Black, Bone White and White with black markings
The Death Eagles are a Loyalist, Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter. It is suspected that they are one of the rare Successor Chapters of the Raven Guard, although some believe their roots actually lead to the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion. Their exact Founding date is unknown. At this time, almost nothing is known about the Chapter in Imperial records beyond their name and Chapter appearance. The Death Eagles true origins may lie in the bygone Age of Darkness during the Horus Heresy in the 31st Millennium.
It is said by ancient proverb that truth is the first casualty of war and, if this is the case, then rumour is its first child. Almost from the outset, the war of the Horus Heresy was a vast cataclysm and one whose events moved with such quicksilver pace that mystery, supposition, lies and simple ignorance cloaked much of the bloodshed even as it occurred, casting a veil over much that will never be lifted. Though the roll call of Space Marine Legions, Titan Legions, Auxilia regiments and Mechanicum Taghmata that sided with the Arch-Traitor and those who remained loyal is largely known and accepted, the full truth is far more complex and far more mysterious than commonly believed. Some Legiones Astartes believed Horus had the superior cause and the superior right to command their allegiance, not the Emperor, while some retained a loyalty to their Emperor and the Great Crusade over that of their own Primarch's will. It is true that particularly in the early years of the war, detachments of Legiones Astartes and sometimes entire squadrons of warships simply vanished without apparent trace, and while many may have fallen foul of warp storms and enemy action, it is likely just as true that some quietly slipped anchor and turned their coats to serve another master, and that this happened on both sides of the divide. During the Horus Heresy the 34th Millennial of the Emperor's Children (the "Death Eagles") bore the purple and gold of their parent Legion with pride, refusing to abandon their heraldry. It is thought that the Death Eagles Millennial clashed with their Traitor kin at Lethe and at Revorthe Keep in the Coronid Deeps, but their ultimate fate, like that of so many others, remains unknown.
As to the long term viability of these lost Legiones Astartes detachments, it is difficult to say. Given sufficient gene-seed and technical competence it is entirely possible for such a formation to maintain its strength over a protracted period, inducting and training new recruits in the same way as a normal modern-era Space Marine Chapter. There is certainly numerous cases cited throughout Imperial history where this has occurred, such as the Space Wolves 13th Company. This might explain how the Death Eagles were able to survive the Age of Darkness as well as the subsequent era of the Great Scouring. If the Death Eagles are indeed descended from the Emperor's Children, it would explain why their true origins have been purposely obfuscated. Such a connection to a reviled Traitor Legion would also be a terrible dishonour and would explain why the Death Eagles' heritage and original Legion colours may have been deliberately obscured from the Imperial record.
- Vengeance from the Void (c.M32) - Across a hundred scattered systems in the western marches of the Segmentum Solar, cult uprisings led by a core of Chaos Space Marine warbands drawn from the Iron Warriors, Night Lords and World Eaters Traitor Legions brought entire planetary governments to their knees in a year of blood and anarchy. With whole sections on the brink of collapse, events took a dramatic turn when a combined force of the Adeptus Astartes emerged from the black depths beyond the spiral arm and launched a sudden and overwhelming attack directly upon the uprising's command. Though many Space Marines fell in glory, the warlords of the Traitor factions were slain and the uprising fractured into a thousand localised rebellions which were soon put down by local forces. Subsequent Inquisitorial studies claimed that these Space Marines were drawn from several Chapters, including the Death Eagles, Minotaurs, Carcharodons and Angels of Absolution. Other evidence however, including their estimated Founding and projected deployment dates, contradict these assertations, consigning the entire event to conjecture.
- The Pentarchy of Blood (860-940.M33) - During the War of the False Primarch, a dark and bloody episode of the Imperium's history, now largely lost to myth and purged from the record, which plunged the Segmentum Pacificus into anarchy, the Pentarchy of Blood was convened by the High Lords of Terra to enact their judgement. Five Chapters; the Death Eagles, the Carcharodons, the Charnel Guard, the Flesh Eaters and the Red Talons were used to systematically destroy eleven Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes judged Traitoris Perdita and lay waste to their home worlds, finally drawing the eight decade conflict to a close.
The Death Eagles predominately wear black coloured Power Armour. The shoulder guards have white coloured insets with black coloured trim. The helmet is a bone white colour with red eye lenses. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is black in colour, with the central icon being bone white in colour. The black coloured squad specialty symbol -- (Tactical, Devastator, Assault, or Veteran) -- is indicated on the right shoulder guard. A white coloured Roman numeral is stenciled in the centre of the squad specialty symbol, indicating squad number. The iconography of the right knee pad indicates company number in accordance to the dictats of the Codex Astartes.
The Death Eagles' Chapter badge is a white, avian skull of a raven surrounded by ebon coloured feathered wings (elevated and displayed), centred upon a field of white.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Release Booklet)
- How To Paint Space Marines (2004), pg. 88
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 17
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid On Kastorel-Novem, pg. 104
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned, pg. 21
- The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest by Alan Bligh, pg. 158