"Tell them ruin has come to their world, death, despair and red war..."
"Tell them their hopes and pride have come to nothing."
"Tell them their empty whispers fall upon deaf ears - their gods are dead, human logic has killed them."
"Tell them the Angels of Death have come."
"Tell them that nothing can save them now."
- – The Primarch himself
"No one becomes depraved all at once."
- – Juvenal, Satires
"It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways."
- – Gautama Buddha
"Science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul"
- – Descartes
Perturabo, also known as "The Hammer of Olympia","The Lord of Iron", and the "Petulant Manchild", is the perturbed Primarch of the Iron Warriors and one of the most technologically-inclined of the Primarchs. He can look at a machine, disassemble it, and reassemble it stronger than before in the time it takes Magnus to cast a spell or Angron to swing an axe. He was famously cold and distant, having a very hard time relating with people and preferred to work with machinery and pursue his dream of building a great civilization. This attitude was not helped during the Great Crusade, as even though he wished to build, protect, and be celebrated for it, the Imperium would never let him do so, as he and his men were tasked with being the Emperor's workhorse\meat grinder Legion because the Legion's famous determination, endurance, and unflinching nature made them best for the job. Over the course of the Great Crusade, Perturabo and his Iron Warriors became increasingly jaded, angry, and wrought with despair at the horrors of war they were expected to face, and were awarded little renown due to the inherently mundane, dangerous, and mechanistic nature of their work, and that's without mentioning their MASSIVE casualties. By the end of the Great Crusade, Perturabo and the Iron Warriors were not the same. Determination turned to stubbornness, endurance turned to numbness, and grit turned to hopeless despair. This, combined with Pert and the Iron Warriors having no hope of renown, love, or respect from the Imperium, Pert gave up on his previous dreams of a greater future and turned against the Big E.
When Horus decided to throw his galaxy-shaking tantrum, Perturabo already hated his brothers so much he LEAPT at the opportunity to dismantle the Imperial Palace that Dorn built with glee. Unfortunately for him, things did not go as planned and he an his sons were booted back to the Eye of Terror. Despite currently being a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided, he and his legion don't really care for the Chaos Gods or their deamons, preferring to crush loyalist scum their own way: LOTS OF BIG, SCARY, FEROCIOUS, SHOOTY DEATHMACHINES OF EVERY VARIETY!!! By the way, we've never actually seen a picture of him as a Daemon Prince, though he is described as the ultimate Obliterator. Probably best we don't then.
Perturabo's first memory is finding himself halfway up a cliff with no idea how or why he got there. All he knew was that he could see this great ugly spot in the sky that seemed to be watching him. Without any other information to go on he climbed the rest of the way and reached the top of the cliff where he found a squad of soldiers waiting to take the boy to their king. When being asked of his origins, Perturabo found that he could speak the language, he knew his own name, was proficient in combat, could merely look upon objects and materials to know their constructive properties, he had an instinctive mastery of mathematics and engineering, could determine people's character like a psychologist just by watching them, and could reason matters of logic and philosophy from the get go.
This is what makes Perturabo different from all of his brothers; where each Primarch landed on their world, they spent their formative years being shaped by their experiences and exposure to learning. Where Fulgrim and Sanguinius were found as near-helpless babes and raised to appreciate the finer side of art and humanities, Perturabo already knew about artifice and ethics. Where Lorgar and Magnus were taken in by scholars and practically consumed information until there was nothing left, Perturabo already knew everything in the textbooks and didn't need to be taught. Where Vulkan was raised as the son of a blacksmith and learned craft through apprenticeship, Perturabo's literal first task upon being presented to his "father" was to forge a perfect sword faster than any craftsman on the planet. Perturabo considered himself robbed of the sense of wonder he might have felt at looking on impressive works of art or learning how to do things the long way, if he did not already know how they were created and could critique them.
The only things Perturabo didn't know was what he was doing before he awoke on the cliffside, and why the sky was watching his every move. He was told that before his recollection started, there were tales of a boy descending from the mountains and killing monsters on his own, but Perturabo had no recollection of any of that. So naturally he would appear a bit jaded and suspicious. Why would he already have access to so much information? but why would he have no memory of his past? And why was he the only one who could see that DAMNED INTRUSIVE eye in the sky? This wouldn't be helped when his adoptive "father," Dammekos - Tyrant of Lochos, only seemed to see the opportunity that Perturabo represented, rather than as a son to raise or a brother to be admired. Perturabo was going to be used as a tool of war and he knew it.
The older fluff initially stated that the only lesson Olympia had to teach him was of his own superiority, the truth was much closer than that: with all this inherent knowledge, strength and skill, Perturabo was used as a kind of prize fighter, paraded against the Tyrant king's enemies, humiliating them with displays of superior artistry, rhetoric and if need be, combat. He beat everyone effortlessly, vehemently refuting their claims of his divinity and thought of them as ignorant fools, even going so far as to recite the story of Plato's cave to demonstrate how wrong they were, though he did concede that he was created by no human artifice, just not gods. He also grew tired of being used endlessly for the pursuit of supremacy, reasoning that his skills could be put towards architecture and engineering, to make a better life for all but instead he was used as a weapon and he resented it. He knew he was better than all of them, but due to the constant political backstabbery of the court, mixed with their retarded religion, Perturabo was constantly bombarded by pestering Luddites and disbelieving idiots who did not believe what he was capable of, yet he had no way to properly demonstrate it thanks to the technological limitations of the world he was marooned on. He was also still an aloof and arrogant prick; meaning the only person who tried to understand him was Calliphone, his foster sister.
