"Innocence does not exist, only degrees of guilt. Freedom must be earned, it must be fought for. Cowards, the weak and the impure do not deserve to live. Hades was lost on the backs of the craven. Armageddon will only be won by the strong. We of the Marines Malevolent will stand before this menace and we will..."
While loyal to the Emperor of Mankind and deeply dedicated to the eradication of all of the Imperium's enemies, the Marines Malevolent have at times shown a disturbing and callous disregard for the lives of the civilians of the Imperium as long as their mission objectives are achieved.
The Marines Malevolent is a Space Marine Chapter whose name has long been a byword for carnage and devastation. Despite its zeal for prosecuting wars against the enemies of the Imperium of Man and the Emperor, allegations of excessive use of force against civilian populations have long been leveled against its Battle-Brothers even by other Astartes Chapters, as have accusations of collateral damage against fellow Imperial forces.
This Chapter's reputation for aggressiveness and general disregard for innocent life has brought it into conflict with fellow Astartes Chapters as well as calls for Inquisitorial censure and investigation.
This callous disregard for the fate of others has proven less than popular with those who serve alongside them, and on one occasion has almost resulted in an outright feud with the Salamanders Chapter. Although the war record of the Marines Malevolent can be described as exemplary, many of their erstwhile wartime allies have questioned this Chapter's conduct in the prosecution of a campaign.
Though none would gainsay their effectiveness in battle, several other Space Marine Chapters consider the Marines Malevolent belligerent, antagonistic and wanting in brotherhood with their fellow Astartes. This has resulted in many forces of the Imperium refusing to serve alongside this infamous Chapter.
- Macharian Crusade (392-399.M41) - The Marines Malevolent deployed the entirety of their Chapter in support of the enormous undertaking known as the Macharian Crusade under the command of one of the Imperium's most notable commanders, Lord Commander Solar Macharius. The Marines Malevolent served alongside the morose Star Phantoms Chapter during many of the campaign's most deadly engagements. But with the death of the Lord Solar in 400.M41, they became swiftly embroiled in the Macharian Heresy -- the civil war and factional division that followed among Macharius' generals and war leaders. The Star Phantoms engaged the Marines Malevolent in a bloody and protracted conflict, resulting in the Star Phantoms' near destruction at their hands. Though ultimately cleared of heresy, they were censured by the Holy Ordos for their actions.
- Archimedes Rex Incident (Unknown Date.M41) - A squad of Marines Malevolent under Captain Vinyar faced off with the Salamanders aboard the Adeptus Mechanicus derelict Forge Ship Archimedes Rex. While the Salamanders were there as a rescue force looking for survivors, Sergeant Lorkar's squad of Marines Malevolent arrived to claim salvage to the Astartes armour and weapons on board, contrary to the traditional agreement the Adeptus Astartes have with the Mechanicus to return such items to their keeping. The Marines Malevolent and Captain Vinyar only relented when threatened with the superior firepower of the Salamanders' Strike Cruiser Vulkan's Wrath. Later, after Vulkan's Wrath crash-landed on the planet Scoria, Captain Vinyar arrived in time to rescue the survivors of the Salamanders' 3rd Company, but only after the 3rd's Captain, N'Keln, agreed to return the salvaged weapons to the Marines Malevolent. Salamanders Chapter Master Tu'Shan later faced down Captain Vinyar on the Salamanders' homeworld of Nocturne after the return of the 3rd Company, accusing Vinyar of shadowing Vulkan's Wrath to extract revenge. Tu'Shan honoured the agreement made by Captain N'Keln, but warned the Marines Malevolent that their arrogance would not be forgotten. It should be noted that although the Marines Malevolent had no legal claim on the Forge Ship's contents, in their defence they had desperate need of it. Many members of the Chapter such as Sergeant Lokar's entire squad still wore Mark VI Corvus Pattern Power Armour and used antiquated versions of the Mark Vb Godwyn Pattern Bolter. The Marines Malevolent desperately needed technological upgrades at this time to retain peak combat efficiency.
- Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - The Marines Malevolent deployed two full companies to fight in the Third War for Armageddon. During the war, the Marines Malevolent were censured by the Inquisition for launching attacks that cost the lives of thousands of innocent civilians. The Marines Malevolent believed that the end justifies the means and were therefore prepared to conduct war as they saw fit regardless of who was hurt in the crossfire as long as the enemies of the Emperor were defeated. An Ork war party of considerable size had been drawn to the Emperor's Deliverance refugee camp for refugees from Hades Hive. Captain Vinyar waited for the Orks to break through Imperial defences and begin slaughtering the refugees before unleashing his Whirlwind artillery on the camp. Shrapnel shredded the Orks inside and kept them pinned down, which allowed the Marines Malevolent to isolate pockets of Greenskin resistance. After six hours of fighting, the Ork warband was utterly destroyed, but at the cost of thousands of refugees' lives. Captain Vineyar of the Marines Malevolent and Chapter Master Tu'Shan of the Salamanders were involved in a tense altercation in the aftermath of this incident. Some sources imply that one participant went so far as to strike the other without a formal duel of honour having been called -- an unusual breach of etiquette in the brotherly ethos of the Adeptus Astartes -- but this is unconfirmed.
- Duty Unto Death (Unknown Date.M42) - Amidst the shadows of the Imperium Nihilus, a small Imperial fleet found itself beset by a pair of wayward Tyranid Hive Ships. The Imperial flagship, the Terra Nostra, was transporting Primaris Space Marine gene-tech under the protection of Custodian Wardens. Seeing that the fleet would soon be overrun, the guardians' Shield-Captain ordered an emergency teleport to the nearby Death World of Loqe II. Pursued by Tyranid swarms, the Wardens retreated into the fume-choked volcanic highlands and prepared to defend their precious cargo to the last. Wave after wave of Tyranids surged up the perilous lava-channels, but the Custodians -- cleaving to their oaths of indomitable defence -- repulsed every attack. A solar month later, a relief force of Marines Malevolent arrived in orbit and drove the Hive Ships away with thunderous firepower. On the planet below they found a single living Warden, grievously wounded yet still standing guard over the untouched boon of technology amidst a fortress of heaped Tyranid corpses.
