"Xanatar is where it started. We have laboured years among these stars, fighting the Emperor's fight, unheralded and unthanked. Not for us the honours of Terra, the fame of Dorn's favourite sons! These hands that have taken a thousand lives have laid a hundred brothers to rest. All we ask is to keep what we have earned! The worlds of this subsector, in recompense for the war we fought and won here. Is this not what the lowest Imperial Guard regiment is offered – the right of settlement in conquered territory, in recognition of their sacrifice? Thus we claimed Xanatar, the first world in our dominion. Thus we will take what we are owed, nothing more."
- — Sergeant Tek'Shal to Imperial Fists Reclusiarch Belisar, ca. 599.M41
The Venom Thorns are a Renegade Space Marine Chapter of unknown Founding that is a Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists. Nothing much is known about this Chapter, other than at the end of their crusade in the Eastern Fringes the surviving Space Marines of the Venom Thorns settled the world of Xanatar unsanctioned, refusing to give this world back to Imperial Forces.
At an unknown period of time, the Venom Thorns Chapter led a crusade to conquer the worlds of the Eastern Fringe for the Imperium. After the crusade, the Venom Thorns saw fit to settle their first conquered world of Xanatar as their new Chapter homeworld. This action provoked the Imperial military forces, yet the Venom Thorns' actions were answered in a form of a single Imperial Fists' Reclusiarch by the name of Belisar, who came to parley with the surviving Venom Thorns and make them reconsider their settlement of conquered world.
Tek'Shal, a veteran sergeant of the Venom Thorns was the one who received the Reclusiarch. Belisar tried to persuade Tek'Shal to leave the planet temporarily, vowing that the Imperial Fists would make sure that there would be no repercussions. Yet Tek'Shal would not listen, furthermore, he had revealed to Belisar that he and his Chapter were planning to take not only Xanatar as their new homeworld, but the whole sub-sector in the name of all the lost battle-brothers of their Chapter that had fallen while trying to conquer the sub-sector. Tek'Shal made it clear to Belisar that the Venom Thorns would rule the sub-sector just like the Ultramarines ruled over Ultramar.
After an argument, Belisar understood that the Venom Thorns left him no choice. Taking out a single bolter shell from his ammunition pouch, he held it up for Tek'Shal could see it. It was intricately inscribed, and among the scrollwork were the letters "IRIXA," which stood for 'Imperator Rex In Xanatar Aeternam', or 'The Emperor Reigns on Xanatar for All Time'. The bolter round represented a simple truth - lowly as the world of Xanatar was, it was the Emperor's. The bleakest rock was His, and it was the Adeptus Astartes' duty to keep it His. Utilising 100 such rounds specially forged for his grim task, Belisar first killed Tek'Shal and then proceeded to kill the remaining Venom Thorns that were on Xanatar. It is unknown whether the Venom Thorns were utterly wiped out. All that the records reveal is that Belisar had left the planet alive, with one remaining bolter round. A statue of honour was later built to commemorate Belisar aboard the Imperial Fists' mobile fortress-monastery, the Phalanx.
Notable Venom Thorns
- Tek'Shal (Deceased) - Tek'Shal was a Veteran Sergeant of the Venom Thorns. He had fought Belisar during the Imperial Fists tournament known as the Feast of Blades, in which he went on to win. Tek'Shal was the one who spoke with the Imperial Fists Reclusiarch regarding the future of Xanatar and the Venom Thorns. He made it clear to Belisar that the Venom Thorns would not leave Xanatar, moreover, they would also take over the whole sub-sector and rule it as its undisputed masters. Belisar tried to warn Tek'Shal that there would be retaliation, but pride sank too deep in Tek'Shal's heart and he refused to acknowledge the consequences. Only when it was too late to turn back from their course of action did Tek'Shal realise that Belisar would be the one who would bring the retribution upon the Venom Thorns. With a last desperate attempt, Tek'Shal tried to persuade Belisar that he would not kill a fellow Astartes, but all for naught, as it ended bloody for Tek'Shal and the other Space Marines of the Venom Thorns Chapter.
The Venom Thorns' Chapter colours are not listed in current Imperial records.
The Venom Thorns' Chapter Badge is a golden fist gripping a hammer.
- Hammer and Bolter 19, "Irixia" by Ben Counter (Short Story)