The Blood Swords is a Codex Astartes-compliant Loyalist Space Marine Chapter that was created using the gene-seed of the Blood Angels. The Blood Swords' Founding date is not known. The Blood Swords' homeworld is the planet Jaggafall. The Chapter is unique among the Space Marines in that for a time its former Chapter Master, Daggan, was actually a Venerable Dreadnought.
Currently, the Blood Swords have joined with the Star Dragons Chapter to travel the wastes of space near the Eye of Terror in a joint containment fleet designated Containment Fleet Kappa. For centuries prior to their deployment to the Balanor System to investigate the mysterious Space Hulk called the Accursed Eternity, these two Chapters had frequently joined forces when a given situation demanded it. The close proximity of their homeworlds of Jaggafall and Draconith had given them great reason to remain cordial and closely allied. Sometime in its recent history the Blood Swords Chapter was torn from its homeworld. This act of shame resulted in the Chapter undertaking a Penitent Crusade in order to redeem themselves in the eyes of the Emperor of Mankind. In the wake of the act of shame that saw the Blood Swords torn from their homeworld, the Star Dragons had moved to support them. There had been no question of debt or honour on the Star Dragons' part. This reciprocal act of loyalty engendered a rare sense of genuine fraternity between the two Chapters that more commonly is confined only to Battle-Brothers of the same Chapter. There was a pooling of similar traditions and history, and this gave rise to surprisingly strong friendships that spanned the Chapters. Additionally, both the Blood Swords and the Star Dragons fielded stalwart warriors with an eye for tactics that made them a terrifying force to be reckoned with when they took to the field of battle together.
- Purging of Inando System (845.M41) - The Blood Swords Chapter carried out the purging of the Inando System in 845.M41 in which more than 100 billion Imperial citizens were slain in the resulting Exterminatus actions.
- Assault on the Accursed Eternity (998.M41) - The joint Blood Swords-Star Dragons Containment Fleet Kappa was requested by Inquisitor Shadrach Remigius of the Ordo Malleus to come to the Balanor System to assist the forces of the Inquisition against a Chaos warfleet. Remigius ordered the containment fleet to immediately comply since it was the closest Adeptus Astartes force in proximity. There had been a reported sighting of a Space Hulk matching the description in Imperial archives of the legendary ghost ship called the Accursed Eternity. Manifesting from the Warp, the small Astartes fleet was instantly caught up in the very heart of the battle that raged between the Chaos warships and those of the Inquisition. Two of Kappa's small Escort vessels were incapacitated instantly by the guns of the Ordo Malleus ships, merely by dint of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Furious words from both Imperial parties were exchanged. The Inquisition had not been expecting the Containment Fleet to arrive with such alacrity, they claimed, and conversely, Kappa had not anticipated translating from Warpspace directly into a battle-zone. With obvious reluctance, the Inquisition ships altered their position and held fire long enough to allow the Star Dragon's Strike Cruiser, the Ladon, and the Blood Sword's flagship, the Ophidian, to take position and lend much-needed supporting fire. The Ladon opened up every gun port on her port side and unleashed a barrage of deadly fire on the Traitor vessels, but in the midst of this barrage they received a security-coded message from the Inquisition, ordering them not to fire on the anomalous vessel. Inquisitor Remigius presented himself aboard the Ladon to the Containment Fleet's commander, Captain Tanek, of the Star Dragon's 6th Company. Remigius sought an armed escort from the Astartes, for he intended to travel to the Accursed Eternity and deal with the moral threat it presented. He explained that the Accursed Eternity was not just another random Space Hulk drifting through space but possessed a much darker origin and a cursed history. He told the Astartes commanders that it was imperative for him to reach the ship's Enginarium in order for him to perform an exorcism rite to banish the daemon-possessed vessel back to the Immaterium from whence it came. But the Astartes did not fully trust the Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, suspecting that he was withholding some of the facts from them. To add to the tension between the two parties, the Star Dragons appeared to have some sort of unspoken debt owed to the Ordo Malleus that the Inquisitor was only too keen to hold over the Chapter's heads. Unable to refuse the Inquisitor's request, Captain Tanek reluctantly provided him with two Claws (squads) to support his mission. The Blood Swords' Captain Khorvash agreed to send one of his own squads in support of his fellow Astartes. As the Inquisitor and the Astartes investigated the lifeless derelict, something ancient and evil awakened aboard the Space Hulk. The ship was not what it appeared to be, as the living vessel deliberately led mysterious Warp-spawned