They were hurriedly created to respond to a series of World Eaters incursions, but the Chapter lacked the time to fill their armories themselves. Instead the Iron Scepters relied on the Tech Magos assigned by the Fabricator General, to do it for them. Unfortunately, the Magos was reluctant to leave his studies to perform such a "menial chore" and instead gave the Chapter faulty and experimental wargear. The Iron Scepters were already well on their way to confront the World Eaters, when they realized their equipment was defective. Many outsiders, however, believed that the Chapter's problems stemmed from a lack of faith in the Emperor. Rather than using their technical difficulties as an excuse for their defeat, the Iron Scepters accepted them as a challenge.
Perhaps the most notable of the defects they faced, were the experimental helmets that had been designed to enhance the Chapter's senses. Wearing the helmets were excruciatingly painful for the Iron Scepters and caused scarring on their foreheads. Though nearly all of the defective equipment has since been replaced, the helmets have been retained as proud symbols of the hardship the Chapter once faced. When an Iron Scepter Scout is initiated as a full-fledged Space Marine, they must wear the helmet until they develop the tell-tale scars of the Chapter. The scars are seen by the Iron Scepters as a constant reminder of their history and humility.
The Iron Scepters and their history were created by Paul Carrick for the US White Dwarf's Create A Space Marine Chapter competition. They won, alongside Tyler Mengel's Sons of Dorn Chapter, and were shown in White Dwarf 305 (US).