"Hate compels us. It drives us. Keener than any sword. More enduring than any starship or fort. Colder than Fenrisian ice."
- — Kastor, Captain of the elite Vilifiers Company
The Marines Malevolent take a flippant view in regards to collateral damage and the use of excessive force. If innocent civilians or other Imperial forces happen to die due to their brutal tactics, then so much the better.
This Chapter believes there is no such thing as "innocence," simply varying degrees of guilt, and that people who will not fight to defend themselves have no right to live as their freedom was purchased with others' blood. The Malevolents will also go so far as to salvage equipment, weapons, ammunition and other resources from other fallen Space Marines of different Chapters, if they discover any.
The Chapter adheres to some of the anti-psyker tenets that were laid down at the Council of Nikaea. As a result, the Librarians of the Marines Malevolent take no positions of command within the Chapter.
Notable Marines Malevolent
- Captain Kastor - Captain of the the elite Vilifiers Company, who led his brothers in extracting Imperial officers who were captured by Orks in the ruins of Hades Hive on Armageddon.
- Captain Vinyar - Captain of a Marines Malevolent Company that was responsible for a number of "incidents" at Hades Hive during the Third War for Armageddon, including most notably the shelling of the Emperor's Deliverance refugee camp. He was also responsible for the Archimedes Rex Incident.
- Captain Vorr - Captain of a Marines Malevolent Company that has participated in the cleansing of the daemonic taint that had taken over the Fenris System.
- Veteran Sergeant Lorkar - Lorkar led a squad along aboard a derelict Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Ship known as the Archimedes Rex to raid the ship's armoury for much needed advanced weapons and Power Armour.
- Sergeant Tuurok - Sergeant under the service of Captain Vinyar.
- Techmarine Harkane - Harkane accompanied Veteran Sergeant Lorkar aboard the derelict Adeptus Mechanicus vessel Archimedes Rex.
- Ballack (Deceased) - A Veteran Marine of the elite Vilifiers Company, Ballack was destined to cross swords with a Black Templar Sword Brethren Sergeant by the name of Tiamed. In a duel over the grisly trophy of a dead Ork, Ballack emerged victorious and took the Ork's head, as well as Tiamed's armour and sword, resulting in a blood feud that Tiamed's brother, Vorda, swore to avenge. Later on, Ballack would participate with his Captain and other Malevolents, alongside a force of Black Templars, in extracting Imperial officers who were captured by Orks in the ruins of Hades Hive on Armageddon. Separated in the aftermath of the mission, Ballack and Vorda clashed in a duel to the death, but were interrupted when they were ambushed and captured by the Orks. The two would be put to duel against each other once again in an underground arena, but the Space Marines managed to fool their captors and kill the surrounding Orks by detonating several nearby fuel tanks. While Ballack and Vorda survived the ensuing explosion, their friendship was short-lived; Vorda stabbed Ballack in the back, avenging his fallen sergeant and leaving Ballack for dead amongst the corpses of the Orks.
- Purgatory (Strike Cruiser) - The Purgatory is in service to Captain Vinyar of the Marines Malevolent's 2nd Company.
The Marines Malevolent use antique Mark VI Corvus Pattern Power Armour and wield ancient pattern Bolters. They seemed almost desperate to acquire the war materiel that the derelict Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Ship Archimedes Rex carried.
This would suggest that they do not have the means to produce or obtain additional materiel and equipment, such as the standard Mark VII Aquila Pattern of Power Armour and the presently-used pattern of Bolters. Whether this is due to some unmentioned disaster that destroyed their ability to manufacture and produce said materiel, or because their brutal reputation has somehow displeased the Mechanicus of Mars, is not known.
The Marines Malevolent wear primarily sunburst yellow Power Armour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is silver. The power pack, chest guard, torso and groin are black. The black squad specialty symbol -- Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran -- is located on the right shoulder plate. A white Roman numeral is stenciled in the centre of the squad specialty symbol, indicating squad number. The colour of the helmet stripe indicates company number in accordance with the Codex Astates -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc.
The Marines Malevolent's Chapter badge is a black thunderbolt with a black, stylised wing protruding from its top. This is centred on a field of sunburst yellow.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet)
- Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition), pg. 33, "Duty Unto Death"
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pg. 32
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 47
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War, Part Two, pg. 134
- Index Astartes, "Emperor's Shield - Space Marine Chapters of the Armageddon War" by Chris Cook and Pete Haines
- White Dwarf 248 (UK), "The Third War for Armageddon", pg. 76
- White Dwarf 249 (UK), "Index Astartes: Emperor's Shield - Space Marine Chapters of the Armageddon War", by Chris Cook and Pete Haines
- Angels of Death - Bitter Salvage (Short Story) by Nick Kyme
- Devil's Trappings (Short Story) by Nick Kyme
- Salamander (Novel) by Nick Kyme, Ch. 3
- Legacy of Russ: The Lost King (Short Story) by Robbie MacNiven
- Vengeful Honour (Short Story) by Nick Kyme
- In the Depths of Hades (Short Story) by Nick Kyme
- Machine Spirit (Short Story) by Nick Kyme
- The Surest Weapon (Short Story) by Nick Kyme
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign - Forces Disposition, Imperial Forces: Marines Malevolent