During the Forgotten Wars (580.M31-632.M32), the Lions Sable joined a strike force consisting of the Dark Angels, Angels of Vengeance, and the Angels of Redemption to assist in the hunt for the Fallen Angel Cypher. Their trail led them to the planet of Cocytus I, a planet located within the Eye of Terror. On this planet the Lions Sable discovered a great tower covered in the symbols and livery of the Dark Angels, a vertiable den of Fallen Angels. Requesting reinforcements, the Unforgiven descended in force upon Cocytus I to deal death to their traitor brethren. The Lions Sable committed their entire chapter to the attack alongside half of the Dark Angels forces and the Angels of Redemption and Vengeance. After committing to the battle, it was revealed that the planet of Cocytus I would be consumed by a massive warp storm. All of the forces of the Unforgiven retreated except for the Lions Sable, who insisted on staying and destroying the Fallen. Purson, the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels, stayed behind with the Lions Sable. The warp storm swallowed Cocytus I, and that was the last anyone ever saw of Purson or the Lions Sable. To cover up their debacle, the Dark Angels staged an accident that destroyed any records of the Lion Sable or the Forgotten Wars.
Little did the Dark Angels know that Lions Sable actually survived Cocytus I. During the cosmic event of the Great Rift, Cocytus I was vomited back into real space. The Lions immediately made contact with their parent chapter. When the Dark Angels arrived, they found less than 100 Astartes stil alive. All of the Lions leadership had been killed during the fighting, and their replacements were promoted to position from within those survivors. Interregator Chaplains and Librarians descended in droves, searching for any sign of corruption. Once the Lions Sable were deemed clear of the taint of Chaos, Supreme Grand Master Azrael met with the new chapter master of the Lions Sable, known only as Michael, to discuss their plans. It was agreed upon that the Lions Sable would be entered back into the records of the Unforgiven and would join the forces of the Imperium during the Indomitus Crusade as soon as they were back to full strength. Slowly but surely their numbers grew with the influx of Primaris forces, armor, equipment, and regular Space Marines. The Lions set about their task of cleanising the enemies of the Imperium with zeal, purging the traitors with the bolter and the chainsword.
However, the Lions Sable harbor a dark secret. Though the stock of the Lion had long carried a terrible burden, the Lions Sable carried one that could tear apart the 1st Legion and drive a wedge betwen them and the Imperium they served. During a battle on Cocytus I known to the Lions as the "Death of Pride," the chapter was shattered. It was only through the intervention of an unexpected ally that they were able to survive and eventually overcome their enemies. In truth, it was members of the Fallen who saved them, those who turned their back on the Lion unknowingly and unwillingly, led astray not out of corruption of soul but by the lies of Luther. Seeking redemption, they took pity on their brethren. Together they fought against the nightmares of the Warp and the forces of the Fallen that had embraced Chaos completely. It was through the crucible of battle that the Lions and the members of those still loyal Fallen created an unbreakable bond, and once they emerged victorious the Lions inducted them into their chapter and recognized them as their leaders. Thus the Lions fight not only against the forces of darkness but against time itself, as they know their secret can only last so long. Yet as long as one Lion still stands, they will give their all for the Imperium. And there is no doubt: The Lions Stand.
Crucial to the history of the Lions Sable is the event known as the "Death of Pride." Half whispered in the halls of their newly rebuilt and recommissioned strike cruiser The Fury of Caliban, it is a tale of sorrow, unimaginable loss, and a grim reminder of the price of hubris. All Lion Sable recruits must memorize the battle as it unfolded and the names of the Lions who fell upon Cocytus I, for it is only through the understanding of the past can the Lions secure their future.
