A Comprehensive History of the Chapter
An organised and concise history of the Blood Ravens chapter, including material from the Dawn of War books and the Index
Astartes article. Be warned this work does include spoilers from those books.
Blood Ravens Origins in Warhammer
-As many of you know, most chapters that are official in 40k have maybe a short story, perhaps a few lines
in a notable Campaign. Perhaps a single page on a GW website somewhere, chapters like the Celestial Lions, Raptors and more.
The Blood Ravens did not appear in this way, instead they are unique in that they are the first Chapter to be designed for
a video game. Dawn of War was the first attempt by GW to create a video game that actually did well. Dawn of War was a big
hit in the gaming industry and the Blood Ravens led the way. The game (an RTS) featured four races, the Orks, Eldar, Chaos
and Space Marines. The Blood Ravens taking center stage in the linear campaign. Not long after the game became popular a book
was written, titled Dawn of War, which went more in depth into the events of the game. Now the Blood Ravens had a firm foothold
in the fluff with a book and a game where they were the stars. It did not end there however, the expansion Dawn of War: Winter
Assault once again put DoW on the map, this time adding the Imperial Guard as a playable race, the guard had been in DoW only
as a few squads and tanks in a couple of the missions. Now they had an entire campaign for them, Chaos, Imperial Guard, Eldar
and Orks had seperate but connected Campaigns in Winter Assault, detailing the vicious fighting on the benighted world Lorn
V. The Space Marines involved were not the Blood Ravens however, they were the Ultramarines. Yes the boys in blue stole the
lime light. This most certainly could not be allowed, the Blood Ravens taking it back in the book Dawn of War: Ascension,
detailing what the Blood Ravens were up to during the events in the Lorn system.
If the story ended there the Blood
Ravens would still have more fluff material than most other chapters in the universe. But it didn't, for the next expansion
Dawn of War: Dark Crusade was the most advertised, and anticipated release yet. Adding the Necrons (who had made a minor appearance
in Winter Assault) and the Tau the expansion now featured a map based campaign involving all 7 playable races. For the Space
Marines race the Blood Ravens were back. This time led by the zealous Captain Davian Thule. But there cant be a Dawn of War
game without a book and indeed the third book in the series Dawn of War: Tempest was not long in coming. However Tempest did
not cover the events on Kronus, instead finishing the fighting on Lorn V. Perhaps there will be a fourth book in the series,
if so the Blood Ravens will be one of the most detailed chapters in the 40k universe, perhaps even ousting the Ultramarines
with the most written pages, if they don't already.
Blood Ravens history is an odd mystery in the Imperium. The Chapter's history goes back to M.37 before suddenly cutting out
almost completely. Though vague references and mentions of the Blood Ravens can be found in Imperial records prior to that
date. However the records mentioned are either missing or locked away under an Inquisitorial Seal. The gaps in the records
are so extensive that the chapter does not even know the Origins of its Gene Seed or their father Primarch. The fact that
the Blood Ravens own records are lost along with those throughout the Inquisition from one side of the Galaxy to the other
has dark indications. It suggests that a concerted effort from operatives within many Imperial Organizations including the
Inquisition and the Blood Ravens worked together to eliminate almost all trace of the Blood Ravens past. Why this might have
been is unknown but the event is known as the "un-founding" by the Blood Ravens. What is odder still is that records on the
Blood Ravens were discovered on Eldar knowledge worlds hidden in the Eye of Terror and guarded by the enigmatic Harlequins
Some time n the Chapter's history during their early campaigns in the Gothic Sector the Chapter took immense
losses to the forces of Chaos the Chapter Master and Master of Sancity fell covering the retreat of the Chapter's first company.
With heavy cassualties and no strong replacements for the fallen Chapter Command, the Chief Librarian Azariah Vidya stepped
forth and took command of the Chapter, becoming the first in the Blood Ravens to hold the duel mantle of Chapter Master and
Chief Librarian. Known as the Great Father, Azariah Vidya used his psychic power and traditional methods to learn his enemies
in minute detail and then launch devastating attacks against weak points in the enemy forces.
