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Cpt. Sicarius Battle Honours

The multiple Honours of Captain Cato Sicarius of the Ultramarines Chapter

The Honour Badges of the Space Marines are awarded for all manner of heroic deed or worthy action. The principal of awarding badges for honours won in battle has always placed a major role amongst the various fighting forces of the Imperium of Man.

Within the Adeptus Astartes such distinctions have become vital in reinforcing the bonds of kinship and common purpose displayed by a Chapter's Battle-Brothers.

Some honours are simply painted directly onto the recipient's Power Armour, while others take the form of elaborate carvings inscribed into the armour's ceramite plating.

Whatever the form, all are highly regarded by the recipient and his fellow Astartes. Each Space Marine Chapter has its own variations of awards, ennoblements and honour badges, according to its history and traditions. The badges displayed below are amongst the most common accolades and see use in almost all Chapters.

Space Marine Honour Badges

  • Iron Halos variants

    Iron Halo - Types 1 & 2

    Iron Halo - The simple badge called the Iron Halo has its origins in the earliest days of the Imperium. Often painted onto an Astartes' armour as a red badge, the Iron Halo is the award granted for an exceptional battlefield leader and strategist. This award is given to those Battle-Brothers who demonstrate exceptional initiative. It is displayed on the shoulder armour or behind the helmet of the Astartes who has earned it as a mark of rank.


  • Iron Skulls variants

    Iron Skulls - Types 1, 2 & 3

    Iron Skull - A traditional badge of ancient origin, the Iron Skull is awarded for the display of exceptional leadership in combat. It is the Codex Astartes-required insignia for a Space Marine Sergeant and is often displayed on the shoulder armour or helmet of an Astartes of this rank. The classical convention is to represent the Iron Skull as a red heraldic device.


  • Imperial Laurels variants

    Imperial Laurels - Type 1, 2 & 3

    Imperial Laurel - Deeds of valour leading to a great victory for the Imperium are rewarded with the Imperial Laurel. A Battle-Brother who bears this honour has literally earned his laurels. The wreath is often worn as a crown or sculpted into the Ceramite of an Astartes's helmet. The Wreathed Skull is also a common form of the same honour. The Codex Astartes demands that Company and Chapter Standards be borne into battle only by Astartes who have been awarded the Imperial Laurel.


  • Purity Seals variants

    Purity Seals variants

    Purity Seal - The Purity Seal is not so much an honour as a blessing given by the Chapter's Chaplains. Before a campaign the Chaplains pass through the ranks chanting litanies and invocations. Honoured individuals are marked by the Chaplains for special blessings recorded on the parchment streamers and affixed to their armour with the great wax seal which are often replaced with a more permanent electrum casting of the seal after the battle.




  • Marksman's Honours variants

    Marksman's Honours

    Marksman's Honour - The Marksman's Honour is a device used to recognize those Astartes that perform acts of remarkably accurate shooting or consistent performance with their targeting. The Codex Astartes insists that those warriors who prove their combat accuracy should be singled out so that their skill may be instantly commanded. Within certain Chapters it is believed that the Marksman's Honour badges were forged by encasing in gold the Bolter shell cases fired in battle by that Chapter's Primarch.


  • Imperialis

    The Imperialis

    The Imperialis - The winged skull badge that is called the Imperialis has its origins in the great Horus Heresy. It was adopted as the campaign badge of the Loyalist Legions during the Imperium-wide conflict that was the heresy. Since then it has become the honour of righteous victory. Most often the chest armour of the recipient is carved into the great winged skull but it can also appear on the banners and finials.


  • Skull & Mottos variants

    Skull & Motto (with a pair of Ultramarines variants)

    Skull and Motto - In addition to the specific badge of the Iron Skull, there are many other icons and emblems which incorporate the skull, a common Imperil motif intended to represent the sacrifice made by the Emperor for humanity's sake during the Horus Heresy. As honours these decorations often have a multitude of uses and meanings. Often combined with simple mottoes, the skull honour can be seen on shoulder plates, helmets, kneepads and even on Bolter cases or vehicles.


