- "We are as children of the anvil, war forged, battle tempered. With iron in place of flesh, and fire in place of soul, let the Enemies of Man wash over us... for our victory is absolute."
- —Clan Elder Roman Wo'Lek's final rallying cry to his Battle-Brothers in the face of the forces of the Sakhrut Dynasty
A Chapter hailing from the brutal legacy of the Iron Hands, the Children of the Anvil are a Chapter that certainly exudes all that is to be expected of Sons of the Gorgon. Relentless, cold, and above all efficient to a fault, the Children of the Anvil have left world after world a bombed out wasteland in their endless war against the Enemies of Man. Regularly patrolling the northernmost borders of the Exile Sector, the Children of the Anvil's fiercely independent Clan Companies regularly vanish altogether from the Imperium for centuries at a time, always returning however with trophies of war and new worlds for the Imperium to colonize, liberated in fire from the clutches of vile xenos overlords and heathen bands of the Lost and Damned.
Such is their nature then, that precious little is known for certain about the Children of the Anvil and their inner workings as a Chapter. Not for any overt secrecy, but simply due to the fact that they do not suffer the dawdling questions of outsiders with any manner of grace, and their biting words and imposing forms are usually more than enough to deter even the most determined of Imperial scholars. However, there are only a handful that would ever dare to question the loyalty of the Children of the Anvil, for as aloof and unorthodox as they may be, there is little doubt that their cold hatred of the xenos and heretic is far beyond whatever animosity they may feel towards nosy Inquisitors and self-righteous cousins within the Adeptus Astartes.
While the Children of the Anvil are not masters of any social graces or flamboyant skills such as swordplay, they are most certainly unabashed experts at the cold arithmetic of war. The Children of the Anvil specialize in ruthless, brute force assaults utilizing mass amounts of raw firepower and brutal surgical strikes via orbital insertion. The Children's approach has been dubbed by some Imperial commanders who have witnessed it first hand, the "Hammer and the Bigger Hammer" strategy. Regardless, this style of combat, while artless and destructive, has been proven to be overwhelmingly effective and reliable as a means of utterly destroying those who would dare stand against the Imperium.
The Children of the Anvil are of an unknown founding, though they profusely claim to be of the Fifth Founding. Regardless, there is no record of their chapter having even existed before the Age of Apostasy beyond rumors and legend. However, the Chapter itself has provided several instances within their own records in which they have participated in large Crusades and campaigns. Though these records have yet to be corroborated with official Imperial records, some apocryphal reports do line up with the Chapter's own records.
- "A lamentable thing, that even we Astartes must begin as such, so fragile and fallible. But it is the ken of man to rise above what he is given. By the will of the Emperor and divine knowledge of the Omnissiah, we are now far above whatever loathsome and base constructs of flesh we once were."
- —Clan Apothecary Natan Ul'Rets remarking upon the birth of a Chapter Serf
Like their Iron Hands forebears, the Children of the Anvil's Gene-Seed is free of any major deviations from the ideal Asartes form, though minor mutations in size have been reported due to prolonged activity within the confines of derelict starships and in void combat, leading to Children of the Anvil being on average taller and lanker than their fellow Astartes. Other than that, any Space Marine of the Children of the Anvil would be virtually indistinguishable from the equally pure stock of the Ultramarines or Dark Angels. However, the scars of the legacy of the Gorgon are far deeper than those of mere flesh and bone.
Like their cousins who also share the blood of the Gorgon, the Children of the Anvil pathologically replace their organic components with bionics, however their ritual is somewhat altered. As opposed to simply removing the shield arm of every recruit, each Clan Company has their own specific ritual, the bionic replacement usually symbolizing a key aspect of the Clans philosophy.
Of the few Chapters borne of the linage of Ferrus Manus, all are known for a bellicose and bitter nature, a trend which the Children of the Anvil have in no way defied. Prone to cutting sarcasm and cruel, mean spirited jabs at the egos of those around them, including their own Clan-Brothers, the otherwise stoic Children of the Anvil are notoriously difficult for any being, be they Space Marine or lowly Guardsman, to work closely with in any capacity such is their wantonly anti-social manner. Space Marines of the Children of the Anvil have shown great difficulty in the past when it comes to speaking openly, and not lacing their words with backhanded insults and hiding behind lengthy jargon. Children of the Anvil also seem to pride themselves on being extremely spiteful towards those they feel tread on their independence, from showing up to a tactical meeting as late as possible to snubbing the reputation of those who think to suggest battle plans in the presence of the Children's tacticians.
