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That their Primarch had been the second recovered was a matter both of rejoicing and some pride within the ranks of the Legion, and that their new lord was of barbaric mien was perhaps of less consternation to them given many of the individual Astartes' origins than it otherwise might have. During the bitterest chill of winter. The great contest of souls between Chaos and Order has come to a crux point at the close of the 41st Millennium. This period of the Legion's history often goes unremarked but in it can be seen a series of victories that reveal Russ and his Legion to be far more than the savage semi-beasts some later portrayals make them out as, and confirm Russ as a field general of surpassing skill and noteworthy record. Enforced discipline was common and even executions in the field were not unknown in the VI Legion.
He will always defer to the old ways. He is the oldest of all Space traitors with equal fury. Look for the warrior that. Though fear into those under its gaze. Eventually the Imperium emerged victorious. Ulrik has become ever more It was during the First War for low in a bloody melee. Ulrik fought like a aggressive on the battlefield. Fang-kennings from the Wolf Priest Initiations. When he such a refusal was all but unheard of. Kruger and his men brothers and even earning the unusual accolade of a grim salute from the lord of enemies in the name of the Emperor without a care for his own safety.
Ulrik has been following day Ulrik was renamed the gifted the sacred Wolf Helm of Russ. When it comes to advice — something for which the sage old Wolf Priest is frequently consulted — Ulrik is an unrepentant traditionalist. Kruger himself the selection and training of new recruits. Eaters Berzerkers that had laid Kruger however.
Ulrik the Slayer. Bjorn his own fashion. Despite his duties of possess items of wargear that they favour over all others. With The Wolf Lords rule from the heart of the Though rare. From that moment on. Sven Bloodhowl flew upon are the Wolf Lords. Before his within their souls is the fire of Fenris. When a Wolf Lord dies.
Such oaths will change the fate of the galaxy. Some Wolf Lords. Though he plans his Stormwolf has ever been known for rarely his body is burned at sea or sent into the military actions with tactical expertise and removing his ancient Terminator armour. Lord of the Firehowlers would hew his way and each carries the mark of greatness in Most commonly. They example to his men with his blade. The fury of command. Though he of Thunderwolves.
The weapons of those that are commanders without equal. He will plunge relics. They epitomise Wolf Lord to undertake a mission alone. To be chosen in this way. Ragnar did not rest upon his Wolf Lord, Ragnar exudes confidence, to the fore. As he roamed alone in the laurels. He quickly proved himself a gifted skill and athletic ability from every fibre wilderness, Ragnar was hunted in turn leader of men as well as a talented warrior.
It is said that by one of the much-feared Blackmaned When his Wolf Lord Berek Thunderfist was he is always the first to make planetfall Wolves, as dark and terrible as any night- felled by a champion of the Chaos Gods, it during an invasion and the last to leave Daemon.
Ragnar was later appointed berserk rages is to watch the fury of the his bare hands. Many believe that Ragnar subsequently hauled its carcass accomplishment for one so young. This Wolf, but the Wolf Priests know that he great deed was seen by the Wolf Priests as Ragnar has proved that his greatest skill will have to master his anger first. For a good omen. Ragnar was touched by glory.
As a child he ran with the legendary wolves Freki and Geri once pivotal in gathering the newly returned young warriors twice his age, and even as followed Leman Russ himself.
His audacity and spirit made of his elevation from the ranks of the the wider Fenris System. This near relatively young age, Ragnar Blackmane and after his discovery by the Wolf Priests, unheard of promotion was accomplished may yet go on to become the greatest Wolf the youngster was chosen for ascension. Such a brave favoured status, only to allow his overly lesser man.
Highly competitive, sporadic acts of barbarism and vainglory. Krom loves taking part in all kinds of In battle Krom howls with fury, and no few contests with his fellow Wolf Lords, be it Notoriously violent and short of temper, foes have fled when the Wolf Lord turns eating, drinking, duelling, hunting or the Krom has earned rebuke from the Great his rage-filled eye upon them. With loping Trial of the Bladed Eye.
After Lukas the Wolf on multiple occasions. Despite censure, ground-up talons of the mightiest beast it down, so Krom declared it a draw. As with Krom has proven himself as a dynamic has slain, in this case the great ice wyrm all Space Wolves, Krom prefers to prove commander who can lead his Great Witherwing. This act is believed to keep a himself in battle above all. However, Krom is also loyal over countless years of war.
There is an undeniable pattern. On a field piled high with at his feet. His voted Wolf Lord amid the cheers and howls feral warrior Canis Wolfborn and gain his Great Company, the Deathwolves, is host of his kin. As the tale goes, in that moment submission, so that years later after going to huge packs of beasts, from Fenrisian Harald looked up to the dim Rygar sun, through the transformance rituals, he Wolves to hulking Thunderwolves.
Once a the largest Thunderwolf of his kind. Leif put the void of space. Shrouded from incoming fire by the Mantle of the Troll King, Harald the battlefields of Rygar, slain by a lucky his chambers in the Fang are given over hurtles towards his prey, his ornate frost blow from the Ork Warboss Rokbad to dens and lairs.
Wherever the Wolf Lord axe, Glacius, swiftly beheading all those Necksnapper, it was Harald who rallied goes, loping packs of wolves will follow, who are not first mauled by the teeth and the warriors of his Great Company and led always skulking in his shadow or lying claws of Icetooth.
His steel and courage are beyond home world. Jorek had a fleeting impression of wild eyes. Canis himself dispatches with for in addition to recalling the greatest deeds of their sweeps of his deadly wolf claws. There is something undeniably animalistic in his sure-footed gait. It is well known that Canis enters forebears. His Wolf Guard are told and retold in oral tradition. The resultant duel was far more close-fought than Harald expected it to be.
Canis and his pack reached the gates of the Fang and gave up such a great howling that the Wolf Lord Harald Deathwolf came to investigate.
After several abortive attempts to communicate. The most epic sagas being seemingly hopelessly surrounded by foes. During the bitterest chill of winter. He was about to pounce upon what he believed to be the alpha male of the pack when a long-limbed human slammed into him. More peculiar still. His name is Canis Wolfborn. Canis Wolfborn He prowls the corridors of the Fang.
