"The vultures clouded overhead. Their thirsting beaks awaiting blood. But from the heap of corpses stood a warrior whose aim was true. To strike the sky with ice and fire and send the craven fowl their doom."
- — Excerpt from the Saga of Egil Iron Wolf
Egil Iron Wolf was a Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter, one of twelve legendary warriors who lead the Great Companies of that Chapter into battle. Egil has taken the totem of the Iron Wolf.
In Fenrisian mythology, the Iron Wolf lies dormant beneath the continent of Asaheim, a beast so vast that the mountains are the fur on his back and the seams of metal within them are his veins. If that were so, then Egil Iron Wolf would owe his totem a great debt, for his Great Company is replete with metallic beasts of war.
The armoured assaults of Egil's Company are famous across the Fenris System, typified by great roaming packs of transport vehicles that cut off the prey's escape routes whilst Egil's heavy tanks tear bloody chunks out of the enemy army. Egil himself, an ugly and cog-toothed brute made of more metal than flesh, rides at the head of each armoured assault in a personalised Land Raider that still bears the shields of his original household.
Egil Iron Wolf was slain by the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red's sorcery during the Siege of the Fenris System in 999.M41. He was succeeded as the leader of his Great Company by Wolf Lord Orven Highfell, who was also slain in the skies above Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade, yet the tenacity of the Ironwolves remained unbroken. Vorek Gnarlfist has taken the title of Wolf Lord in recent times, keeping the sigil of the Iron Wolf to honour his predecessors' acts of extreme valour.
Egil Iron Wolf was born Egil Siverhand to the Stoneface Tribe of Fenris. His path to Wolf Lord was unique as his personality. Egir Silverhand was a gifted smith amongst the nomadic tribes of Fenris. Fashioning the finest swords and armour, his skills were highly sought after across all of Asaheim. Like many metalworkers before him, Egil made the journey to meet the Gods of Iron.
A savant of the mechanical, his mind could see the workings of a machine long before he had cracked open its casing. Egil would have made a fine Iron Priest, but his unwillingness to follow time-honoured procedures led him to take a different path. Unsuited to the prescribed learnings of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Egil was transferred to Ossric Three-Fists' Great Company. His tribal ferocity coupled with his love for machines marked him as a unique initiate. As the decades passed, more and more of the company came to owe their lives to a weapon or vehicle that had been improved by the hands of Egil. On Ossric's death, these life-debts led to Egil's ascension to Wolf Lord.
Egil Iron Wolf's path to Wolf Lord was long and difficult. Rather than being chosen to join the Space Wolves by a Wolf Priest, Egil made the arduous journey to the smithies of the Gods of Iron. He passed the Test of the Iron Gauntlet, and seemed destined for the red planet of Mars. However, he was instead drafted directly into the Great Company of Ossric Three-Fists. Egil's affinity with the machines of war remained. His uncanny ability to repair a crippled Rhino, or get one last charge out of a damaged Lascannon led to his brother Space Wolves naming him the "Iron Wolf."
When he assumed the mantle of Wolf Lord, he adopted the moniker as his official title. The Great Company Egil leads has been moulded around his aptitude for everything mechanical. Their armoured assaults have become legendary across The Fang, as each Space Wolf in the strike force rides inside a great armoured behemoth. The other Wolf Lords grow more confident when they know that Egil and his Ironwolves will be fighting alongside them, lending their heavy firepower and mobile defence to the assault.
The armoury of this Great Company is as renowned as their Wolf Lord. Due to the almost obsessive care the company takes in maintaining its weapons, the number of relics available to them far exceeds any other Great Company, save perhaps that of the Great Wolf, Logan Grimnar himself. Egil prefers that only recruits who show the skills of a natural smith be inducted into his Great Company.
This has left the Ironwolves with a much smaller pool of Space Wolves to call upon, but this suits the fighting style of Egil Iron Wolf, who prefers to send small, elite squads of trusted troops to war inside the Chapter's tanks. Each squad works in perfect unison with the others, like the delicate parts in a finely crafted machine. Every pack is accompanied by an armoured vehicle.
