The Sons of Medusa is a Loyalist Successor Chapter of Space Marines drawn from the unforgiving Iron Hands Chapter whose existence was ratified by an Imperial edict of the High Lords of Terra in 011.M37. The Sons of Medusa is a Chapter with a history of ruthless efficiency in the merciless persecution of the Imperium of Man's foes.
Like their forebears, the Sons of Medusa are extreme devotees of the Emperor of Mankind and look with disgust upon those who lack their strength of will. They are a distinguished Chapter whose long roll of battle honours can be traced back to the early 37th Millennium.
Like their progenitors, the Sons of Medusa are afflicted by the almost obsessive desire to replace what they perceive as their weak flesh with the strength provided by cybernetic replacements. They also maintain extremely close links with the Adeptus Mechanicus and their belief in the Machine God.
Though they are successors of the First Founding Iron Hands Chapter, the Sons of Medusa are highly unusual among the Adeptus Astartes in that they were not created by way of any conventional means. The Chapter's roots are to be found in the dark days of the Moirae Schism, during which the servants of the Cult Mechanicus were split in two by a doctrine that claimed to be able to read the future in minute fluctuations in the blessed Astronomican.
Furthermore, the future the schismatics read in the wave functions spoke of a coming age in which the Cult Mechanicus and the Ecclesiarchy were merged as one unified creed adhered to by the entire Imperium. Needless to say, neither body would countenance such a thing and internecine war soon split the Adeptus Mechanicus in two.
Ordinarily, the so-called Moirae Schism might have been contained within the ranks of the Adeptus Mechanicus and need not have resulted in bloodshed. It was unfortunate then that the schism occurred during an age when the Imperium as a whole was also split in two -- the so-called Nova Terra Interregnum.
With the Imperium's ruling bodies fighting themselves and one another, the schism was able to spread far and wide, soon penetrating the consciousness of groups with close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus. One such group was the Iron Hands Chapter.
A highly divergent Chapter, the Iron Hands organise themselves into all but autonomous Clan Companies instead of the Codex Astartes-prescribed, centrally organised system. As the doctrines of the Moirae techno-mystics took hold, some Clan Companies embraced them while others rejected them entirely. Soon, the Chapter was riven with discord and an all-out Chapter civil war between the opposed factions seemed inevitable.
It was only by convocation of the Chapter's Great Clan Council that such a destructive end was averted, and it was agreed that those Iron Hands who would not renounce their new beliefs should leave the Chapter, and that neither side would ever take up arms against the other.
Despite their effective banishment, the schismatics still considered themselves Iron Hands and loyal servants of the Imperium. They took to a new existence crusading against the foes of the Imperium and when the Nova Terra Interregnum was ended and the Imperium launched its Great Cull against those deemed to have strayed too far from the Emperor's light, the exiles were at the fore of the campaign.
By this time, their ranks had been swollen by others of the Iron Hands who shared their beliefs, as well as by continuation of the standard gene-seed propagation procedures. By the end of the Great Cull, the exiles numbered several hundred Space Marines, amounting to a nascent Chapter in their own right.
In recognition of the exiles' service during the Great Cull, the High Lords of Terra formally recognised them as a Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, and the title "Sons of Medusa" was bestowed upon them. Thus, the Chapter was never founded as such, marking its origins as virtually unique in the annals of the Adeptus Astartes.
Centuries after its unusual creation, the Sons of Medusa Chapter resembles one modelled on the Codex Astartes. There are differences however, and these are rooted in the Clan Companies of the Iron Hands.
The thousand or so battle-brothers of the Sons of Medusa belong to one of three War Clans, each of which comprises a single Battle Company, a Tactical Company, and a Support Company that includes numerous specialist squads.
Thus, the Chapter broadly adheres to the Codex Astartes while maintaining its own internal chain of command that differs significantly from Roboute Guilliman's vision.
Ever conscious of the controversial roots of their formation, each of the Sons of Medusa's War Clans strives all the harder to prove themselves. They are renowned for the furious aggression with which they prosecute their campaigns.
In particular, the Chapter is notable for the preponderance of armoured transport vehicles it deploys and the thundering armoured spearheads that it drives deep into the enemy lines.
