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DACompanyMaster

A Company Master of the Dark Angels

A Dark Angels Company Master, more often simply referred to as a Company Master, or even just Master, is the Dark Angels Chapter's equivalent of a standard Space Marine Captain.

All of the Company Masters of the Dark Angels are members of the Chapter's secretive Inner Circle and are privy to many, but not all, of the secrets these descendants of the I Legion hold dear.

Most of the Dark Angels' Successor Chapters, collectively known as the Unforgiven, also make use of this archaic title and structure for their own company officers, though not all.

Role

DarkAngelsCompanyMaster

A Dark Angels Company Master in combat.

A Company Master of the Dark Angels is equivalent to the standard Space Marine Captain of other, Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters. A Company Master leads each of the 10 companies of the Dark Angels and ultimately falls under the command of the Chapter's Supreme Grand Master (Chapter Master).

Every Master within the Chapter serves as a member of the Inner Circle, although even at this rank he is not privy to the entire truth surrounding the Chapter's dark past or all of the Chapter's many secrets.

To lead the Dark Angels requires a battle-hardened Veteran, a dedicated warrior who has proven his prowess and Chapter loyalty a thousand times over. Such heroes advance into the fabled Deathwing, the elite 1st Company, but in order to be considered for command, a Space Marine must distinguish himself yet further.

Only those who show superlative leadership and tactical skills, and who prove themselves to be absolutely reliable in pursuit of the Chapter's goals, are considered for promotion to officer rank. The Dark Angels do not call their officers by the typical Astartes designation of "Captain," preferring instead to retain the old title used millennia ago by The Order of Company Master. Each Company Master bears additional honorific titles, reflective of his solemn duties within the Chapter.

All Dark Angels are taciturn and monastic in nature, and these traits are exemplified by the Company Masters. They shun highly visible, diplomatic roles, avoiding even well-deserved battle laurels and the adulation of their brethren.

Where the lauded captains of other Space Marine Chapters deliver rousing speeches to Imperial coalition forces allied with the Adeptus Astartes, the leaders of the Dark Angels are shadowy figures, more comfortable in cowled seclusion than at the forefront, acting as a skilled orator. Yet for all their silent reservations, Company Masters are no less commanding, though perhaps their grim silence makes them more menacing.

Dark Angels -Matt Bradbury

Dark Angels Company Master ready for combat

With a signal, a Company Master launches the Astartes under his command into action. None can claim to be more disciplined than the Dark Angels; a single barked order can start any number of flawlessly executed manoeuvres. Almost soundlessly, attack plans are orchestrated and fire support coordinated.

A Company Master meets each challenge with the same intractable resolve. Such officers are not only superb strategists, but also the most skilled of combatants.

Armed with the finest wargear drawn from The Rock's armoury, and with relics maintained since the dawn of the Imperium, a Company Master can cleave through alien hordes or cut down even the mightiest foe in pursuit of a personal challenge.

As part of the Inner Circle, a Company Master may join his 1st Company brethren in battle, donning his Terminator Armour and leading one of the most feared combat formations in the galaxy. However, they are most assured in the midst of their own troops, leading their company to victory in the name of the Emperor and the Lion of Caliban.

The Company Masters know that they and their Battle-Brothers are descended from the Ist Legion, the first of the Emperor's Space Marines to be created, and are the favoured Sons of the Lion.

They know theirs is a heavy responsibility, for it is their role to both uphold the honour of the Dark Angels, while at the same time seeking to exorcise the secret sins of the ancient past. Only on their orders will the Chapter attain victories, and through them, final redemption.

