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Literature / Iron Warriors

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Iron Within, Iron Without

From Iron cometh Strength. From Strength cometh Will. From Will cometh Faith. From Faith cometh Honor. From Honor cometh Iron. This is the Unbreakable Litany, and may it be forever so.

One of the nine Traitor Legions of Chaos Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000.

They are the Villain Protagonists of Graham McNeill's series of Iron Warriors novels, and also feature heavily in the Ultramarines novels Dead Sky, Black Sun and The Chapter's Due. McNeill's novels follow the fortunes of the Chapter after the Horus Heresy, focusing on Warsmith Honsou and the Iron Warriors assault on the Imperial world of Hydra Cordatus.

Novels And Short Stories In The Series

  • Storm of Iron
  • The Enemy of my Enemy
  • The Heraclitus Effect
  • The Skull Harvest
  • Iron Warrior
  • The Iron Without
  • The Beast of Calth

Please resist the urge to put examples on this page or link to this page on tropes unless you are citing from 40K novels in which the Iron Warriors feature. Examples which are specific to rulebooks and other in-universe fluff should go on either the 40K page or in the Chaos Marines section of the Warhammer 40,000: Forces of Chaos page.

Check out the character sheet.

Tropes connected to the Iron Warriors

  • Arch-Enemy:
    • The Iron Warriors to the Imperial Fists.
    • Later, Uriel Ventris becomes this to Honsou.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • It may be a matter of Popularity Power, but the Iron Warriors seem to be amongst one of the most successful Legions, both in-universe and within the franchise. Still, they retain a pretty low victory rate when pitted against the Space Marines.
    • Storm of Iron was the first novel where Chaos had a clear cut victory. In the 2008 reprint, Graham McNeill says that even the people at Games Workshop were shocked.
  • Badass Normal: Castellan Vauban, commander of the Citadel and 383rd Jouran Dragoons, was the one to deprive Honsou of his original arm. An ordinary human, albeit one who had been a student of swordplay his entire life, went toe-to-toe with Honsou, and very nearly won. Unfortunately, Honsou lured him in as he was about to deliver the killing blow and then killed him.
  • Batman Gambit: Honsou pulls one in The Beast of Calth.
  • BFG: Natch. Particularly notable are Toramino's guns - at least one is essentially a spaceship's macro-cannon, modified to work planetside.
  • Badass Unintentional: Julius Hawke, a known troublemaker, drunkard, and general failure of a Guardsman. Tilts the balance of power on Hydra Cordatus by firing an orbital torpedo into the Iron Warriors' main base, destroying at least three Warlord-class Titans, millions of rounds of ammo, nearly all of the Daemon Engines, and undoing several weeks of work. Also, he managed to kill a Chaos Space Marine, albeit semi-indirectly.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Honsou does this to an Imperial Guardsman in the opening lines of The Beast of Calth.
  • Colony Drop: During the assault on the Indomitable, Honsou drops a damaged ship on the defenders, causing absolute mayhem.
  • Curse Cut Short: "What the f-" - last words of Uraja Klane, mook.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Inverted. Bionics keep most of the Warriors from turning into chaos spawn and insane mutants. This is more a case of "Chaos eats your soul, bionics help you keep it."
  • Exact Words: The sorcerer in "Storm of Iron" is promised by the Warsmith that he will not be killed. Being turned into a blob of mutated flesh isn't technically killing.
  • Frame-Up: In "The Heraclitus Effect", the bombs Honsou uses to kill a world are painted in Ultramarines colours, pretty much just out of spite.
  • Improvised Weapon: Iron Warriors use their entrenching tools as melee weapons so often that some warbands have modified their shape to change it from a shovel you can hit people with to a weapon for enclosed areas that can be used to dig.
  • Irony: Warsmith Berossus, during the Horus Heresy, claimed he wouldn't be killed by being struck from above. Honsou kills him by jumping onto his Dreadnought shell's top, and hacking his sarcophagus open.
  • Freudian Trio: At least, as close to it as possible.
  • Mad Scientist: The Iron Warriors are firmly established as being the best engineers within the traitor Legions, particularly as siege engineers, but they seem to be the Legion that has made the most forays into mad science. Their achievements include: the Daemonculaba, which transforms kids into twisted Astartes warriors; and having the most Daemon Engines outside of the Dark Mechanicus.
  • More Dakka
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Mechanicus' efforts to keep the Guard units posted to Hydra Cordatus unaware of precisely what they are guarding severely hinder their ability to defend against the Iron Warrior assault. Such efforts are also pointless, as the reason why the Warsmith was attacking in the first place was because he already knew what was there, making the continued secrecy unnecessary.
  • The Reveal: The Citadel on Hydra Cordatus is housing a massive stockpile of Space Marine progenoids, which is to be used for future Foundings. To ensure its safety, the Adeptus Mechanicus has been slowly poisoning the regiments stationed there to make sure that no one stays long enough to discover it.
  • Siege Engines: A solid component of their hat.
  • The Spock: Often used as a contrast to the Hot-Blooded World Eaters or the...weird Emperors Children.
  • Tank Goodness: Probably the most tank-heavy of all the legions of Chaos. As an example, 108 Vindicator tanks are used in the Siege of Hydra Cordatus, with dozens of others being there as well.