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The Steel Confessors are a Space Marine Chapter, associated with the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Chapter gained notoriety at the Games Day & Golden Demon event at the NEC, Birmingham, England, in 2005, when they were featured in the Warhammer 40,000 mega-battle, The Battle for Kalevala.
You will find here, reproduced for easy perusal by 40K fans, the complete Index Astartes which was distributed that day.



Despite coming from the Geneseed of the Iron Hands, the Steel Confessors were not created as part of the second or subsequent large scale foundings from the original Geneseed of the Iron Hands and are in fact a relatively new chapter in the grand scheme of things. With the support that the Iron Hands Chapter provides to the Adeptus Mechanicus, it was only a matter of time until geneseed was supplied to the Adeptus Mechanicus that would allow them to build their own Chapter that would be able to provide a rapid reaction force able to best defend important Mechanicus facilities on the rim of the known galaxy.

And so were born the Steel Confessors. In M36 the Iron Hands sent three clan companies to aid Mechanicus Skitarii forces in the retaking of the Barrus system, an important Mechanicus Foundry and testing facility. The system had been captured by the Overlord Barhoth, a charismatic chaos renegade capable of calling upon the aid of legions of followers. With the additional assistance of the Dark Mechanicus, traitorous tech adepts who had fallen to Chaos, he had overrun the system and turned the factories to aiding his war effort, perverting the will of the Omnissiah to his own foul ends. Initial attempts by the Mechanicus to recapture the system had been repulsed with both heavy losses to the Skitarii and the local guard regiments sent to offer assistance.

Despairing that their research facility would be lost forever to the dark powers, the heads of the Mechanicus sent an appeal for aid to the Iron Hands, a chapter that had aided them in the past and shared many of the same ideals.

The resulting campaign was harsh with neither side asking nor expecting quarter. The Iron Hands were a godsend for the battered Mechanicus forces, striking the Overlords armies without warning, then redeploying once resistance began to stiffen in order to attack from another direction, whilst the Mechanicus and Guard forces tied up the reinforcements sent to the area. This saw positive results with a foothold being established on Barrus III, the main Foundry within the system. Over the following months this was consolidated until 75% of the planet was once again under Imperial control. The three clan companies then began to widen the sphere of their actions to incorporate the other planets within the system.

The Overlords minions appeared to be no match for the wrath of the Emperor’s chosen warriors and soon planet after planet began to be regained. After five years of constant campaigning, only one planet in the system remained in Barhoth's control.

This was Tarvor, a Mechanicus research facility that specialised in the refinement of shielding technologies, as a result the planet was heavily defended and the forces of the Imperium expected heavy losses in the planet’s recapture.

The Iron Hands stepped forward, eager to be at the forefront of the assault, knowing the importance of the planet and that the death of a traitor was at hand. After a long bombardment a hole was opened in the planet's shield and the Iron Hands launched their Thunderhawks, committing all three companies to the assault.

However, Barhoth had planned for this and as the Thunderhawks entered the planets atmosphere, within the shield they came under an unrelenting fire from the planets defence batteries, all of which had been retargeted to the point where the Iron Hands had entered.

Realising that they had been drawn into a trap, Venerable Dreadnought Grixus from the Gravehold clan company, who had been put into overall command of the Iron Hand forces during the campaign by the Great Council, ordered a retreat hoping that they would be able to reorganise and strike elsewhere. As the Thunderhawks turned for the hole in the shield, all communications with their ships in orbit where cut and the breach in the shield closed over. This left Grixus with little choice but to order the Iron Hands towards the planet knowing that they were surely entering a trap. The fire from the planetary defence batteries continued unabated and barely half of the three companies survived the planetfall.

Grixus organised the surviving marines around the spaceport planning to hold out until relief was able to punch through to them. In orbit the Iron Hand strike cruisers where not inactive and whilst a concentrated bombardment began alongside the Imperial navy, Captain Ullenear of the strike cruiser Omnissiah's Might signalled the Great Council to inform them and request additional aid. Unfortunately the closest force that the Iron Hands could dispatch was a month away. Knowing that potentially three entire companies were facing complete annihilation, the Great Council also requested additional aid from the Adeptus Mechanicus, reminding them of their ties of loyalty. The Mechanicus responded and sent forces from all the surrounding systems, including elements of the forces on the newly won planets within the Barrus system. A vast armada surrounded Tarvor all awaiting the destruction of the planet's shield, with over five hundred ships adding their firepower.

