"Knowledge is power, guard it well."
Unknown, believed to be relatively early
Fleet-based Chapter, but its primary recruitment grounds lie in the Sub-sector Aurelia
Dark Red, Black and White
- "Follow the plan! The traitors shall fall; the Emperor granted us a vision of triumph."
- — Blood Ravens Librarian Ibrahim, at the Battle of Gravitas
The Blood Ravens are a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of unknown origins and Founding. The origins of the Blood Ravens are shrouded in mystery and are belived to be tied to a dark truth related to the Horus Heresy. This elusive Chapter has always been drawn to the pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of ancient lore and produces an unusually high number of Librarians among its ranks as a high proportion of Neophytes develop psychic abilities soon after their implantation with the Blood Ravens' gene-seed organs. The powerful Blood Ravens Librarians guide the Chapter, enabling them to fight with a precision and calculated fury made possible by their ability to predict and thwart their enemy's strategies and tactics before they come to pass. These arcane powers have led to great speculation and some worry about the true nature and origins of this Chapter in the rest of the Imperium of Man.
Though the Blood Ravens have a long and glorious history of service to the Emperor, their exact origins and earliest days in the service of the Imperium are obscured and uncertain. Not even their Chapter Master or Librarians can say with any certainty when the Blood Ravens were Founded or from which of the First Founding Space Marine Legions the Chapter is descended. The Chapter's written records in its Librarium only go back to the 37th Millennium, though vague references of their service in the litanies of other Chapters and Imperial Adepta prove that they existed and fought the enemies of the Emperor for many centuries before then. However, the records mentioned are either missing or locked away under an Inquisitorial Seal. The gaps in the Imperial records concerning their origins 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 and Chapter lore are lost along with those kept by the Inquisition on the Chapter is a suspicious indicator that suggests that a concerted effort was made by operatives within many Imperial Adepta, including the Inquisition and the Blood Ravens themselves, to eliminate almost all trace of the Blood Ravens' past from Imperial records. Why this erasure was carried out remains 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 Harlequin. The Blood Ravens prize the pursuit of knowledge greatly, but ironically the Astartes of this Chapter know little about their own origins or the earliest centuries of their service to the Emperor of Mankind.
At some point in the Chapter's history during their early campaigns in the Gothic Sector they took immense casualties in combat with the Forces of Chaos.The Blood Ravens' Chapter Master and Master of Sanctity fell covering the retreat of the Chapter's 1st Company. With heavy casualties and no strong replacements among the Chapter's officers to replace their leader, the Chief Librarian Azariah Vidya stepped forth and took command of the Chapter, becoming the first in the Blood Ravens to hold the dual mantle of Chapter Master and Chief Librarian, an arrangement that would soon become a tradition for the Blood Ravens. Known by his Battle-Brothers as the Great Father, Azariah Vidya used his psychic power and traditional methods of intelligence to learn his enemies' habits in minute detail and then launch devastating attacks against their greatest vulnerabilities.
Azariah Vidya led the rebuilding of the Chapter after its losses and the current organisation 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. This is a tendency of the Chapter that catches the attention of some individuals in the Imperium, and it is a cultural quirk that is not necessarily considered a good thing amongst the higher levels of the Imperial Adepta and the Inquisition. There is little information available, even among the Chapter’s legends, concerning its leadership prior to the Great Father assuming the mantle of Chapter Master. Many scholars among the Adeptus Administratum believe that it was his legendary role as both Chief Librarian and Chapter Master that has led the Blood Ravens to value Librarians so highly amongst their Battle-Brothers. Some Imperial savants even go so far as to suggest that Blood Ravens Aspirants with these traits are deliberately sought out, as one might represent a true heir to Vidya’s legend. Others argue that he may simply have set certain traditions in motion so that the Chapter will always be able to rely upon a stalwart contingent of psychically gifted members.
A tome allegedly penned by Azariah Vidya himself called the Apocrypha of the Un-Founding postulates that the Blood Ravens are a Chapter dear to the soul of the Emperor himself, and that their history was hidden by agents close to the throne, to keep them secret from the Emperor's other sons but not from the Blood Ravens themselves. The Apocrypha argues that searching for these lost answers is not heretical as long as the knowledge is kept within the Chapter itself.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Blood Ravens is the unusually high concentration of powerful Librarians within their Chapter. The Blood Ravens Chapter possesses far more psykers than is common among other Astartes, and most of them develop their abilities after they have been implanted with the Blood Ravens gene-seed organs. It is unknown if this is due to the nature of the Chapter's gene-seed, but it is not an uncommon thought among the Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus that there may be some Chaotic taint within the Blood Ravens' gene-seed. It is said in hushed tones among the Blood Ravens that there is a special squad made up of only Librarians that works secretly within the Chapter. The Librarians of the Blood Ravens are exceptionally powerful, but whether this is due to the actions of the Great Father or is simply a result of the reverence the Blood Ravens hold him in, is unknown.
- Fall of the Black Fortress of Vespa (ca. 500.M41) - Captain Davian Thule, later commander of the Chapter's 4th Company, first came to prominence when he slew the Chaos Witch Morganna in the Black Fortress of Vespa.
- Cleansing of Obscurus (Unknown Date.M41) - Captain Apollo Diomedes had commanded the Blood Ravens elite 1st Company for almost two standard centuries with honour and skill when his most famous victory came on the ravaged Penal World of Obscurus. On the same day, he and his Battle-Brothers defeated the Ork Warboss Manstompa Megakilla and the Chaos Sorcerer Anuphans the Cruel. After that victory Diomedes was elevated to the command of the Chapter Master's Honour Guard, becoming Azariah Kyras' most public agent amongst the Chapter's often widely dispersed Astartes.
- Cyrene Incident (Date Unknown.M41) - For many centuries, the Blood Ravens used the planet Cyrene as one of their primary bases for recruitment. The verdant world had a prosperous agrarian society and a population that enthusiastically embraced a military lifestyle. Its inhabitants showed an unswerving loyalty to the Imperium. The capabilities of its well-respected soldiery were only exceeded by the competence of the several Imperial Guard regiments that the planet had tithed to the Imperium. The world’s only known failing was a propensity for a higher than normal number of mutant and psyker births. Shortly after attaining the rank of Captain and command over the Chapter's 3rd Company, Gabriel Angelos returned to the planet to begin the Chapter’s Blood Trials -- their system for selection of new Initiates. Centuries prior, Angelos had, in fact, been recruited from this very world. Tragically, during the course of those trials, Angelos abruptly cut matters short, and then sent a secretive message to the Inquisition. While the contents of that message remain unknown, the results are abundantly clear. A few months later a fleet of Imperial Navy and Inquisition craft travelled to the system and eliminated it by writ of Exterminatus.
- Tartarus Campaign (Unknown Date.M41) - Captain Gabriel Angelos, Commander of the Watch and of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company, as well as the commander of a Blood Ravens task force including the Battle Barge Litany of Fury and the Strike Cruiser Ravenous Spirit, was one of the most skilled officers within his Chapter. Angelos uncovered a deep stain of Chaotic taint on his homeworld of Cyrene, one of the main recruiting planets for the Chapter. Angelos was forced to call on the aid of the Inquisition to perform a gruesome Exterminatus action on his homeworld before its corruption could spread elsewhere in the Imperium. Shortly following the destruction of Cyrene, the 3rd Company and its task force were sent to the aid of the Imperial forces on the Civilised World of Tartarus, which had been invaded by an Ork WAAAGH!. Over the course of the campaign the Blood Ravens uncovered 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 either fell to Chaos or was slain by the Orks and very few civilians escaped from Tartarus. In truth, the Ork invasion had been only a diversion. A warband of Chaos Space Marines from the Alpha Legion, led by the Chaos Lord Baal and the Chaos Sorcerer Sindri Myr had used the cover of the Ork WAAAGH! to make planetfall undetected on the world and begin their own operations in pursuit of an ancient and very powerful Chaotic artefact present on the world known as the Maledictum. Gabriel Angelos, whose own intuition indicated that there was more to the situation on Tartarus than met the eye, disregarded the warnings of the Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Mordecai Toth and continued to hunt down the hidden forces on the planet. Finally Gabriel discovered that a force of Eldar from the Biel-Tan Craftworld had come to reseal a powerful Daemon in the Chaotic artefact known as the Maledictum that had been hidden on the planet, underneath its capital city. However the Blood Ravens broke the back of the Eldar forces, slaying the Avatar of Khaine 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 Tartarus was not the many Battle-Brothers lost, but the treachery of Librarian Isador Akios, who had been an initiate with Gabriel. He 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 beginning. 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 sheer amounts of bloodshed on the planet which served as a sacrifice that empowered the daemon's awakening. 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 recruit 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 at the hands of the Eldar's Warp Spiders, however he survived and returned to service with the aid of numerous bionic replacements.