Before he knew the full measure of what he was, Perturabo was a cultivated-scholar and a gentle man of peace. He lived for the utopian ideal of peace, freedom and enlightenment for all mankind and he was all for stopping conflicts through diplomacy if at all possible. His foster-father was a tyrannical asshole, and dismissed all of Perturabo's artful designs for theatres, museums, bridges as follies and kept expecting Perturabo to perform the function of weapon and take over the world for him (so his family life was a tad strained). After E-Money showed up on the East Side lookin' for his home-boys up in the 'hood, Perturabo had already taken over the planet for his other father and was ready to leave his petty little world in search for greater things. In joining the Imperium, he thought he was home.
Unfortunately for Perturabo, the Imperium was EXACTLY like Olympia, its leader had no real desire for a diplomat/artist/philosopher when all the Emperor wanted was a general. Perturabo's real father was every bit the tyrannical asshole his other parent had been, only thinking to use Perturabo's skills in matters of war, rather than construction and peace... only this "father" was shinier and kinda GODlike.
The Great Crusade
When they first met on the mountains of Olympia, the Emperor looked into Perturabo's mind and named him his Lord of Iron. He placed enough faith in Perturabo to expect him to do all of the unrelenting, indefatigable and thankless tasks, knowing full-well the starry-eyed Perturabo was entirely sold on this whole "utopia" idea that he would do anything to see it through. So if daddy needed a general, Perturabo was going to damn-well give him a general and Perturabo was going to apply himself in the same clinical, detached and heartless manner that he always did. The utopian dream of the Imperium came first, all other "human" foibles came second.
Compared to his brothers, Perturabo spent a surprisingly short period of time on Terra getting to learn how the Imperium functioned and was put in command of his Legion within a year. Though after he was re-united with his Legion, he went full Tyrant himself. His first act as Commander was familiarize himself with the history of his Legion; his second was to enact the ancient tradition of Decimation, where one-in-ten soldiers (determined by lottery) would be beaten to death by the other nine. Most of the other Primarchs declared that Perturabo was insane, but the Emperor let it slide as Perturabo's reasoning being: "Not that they had failed... instead they had not reached their potential." Therefore it was not enough to be merely superior, but Perturabo decided that his legion should have been supreme. Roboute Guilliman was particularly critical of this, as he had known several of the Iron Warriors selected to die personally and objected to what he viewed as their unnecessary deaths.
It's worth noting that decimation originally applied to serious offenses like mutiny, or after a humiliating defeat, not because of just being sub-par. However the Legion (without their Primarch) had just finished the disastrous liberation of Incaladion, a campaign where their own stubbornness and determination to slog through whatever the Crusade could throw at them and doing what other legions couldn't had backfired on them. Their plan unraveled but they continued anyway, throwing more and more bodies at the problem until it finally caved in. This lead to immense casualties in a single engagement - some 29,000 frontline units, including many veterans of the legion, and something like 2 million imperial army soldiers. It was deemed unnecessarily costly, and both damaged and shamed the Legion's largest expeditionary fleet. So that was a humiliating victory, rather than a humiliating defeat that led to Perturabo calling for decimation. The casualties from this campaign also meant that Perturabo only met about 35,000 of his sons (with about half that number again scattered around the galaxy), meaning the decimation casualties were about three and a half thousand. While this does put things a little bit in perspective and somewhat provides a justification for such punishment, it was still a needlessly brutal and asshole-ish move.
At the time of the Crusade, Perturabo was a busy boy, building citadels and forts on the planets that he had conquered, leaving always a little of his forces behind. In the end it became a stereotype that the Iron Warriors had the best army for sieges. He was also kept far away by the other Primarchs, mainly because Perturabo had so much badass technology they did not possess, but also because Big E wasn't too keen on having him ramble on about all this "democracy and peace" garbage. Perturabo had a big hard-on for Leonardo Da Vinci and spent much time searching the ruins of Old Earth for copies of his surviving journals, gathering his hidden papers and learning of the works he pursued in private. If the Emprah had named Perturabo his Praetorian and given him at least a share of the job fortifying the Imperial Palace, the Lord of Iron would've been a far happier camper.
What's also known about him is his rivalry with Rogal Dorn. What we know about these two is that their quarrels were equivalent to the typical sibling rivalry. While Dorn is Daddy's Golden boy, Perturabo serves as the incredibly jealous brother who just wants to tear his brother limb from limb. Another reason why he was jealous of Dorn was due to Perturabo considering himself an architect and builder but was left destroying everything instead while Dorn did what Perturabo wanted to be doing. The most iconic incident occurred when Fulgrim asked Dorn if he could build a fortress that Perturabo couldn't crack; Dorn answered "Yes" and Perturabo threw a fit and left. Dorn also said this of Perturabo, "Perturabo throws men at walls. If the Araakites (opponents of that campaign) so much as thought a wall he would pelt it with our legionaries as if there were no other way." Perturabo also had an inferiority complex and was frustrated by the limited opportunities he and his Legion got to prove themselves - as creatives they actually relished garrison duty, trying to build the cleverest and most impenetrable strongholds. When they went on campaign, they almost always ended up besieging the toughest fortresses opposing the Imperium and vented their frustration by massacring the defenders. This also tipped into ganging up with Horus on his brothers; at the battle of Gate 44, Perturabo accused Corvus Corax of cowardice for not wanting to march his men into a meat-grinder assault. Considering Perturabo had a hard-on for following orders without question, even if it meant death, one can see why he bitched at Corax. Unsurprisingly, this put Corvus (and probably Russ) off working with him for good, which pissed Perturabo off even more.
