- "Follow the plan! The Traitors shall fall; the Emperor granted us a vision of triumph."
- — Blood Ravens Librarian Ibrahim, at the Battle of Gravitas
The Blood Ravens are a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of unknown origins and Founding. The origins of the Blood Ravens are shrouded in mystery and are believed to be tied to a dark truth related to the Horus Heresy. This elusive Chapter has always been drawn to the pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of ancient lore. It produces an unusually large number of Librarians among its ranks as a high proportion of Neophytes develop psychic abilities soon after their implantation with the Blood Ravens' gene-seed organs.
The powerful Blood Ravens Librarians guide the Chapter, enabling them to fight with a precision and calculated fury made possible by their ability to predict and thwart their enemy's strategies and tactics before they come to pass. These arcane powers have led to great speculation and some worry about the true nature and origins of this Chapter in the rest of the Imperium of Man.
As much as they are known for their bravery and combat efficiency, the Blood Ravens Chapter is also renowned for its obsession with recovering lost information and technology. These Battle-Brothers have repeatedly shown a willingness to accept non-traditional techniques and extreme approaches so that some lost relic or tome could be recovered and secured within their vaults.
Their tendency to rely heavily upon a higher than normal number of psychically-talented Space Marines only serves to further differentiate the Blood Ravens from most other Chapters. Some members of the Adeptus Administratum believe that this reliance upon their psykers is a potential disaster, while others respect and fear the advantages these talented Battle-Brothers have repeatedly provided to their Chapter.
The Blood Ravens are now a Fleet-based Chapter following the loss of their home planet. Their own records have been expunged, and the ones kept by the Ordo Malleus concerning the Chapter are sealed. Perhaps because of this, the Blood Ravens hunger for knowledge, and are particularly obsessive about discovering the truth behind their creation.
Though the Blood Ravens have a long and glorious history of service to the Emperor, their exact origins and earliest days in the service of the Imperium are obscured and uncertain. Not even their Chapter Master or Librarians can say with any certainty when the Blood Ravens were founded or from which of the First Founding Space Marine Legions the Chapter is descended. The Chapter's written records in its Librarium only go back to the 37th Millennium, though vague references of their service in the litanies of other Chapters and Imperial Adepta prove that they existed and fought the enemies of the Emperor for many centuries before then.
However, the records mentioned are either missing or locked away under an Inquisitorial Seal. The gaps in the Imperial records concerning their origins are so extensive that the Chapter does not even know the origins of its gene-seed or the identity of their Primarch. The fact that the Blood Ravens' own records and Chapter lore are lost along with those kept by the Inquisition on the Chapter is a suspicious indicator that suggests that a concerted effort was made by operatives within many Imperial Adepta, including the Inquisition and the Blood Ravens themselves, to eliminate almost all trace of the Blood Ravens' past from Imperial records. Why this erasure was carried out remains unknown but the event is known as the "Un-Founding" by the Blood Ravens.
What is odder still is that records on the Blood Ravens were discovered on Aeldari knowledge worlds hidden in the Eye of Terror and guarded by the enigmatic Harlequins. Since the Blood Ravens prize the pursuit of knowledge greatly, it is ironic that the Astartes of this Chapter know so little about their own origins or the earliest centuries of their service to the Emperor of Mankind.
At some point in the Chapter's history during their early campaigns in the Gothic Sector they took immense casualties in combat with the Forces of Chaos. The Blood Ravens' Chapter Master and Master of Sanctity fell covering the retreat of the Chapter's 1st Company. With heavy casualties and no strong replacements among the Chapter's officers to replace their leader, the Chief Librarian Azariah Vidya stepped forth and took command of the Chapter, becoming the first in the Blood Ravens to hold the dual mantle of Chapter Master and Chief Librarian, an arrangement that would soon become a tradition for the Blood Ravens. Known by his Battle-Brothers as the "Great Father," Azariah Vidya used his psychic power and traditional methods of intelligence to learn his enemies' habits in minute detail and then launch devastating attacks against their greatest vulnerabilities.
Azariah Vidya led the rebuilding of the Chapter after its losses and the current organisation of the Blood Ravens has been influenced strongly by the teachings of the Great Father. The Blood Ravens will study their adversaries closely before launching precise attacks at key points. The Chapter also has one more distinct trait: it gathers and guards knowledge with great zeal. This is a tendency of the Chapter that catches the attention of some individuals in the Imperium, and it is a cultural quirk that is not necessarily considered a good thing amongst the higher levels of the Imperial Adepta and the Inquisition.
There is little information available, even among the Chapter’s legends, concerning its leadership prior to the Great Father assuming the mantle of Chapter Master. Many scholars among the Adeptus Administratum believe that it was his legendary role as both Chief Librarian and Chapter Master that has led the Blood Ravens to value Librarians so highly amongst their Battle-Brothers. Some Imperial savants even go so far as to suggest that Blood Ravens Aspirants with these traits are deliberately sought out, as one might represent a true heir to Vidya's legend. Others argue that he may simply have set certain traditions in motion so that the Chapter will always be able to rely upon a stalwart contingent of psychically gifted members.
A tome allegedly penned by Azariah Vidya himself called the Apocrypha of the Un-Founding postulates that the Blood Ravens are a Chapter dear to the soul of the Emperor Himself, and that their history was hidden by agents close to the Throne, to keep them secret from the Emperor's other sons but not from the Blood Ravens themselves. The Apocrypha argues that searching for these lost answers is not heretical as long as the knowledge is kept within the Chapter itself.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Blood Ravens is the unusually high concentration of powerful Librarians within their Chapter. The Blood Ravens Chapter possesses far more psykers than is common among other Astartes, and most of them develop their abilities only after they have been implanted with the Blood Ravens gene-seed organs. It is unknown if this is due to the nature of the Chapter's gene-seed, but it is not an uncommon thought among the Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus that there may be some Chaos taint within the Blood Ravens' gene-seed.
It is said in hushed tones among the Blood Ravens that there is a special squad made up of only Librarians that works secretly within the Chapter. The Librarians of the Blood Ravens are exceptionally powerful within the Chapter's ranks, but whether this is due to the actions of the Great Father or is simply a result of the reverence the Blood Ravens hold him in, is unknown.
For millennia, the Blood Ravens have been largely identified by their obsession with uncovering secrets and their use of psykers as a crucial aspect of their martial prowess. Many of these studies pushed the boundaries of Imperial tenets -- often drawing the attention of Inquisitorial elements. The Blood Ravens have consistently exhibited a clear willingness to study their foes prior to eliminating them. However, such knowledge can lead to tragic corruption, as in some cases mere knowledge can be irrevocably damning. Such has proven to be the case in the story of the recently defeated Blood Ravens Renegade Azariah Kyras.
Before that Traitor rose to the position of Blood Ravens Chapter Master, he fought a valiant battle against the Greater Daemon of Nurgle named Ulkair on the world of Aurelia. While the hideous Warpspawn was overcome, then-Epistolary Kyras was thought lost to the Warp. His death was entered into the Chapter's records, along with commendations for bravery. Until 500 Terran years later, when he inexplicably returned and seized command of the 5th Company. His experiences within the Warp tragically corrupted the Librarian, such that upon his return he became intently focused on spreading that Chaos corruption to his Battle-Brothers.
Over the centuries that followed Azariah Kyras hid his corruption while spreading his taint through the Chapter. Those who fell under his sway became hosts for daemons allied with the -- supposedly dead -- Greater Daemon Ulkair. In surprisingly short order, Kyras assumed the title of Chapter Master, taking command of the Blood Ravens and corrupting many other Space Marines. At the same time, he forged alliances with other daemons and foul servants of Chaos.
Gabriel Angelos -- Captain of the 3rd Company -- was the only member of the Chapter's command elements to view Kyras' return with mistrust. Gabriel quietly and suspiciously investigated the Chapter Master at every opportunity, ultimately exposing the Chapter Master as a Heretic and Traitor when he confirmed links between the fallen Battle-Brother and the Traitor Legions.
However, the truth was discovered too late. By the time Captain Angelos was prepared to reveal his findings to the Chapter, a large number of its Space Marines were already corrupted. Instead, Kyras declared Gabriel a Traitor and initiated a vicious hunt for the valiant officer and his loyal forces. A bloody Chapter civil war ensued, one that engulfed the entire Aurelian Sub-sector at its peak in the last years of the 41st Millennium.
Kyras eventually openly declared his loyalty to Chaos and ascended to daemonhood. The daemon was slain, but at a great cost to Gabriel's forces. Gabriel ascended to become the new Chapter Master after a bloody purge and many of the Chapter's unusual practices continue to be re-examined. The Chapter now must exhibit great care as it recruits new members to replace those who betrayed the Imperium, lest other factions push for their dissolution at this time of weakness.
- Fall of the Black Fortress of Vespa (ca. 500.M41) - Captain Davian Thule, later commander of the Chapter's 4th Company, first came to prominence when he slew the Chaos Witch Morganna in the Black Fortress of Vespa.
- Cleansing of Obscurus (Unknown Date.M41) - Captain Apollo Diomedes had commanded the Blood Ravens' elite 1st Company for almost two standard centuries with honour and skill when his most famous victory came on the ravaged Penal World of Obscurus. On the same day, he and his Battle-Brothers defeated the Ork Warboss Manstompa Megakilla and the Chaos Sorcerer Anuphans the Cruel. After that victory Diomedes was elevated to the command of the Chapter Master's Honour Guard, becoming Azariah Kyras' most public agent amongst the Chapter's often widely dispersed Astartes.
- Cyrene Incident (Unknown Date.M41) - For many centuries, the Blood Ravens used the planet Cyrene as one of their primary bases for recruitment. The verdant world had a prosperous agrarian society and a population that enthusiastically embraced a military lifestyle. Its inhabitants showed an unswerving loyalty to the Imperium. The capabilities of its well-respected soldiery were only exceeded by the competence of the several Astra Militarum regiments that the planet had tithed to the Imperium. The world's only known failing was a propensity for a higher than normal number of mutant and psyker births. Shortly after attaining the rank of Captain and command over the Chapter's 3rd Company, Gabriel Angelos returned to the planet to begin the Chapter's Blood Trials -- the Blood Ravens' system for selection of new Initiates. Centuries prior, Angelos had, in fact, been recruited from this very world. Tragically, during the course of those trials, Angelos abruptly cut matters short, and then sent a secretive message to the Inquisition. While the contents of that message remain unknown, the results are abundantly clear. A few solar months later a fleet of Imperial Navy and Inquisition craft travelled to the system and eliminated it by writ of Exterminatus.
- Tartarus Campaign (Unknown Date.M41) - Captain Gabriel Angelos, Commander of the Watch and leader of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company, as well as the Force Commander of a Blood Ravens task force including the Battle Barge Litany of Fury and the Strike Cruiser Ravenous Spirit, was one of the most skilled officers within his Chapter. Angelos had uncovered a deep stain of Chaos taint on his homeworld of Cyrene, one of the main recruiting planets for the Chapter. Angelos was forced to call on the aid of the Inquisition to perform a gruesome Exterminatus action on his homeworld before its corruption could spread elsewhere in the Imperium. Shortly after the destruction of Cyrene, his 3rd Company and its task force were sent to the aid of the Imperial forces on the Civilised World of Tartarus, which had been invaded by an Ork WAAAGH!. Over the course of the campaign the Blood Ravens uncovered the planet's dark history, locating numerous sites of Chaos power and relics of the Eldar left behind to aid future generations in continuing to battle the forces of Chaos trapped on the planet. Over the course of the fighting most of the population that was not evacuated either fell to Chaos or was slain by the Orks and very few civilians escaped from Tartarus. In truth, the Ork invasion had been only a diversion. A warband of Chaos Space Marines from the Alpha Legion, led by the Chaos Lord Bale and the Chaos Sorcerer Sindri Myr, had used the cover of the Ork WAAAGH! to make planetfall undetected on the world and begin their own operations in pursuit of an ancient and very powerful Chaos artefact present on the world known as the Maledictum. Gabriel Angelos, whose own intuition indicated that there was more to the situation on Tartarus than met the eye, disregarded the warnings of the Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Mordecai Toth and continued to hunt down the hidden forces on the planet. Finally Gabriel discovered that a force of Eldar from the Biel-Tan Craftworld had come to reseal a powerful daemon in the Chaos artefact known as the Maledictum that had been hidden on the planet beneath its capital city. However, the Blood Ravens broke the back of the Eldar forces, slaying the Avatar of Khaine and killing many of the Eldar warriors. Despite their intervention Sindri managed to steal the Maledictum and its key from underneath the noses of the Imperial and xenos forces. Perhaps the most regrettable event of the fighting on Tartarus was not the many Battle-Brothers lost, but the treachery of Librarian Isador Akios, who had been an Initiate with Gabriel. He became corrupted by the power of the Maledictum, and it was he who handed it over to Sindri. Despite believing himself to be in control, he had been manipulated by the Chaos Sorcerer from the beginning. Akios' treachery could not be forgiven and Isador proved the weaker when he was faced in personal combat by Gabriel Angelos. At the conclusion of the campaign, Gabriel shattered the Maledictum with a Daemonhammer forged from a shard of the Wailing Doom, the blade of the Biel Tan Avatar of Khaine. This only released the daemon from the artefect, however, due to the sheer amounts of bloodshed on the planet which served as a sacrifice that empowered the daemon's awakening. When the daemon was finally free it hinted at a connection between itself and Inquisitor Toth. It would appear that the Inquisitor was not as pure as he seemed to be. However Gabriel was unable to pursue the matter further, having to escape the planet with the wounded and the single recruit taken from the planet, Tempestus Scions Sergeant Ckrius. The young Storm Trooper had been taken under the wing of Terminator Sergeant Tanthius and despite being badly wounded in the fighting was taken aboard the Litany of Fury, where he began the long and painful process of becoming a Space Marine. On Tartarus the Scout Sergeant Corallis suffered grievous injuries at the hands of the Eldar's Warp Spiders, however he survived and returned to service with the aid of numerous bionic replacements.
- The Dark Crusade (Kronus Campaign) (Unknown Date.M41) - The terrible campaign known as the Dark Crusade began when the Blood Ravens uncovered artefacts from their unknown past in the frozen wastes of North Vandea on the former Imperial Civilised World of Kronus, a planet in the Eastern Fringe that had recently been seized by the T'au Empire. Under orders from their Chapter Master, three Blood Ravens companies were despatched to cleanse the world of the xenos forces present so that the Chapter might further explore the ruins and learn more about their lost origins. However, after Imperial survey teams discovered the existence of a Hellstorm Cannon, a weapon from an ancient Imperator-class Titan, the Aquila Ignis, which had been lost on Kronus during the Horus Heresy, General Lukas Alexander of the Astra Militarum was named Governor-Militant and ordered to take the planet back for the Emperor. This order directly contradicted the Blood Ravens' intentions to maintain the secrecy of whatever they discovered about their origins on the world and ultimately led the two Imperial forces to clash in a bloody contest. Forces from the Word Bearers Traitor Legion under the command of the Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor, the WAAAGH! of the Ork Warlord Gorgutz, the T'au forces under Shas'O Kais and Asuryani Aeldari from Craftworld Biel-Tan under Farseer Taldeer were also present. The Blood Ravens forces, which included the 1st, 2nd and 4th Companies, were led by Captain Davian Thule of the 4th Company, and the Battle Barge Litany of Fury was present as well. The Blood Ravens also successfully managed to defeat all of the other factions present on the world until only they and their fellow Imperial servants of the Imperial Guard under the command of Governor-Militant Alexander remained. The Astra Militarum, having set their stronghold near the Hellstorm Cannon, had claimed as their forward operating headquarters a city that they had wrested back from the T'au after their landing and renamed Victory Bay, fully believing that they could regain control of the planet for the Imperium, even if that meant facing Space Marines. The Blood Ravens, however, were able to fight their way through the heavily-defended Imperial stronghold at Victory Bay, and eventually took control of the Hellstorm Cannon itself and sparked a revolution amongst dissident Imperial troops who refused to fight Astartes after their Commissar was killed. The Blood Ravens added these troops to their own forces and fought their way through the heavy defences held by Governor-Militant Alexander, and were able to end the Lord Governor's reign on Kronus. In the after battle report given by Thule, it was mentioned that the Blood Ravens held Alexander in the highest regard, especially since he had stayed absolutely loyal to his orders and had defended Victory Bay with skill and honour. Despite his loss, Alexander and his troops were commended and honoured for their bravery in standing up to the Blood Ravens' assault. The one exception to this was the treacherous 5th Company of the 1st Kronus Regiment, who were all executed without mercy for betraying their regiment, even though they had joined forces with the Space Marines after Anton Gebbett, the Commissar attached to their company, was killed. Kronus was also a Necron Tomb World and the Necrons were stirred to wakefulness by the battles raging on the surface of the planet far above their subterranean stasis tombs. The Necrons, the original rulers of Kronus, emerged from their stasis tombs in the Thur'abis Plateau while the battles between the other factions raged and began to retake the planet region by region, harvesting all sentient lifeforms they encountered. Having defeated the Astra Militarum to secure control of the planet, the Blood Ravens launched a furious assault upon the Necrons' subterranean complex in the Thur'abis Plateau. Led by Captain Thule, the Blood Ravens descended into the caverns beneath the plateau to discover a huge network of catacombs hidden within, holding innumerable amounts of Necron warriors. Despite the dark and fearsome location, the Blood Ravens fought their way through the catacombs, destroying Necron beacons as they worked their way to a key structural point inside. Captain Thule placed a powerful explosive device which caused the catacombs to collapse, thus ending the Necron threat on Kronus, though it is possible that the Necrons were merely slowed in their reemergence by the collapse, and not destroyed outright. After the events on Kronus Davian Thule was questioned by Inquisitor Mordecai Toth for his attack against other servants of the Emperor, but Toth found no concrete evidence that the Space Marine captain's actions had been heretical or driven by Chaos corruption. Thule had once been considered one of the greatest Astartes of the Chapter. His brilliant command of the Kronus Campaign and the victory he won there for the Blood Ravens should have vaulted him even higher into the inner circle of Blood Raven leadership, but instead led to a falling out with the Blood Ravens Chapter Master at that time, Azariah Kyras. Many within the Chapter have speculated that Thule's fall from grace was the result of his willingness to vilify the Imperial Guardsmen slain by the Blood Ravens on Kronus, a fact that was noticed during the Inquisition's investigation of the matter. There are darker rumours, though, of secrets discovered on Kronus -- secrets that fundamentally shook Thule's faith in the Blood Ravens and caused him to voluntarily retreat from participation in the Chapter's politics. After Kronus was taken by the Blood Ravens, Thule supposedly destroyed the ancient relics of the Chapter's history he had recovered there beneath the ruins of an ancient Blood Ravens' fortress-monastery.
