The Warmachines are a partially codex compliant chapter specialising in siege warfare and heavy artillery. Clad in old Iron pattern marks of Armour, the Warmachines are ever pragmatic and utilitarian, utilising heavy bombardment, ordnance and overwhelming firepower to crush their foes under an unrelenting hail of munitions and shells. Their chapter warcry "Grind them to Dust" is an example of the manner in which they make war, pounding their opponents over and over until nothing remains but crumbled stone and shattered steel. To the Warmachines, war is nothing more than a series of equations solved by the application of brutal logic and determination. It is not a matter of whether they will win a battle, it is a matter of when.
864.M32: The Death of the Boar
The earliest recorded engagement of the Warmachines against the enemies of the Imperium, the Chapter was sent to decimate and mitigate the growing number of Orks in the Golgari Cluster, and eliminate the most powerful Warboss, Rusha Boartusk. Boartusk, once a Feral Ork, still retained within his growing Waaagh elements and holdovers from his savage heritage, including Squiggoths, Squig Packs and the notorious DeffBoar Cavalry. The DeffBoars, native to the Golgari area, were large, shaggy quadrupeds possessing snub, short faces and curling tusks. These beasts were then often festooned with crude, armour, spikes and blades, and whipped into a raging frenzy by the riders and the Waaagh Runt’erds, who would feed them a potent cocktail of drugs and psychedelic plants that would send the DeffBoars berserk. These elements made Waaagh Boartusk incredibly dangerous on the charge, and so unconventional to deal with. The Warmachines entered the War under the command of Lord Mechanica Ogenva Krespern, and proceeded to purge the Greenskins without delay. This of course, infuriated the Warboss Boartusk, whom considered the Warmachines mechanical and ranged approach to warfare a complete and utter insult to his might and the strength of his Waaagh, and sent every Warband under his control against the Warmachines. Having successfully goaded the enemy into going on the Offensive, the Warmachines enacted their plan to wipe out the Ork threat. Entrenching their position and fortifying the perimeter line, the Warmachines prepared to receive the Ork Waaagh, their guns and heavy ordinance pointed outward in a barbed ring of artillery. The large and obvious targets of the Ork Waaagh such as the Squiggoths and charging DeffBoar hordes, posed little difficulty for the Warmachines heavy guns to target. With a brutal chorus of booms, shell upon shell upon shell rained down upon the Orks Heavy hitters, burying them in a rain of explosives and solid shells. The Orks charged on regardless of their losses, crashing against the Warmachine battle-line in a green tide. However, without the fortress destroying capabilities of the Squiggoths and the Line breaker DeffBoars, they could not breach the Warmachine defence. In a final act of defiance, the Warboss Boartusk himself charged in and challenged Lord Mechanica Krespern to combat. To which he was greeted by the barrels of four Thunderfire Cannons. The Warboss, and his Waaagh, did not survive the Campaign.
401.M34 The Howling Fortresses
The Catalexis Heresy, instigated by the Cacodominus, an Alien Cyborg of prodigious Psychic might. The War was eventually won by the Black Templars Chapter, but they were not the only Chapter engaged in the campaign, and the Warmachines played pivotal roles in capturing enemy strongholds and putting to the sword the mind controlled thralls of the Cacodominus. With brutal efficiency the Warmachines bombarded fortress after fortress, tearing down the walls and purging those within. The task was tireless, as the mind shackled slaves refused to surrender or fall to fear, and each and every one had to be put purged utterly in order to stop their obsessive, unrelenting resistance. As the War swung to a close, the death of the Cacodominus at the hands of the Black Templars resulted in the death of every Warmachine Librarian in the sector as they, alongside all other psykers, suffered the devastating psychic backlash of the creatures death shriek. It would take several centuries and assistance from the Chapters other companies to rebuild the Librarius that was lost.
132:M35 The Nova Terra Interregnum
While the Warmachines abstained from taking any part in the Civil war between the Ur-Council and the Lords of Terra, they did fight during that time, defending the Western side of the Ultima Segmentum, fighting off the myriad Xenos and Traitor forces that sought to use the Imperiums destabilisation to their own ends. Each Company of the Warmachines was deployed for several centuries, and they suffered heavy losses over this time from near continuous war and attrition, despite defending, sieging and counter sieging countless worlds, trying to keep the Imperiums foes form its core worlds. It was during this time that the Rank of Reclusiarch was removed from the Chapter, as the turnover rate for the position was so frequent that it became pointless to keep convening the Chaplains to elect a new one. Such was the Iron Heart formed, the Council of Chaplains.
