- "For every tear I have shed for my Primarch, his enemies have bled a single drop of blood. Yet still I can weep, and they can bleed…"
- —Corbulo, Sanguinary High Priest, Blood Angels Chapter
Corbulo is the Sanguinary High Priest of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter. He thus serves as the leader of the Chapter's Sanguinary Priests (Apothecaries) and the Bearer of the Red Grail, the Chapter relic that was used to preserve the blood of their Primarch Sanguinius after he was slain by the Warmaster Horus aboard his Battle Barge Vengeful Spirit during the closing days of the Horus Heresy. The sacred chalice is used by the Sanguinary Priests and all Aspirants of the Chapter to drink the sacred blood of their Primarch as part of the Ritual of Creation for all Blood Angels Astartes. As sometimes happens with Blood Angels Battle-Brothers, Corbulo bears a striking physical resemblance to the Chapter's lost Primarch as a result of a specific expression of his gene-seed. Brother Corbulo shares the Great Primarch's far-seeing eye and deep wisdom and leads his brethren in the ancient quest to eradicate the Flaw that afflicts their Chapter.
Corbulo is the Sanguinary High Priest of the Blood Angels and the keeper of the Chapter initiation mysteries for Neophytes. He is charged with the wardenship of the Red Grail, the artefact in which the blood of Sanguinius was preserved after the Primarch's death. This vessel is a key part of the induction mysteries of the Sanguinary Priests, but it is also a potent relic upon the field of battle, exhorting the Scions of Sanguinius to greater deeds. The physical resemblance borne by Corbulo to the Blood Angels' lost Primarch is uncanny, as his piercing eyes and noble aspect reflect the nature of the Blood Angels at its most pure. In the centuries since his investiture, it is perhaps this perfection that has driven the Sanguinary High Priest to work ceaselessly to isolate and neutralise the Flaw in his Chapter's gene-seed. This sacred quest has taken Corbulo across the width and breadth of the galaxy, traveling to numerous Apothecarions from other Space Marine Chapters, as well as to forgotten backwater worlds in search of forbidden archeotech related to the legendary genetic sciences of the Dark Age of Technology.
Corbulo's resemblance to the fallen Primarch is not merely physical. His deep wisdom and canny insights are legendary, and his counsel has proven invaluable time and again. More tellingly, Corbulo shares Sanguinius' gift of the far-seeing eye, and can discern the patterns and shapes of a future yet to come -- a gift of the gene-seed that has manifested only sparingly through the many generations of Blood Angels. Those scant hours not claimed by duty or in search for the Flaw's cure, Corbulo spends poring over the Scrolls of Sanguinius, seeking to combine knowledge from the Primarch's visions with the fleeting insights distilled from his own. Corbulo's travails in this regard have borne fruit many times. That the Blood Angels arrived so swiftly on Armageddon following Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka's initial invasion -- and at full Chapter strength -- was due in part to Corbulo's divinations. Similarly, without Corbulo's guidance, the Blood Angel's Chapter fleet would never have known the hour and location at which M'kar the Reborn's world-breaking Daemon-Cruiser would enter the Baal System, and could thus never have ambushed and obliterated the vessel before Baal itself was laid waste. Yet these successful predictions have not been without cost. In recent years, Corbulo has grown ever more withdrawn and taciturn, and his eyes have taken on a haunted look that he cannot easily conceal. Though the exact detail of what Corbulo has learnt remains a closely-guarded secret, it cannot be doubted that the very blackest of times lie ahead for the Blood Angels -- events so dire that even foreknowledge is of no protection.
Blood Angels Civil WarEdit
Upon the world of Cybele, the Blood Angels' darkest hour eventually came to pass in the form of Brother Arkio, who possessed the sacred relic known as the Spear of Telesto, and proclaimed himself to be the reincarnation of Sanguinius. Fealty was given to the so-called "Reborn Angel" by many within the ranks of the Blood Angels' 6th Company. Unknown to the Blood Angels, an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor named Remius Stele, a secret servant of the Ruinous Powers, manipulated the situation to cause a schism within the Chapter. From the Blood Angels homeworld of Baal came the ruthless Lord of Death, Mephiston, sent forth by Lord Commander Dante to investigate these claims and to judge the Reborn Angel.
