"They are the sons of the Angel, the blooded host, the defenders of Humanity. They are strength. They are nobility. They are the Blood Angels, and I say to you there are no more loyal or determined servants of the Emperor alive today."
- — High Lord Baldus Bael to Ordo Astartes Inquisitor Neizallkin following the Grand Accusation
The Blood Angels are one of the 20 First Founding Legions of the Space Marines and were originally the IXth Legion before the Second Founding broke the Legiones Astartes up into separate Chapters of 1000 Space Marines.
They are well-known across the galaxy for their bloodthirsty nature in battle, and feared for the curse of flawed gene-seed they carry. The Blood Angels are amongst the longest-living of the Adeptus Astartes, with some of the Chapter's Space Marines having served the Emperor of Mankind for over a thousand standard years.
Due to recent events, the Blood Angels' numbers were severely depleted. Under the threat of extinction, and in order to quickly replenish their numbers, the Blood Angels were forced to ask their kindred Successor Chapters from subsequent Astartes Foundings for a tithe of warriors from the related Chapters' pools of neophytes, their candidate Space Marines.
With these tithes of new recruits, and the recent arrival of the Primaris Space Marines during the Indomitus Crusade, the Blood Angels were able to replenish their losses, though they still face a time of trial like none the Chapter has known since the days of the Horus Heresy.
The Blood Angels are the noble descendants of that most puissant and angelic of the primarchs -- Sanguinius. They are perhaps one of the most celebrated Chapters in the entire Imperium, their countless heroic deeds and victories known to untold billions of the Emperor's subjects across the length and breadth of the galaxy.
The beauteous, angelic visages of the Chapter's heroes adorn Gothic facades and stained glass windows in a million holy basilicas, and their portraits gaze serenely from endlessly copied and much cherished illuminated tomes.
Yet, hidden from the multitudes, the Blood Angels harbour a terrible curse. When their beloved primarch was slain at the hands of the Arch-traitor Horus at the very height of the Horus Heresy, every Blood Angel was doomed to share a portion of the pain inﬂicted upon his ﬂawless form. From that day forth, every Blood Angel has been tormented by visions of the last moment of Sanguinius.
The older the Space Marine gets, the more frequent and debilitating such waking nightmares become. Should he not fall in battle, every Blood Angel will one day become so consumed by these soul-searing visions that he will descend into a madness in which he must witness the death of Sanguinius over and over again, ever unable to intervene as the Warmaster enacts his vile treachery.
The very inevitability of their curse ennobles the battle-brothers of the Blood Angels, driving them ever onwards to a glorious death in the name of the Emperor and their primarch. Where lesser men might have surrendered to the dark urgings to shed the blood of the enemies of the Emperor, the Blood Angels have remained pure and noble for ten thousand standard years. Despite this, the Chapter is dying, for each year ever more of its brethren succumb to the so-called Red Thirst -- the desire to rend limb from limb those responsible for the death of Sanguinius, and by extension every enemy of the Emperor.
The death of Sanguinius represents one of the most perfidious and tragic moments of the Horus Heresy, for he died at the hands of his brother-primarch, the Arch-traitor Horus. Although some say that the sacrifice weakened the Warmaster just enough to allow the Emperor to later defeat him at the climax of the Siege of Terra, the death of Sanguinius is mourned to this day, and felt keenly by the Blood Angels, in whose veins his blood still pumps.
When war calls and blood is spilled, the Blood Angels are gripped by a fury born of the last moments of their primarch's life. For some, the thirst is too great and they are entirely overcome by what is called the Black Rage, cursed to end their days reliving their beloved primarch's death over and over again.
The beatific Sons of Sanguinius are known and celebrated across the Imperium, representations of the greatest heroes of the Blood Angels carved in marble, painted in oils, and sewn in tapestries in a million cloisters and more. Their angel-winged primarch is an object of veneration on countless worlds, his perfect visage gazing down on the faithful with a mixture of benevolence and pity. The Blood Angels are the inheritors of Sanguinius, and they bring death from above to the enemies of the Emperor.
The Chapter seeks the beauty of perfection in all it does, and in one particular field of warfare surpasses all other practitioners. While all Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes are masters of the Drop Pod and Thunderhawk assault, the Blood Angels have become synonymous with the ﬂawless execution of the aerial assault.
They employ an entirely new pattern of vehicle of mysterious origins: the Stormraven gunship. This vessel appears as a lighter cousin of the Thunderhawk, and while its smaller size means it carries less weaponry and a smaller troop capacity, it greatly makes up for this in speed and manoeuvrability.
While the Adeptus Mechanicus took several standard centuries to examine and debate the use of the Standard Template Construct imprint of the gunship, the Blood Angels saw its worth immediately, and set about introducing it into their armoury.
Lately, the Chapter's Forge has been able to perfect its fabrication methods to such an extent that the gunship is now being used throughout the entire force. While the gunship is only just beginning to enter service in other Astartes Chapters, the Blood Angels are already masters of its use, and they have refined methods of aerial assault others are just beginning to learn.
The Blood Angels' doctrine of aerial assault culminates in savage close combat. Whether they are delivered into battle by Thunderhawk or Stormraven gunship, or in the troop bay of an armoured transport such as a Rhino, Razorback or Land Raider, the Blood Angels are all but peerless in their mastery of close assault.
This is in part because the gene-seed of Sanguinius grants his sons an incredibly long life span even for Space Marines, during which endless solar hours of practise and countless battles hone their skills to perfection. Yet, the Blood Angels are not driven towards the fury of close assault by tactical necessity or battlefield doctrine alone.
The Chapter's reliance on blood and the need to cleanse it to keep the Flaw at bay exerts a strange and all but irresistible hold on the Blood Angels. In battle, the Blood Angels are drawn to spill the blood of their foes, and their ordinarily noble countenance can occasionally transform into twisted, rage-fuelled masks of savagery.
This is referred to as the Red Thirst, and it is something that every Blood Angel experiences. For many, the Red Thirst is prelude to the ultimate expression of the Flaw, the Black Rage, in which the state becomes permanent and all-consuming.
The Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters, known as the "Sanguinary Brotherhood," are unique in that their gene-seed imposes an unusual, and ultimately tragic, ﬂaw upon each battle-brother. For most Chapters, service begins as a neophyte, with the initiate becoming ever more senior the more battles he survives until the few that remain are granted command of a company, become a specialist such as a Chaplain, or even become the Master of the Chapter itself.
The Blood Angels experience an entirely different journey, though few outside of their ranks ever learn of it. The Blood Angels possess an almost supernaturally noble, almost saintly countenance, their features handsome and pure.
This is all the more amazing because the Chapter recruits from the short and stunted men of the tribes of Baal, riddled with stigmata, lesions, and carcinoma caused by radiation poisoning. Their dramatic transformation into the saintly neophytes is only made possible by arcane bloodrites.
Over a lifespan far longer than that of the average Astartes, the Blood Angel hones his skills, yet with each battle he experiences something more of the Flaw, the urge to spill the hot, steaming blood of his foes growing ever stronger.
As it does so, the battle-brother is driven to spend longer periods of time purging his own bloodstream within the crimson embrace of his transfusion casket. After several standard centuries of service he must spend long solar hours within it, having every drop of his own blood scrubbed clean.
At some point, the Blood Angel is likely to feel the stirrings of something deeper, the rage descending not at the culmination of battle but before it. These are the first echoes of the Black Rage, and while most Blood Angels fall in combat long before succumbing to it, those who cannot hold it at bay are forced to enter the Chapter's infamous Death Company.
- 1 Chapter History
- 1.1 The Dregs of Old Night
- 1.2 Revenant Legion
- 1.3 The Immortal Ninth
- 1.4 The Charnel Feast
- 1.5 A Descent Into Madness
- 1.6 Trials of Sanguinius
- 1.7 The Coming of the Emperor
- 1.8 The Teghar Campaign
- 1.9 A Legion Reborn
- 1.10 The Burning of Anahktor
- 1.11 Icons of an Empire
- 1.12 Horus Heresy
- 1.13 Brothers In Blood
- 1.14 Recent History (41st Millennium)
- 1.15 Diamor Campaign
- 1.16 Devastation of Baal and the Indomitus Crusade
- 1.17 Primaris Space Marines
- 1.18 Notable Campaigns
- 2 Legion Organisation
- 3 Chapter Organisation
- 3.1 Order of Battle, 999.M41
- 3.2 Order of Battle, Era Indomitus
- 3.3 Chapter Command
- 3.4 Company Command
- 3.5 Battleline Squads
- 3.6 Close Support Squads
- 3.7 Fire Support Squads
- 3.8 Veteran Squads
- 3.9 Specialist Formations
- 4 Chapter Combat Doctrine
- 5 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 6 Chapter Beliefs
- 7 Blood Angels Librarians
- 8 Chapter Homeworld
- 9 Deathwatch Service
- 10 Notable Blood Angels
- 11 Chapter Relics
- 12 Chapter Fleet
- 13 Chapter Appearance
- 14 Videos
- 15 External Links
- 16 Sources
- 17 Gallery
Fate is a cruel master, for no matter how much his prey might twist or turn, no matter what triumphs they might rise to or what trials they overcome, he will still drag them down. The Blood Angels struggled against the fate written into their very genes, defied the role the Emperor chose for them and dared to believe they could transcend the darkness that followed them.
They took the worst of Mankind and made of it something bright and true, they rose above what they had once been and stood astride the fledgling Imperium like the guardian angels for which they were named. Yet, nurtured in their successes were the seeds of their fall, in the jealousy of the fallen Warmaster Horus who saw in them everything he himself had thrown away.
The opening stroke of the Horus Heresy brought the Blood Angels to their knees, and the tragedies that were to follow would shatter their resolve and leave them broken. Such is the nature of the IXth Legion that they did not surrender to despair nor surrender to darkness, but rose again and again.
What might have Sanguinius and his sons achieved were it not for the dark fate brought upon them by treachery and genetics? What brilliant flower might have bloomed from the carnage and blood of their origins? That unknown future is yet another casualty of Horus' civil war, the Blood Angels left to endure the slow degeneration of their noble line with the stubborn pride that is their hallmark.
The Dregs of Old Night
There are many noble legends of the Unification Wars, of the battles where the Emperor's newborn Space Marine Legions swept aside all who opposed Him before them. Among these tales there are none to be found that mention the IXth Legion, only grim rumours and half-heard whispers. Where the first companies of the other proto-Legions were blooded in Albia, Yndonesia and Franc alongside the massed ranks of the Thunder Warriors, the IXth Legion was absent, granted a role as vital as it was unsightly.
The old IXth Legion served the Emperor as an inferno serves a general upon the battlefield; they did not conquer but instead ravaged, growing and growing as they went, a weapon that could not be directed or controlled, only endured.
Few in number, the early Space Marine Legions fought as mere vanguards to larger forces, a sharp dagger alongside the blunt sledgehammer of the armies of Unification. They were the fulcrum upon which battles turned, the point of control, waging small scale battles by precision strike and audacious raids. The IXth Legion was made in a different image. Even in their earliest days they were among the largest of the proto-Legions and when they made war it was like the sudden arrival of a tsunami, sweeping away the opposition in a flurry of brutal assaults.
They found themselves deployed to the most dangerous war zones of Terra, to those accursed regions ravaged by the rad-phages and chem strains of Old Night, places where only the most twisted and debased breeds of Mankind still lived. In the wastelands that existed outside of history's spotlight they held the line, alone and unnoticed while the Emperor drove home His grand conquests.
This grim fate was no accident, no arbitrary choice made by a distant general, for each of the Legions had been granted genetic tools to fit the roles for them by the Emperor, and the IXth Legion was no exception. Where other Legions took only the best recruits, princes and champions among the conquered techno-barbarian nations of Old Earth, and produced but few Initiates, the IXth Legion took in the hordes of dispossessed and broken, and made of them an army of angels.
Scarred by so many long generations mired in the rad-zones and sunken fortresses of Terra's poisoned wilds, these creatures were no longer entirely human, but horribly mutated beasts that the tyrants of Old Earth had driven out and hunted. Yet, from such base materials emerged a breed of Legiones Astartes uniformly tall and fair, their features sculpted in stern elegance.
The unique genetic template of the IXth Legion's as-yet unknown sire seemed to favour the twisted and warped, though the pain it inflicted on those inducted into the Legion was more than most could bear. As those weakened by years of exposure to the most horrific rad-zones and poisons rarely survived such an ordeal, the number of recruits that endured to become Astartes of the IXth Legion were few. Yet, unlike the other Legions, the IXth cast their net wide, and claimed entire tribes of wastelanders, prisoners of war and the long train of hopefuls that always followed in their wake seeking the miracle of transformation.
The bloody-handed Apothecaries plied their knives without rest to keep the Legion at fighting strength in even the most hellish war zones, and though the legend of the IXth languished, its ranks did not. Even as their ranks swelled, the dark rumours that followed them grew as well, for the Emperor's legacy had endowed them with other, darker, gifts. These gifts were also to grant them a new epithet among the rank and file of the Emperor's mortal armies, the "Eaters of the Dead." For in the wake of each battle, the elegant forms of the IXth Legion haunted the field of battle long after the fighting had ceased, seeking out the finest among the fallen and feasting upon their flesh and blood.
Many of the victories fought to bring Unification to Old Earth were marred by the sight of blood-smeared angels stalking the fallen and wounded champions of the enemy across fields choked with corpses, though few among their detractors realised the purpose of this grim fixation. For this too was part of the Emperor's grand design, for through the genetic augmentations that had transformed them, the IXth Legion were capable of stealing their enemy's power from them, genetically absorbing their knowledge and skill and making them their own through the use of their Omophagea implants. All that was required was the consumption of the foe's bodily tissues.
In the broken places where they fought, alone and far from aid, this trait brought the IXth Legion priceless information and made even the most raw recruits battle ready. Yet the macabre reputation they had gained hung about them like a shroud, lessening their achievements. They had been created to fight monsters, alone and in the darkest places, but in doing so they risked becoming creatures even more foul than those they fought.
The wars of Unification swept out into the Sol System like a storm, unstoppable and wild, and so too went the IXth Legion. Despite being among the largest in number of the early Legions, its ranks bolstered by widespread recruiting during the war for Old Earth, the IXth found no place in the hosts arrayed to assault the Jovian moons or the resource-rich inner worlds during the early days of the Great Crusade. Instead, its flag was planted among the artificial moons of baleful Neptune, whose labyrinthine tunnels and dark halls were the lair of xenos raiders and the last genetically debased human colonists of that far-flung outpost.
There was little here to be gained but time, precious time for the Emperor to claim the orbital shipyards of Saturn and the allegiance of Mars, for which He needed the raiders and mutants of the outer worlds held in place. To that end, He sent the IXth Legion forth to die.
Twelve thousand warriors of the IXth Legion, all veterans of the wars on Terra, disappeared on the moons of Neptune. While the Emperor and His grand armies brought Saturn, Mars and the inner worlds to heel, no word of the IXth Legion reached them, either of their success or annihilation. By the time these conquests were completed and the Emperor returned to the cold darkness of the outer system, few expected to find anything other than frozen corpses. Yet when they reached Neptune, it was to find the IXth Legion alive and well; indeed, despite the loss of many of their original complement, the size of the force was almost the same, bolstered by recruits taken from among the dregs of Neptune's barely human population. Where others might have floundered and fallen, the IXth Legion had only grown stronger, rising from the ashes of defeat like a bloody phoenix.
In those bloody days, the Legion was an ever-changing beast, its ranks largely formed of line infantry equipped almost exclusively for the brutal madness of close-quarters assault. This was a role at which the IXth Legion excelled, always favouring a sudden and overwhelming charge to a long drawn-out battle of attrition. They well understood the role of their macabre legend in war, most often choosing to stage their attacks at dusk or dawn, and taking to decorating the storm-grey of their early Mark II Power Armour with a variety of charnel images and taking to the field unhelmed, that the sight of their angelic visages streaked with blood might unsettle the enemy.
Some companies even began to incorporate the secret bloody rituals of the Legion into their doctrines of battle, tearing apart the enemy on the field of battle or indulging in bloody feasts to break their morale and set panic in their ranks.
Again and again the IXth Legion would be cast into the crucible of destruction, only to emerge each time as hale as they had been before. Each time they took from the enemy what was required to fight on and grasped victory where others had seen only defeat and despair, though it left them changed. On the silent black battlefields of the Kuiper Belt and the endless wastes of Rust, the IXth Legion was sent to fight and survive where others could not, to fight the unseen holding actions of the Great Crusade's first faltering steps. Malcador the Sigillite himself was to take note of their exploits and dub them the "Revenant Legion," a title that many came to use for the indomitable warriors of the IXth Legion, as much a sign of the superstitious awe in which they were held by many as it was a commendation of their bravery.
Indeed, the Sigillite is but one of a number of senior officials within the early Imperium's Divisio Militaris who seemed ill at ease with this incarnation of the Legiones Astartes, lacking as they did the prestige or open popularity of some of their brethren, such as the much vaunted XIIIth Legion or Horus' own XVIth Legion.
A dangerous and unsightly weapon, to be unsheathed only in dire need and then quickly hidden away again, the IXth Legion found themselves often in the company of those Legions less favoured by the bright lords of the newly-forged Imperium. With the savage War Hounds and oft-forgotten IVth Legion in whom Horus had found his own disposable weapons, they found a bitter kinship, though it was rare to see these Legions gathered together.
Yet it was the work of these ingloriously practical and gore-spattered warriors that set the foundations of the Imperium in place, though there are scant songs sung in praise of the deeds the Emperor commanded them to perform in the pursuit of the golden empire which He sought to build.
The Immortal Ninth
Time and time again the pride of the IXth Legion was to fall on the field of battle, yet the records of their valour make common mention of the same handful of warriors and champions. Some Remembrancers and historians have taken this to indicate a long history of redoubtable heroes, even going so far as to compile these records into a number of epic stanzas, forming the separate entries into a single legend. Yet, the true reason for the longevity of certain names within the order of battle for the IXth Legion is far less heroic.
Since its foundation, the IXth Legion had operated in the most extreme battlefield conditions and necessity had forced upon them a number of practises that might otherwise be seen as monstrous. One among these, fostered by the nature of their design and the conditions under which they fought, was the consumption of fallen captains by their followers in order to preserve their hard-won skills and experience.
As a mark of honour as well as practicality, it also became accepted that recruits took the names of those whose skills they absorbed, and lieutenants would assume the names of their captains. Such was the resemblance of each member of the IXth to their flawless brothers that most outsiders failed to notice this subtle brand of immortality.
The most famous example of which being the figure thought to have served as the IXth Legion's first and only master, other than Sanguinius himself. Known to history as Ishidur Ossuros, this warrior is commonly held to have commanded the IXth from Unity to the discovery of Baal in 843.M30, yet a closer examination of the records shows that name died numerous times, only to be replaced by another.
Over time and battles past count, this practise became an honoured tradition of the Legion, a visceral ritual that bound the survivors together despite their often disparate origins. Yet as much as it bound those of the IXth Legion to each other, it forced them away from their brethren among the Imperial Army and other Legions.
In the years before Sanguinius' return, no few of the other primarchs expressed a distaste with the practises of the IXth Legion, though they could not dispute their success on the battlefield. Such was the legacy of mistrust and barbarism that the IXth carried with them, one pressed upon them by the brutal necessity of their calling.
The Charnel Feast
In the early years of the Great Crusade, as the fleets of the Emperor first pushed beyond the boundaries of what is now known as the Segmentum Solar and into Wilderness Space, His armies would encounter battlefields to shake the sanity of mortal men. Of these fel and terrible places, termed zones mortalis in the formal language of the Dvisio Militaris, few were more loathsome than the world known to history as Kiy-buran.
The first expeditions to Kiy-buran were to vanish without a trace, four full regiments of the Imperial Army's Veradan Regulars swallowed up and gone, and a flank of the great Crusade's galaxy-wide advance left open. In response, the Emperor unleashed His own terrors to seek out whatever beasts might lurk there.
Running ahead of the Expeditionary fleets of the Great Crusade in aid of the Veradan Regulars, three companies of the IXth Legion's Astartes were dispatched to Kiy-buran. The world was a wasteland of irradiated sands inhabited by chattel tribes of degenerate mutants and ruled by a techno-barbarian warlord, Ek'Lobia.
These tribes were both bodies to be spent in conflict and the primary foodstuff of Kiy-buran's inhabitants; each sustained by a vicious economy of ritual acts of bloodshed and cannibalism. It was these mutants which had been encountered by the beleaguered ranks of the Imperial Army stranded on the planet. Hordes of barely human mutants armed with little more than primitive clubs and picks had decimated their ranks, the corpses of the fallen hauled back to flickering fire-pits to be cooked by night.
For three solar months, the serried trenches of the Imperial Army repelled the mindless onslaught before the storm-grey Drop Pods of the IXth Legion fell from the sky, wreathed in black smoke. Crashing to the ground, the Revenant Legion broke through the mutant throng with contemptuous ease and relieved the embattled Veradan troopers. The IXth attacked the cantonments of local tribes, their superior arms and armour allowing them to seize control of the northern mountain ranges, casting out the indigenous mutants they came across with uncompromising brutality.
In the opening stage of the IXth Legion's war on Kiy-Buran, they came upon little organised resistance, freely conquering territory, and for solar months the IXth Legion ravaged Kiy-Buran before news reached the warlord Ek'Lobia, who swore an oath to eradicate the invaders.
Under his command was an army of mutant chattel whose numbers were beyond count and over which he held a power of such terror that they would throw themselves to their death rather than face the freakish horrors which his enslaved sorcerers might unleash. As the IXth Legion crossed into Ek'Lobia's territories, the resistance they met from indigenous forces increased until the IXth was drawn into full scale battle.
Initially, they easily quashed any bands of savages making strikes against the edges of their line, but quickly these became an unending deluge of bodies which threatened to overwhelm and encircle the remains of the three companies. The IXth girded themselves to repel the tide of mutants, whose hideous deformities made them capable of rending ceramite with their tortured flesh and whose numbers set the earth atremble at their approach.
Though the Legiones Astartes fought doggedly, killing scores of enemy for each Battle-Brother lost, the sheer numbers of the foe began to force them back. Attempting to regroup, the three companies of the IXth Legion formed a spearhead in an attempt to break through the mutants and reach the distant banner poles that signified the position of the horde's brutish commander.
As the tip of the Legion formation threatened to reach the encampment of Ek'Lobia, the horrors of Old Night were unleashed. Reality rippled and tore as the Cracked Skull's ensorcelled chattel brought forth horrors beyond description, reaping a hideous toll of casualties amongst the Astartes and mutant horde indiscriminately, turning the tide of the battle.
Incapable of combating such a threat, the IXth Legion warriors were forced to quit the field of battle or be utterly destroyed, a choice that might have doomed other more honour-bound Legions, but not the pragmatic Revenant Legion of old. The Legionaries turned and hacked a red path through the throng with toothless Chainswords, broken blades and the cracked pieces of their own fallen comrades' armour.
The strength of almost two companies was lost in that monumental battle, and those Legionaries who escaped were forced to question how they could survive and endure without reinforcement or resupply. The staggering degree of losses suffered created the need to reorganise Legion resources among little more than 380 remaining Legionaries, speaking to the utilitarian and consequentialist nature of the psyche of the early IXth Legion. Foremost among these assets, their Apothecarion was reformed and grown into a combat-support formation; the survival of the remaining Legionaries as well as propagating gene-seed considered paramount to their ability to continue to pursue conquest.
Reformed in the crucible of war, far from the path of the Great Crusade, those orphaned companies of the IXth Legion recommenced their campaign at a more considered pace; making squad-based shock assaults against enemy encampments before withdrawing to avoid organised reprisals. The campaign soon stagnated into a pattern of thrust and counter-thrust, a war fought on the back foot to bleed the foe whilst hugely outnumbered.
This war, which became known as the "Banquet of Kiy-Buran," continued unbroken for 12 standard years, all but forgotten by the wider Imperium. The IXth Legion, piece by piece, broke the tribes of the world in bloody close quarters actions, and refused to be drawn into a full-scale engagement. In the early years of this conflict, accepting the desperation of their predicament and bereft of resupply, the IXth Legion were forced to take practical measures to survive. Raids against local mutant tribes on the northern continent became matters of domination, not destruction.
Those creatures which could be of use were press-ganged into the service of the Legion. Testament to the hardiness of the IXth Legion's gene-seed, even these irradiated and hideously mutated beings were considered suitable candidates for the Legion, their children bred to be little more than meat-stock for their techno-barbarian overlord ascended into angelic perfection by the implantation of Sanguinius' gene-seed.
Furthermore, the Legion's Apothecaries encouraged them to join their foe in cannibalism of the war-dead for sustenance, benefitting the Legion and denying the foe in equal measure. These practices allowed the IXth to replenish its numbers and continue without contact with the wider Imperium greatly beyond the capability of any other Legion.
Undertaking this strategy, the Legion steadily took ground from Ek'Lobia, diminishing both his armies and food supply in the process, while taking that material into themselves with which to rebuild the strength of the Legion. Perhaps the Legion went too far in the name of survival, however. A diary later recovered from the equipment of a missing officer of the Veradan Regulars refers to the IXth as the "Charnel Feast," a cognomen which, when later disseminated, became popular amongst the rank and file mortal soldiery of the Great Crusade before it was quashed by the coming of Sanguinius.
The same diary hints at a dark end for the 46th Veradan Regulars: as they became unable to continue to prosecute the war, the diary suggests they were also rendered to feed the Legion, whether through literal consumption or to allow the charnel priests, what had become of their Apothecarion, to use their flesh as part of the process of creating new warriors.
Other recovered journals claim that the populace of Kiy-Buran came to see the Legionaries as the devils of their myths, stealing their children and feasting upon corpses in a manner more barbaric even than the ritual cannibalism of their masters. It states that the native population feared that their own magicks had unleashed the "Imperium of Mankind," speaking of it in hushed tones as the force of their own undoing.
In the twelfth Terran year after planetfall, the final confrontation of the campaign was all but a foregone conclusion. Ek'Lobia, suffering from years of starvation and surrounded in his fortress spaceport by a replenished force of almost 1,000 Legionaries and their own degenerate serfs, attempted once more to unleash his slave-sorcerers.
The massed, unarmoured novitiates of the Legion, recruited from among the tribes of Kiy-buran, suffered the brunt of the attack, while the Legion's off-world veterans made directed strikes against the warlocks, the sheer numbers brought to bear by the IXth overcoming the warlord's feeble defences.
His sorcerers dead and his fortress in ruin, Ek'Lobia attempted to flee in a primitive spacecraft, rising from the surface in a cascade of scrap and broken corpses, only to meet a squadron of Imperial cruisers bearing the heraldry of the VIIth Legion in orbit, his life ended under their guns. The Imperium had finally come to reclaim its warriors, expecting to find a world brought to Compliance and ready to accept the Emperor's law.
At the head of the fleet, Rogal Dorn, but newly reunited with his own Imperial Fists, arrived in Kiy-Buran to instead discover a ruined world of the Imperium's making. Upon receiving the report of the IXth Legion he was wrathful, as he refused to accept the Compliance of Kiy-Buran as the Dream of Imperium his father had described to him.
In the Charnel Feast Dorn saw monstrous misdeeds, but also the resourcefulness of desperately capable warriors. Reprimanding the surviving IXth Legion warriors for their questionable judgement, the Praetorian of Terra ordered the city of Buran razed and burned, the sins of the IXth Legion erased before a single Remembrancer ever set foot there.
A Descent Into Madness
With each victory, the dire legends that surrounded the IXth Legion grew and spread. They were the spectres that haunted the wild places at the edge of the Great Crusade's advance, the terrors loosed by the Emperor to clear His path across the stars. It was a duty and title they accepted with grim pride, never shirking the mantle that they wore in His name and never baulking from the tasks assigned them.
Each campaign was undertaken with a cold fury that stood them apart from the Emperor's other attack dogs and hidden murderers, a quiet, brooding hunger for blood and death that was as terrifying as it was effective. Once committed to battle, the IXth did not relent, did not retreat, and could not be stopped. They fought until the enemy was utterly destroyed and paid no heed to the thought of mercy or the need to build an empire rather than a graveyard.
Few among the mighty and renowned welcomed their presence on the eve of battle, for the stench of death and madness was ever on them. So, lacking a patron among the handful of returned primarchs to guide them and give purpose to their conflicts, the IXth Legion slipped further into isolation and infamy. It became home to a strange mixture of Imperial doctrine and crimson ritual, its ranks and formations riddled with charnel cults and bloody prophets of war, the superstitions of a hundred worlds given power by the nature of their transformation and left to fester on the worst battlefields of the Great Crusade.
Worse, the appearance of these blood-soaked angels, tall and striking, perhaps even more so when caked in the gore of the battlefield, often set those they brought into the Imperium to their worship, lest they anger the red angels that had come. It was a slide towards madness that would see the end of the Legion. For were it not abated, it would become a worse danger to the Imperium than the monsters it was made to hunt.
The seeds of this destruction were already sown, with many watching the Legion and its commanders, already distrustful of the Immortal Ninth and its blood-soaked killers. The IXth Legion's 14th Company was sanctioned by Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists for its actions during the Second Siege of Yarant, where the IXth Legion's warriors took to killing and consuming prisoners on the walls of the fortress to demoralise the enemy, as well as to secure intelligence.
While the Imperial Army brought grievance against the Legion after reports were filed that mortally wounded soldiers of the Malagant Rifles Regiment had been slaughtered and drained of their blood by the IXth Legion rather than left to the mercy of the enemy during the retreat from Shedim. Such brutal necessities seemed of little concern to the IXth Legion, but served only to add weight to those who claimed they should share the fate of the other two failed Legions.
Broken apart by the dictates of war and the needs of the Great Crusade, the IXth Legion became outcasts among the brotherhood of the Space Marine Legions. Now they fought in small isolated companies, each fostering its own distinct brand of the red cults that had spread across the Legion. They still maintained a force mostly composed of line infantry and jump troops, but less from tactical expediency and more due to the Divisio Militaris' reluctance to supply them with more potent arms and munitions.
In the face of this, the Legion turned more and more to its own macabre methods to win battles, prizing victory more highly than the respect of their peers. Bitter pride in what they saw as the jealousy of others sustained them, but also served to drag them further into disrepute.
The IXth Legion stood upon a knife's edge. They were still a necessary, if bloody, piece of the Emperor's plan to conquer the galaxy, yet that conquest would not last forever and eventually the IXth would become more of a burden in the new golden age built by the Emperor than a blessing. A reckoning approached for the IXth Legion. They would either be born anew, changed and not lessened as they had been before, or they would be ended and expunged from history.
It was at this crucial time that a scout flotilla of the Great Crusade was to discover an otherwise insignificant world of ruins and deserts, a world whose moons also had their own legends of a bloody angel, a world called Baal.
Trials of Sanguinius
After the Emperor created the primarchs, the Ruinous Powers made off with the infant demi-gods still in their gestation capsules and carried them through the Warp. Unable to destroy the primarchs because of the powerful psychic and physical protections laid on them by the Emperor, the daemonic powers nonetheless did their best to alter the Emperor's work to their own dark ends. Thus it was that even the best of the Emperor's creations became corrupted at the outset.
The gestation pod that housed the infant Sanguinius came to rest upon the moon of Baal Secundus, at the place now known as Angel's Fall. Few of the young primarchs who were spirited away from the Emperor through the Empyrean by unknown means found themselves in conditions that any might describe as fair, and yet even among their number Sanguinius was particularly ill-favoured by where fortune cats him.
Though the Baal System had once been a thriving hub of Mankind's ancient interstellar empire, it had since been reduced to a sea of radiation-scorched ash and dust by its people's own golly during the Age of Strife. On the second moon, where the Primarch Sanguinius was cast adrift, there eked out a fragile remnant of humanity, a number of feral, warlike post-apocalyptic tribes that stalked the wastelands surviving on the plunder of war and what little could be foraged from the deserts.
Sanguinius' earliest days were spent in the deep desert and of them little is known, for Sanguinius never spoke of them in later years. Doubtless he faced hardships that would have slain full grown men, slew the mutant creatures of the wasteland that even the desert trives avoided and survived where the radiation unleashed by the atomic weapons used on the moon during Old Night would otherwise have cooked the flesh of mortals in solar minutes.
It is not known how long Sanguinius' sojourns alone in the wastelands lasted, but by the time he was discovered by one of the many tribes of Baal Secundus he was a young boy, almost of age by the standards of the tribesmen. The young Sanguinius' life almost came to an end then and there, for great white wings, like those of an angel, emerged from his back.
Whether these wings were born of Baal's mutating influence upon his posthuman genome, an affect of his transport through the Warp or were part of the Emperor's intentional design is a secret known only to the Master of Mankind. Many among the tribesmen who found the Primarch wanted to kill the child as a mutant, though in all other ways he was as perfect a human child as had ever been seen.
Eventually innate compassion prevailed and the child was spared. Sanguinius was quick to adapt to his new life among the tribe, as were all his kind in similar circumstances, and his strength and resilience quickly earned him a place within the ranks if the tribe that had found him, known, as were all the tribes of Baal, simply as "The People of the Blood" or "The Blood."
The young Sanguinius was a prodigy -- he grew quickly and learned everything his adoptive parents could teach him. It is said that even when still a child he slew a giant fire scorpion with his bare hands, and that he never once showed fear at the colossal beast's onset.
As Sanguinius grew his wings grew also, becoming mighty pinions that could bear him aloft upon the desert air. He could walk without a rad-suit in the most poisonous of Baal Secundus' deserts, and could shatter massive boulders with a single blow of his outstretched hand. In the use of all weapons he soon excelled his teachers.
When a wandering band of feral mutants surprised the tribe, Sanguinius slew them all, although they numbered over a hundred. This was the first time the members of The Blood had ever seen him truly angry, for he felt his comrades' lives were in danger. When the blood-rage overtook him, Sanguinius was indeed terrible to behold -- his mighty Primarch powers awoke to fullness and a nimbus of light played about his head.
He grew to manhood rapidly, troubled all the while by dreams and ill portents of death and blood, and the arrival of a grim and unknown king to Baal from other worlds. He fought against the mutated sub-human creatures that prowled the deep desert and the raiders of other tribes with the same single-minded focus that he gave to his loyalty to his new people of The Blood. Yet, unlike the other Primarchs, there was no long war of planetary unification undertaken on Baal Secundus, no glorious campaign of conquest to prove the young demi-god's worth.
The legend of the winged warrior had spread far across Baal, stories of a warrior tall, fair and much unlike the stunted and radiation-scarred people of the moon. Ferocious in war and wise in peace, he seemed to be a vision of past glories come once again to Baal, a promise for the future that had all but been forgotten among The Blood. Despite any denials on the part of the Primarch, he became as a god to his foster people, and warriors from across the wide desert came to fight at his side. Under his guidance they rolled back the mutant tide. For a time Mankind had a respite on the moon of Baal Secundus.
Within the span of a few short Baalite years, each an endless scorching summer, a vast host had gathered at the Great Angel's side, to learn from his words and to shelter beneath his wings. He had become the master of his world not by force or conquest, but simply by the acclamation of a desperate people.
The Coming of the Emperor
Baal was a world long dead, reduced to ruins and rad-blasted wastes by the long forgotten wars of Old Night. The initial Expeditionary Fleets had overlooked it as a target for the Great Crusade, as even though it sat along a major stable Warp current, it possessed no real industrial value and only the most tenuous population.
Yet it was here in 843.M30 that the Emperor would rediscover one of His lost sons, the Primarch Sanguinius. As with so many of the Primarchs, Sanguinius had brought a bloody peace to his adopted homeworld, moulding the primitive tribes he had found there in order with his own ideals. His was to be a legacy of peaceful conquest tempered with justice and knowledge, a path so very different than that taken by the IXth Legion that would be bequeathed to him.
Thus it was that when the Emperor came for His missing son, when starships once again returned to the skies of Baal, it was not to find a king of battle and war, but instead an unwilling god. Having long foreseen his father's coming and the many consequences of that meeting, Sanguinius came to meet the Emperor alone, without the long train of his worshippers or the warriors pledged to his service. Alone he fell to his knees before his father and asked only for the lives of his followers, fearing the wrath of a man who had sworn to topple all religions.
Seeing in the winged Primarch a servant of rare talents and keen loyalty, the Emperor granted his wish. His Imperial Truth was withheld from Baal and no Imperial ship would set itself down upon the second moon of Baal again, save at the behest of Sanguinius himself. The Blood would continue to live as they always had, kept in part as surety against the Great Angel's pact, and Sanguinius himself departed to begin his service to the Emperor.
The Teghar Campaign
Sanguinius was to learn the ways of war at the side of Horus himself, accompanying that Primarch and his Luna Wolves, to see how war was waged among the stars and to understand the functions of the vast Imperium that the Emperor was building. As Sanguinius forged a bond of trust with his mentor and brother, the IXth Legion was finally summoned to attend upon their new and true master.
Gathered from distant war zones across the galaxy, it took many solar months for each disparate band of the IXth Legion to be found and recalled. It would be two standard years and four solar months before the gathering was complete, and on the storm-wracked world of Teghar, an army of grim killers with the faces of angels assembled, eagerly awaiting a new slaughter of which to partake.
The captains of the Revenant Legion, the Great Crusades' blood-soaked angels, gathered as Stormbird transports bearing the mark of the Luna Wolves descended from orbit. From within came a troop of warriors clad in the white of Horus' own Legion, yet the one at their head was not Horus, though by his stature he was a true son of the Emperor and one of His Primarchs.
Great white wings unfolded and Sanguinius revealed himself to his gene-sons, his sculpted features the very image of those that thronged about him. Sanguinius beheld the gathered warriors of the IXth each bearing the scars of unrelenting battle both on their proud faces and in the dark recesses of their spirits.
These were not men to be impressed by the pomp and ceremony of his escort, nor by simple strength of arms. The winged Primarch, amid the rain and storms of that far world, took a knee before the rough-cast killers and scarred blood-drinkers and, rather than demand their allegiance, he offered them his own.
The warriors who had offered up everything to the new Imperium and in return been granted only scorn and mistrust, were now offered a Primarch's loyalty, given freely and without reservation. Sanguinius had won their devotion with his actions, and to seal them to him he led the assembled Legion on their first campaign together, standing in the front lines of battle where his valour spoke for the sincerity of his pledge.
The storm-wracked fifth world of the Teghar System, Teghar Pentaurus, was the stage upon which Sanguinius fought for the loyalty of his Legion. There he gave of his blood in the maelstrom of combat and came to understand the true nature of his sons. Sanguinius witnessed the bloodlust and fey hunger that ran through his Legion's core and recognised it as his own darkness.
The Abhuman hordes of Teghar and their bestial thralls fell before the IXth Legion like wheat before a scythe, Sanguinius himself claiming the pelt of a dire carnodon as a trophy of battle and a symbol of the pact he had formed with his sons. In the gore-spattered aftermath of the campaign, Sanguinius saw one possible future, a crimson future of war eternal where his sons would truly become monsters, the playthings of a dark and terrible fury. Yet, the winged Primarch did not despair.
Even in the heat of battle, there remained in the warriors of the IXth Legion a spark of nobility, the still-warm ashes of their martial pride and determination. They fought to grasp the fickle favour of victory, not simply for slaughter, and held to their own codes of honour with an iron will. These would be his weapons in the battle for the IXth Legion's soul, the tools with which he would raise them up.
The winged Primarch knew full well that no future was absolute, no dark fate beyond hope of repair, and with the end of the battle for Teghar he declared, "even though a darkness hangs over them, a future soaked in blood and horror, they are angels yet. Angels of Blood." The IXth Legion, the Revenant Legion, had been reborn and earned a new name: the Blood Angels.
A Legion Reborn
The newly titled Blood Angels did not return en masse to Baal -- that blistering wasteland had little to teach them that the ruins of Terra and a thousand other dead worlds had not. Instead, Sanguinius sought the aid of his brother, Horus, who had been his mentor and friend during his first years as part of the Emperor's grand army.
Dividing his Legion, its heraldry now changed both to honour the Primarch and to match the new name they had been granted, he set each company to fight alongside one of Horus' own Luna Wolves companies. At the side of these renowned warriors, the Blood Angels would fight for the next solar decade, seeing the fall of countless worlds and the prosecution of campaigns of every kind, from the brutal simplicity of wars of extermination to the deadly subtlety of quiet campaigns of strike and fade. In the shadow of the Luna Wolves and the greatest of the Emperor's Primarchs, the once-outcasts of the IXth Legion would gain stature in the eyes of their peers and a newfound sense of decorum.
Each of the campaigns was a new trial, a subtle test selected with keen insight by the two Primarchs to salve the wounds inflicted by time and fate upon the Blood Angels. Sanguinius instilled in his sons a new sense of pride, not in simple carnage and the blood-soaked eternity of melee, but in a future in which they stood as exemplars of the Imperial creed, equal even to Horus' own warriors.
In the year-long siege of Anaxis XII, they grasped the value of brotherhood as they stood shoulder to shoulder with the Imperial Fists against a tide of Hrud that seemed without end; on Cambriole and Prehalt they were taught discipline as they matched blades with inscrutable Aeldari reavers; while on Kentaurus Beta they learnt something of mercy as Sanguinius led them on the bloodless pacification of the Kentauran colonies. With each battle, the Legion shook off part of the stigma of their past and took their first faltering steps along a new path.
Eager to prove worthy of the oath Sanguinius had made to them, the warriors of the IXth Legion strove to put aside the gore-soaked solitude that had once been the armour of their pride and to embrace the new virtues Sanguinius had shown them. Fury tempered by wisdom, blood-hunger chained with discipline, when the IXth Legion finally came to Baal, they were no longer that rough beast which had once stalked Terra, but were now a Legion reborn in form more fitting of their angel-winged sire.
There, on the sands of Baal, they were met by the newly-raised and trained contingents of Astartes drawn from The Blood, the native people of that rad-scoured system, whom Sanguinius himself had raised up and schooled in the arts of war. The two halves of the Legion were joined, warriors from both Terra and Baal spread across the many companies of the Blood Angels that they might strengthen each other and weaken the hold of the IXth Legion's Terran past.
The hunger remained of course, a shackled beast that lurked ever ready at the edge of madness, waiting for the chance to be set free once again, but by the faith of their Primarch they had a firm hold of its fetters. The Blood Angels honed their minds and wills, devoting themselves to the study of wisdom as well as war.
They became scholars as well as warriors, and under the approving gaze of their winged Primarch, they put aside the barbarism they had once embraced and sought to prove themselves a force worthy of the future for which they fought. As time passed and the Blood Angels' past slipped from the memories of those they fought alongside, the blood hunger became little more than a myth, a half-remembered ghost story of ancient ghouls once bound in service to the Emperor.
Those few among the Legion that succumbed once more to its thirst or to the black fury that followed on its heels were quietly concealed, granted the Emperor's peace or sealed away on Baal. The Blood Angels and their Primarch joined the Great Crusade as equals, looked down upon by none and followed the call of war to the stars.
The new crimson-clad IXth Legion was both familiar and yet fundamentally changed in character. It still waged war with a fury to shake the heavens, but now it was leashed to a deep well of discipline and keen intellect. Still they favoured shock assault, a falling upon the foe suddenly and without warning, but now with a Primarch's will at their back they made use of the full panoply of Imperial technology.
Now, when the angels came, they fell from the sky like a rain of fire, a thousand burning lights against the dawning sky, the wrath of the Emperor Himself given crimson form. Nor was this the extent of their skills, for though the sudden onslaught was their preference, they knew now full well the value of the feigned retreat, the gun line and a hundred other stratagems besides.
They were a Legion fully formed, so much more now than the simple bludgeon they had once been, and this is perhaps the truest evidence of the Emperor's plan for His Legions, that with their Primarchs they became whole -- far more than the sum of their genetic legacy and the harsh lessons of Unification.
So it was that the Great Crusade surged onwards as never before. New battlefronts opened up under the Primarchs' direction and worlds were reclaimed by the thousand. Throughout it all, the Blood Angels and their Primarch, Sanguinius, fought at the Emperor's side, serving as honour guard to their beloved creator. Driven by their still-fiery temperament, the Blood Angels' fearsome reputation as shock troops came to feed a rivalry between them and the equally assault-oriented World Eaters Legion.
Yet, in truth, the Blood Angels were never as ferocious as the World Eaters, for the wise influence of Sanguinius tempered their bloodlust. Of all the Primarchs, Sangunius formed the closest bonds to Horus, Leman Russ and Jaghatai Khan. Though he was yet in the early days of his legend, Sanguinius was thought to be the noblest of the Primarchs and was ever deep in the Emperor's counsel.
Even Horus, later the proud Warmaster of the Great Crusade, sensed a purity of spirit in Sanguinius that he could never match, a oneness with their father that no other Primarch could ever hope to approach. Whilst many of his brothers fought the Great Crusade solely out of the joy of battle, Sanguinius fought to secure the golden era of peace and prosperity which would surely follow. His vision was the Emperor's, a hope of Mankind united in peace and prosperity. Alas, it was not to be.
The Burning of Anahktor
Anahktor is a star system no longer listed on any Imperial map. It features in no record of conquest nor on any battle honour or in any Divisio Militaris archive. Only in the Great Library of Terra, hidden deep beneath the Imperial Palace and among the ranks of the Blood Angels themselves can the story of this long forsaken battlefield be found.
