Created during the 26th founding, the Steel Wardens have had the dubious honor of being wiped from the list of active space marine chapters and then surviving to return to active service. The chapter differs from others in that they doesn't fight for just the Imperium, but the people themselves, often throwing themselves into hopeless battles or even sacrificing their lives to protect the Empire's numberless citizens.
Created in M41.738 as part of the 26th founding, the Steel Wardens were originally based upon the world of Thanatia, a world located upon the very fringes of Imperial space. They had been stationed upon the world as a first line of defense against marauding Chaos bandits who had inflicted devastating raids in that part of the sub-sector. The Steel Wardens performed their duty with gusto, hounding the Chaos bandits into oblivion with bolt, blade, and bomb. However as they returned from their final victory against the heretics, disaster happened.
In the 60 years that the Steel Wardens had occupied their home-world, the citizens of Thanatia suffered under the heavy taxation and endless toiling that helped support the war effort against the bandit war-bands. As the years passed the unrest only grew to the point where it attracted the unholy servants of the chaos god Slaanesh, who poisoned the minds of the population of Thanatia with promises of an end to work and toil, and the overthrow of the hateful Empire which, in their minds, had practically enslaved them, if they offered their fealty to the depraved god. Thus when the Steel Wardens came home from their final victory against the Chaos Bandits, they felt the wrath of a fully fledged chaos uprising on their home-world.
Though shocked and horrified at what had transpired, the Steel Wardens easily fought their way to their Fortress-Monastery, barricading themselves within its hallowed confines. While the population of the planet besieged their Fortress-Monastery, the Steel Wardens desperately defended their fortress-monastery against those they had once fought for, while sending out a desperate astropathic distress call for any and all aid.
Yet even within the mighty walls of their fortress-monastery the Wardens were not safe. With a large portion of their fleet away for desperately needed repairs the Chapter couldn't bring to bear any serious space borne firepower. stripped of much of their most powerful weaponry the Steel Wardens could do nothing but watch as the traitorous forces massed to besiege their fortress-monastery.
Thus it was that only a few scant hours after their triumph the marines of the Steel Wardens chapter were fighting a desperate battle for survival. Holed up in their fortress-monastery the wardens could do little more than desperately fend off the hate-fueled savagery of the traitors. Matters were only made much worse when when the traitors, realizing they wouldn't break through through numbers alone, called upon their depraved god Slaanesh for aid. And were answered in dramatic fashion as countless warp rifts opened up, disgorging innumerable daemons to assault the Steel Warden's already beleaguered defenses.
The siege began in earnest with the arrival of the warp spawn, the already beleaguered marines overwhelmed by the fury of the daemons assault. In minutes the Steel Wardens were forced to abandon fortifications they had held against the cultist traitors for days, retreating into the relative safety of their fortress monastery.
For four days and four nights the Steel Wardens fended off the forces that beset them, holding off massive and continuous assaults. However, mighty as the space marines were, they were still forced to give way before their foes, but not before making both traitor and daemon pay with lives and blood for every inch of ground that was lost.
Tell me...what wins the day for the Imperium of man? Is it the tank? No! Is it the gun? No! It is man! Without the men and women of the Empire there would be no crew for the tank, no soldier to fire the gun, without men there would be no Imperium! - Attributed to Chaplain Covington.
The Steel Wardens tend to deploy early in a campaign, and generally see it through to the end. They prefer ambushes and guerrilla warfare to an all-out attack, but they will still stage the occasional frontal assault if the situation demands it.
Persons of Note
Chapter Master Andreas Randolph, High Lord of the Caphos System:The current Chapter Master of the Steel Wardens.
Vehicles of Note
The Furere: A Land Raider Redeemer, one of the few Astartes vehicles that escaped the death of Thanatia. Its scored and pitted hide has been thoroughly abused on almost every major battlefield that the Steel Wardens have fought on. The Steel Wardens take pride in showcasing the tank's scars, testaments to the futility of resisting both the Steel Wardens and the Imperium as a whole. Inscribed upon one of the few undamaged panels of armor is the inscription: Vincemus- We will prevail....