- The Dark Crusade (Kronus Campaign) (Unknown Date.M41) - The terrible campaign known as the Dark Crusade began when the Blood Ravens uncovered artefacts from their unknown past in the frozen wastes of North Vandea on the former Imperial Civilised World of Kronus, a planet in the Eastern Fringe that had recently been seized by the Tau Empire. Under orders from their Chapter Master, three Blood Ravens companies were despatched to cleanse the world of the xenos forces present so that the Chapter might further explore the ruins and learn more about their lost origins. However, after Imperial survey teams discovered the existence of a Hellstorm Cannon, a weapon from an ancient Imperator-class Titan, the Aquila Ignis, which had been lost on Kronus during the Horus Heresy, General Lukas Alexander of the Imperial Guard was named Governor Militant and ordered to take the planet back for the Emperor. This order directly contradicted the Blood Ravens' intentions to maintain the secrecy of whatever they discovered about their origins on the world and ultimately led the two Imperial forces to clash in a bloody contest. Forces from the Word Bearers Traitor Legion under the command of the Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor, the WAAAGH! of the Ork Warlord Gorgutz, the Tau forces under Shas'O Kais and Eldar from Craftworld Biel-tan under Farseer Taldeer were also present. The Blood Ravens forces, which included the 1st, 2nd and 4th Companies, were led by Captain Davian Thule of the 4th Company, and the Battle Barge Litany of Fury was present as well. The Blood Ravens also successfully managed to defeat all of the other factions present on the world until only they and their fellow Imperial servants of the Imperial Guard under the command of General Lukas Alexander remained. The Imperial Guard, having set their stronghold near a Hellstorm Cannon that had once been a part of an Imperial Emperor-class Titan that had fallen during the Horus Heresy, had claimed as their forward operating headquarters a city that they had wrested back from the Tau after their landing and renamed Victory Bay, fully believing that they could regain control of the planet for the Imperium, even if that meant facing Space Marines. The Blood Ravens, however, were able to fight their way through the heavily-defended Imperial stronghold at Victory Bay, and eventually took control of the Hellstorm Cannon itself and sparked a revolution amongst dissident Imperial troops who refused to fight Astartes after their Commissar was killed. The Blood Ravens added these troops to their own forces and fought their way through the heavy defences held by Lukas Alexander, and were able to end the Lord Governor's reign on Kronus. In the after battle report given by Thule, it was mentioned that the Blood Ravens held Alexander in the highest regard, especially since he had stayed absolutely loyal to his orders and had defended Victory Bay with skill and honour. Despite his loss, Alexander and his troops were commended and honoured for their bravery in standing up to the Blood Ravens' assault. The one exception to this was the treacherous 5th Company, who were all executed without mercy for betraying their regiment, even though they had joined forces with the Space Marines after Anton Gebbett, the Commissar attached to their company, was killed. Kronus was also a Necron Tomb World and the Necrons were stirred to wakefulness by the battles raging on the surface of the planet far above their subterranean stasis tombs. The Necrons, the original rulers of the Kronus, emerged from their stasis tombs in the Thur'abis Plateau while the battles between the other factions raged and began to retake the planet region by region, harvesting all sentient lifeforms they encountered. Having defeated the Imperial Guard to secure control of the planet, the Blood Ravens launched a furious assault upon the heart Necrons' subterranean complex in the Thur'abis Plateau. Led by Captain Thule, the Blood Ravens descended into the caverns beneath the plateau to discover a huge network of catacombs hidden within, holding innumerable amounts of Necron warriors. Despite the dark and fearsome location, the Blood Ravens fought their way through the catacombs, destroying Necron beacons as they worked their way into a key structural point inside. Captain Thule placed a powerful explosive device which caused the catacombs to collapse, thus ending the Necron threat on Kronus, though it is possible that the Necrons were merely slowed in their reemergence by the collapse, and not destroyed outright. After the events on Kronus Davian Thule was questioned by Inquisitor Mordecai Toth for his attack against other sevants of the Emperor, but Toth found no concrete evidence that the Space Marine captain's actions had been heretical or driven by Chaotic corruption. Thule had once been considered one of the greatest Astartes of the Chapter. His brilliant command of the Kronus Campaign and the victory he won there for the Blood Ravens should have vaulted him even higher into the inner circle of Blood Raven leadership, but instead lead to a falling out with the Blood Ravens Chapter Master at that time, Azariah Kyras. Many within the Chapter have speculated that Thule's fall from grace was the result of his willingness to vilify the Imperial Guardsmen slain by the Blood Ravens on Kronus, a fact that was noticed during the Inquisition's investigation of the matter. There are darker rumours, though, of secrets discovered on Kronus -- secrets that fundamentlly shook Thule's faith in the Blood Ravens and caused him to voluntarily retreat from participation in the Chapter's politics. After Kronus was taken by the Blood Ravens, Thule supposedly destroyed the ancient relics of the Chapter's history he had recovered there beneath the ruins of an ancoent Blood Ravens' fortress-monastery.
- Kaurava Campaign (Unknown Date.M41) - The campaign for the Kaurava System saw the Blood Ravens pitted against the Imperial Guard stationed in the system and a Holy Crusade of the Order of the Sacred Rose of the Adepta Sororitas. Despite the presence of more than enough enemies in the form of the Orks of WAAAGH! Gorgutz, Eldar of the Craftworld Ulthwe, the Dark Eldar of the Kabal of the Black Heart, Chaos Space Marines of the Alpha Legion under the command of the Khornate Chaos Champion Firaeveus Carron, and the Tau, the Imperial forces present in the system wound up engaged in brutal infighting. To make matters worse, the Necrons had been slumbering under the sands of Kaurava III, a Necron Tomb World, for millions of years and were now led by the newly awakened Necron Lord of Kaurava. The campaign proved to be a disaster for the Blood Ravens, though how events unfolded remains uncertain in Imperial records. The Blood Ravens established their presence in the Kaurava System on the second world, Kaurava II. Recognising the strength and potential of the local inhabitants of the inhospitable mountains in which the Blood Ravens established themselves, the Chapter decided to examine the possibility of recruiting from these fairly barbaric inhabitants of the system's backwater. Unfortunately for the Blood Ravens, Captain Indrick Boreale was lost along with all 5 of the Blood Raven companies under his command, essentially costing the Chapter half of its manpower in a single campaign. As a result, the Blood Ravens desperately needed to step up their recruiting process in Sub-sector Aurelia, their only remaining recruiting ground for Neophytes who desperately needed to make good the Chapter's losses during the disastrous Kaurava Campaign. The survivors of the Kaurava Campaign in the Chapter would speak of it rarely, if at all, and viewed the campaign as a terrible mistake that deeply depleted the Chapter's strength.
- Targa Campaign (Unknown Date. M41) - Captain Gabriel Angelos of the 3rd Company delivered a crushing defeat to the Tau in the Targa System of the Eastern Fringes, which the wily xenos had sought to annex to the Tau Empire.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Blood Ravens deployed a portion of their forces in defence of the crucial Imperial Fortress World of Cadia during Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade. Captain Davian Thule and his 4th Company particularly distinguished themselves during this campaign.
- First Aurelian Crusade (Unknown Date.M41) - The Sub-sector Aurelia of the Korianis Sector had long been deeply important to the enigmatic Blood Ravens Chapter, as both a source of new recruits for the fleet-based Chapter and a major source of technology, weapons and other manufactured items drawn from its capital, the Hive World of Meridian. At an unknown time late in the 41st Millennium, an unnamed Blood Ravens Force Commander and Sergeant Tarkus launched a deep strike onto the desert Feudal World of Calderis to aid Captain Davian Thule and his company of Blood Ravens Astartes in engaging a force of Orks who are threatening the people of Calderis. The Blood Ravens Neophytes drawn from the Aurelia Sub-sector were needed more than ever after the Blood Ravens suffered terrible losses during the campaign conducted by the Chapter in the Kaurava System. As the Blood Ravens strike force on Calderis drove away the Orks they were confronted by the Mekboy Badzappa and his Wartrukk. Although the Mek escaped, the Astartes collapsed the mine through which the Orks had been assaulting the human settlement on Calderis and claimed victory. The Blood Ravens next attacked from the Strike Cruiser Armageddon into a hamlet on Calderis where Scout Sergeant Cyrus was waiting for them to help defend against another Ork assault. The strike force managed to fight their way to the Blood Raven commanding the defence of the hamlet, Sergeant Avitus, rescue him and save the hamlet from the Orks. The Blood Ravens then received word that the Orks had attacked two more key locations on Calderis and they understood that someone with more tactical skill than a normal Greenskin was leading them. The first attack was led by a Stormboy Nob named Skykilla and the second by the Warboss Gutrencha. After their defeat of the Orks, the Space Marines extracted information from Skykilla and Gutrencha and discovered that both had visited the Felhammer Mine recently. They also learned that Mek Badzappa was there as well. Sergeant Cyrus remained onboard the Armageddon to provide technical support as the strike force moved to drive the remaining Orks from Calderis. When the strike force of Astartes entered the mine they discovered an Eldar Warp Spider Exarch and his retinue were already there but they vanished before they could be engaged just as the Orks attacked. The Astartes were rescued from Ork gunners by Sergeant Thaddeus. They also found Badzappa and his mob under attack by an Eldar Warlock and a company of Guardians. Although the Astartes slew the Warlock, the wily Ork Mek escaped once again. As the Warlock died, he spoke of the existence of a greater foe that threatened all of the Sub-sector, but the Blood Ravens remained unconcerned by what they took to be the random babbling of the member of a xenos tace known for their duplicity. The Blood Ravens next travelled to the jungled Feral World of Typhon Primaris to eliminate the Eldar activity that had been detected on that world. A Warp Spider Exarch was stirring up the Feral Orks of the Evil Sunz Clan located in Typhon's jungles into revolt and he and his force had to be put down. This Exarch mentioned nothing of the so-called "greater foe" once confronted by the Blood Ravens but Thule asked the Eldar to return to Calderis as Mek Badzappa was launching an attack against the capital of the desert planet, and its citizens were reporting plants mutating and small purple creatures killing livestock. The Space Marines returned to Calderis and finally killed the Ork Mek, but they were soon attacked by Tyranids drawn from a probable splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Leviathan who had entered Sub-sector Aurelia intent on devouring all of its worlds. Thule was mortally wounded by a Tyranid Warrior and Techmarine Martellus lead the Blood Ravens on Calderis back to safety after they destroyed the Tyranid attack force. The Space Marines returned to Typhon, leaving Apothecary Gordian in charge of caring for the badly wounded Davian Thule. The Blood Ravens killed the Eldar Ranger Nemerian, who has been stirring up trouble for the Imperium amongst the Feral Orks, and return to Calderis to kill the Tyranid Warrior who had mortally wounded Captain Thule. After this the Blood Ravens were faced with three primary objectives to complete: gathering a sample of bio-toxin from the Tyranids that could be used to create a genetic poison against the splinter Hive Fleet assaulting Sub-sector Aurelia, securing data from an ancient Astronomical Array from the Dark Age of technology located on Typhon Primaris that could pinpoint a critical weakness in the approaching Tyranid Hive Fleet, and defending the great hive city of Angel Forge on the Hive World of Meridian. Securing the Astronomic Array granted the Blood Ravens the abilities to unleash orbital bombardments and deep-strikes, defending Angel Forge allowed Sergeant Tarkus to gain a suit of Terminator Armour, and gathering the Tyranid bio-toxin added a Dreadnought to the Blood Ravens strike force, which was actually the revived Captain Davian Thule, his body having been interred within the cybernetic coffin of the Dreadnought. Meridian was the target of constant Eldar attacks and it was ultimately revealed that the Farseer Idranel of Craftworld Ulthwe had been planning to lure the entire splinter Tyranid Hive Fleet to Meridian using the world's human population as bait. Then the Farseer planned to destroy it to eliminate the Tyranid threat to his Craftworld but at the expense of destroying a vital source of manufacturing for the Blood Ravens. Upon completion of all three objectives, the Tyranid bio-toxin was ready for delivery. However, the Navigators of the Blood Ravens Battle Barge Litany of Fury, which had been making its way to the aid of the Aurelian Sub-sector for some time, were psionically assaulted by the Tyranid Hive Mind which placed the vessel in grave danger of becoming lost in the Warp. This effectively eliminated any potential reinforcements for the Aurelian Force Commander Aramas -- but the Hive Mind had been weakened by this exertion and sent its Hive Fleet to consume Typhon's bio-mass so that it might replenish itself. The Blood Ravens' strike team deployed to Typhon and administered the engineered bio-toxin to the Hive Mind through its feeder tendrils. In the space battle high above the jungle world, the Armageddon was destroyed and Apothecary Gordian was killed. As the genetic poison took effect within the Hive Fleet's bioships, all appeared lost as the strike team possessed no means of retreat and massive waves of Tyranid creatures were preparing to attack. Suddenly, Captain Gabriel Angelos and an entire company of Blood Ravens landed on the battlefield from the recently arrived Litany of Fury and protected the beleaguered Aurelian Blood Ravens strike force from the oncoming swarms of Tyranids. Angelos himself joined the Aurelian Force Commander Aramas' strike force and his aid proved decisive in killing the Hive Tyrant Alpha who was controlling the swarm. With the Hive Tyrant Alpha dead, the Tyranid swarms became undirected by the Hive Mind and turned on each other even as the bioships in orbit fell ill and died. The Blood Ravens had won the day and the Sub-sector Aurelia and its billions of people had been saved from complete annhilation by the Great Devourer.
