- "We have been wounded sorely. Yet still we stand with fire in our hearts. Let them think us beaten. We shall teach them otherwise."
The Crimson Fists is a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter and a Second Founding Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists Legion. The Crimson Fists is a Chapter on the edge of extinction, its fortress-monastery destroyed and its numbers all but annihilated when the Ork WAAAGH! Snagrod descended on the Loki Sector of Segmentum Tempestus and its Chapter homeworld of Rynn's World in 989.M41. Yet the Crimson Fists fight on, bearing the blows of a cruel fate with a stoicism that has become legend across the Imperium.
Even amongst the elite ranks of the Space Marines, the remaining Crimson Fists are held as warriors without peer, forged in the fire of the most terrible and hopeless battles. As one would expect of successors to the Imperial Fists, the Crimson Fists are steadfast and stubborn warriors, reluctant to yield so long as victory is possible. Nonetheless, the Chapter's brush with annihilation has tempered this ardour with grim reality. The Crimson Fists' future now lies with a handful of Space Marines, their lives to be expended for greater rewards than the salving of personal pride. Now the Battle-Brothers of the Crimson Fists fight for more than the Emperor of Mankind, more than honour and renown. They fight so that their Chapter may survive, and one day regain its former glories.
Though they originated as a fleet-based Chapter, the Crimson Fists have become well-established as defenders of the Loki Sector in Segmentum Tempestus. There are countless Ork empires active in the region, which represent an ever-present threat to the Imperium's interests. Over time, the Crimson Fists have become particularly adept at combating these savage xenos, though they have also engaged in countless battles against a broad spectrum of opponents across the span of the galaxy. As successors of the Imperial Fists, they proudly maintain the legacy of Rogal Dorn while also holding true to the teachings of the Codex Astartes.
In recent years, the Chapter has suffered severe losses following the Rynn's World Campaign at the hands of the Greenskins of WAAAGH! Snagrod and the subsequent massive daemonic incursions during the Warp Storms that followed the formation of the Great Rift in 999.M41. The Crimson Fists found themselves clinging precariously close to existence. The Crimson Fists were successful in halting this incursion, though their stubbornness in the face of overwhelming odds cost them greatly. When the forces of the Indomitus Crusade entered orbit above Rynn's World, they brought more than just reinforcements to the Crimson Fists -- they brought a future. From Archmagos Belisarius Cawl's freighter-hulk Zar-Quaesitor, a new generation of Crimson Fists -- the Primaris Space Marines -- joined the fray.
Foundation and Crusades
In the aftermath of the tragic conflict known as the Horus Heresy, Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion, penned his sacred manual of warfare, the Codex Astartes. With the creation of this tome, Guilliman demanded that his brothers accept his example by dividing their own Space Marine Legions into 1,000-member Space Marine Chapters so that no single commander could ever control the power of an entire Astartes Legion again. Initially, Primarch Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists Legion was opposed to such a notion. He argued that more than ever before, it was crucial for his Space Marines to remain as a consolidated Legion so that they could continue to work closely together in order to protect the Imperium from the remnants of the Traitor Legions.
This issue became an increasingly critical point of contention between the two Primarchs, as their arguments grew in intensity. Ultimately, following the events known as the Iron Cage, Dorn eventually relented, choosing to concede to Guilliman's demands and allow the surviving Astartes of his Legion to be divided into three Chapters. Two of the Chapters formed from the Imperial Fist Legion were the Black Templars and the Crimson Fists. The Crimson Fists Chapter's members were selected by Dorn from those Astartes who had been most recently initiated into the VII Legion, with the exception of its leaders, who were all Veterans. The newly founded Chapter's first Chapter Master was Alexis Polux, a Battle-Brother who had won the Primarch's respect countless times. Known as much for his massive physical size and prowess as his leadership and tactical expertise, Polux led the Crimson Fists for the first 800 standard years of their existence. During this time, he did much to shape their interpretation of the Codex Astartes and their combat doctrines.
The Crimson Fists were a crusading fleet-based Chapter for the next nine millennia much like their brother Chapter the Black Templars. The Crimson Fists travelled throughout the Imperium, defeating the enemies of the Emperor. Their Battle Barge Rutilus Tyrannus served as their mobile fortress-monastery, though a large fleet of additional Strike Cruisers supported it. Across the ages, the Crimson Fists built a reputation of loyal service and utter competency in the fight against any who would oppose the Imperium of Man. Much of their activity was focused within the Loki Sector of the Segmentum Tempestus, but this was not the only region of the galaxy in which they defended the realm of the Emperor. No matter the nature of the foe, this Chapter remained loyal to the Imperium and its sacred cause, answering the calls of both the Inquisition and the Adeptus Administratum throughout its long service. Its service has led to that trust being reciprocal, to the extent that twice the Chapter has been assigned to eliminate other Space Marine Chapters that have embraced heresy. These were the Sons of Gideon, who surrendered to madness, and the Marines Vigilant, whose minds were shattered by xenos exposure.
Perhaps their most famous Crusade was the Crusade of Righteous Liberation fought for 300 Terran years during the 36th Millennium that nearly destroyed the Chapter, leaving only 128 Crimson Fists Astartes remaining before it was completed. Unlike the Black Templars, the Crimson Fists showed a more rigid adherence to the Codex Astartes, and tended to maintain close ties with the Loki Sector. It was not until almost eight hundred years into the 40th Millennium that the Crimson Fists were granted feudal rights to their own Chapter planet, Rynn's World, which was located in the Loki Sector. The world was granted to the Chapter as a reward by the High Lords of Terra for its success in the Voltigern Crusade. Over the course of this Crusade, the Crimson Fists had blunted countless significant Ork forces within the sector, preventing them from unifying into a single overwhelming threat. The proximity of Rynn's World to several of the Crimson Fists' primary recruiting worlds like Blackwater in that sector was ideal, and the Chapter constructed its fortress-monastery, the Arx Tyrannus, from the dismantled remains of their ancient Battle Barge Rutilus Tyrannus in the middle of the inhospitable and frigid Hellblade Mountains of the planet's southern continent.
While many Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes are firm in their beliefs and zealous in defending the Emperor's Imperium, the Crimson Fists' zeal is, if anything, greater than usual. This Chapter trait has lead to the Crimson Fists being called upon numerous times by the High Lords of Terra to exterminate their fellow Space Marine Chapters who have been declared Excommunicate Traitoris. At least three such instances have been recorded in Imperial history. The first such occurred after a routine examination of the gene-seed of the Chapter known as the Sons of Gideon revealed that it had mutated to such an extent that the Space Marines of this Chapter had been driven insane by a chemical imbalance. The Crimson Fists mercilessly destroyed the Sons of Gideon's homeworld of Gideon IV and then hunted down the Sons of Gideon's 3rd Company which had escaped the initial assault and had been butchering its way through the 4 billion citizens of the Colar System. The second Chapter the Crimson Fists took action against was the Marines Vigilant, who had come under the influence of a strange and rare Warp entity that had wiped away the Chapter's willingness to engage in combat. Tragically, the Marines Vigilant put up no resistance at all as the Crimson Fists bombarded their verdant homeworld into a wasteland.
The third Chapter the Crimson Fists fought against were the Soul Drinkers. Dark rumours persist that there were 6 Second Founding Chapters of the Imperial Fists, the final one being the Soul Drinkers. For unknown reasons, in the last century of the 41st Millennium the Soul Drinkers were declared Excommunicate Traitoris and all records of the Chapter were destroyed by an Inquisitorial Edict of Obliteration. Somehow these Renegade Space Marines escaped destruction. On Entymion IV, an entire Battle Company of the Crimson Fists sought to eradicate the remaining traitors of the Soul Drinkers. Remarkably, the Soul Drinkers not only out-maneuvered the Crimson Fists but managed to escape the planet as well. While the Crimson Fists did manage to foil a brewing plot concocted by a Dark Eldar Kabal, the Chapter was furious that the Soul Drinkers had escaped the righteous retribution of the Emperor. The Crimson Fists' willingness to sanction their fellow Space Marines has earned them a reputation as the High Lords of Terra's lapdogs by the more unorthodox Chapters such as the Space Wolves, White Scars and the Exorcists.
The Battle of Rynn's World
In 989.M41, an Ork Warlord known as Snagrod, the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, united many of the warring Ork factions surrounding the Loki Sector and began a massive WAAAGH!, taking several human colonies with minimal resistance, Snagrod boasted that his next conquest would be Rynn's World. WAAAGH! Snagrod's first primary attack against the Imperium occurred when they conquered the lightly defended colony world of Badlanding. The world's Imperial citizens cried out for aid, and the Crimson Fists' 3rd Company responded in force. However, due to faulty intelligence, the Space Marines suffered a brutal defeat at the hands of overwhelming numbers of Orks. The size of Snagrod's forces had been significantly underestimated, and only a few Space Marines escaped to relay vital intelligence back to Chapter Master Pedro Kantor. Kantor ordered the immediate recall of all Crimson Fists, and set about organising the defences of Rynn's World.
When Snagrod's WAAAGH! hit Rynn's World, it was with a force unseen among Orks since the Second War for Armageddon. The Chapter recalled all of its forces to Rynn's World, in preparation for a defensive action against the oncoming Ork WAAAGH!, suspending any further raids until further information became available. After all of the Crimson Fist companies had returned, but before the Chapter could plan a counteroffensive, the WAAAGH! Snagrod reached the Rynnstar System. The Chapter responded by enabling their many tiered, tactically capable, and technologically sophisticated network of orbital defensive satellites. The system annihilated the initial waves of Ork Roks, Kroozers, and planetary assault craft.
Then, tragedy struck when one of the planet's defensive missiles suffered a catastrophic failure. The weapon never made it out of the atmosphere, and instead crashed back into the Crimson Fists' Fortress-Monastery from which it had been fired. There, its plasma warhead detonated and in the course of the explosion detonated the structure's vast and ancient arsenal. Secondary explosions ripped through the Fortress-Monastery destroying it and killing hundreds of Space Marines who had gathered to plan the counter offensive against the Ork WAAAGH! Only sixteen Space Marines, including Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, managed to survive the devastating explosion.
As the Crimson Fists' Fortress-Monastery served as the primary control for the world's defensive satellites, with its destruction, the planet's defensive network collapsed. The Ork invaders were able to nearly overwhelm the planet's resistance as they descended to the world's surface. The survivors, forced to move stealthily through territory captured by the Orks, were able to link up with a detachment of Crimson Fists assigned to defend Rynn's World's capital, New Rynn City, in the process remaining awake for 328.7 standard hours. There, they reunited with nearly four hundred surviving Crimson Fists Battle-Brothers who were shocked to find their Chapter Master yet lived. Faced with the destruction of the vast majority of his Chapter at Rynn's World, Kantor was faced with a choice few Chapter Masters have ever had to make.
He could lead the remnants of his decimated force in a vainglorious last stand, determined to slaughter as many of the enemy as possible before succumbing to their overwhelming numbers, or, as he eventually chose, he could marshal his resources and deploy his remaining force in missions that favoured small, elite units, looking to the eventual rebuilding of the Chapter and retaking of his world. It has been noted that many Chapter Masters in Kantor's position would have chosen the former option, ensuring their Chapter a place in legend rather than accept their virtual defeat. It is to Kantor's eternal credit, and is a mark of a leader of superior character, that he made the choice he did, for the Imperium can ill afford the loss of such a fine Chapter of Astartes as the Crimson Fists.
The survivors held out against the encroaching Orks for eighteen standard months until a massive Imperial Navy fleet arrived in 990.M41. The newcomers, which included multiple regiments of the Imperial Guard, contingents from several different Space Marine Chapters and several battlegroups of Imperial Titans, managed to rout the xenos forces from the planet and liberate the surviving Space Marines and people of Rynn's World. However, the damage had been done. In addition to losing their fortress and nearly 60 percent of their brethren, the Chapter also lost much of its irreplaceable gene-seed stock and ancient wargear. The effort to fully cleanse the planet of Greenskin taint took many years.