It is a cautionary tale still told among the ranks of that crimson-clad brotherhood, a tale of an angel's rage and a Legion's shame. It shows, perhaps, that the two Legions, the old IXth Legion and the Blood Angels, are not as far apart as history would have us believe.
Once to be found in the area of space travelled by the Expeditionary Fleets, but a short sojourn through the Warp past proud Anvillus itself, Anahktor of old was a small haven of Mankind that had weathered the storm of Old Night. It had done so by being ready to sacrifice what it must and take what it could, its small but effective void navy making a wasteland of neighbouring star systems in order to provide for its people, surviving on plunder and slaves.
Indeed, so efficacious was this strategy that by the time the first of the Imperium's scout ships arrived on its borders, Anahktor was not only surviving but thriving. So secure did it feel in its small glory and petty strength that those first Imperial scout ships were met with fire and thunder.
The first of the Imperium's fleet to receive word of this attack was a Host of the Blood Angels, Sanguinius at its head and 12 companies of his sons standing ready. Already engaged in an augur sweep of the nearby sectors, Sanguinius ordered their course diverted to Anahktor and the fleet arrayed in attack formation.
They broke aether with gun ports open and cannon primed, and in a short, brutal engagement broke the enemy fleet waiting for them, the marauder craft of Anahktor proving little match for the brute battleships of the Blood Angels. Within short order, the IXth Legion had pushed on to the first inhabited body in the system, throwing a cordon of iron around it and lighting the sky with the immense firepower of their cannon.
A small airless orb, the inhabitants of Anahktor Extremis were limited to a garrison of Anahktoran soldiers, waiting in sub-surface habitats whose presence was betrayed only by the guns that bracketed the sky above them. Uninhibited by any civilian presence, Sanguinius ordered an immediate assault, eager to deny the enemy time to regroup and recover its momentum, committing the 19th, 67th, 171st and 94th Companies to the attack. Preceded by a brief, but highly accurate bombardment that cracked the surface and shattered the guns of the Anahkroran defenders, a path was opened for the Drop Pods and assault craft that followed on its heels.
Brutal close quarter combat enveloped the cold sub-surface halls of Anahktor Extremis as the Blood Angels carved a red path through them. The enemy they fought was so heavily cybernetically augmented as to be barely recognisable as human, and were dubbed the "Iron Bulls" by the Imperium's troops for the sensory horns grafted to their skulls, though among their own people they were called the Kusarikku. Wielding primitive plasma casters and grav-lances, the Iron Bulls held against the forces of the IXth Legion for six solar hours, holding each intersection of the labyrinthine tunnels with tenacious courage and consummate skill.
All across the desolate outer worlds of the system, the same story was written in fire and blood. The Blood Angels harried and beset the enemy, who resisted with great valour, fighting to the bitter end on every outpost and imposing upon the IXth Legion a high cost for each world that fell. Amid the asteroid fortresses of the belt that encircled the outer system, the Iron Bulls staged ambushes and feigned retreats, drawing the Legionaries of the IXth Legion towards craters rigged with blasting charges, sacrificing their own lives to stymie the Legion's advance.
On Anahktor Median, the gateway to the inner system, they drew a line with their own bodies, fighting a sprawling battle across 50 kilometres of shallow acidic sea and rocky archipelagos, riding great multi-legged augmetic frames like mounts into battle and stalling the advance of nine companies of the Blood Angels. The warriors of the IXth Legion came to admire the courage of the foe, and took great pride in the victories won against them.
Sanguinius himself gave the order for a six hour ceasefire in honour of the foe's valour and sacrifice, for though the Anahktorans refused all attempts at direct communication, he wished to offer a salute to the warriors who had fought so well. Privately, the winged Primarch lamented the need for their destruction and hoped that the pause, his ships arrayed in space just short of the system's throneworld, would convince the Anahktoran leadership to bow before the Emperor and wed their strength to that of the Imperium.
However, what came next was to shatter any such hope and kindle the wrath of the Great Angel in its full and terrible glory. Advancing under a flag of truce, several Anahktoran craft approached the Blood Angels flagship Red Tear, each a wallowing transport barge signalling in the obtuse language of Anahktor that they bore gifts for the Primarch, scans revealing no targeting or aberrant energy readings until the moment the first barge erupted in flame. One hundred and thirty-two Blood Angels died in the explosion that ripped through the fleet, doubling at a stroke the number of casualties the Legion had sustained in the campaign.
Three cruisers sustained significant damage, and one, the Inculcator, was gutted and left aflame from stem to stern, damaged so severely that it would later be abandoned. His trust betrayed and many of his sons dead as a result of the low treachery of his foe, Sanguinius let slip the collar of discipline and called for a Day of Revelation, a reckoning for Anahktor and a redress of the wrongs done to his Legion. The people of Anahktor had proven themselves unworthy of a place within the Imperium and unworthy of the Great Angel's respect or mercy.
Surging forwards, the Blood Angels vessels blasted a bloody path through the inner system, annihilating those few squadrons of Anahktor's defence fleet that remained and rained nuclear fire onto every isolated outpost, leaving only ashes and fields of glass. The Anahktor responded in desperation, shielding military targets with civilian populations, launching suicide runs with more fire-ships and attempting further ambushes. All failed in the face of the Blood Angels' unleashed fury and their ships enveloped Anahktor Centralis, a brutal constellation of lights in the night sky.
There they waited, while below, the Iron Bulls rushed to man defences, herding their people to form shields around gun platforms and fortresses while the Blood Angels watched. Then, as dawn's purple haze coloured the horizon, the Blood Angels fell from the sky, at their head a host of the silver-masked Erelim, the Order of the Angel's Tears who served as the Blood Angels' Destroyers.
They chose as their target the single largest force of the Iron Bulls marshalling in defence of their throneworld, seeking to cut the heart from the enemy in a single stroke. Like meteors, the Drop Pods smashed home amid the Iron Bulls' lines, some opening like lethal flowers to reveal missile pods that spat flame and death, while others disgorged crimson-clad killers, their Bolters roaring. With the formation of the enemy broken and its soldiers in disarray, the main force of the IXth Legion descended on fiery contrails, alighting at the battle's frenzied centre and throwing themselves into the fray without hesitation.
What had begun as a battle swiftly became a rout and then a slaughter, as the Blood Angels pierced the heart of the enemy formation and slew their command echelon, throwing the Iron Bulls into chaos. The enemy driven before them, the Blood Angels, without pausing to regroup or resupply, drove forwards relentlessly.
Their sorrow concealed by the ornate masks of their Order, and bound by the oaths they had sworn, the Erelim and their brothers swept across the planet like a crimson tide. Any who raised arms against them were slaughtered, for this was not to be a battle, a matching of wits and blades in honest combat, but instead a massacre. The Blood Angels brought forth those devices and munitions that Sanguinius rarely gave countenance to the use of -- the terror known as Phosphex and the invidious curse of rad weapons.
Cities became charnel fields of broken corpses, forests and fields became cinders and ash, and fortresses open and blackened wounds. Anahktor Centralis was not conquered, but ruined. No man at arms was left alive, no stone left upon stone and those of its people that survived the fighting would become serfs to labour in the belly of the Legion's ships or in distant manufactoria.
Thus ended the fighting in Anahktor, a bloody tribute to the terrible rage that still festered at the heart of the IXth Legion even after its unification with its Primarch. The last of the Iron Bulls to fall did so at the hand of Sanguinius himself, who cut a path into the palace of that system's petty ruler alone, save for a small cadre of his Sanguinary Guard. As they deployed, the last of the Iron Bulls, in huge horned exo-skeletal suits of rippling synthetic muscle and great diamond-toothed chain blades, sought to bar the Great Angel from his prize, but the Primarch was more than a match for such clumsy engines of war.
Borne through the air on white wings now spattered in blood and gore, he swooped upon the ungainly suits, cleaving them apart or plucking them from the ground only to release them in a plummet to their doom, swiftly clearing his path to the throne room. There, the Great Angel himself dragged the quivering lordling from his throne and brought him forth to witness the ruin of his kingdom, the wrath of the Emperor and the price of his own treachery.
Icons of an Empire
At the height of the Great Crusade, a thousand times a thousand worlds were brought into the fold of the Imperium, uncounted billions of men-under-arms fought in the name of the Emperor and created legends that endured for millennia. Of those legends it is the Legiones Astartes that stand tallest and shine brightest, each a burning brand of martial excellence that lit the way for the mortal armies that followed on their heels, and of those Legions there were some that captured the spirit of the Great Crusade more than others.
Sanguinius' Blood Angels found themselves among that group; the speed of their advance, the spectacle of their assaults and the awe that their appearance inspired all served to make them favoured subjects of the Remembrancers who followed the fleets.
They fought the noblest of campaigns, unleashed upon the foulest of those creatures that hid in the darkness of the void, and were tasked with the liberation of those held under the lash of the alien. They slew monsters and made safe the far flung worlds of humanity, and those whom they liberated saw in them true angels come down from the heavens to their aid.
Among their own transhuman kin they also found great acclaim, in part for the campaigns fought at their sides in past years, the skill at arms which they displayed on the field and the magnanimous nature of their warriors. Yet, much of their reputation and the good will extended them was to come from the noble mien of the Angel himself, for of all the Primarchs of the Emperor, he was the most beloved and admired.
The sons of the Emperor had often been a fractious brotherhood, with many bearing grudges or perpetuating rivalries among their kin. Among them all, Sanguinius was perhaps the most admired and respected, for he held none of his brothers lesser than himself and met each with an open warmth and goodwill that calmed even the rage of his grim brother Angron. Of them all perhaps only Horus was held in more respect, though the Lord of Cthonia's colder demeanour and more brooding aspect left him more aloof than the winged Primarch.
Sanguinius was welcome amongst the courts of worlds without count, from the exotic thrones of far colonies to the baroque nexus chambers of the Mechanicum's distant realms. He embodied the pride and optimism of those golden years, when it seemed that none could stand against the armies of the Emperor and the galaxy was laid bare for their conquest.
The Ullanor Crusade was to be the proof of that destiny, a grand campaign to shatter the greatest remaining rival of Mankind's dominance -- the Orkish empire of Urlakk Urg. Here, Horus would break that foe in the largest battle of the Great Crusade, winning a grand victory, and yet even after that accomplishment at the Triumph of Ullanor that would follow, many expected Sanguinius, who had not been present for the fighting, to receive the laurels of the new rank of Warmaster as the Emperor retired back to Terra.
Such was the reputation and glamour of the Great Angel and his warriors, now seen as peerless warriors and scholars both, that few doubted Sanguinius' worthiness to act as the Emperor's proxy, though some succumbed to petty jealousy. This was the apex of glory for the Blood Angels and their sire, a peak they would stand upon for only a short span and from which their fall would crack the very foundation of the Imperium.
Just as it seemed that the Emperor's dream could be fulfilled, the Great Crusade ended in the most terrible and unimaginable way. It came to pass that the Imperial Warmaster Horus, the greatest of the Emperor's genetic sons, fell to the temptations of the Chaos Gods and became swayed by their promises of power. He naturally sought to sway his brother Primarchs to his cause.
Horus and Sanguinius had fought many campaigns by each other's side. Their relationship was so close it had even incited jealousy amongst their brother Primarchs on occasion. But in his now-black heart Horus knew that Sanguinius would never willingly betray their father, and so he had formulated an audacious plan to either convert the Blood Angels Legion to his cause or utterly destroy them.
To this end, Horus had discovered solar decades earlier a carefully guarded secret of the Blood Angels when he fought alongside Sanguinius' IXth Legion in a xenocidal campaign on the world of Melchior. Horus had come upon his brother Primarch in a sunken ruin of an alien chapel and had witnessed the unthinkable -- Sanguinius murdering one of his own Astartes. Sanguinius explained his actions to his bewildered brother. He had discovered that within his own genome there was a trait that lay buried and waiting to be awakened. This genetic flaw would later be known as the Red Thirst.
Sanguinius had been aware of the flaw in his genome for several years, keeping the truth from the Emperor and his fellow Primarchs. Some of the Angel's sons had learned a measure of the truth, but only Azkaellon, First Captain Raldoron, the IXth Legion's Master Apothecary who remained on the Legion homeworld of Baal and a few others were fully aware of the extent of this affliction. They were united with Sanguinius in finding a way to repair this flaw, always referred to as "the Flaw."
Horus swore to his brother that he would never speak of this matter to anyone, even their father, and he would keep this promise for as long as Sanguinius wished him to. The Angel was touched by his brother's gesture and expressed his gratitude. Horus solemnly vowed to help Sanguinius deal with the matter, however long it took. Little did they know at the time that one day a corrupted Horus would take full advantage of this knowledge and attempt to turn the Blood Angels' Flaw against them.
Decades later, Horus exploited this knowledge of the Blood Angels' genetic deficiency. The Warmaster believed that he had found a way to sway his "beloved" brother's Legion to his cause and the service of the Chaos Gods. In his capacity as Imperial Warmaster, Horus ordered Sanguinus to gather his entire Legion and make for the Signus Cluster, a triple star system located in the Ultima Segmentum near the Eastern Fringe.
Sanguinius' IXth Legion was to cleanse the 7 worlds and 15 moons that comprised the Signus Cluster of xenos invaders known as the Nephilim and release the humans settled there from their xenos-overlords in what would later be known to history as the Signus Campaign. To further entice Sanguinius, the Warmaster informed him that he had found the means by which the Blood Angels would be able to excise the darkness from within their souls, and rid themselves of the Flaw.
If Sanguinius obeyed the Warmaster's command in this matter, then Horus promised him that the Blood Angels would find a new freedom. Sanguinius had no reason to doubt Horus, for they were as close as two brothers could be. Many of their fellow Primarchs were even jealous of the closeness between the pair.
Sanguinius relished the opportunity to once again prove the value of their bond. Unaware of the Warmaster's perfidy, Sanguinius willingly obeyed his brother Primarch and immediately set out for this volatile region of space.
Unbeknownst to the Blood Angels, they were blindly walking into a deadly trap, for the Signus Cluster had fallen prey to agents of the Ruinous Powers and become a veritable Realm of Chaos in realspace -- a system of hellish Daemon Worlds under the rule of a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh known as Kyriss the Perverse.
When the Blood Angels arrived in-system, their fleet was ambushed by the malevolent daemonic forces of the Warp, crippling or killing many of their Navigators and Astropaths in the initial onslaught. The Blood Angels now faced the true fury of Chaos for the first time. Kyriss sent an image of himself to Sanguinius, declaring his lordship over the system in the name of Slaanesh and taunting the Primarch into taking it back from him.
Though they had never faced such a foe, the Blood Angels prepared their counterattack, sure that they would prevail. Rising to the challenge of the vile Greater Daemon, the Blood Angels Legion attacked the daemon host of Kyriss, launching a series of attacks across the seat of the daemon's power, the world of Signus Prime.
The Black Rage
During the battle, Sanguinius came face-to-face with a new nightmare known as Ka'bandha, a Greater Daemon of Khorne. During the battle that ensued, Sanguinius was sorely wounded and temporarily incapacitated. He witnessed Ka'bandha slaughter 500 of his sons with a single blow of his mighty axe. The psychic backlash of the deaths of so many of his sons blasted Sanguinius into unconsciousness.
With the fall of their Primarch and the slaughtering of their brethren, the Blood Angels Legion was consumed by a black rage that drove them into a berserker's fury as they charged into the daemonic horde and in their madness they smashed the horde of daemons asunder. Yet the brutal violence of the daemon Ka'Bahnda had unleashed something dark within the psyche of the Space Marines, a thirst for blood and violence that would not be slaked until every taint of Chaos had been erased from the planet.
At the same time, the Blood Angels Librarians violated the edicts of the Council of Nikaea and used their abilities to heal and revive their Primarch. Once Sanguinius awoke, he assaulted Ka'Bandha and defeated the Bloodthirster. Even the mighty Kyriss was banished back to the Immaterium by Sanguinius.
Only when the planet was fully cleansed did the rage of the Blood Angels finally subside. Though Signus had been freed from its thrall to the forces of Chaos, the cost of victory was far higher than any could have wished. The strange berserker rage the Blood Angels had experienced had left a brooding shadow on their souls that would manifest in the centuries to come as the great curse (later known as the Black Rage) that would afflict the Blood Angels and their later successors.
Arrival in the Five Hundred Worlds
Following the end of this long, grueling campaign, the Blood Angels attempted a Warp jump towards the Throneworld. Despite the impassable torrential Ruinstorm that had been conjured by the Word Bearers during the Battle of Calth, the fleet's Navigators were able to pinpoint a shining beacon, which they initially assumed was the Astronomican. Desperate, the IXth Fleet's Navigators followed it.
Sensing "safe harbour", the fleet immediately executed a Warp translation back into realspace. When they finally exited the Warp, they found themselves hundreds of light-years off course, nowhere near their targeted destination. It was by no accident that the Blood Angels had arrived at the current, unknown destination, as Sanguinius had ordered his Navigators to strike for the strongest telepathic signal.
They had inadvertently detected the shining beacon of the alien artefact, known as the Pharos, on the distant world of Sotha. Unknowingly, the Blood Angels had traveled clear across the galaxy, and ended up in the Realms of Ultramar. Soon they were approached by a skirmish line of unidentified starships. They were hailed by the bright cobalt-blue vessels, trimmed with white and shining gold. The Blood Angels were greeted by the master of the XIIIth Legion himself, Roboute Guilliman, who welcomed his brother Primarch to the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar.
Imperium Secundus and the Trial of the Night Haunter
With the Imperium severed in two halves, isolated and ignorant of each other as a result of the raging tumult of the Ruinstorm, the light of the Astronomican was no longer visible from Ultramar and no word of the Emperor had been heard for several Terran years. Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman declared the foundation of the "Imperium Secundus" as a means of continuing the fight against the Traitors and securing the Emperor's great work.
When the Blood Angels arrived at Ultramar having escaped the Signus Cluster, Guilliman proclaimed Sanguinius as the rightful heir to the Emperor. Not long after, the Dark Angels also followed the guiding beacon of the Pharos and arrived in the Five Hundred Worlds. Lion El'Jonson was declared the Lord Protector of the realm and supreme master of all its military forces, a title equivalent to that of "Warmaster". Unfortunately, the foundation of Imperium Secundus was marred when Night Lords Primarch Konrad Curze, who had been hiding within the bowels of the Dark Angels flagship, escaped from the Invincible Reason and rampaged across Macragge, intent on spreading as much terror and chaos as he could.
Eventually, both Guilliman and the Lion confronted the cornered Curze. Their attempt to kill him were unsuccessful as the Night Lords Primarch had laid a cunning trap. He brought down an entire chapel upon the two Primarchs through the use of planted explosives and fled the scene. Guilliman and the Lion were only saved through the direct intervention of the Loyalist Iron Warriors Warsmith Barabas Dantioch, who was communicating with Guilliman at the time of the attack, through a portal that was opened by the Pharos. On instinct, the Warsmith reached through the portal and pulled the two Primarchs to safety on Sotha.
Continuing his obsessive hunt for the elusive Night Haunter over the following two years, the Lion and Guilliman continuously clashed over policies, especially in regards to the security of Imperium Secundus, and how best to deal with rebels on Macragge, that the Lion was certain Curze had something to do with. Following a suicide bombing of an Astartes convoy, the Lion used the Ist Legion to establish martial law on Macragge.
Certain that Curze was hiding within the rebellious Illyrium region, the Lion advocated the use of a massive orbital saturation bombardment of the region to ensure Curze's death. Facing resistance from both Emperor Sanguinius and Guilliman, the Lion instead, opted to deploy his Legion's Dreadwing in order to flush out Curze and the rebels. During an attack on the city of Alma Mons, the Lion finally cornered the elusive Night Lords Primarch and the two came to blows.
After a brutal confrontation, the Lion eventually emerged victorious, and questioned his brother why he had turned away from the Emperor, to which Curze simply replied, "Why not?" Curze went on to explain that there was a monster in his head that he could not stop. Though he finally had Curze at his mercy, the Lion couldn't bring himself to kill his brother, and instead pummeled him again.
The Lion ripped Curze's backpack from his battle-plate and lifted him over his head, and then brutally brought him down across his knee, breaking Curze's spine and paralysing him. The Lion brought the grievously wounded Curze before Sanguinius and Guilliman to stand trial.
A Triumvirate was later held, where Curze defended his actions, but refused to admit his guilt. Since each of the Primarchs had been created to perform a specific function, Curze was merely acting according to his own nature, and therefore had committed no crimes. The Night Lords Primarch then further divided Guilliman and the Lion by accusing the latter of secretly ordering orbital bombardment in direct violation of Guilliman's orders.
Enraged, the Lion sought to kill Curze, but was halted by the words of Sanguinius and Guilliman snatched El'Jonson's Lion Sword and broke the blade across his armoured thigh. El'Jonson was furious, but Sanguinius dismissed the Lord Protector, ending the Triumvirate. The Lion was next banished from the Imperium Secundus.
Taking his leave, the Lion and the Dark Angels withdrew from Macragge only hours later. Standing in the chamber of the Tuchulcha Engine aboard the Invincible Reason, the Lion brooded over recent events, and questioned his actions over the course of the previous solar decades and many of the decisions he had come to regret.
As the Dark Angels made their final preparations to depart back to Caliban, the Lion went back to the Tuchulcha Engine's chamber. He then ordered the device to teleport himself and Holguin, "Deathbringer", the voted-lieutenant of the Deathwing, back to Macragge.
As Sanguinius was preparing to execute Curze for his crimes, both the Lion and his lieutenant teleported directly into the chamber and told Sanguinius to halt the execution. As troops entered the room, demanding the Lion to surrender, El'Jonson explained his reasons for the intrusion. He reasoned that Curze had the ability to see precognitive visions of potential futures, and repeated the Night Haunter's claim that his death would one day come at the hands of an Assassin sent by the Emperor.
If this was true, the Lion reasoned, than it was proof that the Emperor was still alive. Sanguinius knew the Lion's explanation rang true, as he recognised that his own precognitive visions of his inevitable death at the hands of the Warmaster would also eventually come to pass. When Guilliman demanded to know what would become of Curze, the Lion knelt before his two brothers and promised that he would be Curze's gaoler.
Age of Darkness
If the Great Crusade was Mankind's finest hour, then the Horus Heresy was surely its blackest. Brother fought brother, with quarter neither offered nor given. Heroes were slain, worlds burned and the Emperor's dreams of peace were shattered forever. In the midst of this darkness, the Blood Angels never wavered, but held true at the Emperor's side.
Sanguinius now stepped into the void left by Horus' desertion, assuming command of the Emperor's loyal forces. In doing so, he thrust the Blood Angels into the brutal forefront of the fighting. The rivalry with the World Eaters now escalated into bitter enmity as the two Legions found themselves serving different masters, and their confrontations were to be amongst the bloodiest and hardest fought of that bloodiest of wars. It is said that Horus hated and feared Sanguinius more than any of his brothers and wove many strategies to ensnare or slay him, though all failed.
Siege of Terra
For all the might of the Emperor, for every effort of Sanguinius and the remaining Loyalist Primarchs, the forces of Horus drove all before them. In too short a time, the Emperor of Mankind was assailed within His great Imperial Palace on Terra. Fortunately for the Loyalist forces, the Blood Angels were present for the titanic final battle of the Horus Heresy, the Siege of Terra.
The Blood Angels, Imperial Fists and White Scars defended the Imperial Palace with zealous fervour. Sanguinius himself led the defence of the outer walls. Three times the Warmaster's troops gained footholds on the walls, and three times they were driven back by Sanguinius and his Blood Angels. When the wall was broken by attacks from Chaos Titans, Sanguinius organised the retreat to the Inner Palace. At the Eternity Gate, the entrance to the Emperor's throne room, Sanguinius defied the Chaos horde long enough to buy time for the Loyalist wounded to be carried inside.
As the last were carried in, Sanguinius went to return to the Palace. Before the Eternity Gate could shut, Ka'Bandha, Arch-Daemon of Khorne and Lord of all the Bloodthirsters, attacked the Primarch. The Angel and Greater Daemon fought in the air over the Imperial Palace, but Sanguinius, weary and taken by surprise, was cast down. Ka'Bandha hovered in the air, laughing gutturally at his opponent's despair. Sanguinius, however, was not dead. Sanguinius regained his senses, and took to the air. Flying as swift as a missile, the Primarch seized the daemon's ankle and lifted it high into the air. Before the daemon could bellow its fury, Sanguinius broke its back over his knee. He hurled the carcass back at the Chaos horde, who howled in fury. The Eternity Gate was closed.
When the imminent arrival of the Space Wolves, Dark Angels and Ultramarines Legions forced Horus to gamble on forcing a final battle with the Emperor by dropping the Void Shields protecting his Battle Barge, the Vengeful Spirit, Sanguinius, Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists, and the Legio Custodes joined the Emperor in a daring teleport assault upon the vessel. The Chaotic sorcery protecting the ship scattered the Loyalist strike force throughout the vessel after they teleported. Only Space Marines could have withstood the horrors of that Daemon-haunted starship, and even they were sorely pressed. Sanguinius was swiftly separated from his comrades and, so the legend tells, was brought through artifice before the treacherous Horus. As Sanguinius possessed the psychic ability of foresight, it seems almost certain that he knew he was going to his death. It remains unknown whether fatalism or loyalty brought Sanguinius aboard. The Blood Angels themselves have no doubt on the matter.
The two Primarchs and former brothers finally met on the command deck. In evil cunning, Horus offered Sanguinius a position of power if he would renounce his loyalty to the Emperor, and Sanguinius refused. Thus rejected, Horus flew into a rage and attacked. Even at the peak of his powers Sanguinius could not have hoped to prevail against the monster Horus had become, and the Primarch was weary and wounded from his travails on Terra. Despite his grievous wounds, Sanguinius managed to match Horus' martial prowess, even at the height of his daemonic power, and Horus was forced to deal with the Angel by psychic methods.
In his limitless malice, Horus made sure that Sanguinius' death was the most painful and foul that the boundless evils in his service could administer. The Warmaster's psychic assault was so powerful, it echoed down through the generations of Sanguinius' sons who are haunted by its echo within their souls to this day. When the Emperor at last entered Horus' sanctum, he found His rebellious Warmaster standing above Sanguinius' broken, bleeding corpse. In the battle that followed, Horus was finally vanquished, though the Emperor too was cast down near to death. There are many tales told of this final battle and, though the exact facts are long lost, one detail holds through all the recitations through all the millennia since. Despite the Emperor's great power, he could never have bested Horus had not the blade of Sanguinius wrought a chink in the Warmaster's armour, and because of this, the Blood Angels claim him to be the greatest of the Primarchs.
Brothers In Blood
"Roboute Guilliman. Guilliman the tactician. Guilliman the warrior. History will remember the Primarch of the Ultramarines by many titles. To us of the Blood he will have only one -- Guilliman the butcher. With law and edict, Guilliman ripped the heart from the Legions. Even his own sons were not spared his treachery. Where Horus had sought to use a hammer blow, Guilliman used a duellist's blade. In the end, the result was the same. Brother became cousin. Cousin became exile. Guilliman's new chapter, his new beginning, was a sundering to all that had come before. Stripped of honour and tithe, of history and deed, we were all of us undone. Bastards of war and victory, we were Angels no more."
The Imperium was forever changed in the wake of Horus' defeat. No longer would the beneficent Emperor take a martial role in Mankind's defence, for His shattered body was now sustained only by the life-giving machineries of the Golden Throne. The reconstruction of His empire and the final rout of the traitor forces would now fall to the surviving Primarchs, men such as Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists and Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines. Indeed, it was Guilliman who would have the greatest lasting effect upon the now-leaderless Blood Angels.
Through the Codex Astartes -- that great treatise on the restructuring and ordering of the Space Marines -- Guilliman's legacy would reshape the Blood Angels Legion into the Chapters that defend the Imperium to this day. Guilliman sought to ensure no one man could ever command the destructive power of a Space Marine Legion again. To do this, he insisted that the Legiones Astartes be divided into smaller 1,000-man autonomous units. Some of his surviving brothers railed against this dissolution as a perceived injustice and a sleight against the integrity of their Legions. At a time when emotions were running high and weary souls saw treachery and judgement in every remark, this edict threatened to cause a new Imperial civil war. In the end, though, Guilliman could not be denied, and one by one his surviving brothers and the leaderless Legions relented. The Legiones Astartes were no more: the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes were born.
For the Blood Angels, this division was a cruel double blow. Their Primarch, Sanguinius, was dead, slain at Horus' own hands in the final moments of the Heresy and now, without time to grieve their father nor recoup the terrible casualties suffered in the Siege of Terra, this close-knit fraternity was to be sundered. The survivors lacked an obvious leader and, worse still, the first signs of their flaw were beginning to manifest within the ranks of the Legion. It is fair to say that the Blood Angels' encounters with the scions of Chaos had left the Legionaries scarred and the horror of their master's death was a visceral wound upon their souls. Since fighting against the Daemons of Khorne and Slaanesh at Signus Prime, a nascent thirst had awoken within the Legion, and the aftershock of Sanguinius' death at the hands of the Warmaster had cursed their souls with what would come to be known as the Black Rage. Though the Heresy was over, for the Blood Angels, their greatest trial was just beginning.
From the midst of this sorrow and tragedy arose the Chapters of this new birth, referred to as the Second Founding. While each Legion worked out for itself how to divide (and some Legions experienced a more harrowing road than even the Blood Angels), the Sons of Sanguinius were at last united by the sole survivor of the Sanguinary Guard, Azkaellon. Accounts from this time differ greatly, but all concur that at Azkaellon's counsel the survivors of the Legion formed a small number of Chapters, commanded by the champions of the Blood Angels. Each took on the traditions and rites of their Legion as the basis for their new brotherhood and adopted a fitting name. Thus began a time of rebuilding for the Sons of Sanguinius, who separated to establish themselves as autonomous organisations. Notably, even in this time of disarray, the vengeful Chapter Master Nassir Amit, known by his peers as the "Flesh Tearer", led his eponymous Chapter on a blood-soaked crusade to seek out and annihilate any vestige of the Traitor Legions. Their actions, even in the early years of the Flesh Tearers' existence, laid the foundations upon which they would be known, and judged, ever after.
In the thousands of Terran years that have followed, there have been several subsequent foundings of Space Marine Chapters, and through these the number of Chapters raised from the genestock of the Blood Angels has also risen. Each newly-forged Chapter helps to cement the legacy of their Primarch Sanguinius, ensuring it lives on as long as they fight. But as time has passed it is clear that, though all of these Chapters started their life from the same Legion, they have all diverged from their founding Legion to some greater or lesser degree. Some, such as the Angels Encarmine, have established a reputation beyond reproach and a legacy of heroism every bit as honourable as their founding Legion. Others, however, are barely recognisable. Indeed, the Carmine Blades are a Chapter who passed, perhaps accidentally, as descendants of the Ultramarines Legion for a considerable time, until a chance meeting with Astorath the Grim in the late 41st Millennium revealed the truth behind their origins. The Carmine Blades had at last an answer for the strange symptoms that they had worked so hard to conceal from those around them -- they now had a name for the Red Thirst and Black Rage that they had hitherto been unable to explain.
Recent History (41st Millennium)
It is well known that the Sons of Sanguinius keep a firmly united counsel, convening on matters of grave import from time to time. In such conclaves, it is typical that all present defer to the Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, although over the course of 10,000 standard years there have been occasions when the voice of another is considered senior.
One such case was when the newly-appointed Lord Commander Kalael succumbed to the Black Rage in the 35th Millennium and his brothers from the Angels Sanguine and Angels Vermillion jointly took up the mantle of seniority for a time, overseeing the reaction of the Sons of Sanguinius to WAAAGH! Vangrod, the Chaos Incursion of Silas Gorehand and the latter phase of the Nova Terra Interregnum. This spirit of cooperation has led the Sons of Sanguinius to stand together time and again, uniting in common cause against terrible enemies.
A great example of this is the fighting on the archeotech world of Hell's Hollow in the 37th Millennium, where the Angels Encarmine, Blood Drinkers and Blood Angels joined forces to crush a vast Chaos Cultist uprising, and the subsequent daemonic invasion. Likewise, in the 40th Millennium, a Knights of Blood and Flesh Tearers strike force routed a massive Aeldari army from the Maiden World of Kal Eyath. This cooperative attitude does not just extend to brother Chapters of the Blood Angels, either, and many times the successors have found themselves fighting beside other Imperial armies, such as during the Third War for Armageddon where the Flesh Tearers and Blood Angels bolstered the defences against innumerable Orks, or when the Blood Drinkers rescued the Cadian 35th Regiment on Helios Alpha.
Second War for Armageddon
As the Ork WAAAGH! Ghazghkull ravaged the Imperial hive world of Armageddon, the Blood Angels, as well as their brothers from the Ultramarines and the Salamanders Chapters, arrived on Armageddon to lend the beleaguered planet's defenders aid during the Second War for Armageddon. Such was Lord Commander Dante's reputation that Tu'Shan and Marneus Calgar, the Chapter Masters of the other two Chapters, ceded overall command of the entire Space Marine strike force on Armageddon to him. The Blood Angels bore the brunt of the close-quarter fighting, which eventually culminated in a massed Drop Pod assault into the heart of the Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka's Ork forces that finally broke the back of the massive Greenskin army.
Blood Angels Civil War and the Fabius Bile Incident
The future Blood Angel Rafen was born on the world of Baal Secundus, the son of a tribal chieftain and the brother of Arkio. The two brothers were both Aspirants in the Blood Angels Chapter's Blood Trials to see if they would become Space Marine neophytes. After being challenged to a seemingly simple task by the Blood Angels Sergeant Koris, Rafen failed and despairingly proceeded to march into the desert, expecting to die for his loss in the Blood Trials. However, the Thunderhawk that bore Sergeant Koris, Rafen's brother Arkio and the other successful Aspirants for recruitment by the Chapter was caught in a massive storm during its ascent, and crashed near Rafen's position. Rushing to their assistance, Rafen helped Koris defend against the dangerous native wildlife of Baal Secundus that was drawn to the crash site. Having saved the Space Marine and his new recruits, Sergeant Koris noted that due to losses among the Aspirants from the crash, there was a spot amongst the Blood Angels candidates for Rafen after all.
After becoming a Space Marine, Rafen quickly earned the rank of Sergeant and commanded his own squad among the Blood Angels. He played a prominent role in the most recent events to affect the Blood Angels, including the Primarch Sanguinius' supposed rebirth in the form of Rafen's brother Arkio as part of a plot on the part of the traitorous Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus Remius Stele, who had become a devotee of Tzeentch, to destroy the Blood Angels from within. Arkio had actually been deliberately mutated by the power of the Lord of Change as instigated by his servant Stele in an attempt to transform the Blood Angels into servants of Chaos. Rafen was ultimately forced to kill his brother during the battle on the Shrine World of Sabien between the two factions, though his actions saved the Blood Angels from Chaos corruption.
Rafen also proved instrumental in defending against the assault on the Blood Angels' fortress-monastery on Baal by Fabius Bile, the Chaos Space Marine Apothecary who was a renegade even from his own Emperor's Children Traitor Legion in his obsessive quest to genetically engineer the perfect warrior. With the Blood Angels having won the battle on Baal, Rafen was then assigned a mission by Lord Commander Dante, the Blood Angels' Chapter Master, to recover a phial of the blood of the Blood Angels' Primarch Sanguinius, which had been stolen by Bile during a conclave between the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters, the Sanguinary Brotherhood.
Rafen's second mission was to punish Fabius Bile with death for his transgressions against the Chapter. Having followed Bile futilely for some time on board the Blood Angels Strike Cruiser Tycho, Rafen received assistance from his blood-cousin Noxx of the Flesh Tearers Chapter. Together, the two Space Marine sergeants combined their squads to hunt down Bile, launching a strike against a powerful renegade Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus named Matthun Zellik. Zellik had been making deals with Bile, who had usurped the identity of another Mechanicus Tech-priest named Haran Serpens, the same alias used by Bile to infiltrate the Blood Angels Chapter on Baal. The battle against Zellik took place on board the Archeohort, an ancient and unusual Adeptus Mechanicus excavation starship manned by Servitors and members of the Mechanicus' elite cybernetic warriors, the Skitarii. By taking advantage of a turncoat within Zellik's ranks, Rafen, Noxx and their men found their way to Zellik's trophy room, where they destroyed the relics recovered by the Magos and forced his surrender, lest his work be undone. During the battle, Rafen had lost his Bolter to a trap laid by Zellik. However, among the relics and goods in Zellik's collection was a Plasma Pistol bearing the name and Chapter markings of Aryon, a long dead hero of the Blood Angels, which Rafen took as his new side arm.
With the Archeohort, the Tycho and the Gabriel (on loan from the Flesh Tearers), Rafen and his men traveled to the planet of Dynikas V, where Zellik had last had dealings with Bile. The planet itself was unusual in that it had suffered an attack by the Tyranids, but the events had left the oceans intact as well as several aquatically-mutated Tyranid specimens leaderless and feral on the planet. Sacrificing the Archeohort, Rafen, Noxx and their men descended to Dynikas V using a submersible to approach the suspected base of operations of the Primogenitor, Fabius Bile. During the approach, Rafen and his allies battled large Tyranid creatures similar in size and shape to the legendary kraken. During the underwater battle, Rafen was separated from his allies and floated to the surface, where mutated slaves of Bile captured him and took him to Bile's laboratory and fortress. Rafen, disarmed and implanted with a strange, genetically-engineered maggot that prevented him from moving, was taken before Fabius Bile himself. Bile, lost in grandeur, explained to Rafen his plan to clone none other than the Emperor of Mankind Himself. Though wounded and weakened, Rafen managed to assault the Primogenitor, and killed him by tearing out his neck.
However, Bile was not dead. Immediately after the death, Rafen was forced into a strange arena where he raced against mutants and captured Space Marines of other Chapters, lest he be killed. There, amongst the audience, Rafen saw Bile alive. During the race, Rafen convinced the morose Tarikus of the Doom Eagles Chapter to side with him in an uprising against Bile. During this time, Noxx and the remaining men under his and Rafen's command made landfall against the fortress. It was then that Ceris, a Librarian in Rafen's squad, psychically contacted Rafen and bade him to attack a strange Warp signature to prevent Bile from escaping. The Warp signature turned out to be a captured and harvested Tyranid Zoanthrope, whom Bile had bent to his will to create Warp portals and keep the Tyranids still on the planet away from his fortress. Curiously, the Zoanthrope welcomed its death by Rafen's hand.
During the ensuing battle, Fabius Bile was killed no less than four times, and the truth was revealed when Rafen and a handful of his allies encountered two copies of Bile at once: they were merely clones of the true Fabius Bile, who was not even on the planet. Still, the last clone of Bile did possess the coveted vial of the Primarch Sanguinius' blood he had stolen from the Blood Angels Fortress-Monastery, which Rafen managed to take from Bile and inject into himself to defeat him. By exploiting Bile's last ditch escape attempt, Rafen and his men and Bile's Space Marine slaves managed to teleport away from Dykinas V while the feral Tyranids ravaged the fortress.
Third War for Armageddon
Despite the bulk of the Chapter being deployed at the time of the Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) against the threat of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan in the galaxy's Eastern Fringes, Commander Dante still deployed the Blood Angels' 3rd Company, led by Captain Erasmus Tycho, to Armageddon when the hive world fell under Warboss Ghazghkull's baleful attack. Ghazghkull led the greatest Ork WAAAGH! in the history of the Imperium to assault the strategically-located hive world once more. During the ensuing conflict, Captain Tycho succumbed to the Black Rage, finally meeting a valiant end as part of the Blood Angels' Death Company upon the walls of Hive Tempestora. Brother-Captain Machiavi succeeded him in command of the 3rd Company.
The Darkest Hour
In 998.M41 a tendril of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan was on a direct course to attack the Blood Angels' homeworld, Baal. News reached Baal that the Cryptan Shield, the Shieldworlds of the Cryptus System, intended to hold back the might of the Great Devourer, had collapsed.
Exacerbating this already terrible threat was a massive Daemon army led by the dread Bloodthirster Greater Daemon of Khorne Ka'Bandha, which had already struck at Ammonai, the outermost planet of the Baal System.
Facing a possible war on two fronts, Lord Commander Dante sent out a call for all the Space Marine Chapters in the Imperium who were Successor Chapters of the Blood Angels -- the so-called "Sanguinary Brotherhood" -- to send forces to aid their ancestral Legion; the Flesh Tearers were the first to do so, deploying their entire Chapter for the war to defend Baal.
Ultimately, all the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters save for the Lamenters answered Lord Commander Dante's call, including the Knights of Blood, who had been declared Excommunicate Traitoris by the High Lords of Terra centuries before but believed themselves to still be Loyal to the Emperor and their progenitors.
Together with these allies, the Blood Angels prepared to meet the greatest threat they had known since the Horus Heresy. As the Time of Ending loomed large over the galaxy, and the Shieldworlds of Cryptus teetered on the edge of collapse, the Sons of Sanguinius had greater cause than ever to stand together.
For the sons of Baal are never stronger than when destiny demands great deeds of them -- and whether they stand and fight in the gates of the Imperial Palace on Terra, or the vitrified sands of some alien world, they will not be found wanting.
Thus the Blood Angels hurled themselves into the Imperium's greatest and most terrible wars, fighting with a dynamism and determination that leaves even their brother Space Marines in awe. Of late, they have found themselves stretched thinner than ever, fighting simultaneously in the Third War for Armageddon, in actions around the Eye of Terror, and against the onrushing horror of Hive Fleet Leviathan.
It was on the Shield Worlds of Cryptus that Commander Dante and many of his finest Battle-Brothers faced the horrors of the Cryptoid Tendril. This splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Leviathan was headed straight for the Blood Angels' homeworld of Baal, and its advance had to be stopped.
The Blood Angels prevailed against their xenos foes, yet Baal was still at risk. Dante's forces made all speed through the Warp to return and bolster the defences of the Blood Angels Chapter planet, but they were still many solar weeks distant when word reached them from High Chaplain Astorath the Grim.
A new threat had emerged in the Diamor System, an invasion by the armies of Chaos that could undermine the defences of the Cadian Gate in preparation for Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade if it were allowed to succeed. Already the high chaplain was en route at the head of the Blood Angels' 5th Company, but greater strength would be required to defeat the traitorous foe.
With a heavy heart, Commander Dante diverted much of his own force, knowing that every warrior sent away was another who could not defend Baal. Yet they were the Blood Angels. They could do no less.
Dante pressed on towards Baal with little more than an Honour Guard at his side, while the rest of his warriors turned their voidcraft and made for the Diamor System.
The tides of the Warp proved fickle. The warships of the Blood Angels' 1st and 2nd Companies made up considerable time on Astorath and his 5th Company warriors, and translated into the Diamor System within only solar minutes of their brothers. It was almost as though some other agency wished to see them burst simultaneously into realspace.
The momentary delay proved crucial, for it was all that stood between First Captain Karlaen's forces and sudden damnation. As the first captain established contact with the 5th Company's vessels, Death Company Chaplain Daenor informed him of their plight. As the Blood Angels' vessels translated in-system, they were suddenly enveloped by a severe psychic attack.
It was Warp sorcery of some kind that engulfed the Blood Angels' voidships like a storm, but worse were its effects upon the minds of all on board. The storm inflicted visions of the sort every Blood Angel had hoped never to see. The malefic sorcery struck at the Chapter's genetic curse -- it unleashed the Black Rage. Though exact numbers remained uncertain, it appeared almost the entirety of the 5th Company had been affected.
There was a moment's pause as Karlaen digested this terrible news. The Black Rage. All Blood Angels dreaded its touch, but to have it forced upon them by some artifice of the foe...it was a violation of the highest order. Astorath and Death Company Chaplain Daenor, the other Chaplains on board and their Librarians, all those with psyker training or psychic defences had survived.
The rest had fallen to the curse. The helots who made up the warships' crews had cloistered themselves in terror, with some having been slain by the affected battle-brothers. It was sheer bedlam aboard the vessels of the 5th Company.
First Captain Karlaen immediately despatched the Chaplains of both the 1st and 2nd Companies, as well as the Sanguinary Guard to aid the beleaguered survivors and bring their fallen under control in an attempt to restore their ships to order.
Vengeance and Death
After they brought their fallen brethren under control and determined the wider strategic situation in the system, the Blood Angels wasted no time in launching their attack. They could not do so quickly enough, for already it seemed as though the enemy's plans were well advanced.
Crimson Slaughter warbands were present at all the primary Mechanicus Hubs. Enemy forces were heavily investing the north and south hemispheres of the world of Amethal as expected, concentrated around multiple dig sites.
At Hub Beta-Secundus, the Death Company dropped in two waves. Chaplain Daenor and his brothers came down well within the Mechanicus complex, landing between the advance elements of the Crimson Slaughter and their prize. The Crimson Slaughter had struck at the five major concentrations of Mechanicus forces on the planet.
The five zones were given separate war zone designations by the Crimson Slaughter: Carnage, Cruelty, Hatred, Malice and Perdition. Chaos Lord Kranon the Relentless himself led the Chaos advance in War Zone Carnage.
Meanwhile, Astorath and Lemartes led the main force of the Death Company against the outer edge of the dig site's defences, seeking to encircle them in a constricting ring of carnage. The Crimson Slaughter soon found themselves trapped against the defence lines they had so recently overrun.
The devastation wrought by the Death Company was breathtaking. The Crimson Slaughter were pushed back on every front, forced to huddle amongst the wrecked defences on Beta-Secundus' outskirts. Many of the Traitors were becoming slow and clumsy, burdened by uncontrollable mutation or shuddering with Warp energies that were causing them to literally burst into flames.
