A Brotherhood United

In the millennia since the Horus Heresy, dozens of Space Marine Chapters have been founded from the gene-seed of the imperial Fists, perhaps more than from any other Legion other than Ultramarines. Many of these Successor Chapters – the Crimson Fists, the Black Templars, the Executioners, the Hammers of Dorn and the Iron Knights foremost amongst them – have long and illustrious histories that are steeped in nearly as much glory and honour as the Imperial Fists themselves. Even those successors who were founded relatively recently – such as the Iron Fists, the Invaders and the Hammers of Dorn –  have already amasses a wealth of battle-honours to rival those of the most ancient Chapters, proudly upholding the legacy of their revered Primarch. Together the manifold ranks of the sons of Rogal Dorn have been instrumental in holding together the Imperium through the very bleakest of times.

United by blood and the honour of their mutual Primarch, the Imperial Fists and their successor chapters form a tightly knit brotherhood, one that is strengthened during the Feast of Blades. This event is usually held every hundred years, though additional feasts have been arranged to celebrate certain great Imperial triumphs  or in advance of a particularly large campaign. When the sons of Dorn meet, each Chapter selects a Champion, who then compete amongst themselves is feast of strength, endurance and martial skill. By ancient tradition, the festival culminates with a duel between the two strongest competitors, using only swords, for the honour of their respective Chapters. This duel is highly ritualised and fiercely fought, and typically continues until one of the competitors pierces one of his opponent`s two hearts. It is only on very rare occasions that either combatant is mortally wounded.

The Feast of Blades is not the only festival shared by the Imperial Fists and their successors; several other sacred days are maintained each century. The most important of all is the Day of Foundation, which honours the Second Founding. To celebrate, all members of a Chapter that are not already engaged in an ongoing war zone congregate at their fortress monasteries; those who cannot return hold private ceremonies. Chaplains read extracts from the writings of Rogal Dorn to the assembled battle-brothers, and individuals, often veterans, recount tales from their Chapter`s history. In this way, the brethren of Dorn`s bloodline are reminded of their ancestor`s mighty deeds and are inspired by these and the many other heroic examples.

As well as inheriting the noble bearing and stubborn nature of the Imperial Fists, all of their successor Chapters share their genetic legacy, including the unfortunate loss of some of the more minor enhancements of the Space Marines. Specifically, they no longer possess the sus-an membrane or the Betcher`s gland implants. The Imperial Fists and their successors do not bemoan such losses though. The sons fo Dorn do not need to hibernate, for they are ever vigilant; nor do they need to spit venom, for it is with boltgun and armoured fist that they crush their enemies.

Space Marines codex, 2012, p. 47

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