GENE-SEED :- Dark Angels (via Angels of Absolution)
FOUNDING:- 790.M34: 11th Founding
CHAPTER MASTER:- Nephlyre Phantomkin
CHAPTER WORLD:- Invalice Major
FORTRESS MONASTERY:- Angel Bastion (Rahseanhiim)
MAIN COLOURS:- Black, Silver and Dark Green
BATTLE CRY:- By the sword in my hand! (Vaat zahkrii haali!)
CURRENT STRENGTH:- Estimated 1100 active
KNOWN DESCENDANTS:- None
The Angels of Shadow were created during the 11th Founding from the gene-seed of the Angels of Absolution and therefore are of the lineage of the Dark Angels and Lion El'Jonson. The training cadre was led by a group of veterans from the Angels of Absolution's 1st and 2nd Companies, under the command of the then 1st Company Master.
Initially the Chapter was fleet based, the battle-brothers performing a high number of drop pod assaults and aircraft raids in conjunction with the Angels of Absolution. However it became quickly apparent that the Chapter needed a steady flow of recruits and a more stable power base if it was to thrive, especially considering that many of the supplies that were meant to go to the new Chapter were disappearing en route. The Angels of Absolution's Chapter Master demanded to know what was happening but was deflected at every turn. Even when the Dark Angels themselves requested information they were informed that the Angels of Shadow would not receive any more wargear. They would have to find their own. As luck would have it it wouldn't be long before that happened.
The Angels of Shadow were tasked with assisting their parent Chapter, the Angels of Absolution, with reinforcing Imperial presence in the far reaches of Ultima Segmentum. As the Nova Terra Interregnum took shape, the Dark Angels requested their brethren head with all haste to a system on the galactic edge of Ultima Segmentum to answer an automated signal. Apparently a Legion fortress that had been recorded as destroyed had begun transmitting that someone or something was attempting to gain access to the armoury. If anything was left the Angels of Shadow were to secure it for their brethren. If not, they were to purge the system of any interlopers.
When the initial party from the fledgling Chapter set foot upon Invalice Major they were surprised to be met with a thriving population. The people of Invalice Major were a hardy lot, their hair was like obsidian, their skin the colour of fresh snow, long-limbed and lithe. The men sported broad shoulders and both sexes had barrel chests. At first glance they looked to be as though they were rough approximations of the rest of Humanity, an artist's interpretation. They worshipped the great reptilian beasts that roamed their world, the dragons and the saurians.
Communication was difficult at first as the language of Invalice was vastly different to High or Low Gothic. However, upon receiving the all-clear, the Rock had entered the Invalice system. After some searching through the Rock's Librarium texts were discovered that provided a basis for translation between Invalicezuul, or Invalice Tongue, and Low Gothic.
Far from the eyes of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the soldiers of Invalice were armed with wargear they had developed from ancient patterns of armour and lasrifles they had taken from the fortress that the Angels sought, supplied by the same forges that had armed the Imperial Army in times past. The deeper levels, those of the Legion armoury, had been sealed. Thus the Chapter's Techmarines set to work opening the fortress and revealing what had survived since the dark times of the Heresy.
Within was contained all manner of ancient war machines and weapons, most importantly a minor Forge of the ancient Legion. While most of the items contained were handed over to the Dark Angels themselves, the Angels of Shadow were allowed to keep a supply of vehicles and weapons, in addition to being granted ownership of the fortress. It is said that a Fellblade and a Warhawk IV were kept within the fortress's vaults, but it is just as likely the ancient machines were handed over to their progenitors. The Angels of Shadow chose not to keep any Predators as in the time since their inception they had adopted the mindset that all vehicles had to pull double duty and the Predator with it's singular use as a main battle tank did not match. The fortress itself was to be handed over to the Angels of Shadow, their new home.
After settling into their new home, the Angels of Shadow set about consolidating their hold on Invalice Prime. New recruits were taken from the local populace for the first time, and the Chapter began to assimilate the local culture. The time of the Angels of Shadow had truly begun. It was then that the young Draconis Umbra would be recruited.
Umbra was unique among his fellow recruits in that he never let go of his Invalacian heritage. He practised his swordwork until it was an art-form, inspiring his superiors to learn Invalacian fighting styles. He spoke Invalicezuul often, teaching the older Astartes and working with the Librarians to refine their translations. As he rose through the ranks he encouraged the Chapter hierarchy to adopt more of Invalacian culture.
