|Marine||Basic Data||Chapter Symbol|
The Salamanders, originally known as the Dragon Warriors, were the XVIII Legion of the Space Marine Legion created by the Emperor of Mankind. Their Primarch was Vulkan. The legion remained loyal during the Horus Heresy, but were severely mauled in the first great opening battle, limiting the role they could play in the remainder of the war. Their primarch is never recorded as perishing, and in fact is believed simply to be missing; the search for him and his presumed great purpose is a defining trait of the Salamanders. Other aspects of the legion of Vulkan are their great hardiness as warriors and their equally strong constitutions, willpower and devotion to humanity. In some ways, they can be considered the ideal of what it means to be a Space Marine.
- 1 Homeworld
- 2 History
- 3 Gene-seed
- 4 Culture
- 5 Organization
- 6 Recruitment
- 7 Noted Elements of the Salamanders
- 8 Galleries
- 9 Additional Information
- 10 Sources
The Salamanders hail from the harsh and hot Nocturne, though are also based upon that world's moon, Prometheus. The moon occupies an erratic orbit, thus causing great seasons of severe tectonic activity and weather disruption on Nocturne. The worst of these is known as the Time of Trial, when, once every fifteen Terran years, the moon passes so close that thousands of volcanoes erupt, their ash so thick it blots out the sun. With the ground gripped by constant earthquakes at the same time as this ash winter, much of Nocturne becomes effectively uninhabitable.[1a]
Rewards for enduring the Time of Trial can be great; the tectonic upheavals bring materials and ores to the surface of great value, and the aftermaths of such altered geography usually reveal new pockets of natural resources to be explored, mined or siphoned. This translates to vast wealth by Imperial standards, meaning that Nocturne's supplies of livestock and the whatever items the forges of the Salamanders themselves cannot construct can be traded for with the Adeptus Mechanicus or other Imperial corporate bodies.[1a]
The Salamanders' fortress-monastery is located upon the giant moon, Prometheus, acting as the orbital dock for their space vessels. While it is permanently staffed, much of the Salamanders not on deployment can be found scattered over Nocturne, acting as the elders of the settlements from which they came; the Salamanders maintain close contact with their origins and see watching over their homeworld's citizens - and by extension, all people of the Imperium - as part of their duty.[1a]
Originally known as the XVIIIth Legion, the origins of what would become the Salamanders are largely shrouded in mystery. In order to protect the nascent Legiones Astartes from both hostile action and espionage, the origins and deployments of several early Legion gene-seeds are further classified beyond usual protocol. These Legion groups were formed and established largely in separation from the rest, and it is generally thought to a very specific end. The XVIIIth Legion, along with the VIth Legion and XXth Legion, comprised this group of proto-legions. That this 'trefoil' of three proto-Legions was somehow veiled from the rest during their creation and establishment was something known only to a few. Deliberate effort was made to distance these three legions from the others. There are none save the Emperor and a handful of his aides who know what the exact purpose behind this policy was. Sometime in its history the Legion was named the Dragon Warriors, but it was a name few knew or spoke of.
The Legion's first recorded significant action was during the Assault on the Tempest Galleries against the Ethnarchy during the Unification Wars. Achieving victory against impossible odds, though the Legion's active strength was reduced from 26,000 to around 1,000. Nonetheless they achieved a place of glory in the Imperial military establishment, and this helped the Legion rapidly rebuild with new waves of recruits and wargear. But the losses from the Tempest Galleries battle still lingered, and as a result the Legion was often deployed piecemeal, with many Legionaries of the XVIIIth spread throughout numerous warzones. In particular, they were used to deal with sudden threats that may appear to the rear, such as Space Hulks or Xenos pirates. Seldom did the XVIIIth fight on a battlefield of its own choosing, but they nonetheless received extensive battle honors. Meanwhile, it is believed that the Legion's Primarch Vulkan did not immediately reunite with his forces upon his rediscovery, instead serving alongside the Emperor for several years.[21a]
The Great Crusade
When Vulkan came to his Legion, it was in the hour of their need. The XVIII, led by their Lord Commander Cassian Vaughn had become embroiled in the defence of a cluster of worlds near the Taras Division against a horde of Orks. The XVIII was the only Space Marine Legion able to respond to the crisis. Fighting against vast and overwhelming odds, 19,000 Space Marines held out against millions of Ork raiders and their fleet of Roks. The actions of the Legion had allowed the evacuations of three entire planetary populations to the nominal safety of the Taras System, but at a terrible cost. Their Primarch, however, learning of their plight refused to stand by and instead joined the fray.[21a]
When Vulkan arrived he did not do so alone, he brought with him 3,000 new initiates and equipment from Nocturne. The reinforcements brutally fell upon the Orks, spurring the surviving Space Marines to counterattack. Caught between this hammer and anvil of savagery that over-matched their own, the Ork horde was broken and put to flight, and the survivors were relentlessly pursued and consumed by fire. In the aftermath, the two halves of the XVIII Legion met and were unified when Vulkan finally revealed himself to his sons. The survivors of the XVIIIth Legion knelt immediately, but Vulkan bid them rise, saying that all his sons were equals and he was no petty king needing shows of obedience. Instead, it was he who knelt in honour of the lives they had saved and the price they had paid. Then, seeking out the mortally wounded Lord Commander Vaughn, he conferred the formal transfer of the Legion's mastery by presenting the fallen warrior with the broken power klaw of the slain Ork Warlord.[21a]
The Salamanders were apparently reorganised by Vulkan upon his discovery and assumption of command, with that organisation said to still be in effect in their current form, with seven companies to a Chapter, each company being founded by the seven different great settlements of Nocturne and commanded by a Captain from that settlement. [1a] The number of Chapters in the Great Crusade era Legion is currently unknown, but they had at least 34 Companies. The Salamanders are often said to have "always been" the smallest legion [1a] but how this claim stacks against the paucity of both Emperor's Children and Thousand Sons during their respective histories is not yet known.[Needs Citation]
The Salamander's role during the Horus Heresy is not well known to Imperial Scholars; what is for certain is that the legion, along with the Iron Hands and Raven Guard, was part of the first wave of attackers during the battle of Isstvan V. After the announcement of Horus's treachery and the destruction of Isstvan III, the Emperor ordered seven Legions of Space Marines to attack the forces serving his former son and friend. But among those seven Legions, four were already traitors.