The Crimson Slaughter attack soon had lost all momentum. It was fragmenting by the second, caught from both sides by Death Company and Mechanicus forces.
Daenor proudly noted that his Death Company warriors had fought with magnificent strength and courage, despite their terrible affliction. Though the enemy had thrown everything at them, from brass-sinewed Daemon Engines to disgusting Warpcraft, still Daenor's warriors had prevailed.
The Blood Angels continued to press their attack, intent on killing every last Traitor present on Amethal.
Defence of Amethal
Leading elements consisting of the 1st, 2nd and afflicted 5th Companies, Astrorath the Grim and Lemartes put the Traitor forces to flight. The arrival of the Blood Angels had changed the tides of war upon Amethal, and made possible a concerted counteroffensive on every front. Moreover, the attack by the Death Company upon Hub Beta-Secundus had seen Kranon the Relentless and his elite guard hurled back in disarray.
For a time, it looked as though the war was turning resoundingly in the Imperium's favour. When the Chaos response came, however, it proved unexpectedly devastating.
The true architect behind the Traitor's attack, the Chaos Sorcerer Xorphas of the Black Legion, had planned for this inevitable outcome. As he continued enacting a dark ritual, a large World Eaters' murderfleet arrived in-sytem, led by the infamous Berzerker Khârn the Betrayer.
Khârn's forces, led by the Berzerker Lords Korbadash and Vrakha, launched an immediate Dreadclaw Drop Pod assault on Amethal. Soon, Khârn himself appeared at the vanguard of the murderous horde, slaying Imperial forces with unimaginable brutality.
But the Butcherhorde soon faced fierce resistance as the might of the Death Company met the World Eaters head on. The favoured of Khorne duelled Death Company Chaplain Daenor, but was led into an ambush by an Imperial Reaver-class Titan of the Legio Metalica.
This attack marked the beginning of a counteroffensive by that Loyalist Titan Legion's involvement, which decimated the Traitor forces. But this merely forestalled the Traitors' advance, as their sheer numbers soon began to overwhelm the Blood Angels' forces.
Yet the expert leadership of Astorath and Chaplain Daenor restored some order to the afflicted brothers' ranks. Spearheaded by the furious Chaplain Lemartes, the Death Company then counter-charged their enemies, dictating the shape of the battle rather than waiting to be overwhelmed. It was a daring move, and one that slowed the Khornate advance.
Yet soon enough the massively outnumbered Blood Angels sustained appalling casualties. Over ninety percent of the Death Company were slain by the time multiple engines of the Legio Metalica were able to reach the engagement area. The thunderous advance of the Titans drove the Khornate forces back and fractured their cohesion, providing time for Astorath and Lemartes to extract the last remnants of their forces. Chaplain Daenor was borne from the battlefield by Astorath himself, hacked and mangled by Khârn the Betrayer.
The loss of the Death Company brothers was acceptable, for it had always been their destiny to perish in selfless battle, and they had sold themselves as dearly as they could. Astorath would not allow Daenor to perish, however, for the Death Company Chaplain was amongst the most accomplished of his order.
In the wake of the Titans' attack, the surviving Khornate warbands scattered away from Hub Beta-Secundus, marauding at will in search of blood and skulls. The surviving Legio Metalica war-engines also disengaged, the Titans' strength needed elsewhere to defend against the fresh waves of Daemon Engines being flown in from Ioline.
Nor was this danger restricted to Hub Beta-Secundus. As the war raged across the surface of Amethal, Imperial counterattacks were being driven back or ground down by huge packs of newly forged Daemon Engines.
The Traitors were receiving a steady stream of powerful reinforcements. The Imperial forces were not. By the inescapable arithmetic of war, it could only be a matter of time before the forces of Chaos were victorious.
Just as the Blood Angels' attack on the Daemon Engine factories of Ioline seemed doomed to costly failure, there came the manifestation of a mysterious power that has long aided Sanguinius' sons in their darkest hours. Blazing with golden light, the Sanguinor dropped from the storm-lashed heavens and rallied the Blood Angels.
With the help of their avenging angel, the Blood Angels successfully destroyed the Hex Infernium, denying the Traitors any further reinforcements of Daemon Engines. As the Crimson Slaughter continued to bleed against the might of the valiant Blood Angels, the Chaos Sorcerer Xorphas rejoiced as his machinations finally came to fruition.
The Chaos Lord planned to use the slaughter and carnage on Amethal to help power the Chaos artefact known as the Banshee Stone to create a vast Warp rift that would drown the Diamor System in a veritable tidal wave of Daemons.
The Screaming Pit
In the wake of the Archangels' destruction of Ioline, the war for the Diamor System entered its finale. Within solar hours of the Hex Infernium's destruction, word reached the Imperial leadership of combat escalating across the star system.
They concentrated their full force upon Hub Beta-Secundus, and the dark prize that lurked there. The Imperial forces had gathered to form a great noose, marshalling their strength before they struck the last blow to eradicate the Chaos threat once and for all. The plan belonged to Captain Aphael, whose own forces formed the southernmost element of the offensive.
As one, the armies of the Imperium advanced across the burned-out kill zone that the Mechanicus had cleared so many solar weeks before. They charged into the blizzard of fire hurled from on high by the warships of the Black Legion.
Barrage bombs sailed down to explode with enormous force, sending Knights sprawling and turning squads of Skitarii to ash. Lance beams hammered Titan Void Shields, or atomised squads of Assault Marines. Yet though the bombardment was heavy and the destruction horrific, the Imperial forces did not slacken their pace. While battle raged on the planet below, vast warships duelled in the void high above.
The adepts of the Adeptus Mechanicus understood the true prize that the Black Legion sought upon Amethal, even if few others did. It was the thing that had brought Technoarchaeologist Dominus Ivasnophon and his followers from the Forge World of Metalica to this cursed planet. It was a power of unbelievable magnitude, though the Imperium and the Traitors sought it for very different reasons.
The Chaos Sorcerer Xorphas knew its true nature, for it was he and his cabal who had located it for Abaddon. The Despoiler had set his forces in motion as soon as it had been identified.
The secret that the Black Legion sought, and that the Adeptus Mechanicus were racing against them to seize, lay deep beneath the surface of Amethal. It was ancient -- unspeakably, unimaginably so. Known as the "Banshee Stone," it was a device the size of a world, forged by godlike beings before Terra had even spawned its first single-celled organisms.
It was a cage for the infernal creatures of the Warp, a weapon to dwarf the Damnation Cache that had slipped through Abaddon's fingers on the world of Pandorax. And, according to the divinations of Xorphas and his followers, it was full to the brim with howling Daemons. It required only the correct ritual to be broken open, at which point the sudden release of so many Warp entities would tear a gaping wound in reality itself.
While battle raged between the Blood Angels and the Black Legion, the Chaos Sorcerer Lord Xorphas arrived at the lip of War Zone Carnage's main excavation site at Hub Beta-Secundus. Their objective was the "gate" of the primordial Daemon cage. Thanks to the Crimson Slaughter, Xorphas knew where the cage's wards were weakest, and where its inmates' powers could leak through.
Though the Blood Angels fought the forces of Chaos to a standstill, and looked as if they would achieve inevitable victory, the heroes of the Blood Angels felt a terrible sense that they had been manoeuvred into attacking too late. With their foes gone, the red-armoured warriors rushed down the earth ramp and into the flickering depths of the excavation site.
There they faced the screaming horror of the Chaos artefact, the Banshee Stone, a twisted crystal the size of a boarding torpedo around which blood was welling through the cracking bedrock in lapping tides.
Though the ritual was not yet complete, Xorphas realised that he was out of time. This would not be another Pandorax, however. The Banshee Stone had reached a terrible pitch of disharmony, and massive damage had been wrought upon the wards that held the Daemon cage closed. It might not rupture immediately, but it would not last long.
With a booming psychic command, the sorcerer ordered the retreat. Abandoning the Banshee Stone to run on for as long as it could, Xorphas and his cabal stormed up the ramp that led out of the pit. Accompanied by black-armoured Terminators, the sorcerer and his acolytes unleashed the full fury of their psychic might to drive back the Blood Angels who rushed to meet them.
With breathing space secured and a clear teleport lock established, the Black Legion warriors were whisked away in a blaze of Warplight, leaving its foes raging in its wake.
On the planet's surface the slaughter continued for many solar hours before the last of the Traitor forces were destroyed. Only by the combined efforts of Librarian Asmasael and his psychically-attuned brothers was the Banshee Stone's hideous lament silenced. By that time, the Traitor fleet had scattered, making for predetermined retreat coordinates.
The Blood Angels than extracted their forces from Amethal's surface. In the solar hours that followed, a roiling blast wave swept across the planet's surface, obliterating all trace of Chaos industry on the planet, and leaving nothing but blackened, glowing ash in its wake. It took seven solar days before the fury of the global firestorms burned down to fume and smoke, by which time the planet was little more than a ravaged shell.
The destruction was unimaginable, but the Blood Angels had their victory, and had dealt Xorphas' forces a dire blow. Of the Sanguinor, there was no sign. Karlaen himself had seen him escape the destruction of Ioline, a streak of gold soaring away into the heavens. When the hour was once again dark enough, he would return to aid his brothers.
The Imperium believed that they had won a great victory on Amethal, that they had foiled the Despoiler's plans once again. But Librarian Asmasael realised that the enemy had done more damage to the Banshee Stone than the Blood Angels had first realised. Perhaps defeat on Amethal had not been avoided, but merely delayed.
Unknown to the Imperial forces, already, the cracks in the crystal that served as a daemonic cage had spread beyond repair, even had anyone living known how to fix them. The energies of the Banshee Stone were no longer needed -- it was just a matter of time before Xorphas and his followers completed their diabolical task. The bars of the Daemon cage would break and it was already beginning.
As they gathered their forces to depart the system and return to Baal, the Blood Angels left behind Librarian Asmasael and a squad of 10th Company Scouts. They would remain on Amethal, attempting to gauge the true extent of the damage done, and standing watch in case the prison of the Banshee Stone should ever threaten to break asunder.
Devastation of Baal and the Indomitus Crusade
After sacrificing the Shieldworlds of the Cryptus System to fend off the xenos' earliest advance on the Baal System, the planet of Baal itself came under intense attack by Hive Fleet Leviathan. The Tyranid Hive Fleet was of such mass, even after its considerable losses, that it blotted the stars from the skies. Lord Commander Dante bolstered the formidable defences of the Blood Angels' homeworld and its moons like never before. Not one to await attack, he also sent forth scores of preemptive strike forces to delay, mislead, and whittle down the living armada. Hundreds of splinter fleets were thus defeated. Dante's call, beseeching the Blood Angels' successors to send immediate aid to their parent Chapter, did not go unheeded. The Flesh Tearers were the first to arrive, and ultimately all the Successor Chapters save the Lamenters answered the call. Even the Knights of Blood, who had been declared Excommunicate Traitoris by the High Lords of Terra, arrived to bolster the defences. It was still not enough.
Learning at an exponential rate, Hive Fleet Leviathan could not be thwarted by the same strategy twice. Advancing steadily, their superior numbers cleared the entire surrounding sector of life before the xenos made planetfall upon Baal and her twin moons. The first nineteen waves, each larger than the last, were driven off at great loss to the Blood Angels and their successor allies among the Sanguinary Brotherhood.
Five Chapter Masters fell in that bitter fighting, three in the Battle at the Dome of Angels alone. The Tyranids began the process of absorbing all biomass from Baal and its moons, absorbing even the radiation-poisoned deserts of Baal Secundus. With their defences in ruin and Baal's moons stripped and broken, the remaining Space Marines retreated back to the rubble of the Blood Angels' sprawling fortress-monastery. There, they prepared for a last stand as the next wave swept downwards. Doom, it seemed, had at last come to the Sons of Sanguinius.
It was then that the Great Rift cracked open the galaxy in the wake of the fall of Cadia to the 13th Black Crusade, and the withered Baal System was blasted by the aetheric storms. Although no further attack waves came from the Leviathan Hive Fleet, not a single Imperial defender remained alive upon the last moon, Baal Prime.
On Baal itself there were already enough Tyranids there to destroy the Imperial troops many times over. Even with no chance of victory, Commander Dante led his troops, each fighting retreat seemingly more hopeless than the last. As the final perimeter was broken, the stars reappeared. Looking skywards, the Tyranids on the surface of Baal sought contact with their Hive Fleet, but it was gone, replaced by a newly arrived Imperial fleet.
Like an angel of vengeance came Roboute Guilliman and his Indomitus Crusade. After many more battles, Baal was finally cleared of the xenos threat. A great rebuilding of both world and Chapter was undertaken, for the Blood Angels and their successors were sorely needed elsewhere in the beleaguered Imperium.
What became of the Leviathan is a mystery, although a clue was found upon the now-barren moon of Baal Prime. Xenos skulls were piled impossibly high in the much-reviled, eight-pillared symbol of one of the Blood Angels' most terrible and ancient nemeses: the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha and his army of Khornate daemons.
Primaris Space Marines
Roboute Guilliman and Archmagos Belisarius Cawl came to Baal with a kingly gift. Disgorged from the hibernation chambers aboard Cawl's freighter-hulk, the Zar-Quaesitor, hundreds of Primaris Space Marines joined in the final destruction of the Tyranid swarms. These superlative warriors wore the colours of the Blood Angels, the Blood Drinkers, the Flesh Tearers and many more. They were inheritors of the might of the Primarchs, and they bolstered the depleted ranks of their adoptive Chapters just when they were needed most. The scions of Sanguinius accepted their reinforcements gladly, along with Cawl's offering of the technologies that would allow them to recruit and create still more Primaris Battle-Brothers.
Commander Dante never expected to see his Chapter's final days, yet he faced them unbowed. He never expected to see a Primarch returned, yet he knelt before Roboute Guilliman with thankful hearts. When Guilliman named Dante as his Regent of the Imperium Nihilus, the Lord of Baal felt the hand of fate land heavy upon his shoulder. With the fury of the Great Rift unleashed, a darkness looms more terrible than any in the Imperium's history. The Blood Angels now stand before that darkness with the throne of Terra at their backs, and will have to fight like never before.
Coupled with the revitalising purpose of this new duty is the fresh hope brought by the Primaris Space Marines, the possibility that perhaps the Sons of Sanguinius will not burn out like a guttering candle. It is said amongst the Blood Angels that Commander Dante has never stood taller, even as he does so in the face of such terrible adversity. The Regent of the Imperium Nihilus has sworn to purge his dark new realm of the taint of Chaos, even should it take another thousand Terran years and more. After all, it is amidst the darkest night that such golden angels shine the brightest.
From the earliest days of the Imperium, the Blood Angels have fought to defend the Emperor's realm. In spite of the darkness that gnaws at their souls, the sons of Sanguinius have proven themselves true heroes time and again. Even now, as their days darken towards night, they remain a beacon of hope amid a galaxy of war.
Few Space Marine Chapters are as consistently committed to the defence of the Imperium as the Blood Angels. Whilst other Chapters like the Ultramarines act as the guardians of particular star systems or sectors of the Imperium, the Blood Angels see the entirety of the Imperium of Man as their responsibility to protect.
As a result, the Chapter's Astartes have been spread thin and have suffered higher-than-average rates of attrition. Nevertheless, the Blood Angels' roll of victories is amongst the most honourable in the Imperium and the fame of the Chapter has spread across the galaxy. The campaigns listed below are those that the Chapter itself considers the most worthy of commemoration.
An Age of Golden Glory, M30-M40
- Praxil Rebellion (Unknown Date.M30) - When the worlds of the Praxil System were first discovered, the Imperium was pleased by the prospect of adding them to the Emperor's realm. Though bringing Praxil into Imperial Compliance would bring the Imperium great renown, this formidable civilisation refused to bend the knee to the light of the Imperial Truth, and instead was prepared to fight to maintain its independence. Its warfleet was formidable, and managed to push back the initial invasion of the Imperial Expeditionary Fleet. The Imperium wanted Praxil's wealth and resources to harness to the needs of the Great Crusade, and so the securing of Praxil fell to an army-group-sized force of the Emperor's Children, supported by selected elements of the Imperial Army and the forces of the Mechanicum. But the initial campaign did not go well, as the Imperial forces sustained severe casualties and faced opposition at every turn, despite changing their tactics. When the Emperor's Children proved too prideful to ask for help, the War Council of Terra sent a force of Blood Angels and Imperial Fists, under the command of Chapter Master Raldoran, to assist the beleaguered Imperial forces. Despite his misgivings and slight to his personal honour, the Lord Commander Iddinam in command of the Emperor's Children accepted his cousin Legions' assistance and immediately drew up plans for prosecuting the second offensive against the Praxil. With their combined strength, the Imperial forces launched a successful second offensive against the Praxil that soon saw an Imperial victory. When the Imperium claimed its victory, however, Iddinam refused to acknowledge his brethren's role in effecting the Compliance of Praxil.
- Compliance of Melchior (ca. 999.M30) - The Imperial Compliance of Melchior was a joint campaign that was carried out by both the XVIth Legion, the Luna Wolves, and the Blood Angels Legion. The world was the last bastion of the xenos known as the Nephilim -- hulking entities of roughly humanoid shape who were smooth like carvings of soapstone, with abstract shapes approximating arms and legs. Their dome heads emerged from their shoulders without a neck, and an array of olfactory slits and eye-spots ringed the surface of their skulls. In the light, the Nephilim looked like objects crafted of blown glass, their semi-transparent flesh glowing in the bright day. The Nephilim possessed an unhurried, careful agility like that of sea-going creatures seen through the walls of a glass tank. They moved deceptively slowly through air as if they were swimming in water, but they could move fast if they wished, darting and spinning, becoming difficult to hit. The alien giants, mocking humanity's great dream of peace and unity, had left a trail of destruction behind them that had claimed a hundred worlds before they had come to rest upon Melchior. Sagan, the DeCora Spine, Orpheo Minoris, Beta Rigel II; each of these planets had been denuded of all human life, populations herded into empath-chapels as big as mountains and then slowly consumed. Even their name, Nephilim, the name of the fallen seraphs, was a name taken from ancient human mythology -- that of Terra, Caliban and Barac. The true horror of it was that the Nephilim used those they preyed upon to do their soldiering for them, snaring the pliant, the lonely, the sorrowful with their ideal of an attainable godhood. They plied their victims with stories of eternal existence for the faithful, of endless sorrow for the agnostic; and they were very good at it. Perhaps the xenos really believed that what they were doing was somehow taking their victims closer to a form beyond flesh, to an afterlife in an eternal heaven-state; it did not matter. With their advanced technology they implanted bits of themselves into their thralls to further their communion. They cut their own flesh and made living masks to mark their devotees. The Nephilim controlled minds, either through the transmitted power of their will or through the weak character of those they chose. They were an affront to the Emperor's hope for the creation of the rationalist, secular galaxy outlined by the Imperial Truth. They represented not only an offence to the purity of a precious human ideal but in their insidious cuckoo-nest displacement of those who foolishly gave them fealty. For what the aliens fed upon, what the Scout Marines of the Blood Angels and Luna Wolves had seen and reported back, were the very lives of those who cherished them. The empty chapels were piled high with stacks of desiccated corpses, bodies that had been aged years in only hours as all living essence was siphoned from them. The Primarchs of the Legions were disgusted as the true understanding of the enemy they faced was revealed. The Nephilim fed on adulation. In the strategium of his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, Horus showed his brother Sanguinius, the Primarch of the Blood Angels, the plan that he had conceived to break the will of the Nephilim. Horus wanted the Blood Angels to march shoulder-to-shoulder with their cousins, cowing the aliens with the sight of an army of thousands of powerful Astartes rolling without pause to the gates of their last bastion. And then through those gates, over the battlements, not stopping, not pausing to parley or hesitate. "Like the ocean these things sprang from," Horus had said, "we will roll over the aliens, drag them down and drown them." The sheer bombast of the plan was its greatest strength, but Sanguinius had not been easily swayed to it. This blunt, brute-force approach was better suited to their more intemperate brother Primarchs, to Leman Russ or to Angron. Sanguinius felt that neither he nor Horus were so artless, so focused upon the target to the detriment of all else, but in the end he agreed. When the time came to enact their audacious plan, Horus and his Luna Wolves met the xenos army on the sparkling white plains of the Silver Desert. Before open hostilities began, Horus attempted to parlay with the Nephilim one final time, but the overconfident xenos refused to capitulate, casually informing the humans that they could not win. Horus informed the xenos commander that it had made a grave error, for it would be the Nephilim who would fall. The Luna Wolves would be the anvil upon which the xenos would break, and the Blood Angels would be the hammer. With lightning speed, the heavens screamed as a rain of ceramite Drop Pods tore through the outer atmosphere of Melchior and fell like flaming meteors towards the Silver Desert. Falling with them were Stormbird and Thunderhawk assault gunships that turned and wheeled through the air towards the gargantuan Nephilim encampment, carrying company upon company of the IXth Legion. The speed of their assault was the key to victory; the alien invaders and their zealots had successfully been drawn out to confront the massed forces of the Luna Wolves, leaving the defences on their flanks thinned and permeable. But the xenos giants were not slow in their thinking, and the moment they understood that they had been duped, they would attempt to regroup and fortify. The Blood Angels did not allow that to happen. The Nephilim were broken and cut down, their cohesion shattered by the brutal deep strike. Caught between the brutal fury of two Space Marine Legions on Melchior's shining sands, the Nephilim were finally put to the sword.
- Compliance of the Fraemium Moons (Unknown Date.M31) - A genetically enhanced Imperial Army unit known as the G9K Division Kill was assigned to fight alongside the Blood Angels Legion during the Imperial Compliance action fought on the Fraemium Moons. This conflict was against an unknown adversary not mentioned in official Imperial records. What little is known is that the G9K was surrounded and on the verge of being annihilated, when the Blood Angels launched a massive planetary assault using Drop Pods and Stormbirds. With their help, the planet was successfully conquered and brought into Compliance.
- The Compliance of 140-20 (Urisarach/"Murder") (ca. 001.M31) - The Death World of Urisarach (officially codified as One-Forty-Twenty but unofficially dubbed "Murder" by the Astartes who fought there) was the twentieth world encountered by the 140th Expeditionary Fleet, lead by a contingent of the IXth Legion of Astartes, the Blood Angels, commanded by Captain Khitas Frome. Unable to translate the warnings from the orbiting satellite beacons placed in orbit of the world by the advanced human civilisation known as the Interex that warned approaching starships to stay away from Urisarach as a dangerous xenos species had been quarantined there, Captain Frome ordered his fleet's entire contingent of three companies of Space Marines to begin landing operations to investigate and bring the planet into Imperial Compliance. Due to the extreme atmospheric turbulence present on the world, all of the Blood Angels' assault craft attempting to land on the planet became scattered and were thrown far off-course, leaving the Imperial landing parties isolated from one another. The turbulent atmosphere also affected Vox communications and made it difficult for the Imperial forces to coordinate their movements. Ground teams soon started sending garbled transmissions to the fleet's vessels in orbit, reporting that the planet was inhabited by an extremely hostile intelligent arachnoid species, later dubbed the Megarachnids. The Megarachnids were an old enemy of the Interex civilisation, who had exiled the surviving members of the species to the world they called Urisarach as an act of mercy rather than committing xenocide as was standard policy for the Imperium. The Interex stripped the Megarachnids of their interstellar travel capabilities. To keep the aliens isolated on their new homeworld, the Interex constructed weather control devices that created powerful atmospheric disturbances and interfered with radio communications in the shape of large "trees" across the planet to deter vessels from landing on the Death World. As reports of horrific combat from the surface continued, the xenos were described as too numerous and formidable to defeat without reinforcements. Not long afterwards, the Blood Angels made urgent distress calls requesting immediate reinforcements and extraction. The last transmission received by the fleet of the 140th Expedition came from Captain Khitas Frome himself, who noted through clenched teeth, "This. World. Is. Murder." This name stuck, becoming the Imperium's informal appellation for Urisarach. A company of Astartes from the IIIth Legion, the Emperor's Children, arrived in response to the Blood Angels' distress calls. They made the same mistakes during the initial assault as the Blood Angels, and their landings were scattered by the planet's powerful atmospheric disturbances. The company took heavy casualties but managed to create a breach in the atmosphere. Just as the Emperor's Children were about to be overwhelmed, a relief force of newly-arrived Luna Wolves Astartes from the Warmaster Horus' own 63rd Expeditionary Fleet began to land through the breach in the atmosphere. The Megarachnids assaulting the Emperor's Children were scattered and a full-scale Space Marine assault on the hostile xenos of Murder began in earnest. Ten companies of Luna Wolves, the remnants of the Emperor's Children's company, tens of thousands of Imperial soldiers drawn from the Imperial Army's Byzant Janizars, and several Legio Mortis Titans proceeded to level entire swathes of the grass stalk forests and destroy every one of the atmosphere-altering "trees" they encountered, which steadily eroded Murder's atmospheric barrier. The Warmaster Horus, who commanding the Imperial assault from his flagship Vengeful Spirit in orbit, was very pleased with the progress being made. Some consideration had been paid to initiating a withdrawal from Murder now that a proper landing zone was available to allow an easy extraction of the troops, when an unexpected visitor suddenly arrived. The Primarch Sanguinius had come to Murder to inspect the dead of his original Blood Angels' landing force that had been wiped out early in the campaign. With tears in his eyes Sanguinius asked his brother Horus if he would join him in a campaign of vengeance against the foul xenos. The Warmaster replied: "Yes, let us murder Murder." Adding 5 companies of Blood Angels to the Imperial invasion force, Sanguinius fought alongside the Warmaster against the aliens. Thousands of Megarachnids poured out of the forests and canyons of Murder in an endless wave. Despite never retreating from the Imperial assault, the Megarachnids only continued to lose ground. By the sixth month of the campaign it seemed the Megarachnids would soon face extinction, when a fleet deployed by the Interex arrived in-system to determine who had assaulted the Megarachnids' reservation world. Finding contact with the highly-advanced humans of the Interex to be a more pressing issue that needed to be dealt with, the Warmaster ended the campaign against the xenos of Murder. The Megarachnids had been saved from extinction for a second time by their old enemy. Imperial records do not indicate the final fate of this savage species once the Horus Heresy began.
- Kayvas Persecution (002.M31) - Many tribes of Orks, scattered and leaderless after the hammerblow they had suffered at Ullanor during the Ullanor Crusade, had fled to the points of the etheric compass -- and many had come to rest in the Kayvas Belt, where they carved new outposts out of the drifting, mineral-rich rocks and licked their wounds while they re-armed. The Greenskin xenos soon began to strike out at nearby Imperial star systems and newly Compliant daughter colonies, and it was the duty of the Space Marine Legions to reinforce the lesson of Ullanor again. The Alpha Legion had tracked them to their lair and petitioned the Warmaster Horus for the reinforcements required to prosecute their plan of annihilation, but after the war at the world called Murder and the disastrous engagement with the civilisation known as the Interex, the Luna Wolves had been reluctant to commit ships to Alpharius' new campaign. In the end, it were the Blood Angels who agreed to assist their cousins in the XXth Legion, with Sanguinius himself marshalling a sizable intervention to support the efforts of the 88th Expeditionary Fleet. The mission, Alpharius said, would be five standard years in execution. The Angel rejected that premise and promised it would be over in one, and he committed vessels from every active Blood Angels expeditionary fleet to the cause. Sanguinius was proven right -- more or less. Just over thirteen months after the commencement of the Kayvas initiative, the Orks were almost totally annihilated, but like animals backed into a corner they fought harder than they ever had before. The 88th Expeditionary Fleet took their warships into the Kayvas Belt and vanished from the sensors of the IXth Legion's fleet, leaving the Blood Angels flotilla at the edge of the system to wait. Soon it became clear that the mission Alpharius had been so eager to secure support for was little more than picket duty. First one at a time, then in squadrons and finally in fleets, the Orks began to flee from the Kayvas System. Each time they bolted for open space beyond the mass shadow of the supergiant sun and its asteroid belt, the Blood Angels were waiting for them. Imperial starships and Ork cruisers engaged in deadly games of cat-and-mouse that lasted for weeks on end, threading in and out of the dense dust clouds at the periphery of the star system, mercilessly hunting each other. Mighty vessels clashed again and again, but months of protracted ship-to-ship engagements and naval warfare made the Sons of Baal restless. They had been bred for battles where they could face their foes, not ranged conflicts conducted over huge spans of empty vacuum. However, the chance to fight blade-to-blade did come. The behaviour patterns of the Ork crews began to change. They eschewed what little animal cunning they had and made mistakes. Instead of showing the brutish slyness they were known for, the xenos exhibited conduct that more closely resembled panic. They would take chances, running the gauntlet of the Blood Angels' blockade when the odds were stacked against them. It was almost as if there was something at their backs that they feared far more than the guns of Sanguinius' Legion. No one within the IXth Legion knew what the Alpha Legion had done to make the Orks run. All that was certain was that the Alpha Legion had gone dark, only rising to send regular communiqués out to the Blood Angels' blockade fleet that contained little more than a message to "maintain the line". Finally, Sanguinius tired of Alpharius' evasive manner and sent a frigate in past the outer marker, in defiance of the rules of engagement the two Legions had agreed upon. When the frigate returned weeks later, the crew reported that they had come across no signs of their allies, only the wrecks of Ork vessels and the bodies of dead aliens. The Alpha Legion's 88th Expeditionary Fleet comprised hundreds of warships, and yet no trace of them was sighted. The tempo of the Kayvas campaign had finally reached a terminal pitch. The final remnants of the Ork forces took flight from the belt in a disordered exodus, and perished in the flashes of Lance cannons and torpedo barrages as they crossed the sentry line. At last, the Alpha Legion's starships appeared at the very edge of scanning range, apparently moving in a wall, herding the enemy towards the fringes of the system. The Alpha Legion stated they had fully exterminated the alien infestation in the Kayvas Belt, and were grateful to the Blood Angels for their co-operation. The blockade was finally over, and with the death of the final monolithic Ork wreck at the hands of the Blood Angels fleet, the campaign came to a successful conclusion, though relations between the IXth and XXth Legions remained somewhat strained.
- Signus Campaign (004-009.M31) - In the midst of the darkness of the Horus Heresy, the Blood Angels never wavered, but held true at the Emperor's side, and nowhere was this more true than during the events of the Signus Campaign. It is said that Horus hated and feared Sanguinius more than any of his brothers and wove many strategies to ensnare or slay him, though all failed. In an effort to weaken and divide the Loyalist forces, the Warmaster charged the Blood Angels Legion with the arduous task of cleansing the Signus Cluster -- a triple star system of the Segmentum Ultima near to the galactic centre. Sanguinius' Legion was ordered to cleanse the 7 worlds and 15 moons of Signus of xenos invaders and release the humans there from their xenos-overlords. Unaware of the Warmaster's perfidy, Sanguinius willingly obeyed his brother Primarch and immediately set out for this volatile region of space. Unbeknownst to the Blood Angels, they were blindly walking into a deadly trap, for the Signus Cluster had fallen prey to agents of the Ruinous Powers and become a veritable Realm of Chaos -- a system of hellish Daemon Worlds under the rule of a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh known as Kyriss the Perverse. When the Blood Angels arrived in-system, their fleet was ambushed by the malevolent forces of the Warp, crippling or killing many of their Navigators and Astropaths in the initial onslaught. The Blood Angels now faced the fury of Chaos for the first time. Kyriss sent an image of himself to Sanguinius, declaring his lordship over the system in the name of Slaanesh and taunting the Primarch into taking it back from him. Though they had never faced such a foe, the Blood Angels prepared their counterattack, sure that they would prevail. Rising to the challenge of the vile Greater Daemon, the Blood Angels Legion attacked the daemon host of Kyriss, launching a series of attacks across the seat of the daemon's power, the world of Signus Prime. Sanguinius faced the vast hordes of human cultists and packs of monstrous daemons as an Angel of Vengeance. Soon the planet was awash with the blood of both loyal Space Marines and thousands of slain cultists of Kyriss. The Primarch spearheaded the Blood Angels' assault on the Greater Daemon's seat of power, known as the Cathedral of the Mark, to confront and destroy Kyriss and reclaim the planet in the name of the Emperor. But soon Sanguinius came face-to-face with a new nightmare known as Ka'bandha, a Greater Daemon of Khorne. Within the pantheon of the Blood God, Ka'Bandha is regarded as one his most prolific killers. He is a murderous engine of destruction, slaughtering in exalted joy for his lord Khorne. The daemon taunted the Primarch, and revealed Horus' treachery. Enraged by the daemon's mockery and fearing his claims to be true, the angelic Primarch fought the brutal Bloodthirster in single combat. Seizing the initiative during the battle, he surprised the Bloodthirster with his frenzied assault, stabbing his sword into the daemon's chest, ripping open a gaping wound. The massive creature roared in fury and pain, lashing out with his whip at the Primarch's legs. Sanguinius was momentarily unbalanced as his legs were crushed in the whip's coils. The daemon then smashed Sanguinius to the ground with the flat of his axe. The winged hero was stunned, helpless before the daemon's wrath. As his vision cleared he looked up at the mighty monster towering over him. The Greater Daemon taunted him one final time, let out a mighty bellow and then struck out across the battlefield, slaughtering 500 Space Marines with huge swathes of his mighty axe. They psychic backlash of the deaths of so many of his sons blasted Sanguinius into unconsciousness. It would not be until the closing days of the Horus Heresy that Sanguinius would once again be confronted by the savage Daemon Lord during the Siege of Terra. With the fall of their Primarch and the slaughtering of their brethren, the Blood Angels Legion was consumed by a black rage that drove them into a berserker's fury as they charged into the daemonic horde and in their madness they smashed the horde of daemons asunder. Yet the brutal violence of the daemon Ka'Bandha had unleashed something dark within the psyche of the Space Marines, a thirst for blood that would not be slaked until every taint of Chaos had been erased from the planet. Even the mighty Kyriss was banished back to the Immaterium. Only when the planet was cleansed did the rage of the Blood Angels finally subside. Though Signus had been freed from its thrall to the forces of Chaos, the cost of victory was far higher than any could have wished. The berserker rage the Blood Angels had experienced had left a brooding shadow on their souls that would manifest in the centuries to come as the great curse that would afflict the Blood Angels and their successors. Following the end of this long, grueling campaign, the Blood Angels attempted a Warp jump towards the Throneworld. Despite the impassable torrential Ruinstorm that had been conjured by the Word Bearers during the Battle of Calth, the fleet's Navigators were able to pinpoint a shining beacon, which they initially assumed was the Astronomican. Desperate, the IXth Fleet's navigators followed it. Sensing "safe harbour", the fleet immediately executed a warp translation back into realspace. When they finally exited the Warp, they found themselves hundreds of light-years off course, nowhere near their targeted destination. It was by no accident that the Blood Angels had arrived at the current, unknown destination, as Sanguinius had ordered his navigators to strike for the strongest telepathic signal. They had inadvertently detected the shining beacon of the alien artefact, known as the Pharos, on the distant planet of Sotha. Unknowingly, the Blood Angels had traveled clear across the galaxy, and ended up in the Realms of Ultramar. Soon they were approached by a skirmish line of unidentified starships. They were hailed by the bright cobalt-blue vessels, trimmed with white and shining gold. The Blood Angels were greeted by the master of the XIIIth Legion himself, Roboute Guilliman, who welcomed his brother Primarch to the Five Hundred Worlds.
- Second Battle of Paramar (008 or 011.M31) - Ground assault units of the Blood Angels participate in the failed Loyalist attempt to retake the strategically vital world of Paramar V from Horus' Traitors.
- The Imperium Secundus (009.M31) - With the Imperium severed in two halves, isolated and ignorant of each other as a result of the raging tumult of the Ruinstorm, the light of the Astronomican was no longer visible from Ultramar and no word of the Emperor had been heard for several years. Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman declared the foundation of the "Imperium Secundus" as a means of continuing the fight against the Traitors and securing the Emperor's great work. When the Blood Angels arrived at Ultramar having escaped the Signus Cluster, Guilliman proclaimed Sanguinius as the rightful heir to the Emperor. Not long after, the Dark Angels also followed the guiding beacon of the Pharos and arrive in the Five Hundred Worlds. Lion El'Jonson was declared the Lord Protector of the realm and supreme master of all its military forces, a title equivalent to that of "Warmaster". Unfortunately, the foundation of Imperium Secundus was marred when Night Lords Primarch Konrad Curze, who had been hiding within the bowels of the Dark Angels flagship, escaped from the Invincible Reason and rampaged across Macragge, intent on spreading as much terror and chaos as he could. Eventually, both Guilliman and the Lion confronted the cornered Curze. Their attempts to kill him were unsuccessful as the Night Lords Primarch had laid a cunning trap. He brought down an entire chapel upon the two Primarchs through the use of planted explosives and fled the scene. Guilliman and the Lion were only saved through the direct intervention of the Loyalist Iron Warriors Warsmith Barabas Dantioch, who was communicating with Guilliman at the time of the attack, through a portal that was opened by the Pharos. On instinct, the Warsmith reached through the portal and pulled the two Primarchs to safety on Sotha.
- Capture and Trial of the Night Haunter (ca. 011.M31) - Continuing his obsessive hunt for the elusive Night Haunter over the following two years, the Lion and Guilliman continuously clashed over policies, especially in regards to the security of Imperium Secundus, and how best to deal with rebels on Macragge, that the Lion was certain Curze had something to do with. Following a suicide bombing of an Astartes convoy, the Lion used the Ist Legion to establish martial law on Macragge. Certain that Curze was hiding within the rebellious Illyrium region, the Lion advocated the use of a massive orbital saturation bombardment of the region to ensure Curze's death. Facing resistance from both Emperor Sanguinius and Guilliman, the Lion instead, opted to deploy his Legion's Dreadwing in order to flush out Curze and the rebels. During an attack on the city of Alma Mons, the Lion finally cornered the elusive Night Lords Primarch and the two came to blows. After a brutal confrontation, the Lion eventually emerged victorious, and questioned his brother why he had turned away from the Emperor, in which Curze simply replied, "why not?". Curze went on to explain that there was a monster in his head that he could not stop. Though he finally had Curze at his mercy, the Lion couldn't bring himself to kill his brother, and instead pummeled him again. He then ripped off Curze's backpack from his battle-plate and lifted him over his head, and then brutally brought him down across his knee, breaking Curze's spine and paralysing him. The Lion brought the grievously wounded Curze before Sanguinius and Guilliman to stand trial. A Triumvirate was later held, where Curze defended his actions, but refused to admit his guilt. Since each of the Primarchs had been created to perform a specific function, Curze was merely acting according to his own nature, and therefore had committed no crimes. The Night Lords Primarch then further divided Guilliman and the Lion by accusing the latter of secretly ordering orbital bombardment in direct violation of Guilliman's orders. Enraged, the Lion sought to kill Curze, but was halted by the words of Sanguinius and Guilliman snatched El'Jonson's Lion Sword and broke the blade across his armoured thigh. El'Jonson was furious, but Sanguinius dismissed the Lord Protector, ending the Triumvirate. The Lion was then banished from Imperium Secundus. Taking his leave, the Dark Angels withdrew from Macragge only hours later. Standing in the chamber of the Tuchulcha Engine aboard the Invincible Reason, the Lion brooded over recent events, he questioned his actions over the course of the last few decades and many of the decisions he had come to regret. As the Dark Angels made their final preparations to depart back to Caliban, the Lion went back to the Tuchulcha Engine's chamber. He then ordered the device to teleport himself and Holguin, "Deathbringer", the voted-lieutenant of the Deathwing, back to Macragge. As Sanguinius was preparing to execute Curze for his crimes, both the Lion and his lieutenant teleported directly into the chamber and told Sanguinius to halt the execution. As troops entered the room, demanding the Lion to surrender, El'Jonson explained his reasons for the intrusion. He reasoned that Curze had the ability to see precognitive visions of potential futures, and repeated the Night Haunter's claim that his death would one day come at the hands of an assassin sent by the Emperor. If this was true, the Lion reasoned, than it was proof that the Emperor was still alive. Sanguinius knew the Lion's explanation rang true, as he recognised that his own precognitive visions of his inevitable death at the hands of the Warmaster would also eventually come to pass. When Guilliman demanded to know what would become of Curze, the Lion knelt before his two brothers and promised that he would be Curze's gaoler.
- Siege of Terra (014.M31) - The Blood Angels' finest hour would take place during the closing days of the Horus Heresy. Known in Imperial records as the Siege of Terra, this campaign was the climax of the Heresy that raged on Terra itself between the Forces of Chaos led by the Warmaster Horus and the Loyalist armies of the Imperium of Man led by the Emperor of Mankind Himself. Many of the Loyalist Astartes Legions had been waylaid by the forces of the Traitor Legions loyal to the Warmaster and were unable to make their way towards Terra. The Imperial Fists had already returned to the cradle of humanity and under the stern gaze of their Primarch Rogal Dorn had adequately prepared Terra's defences as best they could. Jaghatai Khan, Primarch of the White Scars Legion, had also managed to make his way to Terra with his Legion to help with the defence of the Imperial Palace. Meanwhile, in the Signus Cluster, the Blood Angels, granted new and terrible power by a mysterious mass rage (that would resurface again during the Siege of Terra) had triumphed, smashing the hordes of Chaos daemons to be found on Signus Prime asunder. They were also able to make the Warp jump to Terra in time to meet the oncoming invaders. Of the nine remaining Loyalist Space Marines Legions, only the White Scars and the Blood Angels were able to join Rogal Dorn and his Imperial Fists in the defence of Terra before the arrival of the Traitor Legions in the Sol System. Three entire Titan Legions of the Mechanicum and close to 2 million soldiers of the Imperial Army stood alongside them to face the hosts of Chaos in a battle that would determine the fate of Mankind for the next ten millennia. Yet for all the might of the Emperor, for every effort of Sanguinius and the remaining Loyalist Primarchs, the forces of Horus drove all before them. In too short a time, the Emperor of Mankind was assailed within His great palace on Terra. The Blood Angels led the defence of the Imperial Palace, never once losing heart, despite the terrible odds stacked against them. Alongside their Battle-Brothers of the Imperial Fists Legion, the valorous yet overmatched soldiers of the Imperial Army and the grim Legio Custodes, the Blood Angels manned the walls of that final bastion. Sanguinius single-handedly held the crenellations from the tides of daemonic filth attempting to wash into the holy chambers of the Emperor's abode. Many accounts of the time praise the Blood Angels' valour and unceasing efforts in their defence of the Eternity Wall spaceport. Although hundreds of Blood Angels died, they stemmed a sea of foulness the like of which had never been seen before. During the Siege of Terra, the vile Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha once again confronted Sanguinius atop the Eternity Gate before the Emperor's throne room. The Greater Daemon struck Sanguinius, casting the angel upon the broken stone. Preparing to strike a killing blow, the Blood Angels' Primarch called upon his last reserves of strength and power. With a massive effort, he leapt upon the Bloodthirster, seized it about the wrist and ankle and rose up high into the air, smashing the daemon's form across his knee and breaking the creature's back with a powerful crack. He then swung the body of Ka'Bandha around and hurled the broken behemoth into the midst of the daemonic host, slamming the Eternity Gate shut against the ravening hordes. And yet, it would be upon Horus' flagship, the Battle Barge Vengeful Spirit, that Sanguinius was to fulfill his greatest duty. In a desperate gambit, the Emperor took the fight to Horus aboard his flagship after the Warmaster dropped the vessel's Void Shields, teleporting into the heart of the enemy stronghold with squads of the Blood Angels and Imperial Fists at His side. Sanguinius was separated from his comrades during the teleportation and, so the legend tells, was brought through artifice before the treacherous Horus. In evil cunning, the Warmaster offered Sanguinius one final chance to renounce the Emperor, to join with Horus in the inevitable victory of the Forces of Chaos -- yet the Primarch of the Blood Angels held true, and refused. Rejected, Horus flew into a rage and attacked. Even at the peak of his powers, Sanguinius could not have hoped to prevail against the embodiment of Chaotic power Horus had become, and the Primarch was weary and wounded from his travails on Terra. When the Emperor at last entered Horus' sanctum, He found the rebellious Warmaster standing above Sanguinius' broken, bleeding corpse. In the battle that followed, Horus was finally vanquished, though the Emperor too was cast down near to death. There are many tales told of this final battle and, though the exact facts are long lost, one detail holds through all the recitations of the millennia since. Despite the Emperor's great power, He could never have bested Horus had not the blade of Sanguinius wrought a chink in the Warmaster's armour.
- A Troubled Succession (014-021.M31) - In the Heresy's wake during the Great Scouring, Roboute Guilliman's Codex Astartes was implemented throughout the Imperium. It fragmented the Space Marine Legions that remained, scattering their strength wide for the sake of the Imperium's continued safety. Under the guidance of Azkaellon, Sanguinius' one surviving Sanguinary Guard, the Blood Angels Legion was broken down into the Blood Angels Chapter and their Second Founding successors. After ensuring that the traditions and identity of the Blood Angels would be safeguarded in perpetuity, Azkaellon disappeared from all Chapter records. It soon became clear that the deepening flaw within the Blood Angels' gene-seed had also beset their successors among the Sanguinary Brotherhood; the curse claimed more battle-brothers with each passing Terran year.