010:M37 The Chaos Sun
The Warp tainted supernova of Maxil Betas sun caused all nearby systems and Imperial forces to devolve into horrific mutants, possessed and traitorous monstrosities. The Warmachines are one of the Imperial forces mustered to put down the suddenly insurgent chaos forces, and move to conquer planet after planet in a crusade to reclaim the corrupted area of space. The entire crusade devolves into a brutal series of purges of barely human detritus, so many planets deemed unsalvageable in the wake of the chaos stars detonation that many are not even set foot upon by the Marines, they are merely destroyed from orbit in a storm of fire and retribution. No glory was found in that campaign, merely ash and death.
854:M39 Volgenstraad Under Siege
The Fortress world of Volgenstraad comes under the assault from the Iron Warriors Warband known as the Iron Tyrants. Laying siege to the World, the Traitors try to break through the Orbital defences to get to the planets surface and initiate a ground war for the Chapters Fortress Monastery. Though severely undermanned by the Marines of the Chapter, the Populace of Volgenstraad rise to show the traitors what a PDF force under the Warmachines can achieve. Disciplined and unflinching, the Planetary defence forces of Volgenstraad valiantly man the guns, fortresses and emplacements of the Orbital Dock, eager and willing to sell their lives to save their home. The Tyrants came for an assault against Space Marines, but instead fell against the weight of a planetary population, armed and discipline. The Tyrants unleashed hell and the Gearsmen responded in kind, a fierce battle erupting in the void for Volgenstraads skies. Though they steadily gained ground, the sheer tenacity of the Gearsmen prevented the Tyrants from proceeding with their invasion at anything even close to schedule, delaying them from taking the orbital ring for over eighteen stellar months, and then again slowing the ground assault to a crawl. When the Chaos forces finally reached the Kredopost Alpha, the Warmachines Fortress Monastery, they were but a shadow of their former forces. Held up for so long as they were, the tyrants could only look on in despair as the skies above Volgenstraad darkened under the returning fleets of The Warmachines, and hails of Drop-pods and Thunderhawks descended to route the now trapped Chaos forces. None of the Iron tyrants who touched Volgenstraad soil lived to survive the campaign, those remaining elements of the Tyrants Fleet retreated back to the Warp, the Campaign a failure.
764:M41 The Screaming Tide
The Warmachines move to protect the Forge world of Esophon Prime, the vital forge world in the direct path of the encroaching fleets of Hive Fleet Behemoth. The Marines are under no illusion that they cannot hope to hold off the Xenos threat forever, and urge the Mechanicus priests to evacuate with as much precious archeotech and STC Machines as possible. The Mechanicus, after calculating the chances of victory in this field, acquiesce and begin the preparations for evacuation. The Hive Fleet, perhaps sensing its fleeing biomass, appears and strikes with the speed of a coiled viper, and takes both the Marines and The Mechanicus on the back foot. As they hastily entrench a defensive perimeter and battle line, the ships in orbit frantically move to avoid the massive Hive ships from swallowing them whole. Reinforced by Skitarri and Ademptus mechanicus forces, the Marines of the WarMachines enact a fighting retreat as the unrelenting and unending tide of xenos pushes them slowly, but steadily back. The primary forges and manufactory complexes of the planet alert the marines that the most vital and rare pieces of Machinery have been successfully relocated to both the Mechanicum and Warmachine ships, but it is far too late to enact any sort of escape to Orbit. As the jaws of the hive fleet close around Esophon Prime, The Skitarri commanders and Ad mech priests volunteer to hold back the tide alone, allowing the Space Marines to escape, before detonating a series of planetary nuclear warheads and destroying the planet. Initially reluctant to retreat in the face of their foes, the Mechanicus commanders argue that the Warmachines are more valuable, and less expendable, than their skitarri battle-brothers, and that the Warmachines will be needed on more warzones to hold back the tide of the Imperiums enemies. Relenting to the sound reasoning, The Warmachines return to orbit as the Skitarri take the full brunt of the Tyranid assault. They last a matter of hours before being crushed under the unending horde of Shrieking, chittering horrors. Within moments of the Skitarri line collapsing, a series of sub-tectonic nuclear warheads ignite, fracturing the planet, and burning its occupiers alive in a sea of red hot magma, dealing a grievous blow to the Tyranids present, and leaving them unable to recover, let alone gain more Biomass. The Mechanicus priests and their precious technology is relocated to Volgenstraads moon, an already booming Forgeworld that bolsters under the newcomers arrival. In return for their assistance, the Warmachines are granted access to many of the Mechanicums ancient technologies, and the in return for the Skitarris sacrifice, the Warmachines repaint the inner circle of their chapter symbol red in honour of the Mechanicus soldiers courage.
