a massive orbital bombardment of the planet used to make it inhospitable to biological life would allow her to get ride of the error of programming known as "humans". Alerted of these plans, the humans used their last spaceships to prevent the cataclysm by confronting the Mother's ships, but if they managed to destroy enough of those weapons to prevent the wipe out of all biological life of Suami, they couldn't stop their ancient paradise to become a tundra haunted by the machines and groups of humans resistant, gathered in desperate warbands. While, on Terra, the Emperor launched the Great Crusade, the Suami had to face the robots of the Mother, whose factories insured that the climate of the world wouldn't change, liberating toxins and gas in the atmosphere, making Suami a world of morn plains, festering marshes and mountains where only the highest picks weren't covered in poisoned ice.
During 170 years, the humans fought to survive in their enclaves where even the robots couldn't dislodge them, however the warbands were for the most part aware that this statu quo wouldn't last and that sooner or later the humans would be erased from Suami. De facto, only the constant bearing of respirators and complete armours, isolating them from the toxins imbibing their world, prevented from death. Because of the growing despair, their actions became more and more radicals, and a true disgust of weakness, be it mental of physical, appeared little by little. Those who suffered real or perceived weaknesses of body and mind were thus used as bait for the robots. However, the coming of the Great Crusade would change this world.
Indeed, after more than two hundred years of Crusade, the 827th Exploring Fleet, composed of three vessels of the Imperial Army and a minor ship from the Iron Hand Legion, protecting a sacred text from their Primarch, the Parchment of Neimerel, emerged at proximity of Suami. Placing themselves in orbit, emissaries were sent to the locations where great concentrations of life-forms where discovered, which is to said the human enclaves. Once there, the emissaries achieved the submission of the Suami to the Imperium if they swore to freed their world from the Mother, a condition quickly accepted by the armies of the Emperor, who stroke at the bases of the A.I. with all their troops. Despite the resistance of the robots, the actives bases of the Mother were all destroyed and some representatives of the Mechanicum helped to limit the pollution of Suami. After two terran years, the fleet left Suami, leaving behind her only a few troops and a little temple containing the Parchment of Neimerel, which was copied by the Suami, becoming one of their most sacred text.
However, even though the humans believed to be freed of the A.I., secret bases built centuries before in the depth of the oceans or the deep part of the earth, were activated, each of the bases received a copy of the Mother called Tytöt (the Daughters), which goal was to purge the world of the corrupted humans data; still, fearing the return of the invaders from space, and isolated from the other Daughters, each one should evolve as an independent entity, following schemas which, while only slightly divergent at the origin, became terribly opposed from one another, a true benediction for the humans of Suami, who still weren't aware of the the existence of the Tytöt.
When the Horus Heresy began, Suami, a world without importance in the immensity of the nascent Imperium, was left largely isolated and only some agents from each camp tried to convert this world to their camp; only the Loyalists managed to succeed in this goal and the Suami gathered a militia that they sent on the battlefields among the loyalist armies. The small brigades of Suami riflemen proved quite good in the poisoned environment and were thus deployed on several minor battlefields, siding definitively Suami on the side of the Emperor. After the Heresy, this world continued to supply brigades to the Imperial Guard, even if the number of soldiers was always small.
Yet, it was more the awakening of the Daughters than its relation with the Imperium which marked Suami, the A.I revealing themselves after millenniums of preparation. In 546M.32, the robotic armies reappeared on Suami but despite the plans of each Tytöt, the human resistance and the infighting among robots allowed the Suami to survive and repel the invasion, without managing to locate the bases of the Daughters. This is how the cycle which still exist on Suami since the last 9000 years was created, for all the few decades, the A.I launch an attack which is repelled. Only the coming of the Sons of Iron on Suami saw the destruction of two Tytöt, bring down their number to eleven, for the Astartes refused to destroy all of the A.I., believing that they made the people of Suami stronger and purer.
The world of Suami provided for thousands of years recruits to the Imperial Guard. Due to the state of the planet and humans dwelling, which only use of eco-domes is to protect livestocks and agricultural fields from the atmospheric pollution, while habitations are carved beneath the earth or into the mountains, and sealed, this recruitment was always done through highly codified tournaments, as a mean to minimize the loss of lives while insuring that the youth of Suami would be able to wage war on imperial battlefields.
When the Astartes settled on Suami, they kept this system but made use of the world new-found statute as a Astartes-World to cease the sending of recruits to the Imperial Guard during the 50 years that the Chapter needed to become fully autonomous, before allowing the creation of Suami's Imperial Guard regiments anew. They have obviously strengthened the selection criteria allowing entry into their brotherhood, including survival tests outdoors and not in the humans enclaves, to ensure that only the best of the Suami children would join them. The Sons of Iron demonstrated their pragmatism by sending systematically the young people excluded from their selection into the Guard or the Planetary Defence Forces with a formal statement of the qualities of those recruits, a practice which explain that, while the best young men are recruited by the Space Marines, the quality of the PDF and the Imperial Guard recruited on this world didn't falter, quite the contrary.
