8th Founding (mid-34th Millennium)
Cobalt blue and pale white, trimmed in gold and silver
The Angels Revenant is a Codex Astartes-compliant Loyalist Space Marine Chapter and a Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines. This Chapter's origins can be traced to the 8th Founding which allegedly occurred during the mid-34th Millennium, undertaken amid the dark times of the Nova Terra Interregnum, when the Imperium of Man had been split into twin interstellar empires. Ultimately, the Angels Revenant met their fate with the rise of the Necron Maynarkh Dynasty within the Orpheus Sector of the Segmentum Tempestus in 991.M41. It is believed that no more than a few hundred Angels Revenant survived the Necron assault upon their Chapter homeworld. The only survivors were those members of the Chapter who were far from the Orephus Sector on Crusade.
Noble if aloof by reputation even for the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes, this Chapter of the 8th Founding, and of the proud lineage of the Ultramarines, spent much of its long history on Crusade throughout the western Imperium, in the Segmentum Tempestus. After the successful prosecution of the Orphean War of Faith in 903-922.M39, the sector rebuilt under its surviving Imperial Commanders and, by special dispensation, many regiments of the Imperial Guard and the survivors of Saint Marduk's pilgrimage to the sector were allowed to settle its worlds, either laying down their arms or integrating fully into the local Planetary Defence Forces, greatly strengthening them. The minor colony world of Libethra, upon which Saint Marduk had shown his favour, was converted to a Shrine World of the Ecclesiarchy in honour of Marduk and became a cemetery for the war's millions of glorious and blessed dead. Overlordship of the Shrine World was given over to the Angels Revenant as their domain, which until that time had been a fleet-based Chapter. The Angels Revenant also accepted the sacred charge of protecting Libethra's reliquaries and cerements, while the Space Marines' permanent residence on the world further strengthened the defences of the surrounding Orpheus Sector.
As stern supporters of the Ecclesiarchy and the Imperial Creed, the bounty of the Orphean branch of the Adeptus Ministorum was given freely to the construction of the Chapter's fortress-monastery, while the hardy inhabitants of the Feral World of Patara formed the basis of new generations of Neophytes for the Chapter. While completely autonomous of the Orpheus Sector's Imperial authority, the Angels Revenant served as its protectors, guarding the pilgrimage routes of the Cold Veil, while their Chapter starships plied tirelessly the borders of the Hesod Nebula and the Barren Stars, hunting down and slaughtering xenos corsairs and marauders that had long made these trackless regions their lair.
In 990.M41, the violent Warp turbulence that had held sway across the western division of the Orpheus Sector for more than three centuries was rapidly and suddenly extinguished by a shockwave in the Immaterium, leaving only the Howling Vortex Warp Rift remaining. All across the sector, Astropaths, psykers and witches were subjected to sudden and inexplicable deaths or were hopelessly mind-burned. Reports of mass-hysteria, unexplained murders, disappearances and mania increased exponentially across the worlds of the Cold Veil and the Drucillan Sub-sector. The Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition's Conclave Orpheus, based on the world of Apollyon, issued an order for maximum vigilance to all Imperial authorities, believing the Warp disturbance and its attendant phenomena were but a precursor to a major incursion into the sector. Within a year, Astropaths reeled against a tangled, overlapping cacophony of telepathic distress calls and the echoing of psychic screams of the dying, distorted to near incomprehensibility and folded in overlapping time. Riding on this tide were other, far stranger, calls; blazing pillars of energy spiking into the Aether on the edge of the Veiled Region.
Pulsing like beacons these fountainheads of power spilled off howling gales of radiation and charged particle storms that seemed free to transcend the gulfs of distance between stars in mere moments. These flaring storms of energy danced like static discharge along Warp routes and clung in ghostly cold fire to the hulls of starships. The seething electromagnetic contagion they brought with them whispered in unknown tongues that invaded Vox channels and supposedly sealed and secure communications webs, the fading echoes of agonised screams following in their wake. With it one phrase in Imperial Low Gothic repeated again and again: "Maynarkh comes." Havoc followed wherever the malign signal went, as machinery was plagued with sudden failure and malfunction, Servitors were driven mad and Cogitators were locked in terminal loops, their Machine Spirits shocked into stuttering apoplexy.