Because of this, Perturabo never got any recognition from the civilization he served for decades. Even the likes of Corvus and the Khan found it easier to gain a reputation as heroes because they got chances to perform their deeds out in the open in front of their fellow Legions and the Imperial Army (well, you didn't see Corvus do anything, but you suddenly realized that the hostile world wasn't hostile any more, and there were still inhabitants to integrate into the Imperium). The likes of Angron and Mortarion might not have been seen as heroes, but their feats of arms were sure as shit witnessed. If anyone saw the Iron Warriors doing anything it was either camping on an enemy's doorstep for weeks on end whilst sending Army units to "identify the least defended spots", or butchering the locals after kicking the door down. All this made poor old Pert more and more frustrated.
All the same, despite chastising his Legion for throwing men at walls when meeting them, he refused to alter his Legion's ways and kept on throwing more men at more walls. And after having refused to take advice from his brothers, he sure as shit wouldn't take any from his sons. The Legion's preeminent Warsmith, Barabas Dantioch, having seen half his Grand Company lost in a campaign against the Hrud and become crippled and prematurely aged by the xenos' entropic powers, questioned the Primarch's choices during the campaign. Suddenly Dantioch was not Perturabo's favored son anymore and was left to rot on permanent garrison duty as a result. Insult to injury, this meant that the disgraced Warsmith was now busy building a unique fortress and generally enjoying his life; exactly the kind of work Perturabo wanted to be doing.
In the Hrud campaign Perturabo refused to retreat, even as the Iron Warriors were LOSING HORRIBLY. Dantioch's lieutenant even advised retreating over holding a position that was impossible to hold. When Dantioch's aged frame bowed in failure before Pert, the primarch thought Dantioch was weak for failing. Meanwhile Dantioch spoke only that they should have retreated, that even their victories were making the Hrud fight harder. The only thing that saved the Iron Warriors was a supply ship from Olympia with news.
Also, the rest of his brothers treated him like shit and called him a stupid hick (except Sanguinius, best of men; Magnus, who appreciated Perturabo's scholarly side; Horus, who gets along with everyone; and Lorgar who was not in a position to despise anyone). He and his legions never got credit for their work, and even when they did it was in a half-assed kind of way. That fight with Corax above also saw him cracking an orbital defense that had withstood assaults by three different Legions, historians recorded him as "a nameless comrade-at-arms that calculated the most efficient attack vector." He held it all in for a long, long time, until, after a grueling three-part campaign in which the Iron Warriors, Blood Angels, and Imperial Fists all ganged up on a Fortress World, Rogal Dorn was given a medal, Perturabo was given nothing, and a master artist showed him a master-work of a painting depicting the battle, in which the Imperial Fists won a heroic victory while the Iron Warriors were literally ground face-first into the mud (then again, looking at Pert's favorite tactics, it's probably accurate). In truth, it showed a IV Legion apothecary giving a stricken warrior the Emperor's Peace, with an Imperial Fists flag in the background, but there was only one way Pert could interpret it. Perturabo actually bought that painting, then burned it, stamped on it and pissed on it, and then when Dorn went to the artist to commission a second one, the painter wisely refused for fear of the same happening to him. And that painting, as they say, was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Weeeell, strictly speaking that wasn't the final straw. That came when Olympia rose up against Imperial rule. With a little egging on from Word Bearers Chaplains sent by Lorgar to manipulate them into heresy, the Iron Warriors crushed the uprisings in a time-honored way: kill them all and let Big E sort them out! It wasn't quite Curze destroying Nostromo, but it was still pretty damn genocidal and tipped Perturabo over the edge; especially when he murdered Calliphone in a fit of rage after she pointed out that his flaws and refusal to listen to others led to his homeworld's rebellion. And when Horus came to him telling him it wasn't that bad because ultimately might makes right, Pert turned his back on the Imperium without much second thought.
"The Imperium is my father's folly. I try to believe in it because I want it to be true, just like I wanted my great buildings to be true, and the perfect societies that would use them to exist. But they cannot be. There is no such thing as perfection, humanity is too chaotic to accept true order."
- – Perturabo, after sacking Olympia. 000.M31
He joined Horus and the other Traitor Legions during the Horus Heresy when they promised him that he would be forgiven for his actions on Olympia in exchange for his loyalty. At first, he tried to get revenge on Dorn by annihilating his Retribution Fleet, but that didn't work out too well since bad intel left him expecting the fleet would be led by Sigismund where it was led by Alexis Polux instead. Then, after licking his wounds (and becoming increasingly paranoid), he went on a joint operation with the Emperor's Children on the premise they'd go look for a super-weapon or other Fulgrim had heard rumors of that would tip the balance in Horus' favor. Pert wasn't really impressed, but Fulgrim promised him he'd let Pert get the accolades for finding and using the thing so he agreed. In the end, he was nearly killed by Fulgrim when the latter tried to suck the life out of him to aid his ascension to Princedom. This didn't help with his paranoia, and the best part? Him smashing Fulgrim's face in anger when he realized he'd been trolled finally triggered Fulgrim's ascension. Suffice to say that after that Pert got really tired of that shit, so he joined Horus for the assault on Terra (something he both understood and relished). He supervised the Iron Warriors as they bombed the shit out of Terra, and also the main siege, taking much pleasure in breaking the Emperor's Palace's walls down with the aid of traitor Titan Legions and the other traitor Astartes. However, Horus lost and they all fled to the Eye of Terror like little bitches.
