"Vigilance! Valour! Vengeance!"
Second Founding (31st Millennium)
Blue Gunmetal and Black
- "First you turn your back on the Emperor, then you raise arms against the sons of Dorn. Know this; you shall not live out this day to make a third mistake."
- — Captain Abrax, Iron Knights 4th Company
The Iron Knights are a Loyalist Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter. The Iron Knights are a Second Founding Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists. The Iron Knights are a Crusading Chapter in the proud tradition of Rogal Dorn. The Chapter's homeworld is the world of Brycantia.
The Iron Knights are one of the 12 Space Marine Chapters who are Successors of the Imperial Fists that send a champion to the centennial Feast of Blades, and are the only Chapter that attends to have won the contest on two consecutive occasions. Brycantia, the homeworld of the Iron Knights Chapter, is a planet of belching manufactoria, fortress walls and great bastions that pierce the skies. Every inch of the planet's surface is sheathed in metal or hewn stone. Much of the populace toil in steam-choked foundries under the lash of overseers, and only the strongest survive. By their efforts are the Iron Knights continually supplied with a steady stream of weapons, ammunition and recruits. The Iron Knights share the harsh demeanour of their homeworld's populace, knowing that hardship and sacrifice are necessary if the Chapter is to continue to win victory in the Emperor's wars.
- The 102nd Feast of Blades (749.M41) - All twelve competing Chapters are in attendance at this Feast. The Iron Knights' champion, Hervald Strom, wins the competition after narrowly defeating the Imperial Fists' champion, Demitrius Valor, in a ritual duel.
- The Thrassos Disaster (928.M41) - In 928.M41, WAAAGH! Dregdakka ploughs headlong into the Adransa Cluster, causing untold devastation. On the planet of Thrassos a combined force of Space Marines from the Iron Knights and Liberators Chapters attempts to halt the Orks' steamroller advance. A horde of Orks including Dregdakka himself are lured onto a huge refinery platform before Techmarines destroy all bridges linking the platform to the mainland. Space Marine Kill-teams then deploy across the hulking structure, tasked with slaughtering the trapped greenskins and assassinating Dregdakka. Yet the Adeptus Astartes have woefully underestimated their foe, the greenskins digging in and fighting back with unexpected tenacity. Though they kill thousands of Orks, over three hundred Space Marines are slain and their comrades are overwhelmed as yet more Ork vessels pour into the system. His trophy poles rattling with freshly harvested Space Marine helmets, Warlord Dregdakka's position is now unassailable. His WAAAGH! completely overruns the Adransa Cluster within the year.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Chapter was on a self-imposed penitence Crusade for a number of decades when they were called into action during the 13th Black Crusade. The Iron Knights fielded 1 company against the Forces of Chaos in this campaign.
- Defence of Amistel Majoris - The Chapter's elite 1st Company became mired in the defence of Amistel Majoris, bolstering the flagging defences of the Howling Griffons Chapter as they fought a grueling trench war against the unremitting assaults of the Plague Marines of the Death Guard Traitor Legion. The warzone soon became a plague-ridden quagmire, the decomposing bodies of the Plague God's victims forming putrid, sucking swamps through which the defenders were forced to wade in order to bring battle to their foes. A sickly patina of filth soon marred the gleaming blue-grey Power Armour of the Iron Knights, and the company's Chaplains were forced to perform daily rites of purification in order to keep the virulent plague at bay. Recent sermons by these Chaplains have linked the Chapter's continuing presence in the warzone with their eventual redemption, vowing that the world will only fall at the cost of the entire Chapter. By the third week of the Black Crusade, Amistel Majoris was considered sufficiently secure that a portion of its Space Marine defenders could be spared to reinforce the Cadian System, which, in the days following the destruction of Saint Josmane's Hope was in desperate need of reinforcement.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Iron Knights is a smaller Chapter of Astartes. They are primarily a Chapter that is used as a full assault force. They focus on launching heavy assaults against well-defended, strongly fortified targets using their large complement of Terminators and heavily-armoured vehicles like Predator and Land Raider main battle tanks.
