- "We've survived the Greenskins' invasion of our world. We've survived the fall of the Arx Tyrannus. We've survived the death of so many of our brothers. The Greenskins before us are not a threat but an opportunity for vengeance. An opportunity for glory. An opportunity to show the universe that the Crimson Fists still live! For the Primarch! For the Emperor! For the Crimson Fists!"
- — Chapter Master Pedro Kantor at the Battle of Traitor's Gorge
Pedro Kantor, Lord Helblade, is the 29th and current Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists Chapter of Space Marines, having served as its master for almost a standard century since 900.M41, and his record of service goes back another 250 Terran years.
He first rose to prominence at the Battle of Melchitt Sound, where, as a Sergeant, he led the crucial boarding action against the Ork Kill Kroozer Da Growla. The Kroozer was disabled in the attack, allowing the Crimson Fists' Strike Cruiser, The Crusader, to break the Ork line of battle and scatter the Greenskin fleet into the detritus-clogged outer system.
Pedro Kantor is a heroic figure of the Imperium of Man who has fought bravely to bring about victory when faced with great tragedy. His presence inspires loyalty and heroism in his troops. Unlike his close friend, Captain Alessio Cortez, Kantor places his duty to the Emperor of Mankind and to the people of the Imperium above his desire for glory or vengeance.
He has a strong sense of honour that sometimes leaves him torn between what is morally right and what is tactically sound. Kantor is faced with the difficult task of bringing his Chapter back to full strength after the costly defence of his Chapter homeworld of Rynn's World and the recent reinforcement of the Chapter with Primaris Space Marines brought by Roboute Guilliman's Indomitus Crusade.
Battle of Rynn's World
In 989.M41, an Ork Warlord known as Snagrod, the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, began a massive Ork WAAAGH!, taking several Imperial colonies of the Loki Sector with minimal resistance. Snagrod boasted that his next conquest would be Rynn's World, a peaceful Agri-world and Chapter planet of the Crimson Fists Space Marines.
The 3rd Company of the Crimson Fists, under Captain Ashor Drakken, was sent to stall the WAAAGH! on the planet of Badlanding and gauge its strength. The size of Snagrod's forces had been significantly underestimated, and only a few Astartes of the 3rd Company escaped to relay this vital intelligence back to Chapter Master Kantor.
Invasion of Rynn's World
Kantor ordered the immediate recall of all Crimson Fists, and set about organizing the defences of Rynn's World to meet the expected Greenskin assault. During the initial invasion of Rynn's World, a great tragedy befell the Crimson Fists. A missile launched by one of the planetary defence installations struck the Crimson Fists' own fortress-monastery. The missile's potent warhead, intended to penetrate Void Shields and heavy voidship armour, instead levelled the monastery killing 600 Crimson Fists and leaving just over a dozen survivors, Kantor among them.
The survivors were ultimately able to travel overland through great peril and link up with a detachment of approximately 400 Crimson Fists, consisting of elements of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Companies, assigned to defend Rynn's World's capital, New Rynn City. The trek took ten solar days through a landscape choked with Orks warbands.
During the daylight hours, Kantor and his men were forced to seek shelter where they could -- lying up against the ruins of a farm one day, hiding out in an abandoned quarry the next. Kantor arrived at New Rynn City wearied to the bone, his armour slick with the blood of slain Orks. Scarcely half of the Crimson Fists who had embarked upon the journey survived to reach the city gates, and not a warrior amongst them was unwounded, yet their resolve never wavered. Taking command of the Imperial forces, Kantor was able to hold off the Orks through an 18-month-long siege until Imperial reinforcements could arrive just before the city fell to a horde of Ork Gargants.
- "We have been wounded sorely. Yet still we stand, with fire in our eyes and valour in our hearts. Let them think us beaten. We shall teach them otherwise."
- — Chapter Master Pedro Kantor following the Invasion of Rynn's World
The Rynn's World Incident resulted in the near-destruction the Crimson Fists Chapter. As a result, Kantor's primary focus is currently on rebuilding the Chapter. Due to their significant losses, the Crimson Fists can only be fielded as infiltration-size squads of Astartes. Snagrod's WAAAGH! has induced a deep hatred of Orks within the Chapter, and it is said that Crimson Fists Astartes will go to any lengths to defeat any Ork forces they encounter.
