Sons of Sanguinius (Modified Deathwatch)

From Karriviki


Sons of Sanguinius is a 40k roleplaying campaign about Blood Angels and their successor chapters after the Devastation of Baal in the 42nd millennium. The campaign uses a modified Deathwatch system. For comprehensive information about the Blood Angels, see the following link:

https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Blood_Angels

The Blood Angels

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"For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my Battle-Brother eternal.”

–Last Line of the Invocation Initiate of the Flesh Tearers

The Blood Angels are the noble descendants of that most puissant and angelic of the primarchs—Sanguinius. They are perhaps one of the most celebrated Chapters in the entire Imperium, their countless heroic deeds and victories known to untold billions of the Emperor’s subjects across the length and breadth of the Imperium. The beauteous, angelic visages of the Chapter’s heroes adorn gothic facades and stained glass windows in a million holy basilicas, and their portraits gaze serenely from endlessly copied and much cherished illuminated tomes.

Yet, hidden from the multitudes, the Blood Angels harbour a terrible curse. When their beloved primarch was slain at the hands of the arch-traitor Warmaster Horus at the very height of the Horus Heresy, every Blood Angel was doomed to share a portion of the pain inflicted upon his flawless form. From that day forth, every Blood Angel has been tormented by visions of the last moment of Sanguinius. The older the Space Marine gets, the more frequent and debilitating such waking nightmares become. Should he not fall in battle, every Blood Angel will one day become so consumed by these soul-searing visions that he will descend into a madness in which he must witness the death of Sanguinius over and over again, ever unable to intervene as the warmaster enacts his vile treachery.

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The very inevitability of their curse ennobles the Battle-Brothers of the Blood Angels, driving them ever onwards to a glorious death in the name of the Emperor and their primarch. Where lesser men might have surrendered to the dark urgings to shed the blood of the enemies of the Emperor, the Blood Angels have remained pure and noble for ten thousand years. Despite this, the Chapter is dying, for each year ever more of its brethren succumb to the so-called Red Thirst—the desire to rend limb from limb those responsible for the death of Sanguinius, and by extension every enemy of the Emperor.

The death of Sanguinius represents one of the most perfidious and tragic moments of the Horus Heresy, for he died at the hands of his brother-primarch, the arch-traitor Warmaster Horus. Although some say that the sacrifice weakened the Warmaster just enough to allow the Emperor to defeat him, the death of Sanguinius is mourned to this day, and felt keenly by the Blood Angels, in whose veins his blood still pumps. When war calls and blood is spilled, the Blood Angels are gripped by a fury born of the last moments of their primarch’s life. For some, the thirst is too great and they are entirely overcome by what is called the Black Rage, cursed to end their days reliving their beloved primarch’s death over and over again.

The World of Blood

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The Blood Angels hail from a trio of worlds—the rust-red desert planet of Baal, and its two barren moons, Baal Prime and Baal Secundus. While Baal itself has always been a world of red rust deserts, it moons were once paradises. Yet, at some time around the end of the Dark Age of Technology, utter devastation was visited upon Baal and its moons. In a nameless, long-forgotten war, viral and nuclear weapons were unleashed, their effects so potent that many thousands of years later, all three worlds are still subject to deadly radiation storms. Their surfaces are scarred by vast plains of blackened glass and endless tracts of polluted desert. What must once have been oceans are now poisoned seas of toxic sludge, covered in layers of pallid dust. The people of the system must have died in their millions. But somehow, humanity prevailed. The populace became scavengers, picking the bones of their once great civilisation. Many must have perished, growing sickly and feeble as the atmosphere was radically altered. In the dark time that followed the total collapse of their society, it is likely that some became worse than scavengers, and turned in their desperation to cannibalism.

Upon the surface of Baal is to be found, half buried amid oceans of dust, some evidence of a once great civilisation - vast edifices, incredible monuments that must have been constructed with masterful skill to have stood for so long. It is obvious that the people of Baal spent their time creating mighty statues of their rulers and their gods, and it is through this record that those people are known.

One side effect from the ensuing radioactive atmosphere was inevitable. In time, the accumulated chemical and radioactive toxins that built up in the survivors’ bodies forced them to devolve into mutants, shambling parodies of the men their forefathers had once been. But there were some who held onto their humanity and preserved some semblance of sanity, forming tribes for mutual protection. But these were the embattled few, as a new and savage culture evolved amid the ruins of the old. The only social unit remaining was the tribe. For humanity and cannibal alike, the only folk they could rely on were their own kin.

The people of the Baal system became nomads, shifting from place to place, picking the ruins clean, and warring to preserve what spoils could be gathered. They constructed ramshackle vehicles and learned how to make rad-suits—and more importantly, rad-counters—to protect them from their hellish, blasted environment. The tribes fought constant wars. Where once they had been close to paradise, now they were closer to hell.

The Blood Angels maintain their fortress-monastery on Baal, and recruit from amongst the tribes of all three worlds. To be chosen in such a manner is more than the greatest of honours—it promises deliverance from the nightmarish realities of life on Baal and its moons. Only the toughest ever earn such honour, the vast majority eking out a short, brutal life amongst the warring tribes and the benighted radiation deserts.

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Initiations

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To ascertain who is worthy to join the ranks of the Blood Angels, the youths of the pure Baalite tribes must take part in violent games and magnificent tournaments, battling against both the harsh landscape of their home world and, ultimately, each other. The contests are held only once in each generation, at the very place that Sanguinius first came to Baal—Angel’s Fall. Aspirants must reach the so-called Place of Challenge by whatever means they can, a process that weeds out many weaker individuals hoping to join the ranks of the Blood Angels. They must race across uncharted miles of hostile, irradiated desert. They must leap from the highest cliffs, praying that the primitive assembly of wings each bears will save them from sudden death. They must find their way through canyons infested with gigantic, mutated beasts. The desiccated husks of previous hopefuls bear witness to those who undertook the trials rashly. Once they reach the Place of Challenge, gladiatorial contests, often to the very death, ensure that only the most skilled and determined fighters survive.

