Sergeant Rafen

Rafen is a Sergeant of the Blood Angels Space Marines Chapter and is the main character in the Blood Angels series of novels by James Swallow.

The Blood Angels Civil War

Rafen's blood-brother Arkio was manipulated by Inquisitor Ramius Stele of the Ordo Hereticus who had turned to Chaos. With the help of his "patron" daemon Malfallax, Stele corrupted Arkio, mutating him into a likeness of the Blood Angels' Primarch Sanguinius, an illusion enhanced by the fact that Arkio was able to "wake" the Spear of Telesto, an ancient weapon, holy to the Blood Angels, that was wielded by Sanguinius and which was said to have been forged by the Emperor himself. This, and Arkio's tremendous feats in battle - partly thanks to Stele's unseen efforts - made many Blood Angels believe that Arkio was the resurrected Sanguinius, though Rafen was not convinced. The books Deus Encarmine and Deus Sanguinius tell of Rafen's fight to stop the Inquisitor's plans to bring the Chapter to ruin by turning it to Chaos and more specifically to Tzeentch, the Chaos God who was the patron of Malfallax.

Important Blood Angels in the story

  • Alactus: A battle-brother and former comrade of Brother Rafen. Originally a member of Rafen's squad, Alactus came to the banner of Arkio ("the Blessed") after the battles on Cybele and Shenlong convinced that Rafen's brother was the reincarnation of the primarch Sanguinius. Rafen was reluctantly forced to kill Alactus when he attempted to prevent him from boarding the battlebarge Bellus.
  • Arkio: Also known as Arkio the Blessed, the Reborn Angel. Son of Axan and younger brother Rafen, Arkio was born on Baal Secundus as part of the Brother Mesa Clan; an honest and open youth, Arkio was selected by Brother-Sergeant Koris to become a Blood Angel initiate and in later years became a fine example of his Chapter. Sibling rivalry between Arkio and Rafen forced the younger brother to strike alone to find his own course, and he took a posting on the Bellus Expedition, a mission to recover the fabled Spear of Telesto. During the mission, Arkio was promoted to the position of honour guard for the Sanguinary Priest Sachiel. However, Arkio was unaware that he had been chosen for manipulation by Inquisitor Ramius Stele, and Stele's association with the Chaos god Tzeentch allowed him to slowly transform the young Space Marine into a false avatar of the primarch Sanguinius. Overwhelmed by this "miracle", for a time Arkio truly believed he was Sanguinius Reborn, unaware that his every move was being controlled in order to cause a civil war within his Chapter. With only his sibling standing against him, Arkio was finally killed in single combat with Rafen and died begging forgiveness for his folly.
  • Bennek: A battle-brother and a comrade of Rafen. Bennek was a member of Rafen's squad who perished on the cemetery world Cybele at the hands of the Word Bearers. When Brother Rafen's armour was destroyed in battle with the Dark Apostle Iskavan the Hated, part of the wargear given to him to replace it belonged to the late Brother Bennek.
  • Corvus: A battle-brother, member of the Bellus Expedition crew. Corvus was influenced to join the cult of Rkio the Blessed after the battles on Cybele and Shenlong convinced him that Rafen's brother was the reincarnation of Sanguinius; however, when Rafen forced Arkio's followers to witness the corruption in his brother's body, Corvus recanted and begged forgiveness. Corvus was among many battle-brothers who completed a series of rigorous punishments to reaffirm his loyalty to the Chapter.
  • Crucius: Space Marine who died in battle on the planet Ixion; Crucius was a comrade and friend of Brother Rafen.
  • Delos: A chaplain serving aboard the Bellus, Delos was one of many Blood Angels who believed that Rafen's brother Arkio was the reborn avatar of the primarch Sanginius. Delos learned the aweful truth of Arkio's manipulation during the battle on the shrine world Sabien. He confronted Ramius Stele over the inquistor's alliance with the Ruinous Powers, but was killed for his audacity.
  • Gallio: A Brother-Captain, Gallio was a ranking officer whose prowess and ability had been noted by both Commander Dante and Mephiston. Under Dante's orders Gallio took a contingent of Space Marines to the planet Shenlong to confront Arkio over his claims to be the reincarnation of Sanguinius; but when Gallio's comrade Vode attacked Arkio in a blind rage, the resulting firefight took the Blood Angel's life and that of his men.
  • Ideon: A Brother-Captain, Ideon was the long-serving commander of the battle barge Bellus. However, Ideon allowed himself to be swayed by the promise of Arkio the Blessed. Ideon was killed when the Bellus was destroyed.
  • Koris: A Veteran-Sergeant and mentor to Brother Rafen. Koris was an uncompromising and forthright Astartes who often encouraged his subordinates to question all around them, even the core tenets of Imperial dogma. A trusted teacher and close friend of Rafen's, Koris was one of several veteran Space Marines who questioned the so-called "ascension" of Arkio the Blessed. However, Koris died from injuries incurred in battle with a Word Bearers Chaos Dreadnought after Ramius Stele induced the Black Rage in him, forcing the old warrior into the pits of madness. His last words were a warning to Rafen of Stele's duplicity.
  • Sachiel: A sanguinary priest and a member of the Bellus Expedition crew, Sachiel was a youthful rival of Rafen and the two shared a dislike for one another throughout their lives. Sachiel's vanity and ambition were his weaknesses, and Ramius Stele manipulated the priest into doing his bidding. Sachiel perished on Sabien, but not before he understood the grave errors he had made in following a false idol.
  • Simeon: A Brother-Captain and commander of the Fifth Company. A respected and highly decorated officer, in the past Simeon had served as adjutant to Brother-Captain Tycho. Simeon was killed on Cybele by the World Bearers.
  • Solus: A Veteran-Sergeant, second-in-command aboard the battle-barge Bellus and aide to Brother-Captain Ideon. Solus like the rest of the task force believed that Arkio was the reincarnation of Sanguinius. Solus was killed when the Bellus was destroyed.
  • Turcio: A battle-brother and a member of Rafen's squad. Turcio joined the loyalists of Arkio the Blessed but when Rafen showed him the corruption in Arkio's body he sought forgiveness.

