I've read it over. There's a problem. It's a little dull (sorry). It takes a long time to get the plot to where it's going, and once we get there it's kind of an anti-climax - and we swiftly move past that into a lot of explanation of the way things are now and battles with the Inquisition.
I'm honestly not entirely sure whether it's me or the IA. I think tightening things up and changing the focus a little might help - right now, we don't move through the story trying to see what happens next. Improving that would help a lot.
The problem is, I think, that you spend more time talking about the events leading up to their fall then their fall and its consequences. I think you could introduce the status quo more simply, upset it more quickly, and then explore the consequences of that more fully.
I'd actually recommend considering not having them yet be traitors - have them just
have manifestations of Angels. Mention the Inquisitorial debates etc in regard to their problems. Maybe put whasisname in a sidebar and explain how he may take matters into his own hands. It'd give you back some tension and mystery (even though the answer to the question "what'll happen to this Chapter" will be pretty obvious. A Chapter which might fall is intrinsically more interesting than one which did.
Anyway, more specific advice is below:
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"You accuse me of heresy? You dare? Mutant, you call me; I am an avatar changed to His service. Traitor, you choke; I am guided by His ideals and not by my own falsity. Heretic, you croak... heretic, the insult that rings most hollow. The thought is laughable, for I am a son of the Emperor and Sanguinius. To doubt me is heresy. Do your worst, torturer, dungeon-dweller, corrupt; the Blessed Emperor is with me and I shall never falter."- attr. Heretic Reclusiarch De Molay, 914.M41
This quote makes very little sense in light of the fact that they no longer really deal with the Inquisition before running off into exile.
Also, De Molay? Subtle...
The Chapter formerly known as the Angels Wrathful was formed in the 12th Founding of late M35 from the geneseed of the Angels Encarmine. Through the Emperor’s Tarot and periods of meditation, their name and heraldry were chosen. White was to represent purity of body and soul; red for the blood shed in brotherhood; golden yellow to represent the glory of Him on Earth and the realm of His subjects. Finally, a roaring lion’s head became the Chapter’s symbol, to represent their ferocity and nobility.
I'd recommend Angels of Wrath over Angels Wrathful. More euphonious.
Chapter heraldry is assigned, not chosen by the Chapter.
By the 12th Founding I would have expected them to move away from the Blood Angels' geneseed - they were trying to fix it in the Cursed Founding, so I'd expect them to be winding down its use even earlier.
The newly christened Chapter crusaded around the Maelstrom's edges for twenty bloody years, long enough for their forces to fight on two hundred worlds in nearly twice as many engagements, before they found a home world that immediately struck a chord with one of their senior cadre leaders; Malathion, the Angels’ first Master of Sanctity, saw Altius III and its people as the “wellspring of a resurgence against the Darkness.” The new Chapter vowed to protect the planet and surrounding sectors from the predations of the denizens of the Maelstrom and spearhead assaults into that dangerous territory to claim new worlds for the Emperor-, which, it must be noted, they accomplished on several occasions.
What was it that made Malathion feel this way?
On the field of battle the Chapter was famed as any Astartes force inevitably is. True to the heritage of their parent Chapter, they kept the vast majority of their warriors on active duty. Their victories filled volumes, and their sparse defeats were bought at a terrible price for the foe. Even unforgiving Imperial histories and the sharp tongues of Inquisitors cannot expunge legends of the Angels Wrathful from the people of the planets they liberated from alien and heretical dominion.
As with any successor of the Blood Angels, however, some spoke darkly of them and their flaws. They were ferociously intent on getting to grips with the enemy, and many Guardsmen were horrified to fight beside them for fear that, instead of tearing the enemy limb from limb, they might be the victims of the Chapter’s bloodlust.
Comment on whole previous section:
I'm not sure this is the best way to lead into the Chapter. Especially coupled with the Home World section immediately after it. We complete one journey, and start another almost immediately. At minimum, this journey should be longer, but I don't think that's a good idea.
Start, I think, with the Violators destruction of their home world. Perhaps something like:
"The Angels Ascendant were born in hate and desperation. When the rogue Space Marines known as the Violators destroyed the Angels' home world of Altius III in the wake of the Eighth Black Crusade, the chapter then known as the Angels of Wrath swore vows of vengeance and annihilation."
Then follow all that up with the details of their hunts for the Violators and the depths they resort to - explain whasisname and their beliefs in Imperial divinity in a sidebar. I think it might be best if their beliefs in Imperial divinity developed through desperation rather than Single Charismatic Figure. They reach out to the Emperor, and the Emperor reaches back.
In medias res is a good choice here, I think. Screw what came before - it doesn't matter in this case. It exists only to change.
This mostly distracts, I'd recommend cutting it.
Malathion, first Master of Sanctity
I'd recommend their beliefs come from desperation, rather than from Malathion. Or from the Chaplains as a whole. Like I said - Single Charismatic Figure is weak. And overdone to death in ITs. If you don't remove him entirely, you could have him be a recent recruit with the same history, and in the desperation they start listening to him. It'd suit a little better, I'm thinking.
