One of the twenty Primarchs created by the Emperor of Mankind for the Great Crusade, Perturabo and his brothers were scattered to the stars by the forces of Chaos. Landing on Olympia, Perturabo found by the guards of Dammekos, the Tyrant of Olympia, while crawling in the mountains. Recognizing he was no ordinary child, Dammekos took Perturabo in and raised as his own son. While Dammekos gave the boy warmth and affection, Perturabo never returned it. When the Emperor came to Olympia, Perturabo submitted to him and overthrew Dammekos. The fallen Tyrant would try to mount a resistance, but it would fail. Perturabo was given command of the IV Legion of the Adeputs Astartes, the Iron Warriors.During the Great Crusade, the Iron Warriors became masters of siege warfare, developing a rivalry with Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists, with a similar mastery of sieges. The Iron Warriors were eventually relegated to single squads being expected to keep control of planets with millions of inhabitants. Perturabo resented this, and when Olympia rebelled, the Iron Warriors launched a savage reprisal. Soon called to Isstvan V to deal with the beginning of the Horus Heresy, the Iron Warriors defected to the Chaos Space Marines, and later reveled in destroying the ramparts of the Imperial Palace. After the Horus Heresy, the Iron Warriors defeated the Imperial Fists in the Iron Cage incident, and Perturabo ascended to Daemon Prince, ruling over the Daemon World of Medrengard in the Eye of Terror.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence
- Badass: All Primarchs are:
- Badass Bookworm: Perturabo was a brilliant engineer and mathematician, which is where he got typecast for siege warfare. He wrote the Castellum Arcanum, the go-to guide for siege warfare among the Traitor Legions.
- Badass In Charge: As Lord of Olympia.
- Badass Nickname: The Lord of Iron
- Cultured Badass: While not as overt as Sanguinius or Fulgrim, Perturabo had a great appreciation for culture.
- Four-Star Badass: A brilliant general.
- Bald of Awesome/Bald of Evil: First one, then the other.
- Bigger Bad
- Combat Pragmatist: He preferred the use of combat robots as his personal bodyguards rather than fallible mortals and was more than happy to destroy an Iron Hands cruiser on first contact rather than waste lives boarding it. This brings him into conflict with Fulgrim.
- Depending on the Writer: A fairly awful case, to the point where his personality is believed to have been listed as "mercurial" primarily to avoid drawing too much controversy from how diametrically opposed the two major write-ups for him are. Graham McNeill writes him as a sympathetic man, a cultured, intelligent diplomat with democratic inclinations and a fondness for an In-Universe wargame rather like Warhammer 40,000, pigeonholed into disgusting siege warfare while his brothers take all the credit and glory until he snaps, even then retaining more of his humanity at first than his fellow traitors. John French writes him as a cold, perfection-obsessed killer who killed huge swaths of his legion moments after meeting them for not living up to his impossible standards and developed a numbers-game warfare style of calculated attrition that reduced every battle to a math equation of soldiers in to soldiers out.
- Drop the Hammer: He was given Forgebreaker, the Thunder Hammer of Ferrus Manus, by Horus to seal the alliance between them. He was using Thunder Hammers before that.
- Evil Overlord: As Daemon Prince of Medrengard.
- A Father to His Men: Only in the literal sense, as the Horus Heresy indicates that even before declaring for Horus he was killing Iron Warriors who had fallen from favor.
- Hates Everyone Equally: In the end. Despite being a largely unpopular primarch, he enjoyed spending time with Magnus as they both shared an interest in researching the great innovators of Terra's past.
- Hidden Depths: Was in fact a cultured artist; the fact no one knew that pissed him off more.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction after suppressing the Olympian revolt, which is largely what encouraged him to join with Horus, as he praised Perturabo for his thoroughness. Staying with the Emperor left Perturabo facing penance he felt he deserved, joining with Horus gave him the forgiveness he desperately craved.
- The Nicknamer: Gave the Eye of Terror its name, before that it was called Cygnus X-1.