  • Prime Helix variants

    Prime Helix variants

    Prime Helix - The Prime Helix is the emblem of the Apothecaries of a Chapter. The bright red design represents both the gene-seed itself and, to some extent, the sacrifice every Space Marine is prepared to make to ensure the Chapter's future.


  • Machina opus

    Machina Opus

    Machina Opus - The Machina Opus is the mark of a Tech-priest Adept. It is awarded to each Techmarine as he completes his mysterious training with the Adeptus Mechanicus on Mars. Bearers of the Machina Opus are accorded great respect by the Tech-priests and they alone are allowed free passage through the Red Planet's Ring of Iron and into the great workshops of the Martian Hive.


  • Terminator Honours variants

    Crux Terminatus variants

    Crux Terminatus - This is one of the most famous of all Space Marine icons. Only the honoured 1st Company Veterans of a Space Marine Chapter fight in suits of Terminator Armour and wear this badge. The symbol has various forms and designs but all versions are carved from great chunks of stone. Within each badge is bound an infinitesimal fragment of the suit of Power Armour worn by the Emperor during his climatic battle with the arch-traitor Horus over ten millennia ago high above Terra. Sergeants and Captains bear modified versions of the design to signify their rank and authority. Smaller representations of the Crux are frequently worn by the Veterans when they fight in standard Power Armour to display their elite status. These small, metallic icons can be hung from banner tops, weapons and belts.

Service Studs

Service Studs variants

Service Stud examples and Service Studs (close-up)

Service Studs are small metallic rivets that are attached directly to an Astartes' cranium to record his years of service to his Chapter. A single stud records, 10, 50 or 100 years of service depending on its design and the Chapter traditions. The awarding of service studs is described in the Codex Astartes but is not set out as an official requirement or regulation of the Chapter. In recent centuries the awarding of service studs has been on the decline and fewer Chapters continue the practice.

Tattoos

Tattoos

Example Astartes Tattoos

Tattoos are not official Chapter honours but traditional markings derived from the Chapter's ancient practices. Some tattoos may even be vestiges of pre-Space Marine tribal markings or gang affiliations.

Space Marines are recruited from hundreds of different human cultures so it is no surprise to see this reflected in some Astartes retaining the tattoos, scarification or warpaint of their homeworld culture.

Army Campaign Badges

Army Badges

Various Army Campaign Badges worn by the Adeptus Astartes

Space Marines often find themselves going into battle alongside other Imperial forces. The massed ranks of the Astra Militarum form the major portion of any allied contingent of Imperial forces and include huge tank divisions as well as enormous numbers of foot soldiers.

When an army of the Imperium goes to war it is standard practice for the Imperial Commander or general to choose a symbol to act as a campaign badge in accordance with the regulations set down in the Codex Astartes.

This "field sign" is known as the Army Badge and serves to identify all the troops and equipment that are operating under a single command for a single campaign and helps with recognition of friendly units on the field of battle.

The Army Badge is painted on Space Marine Power Armour and Astra Militarum vehicles alike. Each time a Space Marine applies the badge the recipient receives a blessing from the company Chaplain or from an attached member of the Imperial Ecclesiarchy if serving alongside one of the other Imperial armed forces.

The Army Badge is deliberately designed to be quite straightforward and is an instantly recognisable symbol that functions as a battlefield identification. Space Marines generally apply the Army Badge to their right leg greave.

The Army Badge is generally used for the duration of a single campaign and is removed or replaced at the successful conclusion of the campaign. If a squad, regiment or indeed an individual warrior has performed exceptionally in the campaign, the Army Badge may be incorporated onto their armour, uniform or heraldry as a permanent honour.

This is particularly true of banners and standards and many of the lavish designs seen on Chapter, company and individual Astartes banners are, in part, derived from the Army Badges of previous campaigns.

Individual Chapter Honour Badges

Within the various Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, there exists a diverse assortment of honour badges, icons, titles and fetishes that are used to recognise Battle-Brothers of a specific Chapter. Below are just a few of these drawn from a wide variety of Chapters of every lineage.