The initial landing force fell into a trap and, despite their martial skills, the three loyal Legions were forced to begin a tactical withdrawal toward their landing site, which had been fortified by the four traitor legions forming the second wave. At this moment the second wave opened fire on the retreating Marines, crushing them between the hammer of Horus's forces and the anvil of the fortified drop site. Despite a heroic defence, the three loyal Legions were practically destroyed; all but a handful of battle brothers fell on that fateful day. First Captain Artellus Numeon managed to leave a scattered group of survivors off the planet, but their Primarch was missing.
After this sad defeat the Salamanders, as well as the other two betrayed Legions were largely unable to perform any tasks the Emperor had planned for them and spent much of the rest of the time of the Heresy rebuilding their forces. Vulkan was briefly made a captive of Night Lords Primarch Konrad Curze, but despite multiple executions the Night Haunter could not figure out a way to kill the Perpetual Primarch. Eventually Vulkan was able to escape, and along with scattered survivors of his Legion they reorganized in Imperium Secundus under Roboute Guilliman. There they came across the shattered body and mind of Vulkan, who had his sanity restored after being stabbed by John Grammaticus wielding the Fulgurite, but apparently died in the process. The Salamanders on Macragge thought Vulkan dead and placed him in the stasis-capsule Unbound Flame to lay in state, in preparation for funerary rites to be undertaken by his Legion. During this time, the casket was given an honour guard, which some of their number believed they heard a heartbeat from. Later, the Salamanders led by Artellus Numeon brought Vulkan back to Nocturne but were pursued by the Death Guard. After a brief but fierce battle, the Salamanders were able to resurrect Vulkan after Numeon provided himself as the final sacrifice.
Following his resurrection, Vulkan was discovered by three Salamanders (Atok Abidemi, Barek Zytos, and Igen Gargo) but forbade any else of knowing of his rebirth. Instead, Vulkan led the three, dubbed his Draaksward, into the depths of Nocturne where they entered the Webway. During a perilous journey guided by the Talisman of Seven Hammers, Vulkan and the trio eventually arrived at the Imperial Palace. There, Vulkan met with the Emperor and learned of his purpose to oversee the activation of the Talisman, and the destruction of Terra it would bring, should Horus emerge victorious in the coming struggle.
Meanwhile, Salamanders (along with Iron Hands and Raven Guard) survivors of the Dropsite Massacre based on the Sisypheum began a campaign of vengeance against those who betrayed them, striking at Fulgrim and Perturabo on the Crone World of Iydris as well as Alpha Legion outposts. Other Salamanders survivors began a similar guerrilla war against the traitors, pershaps most notably those under Shadrak Meduson.
Whilst the Salamanders altered their squad-level organisation to follow the strictures of the new Codex Astartes, they were able to retain much else of their Legion organisation - some say because there were too few of them to split into successor Chapters. Until the coming of Primaris Space Marines and the Ultima Founding of M42, the Salamanders were officially reckoned to have no descendants, though several Imperial scholars have pointed out various similarities in unit markings and tactical dogma in the Storm Giants and Black Dragons Chapters. It is possible that these Chapters were created at some unknown, later date from stockpiled gene-seed.[1a]
According to the Dark Krakens member Patara, a large number of Salamanders Successor Chapters were created, during the Ultima Founding. His Ultima Chapter was not given the exact number of Successors, though, and he only knows of the Dragonspears and Iron Drakes.
Oft-considered the smallest Legion, the casualties of the Horus Heresy, plus their own highly stringent recruitment and indoctrination processes made not only their rebuilding seemingly glacial, but resulted in them coming in under Codex-approved strength for a single Codex Chapter. In accordance with Vulkan' original reorganisation of the Legion, the Salamanders Chapter is formed of only 7 permanent companies; each one nominally staffed at a little over the Codex-approved 100 Astartes. Nevertheless, the sons of Vulkan were able to forge themselves anew, and their steel has ever since been drawn in the defence of the Imperium of Man.[1a]
In the absence of Vulkan, the Captain of the First Company is considered the Chapter Master. This position is seen as a regency, however, and is occupied in the belief that it will one day be relinquished to the true holder of the position.[1a]
- ???.M31 - The Hunt For Bile. Vulkan himself leads a hunt for Fabius Bile after learning of the horrors inflicted upon the civilians of Terra by the Emperor's Children during the final stages of the Heresy.[47c]
- 544.M32 - The War of the Beast
- M35 - Commorragh Raid
- M36 - The War of Flames. The Salamanders battle Perigno, the right-hand man of Goge Vandire.[47l]
- M38 - repelling of Daemon incursion on a Shrine World Innocence III. Daemons were successfully purged.
- 533.M39 - The Fires of Phaistos. The entire Salamanders chapter mobilizes to defend the Cardinal World of Phaistos Osiris from Ork invasion. Together with an army of trained scholars, the Salamanders set an intricate and subtle series of traps and ambushes to destroy the Ork force, culminating in the Ork assault on the capital city Sanctis's Great Basilica, which was countered by flooding the city with promethium, which was subsequently set alight, destroying the majority of the Ork invasion.[6a]
- ???.M40 - The Battle of Parshamesh.[47l]
- 793.M40 - The Salamanders aid of Orbulac
- ???.M41 - Vulkan He'stan leads half of the third company aboard the Space Hulk Grim Scythe
- 754-756.M41 - The Purging of the Ymgarl Moons. As the Tyranids were first encountered, and began to invade the Imperium, the Genestealer species was tentatively linked to the Tyranids, and the Salamanders 2nd Company[4b] were given the duty by the High Lords of Terra themselves to purge the moons of Ymgarl of a suspected Genestealer infestation. After fighting a deadly campaign of attrition for 2 years, the Magos Biologis declared Ymgarl free of the Xenos taint.
- 761.M41 - Nocturne is invaded by an army of Daemon Engines under the command of Soulsmelter. The Daemon Engines are defeated by the Firedrakes and the Soulsmelter's remains are launched into Nocturnes sun.
- ???.M41 - Casvsarae Insurrection. Salamanders fought with the Black Legion and abhuman rebels. Bray'arth Ashmantle took part in this war.[6g]
- 905.M41 - The Badab War. The 2nd Company took part in the Badab War fighting against the Astral Claws.
- 910.M41 - Siege of Xaros – Nearly hundred days battle between armies of the Salamanders and the Imperial Guard against the Necrons of Sautekh Dynasty at the awakened tomb world of Zykorak. Eventually the Strike Force Ultra of Salamanders Chapter managed to destroy the xenos horde and the Necron Overlord, Aramakh was smashed to pieces.
- ???.M41 - Following the assassination of the planetary governor of the monsoon world Vaporis, and a subsequent secessionist rebellion, the Salamanders are deployed to assist the bogged down 135th Phalanx in retaking the planet's capital, Aphium.
- ???.M41 - The Salamanders battle an uprising on the Mining World of Stratos. However the uprising is a distraction orchestrated by the Dragon Warriors led by the Sorcerer Nihilan in order to steal an artifact known as the decyphrex from the floating cities of the planet.
- 941.M41 - Second War for Armageddon. Led by Chapter Master Tu'Shan, whose tenure as Chapter Master had begun only 3 years previously, the Salamanders fought with distinction. Among other feats, they managed to defend the bridge over the River Stygies from a thousand-strong Speed Freeks Army and prevented the Orks from destroying a water purification plant, thus saving Hive Tempestora from a slow death by dehydration. Although the hive eventually fell, their efforts allowed it to be evacuated before the Orks could capture the hive. The Salamanders have been involved in many magnificent wars and conquests, but in recent times even these great achievements have been eclipsed by their stalwart fighting during the Second Armageddon War. While the Blood Angels set about destroying the Ork horde, and the Ultramarines bent their strength to the defense of the surviving hive cities, the Salamanders took upon themselves the essential but neglected task of protecting the supply convoys, fighting rearguard actions against the Ork advances and escorting refugee columns. So unstinting were they in these arduous duties, the Salamanders became renowned amongst the human defenders of Armageddon as sturdy and dependable allies; a reputation not shared by other, more unpredictable, Chapters.[Needs Citation]
- ???.M41 - The Legion of the Damned appear on Luna freeing a Salamanders kill team from the vacuum traps of the renegade Draco Clan. This act allowed the Space Marines to intercept a transfer shuttle that had been wired to detonate upon landing within the Great Terran Autoarchive. If the Autoarchive had been lost, the Adeptus Administratum would have suffered a blow that would have compromised their logic engines across the galaxy, and possibly even prevented the Imperium from coordinating its military actions for the best part of a century.
- ???.M41 - Flame Wars. Battles between the Salamanders and the Orks of the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon
- ???.M41 - The Battle of Slathergraft[47l]
- ???.M41 - The Battle of Shen'tzi Vo[47l]
- ???.M41 - The Battle of Hespher II.[47l]
- ???.M41 - The War against Borzog.[47b]
- 900s.M41 - The purging of Imhathok.[47a]
- 943.M41 - The Tochran Crusade. The Salamanders are lured into a trap by Trazyn the Infinite, who seeks the Spear of Vulkan.
- 955.M41 - Killeneth Rebellion
- 966.M41 - Protean Incident
- 975.M41 - The Defense of Nocturne.