The Rynn's World Campaign resulted in catastrophic losses for the Crimson Fists, with the Chapter almost completely wiped out. As a result, Kantor's primary focus is currently on rebuilding the Chapter. Though famous across the Imperium as Ork fighters, Snagrod's WAAAGH! has induced a deep hatred of Greenskins within the Chapter, and it is said that Crimson Fists Space Marines will go to any lengths to defeat any Ork forces they encounter. The Crimson Fists are often on the move, no longer having a true home base and reverting to their ancient practice of operating as primarily a fleet-based Chapter. Yet, they often return to Rynn's World to mourn the Battle-Brothers who died so heroically in its defence.
Battle for Traitor's Gorge
- "Brothers, today we have come to reclaim that which is ours and defend the Imperium as the Primarch instructed. Show these greenskins no mercy, for they are nothing but a pox upon the galaxy."
- — Chaplain Jorge Martinez, Crimson Fists 4th Company
One tale of the reclamation of Rynn's World from the Orks of WAAAGH! Snagrod is not so widely told, and known only to the Crimson Fists' Chapter Master Pedro Kantor and his closest Battle-Brothers. The tale begins a half-year after the completion of the reclamation of Rynn's World from WAAAGH! Snagrod. Although the planet was officially designated by the Imperium as secure once more, Orks are always a difficult species to truly eradicate once they have made planetfall. Several Greenskin warbands were known to be lurking in the planet's Jaden Mountains, conducting raids that the surviving weary and war-torn populace of Rynn's World could ill-afford.
As the Crimson Fists' few surviving Techmarines salvaged and repaired what little had survived the WAAAGH!'s assault, Chapter Master Kantor dedicated himself to the cleansing of the Jaden Mountains of the remaining Orks that lurked within their confines. It was a difficult campaign, for the Orks defended every crag and cavern, and Kantor had neither the men nor the equipment he would have wished for such a task. Nonetheless, the Crimson Fists forged on, slaying Greenskins wherever they could be found. Under such a threat, it was perhaps only a matter of time before the Orks of the Jaden Mountains united. So it was that when Kantor's force came under attack in Traitor's Gorge, they found themselves assailed not only by the warband that they had been hunting, but by every Ork for leagues around in every direction.
Though but two dozen in number, Kantor and his Crimson Fists fought as heroes of legend, taking a grievous toll on an Ork horde that numbered hundreds. With Kantor at the forefront, the Space Marines battled their way clear of the ravine's treacherous confines and sought the high ground. There they planted their feet and fought shoulder to shoulder against the horde, but still the Orks kept coming. With all the Crimson Fists' Thunderhawk Gunships lost in battle or under heavy repair, Kantor knew that both evacuation and reinforcement were impossible, and the Orks showed no sign of giving up the battle. Three of Kantor's Battle-Brothers had been slain in the escape from the ravine, and only the Chapter Master remained unwounded. In return, the Crimson Fists made Traitor's Gorge run red with the blood of slain Greenskins, and fought from behind barricades of the bulky Orkish dead, but Kantor knew that the odds were stacked against him.
Without warning, the Greenskin tide began to slacken. Seeking the reason, Kantor's keen eye saw ghostly figures on Widow's Spire to the west and Darkridge to the east, high above and behind the encircling Orks. Graceful were these newcomers, darting from cover to cover and paying no heed to the treacherous footing as their longrifles brought precise death to the Ork horde. Who his fresh allies were, Kantor could not immediately tell, for their forms shimmered as insubstantial as mist in the morning sunlight, but nor did he care. All that mattered was that this intervention gave his Battle-Brothers the chance that they needed to counterattack and turn the battle's tide.
Giving a mighty shout, the Crimson Fists charged over their rampart of dead greenskins and set upon the Orks with new vigour. Caught between the re-doubled rage of the Crimson Fists and fresh attackers on the slopes, the Orks were thrust back. The Greenskins fled down Traitor's Gorge, leaving more than ten score dead and twice as many wounded behind them. As Kantor's men walked amongst the carnage, ending the lives of those Orks too foolhardy or injured to flee, a robed figure detached itself from the shadows clustered on Widow's Spire and strode swiftly to Kantor's side. Coldly contemptuous of any threat posed by the watchful Space Marines, it cut through the Chapter Master's wary greeting:
"The surviving beasts cower in the shadows below, ensnared in a web of our devising. Pursue them into the darkness and a great victory shall be yours."
"And should I choose not to do so?" Kantor asked, for he could not bring himself to place his trust in the elaborately helmed alien, now revealed as a warrior of the Eldar race, that stood before him.
"Then they will escape and grow ever stronger in the darkness. In fifty years a shadow of their making will arise to envelop this area of space which, unopposed, shall be the doom of your people and mine. Catastrophe will reign, and you shall lament your inaction this day."
"Will you aid us in the gorge as you did here?" Kantor demanded, but the figure shook its head.
"Be not so swift to embrace us as allies. Auspicious fate dictated that we should fight side-by-side this day but, fate is a fickle creature. At our next encounter, it will be my fists that bear the stain of your blood."
And with that, the alien turned and was gone, and the shadows that lurked amongst the scree of Widow's Spire and Darkridge were gone also. Kantor weighed the words and actions he had borne witness to and led his men into Traitor's Gorge. There in the darkness a great victory was indeed his, forever ending the Ork threat in the Jaden Mountains. Returning to the lowlands, Kantor continued the rebuilding of his Chapter, and in time raised the Crimson Fists out of ruin to once more stand alongside the greatest champions of Mankind. But in all the years of triumph that followed, the robed figure's words would dwell heavily on Kantor until, at the last, they met again...
Bloodied But Unbowed
Following the losses of the Rynn's World Campaign, the Crimson Fists found themselves in the unusual position of having a disproportionate number of Veterans and specialists amidst their ranks, Techmarines and Apothecaries in particular. The presence of these experienced brothers was vital to the rebuilding of the Chapter, for without the Techmarines' intricate knowledge of the workings of the Machine God, the Crimson Fists could not maintain the wargear of their armoury and remain a viable fighting force. Without the Apothecaries' knowledge of the complex process of creating new warrior brethren, the Chapter would dwindle and disappear within a short span of years. The safeguarding of the Chapter's gene-seed is of paramount importance to the Crimson Fists, and it is a rare day when they will withdraw from the field of battle before their Apothecaries have recovered the Progenoids of every last fallen brother, even in the face of overwhelming enemy attack.
The Crimson Fists have begun recruiting additional brethren from not only Rynn's World, but across the entire Loki Sector. The process couldn't be rushed, however, for the Crimson Fists had a long and noble tradition to maintain, and to compromise on the quality and suitability of Aspirants at such a critical juncture could one day spell its doom. Though the newly re-formed 10th Company consisted of only a few Scout Squads, the Chapter had begun to forge the future of the Crimson Fists with every battle they fought. These squads had been the recipients of much of the Chapter's knowledge and experience and had already distinguished themselves in their early actions against Ork forces in the sector; tellingly, the Scouts were also developing an abhorrence for Greenskins rivalling that of even the Chapter's Veterans.
As one would expect of Successors to the Imperial Fists, the Crimson Fists are steadfast warriors, reluctant to yield so long as victory is possible. Defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for their Battle-Brothers and they would rather die fighting than accept that failure. Nonetheless, the Chapter's brush with annihilation has tempered this ardour with grim reality, forcing them to withdraw when they find themselves in futile conflicts. The Crimson Fists' future now lies with a handful of Space Marines, their lives to be expended for greater rewards than the salving of personal pride or the pursuit of vengeance, even against the despised race of Orks who brought the Chapter to its knees. Now the Battle-Brothers of the Crimson Fists fight for more than honour and renown -- they fight so that their Chapter may survive, and one day regain its former glories in the service of the Emperor.
During the recent events of Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade, the long-standing Fortress World of Cadia was destroyed. With Cadia's fall and the loss of the network of Necron-built Cadian Pylons that had long prevented the Eye of Terror from naturally expanding into the Materium, the Warp rift began to expand exponentially across the width of the known galaxy. This tear in reality, known as the Great Rift, effectively rent the Imperium in half. The beleaguered forces of the Imperium increasingly found themselves overwhelmed as the power of Chaos and the xenos hordes grew unstoppable. Whole sectors of the Imperium lost contact with Terra, while others reported the onslaught of rabid Greenskin hordes, aggressive Tau fleets or undying Necron hosts, seemingly driven to conquest in the face of the expanding Warp Storm fronts. Heretic Chaos Cults and rogue psykers rose up in the billions, and every Imperial world now seemed set to burn in the fires of unending war. But all was not lost, for upon the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge during the Ultramar Campaign of 999.M41, the genius of Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl combined with the power of Ynnead, the Aeldari god of the dead, to resurrect the Primarch Roboute Guilliman from his millennia-long, deathless slumber.
Guilliman had anticipated the need for a new breed of hero for this, the darkest age in the Imperium's history. He knew that the galaxy would need warriors resilient enough to stand against the Forces of Chaos as the Imperium found itself poised on the brink of annihilation. To that end, for 10,000 standard years, Archmagos Cawl had been working upon improving the Adeptus Astartes themselves. The result were the Primaris Space Marines of the Ultima Founding, a more powerful corps of transhuman warriors, more potent than even the original Astartes. New armies were raised in breathtaking numbers and new and terrible weapons were developed whose fury even the worshippers of the Dark Gods would be unable to withstand. Gathering a great new armada, composed of elements of the Adeptus Custodes, the Silent Sisterhood and a vast war host of Primaris Space Marines from many newly founded Chapters, the Lord Commander of the Imperium launched his Indomitus Crusade.
The Coming of the Avenging Son
History seemed doomed to repeat itself when Rynn's World was struck by daemonic incursions during the Warp Storms that followed the birth of the Great Rift. The Daemon Prince Rhaxor and his hellish legions attacked, and the Crimson Fists were once more outnumbered and besieged upon their homeworld. Three times Pedro Kantor led spearheads out to drive back the foe. When the Indomitus Crusade arrived unlooked for at Rynn's World, they broke the daemonic legions of the Daemon Prince. After the fighting was done, Roboute Guilliman himself gazed upon the piled dead of their foes and commended both the Chapter and their stalwart leader.
The Crimson Fists marvelled at the return of the legendary Primarch, but were even more grateful for the arrival of Primaris Space Marines bearing their own heraldry. Guilliman had decreed that those Chapters who had suffered the keenest losses and the highest rates of attrition fighting against the myriad foes of Mankind would be the first to receive Primaris Space Marine reinforcements. The Crimson Fists proved to be one of the first recipients of these new transhuman warriors, and would be able to finally rebuild their decimated Chapter. Here were warriors whose genetic composition was closer to their own Primarch, Rogal Dorn, than had ever before existed. For his raw material, Cawl had selected warriors of Terra, and had taken them only a few generations after the original Imperial Fists had been created by the Emperor. Indeed, some had been held in stasis since the days of the Great Crusade; a few of the Primaris Space Marines could recall having seen Rogal Dorn himself. When these transhuman warriors of the Ultima Founding had been brought before their parent Chapter, it was like a meeting of brothers separated at birth. Arriving at a time of great darkness and upheaval, the Primaris Astartes' strength was welcomed.
Rising From the Ashes
- "I have not summoned you for censure, but to speak earnestly. Rogal Dorn thought there was no higher purpose to the existence of the Astartes than the unification of Mankind. I see that in you also. And his determination. We -- I -- need men who fight bravely even when faced with great tragedy. I have seen with my own eyes in recent days how you inspire intense loyalty in those around you. And I see you hold duty above glory or vengeance. My brother would be proud. Reassemble your Chapter, Pedro Kantor, and look now to the future rather than the past -- the Loki System, and the Imperium entire, has need of you."
In the aftermath of the battles upon Rynn's World, Pedro Kantor had much to do. The daemons had brought ruin to much of the planet. The Chapter, so painstakingly rebuilt, was once more decimated, and with Primaris reinforcements from Archmagos Cawl, there were entire new companies of Crimson Fists that had never known Rynn's World or the Chapter's rituals. As in awe of the Ultramarines Primarch as Kantor was, the Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists was simply too overstretched to do more than thank the Lord Commander of the Imperium for his timely arrival. Pressed for time, Guilliman spent but three solar days on Rynn's World as his Crusade refitted itself.