Situated towards the Galactic core, near the warp storm known as the Maelstrom, to call the planet of Volgenstraad a fortress, is to call a steel bastion thousand of feet high a fence. The planet is singular in its pursuit of martial power, its every industry, facility and structure bent to the call of war. Every city, block and district is formulated, designed and constructed to offer maximal defensive protection, and total enemy annihilation. There isn't a single square foot of the planets surface that has not been made fit for purpose in the goal of creating a barbed sphere of iron upon the planets surface. In the skies above Volgenstraad a massive orbital ring encircles the planet, its outer edges bristling with armaments and dockyards, providing a haven for the chapters fleet, and those outsider ships the Warmachines grant safe passage.
As if the sheer physical might of Volgenstraad was not enough, the very population of the world has been turned into a deadly, honed weapon by their Astartes masters. The only industry on Volgenstraad is war, and it is a booming industry. Men and women born on Volgenstraad are at age nine put into initial training for the planets PDF regiments, known as the Gearsmen. Those that show absolute excellent in the art of war and battle craft, are presented to the Chapter as aspirants to become space marines.
Vogenstraad's lone moon, Chernokye, it is said was once a verdant garden world of great beauty and wonder, but those days have long since passed. Now, and for as long as the chapter has lived upon the Volgenstraad, the surface of Chernokye has belonged to the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Tech-priests of Mars. The forge complexes specialise in the manufacture and production of macro-cannons and other large solid shot weaponry, including the mortars, Thunderfire cannons and autocannons that the chapter so favours in their methods of war. Such a close relationship with the Mechanicus has bred obvious cultural changes into the chapter, but it has made every effort to remain separate and unaffiliated with Mars and the Machine cult.
There is only one culture on Volgenstraad, and that culture is War. The planets beating heart is one of oil, rockcrete and ceramite, and its people are the blood that pumps through its great iron vessels. This culture of martial obsession was crafted and moulded by the initial founding members of the chapter. Seeking to create a world that would not only offer up the strongest and hardest aspirants to become space marines, but a world that would serve as a bastion of cold brutality, equal parts fear and awe-inspiring that would be utterly unconquerable in it's might. By all measures, they succeeded in that goal. The human military forces of Volgenstraad are amongst some of the best trained and disciplined PDF troops in the galaxy, their sheer tenacity and resolute stubbornness making them all but immovable in the defense of their home. The Vogenstraad Gearsmen are ever-ready for war, their whole lives are shaped by the grim profession, and their souls are set to the execution of their liege lords orders.
The Chapter culture and cult is little different to that of the Gearsmen they once were. Cold and sometimes deliberately withdrawn, the Marines of the Warmachines are leery of outsiders, especially those who were not born within the steel caverns of Volgenstraad. This distrust of those outside of the chapter has led to a rather solitary existence for the chapter, shunning working alongside others in preference of their own brutal method of war and destruction. Even the Mechanicus, usual allies of the Iron Hands successors, are held at an arms distance, but then, the chapter is not so like its suspected sister chapters. Where the Iron Hands and their successors are renown for their disdain for the flesh and a desire to, often unnecessarily, augment their bodies with bionics, the Warmachines present very little of this practice. The Chapter is perhaps still more likely to augment their bodies than other chapters, but they are far more pragmatic than other sons of the Gorgon. Only replacing organs and limbs with replacements when it is necessary, or there is a distinct advantage to the change, such as bionic eyes, and small digit mechadendrites and vox-grill implants so as to communicate swiftly using binary.
