"Ours is not to judge His mind or purposes, for as the hand that turns the hourglass is our Emperor, it is according to His will that the grains of our lives are spent."
- — Consul-Master Uriaens of the Fire Angels, Reflections on War, Vol. IX
The Fire Angels is a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter created during the 25th Founding of the 40th Millennium from the gene-seed of the Ultramarines. The Fire Angels are best remembered in Imperial records for the role they played in the recent Badab War, a rebellion by several Space Marine Chapters against the Imperium of Man.
The Fire Angels is a recently founded Chapter, though not the first to bear the title and panoply. The Fire Angels hail from the world of Lorin Alpha and while they share the genetic heritage of the Ultramarines, the Fire Angels have no special links to the wider body of Ultramarines Successors. Instead, they look forward, carving their own legends in the annals of the Imperium's history. Though only a few standard centuries old, the Chapter has already won many notable victories and taken part in numerous campaigns and Crusades.
The Fire Angels' origins lie in the late 40th Millennium when they were created during the 25th Founding by the order of the High Lords of Terra. At their Founding, the Fire Angels were granted fief over the strategically important Hive World of Lorin Alpha located in the western half of the Segmentum Solar. These Astartes do not specifically name their ancestral Chapter, but their gene-seed was sourced from Ultramarines stock, whilst their initial command and training structure was composed of honoured warriors drawn from several Ultramarines Successor Chapters. Their Initiates were drawn from a mixture of Lorin Alpha's military caste who served in the Planetary Defence Force and the violent kill-gangs of the world's sub-hive networks. Initiates are chosen through a thrice-annual process of trial by combat, fear and endurance known as the "Test of Fire". The Chapter's Master of Recruits conducts these series of bloody tournaments and they are carried out under the supervision of the Fire Angels' Chaplains.
Despite a history that spans less than 2,000 standard years, the Fire Angels have established themselves as a rising star among the more recently founded Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Honourable to their allies and implacable to their foes, this Chapter's valiant record may yet see them eclipse Chapters of more ancient provenance and heritage in time. This Chapter is also unusually active and demonstrative in its faith in the Imperial Cult for Astartes, which has won it political support from within the Ecclesiarchy and allies amongst the Cardinals Solar. As a result, the Fire Angels have fought successfully alongside the Adeptus Sororitas and in numerous Wars of Faith since their inception. Their aid is often times actively sought by the Synod of the Adeptus Ministorum as well as the Ordo Hereticus of the Inquisition. Their detractors from some fellow Astartes Chapters view this close relationship with the Imperial church as unseemly and potentially compromising to the historic independence of the Space Marines, who have never deified the Emperor or seen the Primarchs as saints.
- The Fenright Tithe Wars (760.M39-411.M40) - The Fenright Tithe Wars was the name later given to an Imperial Crusade launched against the long burning civil wars that had riven the neighbouring Cal-Sek, Nepthis and Sadusyne Sectors. In their baptism of blood as a fully active Chapter, the Fire Angels committed their full strength to the Third Imperial Interdiction force under the command of Lord Militant Helstrom in 760.M39. The Fire Angels were deployed to the Heretic world of Jhoppa in the later years of the conflict in the 40th Millennium to break the deadlock between the Imperial Guard forces on that vital industrial planet and the massed ranks of the rebel "juggernaut" companies; the Heretics being supplied with large quantities of battle tanks and field artillery from Jhoppa's massive defence armouries. The Fire Angels tipped the balance in a savage three-year-long campaign, matching their swift moving Predators and Razorbacks against the rebel-crewed Leman Russ and Malcador tanks in open battle on Jhoppa's ash-plains, while their Tactical and Sternguard Squads wreaked untold havoc in close-quarter fighting in the tangles and treacherous terrain of the planet's extensive shatter zones. Through a string of victories, the Fire Angels were instrumental in turning the tide of the war for Jhoppa and brought a world back into the Imperial fold that had lain in the hands of the Apostate for more than three Terran centuries. The Fire Angels remained active throughout the latter part of the Tithe Wars through 411.M40, and gained noteworthy victories contesting the Ork incursions into the Vorsk Sub-sector where they held out against a Speed Freek horde on Lambast's End, and struck deep into enemy-held territory to relieve the besieged Ecclesiarchy Shrine World of Lament. It was this last action, fought against the nightmarishly powerful psyker-cult forces of the Seven Daughters of Oblivion and their mind-slaved followers, for which the Chapter was awarded the high honour of the Order of the Martyr's Heart by the Holy Synod of Gathalamor.
