Name: Iron Sons
Founding Chapter: Iron Hands
Founding: 36th Millenium
Chapter Master: Othenaeron
Fortress-Monastery: Built amongst the ruins of a hive city
Main Colours: Iron Gray and Dark Red
Specialty: Defensive Warfare
Battle Cry: Unknown
Estimated Strength: ~700 Battle-Brothers
As the forebearers of the Iron Sons wandered the galaxy, they adopted the volcanic world of Xaletarus as their own. It was formally a bustling hive world, until a devastating assault from the traitor legion Emperor’s Children annihilated nearly all life on the planet. The Irons Sons saw an opportunity to strike and joined the fray against the bloodthirsty horde devouring the planet. The Emperor’s Children were successfully repelled by the combined might of the Irons Sons clan and the remnants of the Imperial forces garrisoned there, but the ferocity of the violence and bloodshed shook the world, shaking free the ash and soot that caked the surface. The world’s fragile ecosystem crumbled, rendering the world inhospitable to humans, wiping out the remaining number that had clung on in a hopeless attempt to survive. The world is now trapped in perpetual darkness, nearly all light blacked out by the veils of ash that envelope the planet. Tectonic activity and common volcanic eruptions maintained the hazardous nature of Xaletarus V, preventing its recovery. Of course, this proved to be little trouble for the hardened Iron Sons to withstand; in fact, such a world would provide the chapter with all the resources and secrecy they could need to hunt down their prey.
The Founding of the Iron Sons
The battle-brothers of the Iron Hands chapter all felt the anguish of having lost their primarch to the abhorred traitor legions, even in the 36th millenium, after all the millenia that had passed since the Drop Site Massacre during the Horus Heresy. While the Iron Hands did seek out and destroy Emperor’s Children forces whenever the opportunity arised, many within the chapter grew discontent with just waiting for the traitor legion to appear before attacking. It was at this time when two clans within the Iron Hands approached the The Great Clan Council, seeking to leave the chapter in order to focus on pursuing the Emperor’s Children. The council was naturally reluctant, as losing nearly 200 space marines would put a serious strain on the Iron Hands’ overall strength. However, after weeks of deliberation, it was finally determined that a new chapter would indeed be formed upon receiving permission from the Master of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the High Lords of Terra.
Upon receiving said permission, the process of founding the new chapter was set in motion. The Iron Hands served as the donors of the gene-seed, and much of the chapter organization and beliefs remained intact for the new chapter. One of the clan leaders that appealed to the council, an Iron-Commander known as Kastelus, was chosen as the chapter master. Because the new chapter was still very much loyal to Ferrus Mannus and his teachings, they elected to maintain the colors of a part of their armor as those of the original legion: their left arm and shoulder plate would maintain the black and gray that signified the Iron Hands. All other parts, though, bore the iron gray and dark red colors, the chosen scheme for the newly formed chapter. With everything now set in place and the organs being grown for new battle-brothers, the Iron Sons set out to find a new homeworld for themselves. They would find a home on the world of Xaletarus; that is where they would build up their strength. The Iron Sons was born.
Picking such world was both a blessing and a curse. The Iron Sons had ample supplies and materials to maintain their supply of vehicles and equipment, but the predators and adventurous aliens that wandered on and to the planet made survival even more difficult. Given the harsh nature of the Iron Hands, which was passed down to the Iron Sons, the chapter made use of such occurences to train their initiates. Between the ash-veils blocking the sun and the danger lurking in the dark, the Iron Sons developed heightened awareness and reflexes beyond that of many other chapters. Furthermore, the threat of sudden attacks honed their defensive capabilities and comraderie, as one mistake could spell the doom the of entire squad. It had become second nature for Iron Sons of the same clan to react to an attack, bolster their position, and ward of the attackers without saying a single word.
The Ambush at Ikial II
Several thousand years later, in the 41st millenium, the Chaos legion Emperor’s Children had grown tired of the constant assaults from the vengeful Iron Sons, and mustered a massive force to wipe them out. Knowing that a direct assault on Xaletarus would likely result in their own annihilation, the traitor legion sent several companies of Chaos space marines to the nearby world of Ikial II to draw out and bait the Iron Sons into their trap; it had worked. The Iron Sons sent four of their clans to deal with the amassing force, unsuspecting of the ambush that awaited them. They had found the Chaos battle camp within a small valley, and began their assault. The Iron Sons quickly and effortlessly routed the Chaos forces; perhaps a little too easily. However, before they could regroup and reorganize, the concealed Emperor’s Children forces broke cover and began raining bolter fire and sonic blasts down on the ill-prepared Iron Sons, killing dozens of battle-brothers before they could move to cover. The routed Chaos force from the first attack returned to their positions, their deception revealed.