- Not So Stoic: Despite the Iron Warriors reputation for stoicism, Perturabo had quite a temper on him. In The Crimson Fist novella, it's implied that Berossus got placed in a Dreadnought because he had to tell Perturabo that Sigismund wasn't commanding the Imperial Fists at the Phall System. Later confirmed in Angel Exterminatus.
- Orcus on His Throne: Hasn't led an attack on the Imperium since ascending to Daemonhood.
- Recently Averted.
- Properly Paranoid: Throughout his life, he could see the Eye of Terror in the sky, not matter what planet he was on, feeling as if it was watching him. He's incorrect that the Eye was watching him; it was the Chaos Gods.
- The Resenter: Originally toward Rogal Dorn, but later damn near everyone.
- Fulgrim and the Emperor's Children rank highly amongst the traitor legions, for good reason.
- Serious Business: Damn near everything.
- Shoot the Messenger: Cripples Berossus to the extent that he is forged into a Dreadnought afterwards.
- The Spock: Noted as having a much higher emphasis on logic in all things, a trait shared by the rest of the Iron Warriors. Is also outright disgusted at how devolved the Emperor's Children and Fulgrim became during the Heresy.
- The Strategist: He actively encouraged his men to consider how to assault AND defend the Emperor's palace from the beggining of the legion's inception. His attempt at defending it was competent and played out in a similar fashion to the actual defence later in the Heresy. His attack took far less time and incurred total enemy casualties.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Got it from Dammekos but didn't want it, later wanted it from the Emperor and never got it.
The Warsmith's Grand company
HonsouThe leader of the Warsmith's third company. Has not been named Captain despite holding the post for two centuries, due to his status of having some Imperial Fists gene-seed in with the his Iron Warriors gene-seed.
- Arch-Enemy: To Uriel Ventris.
- Artificial Limbs: Losses his right arm in the siege, and is given an augmetic arm that belonged to one of the Warsmith's old lieutenants as a sign of favor. He later replaces it with a liquid metal arm of xenos origin, which drinks blood and contains a power directly opposed to the daemon in his axe.
- Badass: The guy may be a douchebag, but he's definitely one hell of a fighter.
- Bald of Evil: As a space marine, natch.
- Berserk Button: At one point, he nearly gets dismembered by one of the major Chaotic players of the setting, Huron Blackheart, because he mouths off when Huron calls him "half-breed".
- Black Sheep: Amongst the Iron Warriors, Honsou is pretty indifferent about the Legion and their legacy, which is why his actions are pretty atypical and he's practically indifferent to anything but his own desires.
- Breakout Villain: Storm of Iron was written as a standalone novel, but Honsou quickly became a popular character, and one of Graham's favorites to write.
- Chainsaw Good: Wields a chainsword.
- Combat Pragmatist: Not afraid of fighting dirty and knows how to turn a battle in his favor. In unarmed combat, he's well described as a down and dirty gutter fighter.
- Dark Chick: Among the Warsmith's other lieutenants, he was certainly the most tactically flexible and emotional as opposed to Forrix's jaded stoicism and Kroeger's constant rage.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's how he lets his anger out in a way that isn't killing people. Although he does kill a lot of people.
- Demonic Possession: He gets "possessed" by a minor daemon during the battle for Hydra Cordatus, though it only really used him to channel its power. The Warsmith is impressed.
- Dragon Ascendant: By the time Dead Sky, Black Sun rolls in.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Amongst the non-loyalist characters, he's called the half-breed. He isn't shy about advertising it himself.
- Evil Is Petty: Does some of the worst things in the setting just to get back at Uriel, right down to killing a world.
- Evil Weapon: His daemon axe. Of course, Honsou isn't that far behind it.
- Mixed Ancestry: He was created using a combination of Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists gene-seed. And it's why the other captains hate him.
- The Unfettered: The author describes him this way, as someone totally unbound by ethics and who doesn't give a damn about the consequences of his actions so long as he comes out of it better than he otherwise would.
- Villain Protagonist: Of the Iron Warriors side of the ongoing conflict.
