"Into the fires of battle, unto the Anvil of War!"
First Founding (30th Millennium)
Regent of Prometheus Tu'Shan
Green, Black and Gold
- "On the Anvil of War are the strong tempered and the weak made to perish, thus are men's souls tested as metal in the forge's fire."
The Salamanders are one of the Loyalist First Founding Chapters of Space Marines. They originally served as the Imperium's XVIII Space Marine Legion during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Their homeworld is the volcanic Death World of Nocturne. The Salamanders as a Chapter are unusually concerned with civilian casualties compared to most other Space Marines and believe that one of their most important duties is to protect the lives of the Emperor of Mankind's innocent subjects whenever and wherever possible. This is an attitude that developed as a consequence of the Salamanders' own unusually close connections to the Nocturnean people, as they are one of the only Chapters of Astartes who continue to interact with their families and the people of their homeworld after their transformation into Space Marines. For instance, it is not uncommon for a Salamander to serve as a clan leader among the Nocturneans and live with them when Chapter business does not require him to remain at the Chapter's fortress-monastery on Nocturne's moon of Prometheus. The Salamanders and their people as a whole are also defined by their adherence to a variation of the Imperial Cult called the Promethean Cult.
Before the Great Crusade began, the infant Primarchs were separated from the Emperor of Mankind and transported randomly in their gestation capsules across the galaxy through the Warp from Imperial gene-laboratory beneath the Himalayan Mountains on Terra by the machinations of the Chaos Gods. One of these children ended up on the feudal Death World of Nocturne. The strange baby was found by a blacksmith named N'bel, who, recognising the child as the one prophesied to be a saviour by the teachings of the Promethean Cult, named him Vulkan. Like all the Primarchs, Vulkan grew very quickly, reaching full adulthood (and a size bigger and more muscular than any man on Nocturne) by the age of only three Terran years. He was also highly intelligent, able to vastly improve the already considerable metalworking skills of the famed smiths of Nocturne. When Vulkan was four, his town was attacked by the Dark Eldar, who were on a slave-taking expedition. The people of his hometown hid, as they usually did when the decadent xenos came raiding, but Vulkan refused to hide. Armed with only a pair of blacksmith's hammers, he roused the people from hiding and drove back the assault, single-handedly slaying a hundred Dark Eldar warriors. As word of the battle spread, the headsmen of the seven most important settlements on the planet came to pay homage to Vulkan, swearing to forevermore crush their foes rather than hiding from them.
In celebration of the Primarch's victory over the Dark Eldar, a tournament of various contests involving tests of strength and craftsmanship common to the people of Nocturne was held. During the opening ceremonies, a stranger appeared. His skin was unusually pale, compared to the dark, swarthy complexions of the people of Nocturne, and his clothes were very strange, made of materials unfamiliar to the pre-industrial Nocturneans. The stranger asked only to be allowed to compete. The stranger claimed that he could best any man at the competitions, causing many people to laugh at the seemingly inadvertent comparison to the superhuman Vulkan. Vulkan accepted the challenge, and the stranger wagered that whoever lost the challenge would swear his eternal loyalty and obedience to the victor. With a smile at such effrontery, Vulkan agreed to the stranger's terms.
Lasting for 8 Nocturnean days, the contest included many tests of strength and endurance. The people of Nocturne were treated to the spectacle of two godlike beings competing against one another, utterly astonishing the mere mortals around them with their superhuman prowess. Many of the contests had to be called a draw between Vulkan and the fair-skinned stranger, for there was simply no way to determine a victor. For instance, the anvil lift, where the contestants were required to hold an anvil aloft above their heads for as long as possible, ended in a tie when the two superhuman competitors both held anvils aloft for half a day with no sign of tiring, while all the other competitors had given up after mere minutes. All the subsequent contests saw similar outcomes, and by the end of day 8, Vulkan and the stranger were tied in the overall tournament. To break the tie, the elders of Nocturne decided that the winner would be determined by the test of Salamander Hunting. Both contestants were given 24 hours to forge a weapon, before using that weapon to hunt down and slay one of Nocturne's reptilian salamanders. Assessing that this task, impossible for any others, would be a formality for both godlike contestants, the elders included the caveat that the contestant who brought back the largest salamander would be proclaimed victorious.
The Final Trial
In the end, it came down to the final trial: Salamander-Slaying. Both men had a day and a half to forge a weapon, then go out and slay the largest salamander (a large, heat-loving reptile native to Nocturne), that they could find. Vulkan and the stranger worked all day at their forges, neither pausing to rest. As the day drew to a close, they emerged. Vulkan had forged a huge warhammer, and the stranger a keen-edged sword. They both climbed to the summit of Mount Deathfire, a massive volcano said to be the home of the largest Firedrakes, the most fearsome species of salamander, on the planet. Vulkan found his prey first, smashing its head off with a single blow from his hammer. As he carried the carcass back, the volcano unexpectedly erupted. Vulkan was nearly thrown off a cliff, but managed to grab onto the edge with one hand, stubbornly grasping the tail of his prize with the other. Vulkan held on for several hours, but his hold finally began to slip. It was at that time the stranger reappeared, carrying a salamander larger than his own. The stranger quickly threw his carcass into the lava flow, using its heat-resistant hide as a bridge to cross over and save Vulkan. Vulkan was declared the winner when they returned home since he had a salamander hide and the stranger had lost his, but Vulkan silenced the crowd. He knelt before the stranger, stating that any man who valued life over pride was worthy of his service. At that moment the stranger at last revealed himself to be the Emperor of Mankind, and it was declared that Nocturne would be the homeworld of the XVIII Space Marine Legion, forever after known as the Salamanders, that was derived from Vulkan's genome, with Vulkan at his rightful place as Primarch of the XVIII Legion and ruler of the planet.
During the Great Crusade the Salamanders were attached to Expeditionary Fleet 154, their forces complemented by Imperial Army regiments drawn from the planet Phaeria, a Death World. They successfully brought hundreds of human-settled worlds into Imperial Compliance.
Horus Heresy and the Aftermath
The Salamanders' role during the Horus Heresy is not well known to Imperial scholars; what is for certain is that the XVIII Legion, along with the Iron Hands and the Raven Guard, were part of the first wave of Loyalist attackers during the Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V. After the announcement of the Warmaster Horus' treachery against the Emperor and the destruction of the four open Traitor Legions' (the Sons of Horus, Emperor's Children, Death Guard and the World Eaters) remaining Loyalists during the Battle of Istvaan III, the Emperor ordered seven full Legions of Space Marines to attack the Forces of Chaos serving his beloved son and former friend. But among those seven Legions, four were already secretly Traitors to the Imperium and devotees of the Ruinous Powers. The initial landing force on Istvaan V fell into a trap set by the Traitors and the three Loyalist Legions withdrew towards their landing site to give their recently arrived reinforcements a chance to earn glory against the Traitors. This drop site had been fortified by the four secret Traitor Legions, including the Night Lords, the Word Bearers, the Iron Warriors and the Alpha Legion, who had been intended to form the second wave of the Imperial assault on Horus' forces. At this moment, the second wave opened fire on the retreating Loyalist Marines, crushing them between the hammer of Horus' forces and the anvil of the fortified drop site. Despite a heroic defence, the three Loyal Legions were practically destroyed; all but a handful of Battle-Brothers fell on that fateful day and the Primarch Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands was beheaded by his former best friend Fulgrim, the Primarch of the Emperor's Children. After this sad defeat, the Salamanders, as well as the other two betrayed Space Marine Legions, were unable to perform any further tasks the Emperor had planned for them and spent the rest of the Heresy rebuilding their shattered forces. When Roboute Guilliman authored the Codex Astartes during the Reformation of the Imperium after the Heresy and prepared the plan to safeguard the Imperium from another civil war by breaking down each Space Marine Legion into a single Chapter comprised of only 1,000 Space Marines, Vulkan stood alongside Leman Russ of the Space Wolves and Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists in opposition to the plan. However, like the others, Vulkan eventually acquiesced rather than put the unity of the Imperium at risk once more.
Around a thousand years after the Horus Heresy, Vulkan hid 9 artefacts around the galaxy for his Chapter to find, as a test to see if they were worthy of his leadership. He then disappeared, leaving his Chapter with the message that whenever the Forgefather of the Salamanders had found all nine items, Vulkan would return to lead his Chapter to victory over the enemies of the Imperium in its final days of greatest need, according to the signs foreseen in the Chapter's book of prophecy, the Tome of Fire. Of these nine relics, five have been recovered, three of which, the Spear of Vulkan, Kesare's Mantle and the Gauntlet of the Forge, are wielded by the Chapter's Forgefather (Master of the Forge), Vulkan He'stan. Two, the Chalice of Fire and the Eye of Vulkan, remain on the Nocturnean moon of Prometheus in the Chapter's fortress-monastery, while the last four artefacts, the Engine of Woes, the Obsidian Chariot, the Unbound Flame and the Song of Entropy, have yet to be discovered.
- Compliance of Caldera (Unknown Date.M31) - An unusual campaign during the Great Crusade for the Salamanders involved bringing the world of 154-4, known as Ibsen by its inhabitants, into Imperial Compliance. The Salamanders, lead by Vulkan himself, were joined by the Iron Hands and the Death Guard Legions, both lead by their own respective Primarchs. The world was undeveloped, and largely inhospitable to human life, but possessed valuable mineral deposits. However, the Imperial forces faced stiff resistance for control of the planet from the Eldar, who had placed a garrison upon Ibsen. The Eldar forces—including Seers, Warlocks and other combat psykers -- could not have expected to defeat one Legion of Astartes, let alone three. The mystery deepened when the semi-feral, primitive human tribes inhabiting the planet seemed more sympathetic to the Eldar, or at the very least, not welcoming to their human liberators. The Salamanders and other Imperials defeated the Eldar relatively easily as expected. After the conquest, the Salamanders learned that the Eldar had been defending a network of menhirs which served as psychic nodes and that fed into a giant arch, where the final and most brutal confrontation between the Astartes and the xenos had taken place. The arch itself had been located thanks to a mysterious Remembrancer attached to the Salamanders, with whom Vulkan had had an unsettling conversation before the battle. After the slaughter ended, Vulkan saw the Remembrancer loitering by the arch and then suddenly disappearing. Following him, Vulkan and his elite Pyre Guard descended into the chambers beneath it, through a portal at its base. There they found a crude warding ceremony taking place, conducted by the primitive human tribal priests, who were ready to sacrifice an ancient Dark Eldar witch. Finally, Vulkan realised the truth: the arch was in reality, a Webway portal (though none of the Imperials, including Vulkan, knew this at the time); Vulkan had seen a "gate" like this before, in his Nocturnean youth, when Dark Eldar repeatedly utilised such a portal to raid and pillage the planet. The Eldar had taken control of the portal by defeating their dark cousins, and in the process had freed the indigenous human population of Ibsen from the horrors of Dark Eldar raids; the Eldar had been seen by the humans as liberators. Terrified by the defeat of their liberators at the hands of the Imperium, the natives had sought to sacrifice their Dark Eldar captive to ward off the inevitable return of her race; the mysterious "Remembrancer" who was nowhere to be seen had actually been the Emperor in disguise, who must have had a great interest in the particulars of this mission since he had ordered so many resources committed to it. Vulkan ordered Ibsen and its irredeemably corrupted population cleansed by flame. He renamed the scoured, Nocturne-like Dead World that remained Caldera. The world was now ready to receive new human colonists and to be exploited for the benefit of the Imperium.
- Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V (Unknown Date.M31) - Noted as one of the most devastating defeats in the history of the Adeptus Astartes, and certainly in the history of the Salamanders, the Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V saw the Raven Guard and Salamanders Legions nearly annihilated as effective fighting forces and only the quick thinking and initiative of the Salamanders allowed a bare few Space Marines of those two Legions to escape that dreadful day. In response to the treachery of the Warmaster Horus and his betrayal of the Loyalist Astartes in the Sons of Horus, Emperor's Children, World Eaters and Death Guard Legions at Istvaan III, the Primarch of the Imperial Fists Legion, Rogal Dorn, on the direction of the Emperor who had learned of Horus' actions from the Loyalist survivors aboard the Eisenstein, ordered 7 Loyalist Space Marine Legions to Horus' base on the world of Istvaan V to challenge the Traitors. They would attack in two waves and fall under the supreme command of the Iron Hands' Primarch Ferrus Manus. The Legions comprising the first wave were the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders. The Legions comprising the second wave were the Alpha Legion, Night Lords, Iron Warriors, and a large contingent of Word Bearers that their Primarch Lorgar had stationed in the star system. Unknown to Dorn and Ferrus Manus, the Night Lords, Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors and Word Bearers had all turned from their service to the Emperor and pledged their loyalty to Horus, and been instructed to keep their new allegiance to Chaos a secret. The first wave secured the drop site at a heavy cost. Horus ordered his front line troops to fall back, tempting Ferrus Manus to overstretch his already thin lines. Against the advice of Corax and Vulkan, Manus led his Veterans against the fleeing Traitor Marines unsupported. Manus then brought his brother Fulgrim to combat. As the two Primarchs drew their weapons, the Raven Guard and Salamanders fell back to regroup and allow the second wave's Legions to advance and earn glory. However, as they returned they were mowed down by the four Traitor Legions that had landed to supposedly support them, thus revealing their new allegiance to Chaos. At the same time the apparent rout of the Sons of Horus, the World Eaters, Death Guard and Emperor's Children suddenly halted and the Traitors pressed their attack. As Horus pressed the counterattack he managed to sandwich the Loyalists between the two Traitor forces, killing most of them. The Iron Hands were cut off and slaughtered to a man -- the veteran Morlock Terminators cut down and the Primarch Ferrus Manus beheaded by Fulgrim. The Salamanders and Raven Guard could do nothing to help the Iron Hands, and were forced to make a costly break out with precious few of their forces. Those Thunderhawk and Stormbird gunships that lifted off and escaped Istvaan V were far fewer than those that had landed. Corax, the Primarch of the Raven Guard, was badly wounded and Vulkan's fate was unknown for some time. The remainder of the Iron Hands Legion arrived to find their veterans and Primarch dead and the Salamanders and Raven Guard reduced to a fraction of their full strength, with both Legions nearly wiped out. So it was that Vulkan and his Salamanders eventually returned to Nocturne in defeat, steeled to rebuild and take revenge on Horus and his Traitors.
- Fires of Phaistos Osiris (533.M39) - During this action, the Salamanders defending the important Cardinal World of Phaistos Osiris, located in the northern Segmentum Ultima, from a massive Ork onslaught. This particular action has been held up as a shining example of the role the Adeptus Astartes play in the protection of the Imperium. This important Cardinal World was and remains the capital of the Osiran Sector, and is both the location of the revered Basilica of Saint Thoth the Intercessor as well as the sector's primary Schola Progenium facility. Within this desolate region, this important world was a lynchpin of the Imperium's spiritual and temporal control. In 533.M39, WAAAGH! Ruckrippa threatened to drown the entire sector in darkness. Given advance warning of the Orks' progress, the Salamanders stood at the head of a well-disciplined army raised from the students of the Schola and hundreds of thousands of volunteer pilgrim-militia.Leading the resistance, the Salamanders Chapter had devised a complex and subtle defence in depth which denied the planet's resources to the Greenskin enemy. The Salamanders used the Orks' own homicidal rage and lack of discipline against them, goading them on and trapping them into the killing grounds of their own choosing. In orbit, the Salamanders' Chapter fleet, supported by Battlefleet Ultima, engaged Ruckrippa's Deff-Hulks in a shock assault. Under cover of the bombardment chosen squads of the Salamanders' Firedrake Terminators conducted teleporter raids aboard the doomed Ork Hulks. Planting seismic charges, the Deff-Hulks were ripped apart with explosive atomic blasts. On the surface of Phaistos Osiris, the Orks launched their final assault against the world's main temple-city. The Salamanders launched their final counter-attack, now fighting on a hellish battlefield that was to the Chapter no more nor less than home ground. With them came suicide-squads of fanatical Redemptionists. The final killing blow came when the Firedrakes descended from the darkness above, slaughtering the remaining Orks in the hell below, smashing the WAAAGH! into a thousand pieces.
- Purging of the Moons of Ymgarl (754-756.M41) - By order of the High Lords of Terra actions against suspected Genestealer infection were stepped up across the galaxy. As part of this xenocidal campaign, the Salamanders were given the onerous duty of purging the Genestealers for all time from the moons of Ymgarl where they had first been encountered. This was a realm where these foul creatures had always maintained a foothold and from which they had previously been thought to originate. The losses amongst the Space Marines were horrendous, but assaults from the nightmare Ymgarl Genestealers were despatched in storms of fire or crushed under the shattering blows of Thunder Hammers. The Salamanders did not falter despite desperate hours and terrible reversals. The campaign lasted for nearly two years of bloody struggle and death in the darkness before finally the Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus pronounced the ancient threat on Ymgarl ended, although its dark legacy would live on in the shadows of chill ship holds, dark hulks and doomed worlds uncounted.
- Badab War (906-912.M41) - The Salamanders were one of the Space Marine Chapters that participated in the Badab War, serving the Imperium by helping to defeat the Astral Claws and their wayward Secessionist allies. Initially, the Salamanders were reluctant to get involved in the internecine conflict, having fought alongside both the Astral Claws and the Fire Hawks as recently as the Lycanthos Drift Campaign of the 810s.M41, and the Chapter was greatly troubled to intervene on either side despite direct calls do so. When proof was provided to them by the Legate Inquisitor in charge of prosecuting the war that the Astral Claws had broken faith fully with the ancient covenants of the Imperium, the Salamanders were forced by duty to act. The Chapter could only send a small force consisting of one Battle Company (the 2nd Company) under the command of Captain Pellas Mir'san, as the rest of the Chapter was already committed elsewhere. Although few in number, the Salamanders' force was heavily engaged throughout the conflict until the bitter end, playing key roles in several important events during the conflict.
- Second War for Armageddon (941-961.M41) - During the Second War for Armageddon, the Salamanders fought with distinction, led by their Chapter Master Tu'Shan, whose tenure as Chapter Master had only begun 3 years before the start of the conflict. Among other feats of their service on the hive world of Armageddon, a company of the Salamanders managed to defend the bridge over the River Stygies from a thousand-strong Ork Speed Freeks force, and prevented the Orks from destroying a water purification plant, thus saving Hive Tempestora from a slow death by dehydration. Although the hive city eventually fell to the Orks, the Salamanders' efforts allowed it to be evacuated before the Orks could capture it, saving countless lives. The Salamanders have been involved in many magnificent Imperial conquests and victories, but in recent times even these great achievements have been eclipsed by their stalwart fighting during the Second War for Armageddon. While the Blood Angels set about destroying the massive Ork horde, and the Ultramarines bent their strength to the defence of the surviving hive cities, the Salamanders took upon themselves the essential but neglected task of protecting the supply convoys, fighting rearguard actions against the Orks' advances and escorting refugee columns. So unstinting were they in these arduous but unsung duties that the Salamanders were to earn the gratitude and respect of thousands of Imperial Guardsmen and civilians. The Salamanders have become renowned as sturdy and dependable allies, a reputation that is not shared by many other, more unpredictable, Space Marine Chapters.
- Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - When the Ork Warboss Ghazghkull launched his new offensive against the Imperial forces on Armageddon, the Salamanders were one of the first Space Marine Chapters to respond, sending a full 7 companies to combat the Orks, including Chapter Master Tu'Shan, who personally lead his Firedrakes (the elite 1st Company). The Salamanders launched several counter-attacks against the Rok-forts landed by the Orks along the Hemlock River. Preferring the close-quarter fighting within the maze of crudely-carved tunnels within the Roks to the long-range duels in the desert, the Salamanders made the Orks pay a high price for their audacity. At least three Roks were destroyed by the Salamanders' attacks, slaughtering untold thousands of the savage Greenskins. Many Chapters fought in the name of the Emperor on Armageddon, or for personal glory. Of the 20 full Space Marine Chapters that deployed for the Third War for Armageddon, only the Salamanders truly fought to save the lives of the people of Armageddon. They are even today much respected for their willingness to stand up against one of the Marines Malevolent's captains who had left civilians to die because the Marines Malevolent "hadn't time" to defend them from the Orks.
- Assault on Moribar (Unknown Date.M41) - A strike force composed of the Salamanders' 3rd Company, under the command of Captain Ko'tan Kadai, caught up to the deranged former Chaplain of the Black Dragons, Vai'tan Ushorak, and his warband of Chaos Space Marines on the Cemetery World of Moribar. While Ushorak delved into the secret crypts beneath the sepulchre world, the Salamanders and the Renegade followers of Ushorak fought savagely through the crematoria of that ash-blanketed world. At the height of the fighting, Ushorak was plunged into the central furnaces at the heart of the planet, while the Renegade Salamanders Librarian Nihilan tried to save his mentor but failed and was horribly burned in the process, barely surviving his horrific wounds. Eventually, from the tattered remnants of Ushorak's followers, the newly christened Chaos Sorcerer Nihilan forged the Dragon Warriors Chaos Space Marines warband, determined to exact vengeance on the Salamanders and the people of Nocturne. The vengeful Nihilan was particularly determined to gain vengeance against Captain Kadai, and proceeded to engineer the heroic Salamander officer's downfall on the world of Stratos as revenge for his own horrific wounds.
