The Black Consuls was a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter that was a Second Founding Successor or Primogenitor Chapter of the Ultramarines. An ancient tome of knowledge known as the Mythos Angelica Mortis lists it as one of the 20 Chapters of Astartes founded to make up the Astartes Praeses -- an ever-vigilant Space Marine task force assigned to guard the regions of the Imperium surrounding the Eye of Terror.
The members of this Chapter were stern and uncompromising, with a history of xenophobia and unusually brutal combat tactics for an Ultramarines Successor Chapter. The Black Consuls are recorded as having been annihilated at the Siege of Goddeth Hive in 455.M41 by elements of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion. Their current status is unknown, though Imperial records indicate that a force of Black Consuls is still operating in the Jericho Reach as part of the Achilus Crusade.
Yet, it is very rare indeed for every one of any Chapter's Battle-Brothers to be present at any given battle, even if their homeworld is under attack. Individual squads may be detached to perform special duties or serve as part of a composite Space Marine force attached to a larger Imperial Crusade. Individual officers may be undertaking consular duties, conversing with their opposite numbers in brother Chapters in order to coordinate larger scale strategy. Some Battle-Brothers may be undertaking duty in the Deathwatch, while in the case of the Black Consuls and other Primogenitors, individuals or small groups may be engaged on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Primarch on Macragge.
Even if the main force of the Black Consuls Chapter was, as accounts suggest, destroyed, some Battle-Brothers undoubtedly survive, scattered across the Imperium on a myriad of duties. If and when their Chapter's fate is confirmed, these Battle-Brothers will be faced with a choice. If their numbers are sufficient and the resources exist, they may decide to focus all of their efforts on rebuilding their numbers, offering up what remains of their own gene-seed to begin the long process of rebuilding. Or, if too few brethren remain, they may decide to go their separate ways, serving the Imperium as long as they can as in organisations such as the Deathwatch.
The Black Consuls is a Primogenitor Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines. The Black Consuls was the 77th Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion, and it was founded by their first Chapter Master Arrias Cordos, also known as the Bane of Lorgar. As true sons of Roboute Guilliman, they have appeared numerous times throughout the long history of the Imperium, ever ready to stand in defiance of the enemies of the Emperor. The Battle-Brothers of this Chapter are known to have made regular pilgrimages to the Shrine of the Primarch on Macragge, and several past Black Consuls Chapter Masters were counted amongst the most valued counselors to the Master of Macragge. The Black Consuls fought alongside their Progenitor Chapter on hundreds of occasions as well as other Ultramarines Primogenitor Chapters and many other Space Marine units.
The Black Consuls was originally a fleet-based Chapter whose space-borne fortress-monastery, the Noctis Obscurum, was destroyed nearly a millennium ago by Dark Eldar saboteurs. With the destruction of their star fort, the Black Consuls relocated groundside to the planet Cyclopia and avenged their dishonour in a 300-standard-year xenocidal purge that spanned fifteen star systems and collapsed an entire sub-dimension of the Webway. The Black Consuls' last recorded action was during the Siege of Goddeth Hive in 455.M41, where the Chapter was believed to have been annihilated when Chaos Space Marines of the Iron Warriors Traitor Legion detonated the hive's nucleonic stacks and vaporised much of the northern continent.
A definitive account of the Chapter's disappearance has yet to be chronicled, although the White Consuls suspect their brother Chapter may have been entirely wiped out by a substantial force of Word Bearers Traitor Marines. Even if the bulk of the Black Consuls was annihilated, some of the Chapter's Battle-Brothers undoubtedly survived, scattered across the width and breadth of the Imperium while assigned to various detached duties. It is a rare occasion when the entirety of a Chapter is present at any given battle, even if their homeworld comes under attack. It is likely that individual Battle-Brothers or entire squads of Black Consuls were seconded to other Chapters or to the Deathwatch or were even on pilgrimage at the Shrine of the Primarch on Macragge when the rest of their Chapter met its fate.
Imperial records show that a small force of Black Consuls was operating within the Jericho Reach following the launch of the Achilus Crusade in 777.M41. Due to the vagaries of Warp travel and communication, it took several solar decades for word of the Chapter's reported demise to reach those of its Astartes serving in this isolated sector of the galaxy's Eastern Fringe. Upon hearing the foreboding news, the remaining Black Consuls took council and every Battle-Brother was allowed to speak. When they concluded the gathering they agreed that a single Astartes of their number would be despatched to investigate the truth of the Chapter's fate and bring back word to his brothers. The remainder of the Black Consuls would continue to fight on, fulfilling their binding oaths to serve the Crusade until the messenger returned. Nearly 250 standard years have passed, and still no word has reached the remaining Black Consuls as to the true fate of their Chapter. The Black Consuls continue to fight the enemies of Mankind within the Jericho Reach, even as their numbers dwindle due to attrition.
While they have yet to learn of their Chapter's true fate, many Battle-Brothers of the Black Consuls are resigned to the fact that they may very well be the last of their Chapter. These warriors will fight to the death, determined that the history of their Chapter will be one that ends in glorious battle. But since the events that occurred centuries ago during the Siege of Goddeth Hive, there have been unconfirmed reports of Black Consul's Strike Cruisers launching sudden, deadly interventions across the Segmentum Pacificus that have been filtering back to Terra. The Black Consuls' official status currently remains unknown.
