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The Quan Zhou Fortress-Monastery of the White Scars, located on Chogoris.

A Fortress-Monastery is the central headquarters of a Space Marine Chapter. As Space Marines are viewed as warrior monks, a Fortress-Monastery holds elements of both a military base and an abbey. Exactly what constitutes a Fortress-Monastery will vary depending on the Chapter in question. Most Chapters will have their Fortress-Monastery based on their homeworld, usually isolated from the rest of the planet's population. In Fleet-based Chapters, the Fortress-Monastery may either be a star fort or space station (such as the Imperial Fists Phalanx) or battle-barge which serves as the Chapter's flagship (such as the Black Templars' Eternal Crusader).


Taking no chances with regards to defence, a Fortress-Monastery will be the most well defended bastion of Imperial strength on the planet it is located (the fact that most Space Marine Chapters live on Feral and Death Worlds whose inhabitants are usually unaware of the greater galaxy is not an issue). Indeed, the only way a Fortress-Monastery is not the most defended base in the entire sector is on the off chance another Space Marine Fortress-Monastery is located in the same sector (though as the Night Lords and Red Corsairs demonstrate to the Marines-Errant, that sometimes doesn't amount to as much as it implies).

Each Monastery will have different buildings and substructures as per tradition or need, but the following locations are almost always present:

  • Apothecarion: The fortress-monastery's medical center, where surgical suites for transforming Neophytes into full Astartes is done. It is also the place where gene-seed is housed and as such is possibly the most heavily warded and fortified area in the entire monastery. Possesses facilities to assist Apothecaries in gathering genetic data from progenoids and cultivate them into gene-seed organs.
  • Armoury: The abode of the Master of the Forge and his Techmarines. Serves as the Chapter's motor pool, forge, ammo dump, repair shops, and chapel to the Omnissiah all in one. Several Chapters with unique equipment, such as the Blood Angels and the Dark Angels, have special Standard Template Constructors which fashion unique vehicles and weapons. The Chapter's Dreadnoughts will often be housed in a subsection of the Armory.
  • Chapter Master's quarters: The private throne room and personal cell of the Chapter Master. Frequently the Chapter Council, composed of the chapter's Brother-Captains and other senior officers, will meet here to plan campaigns and handle other official matters regarding the chapter as a whole.
  • Communal dormitories: Housing for the Chapter Serfs, when they aren't attending to their duties. Depending on the chapter in question this may be a whole wing of the monastery or simply a janitor's closet next to the sewage system.
  • Company blocks: Dormitories for each of the chapter's companies. Each Astartes is given a single small room, called a cell, which houses a bunk and a place to store their Power Armour and other nick-nacks. Each squad has a personal arming chamber which stores their weapons, ammunition, and replacement parts for their Power Armour. The Brother-Captain will have a larger cell that serves as an office where he can work on the logistical matters of company leadership and a private arming chamber. Each Company block will also house a Company chapel, where the Chaplain will lead them in prayer.
  • Librarium: The abode of the Librarians, where the Chapter's records are housed and where potential Librarians are tested. The Chapter's Astropaths will often work from warded cells located here as well.
  • Reclusiam: The abode of the Chaplains, where rituals involving the whole Chapter, such as the coronation of a new Chapter Master or a funeral for an entire company, will be held. The Reclusiam also contains ancient Chapter relics and is overseen by the Reclusiarch, a post sometimes held by the Master of Sanctity. Think of a museum located in the middle of a Catherdral.

Notable Fortress-Monasteries[edit]

First Founding[edit]