- 980.M41 - The Promethean War
- 988.M41 - Campaign of Fire and Steel
- 989.M41 - Burning of Myze
- 995.M41 - The Bloodplague Crusade
- 998.M41 - The 5th Company carry out search-and-destroy missions against several worlds in the Heracles sub-sector suspected of being Necron Tomb Worlds.[2b]
- 999.M41 - Third War for Armageddon. When Ghazghkull launched his new offensive against the Imperial forces on Armageddon, the Salamanders were one of the first Chapters to respond, sending six Companies to combat the Orks, including Chapter Master Tu'Shan personally leading his Firedrakes.
- 70 Salamanders of the 6th Company, under the command of Sergeant V'reth, were deployed to Hive Helsreach in support of the Black Templars.
- The Salamanders launched several counter-attacks against the rock-forts landed by the Orks along the Hemlock river. Preferring the close-quarter fighting within the maze of crudely carved tunnels within the Roks to the long-range duels in the desert, the Salamanders made the Orks pay a high price for their audacity. By the Season of Fire at least nine Roks were destroyed by the Salamanders' attacks, slaughtering untold thousands of filthy greenskins.
- Many chapters fought in the name of the Emperor, or for personal glory. Of the fully twenty chapters, only the Salamanders fought for the people of Armageddon. According to rumors, Tu'Shan himself came to blows with Captain Vinyar of the Marines Malevolent, when the latter shelled a refugee camp the Orks had penetrated. Vinyar is said to have left the civilians to die because he "hadn´t time" to defend them, a notion which greatly angered the Chapter Master.
- After the Season of Fire, only two Companies were left to protect the major population centers, while the Chapter's Techmarines busied themselves rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure. Tu'Shan also left a squad of Firedrakes with the Blood Angels as an honour guard for the fallen Captain Tycho.
- The war raged into the period known as the Noctis Aeterna where many of the Salamanders reinforcements were cut off from Armageddon. When Warp Travel was reestablished, the Salamanders and elements from 8 other Chapters found that nearly half of Armageddon had been transformed into a Daemon World. The Salamanders led an effort that succeeded in halting a Daemonic ritual that would have summoned Angron to Armageddon.
- M42 - The Indomitus Crusade. The Salamanders send strike forces to take part in the Crusade and take part in the battles such as on Feldros.
- ???.M42 - The Battle of Lagros against Khaz'khul. Tu'Shan himself leads Salamanders forces against the Rage Legion.[47k]
- ???.M42 - The Cleansing of Ybrannis against the Death Guard[47g]
- ???.M42 - The Battle of Warsylask[47l]
- ???.M42 - Waaagh! Wazkrumpa[47m]
- ???.M42 - Battle on Torquar[47n]
- ???.M42 - Battling the Thousand Sons on Monai Landing[47o]
- ???.M42 - The Talledus War
- ???.M42 - The Third War for Damnos, the Salamanders aid the Ultramarines and their allies against the Necrons
- ???.M42 - Battle on Kouliaas III against Necrons[54a]
- Year Unknown - Using Land Raider Redeemers, the Salamanders spearheaded the cleansing of the hive city of Dhormus III.[44b]
Salamanders Gene-Seed is highly unique and mysterious in origin. Along with the Space Wolves and Alpha Legion, the Salamanders had unique gene-seed created for a specific purpose by the Emperor. This "Trefoil" were all kept apart and distinct from the other Legions during the Unification Wars and Great Crusade. There are none save the Emperor and a handful of his aides who know what the exact purpose behind this policy was.
As far as can be determined by the Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Salamander's gene-seed appears to be both stable and as yet uncorrupted. An unusual trait of the Salamanders is that their Battle-Brothers tend to be slower in reflex reaction than other Chapters, though the origin of this factor is debated; it is unknown whether this defect is due to a problem with the gene-seed that manifested as a result of most Salamanders being raised on their high-gravity world, or the psychological result of the Chapter's doctrines and psycho-conditioning against hastiness and impetuosity. However, it has been noted that a Salamanders Space Marine can move just as quickly as any Astartes equipped with Power Armour, and are still significantly faster than those of a normal human.[1a]
Also, as a result of a reaction between their genetics and the high levels of radiation on Nocturne, Salamanders battle brothers have dark or jet black skin and bright, burning eyes. This frightening appearance is entirely superficial, but has intimidated more than one rebellion into submission without firing a shot.[2a]
A unique genetic trait given by the Salamanders gene-seed is known as Fire-Sight. This visual sensitivity to infrared emissions allows Salamanders to focus on particular heat signatures. Millennia ago, Salamanders Artificers perfected the manufacture of a material that could generate minute pulses of heat at the specific signatures detectable by their modified eyes. Ever since, this material has been layered into the dermis of their ceramite armour and woven in electro-tapestral strands through the fabric of robes and standards. This substance is even applied to the flanks of Salamanders vehicles. When connected to the Noosphere, it generates enough heat to be seen by Salamanders while remaining unseen by those not attuned to its presence. With this artifice, sub-levels of strategic designation can be communicated and hidden tactical markings trace the air with fire.[47e]
Drawing from the teachings of Vulkan, the Salamanders are renowned as compassionate towards the average citizens of the Imperium and as defenders of the weak. While some decry this as a weakness, the Salamanders see it as a strength. Even the High Lords of Terra have in the past condemned the Salamanders for this. Similarly the Salamanders have always evinced a readiness to ally themselves with other Imperial forces, to the extent that they are often the first Chapter to extend diplomatic overtures.[47f]