Despite the effective ambush, the Iron Sons clans were not broken. They were down to nearly half-strength, an ever-dwindling group of 200 marines battling against the overwhelming force of 600 Chaos marines bearing down on them. What the Chaos forces had not suspected was the defensive prowess of the Iron Sons. Once the embattled battle-brothers managed to regroup, they set up a small, reinforced perimeter to coordinate their fire. The remaining Techmarines began bolstering cover by stacking Chaos marine bodies, giving the pinned marines much needed cover and allowing the Devastators to brace their bolters for improved fire. As one, the roar of heavy bolters rang out, and bolter fire began tearing into Chaos forces on the ridges above. Apothecaries moved quickly from battle-brother to battle-brother, bringing the wounded marines around them back into the fray. If the Iron Sons were going to die, they were going to destroy as much of the traitor legion as they could before they would fall.
Under the pressure of Devastator fire, the Chaos ranks were pushed back. This afforded the exhausted force of the Iron Sons an opportunity to send out several squads to flank the enemy. Eight squads of marines manage to retreat from the battle camp in the valley, splitting in half to engage the Chaos forces on each ridge. The Devastators and Techmarines, as well as several of the Apothecaries, remained behind to hold the line and keep the attention of the enemy. At first the ploy seemed ineffective as the flanking marines were unable to deal with the Chaos forces. However, after what seemed like eons of intense fighting, the ranks of the Emperor’s Children finally broke. Some stayed behind to continue the attack, but a majority of the force attempted to retreat from the battlefield. The Iron Sons marines on the ridges gunned down as many fleeing Chaos marines as possible, eager to exact an merciless vengeance upon the cowards. By the closure of the battle, three-fourths of the Iron Sons force lay dead or wounded; the Chaos suffered far greater losses, losing almost their entire force to the fury of the Iron Son’s retaliation.
Much of the Iron Sons organization resembles that of the Iron Hands. They too are divided up into clans, each led by a captain who also has a position on a central council. Unlike the Iron Hands, however, the Iron Sons have an actual chapter master; typically a highly experienced or decorated Forge Master or Iron Father would hold this position to guide his fellow battle-brothers. The council’s role in the chapter is to serve as a counterbalance to the chapter master—should his ambitions stray too far from that of the chapter’s, the council would remove him from power and appoint a new chapter master; this is a carryover of sorts from the teachings of Ferrus Mannus, who sought to eliminate the chance for corruption.
The Iron Sons motorpool is similar to most chapters’, with a broad number of various vehicles—land speeders, predator tanks, and the like—under the care of each clan’s techmarines. Several clans even possess land raiders, though these tend to be rare and saved for dire situations. However, unlike many of the the Space Marine chapters, the Iron Sons have few dreadnoughts, with no more than four split amongst the ten clans. This is likely due to the relatively young age of the chapter, as well as the severe and destructive war the Iron Sons wage against the Chaos traitor legions.
Perhaps one of the most noticeable traits of the Iron Sons is their extensive use of combi-weapons. Very few battle-brothers of the chapter use standard bolters. Instead, they prefer wielding the bolter-meltagun mix, though some brothers will opt for other underslung weaponry. Many within the chapter see being issued a combi-weapon as a rites of passage of sorts, an unofficial recognition of joining one’s battle-brothers in their serving of the Emperor. No officer within the chapter will acknowledge such an idea, but they make no effort to deny, either.
The Iron Sons often see their vehicles as fellow warriors, and opt to bring several with them on missions, relying on their power or speed to help turn the tide of a battle. And just as any fallen battle-brother, the Iron Sons will commit these vehicles to the chapter’s memory. It is not uncommon to see a techmarine and several other battle-brothers to fight their way to a destroyed vehicle to recover several parts of the shell. Typically, the clan’s techmarines will weld or mount these small parts on to their armor, or the armor of a battle-brother that fought alongside the destroyed vehicle. While curious or odd to outsiders, those of the chapter perform such a ritual so that the machine spirits may continue to be part of the fight, and their deeds not forgotten.