All of Rynn's World's major cities were destroyed with the exception of New Rynn City, the capital and seat of the world's government, before the planet was brought back under Imperial control years later. Millions of the Agri-world's people had been killed, most likely a majority of the population. it would take decades for the planet to recover its lost infrastructure and agricultural productivity. Many of the worlds of the Loki Sector captured by WAAAGH! Snagrod, including Badlanding, are lost, remaining in Ork hands to this day.
Battle for Traitor's Gorge
One tale of the reclamation of Rynn's World from the Orks of WAAAGH! Snagrod is not so widely told, and known only to the Crimson Fists' Chapter Master Pedro Kantor and his closest Battle-Brothers. The tale begins a half-year after the completion of the reclamation of Rynn's World from WAAAGH! Snagrod. Although the planet was officially designated by the Imperium as secure once more, Orks are always a difficult species to truly eradicate once they have made planetfall. Several Greenskin warbands were known to be lurking in the planet's Jaden Mountains, conducting raids that the surviving weary and war-torn populace of Rynn's World could ill-afford.
As the Crimson Fists' few surviving Techmarines salvaged and repaired what little had survived the WAAAGH!'s assault, Chapter Master Kantor dedicated himself to cleansing the Jaden Mountains of the remaining Orks that lurked within their confines. It was a difficult campaign, for the Orks defended every crag and cavern, and Kantor had neither the men nor the equipment he would have wished for such a task. Nonetheless, the Crimson Fists forged on, slaying Greenskins wherever they could be found. Under such a threat, it was perhaps only a matter of time before the Orks of the Jaden Mountains united. So it was that when Kantor's force came under attack in Traitor's Gorge, they found themselves assailed not only by the warband that they had been hunting, but by every Ork for leagues around in every direction.
Though but two dozen in number, Kantor and his Crimson Fists fought as heroes of legend, taking a grievous toll on an Ork horde that numbered hundreds. With Kantor at the forefront, the Space Marines battled their way clear of the ravine's treacherous confines and sought the high ground. There they planted their feet and fought shoulder to shoulder against the horde, but still the Orks kept coming. With all the Crimson Fists' Thunderhawk gunships lost in battle or under heavy repair, Kantor knew that both evacuation and reinforcement were impossible, and the Orks showed no sign of giving up the battle. Three of Kantor's Battle-Brothers had been slain in the escape from the ravine, and only the Chapter Master remained unwounded. In return, the Crimson Fists made Traitor's Gorge run red with the blood of slain Greenskins, and fought from behind barricades of the bulky Orkish dead, but Kantor knew that the odds were stacked against him.
Without warning, the Greenskin tide began to slacken. Seeking the reason, Kantor's keen eye saw ghostly figures on Widow's Spire to the west and Darkridge to the east, high above and behind the encircling Orks. Graceful were these newcomers, darting from cover to cover and paying no heed to the treacherous footing as their longrifles brought precise death to the Ork horde. Who his fresh allies were, Kantor could not immediately tell, for their forms shimmered as insubstantial as mist in the morning sunlight, but nor did he care. All that mattered was that this intervention gave his Battle-Brothers the chance that they needed to counterattack and turn the battle's tide.
Giving a mighty shout, the Crimson Fists charged over their rampart of dead greenskins and set upon the Orks with new vigour. Caught between the re-doubled rage of the Crimson Fists and fresh attackers on the slopes, the Orks were thrust back. The Greenskins fled down Traitor's Gorge, leaving more than ten score dead and twice as many wounded behind them. As Kantor's men walked amongst the carnage, ending the lives of those Orks too foolhardy or injured to flee, a robed figure detached itself from the shadows clustered on Widow's Spire and strode swiftly to Kantor's side. Coldly contemptuous of any threat posed by the watchful Space Marines, it cut through the Chapter Master's wary greeting:
"The surviving beasts cower in the shadows below, ensnared in a web of our devising. Pursue them into the darkness and a great victory shall be yours."
"And should I choose not to do so?" Kantor asked, for he could not bring himself to place his trust in the elaborately helmed alien, now revealed as a warrior of the Aeldari race, that stood before him.
"Then they will escape and grow ever stronger in the darkness. In fifty years a shadow of their making will arise to envelop this area of space which, unopposed, shall be the doom of your people and mine. Catastrophe will reign, and you shall lament your inaction this day."