- Second Aurelian Crusade (Unknown Date. M41) - Just when all seemed to be returning to normal in the Sub-sector Aurelia of the Korianis Sector, the Warp opened up and spat out the former capital world of the Sub-sector and ancient homeworld of the Blood Ravens Chapter of Space Marines, the Ice World of Aurelia. Home to the Blood Ravens' ancient fortress-monastery of Selenon and many loyal citizens of the Imperium, the planet was corrupted by a Greater Daemon of Nurgle known as Ulkair. Chapter Master Moriah had attempted to destroy the daemon but failed, and the weakened daemon was imprisoned in the depths of Keep Selenon by Azariah Kyras, then a Librarian of the Blood Ravens. Yet the daemon's influence proved too strong and eventually the shaken Kyras fell to the taint of Chaos. Aurelia itself was swallowed by the Warp and its existence in the sub-sector that had been named after it was all but forgotten. Yet the ice-encased world returned to realspace in the late 41st Millennium bearing the foul hordes of Chaos, a warband of Chaos Space Marines from the Black Legion led by the Chaos Lord Araghast the Pillager and the former Word Bearers Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor, who had been resurrected by the will of the Dark Gods so that he might seek the destruction of the Blood Ravens, now as a member of the Black Legion. Captain Gabriel Angelos and Commander Aramus rallied the Blood Ravens Astartes of the 3rd and 5th Company to face this threat, but no sooner did they join combat then the Eldar and the ever present Orks rose up to cause trouble along with the heretical soldiery of the Hive World of Meridian's noble House Vandis. Before long the entire Sub-sector was embroiled in fresh combat against multiple foes with the Forces of Chaos causing havoc at will. As the Blood Ravens scrambled to respond to these threats even more dire circumstances came to light as the Space Hulk Judgment of Carrion returned to the Sub-sector. Determined to recover valuable intelligence and ancient advanced technology from the Space Hulk to aid them against the foul servants of Chaos, the Blood Ravens under the command of Force Commander Aramus assaulted the Judgment of Carrion only to discover the bodies of fallen Blood Ravens from the 5th Company, formerly members of an expedition led aboard the Space Hulk by Apothecary Galan. As the forces of Aramus investigated the Hulk they were shocked to find evidence of Galan's corruption by the powers of Chaos, but the truth of the matter was far more insidious. As Aramus and Captain Angelos desperately fought to keep control of the Sub-sector and unlock the secrets of both the Judgment of Carrion and the lost planet Aurelia, they were interrupted by the arrival of Apollo Diomedes, the Captain of the Blood Ravens Honour Guard and the right hand of the Blood Ravens' Chapter Master and Chief Librarian Azariah Kyras. Diomedes ordered all Blood Ravens forces to stand down, an order both Angelos and Aramus promptly ignored. As Diomedes got increasingly sterner in his orders Aramus and Angelos continued to resist the forces of the Black Legion, with whom the Chapter had recently avoided open conflict for an unknown reason. Eventually Aramus discovered the Chaotic corruption of Techmarine Martellus, formerly presumed to have died in the crash-landing of his Thunderhawk on the world of Typhon Primaris but who Aramus had fought to recover upon discovering his continued survival. Unfortunately Martellus survived only with the corrupting help of Chaos, as the Techmarine became a lackey of the tainted Apothecary Galan and his patrons within the Chapter. As his investigations continued, Aramus discovered to his horror that the source of corruption was none other than Chapter Master Kyras himself, who had fallen under the sway of the Greater Daemon Ulkair on Aurelia and spread his taint to Galan aboard the Space Hulk Judgment of Carrion. Kyras escaped the doomed planet Aurelia aboard the Space Hulk and had returned to the Chapter with his dark seed of corruption when he met with Galan's expedition. Daring open conflict with Captain Diomedes' forces in their base-camp on Calderis, Aramus attacked Apothecary Galan, slaying the Traitor and his tainted bodyguard of Terminators, a battle which ended in a confrontation with Captain Diomedes himself. Reluctant to accept the corruption of his political patron within the Chapter, Diomedes found himself torn but let Aramus and his comrades leave Calderis and continue their operations against the Black Legion warband of Araghast the Pillager. The Battle of Aurelia culminated in the death of Eliphas the Inheritor, who seized control of the warband by betraying Araghast and leaving him to the mercies of the Blood Ravens earlier in the fighting. Despite Eliphas' machinations, Aramus was able to re-seal the Daemon Ulkair in its icy tomb within Keep Selenon on Aurelia. Even with this victory, Chapter Master Kyras declared Captain Gabriel Angelos a Renegade and Traitor to the Chapter and Sergeant Aramus found himself faced with the knowledge that the Chapter Master was a corrupt agent of the Chaos Gods. Diomedes and Aramus returned to the Chapter to bide their time while Angelos fled Kyras' wrath. When the time was right the 3rd Company was determined to return and join with Force Commander Aramus and Diomedes to cleanse the Chapter of the insidious taint that lay like a malignant cancer at its core.
- Third Aurelian Crusade (Unknown Date.M41) - This third and final campaign in the Aurelian Sub-sector took place ten years after the banishment of Ulkair. Despite the banishment of the Greater Daemon of Nurgle and the defeat of the Black Legion, the planets in the Aurelian Sub-sector remained gripped by constant warfare and bloodshed. More Black Legion forces and Chaos Cults arose to cause havok throughout the sub-sector, while Imperial forces struggled with the feral remnants of the Tyranid invasion, and Orks continued to ravage at the fringes of every world. The Eldar still raided from the shadows, whispering of the remains of a long-fallen Craftworld. The Imperium had reached the limits of its patience. In a bold effort to restore control over the sub-sector, Imperial Segmentum Command sent several regiments of the Cadian Shock Troops of the Imperial Guard to the sub-sector, where they quickly took control of its Planetary Defence Forces. The bulk of these forces had been deployed to Typhon Primaris, a world whose dense jungles provided sanctuary to both aliens and Heretics alike. However, progress was slow, and the Imperium had prepared a more permanent solution for the sub-sector and its citizens: each and every world would be scourged of life, subjected to the fires of Exterminatus. But the recently arrived Imperial forces actually did more harm than good, as hundreds of Guardsmen fell victim to the whispered temptations of the Ruinous Powers, causing dissension within the ranks. Having uncovered heresy in the highest ranks of his Chapter, Blood Ravens Captain Gabriel Angelos had been branded as a Traitor by his corrupt Chapter Master Azariah Kyras. Unwilling to spill the blood of his brother Space Marines, Gabriel had gone into hiding. There, he gathered what few friends and allies he could, readying himself to oppose the Chaotic taint that consumed his brothers. Unable to confront Azariah Kyras directly, the now-Renegade Captain Angelos was forced to rely on those men still loyal to him to help prove that their current Chapter Master was corrupted by Chaos and a Traitor. Unfortunately for Angelos, Captain Diomedes still believed that Chapter Master Kyras was loyal. During the beginning of the campaign, Diomedes, Techmarine Martellus and a respected Veteran Space Marine Sergeant known only as "The Ancient," fought their way across Typhon to root out and eventually destroy Eliphas the Inheritor.
The Blood Ravens identify themselves as a Chapter that stays closely within the criteria demanded by the Codex Astartes. By the standards of someone who has little interaction with Space Marines, this is a reasonably accurate description. However, compared to many of the more conservative Chapters -- particularly the Successor Chapters of the Ultramarines and Imperial Fists Legions -- the Blood Ravens exhibit a significant level of variation from the standard procedures as dictated by the Codex.
The Blood Ravens' basic company organisation is consistent with the directives of the Codex. The Blood Ravens maintain ten standard companies. Each of these companies maintains the status, combat specialisations, and training protocols as dictated per the Codex. This is in spite of the fact that the Chapter is fleet-based, so companies may be forced to separate due to extended assignments aboard vessels directed to separate portions of the Imperium. The most sweeping change within the Blood Ravens' company leadership is that all company commanders take a member of the Librarium on as a trusted advisor, who aids in preparation for all battles. In some instances, these Librarians even go on to assume the title of company commander in the event of battlefield losses.
The Blood Ravens Chapter is known for having a much higher number of Librarians than most Chapters. It is not uncommon for multiple Librarians to be attached to companies, Librarians to be in charge of outposts and starships and even companies when necessary, such as Librarian-Captain Lucius, the former Captain of the 5th Company. The 1st Company of the Blood Ravens includes several squads made up entirely of Librarians, which 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 dual 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 a large number of Librarians in the ranks of the Blood Ravens, they are an integral part of the Chapter. For instance, the 9th Company had no less than four Librarians attached to it, though with the recent deaths of Brothers Bherald and Rhamah that number dropped to two. Other Librarians of note in the Chapter are Isador Akios, the former Librarian of the 3rd Company before he turned Traitor, Father Jonas, who was previously stationed on the Chapter's recruiting world of Rahe's Paradise and the two other 9th Company Librarians, Zhaphel and Korinth.