creatures and daemons to attack the interlopers within its dark corridors. When Remigius and his escort finally reached their destination to confront the ancient evil controlling the dread ship, the Inquisitor boldly attempted to send the daemon back into the Warp using the incantations of an Inquisition exorcism rite. Unfortunately for Remigius, the Ordo Malleus misidentified the source of the evil as a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch known as Kairos Fateweaver -- the Architect of Fate. But in truth the evil at the heart of the Accursed Eternity was not the Architect of Fate but an unidentified evil that Fateweaver had imprisoned aboard the Accursed Eternity long ago. Remigius paid for his mistake with his life. Unable to destroy the daemon through conventional means, the remaining Astartes fled for their lives. As they attempted to exit the cursed ship, the Accursed Eternity seemed to come to life and attempted to stop them from leaving. When the Space Marine survivors finally managed to extricate themselves from the vessel with heavy casualties, both of the Containment Fleet Kappa Strike Cruisers, as well as their Escort fleet of Destroyers and Frigates, opened fire simultaneously in a relentless stream of ordnance across space, striking the daemon-ship with unerring accuracy. Though the vessel appeared to have been destroyed, the Astartes fleet was unable to detect a Warp-core breach signature to verify that the daemon-ship had actually disintegrated. It was more than likely that the Accursed Eternity had only been temporarily banished back to the Warp. In time the dreaded vessel would likely return to the material universe once again.
- Scions of Sanguinius Conclave (999.M41) - Teetering on the brink of oblivion following the events on the Shrine World of Sabien, the fate of the Blood Angels Chapter now required the magnanimity of their Successor Chapters. Lord Commander Dante summoned all of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters for a conclave on Baal following the near-disastrous Chapter civil war that nearly tore the Blood Angels apart. Dante called for the support of the Blood Angels Successors to help aid the Chapter in the protection of their common Primarch's homeworld and his remains from the attack of both the Tyranids and the Forces of Chaos. While Dante led the discussion at the conclave, the Apothecaria was working on a radical new procedure to replenish the ranks of the Blood Angels in one swift stroke: the lost art of replicae. Caecus was the Chief Apothecary or Apothecae Majoris of the Blood Angels. Disturbed by the dwindling numbers of his Chapter, and dreading its extinction, he was involved in fruitless experiments, which Lord Commander Dante ordered stopped, to clone Space Marines, thus eliminating the need to go through the arduous process of the maturation and implantation of the gene-seed in an Aspirant. However, Caecus disobeyed the order and secretly continued the experiments, prodded by an agent of the vile Chaos Space Marine Apothecary Fabius Bile. He was tricked into bringing Bile, who was disguised as a well-known Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Biologis, to Baal, mistakenly thinking the false "Magos" would help in cloning Space Marines to increase the Blood Angels' numbers. Through Bile's manipulations, Caecus was duped, and only managed to create monstrous, mutant clone-Astartes known as "Bloodfiends" who were consumed by the Red Thirst. These creatures were a shattered mirror reformed in the image of a Blood Angel, but lacked any of the qualities that could be thought of as human. The mutations that cursed the gene-seed of the Blood Angels had been enhanced by the machinations and Chaotic tech-heresy of Fabius Bile, and with each drop of blood they consumed, the thirst that dominated the Bloodfiends grew stronger. The mutants broke free from the confines of Caecus' laboratorium and began to run rampant through the sacred halls of the fortress-monastery of the Blood Angels. The Blood Swords, along with the Blood Angels and their fellow Successors successfully defended their most sacred of sites on Baal -- the Golden Sarcophagus of Primarch Sanguinius within the sacred sepulchre where the Great Angel lay for all time, sleeping in light, forever preserved. The Sons of Sanguinius destroyed the horde of mutants and erased the stain of Chaos from their midst. They had paid for the continued sanctity of the Great Angel with their blood, and in the aftermath of this misery, Lord Commander Dante took responsibility for what had happened and he accepted it without complaint. Dante believed that it was his hubris that had brought the Chapter to this dark place. The Successor Chapters took this into consideration as well as Lord Commander Dante's original request for the Successors to grant the Blood Angels a small tithe of their Chapter's Initiates in order to replenish the ranks of the Chapter. The Successor Chapters unanimously agreed to hand over to the Blood Angels some of their own Neophytes to help their ancestral Chapter rebuild its strength in the wake of the Chaos assault -- and in preparation for the oncoming assault by the Tyranids and the Forces of Chaos.
