The Firedrakes are those elite Astartes of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter's 1st Company, chosen not simply for their martial skill, but also because of their mental resilience, discipline and self-sacrifice. Created during the Great Crusade by their Primarch Vulkan, the Firedrakes were so-named for the greatest of the salamander saurids said to originate beneath the stones of Mount Deathfire. They were the finest and most experienced warriors of the XVIIIth Legion. To be afforded this exalted status, mere skill-at-arms was not enough alone, and the warrior would have to have been proven of faultless bravery and just as importantly, faultless self-control. Amongst these, the greatest formed the Pyre Guard; the Primarch's own loyal retainers. The Firedrakes were present during the tragic Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V, where the Salamanders Legion, alongside the Raven Guard and the Iron Hands, were all but annihilated. Through their tenacity, sheer determination and extraordinary valour, some of these elite warriors managed to survive the slaughter committed against them by the Traitor Legions. These surviving Firedrake Legionaries would live to fight on for the remainder of the Horus Heresy, and help to hunt down the remnants of the Traitor Legions following their defeat after the Battle of Terra during the subsequent Great Scouring. Following the sundering of the Space Marine Legions into smaller autonomous units known as Chapters, and the subsequent Second Founding, the Firedrakes also managed to survive, for Vulkan made certain that their legacy was maintained.
The elite of the Salamanders Legion were those Legionaries known as the Firedrakes, veterans chosen not simply for their martial skill, but also because of their mental resilience and capacity for discipline and self-sacrifice; for these were values the Promethean Cult holds in high esteem. Tried and tempered in the flames of war, just as a blade was tempered in the flames of the forge, the Firedrakes were indefatigable and relentless, possessing a singular focus in battle which bordered on the preternatural and legendary resilience; a matter as much to do with their phenomenal willpower as their superhuman physiology or superlatively fashioned arms and armour. Such was the wisdom of Vulkan and the traditions of the Legion that many of the Firedrakes could be found fulfilling numerous roles throughout the ranks, rather than concentrated into elitist cadres as may be found in other Legions; the better to serve as exemplars, champions and protectors. Exceptions to this practice did exist, however, such as the Pyre Guard who served as their Primarch's praetorians and advisors, and warrior bands of Firedrakes, most commonly clad in exquisitely crafted Terminator Armour, who were formed to act as shock troops and line breakers for the Legion in the most deadly battles it undertook.
In the modern 41st Millennium, the Salamanders Chapter's powerful and formidably equipped 1st Company, the Firedrakes are still chosen from the Salamander's greatest warriors. The bellicose reputation of the Firedrakes is legendary, even among their fellow Space Marine Chapters, and stories of their might and valour are recorded in scores of sources, from the heroic sagas of the Space Wolves to the labyrinthine texts of the Red Talons' Techno-Cant Strife Chronicles. In addition to providing the Chapter with a veteran core of elite warriors, the Firedrakes also serve as garrison and guardians of the Salamander's foreboding fortress-monastery on Nocturne's giant moon, Prometheus. This battle-station, whose foundations are sunk deep into the moon's surface, as well as serving as the Chapter's armoury, Apothecarion and chief reliquary, is rumoured to also house in its deepest vaults hidden forges and workshops whose sophistication (although not scale) are said to be the equal of any but those found on great Mars, throne world of the Adeptus Mechanicus, itself.
