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Space Wolves

The Space Wolves (also Sky Warriors of Russ, Rout or Vlka Fenryka [Wolves of Fenris in Fenrisian]) were the VI Legion of the twenty Space Marine Legions. Their primarch is Leman Russ. After the Horus Heresy and the resultant reforms, the legion was divided, its first and only time, into two chapters: the new Space Wolves chapter retained the name of their parent Legion, while the second chapter took on the name of the Wolf Brothers. The latter however suffered from mutation and was disbanded. It is currently unknown if there are any other descendant chapters of the Space Wolves at all.

The Space Wolves are notorious throughout the rest of the Imperium for their ferocity in battle and their defiance of authority, including the dictates of the Codex Astartes that govern the organization and combat doctrines of other Space Marine chapters.


Marine Basic Data Chapter Symbol
Space Wolves Space Marine.JPG
- Space Wolves -
Legion Number: VI
Primarch: Leman Russ
Chapter Master: Logan Grimnar
Homeworld: Fenris
Fortress-Monastery: The Fang
Known Descendants: Wolf Brothers
Colours: Grey
Specialty: Assault
Battle Cry: "For Russ and the Allfather" or a feral howl
Spacewolveslogo.png
Miniature
Spacewolvesmini.jpg


Contents

Homeworld

Fenris is a death world that lies in the galactic north of Segmentum Solar. It is located relatively close to the Eye of Terror, yet indigenous life remains pure and untainted. It is also the planet where the mighty Space Wolves recruit their ranks and call home.[8j]

It is a relentless world of fire and ice, ravaged by the extremes of climate all year round. For the majority of its year the planet is blanketed by an extreme winter. The temperature of the planet drops so low that even the oceans ice over allowing its native Fenrisians to travel between its many islands without the need of a longship.[8j]

After its long elliptical journey the planet comes dangerously close to its sun. It is the short summer months when the planet is closest that the planet's crust is broken; burning great areas with lava flows, churning the seas, and causing massive tidal waves. It is during these months, referred to as the time of fire and water, that the whole of the planet changes its form. Islands are both destroyed and created in entirety, up heaving homes made during the winter and resulting in the population becoming once again nomadic barbarian tribes.[8j]

These primitives must settle the new lands quickly before supplies and manpower are exhausted otherwise their tribe will not survive the coming winter. This results in bloody war between them for new territories. So it has always been and shall be as it was directed by Leman Russ himself to keep his descendants strong and able. It is because of this life of constant warfare and continual migration that the child-gift is always the axe. Thus upon birth the first test has begun, for the child that does not grasp it is quickly cast into the frozen seas rather than risk him being the downfall of the tribe.[8j]

At the planet's northern pole is a single continent called Asaheim that alone is unaffected by the time of fire and water. This is the only location that a great many of planet's unique creatures can survive. These include snow trolls, shape-shifting doppegangrels, and massive wyrms that burrow the landscape. The deadliest of all these creatures is the Fenrisian wolf, a deadly predator with wits that are as sharp as its teeth. Though lethal on its own these keep to their namesake traveling the icy wastes in packs.[8j]

This remote land also houses the Sky Warriors of Russ and the hall of the gods. The ultimate triumph of Fenrisian culture is to become one of the chosen Sons of Russ and await the final battle at the end of the universe. Although Fenris is the home of the Space Wolves the chapter only houses the island continent. Their fortress, The Fang, lies at Asaheim's largest peak. The peak rises above the clouds and even beyond the atmosphere where the space faring vessels of the Rout are docked.[8j]

History

Primarch

Space Wolf Marine (Rogue Trader)[Needs Citation]

The Primarch project was the creation of twenty super humans created by the Emperor while preparing his armies for the reconquest of the galaxy prior to the Great Crusade. However, the experiment never reached its final result due to all twenty infants being scattered among the galaxy by the forces of Chaos. Over time the Emperor was reunited with his creations each having grown to adulthood and gave them leadership of their respective legions as was originally intended.[2a]

Leman Russ was one such individual. After being spirited away he found himself on the planet of Fenris. Found young he was raised by some tribesman before being taken in and raised by the court of King Thengir. As he grew so did his legend and eventually Leman Russ found himself the Wolf-King.[8k]