Azariah Vidya led the
rebuilding of the Chapter after its losses and the current organization of the Blood Ravens has been influenced strongly by
the teachings of the Great Father. The Blood Ravens will study their adversaries closely before launching precise attacks
at key points. The Chapter also has one more distinct trait, it gathers and guards knowledge with great zeal. A tendency that
catches the attention of some individuals in the Imperium, something that is not necessarily a good thing.
In the Blood Ravens recent history, five events stand out. Captain Gabriel Angelos of the 3rd Company,
Commander of the Watch and commander of the Battle Barge the Litany of Fury and the Strike Cruiser
the Ravenous Spirit. Gabriel uncovered a deep stain of taint on his home planet of Cyrene,
one of the main recruiting planets for the chapter and was forced to call on the aid of the Inquisition to perform Exterminatus
on the planet.
Shortly following the destruction of Cyrene,
the 3rd Company went to aid the Imperial forces on the planet Tartarus, a strange planet in Imperial history. Over the course
of the campaign the Blood Ravens uncoverd the planet's dark history, locating numerous sites of Chaos power and relics of
the Eldar, left behind to aid future generations in continuing to battle the forces of Chaos trapped on the planet. Over the
course of the fighting most of the population that was not evacuated fell to chaos, the rest falling to the Orks and very
few escaping. For the Ork invasion had been only a diversion. A forcce of Traitor Marines from the Alpha Legion, led by the
Chaos Lord Baal and the Sorcerer Sindri. Gabriel Angelos disregarded the warnings of the Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Mordicai
Toth and continued to hunt down the hidden forces on the planet. Finally Gabriel discovered that a force of Eldar from Biel
Tan had come to re-seal a powerful Daemon in a stone known as the Maledictum that had been hidden on the planet, underneath
its capitol city. However the Blood Ravens broke the back of the Eldar forces, slaying the Avatar of Khain and killing many
of the Eldar warriors. Despite their intervention Sindri managed to steal the Maledictum and its key from underneath the Imperial
and Xenos forces.
Perhaps the most regretable event of the fighting on Cyrene was not the many battle brothers lost,
but the treachery of Librarian Isador Akios, who had been an initiate with Gabriel became corrupted by the power of the Maledictum,
and it was he who handed it over to Sindri, despite believing himself to be in control he had been manipulated by the Chaos
Sorcerer from the begining, his treachery could not be forgiven and Isador proved the weaker when he was faced in personal
combat by Gabriel Angelos.
At the conclusion of the Campaign, Gabriel shattered the Maledictum with a Daemonhammer
forged from a shard of the Wailing Doom, the blade of the Biel Tan Avatar of Khaine. This only released the Daemon however,
due to the amount of blood shed on the planet, which was in essence an alter for chaos. When the Daemon was released it hinted
at a connection between itself and Inquisitor Toth. It would appear that the Inquisitor was not as pure as he seemed to be.
However Gabriel was unable to pursue the matter further, having to escape the planet with the wounded and the single recruite
taken from the planet, Storm Trooper Sergeant Ckrius. The young guardsmen had been taken under the wing of Terminator Sergeant
Tanthius and despite being badly wounded in the fighting was taken aboard the Litany of Fury where he began the long and painful
process of becoming a Space Marine. On Tartarus the Scout Sergeant Corallis suffered grevious injuries to the Eldar Warp Spiders,
however he survived and returned to service bearing a number of Bionics.
The Rahe's Paradise
This was not the only event Captain Angelos was to take part in. The 9th Company took command of the Litany
of Fury during the reclamation of the planet Lorn V where an Imperial Warlord Titan had been discovered. The Ultramarines
took center stage in the fighting and the Imperial forces there showed great suspicion towards the Blood Ravens. A Chaos Lord
of the World Eaters legion, servants of the Blood God of Khorn was defeated and the Ork Warlord Gorgutz escaped to later plague
the Blood Ravens. Meanwhile Gabriel took the 3rd Company aboard the Rage of Erudition to the planet Rahe's Paradise,
a recruitment world for the Blood Ravens where they kept a training outpost under the command of Father Librarian Jonas, an
elder Librarian of the chapter who took the assignment to continue his hobby of archeology. For the Blood Ravens outpost had
been built ontop of the ruins of an ancient astartes fortress. Jonas, working with elements of the Adepta Sororitas uncovered
a great many relics underneath the monistary, including most surprisingly an Eldar artifact contained in a stone chest built
by both Eldar and the Astartes. Such a thing led to strange indications of ties between the Astartes of Rahe's Paradise and the vile Eldar xenos.