However, behind this almost childish veneer of stubbornness and spite lies an iron core of ruthlessness and efficiency that can be evident in every action. The calculated squeeze of a bolter's trigger, the mechanical death-grip of a choking fist, the spiteful flick of the wrist when hurling a live grenade, these are just a handful of things that show the Children of the Anvil's true tie with the spirit of their Primarch. In battle they are as cold and unrelenting as the very armor they wear and the very vehicles they are borne into war upon, ceaseless in their barrage, heedless in their charge, remorseless in their execution of their flawlessly calculated strategy. The mind of a Space Marine of the Children of the Anvil is one that thinks in ballistic angles and Chainsword torque, not in catechisms and glories of those who have come before.
As disciples of the Omnissiah and descendants of the Iron Hands Legion, the Children of the Anvil are possessed of a considerable arsenal of heavily customized and painstakingly crafted weapons. The Children of the Anvil are also on the constant lookout for technological treasures and long lost constructs, most of which are given over to agents of the Adeptus Mechanicus should the Chapter find little immediate tactical value in such archotech, but several examples of such ancient and terrible artifacts have discretely found their way into the Chapter's most sacred armories.
The Chapter's most prized weapon and holiest relic, Żelazo Król is the name given to the ancient Mastodon Heavy Transport tank that rests within the most heavily guarded vaults of The Black Hand. A relic from the bygone days of the Great Crusade, easily dwarfing even the mighty Land Raider, Żelazo Król is only deployed into battle as the lynchpin of the most brutal sieges and crusades the Children of the Anvil undertake. Since time immemorial, Żelazo Król has passed from Clan to Clan, bearing into battle the Chapter's Ancients and Champions for untold centuries, crushing the alien and heretic under its mighty treads.
Nocnitsa-Pattern Assault Grenade Launcher
An example of long lost archotech restored into a powerful and almost exclusive weapon of the Children of the Anvil, the Nocnitsa-Pattern Assault Grenade Launcher is in essence a rapid fire, multi-barreled, heavy grenade launcher. Created after the discovery of what was supposedly a Dark Age vehicular support weapon within the ruins of the Vorkat Hell-Warrens of Nocnista, the Nocnista-Pattern Assault Grenade Launcher was the result of an essential redesign of the secure archotech, producing a deadly high speed support weapon fit only for the Chapter's mightiest warriors and most fearsome engines of war. Thus, the Nocnista-Pattern Assault Grenade Launcher was built to operate in much the same way the current Astartes-Pattern Assault Cannon does, mounted onto the arms of elite Terminator units and occasionally as a pintle/turret mount on certain vehicles.
Capable of unleashing a rapid fire salvo of high explosive, melta charge, or other, more exotic types of ordinance upon the enemy, the Nocnista-Pattern Assault Grenade Launcher is a devastating weapon that leaves only rubble and death in its wake. As the grenades can be primed for delayed or impact detonation, and the intensity of the discharge can be manipulated via a specialized link with the operators Power Armor or vehicle sub-systems, this weapon can easily make a mockery of most fortifications by simply bypassing them with a single well angled volley.
A pattern of the Predator main battle tank that is utilized almost exclusively by the Children of the Anvil, the Predator Aduro is a frightful machine of war and dedicated anti-armor and anti-infantry unit, boasting a turret mounted Plasma Cannon and sponson mounted Heavy Flamers. This variant was supposedly created during the famous Euripides Vale Xenocide, in which units of Clan Ogień faced fierce resistance from the alien coalition within that far flung region. Reports from Clan Ogień show that the enemy had an extensive armored contingent and hardened fortifications that had weathered the Chapter's impressive onslaught, and the Clans forward forces were without proper anti-armor vehicles due to severe damage wrought on Chapter supply lines, miring their push on the world of Steizos.
Thus, the enterprising Iron Elder Tomasz Klu'Vat took it upon himself to rapidly refit several of the Clans remaining Predator Squadrons with heavy weaponry scavenged from destroyed enemy war machines. These first slapdash retrofits, though crude and controversial for the potential abuse levied at the venerable Machine Spirits, proved vital in putting the forward elements of the Chapter back on the offensive and eventually purging the Euripides Vale of the alien scourge. With the Predator Aduro having disseminated through to each Clan during the campaign, it was only a formality when the Adeptus Mehcanicus accepted the design and put it into production in limited numbers across the Exile Sectors Forge Worlds.
Organization/The Clan Companies
- "Hail to the Children of the many tribes of Ferrus Manus. Though we may be distant, our blood is the same, and our hands are wrought of his very own iron. Let them know who comes to destroy them, Battle-Brothers! Let them know the Clans come to put twisted flesh and bone to the test of iron and fire!"
