Hive World Terra

Iron Warriors

Warning: This definition may contain spoilers from any number of Games Workshop novels or source books.

Iron Warriors: Homeworld: (destroyed) (daemonworld)
Battlecry: "Iron within! Iron Without!"
Colours: Silver (Iron) & Gold
Primarch: Perturabo

The Iron Warriors were the IV Legion of the First Founding, created from the gene-seed of Perturabo. Before the Heresy, they were regarded as the Imperium's premier siege troops and fought in countless campaigns along the Eastern Fringe, many of which were alongside the Imperial Fists. Their had an uncanny knowledge of siege tactics and fortifications, and his writings formed the basis of the Tactica Imperium doctrine on siege warfare. Perturabo and his Legion first demonstrated their expertise in a blitzkrieg campaign against the nearby world of justice Rock, reclaiming the world from the heretics who inhabited for the greater glory of the Master of Mankind.

Yet, it was this very skill at siege warfare that was to form the greater part of the Legion's downfall. The Iron Warriors expertise led to them being selected time and time again for the most dangerous sieges and treacherous trench assaults. As the Imperium of Man expanded, such assignments became a regular feature of the Legion's existence. For each world that fell, a garrison was frequently required. Many of the other Primarchs refused to split their forces, believing that the Legions were best suited to the ever-moving campaign. Perturabo obeyed his orders to the letter.

Iron Warrior combat doctrine dictated that a fortified position should be created upon a conquered world. This led to a string of Iron Warrior fortresses on captured worlds, providing the Imperium with a secure line of supply, communication and retreat. The legion found itself occupying these forts with increasingly smaller numbers as the Great Crusade wore on. The most extreme of these was the Iron Keep on Delgas II, where a restless populace of 130 million were garrisoned by a solitary Tactical Squad. Watching his fellows ignore the directives he followed so diligently only served to breed bitterness in Perturabo, especially when the Imperial Fists were named by the Emperor to serve as his Praetorians.

Psychologically, siege warfare takes a terrible toll on those engaged in it. The long periods of inactivity, punctuated by brutal, desperate combat wears down even Space Marines after a time. The Legion were being continually hurled into the most protracted and deadly sieges and they suffered for it. What would have been rivalry festered into bitterness and anger.

The critical moment was reached when the Legion's homeworld went into revolt. The news was brought to Perturabo by the himself. Horus also brought a gift, a mighty warhammer named Forgebreaker. It is suspected that the weapon was tainted in some way, and served as a conduit by which the Primarch could be exposed to Chaos. The Legion returned to Olympia to quell the rebellion.

They did so brutally. The planet's fortresses were torn down and the population slaughtered. Five million died during the Legion's action to suppress the rebels. As the funeral pyres burned, the Legion sank into a depression. Before they had been liberators and heroes, and now they were culling their own. In this state the Legion received new orders and dire news - the Warmaster had declared against the Emperor and the Iron Warriors were to form part of the force sent to Istvaan to bring him to heel. As was expected, they were tasked with securing and fortifying the dropsites of the Loyalist Legions. When the assault failed, and half of the force sent to Istvaan turned to Horus, the Iron Hands, Salamanders and Raven Guard sought shelter in the bunkers of the Iron Warriors, only to find the gates sealed and the defences turned against them. For this, they are still known as the Istvaan Betrayers to this day.

While Pertuabo and the bulk of the Legion travelled to Earth with the Warmaster to vreach the defences of Holy Terra, the rest of the Legion went on a rampage through the Imperium, destroying and ravaging wherever they went. They destroyed the armoured cities of Vanaheim, virus-bombed Tallarn and threw up impregnable fortresses on the worlds they conquered. After the Warmaster's defeat, the Legion retreated to the Eye of Terror. Before they left, they constructed a trap for the Imperium. Perturabo built a vast fortifcation with all his skill on the world of Sebastus IV. The defences were constructed in incredible depth and complexity, intended to snare and break the Imperial Fists - whose Primarch swore to "dig Perturabo from his hole and drag him back to Terra in an Iron Cage." It worked; and broke the Loyalists while allowing the Iron Warriors time to withdraw.

Now, the Iron Warriors are based on the daemon-world of Medrengard, where, free from the laws of physics, their fortresses are works of mighty, twisted genius.

Source: Unknown by unknown, Storm of Iron by Graham McNeill, Dead Sky, Black Sun by Graham McNeill, Codex: Chaos, 2nd Edition by various, Codex: Chaos Space Marines, 3rd Edition by various

Submitter: Simguinus