While on his Great Crusade the world of Fenris was one of the first to be found by the Emperor. Upon hearing the legend of the Wolf-King the Emperor left his great ship to meet the man expecting him to be one of his Primarchs. After a one-on-one battle between the two Leman Russ was bested for the first time in his life. Satisfied this was one of his Generals, the Emperor soon gave him leadership of the Space Marine Legion that bore his genes. The planet of Fenris was claimed as their chapter's homeworld. Their massive fortress-monastery was constructed within the mighty mountain ranges of the southern pole continent. Throughout the Great Crusade the Space Wolves won many victories for the Emperor under direction of their Primarch.[8k]

The Lion and the Wolf

Despite their common loyalties to the Imperium Space Marine Chapters do not always get along. Rivalries bound to develop over the millennia surface from domain rivalries and more come to pass dividing those that once stood together. Once such rivalry, ancient in its origin, exists between the Space Wolves and Dark Angels Chapters. While the origin of this rivalry has long since passed into legend there are two widely accepted accounts of its birth.[6c]

1. The first is of the Space Wolves chapter themselves. The chapter claims that it began during the Horus Heresy when the two Chapters were in campaign together. Legend says that Lion El'Jonson, Primarch of the Dark Angels, advanced his legion without coordinating with his allies. Though his action swiftly won the battle a great many of the Space Wolves were slain with their flank left unprotected to the enemy's counter-attack. After the conflict the Wolf challenged the Lion to a duel. The battle lasted until both warriors collapsed from exhaustion swearing vengeance upon one another. Over the years it is said that the two developed a mutual respect for one another, but due to their pride both felt honor-bound to fulfill their vows of vengeance.[6c]

2. During a pacification war, the Dark Angels aided the Space Wolves against a particular planet. This planetary leader had insulted Leman Russ's honor and so he wanted to defeat the leader personally for the insult. The Dark Angels and Space Wolves, both led by their respective Primarchs, assaulted the tower where the leader was. Leman Russ burst into the throne room just in time to see Lion El'Jonson beheading the leader. Angry that the honor was not his, Leman Russ marched up to the Lion and punched him in the jaw. This led to a battle that lasted a week or more, until finally Russ saw how immature their squabble was and started laughing. Lion El'Jonson took this as Russ mocking him and punched Leman Russ into unconsciousness before leaving the planet with his legion.[12]

Regardless of it's origin the two Legions (and their subsequent Chapters) have never forgotten their feud and tensions run high between them. Though the Chapters have fought together on many occasions the vows made by their progenitors long ago have resulted in customary duels between them. It has come to pass that each time the Chapters meet two champions are selected from both sides to engage in a (usually) non-lethal duel.[12]

Horus Heresy

Leman Russ and the Space Wolves on Prospero

Over time each of the twenty Primarchs were reunited with the Emperor and took control of their respective legions. Unarguably the most powerful of them all was Horus.[8k] Horus was indeed the first Primarch found and became the Emperor's most favored son. He would come to lead the whole of His armies as the Emperor returned to Holy Terra for other works. With Horus named Warmaster, the galaxy slowly unified and the Emperor's Imperium began to take shape. During this time all of the Primarchs were tempted by the Chaos Gods and some were slowly twisted by their treacherous ways. Though unknown to them ten of the Primarchs ultimately failed the test of loyalty and were swayed by the promise of ultimate power. The greatest of this triumph by the Gods of Chaos was the turning of the Warmaster Horus.[2]

During the Horus Heresy, as the traitor legions marched on the Emperor's Palace, the Space Wolves were not present. Information of that age has been lost in time but the Space Wolves are known to have been ordered to retrieve Magnus the Red and return him to Terra. The Space Wolves Legion attacked the Thousand Sons Legion homeworld, Prospero, in an attempt to fulfill their Emperor's charge. Though the planet was devastated in the assault the bulk of the traitor legion escaped and made for the Eye of Terror. The 13th Great Company, led by Jorin Bloodhowl, pursued the traitors and elements of the Wulfenkind would not be seen for the next 10,000 years. After later learning he was not present to aide in the rebellion of Horus Leman Russ was infuriated. He personally led a force into the Eye of Terror in the hopes of revenge.[8k] Since then, Leman Russ has vanished and the true whereabouts of the Primarch remains a mystery. Apparently Magnus The Red knows, but the Daemon Primarch and his Thousand Sons are not sharing that information with any outside their traitorous ranks.[2a]

