FOUNDING CHAPTER: Blood Angels
FOUNDING: 23rd [M.37]
CHAPTER MASTER: Talos Keld
FORTRESS MONASTERY: Battle Barge "Primarch's Wrath"
COLORS: Scaly Green
CHAPTER SYMBOL: Sword and Scourge crossed on red field
SPECIALTY Close Combat
BATTLE CRY: "Vengeance!"
The Nemesis Angels were created to actively hunt the enemies of the Imperium. The High Lords of Terra correctly deduced that a Chapter imbued with Sanguinius' blood-lust would be ideal to bring the Emperor's wrath upon those who threaten His domain. The Nemesis Angels have undertaken an endless crusade since their creation, scouring world after world for their targets, but are not above aiding those in need. Their impressive Chapter strength suggests that they have learned how to resist the Flaw, but this is tarnished by rumors of blood rituals, degenerating gene-seed, and madness.
The Nemesis Angels were created in the 37th Millennium, from of a series of smaller Foundings commonly lumped together as the 23rd "Sentinel" Founding. Like many Sentinel Founding chapters, the Nemesis Angels are a crusader chapter. They swore to the Emperor that they would inflict brutal revenge on those who threaten His Imperium, a task the Nemesis Angels proved exceptionally gifted.
The Imperium has no shortage of arch-villains: heretics and xenos who had corrupted or destroyed entire worlds and yet still roamed free. Eldar corsair princes, Ork warbosses, rebels and cults, the Chapter slaughtered whole armies and dragged their leaders to the torture chambers to extract bloody confessions. The screams of guilt recorded from these sessions were said to warm the cockles of the coldest Inquisitorial heart.
Then, as the millennium came to an end, the Nemesis Angels all but vanished. Reports continued to filter in through the mountains of Imperial bureaucracy, but only small engagements, nothing on the grand scale of the years before. The sudden silence was jarring, but efforts to locate the Nemesis Angels proved fruitless. It was feared that the Chapter had been wiped out, that the few survivors were scattered and dying. They were almost declared lost, but consultations of the Emperor's Tarot hinted that the Nemesis Angels had not yet fallen.
THE WAR OF THE ROSE
At the dawn of the 38th Millennium, the Nemesis Angels were led by Armin Korbal, known as Armin the Rose. A tall, statuesque warrior, he took pride in his appearance. He marched to battle in a suit of resplendent artificer armor, designed to catch spilled blood and give the appearance of roses blossoming to life on his body. In matters of war, none in the Chapter could best him. Some even compared him to the legendary Sanguinius, reborn as a physically perfect human. So it was that Slaanesh--Chaos God of Excess--took notice of the charismatic Chapter Master. He flattered Armin's ego in whispered dreams, and over time came to influence the Chapter itself. Armin's veterans became ardent worshipers, a cult that beheld Armin as a god. Within months most of the Captains and all of 1st Company were firmly in Armin's grasp, with the rest of the Chapter following in their wake. But Armin's arrogance was also his weakness. Overindulged and petulant, he declared the Dark Prince as the Chapter's new patron, with Armin as his favored son and champion. To his shock, nearly half the Chapter turned against him, decrying his heresy. Fighting spread throughout the Chapter like wildfire. The Emperor's loyal Nemesis Angels battled Armin's thralls in a series of vicious battles that saw hundreds die on both sides.
The sight of his Chapter's "betrayal" broke Armin's mind, and he succumbed to the Black Rage. He rampaged across the Primarch's Wrath, slaying anything that came near. Slaanesh cried out in sorrow, for he did not want to lose Armin's soul to his hated enemy, Khorne. He sent his most alluring daemonette concubines to placate the crazed Chapter Master. Dozens died in ecstasy, falling upon Armin's tireless blade. Their blood seeped into the rivets of his armor, where Warp-tainted roses blossomed and took root in his soul, soothing his rage and bringing him back to sanity. As a final bargaining chip, Slaanesh used the blood sacrifice of the Nemesis Angels to bolster Armin's power, unlocking his psychic potential. Armin and his followers regrouped on the Thorn of Penitence, his personal strike cruiser. Once coordinated, his forces would overwhelm any remaining resistance. It seemed the final hour had come, and the remaining loyalists prepared to die fighting. But then a miracle occurred.