Iron Cage TrollingImperial Fists who wanted to take revenge on Perturabo who claimed to be residing in the Central Keep of the Fortress. Surrounding the Fortress was a 20 kilometer killzone, filled with mine fields, traps, bunkers, trenches, and every other kind of base defense imaginable in order to make the assault on the keep a very costly affair. This was intended to bleed the Imperial Fists dry for when they reached the actual fortress. This was made more effective by the fact that the Imperial Fist's fleet was kept busy dealing with the Iron Warriors' fleet, preventing them from providing effective orbital support to Dorn's forces on the ground, isolating them all the more.
When the Imperial Fists DID manage to get to the keep, after wading through twenty miles (or maybe kilometers...) of killing ground and losing a great deal of their forces in the process, they found out the Central Keep was *plot twist* empty! (Except for the various inward-pointing guns aimed directly at the Imperial Fists, essentially trapping them inside the fortress.) This caused Rogal Dorn to become a normal man after getting trolled: Sad, broken and RAGED. But before the Imperial Fists even got out of the mess they had get shot at for three weeks before getting saved by none other than the great heroes of the Imperium, the *cough* Ultrasmurfs *cough*. So then the Iron Warriors, realizing they couldn't beat both legions at the same time, decided to instead deny the Imperial Fists from recovering their fallen brothers' gene seed by essentially nuking the entire fucking planet. 400 were never recovered and dealing a great blow to the Fists' ability to replenish their numbers after the assault. The Iron Warriors obtained the gene-seed of hundreds of Imperial Fists and sacrificed it to the Chaos Gods, who showed their gratitude by elevating Perturabo to the position of Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided. (Well not all of it. Some of this gene-seed was used to create a few IF/IW half-breeds (may be with a little Fabulous support), including the evilest motherfucker of the 41st millennium.)
Loyalist corpsefuckers claim that Perturabo hesitated to slay Rogal Dorn, because "Only through his self-sacrifice could he break the Emprah's Champion!". Since FW gave rules to both of them, we now do know that Pert has nice chances against Dorn, if they both start on an even foot. Which they weren't on Sebastus, given Pert spent weeks of the Iron Cage siege laughing at countless Fists being blasted by heavy ordnance, and Dorn spent them fighting 24/7 without rest and repair to his weapon/armor, watching his beloved sons being slaughtered by the hundreds in a totally unmanly and unfair way. And of course, let's not forget the much more preferable and easily available option to just shoot the fuck out of Dorn with some crazy big and powerful guns Pert had in abundance, since Dorn was already trapped in the crossfire without any cover but the corpses of his fallen sons - few D-blasts in the face is enough to end any Primarch, save Horus and Lorgar.
Plus Perturabo would have known that killing Dorn would have made him a martyr throughout the Imperium. He'll go down in history as the mighty primarch who went down trying to take one of foul arch-traitors of chaos down, nobody will question that and people will take Dorn as a hero who fought to the last. But, bloody his sons, utterly humiliate him, and cause him to fail his sworn objective all the while leaving him alive to face the shame? Dorn doesn't go down as a hero, he's just a man who boasted big, got tactically outsmarted by his prey, and utterly defeated for his troubles, a much bigger blow than simply pulling the trigger of his super weapon and ending it there.
While his brothers don't do all that much, Perturabo doesn't sit on his ass all day. In 400.M32, he single-handedly annihilated the forge world of Toil in eight days. With Nurgle's help, he unleashed a machine-plague that transformed the planet's factories into walking monstrosities while causing Daemon Engine-spewing cables to burst out of the ground. This makes him the most deadly hacker to ever exist. And he also helped Abaddon fuck up the Iron Hands during the 10th Black Crusade (possibly because he was sick of people getting the Iron Warriors and the Iron Hands mixed up all the time), making him the only Daemon Primarch to actually participate in a Black Crusade.
After the Great Rift appeared to fuck shit up, Perturabo led the Iron Warriors to attack a temple planet. However, the Death Guard had the same idea too and were attacking. What's more was that they were led by Mortarion. As to be expected the two Primarchs had a grand old family reunion (a big fight). The duel lasted for seven hours but Mortarion managed to beat Perturabo and drive him off. Being the salty Primarch he is, Perturabo detonated a series of explosives before he left.
"I am not a man, I am far more."
- – Perturabo
"In those words is the poison that spoils your potential."
- – Perturabo's sister, before he killed her
Perhaps out of all the primarchs, Pert is the most wildly inconsistent with depictions of him varying between Black Library authors. His motives, values and behaviors change between books, constantly contradicting any attempt at a general encapsulation of character. The only consistent trait is a mercurial disposition and ever-ruling sense of resentment. As a result, he has been stuck with the moniker of being a raging autist- to the chagrin of Iron Warriors fans everywhere.
In "Crimson Fist", Perturabo was portrayed as a Saturday-morning villain who flips his shit when a flunky brings him bad news. His emotions range from "hand-wringing evil" to "I'll get you next time". Thanks, John French.
In the third Forge World Horus Heresy book "Extermination", Perturabo is a cold, resentful bastard who the moment he was re-united with his Legion had it decimated for not being the best, then wondered how his legion still wasn't as good as the Dark Angels, Ultramarines and Luna Wolves, and why no-one liked him. As an aside the FW books are co-written by John French. The Forge World Imperial Armour Volume 13 Book also mentions a civil war between the Iron Warriors in M34 that, in-universe, is suspected to have been instigated by the Daemon Primarch Perturabo to weed out the weak amongst his scions.
