The Sons of Sanguinius is a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter and a Successor Chapter of the original Blood Angels Legion that was created during the Second Founding, which occurred during the early 31st Millennium following the dark years of the Great Scouring. A dark and brooding Chapter, the Sons of Sanguinius continually grieve for their lost Primarch Sanguinius who was slain at the hands of the treacherous Warmaster Horus at the end of the Horus Heresy. Brutal and bloodthirsty, the Chapter zealously prosecutes the enemies of Mankind, often times displaying a disturbing and callous disregard for the lives of the civilians of the Imperium.
The Sons' attitude is, as long as their mission objectives are obtained, the ends justify the means. What separates the Sons of Sanguinius from many of their brother Chapters is their willingness to engage in rituals that involve the consumption of blood. Like their fellow Chapter, the Blood Drinkers, these blood rituals and ceremonies are the cause of their resistance to the twin curses of the Red Thirst and the Black Rage. Certainly, they experience a smaller proportion of their Battle-Brothers succumbing to the Black Rage.
The Sons of Sanguinius Chapter was created in the 31st Millennium after the Primarch of the Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman, who led the reformations sweeping the Imperium after the Horus Heresy, determined that all of the existing Space Marine Legions would be broken up into 1,000-man Chapters so that no single military commander could ever again wield the dangerous power of an entire Space Marine Legion. This event is known as the Second Founding and the Sons of Sanguinius is one of the Chapters formed from the Blood Angels Legion, even as it continued to grieve for its fallen Primarch, Sanguinius, who had been slain by Horus at the climax of the Battle of Terra.
This Successor Chapter was founded from remnants of the Blood Angels' 6th Company, created alongside other well-known Successor Chapters such as the Flesh Tearers and the Blood Drinkers. This occurred before the grim truth concerning their progenitors, the Blood Angels' flawed gene-seed came to light. Like their fellow Successor Chapters, the Sons of Sanguinius are strongly bound to the Blood Angels, united by the blood of their Primarch Sanguinius that flows through their veins and ancient traditions that outsiders find difficult to understand. Being one of the Scions of Sanguinius their loyalty to the memory of their Primarch transcends all other duties and concerns. Being born from the Blood Angels' gene-seed, the Sons of Sanguinius too, carry the flaw inherent in their gene-stock. But rather than denying their blood-lust, the Sons of Sanguinius have learned to embrace it, making it a central part of many of their rituals. By doing so, the Chapter seems to have achieved an unprecedented level of control over the flaw. But it remains to be seen whether or not this is but the first step on a long road to eventual damnation.
The Sons of Sanguinius, like their antecedents the Blood Angels, adhere as closely to the Codex Astartes as the flaw allows -- they recognise the Codex's strictures as a form of discipline that can be used to restrain the Red Thirst. For the most part the Sons mimic their Primogenitors in most regards. But since they have a lower number of Battle-Brothers affected by the flaw, they have no Death Company to speak of. Also, their veteran 1st Company does not posses many suits of Terminator Armour. The Sons do not have a very large pool of these precious relics, as the Chapter has only around a dozen working suits at any given time. This Chapter also doesn't utilise many Devastator Marines in their ranks, as the Sons prefer the use of Assault Bikes and Jump Packs to close with the foe, rather than utilising heavy weapons. Most battle companies only possess two Devastator Squads, but also favour slow steady advances with an abundance of Tactical Squads, the backbone of all Space Marine Chapters.
Most unusual, is that the Sons of Sanguinius do not utilise psykers within their ranks. Though they have those Battle-Brothers who perform the duties of Librarians, they do not possess any psychic abilities, as the Sons view any form of psychic powers or magic as a tool of Chaos, and kill any recruits who show any latent psychic ability. However, the Chapter still has many Librarians, though they are utilised in a more scholarly role. The Librarium keeps the rosters of the Chapter's deeds, records of its great victories and the legends of its mighty heroes. The Sons' Librarians spend their time studying the ancient holy texts of the Chapter, memorising the various songs, chants and holy verses. In battle, the Sons' Librarians do not support their Battle-Brothers with psychic powers, instead they lead their fellow Sons in song, singing verses aloud from the holy tomes. Those Sons within close proximity join in, inspired by the holy verses which stirs the blood of Sanguinius in their veins, inspiring them to fight with even more vigour. These Astartes march inexorably forwards, singing the songs of the Red Angel, their bolters spitting cruel fire.