The cold application of pragmatism and logic pervades every part of their Chapter cult, venerating the Emperor as not the God the Ecclesiarchy preaches, but rather the most intelligent and powerful human to have ever existed, who through sheer will and knowledge, forged the star-spanning Imperium. In this, the Chaplains of the Chapter preach the virtues of logic, pragmatism, and order, decrying the foul uncertainty and inconsistency of chaos, as an affront to true power. It is only through truth, data and logic that true power can be attained.
The Warmachines Chaplains, and reclusiam in general, espouse a more rationalised and pragmatic chapter cult than most other chapters. However, unlike many sons of the Gorgon, they refrain from intertwining with the more religious aspects of the Cult mechanicus, despite their close ties. The main tenants of the Warmachines Chapter Cult is centred around the value of knowledge and rationality, eschewing superstition and religious fanaticism. Their view of the Emperor is that of the perfect incarnation of mankind, the greatest and most intelligent being to ever exist, and so revere him as a state to aspire to, a perfect paragon to emulate in all things. Unabashedly disdainful of both the Ecchlesiarchy and the more religious aspects of the Cult Mechanicus, the relationship maintained with these two groups is purely on an as needed basis, with only the Tech Priests of Chernokye truly privy to the Chapters respect, mainly simply for the extremely long time the two worlds have been intertwined. Unlike many Iron Hands successors, the Warmachines appear either unaffected or particularly resistant to the mechanical obsession that consumes most sons of the Gorgon, only replacing those limbs that would be damaged or lost otherwise, however, pragmatism is somewhat of an alternate obsessive virtue for the Warmachines, and will replace a biological body part with a mechanical one if an objective benefit can be identified.
The Geneseed, as much of the Iron Hands successors, is technically devoid of flaws in any major sense, with normal expected degeneration over the millennia, but otherwise no major faults or failed organs. The Geneseed however, is odd, in that not all of it appears to come from the same genetic bloodline. While only Iron hands lineage geneseed has been tithed to the Adeptus Mechanicus, there have been numerous reports of field apothecaries, Ordo Hospitalier agents, and Explorator Techno-magi, discovering conflicting and in cases, alarming discrepancies within the geneseed recovered or examined. these reports have either been purged, deleted, or the people in question filing the reports disappear under unknown circumstances. Whether the Warmachines have any part in this is unknown.
The Warmachines chapter structure differs from that laid out within the codex astartes, being in that they only possess five Companies, with each containing roughly two hundred astartes each. Similarly is each companies internal structure different to that laid out within the Codex astartes. Each is commanded by one of the five Siege Masters, marines of Captain equivalent rank in other chapters, and they in turn commanded by the Lord Mechanica, the Chapter master of the Warmachines. Rather than each company being named numerically, each of the companies is named, and none are ranked as higher than any other, with each company possessing its own support organisations, armour squadrons, veterans, reserves and scout elements. In this manner is the might of the Chapter equally distributed amongst its companies. Only the Librarius and Chaplains are a separate entity within the chapter, with the records of each brother from these organisations purposefully expunged, so that they become a brother to the whole chapter, not simply one company. This is also to ensure that no single company begins to deviate from the chapter cult in any manner too extreme.
It falls to the Siege master to command his company and organise their battle tactics in war. He is the undisputed master of his company, beholden only to the Lord Mechanica and the chapter chaplains, he commands the astartes under his command with brutal efficiency and cold detachment. Rarely warriors of particular renown, for a space marine, they are instead more often than not skilled tacticians and masters of battlefield control, wielding those men and weapons under their command as other astartes would wield a blade.
Each Company contains a number of chaplains rather than simply one, due to the enlargened size of each chapter, often including three or even four per company. Within the Warmachines there is no Reclusiarch, the office long having been absent from the chapter, instead, the Chaplains form a council known as the Iron heart. It is rarely the whole Reclusiam meets in such a fashion, but it is not unheard of. To ascend to chaplaincy, three chaplains from separate companies must approve his ascension, and in order to do prove themselves to each chaplain, potential aspirants must spend time, fighting alongside them. In this manner, Chaplains often accumulate nameless warriors around them as entourages, who invariably form the command squads of these chaplains, granted special privileges by their status while they prove themselves to the chaplain in particular.
