Salamanders: Mastering the Fury of Vulkan’s Flames


Salamanders: Mastering the Fury of Vulkan’s Flames

The Salamanders are one of the original First Founding Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, created by the Emperor of Mankind from the gene-seed of their Primarch Vulkan.

Renowned for their toughness, loyalty, and concern for human lives, the Salamanders have remained a steadfast bulwark against the enemies of the Imperium for ten millennia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Founded on the harsh, volcanic world of Nocturne with radiation causing gene-seed mutation.
  • Known for toughness, loyalty, protecting civilians and their skill with heat/flame weapons.
  • Nearly destroyed at the Dropsite Massacre of Istvaan V during the Horus Heresy.
  • Primarch Vulkan disappeared, believed missing rather than dead, after the Heresy.
  • Adhere to the Promethean Cult focused on self-reliance, loyalty and self-sacrifice.

Origins and History

The Salamanders hail from the harsh volcanic world of Nocturne. The perpetual tectonic upheavals and lava flows make it a deadly crucible that has shaped the Chapter’s character.

Nocturne’s high levels of radiation have also caused a mutation in the Astartes’ gene-seed, giving the Salamanders jet-black skin and red eyes that glow with an almost daemonic luminescence – an unsettling visage that has shocked more than one rebellious world into compliance without a shot being fired.

During the Great Crusade, the Salamanders fought with distinction under their Primarch Vulkan. However, the Horus Heresy brought them to the brink of destruction.

At the Dropsite Massacre on Istvaan V, the Salamanders were nearly wiped out by the Traitor Legions. Vulkan disappeared sometime after and is believed to be missing rather than dead.

The Salamanders have endured in the belief that Vulkan will one day return to lead them again in the final battle for humanity.

The Salamanders in the Horus Heresy

The Horus Heresy was a dark and pivotal time for the Salamanders. When Warmaster Horus betrayed the Emperor and plunged the galaxy into civil war, the Salamanders stood firm in their loyalty to the Throne.

The Salamanders’ defining moment in the Heresy came at the Dropsite Massacre on Istvaan V. Vulkan led his Legion alongside the Raven Guard and Iron Hands in the first wave of the assault on Horus’ rebel forces.

However, they were betrayed by four other Space Marine Legions – the Iron Warriors, Night Lords, Word Bearers, and Alpha Legion – who revealed themselves as traitors.

Horus had laid a masterful trap. The three loyal Legions were caught between the hammer of Horus’ forces and the anvil of Perturabo’s fortifications, and they were massacred.

The Salamanders fought with grim determination against their traitorous former brothers but suffered grievous losses. Only a handful of Salamanders survived the slaughter, and Vulkan himself disappeared in the chaos, his fate unknown.

The Dropsite Massacre almost destroyed the Salamanders as a fighting force.

They spent the rest of the Heresy rebuilding as best they could and taking part in covert strike missions alongside the Shattered Legions – small bands of survivors from the Iron Hands, Salamanders, and Raven Guard.

But they would not regain anything close to their former strength until long after the Heresy ended.

The Siege of Terra and the Post-Heresy era

The Salamanders played little part in the Siege of Terra, as they were still vastly understrength from the Dropsite Massacre. However, in the aftermath of the Heresy, the Salamanders were at the forefront of hunting down traitor forces.

Most notably, Vulkan himself led the Salamanders in the immediate post-Heresy era in a hunt for the infamous Apothecary Fabius Bile, formerly of the Emperor’s Children, to bring the arch-heretic to justice for his heinous experiments on innocent civilians during the Siege of Terra.

This began a long and bitter rivalry between the Salamanders and the Emperor’s Children Traitor Legion.

In the early 32nd Millennium, the Salamanders would fight in the War of the Beast against the massive Ork WAAAGH! led by The Beast. The Chapter suffered heavy casualties in the brutal fighting but played a crucial role in the Imperium’s ultimate victory.

Over the following millennia, the Salamanders would slowly rebuild their numbers. However, their gene-seed’s high rate of mutation and the perilous nature of Nocturne meant this was a painstaking process.

Even in the 41st Millennium, the Salamanders remain one of the smallest First Founding Chapters, yet they are also undoubtedly one of the most respected and renowned.

The Salamanders have continued to serve as the Imperium’s protectors and humanity’s defenders, responding to countless threats across the galaxy.

From the Third War for Armageddon to the Badab War to the brutal fighting of the Indomitus Crusade, the Salamanders have fought the enemies of mankind with the same grim resolve and determinated they showed in the darkest days of the Horus Heresy.