- —Iron Elder Dawid Hal'Geir at the head of Clan Topór's brutal charge at the infamous Battle of Burgrad Heights
Similar to most Chapters borne of the Iron Hands linage, the Children of the Anvil maintain a unique system of Clan Companies. To the untrained eye, the Clan Companies are little different from their Codex counterparts, but to even those with rudimentary understanding of "traditional" Astartes battle doctrine, the unorthodoxy of the Clan Companies is almost instantly apparent. The Clan Companies of the Children of the Anvil are not outfitted for specific battlefield roles nor are they strictly intended to be part of the greater whole of the Chapter, each being outfitted extensively to operate as essentially a unit autonomous from the greater whole of the Chapter itself. In this manner, there are no "Reserve" Companies within the Children of the Anvil, as each Clan Company is expected to carry out its duties very far from any support.
Furthermore, beyond these basic aspects of equipment and organization, each Clan Company is a somewhat insular and unique in its martial traditions and manner of esprit de corps. While all the Clan Companies of the Children of the Anvil adhere to the general traits of the Chapter at large and the culture inherent in being descended of the Iron Hands Legion, the Clan Companies each have very distinct traditions and preferred methods that set them apart from their fellows within the Chapter proper. Also, the existence of the Clans rules out the need for a proper Chapter Master, with the Chapter being governed by a conclave of elders known as the Clan Council. The Clan Council of the Children of the Anvil is even more unorthodox than those of other Iron Hands Successors, for rather than having the Clan Elders (Captains of the Companies) as members of the Council, only the Venerable Dreadnoughts known as the Great Ancients have the right to a seat on the Council.
The purposes for this fractious manner of organization are many, and not without their merit. First and foremost is the decentralization of power, which drastically lowers the likelihood of a charismatic but spiritually weak individual gaining control of the Chapter and dragging it down into damnation at the hands of Chaos. Furthermore, this system of insular tribes bound by shared blood and philosophy rather than mere military divisions of a larger body inspires plenty of healthy sibling rivalries that encourage the Clans to operate at peak efficiency at all times, never wanting to seem less than their Clan-Brothers from another Clan. Finally, the Clan Company system allows for more stability and endurance on long, perilous campaigns deep into uncharted depths of the Exile Sector's northern expanses, decreasing the dependency on greater Chapter support and general survivability in those unpredictable battlefields, overall creating an environment where practicality and efficiency are valued over brashness and valor.
The Children of the Anvil's Clan Companies take their recruits from the Chapters Serf stock, which in turn is continuously replenished from worlds liberated from the clutches of vile xenos. The Children of the Anvil do not go through the same trial of seeding like most Chapters as their Scout units are expressly made of veterans who can be trusted with the vital tasks of scouting the battlefield and assassinating high value targets. Thus, Neophytes who have completed their augmentations are given their Black Carapace and placed in the rank and file with their more seasoned Clan-Brothers within their Clan Company. However the general ladder of advancement is similar to a Codex Chapter, with new Clan-Brothers being assigned the role of Devastator Marine before moving on to Assault and Tactical roles as well. However, following their first tours of duty in each of these roles, a Clan-Brother of the Children of the Anvil is expected to be capable of utilizing every weapon in his Clan Company's arsenal and to adapt as the battlefield situation demands as opposed to rigidly maintaining a certain loadout for the rest of his foreseeable career as a Space Marine.
- "Target surrounded, all units draw close combat weapons, end this."
- —Clan Elder Dobrogost Du'Trez during the Battle for Tokmata Heights
Also known affectionately as the "Hatchet Men" amongst their rival Clans, Clan Topór has a considerable reputation as those most dedicated to the utter and uncompromising destruction of the Enemies of Man. Noted for a tendency to be involved in the thickest of the fighting, the Clan logically is composed mostly of melee specialized units, the forces of Clan Topór feature more Fast Attack Vehicles and Assault Marines than most of their contemperaries. They also hold the singular honor of housing the most Dreadnoughts, for these towering ancients are ideal for Clan Topór's brutal strikes against the enemy.
Clan Topór's insignia is that of an axe held in a mechanical hand, and icon that has become feared across the northern expanse of the Exile Sector amongst various Xenos civilizations. Even within the bellicose and stoic ranks of the Children of the Anvil, the Clansmen of Clan Topór are renowned as pure killing machines. Brutal, almost methodically barbaric in their execution of their assaults, Clan Topór consider themselves the tip of the spear, the mailed fist about the enemies throat. Representing their love for close combat, Clan Topór warriors often daub their armor in crimson warpaint and icons of the Machine God, and lucubrate their signature Chainaxes in specially dyed crimson unguents, so it seems that their blades are perpetually awash with gore and viscera. Needless to say, this often has the desired effect of rendering the enemy shell shocked with terror as the Clan's Hatchet Squads and Assault Centurions advance, scouring worlds of xenos life with the roar of the Chainaxe and Flamer. Clan-Brothers of Clan Topór replace their sword arms with a bionic limb upon their acceptance into the rank and file of the Chapter's warriors, and this limb is usually designed to impart far greater strength than its organic counterpart, making Clan Topór's heavy handed assaults all the more literal and uncompromising.