Notable Masters

  • Grand Master Belial - Belial is the current Grand Master of the Deathwing, the Veteran 1st Company of the Dark Angels. Under his leadership the Deathwing have fought in scores of mighty battles, distinguishing themselves in the fighting around the Eye of Terror during Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade. The Deathwing was also pivotal in the victories won amongst the foetid marshes on Crassia II and the rout of the Renegade Space Marines Chapter known as the Violators on Terraq.
  • Grand Master Gabriel - Former Grand Master of the Deathwing. Gabriel was sent to find Captain Ezekiel and his warriors when they did not return from Totem. On finding Ezekiel the lone survivor, Gabriel discovered the fate of his Brothers. Gabriel returned to his Chapter and started the new Deathwing Company using his own badge, a broken sword mixed with the wings of the Chapter badge, and kept the white in respect of his Brothers. He was killed on the Space Hulk Charnel Shrine.
  • Grand Master Ezekiel ("Cloudrunner") - Ezekiel was the leader of the legendary Deathwing recruiting party which millennia ago discovered the Genestealer infection of their own homeworld of Plain's World. Realising that they faced a potential suicide mission, the Dark Angels reverted to their tribal names, and painted their armour death-white. Ezekiel became the warrior Cloudrunner once again, and fought alongside Weasel-Fierce, Bloody Moon, and the Librarian Lucius, known as Two Heads Talking.
  • Grand Master Sammael - Sammael is the current Grand Master of the Ravenwing, the captain of the elite 2nd Company of the Dark Angels who leads the Chapter's hunt for the Fallen Angels. As a senior member of the Dark Angels' Inner Circle, he fully understands the dangers that the Fallen present to the Chapter and its honour. In battle, he rides a rare anti-gravity Jetbike left over from the time of the Horus Heresy.
  • Grand Master Gideon - Former Grand Master of the Ravenwing who met his end in 899.M41 when he was crushed by the Chaos Titan Traitorous Ire. As he lay dying, his body shattered beyond repair, he declared that Sammael was to succeed him.
  • Master Astoran - Astoran is the current Master of the 3rd Company, "The Unmerciful," and the Chapter's Master of the Arsenal.
  • Master Baradiel - Baradiel was the Master of the Dark Angels 3rd Company and Master of the Arsenal. He led the assault against the forces of Chaos upon the world of Persembe II in 551.M37. He confronted the vile and twisted Chaos Magister known as Potchek and slew this foul servant of Chaos in personal combat.
  • Master Korahael - Korahael is the current Master of the 4th Company, "The Feared," and the Master of the Fleet. During the 13th Black Crusade, Korahael came to Cadia's aid with his company and the Strike Cruiser Sword of Defiance, but the cruiser was shot down in orbit of the Fortress World. However, it crashed intact and served as a base of operations for Korahael and his company until they were forced to abandon it after it was infected by the plague-stained fire of the Death Guard Battleship Terminus Est. Afterwards, Korahael and what remained of his company tried to retreat to Kasr Kraf, but were repeatedly attacked by the forces of Abaddon the Despoiler. Though the Dark Angels reaped a heavy toll on their foes, they were being bled dry by the constant attacks and would have been destroyed had the Great Company of the Space Wolves Wolf Lord Orven Highfell not came to the Dark Angels' aid in the course of their own retreat towards Kasr Kraf. Both the Dark Angels and Space Wolves made it to Kasr Kraf, and took part in its defence until it eventually fell to the Despoiler's forces. They proceeded to join the majority of the Imperium's remaining forces on Cadia forces in defending the Cadian Pylons of the Elysion Fields, after Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl said that the pylons must be held no matter the cost as he sought to close the Eye of Terror. While there, Korahael was given command of the various Space Marine forces stationed at the Elysion Fields by Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed -- except for the forces of Highfell, who chose to fight on their own. When the Despoiler's forces finally attacked the Elysion Fields, Korahael fought ferociously and even avenged the death of the Crimson Fists Captain Ruis Tracinto by killing the Crimson Slaughter warband leader Baranox. But despite the Imperium's efforts, Cadia was destroyed by Abaddon's invasion, though Korahael survived its fall to return to his Chapter.
  • Master Lazarus - Lazarus is the current company Master of the 5th Company, "The Unrelenting," and the Keeper of the Unseen Ritual. Lazarus attained his rank when his predecessor, Master Balthasar, was slain in the chaotic battles that erupted in the aftermath of the Cicatrix Maledictum’s emergence. Lazarus fought bravely in War Zone Stygius and in the fighting aboard The Rock in the Fenris System, after which he developed a powerful hatred for the forces of the Thousand Sons and the followers of Tzeentch. An expert strategist and tactician, his leadership prevented a total rout of Imperial forces on the ice world of Rimenok, though he was severely wounded by fell sorcery during the fighting. With even a Dreadnought's sarcophagus incapable of preserving his life, the only option remaining to the Dark Angels' Apothecaries was to put Lazarus through the crossing of the Rubicon Primaris. After solar days of surgery, Lazarus was a changed man, but very much alive, his determination to punish the servants of Tzeentch stronger than ever. This was a historical event. As a member of the Inner Circle, becoming a Primaris Space Marine made Lazarus the first Primaris Marine in that elite group.