The Blood Ravens once maintained a very politically motivated command structure, which included the likes of the mysterious Chapter Master and Chief Librarian Azariah Kyras. More visible envoys of Kyras were Astartes like Captain Apollo Diomedes, Commander of the Chapter's Honour Guard who often acted as Azariah Kyras' strong right hand. Gabriel Angelos, the Captain of the 3rd Company, was the only member of the Chapter’s command elements to view Kyras’ return with mistrust after he had spent centuries trapped within the Warp on the world of Aurelia. Gabriel quietly and suspiciously investigated the Chapter Master at every opportunity, ultimately exposing the Chapter Master as a Heretic and Traitor, when he confirmed links between the fallen Battle-Brother and the Traitor Legions. However, the truth was discovered too late. By the time Captain Angelos was prepared to reveal his findings to the Chapter, a large number of its Space Marines were already corrupted by Chaos. Instead, Kyras declared Angelos to be the Traitor and initiated a vicious hunt for the 3rd Company captain and his forces. A bloody Chapter civil war ensued, one that engulfed the entire Aurelian Sub-sector at its peak. Kyras eventually openly declared his loyalty to Chaos and ascended to Daemon Princedom. The daemon was slain, but at a great cost to Angelos' forces. Angelos ascended to become the new and present Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens after a bloody purge and many of the Chapter’s unusual practices continue to be re-examined. Since the ascension of Gabriel Angelos to the role of Chapter Master, the Blood Ravens have become intensely focused on the identification and elimination of the Traitor Legions and those allied with the Warp. In several instances, Imperial pleas for assistance with other threats have gone unanswered so that the Blood Ravens could continue to pursue their own agenda. It is too early to tell if this is a long-term change of the Chapter’s outlook or simply a shorter term strategy necessitated by extraordinary circumstances.
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Blood Ravens recruit from many different worlds, and recruitment, training and implantation of gene-seed organs in Aspirants can be done by nearly every capital ship in the Blood Ravens fleet. The reserve of the Chapter's gene-seed is spread throughout all of its primary starships, stored in the Implantation Chambers aboard each vessel. These chambers are the most protected on any Blood Ravens starship and will be defended by the Blood Ravens with their lives if need be, for these chambers contain the essence of the Chapter's future. The Chapter is based out of the Battle-Barge Omnis Arcanum that serves as the mobile fortress-monastery of the Chapter. It is from the Omnis Arcanum that the Blood Ravens Chapter Master directs the efforts of the Chapter's companies and where the great Librarium Sanctorium of the Chapter stores all the knowledge gathered by the Chapter in the pursuit of its duties. Like many Astartes Chapters, the Blood Ravens maintain an Honour Guard for the Chapter Master. The Honor Guard under Azariah Kyras was led by Captain Apollo Diomedes, the physical embodiment of the Chapter Master's will.
The Blood Ravens have suffered heavy losses in recent times during the Tartarus Campaign, the Dark Crusade, the Kaurava Campaign, the first two Aurelian Crusades and the Inquisition's recent purge of the Aurelian Sub-sector, all of which has led to the loss of a number of the Chapter's recruiting worlds. It will take some time to rebuild the Chapter's numbers from such losses and with every recruiting world that has been ravaged, the Blood Ravens' future prospects have become that much darker.
- Ordo Psykana - The Ordo Psykana (also known as the Secret Order of Psykana), is an elite body within the Blood Ravens Chapter that consists of the most powerful of the Chapter's Librarians and armies of Servitors that embark upon missions to recover archeotech, ancient relics of the Chapter, and other lost human knowledge.
- 2nd Company - During the Kronus Campaign the 2nd Company and attached elements from some of the other companies of the Chapter found themselves in battle with the undead constructs known as the Necrons, for beneath the surface of the planet they encountered a large Necron army in a legendary battle beneath the Thur'Abis Plateau. They eventually emerged victorious after their Company Commander, Captain Davian Thule successfully planted a bomb deep within the catacombs and detonated it, collapsing the caverns right on top of the still emerging Necron army. The Second Company later added the Necron skull to their heraldry in reference to this glorious victory and adopted the motto "Victory Over Death."
- 5th Company, the 'Fated' - The Blood Ravens 5th Company is known as the "Fated", and though the reasons for this are unclear, possibly harking back to an incident from M38, which was recorded in the Chapter's Librarium, but never spoken of openly. The 5th Company of that era are recorded to have been lost to the warp, the great Bell of Lost Souls tolling a hundred times for each lost battle-brother, but the truth of the matter is far darker. It is whispered that one of the company's Librarians was seduced by the lure of the Ruinous Powers and turned his brethren to evil, though of course this notion is dismissed by the Chapter today. No records exist as to the ultimate fate of this company or whether such a traitor was ever brought to justice. The Blood Ravens have a especial hatred for those whom turn from the Emperor's light, and to this day, the battle-brothers of this company wear badges of shame and penitence upon their armour, though none will reveal the reasons for doing so.
Blood Ravens Librarians
Like their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Blood Ravens also maintain a Librarium of potent psykers who are highly talented and trained to master the power of the Warp at the highest levels. Each Chapter selects its Librarians in its own way, either from seed worlds, as it does with the bulk of its Initiates, or from the ranks of gifted psykers brought to the Scholastica Psykana of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. The Librarians of the Chapter also fulfill a number of more secretive and specialised roles, including stewardship of the great Librarium of the Omnis Arcanum, and the Secret Orders of Psykana who maintain the Sanctorium Arcanum aboard the Battle-Barge Litany of Fury. The Omnis Arcanum serves as the Blood Raven's mobile fortress-monastery as it is the largest Battle-Barge within the Chapter's fleet. The Chapter's Librarium Sanctorum contains countless scrolls, tombs, and computational engines that store the Chapter’s records, roll of honour, and the ancient -- and often forbidden -- lore that they have recovered during their ongoing research. Blood Ravens Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter:
- Battle Sight - Blood Ravens Librarians can pierce the fog of war with a thought, casting their mind far and wide across a battlefield, world, or even star system for hints and clues to the movements and deployments of their enemies that may have gone undetected by more conventional technological means. A Librarian may use this psychic power in two different ways, choosing its application before he manifests it. The first application of this power is to gain an immediate tactical edge in combat and is most useful when facing immediate battlefield threats. Used in this way, Battle Sight reveals the position of all enemies within range that have hostile intentions toward the Librarian (i.e. intend to do the Librarian harm). This does not track the movements of these enemies or their actions, but simply informs the Librarian of their presence, direction, and distance from his current location. In addition to revealing foes, this power allows the Librarian to see through cover and concealment when making attacks against enemies revealed by Battle Sight. The second use of this power is to gain a broad strategic overview of an area and information on how better to complete a mission, or overcome a foe.
- Truth Seeker - Blood Ravens Librarians spend much of their lives seeking knowledge and looking into the origins of their Chapter by sifting through the secrets of the past. Truth Seeker allows a Librarian to find details and clues that he might have otherwise missed, drawing his attention to areas or objects of interest.
- Warp Whispers - The Librarian can listen to the babblings of the Warp and perceive the secrets of its denizens, sifting through the noise and maddening chatter to find grains of truth. It is a practise not without peril, however, and many Librarians dare not even attempt such follies, though those of the Blood Ravens know that true knowledge can never be gained without a degree of danger.
The Blood Ravens, like many fleet based chapters, recruit 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. However recent events have seen the Blood Ravens lose many of these recruiting worlds. The known recruiting worlds and their status' are as follows:
- Calderis - Calderis is a Desert World sparsely populated by wandering bands of nomadic humans. These hardy peoples used to provide recruits to the Blood Ravens but the Waaagh of Warboss Gorgrim drove the Feral Orks on the planet to sweep across the sands in a tidal wave of destruction. Only a scant few of the planets inhabitants escaped aboard chartered craft or with the Blood Ravens, the rest were left to die horribly and violently to the Orks. As with Typhon Primaris it is unclear what will be done with Caldaris, when Gorgrim has gathered enough Ork Boyz he will move on leaving the world barren, the Feral Ork populace decimated and the survivors gone, the humans having either fled or died. The planet might be re-colonized at some point but the culture of Calderis and the majority of it's people are no more.
- Cyrene - An old recruiting world of the Chapter, Cyrene is located in the Aurelia Sub-sector but was cleansed by an Exterminatus action when Captain Gabriel Angelos discovered a Chaos taint on the planet and requested an Inquisitorial purge. The exact nature of the taint and the reasons Angelos deemed Exterminatus necessary, are, like many things with the Blood Ravens, a mystery.
- Meridian - The Hive World of Meridian is the capital world of the Aurelia Sub-sector and now the only populated world of the sub-sector as well, since Cyrene, Calderis and Typhon Primaris were wiped out due to he actions of the Forces of Chaos, the Orks and Tyranids, respectively. Meridian itself came perilously close to succumbing to the Tyranids as well. Only the miraculous arrival of Captain Gabriel Angelos and the Blood Ravens' 3rd and 9th Companies stopped the Tyranids from overrunning the planet. The initial defenders under Sergeant Aramus were nearly wiped out during that campaign. However Meridian is only a marginal Blood Ravens recruiting world, as the first recruits it had provided in centuries to the Chapter were Sergeant Thaddeus and Sergeant Aramus. However, Sergeant Thaddeus did locate two likely young boys during his mission deep behind Tyranid lines and they have since shown promise as Aspirants for the Chapter.
- Rahe's Paradise - Rahe's Paradise is yet another recruiting world of the Blood Ravens to have been lost recently, the planet having been discovered to be an ancient Necron Tomb World. The Blood Ravens campaign against the Necrons and the Eldar on the planet cost them dearly but did result in a handfull of initiates to the Chapter though the world is now lost.
- Trontiux III - Trontiux III was one of the Chapter's remaining principle recruiting worlds. Trontiux III was recently visited by the Litany of Fury following the Tartarus Campaign.