- 1 Chapter History
- 2 Chapter Organisation
- 3 Chapter Combat Doctrine
- 4 Chapter Homeworld
- 5 Chapter Beliefs
- 6 Notable Sons of Medusa
- 7 Chapter Relics
- 8 Chapter Appearance
- 9 Sources
- 10 Gallery
The Sons of Medusa are a highly respected Space Marine Chapter with a long history of defending the Imperium from its foes. It has participated in a host of Imperial Crusades and been responsible for the triumphant defence of Mankind's worlds from the Heretic and the alien.
However, the glories of the Chapter's history mask a darker past for the Sons of Medusa than many would guess at, a secret and turbulent history of heresy and discord.
The origins of the Chapter lie in the turbulent times of the Nova Terra Interregnum which took place during the early 35th Millennium. This was a period in human history of division and civil war in which the Imperium became fractured into a number of different warring factions.
The Adeptus Mechanicus was also affected during this Interregnum by political division and internal warfare brought about by doctrinal differences and competing centres of power.
One of the most discordant of these conflicts was the Moirae Schism, a dogmatic battle between the Martian Orthodoxy of the standard Cult Mechanicus and a far more radical creed based upon the prophetic writings of a triad of tech-mystics from the minor Forge World of Moirae.
The Moirae Schism was one of the most divisive and widespread doctrinal conflicts to afflict the Adeptus Mechanicus since the Horus Heresy. These heretical writings spread like wildfire through the domains of the Mechanicus even after Moirae was reduced to a cinder by the Fabricator-General of Mars' rectification fleet.
The Moirae tech-creed was based on the prophetic wave calculations of the triad of tech-mystics who believed that they had discerned a series of predictive patterns within the micro-fluctuations of the Astronomican's psychic beacon.
These radical teachings included veiled references to the future overthrow of the Priesthood of Mars and the fusion of the Cult Mechanicus and the Ecclesiarchy into a unified ecclesiastical hierarchy for the Imperium.
Such claims were predictably treated as dark sedition by the Mechanicus authorities on Mars and civil war was quickly sparked between the orthodox and radical elements of the Mechanicus.
The disruptive creed of Moirae quickly gained influence within the Mechanicus priesthood, a number of Tech Guard regiments and even some Titan Legions. This caused untold harm, before the doctrines were transmitted further afield to Space Marine Chapters with close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus -- and in this the Iron Hands were no exception.
Championed by the infamous Omnissian mystic, the Iron Father Setol Sollex, a significant percentage of those within the Chapter quickly embraced the Moirae doctrines.
As discord soon followed, the Iron Hands were faced with the prospect of a full civil war within the Chapter. This was only averted by the wise counsel of the Iron Hands' governing Iron Council's intervention to propose a settlement.
Though deemed straightforward and harsh, their solution to avoid mass bloodshed within their ranks was a simple one -- exile from the Iron Hands' homeworld of Medusa for the minority who had embraced the dissident doctrines, and a binding treaty never to raise their hands against their former brothers enacted by both sides.
It is believed that fully a third of the Iron Hands brethren then departed, eventually joined in time by a handful of Space Marines from other Iron Hands Successor Chapters who shared their common beliefs in the Moirae doctrines (although evidence exists that some such as the Red Talons mercilessly destroyed their errant brothers over this matter, rather than suffer the dissidents to live).
These exiles still saw themselves as wholly a part of the Imperium of Man and still full members of the Iron Hands. Therefore they still sought to perform the God-Emperor's given duties and destroy the enemies of the Imperium.
Operating as though still a part of their mother-Chapter, the Iron Hands' exiles continued to increase their numbers and strength, commending their gene-seed to higher Imperial authorities among the Adeptus Mechanicus and conducting their duties.
They continued to use the iconography and signature equipment of the Iron Hands from which they had been outcast (with some minor variations) having further divided themselves into three new Clan Companies to support their steady increase in numbers.
In the early years of the 37th Millennium, matters continued in this vein until the dawning of the Age of Redemption. During this period of the Age of the Imperium the newly resurgent High Lords of Terra re-assembled the disparate strands of anarchy that had ravaged the Emperor's realm and purged what could not be saved.
The Moirae exiles of the Iron Hands, now a separate Chapter in all but name, were weighed and judged, their record examined in minute detail as was their gene-seed for unworthiness, Chaos taint or mutational deviance.
The exiles were found to be loyal and untainted. As a result, by a special edict of the High Lords of Terra, the Sons of Medusa were reorganised and ratified as a Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes within the Emperor's grace in 011.M37, despite protests within the Adeptus Mechanicus and the grave misgivings held by numerous other Space Marine Chapters at this violation of the standard practice for founding a new Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.
