Sons of Sanguinius Edit
As one of the most celebrated First Founding Chapters, the Blood Angels have fought the enemies of Mankind for 10 long millennia. Their
Primarch is revered across the Imperium, and legends of the Chapter’s deeds have reached every corner of the galaxy. However, tales abound too of their bloodthirsty exploits and the dark flaw that mars them. Few know the whole truth nor realize the inner pain and anguish that drive the Blood Angels into battle with a righteous fury that few others can match. Each Chapter of Space Marines owes much to the characteristics and powers of its Primarch. Just as the Space Wolves reflect the ferocity and impetuousness of Leman Russ, so do the Blood Angels share some of the blighted, tragic destiny of their Primarch, the noble Sanguinius. Sanguinius distinguished himself during
the siege of Terra, when he organized the final defense of the Emperor’s palace and held the Ultimate Gate alone when all others had fled. When the Emperor teleported aboard Horus’s battle-barge for his final confrontation with the rebel Warmaster, Sanguinius was there.
Battle raged through the Daemon infested spacecraft, and Sanguinius became separated from the Emperor. While he was alone, he hanced upon Horus and immediately attacked the Warmaster. But Sanguinius was no match for Horus at the height of his Daemon-gifted power and
was slain with contemptuous ease. The psychic echo of this terrible death can still sometimes be heard by those of his gene-seed, causes a madness and fury to come upon them, and taints their souls with a dark vision of their own doom.
The Flaw Edit
Although it is known to but a few, the Blood Angels are a dying Chapter, for they suffer from a dreadful flaw. This Chapter, once the most golden and blessed of all, now shuns the company of its fellows. Some Blood Angels, it is said, are driven by a deathseeking madness, brought on by visions of the death of their Primarch. Others are afflicted by the terrible Red Thirst, a craving for blood that may be the first signs of descent into Chaos. It is known that the Blood Angels spend much of their time seeking the cure for their condition, although many have resigned themselves to a slow and terrible decline. Scholars claim that the flaw lies in the process that is used to create each new generation of Blood Angels, for the Blood Angels use a process known as Insanguination to activate their gene-seed. The process was originally triggered by injecting Aspirants with tiny samples of Sanguinius’s own blood. This practice ended with the death of the Primarch, but some of his blood was preserved in the Red Grail. The living blood could not be kept for long and thus was injected into the veins of the Sanguinary Priests, who became living hosts to the power of Sanguinius. To this day, drinking the collected blood of the assembled Sanguinary Priests from the Red Grail is part of the ritual of creation for new members of this important order. It is from these Priests that the blood is taken to begin the transformation of Aspirants into Space Marines. It is possible that, over countless generations since the time of the Heresy, these cells have mutated, slowly at first but more quickly in recent years, and that errors in replication haveresulted in the flaw.
The Black Rage Edit
The Blood Angels are unique in that deeply engraved within their gene-seed is the memory of the final battle between Sanguinius and Horus. Sometimes an event or circumstance will trigger this race memory. This happens only rarely, often on the eve of battle, but it is likely to be a fatal experience for the battle-brother whose mind is wrenched into the distant past. What has become known as the Black
Rage overcomes him. The memories and consciousness of Sanguinius intrude upon his mind, and dire events 10,000 years old
flood into the present. To others, a Space Marine overcome by the Black Rage appears half mad with fury. He is unable to distinguish past from present and does not recognize his comrades. As well as Sanguinius’s memories, the Space Marine is touched with a small portion of his unearthly power, boosting his strength and vitality to superhuman levels. Blood Angels afflicted by the Black Rage are formed into special units called the Death Company. Suffused with the dying memories of their Chapter’s Primarch, these cursed warriors seek only
death in battle against the enemies of the Emperor. It is better this way, for those who survive almost always fall victim to the Red Thirst and turn into creatures no better than wild beasts craving flesh and blood. Better by far to die cleanly and quickly in battle than suffer such a fate.
The Red Thirst Edit
The Red Thirst is the Blood Angels’ darkest secret and greatest curse, but it is also their greatest salvation, for it brings with it a humility and understanding of their own failings that make the Blood Angels the most truly noble of the Legiones Astartes. It is said that anguinius was cursed with the gift of prophesy and knew he was to die at Horus’s hand but went anyway in the name of duty and honour. Many Blood
Angels battle constantly against visions of death and feel the anguish of their Primarch in his death throes. Some of these brethren voluntarily join the Death Company before the Black Rage takes them, because they know what lies in store for them should they live much longer. The fate of those overtaken completely by the Red Thirst is a secret kept dutifully within the Chapter. There are tales of a
secret chamber atop the Tower of Amareo on Baal and of the howling cries that demand the blood of the living, but none are willing to say for certain what lies hidden in this haunted, desolate place.
The Chapter Today Edit
Physically, the Blood Angels are among the longest lived of all Space Marines. One of the peculiarities of the Flaw is that it vastly increases the lifespan of those who survive. Thus, it is not uncommon for Blood Angels to live for a thousand years. Indeed, the current Commander of the Chapter, Dante, was born nearly 1,100 years ago. These vastly extended lifespans allow the Blood Angels to perfect their techniques in art as well as in war. They have centuries in which to perfect the disciplines to which they turn their minds, accounting for the fact that the Blood Angels’ armor and banners are among the most ornate ever produced by Space Marine artificers. The outlook of Sanguinius has done much to shape his Chapter. There is a mystical vein to many of the Blood Angels’ doctrines and also a strong belief that things can be changed for the better, for Sanguinius was a visionary who desired a new and better life for all Mankind. This belief can be seen in all things the Blood Angels do. They strive for perfection, and their martial disciplines are practiced unceasingly. However, as the Flaw has become more evident, this belief has turned into an altogether darker thing. They also see evidence of Mankind’s capacity forfolly and destruction, and the Chapter’s doctrines are permeated with a sense of mortality and the fallen greatness of Man.