Before he left, Guilliman summoned Pedro Kantor. The Chapter Master arrived late, still arrayed in his blood-soaked and battle-worn Power Armour. Noticing the Chapter Master's discomfort, the Lord Commander of the Imperium put Kantor's mind at ease, for he had not summoned him for censure, but to speak to him both sincerely and most gravely. He commended the stalwart Chapter Master for his leadership, tenacity and stubbornness in the face of overwhelming odds, as well as his dedication to the performance of duty above all else. He assured Kantor that he upheld the proud genetic legacy of his gene-father Rogal Dorn. The Primarch told Kantor that he would need such men in the days ahead, as they faced the encroaching darkness on all sides. He ordered the Chapter Master to reassemble his Chapter and to look towards the future rather than the past for the Imperium had great need of him and his Crimson Fists.
- The Crusade of Righteous Liberation (Unknown Date.M36) - The Crusade of Righteous Liberation was the most legendary military campaign executed by the Crimson Fists in their history. The Crusade lasted for over three hundred Terran years before the Crimson Fists had given up their original role as a fleet-based Chapter and settled on their new homeworld of Rynn's World. This Crusade occurred during the Age of Apostasy when the Imperium was wracked by internal strife. In total, 84 worlds were reconquered by the Crimson Fists over the course of the Crusade. The Chapter's numbers dwindled as a result of attrition during the long campaign, because the Crimson Fists were unable to recruit new Initiates to replace their losses whilst on Crusade. Only 128 Crimson Fists were left at the successful conclusion of the Crusade, and forever after the Chapter's 1st Company has always been kept at 128 Astartes in memory of this time, and is always led by the Crimson Fists' Chapter Master. Known as the Crusade Company, it is considered a bad omen if the Chapter goes to war without the 1st Company being at full strength.
- Thule Intervention (978.M39) - A conclave of Eldar Farseers from the Iyanden Craftworld appeared without warning in the throne chamber of the High King of Thule. The inscrutable xenos issued the planetary ruler with simple demand -- the entire human population must depart Thule within the month or be ejected by force. Before the High King could answer, the Farseers vanished, but he soon decided to flee Thule and abandon his people to their fate rather than face the wrath of the Eldar. A month later, a large Eldar army arrived at Thule, only to find a deployment of Space Marines from the Crimson Fists Chapter arrayed in force against them. Finding themselves trapped the Eldar attempted to withdraw, the Crimson Fists inflicting heavy losses before the last of the xenos escaped.
- Chapter Dispute (819.M41) - A perceived slight caused the Mortifactors and Crimson Fists to come to blows. Only a personal intercession by the Ultramarines' Chapter Master Marneus Calgar ended the dispute before it escalated into open warfare. The matter was kept from the attention of the Adeptus Terra.
- Battle of the Steel Cross (853.M41) - During the decisive moments of the Battle of the Steel Cross, Captain Cortez single-handedly slew an Ork Warlord and his entire bodyguard. Cortez had managed to disarm the Ork leader with a twist of his torso after the Ork's sword had become embedded in Cortez' ribs.
- The Hellabore Assault (867.M41) - Captain Alessio Cortez and the Crimson Fists' 4th Company battled the Eldar of Craftworld Iyanden on the world of Hellabore. Despite suffering grievous wounds, including a stab wound to one of his hearts, Cortez led the final assault that routed the Eldar from Hellabore.
- The Toran VI Massacres (934.M41) - The Crimson Fists defeaed the warband of Chaos Lord Sathash the Golden.
- The Declates Crusade (Date Unknown.M41) - The Declates Crusade was a joint Imperial Crusade against the Ork WAAAGH! Gitzmott carried out by both the Crimson Fists and Black Templars Space Marine Chapters in the heavily-populated Declates System. As a symbol of solidarity against what seemed to be an innumerable foe, Astartes from both Chapters "exchanged" iconography and often fought in mixed squads. Black Templars painted their left hands red, and Crimson Fists painted a Templar Cross onto their right knee. This unusual gesture of unity helped establish a tight bond that steeled the resolve of the brave warriors involved in the ultimately successful cleansing of the system from the Greenskins' taint.
- The 104th Feast of Blades (949.M41) - The ravages of war dictated that only eight Chapters were in attendance at this ancient feast amongst the Successor Chapters of the Imperial Fists Legion, but the tradition was still observed. Supremacy was tied between the Imperial Fists and Crimson Fists Chapters when their nominated champions simultaneously ramed their swords through each other's primary heart in a closely fought duel.
- Battle of Rynn's World (989-990.M41) - The Battle of Rynn's World began in mid-989.M41 when the Ork Warlord Snagrod, the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, united the warring Greenskin factions bordering the Loki Sector and launched the largest WAAAGH! the Peryton 163 Cluster had seen since the Great Crusade, attacking the isolated Imperial Agri-world of Badlanding. The Imperial defenders of Badlanding were utterly unprepared for the invasion, and within days the only major strongpoint of resistance was the capital city of Krugerport, where the remnants of the 18th Mordian, 24th Lammas and 49th Boros Imperial Guard Regiments, commanded by Commissar Alhaus Baldur, put up a bold, but ultimately doomed, defence. Confident that he had the world in his grasp, Snagrod put out incessant, ranting broadcasts, boasting that his next conquest would be Rynn's World, which lay only a few weeks Warp travel from Badlanding. Chapter Master Pedro Kantor responded immediately, despatching the 3rd Company under Captain Ashor Drakken to Badlanding to stall the Ork WAAAGH! and determine its strength. The Battle of Krugerport was a tragic defeat for the Crimson Fists who found WAAAGH! Snagrod to be far larger and more aggressive than any could have predicted. In the resulting defeat, the Crimson Fists suffered a loss of 56 Space Marines out of a detachment of 84; Captain Drakken was among the fallen. The handful of Space Marines that survived the battle were able to escape to bring valuable intelligence back to Rynn's World. Upon hearing of the size and strength of the Ork war host, Chapter Master Kantor ordered the immediate recall of all Chapter companies fighting away from Rynn's World, mobilised the Planetary Defense Force, and prepared for the inevitable invasion. When the WAAAGH! Snagrod hit Rynn's World, it was with a force unparalleled by any other Ork invasion save for the second Greenskin assault on the Hive World of Armageddon that would come 9 standard years later. As the Ork dropships and "Roks" fell through the night sky, the Chapter's automated defence systems responded, and all was well until a malfunctioning plasma missile from the Space Marines' surface-to-space defence system, in a trillion to one malfunction, impacted on the Crimson Fists' Fortress-Monastery. The errant missile scored an impressively accurate, if altogether unintentional, hit on the fortress-monastery's main Armoury. The arsenal, the fortress-monastery, the mountain, and an area half a mile wide were instantly atomised. The Chapter was almost obliterated in the ensuing holocaust. Only 16 Crimson Fists garrisoned in their fortress-monastery survived its destruction, including Pedro Kantor and Captain Alessio Cortez. These Astartes then traveled overland while protecting what civilians they could until they linked up with what remained of the Chapter in New Rynn City. There they held out against the Ork siege of the city. The siege of New Rynn City ground on for 18 months, but the Crimson Fists maintained their stoic defence of the beleaguered city until Imperial reinforcements which included 6 Space Marine Chapters finally arrived in 990.M41, 18 months after the invasion began, to drive the Orks from the world, although small pockets of Greenskins would remain to trouble the planet's reconstruction for years afterwards. These reinforcements arrived just in time, as the Orks had constructed a series of Gargant war machines that not even the Crimson Fists' heroism could have repelled. The Chapter's losses in the wake of the reclamation of Rynn's World proved most grievous, with the loss of 60% of the Chapter's Battle-Brothers.
- Zeist Campaign (999.M41) - The Zeist Campaign was a military conflict fought between the Imperium of Man and the T'au Empire in the Zeist Sector of the Ultima Segmentum. Taking place in 999.M41, during the Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion, it ran concurrently with Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade and the assault on Imperial space by the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan. As the Imperium's military was heavily involved with preventing the breakout of the Forces of Chaos from the Cadian Gate on the other side of Imperial space, the T'au took advantage of this distraction to rapidly expand their territory. Marneus Calgar despatched Captain Cato Sicarius and the 2nd Company to the Zeist sector where they would draw a line in space to halt the Tau advance. Word was also sent to all nearby Chapters, asking for aid in the coming campaign. Heeding the Lord of Macragge's summons, the Crimson Fists send fresh tactical squads to be placed under Sicarius' command. Putting aside all rivalries of Chapter and status to fight as brothers against a deserving foe, a formidable strike force of close to a dozen Space Marine Chapters assaulted the Tau occupied world of Augura. They Tau could not hope to prevail against such an assemblage of might. The fortresses of Augura were smashed asunder and its shipyards and weapons factories destroyed. This effectively ended the Tau expansion as their forces retreated to more secure territory in dismay. Though fully prepared to carry the assault into the Tau Empire and reclaim those worlds captured at the start of the campaign, it was not to be, for the might of the Adeptus Astartes was needed elsewhere.
- Vengeance for Rynn's World (Unknown Date.M42) - Rejuvenated by the great influx of Primaris Space Marine Battle-Brothers in the wake of the Indomitus Crusade's arrival on their homeworld, the Crimson Fists declared a crusade of vengeance against the entire Ork race. As this news spread across the galaxy, several WAAAGH!s were diverted by their Warlords to meet the Crimson Fists in the hopes of a truly apocalyptic punch-up.
The Crimson Fists are classified as a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter, because they are strict followers of the sacred tome with only a few minor variants. At the end of the Crusade of Righteous Liberation in the 36th Millennium, only 128 Marines were left in the Chapter. Since that time the Crusade Company (1st Company) has always numbered 128 Space Marines. Since the Crimson Fists started as a crusading Chapter, they always had access to a large, well maintained fleet of starships. Although many vessels were lost over Rynn's World, the surviving fleet was more than capable of entangling the Orks' space forces until the Imperial Navy was able to reinforce the system.
With few exceptions, the Crimson Fists are compliant with the Codex in terms of organisation and battlefield procedures. They consistently follow the tactics presented in the Codex, efficiently making use of different standard units in the manner that sacred tactical manual requires. Their training is broad and all-encompassing, so that the Chapter can effectively counter opponents who use vastly different tactical approaches to battle. In this way, the Crimson Fists quickly adapt their tactics to defeat any who would oppose the will of the Imperium. Their millennia of active Crusading also necessitated that the Crimson Fists would have a higher number of specialists than the Codex dictates. During this time, they assembled a significant armada of Battle Barges and Strike Cruisers. Since their settlement of Rynn's World, the Chapter has maintained the size of this fleet. Their Techmarines traditionally maintain the fleet's vessels as well as the Chapter's vehicles. Every major vessel also maintains at least one Apothecary to insure that gene-seed may be harvested and secured until needed.
After the Battle of Rynn's World, the Crimson Fists found themselves in the interesting position of having more specialists than standard Battle-Brothers. The Chapter's Apothecaries and Techmarines have been forced to take on roles not normally assigned to them, although without their skills the Chapter would have dwindled beyond repair within a few years. The process of rebuilding the Chapter has been slow and arduous, although any rush would result in complications that would corrupt or destroy the Chapter at a later date. A number of Scout Squads have been inducted into a newly formed Tenth Company, and are said to be forging the future of the Chapter with their every action.
Various Imperial sources seem to conflict over the actual number of Battle-Brothers who survived the Rynn's World Campaign. One set of records record that just after the destruction of their fortress-monastery, but before the battle for Rynn City began in earnest, the Crimson Fists numbered 400 Battle-Brothers, mostly those stationed in Rynn City, in their Fleet and on outlying settlements. However, given the length of the Battle of Rynn's World, it is unlikely that anything even approaching that number of Space Marines were still alive at the end of the campaign. One quote made in reference to the Crimson Fists mentions the fact that a Chapter reduced to less than a company of Battle-Brothers is unlikely to recover. However, an additional record mentions that the Crimson Fists fielded four "reduced companies" at the turning of the millennium. Given that this is less than a decade after the end of the Rynn's World campaign (997.M41), it is unlikely that the Chapter has managed to "graduate" many new Battle-Brothers from its reduced Scout Marines cadre. While the actual number of Crimson Fists Marines who survived the Rynn's World campaign is unknown, it seems fair to assume that, by the end of the 41st Millennium, the Chapter is unlikely to field more than 200 Battle-Brothers.