Once fifty or so victors have been separated from the unsuccessful aspirants, they will be taken by Thunderhawk gunship to fulfil the next stage of their trials. Those who fail are nonetheless granted positions of honour when they return to their tribes, for the mere fact of their having survived the trials, even if not selected, is a great feat in itself.

The successful aspirants are taken to the fortress-monastery of the Blood Angels, where they witness sights of such magnificent glory that many are struck down with awe. They are taken before the full battle-brethren, and it is here that the contrast between aspirant and Space Marine is truly evident. Despite their youth, very few of the aspirants will be untouched by the ravages of the blasted lands in which they have lived. Their bodies are riddled with cankers and sores, their faces marred by lesions. In contrast, the towering physiques of the Space Marines around them are the very ideal of perfect beauty, their skin smooth, their features noble.

Having observed a gruelling vigil of three days and three nights, the aspirants are led away by the Chapter’s Sanguinary Priests, who fulfil not only the role of Apothecary, but of the bearers of their primarch’s most sacred blood. Each aspirant must partake of this blood, which is born in a chalice proffered to them by a priest. Soon after sipping the precious liquid, the aspirants fall into a profound sleep and are taken to the Hall of Sarcophagi. The walls of this vast, cathedral-like chamber are lined with mighty golden caskets, each twice the size of a man. The sleeping aspirants are entombed within, dwarfed by the size of the huge sarcophagi, and attached to an array of life-sustaining nodes. There they remain for a full year, fed intravenously with nutrients and injected with the Blood of Sanguinius.

As the aspirants slumber, they are engulfed by vivid and strange dreams depicting the memories of Sanguinius himself. Thus the very essence of the primarch permeates the minds of his new sons, and ever afterwards these potent emotions and memories will be permanently imprinted upon their souls.

When the aspirants are finally removed from their sarcophagi, they have been changed so thoroughly that few could believe they were once the twisted creatures rescued from the living hell of their prior lives. They have become tall, immensely strong, and superhumanly powerful. Their restructured bodies have taken on a haunting beauty reminiscent of their angelic forefather, their senses keener, and their muscles stronger than tempered steel. Through this arcane process and lost technology, the scrofulous wastelander is transformed into a being of radiant purity and noble purpose.

The Sons of Sanguinius

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The Blood Angels are amongst the longest-lived of all of the Space Marine Chapters, their gene-seed granting a vastly increased lifespan on all who possess it. It is not uncommon, therefore, for a Blood Angel to live for a millennium or more, if death in battle or the Red Thirst does not claim him first. These vastly extended life spans allow the Blood Angels to perfect their techniques in art as well as in war. They have centuries to perfect the disciplines to which they turn their minds, and this accounts for the fact that Blood Angels’ armour and banners are amongst the most ornate ever produced.

Following the example of their primarch, the Blood Angels espouse a vision of the galaxy in which the enemies of the Emperor can be defeated and mankind can progress to the life he was always fated to live. There is a deeply mystical streak in the Blood Angels’ doctrines, and a strong belief that things can be made better. After all, the Blood Angels are recruited from the scrofulous wastelanders of Baal, and if such can be transformed into a tall, proud, and handsome warrior, then there is hope for mankind yet. This belief can be seen in everything the Blood Angels do. They strive for perfection in all of their endeavours. Their works of art are things of beauty and symmetry. Their martial disciplines are practised unceasingly. Their doctrines are permeated with a sense of mortality and the fallen greatness of Man.

The beatific countenance and noble bearing of the Blood Angels is in stark contrast to the curse they bear. While lesser warriors might become morose or fatalistic, weighed down by the inevitability of their fate, the Blood Angels remain stoic. The Blood Angels’ cadre of Sanguinary Priests—the equivalent of Apothecaries in other Chapters—tirelessly pursue a cure to the Red Thirst. But each year, more and more brethren succumb to it. Perhaps in an effort to hold the curse at bay, many Blood Angels sleep in the same casket where their bodies were transformed from the ravaged Baalite wastelanders to the perfect forms they emerged as, the arcane machinery filtering and purifying their blood as they slumber.

Combat Doctrine

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The Blood Angels adhere closely to the organisation laid down in Roboute Guilliman’s Codex Astartes, and the Chapter’s Battle-Brothers are equipped in a similar manner to most other Space Marines. The Battle-Brothers often display a savage desire to engage their foes in the fury of close combat, their rage growing all the stronger the closer to succumbing to the Red Thirst the Blood Angel steps. Most of the time, the Blood Angels are able to hold their curse in check, but those they engage in assault soon discover the bloodthirsty savagery of the sons of Sanguinius.

Blood Angels are unique amongst the Space Marines in that their gene-seed contains the encoded experience of their Primarch, and most deeply imprinted of all is the memory of Sanguinius’ final battle with Horus. Sometimes, on the eve of battle, an event or circumstance will trigger this embedded memory and the Battle-Brother’s mind is suddenly wrenched into the distant past. The Black Rage overcomes the Blood Angel as the memories and consciousness of Sanguinius intrude upon his mind, and dire events ten thousand years old flood into the present.

A warrior overcome with the Black Rage appears half mad with fury; he is unable to distinguish past from present and does not recognise his comrades. He may believe he is Sanguinius upon the eve of his destruction, and the bloody battles of the Horus Heresy are raging all around him. Such a Battle-Brother stands at the end of his travails, for his path leads only to the Death Company, where he and the Chapter’s other damned souls will fight one final battle in Sanguinius’ name under the guidance of a Chaplain. These individuals each fight their own battle, perhaps believing themselves to be waging the wars of the Horus Heresy at the side of their beloved primarch. Death for the members of the Death Company is a blessed mercy, for those not consumed in the cleansing fires of battle must be restrained and imprisoned, for their safety and that of their brethren, until the next battle.