Codex Astartes

Following the end of the Heresy a great deal would happen. With the Emperor confined to the Golden Throne the High Lords of Terra found themselves the new leaders of the Emperor's domain. Both the High Lords and surviving Primarchs became paranoid of the possibility of such events repeating themselves. The armies of the Emperor once again scoured the galaxy seeking out all forms of heresy and removing even the slightest chance of rebellion. Even the great Legions were not exempt. Concerned that once again their could be a threat from such a terrible force each Legion was to be divided into smaller Chapters and a new set of regulations was created to govern them.[8k]

The Codex Astartes was a code developed by the Primarch of the Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman. This tome would contain everything a member of the Astartes would need to know to function. From recruitment to organization to tactics and beyond the Codex Astartes became a sacred text to the majority of the Chapters.[17] The Space Wolves Legion never fully accepted the new doctrine. Rather they hold sacred the teachings of their Primarch.

One of the most significant changes within the new Codex was the newly founded Chapters. Where the Legions could number more than 10,000 strong the Chapters would be limited to about a thousand. Each original Legion would be divided as many times as needed into Successor Chapters. This division would come to be called the Second Founding. The remaining thousand bodies in the original Legion would survive as a new Chapter of the same name, while their newly created Chapters would claim their founders origins and be known as their Founding Chapter. Beyond this however the chapters would operate independently, and come to develop their own namesake, culture, and customs.[14k] One of the few ideals the Codex implemented that the Space Wolves Legion actually accepted was the succession of Chapters. However, the Space Wolves Legion was never very large. That combined with the genetic instability of the legion gene-seed led to the Legion only founding one successor Chapter, the ill-fated Wolfbrothers.[6a]

Recent History

A Space Wolf kills an Ork[Needs Citation]

Timeline

M32

M36

M41

Undated

Gene-seed

Main article: Canis Helix

The gene-seed of the Space Wolves gifts the chapter's members with enhanced, animalistic abilities, including hyper-acute senses of hearing and smell, and a ferocity in battle that is almost unrivalled by any other Space Marine.[8f]

The gene-seed also induces physical changes in the Wolves more extreme than those of other genetically-modified humans, such as elongated canines, shaggy hair that becomes grey, then pure white as the Wolf ages, and sometimes pale yellow eyes.[8f][8g]

The primary flaw in the Wolves gene-seed is the Curse of the Wulfen, which risks transforming the Marine into a feral beast that cannot be controlled. This risk presents itself when Aspirant's are first implanted with the gene-seed before their Test of Morkai, but even those who manage to control the instability are never entirely free of it. The struggle against the Wulfen can last throughout the Space Wolf's life.[8f]

Culture

The Space Wolves[8]

Though undeniably loyal to the Emperor, the Space Wolves are known for their fiercely anti-authoritarian behaviour. They strongly resist the central command structure of the Imperium, and refuse to follow the dictates of the Codex Astartes, which lays the structure and tactics to be used by all Space Marines. They hold a particular disdain for the Inquisition, in part due to the organizations purge of Imperial citizens that survived the First War for Armageddon.[15]

Of all the Adeptus Astartes, the Wolves of Fenris regard themselves as the Imperium's ultimate weapon, and are proud of it. Where other Chapters, such as the Ultramarines, were made to build empires, the Wolves were made to murder them, and to destroy anyone who opposes the Emperor's will, including other Astartes.[14c] Their unorthodox behavior and organisation as well as their single minded dedication to tear the enemy, any enemy, apart like a wolf pack brings down a deadly prey reflects this original purpose.[9]

