The Retributors are a Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists, created during an unknown Founding. Described as distant, relentless and efficient by those fighting alongside them, the Retributors are a stern and austere Chapter, more interested in tactical success than battlefield glory.
Because the Retributors place so little emphasis on acquiring glory while many forces of the Imperium go out of their way to seek it, much of the chapter's history, while not truly unrecorded, largely went unnoticed. Despite playing vital roles in several campaigns, these endeavors tended to be drowned out in Imperial archives due to their lack of self-promotion. Despite this, the High Lords of Terra and astute Imperial commanders were well aware of the Retributors capabilities and their assistance was always in demand. Of particular note is their significant cooperation with Inquisitorial lead operations throughout their history.
Ironically, the Retributors finally gained a bit of fame when they disappeared. Shortly after the Argosa Uprisings, the Retributors lead the efforts to chase down and finish off the fleeing rebel forces. The details of what transpired during this campaign have been classified by order of the Inquisition, but whatever occurred cause the Chapter to become more and more withdrawn throughout the next two millennia. The only regular contact the Retributors kept during this time period was with agents of the Inquisition operating in the Eastern Fringe. By 846.M41, all contact with the original Firstborn members of the chapter had been lost.
Believing the chapter dead, Roboute Guilliman ordered the chapter be refounded with a fresh batch of 1,000 Primaris Marines descended from Rogal Dorn as soon as the Indomitus Crusade was concluded. However, shortly after they we assigned to the former chapter's original holdings, the new First Company discovered some sort of evidence of the original chapter's continued existence. What this evidence was, however, they refused to reveal to not only the wider Imperium, but the rest of the chapter as well. Rather than explain what they'd found, the new Chapter Master sent those not already privy to the secret to join another nearby Imperial Fist Primaris chapter, the Reclaimers of Dorn, declared those that remained "the 11th Company", and demoted himself to Captain of this company.
- The Argosa Uprisings (482.M39) - [RECORDS SEALED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION]
- Last Known Transmission (846.M41) - The last known sign of the original chapter. After this date, all contact was lost.
- The Refounding (112.M42) - Believed to be lost, Guilleman orders that the Chapter be refounded in the Ultima Founding.
- The Discovery (115.M42) - The First Company discover evidence that the original Chapter still exists, exiles all other Primaris Marines of their number to join the Reclaimers of Dorn, and organize themselves into the 11th Company.
The majority of the chapter's organization followed the dictates of the Codex Astartes. The only major exception is the use of "Impulsor" squads. Impulsors appear at first glance to be very similar in role to Tactical Marines, in that they are well versed in all aspects of war and equip themselves to suit the tactical situation rather than specializing in any particular role or wargear. What differentiates Impulsors from Tactical Marines is their role as independent forward operatives. Through additional training regimens loosely inspired by the Adeptus Custodes, Impulsors are able to act with far more independence than a typical Space Marine, able to swap seamlessly between acting as a coordinated squad or as individuals pursuing their mission objectives on their own, as the situation calls for. Because of this, Impulsors are ideal units for operating behind enemy lines or spearheading assaults on key targets. When sent to reinforce other Imperial forces, sending a single Impulsor squad can often have a greater impact than if they had deployed an entire company.
As all contact with the original Retributors Chapter has been lost since late M41, when Roboute Guilliman assigned a portion of the Primaris Marines to the chapter, he did so assuming they were lost and needed to be replaced. However, when the new Primaris Retributors arrived at the original chapter's last known location, their First Company found what is believed to be evidence of the original Retributor's continued existence. What this evidence consisted of was hidden from the rest of the Retributors Primaris, but it was significant enough that the newly appointed Chapter Master insisted on demoting himself to Captain of what he declared the 11th Company, and assigning what was their new First Company to this 11th Company. Rather than reveal what this evidence was to the rest of their brothers, however, Captain [Name Pending] instead ordered them to journey to the planet Caldera to join another nearby Imperial Fist Primaris Chapter, the Reclaimers of Dorn.
As their gene-seed is derived from the Imperial Fists, it suffers the same flaws as their parent Chapter: a non-functional Betcher's Gland and Sus-an Membrane. Beyond these organ failures, their gene-seed is extremely stable and suffers no known mutations of any kind.
Retributor doctrine often dictates their forces are applied as widely as possible across a threatre of war, operating in small self-sufficient units tasked with taking on as many high-risk targets and objectives as possible, crippling key enemy assets to allow Imperial forces to bring campaigns to quick and decisive victories.
"Impulsor" squads lead this strategy and will relentlessly engage and re-deploy themselves in pursuit of their objectives. These units are also encouraged to act independently when deemed advantageous, utilizing their supporting elements and seizing targets of opportunity.
The original Retributors often used Deathwatch service as a way to groom members of an Impulsor squad for the rank of Sergeant of such squads. The logic behind this was that if he could handle the task of coordinating a kill-team of Astartes from entirely different chapters, then the relative independence of an Impulsor squad made up of his brothers would be easy by comparison. Because of this, Retributors among the Deathwatch often found themselves serving in leadership roles, even if that was not their officially designated assignment.
Notably, some Firstborn from the original Retributors chapter still remain among the Deathwatch. However, they appear to be just as ignorant of what happened to their original chapter in their absence as the rest of the Imperium. Rather than rejoin the newly refounded Primaris Marines of their chapter, those in the Deathwatch have elected to continue their service until the Firstborn chapter's return.
The Retributors primarily wear dull slate-gray coloured power armour. They wear a gold coloured stylised Imperialis on their plastron (chest guard) which is reminiscent of their Chapter iconography. The white coloured squad specialty symbol is stenciled on the right armorial identifies an individual battle-brother's assigned squad specialty (Impulsor, Tactical, Devastator and Assault). Unlike other Codex-oriented Chapters, the Retributors repeat their squad specialty iconography on a battle-brother's helmet to help with ease of identification on the battlefield for squad leaders and commanders. Veteran and Command squads can be identified by a gold coloured squad specialty symbol stenciled on their right armorials.
Sergeants are identified by different coloured squad specialtist symbols on their helmets: Impulsor and Tactical (Black), Devastator and Assault (Red) and Veteran and Command (Gold). To further distinguish their warriors on the field of battle, the Retributors utilise a simplistic form of identifying the various squad specialties by the colour of both armorials and helmets: Impulsor and Tactical (slate grey), Devastator and Assault (Black) and Veteran and Command (White).
The Chapter identifies company assignment by their own unique heraldry consisting of black and slate gray in colouration on their right poleyns (knee guards). An open-faced circlet and number centered within the company symbol, indicates a battle-brother's assigned squad. A smaller white and black circlet on the left shoulder pauldron inset also indicates squad assignment.
The Retributors Chapter badge is comprised of a stylised gold coloured gauntlet, which is reminiscent of their progenitor's Chapter icon. The gauntlet is clenching a skull, with six lightning bolts emanating from the bottom of it.