Guy Haley's novel "Hammer of Olympia" portrays Perturabo as an idealistic but staggeringly narcissistic renaissance man, seeing himself alone worthy of bettering humanity and the courts of Olympia holding him back. Brooding and resentful, he is inward and self-serving, even if he has convinced himself otherwise. He does a total 180 in the last 25 something pages of the book after smashing Olympia without hesitation.
Graham McNeill presents him in "Angel Exterminatus" as a vastly intelligent, very meticulous man who resented his legion's treatment at the Emperor's hands, but refuses to consider himself a "traitor" as opposed to the Emperor's "Loyalists". He came to the conclusion of joining Horus' side logically, but he hates himself for it and resents the circumstances that "forced" him to make the decision. Pride, endurance and commitment to excellence are both the strengths that make his legion and the vices that guaranteed his damnation.
McNeill's Perturabo is shown to possess loads of teeth-grinding, under-the-surface, passive aggressive, subtle rage, particularly where he buys hundreds of house-sized paintings of his own men and has them all burned. The painting in question that he had destroyed was one that showed a Legion Apothecary administering the Emperor's Mercy to an Iron Warrior, in the mud and grimy fields of a conquered fortress. In the background of the painting there was an Imperial Fists flag waving over the fortress. This just shows that Perturabo possesses an all-consuming hatred for Dorn, and in every waking moment he lives, breathes, and shits the thought that Dorn is somehow better than him. Which when put into context of his upbringing where he knew he was better than everyone else but had to constantly had to face the questions and doubts of lesser men while being unable to fulfill his potential, you can appreciate Perturabo's seething frustration when being stuck on fringes of the Great Crusade getting all of the shit jobs, while other brothers like Horus and Dorn get all the good jobs and hence the glory.
As an extension of this, he's prone to premeditated acts of calculated destruction and cruelty to get one over on his brothers: one example is where Fulgrim fucked around one too many times on campaign, Pert invited Fulgrim into his inner sanctum to show him a clockwork Warhound Scout Titan only to smash Fulgrim's pretty face into the guts of the machine; that Warhound was intricate, made of dozens of hundreds of thousands of tiny parts, and fully-functional, complete with the ability to move and fire miniature laser cannons. He also had schematics of huge, wondrous buildings that he was the architect of, and a clockwork Phoenix that he spent over a century constructing by hand and even wrote the code of an AI from scratch for it. It was a master-piece in itself and Perturabo was willing to break his brother's face on it to make a point. A second example during the Great Crusade in the McNeill's novel "Magnus the Red" is where spends what must have been a long time painstakingly crafting a psychic sextant device at Magnus' request, only to smash it in front of Magnus because he knew exactly what it was for, for this Magnus outright called him cruel but Perturabo's response was that he needed to illustrate the Emperor's warning against delving too deep into the warp and simply saying as much wouldn't have done any good, so being cruel was the quickest option.
Simplicity is the key, expedience the goal. His is a mind entirely composed of mathematical equations, looking at the world around him in angles and percentages, statistics and numbers. Emotion is unwelcome, an unfactorable variable, but it's always there, the ghost that haunts his finely tuned thoughts; again in "Magnus the Red" by McNeill, his actions on the planet Morningstar would dispassionately leave millions of refugees to die simply because he could not afford to save them all, all because they fell on the wrong side of his equation. He had even argued with his brother Magnus about the realities of war and the need to avoid sentimentality in decision making. He would later admit to one of his commanders (Barban Falk, THE WARSMITH) that he is deeply affected by his emotions and was itching to find those responsible for his choices and punish them, later becoming exceptionally angry when he discovered that the planetary elite were responsible for the catastrophe and he labelled their treachery against the Emperor as utterly unforgivable (no doubt foreshadowing his own personal opinion about joining the Horus Heresy) He also admitted that he could not be seen to be emotional because he had a reputation to consider.
Perturabo was detached from his own men. He had his Trident: a cadre of officers similar to Horus own Mournival, though he didn't like any of them and considered replacing them, which begs the question of why he even had them. You think the Lion had people problems? At least his men could appreciate his elegant brilliance along with his ruthlessness so that any losses were weighed against gains. Perturabo was a brute force machine: victory was a positive in his arithmetic of war, failure was negative; therefore to him, any cost was worth the price of winning. He illustrated this when he decimated his legion in the beginning days. His men took the lesson to heart but became hardened because of it. Officers felt disdain for the lives of their own men and scheming became rife within his legion, all scrabbling for supremacy and the attentions of their masters to prove themselves worth keeping. Where other leaders might rule through force of personality or fear of reprisal, Perturabo led through indifference, expecting the dream of Imperium to speak for itself.
Perturabo buried his dreams and his heart on Olympia's ridges, and then willingly cut all emotional ties and dived into Hell, all because he truly believed in his father's utopian dream of Imperium. He would do anything his father asked of him in order to achieve it. He murdered millions, because his father asked him to. He broke empires, shattered armies, and his Legion bore the most grievous wounds and losses, because his father asked him to. And he ignored the implications of it all, because his Father asked him to. Do you honestly believe none of this ground into his long lost humanity, the empty core of his being that he cut out, because his Father asked him to?
He is War-Broken. We're talking about God-Level post-traumatic mental disorder here. Perturabo can't control his emotions at times. He stares out at nothingness, and speaks to his past. One moment, he's unreachable, and the next he's ripping your head off because you brought him bad news. He can become utterly lost in fine details, both in crafting weaponry, and tearing down citadels. It calms him, returns his mind back to the emotionless numbers that represent hundreds of thousands of his sons dying. The further detached he became from reality, the further he tried to hide from the horror he was crafting, the worse his emotions got.
