- "For eleven hundred years, I have fought and I have seen the darkness in our galaxy. I have seen the vileness of the alien and the heresy of the mutant. I have witnessed the sin of possession. I have seen all the evil that the galaxy harbours, and I have slain all whose presence defiles the Emperor. I have seen what you will see. I have fought what you must fight, and I have slain what you must slay... so fear not and be proud, for we are the sons of Sanguinius, the protectors of Mankind. Aye, we are indeed the Angels of Death."
- — Lord Commander Dante addressing a new group of Neophytes
Lord Commander Cervan Dante is the current Chapter Master of the Blood Angels Space Marines Chapter, and has been the Chapter Master for 1,100 standard years. Dante's Power Armour incorporates a highly ornate golden death mask beneath his Iron Halo, called the Death Mask of Sanguinius, which is said to have been worn by and shaped to match the fear-inspiring features of Sanguinius, the Blood Angels' Primarch. He is believed to be the oldest living Loyalist Space Marine as he is currently 1,300 standard years old, with the exception of those Space Marines sustained by the cybernetic technology of Dreadnoughts, the use of temporal stasis or other technological means of extending human life. Lord Commander Dante's exact age is unknown and he is suspected by some members of his Chapter to be much older.
The Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter is ruled over by Lord Commander Cervan Dante, Lord of the Host and Bringer of Sanguinius' Light. Dante is truly a legend, for his deeds span many long centuries. Indeed, he is thought by many to be the oldest living Space Marine currently active in the Imperium. Even Captain Lysander of the Imperial Fists, who was lost in the eddies and tides of Warpspace for a thousand standard years, cannot recall a time when Dante did not reign supreme over the Blood Angels.
None can deny the scope of Dante's campaign experience. He has fought battles uncounted, orchestrated innumerable major campaigns and seized bloody victory on worlds as far-flung as Ultima Macharia and star-swept Jonol. It is said that no man has visited as many of the Imperium's million worlds as Dante, and he has come to each in full raiment of war, at the head of a glorious and vengeful host. Dante is widely known across the Imperium for the important role he played in the Wars for Armageddon, especially the Second War for Armageddon. Dante and his Blood Angels led the Space Marine reinforcements to Acheron Hive, where he routed the attacking Orks and captured the heretical Planetary Governor Herman von Strab. Without the Blood Angels' reinforcements, Acheron Hive may well have fallen to the Orks, and with it, the Imperium's remaining chances of victory and the retention of its grip on this crucial strategic world became certain. When the Third War for Armageddon started, Dante was too far away to fulfil his prior pledge to defend the planet from any further attempts by the Orks to seize it. In his stead, he sent Captain Tycho and his 3rd Company of the Blood Angels to aid the world's defence.
To his fellow Chapter Masters, Dante is an exemplar of the fearlessness, dedication and strategic genius that speak to the heart of the Space Marines' never-ending mission. To the hard-pressed generals and marshals of the Imperial Guard he is a thrice-welcomed and honoured ally in the forefront of Mankind's defence. To the common soldiers and citizens of the Imperium, Dante is nothing less than a saviour, a golden god who descends from the heavens on wings of fire. So long now has Dante lived that his exploits have passed into myth. It is now impossible to say how many Ork heads Dante cleaved at the Liberation of Canau, for the tally grows greater each time the story is recounted. Did Dante truly defeat the Bloodthirster Skarbrand before the Gates of Pandemonium? Was it indeed a single mighty blow that clove the daemon in twain? Only Dante himself can say with certainty. Yet he speaks not on such events, no matter how much the exaggerated nature of such tales must rankle his warrior pride. The Imperium needs heroes, needs hope, in these dark times, and the Commander of the Blood Angels keeps his peace so that Mankind does not lose heart.
Dante's Final Duty
Lord Commander Dante has grown weary of his burdens despite all of his success, or perhaps because of it. He has lived far longer than he should, and the burden of centuries grows ever weightier. Only one thing prevents Dante succumbing to ennui. Recorded in the Scrolls of Sanguinius are the Primarch's visions of a great battle to overshadow all others. This vision was predicted before his death at the hands of Horus, that a lone "Golden Warrior" would ultimately stand between the Emperor of Mankind and His destruction. Many Imperial scholars have assumed this prophecy refers to Sanguinius' own stand against Horus aboard his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, during the Battle of Terra at the end of the Horus Heresy. Through some inherent instinct, perhaps a lingering trace of his Primarch's fabled far-seeing eye, Dante believes otherwise. One day, perhaps one day soon, the defence of the now-helpless Emperor, who resides trapped on His Golden Throne, will rest in Dante's hands, and he aims to fulfil this final duty.
- Scouring of Ultramar (746.M41) - Recognising that the Tyranid invasion of Ultramar is but the first of many yet to occur, Lord Commander Dante sends three companies of Blood Angels to assist the Ultramarines in scouring the remaining beasts from the eastern sectors. Upon their return three years later, the three companies are much reduced in number, but wealthy in invaluable Tyranid-hunting doctrines that are swiftly passed on to the rest of the Chapter.
- The Assault on Baal (798.M41) - Three colossal Space Hulks drop out of Warp in the Baal system, signalling the arrival of WAAAGH! Big Skorcha. Dante orders the deployment of two companies to each of Baal's moons. The remaining companies are assigned to strike forces and ordered to board and destroy the space hulks. Two of the space hulks are destroyed with much of the Waaagh! still on board. Before it too is destroyed, the final space hulk disgorges thousands of Orks, the Warlord Big Skorcha among them, onto the surface of Baal. Knowing the bulk of the Blood Angels forces to still be in orbit or on the two moons, Big Skorcha aims to breach and ransack the Chapter's Fortress-Monastery. However, the Blood Angels are not to be so easily outmanoeuvred, as the Chapter's Dreadnoughts led the defence of the Fortress-Monastery long enough for reinforcements to arrive from orbit.
