"The flesh is weak, but it can be made strong, unified with the machine. The mind... that we cannot fix."
- — Chapter Master Caul Engentre
The Brazen Claws is a Loyalist Second Founding Successor Chapter of the Iron Hands Legion. Unyielding and remorseless, the Brazen Claws are noted for their stoicism in the face of adversity and their grim determination to succeed.
Since their creation during the Second Founding, they have amassed a string of glories and triumphs. Their homeworld was destroyed long ago by a tide of Daemons that tore the planet apart and left the Brazen Claws as a fleet-based Chapter.
Some portions of the Chapter were corrupted during that struggle, though the majority of its battle-brothers remain free of Chaos taint.
The Brazen Claws can trace their heritage back to the bygone era of the Great Crusade and the dark days of the Horus Heresy. They were once members of the Iron Hands' 34th Clan Company of Clan Morragul, "the Brazen Claws."
The Clan Company was garrisoned on the Knight World of Fabris Callivant in payment of a debt owed by the X Legion to House Callivant. As a result they were largely spared the casualties incurred by the rest of their Legion at the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V.
Being the scions of Ferrus Manus, the Brazen Claws are an unassailable and resolute Chapter of Space Marines. Once engaged in combat, the Brazen Claws never yield, fighting on without pity or remorse for either the enemy, or their own losses.
For ten millennia, the Brazen Claws amassed a long and glorious history combating those that would threaten the Imperium of Man. But soon, the Chapter's own tale of woe would fall upon them like a dark shadow.
Little record of the actions or whereabouts of the Brazen Claws since they launched this crusade exist within the Imperium's archives, but Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed of Cadia insisted that they had been sighted on numerous battlefields around the Fortress Worlds of the Cadian Gate during the 13st Black Crusade in 999.M41, fighting against the forces of Chaos led by Abaddon the Despoiler. Elements of the Chapter appeared in force to take the fight to their hated enemy on every possible occasion.
It was in that capacity that a great portion of the Brazen Claws' strength responded to the distress calls from Cadia during that world's last days. Tragically, the majority of the Chapter arrived too late to participate in the conflict, instead diverting to defend the worlds around the Cadian Gate.
- War of the Beast (544-546.M32) - The Brazen Claws participated in the defence of the Imperium from the catastrophic assault of the Orks led by The Beast in the mid-32nd Millennium.
- Ambush at Sarum (416.M37) - Inquisitor Lord Antonius Coil of the Ordo Malleus discovered the current location of the nomadic Hell-Forge of Sarum while conducting an Exterminatus action against the Warp-tainted Hive World of Goleonda IX, and moved to see it destroyed at last. Along with warships committed from Battlefleet Reductus and several Militarum Tempestus regiments, he mobilised the aid of three Space Marine Chapters, the Sons of the Raven, Celestial Guard and the Brazen Claws, to strike deep into the perilous Golgotha Wastes against this nightmarish thorn in the Imperium's side. Within sight of the baleful world, the Imperial fleet was ambushed on all sides by the pale warships of the Renegade Warp Ghosts and corrupted Black Wings Chaos Space Marines and the horrific Daemon Engines of their Dark Mechanicum allies of Sarum. In the brutal seventeen-solar-hour void battle that followed, the Imperial fleet was encircled and slowly torn to pieces both from without and from within as Daemons ripped open passages into realspace deep onboard the stalwart vessels. Only the Chapter fleet of the Brazen Claws broke free from the trap without crippling losses, while the human contingent of the Imperium's strike forces were annihilated to the last. The ravaged Celestial Guard Chapter took nearly a standard century to rebuild its grievous losses from its stores of gene-seed, swearing bitter vengeance against the Warp Ghosts. The fleet-based Sons of the Raven Chapter, not one of whose battle-brothers escaped the deadly trap, were declared martyred and the great Bell of Lost Souls in the Tower of Heroes on Terra tolled to mourn their passing. Eighteen standard years later, a corrupted Warspite-class Battle-Barge, believed once to have been the Seraphina Carricus of the Sons of the Raven, is encountered transporting a Warp Ghosts raiding force off Mezoa XV, the withered face of Jo'sun Hernezu, the martyred Chapter's last Master, worn by its revenant captain.
- Battle of Falax (223.M39) - The Brazen Claws entered the Peligron Cluster to besiege a Renegade stronghold on Falax. They lost three squads from their 3rd Company and a daemonic surge destroyed the mind of the Librarian leading the assault. Their complex strategy was in disarray but, due to the heroics of their Devastator Centurions, the Daemons were kept at bay. An evacuation was made possible only by the firepower of the Centurions.