The Ironwolves are equipped with a staggering array of firepower to destroy their enemies. Whether that doom is delivered by small packs of Long Fangs, mighty battle tanks or fired from the skies by Stormfang gunships is irrelevant -- in either case the enemies of the Space Wolves will be annihilated in a blizzard of las fire and bolter shells.
The Siege of the Fenris System
In ca. 999.M41 during the Hunt for the Wulfen and the Siege of the Fenris System by Magnus the Red's Thousand Sons Traitor Legion, Iron Wolf played a pivotal role. He first defeated a daemonic legion of Mordokh on Mydgal Alpha, then later fought alongside the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar himself against the Infernal Tetrad on Midgardia.
Afterwards, during Siege of the Fenris System, he participated in Fenris' defence. However, when Egil fired upon the Daemon Prince with a Lascannon, Magnus used his immense psychic abilities to freeze the las-beam in mid-air and then proceeded to telekinetically move the Wolf Lord in front of his own shot before releasing his psychic hold on the blast.
Egil suffered a direct hit and his body above the waist was vaporised by the Lascannon's beam. He was succeeded as the Wolf Lord of his Great Company by Orven Highfell.
- An Alliance Broken (895.M41) - When the Ork WAAAGH! of Grimtusk Bloodboila looked set to consume the entire Athelaq Sector, it is not only the Great Company of Egil Iron Wolf that stood in its path. A warhost of Aeldari Aspect Warriors fought hard to contain the Greenskin invasion in the northwest quadrant of the warzone, ultimately preventing the Space Wolves from becoming surrounded. Egil's tanks took a heavy toll on the Ork vanguard and, after solar weeks of bitter warfare, Warlord Grimtusk was killed and the WAAAGH! blunted. Later, Autarch Elenduil visited the throne room of Egil Iron Wolf with great ceremony, his bodyguard of Striking Scorpions respectfully bearing the recovered bodies of the fallen Space Wolves. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a parley over a parting gift turned sour at a single stray mis-translation. Insults were exchanged and blades drawn. The sudden violence of the ensuing fight was but a shadow of the destruction that followed as the sector descended into total war between the three factions.
- Battle of Centius Prime (897.M41) - In 897.M41 Egil and his Great Company fought alongside the Mantis Warriors Chapter in the Battle of Centius Prime when the Ork Warlord known as Big Boss Gigagob, led an invasion of the Feudal World of Centius Prime in search of loot. Gigagob had hoped to arm his forces for a planned WAAAGH!, but became furious when they found little technology more advanced than the crossbow, and afterwards indulged in a campaign of vengeful wrath on Centius Prime's population. The rampaging Orks were only halted by a combined force of the Space Wolves and Mantis Warriors Chapters answering the planet's astropathic distress call. The Space Wolves army was comprised of Egil Iron Wolf's Great Company, the Ironwolves.
- Siege of the Fenris System (ca. 999.M41) - Egil assisted the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar in the defence of the Fenris System from Magnus the Red and the Thousand Sons. As the Space Wolves fought legions of invading Daemons, they were met by an Imperial fleet with the Dark Angels fortress-monastery, The Rock, at its head. The fleet's commanders intended to bring the Wolf Lords to judgement for accepting the deviant Wulfen into their ranks. Tensions rose as the servant of Tzeentch, known as the Changeling, having infiltrated the Dark Angels, spurred the ancient rivals to war. The disguised Daemon announced that the Space Wolves had fired upon the Grey Knights vessels in the system, and that the savage Wulfen had turned on their Dark Angels allies. With no Wolf Lords present to defend the Space Wolves, Azrael, Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels, orders his fleet to bombard the Daemon-infested planets of the Fenris System, despite the fact that Space Wolves still fought on the surfaces of these worlds. On the hive world of Midgardia, the rain of fire was so extreme that the surface was reduced to a scorched wasteland, and billions of its citizens were obliterated. By a strange twist of fate, Logan Grimnar and Egil Iron Wolf were trapped below the surface and avoided the destruction of the Exterminatus. Eventually escaping from the surface of Midgardian, Egil Iron Wolf would take part in the final concerted attack against the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red, upon the surface of Fenris. The Space Wolves and their allies from the Dark Angels and the Grey Knights throw everything they have against the Daemon Primarch. Egil was killed by Magnus after firing a Lascannon at him, only for the Daemon Primarch to freeze the shot in the air and lift him in front of the blast. The laser hit Egil's upper body and completely disintegrated him. This gruesome end to Egil's saga buys Grimnar the opening he needs. Pouncing from his chariot, the Great Wolf called out a challenge to Magnus before hewing the Daemon Primarch's chest with the Axe Morkai. As Magnus howled in pain, Grey Knights Purifiers chanted rites of banishment, and in a blinding explosion, Magnus was expelled from Fenris.