Although the Salamanders follow the Codex Astartes, they nonetheless also follow the doctrines of their own Promethean Cult. The Promethean Cult places high emphasis on self-reliance, self-sacrifice and loyalty. Symbols of the forge - such as fire and hammers - are prominent throughout Promethean iconography. As such, Flamers, Melta Weapons and Thunder Hammers are widely used throughout the chapter. As one can imagine, this preference for Flamers and Meltas leads to a strong affinity among the Salamanders for close-range firefight when in combat, although they are just as capable at other aspects of Space Marine battle doctrine.[1a]
Because of their early training as blacksmiths, all Salamanders are fully capable of maintaining and performing moderate repair on their weapons and armour, leaving the Chapter's artificers with the free time necessary to create great works of technology and metallurgy. As a result, the Salamanders Chapter has an unusually high number of Master-Crafted Weapons, Artificer Armour and even Tactical Dreadnought Armour.[1a] The Chapter also favours the use of Land Raider Redeemers.[Needs Citation]
In an interesting example of juxtaposition, however, the fluctuating gravity of Nocturne makes training with certain units such as Land Speeders and Bikes difficult, therefore the chapter makes little use of them, in favour of Devastator squads and Terminator Squads. Trained never to give up or retreat, Salamanders are capable of going on when their entire squad is dead, holding positions for months on end. This is one of the more significant effects of Promethean doctrines upon the Chapter's collective psyche. Before each battle the Salamanders get a brand mark each by a Brander-Priest. This symbolizes their respect for the chapter. Only veterans ever get brand marks on their faces.[1a]
Rituals of the Promethean Cult
- The Burning Walk - An ancient ritual of trial, the Burning Walk is undertaken by an individual as a solitary pilgrimage into the vast Pyre Desert of Nocturne. Usually, the aged, infirm or crippled pursue such a path with the intention of ending their last days in fire. Some Salamanders may choose to undertake the journey as a means of restoring a troubled soul or die in the attempt. To date, only one Salamander has ever returned from the Burning Walk - Apothecary Fugis of the 3rd Company.
- Rituals of Interment and Ascension - When a Captain of the Salamanders is slain, this ceremony is performed to commemorate his passing, and celebrate his successors promotion. The ritual involves chaining what remains of the fallen to a vast, ceramite coated slab of black marble. This slab is then lowered into a lava flow which pools within a vast, ceramite-sided basin of volcanic rock. The slab is lowered by means of two chosen Astartes robed in the traditional garb of Nocturnean metalworkers, who pass chains twice the size of an Astartes fist and etched with symbols of the forge - the flame, the anvil and the hammer - through their hands. As the chains are red-hot from the heat of the lava below, the symbols are branded into the palms of the incumbents. The Astartes must grip the chains precisely and in unison, for any deviation will result in an irregular brand - a mark of great shame that will be scoured away in disgrace. Following this Ritual of Interment, comes the Ritual of Ascension. The prospective Captain is stripped naked aside from a sash to preserve his dignity and branded with the marks of a Captain upon his chest and right shoulder. Stepping onto a dais, the ascendant is subjected to a blast of flame from below, surrounding him in a pillar-like inferno for a few seconds. This complete, the ascendant is addressed by the Regent of Prometheus with the words' "Vulkan's fire beats in my breast...", to which the ascendant concludes, "...with it, I shall smite the foes of the Emperor." Finally, the Regent bids the new Captain to rise.[4a]
- Upon the start of a new campaign, each Salamander builds his own pyre, separate from his battle-brothers and leaves, returning when the flames are at their apex. In solitude, they anoint their armour and focus upon the key tenets of the Promethean Cult.[5a]
- Upon the death of a Salamander, if the body is not returned to Nocturne and ritually burned in the Pyreum under Mount Deathfire, his brothers may elect to cremate the body locally during or after a campaign. In such a situation, as the fallen Fireborn burns, his fellow Salamanders thrust their arms into the flames of the pyre. As a very personal ritual, singular touches may be added to the ceremony. In some cases a Lament may be sung, or the comrades of the fallen may offer a few words of wisdom or remembrance. The ritual is conducted individually in the case of the fallen, with each of the slain having their own pyre, attended by his squad and closest brothers.[27c]
When Vulkan assumed command of the Salamanders on the Great Crusade he radically reorganized the Legion. One of Vulkan's first actions was to largely unify his scattered Legion and do away with its ad-hoc strategic operations, but he did so in a way that preserved, where possible, the spirit of autonomy and self-sufficiency the component units of the XVIII had developed, which he saw as inherent virtues where tempered with purpose. Vulkan ordered his Legion into the formation of seven "Realms", each linked with one of Nocturne's seven great city-settlements. To each of these he assigned a Lord Commander, known also as a Protector, as it was also their duty to protect their settlement in time of attack. Each Nocturnean city-settlement served as a focus of the Legion's recruitment and their governance of the planet, anchoring the Legionaries to the humans for whom they fought, and each city-settlement went on to exhibit its own unique influences on the Salamanders traditions.[21a]
The Salamanders comply with much of the Codex Astartes, but instead of ten companies continues to maintain the seven warrior houses of the original Legion. Each great settlement of Nocturne forms the basis of one of the companies. Also unusually, the Chapter Master of the Chapter directly oversees the 1st Company.[44a] Another significant deviation from the Codex Astartes is that the Salamanders maintain three Masters of the Forge instead of one. This allows for the efficient maintaining of the chapter's machinery alongside the creation of technological artifacts of great beauty and perfect function.[47d].