- Magdellan Prime Civil War (143-151.M41) - When the followers of the Cult of Balthalamus plunged Magdellan Prime into anarchy and bloodshed, the Battle Sisters of the Order of the Ebon Chalice bore the brunt of the fighting. The order's Preceptory Reclusium was repeatedly targeted by the maddened hordes, but held out against seemingly impossible odds until relief eventually arrived. By the time a relief force consisting of Space Marines of the Fire Angels, Sons of the Kraken and Red Seraphs arrived, the Battle Sisters had begun a determined counter-attack and victory was ultimately won.
- The Battle for Grand Al'gul (666.M41) - The Battle for Grand Al'gul was a series of running battles fought by the Fire Angels Space Marine Chapter against the Chaos Space Marine warband known as The Sanctified on the Cemetery Worlds of the Grand Al'gul System in 666.M41, at the behest of the Inquisition. The Fire Angels acquiesced to the Inquisition's request and diverted from their course to intercept this powerful Chaos warband. During this campaign against the Chaos Space Marines and their daemonic minions, the Fire Angels blocked their efforts to desecrate the resting places of the honoured Imperial dead and work hideous Chaotic rituals in the ruins. These were fraught and brutal combats where not only the lives but the souls of the Space Marines were at stake. The Fire Angels Astartes succeeded in forcing their enemies to fight them in a series of assaults and counter-assaults, with the Fire Angels maintaining disciplined order and using the cover provided by the marble forests of headstones and the maze of burial vaults to their advantage. The Sanctified responded with all the foul sorceries at their command, liquefying stone with their dark magicks and summoning roiling, chattering swarms of mindless daemonic beasts to harrow those that would dare to oppose them. The Fire Angels Chapter paid a heavy price in the short but savage combat before victory was achieved, including the martyrdom of the Chapter Master Haran Stark in battle against a frost-rimed Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, known as a Lord of Change, while defending the sacred Narthex of Penitents, and the self-immolation of their Chief Librarian Mathias Dee in order to avoid Warp-possession. Eventually, their forces spent, The Sanctified were driven from the sacred sites and routed from the system; the planned apotheosis of The Sanctified's Arch-Sorcerer Ezrath Cull to daemonhood utterly thwarted. Following the corrupted Chaos Space Marine force's defeat, Cull, a once-favoured Champion of Chaos, was assassinated by his own apprentices in a brutal power struggle to control the shattered remains of his decimated warband as they fled Grand Al'gul.
- The Badab War (901-908.M41) - Answering the Inquisition's call for aid, the Fire Angels arrived in the Badab Sector with an effective force of seven companies. The Chapter's largest and most costly engagement was the battle for the world of Sagan. The Fire Angels' casualties on Sagan were such that they could no longer be deployed as a frontline force, and along with a contingent of the Sons of Medusa, were redeployed to carry out a suppression campaign in the Endymion Cluster. After a series of brutal exterminations of the populations of several Secessionist-held systems carried out by the savage Carcharodons Chapter, the Fire Angels voiced formal grievance against the Carcharodons with the Loyalist command. Reduced in strength but refusing to back down from their position, the Fire Angels eventually withdrew from the Babab conflict in 910.M41, wishing to avoid an open conflict between the two Chapters.