Among the numerous trials of those tournaments, it is the ones where aspirants must show their mental strength which are the most scrupulously observed, as for the sons of Ferrus Manus, the fact that the young boys' bodies are weak and fragile has little importance when the genetic heritage of their Primarch will make colossi out of them, while the weakness of the mind cannot be healed without arduous efforts which would divert the brother of his duties. Thus, the aspirants must receive arrows in the legs without flinching, thrust their hands in jars full of the most disgusting vermin of Suami without showing their disgust or even intentionally break the every bone of one hand one by one without hesitation or pain on their face.
Only those whose determination is flawless, and whose bodies are free from the slightest trace of mutation can except to join the Sons of iron in their celestial war.
As all the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Sons of Iron posses a great arrays of servants, servitors, minor scribes and technicians. However, because of the Chapter's young age, there isn't a fixed method to insure a constant supply nor even fixed rules determining the functions of those mortals who serve the sons of Ferrus Manus in their eternal war. Furthermore, since the aspirants who fail in the Chapter's test are sent back to the Planetary Defense Forces of Suami or the Imperial Guard regiments levied on this world, this potential batch of recruits can't be used.
However, since the ascent of Aleksantari Madetoja as the Master of the Faith in 945.M41, things have begun to change. While before this date each Company had to make due as it could to obtain servants and servitors as it saw fit, the first of the Chapter's Chaplains as issued new rules to insure the efficacy of the non-Astartes personal. So, all the servants tasked with the maintenance of the Battle Brothers' weapons and armors, and more largely the maintenance and supply of the Chapter's material and goods, have to be recruited on the Forge-Worlds nearest to Suami, passing stringent verification procedures. This is done to ensure a high level of skills and thus their ability to serve the Sons of Iron in all the domains chosen by their masters.
Conversely, the servants toiling in the Huone Arkisto (the Archives' Room of the Chapter) have to be born on Suami, educated during their youth (which is to say able to speak and read Suami, Low and High-Gothic even before their recruitment), which has produced in the last fifty years a rebirth of literature, historical and linguistic studies on a world where such teachings had mostly fallen by the wayside because of the never ending wars which are engulfing this world. Most of those servants are recruited by the Chapter at age 10, without care for their gender, and they'll receive complementary education, especially the teaching of the Sorrgol's dialect which was used by the Iron Hands who became the first officers of the Chapter (and is still mostly in use among the Battle-Brothers) and the common tongue of Medusa. Since those servants are both men and women, it is speculated that the Grey Lord wishes to create a caste of scholars in the service of the Sons of Iron, who would be deployed in every Refuge-City of Suami, reinforcing the Chapter's hold on his homeworld.
Finally, when it comes to the Chapter's battle-servants, who protect the Fortress-Monestary and the Sons's bases when in campaign, they are now all servitors, mechanized and lobotomized, "recruited" at the end of the Chapter's campaigns among its defeated foes though to be pure enough to deserve such a chance at redemption, some victims of their Purges or human allied who have demonstrated cowardice, treachery or any other weakness in the course of their duty. Those groups of servitors are usually corralled by Iron Remembrancers (the Chapter's Techmarine), or veterans from the PDF of Suami recruited by the Chapter to guide those amalgams of flesh and metal. Those battle servitors also serve as reminder for the Battle-Brothers of what consequences their endemic drive to replace their flesh with steel could have : not even the vaunted the grand-sons of the mighty Emperors are resilient to the transformation of mindless cyborgs.
The Fortress-Monestary of the Sons of Iron is known as the Fortress of Neimerel and is located in one of the most dangerous zones of Suami, the Hungering Mountains, on the Southern continent of Lämpö. It was there that the first copy of the Parchment of Neimerel in the Suami tongue was preserved in a small shrine. The Hungering Mountains have earned their name because of the numerous cracks opening in the mountain's ground, perpetually hidden by the toxic fogs, where innumerable humans died either because they plummeted to their death, the toxins of their air or the rare predators managing to survive in this dangerous land. At the time of their arrival on Suami, the Astartes chose to locate their home far from the mortal men, thus insuring an healthy separation in they eyes of the Space Marines and thus the Adeptus Mechanicus dashed into the erection of the Fortress-Monestary.
After almost 5 years the Fortress of Neimerel was finally completed, drawing its mass above the shrine of Neimerel, now contained in its core. The Fortress is built on three levels above the ground and two below. The training rooms are found at ground level, with the Company's quarters. Tuomioistuin Herrain, The Court of Lords, where both the High Strategic Council gather, and the Recclusiam are found in the second level above the ground. The third level is comprised only of the forges used by the Chapter, all centred around Suuri Alasin, the Great Anvil, the personal forge used by the Master of the Forge, where he works on the most difficult or delicate tasks, such as the creation of Dreadnought and the preservation of the Chapter's sacred relics.While this situation is unusual for forges, it is understandable when one know what is kept below the ground.