- "Relocating... Targeting solution valid, fire for effect... Targets destroyed. Casualty estimate, five hundred and twenty two. Acquiring new solution."
- —Transmission from Whirlwind Squadron Hexus during the Euripides Vale Xenocide.
Even amongst a Chapter whose calling appears to be the rapid deployment of long range firepower, there are those said to be truly gifted beyond reproach at the application of artillery fire. To the Imperium at large they are known as Clan Armata, but to their rival Clans they are known more frequently as the ever indecisive "Clan Calcula". In spite of such remarks, the Whirlwind Squadrons of Clan Armata have proven themselves time and time again as brutal opponents and a menace to any would-be impenetrable fortress with their relentless salvos.
Represented by the icon of a steel fist holding an artillery shell aloft like a thunderbolt to be cast by an angry god, Clan Armata are known for their simmering fury, hidden beneath a thin veneer of mechanical coldness. Utterly without any scruple when it comes to civilian casualties or luring the foe into a killing field via deceptive means, Clan Armata are, as their brothers infer from their nickname, cold and calculating, caring only for the most efficient victory. Thus, they place heavy value in both their armored squadrons of tanks and artillery, and the ability of their lighter mechanized fast attack units. Common ritual within Clan Armata has new recruits replace their dominant eye with a bionic prosthetic, which enhances their range finding capabilities.
- "And thus we bring the force of the hammer blow when the precision of the sword has been found wanting."
- —Great Ancient Koject the Magnificent
Masterful tank pilots and brutal siege breakers, the Astartes of Clan Młot are renowned for their armored squadrons of tanks and Rhinos, crushing across the battlefield with their Chapter's trademark ruthlessness and brutality. A Clan Młot assault is usually characterized by sweeping squadrons of Predators and Vindicators carving a path through the enemies lines, while Outriders and Attack Bike squadrons assault the flanks and the Rhinos bring up the rear alongside the heavy infantry, smashing flat their enemies underneath a grizzly wave of ironshod treads and hails of bolterfire.
Clan Młot mark themselves with the symbol of a mighty Thunder Hammer, the very same their Great Ancient Koject the Magnificent wielded centuries ago in the Euripides Vale Xenocide. This hammer is known amongst the Chapter as łamacz, and is considered to be the Clans most sacred artifact, wielded only by the senior most Iron Elder as his badge of office and symbol of his closeness to the Great Ancient. As per Clan tradition, Clan-Brothers of Clan Młot reinforce their spines with specialized moulds of admantium, strengthening the bone and serving as a metaphor for the Chapters unyielding assault upon the enemies of man.
- "Hostile Dreadnought targeted, engaging... Envelopment protocol effective, hostile eliminated with extreme prejudice."
- —Devastator Sergeant Eryk Ka'Thal during the Purge of Kriksis
Heavy weapons specialists and demolitions experts, the Astartes of Clan Kosa are known amongst their fellow Children of the Anvil as almost sadistically capable marksmen. Boasting greater pool of Centurions and coveted Dreadnoughts than their fellow Clans, Clan Kosa drowns their foe in overwhelming firepower before rolling over them with the brute force of their Terminators and tanks. The crown jewel of Clan Kosa's armored squadrons is the mighty Land Raider Heilos known simply as Scythe, whose venerable hull has weathered many a storm and regularly bears the honor of being the Clan Elder's personal transport and mobile command center.
Clan Kosa combat doctrine and tradition often calls for sheer relentlessness and ruthlessness over all else, this is exemplified in their Clan icon, which is that of an iron boot upon a cracked skull. Thus, Clan Kosa tends to keep a slow, ever advancing pressure on their enemy, their Devastators wading into the thick of battle, weapons ablaze, casually relocating to ideal firing positions whilst the Clans Dreadnoughts and Centurions provide fire support. Clan Kosa combat doctrine also emphasizes the use of Land Speeder squadrons in order to both provide rapid fire support and to run down routing enemy forces, for Clan Kosa is utterly without mercy as they systematically butcher fleeing infantry and armor by order of most demoralizing targets. Clan Kosa tradition has their Clan-Brothers amputate their right leg and replace it with a heavily armored bionic prosthetic, so as to always present their most armored flank to the enemy when bracing their Heavy Bolters.
- "Like engines of war they strode across the battlefield, lasbolts glancing off their armor, bathing the enemy in flames. I would not be surprised to learn that they subsisted on Promethium!"
- —Sergeant Luke Tallaz of the 314th Cadian Heavy Infantry Regiment, M37, Battle of Baccurus Reach
Firm believers in the cleansing power of Promethieum and missile barrages, the Astartes of Clan Ogień are infamous for their purges across the northern borders of the Exile Sector, specifically targeting those who dare fraternize with xenos barbarians. Clan Ogień responds to such outrageous betrayal with naught but the fire and brimstone of an angry god, scorching entire civilizations until there is naught but cinders and blackened bones to mark the death of the planet.