Related in part to the manner in which the Warmachines wage war, Techmarines are more numerous in the Chapter, and more respected as a part of it. Where other Chapters often shun the Machine Gods chosen for their apparent "Dual" loyalty, the Warmachines own close ties to the Mechanicum through the Moon of Chernokye, has meant that that Warmachines have always enjoyed positive relations with the machine cult, and in recent decades even honored their frontline troops, the Skittari, through the adoption of a crimson inset to their chapter symbol. Techmarines have come to represent that connection between the Machine cult and the chapter, and are often seen as emissaries, go-betweens and facilitators of the alliance between Astartes and Mechanicum.
Each company possesses its own contingent of veteran warriors who bear the crux terminatus upon their pauldron. The Warmachines possess roughly thirty suits of Terminator armour, and these ancient suits are spread out across the chapter, with each company able to bring forth a contingent of warriors clad in the Tactical dreadnought plate. These warriors invariably form the final blow in a Warmachines siege, once the enemies walls are cracked, rent and broken, they are the final blow which shatters wide the enemies defences and lead the charge into the breach. They are followed by their power armoured brother veterans, armed with heavy weapons, bolters and blade, they form the spear tip, while the bulk of the company forms the impenetrable shield.
Tactical Marines form the Iron wall of the Warmachines siege engine, grinding forward unflinchingly over the corpses of the fallen. Ostensibly armed with boarding shields and Siege Mantlets, the Tactical squads of the Warmachines are slow but immovable, acting as the mobile defense line for the heavy artillery and ordnance that is manned behind them. In leu of this defensive style of warfare the tactical marines of the chapter are often armed with short ranged but effective defensive weaponry, such as flamers, grav weaponry and melta's, in order to target and destroy anything that approaches the perimeter line.
Of a companies compliment of marines, roughly half within the Warmachines, will be designated to that of the Devastator doctrine. Merciless, calculating and unyieldingly brutal in their execution of their duties, Warmachines Devastators will pound the enemy with missile, bolt, beam and shell. Unloading the daunting volume of fire the Warmachines are known for with an efficiency bordering on grace, and a fervency bordering on fanaticism. Such warriors man either vehicle mounted ordinance such as Basilisk Tanks and Typhon heavy siege engines, track mounted mobile Rapier batteries, or single man portable heavy guns. With whatever armament they fire, they excel, laying down a withering storm of fire with which cities are leveled, and fortification, lain to waste.
Many would believe, in a chapter so focused upon long range firepower and ballistic overkill, that assault squads would be of a lesser, diminished and uncared for role. However, while it is true that each company will hold fewer squads of assault brothers than any other battle designation, they still play a vital role in the Warmachines battle doctrines. It is the Assault marines that act as the surgical scalpal to their brethrens sledgehammer. Deployed by either bike, jump pack or drop pod, the Assault forces of the Warmachines are released with specific missions and orders, whether it is to retrieve some relic or lost artifice, or to assassinate some key figure or point of the battlefield. The Assault squads are armed and trained to strike hard, fast, and retreat with their prize before the enemy has time to retaliate. In this function do the admittedly small number of Warmachines assault brothers fill a vital role in the Chapters battle tactics.
Lord Mechanica Kaegr Lurtzergen:
Current Chapter master, or Lord Mechanica as they are known within the Warmachines. Lurtzergen is a giant of an astartes, a titan amongst titans, especially within his Terminator plate. Armed with the colossal Power maul Titans Bane and his Storm shield, When Lurtergen Martches to war it is alongside his Terminator honour guard, and together they form the killing blow of any Warmachines offensive. Directing the warzone from orbit until the time has come to strike the hammer down upon the cracked and rent defences of the enemy. At this point the Lord Mechanica will teleport down to the thick of the fight, and with his honour guard beside him, batter and smash their way through the gap in the enemies defences, and crush their commanders beneath the faces of thunder hammers and the heels of boots.