A Chapter descended from the Angels Wrathful themselves, the Lions of Ajax, was obliterated in an ill-fated feud with the Chaos Lord Zebulon Hellshrike. A strike force led by a contingent of the Angels Wrathful, intent on avenging their Successors, was able to capture much of their resources from the Chaotics who had seen to the Lions’ destruction- the pride of which was the decimated Chapter’s Battle Barge, His Shining Blade, which, in defiance of the Navy, the Chapter took for their own by right of kinship and patronage from many influential allies.
I can't buy more BA Chapters. It's a minor niggle, but dammit, they don't make them.
With a fleet to suit their needs, the Angels Wrathful fought across the galaxy, gaining new recruits for the Chapter and establishing numerous Keeps watched over by a small staff of officers and serfs. These Keeps would oversee the recruitment and creation of the Chapter’s Neophytes, and send them to the Rebirth for further training.
In this way the Chapter dealt out the Emperor’s wrath, striking fear into the hearts of the scum that inhabits the Maelstrom. Despite the blows fate had dealt them, they rose with greater furor than ever before. The area around the Maelstrom saw a noticeable improvement under their fury.
But there is a dark secret to the success of the Angels Wrathful. After the death of Altius III, every ounce of energy the Chapter possessed, every string they could pull, every tie they could use was exerted towards the destruction of the Violators and the gaining of power to slaughter the Emperor’s foes. Every hint at a chance for vengeance was seized upon, even those beyond the understanding of mortals.
Tighten the whole "Destruction" section up. It could be shorter, and clearer, and thus it should be.
Same goes for this section.
The Age of Apostasy (287.M36)
Excise it. Removes focus.
in two waves: the first wave of swift Astartes and Sororitas and other Ordo forces, and a second wave of the slightly more ponderous Imperial Guard; following this, a strike force was to attack their ships via teleport. For whatever reason, the Imperial Guard did not move to attack the Chapter; indeed, a small force defected to support the Angels Wrathful themselves. The assaulting forces, therefore, gave their lives but did not accomplish their task, despite decimating the Fifth Company down to its Wrathbringer, or Company Champion, and taking a heavy toll on the three other present Companies. The surviving Astartes were able to regroup in orbit above the planet, where the Battle Barge His Shining Blade and Rapid Strike Cruiser Lux Conquistas had been waiting in reserve.
Oh, good, they were saved by a deus ex machina.
Too much detail. And their escape seems too implausible. Have them just escape before he can assemble a strike force, or have them put on trial. Just don't have them win because 'something happened'. Give 'em a trial, have 'em lose, have the fleet escape in the meantime. Gives you more Templar parallels, among other things.
Too long. Shorten and tighten.
Given their hunted nature and often-unsupported operations, it is unsurprising that the Chapter's brothers appear ready for anything. They go into battle armed with grenades, bolt pistols and rifles, and all manner of hand-to-hand weapons. The fluidity of organization within the Chapter is astounding- squads of Astartes are normally tight-knit bands of brothers who have decades of experience alongside each other, but the Chapter's warriors seem able to assess casualties and amalgamate squads for peak efficiency without hesitation or doubt.
Heavy weapons, while more man-portable to Astartes than to Imperial Guard, are rarely used as the bulk and required ammunition for the weapons would slow the Space Marines down, and comparable anti-tank or infantry capability can be found in special weaponry. Heavy armor is rarely deployed, even the swift vehicles of the Astartes adapted with Lucifer engines unable to keep up with the Chapter’s relentless advance; excepting Vindicators and Baal Predators, which epitomize close support, standard Astartes vehicles are never seen alongside their forces. Perhaps even more rarely fielded are the Chapter’s Land Raiders, for the engagements in which a Lord of the Chapter would risk losing such hallowed vehicles are few and far between.
This seems especially unnecessary.
Ditto. Shorten. Tighten. Etc. Less unnecessary stuff, but still could be tighter.
Pict-record from Saria IV incident
In addition, since the heresy of the Ascension, the Chapter has often seen aid from beings of the Warp. These creatures do not take the form of the obscene and horrifyingly unnatural beasts normally associated with the Empyrean; they instead appear as angels akin to those of myth, with silvery wings and blades of fire. These creatures, however, are of the Warp; all such denizens of Chaos' realm are craven and bloodthirsty.
Didn't you just explain this at the end of the last
Again, shorten and tighten.
”Tome of the Resting,” from Index Astartes: Angels Wrathful, a most secret report to the Office of Tithes and Titles by Maximus Pliny
The IA series is of uncertain place in-universe - remember that it tells us all about the Fallen.
My own impression is that they're in the Black Library.
I'd also argue that this is unneccessary.
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Anyway. Like I said. Tighten it, etc. Etc.