Indeed, inside the rock of the Hungering Mountains are found the warehouses containing the weapons and ammunitions used by the Chapter at the first underground level, alongside the special training grounds (simulation of space-like conditions, of oceanic depths, battle zones devoid of light, etc.). But the most important place is perhaps found at the deepest level where the Huone Arkisto (the Archives Room) have been built and where all the discoveries and History of the Chapter are preserved, due to both its own engagements and the Vigil that its battle-brothers underwent with the Deathwatch being registered with a great deal of details. It is also there that the Room of Seals was carved. It's in this highly guarded strongroom that the weapons and armours of vanquished enemies are stored, for they are deemed to dangerous or corrupted to be kept with the other relics and trophies of the Chapter, found in its Recclusiam, but to resilient or powerful to be destroyed.
Relations with the ImperiumUnder the leadership of Kardan Rauth, the Sons of Iron have inherited some of the relationships that define the Iron Hands; and yet, because of Suami's culture and history, they have considerably diverged from their Progenitor. It is especially notable in the relations that the Chapter posses with other Astartes, since, while the meduseans are isolationists, the Sons quickly tried to create bonds with their fellow Chapters from the 26th Founding, especially the White Panthers, with whom they fought on a great deal of theatres of war in all the Ultima Segmentum, but also -which is truly a surprise for anyone who know how the Astartes from Ferrus Manus lineage treat those hailing from the Raven Guard and Salamanders- with the Storm Giants, which are suspected to be from Vulkan's gene-seed. This will to create ties with other Chapters is understandable in the regard of Suami's history, since its natives own their lives to foreign interventions.
However, it doesn't mean that the Sons of Iron are always, or even often, liked by the other Chapters : their cold logic, inherited from the Iron Hands, combined with the dark and aggressive temperament common among the Suami give them an appearance of arrogance barely hidden in the eyes of other Chapters. However, their willingness and effectiveness in battle make them, if not liked, at least respected allies, for the Sons of Iron are known for their readiness to fight alongside any Chapter, even if those descending from Corax or Vulkan felt a tinge of disdain in the Astartes from Suami. However, the closest bond that the Sons posses isn't with a normal Chapter, but with the Deathwatch itself, where a great number of Brothers are sent to collect informations, knowledge and experience in the war against all the xenos lurking in the Galaxy.
This close bond with the Deathwatch explain why the Chapter posses friendly relations with the Inquisitorial Ordo Xenos, an exception in their views on the Inquisition, since the Sons know almost nothing of the Ordo Malleus, and loath openly the Adepta Sororitas and the Ordo Hereticus, considering (never near Inquisitorial hears) both to be blinded fanatics unable to comprehend the true vision of the Emperor during the Great Crusade, and arrogant fools trying to do His duty in judging His subjects. It doesn't means that the Sons won't fight alongside the Sisters of Battle and the Witch Hunters, simply that such campaigns won't ever be proudly remembered, no matter what happened during them.
The Sons are, perhaps strangely, quite respectful toward the Imperial Guard and Marine, even if they somehow pity them, an attitude explained by the fact that the young boys who fail at the Tests of Recruitments are, if they are deemed worthy, sent to the PDF and regimens from the Imperial Guard hailing from Suami since more than 10,000 years, where they often become officers; furthermore, many a brother alive in the Chapter is old enough to remember Suami before the coming of the Astartes and his dreams to enter the Imperial Guard. Therefore, the Sons of Iron are always willing to fight alongside the Guard, even if they consider its usual tactics to be a waste of lives which would be better used otherwise in the service of the Lord of Terra.
Finally, the Sons of Iron posses a relation which can only be qualified of complex with the Adeptus Mechanicus : they respect the immense knowledge possessed by the adepts of the Machine-God, but they see their beliefs in the superiority of machine over flesh as a weakness; yet, the Chapter sent a great number of aspirants to Mars to form his numerous Iron Remembrancers, and show a great deal of respect for its armours, weapons, tanks and more esoteric equipments and is ready to answer a call to aid from the techno-priests at any given time. Still, the Adeptus Mechanicus consider the Sons of Iron as a sort of failure since their differences with the Iron Hands and the other Chapters sharing Ferrus Manus blood are great. This is the reason of the smaller favours that the Chapter receive from the Magos, even if it is still more than the majority of other Chapters, especially concerning the number of warships in the Chapter, and the great number of Centurions exo-squeletton.
