"First you turn your back on the Emperor, then you raise arms against the sons of Dorn. Know this; you shall not live out this day to make a third mistake."
- — Captain Abrax, Iron Knights 4th Company
The Iron Knights is a Loyalist Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter. The Iron Knights is a Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists founded some time in the 32nd Millennium. The Iron Knights is a Crusading Chapter in the proud tradition of Rogal Dorn.
The Chapter's homeworld is the world of Brycantia, also called in some accounts Seheris. A portion of this Chapter became a Chaos warband known as the Iron Brethren, which betrayed the Chapter for the glory of Chaos.
The Iron Knights are one of the 12 Space Marine Chapters who are Successors of the Imperial Fists that send a champion to the centennial Feast of Blades, and are the only Chapter that attends to have won the contest on two consecutive occasions.
- War of the Beast (544-546.M32) - The Iron Knights responded to the call by the Imperial Fists for all of its Successor Chapters to move on the Sol System to defend Terra against an assault by the Orks in service to the Warlord known as The Beast. During the conflict, the Iron Knights contributed a portion of their strength to rebuild the shattered strength of the Imperial Fists.
- Tower of Blood (Unknown Date) - Commander Goedendag Morningstar of the Iron Knights sealed a Warp rift located on the Hive World of Minea.
- The Constantinus Iconoclasm (746.M41) - The Sons of Guilliman freed Nova Terra from a Tyranid attack. Afterwards, Squad Constantinus hunted down remnants of the Hive Fleet, finding Genestealer Cults within the noble families of the capital city. The entire ruling class was executed. The outraged population rose up against their Space Marine liberators. His patience gone, Sergeant Constantinus blamed the Imperium for making him a monstrous killer and denounced the Emperor. He swore to lead the populace to a better future, and his conviction was infectious. The old order was thrown down and statues of Constantinus the Liberator were raised in their place. Other servants of the Ruinous Powers soon arrived, drawn by the anarchy and bloodshed. The rebel Astartes Sergeant's megalomania escalated until it plunged the whole sector into open war. The mass rebellion ended only after Imperial forces led by the Iron Knights Chapter were sent to stabilise the area and reconquer the sector. Their campaign lasted 13 standard years and culminated with the death of Constantinus at the hands of the Officio Assassinorum.
- The 102nd Feast of Blades (749.M41) - All twelve competing Chapters were in attendance at the Feast of Blades. The Iron Knights' champion, Hervald Strom, won the competition after narrowly defeating the Imperial Fists' champion, Demitrius Valor, in a ritual duel.
- The Thrassos Disaster (928.M41) - In 928.M41, WAAAGH! Dregdakka ploughed headlong into the Adransa Cluster, causing untold devastation. On the planet of Thrassos a combined force of Space Marines from the Iron Knights and Liberators Chapters attempted to halt the Orks' steamroller advance. A horde of Orks including Dregdakka himself were lured onto a huge refinery platform before Techmarines destroyed all bridges linking the platform to the mainland. Space Marine Kill-teams then deployed across the hulking structure, tasked with slaughtering the trapped Greenskins and assassinating Dregdakka. Yet the Adeptus Astartes had woefully underestimated their foe, the Greenskins digging in and fighting back with unexpected tenacity. Though they killed thousands of Orks, over three hundred Space Marines were slain and their comrades were overwhelmed as yet more Ork vessels poured into the system. His trophy poles rattling with freshly harvested Space Marine helms, Warlord Dregdakka's position was now unassailable. His WAAAGH! completely overrun the Adransa Cluster within the year.
- Nightfire Wars (Unknown Date.M41) - The Nightfire Wars were fought between the Imperium and the T'au Farsight Enclaves. The Iron Knights and Hammers of Dorn saw bitter combat in the campaign.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Chapter was on a self-imposed penitence Crusade for a number of solar decades for the tirn of a group of its Astartes to Chaos when it was called into action during the 13th Black Crusade. The Iron Knights fielded 1 company against the Forces of Chaos in this campaign.
- Defence of Amistel Majoris (999.M41) - The Chapter's elite 1st Company became mired in the defence of Amistel Majoris, bolstering the flagging defences of the Howling Griffons Chapter as they fought a grueling trench war against the unremitting assaults of the Plague Marines of the Death Guard Traitor Legion. The warzone soon became a plague-ridden quagmire, the decomposing bodies of the Plague God's victims forming putrid, sucking swamps through which the defenders were forced to wade in order to bring battle to their foes. A sickly patina of filth soon marred the gleaming blue-grey Power Armour of the Iron Knights, and the company's Chaplains were forced to perform daily rites of purification in order to keep the virulent plague at bay. Recent sermons by these Chaplains have linked the Chapter's continuing presence in the warzone with their eventual redemption, vowing that the world will only fall at the cost of the entire Chapter. By the third week of the Black Crusade, Amistel Majoris was considered sufficiently secure that a portion of its Space Marine defenders could be spared to reinforce the Cadian System, which, in the days following the destruction of Saint Josmane's Hope was in desperate need of reinforcement.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
"We attack without warning, mercy or hesitation. Let the enemies of Mankind know that we will purge every last one of them, and let them shake in fear."