Yet at this time the true nature of the threat remained unknown. Imperial authorities had no definite evidence as to the face of the enemy, which remained hidden. Astropathic messages sent towards the edgeward worlds were swallowed up unanswered, while any vessel that attempted to pass a line of darkness that stretched across the sector in a curving scimitar-like arc from Tlaloc to Epirus simply did not return. Perhaps most disquieting of all was the silence of Libethra, the Chapter homeworld of the Angels Revenant Chapter, who had long served as the sector's stalwart defenders and most powerful of warriors. For Libethra also to be struck silent by this mysterious doom sent a splinter of cold panic into the hearts of the Orphean Imperial Commanders that they dared not acknowledge. But it was this factor more than any other that threw them into a policy of panicked preparatory defence rather than responding with blind counter-aggression as they might have.
Of the final fate of the Angels Revenant Space Marine Chapter, little can be said for sure. Libethra, where a hundred basilicas had been raised to honour the blessed dead and where the Angels Revenant Chapter had served as sentinels for the entire sector, was now a black sea of shifting ash, riven by lurid red lava -- all traces of the Imperium's hand obliterated. Such scattered and fragmentary evidence that has been uncovered about their final hour suggest unsurprisingly that they fought to the last against the overwhelming forces unleashed against them, as the Libethra System was found littered with the radiation-ghosts of deadly void combat and spreading clouds of micro-wreckage. Furthermore, the ancient hull of at least one of the vast Necron Tomb Ships that were later sighted above the world of Amarah during the Orphean War against the Necrons of the Maynarkh Dynasty held fresh scars consistent with the unique signature of Space Marine bombardment cannon strikes at extreme close range. Indeed it may be the case that such was the resistance the Angels Revenant put up that the Necron invaders resorted to breaking through Libethra's crust and unleashing the planet's molten core to seal their fate conclusively. When news of the Chapter's martyrdom reached the Ecclesiarchy's Synod Tempestus, a Segmentum-wide day of requiem was decreed, the bells of a thousand worlds across the Segmentum Tempestus tolling to mark the passing of the Angels Revenant. It is now thought that no more than a few hundred Angels Revenant perhaps survive, and only those who were away from their Chapter homeworld on Crusade when the Necron assault came upon Libethra.
- Dark Marches Crusade (610-759.M36) - In the wake of the Age of Apostasy, the Segmentum Tempestus saw a resurgence in power and renaissance of expansion, known to Imperial historians as the "Rising Storm". With the blessing of Terra, the Segmentum authorities launched a number of Crusades and campaigns to destroy lingering threats within their domain, and pushed back and fortified the borders of the Imperium itself. The most successful of these was the Dark Marches Crusade, commanded by Lord Tempestus Hal Orpheus, a lineal descendant of the Rogue Trader house that had first explored the region's sinister reaches millennia previously. The Angels Revenant provided four companies of Astartes to take part in the massive Imperial Crusade.
- Orphean War of Faith (903-922.M39) - With the military and ruling classes set against each other in bloody internecine conflict, and the Orpheus Sector itself balanced on the edge of the abyss, a ramshackle fleet arrived at the sector capital world of Amarah bringing with it unexpected aid -- a crusade force of Imperial zealots, militia, Imperial Guardsmen and pilgrims driven into martial fervour by the preaching of the ecstatic visions of the Arch-Confessor Marduk of Helvamon. Marduk declared a War of Faith for the souls of the Orpheus Sector, claiming the God-Emperor Himself had warned him of a great and terrible threat to all Mankind. Further reinforcements in the form of the Angels Revenant Space Marine Chapter in its entirety, as well as the Adeptus Sororitas Order of the Valorous Heart and the Order of the Black Sepulchre, and a taskforce from the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition strengthened the Imperial cause. The Imperial forces were also able to count upon countless volunteers from the citizenry of those worlds as yet untrammelled by war, who had been stirred up by Marduk's religious oratory. Thus began the Orphean War of Faith, a bitter conflict that would last for nearly twenty standard years and saw a full fifth of the Orpheus Sector's population slain by its end, and countless more ruined, maimed and displaced.