- Typhon Primaris - Another of the 4 inhabited worlds in the Aurelia Sub-sector, Typhon Primaris was a jungle planet that provided feral but strong recruits to the Chapter, however when Tyranids invaded the sub-sector their taint reached Typhon Primaris quickly and festered in the depths of the jungle unnoticed, by the time the Blood Ravens arrived the planet was in the final stages of Tyranid Bio-Consumption and saving the planet is no longer a realistic option. It is unclear what will be done with Typhon Primaris but most likely it will face the cleansing fires of Exterminatus.
It was initially implied that the Blood Ravens came from the world of Cyrene. However, in truth, they have no official homeworld. Instead, their fortress-monastery is situated onboard the battle barge Omnis Arcanum, which is also home to their Librarium Sanctorum. The rest of the Chapter serves onboard the fleet of strike cruisers and other battle barges that were assigned to the Blood Ravens long ago when the Chapter was founded.
Most of the Blood Ravens' Neophytes come from the major worlds of the Sub-sector Aurelia, including the desert Feudal World of Calderis, the jungle Feral World of Typhon Primaris and the nearby Hive World of Meridian, but none of the recruits from Meridian had passed the Blood Trials to become Blood Ravens Neophytes in several centuries. Thaddeus is the first Space Marine to come from Meridian in several centuries, having been recruited from the hiver street gangs he lead there by Captain Davian Thule. It is repeatedly said that the loss of Calderis would cripple and eventually kill the Blood Ravens Chapter as they had no other way to recruit Neophytes, and the defense of Sub-sector Aurelia from the Tyranid splinter Hive Fleet was considered important enough to mobilize both the Blood Raven 3rd and 4th Companies.
The 3rd Company of the Blood Ravens commonly sought Aspirants from the planet of Cyrene (also in Sub-sector Aurelia) until Captain Gabriel Angelos had it destroyed with an Exterminatus order. The taint of Chaos had been found in the planet's population, a taint so terrible that only Exterminatus could prevent the contagion from spreading to other Imperial worlds in the region.
The Blood Ravens and the Inquisition
The Blood Ravens have an interesting relationship with the Inquisition. Blood Ravens Librarians can be found in the Death Watch and the Chapter appears to also maintain unusually close relations with the Grey Knights of the Ordo Malleus. It would appear that the Grey Knights, psykers all, feel an affinity for the Blood Ravens and trust the Chapter with the knowledge of their existence. The Grey Knights attached a task force to assist the Blood Ravens during the Dark Crusade on the world of Kronus for reasons unknown. It is interesting to note that the Grey Knights worked closely with the Blood Ravens and not with the other Imperial forces on the planet,and indeed the Blood Ravens came into conflict at that time with the forces of the Imperial Guard due to the unflinching and conflicting orders of Governor Militant Lukas Alexander and Captain Davian Thule.
It should be noted that following the first two Aurelian Crusades, the Blood Ravens' home Sub-sector Aurelia came under an increasingly powerful assault by the Forces of Chaos and a splinter of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan. With increasing evidence that large portions of the Blood Ravens Chapter had been corrupted by Chaos, the Ordo Hereticus of the Inquisition commandeered several regiments of the Imperial Guard under the command of the Inquisitor Adrastia and sought to launch an Exterminatus campaign against all the inhabited worlds in the Aurelian Sub-sector. As a result of the heroics of Captain Gabriel Angelos and those Blood Ravens who remained loyal to the Emperor, the taint of Chaos upon the Chapter was purged and much of the sub-sector was saved from destruction. However, a deep and lingeing suspicion still remains between the Blood Ravens and the Inquisition, and the Ordo Hereticus will continue to cast a wary eye upon the Blood Ravens and their new Chapter Master, Gabriel Angelos, for a long time to come.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Blood Ravens believe by studying one's enemey, one can predict their movements before launching any attacks, rather than charging in like an uncontrolled berserker or using spontaneous lightning assaults. This has caused friction between other, more headstrong chapters. Those whom prefer a clear-cut approach to battle, and in particular one chapter, have branded the Blood Ravens as cowards for their overly-methodical approach to waging warfare. But this is an unfair assessment, for once the Blood Ravens take to the field of battle, the fight with righteous fury and zeal the equal of any other Astartes Chapters.
Once decided upon, the Chapter never deviates from the agreed upon plan of strategy, from its initial planning stages to its final execution, executing it with ruthless efficiency. The thoroughness of their planning and thoroughness is such that every eventuality is planned for, thanks to their Librarians' powerful divinations. Their uncanny abilities to predict enemy attacks or invasions has helped them warn or respond well before other Imperial organisations have even been made aware of them. More puritanical figures within the Inquisition have whispered in dark tones of the sad tale of the Thousand Sons Legion and their fallen Primarch Magnus the Red and his ultimate fate. A path trod to damnation that began with the abilities to predict such dire warnings.
The Blood Ravens have a deep belief in the Emperor, perhaps because they do not know who their Father Primarch is, which leads them to give praise to the Emperor with a fervour greater than almost any other chapter. Like most Astartes, they venerate him not as a God, but as the mightiest of men, a belief that often times brings them into conflict with the Ecclesiarchy. 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 motto is "knowledge is power, guard it well," a maxim held firmly by all the Chapter's Librarians and central to the core beliefs of the Chapter. As their quest for knowledge echoes many tenets of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Chapter maintains close ties with the Priesthood of Mars. Often times the Blood Ravens will join forces with Mechanicus Explorator fleets in their search for archeotech and lost knowledge in the unknown quarters of the galaxy.
The Blood Ravens’ greatest mystery concerns the history and reasons behind their Founding. A large part of the Chapter’s ongoing quest to recover lost information is in the fervent hopes of discovering their origins. Because of their unusually high number of Battle-Brothers who possess psychic talents, the Adeptus Mechanicus has tested their gene-seed for mutation or Chaotic contamination at a substantially more frequent interval than that normally required. Even through the course of these countless investigations, the Blood Ravens' gene-seed has consistently shown a high level of stability and purity. At the same time, it is unusual that it shows no consistent traits that could be used to link it to the genetic lineage of any of the Primarchs. Thus far, there has been little evidence of mutation, and nothing that points to their gene-seed as the source of the Blood Ravens' disproportionate number of psykers or the unusual potency of the psychic powers they exhibit.
There has been much speculation regarding which of the First Founding Chapters the Blood Ravens' gene-seed is derived from. Both the Blood Angels and Raven Guard have been suggested, but these are likely to be based on nothing more than the similarity of names between the Chapters. Other persistent rumours say that the Blood Ravens may have derived their genetic stock from the Dark Angels' gene-seed, but no definitive facts have ever been presented to establish the true source of the Chapter's genetic material. The lack of records pertaining to whom they descended from implies that they were created in anticipation of a specific purpose, to counter some threat to the Imperium in centuries past that has since been dealt with and defeated, or from a source that was considered so shameful that all records of the connection between the Blood Ravens and their progenitors had to be hidden from future generations. The truth of their origins is sought above all other knowledge by the Blood Ravens themselves.
Due to the Blood Ravens not knowing the name or the lineage of their Primarch, a Blood Ravens Astartes is characterised by the nature of his Chapter and its doctrines rather than the line from which he is descended. For the Blood Ravens, this flaw is based on their hunger for forbidden knowledge and their obsessive quest for the truth behind their creation. A Blood Ravens Space Marine can become consumed by his thirst for knowledge if he is not careful in his pursuit. This comes with the added danger that much of the sort of lore the Blood Ravens seek is dangerous in and of itself, either as proscribed texts or things touched and tainted by the Warp.
Notable Blood Ravens
- Gabriel Angelos - Gabriel Angelos is the current Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens and the former Captain of the Chapter's 3rd Company and Commander of the Watch. Angelos recently led the Loyalist Blood Ravens against the Chapter's former Master and Chief Librarian Azariah Kyras after it was learned that he had been corrupted by Chaos. During the final battle to free the Sub-sector Aurelia from the influence of Chaos, Angelos was badly wounded and has had to undergo extensive bionic augmentation to survive. Like many of the Blood Ravens, Gabriel was born on the planet of Cyrene, where the Chapter often drew recruits from among the Planetary Defence Forces. Gabriel was an accomplished leader of his peers before he even entered his teen years, and passed the Blood Trials set by the Blood Raven Chaplains. Many years later, now with an entire company of Blood Ravens under his command, Gabriel returned to Cyrene, to preside over the Blood Trials and recruit new members into the Chapter. But Gabriel found something very wrong on the world during the Trials, and cut them short. He quickly returned to his Strike Cruiser, and sent a coded astropathic signal out of the star system. Within hours of the signal being sent, starships of the Imperial Inquisition and the the Imperial Navy appeared over Cyrene, bombarding it for a week straight with Cyclonic Torpedoes until nothing on the planet remained alive. All records of the incident, and Gabriel's astropathic message to the Inquisition, have been sealed, but Gabriel himself carried the guilt of his actions with him for a long time, particularly during the Chapter's battles on the planet Tartarus. Captain Angelos lead the Blood Ravens forces that accidentally released a daemon on Tartarus and combated the Tyranid and Chaotic invasions of the Sub-sector Aurelia during the First and Second Aurelian Crusades. Captain Angelos was the only member of the Chapter's command elements to view Azariah Kyras' return to the Chapter with mistrust. Angelos quietly investigated the Chapter Master at every opportunity, ultimately exposing Kyras as a Heretic and Traitor when he confirmed links between the fallen Chapter Master and the Traitor Legions. However, the truth was discovered too late. By the time Captain Angelos was prepared to reveal his findings to the Chapter, a large number of its Space Marines were already corrupted by Chaos. Instead, Kyras declared Gabriel a Traitor and initiated a vicious hunt for the captain of the 3rd Company and his forces. A bloody Chapter civil war ensued, one that engulfed the entire Aurelian Sub-sector at its peak. Kyras eventually openly declared his loyalty to Chaos and ascended to become a Daemon Prince. The daemon was slain upon the Dead World of Cyrene in the midst of the Ordo Hereticus' purge of the sub-sector, but at a great cost to Gabriel's Loyalist forces. After the battle to defeat Kyras was over, Captain Apollo Diomedes retrieved Gabriel's body, only to find that he was still alive, and was able to call off the Inquisition's Exterminatus of all the remaining inhabited worlds of the Aurelian Sub-sector. Afterwards, Gabriel's broken body was repaired with extensive cybernetic augmentation and he was elevated to become the new Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens. It is unknown who took his place as the Captain of the 3rd Company.
