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Bran Redmaw

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"Bran Redmaw, bloody-handed warrior. He piles the skulls of his enemies. He builds a mound of the fallen. His foes weep rivers of blood."
— From the Saga of Bran Redmaw
Bloodied Maw Sigil

The Bloodied Hunter, sigil of Bran Redmaw's Great Company

Bran Redmaw, known as the Curs'd Lord, Wulfen-Kin and The Bloodied Hunter, is a Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter, one of twelve legendary warriors who lead the Great Companies into battle. He and his Great Company are looked upon with suspicion by the other 11 Wolf Lords, for they are regarded as tainted. More Space Wolves bearing the Curse of the Wulfen serve alongside Redmaw's company than in any other. The unspoken truth is that Redmaw himself has been afflicted by the curse.

HistoryEdit

Bran Redmaw is one of the twelve Wolf Lords that lead the Great Companies of the Space Wolves Chapter under the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar. Leading a Great Company of up to 200 Space Wolves Astartes, the character of each Great Company's lord to a greater or lesser extent influences its warriors, and Bran Redmaw's company is renowned for being a savage pack of cunning and ruthless killers, for an enemy force trapped by Redmaw's Great Company will quite literally be torn to pieces. As a result, Bran's Great Company is looked upon with some suspicion by the other eleven Wolf Lords. They all respect the company's fighting prowess, but those that serve under the banner of the Bloodied Hunter are regarded as tainted and draw the eyes of those of the Imperium outside the Space Wolves Chapter more than they wish. The Inquisition has within its records pertaining to Astartes deviation many accounts of terrifying feral creatures shadowing the deployment of the Great Company. These have yet to be proven and the Space Wolves Chapter ignores all demands to account for these allegations.

The Bloodied Hunter is the sign associated with those of the Mark of the Wulfen, and indeed there are many in Bran's Great Company who bear that particular curse. Amongst the upper echelons of the Space Wolves there is an unspoken truth as to the reason why: Redmaw himself has been afflicted by the curse. Bran does little to dispel the rumours, and that he has begun to take to the battlefield alone rather than leading his Battle-Brothers only serves to court the growing attention the Inquisition and the Ecclesiarchy pay to his Great Company. No one has yet dared to question their loyalty to the Imperium, and its proven record combating Mankind's enemies has forced the Inquisition to so far stay its hand.

After the death of Wolf Lord Andhrimnir during the Mordrak Campaign, Bran Redmaw was promoted by Andhrimnir's retinue to replace him as leader of his Great Company, as is the Space Wolves' tradition regarding rites of succession. This was not a popular decision. Other Space Wolves Wolf Lords stepped forth, in private, to voice their concerns. Amongst them was the venerable Wolf Priest, Ulrik the Slayer. They worried that Bran could not be trusted with such a position of power, for there was the possibility that he would allow his darker, feral nature to take control of his mind and soul. The Great Wolf quashed all complaints, for he could see that Bran was an extraordinary warrior and, through sheer force of will, had subdued the beast within. Logan Grimnar looked to the advice of his eldest councillor, Bjorn the Fell-Handed, in this matter. Only the ancient Dreadnought was old enough to recall that Bran would not be the first afflicted Space Wolf to reach such high office within the Chapter with the Curse of the Wulfen upon him.

The Great Wolf fully supported Bran's promotion to Wolf Lord, but not without caution as he ordered Ulrik the Slayer and his Wolf Priests to keep a vigilant watch over Bran and his Great Company, so that they did not stray too far and risk repeating the mistakes of the past. Knowing that the beast lurks within, Bran eschews the close company of his warriors, even on the battlefield (or perhaps especially upon the battlefield). Bran issues his orders before deployment, preferring to hunt alone or in the company of a pack of Fenrisian Wolves, leaving his trusted Wolf Guard battle leaders in direct tactical control. When the Curse of the Wulfen takes him, Bran is transformed into a huge ravenous wolf-beast; fully twelve feet tall, powerful, fast, and with claws that can rend Plasteel and fangs like Adamantium daggers. Consumed by a frenzied bloodlust, this Wulfen, the Redmaw, tears its foes apart in an orgy of blood. But despite the creature's bestial appearance, Redmaw is no mindless killer. The beast still retains a hunter's cunning, using stealth and patience to close with its prey before pouncing upon them in an explosion of bloody violence.