790.M34: 11th Founding
Created from the gene-seed of the Angels of Absolution.
985.M34: The Chapter is ready
The Chapter is considered full strength for the first time. Several Inquisitorial and Mechanicum sanctioned investigations are launched due to the Chapter never receiving a single Predator tank, with the shipments always being lost in the warp or falling to pirates. It is suggested that someone may be trying to weaken the Chapter.
100.M35: Invalice Found
As the Nova Terra Interregnum begins to formulate, the Angels of Shadow make haste to the galactic edge of Ultima Segmentum after a request was made by the Dark Angels to investigate the site of an old fortress once belonging to the Legion in the hopes of supplies being found to prepare for the coming conflicts. The Invalice system is found and the fortress is in near-pristine condition thanks to the ministrations of the people. Invalice is declared the new Chapter homeworld.
116.M35: The Dragon Rises
Draconis Umbra is recruited into the Chapter.
426.M35: The Dragon Ascends
Draconis Umbra is sworn in as Master of Shadows. Under his leadership the Chapter enters a golden age, seldom losing conflicts and campaigning to great success across the galaxy. Bonds with their homeworld of Invalice are strengthened with the Chapter adopting the native tongue and many cultural practices. Umbra himself creates two swords, The Dragon's Eclipse and the Saurian's Light, presenting them to the people. Each is then placed in the nest of the Alpha Eclipse Drake and Mortisaur respectively.
682.M35: The Dragon Falls
While fighting in the Nova Terra Interregnum, a joint operation by the Angels of Shadow and the [insert chapter here] sought to bring swift retribution to a hive city full of those loyal to Obidiah Hrakon. Draconis leads the force personally, a force of nature at the head of three Companies of Angels and two of [chapter]. The leadership of the hive flee mid battle and Draconis gives chase in a Thunderhawk. On the sandstone plains to the northwest of the hive the leadership is cornered at the edge of a great cliff. In their desperation they summon a daemon prince, damning them all. The daemon prince dispatched Draconis' terminator bodyguards, forcing the Master of Shadows to face the foul being alone.
When loyalist forces found Draconis his body was badly damaged, his body unable to repair the wounds done by the accursed weapons of his foe.
975.M35: The Cataclysm of Souls
The Angels of Shadow take part in various battles, either alone or beside fellow Unforgiven. Three Dark Masters are slain during the conflict.
980.M35: The Hrud Rising
Recovering from the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Chapter is unable to assist their brethren for the most part. Invalice itself becomes threatened by the Hrud and requires the Chapter's attentions.
200.M36: The Age of Apostasy
723.M36: Abaddon's Fifth Black Crusade
901.M36: Abaddon's Sixth Black Crusade
Fighting against the Warmaster's Sixth Black Crusade the Chapter suffers terrible losses, reduced to approximately six hundred battle brothers. The Dark Angels demand to know why the requests for aid from the Angels of Shadow went unanswered and were seemingly kept from the ears of their kin. The answer is never found.
001.M37: Age of Apostasy Ends
Once again the Angels of Shadow retreat back to their homeworld, rebuilding their strength. The number of those born offworld outnumbers Invalice natives in the Chapter for the first time as the rate of recruitment from the homeworld is simply too slow.
431.M37: Serpents of Ruin
The Warband Violet Vipers raid the planets Myandias, Valos and Tyran. The Angels of Shadow respond with support from the Invalice 501st Regiment. The conflict reaches climax in a fleet battle above Tyran with Dark Master Sarandiel of the 4th Company boarding the Viper's flagship. Their leader, Botis Venomheart is slain after a lengthy duel. However Sarandiel himself would succumb to wounds caused by Venomheart's poisoned dagger. Investigations by the Company Apothecary reveals a poison of unnatural power.
811.M37: Abaddon's Seventh Black Crusade
999.M37: Abaddon's Eighth Black Crusade
226.M38: The Serpents Return
The Violet Vipers attempt to attack the Invalice system but are inexplicably forced to exit their warp jumps on the outer edges of the system. The Angels of Shadow move to intercept the attackers and the battle is brought to the planet Chokehold. The Violet Vipers release a mutagenic into the planet's water supply, sending the dark forests into a hyper-fertile state. The enemy fleet is forced to retreat but pockets of Chaos Astartes remain within the forests, hidden from most scans of the planet.