- Visionary Villain: Genuinely believes in the dream of Horus using the power of Chaos to unite humanity and protect it from Xenos threats. Of course, being a Chaos Marine, it's more along the lines of "subjugate humanity", and he's quite easily sidetracked into his elaborate campaign of vengeance against Uriel Ventris.
- You Are in Command Now: "I do not name you Captain. I name you Warsmith."
The WarsmithAn ancient Warsmith of an Iron Warriors Grand Company, leading the siege on Hydra Cordatus. He is planning to capture the gene-seed within to assure his status as a Daemon Prince.
- An Axe to Grind: He wields a midnight black daemon axe.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Goes onto become a Daemon Prince.
- Baby Eater: He triggers his ascension by feeding on Progenoids after finally breaking into the Citadel. The organic "storage" for is essentially a tailor-cultured fetus.
- Big Bad: Of his Five-Bad Band in Storm of Iron.
- Bling of War: Wears Terminator Armour.
- Brown Note: He's seething with so much Chaos, just looking at him causes nausea in his own underlings, and keeps an entire regiment of guardsman from being able to raise their weapons against him. It's because of his transformations.
- Crazy-Prepared: At Hydra Cordatus, he probably had a hand in getting the Mechanicus infiltrator, which came about roughly a hundred and fifty years before Storm of Iron, and presumably built the hidden teleporter in the citadel which they used to infiltrate Cycerin in towards the end of the siege.
- Karma Houdini
- Large and in Charge
- No Name Given: Until Angel Exterminatus, also by McNeill, anyway. Barban Falk, in case you were curious.
- Time Abyss: Originally came from Olympia, and took part in the Great Crusade. He even designed the Citadel on Hydra Cordatus.
ForrixThe First Captain of the Warsmith's Grand Company. Once eagerly believed in Horus's dream of uniting the galaxy under Chaos, but has become jaded over ten thousand years.
- Badass Bureaucrat: His chief talent is supreme organizational and logistical skills. He's seen running the day-to-day operations of a siege until the Warsmith tells him to join the fighting.
- Bifurcated Weapon: A combi-weapon.
- The Cynic
- The Dragon: He's the Warsmith's chief lieutenant.
- Frontline General: Once he puts on the Terminator armor and gets into the trenches.
- Karmic Death
- Power Fist
- Time Abyss
KroegerThe Captain of the Second Company of the Warsmith's Grand Company. Slowly falling into the grips of Khorne.
- The Berserker: And he doesn't even realize it.
- The Brute
- Chainsaw Good
- Eye Scream
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: He breaks from guarding the Daemon Engines to get his slaughter on.
- Time Abyss: Ironically, Forrix still calls him a newblood. Even he lampshades how ironic it it.
Jharek KelmaurThe Sorcerer of the Warsmith's Grand Company.
383rd Jouran Dragoons
The regiment of Imperial Guard tasked with defending the Citadel of Hydra Cordatus.
The demi-Legion of Titans assigned to the Citadel of Hydra Cordatus.
The members of the Adeptus Mechanicus overseeing the Citadel's systems.
Other Iron Warriors
Shon'tuThe leader of The Sons of the Forge, notable for being the one who tortured Imperial Fists Captain Lysander.
- Arch-Enemy: To Lysander.
- Black Sheep: Most Iron Warriors don't really like him due to how often he works with daemons, in fact its hinted he's not even a Warsmith, but a WARPsmith.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: To Lysander, in between talking about how awesome he is.
- Crazy Enough to Work: His most well know plan involved: Finding a Tyrant Hive Fleet (this after the first Tyranid war but before the other hive fleets came to the Galaxy), stuffing it into a space hulk and wiring a Navigator into its controls and fired it right at Terra.
- Deal with the Devil: Heavily works with Deamons.
- Legacy Character: There is in fact two, a Warlord during the Age of Strife and the current Warsmith.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Claims to be the reincarnation of a great warlord and with surpass even Horus in the level of feats, he's the leader of a warband that's been wiped out, twice.