The Wolves are almost as renowned for their passion for eating, drinking, and storytelling, when not engaged in battle. In contrast to the monastic habits of other Chapters, they enjoy boisterous feasting, eating enormous amounts of meat and guzzling Mjød, a liquor so potent that it would eat through the guts of a normal human.[16a] To many outsiders, therefore, the Space Wolves appear barbarous and lacking in self-control. But in reality it takes a great deal of discipline and focus to be as dangerous and capable of anything as the Space Wolves are. Their original, unique and effective organisation seems not to hinder them at all but instead allow them the operational freedom to be potentially the most dangerous loyalist chapter.[16] The Space Wolves apply great attention to planning, coordination of their packs movement in battle, the encirclement of the prey and the cleanliness of the kill.[14b]


“The wolves like to wrap themselves in a cloak of mystery and solemn, supernatural power, but such nonsense was the superstitious talk of barbarians, inherited from the Fenrisians they drew their strength from. The truly abnormal thing about the wolves was the sharpness of their perception. They had taught themselves to notice everything about their surroundings, and use every scrap of information at their disposal. Their reputation helped. No one expected brutes who looked like ritual-obsessed , bestial clansmen to be underpinned by peerless combat intelligence.”
“It is what made them such efficient weapons.”
-Kasper Ansbach Hawser (Skjald of Tra, 000.M31)[16c]

Organisation

The Space Wolves have a unique structure that is notably different from a standard Codex Chapter. Rather than 10 companies of 100 marines, the Space Wolves consist of 12 Great Companies of varying strengths. Each Great Company is based in The Fang, the Space Wolves Fortress-monastery and is led by a Wolf Lord, who answers only to the Great Wolf.[8e]

Each Great Company is a fully self-contained army, with all the troops, vehicles and equipment necessary to make war, as well as the spacecraft necessary to transport itself. They each have their own forges and customs. The size of each Great Company is unknown but the Space Wolves Legion is said to be one of the smaller Legions, due to the Curse of the Wulfen genetic instability within the Chapter gene-seed.[6a] As each Great Company serves as an independent army, they maintain a much greater number of troops as opposed to codex companies.[8e]

Each Great Company is made of a number of packs that function much like a Space Marine squad. However, their tactical usage varies greatly. Each squad is unique in that it rarely, if ever, will receive reinforcements, making the higher-level squads smaller in number compared to the lowest Blood Claw pack. Many Blood Claw packs start with as many as fifteen marines. However, losses take their toll, and by the time a Blood Claw squad reaches the level of Grey Hunter, normally only 9 or 10 are left. This promotion is arguably the most important the Space Wolf will ever receive because it also welcomes him into the folds of the Brotherhood.[17a] As they age, further losses limit the squad sizes of Long Fangs down to just 5 or less. Even further a pack of Long Fangs will slowly diminish until only one remains - the Lone Wolf.[8e]

Special cases may be made in certain or even dire circumstances to this process. In some situations reinforcements may be sent to current campaigns as reinforcements. Likewise, if a Wolf Lord deems an individual worthy and the rest of his pack is not he may elevate a Wolf from Blood Claw to Grey Hunter. Normally he will not act in such manner without consulting both his first sergeant and the current members of the unit he wishes to transfer his prospect to.[17a]

Apart from this, a Wolf may find himself under direction of a Wolf Guard or a member of the Great Wolf's household. Some find themselves inducted into the Chapter Priesthood, Scouts, Calvaries, or should terrible wounds take their toll they may find themselves encased within mighty Dreadnought armour.[8]

One of the 12 Great Companies is that of the Great Wolf, the Space Wolves' Chapter Master. When the former Great Wolf dies the new chieftain is selected from the other eleven remaining Wolf Lords. Upon selection the new Great Wolf, not his Great Company, immediately takes on the ancient badge of Leman Russ - the Wolf That Stalks Between Stars. With the new role the Great Wolf's Company is also expanded to include the household of the Chapter's Priesthood, Wolf Scouts, and Dreadnoughts.[8e]

Company of the Great Wolf

The disposition of the Company of the Great Wolf as of 999.M41 is as follows:[8e]

Company of the Great Wolf
SW14.jpg

*Personal Badge of the Great Wolf - The Wolf that Stalks the Stars*

Wolf Lord Priesthood Troops Dreadnoughts
Night runner.jpg

Badge of the Night Runner[1b][8e]

Master of the Space Wolves

(Including Bjorn the Fell-Handed)

