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Characters / Salamanders

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Characters belong to the Salamanders, both in the background and in the novel series.

Spoilers for Salamander and the short stories Hell Night, Fires of War, Fireborn, Prometheus Requiem, and The Burning will be unmarked, spoilers for Firedrake and Nocturne will be marked. Read on at your peril.

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One of the twenty Primarchs created by the Emperor of Mankind for the Great Crusade, Vulkan and his brothers were scattered to the stars by the Chaos Gods. Landing on the planet Nocturne, Vulkan was taken in by blacksmith N'Bel. Quickly growing to manhood, Vulkan soon mastered every forging technique his father taught him, and quickly developed new ones. However, Nocturne was frequently raided by the Dark Eldar, and the primitive people of the planet had no means of defense except for hiding. Vulkan, however, refused to run, and when they came, Vulkan slew them and inspired the people to the defense of their homes. In celebration, the people of his city held a competition of skill. By the end of the eight day, only Vulkan and one other remained, a stranger known as the Outlander who had been asked to join. For their final challenge, Vulkan and the Outlander were challenged to kill a Salamander, the largest of the Fire-drakes inhabiting Nocturne. Vulkan killed a great Salamander, but was left hanging from a precipice when the mountain he was on erupted. He was saved by the Outlander, who forfeited his own dead, larger Salamander to do so. While Vulkan was declared the winner, he declared that the Outlander had won. The Outlander then revealed himself to be the Emperor of Mankind, and placed Vulkan in command of Legion XVIII of the Adeptus Astartes. In remembrance of the Emperor saving his life, Vulkan renamed them the Salamanders.

During the Great Crusade, Vulkan served loyally, and the Salamanders gained a reputation as defenders of humanity, not merely executioners of the Emperor's enemies. When Warmaster Horus fell to Chaos and rebelled against the Emperor, Vulkan lead the Salamanders with six other legions to stop them, but four of the Legions turned traitor on the Salamanders, Raven Guard, and Iron Hands. In what became known as the Drop Site Massacre, Vulkan disappeared in the heat of battle. The Salamanders seek out the clues of his fate, hoping that one day he will return.

  • Blade on a Stick: The Spear of Vulkan
  • Badass Bookworm: Within a few months he had managed to develop new metallurgy techniques to raise the people of Nocturne to the Iron Age.
  • Badass Cape: Kesare's Mantle, one of the Artefacts.
  • Badass Teacher: Taught his metallurgy techniques to the people of Nocturne.
  • Bald, Black Leader Guy
  • The Black Smith
  • Continuity Snarl: His fate after the Drop Site Massacre. Traditionally, Vulkan just disappears, Never Found the Body and all that. However, some sources claim he showed up on Terra to discuss the creation of the Codex Astartes. Meanwhile another story claims he regenerated from his death at the Drop Site Massacre, escaped from the Night Lords to Macragge, and was stabbed in the heart with a magic spear that sealed his regenerative abilities. In this story he was sealed in a coffin called The Unbound Flame... which the Salamanders are constantly searching the galaxy for... despite the fact that it's in a sealed, patrolled chamber on Nocturne... yeah. Mind, there's still ten-thousand years for it to be lost.
  • Drop the Hammer: His Thunder Hammer, dubbed Dawnbreaker.
  • Fearless Fool: Refused to back away from the Dark Eldar. And survived.
  • Four-Star Badass: He was a Primarch. He led from the front.
  • From a Single Cell: Vulkan was a Perpetual, a rare individual who could live through anything.
  • Gentle Giant: Sort of. He was gigantic, sure, and he had great self-control and nobility, but he was capable of terrifying acts of violence that could leave his own brothers shocked. He wasn't so much gentle as better than any other Primarch at recognizing the intrinsic worth of human life.
  • Never Found the Body: The Salamanders still haven't found out what happened to Vulkan, even after all these years.
  • Power Fist: The Gautlet of the Forge, with attached flamer.
  • Red Baron: The Drake.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Trained the people of Nocturne to defend themselves from the Dark Eldar.


The Chapter Master of the Salamanders, Tu'Shan is the Master of the Fire-Drakes (First Captain of the Salamanders) and Regent of Nocturne. Becoming Regent of Nocturne at a relatively young age, Tu'Shan has proven himself to be a true hero time and again. In the novels, he mostly appears as a giver of exposition, perhaps because there was no real threat in the books that could challenge him one on one.

Vulkan He'Stan

The former Captain of the 4th Company, He'Stan is the Forgefather, the one who searches the galaxy for the Nine Artefacts of Vulkan. His duties take him to the furthest edges of the galaxy, away from his Chapter.

  • Ancestral Weapon: He has two of them, both built by Vulkan himself.
  • Badass Bookworm: Part of his job is to match the general prophesy of the Tome of Fire up to actual locations and events, then get there as fast as he can and kill everybody between him and his objective.
  • Badass Cape: Kesare's Mantle, a legendary drakescale cloak.
  • Badass in Charge: When he was Captain of the Fourth, before he resigned to take up the Forgefather title.
  • The Captain
  • Shrouded in Myth: At least for the lower-ranked men. The older Salamanders remember when he was one of them.
  • Walking The Cosmos: Travels along the galaxy find Vulkan's artefacts.

