Not much is known of Gor'Hal's early years other than he was born on the planet of Mon'Torkal and he has a twin brother called Fel'Hal. Both would be inducted into the Iron Warriors Legion soon after the compliance of Mon'Torkal and they would each pursue different paths within the Legion. Gor'Hal possessed an extremely high intellect, learning and mastering the arts of Techmarines and thrived in close combat using combat mauls and warhammers. He would also be one of the best students of grand strategy during his training and education. The Warsmith Tytos took a great interest in Gor'Hal and would take him under his wing once Gor'Hal's training and induction into the Legion was complete.
Tytos would have Gor'Hal take part in ever different position within the Battalion possible. He was taught how to effectively man and coordinate the artillery, he would be part of Siege, Mechanized, and Infantry Companies, later he would be part of the armored spearheads of the Battalion's tanks, he would be trained as a pilot of a thunderhawk, and he would be taught lessons in void combat. Gor'Hal had become a "jack of all trades", effectively able to take on any role within the Legion but was one of the best when it came to strategy and Tytos took this into consideration. Tytos would have Gor'Hal almost immediately take the role of Sergeant after he had completed his "training" in the various roles of the Legion. Many saw this as Tytos "grooming his heir" which was customary for the battalion, so much was expected from Gor'Hal.
Gor'Hal would become 9th Siege Company Captain after a few decades on the Crusade as a sergeant. The heavy casualties the Ironblood Battalion would incur on their grueling siege campaigns would result in many officers dying and new Astartes being promoted quickly, and after a campaign against the Orks where his Captain was killed, Gor'Hal was promoted by Tytos to his new position. Gor'Hal cared for the Astartes under his charge, never asking anything of them that he would not do. He would lead his Siege Company directly, leading assaults in enemy fortifications and expertly utilizing the heavy weapons teams and artillery at his disposal. Gor'Hal and the 9th would always be where the fighting was hardest and taking on the most difficult tasks along with dealing with the toughest enemy fortifications. When Tytos was not busy coordinating and dealing with the overall command, he would be found with the 1st company fighting alongside Gor'Hal and the 9th.
Gor'Hal earned the complete and utter loyalty of the Astartes under his command. He never wasted their lives and whenever squads were cut off or isolated, Gor'Hal would personally lead the relief force, seeing any faults in his overall strategy as a dishonor and would not let his failings lead to unnecessary death of his men. Even the human auxiliaries under his command would always request to continue fighting alongside the 9th for they were not used as meat shields or just "chaff" as other Iron Warriors battalions would. It wasn't long until Gor'Hal was viewed as the "rightful" heir to Tytos and this would bring great pride to the Warsmith, seeing he had groomed the perfect replacement. He also viewed Gor'Hal as an adopted son and protege, while Gor'Hal viewed him as his adopted father, this relationship developed and grew from the training of Gor'Hal to the death of Tytos during the Ullanor campaign. The bestowal of the title of Warsmith to Gor'Hal would coincide with the naming of Horus as the Warmaster, which many within the Legion saw as a "good omen".
Gor'Hal would grieve his adopted father's loss but would use that grief to fuel his devotion to carry on his legacy. He would lead many successful campaigns against human and xenos alike. However, Gor'Hal was cautious in his campaigns, for his battalion took grievous losses on UIlanor and he did not wish to maintain the high degree of losses that the Iron Warriors were known to sustain. He was a successful commander and many Astartes lives were spared with his tactics, but this resulted in much slower campaigns than normal. Perturabo was not pleased with this development and saw a chance to mold Gor'Hal into the Iron Warriors commander he needed. The Warmaster Horus had tasked Perturbao with campaigning against the Hrud and from what intelligence had been gathered, they would prove to be a fierce foe. The Ironblood Battalion would be granted the "honor" of leading the spearhead against these xenos. In truth, Perturabo knew of the tactical brilliance of Gor'Hal and hoped that this campaign and the fact they would be fighting alongside their Primarch would lead to Gor'Hal becoming a more efficient commander as well as harden the "soft" Ironblood Battalion.
The Hrud campaign was a campaign like no other, and it broke the Ironblood. They took horrendous losses and were charged with dealing with the most difficult tasks. It was a great honor to be trusted with such orders by their Primarch but the amount of Astartes lost during the campaign was innumerable. Gor'Hal was devasted by the end of the campaign. So many of his men that he had campaigned with for decades were now dead, his once proud and large battalion was a shadow of its former self and he blamed himself for the high losses his men sustained. As Perturabo had predicted, this campaign had driven the Ironblood to the brink, they grew to be some of the fiercest within the Legion and their ability to fight on even in the face of such overwhelming losses. By the end of the campaign, the Ironblood were no longer the "kind" Iron Warriors who cared for human lives, Gor'Hal grew to resent Horus and the Emperor for making the Iron Warriors have to fight this treacherous campaign alone but his loyalty never wavered to his Primarch, who fought alongside the Ironblood to the bitter end of the campaign. However, Perturabo was still not satisfied and would keep a close eye on their progress in later campaigns.
