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Knight-Commander Stibor Lazaerek was the Grand Master (Chapter Master) of the Fire Hawks Space Marine Chapter. At over 600 Terran years old, he was in failing health due to numerous wounds sustained over his long and illustrious career. At the outset of the Badab War in 901.M41 Lazaerek already held a prior grudge against the Astral Claws, and hoped to lead the Loyalist forces in the prosecution of the Secessionist forces in the Badab Sector. Instead, he was passed over as overall commander in favour of Lord Commander Carab Culln of the Red Scorpions Chapter, despite having seniority and experience. The bitter-hearted Chapter Master was one of the few senior-ranking Fire Hawks to live to see the conclusion of this conflict and wreak a savage vengeance on those that had defied them. Many years later in 963.M41, Stibor Laezerek, along with the rest of his Chapter, was lost in the Warp when their Chapter fleet attempted a short Warp jump to an adjacent system.
At the outset of the Badab War, Knight-Commander Stibor Lazaerek was the Grand Master (Chapter Master) of the Fire Hawks. He was widely regarded by Imperial authorities as a bitter and hubristic individual, although he was an undoubtedly competent commander whose personal valour was second to none. Imperial historians point out that there is ample evidence which suggests that during Lazaerek's tenure as Grand Master, he led his Chapter into several feuds with both Imperial field commanders and other Astartes Chapter Masters. Of particular note is that Laezerek harboured particular acrimony against the Astral Claws, which could be traced nearly a century earlier to the Lycanthros Drift Campaign in 780.M41. Lufgt Huron, Chapter Master of the Astral Claws, had been declared the overall commander of the Lycanthros campaign by his fellow Astartes commanders over the more senior Laezerek, much to the Grand Master's displeasure. This bad blood between the two Chapter Masters was more than likely a contributing factor to the Fire Hawks' involvement in the latter stages of the Badab Schism, sparking it into a full-blown Imperial civil war.
The Badab WarEdit
At the direct request of their Satrap, the worlds of Karthan requested that the Fire Hawks Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes investigate the disappearance of Karthan shipping in the areas to the galactic south of the Golgothan Wastes, which bordered the northern reaches of the Maelstrom Zone. In the past the Fire Hawks Chapter had used the vast orbital dockyards of the Karthan capital world of Sidon Ultra for resupply. The volatile and bellicose nature of the Fire Hawks Chapter was widely known, and it is likely that this also figured in the Karthan Satrap's reasoning in making her request. This monumental arrogance and folly would soon prove disastrous.
Conducting search and destroy operations in the Golgothan Wastes, Knight-Commander Laezerek acquiesced to dispatching several warships into the northern Maelstrom Zone. One such vessel, the Red Harbinger, entered the Endymion Cluster in 904.M41. This ancient region of space was under the stewardship of the Mantis Warriors Chapter, one of the Astartes Chapters that belonged to the alliance of Space Marines known as the Maelstrom Warders. When the Red Harbinger entered the Galen System, they were intercepted and surrounded by Mantis Warriors vessels. Ever fierce and proud, they were goaded by the Fire Hawks' refusal and threats and opened fire, crippling the lone Cruiser. With this single act, the full-scale conflict between Space Marine Chapters that was to follow was ignited. Soon the entirety of the Fire Hawks Chapter became quickly and fully engaged in the conflict.
Despite the power of their formidable fleet, which included their famed Star Fortress Raptorus Rex, the Fire Hawks suffered terrible losses in the early years of the war, both in terms of battle brethren and war vessels, with only the Raptorus Rex surviving of the Chapter's capital ships. Eventually the heavy casualties sustained by the Fire Hawks reduced their effective strength to an estimated twenty-two percent by the war's third year. Lazaerek was forced to withdraw his forces from the front lines lest he risk his Chapter's extinction. The Fire Hawks were then relegated to the sidelines until the very closing stages of the campaign.
The Fate of the Fire HawksEdit
Knight-Commander Stibor Lazaerek, along with the entirety of the Fire Hawks Chapter, was officially declared "Lost to the Warp" and assumed dead by the Convocation Astartes after they disappeared following an attempted Warp jump from the Piraeus System, 120 light years from the Crow's World Sub-sector in 963.M41. The Raptorus Rex and five ships of the line, with a complement of approximately 800 brethren (the greatest strength the Chapter had attained since the end of the Badab War) and some 2,000 other support personnel vanished without trace. It is believed that the survivors of this tragedy became the enigmatic Astartes known only as the Legion of the Damned.
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 22-23, 59, 68