Mephiston arrived to judge Arkio, and turned the powers of his formidable witch-sight upon him. He saw the carefully hidden seed of Chaos that Stele had planted inside Arkio and denounced the "Reborn Angel" as false and Inquisitor Stele as a Heretic. Mephiston then challenged Arkio to a duel but before it began, Arkio's biological brother Sergeant Rafen, a fellow Blood Angel, arrived. Rafen was one of the few Blood Angels of the 6th Company who had doubted the veracity of Arkio's supposed resurrection, keeping faith with the Emperor and their Primarch, and formally denounced his brother as false. Mephiston allowed Rafen to take his place, and the two siblings duelled to the death. Eventually, Rafen emerged triumphant, impaling Arkio through the heart with the Spear of Telesto. Arkio died begging for his brother's forgiveness. His remains were burned upon a pyre out of respect. The Blood Angels that willingly followed Arkio learned of the perfidy of the agent of Chaos, Inquisitor Stele, and tried to comprehend the awful realization that they had been duped. For they had been turned into unwitting pawns in a grand scheme unleashed by the Chaos God Tzeentch to steal their very souls.
The fallen Battle-Brothers were brought aboard Mephiston's ship, the Europae, stripped of their wargear and shackled in manacles. One of the Blood Angels strike teams loyal to Mephiston located the hardened steel module from the interior of the Bellus that housed the shipʹs Progenoid capsules containing the genetic material of the traitorous fallen Blood Angels who had followed Arkio. Many of the clerics aboard the Europae were of the opinion that this gene‐seed was now tainted and fit only for the fires of the fusion furnace, but Mephiston spoke otherwise. The vital glands were placed in secure holding for the journey back to Baal; it would be Lord Commander Dante alone who would decide the fate of this gene-seed. There were voices from Baal that counseled that Rafen should be executed along with the Loyalist survivors of the 6th Company. They were afraid Rafen might take the same path as his brother Arkio since they shared the same blood. The knowledge that he had been able to wield the sacred Spear of Telesto changed this opinion. Rafen's dedication and honour to the Chapter was unparalleled. Lord Commander Dante gave Rafen a personal audience once the Europae reached Baal. Though offered a promotion to the rank of Captain and the command of his own company, Rafen refused, choosing to earn the position on his own merits when the time was right. Rafen only made one request of the Lord of Death -- clemency and compassion for his Battle-Brothers of the 6th Company who had strayed and followed his sibling into heresy unwittingly. Blinded by their belief in Sanguinius, their faith had been turned against them and misused. Mephiston counseled Rafen that the rites of cleansing and purification that might be employed were quite arduous. Many of his Battle-Brothers would not survive the process. But Rafen informed Mephiston that they would endure and their faith would be twice as strong for it.
Blood Angels ConclaveEdit
Teetering on the brink of oblivion following the events on the Shrine World of Sabien, the fate of the Blood Angels Chapter now required the magnanimity of their Successor Chapters. Lord Commander Dante summoned all of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters for a conclave on Baal following the near-disastrous Chapter civil war that nearly tore the Blood Angels apart. Dante called for the support of the Blood Angels Successors to help aid the Chapter in the protection of their common Primarch's homeworld and his remains from the attack of both the Tyranids and the Forces of Chaos. While Dante led the discussion at the conclave, the Apothecaria was working on a radical new procedure to replenish the ranks of the Blood Angels in one swift stroke: the lost art of replicae.