Great Companies

The current Great Companies and their Wolf Lords as of 999.M41 are as follows:[8e]

Great Companies
Bran Redmaw's Company Engir Krakendoom's Company Erik Morkai's Company Gunnar Red Moon's Company
SW5.jpg

Badge of the Bloodied Hunter

SW8.jpg

Badge of the Sea Wolf

SW3.jpg

Badge of Morkai

SW11.jpg

Badge of The Wolf of the Red Moon

Harald Deathwolf's Company Bjorn Stormwolf's Company Egil Iron Wolf's Company Krom Dragongaze's Company
SW10.jpg

Badge of the Great Devourer

SW2.jpg

Badge of the Thunderwolf

SW13.jpg

Badge of the Iron Wolf

SW4.jpg

Badge of the Sun Wolf

Ragnar Blackmane's Company Sven Bloodhowl's Company Kjarl Grimblood's Company 13th Company
SW1.jpg

Badge of the Blackmane

SW6.jpg

Badge of the Fire Breather

SW9.jpg

Badge of the Fire Wolf

ObsidianStone13thCompany.jpg

Obsidian Stone Slab[8]

Represents all those lost to
the Chapter's history through
campaign and heresy.
(See below for more information)

The Thirteenth Company

Main article: 13th Great Company

On the Grand Annulus, the spot of the 13th Company has long been vacant. During the Horus Heresy the space had its last owner, belonging to Wolf Lord Jorin Bloodhowl's Great Company. It has come to represent all units of the Chapter who have fallen in battle, been corrupted by Chaos, or otherwise left service. The stone space today is a slab of pure black obsidian and has been the only unchanging face on it throughout the annals of time.[8e]

Troop Types

In a typical Codex Chapter, a Neophyte begins his service as a Scout, and, after completing his training and physical transformation into a Space Marine, is assigned to Devastator, Assault, and finally a Tactical Squad.[Needs Citation] By contrast, the Space Wolves' approach reflects the warrior culture of Fenris from which all the Wolves are descended.

  • Blood Claws are Neophyte Space Wolves who have just finished their most basic training and initiation rites, including drinking from the Cup of Wulfen and surviving the Test of Morkai. They receive armament similar to Assault Squads in other chapters – a chainsword and bolt pistol, but they do not normally use jump packs. Instead of being assigned to a single Company, Blood Claws are instead assigned to any one of the Great Companies. Their role is to charge headlong into battle, expending their youthful enthusiasm for battle on the enemy and hopefully learning the lessons of war that will enable them to survive.[Needs Citation]
  • Skyclaws are reckless trouble makers from the Blood Claw packs, who demonstrate a reckless joy for engaging in close combat, and are "rewarded" with jump packs to aid in their eagerness to charge straight into the line of battle.[8b]
  • Grey Hunters are comparable to Tactical Squad marines in other chapters and comprise the majority of any Great Company. These are Blood Claws who have survived the trials on the field of battle, combat experience having made them less impulsive and thus less suited as a force of pure assault. In addition to their combat duties, the Grey Hunters' role is to watch over the Blood Claws, reining in the worst of their reckless behaviour, and marking out those likely for advancement.[Needs Citation]
  • Long Fangs are the oldest and most experienced Space Wolf warriors, having survived terms of service as both Blood Claws and Grey Hunters. They are analogous to Devastator Squads in other chapters, as they are the only Space Wolves entrusted with the use of the chapter's heavy, long-ranged weaponry.[Needs Citation]
  • Wolf Guards are the personal retinue and bodyguard of the Wolf Lord commanding the Great Company, roughly equivalent to the Veterans or Command Squad units used by other chapters. Wolf Guards are often the most senior and experienced Space Wolves in the chapter, though a younger Wolf may win elevation to the Wolf Guard by performing an act of exceptional valour. Wolf Guards are often granted Terminator Honours, though they make less use of them than the Veterans of other chapters.[Needs Citation]
  • Wolf Scouts are Space Wolves whose entire pack has been lost or that have left their pack for other reasons. As natural loners, they are ideally suited to work alone behind enemy lines for long periods of time. Space Wolf Scouts are not assigned to any of the Great Companies. They instead answer directly to the Great Wolf and are under his sole command unless assigned to a Wolf Lord and his company on an as-needed basis.[Needs Citation]
  • Lone Wolf: Space Wolves do not reinforce their packs when casualties occur and for this reason many squads operate at a reduced strength. Even the most experienced packs will sometimes suffer such a great loss that only one survivor remains from the pack. These survivors are known as Lone Wolves.[8c]

