The Ice Dragons are an unconfirmed and unacknowledged Salamanders' Successor Chapter supposedly created during the 13th Founding, also known as the 'Dark Founding', which occurred sometime between the 35th and 36th Millennium. Unlike their supposed progenitors, the peculiarities of the Ice Dragon's gene-seed has caused them to develop distinct albinism. There were also other unexpected genetic idiosyncrasies, such as a peculiar mutation which necessitates the use of specially-modified power armour due to the Ice Dragons' inability to survive above temperatures exceeding sub-zero. The Ice Dragons' Chapter home world is the icy Death World of Crystallos. Since their inception, the Ice Dragons have continued to maintain their vigil near the Eastern Fringe to defend mankind from any xenos incursions from beyond the frontiers of the Imperium's borders.
Of all the foundings that have occurred in the Imperium's history, the 13th Founding is the most mysterious. Since the Horus Heresy, the Adeptus Terra has maintained a bank of original gene-seed tithed by every single Chapter ever created, with the exception of this particular founding. There are no reliable records that indicate how many Chapters were created during the Dark Founding or what became of them. Full disclosure of the exact details of this mysterious Founding may lie buried deep within the record office of the Adeptus Terra. During the 13th Founding, the Magos Biologis decided to attempt to utilise and alter samples of the Salamanders' gene-seed, in order to remove the limitations of their slower reflexes. Thinking that they had accomplished this task, the newly created Ice Dragons Chapter were formed under Salamanders Forge-Father Val'tan Bláinn. They were given the Imperial world of Crystallos as their Chapter home world, which lay on the Eastern Fringe near the furthest reaches of the Ultima Segmentum. The genetic alteration of their gene-seed was successful, but there were some minor side affects. A minor mutation caused the Ice Dragons Astartes to develop albinism. Another notable side effect was that their capacity for emotion became even more diluted, causing them to be taciturn and sullen.
During the inception of the Ice Dragons Chapter, their Adeptus Mechanicus genetors extensively modified their gene-seed in order to create Space Marines of exceptional durability and toughness. Therefore, they utilised the limited gene-stocks of the Salamanders, one of the First Founding Chapters, whose Astartes were well-known for their measurable superiority to the already superhuman Space Marine norms in relation to extreme temperature tolerance, radiological resistance and cellular repair. However, when they attempted to modify the gene-seed to remove some of the more undesirable traits, they proved far less skilled in the genetic sciences than the Emperor Himself. This resulted in some unexpected idiosyncrasies in the Ice Dragons' gene-seed.
One of these mutations has caused some unusual outward effects, the first of which effects the Melanchromic Organ (Which controls the amount of melanin in an Astartes' skin tone and adjusts to variable levels of solar radiation). This organ does not function properly, therefore the skin of an Ice Dragons Astartes cannot adjust properly to high levels of solar radiation or sunlight when exposed. The skin of an Ice Dragons Astartes also has a tendency for the pigment to permanently lighten to the point that they develop albinism, regardless of its original hue. In fact, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause painful blistering and burns due to the sensitivity of their chalk-like skin. Eventually, as the Space Marine ages, his skin and hair will continue to lighten until it becomes completely snow white. Like their supposed progenitors, the eyes of an Ice Dragons Astartes also possesses a much-remarked 'ember-like' bioluminescence that glows with a red or pinkish hue. This combination of effects, coupled with their physical might, makes for a particularly frightening appearance for the Chapter's rank and file, and has often earned them the fear and superstitious apprehension on first contact with regular humans.
The modifications made to their gene-seed has also caused certain genetically-engineered organs normally implanted in a Space Marine to no longer function properly after implantation. The Ice Dragons no longer possess the Mucranoid organ which allows a Space Marine to survive extremes of heat by secreting a waxy protein substance, similar to mucus, through their pores to seal their skin. Space Marines are cocooned in this way before they enter suspended animation, and the process can even protect them from the harshness of the vacuum and other extremes of temperature, particularly deeply frigid environments. Despite the loss of this organ, most unusual is the Ice Dragons' resilience to extremes of cold. Unlike their genetic forebears, who are known to endure temperatures of the utmost extreme, the Ice Dragons are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.