Heraldry of the Host

The Blood Angels adhere to a strict heraldic system, allowing them to recognise what company and squad any given battle-brother belongs to at a glance. The advantages of such swift recognition amid the madness of battle are obvious. More than this, however, the Sons of Sanguinius revere their heraldry, and bear these markings as badges of pride.

Helmet

While some Space Marine Chapters use helmet colour to denote rank, the Blood Angels’ helmets reflect the squad type to which they belong. This battle-brother’s red helm signifies that he is a Tactical Space Marine.

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Chapter Symbol

All Blood Angels in power armour display their Chapter emblem upon their left shoulder pad. Normally black set against red, these colours are swapped for gold on black in the case of Sergeants.

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Boltgun

In comparison to the rest of their wargear, a Blood Angel’s boltgun will normally boast a matt black casing. This sombre colouration does not diminish the bolter’s paramountcy as the Blood Angels’ chosen weapon of death. These weapons are crafted by the finest Blood Angels artisans. As such, many feature finely tooled inlays, gold chasing, or inset precious stones. Some veteran battle-brothers prefer to use a Baal-pattern boltgun.

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Honour Scroll

The scrolls affixed to the armour of many Blood Angels record their noblest deeds. This is not vainglory. Should the wearer fall to the Black Rage, such scrolls serve as a memorial, a record of the warrior that has been lost.

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Squad Markings

Individual Blood Angels squads can be easily recognised by their squad markings, displayed on the battle-brother’s right knee pad. The white skull emblazoned on blue displayed by this battle-brother indicates that he belongs to the second squad of his company.

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Armour Decoration

The Blood Angels take great pride in the artistry of their wargear. Some battle-brothers craft new adornments and decorations onto their own armour. Others inherit suits already heavy with blood drops, golden wings and other emblems. Either way, these flourishes embody the nobility to which all Blood Angels aspire.

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Order of Battle

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Blood Angels Successor Chapters

These are all the Blood Angels successor chapters available for play in the campaign.

The Angels Encarmine

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The Angels Encarmine share many traits with their progenitor Chapter, the Blood Angels, included the tragic flaw that afflicts so many of the line of Sanguinius. This curse manifests itself in many different ways, but in the case of the Angels Encarmine it has led to a fiery, zealous temperament that drives the Chapter to ever greater heights of valour. It has been said of the Angels Encarmine that few other Chapters can match the battle honours they have earned, but it is also true that these have come at a terrible price. Where other Chapters might retire after a hard fought campaign to rebuild and reconstitute their numbers, the Angels Encarmine plunge headlong into the next battle. Rarely is any time given over to recuperation, meaning that the Chapter is seldom operating at anything like full strength. It has been surmised that the Angels Encarmine fight in this manner as a means of staving off the worst effects of the Flaw, but some well-placed observers have posited an alternative possibility. Perhaps, they whisper, the Angels Encarmine fight the way they do to purge their ranks of those in the grip of the Black Rage. It has been observed that the Chapter’s Death Company—the formation into which those suffering the worst of the Flaw are grouped—is larger than that of most of its fellow Blood Angels Successors. This could point to an acceleration in the numbers of Battle-Brothers falling prone to the Black Rage, a fact that must surely herald the doom of the Angels Encarmine.

The Angels Sanguine

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The Angels Sanguine are another Chapter formed when the Blood Angels Legion was divided during the Second Founding, and like many of their peers, the Chapter’s Battle-Brothers have served with honour and courage throughout the ten thousand years of the Age of Imperium. The Chapter is especially honoured for its heroic actions defending the regions surrounding the Eye of Terror against the Black Crusades of the servants of Chaos, and held in high esteem by most other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Despite this proud heritage, there lingers an air of mystery about the Angels Sanguine that can only be a result of the tragic Flaw of the Blood Angels.

The most outwardly distinctive feature of the Angels Sanguine is that none of the Chapter’s Battle-Brothers ever remove their helmets, nor reveal their faces in the presence of one not of their own Chapter. Even amongst their own kin, whether of their own Chapter or others of the line of Sanguinius, they obscure their features beneath monkish hoods. Exactly why this should be the case has never been determined by any outsiders, and as a result, the Chapter’s Battle-Brothers are regarded with a measure of dread by most they encounter. What might lie beneath the helmets and hoods none can say. Perhaps they are afflicted by some psychical mutation linked to the Flaw, or maybe they simply choose to obscure their faces as some form of penance. Furthermore, a number of dark tales have emerged regarding the Chapter’s Fortress-Monastery, most of which concern the dark catacombs said to lie far beneath it.

The Angels Vermillion

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The Angels Vermillion are a Second Founding Successor of the Blood Angels Legion, created during the massive reorganisation set in motion by Roboute Guilliman in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy. While most Blood Angels Successors maintain close ties with one another and with their sire, the Angels Vermillion appear to be an exception. Though none outside of the Chapters concerned can say for certain why, it is probable that the Angels Vermillion have determined, for whatever reason, to suffer the curse afflicting all of the Blood Angels’ scions alone. While the Chapter has earned numerous battle honours prosecuting the Imperium’s wars, they have very rarely been observed fighting in the same war zone as the Blood Angels or another Successor.