On Rahe's Paradise Gabriel clashed with Farseer Macha, who
had commanded the Biel Tan forces on Tartarus. For unbeknownst to Gabriel at the time, the planet was a Necron Tomb World.
The Eldar had apparently aided the Astartes on the planet in centuries past and left them as its guards, only for the Astartes
to have abandoned their outpost for some unknown reason later. Chaplain Prathios fell to the Eldar on Rahe's Paradise,
however his wounds did not finish him, while grave he survived long enough to be interred in the sacred sarcophagi. However
whether he will be interred within a Dreadnaught is as yet unknown. Despite the valiant attempts of the Eldar and the Blood
Ravens the Necrons awoke, the fragile technologies of the Eldar that had been set to keep the Necrons in stasis failing with
the death of a Dark Reaper frigate and the scattering of its malice filled Spirit Pool. The death of the Dark Reaper's Dragon
Class warship was due to the Strike Cruisers the Rage of Erudition under command of Sergeant Saulh of the 9th Company
and the Ravenous Spirit under command of Sergeant Kohath of the 3rd Company. Working together the Blood Ravens and
Eldar managed to defeat the Necrons, but again taking heavy cassualties and forced to perform exterminatus on the planet.
However once again Tanthius recovered a number of worthy initiates who had survived battle against the Eldar, rising from
hidden tunnels in the desert to tear apart an Eldar skimmer with their bare hands. Leading them was a promissing young potential
psyker named Varjak.
The Necron Killer
Following these events the Blood Ravens 3rd Company, and even the
9th Company had suffered heavy losses. The 9th Company still waged battle over Lorn V as Gabriel made for the planet with
the Ravenous Spirit. However before her ship was destroyed the Farseer Taldeer teleported herself abourd the Litany
of Fury. Despite his instincts Captain Ulantus of the Blood Ravens 9th Company did not kill the Eldar but waited until
Captain Angelos arrived. When Gabriel met with the wounded Farseer he did something highly unusual, Launching a Thunderhawk
gunship in the warp, guided by Taldeer to reach a hidden Harlequin knowledge world.
During the trip through the warp
to Lorn V the Litany of Fury was breached by a warp energy, defending the implantation chamber the 9th Companies three Librarians
fought the warp entity. Librarian Rhamah was sucked into the warp to defend the implantation chamber. Librarians Zhaphel and
Korinth watched Rhamah dissapear, but the Implantation chamber was safe, the gene-seed protected. However when Rhamah was
sucked into the warp he had been deposited on the same world of Knowledge Gabriel was heading towards. Rhamah unknowingly
carried a force sword forged from a piece of the broken blade of Vaul, the single flawed sword that led to the death of many
Eldar heroes in the titanic battle between Khaine and the Necrontyr war hoste.
Ahriman of the Thousand Sons and his
Prodigal Sons had gotten to the world first. Helping Rhamah, Ahriman hinted at a possible connection between the Blood Ravens
and the Thousand Sons, even revealing a text bearing the Blood Ravens symbol in the library on the dead Eldar world. Despite
this however Rhamah fell to a Harlequin solitair during a dance to reforge the blade of Vaul. Gabriel Angelos, Korinth, Zhaphel,
Jonas and others of the Blood Ravens fought Ahriman on the Harlequin stage, not knowing that they were playing into the performance
of the Harlequins. When the dance was completed Ahriman dissapeared through a portal he thought would lead to the Black Library,
his ultimate destination and why he had come to the world, seeking a pathway there. Gabriel used another portal to reach the
bridge of the Litany of Fury. Giving the re-forged Blade of Vaul to Farseer Macha, so she could use it to defeat the Necrons.