For the most part, the Fire Angels is considered a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter, especially in regards to its interpretation of the text as a military treatise, which is also used as a military guide in its homeworld's aristocratic military traditions. Due to this Chapter's relative youth compared to more venerable Astartes Chapters, the Fire Angels have come to rely on easily replicable Imperial technology due to their lack of invaluable war-relics. The Fire Angels make extensive use of basic Codex pattern gear and vehicles such as the Rhino and Predator, while the majority of their 1st Company is fielded as Sternguard Squads. While they do possess examples of Terminator Armour, Land Raiders and Dreadnoughts they remain relatively few in number. This venerable equipment, which was provided to them at their Founding from several different Ultramarines Successors Chapters, is held in high regard, but due to their limited number their use is seldom a focus of the Chapter's battle strategy save during the direst emergencies.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
Shaped by their earliest trials in combat, the Fire Angels have developed a predilection for mobile mechanised deployments over the use of Drop Pod assaults or infiltration where practical. This tactic is fed by the ability of the ancient manufactorums on their homeworld to turn out the venerable armoured vehicle pattern chassis and the needed variant hulls and spare equipment as the Chapter's needs demand. As a result, the Fire Angels' Armoury contains a larger number of Predators, Whirlwinds and Vindicator siege tanks than that of more established Chapters. Compared to other Astartes, discipline and their holy duty to the divine God-Emperor are higher virtues for the Fire Angels than the pursuit of personal glory. The Chapter relies on proven strategic doctrines from which they seldom deviate save in unusual circumstances. For example, they tend to regularly arm their Tactical Squads with Heavy Bolters for fire support and Melta Weapons for close-range anti-armour capabilities, while Flamers see extensive use by their assault formations as the preferred anti-personnel weapon. One of the Fire Angels' favoured martial traditions is their use of the sword in numerous forms not only as an adaptable close-combat weapon, but also as a symbol of rank and spiritual strength within the Chapter. Each Fire Angels' Battle-Brother considers his own blade to be the incarnate focus for his personal honour and prayer to the Emperor of Mankind.
The Fire Angels are notably conservative in their outlook and nature, adhering closely to the Codex Astartes. This is perhaps inevitable in such a young Chapter, which has yet to develop the idiosyncrasies of one that has fought for many millennia. The Chapter's Battle-Brothers train for all aspects of warfare, but focus on those considered the core of the Space Marine way of war. The Chapter lacks large numbers of the more specialised war machines and wargear and makes extensive use of Rhino armoured transports as well as the many vehicles based on this venerable pattern.
The Fire Angels view themselves as part of the wider Imperium's web of power, and so have gained a reputation among a number of Imperial commanders and generals as somewhat easier to work with than many other Astartes, who usually ferociously guard their political independence and favoured status among the Emperor's servants, particularly from encroachment by the Ecclesiarchy or the Inquisition. While it is known that the Fire Angels were founded using the gene-seed stocks of the Ultramarines, the Chapter maintains few of the traditions of its progenitor. There is one aspect of the Fire Angels that sets them apart from other Chapters however, and that is the manner in which they honour the Emperor. While the Imperial Creed preaches that the Emperor is a god, the majority of Space Marine Chapters have their own, unique Chapter Cults, most of which regard Him as a man, albeit the most potent and extraordinary ever to have lived, an individual worthy of veneration and emulation, though not worship. Uncommonly amongst the Adeptus Astartes, the Fire Angels' Chapter Cult adheres closely to the dictates of the Imperial Creed, sharing many of its teachings and beliefs, including the divinity of the God-Emperor. As a result, the Chapter has close ties with various bodies within the Ecclesiarchy and has even fought alongside the Battle-Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas. Battle-Brothers of the Fire Angels have received numerous citations and honours from the lords of the Ministorum, something that very few other Chapters would accept or acknowledge. The Chapter's warriors are often seen bearing various icons of the Imperial Creed upon their armour as they fight the enemies of the Emperor.
It is worthy of note that the Fire Angels believe that despite being a Successor Chapter drawn from the gene-seed of the Ultramarines Legion, they do not consider Roboute Guilliman, their Primarch, to be anything other than an exceptional warrior. To this Chapter only the Emperor of Mankind and His saints are divine, and to proclaim or venerate otherwise is considered to be a form of idolatry.