In addition to their apparent isolationist nature, the Angels Vermillion is a notoriously secretive Chapter, though it is hardly unusual for the Adeptus Astartes to shun the attentions of non-Space Marine institutions. It has been suggested that the reason for this secrecy lies in the genetic curse shared by all of the Sons of Sanguinius, though why the Angels Vermillion should extend this attitude to others of their kin is unknown. Perhaps in the Angels Vermillion the Flaw manifests itself differently, in some way the Chapter would wish to hide even from their own. What extremes of affliction might be worse than those affecting some of the other Successor Chapters may never be known, for the Angels Vermillion appear intent upon bearing their burden alone.

The Blood Drinkers

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The Blood Drinkers display all the outward signs of having overcome the worst aspects of the Flaw, and while the Chapter still maintains a Death Company it appears that far fewer of its Battle-Brothers fall to the so-called “Black Rage.” To all appearances, the noble brethren of the Blood Drinkers have attained a level of control and perfection exceeding even that of their Progenitor Legion. Appearances, however, are deceptive.

The Blood Drinkers have attained their current level of control over the Red Thirst not by denying it or controlling it, but by surrendering themselves to it. Every one of the Chapter’s rituals and observances are based on the consumption of blood, and often in massive quantities. The source of the blood used in these ceremonies is unknown, as is the form the rituals take. It is probable that the blood is drawn from the Battle-Brothers’ own veins, or perhaps from slain predators whose qualities the brethren covet. In some quarters however, it is whispered that the blood is offered, unwillingly, by captives, fallen enemies or even by innocents. None have witnessed the Blood Drinkers’ sanguinary rites, not even their brethren amongst the other Blood Angels Successors, and they go to great lengths to conceal them from any and all outsiders. While the Blood Drinkers may appear to have attained control over the Flaw, it is just as likely that they have doomed themselves in other ways, and their future is just as uncertain as that of the remainder of the Blood Angels Successors.

The Flesh Tearers

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A Second Founding Blood Angels Successor Chapter, the Flesh Tearers have served Humanity since the dawn of the Age of Imperium. Tragically, the Flesh Tearers have become increasing prone to the most extreme effects of the Blood Angels’ Flaw, to such an extent that, like other Blood Angels Successors, the Chapter now stands at the very brink of oblivion.

In latter centuries, the Flesh Tearers have fallen to increasing extremes on the field of battle. The Battle-Brothers’ rage has known no bounds, continuing long after all enemies have been slain. Collateral damage has been excessive, and on several occasions allied forces have been attacked in the immediate aftermath of a successful assault. An apparent disregard for other Imperial forces has led to a number of reported atrocities, with innocents caught in the crossfire slain alongside genuine enemies of the Imperium. Other Imperial forces have come to abhor the Chapter, and it has drawn the eye of the Inquisition.

Recent History

Sons of Sanguinius campaign occurs just after the Devastation of Baal when most of the successor chapters are still on (or near) Baal and on its moons.

An Age of Black Despair, M41-M42

Note: All dates from this point forward are provisional due to errors in the Imperial Calendar, meaning these events could actually have occurred at any time from the early 41st Millennium to the early 42nd Millennium.

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The Tendril Uncoils (ca. 999.M41)

The Baal System was reinforced like never before. Answering Commander Dante's call, one Blood Angels Successor Chapter after another arrived to lend much—if not all—of their strength to their primogenitors. Slab-sided defences were raised upon the blasted sands of Baal Prime and Secundus, and even around the fortress-monastery of Arx Angelicum on Baal itself. Fleets of Cruisers and Battle Barges gathered in the void around Baal and its moons, their combined might enough to crush star systems and end worlds. Still, as deep-void Auspex screens turned blood red with contact runes, and a ten-thousand-kilometere-wide tidal wave of chitin and flesh surged into the Baal System, it seemed unlikely that it would be enough.

Desperate Measures (ca. 999.M41)

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With the Tyranids closing in, Commander Dante and his closest lieutenants authorised deeds that would have been unthinkable in brighter days. The Blood Angels' precious gene-seed reserves were removed from their storage crypts, packed carefully for transit under the watchful eyes of Sanguinary Priests, and then sent away on a swift starship with a hand-picked complement of guards. At the same time, millennia of tradition was cast aside as Blood Angels gunships gather every viable Aspirant they can from amongst the nomadic tribes of Baal Prime and Secundus. These youths were armed, and then ferried to the Arx Angelicum. There they formed defence garrisons whose strength augmented that of Sanguinius' sons. At least forty thousand wide-eyed youths were gathered in this way, and told that any who survives the coming battle will surely prove their worthiness to join the Chapter's ranks. Of the remaining tribesmen of Baal little was said. Given what extra weapons and rations the Blood Angels could spare, they were left to hide or stand as they saw fit. Any Tyranids they would kill would be fewer monstrosities to beset the Blood Angels and their Successors, but the tribesmen were not expected to weather the horrors that followed.

The Devastation of Baal (ca. 999.M41)

Unwilling to cede void supremacy to the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan without a fight, Commander Dante ordered his naval vessels to strike at the enemy and slow their advance. Across a hundred fronts, the red-armoured voidcraft of the Blood Angels and their Successors struck at the fleshy Tyranid Hive Ships. Lances and gun decks split the darkness with their fury. Ruptured bio-ships tumbled away, slicks of ichor spilling from their sundered innards to freeze in the merciless void. Dozens of Tyranid bio-ships were butchered, hundreds of thousands of warrior organisms slain before they ever saw the irradiated sands of Baal. Still the Blood Angels were driven back, every victory carrying its own butcher's bill in flaming hulks and dead Battle-Brothers. Soon enough the void war became unsustainable as more and more Tyranids flowed from the darkness in squamous waves. With their surviving voidcraft forced to fall back and harass the Hive Fleet's flanks, the Blood Angels faced the full fury of the Tyranid invasion. On Baal, Baal Prime and Baal Secundus, aircraft-sized Mycetic Spores darkened the skies in their millions. The Shadow in the Warp settled like a shroud, choking off any further hope of reinforcement. The Sons of Sanguinius stood alone.

