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- "My sword is at the Emperor's command. I answer to no other man, living or dead."
Tu'Shan is the current Chapter Master of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter. During the Second War for Armageddon Tu'Shan valiantly led his Chapter in the defence of the beleaguered Hive World against the predations of the massive Ork WAAAGH! of Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, in the process earning the respect of the Salamanders' fellow Space Marines, the Blood Angels, and Armageddon's grateful citizens.
Tu'Shan serves as the current Chapter Master of the Salamanders Chapter and in his relatively short tenure has already earned great respect amongst his Astartes peers and the adoration of the Imperium's citizens. At the outbreak of the Second War for Armageddon in 941.M41, Tu'Shan had held the position of Chapter Master for only three standard years. Due to his relatively new tenure, many believed he would be hard pressed as a leader doing battle against the mighty Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka. Nevertheless, the humble Tu'Shan willingly acquiesced to the command of the senior Chapter Master in the conflict, the venerable Lord Commander Cervan Dante of the Blood Angels Chapter, and fought with distinction during the campaign. While the Ultramarines defended the beleaguered hive cities of Armageddon and the Blood Angels assaulted the Orks head-on, the Salamanders lent their strength to the protection of Imperial supply convoys and refugee columns, ensuring the safety of the civilians caught up in the war. This was a task often neglected by the other Imperial forces fighting on Armageddon. The actions of the Salamanders in defending the Imperial citizens of the beleaguered world from the massive Greenskin onslaught has often been held up as a shining example of the role of the Adeptus Astartes in the protection of the Imperium.
During the campaign, it was Tu'Shan who helped rally the scattered and demoralised Imperial defenders drawn from the Planetary Defence Forces and the Imperial Guard regiments of the embattled planet. In battle, Tu'Shan and the Salamanders elite 1st Company, known as the Firedrakes, were responsible for defending one of the few bridges across the Stygies River against a 1,000-strong Ork Speed Freek column and for fighting continuously for 3 days and 4 nights. At the end of the campaign, Dante sought out the young Chapter Master and praised Tu'Shan in front of his assembled Blood Angels. This was a supreme gesture on the part of the senior Chapter Master -- for the Salamanders, no greater honour could be bestowed than the respect of their brothers-in-arms.
Since that campaign, Tu'Shan has continued to lead the Salamanders honourably. Fifty Terran years later, when Ghazghkull returned to Armageddon at the head of an even greater force during the outset of the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41, Tu'Shan was one of the first Imperial defenders to respond, leading 6 of the Chapter's 7 companies to the planet's defence, personally leading Firedrakes once more into battle. The Salamanders directed their efforts against the mighty Rok fortresses the Orks had dropped from orbit. Their aptitude for close-ranged firefights proved deadly, and Tu'Shan's Space Marines exacted a heavy toll on the Orks.
Tu'Shan is known to have met Commissar Yarrick, the Hero of Armageddon, and it is claimed that the two had an instant respect for each other. Yarrick heartily welcomed Tu'Shan's offer to once again defend Armageddon against Ghazghkull. As before, Tu'Shan demonstrated that he and his Chapter's highest priority was the defence of common Imperial citizens. Tu'Shan fought throughout the war zones of Armageddon.
During one notorious incident, an Ork force of 5,000 Greenskins had breached the perimeter of a refugee encampment and taken them hostage, so Captain Vinyard of the notorious Marines Malevolent ordered that the camp be bombarded by the Chapter's Whirlwinds in order to destroy the Greenskins. Nearly 4,000 refugees died as a result, but Vinyard deemed them as acceptable losses. Tu'Shan personally reprimanded Vinyard in front of the entire assembled command staff, and reminded him that the first duty of the Space Marines was to protect the citizens of the Imperium. At Hive Tempestora, Tu'Shan prevented the Orks from overrunning the Khatrin Water Purification Plant and condemning the hive city's population to a slow death by dehydration. The hive ultimately fell to the Ork hordes, but Tu'Shan's actions allowed the majority of the hive's population to escape before the hive was overrun and captured. As before, Tu'Shan's inspiring presence allowed the defenders to hold the vital Stygies bridge and prevent the Greenskins from crossing and reinforcing their forces elsewhere.
Tu'Shan, like all the Chapter Masters of the Salamanders, also holds the title of Regent of Prometheus, holding the moon of the Chapter's homeworld of Nocturne as a feudal demesne of the Imperium. He is noted as being unusually strong and powerfully built even for an Astartes, and can be easily recognised by both the considerable number of honour scars he bears across his ebon-skinned face and the cloak he wears that was made from the scales of a 300-year-old Firedrake Salamander slain on volcanic Nocturne.
Honour markings cover Tu'Shan's noble countenance, a physical legacy of his deeds writ into his ebon flesh. These are the branding scars that every Salamander has, in keeping with Promethean ritual. Few amongst the Chapter, only the most distinguished Veterans, ever lived to have them seared upon their face. As Regent of Prometheus, the moon of Nocturne where the Salamanders maintain their fortress-monastery, Tu'Shan wears a suit of ancient Power Armour. Two pauldrons sit upon his hulking shoulders, wrought into the image of the snarling fire lizards of Nocturne from which the Salamanders Chapter takes its name. A cloak of Salamander hide, a more venerable and honour-strewn version of that worn by the 1st Company warriors known as the Firedrakes, is draped across the Chapter Master's broad back.
- Artificer Power Armour
- Firedrake Mantle - Tu'Shan wears the hide of one of Nocturne's legendary Firedrakes. Its iron-hard scales are near-impenetrable.
- Deathfire - This master-crafted Power Weapon was wielded by Primarch Vulkan during the infamous Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V during the Horus Heresy. It was thought lost but was eventually recovered by Vulkan during the Great Scouring.
- Prometheus - Tu'Shan carried an ornate flame weapon of ancient design.
- Stormbearer - Stormbearer is Tu'Shan's Thunder Hammer that, according to Chapter legend, is made from the same material as that used to create Thunderhead, the Thunder Hammer of Vulkan. In truth, no one now alive knows who made it, but it is the favoured weapon of Tu'Shan, who as a master smith possesses a vast armoury of hammers, swords, and spears.
- Battle for Armageddon, pg. 24
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pg. 26
- Codex: Space Marine (6th Edition), pg. 58
- Index Astartes IV, "Promethean Warriors: Salamanders Space Marine Chapter"
- White Dwarf 301 (US), "Space Marine Heroes" by Graham McNeill, pg. 59
- White Dwarf 273 (US), "Promethean Warriors: Salamanders Space Marine Chapter", pg. 118
- Helsreach (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Salamanders (Novel), by Nick Kyme