And Perturabo buried that shit. To admit the hurt and the fatigue would be to admit he was human, something imperfect; To acknowledge the dropping morale of his men would be to admit that they were weak when they should be strong. So he did the only thing his sensibilities would allow him to do: He moved forward. He got the job done, and the next, and the next and the one after that. He kept doing what his father asked from him, because that's what "Perturabo" would do, the Primarch who shouldered burdens without complaint, who did the jobs no-one else wanted.
Olympia was the line crossed. His mind broke, his heart broke, and he became the Monster he ran from his whole life.
Because his Father asked him to.
As mentioned earlier, Perturabo was born with the innate knowledge of pretty much all practical and metaphysical sciences, which pretty much sets him apart from all of his brothers in that he had no "real" childhood, no trial and error period of learning. On his first day he was debating (and dismissing) the nature of religion with his planet's wise men, and was master-crafting swords better than most smiths. You'd reckon being born knowing everything would stunt your emotional growth. Yes, other Primarchs like Angron, the Lion or Kurze got a pretty raw start but for better or worse they learned to adapt and rise to greatness (or infamy). Perturabo started off already being as good as he was going to get, though it would take time for his body to grow strong, his mind was already at its peak, and he had to spend decades on a shitty little back-water planet with no appreciable resources with which to build an empire the same way that Guilliman or Dorn did, all the while having to slap down naysayers telling him that his fantasies of advanced engineering and space-travel were impossible.
As to his mind, if a comparison could be made, then he was probably just as intelligent as Guilliman, if not more so due to the seeming wide range of his capabilities. (Guilliman was renowned neither as philosopher, smith or artisan) As a military strategist Perturabo could plan a campaign from start to finish in his mind, using the arithmetic of war; where Guilliman could orchestrate a flawless battle-plan from the command center, Perturabo would enact it himself by plugging straight into the data feeds and absorbing all the info at once, circumventing the chain of command and issuing orders directly to squads, taking direct control of gun turrets and mechanised units and plotting their firing trajectories, even taking over starship systems and running them himself.
Thus lies the problem: Perturabo is a general as much as any player of Warhammer 40,000 is a "general": he sees the battlefield in terms of units with stat blocks; that every soldier can be reduced to a number based on his armament or capability which would factor in to his arithmetic of war. Even Guilliman recognised the random nature of war and how small moments of heroism could change the flow of battle; other generals could trust their men to follow their orders to the best of their abilities and even exceed them from time to time and pull off something spectacular. On the other hand, in sincerely believing in his own superiority Perturabo would micromanage everything and instead remove the agency of his officers and men. His soldiers would never get their chance to succeed or fail on their own terms and were essentially reduced to minis on a tabletop. Which in turn would make his men paranoid, wondering if they would be thrown away into the grinder or be blamed for failure when they couldn't match Perturabo's expectations.
As an unwelcome revelation to the Mechanicum, Perturabo was quite capable of understanding binaric machine code, even when blurted out in its lightning fast audible form, something that would otherwise not be possible without some form of implants, to the point that tech priests unfamiliar with Perturabo would not actually believe it and be in for a shock when they attempted to use it in his presence. (Yet another example of Perturabo being underestimated)
Unknown to anyone else, Perturabo had always possessed a strange connection to the Eye of Terror - for some reason, he could sense it from anywhere in the galaxy, and he became convinced that it was constantly watching and judging his every action. The resulting inferiority complex wasn't really helped by the fact that when he tried ask others if they could see the Eye, they assumed he was hallucinating. (Ironically, he was actually the one to give the Eye its current name- before then, it was called Cygnus X-1.)
Outside the box
Oh, Perturabo enjoyed playing Warhammer 40000, and no, we're not kidding; his legion's warrior lodge had a whole bunch of tables set up where they could all play scenarios against each other and see whose tactics and armies would win, proving that the Iron Warriors are Neckbeards (which would go a long way towards explaining why the IV Legion was so embittered). Perturabo himself owned an awesome perpetual-motion powered clockwork Warhound Scout Titan (I'd buy
one! three!! ALL OF THEM!!!!!) which he facepalmed Fulgrim with (at the cost of the model) just to prove a point. What if he had a model of himself, then played with the model, but the model was made 30,000 years before him? Is there a GeeDubbs in 40k? Are we living in a board game to be made in the future? Would the events of 40k go as they where lore wise? Is Geedubbs Tzeentch? Is everyone under control of Tzeentch?
If you want to know, "Perturabo" is the name the nice lil' Perty chose for himself after reading some ancient texts predating the Age of Strife (or climbing out of his pod, depending on the story). Given GW's freaky love for kitchen pseudo Latin, we can assume it to be a deformation of the verb perdurabo, meaning "I shall endure". Best predictive name ever if you consider the mountain of shit his bros and the Emprah threw on him before the Heresy... Or it could be a deformation of the verb perturbō meaning "I confuse, disturb, perturb, trouble, alarm". Or maybe both, making it a surprisingly good pun by GW standards. It's maybe also of note, that 'perdurabo' is the cult-name Aleister Crowley got when he entered the Golden Dawn, no mere coincidence, I would assume!
Or maybe said "Ancient texts" were some 40K material meaning he named himself after himself.