- Stratos Campaign (Unknown Date.M41) - The Salamanders succeeded in the liberation of Cirrion, a floating loft-city and the capital of the Imperial Mining World of Stratos. A small group of Dragon Warriors under the command of the Chaos Sorcerer Nihilan orchestrated the uprising of a Chaos Cult, the so-called Cult of Truth, on the Imperial mining world of Stratos to serve as a distraction while they secretly recovered an artefact known as the decyphrex from the depths of the floating loft-city and Stratos capital of Cirrion. The Salamanders responded to Stratos' astropathic distress call and Nihilan had the added enjoyment of arranging for the death of the Salamanders' Captain Ko'tan Kadai, one of the Space Marines who had nearly killed him after he had gone Renegade decades before on the Cemetery World of Moribar.
- Scoria Campaign (Unknown Date.M41)- After recovering an ancient artefact from the derelict Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Ship Archimedes Rex, the Salamanders' 3rd Company used information derived from the artefact to journey to the world of Scoria. On Scoria, the 3rd Company discovered survivors of the Imperium's 154th Expeditionary Fleet, a remnant from the Great Crusade, as well as 50 suits of ancient Power Armour and the oldest living Salamander, Gravius, who had fought in the terrible Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V over ten millennia before. The Salamanders on Scoria also successfully captured an Iron Warriors fortress before coming under attack by thousands of Orks. The brave Fire Born repelled several attacks by the Greenskins and even use their downed Strike Cruiser's main guns to push back the tide of Orks. After breaking the back of the Ork assault, the Salamanders were "rescued" by the arrival of a Strike Cruiser from the Marines Malevolent, a Chapter with which the Salamanders had poor relations and with which they had already had a less-than-friendly meeting back on the Archimedes Rex when the Marines Malevolent had sought to seize the Forge Ship's technology for their own. The 3rd Company's Captain, N'keln, was allegedly slain by an Ork commando team while on the world, and the Chaos Sorcerer Nihilan, a determined enemy of the Salamanders, was sighted on the world but slipped from the 3rd Company's grasp. It was on Scoria that the Salamanders discovered that a new apocalyptic weapon, a Seismic Cannon, now lay within the hands of Nihilan and the Forces of Chaos who were determined to destroy the Salamanders and their homeworld of Nocturne. Despite the large number of important Salamanders artefacts removed from the planet, dissension reigned among the ranks of the 3rd Company upon their return to Nocturne due to their multiple failures, the discovery of the threat posed by the Seismic Cannon and the death of their Captain.
- Defence of Nocturne (Unknown Date.M41) - After the death of his old foe Captain Kadai, Nihilan enlisted a warband of Iron Warriors to mine a special ore known as fyron from the world of Scoria. It was during this time that the Chaos Sorcerer entered into a daemonic pact with the daemon Engel'saak in order to enhance his already formidable psychic powers. The daemon told Nihilan of a forbidden tome that possessed the fell knowledge of the the ancient Nocturnean Corpsemasters that had the ability to resurrect the dead. With this forbidden knowledge, Nihilan hoped to resurrect his own former master, the charismatic Renegade former Dragon Warriors Chaplain Vai'tan Ushorak. In return for the daemon's knowledge and the enhancement of his powers, the Chaos Sorcerer provided Engel'saak a host body, enabling the daemon to enter the material realm as a Daemonhost and wreak havoc on the Salamanders Chapter. It was during this conflict that Nihilan finally revealed his nefarious plan: utilising a Seismic Cannon that was emplaced on his flagship, the Chaos Cruiser Hell-Stalker, he created a shaft that delved deep into Mount Deathfire, the sacred mountain of the Salamanders on Nocturne. Within the mountain, the Chaos Sorcerer was able to breach the hidden sacred shrine that contained one of the lost books of the Primarch Vulkan, known as the Tome of Fire. The Chaos Sorcerer was confronted by the Salamanders Epistolary Pyriel, his fellow former Neophyte-in-training, whom he defeated in a psychic battle that resulted in the Salamander psyker's death. Though it was a pyrrhic victory, Pyriel's sacrifice was not in vain, as the Salamanders' Chief Librarian Vel'cona arrived to face his former pupil before Nihilan could make good his escape. The Chief Librarian and the Chaos Sorcerer battled within Mount Deathfire, but unfortunately Nihilan made good his escape due to the timely intervention of his personal bodyguard, Ramlek. Vel'cona was able to destroy Ramlek upon an anvil that mysteriously materialised out of nothing. The Chaos Sorcerer managed to escape, still intent on resurrecting his former master Ushorak and taking revenge against the Salamanders. Nihilan's current whereabouts are unknown.
Like many of the First Founding Chapters (and many subsequent ones as well), the Salamanders recruit exclusively from the people of their homeworld, Nocturne. Children aspiring to become Space Marines begin their training at the age of six or seven Terran years as the apprentice to a Salamanders Astartes. They spend several years learning the art of the smith, and the most able apprentices are then judged by the Chapter's Apothecaries and Chaplains to see if they are worthy (and capable of surviving the gene-seed organ implantation process) to become Space Marines. Their training includes many of the same trials the Emperor and Vulkan competed in according to Nocturnan legend, finally culminating in the hunting and slaying of a massive salamander on Mount Deathfire.
Each Salamanders company recruits solely from one of the great clans of Nocturne, and thus each Battle-Brother is a member of the same clan as his fellow company Battle-Brothers as well. The Salamanders companies each maintain huge, tracked fortresses that crisscross the volcanic surface of their homeworld, serving as an easy way to interact with their fellow companies and the various Nocturnan clans. Because each Battle-Brother in a Salamanders Company is a clan brother as well, the Salamanders have been known to fight like their savage namesakes to rescue their fallen and wounded.
Chapter OrganisationThe Salamanders follow the Codex Astartes, but their doctrines are also strongly influenced by the Promethean Cult of Nocturne, an accepted variant of the Imperial Cult, which places a high regard on self-reliance, self-sacrifice, and loyalty to each other as well as to the Emperor. The hammer and the fire are both important symbols of the Cult, and the Chapter makes widespread use of Flamers, Meltaguns, and Thunder Hammers in their armoury. As one can imagine, this preference for Flamers and Meltas leads to a strong affinity among the Salamanders for close-range shooting when in combat. Because of their universal early training as blacksmiths, all Salamanders are fully capable of maintaining and performing moderate repair work on their weapons and armour, leaving the Chapter's Artificers with the free time necessary to create great works of technology and metallurgy. As a result, the Salamanders Chapter has an unusually high number of master-crafted weapons and Artificer Power Armour. The Chapter also favours the use of Land Raider Redeemers. In an interesting example of juxtaposition, however, the fluctuating gravity of Nocturne makes training with certain units such as Land Speeders and Assault Bikes difficult, therefore the Chapter makes little use of them, favouring instead Devastator Squads and Terminator Squads (the Chapter has 120 Veterans as opposed to the typical 100).
Indeed, it is fitting that the Salamanders should lack fast attack capabilities, as for some inexplicable reason, they naturally have slightly slower reflexes than most Space Marines, probably as a result of mutations in their gene-seed. However, a Salamander's reflexes are still significantly faster than those of a normal human. Also, as a result of a reaction between their genetics and the high levels of radiation present on Nocturne due to the constant volcanic churning of rare earth elements from the planet's deep crust, Salamander Battle-Brothers usually have dark or jet black skin and bright, burning eyes with the capability to see in the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum, which gives them a natural form of night vision. This appearance is entirely superficial, but has intimidated more than one rebel against the Emperor into submission without firing a shot. Trained never to give up or retreat, Salamanders are capable of going on even when their entire squad is dead, holding positions for months on end. This is one of the more significant effects of Promethean doctrines upon the Chapter's collective psyche.
Before each battle every Salamander receives an honour-scar from a Promethean brander-priest. This symbolises their respect for the Chapter and the Promethean belief that one must be cleansed by the pain of fire before every major undertaking. Only Veterans ever receive honour-scars on their faces, as it takes several centuries of battles before every other space on the Astartes' ebon-skinned body has been filled up with the scars.
The Salamanders differ from most if not all other Space Marine Chapters in that each company possesses 120 Space Marines as opposed to the standard 100 that the Codex Astartes prescribes. Additionally, instead of having 10 companies, the Salamanders have only 6 companies of full Astartes in addition to a small company of about 60 Scout Marines. The Chapter organisation of the Salamanders is as follows:
The Firedrakes (1st Company)
The Firedrakes, of which Chapter Master Tu'Shan is both Captain as well as regent, are barracked on Prometheus along with the Chapter Master himself. These venerable warriors were almost a breed apart from their fellow Salamanders; the transition they made to the vaunted ranks of the 1st Company changed them in myriad ways as they embraced the full evolution of their genetic encoding. Unlike their fellow Battle-Brothers, the Firedrakes were seldom seen on the surface of Nocturne where the other Salamanders would readily cohabit with the human populace, albeit often as part of a solitary lifestyle. Their rites were ancient and clandestine, conducted by the Chapter Master himself. Only those who had undergone the most heinous of trials and endured hardship beyond imagining could ever hope to aspire to become a Firedrake.
- Chapter Master: Tu'Shan, Regent of Prometheus
- Master of Chaplains
- Chief Apothecary
- Chapter Standard Bearer
- Forgefather: Vul'kan He'stan
- Squads: 12 Veteran Squads (10 Space Marines each)
- Support: Dreadnoughts, Rhinos, Razorbacks, Land Raiders, Terminator Squads
- Company Colours: White salamander head on black left shoulder
Battle Company (2nd Company)
- Captain: Pellas Mir'san
- Squads: 7 Tactical Squads, 3 Devastator Squads, 2 Assault Squads
- Support: Dreadnoughts, Rhinos, Razorbacks, Assault Bike Squads, Land Speeders
- Company Colors: White salamander head on black left shoulder
Battle Company (3rd Company)
- Captain: Adrax Agatone, Master of the Arsenal
- Squads: 7 Tactical Squads, 3 Devastator Squads, 2 Assault Squads
- Support: Dreadnoughts, Rhinos, Razorbacks, Bike Squads, Landspeeders
- Company Colours: Orange salamander head on black left shoulder
Battle Company (4th Company)
- Captain: Dac'tyr, Master of the Fleet, Lord of the Burning Skies
- Squads: 7 Tactical Squads, 3 Devastator Squads, 2 Assault Squads
- Support: Dreadnoughts, Rhinos, Razorbacks, Bike Squads, Landspeeders
- Company Colours: Green salamander head on black left shoulder
Reserve Company (5th Company)
- Captain: Mulceber
- Squads: 8 Tactical Squads, 4 Devastator Squads
- Support: Dreadnoughts, Rhinos, Razorbacks
- Company Colours: Black salamander head on yellow left shoulder
Reserve Company (6th Company)
- Captain: Drakgaard
- Squads: 8 Tactical Squads, 4 Devastator Squads
- Support: Dreadnoughts, Rhinos, Razorbacks
- Company Colours: Green Salamander head on yellow left shoulder
Scout Company (7th Company)
- Captain: Sol Ba'ken, Master of Recruits
- Squads: 6 Scout Squads
- Support: Scout Bike Squads, Land Speeder Storms
- Company Colours: Black salamander head on white left shoulder
- Argos, Master of the Forge
- Land Raiders
- Chapter Serfs
- Promethean Clan Support Staff
Like their fellow Astartes, the Salamanders 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 do the Salamanders with the bulk of their Initiates, or from the ranks of gifted psykers brought to the Scholastica Psykana and then chosen to by each Chapter. Most Chapters train and test their chosen psyker candidates for the Librarium following the ancient methods prescribed by the Codex Astartes. Librarians of the Salamanders are trained in this way, and, with few minor traditional variances, have been taught to live by the word of the Codex. Salamanders Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter, which include:
- Fury of the Salamander - The Librarian conjures the flame and fury of his homeworld of Nocturne and the terrible lizards that dwell upon it, and drives this raging conflagration towards his enemies. The roiling flames twist and writhe into the form of an ancient and powerful drake, its malevolent visage inspiring dread. This power conjures a 1 metre wide line out to its maximum range which strikes everything along its path.