Over the following centuries, the Sons of Medusa have earned a reputation for standing against the Emperor's foes, no matter how desperate the odds, winning for themselves the grudging respect, if not the trust, of their fellow Space Marines. Yet their reputation has been long-marred by those that would call the Sons of Medusa battlefield scavengers and carrion crows.
During their lean years in exile, the Chapter developed the habit of seeking out and appropriating weapons and technology from the fallen.
It is said of the Chapter by their detractors that the desire to take wargear from the dead remains an underlying motive of all their actions, and a principal reason they have never shunned combat against those Space Marine Chapters who have turned Renegade or become subject to censure by the High Lords of Terra.
- Great Cull (011.M37) - The first campaign the newly designated Sons of Medusa Chapter undertook after its recognition by the High Lords of Terra was participation in the Great Cull; the systematic destruction of those organisations within Imperial space upon whom the High Lords' judgment at the end of the Nova Terra Interregnum had not been so kind. With unalloyed zeal and implacable determination, the Sons of Medusa seemed to want to prove themselves to their doubters, outshining even their progenitor Chapter in the harsh and unforgiving manner in which they executed their duties. Even after the Great Cull ended, the Chapter continued to have its three Chapter fleets tirelessly prosecute the enemies of the Imperium.
- Bellrath Crusade (182-453.M38) - In the year 182.M38, the mighty Bellrath Crusade was launched to liberate and dominate the area of space designated as the Laanah Rifts in the northwestern fringes of the Segmentum Pacificus from the hands of xenos and Heretics. This crusade, one of the largest of its kind in centuries, was conducted by well over 25,000,000 levied Astra Militarum troops with unknown numbers of pilgrims and hangers-on swept up in its wake. The crusade was further augmented by two Titan Legions, and 8 Space Marine Chapters at various times, with the Sons of Medusa being the most active. The Chapter was heavily engaged during much of the crusade with an unknown xenos species. Within 50 standard years of its inception the crusade began to falter, and it was at this time that the Sons of Medusa would win the greatest victory of the crusade against the twisted alien race the Imperium named the Hellgrammites. The Chapter circumvented the aliens' attack fleets and conducted a perilous counterattack, striking at the heart of their domains in the star system codenamed "Wormgyre." Using the arcane science of their Explorator magos allies from the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Chapter's modified fleet (the spacecraft of the Sons of Medusa made use of modified Warp-Drives that repelled the aetheric fire that shielded Wormgyre), provided them with a measure of defence for a time, and allowed them to catch their complacent enemy unawares. With time running out, the Sons of Medusa gathered the might of the entire Chapter, and plunged headlong into the heart of the Hellgrammite throne-world. The Chapter's attack was as relentless as it was merciless. It was said that the Sons of Medusa killed and killed again, methodically and coldly destroying the vile xenos creatures, firing until they exhausted the promethium in their Flamers and all of their bolter shells were spent. Still they continued the merciless slaughter, with combat blade and chainsword and when even these dulled and failed, with anything they could find to wield or just their bare power armoured fists. The onslaught continued until the alien temple-cities were painted with the foul pale ichor that served the Hellgramites for blood and half their world had been smashed to ruin. Only then did the Sons of Medusa withdraw. Having torn the heart from the enemy, both militarily and spiritually, the Hellgrammites' resistance collapsed. In a handful of Terran years they were no more. Within a standard century, a great swathe of the Laanah Rifts was brought under Imperial dominion, and the Sons of Medusa entered the mythology of the new sector's Human inhabitants, whispered of in the old tales as "the Emerald Death" that fell from the stars to punish the God-Emperor's foes.
- Angevin Crusade (322.M39) - The Sons of Medusa participated in the Angevin Crusade, which led to the conquest of the Calixis Sector for the Imperium, fighting alongside elements from their fellow Astartes Chapters of the Black Templars, the Tigers Argent and the Charnel Guard.