Of all the Imperial organizations, it is without a doubt the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos which plays the most important role when it comes to the Sons of Iron. Indeed, since their incredibly recent creation in Imperial History, more than 100 battle-brothers from the Chapter have been sent to serve in this elite corps, with actually no less than 23 brothers actively undergoing their Vigil in the whole galaxy. This fact explains the unusually friendly relationships between the Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos and the Astartes of Suami.
This is made understandable when one learn about the Chapter history, since less than 5o years after its creation it was confronted by the massive awakening of the Atunkar Dynasty in all the systems of Suami, Jäämyrsky and Epätoivo, for a number of 35 zones of Necron's activity. It was the first -and for the time being the sole- campaign waged by the full Chapter, alongside two Companies of Storm Giants, two Companies of White Panthers and minor detachments from no less than 6 other Chapters. Other Imperial forces also partook in the Crusade dubbed the Purge of Tainted Steel by the Sons of Iron ("Huuhtelua värjätään terästä" in the Suami native tongue), which lasted 25 years and saw the intervention of no less than 10 Kill Teams from the Deatwatch, dispatched in the most critical battle-zones, whose incredible success impressed the brothers from Suami.
Another reason for the important presence of Suami's battle-brothers in the Chamber Militant is logistical and economical : the Chapter-Master never wished to replace the Governor of Suami, for it was his wish that his Chapter would dedicate itself fully to the wars in the stars. Freed from the burden of bureaucracy, the Sons of Iron were able to dispatch a lot of brothers to the Ordo Xenos. This fact led to a substantial change in the recruitment in the 1st Company, even if there was no official recognition of those choices. Since 150 years, and only with a few exceptions, only brothers having served in the Deathwatch for at least 5 years have been recruited in the Veteran's Company, which means that this one is actually comprised at more than 75% of those highly-skilled xeno-killers.
During their Vigil, the Sons of Iron are quite alike their Iron Hands forebears : they show a cold but unquenchable hatred for the enemies of the Imperium and a disgust for all kind of weaknesses. But contrary to the Astartes from Medusa, those of Suami are more diplomatics and thus end keeping their bad opinions of others for themselves, at least most of the time. They also display an hardly controlled wrath in their engagements against the Necrons, jumping from taciturn and silent warriors to enraged and loud brawlers, since their beliefs make the eradication of all Necronkind the condition of Ferrus Manus return.
Thanks to the Chapter's preferences, the recruits sent to the Deathwatch are usually masters in the use of bolters or specialists (Chaplains, Archivists, Apothecary or even Techmarines) instead of fine blades, for the Sons preferred tactics usually revolve around the use of their impressive fire power , mastered and merciless in their displays. Still, it has been noted that overseeing a brother from Suami can be an arduous task for a Deatwatch Chaplain from another Chapter, since the compulsive drive to replace flesh with bionics is seen as a weakness by the Sons of Iron, even while their disgust for their own "meat" become stronger. The spiritual needs of those brothers are therefore more important than those of others, but also more complicated since they need the liturgics's help from their Iron Remembrancer.
Recently, following the disastrous Clash of Iron, which saw the 2nd Company almost entirely annihilated, the Chapter-Master Kardan Rauth was forced to refuse the requests from the survivors to join the Deathwatch and assigned them to the protection of Suami for as long as their Company would remain weakened, fearing that those brothers would waste their lives and impede the Ordo Xenos activities in useless acts of bravado against aliens. This refusal was extremely bad lived by the survivors, who believe that is their most rightful right to underwent their Vigils.
The Astartes who call Zanzibar their home are the oldest allies of the Sons of Iron. While their first encounter was mere chance and that the two Chapters do not share much in common in term of beliefs or battle doctrine, the Lions left a profound and lasting impression upon the Sons, who saw them as shining examples of what any Chapter could pretend to become after thousand of years serving the Emperor : a battle-tested, uncorrupted and steadfast defender of the Imperium, despite all odds.
While the recent internal turmoil of the White Lions has marred this first impression, the Suami Battle-Brothers still consider the natives of Zanzibar allies which must be helped at all cost, if only because let them disappear would weaken the Imperium. Furthermore, in the Lions, the sons of the Gorgon have found specialists of close-quarter combats with whom they can use their own full potential as specialists of bolter and long-distance battles, knowing full fuel that the supposed sons of Rogal Dorn won't falter, no matter how terrible the foes.
To earn the Sons of Iron respect, one usually must impress them with great feats in war alongside them or to be of obvious devotion despite all odds. Not so much for the Ironclad Brotherhood. For the Chapters that form this alliance, the Sons' devotion is forever given. Their plights are the Suami's, their enemies the foes of the young Chapter. Almost no operation has seen the Sons of Iron operate with the Iron Gorgons, the Templars of Iron or the Sanctors of Manus, but in those unique occasions, the Sons of Iron have walked in the footsteps of their elder brethren.