Representing their Clan with a symbol of a burning cog, Clan Ogień are both relentless and unforgiving, often shattering the foes will to fight with the promise of a burning demise. Thus it is little surprise that the Clan's traditional bionics are specifically designed to strike terror into the heart of the foe. For Clan-Brothers of Clan Ogień replace their jaws and teeth with bionic equivalents, built with a strange respiratory device that converts their very breath into a black, smoke-like discharge, and wear specialized helmets that show off their iron jaws.
- "And as they sow the wind with their cries for mercy, so they shall reap the whirlwind!"
- —Great Ancient Luborad the Iron Gale leading Clan Cyklon in the Pidash Xenocide
Siege specialists and expert pilots, Clan Cyklon are known for holding the lions share of the areal vehicles of the Chapter's Clan Companies and are renowned for the ferocity of the Drop Pod Assaults. Prizing their Terminator armored Raróg Assault Terminator veterans as their most elite fighting unit, Clan Cyklon often crash through fortifications from above while shelling the positions from afar, the shock of their bombardment covering the murderous advance of their elite assault forces.
The Astartes of Clan Cyklon are infamous for their ill tempers and remarkable ability to hold onto ancient grudges, known to construct particularly vindictive strategies involving the elimination of enemy leadership and logistics in order to sew fear and uncertainty amongst the enemies ranks and for a fondness of brutal and demoralizing assaults. As if to make their contempt eternally clear, Clan Cyklon's Clan-Brothers have their primary hearts replaced with a bionic prosthetic constructed of black metal, so as to never cease their devastating assaults and to have hearts of iron. As could be expected, the Clan's symbol is an iron gauntlet holding a mechanical heart in its clutches.
- "Pile the corpses high, let the stink of their burning hides reach the traitor's in their ivory towers."
- —Clan Elder Lechosław Bau'Tan's infamous orders during the Bugalian Heresy
Also known amongst their fellow Children of the Anvil as Clan Pyre, Clan Góra's infamous reputation lays in their ruthless policy of Scorched Earth tactics and crippling areal assaults on enemy supply lines and fortifications. Preferring orbital bombardment to retreat, Clan Góra has broken the back of even the most willful enemies, their unrelenting, savage nature shattering hope of victory like a traitors spine over their knee. Noted for the lethal ability of their Outriders and their Stormtalon Squadrons, as well as the brutal ability of their Assault Centurions and Assault Marines, Clan Góra seeks to destroy enemy assets as swiftly as possible and control the flow of battle by forcing the foe to rout into predesignated killzones.
Once the enemy is defeated, their dead are gathered and put to the torch in massive pyres so that the smoke can be seen for miles, and the stench of burning flesh can be scented on the wind even further. This grizzly post victory tradition has served the Clan well in dealing with various enemies, breaking their will to further resist the will of the Emperor, Imperium, and Omnissiah. Clan-Brothers of Clan Góra enhance themselves by replacing their left leg with a bionic prosthetic as to make the packing of corpses in the pyres a more speedy and, as the bone shatters underfoot, satisfying process. Considering these barbaric traditions, it is little surprise that the Clan marks its ranks with a symbol in the shape of a triforce of skulls set alight.
- "Ramming speed achieved... Hostile fortification neutralized."
- —Intercepted transmission from Rhino Squadron Sagittarius during the Molit Rebellions
Famous for both their rapid deployments and love of dynamic entry, Clan Jeż is a force to be reckoned with both in chocked urban streets and on the open fields of war. Boasting a considerable fast attack element of Outriders, Land Speeders, Attack and Assault Bikes as well as vast squadrons of Rhinos, Clan Jeż thunder onto the battlefield to crush the foes battle lines and leave them dead in their iron shod wake. Clan Jeż also specialize in rapid asset retrieval and fortification, boasting several Thunderhawk Transporters outfitted to carry both armored vehicles and field fortifications such as modular bunkers and anti-air batteries. But the Clans most favored weapons are the small pack of Thunderfire Cannons they have available, these mobile support weapons having often been a linchpin to many a victory over the enemy.
In keeping with Clan Jeż's love of... unorthodox vehicular assault, Astartes of the Clan have their collarbones reinforced with admantium, so as to reduce the likelihood of injury in head on collisions with enemy armor. The Clan's ancestral icon is that of a Rhino within a great cog, glorifying their favored vehicle for their ramming assaults and dynamic entry.
- "Hostile units are routing, orders Elder? Understood, accelerating to attack speed."