Death From Above (ca. 999.M41)

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Tyranids poured from the skies in ever-increasing numbers. Their spores slammed down like hellish seed pods to spill ravenous waves of war beasts directly into battle. Orbital lasers and hurtling gunships took a mighty toll upon the xenos, in some regions wreaking such carnage that purple ichor fell like storm rain across the defenders below. Yet still the Tyranid waves came on, Tyrannocytes falling thicker and thicker while Gargoyles and Harpies swooped between them, spitting acidic gruel that send Blood Angels aircraft spiralling down in flames. On Baal and Baal Secundus, rippling tides of warrior organisms surged onto the defenders' guns and were shredded amidst storms of fire. Their corpses piled up in hideous drifts, yet still they pressed forwards, metre by metre. On Baal Prime the situation was worse still, the Tyranids hurling overwhelming forces into battle. Angel's Fall became a blood-drenched altar to the gods of battle, its defenders massacred by an avalanche of chitinous bodies and razored talons. Gabriel Seth and his berserk Flesh Tearers led the counterattack, tearing the heart from one Tyranid swarm after another, but their victories did not come without cost.

Driven Back (ca. 999.M41)

For solar weeks the fighting raged on. The Tyranid body count spiraled upwards with breathtaking speed, Dante's warriors felling hundreds of xenos for every one of their own that fell. Yet fall the Sons of Sanguinius did, as their defence lines were breached and overwhelmed one after another. At last, the defenders stood defiant within the Arx Angelicum's final fortifications. Still the Tyranids fell from the skies. Still the slaughter continued.

Secundus Defiant (ca. 999.M41)

On Baal Secundus, the Carmine Blades held firm in the face of each Tyranid attack. Feet planted, Bolters roaring, they held Baal's astropathic relay against impossible odds, bringing honour to their names with each bloody day that dawned.

Last Stand (ca. 999.M41)

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The greatest Tyranid wave yet slammed into the defences of the Arx Angelicum and breached them. Three Successor Chapter Masters fell in the battle of the Dome of Angels alone. Bodies piled high amidst the sundered defences. Still the defenders fought on, even throwing open the gates of the Tower of Amareo and letting the captive members of the Death Company loose. If the Blood Angels were to die, they would do so in battle and on their own terms.

The Storm Breaks (ca. 999.M41)

The Great Rift teared across the galaxy. Warp Storms spilled from its howling maw, engulfing the war-torn worlds of the Baal System in empyric insanity. The Tyranids were cut off from their fleet, while on Baal Prime the sudden fury of a massive daemonic incursion was unleashed. Perhaps it was solar hours that passed, or days. Perhaps it was Terran years relative to the rest of the galaxy. Amidst the reality-bending energies of the Warp, Sanguinius' sons and the beasts of Hive Fleet Leviathan fought on towards mutual annihilation. Then, at last, the stars emerged again, revealing not a single bio-ship. Where the xenos voidcraft had gone, none can say, but as the Tyranid ground forces reeled in confusion, a new fleet was revealed in their place. The Indomitus Crusade had arrived, Roboute Guilliman guided to Baal by the signal of its astropathic relay. With a word, he unleashed his fury...

Angels and Daemons (Unknown Date.M42)

The salvation of Baal did not come quickly, or without cost. Even as Guilliman's forces rained down to relieve the siege of the Arx Angelicum, even as they joined forces with the surviving Sons of Sanguinius and fought to purge Baal and its moons of xenos, still more Imperial lives were lost. Yet hopeless defeat had become a glorious victory against the odds. Meanwhile, if certain grim secrets of the Blood Angels were laid bare to the eyes of the Ultramarines Primarch, he chose to keep his own counsel and left such things unspoken. Baal and Baal Secundus were cleansed of Tyranids before a solar month was out. The slaughter was spearheaded by Primaris Space Marines clad in the panoply of the Blood Angels and their Successors. On Baal Prime no such martial efforts were required. The moon had been utterly scoured of life, both Imperial and Tyranid. Though Gabriel Seth and his last surviving Flesh Tearers escaped the unnatural cataclysm, the only sign of life that remained on Baal Prime was the immense Khornate sigil of the Greater Daemon Ka'Bandha, ancient foe of the Blood Angels, wrought in Tyranid skulls piled mountainously high and dominating much of the moon's southern hemisphere.

An Age of Crimson Dawn, M41-M42

Note: All dates from this point forward are provisional due to errors in the Imperial Calendar, meaning these events could actually have occurred at any time from the early 41st Millennium to the early 42nd Millennium.

Hope from Horror (Unknown Date.M42)

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In the wake of the Leviathan's defeat, the Blood Angels began to rebuild. Their gene-seed stocks were recalled, taking their rightful place beneath the rising arches of the restored Arx Angelicum. The several thousand grizzled Aspirants who survived the siege were all inducted, and those that endured were funnelled into the outsized Scout Companies authorised by Commander Dante for his Chapter and their Successors. The ranks were further bolstered by a huge influx of Primaris Space Marines, unfrozen from the vaults of the Ark Mechanicus Zar-Quaesitoror and produced upon Baal itself using the newly installed mechanisms brought by Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl. With Commander Dante declared Regent of the entire Imperium Nihilus by Roboute Guilliman, the Blood Angels and their Successors were soon ready to rejoin the war for the Emperor's realm. It was well that they were, for the fight had become more desperate than ever before.

The Galaxy Screams (Unknown Date.M42)

Even as rebuilding efforts continued on Baal, scattered Astropathic messages filtered in from the void. Some were little more than formless nightmares so twisted that they were shorn of meaning. Others were the death screams of worlds, violent enough to burn out the receiving Astropaths' minds, but containing no actionable information. However, many were clear enough to be understood, especially those sent from neighbouring star systems within the Red Scar. Commander Dante assembled multiple strike forces from amongst his Chapter's newly-bolstered ranks, sending the Blood Angels out into the void as a resurgent force for good.