- Fate of the 4th Company (651.M37) - A Battle-Brother of the Deathwatch bearing no Chapter device arrived at Watch Fortress Erioch, located within the Jericho Reach. This Astartes called himself Hail, and was the lone Space Marine occupant of the rapid strike vessel Unquiet Angel. Hail claimed that he had learned the location of the remains of the vanished 4th Company of the Black Consuls Chapter, a force lost in its entirety a millennium before. Hail sought the aid of the Deathwatch Space Marines of Watch Fortress Erioch in seeking them out. Following a meeting of the Chamber of Vigilance, a Kill-team joined Hail aboard the Unquiet Angel. Hail lead the Kill-team to a massive Space Hulk drifting in open space at the edge of the Phaegis System. The Kill-team boarded the vessel and succeeded in recovering the banner of the Black Consuls 4th Company and a number of other Black Consuls relics, despite being assaulted by scores of Warp Ghouls and other foul creatures. In gratitude for the eventual recovery of their fellow Battle-Brothers' remains some decades later after a conveyor ship despatched from Erioch reached their homeworld, the Black Consuls renewed their oaths to the Deathwatch and pledged to send three times the previous number of Astartes into the Deathwatch's service than the Chapter had before.
- Baliaris Majoris (Unknown Date.M38) - The Black Consuls fought on Baliaris Majoris against the worldwide uprising of a powerful Chaos Cult. In the end they proved victorious and burned the heretic prophetess Constanze as justified retribution.
- By the Dying Light (477.M39) - Daemonic servants of Tzeentch created Warp rifts inside each of the twin suns of Haark. Soon, the leering faces upon the stars drove the entire population of the system insane, but the Daemons' incessant bickering triggered a duel-nova event. With the fate of the system now measured in hours, the Black Consuls Chapter sent in Strike Force Ultra Varnor to recover sacred relics from the time of their Founding. Captain Varnor and his brothers braved both Daemons and madmen in the burning cities of Haark to collect the relics, narrowly escaping into the void only moments before the stars died spectacularly.
- Siege of Goddeth Hive (455.M41) - The Black Consuls were recorded as being annihilated at the Siege of Goddeth Hive. The Chapter was believed to have been exterminated when Chaos Space Marines of the Iron Warriors detonated the hive city's nucleonic stacks and vaporised much of the northern continent. Their current status remains unknown. According to Chapter Master Xydias of the White Consuls, the Black Consuls were indeed wiped out during this campaign, and a Word Bearers Traitor Legion Infernus-class Battleship known as the Crucius Maledictus was known to have been present during their destruction, making this Traitor Legion the primary culprit in the Black Consuls' demise.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Black Consuls are well known as the least compromising of the Primogenitors and brook no deviation from the tenets laid down in their Primarch's epic tome. Their stern approach to the Codex makes them worthy inheritors of Roboute Guilliman's legacy. The Black Consuls were notable for having the entire Chapter commence campaigns with a massed Drop Pod landing. Such an assault is a thing of terrible beauty, with a hundred or more Drop Pods descending like screaming harbingers of doom.
Notable Black Consuls
- Chapter Master Arrias Cordos - Arrias Cordos was the founder of the Black Consuls.
- Captain Estrus - Captain of the Black Consuls' 3rd Company, Estrus led the combined forces of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Companies against the rebels of Hive Thuram on Suracto.
- Captain Vanem - Captain of the Black Consuls' 4th Company.
- Chaplain Mortem - Chaplain of the Black Consuls.
- Apothecary Mordinian - Apothecary of the Black Consuls.
- Standard Bearer Aeorum - Standard Bearer of the Black Consuls' 3rd Company.
- Codicier Levi - Librarian of the Black Consuls.
- Lorgar's Bane - Lorgar's Bane was a master-crafted Astartes Power Axe wielded by the Black Consuls first Chapter Master Arrias Cordos. Some believe that the relic was lost during the disastrous campaign of the Black Consuls on the Hive World of Yearsli, where the majority of the Black Consuls were killed. Over 100 Chaos Space Marines from the Word Bearers Traitor Legion have met their end at the razor edge of this Power Axe, named Lorgar's Bane for its bloody work. It resides for the moment in the vaults of the Deathwatch's Watch Fortress Erioch, but as the stories of the Word Bearers assault on the Black Consuls spread, some wonder if it will be brought against its ancient foes once more.
The Black Consuls primarily wear black Power Armour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is gold. The white squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) is indicated on the right shoulder pauldron. A black Roman numeral, indicating squad number, is stenciled in the centre of it. The Black Consuls proudly adhere to the tenets of the Codex Astartes by wearing their company colour on their shoulder pauldron trim, i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc. Black Consuls Sergeants sport red helms per ancient tradition.
The Black Consuls' Chapter Badge is the profile of a large, white, left-facing eagle's head centred on a field of black. The style of the image is the same used by the White Consuls, although the colour scheme is completely different.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 15
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 110
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 8, 32, 99
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 8, 24
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pp. 9, 41
- Warhammer 40,000: Dataslate - Space Marines Strike Force Ultra (Digital Edition)
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pg. 129
- Deathwatch: Know No Fear (RPG), pg. 7
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pg. 57
- How to Paint Space Marines (2004)
- Insignium Astartes, pg. 60
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