- —Predator Tank Squadron Belisarius running down fleeing heretics during the Battle for Sigmartun
Expert tank pilots and anti-armor specialists, the Astartes of Clan Kolec are well known for their tradition of taking trophies of destroyed enemy armor and the extreme prejudice with which the prosecute their campaigns against armored targets. Seeing the machines of the xenos and heretic as abominations to the almighty Omnissiah, a sentiment shared amongst all Children of the Anvil with some degree of intensity, Clan Kolec's expertise in combating enemy heavy units is second to few within the whole of the Exile Sector. Over the centuries, a certain reputation for slaying Daemon Engines has been especially circulated, with Clan-Brothers of the Clan being jokingly referred to as "Big Game Hunters" and "Dragon Slayers" by fellow Space Marines of the Justicarium.
Clan Kolec's symbol is that of a sword piercing the chest of a rampant dragon, as if to make clear their contempt for the Monstrous Creatures that many of the enemies of man send forth into battle. In Clan Kolec's ancient tradition, Clan-Brothers have sections of their skulls enhanced with sub-dermal admantium plates, rumored to be due to the likelihood of being cast about the battlefield by the massive beasts of fleshmetal they are reputed to hunt.
- "I still have a functioning trigger finger, therefore I do not require medical aid, only ammunition."
- —Famously attributed to Clan Elder Malachiasz Gul'Vra during the Brastas Liberation
Those who most exemplify the stoic and determined nature of the Gorgon himself, the Astartes of Clan Stal are known both amongst their fellow Space Marines of the Justicarium and their Clan-Brothers of the Clans as nigh unbreakable warriors. Preferring to arm themselves for general combat and adapt their strategies on the fly, Clan Stal are ideally line fighters, grinding the enemy down in brutal frontier combat across various theaters and varied terrain, which their adaptive style of combat takes most advantage of. However, a certain trend has emerged in which Clan Stal find themselves fighting in increasingly inhospitable environments, thus they have adapted much of their tactics around combat in hazardous terrain, their wargear and motor pool often specially enhanced to deal with the extremes of these perilous theaters of war.
Known as unbelievably steadfast and remarkably capable in even the most harsh of battlefields, the Astartes of Clan Stal have adopted an icon in the shape of a mighty fortress wall and battlement. In keeping with this symbol, Space Marines of Clan Stal are famous for their raw determination and refusal to give even an inch to the enemy, regularly weathering grievous wounds and damning setbacks that would cripple any other fighting unit. In keeping with Clan tradition, Clan-Brothers of Clan Stal replace their organic lungs with bionic equivalents, allowing them to survive in even the harshest battlefields when their Power Armor's seal is breached.
The Children of the Anvil boast a considerable fleet, capable and heavily armored, not to mention designed for extended operations without repair or refit. Often marred with ancient battle scars and their bridges festooned with trophies taken from vanquished flagships, the fleet of the Children of the Anvil is a specter of ruin to the xenos empires of the wild northern space of the Exile Sector, spoken of in hushed whispers as a harbinger of utter annihilation. Of these forces, the vast majority of the Children of the Anvil's fleet is made up of Strike Cruisers outfitted for brutal line engagements and rapid, heavily armored Escorts armed with torpedoes and extensive fleets of boarding craft. However the pride of the so called "Black Fleet" is the trio of mighty Battle Barges that make up its relentless core.
At the fore of the fleet is the Battle Barge known as The Black Hand. An ancient war machine said to have served as rearguard to Ferrus Manus' own flagship the Fist of Iron during the Great Crusade, The Black Hand has sewn so much ruin and death with her powerful batteries and armored prow that no less than one hundred different space faring races have legends about the "Black Beast of the White Cog" who comes from the void without warning and sews utter devastation in its wake, leaving fleets dashed amongst the stars and worlds a burning hulk. The three Clans that occupy The Black Hand varies depending on the result of the Trial of Possession that the Chapter convenes for over the dead world of Buhle every century if the situation permits. Within the ruins of that dead world, a contest of arms is held amongst selected champions of the Clans, duels between Ancients (Dreadnoughts). These duels are of an ideally nonfatal nature, and a meant to spark healthy rivalry amongst the Clans for the honor and privilege of taking The Black Hand to prosecute their campaigns. However, it does come with the catch that authority over the vessel must be shared by two other Clans at all times, who are usually the runners up in the Trial of Possession.
A rarely occupied office within the Children of the Anvil and a usually temporary one at that, the title of Elder Lord usually falls to a member of the Clan Council in times of crisis or when the Chapter as a whole embarks on a campaign. When assigned the office of Elder Lord by a vote of the Great Ancients, that member of the Clan Council is entrusted with all the powers of a Chapter Master in a Codex Chapter, given full control of the Chapter's deployment and tactics. Such a weighty honor is rarely given, and those who serve as an Elder Lord, for however briefly, are often Ancients of such greatness that the Clans unanimously revere them as the first amongst equals.