- The Bane of Saint Marduk (921.M39) - Despite a successful Imperial victory of the Orphean War of Faith with nearly all the major Traitor-held worlds either reconquered or laid to waste, one world withstood: the Chaos stronghold of Colkasth. This Hive World had been fortified and corrupted into a living hell, its population used as raw materials by the Warpsmiths of the Death Mongers to fashion flesh-weapons and mutilated and insane cannon-fodder to defend their prize. Despite continuous pressure by the forces of the Arch-Confessor Marduk, the Imperials were unable to reconquer the recalcitrant world. It is known from the last signals received from the warzone that Marduk's forces had been making headway, matching the fury of the Warp-tainted defenders of Colkasth with faith and fire, and had succeeded in forcing multiple landing zones on the planet's surface, when Astropathic communications with the besieging Imperial fleet abruptly ceased and the alarm was raised. The Angels Revenant Strike Cruiser Intercessor was the first to respond to the raised alarm. It was attacked and severely damaged on its arrival at the system's edge by two small but extremely powerful voidcraft of unknown (presumed xenos) origin, now recognised as of Necron manufacture. The Space Marine vessel was damaged before destroying one attacker and driving the other off. Those on the near crippled Intercessor witnessed a great star battle erupting across the inner system on their long range Auguries, but were themselves unable to intervene. By the time they limped to Colkasth, the unknown xenos attacking force had departed, leaving a twisted field of burning hulks drifting in orbit around the world, its fortresses and cities shattered and seething with unearthly radioactive fire below. There were, however, scattered knots of survivors amid the wreckage and fallout. Those that bore the stigmata of Chaos and treachery the Angels Revenant put to the sword, while those few survivors who had fought for the Emperor, wounded and often catatonic with shock, were carried away to salvation before a final ash-black winter claimed the world. Colksath was forever afterwards to be named Saint Markduk's Bane, as the martyred Arch-Confessor himself was soon afterwards beatified as an Imperial Saint by the Holy Synod of the Ecclesiarchy.
The Angels Revenant Chapter conformed closely to the tenants of the Codex Astartes in organisation and wargear like its parent Chapter, the Ultramarines. Due to its long history of independent Crusade operations, where resupply was uncertain, the Chapter preferred to rely on the more common patterns of Adeptus Astartes wargear, and placed as high a value on restoring and repairing the wargear of its fallen as it did in venerating its dead. This served to provide a close spiritual link between successive generations of the Chapter's warriors. The Chapter was known to maintain a venerated core of Mark IV Maximus Pattern relic Power Armour dating back to the days of the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy throughout its long history.
The following represents the only known warship of the Angels Revenant Chapter fleet. As a former Fleet-based Chapter, the Angels Revenant would have possessed many more vessels of various classes and types.
- Intercessor (Strike Cruiser) - The Intercessor was the Angels Revenant voidship that witnessed the destruction of the Imperial fleet assaulting the Chaos-held world of Colkasth, now known as Saint Marduk's Bane. The Intercessor was damaged in void combat with what are now recognised as Necron vessels.
The Angels Revenant Chapter colours were dark cobalt blue with gold-trimmed shoulder plates coloured a pale white. There was also some white on the power pack and silver on the soles of their boots. The black squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) was indicated on the right shoulder guard. A Roman numeral stenciled in white was centred on it, designating the Astartes' squad number.
The Angels Revenant's Chapter badge was the face of a white skull, missing its lower jaw, wreathed in a burning black flame, centred on a field of pale white.
- Chapter Approved 2001 - Second Book of the Astronomican, pg. 117
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 17-19, 21-23, 28-29, 32-33