- The Blackstar Liberation (344.M33) - Warpstorm Korinthus finally abates, revealing the vast Blackstar System firmly in the grip of Chaos. More than half of the Blood Angels Chapter deployed to liberate the Imperial citizens of these worlds. The war that followed lasted two full Terran years and pitted the Blood Angels against a lethal coalition of Night Lords, Death Guard and Word Bearers. Eventually, the Blood Angels bested their foes amid the nuclear fires of the Battle of Neverwish, driving them back to the Warp in tatters. The cost was great, but the Sons of Sanguinius recovered a huge and populous star system for the Imperium.
- The Shield of Sanguinius (400.M35) - Tectonic upheavals on the backwater world of Ironcel V trigger a massive Ork WAAAGH!. Dispossessed Greenskins flooded into space in their billions, led by a bellowing beast known as Warboss Starsmasha. The WAAAGH! overran the maiden world of Ledrith, smashed aside the renegade warfleet of Lord Borvashik, and descended upon the Redhaven System. However, here it was stopped dead by a combined force of Blood Angels, Astra Militarum and Imperial Knights of House Griffith. The defence was coordinated by the Blood Angels Chapter Master, Leonid Castivarus, and was masterful in its conception and execution. The war raged for many solar months and several Imperial worlds were overrun, yet finally the WAAAGH! spent its fury against the so-called Shield of Sanguinius and was utterly destroyed.
- A Gathering of Heroes (266.M37) - A combined force of Blood Angels, Angels Encarmine and Blood Drinkers engages with Traitor forces on the archeotech world of Hell's Hollow. Though the cultist hosts were swiftly put to death, the attack came too late to prevent their completion of a heretical ritual. The veil was pierced, and a tide of daemons spilled through into the macrocities of Hell's Hollow. The Blood Angels and their brethren reacted to this new development with typical courage and resolve. The main strength of the strikeforce was deployed in a series of holding actions, stemming the daemonic tide long enough for the Death Company to be hurled against the ritual site itself. Amid an orgy of violence, the black-armoured Battle-Brothers slaughtered everything in their path, closing the rift at the price of their own lives.
- The 7th Black Crusade (The Ghost War) (811.M37) - The 7th Black Crusade was a Black Crusade launched against the forces of the Imperium of Man, led by Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion, that erupted out of the Eye of Terror in 811.M37. The Forces of Chaos spewed forth from the great Warp rift past Cadia and then disappeared. This circumstance is what earned this conflict its informal name of the Ghost War. The following years saw a game of hide-and-seek played between the Forces of Chaos and the Imperium of Man which spread confusion, paranoia, disinformation and deceit across the galaxy. Raids became commonplace in far-flung areas but eventually the servants of the Dark Gods returned to the Eye of Terror, having caused great difficulty for the Emperor's Loyalists but proven unable to significantly degrade Imperial defensive capabilities at that time. During this conflict, when the Blood Angels battled against the Forces of Chaos at Midian, Abaddon singled them out with implacable fury. He led a band of Khornate Berserkers into the teeth of the Blood Angels' Devastator positions. Even the Blood Angels' own Assault troops could not dislodge the frenzied warband and recapture the bodies of their comrades. But there is an obscure reference to the Blood Angels being saved by an unidentified Space Marine Chapter of mysterious origin. Written within the The Canticle of Cassandria Lev - Vol. CVI, the eponymous Sainted Sisters' highly mythologised and oblique account of the wars of the 7th Black Crusade, is found mention of a "grey-clad" Space Marines Chapter who came from "the outer night" to aid the Imperium, and whose "jagged maw did swallow the stars ... and whose ... black gaze did mirror the void of oblivion." In the course of the canticle this Chapter's ships set upon Abaddon's forces following the disastrous defeat and routing of the Blood Angels at Midian and attacked the pursuing forces as Saint Lev writes: "...fell upon the servants of the skulled-one with great fury from the darkness, unseen as the beast that lurks beneath the black waters, death for death, blood for blood...thus were the Sons of Sanguinius bought respite, and did turn back upon their pursuers and so were the damned traitors of the false gods driven unto their ruin." Images of these events can be found upon the walls of the Cemetery World of Hypasitis created to house the honoured dead of that war, depicted in repeated fresco and bar relief. Curiously, the faces of the intervening Space Marines depicted there are obscured with featureless disks of black obsidian. Given the largely unknown history of the star-faring Carcharodons Chapter, accounts of their activities can only be constructed from recorded historical incidents and fragmentary records that are believed to have involved the Carcharodons on balance of evidence. This notable engagement is listed by Imperial savants as a "[Special] Probable Encounter/Recorded Sighting" of this notorious and mysterious Space Marine Chapter. After their rescue at Midian, the full might of the Blood Angels Chapter fell upon a vast Black Legion warband on the world of Mackan. Although the conflict ultimately ended in the near-extinction of the Blood Angels at the hands of Abaddon the Despoiler and his primary lieutenants -- the Sorcerer Lord Iskandar Khayon and the swordmaster Telemachon Lyras -- the Blood Angels Reclusiarch Thalastian Jorus became one of the few Imperial heroes to ever land a blow against the Warmaster of Chaos. With his Chapter devastated, the Chaplain endured solar weeks of hardship in the wilderness and the constant trials of keeping his crazed warriors undetected on Mackan. When the time was right, Jorus led his Death Company in a lightning raid behind enemy lines, butchering the unprepared sworn warriors of the Despoiler's honour guard, and allowing the Reclusiarch to lock blades with Abaddon himself. It is said the Chaos Warmaster still bears the scars of that battle, even three standard millennia later. Whatever the truth of the matter, it is known that the Despoiler honoured Jorus once the war was over -- perhaps in mockery, or perhaps with nothing but sincerity. After Mackan, thousands of Blood Angels corpses were desecrated, their gene-seed ruined beyond recovery. Of all the Chapter, only a handful of bodies were left undefiled: Reclusiarch Jorus and his Death Company, clad in their battered and broken black ceramite, seated in makeshift thrones made from the armour of those Black Legion warriors they had killed on that fateful night.
- Kallius Insurrection (Unknown Date.M40) - The Blood Angels, once again, tasted the risk of annihilation, losing nine out of every ten Space Marines, and almost the entire Chapter Council. Three full Companies -- including the young Brother-Captain Dante and his 8th Company -- launched a devastating assault on Kallius' Landing and its dependency worlds, in support of their overwhelmed successor brethren, the Angels Numinous (more commonly known, because of their symbol, as the Blood Eagles). World after world rose up in rebellion, insurrections spreading across the region and blanketing the sub-sector. Entire populations and ragtag fleets were led into battle by chanting Traitor Marines, clad in a panoply of colours, drawn from countless warbands. The Blood Angels found themselves tied up in protracted conflicts and trench wars, caught in a cobweb of a much wider heresy. As the weeks became months and the months became years, more and more of the Chapter arrived to punish, cleanse, and reclaim the rebellious worlds. The Rolls of Honour run black with the ink of millions of enemies slain, but the Blood Angels suffered casualties beyond their ability to sustain a fighting front. With dozens of Imperial Guard regiments arriving alongside several relief Chapters, the Blood Angels withdrew from the conflict with their heads held high. Yet the bitterest blow was yet to be struck: it came as the remnants of their fleet mustered above Kallius' Landing itself, when a Traitor armada broke from the Warp, hungry for the chance to wipe the Angels from the face of the Imperium. The battle that followed lasted for three days of void war and vicious boarding actions, during which Dante and his warriors were responsible for the taking and scuttling of seven capital-class vessels. When the Blood Angels at last stood victorious and took stock of their losses, fewer than two hundred Space Marines clad in red still drew breath. The last surviving Sanguinary Priests and Chaplains came together in communion, electing the last-living Captain as the next Chapter Master. Dante accepted the mantle of Lord of the Angelic Host, while still wearing his bloodstained, broken armour. It would be the last day he ever wore red, forever after to be clad in sacred gold. Not because he was the best or the brightest, but purely because he was the last man standing. Such an ascension should have heralded a grim rule, but fate would tell a different tale.
- A Bloody Reversal (676.M40) - During fierce fighting on the mountainous moon of Tytus, the Blood Angels of Strike Force Alenso succumb to the Red Thirst en masse. Though they smash into their greenskin foes with unstoppable fury, the Blood Angels are swiftly engulfed. Buried beneath the relentless green tide, it appears that Strike Force Alenso is lost. Yet at the last moment, a heroic drop-offensive by the Elysian 46th Airborne rescues the Blood Angels from disaster. In the battle's wake, Captain Alenso personally honours the Elysians' Colonel Vandegrahst, displaying a humility that leaves the Astra Militarum officer speechless.
- A Bounty Denied (187.M41) - For almost a decade the gloom-shrouded worlds of the Shadowblight system have suffered the uncontested predation of Dark Eldar raiding bands. This cruel fate has been long concealed by a shield of flickering illusions thrown up by Commorrite mirrorbeacons. However, upon detecting this barrier of bewilderment and misdirection, a triumvirate of Blood Angels Librarians bend their formidable mental powers to break through. This they did, laying bare the miserable worlds beyond along with their surprised tormentors. Led by the trio of Librarians, an outraged force of Blood Angels descended to punish the arrogant xenos. The campaign that followed was bloody in the extreme, the fury of the Blood Angels pitted against the skill and contempt of the Commorrites. Casualties were high on both sides; the Dark Eldar possessed the edge in speed and stealth, the Blood Angels in resilience and determination. Finally, after the destruction of Archon Sybralath's Palace of Torments, the Dark Eldar lost their will to fight and retreated to the Webway in disgust. Victory belonged to the Blood Angels, and to the Shadowblight survivors they liberated.
An Age of Red Wrath, M41
- Cleansing of the Sin of Damnation (589.M41) - A Space Hulk code-named Sin of Damnation drops out of the Warp, dangerously close to the Blood Angels' homeworld of Baal. Strike Force Raphael moves to intercept the Hulk, deploying squads of 1st Company Terminators via Boarding Torpedoes. A vicious battle erupts throughout the kilometres of tangled corridors, chambers and ducts as the Blood Angels battle furiously against the Hulk's Genestealer infestation. A force of 80 1st Company Terminators eradicated a force of more than 40,000 Genestealers, cleansing the Sin of Damnation, its secrets plundered in the Imperium's name.
- The Scouring of Ultramar (746.M41) - Lord Commander Dante recognises that the Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth's invasion of the Realm of Ultramar is but the first of many scourges that will befall the galaxy at the hands of the Great Devourer. Dante sends three full companies of Blood Angels to assist the Ultramarines in scouring the Tyranids from the sectors of the Eastern Fringe. Upon their return to Baal three Terran years later, the three companies are much reduced in number, but have earned invaluable experience in combating Tyranids that are soon passed on to the rest of the Chapter and many of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters.
- WAAAGH! Big Skorcha's Assault on Baal (798.M41) - Three monstrous Space Hulks emerge from the Warp in the Baal System, bringing with them the massive Ork WAAAGH! Big Skorcha. Lord Commander Dante orders the deployment of 2 companies of Blood Angels to defend each of Baal's moons. The remaining companies of the Chapter are assigned to serve as strike forces and ordered to board and destroy the Greenskins' Space Hulks. The Blood Angels prove successful and 2 of the Space Hulks are destroyed with much of the WAAAGH!'s Orks still aboard them. Before it can be destroyed, the final Space Hulk disgorges thousands of Orks, commanded by the Warlord Big Skorcha, onto the surface of Baal. Knowing that the bulk of the Blood Angels forces is still in orbit destroying the Space Hulks or on the two moons of the world, Big Skorcha aims to lay siege to and ransack the Chapter's Fortress-Monastery. However, the Blood Angels prove not so easily outmanoeuvred. The Chapter's Dreadnoughts, deemed unsuitable for use in the cramped confines of the Space Hulks had remained behind on Baal. With the remains of WAAAGH! Big Skorcha still at large, the Venerable Furioso Dreadnought Astramael assembles all 41 of the Blood Angels' Dreadnoughts and coordinates the defence of the Fortress-Monastery in what was later known as the Battle of Iron. Although Astramael and his Dreadnoughts needed only to defend the Fortress-Monastery long enough for Astartes reinforcements to arrive from orbit, they fought with such savage fury that there were precious few Orks remaining when the first Stormravens finally landed.
- Assault on Kammelstadt (801.M41) - Captain Zorael of the 4th Company leads the Blood Angels strike force Bloodhawk against rebels who have risen up against the Imperium on the world of Golgotha. Using their Land Raiders, the Blood Angels' armoured column smashed through the walls of the rebels' fortress and trapped the rebels behind their own defences. The rebels were then wiped out by an air strike of Zorael's Stormraven gunships.
- Bloodcaller's Triumph (820.M41) - The Blood Angels Battle Barge Bloodcaller is badly damaged by an Ork Freebooterz ambush while patrolling the Tresinka System. The Bloodcaller seemed to be finished, as its main drives had been silenced and boarding Kroozers had deployed a horde of Greenskins within it. Nonetheless, deft manoeuvring by Fleet Captain Bellerophon managed to bring the great vessel's main batteries to bear on the Ork fleet, destroying the Greenskins' flagship and half a dozen support vessels in a single salvo. Meanwhile, the furious counterassault by the Bloodcaller's crew and Astartes swept the Orks who had boarded the Battle Barge from its lower decks and then carried the fight to the Kroozers. Though it took nearly a full standard year for the Bloodcaller to make its way at sublight speeds to the nearest Imperial Navy orbital repair docks at Haringvleet, the great Voidship did so proudly, bearing its scars as a tell-tale sign of the great victory it and its crew had won against incredible odds.
- The Khartas Incident (823.M41) - Captain Zorael leads elements of the Blood Angels 4th Company to the world of Khartas, there to put an end to localised acts of piracy by a ragtag fleet of Renegades. Though the pirate fleet was quickly shattered, their flagship broke up in the Khartan atmosphere, raining its wreckage across the planet. The ship's Warp core suffered a cascade failure and tore a hole in reality through which poured a host of Khornate daemons. The Blood Angels -- who had made planetfall to check for pirate survivors -- found themselves stranded on Khartas, surrounded by an ever-growing tide of Daemons. Though they fought with honour and determination, Sanguinius' scions were soon in danger of being overrun. Their predicament worsened when the mighty Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha slew Captain Zorael in single combat. Just as all seemed lost, the Sanguinor appeared, plunging like a bolt of golden lightning into the midst of the foe. The angel battled the roaring Daemon back and forth, finally hurling Ka'Bandha down and banishing his corporeal form back to the Warp. Rallying behind the Sanguinor, the last of Zorael's men cut a path to the Warp core, deactivating it and ending Khartas' nightmare. In the wake of the madness, the Sanguinor disappeared without a trace. Francesi Castigon replaced Zoreal as the new Captain of the 4th Company.
- The Axonar Spirewar (830.M41) - Lord Commander Dante despatches the Blood Angels' 3rd and 4th Companies to quell a rebellion against the Emperor's authority on the Hive World of Axonar. Determining the rebel defences at the bases of the world's hive cities to be too potent for his Space Marines to launch a frontal assault, Captain Metraen, the Force Commander for the operation, ordered a series of low-orbit insertions onto the cities' upper spires using Jump Packs. Once trapped behind their own defences, the rebels were easily crushed by the Blood Angels' savage assault.
- Blood on the Ice (841.M41) - On the frozen world known as the Omnissiah's Eye, Explorator Station Lambda-Binaris comes under attack by unknown assailants. Blood Angels Strike Force Castigon responded to the station's distress call, reaching the ice-locked planet at the same time as a bulk transporter sent by the knightly house Krast. Captain Castigon and Baron Bartolf of House Krast made common cause, the two warriors quickly establishing a bond of mutual respect. Combining their forces, Castigon and Bartolf launched a heavy combat drop at the northern and southern extremes of the sprawling Explorator station. Household detachments of Krast Knights made planetfall amongst plummeting spreads of Drop Pods while Stormraven gunships stroke overhead. The two forces began to sweep through the complex from opposite ends, combing its snow-heaped streets and semi-ruined buildings for signs of life. However, within minutes of the operation beginning, both forces came under heavy attack by ambushing forces of Night Lords Traitor Marines. A running battle erupted through the frozen complex, Knights wading through the traitors' firepower with guns roaring while Blood Angels flooded forward around their feet. The Night Lords' trap began to unravel as the traitors realised they had caught more dangerous quarry than they bargained for. Abandoning their assault, the Night Lords attempted a fighting retreat, triggering explosive charges spread throughout the complex in an attempt to cover their escape. However, Captain Castigon led his Assault Squads and Death Company in a frenzied attack upon the retreating Chaos forces. This maddened charge pined the foe in place long enough for reinforcements to move up. Caught between the Blood Angels and their towering allies, the Chaos force was exterminated to the last warrior.
- The Dalaric Campaigns (843.M41) - Three companies of Blood Angels are sent to the world of Dalaric to stop the raids of the deceitful Eldar. The Blood Angels initially earned a string of victories against the forces of the elusive xenos, but the Eldar managed to carry out an ambush that killed almost 100 Battle-Brothers, transforming an easy victory into a catastrophe for the Chapter. Fortunately, at the darkest moment, when it seemed that every Blood Angel might receive the Emperor's peace, the Sanguinor appeared once more, striking down the alien Avatar of Khaine and forcing the remaining Eldar to flee for their lives.
- Assault on Zoran (859.M41) - The forces of the insidious Alpha Legion incite an uprising against the Imperium on the Ice World of Zoran. The Blood Angels' Captain Metraen led elements from the Chapter's 3rd and 8th Companies to that frigid planet to eliminate the rebellion and drive the Traitor Legion from the world. Metraen's bold tactical choice at first seemed to drive the enemy back but the assault stalled when the Alpha Legion's base of operations on the world was determined to be an ancient and long-lost Imperator-class Titan left from the days of the Horus Heresy. Though still half-buried in the ice of Zoran, the monstrous war engine's Void Shield generators and weapons batteries proved to be operational with devastating consequences for the servants of the Emperor. Many Blood Angels Astartes fell in the first assault against the Titan and Metraen feared that the only course open to him to end the threat would be an outright Exterminatus order against Zoran and its people. Fortunately for the innocents of that Ice World, aid arrived in the form of Kor'sarro Khan and the 3rd Company of the White Scars Chapter. Sent to claim the head of the Alpha Legion's infamous Daemon Prince Voldorius, the Khan joined his forces to the remains of the Blood Angels force on the planet. As the White Scars launched their own attack on the Alpha Legion's bastion from below, the Blood Angels used their Stormravens to initiate a series of drop assaults against the secondary plasma reactors that powered the Titan's weapons. Metraen's Astartes neutralised the Titan's defences and the White Scars swarmed into the massive war machine's lower levels. Though Voldorius ultimately escaped once more, his followers were exterminated to the last Chaos Cultist and Alpha Legionary. Though Kor'sarro Khan was obliged to continue his hunt for the Daemon Prince, Zoran had been restored to the Emperor's light and the recovery of a battered but fully repairable Imperator Titan is no mean feat. Metraen eventually brought the Titan back to Baal, from which it was sent on to Mars, where Lord Commander Dante hoped that such a priceless gift might finally smooth over the conflicts between the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Blood Angels.
- Armoured Might (872.M41) - Several armoured regiments of Astra Militarum fall to the temptations of Chaos during the Kasablan campaign. Turning on their allies, the renegade tankers seized the world's capital city in the name of the Ruinous Powers, before beginning extermination sweeps across Kasablan's plains. Retribution is swift, however, as a spearhead of Blood Angels tanks was loosed upon the traitors. Lucifer engines howling, the Baal Predators and Razorbacks of the Blood Angels consistently outmanoeuvred the heavier traitor armour. The renegades found their tanks cut apart by withering crossfires that left smoking wrecks littering the azure plains. The fallen Astra Militarum forces staged a breakout toward Kasablan's mountaintop spaceport, but their charge came to a crashing halt when Thunderhawk Landers deployed a wave of red armoured Land Raiders directly in their path. Caught between the wrathful tank brigades of the Blood Angels, the last traitors fought frantically, but their position was hopeless. Despite significant casualties, the Blood Angels crushed the foe beneath the grinding treads of their battle tanks.
- Blood on the Sand (Unknown Date.M41) - Rebellion and heresy claims the searing Death World of D'akhar, and the Blood Angels respond in force. Vicious gunfights rage through the subterranean habs and manufactoria. Meanwhile, the Blood Angels' armour meets the Traitor tanks upon D'akhar's rad-blasted deserts, capitalising on their speed and the Baal-like terrain to cut their lumbering enemies to pieces in a series of blistering battles.
- The Mel'yanneth Skywar (877.M41) - Captain Metraen is charged by Commander Dante with the destruction of Aeldari Raiders who were assaulting Imperial commerce from a fortress making use of Aeldari anti-gravitic technology hidden in the toxic atmosphere of the gas giant called Mel'yanneth. Making use of the Chapter's entire existing fleet of Stormraven and Thunderhawk gunships, Metraen launched an airborne assault that had no equal in the Chapter's long history. Stormravens cut through the blaze of anti-aircraft fire to disgorge their cargoes of Assault Squads and Terminators directly onto the floating fortress' docking platforms. These Astartes secured the landing zones for heavy armoured vehicles like Land Raiders and Predators which were delivered by a follow-on wave of Thunderhawk Transporters. As the battle then unfolded through the Aeldari fortress hangars and maintenance shafts, the overwhelming firepower brought to bear by the Blood Angels was able to scythe through the arcane traps and dishonourable defensive systems erected by the Eldar Corsairs. Once they realised that they had no chance to stop the human assault, the xenos abandoned the fortress, although not before sabotaging its gravity nullification technology. Metraen was forced to retreat as the fortress was sucked down into the gas giant's grasping depths. Only the incredible skill displayed by the Blood Angels' gunship pilots, who fearlessly plunged deep into Mel'yanneth's gravity well to rescue their Battle-Brothers, prevented what became a famous victory for the Chapter from ending in mournful failure.
- Battle of Stonehaven (901.M41) - Commander Dante personally leads a Stormraven drop assault on the Ork forces outside the hive city of Stonehaven that finally breaks WAAAGH! Bludcrumpa's decade-long siege of the Forge World of Ironhelm.
- Vengeance of the Blood Angels (911.M41) - Justicar Parsival of the Grey Knights brings word to Baal that the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha, ancient bane of Sanguinius, has returned to realspace. Sepharan, the leader of the Blood Angels' Sanguinary Guard, received Commander Dante's permission for the Sanguniary Guard to serve in the coming battle against the hated Greater Daemon. United in their determination to banish such an evil from the mortal realm, a force of Grey Knights and the Sanguinary Guard stormed the gates of Ka'Bandha's fortress and defeated both the Bloodthirster and his Chaotic army in a single night's assault.
- The Semmel Betrayal (918.M41) - The Blood Angels strike force Breath of Hermes is attacked by a large contingent of Eldar on the ghost world of Semmel. Fragmentary communications make clear that the Blood Angels briefly held the upper hand until an unknown party intervened on behalf of the Eldar. The strike force was wiped out to the last Astartes.
- The Necron World Engine (926.M41) - The 2nd and 4th Companies of the Blood Angels are despatched to the Vidar Sector to assist their fellow Space Marines against the threat posed by the monstrous Necron construct known as the World Engine. After the sacrifice of the entire Astral Knights Chapter led to the final destruction of the World Engine, Captain Donatos Aphael of the 2nd Company proposed that an Imperial shrine be erected upon the world of Safehold in eternal memory of the Astral Knights. From that day forth, two Blood Angels of the 2nd Company are always assigned to stand guard over the memorial, which is considered a signal honour for the Astartes of that company.
- Battle for Antax (927.M41) - Captain Donatos Aphael and the Blood Angels' 2nd Company battle WAAAGH! Gutstompa on the Forge World of Antax. The battle looked likely to go against the Blood Angels, until they unleashed the fury of their Death Company. Led into battle by the ancient Death Company Dreadnought Moriar, Captain Aphael and his surviving Battle-Brothers crushed the reeling WAAAGH! Gutstompa, ending the threat to Antax amid fire and blood.
- Day of the Swordwind (930.M41) - The Blood Angels' 3rd Company manages to preserve Explorator Station Ghosa Prime from the unprovoked fury of the Aeldari of Craftworld Biel-Tan.
- Second War for Armageddon (941.M41) - The massive Ork WAAAGH! Ghazghkull descends upon the Hive World of Armageddon in the Segmentum Solar and unleashes what became known as the Second War for Armageddon. The Blood Angels were one of 3 Space Marine Chapters who responded to the strategically-located world's plight. Lord Commander Dante's reputation amongst other Astartes was so great that Chapter Master Tu'Shan of the Salamanders and Chapter Master Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines ceded overall command of Astartes operations to him. The fighting proved to be the fiercest in and around the planet's hive cities. The Blood Angels bore the brunt of the close-quarter fighting, primarily because only the overcharged engines of their Lucifer-pattern Rhinos could keep pace with the convoys of roaming Ork Trukks and Battlewagons. The tactical manoeuvrability of the Blood Angels forces was a crucial factor in the later stages of the war. The 3rd Company, under the command of its newly promoted captain, Erasmus Tycho, formed the heart of a spearhead of armoured vehicles that severed the primary Ork supply lines, which left the WAAAGH!'s Mekboyz without the necessary materiel to keep the Greenskins' massive Skullhammas and Stompas operational. With its heaviest units thus put out of action, the WAAAGH! was finally broken before the walls of Tarterus Hive, where Dante and Tu'shan famously fought together against Ghazghkull Thraka's own bodyguard of Nobs.
- What Price Victory? (Unknown Date.M41) - Captain Castigon leads Strike Force Nobilitus into battle against the Drukhari on Tolos. Amidst the ruins of the planet's agriplexes, the Blood Angels witness the horrors inflicted by the cruel xenos upon the world's populace. So repugnant is the butchery that Castigon and his warriors lose their grip upon their inner fury. The red whirlwind of destruction they visit upon the Drukhari leaves no foe standing, yet still the Blood Angels face shameful censure in the battle's wake, for a victory won in the grip of the Flaw is no victory at all.
- Gehenna Campaign (955.M41) - Commander Dante and the Blood Angels' 3rd Company face the Necron legions of the Necron Lord known as Szarekh, the Silent King, on the dusty wastelands of the Tomb World of Gehenna. For three weeks, neither side was able to gain an advantage though Dante found his own tactical acumen stretched to its limits countering the space-time manipulations of the Silent King and the advanced technology of the Necrons. The stalemate was broken when a Tyranid splinter fleet suddenly entered the orbit of Gehenna, which forced the two armies to break off from hostilities with each other to deal with the Great Devourer. This unwanted alliance proved to be the downfall for the Tyranids. Following the final battle against the Tyranids at Death's Crag, Dante and the Silent King left the field without further combat, as each side was now too damaged to guarantee victory over the other. In addition, for the Blood Angels, the idea of turning in combat upon those they had so recently shed blood beside was distasteful in the extreme.
- The Temptation of Mephiston (965.M41) - The Daemon Prince M'kar the Reborn traps the Blood Angels' Chief Librarian Mephiston in the crystal caverns of Solon V. He attempted to lure Mephiston into the embrace of Chaos by accusing him of already having walked upon the path to daemonhood in the eyes of the Dark Gods. Mephiston rejected the Daemon Prince's deceptions and throttled the life from his captor, banishing him back to the Warp, but not before a seed of doubt had been planted within his heart.
- The Vaults of Pandrax (990.M41) - In a search for a cure to the Blood Angels' genetic flaw, Brother Corbulo discovers the repositories of archeotech from the Dark Age of Technology on the world of Pandrax III that are in the hands of the Eldar of Craftworld Alaitoc. Three companies of Blood Angels, including the Terminators of the 1st Company, were assigned to seize the vaults from the xenos interlopers. A fierce battle erupted through the tech-vaults and catacombs of Pandrax III. The Blood Angels were the ultimate victors, the Farseer commanding the Alaitoc Eldar sacrificed himself to destroy the very records of advanced genetic manipulation techniques that Corbulo had sought. The search for the cure to the Blood Angels' flaw must continue elsewhere.
- The Hives of Hollonan (992.M41) - In response to a request for assistance, Chief Librarian Mephiston leads the Blood Angels strike force Sanguinatus to the Hive World of Hollonan to deal with an uprising against the authority of the Imperium. What at first appeared to be only a run-of-the-mill, if still large rebellion, was soon revealed to be a deep-seated infestation of Tyranid Genestealers. Mephiston's strike force purged the xenos parasites and their psychically-addicted cult members from the hive cities of Hollonan, but it has already been too late for the Hive World -- even as the last brood of Genestealers was brought down in fire and blood, Hive Ships from a splinter fleet of the approaching Hive Fleet Kraken were arriving in the Hollonan System. Mephiston immediately recognised that his strike force lacked the numbers to repel a Tyranid swarm of that magnitude and so he assumed command of Hollonan's defences and sent an astropathic request for aid to Baal and to Coinal, the nearby Chapter planet of the Blood Angels successors, the Angels Vermillion. The battles that ensued within the depths of Hollonan strained even the ever-present lust for battle of the Blood Angels. The first assault by the Tyranids eliminated the planetary defence batteries and automated Sentry Guns. The second destroyed the chain of ancient but necessary fusion accumulators that provided Hollonan's hive cities with most of their power. What resulted was a ferocious war for survival in the guts of Hollonan's primary underhive. Mephiston's Blood Angels found themselves stretched to the limit of even their considerable abilities as they tried to rally the Planetary Defence Force against the endless swarms of Termagants, Raveners and Carnifexes. Only where Mephiston personally entered the fray did the human defenders hold. Over the course of two terrible weeks, Mephiston proved his worth time and again, never once sleeping or taking rest from combat, though even his fellow Astartes became weary beyond the measure of mortals of the constant bloodshed. His deeds wrote a new legend for the Chapter. At the Chapel of the Emperor's Repose, Mephiston teared a Carnifex to shreds with his bare hands. He held the entrance to the hive city's filtration plant for six hours by himself. In the final hours of that terrible assault, he cleavef his way alone through the spearhead of the Tyranids' primary assault, slaying a Hive Tyrant and all of its hideous guardians before he himself was struck down by a Trygon. Mephiston's fall, which could have easily crushed the last strands of fragile morale amongst the world's defenders, instead led them to redouble their efforts to be worthy of his example. Such was the determination borne in the hearts of the Blood Angels and the soldiers of Hollonan that they held out long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Fresh companies of Blood Angels and Angels Vermillion Astartes came from the sky in Drop Pods and Stormraven gunships just in time to save the world's remaining defenders. Yet the Astartes have not been alone, for they were joined by the Eldar of Craftworld Ulthwé, led by the ancient Farseer Eldrad Ulthran, who had decided to fight beside the guardians of Mankind for reasons of their own. The Tyranids were crushed between the attacks of the three descending armies and this splinter of the coming Hive Fleet Kraken was removed from existence before its parent Hive Fleet arrived in full. Eldrad Ulthran and his forces remained just long enough to see Mephiston recovered from the rubble, terribly wounded but miraculously still clinging to life, before they vanished once more. This second resurrection only served to increase Mephiston's legend within his Chapter -- and beyond.
- Blackfang Crusade (994.M41) - After determining that the Ork strongholds located in the Blackfang System had defied the will of the Emperor for far too long, Lord Commander Dante mobilises the entire Blood Angels Chapter for a year-long Imperial Crusade that not only drives the Greenskins from their empire within the 12 worlds of Blackfang but also from 2 neighbouring star systems that had long been Ork bastions.
- Beheading the Serpent (995.M41) - Captain Erasmus Tycho's 3rd Company is one of the many Space Marine strike forces that responded to the threat of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Jormungandr. Though Tycho led his Astartes to numerous crucial victories that turned the tide against this tendril of the Great Devourer, his tactics proved so reckless, even for a Blood Angel, that the Sanguinary Priests of the Chapter began to fear for his sanity.
- Vengeance for Semmel (996.M41) - Commander Dante learns of the location of the Eldar who slew so many Blood Angels on Semmel years before. He ordered the Sanguinary Guard to earn the Chapter's vengeance. The strike force caught its quarry in the arid badlands of the world of Zoros. In the resulting aerial combat, Sanguinary Guardians dueled with Eldar Jetbikes and Swooping Hawks Aspect Warriors, but emerged as the victors. Unfortunately, the identity of the individual who betrayed the Blood Angels at Semmel could not be determined and so final vengeance for that loss remains beyond the Chapter's reach.
- Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - The Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka returns to the Hive World of Armageddon at the head of another, even larger Ork WAAAGH!, unleashing the Third War for Armageddon. Over 2 dozen Space Marine Chapters responded to the Greenskin assault this time, which was necessary as the Blood Angels were forced to deploy much of their existing strength against the equally dangerous threat of Hive Fleet Leviathan. Even so, honour demanded that the Chapter provide at least some assistance to Armageddon and Dante sent the 3rd Company and a generous number of support units. During the course of the campaign, Captain Erasmus Tycho finally succumbed to the Black Rage and spent his life valiantly on the outer walls of the Hive Tempestora, taking hundreds of Orks with him down into death. The 3rd Company's new commander is Captain Galan Machiavi.
- The Shield of Baal (998.M41) - News reaches Baal that the Cryptan Shield, intended to hold back the might of Hive Fleet Leviathan, has collapsed. Already Commander Dante had put plans in motion to defend the Blood Angels' homeworld, strike forces fighting hit-and-run battles with Leviathan's smaller splinter fleets throughout the Red Scar. Meanwhile, the defences of Baal and her moons have been bolstered like never before; indomitable fortresses rose above the sweltering sands, and the might of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters gathered from across the galaxy. Yet still it did not seem to be enough, for the Tyranids were seemingly without number, and Hive Fleet Leviathan was learning the weaknesses of its prey at an exponential rate. Knowing that the consumption of the Cryptus System would open the floodgates for an unstoppable Tyranid invasion of Baal, Commander Dante took action. At the head of a mighty strike force later known as the Cryptus Campaign that comprised the 1st and 2nd Companies of the Blood Angels, Brother Corbulo, Captain Karlaen, Chief Librarian Mephiston and the bulk of Gabriel Seth's Flesh Tearers, Dante stroke out for the Cryptus System. This mighty force reached the Cryptus System in time to aid the last, hard-pressed Imperial defenders and avert complete catastrophe. Yet the war that follows is unremittingly savage, with both the Imperial and xenos forces suffering rapidly escalating casualties. The Blood Angels are eventually forced to unleash an ancient weapon of Necrontyr provenance called the Magnovitrium to annihilate an entire world of the Cryptus System and use its debris to gut the onrushing splinter fleet. Showing his wisdom, Dante accepts that the Tyranids have been slowed but not stopped. The Blood Angels Commander orders the return to Baal. His Chapter will fight for its survival upon the worlds of its birth.
- Blood Angels Civil War (999.M41) - Upon the world of Cybele, one of the most dire events in the Blood Angels' long history came to pass in the form of Brother Arkio, who possessed the sacred relic known as the Spear of Telesto, and proclaimed himself to be the reincarnation of Sanguinius. Fealty was given to the so-called "Reborn Angel" by many within the ranks of the Blood Angels' 6th Company. Unknown to the Blood Angels, an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor named Remius Stele, a secret servant of the Ruinous Powers, manipulated the situation to cause a schism within the Chapter. After Gallio and Vode were both killed by Arkio's loyalists, Mephiston decided that he, not Dante, should go and deal with Arkio. He reasoned that since he was a psyker, he could better detect the taint of Chaos upon Arkio and his followers. Mephiston arrived on the Blood Angels' Shrine World of Sabien to judge Arkio, and turned the powers of his formidable witch-sight upon him. He saw the carefully hidden seed of Chaos that Stele had planted inside Arkio and denounced the "Reborn Angel" as false and Inquisitor Stele as a Heretic. Mephiston then challenged Arkio to a duel but before it began, Arkio's biological brother Sergeant Rafen, a fellow Blood Angel, arrived and offered to challenge him instead. Rafen was one of the few Blood Angels of the 6th Company who had doubted the veracity of Sanguinius's supposed resurrection, keeping faith with the Emperor and their Primarch, and formally denounced his brother as a false reincarnation. Mephiston looked into Rafen's mind and saw that he had seen a vision of Sanguinius and that he was destined to fight Arkio. The Lord of Death allowed Rafen to take his place, and the two siblings duelled to the death. After Rafen wounded Arkio and he fled, the corrupted Inquisitor Stele ordered the Loyalist Blood Angels and the warriors of the Angel Reborn to attack Mephiston and his entourage. Eventually, Rafen emerged triumphant, impaling Arkio through the heart with the Spear of Telesto. Arkio died begging for his brother's forgiveness. After his sibling's death, the true master behind the nefarious Chaos plot revealed himself -- Malfallax, a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch. Malfallax and Inquisitor Stele had entered into a devil's bargain with Warmaster Garand of the traitorous Word Bearers Legion to turn the Blood Angels to Chaos by using Arkio as a false messiah. When Arkio was killed by his sibling Rafen, Stele attempted to summon Malfallax, intending to have the daemon possess his slave Ulan. Instead, Malfallax betrayed the Inquisitor and possessed his body, fully manifesting as a Lord of Change. Malfallax then attempted to cause the Blood Angels to succumb to the Black Rage, but was in turn banished by Rafen using the Spear of Telesto. By the time Rafen had defeated Malfallax, Mephiston's iron will had snapped, and he fell once more into the Black Rage. Rafen directed the power of the Spear of Telesto at Mephiston himself, breaking the hold of the curse upon the great Librarian for a second time. In the aftermath of this great tragedy, Arkio's remains were eventually burned upon a pyre out of respect for the fact that he had been duped into heresy through no fault of his own. The Blood Angels that willingly followed Arkio learned of the perfidy of the agent of Chaos, Inquisitor Stele, and tried to comprehend the awful realisation that they had been duped. For they had been turned into unwitting pawns in a grand scheme unleashed by the Chaos God Tzeentch to steal their very souls. The fallen Battle-Brothers were brought aboard Mephiston's warship, the Europae, stripped of their wargear and shackled in manacles. One of the Blood Angels strike teams loyal to Mephiston located the hardened steel module from the interior of the Bellus that housed the Progenoid capsules containing the genetic material of the traitorous fallen Blood Angels who had followed Arkio. Many of the clerics aboard the Europae were of the opinion that this gene‐seed was now tainted and fit only for the fires of the fusion furnace, but Mephiston thought otherwise. The genetic material was placed in secure holding for the journey back to Baal; it would be Lord Commander Dante alone who would decide the fate of this gene-seed. There were voices from Baal that counseled that Rafen should be executed along with the Loyalist survivors of the 6th Company. They were afraid Rafen might take the same path as his brother Arkio since they shared the same blood. The knowledge that he had been able to wield the sacred Spear of Telesto changed this opinion. Rafen's dedication and honour to the Chapter was unparalleled. Lord Commander Dante gave Rafen a personal audience once the Europae reached Baal. Though offered a promotion to the rank of Captain and the command of his own company, Rafen refused, choosing to earn the position on his own merits when the time was right. Rafen only made one request of the Lord of Death -- clemency and compassion for his Battle-Brothers of the 6th Company who had strayed and followed his sibling into heresy unwittingly. Blinded by their belief in Sanguinius, their faith had been turned against them and misused. Mephiston counseled Rafen that the rites of cleansing and purification that might be employed were quite arduous. Many of his Battle-Brothers would not survive the process. But Rafen informed Mephiston that they would endure and their faith would be twice as strong for it.
- Scions of Sanguinius Conclave (999.M41) - Teetering on the brink of oblivion following the events on the Shrine World of Sabien, the fate of the Blood Angels Chapter now required the magnanimity of their Successor Chapters. Lord Commander Dante summoned all of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters for a conclave on Baal following the near-disastrous Chapter civil war that nearly tore the Blood Angels apart. Dante called for the support of the Blood Angels successors to help aid the Chapter in the protection of their common primarch's homeworld and his remains from the attack of both the Tyranids and the Forces of Chaos. While Dante led the discussion at the conclave, the Apothecaria was working on a radical new procedure to replenish the ranks of the Blood Angels in one swift stroke: the lost art of replicae. Caecus was the Chief Apothecary or Apothecae Majoris of the Blood Angels. Disturbed by the dwindling numbers of his Chapter, and dreading its extinction, he was involved in fruitless experiments, which Lord Commander Dante ordered stopped, to clone Space Marines, thus eliminating the need to go through the arduous process of the maturation and implantation of the gene-seed in an Aspirant. However, Caecus disobeyed the order and secretly continued the experiments, prodded by an agent of the vile Chaos Space Marine Apothecary Fabius Bile. He was tricked into bringing Bile, who was disguised as a well-known Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Biologis, to Baal, mistakenly thinking the false "Magos" would help in cloning Space Marines to increase the Blood Angels' numbers. Through Bile's manipulations, Caecus was duped, and only managed to create monstrous, mutant clone-Astartes known as "Bloodfiends" who were consumed by the Red Thirst. These creatures were a shattered mirror reformed in the image of a Blood Angel, but lacked any of the qualities that could be thought of as human. The mutations that cursed the gene-seed of the Blood Angels had been enhanced by the machinations and Chaotic tech-heresy of Fabius Bile, and with each drop of blood they consumed, the thirst that dominated the Bloodfiends grew stronger. The mutants broke free from the confines of Caecus' laboratorium and began to run rampant through the sacred halls of the Fortress-Monastery of the Blood Angels. During their rampage, Bile managed to steal a glass vial that Caeucus had carried back from the Chapel of the Red Grail -- a measure of the mingled blood of a hundred centuries of Sanguinary Priests and the Primarch himself, the raw vitae of the Chapter. During the Bloodfiends' rampage, a small group of the bloodthirsty mutants assaulted the sacred Chapel of the Chapter's Fortress-Monastery. Brother Corbulo raced to the Chapel to confront the vile creatures. He knew exactly what it was the beasts wanted, and he bellowed out a denial, charging in a headlong rush to meet such embodiments of corruption. The creatures swarmed Corbulo as the Sanguinary Priest carved into them with his Chainsword Heaven's Teeth. But the largest of the Bloodfiends, a massive brute easily the size of an Astartes in Terminator Armour, threw itself towards its target -- the Red Grail and the precious blood of the Primarch it contained. The Bloodfiend seized the holy relic and then tipped the contents of the cup into its open mouth and drained it to the dregs. Now that the beasts had tasted the blood of the Primarch, they only craved more. In the aftermath of this desecration, Bile had achieved his goal and escaped from the Blood Angels' homeworld with a sample of the precious vitae of their Primarch. The Blood Angels and their successors among the Sanguinary Brotherhood successfully defended their most sacred of sites on Baal -- the Golden Sarcophagus of Sanguinius within the sacred sepulchre where the Great Angel lay for all time, sleeping in light, forever preserved. The Sons of Sanguinius destroyed the horde of mutants and erased the stain of Chaos from their midst. They had paid for the continued sanctity of the Great Angel with their blood, and in the aftermath of this misery, Lord Commander Dante took responsibility for what had happened and he accepted it without complaint. Dante believed that it was his hubris that had brought the Chapter to this dark place. The Successor Chapters took this into consideration as well as Lord Commander Dante's original request for the successors to grant the Blood Angels a small tithe of their Chapter's initiates in order to replenish the ranks of the Chapter. The Successor Chapters unanimously agreed to hand over to the Blood Angels some of their own neophytes to help their ancestral Chapter rebuild its strength in the wake of the Chaos assault -- and in preparation for the oncoming assault by the Tyranids and the Forces of Chaos.
- The Darkest Hour (999.M41) - The Blood Angels are tested as they have not been since the days of the Horus Heresy. As the launch of the 13th Black Crusade consumed the resources of the Imperium, a tendril of Hive Fleet Leviathan is determined to be on a direct course for Baal. To make matters worse, the dread Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha, the Bane of Sanguinius, returned from the Warp leading an army of daemons. His first blow was struck against Ammonai, the outermost world of the Baal System. Faced with a possible war of extermination for the Chapter on two fronts, Lord Commander Dante made swift preparations, and united many Imperial and even non-human worlds under the command of the Blood Angels simply for the sake of survival against Tyranid and daemon alike. Even some former foes of the Chapter and the Imperium are counted in Dante's alliance, though whether or not they can be truly trusted when the time comes remains an open question. Well aware that even these forces will not be enough to repel both foes, Dante recalled the 3rd Company from its operations on Armageddon and sent requests for aid to all of the Blood Angels' known Successor Chapters. The Flesh Tearers were the first to respond and despatched their entire fighting strength to the Blood Angels' aid without question. Ultimately, all of the Successor Chapters save for the Lamenters lent some form of aid to their primogenitor. Even the Knights of Blood, declared Renegade by the Imperium many centuries earlier, heeded Dante's call -- though they are very careful to never take the field alongside the other Chapters. The stage is thus set for the defence of Baal, and perhaps the final battle of the Scions of Sanguinius, the Sons of the Angel.