Aboard the Vindictam the Sanguinor appeared in an aura of golden light. He delivered a blessing to a young 3rd Company Sergeant named Gabriel Samariel, who rallied his battle-brothers scattered across the fleet. Just as Armin prepared to attack, the Thorn of Penitence was assaulted from all sides. Boarding torpedoes tore into its hull, disgorging squad after squad of furious Nemesis Angels thirsty for vengeance. The Sanguinor marched at the head of this force, an angel of noble wrath come to slay the false pretender. The battle was not an easy one. The loyalists faced not only their corrupted kin, but all manner of seductive terrors dredged up from the Warp. More than once the battle threatened to sway in Armin's favor, but wherever a weak link formed the Sanguinor's glory outshone the lies of Chaos, tempering the bonds of brotherhood and loyalty.
Finally, amidst the cacophony of warring Space Marines, the Sanguinor battled Armin the Rose on the bridge of the Thorn of Penitence. The duel is said to be unlike anything the Chapter has seen before or since, the noblest light of the mortal soul resisting the foulest corruption of the human heart. Though some would question it, the Nemesis Angels insist there was never any doubt as to the victor. With one mocking swipe of his blade, the Sanguinor carved a hideous wound into Armin's face, flawing his terrible beauty. Thus the last remnants of Armin's sanity were cut from his apostate soul. With an ear-splitting howl that transcended reality, Armin tore open reality and fled into the Warp. The loyalists barely escaped before the Thorn of Penitence was swallowed by Armin's rift.
The Nemesis Angels emerged victorious, but not unscathed. Barely two hundred battle-brothers had survived, and nearly a quarter were so wounded they would never fight again. But they were purified, and that truth gave them strength. Before the Sanguinor departed, he gave the slightest of nods to Gabriel, silently nominating the virtuous warrior as the Chapter's new leader. And thus Gabriel took command, and decreed that even if it took centuries to do so, the Chapter would rebuild. They would avenge themselves on the traitor Armin Korbal. They would stand in the Emperor's Light without shame.
And to deny Armin the slightest of victories, Gabriel ordered that all record of him and his followers be erased from the archives. Though it meant erasing much of their early history, Armin's achievements--the glories he had won and his leadership of the Chapter--would be forgotten, as was the traitor's due. Only their hatred for him would endure. Trapped and impotent within the Warp, Armin could only rage in disgrace. The wound left by the Sanguinor refused to heal, leaking an aura of ugliness that tainted his beauty. Armin could still enthrall others, but they carried a look of horror and violation in their eyes, not the dreamy adoration he desired. Robbed of victory and angered with his champion Slaanesh leashed Armin within the Circle of Paramountcy, to be ignored by the roaring crowds of worshipers within. Armin's madness deepened through those years of punishment, a poisoned seed that would one day blossom into a rose of purest evil.
Rebuilding after the War of the Rose would take centuries. The Chapter "went dark," withdrawing into itself to focus on renewing their strength. Chaplains and Sanguinary Priests worked tirelessly to ensure the purity of the remaining gene-seed, and recruits that were selected were put through a strenuous testing process, pushing the limits of their endurance. The Nemesis Angels began to chose their fights more carefully, organizing themselves to secure victory with fewer resources. But this covert method of battle did not satisfy the Red Thirst, and battle-brothers began to feel the effects of Sanguinius' legacy. Like caged panthers, they stalked the corridors looking for an opportunity to lash out. The Black Rage began to claim them at an alarming rate, and some feared the Chapter was doomed.
