- "Enemy approach vectors confirmed. Targets entering the killbox in zero-zero-four, three, two, one... commencing Operation Scourge in the Emperor's name. Let none leave here alive."
- — Captain Hastran of the Hawk Lords
Many Imperial savants suspect that the Hawk Lords is a Second Founding Successor Chapter, raised from the existing veteran pilot formations of the ancient Ultramarines Legion's 21st Chapter, who were known as "The Hawks."
The Hawk Lords heavily favour the use of their various gunships, and so are unsurprisingly the undisputed masters of aerial combat amongst the Adeptus Astartes. It is not unknown for pilots from other Chapters to hone their piloting skills while on secondment to a Hawk Lords Talon Wing.
The origins of the Hawk Lords Chapter can be traced back to the Great Crusade over ten standard millennia earlier, when it was still a part of the Ultramarines Legion, then known as the XIII Legion, before its reunification with its Primarch Roboute Guilliman. Following the unification with their Primarch, Guilliman quickly set about restructuring his Legion's operational doctrine and hierarchy to suit his personal tastes and style of leadership.
While the newly espoused doctrine of structured adaptability became deeply ingrained within many of the Legion's Chapters, there were some notable deviations from this pattern. Some few individual Chapters, through long-held preference or some quirk of supply, maintained notable strengths of non-standard equipment or personnel.
One of the more noteworthy examples of this, was the 21st Chapter, known within the Legion as the "The Hawks", which was renowned for the skill of its pilots. During the Calth conjunction it was assigned to security duties amongst the orbital platforms and docked warships in Calth's local orbit, and so, witnessed the full fires of betrayal committed by the Word Bearers Legion during the Battle of Calth.
Following the end of the Horus Heresy, Roboute Guilliman was responsible for the restructuring of the Imperium's military forces. The vast Space Marine Legions would be broken down into numerous, smaller existing formations, known as a Chapter.
When the Second Founding of the Space Marines was decreed seven years after the death of Horus and the end of his Heresy, most of the old Loyalist Legions divided into fewer than 5 Successor Chapters, but the Ultramarines were divided many times. The existing veteran pilot formations of the Ultramarines 21st Chapter became a part of the newly founded "Hawk Lords" Chapter.
Recently, in the latter years of the 41st Millennium, the Hawk Lords played a role in defending the Imperial Fortress World of Cadia from the assault of the Forces of Chaos during the 13th Black Crusade.
The Hawk Lords' Chapter homeworld is the planet called Preyspire. At present, contact with the Chapter's 7th Company has been lost not many light years from Preyspire due to a hostile engagement with unknown xenos forces.
- The 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Hawk Lords committed 7 full companies against the Forces of Chaos during the 13th Black Crusade. The Hawk Lords' most important action during the Crusade came in the defence of the hive city of Kasr Elisha on Cadia. The Hawk Lords' 5th Company, under the leadership of Captain Augustus Hubertus, aided the Cadian 35th Mechanised Imperial Guard regiment in the defence of Kasr Elisha by holding off elements of the Thousand Sons Traitor Marines in the hive's main government spire, buying the Cadians time to reposition themselves to defeat a Ravager-class Traitor Battle Titan. Unfortunately, many of the 5th Company, including Captain Hubertus, were slain when elements of the Chaos Space Marine warband called the Brotherhood of Darkness entered the hive city. The survivors were relieved by a small portion of the Imperial Fists' elite 1st Company led by Captain Darnath Lysander.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Hawk Lords almost never use Drop Pods in their planetary assaults, preferring to make use of their Thunderhawk gunships for low-altitude insertions instead because of the greater control the use of those aircraft allows in making deployments. So skilled are they in the use of such tactics that the Astartes pilots of other Loyalist Chapters have been known to spend time as pilots in one of the Hawk Lords' Talon Wings to gain the aeronautical skills displayed by the Hawk Lords.
The Hawk Lords wage planetstrike campaigns with greater alacrity than other Space Marine Chapters. They also utilise Stormtalon gunships which excel as a vanguard strike-craft, able to keep pace with their Assault Marines and Land Speeders. In these missions, the Stormtalon's traditional role in Astartes combat is reversed: for the Hawk Lords, it is the principal attack vehicle.
The remainder of the Chapter's rapid moving elements act as escorts and outriders, scouring the attack corridor clean of anti-aircraft fire as the Stormtalon roars in to obliterate its designated target, blasting holes in the enemy battle line before peeling off and engaging another target with similarly devastating effect.
Notable Hawk Lords
- Captain Augustus Hubertus - Hubertus was the Captain of the Hawk Lords' 5th Company which led the defence of Kasr Elisha on Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41. Though Hubertus was slain during this battle, his company was successful in maintaining Kasr's defences until it was relieved by the Imperial Fists' 1st Company.
- Hawk Wings - Hawk Wings are specialised Jump Packs used exclusively by the Hawk Lords Chapter. Though they appear to be normal Jump Packs they also have a vast ammunition supply built into their harnesses that double as an Astartes backup ammunition supply, increasing the magazine size of any requisitioned heavy weapon. The Hawk Lords Chapter has long emphasised aerial superiority and rapid deployment, and all the skill of its Artificers have been bent towards these ends for untold centuries. One of their greatest successes was the creation of a pattern of Jump Packs that could bear a Devastator Marine into battle without costing him the use of his heavier armament. The artisan responsible died after creating but a few such masterpieces, and his accomplishment has not yet been matched. Watch Fortress Erioch has come into the custody of one Hawk Wing jump pack, and it has served with distinction with the Deathwatch across the Jericho Reach.
The golden yellow squad specialty symbol on the right pauldron designates operational specialty -- battleline, close support, fire support, Veteran or command.
A black High Gothic numeral is stenciled on the centre of the squad specialty symbol which indicates squad number.
The colour of the shoulder plate trim indicates company number in accordance with the dictates of the Codex Astartes -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc.
Veteran iconography is often displayed on a colour roundlet, matching the company colour, on the outside left greave.
The Hawk Lords' Chapter badge is a golden yellow hawk centred upon a field of purple. It is depicted in a similar style to the Chapter badge of the venerable Raven Guard.
Originally there was some confusion as to which Space Marine Legion was the parent of the Hawk Lords Chapter. Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem lists it as a Successor of the Raven Guard, but in Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition) it is a descendant of the Ultramarines. Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) also lists it as a Primogenitor Chapter of the Ultramarines. With the release of The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series), this issue was laid to rest when it was revealed that the Hawk Lords were originally one of several specialist Chapters, known as "The Hawks", created from the 21st Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion after the Horus Heresy.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet)
- Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Codex), pg. 29
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 114
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 33, 141
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 26, 30-31
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 8
- Deathwatch - Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 128
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 104
- Insignium Astartes, pg. 55
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 39, 80-81
- Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team - Elites, pg. 32 (Quote)