Chapter Command and the 1st Company (The Firedrakes)
The Firedrakes, of which Chapter Master Tu'Shan is the Captain as well as the Regent of Prometheus, are barracked on Prometheus along with the Chapter Master himself. These venerable warriors are almost a breed apart from their fellow Salamanders; the transition they have made to the vaunted ranks of the 1st Company has changed them in myriad ways as they have fully embraced the full evolution of their genetic encoding. Unlike their fellow Battle-Brothers, the Firedrakes are seldom seen on the surface of Nocturne where the other Salamanders readily cohabit with the human populace, albeit often as part of a solitary lifestyle. Their rites are ancient and clandestine, conducted by the Chapter Master himself. Only those who have 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: Unknown
- Chief Apothecary: Master Harath Shen
- Chapter Standard Bearer: Unknown
- Forgefather: Vulkan 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
- 4 to 5 Firedrakes
- 1 Firedrake Master
- Cataphractii Pattern Terminator Armour (Great Crusade & Horus Heresy eras)
- Indomitus Pattern Terminator Armour (Modern Era)
- Combi-Bolter (Great Crusade & Horus Heresy eras)
- Storm Bolter (Modern Era)
- Power Weapons (Firedrakes Only)
- Master-Crafted Power Weapon (Firedrake Master Only)
- Power Fist
- Thunder Hammer
- Master-Crafted Thunder Hammer (Firedrake Master Only)
- Combi-Flamer or Combi-Melta
- Dragonscale Pattern Storm Shield
- Heavy Flamer
- Artellus Numeon - Numeon was a Terran-born Salamanders officer who served as the First Captain of the Legion's elite 1st Company, known as the Firedrakes, during the last days of the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. He also served as Equerry to the Primarch and commanded Vulkan's elite personal Honour Guard, the Pyre Guard, which was comprised of Veteran Battle-Brothers of the Salamanders Legion. Sworn to protect the Primarch, these were warriors set apart from the rest of the XVIIIth Legion. Terran-born like their commander, 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. Numeon was present during the tragic events of the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V where his Legion was nearly decimated. He survived the Traitors' trap and eventually made his way off the scoured planet, to carry on the war against the Warmaster's Traitor Legions. His ultimate fate following the events of the Horus Heresy is currently unrecorded.
- 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.
- 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 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 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 Veteran Clyten - Member of the Chapter's Firedrakes, Brother Clyten fell in battle on Scoria.
- 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.
- Firedrake Veteran Eb'ak - Member of Vulkan He'stan's strike force during the mission to the Volgorrah Rift.
- Firedrake Veteran En'kar - Member of Sergeant Praetor's Squad, Brother En'kar fell during the Battle for Sepulchre IV.
- 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 Gun'dar - Member of Sergeant Nu'mean's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed in action.
- Firedrake Veteran Lamon Hal'sar - Member of Pellas Mir'san's strike force during the Badab War, Veteran Brother Hal'sar was one of the most highly honoured Salamanders Battle-Brothers during this lamentable conflict. This warrior had previously been under assignment as an instructor of recruits on Nocturne while recuperating from injuries sustained in the field. Hal'sar led the counter assault against the Secessionist-backed privateer Provender Creed after it attacked the High Conveyer Cacaxtla on which he and his brethren were stationed. Hal'sar garnered further honour as part of the Salamanders task force deployed to take part in the so-called "Angstrom Incident" and in the Star Fort attacks during the final siege of Badab.
- 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 Invictese - Member of Sergeant Praetor's Firedrake Squad.
- Firedrake Veteran Kai'ru - Member of Sergeant Praetor's Squad, Brother Kai'ru fell during the Battle for Sepulchre IV.
- 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 Lorrde - Wounded in action during the Gevion Campaign.
- Firedrake Veteran Mercurion - Member of Sergeant Nu'mean's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed in action.
- 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 Namor - Member of the Chapter's Firedrakes, Brother Namor fell in battle on Scoria.
- Firedrake Veteran Ma'nubian - Member of the Chapter's Firedrake (1st) Company.
- Firedrake Veteran Oknar - Member of Vulkan He'stan's strike force during the mission to the Volgorrah Rift.
- Firedrake Veteran Persephion - Member of Vulkan He'stan's strike force during the mission to the Volgorrah Rift.
- Firedrake Veteran Tho'ran - Wounded in action during the Gevion Campaign.
- Firedrake Veteran Ve'kyt - Member of Sergeant Nu'mean's squad during the mission to the Protean, killed in action.
- 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 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.
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), (Ebook), pp. 58-59
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 32-33, 75-76
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre, by Alan Bligh, pp. 121, 249
- Firedrake (Novel) by Nick Kyme
- Forge World - Salamanders Legion Firedrakes