- Kaurava Campaign (Unknown Date.M41) - The campaign for the Kaurava System saw the Blood Ravens once again pitted against the Astra Militarum troops stationed in the system and a Holy Crusade of the Order of the Sacred Rose of the Adepta Sororitas. Despite the presence of more than enough enemies in the form of the Orks of WAAAGH! Gorgutz, Eldar of the Craftworld Ulthwe, the Drukhari of the Kabal of the Black Heart, Chaos Space Marines of the Alpha Legion under the command of the Khornate Chaos Champion Firaeveus Carron, and the T'au, the Imperial forces present in the system wound up engaged in brutal infighting. To make matters worse, the Necrons had been slumbering under the sands of Kaurava III, a Necron Tomb World, for millions of Terran years and were now led by the newly awakened Necron Lord of Kaurava. The campaign proved to be a disaster for the Blood Ravens, though how events unfolded remains uncertain in Imperial records. The Blood Ravens established their presence in the Kaurava System on the second world, Kaurava II. Recognising the strength and potential of the local inhabitants of the inhospitable mountains in which the Blood Ravens established themselves, the Chapter decided to examine the possibility of recruiting from these fairly barbaric inhabitants of the system's backwater planet. Unfortunately for the Blood Ravens, Captain Indrick Boreale was lost along with all 5 of the Blood Raven companies under his command, essentially costing the Chapter half of its manpower in a single campaign. As a result, the Blood Ravens desperately needed to step up their recruiting process in Sub-sector Aurelia, their only remaining recruiting ground for Neophytes who desperately needed to make good the Chapter's losses during the disastrous Kaurava Campaign. The survivors of the Kaurava Campaign in the Chapter would speak of it rarely, if at all, and viewed the campaign as a terrible mistake that deeply depleted the Chapter's strength.
- Targa Campaign (Unknown Date.M41) - Captain Gabriel Angelos of the 3rd Company delivered a crushing defeat to the T'au in the Targa System of the Eastern Fringes, which the wily xenos had sought to annex to the T'au Empire.
- First Aurelian Crusade (Unknown Date.M41) - The Sub-sector Aurelia of the Korianis Sector had long been deeply important to the enigmatic Blood Ravens Chapter, as both a source of new recruits for the fleet-based Chapter and a major source of technology, weapons and other manufactured items drawn from its capital, the Hive World of Meridian. At an unknown time late in the 41st Millennium, an unnamed Blood Ravens Force Commander aided by Sergeant Tarkus launched a deep strike onto the desert Feudal World of Calderis to aid Captain Davian Thule and his company of Blood Ravens Astartes in engaging a force of Orks who were threatening the people of Calderis. The Blood Ravens Neophytes drawn from the Aurelia Sub-sector were needed more than ever after the Blood Ravens suffered terrible losses during the campaign conducted by the Chapter in the Kaurava System. As the Blood Ravens strike force on Calderis drove away the Orks, they were confronted by the Mekboy Badzappa and his Wartrukk. Although the Mek escaped, the Astartes collapsed the mine through which the Orks had been assaulting the human settlement on Calderis and claimed victory. The Blood Ravens next attacked from the Strike Cruiser Armageddon into a hamlet on Calderis where Scout Sergeant Cyrus was waiting for them to help defend against another Ork assault. The strike force managed to fight their way to the Blood Raven commanding the defence of the hamlet, Sergeant Avitus, rescue him and save the hamlet from the Orks. The Blood Ravens then received word that the Orks had attacked two more key locations on Calderis and they understood that someone with more tactical skill than a normal Greenskin was leading them. The first attack was led by a Stormboy Nob named Skykilla and the second by the Warboss Gutrencha. After their defeat of the Orks, the Space Marines extracted information from Skykilla and Gutrencha and discovered that both had visited the Felhammer Mine recently. They also learned that Mek Badzappa was there as well. Sergeant Cyrus remained onboard the Armageddon to provide technical support as the strike force moved to drive the remaining Orks from Calderis. When the strike force of Astartes entered the mine they discovered an Eldar Warp Spider Exarch and his retinue were already there but they vanished into the Warp before they could be engaged just as the Orks attacked. The Astartes were rescued from Ork gunners by Sergeant Thaddeus. They also found Badzappa and his mob under attack by an Eldar Warlock and a company of Guardians. Although the Astartes slew the Warlock, the wily Ork Mek escaped once again. As the Warlock died, he spoke of the existence of a greater foe that threatened all of the Sub-sector, but the Blood Ravens remained unconcerned by what they took to be the random babbling of the member of a xenos race known for their duplicity. The Blood Ravens then travelled to the jungle Feral World of Typhon Primaris to eliminate the Eldar activity that had been detected on that world. A Warp Spider Exarch was stirring up revolt among the Feral Orks of the Evil Sunz klan located in Typhon's jungles and he and his force had to be put down. This Exarch mentioned nothing of the so-called "greater foe" once confronted by the Blood Ravens but Thule asked the Eldar to return to Calderis as Mek Badzappa was launching an attack against the capital of the desert planet, and its citizens were reporting plants mutating and small purple creatures killing livestock. The Space Marines returned to Calderis and finally killed the Ork Mek, but they were almost immediately attacked by Tyranids drawn from a probable splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Leviathan that had entered Sub-sector Aurelia intent on devouring all of its worlds. Thule was mortally wounded by a Tyranid Warrior and Techmarine Martellus led the Blood Ravens on Calderis back to safety after they destroyed the Tyranid attack force. The Space Marines returned to Typhon, leaving Apothecary Gordian in charge of caring for the badly wounded Davian Thule. The Blood Ravens killed the Eldar Ranger Nemerian, who had been stirring up trouble for the Imperium amongst the Feral Orks, and returned to Calderis to kill the Tyranid Warrior who had mortally wounded Captain Thule. After this the Blood Ravens had three primary objectives they needed to complete to defeat the Tyranid threat: gathering a sample of bio-toxin from the Tyranids that could be used to create a genetic poison against the splinter Hive Fleet assaulting Sub-sector Aurelia, securing data from an ancient Astronomical Array from the Dark Age of Technology located on Typhon Primaris that could pinpoint a critical weakness in the approaching Tyranid Hive Fleet, and defending the great hive city of Angel Forge on the Hive World of Meridian. Securing the Astronomic Array granted the Blood Ravens the abilities to unleash orbital bombardments and deep-strikes, defending Angel Forge allowed Sergeant Tarkus to gain a suit of Terminator Armour, and gathering the Tyranid bio-toxin added a Dreadnought to the Blood Ravens strike force, which was actually the revived Captain Davian Thule, his body having been interred within the cybernetic coffin of the Dreadnought. Meridian was the target of constant Eldar attacks and it was ultimately revealed that the Farseer Idranel of Craftworld Ulthwe had been planning to lure the entire splinter Tyranid Hive Fleet to Meridian using the world's human population as bait. The Farseer had planned to destroy it to eliminate the Tyranid threat to her Craftworld but at the expense of destroying a vital source of manufacturing for the Blood Ravens. Upon completion of all three objectives, the Tyranid bio-toxin was ready for delivery. However, the Navigators of the Blood Ravens Battle Barge Litany of Fury, which had been making its way to the aid of the Aurelian Sub-sector for some time, were psychically assaulted by the Tyranid Hive Mind which placed the vessel in grave danger of becoming lost in the Warp. This effectively eliminated any potential reinforcements for the Aurelian Force Commander Aramas -- but the Hive Mind had been weakened by this exertion and sent its Hive Fleet to consume Typhon's bio-mass so that it might replenish itself. The Blood Ravens' strike team deployed to Typhon and administered the engineered bio-toxin to the Hive Mind through its feeder tendrils. In the space battle high above the Jungle World, the Armageddon was destroyed and Apothecary Gordian was killed. As the genetic poison took effect within the Hive Fleet's bioships, all appeared lost as the strike team possessed no means of retreat and massive waves of Tyranid creatures were preparing to attack. Suddenly, Captain Gabriel Angelos and an entire company of Blood Ravens landed on the battlefield from the recently arrived Litany of Fury and protected the beleaguered Aurelian Blood Ravens strike force from the oncoming swarms of Tyranids. Angelos himself joined the Aurelian Force Commander Aramas' strike force and his aid proved decisive in killing the Hive Tyrant Alpha who was controlling the swarm. With that synapse creature dead, the Tyranid swarms became undirected by the Hive Mind and turned on each other even as the bioships in orbit fell ill and died as the bio-toxin finally took effect. The Blood Ravens had won the day and the Sub-sector Aurelia and its billions of people had been saved from complete annihilation by the Great Devourer.
- Second Aurelian Crusade (Unknown Date.M41) - Just when all seemed to be returning to normal in the Sub-sector Aurelia of the Korianis Sector, the Warp opened up and spat out the former capital world of the Sub-sector and ancient homeworld of the Blood Ravens Chapter of Space Marines, the Ice World of Aurelia. Home to the Blood Ravens' ancient fortress-monastery of Selenon and many loyal citizens of the Imperium, the planet had been corrupted by a Greater Daemon of Nurgle known as Ulkair. Chapter Master Moriah had attempted to destroy the daemon but failed, and the weakened daemon was imprisoned in the depths of Keep Selenon by Azariah Kyras, then a Librarian of the Blood Ravens. Yet the daemon's influence proved too strong and eventually the shaken Kyras fell to the taint of Chaos. Aurelia itself was swallowed by the Warp and its existence in the sub-sector that had been named after it was all but forgotten. Yet the ice-encased world returned to realspace in the late 41st Millennium bearing the foul hordes of Chaos, a warband of Chaos Space Marines from the Black Legion led by the Chaos Lord Araghast the Pillager and the former Word Bearers Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor, who had been resurrected by the will of the Dark Gods so that he might seek the destruction of the Blood Ravens, now as a member of the Black Legion. Captain Gabriel Angelos and Commander Aramus rallied the Blood Ravens Astartes of the 3rd and 5th Company to face this threat, but no sooner did they join combat then the Eldar and the ever-present Orks rose up to cause trouble along with the heretical soldiery of the Hive World of Meridian's noble House Vandis. Before long the entire Sub-sector was embroiled in fresh combat against multiple foes with the Forces of Chaos causing havoc at will. As the Blood Ravens scrambled to respond to these threats even more dire circumstances came to light as the Space Hulk Judgement of Carrion returned to the Sub-sector. Determined to recover valuable intelligence and ancient advanced technology from the Space Hulk to aid them against the foul servants of Chaos, the Blood Ravens under the command of the local Force Commander, Sergeant Aramus, assaulted the Judgement of Carrion only to discover the bodies of fallen Blood Ravens from the 5th Company, formerly members of an expedition led aboard the Space Hulk by Apothecary Galan. As the forces of Aramus investigated the Hulk they were shocked to find evidence of Galan's corruption by the powers of Chaos, but the truth of the matter was far more insidious. As Aramus and Captain Angelos desperately fought to keep control of the Sub-sector and unlock the secrets of both the Judgement of Carrion and the lost planet Aurelia, they were interrupted by the arrival of Apollo Diomedes, the Captain of the Blood Ravens Honour Guard and the right hand of the Blood Ravens' Chapter Master and Chief Librarian Azariah Kyras. Diomedes ordered all Blood Ravens forces to stand down, an order both Angelos and Aramus promptly ignored. As Diomedes got increasingly sterner in his orders, Aramus and Angelos continued to resist the forces of the Black Legion, with whom the Chapter had recently avoided open conflict for an unknown reason. As his investigations continued, Aramus discovered to his horror that the source of corruption was none other than Chapter Master Kyras himself, who had fallen under the sway of the Greater Daemon Ulkair during his earlier campaign on Aurelia centuries before and spread his taint to Galan aboard the Judgement of Carrion. Kyras escaped the doomed planet Aurelia aboard the Space Hulk and had returned to the Chapter with his dark seed of corruption when he met with Galan's expedition. Daring open conflict with Captain Diomedes' forces in their base-camp on Calderis, Aramus attacked Apothecary Galan, slaying the Traitor and his tainted bodyguard of Terminators, a battle which ended in a confrontation with Captain Diomedes himself. Reluctant to accept the corruption of his political patron within the Chapter, Diomedes found himself torn but let Aramus and his comrades leave Calderis and continue their operations against the Black Legion warband of Araghast the Pillager. The Battle of Aurelia culminated in the death of Eliphas the Inheritor, who seized control of the Black Legion warband by betraying Araghast and leaving him to the mercies of the Blood Ravens earlier in the fighting. Despite Eliphas' machinations, Aramus was able to re-seal the Daemon Ulkair in its icy tomb within Keep Selenon on Aurelia. Even with this victory, Chapter Master Kyras declared Captain Gabriel Angelos a Renegade and Traitor to the Chapter and Sergeant Aramus found himself faced with the knowledge that the Chapter Master was a corrupt agent of the Chaos Gods. Diomedes and Aramus returned to the Chapter to bide their time while Angelos fled Kyras' wrath. When the time was right the 3rd Company was determined to return and join with Force Commander Aramus and Captain Diomedes to cleanse the Chapter of the insidious taint that lay like a malignant cancer at its core.