After the Lions Sable issued their refusal to retreat despite the oncoming Warp Storm, Supreme Grand Master Purson of the Dark Angels ordered the rest of the Unforgiven forces to leave Cocytus I. Purson, however, stayed behind with the Lions, taking with him a retinue of his finest forces. As the scarlet trails of the retreating Thunderhawks faded upon the foul wind of the corrupted planet, Purson and the Lions Sable began forming a battle plan to destroy the Fallen forces. Purson and Zarachael, the Chapter Master of the Lions Sable, knew that the Warp storm would soon engulf the doomed planet, bringing with it the nightmarish hellscape of the Empyrean. However, they noticed that the Tower of Fallen Angels seemed to have Gellar Fields built into its foundation. It seemed that the Fallen predicted the Warp storm and planned on riding it out in their fortress. If the Lions Sable could capture the Tower and activate the Gellar Fields, they would be safe from the storm. Additionally, it would also allow the Lions the chance to crush their traitor brethren once and for all.
It was decided that the battle for the fate of the Chapter would be fought on the plains in front of the Tower of Angels. Tactical Marines, Heavy Weapons Teams, and Lions Sable armor would form a battle line directly in front of the fortress with Assault Marines positioned behind the lines in case the enemy succeeded in penetrating the formation. The Ravenwing would be tasked with protecting the battle line's flank, striking the enemy where they were weakest and pushing them back towards the middle of the field where they could be decimated by bolter and heavy weapons fire. Lastly, it was the Deathwing that would administer the killing blow. They, led by Purson, Zarachael, and the Chapter's Librarius, would fall upon the center of the traitors forces and cut their leadership down. The enemy, pinned by the anvil, would be crushed by the hammer.
The battle commenced as disciplined fire erupted from the Lions' battle line. Bolter rounds cut through the Fallen as Plasma and Lascannon weaponry lanced through the air, destroying fortifications and reducing enemy armor to ash. Predator turrets swung from side to side, annihilating priority targets while Whirlwinds dropped barrage after barrage of death dealing munitions on the traitors. On the wind came the roaring of engines, signalling the Ravenwing's charge. Landspeeders flew across the battlefield, fire pouring from their cowling. Ravenwing bikes jinked and bounced their way into the opponent's lines, appearing in one spot only to disappear and strike at another position, leaving nothing behind but mangled bodies and clouds of rust colored dirt. Faced with such fury, the Fallen battle line began to buckle under the Lions onslaught.
Now was the time for the killing strike. The air crackled and smelled of burning ozone as the elite of the Lions Sable, the Deathwing, appeared amongst the midst of the traitors in the shadow of the Tower of Fallen Angels. At the head of their forces were Purson and Zarachael, their banners snapping in the foul wind, their weapons held high. From the accounts of those that survived, they said that in that moment they truly saw a semblance of The Lion in these two champions. With warcries upon their lips, the Deathwing set to the work of purging the heretics. Storm bolters roared, power weapons crackled, and powerful psychic attacks ripped across the ramparts as the battle came to its climax. It seemed then and there that the Lions' battle plan would succeed in glorious victory.
However, that outcome was not meant to be. Rumors circulated after the Forgotten Wars, before the Lions Sable were recovered, that the chase for Cypher and the disaster at Cocytus I was actually an elaborate trap set by Tzeentch for the Dark Angels and their successors. Though this was dismissed by some at the time, the Lions Sable discovered in the ruins of the Tower of Fallen Angels that the rumor was all too true. Just as they were about to claim victory, a Keeper of Secrets named Kyroth the Seer manifested itself before Purson and the Deathwing. With it came a host of Thousand Sons Rubric Marines, gibbering Horrors bounding along in their wake. Raising its head high, Kyroth unleashed a soul rending screech and the automata of the Thousand Sons opened fire. Purson, realizing the tide was turning against him and the Lions, launched himself at Kyroth. Purson was one of the greatest warriors of the Unforgiven, a peerless swordsman and brilliant strategist. During his long life he had defeated and banished many demons. Yet, because Kyroth was a creature of the Warp and Cocytus I located within the Eye of Terror, he was more powerful than he would have been in the mortal realm. With a flick of its apian hand, Purson's ceramite armor cracked and bent, crushing him like a tin can. In a blink of an eye it was over; the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels lay twisted and mangled on the ground, the Sword of Silence and the Lion Helm at his side. Howls of joy erupted from the traitors lines as they renewed the attack. It was then that the slaughter truly began.
Zarachael and the remaining Deathwing were stunned by Purson's death. Yet they knew that if they failed to kill Kyroth the Seer, it could mean the death of their Chapter. Roaring in defiance, the Deathwing struck back. Maces hummed with violent energy as they slammed into the Thousand Son's armor with crackling discharges. Assault Cannon barrels glowed the color of boiling blood as round after round found their target. Librarians dealt swift death with their Power Weapons while searing the minds and souls of their enemies with the power of the Warp. However, it was not enough. One by one the champions of the Lions Sable fell, blasted apart by traior fire or scoured by the sorcery of Kyroth. When the smoke cleared, Zarachael, the Librarius, and the entire 1st Company lay broken in the ruins and ramparts of the Tower of Fallen Angels. With the spear blunted and the head of the legion cut off, Kyroth now prepared to rip the heart and soul out of the Lions Sable.
The Lions battle line first got wind that something was amiss when the traitor forces, which were previously retreating, renewed their attack with sudden ferocity. When they attempted to raise the Deathwing strike force on the Vox, all they could hear was static. Suddenly, flashes of brilliant blue light erupted up and down the Lions battle line. When the light faded, in their place stood Scarab Occult Terminators, the elite of the traitorous Thousand Sons. In eerie silence they reaped a harvest of flesh and blood, cutting down their prey like so much chaff. Bolts of Warp energy seared through the air as Thousand Son socerers joined the fight, reducing their targets to ash on the winds. Within minutes the Lions battle line began to crumble as their forces were slaughtered wholesale and their armored legions reduced to smouldering wrecks. Conducting a desperate fighting retreat, the Lions tried to raise the Ravenwing forces on their flanks for reinforcements. Their help would never come.
The Ravenwing, emboldened by their success, had allowed themselves to be drawn away from the main battle lines. When the garbled requests for reinforcements came from their battle-brothers, they gunned their engines and raced back to help. They would never make it back in time. Horrors appeared on all sides, spewing balefire and dark magiks into their ranks. Landspeeders disappeared in fiery explosions, bright as stars. Darkshrouds lay ruined, their relics of old Caliban broken and cast upon the ground. Ravenwing bikers and Black Knights dodged and evaded the rounds as best they could, but even they could not hold out forever. One by one they were destroyed, until there remained nothing left but a graveyard of burnt out vehicle husks and corpses to mark the final resting place of the Ravenwing of the Lions Sable.
In that dark hour, all hope seemed lost. Surrounded and best on by all sides, the Lions Sable prepared to sell their lives dearly. It was at this moment, in the jaws of defeat, that the Lions themselves were delivered. Bolter fire streamed from unknown vectors, decimating the Fallen and Thousand Son infantry. Cataphractii and Tartaros Terminators appeared, striking down the Scarab Occult Warriors. On the horizon, Fellblades and other arcane machinery from an archaic past rained death and destruction upon the forces besieging the Lions. And, perhaps most magnificent of all, a lone figured appeared in front of Kyroth, clad in black terminator armor and wielding a massive greatsword and stormshield. With a mighty roar, the two launched themselves at each other.
With the unexpected reinforcements, the Lions were able to fall back to rallying points, saving the chapter from utter annihilation. Though there were a few Deathwing and Ravenwing that managed to survive, most of the ones that survived the event that would later become known as the “Death of Pride” were regular line troops. As they dug in, they couldn’t help but wonder who their saviours were. Rumors circulated wildly. Was this the Legion of the Damned? Had the Angels of Vengeance Returned? Or was this the work of a rival Chaos warband? With these questions in the back of their mind, they prepared for the inevitable counterattack. It wouldn’t be until the next day that their answers would be provided, answers that would forever change the course of the Lions Sable.