BONDS OF BLOOD
Pietr Danilos was a Sanguinary Priest, and one of the few veterans to escape Armin Korbal's corruption. Extremely devout, Pietr believed that Sanguinius had sent him a vision, to ensure the Nemesis Angels did not die in dishonor. Obsessed with strengthening the Chapter's blood, he began secretly experimenting with its gene-seed. He hoped to find a cure to the Black Rage, or at least a means to resist it before it devoured his few remaining battle-brothers. Through many sleepless nights Pietr conducted his hidden work, stealing the vital gene-seed from the stasis-vaults aboard the Primarch's Wrath, praying to the Emperor and Sanguinius for a revelation. If he succeeded, he would be the savior of the Chapter. If not, he would only have quickened its downfall. The debate continues as to whether Pietr found what he sought, but he did unlock a controlled mutation in the omophagea--the organ responsible for the blood-lust so common in the scions of Sanguinius--that would allow the Chapter to gain communal strength through the sharing of blood. Pietr capitalized on this ability, creating the tradition of the Blood Bond as a means to counter the Flaw.
Though his work proved invaluable to the Chapter, many feared Pietr's growing religious mania. Pietr and his followers believed that not only could the Blood Bond strengthen living Space Marines, but it could also resurrect the dead, by transferring their personality into a new host through the Bond. Some whispered that Pietr's ultimate goal was to resurrect Sanguinius himself by consuming his genetic memories. Gabriel Samariel demanded Pietr stop his experiments, lest it result in irreparable mutation, and corrupt what was left of their gene-seed. Pietr's followers denounced their battle-brothers for their lack of vision, and it seemed civil war would again rip the Chapter apart. But before blood could be shed Pietr was overcome by a strange epiphany. He ordered his men to submit and pledged that he would go into exile, an eternal pilgrimage to seek Sanguinius' forgiveness. His followers ensured that Pietr's legacy would not be forgotten, and the Blood Bond has become one of the most important rites in the Chapter, the secret of their success in battling the Flaw.
In the seventh century of the 38th Millennium, the Nemesis Angels emerged from the darkness ready to continue the fight. The Chapter renewed its pilgrimage of vengeance, blazing a trail of blood and fire across the stars. Tales of vengeance wrought once again flavored the evening meal of governor, inquisitor and Imperial lord. But there was a subdued tone to their actions, a sense of rigid discipline and self-awareness. Observers compared it to parables of young soldiers going to war: full of naivety and wild energy when they arrive but harrowed by their experiences, becoming colder but wiser. The Chapter shared few details of their absence, saying only that they had suffered a great personal loss. They assured the curious that they had never ceased fighting in the Emperor's name. The Imperium welcomed the Nemesis Angels with open arms, though some--suspicious of their long silence--began to watch them more closely.
Today, the Nemesis Angels are distinguished among the successor Chapters of the Blood Angels. They have rebuilt fully from their losses, commanding a sizable fleet and over a thousand battle-brothers. Their strength against the Flaw is regarded with awe, and envy. Only the secretive Blood Drinkers Chapter surpasses the Nemesis Angels in overcoming the Flaw, but ill rumors surround them like shadows. The Nemesis Angels stand proud, ready to submit themselves to any agony to prove themselves: in the eyes of Sanguinius and the Emperor, if not the Inquisition.
The Nemesis Angels decided long ago that a homeworld breeds complacency and sentiment in a Chapter. Too many Astartes were content to "bury their heads in the sand," too busy safeguarding their fortresses, garrisons, and isolated backwater shrines than fighting the enemy. Completely nomadic, the Nemesis Angels live aboard their fleet, known as the Host. The Host is made up of a dozen strike cruisers, twenty-four rapid-strike vessels, thirty-six Thunderhawks, and numerous escort and support craft. At its core are the battle barges Vindictam and the Primarch's Wrath, the latter of which has been extensively modified and serves as their fortress monastery. The Chapter moves as one, companies and strike forces rarely travel further than a single sector from the Host. The Nemesis Angels maintain no planetary garrisons for recruitment or re-supply. Instead manufactorum ships process asteroids and salvage into useable resources. Their supply needs are rounded out by the Chapter's tradition of tithing Imperial worlds.