Though they are few in number, the sons of Vulkan remain a shining example in the face of overwhelming darkness.

After the Heresy, the Salamanders were left as one of the smallest First Founding Chapters, owing to their devastating losses and the highly dangerous selection processes for aspirants on Nocturne.

However, the Chapter has rebuilt and remained a stalwart defender of the Imperium’s citizens.

Martial Doctrine and Culture

In battle, the Salamanders favor close-ranged firefights and make heavy use of heat-based weapons like Meltas and Flamers in honor of the fiery artisans and metalworkers of Nocturne.

Squads of Terminators and Devastators bearing combustive weaponry are hallmarks of the Chapter’s deployments. Owing to Vulkan’s genius at the forge, the Salamanders maintain an unusually high number of master-crafted implements of war.

The Chapter also relies extensively on its Dreadnoughts. Ancient heroes like Bray’arth Ashmantle in the mighty Dreadnought chassis Vortex Beratus have turned the tide of many battles.

Culturally, the Salamanders are shaped by the Promethean Cult, a variant of the Imperial Creed that emphasizes self-reliance, loyalty and self-sacrifice for others.

Rituals and imagery of forgecraft, flames, and draconic beasts feature prominently. Uniquely among Astartes, the Salamanders live among the people of Nocturne when not on campaign, serving as leaders and protectors of the settlements.

This makes them especially concerned with limiting civilian casualties and defending the common people of the Imperium. The Salamanders are viewed by most Imperial citizens as heroic saviors.

The Salamanders’ armor is a deep green with black shoulder pauldrons and backpacks as well as gold chest Aquilas. Their Chapter badge is a white salamander head with a black background.

Veteran Salamanders have coal-black skin with red, glowing eyes as a result of a combination of Nocturne’s high radiation and a reaction with their gene-seed.

Notable Campaigns and Members

Some of the Salamanders’ most famous battles include the Third War for Armageddon, where they fought with distinction and are credited with helping save millions of civilians, and the Badab War.

Notable Salamanders include:

  • Vulkan: The Chapter’s missing Primarch
  • Tu’shan: The current Chapter Master
  • Vel’cona: Chief Librarian
  • Vulkan He’stan: The Forgefather who searches for the lost relics of Vulkan
  • Adrax Agatone: Captain of the 3rd Company
  • Bray’arth Ashmantle: Legendary Venerable Dreadnought

With their reputation for unwavering loyalty, defending humanity, and masterful skill at arms and the forge, the Salamanders are undoubtedly one of the greatest Space Marine Chapters. Their compassion for average humans sets them apart from many other Astartes. As long as the enemies of the Imperium threaten humanity, the Salamanders will always be ready to protect the innocent with the fires of Vulkan’s wrath.


The Defense of Nocturne

The Salamanders’ beloved homeworld of Nocturne has not been spared the ravages of war in the grim darkness of the far future. In addition to the brutal volcanic upheavals and tectonic shifts that regularly destroy the planet’s surface, Nocturne has been targeted by the Imperium’s enemies on several occasions.

One of the most dire threats came in the 34th Millennium when a massive Drukhari raiding force struck at Nocturne. The sadistic xenos had identified the Salamanders’ homeworld as a rich source of slaves.

The ensuing battle was fought across the planet’s surface and in the skies above. The Drukhari’s advanced technology and cruel cunning inflicted painful losses on the Salamanders, but the Chapter fought with determined fury to protect their home and their people.

Ultimately, it was the heroic sacrifices of the Salamanders’ scout company that turned the tide.

The scouts lured the main strength of the Drukhari into the unstable volcanic regions of Nocturne and then triggered a massive pyroclastic explosion, burning the heart out of the Drukhari host and showering their remains with tons of ash and rock.

Though the Chapter paid a high price in blood, with many promising recruits laying down their lives, Nocturne was saved from the depredations of the Drukhari.

In more recent times, the Forces of Chaos have brought war to Nocturne. In the late 41st Millennium, a warband of the Alpha Legion infiltrated the planet, seeding rebellion and discord among the people in preparation for a massive Chaos invasion.

Tu’Shan, the Salamanders’ Chapter Master, rallied his warriors and personally led the defense of Nocturne’s capital, Hesiod. The battle raged through the city’s ferrous oxide-rich caverns, with the Salamanders using their superior knowledge of the tunnel networks to outmaneuver the traitor forces.

The pivotal moment came when Tu’Shan confronted the Alpha Legion’s warlord, a massive Chaos Terminator, in single combat.