Order of Battle, ca. 989.M41
Like all Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapters, the Crimson Fists were divided into ten companies of 100 Space Marines each when at full strength, with the exception of the 1st Company fielding 128 Battle-Brothers. Each company was led by an officer with the rank of Captain who is a hero of the Crimson Fists. Each Captain -- in addition to his company command -- is in charge of a particular aspect of the Chapter's logistics. The following represents the order of battle of the Crimson Fists Chapter as it stood during the invasion of Rynn's World in 989.M41, before the introduction of the Primaris Space Marines:
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|1st Company||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Company||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
Though Rynn's World is the Crimson Fists' home, it is not a planet from which they actively recruit. During their millennia as a crusading Chapter, the Crimson Fists established the practice of recruiting on many worlds of the Loki Sector. While a few had significant technological bases, the Chapter has generally recruited preferentially from Feral Worlds such as Blackwater, which is situated relatively close to Rynn's World. The natives of this world are renowned for their ferocity and courage, but are far from barbarous primitives. They are a noble people, whose lives are a daily struggle against adversity, and it is this stoic nature that makes them such ideal raw material to become Crimson Fists. While Aspirants are sometimes taken from other worlds, this practice has become increasingly uncommon. However, the Crimson Fists have never sought out those who engaged in savagery for its own sake. Rather, they seek the most appropriate candidates who are characterised by a combination of honour, athleticism, and stoicism in the face of overwhelming odds.
However, the Crimson Fists also now recruit from Rynn's World itself and other worlds near to it. Having been a fleet-based Chapter for several millennia, the Chapter had grown accustomed to recruiting from many worlds but always came back to Blackwater and several nearby star systems for a steady source of reliable recruits, making the move to become a ground-based Chapter relatively simple. The Chapter annually travels to Blackwater to conduct the Festival of the Bloodied Fist. Through the course of this ceremony, Aspirants are subjected to a battery of trials that are used to evaluate their martial, mental, and spiritual prowess. Few of those who attempt the trial make it to the later stages. For those who do, the final challenge requires a worthy Aspirant to travel deep into the planet's toxic swamps and kill a barb dragon with their bare hands. Each year, there are few who manage to complete this brutally challenging test. However, those who successfully survive are far more likely to complete their initiation into the Crimson Fists Chapter than are Initiates with most other Chapters.
Upon recruitment, a Crimson Fists Neophyte will serve in the Chapter's 10th Company as a Scout Marine just as in any other Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter. Upon completing the ritual known as "The Steeping", the Neophyte goes on to become a full Battle-Brother of the Chapter and takes his place in one of the Crimson Fists' Reserve Companies. Failed Aspirants, primarily those whose bodies proved metabolically and/or immunologically unable to accept the Chapter's gene-seed and Astartes implants, become Chapter Serfs.
Specialist Ranks and Chapter Titles
As Scions of Rogal Dorn, the Crimson Fists are regarded as a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter, as their organisation, order of battle and tactical operations adhere closely to the tenets laid down in that most sacred of tomes for the Adeptus Astartes. There are, however, several noteworthy and substantial deviations from the Codex-prescribed doctrine. Most notable among these deviations is the use of certain honourific ranks and titles within the Chapter in place of the standard Space Marine ranks, which include the following:
- Lord Hellblade - Noble title accorded by the people of Rynn's World to the Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists, who is recognised as a member of the Imperium of Man's feudal nobility with Rynn's World as his demesne. Lord Hellblade is also always the commander of the Chapter's elite Crusade (1st) Company.
- High Chaplain - Informal title for the Crimson Fists Reclusiarch who serves as the Master of Sanctity for the Chapter.
- Master of the Librarius - The title used by the Chapter's Chief Librarian.
- Master of the Technacarum - The formal title used by the Chapter's Master of the Forge.
- Master of the Shield - Title held by the Captain of the 2nd Company.
- Master of the Line - Title held by the Captain of the 3rd Company.
- Master of the Charge - Title held by the Captain of the 4th Company.
- Master of the Watch - Title held by the Captain of the 6th Company.
- Master of the Gates - Title held by the Captain of the 7th Company.
- Master of Blades - Title of the Captain of the 8th Company.
- Master of the Siege - Title of the Captain of the 9th Company.
- Master of the Shadows - Title of the Captain of the 10th Company.
- Master of the Fleet - Rank held by a senior headquarters Astartes of the Chapter with proven void combat experience, rather than a company Captain.
- The Chosen - The Chapter's Serfs are made up of failed Astartes Aspirants collectively called "The Chosen", who serve the Chapter in multiple combat support roles. It is from these Serfs that messengers, skilled labourers and even the Chapter Master's Major-Domo are all drawn.
The Arx Tyrannus
The Arx Tyrannus, the former fortress-monastery of the Crimson Fists, was situated in the Hellblade Mountains of the Sorocco Province on Rynn's World. While they were still a crusading Chapter, the Arx Tyrannus was a mighty Battle Barge and the Chapter's flagship. Once they settled, they dismantled the Arx and reconstructed it as their fortress-monastery. It comprised a central citadel surrounded by buildings dedicated to the Chapter Reclusium, Apothecarion, Technicarum and other specialist enclaves. At its heart was the sacred Monument Hall where the name of every fallen Battle-Brother of the Chapter was inscribed. The Arx was protected by a curtain wall featuring four mighty towers known as the Sercia, Protheo, Marez and Laculum Bastions. It was an anti-ship torpedo fired from the Laculum Bastion that ultimately destroyed the Arx Tyrannus during WAAAGH! Snagrod's invasion of Rynn's World in 989.M41. Roughly 600 Astartes were within the Arx Tyrannus when it was destroyed and the loss of all but 16 of them was the greatest loss of life the Chapter has suffered since the Siege of Barenthal.
At its height, the Arx Tyrannus was staffed by specialised Chapter Serfs, including a senior Astropath known as The Monitor who presided over the fortress' Communicatus, and the Major-Domo who served as the overseer of the Chapter Serfs and the personal attendant and confidante to Lord Hellblade himself. The last serving Monitor was Durlon Cholo, while the last Major-Domo was a failed Aspirant named Ramir Savales. Savales had been a promising recruit to the Chapter but was unable to become a Space Marine when his body rejected the Astartes implants and the genetic alterations initiated by the gene-seed's viral machines. Savales' direct predecessor was a man named Argol Kondris. As with many of the Chapter's serfs, Savales became Major-Domo after being selected as an apprentice to Kondris, which was a tradition for many of the more important positions held by the Chapter's support staff. All but 400-odd Chapter Serfs were killed when the Arx Tyrannus was lost, and none within the fortress survived the explosion.
In addition to the Arx Tyrannus, the Crimson Fists possessed a Chapter keep known as The Cassar within New Rynn City, an orbital dock known as Raxa Station that serviced the Chapter fleet and had lunar tracking stations on Rynn's World's moons of Dantienne and Syphos. Of these assets, only The Cassar apparently survived the invasion of the Arch-Arsonist and his WAAAGH!. It is unknown at this time if the Crimson Fists will begin the reconstruction of the Arx Tyrannus or move their fortress-monastery to an entirely new location.
The Cassar is a Chapter keep of the Crimson Fists that was situated in the Zona Regis, also known as the Silver Citadel of New Rynn City. The Citadel is situated on a small island at the center of New Rynn City, with the rapid flowing River Rynn on either side. The Cassar and the entire Silver Citadel are protected by potent Void Shields which made it the most protected location on the planet next to the Arx Tyrannus itself. With the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus, the Crimson Fists based themselves within The Cassar until such time as the Chapter can salvage the ruins of the Arx Tyrannus and build a new fortress-monastery. Fortunately, 400 Chapter Serfs and nearly 30 Servitors were despatched to The Cassar to prepare it for Snagrod's invasion, ensuring that the Chapter still possesses some of its original support services as it attempts to rebuild its strength.
Crimson Fists Librarians
Like their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Crimson Fists also maintain a Librarium of potent psykers who are highly talented and trained to master the power of the Warp at the highest levels. Each Chapter selects its Librarians in its own way, either from seed worlds, as it does with the bulk of its Initiates, or from the ranks of gifted psykers brought to the Scholastica Psykana of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. Most Chapters train and test chosen psykers following the ancient traditions laid out in the Codex Astartes. Librarians of the Crimson Fists are trained in this way, and, with few minor traditional variances, have been taught to live by the word of the Codex. Crimson Fists Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter, including:
- Bloody Fist - Crimson Fists Librarians have mastered powers which aid them in the destruction of xenos, especially those with tough hides and thick skins that might thwart a normal attack or rob it of its power. With the Bloody Fist power, the Librarian infuses his melee attack with extra force, allowing him to inflict some damage even if his blow does not breech the creature's armour or hide.
- Enduring Duty - Duty is paramount to a Crimson Fists Space Marine and even when the shadow of death falls upon him or his companions he will continue to fight on to the end. The Librarian steels his own spirit or that of one of his companions to fight on, even when the body should have given up and all hope is gone. Either the Librarian or a single ally within range can be the target of Enduring Duty. While this power is maintained, a Battle-Brother can continue to fight on, even after suffering mortal wounds which will eventually kill him, ignoring his fatigue and extreme pain.
- Hammer of Man - The Crimson Fists Librarian focuses his hatred of xenos into a tangible force which he projects out around him, causing pain and anguish to any sentient beings who are not human.
Though brought to a fraction of full strength by a devastating Ork attack at Rynn's World, the Crimson Fists are famous for never giving up -- they still tithe warriors to the Deathwatch whenever the need arises. For centuries the Crimson Fists have waged the Emperor's wars against the alien, fighting in all corners of the galaxy against a vast myriad of xenos. However, none have suffered as much under the blades and bolts of the Chapter as the Orks, and over the years the Battle-Brothers of the Crimson Fists have become exceptionally skilled at dispatching the greenskinned alien warriors. Such is the skill the Chapter has displayed against the Orks that both Imperial forces and the xenos themselves have taken note, and Imperial commanders are quick to request the Crimson Fists should they fall under the shadow of a WAAAGH! The Deathwatch recognises the Crimson Fists' hard-won expertise, and over the course of many centuries a strong relationship has been forged between the Deathwatch and the Crimson Fists. Many of the most senior and adept Battle-Brothers of the Chapter have served within the Deathwatch and honed their combat arts for its Inquisitors. These men make sure that the Deathwatch has its due and many within the Crimson Fists are seconded for service, an arrangement which benefits both the Chapter and the Ordo Xenos. The result is that Crimson Fists have both great pride for their place in the Deathwatch and a great responsibility to live up to the Long Vigil's expectations. This can sometimes grate with the other members of a Crimson Fists Astartes' Kill-team as the Space Marines of other Chapters consider them aloof and entitled, as if the right to wear the silvered shoulder plate of the Deathwatch was always their due and not something to be earned only through glory and death.
Rynn's World is a feudal Agri-world within the Loki Sector. Its primary exports have historically been particularly exotic foods, which became renowned delicacies among the Imperial nobility of the sector. The world is largely isolated from other human-inhabited planets, but the Crimson Fists' presence has led to the implementation of an extensive planetary defence system. Further, the Chapter's actions during the Voltigern Crusade in the 40th Millennium significantly mitigated the Ork presence within the sector.
The Crimson Fists have little direct involvement with the human population of Rynn's World. Their fortress-monastery, the Arx Tyrannus, is located within the Hellblade Mountains. The huge structure's main hall is dominated by a statue dedicated to the memory of The Great Father, Alexis Polux, which remained within the Chapter's former Battle Barge for centuries before it was dismantled and reconstructed as the Crimson Fists' Fortress-Monastery. With its arrival on Rynn's World, the restructured fortress-monastery's main hall continued to serve as one of the Chapter's most sacred sites until it was destroyed during WAAAGH! Snagrod's attack. The Chapter has been heavily involved in the reconstruction of much of Rynn's World's infrastructure in the years since the world was reclaimed by Imperial forces from the Orks of WAAAGH! Snagrod, though it is currently unknown if they have begun the process of reconstructing the Arx Tyrannus or have chosen to establish a new fortress-monastery altogether.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
When the Crimson Fists Chapter was formed, Primarch Dorn granted Chapter Master Polux its membership from among the most recently initiated members of the Imperial Fists Legion. While these Battle-Brothers were thoroughly trained and loyal men, they were among the Legion's most levelheaded members. Because of this, the new Chapter Master was able to more effectively implement the teachings and new traditions of the Codex Astartes.
With few exceptions, the Crimson Fists are very consistent with the Codex in terms of organisation and battlefield procedures. They usually follow the tactics presented in the Codex, efficiently making use of different standard units in the manner that sacred tome describes. Their training is broad and all encompassing, so that the Chapter can effectively counter opponents who use vastly different tactical approaches to battle. In this way, the Crimson Fists quickly adapt their tactics to defeat any who would oppose the will of the Imperium.
Their millennia of active crusading also necessitated that the Crimson Fists would possess a higher number of specialists than the Codex dictates is proper. During this time, they assembled a significant armada of Battle Barges and Strike Cruisers. Since their settlement of Rynn's World, they have maintained this fleet. Their Techmarines traditionally maintain the fleet's vessels as well as the Chapter's vehicles. Every major vessel also maintains at least one Apothecary to insure that gene-seed may be harvested properly and secured until needed.
While the Chapter has served throughout the galaxy, they have made the Loki Sector their primary base of operations for millennia. As the sector has been dominated by Orks since humanity first encountered the region, the Crimson Fists have engaged in countless wars with these savage xenos. Though they are not specifically devoted to overcoming these foes, the Chapter's Battle-Brothers are well versed in Ork psyche, physiology, and tactics. The near-constant supply of Ork warbands in the region makes this training necessary and profoundly useful. As this ability has become associated with the Chapter, the Adeptus Administratum and even the Inquisitorial Ordo Xenos have often requested assistance from the Crimson Fists when significant Ork forces gather throughout the Imperium.
As successors to the Imperial Fists, the Chapter does show a marked competency with defensive engagements. The Chapter's Warp-capable vessels and Fortress-Monastery are all thoroughly defended. Even their first engagement as a Chapter after their Founding involved defending an Imperial colony on Uralek Prime from a substantial force of Eldar Exodites.
During the nine thousand years of their Crusade, the Crimson Fists became skilled at combating many alien species, most notably the Orks. These skills have been valuable to the Inquisition, with many members of the Chapter serving terms with the Ordo Xenos' elite Deathwatch. Captain Octavius, an Imperial Fist seconded to the Deathwatch once commented that no other Chapter has provided as many Space Marines to the Deathwatch as the Crimson Fists. As a result, the Crimson Fists are among the most highly regarded xenos fighters in the Imperium. Captain Octavius also ruminated on the loyalty and sense of duty possessed by the Chapter and its Astartes. Despite their severe losses on Rynn's World, the Crimson Fists continue to second Battle-Brothers to the Deathwatch. In fact, no less than one quarter of Captain Octavius' own eight-man Kill-team were Crimson Fists.
Though famed for their stubborn, intractable defensive actions, much like their progenitors, the Imperial Fists, after the Battle of Rynn's World, the sheer number of casualties suffered by the Crimson Fists has prevented the Chapter from fighting in the way prescribed by the Codex. Instead, Chapter Master Pedro Kantor has fielded his surviving Astartes as infiltrators and guerrilla troops, attacking specific, high-value targets in an attempt to minimise casualties as opposed to engaging enemies in open battle. This will change in the coming decades once the Crimson Fists begin to refill their depleted ranks.
- "No life given in the name of the Emperor is given in vain."
- — Chaplain Hauis Argento of the Crimson Fists
Chapter Master Polux reorganised his Battle-Brothers in a format that followed closely with the structure proscribed by the Codex Astartes. However, he continued to follow many of the tactics and traditions that he had learned at the hand of the Primarch as a member of the Imperial Fists. For this reason, the Crimson Fists remained expert at defensive actions, just like their progenitors. The Chapter maintained the tradition of permitting a single warrior to assume the heraldry and status of the Emperor's Champion prior to entering a major conflict, but this practice has only been invoked upon rare occasions. Similarly, the Crimson Fists are one of the twelve Chapters that participate in the Feast of Blades, alongside the Imperial Fists.
The Chapter has come to embrace the Codex Astartes, including much of its core philosophy as regards preparation for battles. Their use of oral history as a reminder of their ancestors' actions, their ability to adapt to battle against hundreds of different races of xenos, and their aptitude for all phases of warfare all leave the Crimson Fists as a Chapter that is capable of facing with a broad range of different opponents -- a lesson that they had to learn through the course of their extended Crusades.
Through their time as a fleet-based Chapter, the Crimson Fists became adept at warfare against the many xenos foes present in the galaxy. At the same time, their constant warfare against the Ork scourge of the Loki Sector has led to a particular focus against those foes. The Chapter has a proud history of service amongst the Deathwatch, which enables them to both hone and share these techniques with other Kill-team members.
The Crimson Fists never hesitate to demonstrate their devotion to the Imperium and embody it with their battle cry: "There is only the Emperor. He is our shield and our protector!"
The Crimson Fists are noted for having an extensive calendar of sacred days to honour the Emperor and their Primarch as well as practising a number of traditions and rituals unique to their Chapter:
- Miracle of the Blood - A sacred ritual that is observed by the Crimson Fists is known as "The Miracle of the Blood", which is performed once every standard year on the Chapter's Foundation Day. A group of 20 or so Chaplains collectively known as the Sacratium perform the ritual in which a small portion of Rogal Dorn's blood, preserved for 10,000 Terran years in an ornate scepter, reverts from a dried lump to liquid blood once more before the eyes of the onlookers. The Miracle of the Blood is a constant reminder to the Chapter that its lost Primarch is still with it in spirit.
- Festival of the Bloodied Fist - A number of the Chapter's promising Scout Marines undergo their final trials before becoming a full Battle-Brother. The last of these trials requires the Aspirant to travel to the Death World of Blackwater and kill a barb-dragon with their bare hands. Those that succeed take part in another ritual known as "The Steeping".
- The Steeping - When a Crimson Fists Scout Marine is ready to be elevated to the status of a full Battle-Brother, he participates in a ritual known as "The Steeping" in which the Scout submerges his left fist into the blood of one of his kills. The ritual reflects the right of the new Astartes to wear the crimson gauntlet that is the namesake of the Chapter over his left fist.
- Crimson Gauntlets - Once a Crimson Fist Neophyte becomes a full Battle-Brother, his left gauntlet is painted crimson. Upon becoming a Veteran member of the Crusade (1st) Company, he is allowed to paint his right gauntlet crimson as well. The most honoured Crimson Fists warriors are gifted with one of the Chapter's ancient Power Fists as a symbol of their might at arms.
- Ork Bone Talismans - Ork teeth and skulls are a common sight among the trophy rooms of the Crimson Fists Chapter and some Battle-Brothers carry these talismans into battle as a reminder of their prowess over the alien. While this can sometimes be a whole skull or the ragged banner of a vanquished Ork clan, more often it is a tooth carved into a relief showing a great victory of the Chapter or the slaying of a large and powerful Nob. While such a token reminds the Battle-Brother of his skill over the Ork, the sight of them can also inflame any Greenskins who see such a trophy, spurring them on to greater efforts to slay the Space Marine.
- Emperor's Champion - The Crimson Fists, true to their ancestry, have been observed on occasion to field an Emperor's Champion. While the Crimson Fists traditionally fielded an Emperor's Champion far less frequently than other Imperial Fists Successor Chapters such as the Black Templars, there have been occasions recorded when a Battle-Brother on the eve of battle was overcome by visions of the Emperor. These Battle-Brothers would take up the Black Sword and the Armour of Faith and lead their brethren into battle. However, no instance has been recorded of the Crimson Fists fielding an Emperor's Champion since the destruction of the Chapter's fortress-monastery on Rynn's World in 989.M41. It is entirely possible that the sacred vestments of office were lost in the fortress' destruction. It is also possible that no brother has taken up the vestments of the Emperor's Champion since the Battle of Rynn's World, but given the great loss suffered by the Chapter it is likely that many relics were lost forever, and some may never be replaced.
- Day of Foundation - Through the centuries, as the Chapter continued to develop and build its own traditions, it began to maintain a series of sacred days within each year. These were devoted to honouring and commemorating, but never worshiping, the Emperor and their Primarch Rogal Dorn and Great Father Alexis Polux. The most important of these dates is the Day of Foundation, in honour of the Chapter's creation after the tragedy of the Horus Heresy. To celebrate this day, all available members of the Chapter congregate at the fortress-monastery, while those who are on missions far from Rynn's World hold private ceremonies. Extracts from the writings of Alexis Polux and Rogal Dorn are read to the assembled Battle-Brothers, and then individuals recount tales from the Chapter's history and a few more recent events. In this way, the brethren are reminded of the works of their ancestors and how they continue to be applied today. This sort of critical introspection is encouraged by the Codex Astartes, but actually practised by very few Space Marine Chapters, whose pride will often preclude any admission that they have anything to learn from past mistakes, or indeed that their predecessors erred in any way.
- Day of Renewal - A new sacred day has been added to the Crimson Fists' Chapter traditions -- the Day of Renewal -- marking when the Chapter and its gene-banks were unexpectedly replenished by the Indomitus Crusade. The Crimson Fists renew their vow on this day to repay their debt to Roboute Guilliman.
As a Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists Legion, the Crimson Fists share their genetic legacy with that First Founding Chapter, and have inherited many of the characteristics of their common Primarch, Rogal Dorn. The Chapter's gene-seed is highly stable, though the Imperial Fists', and therefore the Crimson Fists', genome is lacking the Betcher's Gland that allows a Space Marine to spit corrosive acid, and the Sus-an Membrane that allows him to enter a life-sustaining state of deep hibernation. The Crimson Fists' gene-seed is remarkably stable and healthy, free of all other major mutations and Chaotic contamination. Were it not, it is unlikely that the Chapter could have survived the multiple incidences of extreme loss that they have suffered during their history. As a result of these losses, the Chapter has been forced to recruit new members at rates substantially higher than would normally be expected. Under such conditions, the failure rate of the surgeries required over the course of an Initiate's career increases substantially, a fact that is likely due to the heavy workload of individual Apothecaries.
The Chapter only narrowly escaped extinction during the destruction of its fortress-monastery on Rynn's World. According to the Genetors of the Adeptus Mechanicus, a Chapter reduced to less than a single company of brethren has only a 20-25% chance of long-term survival, for the failure rate of the Progenoid Glands will often preclude the successful harvesting of new gene-seed, resulting in an inability to induct new brethren. It was only the Chapter's superior gene-seed that saved it from extinction, for the Crimson Fists were reduced to less than a company of brethren before their renewal during the Indomitus Crusade. Yet even before that reversal of fortune, they seemed more than capable of rebuilding their numbers.
Primarch's Curse: Only Honour In Death
Like their founding Chapter, the Crimson Fists are more than willing to fight to the last, holding their ground with a siege-like mentality which will see them triumph or die in the attempt. This expression of duty can become exaggerated in members of the Chapter after long periods in combat, especially against numerous and unrelenting foes like the Ork hordes of a WAAAGH! In these instances the Battle-Brother sees only death; the death of their comrades, the death of the world, and the death of their foes. They consider that the only righteous path lies in the expenditure of their lives for these purposes and will face them with a stoic heart and a single-mindedness that can only lead to the complete annihilation of everything and everyone he faces, often eventually including himself and those that fight beside him. When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests itself in an affected Battle-Brother, it comes on in three stages:
- Stage 1 - No Retreat: As the odds mount so does the Battle-Brother's stubborn refusal to retreat, seeing only the glory and honour in defeating such overwhelming foes if even the barest glimmer of victory remains. Even if the doctrine and teaching of the Codex Astartes dictate retreat or flexible defence, the Battle-Brother will be loath to disengage until there is absolutely no choice, though often this can come too late.