Like everything having to do with the Space Wolves, this hierarchy is not rigid; the Wolves value bravery and combat prowess rather than seniority, and believe in advancing each warrior according to his merits. For instance, Ragnar Blackmane, the youngest Wolf Lord in the chapter's history, was elevated to Berek Thunderfist's Wolf Guard straight from the Blood Claws, bypassing the rank of Grey Hunter altogether. By the same token, Lukas the Trickster is a far more skilled warrior than many Wolf Guards, yet he has never made it out of the Blood Claws, being universally despised by all the Wolf Lords for his irreverent behaviour.

Command Ranks

  • Wolf Lord: each Great Company has a commander (equivalent to a Captain in other chapters), chosen from that company’s Wolf Guard. It is his duty to organise his Great Company, which adopts that Lord's name and sigil, and often changes its battle tactics to reflect his personality and temperament.
  • Wolf Priests combine the roles of Chaplain and Apothecary within the chapter. They are selected from any part of the chapter but usually from the Long Fangs or Wolf Guard due to the greater wisdom of these marines. Instead of using codex medical equipment, Wolf Priests using healing potions and balms, using knowledge passed down from one Wolf Priest to the next. They are also responsible for the selection of new Aspirants to the chapter, observing the frequent skirmishes among the human inhabitants of Fenris and selecting worthy young men to undergo the trials.
  • Rune Priests are the Wolves' equivalent to the Librarians of other chapters. It is their duty to keep the knowledge of the chapter’s history, reciting the great sagas of old. In battle they wield formidable psychic powers, rooted in the shamanistic traditions of Fenris.[Needs Citation]

Dreadnoughts

Amongst the number of Dreadnoughts in the Space Wolves chapter, some are extremely ancient, carrying warriors, such as Bjorn the Fell-Handed, who walked beneath the same sky as the Emperor himself, and who stood beside Leman Russ in battle. These dreadnoughts are revered and so respected is their skill in battle that on rare occasions, a Dreadnought may be called upon to lead an army into battle. The troops following in his footsteps will chant his name, remembering the many sagas they have heard of his exploits. This is a fearsome scene to behold for any enemy.[Needs Citation]

Vehicles

As well as the usual Space Marine Vehicles deployed by the Chapter, the Space Wolves keep a number of Leman Russ Exterminators in their arsenal - in honour of Leman Russ. They use these in battle rarely but to devastating effect, the tanks' fearsome array of weaponry enhanced further by the skills of the marines inside.[Needs Citation]

Equipment

Main article: Space Wolves Armoury

Space Wolves Equipment is similar to that of Codex chapters. In some ways it is more primitive – for instance, Iron Priests do not have access to a full Servo-harness or Thunderfire Cannons.[Needs Citation] Similarly, some of the equipment associated with the Imperial cult such as the Chaplain's Rosarius or the Apothecary's Reductor have their own unique variants among the Space Wolves, such as the Wolf Amulet and the Fang of Morkai.[8x]

Recruitment

The Space Wolves recruit their new initiates from the native humans of Fenris. Wolf Priests venture abroad from the Fang from time to time to walk amongst the inhabitants of the feral world, challenging the locals' champions to bouts of eating, drinking, or wrestling. Invariably, of course, the gene-enhanced Wolf Priest will emerge victorious, and with them they will take their prize: the best of the champion tribesmen to bring back to the Fang, where they undergo many grueling trials. Some, however, forego the match against the Wolf Priest if they have already proved their prowess in battle.

The Wolf Priests keep a watchful eye on the battles and hunts of the Fenrisian tribesmen. Should someone display extreme heroism, prowess, or martial feats the Wolf Priest will descend to collect the warrior, and deliver him from death by giving him the chance to serve the chapter.