Not long after their creation, the Ice Dragons quickly discovered that they had developed a dependency on sub-zero temperatures to survive. In order to compensate for this genetic mutation, the Chapter's Techmarines specially modified their power armour to keep them in a state of constant freezing. When not on their icy home world, an Ice Dragons Astartes will never remove their battle-plate, as they must wear their refrigerated power armour in order to survive temperatures above sub-zero. Their refusal to remove their armour in the presence of other Imperial forces, has earned them a reputation as being haughty or aloof. But nothing could be further from the truth. They simply do not remove their battle-plate, since they require it to literally survive. It has been rumoured that an Ice Dragons' resilience to the extremes of cold temperatures are such, that they can even survive the vacuum of space for short periods of time, should their armour be compromised during void combat.
One noteworthy aspect of their gene-seed is that the Ice Dragons did inherit the strength of constitution displayed by their supposed progenitors. As a result, their capacity to process and resist toxins is said to exceed even the Salamanders' gene-type. The physiology of an Ice Dragons Astartes has been seemingly engineered to be resilient to the deadliest pathogens or toxin, more so than the average Astartes. This unique immunity makes them immune to the most virulent toxins, bacteria and viruses. The Ice Dragons are often called upon to deploy into Zone-Mortalis warzones, where abominable and lethal conditions - be they bacteriological, chemical or atomic in nature - are present, and in which they tend to excel. Due to their legendary resilience, the Ice Dragons are often seen at the forefront of the fighting in the most hellish war-zones imaginable.
- Talon (Veteran Marine)
- Overseer (Sergeant)
- Bondmate (Battle-Brother)
- Broodling (Scout Marine)
- Hatchling (Aspirant)
- Scale (Specialty Squad)
- Wing (Aerial Squad)
- Brood (Scout Squad)
- Clutch (Aspirant Squad)
The Ice Dragons operate largely as a Codex-oriented Chapter, however, they have a few notable preferences. They tend to focus on close-ranged fire fights, and use a greater number of plasma and melta weapons to burn their foes, blasting through the enemy and frying whole swaths of infantry. Also the emphasis on craftsmanship on Crystallos means the Ice Dragons can create and maintain a significant number of advanced technologies and the Chapter has access to a great many suits of Terminator and Artificer Armor, Thunder Hammers and Master-Crafted weapons, made possible by their skill at artifice and their rich mineral resources, and it is this capability that gives the Ice Dragons a great deal of trading power with the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Val'tan Bláinn - First Chapter Master
Chapter Relics and Honors
- The Hammer of Hoarg
- Jormandr's Dragonbane
- --- Frost Sword
Relations with other Chapters
Feel free to add your own
By the Ice Dragons
- "My contempt for heretics is almost colder than my heart."
- — Attr. Val'tan Bláinn, first Chapter Master of the Ice Dragons
- "Nothing burns like the cold."
- — Common Ice Dragons saying
- "Heretics die of cold, not of darkness..and we will be the ones to deliver them unto death's icy embrace."
- — Attr. Veteran Sergeant Shindrok Kal'tan, 1st Company, 2nd Talon
- "You seek to hide from retribution? To hide from the cold embrace of death? Foolish mortals. It's not outside..it's winter inside - cold as death - and it has come for you!"
- — Attr. Unknown Ice Dragons battle-brother to renegade Imperial Guard soldiers
- "It grows colder by the hour, more dead with every breath."
- — Ice Dragons Sergeant Ry'kell Mar'shak remarking to an Astra Militarum Commissar about the inevitable doom of the traitor Harkon 66th Imperial Guard Regiment and their Chaos cultist allies during the Xenon Uprising, ca. 875.M30
Feel free to add your own
About the Ice Dragons
- "If there ever were Space Marines colder than ice, then surely the Ice Dragons are them. If there ever were fellow Space Marines I wanted to kill, it would be the Marines Malevolent. Perhaps the Sharks and the Dragons could find common ground in this?"
- — Kamea Makala, Chapter Master of the Astral Sharks
- "Aside from our own brethren and cousins, fellow sons of Dorn. If I am made to stand to the last in a place of sure death, with another chapter not of our own bloodline, I would stand with no other brothers than they are. Cold as they may be. Nothing in this Universe can melt their determination and loyalty to the Emperor."
- —Unknown Silver Knights Captain recorded M38