The Nemesis Angels descend from Sanguinius, and possess both the Red Thirst and the Black Rage. Their gene-seed is stable, but possesses a unique hyper-sensitivity in the omophagea. When a Nemesis Angel drinks the blood of a fellow Nemesis Angel, a Blood Angel or any of their successors, the transfer of memories and experiences is much more intense than the organ normally provides. Nemesis Angels who share blood gain startling insights into each others' minds, a kind of organic synchronization similar to that found in biological twins. In rare cases the drinker might adopt habits, mannerisms or fragments of personality from the donor, which may fade with time or remain with them for the rest of their lives.
The Chapter accepts the Flaw as a blessing and curse from their Primarch, a restlessness that compels them to hunt mankind's enemies. This wrath can serve a warrior well, but it will destroy him if he cannot master it. This is one of the earliest lessons a Nemesis Angel must learn. When a recruit is ready for battlefield duty he is brought to the Reclusiam. There, under the watchful eyes of the Chaplains, Sanguinary Priests present him with the Black Cup, an obsidian chalice containing blood from several sanguinary priests and a single drop of Death Company blood. The initiate must drink, taking the Black Rage rage into himself. While the priests chant hymns of control and provide their strength through the Blood Bond, the initiate wrestles for control of his mind. The trial can take hours or even days, but if he prevails he gains a surprising resilience to the Black Rage, though of course it is never truly conquered. The fate of initiates that fail is best left unspoken.
Nemesis Angels make it known that--in exchange for the Chapter's aid--a tithe or tribute is to be paid from the planets they visit. The tithe is the same regardless of necessity: supplies and recruits for the chapter. Imperial governors bristle at this demand, sometimes accusing the Nemesis Angels of petty piracy. But no planet is exempt: if the Nemesis Angles come to the aid of a Space Marine homeworld, they still expect a tribute. This has ostracized the Nemesis Angels from many Chapters, sometimes leading to bloodshed and vendetta. However most planets see the tithe as a pittance, and well worth it for the aid of the Emperor's finest.
During the course of battle, Chaplains keep an eye out for suitable aspirants. Tribal warriors, hive city gangers, Imperial Guard youth divisions; all that matters is that the aspirant shows potential for war and that his blood is pure. The Chapter abhors mutation, and the purity tests can be lethal for those found wanting. The chosen few are given new names and hypno-indoctrination to forget their previous lives: the Chapter and its mission become their only purpose.
True sons of Sanguinius, the Nemesis Angels specialize in close combat and are known for bold frontal assaults. Assault marines descend from on high amidst barrages of drop pods, Thunderhawks and Stormravens. Hymns of vengeance are sung, punctuated by savage howls from the Death Company. But for a Nemesis Angel, it isn't enough to simply defeat the enemy, they must be broken. They must be made to see the insanity of earning the Emperor's wrath. The Red Thirst compels them to rip apart their foes in spectacular displays of violence, and some Nemesis Angels see the dramatic kill as an art form, akin to the climax of a grand opera. Squads or individual officers adopt a signature execution with a preferred weapon, such as crushing skulls with power fists, or removing the left hands of the enemy before killing them. This way the Chapter can keep a competitive tally of vengeance wrought, whilst sewing terror into the enemy ranks.
The Nemesis Angels adhere superficially to the Codex Astartes, but their organization is inherited from the Blood Angels, including its Sanguinary Priesthood and Sanguinary Guard. Its biggest divergence from the Codex is their size: tithing has granted the Nemesis Angels a surplus of warriors, forming two additional companies: the 11th Assault Reserve and the 12th Assault Reserve. Both specialize in massed Jump Pack assaults, a soul-wrenching sight that has broken the back of an enemy before the first Marine has even landed.