The Companies and their Captains , are as follows:[47d]
The chapter disposition of the Salamanders before the liberation of the Largos System in M42 is as follows; as the squads are standard size, this means the chapter as shown is presumably severely under-strength, with only 840 company squad-level marines (as usual, not counting marines at the company command level, or in non-company roles).[47d] The presumably is necessary as the number of squads in the first company is not explicitly stated, but the other six companies all have 12 squads each.[47d]
The first company is displayed here, as the Salamanders do not maintain a first company captain - instead, the chapter master acts as the captain of the first company.[47d] It is not clear if the first company maintains its own company ancient and champion in addition to the chapter ancient and champion.
|First Company "Firedrakes"|
Regent of Prometheus[47d]
Defenders of Nocturne
Master of the Watch The Winter Blade,
Master of the Fleet, Lord of the Burning Skies
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
The Drake Hunters
Sons of Nocturne
- As of 980.M41, following the events of the Dragon Strife in 975.M41, the Salamanders began the inception of a 7th Battle Company - an event which has not occurred since before the 2nd Founding.[27b]
- The 1st Company, known as the Firedrakes. To join the ranks of the 1st one must not only be an experienced warrior but also a paragon of the Chapter's values. The 1st maintains a large amount of Terminator Squads alongside Sternguard Veterans and Venerable Dreadnoughts. Like all Companies the 1st maintains ceremonial ties with a settlement upon Nocturne, but they are unique in that they have no barracks on the planet. Instead, they dwell in the fortress-monastery on Prometheus. Here, the Firedrakes are responsible for some elements of Chapter command, directing training cadres or coordinating security protocols, honing their leadership skills even as they train. When attached to larger strike forces, squads of 1st Company Veterans are valued as much for their leadership and tactical advice as for their sheer destructive power. In this way, the 1st acts as a preparation body for Veteran Sergeants, officers, and ship captains. While Chapter Master Tu'Shan is the ceremonial lord of the 1st, in truth he oversees larger Chapter matters while his Lieutenants manage the Company. However the 1st does maintain the Honour Guard for the Chapter Master.
- The 2nd Company, known as the Defenders of Nocturne. The 2nd best exemplifies the Salamanders compassionate attitude towards the most vulnerable citizens of the Imperium. Yet despite the detraction this sometimes brings, the 2nd's attitude has a practical purpose. They will save factory workers, only to have them boost munitions production for the next warzone. The 2nd is also the most ready to ally itself with other Imperial forces such as the Imperial Guard or Knights. Taking the leadership role in these deployments, the 2nd will transform bloated expeditions into coordinated alliances.
- The 3rd Company, known as the Pyroclasts. Even amongst a Chapter noted for its use of Flame Weapons, the 3rd always endeavours to close with their foe and unleash purging fire. As such, they are the Chapter's foremost answer to entrenched enemies. They also have the grim duty of purging populations condemned as heretic or xenos sympathizers. They are always careful to balance the Promethean Cult's teachings of protecting the weak with Vulkan's noted pragmatism.
- The 4th Company, known as the Branded. The 4th are the most closely tied to the Salamanders Reclusiam and admittance to the Company is a recognition of the Battle-Brother's faith and commitment. The 4th practices Brander-Priest rituals to an obsessive level, with nearly their entire body save their face becoming adorned with various brand-oaths. Tactically, the 4th specializes in close combat and short range firefights, often battling with a large number of Chaplains.
- The 5th Company, known as the Drake Hunters. The 5th has a reputation of destroying large enemy constructs and alien horrors. Its members specialize in slaying the salamander drakes of Nocturne. As a Reserve Company, they rarely fight together but instead are used to reinforce other companies during campaigns. In battle, they favor acting as mobile weapons platforms instead of static defense and use a large amount of Dreadnoughts. They also make extensive use of attack craft and heavy gunships.
- The 6th Company, known as the Flamehammers. Unlike many reserve companies which consist of Fire Support Squads and Battleline Squads, the 6th utilizes fast-moving transports alongside its heavy firepower. The 6th is usually the first Company in which new Battle-Brothers are first transferred after finishing their time as Scouts.
- The 7th Company, known as the Sons of Nocturne. The Warriors of the 7th consist of Vanguard and Scout troops. The 7th has slow and exacting standards for a Neophyte to be promoted to full Battle-Brother.
