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The Fire Hawks have long been a byword for devastation and wrath. In their history they have seen great victories, bloody deeds and terrible reversals, being one of only a very few Chapters on record known to have survived the destruction of two separate home worlds, and being brought back from the brink of extinction many times.
The Chapter itself claims antecedence from the renowned Ultramarines gene-seed, although certain defects and variations in the samples held in the archives of the Adeptus Terra speak against this, and the Lords of Macragge have never publicly acknowledged kinship.[1a]
The Fire Hawks have also long been notably embroiled deeply in the wars of the Age of Apostasy. In one of their first actions they fought alongside the Black Templars, Imperial Fists, Soul Drinkers, and the Martian Skitarii against Goge Vandire. They did not escape unscathed, as during these battles their homeworld of Zhoros was destroyed by Thermal Bombs. At the conclusion of the Age of Apostasy they were rewarded for their actions in his support by Sebastian Thor himself, who issued them with the right to use the Great Crusade-era mobile void-fortress, Raptorus Rex as their fortress monastery. The Fire Hawks became a fleet-based chapter as a result.[1c]
They were also the first loyalist Chapter to become engaged in the Badab War after one of their vessels, the Red Harbinger was attacked and captured by the Mantis Warriors in 904.M41. The Fire Hawks quickly became fully engaged in the conflict, with an effective frontline brethren fighting strength of 86%, a projected Chapter maximum at the start of the war. Despite the power of their fleet, the Fire Hawks suffered terrible losses in the early years of the war, both in terms of battle-brethren and vessels. Eventually casualties reduced the Chapter's effective strength to an estimated 22% by the war's third year, and Lazaerek was forced to bow to Loyalist command pressure to withdraw his remaining forces or risk his Chapter's extinction. The Chapter was relegated to the sidelines until the very closing stages of the war when Lazaerek successfully petitioned the Loyalist Command for his Chapter's involvement again in the fight, and the star-fortress Raptorus Rex, the single-most powerful warship in the Maelstrom Zone, was used as a lynchpin of the Angstrom blockade.[1d] Also during the Badab War Fire Hawks created a new pattern of the Razorback - Infernum Pattern Razorback - to effectively breach the enemy fortifications and deliver the Space Marines squads inside the breaches.[6b]
Disappearance of the Fire Hawks
The beginning of the end came when the Fire Hawks were called to the Crows World subsector in 963.M41 to deal with Dark Eldar Pirates. The entire chapter fleet, as well as the Raptorus Rex, attempted a warp jump from the Piraeus system, 120 light years from Crows World. The space fortress, five ships, over 800 brethren and 2,000 other personnel were expected to reach Crows World within no more than 12 hours. They never arrived.
In 983.M41 the chapter was officially declared lost in the warp and assumed destroyed. The Bell of Lost Souls tolled a thousand times, and it is said that the Emperor himself ordered a black candle to be lit in the Chapel of Fallen Heroes.
Rumours fed by a long line of coincidences have been said by conspiracy theorists to implicate the Officio Assassinorum in the loss of the Fire Hawks' fleet, though nothing has ever been substantiated.
- M36 - Founded.
- 780.M41 - The Lycanthos Drift Campaign; Chapter Master Stibor Lazaerek passed over by Lufgt Huron for overall command.[1a]
- 902.M41 - The Thirteenth Castigation of Golgotha.[1a]
- 904.M41 - Investigated missing Imperial fleets in the Maelstrom Zone; fired upon by Mantis Warriors. Entered the Badab War as a result.
- 906.M41 - Questioned by the Inquisition in order to establish culpability for the war; cleared of any wrongdoing.[1a]
- 907.M41 - Entire chapter strength stands at 22% due to casualties incurred in the war, chapter placed on rear duties for remainder of the war.[1a]
- 912.M41 - Conclusion of the Badab War.
- 963.M41 - Entire chapter vanish in the warp.
- 983.M41 - The Fire Hawks are officially declared lost.
Notable Fire Hawks
- Elam Courbray - Knight Captain[1g]
- Narth Orlandra - one of the founders of the Chapter[6a]
- Stibor Lazaerek - last tecorded Chapter Master[1a]
Notable Named Vehicles
The Fire Hawks' colour scheme and insignia have changed between their first appearance and the current edition of the background; the dominance of yellow and red has been switched and the mushroom cloud symbol has now become one more relevant to the chapter's name.
In addition, the Badab War book places the second siege of Terra at 378.M36 - almost a hundred years after the date implied by the Witch Hunters codex (circa 287)
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One
- 2: Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 63
- 3: Warhammer 40,000 Compendium, pg.33
- 4: White Dwarf 99 (UK), Index Astartes: Legion of the Damned, by Rick Priestley
- 5: Codex: Assassins (3rd Edition), pg.13
- 6: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Second Edition: War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes