|This article is about the Space Marine Legion, for the Novel by Jonathan Green see Iron Hands (Novel)|
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The Iron Hands were the X Legion of the twenty original Space Marine Legions sometimes referred to as the "Iron Tenth". Their Primarch is Ferrus Manus. Like the other loyalist Legions, much of the Iron Hands forces would later be re-organized into smaller Chapters, as according to the dictates of the Codex Astartes. The Iron Hands are notable for their heavy use of bionics and their reverence for all things mechanical, and thus their close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus.
|Marine||Basic Data||Chapter Symbol|
Medusa is located near the Eye of Terror. Its landscape is harsh and generally unstable, with massive tectonic shifts occurring on a regular basis. Medusa is not united by any single government, but instead is populated by disparate clans of miners living out of great tracked vehicles travelling in caravan. There are only two notable locations on Medusa: a volcano known as Karaashi, which was the location of the arrival of Ferrus Manus, and the Land of Shadows. The Land of Shadows is populated only by ghostly relics of ages past and is said to be haunted by the spirits of Medusans long dead; those who go there only go in order to become supplicants to the Iron Hands' recruitment process.
Originally known as the X Legion and according to some other sources the Stormwalkers[22a], the legion was created during the latter days of the Unification Wars on Terra. Recruitment bases at this time were widespread and drawn from all over the planet, but in particular the warlike cultures of Albia proved effective initiates into the Legion. The Legion's first instance of recorded combat was in the Sol system against a Mutant warband known as 'Scythers'. Shortly thereafter they exterminated the Xenos Lyasx on the world of Oberath. While the Legion was victorious in both actions, they did not yet seem to specialize in any area of warfare. It was only during the invasion of the Ork-held Planet 02-34 (designated 'Rust') did the Legion's effectiveness in utilizing slow-moving mass firepower become apparent.[21a]
The Primarch of what would become the Iron Hands, Ferrus Manus (also known as The Gorgon), was among the first of the Emperor's sons to be rediscovered.[21a] The early history of Ferrus Manus is chronicled in the folklore of Medusa. The most popular of these tales is the Canticle of Travels, which details the trials of Ferrus Manus and his ordeal with the Great Silver Wyrm known as Asirnoth. The Canticle is the only tale that even attempts to explain the mystery of how Ferrus Manus came by his living metal hands. Ferrus Manus never united the people of his homeworld in the way most of the other Primarchs had, on the basis that competition grew greater strength. When the Emperor eventually came to Medusa, Ferrus Manus tested himself against him as well. In a cataclysmic battle that is said to have lain waste to entire mountains. Finally having found someone his equal, Ferrus accepted the Emperor as his master and took command of the X Legion of Space Marines, which was renamed the Iron Hands in his honor.[21a]
With the Gorgon at their head, the Iron Hands quickly became renowned for its ability to confront enemies of the Great Crusade head-on, gaining a reputation as ruthless and calculating fighters. The Iron Hands excelled at high-intensity warfare against both technologically advanced foes as well as brutal xenos such as Orks whose sheer power and fast numbers constituted a grave threat to the success of the Crusade. Soon enough, the Iron Hands became known as the Iron Tenth and were deliberately deployed to battlefronts where set-piece engagements against massed armies was likely. As their battle style required advanced war engines, during this period the Iron Hands began to establish their notoriously close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus, whose culture was astonishingly similar to their own.[21a]
The Horus Heresy
At the outset of the Heresy, Fulgrim - the Primarch of the Emperor's Children tried to turn Ferrus Manus to the side of the traitors. When Ferrus refused to side with the rebels, Fulgrim had his fleet launch a crippling attack on the Iron Hands vessels, although he could not bring himself to kill his brother. In the wake of this betrayal, Ferrus took as many of his veterans as he could onboard one of the few undamaged vessels to participate in the loyalist attack on Isstvan V. This proved to be a disaster when four of the supposedly loyal Legions turned on their allies, resulting in horrendous casualties amongst the Raven Guard and Salamanders Legions and the death of Ferrus Manus and his entire retinue. Rumors persist that Ferrus Manus's corpse was taken to Mars; the Iron Hands deny any such claims. The Iron Hands bear a grudge against all the participants of the Heresy: the traitors, for being weak enough to become corrupted, and the other loyalists, for not being strong enough to protect the Emperor.
After the events of the Heresy the remaining members of the Iron Hands Legion were split up into smaller Chapters. It was also decided that no single individual would run the Iron Hands again, and all of the surviving Iron Hands were assembled on Medusa for a conclave known as The Tempering. There it was set that the Iron Council would oversee the sons of the Gorgon.[22a]
- Moirae Schism (cM35) - a civil conflict which occurred during the Nova Terra Interregnum. During this Schism, which affected all branches of the Adeptus Mechanicus and those Imperial factions closely tied to it, the Iron Hands chapter stood at the brink of destroying itself in an internal chapter war. The Great Clan Council of the Iron Hands were able to settle the matter by exiling the Moirae dissidents from the chapter, with both sides swearing never to take up arms against each other. Almost a full third of the chapter split away to become a fleet based divergent branch of the Iron Hands. This branch became known as the Sons of Medusa.
- Skarvus Ambush (929.M40)
- Gaudinian Heresy (460.M41) - A third of the Iron Council is lost in a massive Daemonic corruption and ensuing ambush by the Emperor's Children.[22b]
- Damocles Crusade (742.M41)- The Iron Hands contribute forces to the Crusade, battling Tau Empire forces on the world of Dal'yth
- The Purging of Contqual (812.M41) - The Iron Hands eliminated Chaos forces from twelve planets in the Contqual Subsector.
- The Saint Cyllia Massacres (863.M41) - The Iron Hands pursue the Adamant Fury Traitor Titan Legion with a vengeance following the massacre.
- The False Saint (cM41) - Elements of the Third Company lead the assault on the stronghold of the False Saint, the daemon possessed body of Saint Drusus, on the storm-riddled dead world of Grangold in the Calixis Sector. Though wiped out in battle, with the daemonic forces of Tzeentch, their actions allows elements of the Imperial Guard, led by agents of the Inquisition, to banish the False Saint and close the Warp portal the daemon was opening.
- The Siege of Hypnoth (910-911.M41) - The Iron Hands contribute to the Imperial defense of the planet against the Necrons.
- The Battle for Fellcore Moon (963.M41) - The Iron Hands and Space Wolves come to blows after Iron Captain Telavech's logical critique of Ragnar Blackmane impetuous performance is taken as an insult.[19c]
- Exterminatus Missions (997.M41) - Along with the Death Strike, Flame Falcons, and Genesis Chapter, the Iron Hands preform a series of Exterminatus operations throughout the worlds of the Ulik Sector which lay in the path of Hive Fleet Leviathan, to try and stop the Hive Fleet from gaining momentum.[19c]
- Thirteenth Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Iron Hands committed all ten clans against the forces of the Black Crusade. During this conflict the Iron Hands' Home World, Medusa, was invaded by Chaos forces; these forces were eventually defeated by combined forces of all the Clan Companies. 
Beliefs and Reputation
The Iron Hands have a reputation for being relatively straightforward and incredibly harsh. In the Battle of Thranx, for example, the resources of several depleted clan-companies were pooled for a full frontal assault using five Land Raiders against a facility bristling with anti-tank defenses that had made a mockery of previous attempts with whole armoured companies; in the retaking of the Contqual Subsector, one third of the population was summarily executed after a successful campaign simply to demonstrate the price of weakness.  They are also known to be on poor terms with the Raven Guard and after the liberation of the Kelldar System from an Ork Waaagh! in 810.M41 refused to sit at the same feasting table as their Raven Guard allies.[19b]
The Iron Hands are infamous for their extensive use of bionics, which has helped bring them into a close relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus.[9a] After the Heresy, when the Legions were reorganized into Chapters, the Iron Hands became recluses, attempting to find ways to make themselves even stronger so that they would be fit for serving under Manus again at the end of times. To this end they have made it a practice to make extensive use of bionic modifications, going so far that there are rumors of some battle brothers being wholly mechanical. Iron Hands consider the greatest honour they can receive is to be interred in Dreadnought armour.[9a]
The Iron Hands also eschew the traditional office of Chaplain in favor of their Iron Fathers, specially trained Techmarines who serve to protect the faith of their brethren; some outsiders view this as well as the Iron Hands' ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus as an unhealthy relationship.