- Stage 2 - Suffer not Defeat: Defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for the Battle-Brother and he would rather die fighting than accept that he has failed. This can lead to reckless behaviour as he throws himself into the fray or takes on excessive odds to win when prudence and tactical reason would dictate he withdraw.
- Stage 3 - Unto Death: The Battle-Brother has come to accept that perhaps only the cost of his own life will be enough to secure victory and is gladly willing to give it up. This can have dire consequences should the circumstances present him with a chance to martyr himself for the Emperor and bring ruin to the enemies of the Imperium. Should a Battle-Brother suffer mortal wounds, he gains a fatalistic desire to sell his life for the cause and will choose to expend his own life for a chance at victory or the safety of his brothers. This means he will fight on regardless of his wounds and continue to attack or place himself in the path of attacks even though the next blow could mean his end. He will also gladly accept suicidal or near-suicidal tasks (such as disarming unstable warheads, leading a forlorn hope or holding a breach to buy time for his companions) without complaint.
Notable Crimson Fists
- Chapter Master Alexis Polux - Alexis Polux was the first Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists Chapter. He was a Battle-Brother of the Imperial Fists Legion who had won the Primarch Rogal Dorn's respect countless times during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Known as much for his massive physical size and prowess as his leadership and tactical expertise, Polux led the Crimson Fists for the first 800 standard years of their existence. During this time, he did much to shape their interpretation of the Codex Astartes and their combat doctrines.
- Chapter Master Pedro Kantor - Known as Lord Hellblade by the populace of Rynn's World, Pedro Kantor is the 29th and current Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists and the commander of the 1st (Crusade) Company. He brought the Chapter back from the brink of annihilation during the invasion of Rynn's World by WAAAGH! Snagrod in 989.M41. Kantor served the Chapter for 250 standard years before being elevated to the esteemed rank of Chapter Master and has now served in that position for nearly a century. He first achieved prominence at the Battle of Melchitt Sound. As a young Sergeant, Kantor led his squad in a boarding action of an Ork Kill Kroozer called the Growler. Kantor managed to disable the Kroozer, which allowed the Crimson Fists Strike Cruiser Crusader to break the Ork battle line and scatter the Ork fleet. Kantor also proved to be both courageous and compassionate when he led his squad, against all tactical sense, to hold open the pass during the Battle for Braxa Gorge, saving thousands of refugees. Later he became the Captain of the 3rd Company before his eventual election as Chapter Master. Kantor has defeated two Gargants personally, both in boarding actions, though 100 years separated the two feats. Faced with the near-destruction of the Chapter on Rynn's World, Kantor proved a wise leader by making the hard choice to fight on with guerrilla tactics instead of fighting to the last in a vainglorious final stand, a noble choice for the Imperium, as it can ill afford the loss of such a potent and honourable Astartes Chapter as the Crimson Fists.
- Chapter Master Visidar - Visidar was the 28th Chapter Master and direct predecessor to Pedro Kantor.
- Chapter Master Kordova - Kordova was the Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists during The Crusade of Righteous Liberation, and led the Chapter throughout the 300-year-long Crusade until at its conclusion the Chapter was reduced to 128 Battle-Brothers. Since that time, the Chapter Master has traditionally been the Captain of the 1st Company, which has been renamed the Crusade Company and always possesses exactly 128 Astartes.
- Chapter Master Klede Sargo - The 17th Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists who was quick to scrap the serf-breeding program of Chapter Master Traegus.
- Chapter Master Traegus - Traegus was the controversial 16th Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists. Traegus tried to implement a serf-breeding program using the non-sterile failed Aspirants of the Chapter. However, the results were unpredictable at best and the program was quickly scrapped after his death.
- Chapter Master Quesadra - Quesadra was the Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists in the mid-32nd Millennium, and took part in the desperate battles against a massive Ork WAAAGH! that threatened the Throneworld of Terra itself during the War of the Beast. Quesadra was an intent and foreboding Chapter Master, who regarded even his allies in the same manner a warrior might size up a potential foe, mentally measuring their capabilities. He possessed bright blue eyes whose lazer-like gaze was able to strip an individual down to their very soul. He represented his Chapter during the fateful meeting between the Imperial Fists Successor Chapters in the Phall System, when the last surviving Imperial Fists, Captain Koorland, invoked the "Last Wall Protocol". Chapter Master Quesadra would later take part in the attack by his fellow Scions of Dorn Successor Chapters against the greenskins' massive Attack Moon in orbit over Terra. He also led his Chapter as a part of a massive Sapce Marine strike force during the invasion of The Beast's capital world, upon the capital city of Gorkogrod, fighting alongside the returned Salamanders Primarch Vulkan. Quesadra and his Crimson Fists fought their way into the Ork Warboss' personal Gargant, but as they reached the doors leading to The Beast's personal chambers, they were ambushed by a large group of Killa Kans. Chapter Master Quesadra was killed when his body was cut in half.
- Commander Reinez - Commander of the 2nd Company, Rienez fought the Soul Drinkers on Entymion IV. While the Soul Drinkers escaped, the Dark Eldar trying to take over the world were thwarted in part thanks to the actions of Commander Rienez and the Astartes of the 2nd Company.
- Captain Cazaquez - Captain of the Crimson Fists 2nd Company. Ceded command of the company to Chaplain Inhuaca and Commander Rienez during the Entymion IV Campaign.
- Captain Drigo Alvez - Master of the Shield, Captain of the 2nd Company, Commander of the Crimson Fists in New Rynn City during the Ork invasion. Killed in action during the Battle of Rynn's World while defending the gates of New Rynn City.
- Captain Steffan - Captain of the 2nd Company following the death of Drigo Alvez.
- Assault-Captain Arca - Bearer of the Crimson Fists' 2nd Company banner during the Entymion IV Campaign. Arca was killed by one of the treacherous Soul Drinkers Chaos Champions early in the campaign.
- Captain Obiareus - Captain of the Crimson Fists' 3rd Company during the Third War for Armageddon.
- Captain Ashor Drakken - Master of the Line and Captain of the 3rd Company prior to the Battle for Rynn's World. Drakken led the 84 Marines of his company in an attack on Badlanding to stall the Ork invaders but fell to a cowardly sneak attack by the Ork Warlord Urzog Mag Kull while attempting to drag a brother Space Marine to safety at the Ork invasion's opening during the assault on Krugerport. His death ended a decorated service to the Chapter spanning over two centuries. Only 28 Marines of the 3rd Company survived the Battle of Badlanding to return to Rynn's World.
- Captain Alessio Cortez - Master of the Charge and Captain of the 4th Company, Alessio Cortez rose through the ranks alongside Kantor and the two were close friends. Cortez fought in legendary actions such as the Battle of Steel Cross, the Defence of the Fortress Maladon and the Kardian Campaign. Cortez earned a reputation for being invulnerable amongst the Chapter's Battle-Brothers after he was the sole survivor of his squad in the battles for Kalaphax and Gamma VI Monserrat. Cortez was mourned greatly when he disappeared fighting Dark Eldar pirates and raiders in the Wheel of Fire, though many in the Chapter including Kantor believe that the legendarily invulnerable Astartes fights on still somewhere within the Webway. One of Cortez' most notable achievements was during the Battle of Steel Cross where he single-handedly slew an Ork Warlord and his bodyguard, having managed to disarm the Ork Warlord with a twist of his hips after the Ork's sword became stuck in Cortez's ribs.
- Captain Ruis Tracinto- Captain of the 5th Company at the time of the Thirteenth Black Crusade, he was killed in action during the second siege of Cadia during the Battle of Elysion fields.
- Captain Selig Torres - Former Captain of the 5th Company.
- Captain Olbyn Kadena - Master of the Watch, Captain of the 6th Company.
- Captain Caldimus Ortiz - Master of the Gates, Captain of the 7th Company.
- Captain Matteo Morrelis - Master of Blades, Captain of the 8th Company.
- Captain Raphael Acastus - Master of Siege, Captain of the 9th Company.
- Captain Ishmael Icaro - Master of Shadows, Captain of the 10th (Scout) Company.
- Captain Isseus Coredo - Captain of the Chapter who died 200 Terran years before Pedro Kantor was even born. His statue was tossed onto a mountainside following the explosive destruction of the Arx Tyrannus.
- Deathwatch Watch Captain Esteban de Dominova - Deathwatch Watch Captain Esteban de Dominova is an intense, laconic, sallow-faced Battle Brother with pale, colourless eyes prone to brooding silences and piercing glares. Currently serving his fifth Vigil with the Jericho Reach Deathwatch, the Watch Captain is a highly respected Apothecary whose prowess in the operating theatre has reached near mythic proportions among the Kill-teams with which he has served. Indeed, many a Battle-Brother currently serving a vigil in the Jericho Reach owes his limbs, if not his very lives, to his quick thinking and sure hands. Along with his prodigious medical skills, and the usual finely honed warrior abilities possessed by every Battle-Brother, Watch Captain de Dominova is also a noted xenobiologist who is known to work closely with the Ordo Xenos and the Adeptus Mechanicus' Magi Biologis in various capacities.
- Chief Librarian Eustace Mendoza - Eustace Mendoza was the Chief Librarian and Master of the Librarius for the Chapter.
- Epistolary Delevan Deguerro - Epistolary who assumed command of the New Rynn City detachment of the Crimson Fists during the Battle of Rynn's World after the death of Captain Drigo Alvez.
- Codicier Ruthio Terraro - Librarian of the Chapter and present at the defence of New Rynn City.
- Codicier Corda - Librarian of the Chapter and present at the defence of New Rynn City.
- Codicier Thracio - Librarian of the Chapter and present at the defence of New Rynn City.
- Librarian Haxualpha - Librarian attached to the 2nd Company during the Entymion IV Campaign. Haxualpha was killed early in the fighting in a duel with a Renegade Soul Drinkers Sorcerer. Noted for wielding a Force Weapon in the form of a Rapier.
- High Chaplain Marqol Tomasi - Marqol Tomasi was the High Chaplain of the Crimson Fists Chapter who was killed in action during the Battle of Rynn's World.
- High Chaplain Marqol Tomasi - The Crimson Fists' Master of Sanctity prior to the Battle for Rynn's World.
- Ancient Chaplain Amentus - One of the first Chaplains of the Crimson Fists Chapter, a warrior who helped form the Chapter during the time of the Second Founding when the Astartes Legions were first split into Chapters over ten millennia ago. Chaplain Amentus wielded the Crozius Arcanum called Traitor's Bane, a weapon that survived the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus and is now wielded by the young Chaplain Argo.
- Chaplain Inhuaca - Inhuaca joined Commander Rienez' detachment on Entymion IV under the direct orders of Pedro Kantor, bringing with him the rest of the 2nd Company. Inhuaca and the Crimson Fists wished to destroy the traitorous Soul Drinkers once and for all, though they failed in this ambition for the Soul Drinkers' destiny was not theirs to determine. In the course of the campaign the detachment also thwarted the plans of a Dark Eldar Kabal that could have threatened the security of the Imperium throughout the entire sector. The victory was undermined nonetheless by the loss of Entymion IV and the failure to destroy the Soul Drinkers.
- Chaplain Rhava - Rhava was the Chaplain who fought alongside Captain Cortez at the Arx Tyrannus during the Battle for Rynn's World. Killed in the destruction of the Fortress-Monastery.
- Chaplain Argo - Young Chaplain present at the defence of New Rynn City. Suggested spreading the diminishing number of Crimson Fists around the walls of New Rynn City to inspire the defenders. Later led a single squad of Battle-Brothers to the contested world of Syral to recover a squad of scouts thought lost, trapped beneath the rubble of a demolished building. Promoted from the Scout Squad Nochlitan along with Apothecary Vayne seven years previous to the battle for Syral. Chaplain Argo wields the Crozius Arcanum Traitor's Bane that once belonged to Ancient Chaplain Amentus, one of the first Crimson Fists Chaplains.
- Chaplain Hauis Argento - Chaplain of the 2nd Company.