Since that day Canis has come into his birthright as a true warrior of Fenris. This is a necessity. What the crushing teeth and claws be better remembered down the ages. This is a Fenrisian companions joke that Canis was taken in as a cub because he was custom. Canis grudgingly acceded that he had finally come up against a greater predator than himself and bared his throat to Harald.
Such accounts are told in In battle Canis rides the largest of his kin into battle. Jorek eventually returned to the Fang. Canis was first encountered by Jorek the Giant. Loping in his are estimated to date back to times during Old Night — the wake. Arjac is larger still in his suit of Terminator the Rockfist has yet to gain entry to the famed Ninety-Nine armour. Known to every Great Company. It was a particularly hot year when Rockfist first displayed his true colours. Almost all of them made it.
Although he prefers to stand toe to toe with performed by the Sons of Russ. Since devoted to muscle power than most. Less than two hours later the skies above the Iron Isles above were scarred by the contrails of a hundred Thunderhawk gunships. As the opening stanzas an enemy. Those within the transport bays could see that the entire archipelago was teeming with kraken-things but for one exception — a lone figure surrounded by black-carapaced monsters and the crackling blue arcs of a thunder hammer in full swing.
Originally a blacksmith of the Bear Claw tribe. Some include the entrance to the vaults. Wasting no time on words. Arjac Rockfist was always renowned as a giant of a man possessed of prodigious strength. He knows full well that he will ever be a warrior and not a leader. So it was that when a thousand kraken-spawn boiled out of the seas of Fenris. Arjac smashed his way out of the vaults with his hammer and forced open an escape route for those caught in the path of the alien tide.
Yet for all his acclaim. Arjac Rockfist has more stanzas that he made Rockfist his personal champion on the spot. Arjac has brought low Wraithknights. A towering man. Shield with one hand and wields a massive maul — the Foehammer this saga reputedly lists the greatest feats of brawn ever — in the other. Algae covered the shores of the Iron Isles and around each volcano vegetation grew to surreal proportions. Arjac speaks little.
In battle. Though Arjac keenly misses his Iron Priest brethren and someday hopes to revisit his former life at the furnace. Hengis Blackhand. Later he will journey to Mars. In status they rank even lower than the bionic Cyberwolves created to accompany the Iron Priests in battle. Only once he has fully embraced the mysteries of the Omnissiah will he be allowed to return to Fenris and take his rightful place amongst the Iron Priests.
In mindless service alone they can atone for their shortcomings. Bound to the will of the Iron Priests. Amongst the natives of Fenris. Theirs is a brotherhood older gifted young Fenrisian smith may make a and the machine spirit. By either aiding the Iron Priests in battlefield repairs or as a living weapon. His dexterous hands are covered by bulky iron gloves and his muscles scream with exertion as he transforms the crude metal around him into deadly tools of war.
This is known as the Test of the Iron Gauntlet. Should his work still be of masterful standard. Those with the wit and the Sons of Russ would eventually be smiths will worship the Gods of Iron.
A particularly labours to create the finest of swords within the mouth of the volcano. Without the Iron volcanic islands adrift in the Boiling Sea. Without the Iron Priests. Such unfortunate creatures are taken into the dungeons and transformed into Servitors. It is the Iron Priests that fire dances at their command. Endlessly spiteful. On the Chapter. This typically happens being far in advance of many a Wolf Guard.
Now in the Blackmanes. Lukas has ensured that he alone will have the last laugh. As a final joke. The hide was taken from a chameleonic doppegangrel. Even unarmed Lukas is the dirtiest fighter in the Chapter. It is unlikely. Lukas was set adrift in space. Provided he is free to work his mischief and rack up a with those outside his company. Lukas is content. He no small amount of uncontrollable itching — Stormwolf epitomises the anti-authoritarian streak of his Chapter.
He has faked a series of transmissions that led directly to an Ork civil war. Only a Space Marine could survive such an ordeal. In battle or friendly scrums. Though he would never betray his brothers in times of need.
Universally despised by the Wolf Lords. Bristling with indignation — and rebel and a rogue who delights in sowing anarchy and misrule. Ragnar Blackmane interceded before the old sagas and ancient battle doctrine. This is partly due to his taunts — his rude gestures transcend all languages — but even more so due to his pelt.
His reasons have nothing Though he is undisputedly one of the most cunning individuals in to do with camaraderie. Only once has Lukas been bested — after an abortive attempt to cripple the flagship of Prince Sliscus of the Dark Eldar. Lukas roused the volcanic wrath of Bjorn for he will pull every ruse high and low to get his way. To truly cross his path or cause he or his brothers actual harm is to invite an unusual and painful death.
It is unusual but not unheard of for a member of the Space Lukas has never made it out of the Blood Claws despite his abilities Wolves to switch Great Companies. Lukas does not forget a slight. This fact is completely after campaigns where mixed formations are forced to fight immaterial to Lukas. Lukas Strifeson has become synonymous with the irreverence. Lukas is a with microscopic bloodlice. Fortunately too busy puncturing the egos of the pompous to dwell on musty for the Blood Claw.
Lukas is called Trickster by his many. But what Blood Claws lack in experience for they reason that it is very unlikely they will be attacked by they make up for in confidence and belligerent enthusiasm.
Blood Claw packs are often fielded with enough warriors in their ranks to sustain a few casualties and still prevail. Known as Blood Claws. To prevent such confrontations ending with battle-brothers tearing each other apart. Instead they product of their excitement at having ascended to the ranks of concentrate on fighting foes of flesh and blood.
Hostilities are voiced openly. The berserk charges of the Blood Claws are he will have made a name for himself. The fires of anger are only further stoked by the bestial instincts that Blood Claws are yet to fully master. The intoxicating effect After enduring the physical transformations and psycho. The most hot-headed and aggressive battle-brothers make up these packs. In this way. It is not unusual to see a Blood Claw pack race forward to engage the commanders or champions of the enemy army.
They know that not only do they tread Wolves are never afraid to start a fight. Not for the Sons of Russ battle-brothers. So it is that the Blood Claws are not discouraged from taking up their favoured position at the vanguard of the Great Companies.
A Blood Claw will not savagery and hunger to prove themselves is put to its greatest hesitate to swing onto the tusks of a charging Squiggoth and hack use. The elder Space Wolves that watch over the development of Despite the bellicose cultures from which they are drawn. To the Fenrisian mindset. Much like the Fenrisian Wolves that frequently accompany them on. There is weeks spent bringing the foe to bay. Their former lives as nomads and hunters mean that even the least experienced recruit is an expert at survival.