On his own merits, he's sort of what you'd get if you crossed the rules of Horus with Ferrus Manus. Like Manus, his armour is a veritable bag of tricks, although less killy overall since he has fewer attacks and the hammer is unwieldy. Though you can choose to hit things with his fists if you don't want to use/bring the hammer, in which case he strikes as hard as a plasma gun. Also rather than carrying an arsenal of ranged weapons he has practically every item of wargear attached, making him much more of a support character since he can teleport and then bring on other teleporting dudes around himself. Units cannot infiltrate around him and the unit he's with can use Interceptors on enemy units arriving by deep strike. Finally, his armor also lets you refrain from shooting to give a squad +1 BS (due to Cognis Signum) which depending on your play style may actually occur more than you realize, since his own gun is only 24" range. On top of that, all of his attacks benefit from Wrecker and Tank Hunters, so any mechanized list he's up against will be in for a world of pain.
For what he gives to everyone else, his whole army gains a bit more of a close combat focus by becoming Stubborn which makes them very difficult to shift and they also all gain Furious Assault when in the enemy deployment zone, though you may not necessarily have built your army to fully utilize this since Iron Warriors tend to have all the guns. He can also make all other terminators deep-striking via teleportation (including siege terminators) though he does not make them into troops like Horus does. Like Horus, he has a wrist mounted gun (with Rending, no less) and he also has an Orbital Strike, which is slightly less powerful compared to Horus' (and lacks the Lance rule), but compensates by being Ordnance D3 instead of Ordnance 1.
He also lets you bring him on turn 1 with his squad (6 iron circle anyone?) without the need to roll. Arguably not as good, however if you roll on the personal traits and get outflank, this could be Perty with 6 iron circle body guard arriving turn 1 via outflank, and unless the enemy has paid for 54 Sigismunds, you'll be sitting pretty - not to mention the 30 BS5 heavy bolter shots that have pinning and an orbital strike. This also works well as if you take a squad of tyrants in reserve, they can deep strike without scattering on turn 2 (provided you roll a 3+) and reign fire down with a hefty 10 (20 if you're a dick) blasts within the enemies deployment zone.
All this said, he's really expensive and has no reliable way to break tarpits. Furthermore, while Deep Striking Termies and Furious Charge in the enemy deployment zone are good, they don't really capitalize on the strong points of the Iron Warriors. It's possible to use The Ironfire to build a list that makes use of his rules, but it's annoying that he tries to force his sons to take on new roles instead of focusing on dakka.
In games of 3000+ points or more, he can spend 600 points to use his special Dedicated Transport, the "Tormentor"- a buffed out Shadowsword with a void shield, a 15-model transport capacity, and a rear access point. It only has one set of sponsons, but with it's special rule Torment you won't care, since if you fire all your weapons at the same target, you get both Monster and Tank Hunter.
Perturabo VS other Primarchs:
Primarch fighting, while fun to see, isn't a very competitive thing to do as it'll usually tie up both Primarchs for the entire game without either of them dying. With that in mind this section is about how Perturabo fares against other Primarchs Mathhammer wise. Please note that all the various abilities are taken into accounts when possible and the match-ups assume the Primarchs are the only ones involved in the fighting, so various abilities like Angron's "The Butcher's Nails" and Rampage do not provide any bonuses. In essence, the fights are supposed to happen in a "Vacuum" for simplicity, but notes are added to make things clearer in particular instances. Also all of the Primarch use their most powerful weapons (because why have a contest if you don't do your best?). So he is obviously armed with Forgebreaker. Also do note that Forgebreaker is an incredible weapon for Primarch vs Primarch duelling, giving him an edge against every other Primarch thanks to the combination of Strikedown, Concussive AND Blind, but the rules are only taken into account against Primarchs that he wouldn't be able to beat without, for (my) simplicity.
- Perturabo VS Horus
- Horus hits 3 times (Talon), wounds 2.667 times, 0.889 after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.556 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Horus (Blinded) hits 2 times (Talon), wounds 1.778 times, 0.593 after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.256 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2 times, wounds 1.667 times, 0.556 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.222.
- Perturabo (with Horus Blinded) hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222, 0.741 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Well well well. So, finally a real challenger has appeared? This fight would actually seem to pend in favor of Perturabo! Then you remember that Horus negates any effect that would adversely modify his characteristic profile with a 3+. Try again another time, Perty.
- Perturabo VS Angron
- Angron Round 1: hits 5.333 times, wounds 4.444 times, 1.48 after saves, and IWND take it down to 1.148.
- Angron Round 2 and thereafter: hits 4 times, wounds 3.333 times, 1.111 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.778 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2 times, wounds 1.667 times, 0.69 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.361 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Angron wins.
- Note: actually in the turn after Perturabo actually wounds Angron (69% per round) he will most probably be blinded and then hammered to death. So if he can't kill him before that (not easy) he is actually dead meat.
- Perturabo vs Mortarion
- Mortarion hits 2.5 times, wounds 1.666 times, 0.555 wounds after saves and 0.222 wounds after IWND.
- Perturabo hits 2.666 times, wounds 2.222 times, 1.111 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.555 wounds at the start of the next turn
- Perturabo wins.
- Perturabo vs Fulgrim
- Fulgrim Round 1: hits 4.5 times, wounds 3 times, 1 wounds after saves and 0.667 wounds after IWND.
- Fulgrim Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3 times, wounds 2 times, 0.667 wounds after saves and 0.333 wounds after IWND.
