Deliverance, once called Lycaeus, is a moon that orbits the Hive World of Kiavahr, and was the homeworld of the Primarch Corvus Corax, who was discovered there by his father, the Emperor, during the Great Crusade.
Deliverance was once known by the name of Lycaeus before the arrival of the Primarch Corvus Corax after ca. 800.M30. The rugged planetoid is the moon of the Forge World of Kiavahr and once served as the primary source of strategic minerals for Kiavahr's vast hive cities and its ruling Mechanicum Tech-Guilds. The Tech-Guilds of Kiavahr used the mineworkings on Lycaeus as a dumping ground for their worst criminals and those who could not meet their production-quotas.
Heavily armed overseers ruled the moon from a dark mountain spire that towered above the mineworkings, and it was, to all intents and purposes, a death sentence to be banished to Lycaeus. The inhabitants of Lycaeus had long been the slaves of Kiavahr, working in the massive mines under armed guard in horrendous conditions.
Accidents killed many of the workers and the polluted atmosphere took a heavy toll on the health of their children. Once condemned to a life in the mines, there was no escape and the slaves of Lycaeus prayed to their gods for a saviour. He came in the form of a child whose skin was as white as snow.
The Coming of Corax
Of the early history of the Raven Guard's Primarch Corvus Corax (which means "the Deliverer" in the local dialect of Low Gothic), very little is known for sure. The Raven Guard's own legends are vague concerning the pale skinned youth who was raised on the mineral rich, but desolate moon. When Primarch Corax first arrived on Lycaeus, its people (who lived underground in the deep tunnels, digging through as they mined the moon's interior) were all Kiavahran slaves required to mine Lycaean ores for their Tech-Guild masters.
Corax led a great revolt against the Kiavahran garrison on the planet and eventually won the independence of Lycaeus and its people from their tormentors. The newly-freed rebels promptly renamed the moon Deliverance in honour of their victory. Deprived of Lycaeus' ores, the economy of Kiavahr collapsed, ultimately leading to a period of intensive civil war among the planet's Tech-Guilds.
The Emperor Comes to Deliverance
The most complete record of the Great Crusade, the Speculum Historiale, has little to say on the matter of Corax's reuniting with the Emperor of Mankind. When the Emperor's Great Crusade reached Deliverance, Corax only agreed to aid his father once the Emperor promised to bring peace to the people of Kiavahr. The Imperium restored Kiavahr to the control of the Mechanicum since it was a Forge World and thus an ancient Mechanicum colony.
Soon, it was transformed into a stable Imperial Forge World. Mineral production began again on Deliverance, under a much improved regime, and gradually the world of Kiavahr was rebuilt under the guidance of the Imperium. The dark tower that had once housed the slaves' oppressors, now became the fortress of the XIXth Legion (renamed the Raven Guard) and was renamed the 'Ravenspire'.
Between them, Deliverance and Kiavahr produce enough ordnance and engines of war to almost equal the production of a Forge world. The raw materials come from Deliverance's vast mineral wealth and the production facilities of Kiavahr produce weapons and war machines of unparalleled craftsmanship.
The moon, Deliverance, is a barren and airless ball of rock covered in force domes and massive mining structures. The dark side of the moon glows with the constant production and movement of massive cargo ships travelling between the two worlds. The fortress of the Raven Guard, the Ravenspire, occupies the huge, black tower once home to the Kiavahr overseers and is one of the largest natural structures on the planet.
Unlike many other Chapters, the Raven Guard share close ties with the planet's populace and take many of their Initiates from them, though not exclusively so. The people see the Space Marines among them as the physical manifestation of the Emperor's will and offer daily praise for their presence.
The planet Kiavahr is populated by billions of workers and craftsmen, with huge fabrication plants and hive cities covering its surface. The planet's atmosphere is highly toxic from centuries of pollution and incidences of mutation are far higher than normal. This stretches the tolerance of the Adeptus Ministorum, but such is the quality and quantity of material that comes from the two worlds that more leeway is granted than would normally be the case.
It should be noted that Deliverance lies directly in the path of a large splinter fleet of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken. In fact, the 13th Penal Legion, along with other regiments of the Imperial Guard (primarily Choreks), have fought the Tyranids on Deliverance, with relative success.
- Blackchine Redoubts - The Blackchine Redoubts are headquarters and training areas of the Planetary Defence Force of Deliverance, trained by the Raven Guard emissaries. Unlike many Chapters, the Raven Guard share close ties with the peoples from whom they recruit. The Chapter has long drawn on the technological resources of Kiavahr and Deliverance, adapting many STC technologies to suit their needs. In return, Raven Guard oversee the training of the local defence forces at the Blackchine Redoubts -- a linked network of trench lines, skyfire anti-aircraft batteries and fortresses that encircle the mining complexes and spaceports nestled on Deliverance's dark side. Though unaugmented Humans cannot hope to match the combat prowess of Space Marines, the shadow-tactics of the Raven Guard are easily adapted to the lesser troops of Deliverance. The design of the Blackchine Redoubts capitalises on this fact, featuring a veritable maze of hidden strongpoints, secret approaches and false ramparts that allow their defenders to outmanoeuvre the foe without giving away their own positions. Such defences help to ensure that any force invading Deliverance would pay a heavy price in blood. This is well, as the Forsarr Sector in which Deliverance is located has faced many threats, from the Orks of WAAAGH! Garaghak to splinters of the re-emergent Hive Fleet Kraken. The danger has only increased since the opening of the Great Rift, and the need for vigilance has never been greater.