RecruitmentThe Salamanders are noted to stipulate a long and arduous recruitment process for initiates. They start young, at around ages six or seven; for these first years the apprentice is merely that; an worker in the forge of a Space Marine, who will watch over and judge the prospects of the initiates. After some years, the apprentices are judged by the Chapter's Apothecaries and Chaplains in a series of examinations. Those successful will be taken for first-stage implantation. At set intervals throughout their training, the initiates must replicate feats performed by Vulkan in his youth, including those he performed in contest with the Emperor; this will culminate in them being required to hunt and slay a salamander[Needs Citation]
Noted Elements of the Salamanders
Relics and Artefacts
- Artefacts of Vulkan [2d]
- Stormbearer, the personal weapon of Chapter Master Tu'Shan.[8b]
- The Malleus Noctum
The Master of the Fleet of the Salamanders Chapter also holds the title of Lord of the Burning Skies. The Salamanders Fleet is based on Nocturne's moon Prometheus and as such, it plays host to a great dock where the chapters' Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges can be restored.[8a]
Salamanders pilots ritually scar themselves with the dactyl sigil. Pilots are the only Salamanders allowed to scar their faces before the rest of their body.[5c]
- Flamewrought - Gloriana Class Battleship. Primarch's Vessel.
- Charybdis - Battle Barge (Heresy-era).
- Flamewrought - Battle Barge.[8b]
- Pyre of Glory - Battle Barge.
- Vulkan's Wrath - Battle Barge (active M35).
- Ebon Drake - Prototype Strike Cruiser.
- Fire Ark - Strike Cruiser (Heresy-era).
- Forgehammer - Strike Cruiser.
- Fulminating Hammer - Strike Cruiser.
- Hammerforge - Strike Cruiser.[8b]
- Protean - Strike Cruiser (Destroyed, circa 900.M41).
- Serpentine - Strike Cruiser.
- Vulkan's Wrath - Strike Cruiser.
- Obsidia - Vanguard Cruiser.
- Firelord - Frigate.[5c]
- Forge Hammer - Nova Class Frigate.[27a]
- Caldera - Thunderhawk.[5c]
- Cindara - Thunderhawk (Heresy-era).
- Fire-wyvern - Thunderhawk.
- Hammerblow - Thunderhawk (Heresy-era).
- Hellstorm - Thunderhawk.[4d]
- Implacable - Thunderhawk.
- Inferno - Thunderhawk.[4d]
- Ohidoran - Thunderhawk (Heresy-era).[21c]
- Primordian - Thunderhawk. Personal transport of Chapter Master Tu'Shan. Primordian features a scaled hull, nose and glacis plate shaped like a drake and clawed wings. Even the muzzles of the cannon and incendiaries are fashioned into fanged maws.[5b]
- Spear of Prometheus - Thunderhawk.
- Andronicus - Stormraven.
- Fire Drake - Land Raider Crusader.[20b]
- Fire Anvil - Land Raider Redeemer.
- Promethean - Land Raider Redeemer.[8b]
- Immortal Anvil - Predator Annihilator.[27d]
- Nocturnean - Predator Annihilator (Destroyed, circa 980.M41, Heletine).[27d]
- Strength of Xavier - Predator Annihilator[27d]
- Vulcanus - Vindicator.[20a]
- Nocturne's Hammer - Rhino. The oldest Rhino still in existence.
Notable Members of the Salamanders
- Vulkan - Primarch of the Salamanders.
- Artellus Numeon - First Captain and Commander of the Pyre Guard 
- Umojen - Chief Librarian
- Atanarius - Warrior of the Pyre Guard 
- T'kell - Forgefather
- Atesh Tarsa - Apothecary, survived the Drop Site Massacre and led survivors in a vengeance campaign from the Sisypheum
- Cassian Vaughn - Original Legion Commander, later the Dreadnought Cassian Dracos
- Ganne - Warrior of the Pyre Guard 
- Harath Shen - Master Apothecary
- Igataron - Warrior of the Pyre Guard 
- Kar'Tor - Captain
- K'Gosi - Captain, Pyroclast of the 21st Company
- Leodrakk - Warrior of the Pyre Guard 
- Nemetor - Captain of the 15th Company reconnaissance 
- Xa'ven - Captain of the 34th Company
- Xiaphas Jurr - Lieutehant Chaplain
- Nomus Rhy'tan - Lord Chaplain
- Shen'ra - Techmarine 
- Skatar’var - Warrior of the Pyre Guard 
- Varrun - Warrior of the Pyre Guard 
- Barek Zytos - Draaksward
- Igen Gargo - Draaksward
- Atok Abidemi - Draaksward
- Tuseok - Contemptor Dreadnought
- Grenn - Contemptor Dreadnought
- Vel'Matr - Captain
- So'bak - Battle Brother
- Ish'val - Battle Brother
- Nar'van - Battle Brother
- Ven'tal - Battle Brother
- Shendrak Nal'kor - Battle Brother
- Kobal Ru'than - Battle Brother
- Barris Kal'sho - Battle Brother
- Maraeus Orasus - Battle Brother
- Abrahim Kobal - Techmarine, see also his quotes.
- Adrax Agatone - Captain of the 3rd Company.
- Argos - Master of the Forge.
- Kor'hadron - Master of the Forge.[47d]
- Rhoshan - Master of the Forge.[47d]
- Sul Dra'Nerr - Chief Apothecary.[47d]
- Leotrak Esar - Master of Sanctity.[47d]
- T'Kell Konn - Reclusiarch.[47d]
- Bray'arth Ashmantle - Venerable Dreadnought, current occupant of the Iron Dragon.[6g]
- Sol Ba'ken - 7th Company Captain.