- Heart of the Furnace - The searing heat of the forge runs through the veins of the Salamanders, and the Librarian can turn that heat outwards, wreathing himself in a flame that enemies cannot bear to be near, and which causes flesh to burn and blister at his touch. Any creature, friend or foe, can be affected by these flames.
- Nocturne's Fire - The volcanic fury of Nocturne is a deep and powerful force, and terrifying when fully unleashed. Salamanders are reluctant to use this power unless absolutely necessary, for it can be difficult to control once manifested. The area around the Librarian is suddenly engulfed in a raging inferno which few things can withstand. All creatures within the area of effect suffer, whether they are friend or foe. The Librarian remains unharmed, but cannot move while this power is being sustained.
- Vulkan's Anvil - The Librarian draws upon the unyielding endurance that the Salamanders are legendary for, becoming an anvil against the attacks of his enemies. There is little that can strike a Librarian down when he manifests this power, which greatly enhances the ability of his body to withstand all attacks.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Chapter follows most normal Imperial tactical and strategic dogma, as emphasised in the Codex Astartes, but with only slight variations. The Salamanders have a preference for close-ranged fire fights and use many Melta and Flamer weapons to burn whole swathes of infantry troops and to smash armoured foes. The Salamanders also have an intimate knowledge of the ways of metal and fire, forging great relics and powerful Artificer items. They have more Techmarines than is normal for an Astartes Chapter, although not a disproportionate number. Because each Salamanders Battle-Brother can completely repair, service and modify their own arms, Power Armour and wargear, the Techmarines of the Salamanders are free to craft intricate and powerful items of incredible workmanship and advanced technology. This is most evident in the unusual numbers of Terminators in their force, as well as a greater portion of master-crafted weaponry. Their technological resources are also supplemented by regular trade with the Adeptus Mechanicus, made possible by Nocturne's abundant mineral resources.
Self-reliance and craftsmanship are both highly prized traits within the Salamanders Chapter as their Primarch Vulkan himself was a great Artificer, forging many wonders. The only Primarch able to match Vulkan's skill at crafting was his iron-handed brother Primarch Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands Legion, although Vulkan himself preferred to work the steel over a flame rather than using advanced machinery, just as he had when he was young.
Nocturne is the homeworld of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter located in the Segmentum Ultima of the Imperium of Man and it is usually classified by the Imperial Administratum as both a Feudal World and a Death World. As a result of the tectonic stresses produced by the gravitational pull of its overlarge satellite Prometheus, there are vast chains of volcanoes scattered across the world's surface and frequent earthquakes, destroying what little the people have built above ground and forcing them to build their habitations in vast subterranean holds. The constant volcanic eruptions have swaddled the world in an ever-present cloak of dust and ash that obscures most sunlight. The Salamanders have built their fortress-monastery on Prometheus, Nocturne's massive moon. The Salamanders have a much closer relationship with their homeworld's people than is common among the Astartes, and they continue to interact quite closely with their own families and clans throughout their lives. As a result, the Salamanders have also developed a remarkable concern for protecting the lives of the Emperor's subjects and will make strenuous efforts to prevent civilian casualties on the battlefield.
When not at war, the Salamanders prefer to live among the people of Nocturne and Prometheus, and usually serve as the leaders of a Nocturnean settlement. Once every 15 Terran years (1 Nocturnean year), the two worlds approach so closely that Nocturne is almost torn to pieces by the resulting gravitic stresses. This is called the "Time of Trial" by the Nocturnean people. Vast tidal waves crash across the seas, thousands of volcanoes explode, their ash and fumes further blotting out the weak haze from the sun of Nocturne while powerful earthquakes constantly ravage the land. All life is sent reeling, towns collapse and people die with heartbreaking regularity. Then, a terrible winter sets in for the next quarter of a year. The young freeze and most, if not all, of the native reptilian livestock dies, unable to withstand the extreme cold as they had the heat.
One of the largest volcanic mountains on Nocturne is named Mount Deathfire. This is where the largest of the massive fire-resistant reptiles called salamanders who are common on Nocturne live, and they are known as the Firedrakes. They are huge, fire-breathing beasts, and one was killed each by the Emperor of Mankind and the Primarch Vulkan during the legendary contests held between the two ten millennia ago when the Emperor rediscovered his son. This world may seem a strange place for humans to live and even thrive, but the Nocturnean people have been moulded both physically and mentally into stronger and more resilient forms by this adversity. The Time of Trial also brings great rewards. Rich veins of gems and strategic metals are revealed, large enough to be mined by the Nocturnan clans to pay for new livestock and food on the Imperium's interplanetary markets.
The Salamanders and other residents of Nocturne live in giant underground Sanctuary Cities, the largest of which is called Hesiod and which tend to be the home of a single one of the Nocturnean people's clans. Each Salamanders company is usually recruited entirely from one of these clan settlements so that the Battle-Brothers of a company will share their clan as well as Chapter loyalties and will also feel strongly connected to their homeworld's common people. The Salamanders either live on Prometheus in the fortress-monastery or live among the people on Nocturne, where they usually serve as the leaders of the clan settlements that dominate the relatively small Nocturnean population of 15 million people.
Recruitment for the Salamanders starts early on Nocturne, at the ages of 6 or 7 Terran years. Those selected as Aspirants are first apprenticed to a Salamanders Astartes who will be their mentor and guide through the process and then taught the ancient ways of the forge. As their training progresses they are required to perform the same trials as Vulkan did in his competition with the Emperor, culminating in the capture of a great salamander reptile on the slopes of Mount Deathfire. Those Aspirants who survive to complete all of these tasks are taken for biological enhancement and implantation of the Chapter's gene-seed at the Salamanders' fortress-monastery on the moon of Prometheus.
It should be noted that the people of Nocturne have been slightly mutated by their constant exposure to the high levels of radioactivity present on their world due to the radioactive rare earth elements often uncovered by the extreme volcanism. They have developed deep ebony skins and the irises of their eyes now glow red in the darkness because they developed over many generations the ability to see in the infrared levels of the electromagnetic spectrum to deal with the constant volcanic pollution that blocks out their world's sunlight. These same physical characteristics are also present in every Salamanders Space Marine. The Imperium's Ecclesiarchy does not consider these mutations heretical as the Salamanders and the Nocturnans themselves have always been among the most staunchly loyal to the Emperor of the Space Marine Chapters and the Promethean Cult prevalent on the world is an accepted variant of the Imperial Cult.
Nocturne is part of what is actually a binary planetary system, with its oversized moon Prometheus circling it in an erratic orbit whose shifting gravity causes massive tectonic stress. As mentioned above, the Salamanders' fortress-monastery is based on the moon of Prometheus and is known by the same name. It is little more than a spaceport at which the Chapter's starships may dock and refuel. The monastery is the only construction built there and has a great orbital dock were the Chapter's Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges can be maintained, refit and repaired. However, many of the Salamanders live on this moon rather than on Nocturne itself when their duties require them to be away from their home clans and the planet's Sanctuary Cities.
The Salamanders have built their fortress-monastery on Prometheus, Nocturne's oversized moon. Nocturne itself is too geologically and volcanically unstable a world to build a large, defensible structure upon. Its high gravity and other environmental issues like the constant volcanic eruptions could also make training more problematic and dangerous than even Space Marines would be able to handle. When not at war, the Salamanders prefer to live among the common people of Nocturne and Prometheus, and are the leaders of each settlement. This is a unique trait of the Chapter, and makes the Astartes akin to living gods among the fierce peoples of their feudal homeworld.
The Pantheon was an extension of the Salamanders' fortress-monastery on Prometheus, the moon of Nocturne. Though, in truth, this bastion of the Chapter was not much more than a simple spaceport linked to an orbital dock where the Chapter’s modest armada of vessels could be refitted and repaired. Rank-and-file Battle-Brothers of the Chapter were restricted from entering the Pantheon. Many Salamanders Astartes had never even seen the Pantheon, though they all knew that at its centre was a small, circular deliberation chamber located deep within the subterranean heart of Prometheus. Only matters of dire import or of profound spiritual significance to the Chapter were ever discussed in the Pantheon. The chamber possessed eighteen seats, which represented the Salamanders' original status as the XVIII Legion of Space Marines. The Chapter had retained this numerical designation after the Second Founding broke up the original Space Marine Legions into their Successor Chapters, an event in which the Salamanders had been unable to participate because of their heavy losses during the Drop Site Massacre.
The head seat of the Pantheon was reserved for the Chapter Master, an honour that had been Tu’Shan's for nearly fifty standard years. Thirteen were for the other officers of the Chapter: six to the Captains of the remaining companies; one each for the Apothecarion, Librarius, Chaplaincy and Fleet; with a further three devoted to the Armoury and the Masters of the Forge, an unusual triumvirate but necessary given the Salamanders’ predilection for weaponscraft. Three of the seats were for honoured guests sequestered by the Chapter Master and with the agreement of the rest of the council. Praetor, the Firedrake’s most senior sergeant, often assumed one of these seats. The Librarian Pyriel occupied another. The last position had remained empty for many years, since before Tu'Shan had even assumed the mantle of the Regent of Prometheus.
It was in the Pantheon that the Masters of the Salamanders would sit to consult the Tome of Fire. This artefact of the Chapter had been written by the hand of the Primarch Vulkan in ages past. Though many within the Chapter had never seen it, let alone perused its pages, they knew that it was full of riddles and prophecies. Rumours held that the words themselves were inked partly in Vulkan’s blood and shimmered like captured fire if brought up to the light. The Tome of Fire was not merely one volume, as the name suggested, but rather dozens arrayed in the stacks around the circular walls of the Pantheon. Deciphering the script of the Tome of Fire was not easy. There were secrets within, left by the Primarch for his sons to unlock. The volumes foretold of great events and upheavals for those with the wit to perceive them. But perhaps most pointedly, the Tome contained the history, form and location of the nine artefacts Vulkan had hidden throughout the galaxy for the Salamanders to unearth. Five of these sacred relics had been discovered over the centuries through the travails of the Chapter's Forgefathers; the locations of the remaining four were embedded cryptically within the Tome’s arcane pages. Chapter Master Tu’Shan and those masters still on Prometheus would regularly convene and pore over the Tome of Fire in the hope of unearthing some clue that would unlock the location of one of these ancient artefacts.