Notable CampaignsEdit

  • The Relief of Mantus (766.M41) - Deep in the Gothic Sector, the binary worlds of Alegia and Mantus orbited each other peacefully for thousands of years, loyalty manfacturing lasguns for use in the Imperium's many wars in the sector. That peace was shattered though when the worlds' system was invaded by a massive Ork WAAAGH! led by Ugnubz Manstomper form the Ork Blood Axes clan. Though Mantus maintained a strong Planetary Defence Force, the Planetary Governor still sent out a request for reinforcements as soon as the WAAAGH!'s hulks appeared in the system. Three weeks later this aid blasted its way into the system in the form of Bran Redmaw's Great Company. The less protected worlds of Alegia had already been overwhelmed by the Orks, but pockets of resistance still fought on Mantus. Tearing through its atmosphere in scores of Drop Pods, the Great Company landed close to where fighting was fiercest. As the Guardsmen prepared for yet another charge by the Ork horde, Bran Redmaw's Great Company worked their way around the horde's flanks and began to cut a bloody swathe through the greenskins with little more than Chainswords and Bolters, and, according to unsubstantiated eye witness accounts, also their teeth and bare hands. The unexpected assault rippled through the Ork masses. It took fourteen hours for the Space Wolves to fight their way to the besieged Guardsmen that day, the number of Ork dead numbering in the tens of thousands by the time Bran Redmaw pulled his bloody chainsword out of the body of the last Ork he had killed. With its warlord slain at the hands of the Wolf Lord, the impetus of the Ork WAAAGH! waned. Imperial Guard reinforcements were then shipped to the region in a massive clear-up operation that would last many years, hunting down and slaying Ork survivors of the WAAAGH!
  • The Massacre of K'ras'n'dar (801-849.M41) - Between its deployment at Mantus and Betalis III incursion, there is little mention of Bran Redmaw's Great Company in Imperial records. Buried deep within the Inquisition's archives for the western Segmentum Pacificus sector, there is one file which has been classified as accessible only by the highest echelons of that order. It has only ever been accessed by one person and his location is currently listed as missing. The file is heavily restricted because it is a full account of the fifty year war fought against the Khorneate Chaos Daemon, K'rasn'n'dar, which manifested within one of the few heavily populated Imperial systems on the border between the Halo Stars and the west of the Segmentum Pacificus. The entire population rose up and began to wage war on neighbouring populated planets. In response an Imperial Guard army was raised to defeat the Daemon and his followers. The Daemon was eventually cast back into the Warp by the combined forces of the Inquisition and the Grey Knights Chapter. It is at this point that Bran Redmaw's Great Company is believed to have played its part in this war. Although it is not mention by name, the account of the battle against the Chaos-turned human hordes whilst the Grey Knights fought the Daemon bears what appears to be the mark of the Wolf Lord. An attempt to forcibly remove this mark has clearly been made at some point as it is now barely recognisable. That the description of the battle is nearly identical to one described in a three hundred verse sage written by the Great Company's Rune Priests in the years immediately following the war has not yet come to the attention of the Inquisition.
  • The Betalis Campaign (894.M41) - Betalis III was the site of the Betalis III Campaign fought in 894.M41 between the forces of the Imperium defending the system and the Eldar who sought to recover the armour of the ancient Phoenix Lord Irillyth, the founder of the Shadow Spectre Aspect Warriors, who had perished on the world millennia before. An alliance of Eldar forces from the Craftworlds of Mymeara and Alaitoc, as well as Eldar Corsairs from the Void Dragons, Sky Raiders, and Sunblitz Brotherhood, descended on the frigid world to recover their beloved Phoenix Lord's armour before it was discovered and defiled by the human miners present on Betalis III. The Mymearans sought to reanimate Irillyth to fight once more for his people, as his spirit would have remained intact within his armour's Spirit Stone. Betalis III was reinforced by Imperial Guard regiments drawn from the Cadian Shock Troops and the Elysian Drop Troops as well as Titans from the Legio Gryphonicus and Bran Redmaw's Great Company. After the Imperial forces fought the Eldar to a bloody standstill, the mysterious xenos vanished as quickly as they had arrived after they had recovered Irillyth.
  • The Battle for Montberg Spaceport (897.M41) - When Hive Fleet Colossus descends in force upon the civilised world of Thressiax, the Imperial forces of garrisoned there prove unable to stop the constant influx of Tyranid invaders, Imperial Command issues a high ruling for all Imperial forces to withdraw and leave the settlers of Thressiax to their fate so that the Tyranids can be exterminated from space. Bran Redmaw, resupplying upon Thressiax at the time, objects fiercely to this dictat. Though he himself cannot leave the front lines, he sends two full squads of Grey Hunters intensively train the menfolk of Montberg in anti-Tyranid drill, putting the fear of Fenris into those who considered fleeing. Against all odds, the Grey Hunters and their new recruits hold the walls of the spaceport against the screeching swarms of alien invaders, buying the settler families enough time to escape. When the six surviving Grey Hunters finally leave the spaceport themselves, Imperial High Command orders them to be stripped of all honours for disobeying a direct command. Instead Bran Redmaw promotes all six into his personal Wolf Guard in recognition of their valorous deed.