  • Master Balthasar (KIA) - Balthasar is the former Master of the Dark Angels' 5th Company and Keeper of the Unseen Ritual. Balthasar grew up on one of the thousands of worlds that the Dark Angels swore an oath to protect and, in turn, draw Aspirants from. That world had labored under the oppression of a psychic cult until it was brought down by a resistance movement, of which Balthasar was a member. This is what led to Balthasar's later extreme distrust of psykers. When Balthasar was a Sergeant of the 5th Company, he took part in the Battle of Honoria. During the mission, Ezekiel was tasked by Grand Master Danatheum to assess whether Balthasar should ascend to the Deathwing (a replacement was needed following the death of the Veteran Joadar). During the defence of Honoria's capital city, Aurelianum, the then-Master of the 5th Company Zadakiel was wounded by the Ork Warboss Groblonik. Although he survived, Zadakiel had to enter a Sus-an Membrane-induced healing coma; Balthasar assumed acting command of the 5th Company for the remainder of the Dark Angels' time on Honoria. Although Ezekiel decided that Balthasar was worthy of a position in the Deathwing, impressed by his actions on Honoria, the Librarian thought Balthasar was not yet ready for the position. Eventually, however, Balthasar did earn a place in the Deathwing. While a member of the Deathwing, Balthasar was seconded to the Deathwatch for a period of 12 standard years. He was part of a Kill-team sent by an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos to investigate the remains of the destroyed Aeldari Craftworld known as Kher-Ys. Within the craftworld's Infinity Circuit, they found the Ruin of Kher-Ys -- the Spirit Stone of the Aeldari whose actions allowed the daemon called "Heartslayer" to manifest on the craftworld. Balthasar and his Watch Captain were the only two members of the Kill-team alive by that point, and it was the Watch Captain's intent to turn the Spirit Stone over to the Ordo Xenos. However, Balthasar and the Inquisitor killed the Watch Captain, revealing that the mission had always been to secure the stone for the Dark Angels alone. The Inquisitor died shortly afterwards, succumbing to the wounds she had sustained when she was stabbed by a Keeper of Secrets. With her last words, she asked Balthasar to tell Supreme Grand Master Azrael that her debt to the Dark Angels was paid. Upon returning to The Rock, Balthasar was questioned about the mission by Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai. His superiors were satisfied with his work in the Deathwatch and Balthasar returned to the ranks of the Deathwing with none of his Battle-Brothers learning of his mission. After returning to the Chapter, Balthasar was assigned to a Deathwing force attached to the 5th Company led by his former Master Zadakiel to the world of Stern's Remembrance where they discovered the notorious Fallen Angel Attias the Untamed, who then attempted to warn his erstwhile brothers that it was all an elaborate trap and that they should take their leave. The Dark Angels took Attias into custody and attempted to return off-planet, but as they made their way back to their Thunderhawks the trap was sprung. A massive Drop Pod assault was launched by the Chaos warband known as the Crimson Slaughter while their allied Chaos Cultists surrounded the outnumbered Dark Angels. In the ensuing battle, the Dark Angels reluctantly freed Attias, allowing him to fight by their side in order to survive the Heretic Astartes' onslaught. As Zadakiel was about to board the hovering gunship, the Helbrute Mortis Metalikus appeared. Zadakiel drew the Heavenfall Blade called Fellbane and started to do battle with the beast. Despite his agility, the Helbrute eventually got the upper hand and was about to crush him underfoot when the Thunderhawk appeared, shooting the Helbrute and giving Zadakiel the chance to climb aboard. However, as the Dark Angels Master grabbed the open ramp at the front of the Thunderhawk, the Helbrute snatched at him, dragging Zadakiel down. Seeing he could not escape his fate and that the Helbrute was aiming his Multi-melta at the Thunderhawk, Zadakiel threw Fellbane into the Thunderhawk and let go, falling to his death. His position as Master of the 5th Company was then passed on to Balthasar, who became the new leader of the company. Afterwards, Balthasar continued to obsessively hunt down the Crimson Slaughter, intent on enacting his vengeance against those Chaos Space Marines by destroying them utterly and avenging his fallen Master. He would eventually defeat Kranon the Relentless and his Chaos Space Marine warband in the Battle for Bane's Landing, with help from Librarian Turmiel and other forces of the 5th Company. Unfortunately, Balthasar was later slain in the chaotic battles surrounding the birth of the Great Rift at the start of the Era Indomitus.
  • Master Araphil - Araphil is the current Master of the 6th Company, "The Resolute," and the Master of the Rites.
  • Master Ezekiah - Ezekiah is the current Master of the 7th Company, "The Unbowed," and the Master of the Watchers.
  • Master Molochi - Molochi is the current Master of the 8th Company, "The Wrathful," and the Master of Condemnation.
  • Master Xerophus - Xerophus is the current Master of the 9th Company, "The Remorseless," and the Master of Relics.
  • Master Ranaeus - Ranaeus is the current Master of the 10th Company, "The Redeemed," and the Master of Scouts.

Wargear

Company Master

Primaris Master

Primaris Master in Gravis Armour

Sources

  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Dark Angels (8th Edition), pp. 34, 85-87
  • Codex: Dark Angels (7th Edition), pp. 25, 37
  • Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pp. 42, 144
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