Blood Angels

Blood Drop Pendants

These ornaments are representations of the Blood Angels' Chapter symbol and the blood of Sanguinius that runs through their collective veins.

Some are literally filled with the Battle-Brother's own precious blood, while others are jewelled or crystalline representations. They are most often, but not always, worn around the neck.

Death Mask

Fashioned from the likenesses of the fallen, Blood Angel heroes wear Death Masks both to honour the dead and strike terror into their foes. There can be no denying their power when one sees the coruscating golden energy arcing across the mask's surface and the baleful light shining from its eyes.

A Death Mask is worn over a Battle-Brother's helmet and provides no additional protection. These same death masks are also worn by members of the Sanguinary Guard which crackle terrifying haloes of golden light. The Machine Spirit of each mask bonds closely with its wearer, its loyalty to him absolute.

When a Sanguinary Guard falls in battle, his death mask is removed with much ceremony and placed within the "Sarcophagus of Sorrows" on Baal. The mask is left in its dark tomb for seven solar days and seven nights, by the end of which it will have taken on the stylised features of its former wearer.

These transformations are claimed by the Blood Angels to be miracles, and none has ever proven otherwise.

Glaives Encarmine

Glaives Encarmine are broad two-handed blades wielded by the Sanguinary Guard. Each Glaive Encarmine is a Chapter relic in its own right. Indeed, some of these venerable weapons have been in service since before the Horus Heresy.

Crafted long ago by using forgotten methods and techniques, few weapons in the Blood Angels armouries approach the elegance and mastery of manufacture embodied in the Glaives Encarmine.

Forged from an alloy known as "angelsteel," whose secrets are known only to the artificers of the Blood Angels, these blades never scratch, warp or break, no matter what violence they are subjected to.

Golden Icons

Blood Angels frequently hang sacred gilded icons on their armour or from their belts. The exact form of these items varies, but they are considered a display of devotion as well as serving as a focus for spiritual meditation.

Dark Angels

Blades of Caliban

The Blades of Caliban are Dark Angels Chapter relics and each has its own honourable heritage. Only the Champions of each company, having performed heroic and faultless duty, earn the right to wield one of these unique Power Swords.

Ceremonial Swords

Dark Angels frequently carry mundane swords with winged hilts in the ancient Calibanite style in echo of their Chapter badge. These weapons are used more for ceremony than in combat, but they are perfectly functional weapons should the Battle-Brother have reason to draw one.

They are carried either in addition to, or in lieu of, a Combat Knife depending on the individual's preferences.

Weapon Charms

Among the elite Deathwing, Veteran Battle-Brothers sometimes adorn their weapons with fetishes, bird feathers and charms, in respect for their ancient ancestors and the roots of their brotherhood.

These fetishes seem to appease the Machine Spirits of their weapons and connect them more strongly to the Battle-Brother, making them as reliable and unrelenting as the Deathwing themselves.

Executioners

Chronicles of the Death-Speakers

An into the Chapter's archives is considered a high honour in this Chapter.

Fire Angels

Order of Martyrdom

Awarded for an extreme act of sacrifice on behalf of one's fellow battle-brothers.

Fire Hawks

Enemy of Valour

This is the only known honour to be granted to enemy combatants by a Space Marine Chapter.

Medallion Immolatus

The purpose of this award is unknown.

Imperial Fists

Ossific Relics

Many Imperial Fists bear small tokens of lost Battle-Brothers, engraving their bones with descriptions of their deeds so that they may never be forgotten and will live on forever.

Ossific Relics take the form of small bones, normally finger or hand bones, carried in a small pouch near the Battle-Brother's heart, or sometimes on a chain around his neck or wrist.

Far from grisly or barbaric, this practice is the ultimate act of remembrance for an Imperial Fist, and the relics of his fallen brethren are his most valued possessions.

Iron Hands

Artificer Bionics

The Iron Hands are masters of bionics and often replace undamaged limbs with cybernetics to enhance themselves with greater strength, speed, or endurance.

Artificer Bionics represent the height of this craft and the greatest examples of cybernetics available to the forces of the Imperium.