Another addition are Confessor-Chaplains, a sub-sect of the Reclusiam. While still considered priests of the Chapter cult, Confessor-Chaplains are interrogators, torturers, judges and executioners. Their primary task is getting a confession from their prisoners to be recorded for prosperity. Confessor-Chaplains are easily recognized for their two-headed power-flails, known as iudicium imperatoris. Unlike typical Chaplains, Confessor-Chaplains tend to be withdrawn, passionless, and coldly sadistic. Only seeing the enemy broken--psychologically and physically--do they feel any kind of contentment.
The Nemesis Angels revere Sanguinius as their primarch-father and guiding light. They look to him as a spiritual and moral compass, denying arrogance and pride in favor of loyalty and nobility. But first and foremost, Sanguinius is worshiped as a symbol of vengeance. They cite the Flaw as proof of this: the blood of Sanguinius demands justice. Vengeance for the primarch, martyr of martyrs; for the Emperor, betrayed by his own son; for the Imperium, corrupted from within and attacked from without.
When an arch-villain is sighted, all the Chapter's resources focus upon him. The Host never rests until his power is broken, his armies crushed, and he is dragged before the Confessor-Chaplains for interrogation. Only when his sins are confessed is he given the Emperor's mercy at the executioner's axe. If his guilt is unquestionable (and it often is), or he is simply too dangerous to capture alive, then the perpetrator receives nothing more than a proclamation of his guilt before being slain in battle.
The sensitivity of the Nemesis Angel omophagea has created unique traditions in the Chapter, one of which is the Blood Bond. When a squad is first formed their blood is mixed in an Oath Chalice--a badge of office carried by Sergeant--and then drank by each member. This sharing of memories links a squad: a bonded brother can readily predict how his comrade will act, and thus react accordingly. The Blood Bond is renewed annually, or as new members join the squad. Veterans are said to be so in-tune with their squads that they act with an efficiency that borders on precognition.
When a squad member dies, he is ritually exsanguinated and his blood consumed by his surviving brothers and new members of the squad. This allows his memories to survive through them. Some captains perform the Blood Bond with their sergeants, but the Chapter frowns on its overuse. Just as the Bond can make them more efficient, so too can a weak link put an entire squad at risk. A battle-brother vulnerable to the Black Rage can "infect" his squad through the Bond, causing a chain reaction that dooms ten good men to the fate of one. This is what necessitated the Black Cup ritual, weeding out the weak at an early stage to prevent future disasters.
As expected, the blood of Death Company warriors is far too potent and dangerous for the Nemesis Angels to drink. However, those who fall to the Black Rage can continue to honor the Chapter beyond death. Nemesis Angels weapons are anointed with Death Company blood. The Sanguinary Priests believe this imbues every bolter round and chainsword tooth with some of Sanguinius' wrath.
Nemesis Angels enjoy the baroque art styles shared by the Blood Angels. Angels, balance scales, blood, grails, griffons, and scourges are common themes in their art. Male angels represent Sanguinius and female angels represent Nemesis, an ancient Terran goddess of divine retribution. Griffons represent the Emperor (the lion side) and Sanguinius (the eagle side). Balance scales stand for the Emperor's judgement. The Chapter's standard depicts a sword (symbolizing Sanguinius' nobility and virtue) crossed with a twelve-tailed scourge (symbolizing his rage and thirst for revenge).
Patterns of twelve are appearing more frequently in their artwork and activities. It isn't known where or when this originated, but observant battle-brothers have spotted its use in some of the oldest relics of the Chapter. It ranges from the obvious, such as bells always being struck twelve times; to the subtle- a Marine may find himself preferring twelve-round bolt pistol magazines for no adequate reason. Officially the number twelve is nothing but superstition that has wormed its way into the Chapter's identity. But some whisper that the number is prophecy: that something in the blood is compelling them to repeat the number over and over--often without even realizing it--toward some unknown end.
