+ inload: Hynn Yavuz +

+ Hynn Yavuz, Palatarch of XIXth Muster +

+ With the olive skin and black hair common to the Olympian phenotype, Hynn Yavuz is a typical physical example of an Iron Warrior subcommander. Palatarch is an obselete rank roughly equivalent to sergeant; another example of a non-standard replacement term introduced post-Isstvan. It was little known before the Heresy, and faded into near-disuse soon afterwards. +

 + Yavuz' shoulderplate bears the same iconography on Or stripe as his squadmates. Unlike (say) the XVI or VII Legions, who were encouraged to seek personal glory, the Iron Warriors culture was geared towards the strength of the whole, with every member's personal achievements being subsumed within the larger group – from squad to Company to Legion. This, and other, structured codes of behaviour caused tensions as individuals reinforced them ruthlessly while inwardly chafing against them. +

+ Perhaps this irresolvable tension was an intentional result of Perturabo's teachings. Certainly it fuelled the Legion's aggressiveness as the troops vented their frustrations on their enemies, while maintaining a coldly precise and disciplined demeanour. +

+ In any case, promotion in the IVth Legion was a byzantine affair quite divorced from honour, glory or acts of inspired battlecraft as was common with other legions; instead being based on an inscrutably complex system of codes and strictures. Almost all Iron Warrior commanders, including officers of the line, shared a willingness to sacrifice the part to the whole. Thus it may be that an officer identified an weakness in an enemy line, or a faster warp route, allowing his force to achieve victory more swiftly. Equally it might be that the officer had simply killed a disruptive insubordinate before he could affect operational ability of his squad. +

+ A rear shot shows the distinctive hooped back to the Voss pattern Mark III plate legs, along with the bloom of discolouration common to the Sol-Militaris pattern Mark IV powerpack when hooked up to the inefficient plate. Visible here is a spare combat blade – a near universal though non-standard complement to the Legionaries kit in the IVth Legion. It is sheathed on the left to allow quick retrieval for dual blade work. +

+ Yavuz's armament is a paired Mk IVs 'Thunder Edge' pattern chainsword  and Ikanos pattern bolt pistol. Aside from the yellow-and-black stripes common to Legion honorifics, the armament is almost stereotypical of Legion sergeant equipment – almost as thought it has come straight from the Master of Quarters. This is, of course, a distinct possibility – casualty rates during the Horus Heresy were catastrophic, and promotion was often swift – and brief. +

Squad banners were relatively uncommon amongst the IVth Legions, though far from unknown. In instances where the enemy was known to have the ability to decipher vox-code or intercept data – or when command and control was blocked, hexed or tech-hazed – the Iron Warriors were adept at the use of physical signals, amongst them banners. These were centrally issued to each squad, and were strictly monitored – alteration or customisation was a punishable infraction. As a result, this banner can be easily deciphered: the vertical yellow on black background indicates the XIXth Muster (the similarity to the pauldron tactical markings being either a coincidence or an intentional nod), while the V indicates the line of Chain mastery – in this case, fifth chain. +

+ While known as dour, the Iron Warriors had as keen a sense of tradition as many of their fellow legions. This was never indulged to the detriment of operational efficiency (as was occasionally the case with the III, IX or XVIII), but their aesthetic sense – stoically representational and unimaginative – was often curiously beautiful in its iconographic simplicity. War-banners such as this flew over a hundred battlefields, and were – perhaps surprisingly – encouraged by Perturabo, who saw them as a natural symbolic focus for his 'many-above-one' philosophies. +

+ The white horse has a symbolic meaning that would be well-known to all Olympians. Traditionally, the delivery of a white horse to a rival state was a casus belli; a curious custom that dated back to pre-Compliance. More generally, the horse was the Olympian symbol of high winds and natural disasters, with a number of fanes, temples and festivals dedicated to horse-headed or completely equine deities. As a portent of natural disaster, it was associated with earthquakes, and it is this aspect that is said to have caught Perturabo's mercurial favour – that of the horse as wall-breacher and hold-wrecker. +

+ With his face exposed to the elements, it is clear that Yavuz has no helm. This is likely a simple case his being forced into battle while awaiting replacement or repair. It is also possible that his crude bionic – implanted onto an obviously raw wound – was a temporary jury-rigged affair, and that its size makes it incompatible with use of his helmet. +

+ His superiors would not hesitate to field his Chain if they felt, on balance, that he was better unhelmed than not present on the field. Such is existence for the Iron Warriors; the individual suborned to the needs of the many. One might see this creed as unforgiving – even cruel; but such are the times and theatres in which the IVth Legion fought. +

+ The trophy-heads hung from the belt show the barbarous nature of the unchained Astartes. While the Adepts of Terra might hope that all Legions could be parade-ground perfect as the Emperor's Children or Ultramarines; the Pitiless Fourth show the unalloyed truth of warfare in the darkness of the thirty-first millennium: that it is raw, bloody and cruel. +

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