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The Thirteen Commandments of Iron
The original tome authored by Warden Banesword. It is currently housed in Phalanx 87.


Iron Warden Urexus Banesword


Robute Guilliman


Approximately 2000

Date Constructed


Books in relation

Codex Astartes


Iron Scorpions, Incinerators


The Thirteen Commandments of Iron are a litany of 13 rites of honour that are used as a supplement to the Codex Astartes as a rite to follow in order to prevent heresy.

They were written by Iron Warden Urexus Banesword, re-founder of the Iron Scorpions Chapter, after seeing that the Codex written by Robute Guilliman could possibly not be enough to ensure preservation from the taint of chaos. Today it is mostly in use by chapters that have experienced, or have dwindled at the brink of a heresy (though not all of them) to ensure that it would not happen again.

Transformation into a tome

The Thirteen Commandments have lately been expanded into a book of around two thousand pages, and includes hundreds of inserts about successful tactics and war methods, some of which are merely expanded and refined versions of the battle methods found in the Codex Astartes, and also includes passages detailing military organisation and the moral behaviour expected of Space Marine Chapter that follow these commandments. It also has an entire section dedicated to the commandments themselves, one to a page, and outlines further the proper way in which each tenant must be followed.

The Thirteen Commandaments of Iron

  1. Revere the Emperor above all, serve him and protect all that serve in his name. Make none other your deity.
  2. Alliances are volatile in their promises of strength and security. Efforts may be distracted upon petty contests of showing off, or the allies' lack of skill or personal motives may lead to a campaign's failure. Only the Emperor's finest may ever be trusted.
  3. Show the untrusted no mercy, no respect and no pity. Only criticism will be your gift for those still loyal; and for those that are traitorous, only death.
  4. Respect the Iron warden and all those under his command, for they know the way around the terrors you will be facing.
  5. Arrogance is an offence equal to that of heresy, for only the Emperor is perfect.
  6. Misinterpretations and misrepresentations of the Emperor's wisdom are nothing short of arrogant blasphemy, ignorance, or both.
  7. Strive to improve and better yourself in all manifestations of your duty, for complacency itself is a dangerous form of arrogance.
  8. The only distraction that may cloud your mind is your duty to the Emperor and the Chapter, hate of the Imperium's enemies, and perfection of the art of war.
  9. Be tempted by nothing blasphemous, for even the slightest hint of heresy will spread.
  10. Finish what fallen brothers have failed to accomplish; punish yourself if you fail.
  11. Avenge all deaths of your brothers second only to the death of Rogal Dorn.
  12. Question change until all knowledge of it is gained, for the old ways have ensured our victory since our rebirth, new ways can only be perfected through error and failure - And failure is never an option.
  13. Obey these Thirteen Commandments down to even the last word.