"Will you aid us in the gorge as you did here?" Kantor demanded, but the figure shook its head.
"Be not so swift to embrace us as allies. Auspicious fate dictated that we should fight side-by-side this day but, fate is a fickle creature. At our next encounter, it will be my fists that bear the stain of your blood."
And with that, the alien turned and was gone, and the shadows that lurked amongst the scree of Widow's Spire and Darkridge were gone also. Kantor weighed the words and actions he had borne witness to and led his men into Traitor's Gorge.
There in the darkness a great victory was indeed his, forever ending the Ork threat in the Jaden Mountains. Returning to the lowlands, Kantor continued the rebuilding of his Chapter, and in time raised the Crimson Fists out of ruin to once more stand alongside the greatest champions of Mankind. But in all the years of triumph that followed, the robed figure's words would dwell heavily on Kantor until, at the last, they met again...
The Great Rift Opens
History seemed doomed to repeat itself when Rynn's World was struck by daemonic incursions during the Warp Storms that followed the opening of the Great Rift after the 13th Black Crusade. The Daemon Prince Rhaxor and his hellish legions attacked, and the Crimson Fists were once more outnumbered and besieged upon their homeworld. Three times Pedro Kantor led spearheads out to drive back the foe. When the Indomitus Crusade arrived unlooked for, Roboute Guilliman himself gazed upon the piled dead of their foes and commended both the Chapter and their stalwart leader.
In the aftermath of the battles upon Rynn's World, Pedro Kantor had much to do. The daemons had brought ruin to much of the planet. The Chapter, so painstakingly rebuilt, was once more decimated, and with Primaris Space Marines reinforcements provided by Archmagos Belisarius Cawl, there were entire new companies of Crimson Fists that had never known Rynn's World or the Chapter's rituals. As in awe of the Ultramarines Primarch as Kantor was, the Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists was simply too overstretched to do more than thank the Lord Commander of the Imperium for his timely arrival. Pressed for time, Guilliman spent but three solar days on Rynn's World as his crusade refitted itself.
Before he left, Guilliman summoned Pedro Kantor. Arriving late and still in the same uncleansed battle garb, the Crimson Fists Chapter Master felt trepidation as he stood before the Primarch. Guilliman, who did not miss much, instantly read Kantor's discomfort. For the first time in solar months the Primarch laughed -- not in spite, but mirth.
"Be at ease, Chapter Master," he said. "I have not summoned you for censure, but to speak earnestly. Rogal Dorn thought there was no higher purpose to the existence of the Astartes than the unification of Mankind. I see that in you also. And his determination. We -- I -- need men who fight bravely even when faced with great tragedy. I have seen with my own eyes in recent days how you inspire intense loyalty in those around you. And I see you hold duty above glory or vengeance. My brother would be proud. Reassemble your Chapter, Pedro Kantor, and look now to the future rather than the past -- the Loki Sector, and the Imperium entire, has need of you."
This speech inspired Kantor beyond the ability of words to describe. The thought that his genesire would have approved his choices stilled many questions that had long churned in his mind, and he set about the restoration of the Crimson Fists with a will. Yet the galaxy does not stand still; the war for the survival of Humanity raged on, and with the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum the Imperium's battlefields had redoubled and its plight become more desperate than ever before. Even as he worked to build his Chapter's numbers back to full strength, and to integrate the Primaris Space Marines into the Crimson Fists' ranks, Kantor ordered other plans set in motion, some of which he had discussed with Guilliman on the day of the Primarch's departure.
The turbulent years of destruction and the long, slow fight to rebuild had left the Crimson Fists with a greater than normal strength of Veteran warriors, whose expertise was now desperately needed amongst beset neighbouring star systems. Kantor therefore authorised the deployment of Veteran Kill-teams to nearby war zones.
Their duty was either to escort Techmarines and Apothecaries while they aided local Imperial forces, or else to strike carefully aimed blows to destabilise enemy forces, remove tyrannical war leaders from power and the like. For the first time in many decades the Crimson Fists were able to despatch a substantial number of veteran xenoshunters to join the ranks of the Deathwatch, sharing their invaluable Ork-hunting expertise with their fellow Space Marine Chapters.