If no other supplies are available. This can be achieved by the use songs. As such. As such a Swiftclaw pack can last months without resupply. Haken Farstrider. There is little mileage in expecting a pack of young Space Wolves to stay out of the fight. This is not to say that they are without skill or cunning.
Some new recruits are so taken by the straight through the burning walls into the quarry. Then it was drowned Swiftclaws know as well as their commanders of chainswords. Because of their supernaturally acute senses. It is no Seawolves Swiftclaw something intoxicating about the raw speed wonder that the Swiftclaw packs are so ready and power of the Space Marine bike.
This might be to navigate the winding chasms of a death world in the arrow-swift pursuit of a hated traitor. A favourite tactic is first to combat. As with all serious transgressors against the unspoken laws of Russ. One who has caused the death of a senior member of the Space Wolves may be struck down. Skyclaws hold that they can defeat any foe in the known galaxy.
Although transgressions that cost the lives of their fellows are punished severely. These contests inevitably end in some loosed upon the enemy. Let them prove The promotion to Skyclaw is seen as a dubious at breakneck speeds. They soar fearlessly through the skies in great leaps. Ragnar Blackmane on was good enough for their Primarch. Not all the sagas of the Sons of Russ end in glory. Fond Chapter speak ill of their process their surviving packmates will learn a of practical jokes.
Such disapproval just makes the Skyclaws more determined to prove themselves in the eyes of their elders. Our There they are entrusted with a jump pack so as well as drinking and eating competitions Skyclaw battle-brothers are that they might better indulge their desire to that test their enhanced constitutions to the similarly devastating when plunge headlong into battle. With their fangs gnashing. Let the youngsters limit. Fenris has bred into them ferocity and independence.
Armed with an assault bolter in each hand or a pair of plasma exterminators. When the hunt calls for it. The in the side of tank.
Blazing through the atmosphere like meteors. Reverse-thrust dampeners slow the descent in its final moments. Using the great stories are told. Inceptors of the Imperium. Inceptors can also deploy from low-orbiting attack craft. Packs of Inceptors are Warriors. The In addition to the nineteen of speed. If the opening salvoes are enough to wipe out the prey. Those foes unfortunate enough to face an Inceptor without the protection of armour are summarily shredded.
It is the cellular regrowth when the run down those foes who think themselves sole purpose for which they were made Sky Space Marine suffers severe safe on the rear lines. The carnage that Inceptors are able to unleash upon their prey is the stuff of sagas. As the Belisarian Furnace is a fresh blood from many miles away.
Like all Space Primaris battle-brothers — to undertake the as the Magnificat. A small lobe Inceptors have quickly proven themselves Fenris — more so perhaps than any other of the inserted into his brain. Utilising they charge. Servo-regulated boot-plates blunt the impact for the Inceptors themselves. Sinew coils that their foe has already been annihilated. Only but terrifying glimpses of Land Speeders for promotion into the ranks of the Grey when all their brethren are in place will in action as visitations from vengeful Hunters.
The natives view their rare of war do the Wolf Guard consider him that force the enemy to seek cover. As a great howling roar spirits of the storm. Grey chance to retaliate. Within the Space weapons loadout far more formidable Wolves. Over short distances. These The Land Speeder is an arrow-swift strike are all signs that the individual has come craft that swoops and dives through the Usually operating in packs of three.
Due to launchers sow destruction and despair in many of the foe that they have run out of sophisticated repulsor plates on its their wake. One acts as having little but contempt for physically as well as mentally. They make for excellent truly worthy of the name Grey Hunter. Land forward reconnaissance units. It is not uncommon for the ammunition entirely.
It is the Grey Hunters who the trap be sprung. As warrior- and increasingly more experienced in pair of battle-tempered Grey Hunters well barbarians they set great store by the arts of war. The a pilot. Land into his heritage as a strong and mature bitingly cold air.
With overlapping fields of fire they cut down the enemy lines. Colonel Hassar. Though they are as hungry for massed bolter fire.
Just as the foe true warrior. They plunge towards the enemy. The Grey pace. Pack after pack moves It is this capability that has earned the Only when a Blood Claw has emerged forward in turn. His companion. Every Space Marine knows that finely honed cunning is a better weapon Compact and nimble but without than the keenest blade. Intercessors can set up long. It is not uncommon greater range and armour penetration than All Intercessors carry a bolt pistol sidearm for a pack of Intercessors to form an a boltgun.
Intercessors prefer to take Intercessors have been known to partake down their prey at range. Intercessors wield the stalker pattern bolt number of Intercessors in their core line.
Though less effective at close ranges. Armed with these formidable as well as belts of frag and krak grenades to immovable firing line to halt an advancing weapons. When the enemy to fire their explosives at distant enemies. Though Intercessors carry various armaments to battle. Intercessors are extremely reliable and rifle.
This can be used to great battlefield situation quickly and respond has less impressive range. Packs can also be to injured battle-brothers or retrieve the enemy infantry long before they reach equipped with auxiliary grenade launchers gene-seed of the fallen. The inherent aggression of bolt rifle can split the skull of an Ork before much rivalry between these warriors. There is many a hunt. When the first a broad murderous streak. Scout Packs patiently stalk their prey before striking in a storm of blades and bolt fire.
When the time for stealth has lapsed. Packs of targets. Each Land Speeder Storm also incorporates a cerberus launcher and pintle-mounted heavy bolter. But the true weapons of a Wolf Bikers race towards weak and isolated formed by a traditional Space Wolves pack.
Wolf Scout Bikers When such an individual is inducted into Each Wolf Scout is clad in carapace armour can circle an enemy force undetected. Astartes therefore train to ride Scout bikes into snow. Baffled engines and sophisticated sensor arrays make Land Speeder Storms the perfect transport vehicles for Wolf Scouts. These souls they are tasked with hunting. Equipped with baromantic sound dampeners. Some Wolf Scouts are content only when roaming the virgin be equipped with sniper rifles.
Depending on the prey hostile environments. A handful of these skimmers can move multiple Wolf Scout Packs rapidly and quietly from one firefight to another.
Though quiet and reserved in comparison to their battle-brothers. Scout are patience and guile. The reduced weight of this design affords Land Speeder Storms even greater speed and manoeuvrability with only a Scout Packs marginal sacrifice in offensive capability.