- Badab War (907-912.M41) - In direct response to the Legate Inquisitor's request for Space Marine reinforcements after the Secession of the Badab Sector of the Ultima Segmentum had been declared heretical, the first Sons of Medusa strike cruisers and attack squadrons arrived in the region in 907.M41 to participate in the Badab War. The combined Sons of Medusa force comprised the full strength of the Chapter's Atropos War Clan backed by forces drawn from the Lachesis and Magaera War Clans with a combined estimated strength of between five and six companies as defined by the Codex Astartes, with a fleet of 6 strike cruisers, 2 forge ships, a battle barge and 14 escort and attack vessels of various types. The undisputed master of the Sons of Medusa force was the Iron Thane Vaylund Cal of the Atropos War Clan. Though he deferred to the Magister Millitum of the Badab War, Lord Commander Carab Culln of the Red Scorpions, in strategic deployment and the use of his Chapter, no Astartes from the Sons of Medusa Chapter answered to the orders of any but their own Chapter superiors at the tactical level. Having fought alongside the Sons of Medusa before, Lord Commander Culln wisely deployed their forces where their strengths and tenacity would provide the greatest effect. During the early part of their involvement in the Badab War, the Sons of Medusa were first assigned to scourge the post-atomic wasteland of the world of Cygnax of the Secessionist forces, and later led the assault raids against Decabalus and Eshunna, both outer worlds of the Badab Sector. They later famously conducted the subjugation campaign against the Secessionist world of Galaen. The Chapter's greatest single defeat in the conflict came with the destruction of their strike cruiser Warspite which was lost with all hands in battle with the Executioners Chapter near the Grief System in 911.M41. The aftermath of this battle was to result in the Salamanders and Sons of Medusa nearly coming to blows over the Executioners' withdrawal from the war. The last major engagement the Chapter was involved in was to be the hard-fought assault on the orbital fortress of Sentinel-Sigma in preparation for the Loyalists' final attack on the heart of the Secessionist movement, Badab Primaris. In this brutal boarding action the Chapter fought alongside the feared Exorcists Chapter, eventually emerging victorious and taking command of the city-sized star fortress. The conquest of Sentinel-Sigma shattered the defences of the Badab System's so-called "Ring of Steel" and allowed the final Loyalist assault on Badab Primaris itself to begin.
- Primarch's Gift (Unknown Date.M42) - A Torchbearer task force was a special detachment of the Indomitus Crusade assigned to bring to Firstborn Space Marine Chapters the genetic engineering technology needed to create Primaris Space Marines and the Adeptus Mechanicus Genetors with the expertise to use it. Some of these task forces were assigned to Chapters who, for reasons of doctrine, genetic heritage, or historical circumstance, were expected to resist the bequest of what was called the Primarch's Gift. It was unacceptable, but not unbelievable to the resurrected Roboute Guilliman and his advisors, that the most traditionalist or headstrong Firstborn Chapters might wholly reject the Primaris gene-tech or the intrusive presence of the Adeptus Mechanicus magi who accompanied it. In such cases the task force's complement of Adeptus Custodes was typically larger than average. Their presence left no doubt that this boon came by the grace of the Emperor Himself and that to resist its implementation was to deny the will of the Master of Mankind. Just such Torchbearer forces were dispatched to locate the tripartite fleet elements of the Sons of Medusa. Resistance was predicted from their three War Clans: Lachesis, Mageara, and Atropos. The gene-seed used to fashion their Primaris Marine reinforcements came from that of their parent Chapter, the Iron Hands, and the internecine savagery of the Moirae Schism had left no love lost between them and the Sons of Medusa. In the event, the task force sent to locate the Lachesis War Clan had the easiest duty; by the time they had rushed to aid the Sons of Medusa in their battle against the Orks of the Dravus Cluster and fought alongside them for a full Terran year the martial bonds they forged superseded all other barriers. Those Torchbearers assigned to the Mageara and Atropos fleets, however, faced much greater challenges that went far beyond resistance from the Sons of Medusa themselves.
- War of Beasts (Unknown Date.M42) - In the wake of the Great Rift's birth, the Sons of Medusa deployed 5 companies to the strategic world of Vigilus to defend it from xenos infestation and an assault by the Chaos forces of Abaddon the Despoiler.
- 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.
- Assault on Damhal (Unknown Date.M42) - In the Era Indomitus, the Shrine World of Damhal was overrun by the Hrud, who were drawn to the rich veins of crystallised time given off by the stasis-crypts that stored the world's many Imperial relics. Once the world's plight was learned, several regiments of the Mordian Iron Guard and a strike force from the Sons of Medusa Chapter were deployed to destroy the xenos. Each was rapidly aged and destroyed by the Hrud's natural entropic powers. After their destruction, two Deathwatch Watch Companies from the Keep Extremis Watch Fortress attacked the Hrud next and were led into battle by eight Deathwatch Dreadnoughts. It was these ancients who led the final strike upon the Hrud's warren within Damhal and they endured the xenos' parasitic aura long enough to slaughter their leaders and collapse their tunnels. The victory was costly though, as all of the Dreadnoughts were rendered inoperable by the accumulation of rust and the heroes they held within the sarcophagi were turned to dust by the Hrud's horrific entropic powers.
