"Only when the last xenos has been scoured from the galaxy shall the Imperium know peace."
- — Captain Do'tharri, Iron Lords 4th Company
The Iron Lords are known for their exceptionally stern demeanor and absolute and commendable hatred for all xenos life.
Ever since the 38th Millennium, it has been the duty of the Iron Lords to maintain the blockade of the Grendl Stars, confining the vile alien species known as the Barghesi within that region of space until the Imperium can muster enough resources to exterminate them as a threat to Mankind.
In recent years, the Iron Lords have battled the tendrils of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken as it sweeps through the Grendl Stars, leading the Iron Lords to engage in one desperate battle after another with ever greater swarms of bio-engineered horrors.
Should the Kraken be allowed to assimilate the genetic potential of the Barghesi, the results would be dire indeed for the galaxy.
The Iron Lords have vowed in the name of the Emperor to prevent this at all costs, a vow they will honour with the life of every battle-brother in the Chapter if needs be. But the Iron Lords have suffered greatly in upholding this oath.
- Grendl Stars Campaign (Unknown Date.M38) - The Iron Lords were responsible for driving back the hyper-aggressive xenos known as the Barghesi to their home in the Grendl Stars.
- Judgement of Hellenus (801.M41) - Inquisitor Hector Rex assumed direct control over the entire 279th Assault Armada of the Imperial Navy and ordered the mutant population of Hellenus purged for crimes against genetic purity. At the height of this purge, a combined strike force consisting of Space Marines form the Iron Lords, Skull Bearers and Sons of Guilliman Chapters was gathered together to confront the mutant abominations holding the enemy capital. During this confrontation, the Iron Lords contingent became tainted by the mutants' hideous gene-taint, forcing their fellow Space Marines to purge them as well.
- Cleansing of Eurydice (Unknown Date.M41) - Four squads of the Iron Lords' 3rd Company assaulted the nesting-crypts of a previously unknown xenos species attacking the frontier worlds of the Imperium along the Trailing Marches of the Eurydice Sector. The alien race was exterminated.
- Hive Fleet Kraken (992.M41) - The Iron Lords had so far been successful in preventing the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken from entering the Grendl Stars and thus harvesting the genetic potential of the vicious Barghesi species.
- Defence of Valedor (997.M41) - The Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan overrun the Ecclesiarchy world of Valedor in a matter of hours, slaughtering the entire population of pilgrims and Ministorum adepts, as well as overwhelming a Battle Barge of the Iron Lords Chapter. A small force of battle-sisters from the Order of the Sacred Rose represented the only Humans to bear witness to the event, having barely fought their way clear of the carnage.
- Zeist Campaign (999.M41) - The Iron Lords answered the summons of Marneus Calgar, the Lord Macragge and Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, for a force of Space Marines to throw back the expansion of the T'au Empire in the Eastern Fringe in 999.M41. The Chapter participated in the successfully punitive Zeist Campaign.
- Second Relief of Mordian (Iron Crusade) (Unknown Date.M42) - As Imperial forces withdrew from the Stygius Sector during the Invasion of the Stygius Sector, the Iron Hands refused to retreat and instead gathered on Mordian, itself under siege from Chaos forces. Alongside a mere dozen or so regiments of the Mordian Iron Guard, the Iron Hands sought to reforge themselves and purge the weakness they had displayed earlier in the campaign. During the siege the Iron Hands were joined by allies enraged by the defeatism of the Imperial forces, among them the Brazen Claws, Fire Lords, Silver Skulls, Sons of Medusa, and Iron Lords in what became known as the "Iron Crusade." They arrived on Mordian to find the planet terrorised by a Night Lords warband under the command of Ahrak Deathshriek and his Raptor hordes. Deathshriek planned to use the terror his Heretic Astartes created in the Mordian population to power a Chaos ritual that would plunge the entire world into the Warp. The Iron Hands and their allies struck with customary bluntness, emerging without warning from the Warp and engaging the Traitor fleet in orbit and launching a Drop Pod assault on Mordian's capital. Clan Avernii under [[[Captain|Iron Captain]] Caanok Var led the charge and Deathshriek drove his Chaos Cultists into the Iron Hands' guns. One by one, the remaining Iron Hands Clan Companies joined the battle and Deathshriek was wounded in single combat by Var. Even as the Iron Hands' drop zone came under fresh assault from the Benedictian Guard and the Cult of the Whispered Word, Renegade warlords from across the sector united in their realisation that the Iron Hands could be wholly destroyed. With the Loyalist assault faltering, Deathshriek claimed victory as he led his fleet against the Iron Hands in space, outnumbering their warships three to one. It was at this point that the Iron Hands Successor Chapters arrived. Deathshriek's armada was caught in disarray by the Loyalist reinforcements and crushed. The newly-arrived Loyalist warships rained obliteration below on the Mordian populace. The orbital bombardment seemed indiscriminate, but nothing could have been further from the truth. The tactical doctrine known as "Hammer and the Storm" had been pursued planetside as well as in the trackless void, the Iron Hands' assault calculated to stir the Renegades and Traitors into reckless deeds. What had seemed a faltering Loyalist advance had merely paused while the Iron Hands Techmarines laboured to erect void shields and reinforce the capital city's surviving bunkers. Thus the Iron Hands and those portions of the Mordian populace they deemed worthy of survival endured the orbital firestorm. Their foes, caught in the open and drunk on the prospect of their imminent victory, were not so fortunate. In a little over one solar hour's bombardment, the Chaos hold on Mordian was broken for the second time. Eventually other Imperial reinforcements arrived from Cypra Mundi and the Iron Crusade was able to not only push the Chaos forces off Mordian, but to counterattack Chaos garrisons on nearby worlds. The Iron Hands' governing Iron Council then unleashed a second phase of the campaign, with a plan to scour the surviving worlds of the Mordian System of their Chaos presence and wrest the refineries and orbital shipyards of the neighbouring Kharvos System from Chaos. At present, the campaign is ongoing.
