"We are the warriors of the Emperor, by the blood in our veins and the heritage of our flesh, fail here and we betray not just yourself but the memory of our Primarch."

— First Captain Arenos Karlaen

First Captain Arenos Karlaen stands ready to defend the Imperium

Arenos Karlaen, known as the "Shield of Baal," is the current First Captain of the "Archangels," the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter's 1st Company, and many consider him the greatest battle leader among the angelic host save for Lord Commander Dante. Karlaen is a wily Blood Angels Veteran with over four centuries of service to the Chapter. In his long service Karlaen has accrued victories over almost every enemy of mankind and, as Hive Fleet Leviathan looms large in the Cryptus System, Dante has turned to his strong right hand again. Karlaen has fought the Tyranid menace many times before and owns several of the Blood Angels' greatest victories against the Great Devourer. Whether wielding his relic Thunder Hammer, the Hammer of Baal, face-to-face against the foe aboard a Space Hulk, a beleaguered world or directing the wrath of the fleet in a decisive battle, Karlaen's tactical skill and controlled rage have proven a match for the Hive Mind over and over again.


Captain Karlaen confronts a Tyranid Genestealer

No Space Marine earns the mantle of Captain of the Chapter's 1st Company without the faith of his Chapter Master and the respect of his Battle-Brothers. Captain Karlaen has served the Blood Angels with distinction for over four centuries, ascending to the leadership of the Archangels after serving within the 1st Company for over a century of war and carnage. In his time he has gained the admiration of his peers and of Commander Dante himself. Arenos Karlaen possesses a keen tactical mind that has guided his brothers to victory time after time. It was this singular understanding of warfare that first drew the attention of his Company Captain and Commander Dante. While all other Space Marines undergo rigorous psycho-conditioning and constant tactical training, Arenos' abilities go beyond this. With a mere glance, he is able to gain the measure of a conflict and formulate an effective response, often drawing from the ancient teachings of the Codex Astartes as inspiration.

As a young Battle-Brother, Karlaen first displayed his tactical acumen during the war for the world of Barestyr XIX against the Speed Freeks of WAAAGH! Kruggdak. When Karlaen's Sergeant was decapitated by an Ork Kannon, he assumed temporary command of his squad. Using the world's sky-bridge network as a battlefield, Karlaen trapped the xenos among the bridges' complex cogwork gates. Robbed of their mobility, the Orks became easy prey for the Space Marines and were quickly defeated. This action would be first of many to draw the eye of Dante. More victories followed, and with each one, Karlaen's renown among the Blood Angels increased. When Arenos entered the ranks of the Archangels, it was as a Veteran Sergeant of a Terminator Squad.

At the Battle of Forlorn Falls, it was Karlaen's Terminators that led the counterattack that broke through the fortifications of the Iron Warriors. On Ivald XII, Karlaen held the line against the Orks of the Shattered Fang tribe, foiling their attacks one after another. The destruction of more than half a dozen Space Hulks can be laid at Arenos' feet, and since entering the 1st Company he has led many of the missions to purge the Imperium of these insidious threats. Doom of Vorgoth, Divine Purgotory and Twilight Aegis are names now synonymous with Karlaen, as he was the Captain responsible for clearing these Space Hulks with only a handful of Battle-Brothers. It was on the Doom of Vorgoth that Arenos was almost killed by the Necrogolem, a Nurgle Daemon of meat and metal. The vile creature had turned the Space Hulk into a playground of pestilence and disease, filled with myriad traps to ensnare the unwary. Karlaen would eventually destroy the creature by venting its sump-palace to the void and freezing the Necrogolem in a tomb of its own filth.

Karlaen has also fought the creatures of the Tyranid Hive Fleets many times, having personally led a score of missions to defend worlds beset by the Great Devourer. For these reasons, Karlaen was chosen by Corbulo to lead a special mission upon the world of Phodia, which would see him tested beyond any situation he had faced before. Though Corbulo suspected Karlaen would face fearsome foes on the planet's surface, the Sanguinary High Priest had complete confidence in the Captain's strategic abilities and his utter dedication to duty.


First Captain Karlaen in his fearsome panoply of war; note that Captain Karlaen displays the skull emblem of the Archangels in several places upon his armour

  • Relic Terminator Armour - Tactical Dreadnought Armour is among the finest personal protection available to the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes and it has saved Karlaen's life many times over. This suit of ancient Terminator Armour is a mark of rank within the Archangels and a reward for his unyielding loyalty to the Chapter.
  • Aureate Halo - Karlaen's Iron Halo is a relic of the Archangel Company's armouries and is known as the Aureate Halo. The halo is reputed to have been crafted during the Second Founding of the Space Marine Chapters.
  • Hammer of Baal - Karlaen's Thunder Hammer is an ancient relic of the Blood Angels Chapter, given to him by Dante as a mark of his honoured place as Captain of the Archangels.
  • Storm Bolter - The Storm Bolter is a functional and brutal weapon that Karlaen often uses to punishing effect in the close confines of a Space Hulk or the maelstrom of an open battlefield.
  • Bionic Eye - Karlaen's bionic eye is a rare and potent piece of archeotech. A blessed relic of the Chapter, the mechanical eye can see in multiple spectrums and has been slaved to the optical-augurs of his Storm Bolter. As such, this archeo-bionic lens grants exceptional accuracy even against distant targets, allowing him to deliver accurate bursts of fire at long range almost without aiming.
  • Frag Grenades
  • Krak Grenades


  • Black Crusade: Angel's Blade (Campaign Supplement) (7th Edition)
  • Blood Angels Painting Guide - Sons of Sanguinius (Supplement), pp. 6, 8-9, 11-15
  • Codex: Blood Angels (7th Edition), pp. 20, 67, 81
  • Dataslate: Captain Karlaen
  • White Dwarf Weekly 45 (6 Dec 2014), "Brothers In Blood," pp. 43-50


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