Notable Fire Angels
- Consul-Master Uriaens - Current Consul-Master (Chapter Master) of the Fire Angels Chapter.
- Consul-Master Haran Stark (Deceased) - Former Consul-Master who sacrificed himself in battle against a powerful Lord of Change whilst defending the sacred Narthex of Penitents in the mid-41st Millennium.
- Chief Librarian Mathias Dee (Deceased) - Chief Librarian Dee valiantly sacrificed himself by self-immolation to avoid Warp-possession whilst battling against the powerful Chaos Space Marine warband called The Sanctified in the Grand Al'gul System in the mid-41st Millennium.
- Praetor Tarnus Vale - Tarnus Vale is the Praetor (Captain) of the 3rd Company of the Fire Angels Space Marine Chapter. He is one of the finest warriors within his Chapter and is famed for his indifference to danger as well as for possessing an uncommon talent for mechanised warfare. During the Chapter's involvement in the Badab War he fought at the forefront of the conflict. He is most famous for standing firm against the deadly Astral Claws counter-attack during the Second Battle of Sagan.
- Malghrav - A long serving Assault Marine ordinarily based at Watch Station Andronicus, Brother Malghrav was appointed as the commander of the Deathwatch Strike Force conducting the Hadex Anomaly operation by Inquisitor Ramaeus herself. Despite the fact that Malghrav had never before served as commander of multiple Kill-teams, the Chamber of Vigilance ratified the appointment without question, suggesting the masters of the Deathwatch were acting upon information only they and the Inquisitors that addressed them were party to. Regardless of the details of his appointment, Brother Malghrav is held to have performed his role as Strike Force commander with skill, courage, and honour. It was he that led the assault against the lumbering bio-mechanical constructs that served as the enemy's foot troops, reportedly slaying at least three of them in hand-to-hand combat. As the situation unfolded and events around the ritual site became unclear, Brother Malghrav held the line and asserted his control, engaging the forces of the fallen Mechanicus long enough for Saturn and Ramaeus to break through and to confront the Forge Tyrant. It is thought that Brother Malghrav was the last Deathwatch Battle-Brother to converse with any of the Inquisitors during the final, chaotic phase of the operation, a fact that may account for his continued internment in the Reclusiam of Watch Fortress Erioch.
- Light of Castigation - Light of Castigation is an Astartes Flamer that unleashes sanctified Promethium. The Fire Angels Chapter Cult cleaves much closer to the doctrine of the Ecclesiarchy than to the typical practices of its brethren, and its fervour has been added to more than one Ministorum Crusade. At the conclusion of the Hengistus Crusade, a grateful Cardinal provided to the Fire Angels a Flamer he had personally blessed and sanctified according to the highest rites, which later passed to the Deathwatch during joint operations with the Fire Angels against xenos-worshipping cults in the Gladius Sector.
The original colours of the Fire Angels Chapter included white Power Armour with red trim around the shoulder plates, the wrists and on the upper legs. The updated colour scheme has the Fire Angels wearing metallic silver Power Armour. Their Chapter iconography is prominently displayed on both shoulder plates. The open-faced red squad specialty symbol on the left knee guard designates operational specialty -- Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran. A black Low Gothic numeral is stenciled on the centre of the squad specialty symbol, which indicates squad number. The colour of the right knee guard indicates company number in accordance with the dictates of the Codex Astartes -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc. A black Low Gothic numeral is stenciled on the centre of the right knee guard, further identifying the company number.
The Fire Angels' Chapter badge is a red crosslet, which adorns both shoulder plates, centred on a field of silver.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 44
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 30, 39, 47, 50, 90-97, 168
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 16-17, 19
- Imperial Armour Volume Two (Second Edition) - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 94
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 110, 128
- Deathwatch: The Emperor's Chosen (RPG), pg. 75
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (1st Edition), "The Badab War" by Rick Priestley, pp. 33-35
- White Dwarf 103 (UK), "Rampaging Rhinos" by Rick Priestley
- White Dwarf 101 (UK) "Index Astartes: The Badab Uprising" by Rick Priestley