Upon the blackened, volcanic world of Nocturne there are seven great settlements known as the Sanctuary Cities of Nocturne. The foundations of these mighty cities bored deep into the earth and each was rooted in the hardest bedrock of the planet. The Sanctuary Cities were established in the location of the seven original settlements of Nocturne's ancient tribal kings. Each of these cities was home to one of seven Salamander Chapter bastions that were located on Nocturne. Each was devoted to and inhabited by the Astartes of one of the Chapter's seven companies. Each Chapter bastion was an austere and hollow place. During the Time of Trial, the Sanctuary Cities threw open their gates and offered shelter to the people of Nocturne. As the Nocturneans were primarily a nomadic race, much of the planet’s populace dwelt in disparate villages or even transient encampments ill-suited to resist the devastation wrought by the constant earthquakes and eruptions of volcanoes that plagued the world. Vast pilgrimages were often undertaken that trailed the length and breadth of the planet, as Nocturneans travelled great distances seeking succour.
Stout walls and robust gates wrought to be strong and resilient by Nocturne’s master artisans were the Sanctuary Cities’ bulwark of defence during the earliest years of the world's ancient colonisation. Tribal shamans who were latent psykers -- before such genetic mutations were demystified and regulated under the Imperium -- had been the first to establish where the safest locations on Nocturne were for these permanent settlements to be founded. They had done so through their psychic communion with the earth, a sacred bond that the people of Nocturne still recognised and respected. Later, there had come the geological pioneers who advised on the construction and development of the nascent townships that would eventually become the Sancutary Cities. But as the ages passed these cities had evolved. Technologies brought by the Emperor after the Great Crusade encountered Nocturne provided new technologies with which to withstand the violent rigour of Nocturnean geology. Void Shields stood in the path of lava flows or pyroclastic clouds; adamantium and reinforced ceramite repelled the seismic tremors or sweeping floods of fire. These havens and their defences were all that stood between the people of Nocturne and their eradication by the elements.
Within each Chapter bastion in the Sanctuary Cities, gymnasia provided for the rigours of the Astartes’ daily training regimen, and a Reclusium, presided over by the company’s Chaplain, saw to their spiritual needs. In the lower levels of each bastion were the solitoriums, little more than stark oubliettes used for battle-mediation and honour-scarring. Dormitories were sparse and mainly inhabited by Chapter Serfs. Armouries held weapons and other war materiel, though these were mainly for the Chapter's Neophytes-- seasoned Battle-Brothers often maintained their own arsenals, situated at private domiciles amongst the populace of Nocturne where they could better act as their custodians and protectors. Refectories provided repast, and in the great halls rare gatherings could be held. An Apothecarion saw to the wounded. Oratoriums and Librariums were maintained as seats of knowledge and learning in each bastion, though the culture of Nocturne stressed greater importance on the experience and tempering fire of the battlefield.
Catacombs ran through a vast undercroft in each bastion where the emanating swelter of the forges could be felt, the soot of foundries and the hard metal stench of smelteries absorbed by every pore. The great forges of the bastions were temples of iron and steel, where an anvil rather than an altar was the pillar of worship. The hours of devotion spent in the cloying heat, through the lathered sweat and thickening smoke, were as crucial to a Salamander Space Marine as any battle-rite.
The Sanctuary Cites of Nocturne included:
- Epimethus - Nocturne's only ocean-bound Sanctuary City, this tall spire justs like a dull blade into the sky. Epimethus is surrounded by other, much smaller satellite structures, which are the numerous drill rigs and mineral harvesting platforms that rake the ocean floor or mine its deepest trenches for ore.
- Hesiod - The largest of the Sanctuary Cities of Nocturne.
Vault of Remembrance
A Vault of Remembrance is located within each of the seven Sanctuary Cities of Nocturne. Located within the highest echelon of the Chapter Bastion within each city was the sacred chamber were a Battle-Brother of the Salamanders could reflect and offer supplication in memoriam for his slain comrades. These temples are vast, echoing spaces. The harmonies of phonolite-chimes echo off each one's darkened walls. Hewn from volcanic aphanite, they rise up like geodesic intrusions and taper off into a craterous aperture that lay open to Nocturne’s fiery-orange sky. Black and fathomless obsidian formed a hexagonal expanse, serving as the massive chamber’s floor.
Stout columns of deep red felsite buttress the half-ceiling, shot through with veins of fluorescent adamite. The rare volcanic rocks and minerals used to fashion these magnificent temples were harvested after each Time of Trial, and the stark and frigid winter that followed in its wake. Such artefacts of geological beauty could be found throughout Nocturne. The most precious were protected within the stout walls of the Sanctuary Cities and their void shield generators. Iron braziers around the chamber’s edge gave it a fiery cast, their flames flickering in the lustrous faces of the polished rock. The vault appeared luminous and abyssal in the light’s reflection -- a diabolic temple raised from the bowels of the world. At its nexus a giant pillar of fire roared, tendrils of a memorial flame lashing from a core of white heat. Ordinarily, a slain Salamander was incinerated in the Pyreum, a massive crematoria forge that existed beneath Mount Deathfire, Nocturne's greatest volcanic peak. According to Promethean lore, the essence of the departed would be passed on into his suit of Power Armour when his ashen remains were offered up on the pyre-slab and he was returned to the mountain. But memorials or remembrance for the departed were always carried out within the Vault of Remembrance located in the Chapter Bastion of which the lost Battle-Brother had been a part.
Mount Deathfire was a massive volcano in the Pyre Desert that was home to the great salamander reptiles called Fire Drakes that were part of the legendary contest between Vulkan and the Emperor 10,000 standard years ago. Mount Deathfire is still the location for the last trial faced by the young Aspirants who wish to join the Salamanders Chapter. Within Mount Deathfire is a sacred cavern where the rites of Immolation are carried out. This chamber is known as the Pyreum, a massive crematoria where the bodies of slain Astartes are returned to the sacred fire of the mighty volcano. According to Promethean lore, the essence of the departed would be passed on into the armour when his ashen remains were offered up on the pyre-slab and he was returned to the mountain. This sacred chamber was held in a deep basin of volcanic rock, girded by layers of reinforced heat-retardant ceramite so that it pooled briefly before flowing onwards from one of the many natural outlets in the rock. There were no lanterns in the cavern, for none were needed. The lava cast a warm and eldritch glow.
Though ostensibly carved from rough rock and intended to look like a natural cavern, the Pyreum was actually a sacred place built by Master of the Forge T'kell. Millennia old, its artifice and functionality were still lauded in the current decaying Age of the Imperium. T'kell had fashioned the vault under the careful auspice of the Chapter's Primarch, Vulkan, and had been amongst the first of his students upon his apotheosis to Primarch. These same skills Tkell would impart to future generations of Salamanders, together with the arcane secrets learned from the Tech-priests of Mars. The Master of the Forge was long dead now, and others walked in his mighty stead, but his legacy of achievements remained. The cavern of the Pyreum was but one of them.
Within this mightiest of Nocturne's volcanoes lies a labyrinth of tunnels and catacombs so vast that two individuals could spend months abroad in its depths and never meet one another and never even witness a sign of each other's passing. Much of its subterranean darkness was uncharted. Only Vulkan had ever known its every shrouded corner, its every tunnel and chamber. Beasts slumbered in the lowest deeps, old creatures jealous of Man and his dominance of the surface. The unique acoustics of the rock, the veins of phonolite and other aurally conductive minerals within its composition, allowed the plaintive wailing of such creatures to be heard far from their dwelling places by human Nocturneans. Few natives ever braved the mountain depths for that reason. It was the province of the Salamanders alone and so these passages often lay deserted.
This relatively unsettled Nocturnean continent's people provide comparatively few recruits for the Salamanders, as they do not live in the large subterranean Sanctuary Cities but are instead nomadic clans that take refuge for only short times in the various cave systems of the continent, preferring the freedom of constant motion to a more settled existence. As such, they are generally economically much poorer than the settled clans that live in the Sanctuary Cities and they are viewed with disdain and prejudice by the people of those settlements. It is this prejudice and their lower socioeconomic status that usually prevents the nomadic clans' youth from successfully completing the trials required to become a Salamanders Neophyte.
The Promethean Cult governs the beliefs of the Salamanders, placing great emphasis on self-reliance, loyalty, and self-sacrifice. These values stem from their training as smiths. The Promethean Cult calls on its followers to emulate the deeds and be true to the teachings of the Nocturnean Primarch Vulkan as well as providing service to and worship of his father, the Emperor of Mankind. Prometheans believe deeply in the virtues of self-reliance and self-sacrifice for others, long defining cultural values of the Nocturnean people, who have struggled to survive the harsh environment of their volcanic and earthquake-wracked homeworld. They hold a firm belief in isolationism, the tenet that only through spiritual meditation and exploration performed alone and in isolation from others can a person gain a true understanding of both themselves and how they can best honour the legacy of Vulkan and serve the will of the Emperor. Prometheans make use of fire in many of their rituals and ceremonies and believe that they must be cleansed by the pain of fire before every major undertaking or initiative. The hammer, sometimes called Vulkan's Sigil, the forge and the anvil are also important symbols for Prometheans due to the importance of smithing in Nocturnean culture. Promethean believers also hold sacred the words of the ancient ritual book known as the Canticle of Immolation, which is often read by Salamanders Chaplains during the Chapter's various ceremonies. It is not uncommon for Salamanders Space Marines to engage in ritual scarring by branding and burning. Frequently held trials of walking over burning coals and carrying red-hot metal bars are a common occurrence. As the Promethean Cult openly calls on its adherents to venerate the Primarchs and follow the Emperor loyally, it is not considered heretical by the Ecclesiarchy and instead has received official sanction as one of the accepted variants of the Imperium's state religion, the Imperial Creed.
Brander-priests are a valued group of Chapter Serfs who administer the ritual brands to the flesh of the Salamanders Astartes. Achievements and honours are recorded in brands upon the flesh of each Astartes, and the brands wind around the limbs and body of the Space Marine. Once healed, each of these scars represented a living history of the Salamanders' many conflicts. Each was a battle won, a foe vanquished. No Salamander went into battle without first being marked to honour it and then again at battle's end to commemorate it. Over the centuries of service to the Chapter these honour marks would come to wreathe a Battle-Brother's legs, arms, torso and back. They were intricate, and became more detailed as each new honour scar was added. Only the most senior Veterans of the Chapter, a Salamander with centuries of service, ever bore such markings on their faces, as their entire bodies were covered in honour marks. Chapter Master Tu'Shan is said to possess so many of these honour marks that he has run out of room on his flesh and instead has to have fresh honours marked directly onto his battle-plate. Brander-priests are assigned upon an Astartes' induction into the Chapter and will ideally serve with that particular Space Marine for their entire lives.