- War for the Aberrus System (Unknown Date.M42) - Captain Nikeras of the Iron Lords' 2nd Company led a strike force composed of elements from the 2nd, 8th and 10th Companies to the Aberrus System alongside forces drawn from the Lamenters, Knights of the Raven and Scythes of the Emperor Chapters. There, the Adeptus Astartes served as crucial reinforcements in defending the system from an assault by a tendril of Hive Fleet Kraken. While the Space Marines helped to stabilise the ongoing conflict and raise Imperial morale, they did not realise that Inquisitor Shalisha Talaris of the Ordo Xenos had learned from her void watchers that a second tendril of the Kraken, twice the size of the first, was about to assault Aberrus. She feared that if the Tyranids could not be defeated, the hive fleet would sweep into the Grendl Stars and claim the genetic material of the hyperviolent Barghesi for themselves, putting the fate of the entire Eastern Fringe at risk.
The Grendl Stars are a constellation of stars located on the far Eastern Fringe of the Milky Way Galaxy in the Imperium Nihilus. The region was once known as the "Wings of Sanguinius" and is sometimes referred to as "the Fourteen". The region is known to harbour the hyper-violent xenos race called the Barghesi.
The Iron Lords have proved instrumental in confining the Barghesi to the Grendl Stars for the last three thousand standard years, and also in preventing the destructive biological potential of the species from being harvested by the Tyranids' Hive Fleet Kraken.
The Barghesi are held within the Iron Lords' "Iron Grip" pending the massing of Imperial forces with strength enough to exterminate the Barghesi forever. No such Imperial Crusade has been forthcoming, and with the birth of the Great Rift, now seems all but impossible.
The Grendl Stars are surrounded by Imperial beacons that warn interstellar travellers to "avoid at all costs," though this has not prevented pirates and fugitives from delving into the Fourteen's depths in search of sanctuary.
Most are dead within solar months, often slain by xenos. The others are identified and destroyed by one of the Iron Lords' fourteen fortresses of the Iron Grip, known as the "Holdfasts," that are responsible for monitoring each star.
Notable Iron Lords
- Captain Nikeras - Nikeras is the captain of the Iron Lords' 2nd Company. He was tasked with commanding the Iron Lords strike force composed of elements from the 2nd, 8th and 10th Companies that participated in the War for the Aberrus System against Hive Fleet Kraken.
- Entropic Field Generator - The Entropic Field Generator is a specialised entropic force field emitter. Since their Founding, the Iron Lords have kept an unflinching watch on the Grendl Stars where the alien Barghesi dwell, and have developed many specialised armaments with which to assist their age-old vigil. The Entropic Field Generator is one such tool, favoured even over the Iron Halo in protection against the Barghesi's vile assaults. The Deathwatch Techmarines and Forgemasters of Watch Fortress Erioch have never uncovered the secrets of its manufacture and its existence is something of a mystery even to the Iron Lords, credited with presenting the device to the stewards of the Watch Fortress several centuries ago. Regardless, the utility of the unique device cannot be denied. Any attack passing through the field generated by the emitter is assaulted by the ravages of decay, causing energy to flicker out, flesh to rot, and projectiles to lose their force.
A black High Gothic numeral is stenciled on the centre of the squad specialty symbol, which indicates squad number.
The colour of the helm stripe indicates which company the individual battle-brother belongs to, as dictated by the Codex Astartes -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 57
- Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition), pp. 24-25, 71
- Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Codex), pg. 56
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 143
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 71, 147
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 29-30, 48
- Codex Supplement: Iron Hands (8th Edition), pp. 32-33
- Deathwatch - Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 127
- Imperial Armour Volume Two (Second Edition) - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 21-23, 200
- Insignium Astartes, pg. 54