- Fulgrim Blinded: hits 1.667 times, wounds 1.111 times, 0.37 times after saves and 0.037 after IWND
- Perturabo hits 2 times, wounds 1.667, 0.555 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.222 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo (with Fulgrim Blinded) hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222, 0.741 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Fulgrim surprisingly loses as after the first round he will be brought to I 4 (by Strikedown) and then Blinded and/or Concussed pretty much every round (actually 85% of the total rounds, if my calculations are correct, that is more than enough for Perturabo to destroy him).
- Perturabo vs Ferrus Manus
- Ferrus hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 0.694 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.361 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222, 0.74 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- In the mirror match Perturabo actually wins thanks to his WS, since even with one more attack Ferrus hits marginally less times.
- Note: without the hammer(s) Ferrus would defeat Perturabo, 'cause he would wound Perturabo on a 3+ (2+ with the Servo Harm) wounding 1.75 times, with Perturabo wounding him on 4+ and so wounding him 1.333. Guess old Perty could use Fulgrim's hammer better, in the end.
- Perturabo vs Konrad Curze
- Curze hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 0.75 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.417 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2 times, wounds 1.667, 0.833 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.5 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Konrad loses as Perturabo does marginally more damage.
- Note: With Hit & Run Konrad would win, but the chance he is not concussed in the round he wants to escape are pretty slim, meaning that Perturabo has still the Edge in this fight.
- Perturabo VS Lorgar
- Lorgar hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 0.694 wounds after saves and 0.361 wounds after IWND.
- Perturabo Round 1: hits 2.37 times, wounds 1.865 times, 0.932 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.599 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo Round 2: hits 2.666 times, wounds 2.221 times, 1.11 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.777 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo wins.
- Note: as always, psychic powers not included. You know how it would end anyway...
- Perturabo VS Vulkan
- Vulkan hits 2 times, wounds 1.667 times, 0.555 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.222 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Vulkan (Blinded): hits 1.333 times, wounds 1.111 times, 0.37 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.037 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222, 0.741 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.185 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- As with Fulgrim, Perturabo actually wins only thanks to his Hammer (great weapon indeed).
- Perturabo VS Alpharius
- Alpharius hits 2.92 times and wounds 1.701 times, 0.567 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.234 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222 times, 1.111 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.778 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo wins.
- Perturabo VS Rogal Dorn
- Dorn hits 2 times, wounds 1.5 times, 0.5 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.167 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2 times, wounds 1.333 times, 0.667 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.333 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo wins. Have at thee!
- Perturabo VS Corvus Corax
- Corvus hits 4 times (Scourge)/3 times (Shadow-walk), wounds 3 times (Scourge)/2.25 times (Shadow-walk), 1 wounds (Scourge)/0.75 wounds (Shadow-walk) after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.667/0.417 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo hits 2.667 times/2 times, wounds 2.222 times/1.667 times, 1.481 wounds/1.111 after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.147/0.778 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo wins.
- Note: Welcome to Corvus Corax fist nightmare-city, population: Perturabo. He would mostly like to Hit and Run, but then again, with strikedown, concussive and blind, how can he do that? Also, Perturabo is immune to Blind. Yeah, he is like Corax’s natural enemy and then some...
- Perturabo VS Roboute Guilliman
- Guilliman Round 1/2: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.74 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 3 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 0.988 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.654 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo Round 1: hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.611 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.278.
- Perturabo Round 2 and thereafter: hits 2 times, wounds 1.667 times, 0.833 times after saves, 0.417 for Armor of Reason and IWND will take that down to 0.083.
- Perturabo loses.
- Note: Guilliman is immune to Concussive, and even though Strikedown will assure that Blind actually goes on half of the time he still win the fight, even if not as easily as the above statistic would imply.
- Perturabo VS Leman Russ
- Russ hits 4 times, wounds 3 times, 1 time after saves, plus 0.388 wounds from Sever Life for a whole 1.388 wounds and IWND will take that down to 1.05 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Russ (blinded) hits 2 times, wounds 1.5 times, 0.5 time after saves, plus 0.388 wounds from Sever Life for a whole 0.888 wounds and IWND will take that down to 0.555 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perturabo Round 1: hits 1.333 times, wounds 1.111 times, 0.555 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.222.
- Perturabo Round 2 and thereafter: hits 0.666 times, wounds 0.555 times, 0.2775 times after saves and IWND will take that down to -0.055.
- Perturabo Round 2 and thereafter (with Russ blinded): hits 1.333 times, wounds 1.111 times, 0.555 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.222.
- Perturabo loses.
- Note : A first lucky hit with Forgebreaker and failed Blind rolls from Russ can help Perturabo lasting a bit longer, making him one of the toughest primarchs for Leman Russ to face.
- Jaghatai VS Perturabo
- Jaghatai hits 4 times, wounds 2 times, 0.666 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.333
- Perturabo hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222, 0.74 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Perty wins, but only just. Khan could try to hit-and-run, but Perty's concussive and blind should prevent that.
- TLDR version: Perturabo with Forgebreaker result in one of the strongest challengers above Primarchs, the combination of rules in the Hammer making him even a threat Guilliman and Horus! Ok, not Horus, he is invincible...but Guilliman shivers a little as he challenges him. Then again, he IS the third most pricey Primarch.
|The Primarchs of the Space Marine Legions|
| Loyalist |
Corvus Corax - Ferrus Manus - Jaghatai Khan
Lion El'Jonson - Leman Russ - Roboute Guilliman
Rogal Dorn - Sanguinius - Vulkan
| Traitor |
Alpharius/Omegon - Angron - Fulgrim
Horus - Konrad Curze/Night Haunter - Lorgar
Magnus the Red - Mortarion - Perturabo