Invideo: A Vindicator, looted from a Chaos warband and reconsecrated for Imperial use by the Chaplain Covington. The tank's name comes from when its Demolisher Cannon was first fired (against its former masters no less!), utterly destroying the enemy's fortifications, almost as if the vehicle had the utmost hatred for its former owners.
Condumno: When the Steel Wardens were clearing away debris in preparation for building a fortress-monastery, they discovered a great vault half-buried in the earth. A search team was sent in, and what they found was staggering. The Vault contained a treasure-trove of relics, from Terminator suits to Relic Blades, all neatly lined up and in perfect condition, but the greatest discovery lay at the end of the tunnel, past ancient banners carrying the glories and regalia of a long-forgotten Chapter of Adeptus astartes. A Fellblade, kept in the same pristine condition as the other relics, with one side inscribed with the name Condumno-Condemnation. Such a discovery was miraculous, for few of the ancient tanks exist anymore. The Steel Wardens only use this tank in times of great need, for it is ancient and powerful relic of a bygone era, but when they do field it, the tank's cannons devastate the enemy like they did 10,000 years ago.
Despite repeated inquiries by members of the chapter, they do not know from which their geneseed originates. Andreas Randolph still occasionally sends teams out to investigate the origin of their geneseed.
While most of the Chapter approve of these repeated investigations, there are those who question the investigations. Better to live in ignorance, they say, than to find out truths that could potentially be damaging to the Chapter.
Yet despite the doubts of some, most of the Chapter eagerly seeks the answer......for better or ill.
(Losses refer to the squad/company that took part in the battle, not out of the whole chapter.)
Death of Thanatia (798.M41):
The Road of Ruin (798.M41-875.M41): Various skirmishes and raids as the Steel Wardens wandered the galaxy, both confirmed and uncomfirmed sightings of Steel Warden astartes participating in the battles. Losses unknown.
Defense of Istar VII (876.M41): Confirmed sightings of Steel Wardens fighting alongside the PDF to halt a Tyranid incursion. Losses unknown, though there is a confirmed vox-pict of Steel Wardens dying to give refugees a chance to evacuate.
The Long Retreat (878.M41): The Steel Wardens are called upon to defend the agriworld of Solaia Prime against an Ork Waaagh. What was once a simple garrison duty becomes a desperate fight for survival as Ork reinforcements arrive, allowing the Waaagh to rampage unchecked over the planet. The Steel Wardens, with refugees in tow, are forced to fall back to the nearest spaceport, hundreds of kilometers away. Though they face incredible hardship, the Steel Wardens manage to get themselves and their charges off-world just before exterminatus is conducted. Losses: 103 Adeptus Astartes of the Steel Wardens Chapter, all but 1,436 of the population (including PDF units) slaughtered.
Defense of Caphos Segundo (889.M41): The Steel Wardens are assaulted upon their homeworld as Chaos forces, led by the Steel Warden's former Chapter Master, attacked their Fortress-Monastary directly. Though outnumbered and nearly overrun, the Steel Wardens refuse to give up their homeworld, holding the line like never before, determined to not lose another homeworld. Relief eventually comes through a bold strike to the enemy's rear by PDF units and milita, giving the beleaguered Marines time to regroup and assault the enemy, breaking the back of the Chaos assault. Losses are great, but the Chapter eventually recovers.
The Plague (891.M41): (still recruiting other fanon chapters to create a seperate page, talk to me if you want in, all chapters/forces welcome, remember, the more alies I can get, the bigger it'll be, so message me with a force number ex: Chapter name: number of companies, squads, any special details or heroes.....hope to see a lot of chapters......)
The Calipsian Crusade( ---.M41): the 5th company is enroute to fight the foes of the Imperium. Praise the Emperor.
(more to come)
13th Black Crusade: entire company of Steel Wardens and their Chapter Master defeated trying to defend embattled civilian enclaves. Andreas engaged Abaddon in combat, and was nearly slain. Losses almost total, only the Chapter Master Andreas survived, his Chapter's 4th Company holding Abaddon off just long enough for his broken form to be placed on board an extraction thunderhawk that managed to escape the destruction of the planet. Pray for the 4th Company's souls, for they were harvested by Chaos.