Iron Snakes

Eusippus

A Eusippus is a copper urn that contains the cremated remains of a slain Battle-Brother. When the Iron Snakes Chapter returns to their homeworld of Ithaka, the senior-most Battle-Brother in the squad of the deceased performs the sacred duty of unscrewing the lids and the gray ash is shaken out. The fallen's remains are sieved away into the wind and returned like the water to the sea.

Lifewater Flask

Lifewater Flasks are small copper flasks that contain the lifewater of the Chapter's homeworld of Ithaka, carried by every memeber of the Chapter to anoint every planet that they step foot on in a ritual ceremony. When they return to their homeworld, the remaining water in these vials is given back to the oceans.

Scrolls of Merit

A Scroll of Merit is a scroll of paper with prepared statements carried by a fallen Iron Snakes Astartes' squad leader that contain the written account about the valiant dead's life, actions and death. These are sealed and ready to be placed within the archives of the Chapter House.

Often these scrolls also contain full orders of merit laying out the full details and particulars of an Iron Snakes battle-brother's service with the Chapter as well as all of the commendations and decorations he has earned.

Lamenters

Writ Sanguinatus Mori

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Mantis Warriors

Sigil of Prophecy

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Marines Errant

Order of the Sundering Star

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Minotaurs

Bloody Mantle

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Red Hand

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Novamarines

Order of Guilliman The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Raptors

Tenebrae Astra

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Raven Guard

Corvia

As a form of meditation or spirit quest, during their initiation all Raven Guard neophytes are tasked with hunting the tiny ravens native to the forests of Kiavahr. It takes solar months of training and practice for recruits to sneak up on the small and alert birds, grabbing them in their bare hands and snapping their necks.

The skulls of these birds are then worn as small totems hanging from a Battle-Brother's belt on small chains. These totems are known as Corvia in High Gothic and represent a warrior's honour.

Should a Battle-Brother fall, one of his surviving comrades will recover his Corvia and proudly carry it, and thus the fallen warrior's honour, into battle until he can return it to Kiavahr and bury the small skulls in the soil of their Chapter's homeworld.

Salamanders

Salamander's Mantle

The earliest Imperial records speak of durable cloaks crafted from the skins of the lava salamanders native to Nocturne. Known as a Salamander's Mantle, these scaled cloaks are worn by heroes of the Salamanders Chapter.

In addition to the status granted by wearing such a mantle, the scales of the Nocturnean salamanders also provide unrivalled protection against fire. Later this technology spread in the form of Adamantine Mantles to many other Space Marine Chapters.

Tenebrae Astra

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Sons of Medusa

Citation of Fortitude

The purpose of this honour for the Sons of Medusa is unknown.

Space Wolves

Belts of Russ

Each Space Wolves Great Company has in its Armoury a single Belt of Russ. These are powerful girdles incorporating 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.

Great Wolf Pelt

Among the wargear of the Space Wolves are wolf pelts from some of the greatest Fenrisian Wolves that have served the Chapter. Some of these pelts are large even for a Space Marine, trailing behind them and hanging over their armour like a tide of fur.

A Battle-Brother wearing such a pelt honours the memory of the wolf by carrying it once more into battle.

Runic Totems

|The Space Wolves have many traditions that are unique to their Chapter, and at the heart of Fenrisian mysticism stand the Rune Priests.

Using their arcane arts they craft rune totems to call upon the powers of Fenris' mythic beasts, and Space Wolves fiercely believe that these talismans can lend the bearer power from the spirit whose name is inscribed upon it.

Wolf Pelt

Fenrisian Wolves are renowned across the galaxy for their viciousness. They are respected creatures, and greatly entwined with Space Wolf beliefs.

Unarmed hunting rituals exist on Fenris to prove a warrior's prowess. Should a Battle-Brother succeed on such a hunt, he typically displays the pelt of the animal thereafter.

Wolf Tooth Necklace

Created from the teeth of Fenrisian Wolves, a Wolf Tooth Necklace is reputed to grant the wearer strength and ferocity in combat like that of the wolf it was taken from.