A vaunted title worthy of reverence above and beyond that of Clan Elder, the Great Ancients are the honored few Iron Elders who have been interred within the ancient sarcophagus of a Dreadnought. These wizened warriors are considered the highest echelons of the Chapters command structure and its most divine keepers of tradition amongst the Clans. To each of the ten Clans of the Children of the Anvil falls a single Great Ancient, and in practice, the Clans current Iron Elders and Clan Elder are merely his stewards. In the Chapter's long history, the Great Ancients have only ever been awakened in times of great glory or even greater strife, and in such times it is common for them to convene in what is known as the Clan Council.
Together, the Great Ancients form Clan Council, the Chapter's most powerful body of command. As members of the Clan Council, these ancient warriors make decisions that affect the entire Chapter as a whole. The Clan Council convenes on matters of import such as whether or not the Chapter as a whole will support a particular crusade or if a crisis of such magnitude occurs that one Clan Company would be insufficient. Such Clan Council meetings are often moments of heated debate but usually done in a manner that decides quickly and decisively the course of action the Chapter must take.
When a Great Ancient is awakened to take part in a battle, it is usually one so momentous that the Ancient must be there in order to pass down his first hand account throughout the ages, or because it is only by their might and ancient knowledge that battle can be won. Whatever the purpose, when these great warriors of iron and fire stride into battle, flanked always by an honor guard of fellow Dreadnoughts or their retinue of Iron Elders, there is little that can stand against them. Should a Great Ancient fall in battle, it is often the duty of the senior most Iron Elder to replace him, and to be entombed forever within the armored form of a Dreadnought.
A honored title attributed to the Children of the Anvil's Dreadnoughts, the Chapter has long venerated their interred elders beyond any other members of their ranks. The Ancients are warriors who have achieved the final evolution from flesh to machine, and are thusly revered as near divine avatars of the Omnissiah's fury, each a spark of the Machine God's burning wrath against the enemies of man. The Ancients are regularly roused for war, each Clan having at least four such venerable warriors in their ranks, and where they march death surely follows.
Both the spiritual leaders and technical experts of the Children of the Anvil, the Iron Elders function in a very similar fashion to the Iron Fathers of the Iron Hands, purging their Clan-Brothers of physical and spiritual weakness. To each Clan there is assigned a trio of Iron Elders, with the most senior of the trio often the highest ranking within the Clan itself. While the Clan Elder is the de jure leader of the Clan, the senior most Iron Elder is by far the de facto commander of the Clan and usually the liaison to the Great Ancient himself. However, Iron Elders seldom take the direct reigns of their Clan Companies unless the Clan Elder is incapacitated, usually focused on maintaining the inner workings of the Clan on a spiritual level, standing alongside their Clan-Brothers as field commanders while the more lofty work of high command is entrusted by the Clan Elder.
Senior most Iron Elders are groomed for centuries by their lieges, the Great Ancients, to be their successors should they fall in battle. Such a great purpose is never taken lightly, and the acceptance of the office is always assumed with the highest humility. It is rare that such an event need occur, due to the awesome might and seldom need for the Great Ancients to be awakened, but regardless every Iron Elder lives with the knowledge that they must one day be the embodiment of their Clan's spirit and a symbol of the Chapter itself, a divine spark of the Omnissiah himself.
Selected by a vote of his Clan's Iron Elders, the Clan Elder is often considered the first amongst equals of his Clan. A veteran of countless conflicts and often a member of the previous Clan Elder's Command Squad, a Clan Elder is selected both for his combat prowess and the manner in which he singularly embodies the ideals of his Clan's warrior culture. For while the Iron Elders speak for the Chapter, the Clan Elders speak for the Clans. Each is a paragon of his Clan's virtues and aspects of the greater whole of the Children of the Anvil, a singular exemplar whose orders are less considered a matter of authority and more a matter of logic, so venerated is the office they hold.
Often training first as Iron Elders before choosing the path of the Clan Apothecary, these wizened warriors are often expected to be equally knowledgeable in matters both biological and mechanical. This is due to the extensive bionic augmentations the Astartes of the Children of the Anvil undergo, and thus the Clan Apothecaries are masterful smiths, forging flawless prosthetics and weaponized augmentations whose craftsmanship (while lacking in elegance) are often twice as effective in their given role as the feeble flesh they replace.
Steeped in the mysteries of the Warp and machine, the Clan Librarians of the Children of the Anvil are often considered to stride the line between Techmarine and Librarian, their technical knowledge a result of often being at the side of the Iron Elders and Great Ancients. Capable of several strange technomantic powers devised originally by Great Ancient Luborad and passed down through the Chapters Librarium for millennia, the Clan Librarians of the Children of the Anvil are capable of bolstering the righteous fury of the Machine Spirit and communing with the powers of the Empyrean to bring crushing, burning death to the enemies of man.
Within the Children of the Anvil, only the most gifted and experienced of Clan-Brothers are allowed to take up the Carapace armor of the Scouts, and are often entrusted with tasks that could well be considered suicidal. However, experience, further augmented by extensive bionics, allows the Clan Scouts of the Children of the Anvil to be unfailingly proficient in their given tasks as assassins, saboteurs, and forward scouts.
As the Children of the Anvil combat doctrine often depends on vital intelligence regarding exact enemy positioning and ensuring their all important artillery squadrons reach their positions intact, the Chapter has long since employed elite reconnaissance units known as Outriders. These Clan-Brothers have proven themselves time and time again in the Scout elements of their respective Clan Companies, and thus have earned the right to dawn the dull blue sashes of the Outriders. Borne into battle upon their Assault and Attack Bikes, the Outriders serve the dual role of both forward scouts and hunter killer teams, locating and engaging vital enemy infrastructure and units before falling back to the main lines to support the final advance.
Outriders also specialize in raiding and assassination missions as well, acting in a capacity not unlike the Legion Seeker or Headhunter Squads of old. In certain situations, a dismounted unit of Outriders will be deployed into tightly contested areas with the express intent on singling out and destroying an enemy command unit, and to this end come armed with a wide array of specialized wargear, from Stalker Bolters to poisoned Combat Knives.
Originally a martial tradition started by Clan Topór that has slowly disseminated throughout the Chapter over the centuries, the Hatchet Squads are an infamous force of the Children of the Anvil. Outfitted with a Combat Shield, Chainaxe, and Bolt Pistol or a Combat Shield and Flamer/Meltagun, the Hatchet Squads are specialists in shock assaults and brutal tip of the spear engagements. Dropping in from orbit via Drop Pods, Hatchet Squads are commonly deployed during the initial Drop Assault toward the enemy rear, where their melee weaponry, Flamers, and Meltas can wreak havoc on fortifications and unsuspecting infantry. Once the shock of the assault wears off an the enemy responds in kind, the addition of the simple Combat Shield has proven time and time again to drastically improve a Hatchet Squad's longevity.
Raróg Assault Terminators
Named after a long forgotten beast of ancient Terran lore, the Raróg Terminator Squads originated and still are most populous within Clan Cyklon, though the other Clans have since adopted the configuration over the centuries. Experts in the art of Drop Assault and Siege Warfare even amongst their fellow Terminators, Raróg Terminator Squads come equipped with the unique Nocnitsa-Pattern Assault Grenade Launcher or a Heavy Flamer, a choice of Lighting Claw or Chainfist, and a Cyclone Missile Launcher. With such weaponry and centuries of experience, not to mention a baffling suite of bionic augmentations that make them practically indistinguishable from their Terminator Armor, these elite units will make pitifully short work of any infantry or vehicle within their zone of engagement.
The Euripides Vale Xenocide
The Purge of M'kresh
A bloody xenocide
The Brastas Liberation
For centuries, the world of Brastas was held under the iron shod boot of the Ork. A planet on the edge of the Golden Cordon, within the limits of the borders of the so-called Lost Shore of the Exile Sector, Brastas was utilized as both a manufacturing planet and shipyard for the infamous Thundagutz Tribe. Using Brastas as a rallying point for their savage armies and considerable armor pools, the Thundagutz had launched countless piratical raids in the past against the fortress worlds of the Golden Cordon with limited success. Following the raid of the Forge World of Okentos Primarius, the Children of the Anvil declared a Crusade against the Orkish menace, the Clans Stal, Kosa, and Kolec arriving in orbit alongside a contingent of Imperial Navy vessels and two Mechanized Regiments of Ventrez Voulenteer Guard.
The Battle for Sigmartun
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- "One tends to think of Astartes as perfectly upright caring beings, interested only in the good of the Imperium and the common man. The Children of the Anvil are anything but. I have seen civilians flee from them, toward enemy lines rather than face their wrath on more than one occasion. I cannot understand the mind of an Astartes, but I suppose it is not the place of mortal men to understand the inner workings of the Emperor's Angels of Death."
- —A Dahakan Lancer's opinion on the tactics of the Children of the Anvil
- "Despite the similarity of names it is quite clear our Chapter comes from a very different blood line"
- —Anvilar Captain Dariush Mojgan [src]
- "They're not all that hard to get along with. Just keep topping their insults and jibes until they give up become as civil as it is possible for a child of the Gorgon to be."
- "You realize the point of the wars and conquest is to secure more STUFF right? If you blow up all the STUFF you're really no better than those Chaos retards."
- "Not enough flesh left to eat, much less kill. Stupid, stupid mech-prey."
- —Unknown Amphra Dray of Clutch Bloodwake