Second Founding (31st Millennium)
Black, White and Red
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. Masters of careful ambush, the Black Guard deploy massed batteries of Thunderfire Cannons and Vindicators to annihilate their enemies in an instant. 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. As a result, much of the Raven Guard's genetic material had to come from undamaged gene-stocks that were tithed to the Adeptus Mechanicus and stored on Terra during the Second Founding, and their rate of recruitment has ever since been reduced. This Chapter believes in the timely application of overwhelming firepower to defeat their foes. Masters of the careful ambush, the Black Guard deploy massed batteries of Thunderfire Cannons and Vindicators to annihilate their enemies in an instant.
- 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 counter-attack, leading to the complete destruction of the Tyranid battle force. Black Guard casualties were minimal.
The Black Guard's Chapter colours are white, with black colouring the helm, shoulder guards and arms. The Aquila or Imperialis on the breastplate is red. Company is designated by the colour of the right knee guard. The red coloured squad specialty symbol on the right shoulder guard designate operational specialty (Veteran, Tactical, Devastator, or Assault). The white coloured gothic numeral stenciled on the squad specialty symbol indicates squad number. The colour of the right knee guard indicates what Company an individual Battle-Brother belongs to, in accordance with the dictates of the Codex Astartes.
The Black Guard's Chapter badge is a red circle, outlined in white, centered on a field of black, and bisected diagonally by a white lightning bolt.
Notable Black Guards
- 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.
- 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
- Imperial Armour Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 104
- Games Workshop Liber Apocalyptica - Forces of the Space Marines (Article)