- — Commander Pugilis, Iron Knights Chapter
The Iron Knights is a smaller Chapter of Astartes. It is primarily a Chapter that is used as a full assault force for planetary sieges.
The Iron Knights focusses on siege warfare, launching heavy assaults against well-defended, strongly fortified targets using its large complement of Terminators and heavily-armoured vehicles like Predator and Land Raider main battle tanks.
As a Chapter, the Iron Knights treat war as a sport, taking pride in testing their skills in harsh environments and pitting themselves against the most dangerous flora and fauna a planet has to offer as well as the various enemies of mankind.
Notable Iron Knights
- Chapter Master Malfons - Malfons is a former Chapter Master of the Iron Knights Chapter who was slain during the War of the Beast.
- First Captain Verpall - First Captain of the Iron Knights Chapter during the War of the Beast.
- Captain Cadulon - Cadulon is a name celebrated in the annals of the Iron Knights Space Marines and revered by every Chapter that sends warriors to the ritual Feast of Blades. Known to his brothers and rivals alike as the "Saint of Blades" for his skill at arms, Cadulon rose to the position of Company Champion when his predecessor was killed by a Dark Eldar slaver-queen in battle on the world of Cystan. Over the centuries that followed, Cadulon became renowned for his swordsmanship, wielding an estoc with consummate ease. Three times Cadulon represented his Chapter at the Feast of Blades, the great competition between the Successor Chapters of the Imperial Fists Legion. On his first appearance, he won the contest, besting the chosen champions of eleven other Chapters. On his second, he was narrowly defeated by the Black Templars' representative, but he returned once again and claimed victory a second time, one of only a handful of Space Marines to do so. Eventually, Cadulon was promoted to the rank of Captain and served with distinction for nearly a century in command of the 4th Company until 226.M41, when he crossed blades with a Dark Eldar Archon on the world of Omeros. With his Command Squad and his own Company Champion kept busy by the twisted alien's minions, Cadulon found himself fighting single-handedly against the Archon and a dozen Incubi. Even the Saint of Blades could not hold out against so many skilled foes, and he was incapacitated. The last that any of the Iron Knights saw of Cadulon, he was being carried, still struggling against a dozen captors, into the writhing darkness of a Webway portal. His final fate was being forced to fight Lelith Hesperax, who challenged the Archons to bring her a worthy opponent. The duel against the deadly Succubus lasted for over six hours before Cadulon finally fell, leaving Hesperax victorious with but a single, bloody cut across her midriff.
- Librarian Franosch - Franosch was part of the Iron Knights squad, led by Commander Goedendag Morningstar that conducted the purge of the two-hundred floor hive-tower on Minea. Franosch was instrumental in sensing the daemonic presence at the top of the tower, and tracking the warp-portal.
- Commander Goedendag Morningstar - Commander (Sergeant) Goedendag Morningstar led a squad of Iron Knights into the two-hundred floor hive-tower of Minea. Through his leadership, the Iron Knights were able to secure the human hostages that were kept by the Daemonettes throughout the tower. Goedendag made it to the final floor of the tower, where he had found a warp-portal that had been opened through the mind of a rogue psyker. The psyker's mind was swayed by a Keeper of Secrets that was stuck existing in some halfway state. The Keeper of Secrets attempted to corrupt and seduce Goedendag with the promise of revealing the location of his once brethren, the Chaos warband known as the Iron Brethren, that betrayed his Chapter for the glory of chaos, but Goedendag resisted the temptation, and proceeded with slaying the psyker. Goedendag would then fight a number of ambushing Daemonettes on his own, only to be bolstered by the arrival of his squad that was left behind by him. Goedendag and his squad were then able to plant Melta Bombs near the portal and destroy it, securing the safety of the Hive City.
The Iron Knights are described as having "gleaming, blue-grey armour." The Iron Knights' Power Armour is painted blue gunmetal, including the Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard and shoulder plate trim.
The helm and shoulder plate inserts are painted black. The blue-grey squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) is indicated on both shoulder guards. No company markings are displayed.
The Iron Knights' Chapter badge is a white Cross Crosslet on a black background, displayed on a heraldic shield, or "gardbrace", over the front of the left shoulder guard.
In the Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (5th Edition), the Iron Knights' homeworld is Brycantia, while in the novel Phalanx, it is named as Seheris. The discrepancy has not yet been rectified.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 24
- Codex: Dark Eldar (7th Edition), pg. 109
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition), pg. 82
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 45-47
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 27
- Index Astartes III, "The Eye of the Storm: Space Marine Chapters fighting in the Eye of Terror", pg. 67
- Index Astartes: Company Champions (Digital Edition), pg. 26
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (5th Edition), pg. 132
- White Dwarf 286 (UK), "Index Astartes: The Eye of The Storm", pg. 67
- Phalanx (Novel) by Ben Counter
- The Beast Arises (Novel Series):
- Throneworld (Novel) by Guy Haley, Ch. 5
- Shadow of Ullanor (Novel) by Rob Sanders, Ch. 3
- Tower of Blood (Short Story) by Tony Ballantyne
- Treacheries of the Space Marines (Anthology) edited by Christian Dunn, "Liberator" by Jonathan Green