The Sons of Medusa differ somewhat from the prescriptions of the Codex Astartes in command structure, while remaining true to its tenets at the tactical and squad level. The Chapter follows a unique organisation pattern derived in part from their progenitors, the Iron Hands.
The Chapter is divided into three "War Clans," each of which is further divided into a Battle Company, a Tactical Company, and a Support Company rather than the usual division into 10 companies of 100 Astartes each. The Battle and Tactical Companies conform roughly to their Codex equivalents, while the Support Company comprises a mixture of squads.
The Chapter also does not maintain a dedicated Scout Company as required by the dictates of the Codex. Instead, each of the War Clans maintains a body of Neophytes and Initiates which it considers to be an auxiliary force.
Like all Chapters, the actual strength of the Sons of Medusa can vary greatly based upon current levels of attrition in the ranks and the status of its Scout force. The Scout force in particular can vary in size, as the Chapter is notoriously harsh on its Neophytes, brooking no sign of weakness or failure in them.
For those who do not live up to the harsh standards of the Chapter, those that falter or fail in the judgment of their masters, the fate of a mindless cybernetic Servitor in the Chapter's forges is the best that can be hoped for.
In a pattern similar to their forebears, the Sons of Medusa maintain a non-standard "clan" structure which overlays the more traditional patterns of Space Marine organisation found within the Codex Astartes.
Whereas the Iron Hands are formed of 10 "Clan Companies" associated with their homeworld of Medusa's nomadic city-caravans, the Sons of Medusa maintain 3 "War Clans". These include the Mageara (also spelled "Magera"), the Atropos and the Lachesis -- formed originally around the exiled Iron Hands Avernii Clan -- which were established by the Chapter's founder, Iron Father Setol Sollex, during the Moirae Schism.
The Mageara War Clan consists of the 1st, 4th and 7th Companies.
The Chapter's 2nd, 5th and 8th Companies comprise the Atropos War Clan.
The Lachesis War Clan encompasses the 3rd, 6th and 9th Companies.
The doctrine and hierarchy within these War Clans is largely independent of the others, but all owe fealty to the larger Chapter command structure and the Council of Three and Chamber Ferrum.
Each of the War Clans' insignias and heraldry varies somewhat from the others, with the Mageara utilising the "purest" form of the Chapter's emerald and white heraldry, the Atropos incorporating further elements of sable-black in their heraldry and the Lachesis preferring silver-steel.
Beyond these visible signs of difference between the War Clans, what dogmatic or strategic variance between them exists, as well as the true interplay and seniority of the officers within the Chapter remains utterly impenetrable to outsiders.
Each of the War Clans is commanded by an officer called an "Iron Thane," and each of the three companies within a War Clan is commanded by a Captain, attended in a subordinate role by a dedicated Chaplain as the master of doctrine and discipline.
The Iron Thanes act in concert to control the Chapter as its "Council of Three," as the Chapter has had no single master since the passing of Setol Sollex millennia ago.
The Chapter's Council of Three is further advised by the wisdom of the Ancients, the Chapter's honoured cadre of Venerable Dreadnoughts.
The Chapter's unusually extensive brotherhood of Techmarines is known as the "Chamber Ferrum"; the members of the Chamber Ferrum are greater in both number and authority within the Sons of Medusa than the Techmarine forces found within a standard Codex-compliant Chapter.
The Chamber Ferrum exists outside the structure of the 3 War Clans, and its purpose is to enforce unity, cementing the Chapter together as a whole.
It is the Techmarines of the Chamber Ferrum who maintain supplies of vital war materiel to the Chapter's disparate strike forces.
The Chamber Ferrum further manages the disposition of the Chapter's fleet and holds within it the Chapter's Apothecarion and command of its forges and other facilities.
As befits a scion Chapter of the Iron Hands, the level of technology and weaponry used by the Sons of Medusa is higher than the Imperial average, even among the usually well-equipped Astartes, and their Armoury is particularly extensive and diverse.
