The Knights of the Raven is a Loyalist Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter raised during an unknown Founding some time in the latter half of the 38th Millennium. They are a Successor Chapter of the Raven Guard.
When they fight alongside other Imperial forces they communicate only when necessary, and use their own cryptic battle tongue amongst themselves.
In recent history, for unknown reasons, the Knights of the Raven "came to blows" with Astartes from the Aurora Chapter; the resulting conflict was apparently ended by Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines.
Over the millennia, the Adeptus Terra has seen fit to found fewer and fewer Successor Chapters from the Raven Guard's limited genetic material as the gene-seed has continued its gradual deterioration.
The Knights of the Raven are one of only a handful of Raven Guard Successor Chapters to have been founded since the latter half of the 38th Millennium. Indeed, the Raven Guard Chapter Master Kayvaan Shrike has even referred to the Chapter as the "Brothers of the Raven Guard" in the Era Indomitus.
However, in the short time since their birth, the Knights of the Raven have already proven their valour in hundreds of bloody engagements across many war zones.
The fortress-monastery of the Knights of the Raven is on the Feudal World of Coralax, a world renamed upon the Chapter's Founding in honour of their primarch. To the inhabitants of this bleak place, the Knights of the Raven are mythological figures who descend from the heavens to spirit away their greatest young warriors.
They appear to their awed populace only once every thirteen Terran years, when their emissaries descend from the heavens to spirit away the victors from the blood-tourneys held in their honour.
In 744.M41, after joining forces to defeat the Alpha Legion warband responsible for the Redemption Rebellion, the Knights of the Raven and the Aurora Chapter swore a bitter feud against each other, each blaming the other for their grievous losses.
This conflict was only ended by the intervention of Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar himself. In penance for shedding the blood of fellow Astartes, they are currently fighting a guerrilla war against the Tyranids of the remaining splinters of Hive Fleet Kraken.
- Jeghan Insurrection (Unknown Date.M41) - At the outset of the 41st Millennium the Imperial Hive World of Jeghan rose in revolt. The roots of the rebellion lay in resentment at what were felt to be excessive demands for tithed troops to fight in the campaigns against the Great Tyrant of Jagga. These flames of resentment were fanned by subversive elements in the population, leading to outright rebellion. The Knights of the Raven Chapter acted quickly to crush the rebellion, which was quickly suppressed everywhere with the exception of Jeghan Hive Secundus. It was here that the rebellion had started, and where the rebels were strongest. The Knights of the Raven soon found themselves embroiled in a protracted siege against a tenacious and well dug-in foe. There are no records that establish who first developed the Hellstorm combined-fire tactic that was employed by the Knights of the Raven as part of this campaign. All that can be said with certainty is that it was an effective tactic that was quickly adopted by Land Raider Redeemer squadrons throughout the Chapter. The tactic relied on split-second timing to launch a simultaneous attack by all of the Flamestorm Cannons in the squadron against a single target point. The resulting inferno of fire was so intense that nothing was capable of withstanding it, no matter how well armoured or protected it might be. Within weeks of the tactic being developed Hive Secundus fell and the rebels capitulated.
- Redemption Rebellion (744.M41) - The Knights of the Raven and the Aurora Chapter fought a joint-campaign to defeat the vile Alpha Legion, but soon after declaring victory, both Chapters swore a bitter feud against each other, blaming one another for their grievous losses. The Unseen Spears, the Reclusiam Command Squad of the Knights of the Raven's 2nd Company were responsible for escalating tensions between themselves and their battle-brothers from the Aurora Chapter. Space Marines of the Aurora Chapter accused Chaplain Givus of the Unseen Spears of cultivating superstition and fanaticism on their feudal home world. The Unseen Spears took this as a grave insult to their Chapter and came to blows with the Aurora Chapter. It was Marneus Calgar himself, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, who intervened with an impassioned speech. He suggested, as penance, that the entire Knights of the Raven Chapter be despatched to fight against Hive Fleet Kraken. The Unseen Spears immediately led the salvation of the Death World of Vallyx V, where the Knights of the Raven and their allies slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Genestealers. The Unseen Spears endure to this day, and with their Chaplain at the helm they lead blistering strikes against Kraken's splinter fleets in an effort to bring honour back to their Chapter.
