The Knights of the Anvil, also know as the Anvilars, are one of the Hell Warders Chapters - a quintumvirate of five Space Marine Chapters - tasked to defend the Imperium against Chaos incursions from the 'Hellgates', the dual warp storms in the Segmentum Solar which are located uncomfortably close to Holy Terra. The Anvilars are the only Chapter out of the five whose presence in Sector Occident Prime predates the first Hell Crusade.
Neither the Founding nor the Progenitors of the Anvilars are known in current Imperial records. They are first recorded as taking part in the Second Pacification of Ara Pacis (ca. 100.M34). Their home world at that time was Fortitudus, located in the Ara Pacis sub-sector.
First Hell Crusade (110-199.M36)
The Hellgates are a pair of relatively small warp rifts located in the Thermopylae sub-sector. In M36, the Hellgates were still a part of the ancient Loculus sub-sector, located in the area of the galaxy known as Sector Occident Prime. These dangerous warp rifts are located only 1,000 light years from the Imperial Throneworld of Terra. This region has long been a haven for renegades, outcasts and the followers of the Dark Gods. Within the Hellgates, these hellish realms of Chaos are ruled by all four factions of the Ruinous Powers, who constantly vie with one another for absolute supremacy. Daemonic incursions and the predations by marauding Chaos warbands have been common for millennia.
In 110.M36, a massive Slaaneshi warhost led by the Daemon Prince, Xeraz the Exquisite, and his Chaos allies, erupted from the hellish pleasure realms from within the Ashaklun Gate, and soon the entire sector became embroiled in bloody conflict. Receiving multiple astropathic calls for assistance, the Knights of the Anvil, long-time residents of Sector Occident Prime, sent their entire Chapter in response to this grave threat. Several other nearby Space Marine Chapters - including the Golden Castellans, Spartiate Marines, The Lightning and the Templars Moline - respond to the threat, rushing to commit their strength to the rapidly escalating war. Though several worlds burn in the fires of destruction, and the shadows gather close, throughout the sector, the Emperor's avenging Angels of Death stand fast, determined to save the besieged Imperial worlds of this sector or die in the attempt.
From their Chapter home world of Achaemenia, Knights Anvilar launched multiple campaigns across the besieged sector. After nearly eight decades of bloody conflict, these five Chapters finally managed to form a successful blockade of the Hellgates which eventually plays an instrumental role in turning the tide of the conflict, as the Imperial forces finally managed to drive the Chaos armada back into the swirling eddies of the Hellgates.
The Hell Warders
The establishment of the Hell Warders Chapter was fully documented in the ancient text known as the Codex Fuego or 'Book of Fire'. According to this ancient text, in 199.M36, following the end of the massive Chaos incursion known as the First Hell Crusade, the High Lords of Terra pronounced an Edict Imperialis in response to the dire predations of Chaos, ordering several Adeptus Astartes Chapters to permanently base themselves near the Hellgates in order to protect the Imperium's interests and pacify the region. The Anvilars were the only Chapter from the Hell Warders to have an established presence in the sector, several centuries before the First Hell Crusade. Assigned permanent overwatch over the twin warp rifts, the Knights of the Anvil Chapter have continued to stand sentinel over the worlds of Sector Occident Prime.
The Second Hell Crusade
The Third Hell Crusade
Current State of the Chapter
The Anvilar's Fortress-Monastery stands on the sandstone cliffs above Ecteban, capital of Achaemenia. The Chapter Master does not directly rule the planet but the hereditary governor does so under his eye and with his advice and consent.
Anvilar combat doctrine boils down to victory through superior firepower. They favour thunder hammers and storm shields as melee weapons and flamers and meltas as ranged weapons. Anvilars have an unusually high percentage of Terminator brethren and heavy weapons squads in accordance with their preferred tactics of massed firepower followed up by devastating charges by terminator armored squads against the shattered defenses to mop up whatever resistance is left.
The Hammer and Anvil sigil of the Chapter reflects their skill as artificers as well as their favored combat tactics.
The Anvilars have been powerfully influenced by the culture of Achaemenia, especially by it's pre-Imperial Religion - the Cult of the Flame - which suitably modified has been ruled an acceptable variant of the Imperial Creed. The central ritual, that of purification by fire, fits in well with the traditions the Anvilars brought with them when they first settled Achaemenia. Cleansing ordeals by fire occurs before changes in status; from Neophyte to Initiate, from Scout Marine to full Battle-Brother, promotions in rank, and so forth.
As master artificers, Battle-Brothers are encouraged to replace their standard-issued arms with weapons of their own design and making as soon as they have learned sufficient skill from the Chapter's dedicated Techmarines to do so.
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- "Not another Chapter with a fire obsession!"