To compensate for their difficulties in directly helping the Ironclad Brotherhood, bound as they are to the extreme fringe of Imperial space, the Sons of Iron have opened, at all time, secret and well-protected communications, warning the Ironclad Brotherhood of any sightings from the hated Chaos Warband known as the Brethren of Hel, that they may discover, either during the Chapter's missions or when a Battle-Brother undergoes his Vigil. Even if the beliefs of the Sons of Iron sometimes clash with those of the Templars of Iron regarding Ferrus Manus's ultimate fate, the young Chapter truly wishes to supplement as best it can the strength of the most ancient Frateris Firmitatis.
The Brethren of Hel are a notorious Renegade Space Marine Chapter that is known for raiding multiple Imperial systems near the hellish Warp rift known as the Eye of Terror. Formerly known as the Iron Invictors this Chapter, along with the Iron Gorgons, Sanctors of Manus and the Templars of Iron, formerly made up a quadrumvirate of 2nd Founding Iron Hands Successors, collectively known as the Frateris Firmitatis ("Ironclad Brotherhood"). This Chapter was once counted amongst the most stalwart defenders of mankind. But like their Progenitors, the Invictors were obsessed with strength and the elimination of physical and mental weakness, which is subject to decay and temptation, and believed to have been a contributing factor to the failure of the Loyalist Legions during the Dropsite Massacre at Isstvan V. This led the Iron Hands to revere the machine and distrust the failings inherent in flesh. But the Iron Invictors' obsession with certain forbidden mysteries and nightmare sciences of the Dark Age of Technology eventually saw them being declared Excommunicate Traitoris, and cast out of the Imperium.
For millennia, the fleet-bound Brethren of Hel periodically raids Forge Worlds and far-flung Adeptus Mechanicus outposts near the Eye of Terror - obsessed with obtaining rare standard template constructs and the secrets of archaeo-technology forbidden by Imperial dictates and the edicts of the Martian Priesthood. They are relentlessly pursued by their erstwhile brethren, who will stop at nothing to eradicate this Renegade Chapter of hereteks. Though they are bound to the outskirts of Imperial space, the Sons of Iron have taken it upon themselves to assist their elder brethren by providing valuable intelligence, resources or war material, in order to aid them in the capture of this elusive Chaos warband.
Sons of Iron Characters
- "Ours is the duty to protect the Imperium and the Emperor himself. Nothing but perfection in your service is awaited of you. Do not bring shame to our Primarch."
- —Part of the Chaplains speech to the Initiates.
Chapter Master Kardan Rauth
Kardan Rauth, called the Inflexible by his brothers, is the actual and first Chapter Master of the Sons of Iron Chapter. Even among the Astartes his size would make him a colossus, without even taking into account his numerous bionic ameliorations, which make him more machine than man. This veteran serve the Imperium since more than 600 years, first as an iron Hand and then as a Son of Iron. He is a cold, austere and merciless man, whose faith in the medusean faith was severely put in question with the discovery of the Parchment of Neimerel. Since he read them, Rauth struggle everyday against the weakness in his mind which inspire his disgust toward his own flesh. This fight between his new-found faith and his deep drives weigh more on his soul with each passing day. Kardan Rauth knows very well that his men drawn from the Iron Hands suffer just as much as he does while those hailing from Suami see him with a deep respect tinged of pity.
If at the beginning he saw himself as in exile among his young brothers from Suami, they have managed to earn his respect among the decades of war, and even his admiration, forcing him to soften -if only a little- the purges he conducted. As of today, Kardan Rauth sees himself as a Son of Iron who has almost reached the end of his time. He considers that the time has come for him to die on the battlefield so he could transmit the charge of Chapter Master to another man. But until the very end, Rauth will wield his mighty Thunder-hammer, Foesgrinder, and his huge Tempest-shield, Rampart of the Imperium, to bring down the enemies of Ferrus Manus and the Emperor. Woe to those who would underestimate the old Inflexible, for even at the twilight of his service to the Imperium, Kardan Rauth remains a formidable warrior.
Master of the Forge Arven Stronos
If there is but a sole Master of the Forge among all of the Adeptus Astartes who could be the incarnation of all the sourness that can exist within the Space Marines, then Arven Stronos would probably be this man. Indeed this scholar, older than 500 years, never truly accepted the creation and presence of Chaplain into the Chapter he was supposed to operate in, on the order of weak and cowardly larva hiding on Terra while other fought their wars for themselves known as the the High-Lords of Terra. Arven was chosen among the Techmarines who weren't Iron Fathers among the Iron Hands ranks for the lords of the Imperium hoped to prevent his influence on the new Chapter's dogma, an hope which proved only partially true, for he is the greatest of the Iron Remembrancers and his speeches are able to rouse his Brother's hatred toward their foes.