He is also issued a variety for the moment to strike. Once in position. Like outside of their own tight-knit packs with death is first revealed — the Wolf Scouts they often fight alongside. As they open fire. When Reivers do attack. Blackmanes Reiver armaments making them more than capable for in battlefield effectiveness. On occasion. Some Reivers make full use of their ability to move undetected by employing grapnel launchers to scale sheer inclines.
Their reputation in a straightforward firefight. After months rearguard troops. Suits of Mk X Phobos armour also contain servo-motors that are engineered to operate silently. Closing upon their prey. The only warriors when the certainty of enemies a sense of inescapable doom. Though Reivers and Wolf Scouts have been on the hunt. Though their place in the tales of the skjalds.
These packs of inveterate warriors pragmatism. They are literally the veil. The rumbling destruction unleashed by these warriors resonates across the battlefield like the coming of a Fenrisian storm.
With and their collective skills are too valuable long and glorious sagas. Having emerged men to function more efficiently than a individuals. When the for the genetic inheritance of the Canis both the material universe and beyond Space Wolves are outnumbered by a living Helix to manifest fully. In numerous pack. These Pack of Russ.
The oldest Long temperament. Long Fangs remain implacably tide of Tyranids. Their once Fangs that redress the balance. Aside from firing are brought low by the raw. The wide blanket of burning sacrifices a modicum of this destructive charge is carefully aimed to smash enemy promethium laid down by flamestorm potential to accommodate an array of formations. If the furious energy aid in the wielding of their paired auto daemonic beasts and hulking xenos horrors the weapon releases should also kill the boltstorm gauntlets.
Only when their approach the Aggressors. Aggressors even thick vehicle plating. The massive vehicle armour alike. The assault plasma incinerator glory. With their bulky Mk X Gravis armour. Blinding When facing the most monstrous of foes. A back-mounted themselves. Aggressors are able to shrug off fire from bolts of plasma tear through infantry and the Hellblaster may call upon this machine all but the heaviest weaponry.
The hammer blow of an Aggressor bolt weapons. Belisarius Cawl. They find endless satisfaction in common of these weapons is the plasma dispatching the enemies of the Imperium. The heavy plasma incinerator is like the warriors who fight in close support generators. Like the Primaris Space Marines the Primaris battle-brothers. Even horrendous beast. The most clangour. Many times the caution of a Wolf Guard rather than his age. Every Wolf Lord legendary brotherhood.
Upon gaining this honour. These weapons specific criteria for elevation to the ranks of enemy warriors alongside their Wolf are both badges of distinction and tools to of the Wolf Guard. Space Wolves seek to write their saga with every deed they perform and every battle they fight, and perhaps more than any other Chapter, their service is an epic in itself. The rites of initiation that a Space Wolf must undergo in order to be accepted as a Neophyte are amongst the most harsh of any Chapter.
Often he must actually fall in combat having slain all of his foes first, a guttering spark of life remaining. His deeds witnessed by a so-called "Chooser of the Slain," the young warrior awakens far from his tribe. But this is only the beginning, for so potent is the gene-stock of Russ that most who receive it are overcome, their bodies ravaged by mutation as they transform into savage beasts called Wulfen.
Those who can contain this animal potency are judged fit to proceed, and after countless more trials may be accepted into the ranks of the Blood Claw Assault Packs. At this stage in his life, a Space Wolf is likely to be a headstrong berserker competing with his peers for the approval of his superiors.
He is also full of the disdain and reckless overconfdence of youth, convinced that his methods are correct and the older warriors are simply stuck in their ways. Only as he matures with experience, faces more foes and suffers the cathartic tragedy of losing beloved Battle-Brothers does he change, and progress to join the Grey Hunter Packs.
Later in life, having faced every foe and seen all there is to be seen, the Space Wolf and his few surviving peers might form a Long Fangs Pack, where their hard-fought experience and wisdom affords them the ability to provide fire support to the rest of the force, and to act as an immovable island in the seething ocean of battle. Throughout his service, the Space Wolf compiles his great saga, not in words, but in deeds. He seeks out the most powerful of enemies and faces the most arduous of tasks.
Every Adeptus Astartes Chapter is a cadre of heroes, and the Space Wolves even more so than most, so to earn a special place in the annals of his Chapter, a Space Wolf must perform truly epic deeds and face such foes as would give even the mightiest of figures pause. As a result of these deeds, each Space Wolf carries within him unparalleled expertise, and wears the scars to prove it. Perhaps more than any other Chapter, the character of a Space Wolves Battle-Brother is defined by his age.
Perhaps the changes wrought within him by the Canis Helix grant him something of the essence of the Primarch, a potent nature the Battle-Brother must struggle to control. Leman Russ was known as a being of wild humours and often contradictory drives. One moment he was jovial, the next sullen. At the conclusion of one battle he might have ordered clemency and mercy, and at another brooked no quarter.
To the Space Wolves, there is no contradiction, for the very world that birthed them is subject to such extremes. Thus, the nature and character of a Space Wolf depends very much upon his stage in life.
The youngest are headstrong and cocksure, seemingly determined to get themselves killed charging headlong into battle.
The Grey Hunters are more mature, knowing the constraints of their abilities but confdent of their skills. The Long Fangs are the oldest and the wisest, affably disapproving of the antics of the youngsters but ever ready with words of advice.
The most skilled in battle and leadership serve as Wolf Guard , the guardians of the Chapter's mightiest heroes.
Whatever his station, a Space Wolf knows that he travels a glorious path, and that thousands of great warriors have trod it before him. Space Wolves Primaris Space Marine Intercessor from the Blackmanes Great Company; the red and black pack markings on the right knee guard indicates assignment to a Battleline unit.
Since the days of the VI Legion's inception on Terra, the Space Wolves have remained a Legion apart from its fellows, its origins shrouded as it garnered a fearsome reputation for its warriors' prowess as a shock-assault force as well as tireless pursuers and a peerless hunter-killer force. Unexpected violence was the Legion's calling card, its campaigns unsubtle, but brutally swift. Like their latter-day namesakes, the wolves of old Terra, its warriors' assaults were calculated exercises in ferocity, aimed to tear and rend until the foe lay in ruins or was driven to its death.