Pilots are the only warriors in the Chapter who may ritually scar their faces before the rest of their bodies, for pilots will traditionally brand the Dactyl's Sigil on their faces, the symbol of the Dactyl, an avian predator native to Nocturne. Captain Dac'tyr of the 4th Company bears a particularly large and detailed sigil as befits his rank as the Chapter's Master of the Fleet.
The reptilian salamanders after which the Chapter are named can live very long lives indeed; the oldest and most legendary drakes are revered in the Chapter's legends, such as the mighty Kessare whose hide is worn by the Forgefather Vulkan He'stan and Kessarghoth, Guardian of the Gate of Fire, a mythical drake of Nocturne whose spirit appeared recently in the Totem Walk of Lexicanum Dak'ir. Those drakes hunted by the Astartes of the Chapter are named and remembered as well.
Those Salamanders Battle-Brothers facing a crisis of belief or purpose will sometimes choose to undertake a ritual known as the Burning Walk. The Battle-Brother departs the Chapter dressed only in the robes of a Nocturnan desert traveler and armed only with a walking staff, to travel the dunes and deserts of Nocturne until their crisis is resolved and they return. Few Astartes who undertake the Burning Walk return, however, and the ritual is more often than not a death sentence.
Relics of Vulkan
According to Chapter legends, the Primarch Vulkan left behind nine relics of advanced technology crafted or designed by his own hand for his prodigy to find and wield if they proved worthy. The Primarch purposely hid these artefacts throughout the galaxy to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands, but also because he knew that even the grandest prize was as nothing were it to be seized without challenge. Since Vulkan's disappearance over seven millennia ago, the Salamanders have appointed one from amongst their number to seek the lost legacy of their Primarch who is known as the Forgefather. This quest has been handed down through the Forgefathers, the greatest heroes within the Chapter, who are always gifted with the name of the Primarch before their own. The Forgefathers seek across the galaxy for the artefacts of Vulkan by deciphering the clues the Primarch left behind in the ancient book that is sacred to the Chapter and the Promethean Cult that is known as the Tome of Fire. At the close of the 41st Millennium, this is a burden currently borne by Vulkan He'stan, the former Captain of the 4th Company.
Only four of Vulkan's original nine artefacts does He'stan seek—the others have been found through the travails of previous Forgefathers. Three of these, the Spear of Vulkan (a master-crafted relic blade that burns so brightly as to set even Ceramite ablaze), Kesare's Mantle (a legendary drakescale cloak made of Adamantium-hard drake scales) and the Gauntlet of the Forge (a master-crafted armoured gauntlet with a built-in miniature Heavy Flamer, whose molten rage none can endure), are always carried into battle by the Forgefather on his quest. The other two recovered artefacts remain on the Salamanders' moon of Prometheus, for they are valuable beyond measure. One is the Forgeship Chalice of Fire, whose vast manufactorums provide the Salamanders with their weapons of war. The next is the Eye of Vulkan, a spacebound defence laser assembly that stands eternal vigil over the Salamander's fortress-monastery on Prometheus. Of the remaining artefacts, the Engine of Woes, the Obsidian Chariot, the Unbound Flame and the Song of Entropy, only the names are known to the Chapter. Their size, form and location are locked within the Tome of Fire, there to be uncovered as the Primarch's prophecies reveal themselves.
As far as can be ascertained by the Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Salamander's gene-seed appears to be both stable and as yet uncorrupted. An unusual trait of the Salamanders is that their Battle-Brothers tend to be slower in reflex reaction than other Chapters, though the origin of this factor is debated and has not been attributed to any factors present in the gene-seed. It is unknown whether this defect is due to a problem with the gene-seed that manifested as a result of most Salamanders Battle-Brothers being raised on their high-gravity world, or the psychological result of the Chapter's doctrines and psycho-conditioning against hastiness and impetuosity. However, it has been noted that a Salamanders Space Marine can move just as quickly as any Astartes equipped with Power Armour, which gives some weight to the psychological hypothesis. The Salamanders were always the smallest of the First Founding Legions, owing to their indoctrination procedures and the large number of Salamanders Space Marines slain at the Istvaan V Drop Site Massacre during the opening days of the Horus Heresy. After the massacre on Istvaan V, the Legion's numbers were severely reduced and, as such, no Successor Chapters were formed from the original XVIII Legion during the Second Founding. Although, Imperial scholars have pointed out the similarities in the physiques, markings, and tactical dogma of such Chapters as the Black Dragons and the Storm Giants which may be Salamanders Successor Chapters created at a later date from the stockpiles of their gene-seed.
While it can be said that the Salamanders' gene-seed may not be mutated or deficient, their physical appearance is striking, most likely brought about by a combination of the phentotypic effects created by a biochemical interplay of their gene-seed, the erratic gravitational and radioactive forces on Nocturne, and the unique genetics of the human population that has evolved to survive them. These factors have contributed to the peculiar reaction of the Astartes' Melanochrome gene-seed organ within the Space Marines native to the fiery world, resulting in an individual Battle-Brother's skin becoming obsidian-black and their eyes blazing with a burning red glow. This combination of effects gives the Salamanders an almost daemonic visage, an irony considering the Sons of Vulkan are one of the most humanitarian Chapters of the Astartes. The Salamanders use their terrifying appearance as another tool in the Chapter's arsenal, and it has been used by them to great effect to terrify and intimidate more than one rebellion against Imperial authority into submission without the need to destroy it.
- Vulkan - Primarch of the Salamanders. He was a great craftsman and stout war leader. One of the few Loyalist Primarchs to survive the Horus Heresy and the Great Scouring, though he later disappeared mysteriously. Vulkan left behind his nine greatest relics, hidden from his sons, instructing them to search through his Tome of Fire for the clues that would lead the Salamanders to their Primarch's lost relics.
- Numeon - Numeon was a Terran-born Salamanders officer who also served as the Legion's First Captain of the elite 1st Company (the Firedrakes) and as Equerry to the Primarch. He commanded the Pyre Guard, the Veteran Space Marine Battle-Brothers of the Salamanders Legion who served as Primarch Vulkan's elite honour guard during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Sworn to protect the Primarch, they were warriors set apart from the rest of the XVIII Legion. Terran-born, they did not always fully appreciate the earthy sentiments of the Nocturnean culture in which Vulkan had been raised, but they knew their duty deep within their genetically-enhanced bones.
- Heka'tan - Survivor of the Drop Site Massacre during the opening stages of the Horus Heresy.
- Gravius - Veteran of the Horus Heresy. Discovered by warriors of the 3rd Company during the 41st Millennium aboard the remains of a warship from the Great Crusade. *
- Hestion - A gifted Librarian of the Chapter who served aboard the Strike Cruiser Forgehammer during the 35th Millennium.
- Tu'Shan - Current Chapter Master of the Salamanders and the Regent of Prometheus, Tu'Shan is a living legend. His victories and accomplishments are well known and he is an example to the Salamanders' values of compassion, duty and self-sacrifice. Tu'shan personally participated in the Third War for Armageddon, his Chapter earning much fame and adoration from the populace for their daring and desperate battles to protect refugee columns and the people of Armageddon.*
- Praetor - Terminator Sergeant. *
- Argos - Master of the Forge, Argos was one of the Salamanders' three honoured Forgemasters. Brother Argos trained as a Scout Marine alongside Chaplain Elysius and was horribly burned across his face when he slammed Elysius out of the way of a stream of Tyranid bio-acid. *
- T'kell - Legendary Techmarine and Master of the Forge of the Salamanders, built the Vault beneath Mount Deathfire where the ashes of fallen Salamanders are immolated in lava upon the Pyre-slab, their essence returned to the heart of Nocturne. T'kell built the Vault under the watchful eyes of Vulkan himself.
- Draedius - Brother Draedius serves as one of the Chapter's Techmarines.
- M'karra - Brother M'karra serves as one of the Chapter's Techmarines.
- Orlinia - Techmarine serving the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato.
- Elysius - Chaplain and current bearer of Vulkan's Sigil. Trained as a Scout Marine alongside Brother Argos.*
- Xavier - Chaplain Xavier was one of the most legendary Reclusiarchs (High Chaplain) of the Chapter, granted the honour of carrying one of the Chapter's most revered relics into battle, Vulkan's Sigil. Though long-deceased Chaplain Xavier continues to inspire the Salamanders as they forge their way through the fires of war.
- Hasdrubael - Supported Chaplain Xavier's acceptance into the Chapter.
- Ramesis - Chaplain of the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato. Ramises recognized the potential in Brother Xavier when he retrieved Ramises' fallen Crozius after his weapon hand was cut off by the Eldar Farseer, using it to batter the Eldar psyker into the dirt. When the Dark Eldar poured fourth from the Webway gate, Chaplain Ramises took up the fallen Power Sword of Sergeant Malesti, fighting to the bitter end against an overwhelming tide of xenos filth.
- Prebian - Master Prebian is the training officer for the Chapter, the Master of Recruits. Personally taught Chaplain Elysius unarmed combat. *
- Vel'cona - Chief Librarian of the Salamanders Chapter, Vel'cona is the most powerful and most highly respected Librarian in the Chapter and mentor to Epistolary Pyriel. *
- Pyriel - Epistolary and a Veteran and hero of the Salamanders Chapter. *
- Nihilan - A former Salamanders Librarian who turned Renegade and joined the warband of the Black Dragons visionary, the Renegade Chaplain Ushorak. The Salamanders responded rapidly, sending a strike force composed of the 3rd Company and led by Captain Kadai which made their way to the Cemetery World of Moribar. While Ushorak delved into the secret crypts beneath the sepulchre world, the Salamanders and the Renegade followers of Ushorak fought savagely through the crematoria of that ash-blanketed world. At the height of the fighting, Ushorak was plunged into the central furnaces at the heart of the planet, and Librarian Nihilan tried to save the Captain but failed and was horribly burned in the process, barely surviving at all. From the tattered remnants of Ushorak's followers the newly christened Chaos Sorcerer Nihilan forged the Dragon Warriors Chaos Space Marines warband, determined to exact vengeance on the Salamanders and the people of Nocturne.
- Hazon Dak'ir - Leader of one of the 3rd Company's Tactical Squads, Dak'ir went on to become a Lexicanum under his mentor Pyriel. As his training neared completion, Dak'ir was revealed to be a figure of Nocturnean prophecy known as the Ferro Ignis or "Fire Sword" that would either destroy or save Nocturne and the Salamanders. Lexicanum Dak'ir had his Librarian helmet forged with a sculpted silver faceplate down the left side of the helmet to represent the scarring that mars the flesh of his face. Dak'ir bears the Force Sword Draugen.
- Zambias - An accomplished member of the Chapter's Librarium, Brother Zambias deployed with the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato.
- Hestion - A gifted Librarian of the Chapter who served aboard the Strike Cruiser Forgehammer during the 35th Millenium.