The Sons of Sanguinius' (like the Blood Angels' and their fellow Successor Chapters') order of battle contains several specialist formations and officer positions not present in other Space Marine Chapters:
- Sanguinary Guard - A major deviance from the Codex by the Sons of Sanguinius Chapter is the existence of the elite Honour Guard known as the Sanguinary Guard, which includes 30 of the Chapter's best and most Veteran Astartes. They use modified Jump Packs with mechanical wings to give them a taste of their Primarch's ability for flight, so that they are transformed into true angels of death. They are clad in ancient suits of golden Artificer Armour, wielding an ancient Power Weapon in the shape of a polearm known as a Glaive Encarmine, each one of which is a Chapter relic dating back many millennia. Each member of the Sanguinary Guard is easily the equal of a full squad of his brethren and the deeds of each are carefully recorded by the Chapter's Librarians, as they are warriors second in prowess only to the company captains and their Chapter Master.
- Sanguinary Priests - The Sons of Sanguinius' Sanguinary Priests are the custodians of the blood of Sanguinius himself. They serve in the role of the Chapter's Apothecaries, as well as partially fulfilling the role of spiritual leaders within the Chapter who lead their fellow Battle-Brothers in their rituals and blood rites. Whilst the sermons and ceremonies of the Chapter's Chaplains exhort their Battle-Brothers to reject the anger within, those performed by the Sanguinary Priests call upon the Sons of Sanguinius to embrace the Red Thirst and wrest it to their control; unleashing its strength to buttress theirs when the day is darkest and the battle goes ill. As with the Apothecaries of other Chapters, the foremost concern of the Sanguinary Priests is to conserve the Chapter's gene-seed.
- Chaplains - The role of Chaplains also differs within the Blood Angels Successor Chapters as their responsibilities are solely geared towards guarding against the Black Rage and psychologically ministering to those who fall both to it and the equally terrible curse of the Red Thirst. The traditional spiritual role played by most Astartes Chaplains is instead played in the Sons of Sanguinius Chapter by the officers known as the Sanguinary Priests. The Reclusiarch -- the senior ranking Chaplain -- is the keepers of the Chapter's Reclusiam, the Sons of Sanguinius' most sacred shrine. No part of their fortress-monastery is as revered as the Reclusiam, adorned as it is with banners and relics of ages past, its sable stones steeped in history and grandeur. Here do the Chaplains conduct their ceremonies, the rites of Initiation, Vindication and Redemption, the Blood Pact and the Host-throng.
While the Sons of Sanguinius appear to have attained a level of control over the Blood Angels' Flaw exceeding even that of their Progenitor Legion, such appearances are deceptive. The entirety of the Chapter's rituals and observances are based on the consumption of massive quantities of blood. Before embarking on a campaign, crusade or any major battle, each company of the Sons of Sanguinius conducts an ancient ritual, known as "The Feast". One young Space Marine who has truly displayed the spirit of Sanguinius by performing valiant deeds above and beyond the norm, is ritually sacrificed. The Sanguinary Priests fill gold chalices with the young hero's blood, and each Astartes drinks deeply of the potent vitae. In this way the young Space Marine's courage and devotion are spread throughout the entirety of the Company, and the entire strike force is stirred to greater feats of devotion and savagery. The Red Thirst is controlled, and only a few Battle-Brothers succumb to the power of the Red Thirst. The Sons of Sanguinius go to great lengths to conceal these blood rites from any and all outsiders, for none have witnessed their sanguinary rites, not even their brethren amongst the other Blood Angels Successor Chapters. Though they appear to have attained control over the flaw, the Sons of Sanguinius may have more than likely doomed themselves in some other, unforeseen way. Their future remains just as uncertain as that of the remainder of their fellow Scions of Sanguinius.
The Sons of Sanguinius continuously lament the loss of their Primarch and openly mourn their father by painting at least one part of their battle plate black. This is a sign of mourning for the sad fact that the Sons will never see their Primarch, for the Red Angel will never walk again, and he will never know of his children's valiant deeds. In their hearts the Sons believe that Sanguinius is not truly dead -- he lives on in his children the Blood Angels and all their Successor Chapters. Sanguinius died to save the Emperor, but he has been reborn in the form of thousands of red armoured slayers. Chaplains are recruited from the ranks of these bitter and depressed Astartes, though they have replaced their sadness and longing for their father with an all-consuming hatred of heretics, apostates and traitors, for Sanguinius was killed by the Arch-Traitor himself, after all.