- Crusade of Steel (900.M41) - Iron Father Kardan Stronos led the full might of the Iron Hands and Brazen Claws Chapters against the Necron dynasty of the Crimson King. Stronos refused to fall back in the face of a massive counter-attack, and alongside the Iron Hands' Garrsak Clan Company he somehow fought his way to strike the Crimson King a mortal blow that shattered the Necrons' command structure.
- Crusade of Vengeance (955.M41) - Despite direct orders to the contrary from the High Lords of Terra, the Brazen Claws launched a counterstrike they considered a Crusade of Vengeance into the Eye of Terror itself in response to the forces of Chaos' assault upon their homeworld of Talus IV, leaving it in ruins. The Brazen Claws' last astropathic transmissions indicated the Chapter was engaging a fleet of Iron Warriors vessels, but no other trace was heard of them for long solar decades.
- Broken but Unbowed (994.M41) - Once thought destroyed in the Eye of Terror, the Brazen Claws resurfaced near Cadia, battered, but still fighting their long war against Chaos, though it had cost them hundreds of casualties. It was their Chapter Master, Caul Engentre, who finally ordered the Chapter out of the Eye of Terror after a subjective twenty standard years of combat against the Traitor Legions. Engentre saw the toll that the Eye was taking upon his brothers, and decided to end their Crusade of Vengeance against the forces of Chaos. Just as the remaining companies of the Chapter were boarding their starships to leave the Eye behind, an ambush was launched and a dozen warships and two full companies of corrupted Traitor Brazen Claws jumped in-system and attacked. The result of this battle is unclear, though many Brazen Claws, including their Chapter Master, managed to escape and return to realspace. To the Brazen Claws' surprise, though only twenty standard years passed for them in the Eye, almost forty had gone by in the rest of the galaxy. Such are the effects of the Warp.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The entire Chapter of the Brazen Claws arrived too late to aid the defence of Cadia against the forces of Chaos during the 13th Black Crusade. Instead they diverted to the defence of the other worlds of the Cadian Gate.
- Fall of Medusa V (999.M41) - Some elements of the 2nd Company of the Brazen Claws led by Captain Erod took part in the campaign known as the Fall of Medusa V. They were involved in the coordination of Imperial forces in the southeastern zone of Armida.
- War of Beasts (ca. 001.M42-025.M42) - Three full companies of Brazen Claws were present at during the defence of the strategic world of Vigilus from xenos and Chaos forces, and participated in the quarantine of the Dontoria hive city complex.
- Second Relief of Mordian (Iron Crusade) (Unknown Date.M42) - As Imperial forces withdrew from the Stygius Sector during the Invasion of the Stygius Sector, the Iron Hands refused to retreat and instead gathered on Mordian, itself under siege from Chaos forces. Alongside a mere dozen or so regiments of the Mordian Iron Guard, the Iron Hands sought to reforge themselves and purge the weakness they had displayed earlier in the campaign. During the siege the Iron Hands were joined by allies enraged by the defeatism of the Imperial forces, among them the Brazen Claws, Fire Lords, Silver Skulls, Sons of Medusa, and Iron Lords in what became known as the "Iron Crusade." They arrived on Mordian to find the planet terrorised by a Night Lords warband under the command of Ahrak Deathshriek and his Raptor hordes. Deathshriek planned to use the terror his Heretic Astartes created in the Mordian population to power a Chaos ritual that would plunge the entire world into the Warp. The Iron Hands and their allies struck with customary bluntness, emerging without warning from the Warp and engaging the Traitor fleet in orbit and launching a Drop Pod assault on Mordian's capital. Clan Avernii under Iron Captain Caanok Var led the charge and Deathshriek drove his Chaos Cultists into the Iron Hands' guns. One by one, the remaining Iron Hands Clan Companies joined the battle and Deathshriek was wounded in single combat by Var. Even as the Iron Hands' drop zone came under fresh assault from the Benedictian Guard and the Cult of the Whispered Word, Renegade warlords from across the sector united in their realisation that the Iron Hands could be wholly destroyed. With the Loyalist assault faltering, Deathshriek claimed victory as he led his fleet against the Iron Hands in space, outnumbering their warships three to one. It was at this point that the Iron Hands Successor Chapters arrived. Deathshriek's armada was caught in disarray by the Loyalist reinforcements and crushed. The newly-arrived Loyalist warships rained obliteration below on the Mordian populace. The orbital bombardment seemed indiscriminate, but nothing could have been further from the truth. The tactical doctrine known as "Hammer and the Storm" had been pursued planetside as well as in the trackless void, the Iron Hands' assault calculated to stir the Renegades and Traitors into reckless deeds. What had seemed a faltering Loyalist advance had merely paused while the Iron Hands Techmarines laboured to erect void shields and reinforce the capital city's surviving bunkers. Thus the Iron Hands and those portions of the Mordian populace they deemed worthy of survival endured the orbital firestorm. Their foes, caught in the open and drunk on the prospect of their imminent victory, were not so fortunate. In a little over one solar hour's bombardment, the Chaos hold on Mordian was broken for the second time. Eventually other Imperial reinforcements arrived from Cypra Mundi and the Iron Crusade was able to not only push the Chaos forces off Mordian, but to counterattack Chaos garrisons on nearby worlds. The Iron Hands' governing Iron Council then unleashed a second phase of the campaign, with a plan to scour the surviving worlds of the Mordian System of their Chaos presence and wrest the refineries and orbital shipyards of the neighbouring Kharvos System from Chaos. At present, the campaign is ongoing.