There are no noted physical flaws with the Iron Hand's gene-seed, but some speculate that their fanatical hatred of weakness and physical frailty may in fact result from a genetic flaw in their gene-seed. Unusually it appears that the Inquisition are relatively unconcerned about the Chapter as a whole - it would appear that if they have identified a flaw in the Chapter, they choose not to act on it as they do not regard this flaw as inherently dangerous to the Imperium.
The Iron Hands are organised in a similar fashion to a Codex Chapter but with several distinct differences. The Chapter consists of ten "Clan Companies" which are composed in a fashion comparable to that of a Codex Battle Company. Each Clan Company is an independent entity, responsible for its own recruitment and, as such, there are no dedicated Scout or Veteran Companies. Each Clan also possess a colossal mobile fortress.
Sources concerning the Hierarchy of the Iron Hands give conflicting information about the upper echelons of their command structure -
- White Dwarf 262 (UK) states that the Chapter does not possess a Chapter Master, but is instead led by the Great Clan Council, which is itself made up of revered representatives from each of the ten Clans. This is described as being a precaution against future heresy and a reflection of Ferrus Manus' teachings. A more current source, Imperial Armour - Volume 10, also confirms the existence of the Greater Clan Council[Needs Citation].
- Apparently contradicting this, Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition) describes Kardan Stronos as Chapter Master of the Iron Hands. Also, other earlier sources describe an Inquisitorial official petitioning the Chapter Master of the Iron Hands for assistance during Abaddon the Despoiler's Thirteenth Black Crusade.
- Later, Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition) describes the Chapter as being overseen by the Chapter Council and lacks a formal Chapter Master. However Kardan Stronos is the first among peers on the council due to his reputation and instead serves as a de facto leader.[19a]
The Great Clan Council
Each Clan Company chooses a member to serve in the ruling body of the Chapter, The Great Clan Council (also called the Iron Council[19a]). The organizational structure of the Iron Hands changed after the Horus Heresy and the death of Ferrus Manus, and it was decided that no single warrior should be leader of the Iron Hands. Instead, the Clan Captains and most revered warriors of the Legion formed the Iron Council. Those who sit on the Council become known as Iron Fathers, and the body has guided the Iron Hands ever since.[19a] Due to the reverence for the mechanical amongst Iron Hands, the council members are often Venerable Dreadnoughts. Precisely forty-one Iron Fathers sit on the Iron Council.[22a]
The bulk of the Chapter is divided into ten Clan Companies. Each Clan is a roughly a self-contained unit not dissimilar to a Codex Astartes Battle Company; however, each Clan is responsible for its own recruiting and maintenance of its motorpool. Each Clan, in addition, possesses a mobile fortress monastery on Medusa which they consider their base of operations. Some materials do pass between the Clans, but even still they are often in open competition with one another. The Chapter's fleet disposition is unknown.
- Clan Avernii, (Morlocks, veteran Company)
- Clan Raukaan, led by Clan-Commander Arven Rauth[12a]
- Clan Kaargul, led by Warleader Bannus
- Clan Vurgaan, led by Iron-Commander Pelles[1a]
- Clan Sorrgol
- Clan Morragul
- Clan Felg
- Clan Atraxii
- Clan Ungavarr
- Clan Garrsak[1b]
- Clan Dorrvok (Scout Company)
The Iron Hands eschew the traditional office of Chaplain in favor of their Iron Fathers, specially trained Techmarines who serve to protect the faith of their brethren; some outsiders view this (as well as the Iron Hands' ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus in general) as an unhealthy relationship. Iron Fathers also sit on the Iron Council of the Chapter.[19a]
Terminators and Veteran Sergeants
After the events of the battle of Istvaan V the Iron Hands lost most of their veteran forces. Therefore, suits of Terminator armour are even more rare than is normally the case. Due to this, the deployment of full Terminator Squads is rare. However sergeants are often equipped with suits of Terminator armour as the inspirational value they provide to their squads is invaluable.