The Ironblood Battalion was tasked with rebuilding its strength after the campaign and it would be a number of years before they were battle ready once again. Once they were considered battle ready, Gor'Hal would be given orders to aid the Dark Angels who were bogged down in a siege against Uamlax Empire. Normally, Gor'Hal would have been more than ready to accommodate to their allies' battle plans and willing to provide aid wherever it was most dire. However, he was no longer the same man he was before the Hrud campaign. He used to be a very friendly, had a good sense of humor, and was quite an open book, but now he was distant, quiet, and brooding. His temper would rise quickly and his patience wore thin. The Dark Angels were a kind lot either and Gor'Hal would end up clashing with the Dark Angels Commander many times over strategy. This would result in many cases wherein the Ironblood and Dark Angels would end up conducting their own campaigns and there would be much miscommunication. Many years passed and losses from both legions started to stack up. Soon both Legions began large offensives but because they refused to aid one another, there would not be swift victories. After losing an entire company due to poor intelligence and lacking support from the Dark Angels, Gor'Hal went into a rage and he ordered heavy bombardment on top of a large Dark Angels Assault force that was attacking the final heavily fortified enemy position left on their capitol planet. Dark Angels losses were innumerable and the survivors were killed by the Ironblood Warriors who followed up on the bombardment and would complete the assault on the enemy position. The Dark Angels swore vengeance but their numbers were far too few to exact revenge.
Gor'Hal would later be contacted by Perturabo who would reprimand him for taking such a long time to finish the campaign along with his unwillingness to use his Astartes as efficiently as possible and that his actions against the Dark Angels were a poor choice. Perturabo was sick of Gor'Hal's incompetence and and granted him and his battalion one last chance to prove themselves. At this point the Legion had joined Horus in the rebellion and Perturabo explained that the Ironblood can either join the traitors and undertake a campaign of 'redemption' or answer for their crimes against the loyalist Dark Angels. This would result in the Wrath of Iron campaign becaus Gor'Hal knew he had no other choice but to seek redemption. Gor'Hal did not understand how such a campaign was feasilble with just one battalion of Astartes but he accepted the orders. The Ironblood fought with great ferocity, killing thousands of Imperial Fists and raising many worlds. However, there were far more Imperial Fists and too many Skitarii to quickly take the Forge World they were commanded to take. The siege would take far too long and a large Imperial Fist reactionary force would emerge during the peak of the siege, resulting in Gor'Hal being out maneuvered and beaten back. This failure would result in the Ironblood being decimated and then exiled from the Legion and not being granted the honor of joining the Iron Warriors in further campaigns.
Gor'Hal would lead his broken battalion back to Mon'Torkal to rebuild but soon Horus was slain and the great scouring ensued. For his and his battalions actions, a large retribution fleet of Dark Angels and Imperial Fists would descend upon Mon'Torkal to exact vengeance for their transgressions early on in the Heresy. Gor'Hal led the defenses bravely, making the Loyalists pay dearly for every inch but he knew it was a lost cause. Gor'Hal led the remaining Ironblood warriors with as many humans form their planet as possible to flee the planet and head to the Eye of Terror for refuge. Gor'Hal was once again a broken man. His battalion was on the brink of extinction, his homeworld was dead, his Gene-Father had banished him and his warriors from the Legion, and he failed to uphold his oath to Tytos. It would be a few months in isolation aboard his flagship that a Daemon would appear before him and offer Gor'Hal a new purpose as a servant of Chaos. The Daemon explained that his masters would grant him and his brothers unimaginable strength and power that they would be able to challenge entire legions, all they had to do was undertake a pilgrimage and offer up their souls to Chaos. Gor'Hal was supiscious but understood he had little choice in the matter, for his Battalion was near extinction and they needed allies. Gor'Hal agreed that he would undertake a pilgrimage with the remainder of his Battalion into the Warp to find a new meaning and understanding of what Chaos was.
Path of Damnation
The Ironblood would be within the Warp for centuries in realspace time but were there for a millennia in their time. They witnessed the rise and fall of xenos empires, witnessed the birth of Slaanesh and the death of the Eldar Empire, they witnessed the War in Heaven and the coming of the Tyrannids. They saw the Imperium turn into a stagnated Empire of superstition and paranoia. They witnessed the wars between the Chaos gods and the 'Great Game', they witnessed the Legion Wars and eventually saw the rise of Abaddon and the Black Legion. The Daemon offered the Ironblood a deal. They can be granted the powers to take Abaddon's place as the Champion of Chaos for the price of their souls.