- Diamor Campaign - Defence of Amethal (999.M41) - As Dante's forces made all speed through the Warp to return to bolster the defences of their Chapter homeworld, they received word from High Chaplain Astorath the Grim that a new threat had emerged in the Diamor System -- an invasion by the Forces of Chaos that could undermine the defences of the Cadian Gate. Already the High Chaplain was en route at the head of the Blood Angels' 5th Company, but greater strength would be required to defeat the traitorous foe. With a heavy heart, the Lord Commander despatched the Blood Angels' elite 1st and 2nd Companies under First Captain Karlaen and Second Captain Asphael to help bolster Astorath's force. As the two companies translated into the Diamor System, they were momentarily delayed by unknown forces. This delay saved them from sudden damnation, as the 5th Company, which arrived earlier, had been struck by Warp sorcery of some kind. The malefic attack struck at the heart of the 5th Company, causing the entirety of the company to fall to the effects of the Black Rage. Only Astorath and Death Company Chaplain Daenor, the other Chaplains on board and their Librarians -- those with psyker training or psychic defences -- survived. The rest had fallen to the Blood Angels' genetic curse. It unleashed sheer bedlam aboard the vessels of the 5th Company. First Captain Karlaen immediately despatched the Chaplains of both the 1st and 2nd Companies, as well as the Sanguinary Guard, to aid the beleaguered survivors and bring their fallen under control. Having succeeded at this task and determined the wider strategic situation in the star system, the Blood Angels wasted no time in launching their attack. They could not do so quickly enough, for it seemed as though the enemy's plans were well advanced. Crimson Slaughter warbands were present at all of the primary Mechanicus Hubs on the world of Amethal. The secret that the Black Legion sought, and that the Adeptus Mechanicus were in a race with them to seize, lay deep beneath the surface of Amethal. It was the Banshee Stone, an ancient cage for the infernal creatures of the Warp, a weapon to dwarf the Damnation Cache that had slipped through Abaddon's fingers on Pandorax. And, according to the divinations of Chaos Lord Xorphas and his followers, it was full to the brim. It required only the correct ritual to be broken open, at which point the sudden release of so many Warp entities would tear a gaping wound into reality itself. In the brutal and bloody fighting that followed, the Death Company sustained appalling casualties, losing over ninety percent of its afflicted Battle-Brothers, and Chaplain Daenor took terrible wounds when he confronted the infamous Khorne Berzerker known as Khârn the Betrayer in single combat. The loss of the Death Company brothers was acceptable, for it had always been their destiny to perish in selfless battle, and they had sold themselves as dearly as they could. In the end, Astorath extracted Daenor and the remaining afflicted brethren from the surface of Amethal, as the commanders of the 1st and 2nd Companies continued the fight against the Chaos Lord Xorphas. Eventually, the Blood Angels seemingly foiled the foul Sorcerer's machinations. But whether true victory had been attained by the Blood Angels remains to be seen, for the Banshee Stone is full, and its cage is cracking. Meanwhile, Dante and the remainder of his Battle-Brothers pressed on for Baal, determined to strengthen its defences against the coming of the Great Devourer.
An Age of Black Despair, M41
Note: All dates from this point forward are provisional due to errors in the Imperial Calendar, meaning these events could actually have occurred at any time from the early 41st Millennium to the early 42nd Millennium.
- The Tendril Uncoils (ca. 999.M41) - The Baal System is reinforced like never before. Answering Commander Dante's call, one Blood Angels Successor Chapter of the Sanguinary Brotherhood after another arrives to lend much -- if not all -- of their strength to their primogenitors. Slab-sided defences are raised upon the blasted sands of Baal Prime and Secundus, and even around the fortress-monastery of Arx Angelicum on Baal itself. Fleets of Cruisers and Battle Barges gather in the void around Baal and its moons, their combined might enough to crush star systems and end worlds. Still, as deep-void Auspex screens turn blood red with contact runes, and a ten-thousand-kilometere-wide tidal wave of chitin and flesh surges into the Baal System, it seems unlikely that it will be enough.
- Desperate Measures (ca. 999.M41) - With the Tyranids closing in, Commander Dante and his closest lieutenants authorise deeds that would have been unthinkable in brighter days. The Blood Angels' precious gene-seed reserves are removed from their storage crypts, packed carefully for transit under the watchful eyes of Sanguinary Priests, and then sent away on a swift starship with a hand-picked complement of guards. At the same time, millennia of tradition are cast aside as Blood Angels gunships gather every viable Aspirant they can from amongst the nomadic tribes of Baal Prime and Secundus. These youths are armed, and then ferried to the Arx Angelicum. There they form defence garrisons whose strength will augment that of Sanguinius' sons. At least forty thousand wide-eyed youths are gathered in this way, and told that any who survive the coming battle will surely prove their worthiness to join the Chapter's ranks. Of the remaining tribesmen of Baal little is said. Given what extra weapons and rations the Blood Angels can spare, they are left to hide or stand as they see fit. Any Tyranids they kill will be fewer monstrosities to beset the Blood Angels and their successors, but the tribesmen are not expected to weather the horrors that follow.
- Devastation of Baal (ca. 999.M41) - Unwilling to cede void supremacy to the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan without a fight, Commander Dante orders his naval vessels to strike at the enemy and slow their advance. Across a hundred fronts, the red-armoured voidcraft of the Blood Angels and their successors strike at the fleshy Tyranid Hive Ships. Lances and gun decks split the darkness with their fury. Ruptured bio-ships tumble away, slicks of ichor spilling from their sundered innards to freeze in the merciless void. Dozens of Tyranid bio-ships are butchered, hundreds of thousands of warrior organisms slain before they ever see the irradiated sands of Baal. Still the Blood Angels are driven back, every victory carrying its own butcher's bill in flaming hulks and dead battle-brothers. Soon enough the void war becomes unsustainable as more and more Tyranids flow from the darkness in squamous waves. With their surviving voidcraft forced to fall back and harass the Hive Fleet's flanks, the Blood Angels now face the full fury of the Tyranid invasion. On Baal, Baal Prime and Baal Secundus, aircraft-sized Mycetic Spores darken the skies in their millions. The Shadow in the Warp settles like a shroud, choking off any further hope of reinforcement. The Sons of Sanguinius stand alone.
- Death From Above (ca. 999.M41) - Tyranids pour from the skies in ever-increasing numbers. Their spores slam down like hellish seed pods to spill ravenous waves of war beasts directly into battle. Orbital lasers and hurtling gunships take a mighty toll upon the xenos, in some regions wreaking such carnage that purple ichor falls like storm rain across the defenders below. Yet still the Tyranid waves come on, Tyrannocytes falling thicker and thicker while Gargoyles and Harpies swoop between them, spitting acidic gruel that sends Blood Angels aircraft spiralling down in flames. On Baal and Baal Secundus, rippling tides of warrior organisms surge onto the defenders' guns and are shredded amidst storms of fire. Their corpses pile up in hideous drifts, yet still they press forwards, metre by metre. On Baal Prime the situation is worse still, the Tyranids hurling overwhelming forces into battle. Angel's Fall becomes a blood-drenched altar to the gods of battle, its defenders massacred by an avalanche of chitinous bodies and razored talons. Gabriel Seth and his berserk Flesh Tearers lead the counterattack, tearing the heart from one Tyranid swarm after another, but their victories do not come without cost.
- Driven Back (ca. 999.M41) - For solar weeks the fighting rages on. The Tyranid body count spirals upwards with breathtaking speed, Dante's warriors felling hundreds of xenos for every one of their own that falls. Yet fall the Sons of Sanguinius do, as their defence lines are breached and overwhelmed one after another. At last, the defenders stand defiant within the Arx Angelicum's final fortifications. Still the Tyranids fall from the skies. Still the slaughter continues.
- Secundus Defiant (ca. 999.M41) - On Baal Secundus, the Carmine Blades hold firm in the face of each Tyranid attack. Feet planted, Bolters roaring, they hold Baal's astropathic relay against impossible odds, bringing honour to their names with each bloody day that dawns.
- Last Stand (ca. 999.M41) - The greatest Tyranid wave yet slams into the defences of the Arx Angelicum and breaches them. Three Successor Chapter Masters fall in the battle of the Dome of Angels alone. Bodies pile high amidst the sundered defences. Still the defenders fight on, even throwing open the gates of the Tower of Amareo and letting the captive members of the Death Company loose. If the Blood Angels are to die, they will do so in battle and on their own terms.
- The Storm Breaks (ca. 999.M41) - The Great Rift tears across the galaxy. Warp Storms spill from its howling maw, engulfing the war-torn worlds of the Baal System in empyric insanity. The Tyranids are cut off from their fleet, while on Baal Prime the sudden fury of a massive daemonic incursion is unleashed. Perhaps it is solar hours that pass, or days. Perhaps it is Terran years relative to the rest of the galaxy. Amidst the reality-bending energies of the Warp, Sanguinius' sons and the beasts of Hive Fleet Leviathan fight on towards mutual annihilation. Then, at last, the stars emerge again, revealing not a single bio-ship. Where the xenos voidcraft have gone, none can say, but as the Tyranid ground forces reel in confusion, a new fleet is revealed in their place. The Indomitus Crusade has arrived, Roboute Guilliman guided to Baal by the signal of its astropathic relay. With a word, he unleashes his fury...
- Angels and Daemons (Unknown Date.M42) - The salvation of Baal does not come quickly, or without cost. Even as Guilliman's forces rain down to relieve the siege of the Arx Angelicum, even as they join forces with the surviving Sons of Sanguinius and fight to purge Baal and its moons of xenos, still more Imperial lives are lost. Yet hopeless defeat has become a glorious victory against the odds. Meanwhile, if certain grim secrets of the Blood Angels are laid bare to the eyes of the Ultramarines Primarch, he chooses to keep his own counsel and leaves such things unspoken. Baal and Baal Secundus are cleansed of Tyranids before a solar month is out. The slaughter is spearheaded by Primaris Space Marines clad in the panoply of the Blood Angels and their successors. On Baal Prime no such martial efforts are required. The moon has been utterly scoured of life, both Imperial and Tyranid. Though Gabriel Seth and his last surviving Flesh Tearers escaped the unnatural cataclysm, the only sign of life that remains on Baal Prime is the immense Khornate sigil of the Greater Daemon Ka'Bandha, ancient foe of the Blood Angels, wrought in Tyranid skulls piled mountainously high and dominating much of the moon's southern hemisphere.
The Era Indomitus, M41-M42
Note: All dates from this point forward are provisional due to errors in the Imperial Calendar, meaning these events could actually have occurred at any time from the early 41st Millennium to the early 42nd Millennium.
- Hope from Horror (Unknown Date.M42) - In the wake of the Leviathan's defeat, the Blood Angels begin to rebuild. Their gene-seed stocks are recalled, taking their rightful place beneath the rising arches of the restored Arx Angelicum. The several thousand grizzled Aspirants who survived the siege are all inducted, and those that endure are funnelled into the outsized Scout Companies authorised by Commander Dante for his Chapter and their successors. The ranks are further bolstered by a huge influx of Primaris Space Marines, unfrozen from the vaults of the Ark Mechanicus Zar-Quaesitoror and produced upon Baal itself using the newly installed mechanisms brought by Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl. With Commander Dante declared Regent of the entire Imperium Nihilus by Roboute Guilliman, the Blood Angels and their successors are soon ready to rejoin the war for the Emperor's realm. It is well that they are, for the fight has become more desperate than ever before.
- The Galaxy Screams (Unknown Date.M42) - Even as rebuilding efforts continue on Baal, scattered astropathic messages filter in from the void. Some are little more than formless nightmares so twisted that they are shorn of meaning. Others are the death screams of worlds, violent enough to burn out the receiving Astropaths' minds, but containing no actionable information. However, many are clear enough to be understood, especially those sent from neighbouring star systems within the Red Scar. Commander Dante assembles multiple strike forces from amongst his Chapter's newly-bolstered ranks, sending the Blood Angels out into the void as a resurgent force for good.
- The Relief of Lastransa (Unknown Date.M42) - Strike Force Aphorael braves a perilous leap through the Warp, safely reaching the Pendrakh System. They come in answer to a distress call from the system's capital world, Lastransa, which they find beset. Regiments of turncoat Imperial Guard have perpetrated a cannibalistic rampage across Lastransa's southern continental landmass, and are close to overrunning the defences of the planet's northern hives. Daemons of Khorne fight alongside the feral Traitors, and wherever they charge into battle no Imperial defence can stand. Newly appointed Captain Aphorael leads the fight to relieve the Loyalists, orchestrating a masterful campaign of rapid-strike warfare with Primaris Blood Angels at its heart. Inceptor Squads plunge from the upper atmosphere to neutralise the Traitors' southern polar ritual sites and cut off their supply of daemonic reinforcements. Meanwhile, forces of Intercessors, Tactical Squads, Hellblasters and Devastator Mariness deploy by Drop Pod and gunship to execute the Traitor leadership cadres wherever they are found. Stormhawk Interceptors sweep Renegade Valkyries from the skies, while below spearheads of Repulsors and Land Raiders execute devastating armoured charges into the enemy's rear lines. Finally, after three solar weeks of unrelenting carnage, the morale of the Traitors collapses and they are crushed between the Blood Angels at their backs, and the resurgent Loyalists to their fore.
- The Golden Host (Unknown Date.M42) - Elements of the Blood Angels and the Carmine Blades join the crusade to reclaim the Dhormet System from the grip of the Black Legion. While the Carmine Blades Reiver Squads excel in the vicious shadow war on Heddoth, and the charge of the Death Company and Tallarn 44th Armoured Regiment carries victory on Zhongal, a Black Legion counterattack on the Feudal World of Tydor threatens to see the Blood Angels overwhelmed. As Dante and Astorath fight back-to-back amidst the Sanguinary Guard, a golden figure plunges from the heavens to join the fight -- the Sanguinor has come. Led by this trio of angelic heroes, the Blood Angels hurl back their attackers, driving the last of the Heretic Astartes over the cliffs of Felhaven into the darkness below.
- Bloody Retribution (Unknown Date.M42) - Hurled across the void from the Eastern Fringe by an empyric convulsion, a T'au colonisation fleet begins claiming worlds within the Red Scar. Their efforts are brought to a sudden, violent halt by strike forces of Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers and the Angels Sanguine. The planets of D'sandri and Gendal's Reach are swiftly reclaimed, and the war spills into the Sevensuns System.
- From Beyond the Veil (Unknown Date.M42) - Strike Force Mephiston is lost to the Warp while attempting a daring crossing of the Carcharax Tempest to reach the beset world of Ramenghal. The mourning bells tolled on Baal prove to be premature, as a full Terran year after their disappearance Mephiston's forces burst back into reality and fall upon Ramenghal, annihilating the daemonic pleasure cults that have conquered its cities.
- The Khovan Incident (Unknown Date.M42) - Fascinated by the Primaris Space Marines -- or more specifically, their potential to advance his research into a cure for his Chapter's Flaw -- Brother Corbulo makes it his business to accompany them into battle wherever he can. Thus Corbulo is on hand during the final attack on the Alpha Legion's Fortress of Lies on Khovan. Spearheaded by Vindicators and Repulsors, the Blood Angels' attack breaches the immense fortification, allowing squads of Intercessors to pour inside. Yet the Alpha Legionaries draw out the fight, baiting their enemies and striking to wound and goad the Primaris Blood Angels wherever possible. Though victory is eventually secured, the violence unleashed by several of the Primaris brothers to achieve it is extreme, with Traitors torn limb from limb. No official censure is applied to the Battle-Brothers in question, but Corbulo seeks audience with Dante shortly afterward. His deep disquiet is evident, as it appears the Primaris Astartes of Sanguinius' lineage may not be as free from the Flaw as originally believed...
- Battle of Acrabellar (Unknown Date.M42) - An ongoing battle of the wider Angel's Halo campaign, the Blood Angels fought to save the Shrine World of Acrabellar from an invasion by the splinters of Hive Fleet Leviathan. The Blood Angels, Blood Scythes, Cruor Blades and Flesh Eaters are defending the Shrine World, with the spiritual well-being of several sub-sectors depending on its survival.
In all of its incarnations, the IXth Legion defied the standard by which the Legiones Astartes were measured. In its earliest days, it operated with such a simple order of battle and command structure that it could barely be called an army, consisting only of massed infantry companies with few specialised troops of any kind.
Most often these troops were equipped as "reaver" squads, close quarters optimised and wielding arms requiring limited resupply, the perfect warriors for operations undertaken at arm's length from the main force of the Great Crusade. The aberrant quirks of the Legion, the Red Thirst that haunted its warriors, wreaked havoc on its discipline and made any attempt at large scale organisation difficult.
Tactics were often developed and employed at the company or even squad level during combat rather than being part of a larger Legion-wide approach to strategy. This unique manner of operation, fighting at a distance from other units and with limited oversight by the early Imperium's Divisio Militaris, served to limit the impact of the Legion's more aberrant practises on the morale of allied units.
As such there was no concerted effort to bring the Legion into compliance with others of the Imperial Host, and it was a matter of tacit complicity among the various generals and commanders that fought alongside the IXth Legion that it was to be allowed to operate in a manner of its own choosing.
Its first commanders were more warlords than true officers, they enforced discipline at the point of a sword, earned respect with the strength of their arms, and they walked the battlefield as visceral forces of nature. When these respected commanders advanced, the warriors of the IXth Legion followed. When they held the line, their followers dug in, and when they laid down their blades, those around them ceased the killing. It was a brutally efficient structure, one that could be impeded only by the infliction of massive casualties, for even if one warlord fell, there were a dozen veterans ready to step forwards and take his place.
This was all to change with the return of Sanguinius. The winged Primarch was to bring a sense of order to the often fractious Legion, stamping a new structure onto it in the hopes of containing its hunger. Though in essence this new order would seem to be in accord with the Principia Bellicosa, the schema by which the other Legions were organised, in actuality it also varied a great deal from the standard pattern.
It retained the basic structure of companies, initially forming the Legion into 200 companies of approximately 300 Astartes warriors each, although by the last years of the Great Crusade this would have increased to 300 companies each of 500 warriors. However, past this basic structure there were many discrepancies, each chosen by the Great Angel to serve a purpose in his plans.
These companies were grouped into "Hosts" for campaigns requiring greater force of numbers than that possessed of a single company, though each Host was a temporary creature broken and made as tactical need required.
Sanguinius next created three "Spheres" to encompass his Hosts, three chambers by which he would give order and purpose to the warriors of the Legion. Each was separate and distinct from the Three Hundred Companies and the strictures of the Principia Bellicosa, forming a distinct strata of organisation that allowed the transhuman warriors of the IXth Legion to focus their hunger and rage towards a single end and to conquer it.
Yet it was not merely a blunt tool, but an elegant and artful plan designed to promote the finer qualities of the Legion while providing an outlet for the more base. It was the Great Angel's masterwork, the fulfilment of an oath and the salvation of his children.
The outermost of the three Spheres, the Third Sphere, would encompass the rank-and-file of the Legion, the warriors that plied blade and Bolter on the battlefield. Known within the Legion as the Malak, these warriors had but one duty -- to fight at the order of their captains. They obeyed, they killed and they practised the arts granted them by the Primarch, and by these simple disciplines and the endless focus of their transhuman minds they staved off the depredations of their hunger.
Within this Sphere there were but few distinctions, simple titles and orders for those who excelled in specific arts of war and peace, exemplars of their tasks and angels of small actions. These were the marksmen, poets and duellists of the Legion, its strong right hand and beating heart, and though these were but small honours, they were held dear by those who won them.
The Second Sphere was composed of the commanders and leaders of the Legion, the powers and dominions that stood at the side of Sanguinius. To them fell the duty of command, of the execution of Sanguinius' wishes with alacrity and sound judgement. Unlike those who fought at their command, they bore the burden of free will, of time to think and ponder as they would while the curse stalked them.
They were the planners and strategists of the crimson host, they directed battles and wars as lesser men directed symphonies, utilising each instrument at their command to its utmost. As the rank and file found peace in their studies, so too did each of the mighty become a master of many disciplines, those of the pen and brush as well as those of the blade and gun.
Though they were not the single-minded fanatics of Legions such as Angron's red reapers or Roboute Guilliman's famed tacticians, there were few who could match them in the arts of war taken as a whole.
The First Sphere, the final demarcation of Sanguinius' new Legion, comprised the ranks of the "Immortals." These warriors stood within the presence of the Primarch; they did not operate within one of the Three Hundred Companies but as the guards and servants of the Great Angel himself.
Each, when inducted into the ranks of the First Sphere, gave up his common name to take on another and gave up his identity to do the work of the Primarch without guilt or regret, without the self to interfere with their duty. They were Sanguinius' wrath, his stern resolve and his watchful eyes each given form and purpose. Upon these warriors he depended for the most dangerous of tasks, to fight upon those battlefields and to act upon those errands that would tarnish the soul and bring the hunger roaring to the fore.
By the armour of the new names and persona that the warriors of the First Sphere wore like their own, they put off the toll of their actions and emerged from their service untarnished, to take their places in the ranks once again.
Orders of the First Sphere
The First Sphere of the ancient Blood Angels Legion was made up entirely of a series of separate warrior Orders, each of which operated independently of the Legion's standing Three Hundred Companies.
The first and most famous of these were the Sanguinary Guard, the Honour Guard of the Primarch himself, but there would be many others -- each assigned with a specific task and duty.
Few outside of the Legion have made a complete accounting of these Orders, but listed below are the most well-known and important of the warrior Orders of the First Sphere.
- The Sanguinary Guard - Also known as the Ikisat, or the "Burning Ones," for their ardour and unwavering devotion, each individual warrior of this Order bore the title "Seraph," and was tasked with the ultimate safety of the Primarch's person. On rare occasions, they were also assigned as guards for other commanders as a sign of the Great Angel's favour.
- The Crimson Paladins - Also known as the Keruvim, or the "Storm Winds," for the sudden onset of their anger and the lasting fervour of their hate. The Crimson Paladins served as the guardians of the Primarch's halls, sanctums and all other Legion facilities under the Blood Angels' control across the galaxy, especially at their outposts on Baal, Canopus and Saiph. At the Primarch's command, they also took to the field as an elite combat formation to serve as the embodiments of his determination and the shield of his will.
- The Burning Eyes - Also known as the Ofanim, and the "Many-eyed," these secretive warriors were the Angel's Shame, his secret police and shadow agents. They watched their Legion for signs of treachery and madness, and acted to assuage his guilt for his Legion's behaviour by removing the stain. Rarely seen on the battlefield, the Ofanim fought alone and with weapons considered unworthy of true warriors.
- The Angel's Tears - Often called the "Broken Blade," or "Dead Hand," for the cruel devastation they brought to the foe, each individual warrior of this Order bore the title "Erelim," and served as Sanguinius' wrath set forth by his will to scour away those he decreed unworthy of being saved. They were the most commonly seen of the Orders of the First Sphere, serving the dark role other Legions would refer to as Destroyers.
Legion Command Hierarchy
The lords of Sanguinius' crimson hosts bore many similarities to the strictures of the Principia Belliicosa, but with a number of differences both large and small. Authority was strictly divided across the three Spheres of the Legion, with each officer operating within his own place in the manner given him by the Primarch himself.
This strict, overlapping system of authority was less flexible than some Legions, but it afforded a solid line of responsibility and control that limited the effect of the Blood Angels' ever-present hunger and sudden rage. To mitigate the possibility of any breakdown of authority, the Blood Angels maintained a large number of junior officers, lieutenants and sergeants of varying types, all quickly able to take the place of the slain in the heat of battle.
On the field of battle, the line of authority was always drawn clearly for the Blood Angels and followed absolutely. To disobey or question orders was a grave sin, undertaken only in the most serious of situations and warranting the harshest of punishments, even if proven correct.
Their duty was only to obey, the individual warrior worried not for anything but action, putting the hunger to the back of his mind while those appointed over him worried over consequences. In the Blood Angels, all authority stemmed directly from Sanguinius and flowed down from him, first to the Lord Commanders then to his captains and beyond in an unbroken and inviolable line.
This fact kept his Legion centred and focused, each word from a sergeant in the heat of battle was the word of Sanguinius himself, each nod from a captain a tilt of the Primarch's head itself.
The Blood Angels also differed in small ways, as with many of the Legions they had their own titles and names for authority and a host of lesser divisions to suit their style. Those who held command over Hosts and had authority over lesser captains were known as "Archeins" rather than the old title of "Praetor," and also held the title of "Dominion" for a company.
Within a company were a number of junior officers, the "Powers" who commanded the ranks of the company at war and the "Virtues" who stood as its exemplars in other endeavours. Many were known by the focus of their devotion, "Archeins of Wisdom" and "Powers of the Blade," such distinctions a mark of respect as much as a tactical designation in a Legion whose Primarch urged his Astartes to be more than simple weapons.
By the last years of the Great Crusade, the Blood Angels were among, if not themselves, the preeminent Legion of the Imperial Host. In the years after Sanguinius had taken charge of the Legion he had achieved its revitalisation, a change so complete that few soon remembered the Revenant Legion of old.
Once the half-forgotten rearguard of the Great Crusade, now it stood at the forefront of every advance, and those who had once scorned it now sang its praises in every court of the Emperor's far-flung domain. It was a fearsome fighting force, a breaker of empires and an ender of worlds, and unshakeable in its loyalty to the Emperor. It was the strong foundation upon which the Imperium was being built, and while it still stood, that empire would not fall.
At any time, the Legion numbered near 120,000 warriors, accounting for casualties, made up of to 300 individual companies, one of the largest Legions in operation at that time, with perhaps only the vast throngs of the Ultramarines and Iron Warriors on record as overmatching this strength.
Each of these Hosts comprised a force predisposed towards assault and orbital drop operations, with a large proportion of its infantry equipped for close-quarters combat, and its vehicles primarily rigged for high speed strikes and breakthrough operations. With few defensive assets in comparison to more rounded Legions, they were at a disadvantage if committed to a large-scale conflict without operational initiative, but with the Great Crusade at its apex, such a situation seemed at the time unthinkable.
This force was spread across the galaxy in a number of separate Hosts, each engaged in large scale operations, as well as custodial forces at each of the Legion's main bases and redoubts -- these being at the worlds of Baal, Saiph and Canopus.
Of these bases, Baal was the largest, for while the second moon remained sacrosanct for the native Blood, the empty rad-scoured world it circled above was transformed by the Mechanicum of the Forge World Anvillus at the invitation of Sanguinius himself. There, where no unmodified person could tread, the Tech-adepts built a manufacturing site the envy of many smaller Forge Worlds, supplying much of the munitions and technical needs of the IXth Legion. Baal, as the homeworld of Sanguinius, warranted a large standing guard, a duty mainly fulfilled by the Crimson Paladins, though at least one company could normally be found at refit.
Canopus also served as a manufacturing centre, though of lesser size and sophistication, producing vast quantities of shells and other simple munitions to feed the hungry cannon of the Legion. It was a common stopping point for troops bound outwards for the Great Crusade's frontlines, and many units were to be found at rest there.
Saiph was the smallest of the Legion's permanent outposts, serving only as a source of recruits from among the world's endlessly warring tribes, and warranted but a single squad of Crimson Paladins as custodians.
The Legion's fleet assets were similarly impressive, boasting over 300 capital class warships, many of them Heavy Cruisers or even Battleships of various classes. Many of these voidcraft were outfitted to serve as orbital assault craft, mounting either banks of heavy linear cannon for use as bombardment weapons, launch rails for swarms of Drop Pods or vast hangar bays from which the large Stormbird or Thunderhawk dropships could operate.
At first glance it might seem odd that a Space Marine Legion so proud of its traditions would set aside its individuality, but the events of the Horus Heresy had shaken the Blood Angels to their core. The Blood Angels were thus amongst the first Space Marines to adopt Roboute Guilliman's Codex Astartes.
In the aftermath of Horus' defeat on Terra, the death of Sanguinius left no clear line of succession. Factions within the Blood Angels formed around potential candidates. In addition, the Flaw was slowly making its presence felt, further muddying the Legion's future. Ultimately, it was Azkaellon, sole survivor of the Sanguinary Guard, who drove the Blood Angels' destiny onwards.
Azkaellon -- who saw clearly that the Blood Angels had more pressing worries than organisational doctrine -- ensured the division of the Blood Angels Legion into the Chapters that endure today. These were the Blood Angels themselves, who maintained the old Legion's heraldry and traditions, the Flesh Tearers, the Angels Vermillion, the Angels Encarmine and the Angels Sanguine. What became of Azkaellon himself after this point is unrecorded, but his legacy lives on in the Chapters he created.
The Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters adhere as closely to the Codex Astartes as their flaw allows -- they recognise the strictures of the Codex as a form of discipline that can be used to restrain the Red Thirst. Accordingly, each Chapter has a nominal strength of one thousand battle-brothers under arms, further divided into ten companies of roughly one hundred Space Marines each.
The 1st Company is home to the Chapter's most experienced Veterans -- all of its Battle-Brothers steeped in solar decades, if not Terran centuries, of constant warfare. The 2nd through 5th Companies are the Chapter's backbone, the Battle Companies who form the core of any strike force.
The remaining companies are reserve and training formations of one sort or another. The 6th and 7th Companies are the Tactical Companies, used to reinforce a strike force or battleline when the Battle Companies are overstretched. The 8th and 9th Companies are specialist formations, composed of Assault Squads and Devastator Squads respectively.
These companies are rather more limited in their tactical scope, and are deployed only when an overwhelmingly single-minded approach is required. Finally, the 10th Company is seen by many as the future of the Chapter, for it is here that Scouts hone their skills in the Space Marine way of war. Of all a Chapter's companies, it is the 10th that fights least commonly as a single unit. Though the Scouts are not yet fully trained Space Marines, their skills are highly valued. As a result, every strike force will likely have a squad or two of Scouts attached to it.
Though each company can, and does, fight as a separate unit, a Blood Angels strike force will often be composed of several squads from different companies, assembled on an ad hoc basis according to the mission at hand. Such strike forces are normally given code names, such as Bloodspear, Liberator or Primarch's Wrath.
Nonetheless, a strike force will inevitably be referenced by the company from which most of its personnel are drawn, or the officer that leads it. The company that forms the core of such a strike force can be reinforced by auxiliary squads drawn from the Reserve Companies. Such squads will often become the 11th Squad and upwards of that company for the duration of the strike force's action.
In addition to the personal armour and weaponry required by its Battle-Brothers, each company, save the 10th, also maintains a host of support vehicles. These range from Rhino and Razorback transports to bikes and Land Speeders -- such tools are drawn upon whenever the tactical situation requires. This allows even a single Blood Angels company to fulfil a multitude of tactical and strategic roles.
Unusually for a Space Marine Chapter, the Blood Angels command sufficient Land Raiders to deploy these mighty vehicles as line transports, rather than elite support units. How the Blood Angels acquired so many Land Raiders is a mystery outside the Chapter. Perhaps more of their vehicles survived the Horus Heresy intact, or perhaps the Blood Angels were once closer allies of the Adeptus Mechanicus than their current, strained relations would suggest.
The Chapter deploys per the Codex, but often modifies the engines of the Rhino APCs assigned to them in order to increase their speed. These modifications have a negative effect on the vehicle as a whole, and the Blood Angels' Rhinos are prone to breakdowns if their engines are pushed too hard.
Other vehicles have also been modified by the Blood Angels. The Baal Predator mounts a twin-linked Assault Cannon, and is modified to lay down a torrent of fire as the Blood Angels advance, devastating infantry and light vehicles. The Blood Angels' Furioso Dreadnought variant eschews the heavy weaponry normally carried by Space Marine Dreadnoughts, replacing it with a second close combat weapon.
Order of Battle, 999.M41
Represented below is the composition and deployment of the Blood Angels Chapter circa 999.M41. For logistical reasons, each squad is assumed to have a nominal strength of ten Battle-Brothers, although battlefield attrition and instability brought on by the Flaw inevitably reduces this tally. In addition to the forces shown here, each company or strike force will also have a Death Company, although this is considered to be an auxiliary force. The Death Company's strength varies according to the onset of the Black Rage, and it therefore does not appear as an "official" fighting body.
As mentioned above, the Blood Angels follow the dictates of the Codex Astartes in most of their organisation. There are 10 companies in the Blood Angels Chapter and each is led by a Captain who is protected by elite Veteran Astartes who serve as his Honour Guard. The only exceptions to the standard Codex structure allowed by the Blood Angels and its Successor Chapters are the Sanguinary Guard and the Death Company.
The 1st Company is composed of the Chapter's Space Marine Veterans, warriors with experience forged in countless battles throughout the Imperium and trained in the use of the sacred and extremely rare suits of Terminator Armour, while the 2nd to 5th Companies are the Battle Companies who carry the weight of the Chapter's combat duties.
The 6th to 9th Companies serve as the Chapter's Reserve Companies and are composed of squads of the same overall type who often act as support for the Battle Companies, as well as providing replacements for the casualties suffered by the Battle Companies. The 6th and 7th Companies are composed entirely of Tactical Marines, while the 8th Company is a made up of Assault Marines, and the 9th Company has a full complement of Devastator Marines. Finally, the 10th Company is composed of the Chapter's Scout Marines, neophytes who have not yet earned their place as full-fledged Battle-Brothers of the Chapter.
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|1st Company||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Company||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
Order of Battle, Era Indomitus
Following the reorganisation of the Chapter in the Era Indomitus, the 1st Company is still home to the Blood Angels' most experienced Veterans -- all of its Battle-Brothers steeped in solar decades, if not centuries, of constant warfare.
The 2nd through 5th Companies are the Chapter's backbone, the Battle Companies who form the core of any strike force and typically comprise six Battleline Squads of Intercessors and/or Tactical Marines, two Close Support Squads mixed between squads of Inceptors, Reivers, Assault Marines, Assault Centurions and/or Bike Squads and two Fire Support Squads composed of Hellblasters, Aggressors, Devastator Marines and/or Centurion Devastators.
The remaining companies are reserve and training formations of one sort or another. The 6th and 7th are Battleline Companies, each consisting of ten Battleline Squads. The 8th and 9th Companies are specialist formations, composed of Close Support Squads and Fire Support Squads respectively. These companies are rather more limited in their tactical scope, and are deployed only when an overwhelmingly single-minded approach is required.
Finally, the 10th Company is seen by many as the future of the Chapter, for it is here that Scout Marines hone their skills in the Space Marine way of war. In the wake of the Devastation of Baal, the Blood Angels and many of their successors among the Sanguinary Brotherhood began heavy programmes of recruitment to recoup their losses, leading to them increasing the size of their 10th Companies two- or threefold.
The following represents the order of battle of the rebuilt Blood Angels Chapter in the Era Indomitus in the wake of the Devastation of Baal after the birth of the Great Rift and the influx of Primaris Space Marine reinforcements. Great heroes fell during that campaign, replaced by worthy successors:
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|1st Company||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Company||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
The rule of the Blood Angels ultimately always falls to the Chapter Master and his council. In the wake of the Great Rift's birth, Roboute Guilliman has expanded their responsibilities beyond the Chapter, appointing them to act as one of the foremost Imperial authorities in the Imperium Nihilus -- a vast area in the galactic north wracked by Warp Storms and beyond the easy reach of Terra. Most seats at the high table are taken by the Brother Captains who command the Chapter's companies. Some, however, belong to senior officers whose injuries are too great for continued combat, but whose wisdom still holds great value. Such officers command the Chapter's vital support institutions, such as the Armoury, the Chapter fleet and the ongoing recruitment of fresh neophytes.
Though ultimate power rests with the Chapter Master, the council is often called upon to act in its master's absence should he be slain or is himself away on campaign. In addition to their role on the council, each officer will also have an assigned title and duties necessary for the smooth running of the Chapter. Some such titles, such as Master of the Watch, are drawn from the pages of the Codex Astartes. Others, including the "Lord of Skyfall" and the "Shield of Baal," have sprung from the Blood Angels' unique nature.
It should be noted that unlike most other Codex Chapters, the Blood Angels' Sanguinary Priesthood, Apothecaries and Reclusiam are also part of the Chapter Command, rather than subordinate organisations as would normally be the case. This structure means that the Sanguinary High Priest and High Chaplain take joint temporary rule in the event of the Chapter Master's death, rather than the rank automatically passing to the Captain of the 1st Company. This tradition arose during the 35th Millennium, when Captain Kalael rose to the rank of Chapter Master and succumbed almost immediately to the Black Rage, throwing the Blood Angels into a spiritual and organisational crisis.
By holding temporary command, the High Chaplain and Sanguinary High Priest can test the will and worthiness of the new candidate to ensure that such a rash and unfortunate appointment does not occur again.
Many Blood Angels commanders take to the field accompanied by a cadre of Veteran warriors. The Company Command -- known collectively as the Honour Guard -- are seasoned warriors, hand-picked for their skill and tenacity in combat. Fighting at the bleeding edge of the battle, the Company Command support the Blood Angels' heroes.
Even amongst an entire Chapter of remarkable heroes, the commanders of the Blood Angels stand out as the most magnificent of all. Strategically brilliant masters of the battlefield, they direct the Battle-Brothers of their company to victory after victory in war zones across the galaxy as they strive to defend Humanity's domain in the name of Sanguinius and the Emperor.
- Captains - In keeping with the dictates of the Codex Astartes, the Blood Angels appoint a Captain to command each of the Chapter's ten companies. They are the Chapter's foremost warriors and tacticians, tempered by service amid gruelling wars and star-spanning campaigns. Each Captain can draw upon solar decades, even Terran centuries, of personal combat experience to guide his actions and strategies, taking in the needs and challenges of even the most difficult battlefields with what must appear to lesser beings as the most superficial appraisal, and inspiring those under him to ever greater feats of heroism. A Captain is thus a truly mighty warrior who aspires to the most incredible of deeds, whether personally striving in the thick of the fray, or serving as the supreme architect of some grand military strategy. He is defeated only in death. It is rare for the entire Chapter to fight as one, and its companies often strive in separate, far-flung wars. Captains are thus entrusted with a level of autonomy for which many other Imperial Commanders would give their eye teeth. Yet this freedom brings weighty burdens of its own.
- Lieutenants - Lieutenants are skilled warriors and capable battlefield commanders, whose foremost duty is to expedite their Captain's commands and optimise their Battle-Brothers' efficacy in combat. Typically, each Captain is served by two Lieutenants, who act as his right and left hands in whatever capacity he requires, from leading carefully selected forces against key strategic targets, to commanding secondary battlefronts or liaising with allied forces. Many Chapters have found their own roles or warrior traditions that they apply to the Lieutenants within their ranks, and the Blood Angels are no exception. The first Lieutenant within a company is known as the "Warden of the Blood," and is charged with assuming command of the company or strike force in which he fights, should its more senior officers lose themselves to the Red Thirst. Where this role emphasises strategic control and cool thinking, the second Lieutenant's role -- that of the "Sword of Sanguinius" -- is altogether more aggressive. To this Lieutenant falls the duty of leading the most dangerous but vital assaults, planting the Blood Angels' banner atop sacred sites, eliminating key enemy leaders or seizing strategic battlefield assets. Failure is the only unforgivable sin for the Sword of Sanguinius, while victory excuses any amount of savagery.
Selected from amongst the Chapter's most experienced Battle-Brothers, the Company Veterans are equally adept whether acting as dedicated bodyguards, fighting at the forefront of a bloody battle, or forming the lynchpin of an immovable defence line. Company Veterans are usually deep in their Captain's counsel, their voices heard and respected on matters of strategy, morale and doctrine. Such a privileged position is earned through exceptional valour across countless campaigns, and amongst the long-lived Blood Angels it is rare for any Company Veteran to be less than three hundred standard years old. Over such a vast span of near-constant warfare, Company Veterans have learned the art of fighting with a vast array of weaponry in both ranged and close-quarters combat. They are permitted their pick of the Chapter's armoury, each Veteran wielding the armaments to which he is best attuned.
The Blood Angels put great stock in their past, looking back upon halcyon days of glory and drawing inspiration for the darker times ahead. They treasure their company banners with a near-religious intensity, and each standard is a beautiful masterwork woven from durasilk and chased with ur-gilt and theldrite threads. Decorated with glimmering saltires and fashioned to depict mighty heroes, famous victories, or the angelic Primarch himself, these banners are precious beyond the worth of worlds and inspire those Blood Angels that witness them to ever greater acts of heroism. Accordingly, each company's standard is entrusted to a Battle-Brother -- known as an Ancient -- who has displayed true and selfless heroism in the face of overwhelming odds. Such warriors must defend their banner at all costs. To allow their precious relic to fall into the hands of xenos or Heretics would be an unforgivable failing, and so Ancients will gladly give their own lives if it ensures the preservation of the banner they bear.
Company Champions are master swordsmen that seek out the enemy's greatest warriors and engage them in lightning-fast duels to the death. As with everything they do, Blood Angels work long and hard to perfect the arts of swordplay, and so competition for this post in each company is fierce. The mantle of Champion is typically claimed or defended during feast days, where ritual duels, contests of skill and the like are used to determine who will defend their company's honour for the next solar decade. Company Champions specialise in neutralising dangerous enemy leaders. Not only does this allow their commanders to concentrate on the wider battle, but it also eviscerates the strategic abilities of the enemy one slain hero at a time.
Battleline Squads are the adamantium backbone of Blood Angels strike forces. Versatile, skilled and well-equipped, these Battle-Brothers are equally at home tearing a bloody path through the enemy's lines or digging in and anchoring their own. From securing vital strategic sites to mechanised offensives, rescue operations and kill missions, there is no task they cannot turn their talents to. As set down in the revised Codex Astartes, the Blood Angels are organised into three main types of squad: Battleline, Close Support and Fire Support, each trained, armed and equipped to excel at a different battlefield role. The squads are each led by a Sergeant, who directs his warriors to flawlessly execute the orders of his superiors, and are sometimes split into five-Astartes sub-units called Combat Squads, so as to provide greater battlefield flexibility. These squads include the following:
- Intercessor Squads - The Primaris Space Marines were created upon the orders of Roboute Guilliman himself. In the wake of the Horus Heresy, the Primarch of the Ultramarines entrusted arcane secrets of genetic alchemy to a Martian magos named Belisarius Cawl. Guilliman fell in battle and was interred in stasis, and with no one to contradict his orders Cawl continued his endless labours deep beneath the surface of the Red Planet. The seal of a Primarch was attached to his strange project, and opened every door that the acquisitive Cawl desired. No technological arcana were beyond his reach, no secret of biologis lore forbidden to him. For thousands of Terran years Cawl laboured, refining and expanding endlessly, obsessively, until he had created something vastly beyond the remit of even Guilliman's grandest visions. The Primaris Space Marines were Cawl's masterwork, slumbering in their thousands in the Archmagos' cryo-vaults, awaiting only the call to war. With Guilliman's return and the commencement of the Indomitus Crusade, that clarion call sounded at last. Primaris Battle-Brothers were formed into Chapters of their own, and names such as the Knights of Thunder and the Rift Stalkers were soon inscribed in glory upon victory monuments across the Imperium. Many others were drafted into existing Chapters, there to bolster the ranks and continue the proud warrior traditions of their new brothers. Some Chapters gave these newcomers a cagey reception. Not so the Blood Angels. Here were reinforcements when they needed them most, noble warriors bearing the unmistakable mark of Sanguinius who could replenish the Blood Angels' waning strength and provide hope in a dark and terrible age. After the cleansing of Baal was complete, Lord Commander Dante formally welcomed the Primaris battle-brothers and oversaw their integration into the ranks of the Blood Angels and their successors among the Sanguinary Brotherhood in the wake of the Devastation of Baal. The Intercessor Squads now furnish the Blood Angels with a substantial strategic reserve upon which to draw.
- Tactical Squads - To be a member of a Tactical Squad is to have proven oneself beyond all doubt in every aspect of war. Those Blood Angels who aspire to serve in a Tactical Squad must demonstrate the necessary control over the rage within, and act according to the situation at hand, rather than heed the chained beast in their souls. For some, however, the lure of blood-drenched assault is too strong -- many such Battle-Brothers serve in the Chapter's Assault Squads until death or the Black Rage takes them. Others do not yet have the combat experience to switch between close support and fire support roles as the situation requires. As their name suggests, Tactical Squads are flexible and adaptable units that operate especially well alongside their Intercessor Battle-Brothers. Where close support elements must push ahead, Tactical Squads can hold ground with dauntless determination. As such, the Tactical Squad's role will be defined more by circumstance than strict battle plan. The Sergeant will be aware of his overall mission goals, but the method through which those goals are to be achieved is often left to his discretion, rather than enforced by the commander of the strike force.
Close Support Squads
"They fall upon our enemies like Sanguinius' own fury, angels of vengeance with wings of fire and fists full of killing thunder."
- — Captain Karlaen, Blood Angels 1st Company
Since the earliest days of the Great Crusade, the Blood Angels have always held a well-earned reputation for excellence in close-quarters combat. Chainswords howling, bolt weapons roaring, the Blood Angels' Close Support Squads storm the enemy's battle lines and overrun their fortifications, reducing all that stand against them to butchered offal. These squads include the following:
- Inceptor Squads - The swiftest and most manoeuvrable of the Primaris Space Marine squads, Inceptors are perfectly suited to surprise assaults, pinpoint strikes and beachhead clearance operations. Their atmospheric dives allow them to attack at incredible speeds from an unexpected quarter, many enemies mistaking them for errant ordnance or detritus falling from space until it is too late. When circumstances permit, Inceptors capitalise upon this misconception by dropping amidst actual orbital debris. This feat takes incredible piloting skill, for the slightest error would see the Inceptors dashed to ruin by the hurtling projectiles concealing them, but the superhuman reactions of the Adeptus Astartes are more than equal to the challenge. With their speed and their powerful armaments, it is no surprise that the assault-oriented Blood Angels have found numerous strategic roles for their Inceptor Squads. Whether reinforcing hard-pressed Imperial forces, tearing open weak points in the enemy's lines, swiftly capturing high ground or running down retreating foes and turning their withdrawal to a rout, the strategic versatility of the Inceptors has earned them a place at the very heart of Blood Angels tactical doctrine.
- Assault Squads - Assault Squads form the core of the Blood Angels' close-quarter shock troops. Jump Packs blazing, they roar across the battlefield, assailing the enemy where he least expects it, winning victory through valour, courage and battle-fury. Traditionally, Blood Angels graduate to serve in an Assault Squad once their training as a Scout Marine is complete. Here, a Blood Angel's role and duties will mesh most closely with his innate skills and aptitudes. An Assault Squad's mission is to overwhelm the enemy at close quarters, so there are far fewer dangers in assigning a hot-headed young blood here than to a more nuanced or tactically flexible assignment, such as with a Devastator or Tactical Squad. Whilst Assault Marines are incredibly common in a Blood Angels strike force, this should not be taken to indicate that Assault Squads are more prevalent here than in other Chapters. However, given the Blood Angels' predilection for Jump Packs in general, and close assault in particular, there is rarely a shortage of Battle-Brothers with suitable training to fill Assault Squad rosters as casualties occur. So it is that Assault Squads are likely to remain at full strength, even if battlefield casualties reduce other elements of the strike force to a ghost of their former numbers.
- Reiver Squads - The Blood Angels aspire to nobility in all things. They are true heroes, selfless in the defence of even the meanest of the Emperor's servants, and willing to lay down their lives for those they shield. For all this heroism and honourable conduct, there are times when cruelty, terror and merciless violence are the only weapons that can achieve victory. At such times, the Reiver Squads come to the fore. Many Battle-Brothers amongst the Blood Angels see the deployment of Reivers as distasteful and dishonourable. They assert that they should meet their enemies head on, as Sanguinius intended. Yet at such a dark time the use of every weapon is justified in the Imperium's defence, and so Reivers have accompanied many strike forces since the Battle of Baal. That these warriors can engage in the most bloodthirsty acts of murder and mayhem seemingly without risk of falling prey to the Black Rage is a considerable asset to the sons of Sanguinius, and these so-called "angels merciless" have shortened many conflicts through the sundering of enemy battle lines and the sudden slaughter of key command elements or support weapon crews amongst the foe's ranks.
- Bike Squads - The Blood Angels make use of their Bike Squads to support mechanised offensives, to launch encircling strikes against far-flung enemy forces, and to support the swift attack of their Jump Pack and gunship-mounted assault forces. Sitting astride their armoured steeds, Bikers plunge into the enemy with their guns blazing and blades swinging. Whether ploughing through the enemy lines with bone-breaking force or harassing the foe's flanks and rear, these swift and durable squads are the bane of Heretics and xenos alike. As with all of the technology employed by the Blood Angels, their mechanical steeds are incredibly durable, able to perform uncomplainingly in a variety of challenging environments, from icy plains to rubble-strewn ruins, shifting desert sands to rocky moonscapes. No less important is the fact that the bikes are also simple enough in design that their riders can perform jury-rigged repairs when the situation requires it. Such repairs are often needed, for the Blood Angels are infamous for pushing their bikes to the limit, forcing whatever extra speed they can out of the engines and riding at full tilt over terrain that would cripple a lesser machine in seconds.
- Land Speeders - The Land Speeder is a light combat skimmer. It generates an anti-gravitational field, allowing it to skim through the air at exceptional speeds and jink nimbly around obstacles and incoming fire. Such feats require not only a robust and responsive vehicle -- which the Land Speeder undoubtedly is -- but also inhuman nerves and reactions on the part of the pilot. Fortunately, the heirs of Sanguinius have plentiful supplies of both. The Blood Angels consider Land Speeders to be vital support craft, capable as they are of swiftly redeploying whilst providing formidable supporting fire. As it is not unheard of for a Blood Angels assault element to outstrip the strike force's more static fire support, such as Devastator Squads and Predator tanks, having a handful of what are essentially fast-reaction weapons platforms can mean the difference between victory and defeat. This being the case, Land Speeders -- and their pilots -- are in almost constant demand, with the commanders of strike forces keeping a keen eye on Chapter deployments in order to snap up any Land Speeders whose assignments have come to an end.
Fire Support Squads
There are few problems upon the battlefields of the late 41st Millennium that cannot be solved by the judicious application of overwhelming firepower. It is this tenet that guides the fire support squads of the Blood Angels Chapter, whose duty it is to annihilate the foe's heaviest armour and most deadly warriors with reaping volleys of rockets, las blasts and searing plasma. These squads include the following:
- Aggressor Squads - Clad in heavy Mark X Gravis Power Armour, Aggressor Squads advance relentlessly through the heaviest enemy fire. Though not swift, they are all but unstoppable, closing upon their victims with a menacing surety of purpose while missiles, bio-acids and sorcerous projectiles splash harmlessly from their reinforced ceramite plate. This survivability is important, for the role Aggressors occupy within the Fire Support Squads is one of point-blank annihilation rather than long-range artillery duels. The volley fire of their massive Boltstorm Gauntlets is supplemented by salvoes of grenades, fired in looping arcs from the Aggressors' back-mounted launchers to send devastating explosions marching through the enemy ranks. In the close confines of a city fight, or the cramped corridors of a fortress or warship, such a withering curtain of fire can prove absolutely devastating to more lightly armoured troops, who die in their hundreds simply trying to bring the Aggressors to battle. Even should a fortunate few live long enough to engage the Aggressors in hand-to-hand combat, they are unlikely to survive the sledgehammer blows and tank-crushing grip of their powered fists. These resilient and devastating warriors fulfil a number of strategic roles within the strike forces of the Blood Angels. Their exceptional short-ranged killing power makes them ideal to spearhead assaults through dense jungle or urban sprawl, where tangled sight lines and close-packed terrain would render Devastator Squads and battle tanks ineffective. They excel also in siege warfare, striding into blazing breaches with their guns thundering and securing footholds for their Battle-Brothers to capitalise on.
- Hellblaster Squads - The ravening plasma volleys unleashed by Hellblaster Squads are utterly devastating. Bolt after bolt of searing energy slams into the target, melting armour and turning flesh to glowing ash. To be caught in the sights of a Hellblaster Squad is to be engulfed in a storm of firepower akin to the wrath of an angry star. Hellblasters hark back to the single-armament squads fielded by the Space Marine Legions during the era of the Great Crusade. By concentrating so many man-portable plasma weapons in a single squad, they provide a mobile reserve of extreme firepower that can be relied upon to annihilate almost any target. Variations in mark of armament allow for nuance -- Assault Plasma Incinerators are shorter ranged but quicker firing than the standard Plasma Incinerator, while the Heavy Plasma Incinerator is slower firing, but packs an even more devastating punch. So armed, Hellblasters are especially effective against the hated Heretic Astartes, their sunbright energy blasts making a mockery of even the Chaos Space Marines' blasphemous Power Armour. Noble sacrifice is no new concept to the sons of Sanguinius, and the culture of their adoptive Chapter has rubbed off on the Primaris Battle-Brothers who have joined their ranks. Thus the Blood Angels have no shortage of Hellblaster Squads ready to advance into battle with their guns blazing and -- if necessary -- forfeit their lives in the name of victory. Should a Hellblaster meet such a fate, his cooling weapon is diligently recovered by the Chapter Techmarines and its slain wielder's name inscribed in microscopic lettering upon its casing, before it is bequeathed to a new recipient.
- Devastator Squads - Devastator Squads are a crucial part of the Blood Angels battlefield strategy, providing long-range support with the Chapter's most powerful man-portable weaponry. When the Battleline and Close Support Squads advance, they do so under a hail of supporting Devastator fire that cripples vehicles and scythes infantry from their feet. The exact battle plan for a Devastator Squad is therefore an incredibly fluid and shifting thing. The Sergeant must have a keen eye for suitable vantage points, and a cool head for identifying the most crucial targets. A Devastator Squad commonly carries four heavy weapons, the exact natures of which vary from engagement to engagement, with anti-tank Lascannons and Multi-Meltas exchanged for infantry-shredding Heavy Bolters and Plasma Cannons as the battle requires. Traditionally, a Devastator Squad will wield a mix of weaponry in order to more readily adapt to the battle's challenges, although some commanders prefer a homogeneous weapons loadout, purposefully equipping their Devastator Squads to compensate for shortfalls elsewhere in the strike force. Any Battle-Brothers not equipped with heavy weaponry carry Boltguns, acting as spotters and providing covering fire, making the Devastator Squad, in essence, a heavy Tactical Squad that is just as capable of engaging the enemy at short range as it is at a distance.
Those Blood Angels Battle-Brothers who distinguish themselves over solar decades of warfare, who work their way through the ranks of the Scout, Assault, Devastator and Tactical Squads, earn the right to be called Veterans. Golden-helmed and equipped with specialist wargear, these are amongst the Chapter's finest warriors. These squads include the following:
- Sternguard Veteran Squads - The entire Blood Angels 1st Company is made up of Veteran Battle-Brothers, and amongst their number the Sternguard Veterans are indisputably the finest shots. Incredible marksmen, the Battle-Brothers of the Sternguard can thread a bolt shell through a tangled ruin to slay a speeding target beyond, hit a distant enemy in pitch darkness using nothing but their auto-senses to triangulate its location, and effortlessly pick out the weak spots in any suit of armour or chitinous carapace. They can shoot down the sights of a battle tank to slay the gunner behind, blast the blade from a foe's hand with a single shot, and calculate target priorities with such incredible speed that their point-blank fire is every bit as lethal as a flurry of swordplay. To these dead-eye shots are given the finest small arms that the Blood Angels Chapter armoury has to offer. Each warrior's Boltgun is a masterful example of martial craftsmanship, a finely honed tool of ranged death whose worth is beyond easy calculation. Alongside their Bolters, Sternguard Veteran Squads further augment their firepower with an array of special weaponry such as Plasma Guns and Meltaguns. These they wield with phenomenal skill, their marksmanship abilities augmented still further by ballistic auto-cogitation routines and oracular augurhythms integrated into the auto-senses of their helms. Utilising all of these technological advantages to their fullest, even a small band of Sternguard can defeat a force of foes many times their number.
- Vanguard Veteran Squads - Vanguard Veterans epitomise the Blood Angels' talent for fast-paced, close-quarters combat. Their abilities honed in countless battles, their Red Thirst now more a familiar ally than a curse, these Veterans are supremely skilled warriors. Each wields whatever close-assault weaponry best suits him, fighting in hand-to-hand range with a consummate ease that makes even swift-striking xenos warbeasts and grizzled traitor champions appear cumbersome by comparison. Most Vanguard Veterans soar into battle on the blazing contrails of jump packs, for they still retain the innate joy that all Blood Angels feel upon taking to the skies. So equipped, they can plunge from on high to slam into the enemy lines like a meteor, reducing their victims to bloody corpses in seconds and smashing the foe's best-defended strongpoints wide open for their comrades to assault. However, when the situation demands, they are also practiced in deploying from armoured transports of every stripe. Utilising the covering fire of these vehicles to keep their victims pinned in place, the Vanguard Veterans storm their battle lines and hack them apart with the controlled ferocity that is their hallmark. Whatever the case, Vanguard Veteran Squads form the spear tip of many Blood Angels assaults. Their combat prowess and killer instincts are second to none, their talent at spotting an enemy's weaknesses exceptional. Led into the fight by a band of such lethal brothers, the Blood Angels can shatter even the most resolute enemy battle lines.
- Terminator Squads - The matchless combination of protection and offensive might presented by Terminator Armour is fearsome enough, yet it is the warrior inside who is by far the deadliest component. Only the most accomplished of the Blood Angels 1st Company Veterans are granted the honour of wearing a suit of Terminator Armour, and nowhere is this wealth of heroism and battle experience better deployed than when put in control of a suit of Tactical Dreadnought Armour and its death-dealing weaponry. Scant wonder is it then that Blood Angels Terminators draw the most dangerous duties and go wherever the fighting is at its thickest. It was Battle-Brothers clad in these suits who delivered the Chapter's retribution against the Space Hulk Sin of Damnation, thus expunging one of the Blood Angels' most profound failures in a campaign of righteous vengeance.
- Terminator Assault Squads - Terminator Assault Squads eschew ranged firepower in favour of dedicated close-combat weaponry. Unsurprisingly, this is a popular option amongst the aggressively-tempered Blood Angels. Some Terminators choose to wield a pair of Lightning Claws, ceramite gauntlets fitted with energised talons that can swiftly rip an enemy to pieces. Others carry massive Thunder Hammers, bludgeoning the foe to ruin from behind the armoured bulwark of towering Storm Shields.
The Blood Angels' order of battle contains several specialist formations and officer positions not present in other Space Marine Chapters:
- Death Company - The most notable of the Chapter's deviances from the Codex Astartes is the existence of the Blood Angels' infamous Death Company. Not an actual part of the Blood Angels' standard organisation of 10 companies, the Death Company is made up of those unfortunate Astartes of the Chapter who have completely succumbed to the psychosis of the Black Rage. These fanatical and unstoppable berserkers are led into battle by a Sanguinary Priest or a Chaplain, who are the only officers with even a chance of retaining some level of control over these psychotic killers. This company is known as the Death Company because its Astartes are considered to be walking dead men by their brethren. The Space Marines of the Blood Angels Death Company are unstoppable, fighting on with wounds that should kill even a Space Marine.
- Sanguinary Guard - The other major deviance from the Codex by the Chapter is the existence of the elite Blood Angels Honour Guard known as the Sanguinary Guard, which includes 30 of the Chapter's best and most Veteran Astartes under the command of Brother Sepharan. They use modified Jump Packs with mechanical wings to give them a taste of their Primarch's ability for flight, so that they are transformed into true angels of death. They are clad in ancient suits of golden Artificer Armour, wielding an ancient Power Weapon in the shape of a polearm known as a Glaive Encarmine, each one of which is a Chapter relic dating back many millennia. Each member of the Sanguinary Guard is easily the equal of a full squad of their brethren and the deeds of each are carefully recorded by the Sanguinary Priests, as they are warriors second in prowess only to the company captains and Lord Commander Dante himself.
- Honour Guard - Amongst the Blood Angels, it is customary for the mightiest officers to be accompanied by an Honour Guard of dedicated, elite warriors. Its members are often distinguished Astartes or the most accomplished Veteran Space Marines of the Chapter. These are warriors with full access to the entire armoury of the Blood Angels. As a result, the Honour Guard is normally well-equipped and ably transported. Sanguinary Priests and Techmarines may be found within an Honour Guard, as can Standard Bearers. When operating as the Honour Guard for a company Commander, one member of the Honour Guard may be nominated as the Blood Champion, who serves as the Company Champion. The Astartes of a given Blood Angels Honour Guard always wear gold-coloured helmets to indicate their elite status.
- Deathstorm Strike Force - Typically only formed by the Chapter when fighting enemy formations of infantry that vastly outnumber their own, the Blood Angels designed these strike forces with the primary goal of combating mass infantry formations. A Deathstorm Strike Force is tasked with halting the advance of an enemy by way of using heavy automatic weapons fire which has served them well in turning back hordes of Orks, Tyranid swarms and hosts of embodied daemons. In such encounters, these irregular units of Blood Angels manage to hold back the large force of numbers with the sheer weight of firepower at their disposal. This fire power is usually supplied by a squadron of Baal Predators that are led by a Land Raider Crusader. This makeup allows Deathstorm Strike Forces to unleash a tremendous rate of firepower that is so overwhelming that the vehicles' and Astartes' gun barrels are glowing white with heat after intense muzzle flashes as withering attacks leave none unscathed. Entire squads of enemy troops are cut down by a single Assault Cannon, yet the firepower of a Deathstorm Strike Force is enough to shred entire battalions of the foe. Only the bravest of foes will seek to overwhelm such a dedicated strike force of Blood Angels, and even then, the enemy must be prepared to take steep losses and heavy casualties.
- Death Company Chaplains - A Death Company Chaplain is a specialist officer rank unique to the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters. Charged with leading a Death Company into battle, he soars into combat on crimson wings, the Death Company Chaplain leading his fallen brothers afflicted by the genetic Flaw known as the Black Rage. As he smashes the enemy from their feet with devastating swings of his Crozius Arcanum, the Death Company Chaplain booms a constant litany of hatred and vengeance, exhorting his brothers to give meaning to their sacrifice before their tragic and inevitable end. This deeply spiritual warrior acts as the light of the Angel himself, a guiding illumination that those brothers lost to the Black Rage can follow into glory and death. He is a beacon of sanity, the eye of a bloody storm, and the last sight that many of his luckless foes will set eyes upon before their savage demise.
- Erelim - The Erelim are comprised of a choir of five Blood Angels Chaplains. They vigilantly stand in the shadows, charged with protecting the hidden reclusiam of Astorath the Grim upon Baal, whose location is only known to the Chapter Masters of the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters. Stripped of all insignia and adornment save their Chapter's symbol emblazoned upon their shoulder plates, they are as dark mirrors to the Sanguinary Guard that stand in the light of Lord Commander Dante. Even their skull helms have been daubed death-black and their Jump Packs framed by halos of darkest feathers. Nothing but the glow of their crimson coloured optics betray them in the half-light.
- Sanguinary Priests - The Blood Angels' Sanguinary Priests are the custodians of the blood of Sanguinius himself. They serve in the role of the Blood Angels' Apothecaries, as well as partially fulfilling the role of spiritual leaders within the Chapter. Whilst the sermons and ceremonies of the Chapter's Chaplains exhort their Battle-Brothers to reject the anger within, those performed by the Sanguinary Priests call upon the Blood Angels to embrace the Red Thirst and wrest it to their control; unleashing its strength to buttress theirs when the day is darkest and the battle goes ill. Even to this day, the Sanguine Tower of the Priesthood is the only part of the fortress-monastery that challenges the dark glory of the Chapter's Reclusiam. These two towers -- one a shining beacon of redemption and renewal, the other sinister and sombre -- remain a physical monument to the dual nature at the heart of every Blood Angels' soul. As with the Apothecaries of other Chapters, the foremost concern of the Sanguinary Priests is to conserve the Chapter's gene-seed.
- Chaplains - The role of Chaplains also differs within the Blood Angels Chapter, for their responsibilities are solely geared towards guarding against the Black Rage and psychologically ministering to those who fall both to it and the equally terrible curse of the Red Thirst. They also preserve the Chapter's innermost secrets, vouchsafe its creed and monitor constantly for the onset of the Black Rage amongst their Battle-Brothers. In war, the Chaplains are fearsome battle-priests clad in forbidding jet-black Power Armour crowned with skull-helms and death masks. The traditional spiritual role played by most Astartes Chaplains is instead played in the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters by the officers known as the Sanguinary Priests. The Reclusiarchs -- the highest ranking Chaplains -- are the keepers of the Chapter's Reclusiam, the Blood Angels' most sacred shrine. The Reclusiam nestles in the heart of a great spire that stands tall over the rest of the fortress-monastery and only the tower of the Sanguinary Priesthood stands as high. No part of the fortress-monastery is as revered as the Reclusiam, adorned as it is with banners and relics of ages past, its sable stones steeped in history and grandeur. Here do the Chaplains conduct their ceremonies, the rites of Initiation, Vindication and Redemption, the Blood Pact and the Host-throng. In earlier days, the Reclusiam tower was once given over to Sanguinius' quarters and the Blood Angels believe that their beloved Primarch can hear any prayer given voice within. A small antechamber lies to the north of the Reclusiam, a sealed vault to which only the members of the Chapter Council have access. Herein are kept the Scrolls of Sanguinius, the sacred texts recorded by the Primarch during his long life, and whose secrets are said to contain vital information regarding all the terrible times to come. Here also are kept the rosters of the Chapter's deeds, records of its great victories and the legends of its mighty heroes.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
"No angel ever descended from the heavens with as much sound and fury as do we."
- — Sergeant Drusani, Blood Angels 1st Company
In battle, the Blood Angels Legion was the incarnation of the Emperor's wrath upon those who rejected the gift of Unity. Led by their angelic Primarch Sanguinius, their coming was nothing less than apocalyptic judgement delivered upon the guilty from on high, as descending from the skies on wings of fire, the IXth Legion conquered lost human worlds by their preternatural fury as well as by the dread and awe they created. Entire nations fell to their knees cowering before the wrath and splendour of these "red angels", lest they too perish beneath the Space Marines' glimmering blades. Against the xenos, no such quarter was given, and the wrath of the Legion was made manifest as a tide of unrelenting carnage that only gave way once complete extermination had been achieved.
Throughout the Great Crusade, the IXth Legion became renowned for its "wars of ultimatum". These campaigns of open domination against non-Compliant worlds began with Sanguinius or one of his Praetors affording a world one opportunity to embrace Unification or face a "Day of Revelation", in which they would suffer the fury of the Blood Angels unleashed. Many foes confronted by the gathered IXth Legion hosts were overcome with dread and awe, and capitulated without hesitation. Those who did not would see the shining countenance of the Angel Sanguinius transformed into savage fury as blinding destruction was delivered from on high.
The IXth Legion's tactical doctrines were heavily focused on the use of powerful shock assaults to shatter an enemy's resistance in a single, devastating blow. Because of this, flamer and melta weapons were strongly favoured at the tactical level, both because of their effectiveness and ability to provide a fearsome display in action.
Just as the IXth Legion was famed for its set piece shock assault tactics, so it was also famed for its ability, when pressed, to stand against any that would overwhelm it, no matter the odds and no matter the foe, and even in its death throes, drag its enemies down with it to destruction. To even their brother Legiones Astartes, such feats of resilience sometimes seemed to border on the preternatural and could be laid to no single tactical plan nor doctrine nor biological trait, but rather had their origins within their unshakable will to endure, as if somehow fuelled by the rage and grief wrought in their hearts by the deaths of their battle-brothers. To the Blood Angels themselves, such battles became known as the "days of sorrows", when few would stand against many and sell their lives dearly, their names and deeds to be reborn eternally in the most sacrosanct of the Legion's rites of battle and remembrance. When the bulk of the Legion was missing for many years at Signus-Prime, those few lone ships and garrisons which remained in an Imperium riven by war would find themselves time and again outnumbered by their foes. Many were their own days of sorrow, but far greater was the number of the Traitor foes who died along with them as they passed burning into the night.
The companies of the Blood Angels generally fight in a similar fashion as most other Space Marine forces, with a tendency toward aggressive and decisive spaceborne and planetary assault actions utilising highly mobile forces. This usually results in actions in which dedicated assault units, including the Death Company, close with the weakest point of the enemy position at the earliest opportunity under covering fire, and then are supported by mounted tactical units and armoured forces to exploit the breakthrough. This then allows the assault units to carry on into successive enemy positions behind the front line, preventing an organised response, while the rest of the units conduct a mop-up of the remaining enemies and move into positions of support, pinning down the next target with available firepower. Their passion for perfection in all things martial and otherwise, added to the longevity in which to achieve this, can be seen in their strategic and tactical planning, which is exemplary. However, they cannot be counted upon to hold a position in the same disciplined way as the Ultramarines or Dark Angels, as the Black Rage can afflict any Marine in the midst of battle, inciting him to charge forward in an attempt to tear the enemy limb from limb. This often has the benefit of creating victories in the unlikeliest of situations through sheer aggression, although Imperial Commanders have been known to refrain from asking for the assistance of the Blood Angels due to fear that such savagery could become uncontrollable.
The Blood Angels, of all the warriors of the Legiones Astartes, evidenced perhaps the greatest degree of transformation of their flesh from their human origins to the Space Marines they would become. This transformation's effects were even more pronounced and more fundamental than that of the Space Wolves or the Salamanders, both of which featured unique stigmata of their own. The aggressive over-writing of the aspirant's gene-helix by the blood of the Primarch was capable of transfiguring the rad-scarred and twisted inhabitants of Baal to create "perfected" warriors, living icons of the physical ideal of the Legiones Astartes, each one an echo of their Primarch, called "the Angel", Sanguinius in his fearsome glory. There was a price however for this power, and the process of transformation was a more arcane, elaborate and painful one than that endured by any other Legion. Even with the direct infusion of its Primarch's own blood to stabilise the process, the rate of fatalities among aspirants was frighteningly high. There were also those who argued that the mental scars suffered by those who survived the change were just as deep, instilling a sense of cause and purpose that manifested as unflinching, unreasoning fanaticism bordering on madness, a certainty which could in mere moments turn to insane fury when that purpose was challenged.
Blood Angels' Flaw
"Say what you like, I will not fight alongside these madmen. The past proves nothing, except that the Blood Angels are cursed and but a single step from damnation."
Every Space Marine Chapter is defined by the legacy of their Primarch. Through their gene-seed these mighty beings would shape their sons' bodies, while through teachings and philosophy they would influence their minds. Yet none amongst the Primarchs would have as profound an effect upon their progeny as did Sanguinius. Although it is known to but a few, the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters are a dying breed, for they suffer from a dreadful genetic flaw.
This Chapter, once the most golden and blessed of all the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, now shuns the company of its fellows where possible. Some Blood Angels, it is said, are driven by a terrible death-seeking madness called the Black Rage, brought on by visions of the death of their Primarch. Others are afflicted by the terrible Red Thirst, a craving for blood which some claim may be the first signs of corruption by Chaos. It is known that some amongst the Blood Angels themselves spend much time seeking a cure for these conditions, although most have resigned themselves to the slow and terrible decline of their Chapter.
Some savants say that it is because Sanguinius was more touched by Chaos than the other Primarchs during his gestation capsule's flight through the Warp after he and his superhuman brothers were stolen from the Emperor's gene-laboratory. They cite the fact that he possessed wings -- an obvious mutation -- to support their case.
Their argument runs that the gene-seed that was extracted from him was genetically flawed and corrupted even before the first Blood Angels Space Marines were created from it by the Emperor, and thus terrible consequences were preordained. Other savants of the Astartes deny this, citing that the Emperor Himself trusted Sanguinius implicitly, and personally oversaw the creation of the Blood Angels. Certain Heretics counter this with the argument that the Emperor also once trusted Horus above all others in His Imperium, and that even He could make mistakes...
Other Imperial scholars claim that the Flaw lies in the process that is used to create each new generation of Blood Angels Astartes. They assert that it has crept in through the generations because the Blood Angels use the process known as Insanguination to activate the implanted gene-seed organs within their Aspirants. All Space Marine Chapters use the gene-seed organs to unleash and control the metabolic processes that transform an ordinary mortal into a Space Marine.
The gene-seed is encoded with all the information needed to reshape ordinary human cell clusters into the special organs Space Marines possess in those instances where they are not directly implanted after being cultured in vitro. The gene-seed contains genetically-engineered viral machines which rebuild the male human body according to the biological template contained within it. However, even from the beginning of the Astartes' existence, there was never a set way to activate these functions of the gene-seed.
During the First Founding of the 30th Millennium when the Space Marine Legions were first created, the process was still highly experimental and many different ways of controlling and managing the transformation from mortal into Astartes were tried. This led to the Space Wolves using the ritual known as Blooding, the Imperial Fists using the process known as the Hand of Faith, the White Scars conducting the Rites of the Risen Moon and the Blood Angels using the ritual of Insanguination.
The process of Insanguination was originally triggered by injecting the Aspirants with tiny samples of their Primarch's own blood. This practice, of course, ended with the tragic death of Sanguinius at the hands of Horus during the Siege of Terra. However, some of his blood was preserved within the Blood Angels artefact known as the Red Grail. The still-living blood could not be kept this way for long and so it was injected into the veins of the Sanguinary Priests. In this way they became living hosts to the power of Sanguinius. To this day, the drinking of the collected blood of the assembled Sanguinary Priests from the relic called the Red Grail is part of the induction ritual for all Blood Angels Priests as well as the Chapter's Aspirants.
It is from these Sanguinary Priests that blood is taken to trigger the transformation of Aspirants into Space Marines. It is possible that over the countless generations since the time of the Horus Heresy the cells within the Blood Angels' gene-seed have mutated, slowly at first but more quickly in recent years, and that cumulative errors in DNA replication have resulted in the Flaw. Whatever the reason for the Flaw, it is certain that its hold over the Blood Angels has become ever stronger, and their tendency towards self-destructive insanity greater. Unless it can be halted and reversed, the Chapter and all of its successors among the Sanguinary Brotherhood are doomed to extinction.
The Flaw of the Blood Angels has also been attributed to a combination of the genetic defects in the Legion's Omophagea gene-seed organ implant, and the psychic disturbance created during the final seconds of Sanguinius' life. During the battles of the Horus Heresy on Terra and Mars, the stored gene-seed imprint of the Blood Angels was lost, forcing the Legion to have to extract the gene-seed needed for their reconstruction after the Heresy from the fallen body of their Primarch himself. Every Space Marine created from the gene-seed drawn from Sanguinius after his death was doomed to fall to the Flaw, and in the 10,000-year history of the Legion and its Second Founding Successor Chapters, only three Space Marines have managed to defeat the Black Rage once it manifested (Chief Librarian Mephiston (twice) and Brother Rafen -- both with the assistance of visions of Sanguinius, and the Librarian Ashok of the Angels Sanguine).
"Treat them with honour, my Brothers. Not because they will bring us victory this day, but because their fate will one day be ours."
The Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters still suffer from the psychic imprint left by Sanguinius' death (or by the daemonic "wound" suffered by their primarch that was caused on Signus Prime). This can cause them to go insane prior to or during battle and feel the rage that Sanguinius himself felt against Horus and his Traitors during the Siege of Terra.
The condition is largely irrecoverable and only a few Blood Angels have managed to defeat the "Gene Curse." Victims are locked away in the "Tower of Amareo" (named after an ancient Chapter Master of the Blood Angels) on the Blood Angels' homeworld.
This insanity is known as the Black Rage. Rather than let them face a slow, insane death, Blood Angels will form those who have newly succumbed to the Black Rage into a special unit known as the Death Company.
They wear specially painted black power armour, and are often led by the few Chapter officers, notably Blood Angels Chaplains, who are still able to communicate orders to the insane troops and who are still obeyed by them, perhaps because Chaplains directly represent the authority of the Emperor.
The members of the Death Company are then sent out to perform the most dangerous assaults, hoping for a quick and honourable death in combat. The Rage seems to lend those afflicted with a measure of the primarch's might, granting them the strength to rend their foes limb from limb in bloody melee.
However, by some unknown means, the Flaw that produces the Black Rage also seems capable of extending the victim's lifespan, at least until he finally succumbs to the Rage.
Deep within the psyche of every Blood Angel is a destructive yearning, a battle fury and blood-hunger that must be held in abeyance in every waking moment. Few battle-brothers can hold this Red Thirst in check unceasingly -- it is far from unknown for Blood Angels to temporarily succumb to its lure at the height of battle.
The Red Thirst is the Blood Angels' darkest secret and greatest curse, but it is also their greatest salvation, for it brings with it a humility and understanding of their own failings which make them truly the most noble of the Space Marines.
The fate of those unfortunates overtaken completely by the Red Thirst is known only to the Chapter itself. There are tales of a secret chamber atop the Tower of Amareo in the fortress-monastery on Baal, and of howling cries that demand the blood of the living, but none are willing to say for certain what secrets lie hidden in this haunted, desolate place.
There have been incidents when the Blood Angels have been stationed on distant worlds where members of the local population have gone missing only to turn up later drained of blood. It is possible that this is the work of cultists seeking to discredit the Chapter.
It may even be that some of the more superstitious local citizens have taken to offering up sacrifices to their god-like visitors. It may also be possible that these folk have been killed by Blood Angels overcome by the Red Thirst.
Those affected by the Red Thirst often have pale skin, and a potent urge to drink the blood of their enemies that can emerge at any time during combat. Many also may develop enlongated and sharpened eye-teeth.
One Successor Chapter, the Lamenters, managed during their Founding by the Adeptus Mechanicus to eliminate the Flaw from Sanguinius' gene-seed through the genetic tinkerings of some overzealous Tech-priests. However, throughout its history, the Lamenters Chapter has been stricken by extraordinary bad luck in battle ever since, suffering an improbable series of unlikely catastrophes, and has been nearly annihilated.
The recent addition of Primaris Space Marines to the Chapter who were derived from Sanguinius' gene-seed has changed this calculus somewhat. In all of the combats since their introduction to the Chapter following the Devastation of Baal, the Primaris Marines proved -- at first -- immune to the Black Rage, but not the Red Thirst.
However, they seemed able to channel their fury more effectively, leading to fewer unfortunate "accidents" with civilians or other Imperial forces.
Blood Angels Freed From The Flaw
- Mephiston - Originally Brother Calistarius, a Blood Angels Librarian of some ability and strength of character, he was almost overcome by the Curse when part of the relief force for Hades hive during the Second War for Armageddon, where, having suffered for 7 days and nights trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Ecclesorium building, a vision of Sanguinius helped him fight off the effects. He was reborn as Mephiston, the Lord of Death, and with his full psychic potential unlocked, quickly achieved the position of Chief Librarian. He is seen as the spiritual son of Sanguinius, a figure of hope to his Chapter. He is now considered to be the most powerful Librarian in the Astartes, and possibly the most powerful psyker in the Imperium, after the Emperor Himself.
- Rafen - A Battle-Brother -- later promoted to Sergeant -- Rafen had to kill his actual sibling and fellow Blood Angels Astartes Arkio who was claiming to be Sanguinius Reborn but was in reality deceived by Chaos, having been made, through Chaotic mutation, into a likeness of Sanguinius. Rafen then had to succumb to the Gene Curse to unleash the power of the Holy Spear of Telesto (a weapon wielded by Sanguinius himself) in order to defeat Malfallax, a Lord of Change who had deceived Arkio. However, he was eventually able to pull himself to the surface of his consciousness, and also succeeded in helping Mephiston defeat the Black Rage within himself for a second time.
Sanguinius was always a visionary. During his early days he desired to lead his people to a new and better life. When he joined the Great Crusade he transferred this vision to a far wider arena, but did not abandon it. He wanted a better life for all Humanity and an end to the horrors brought on by the collapse of human civilisation during the Age of Strife.
The Primarch of the Blood Angels did much to shape his Chapter. There is a mystical streak to many of the Blood Angels' doctrines, and also a strong belief that the way of things can be changed for the better. After all, the process of transforming an irradiated, genetically-damaged scavenger into a tall, proud and handsome warrior is living proof of this tenet.
This belief can be seen in everything the Blood Angels do: they strive for perfection. Their works of art are things of beauty and symmetry. Their martial disciplines are practised unceasingly. Their doctrines are permeated with a sense of mortality and the fallen greatness of Humanity.
Physically the Blood Angels are among the longest-lived of all the Space Marines. One of the peculiarities of their gene-seed is that it has vastly increased the lifespan of those who possess it, so it is not uncommon for Blood Angels to reach a thousand Terran years of age. Indeed, the current Chapter Master, Commander Dante, has lived for nearly 1,100 standard years.
These vastly extended lifespans allow the Blood Angels to perfect their techniques in art as well as in war. They have centuries in which to master the disciplines to which they turn their minds, and this accounts for the fact that Blood Angels' armour and banners are among the most ornate ever produced by the Adeptus Astartes.
Perhaps the strangest of all the Chapter's traits was witnessed by Inquisitor Garillion on his sojourn to their fortress-monastery on Baal in 1929.734.M40. The Blood Angels have a habit of sleeping whenever possible in the sarcophagi used to create them. They apparently believe that in this timeless slumber, they are one step closer to Sanguinius, and seek to gain some insight into the psyche of their forefather.
While the Blood Angels sleep in their sarcophagi their blood is cleansed and purified. The Chapter thus hopes to slow the long process of possible genetic degeneration until a permanent solution for the Black Rage can be found.
Nevertheless, it is clear to any who study the martial record of the Blood Angels that they enforce the Emperor's will with a fervour and zeal that equals or exceeds that of any other Chapter. In fact, these records point to the fact that the Blood Angels are responsible for many of the Imperium's successful actions, and that the number of aliens and Heretics they have slain in the name of the Emperor is beyond count.
Blood Angels Librarians
Like their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Blood Angels also maintain a Librarium of potent psykers who are highly talented and trained to master the power of the Warp at the highest levels. Each Chapter selects its Librarians in its own way, either from seed worlds, as it does with the bulk of its Initiates, or from the ranks of gifted psykers brought to the Scholastica Psykana. Most Chapters train and test chosen psykers following the ancient ways laid out in the Codex Astartes. Librarians of the Blood Angels are trained in this way, and, with few minor traditional variances, have been taught to live by the word of the Codex.
When not devastating the plans of enemy warlords in war zones from Damocles to the Cadian Gate, Librarians have a host of other, less violent, duties to attend to. In addition to testing recruits and tending to their own training, Librarians are responsible for maintaining their Chapter's Librariums. Overseen by the Librarians, each is a silent and sacred place of whispered secrets and hidden truths. Filled with ancient tomes and sacred scrolls, every piece of text laid down by the Chapter, or relevant to its existence, is housed within. Every fortress-monastery will have a Librarium to house the lore, battle records, and certain psychically-active artefacts like Force Weapons. Famous victories, shameful defeats and the legends of the Chapter's heroes are recorded there, and the Librarians are fiercely devoted to their role as keepers of this legacy.
In addition to the main Librarium on a Chapter homeworld, many battle barges maintain smaller Librariums for use during their long campaigns. While no two Librariums are exactly the same, they are often built around a central pillar, its racks of books and scrolls spiralling out into antechambers that hold rows of written works, data-slates, chronicle-stones and mnemo-slates recording the accounts of great battles, the final words of its heroes, and the secrets of vanquished foes. The central pillar of the Librarium houses its oldest available copy of the Codex Astartes, held in a stasis-plinth or protected by holo-reflection. Many lords of the Adeptus Astartes visit the quiet, dusty halls of the Librarium to draw their inspiration and resolve from the ancient book in times of darkness.
Blood Angels Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter:
- Blood Boil - With a blast of psychic power, the Librarian drives his enemy's blood into a seething frenzy, superheating the target's blood, flash-boiling it and causing it to burst from their eyes, mouth, and ears with explosive finality.
- Blood Lance - The Librarian conjures a mighty psychic lance, glistening with gore. On a single word of command, the lance flies from his hands, hurling a blazing crimson lance of psychic power that skewers everything in its path.
- Fear the Darkness - Casting a psychic shadow across the battlefield, the Librarian summons the indescribable malice of the Warp, unleashing it in a mighty wave of sheer terror, assailing his foe's soul with nameless torment.
- Might of Heroes - Focusing his will, the Blood Angels Librarian utilises the deadly powers of the Immaterium to flow into him, heightening his speed and strength to unimaginable levels and summoning up a deep well of rage to smite the foes of the Emperor.
- The Sanguine Sword - The Librarian's Force Weapon takes on a violent crimson hue as he infuses it with a sliver of his inner rage.
- Shackle Soul - Reaching into the soul of his foe, the Librarian binds it in powerful bands of psychic energy. This power affects a single creature chosen by the Librarian. The Blood Angels Librarian can prevent those affected by this power from moving, attacking from a distance or making a melee attack or using a psychic power.
- Shield of Sanguinius - The Librarian wills a shimmering golden barrier of psychic energy into existence, preserving his companions from harm.
- Smite - Lethal bolts of ruby lightning leap from the Librarian's fingertips, tearing his enemies apart.
- Unleash Rage - Reaching into the minds of his fellows, the Librarian unleashes the savagery within the Blood Angels' psyche.
- Wings of Sanguinius - The Librarian sprouts a pair of blood-red wings of psychic energy from his back that can bear him aloft, allowing him to fly over the battlefield.
Blood Angels Librarians also have a number of unique psychic Disciplines only utilised by the psykers of their Chapter, including:
The ancient lore of the Chapter's Librarium is vast indeed, and hidden among its complement of ancient tomes and scrolls are the hard-won secrets of the Space Marine Librarians. Within a sacred few of these closely guarded texts are techniques that allow the user to enhance his own psychic might or quell that of his foes. In battle, those trained in the Librarius discipline can batter enemies with ethereal force, strengthen their own minds and bodies with the power of the Warp, or sever the connection of other psykers. The following are abilities of the Librarius Discipline:
- The Emperor's Wrath (Primaris Power) - Crackling bolts of psychic force leap from the Librarian's gauntlet, tearing through armour to annihilate the enemies of the Imperium.
- Veil of Time - The Librarian projects his will beyond the regular passage of time, taking in the strands of fate and understanding what is about to happen before returning to the present to sway the tide of battle.
- Fury of The Ancients - Calling upon the myths and legends of his Chapter's battered homeworld, the Librarian sends forth a terrifying monstrosity wrought from psychic energy.
- Psychic Fortress - Drawing on boundless reserves of inner strength, the Librarian shields his mind -- and those of his brethren -- from the threat of sorcerous assault.
- Might of Heroes - The Librarian cages the immense power of the Immaterium within his physical form and becomes the Emperor's vengeance made manifest.
- Psychic Scourge - The Librarian pits his superhuman willpower against that of an enemy Sorcerer in a battle of mental fortitude, seeking to scour arcane knowledge from the foul witch's mind.
- Null Zone - The Librarian unleashes the full might of his mind to cast down his target's defences, both technological and mystical, rendering them vulnerable to the retribution of the Adeptus Astartes.
Technomancy affects the spirits of machines the same way other psychic disciplines manipulate the minds of sentient creatures. No technology is proof against this power, and weapons, vehicles and even fortifications can be cursed by a talented technomancer. The psyker reaches into the workings of his target, subverting its vital energies to turn guns on their owners or cause tanks to roll to a shuddering halt. The power to destroy can also be turned to more benign ends, and Technomancy is equally effective in mending ailing Machine Spirits, readying them for war once more. The following are abilities of the Technomancy Discipline:
- Subvert Machine (Primaris Power) - The Librarian imposes his will upon an enemy Machine Spirit, forcing it into a state of dormancy or confusion, or even causing it to fire upon its own allies.
- Blessing of the Machine - A dormant Machine Spirit is coaxed into vital life by the Librarian's mental impulse. Though granted only fleeting animus, when such a spirit is roused from its slumber, it will not hesitate to lash out at those it deems a threat
- Machine Curse - The Librarian's otherworldly vision penetrates the vehicle's armoured shell, laying bare its vulnerable inner workings to his destructive manipulation.
- Reforge - The Librarian's mind communes with the Machine Spirit of a damaged vehicle, soothing its pain as otherworldly energies reforge its wounded hull.
- Warpmetal Armour - At the Libarian's command, Warp energy temporarily coalesces into a steely metal, bolstering the armour of nearby tanks or wrapping allies in a second skin capable of turning aside bullet and blade alike.
- Fury of Mars - The Librarian channels the mechanical wrath of the Omnissiah into an enormous, Warp-fuelled pulse that surges forth in an invisible wave to unleash ruin upon the impure technology of the foe.
- Machine Flense - The Librarian's mind lashes out at an enemy war machine to shred its armoured hull. Not yet satisfied with the damage he has wrought, the psyker redirects the jagged fragments he has torn free to assail yet more of his foes.
Some psykers regard lightning as the crackling essence of life, a vital force that the Warp-touched can draw upon to annihilate their foes. Fulmination is the power of arcing energy and electricity, and a psyker can wield it with but a flicker of thought. At its most basic, this discipline allows the user to hurl bolts of lightning across the battlefield, but this is only the beginning of what might be achieved. Fields of sparking light can be summoned by the Librarian to ward away damage or, with a blaze of light, he can teleport allies across a battlefield. The following are abilities of the Fulmination Discipline:
- Electrosurge (Primaris Power) - Electrokinetic energy surges through the Librarian's veins and arcs between his fingertips. With a gesture, it leaps forth to transform flesh into charred meat.
- Electroshield - With a thought, the Librarian summons a crackling shield of electrokinetic energy to ward away the bullets and blows of the enemy.
- Electropulse - The Librarian concentrates his power into a raging cyclone of electromagnetic energy that spirals outwards before detonating in a shock wave that causes machine circuits to sputter and die.
- Lightning Arc - Bolts of Warp lightning leap forth from the Librarian's eyes and mouth, arcing violently among the enemy forces and leaving death in their wake.
- Fists of Lightning - The Librarian summons crackling coronae of living lightning that surround his fists. Whenever enemies are struck, incandescent arcs of lethal energy leap forth to course through their ranks.
- Magnetokinesis - The Librarian surrounds his allies in a bubble of magnetokinetic force before levitating them across the battlefield to a tactically superior position.
- Electrodisplacement - The Librarian bends the power of the Warp and an eldritch bolt of lightning flashes across the battlefield. In an instant, the psyker has displaced himself, switching his location through the Warp with that of his allies.
The ground shudders beneath the feet of a geokine as he summons forth his powers. The discipline of earth and stone, Geokinesis is the art of reaching down under the skin of a world and turning its natural might into a weapon. The battlefield yawns open to swallow up those that oppose the Space Marines, or is riven by brutal earthquakes. Even whole segments of the battleground might be levitated high in the air by the Librarian -- enemies fall screaming to their deaths from floating plateaus, and yet more are crushed as the psyker relinquishes his control, causing hundreds of tonnes of rock to plummet from the sky. The following are abilities of the Geokinesis Discipline:
- Chasm (Primaris Power) - The Librarian slams his hands together, and then pulls them slowly apart. As he does so, a wide chasm filled with lava opens under an enemy unit.
- Earth Blood - The Librarian draws on the very life force of the planet upon which he treads, sending forth a surge of healing energy that spreads up from the ground and into those standing nearby.
- Scorched Earth - The Librarian focusses his mental powers on an area of nearby ground. The once-solid surface begins to writhe and burn, spewing rocks and lava into the air and turning the area into a quagmire of fire and magma.
- Landquake - The Librarian stamps down hard upon the ground, triggering a violent shock wave that ripples outwards and knocks enemy warriors from their feet.
- Phase Form - The Librarian creates a Warp anomaly that pushes an ally out of sync with reality. Objects lose some of their substance, allowing the ally to pass through them when it moves or see through them when it attacks.
- Warp Quake - The Librarian focusses on a building and balls his hand into a tight fist. As his hand starts to shudder, so too does the building, until it crumbles and collapses.
- Shifting Worldscape - The Librarian tears the landscape asunder, raising up an area of ground and everything standing upon it, and moving it through the air to a new location.
Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnoughts
To be entombed within the armoured sarcophagus of a Dreadnought is the greatest honour a Space Marine can be awarded, for even though his body may have been broken, his mind and spirit remains in the service of the Chapter, his Primarch, and the Emperor. Most of those who are entombed in such a manner are Veterans, line officers or company captains, warriors who fell at the front line.
Very occasionally, another type of warrior may be interred -- a Librarian, whose fearsome psychic potential remains even after his body is ruined. Librarian Dreadnoughts combine the firepower and armour of a Furioso Dreadnought, enhanced by the abilities of the Librarian entombed within. The Librarian's mind is a terrible weapon in itself, able to unleash fearsome blasts of raw Warp energy, seething arcs of etheric power and waves of dread that blast the enemy's morale to ashes.
Some Librarian Dreadnoughts substitute one of their Power Claws for a Force Blade, a large, Dreadnought-grade weapon laced with a network of psycho-conductive material through which they are able to focus their psychic powers. The point of impact is torn asunder as the bonds of reality are severed by the force of the Librarian's mind and his mastery of the Warp, and few types of armour are proof against such a potent and arcane weapon. Librarian Dreadnoughts are amongst the most revered of all the Chapter's ancients, and even the most experienced company captain heeds their words of counsel.
It is nearly unheard of for Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnoughts to serve in the Deathwatch. This has only occurred under nearly unique circumstances, notably when a Librarian has fallen whilst standing the Long Watch and a Dreadnought body has been available in which to inter his ruined remains. Most Battle-Brothers who fall in such a manner are of course returned to their Chapters, but on a handful of extremely rare occasions the Librarian has insisted that he remains at the Watch Fortress, his wishes expressed not through burned and bloodied lips, but through mind speech communicated directly to his brethren.
The spirits of such warriors are invariably so indomitable and mighty that not even the Watch Commander would gainsay their wishes, and the wounded hero is interred within a Dreadnought so that he may continue to stand his Vigil until it is over and his remains may be returned to his home Chapter. Some choose to remain long after their Vigil is completed and their Apocryphon Oath discharged, slumbering for centuries on end within the stasis-sealed vaults at the heart of the Watch Station until such times as they are required to fight once more.
The Blood Angels are shaped not only by the personality and deeds of Sanguinius, but also by the nature of their Chapter planet, Baal. Few worlds in the entire Imperium could have as devastating an impact on the human soul as Baal and its inhabited moons: Baal Prime and Baal Secundus.
In ancient days Baal and its moons had Earth-like atmospheres. Baal itself was a world of rust-red deserts but its moons were paradises for mortal men, where folk lived in harmony with nature and pursued lives of ease and freedom. The people of Baal became exceptional artisans, and spent their time creating mighty monuments, carving the mountains themselves into statues of their rulers and their gods. They even ventured onto the surface of desolate Baal itself leaving colonies and breathtaking edifices in their wake.
No one knows exactly what happened to change this idyllic state of affairs. All that is certain is that during the fearful events that marked the downfall of human society and the end of the Dark Age of Technology, the moons of Baal suffered terribly. Ancient weapons of terrifying potency were unleashed. Cities became plains of smouldering glass. Lush grasslands became polluted deserts. Seas became poisoned lakes of toxic sludge.
The people of Baal died in their millions and it looked as if humanity might become extinct in the Baal System. But somehow people survived. They clung precariously to life on the edges of the radioactive deserts. They became scavengers, picking through the scattered bones of their own once-great civilisation. In the dark time that followed the collapse of all order, some became worse than scavengers, and in their desperation turned to cannibalism.
Over the course of the following centuries, the accumulated chemical and radioactive toxins that built up in the survivors' bodies led to them devolving into mutants, shambling parodies of the people their forefathers had once been. There were some who held on to their humanity and preserved a semblance of sane behaviour, but these were the embattled few amongst a new and savage culture that evolved amid the ruins of the old.
The only social unit left was the tribe. For human and mutant cannibal alike, the only folk they could rely upon were their own kin. The people of the Baal System became nomads, shifting from place to place, picking the ruins clean, warring to preserve the spoils they had gathered. The tribes fought constant wars, webs of alliances shifting constantly as each tribe strove for supremacy and survival. Extinction awaited the slow and the weak.
Where once the moons had been near-paradise, now they were living hells. For the few surviving humans, existence was a constant struggle. They wandered the surface in ramshackle vehicles, hoping that their patched-together radiation suits would save them, praying they would never hear the ominous tell-tale click of their rad-counters. For a time it seemed that humanity was doomed, that soon there would only be an endless desert ruled over by the feuding mutant tribes. Then, out of the star-strewn heavens, came hope -- the Primarch Sanguinius.
As Sanguinius quickly grew to maturity at an advanced rate, he soon rose to leadership of The Blood, and under his guidance they rolled back the mutant tide. Eventually the Emperor of Mankind came to Baal, as He sought out His missing sons who had been stolen from Him by the Ruinous Powers. Some amongst the Primarchs are said to have fought against the Emperor when first they met but this was not the case with Sanguinius. He immediately recognised the Emperor for who He was and bent his knee before the Lord of Mankind.
The Emperor raised him up and looked upon his people and saw that they were fair and noble despite the diseases and mutations that brought so many low at young ages. The best of the warriors He offered to transform into Space Marines. The others were to be honourably left behind to defend Mankind's birthright upon Baal Secundus.
The mighty fortress-monastery of the Blood Angels was built on the world of Baal, and since the time of Sanguinius, the Blood Angels have continued to recruit from among the tribes of The Blood on Baal Secundus and Baal Prime (where a colony was established shortly after the time of the Horus Heresy).
To ascertain who is worthy to join the ranks of the Blood Angels, the adolescents of the feral tribes of Baal Secundus who would be Blood Angels Aspirants take part in violent games and tournaments, battling against the harsh landscape and their peers. The contests are held at the settlement of "Angel's Fall," the location of Sanguinius' landing on Baal, where a mighty statue of Sanguinius now observes the proceedings.
Traditionally, the Time of Challenge is announced by heralds who visit each tribe in "flying chariots" (Thunderhawk gunships). The first trial is to reach the "Place of Challenge" by any means necessary. The contestants must make their way across the hostile rad-deserts, leaping from high cliffs with only a crude hang-glider to cross the gap with. They must avoid Fire Scorpions and other mutated predator species that inhabit the canyons, then climb the mountain to the Place of Challenge.
This process weeds out the weakest. The hazards of the desert are many, and it takes a youth of extraordinary skill and courage to even reach the Place of Challenge. Upon arrival, gladiatorial contests are held, where they must vie for the fifty or so places that are available. Those who succeed are taken up in Sky Chariots; those who fail are left behind either to guard the place of testing until the next generation's contestants begin their competition for acceptance or to make their way back to their own tribes.
The successful Aspirants are taken to the Blood Angels' fortress-monastery on Baal itself, and are paraded before members of the Chapter, before being escorted into the Great Chapel. There they see great wonders. They look for the first time on the unmasked faces of their future brother Marines, and not with some consternation their sharp eye-teeth and sleekly beautiful features.
It has to be said that the recruits are far form handsome at this stage. Most Aspirants bear marks of their hard lives -- it is impossible for an ordinary man to dwell on those barren moons and not feel the terrible kiss of their ambient radiation. Many are marked by stigmata, most are short and stunted, their growth stifled by malnutrition. Many more will be marked by lesions and carcinoma.
All the Aspirants are left to observe vigil in the great Chapel of the Chapter, before drinking from the Sanguinary Chalice brought to them by the Sanguinary Priests which contains the viral catalysts that will begin the process of transformation into transhuman Astartes. Slumber soon overtakes them and the Aspirants are borne by Servitors to the Apothecarion where the gene-seed of Sanguinius is implanted in their recumbent bodies. From the Apothecarion the Aspirants are taken to the Hall of Sarcophagi and each is placed within a mighty golden sarcophagus.
Life support nodes are attached to them and for the next Terran year they are fed intravenously with a mixture of nutrients and the Blood of Sanguinius while the gene-seed does its work. Many of the Aspirants die at this stage, their bodies unable to cope with the sheer strain of the physical changes that now overtake them. Those who live grow swift and true, echoing the rapid growth of their Primarch. They put on muscle mass and acquire the extra internal organs that mark a true Space Marine.
At this time too they have strange dreams, for the gene-seed carries within it the memories of Sanguinius. Thus does the Primarch's essence begin to permeate the souls of his warriors. On rare occasions, an Aspirant will awaken well before the year is up, and will be forced to contemplate the claustrophobic darkness. Emerging from the sarcophagi these unfortunates are almost always afflicted with mental infirmity. Afterwards, when sleeping, and sometimes when awake, these dreams return to haunt the Blood Angels.
When the Aspirants finally emerge from their sarcophagi they are forever changed. They are tall, strong and superhumanly powerful. Their restructured bodies and features have taken on a beauty that echoes that of their angelic forebear. Their senses are keener, their muscles stronger than tempered steel. They are ready to begin their training as Space Marines.
They are now Blood Angels neophytes, though they have only completed the first stage of becoming a full Blood Angels Astartes. There is then the typical tradition of serving in the Chapter's 10th Company as a Scout force before joining one of the other companies as a fully-fledged initiate.
The Blood Angels have a long history of service with the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos of the Inquisition. When serving as Deathwatch Battle-Brothers, Blood Angels hold themselves and all around them to high standards of conduct and skill. The sons of Sanguinius are experts in the use of masterpiece weapons and the launching of army-shattering assaults. Their Vanguard Veterans are an inspiring sight in the ranks of the Deathwatch. The Blood Angels demand perfection in all they do, and this extends to their expectations of their peers. When selected as a Kill-team leader or ascended to the rank of Watch Captain or Watch Commander, Blood Angels are hard task masters indeed, yet completely competent in all they do. The tragedy is that behind the mask, the exemplar of perfection is wracked by the effects of the dreadful Flaw of the Chapter. By night, he slumbers fitfully in his sarcophagus, his blood being filtered by arcane machineries so that the Flaw might be cleansed away. None save his fellow Sons of Sanguinius will ever know of these afflictions, and even amongst themselves, such Battle-Brothers rarely acknowledge it openly, preferring instead to suffer in dignity, until their Apocryphon Oath is discharged and they can return to the bosom of their Chapter.
The Blood Angels were not present at the outset of the Achilus Crusade in the Jericho Reach. They had been petitioned, though not in person, to contribute forces to it. A meme-locked Master Astropath was tasked with transmitting a high priority message for the attention of the Blood Angels Chapter Master, Commander Dante, seeking his aid in the coming offensive. It is believed that at the time the bulk of the Chapter was engaged in a series of suppression actions near the galactic core regions, and the three companies that might have been spared were re-tasked in the face of the Tyranids' attack on Ultramar. However, it appears that one or more of the Blood Angels Successor Chapters may have intercepted the message, or else had it passed on to them, for a company of the Angels Vermillion arrived at the muster point unheralded mere solar weeks before the frst assault, followed just a solar day before the opening of hostilities by two companies of the Flesh Tearers Chapter, another Blood Angels successor. Though kin, the forces of these two Chapters fought entirely separately and no interaction between them was ever witnessed. Just before the arrival of the Tyranids in the Reach, both Chapters withdrew from the warzone without further communication, but soon after, the leading elements of a Blood Angels Strike Force put in at Hethgard. The force's leader was Veteran Sergeant Tobius, who in addressing the Crusade's high command told how his squads had stood with their brother Chapters at the Battle of Macragge. While many of the veterans of that great battle had returned to Baal, this strike force had determined to follow the splinters of Hive Fleet Behemoth, and Tobius claimed that their mission had brought them to the Jericho Reach on the tail of Hive Fleet Dagon. Since their arrival in the Reach, the Battle-Brothers of the Blood Angels Chapter have fought many bold actions, some at the behest of Lord Tetrarchus and others according to their own agenda. Some have been conducted in concert with the Deathwatch, and Veteran Sergeant Tobius has attended the Chamber of Vigilance on several occasions. It is notable that the Blood Angels are well represented amongst the Deathwatch of Watch Fortress Erioch, many drawn in by the chance to work under the venerated Watch Commander Mordigael
Since their arrival in the Jericho Reach, the Battle-Brothers of the Blood Angels Chapter have fought many bold actions, some at the behest of notable Imperial commanders and others according to their own agenda. Some have been conducted in concert with the Deathwatch. It is notable that the Blood Angels are well-represented amongst the Deathwatch of Watch Fortress Erioch, many drawn in by the chance to work under the venerated Watch Commander Mordigael. Perhaps because there are many Battle-Brothers of the Blood Angels serving in the ranks of the Deathwatch of the Jericho Reach, Watch Fortress Erioch has many warriors well-versed in operations based around the Stormraven Gunship. In fact, it is believed that like the Grey Knights, the Deathwatch in the Jericho Reach has had access to the Stormraven Gunship for quite some time, for its compact size, weapons configuration, and agility make it an ideal insertion and fire support vehicle for the small, self-contained Kill-teams of the Deathwatch.
Notable Blood Angels
Great Crusade and Horus Heresy Era Personnel
- Sanguinius - Sanguinius, also sometimes referred to as the Angel, was the winged Primarch of the Blood Angels Legion. He was slain during the climax of the Horus Heresy at the end of the Siege of Terra defending the Emperor of Mankind from Horus aboard his flagship, the Battle Barge Vengeful Spirit. Though Horus slew Sanguinius, who had once been one of his closest friends amongst the Primarchs, legend holds that it was the chink in Horus' armour created by the Angel that allowed the Emperor to slay the Arch-Heretic and thus prevent Mankind from falling to the corruption of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.
- Azkaellon - The venerated hero and founder of the Blood Angels' Sanguinary Guard, Azkaellon served as the Herald of Sanguinius during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. He continued to serve with his Primarch until Sanguinius perished in the assault on the Warmaster Horus' Battle Barge Vengeful Spirit during the final hours of the Siege of Terra. He would be the lone member of the Sanguinary Guard that survived that final confrontation. Sanguinius' prescient vision of his own fate led him to insist that his Herald remain on Terra so that should he fall, the Sanguinary Guard would not be extinguished. Once reconstituted by Azkaellon, they would go on to serve as a beacon of hope for the Blood Angels and the wider Imperium in the dark days ahead. Though he yearned to fight at his Primarch's side one final time, with a heavy heart Azkaellon acceded to Sanguinius' wishes. He knew that he could not jeopardise the sacred duty entrusted to him. Following the death of Sanguinius, there was no clear line of succession, and soon factions within the Blood Angels formed around potential candidates. In addition, the Flaw slowly made its presence felt, further muddying the Legion's future. Ultimately, it was Azkaellon, sole survivor of the Sanguinary Guard, who drove the Blood Angels' destiny onwards. Azkaellon -- who saw clearly that the Blood Angels had more pressing worries than organisational doctrine -- ensured the division of the Blood Angels Legion into the Chapters that endure today. These were the Blood Angels themselves, who maintained the old Legion's heraldry and traditions, the Flesh Tearers, the Angels Vermillion, the Angels Encarmine and the Angels Sanguine. What became of Azkaellon himself after this point is unrecorded, but his legacy lives on in the Chapters he created. Following his Primarch's final orders, the Sanguinary Guard also managed to survive when the Blood Angels' Primarch did not, for Azkaellon made certain that their legacy was maintained, not just in the Blood Angels, but in every Successor Chapter that arose from the dissolution of the Blood Angels Legion during the Second Founding. The Sanguinary Guard believe the spirit of their founder lives on in the form of the golden angel of vengeance known as the Sanguinor, preserved against the withering millennia by the Emperor's grace.
- Legion Master Ishidur Ossuros - Ishidur Ossuros was the first and only Legion Master of the IX Legion of Space Marines before it was reunited with its Primarch Sanguinius and renamed the Blood Angels. In truth, the real Ossuros died early on in the Great Crusade, but his identity and memories were taken by his successors though the abilities granted by their Legion's overactive Omophagea gene-seed implant. They allowed his legend to live on through them until their own deaths. The last incarnation of Ishidur Ossuros fell during the first battle of the newly-named Blood Angels with their Primarch at Teghar Pentaurus, when he gave his life to save Sanguinius from being overrun and slain. Ossuros' body could not be found, so his persona could not be passed on to a new Astartes through the consumption of his flesh.
- Chapter Master Raldoron - Raldoron, known as the Blooded, was the legendary First Captain of the Veteran 1st Company of the IXth Legion during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. He was one of the Primarch's most trusted men and carried many honours alongside his stewardship of the elite 1st Company, the Protectors, a responsibility hard-won through decades of war in the Emperor's name. Raldoron was Equerry to his Legion's Primarch and held the then-new honourific "Chapter Master," serving in a similar advisory role to Sanguinius as the warriors of Horus' cadre of advisors, the Mournival. Raldoron was a Veteran Space Marine Captain of the Three Hundred (the commanders of the 300 companies of the IXth Legion), but he was commander of the 1st Company, and his promotion to Chapter Master placed him in a special class of seniority that few other warriors of the Legion could claim. He wore the honour with pride and humility, as was the Blood Angels way, but nevertheless, this esteemed rank set him apart from his fellows. He was not a man given to impulsive and ill considered actions. There was some enmity between the Chapter Master and Azkaellon, the Primarch's Herald and commander of the Legion's Sanguinary Guard. Azkaellon was so severe in his manner that oft times it seemed he was utterly inflexible on every question. It was a frequent cause of friction between the warriors of the 1st Company and the Sanguinary Guard. Raldoron's fluid, adaptable command style was at odds with Azkaellon's aloof, rigid comportment, and the two of them reflected their different natures down to the bone.
- Captain Nassir Amit - Amit was the Captain of the Blood Angels Legion's 5th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. He was a line commander, who was notorious for proudly displaying his Artificer-wrought battleplate's impact marks, blade scratches and other signifiers of battle-wear, even on formal occasions when protocol called for it to be in good order and dressed in a manner befitting such an important function. The armour mirrored the martial bluntness of the warrior who wore it. Of all the IXth Legion's captains, Amit's reputation -- and that of his company -- was the most bloodthirsty. More than once, the 5th Company had been called to censure by Sanguinius for their zeal in pursuing enemy forces. It was not for nothing that the outspoken officer had earned the nickname the "Flesh Tearer", and rather than deny the epithet, he had made it his own. The bloodthirsty officer had a predatory way about him, a sense of aggression barely held in check that the First Captain had seen unleashed in full many times on the field of battle. Like their commander, the Battle-Brothers of the 5th Company were known to bear Bolters and flaying knives in battle. During the Second Founding when the Blood Angels Legion was dissolved into a number of Successor Chapters, Amit was chosen to become the first Chapter Master of the newly formed Flesh Tearers Chapter.
- Captain Furio - Furio was the Captain of the Blood Angels Legion's 9th Company shield-bearers during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. Furio was an impressive physical specimen, even for an Astartes, standing taller and wider than most of the captains within the IXth Legion. Some of the Battle-Brothers joked that he would have been better suited to wear the Cataphractii armour of the Legion's Terminator Squads instead of the standard pattern Power Armour that seemed hard-pressed to encompass his stature. Furio's hairless head was pale, showing his origins as an iceborn from Baal's northern polar zone.
- Captain Galan - Galan was the Captain of the Blood Angels Legion's 16th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. The Battle-Brothers of the 16th Company were known to favour carrying blade-staves in battle.
- Captain Dar Nakir - Dar Nakir was the Captain of the Blood Angels Legion's 24th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. Nakir was of Baalite technomad stock, his shoulder-length hair black and plaited, his swarthy face forever caught between a killer's smile and a zealot's grimace.
- Captain Tagas - Tagas was the Captain of the Blood Angels Legion's 111th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Captain Thoros - Thoros was one of the most vaunted captains of battle that served in the Blood Angels Legion during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. He was present amongst the Blood Angels contingent that attended the Council of Nikaea and was introduced to Magnus the Red, the Primarch of the Thousand Sons Legion by Sanguinius. He later met his end at the hands of the vile xenos known as the Megarachnids during the campaign on the world called Murder.
- Lieutenant Commander Reznor - Reznor was the Lieutenant Commander of the Blood Angels Legion's 164th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Warden Dahka Berus - Served as the High Warden (High Chaplain) of the Blood Angels Legion and its senior spiritual advisor during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. One of Berus' primary duties was to ensure that the Emperor's Edicts of Nikaea were strictly enforced. He monitored those Battle-Brothers that were former members of the IXth Legion's Librarium and had been reintegrated back into the Legion's line companies.
- Warden Yason Annellus - Annellus served as one of the Blood Angels Legion's Wardens (Chaplains) during the Great Crusade and the opening days of the Horus Heresy. He was assigned as one of the spiritual caretakers of the IXth Legion. One of Annelus' primary duties was to ensure that the Emperor's Decree Absolute that had been issued during the Council of Nikaea forbidding the use of psychic powers was strictly enforced within the Legion. Annellus valiantly gave his life during the final assault on the Cathedral of the Mark on Signus Prime during the Signus Campaign.
- Warden Arkad - Arkad served as one of the Blood Angels Legion's Wardens (Chaplain) during the Great Crusade and the opening days of the Horus Heresy. He also served as the acting Regent of Baal during Primarch Sanguinius' absence when the Blood Angels Legion was deployed nearly in full to the Signus Cluster during the opening days of the Horus Heresy.
- Apothecary Meros - Meros was an Apothecary Minorius, a junior medicae, who served in the Blood Angels Legion's 9th Company under Captain Furioso during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. Initially, Meros was a simple line-Astartes of solid, if unremarkable service. But later on, during the opening days of the Horus Heresy, his fate would become inextricably intertwined with that of his Legion and his Primarch during the Signus Campaign.
- Brother Ecanus - Ecanus had formally served the Blood Angels as a battle-psyker in the 202nd Company during the Great Crusade and the opening days of the Horus Heresy. Like Mkani Kano, he had accepted the orders that made the use of his skills taboo following the Council of Nikaea and the Emperor's Decree Absolute. Kano fought in many wars with Ecanus who had a particular affinity for a power they knew as "the Lance", the conjuring of a great spear of telekinetic force with which to strike down the Legion's foes. Ecanus valiantly gave his life on Signus Prime to resurrect his Primarch from a dark, unnatural torpor after Sanguinius had been struck down by malefic powers of the vile Bloodthirster of Khorne known as Ka'bandha.
- Ancient Cloten - Cloten was a Dreadnought who served in the Blood Angels Legion's 88th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Venerable Leonatus - Leonatus was a Venerable Dreadnought who served in the Blood Angels Legion's Veteran 1st Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Venerable-Exemplar Jophial, Keruvim Convocation of Ancients - Jophial was a Leviathan Dreadnought of the Legion. Venerable Jophial was aboard the Legion flagship Red Tear, still engaged with enemy forces in the outer compartments, when that venerable warship smashed itself into the surface of Signus Prime at the start of the Signus Campaign. It is a testament to the formidable armour of his Dreadnought chassis that he survived the impact of the crash-landing, and a tribute to his valour that he was among the first of the survivors to dig himself free and secure the area around the wreck. After serving a vital role in recovery operations, the indomitable Ancient would go on to serve as a linchpin in the defence of the wreck from the Chaos forces.
- Veteran Sergeant Leonis Harum - One of the few to live through the wrecking of the Legion starship Ifrit Nine, Sergeant Harum, the leader of the Harum Veteran Tactical Squad of the 202nd Company, the so-called "Crimson Aegis," fell upon the battlefield of Signus Prime following the heavy cruiser's survivors' valiant defence of Legion armoured assets on the far flank of the field of battle. For this act, he and his Battle-Brothers were all posthumously recognised as heroes and martyrs of the IX Legion. It is said that the 202nd were one of the few units to resist the worst excesses of the rage that took hold of the Legion, steeling their spirits against the flaw in their gene-seed with the Liturgy of the Blood and holding fast to their duty till death took them.
- Legionary Arven Scurn - Arven Scurn was a Veteran Astartes of the IX Legion of Space Marines who served with the Legion from its earliest days when it was known as the Revenant Legion before it was reunited with its Primarch and renamed the Blood Angels. He was still serving with the Legion during the Horus Heresy. Scurn fought and died with the Blood Angels on Signus Prime during the Signus Campaign.
Post-Heresy Era Personnel
- Cervan Dante - Lord of the angelic host and Lord Commander of the Blood Angels in the late 41st Millennium, Commander Dante is one of the mightiest heroes of the Imperium. To other Chapter Masters he is an exemplar and an inspiration. To the common soldiers of the Imperium he is a golden god who falls from the heavens to annihilate the Emperor's heathen foes. Dante is believed to be the oldest living Space Marine in the galaxy (with the exception of several Dreadnoughts). He is a peerless warrior and a master strategist, having fought in campaigns on worlds beyond counting for over a thousand years. Even so, the overblown legends that grow in Dante's wake must test the old warrior's patience. He makes no comment, however, for he is wise enough to know that in these dark days the Imperium needs all the heroes it can muster. As for the Commander himself, many believe that Dante tired of his duties long ago. Yet the Scrolls of Sanguinius speak of a golden armoured warrior that will stand in defence of the Emperor's throne when the end draws nigh. Commander Dante believes he may be this figure, and so he fights on, waiting to do his duty on that fateful day. He wears the golden Death Mask of Sanguinius, a relic believed to show the face of the Primarch himself which evokes terror in all who are beneath its gaze.
- Kadeus - Kadeus was a former Chapter Master of the Blood Angels. He took part in the catastrophic Space Hulk cleansing operation in 996.M40, that came to be known as the Secoris Tragedy. Kadeus, alongside Captain Dante, was one of only fifty surviving Battle-Brothers able to fight his way off the Genestealer-invested hulk. He was later chosen as Sangallo's successor as Chapter Master and led his Chapter from the brink of extinction. During his time as Chapter Master, Kadeus wielded the relic blade Challenger, and famously battled the Daemon Prince of Tzeentch Sethselameth after it emerged on the Battle Barge Bloodcaller. In the subsequent battle, Kadeus managed to banish the daemon back to the Warp but was mortally wounded in the process. A beautifully painted mural was later created on the vessel to commemorate this famous battle. Kadeus would later die of his wounds in the great audience chamber (the Grand Annex) of the Blood Angels' Fortress-Monastery on Baal. Before his death, Kadeus named Dante as his successor and gave him the Axe Mortalis.
- Sangallo - Sangallo was a former Chapter Master of the Blood Angels. He led a large force of the Chapter to battle in the Secoris Tragedy, a catastrophic space hulk cleansing operation undertaken by the Blood Angels Chapter in 996.M40. The entire Chapter deployed when a space hulk appeared in the Secoris system near Baal. However, the Blood Angels discovered tens of thousands of Genestealers in hibernation. The resistance the Sons of Baal encountered was fierce, and Sangallo was tragically killed. Among the fifty Battle-Brothers who manged to escape the battle, were Captains Dante and Kadeus. Kadeus would go on to take Sangallo's place as Chapter Master and lead his Chapter from the brink of extinction.
- Leonid Castivarus - Successor of the short-lived Chapter Master Kalael, Lord Commander Castivarus is most remembered for leading the so-called Shield of Sanguinius (a combined force comprised of the Blood Angels, Astra Militarum and Knights of House Griffith) against a massive Ork WAAAGH! in the Redhaven System. Perceived and masterfully coordinated by the Chapter Master, the Imperial defence successfully halted the WAAAGH! and was utterly destroyed.
- Kalael - Kalael was the short-lived Chapter Master of the Blood Angels in the 35th Millennium. Per Chapter tradition, following the death of his predecessor, the Captain of the 1st Company was elevated to the position of Lord Commander. When Captain Kalael rose to the rank of Chapter Master he succumbed almost immediately to the Black Rage, throwing the Blood Angels into a spiritual and organisational crisis. This led to the restructuring of the Chapter Command, which incorporated the Sanguinary Priesthood and Reclusiam as a part of the Blood Angels higher echelon. This structure means that the Sanguinary High Priest and High Chaplain take joint temporary rule in the event of the Chapter Master's death. By holding temporary command, the High Chaplain and Sanguinary High Priest can test the will and worthiness of the new candidate to ensure that such a rash and unfortunate appointment does not occur again.
- Belarius - In some contradictory legends of the Chapter, Belarius was the first Chapter Master of the Blood Angels after the death of their Primarch at the hands of Horus during the Siege of Terra. A revered Chapter hero during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras, he was given the legendary weapon known as the Blade Encarmine by Sanguinius and was unanimously hailed by his Battle-Brothers as the Angel's successor in guiding the Chapter into an uncertain future following the end of the Heresy. This name may be an alternate or legendary name for Raldoron, who was the true first Chapter Master of the Blood Angels following the end of the Heresy and the death of Sanguinius.
- Mephiston, Master of the Librarius - Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels during the 41st Millennium, Mephiston was originally known as Battle-Brother Calistarius. He was a Librarian of exceptional valour and strength of character. Whilst fighting before the walls of Hades Hive during the Second War for Armageddon, the curse of the Black Rage finally stole upon him. Inducted into the Blood Angels' Death Company, Calistarius took part in the final assault on the Ecclesorium building, and was one of the many people crushed under the falling debris when the building collapsed. He was buried under the rubble for seven days and seven nights. During this time, the Black Rage came upon him in full force and he fought to suppress it. Calistarius' will remained unusually strong, however, and he eventually emerged from the rubble as Mephiston, one of the most powerful psykers ever to bless the Emperor of Mankind's name. Mephiston gained immense power after overcoming the curse of the Black Rage and the Red Thirst not once, but twice. Mephiston is the most powerful Librarian amongst the Adeptus Astartes, and possibly the most powerful psyker in the Imperium, save for the Emperor Himself. He was granted the title "Lord of Death" by the Chapter after he successfully suppressed the Red Thirst.
- The Sanguinor, Exemplar of the Host - The Sanguinor is a golden angel of vengeance of unknown identity who sometimes appears in the Blood Angels' moments of greatest need to bring deliverance and victory. Who or what he truly is remains unknown. To most he is a myth, an honoured part of the Chapter's traditions and mysteries. For so dire are the circumstances in which the Sanguinor appears that few behold his glory and survive to speak of it. Some claim him to be Azkaellon, the founder of the Blood Angels' Sanguinary Guard and its last remaining member, from the time of the Horus Heresy. The more popular belief is that upon Sanguinius' death, the Primarch's soul split into two: that which was pained and in anguish became the Chapter's flaw, and that which was noble and pure became the Sanguinor. Regardless of who he is, the Sanguinor only appears when the Blood Angels need him most. His most famous deed is the defeat of Ka'Bandha in the early 41st Millennium, the infamous Greater Daemon of Khorne who once defeated Sanguinius himself. During the Siege of Terra the Primarch threw the daemon from above the Eternity Gate of the Inner Imperial Palace and broke the daemon's back upon the surface of Mankind's sacred homeworld, and the Bloodthirster has sought vengeance upon the Scions of Sanguinius ever since. His defeat by the Sanguinor represented yet one more humiliation for the daemon at the hands of the Blood Angels.
- First Captain Arenos Karlaen - Arenos Karlaen is a wily Blood Angels Veteran with hundreds of standard years of service to the Chapter. He is the current master of the "Archangels", the Chapter's Veteran 1st Company, and many consider him the greatest battle leader among the angelic host, save Dante only. 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 face to face against the foe aboard a Space Hulk or a beleaguered world, or directing the wrath of the fleet in a decisive battle, Karlaen's tactical nous and controlled rage have proven a match for the Hive Mind over and over again.
- First Captain Michaelus Raphael - Captain Raphael was the former commander of the 1st Company of the Blood Angels around the time of the late-500's.M41. He led his company to many glories and is most notable for having cleansed Genestealers from innumerable Space Hulks. His most notable engagement occurred in the year 596.M41, when he led a force comprised of eighty Terminators in an assault upon the notorious Space Hulk codified as the Sin of Damnation. The assault led by Captain Raphael resulted in the successful eradication of over forty-thousand Genestealers. Raphael was the commander of the Blood Angels force in the boardgame Space Hulk.
- Captain Donatos Aphael - Captain Donatos Aphael serves as the current master of "The Blooded", the Chapter's 2nd Battle Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Master of the Watch. An exceptional battlefield commander and exemplar to his Battle-Brothers, Aphael's perfect features hide a tormented soul. All Blood Angels wrestle with the Red Thirst, their skill in battle and tempered aggression rightly interwoven with the genetic flaw that slumbers in their flesh. Before his Blooding, Aphael was on a path often dictated by the Red Thirst. In almost every battle the blood rage robbed him of his senses, sending him howling into his foes. Each time the Captain had been able to claw himself back from the edge of madness, but each time the recovery grew harder. Perhaps this was why Aphael was placed in command of the 2nd Company, as Dante recognised a great leader in Donatos and was loath to lose him to the ravages of the Red Thirst. Fortunately, the Chapter Master's faith was well founded, and in time Donatos would rise to the Captaincy of the 2nd Company, with the responsibility of leadership and the sacrosanct traditions of the Blooded to guide him. However, it remains a fine line between control and madness, one Aphael must face whenever he leads his brothers to battle.
- Captain Athaeus - Chapter legends say that "the Blooded" earned their name long ago from Captain Athaeus, remembered as one of the first to command the 2nd Company. As the tale goes, Athaeus the Blooded was among the first of his brothers to master the Red Thirst. Some say it was just after the Second Founding, when the Chapter was forged from the Legion that had fought to protect the Emperor from the treachery of Horus, others that it was later, during the dark centuries that followed. Whenever Athaeus lived, the stories agree he was a great warrior, created in Sanguinius' image. Even in those days, the Flaw had already started to make itself known within the ranks of the Blood Angels. Athaeus learnt that only by giving in to the Red Thirst was he able to master it. This revelation came upon him when he was drenched in the blood of his foes. It was amid a broken citadel of the Emperor's Children, when Athaeus had just finished quenching his rage with the lives of the traitors. Only when he came back from the brink of madness did he feel a calm fall upon him, and knew in that moment that the Red Thirst no longer had mastery over his mind, and that he could channel it to his will.
- Captain Machiavi - Captain Machiavi serves as the current master of the "Iron Helms", the 3rd Battle Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Master of Sacrifice.
- Captain Erasmus Tycho (Deceased) - Erasmus Tycho was the legendary Captain of the Blood Angels' 3rd Company, and was once Lord Commander Dante's chosen successor to become the next Chapter Master of the Blood Angels. Half his face was destroyed by an Ork Weirdboy during the Second War for Armageddon. This mutilation affected his psyche, and made him wear a mask over the injury. He constantly thirsted for revenge against the Orks who wounded him. His ire was such that he was almost uncontrollable away from the battlefield. Unfortunately, he eventually succumbed to the Black Rage and was inducted into the Death Company. He finally attained peace when he died seeing action during the Third War for Armageddon.
- Captain Castigon - Captain Castigon serves as the current master of the "Knights of Baal", the Blood Angels' 4th Battle Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Lord Adjudicator.
- Captain Sendini - Captain Sendini serves as the current master of the "Daemonbanes", the Blood Angels' 5th Battle Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Keeper of the Arsenal.
- Captain Raxiatel - Captain Raxiatel serves as the current master of the "Eternals", the Blood Angels' 6th Tactical Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Caller of the Fires.
- Captain Phaeton - Captain Phaeton serves as the current master of the "Unconquerables", the Blood Angels 7th Tactical Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Master of the Marches.
- Captain Zedrenael - Captain Zedrenael serves as the current master of the "Bloodhades", the Blood Angels' 8th Assault Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Lord of Skyfall.
- Captain Sendroth - Captain Sendroth serves as the current master of the "Sunderers", the Blood Angels' 9th Devastator Company, and also serves as the Chapter's Master of Sieges.
- Captain Borgio - Captain Borgio serves as the current master of the "Redeemers", the Blood Angels' 10th Scout Company, and also serves as the Chapter's current Lord of Recruits.
- Captain Leonatos (Deceased) - Captain Leonatos and his company were assigned a vital mission to protect an Adeptus Astronomica Warp station on Sekundar Prime from a massive Ork invasion. To aid Captain Leonatos in this task, Lord Commander Dante presented him with the Blade Encarmine -- the sword of Belarius, the revered first Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, which had originally been awarded to Belarius by Sanguinius himself. During the brutal campaign, this sacred Chapter relic was lost. Only ten Astartes survived the brutal onslaught after five intense days of fighting. Leonatos was put on trial for the loss of the Blade. He was found guilty of dereliction of duty and was exiled from the Chapter and forced to undertake a "Blood Quest" until the Blade Encarmine was recovered. Leonatos and his small band of Exiles went deep into the Eye of Terror, where the relic was eventually recovered, but Leonatos was lost to the malefic powers of the Warp. The Blade was returned to the Chapter by Sergeant Cloten and Scout Novice Lysander, but the pair of Exiles still felt honour bound to find their missing Captain and save him from servitude to the Ruinous Powers, and so, they departed for the Eye of Terror on their own personal Blood Quest.
- Astorath the Grim - Astorath the Grim is the Chapter's current High Chaplain and Redeemer of the Lost, the Blood Angels Space Marine tasked with granting the Emperor's Peace to all those Space Marines who bear the gene-seed of the Primarch Sanguinius and have been overcome by the Black Rage beyond all hope of control. There is no rank within the Blood Angels Chapter more greatly honoured or more deeply loathed. Honoured for the burden the Redeemer of the Lost bears as he carries out his difficult but necessary duties; loathed because that duty is stained forever with the blood of his fellow Battle-Brothers.
- Death Company Chaplain Lemartes - Lemartes is a Chaplain and the warden of the Blood Angels' infamous Death Company. Under his guidance, the Death Company has reached a new level of potency and lethality. Though Lemartes himself is afflicted by the curse of the Black Rage, his formidable willpower has allowed him to remain in control of his actions, leaving him free to lead the Death Company in glorious charges that eclipse all the deeds of legend. Lemartes is also known as the "Guardian of the Lost". His stern voice can cut through even the battle frenzy induced by the Black Rage.
- Death Company Chaplain Daenor - From the bloody slaughter in the Akatrian Heights, to the hellish invasion of the Nightmare Well, Chaplain Daenor has battled his way through some of the most horrific battles in the Blood Angels' history. Never once has his composure failed him. Never once has he succumbed to the Flaw, and this alone is enough to have seen him elevated to the rank of Death Company Chaplain. No matter how dire the circumstances or dreadful the foe, Daenor's icy composure never cracks. Moreover, his deep spirituality and natural leadership qualities do much to steady the warriors around him. He is a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope and fortitude amongst the smoke-wreathed hell of the battlefield, and even the most lost of his brothers follow his lead without question. Daenor is far more than a figurehead, of course. His skill in close combat is prodigious; even wielding his bulky Crozius Arcanum in battle, Daenor strikes and parries as quickly as any expert swordsman. It is here, in the heat of battle, that the coldly composed Chaplain reveals his true zeal. Every strike is driven with the furious strength of utter conviction. Each thunderous blow that connects hurls another broken foe to the ground, their life smote from them in the name of the Angel and the Emperor.
- Death Company Chaplain Arophan - Among a company of madmen, Chaplain Arophan is a beacon of sanity. It fell to Arophan to guide the Death Company of Strike Force Mortalis during the Cryptus Campaign, his litanies and prayers the thin thread that would direct the doomed warriors toward their foes. As befits his rank, Arophan carries the Crozius Arcanum and wears the skull mask common to the Chaplains of the Adeptus Astartes. The only aspect of Arophan's armour that shows his allegiance to his Chapter is his shoulder pad, his sombre black armour fitting for his role as the final guide for his lost brothers.
- Epistolary Martellos - A formidable Brother-Librarian of the elite Veteran 1st Company, Martellos is coldly calm in battle, his thoughts and actions tempered by over a century of training in the eldrich and esoteric secrets of the Chapter's Librarium. Though his impressive psychic talents are not equal to those of Chief Librarian Mephiston, he is a force to twist and turn reality to his desires, showing a special gift for the Sanguinary discipline. Martellos also shares a bond with Captain Karlaen, the two having fought side by side many times before. As a result the Epistolary is often seconded to the Archangels where Karlaen values both his wise council and the havoc he can wreak upon his foes.
- Codicier Furion (Deceased) - A squad member of Leonatos' search and recover group who possessed psyker abilities. Furion gave his life fighting a summoned Daemon Prince in a monastery on Tarsis to allow Leonatos and his company to escape and destroy the monastery from orbit, burying both the daemon and Furion.
- Apothecae Majoris Caecus - Caecus was the Chief Apothecary or Apothecae Majoris of the Blood Angels. Disturbed by the dwindling numbers of his Chapter, and dreading its extinction, he was involved in fruitless experiments to clone Space Marines, which Commander Dante ordered stopped. However, Caecus disobeyed the order and secretly continued the experiments, prodded by an agent of Fabius Bile. He was tricked into bringing Bile, who was disguised as a well-known Mechanicus Magos Biologis, to Baal, mistakenly thinking the false "Magos" would help in cloning Space Marines to enhance the Blood Angels' numbers. Caecus belatedly realised Bile's deception and was eventually executed by Rafen for his transgressions.
- Brother Corbulo - Corbulo is the Sanguinary High Priest of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter. He thus serves as the leader of the Chapter's Sanguinary Priests (Apothecaries) and the Bearer of the Red Grail, the Chapter relic that was used to preserve the blood of their Primarch Sanguinius after he was slain by the Warmaster Horus aboard his Battle Barge Vengeful Spirit during the closing days of the Horus Heresy. The sacred chalice is used by the Sanguinary Priests and all Aspirants of the Chapter to drink the sacred blood of their Primarch as part of the Ritual of Creation for all Blood Angels Astartes. As sometimes happens with Blood Angels Battle-Brothers, Corbulo bears a striking physical resemblance to the Chapter's lost Primarch as a result of a specific expression of his gene-seed. Brother Corbulo shares the Great Primarch's far-seeing eye and deep wisdom and leads his brethren in the ancient quest to eradicate the Flaw that afflicts their Chapter.
- Sanguinary Priest Jevael - In keeping with the traditions of the Blood Angels, the training of a Sanguinary Priest is subtly different from that of a traditional Apothecary as dictated by the Codex Astartes. However, the degree of expertise in treating the unique anatomy of a Space Marine, along with the necessary familiarity with a narthecium are more than sufficient for function among the Deathwatch. Because of this, there were no difficulties when Sanguinary Priest Jevael was assigned to serve at Watch Fortress Erioch. Since his arrival, however, Jevael has devoted a tremendous deal of his time to studying his fellow Battle-Brothers and seeing to their standard physical regimens. While most Apothecaries limit their assistance to other members of their Kill-team, Jevael has also provided services to other Space Marines, particularly those who belong to Chapters descended from the Blood Angels Legion. Rumors suggest that he might be conducting tests at the behest of the Flesh Tearers, in desperate hope of finding a cure to the Black Rage. Such actions would certainly go against the spirit of the Deathwatch. However, the desperation of some among the Chapter is so extreme that this research would scarcely come as a surprise to those familiar with the Flesh Tearers' curse.
- Cassor the Damned - Sometimes even Blood Angels Dreadnoughts succumb to the Black Rage, their minds infected with the same spiritual sickness that can afflict their mortal brethren. Cassor the Damned is one such tragic individual: having served for almost three centuries within the hull of his war machine, his mind was finally broken during the battle of Lowfang. Those that saw Cassors fall from sanity say it was the wings of the Sanguinary Guard as they passed overhead, blotting out the sun, that triggered the rage. Since that day the sound of beating wings is the only way to rouse the Dreadnought from his madness long enough for a Death Company Chaplain to direct him at his foes. When so released, however, his battle-fury is terrifying to behold, and countless foes have fallen to his razor-sharp blood talons.
- Moriar the Chosen - Moriar the Chosen is a Death Company Dreadnought of the Blood Angels Chapter. Once known as Morleo Moriar, a Blood Angels Company Captain, he fell in battle on the planet of Clamorga, yet so great were Morleo's deeds that he was stabilised by the Blood Angels' Sanguinary Priests and placed within the shell of a Furioso Dreadnought. Unfortunately, almost immediately after being awakened, he began to experience the visions of Sanguinius during the Horus Heresy and succumbed to the Black Rage. However, Moriar survived the mental brutality of the curse and now fights alongside the Blood Angels as a Death Company Dreadnought known as Moriar the Chosen. It is rumoured that in his new form, Moriar has been claimed by the Red Thirst and that the Blood Angel armourers have modified his Dreadnought chassis so that he can quench his thirst for blood. Thus, he became the Death Company's only Dreadnought -- an almost unstoppable force in battle.
- Raelyn, The Unbowed - A Furioso Dreadnought of the 2nd Company, he once walked as a warrior of flesh and blood amongst the Blooded. Raelyn is much younger than his counterpart, Taranos, only three centuries having passed since he was sealed into his walking crypt. Raelyn earned his title for his stoic defence of the Twin-shadowed Spire, where he fought on alone for hours after his brothers had fallen against an ever-rising tide of Orks. When the Blooded look upon this Dreadnought, his mighty deeds are remembered. Raelyn is armed for heavy fire support. His punishing Assault Cannon and long-ranged Missile Launcher enable him to reach out across the battlefield and tear apart his foes in a storm of bullets or searing conflagrations. As part of the Blooded, Raelyn often bolsters the rain of death unleashed by the company's Devastator Squads, trusting to the protection of his heavy armour to shrug off enemy attacks.
- Taranos, The Angel's Talon - A Furioso Dreadnought of the 2nd Company, Taranos, the Angel's Talon, once walked as a warrior of flesh and blood amongst those battle-brothers of the Blooded. Taranos lived almost seven centuries ago, and is remembered for his part in the Heavenfall War. It was in that time he fell to an Eldar light-lance, even as he destroyed the walker that wielded it. Encased in the mighty adamantium shell of a Dreandought, Taranos often forms an effective lynchpin for his company's assaults. Heavily armoured, Taronos can shrug off most enemy fire, while his Frag Cannon can shred both massed infantry and light vehicles.
- Ancient Zorael - The Furioso Dreadnought known as Ancient Zorael was once a battle-brother of the Archangels. Zorael was once a Vanguard Veteran within the Blood Angels 1st Company. For over four centuries, this daring and heroic warrior carved a path across the stars in the name of Sanguinius and the Chapter. It was said that no foe could best him, but eventually he was run through by Warmaster Abaddon himself on the frozen world of Kymanir. Sheer determination saw Zorael cling to life long enough to be interred into a Dreadnought, from within which he fights on to this day. Many centuries later Zorael continues to fight for the Archangels, his fury undiminished by the march of years.
- Veteran Sergeant Cloten - A Space Marine from another company who joined Captain Leonatas on his quest to recover the Blade Encarmine. Cursed with the Red Thirst, he only wished to die an honourable death before he succumbed to it. Cloten's brute strength helped Leonatos greatly. In the Maze of Tzeentch on the Daemon World of Eidolon, Cloten fought the personified Black Rage and defeated it, freeing him from the curse. Cloten and Lysander were the only survivors of the origjnal Bloodquest and undertook their own quest to find Leonatos. Ultimately, Cloten would meet his fate fighting on the daemon's ship.
- Veteran Sergeant Tranio (Deceased) - Tranio was one of the Veterans who survived during the Last Stand on the world of Sekundar against the Orks of Garshul the Destroyer's WAAAGH!.
- Veteran Sergeant Cleutin - Cleutin is the most senior sergeant within the Blood Angels Chapter and the current Guardian of the Shroud of Sanguinius -- one of the Chapter's most revered holy relics. As the senior sergeant of the Chapter, it has fallen to Cleutin to be the current Guardian of the sacred shroud. It is rumoured that Cleutin is so old that he was the sergeant in charge of Lord Commander Dante's Scout Squad when he was still an Aspirant. Whatever the truth of this rumour, there is no doubting that Cleutin is a doughty and experienced warrior, and a worthy guardian of the Shroud.
- Sergeant Anraetos - A squad leader of the Veteran 1st Company, Sergeant Anraetos is a famed beast killer among the Archangels. Hive Tyrants, Chaos Spawn, Wraithlords and many other aberrations have fallen under his Thunder Hammer. However, Anraetos remains selfless and humble in his service to the Emperor and his squad always shares in his kills and in his glory. Squad Anraetos is highly effective against enemy leaders that choose to march to war surrounded by a personal bodyguard. Sergeant Anraetos seeks out the opposing commander with his hefty hammer while his brothers lay into the foe's sworn protectors. This creates a perfect symmetry of destruction -- the staunch power and protection of Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield balanced nicely alongside the speed and brutality of Lightning Claws.
- Sergeant Bavetius - A squad leader of the Veteran 1st Company, Bavetius and his men were personally chosen by Captain Karlaen. This squad combines a talent for war with the vengeful fury instilled by the Blood Angels' gene-seed. Tempered by the leadership of their captain, they form a formidable fighting unit. Like their captain, each member of the squad is clad in ornate Terminator Armour and armed with close combat weaponry, such as Lightning Claws and Thunder Hammers. Adorned with the iconography of the Chapter, the many honours and campaign badges worn by the battle-brothers of Squad Bavetius are a testament to its many great deeds in the service of the Emperor. The squad also has the honour of carrying the company standard of the Archangels, which stands out as a bold statement on the battlefield.
- Sergeant Caemus - A squad leader of the Veteran 1st Company, Caemus and his Sternguard Veteran Squad are able to lay down a prodigious amount of firepower. Supporting the massed Terminator assaults of the Archangels, this unit adds formidable ranged hitting power with a host of fearsome Heavy Bolters, Heavy Flamers, Multi-Meltas and Bolters.
- Sergeant Domenic - A squad leader of the Veteran 1st Company, Domenic and his squad are often called upon by Captain Karlaen when the need arises to punch a hole in a hardened enemy fortification. Squad Domenic are often the first into the breach. These formidable-looking warriors each carry a Storm Bolter and Thunder Hammer, giving them brutal hitting power and impressive resilience against even the heaviest enemy guns. Carried into the fray aboard the Land Raider Crusader Anvil of Baal, there is no beast Squad Domeric cannot bring down, and no fortification that can stand for long against their relentless assault.
- Sergeant Marius - A squad leader of the Veteran 1st Company, Marius and his Vanguard Veteran Squad are the perfect complement to Squad Caemus. Where the warriors of Caemus excel in ranged engagements, those of Marius are swift and lethal close combat specialists, swooping down from the sky to carve apart their enemies or blast them to ruin at close range. Sergeant Marius leads his Vanguard Veterans into combat, his golden helmet marking him out from the Assault Marines of other companies, while his gleaming sword is an ancient relic of the Chapter. This engraved blade, easily as tall as a man, draws the eye with its shining silver edge standing out among the deep reds and golds of the Blood Angels armour. This feature helps distinguish the Sergeant from the rest of his squad.
- Sergeant Ottavos - A squad leader of the Veteran 1st Company, Ottavos earned the great honour of being given a command of a squad of Terminators under the command of Captain Karlaen himself cleansing the Space Hulk Executioner's Lament, where he purged a nest of Daemons. Squad Ottavos is a versatile and resilient component of the Archangels. Its impressive ranged firepower -- significantly augmented by Assault Cannons -- and brutal close combat power make it well suited either to attack or defend as the needs of battle dictate.
- Sergeant Vasarus - A squad leader of the Veteran 1st Company, Vasarus and his squad are arrayed in formidable Terminator Armour and armed with crackling Lightning Claws -- able to turn entire swarms of foes into bloody ruin in a matter of minutes. A veteran of centuries of warfare, he is clad in an ornate suit of Terminator Armour heavy with purity seals and honours.
- Sergeant Gideon - Sergeant Gideon served in the elite 1st Company under the command of First Captain Raphael in the late-500's in M41. He took part in the famous cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. Sergeant Gideon was considered to be something of a maverick individual, happy to flaunt doctrine and tradition if the need arose. This was no more evident than in his choice of weaponry. Gideon was once a member of a Terminator Assault Squad, but upon being promoted to Sergeant replaced his Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield with the customary Storm Bolter and Power Sword. In the next battle, his armour seized up after being hit by a round from an Ork gun and Gideon declared that its machine spirit had been offended by the change of armament. Ever since, he refused to relinquish his beloved Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield again.
- Sergeant Lorenzo - Sergeant Lorenzo served in the elite 1st Company under the command of First Captain Raphael in the late-500's in M41. At the time he was over 650 standard years old and was a veteran of more wars than any other Terminator veteran in 1st Company. Despite his achievements, one day of failure still haunted him. As a Battle-Brother in a squad of the 3rd Company, Lorenzo was one of only 50 warriors to escape the disastrous boarding action 600 years earlier aboard a Space Hulk in the Secoris System. His Battle-Brothers were butchered around him and though absolved of all responsibility, he continues to question his own courage and commitment. Every day Lorenzo is haunted by these thoughts, and every night for six centuries he has prayed for a chance to redeem himself. His chance finally came after six centuries when the opportunity came for the Blood Angels to expunge this sad event in their Chapter's history during the boarding action of a second Space Hulk, codified the Sin of Damnation.
- Sergeant Orexis - Sergeant Orexis served in the Blood Angels Legion's Veteran 1st Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Sergeant Angelon - Sergeant Angelon is a squad leader of the 2nd Company, having served the Blooded for over two centuries, as is hinted at by his ornate armour and golden laurelled helmet, and he has been entrusted with a rare and potent Combi-Grav.
- Sergeant Borgio - Sergeant Borgio is a squad leader of the 2nd Company. Borgio and his battle-brothers are equipped for close range destruction. Borgio himself carries an Inferno Pistol, enabling him to fight at close range and in close quarters, to unleash a torrent of searing death upon his enemies.
- Sergeant Daento - Sergeant Daento is a squad leader of the 2nd Company. His assault squad is the brother squad to Forian.
- Sergeant Forian - Sergeant Forian is a squad leader of the 2nd Company. His assault squad brings its mobility and close combat prowess to the battlefield.
- Sergeant Goriel - Sergeant Goriel is a squad leader of the 2nd Company who favours plasma weaponry for its raw destructive power. He carries a combi-plasma for long range engagements and his squad is armed with a further Plasma Gun.
- Sergeant Inortros - Sergeant Inortros is a squad leader of the 2nd Company. He leads Squad Inortros in its designated role of long-ranged fire support to the Blooded. Armed with Bolter and Chainsword, Sergeant Inortros commands expertly, spotting targets and ensuring that his squad's impressive firepower is put to the best possible use.
- Sergeant Karos - Sergeant Karos is a squad leader of the 2nd Company. Armed with a crackling Power Fist and a deadly Plasma Pistol to ward enemy assaults, he leads his squad in an anti-infantry role.
- Sergeant Ludvaius - Sergeant Ludvaius is a squad leader of the veteran 1st Squad of the 2nd Company. Veteran of the company, Squad Ludvaius often has the honour of being the first into the fray. Ludvaius himself has a bionic eye, a testament to his long years of war in the service of the Emperor.
- Sergeant Meteros - Sergeant Meteros is a squad leader of the 2nd Company. His squad benefits from the many ancient and honoured weapons from the Blood Angels Chapter's extensive armouries, as can be seen by their mix of armour and helmets, showcasing various marks of Power Armour used by the Adeptus Astartes during their long and illustrious wars for the Emperor.
- Sergeant Vorlois - Sergeant Vorlois is a squad leader of the 2nd Company. He often leads his squad in close range assaults. Armed with a Combi-Melta, Vorlois and his squad are able to incinerate their enemies in blasts of holy flame and superheated melta fire.
- Sergeant Rafen - Sergeant Rafen, of the 6th Company, saved the Blood Angels Chapter from a bloody civil war, but in doing so was forced to kill his biological brother Arkio. He is one of the few Blood Angels to defeat the Chapter's curse of the Black Rage, although he willingly used it to defeat Malfallax, a Lord of Change (Greater Daemon of Tzeentch) who had deceived Arkio into believing that he was the reincarnation of the Primarch Sanguinius. He was also key in defending the Blood Angels' homeworld of Baal from the creations of Fabius Bile. He was then tasked by Lord Commander Dante to pursue Bile in order to reclaim a vial with the blood of Sanguinius that Bile had stolen, and to terminate the ancient Emperor's Children Apothecary. Rafen eventually caught up with him on Dynikas V where he was confronted with several Bile clones. He managed to reclaim the stolen blood vial and kill the Bile clones, but in order to do so, had to inject himself with the blood of Sanguinius that Bile had taken. Malfallax, after his own defeat, presumably in order to avenge the failure of the plans regarding Arkio, offered his allegiance to Bile. Bile by then wanted to destroy the Chapter following the events at Dynikas V, and it is to this plot that both servants of Chaos now bend their talents.
- Arkio - Arkio, of the 6th Company, was the unwitting pawn of Tzeentch and the Lord of Change Malfallax, mutated through the power of Chaos to possess a pair of angel's wings in order that he might resemble Sanguinius as part of a Chaotic plot to take control of the Blood Angels Chapter for the Lord of Change. He was killed by his biological brother Rafen at the Battle of Sabien, saving the Blood Angels from the outbreak of an internecine war within the Chapter.
- Brother Claudio - Brother Claudio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. A warrior in Terminator Assault Squad Leodinus, Claudio is skilled at close-quarters combat. His preferred armaments are a pair of Lightning Claws. Thousands of foes have fallen beneath Claudio's blades over the centuries and he was lauded amongst his battle-brothers for his unflinching dedication to his brothers. Aboard the Sin of Damnation Claudio's fellow squad members were slain by a surprise Genestealer attack, filling him with a cold fury and bloodthirsty desire for vengeance.
- Brother Deino - Brother Deino served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. By that time, Deino had fought alongside Sergeant Lorenzo for the best of part of a century. He had been awarded the Chapter Marksmanship award many times over the years, displaying an almost supernatural accuracy on the firing range and in battle. Like his fellow Blood Angels, Deino took pride in the pursuit of perfection and had raised marksmanship to the state of art. As well as his Badge of Marksman, he carried the customised Storm Bolter that earned him such reward. Deino combined quick reactions with nerves of steel, and his battle-brothers took great pride and comfort from his calm and effective shooting.
- Brother Goriel - Brother Goriel served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. In his former life on the irradiated planet of Baal, Goriel was the leader of a vicious gang of brawlers known only as the Murder Elite. Though his morals were questionable, the psycho-conditioning processes of the Adeptus Astartes fused his natural ferocity with the discipline of a true Space Marine. He earned great honours as an Assault Marine, once serving with dedication in the Honour Guard of Captain Raphael. Since he joined the 1st Company in 569.M41, he became a highly valued member of Squad Lorenzo, and later successfully took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk, the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41.
- Brother Glorian - A member of Squad Ottavos of the Veteran 1st Company, this Terminator armoured veteran has fought fought amongst the Archangels for over two centuries. In that time he has participated in the cleansing of Space Hulks, the slaying of traitor governors and rebel warlords, and the defeat of xenos despots beyond count. Most famously, it was Glorian who slew the Haemonculus torturer Gyloch Xuld, hurling the fiend's broken carcass into the caldera of a bubbling volcano to ensure he could never be resurrected.
- Brother Leon - Brother Leon served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. Brother Leon is known for not saying much, but his devastating Assault Cannon is eloquent enough for both of them. For Leon, there is only one thing that matters in battle: kill ratio. The more targets presented by the foe, the happier Leon is. When not fighting, Leon fastidiously maintains his weapons and armour, making small adjustments, adding his own litanies and benedictions to their machine spirits. This has caused some controversy with the Techmarines of the Chapter, who repeatedly requested that Sergeant Gideon ban Leon from the armoury when unaccompanied by one of their order.
- Brother Noctis - Brother Noctis served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. Bearer of the title Castellan of the Black Tower, Noctis is as solid and dependable as a rock. Sergeant Gideon has come to rely on Noctis' clear head and immovable patience over the years. Though Noctis was jokingly criticised for being boring, having little imagination and obeying all of his orders to the letter, sometimes those were the exact qualities a commander needed most. If a rusted grate or dank tunnel needed guarding, then by the Emperor, Brother Noctis would guard it to the absolute best of his ability or die in the attempt.
- Brother Omnio - Brother Omnio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. Amongst the aesthetically-minded Blood Angels, Omnio is something of an oddity; he is driven by logic and intellectual curiosity. He is analytical, distant even, a quality that sometimes raises suspicions amongst his battle-brothers but also ensures that in the heart of a fight he is clear-headed and can be relied upon for vital tactical analysis. Sergeant Gideon once joked that Omnio was a Servitor who had been promoted to the 1st Company by mistake. Unsurprisingly, Omnio didn't see what was funny about that.
- Brother Pallamon (Deceased) - A squad member of Leonatos' search and recover group. Unknown if he served during the Last Stand on Sekundar.
- Brother Scipio - Brother Scipio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. Scipio is a fast-acting warrior who thinks on his feet and adapts to new situations with astonishing speed. He has been marked out as potential Terminator Sergeant material, but his lack of communication has held him back. Scipio is just as likely to set off on his own initiative as to pass on his insights to other members of the squad. However, Scipio's resourcefulness has extricated the squad from certain death on more than one occasion.
- Brother Valencio - Brother Valencio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41. The scouring of the Space Hulk Sin of Damantion in 589.M41 was Brother Valencio's first combat action since his induction into the 1st Company. Having served the Blood Angels for less than one hundred years, Valencio was young by the standards of his Terminator brethren, but had earned his place amongst them with his forthright, courageous actions in a dozen wars. To the other members of Squad Lorenzo he is still an untested youth, desperate to impress Lorenzo since the Sergeant saved Valencio's life during the Threxian Cataclysm. Even for one of the Blood Angels Valencio is eager, some would say foolhardy, but his valour is beyond question.
- Brother Valerius (Deceased) - A squad member of Leonatos' search and recover group. Unknown if he served during the Last Stand on Sekundar.
- Brother Zael - Brother Zael served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the late-500's in M41, and most famously, took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. Zael had communed with the Emperor every day of his life since he was an infant on the rad-trails of Baal's dust sea. He rarely smiled, but within his breast burned the fire of hope. His own transformation from a scavenging mongrel to one of the Emperor's chosen was proof that the Blood Angels could overcome all obstacles. Zael carries the Squad Lorenzo's Heavy Flamer, which he uses to bring purifying flame to the wretches who oppose the Imperium. Zael knows that humanity is destined to rule the stars. In fact, he intends to make sure of it. His self-belief and unshakeable courage make him a reliable and reassuring presence within Squad Lorenzo.
- Brother Mkani Kano - Brother Kano served as the Adjutant of Chapter Master Raldoron, the First Captain of the Blood Angels Legion's 1st Company, during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Scout Novice Lysander - A squad member of Leonatos' search and recover group. Only he and Cloten were the survivors of the Bloodquest, returning the Blade to the Blood Angels. However, they both embarked on their own Bloodquest to recover Leonatos. Ultimately, only Lysander survived and was presumably recovered and returned to the Blood Angels.
- Scout Novice Menelius (Deceased) - A squad member of Leonatos' search and recover group. He was sacrificed by a Chaos Cult on Tarsis to summon a trapped Daemon Prince.
- Scout Novice Proteus (Deceased) - A squad member of Leonatos' search and recover group. Proteus was seduced by a Slaaneshi Daemon Prince into being corrupted by Chaos and became a Chaos Lord in that daemon's Black Crusade. Ultimately, Proteus was killed by Lysander.
- Captain Ubaldo - A Captain of the 1st Company who led a group of Blood Angels Terminators at the behest of Inquisitor Jost von Marburg of the Ordo Xenos to purge a Genestealer-infested Space Hulk known as the Forsaken Doom that threatened the Forge World of Gorgonum. Gorgonum's ruler, Fabricator General Weyldran Lyrzek of the Adeptus Mechanicus, had requested the aid of the Inquisition and the Adeptus Astartes to deal with the threat.
- Sergeant Tahariel - Tahariel was a Sergeant of the 1st Company who served alongside Ubaldo in purging the Space Hulk Forsaken Doom of its Genestealer threat to the Forge World of Gorgonum.
- Brother Madriel - Madriel was a Terminator of the 1st Company who aided in the purge of the Space Hulk Forsaken Doom.
- Brother Lazzaaro - Lazzaaro was a Terminator of the 1st Company who aided in the purge of the Space Hulk Forsaken Doom.
- Brother Caraniel - Lazzaaro was a Terminator of the 1st Company who aided in the purge of the Space Hulk Forsaken Doom.
- Brother Armando - Armando was a Terminator of the 1st Company who aided in the purge of the Space Hulk Forsaken Doom.
The Blood Angels are amongst the finest craftsmen and artisans the Imperium has ever known. Even the most commonplace items of wargear produced by their forges are exquisite pieces, veritable works of art. They are no less lethal for this, however -- a lesson that many foes have learned to their cost.
The so-called "Relics of Baal" are items of incredible rarity that have been granted to or won as trophies of war by mighty heroes of the Blood Angels. Some of these revered artefacts can be traced back ten millennia to the bloody fighting of the Horus Heresy, and when not seeing use in battle, these treasured relics reside within the mighty Arx Angelicum on Baal.
- Angel's Wing - An ornate Jump Pack of great age and fame, the Angel's Wing was originally made for Leonartas, Captain of the 8th Company in the waning years of M32. The jump pack was specially tailored to complement Leonartas' reckless temperament, its machine spirit charged with safeguarding the wearer and his brothers on their way into battle. To this end, the Angel's Wing incorporates oracle-class counter-ballistic augurs and collision-avoidance wards. These still function, millennia later, and allow the wearer and his companions to advance at speed through even the most tangled terrain while avoiding all but the heaviest incoming fire.
- "Angelus Pattern" Bolter - A bolter variant used exclusively by the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters of the Sanguinary Brotherhood, the Angelus Bolter is a wrist mounted, drum feed weapon. This allows the Battle-Brother to keep both hands free while laying down a withering hail of close range fire. Angelus Bolters also make use of unique Bloodshard bolt rounds, crafted with monofilament tips, which can cut through armour with ease to deliver the round's explosive payload.
- Archangel's Edge - As a paragon of the 1st Company, Brother-Sergeant Ottavos was given the Power Sword Archangel's Edge by Dante to wield in the battles to come on Asphodex. An honoured Sergeant has always carried Archangel's Edge as a reward for deeds above and beyond the heroism expected of all Blood Angels. During the Cryptus Campaign, when the Blood Angels led an assault upon the Fabricae District, Ottavos would use the blade to great effect, its overcharged power field allowing him to slay even the largest Tyranid monsters with a single well placed blow.
- Archangel's Shard - When Sanguinius battled Horus, he wielded a magnificent blade that was tragically shattered against the Warmaster's profane battle-plate. The shards of that blade were gathered up and new Power Swords forged to incorporate them, each one gifted to a different Blood Angels Successor Chapter.
- Aureate Halo - Karlaen's Iron Halo is a relic of the Archangels company armouries and is known as the Aureate Halo. The halo is reputed to have been crafted during the Second Founding.
- Banner of the Archangel Host - The Blood Angels 1st Company has a long and glorious history, covering thousands of years and countless battlefields across the Imperium, and commemorated on their banners and standards. The Banner of the Archangel Host records the earliest deeds of the Company, when they were chosen as the veterans of the Blood Angels during the Second Founding and bestowed with their honorific, the "Archangels". All within the company that look upon the banner know it is a profound honour to fight in its shadow, while foes that face it can have no doubt that it is the very best of the Chapter they face.
- Blade Encarmine - The Blade Encarmine is a relic Power Sword that was once wielded by the Primarch Sanguinius during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Following the death of Sanguinius at the Siege of Terra, it was handed down to the Blood Angels' first post-Second Founding Chapter Master, Belarius, who received it from the hands of the primarch himself. The blade's powers are said to only be available to those who possess the genetic inheritance of Sanguinius.
- Blood Chalice - The very first Blood Chalices were presented to the Sanguinary Priesthood long ago by Sanguinius himself. Legend has it that the Primarch somehow instilled a part of his being into each vessel, making them repositories of his divine power. Over the long centuries, many Blood Chalices have been lost to the caprices of war. Any Battle-Brother that drinks from a Blood Chalice will find himself with new found vitality, his wounds healing rapidly and the fatigue disappearing from his body. Drinking from the Chalice is not without its cost, however, and every time a Battle-Brother does so he risks losing himself to the Red Thirst. Entrusted to the members of the Sanguinary Priesthood, those few Blood Chalices that remain are considered highly sacred, and must be protected at all costs. To lose such a priceless relic is a black mark of shame that can never be expunged, and so Blood Angels will fight to the death rather than allow a Blood Chalice to fall into the hands of the foe.
- Blood Drop Pendants - These ornaments are representations of the Blood Angels' Chapter symbol and the blood of Sanguinius that runs through their collective veins. Some are literally filled with the Battle-Brother's own precious blood, while others are jewelled or crystalline representations. They are most often, but not always, worn around the neck.
- Blood of Heroes - It was during the first battles of the Greyhell front in the Jericho Reach against the accursed Tau that the Blood of Heroes was created. The Chapter records that a single Blood Angel, outnumbered and alone, stood against an entire cadre of alien warriors, blessed by a single drop of blood from each of his fallen brothers gathered in a vial and held close to his chest. The Battle-Brother claimed his brothers spoke to him through their blood and strengthened his will to survive against his xenos foes. After testing the truth of the Battle-Brother's tale, the Chapter's Chaplains declared the gathered blood a relic of the Jericho Reach and a reminder of the duty all Blood Angels owe to the Achilus Crusade. If a Battle-Brother carries the Blood of Heroes vial into battle, he will feel the presence of the essence of the fallen warriors it holds.
- Blood Song - This weapon was made for Captain Erasmus Tycho by the Chapter's master artificers, and was as much a symbol of status as it was a terrifying weapon of war. This Combi-Melta was perfectly calibrated and imbued with a Machine Spirit of exceptional nobility, never letting its master down. Blood Song was capable of firing special ammunition, known as Blood Shard rounds, often utilised by Blood Angels Sternguard Veterans.
- Chalice of Vision - The shrouded motives of the Omega Vault of Watch Fortress Erioch in the Jericho Reach revealed this ornate gold chalice the day Watch Captain Mordigael assumed his role as Master of the Vigil. Unknown hands engraved it with the image of Sanguinius' final battle against Horus at the end of the Siege of Terra and set a reservoir containing a ritual compound in its base that releases when the cup is filled. The resulting draught can be used in the Rite of Vision, said to grant a Blood Angel the same almost prescient psychic clarity their Primarch possessed. Bearers of the Chalice typically carry a flask of scarlet sacramental wine to use with the relic.
- The Crown Angelic - Crafted by the noted artisan Agostinias, the Crown Angelic value is near incalculable. However, the true worth of this device can be seen upon the field of battle, where it also blazes with a terrible, merciless light that sears its way into the souls of the foe. Senses flooded by the Crown's furious radiance, even the bravest enemy warriors wilt in terror.
- Dead Man's Hand - The Dead Man's Hand is a potent gauntlet used by the Blood Angels hero Erasmus Tycho that is capable of penetrating armour in close combat. The Dead Man's Hand also contained a set of Digital Weapons built into it that he could utilise in close-combat.
- Death Mask - Fashioned from the likenesses of the fallen, Blood Angels heroes wear Death Masks both to honour the dead and strike terror into their foes. There can be no denying their power when one sees the coruscating golden energy arcing across the mask's surface and the baleful light shining from its eyes. A Death Mask is worn over a Battle-Brother's helmet and provides no additional protection. These same death masks are also worn by members of the Sanguinary Guard which crackle terrifying haloes of golden light. The machine spirit of each mask bonds closely with its wearer, its loyalty to him absolute. When a Sanguinary Guard falls in battle, his death mask is removed with much ceremony and placed within the "Sarcophagus of Sorrows" on Baal. The mask is left in its dark tomb for seven days and seven nights, by the end of which it will have taken on the stylised features of its former wearer. These transformations are claimed by the Blood Angels to be miracles, and none has ever proven otherwise.
- Death Mask of Sanguinius - This ancient artefact is an incredibly lifelike golden mask that is said to have been modelled upon the features of the Blood Angels Primarch after his death that is now incorporated into the helm of Commander Dante's Power Armour. It resonates with the Primarch's rage at Horus' treachery, and can be used to call down a curse upon a foe that will severely weaken their morale and combat ability. Dante has never removed this golden death mask outside of the Blood Angels' fortress-monastery, so his actual physical appearance is unknown. When Dante is in battle, it appears to come to life. A nimbus of golden energy plays about his head that strikes terror into the hearts of the Chapter's enemies.
- The Executioner's Hood - After Mephiston was laid low by the Tyranid bioform known as the Mind-Death, the Librarians of the Conclave of Blood crafted a defence should they face the beasts again. Using the psychically charged fluids from the Maleceptor slain by Commander Dante, the Blood Angels Librarians created a Psychic Hood keyed to the resonance of the creatures that channelled the will of the Hive Mind. Though it proved no more effective than a normal psychic hood at thwarting the psychic powers of the Hive Mind, it did almost completely block out the Shadow in the Warp.
- Exsanguinator - Used by Sanguinary Priests to harvest the gene-seed of fallen comrades, the Exsanguinator is both a sophisticated medical device and close quarters weapon. When a Battle-Brother falls in combat, it is the duty of the Sanguinary Priests to either restore him or safeguard his genetic heritage for future Battle-Brothers, storing it away in the Exsanguinator.
- Fury of Baal - This masterwork Plasma Pistol was created by Chapter artisans many thousands of years ago. Its spirit is as wrathful as the star around which Baal orbits, and its fires are said to burn as hot. Just as the Blood Angels must strive to direct their anger rather than let it rule them, so too must their most potent weapons. As such, plasma containment chambers and secondary heat-sinks ensure that the Fury of Baal never turns its wrath upon its wielder. The foe, of course, enjoys no such protection.
- Gallian's Staff - The Librarian Donatus Gallian's mind was a finely honed weapon, a perfect fusion of the golden light and hungry darkness that wars at the heart of every Blood Angel. He was ever aware of the damage his abilities could cause should he fall to the Flaw, so he crafted a force stave able to siphon off the fury of his Red Thirst and channel it to bolster his manifested powers. How he did this is not recorded, and to their great frustration the Blood Angels' artisans have never been able to replicate the feat. Since his death, others have tried to wield Gallian's Staff, though it must be used with caution -- the stave's hunger for emotion seems to grow with every passing century.
- Glaives Encarmine - The Glaives Encarmine are broad two-handed blades wielded by the Sanguinary Guard. Each Glaive Encarmine is a Chapter relic in its own right. Indeed, some of these venerable weapons have been in service since before the Horus Heresy. Crafted long ago by using forgotten methods and techniques, few weapons in the Blood Angels armouries approach the elegance and mastery of manufacture embodied in the Glaives Encarmine. Forged from an alloy known as "angelsteel", whose secrets are known only to the artificers of the Blood Angels, these blades never scratch, warp or break, no matter what violence they are subjected to. Glaives Encarmine take a variety of forms, though the majority are either long-bladed swords or heavy axes. In battle, a skilled Battle-Brother can wield such a weapon as easily as he might a combat knife, sweeping it back and forth in swift, graceful arcs of death and taking life with each effortless blow.
- Golconda - This Iron Halo is named after the fabled statue of transcendence, the true mastery of the Black Rage and balance on the edge of madness.
- Golden Icons - Blood Angels frequently hang sacred gilded icons on their armour or from their belts. The exact form of these items varies, but they are considered a display of devotion as well as serving as a focus for spiritual meditation.
- Hammer of Baal - This exquisite Thunder Hammer was forged by master-artisans several millennia ago. It was entrusted by Dante himself into Karlaen's custody when he took up the mantle of Captain of the 1st Company. Since that day, it has been the doom of Traitors and aliens beyond counting from the worlds of the Cryptan Shield to the doomed planet of Amethal.
- Heaven's Teeth - This master-crafted Chainsword is a treasured and irreplaceable relic from the time of Sanguinius. Brother Corbulo is the relic's current bearer.
- Octavio's Burden - Brother Octavio was deeply troubled by the Red Thirst that afflicts many Blood Angels, until one of the Chapter Chaplains inscribed the Canticle of Unceasing Service upon his Bolter. Octavio was deployed immediately, and henceforth, as long as he used the weapon to smite down an enemy of the Emperor each day, his mind was clear and untroubled. It is recorded that from then on, he fought a battle every day of his life. Firing this blessed Bolter helps to calm the thoughts of its Blood Angels bearer, focusing his rage into cold and deadly skill.
- Ravenous Blade - Some say that this blade thirsts for blood itself, driving mighty heroes to the madness of the Black Rage.
- Red Grail - This ancient and highly revered artefact is the most sacred of the Blood Angels' holy relics, said to contain the blood of their slain Primarch and used in the Ritual of Creation of all Blood Angels Astartes by the Chapter's Sanguinary Priests, where the Aspirants must ingest a portion of the Primarch's blood to initiate their transformtaion into Astartes. On the field of battle, the presence of the Red Grail is said to reinvigorate any Blood Angel in its presence, somehow enhancing the physical and psychological strengths these Astartes inherited from their Primarch. Brother Corbulo is the current Keeper of the Red Grail.
- Shroud of Sanguinius - The Shroud is said to be the remnants of an ancient battle standard that the Emperor used to cover Sanguinius' dead body when He discovered it on Horus' Battle Barge Vengeful Spirit after the Warmaster had slain his former brother in the waning hours of the Siege of Terra. Soaked with the blood of the Primarch, it was later retrieved by the Blood Angels and taken back to Baal. Only a small fragment remains, preserved lovingly in an iron box with a built-in stasis field. Though a miniscule relic, its powerful psychic aura can drive any Blood Angels near its presence into an ecstatic state through the psychic emanations.
- Spear of Telesto - The Spear of Telesto was an ancient Chapter relic wielded by the Primarch Sanguinius during the Great Crusade. It was forged from lost archeotech by the hand of the Emperor Himself, and gifted to His angelic son. Within the Fortress-Monastery of the Blood Angels on their homeworld of Baal, the Spear of Telesto is shown being used by the Primarch against the Slaughter-Lord Morroga on the Tapestries of Riga. The blade itself, an elongated tear cut with a hollow in the centre, represented the single drop of blood that Sanguinius shed when he swore fealty to the Emperor. Glittering with an inner light, it rested atop a sculpted haft that showed the angel of blood clad in the monastic vestments of a Sanguinary High Priest. His perfect face was lost in a voluminous hood and his mighty angel wings spread against the air; and below that was a single Purity Seal that bore the personal mark of the Emperor. In combat, the Spear is able to emit a powerful blast of energy which can vaporise anyone who does not possess the blood of Sanguinius in his veins. Originally thought to have been lost during the Horus Heresy, with the discovery of documents relating to its whereabouts on the world of Evangelion in the 41st Millennium, the Blood Angels' Battle Barge Bellus was sent to recover this revered artefact. The sacred weapon was found amongst the Ork-held star systems on the borders of the Segmentum Obscurus by a team led by Inquisitor Ramius Stele.
- Standard of Sacrifice - Handwoven by the blinded mystics of Baal Secundus and anointed in the blood of Imperial martyrs, this ancient banner radiates an aura of selfless heroism that inspires all Blood Angels nearby.
- Valour's Edge - The ancient Power Sword known as Valour's Edge is breathtakingly beautiful. Its blade gleams with a golden light and its hilt is bejeweled and finely worked. Ancient records suggest that the sword was presented to Sanguinius by the Emperor Himself, a token to commemorate some victory now lost to the past. Whatever the truth, Valour's Edge is far more than a mere decorative piece -- able to gauge the worth of its wielder, the sword blazes with golden fire when grasped by one whose intent it deems pure. In the hands of such an individual, Valour's Edge cuts a blinding swathe through the foe. Searing afterimages dance in its wake, its razor edge sings a clarion note as it cleaves through the air, and neither blade, armour nor shield can deflect its scything blows.
- The Veritas Vitae - The Scrolls of Sanguinius, upon which a number of the Primarch's prescient visions were recorded, are far too precious ever to be risked upon the field of battle. However, on occasions when the foresight contained therein is specific enough to be linked to a particular conflict, the ancient device known as the Veritas Vitae is coaxed into life, and the words of Sanguinius read aloud so that it may commit them to its machine spirit memory. This ornate vox-reliquary hovers in the wake of a Blood Angels officer, mechanically intoning the prophetic fragments with which it has been entrusted, its words containing strategic insights that might allow an attentive commander to change the flow of a battle or even an entire war in his favour.
- Winged Jump Pack - Used almost exclusively by the Chapter's Sanguinary Guard, the Winged Jump Packs of the Blood Angels are an inspiring sight to behold. Leaping down from above, it is as if the Battle-Brothers have taken flight on broad angelic wings like the avenging angels of legend, striking fear into their foes and bringing hope to their allies.
- Wings of Saronath - Sanguinary Guard Saronath was a legendary figure within the Blood Angels, but he was laid low by unknown alien attackers on Baraspine, in the Adrantis Nebula of the Calixis Sector. When he was found, his body was a dry husk, his golden armour shattered into thousands of fragments. Only his winged Jump Pack was salvageable, and was reverently repaired by the Chapter's Techmarines and Artificers. The wings were gifted to the Deathwatch in exchange for a pledge to hunt down and exact vengeance upon Saronath's killers.
The Blood Angels Chapter fleet is known to have contained the following vessels:
- Red Tear (Gloriana-class Battleship) - The Red Tear served as the IXth Legion's flagship during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy eras.
- Covenant of Baal (Battleship) - The Covenant of Baal was a Battleship that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. During the Signus Campaign it served as interim flagship of the Legion.
- Ignis (Battleship) - The Ignis was a Battleship that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Bellus (Battle Barge) - An ancient vessel of renown, the Bellus is best known for its decade-long mission into the heart of an Ork empire and successful retrieval of an ancient Chapter artefact thought lost during the elder days of the Horus Heresy -- the legendary Spear of Telesto, a weapon of magnificent craftsmanship and power, once wielded by the Primarch Sanguinius himself.
- Blade of Vengeance (Battle Barge)
- Blood Crusader (Unknown Class) - The Blood Crusader was the Blood Angels fleet ship used by the Terminators of the 1st Company under the command of Captain Ubaldo who cleansed a Genestealer infestation from the Space Hulk Forsaken Doom that threatened the Forge World of Gorgonum.
- Bloodcaller (Battle Barge)
- Celaeno (Battle Barge) - The Celaeno was a Battle Barge that was destroyed by the Word Bearers Traitor Legion's vessel Dirge Eterna at the Battle of Cybele.
- Victus (Battle Barge) - Captain Amit's command ship of the 5th Company during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. After the Second Founding and the sundering of the Blood Angels Legion, the Victus was given to the newly created Flesh Tearers Chapter. When they eventually settled on the world of Cretacia, they disassembled the Victus and built their Fortress-Monastery.
- Chalice (Heavy Cruiser) - The Chalice was a Heavy Cruiser that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Blood's Son (Cruiser) - The Blood's Son was a Cruiser that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Encarnadine (Cruiser) - The Encarnadine was a Cruiser that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Helios (Cruiser) - The Helios was lost with all hands, under mysterious circumstances in the Signus Cluster during the Great Crusade.
- Hermia (Cruiser) - The Hermia was a stealth-capable Cruiser in service to the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Nine Crusaders (Cruiser) - The Nine Crusaders was a Cruiser that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Numitor (Cruiser)
- Paleknight (Cruiser) - The Paleknight was destroyed near the planet Holst in the Signus Cluster during the Great Crusade.
- Requiem Axona (Cruiser) - The Requiem Axona was a Cruiser that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Sable (Cruiser) - The Sable was a Cruiser that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Scarlet Liberty (Cruiser) - The Scarlet Liberty was a Cruiser that served in the IXth Legion's fleet during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras.
- Angelic Blade (Strike Cruiser) - The Angelic Blade is in service to Captain Sendini of the Blood Angels' 5th Company.
- Crimson Exhortation (Strike Cruiser) - The Crimson Exhortation is in service to Captain Castigon of the Blood Angels' 4th Company, also known as the Knights of Baal.
- Flame of Baal (Strike Cruiser) - The Flame of Baal is in service to Captain Sendini of the Blood Angels' 5th Company.
- Sanguine Tear (Strike Cruiser) - The Sanguine Tear is in service to Captain Karlaen of the Blood Angels' 1th Company.
Most Blood Angels' Astartes develop an extremely attractive, angelic appearance similar to that of their Primarch.
However, due to the Flaw in their gene-seed, many Blood Angels Astartes slowly develop extremely pale skin and somewhat elongated eye teeth over the course of their lives.
These minor phenotypical changes are believed to result from the interaction of Sanguinius' genome with the transhuman metabolisms of the Astartes of the Chapter.
Similar characteristics, sometimes with further variations due to errors in DNA replication over the generations, have shown up among the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters in the Sanguinary Brotherhood.
The Blood Angels paint their power armour blood red, with a black Chapter badge and squad markings in the colour of the Space Marine's company.
The trim varies but is usually the same red as the armour or black. The Imperial Aquila on the chest plate is usually yellow, gold, white or black.
Heraldry of the Host
The Blood Angels adhere to a strict heraldic system, allowing them to recognise what company and squad any given Battle-Brother belongs to at a glance.
The advantages of such swift recognition amid the madness of battle are obvious. More than this, however, the Sons of Sanguinius revere their heraldry, and bear these markings as badges of pride.
Instead of using the standard Codex-compliant symbols to show a unit's squad specialty or helmet colour to denote rank, the Blood Angels' helms indicate their operational role.
- Battleline: Red
- Close Support: Yellow
- Fire Support: Blue
- Veteran Marine/Command: Gold
Blood Angels Librarians have blue armour with the left shoulder plate painted red. The Chapter badge is located on the right knee plate, black with a red background.
Blood Angel Sanguinary Priests have red armour trimmed in white, with a white Chapter badge on their left shoulder plate.
The Blood Angels Death Company varies significantly from their brethren's colour scheme; their armour is repainted black, with red crosses, symbolizing the sacrifice of Sanguinius.
The Sanguinary Guard wear armour that is completely golden in colour, with white wings, and many Chapter markings all over the armour.
Blood Angels company markings differ from those outlined by the Codex Astartes in utilising symbols on the right shoulder plate instead of different colored trim and Imperial Gothic numerals.
The emblem of the 1st Company is a skull while all of the other companies use different coloured blood drops.
Once a brother joins the Death Company, his company emblem is replaced with the icons of the doomed brotherhood.
Only in special cases does the Chapter badge not appear on the left shoulder plate.
The following is a list of how each company represents itself:
- 1st Company (Veteran): A white skull over red background on the right shoulder plate. On Terminator (Tactical Dreadnought) Armour, the left shoulder plate shows the 1st Company's specific heraldry, the right shoulder guard displays the Chapter badge in black (yellow for Sergeants).
- 2nd Company (Battle): A single yellow blood drop.
- 3rd Company (Battle): A single white blood drop.
- 4th Company (Battle): A single green blood drop.
- 5th Company (Battle): A single black blood drop.
- 6th Company (Reserve Tactical): Twin yellow blood drops, side by side.
- 7th Company (Reserve Tactical): Twin white blood drops, side by side.
- 8th Company (Reserve Assault): Twin green blood drops, side by side.
- 9th Company (Reserve Devastator): Twin black blood drops, side by side.
- 10th Company (Scout Marines): The Blood Angels' Scout Company wears a black skull on the right shoulder plate, and the Chapter badge on the left.
The Chapter Master (who is called the "Lord Commander" by the Blood Angels) has a personal bodyguard that wears gold armour with black trim, painting the right shoulder plate red.
The Chapter badge is displayed on the left shoulder plate, a white skull displayed on the right.
Unlike other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Blood Angels' squad markings comprise a single symbol worn on the right knee guard.
Following Roboute Guilliman's recent revisions to the Codex Astartes and the reorganisation of the Reserve Companies in the Era Indomitus, ten additional squad numbers and icons have been introduced to the Chapter, which now allows more than 100 Battle-Brothers in a company in certain circumstances.
- 1st Squad: A white skull on a black background
- 2nd Squad: A white skull on a blue background
- 3rd Squad: A red blood drop on a yellow background
- 4th Squad: A red blood drop on a black background
- 5th Squad: A white X on a black background
- 6th Squad: A white X on a blue background
- 7th Squad: A yellow lightning bolt on a black background
- 8th Squad: A black lightning bolt on a yellow background
- 9th Squad: A yellow angelic wing on a black background
- 10th Squad: A black angelic wing on a yellow background
- 11th Squad: A yellow skull on a black background.
- 12th Squad: A black skull on a yellow background.
- 13th Squad: A white blood drop on a black background.
- 14th Squad: A white blood drop on a blue background.
- 15th Squad: A red saltire ("X") on a black background.
- 16th Squad: A red saltire ("X") on a yellow background.
- 17th Squad: A white lightning bolt on a blue background.
- 18th Squad: A white lightning bolt on a black background.
- 19th Squad: A red angelic wing on a black background.
- 20th Squad: A white angelic wing on a blue background.
The Sergeants of Blood Angels squads have black pauldrons displaying the Blood Angels blood drop icon with red trim, rather than the blood-red colouration of their squadmates. Veteran Sergeant's shoulder guards have wings placed on the blood drop.
In comparison to the rest of their wargear, a Blood Angel's Bolter will normally boast a matt black casing. This sombre colouration does not diminish the Bolter's paramountcy as the Blood Angels' chosen weapon of death. These weapons are crafted by the finest Blood Angels artisans. As such, many feature finely tooled inlays, gold chasing, or inset precious stones.
The scrolls affixed to the armour of many Blood Angels record their noblest deeds. This is not vainglory. Should the wearer fall to the Black Rage, such scrolls serve as a memorial, a record of the warrior that has been lost.
The Blood Angels take great pride in the artistry of their wargear. Some battle-brothers craft new adornments and decorations onto their own armour. Others inherit suits already heavy with blood drops, golden wings and other emblems. Either way, these flourishes embody the nobility to which all Blood Angels aspire.
The Blood Angels Chapter badge is known in High Gothic as the alatus cadere, or "winged drop", the Chapter's angelic winged droplet of ruby vitae.
When portrayed on armour, this design is stylised and painted completely black on the left shoulder guard.
Sergeants of the Chapter have both shoulder guards painted black, with a yellow Chapter badge placed on them instead, to distinguish their rank.