Legion: Iron Warriors
Leaders: Warsmith Aiolos Praxis, First Captain Porphyrios
The 104th Grand Company carries with it a proud history of standing alone against overwhelming odds. Led by Warsmith Aiolos Praxis, a veteran of the old Legion, he embraced Perturabo when he took command and while not initially agreeing with his decision to punish the Legion for their performance, he came to understand the logic behind it and believed it was the correct course of action.
Praxis, as typical of Iron Warriors, had always been slow to adopt new tactics, but with the introduction of tactical dreadnought armor, he took to this with a keen interest in mind. Instead of shifting his tactics, he could double down on the insertion of heavily armored troops under his command into key positions and accomplish more than ever imagined with only a handful of soldiers. Under cover of heavy siege weaponry, his forces would trudge through even the heaviest of gunfire to seize objectives that were thought to be unattainable. Warsmith Praxis proved time and time again that the proper application of heavy armor would always sway the battle in their favor.
Captain Nereus had a different view of warfare and believed the tactical dreadnought armor to be too bulky for his style, preferring to stick to infantry heavy deployments that would employ line vehicles supported by ground troops to reduce the enemy to ashes. During most engagements, Captain Nereus would engage the enemy head on in an attempt to keep their attention focused on his forces, while Warsmith Praxis and his warriors would insert deep into the enemy ranks and cripple their reinforcements. This strategy was employed over and over during many of their campaigns of Compliance to great effect, which led to their exploits reaching the ear of their Primarch.
Perturabo rewarded his sons by merely stating that they were the perfect example of what an Iron Warrior should be, cold, calculating, and willing to do whatever is needed to achieve the end goal. This perhaps is what caused such a rift between the 104th when news of the Heresy came.
Warsmith Praxis chose to believe that the Primarch was under the influence of nefarious forces and was not understanding his actions, that he was being tricked to betray the Emperor and all of mankind. Captain Nereus spoke out against his commander and chose instead to follow the words his Primarch spoke as law and set to work to thwart the plans of those loyal to the Emperor. The rest of the Grand Company split, nearly down the middle, deciding to side with one or the other in a rather bloodless coup that left Warsmith Praxis and those loyal to the Emperor temporarily stranded with the 87th Olympia Regulars. Captain Nereus chose to leave Praxis and his men behind, unscathed because he too believed that the Primarch may be misguided, but he had chosen to follow his father to the grave. He took the title of Warsmith and proclaimed his followers the 104th Grand Company “Iron Breakers” and set out to join his brothers.
Praxis, still reeling from the betrayal of his Primarch and his subordinate, swore vengeance on Captain Nereus, refusing to acknowledge his title as Warsmith, and proceeded to use whatever resources he could muster to pursue his misguided brothers. He once again took up the mantle of Warsmith of the 104th Grand Company “Sons of Olympia” and vowed to bring his brothers to justice and right the wrongs that his beloved Primarch had committed.
Warsmith Praxis and Warsmith Nereus have eluded one another in a stubborn game of cat and mouse that has resulted in each army undoing the work of the other, one way or another. Very rarely have the two engaged in a pitched battle, choosing instead to join larger engagements to aid their loyalist or traitorous brothers. The two have gained a mutual respect for the other’s tactics and unless absolutely necessary would not commit to an open engagement unless there was no other option.