- Third Aurelian Crusade (Unknown Date.M41) - This third and final campaign in the Aurelian Sub-sector took place ten standard years after the banishment of Ulkair. Despite the banishment of the Greater Daemon of Nurgle and the defeat of the Black Legion, the worlds of the Aurelian Sub-sector remained gripped by constant warfare and bloodshed. More Black Legion forces and Chaos Cults arose to cause havoc throughout the sub-sector, while Imperial forces struggled with the feral remnants of the original Tyranid invasion, and Orks continued to ravage the fringes of every world. The Eldar still raided from the shadows, whispering of the remains of a long-fallen Craftworld that lay within the sub-sector. In this situation, the Imperium had finally reached the limits of its patience. In a bold effort to restore full control over the sub-sector, Imperial Segmentum Command sent several regiments of the Cadian Shock Troops of the Astra Militarum to the sub-sector, led by the Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Adrastia, who had been tasked with conducting an investigation of the Blood Ravens and determining whether they had been hopelessly corrupted by the Archenemy. She was to make her determination before the arrival of a large Ordo Malleus Retribution Fleet, which was tasked with subjecting every inhabited world in the sub-sector to Exterminatus if the corruption was deemed to run too deep. The Imperial Guard forces quickly took control of the sub-sector's various Planetary Defence Forces. The bulk of these troops had been deployed to Typhon Primaris, a world whose dense jungles provided sanctuary to both aliens like Orks and Tyranids as well as Heretics. However, progress was slow, and the Imperium had prepared a more permanent solution for the sub-sector and its citizens: each and every world would be scourged of life, subjected to the fires of Exterminatus. But the recently arrived Imperial forces under Adrastia's command actually did more harm than good, as hundreds of Guardsmen fell victim to the whispered temptations of the Ruinous Powers, causing dissension within the ranks. Having uncovered heresy in the highest ranks of his Chapter, Blood Ravens Captain Gabriel Angelos had been branded as a Traitor ten Terran years before by his corrupt Chapter Master Azariah Kyras. Unwilling to spill the blood of his brother Space Marines, Gabriel had gone into hiding. There, he gathered what few friends and allies he could, readying himself to oppose the Chaos taint that consumed his brothers. Unable to confront Azariah Kyras directly, the now-Renegade Captain Angelos was forced to rely on those men still loyal to him to help prove that their current Chapter Master was corrupted by Chaos and was the true Traitor. Later, Angelos and his Renegade Blood Ravens determined to eliminate Azariah Kyras once they learned that he planned to use the impending Exterminatus of the sub-sector by the Ordo Malleus Retribution Fleet as a sacrifice to Khorne and ascend to daemonhood. Unfortunately for Angelos, Captain Apollo Diomedes still believed that Chapter Master Kyras was loyal. During the beginning of the campaign, Diomedes, Techmarine Martellus and a respected Veteran Space Marine Sergeant known only as "The Ancient," who was in fact the former Sergeant Tarkus, fought their way across Typhon to root out and eventually destroy the Black Legion Chaos Lord Eliphas the Inheritor, resurrected once more by his dark patrons. Diomedes and his Blood Ravens attempted to reach a means of transport off Typhon while escaping the clutches of a local Chaos Cult and Traitor Imperial Guardsmen along the way. Arriving on the world of Calderis, the Blood Ravens fought against their corrupted Battle-Brothers who were loyal to Kyras, successfully preventing them from purging the planet of all human life. After next destroying a Warp portal on the former sub-sector capital world of Aurelia, Diomedes learned of an attack on the Hive World of Meridian by Traitor Guardsmen and arrived there with his forces. The Blood Ravens succeeded in killing the Traitor Guardsmen present on Meridian and uncovered a transmission from Kyras that not only revealed his location on Typhon, but also finally convinced Diomedes that Kyras had been corrupted by Chaos. Diomedes and his Astartes returned to Typhon Primaris to confront Kyras directly, only to be ambushed by a war host of Eldar from Craftworld Biel-Tan. Wary of a seemingly sorcerous ritual the Eldar were carrying out, Diomedes and his Space Marines slew the Eldar present there. Following this action, Kyras revealed that the Eldar ritual was actually preventing the Imperial Inquisition Retribution Fleet from arriving at the sub-sector through the Warp. The Inquisition fleet then made the jump into the sub-sector from Warpspace, and initiated the expected Exterminatus action on Typhon Primaris. Diomedes and the Loyalist Blood Ravens escaped Typhon before the Exterminatus was complete, but the once verdant jungle world of Typhon Primaris was reduced to ash. Finding themselves on the Space Hulk known as the Judgment of Carrion, the Loyalist Blood Ravens recovered and determined to stop Kyras once and for all. It was deduced that the Traitor Chapter Master was hiding on the Dead World of Cyrene, Angelos' own lost homeworld. As Cyrene had undergone an Exterminatus action of its own at the order of Gabriel Angelos many solar decades before, the Inquisition's Retribution Fleet had no reason to travel there. On Cyrene, Angelos and his Blood Ravens launched an attack against a joint alliance of Black Legion Heretic Astartes, corrupt Imperial Guardsmen and Traitor Blood Ravens. Kyras began his ascent to daemonhood as the battle unfolded, drawing on the power created by the sacrifice of billions across the sub-sector as the Inquisition's genocidal actions proceeded. Gabriel and his 3rd Company, supplemented by Terminators of the elite 1st Company, launched an attack on Kyras but were quickly wounded or killed. But the group of Loyalist Blood Ravens under the command of Diomedes then launched their own attack, which succeeded in killing Kyras just as his powers as a newly-ascended Daemon Prince emerged. Diomedes immediately contacted Inquisitor Adrastia and requested that she halt the Exterminatus of the Aurelian Sub-sector since the source of the Chaos taint had been eliminated. The Blood Ravens Chapter was subsequently purged of any remaining Chaos affliction, its corrupted Battle-Brothers eliminated with a Bolter shot to the head. Gabriel Angelos was rescued from the precipice of death by the Chapter's Apothecaries, who replaced large portions of his ravaged body with bionic augmentations. For his loyalty to the Emperor and consistent leadership through the myriad crises of the Aurelian Crusades, Angelos was elected the Blood Ravens' new Chapter Master by acclamation. Angelos became the first Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens since Azariah Vidya not to also serve as the Chapter's Chief Librarian, a position now filled by Jonah Orion.
- The Acheron Campaign (Unknown Date.M41) - A "catastrophic weapon," known only as the Spear of Khaine, was unexpectedly discovered on the frozen planet of Acheron, long lost in the Warp, and three forces eventually converged on the world to recover it -- the Blood Ravens under their legendary Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos, the Eldar led by Farseer Macha , and an Ork WAAAGH! led by the Warboss Gorgutz. The campaign began when the Imperial Knight World of Cyprus Ultima came under siege from a massive Ork horde led by Warboss Gitstompa. For reasons unknown, the Imperial Inquisitor Holt had ordered the Imperial Navy to blockade the planet and denied the ruling Lady Solaria's Imperial Knight House Varlock any reinforcements planetside. The Blood Ravens under Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos ran the blockade to bring aid to Lady Solaria, but not before Varlock Keep was looted by Gitstompa's erstwhile lieutenant, Gorgutz. Gitstompa used the looted parts to build an enormous cannon capable of defeating the forces of the Eldar, which were also on Cyprus Ultima and assaulting the Orks. Meanwhile, Inquisitor Holt impatiently reminded Angelos that their primary mission in the region was to utilise a dozen Ramilies-class Starforts in order to form a blockade intended to contain any Warp contagion present on Acheron from spreading across the Imperium after its emergence from the Immaterium. They were not to be distracted by the violent follies of the Orks -- even if this meant the destruction of one of the Emperor's knightly houses. Autarch Kyre, the leader of the Craftworld Biel-Tan warhost, known as the Swordwind, on Cyprus Ultima, summoned Farseer Macha to aid him against the Greenskins present on the Knight World. Kyre intended to use Cyprus Ultima as a staging ground to travel to the planet Acheron when it emerged from the Warp after having been lost for many Terran centuries. Kyre was obsessed with the Spear of Khaine, named after the lost Eldar god of war Khaela Mensha Khaine, which was said to be able to kill enemies with a single blow. Kyre had previously seized the Spirit Stone of Farseer Taldeer from her twin brother, the Eldar Ranger Ronahn, when he was trying to transport it to their home Craftworld of Ulthwé. While the stone was in Kyre's custody, Taldeer's spirit unwittingly told Kyre of the prophecy surrounding the Spear of Khaine. In a trance, she prophecised that the "wayfarers" would be called forth by the Spear of Khaine and united by the "Storm Prince." Convinced that he is the Storm Prince destined to unite the fractured and nomadic Eldar against their foes, the power-hungry Autarch secretly kept Taldeer prisoner in her Spirit Stone as a way to swell the ranks of his Swordwind force by using her as his puppet to reinforce the idea of his destined leadership among the other Eldar. Unable to communicate with anyone other than Kyre in her disembodied state, Taldeer found herself effectively isolated from any outside help. Farseer Macha, however, did not trust Kyre at all, and secretly began to build an Eldar insurgency with the aid of Ronahn, who pretended to cooperate with Kyre while serving as the Autarch's spymaster, and Jain Zar, Phoenix Lord of the Howling Banshees Aspect Warriors. A detachment of Eldar forces next assaulted the Imperial Starfort Helios where the Blood Ravens' Chief Librarian Jonah Orion was studying an Eldar artefact, but Gabriel Angelos and his fellow Astartes arrived in time to rescue the Librarian, though at the cost of critical damage to the Starfort in the wake of the battle. Inquisitor Holt was incensed at the damage done to the Helios and Angelos ordered Chaplain Apollo Diomedes to stay with his detachment on the Helios to defend it and oversee the starfort's repairs. On Cyprus Ultima, Gitstompa's cannon was sabotaged by Gorgutz, and it exploded just as Gitstompa was about to engage Macha's forces, who overrun his position. With Gitstompa defeated, Gorgutz quickly subjugates Gitstompa's other subordinates, which include the Ork Weirdboy psyker Zapnoggin and the Big Mek Wazmakka. Gorgutz formed a new warband with them and began preparations to travel to the lost world of Acheron, which he had learned existed after battling the Eldar and other factions to ultimate victory in the Kaurava System during the events of the Kaurava Campaign. Having learned that the Spear of Khaine lay on Acheron, Gorgutz wanted the "SUPER pointy stikk" all for himself. Farseer Macha and her forces prepared to assault the Blood Ravens on Cyprus Ultima and nearly killed both Librarian Orion and Gabriel Angelos when a meteor shower suddenly interrupted the fierce battle, heralding the return of the planet Acheron to realspace. Gorgutz seized the opportunity to crash his massive Kill Kroozer starship into another Imperial starfort and overwhelm the defending Blood Ravens before landing on Acheron. The Starfort Helios then impacted in turn onto Acheron's frozen outer shell when it emerged from the Warp. Gabriel Angelos and a squad of Terminators rescued Chaplain Diomedes from the Eldar and Orks attacking him in the wreckage of the Helios. Farseer Macha and the Ranger Ronahn managed to gain an audience with Gorgutz (after killing quite a few of his Orks) and convinced him to fight Kyre in an effort to derail the scheming Autarch from getting to the true surface of Acheron where the Spear of Khaine was kept. Ronahn leads Gorgutz straight to Kyre's outposts and Gorgutz and his forces kill the Wraithlord Valador, another lieutenant of Kyre. While Kyre was preoccupied fighting Gorgutz' forces, Macha, Jain Zar, and a handful of Striking Scorpions Aspect Warriors raided Kyre's main base where the Spirit Stone of Farseer Taldeer was kept. Macha's strike group barely escaped with the aid of sympathisers within the Autarch Kyre's ranks as well as a surprise attack from a detachment of Gorgutz's Orks. Meanwhile, Gabriel Angelos had tracked Gorgutz's warband all the way to the "Vault," one of the many passageways through Acheron's outer shell that led to its true surface. He destroyed Wazmakka's cannon that was brought there to break open the Vault. Inquisitor Holt ordered the bombardment of the Vault despite Angelos being in the immediate vicinity of it, in an attempt to destroy the passageway and cut off any access to the Spear of Khaine for the xenos factions. Enraged, Chaplain Diomedes swore vengeance on the Inquisitor for seemingly killing their Chapter Master and had to be calmed by Librarian Orion. It was not until Lady Solaria informed the Blood Ravens of the news of Angelos' survival from Inquisitor Horst that they shifted their priorities towards regrouping with the Chapter Master on the surface of Acheron instead. The Imperial orbital bombardment did not have the intended effect of sealing the Vault, but rather broke it wide open. Kyre saw the destruction of The Vault as an opportunity to lead his forces down to the true surface of Acheron and seize the artefact. Macha and Ronahn soon made an unsettling discovery on Acheron -- they came across an enormous Greater Daemon of Khorne -- a Bloodthirster -- trapped in the ice, but attempting to awaken. The Bloodthirster was sealed there by the ancient Eldar eons ago. Kyre also discovered the daemon but thinks the Spear of Khaine should be used to kill the beast before it can fully awaken. Taldeer, Ronahn, and Macha were not as sure, and thought the Spear of Khaine was nothing more than a trap created by Chaos during Acheron's time in the Warp to lure others to the world to free the daemon. When they attempted to flee via the Acheronian portals known as the Colossus Gates, Kyre locked down their escape routes. With time running out, Taldeer ordered Ronahn to place her Spirit Stone in a Wraithknight and to pilot her new mechanical body to help break down the Colossus Gates' locks. Knowing that only twins, one dead and one living, can pilot a Wraithknight, Ronahn reluctantly complied despite his objections to risking her life again. They fled to another section of Acheron far from Kyre's forces. Gabriel Angelos and his Blood Ravens, along with Lady Solaria and her Imperial Knight walker, arrived at the Temple of the Spear and overran Kyre's forces as well as a portion of Gorgutz' Orks, but Gorgutz exacted his revenge with the help of Big Mek Wazmakka's Beauty the Morkanaut. Taldeer then explained that the prophecy of the Storm Prince was unclear and her vision partially obscured. She and her fellow Farseer Macha meditated and tried to more clearly decipher the contents of the prophecy. Meanwhile, both Kyre and Gorgutz arrived at the altar of the Spear of Khaine and Kyre quickly bested the Ork Warboss in individual combat. Kyre took the Spear for himself and attempted to kill Gorgutz with it. Unfortunately for Kyre, it was revealed that the prophecy regarding the Spear was indeed a trap left by the servants of Chaos to free the daemon. As Kyre made the killing stroke on the Ork Warboss, the main blade of the Spear of Khaine shattered without harming Gorgutz, and Kyre was consumed as a blood sacrifice that released the Bloodthirster from the ice. Now free, the Bloodthirster is only empowered by the countless lives taken on and around the planet across the millennia -- lives taken by all those who had come in pursuit of the Spear of Khaine 's promised power. All three factions on Acheron -- Eldar, Space Marines, and Orks -- find themselves battling Warp spawn generated by the daemon using the psychic echoes of the warriors of many races who were slain on Acheron over the centuries. An alliance of convenience was quickly struck. Farseer Macha tasked Gorgutz with destroying the Chaos Spires that were powering the Greater Daemon and generating the Warp spawn. Meanwhile, Macha urges Gabriel Angelos to sacrifice his Battle Barge, the Dauntless, to cripple the Bloodthirster by ramming it into a frozen fissure on the planet's frigid surface; this act sacrificed the lives of the Astartes and mortals aboard the great vessel but prevented the Greater Daemon from wreaking havoc across the galaxy in the name of the Blood God. Knowing that the daemon was shielding the planet, Angelos reluctantly complied and ordered Captain Balthazar to set a crash course onto Acheron. The impact of the great vessel at such a weak point in the planet's tectonic structure caused the benighted world to begin to crack apart. With Acheron fragmented and destroyed, the Greater Daemon quickly diminished in size and strength as his access to all the psychic power of the souls slain in the world's vicinity is lost. With the urging of Macha, who believed the prophecy predicted that all three factions -- the nomadic "wayfarers" it spoke of -- must work together to defeat the Greater Daemon, now revealed to be the Storm Prince, the three heroes teamed up to defeat the daemon after battling through hordes of Warp spawn on the remaining fragment of Acheron housing the Temple of the Spear. All three heroes warily parted ways after banishing the Storm Prince back into the Warp, but Gorgutz stayed behind and seized the remains of the Spear of Khaine for himself as a trophy before leaving. Elsewhere, an unknown Necron Overlord took notice of the events on Acheron and prepared his armies to enter the fray.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Blood Ravens deployed a portion of their forces in defence of the crucial Imperial Fortress World of Cadia during Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade. The Dreadnought Captain Davian Thule and his 4th Company particularly distinguished themselves during this campaign.
The Blood Ravens identify themselves as a Chapter that stays closely within the criteria demanded by the Codex Astartes. By the standards of someone who has little interaction with Space Marines, this is a reasonably accurate description. However, compared to many of the more conservative Chapters -- particularly the Successor Chapters of the Ultramarines and Imperial Fists Legions -- the Blood Ravens exhibit a significant level of variation from the standard procedures as dictated by the Codex.
The Blood Ravens' basic company organisation is consistent with the directives of the Codex. The Blood Ravens maintain ten standard companies. Each of these companies maintains the status, combat specialisations, and training protocols as dictated per the Codex. This is in spite of the fact that the Chapter is fleet-based, so companies may be forced to separate due to extended assignments aboard vessels directed to separate portions of the Imperium.