Under such a colossal weight of fire, rents started to appear in the previously impregnable shield. The Mechanicus commanders wasted no time and deployed over 100,000 Skitarii and 4 Warhound Titans through the breaches, all of which headed for the Spaceport as communications where re-established with the surviving Iron Hands. The scene around the spaceport as the troops landed was one of complete devastation. The Overlord had committed his finest troops to the destruction of the Iron Hands and the weight of numbers along with their loss of manoeuvrability had taken their toll. Of the 300 marines that had been committed to the assault on the planet 126 had died in their Thunderhawks. Of the 174 marines that had made it to the spaceport only 11 remained alive, most of them bearing grievous injuries.

As the Skitarii secured the spaceport and began to push the traitors back once more, the shields finally collapsed and the rest of the Mechanicus forces began to deploy. This allowed the surviving Iron Hands time to recoup the precious geneseed that would allow them to rebuild their companies and to take stock of the tremendous losses to the chapter they had suffered. All three clan company commanders had died, the last being Grixus mere hours before the liberation of the spaceport.

In honour of the Mechanicus and the forces that they had committed to relieve the beleaguered clan companies, the Great Council agreed to provide the Adeptus Mechanicus with some Geneseed, in order that they might be able to build their own rapid reaction force. In return the Mechanicus sent their most revered artificers in order to assist with the rebuilding of the companies and dedicated three entire Forgeworlds to the rearmament of the decimated companies.

The geneseed that the Mechanicus received was a sample from each of the clan companies and some of the chapter's greatest heroes. No time was wasted in the use of the Geneseed and the new fledgling chapter began to take shape.

It wasn't long before the Inquisition of the Ordo Hereticus found out about what had transpired and petitioned for the destruction of this unauthorised chapter, questioning the motives of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Upon review the High Lords of Terra allowed the Mechanicus to keep the Chapter, as long as they followed all the ties of loyalty that other Marine Chapters were required to do (such as the submission of geneseed for testing). Feeling that they were being forced to succumb to unfair guidelines for their chapter the Adeptus Mechanicus decided to name it the Steel Confessors.




The original homeworld for the chapter was a Forgeworld called Kracsis IV, located on the eastern rim of the galaxy. The Forgeworld specialised in the production of small arms and was situated in what was considered to be a quiet sector of the galaxy. It seemed like an ideal planet for the Steel Confessors to take as a homeworld, loyal to both the Imperium and the Adeptus Mechanicus, with a sizable population that the Steel Confessors could recruit from.
Kracsis IV was also virtually central for all the Mechanicus facilities in that sector of space, allowing the Chapter to deploy with ease wherever they would be needed. The location of the Chapter could also remain a secret as the planet was shielded by a device that was taken from Tarvor and made the planet appear as a barren rock to any sensors sweeping the planet. In a relative backwater that would allow the rest of the Galaxy to forget about them, the Steel Confessors where given time to hone their skills. This secrecy was to prove a double edged sword as the Tyranid menace surfaced.

As the great Devourer that was Behemoth tore its way across the Galaxy, the Steel Confessors were in the forefront in the battles against it, buying time for Mechanicus planets to evacuate essential personnel and materials. This spread the Chapter thinly across the entire eastern rim of the Imperium. The Steel Confessors cared not where they fought so long as they could serve their masters. This unflinching loyalty was to prove the undoing for their homeworld, believing the planet safe behind its shielding, the chapter master Protonus didn't consider the Tyranids a threat to Kracsis IV. When the Hive fleet appeared on the outer edges of the system the only marines in the system were Protonus and half of the first company.

Protonus immediately ordered the return of the third, fifth, sixth and ninth companies, all of them being the closer to Kracsis IV than their brethren; he then turned to the defence of his Homeworld. The battle for Kracsis IV lasted three months as the companies arrived and took up positions beside their battle brothers. Every metre of ground given up by the Steel Confessors was paid for at a horrendous cost by the Tyranids, however, numbers where on their side and for every ten that died fifty took their place.

Realising his planet was lost, Protonus ordered the transports to be readied, in order to salvage as much as possible. As if sensing the end was near the Tyranids renewed their assault, finally gaining entrance to the Fortress Monastery. Whilst the remnants of the survivors made for the transport, Protonus and his first company provided a rear guard. After a vicious struggle the remnants of the first company made it to the transports, bearing the body of their Chapter Master, who had suffered horrendous injuries destroying a Hive Tyrant in order to slow the Tyranids advance.

Kracsis IV was then left to its fate as the surviving marines escaped to rendezvous with the rest of the chapter.

Since the loss of Kracsis IV the chapter has been fleet based, with the exception of its librarium and the Tomb of the original Chapter Master - Avonis, who it is said is held in stasis until such a time that the chapter needs him. Both of these are on the planet of Kallevalla, a place that the Steel Confessors have sworn to defend from any threat.


Combat Doctrine


Like their forefathers the Iron Hands, the Steel Confessors have an uncompromising hatred of weakness in any form. Also given their ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus bionic enhancement is the norm. All the marines in the chapter have a degree of affinity with machinery and this is a prime requirement of potential recruits.

With bionics to replace weakened limbs and organs, the chapter also undergoes regular testing to ensure their minds remain strong. All marines are required to go through a period of training and indoctrination on Medusa under a clan company, as part of the agreement between the Iron Hands and the Magi of the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is during this training that they learn the history of the Iron Hands. Unlike their progenitor chapter, they keep the role of Chaplain and Techmarine separate, not having Iron Fathers. Instead every company captain is trained in the ways of the tech marine and artificer and fulfils both roles as proof of his blessing of the Omnissiah.

The Chapters Chaplains are there to extol the virtues of constant struggle and intolerance for weakness, whilst ensuring the teachings of the Mechanicus are followed and due reverence is paid to the divine trinity. Chaplains are chosen for their ability to inspire their brethren through acts of divine courage and overcoming impossible odds.

Like the Iron Hands, the Steel Confessors advance relentlessly, giving their enemies no time to reorganise as they throw themselves into almost berserk combat.

The Steel Confessors have a full complement of Terminator suits that are maintained by both the chapter and Adeptus Mechanicus Magi that are seconded to the Chapter. These Terminator suits are seen at the forefront of most Confessor engagements to provide inspiration for the rest of the chapter and as a display of devotion to never ending struggle.

With the chapter having to evacuate its home world, much of its armoured support has been heavily damaged or destroyed. Even with the Mechanicus as an ally the Chapter has been so far unable to replace all of these losses, as a result vehicles will only be deployed in the direst of circumstances.




The organisation of the chapter follows the codex quite closely, mainly due to the agreement between the Mechanicus and the High Lords of Terra. The first company is purely Terminators and rarely deploys in power armour. The second, third, fourth and fifth companies are all battle companies, the sixth and seventh are tactical companies, eighth is an assault company, ninth is a devastator company and the tenth is a scout company. Unlike the Iron Hands where it is known for the clan companies to fight amongst themselves on occasion, the Steel Confessors work together and there are close ties between the companies. Indeed it is common for marines to move between companies (with the exception of the first and tenth respectively), in order to learn from different commanders and to allow them to build up a wealth of experience. This results in a high level of autonomy whatever the rank of marine.

The Chapter Master makes all the major decisions for the chapter, but he gathers the opinions of the other company commanders in Council sessions, prior to making those decisions.

The position of Chapter Master is voted for by each company commander, chaplain, librarian and Dreadnought. In the unlikely case of a tie the five longest serving veteran sergeants vote.




The Chapter has very strict beliefs and follows the idea of the divine trinity. This trinity consists of the Omnissiah, the spirit that provides succour and strength to all things, whilst rewarding the quest for knowledge and improvement. The Emperor, the physical embodiment of the Omnissiah, there to crush the weak and provide an embodiment of knowledge incarnate. His ascendance to the golden throne is seen as his final step to achieving omnipotence. The final part of this trinity is Ferrus Manus, the messenger of the Omnissiah and the bringer of light. He is seen as the closest to the Omnissiah that a mortal can get and is there to provide an inspiration to the Chapter.

Like the Iron Hands, the Steel Confessors have an unreasoning hatred of weakness, especially those brought by the physical form, and will not tolerate weakness of any form from any allies they may have. Indeed several forces have refused to take to the field with them after the Steel Confessors have fired upon them for a perceived weakness and the chapter is currently undergoing Inquisitorial investigation after the destruction of the 54th Tallarn desert raider regiment for 'failure to achieve objectives. The link that the Steel Confessors have with the Adeptus Mechanicus is closer than the Iron Hands have, and at any given time each company is accompanied by three Magi, to oversee the upkeep of their equipment and their blessings to the Omnissiah.




The geneseed of the Steel Confessors is classed as pure, indeed the only flaw it appears to have is shared with the Iron Hands Chapter; that of an unreasoning fear of weakness that is turned into unreasoning hatred and anger. As with the Iron Hands this has been classified as an acceptable mutation due to the abilities it bestows the Steel Confessors in Combat situations.


Battle Cry


Destroy the weak!


Fielding a Steel Confessors Army



Chapter Traits

Wise- Scions of Mars
Stern- Suffer not the Alien to live (Tyranids)
Minor Drawbacks- We Stand Alone
Major Drawbacks- Flesh over Steel