Each of the Clan-Companies of the Iron Hands are responsible for their own recruitment. These new recruits are taken from the nomadic Clans of Medusa. Only those of great physical and mental strength will are recruited, and during recruitment candidates have their "weaknesses" purged from them.[9a]
- See - Space Marine Armoury for generic Space Marine weapons, vehicles and equipment
- See - Iron Hands Armoury for Iron Hands-specific items
Noted Elements of the Iron Hands
- Ferrus Manus - Primarch of the Iron Hands
- Gabriel Santar - First Captain of the Iron Hands during the Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Killed on Isstvan V.
- Amadeus DuCaine - Lord Commander
- Autek Mor - Iron Father
- Castrmen Orth - Centurion
- Ulrach Branthan - Captain, Iron Hands 65th Clan-Company
- Cadmus Tyro - Squad Captain and Equerry to Captain Branthan
- Frater Thamatica - Iron Father Ironwrought Morlock
- Sabik Wayland - Iron Father 
- 'Karaashi' Bombastus - Dreadnought
- Vermanus Cybus - Morlock Veteran
- Septus Thoic - Morlock Veteran
- Ignatius Numen - Morlock
- Kardan Stronos - De Facto Chapter Master of the Iron Hands[4b]
- Bannus - warleader of the Kaargul Clan
- Arven Rauth - Clan-Commander of Clan Raukaan.[12a]
- Lydriik - Epistolary and Iron Father[22a]
- Verrox - Iron Father[22a]
- Marrus - Iron Father[22a]
- Shulgaar - Iron Father[22a]
- Feirros - Iron Father[22a]
- Grolvoch - Iron Father[22a]
- Daarmos - Iron Father[22a]
- Kristos - Former Iron Father (deceased)
- Graevaar - Former Iron Father (deceased)
- Talumech - Venerable Dreadnought [Needs Citation]
- Axagoras - Venerable Dreadnought [Needs Citation]
- Furnous - Venerable Dreadnought
- Telavech - Captain
- Paullian Blantar - A former Iron Father of the Kaargul Clan.(deceased)
- Gdolkin - Iron Father[Needs Citation]
- Naim Morvox - Brother-Sergeant of Clave Arx (3rd Squad), Clan Raukaan.[12b]
- Telach - Chief Librarian of Clan Raukaan.[12c](Deceased)[12f]
- Hervel Khatir - Iron Father of Clan Raukaan.[12d](Deceased)[12e]
- Aviren - Techmarine
- Fist of Iron - Flagship at the time of the Horus Heresy.
- Ferrum - Carried Ferrus Mannus and his veterans to Istvaan V.
- Sisypheum - strike Cruiser that played a crucial role at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy
- Red Talon - grand cruiser and Flagship of Clan Morragul at the time of Horus Heresy [21b]
|Loyalist||I - Dark Angels · V - White Scars
VI- Space Wolves · VII- Imperial Fists
IX- Blood Angels · X- Iron Hands
XIII- Ultramarines · XVIII- Salamanders
XIX- Raven Guard
|Traitor||III- Emperor's Children · IV- Iron Warriors|
VIII- Night Lords · XII- World Eaters
XIV- Death Guard · XV- Thousand Sons
XVI- Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus · XVII- Word Bearers
XX- Alpha Legion
- 1: Iron Hands (Novel) by Jonathan Green
- 2: Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 3: Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill, [Needs Citation]
- 4: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pgs. 91-103
- 6: Codex: Eye of Terror, [Needs Citation]
- 7: Black Library 20/12/2011
- 8: Horus Heresy (Artbook Series) Collected Visions Page 19
- 9: Index Astartes III - The Iron Hands Space Marine Chapter
- 10: White Dwarf 262 (UK) pgs. 64-71
- 11: Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 12: Wrath of Iron (Novel) by Chris Wraight
- 13: Deathwatch: First Founding, pg. 8
- 14 Codex: Tau (3rd Edition) pg. 60
- 15: Codex: Necrons (5th Edition) pg. 26
- 16: Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment pg. 58
- 17: The 13th Black Crusade (Background Book) pg.73
- 18: Angel Exterminatus by Graham McNeill Book 2, Chapter 5, onwards
- 19: Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition) (E-Book Edition)
- 20: Iron Soul (Short Story), pg. 2
- 21: The Horus Heresy Book Two - Massacre
- 22: Clan Raukaan - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement