The Knights of the Raven is a Loyalist Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter of an unknown Founding some time in the latter half of the 38th Millennium and, due only to the coincidence of similar iconography and title, a Successor Chapter of the Raven Guard. Very few details of the Knights of the Raven Chapter are known, even within the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes, the Deathwatch, and the Ordos of the Imperial Inquisition. When they fight alongside other Imperial forces they communicate only when necessary, and use their own cryptic battle tongue amongst themselves. The Chapter's homeworld is the Feudal World of Coralax. In recent history, for unknown reasons, the Knights of the Raven "came to blows" with Astartes from the Aurora Chapter; the resulting conflict was apparently ended by Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines. In penance for shedding the blood of fellow Astartes, they are currently fighting a guerrilla war against the Tyranids of the remaining splinters of Hive Fleet Kraken.
Over the millennia, the Adeptus Terra has seen fit to found fewer and fewer Successor Chapters from the Raven Guard's limited genetic material as the gene-seed has continued its gradual deterioration. The Knights of the Raven are one of only a handful of Raven Guard Successor Chapters to have been founded since the latter half of the 39th Millennium. However, in the short time since their birth, they have already proven their valour in hundreds of bloody engagements across many war zones. The fortress-monastery of the Knights of the Raven is on the Feudal World of Coralax, renamed upon the Chapter's Founding in honour of their Primarch. To the inhabitants of this bleak place, the Knights of the Raven are mythological figures. They appear to their awed populace only once every thirteen standard years, when their emissaries descend from the heavens to spirit away the victors from the blood-tourneys held in their honour. In 744.M41, after joining forces to defeat the Alpha Legion warband responsible for the Redemption Rebellion, the Knights of the Raven and the Aurora Chapter swore a bitter feud against each other, each blaming the other for their grievous losses. This conflict was only ended by the intervention of Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar himself. In penance for shedding the blood of fellow Astartes, they are currently fighting a guerrilla war against the Tyranids of the remaining splinters of Hive Fleet Kraken.
- Jeghan Insurrection (Unknown Date.M41) - At the outset of the 41st Millennium the Imperial Hive World of Jeghan rose in revolt. The roots of the rebellion lay in resentment at what were felt to be excessive demands for tithed troops to fight in the campaigns against the Great Tyrant of Jagga. These flames of resentment were fanned by subversive elements in the population, leading to outright rebellion. The Knights of the Raven Chapter acted quickly to crush the rebellion, which was quickly suppressed everywhere with the exception of Jeghan Hive Secundus. It was here that the rebellion had started, and where the rebels were strongest. The Knights of the Raven soon found themselves embroiled in a protracted siege against a tenacious and well dug-in foe. There are no records that establish who first developed the Hellstorm combined-fire tactic that was employed by the Knights of the Raven as part of this campaign. All that can be said with certainty is that it was an effective tactic that was quickly adopted by Land Raider Redeemer squadrons throughout the Chapter. The tactic relied on split-second timing to launch a simultaneous attack by all of the Flamestorm Cannons in the squadron against a single target point. The resulting inferno of fire was so intense that nothing was capable of withstanding it, no matter how well armoured or protected it might be. Within weeks of the tactic being developed Hive Secundus fell and the rebels capitulated.
- Redemption Rebellion (744.M41) - The Knights of the Raven and the Aurora Chapter fought a joint-campaign to defeat the vile Alpha Legion, but soon after declaring victory, both Chapters swore a bitter feud against each other, blaming one another for their grievous losses. The Unseen Spears, the Reclusiam Command Squad of the Knights of the Raven's 2nd Company were responsible for escalating tensions between themselves and their Battle-Brothers from the Aurora Chapter. Space Marines of the Aurora Chapter accused Chaplain Givus of the Unseen Spears of cultivating superstition and fanaticism on their feudal home world. The Unseen Spears took this as a grave insult to their Chapter and came to blows with the Aurora Chapter. It was Marneus Calgar himself, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, who intervened with an impassioned speech. He suggested, as penance, that the entire Knights of the Raven Chapter be despatched to fight against Hive Fleet Kraken. The Unseen Spears immediately led the salvation of the Death World of Vallyx V, where the Knights of the Raven and their allies slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Genestealers. The Unseen Spears endure to this day, and with their Chaplain at the helm they lead blistering strikes against Kraken's splinter fleets in an effort to bring honour back to their Chapter.