- Fugis - Fugis was the former Apothecary of the 3rd Company. Brother Fugis opted to take the Fire Walk after the battle for Scoria, a test of the will and the soul that few return from.
- Emek - Brother Emek formerly served as a junior member of Sergeant Dak'ir's Tactical Squad before leaving to train in the Apothecarion. After the departure of Apothecary Fugis from the 3rd Company, Brother Emek became the company's new Apothecary.
- Suda - Apothecary of the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato.
- Pellas Mir'san - Known as "Winter Blade" and the "Defender of Nocturne", Pellas Mir'san has served as the Captain of the Salamanders 2nd Company for more than a century and a half, and is one of the oldest members of the Chapter still serving. Captain Mir'san commanded the Salamanders Chapter's contingent as its Force Commander during the Chapter's involvement in the Badab War.
- Adrax Agatone - Takes up command of the Salamanders 3rd Company following the death of Captain N'keln. Former 1st Tactical Sergeant of the Company. Captain Agatone took command of the battle for the Ferron Straits during the Gevion Campaign.
- N'keln - Previous Captain of the 3rd Company and Kadai's successor after the battle against the Dragon Warriors on the world of Stratos. Regarded by many astartes within the Chapter as unready for the promotion, he rose to the occasion and became an inspiring leader. Unfortunately, treachery ended his leadership prematurely.* (Deceased)
- Ko'tan Kadai - Previous Captain of the 3rd Company, murdered by the treacherous Dragon Warriors on the war-torn world of Stratos.* (Deceased)
- Hazon Dak'ir - Squad leader of one of the 3rd Company's Tactical Squads, Dak'ir went on to become a Lexicanum (Librarian under his mentor Pyriel. As his training neared completion Dak'ir was revealed to be a figure of Nocturnean prophecy known as theFerro Ignis or "Fire Sword" that would either destroy or save Nocturne and the Salamanders. Lexicanum Dak'ir had his Librarian helmet forged with a sculpted silver faceplate down the left side of the helmet to represent the scarring that mars the flesh of his face. *
- Dac'tyr - Master of the Fleet and Captain of the 4th Company. Many warriors in the 4th Company are Pilots and bear the Dactyl Sigil. Captain Dac'tyr bears a particularly large and detailed version of the Sigil to represent his rank as Lord of the Burning Sky.
- Nubean - Captain of the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato.
- Vulkan He'stan - Former Captain of the 4th Company; He'stan has now been charged by the Chapter with locating the lost relics of Vulkan as the latest Salamander Astartes to hold the position of Forgefather. *
- Mulcebar - Captain of the 5th Company.*
- Drakgaard - Captain of the 6th Company. *
- Terellus - Former Captain of the 6th Company who led his warriors to betray the Chapter and their oaths of fealty to the Emperor of Mankind and instead swear their loyalty to the Chaos Blood God, Khorne. Leader of the Renegade Chaos Space Marines warband called the Dragon Warriors.
- Zen'de - Former Master of Recruits and Captain of the 7th Company. Master Zen'de is a renowned Promethean philosopher of the Chapter.
- T'sen - Captain of the Chapter.
- Phoecus - Captain Phoecus led a company of the Salamanders during the 35th Millennium and commanded the Strike Cruiser Forgehammer.
- Firedrake Sergeant Praetor - Sergeant of a squad of Firedrake Terminators known as Tu'shan's Mailed Fist. Praetor leads his Terminator Assault Squad with resolute determination and has served in over a hundred campaigns. Sergeant Praetor has three platinum service studs hammered into his brow and his Terminator helmet is embellished with Drake's Teeth.
- Firedrake Sergeant Nu'mean - Commanded the Protean, a vessel of the Chapter that fell to the machinations of the Eldar. Nu'mean returned to the vessel over a century later with Sergeant Praetor and two squads of Firedrake Terminators to execute a captured Farseer held aboard the vessel. Sergeant Nu'mean fell in action to Genestealers during the mission.
- Firedrake Sergeant Halknarr - Member of Vulkan He'stan's Strike Force during the Gevion Campaign.
- Firedrake Sergeant Mulgan - Sergeant of a Firedrake Terminator Squad during the Horus Heresy.
- Firedrake Veteran Persephion - Member of Vulkan He'stan's strike force during the mission to the Volgorrah Rift.
- Firedrake Veteran Eb'ak - Member of Vulkan He'stan's strike force during the mission to the Volgorrah Rift.
- Firedrake Veteran Oknar - Member of Vulkan He'stan's strike force during the mission to the Volgorrah Rift.
- Firedrake Veteran Zek Tsu'gan - Haughty sergeant in the 3rd Company and rival of Dak'ir, Tsu'gan became a member of the Firedrakes following the death of N'keln. Tsu'gan wears the Terminator Armour formerly worn by Firedrake Veteran Imaan.
- Firedrake Veteran Gathi'mu - Member of Squad Praetor who bore a Heavy Flamer in battle, Gathi'mu wears the hide of the Firedrake Kalimar that he killed on the slopes of Mount Deathfire. Brother Gathi'mu fell during the Battle for Sepulchre IV.
- Firedrake Veteran Namor - Member of the Chapter's Firedrakes, Brother Namor fell in battle on Scoria.
- Firedrake Veteran Clyten - Member of the Chapter's Firedrakes, Brother Clyten fell in battle on Scoria.
- Firedrake Veteran Ma'nubian - Member of the Chapter's Firedrake (1st) Company.
- Firedrake Veteran En'kar - Member of Sergeant Praetor's Squad, Brother En'kar fell during the Battle for Sepulchre IV.
- Firedrake Veteran Kai'ru - Member of Sergeant Praetor's Squad, Brother Kai'ru fell during the Battle for Sepulchre IV.
- Firedrake Veteran Mercurion - Member of Sergeant Nu'mean's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed in action.
- Firedrake Veteran Gun'dar - Member of Sergeant Nu'mean's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed in action.
- Firedrake Veteran Kohlogh - Heavy weapons specialist and member of Sergeant Nu'mean's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed in action.
- Firedrake Veteran Ve'kyt - Member of Sergeant Nu'mean's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed in action.
- Firedrake Veteran Hrydor - Heavy weapons specialist of Sergeant Praetor's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed by Night Lords Traitor Marines during the mission.
- Firedrake Veteran Vo'kar - Member of Sergeant Praetor's Firedrake Squad and part of Vulkan He'stan's strike force during the mission to the Volgorrah Rift.
- Firedrake Veteran Invictese - Member of Sergeant Praetor's Firedrake Squad.
- Firedrake Veteran Tho'ran - Wounded in action during the Gevion Campaign.
- Firedrake Veteran Lorrde - Wounded in action during the Gevion Campaign.
- Firedrake Veteran Mek'tar - Placed in command of the re-captured Capitol City of Ironlandings during the Gevion Campaign after the arrival of the Firedrakes.
- Firedrake Veteran Daedicus - Participated in the Gevion Campaign as part of Vulkan He'stan's Strike Force. Brother Daedicus is a veteran of the Badab War and still wears a black and yellow striped knee-pad in remembrance of that dark campaign.
- Deathwatch Veteran Elwaine - Brother Elwaine served in the Deathwatch during the Battle for Tarsis Ultra, bringing righteous flame to the vile xenos known as the Necrons.
- Company Champion Vek'shan - Former Champion of the 3rd Company's Command Squad that was known as the Inferno Guard.
- Banner Bearer Malicant - Brother Malicant served Captain Kadai in his Inferno Guard Command Squad.
- Sol Ba'ken - Sol Ba'ken was Hazon Dak'ir's former Battle-Brother. Bak'en was happiest carrying his hand crafted Heavy Flamer into battle, taking it stubbornly with him nearly everywhere. He was promoted to sergeant as Dak'ir's replacement once Da'kir was recruited into the Chapter's Librarium. He now carries a piston-hammer he crafted himself. *
- Zek Tsu'Gan - Former Veteran Sergeant of the 3rd Company. Ascended to the ranks of the 1st Company after the events on Scoria. *
- Cerbius Iagon - Formerly the loyal second-in-command of Sergeant Tsu'gan's Tactical Squad, Iagon replaced Tsu'gan as squad sergeant when he left to join the Firedrakes. Despite his promotion, Iagon is a dark and twisted individual, cruel and loyal only to Tsu'gan, or at least he used to be. Unknown to his brethren, Iagon's hands are stained with the blood of Captain N'keln, who Iagon murdered to allow Tsu'gan to be promoted as the company's Captain. Instead, Tsu'gan joined the Firedrakes, leaving Iagon abandoned and desperate. During the Gevion Campaign, Iagon betrayed the Chapter again, murdering Brother Koto and joining the Renegade warband of Chaos Space Marines known as the Dragon Warriors under the command of the Chaos Sorcerer Nihilan.
- Veteran Brother Shen'kar - Veteran Brother Shen'kar served Captain Kadai in his Inferno Guard Command Squad.
- Tactical Sergeant De'mas - Tactical Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Tactical Sergeant Typhos - Tactical Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Tactical Sergeant Clovius - Tactical Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Tactical Sergeant Ek'bar - Tactical Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Sergeant Honorious - Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Assault Sergeant Naveem - Assault Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Assault Sergeant Vargo - Assault Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Assault Sergeant Cortan - Sergeant of an Assault Squad during the Horus Heresy.
- Devastator Sergeant Omkar - Devastator Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Devastator Sergeant Ul'shan - Devastator Sergeant of the Salamanders 3rd Company.
- Devastator Sergeant Lok - Commander of the Incinerators Devastator Squad of the 3rd Company. Lok is a veteran of the Badab War, who earned a pair of platinum service studs for his actions boarding the Executioners Chapter's Battle Barge Blade of Perdition. A bionic eye replaces the natural one he lost fighting the Genestealers on Ymgarl. The Devastator Sergeant has had a Power Fist constructed that encases his left arm.
- Land Speeder Sergeant Arkan - Brother Arkan served as commander of a Land Speeder during the Horus Heresy.
- Hunter Sergeant Sorkar - Brother Sorkar served as Sergeant of a Hunter Squad during the Horus Heresy.
- Support Sergeant Harmokan - Brother Harmokan served as Sergeant of a Support Squad during the Horus Heresy
- Veteran Sergeant Malesti - Officer of the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato, Brother Malesti served in the 10th Company with Chaplain Ramesis. Sergeant Malesti fell to the ravening firepower of the Dark Eldar when they spilled forth from the Webway gate on Slato; his Power Sword was taken up by Chaplain Ramises.
- Sergeant Goria - Officer of the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato, Brother Goria deployed with Captain Nubean's contingent and was killed by a Striking Scorpion Exarch during a battle with Eldar ambushers shortly after the 4th Company arrived on the planet's surface.
- Sergeant Lysonis - Sergeant of the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato.
- Sergeant Delphus - Sergeant of the 4th Company during the Battle for Slato.