Shortly after this event Ckrius finished his implantation, which had been almost completely successful. However the accelerated
process caused his hands to mutate, but the chapter accepted that as a necessity to recover from their immense cassualties.
Campaign for Kronus
The last notable event in the Blood Ravens recent history was the campaign for the world
of Kronus. The Blood Ravens uncovered artifacts of their past on the planet, in the frozen wastes of North
Vandea. Under orders from the Chapter Master three companies were dispatched to cleanse the world. However after
discovering a great Titan gun dating back to the Horus Heresy, General Lucas Alexander was named Governor Militant and ordered
to take back the planet. This order clashed directly with the Blood Ravens and caused the two Imperial forces to clash in
a bloody contest. Forces from the Word Bearer's Traitor Legion, Ork Warlord Gorgutz, the Tau forces under Shas'O Kais and
Eldar under Farseer Taldeer were also present. The Blood Ravens forces were led by Captain Davian Thule of the 5th Company,
and the Battle Barge the Litany of Fury was present as well. These facts suggest the events took place prior to Cyrene and Tartarus. The world also happened to be a Necron Tomb world.
However due to the nature of these events the true outcome is not, as of yet, known.
The Omnis Acranum
Omnis Arcanum is the flagship of the Blood Ravens fleet and where the primary Librarium of the chapter is located. However
little more is known about the venerable ship.
-The Blood Ravens, like many fleet based
chapters, recruits from a number of different worlds, however the class of worlds they recruit from is not limited, they draw
initiates from feral worlds and hive worlds. The only similarity between the worlds is the higher volume of psykers they contain,
leading to an increased number of Librarians in the chapter.
-The Blood Ravens chapter
has a much higher saturation of Librarians than most chapters. It is not uncommon for multiple Librarians to be attatched
to companies, Librarians to be in charge of outposts and ships and even companies when necessary. The 1st Company of the Blood
Ravens includes several squads made up entirely of Librarians, that are dispatched on only the most important missions. Though
what these may be is unknown. The Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens also traditionally holds the duel role of Chapter Master
and Chief Librarian, a tradition dating back to when the Great Father Azariah Vidya was the first to do so. Whatever the reason
for such an increased number of Librarians, they are an integral part of the Chapter, for instance the 9th Company had no
less than three Librarians attatched to it, though with Rhamah's death that number drops to two. Other Librarians of note
in the Chapter are Isador Akios, former Librarian of the 3rd Company before turning traitor, Father Jonas previously stationed
on the recruiting world of Rahe's Paradise and the two other 9th Company Librarians, Zhaphel
-The Blood Ravens have an interesting relation with the Inquisition.
Blood Ravens Librarians can be found in the Death Watch and the chapter appears to have close relations with the Grey Knights
of the Ordo Malleus. It would appear that the all Psyker Grey Knights feel an affinity for the Blood Ravens and trust the
chapter with knowledge of their existence. The Grey Knights attatched a task force to the Blood Ravens during the Kronus incident
for reasons unknown. However due to the presence of the Dark Apostle of the Word Bearers Eliphas and his creation of a massive
warp gate, the Grey Knights presence could only be expected, though it is interesting to note that the Grey Knights worked
so closely with the Blood Ravens and not with the other Imperial forces on the planet, indeed the two came into conflict because
of the unflinching and conflicting orders of Governor Militant Lucas Alexander and Captain Davian Thule.
Captain of the Blood Ravens 3rd Company also appears to be under Inquisitorial investigation after the events on Tartarus
and suspicions around Inquisitor Mordicai Toth. The truth of those events that saw the entire planet fall to chaos and be
exterminated are highly suspicious and it is unknown as to the Inquisition's position on the event. It does not help matters
that Captain Angelos has encountered both the Necrons, Eldar and Chaos forces so often in recent times and even temporarily
sided with the Eldar. What exactly Gabriel is up to, his mental state and whether his actions are in danger of bringing an
Inquisitorial Purge on the chapter is as yet uncertain. However what is noteworthy is that the Blood Ravens forces on Kronus
had a team of Grey Knights attatched to them during the campaign and Davian Thule was gifted with a Daemonhammer as well as
a number of powerful Chapter relics for the campaign. Meaning it must have been highly important to the chapter. It is suspected
that he died during the campaign.