Kantor also wasted no time in despatching strike forces to worlds that seemed in the greatest need of aid. Provided with such a sudden replenishment of martial strength after so many years of hand-to-mouth survival, some Chapters might have charged recklessly into every battle they could find, feeling the need to prove their worth anew or exorcise a long-felt desire for vengeance. Not so the Crimson Fists. Pedro Kantor's deployment of his warriors was measured, carefully planned and meticulously orchestrated. Crimson Fists strike forces arrived upon Vigilus, plunged into war zone Ryza and initiated hammerblow offensives upon half a dozen worlds in the Loki Sector.
Always, they deployed just enough strength to ensure the maximum conquest to casualty ratio; always they struck at the most strategically consequential targets. Always they demonstrated that long years of hardship had taught the Crimson Fists how to husband their strength and fight without ego or undue optimism. They must get the absolute most out of every shot fired, every blow struck, every warrior deployed before falling back the moment victory threatened to become pyrrhic.
With each victory, the Crimson Fists removed another Greenskin infestation, another demonically possessed rogue governor or alien despot from power and strengthened the Imperium's hold upon the Loki Sector. Such was Guilliman's command to Pedro Kantor, the last words he had spoken to him before boarding his transport and continuing about his long crusade:
"Make of this sector a fortress, untouched by alien hand, untainted by the touch of the Ruinous Powers. Create a stronghold of Imperial space that, in direst need, can become the lynchpin of the entire segmentum. Lay low the works of the tyrant and the despot, Pedro Kantor, and in their place raise fortifications of adamantine and ceramite so that, in our darkest hour, you might do for the Segmentum Tempestus what you have done for your noble Chapter."
War of Beasts
During the War of Beasts on Vigilus, Pedro Kantor led the forces of the Crimson Fists to the beleaguered Sentinel World. Kantor and his Astartes proved instrumental in the defence of the Hyperia-Dirkden Fortwall from the Orks of the SPEEDWAAAGH!
- Artificer Armour
- Dorn's Arrow (Storm Bolter) - Pedro Kantor is known to carry Dorn's Arrow, an ancient and revered relic Storm Bolter attached to his gauntlet that has a high rate of fire, even for a Storm Bolter. It is also able to penetrate thick armour plate.
- Iron Halo - Pedro Kantor also carries his Iron Halo as a protective shield against attacks. This proved very effective against the Orks during the Battle of Rynn's World.
- Power Fist - A Power Fist (also known as a "Power Glove") is essentially an over-sized, armoured gauntlet that generates an energy field around it that disrupts any solid matter it touches. It is a favoured close combat weapon for the warriors of the Imperium of Man, as well as the Forces of Chaos (particularly the Chaos Space Marines). It is an iconic weapon of the Loyalist Space Marines. It is large and slow in combat, and so the bearer must be willing to risk the blows of his enemy before he can strike back. The benefits of the Power Fist are that it increases the user's strength, much as Power Armour does due to the power provided by the mechanical servos that allow the Power Fist to move as its user desires. The disadvantages of its unwieldy nature are often well worth the limitations, however, as the combination of the disruptive power field and sheer physical strength afforded by a Power Fist allows a Space Marine to pulverize and tear apart armour plate from the most well-protected of vehicles, and to wound and kill even colossal monstrous creatures in close combat; its brutal effects against more mundane foes goes without saying. It is most commonly found fitted to Space Marine Tactical Dreadnought Armour.
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 105, 135
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 48-49, 115, 154, 163
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 29, 46-48, 90
- Imperial Nihilus - Vigilus Defiant (8th Edition), pg. 84
- White Dwarf 29 (January 2019), "Index Astartes - Crimson Fists", pp. 102-111
- White Dwarf 288, "Index Astartes: Crimson Fists"
- White Dwarf 275 (US), "Codium Imperialis: The First War for Armageddon"
- White Dwarf 235, "Bloodied Fist: The Rynn's World Incident Background," by Andy Chambers, pp. 57-62
- White Dwarf 94, "Skirmish on Rynn's World," by Andy Chambers, pp. 56-61
- Crimson Tears (Soul Drinkers Novel Series) by Ben Counter
- Rynn's World (Novel) by Steve Parker
- Traitor's Gorge (Novella) by Mike Lee