They are suspected to successors of the Salamanders or another Successor Chapter thereof but records were unclear on exactly which Chapter is their progenitor. This suspicion that the Salamanders Gene-Stock was used led to the Salamanders tutoring and training the Burning Lords as part of the Chapter's conception.
After their conception, they spent the better part of ten years fighting in the Segmentum Ultima under the direction of the Salamanders. During this time, they adopted many of the combat doctrines, attitudes and cultural practices of the Salamanders. It was also during this time that the Burning Lords adopted the dragon as their current iconography, seeing it as a representation of dominance and authority. Their previous iconography is not known.
Following the completion of their tutelage under the Salamanders, they were then sent off to the region which they were supposed to protect within the Segmentum Pacificus, which includes a number of sectors around and including the Sertarian Sector.
They spent much of their early years establishing relationships with various key planets as well as the worlds in which they intended to recruit from. Since a number of sectors and sub-sectors they were created to patrol were decaying to the point where Imperial Rule was breaking down, they quelled a number of rebellions on a number of worlds and thus reestablishing Imperial Rule. Many of these worlds are worlds that the Burning Lords try to visit relatively regularly ensure they do not stray again.
One of the Chapter's most notable conflicts was the suppression of an empire of four worlds within a single system that broke away from the Imperium in an attempt to form their own empire. The conflict took years but was eventually quelled.
In the Year 998.M41, they received distress calls from the Sertarian Sector in relation to The 5th War of Sertarian, though it would be months before they could properly respond to these calls.
Quatarian Rebelion [ 896.M41 -- 899.M41 ]
The Quatarian Rebelion was a war that occurred when a collection of planets that were both technologically advanced (even by the standards of the Imperium) and an empire before they were brought into the fold of the Imperium rose up against the Imperium, declaring themselves an independent empire once again. Given that the Chapter was not close enough for a rapid response, the Imperium completely lost control of the system.
The Burning Lords massed seven Companies on the outskirts of the system and began their assault. Over the next seventeen months, the Chapter fought a protracted war on the two out planets which, along with the interplanetary defense system, served as a gateway to the inner planets. It was during this part of the war that Cander Blorstein - a Librarian of the Burning Lords - suffered from The Dragon's Wrath in an event that was later labelled as the Blorstein Heresy as a result of the events that followed being blamed on Chaos corruption.
Once Blorstein began suffering from The Dragon's Wrath, he turned on his fellow Astartes and the Imperial soldiers fighting with them. With uncontrolled and misdirected Warp Energy flowing from his fingertips during his rage, he killed more than a hundred guardsmen, two dozen support staff and weapons crews, and seventeen Astartes, one of whom was the Captain of 4th Company. Eventually he was brought down by Bolter fire, with his remains burned and then cast into space. To the rest of the Imperium, Blorstein was labelled a heretic who was corrupted by Chaos in order to hide the dangers of The Dragon's Wrath within the Chapter. After this incident, the Chapter began the practice of killing all Librarians who showed symptoms of being afflicted for fear of such events happening again.
Two months after the Blorstein Heresy, the first two worlds had been won back for the Imperium and the interplanetary defenses had been disabled or destroyed. Given that the interior worlds relied relatively heavily on the defenses the outer planets afforded them, the interior planets surrendered within three months of war breaking out on their surfaces.
By the end of the war when Imperial rule had been restored, the Burning Lords has lost the lives of just over a hundred and fifty Astartes including Blorstein and those he had killed. What remained of the Chapter's 9th Company stayed behind to ensure Imperial rule took hold.
Klutter Klan WAAAGH! Conflict [ 934.M41 -- 936.M41 ]
In an unrecorded sector of space, the Burning Lords engaged the Klutter Klan WAAAGH! as it rampaged across parts of the sector. Arriving in time to make sure that the WAAAGH! did not spread too far, the Chapter spread its forces, halted the Orks' advance, and began pushing them back. Given that the Chapter had deployed six Companies and accompanied by auxiliary forces as well as the fact that the WAAAGH! had yet to reach truly dangerous proportions, this was not overly challenging. Some say the deployment of such force was wildly unnecessary and put it down to Ducarias' bullish nature, but Ducarias himself shrugged off such things, believing the redundancy of his deployment strategy guaranteed the WAAAGH! would not reach beyond the sector.
While battling the Warboss Kaztur in 935.M41, Ducarias suffered significant injuries, his life being saved buy a squad of Assault Terminators of the 1st Company. He was escorted from the battlefield while Kaztur excaped, he too suffering significant injuries. The WAAAGH! was destroyed almost a year later after Kaztur was caught fleeing, forced to ground on a nearby planet, and then destroyed from orbit.