- Achilus Crusade (814.M41) - The Knights of the Raven were represented in the war zones of the Jericho Reach and the ranks of the Achilus Crusade by a small task force that emerged unheralded through the Jericho-Maw Warp Gate in 814.M41. This sub-company battle force has fought many campaigns alongside other, larger forces, drawn from a variety of brother Chapters. As best as can be determined, the Knights of the Raven consider it their solemn duty to commit forces to the Crusade, for to stand by as others fight and die in the name of the Emperor is a far darker shame than any defeat that could be suffered at the hands of the foe.
- Zeist Campaign (999.M41) - The Zeist Campaign was a military conflict fought between the Imperium of Man and the Tau Empire, in the Zeist Sector of the Ultima Segmentum in early 999.M41. This campaign occurred during the Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion. This campaign ran concurrently with Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade and the assault on Imperial space by the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan. While the Imperium's military was heavily involved with preventing the breakout of the Forces of Chaos from the Cadian Gate on the other side of Imperial space, the Tau took advantage of this distraction to rapidly expand their territory. The Knights of the Raven contributed three companies to the Zeist Campaign against the Tau Empire, a war led by 2nd Company Captain Cato Sicarius of the Ultramarines. With the victory of the Imperium, the Zeist Campaign marked the end of the Tau's Third Sphere Expansion.
A small number of Knights of the Raven Battle-Brothers have since taken the Apocryphon Oath and begun a vigil of the Long Watch. As with the deployment of the Chapter's main force in the Jericho Reach, it appears this undertaking is a matter of honour, ensuring the Chapter bears its fair share of the trials and tribulations of the Achilus Crusade. This handful of Battle-Brothers have not long been serving at Watch Fortress Erioch, and it remains to be seen if their deeds will equal, or even surpass those of other, better known Chapters.
Notable Knights of the RavenEdit
- Librarian Tyrannus - A Battle-Brother of the Knights of the Raven Chapter, who was engaged upon his third vigil of the Long Watch, Tyrannus was instrumental in an action to track down and corner an infiltrator within the plasma exchanger of Watch Fortress Erioch. A gifted wielder of the psychic arts, Tyrannus had been able to sense something of the enemy's presence even when other Librarians had not. It is tragic indeed that Brother Tyrannus fell alongside his brethren, for otherwise he might have been able to pass on how he did so and something of the mystery of the whole event might have been dispelled. However he achieved it, it appears that the Librarian was only able to estimate the approximate coordinates of a nearby infiltrator, for when confronted with the infiltrator masquerading as a member of his own Kill-team, his powers were unable to distinguish one from another. Ultimately, it was the intuition of brotherhood that unveiled the intruder, when Watch Captain Peratos declared which was the enemy. Though his unusual power abandoned him at the end, Librarian Tyrannus saw the truth of the Watch Captain's judgement, fully acceding to his subsequent order to unseal the plasma exchange.
- Sergeant Sulla - Sergeant Sulla of the Knights of the Raven Chapter served in with the Deathwatch. He brought the famous Signum Array know as Sulla's Unkindness to the xenos hunters.
- Sulla's Unkindness - The origin and pattern of this highly advanced Signum Array is unknown, but records list it with a long and glorious history since it arrived at Watch Fortress Erioch with Brother-Sergeant Sulla of the Knights of the Raven. By virtue of the advanced fire-coordination capabilities granted by the Signum, Sulla's Kill-team was able to slay a Heretic army on the fringes of the Hadex Anomaly, though the army numbered in the thousands, and the Kill-team was running short of ammunition.
The Knights of the Raven's Power Armour is painted burnished silver with black trim, Aquila, and markings. The Chapter may follow the Raven Guard's custom of having the trim colour on the right shoulder plate indicate a specific company. The colour of the left knee plate indicates to which company an Astartes belongs. The squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) is indicated on the right shoulder plate, with the squad number centred in the middle of it.
The Knights of the Raven's Chapter badge is a stylised, black raven, identical in aspect to the Raven Guard's own badge, centred on a field of silver.
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 139
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 18, 53, 65
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 28, 30, 48
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 110-111, 133
- Deathwatch: The Emperor's Chosen (RPG), pg. 62
- How to Paint Space marines, pg. 89
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 104
- Warhammer 40,000: Dataslate - Reclusiam Command Squad, pp. 12-13
- Games Workshop Liber Apocalyptica - Forces of the Space Marines (Article)