Here are some of the battles the Nemesis Angels have fought in the 41st Millennium.
112.M41: War on Kimmeria
The Nemesis Angels respond to a distress call from Kimmeria, a chief Dark Angels recruiting world. After helping the outnumbered Dark Angels repel an Ork horde, the Nemeis Angels demand their usual tithe of recruits for the Chapter. The sheer audacity enrages the Dark Angels, and battle begins anew. Reports that follow are contradictory: the Nemesis Angels claim they won a Trial of Possession between Chapter champions, but the Dark Angels insist the Nemesis Angels used dishonorable tactics to steal the recruits and flee before reinforcements arrived. Whatever the truth, both sides have avoided each other since and promised retribution at a later date.
919.M41: Cleansing the Graves of Kithis
The Host responds to an Inquisitorial summons from Kithis, an airless cemetery world located near the Blighted Rift. Inquisitor Rolvund and his Task Force are hunting a renegade Space Marine Chapter calling themselves the Death Shrouds. The Death Shrouds insist they serve the Emperor, but when the Nemesis Angels invade Kithis' continent-sized catacombs, they witness evidence of grave robbing, cannibalism, ghoulish mutations, heretical death cults and necromantic sorcery all taking place under the Death Shroud's guidance. A few Death Shrouds manage to escape, pursued by Rolvund and his men, but within six months the Nemesis Angels have put thousands of inbred, raving death-cultists to the torch, cleansing Kithis of its infection.
930.M41: Breaking the Endless Night
A fleet of Dark Eldar raiders known as the Kabal of Endless Night invades the Gozeburo System, ending three thousand years of uninterrupted peace for the hard-working servants of the Imperium. The skies are dark with blade-winged craft and the malignant laughter of soul-drinking xenos. But the terror is shattered as the Host arrives in force. Four companies descend in a barrage of drop pods, smashing apart the Dark Eldar spear-tip. The personal raider craft of Archon Vashneera is flattened by a fully-loaded Land Raider, delivered courtesy of a daredevil Thunderhawk pilot. The dazed Vashneera is surrounded and incapacitated by Terminator veterans, and with the dawn the people of Gozeburo watch as she is dragged kicking and screaming into the custody of the Confessor-Chaplains.
Within seven hours the people of the Gozeburo System are treated to an all-frequencies vox-cast of Vashneera's agonized screams and pathetic pleas for mercy, improving the mood of the Gozeburans considerably.
948.M41: The Kult of Speed
The Nemesis Angels descend on Ferox Prime to cleanse the forge world of Warhok Speed Freeks. The battle turns into a prolonged high-speed chase: assault marines make daring pin-point landings on Ork trukks to deliver melta bombs, while packs of Ork bikes run down all but the most entrenched tactical squads. Chapter Master Talos Keld leads his Sanguinary Guard against Boss Snickgrot and his Stormboys, battling from spire to spire high above the manufactorums. Talos ultimately prevails over Snickgrot, slicing the Ork neatly in half and causing his torso to rocket into an ammunition dump, detonating it with spectacular results. The Orks--unaware their Boss was the fuse--see the explosion as a good omen and fight all the harder, causing heavy losses as the Nemesis Angels are forced to wipe them out to the last greenskin.