The 5th War of Sertarian [ 998.M41 -- Present ]
In 998.M41, the Chapter received distress calls from the Sertarian Sector with regards to the Ork WAAAGH! In 999.M41 they entered the Sertarian Sector, a force of three Battle Companies, the 1st Company and the Chapter Master at the helm taking the fight to the Orks.
The Chapter does not specialised in any particular area or style of warfare, instead focusing on the perfection of the tactics and combat doctrines outlined in the Codex Astartes. It is unclear why the Chapter has chosen to do this, with some arguing as to whether or not it came down to a choice, but the Chapter focuses on perfection regardless of the speculation. It has been noted, however, that the Chapter tends to prefer the use of weapons such as Flamers and Meltaguns, thus lending themselves more to combat at relatively close range.
The training that members of the Burning Lords is not unique when compared to any other relatively codex-complaint Chapter with the obvious deviations being as a result of accounting for the Chapter's specialty. The most notable deviation is the extreme focus on the use of Jump Packs and other high-mobility wargear such as Bikes.
The psykers of the Burning Lords are trained just like they would be in any other codex-compliant Chapter, but once the psyker has achieve the rank of Codicier, they will often receive extra training which allows them to develop abilities specific to Pyromancy.
Due to the close relationship their formed with the Salamanders during their conception as well as the fact that the gene-stock is suspected to have been taken from the Salamanders, the two Chapters share common ideas and attitudes. Chivalry is one of their keenest characteristics, with this particular characteristic guiding the building of relationships with a number of worlds in a number of sectors.
In recent history, they have taken their views on strength and honour - especially in battle - to extremes, with these characteristics boarding on some of the sorts of zealotry typically displayed on the fields of battle by the Black Templars.
In terms of rituals such as those of the Promethean Cult, the Burning Lords are yet to form any of their own and tend to refrain from using those of the Salamanders (seeing no reason to adopt such rituals since they have no inherent significance for them).
Their gene-seed is incredibly stable with no trace of Chaos Taint being detected thus far. The most notable Gene-Seed mutation they have, which is also part of what gives rise to the suspicion of the Salamanders being the progenitors, is that they have a relatively high resistance to various types of radiation. They do not share the dark skin reminiscent of the Salamanders, but Astartes of the Burning Lords have been known to survive relatively briefly in irradiated zones that would otherwise be considered lethal to other Astartes. It has been noted that they are not completely immune to radiation, but rather can withstand more radiation for longer.
It has also been noted that another mutation of the Gene-Seed they possess is the absence of the Belcher's Gland in approximately three percent of all Initiates.
The Dragon's Wrath
In many of the conflicts the Burning Lords have participated in during their later years (with the first appearance being somewhere between 900.M41 and 915.M41), a relatively small percentage of their more novice Astartes have succumbed to what has been labelled as The Dragon's Wrath: a psychotic condition that afflicts them during particularly heated battles. Nobody is sure where this comes from, with no conclusive evidence to show that it has anything to do with their gene-seed (leaving it a completely unexplained phenomenon).
The condition varies in its effects depending on the Astartes in afflicts, but it generally characterises itself with hyper-aggression manifesting as extreme violence. The affliction seems to inexplicably disappear again after the Astartes spends a (variable) amount of time in a comatose state (usually drug induced since the Astartes in not in a frame of mind to voluntarily do so).
Those who experience the affliction several times are often killed in ways that do not draw suspicion, meaning they're sent on suicide missions or simply left of dead. In extreme cases, the afflicted Astartes are killed by there own battle brothers. The first exception to this rule tend to be those who survive long enough to inexplicably become immune to the affliction and thus are spared from the execution (which tends to be roughly fifty years after becoming a fully-fledged initiate). The second exception is any member of the Librarius, who tend to be killed the first time they are afflicted. It's also generally thought that a Librarian could not survive through more than one affliction event without being driven made or corrupted by opportunistic forces of Chaos.
The practice of killing all afflicted Librarians requires an extensive amount of covering up since such action is generally frowned upon. Also, if the truth of these actions were to ever become known to those outside the Chapter, it could lead to a series of events that brings about the Chapter's destruction by the order of the Inquisition.
Story telling passed through the ranks of the mortal soldiers who've witnessed it as well as the civilian population of many worlds have embellished the affliction, claiming such things as the afflicted Astartes were able to breath fire (with all such myths most likely being derived from members of the Librarius succumbing to the affliction).
The 9th Company is an oddity, with the structure more in line with that of a 1st Company with Veterans without Terminator Armour. They often serve as Praetorian Guard of sorts made up of Veteran Astartes rather than serving as a Reserve Company, guarding key personnel, assets, and territories of the Chapter. They essentially act as a fifth Battle Company with a relatively specific purpose.
All of the other Companies in the Burning Lords Chapter follow the typical organisation set out by the Codex Astartes.