- Kel'nir - Captain.[47b]
- Fal'vek - Captain.[47b]
- Dak'ir - Librarian.
- N'kelm - 2nd Company Captain.[47d]
- Dac'tyr - 4th Company Captain.[6f]
- Xavus - Current 4th Company Captain.[47d]
- Ur'zan Drakgaard - 6th Company Captain.[6f]
- Nehr Ur'Venn - Current 6th Company Captain.[47d]
- Elysius - Chaplain.
- Fugis - Apothecary.
- Guldor - Venerable Dreadnought, 3rd Company.
- Pellas Mir'san - Captain of the 2nd Company, the Winter Blade, Defender of Nocturne.[6f]
- Pyriel - Librarian.
- Su'Matr - Was a Master of the Forge in M37. Later was interred within a Dreadnought.
- Tsu'Gan - Veteran Sergeant.
- Tu'Shan - Chapter Master.[1a]
- Vel'cona - Chief Librarian.[2c]
- Vulkan He'stan - Forgefather.[2d]
- Xavier - Chaplain.[5a]
- Nubis - Member of the Deathwatch during the War of the Beast.
- Varr Shen - Chaplain.
Trivia and Notes
- The Salamanders were at one stage conceptualised as being black of skin tone; this was commonly interpreted (by the 'Eavy Metal painters as well as the fandom) to mean a natural black skin tone. In Fifth edition however, it was made clear that this meant actual black skin; as in jet black, coal black etc. Additionally, the Salamanders were also given 'burning' red eyes that actually glow.
- canon conflict: Pellas Mir'san is listed as 2nd Company Captain in Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury, contradicting the earlier revelation in Codex Supplement: Salamanders (8th Edition) that N'kelm had replaced him as captain.
- 1: Index Astartes IV[Needs Citation]
- 1a: Promethean Warriors
- 2: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- 3: Fires of War (Short Story)
- 4: Salamander (Novel)
- 5: Firedrake (Novel)
- 6: Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two[Needs Citation]
- 7: White Dwarf 300 (US), pg. 122
- 8: Nocturne (Novel)
- 9: White Dwarf 248 (UK) pgs. 30-36
- 10: Scars: Episode V (Serialised Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 11: Collected Visions, pgs. 279 and 316
- 12: Deathwatch: First Founding, pg. 20
- 13: Helsreach (Novel), Chapter XVI
- 14: Emperor's Deliverance (Short Story) - Tome of Fire (Anthology)
- 15: Hell Night (Short Story) - Tome of Fire (Anthology)
- 16: Vulkan's Shield (Short Story) - Tome of Fire (Anthology)
- 17: Fires of War (Short Story) - Tome of Fire (Anthology)
- 18: Prometheus Requiem (Short Story) - Tome of Fire (Anthology)
- 19: White Dwarf #269 pgs. 12-13
- 20: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition
- 21: The Horus Heresy Book Two - Massacre
- 22: Vulkan Lives (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 23: Promethean Sun (Novella)[Needs Citation]
- 24: Forgeworld.com PDF: Harath Shen (site last accessed 18/1/2014)
- 25: The First Heretic (Novel), Chapter 24
- 26: Dataslate: Space Marines Strike Force Ultra (Background Book), pg. 8
- 27: Salamanders: Rebirth (Novel)
- 28: Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition)[Needs Citation]
- 29: Sentinels of Terra - The 3rd Company's Triumphs
- 30: Salamanders: The Omnibus - Glossary
- 31: The Damnation of Pythos (Novel), Chapter 2
- 32: Dataslate: Storm Wing, pg. 8
- 33: Codex: Legion of the Damned (E-Book) - Martyrs Beyond Death
- 34: How to Paint Space Marines, pg. 79
- 35: Warlords of the Dark Millennium: Vulkan He'stan (Background Book) - The Final Quest Of Vulkan He'stan
- 36: Angel Exterminatus (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 37: The Seventh Serpent (Novella)[Needs Citation]
- 38: Deathfire (Novel), Chapter Three
- 39: The Unremembered Empire (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 40: Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Vortex Grenade - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 5 October 2015)
- 41: Warhammer: Visions 16, pgs. 108-111
- 42: Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition Rulebook, pg. 52
- 43: Old Earth (Novel)[Needs Citation]
- 44: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition)
- 45: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition, 2nd Codex)
- 46: Warhammer Community: Fists and Fire – New Miniatures Revealed (Posted 9 September 2019) (Last Accessed 9/18/2019)
- 47: Codex Supplement: Salamanders (8th Edition)
- 48: Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury, pgs. 12-13
- 49: Adeptus Titanicus: Shadow and Iron, pg. 32
- 50: White Dwarf February 2020, pg. 52
- 51: Waaagh! Ghazghkull - A Codex: Orks Supplement (7th Edition) - War Zone Armageddon
- 52: Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pg. 32
- 53: Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition) pg. 71
- 54: Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition) pg.47-48
- 54a: pg.86
- 55: White Dwarf 467, pg. 104 - Xenopurge (Short Story)
|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