981.M41: The Blood Vault
What begins as a minor planetary rebellion turns into an all-out Chaos invasion of St. Patrice IV. Armin Korbal has returned as a daemon-prince, taking the form of an androgynous, angel-like creature with golden wings and living roses growing from his flesh. At his whim marches a vast Chaos warband calling itself the Defiled Rose who have come to plunder the world. As daemons and traitors run rampant through the hive-city, a young Nemesis Angel named Vokkar Samariel--driven by visions of Sanguinius--fights deep behind enemy lines and uncovers a forgotten cache called the Blood Vault. Within are relics dating back to the Great Crusade and the original Blood Angels Legion. For three days and nights, Vokkar and his battle-brothers defend the Vault from the Defiled Rose, until Armin himself takes the field. In a desperate bid Vokkar dons a pair of ancient power fists called the Hands of Purgation to battle the daemon-prince. Though it nearly costs him his life, Vokkar holds Armin back until the Sanguinary Guard arrive with Chapter Librarians and drive Armin from realspace. For his actions Vokkar is promoted to sergeant and allowed to wield the Hands of Purgation. The remaining relics are carefully collected to be returned to Baal.
997.M41: The Destruction of Hive Fleet Syclla
A fragment of Hive Fleet Kraken, re-designated Syclla, blazes a trail of death through the Sontarus Sub-Sector. The Imperial Navy summons aid from the Astartes, and the Eagles Eternal are among the forces to answer the call. In a brilliant but risky gamble, the Navy lures Syclla to the barren Outreach system using hundreds of psykers to fool the Hive mind into thinking the planet is rich with life. As spores fall from the sky, the Eagles Eternal 5th Company engages: a wall of bolter fire that rips apart thousands of gaunts in the first few hours of combat. As the Tyranids commit more and more of their forces to the battle, the Imperial Navy closes the trap, engaging the bio-ships in orbit. The battle drags for weeks, with no clear winner in sight until the arrival of the Host.
The Nemesis Angels immediately engage Hive Fleet Syclla on both fronts. As the Host tears into Syclla's flanks 4th Company descends to aid the Eagles Eternal, who's line is threatened by the sudden appearance of a ravenous Mawloc. The Nemesis Angels target the Tyranid's synapse creatures and Carnifexes, carving their way through waves of gaunts to reach their targets. A pack of Zoanthropes is the first to feel the Angels' wrath, cut down by Scout snipers. The sudden disruption to the Hive Mind causes hundreds of gaunts to lose their minds, ripping apart their own kin. Death Company forces are launched at the Carnifexes, and the massive beasts are no match for the strength of Sanguinius' fury. The Eagles Eternal begin to move their position forward for the first time in weeks, a line of gunfire marching over piles of Tyranid corpses.
To re-establish its control, the Hive Mind releases a Hive Tyrant onto the field. This is what 4th Company captain Vokkar Samariel has been waiting for, and he and his Sanguinary Guard fall upon the surprised Tyrant. The beast is mighty, but Vokkar is able to strike the beast down, sending a telepathic shock wave through the Tyranids. Within hours the Tyranids are broken, the hive fleet obliterated by cyclonic torpedoes. The weary victors of battle are awarded with a rare sight: a Tyranid fleet completely annihilated by the Emperor's Finest.
999.M41: The Darkest Hour
Commander Dante of the Blood Angels calls out to the successor chapters: Baal is facing a two-way invasion from Ka'Bandha's daemonhost and the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan. However, Armin the Rose chooses this moment to launch raids on the Devonite System. Honor demands both calls are answered, so with great reluctance Chapter Master Talos Keld divides the Nemesis Angels for the first time in almost four millennium. Keld leads six companies to aid the Blood Angels, while newly-captained Vokkar Samariel is placed in command of the remainder, to save the Devonite worlds and slay Armin Korbal if possible. It is a desperate plan, for the Nemesis Angels are vastly out-numbered on both fronts. Only time and the Emperor know what their ultimate fate will be...
HEROES OF THE CHAPTER
Chapter Master, the Slayer, Orkbane
Talos Keld has been Chapter Master for a mere fifty years, but his deeds have already become the stuff of legend, with entire tomes describing his battles. How he tore off the arms of Farseer Netrasi under a blood-red moon. How he dueled the Ork tyrant Gorgutz, knee-deep in the vitrifying fire-sands of Serris (coming home with the Ork's head encased in glass). How he avenged the people of Gallow's Moon by slaying the daemon responsible for the Eyeripper plague. Few in the Nemesis Angels' history can boast similar feats of bravery and vengeance, and Talos is held as the epitome of their Chapter.