Stronos is a strong opponent of the Parchment of Neimerel, believing them to be nothing more than a crude false. And yet, he has given up on all his hopes to convince his brothers, for he has understood since a long time that his beliefs have become quite unpopular among his Chapter, for even brothers from the Iron Hands now strongly believe in the Neimerel Creed. Because off this fact, the Master of the Forge is but a relic of the past, an Iron Hand clinging to medusean's beliefs, isolated among the Sons of Iron from Suami. It is maybe the reason which explain why he spends most of his time in his forges, crafting marvels of imperial technology, for Stronos is one of the most talented techmarine when it comes to the creation of Centurion's exoskeletons and even Dreadnought, since he brought the number of those sarcophagus for heroes from 2 to 6 during all those years among the Sons. His prowess, combined with his gifts on the battlefield earned him an immense respect among his brothers, but Arven Stronos couldn't care less about it for he only to achieve apotheosis in the form an hero confined in a Dreadnought, waiting for his brothers to realize the misgivings of their way and flock to him, a beacon of purity and a guide for his Chapter's future...
Master Archivist Comech Tallumen
Comech is an enigmatic and reclusive figure, even among a Chapter whose Brothers are seen as taciturn by the Imperium at large. He remains distant from his Brothers and spend the majority of his time with the other members of the small Librarius that his Chapter posses. Tallumen is an educated warrior and a psyker of great talent, for whom the coming of brothers from Suami was an epiphany, for the Master Archivist discovered a way to use his powers in a more subtle and indirect way while still vital on the battlefield such as the manipulation and creation of poisonous gas, the possibility to enhance the endurance of nearby warriors or even the possibility to make enemies' weapons rust in their hands.
Free from the burden of rituals and sermons which consume the days and nights of Chaplains and Iron Remembrancers in the Chapter, Comech got all the time he wanted to indulge in his secret passion : the painting representing a wide variety of subjects. He indeed realized that those sessions of deep concentration brought him a peace of mind without equals, be it before or after a battle. To this day, all, from the Iron Sergeants to the upper echelons of the Chapter own a painting realized by Comech Tallumen and the practice of painting could take roots into the Chapter. As a Master Archivist, Comech heavy task is to detect and train psykers able to become Space Marines archivists and to consign the history of his new Chapter, both duties he carries on with fervour. After all, his paiting are only but another way to preserve the memories of the Sons of Iron intact.
Master of the Faith Aleksanteri Madetoja
The Master of the Faith from the Sons of Iron is relatively young for such a position, with only a little more than 120 years of war in the service of the Emperor. However, his talents as a warrior and speaker, combined with a zeal unrivalled allowed him to quickly become the assistant in chief of the previous Master of the Faith Dozeph Santor and to replace the Medusean when he was felled by the Necron Lord Arankyr the Wanderer during the Purge of Salat XI in 945.M41.
Aleksanteri Madetoja is often seen by his Brothers as the very antithesis of the Master of the Forge from their Chapter : where Stronos only wish to lead back the Sons of Iron to the Iron Hands' traditions, Madetoja is a fervent adept of the Neimerel Creed and is always ready to defend the Chapter organization imposing the separated roles of the Iron Remembrancers and Chaplains.
Still, the greatest particularity of the man nicknamed the Grey Lord, because of his battle armours livery, is this very armour itself, for it is the one and only Terminator armour used by an officer in the Chapter. It is composed of pieces coming from five ancient armours discovered among the remnants of an antic battlefield on the planetoid LV4-35 during his first mission as the Master of the Faith. Those armours had seen all their Chapter's markings erased since a long time by the ionic winds. Since that time the Iron Remembrancers have assembled this armour from those rests, and the impressing figure of the Grey Lord became a source of hope for the inhabitants of the Ultima Segmentum and of woe for enemies of the Imperium, for Aleksanteri Madetoja well intends to purge the of xenos, pirates and other renegades infesting this corner of the Galaxy.
Master Apothecary Aulis Jokela
Aulis is an aberration among his Chapter : this brother is incredibly cheerful and even optimistic, maintaining such dispositions even in the direst moments. Even if, as the Master Apothecary, he spends much of his time in the genetic banks or healing his harmed battle brothers, Aulis Jokela always find the time to joke as a mean to relax the Sons of Iron. Yet, he is however extremely watchful as for the genetic corruption which could affect the precious legacy of Ferrus Manus and is known for his audible strong stands against the Iron Hand's faiths which were prevalent at the time of his induction into the Chapter.
Indeed, Aulis is a member of the very first generation of Space Marines recruited on Suami and, arising from a family of well-read scientists, he was always a strong believer in the Neimerel Creed's truth. Even if he still refuse to admit it, his talents played a major role in the conversion of the former Iron Hands to those beliefs. Aulis is probably the most famous Son of Iron among other Astartes, for he served during 89 terran years into the Deatwatch after his first hundred years of services, as an Apothecary; therefore, he is often tasked with the diplomatic missions of the Chapter, or at least among the retinue of those brothers who must deal with the somewhat tenses relations that the Chapter posses with other Astartes or the Imperium.