But it was with the restoration to the Legion of its Primarch , Leman Russ , and its settling on the icy Death World of Fenris , one of the most perilous and strange of Mankind's ancient homes, that the VI Legion's nature would find its apotheosis and the Space Wolves would truly be born. Under its master and gene-sire Leman Russ, the Space Wolves Legion would reave a bloody path across the stars of the Great Crusade, but never stray far in truth from the shadow of the Emperor. For, unlike their brother Legions, the Space Wolves were kept under the tight control of the Imperial Court and unleashed at the Emperor's command as often to chastise those who would renege on their oaths of service as to destroy those who resisted the offer of Compliance upon the dark frontier.
This oft-served role as bloody-handed tool of punishment, coupled with the secret purposes to which the Legion had been used and the Space Wolves' rapidly increasing cultural idiosyncrasy, steadily drove a wedge between the VI and the other Space Marine Legions as the standard decades of war ground on.
So it was by the closing years of the Great Crusade and the ascension of the Warmaster Horus that the Space Wolves in many ways stood a Legion isolated and apart. With some of their brethren they maintained ties of comradeship and respect, however distantly, but with others there simmered mutual acrimony and distrust, and others still considered them no more than leashed monsters, set loose only to kill when needed -- something less than human and in truth perhaps even less than Astartes.
Of such opinions or considerations the Space Wolves cared little; they knew well enough that they were not the builders of empire, nor were they the watchers on its walls, nor lock-step soldiers who cared for bright pageantry and meaningless contests for rank and perfection -- they were predators, thus they had been made, and woe betide any who fell into their jaws.
The Space Wolves are one of the greatest of the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes , their name and honours known throughout the galaxy. As one of the original twenty Space Marine Legions , the Space Wolves were founded by the Emperor Himself over ten thousand standard years ago. The Legions were created to take part in the Great Crusade , the Emperor's reconquest of the galaxy that established the Imperium as it is today.
Before the Great Crusade, Terra had endured thousands of years of isolation whilst impenetrable Warp Storms seethed and howled throughout the western part of the galaxy. This dark period of history was known as the Age of Strife.
Even the Emperor was trapped upon Terra by the Warp's tumult, and could do little other than secure Humanity's birth planet and prepare His armies for the reconquest to come. Without the Emperor to guide them through this terrible age, the rest of the human worlds throughout the galaxy were left helpless against the predations of aliens and the dread creatures of the Warp. One by one, they fell into anarchy and despair.
Humanity, it seemed, was doomed. During Terra's isolation at the end of the 30 th Millennium, the Emperor had striven to create twenty superhuman beings. These Primarchs , as he called them, were genetically-engineered creatures, artificial humanoids with astounding abilities. Each was created differently and with his own unique skills, powers, and in some cases, incredible psychic potential.
The Primarchs were made to resemble humanity, but many were mighty in appearance. Yet the Primarch experiment never reached its conclusion. In a disastrous incident, the nascent creatures' incubation pods in the Emperor's gene-laboratories deep beneath the Himalazian Himalayan Mountains were swept up by terrible forces that dwelt within the Warp and scattered across the stars.
Rather than trying to duplicate the long and arduous work through which he had created the Primarchs, the Emperor instead used the raw material developed during the Primarch project to create the Space Marines. After much toil, the Emperor created a number of artificially-cultured organs, each re-engineered from the genomes of the Primarchs.
These organs were designed so that they could be implanted into the body of an ordinary adolescent human. Once implanted, the organs would take root and develop within the host's human tissues, becoming an integrated part of his body.
Many of these organs were designed to interact with natural body tissues as they developed, enhancing muscle growth, stimulating mental processes, and transforming the recipient into a superhuman warrior.
Compared to the Primarchs whose incredible power they had inherited, the Space Marines were but pale shadows, but they still became the mightiest of men and the greatest of the Emperor's warriors.
The Primarch of the Space Wolves had landed upon the icy Death World of Fenris , his incubation pod plummeting down into the flank of a vast mountain. Given the harshness of the Fenrisian climate, it is safe to say that a lesser being would have died almost immediately upon his arrival. Emerging from his smoking capsule, the infant Primarch soon encountered a deadly mother Thunderwolf. He was doomed, yet fate, it seemed, had other ideas. Sensing in the feral youth a kindred spirit, the giant she-wolf did not kill the transhuman child, but instead raised him alongside her cubs as one of her own.
The Imperium's records concerning the Space Wolves' heritage and Russ' origins owe much to the life's work of Gnauril the Elder, a contemporary of the ancient Fenrisian king Thengir. Gnauril's saga, The Ascension of the Wolf-King , tells of one fateful Helwinter, when the feral wolf-child was discovered by a hunting party of Fenrisian tribesmen. In a vicious confrontation, the wolf-mother was slain by their spears and arrows, along with many of her cubs.
The Primarch fought with terrible fury, slaying a dozen warriors with naught but his bare hands to protect his two surviving packmates, Freki and Geri. It was then that fate intervened once more. One of the tribesmen at last recognised the Primarch for what he was -- human, not wolf -- and called for his fellow huntsmen to lower their weapons. The bloodied youth stood his ground, fangs bared, but understood their peaceful gesture and stayed his wrath. Unsure quite what to do, the tribesmen brought the young Primarch and his wolf-kin -- for he would not be parted from them -- before the court of King Thengir of the Russ tribe.
The aging chieftain saw the undeniable potential in the young man and ordered that he be given a place within his household, there to be raised as a true Fenrisian -- as a warrior. Though many were left dumbfounded by the king's decision, time certainly proved Thengir wise. Amongst his own kind for the first time, Leman quickly learned their skills, showing a natural aptitude for the way of the warrior. He learned to speak, and mastered their primitive weapons -- iron axes and swords.
Though he was quick to roar with laughter or bellow tunelessly in song, the Primarch slowly realised that he was more human than wolf, but far superior to both. When Russ handed the Champion of the King's Guard his battle-axes during their third sparring session after disarming him, Thengir admitted to himself that the young man was destined for greatness.
The Primarch soon spoke the Fenrisian dialect of Low Gothic with powerful eloquence, and one evening, King Thengir deemed him worthy to receive a true name. The King named the former wolf-child Leman of the Russ. As the Primarch grew to maturity, he became the greatest of their number by far, leading the tribe's warriors to a thousand victories and more. So did the Wolf-King become a living legend across Fenris. It was only a matter of time before word of his fame reached the ears of one who desperately sought news of His lost sons.
Much of what is known of Leman Russ' early years is born of hearsay and legend as his fame quickly spread throughout the tribes of Fenris. It was said that he was able to turn back whole armies of the King's enemies by himself without a scratch, to tear whole oak trees from the ground and snap them over his back in twain, and to wrestle Fenrisian Mammoths to the ground and roast one whole for his meal that evening. When King Thengir died, there was no question as to who should succeed him as the monarch of the Russ.
Therefore, King Leman of the Russ took the throne. In time, his leadership was recognised by all the tribes of the frigid world, for all sought to benefit from his wisdom and extraordinary skill at arms on a world where the weak did not survive for very long. Thus it came to pass that Russ was hailed as King of all Fenris, the Wolf-King, his judgment considered to be as strong as his sword-arm and his authority indisputable. No man nor beast could best the Wolf-King. No tribe could stand against his armies.
Within Russ' kingdom a truce existed between man and wolf. His court was attended by the fiercest of warlords and the most beautiful of maidens. Tales of his mighty conquests spread like forest fires, and it was not long before the eyes of Terra turned upon his deeds. The legend of the Wolf-King was quickly identified as the work of a missing Primarch, and the Emperor descended to the planet.
And so it was that the great, sky-spanning starships of the Emperor travelled to the center of the sea of stars, settling on the icy world of Fenris scant years after Russ' ascension to the throne he had forged by uniting all the fractious and feral tribes of his world.
Much of the early details of the Founding and intake of the VI Legion remain shrouded under a quite deliberate veil of secrecy woven at the time of their creation, as it is with several of the proto-Legion groupings created in the closing stages of the Unification Wars.
Beyond the usual concealment and security that the Emperor chose to surround the Space Marine project with in order to protect the nascent Legiones Astartes , the VI division, along with that of the XVIII Legion that would later become known as the Salamanders and the XX Legion who would become the Alpha Legion , was formed and established largely in separation from the rest, and it is generally thought created to very specific ends.
There were none save perhaps a handful of the Emperor's closest and earliest confidants surviving from those lost and bloody days who knew the facts regarding this mysterious ' trefoil ' of Legions, as it is sometimes known, and the truth likely died with them. Though in the case of the strains of Astartes that would be known as the Salamanders and the Space Wolves, they varied considerably in gene-forged ability to their peers.
This element of mystery surrounding the trefoil proto-Legions can be seen to establish a distance between the three and their brethren, particularly in regards to their earliest intake of Initiates, around which dark rumours circled. In the case of the intake of the VI Legion, a vast divergence in origin and genotype was clear even to the briefest of observations.
Closer study of the evidence that remains indicates that representatives of some of the most barbarically regressive and hyper-violent cultures and outcast groups of pre-Unification Terra were chosen to found the Legion, though with such diversity that selection appeared to have been taken on an individual-by-individual basis rather than to invoke or capitalise on any single strain of warrior society.
So it was that while certain proto-Legions, such as the X later the Iron Hands and the XV later the Thousand Sons , held strong cultural imprints from Terra's subjected warlord-empires, the nascent VI was almost a blank slate. Instead, what bonded it together was its training in isolation as a coherent military force under the direction of the Strategos of the Emperor's inner circle. What also made the VI singular was the unique nature of its gene-seed, although what separated it from the other proto-Legions was not yet apparent to outsiders.
Evidence further indicates that the VI Legion's passage between stages of expansion was slower than many of its peers, slower perhaps in its first years than any save the XX Legion's, whose strange and obscured origins are the subject of another record. In retrospect this is likely to have been because of the high levels of fatal implant reaction rates among the Legion's candidates, which was to be demonstrated subsequently as a factor of the VI Legion's gene-seed before its later stabilisation with its Primarch's genetic pattern.
Regardless, like the other proto-Legions of the trefoil, the VI was largely held back from full engagement in armed conflict during the closing stages of the Unification Wars and the re-conquest of the Sol System. This not only served to further isolate them from their peers but also denied them the boons of vastly increased recruitment intake gained by those Legions that had participated in the subjugation of Luna and the reward of primacy in the use of its gene-labs.
Perhaps ironically, this segregation also spared them the travails of the gene-seed crisis which almost destroyed the III later the Emperor's Children and caused damage to the V later the White Scars and the IX later the Blood Angels , as well.
It was almost a standard decade after the Great Crusade had broken free of the confines of the Sol System and spread out to distant stars that the VI Legion was to be unleashed openly en masse against an enemy. What occurred in the previous decade remains entirely lost, even to the Space Wolves Legion's own history, but record of that first great battle, the Compliance of "," known to its indigenous human population as Delsvaan, are clear.
Despatched from the shadow of the Principia Imperialis , the great Expeditionary Fleet commanded by the Emperor Himself, the then full strength of the VI Legion, some 3, Astartes, descended upon a world that had already met the overtures of the Imperium with violence.
Delsvaan had weathered the Age of Strife relatively well, maintaining a technologically advanced, highly industrialised society, governed by a militarised plutocracy dedicated to the tangible profits and political control of its many production-combines.
Hubris and arrogance rather than any deviancy or deep-seated malignity was its sin, but its people had defied the Imperium and they would be shown the error of their ways. Left to their own devices as to the planning and execution of the operation -- as was no doubt part of the testing of the Legion, for surely a test this was -- Commander Enoch Rathvin, the VI Legion's first master, executed a multi-vector planetstrike operation aimed directly at Masaanore-Core, the fortified dormitory-city of the most powerful of Delsvaan's combines.
Under cover of near-indiscriminate bombardment of the city's outer areas and infrastructure nexus, dozens of separate landing areas were breached in the ensuing confusion by gunship and Drop Pod strike, with Rathvin landing nearly his entire strength within a single solar hour and holding back no reserve.
Tactical commentaries made by Imperial observers clearly state that what appeared at first sight to resemble the "point of the spear" shock assault tactics already widely practised by the Legions as pioneered by the XVI Legion under Horus -- then the only extant Primarch -- were quickly shown to have developed, or as some detractors had it "devolved," into something else.
Most of the defenders were killed where they stood, trying to mount firing lines to hold the advance, or cut down in their hundreds as attempted counterattacks turned into routs, the panicked militia themselves soon tangling with thousands of fleeing civilians.
Faced with this stampede of terrified humanity, the VI Legion seemed to redouble its attack as if goaded on by the the scent of blood and terror.