Caecus was the Chief Apothecary or Apothecae Majoris of the Blood Angels. Disturbed by the dwindling numbers of his Chapter, and dreading its extinction, he was involved in fruitless experiments, which Lord Commander Dante ordered stopped, to clone Space Marines, thus eliminating the need to go through the arduous process of the maturation and implantation of the gene-seed in an Aspirant. However, Caecus disobeyed the order and secretly continued the experiments, prodded by an agent of the vile Chaos Space Marine Apothecary Fabius Bile. He was tricked into bringing Bile, who was disguised as a well-known Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Biologis, to Baal, mistakenly thinking the false "Magos" would help in cloning Space Marines to increase the Blood Angels' numbers. Through Bile's manipulations, Caecus was duped, and only managed to create monstrous, mutant clone-Astartes known as "Bloodfiends" who were consumed by the Red Thirst. These creatures were a shattered mirror reformed in the image of a Blood Angel, but lacked any of the qualities that could be thought of as human. The mutations that cursed the gene-seed of the Blood Angels had been enhanced by the machinations and Chaotic tech-heresy of Fabius Bile, and with each drop of blood they consumed, the thirst that dominated the Bloodfiends grew stronger. The mutants broke free from the confines of Caecus' laboratorium and began to run rampant through the sacred halls of the fortress-monastery of the Blood Angels. During their rampage, Bile managed to steal a glass vial that Caecus had carried back from the Chapel of the Red Grail -- a measure of the mingled blood of a hundred centuries of Sanguinary Priests and the Primarch himself, the raw vitae of the Chapter.
During the Bloodfiends' rampage, a small group of the bloodthirsty mutants assaulted the sacred Chapel of the Chapter's fortress-monastery. Brother Corbulo raced to the Chapel to confront the vile creatures. He knew exactly what it was the beasts wanted, and he bellowed out a denial, charging in a headlong rush to meet such embodiments of corruption. The creatures swarmed Corbulo as the Sanguinary Priest carved into them with his Chainsword Heaven's Teeth. But the largest of the Bloodfiends, a massive brute easily the size of an Astartes in Terminator Armour, threw itself towards its target -- the Red Grail and the precious blood of the Primarch it contained. The creature destroyed the two machine-helot Gun Servitors that guarded the sacred chalice. Reaching into the glow of the anti-gravity suspensor field holding the relic aloft, the Bloodfiend seized the holy relic. The creature struck Corbulo across the face, sending him reeling to the floor. Then the mutant tipped the contents of the cup into its open mouth and drained it to the dregs. After completing its desecration, the creature threw the grail away and Corbulo dove after it, scrambling to snatch the empty cup from the air before the holy chalice could strike the ground. His hands trembled with fury at bearing witness to such a despicable act in so sacred a place. Now that the beasts had tasted the blood of the Primarch, they only craved more.
In the aftermath of this desecration, Bile had achieved his goal and escaped from the Blood Angels' homeworld with a sample of the precious vitae of their Primarch. The Blood Angels and their Successors successfully defended their most sacred of sites on Baal -- the Golden Sarcophagus of Sanguinius within the sacred sepulchre where the Great Angel lay for all time, sleeping in light, forever preserved. The Sons of Sanguinius destroyed the horde of mutants and erased the stain of Chaos from their midst. They had paid for the continued sanctity of the Great Angel with their blood, and in the aftermath of this misery, Lord Commander Dante took responsibility for what had happened and he accepted it without complaint. Dante believed that it was his hubris that had brought the Chapter to this dark place. The Successor Chapters took this into consideration as well as Lord Commander Dante's original request for the Successors to grant the Blood Angels a small tithe of their Chapter's Initiates in order to replenish the ranks of the Chapter. The Successor Chapters unanimously agreed to hand over to the Blood Angels some of their own Neophytes to help their ancestral Chapter rebuild its strength in the wake of the Chaos assault -- and in preparation for the oncoming assault by the Tyranids and the Forces of Chaos.
- Artificer Power Armour
- Bolt Pistol
- Frag and Krak Grenades
- The Red Grail - This ancient and highly revered artefact is the most sacred of the Blood Angels' holy relics, said to contain the blood of their slain Primarch and used in the Ritual of Creation of all Blood Angels Astartes by the Chapter's Sanguinary Priests. On the field of battle, the presence of the Red Grail is said to reinvigorate any Blood Angels in its presence, somehow enhancing the physical and psychological strengths these Astartes inherited from their Primarch.
- Heaven's Teeth - This Chainsword is a treasured and irreplaceable relic from the time of Sanguinius.
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 49
- Codex: Blood Angels (4th Edition), pp. 8, 15
- Codex: Blood Angels (3rd Edition), pg. 19
- Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition), pg. 96
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pg. 38
- Red Fury (Novel) by James Swallow