The Ironwolves Great Company
The Iron Guard
The Iron Guard are Egil's loyal Wolf Guard pack. Their primary duty is to accompany the Iron Wolf in battle. They defend their Wolf Lord from harm, while smiting his enemies with their ferocious assaults. Wielding the finest close range weaponry, often improved and tailored to their own needs, the Iron Guard are a wall of ceramite, advancing to victory.
Although Egil has but a single pack of Wolf Guard protecting him, he often splits them into smaller combat squads during times of war. This way, they can be deployed quickly and effectively in Razorback armoured transports. The Spear of Morkai is a revered vehicle in the Space Wolves' armoury assigned to the Iron Guard, its hull protecting the lives of the warriors within while its Lascannons mete out its wrath.
These smaller units are capable of lending their fighting prowess exactly where they are needed, allowing Egil to spread his most valuable assets across the entire battlefront. Like the rest of the Ironwolves, each squad will act as a cog in the machine of Egil's strike force. Each of the Iron Guard have learned secrets from their lord of the machines they wield. In honour of this arcane knowledge, the pack members commonly change the traditional black colouring of their pack markings, replacing it with a steel that gleams in the light of war.
The Blackwolves are a pack of Grey Hunters in the Ironwolves. Each member of this pack was inducted from the same tribe, and their shared heritage is displayed in their similar hair colouring. However, it is their history since they became Space Marines that has forged bonds of unshakeable loyalty between the pack members.
The Blackwolves' pack marking is a black wolf's head between a wolf's jaws. This device symbolises the tribal wars that each member had to overcome before they joined the ranks of the Space Wolves. The squad is armed with Bolters and Chainswords, ready to defend the ground the strike force has captured, and the pack deploys with its Razorback, Spear of Russ. This tank allows the pack to redeploy rapidly, securing the objective identified by their Wolf Lord.
The Frostclaws are a veteran squad of Long Fangs. These revered heroes of the Great Company have sagas longer than many Wolf Guard. Each member of this squad has faced a thousand horrors of the galaxy, and not one of them has faltered.
To survive to be a Long Fang is no mean feat. The life of a Space Wolf is dangerous beyond compare, for they stand as bulwark against all the enemies of the Imperium. With their experience, this pack can read the course of a battle with ease, marking the possible movements of the enemy, before firing a precise barrage to destroy them. With their flexible firing patterns the Frostclaws are capable of dealing with both enemy infantry and armour.
They will bring their Missile Launcher and Plasma Cannon to bear on the enemy's troops, while the lascannons hunt out any armoured vehicles. The Long Fangs in Egil Iron Wolf's Great Company tend to share his affinity for machines to some extent, and packs of these venerable warriors often take to the field mounted in Razorbacks.
Egil values these packs highly, as their flexible firepower and ability to coordinate their attacks with the rest of the armoured assault makes them invaluable. These Long Fang packs keep to the honoured tradition of displaying their pack marking marking in black and white. Many of the Long Fangs' pack leaders bear an honour marking instead of their pack symbol.
Many Iron Priests find their spiritual home in the Great Company of Egil Ironwolf. While on active duty, the Iron Priests either bear the symbol of the Great Wolf's company, or of the Wolf Lord to whom they have been assigned.
In place of their pack marking an Iron Priest is expected to bear the device of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The individualistic nature of the Space Wolves, however, leads many to personalise that symbol with some Fenrisian icon.
Vehicles of Note
- Wrath of Morkai - One of the most powerful weapons in the Ironwolves armoury is mounted upon Wrath of Morkai. This Vindicator tank can level even the most heavily built of fortresses with its Demolisher Cannon. Wrath of Morkai is perhaps at its best when deployed in urban environments. Equipped with a massive siege shield, the tank can clear a war-torn street of both enemies and rubble in minutes. This allows the rest of the company to advance safely in its wake. Wrath of Morkai has enormous hazard lines painted on its siege shield. This bold design forewarns any who see it that their doom is upon them.