- Azariah Kyras - Azariah Kyras was the former Chapter Master and Chief Librarian of the Blood Ravens Chapter of Space Marines. Kyras is now known by elements of the Blood Ravens to have been corrupted by Chaos. Azariah Kyras has an unusually mysterious and dark past for the Chapter Master of an Adeptus Astartes Chapter. Early in the 41st Millennium, almost 1,000 standard years before the present, the world of Aurelia in the Aurelian sub-sector of the Korianis Sector was swallowed by a vast Warp Storm. Before the storm swallowed the planet into the Immaterium, it had been pushed out of its orbit and much of its population had died as a result of the sudden frigid environmental changes. Azariah Kyras was a Librarian of the Blood Ravens Chapter serving alongside his master Moriah, the Chief Librarian of the Blood Ravens. Just before Aurelia was swallowed by the Warp, a Greater Daemon of Nurgle named Ulkair, a Great Unclean One, had manifested on the world and had slain Moriah. Kyras proved luckier and managed to defeat Ulkair and imprison the immensely powerful daemon. Then the Warp took the world and Azariah Kyras along with it. Many centuries later, the 5th Company of the Blood Ravens had taken serious losses from the groups of Tyranids and daemons that infested a Space Hulk known as the Judgment of Carrion they had been tasked to explore. Azariah Kyras suddenly appeared amidst his fellow Blood Ravens on the Hulk and used his abilities to aid Apothecary Galan, the remaining ranking officer in the company, in defending the surviving Battle-Brothers from the Hulk's hideous inhabitants. The remains of the 5th Company, despite Kyras' aid, were still trapped on the Space Hulk, unable to get back to their Thunderhawks and escape. At the same time, Galan found himself haunted by a malignant daemonic presence that Kyras identified as Ulkair, the Greater Daemon that the Blood Ravens had suffered terrible losses imprisoning and which had caused Kyras to be lost in the Warp for centuries. Kyras, corrupted by Chaos during his long imprisonment in the Warp with Ulkair, sought to corrupt his fellow Battle-Brothers by enhancing their despair and playing on their fears. To gain the escape of the remains of the 5th Company from the Judgment of Carrion, Kyras entered a pact with Ulkair in which in return for the Blood Ravens' escape from the Space Hulk, Galan was possessed by a daemon. When the 5th Company escaped, both Kyras and Galan were hailed as heroes of the Chapter and Kyras was welcomed back into the fold as a lost Battle-Brother. Yet one man, Captain Gabriel Angelos of the 3rd Company, remained highly suspicious of Kyras, believing him to be tainted by Chaos. Yet Kyras rose quickly back through the ranks of the Blood Ravens because of his great experience and eventually became both the Blood Ravens' Chapter Master and their Chief Librarian. Kyras' strongest ally amongst the Blood Ravens, Galan, became the Chapter Honour Guard's Apothecary. It was the invasion of the Aurelian Sub-sector by a warband of the Black Legion that finally revealed Azariah Kyras' true allegiance to Chaos. Blood Ravens of the 4th Company tracked down and boarded the Judgment of Carrion to learn the truth of Kyras' and the 5th Company's escape from the Space Hulk. The Blood Ravens gained evidence of the pact made by Kyras and Galan with the daemon Ulkair. Kyras himself was not present in the Aurelian sub-sector during the Chapter's Crusade against the elements of the Black Legion. Instead, he sent Apollo Diomedes, the Captain of the Blood Ravens' Honour Guard, to order the Blood Raven forces in the sub-sector to withdraw from all contact with the Chaos Space Marines. Yet, the Blood Ravens officer who served as the Chapter's Force Commander in the Aurelian Crusade turned against Apothecary Galan, who confessed to his own corruption by Chaos as well as Kyras' true allegiance. But Galan explained that Captain Diomedes was untainted, though much of the Honour Guard did serve the Ruinous Powers and Ulkair in particular. The Force Commander and Captain Angelos disobeyed their corrupted Chapter Master's orders and remained in Aurelia to defeat the Black Legion and end the threat of Ulkair. With the defeat of the Great Unclean One on Aurelia, the Force Commander and Captain Angelos went renegade, determined to bring down Azariah Kyras and the other Chaos-corrupted Blood Ravens, no matter the cost. During the the start of the Ordo Hereticus' purge of the Aurelia Sub-sector that began ten years after the end of the Second Aurelian, Azariah's intentions became known to the rest of the Blood Ravens, and he was hunted down on the Dead World of Cyrene. On Cyrene Azariah was in the middle of his transformation into a Daemon Prince when he was confronted by elements of the Blood Ravens 3rd and 1st Company led by Gabriel Angelos. During the resulting battle most of the Blood Ravens were killed, including the Librarian Jonah Orion, and Gabriel was viciously struck down. A strike force of Blood Ravens led by Captain Apollo Diomedes were able to keep Azariah from fully transforming and called in an orbital bombardment right on top of the Daemon Prince, which was enough to destroy his physical form and send his soul reeling into the Warp. After the battle was over, Diomedes retrieved Gabriel's body, only to find that he was still alive, and was able to call off the Inquisition's Exterminatus of the sub-sector. Afterwards Gabriel's broken body was repaired with extensive bionic augmentations and replacements while he was elevated to a new role as the Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens. It is unknown who took his place as captain of the 3rd Company.
- Azariah Vidya - The Librarian Azariah Vidya was the Master of the Chapter Librarium during a campaign in the Gothic Sector, in which the Blood Ravens had taken terrible losses putting down a series of Chaos-inspired rebellions against the Imperium. During this campaign, the Chapter Master and the Master of Sanctity were both killed in a trap, and it seemed that the Blood Ravens were to be exterminated as a Chapter. Azariah spent much time studying the movements and reactions of the enemy, using the Imperial Guard and his own depleted Battle-Brothers in a series of feinted attacks. Using this information, as well as his potent psychic powers, he launched a series of raids against seemingly empty areas that turned out to be important staging areas for the Chaos Cultists. For his skill in crushing the rebellion, Azariah was raised to become the Blood Ravens' Chapter Master, as well as continuing to hold his previous position as the Chapter's Chief Librarian. Vidya is the single Space Marine most revered by Blood Ravens. While he is not believed to have been active at the time of the Chapter’s Founding, he is credited with being the true founder of many of the Chapter's traditions. The Blood Ravens refer to him as the Great Father, a term that other Chapters might use to identify their Primarch or even the Emperor. Such a degree of idolatry expressed towards a fellow Battle-Brother is certainly uncommon but seems to fulfil the void in the Chapter’s iconography due to the lack of knowledge concerning which Primarch's lineage they can call their own. Vidya's apprentice and successor as Master of the Librarium and eventual Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens, Azariah Kyras, succumbed to the taint of Chaos during his time on the derelict Space Hulk Judgement of Carrion.
- Librarian Isador Akios - Brother-Librarian Isador Akios was the Librarian of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company and was a secondary character in the PC game Dawn of War. Much like Captain Angelos, Isador was born and raised on Cyrene, and became a Blood Raven around the same time as Gabriel. Isador met Gabriel during the Blood Trials, when they were both aspirants. They fought back to back and reaped a toll so bloody the trials were bought to an end early. Although his homeworld was destroyed, Isador did not blame Gabriel for his actions on Cyrene, since it had to be done. While the Blood Ravens 3rd Company was on the doomed planet of Tartarus, Isador slowly succumbed to the powers of Chaos, tempted by the traitorous Sorcerer of the Alpha Legion named Sindri Myr, telling him of the "Key", and tempting him to use it. When Inquisitor Mordecai Toth arrived, he detected a Chaotic taint among the Space Marines and came up with the assumption that it originated in Gabriel. Because of this, the Blood Ravens were blinded to Isador's corruption and thus could not stop Isador before he finally seized the Maledictum and turned to Chaos, bringing Gabriel's trust in his old friend crumbling to the ground. Isador was killed in a duel between himself and Gabriel, and Gabriel used his death as an example of the fate of Space Marines who fell to Chaos. Isador was armed with a Force Weapon and Bolt Pistol. He was able to be upgraded with a Plasma Pistol later on in the campaign.
- Librarian Jonah Orion - Jonah Orion has served under Gabriel Angelos since the aftermath of the Tartarus Campaign. Once a protégé of Isador Akios -- who fell to Chaos on Tartarus -- Jonah was subject to suspicion, but the support of Captain Angelos and of Chapter Master Kyras soon put those doubts to rest. During the Tyranid invasion, he was one of the psykers tasked with battling the mighty Hive Mind as Captain Angelos made for sub-sector Aurelia. Of the dozen Librarians, Navigators and Astropaths accompanying Angelos, only Jonah survived. Although still bearing the scars of his ordeal in the Warp, Jonah has served with honour over the last year. His psychic abilities have allowed Blood Ravens to root out several leftover pockets of Tyranid infestation. Orion was killed during the the Loyalist Blood Ravens' final fight with their corrupt Chapter Master Azariah Kyras during the Inquisition's Crusade to eliminate the taint of Chaos from the Aurelian Sub-sector.
- Epistolary Anteas - Epistolary Anteas is a Senior Librarian of the Blood Ravens Chapter tasked with aiding Brother-Captain Davian Thule's purge of the planet Kronus.
- Reclusiarch Mikelus - Reclusiarch Mikelus was a Blood Ravens Chaplain who served under Captain Davian Thule's forces consisting of the 1st, 2nd and 4th companies during the Kronus Campaign. He carried the faith of the Emperor into battle, inspiring his fellow Space Marines to fight with a ferocity uncommon even among the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes. He was killed when battling the Necron Lord with Captain Thule, the latter of which commended Mikelus with the honour of killing the Necron Lord (even though Mikelus had already perished before).
- Apollo Diomedes - Diomedes was the Captain of the Blood Ravens' Honour Guard. Previously, he had commanded the Blood Ravens elite 1st Company for almost two standard centuries with honour and skill. Diomedes' most famous victory came on the ravaged Penal World of Obscurus. On the same day, he and his Battle-Brothers defeated the Ork Warboss Manstompa Megakilla and the Chaos Sorcerer Anuphans the Cruel. After that victory Diomedes was elevated to the command of the Chapter Master's Honour Guard, becoming Azariah Kyras' most public agent amongst the Chapter's often widely dispersed Astartes. Although not corrupted by Chaos himself, Diomedes, acting under orders from Azariah Kyras, aided the heretical Blood Ravens Apothecary Galan in opposing the efforts of the unnamed Force Commander in the Sub-sector Aurelia, who had been declared a Renegade by Kyras, to destroy Galan's Stronghold. In the course of the Second Aurelian Crusade, Diomedes leanred the truth about Kyras corruption by the Greater Daemon Ulkair on Aurelia centuries before. He returned to the sub-sector 10 years later during its cleansing by the forces of the Inquisition to discover the truth of the corruption that had eaten at the heart of the Blood Ravens with Scout Sergeant Cyrus and Techmarine Martellus.