- The Anonar Spirewar (830.M41) - Dante sends the 3rd and 4th Companies to quell rebellion on the Hive World of Axonar. Deeming the defences at the base of the hive cities to be too formidable for a direct assault, Captain Metraen orders a series of low-orbit jump pack insertions onto the upper spires. Trapped behind their own defences, the rebels are swiftly crushed.
- The Battle of Stonehaven (901.M41) - Lord Commander Dante leads the Stormraven drop assault that finally breaks Waaagh! Bludcrumpa's decade-long siege on Forge World Ironhelm.
- Second War for Armageddon (941.M41) - WAAAGH! Ghazghkull descends upon the Hive World of Armageddon during the Second War for Armageddon. The Blood Angels are one of three Space Marine Chapters to respond. Such is Lord Commander Dante's reputation that Tu'Shan of the Salamanders and Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines cede overall command to him. The tactical manoeuvrability of the Blood Angels proves to be crucial in the later stages of the campaign. The 3rd Company, under the command of the newly promoted Captain Erasmus Tycho, forms the heart of an armoured spearhead that cripples the chief Ork supply lines, leaving the Waaagh!'s Mekboyz without the necessary gubbins and gears to keep the massive Skullhammas and Stompas fully operational. With its 'eavy guns thus neutralised, the Waaagh! is finally broken before the towering walls of Tartarus Hive, where Dante and Tu'Shan famously fight side by side against Ghazghkull's bodyguard.
- The Gehenna Campaign (955.M41) - Lord Commander Dante and the 3rd Company battle against the Necron Legions of the Silent King amidst the dusty wastes of Gehenna. For three weeks, neither side can seize the upper hand, with Dante's tactical brilliance stretched to its limits in countering the time-space manipulations of the Silent King. The stalemate is broken only when a Tyranid splinter fleet enters orbit, forcing the two armies to break off hostilities and fight the common foe. The impromptu alliance proves to be the Tyranids' undoing. Following the final battle at Devil's Crag, Dante and the Silent King go their separate ways, both forces now too battleworn to guarantee victory over the other, and, at least for the Blood Angels, the idea of turning on those they had so recently fought alongside, a rather distasteful one.
- The Blackfang Crusade (994.M41) - Judging that the ark strongholds in the Blackfang System have defied the Imperium for too long, Dante mobilises the entire Chapter in a year-long campaign that not only drives the arks from the twelve worlds of Blackfang, but also from two neighbouring systems.
- Scions of Sanguinius Conclave (999.M41) - 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 lead 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 Caeucus 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 Bloodfiend seized the holy relic and then tipped the contents of the cup into its open mouth and drained it to the dregs. 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 - Dante's Power Armour is a shining gold in colour, and it is said to be "like watching a flame of glory pass above the battlefield," when he uses his Jump Pack to swiftly move across the field of battle.
- Death Mask of Sanguinius - This ancient artefact resonates with the Primarch's rage at Horus' treachery, and can be used to call down a curse upon a foe that will severely weaken their morale and combat ability. Dante has never removed this golden death mask outside of the Blood Angels' fortress-monastery, so his actual physical appearance is unknown.
- Iron Halo
- Perdition Pistol - In battle, Dante also wields the Perdition Pistol, a special pistol-sized Meltagun crafted using technical knowledge long since lost by the Adeptus Mechanicus, making it an extremely powerful ranged weapon. Only a warrior as great and as loyal to the Emperor of Mankind as Lord Commander Dante is permitted to wield such a weapon.
- Axe Mortalis - Dante's other weapon is an immensely powerful Power Axe, the Axe Mortalis, forged in the days immediately after the end of the Horus Heresy, which Dante uses to slice through enemy ranks and cut down the enemies of the Imperium of Man.
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pp. 9, 12, 14-17, 23, 29, 40-41, 51, 53, 66, 82
- Codex: Blood Angels (4th Edition), pg. 6
- Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition)
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), pg. 39
- Index Astartes II, "Angels of Death - The Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter"
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 181
- White Dwarf 331 (UK), "Blood Angels Official Codex: Part II
- White Dwarf 330 (UK), "Blood Angels Official Codex: Part I
- White Dwarf 329 (US), "Sons of Sanguinius" and "Standard Bearer", pp. 74, 87
- White Dwarf 299 (UK), "Angels of Death: Codex Space Marines Preview"
- White Dwarf 262 (AUS), "Index Astartes – Blood Angels"
- White Dwarf 261 (US), "Index Astartes First Founding - Angels of Death, The Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter"
- White Dwarf 228 (US), "Codex Blood Angels - Angels of Death"
- White Dwarf 194 (US), "Lords of Baal: Blood Angels Characters", pp. 11–14
- Bloodquest II: Into the Eye of Terror by Gordon Rennie and illustrated by Colin MacNeil
- Bloodquest III: The Daemon's Mark by Gordon Rennie and illustrated by Colin MacNeil
- The Blood Angels Omnibus by James Swallow
- Blood Angels Novel Series:
- Deus Encarmine (Novel) by James Swallow
- Deus Sanguinius (Novel) by James Swallow
- Red Fury (Novel) by James Swallow
- Black Tide (Novel) by James Swallow
- Games Workshop Catalogue - Lord Commander Dante