- Devastation of Baal (ca. 999.M41) - The Blood Swords were among the forces deployed by the Blood Angels Successor Chapters to defend their parent Chapter's homeworld of Baal from an assault by the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan.
Notable Blood Swords
- Chapter Master Ercon - Ercon was the Chapter Master of the Blood Swords who replaced his predecessor Daggan just prior to the Devastation of Baal and led his brothers when they provided aid to the Blood Swords' parent Chapter during that siege of the Blood Angels' homeworld by Hive Fleet Leviathan.
- Venerable Dreadnought and Chapter Master Daggan - Daggan was the former Chapter Master of the Blood Swords and a Venerable Dreadnought. Badly wounded centuries ago, he was placed within the cybernetic coffin of a Space Marine Dreadnought. He was raised to serve as Chapter Master, an almost unique honour in the history of the Adeptus Astartes for a Dreadnought, because of his widely-recognised wisdom and unparalleled tactical mastery. Daggan died on Baal, helping to defend the Blood Angels homeworld from an attack by the Forces of Chaos and the Tyranids. Daggan was slain during the Defence of Baal when he was ripped apart and drained of blood by a Blood Angel mutant during the Blood Angels' last stand near the grave of Sanguinius in 999.M41.
- Captain Khorvash – Khorvash is the Blood Swords Captain assigned to command his Chapter's contribution to Containment Fleet Kappa. Khorvash is younger than his counterpart from the Star Dragon's 6th Company, Captain Tanek, by several decades and it is clear that he wears his youth proudly. Khorvash is known to treat psykers with due deference, albeit with the clear distrust always necessary towards those of a psychic bent. He at times displays an arrogance that has yet to be tempered by experience. He is smart and quite eager to engage the foe, and displays an enthusiasm born of pure impulse that leads him to frequently give voice to thoughts that others might consider inappropriate or tactless. To Captain Tanek's mind it is a refreshing honesty that serves him well. Yet, despite their shared rank, Khorvash always respectfully deferres to the wisdom of the older warrior. Khorvash has been the latest Blood Swords captain to take his place amongst Containment Fleet Kappa. It is a duty that is performed on a rotational basis with each Blood Swords company captain expected to spend a preordained length of time serving aboard the Chapter's vessel Ophidian within the Containment Fleet. With no other immediate needs drawing upon their manpower, the Star Dragons opted to serve alongside their fellow Astartes out of choice and affection alone.
- Captain Essus - Captain Essus is a Captain of the Blood Swords and was among the Blood Swords sent to reinforce the Blood Angels during the Devastation of Baal. It is unknown whether he survived the subsequent siege by Hive Fleet Leviathan.
- Sergeant Ardashir - Like his captain, Khorvash, Ardashir seems to be an eager and energetic Astartes. He commanded the Blood Swords squad that escorted Inquisitor Remigius in his investigation of the mysterious ghost ship, the Accursed Eternity.
- Kayan - Kayan was a Blood Swords Battle-Brother who served under Sergeant Ardashir. He died aboard the Accursed Eternity.
The following warships have been confirmed to be a part of the Blood Swords' Chapter fleet:
- Ophidian (Strike Cruiser) - The Ophidian was the Blood Swords' flagship in Containment Fleet Kappa which aided the Blood Angels in trying to defeat the bio-ships of Hive Fleet Leviathan during the Devastation of Baal.
The Blood Swords primarily wear crimson Power Armour which includes the armour trim as well as the Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard. The left shoulder pauldron, which displays the Chapter badge, is white. Most unusual for a Blood Angels Successor Chapter is that the Blood Swords do not utilise the same heraldic symbols used by their progenitors to show company and squad designations. Instead of using the same heraldic symbols to represent squad specialty and number, they instead utilise the Codex Astartes-proscribed squad specialty symbols (Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran) which are black and located on the right shoulder pauldron. It is not known how the Blood Swords designate squad or company number, as there are no visual references.
The Blood Swords' Chapter badge is a red, double-edged sword with two drops of blood falling from the blade centered upon a field of white.
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 54
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 30, 49
- How to Paint Space Marines
- Accursed Eternity (Novella) by Sarah Cawkwell
- Red Fury (Novel) by James Swallow, pp. 85, 121, 244
- The Devastation of Baal (Novel) by Guy Haley, pp. 263, 356