The Chapter's Forge Ships are known to be able to salvage, repair and produce a wide variety of Adeptus Astartes wargear.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
Like their forebears among the Iron Hands, the Sons of Medusa have a particular hatred for weakness in any form. This has had a marked effect on their combat doctrine.
Like their former Iron Hands brethren, this hatred is extended to the physical body, seeing weakness even in themselves despite their obviously superior, augmented transhuman physiques.
It is not unknown for an Astartes of this Chapter to further enhance himself through biomechanical and cybernetic means, including the replacement of otherwise healthy limbs and organic bodyparts with bionics.
The Sons of Medusa are ferocious in battle, always advancing forwards in a relentless, automaton-like manner no matter how desperate the odds, throwing themselves violently at the enemy as they are overcome by a bitter, righteous anger at those who would defy the will of the Emperor and the Omnissiah.
In the late 39th Millennium, the Sons of Medusa established a series of fortified asteroid stations in the abandoned mining system of Taelus to serve as a more permanent facility and fortress-monastery for their otherwise fleet-based Chapter, constructing secure Armouries, gene-seed banks and forges deep within the ferrous asteroid masses.
The Taelus System is but a single solar day under Warp from the Dead World of Moirae, which the Chapter still reveres as the home of the ancient tech-mystics who led to their exile from the Iron Hands.
Ironically, the Moiraen precepts held in such regard by the Sons of Medusa bear little resemblance to those so determinedly excised in millennia past, having distorted under the pressure of embellishment and retelling designed to align the visions of Moirae with the wisdom of Ferrus Manus.
Nevertheless, the Sons of Medusa hold their version of the Moirae Creed to be the only truth. It is doubtful that any living Battle-Brother recognises how warped the interpretation has become. And even this flawed version does retain a certain prognostic aspect, if viewed correctly.
This in no way approaches the runic foretelling of the Aeldari, owing more to hyper-logical cogitation of percentages and probabilities filtered through the lens of apocryphal augury. Nonetheless, their remarkable talent for auto-prescience allows the Sons of Medusa to intervene in spectacular fashion -- and far more tellingly than their limited numbers suggest.
What is certain is that many factions of the Adeptus Mechanicus still view them with suspicion and their forebears, the Iron Hands, treat them with cold civility at best.
In their character, the Sons of Medusa owe much to their forebears, being utterly intolerant of physical or mental weaknesses in others and least of all in themselves. This obsession manifests most notably in a distinct preference for high levels of cybernetic replacement among their battle-brothers.
Those who have fought alongside the Chapter remark that they possess a frigid manner and seemingly emotionless responses, taking little pleasure in success.
Unlike many other Astartes, the Sons of Medusa do not crave glory or expect to prove their worthiness to their Chapter. Failure to the Sons of Medusa is intolerable, and slights against the Chapter's honour, perceived or real, are met with deadly force, while defeats are viewed as things to be rectified and avenged. To an Astartes of the Sons of Medusa, doing otherwise would be to show weakness, and weakness is death.
In temperament, the battle-brothers of the Sons of Medusa display the same demeanour as their progenitors. They abhor the weakness of the flesh, and while they encase their bodies in cold steel they are blessed of a hatred of the Emperor's foes far hotter than any furnace.
Given their crusading roots during and immediately following the Nova Terra Interregnum, it is not surprising that the Sons of Medusa display an even keener urge to prosecute the Emperor's foes than their sires.
This combination of wayward prophecy and iron logic makes the Sons of Medusa a fearsome foe. The prophecies of the Creed interlace with the logical teachings of Ferrus Manus in a way that makes the Sons of Medusa seem almost impulsive.
Nothing could be further from the truth -- it is simply that the plan goes far deeper than any not acquainted with the Moirae Creed could possibly identify, let alone predict.
Moreover, that the Sons of Medusa received the gift of Primaris Marine technologies and the corresponding gene-seed from Battle Group Gehenna of Indomitus Crusade Fleet Quartus goes further to validate their creed -- in the eyes of the Chapter's battle-brothers, at least -- than any other single gesture on the Imperium's part since their exile.
Rumours abound that the Primaris battle-brothers born of this gene-seed have exhibited actual, if limited, prophetic abilities, but such whispers remain unsubstantiated.