The Veteran 1st Company of the Brazen Claws was known as "the Dionekean Guard."
This is a hatred that extends to their own bodies, for they hold that all organic bodies, even those of a genetically-enhanced, transhuman Space Marine, are ultimately frail and subject to the weaknesses brought on by age and disease.
Like their progenitors, the Brazen Claws are compulsively driven to replace their own biological flesh with cybernetic replacements, a practice that begins as soon as a Neophyte is initiated into the Chapter.
Notable Brazen Claws
- Chapter Master Caul Engentre - Caul Engentre is a hero of the Brazen Claws Chapter who has four centuries of experience in facing down the slavering darkness of the Daemon, xenos, mutant and Heretic. Engentre was present when the Brazen Claws' homeworld of Talus IV fell to the ravening hordes of Chaos. The Chapter Master had sworn a mighty oath of vengeance to pursue the forces of Chaos into the very Eye of Terror itself. It had been uttered in the ashes of his Chapter's homeworld, the oath sworn amidst the fires of their burning fortress-monastery. After twenty standard years of prosecuting their ill-fated Crusade of Vengeance against the Traitor Legions within the Eye of Terror, the Chapter had suffered the loss of at least two companies. After twenty years of hubris, pride and death, Engentre called the entirety of his Chapter to council aboard his flagship, to discuss whether or not it would be prudent to continue prosecuting their Crusade. Out of ten companies, only four hundred Space Marines of the Brazen Claws were able to attend. Engentre stared out at the gathered Chapter, at the battered warriors left. There were gaps in squads, gaps in companies, once filled by Astartes he had known and called brother. Even now, even standing at attention, they could not remain still. Their limbs danced, machinery grinding, clanking, ill-maintained. Their bodies beset by random flashes of neuronic misfire as the Eye of Terror's rampant Chaos energies slowly wore away at their minds. After much debate, and the sage advice of the Chapter's surviving captains, Engentre told his Chapter that their crusade was at an end. He then ordered his Chapter to prepare to depart the Eye for the realms of Man, though first his survivors had to survive an ambush by those two companies of their brethren they had thought lost but were in fact corrupted and transformed into Heretic Astartes.
- Iron Father Jurkim Bohr - Jurkim Bohr was an iron father of the Brazen Claws and later was a founding member of the Deathwatch during the War of the Beast in the mid-32nd Millennium. He took part in the search for an Ork psyker on Plaeos who could be used as the link necessary to project the Sisters of Silence's Null aura into the WAAAGH! energies of the Orks of The Beast. He later fought in the second invasion of Ullanor.
- First Captain Macklen Eogh - Captain of the Brazen Claws elite 1st Company.
- Second Captain Erod - Captain of the Brazen Claws 2nd Company. During the twenty years of prosecuting their ill-fated crusade against Chaos, the Brazen Claws had suffered terribly. After two solar decades within the Eye of Terror, Erod told Seventh Captain Imbolkh he was done, for he had no wish to die in the benighted realms of the Eye. He had no wish to die fighting their Chapter's damned war, so Erod abandoned his brothers and returned to realspace on his own.
- Third Captain Embrose Kalgach - Captain of the Brazen Claws 3rd Company.