Sons of Sanguinius Strike Force

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The player characters belong to an ad-hoc joint Blood Angels and successor chapters operation. Due to the massive casualties during the Devastation of Baal, the space marines are stretched thin. As it has been only a couple of months after the battle, the rebuilding has only begun. The player character space marines’ base of operations is the Crimson Crusader and the joint operation is called the Sons of Sanguinius. It is a separate special strike force consisting of veteran space marines specializing in missions that regular companies do not undertake. It is a smaller unit, more flexible and intended as a surgical tool more than a hammer. The unit also has its own armoury, including techmarines, librarians and sanguinary priests. It is led by Captain Amenadiel, a former Tactical Squad Sergeant of the 2nd Flesh Tearers Company. It is intended that the strike force will operate for a few years stabilizing Baal system and its nearby worlds and then dismantle.

Commander: Captain Amenadiel, Master of Celerity
Members: Various numbers of Blood Angel and Successor Chapter Marines

Members of the Sons of Sanguinius wear the same armour as they wore in their previous position. The only identical markings are the right shoulder plate and the right knee plate that both have blue lightning bolts. These replace regular squad markings.

Captain Amenadiel

Captain Amenadiel was a Tactical Squad Sergeant in the 2nd Flesh Tearers Company just a few months ago. During the Devastation of Baal he was critically wounded when he saved the life of his Captain and has just begun to recover. After his heroics during the battle and because of the deaths of several Company Captains, he was promoted to Captain. Amenadiel has a keen tactical mind and when he has recovered sufficiently and Sons of Sanguinius Strike Force is dismantled, he will take his place as a Captain in the Flesh Tearers Chapter.

Captain Amenadiel is a veteran of three tours in Deathwatch and he proposed this strike force as a temporary solution to eradicate threats surgically. Lord Commander Dante of the Blood Angels agreed to this proposition and gave Amenadiel the command of the new strike force.

Battle-Brothers of the Sons of Sanguinius Strike Force

Battle-Brother Lexicanum Amriel

Player: Kari
Chapter: The Angels Vermillion
Specialty: Librarian
Power Armour: Mk7 "Aquila"
Previous Position: Angels Vermillion Librarius

Battle-Brother Apollo

Player: Atso
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Assault Marine
Power Armour: Mk6 "Corvus"
Previous Position: Blood Angels 8th Company "Bloodblades", 7th Assault Squad

Battle-Brother Lexicanum Arkion

Player: Vessu
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Librarian
Power Armour: Mk7 "Aquila"
Previous Position: Blood Angels Librarius

Battle-Brother Donael

Player: PPP
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Sanguinary Priest
Power Armour: Mk5 "Heresy"
Previous Position: Blood Angels Sanguinary Priesthood

Battle-Brother Keonatos

Player: Joonas
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Tactical Marine
Power Armour: Mk6 "Corvus"
Previous Position: Blood Angels 7th Company "Unconquerables", 7th Tactical Squad

Battle-Brother Kezof

Player: Santeri
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Techmarine
Power Armour: Artificer Armour
Previous Position: Blood Angels Armoury

Battle-Brother Leonatos

Player: Ryökkynen
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Tactical Marine
Power Armour: Mk8 "Errant" with a Mk6 "Corvus" left leg
Previous Position: Blood Angels 3rd Company "Ironhelms", Tactical Squad

Battle-Brother Luciferius

Player: Tuukka
Chapter: The Flesh Tearers
Specialty: Devastator Marine
Power Armour: Mk6 "Corvus" with a Mk5 "Corvus" elements
Previous Position: Flesh Tearers 4th Company, 10th Devastator Squad

Battle-Brother Malik

Player: Moff
Chapter: The Flesh Tearers
Specialty: Assault Marine
Power Armour: Mk6 "Corvus"
Previous Position: Flesh Tearers 2nd Company, 7th Assault Squad

Battle-Brother Mikhal

Player: Kohveli
Chapter: The Angels Sanguine
Specialty: Assault Marine
Power Armour: Mk6 "Corvus"
Previous Position: Angels Sanguine 8th Company, 8th Assault Squad

Battle-Brother Rafael

Player: Luide
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Devastator Marine
Power Armour: Mk7 "Aquila"
Previous Position: Blood Angels 5th Company "Daemonbanes", 9th Devastator Squad

Battle-Brother Sakariel

Player: MiB
Chapter: The Blood Angels
Specialty: Assault Marine
Power Armour: Mk7 "Aquila" with a "Corvus" helmet
Previous Position: Blood Angels 5th Company "Daemonbanes", 7th Assault Squad

Crimson Crusader

Crimson Crusader.jpg

The Crimson Crusader has served the Blood Angels since the Horus Heresy and is one of the oldest vessels in the Blood Angels fleet. The crew treats the Space Marines with the utmost respect, such that it is comparatively rare for a brother to encounter the ratings in the ordinary running of the vessel. Most of the time, the interior of the Crimson Crusader is serene, the crew keeping a respectful distance from the Battle-Brothers. The life-sustainer systems cycle sacred incense throughout and the bulkheads of the ship’s companionways are etched with mile after mile of script listing the names and deeds of the Blood Angels. Purity seals and votive streamers are affixed to prominent machine systems and blessed regularly by the ship’s Adeptus Mechanicus attendees so that they may never fail.

Prominent Locations

Bridge

In form and structure, the Crusader’s bridge is solid and functional, reflecting the utilitarian nature of the Adeptus Astartes it serves. As with much of the ship, the bulkheads are engraved with the names and deeds of countless generations of previous crew, and a riot of purity seals edge the most important of command terminals. The bridge is a large space, though not so ostentatiously massive as those of many equivalent-sized ships of the Imperial Navy. The space is dominated by a command throne atop a five metre tall plinth.