- Deathwatch Chaplain Jorge Martinez - Chaplain Martinez has become best known among the Battle-Brothers of Watch Fortress Erioch for his willingness to listen and offer sage advice. The Chaplain is believed to be over 400 standard years old -- clearly an established Veteran prior to his secondment to the Deathwatch. During his years of service within the Jericho Reach, he has consistently served as an advisor to the Watch Commander Mordigael. This has included consultation prior to and during numerous meetings with visiting Inquisitors. Chaplain Martinez has never been known to share any of the secrets revealed during these meetings. However, he has been known to issue assignments to Kill-teams, acting entirely upon his own authority. In several instances, he has even worked directly in the field with other Kill-teams, often acting in support of a team that had no knowledge of his actions. Watch Commander Mordigael has continued to seek out the Chaplain's counsel, which suggests to many Battle-Brothers that these missions may be taking place at Mordigael's indirect behest. In any case, the Chaplain clearly has the Watch Commander's trust and respect as well as access to many of the Deathwatch's secrets within the Jericho Reach.
- Forgemaster Javier Adon - Techmarine and Master of the Technicarum prior to the Battle for Rynn's World. Javier controlled the defences as the first Ork warships began their attack on the Chapter homeworld but was unable to prevent the faulty anti-ship torpedo from malfunctioning and destroying the Fortress-Monastery.
- Techmarine Ruzco - Techmarine present during the defence of New Rynn City. One of two Techmarines who joined the assault force of Pedro Kantor to retake New Rynn Spaceport. Re-activated the Air-Traffic Control Tower and then remained there to liaise with the incoming Imperial Reclamation Fleet alongside his Battle-Brothers Padilla and Lucevo.
- Chief Apothecary Curien Droga - Chief Apothecary of the Crimson Fists Chapter.
- Apothecary Arvano Ruillus - Apothecary attached to the 3rd Company during the assault on Badlanding.
- Apothecary Lyrus Vayne - Apothecary attached to the 3rd Company during the assault on Badlanding. Vayne was a squadmate of Chaplain Argo in Scout Squad Nochlitan. Vayne was badly burned by daemon fire during the cleansing of the Warp-infested world of Chiaro two months before the Battle of Syral.
- Master Ceval Ranparre - Master of the Fleet for the Chapter, Hero of Hesperidon, killed in action during the orbital battle to defend Rynn's World from Snagrod's invasion.
- Sergeant Phaedron - Participated in the Bunker 472 Incident.
- Sergeant Marnoc - Participated in the Bunker 472 Incident.
- Sergeant Barrien Gallacus - Veteran Sergeant and commander of the 1st Vanguard Terminator Veteran Squad.
- Sergeant Zarran - Veteran Sergeant and commander of a Terminator Veteran Squad, placed in command of the defences at New Rynn Spaceport.
- Sergeant Valdeus - Veteran Sergeant and commander of a Terminator Veteran Squad tasked with defending New Rynn Spaceport.
- Sergeant Phrenatas - Veteran Sergeant and commander of a Sternguard Terminator Veteran Squad tasked with defending New Rynn Spaceport.
- Segeant Grylinus - Veteran Sergeant and commander of a Sternguard Terminator Veteran Squad tasked with defending New Rynn Spaceport.
- Sergeant Rogo Victurix - Veteran Sergeant and commander of the Terminator Veteran Squad that met Pedro Kantor as he entered New Rynn City. Squad Victurix later spearheaded Pedro Kantor's assault on New Rynn Spaceport along with 19 other strike teams and fought to hold the lower levels of the Spaceport's Control Towers while Kantor and the others fought their way to the vital control systems to clear the way for the arrival of the Imperial Reclamation Fleet that drove the Orks from Rynn's World.
- Sergeant Erdys Phrenatas - Sergeant of the 4th Sternguard Veteran Squad during the defence of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Hurien Thanatar - Sergeant of Vanguard Squad Thanatar during the defence of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Zavier - Commander of Tactical Squad Zavier of the 2nd Company during the Entymion IV Campaign.
- Sergeant Padros - Commander of Tactical Squad Padros of the 2nd Company during the Entymion IV Campaign.
- Sergeant Kroya - Member of Caltax Squad during the Entymion IV Campaign. Kroya took over command of the squad upon the death of Sergeant Caltax.
- Sergeant Caltax - Member of Commander Reinaz' detachment commanding a Devastator Squad during the initial battle for Entymion IV. Killed in action against the Renegade Soul Drinkers.
- Sergeant Althaz - Member of Commander Reinaz' detachment during the initial battle for Entymion IV.
- Sergeant Ladric Lician - Sergeant of Devastator Squad Lician during the defence of New Rynn City. Joined Pedro Kantor in the assault on New Rynn Spaceport.
- Sergeant Tirius - Sergeant of the 3rd Company Devastator Squad Tirius sent to hold the Jadeberry Underpass open long enough for Pedro Kantor to make it into New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Viejo - First surviving Crimson Fist located by Cortez and Kantor after the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus Fortress-Monastery. Found defending the corpse of Chaplain Rhava.
- Sergeant Cabrero - Member of the 4th Company prior to the Battle for Rynn's World.
- Sergeant Maurillo Rectris - Sergeant commanding Squad Rectris in the defence of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Gualan - Sergeant commanding Squad Gualan in the defence of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Salvador Ulias - Sergeant commanding squad Ulias in the defence of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Anto - Sergeant commanding Squad Anto in the defence of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Haleos - Sergeant commanding Squad Haleos in the defence of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Leoxus Werner - Deathwatch Veteran who served with the Ordo Xenos for seven years and a member of the 3rd Company during the attack on Badlanding.
- Sergeant Solari - Commanded the Land Speeder Squadron of the 3rd Company during the attack on Badlanding. Tasked with searching the caves north of Krugerport for any survivors of the Ork assault. His search unfortunately found nothing but bodies.
- Sergeant Delos - Veteran Sergeant tasked with commanding the defence of the Northern Umbris Gate of New Rynn City.
- Sergeant Romnus - Member of the 2nd Company and prior officer of Captain Alvez's Command Squad, killed 3 years before the Battle for Rynn's World.
- Sergeant Huron Grimm - Veteran Sergeant in command of the 1st Tactical Squad and second in command to Captain Alvez of the 2nd Company. Grimm has served the Chapter faithfully for 103 standard years.
- Sergeant Dremir Soto - Veteran Sergeant of the 3rd Company placed in command of the Gorian Wall in the absence of Captain Alvez.
- Sergeant Faradis Anto - Member of the 2nd Company with over a century of service to Captain Alvez.
- Sergeant Ferraganos Daecor - Deathwatch Veteran and Sergeant commanding Squad Daecor during the defence of New Rynn City. Joined Pedro Kantor in the assault on New Rynn Spaceport.
- Sergeant Segala - Second Sergeant located by Kantor and Cortez and one of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus. Joined Pedro Kantor in the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Killed during a close-quarters fight with the Orks during the attack.
- Sergeant Demetrian - Sergeant of the 5th Company, Demetrian returned to Syral with the Battle-Brothers of his squad and Chaplain Argo to recover the lost Scouts of Squad Nochlitan. Demetrian is a Veteran of the Declates Crusade in which the Crimson Fists and Black Templars fought side by side in mixed squads against the enemies of the Emperor. He still wears the Black Templar Cross on one knee-plate in honour of that campaign.
- Veteran Sergeant Grevius - Veteran in service to the Deathwatch during the Herodian IV Campaign.
- Veteran Sergeant Huron Grimm - Second-in-command to Captain Drigo Alvez of 2nd Company.
- Veteran-Brother Talazar - Member of Terminator Squad Victurix.
- Veteran-Brother Toma - Deathwatch Veteran and member of Squad Demetrian of the 5th Company during the battle for Syral. Returned with Chaplain Argo and his brothers of Squad Demetrian to recover the Scouts of Squad Nochlitan. Toma is quiet and reserved but a proficient and economical warrior, and wields a highly advanced Bolter gifted to him by the Ordo Xenos during his service in the Deathwatch.
- Veteran-Brother Imrich - Veteran Space Marine of the Chapter and member of Squad Demetrian of the 5th Company. Imrich is a promising and deadly warrior who personally killed Warboss Golgorrad during the Battle for the Cantorial Palace when the Crimson Fists first came to Syral in force. Later returned with Chaplain Argo and a handful of comrades to recover the lost brothers of Scout Squad Nochlitan. Imrich adorns his armour with scrolls of his deeds, bones from slain enemies and the skulls of seven of the biggest Orks Imrich has slain.
- Kyama Shae - Renegade Battle-Brother who fought in the warband of the Raven Guard Renegade Ardaric Vaanes and was killed fighting the Iron Warriors in the Eye of Terror on the Daemon World of Medrengard.
- Ishmael - Participated in the Bunker 472 Incident.
- Adalbert - Member of Assault Squad Rodolf, 2nd Company.
- Jurgen - Member of Assault Squad Rodolf, 2nd Company.
- Walther - Member of Assault Squad Rodolf, 2nd Company.
- Wenzel - Member of Assault Squad Rodolf, 2nd Company.
- Olcama - Member of the 2nd Company, Tactical Marine armed with a Meltagun. Participated in the assault on the Dark Eldar-held palace during the Entymion IV Campaign alongside Commander Reinez.
- Arroyox - Member of the 2nd Company and the gunner of Commander Reinez' personal Razorback APC during the Entymion IV Campaign.
- Tehuaca - Member of the 2nd Company, Tactical Marine armed with a Flamer, killed by a Soul Drinkers Scout Marine in a ploy to pit the Crimson Fists against the Dark Eldar Kabal operating on Entymion IV.
- Paclo - Member of the 2nd Company and part of Commander Reinez' squad during the Entymion IV Campaign.
- Bacar - Member of Squad Segala during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Fell to the Ork Warlord Urzog Mag Kull's Power Klaw.
- Verna - Member of Squad Segala during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport.
- Lucevo - Member of Squad Segala during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Left to guard the Air-Traffic Control Tower.
- Oro - Member of Squad Daecor during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Remained behind on the Coronado landing plate as a rearguard for the assault force.
- Padilla - Member of Squad Daecor during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Left to guard the Air-Traffic Control Tower.
- Cassaves - Member of Squad Daecor during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport.
- Gaban - Flamer-bearing member of Squad Lician during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Killed in the same melee as Sergeant Segala.
- Morai - Heavy Bolter-wielding member of Squad Lician during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Killed in the same melee as Sergeant Segala.
- Romos - Plasma Cannon-bearing member of Squad Lician during the assault on New Rynn Spaceport. Killed in the same melee as Sergeant Segala.
- Santanos - Second to Veteran Sergeant Grimm and member of the 2nd Company.
- Rapala - Member of the 7th Company and one of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus. Temporarily commanded by Cortez.
- Benizar - Member of the 7th Company and one of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus. Temporarily commanded by Cortez. Died breaking through the Orks' line into New Rynn City.
- Fenestra - Member of the 5th Company and one of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus. Temporarily commanded by Cortez.
- Delgahn - Member of the 8th Company and one of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus. Temporarily commanded by Cortez.
- Alcador - One of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus.
- Galica - Member of the 5th Company and one of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus.
- Olvero - One of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus. Died breaking through the Orks' line into New Rynn City.
- Teves - One of the 16 survivors of the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus. Died breaking through the Orks' line into New Rynn City
- Agorro - Member of the 2nd Company and the driver of Captain Alvez' Land Raider, Aegis Eternis.
- Iamad - Member of the 4th Company prior to the Battle for Rynn's World.
- Benedictus - Member of the 4th Company prior to the Battle for Rynn's World.
- Silesi - Known as "old one-eyed Silesi" by his friends and comrades, Silesi was a member of the 4th Company prior to the Battle for Rynn's World.
- Vesdor - Member of the 4th Company prior to the Battle for Rynn's World.
- Cero - Heavy Bolter-wielding member of the 3rd Company during the assault on Badlanding. Injured while retreating from Krugerport, Captain Drakken attempted to drag Cero to safety but was slain by a shot from a Kustom Mega Blasta to the back by Warlord Urzog Mag Kull. Cero was left to try and kill as many of the Orks in retaliation as he could before death claimed him.