  • The Rock: The Fortress-Monastery of the Dark Angels. Originally known as the Tower of Angels, served as the primary headquarters of the Dark Angels on Caliban; its impressive void shields allowed it and the country size landmass (not hyperbole) it sits on to survive the planet's destruction. In the aftermath, the chapter installed massive warp and real-space engines into it's bulk, effectively turning an otherwise ordinary asteroid into one of the deadliest vessels in the Imperium. The Rock also serves as a miniature Gitmo really, it's more Alcatraz for the Fallen Angels NOTHING MORE THAN A STANDARD FORTRESS-MONASTERY, BECAUSE THE DARK ANGELS HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.
  • Quan Zhou: The Fortress-Monastery of the White Scars, located on Chogoris. Originally the site of Jaghatai Khan's fortress in the Khum Kharta mountains, like the Blood Angels Fortress-Monastery, the White Scars fortress-monastery went years without an official name before finally getting one in 6th Edition. Perhaps its most notable feature is that the procession leading up to the fortress's main gate is lined with the pike born rotting heads of the chapter's enemies.
  • The Fang: The Fortress-Monastery of the Space Wolves, and the tallest mountain on Fenris, also one of the three most fortified locations in the Imperium (The others being Terra and the Keep Inviolate on Kolossi) Unsurprisingly, whoever did the Fenrisian to Imperial Gothic translation screwed up. The Wolves (who call themselves the Vlka Fenryka) refer to their fortress-monastery as the Aett, which in Imperial Gothic means "clan home" or "den".
  • The Phalanx: The Fortress-Monastery of the Imperial Fists. While it's origins remain conflicted it was first encountered by the Emperor during the Great Crusade in the Inwit System piloted by Rogal Dorn. Phalanx is described as the largest and most destructive man made creation in the Imperium. The size of a moon/planetoid, it's size is so vast that it shines like a star. It has bitch slapped everything it has come across and was totally badass during The 13th Black Crusade.
  • Arx Angelicum: The Fortress-Monastery of the Blood Angels, built upon Mount Seraph, the largest mountain on Baal. Despite more than 25 years, four novels, and three and a half codices (they split Codex: Angels of Death with the Dark Angels in 2nd edition) the damn thing wasn't given a name until Guy Haley's recent Dante novel.
  • Land-Behemoths: The Fortress-Monasteries of the Iron Hands. The planet Medusa, the Iron Hands homeworld, is so tectonically unstable that the Iron Hands cannot risk making a single structure to house their gene-seed, Armoury, and Chapter relics, so each clan-company uses an Ordinatus-sized vehicle known as a Land-Behemoth to travel around in.
  • Fortress of Hera: The Fortress-Monastery of the Ultramarines, located in the Mountains of Hera on Macragge. It was the site where Roboute Guilliman's gestation pod landed as well, hence the significance of the place to begin with. Notable for housing the Spiritual Liege (until he got woken up by an old man in red robes and a sassy Eldar lass, that is), being huge and having Maccrage's capital city, Magna Macragge Civitas, situated in the plain below its walls.
  • Prometheus: The Fortress-Monastery of the Salamanders. Prometheus is the moon of Nocturne, but in reality, the fortress-monastery is little more than a spaceport and barracks for the First Company, while the bulk of the Salamanders Chapter live in the Chapter's company Bastions in and around Nocturne's Sanctuary Cities.
  • Ravenspire: The Fortress-Monastery of the Raven Guard, located on Deliverance. Originally the guard tower for the Kiavharan enslavers, the Ravenspire was re-purposed as the stronghold of the Deliverance freedom fighters. Corvus Corax has a delicious sense of irony. Its edifice still bears the scars of battle received during the slave uprising ten thousand years later.

Later Foundings[edit]

  • Eternal Crusader: Fortress-monastery of the Black Templars. A heavily modified battlebarge which serves as the flagship of the High Marshal and base of the Black Templars. Later revealed to have been the Imperial Fist's designated Gloriana class ship during the Crusade, Dorn giving to the Templars as the Fists have the Phalanx.
  • Watch fortress Erioch: Space Fortress of the Deathwatch. Currently hanging around Segmentum Ultima.
  • Arx Tyrannus: Formerly located in the Hellblade mountains on Rynn's World, "Tyrants Fortress" was the home of the Crimson Fists before a surface to space missile malfunctioned and blew it to smithereens along with most of the chapter. The monastery was built around a landed battle-barge of the chapter sizable fleet when they took stewardship of the planet in roughly 800.M40
  • The Proud Eyrie: Home of the Howling Griffons chapter located on their homeworld of Mancora. Built from the seeming remains of one of their chapter fleet's ships. Also, one of the few Chapter Monasteries we actually have a picture of.
  • Raptorus Rex: Fortress-Monastery of the Fire Hawks, a warp-capable Ramilles-class Star Fort. Lost in the warp with all hands. Possibly now owned by the Legion of the Damned.
  • Palace of Thorns: The seat of power of the Tyrant of Badab and his renegade Astral Claws. It was destroyed during the climax of the Badab War when several loyalist chapters launched an assault against it.
  • Memento Mori: Fortress-Ossuary of the Star Phantoms. A battle-barge currently parked on the ice moon Jhaga in the ruins of the Badab Sector. The name means "Remember Death" and is shared with several other imperial (and chaos) starships.
  • Nicor: Fortress-Monastery and flagship of the Carcharodons. This Battle Barge dates back to the Great Crusade and is equipped with stronger void-shields than normal for a ship of its type, fuck-huge harpoons used to pull any poor enemy ships close so that the Space Sharks can do what they do the best, something called the "Plasma Destructor", and a massive teleport system capable of teleporting entire battle companies at once. It also has a gigantic shark tank built into the back of the bridge (for the record, both the tank and the sharks inside are gigantic), cementing the Chararadon's as having the coolest ship in the galaxy.

See Also[edit]

A slice of life in a Fortress-Monastery