- Iron Hunter - This Predator Annihilator pattern tank is equipped to take on enemy armour. Its armament of four powerful lascannons is a devastating prospect, able to piece the hulls of super-heavy vehicles with a single barrage.
- Iron Vengeance - This Predator Destructor is able to deliver a ceaseless hail of fire. Designed for anti-personnel missions, even the massed swarms of a Tyranid assault can be brought to a shuddering halt by this tank's salvoes. Both the Iron Vengeance and Iron Hunter have served together for decades, the tank crews of these vehicles have formed a powerful pack-bond. They recognise this kinship by painting similar pack symbols on the hulls of their tanks.
- Ironfist - Egil Iron Wolf rides to war in his own personalised Land Raider Crusader, Ironfist.
- Iron Spear - Iron Spear is the pinnacle of the Iron Priests' art. This deadly vehicle fits perfectly amongst Egil Iron Wolf's Great Company. Adding air superiority to the armoured ground assault, the Stormfang gunship is equipped with the most powerful weapon in the Space Wolves' arsenal: the Helfrost Destructor. Capable of destroying any foe, Iron Spear will hunt out the greatest war machines of the enemy.
- Forgepelt - Egil Iron Wolf's masterwork Artificer Armour was forged by his own hand. The Wolf Lord has augmented his famed Forgepelt after each of his notable victories, so that now this distinctive armour is as much a part of Lord Iron Wolf's saga as the warrior himself. It is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece with gilt edging, and the vents on the backpack are a pair of stylised wolf heads.
- Terminator Armour (Optional)
- Belt of Russ - Each Great Company has in its Armoury a single Belt of Russ. A mighty ward against enemy attacks, these powerful girdles incorporate potent gravitic force fields that protect the wearer. Forged by the master Iron Priest Stef Blacksoul after the disappearance of Russ, these belts are important relics of the Chapter.
- Iron Eye - Lord Iron Wolf lost his right eye to fire from Ork Lootas during the Battle of Raining Fire. The lost orb was replaced with one of steel and sensors, the finely crafted augmetic allowing Egil to visually dissect his prey. None can hide their weaknesses from the Iron Eye.
- Skull of Dolf - This Servo-skull is the last mortal remnant of famed Wolf Guard Dolf Longmane. Lord Egil chose to immortalise this hero as a mark of honour after his courageous death boarding the Chaos Titan Shadow of Menace.
- Claws of Winter - Said to be imbued with the spirits of the Fenrisian winter winds, these famed Wolf Claws cut to the bone as easily as an ice-storm upon the slopes of Asaheim.
- Bolt Pistol
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Frost Blade
Egil Iron Wolf took the sigil of the Iron Wolf as his heraldry. In Fenrisian mythology, the Iron Wolf lies dormant beneath the continent of Asaheim, a beast so vast that the mountains are the fur on his back and the seams of metal within them are his veins. If that were so, then Egil Iron Wolf would owe his totem a great debt, for his Great Company is replete with metallic beasts of war.
Egil Iron Wolf's standard displays a stylised version of the Great Company's symbol: the mythical beast known as the Iron Wolf standing rampant, ready to pounce upon the enemies of the Space Wolves. The same iron shod colours of his own emblem are represented on the banner, a parchment scroll bearing the Great Company's namesake standing out in stark contrast.
At the bottom of the banner are displayed the Great Company's honour and campaign badges. These vary over time, depending on the current campaign recent victories won by the Ironwolves.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes: Space Wolves (8th Edition), pp. 15, 19-21, 116
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pp. 15, 17, 19, 64, 70, 80
- Companies of Fenris - Space Wolves Painting Guide (6th Edition), pp. 34-47
- Gathering Storm - Part I - Fall of Cadia (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Dramtis Personae - Defenders of Cadia," "In the Grip of War"
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Second Edition: War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 99
- War Zone Fenris: Curse of the Wulfen (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "The Iron Wolves", pp. 70-73
- War Zone Fenris: Wrath of Magnus (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), Chapter 4, "Magnus Ascendant"