The Imperius Ravagers, known also as the 'Executioners', are a Third Founding Successor Legion of the stalwart Imperial Fists Legion, created in the wake of the dark times of the Nova Terra Interregnum, sometime during the early 33rd Millennium. This was a period of extreme unrest and civil strife, when the Imperium of Man had been split in twain. The Ur-Council of Nova Terra no longer recognised the rule of the High Lords of Terra and had seceded from the Imperium of Man, forming their own empire in the Segmentum Pacificus. This period of divided rule would last for nine standard centuries.
The Imperius Ravagers were Founded as a replacement for the traitorous XIIth Legion (World Eaters), created to help bring a bloody and swift conclusion to the rebellious Nova Terrans. The Imperius Ravagers quickly garnered a reputation as a highly aggressive force, its warriors hot-blooded and savage. They served as a spearhead of shock troops, mounting direct annihilation assaults on enemy forces, both in open battle and fortified positions, and able to carry the attack despite their then relatively small numbers by sheer courage and the fury of the violence they could unleash.
Since that bygone era, the Imperius Ravagers have often been compared to little better than a force of ill-disciplined primitives and gore-splattered headhunters, little better than the renegades they enjoy slaughtering. Yet, the 'Executioners' have a high degree of blood-bought wisdom and possess a certain deliberate cunning that has enabled them to attain a record of unwavering success in their service to the Imperium during some of the darkest periods in its history.
The Imperius Ravagers are an ancient and proud Space Marine Legion whose origins are found in the chaotic centuries following the Horus Heresy during the tumultuous 33rd Millennium, and the era of the 'twin-empires' of the Nova Terra Interregnum, when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra seceded from the Imperium of Man and declared the whole Segmentum Pacficus independent of Imperial rule. To compound the secession of the Segmentum Pacifcus, two Space Marine Legions, the feral Space Wolves and the stoic Iron Hands joined the rebellious Ur-Council of Nova Terra. The two Primarchs are later followed by a number of Legion Masters as well, who also join the Secessionist's cause. In response, the High Lords of Terra call for a new Founding to take place. The Third Founding, known also as the 'Numroi Founding', takes place in 098.M33.
Utilising accelerated gene-culturing techniques not used since the First Great Crusade, four Space Marine Legions were created in record time - the Silver Horde, Shadowlords, Impalers and the Imperius Ravagers. The latter Legion were proud scions of the Imperial Fists Legion. Their patriarch and first Legion Master was one of Primarch Rogal Dorn's most ruthless captains, Fafnir Rann. The initial intake of Imperius Ravagers were taken from the civilised world of Charon, located at the southern edge of the Segmentum Tempestus. Aside from an unbreakable sense of honour and unparalleled skill at arms, they shared little in common with their forebears' culture and traditions.
These few 3rd Founding Legions were created to be massive, hosting hundreds of thousands of Legionaries within their ranks. But the shortcuts taken in their creation would have unforeseen flaws. These particular Legions came to be characterised as being battle-hardened, and particularly bloody-handed and unforgiving. The primary purpose of their creation was to help bring the Nova Terra Interregnum to a brutal and swift conclusion. The conflict that ensued over the next eight centuries, threatened to tear apart all that the Imperium of Man had rebuilt following the Age of Darkness of the Horus Heresy. Not since those dark days, had Legion been pitted against Legion. Several of the Legions that had gone over to the Secessionist cause were annihilated by the rampaging Loyalist Legions.
The Imperius Ravagers contemporary colour scheme is that of bronze coloured power armour, which typically bears syncretic iconography, denoting rank and battlefield record. Many of these symbols have meanings hidden from outsiders to the Legion, though it is believed that the numeration and colouration of the "lamda" Helikan-glyph markings common to the Imperius Ravagers' heraldry refer to attested "kills" against worthy opponents in single combat, likely in increasing order of magnitude.
The Imperius Ravagers Legion badge is an ebon coloured Imperialis - a skull and laurel - centred upon a field of bronze, and capped with a pair of crossed executioner axes. This ancient symbol was commonly used by the ancient Space Marine Legions, especially the Imperius Ravagers' Progenitors, the Imperial Fists, to denote a battle honour for triumph in Zone Mortalis operations. This is a variant icon of their first Legion Master Fafnir Rann. During the Horus Heresy, those Legionaries who served under him often utilised Rann's personal heraldry on the boarding shields of Legion Breacher Siege Squads.
The Imperius Ravagers once counted the Wyverns Eternal as their most stalwart ally, as the newly created Imperius Ravagers fought alongside the more venerable Legion in several conflicts across the galaxy. But the events of the Nova Terra Interregnum changed all that, as the Wyverns Eternal eventually seceded from the Imperium and joined the Secessionist cause. Now the Imperius Ravagers look upon their former brother-Legion as oath-breakers and traitors, refusing to interact with one another, save on the field of battle.
The Imperius Ravagers have nothing but contempt and malice for what they consider to be their most bitter of enemies. They believe the upstart Nova Terra Regency should be wiped out piecemeal, as they are an affront to the will of the God-Emperor, and are no better than oath-breaking cowards who deserve no quarter for their treacherous actions. Any chance they get, the Imperius Ravagers launch deadly lightning assaults against the various Nova Terra Regency's border worlds near the Segmentum Solar to make their mark, bringing to the traitorous worlds the brutal order of the Imperium, if only for a short while.