Whether or not there is any true power in such tokens (like those talismans crafted by the Chapter's Rune Priests), the effects on a Space Wolves Battle-Brother's morale and ferocity cannot be denied.

Star Phantoms

Laurel of Endurance

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Pennant Specularis

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Ultramarines

Aquila

The Aquila is an honour badge proclaiming great wisdom among the Ultramarines. This badge is a miniature representation of the Emperor's own Imperial double-headed eagle.

Cingulum

The Cingulum is a belt formed from several studded straps of leather or a similar strong and flexible material, which serves as a place for the hanging of victorex and other accolades of valour.

Such belts are common decorations amongst the Ultramarines and their Successor Chapters.

The appearance of a Cingulum also varies with the type of small, detailed plates that have been used to stud it and the choices of what terminal decorations hang upon it.

Eternium Ultra

|There are few such revered relics in Ultramar as these. They mark an Ultramarine Battle-Brother of senior rank and esteemed position.

Heraldry Scrolls

Scrolls worked into a Battle-Brother's armour, either as metalwork or a placard are popular in many Chapters, and the Ultramarines are no exception.

This crest may display a motto or title, but most commonly it bears the Ultramarine's name so that his enemies know who brings their deaths, and tales of his deeds may travel.

Honour Blades

Presented to champions of the Chapter, Honour Blades are a matching Broadsword and Poniard Power Sword set. Wielded together, the blades are perfectly matched and provide the champion with an expert defence and attack.

Honourific Valourum

Awarded in recognition of exceptional bravery during a notable battle.

Laurel of Defiance The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Personal Heraldry

Those of senior-rank, such as captains and commanders that have won innumerable honours and distinctions, are allowed to display their own unique heraldry as a mark of their esteemed position and recognition of years of service to the Chapter.

Principex Maxima

The purpose of this honour is unknown.

Valour Crest

The right to bear a Valour Crest must be earned through acts of near suicidal bravery; the colours of the crest are often representative of the noble house of Ultramar from which many Ultramarines Aspirant are recruitment.

Victorex Alpha

Awarded for exceptional valour among the Ultramarines.

White Scars

Chieftain Trophy Rack

A trophy rack containing the skulls of worthy kills, worn on the backpack as a display of a White Scar's triumphs and prowess in battle. Like the more common back banners used by Astartes commanders, a trophy rack identifies a Battle-Brother as a leader and captain of the Chapter.

Duelling Tulwar

Reputed to have its origins among the mountain tribes of Chogoris, the Duelling Tulwar is a White Scars ritual weapon. Its short, curved blade makes it ideal for quick, short cuts, allowing the wielder greater speed in combat, switching between defensive and offensive stances with a flick of his wrist.

The particular shape and balance of these weapons allows them to be wielded swiftly and deftly, moving from defence to attack at lightning speed. They are carried either in addition to, or in lieu of, a Combat Knife, depending on the individual's preferences.

Guan Dao

A signature weapon of the White Scars, the Guan Dao is a Chogorian glaive, a Power Lance. Considered blessed weapons, each Guan Dao possesses a two-metre long metal shaft with a single-edged, curved blade which is primarily used by White Scars Astartes to extend their reach or to increase angular momentum, and thus striking power, when the weapon is swung.

This makes the Guan Dao ideal for charging from the back of vehicles or striking at foes while beyond the reach of their weapons. When used in close combat on foot, its purpose is more to disarm an opponent and deflect their strikes.

Honour Gift

These are the spoils of a glorious hunt or battle that are given to trusted comrades to make stronger the ties that unit them, a ritual that dates back to the Khan's days when tribes fought as one against their oppressors.

These gifts take many forms, from pelts taken from the great plains-dwelling beasts of Chogoris, to shards of shattered armour taken from enemy vehicles or combatants, to tusks, fangs and claws from beasts or monstrous xenos foes.

Sources

  • Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 44
  • Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 22
  • Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pp. 22-23
  • Insignium Astartes, pp. 64-65
  • Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 71, 79, 91, 99, 107, 116-117
  • Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 68, 70, 75, 84-85, 95, 110-112, 133, 139
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 185
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