- Indrick Boreale - Captain Indrick Boreale is the Force Commander of the Blood Ravens sent to the Kaurava system. Having studied under Gabriel Angelos, Boreale leads no less than five Blood Raven companies into battle, and favors a tactic called "Steel Rain": he keeps entire companies in reserve on his Battle Barge, who are ready to be deployed by drop pod in a moment's notice. This allows him to take land quickly and put pressure on his enemies. As a result, he does not make much use of static defensive structures like turrets. During the Kaurava Conflict, he was forced to battle against fellow Imperial forces like Sisters of Battle and the 252nd Conservator Regiment of the Imperial Guard due to conflicting interest and each of them acting on their own (such as Canoness Selina Agna's purgation crusade on the Kaurava System). In Dawn of War II, Cyrus revealed that Blood Raven's Kaurava campaign was a disaster, with many marines including most of Cyrus' scouts and Indrick Boreale himself being killed. This critical blow left the chapter largely undermanned. Boreale, however does have brief mentions in the game in the form of certain Wargear, most specifically an Iron Halo that was intended to be presented to him upon his victory at Kaurava.
- The Force Commander of Sub-Sector Aurelia (Aramus) - The Force Commander is the Blood Ravens Captain who represents the player in Dawn of War II. His name is chosen by the player, but he does not speak and is only referred to as "Commander" by the others, though his name is given as Aramus in the novel. The Commander is relatively young for his rank, promoted by the Chapter Master, Azariah Kyras, despite resistance from the rest of the Chapter and the fact that they have never met in person. As a result, he must both prove himself to Angelos, Thule and his Veterans -- many of whom were veterans of the earlier Kronus and Kaurava Campaigns -- and serve as an example to the new Blood Ravens recruits.
- Trythos (Dreadnought) - Three millennia before the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company destroyed the artefact known as the Maledictum containing a Greater Daemon during the Tartarus Campaign, Captain Trythos had arrived on Tartarus with a squad of the Deathwatch. While on this mission, the Deathwatch Kill-team recovered a shard of the Wailing Doom, a psychic Eldar weapon carried by an Eldar Avatar that was later used to craft the Daemonhammer God-Splitter wielded by the Inquisitor Mordecai Toth, but Trythos was mortally wounded during the operation. He was encased within the cybernetic shell of a Dreadnought and returned to his home Chapter, where he joined the 3rd Company. Trythos had been the first Blood Raven to take up the Long Watch with the Deathwatch. Three thousand standard years later he found himself again on Tartarus fighting alongside Captain Gabriel Angelos and the 3rd Company. Unfortunately, at the Battle of Magna Bonum against the Eldar, he was slain. A year after the end of hostilities on Tartarus, after the planet had returned to realspace from the massive Warp Storm that had claimed it, the Techmarine Brennan led a Blood Ravens strike force back to the planet to recover his remains. Despite massive damage, the Dreadnought remained standing where the Blood Ravens had been forced to leave it. Its return to the Chapter's Armoury was a cause for great celebrations.
- Davian Thule (Dreadnought) - Davian Thule is the former Captain of the 4th Company of the Blood Ravens and is currently a Dreadnought of the Chapter. Thule commanded the Blood Ravens' assault on the Civilised World of Kronus during the Dark Crusade. He was raised and recruited into the Chapter as a Neophyte on Cyrene, but was originally born on Tartarus. During the Dark Crusade, he commanded the Blood Ravens' 1st, 2nd and 4th Companies. He was there protecting ancient Chapter knowledge. He eliminated all opposition on Kronus in order to safeguard secrets he had learned on that world about the Chapter, and even fought against fellow Imperial forces -- the Imperial Guard. After the events on Kronus he was questioned by Inquisitor Mordecai Toth for his attack against other sevants of the Emperor, but Toth found no concrete evidence that his actions had been heretical or driven by Chaotic corruption. Thule had once been considered one of the greatest Astartes of the Chapter. He had first came to prominence four centuries before the Kronus Campaign when he slew the Chaos Witch Morganna in the Black Fortress of Vespa. Thule also had distinguished himself during the Blood Ravens' campaign on Cadia. His brilliant command of the Kronus Campaign and the victory he won there for the Blood Ravens should have vaulted him even higher into the inner circle of Blood Raven leadership, but instead lead to a falling out with the Blood Ravens Chapter Master at that time, Azariah Kyras. Many within the Chapter have speculated that Thule's fall from grace was the result of his willingness to vilify the Imperial Guardsmen slain by the Blood Ravens on Kronus, a fact that was noticed during the Inquisition's investigation of the matter. There are darker rumours, though, of secrets discovered on Kronus -- secrets that fundamentlly shook Thule's faith in the Blood Ravens and caused him to voluntarily retreat from participation in the Chapter's politics. After Kronus was taken by the Blood Ravens, Thule supposedly destroyed the ancient relics of the Chapter's history he had recovered there beneath the ruins of an ancoent Blood Ravens' fortress-monastery. It is unknown if this knowledge links the Blood Ravens with a Traitor Legion like the Thousand Sons, but it is now gone forever. Thule is usually armed with Alexian's Blade and a Bolt Pistol. During the events of the First Aurelian Crusade, Thule was mortally wounded while leading the 4th Company by a Tyranid Warrior, although his life was saved by the actions of the Blood Ravens' Aurelian Sub-sector Force Commander and he was ultimately resurrected as a Space Marine Dreadnought by Apothecary Gordian so that he might continue to serve the Chapter.
- Apothecary Gordian - Apothecary Gordian served under Davin Thule as his personal Apothecary during the Dark Crusade on Kronus. Later, during the First Aurelian Crusade, Gordian serves aboard the strike cruiser Armageddon as the Blood Ravens' Apothecary in the Aurelia sub-sector. Gordian was responsible for putting Captain Davian Thule in stasis, after he was attacked and poisoned by a Tyranid Warrior on Calderis. When the Blood Ravens acquired the toxin to counteract the poison, with the help of Techmarine Martellus he placed Thule into a Dreadnought allowing the legendary Captain to fight again. During the final battle with the Tyranids, he is lost aboard the Armageddon above Typhon Primaris.
- Techmarine Martellus - A Techmarine aboard the Blood Ravens' Strike Cruiser Armageddon. Martellus served under the Force Commander throughout the Tyranid invasion in Dawn of War II. During the climactic battle, Martellus was aboard a Thunderhawk gunship supporting the Space Marines on the ground. The Tyranid horde eventually overwhelmed the gunship. In Chaos Rising he returns, when he's saved by the Force Commander while defending the Astronomic Array on Typhon Primaris. Martellus served as part of Captain Apollo Diomedes' strike force during the Blood Ravens' attempt to save the Aurelian Sub-sector from both the taint of Chaos and an Exterminatus unleashed by the Inquisition's Crusade within the sub-sector.
- Tactical Sergeant Tarkus - Tarkus is a Tactical Marine Sergeant in the Blood Ravens 4th Company. He is a Veteran with centuries of experience in warfare, and is an expert tactician as well as a rock-solid second-in-command. Amongst his Tactical Marines, Tarkus is renowned for his confidence and steely demeanour in battle. Tarkus was awarded Terminator Honours for his involvement in the assault on the Necron Catacombs of Kronus during the Dark Crusade, where he and his squad repelled wave after wave of Necron forces to buy Captain Davian Thule time to plant the bomb that would end the Necron threat to the planet. Tarkus is stated to have lost one of his hands killing a Necron Tomb Spider when out of ammunition by holding a live grenade in a weak point near the Tomb Spider's head. In Dawn of War II, Tarkus once again served alongside Captain Thule in his defence of the Aurelia Sub-sector. Tarkus left the command of the Blood Ravens' Force Commander of Aurelia Sub-sector on the world of Meridian to investigate the reason behind recent Ork appearances at Angel Gate. He rejoined the Force Commander's troops while they were planetside, searching for the force of Eldar that attacked the vulnerable Angel Gate. The Eldar planned to overload the Forge's reactor to devastate Meridian and stall the splinter Tyranid Hive Fleet from reaching the Craftworld of Ulthwe. During the events of the Inquisition's Crusade to cleanse the Aurelia Sub-sector some 10 Terran years later, Tarkus refused to speak to his fellow Astartes, unable to forgive himself for the betrayal of a close friend (most likely Avitus) and was referred to by his fellows as "The Ancient." His true identity as Tarkus was also not revealed until Apollo Diomedes began to show the first signs of Chaotic corruption. Tarkus' actions prevented Diomedes from falling to Chaos.
- Assault Sergeant Thaddeus - Thaddeus is an Assault Marine Sergeant in the Blood Ravens 4th Company. He was a native under-city gang leader on the Hive World of Meridian in the Aurelian Sub-sector before his personal recruitment into the Blood Ravens by Captain Davian Thule, following a series of uprisings in Spire Legis. After witnessing Thaddeus stand against hundreds of rioters single-handedly, Thule was impressed and recruited him into the Blood Ravens, making him the first Blood Ravens Aspirant to be drawn from that Hive World in centuries. He has a reputation as a brash and idealistic brawler; and made his name battling Feral Orks on Calderis and Typhon Primaris. Thaddeus is also something of a humanitarian, and fights as much for the people of the Imperium as he does the Emperor and the Chapter.
- Devastator Sergeant Avitus - Avitus is a Devastator Marine Sergeant in the Blood Ravens' 4th Company. He fought alongside Captain Davian Thule in the Dark Crusade on Kronus and slew the Chaos Witch Morgana. He also distinguished himself during the assault on the Imperial Guard stronghold of Victory Bay. It was also in this battle that Avitus lost many of his squad-mates, which forever changed Avitus and prompted his vision of Imperial Guardsmen as traitors and weaklings. He is renowned for his unmatched hatred for the enemy, which many regard as his greatest weapon. Avitus once again serves alongside Captain Davian Thule during his defence of the Aurelian Sub-sector from a Tyranid splinter fleet. Avitus was ultimately corrupted by Chaos and betrayed his fellow Blood Ravens during their campaign against the Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion led by the Chaos Champion and former Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor on the frozen world of Aurelia.