The most sweeping change within the Blood Ravens' company leadership is that all company commanders take a member of the Librarium on as a trusted advisor, who aids in preparation for all battles. In some instances, these Librarians even go on to assume the title of company commander in the event of battlefield losses.
The Blood Ravens Chapter is known for having a much higher number of Librarians than most Chapters. It is not uncommon for multiple Librarians to be attached to companies, Librarians to be in charge of outposts and starships and even companies when necessary, such as Librarian-Captain Lucius, the former Captain of the 5th Company.
The 1st Company of the Blood Ravens includes several squads made up entirely of Librarians, which are dispatched on only the most important missions, though what these may be is unknown. The Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens also traditionally holds the dual role of Chapter Master and Chief Librarian, a tradition dating back to when the Great Father Azariah Vidya was the first to do so. Whatever the reason for such a large number of Librarians in the ranks of the Blood Ravens, they are an integral part of the Chapter.
For instance, the 9th Company had no less than four Librarians attached to it, though with the recent deaths of Brothers Bherald and Rhamah that number dropped to two. Other Librarians of note in the Chapter are Isador Akios, the former Librarian of the 3rd Company before he turned Traitor, Father Jonas, who was previously stationed on the Chapter's recruiting world of Rahe's Paradise and the two other 9th Company Librarians, Zhaphel and Korinth.
After the Third Aurelian Crusade and the death of the corrupted Azariah Kyras, Captain Gabriel Angelos ascended to become the new and present Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens after a bloody purge. Under his leadership, many of the Chapter's unusual practices continue to be re-examined. Since the ascension of Gabriel Angelos, the Blood Ravens have become intensely focused on the identification and elimination of the Traitor Legions and those allied with the Warp. In several instances, Imperial pleas for assistance with other threats have gone unanswered so that the Blood Ravens could continue to pursue their own agenda against Chaos. It is too early to tell if this is a long-term change in the Chapter's outlook or simply a shorter-term strategy necessitated by extraordinary circumstances.
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Blood Ravens recruit from many different worlds, and recruitment, training and implantation of gene-seed organs in Aspirants can be done by nearly every capital ship in the Blood Ravens fleet. The reserve of the Chapter's gene-seed is spread throughout all of its primary starships, stored in the Implantation Chambers aboard each vessel. These chambers are the most protected on any Blood Ravens starship and will be defended by the Blood Ravens with their lives if need be, for these chambers contain the essence of the Chapter's future.
The Chapter is based out of the Battle-Barge Omnis Arcanum that serves as the mobile fortress-monastery of the Chapter. It is from the Omnis Arcanum that the Blood Ravens Chapter Master directs the efforts of the Chapter's companies and where the great Librarium Sanctorium of the Chapter stores all the knowledge gathered by the Chapter in the pursuit of its duties. Like many Astartes Chapters, the Blood Ravens maintain an Honour Guard for the Chapter Master. The Honor Guard under Azariah Kyras was led by Captain Apollo Diomedes, the physical embodiment of the Chapter Master's will.
The Blood Ravens have suffered heavy losses in recent times during the Tartarus Campaign, the Dark Crusade, the Kaurava Campaign, the first two Aurelian Crusades and the Inquisition's recent purge of the Aurelian Sub-sector, all of which has led to the loss of a number of the Chapter's recruiting worlds. It will take some time to rebuild the Chapter's numbers from such losses and with every recruiting world that has been ravaged, the Blood Ravens' future prospects have become that much darker.
- Ordo Psykana - The Ordo Psykana (also known as the Secret Order of Psykana), is an elite body within the Blood Ravens Chapter that consists of the most powerful of the Chapter's Librarians and armies of Servitors that embark upon missions to recover archeotech, ancient relics of the Chapter, and other lost human knowledge.
- 2nd Company - During the Kronus Campaign the 2nd Company and attached elements from some of the other companies of the Chapter found themselves in battle with the undying constructs known as the Necrons, for beneath the surface of the planet they encountered a large Necron army in a legendary battle beneath the Thur'Abis Plateau. They eventually emerged victorious after their company commander, Captain Davian Thule, successfully planted a bomb deep within the catacombs and detonated it, collapsing the caverns right on top of the still emerging Necron army. The 2nd Company later added a Necron skull to their heraldry in reference to this glorious victory and adopted the motto "Victory Over Death."
- 5th Company, the 'Fated' - The Blood Ravens 5th Company is known as the "Fated", and though the reasons for this are unclear, the name possibly harkens back to an incident from the 38th Millennium which was recorded in the Chapter's Librarium, but never spoken of openly. The 5th Company of that era were lost in Warp, the great Bell of Lost Souls on Terra tolling a hundred times for each lost Battle-Brother, but the truth of the matter is far darker. It is whispered that one of the company's Librarians was seduced by the lure of the Ruinous Powers and turned his brethren to evil, though of course this notion is dismissed by the Chapter today. No records exist as to the ultimate fate of this company or whether such a Traitor was ever brought to justice. The Blood Ravens have a special hatred for those whom turn from the Emperor's light, and to this day, the Battle-Brothers of this company wear badges of shame and penitence upon their armour, though none will reveal the reasons for doing so.
Blood Ravens LibrariansLike their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Blood Ravens 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 of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica.
The Librarians of the Chapter also fulfill a number of more secretive and specialised roles, including stewardship of the great Librarium of the Omnis Arcanum, and the Secret Orders of Psykana who maintain the Sanctorium Arcanum aboard the Battle-Barge Litany of Fury. The Omnis Arcanum serves as the Blood Raven's mobile fortress-monastery as it is the largest Battle-Barge within the Chapter's fleet. The Chapter's Librarium Sanctorum contains countless scrolls, tomes, and computational engines that store the Chapter's records, roll of honour, and the ancient -- and often forbidden -- lore that they have recovered during their ongoing research. Blood Ravens Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter:
- Battle Sight - Blood Ravens Librarians can pierce the fog of war with a thought, casting their mind far and wide across a battlefield, world, or even star system for hints and clues to the movements and deployments of their enemies that may have gone undetected by more conventional technological means. A Librarian may use this psychic power in two different ways, choosing its application before he manifests it. The first application is to gain an immediate tactical edge in combat and is most useful when facing immediate battlefield threats. Used in this way, Battle Sight reveals the position of all enemies within range that have hostile intentions toward the Librarian (i.e., intend to do the Librarian harm). This does not track the movements of these enemies or their actions, but simply informs the Librarian of their presence, direction, and distance from his current location. In addition to revealing foes, this power allows the Librarian to see through cover and concealment when making attacks against enemies revealed by Battle Sight. The second use of this power is to gain a broad strategic overview of an area and information on how better to complete a mission or overcome a foe.
- Truth Seeker - Blood Ravens Librarians spend much of their lives seeking knowledge and looking into the origins of their Chapter by sifting through the secrets of the past. Truth Seeker allows a Librarian to find details and clues that he might have otherwise missed, drawing his attention to areas or objects of interest.
- Warp Whispers - The Librarian can listen to the babblings of the Warp and perceive the secrets of its denizens, sifting through the noise and maddening chatter to find grains of truth. It is a practise not without peril, however, and many Librarians dare not even attempt such follies, though those of the Blood Ravens know that true knowledge can never be gained without a degree of danger.
Early in their history, the Blood Ravens maintained their fortress-monastery at Selenon, within view of the hive city of the same name on the Hive World of Aurelia in the Sub-sector Aurelia of the Segmentum Ultima's Korianis Sector. It was a technologically advanced and profitable world that served as the economic heart of the region, and the proud namesake of the entire sub-sector.
In the late 40th Millennium, however, a Warp Storm engulfed the planet, summoned by the Great Unclean One Ulkair in his battle against the Blood Ravens. The Blood Ravens' Chapter Master Moriah and Librarian Azariah Kyras sealed the Greater Daemon of Nurgle within the heart of the planet, but the damage was done. Aurelia disappeared into the Warp, and remained there for almost a standard millennium, transformed into a perpetually-shifting Ice World devoid of all life save for daemons and other Warp entities. With the loss of Aurelia, the Blood Ravens were transformed into a fleet-based Chapter who recruited their Aspirants from the other populated worlds in the Aurelian Sub-sector.
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Blood Ravens now have no official homeworld. Instead, their fortress-monastery is situated onboard the massive Battle Barge Omnis Arcanum, which is also home to their Librarium Sanctorum. The rest of the Chapter serves aboard the fleet of Strike Cruisers and other Battle Barges that were assigned to the Blood Ravens long ago when the Chapter was founded.
Most of the Blood Ravens' Neophytes come from the major worlds of the Sub-sector Aurelia, including the desert Feudal World of Calderis, the jungle Feral World of Typhon Primaris and the nearby Hive World of Meridian, but none of the recruits from Meridian had passed the Blood Trials to become Blood Ravens Neophytes in several centuries.
Thaddeus is the first Blood Raven Astartes to come from Meridian in several centuries, having been recruited from the hiver street gangs he led there by Captain Davian Thule. It is repeatedly said that the loss of Calderis would cripple and eventually kill the Blood Ravens Chapter as they had no other way to recruit Neophytes, and the defence of Sub-sector Aurelia from the Tyranid splinter Hive Fleet was considered important enough to mobilise both the Blood Ravens' 3rd and 4th Companies.
The 3rd Company of the Blood Ravens commonly sought Aspirants from the planet of Cyrene (also in Sub-sector Aurelia) until Captain Gabriel Angelos had it destroyed with an Exterminatus order. The taint of Chaos had been found in the planet's population, a taint so terrible that only Exterminatus could prevent the contagion from spreading to other Imperial worlds in the region.
The Blood Ravens, like many fleet-based Chapters, recruit from a number of different worlds. However, the class of worlds they recruit from is not limited, and they draw Initiates from Feral Worlds and Hive Worlds alike. The only similarity between the worlds is the higher volume of psykers they are home to, leading to an increased number of Librarians in the Chapter. However recent events have seen the Blood Ravens lose many of these recruiting worlds. The known Blood Ravens recruiting worlds and their status are as follows:
- Calderis - Calderis is a Desert World sparsely populated by wandering bands of nomadic humans. These hardy peoples used to provide recruits to the Blood Ravens but the WAAAGH! of Warboss Gorgrim drove the Feral Orks on the planet to sweep across the sands in a tidal wave of destruction. Only a scant few of the planet's inhabitants escaped aboard chartered voidcraft or with the Blood Ravens. The rest were left to die horribly and violently to the Orks. As with Typhon Primaris, it is unclear what will be done with Caldaris. When Gorgrim has gathered enough Ork Boyz he will move on leaving the world barren, the Feral Ork populace decimated and the humans gone, having either fled or died. The planet might be re-colonised by the Imperium at some point but the culture of Calderis and the majority of its people are no more.
- Cyrene - An old recruiting world of the Chapter, Cyrene is located in the Aurelia Sub-sector but was cleansed by an Exterminatus action when Captain Gabriel Angelos discovered a Chaos taint on the planet and requested an Inquisitorial purge. The exact nature of the taint and the reasons Angelos deemed Exterminatus necessary, are, like many things with the Blood Ravens, a mystery.
- Meridian - The Hive World of Meridian is the capital world of the Aurelia Sub-sector and now the only populated world of the sub-sector as well, since Cyrene, Calderis and Typhon Primaris were cleansed of all life by the actions of the Forces of Chaos, the Orks and Tyranids, respectively. Meridian itself came perilously close to succumbing to the Tyranids as well. Only the miraculous arrival of Captain Gabriel Angelos and the Blood Ravens' 3rd and 9th Companies stopped the Tyranids from overrunning the planet. The initial defenders under Sergeant Aramus were nearly wiped out during that campaign. However, Meridian is only a marginal Blood Ravens recruiting world, as the first recruits it had provided in centuries to the Chapter were Sergeant Thaddeus and Sergeant Aramus. However, Sergeant Thaddeus did locate two likely young boys during his mission deep behind Tyranid lines and they have since shown promise as Aspirants for the Chapter. By the time of the Third Aurelian Crusade, much of Meridian had been devastated by the successive Tyranid and Chaos Space Marine invasions, and the destruction of the Capital Spire had annihilated the planetary government. Whether the world will recover in the wake of the end of the conflicts in the Aurelian Sub-sector remains to be seen.
- Rahe's Paradise - Rahe's Paradise is yet another recruiting world of the Blood Ravens to have been lost recently, the planet having been discovered to be an ancient Necron Tomb World. The Blood Ravens' campaign against the Necrons and the Eldar on the planet cost them dearly but did result in the recruitment of a handful of Initiates to the Chapter, though the world is now lost and will provide no more new warriors.
- Trontiux III - Trontiux III was one of the Chapter's remaining principle recruiting worlds. Trontiux III was recently visited by the Litany of Fury following the Tartarus Campaign.
- Typhon Primaris - Another of the 4 inhabited worlds in the Aurelia Sub-sector, Typhon Primaris was a jungle planet that provided feral but strong recruits to the Chapter. However when Tyranids invaded the sub-sector their taint reached Typhon Primaris quickly and festered in the depths of the jungles unnoticed. By the time the Blood Ravens arrived, the planet was in the final stages of Tyranid bio-consumption and saving the world was no longer a realistic option, though the Blood Ravens did succeeded at finally defeating the splinter of Hive Fleet Leviathan that had assaulted the Aurelian Sub-sector. The Second and Third Aurelian Crusades saw extensive fighting take place between the Blood Ravens and their allies amongst the Imperial Guard against Chaos Space Marine, Ork, Eldar and surviving Tyranid forces on this benighted world. Finally, during the Third Aurelian Crusade, the entire planet was subjected to an Exterminatus on the orders of the Inquisition, killing millions.
The Blood Ravens and the Inquisition
The Blood Ravens have an interesting relationship with the Inquisition. Blood Ravens Librarians can be found in the Deathwatch and the Chapter appears to also maintain unusually close relations with the Grey Knights of the Ordo Malleus. It would appear that the Grey Knights, psykers all, feel an affinity for the Blood Ravens and trust the Chapter with the knowledge of their existence.
The Grey Knights attached a task force to assist the Blood Ravens during the Dark Crusade on the world of Kronus for reasons unknown. It is interesting to note that the Grey Knights worked closely with the Blood Ravens and not with the other Imperial forces on the planet, and indeed the Blood Ravens came into conflict at that time with the forces of the Astra Militarum due to the unflinching and conflicting orders of Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander and Captain Davian Thule.
It should be noted that following the first two Aurelian Crusades, the Blood Ravens' home Sub-sector Aurelia came under an increasingly powerful assault by the Forces of Chaos and a splinter of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan. With increasing evidence that large portions of the Blood Ravens Chapter had been corrupted by Chaos, the Ordo Hereticus of the Inquisition commandeered several regiments of the Astra Militarum under the command of the Inquisitor Adrastia and sought to launch an Exterminatus campaign against all the inhabited worlds in the Aurelian Sub-sector.
As a result of the heroics of Captain Gabriel Angelos and those Blood Ravens who remained loyal to the Emperor, the taint of Chaos upon the Chapter was purged and much of the sub-sector was saved from destruction. However, a deep and lingering suspicion still remains between the Blood Ravens and the Inquisition, and the Ordo Hereticus will continue to cast a wary eye upon the Blood Ravens and their new Chapter Master, Gabriel Angelos, for a long time to come.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Blood Ravens believe by studying one's enemy, one can predict their movements before launching any attacks, rather than charging in like an uncontrolled berserker or using spontaneous lightning assaults. This has caused friction with other, more headstrong Chapters. Those who prefer a clear-cut approach to battle have branded the Blood Ravens as cowards for their overly methodical approach to waging warfare. But this is an unfair assessment, for once the Blood Ravens take to the field, they fight with righteous fury and a zeal the equal of any other Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.
Once decided upon, the Chapter never deviates from the chosen strategy, from its initial planning stages to its final execution, executing it with ruthless efficiency. The thoroughness of their planning is such that every eventuality is accounted for, thanks to their Librarians' powerful divinations. Their uncanny abilities to predict enemy attacks or invasions has helped them warn or respond well before other Imperial organisations have even been made aware of the threat. More puritanical figures within the Inquisition have whispered in dark tones of the sad tale of the Thousand Sons Legion and their fallen Primarch Magnus the Red and his ultimate fate. A path trod to damnation that began with the abilities to predict such dire events, much like the Blood Ravens.