Siege Master Ithric Vasdimir:
Vasdimir is the current Siege master, or Captain, of Zholehzo Company. Of all the Companies, Zholehzo is known for its heavy reliance on weapons that produce massed hails of fire, such as Assault cannons, heavy bolters and hurricane bolters. As a result of this, Zholehzo company is skilled in the decimation of large cohorts of infantry and light vehicles. Vasdimir similarly, is a master of choreographing unrelenting fusillades of shot, interlocking fields of fire and disciplined firing rotations. Armed with his Storm bolter and Storm shield, Vasdimir is rarely a front line fighter, preferring to stand in the ranks of his warriors and direct their fire with the bark of his own bolt shells.
Siege Master Yermin Kelvic:
The Siege master of Mashima company has suffered more grievous injury over his time than most, and had more biological parts of his body replaced than any other outside of the Chapter Techmarines. Virtually everything from his limbs to his organs to his cranium have been replaced and refurbished with cybernetic enhancements and integrations. In reality, the only parts of his body still biological are segments of his upper torso, spinal column, and brain. This is not because he is prone to injury, but simply prone to finding the largest foe upon the battlefield and challenging them to single combat. This means that while he has suffered many hundreds of grievous injuries, he has also collected the skulls of many thousand foes. His cybernetics afford him incredible durability, able to withstand and shrug off injuries that would kill other marines, and even commanders, many times over. As a result of this, Kelvic is renown as being unkillable, and it is often joked that any other marine injured as badly as Kelvic would have long since been interred within a dreadnought sarcophagi, assuming they even survived to that point.
Master of the Forge Vigra Boriz:
Boriz is less an astartes and more a mad engineer focussed soley on the design and construction of massive weapons of war. An endless tinkerer, Boriz can be found within the armouries and vehicle bays of the Warmachines, augmenting, tuning and upgrading the endless stockpiles of weapons housed there. From simply re-aligning a bolter sight to replacing whole engine segments of mighty Fellblade Tanks, Boriz will tackle any and every project, his augmetics and cybernetics a constant whirr of near ceaseless work. He is able to accomplish these seemingly superhuman feats of non-stop construction due to his singular boon, the rite of Duplescence. This mighty technological boon, usually exclusively granted to high ranking members of the Ordo Mechanicus, provides the bearer with a boon most unusual, a secondary brain. In Boriz’s case, this brain is the brain of his brother Techpriest, Vigra. Vigra, in a time long past, was injured catastrophically in an engagement against the Eldar, beyond the skills of the apothecarion and without a Sarcophogi in which to preserve his state. It was the Mechanicus Magos present alongside the Warmachines that offered a risky, but possible solution. The brain of Vigra, with all the knowledge it contained, would be placed inside his brother, Boriz, and they would share their skills and abilities. Boriz, eager to save his brother, agreed, and so the procedure was performed, to success, and Vigra Boriz, as they were now known, has continued to serve the Warmachines since, rising to the position of Master of the Forge.
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- "Surrender? There is no surrender. Only destruction. No mercy will be shown to those who betray the God-Emperors Imperium. Grind them to Dust."
- — Captain Varguhn during the Nova Terra Interegnum
- "Here they come! Hold the line! Keep your guns steady! They will not break our ranks! Fire!"
- —Unknown sergeant during the fall of Esophon Prime
- "You thought to strike the wolf's den while the wolves were away, you thought it undefended and vulnerable. You forgot that wolves have pups, and you were no match for our young."
- — Chaplain Durgholm, chastising the Iron Tyrants for their ill'begotten war against Volgenstraad.
- "Like the waves of the ocean, my faithful throngs crash against their shield walls and bulwarks of cannon, but they are stone and steel, and will not break. If I had the time, they would rust, but I do not. We move on, there is not enough prize to be won here."
- — Valkyura Warpschild tiring of sieging the Warmachines
- "Fine, go ahead, build your walls and defenses. My men and I will celebrate on them once we win this war for you."
- — Eulitus Ephrain of the Wings of Salvaxes
- "Mechanical mind and steel will, cold hearts with urge to kill. Iron within, do they keep their fate. Iron without, shall their vengeance sate."
- — Unknown Mortarchs Serpentia Marine
- "Go ahead, I dare you, try and slip into their camp without being blown to pieces. You would have better luck infiltrating Terra. Just hail them, we need to talk to them, not trip their easy trigger fingers."
- — Leomon Lemarsch of the Obsidian Blades Chapter.