Hazon Da'kir

A Brother-Sergeant in the 3rd Company, Hazon Da'kir hails from Ignea, the subterranean continent beneath Nocturne, and not from one of Nocturne's Sanctuary Cities. He is at the center of a prophecy in the Tome of Fire called the "Fire Sword".

Zek Tsu'gan

A Brother-Sergeant in the 3rd Company, Zek Tsu'gan is the rival of Hazon Da'kir, loathing him as an outsider. He was very close to Captain Kadai, and took his death hard.

  • Badass
    • Badass Beard: Which sticks out of his chin. Descriptions sound like a Pharaohnic beard.
    • Break the Badass: He still carries scars from Kadai's death, which takes a masochistic vein.
  • Chainsaw Good: Uses a chainsword.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Develops masochist tendencies after Kadai's death.
  • Not Quite Dead: Survives killing Da'kir, but is burned beyond recognition. He's recovered by the Marines Malevolent, thinking he's one of their own, but kills them and crashes their Thunderhawk. Currently on the run.
  • The Rival
  • Sergeant Rock
  • What Have I Become?: He genuinely asks this after breaking free of Nihilan and thinking himself unable to return to his Chapter.

Sol Ba'ken

The heavy weapons specialist in Da'kir's squad, and Da'kir's closest friend. Ba'ken is later promoted to Sergeant upon Da'kir's induction to the Librarium.


An Epistolary (or Codicier) from the Librarius, he becomes Da'kir's teacher in the Librarius. Also former friend and fellow student with Nihilan.

Kotan Kadai

Veteran Captain of the Third Company. Killed by Nihilan in Fires of War, as revenge for the death of Ushorak.


Veteran Sergeant of the Inferno Guard (Kadai's command squad) and successor to Kadai as Captain. Though initially considered ill-suited to lead a whole company, N'Klen eventually came into his own while fighting off the Orks at Scoria, only to be killed in the final battle by the Orks. Except he was killed by Iagon.


The Chief Librarian of the Salamanders.

Herculon Praetor

The Veteran Sergeant of the First Company, and acting leader when Tu'Shan is absent.


Chaplain of the 3rd Company, noted for his fiery rhetoric and rarely removing his mask except in private.


The Master of the Forge, and once a member of Elysius's scout squad. He suffered horrible burns on his face due to two encounters with genestealers.


The Apothecary of the 3rd Company.

  • Combat Medic
  • Despair Event Horizon: A combination of Kadai's death and failing to secure a fallen Marine's progenoid causes him to give into despair.
  • He's Back: Manages to come back from the Burning Walk, which everyone assumed he died on. He starts getting a little annoyed everyone doubted his skills.
  • Walking the Earth: Goes on the "Burning Walk" to regain his faith.


A member of Da'kir's squad who later joins the Apothecarion. Mutilated during a sequel short story, he becomes bitter and hateful.

Cerbius Iagon

A sociopathic Salamander, who is using Tsu'gan to gain power and influence.


A young boy from Scoria who became a Salamander Aspirant.

     Imperium of Man 


A Sergeant in the Marines Malevolent. He joins Nihilan's warband with tacit approval from his Chapter over the Archimedes Rex.


A Captain of the Marines Malevolent, and Lorkar's superior.

  • Deal with the Devil: He agrees to help the Salamanders on Scoria in return for giving them the armor and arms of the Archimedes Rex.
  • Lack of Empathy: During the Third War for Armaggeddon, he ordered his Whirlwind artillery launchers to fire on a group of hostages held by the Orks. Tu'Shan lost it.

Sonnar Illiad

The overseer of the Scorian colony.


A member of the Black Dragons Chapter, who was hunted by the Dark Eldar for sport for over six years.



Archon of a Dark Eldar Kabal allied with the Dragon Warriors.

  • Evil Overlord
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's tougher wounded than his lieutenants are at full health. But he doesn't have eyes in the back of his head...
  • Literally Shattered Lives
  • Rasputinian Death: Of fifteen assassination attempts, three succeeded, yet he came back completely fine. The fourth successful one looks to be more permanent, however.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Helspereth. He's actually surprised over how much he misses her when she's killed.


A Wych queen who is allied with An'scur.


A dracon serving An'scur.


A Haemonculus serving An'scur, and the supposed key to his constant survival.

     Forces of Chaos 


The Chaos Lord of the Dragon Warriors, Nihilan is a fallen Librarian who was once part of the Salamanders. He was converted to the cause of Ushorak, a fallen Chaplain from the Black Dragons.


A Daemon of the Warp who was banished by Vulkan long ago, but has returned to take revenge of on the Salamanders.

  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Nihilan.
  • Demon Lords And Arch Devils: Not really. In the overall scheme of the Warp, this guy is small potatoes, if more patient than most. That said, daemon-slayers of Vulkan's caliber are thin on the ground nowadays.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Intriguingly, he seems to not belong to any one Chaos faction or Dark God. That is extremely rare for a daemon of his age and intelligence.
  • I Know Your True Name: Da'kir actually lacked the ability to say his name, but still did so with ease.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: He takes on the form of a vast, flying reptile when he gains a new daemonhost to Iagon's instant dismay and goes on a rampage through the battlefield. The Salamanders note at once that he resembles an actual being that once existed in their ancient history.


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