- Alexi Carmon - Upon first meeting Brother Carmon, many remark that his appearance bears an uncanny resemblance to that of artistic representations of Primarch Rogal Dorn. Of course, the Battle-Brother's stature is within the typical range for a Space Marine, but there is a distinct facial resemblance. While most laugh this off as an odd coincidence, a few think that this may be a sign that the Battle-Brother somehow has the favour of the Primarch. In fact, such a granting of favour might well explain Brother Carmon's amazing luck. All Space Marines are, of course, expected to work comfortably around explosive ordnance, often in large quantities. As a Deathwatch Devastator Marine, the Battle-Brother is expected to regularly work with even larger than usual quantities. However, Brother Carmon has garnered a reputation for his predilection to set off inordinately large explosions over the course of his missions. On at least seven occasions, his Kill-team has successfully overcome xenos threats only after Brother Carmon detonated an entire ammunition dump.
- Julio - Battle-Brother of the 3rd Company during the Third War for Armageddon.
- Scout Sergeant Ezra Mishina - While not yet a full Battle-Brother of the Chapter, Sergeant Mishina is nevertheless a highly accomplished and respected individual and a potent asset on the battlefield. Elevated to the 3rd Company as a full Battle-Brother after Badlanding.
- Scout Sergeant Bariax - Commander of Scout Squad Bariax tasked with providing intelligence for Captain Alvez in the defence of New Rynn City.
- Scout Sergeant Nochlitan - Veteran of the Crusade Company, Nochlitan chose to serve as an instructor for the Chapter's next generations of warriors. Chaplain Argo and Apothecary Vayne both served in Sergeant Nochlitan's squad before their ascension to full Battle-Brothers. Trapped with his squad beneath the rubble of the Cantorial Palace on Syral, Sergeant Nochlitan managed to survive the four-month wait for rescue and was the only survivor still able to speak after the experience, notedly complaining about the loss of his Bolter.
- Scout Frael - Member of Scout Squad Nochlitan, lost under the rubble of the Cantorial Palace on Syral. Trapped beneath the ruins for four months, Scout Frael finally died just three or four days before Squad Demetrian's digging teams located the body, the first of the Scout Squad recovered.
- Scout Amadon - Member of Scout Squad Nochlitan, killed when the Cantorial Palace on Syral collapsed.
- Scout Zefaray - Member of Scout Squad Nochlitan and the Squad's Epistolary candidate. Trapped on Syral under the ruins of the Cantorial Palace with the rest of his squad, Zefaray screamed his voice through the Warp, his still largely untrained mind desperately seeking to catch the attention of one of the Crimson Fists' Librarians, his psyche jumping through a hundred minds to reach one that the Chapter might trust. He succeeded, though the effort nearly cost him his life, his mental calls bringing Squad Demetrian back to Syral to rescue the three survivors of the Scout Squad and the bodies of the fallen.
- Scout Janus Kennon - A young and impetuous Scout Marine but an absurdly good shot with his Sniper Rifle with the best accuracy of any recruit for over a hundred standard years. However, his lack of discipline resulted in the loss of many Battle-Brothers, including Captain Drakken, when he disobeyed orders to take a shot at the Ork Warlord Urzog Mag Kull. The shot never penetrated the Warlord's force-field and as a result of his disastrous actions, Scout Kennon was sentenced to become a Servitor.
- Scout Vermian - Tasked with clearing a route through the Ork sentries to the water plant on Badlanding for Sergeant Werner's assault group.
- Scout Rogar - Tasked with clearing a route through the Ork sentries to the water plant on Badlanding for Sergeant Werner's assault group.
- Venerable Dreadnought Rhodomanus - Rhodomanus was a notable Venerable Dreadnought that led a suicide attack to sink an Ork Stompa into the glaciers of the Dead Lands on the Hive World of Armageddon during the Second War for Armageddon. Despite the ferocious nature of the assault, Rhodomanus survived, lost in the ice for 50 Terran years, until he was unearthed and recovered by the Black Templars of strikeforce "Ansgar's Avengers" during the Third War for Armageddon. With the assistance of the Black Templars, Rhodomanus completed his original task of 50 years previous and destroyed the Ork Stompa that was being uncovered by the Blood Scar tribe. He was eventually returned to his previous post with the 3rd Company of the Crimson Fists by Marshal Brandt of the Black Templars.
- Deathwatch Dreadnought Goremann the Elder - Dreadnought and celebrated Veteran of the Chapter who served honourably in the Deathwatch on 15 occasions prior to his internment within his Dreadnought sarcophagus. Goremann's craftiness and cunning as an Ork fighter were legendary and it is said that at the Battle of Urkano Rift even the Orks chanted Goremann's name to honour him after he slew their Warboss in single combat. During Goremann's last Vigil five centuries ago, he suffered mortal wounds and at his request the Deathwatch petitioned the Crimson Fists for his remains to be kept at Watch Fortress Erioch. Now he rests in the cyborganic web of an armoured sarcophagus so that in time of need he can fight alongside his Battle-Brothers once more. Goremann normally fights in his favoured Dreadnought armour, known as Furiosa Rex, with its twin Dreadnought-sized Power Fists and underslung Flamers. Goremann's heavy fire support is seldom required in the field and so his experience more often serves the Deathwatch in tactical analysis and threat assessments. In truth, the venerable warrior chafes at such mundane work and will seize any opportunity to see action once more.
- Ancient Amentus - Ancient Amentus is a Dreadnought Chaplain of the Crimson Fists.
- Ancient Jerian - Dreadnought serving in the defence of New Rynn City, Brother Jerian was entombed after he fell to the Tyranids in the Battle for Emerald Sands.
- Ancient Ulis - Revered Old One (Dreadnought) of the Crimson Fists Chapter.
- The Aegis Eternis - The personal Land Raider transport of Captain Alvez.
- Book of Dorn - The principle sacred text of the Crimson Fists Chapter that is read aloud by the High Chaplain during important sermons and days sacred to the Chapter. It contains the recorded deeds and teachings of Rogal Dorn, the Primarch of the VII Legion. It is unknown if the book survived the destruction of the Crimson Fists' Fortress-Monastery.
- Book of Honor - A holy tome of the Chapter that records the deeds of every fallen member of the Crimson Fists so that they may be remembered and held up as inspiration by those who follow in their footsteps. It is unknown if the book survived the destruction of the fortress-monastery.
- Dorn's Arrow - Dorn's Arrow is a relic Storm Bolter wielded by Chapter Master Pedro Kantor said to have once been used by the Primarch Rogal Dorn himself.
- The Fist of Vengeance - This master-crafted Power Fist is blood red, and chipped and marked with hundreds of battle scars. Forged many years before the cataclysm that almost destroyed the Crimson Fists, the Fist of Vengeance was recovered from the ruins of the Chapter's fortress-monastery. In the years since that dark day, this symbol of resilience and defiance has been borne into battle by many heroes of the Chapter.
- Hand of Retribution - This finely crafted Power Fist had a storied history within the Crimson Fists before being lost in a desperate boarding action aboard the Space Hulk Malignant Eternity. It was recovered with the aid of information revealed by the Omega Vault about the nature and location of the Hulk. The grateful Chapter left the artefact in the care of those Crimson Fists Astartes of the Deathwatch who had aided in recovering it. The Hand of Retribution is finely crafted, containing the full heft and power of the mightiest Astartes Power Fist in what appears to be merely an oversized gauntlet. It lacks the unwieldy quality typical of Power Fists, and suffers only from a tendency to interfere with fine manipulation.
- Ork Bone Talismans - Ork teeth and skulls are a common sight among the trophy rooms for the Crimson Fists Chapter and some Battle-Brothers carry these talismans into battle as a reminder of their prowess over the alien. While this can sometimes be a whole skull or the ragged banner of a vanquished Ork Klan, more often it is a tooth carved into a relief showing a great victory of the Chapter or the slaying of a large and powerful Nob. While such a token reminds the Battle-Brother of his skill over the Ork, the sight of them can also inflame any Greenskins who see such a trophy spurring them on to greater efforts to slay the Space Marine.
- Riad - A Relic Blade carried by Captain Drigo Alvez during the defence of New Rynn City.
- Rynn's Might - Rynn's Might was a notable Land Raider that possessed a fierce Machine Spirit. It was thrown from the Crimson Fists' fortress-monastery after its fiery destruction during the Battle of Rynn's World. With no driver and alone, the Land Raider's Machine Spirit was overcome with rage at the xenos invaders and over several days Rynn's Might exhausted its weapons, killing countless Orks before finally overloading its engines to kill an Ork Warboss attempting to claim the disabled tank. The Machine Spirit of the venerable war machine was reverently recovered by the Chapter's surviving Techmarines for internment in a new chassis at a later date.
- Scepter of the Sacred Blood - An ornate Scepter containing a small amount of Rogal Dorn's sacred blood. During the celebration of the Crimson Fists' Foundation Day, a group of twenty Chaplains known collectively as the Sacratium perform a ritual called the Miracle of the Blood in which the dried blood of Rogal Dorn reverts back to liquid within the head of the Scepter. It is unknown whether the scepter has been recovered after the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus.
- Traitor's Bane - Originally wielded by Ancient Chaplain Amentus, one of the Chapter's Chaplains from the time of its Founding, this venerable Crozius survived the destruction of the Arx Tyrannus and is still in service to the Chapter in the hands of the young Chaplain Argo, a hero of the defence of New Rynn City.
The Crimson Fists paint their Power Armour deep blue, with crimson trim and white markings. When a Neophyte finally joins the ranks of the Chapter as a full Initiate his left gauntlet is painted crimson, symbolic of Rogal Dorn's tradition of cutting the palms of new recruits into the Imperial Fists Legion and sharing his blood with them directly, creating a bond between them.
Upon reaching Veteran status and entering the Crusade Company, a Crimson Fist's right gauntlet is also painted crimson. Scout Marines of the Chapter are often portrayed with two red gauntlets but blue hand guards.
The crimson squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) centred within a crimson roundel, is indicated on the right shoulder guard. A white Roman numeral is stenciled in the centre of the squad specialist symbol, indicating the squad number. The Crimson Fists do not display company numbers.
The Crimson Fists' Chapter badge is a direct copy of the badge of the Imperial Fists but in the Crimson Fists' colours, a crimson fist and roundel on a deep blue background.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 26
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 21, 40-41, 105, 120, 135, 199, 201
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pg. 44
- Codex: Deathwatch (7th Edition), pg. 20
- Codex: Orks (8th Edition), pg. 31
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 140
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 19, 47-49, 115, 154
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 29, 46-48, 90
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 72
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Witchhunters (3rd Edition)
- Codicium Imperialis, "The Battle for Rynn's City"
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 58-65
- Deathwatch: Rising Tempest (RPG), pp. 18, 129
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pp. 66, 235-236
- Games Day (UK Program 1999)
- How To Paint Space Marines
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 19
- Insignium Astartes
- Planetstrike (4th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1st Edition)
- White Dwarf 338 (UK), "Battle for Rynn's World"
- White Dwarf 315 (UK), "Fists of Dorn - Space Marine Showcase", by Glyn Hames, pp. 56-59
- White Dwarf 288 (UK) ,"Index Astartes - Crimson Fists"
- White Dwarf 275 (US), "Codium Imperialis: The First War for Armageddon"
- White Dwarf 248 (US), "The Third War for Armageddon"
- White Dwarf 236 (UK), "Bloodied Fist: The Rynn's Wold Incident", pp. 57–62
- White Dwarf 94 (UK), "Skirmish on Rynn's World", by Andy Chambers, pp. 56–61
- Crimson Tears (Soul Drinkers Novel) by Ben Counter
- Deathwatch (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology) edited by Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestly, "One Hate" by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Legends of the Space Marines (Anthology) edited by Christian Dunn, "The Relic" by Jonathan Green
- Rynn's World (Novel) by Steve Parker
- Traitor's Gorge (Novella) by Mike Lee
- Shadows of Treachery (Anthology) Edited by Christian Dunn, "The Crimson Fist" (Short Story) by John French
- Warrior Brood (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Predator, Prey - The Beast Arises, Book 2 (Novel) by Rob Sanders
- The Emperor Expects - The Beast Arises, Book 3 (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- Throneworld - The Beast Arises, Book 5 (Novel) by Guy Haley
- The Beast Must Die - The Beast Arises, Book 8 (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- Wrath & Glory RPG Art - Crimson Fists Scout Marine