-The Blood Ravens have a deep belief in the Emperor, more
so than the average marine, perhaps because they do not know who their Father Primarch is. A common battle cry of the Chapter
is: "for the unknown Primarch and the Emperor!" The Blood Ravens venerate knowledge and constantly seek it out and guard it.
Their moto is "knowledge is power, guard it well," a maxim held firmly by all the Chapter's Librarians and central to the
Great Father Azariah Vidya
to hold the duel role of Chapter Master and Chief Librarian, it was Vidya who re-built the chapter after its near destruction
and the un-founding.
Father Librarian Jonas
-An elder Librarian of the chapter, Jonas was stationed on Rahe's Paradise in command of the outpost there. Scouts freshly inducted into the chapter were stationed there
in rotations to train before the world was revealed to be a Necron Tomb World. Jonas headed excavations underneath the outpost
along with Sister Ptolmea of the Adepta Sororitas, uncovering an ancient Astartes fortress. Jonas has currently attatched
himself to the 3rd Company under Captain Angelos and serves as a temporary replacement for the lost Isador Akios. His force
weapon takes the form of a staff.
Librarian Isador Akios
-Former Librarian attatched to the 3rd Company, Isador
had been a talented and extremely powerful warrior who served honorably until the 3rd Company arrived on the planet Tartarus.
The Chaos Sorcerer Sindri of the Alpha Legion slowly manipulated Isador until he stole the Maledictum, a stone containing
a trapped Daemon of great power, from his comrades. Isasdor was slain by Captain Gabriel Angelos soon thereafter. Isador's
force staff was tipped with a spread winged raven with the stylised teardrop of the chapter.
is one of the Librarians attatched to the 9th Company. An intelligent and potent Librarian he was one of the Librarians in
charge of the secret beacon aboard the Litany of Fury. His force weapon of choice is in the form of a staff. Temporarily attatched
himself to the 3rd Company to investigate the loss of Rhamah.
-Zhaphel served with Korinth and
Rhamah in the 9th Company, but like Zhaphel attatched himself to the 3rd Company in search of his lost comrade. Zhaphel fights
with a strange force axe and has even stranger eyes, one black, the other red. Like many Blood Raven Librarians he is a potent
psyker and talented warrior.
-Captain of the Blood Ravens dating back to
the last time Tartarus was ravaged, a thousand years prior to Captain Angelos' captaincy. Trythos served in the Death Watch
team that recovered a fragment of the Biel Tan Avatar of Khaine's Wailing Doom on Tartarus. Working with Inquisitor Jhordine
of the Ordo Xenos and Librarian Prothius of an unknown chapter. Trythos was mortally wounded serving the Death Watch and his
dying body was returned to the Blood Ravens where it was interred into a Dreadnaught. Trythos then returned a thousand years
later to Tartarus with the 3rd Company and fell in battle to the Eldar during that campaign.
Captain Gabriel Angelos
Angelos is the Captain of the Blood Ravens 3rd Company and also serves as the Master of the Watch. His ship is the Battle
Barge the Litany of Fury, which is home to a secret beacon designed by Azariah Vidya himself, but its purpose is lost
to the chapter. Gabriel is suspected to have latent psychic potential that could be brought out with training, but the Chapter
Librarium decided against putting the pure hearted Angelos through the trials of becoming a Librarian. However Gabriel may
yet have to do so as he has a strange connection to the Astronomican, perhaps enhanced by the secret power aboard his ship.
Angelos has come under great scrutiny and suspicion regarding his most recent actions which include the performing of Exterminatus
on no less than three planets, two of which were recruiting worlds for the Blood Ravens, and his rather strange and unorthodox,
if temporary, alliances with the Eldar of Biel Tan, concerning the mysterious Farseer Macha.
is the captain of the 9th Company and his company resides together with the 3rd Company on the Litany of Fury. Ulantus
does not hide his doubts about Captain Angelos but he is too good a soldier to let them get in the way. Ulantus commanded
the Battle Barge above the world of Lorn V and personally went to fight off the Necron forces who attempted a boarding action
against the ship.
