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- "Here the thread is severed of Harek Eireik Eireiksson, called Ironhelm by jarls, and his debts reckoned. On the World Spine, the Father of Mountains. The humbled god comes hands stretched open - one eye, fire-ringed. And let it be said, brother, let this be recorded. The betrayer of old cripple-son of the Allfather extends his arm, his gaze Helwinter-cold. And Ironhelm, master of the Wolves of Fenris, with fangs bared, laughs like sunrise."
- — From the Ironhelm Saga
Harek Eireik Eireksson, also known as Harek Ironhelm, was a Great Wolf of the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter during the 32nd Millennium. Throughout his years as Great Wolf, Harek became obsessed with hunting down Magnus the Red, the Daemon Primarch of the traitorous Thousand Sons Legion, for Magnus was able to escape him time and time again. Ultimately, Eireksson fell in battle against Magnus during the final day of the First Battle of The Fang.
During the 32nd Millennium, Harek Ironhelm had risen to command the mighty Space Wolves Chapter as its Great Wolf. Aside from the Rune Priest Wyrmblade, he was the oldest living Space Wolves warrior, having led the Chapter for three standard centuries and served for at least another hundred years before that. Wearing his customary Terminator battle-plate, he cut a vast, ominous figure at the head of any war council. His black hair and beard were long and full, the forks braided and sealed with bone totems. The blood of victims had stained his battle-garb for so long that the grey had long since shrunk to darkness. Only the curved sheet of metal implanted across the right hemisphere of his skull glinted from the firelight of the torches, the legacy of the bloody duel that had earned him his augmetic implants and given him his nickname. Harek Ironhelm looked as joyless and brooding as a spectre of the Fenrisian death god Morkai.
After the end of the Horus Heresy, Magnus the Red was determined to have his revenge for the devastation of his homeworld of Prospero at the hands of his former brother-Primarch Leman Russ and his Legion. He devised a cunning plan to lure the Space Wolves into a trap in order to enact his final vengeance against them. All enemies of the Allfather engendered hatred in the Sons of Fenris, but Magnus was placed in a different category of loathing. It had always been that way with the Thousand Sons. The sagas still recounted in the caverns of the Aett told of the sorcerers’ betrayal, their condescension, and – worst of all – their escape. The Legion had not been destroyed during the Burning of Prospero, only crippled. That shame had hung over the Space Wolves for over a thousand standard years by the time of the 32nd Millennium, staining whatever deeds they had accomplished since and marking their failure like spoor-trails in the snow.
Perhaps, if the Traitor Magnus had disappeared into the Eye of Terror and never re-emerged, the shame might have been bearable. But he had returned over the following centuries, leaving devastation in his elusive wake. Precision strikes on Imperial worlds had continued, each aimed at retrieving some valuable piece of knowledge or esoterica. Despite the grievous damage Russ had inflicted on them, the Thousand Sons still had the potential to launch raids into protected space, and the knowledge of that burned at Ironhelm. It had burned within Ironhelm for decades, until nothing else seemed important. Despite all the resources he devoted to hunting Magnus, the chase had always come up short. There were always signs left behind for them to find, mocking hints, challenges to catch the originator of the ruin and bring him in. On Pravia, on Daggaegghan, on Vreole, on Hromor. The Traitor had left his calling cards behind, taunting the Wolves who ever snapped at his heels. After many fruitless efforts to catch up with the Thousand Sons, Harek became obsessed, and took to searching worlds along the edge of the Eye of Terror itself. Eventually he found what he believed to be the Thousand Sons' secret base on the world of Gangava and launched a full-scale attack against it.
In this he was deceived, for though Gangava was held by a strong garrison of the Forces of Chaos allied to Magnus, they were but a distraction. Even as Harek attacked Gangava, the fleet of the Thousand Sons and their Chaotic levies appeared in orbit over Fenris. The Fang was held only by a skeleton force of Space Wolves and their feudal thralls. For forty days and forty nights the Thousand Sons assaulted the mighty citadel. Bjorn the Fell-Handed, most ancient of the Space Wolves' Dreadnoughts, was awoken from his long slumber and took charge of the Chapter's defences. Under Bjorn's direction the Space Wolves fell back to the innermost chambers of The Fang, collapsing the tunnels as they went. Simultaneously, a force of Scout Marines, under Haakon Blackwing, managed to escape from the citadel and take ship to Gangava, bringing word of the siege to Harek.
During the battle that ensued, Ironhelm discovered that some of these Renegades were actually Wolf Brothers -- remnants of the only known Second Founding Successor Chapter created from the gene-seed of the Space Wolves. The Chapter was eventually forcibly disbanded by the Inquisition as a result of rampant genetic instability and the resulting mutation that appeared in the Wolf Brothers' Astartes. Though Ironhelm wished to destroy them personally, he had received word of the Thousand Sons' treachery being perpetrated against the Space Wolves' homeworld, and so he destroyed the Renegades from orbit. The Great Wolf then left behind an Escort squadron to ensure that the devastation was complete. Magnus knew that Ironhelm would not refuse combat with corrupted Astartes. Had news not come of the battle on Fenris, Ironhelm and his Space Wolves would have hunted the last of the corrupted Wolf Brothers for many days, and The Fang would have fallen in their absence.