- Achilus Crusade (814.M41) - The Knights of the Raven were represented in the war zones of the Jericho Reach and the ranks of the Achilus Crusade by a small task force that emerged unheralded through the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate in 814.M41. This sub-company battle force has fought many campaigns alongside other, larger forces, drawn from a variety of brother Chapters. As best as can be determined, the Knights of the Raven consider it their solemn duty to commit forces to the crusade, for to stand by as others fight and die in the name of the Emperor is a far darker shame than any defeat that could be suffered at the hands of the foe.
- Zeist Campaign (999.M41) - The Zeist Campaign was a military conflict fought between the Imperium of Man and the T'au Empire, in the Zeist Sector of the Ultima Segmentum in early 999.M41. This campaign occurred during the T'au Empire's Third Sphere Expansion. This campaign ran concurrently with Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade and the assault on Imperial space by the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan. While the Imperium's military was heavily involved with preventing the breakout of the forces of Chaos from the Cadian Gate on the other side of Imperial space, the T'au took advantage of this distraction to rapidly expand their territory. The Knights of the Raven contributed three companies to the Zeist Campaign against the T'au Empire, a war led by 2nd Company Captain Cato Sicarius of the Ultramarines. With the victory of the Imperium, the Zeist Campaign marked the end of the T'au's Third Sphere Expansion.
- War for the Aberrus System (Unknown Date.M42) - Captain Nikeras of the Iron Lords' 2nd Company led a strike force composed of elements from the 2nd, 8th and 10th Companies to the Aberrus System alongside forces drawn from the Lamenters, the Vanguard Strike Force Tristyan and Armoured Task Force Corarikus of the Knights of the Raven and elements of the Scythes of the Emperor Chapter. There, the Adeptus Astartes served as crucial reinforcements in defending the system from an assault by a tendril of Hive Fleet Kraken. While the Space Marines helped to stabilise the ongoing conflict and raise Imperial morale, they did not realise that Inquisitor Shalisha Talaris of the Ordo Xenos had learned from her void watchers that a second tendril of the Kraken, twice the size of the first, was about to assault Aberrus. She feared that if the Tyranids could not be defeated, the hive fleet would sweep into the Grendl Stars and claim the genetic material of the hyperviolent Barghesi for themselves, putting the fate of the entire Eastern Fringe at risk.
A small number of Knights of the Raven battle-brothers have since taken the Apocryphon Oath and begun a vigil of the Long Watch. As with the deployment of the Chapter's main force in the Jericho Reach, it appears this undertaking is a matter of honour, ensuring the Chapter bears its fair share of the trials and tribulations of the Achilus Crusade.
This handful of battle-brothers have not long been serving at Watch Fortress Erioch, and it remains to be seen if their deeds will equal, or even surpass those of other, better known Chapters.
Notable Knights of the Raven
- Captain Mordren - Mordren is a Knights of the Raven captain and is a member of the new group of Mor Deythan, the elite Raven Guard infantry that once existed during the Great Crusade era, that the Raven Guard Chapter Master Kayvaan Shrike has assembled in the Era Indomitus. He serves beside Sergeant Artarix and the Shadow Captains Aevar Qeld and Illith, in the newly restored Mor Daythan. Qeld, however, was incensed at Mordren's inclusion, as the Knight of the Raven was not a member of the Raven Guard Chapter like all the others. The shadow captain felt Mordren was unworthy of being a part of the unit because of this, but Chapter Master Shrike ended such talk immediately. The enraged Chapter Master chastened Qeld by saying the Knights of the Raven were the Raven Guard's brothers and he would not allow any decisiveness between them to bloom in such dark times. The birth of the Great Rift had caused the Imperium to be beset by foes on every side and Shrike would use the Mor Deythan's abilities in targeted attacks that would topple those new threats. The four would only be gathered together by him for such missions, with Shadow Captain Illith normally in command, and their first undertaking was to eliminate the Alpha Legion Chaos Lord Mazik. It was during that mission that Qeld ended the misgivings he had about Mordren, after they each saved each others' lives while they fought the Chaos warlord. The Mor Deythan's second mission was boarding a mag-train on Delephron, in order to kill an Ordo Hereticus Interrogator who had learned disastrous information that would draw the Inquisition's gaze to the Raven Guard. They were not the only ones seeking the Interrogator though, and the Mor Deythan clashed with Nurglite Raptors who attacked the mag-train. The Mor Deythan were able to kill many of the Raptors and Mordren's life was saved by Shadow Captain Qeld, who killed a Raptor that had borne the Knight of the Raven away from