Notable Sons of Medusa
- Iron Father Setol Sollex - Setol Sollex was an infamous Omnissian mystic, formerly of the Iron Hands Chapter. During the early 35th Millennium a new heretical doctrine began to spread like wildfire within the ranks of the Adeptus Mechanicus, eventually transmitting further afield to the Space Marine Chapters with close ties to the Cult Mechanicus. Known as the Moirae Schism, this heretical doctrine was the most widespread and bitterly contested within the Mechanicus since the Horus Heresy and the birth of the Dark Mechanicum and its Chaos tech-heresy. When these radical teachings reached the Iron Hands, there was a great dissension within the ranks of the Chapter. The tenets of the Moirae Schism were championed by Iron Father Sollex amongst the Chapter's Clan Companies. Internecine conflict was only avoided by the last minute intervention of the Iron Hands Great Clan Council. Their proposed settlement was exile for the minority of those within the Chapter who had embraced the dissident doctrine, and a binding treaty never to raise their hands against their former brothers. Fully a third of the Iron Hands brethren departed, to be joined by a handful of Astartes from other Iron Hands Successor Chapters who shared their divergent beliefs. Led by Iron Father Sollex, despite their exile from their parent Chapter, the Moirae exiles continued to seek out and fight the enemies of the Imperium, believing themselves to be the true Iron Hands.
- Vaylund Cal, Iron Thane of the Atropos War Clan, High Artificer of the Sons of Medusa - The undisputed master of the Atropos War Clan of the Sons of Medusa, Vaylund Cal is an Iron Thane, serving in a dual role as his War Clan's master weaponsmith and war leader. He is considered to be a soullessly cold and emotionless figure, made all the more imposing in his hulking black and emerald Power Armour. A fanatic believer in the teachings of the Moirae Sect of the Cult Mechanicus, Cal is renowned for employing Devastator Squads with extremely high levels of deliberate cybernetic augmetics in his clan's forces. Vaylund Cal's own largely cybernetic body is a testament to his life's work in the service of the Machine God and what little remains of his organic tissue is shot through with bionic and auto-sanguinary systems that increase his strength and endurance beyond even the superhuman levels of the standard Astartes. During the Badab War, the inhuman Vaylund Cal and the Sons of Medusa were treated with suspicion and barely concealed contempt by their fellow Loyalists for their Chapter's widespread deviation from the tenets of the Codex Astartes and because it was believed by many of their fellow Astartes that they had ulterior and dark motives for their part in the war. The Sons of Medusa joined the Loyalist cause in the Badab War in direct response to Legate Inquisitor Jarndyce Frain's call for Space Marine re-enforcements after the Secession of the Astral Claws had been declared heretical. The Sons of Medusa's stated reason for participation in the war was the punishment of the Renegade Astral Claws and the other Secessionist Chapters whom they viewed as having earned retribution for their betrayal of the Emperor's trust. Although Iron Thane Valund Cal deferred to the Magister Militum (supreme commander) of the Loyalist war effort, Lord High Commander Carab Culln of the Red Scorpions, in strategic deployment and the operational tasking of his Chapter, no Sons of Medusa answered to the orders of any but their own Chapter superiors at the tactical level. Culln had fought alongside the Sons of Medusa before during the defeat of WAAAGH! Skullcleava thirty years previously and knew them well, whilst the Red Scorpions also earned the Sons of Medusa's respect as a Chapter and this helped to maintain amicable relations within the Loyalist camp. This prior history allowed Culln and Cal to pursue a smooth working relationship when they might otherwise have been in discord due to their disparate natures, and Culln wisely deployed the Sons of Medusa only where their strengths and tenacity would prove most advantageous to the Loyalist cause. The Sons of Medusa most famously conducted the subjugation campaign against the rebel world of Galen. The last major engagement the Sons of Medusa took part in was the hard-fought assault on the orbital fortress of Sentinel-Sigma in preparation for the final Loyalist attack on Badab Primaris. It was Vaylund Cal at the head of the Atropos Terminators who fought his way to the star fortress' main engine vaults and severed the five-metre-thick plasma couplings to silence the station's guns, allowing the Loyalists free rein to attack the station's surface. The eventual conquest of Sentinel-Sigma shattered the Badab System's vaunted "Ring of Steel" defences and allowed the final assault on Badab Primaris itself to begin.