In preparation for combat, members of the Blood Ravens invariably begin with intense study of their opponents and their tactics. All forms of reconnaissance and any relevant historical or psychological resources are fully utilised in the course of this exhausting research. Only once all reasonable means have been undertaken to compile data is this information thoroughly analysed. The analysis process may take solar days or even weeks, depending upon the reliability of the information acquired and the prior experience that the various Battle-Brothers might have with their opponents.
Finally, once a thorough analysis has been compiled, only then is a tactical solution to the issue devised. Invariably, during the course of this analysis and planning, command officers rely heavily upon the input and advice of any Librarians available. These talented psykers are expected to use their talents to also plumb the depths of the Warp for additional information upon their foes and to conduct any divinations that might be appropriate. Among the Blood Ravens, these skills are every bit as crucial for a Librarian as the more forceful talents that are applied during a direct physical conflict.
With a thoroughly compiled plan in hand, the Force Commander presents it to the Space Marines participating in the mission. Generally, these plans contain a myriad of alternative plans that account for an immense number of outcomes, often going into explicit and excruciating detail. Once these plans have been reviewed and accepted by the Battle-Brothers, they are very seldom changed.
Through the course of a given battle, the Blood Ravens almost always adhere rigidly to their plans. This is in part due to the fact that the agonising level of detail permits the plans to accommodate a variety of different outcomes. However, it is more often due to the fact that the insight of their talented Librarians almost always provides accurate data such that the final plan is appropriate and consistent with the conditions encountered on the field of battle.
At times, the Blood Ravens willingly make deviations from standard Codex directives when creating their complex strategies. In those circumstances where they have additional information or an unusual piece of wargear, they make such items a cornerstone of their plans. In this way, the Chapter maintains the belief that they follow the philosophy and general directives of the Codex Astartes without being constrained by the fact that the text is 10,000 standard years in age. For though these Battle-Brothers believe that their secrets must be carefully preserved, they also believe that their resources must be appropriately exploited in order to overcome their foes with a minimum of risk.
- "Knowledge is power, guard it well."
- —Blood Ravens battle cry and Chapter philosophy.
The Blood Ravens have a deep belief in the Emperor, perhaps because they do not know who their Primarch is, which leads them to give praise to the Emperor with a fervour greater than almost any other Chapter. Like most Astartes, they venerate him not as a god, but as the mightiest of men, a belief that often times brings them into conflict with the Ecclesiarchy.
A common battle cry of the Chapter is, "For the unknown Primarch and the Emperor!" The Blood Ravens venerate knowledge and constantly seek it out and guard it. Their motto is "knowledge is power, guard it well," a maxim held firmly by all the Chapter's Librarians and central to the core beliefs of the Chapter. As their quest for knowledge echoes many tenets of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Chapter maintains close ties with the Priesthood of Mars. Often times the Blood Ravens will join forces with Mechanicus Explorator fleets in their search for archeotech and lost knowledge in the unknown quarters of the galaxy.
The Blood Ravens are a proud and secretive Chapter, obsessed with ritual, history, and the acquisition of knowledge -- most especially for the truth of their beginnings. This gap in the Blood Ravens' history has led to endless speculation as to the exact origin of the Chapter, and what could have happened to expunge such a large and important portion of their history from their lore.
It is this focus that has driven their ongoing quest to discover more information of all kinds. This quest has unquestionably subjected Blood Ravens Battle-Brothers to an increased exposure to heretical knowledge. Some from outside the Chapter question the wisdom of their pursuits, when they could safely embrace the security of ignorance.
Because of the many facets of their investigations, the Blood Ravens have often worked closely with members of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Through the millennia, these Space Marines have uncovered many examples of archeotech, which they have almost always provided to the followers of the Omnissiah without question. At times, the Machine Cult has repaid them for their generosity with gifts of additional wargear, which is well suited to advancing their cause.
There is no formal relationship, as such could be viewed as an insult to more needy Chapters. However, this appears to represent an understanding based upon enlightened self-interest. The Blood Ravens are likely to take full advantage of these additional resources as they continue to rebuild after the losses they suffered during their recent internal strife.
The Blood Ravens' battle cry is, "Knowledge is power, guard it well!" This is more than just a chant to bellow as they charge forth to slay the Imperium's foes. It is a mantra by which the Chapter's Battle-Brothers live. They firmly believe that information is the key to solving countless problems and a weapon that can be exploited by the Imperium or by its enemies. These two points explain the care that these Space Marines exhibit prior to entering into combat and the security that they use to keep their own information and tools isolated from even their allies.
The ancient Chapter Master and Chief Librarian, Azariah Vidya, is the single Space Marine most revered by the Blood Ravens. While he is not believed to have been active at the time of the Chapter's founding, he is credited with the formation of their many traditions. While a normal Space Marine, the Blood Ravens refer to him as the "Great Father," a term that other Chapters might use to identify their Primarch or even the Emperor.
Such a degree of idolatry expressed towards a fellow Battle-Brother is certainly uncommon but seems to fulfil the void in the Chapter's iconography due to the lack of knowledge of their Predecessor Chapter and Primarch. Their views towards the Emperor are in keeping with the most common Space Marine beliefs; the Blood Ravens deeply respect the Emperor as their creator and leader, but they do not follow the teachings of the Imperial Cult and do not believe that the Emperor is divine.
There is little information available, even among the Chapter's legends, concerning its leadership prior to the Great Father assuming the mantle of Chapter Master. Many scholars among the Adeptus Administratum believe that it was his legendary role as both Chief Librarian and Chapter Master that has led the Blood Ravens to value Librarians so highly among their Battle-Brothers.
Since Chapter Master Angelos has taken command of the Blood Ravens, they have renewed their devotion to combating and overcoming the ways of Chaos. This is in large part due to the heresy that he uncovered within the Chapter, and may be a consequence of the corruption that he found on his homeworld of Cyrene. Under his direction, all of the Chapter's traditions regarding the Warp are currently being scrutinised. Its leadership is now well aware that the Blood Ravens can ill afford to lose any further members to treason or heresy.
The Blood Ravens' greatest mystery concerns the history and reasons behind their founding. A large part of the Chapter's ongoing quest to recover lost information is in the fervent hopes of discovering their origins. Because of their unusually high number of Battle-Brothers who possess psychic talents, the Adeptus Mechanicus has tested their gene-seed for mutation or Chaos contamination at a substantially more frequent interval than that normally required. Even through the course of these countless investigations, the Blood Ravens' gene-seed has consistently shown a high level of stability and purity.
At the same time, it is unusual that it shows no consistent traits that could be used to link it to the genetic lineage of any of the Primarchs. Thus far, there has been little evidence of mutation, and nothing that points to their gene-seed as the source of the Blood Ravens' disproportionate number of psykers or the unusual potency of the psychic powers they exhibit.
There has been much speculation regarding which of the First Founding Legions the Blood Ravens' gene-seed is derived from. Both the Blood Angels and Raven Guard have been suggested, but these are likely to be based on nothing more than the similarity of names between the Chapters. Other persistent rumours say that the Blood Ravens may have derived their genetic stock from the Dark Angels' gene-seed, but no definitive facts have ever been presented to establish the true source of the Chapter's genetic material.
The lack of records pertaining to whom they descended from implies that they were created in anticipation of a specific purpose, to counter some threat to the Imperium in centuries past that has since been dealt with and defeated, or from a source that was considered so shameful that all records of the connection between the Blood Ravens and their progenitors had to be hidden from future generations. The truth of their origins is sought above all other knowledge by the Blood Ravens themselves.
Secrets of the Dark
Blood Ravens have an abiding understanding of many of the dark secrets of the galaxy as a result of their ongoing quest to understand their past and the prodigious numbers of Librarians seeded throughout the Chapter. The origins of the Blood Ravens are shrouded in mystery and the true nature and name of their Primarch is unknown to them. A Battle-Brother comes into the ranks of the Blood Ravens with only limited knowledge on the history of his gene-seed and a sense of curiosity to understand their ancestry so that they might better understand their own abilities.
This thirst for understanding the mysteries surrounding the Blood Ravens is further fuelled by the principles of the Chapter and the value it places on knowledge and secrets, a thirst instilled in many Battle-Brothers by the Chapter's Librarians and their own quest to slowly uncover the past.
In time, a Blood Ravens Space Marine's hunger to learn more of their Chapter's past or uncover the darker forbidden lore of the galaxy can lead him to recklessness and even the dangerous line between understanding and embracing the forbidden.
Even though the Chapter remains fiercely loyal and its commanders and most powerful Librarians are well steeled against the perils of the Warp and its deadly secrets, many who come into contact with the Blood Ravens see their desire to learn the hidden knowledge of their enemies and delve parts and pasts of the Imperium best left untouched as the first signs of corruption and taint.
To a Blood Ravens Battle-Brother, though, the drive to gain knowledge can be too much, and where a more reluctant or cautious Imperial servant might leave a book unopened or a vault sealed and untouched the Battle-Brother must learn of its contents. Perhaps somewhere out there in the dark are the clues that will lead the Chapter to better understanding its past or even uncovering the identity of its Primarch. At the very least a Battle-Brother that adds new lore to the great Librariums of the Chapter will always be well-received and honoured for his diligence and his respect for the greatest of all weapons: knowledge.
Primarch's Curse: Deepening Mysteries
Due to the Blood Ravens not knowing the name or the lineage of their Primarch, a Blood Ravens Astartes is characterised by the nature of his Chapter and its doctrines rather than the line from which he is descended. For the Blood Ravens, this flaw is based on their hunger for forbidden knowledge and their obsessive quest for the truth behind their creation. A Blood Ravens Space Marine can become consumed by his thirst for knowledge if he is not careful in his pursuit. This comes with the added danger that much of the sort of lore the Blood Ravens seek is dangerous in and of itself, either as proscribed texts or things touched and tainted by the Warp. This genetic curse usually occurs in three stages:
- Stage 1 - Unhealthy Curiosity: The more answers about their past the Blood Ravens discover, the more questions arise to be answered, leading to an ever-expanding circle of secrets and lies that can consume those without the restraint to know when to stop looking. The Battle-Brother's quest for lore and knowledge has led him into dangerous places, and his continued survival given him a false sense of security and the drive to press on. Whenever the Battle-Brother is presented with the chance to learn a secret or uncover some knowledge either of importance to the Blood Ravens or pertaining to the Adeptus Astartes, he must summon forth his willpower to overcome his overarching obsession with the acquisition of knowledge.
- Stage 2 - Knowledgeable Obsessions: As a Blood Raven learns more forbidden lore, they can become obsessed with a particular subject, an aspect of the whole which they come to believe is linked directly to the secrets of their Chapter or some other great and important part of the Imperium's struggle against its enemies. Whenever a Battle-Brother is presented with a chance to learn more about this obsessive knowledge, he almost always places his quest above the needs of others, often putting his own life or the lives of his squad in danger.
- Stage 3 - Unholy Enlightenment: After a time a Blood Raven will learn many secrets from his Chapter and may even spend time in its Librariums coming into contact with great volumes of forbidden lore. All of these secrets can taint a man, burdening his mind and granting him both a great understanding of the universe but also a touch of madness as he tries to contain and understand it in his mind.
Notable Blood Ravens
- Chapter Master Azariah Vidya - The Librarian Azariah Vidya was the Master of the Chapter Librarium during a campaign in the Gothic Sector, in which the Blood Ravens had taken terrible losses putting down a series of Chaos-inspired rebellions against the Imperium. During this campaign, the Chapter Master and the Master of Sanctity were both killed in a trap, and it seemed that the Blood Ravens were to be exterminated as a Chapter. Azariah spent much time studying the movements and reactions of the enemy, using the Imperial Guard and his own depleted Battle-Brothers in a series of feinted attacks. Using this information, as well as his potent psychic powers, he launched a series of raids against seemingly empty areas that turned out to be important staging areas for the Chaos Cultists. For his skill in crushing the rebellion, Azariah was raised to become the Blood Ravens' Chapter Master, as well as continuing to hold his previous position as the Chapter's Chief Librarian. Vidya is the single Space Marine most revered by Blood Ravens. While he is not believed to have been active at the time of the Chapter’s Founding, he is credited with being the true founder of many of the Chapter's traditions. The Blood Ravens refer to him as the Great Father, a term that other Chapters might use to identify their Primarch or even the Emperor. Such a degree of idolatry expressed towards a fellow Battle-Brother is certainly uncommon but seems to fulfill the void in the Chapter’s iconography due to the lack of knowledge concerning which Primarch's lineage they can call their own. Vidya's apprentice and successor as Master of the Librarium and eventual Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens, Azariah Kyras, succumbed to the taint of Chaos during his time on the derelict Space Hulk Judgement of Carrion.
- Chapter Master Azariah Kyras - Azariah Kyras was the former Chapter Master and Chief Librarian of the Blood Ravens Chapter of Space Marines. Kyras is now known by elements of the Blood Ravens to have been corrupted by Chaos. Azariah Kyras has an unusually mysterious and dark past for the Chapter Master of an Adeptus Astartes Chapter. Early in the 41st Millennium, almost 1,000 standard years before the present, the world of Aurelia in the Aurelian sub-sector of the Korianis Sector was swallowed by a vast Warp Storm. Before the storm swallowed the planet into the Immaterium, it had been pushed out of its orbit and much of its population had died as a result of the sudden frigid environmental changes. Azariah Kyras was a Librarian of the Blood Ravens Chapter serving alongside his master Moriah, the Chief Librarian of the Blood Ravens. Just before Aurelia was swallowed by the Warp, a Greater Daemon of Nurgle named Ulkair, a Great Unclean One, had manifested on the world and had slain Moriah. Kyras proved luckier and managed to defeat Ulkair and imprison the immensely powerful daemon. Then the Warp took the world and Azariah Kyras along with it. Many centuries later, the 5th Company of the Blood Ravens had taken serious losses from the groups of Tyranids and daemons that infested a Space Hulk known as the Judgement of Carrion they had been tasked to explore. Azariah Kyras suddenly appeared amidst his fellow Blood Ravens on the Hulk and used his abilities to aid Apothecary Galan, the remaining ranking officer in the company, in defending the surviving Battle-Brothers from the Hulk's hideous inhabitants. The remains of the 5th Company, despite Kyras' aid, were still trapped on the Space Hulk, unable to get back to their Thunderhawks and escape. At the same time, Galan found himself haunted by a malignant daemonic presence that Kyras identified as Ulkair, the Greater Daemon that the Blood Ravens had suffered terrible losses imprisoning and which had caused Kyras to be lost in the Warp for centuries. Kyras, corrupted by Chaos during his long imprisonment in the Warp with Ulkair, sought to corrupt his fellow Battle-Brothers by enhancing their despair and playing on their fears. To gain the escape of the remains of the 5th Company from the Judgement of Carrion, Kyras entered a pact with Ulkair in which in return for the Blood Ravens' escape from the Space Hulk, Galan was possessed by a daemon. When the 5th Company escaped, both Kyras and Galan were hailed as heroes of the Chapter and Kyras was welcomed back into the fold as a lost Battle-Brother. Yet one man, Captain Gabriel Angelos of the 3rd Company, remained highly suspicious of Kyras, believing him to be tainted by Chaos. Yet Kyras rose quickly back through the ranks of the Blood Ravens because of his great experience and eventually became both the Blood Ravens' Chapter Master and their Chief Librarian. Kyras' strongest ally amongst the Blood Ravens, Galan, became the Chapter Honour Guard's Apothecary. It was the invasion of the Aurelian Sub-sector by a warband of the Black Legion that finally revealed Azariah Kyras' true allegiance to Chaos. Blood Ravens of the 4th Company tracked down and boarded the Judgement of Carrion to learn the truth of Kyras' and the 5th Company's escape from the Space Hulk. The Blood Ravens gained evidence of the pact made by Kyras and Galan with the daemon Ulkair. Kyras himself was not present in the Aurelian sub-sector during the Chapter's Crusade against the elements of the Black Legion. Instead, he sent Apollo Diomedes, the Captain of the Blood Ravens' Honour Guard, to order the Blood Raven forces in the sub-sector to withdraw from all contact with the Chaos Space Marines. Yet, the Blood Ravens officer who served as the Chapter's Force Commander in the Aurelian Crusade turned against Apothecary Galan, who confessed to his own corruption by Chaos as well as Kyras' true allegiance. But Galan explained that Captain Diomedes was untainted, though much of the Honour Guard did serve the Ruinous Powers and Ulkair in particular. The Force Commander and Captain Angelos disobeyed their corrupted Chapter Master's orders and remained in Aurelia to defeat the Black Legion and end the threat of Ulkair. With the defeat of the Great Unclean One on Aurelia, the Force Commander and Captain Angelos went renegade, determined to bring down Azariah Kyras and the other Chaos-corrupted Blood Ravens, no matter the cost. During the start of the Ordo Hereticus' purge of the Aurelia Sub-sector that began ten years after the end of the Second Aurelian, Azariah's intentions became known to the rest of the Blood Ravens, and he was hunted down on the Dead World of Cyrene. On Cyrene Azariah was in the middle of his transformation into a Daemon Prince when he was confronted by elements of the Blood Ravens 3rd and 1st Company led by Gabriel Angelos. During the resulting battle most of the Blood Ravens were killed and Gabriel was viciously struck down. A strike force of Blood Ravens led by Captain Apollo Diomedes were able to keep Azariah from fully transforming and called in an orbital bombardment right on top of the Daemon Prince, which was enough to destroy his physical form and send his soul reeling into the Warp.
- Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos - Gabriel Angelos is the current Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens and the former Captain of the Chapter's 3rd Company and Commander of the Watch. Angelos recently led the Loyalist Blood Ravens against the Chapter's former Master and Chief Librarian Azariah Kyras after it was learned that he had been corrupted by Chaos. During the final battle to free the Sub-sector Aurelia from the influence of Chaos, Angelos was badly wounded and has had to undergo extensive bionic augmentation to survive. Like many of the Blood Ravens, Gabriel was born on the planet of Cyrene, where the Chapter often drew recruits from among the Planetary Defence Forces. Gabriel was an accomplished leader of his peers before he even entered his teen years, and passed the Blood Trials set by the Blood Raven Chaplains. Many years later, now with an entire company of Blood Ravens under his command, Gabriel returned to Cyrene, to preside over the Blood Trials and recruit new members into the Chapter. But Gabriel found something very wrong on the world during the Trials, and cut them short. He quickly returned to his Strike Cruiser, and sent a coded astropathic signal out of the star system. Within hours of the signal being sent, starships of the Imperial Inquisition and the Imperial Navy appeared over Cyrene, bombarding it for a week straight with Cyclonic Torpedoes until nothing on the planet remained alive. All records of the incident, and Gabriel's astropathic message to the Inquisition, have been sealed, but Gabriel himself carried the guilt of his actions with him for a long time, particularly during the Chapter's battles on the planet Tartarus. Captain Angelos lead the Blood Ravens forces that accidentally released a daemon on Tartarus and combated the Tyranid and Chaos invasions of the Sub-sector Aurelia during the First and Second Aurelian Crusades. Captain Angelos was the only member of the Chapter's command elements to view Azariah Kyras' return to the Chapter with mistrust. Angelos quietly investigated the Chapter Master at every opportunity, ultimately exposing Kyras as a Heretic and Traitor when he confirmed links between the fallen Chapter Master and the Traitor Legions. However, the truth was discovered too late. By the time Captain Angelos was prepared to reveal his findings to the Chapter, a large number of its Space Marines were already corrupted by Chaos. Instead, Kyras declared Gabriel a Traitor and initiated a vicious hunt for the captain of the 3rd Company and his forces. A bloody Chapter civil war ensued, one that engulfed the entire Aurelian Sub-sector at its peak. Kyras eventually openly declared his loyalty to Chaos and ascended to become a Daemon Prince. The daemon was slain upon the Dead World of Cyrene in the midst of the Ordo Hereticus' purge of the sub-sector, but at a great cost to Gabriel's Loyalist forces. After the battle to defeat Kyras was over, Captain Apollo Diomedes retrieved Gabriel's body, only to find that he was still alive, and was able to call off the Inquisition's Exterminatus of all the remaining inhabited worlds of the Aurelian Sub-sector. Afterwards, Gabriel's broken body was repaired with extensive cybernetic augmentation and he was elevated to become the new Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens. It is unknown who took his place as the Captain of the 3rd Company.
- Librarian Isador Akios - Brother-Librarian Isador Akios was the Librarian of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company and was a secondary character in the PC game Dawn of War. Much like Captain Angelos, Isador was born and raised on Cyrene, and became a Blood Raven around the same time as Gabriel. Isador met Gabriel during the Blood Trials, when they were both aspirants. They fought back to back and reaped a toll so bloody the trials were bought to an end early. Although his homeworld was destroyed, Isador did not blame Gabriel for his actions on Cyrene, since it had to be done. While the Blood Ravens 3rd Company was on the doomed planet of Tartarus, Isador slowly succumbed to the powers of Chaos, tempted by the traitorous Sorcerer of the Alpha Legion named Sindri Myr, telling him of the "Key", and tempting him to use it. When Inquisitor Mordecai Toth arrived, he detected a Chaos taint among the Space Marines and came up with the assumption that it originated in Gabriel. Because of this, the Blood Ravens were blinded to Isador's corruption and thus could not stop Isador before he finally seized the Maledictum and turned to Chaos, bringing Gabriel's trust in his old friend crumbling to the ground. Isador was killed in a duel between himself and Gabriel, and Gabriel used his death as an example of the fate of Space Marines who fell to Chaos. Isador was armed with a Force Weapon and Bolt Pistol. He was able to be upgraded with a Plasma Pistol later on in the campaign.
- Chief Librarian Jonah Orion - Jonah Orion has served under Gabriel Angelos since the aftermath of the Tartarus Campaign. Once a protégé of Isador Akios -- who fell to Chaos on Tartarus -- Jonah was subject to suspicion, but the support of Captain Angelos and Chapter Master Kyras soon put those doubts to rest. During the Tyranid invasion, he was one of the psykers tasked with battling the mighty Hive Mind as Captain Angelos made for sub-sector Aurelia. Of the dozen Librarians, Navigators and Astropaths accompanying Angelos, only Jonah survived. Although still bearing the scars of his ordeal in the Warp, Jonah has served with honour over the last year. His psychic abilities have allowed Blood Ravens to root out several leftover pockets of Tyranid infestation. Orion was believed killed during the Loyalist Blood Ravens' final fight with their corrupt Chapter Master Azariah Kyras during the Inquisition's Crusade to eliminate the taint of Chaos from the Aurelian Sub-sector. Although he sustained what many thought was a mortal wound on Cyrene, he miraculously survived. Understanding the gravity of Jonah's sacrifices for the Chapter and his undeniable role in their victory against Arch-Traitor Azariah Kyras, the newly-appointed Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos promoted him to Chief Librarian.
- Epistolary Anteas - Epistolary Anteas is a Senior Librarian of the Blood Ravens Chapter tasked with aiding Brother-Captain Davian Thule's purge of the planet Kronus.
- Reclusiarch Mikelus - Reclusiarch Mikelus was a Blood Ravens Chaplain who served under Captain Davian Thule's forces consisting of the 1st, 2nd and 4th companies during the Kronus Campaign. He carried the faith of the Emperor into battle, inspiring his fellow Space Marines to fight with a ferocity uncommon even among the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes. He was killed when battling the Necron Lord with Captain Thule, the latter of which commended Mikelus with the honour of killing the Necron Lord (even though Mikelus had already perished before).
- Chaplain Prathios - Chaplain Prathios is the current Chaplain of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company. Prathios was the one who oversaw the Blood Trials of Gabriel Angelos and Isador Akios when they were still young recruits of the Blood Ravens.
- Apollo Diomedes - Diomedes is the Chaplain and former Captain of the Blood Ravens' Honour Guard. Previously, he had commanded the Blood Ravens elite 1st Company for almost two standard centuries with honour and skill. Diomedes' most famous victory came on the ravaged Penal World of Obscurus. On the same day, he and his Battle-Brothers defeated the Ork Warboss Manstompa Megakilla and the Chaos Sorcerer Anuphans the Cruel. After that victory Diomedes was elevated to the command of the Chapter Master's Honour Guard, becoming Azariah Kyras' most public agent amongst the Chapter's often widely dispersed Astartes. Although not corrupted by Chaos himself, Diomedes, acting under orders from Azariah Kyras, aided the heretical Blood Ravens Apothecary Galan in opposing the efforts of the unnamed Force Commander in the Sub-sector Aurelia, who had been declared a Renegade by Kyras, to destroy Galan's Stronghold. In the course of the Second Aurelian Crusade, Diomedes leanred the truth about Kyras corruption by the Greater Daemon Ulkair on Aurelia centuries before. He returned to the sub-sector 10 years later during its cleansing by the forces of the Inquisition to discover the truth of the corruption that had eaten at the heart of the Blood Ravens with Scout Sergeant Cyrus and Techmarine Martellus.
- Indrick Boreale - Captain Indrick Boreale was the Force Commander of the Blood Ravens expeditionary force that was sent to the Kaurava System. Having studied under Gabriel Angelos, Boreale lead no less than five Blood Ravens companies into battle, and favoured a tactic called "Steel Rain" in which he kept entire companies in reserve on his Battle Barge, to be deployed by Drop Pod at a moment's notice. This allowed him to land his reserve forces quickly and put pressure on the foe. As a result, he did not make much use of static defensive structures like turrets. During the Kaurava Conflict, Boreale was forced to battle against fellow Imperial forces like the Sisters of Battle and the 252nd Conservator Regiment of the Imperial Guard due to conflicting interests and each Imperial force acting on their own (such as the unleashing of Canoness Selena Agna's Purgation Crusade in the Kaurava System). Scout Sergeant Cyrus later revealed that the Blood Ravens' Kaurava campaign proved to be a disaster, with many Astartes, including most of Cyrus' Scout Marines and Indrick Boreale himself being slain. This critical blow left the Chapter largely undermanned. One of the relics of the Chapter was an Iron Halo that was intended to be presented to Boreale upon his victory at Kaurava, but which was never awarded following the disastrous outcome of that campaign.
- Epistolary Sarbander - Epistolary Sarbander was a Senior Librarian of the Blood Ravens Chapter tasked with aiding Captain Indrick Boreale during the Kaurava Conflict.
- The Force Commander of Sub-sector Aurelia (Sergeant Aramus) - The Force Commander is the Blood Ravens Captain who represents the player in Dawn of War II. His name is chosen by the player, but he does not speak and is only referred to as "Commander" by the others, though his name is given as Sergeant Aramus in the novel. The Commander is relatively young for his rank, promoted by the Chapter Master, Azariah Kyras, despite resistance from the rest of the Chapter and the fact that they have never met in person. As a result, he must both prove himself to Angelos, Thule and his Veterans -- many of whom were veterans of the earlier Kronus and Kaurava Campaigns -- and serve as an example to the new Blood Ravens recruits.
- Trythos (Dreadnought) - Three millennia before the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company destroyed the artefact known as the Maledictum containing a Greater Daemon during the Tartarus Campaign, Captain Trythos had arrived on Tartarus with a squad of the Deathwatch. While on this mission, the Deathwatch Kill-team recovered a shard of the Wailing Doom, a psychic Eldar weapon carried by an Eldar Avatar that was later used to craft the Daemonhammer God-Splitter wielded by the Inquisitor Mordecai Toth, but Trythos was mortally wounded during the operation. He was encased within the cybernetic shell of a Dreadnought and returned to his home Chapter, where he joined the 3rd Company. Trythos had been the first Blood Raven to take up the Long Watch with the Deathwatch. Three thousand standard years later he found himself again on Tartarus fighting alongside Captain Gabriel Angelos and the 3rd Company. Unfortunately, at the Battle of Magna Bonum against the Eldar, he was slain. A year after the end of hostilities on Tartarus, after the planet had returned to realspace from the massive Warp Storm that had claimed it, the Techmarine Brennan led a Blood Ravens strike force back to the planet to recover his remains. Despite massive damage, the Dreadnought remained standing where the Blood Ravens had been forced to leave it. Its return to the Chapter's Armoury was a cause for great celebration.
- Davian Thule (Dreadnought) - Davian Thule is the former Captain of the 4th Company of the Blood Ravens and is currently a Dreadnought of the Chapter. Thule commanded the Blood Ravens' assault on the Civilised World of Kronus during the Dark Crusade. He was raised and recruited into the Chapter as a Neophyte on Cyrene, but was originally born on Tartarus. During the Dark Crusade, he commanded the Blood Ravens' 1st, 2nd and 4th Companies. He was there protecting ancient Chapter knowledge. He eliminated all opposition on Kronus in order to safeguard secrets he had learned on that world about the Chapter, and even fought against fellow Imperial forces -- the Imperial Guard. After the events on Kronus he was questioned by Inquisitor Mordecai Toth for his attack against other servants of the Emperor, but Toth found no concrete evidence that his actions had been heretical or driven by Chaos corruption. Thule had once been considered one of the greatest Astartes of the Chapter. He first came to prominence four centuries before the Kronus Campaign when he slew the Chaos Witch Morganna in the Black Fortress of Vespa. Thule also had distinguished himself during the Blood Ravens' campaign on Cadia. His brilliant command of the Kronus Campaign and the victory he won there for the Blood Ravens should have vaulted him even higher into the inner circle of Blood Raven leadership, but instead lead to a falling out with the Blood Ravens Chapter Master at that time, Azariah Kyras. Many within the Chapter have speculated that Thule's fall from grace was the result of his willingness to vilify the Imperial Guardsmen slain by the Blood Ravens on Kronus, a fact that was noticed during the Inquisition's investigation of the matter. There are darker rumours, though, of secrets discovered on Kronus -- secrets that fundamentally shook Thule's faith in the Blood Ravens and caused him to voluntarily retreat from participation in the Chapter's politics. After Kronus was taken by the Blood Ravens, Thule supposedly destroyed the ancient relics of the Chapter's history he had recovered there beneath the ruins of an ancient Blood Ravens' fortress-monastery. It is unknown if this knowledge links the Blood Ravens with a Traitor Legion like the Thousand Sons, but it is now gone forever. Thule is usually armed with Alexian's Blade and a Bolt Pistol. During the events of the First Aurelian Crusade, Thule was mortally wounded while leading the 4th Company by a Tyranid Warrior, although his life was saved by the actions of the Blood Ravens' Aurelian Sub-sector Force Commander and he was ultimately resurrected as a Space Marine Dreadnought by Apothecary Gordian so that he might continue to serve the Chapter.
- Apothecary Gordian - Apothecary Gordian served under Davin Thule as his personal Apothecary during the Dark Crusade on Kronus. Later, during the First Aurelian Crusade, Gordian serves aboard the strike cruiser Armageddon as the Blood Ravens' Apothecary in the Aurelia sub-sector. Gordian was responsible for putting Captain Davian Thule in stasis, after he was attacked and poisoned by a Tyranid Warrior on Calderis. When the Blood Ravens acquired the toxin to counteract the poison, with the help of Techmarine Martellus he placed Thule into a Dreadnought allowing the legendary Captain to fight again. During the final battle with the Tyranids, he is lost aboard the Armageddon above Typhon Primaris.
- Techmarine Martellus - A Techmarine aboard the Blood Ravens' Strike Cruiser Armageddon, Martellus served under Force Commander Aramus throughout the Tyranid invasion in Dawn of War II. During the climactic battle, Martellus was aboard a Thunderhawk gunship supporting the Space Marines on the ground. The Tyranid horde eventually overwhelmed the gunship. In Chaos Rising he returns, when he's saved by the Force Commander while defending the Astronomic Array on Typhon Primaris. Martellus served as part of Captain Apollo Diomedes' strike force during the Blood Ravens' attempt to save the Aurelian Sub-sector from both the taint of Chaos and an Exterminatus unleashed by the Inquisition's Crusade within the sub-sector.
- Tactical Sergeant Tarkus (The Ancient) - Tarkus is a Tactical Marine Sergeant in the Blood Ravens 4th Company. He is a Veteran with centuries of experience in warfare, and is an expert tactician as well as a rock-solid second-in-command. Amongst his Tactical Marines, Tarkus is renowned for his confidence and steely demeanour in battle. Tarkus was awarded Terminator Honours for his involvement in the assault on the Necron Catacombs of Kronus during the Dark Crusade, where he and his squad repelled wave after wave of Necron forces to buy Captain Davian Thule time to plant the bomb that would end the Necron threat to the planet. Tarkus is stated to have lost one of his hands killing a Necron Tomb Spider when out of ammunition by holding a live grenade in a weak point near the Tomb Spider's head. In Dawn of War II, Tarkus once again served alongside Captain Thule in his defence of the Aurelia Sub-sector. Tarkus left the command of the Blood Ravens' Force Commander of Aurelia Sub-sector on the world of Meridian to investigate the reason behind recent Ork appearances at Angel Gate. He rejoined the Force Commander's troops while they were planetside, searching for the force of Eldar that attacked the vulnerable Angel Gate. The Eldar planned to overload the Forge's reactor to devastate Meridian and stall the splinter Tyranid Hive Fleet from reaching the Craftworld of Ulthwé. During the events of the Inquisition's Crusade to cleanse the Aurelia Sub-sector some 10 Terran years later, Tarkus refused to speak to his fellow Astartes, unable to forgive himself for the betrayal of his close friend Devastator Sergeant Avitus who had been corrupted by Chaos during the Second Aurelian Crusade and so he was referred to by his fellows simply as "The Ancient." His true identity as Tarkus was also not revealed until Captain Apollo Diomedes began to show the first signs of Chaos corruption. Tarkus' actions prevented Diomedes from falling to Chaos as Avitus had done.