Captain Davian Thule
-Thule was the Captain of the 5th Company during the Kronus campaign, he
was given overall command of the Blood Ravens forces and even had a task force of Grey Knights seconded to him. Thule had overall command of 3 companies including elements from the
1st Company. But his orders brought him into conflict with the Imperial Guard on Kronus. His ultimate fate is unknown.
-Sergeant of the scouts assigned to the training and recruitment outpost on Rahe's Paradise
under the command of Father Librarian Jonas. Caleb lost his men to the Eldar scouting for Sergeant Tanthius but Caleb managed
to return and report the discovery.
Scout Sergeant Coralis
-Sergeant in command of the scouts of the 3rd Company.
Captain Angelos assigned him to his command squad directly from the scout squad. However during the fighting on Tartarus Coralis
suffered terrible injuries at the hands of Warp Spider Aspect Warriors from the Biel Tan craftworld. However with Bionics
to replace his damaged limbs and organs Coralis returned to service in a short ammount of time.
-Tanthius is the sergeant of the Terminator squad attatched to the 3rd Company. Fiercly loyal to Gabriel, Tanthius
is a stalwart leader in the company and a symbol of power around which his comrades rally in battle. It was Tanthius who led
the charge many times in the fighting on Tartarus and Rahe's Paradise. Tanthius also managed
to fight and defeat a powerful Dark Reaper Exarch in single combat. Scout Ckrius owes his initiation into the chapter to Tanthius
who took a liking ot the young sergeant on Tartarus and made sure to keep the young guardsmen alive.
is a trusted sergeant of the 9th Company. Who took the Strike Cruiser the Rage of Erudition to find out what was going
on with Captain Angelos when he was delayed on Rahe's Paradise. Saulh commanded his ship
in conjunction with the Ravenous Spirit in fighting the Dark Eldar Dragon Ship above Rahe's Paradise.
-Kohath has command of the Strike Cruiser the Ravenous Spirit, a trusted naval tactician,
Kohath nevertheless does not enjoy fighting in space, like all Astartes he preferes to get to grips with his foe. However
Kohath accepts his assignment dutifully despite whatever objections he may have.
Other Noteworthy Figures
-Prathios was the chaplain of the 3rd Company. Prathios was Captain Angelos' closest friend and mentor and the
only one who he could confide in after Isador's betrayal and death. Prathios was mortally wounded on Rahe's Paradise
however and interred in a sarcophagi. He may eventually be placed in a Dreadnaught to fight the Emperor's enemies once more.
For the time being however he remains in the Apothecarion aboard the Ravenous Spirit.
-A young Guardsmen
on Tartarus, Ckrius was quickly given command of a Storm Trooper squad for his steadfastness and skill. The young sergeant
gained the attention of Sergeant Tanthius of the Blood Ravens when he was sent to aid the chapter in storming a corrupted
cathedral and fight the Alpha Legion as they tried to recover the key that would unlock the Maledictum and release the Daemon
Blood Ravens on the Tabletop
-The Blood Ravens traits are an interesting combination
that if taken, can lead to a very tactically minded and expencive army. Tactical squads can gain the special rules, Infiltrate,
True Grit and Counter Attack, making them well rounded and flexible units that can infiltrate into position and lay down heavy
fire. Their defensive abilities mean that it is almost better to be charged than to charge the enemy, a foe thinking to quickly
erase Blood Ravens Tactical marines in close combat will usually find it a harder task than first thought.
Ravens also cannot bring to bear a proliferation of heavy armor meaning heavy support choices are limited and Devastators
come out as an obvious choice here, as they too can gain Infiltration. Fast Attack choices may seem not so important with
so much of the army having access to infiltration, however mobility after deployment is still important and Land Speeders,
Bikes and Assault Marines form mobile reserves in most Blood Ravens forces.
Commanders in a Blood Ravens army almost
always include a Librarian, if not as the primary HQ, then as a secondary one, but they are almost always present. However
other than that there is no real guidline for the Blood Ravens command structure.