Once they have passed all of their preliminary trials, they are administered the Test of Morkai, where the initiate is given the first strand of the Canis Helix gene, and thrown out into the wilds outside the Fang. If they overcome the deadly side effects of their chapter's geneseed, and make it back to the Fang alive, they are accepted into the ranks of the Space Wolves with open arms, and the remaining procedures are undergone to turn the recruit into a full fledged warrior of the Emperor.[8h]

Noted Elements of the Space Wolves

Relics and Artifacts

Main article: Space Wolves Armoury

Vessels

Notable Space Wolves

Heresy Era

Post-Heresy

Chapter Command
Other Members

Iconography

Symbols and Colours

The Space Wolves wear blue-grey coloured armour with other colours as highlights, notably red, yellow, black and white, and often adorned with tokens taken from wolves, such as furs and teeth.

Great Company Badges

The current badges of the 12 Great Companies, as shown on the Grand Annulus

The Space Wolves have a rather different system of markings than that used by more Codex adherent Chapters. Rather than using the company markings as laid down in the Codex Astartes, the Space Wolves use a number of different wolf symbols to denote the different Great Companies that make up the chapter. These are normally a stylised wolf emblem denoting some aspect of the native Fenrisian mythology. These are chosen by a new Wolf Lord upon his election from the ranks of the Wolf Guard, and are adopted by all of the Space Wolves within the Great Company as a mark of fealty. They are also woven onto the various Great Company banners, The symbol remains with the Great Company until the Wolf Lord falls in battle, whereupon a new Wolf Lord is chosen, and so the badge changes.

Even these marks bow down to the Space Wolves' reputation for nonconformity, and hence lack of any formal uniform system. There is never only one way to represent a Great Company badge, and within a Great Company it is likely to find a number of variants of the badge being used at the same time. Indeed, there are currently three different stylisations of the Blackmane Wolf emblem (currently used by Ragnar Blackmane's Great Company) in Imperial records. Indeed, over the centuries many hundreds of different styles of badges have been recorded by Imperial scribes.

The one badge that does not change is the household of the Great Wolf. The household uses "The Wolf That Stalks Between Stars", the badge of Leman Russ himself, as its emblem. This badge is perhaps unique within the Space Wolves, as there are no recorded variants of it, a testament to the respect that the Space Wolves have for their Primarch. It is this badge that represents the Space Wolves as a chapter, and is woven on the Chapter's banner.

Also, many of the Space Wolves most honoured and treasured relics carry this symbol, having been in the possession or service of the Chapter (and hence the Imperium) since the days when Russ walked among the stars. Many of the Chapter's most sacred Banners have a rendition of this symbol on them, a tangible link to the time when Russ walked among them. Whilst many of these are treasured in their own right, perhaps the most treasured of all is the Dreadnought Bjorn the Fell-Handed, who fought alongside Russ during the Great Crusade. He carries the mark on his Dreadnought armour to show this perhaps unique distinction.

Honour Badges

The Space Wolves have a long, varied, and altogether proud warrior heritage. They especially appreciate acts of bravery, courage and skill among their own comrades, and proudly display badges that denote these acts. These badges are normally painted or carved onto the armour and weapons of the Space Wolf.

As with most Space Wolf displays, there is no formal system of awards, it only matters that those the Space Wolf fights with understand the significance of the symbol. However, some symbols have acquired a special significance to the Space Wolves over time, and the Sergeant and Veteran badges are good examples of this. There are also some more general symbolism which is used in the honour badges; badges with bones tend to signify wounds suffered in battle, knife and claw symbols represent ferocity and bravery in battle and wolf tails signify great courage in battle.

Army Badge

It is quite common for Space Wolves of different Great Companies to find themselves fighting alongside one another in the same task force. In order to aid identification, and to provide a greater amount of task force cohesion on the battlefield, an army marking is usually applied to the Space Wolf's armour, as well as to the vehicles of the task force. As with all badges, there are some that are preferred over others. Of particular note is that used by the current task force of Ragnar Blackmane; A fanged skull superimposed on two crossed bones, mounted on a black lozenge. This particular badge has appeared many times in the past, and therefore probably has some special significance to the Space Wolves.

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