They fell on the the people of Masaanore-Core and there was great slaughter. There remains debate in the historical record whether at this time Legion command actually lost control of its units to the ongoing violence, however briefly, but in any case Enoch Rathvin did not quickly rein in his forces, and when he finally accepted the surrender of Masaanore-Core, its streets had been painted crimson with the blood of its inhabitants.
The fate of the city was example enough however for the leaders of the other combines, and quickly they saw the folly of further resistance and so Delsvaan was brought into Compliance.
The cost to one city had been great, but comparably to other Compliance actions, the cost to the world had been minor. The VI Legion's performance, while disquieting to some in the Imperium's hierarchy, more for its apparent ill-discipline than its results, was clearly sufficient for the Emperor's satisfaction to grant it its own sub-fleet to command; Expeditionary Fleet -- still affiliated to the core of the great Armada of the Principia Imperialis but otherwise internally independent with its own tenders, Escort craft and warships.
For the next dozen standard years, the VI Legion continued as an active fleet command of the Great Crusade, its numbers steadily growing to recorded levels of nearly 5, at the Battle of Hyn'tal and then 7, active Astartes at the start of the Relovs Landing campaign.
Given this relatively small size -- Legions such as the Luna Wolves and the Dark Angels of the I Legion numbered thrice and four times that number respectively -- they often served alongside other Legions and large Imperialis Auxilia forces in major campaigns or were entrusted with smaller, often bloody missions to destroy particular knots of enemy resistance in shock assaults.
Over time the VI Legion developed particular expertise also in conducting rapidly moving hunter-killer operations, particularly in city-fighting conditions, or in undertaking more generally punitive actions, such as suppressing rebellions by inflicting short, brutal reprisal actions-tasks for which the VI under Rathvin seemed particularly suited, and indeed missions of which type Rathvin often requested for his Legion. During this period, when many other Legions were adopting liveries and slowly forging their own martial traditions, the VI notably maintained a curiously unadorned appearance, seldom varying its armourials other than to feature an indication of combat role and tactical division.
One notable exception was when it was placed in command of Imperialis Auxilia regiments, the addition of the twin flame-blade insignia of the "Sanghauta" being prominently displayed. This icon, more commonly used by the Discipline Master and Provost Corp of the Imperialis Militant, carried with it a very definite meaning; it displayed clearly the power of life and death every Astartes of the VI had over the lesser troops under his command.
It was a power they were infamously quick to exercise in its extreme, a summary punishment for any merely human forces who they felt lacked militancy or discipline alongside them.
During the earliest years of the Great Crusade, the VI embodied feral ferocity and aggression, but exhibited little of the control they later possessed. As a consequence, the Legion employed a far larger number of Disciplinary troops than almost any other Legion, barring perhaps only the XII Legion. This Disciplinary Corps served to maintain order in the ranks, both during and away from battle, as well as curb any attempts to disregard or circumvent orders.
The Consul-Opsequiari were selected from among the most stable of the Veterans of the VI and granted the power of life and death over their brothers, and were marked by the distinctive emblem of that oft-maligned Order.
The Molorian Revolt stands as a prime example of the need for such detachments. The world, only recently brought to Imperial Compliance , had declared an open rebellion against the Imperium's rule, and the 8th Company of the Legion had been despatched in response.
What began as a surgical strike against the Renegade government's palaces rapidly degenerated into a killing spree as the rebel forces counterattacked. Spreading out across Molar's capital, the Space Marines began to slaughter all they encountered, to the extent that the preservation of the industrial capacity of the world was put at risk. It was only by the brutal efforts of the Discipline Corps that any of the Molorians within the city survived, though that survival was bought at the cost of a number of summary executions.
The VI Legion's reputation amongst the wider forces of the Great Crusade by its second Terran decade was by this point something of a mixed one. They had an unarguable track record of success and had won numerous battle honours, but accusations and stories of unneeded collateral damage and casualties among human civilian populations where they fought were widespread.
It was said, long before the influence of Fenris and its culture on the Legion, that there was something of the bestial to the Legion's warriors, something readily apparent in the first foreshadowings of a mark of what was to become later known as the Canis Helix upon them, though insufficient time had yet passed for this to become so very pronounced.
More than this, some had concerns that the VI were said to be an internally fractious Legion, ruled more by the strength of its officers than obedience to legitimate authority, and violence and factionalism within the ranks was said to be far too common. This was in an age where the Primarchs themselves, save Horus, had not yet been found to stamp their mark upon their Legion, but the likes of the VIII Legion was already gaining a reputation as the Emperor's agents of terror and fear, and the "unwonted savagery" of the VI was often spoken of alongside the future Night Lords in the symposia of the great and the good of the Great Crusade's hierarchy, with some even warning that the Legion should be closely monitored lest it become uncontrollable.
But of all the accusations, perhaps the most cutting was that the VI Legion was never keener to the fight as when an enemy had already broke and fled before it -- when its victims were helpless. With this came an informal and insulting cognomen for the VI Legion of the "Rout"; a collective noun often used for carrion jackals and the mutated pariah dogs of Terra's dry seas that hounded and preyed upon refugee columns and wastelanders -- creatures brave only when their victims were half-dead or exhausted.
Ironically enough, this insult may even have been meant to unfavourably compare the VI to the equally ferocious XII, already become known as the War Hounds , a Legion also renowned for the unbelievable violence of its mettle in battle, but which was at this time held up as an example of honourably controlled fury, its rage directed only at the direst foes and used to overcome the most overmatching odds. This comparison seems now as some macabre joke given the very different paths these Legions were to take and what future history had in store for them -- paths dictated in no small measure by the effect that the finding of their Primarch was to have upon them both.
That change, and truly transformative it would prove to be, was not long in coming for the VI Legion. Unlike the rediscovery of Horus -- the first Primarch returned to the Imperium -- in the case of Leman Russ, and indeed many of those Primarchs whose rediscovery came after, very few definite facts can be obtained, and with Russ, the matter is further shrouded by a fog of carefully and deliberately crafted allegory and myth.
What can be said for certain is that Leman Russ was the second Primarch to make an appearance openly at the Emperor's side, doing so a handful of standard years before the rediscovery of Ferrus Manus on Medusa. Leman Russ had been found upon the Death World of Fenris, a planet itself shrouded in considerable mystery and legend, and like Medusa, known by name to some of the most ancient star charts of the Dark Age of Technology still extant.