Notable Sons of Sanguinius
- Captain Damien Mordua - Captain Mordua is the current commander of the Sons of Sanguinius' 3rd Company. This Veteran Son of Sanguinius is a valiant and ferocious warrior with hundreds of standard years of service to the Chapter. His deeds within the Chapter's annals are legend. Following his promotion to master of the 3rd Company, it is said that Mordua faced a Bloodthirster in single combat. Though he fought valiantly against the Greater Daemon of Khorne, he was eventually seriously wounded, but not before he grievously wounded the fell creature in return, enabling the rest of his company to cut the creature down in a hail of sustained bolter fire. He eventually recovered from his wounds, ferocious as ever. Over the centuries, Mordua has developed a great hatred of the Eldar after fighting numerous campaigns against the little-known Jainas Shelwe Craftworld (currently located in the Havaius System). Mordua and his 3rd Company have recently been assigned to the Lesterius System, located in the Inglus Nebula, which is heavily populated by Orks. Damien Mordua has already developed a deep loathing of the hated greenskins.
The Sons of Sanguinius' Chapter primarily wears terracotta red Power Armour. The shoulder plates are black and the trim is yellow. The white squad specialty symbol -- Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran -- is indicated on the right shoulder guard. Company markings are superimposed over the top of these squad specialty markings. The Sons further identify their squad specialty by the colours of their helms -- Tactical (White), Assault (Bone), Devastator (Light Blue) or Veteran (Black). Some Battle-Brothers have bright red mouth pieces which indicates that they are "blooded" Astartes -- Space Marines who have distinguished themselves in battle with extreme levels of brutality. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is yellow. Sons of Sanguinius' Librarians have blue armour with the left shoulder plate painted terracotta red. The Chapter badge is located on the right knee plate. Sons of Sanguinius' Sanguinary Priests have terracotta red armour trimmed in white, with the Chapter badge on their left shoulder plate.
All Sons of Sanguinius usually have at least one part of their battle plate coloured black. Most Battle-Brothers wear only black shoulder plates, but some of the more morose will wear black leg armour, knee guards or even paint the entirety of their battle plate black. These particular Astartes have seen through Sanguinius' eyes in their dreams, but can never see him in reality.
Heraldry of the Host
Like their predecessors, the Blood Angels, the Sons of Sanguinius adhere to a strict heraldic system, allowing them to recognise what company and squad any given Battle-Brother belongs to at a glance. The advantages of such swift recognition amid the madness of battle are obvious. More than this, however, the Sons of Sanguinius revere their heraldry, and bear these markings as badges of pride.
Instead of using the standard Codex-compliant symbols to show a unit's role or helm colour to denote rank, the Sons of Sanguinius' helms reflect the squad type to which they belong:
- Assault Marine: Bone - Battle-Brother assigned to an Assault Squad
- Tactical Marine: White - Battle-Brother of the standard Battle Companies
- Devastator Marine: Light Blue - Battle-Brother assigned to a Heavy Support Squad
- Veteran Marine: Black - 1st Company Veteran Battle-Brothers
Unlike other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Sons of Sanguinius wear the same squad markings of their Progenitors, which comprise a single symbol worn on the right knee plate of their Power Armour:
- 1st Squad: A white skull on a black background
- 2nd Squad: A white skull on a blue background
- 3rd Squad: A red blood drop on a yellow background
- 4th Squad: A red blood drop on a black background
- 5th Squad: A white X on a black background
- 6th Squad: A white X on a blue background
- 7th Squad: A yellow lightning bolt on a black background
- 8th Squad: A black lightning bolt on a yellow background
- 9th Squad: A yellow angelic wing on a black background
- 10th Squad: A black angelic wing on a yellow background
Like the Blood Angels, the Sons of Sanguinius use variations of the blood drop to denote company, even though their companies are often divided into ad-hoc battle groups:
- 1st Company (Veteran): A bone skull over black background on the right shoulder plate. On Terminator Armour, the left shoulder plate shows the First Company's specific heraldry, the right shoulder guard displays the Chapter badge in white.
- 2nd Company (Battle): A single yellow blood drop.
- 3rd Company (Battle): A single red blood drop.
- 4th Company (Battle): A single green blood drop.
- 5th Company (Battle): A single black blood drop.
- 6th Company (Reserve Tactical): Twin yellow blood drops, side by side.
- 7th Company (Reserve Tactical): Twin red blood drops, side by side.
- 8th Company (Reserve Assault): Twin green blood drops, side by side.
- 9th Company (Reserve Devastator): Twin black blood drops, side by side.
- 10th Company (Scout Marines): The Sons of Sanguinius' Scout Company wears a black skull on the right shoulder plate, and the Chapter badge on the left.
The Sons of Sanguinius' Chapter badge is a golden chalice with a skeletal face carved into it and overflowing with blood. It also bears a pair of white, angelic wings. This is a symbol of Sanguinius himself. This imagery is centred on a field of black, or red when worn on the Power Armour of Sanguinary Priests.
- Citadel Journal 20, "Creating a Space Marine Chapter - The Sons of Sanguinius" by Isaac Tobin, pp. 19-20