The Knights of Blood are a currently Renegade Space Marines Chapter who were declared Renegades and Excommunicate Traitoris by the High Lords of Terra on the advice of the Inquisition because of the terrible destruction they wrought against friends and foes alike, yet the Knights of Blood still consider themselves to be loyal to the Emperor of Mankind, if not to his Imperium. The Knights of Blood are a Successor Chapter of the Blood Angels, created during an unknown Founding.
It is not known from which Founding the Knights of Blood Chapter was created, but they are an acknowledged Successor Chapter of the Blood Angels. They are more than likely to have been drawn from one of the later Foundings, for like so many other late-Founding Astartes Chapters, its gene-seed appears deeply and tragically deficient. Soon after their Founding, the Knights of Blood began a galactic Crusade to purge the Emperor's foes from the Imperium. Though many Blood Angels Successor Chapters have walked a precarious path between purity and damnation, the Knights of Blood committed so many excesses in the Emperor's name that at the beginning of the 41st Millennium, they were decreed Renegades by the High Lords of Terra, and cast beyond the Emperor's light. This decision came after several centuries of rage-fueled carnage, perpetrated indiscriminately by the Knights of Blood against the Emperor's foes and their Imperial allies alike.
Following the declaration, the Knights of Blood largely disappeared from the records of the Imperium. Nonetheless, the Knights of Blood refused to be deterred by this edict, and they continue their galactic Crusade, purging the Emperor's foes from the worlds of the Imperium of Man. They have been noted on several occasions to have intervened to aid beleaguered Imperial forces, though they are unwelcome allies at best, arriving unannounced (and often unwanted) to lend their considerable might to a conflict or war. However, only the most desperate worlds accept their aid, for to do so runs the risk of an investigation by the Inquisition. Imperial commanders are especially loathe to accept their assistance, due to the Knights' reputation for carnage and the inherent dangers of fighting alongside these near-crazed Astartes. The Knights of Blood keep their distance from those they are ostensibly allied with, a fact that protects such forces from censure as well as the collateral damage often associated with the more extreme Blood Angels Successor Chapters. Nevertheless, the Knights of Blood are driven to continue to battle the enemies of Mankind across the galaxy.
- Achilus Crusade (800's.M41) - Persistent rumours plagued the Jericho Reach for a number of years that the apostate Knights of Blood operated there, but they never appeared on any officially sanctioned order of battle nor did that Chapter have any communications with the High Command of the Achilus Crusade. Yet it has been reported, time and again, that the appearance of Space Marines in livery identical to that of the Knights of Blood had appeared unheralded and departed following a successful intervention in an ongoing battle. Though few in number, these unidentified Battle-Brothers were always deployed to great effect. There are incomplete gun camera feeds and orbital spy-lens pict captures which provided only incomplete details in regards to the identity of this mysterious Chapter.
- Defence of Baal (999.M41) - In 999.M41, the Knights of Blood assisted the Blood Angels in the defence of Baal against both the daemonic hordes of the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha and the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan. Having been branded Renegades, they wisely kept their distance from their fellow Successor Chapters during the fighting.
Though originally compliant with the dictates of the Codex Astartes, the Knights of Blood have been ravaged by the genetic flaws of their ancestral gene-seed. Though the Chapter once tried to adhere to the Codex, adjustments to the structure of their battle-companies were necessitated by their depleted numbers. Due to their predilection for close-combat, most if not all of the Knights of Blood prefer to deploy as dedicated assault troops instead of in a tactical role like most Codex-compliant Chapters.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Knights of Blood are considered by the military forces of the Imperium to be the epitome of a dedicated assault force. Those who have actually witnessed them in action report a Chapter consumed by savage butchery and carnage on an unparalleled scale. A Knights of Blood force in combat seeks nothing more than to come to grips with an enemy in close combat so they can rend them apart in a hail of blood with Chainswords and Power Fists and, if need be, their bare hands and teeth. As the Knights of Blood's barely controlled blood lust rises in battle, heavy weapons and armoured vehicles are eschewed so that these Astartes can rush forward to destroy their enemies in close combat. It is assumed that the Chapter has extremely limited vehicle resources which more often tend to be used as transports, since the Knights of Blood prefer to surge forwards and take the enemy with Bolt Pistols and melee weapons. Once unleashed, these bloody-handed Sons of Sanguinius will permit nothing to stand between themselves and the gratification they can only find in close combat. There have been many documented occasions when allied forces have found themselves the victims of the Knights of Blood's unrestrained savagery in combat. The Knights of Blood remain unrepentant to this day regarding these supposed incidents of fratricide. The reported carnage that usually followed a Knights of Blood engagement earned them the enmity of many an Imperial commander as well as of their fellow Astartes Chapters. This growing political wrath from many corners of the Imperium resulted in their continuing censure by the Inquisition and their ultimate status as Renegades following a decision of the High Lords of Terra arranged by the Chapter's many powerful political enemies.
Created as they were from the Blood Angels' gene-seed, like their fellow Chapters who share the heritage of Sanguinius, the Knights of Blood also carry the Blood Angels' Flaw within their genetic make-ups. The Chapters most strongly affected by the Flaw are those Successor Chapters of the Blood Angels founded in later centuries, at times when the Blood Angels Chapter Council had thought the Flaw eradicated from its remaining gene-stocks. In reality, the Flaw has merely degenerated into new and even more worrying forms and so the Battle-Brothers of those Chapters founded in more recent times do not suffer slight lapses of control, but teeter on the border of full-blown insanity when the Black Rage and the Red Thirst manifest themselves. The Knights of Blood appear to be one such Chapter, which may have contributed greatly to all their problems.
- Eternal Vigilance - Eternal Vigilance is a two-handed sword masterfully forged of an alloy of rare metals, granting it hardness and sharpness surpassing any blade not enhanced with a power field. Despite its simple appearance and lack of technological enhancement, it is a formidable weapon of unsurpassed abilities. Shortly before the Jericho Reach's Age of Shadow, one of the Knights of Blood's most gifted Artificers presented the blade to the stewards of Watch Fortress Erioch. By this gift, the Chapter reaffirmed their oaths to support the Deathwatch.
The Knights of Blood have a two-tone colour scheme with dark red covering the helmet, shoulder pauldrons, Aquila, and part of the backpack, whilst their torso, arms, legs and backpack exhausts are silver in colour. Like the Blood Angels, the Knights of Blood's company designation is displayed on the right shoulder plate in the form of a skull (for the Veteran 1st Company) or a different-coloured blood drop for their other companies. A Knights of Blood's squad designation is determined by symbols commonly used by the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters and placed on the right knee plate.
The Knights of Blood's Chapter badge is a white shield with a red blood drop at its center, with two crossed black swords behind it.
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pp. 54, 80
- Deathwatch - Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 127
- Deathwatch - Rites of Battle (RPG), pg. 65