They would be the masters of the Imperium and rule the Empire they fought so hard to build. However, Gor'Hal did not trust the daemon and believed the offer to be a lie and refused and ended up killing the daemon with a bolt round to the head, resulting in a massive Warp Storm engulfing the vessel. The Ironblood vessel would take serious damage and would be unable to exit the warp, trapping the Ironblood warriors in the sea of chaos. Daemons would periodically appear on the vessel, killing dozens of humans and Astartes before being banished back into the warp. Beasts that not even the wildest of imaginations could conjure entered the ship, terrorizing the crew and hunting all they could. Months turned into years, and years turned into decades, until decades turned into centuries. All of the humans ended up dying from either daemons or madness.
The Ironblood were more fortunate but many still fell, those that lived on; for some reason, they no longer grew hungry or thirsty, they didn't require sleep, these 'gifts' were bestowed to the most veteran and most resilient of the Ironblood number. Those that were not killed by daemons began to grow stronger and faster. Gor'Hal was visited by the original daemon once again who told him that this had been a test, no matter what answer he would have given to the daemon, this would have been the fate of this battalion no matter what. It would be during this time in the warp that Gor'Hal's hatred for chaos grew, for he had believed in honor and truhtfulness and he had been betrayed by this chaos spawn. However, he knew that the only way to get out of this debacle was to make a deal with chaos and so he did.
He offered his eternal loyalty to chaos, but not to take the Imperium for them. Gor'Hal demanded that that role be left to Abaddon. He was done with the Imperium and the other Legions, he would conquer new worlds and make a new Empire in the Chaos gods' names. He pledged to spread the word of chaos to new worlds, both human and xenos. All he asked was that he and his men would be spared the gods' 'gifts' and be left to their own devices. The deal was made but the test was not over. The remaining Ironblood, numbering fewer than 100 at this point, were teleported to each of the Chaos gods' daemon worlds. Upon each planet, they would have to pass tests to gain the favor of each god. Only Gor'Hal, Fel'Hal, and 13 other Ironblood Warriors would survive these tests and be granted the favor of each chaos god. By the time this pilgrimage had been completed and the surviving Ironblood Warriors emerged from the Warp upon their vessel above Medrengard, it was the beginning of M32 and the Legion Wars were now in full swing.
Birth of the Roj'Kah
Gor'Hal ordered the remaining Ironblood to board a Thunderhawk with him so that they can board another Iron Warriors vessel and commandeer it and force the crew to bend to their will. They hailed a lone Iron Warrios vessel in orbit around Medrengard, saying they were survivors of a Daemon attack and wished to join the warband. They were welcomed aboard and this is when Gor'Hal realized how much they had changed during their time in the Warp. The Ironblood warriors stood almost head and shoulders above their brothers and they were much stronger, faster, and had much keener senses than the other Iron Warriors. The Iron Warriors on the vessel were wary of these new arrivals, believing they were daemonhosts. Once the commander of the vessel came to the hanger, he realized his mistake. The Ironblood drew their weapons and began to slaughter all the Iron Warriors within reach with blinding speed. Not even the Astartes senses of the normal Iron Warriors could keep up with their movements. Ironblood weapons pierced the Power Armor of their brothers with ease. In less than a minute, the 40 Iron Warriors that greated the Ironblood in the Hanger were all dead, except for the commander.
Gor'Hal challenged the commander, whose name was Lazarus, to a dual for the right to command this vessel and the remaining Astartes aboard it. Lazarus knew he had no choice and stood no chance, but prepared for combat anyway. Gor'Hal wielded his favored Artificer Thunder Hammer and Lazarus wielded his Power Sword and Storm Shield. Even with the Chaotic gifts, Gor'Hal realized that Lazarus was no amateur. He recalled that one of the best swordsman in the Iron Warriors Legion during the Great Crusade was named Lazarus and that this must have been him. Both combatants would drenched in sweat but Lazarus was tiring quicker than Gor'Hal, his shield arm wavering as the punishing blows from Gor'Hal's Thunder Hammer rained down. Gor'Hal would press his advantage, feinting another overhead swing from his Thunder Hammer to force Lazarus to raise his shield in defense, leaving his legs exposed. Gor'Hal would quickly realign his swing while Lazarus' face was momentarily blocked by his own shield. His Thunder Hammer crashing into the swordsman's left knee. Lazarus let out a shout of agony and he crumpled to the floor, defeated. However, Gor'Hal was greatly impressed by the Iron Warriors' showing and offered him a spot alongside the Ironblood. Lazarus accepted the offer and Fel'Hal would use his Apothecary skills and Warp power to heal the Swordsman's leg with unnatural speed.
With this victory, the Ironblood Warband grew from 15 to around 200 Astartes and thousands of human slaves. Gor'Hal would lead hundreds of raids against various legions and warbands over the next 2 millennia. His warband growing to some 5,000 by the beginning of the Dispute of Iron in M34.