Rogal Dorn declares he will return Perturabo to Terra in an Iron Cage. What are his motivations and does he have an ulterior motive? Let’s take a look!
Via our good friends at Lexicanum
The Imperial Fists, lead by Rogal Dorn, and Iron Warriors, lead by Perturabo, developed a strong rivalry bordering on disdain during the Great Crusade. Both Legions possessed like specializations in the areas of defense and siege warfare, leading to competition between the two. Tensions escalated dramatically shortly after Dorn and his Legion were given the honor of fortifying the Imperial Palace on Terra after the successful conclusion of the Ullanor Crusade.
Shortly thereafter Horus declared the Iron Warriors to be the true masters of siege warfare, Fulgrim asked Dorn if he believed the Palace could withstand an assault by the Iron Warriors. Dorn answered that the defenses of the Palace would hold against any adversary providing they were adequately manned. Perturabo went into a deep rage, responding with insults so vile and baseless that onlookers were dismayed. Afterward, the two primarchs rarely spoke and their Legions never again served in the same campaign.
The enmity between the two Legions expressed itself during the Horus Heresy, particularly in the conduct of the Iron Warriors. After Horus‘ victory at Isstvan V, Horus counted on the disdain the Iron Warriors had for their loyalist counterparts and dispatched them to intercept a large Imperial Fists fleet, resulting in the Battle at the Phall system.
During the Siege of the Imperial Palace, which Perturabo oversaw, the Iron Warriors took perverse pleasure in dismantling the defenses erected by the Imperial Fists.
During the period immediately following the Heresy, when Dorn led his Legion against the Traitor Legions, he concentrated especially on Iron Warriors. In the course of his crusade against the Legion, he systematically dismantled the empire they had developed during the Great Crusade.
Perturabo resolved to retaliate against his brother for undoing his empire and to demonstrate his superiority in siege after the death of Horus denied him the opportunity to fully destroy the defenses of the Imperial Palace. To do so, Perturabo constructed the Eternal Fortress on the world of Sebastus IV, a mighty trap designed to ensnare the Imperial Fists and allow his Iron Warriors to inflict overwhelming casualties.
The Fortress consisted of over 20 square miles of bunkers, towers, minefields, trenches, razor wire, tank traps, redoubts and a system of complex underground tunnels. The defenses of the fortress were shaped as an eight-point star. At the center was a massive bunker intended to serve as a decoy and of no value whatsoever.
Upon discovering the Eternal Fortress, Dorn declared that he would go there and bring Perturabo back to Terra in an iron cage. His determination to do so had two motivations. First, Dorn of course wanted to continue his crusade against the Traitor Legions and the Iron Warriors in particular.
Second, Dorn decided to resolve the Codex Astartes Crisis by accepting the Codex but willed that the entire Imperial Fists Legion would symbolically enter into the pain glove together and emerge ready and willing to reorganize into Chapters.
Assaulting the Iron Warriors’ Eternal Fortress provided just such an opportunity. This indicates that Dorn was prepared for his Legion to take heavy casualties and perhaps even invited the prospect.