But Talos carries a dark secret: his actions are not spurred by bravery, but self-destructive rage. As 1st Company Captain, he watched with horror as former Chapter Master Dimitri Vasalius was overcome by the Black Rage and laid low by an Eldar Exarch. After butchering the murderous xeno, Talos could not allow his mentor's memory be lost and drank deep of his blood. Instantly the potent anger in Dimitri was transferred to Talos, and it was only through supreme willpower that he was able to hold it at bay. If any suspected the madness boiling under Talos' skin, they held their tongues as he was named Vasalius' successor. The Black Rage did not give Talos a moment's respite, and he has had to battle it every waking second. It is nothing short of miraculous that he has retained his sanity for the past few decades, to say nothing of his ability to coherently lead his Chapter.
Talos knows he is living on borrowed time. Dimitri's rage has never ebbed and Talos is haunted by his mentor's voice, calling on him to give in. Talos senses his own anger building in him, a frustration wrought from years of testing his will against the Black Rage and never gaining ground. So it is that Talos seeks a glorious death in battle, praying against hope that he will meet his end before he falls to madness and dishonor.
These gifts honor us beyond words, brother. My priests inform me
that the Blood Vault relics are authentic, as noted in our most ancient
records. Know that--as a small offering of our gratitude--the warrior
Vokkar Samariel has been added to the Annals of Honor, and that with
our blessing he may continue to carry the Hands of Purgation until he
joins Sanguinius and the Emperor in the beyond.
On a related note, I have but one concern. Among the relics
recovered was a stasis-chalice. Though the power cells appear to have
died centuries ago, my priests insist that--until recently--it contained
the fresh blood of an ancient warrior, one who may have walked at
Sanguinius' side. Its contents are of utmost importance to us. Any
information you can offer would be invaluable.
Glory to you in Sanguinius' name,
4th Company Captain, Relic Keeper
The youngest Nemesis Angel to be promoted to Captain, Vokkar first distinguished himself during the St. Patrice IV campaign. Driven by visions of the Primarch, Vokkar led his squad behind enemy lines and discovered the Blood Vault, a cache of Blood Angels relics from the days of the Great Crusade. The narrow confines of the Vault allowed the squad to fend off countless Traitor Guardsmen and Chaos Marines for three days. When Armin Korbal attacked in person, Vokkar donned the Hands of Purgation--a set of ornate powerfists that emit intense heat--and battled the daemon-prince while his squad summoned help. After being promoted to Sergeant following the battle, Vokkar impressed his superiors in dozens of major conflicts. His squad--nicknamed the Firebrands--became renown for their ability to punch through the thickest defenses, leaving a signature hand-shaped brand on the flesh of their foes.
A boisterous, hot-headed and insufferable warrior in his youth, Vokkar has matured into a charismatic leader who's light-hearted calm masks a cunning strategic mind. His anger is reserved for those who harm innocents or waste the lives of good men for the sake of personal glory, and his wrath can be a terrible thing to behold. Despite his modesty and youth, many believe he could one day succeed Talos Keld. But Vokkar's rise has been met with controversy. His detractors contend that Vokkar is not the man he once was: they say that Vokkar's vision of the Primarch began after his heart was pierced by a Chaos worshiper with a strange crystal blade. They say that one as inexperienced as Vokkar could not have survived ten seconds against a daemon-prince, let alone battle him to a draw. Vokkar ignores these claims, and it is testimony to the trust Talos Keld has placed in the young Captain that he was named commander of the six companies dispatched to face Armin Korbal once more on the Devonite Worlds. Time will tell if Vokkar is truly the hero the Chapter needs in its darkest hour.
Edited by SnakeoilSage, 17 October 2013 - 07:18 PM.