the mag-train. Mordren in turn saved Artarix's life by killing a Raptor that had impaled the sergeant. As the Mor Deythan searched for the Interrogator, they found a maddened astropath within one of the mag-train's carriages. From the psyker's repeated ramblings, they learned that a missing Iron Ravens Successor Chapter which had been drawn into the Warp a thousand years standard years before, had now returned. The astropath claimed, however, that their time in the Warp had corrupted these Iron Ravens, which he claimed was something the Knights of the Raven would know about. Mordren denied these accusations, but they were not taken seriously by the others. The Mor Deythan knew, however, that the Inquisition's discovery of the Iron Ravens' corruption would turn their suspicions towards the Raven Guard. They realised that this was the information the Interrogator had found and they planned to immediately take the astropath to Kayvaan Shrike. However the Mor Deythan noticed that the Nurglite Raptors had passed by the carriage and yet the Traitors had left the astropath alive. Illith worried the Raptors could be seeking something else on the mag-train, and ordered Artarix to stay with the astropath, while the remaining Mor Deythan advanced after the Traitors. When they caught up to the Raptors, the Mor Deythan could see the Traitors were pursuing a fleeing figure. Illith charged Qeld with capturing the person before they escaped, while he and Mordren dealt with the Raptors. However Qeld was captured by the Raptors and borne away from the mag-train, while the fleeing figure escaped into another carriage. By that point, Illith believed the survivors on the mag-train had been corrupted by the Nurglite Raptors and ordered them to be purged. While they did so, however, the fleeing figure escaped from the mag-train, without the Mor Deythan realising it. After the mag-train was purged, Artarix and Mordren wished to find the captured Qeld, but Illith refused. He claimed their first priority was to warn Chapter Master Shrike of the Iron Raptors' return and then they would begin the search for Qeld. The fleeing figure from the mag-train, however, turned out to be their original target, Interrogator Bledheim, who soon informed Inquisitor Sabbathiel of the astropath's rantings.
- Librarian Tyrannus - A battle-brother of the Knights of the Raven Chapter, who was engaged upon his third vigil of the Long Watch, Tyrannus was instrumental in an action to track down and corner an infiltrator within the plasma exchanger of Watch Fortress Erioch. A gifted wielder of the psychic arts, Tyrannus had been able to sense something of the enemy's presence even when other Librarians had not. It is tragic indeed that Brother Tyrannus fell alongside his brethren, for otherwise he might have been able to pass on how he did so and something of the mystery of the whole event might have been dispelled. However he achieved it, it appears that the Librarian was only able to estimate the approximate coordinates of a nearby infiltrator, for when confronted with the infiltrator masquerading as a member of his own Kill-team, his powers were unable to distinguish one from another. Ultimately, it was the intuition of brotherhood that unveiled the intruder, when Watch Captain Peratos declared which was the enemy. Though his unusual power abandoned him at the end, Librarian Tyrannus saw the truth of the Watch Captain's judgement, fully acceding to his subsequent order to unseal the plasma exchange.
- Sergeant Sulla - Sergeant Sulla of the Knights of the Raven Chapter served in with the Deathwatch. He brought the famous Signum Array know as Sulla's Unkindness to the xenos hunters.
- Sulla's Unkindness - The origin and pattern of this highly advanced Signum Array is unknown, but records list it with a long and glorious history since it arrived at Watch Fortress Erioch with Brother-Sergeant Sulla of the Knights of the Raven. By virtue of the advanced fire-coordination capabilities granted by the Signum, Sulla's Kill-team was able to slay a Heretic army on the fringes of the Hadex Anomaly, though the army numbered in the thousands, and the Kill-team was running short of ammunition.
The colour of the left knee plate indicates to which company an Astartes belongs.
The Knights of the Raven's Chapter badge is a stylised, black raven, identical in aspect to the Raven Guard's own badge, centred on a field of silver.
- Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition), pp. 24-25, 69
- Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) (Revised Codex), pg. 46
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 139
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 18, 53, 65
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 28, 30, 48
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 110-111, 133
- Deathwatch: The Emperor's Chosen (RPG), pg. 62
- How to Paint Space marines, pg. 89
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 104
- The Geld (Audio Book) by George Mann
- Soulbound (Audio Book) by George Mann
- Warhammer 40,000: Dataslate - Reclusiam Command Squad, pp. 12-13
- Games Workshop Liber Apocalyptica - Forces of the Space Marines (Article)