- Assault Sergeant Thaddeus - Thaddeus is an Assault Marine Sergeant in the Blood Ravens 4th Company. He was a native under-city gang leader on the Hive World of Meridian in the Aurelian Sub-sector before his personal recruitment into the Blood Ravens by Captain Davian Thule, following a series of uprisings in Spire Legis. After witnessing Thaddeus stand against hundreds of rioters single-handedly, Thule was impressed and recruited him into the Blood Ravens, making him the first Blood Ravens Aspirant to be drawn from that Hive World in centuries. He has a reputation as a brash and idealistic brawler; and made his name battling Feral Orks on Calderis and Typhon Primaris. Thaddeus is also something of a humanitarian, and fights as much for the people of the Imperium as he does the Emperor and the Chapter.
- Devastator Sergeant Avitus - Avitus is a Devastator Marine Sergeant in the Blood Ravens' 4th Company. He fought alongside Captain Davian Thule in the Dark Crusade on Kronus and slew the Chaos Witch Morgana. He also distinguished himself during the assault on the Imperial Guard stronghold of Victory Bay. It was also in this battle that Avitus lost many of his squad-mates, which forever changed Avitus and prompted his vision of Imperial Guardsmen as traitors and weaklings. He is renowned for his unmatched hatred for the enemy, which many regard as his greatest weapon. Avitus once again serves alongside Captain Davian Thule during his defence of the Aurelian Sub-sector from a Tyranid splinter fleet. Avitus was ultimately corrupted by Chaos and betrayed his fellow Blood Ravens during their campaign against the Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion led by the Chaos Champion and former Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor on the frozen world of Aurelia.
- Scout Sergeant Cyrus - Cyrus is a Veteran Scout Sergeant in the Blood Ravens 10th Company who has dedicated himself to training the Chapter's initiates and scouts, as well as honing them into full-fledged Space Marines. Even amongst his own Chapter, Cyrus is a man of few words, and has a fearsome reputation. His methods, while highly unpopular amongst the Battle Brothers, have earned them countless victories, most notably during the Genestealer outbreak on Victoria Primus. It is revealed part-way through the campaign that he has fought the Tyranids before, during his time in the Deathwatch. He also fought in the Kaurava campaign under Brother-Captain Indrick Boreale, and reveals that the campaign gone horribly wrong for the Blood Ravens. He declares the said campaign as "a huge mistake," vowing not to speak of the Kaurava System again.
- Sergeant Endymion - Endymion was the second-in-command to Davian Thule, the former Captain of the 4th Company of the Blood Ravens, who was transformed into a Dreadnought. He perished on the world of Aurelia at the hands of an Eldar Wraithlord during the Eldar invasion of the Minos Iceworks in the Second Aurelian Crusade, saving the Librarian Jonah Orion in the process from the assault of the war machine. Jonah then sent a message requesting reinforcements to the Blood Ravens Strike Cruiser Retribution in orbit above Aurelia. Blood Ravens reinforcements soon arrived at their position and rescued the survivors. Davian Thule, now a Venerable Dreadnought, defended Endymion's remains while the Blood Ravens destroyed the Eldar's Webway Assembly, which severed their own ability to reinforce. Endymion's gene-seed was collected by the Blood Ravens and his remains preserved as one of their honoured dead.
- Aramus - Aramus, commonly referred to simply as "the Force Commander," was the leader of various Blood Ravens strike forces during the Aurelian Crusades. Aramus first drew attention to himself during the Hadrian Campaign, where he led a mission that successfully destroyed an enemy artillery position without taking any casualties. In the wake of this success he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and the position of Force Commander by Chapter Master Azariah Kyras himself. The youngest Blood Raven to ever gain this position, some of the senior members of the Chapter believed it to be a premature promotion. Aramus and his surviving men were awarded the title "Heroes of Typhon" after the final battle against the Tyranids on that world. Aramus would eventually rise to become Captain of the 4th Company, promoted by Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos to take the place of Davian Thule, who had been entombed within a Dreadnought.
- Captain Balthazar - Balthazar was the Blood Ravens Captain in command of the Battle Barge Dauntless during the Acheron Campaign.
The Blood Ravens have existed as a fleet-based Chapter since the loss of their original homeworld of Aurelia to the Warp. The basis for this decision is unclear, as their millennia of stalwart service certainly qualifies the Chapter for possession and control of another Imperial world. It may be that the decision was made for reasons lost to their history, which has been preserved for traditional reasons rather than functional ones.
To fulfil their duties, the Blood Ravens possess several Battle-Barges, but their mobile fortress-monastery, the Omnis Arcanum, is the largest vessel of their fleet and serves as their gene-seed repository. This vessel also houses the Chapter's sacred Librarium Sanctorum and copies of all the knowledge the Chapter has discovered during its missions across the galaxy.
Each of the Chapter's Battle-Barges maintains its own Librarium as well, where all of their active records and new findings are recorded. However, only a subset of the Blood Ravens' complete findings -- particularly information concerning the Warp, archeotech, and the ways of xenos -- are stored in these lesser Librariums. Through the course of their history, companies have often been assigned to extended duty apart from the main portion of the Chapter's fleet.
During such missions, these independent Librariums serve as interim storage of knowledge and a valuable resource for reviewing the less-volatile lore that the Chapter maintains. Any time that one of the auxiliary Battle-Barges reestablishes contact with Omnis Arcanum, an exchange of information is undertaken, so any new information is returned to the Librarium Sanctorum, while data deemed safe for dissemination is provided to the lesser Battle-Barges.
One critical limitation of a fleet-based operation is a restriction in the availability of new candidates for initiation. The Blood Ravens overcome this difficulty by recruiting from a number of worlds, with which they have long-established relations, most of which are in the Sub-sector Aurelia of the Korianis Sector. These worlds range from Feral Worlds, colonised by the remnants of ancient Imperial civilisations, to Hive Worlds, where gangers fight daily with whatever weapons they can scrounge, living off the scrapings of Imperial society.
The only trait that these worlds share in common is a higher than normal frequency of psykers amongst their population. While the Blood Ravens Chapter does not exclusively recruit psykers as candidates, those who show psychic talents survive their initiation rates at a much higher frequency than is observed among most other Chapters.
The Chapter fleet of the Blood Ravens is known to contain the following starships:
- Omnis Arcanum (Chapter Barque) - The Omnis Arcanum is the flagship of the Blood Ravens fleet and the location of the Chapter's primary Librarium. However, little more is known about this venerable warship, where it travels or even if it really does serve as the home of the Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens.
- Dauntless (Battle Barge) - A Battle Barge of the Blood Ravens that served as the flagship of Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos during the Acheron Campaign. During that conflict, the Eldar Farseer Macha urged Angelos to sacrifice the Dauntless to cripple the Bloodthirster known as the "Storm Prince" by ramming it into a frozen fissure on the planet's frigid surface, sacrificing the lives of the Astartes and mortals aboard the great vessel but preventing the Greater Daemon from wreaking havoc across the galaxy in the name of the Blood God Khorne. Angelos did so, and the impact of the great vessel at such a weak point in the planet's tectonic structure caused the benighted world to begin to crack apart. With Acheron fragmented and destroyed, the Storm Prince quickly diminished in size and strength as his access to all the psychic power of the souls slain in the world's vicinity was lost, allowing Angelos, Macha and the Ork Warboss Gorgutz to banish the creature back to the Warp.
- Litany of Fury (Battle Barge) - A venerable warship of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company, the Litany of Fury carries a great many secrets within its hold and is a beacon of light in the darkness of the Eastern Fringe, where the light of the Astronomican wanes. The Sanctorium Arcanum is a secret vault within the Battle-Barge, tended by Librarians of the Chapter initiated into the Secret Orders of Psykana of the Blood Ravens. The Sanctorium Arcanum is an astropathic choir in mimicry of the Astronomican itself, a mobile repeater station intended to boost the light of the Astronomican in the distant reaches of the Eastern Fringe. The Sanctorium Arcanum, like many relics of the Chapter, was created by the Great Father Azariah Vidya and its true origins and function have been lost to the mists of time, yet it is still maintained by the Librarians of the Chapter.
- Scientia Est Potentia (Battle Barge) - Battle Barge of the Blood Ravens 5th Company.
- Armageddon (Strike Cruiser) - Former flagship of the Blood Ravens 5th Company, lost during the battle for the Aurelia Sub-sector.
- Rage of Erudition (Strike Cruiser) - Strike Cruiser under the command of Sergeant Saulh.
- Ravenous Spirit (Strike Cruiser) - This Strike Cruiser was in service to Captain Gabriel Angelos during his mission to Cyrene.
- Retribution (Strike Cruiser) - Strike Cruiser assigned to the remnants of the 5th Company following the loss of The Armageddon.
- Alexian's Blade - This is a master-crafted Power Sword that once belonged to the Chapter hero Alexian. This Chapter relic was wielded by Captain Davian Thule during the Dark Crusade on Kronus.
- Argentus' Fury - A unique Astartes Bolter gifted to Sergeant Argentus during the Second War for Armageddon by the master artificers of the Salamanders Chapter, whom Argentus fought alongside. This master-crafted Bolter has been modified to fire deadly Dragonfire Bolts.
- Black Rage - A mysterious Chainsword named after the genetic curse of the same name that currently afflicts the Blood Angels and its Successor Chapters.
- Blade of Ulyus - This formidable and unique Chainsword was once used by the Chapter hero Sergeant Ulyus of the Blood Ravens' 2nd Company during the Dark Crusade to destroy a Necron Pariah on the world of Kronus, a Necron Tomb World.
- Blade of Zeal - A unique Power Sword said to have been blessed by Chaplain Elizur on the eve of the Ninth Flagellant Heresy. The sword is inscribed with the following inscription in High Gothic: "Let the stars die and mankind end before this sword returns unblooded to its sheathe."
- Blighted Bolter - This unique Astartes Bolter was recovered near the planetary capital of Kronus during the Dark Crusade, found amongst the carnage wrought by Traitor Imperial Guardsmen. It bears the seal of the planet. Though many prayers of sanctity and rituals of absolution have purified this formidable weapon, those that utilise this Bolter are loathe to recall the dark events surrounding the campaign that forced them to fight against former soldiers of the Imperium.
- Blinding Revelation - A unique Mark III Sun Fury Pattern Plasma Pistol and Chapter relic, Blind Revelation was wielded by Sergeant Matiel of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company against the Ork Warboss Orkamungus and his WAAAGH! during the Tartarus campaign. Chapter records indicate that the Orks were blinded by this deadly pistol's muzzle flash and were unable to return fire.
- Chant of Resolve - A unique Heavy Bolter inscribed with the Third Resolution of the Faithful: "So long as His voice is heard none shall stand before us."
- Chorus of Resolve - A unique Dreadnought Assault Cannon. Inscribed upon this Chapter relic are the words of the Fourth Resolution of the Faithful: "So long as His eyes are upon us, none shall doubt our zeal."
- Fang of Fenris - A unique Power Axe that is said to have been crafted by the Blood Ravens master Techmarine Isaak Jordanus after attempting to visit the Space Wolves homeworld of Fenris. Though he was ultimately denied permission to land, he was so awestruck by the magnificent sight of The Fang from orbit that he forged the Chapter relic known as the Fang of Fenris in honour of the Space Wolves' formidable fortress-monastery.
- Flame of Terra - A unique Astartes Flamer and Chapter relic, its activation rites include the verse, "As holy Terra is a beacon of hope for humanity, so may this weapon bring hope to those facing the scourge of alien tyranny."
- Guardian of Faith - A unique Godwyn De'az Pattern Bolter gifted to the Blood Ravens Chapter by the Adepta Sororitas following the successful defence of the Daemocles Cluster. This pattern bears both the sigils of the Chapter as well as the trademark fleur-de-lis symbol of the Sisters of Battle.
- Gauntlet of Blood - A unique Power Fist formally wielded by the young Sergeant Karolus during the Kronus Campaign. He managed to fight on even though the power field of the armoured gauntlet failed at the height of battle. When he returned to the rest of his company, the now-inert Power Fist was coated in the blood of many xenos species. After the Power Fist was repaired by the Chapter's Techmarines, the blood was left inside the power field, commemorating the bravery of Sergeant Karolus.
- Gauntlet of the Templar - A unique Terminator Power Fist, this Chapter relic has a coloured history that can be traced to the 36th Millennium. It is well known that the puritanical and zealous Black Templars have an unfettered hatred for all psykers. Given their stance on such matters, the relations between the Blood Ravens and the Black Templars has never been cordial. Things came to a head when a Black Templars Crusade actually traded shots with a Blood Ravens' Strike Cruiser that was commanded by a Librarian. After this incident, the Chapter crafted the Power Fist and named it for the Black Templars. Some say this was intended deliberately as a slight against the puritanical Chapter by the Blood Ravens.
- Gauntlets of the Ancients - A set of relic Dreadnought close combat weapons reserved for the Blood Ravens' Venerable Dreadnoughts, the revered brothers of the Chapter that slumber for centuries in-between campaigns, until awakened to fight only in the direst of circumstances.
- Gift of Blackmane - A unique Power Axe crafted by the Blood Ravens Chapter's artificers in honour of the Space Wolves Wolf Lord Ragnar Blackmane, and intended to be sent to Fenris as a gift. The young Wolf Lord respectfully declined the gift and is said to have remarked, "Let them keep their trinkets."
- God-Splitter - God-Splitter is a relic Daemonhammer wielded by Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos which was gifted to him by Inquisitor Mordecai Toth during the Tartarus campaign to combat the daemon that inhabited the Chaos relic known as the Maledictum. It is said to contain a recovered fragment of the Wailing Doom, the formidable weapon used by the Eldar Craftworld Biel-Tan's Avatar of Khaine after its own battle with the Maledictum's daemon in the 38th Millennium.
- Hand of Calder - A unique Power Fist and relic of the Blood Ravens Chapter said to have once been possessed by the famous Astra Militarum Colonel Argo Calder, who reclaimed the Feudal World of Calderis, located in the Aurelian Sub-sector of the Korianis Sector, after it had been lost to the Imperium for millennia. Colonel Calder had utilised this formidable armoured gauntlet to great effect against the numerous indigenous creatures native to the newly-rediscovered world. Calder would go on to conquer the planet and become the founder of the planetary capital city of Argus. The Blood Ravens have recruited Neophytes from this world for millennia.
- Hand of Rage - A unique Terminator Power Fist of the Blood Angels' 5th Company, the Chapter's official histories say that this Chapter relic was forged in honour of the righteous rage of the pure against the Ruinous Powers, but others whisper that this formidable relic was actually named for the Black Rage, the genetic curse of sanguinary wrath that is inherent in the Blood Angels' gene-seed.
- Hate of the Xenos - This unique Plasma Pistol once belonged to the Chapter hero Trythios, the first Blood Raven to be seconded to the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos. Though few records exist in regards to this legendary warrior, what is known with any certainty is that he took his Plasma Pistol with him. When he returned to the Chapter after the completion of his tenure with the Long Watch, he spoke little of his time amongst this secretive group of elite xenos hunters. Since that time, Hate of the Xenos has always accompanied a Blood Raven that is seconded to the Deathwatch.
- Herald of the Coming Doom - A unique Astartes Bolt Pistol that was utilised against Traitor Imperial Guard soldiers during the Dark Crusade on Kronus. Though there are few details within the Chapter's records, a fragment from a journal written by a trooper of the 102nd Company of the 1st Kronus Liberators described a Bolt Pistol that made a distinctive sound, "The sound of doom itself stalking our men."
- Ironfist - A notorious Power Fist that possesses a decidedly sketchy reputation amongst the Chapter. Those that wielded this unique relic are instructed by the Chapter's Techmarines with a specific activation prayer, for the reason that one can never completely be confident whether or not this weapon's power field will remain functioning during an extended campaign.
