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Blood Ravens

Submitted By: Date: January 16, 2007, 10:59:21 AM Views: 2120
Summary: History The Blood Ravens have been a part of the Imperium's defences for several thousand years. However, the details of the Chapter's origin are unknown, even to themselves. As they do not know which Primarch or Space Marine Legion their gene-seed was drawn from, they venerate the Emperor above all. Blood Ravens have a slight mutation in their Catalepsean Node which means that they have perfect recall but never dream; the potential damage to the marine's sanity from these two combined effects worries some outside the Chapter. The current shape of the Chapter has been influenced primarily by the Marine known as the "Great Father", Azariah Vidya.

Azariah Vidya

Azariah Vidya (who later became known as the Great Father) was the Master of the Chapter Librarium during a terrible campaign in the Gothic sector, in which the Blood Ravens had taken terrible losses against a series of rebellions. During this campaign, the Chapter Master and the Master of Sanctity were both killed in a trap, and it seemed that the Blood Ravens were finished.

Azariah was reputed to be a fiercely intelligent warrior, as well as burdened with the skill of the psyker. He spent much time studying the movements and reactions of the enemy, using the Imperial Guard and the remnants of his Chapter in a series of feinted attacks. Using this information, as well as his tremendous psychic powers, he then launched a series of raids against seemingly empty areas, that turned out to be important staging areas of the Chaos cultists or supplies.

For his skill in crushing the rebellion, Azariah was promoted to the office of Chapter Master, while retaining his previous position. He led a program of healing and rebuilding, without which the Chapter would have long ago been destroyed.


The Blood Ravens are reputed for following the Codex Astartes in spirit, if not by the letter. The Chapter's forces are set up with the standard Companies, although the squad mix within these Companies is known to vary.

The Blood Ravens are also known for are the large number of Librarian psykers within the Chapter, many of which are second in power and skill only to the Grey Knights. How such vast numbers of psychically-talented Marines come to be is unknown, but it is believed to be based on a combination of the Chapter's reverence for the Father Librarian and their recruitment processes.


The Blood Ravens have no official homeworld, Instead, their Fortress-Monastery is situated onboard a Battle Barge known as Omnis Arcanum, which is also home to their Librarium Sanctorum. The rest of the chapter serves onboard the fleet of Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges.


As the Blood Ravens have no homeworld, they are forced to draw on a series of worlds for a supply of new recruits. One of the more popular recruiting worlds was Cyrene, prior to the planet being declared a target for Exterminatus by the Inquisition.

Combat Doctrine

The Blood Ravens believe in studying the enemy and predicting their reactions to a variety of situations, before using this information to utterly wipe out the enemy. This approach to warfare draws criticism from several other Chapters, but the same cannot be said when the Blood Ravens finally decide to launch into combat.

In battle, the Marines of the Chapter will systematically destroy enemy units with utter ruthlessness and precision. They will never vary in their battleplan, and never have any reason to, as the precognitive abilities of the Chapter's Librarians will already have been employed to discover every possibility and account for it.


The battlecry is: "Knowledge is power, guard it well!"

Notable Blood Ravens

Gabriel Angelos
During the events of the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War video game, Brother-Captain Gabriel Angelos is the commander of the Blood Ravens' 3rd Company, the Captain of the Watch, and the main character of the game.

Like many of the Blood Ravens, Gabriel was born on the planet of Cyrene, where the Chapter often drew recruits from among the planet's defence force. Gabriel was an accomplished leader of his peers before he even entered his teen years, and passed the Blood Trials set by the Blood Raven Chaplains.

Many years later, with an entire company of Blood Ravens under his command, Gabriel returned to Cyrene, to preside over the Blood Trials and recruit new members into the Chapter. But Gabriel found something very wrong during the trials, and cut them short. He quickly returned to his strike cruiser, and sent a coded signal out of the system. Within months of the signal, ships of the Imperial Inquisition and Navy appeared over Cyrene and carried out an Exterminatus, bombarding the planet for a week straight until nothing on the planet remained alive. All records of the incident, and Gabriel's message to the Inquisition, have been sealed, but Gabriel himself carries the guilt of his actions with him to this day, particularly during the battles on the planet Tartarus. A seemingly ordinary action against an Ork invasion quickly became complicated with the appearance of Imperial Inquisitor Mordecai Toth, who inexplicably demanded that the Blood Ravens leave the planet immediately. A Warp Storm was coming, and would engulf Tartarus in a few days. Against Toth's counsel, Angelos continued investigating the planet, after discovering evidence of Eldar and Chaos forces on the planet. He quickly finds himself battling the Eldar of the Biel-Tan craftworld, led by Farseer Macha, and the forces of the Alpha Legion, one of the Blood Ravens' greatest foes.

He allies briefly with an Eldar strike force, but ends up releasing a Daemon the Maledictum held inside. After confronting the daemon, he vows to destroy it.

Shortly after (in the events chronicled in Dawn Of War: Ascension (Goto, 2005)) he travels to the world of Rahne's Paradise, where he attempts to conduct the Blood Trials. At first all seems routine (save for Gabriels premonitions of an Eldar invasion), but soon after the discovery of an ancient Eldar/Imperial tablet, all hell breaks loose. Eldar Rangers conduct multiple hit-and-run attacks focusing exclusively on the psykers of the chapter and the potential psykers among the Trial aspirants, and the Gabriel meets with Farseer Macha once more. She reveals that they killed the psykers to prevent the breaking of Lsantril's Shield; A device that gave the illusion of a large Eldar psychic presence on the planet. This would prevent the awakening of the Necrons hidden under the surface of the planet, as they would slumber as long as they believed that their ancient foes dominated the galaxy still. All is not lost, however, until a space battle destroys the Spirit Pool of the Dark Reaper aspect, the psychic scream of the lost souls shattering Lsantril's Shield and awakening the Necrons. Gabriel orders the destruction of the planet, and leaves for the threatened planet of Lorn V with the surviving aspirants.

Primogenitor Chapter

Based on similarities in their name and symbol, it has been theorized that the Blood Ravens are a successor chapter of either the Blood Angels or Raven Guard; however they are likely not Blood Angels, considering they do not suffer from the "Black Rage". In any case, both theories have been denied by Games Workshop.

There are two popular theories on their origins;

They are a successor chapter of the Dark Angels, as the Dark Angels have a history of keeping secrets from their successor chapters, and they were mentioned as being a point of specualtion in a White Dwarf article on this mysterious chapter.
The second, and more popular, theory is explored in the novel Dawn of War: Ascension (Goto, 2005), that the Blood Ravens are a Loyalist splinter of the Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines, due to the similarity of Blood Ravens and pre-Horus Heresy Thousand Sons armour, the lack of founding history, the thirst for knowledge and the prevalence of Librarians.

Colors and Iconography

The Blood Ravens wear dark red armour with brown-black trim and bone/parchment coloured shoulder armour. Their symbol is a silhouetted raven in flight, as seen from above, incorporated with a stylized drop of blood within.

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