- Deathwatch Watch Captain Mathias - For two standard centuries, Watch Captain Mathias has served the Deathwatch. From the battlefields of the Orpheus Salient to the dusty halls of long-lost Watch Stations, Mathias has devoted his service to the tenets of the Deathwatch and their guardianship of the Jericho Reach. Mathias came to the Deathwatch for what was to be only a decade-long assignment. Early during his tenure with the Long Watch, Mathias was assigned to guard Inquisitor Ramaeus during a tense encounter with a group of Eldar said to have valuable information about the so-called Dark Pattern -- a series of mysterious events that continue to unfold within the Jericho Reach, presaged in numerous ancient prophecies foretelling of great strife and darkness coming to pass in that area of space. The recently-seconded Battle-Brother found himself fascinated by the enigmatic Inquisitor and her mysterious prophecies and after this encounter he devoted a great deal of time to studying all he could learn about them. The interest that Mathias displayed in researching the Dark Pattern drew the attention of Inquisitor Ramaeus, who approached the Space Marine and asked him to join her in her pursuit of answers. He has since joined a handful of like-minded, inquisitive Deathwatch Space Marines who have been drawn back to the study of nearly-deserted Watch Stations, now known as the Dead Stations, and the ancient traces of knowledge and prophecy they contained. These few members have since dedicated their lives to finally unravelling the enigma of the Jericho Reach. Thanks to their interest in the Dead Stations, their peers refer to them as the "Dead Cabal". After joining the Dead Cabal, Mathias quickly rose through the ranks of the Deathwatch, earning the rank of Watch Captain in only twenty years. He distinguished himself on the field of battle against all manner of xenos throughout the Jericho Reach. As one of the highest-ranking members of the Dead Cabal, Mathias has repeatedly used his influence and position to assist other members in securing artefacts and knowledge that the Inquisition and senior Deathwatch commanders would sooner see suppressed. He values this knowledge above any politics and despite any ill will he has gained, he remains a champion for the work of the Dead Cabal.
- Deathwatch Battle-Brother Theclus - A taciturn Battle-Brother of the Sons of Medusa Chapter, Theclus was known to have been undertaking his second vigil of the Long Watch when chosen to fight alongside Watch Captain Aesalon. His battle honours during his first vigil are etched in the stone of the Hall of Glory on Watch Fortress Erioch and include battles against several xenos species entirely unknown to the Imperium in the 41st Millennium. The deed for which Brother Theclus is most well known is, of course, his survival against the first attack of the Lord of Lightning, a feat that is recorded in numerous tomes and still recounted from the pulpits of the Watch Fortress.
- Reliquary of Spite - The great heroes of the Sons of Medusa are often as much metal as flesh, having taken on the cold purity of the machine. When a renowned Battle-Brother replaces some of his remaining flesh with unflinching steel, the offending body part is encased in adamantium, forever preserved against decay and weakness. These Reliquaries are granted to Sons of Medusa battle-brothers to stoke their hatred of infirmity, and to strengthen their will against the failings of the flesh.
The Sons of Medusa were originally depicted in a dark green colour scheme. In their contemporary colour scheme they are depicted with emerald green power armour, white helms and black trim.
Sons of Medusa Techmarines, all members of the Chapter's Chamber Ferrum, have red shoulder plates and bear the icon of the Chamber Ferrum on their right shoulder plate.
Sons of Medusa display their War Clan affiliation with an icon on their right knee plate. The High Gothic squad number is shown on the left knee plate.
The tactical specialty of each Space Marine -- battleline, close support, fire support, Veteran or command -- is displayed on the right shoulder plate, with a white High Gothic numeral centred within it indicating the Astartes' company within his War Clan.
The Sons of Medusa's Chapter badge was originally Medusa's head, but was later stylised into a skull with an eight-pointed iron halo surrounding it.
Each War Clan displays a different version of the Chapter badge using variations of white and black on the right shoulder plate.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 57
- Codex: Deathwatch (8th Edition), pg. 26
- Codex Supplement: Iron Hands (8th Edition), pp. 29, 32-33
- Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition), pg. 71
- Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Edition), pg. 57
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 72
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 112, 132
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pp. 18-19
- Deathwatch: The Emperor's Chosen (RPG), pg. 39
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pg. 43
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 11, 22, 45, 47, 59 94-103, 181
- Imperium Nihilus: Vigilus Defiant (8th Edition), pg. 79
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (1st Edition), "The Badab War", pp. 33-35
- White Dwarf 101 (US), "Index Astartes: From The Imperial History Archive - The Badab War: The uniforms and history of the Badab Uprising" (1988) by Rick Priestley, pp. 71-73
- White Dwarf 39 (November 2019), "Dawn of the Era Indomitus," pp. 46-51