- Judgement of the Khan - A unique Power Axe that was utilised by Sergeant Brocus of the Blood Ravens 6th Company while fighting against an Ork WAAAGH! during the 39th Millennium. It is said that Brocus emulated the White Scars Chapter, adopting their trademark lightning fast hit-and-run tactics against the Orks. Using his personally crafted weapon, he named it in honour of the White Scars' Primarch Jaghatai Khan.
- Lamentation of Heretics - This unique Plasma Gun and Chapter relic is inscribed with the phrase, "Suffer not the unclean to live," along its grip in High Gothic.
- The Lion's Roar - A unique Heavy Bolter and Chapter relic named in honour of the Dark Angels' fierce Primarch Lion El'Jonson, the bolts sprayed in an unrelenting barrage of death are said to represent the fury of the Lion at the betrayals committed by his former brother Primarchs during the Horus Heresy.
- Lucian's Rod - Lucian's Rod is a specially master-crafted Astartes Force Staff. Lucian was a legendary hero of the Blood Ravens, who some claim could not channel his prodigious psychic powers through any normal Force Weapon. He had a special Force Staff crafted for his use, a weapon which amplified his talents ten-fold. He perished in single combat against a mighty Daemon Prince, but his dying blows banished the foul creature.
- Mephitic Perdition of Flies - A unique relic Power Fist of the former Death Guard Legion Astartes Solun Decius lost during the opening days of the Horus Heresy during the early 31st Millennium. Solun Decius was a member of the 7th Great Company, fated to be aboard the frigate Eisenstein during the Istvaan III Atrocity. When his commander, Battle-Captain Nathaniel Garro seized the vessel, they fled into the Warp in an attempt to carry a warning to the Emperor on Terra of the Horus' perfidy. During their sojourn through the Warp, Solun Decius was stabbed by a Plague Knife by one of the reanimated corpses of his former traitorous brethren and was infected with Nurgle's Rot. He attempted to stem the corruption by cutting off his own arm which was encased within a Power Fist. This armoured gauntlet was thought lost, but was recovered ten millennia later in the Aurelian Sub-sector by the Blood Ravens Chapter during the Second Aurelian Crusade. Though this archaic relic is still a potent and formidable weapon, it is thoroughly corrupted with the malefic power of Nurgle.
- Ork Crusher - A unique Dreadnought-sized Power Fist made famous through the actions of Revered Ancient Callum upon the world of Storm Reach, when he utilised this brutal close combat weapon to deadly effectiveness, when he crushed a surfacing Ork submersible and every Ork within, killing them all.
- Ork Killer - A unique Bolt Pistol that was utilised by the famed Chapter marksman Scout Sergeant Elias, who once used this sidearm to kill 100 Orks after his Sniper Rifle was severely damaged in combat. After this battle, Elias chose to leave the Scout Company to join an Assault Squad, and kept this pistol with him.
- Pistol of Baal - A unique Mark III Bolt Pistol, this relic has the trademark bloody teardrop of the Blood Angels stamped upon the pistol's grip. The Chapter's records indicate that this weapon was acquired during a ceremonial exchange of arms between themselves and the Blood Angels in the 37th Millennium, though oddly, the Blood Angels possess no records of such an exchange.
- Prized of the Iron Wolf - A unique Power Axe recognised for its formidable abilities by Space Wolves Iron Priest Bjorkstein when he accompanied the Blood Ravens Chapter during a campaign upon the world of Kading Prime to purge it of the xenos presence of Eldar Exodites.
- Purge of Victory Bay - A unique Heavy Bolter named in honour of the Blood Ravens' victorious campaign during the Dark Crusade on Kronus against Traitor Imperial Guardsmen. It is said that the Blood Ravens believe this to have been an ignominious campaign, and this Heavy Bolter is said to have an evil reputation. Some claim that the death cries of the fallen Guardsmen can be heard when the weapon is fired.
- Purifier of Tombs - A unique Plasma Gun and Chapter relic utilised by Battle-Brother Damon of the Blood Ravens' 4th Company while accompanying Davian Thule during the Dark Crusade on Kronus during the attack on the Necron catacombs hidden beneath the Thur'Abis Plateau. Later on, as a Sergeant, Damon wielded this same weapon during the Kaurava Campaign.
- Rending Might - This unique Mark IIc Astartes Power Fist was once wielded by the Chapter hero Trythos. Though the Chapter was unable to recover the lost Terminator Armour of this legendary warrior, his armoured gauntlet was recovered and is still wielded by the Chapter's heroes.
- Rising Fury - A unique Bolt Pistol said to have been fabricated by the Chapter's master artificer Isaak Jordanos who engraved prayers of rage and zeal along its barrel.
- Righteous Wisdom - A unique Astartes Bolter that was formerly used by the great Chapter Librarian Sunnis, and is said to be imbued with the dead Librarian's great wisdom.
- Scourge of Xenos - A unique Heavy Bolter which formally belonged to Sergeant Brin, who was seconded to the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos. When he finally returned to the Chapter, his weapon had seen much combat against the various xenos of the galaxy, and had received the blessings of three different Inquisitors.
- Scourging Fury - This unique Astartes Plasma Gun and Chapter relic is equipped with an advanced cooling system that makes it far more deadly to the Blood Ravens' enemies, for it is not prone to dangerously overheating like most Plasma Weapons.
- Snarl of the Wolf - The unique Chainsword known as the Snarl of the Wolf takes its name from the distinctive sound it makes when activated, likened to that of a hungry, snarling wolf. This Chapter relic first saw service during the Cleansing of the Jameson Reach, where the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company deployed to reclaim a world that had emerged near the edge of the Warp rift known as the Maelstrom after millennia of being isolated by Warp Storms.
- Stalwart Blade of Champions - This unique Power Sword is traditionally wielded by a Company Champion or Chapter Champion. When chosen for this sacred duty, the Blood Raven entrusted with this Chapter relic recites the traditional oath: "Never shall I falter in carrying out His will."
- Stalwart Companion - A unique Astartes Bolt Pistol whose use is attributed to the Imperial Fists hero Captain Galen, who was attributed as saying, "Only death may separate me from my sidearm." Where or how the Blood Ravens acquired this relic is not mentioned in the Chapter's archives.
- Tartarus - A unique Chainsword, Tartarus was once wielded by Sergeant Matiel against the foul Orks when the Blood Ravens fought against the Greenskin infestation of the world of Tartarus. To commemorate his Chapter's inevitable victory, Matiel had the name Tartarus engraved into the sword's guard. Though Matiel would later perish during that hard-fought campaign, the sword would go on to continue serving the Chapter.
- Terror of Xenos - A unique Astartes Bolter and Chapter relic said to have the words, "Let all xenos tremble before the Angels of Death," inscribed on its grip in High Gothic.
- Unforgiving Truth - A unique master-crafted Bolter fabricated by the famous Chapter artificer Isaak Jordanos, it is said to be named for the Emperor's holy truth, which destroys all lies. Others whisper that the weapon's true name is Unforgiven Truth.
- Wisdom - A unique Power Sword formerly wielded by Captain Davian Thule, this relic's stewardship was later passed on to Sergeant Aramus during the Aurelian Crusades.
The Blood Ravens primarily wear dark red Power Armour with weathered cream shoulder plates trimmed in black. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest is black. The black squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator, or Veteran), is indicated on the right shoulder plate. A white Roman numeral centred on the squad specialty symbol indicates squad number. The colour of the right knee guard indicates company number in accordance with the Codex -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), etc.
The Blood Ravens' Chapter badge is a silhouetted raven in flight as seen from above, incorporated with a stylized drop of blood within. Because of their name and badge, it was once theorised that the Blood Ravens were a Successor Chapter of either the Blood Angels or the Raven Guard, but both of these suppositions have been denied by Games Workshop.
Possible Connections to the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion
Please Note: The following is informed speculation based on the sources, and is not yet recognised as canon.
The Blood Ravens' dark secret may be that they have descended not from one of the Loyalist First Founding Chapters but from the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion, as before the Thousand Sons' homeworld of Prospero was destroyed by the Space Wolves during the Horus Heresy, the XV Legion sent a portion of their forces far from their homeworld in their Legion fleet. These Astartes were not transported to the Eye of Terror under the deal their Primarch Magnus the Red made with the Chaos God Tzeentch to save the Legion's lives in return for their service to the Changer of Ways. This would mean that the Blood Ravens Chapter is not actually a Successor Chapter but is technically a remnant of one of the First Founding Legions, though with a dark and tainted past.
In the book Dawn of War: Ascension, it is revealed that the ancestors of the Blood Ravens built a recruiting world on top of an ancient Necron outpost during the Horus Heresy, with the help of the Eldar. The two races worked in unison, using Eldar sorcery and psychic wards to lock the Necron force lying beneath the sands in psychic stasis. The Horus Heresy-era Space Marines were then tasked with protecting this outpost by the Eldar, to seal in the Necron threat, but they mysteriously abandoned it.
It was left unrecorded in Imperial logs until the Blood Ravens rediscovered it. The Eldar mistook the Blood Ravens for being one and the same as the Heresy-era Space Marines, as they too wore similar red Power Armour, which was also the colour of the pre-Heresy Thousand Sons Astartes' Power Armour.
The psychic lock the Space Marines placed on the Necrons shows that the Astartes of that time could not have already been Blood Angels, and the Thousand Sons share a bond with the Blood Ravens because both groups of Space Marines are defined by the development of unusually strong psychic powers among their Battle-Brothers after their gene-seed implantation.
In the novel Battle for the Abyss, Mhotep, a Thousand Sons Legion psyker, whilst fighting the daemon Wsoric aboard the starship Wrathful, responded to the daemon's question of what did the entities of the Warp have to fear from the Emperor with the response, "Knowledge...is power," suggesting a connection to the Blood Ravens (pg. 396). Since the daemon had been manifested in realspace for so long, Mhotep was able to destroy its physical form and banish it back to the Warp before he died of his many wounds.
In the novel A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill, a vision is seen by the Remembrancer and historiographer Kallista Eris describing a future image of blood and a raven, and a Remembrancer psyker attached to the Thousand Sons has a vision of "...The Ravens, I see them too! The lost sons and a Raven of Blood. They cry out for salvation and knowledge, but it is denied!" (pg. 430) This may imply that the Blood Ravens are descended from the Thousand Sons' gene-seed. At the same time, one of the four arcane cults of Librarians that comprised the pre-Heresy Thousand Sons Legion was called the Corvidae (the Latin name for ravens and crows), and whose symbol was a black raven's head, thus making it possible that the Blood Ravens were Thousand Sons Astartes who largely belonged to the Corvidae Cult.
Kallista not only predicted the future destruction of the Thousand Sons' ancient homeworld of Prospero at the Space Wolves' hands, but she may also have described the eventual formation of the Loyalist Blood Ravens. During her final psychic episode, Kallista also screamed out in anguish about the "ravens of blood", and that they were "lost, crying out for their unknown father." In her death throes she declared that they would be defined by their need to "seek knowledge and artefacts of old", which is an important activity often pursued by the Blood Ravens, particularly in their search to learn more about their own origins.
Since the Blood Ravens are a fleet-based Chapter, it is possible that they descended from those Astartes aboard the Thousand Sons' own armada before they were forced to flee Prospero, which Magnus the Red had ordered to the far ends of the galaxy so that the Space Wolves could purge Prospero without having to face the Thousand Sons' fleet. The Thousand Sons Space Marines aboard that armada were also never transported by the will of Tzeentch through the Warp with Magnus and the planetside Astartes to the Planet of the Sorcerers in the Eye of Terror, as they were far beyond the edge of Thousand Sons space and were not affected by the internecine fighting.
In the anthology Age of Darkness, the short story Rebirth by Chris Wraight revolves around a squad of Thousand Sons Space Marines that return to their devastated homeworld of Prospero after the sanctioned Scouring of Prospero carried out by Primarch Leman Russ and his Space Wolves. After the Council of Nikaea, and the rebukement of Magnus the Red, a recall order was transmitted throughout the Legion, with the bulk of the Legion being present on Prospero just before the events surrounding the Fall of Prospero happened.
However, some of the Thousand Sons' Astartes had survived as they had not arrived before these events occurred. This would include those Thousand Sons that had been sent away aboard their Legion's fleet elements such as Captain Menes Kalliston of the 4th Fellowship. Six solar months after the sanctioned action against their Legion, Captain Kalliston led a squad of Battle-Brothers to the ravaged surface of their homeworld to seek for any signs of survivors or their beloved Primarch. Instead, the squadron of Thousand Sons are taken by surprise when they encounter a much larger force of World Eaters who are also on Prospero for their own nefarious reasons.
In the ensuing conflagration, the majority of the squadron is killed, and their captain is captured by none other than the infamous Captain Khârn of the World Eaters' 8th Assault Company and Equerry to the Primarch Angron. Only Revuel Arvida, a Sergeant of the 4th Fellowship and a member of the Corvidae Cult, manages to survive. Like all Corvidae, Arvida is skilled in the psychic discipline of precognition and the determination of the likely probabilities of future events. Despite his bleak circumstances, Arvida knew -- as only a Corvidae could know -- that death would not find him on Prospero.
That was no consolation for everything that had been lost, but at least it lent the task of planning his next move a certain urgency. He would survive and live to discover the true causes of his Legion's destruction, and live to fight them. He would neither pause nor stumble until everything had been revealed to him, everything that would give him a weapon to employ. He is quoted as saying, "Knowledge is power," suggesting another connection to the Blood Ravens (pg. 162). Ironically, the symbol of the Corvidae Cult's discipline is that of a black raven's head. Arvida would in time go one to become Janus, the first Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights, and the Blood Ravens are one of the only Chapters in the Imperium that the Grey Knight have allowed to know of their existence.
In the novel Dawn of War: Tempest by C.S. Goto, during an incident on the world of Arcadia, a fabled library world of the elusive Harlequins, a Blood Ravens Librarian named Rhamah suffered amnesia and fell in with the notorious sorcerous Chaos warband, the Prodigal Sons, which at that time was led by the Exalted Sorcerer Ahzek Ahriman. During his time with the warband, Ahriman refers to the Blood Raven variously as "Son of Ahriman," "Friend of Ahriman" and as a "lost brother." Further evidence shows a link between the Thousand Sons and the Blood Ravens when Rhamah discovers an ancient Eldar tome known as the Un-Founding, which mysteriously bears the crest of the Blood Ravens upon its cover.
Ahriman acknowledges that he too, once owned a copy of this tome and that another one was in the possession of Azariah Vidya, Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens in the 37th Millennium. Ahriman states, "I knew Vidya better than you might expect..". He also states to Rhamah, "We are not so different, you and I. We were not always so different...there was a time, long ago, before the Change, when the Thousand Sons of Magnus wore the blood-red armour of their Primarch." Though these clues are tantalizing, there is no further explanation given as to what many of these statements exactly mean. Also, it should also be noted that Ahriman, as a follower of Chaos, is a master of deceit and trickery, who might have been attempting to manipulate Rhamah to use the Blood Ravens Librarian for his own ends all along.
Since the Blood Ravens were adopted as an official Chapter by Games Workshop following the introduction of the Dawn of War PC game, subtle hints have been given in a variety of sources that the Blood Ravens are actually a Loyalist Successor Chapter of the Thousand Sons. In particular, their unnaturally high number of Librarians and the Chapter's central focus on the pursuit of knowledge are very similar to the characteristics that once defined the Thousand Sons before their corruption by Chaos. Such a connection to a reviled Traitor Legion would also be a terrible dishonour and would explain why the Blood Ravens' heritage may have been deliberately obscured from the Imperial record by the Chapter's founding generation of Astartes.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 20
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 59
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 26-33, 129
- White Dwarf 305 (UK), "Index Astartes – Blood Ravens"
- White Dwarf 299 (AUS), "Index Astartes – Blood Ravens"
- White Dwarf 295 (US), "Index Astartes – Blood Ravens"
- A Thousand Sons (Novel) (Digital Edition) by Graham McNeill, pg. 204
- Age of Darkness (Anthology), "Rebirth" by Chris Wraight
- Dawn of War (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Dawn of War: Ascension (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Dawn of War: Tempest (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Dawn of War: The Trials of Isador (Short Story) by C.S.Goto
- Dawn of War II (Novel) by Chris Roberson
- Dawn of War - Winter Assault (PC Game)
- Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC Game)
- Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC Game)
- Dawn of War III (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III ( 4 Issue Comic Series) (2018)