The throne is wrought to accommodate the physique of a Space Marine, and is only ever occupied by the most senior Blood Angels officer present, who by dint of his rank outranks the ship’s captain, Jerok DeSaul. The captain’s command terminal is immediately fore of and below the throne, a place from which he can easily converse with whichever of his Adeptus Astartes masters is currently in overall command of the vessel.

Chapel Sanctus

Even the smallest Imperial warship is host to scores of chapels, from the bulkhead-mounted reliquaries to cathedralsized sacred spaces, and the Crismon Crusader is no different. One particular chapel, however—the Chapel Sanctus—is the exclusive preserve of any Blood Angels Battle-Brothers travelling on the vessel and, save for the chapter serfs tasked with caring for the chapel’s relics, no lesser mortal may set foot within upon pain of death. This relatively small, stonelined space is protected by the most potent of wards and provides the Adeptus Astartes with a secluded inner sanctum in which they might perform the Chapter’s sacred Rites of Battle and annunciate the Warrior’s Catechism of Worship before battle, bless their battle gear and honour that of the dead, and stand the long vigil upon the eave of battle. The Chapel Sanctus is often employed as a reliquary when the vessel’s passengers are bearing items of great significance.

Sleeping Cells

The Crimson Crusader provides sleeping quarters for a handful of Space Marines, each of which is an unadorned, plain-walled cell equipped only with the barest necessities a Battle-Brother needs to maintain his wargear, commune with the war-spirits of his armour, and recharge its power core. The ship’s crew live in equally austere quarters.

Training Chambers

The Crimson Crusader is host to around a dozen chambers set aside for the exclusive use of the Adeptus Astartes. These large spaces can be configured in a number of different ways and are lined with heavy armour so they can be used as firing ranges. The training chambers can be isolated from the rest of the ship and, because they are all located adjacent to its hull, they can be purged if needed.

Blood Angels Armoury

In addition to the numerous batteries and arms caches intended for the use of the crew, the Crimson Crusader is host to a sealed, heavily armoured chamber in which the weapons of the Blood Angels are stored. The armoury contains far more weapons and ammunition than any Strike-team could ever require for a single mission, extending the reach and multiplying the force the Blood Angels is able to bring to bear. The armour contains numerous different types and patterns of weapon, some of which may represent the only known example of their mark or design.

Launch Decks

As a rapid strike vessel, one of the Crimson Crusader’s primary function is to carry a complement of Space Marines to its destination and to deliver its members directly into combat. The vessel is equipped with a primary launch deck in its armoured prow, and two secondary decks amidships—one port and one starboard. The primary deck is equipped with a Thunderhawk gunship which its crew keeps in a high state of alert. The secondary launch decks are generally used for non-combat or combat support operations, such as ferrying materiel to and from a landing zone, loading the ship’s ammunition stores, and receiving and delivering visitors.

The secondary decks are sometimes used to launch smaller vessels such as the Stormraven gunship, two of which are available should the Blood Angels decide to utilise them. In addition to the conventional launch decks, the Crimson Crusader is host to a Drop Pod assault cradle, in which two Adeptus Astartes Drop Pods currently await use.

Observation Blister

The Observation Blister sits atop one of the numerous armoured spires mounted towards the Crusader’s aft section. The blister is a dome of armoured glass able to accommodate a squad of Space Marines, affording a spectacular view of the vessel and of surrounding space. It is in this spartan chamber that Captain Amenadiel delivers his mission briefings.

Persons of Interest

Captain Jerok DeSaul

Captain DeSaul is, so far as can be ascertained from the archives, the fifty-ninth of his line to perform the honoured duty of commanding the Crimson Crusader. The captain is a dour and singleminded individual and his life is entirely meaningless beyond the bounds of his position. He has very little experience with those outside of the Blood Angels and cares nothing for those that dwell “dirtside” on the surfaces of the worlds he has only ever looked upon from orbit or through a targeting grid. In manner, DeSaul is supremely confident in his own abilities, and in truth he has every reason to be. Neither he, nor any of his line, have ever failed the Blood Angels. The captain displays the exact measure of deference required when interacting with Battle-Brothers and while he knows he is not their equal, he is sufficiently accustomed to their presence that he is not struck dumb as many lesser men often are in the presence of the Adeptus Astartes.

Enginseer Prime Adept Usium Mellano

As a senior member of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Mellano is not bonded to the service of the Blood Angels from birth like the vast majority of the Crimson Crusader’s crew. Instead, he attends the vessel’s engines according to the dictates of the pacts that bind the Chapter to the Mechanicus in their joint mission of service to the Imperium. In addition to his role as master of the Crusader’s drives, Mellano has ultimate responsibility for all other adherents of the Cult Mechanicus aboard the vessel. While the numerous Servitors serving aboard the warship are owned by the Blood Angels, in practise they too are the preserve of the Enginseer Prime.

Adept Mellano is unusual amongst the crew in that he is not instilled with the awe in which most hold the Adeptus Astartes. While the Enginseer holds the Space Marines in great esteem, he is capable of feeling very little in the way of fear, certainly not in the way most men experience it, at least. Mellano’s manner is detached and cold, his attentions always on his precious drives unless some facet of unfamiliar or unmastered technology should gain his attention.