Finally, the Master Apothecary Jokela is a formidable fighter, used to the horrors of war against all kind of extraterrestrial beings, whose calm and knowledge saved millions of lives in all the Ultima Segmentum, especially during the Infestation of Khanada by the tyranids which was preceded by releases of viral spores which would have decimated the population without his intervention. Yet, it is his knowledge about the Necrons which makes him a true gift on the battlefields, thanks to his abilities to heal even the worst wounds inflicted by the weapons of the ancient Dynasties.
1st Captain Ulrach Orth
Ulrach Orth was simply a Veteran Sergeant among the Iron Hands when he was chosen by the High Lords of Terra to become the First Captain of the Son of Iron Chapter. Determined to serve the Imperium the better he could in his new position, Ulrach forced himself to endure numerous tactical, strategical, economic and diplomatic lectures. Contrary to the stereotypical image of the Space Marines, the First Captain is a relatively small and thin -some would even say sick-looking- Brother. However, this small size, relatively speaking, doesn't prevent him to possibly be the finest blade in the Chapter : gifted with a sharp mind, lightning reflexes and more than four centuries of fighting experience, the First Captain of the Sons of Iron proved is talent by unleashing the cold and implacable hatred that is the hallmark of the Iron Hands in the most dangerous sectors of the battlefields where he fought and came back to testify of his might.
The First Captain is a demanding commander, whose warriors are expected to always surpass their limits, but even he can show concerns. Since some years, Ulrach is worrying for his Chapter Master, whose melancholic behaviour and strangely fatalist mindset perturb him immensely. Therefore, the captain of the First Company seeks to persuade Kardan Rauth that he is still the Chapter Master that the Sons of Iron need. He will not let his liege flame go out while he still has a breath in his body.
5th Captain Tuomas Vahanen
Tuomas Vahanen was the first of the Suami to ever achieve the grade of Captain, 70 years after the Chapter's foundation. He is old enough to remember that the children of his homeworld used to look at the Imperial Guards with just as much awe than they do to the Astartes as of today. Those memories, combined with the respect he had for his elder brother, a Colonel in the Guard who died the very day that he won the right to wear the Power Armour and became a full fledged Space Marine, explain why Vahanen is an excellent diplomat gifted with a real talent to understand and appreciate the mortals. But he is also, and before anything else, a strategist without peers among his brothers. It is this talent which brought him to add an annex to the Codex Astartes concerning how to fight the Necrons, the Vahenenum Appendiix, adopted by his whole Chapter.
These strategist's talents come from a childhood spent with books of military history, war treaties and other reports of battle, as much from Suami than from the Imperium most famous campaigns, preciously gathered by his father in the Library of Memory in the refuge-city of Tarutaisto. Since his entry in the Chapter, this tendency to absorb every bit of information related to battles of any size only strengthened the knowledge of the 5th Captain. Vahanen is also renowned for his drastic requirements when it comes to discipline and efficiency on the battlefield, which match or even exceed even those of the First Company, which stems from the weigh of History felt by Tuomas. For the Captain Vahanen, this behaviour is only the mean to pave the way for the future heroes of his Chapter, so those could achieve ever greater peaks of success in the name of the Emperor by surpassing their predecessors.
10th Captain Septus Orth
While the heavy use of bionics made the two brothers unrecognisable, the big, stern and cybernetic brute who lead the 10th Company is indeed the twin brother of the First Captain of the Sons of Iron. A determinate figure of the meduseans traditions in his Chapter, he is the last of the Sons of Iron officers to support the Master of the Forge Stronos. This explains his behaviour with the new recruits of the Chapter : as every Iron Hand instructor, Septus Orth has a tendency to belittle the Scouts under his command, a practice which hardly change the young brothers from those of the Instructors-Recruiters of the Chapter who tend to remind the Initiates of how they are inferior and unworthy of more than a mattress to sleep.
Despite this behaviour, which could be called by some detestable, Septus Orth recognizes privately the value of his "small iron guys" as he calls his Scouts. The 10th Captain bionics are among the finest of the Imperium, which enable him to fulfil his mission of directing Scouts effectively by guiding them on the field with the bests spectra of vision available and the silence of his mechanisms. More than enemy of the Imperium saw his trench silently sliced by Orth as he watched the sky, waiting for the classic assault by orbital bombardment which made the Sons of Iron famous in the Ultima Segmentum.