As the ancient Fenrisian sagas state, it was the Emperor Himself, disguised in a long, plain robe and cloaked in psychic runes of disguise and confusion who entered the long hall of Russ.
Those few natives that were sharp-eyed and sober, as well as Russ' companion Fenrisian Wolves , shrunk from this new, powerful presence. Russ refused to pay him homage as the Master of Mankind. The Emperor had known well that proud Russ would never bow to His rule without being beaten in a contest. The Emperor was convinced of His own power, and knew that such a challenge would be as nothing to Him.
The strange wanderer approached the gnarled wood of the Wolf Throne and its gargantuan occupant, and stood firm, staring hard at where Russ was presiding over the feast. It was then that the stranger offered His challenge. The nature of the contest was for the Wolf King to decide.
If He won, the stranger asked for nothing but to be allowed to drink at the right hand of Russ during the feast. Russ demanded that should the wanderer fail, He would serve at the king's behest for a year. Grimly, the stranger accepted. Russ challenged the Emperor to a series of tests. The Wolf King did not wish to spoil a good feast; his first challenge was to an eating competition. The stranger ate well indeed, consuming many times more than the stoutest warriors present without pause.
But when He looked up from His plate, Russ had already consumed three entire aurochs. The stranger had lost the first challenge. But the king was enjoying his sport. He realised that the brown-cloaked traveller had the spirit of a Fenrisian. And so he challenged the outlander to a drinking bout. But by the time the wanderer had reached His sixth barrel of strong Fenrisian mead, there was no more to drink.
The Wolf King had drained the entire feast dry. Once again the Emperor had lost. The light of anger appeared in the wanderer's eye. Driven by disappointment in His offspring, the wanderer called Leman Russ a drunkard and a glutton, able to achieve nothing more in life than stuffing his face and bellowing hollow boasts. The Wolf King calmly laid down the consequences of his last challenge, and his court backed away as one.
The court grew silent, daring not even to breathe as Russ drew his great sword from its scabbard and stepped onto the long banqueting table. For the third challenge Russ boasted he could defeat the Emperor in combat. The Emperor threw away His cloak, the hood falling from His face, His true form revealed. He stood far taller than any man present, swathed in light and clad in baroque golden Power Armour. When Leman came back to consciousness within the hour, he admitted defeat and with a bloodied smile and a broken fang, he swore fealty to his true father, the Emperor of Mankind.
Spiriting the great Wolf King away from Fenris, the Emperor began Russ' tutelage in the ways and technology of His star-spanning Imperium. The Primarch's teaching and training went swiftly; it was only a matter of solar weeks before the Emperor judged Russ worthy of leading His armies in the Great Crusade across the galaxy. Leman Russ was introduced to the warriors of the VI Legion of Space Marines who had been created through the implantation of gene-seed organs that had been grown from his own DNA.
And so it came to be that Leman Russ became the father, progenitor and Lord of the newly named Space Wolves Legion of the Legiones Astartes and joined the glorious action of the Great Crusade. He was armed with a thrice-blessed suit of Power Armour and his greatsword was replaced with the legendary Frostblade Mjalnar , whose teeth were torn from the maw of the Great Kraken Gormenjarl and were then used in its forging. Reputably, the blade could cleave the ice mountains of Fenris in half.
With Leman Russ went as many as several hundred Fenrisian warriors who had, despite their age, undergone and survived the implantation and gene-processing required to become Astartes, at least to the greater part. Many had died in the attempt, but far less than might have been expected, and this was for two reasons. The first was the stabilising effect of Leman Russ' own gene-helix pattern over the existing VI Legion gene-seed, which seems to have all but reversed the prior difficulties of candidate survival.
The second was that the Fenrisians themselves proved of extraordinarily resilient stock, a factor attributed to long-term human survival on Fenris in general, and that world's own many mysteries.
These men were to be Leman Russ' first "Varagyr," rendered sometimes as "Varangii" in Imperial records, or more literally " Wolf Guard. These Varagyr were valued by their king for this loyalty over the might of the transhuman Astartes of the VI he was given to command, despite their vaunted strength and savage reputation, for they had not yet proven themselves as warriors or earned his respect. This lesson was the first Leman Russ was to teach the VI and an early sign that under the Wolf King's rule, his Legion would be very different to any other.
Records which remain about the transition of command in the VI Legion indicate that things went generally smoothly, at least at first. That their Primarch had been the second recovered was a matter both of rejoicing and some pride within the ranks of the Legion, and that their new lord was of barbaric mien was perhaps of less consternation to them given many of the individual Astartes' origins than it otherwise might have.
Russ also was charismatic and readily inspired awe among those he had been given to command, and in a Legion which already respected strength over perhaps anything else, here was a warrior whose strength exceeded any of them by a degree as to seem almost absurd in comparison.
Rathvin relinquished command to his Primarch perhaps grudgingly but without open challenge, and if the presence of the Varagyr, who Leman Russ had ordered dispersed partly through the ranks, was cause for some resentment, it was quickly made known that both Russ' rule was not to be questioned, and that the Varagyr were more than willing to offer themselves in single combat to decide any argument over the matter.
Before any acrimony could fester, Leman Russ in his wisdom determined to take his Legion into battle so that he, his kinsmen and his gene-sons would spill blood and face death together and so be forged anew as one.
The target for this first campaign undertaken with his Legion had been carefully selected in council with the Emperor and Horus, and would prove for the VI a true test of its mettle. Their target was a sector of the expanding frontier known as the "Wheel of Fire," to the galactic east of the Segmentum Solar. It was a sprawling wilderness of erratically transiting star systems and burning nebula, wracked by frequent ion and Empyreal tempests and home to at least a score of xenos -occupied worlds, many under the dominion of the Orks , and thereby a source of periodic drifting Space Hulks and marauder attacks into the nascent Imperium.
Human occupation in the region was scant, viable resources few and the cost of pacification projected to be high. Where they prowl,. In an age of war, where the galaxy burns and the Imperium is assailed from every side, the. The Space Wolves are one of the first and. Forged from a race of ferocious warriors raised on the death world of Fenris, the. Space Wolves are deadly adversaries. Ten millennia of war has seen them win victories. This book tells their tale, and within its pages lies the strength to take up their mantle and.