- Sergeant V'reth - Commander of the 70 Salamanders Astartes from the 6th Company despatched to Helsreach Hive on Armageddon to help protect the civilian shelters of the dock districts. Sergeant V'reth and his Astartes aided the Black Templars against the Ork invaders before departing the Hive for the Hemlock River where the rest of the Salamanders where fighting alongside the Titans of Legio Metalica, Legio Invigilata and Legio Ignatum.
- Bray’arth Ashmantle – Bray'arth Ashmantle is a unique Mark IV Ironclad Pattern Venerable Dreadnought. Sokhar Bray’arth, once a Captain of the Salamanders 4th Company, is the current occupant of this ancient relic Dreadnought that is known as the Iron Dragon and which was fashioned by the hands of the revered Salamanders Primarch Vulkan.
- Su'Matr - One of the Chapter's Dreadnoughts and a former Master of the Forge.
- Amadeus - Dreadnought assigned to the 3rd Company. Amadeus fell fighting the Eldar during the siege of Cluth'nir.
- Ashamon - Ironclad Dreadnought attached to the 3rd Company.
* Featured in the Tome of Fire book series
The Salamanders Chapter fleet is known to comprise the following vessels:
The Salamanders Chapter fleet includes the following known vessels:
- Flamewrought (Gloriana-class Battleship) - The flagship of the Salamanders Legion during the Great Crusade. The Flamewrought was embroiled in the vicious space battle above Istvaan V at the opening conflict of the Horus Heresy.
- Flamewrought (Battle Barge) - In the late 41st Millennium the Battle Barge Flamewrought is the second starship of the Chapter to bear that name in honour of the Primarch Vulkan's original flagship during the Great Crusade.
- Vulkan's Wrath (Battle Barge) - The Vulkan's Wrath spearheaded the Astartes' invasion of the Dark Eldar city Commorragh in the Webway during the 35th Millennium.
- Forgehammer (Strike Cruiser) - Strike Cruiser that served the Chapter during the 35th Millennium under the command of Captain Phoecus.
- Protean (Strike Cruiser) - Under the command of Firedrake Sergeant Nu'mean during a campaign against the Eldar. Lost in the Warp as a result and later became part of a Space Hulk.
- Serpentine (Strike Cruiser) - Served the 6th Company during the Third War for Armageddon.
- Vulkan's Wrath (Strike Cruiser) - Currently serving the 3rd Company, named after the famed Salamanders Battle Barge.
- Firelord (Frigate) - Transported Vulkan He'stan and his strike force of Firedrakes to the Gevion Cluster to recover the Chapter relic known as Vulkan's Sigil.
- Chalice of Fire - A legendary Forge Ship that produces the majority of the weapons and munitions used by the Salamanders and remains in orbit around Nocturne.
- Eye of Vulkan - A spacebound defence laser assembly that remains in orbit over Nocturne, hovering eternally over the Salamanders fortress-monastery on the Nocturnan moon of Prometheus.
- Gauntlet of the Forge - Shaped like a Power Fist, the Gauntlet of the Forge is actually an intricately crafted Heavy Flamer built into an ornate gauntlet. This relic is in the possession of Vulkan He'stan along with two of the other artefacts of Vulkan.
- Iron Dragon - The so-called Iron Dragon is a unique Dreadnought chassis, possessing uncommonly heavy armour and built with a one-of-a-kind enhanced reactor system which incorporates thermic generation technologies that are no longer fully understood by the Imperium. It is believed that this particular Dreadnought served as the first prototype of what would later become the Ironclad Pattern of Dreadnought. The Iron Dragon itself has seen many dark and terrible wars in its time, as the echoes and horrors of the ages weigh heavily upon it. Its Machine Spirit now broods with unquenchable violence. It is said that Primarch Vulkan himself had designed two unique arm weapons for this Dreadnought chassis, each of which had a built-in Dreadfire Pattern Heavy Flamer that represented the Iron Dragon’s most potent and unique armament. Only in the most dire of circumstances will a fallen Battle-Brother of the Salamanders be interred within this Ancient's shell, as only the most highly individualistic, strong-willed and warlike-souls possess the remotest chance to survive during the Dreadnought's activation process. The current occupant of the Iron Dragon is Sokhar Bray’arth, the ferocious former Captain of the 4th Company, now known to his Battle-Brothers as Bray’arth Ashmantle.
- Kesare's Mantle - One of the nine artefacts of Vulkan, Kesare's Mantle is a mighty drakescale cloak currently worn by Vulkan He'stan.
- Promethean's Blessing - Chain Weapons and Power Weapons are often deadly enough, especially in the hands of the Astartes, but Chapters sometimes modify these weapons to enhance their already impressive effects. One such modified device is known as Promethean’s Blessing. Gifted to the armoury of Watch Fortress Erioch in a forgotten age, this device is an inverse heat sink, which uses the excess power generated by the motor of a chain blade or the charge core of a power weapon to project flame along its edge. When it strikes a target, there is a chance that the weapon will set the target on fire, causing additional damage.
- Salamander's Mantle - Earliest Imperial records of durable cloaks crafted from the skins of the lava salamanders native to Nocturne. Known as a Salamanders’ Mantle these scaled cloaks are worn by heroes of the Chapter. As well as the status symbol of wearing such a mantle, the scales of the Nocturne salamanders also provide unrivalled protection against fire. Later this technology spread in the form of Adamantine Mantles to many other Space Marine Chapters.
- Spear of Vulkan - This is a mighty relic Power Weapon in the form of a huge halberd, once wielded by Vulkan himself. The weapon is currently in the hands of Vulkan He'stan, the Forgefather of the Chapter.
- Surtur's Breath - Just as the Salamanders know well how to protect themselves from flame, so too are they adept at its use. Many Salamanders alter their flamer with unique modifications and upgrades they have learned over a long career. One such modified Flamer has a reputation with the members of the Deathwatch operating in the Reach. Legend says it once belonged to a particularly vicious Salamander by the name of Surtur who used a unique propellant that made the Flamer shoot at an extended range with terrifying ultraviolet fire.
- Tome of Fire - An ancient tome of lore and prophecy left behind by Vulkan. The contents of the Tome, when properly deciphered, lead to the locations of Vulkan's hidden relics.
- Vulkan's Sigil - A symbol of office supposedly carried by Vulkan himself into battle, the Sigil is a holy relic of the Salamanders and was carried into battle in recent times by the Chaplain Xavier, a legendary figure of the Salamander Chapter and its former Reclusiarch.
The Promethean Cult defines the identity of the Salamanders as a Chapter, and teaches them the virtues that make them warriors worthy of their Primarch Vulkan’s example. The symbols associated with this cult -- the hammer and anvil, the flame, and the scales and visages of the powerful reptilian drakes who stalk the ash-choked landscape of Nocturne -- are recurring features on the wargear, banners, heraldry and personal affectations of Salamanders Battle-Brothers, particularly the Veteran Firedrakes of the 1st Company, who commonly wear great mantles of drake-hide to signify their elite status in battle. Listed here are some representative sigils, most of which will have been crafted by their owner’s own hand:
- The Flame - Sometimes painted or carved onto armour, sometimes intricately plated with polished pseudo-gold, or carried as metallic emblems upon chains or cords, the flame signifies both creation and destruction, representing both the potency of the forge and the desolation of a raging inferno. Those who bear the flame are passionate and decisive, a tendency that is sometimes at odds with the considered and careful nature of the Salamanders.
- Tools of the Forge - Whether appearing as crossed hammers or a stylised anvil, or any other arrangement, this symbol is a common affectation for those who excel at forge-craft; the intricacy of the design itself is a testament to the bearer's own talent.
- Wyrm-hide - The powerful drakes that roam Nocturne are dangerous predators and a source of food and materials for the world's people. They are also a source of great sport and challenge for the Salamanders, who hunt the larger breeds as tests of prowess and rites of passage, culminating in the Firedrake hunt that gives the 1st Company their moniker. To have claimed the hide of one of these great beasts is a sign of tenacity, might and fortitude.
- Vigil Braziers - Amongst those Salamanders who swear the Apocryphon Oath and join the Deathwatch, the familiarity of the Promethean Cult is a solitary matter, for the Salamanders Battle-Brothers engaged upon the Long Vigil are isolated from the Chaplains and Brander-Priests who serve their Chapter. Solitude is not an unfamiliar thing to the Salamanders, for whom isolation is a natural part of the Promethean Cult’s practices, but the honour-branding that they use to mark their accomplishments is not so easily practiced alone. Nonetheless, many Salamanders upon the Vigil take with them a small, ritually-prepared brazier, an assortment of tools, and the training necessary to brand themselves in the wake of triumphant victories.
The Salamanders are typically armoured in bright green Power Armour with green trim, black shoulder plates and backpack, and a gold chest Aquila. The Salamanders often make use of flame ornamentation on their weapons and vehicles.
The Salamanders Chapter badge is a white silhouette of the armoured and spiked head of a Nocturnean Salamander reptile from Mount Deathfire.
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 8, 26
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 40
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 7
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 16
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pp. 20-26, 98, 100, 103
- Epic Armageddon (Rulebook), pg. 70
- Horus Heresy: Collected Vision, pp. 279, 316
- How To Paint Space Marines, pg. 79
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Forces of the Inquisition & the Space Marines
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 30, 47, 49
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 26, 32-33, 44, 46, 54, 58-60, 76-83, 170-173
- Index Astartes IV, "Promethean Warriors - The Salamanders Space Marine Chapter"
- Warhammer 40,000 Compendium (1st Edition), "The Badab War", pp. 33-35
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (5th Edition), pg. 135
- White Dwarf 303 (US), "Index Astartes: Deep Strike", pg. 18
- White Dwarf 301 (US), "Space Marine Heroes" by Graham McNeill, pg. 59
- White Dwarf 300 (UK), "Legends of the Space Marines", pg. 118
- White Dwarf 274 (UK), "Index Astartes: Promethean Warriors: The Salamanders Space Marine Chapter"
- White Dwarf 269 (US), "Index Astartes: Armoured Personnel Carrier, The Space Marine Rhino"
- White Dwarf 248 (UK), "Promethean Warriors: The Salamanders Space Marine Chapter"
- White Dwarf 197 (UK), "For They Shall Know No Fear: Developing a Space Marine Chapter", pp. 22-29
- White Dwarf 119 (UK), "Space Marine Painting Guide", pp. 32-39
- Fireborn (Audio Book)
- Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- First Heretic (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Angel Exterminatus (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Promethean Sun (Novella) by Nick Kyme
- Age of Darkness (Anthology), "Forgotten Sons" by Nick Kyme
- Scorched Earth (Novella) by Nick Kyme
- Vulkan Lives (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- The Tome of Fire (Trilogy Book Series):
- Salamander (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Firedrake (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Nocturne (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Let the Galaxy Burn (Compilation), "Know Thine Enemy" by Gav Thorpe
- Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology), "Fires of War" by Nick Kyme
- Helsreach (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Warriors of Ultramar (Ultramarines Novel Series) by Graham McNeill