Other Characters

  • Axan: The leader of the Broken Mesa Clan, one of the larger scavenger tribes on the moon of Baal Secundus. Axan was the father of siblings Rafen and Arkio. Axan's Wife died giving birth to Arkio, and on that day he ordered the child's elderbrother Rafen to take on the duty of protecting the boy's wellbeing.

The Fabius Bile Incident

Rafen also proved instrumental in defending the assault on the Blood Angels' fortress-monastery on Baal by Fabius Bile, the Chaos Space Marine Apothecary who was a renegade even from the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion in his quest for genetically engineering the perfect warrior. With the Blood Angels having won the battle on Baal, Rafen was then assigned a mission by Lord Commander Dante, the Blood Angels' Chapter Master, to recover a phial of the blood of the Blood Angels' Primarch Sanguinius, which had been stolen by Bile during a conclave between the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters. Rafen's second mission was to punish Fabius Bile with death for his transgressions against the chapter. Having followed Fabius Bile futilely for some time on board the Blood Angels cruiser Tycho, Rafen received assistance from his blood-cousin Noxx of the Flesh Tearers Chapter. Together, the two Space Marine sergeants combined their squads to hunt down Bile, launching a strike against a powerful Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus named Matthun Zellik. Zellik had been making deals with Bile, who had usurped the identity of another Mechanicus tech-priest named Haran Serpens, the same alias used by Bile to infiltrate the Blood Angels Chapter on Baal. The battle against Zellik took place on board the Archeohort, an ancient and unusual Adeptus Mechanicus excavation starship manned by Servitors and members of the Mechanicus' elite cybernetic warriors, the Skitarii. By taking advantage of a turncoat within Zellik's ranks however, Rafen, Noxx and their men found their way to Zellik's trophy room, where they destroyed the relics recovered by the Magos and forced his surrender, lest his work be undone. During the battle, Rafen had lost his Bolter to a trap laid by Zellik. However, among the relics and goods in Zellik's collect was a plasma pistol bearing the name and Chapter markings of Aryon, a long dead hero of the Blood Angels, which Rafen took as his new side arm. With the Archeohort, the Tycho and the Gabriel (on loan from the Flesh Tearers), Rafen and his men traveled to the planet of Dynikas V, where Zellik had last had dealings with Bile. The planet itself was unusual in that it had suffered an attack by the Tyranids, but the events had left the oceans intact as well as several aquatically mutated Tyranid specimens leaderless on the planet. Sacrificing the Archeohort, Rafen, Noxx and their men descended to Dynikas V using a submersible to approach the suspected base of operations of Primogenitor Fabius Bile. During the approach, Rafen and his allies battled large Tyranid creatures similar in size to mighty krakens. During the underwater battle, Rafen was separated from his allies and floated to the service, where mutated slaves of Bile captured him and took him to Bile's laboratory and fortress. Rafen, disarmed and implanted with a strange maggot that prevented him from moving, was taken before Fabius Bile himself. Bile, lost in grandeur, explained to Rafen his plan to clone none other than the Emperor of Mankind himself. Though wounded and weakened, Rafen managed to assault the Primogenitor, and killed him by tearing out his neck.

However, Bile was not dead. Immediately after the death, Rafen was forced into a strange arena where he raced against mutants and captured Space Marines of other Chapters, lest he be killed. There, amongst the audience, Rafen saw Bile alive. During the race, Rafen convinced the morose Tarikus of the Doom Eagles Chapter to side with him in an uprising against Bile. During this time, Noxx and the remaining men under his and Rafen's command made landfall against the fortress. It was then that Ceris, a Librarian in Rafen's squad, mentally contacted Rafen and bade him to attack a strange Warp signature to prevent Bile from escaping. The Warp signature turned out to be a captured and harvested Tyranid Zoanthrope, whom Bile bent to his will to create Warp portals and keep the Tyranids still on the planet away from his fortress. Curiously, the[Zoanthrope welcomed its death by Rafen's hand. During the ensuing battle, Fabius Bile was killed no less than four times, and the truth was revealed when Rafen and a handful of his allies encountered two copies of Bile at once: they were merely clones of the true Fabius Bile, who was not even on the planet. Still, the last clone of Bile did possess the coveted vial of the Primarch Sanguinius' blood he had stolen from the Blood Angels fortress-monastery, which Rafen managed to take from Bile and inject into himself to defeat him. By exploiting Bile's last ditch escape attempt, Rafen and his men and Bile's Space Marine slaves managed to teleport away from Dykinas V while the Tyranids ravaged the fortress.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.