The Black Guard is a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter and a rare Raven Guard Successor Chapter of the Second Founding. This Chapter believes in the timely application of overwhelming firepower to defeat their foes. Master of careful ambush, the Black Guard deploys massed batteries of Thunderfire Cannons and Vindicators to annihilate its enemies in an instant.
Overkill or half-measures are not concepts which the Black Guard understand, and they are known to leave vast, cratered ruins in the wake of their many victories. Much of this Chapter's history has been lost to the passage of time.
Following the Warmaster Horus' defeat at the end of the Horus Heresy, the Raven Guard Primarch Corvus Corax welcomed the decision to split the Space Marine Legions into Chapters, for he knew that the Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman's vision for protecting the future of the Imperium was necessary. It was a future the Raven Guard would face alone, however, for Corax disappeared, consumed by the tragic deeds he had committed to save his Legion. When the Raven Guard Legion was partitioned at the end of the Heresy, three new Chapters were created.
These were the Black Guard, the Revilers and the Raptors. A handful of centuries after Corax's disappearance, the gene-seed of the Raven Guard began to deteriorate, perhaps a side effect of accelerated gene-harvesting techniques employed in ages past. Several organs unique to Space Marines no longer functioned as they should, and the Apothecaries' endeavours to compensate for the genetic damage met only with failure.
- Doom Gorge (990.M41) - The Black Guard's 3rd Company defended the world of Doom Gorge against a splinter fleet of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken. The Tyranids were wiped out by the massed battery of the Chapter's Thunderfire Cannons, under the command of the Black Guard's Master of the Forge Germanicus. Under his expert control the battery annihilated three successive waves of Tyranid bio-creatures as they attempted to force their way through the narrow gorge. Once the Tyranid attack had been broken, the battery provided supporting fire for the Black Guard's counterattack, leading to the complete destruction of the Tyranid battle force. Black Guard casualties were minimal.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Black Guard believes in the timely application of overwhelming firepower to defeat its foes. Master of the careful ambush, the Black Guard deploys massed batteries of Thunderfire Cannons and Vindicators to annihilate its enemies in an instant.
Notable Black Guards
- Chapter Master Gherith Arendi - Commander of Corax's bodyguard, the Shadow Wardens, during the Horus Heresy, Gherith Arendi was long believed slain during the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V, but ultimately rejoined the Legion after the liberation of Scarato. Unaware of the events that had transpired back on Kiavahr and in the Ravendelve, Arendi was met with much distrust and scrutiny but was eventually cleared of all suspicion. A dark secret however remained, a secret he kept to himself, until confronted by Corax himself -- he had callously used other Loyalist survivors of the Salamanders and Iron Hands as bait to seize a shuttle and thus escape the surface of Istvaan V. Through rumours he had heard and suspicions he harboured, Arendi led the Raven Guard to the prison world of Carandiru, which would become known as the "Day of Vengeance." Disobeying his initial orders, Arendi decided to divert his complement of warriors to rush to Corax's aid, who had been captured by the Traitors' new secret weapons, the genetically-altered Legionaries known as the "New Men", who were created by the Emperor's Children Chief Apothecary Fabius. Arendi's timely arrival probably saved the Primarch's life, a favour the Ravenlord returned immediately when he spared Arendi the pain of being crushed to death by the last survivor of the "New Men." Having fought side-by-side in battle and saved each other's lives, a new relationship of trust was established between the Primarch and his former bodyguard. Arendi was later made the commander of the newly commissioned Black Guard, a Raven Guard unit which was formed from the Shadow Wardens, and commanded those forces during the Battle of Yarant. He would go on to lead the newly-formed Black Guard Space Marine Chapter as its first Master, following the sundering of the Space Marine Legions into separate Chapters during the Second Founding in 021.M31.
- Master of the Forge Germanicus - Germanicus is the Black Guard's Master of the Forge who led the successful defence of the world of Doom Gorge from an attack by a splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Kraken in 990.M41.
The Black Guard primarily wears white Power Armour. The helm, shoulder pauldrons, greaves and gauntlets are black. The Aquila or Imperialis worn on the chest guard is red. A red squad specialty symbol on the right shoulder pauldron (Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran) designates operational specialty. A white Low Gothic numeral is stenciled on the centre of the squad specialty symbol which indicates squad number. The colour of the right poleyn (knee guard) indicates which company an individual Battle-Brother belongs to, in accordance with the dictates of the Codex Astartes -- i.e., White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc.
The Black Guard's Chapter badge is a white circlet outlining a red roundlet which is bisected diagonally by a white lightning bolt. This is centred on a field of black.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet), pg. 16
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 53
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 138
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 8, 149
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 8
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 47
- Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 22
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 9
- The Gathering Storm - Book One - Fall of Cadia (7th Edition), pg. 99
- Imperial Armour Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 104
- Liber Apocalyptica: Forces of the Space Marines (PDF), pg. 40
- Ravenlord (Novella) by Gav Thorpe
- Corax (Anthology), "Weregeld," by Gav Thorpe
- Games Workshop Liber Apocalyptica - Forces of the Space Marines (Article) (Dead Link)