- Scout Sergeant Cyrus - Cyrus is a Veteran Scout Sergeant in the Blood Ravens Tenth Company who has dedicated himself to training the Chapter's initiates and scouts, as well as honing them into full-fledged Space Marines. Even amongst his own Chapter, Cyrus is a man of few words, and has a fearsome reputation. His methods, while highly unpopular amongst the Battle Brothers, have earned them countless victories, most notably during the Genestealer outbreak on Victoria Primus. It is revealed part-way through the campaign that he has fought the Tyranids before, during his time in the Deathwatch. He also fought in the Kaurava campaign under Brother-Captain Indrick Boreale, and reveals that the campaign gone horribly wrong for the Blood Ravens. He declares the said campaign as "a huge mistake," vowing not to speak of the Kaurava System again.
- Armageddon (Strike Cruiser) - Former ship of the 5th Company, lost during the battle for the Aurelia Sub-Sector.
- Litany of Fury (Battle-Barge) - A venerable warship of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company, the Litany of Fury carries a great many secrets within its hold and is a beacon of light in the darkness of the Eastern Fringe, where the light of the Astronomican wanes. The Sanctorium Arcanum is a secret vault within the Battle-Barge, tended by Librarians of the Chapter initiated into the Secret Orders of Psykana of the Blood Ravens. The Sanctorium Arcanum is an astropathic choir in mimicry of the Astronomican itself, a mobile repeater station intended to boost the light of the Astronomican in the distant reaches of the Eastern Fringe. The Sanctorium Arcanum, like many relics of the Chapter, was created by the Great Father Azariah Vidya and its true origins and function have been lost to the mists of time, yet it is stll maintained by the Librarians of the Chapter.
- Omnis Arcanum (Chapter Barque) - The Omnis Arcanum is the flagship of the Blood Ravens fleet and the location of the Chapter's primary Librarium. However, little more is known about this venerable ship, where it travels or even if it really is the home of the secretive Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens.
- Rage of Erudition (Strike Cruiser) - Strike Cruiser under the command of Sergeant Saulh.
- Ravenous Spirit (Strike Cruiser) - This Strike Cruiser was in service to Captain Gabriel Angelos during his mission to Cyrene.
- Retribution (Strike Cruiser) - Strike Cruiser assigned to the remnants of the 5th Company following the loss of The Armageddon.
- Scientia Est Potentia (Battle-Barge) - Battle-Barge of the Blood Ravens 5th Company.
The Blood Ravens wear dark red Power Armour with weathered cream shoulder plates trimmed in black.
The Blood Ravens' Chapter badge is a silhouetted raven in flight as seen from above, incorporated with a stylized drop of blood within. Because of their name and badge, it was once theorized that the Blood Ravens were a Successor Chapter of either the Blood Angels or the Raven Guard, but both of these suppositions have been denied by Games Workshop. It now seems far more likely that the Blood Ravens may be descended from a pre-Horus Heresy group of Astartes from the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion who remained loyal to the Emperor of Mankind.
Possible Connections to the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion
The Blood Ravens' dark secret may be that they have descended not from one of the Loyalist First Founding Chapters but from the Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines Traitor Legion, as before their homeworld of Prospero was destroyed by the Space Wolves during the Horus Heresy, the Thousand Sons sent a portion of their Legion far from their homeworld in their Legion fleet. These Astartes were not transported to the Eye of Terror under the deal their Primarch Magnus the Red made with the Chaos God Tzeentch to save the Legion's lives in return for their service to the Changer of Ways. This would mean that the Blood Ravens Chapter is not actually a Successor Chapter but is technically a remnant of one of the First Founding Chapters, though with a dark and tainted past.
In the book Dawn of War: Ascension, it is revealed that the ancestors of the Blood Ravens built a recruiting world on top of an ancient Necron outpost during the Horus Heresy, with the help of the Eldar. The two races worked in unison, using Eldar sorcery and psychic wards to lock the Necron force lying beneath the sands in psychic stasis. The Horus Heresy-era Space Marines were then tasked with protecting this outpost by the Eldar, to seal in the Necron threat, but they mysteriously abandoned it. It was left unrecorded in Imperial logs until the Blood Ravens rediscovered it. The Eldar mistook the Blood Ravens for being one and the same as the Heresy-era Space Marines, as they too wore similar red Power Armour, which was also the colour of the pre-Heresy Thousand Sons Astartes' Power Armour.
The psychic lock the Space Marines placed on the Necrons shows that the Astartes of that time could not have already been Blood Angels, and the Thousand Sons share a bond with the Blood Ravens because both groups of Space Marines are defined by the development of unusually strong psychic powers among their Battle-Brothers after their gene-seed implantation.
In the novel Battle for the Abyss, Mhotep, a Thousand Sons Legion psyker, whilst fighting the daemon Wsoric aboard the starship Wrathful, responded to the daemon's question of what did the entities of the Warp have to fear from the Emperor with the response "Knowledge...is power," suggesting a connection to the Blood Ravens (pg. 396). Since the daemon had been manifested in realspace for so long, Mhotep was able to destroy its physical form and banish it back to the Warp before he died of his many wounds.
In the novel A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill, a vision is seen by the Remembrancer and historiographer Kallista Eris describing a future image of blood and a raven, and a remembrancer psyker attached to the Thousand Sons has a vision of "...The Ravens, I see them too! The lost sons and a Raven of Blood. They cry out for salvation and knowledge, but it is denied!" (p. 204) This may imply that the Blood Ravens are descended from the Thousand Sons' gene-seed. At the same time, one of the four arcane cults of Librarians that comprised the pre-Heresy Thousand Sons Legion was called the Corvidae (the Latin name for ravens and crows), and whose symbol was a black raven's head, thus making it possible that the Blood Ravens were Thousand Sons Astartes who largely belonged to the Corvidae Cult. Kallista not only predicted the future destruction of the Thousand Sons' ancient homeworld of Prospero at the Space Wolves' hands, but she may also have described the eventual formation of the Loyalist Blood Ravens. During her final psychic episode, Kallista also screamed out in anguish about the "ravens of blood", and that they were "lost, crying out for their unknown father." In her death throes she declared that they would be defined by their need to "seek knowledge and artefacts of old", which is an important activity often pursued by the Blood Ravens, particularly in their search to learn more about their own origins. Since the Blood Ravens are a Fleet-based Chapter, it is possible that they descended from those Astartes aboard the Thousand Sons' own armada before they were forced to flee Prospero, which Magnus the Red had ordered to the far ends of the galaxy so that the Space Wolves could purge Prospero without having to face the Thousand Sons' fleet. The Thousand Sons Space Marines aboard that armada were never transported by the will of Tzeentch through the Warp with Magnus and the planetside Astartes to the Planet of the Sorcerers in the Eye of Terror, as they were far beyond the edge of Thousand Sons space and were not affected by the internecine fighting.
In the novel Age of Darkness the short story Rebirth by Chris Wraight, revolves around a squad of Thousand Sons Space Marines that return to their devastated homeworld of Prospero after the sanctioned Scouring of Prospero carried out by Primarch Leman Russ and his Space Wolves. After the Council of Nikaea, and the rebukement of Magnus the Red, a recall order was transmitted throughout the Legion, with the bulk of the Legion being present on Prospero just before the events surrounding the Fall of Prospero happened. However, some of the Thousand Sons' legionnaires had survived as they had not arrived before these events occurred. This would include those Thousand Sons that had been sent away aboard their Legion's fleet elements such as Captain Menes Kalliston of the 4th Fellowship. Six months after the sanctioned action against their Legion, Captain Kalliston leads a squad of battle-brothers to the ravaged surface of their homeworld to seek for any signs of survivors or their beloved Primarch. Instead, the squadron of Thousand Sons are taken by surprise when they encounter a much larger force of World Eaters who are also on Prospero for their own nefarious reasons. In the ensuing conflagration, the majority of the squadron is killed, and their Captain is captured, by none other than the infamous Captain Khârn of the 8th Assault Company and Equerry to the Primarch Angron of the World Eaters. Only Revuel Arvida, a Sergeant of the 4th Fellowship and a member of the Corvidae Cult manages to survive. Like all Corvidae, Arvida is skilled in the psychic discipline of precognition and the determination of the likely probabilities of future events. Despite his bleak circumstances, Arvida knew - as only a Corvidae could know - that death would not find him on Prospero. That was no consolation for everything that had been lost, but at least it lent the task of planning his next move a certain urgency. He would survive and live to discover the true causes of his Legion’s destruction, and live to fight them. He would neither pause nor stumble until everything had been revealed to him, everything that would give him a weapon to employ. He is quoted as saying "Knowledge is power," suggesting another connection to the Blood Ravens (p.162). Ironically, the symbol of the Corvidae cult discipline is that of a black ravens head. Sergeant Arvida's ultimate fate is unknown.
Since the Blood Ravens were adopted as an official Chapter by Games Workshop following the introduction of the Dawn of War PC game, subtle hints have been given in a variety of sources that the Blood Ravens are actually a Loyalist Successor Chapter of the Thousand Sons. In particular, their unnaturally high number of Librarians and the Chapter's central focus on the pursuit of knowledge are very similar to the characteristics that once defined the Thousand Sons before their corruption by Chaos. Such a connection to a reviled Traitor Legion would also be a terrible dishonour and would explain why the Blood Ravens' heritage may have been deliberately obscured from the Imperial record.
- Dawn of War - Winter Assault (PC game)
- Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC game)
- Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC game)
- Dawn of War II (PC game)
- Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising (PC game)
- Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC game)
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 26-33
- White Dwarf (US) 295, "Index Astartes – Blood Ravens"
- White Dwarf (AUS) 299, "Index Astartes – Blood Ravens"
- White Dwarf (UK) 305, "Index Astartes – Blood Ravens"
- Dawn of War (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Dawn of War: Ascension (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Dawn of War: Tempest (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Dawn of War II (Novel) by Chris Roberson
- A Thousand Sons (Novel) by Graham McNeill, p. 204
- Age of Darkness (Anthology), "Rebirth" by Chris Wraight