Because of The Dragon's Wrath, the Chapter is often cautious about entombing their Astartes in Dreadnoughts and thus tend to have fewer Dreadnoughts in their ranks. It's uncertain whether or not the affliction affects Dreadnoughts since an instance of it occurring has never been recorded combined with having no conclusive evidence that it doesn't affect those entombed within a Dreadnought. However, given that those entombed within Dreadnoughts tend to be veterans of the Chapter, many have come to believe that they have the inexplicable immunity that all other veterans possess. As a result of relatively reduced numbers, the Chapter often holds an even higher level of reverence for those entombed within them compared with other Chapters.
As per the practice of many other fleet-based Chapters, they recruit from a number of different worlds. They prefer to recruit from Death Worlds to the point where this is almost exclusively so simply because, in the limited experience of the Chapter, initiates drawn from such worlds tend to become more skilled Astartes. Beyond this, there is nothing noteworthy about how they go about the recruitment process when compared with other fleet-based Chapters.
Notable Burning Lords Astartes
The first and only Chapter Master of the Burning Lords, Ducarias is a master of military tactics when it comes to close quarters combat, though he tends to deffer to the advice of others in most other areas of combat. He is, however, known to be a bit bullish, trying to press his warriors' advantage in close combat but putting them at severe risk in the process.
During his relatively brief tenure as Chapter Master, Ducarias has suffered extensive injuries to the lower left quarter of his body during an encounter with the Warlord of the Klutter Klan WAAAGH! in 935.M41, meaning that he has a bionic left leg, bionic enhancements implanted into his lower abdomen, and a bionic left hand and forearm.
Cander was a Codicier in the Burning Lords Chapter. Though he was a relative novice of the Chapter and thus at the highest risk of suffering from The Dragon's Wrath, he was not placed under any more supervision since the Chapter had yet to learn how dangerous a psyker who had been afflicted was. He was also noted as being a powerful pyromancer and part of the Chapter's strong tradition of recruiting gifted pyromancers into their ranks.
He became the first Librarian to ever suffer the affliction, but he was not immediately killed. The rest of the Chapter initially believing he could be subdued and put into a drug-induced coma so that he could recover from the affliction. During his brief period of affliction, his battle brothers were unable to subdue him, thus putting him in a situation where he took the lives of seventeen Astartes before he was eventually killed.
As a result of these events, he became the main reason why Librarians who suffer the affliction are always immediately killed during the first time they suffer The Dragon's Wrath. He was also nicknamed as The First Heretic due to the fact that the Chapter blamed his actions on the corruption of Chaos to hide the true nature of the incident and thus avoid the suspicion of the Inquisition.
Notable Chapter Fleet Elements
- Battle Barge Ignatius -- The flagship of the Chapter and a powerful Battle Barge, the Ignatius is a true weapon of war and worthy beacon of any fleet-based Chapter. It is always highly guarded and is home to only the Chapter Master and the veterans of the 1st Company. The remaining quarters are occupied by the ships crew as well as all the auxiliaries that are designated to specifically accompany the Chapter Master and the 1st Company.
- Strike Cruiser Magellus -- Arguably one of the most important elements of the Burning Lords fleet, it acts at the primary guard vessel for the Battle Barge Ignatius as well as a great weapon of war beside the aforementioned vessel.
Much like their suspected progenitors, they are respected and generally known to be chivalrous, but are also feared because of the curse of The Dragon's Wrath (and the embellished stories which surround it). They are also known for commanding a certain level of authority even among fellow Astartes from other Chapters, which is a point they pride themselves on. Their fellow Astartes do not fear them, but instead have a deep suspicion of them (with the exceptions being the Salamanders, the Iron Hands, and the Iron Hands successors).
They have also made themselves known as preatorians of sorts which is as a result of their purpose of defending several sectors combined with their chivalrous nature.
They tend to have very few issues with anyone else within the Imperium, though have been subject to criticism from those who believe that they are too concerned with the well being of the people as opposed to the destruction of the enemies of the Imperium. For the most part, the Burning Lords disregard this criticism, seeing it as small-mindedness.
The Burning Lords have a good relationship with the Inquisition, often working with the Ordo Xenos predominantly against Ork WAAAGH!'s. They also have a solid but limited Deathwatch service record, with Astartes from the Burning Lords regularly serving within its ranks. There is even several permanent members of the Deathwatch which hail from the Burning Lords.
However, the Inquisition has been mildly suspicious of the Chapter since the appearance of The Dragon's Wrath which is yet to be explained. Some members of the Inquisition still maintain that it's connected to a mutation of their Gene-Seed, but there is not concrete evidence to support this. Others were suspicious because of the mutation that saw the disappearance of the Belcher's Gland in three percent of Initiates, but this mutation is considered to be stable and thus not a concern.