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Heartwarming / Salamanders

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  • In the novel Salamanders, the titular chapter find a lost world and under the surface resides a colony of humans. Despite the difficulties faced by the company, they take the time and munitions to defend this colony, and discover a Salamander who has remained there since the heresy. Their reactions to finding this ancient, and knowing they can't save them harkens back to the original ideas of Space Marines, not as Knight Templars they are now, but as defenders of humanity.
    • Another moment in the book is when the colony is attacked by the local chitin-beasts en masse, and losing. The Salamander squad at the scene immediately throws themselves into the defense of the colony, saving as many colonists as they can. One, Ba'ken, who comes from a warrior tribe making him extra warlike even compared to the other Salamanders and has been described as "hulking" by other Space Marines, grapples with a predator that was attacking Val'in, the young boy who lead the Salamanders to the colony in the first place. When another chitin shows up, Ba'ken resigns himself to his fate, but Val'in puts himself before it and him, swinging at it with a shovel to try to fight it off even with Ba'ken screaming at him to run to safety, allowing both of them to be saved by another Salamander coming to their aid. Later, after the chitin beasts are driven off, Val'in goes up to Ba'ken and touches his greave, calling him a "Fire Angel", the local folklore name for Salamanders. Ba'ken is so overwhelmed with emotion from this simple act and the boy's bravery in the fight that he can't even answer. And best of all, Val'in returns two books later as an aspiring Salamander, under the eye of Ba'ken, who is being promoted to Master of Recruits.
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  • Another Salamanders moment is the entire short story Vulkan's Shield. The story starts with Captain Ko'tan Kadai and his elite guard on a Thunderhawk, heading towards a final objective in a city besieged by heretics. All throughout the story Kadai keeps repeating that the mission is not over, that there is something in the city the Salamanders need to bring with them before they can leave. Finally they arrive at a Scholam, the 40k version of a school, annihilate a small force of heretics and then blow open the roof, revealing a handful of kids and their teacher. The Salamanders came to rescue them, risking the lives of their Captain, his guards, and a venerable Thunderhawk gunship, just for a few kids. Defenders of humanity indeed.
  • Salamander Marines do not live in sequestered Monasteries as other Space Marine chapters, but with their former families and clans, and are expected to perform community service during what little free time they have. This is decreed so that they will never forget what they're fighting for; the citizens of the Imperium.
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  • Salamanders Chapter + Planet Armageddon = Instant CMOH. Whether it's stalwartly defending the retreating refugees or moving in to protect hives that have been left to be wiped out by the Orks. Best of all, it's rumoured that Chapter Master Tu'shan beat up a Captain in the Marines Malevolent for bombarding a refugee camp because Orks had breached the perimeter. Were it not for the Orks being involved, one could forget that it was Warhammer 40000 at all. The rumour became fact in the short story Emperor's Deliverance, which elaborates that Tu'Shan confronted Captain Vinyar of the Marines Malevolent over their devastation of the refugee camp, and beat the holy living daylights out of Vinyar. For all the Light Is Not Good Knight Templar imagery the Space Marines are described as, sometimes they can't help but be the heroes they claim to be.

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