The RedmawsEdit

The Space Wolves Chapter takes its initiates from the barbarian tribes of Fenris. Already fierce warriors, the body of each Space Wolf initiate will undergo far more changes than initiates of other Chapters. Amongst the most common changes are that the initiate's senses will become vastly superior to that of other Space Marines, his teeth will lengthen into fangs capable of tearing through plasteel, and his skin will toughen to the texture of leather. Given his naturally fierce persona and now genetically altered build, the initiate could almost be described as displaying feral traits when compared to other, more "Codex", Chapters such as the Ultramarines. Also, as the Space Wolf ages, his body will undergo further changes, although these are rarely recorded and it is unknown outside of the Space Wolves how commonly they occur. The source of these "mutations" is believed to lie within the Canis Helix, the gene-seed unique to the Chapter. Imbibed from the Cup of the Wulfen, it transforms the Space Wolves initiate into what can only be described as a ravenous monster. Should he survive both these physical and psychological transformations, then he can continue with the rest of the initiation process. Those who do not, die. Even once the Helix has been established, it still has the power to affect the warrior throughout his life, particularly when the ferocity of the Space Wolf, barely kept in check at the best of times, is roused in battle. Then the warrior may finally succumb to the Curse of the Wulfen, and he is transformed once again into the beast he has fought for so many centuries to subdue.

Amongst the Space Wolves, there is one group under the shadow of this curse more than any other, that of Bran Redmaw's Great Company. It is renowned for its savagery in battle, and the Inquisition has, within its records pertaining to loyal Adeptus Astartes deviation, accounts of terrifying feral creatures shadowing the deployment of the Great Company. These though have yet to be proved, and the Space Wolves Chapter ignores all demands to account for these allegations. The Great Company's Wolf Lord Bran Redmaw, also does little to dispel these rumours, and that he has recently begun to take to the battlefield alone rather than leading his battle-brothers only serves to court the growing attention of the Inquisition and the Ecclesiarchy are paying upon the Great Company. No one has yet dared to question their loyalty to the Imperium, and its proven record combating Mankind's enemies has forced the Inquisition to so far stay its hand.

Each Great Company has its own nuances, be they in fighting style, organisation or battle-tactics. Bran instills the same tactics he uses when hunting his foes into his warriors -- patience and the opportune moment to strike. There are no headlong rushes to battle or proud boasting of their strength and battle prowess for the Astartes of his Great Company. Instead they meticulously plan, manoeuvre and make tactical strikes to weaken the foe before the sudden final assault, often striking from multiple directions, but always with overwhelming and pitiless savagery, tearing an enemy force to shreds.

WargearEdit

  • Artificer Armour - Bran is equipped as befits a mighty Wolf Lord, wearing Rune Armour decorated with wolf totems and fetishes.
  • Terminator Armour (Optional)
  • Belt of Russ - Each Great Company has in its Armoury a single Belt of Russ. A mighty ward against enemy attacks, these powerful girdles incorporate potent gravitic force fields that protect the wearer. Forged by the master Iron Priest Stef Blacksoul after the disappearance of Russ, these belts are important relics of the Chapter.
  • Bolt Pistol
  • Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades
  • Langnvast - For his weapon, Redmaw bears Langnvast, a master-forged relic Frost Blade of the Chapter gifted to him by Logan Grimnar upon his promotion to the rank of Wolf Lord. This axe is an ancient and storied weapon amongst the Space Wolves, carried by many heroes of the Chapter into uncounted battles.

SourcesEdit

  • Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pp. 15-16, 19
  • Codex: Space Wolves (3rd Edition), pg. 13
  • Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pp. 108-110, 126-127

GalleryEdit

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