- The Ravenspire - Formerly known as the Black Tower, the Ravenspire used to be the headquarters of Lycaeus’ prison guards but has since been converted into the Fortress-Monastery of first the XIXth Legion, and later, the Raven Guard Chapter. The Ravenspire is an immense spire, heavily armoured and armed with enough orbital weapons to repel everything short of an Imperial Crusade or a sector warfleet. The Ravenspire is a place of great signification to the sons of Corax and to the people of Deliverance and Kiavahr. Although it appears neglected from afar -- as Corax decreed that the wounds of the initial rebellion were never to be removed as a perpetual monument in honour to the dead -- its defences have never been stronger. As a towering building, the Ravenspire consists of many different locations which are all of historical significance.
- The Red Level - In distant past, when the Tech-guilds still ruled over Kiavahr and Lycaeus, and the prisoners suffered under the harsh rule of Lycaeus’ guards, the "Red Level" had been the nickname for the Black Tower’s prison and interrogation cells. With the liberation of the prison-moon, this former nickname has become far more official, a stark reminder of the horrors the moon’s population had to endure and a testimony to their unbroken will. Despite several confirmed cases of defection within both the Raven Guard Legion and later the Raven Guard Chapter, it is unknown if the cells of the Red Level have ever been returned to their former purpose or harboured a prisoner since M.30.
- The Carnivalis - At the bottom of the Ravenspire stands a large hall, the Carnivalis, a place of gathering since the time of the Legion’s foundation. In happier times, this mighty hall - where several thousand Legionaries could be gathered - served as the Legion’s feasting hall. As a place of celebration and commemoration, the Carnivalis’ walls are adorned with many trophies of the Raven Guard’s victories: relic weapons, skulls of defeated enemies, banners and armours and even wall segments and armoured doors of conquered enemy citadels. The lack of order in this collection notoriously led the Iterator Sermis Iconalis to comment that the Carnivalis looked more like the nest of a magpie than that of a raven. At the end of the hall stood a stage area and a lectern from which the Primarch used to address his Legion.
- Tax Keep - Officially known as the Primary Administration Core, Tax Keep is the main Administratum-building for Deliverance and Kiavahr both. It has stood there since the time of the Great Crusade and the formal installment of Deliverance as the base of the XIXth Legion of the Legiones Astartes. The silver and obsidian outlines of Tax Keep stand apart from the surrounding buildings but cannot truly rival with the towering might of the Ravenspire, to which the keep is connected by its own silvery tunnel. The Keep’s architecture is exemplary of Imperial engineering with its corner turrets, peaked roof and castle-like structure, which would allow it to resist nearly all save the most savage assaults. Despite its position as a Space Marine Chapter homeworld, other agencies such as the Administratum and also the Adeptus Mechanicus have many interests on Kiavahr.
- Wing Seven - Wing Seven of the Black Tower was a former low security administrative complex which had mostly housed the young and the elderly. Today its blackened and burned-out remains stand out in stark contrast to the rest of the Ravenspire, having being kept deliberately unchanged since the days of the Great Crusade. Wing Seven serves as a memorial to the innocent death, a silent monument to the 4,000 inmates who perished in this block during the initial rebellion on Lycaeus, when a corporal of the prison-moon’s guards ordered the main gas line set on fire as a reprisal measure for the miner’s uprising.
- Wing Eight - Wing Eight of the Black Tower holds a special place within the Raven Guard Chapter, as it is the very location where their distant Primarch, Corvus Corax, grew up amongst the more politically-minded prisoners. It was within these unseemly walls that the rebellion was truly born, planned and finally initiated. Wing Eight is accessed by the equally famous Twelfth Gate, a towering arch that still bears the scars of the bombs the guerrilla fighters planted in the distant 30th Millennium to collapse the Gate at the guards’ arrival during the Uprising of Lycaeus. A small shrine still stands in remembrance to the sacrifice of Naphrem Solt, a thirteen-year-old girl who sacrificed herself to trap the guards far from their central spire.
- Codex Supplement: Raven Guard (8th Edition), pg. 8
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 25, 49
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition)
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pp. 14-19
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pp. 76-77, 104
- Index Astartes IV, "Claws of the Raven - Raven Guard Space Marine Chapter", pp. 96-101
- The Horus Heresy - Book Three: Extermination (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 132
- Warhammer 40,000 Expansion: Apocalypse, pg. 129
- White Dwarf 276 (US), "Index Astartes: The Raven Guard"
- Deliverance Lost (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- 13th Legion (Novel) by Gav Thorpe