Master Helmsman Kavant Ire

The Crimson Crusader’s master helmsman has served the Blood Angels for almost a century, and is at least the ninth of his line to perform the role of steering the warship. Twenty years ago, Ire was wounded during an encounter with a Chaos Reaver frigate during which his station erupted in flames, fusing his ruined body to the helm. Miraculously, Ire survived his injuries, and once the helm was repaired he begged to have his body grafted into its systems and mechanisms, arguing that much of his flesh was already melded with the helm and parts of it still remained inside him. Captain DeSaul agreed, and so Helmsman Ire is unable to leave his station even if he wanted to. This turn of events caused some consternation amongst the secondary helm crew, for it meant that none of them would ever be able to man the helm. To this day, three secondary and nine tertiary helmsman are listed amongst the crew rosters, though all have been assigned other duties until such time as Ire relinquishes his position through death or illness.

Master of Ordnance Garran Skiniker

As master of the Crimson Crusader’s vast array of weapons, Commander Skiniker has a fearsome arsenal at his fingertips. Skiniker is a veteran of countless Blood Angels operations, and unusually is the first of his line to fulfil the rank. The previous master of ordnance was slain in the same encounter that fused the ship’s master helmsman to his station, and for reasons undisclosed by Captain DeSaul, the previous incumbent’s next in line was not promoted to take his place. As the first of his line to serve as master of ordnance, Commander Skiniker bears great responsibility.

Astropath Khilankha

The Crimson Crusader’s chief Astropath is another example of the small number of specialised staff supplied by outside institutions to perform duties none within the Blood Angels can undertake. Khilankha is a waspish and tense woman whose haunted expression is made all the more disturbing by the dark pits of her empty eye sockets. She avoids contact with the Battle-Brothers wherever possible, and if cornered appears distracted and on edge.

Navigator Lukan Stark

Lukan Stark has served the Blood Angels for almost as long as it is possible for a Navigator to perform his duty aboard a vessel not directly owned and operated by his own kind. Stark is doomed with the grossest of mutations, for such is the curse of the Navigator Gene. Before long Stark will be forced to take his leave of the Crusader and return to the fold of his House, for once his mutations fully manifest he will be unable to commune directly with any but his own.

Missions

The following descriptions summarise Sons of Sanguinius Strike Force missions.

Mission 1: Eye in the Storm

Participating Battle-Brothers: Arkion, Donael, Kezof, Leonatos, Mikhal, Rafael, Sakariel

As Cicatrix Maledictum, the Great Rift, has been unleashed, Lord Commander Dante is the Regent of Imperium Nihilus. One way to track the coming Hive Fleet Leviathan was by a secret research facility, The Eye in the Storm, deep within the warp near Baal. It was operated by Adeptus Mechanicus and proved vital in detecting the Hive Fleet Leviathan. All contact with the facility was lost and Sons of Sanguinius strike force was sent to find out what happened to it and save all precious data and possibly destroy the facility if it was deemed unsalvageable. While the station contained numerous important Mechanicus personnel (such as Magos Biologis Melkov Kreel), of upmost importance was the recovery of the data already collected on the Shadow.

The Strike-team was briefed on what the members of the Blood Angels and Adeptus Mechanicus knew about the facility, but given the lack of recent contact, they had no idea about the Eye’s current condition or even the status of its crew. Elements of the Blood Angels and Adeptus Mechanicus both had concerns over Kreel’s research and it was decided that once the data was recovered, the station should be destroyed, the experiment officially ended and all trace wiped away.

Getting to the station required the Strike-team to travel on the Crimson Crusader. The Battle-Brothers needed to cross the gulf of boiling warp space between vessels on a shielded Stormraven. Getting into the station was not a significant challenge, its Gellar Field was still functioning and its plasma reactor was still online. Once inside, though, the real test begun, as a horde of hormagaunts assaulted the battle-brothers. The horde was quickly destroyed in the name of the Emperor and the battle-brothers went deeper inside.

The Strike-team worked their way down from the station’s docking ring into its primary medicae level and from there to the cogitator-core where the data was stored. In the lower levels, near the reactor, a group of tech-priests was holding out and begged for the battle-brothers to save them. The Strike-team entered the cogitator-core and Techmarine Kezof started to download the data. At the same time, several purestrain genestealers attacked but they were all annihilated.

From there the Strike-team entered the lower levels where they found out a genestealer brood that had taken several tech-priests and Melkov Kreel as a captive under the influence of the foul xenos. The battle-brothers destoroyed the brood, including the Brood Lord and dispatched Kreel and the contaminated tech-priests. After a manual override to trigger a cascade and make the reactor overload, the Strike-team rescued the remaining trapped tech-priests and made their way back to the shuttle and to the Crimson Crusader while the station exploded in a fiery ball of fire killing all remaining tyranids onboard.

Mission 2: Fall into Darkness

Participating Battle-Brothers: Donael, Keonatos, Luciferius, Malik, Mikhal

A psychic distress signal emanated from a world called Khnum that was in the throes of being devoured by one of the last tendrils of Hive Fleet Leviathan. The battle-brothers were inserted to the planet by a Stormraven gunship and managed to avoid flying tyranids. Once on the ground, the battle-brothers traveled through the destroyed landscape having to fight only once a ripper brood nest. Once in the vale, the battle-brothers managed to find a hatch that they entered. Traveling down all the way to the mantle of the planet, the battle-brothers found out that there was a secret Adeptus Mechanicus bunker led by Magos Klute.

The battle-brothers found out that Magos Klute and his tech-priests were monitoring how a hive fleet devours a planet. Magos Klute had a plan: he wanted the battle-brothers to deliver a gene bomb to the final digestion pool. This is exactly what happened. The battle-brothers walked hours back to the surface, called the gunship and flew all the way to the digestion pool avoiding all tyranids. Once done that the battle-brothers returned to the bunker and found out that it was empty, evacuated probably by a teleportarium. This made Magos Klute a Heretek even though the gene bomb did its trick. The tendril was rejected by another hive fleet tendril thus annihilating each other.

Mission 3: Titan's Fall

Participating Battle-Brothers: Amriel, Apollo, Donael, Malik, Mikhal, Rafael