The Chapter Master was grievously wounded, but with a final, mighty blow of his thunder hammer, he crushed the Chaos Lord’s skull and broke the back of the Alpha Legion offensive.

With their leader dead, the traitors fell into disarray and were hunted down piecemeal by the vengeful Salamanders.

Once again, the sons of Vulkan had repelled a dire threat to their homeworld, but not without cost. Many battle-brothers had fallen, and the scars of the conflict could still be seen etched across Hesiod’s obsidian structures.

Yet as they always have, the Salamanders endured, ready to defend Nocturne and the Imperium with the fire of Prometheus.


The Indomitus Crusade

When the Cicatrix Maledictum split the galaxy in half and the Noctis Aeterna plunged the Imperium into darkness, the Salamanders stood ready to defend humanity as they had for ten thousand years.

With the guidance of the newly returned Primarch Roboute Guilliman, the Salamanders joined the Indomitus Crusade to stem the tide of Chaos and xenos threats that had been unleashed by the opening of the Great Rift.

The Salamanders brought their legendary resolve and fiery wrath to battlefields across the Imperium. On the hive world of Ghoria, they fought alongside the Imperial Fists to repel a massive Ork invasion.

In the Sakkara System, they clashed with the insidious Necrons, using their masterful grasp of fire and melta weaponry to burn the ancient metal warriors to slag.

And when the Death Guard unleashed a devastating plague upon the agri-world of Solastus, it was the Salamanders who braved the toxic, disease-ridden environment to evacuate the surviving civilians and torch the infected crops to prevent the spread of the contagion.

Throughout the Indomitus Crusade, the Salamanders lived up to their reputation as humanity’s staunchest defenders, never hesitating to place themselves between innocents and the myriad dangers of the galaxy.

They exemplified the very best of the Adeptus Astartes, wielding the Emperor’s wrath while also safeguarding his subjects.

The crusade also brought the Salamanders much-needed reinforcements in the form of the Primaris Marines.

Though some Chapters scoffed at the introduction of these new warriors, the Salamanders welcomed their Primaris brethren with open arms, seeing them as a valuable asset in the defense of Nocturne and the Imperium.

With their numbers bolstered and their resolve as strong as ever, the Salamanders stand ready to face whatever threats the future may bring, always embodying the ideals of self-sacrifice, loyalty, and unwavering courage that their Primarch Vulkan instilled in them ten thousand years ago.

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What happened to the Salamanders at the Dropsite Massacre on Istvaan V?

During the Horus Heresy, the Salamanders Legion was nearly wiped out at the Dropsite Massacre on Istvaan V. They were betrayed by four Space Marine Legions who had turned traitor to Horus. The Salamanders, alongside the Raven Guard and Iron Hands, were caught in a trap and massacred by the overwhelming traitor forces. Only a handful of Salamanders survived this slaughter.

Why do the Salamanders have jet-black skin and glowing red eyes?

The harsh, radioactive environment of their homeworld Nocturne caused a mutation in the Salamanders’ gene-seed. This gives veteran members of the Chapter jet-black skin and glowing red eyes that add to their fearsome appearance on the battlefield.

What is the Promethean Cult that shapes the Salamanders’ culture?

The Promethean Cult is a variant of the Imperial Creed that emphasizes self-reliance, loyalty and self-sacrifice for others. Rituals and imagery related to forgecraft, flames and draconic beasts are central to this cult that forms the core beliefs and culture of the Salamanders Chapter.

How did the Salamanders defend their homeworld Nocturne from threats?

Nocturne has faced invasions from the Drukhari who sought to enslave its people as well as rebellions seeded by Chaos forces like the Alpha Legion. The Salamanders have fiercely defended their home, with key victories like luring the Drukhari into volcanic kills zones and Chapter Master Tu’Shan slaying an Alpha Legion warlord.

What role did the Salamanders play during the Indomitus Crusade?

When the galaxy was split by the Great Rift, the Salamanders joined the Indomitus Crusade to liberate besieged worlds. They fought key battles against Orks, Necrons and Death Guard among others, often prioritizing civilian evacuation.

The Crusade also brought them much-needed Primaris reinforcements.

Who are some of the most legendary members and heroes of the Salamanders?

Notable Salamanders include their missing

  • Primarch Vulkan
  • Chapter Master Tu’Shan
  • Chief Librarian Vel’cona
  • Forgefather Vulkan He’stan
  • Captain Adrax Agatone
  • Venerable Dreadnought Bray’arth Ashmantle.

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