Overcome with fury and shame at his folly, the Great Wolf immediately took ship to Fenris, bringing the might of the Space Wolves with him. Finally, on the upper slopes of The Fang itself, the Great Wolf met Magnus in battle on the final day of the siege. The Great Wolf's violence against the sorcerer was stoked by rage, the rage he had cultivated ever since leaving Gangava. The faces of the Wolf Brothers clustered in his mind, still howling their horror and pain. The faces of the slain on Fenris were amongst them too, growling in accusation. The dead had all been sacrificed on the altar of his hubris, and now they demanded retribution. Ironhelm intended to deliver it. The Great Wolf pummeled the injured Daemon Primarch with his Power Fist, hitting him again, and again, pummelling him against the rocks of The Fang’s flanks. Magnus cried out then, a cry of pain that had not been heard since Leman Russ had destroyed his first body on Prospero a thousand years before.
For a moment, it looked like Magnus had lost the will to fight. He absorbed the punishment, his back arching against the cliffs. But then, he began to remember himself. Even now, even after enduring so much, having absorbed so much pain, his essential strength, the core of fire that fuelled him, remained inviolate. The Great Wolf was driven back toward the edge and beaten down to his knees. The Daemon Primarch had proved to be too powerful for him and slew Harek, but not before taking a terrible wound himself. Before dying, the Great Wolf took solace knowing that his Wolves had already penetrated the Aett. His Wolves would hunt down every invader in those halls, one by one, driven by the remorseless focus that had always been their badge of honour. The fact that they would come too late to save him was unimportant. The Fang endured.
- "Magnus struck him thrice and thrice more, but even these wounds were not enough, and Harek did rise again. Though gore stained the snow and his heart was broken, he faced the giant. Though his beard and hair were ablaze, skin blackened through eldritch flame, he did roar his hate of the Red Witch of Prospero. Once fell his right axe, and the giant did bellow, twice fell its twin and all gathered did stare amazed. Had Harek slain the father of a thousand sorcerers? Nay, for the Red Giant had sworn the craven oaths of a traitor, and though he was rent and torn, death would not claim him. Clasping mighty Harek by the throat he raised him up, and with a look from his baleful eye he did murder a legend."
- — From the Saga of Harek Ironhelm
The Thousand Sons withdrew before the blood-maddened Space Wolves. It was not known by what means the Traitor Marines escaped vengeance. Many did not and were killed in the tunnels. But others, including most of the Traitor Legion's Chaos Sorcerers, disappeared from Fenris at the same time their fleet achieved the in-system jump-points. The Wolf Priests speculated that Magnus himself departed in the same manner, though there were no witnesses to his leaving.
When Harek Eirek Eireksson's body was discovered, there were some who believed the Great Wolf had indeed killed the Daemon Primarch. Though the rumours persisted for many years, the wisest among the Space Wolves knew that it was not in Ironhelm’s wyrd to do such a thing, and prepared for the day when evidence of the Crimson King's survival would emerge once again. None of the mortal soldiers brought to Fenris by the Thousand Sons were saved by their fleet. When the returning Space Wolves made planetfall, the Chaotic troops were slaughtered in their thousands. The fires of their destruction darkened the air of the planet for a month. Wolf Lord Arvek Hren Kjarlskar was elevated to Great Wolf in place of Ironhelm. Harek Eirek Ereiksson's body was taken to the place where he fell fighting the great enemy. Upon Great Wolf Kjarlskar's orders, a shrine was built there; a place of pilgrimage to test the endurance of the faithful and to serve as a memorial to Ironhelm's unwavering devotion to the Emperor. It was also constructed to serve as a memorial to his blindness. Never again would the Space Wolves allow themselves to be drawn into a war not of their own making. This sombre crypt serves as a shrine to the memory of that noble Wolf Lord who battled the Chapter's gravest foe. Whenever an Aspirant Rune Priest undergoes his ordeal of initiation, he must first make a pilgrimage to this mighty edifice and call upon the spirit of Harek Ironhelm. It is said that the spirit of the fallen Great Wolf appears to warn the aspirant against trusting visions granted by Chaos. This was the lesson the Space Wolves learned from the First Battle of The Fang, and they would use it to further enhance their skill in defence of the Emperor's realm.
Before his elevation to the status of Great Wolf, Harek Ironhelm and his Great Company bore the badge of the Iron Wolf. As the Iron Wolf bore the mountains of Asaheim upon its back, Harek claimed that the honour of the Space Wolves rested upon the shoulders of his Great Company.
Wearing his customary Terminator Armour, Harek Ironhelm cut a vast, ominous figure. His black hair and beard were long and full, the forks braided and sealed with bone totems. He was one of the oldest living warriors of the Space Wolves, aside from the Revered Ancients (Dreadnoughts), having led the Chapter for three standard centuries and served for at least another hundred years before that. The blood of victims had stained his battle-garb for so long that the grey had long since shrunk to darkness. Only the curved sheet of metal implanted across the right hemisphere of his skull glinted from the firelight of the torches of The Fang, the legacy of the bloody duel that had earned him his cybernetic implants and given him his nickname.
- Codex: Space Wolves (2nd Edition), pg. 43
- White Dwarf 359 (UK), "Battle for the Fang", pp. 44-49
- Battle of the Fang (Novel) by Chris Wraight
- War of the Fang (Anthology) by Chris Wraight