First Chaplain, 2nd Company, Urho Tiisanoja
The duties of a First Chaplain sometimes weigh heavily on the shoulders of the brother which uphold them, as it is the case for Urho Tiisanoja, promoted after the end of the campaign called by his Chapter the Clash of Iron, fought against the armies of the Pirate-Lord Thaszar the Invincible, from the Sarnekh Dynasty of the Necrons. This infamous campaign ended less than six months ago, and resulted in the death of 58 brothers, among which the previous First Chaplain of the Company and his Second Chaplain, and the loss of both the agri-world known as Tuali and the mining-world Enosch XIX, with millions of civilian and military death among the Imperial Guard. It is thus this brother having just started his training as a Chaplain of Company which must rekindle the flame of courage and hatred inside his companions, without letting doubt or the death of his mentors gnaw him from within.
Urho Tiisanoja and his Company are actually stationed on Suami, on a guard mission until the 2nd Company will have recovered from the the debacle that was the Clash of Iron and it is thus its Company's First Chaplain who must commemorate the dead, but also select the two recruits who will become his 2nd and 3rd Chaplains. However, Urho is conscious of his many shortcomings and therefore seeks guidance from others Chaplains present in the fortress-monastery. Meanwhile, the 2nd Company Techmarines take a significant influence over the litanies and ceremonies, which is not without displeasing the Grey Lord.
Iron Sergeant, 6th Company, Severi Karhu
Severi Karhu is a rising star from the Chapter. Barely 30 years old, he has already achieved the feat of becoming an Iron Sergeant, beating the previous record set by Aatami Filppula, the actual Chapter's Champion. Iron Sergeant Karhu demonstrated an incredible talent in the use of bolter and chainsword, especially in the campaign of the Schrödinger Cluster against the cat-like species of the Khat, where he personally avenged the previous Iron Sergeant, Kalevi Toivonen, by defeating the Khat Lord and his bodyguard who had killed his predecessor. However, if his talents as a warriors are recognized by all without a doubt, his impulsive temperament and his risk-taking behaviour contrast greatly with the surly coldness more common among his Brothers, which could lead him to his doom, if he reveals himself unable to control it. Still, most of the senior members of the Chapter believe that in due time, those errors of youth will eventually cease.
By the Sons of Iron
- "I wasn't the strongest, nor the quickest of the children undergoing the tests. But I was the most resilient, not in body but in mind. I never broke under any pressure. That's why I'm an Astartes today, while those who were strong of body but weak of mind aren't."
- — Tuomas Vahanen, Fifth Captain
- "You know, that's not because we are a very young Chapter that we are weak. We don't have long records of honours, full of great battles, but we do know how to shoot with a bolter. Look, you see that Greenskin at forty meters, hidden in the scraps? No? Well I do and he's already dead."
- — Aulis Jokela, Master Apothecary, to a Novamarines Captain
- "The flesh is weak. This truth I know by heart. And yet, the great Ferrus Manus said otherwise. Who am I to refuse his wisdom? Who am I to pretend that I know better than my Father? I have already lost much of my flesh. Whatever remains, I will protect, and I'll endure the misery of my soul. For I am the Chapter Master of the Sons of Iron from Suami."
- — An extract from Kardan Rauth's personal Meditations
About the Sons of Iron
- "Okay, well bionics are out of the question, how about some top-notch antiphasic rounds?"
- — Radriar Drazin
- "By the Emperor's name....... A successor of the Iron Hands sharnuuds that does not have a bionic fetish. I think that I am starting to see the Imperium in a different light now... Never mind, they still have that large stick up their rear. Why the feth is the galaxy so cruel to me? (Laughter in background)"
- — One of the Laughing Skull Khagarsan's reactions to meeting a Son of Iron. A minor brawl between him and the Son of Iron ensued, ending with a lecture from both of their senior officers. Later in the battlefield, the two of them became the vanguards of their squads during a joint offensive against Necrons.
- "You're slow Child of Iron! Cumbersome! And on the field of battle as the tunnels of Barbaris, sluggishness will get you killed! Next time I'll let the Heretics have you!"
- — Librarian Kerventes of the Wings of Salvaxes after blocking a blow that would have slain a Sons of Iron Devastator.
- "They are the Sons of Iron indeed, for they have not yet been tempered by the horrors of the galaxy. Give it a while longer, and perhaps they will understand..."
- — Neméos Cleonae, Chapter Master of the White Lions
- "Comms post, this is Captain Ovair, send an urgent message to the Kukri for the Astropath to contact the Sons of Iron. Priority Alpha. There is evidence of Necron activity here. Atunkar Dynasty."
- — First Captain Lophess Ovair, of the Obsidian Blades Chapter.
- "Sons of Iron? What a deliciously boastful name... After today, all the galaxy shall see that iron can break all too easily. Ahahahahaha..."
- — Wukda Purm, Master of the Crusade Eternal (River of Exiles)
- "Weak of mind, me? You must have surely lost your wits... or heads."
- — Calios Kottel, Lord of the Void Sirens