Notable Iron Knights
- Cadulon - Company Champion Cadulon is a name celebrated in the annals of the Iron Knights Space Marines and revered by every Chapter that sends warriors to the ritual Feast of Blades. Known to his brothers and rivals alike as the "Saint of Blades" for his skill at arms, Cadulon rose to the position of Company Champion when his predecessor was killed by a Dark Eldar slaver-queen in battle on the world of Cystan. Over the centuries that followed, Cadulon became renowned for his swordsmanship, wielding an estoc with consummate ease. Three times Cadulon represented his Chapter at the Feast of Blades, the great competition between the Successor Chapters of the Imperial Fists Legion. On his first appearance, he won the contest, besting the chosen champions of eleven other Chapters. On his second, he was narrowly defeated by the Black Templars' representative, but he returned once again and claimed victory a second time, one of only a handful of Space Marines to do so. Eventually, Cadulon was promoted to the rank of Captain and served with distinction for nearly a century in command of the 4th Company until 226.M41, when he crossed blades with a Dark Eldar Archon on the world of Omeros. With his Command Squad and his own Company Champion kept busy by the twisted alien's minions, Cadulon found himself fighting single-handedly against the Archon and a dozen Incubi. Even the Saint of Blades could not hold out against so many skilled foes, and he was incapacitated. The last that any of the Iron Knights saw of Cadulon, he was being carried, still struggling against a dozen captors, into the writhing darkness of a Webway portal. His final fate was being forced to fight Lelith Hesperax, who challenged the Archons to bring her a worthy opponent. The duel against the deadly Succubus lasted for over six hours before Cadulon finally fell, leaving Hesperax victorious with but a single, bloody cut across her midriff.
- Franosch - Librarian Franosch was part of the Iron Knights squad, led by Commander Goedendag Morningstar that conducted the purge of the two-hundred floor hive-tower on Minea. Franosch was instrumental in sensing the daemonic presence at the top of the tower, and tracking the warp-portal.
- Goedendag Morningstar- Commander (Sergeant) Goedendag Morningstar led a squad of Iron Knights into the two-hundred floor hive-tower of Minea. Through his leadership, The Iron Knights were able to secure the human-hostages that were kept by the Daemonettes throughout the tower. Goedendag made it to the final floor of the tower, where he had found a warp-portal that had been opened through the mind of a rogue psyker. The psyker's mind was swayed by a Keeper of Secrets that was stuck existing in some halfway state. The Keeper of Secrets attempted to corrupt and seduce Goedendag with the promise of revealing the location of his once brethren, the Chaos warband known as the Iron Brethren, that betrayed his Chapter for the glory of chaos, but Goedendag resisted the temptation, and proceeded with slaying the psyker. Goedendag would then fight a number of ambushing Daemonettes on his own, only to be bolstered by the arrival of his squad that was left behind by him. Goedendag and his squad were then able to plant Melta Bombs near the portal and destroy it, securing the safety of the Hive City.
The Iron Knights are described as having "gleaming, blue-grey armour." The Iron Knights' Power Armour is painted blue gunmetal, including the Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard and shoulder trim. The helmet and shoulder plate inserts are painted black. The blue-grey-coloured squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator, or Veteran), is indicated on both shoulder guards. No company markings are displayed.
The Iron Knights Chapter icon is a white Cross Crosslet on a black background, displayed on a heraldic shield, or "gardbrace," over the front of the left shoulder guard.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 24
- Codex: Dark Eldar (7th Edition), pg. 109
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition), pg. 82
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 45-47
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 27
- Index Astartes III, ""The Eye of the Storm: Space Marine Chapters fighting in the Eye of Terror", pg. 67
- Index Astartes: Company Champions (Digital Edition), pg. 26
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (5th Edition), pg. 132
- White Dwarf 286 (UK), "Index Astartes: The Eye of The Storm," pg. 67
- Phalanx (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Liberator (Short Story) by Jonathan Green
- Tower of Blood (Short Story) by Tony Ballantyne
- Treacheries of the Space Marines (Anthology), "Liberator," by Jonathan Green