- Seventh Captain Julas Imbolkh - Captain of the Brazen Claws 7th Company. Imbolkh once possessed fiery hair that had turned a premature grey, his face a mass of scars acquired during his time whilst fighting against the forces of Chaos during his Chapter's Crusade of Vengeance within the Eye of Terror.
- Eighth Captain Duro - Former captain of the Brazen Claws 8th Company. During the Brazen Claws' war of vengeance in the Eye of Terror, Duro and the 8th Company were thought lost when they followed after the 9th Company in their pursuit of a large Emperor's Children warband deep into the hellish realms of the Eye. Twenty standard years later, when Chapter Master Engentre called the entirety of the Chapter for council aboard his flagship, the lost 8th Company returned from the void, but they did not return unchanged, for they had been corrupted by the malign influence of Chaos. What occurred after the erstwhile company returned to their former brethren has not yet been recorded, though the surviving Brazen Claws were able to escape the Eye's clutches and return to the service of the Emperor.
- Ninth Captain Hrtel - Captain of the Brazen Claws 9th Company. Lost during the Chapter's war of vengeance in the Eye of Terror, when they pursued a large warband of Emperor's Children deep into the Realms of Chaos. They were presumed lost to the Warp.
- Captain and Master of the Forge Firlus Ghad - One of the few surviving captains of the Brazen Claws who took part in the ill-fated Crusade of Vengeance within the Eye of Terror. During his tenure within the Eye, he sustained horrific wounds to his throat, which required an augmetic replacement, leaving his voice awash with static.
- Techmarine Luveran Llir - Techmarine Luveran Llir was assigned to the 8th Company of the Brazen Claws during their crusade into the Eye of Terror. While on board the Cold Roads, the flagship of the 8th Company, Llir tried to restore the Gellar Field in the chaos that raged throughout the ship. Despite his seemingly sane appearance, his mind was caught in the storm of the insanity produced by the Warp as well and he actually turned the Gellar Field off.
- Solvus Tabor - Solvus Tabor was a Veteran of the elite Dionekean Guard, the Chapter's 1st Company. He protected Techmarine Llir, trusting that the Techmarine would restore the Gellar Field, only to fall with the rest of the company when Llir's perceptions were tainted by the Warp and he actually turned the starship's Gellar Field off.
- Vonst - Vonst is a Brazen Claw Astartes seconded to the Deathwatch. He is currently serving Watch Fortress Talasa Prime as sergeant of Kill-team Vonst.
- Cold Roads (Unknown Class) - The Cold Roads was the primary starship of the Brazen Claws' 8th Company. It was lost during their crusade into the Eye of Terror when the Techmarine Luveran Llir, influenced by the Warp, unwittingly deactivated its Gellar Field.
- Refuge in Defiance - Refuge in Defiance is a master-crafted Astartes Combat Shield. There are few implements of war that better meld offensive might with defensive protections than the deft guard of this combat shield. The unique resonance of the protective field steadies the sword-arm or firing grip of the wearer and guides it towards his enemies. The most learned Forge Masters believe that this particular shield's Machine Spirit can sense those who have struck blows against it and it manipulates this deadly link to enhance its user's combat abilities.
The Chapter's power armour is painted in a quartered pattern of pelagic blue and clotted red.
The white High Gothic numeral stenciled in the centre of the squad specialty marking indicates squad number.
Veteran Marines of the Brazen Claws' elite 1st Company are designated by a white helmet.
The colour of the Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard indicates company number in accordance to the dictats of the Codex Astartes -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc.
The Brazen Claws' Chapter badge is a large red talon on a field of blue.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 20
- Codex: Deathwatch (8th Edition), pg. 15
- Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition), pg. 71
- Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Codex), pg. 57
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 143
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 8, 14, 16, 19, 57, 70-71, 147
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 47
- Codex Supplement: Iron Hands (8th Edition), pp. 32-33
- Codex: Eye of Terror, pg. 16
- Deathwatch - Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 132
- Hammer and Bolter 3 (Anthology), "Phalanx" by Ben Counter
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned, pg. 22
- Index Astartes Volume One (Digital Edition), "Index Astartes: Centurions - Famous Battles of the Centurions", pg. 65
- Angels of Death: No Worse Sin (Short Story) by Joe Parrino
- Cold Roads (Short Story) by Joe Parrino
- The Voice of Mars (Novel) by David Guymer, pg. 28
- The Last Son of Dorn (Novel) by David Guymer, Ch. 1
- No Worse Sin (Short Story) by Joe Parrino