320.M38: Chokehold lost
The Chapter Council declares Chokehold to be lost and annex the planet. A virus bombing attempt ends in failure, only spurring the planet into further states of hyper-growth.
885.M38: The head is cut
Insulted that a world of their system was lost, the Angels of Shadow roam the entirety of Ultima Segmentum looking for the Violet Viper's base. It is discovered in the Ghoul Stars, a massive techno-organic battlestation. The Blade Brethren board the station while the rest of the fleet holds back any reinforcements and prevents escape. After several hours the Blade Brethren retreat and the station is bombarded into oblivion.
708.M39: After returning the the Invalice Sector, the Strike Cruiser Shadow of Intent is forced to make a Warp translation at the edge of the system. This marks the first time a Chapter vessel has suffered such a strange event. The Eighth Company Dark Master Sulln requests that the Chapter
Council organise an investigation. For the first time strange outputs are registered from the local star.
306.M40: Angels of Light arise
Eighth Company Dark Master Sulln, now the oldest of any in the Chapter, reveals that he had been corrupted by Chaos. He leads his company in revolt while most of the Chapter are away. Several Invalician regiments join him and Invalice minor is consumed by war.
As the war escalated the rest of the Chapter was drawn home. The newly arisen Angels of Light moved their base to Chokehold, reinforced via a hidden warp gate created by the destroyed Violet Vipers. It is said that the fury delivered upon Chokehold could be seen from Repentance. Indeed The Nameless offered assistance but were rejected.
In the end Chokehold was subjected to Exterminatus from the entire Angels of Shadow fleet. The planet was cleansed of life however the majority of the Angels of Light escaped through the warp portal.
Horrified an entire company had fallen and the damage it had caused, the Angels of Shadow embarked on a penitent crusade. Elements of the Chapter fleet are spotted in the Koronus Expanse, the Jericho Reach, around the Eye of Terror, near the Fenris system and the Eastern Fringe.
742.M41: Damocles Gulf Crusade
The Fourth Company under Dark Master Orias take part in the Damocles Gulf Crusade. At the crusade's end they are drawn to the Vanaheim system, however all records of that time are sealed.
745.M41: Hive Fleet Behemoth arrives
The entire Chapter is recalled to the Invalice system to defend it against the newly arrived Tyranids. The same signals that were detected from the local star flare up again and for the most part the Invalice system is ignored. It is decided to keep the knowledge secret lest their defence against the extragalactic threat be taken away.
797.M41: The Green Tide
Elements of the Angels of Shadow move to counter the rising number of Ork activity in Ultima Segmentum.
999.M41: The Great Rift
With the destruction of Cadia and the opening of the Great Rift, the galaxy was torn asunder. The Angels of Shadow received grim news in the aftermath. The entire 4th Company had been lost to the Rift, as well as a strikeforce of the 2nd Company. With them, Dark Masters Bathin and Orias were lost. A force of Consecrators attempted to find the lost Astartes but could only find the empty vessels of the strikeforce.
When Azrael summoned the collective Unforgiven Chapters to The Rock, the Angels of Shadow find themselves unable to make the journey. The Invalice system had come under attack by a massive fleet comprised of the Brotherhood of Eternity warband and the Drukhari Kabal of the Twin Blades. The only one of the Invalacian Legions stationed in the system, the 501st, help the Angels of Shadow hold the line. Once again the world of Chokehold becomes a warzone, with both sides throwing their very worst weapons at each other.
The assault force pushes deep into the Invalice System, masking it to the agri-world Pillarfield and launching attacks into the asteroid field surrounding the gas giant Eternal Watch. Stretched to the breaking point, the system defence fleet gathers for a desperate counter-attack only to be annihilated by Drukhari vessels appearing from within the gas giant itself.
When the Imperial line was broken and enemy vessels were heading straight for Invalice Minor, they were intercepted by a fleet of Dark Angels, Angels of Absolution and Lord Commander Guilliman's Indominus Crusade. Suddenly caught between the Angels of Shadow and the newly arrived reinforcements, the invaders were forced to flee the system.
In the aftermath of the Second Siege of Invalice, it was discovered that several vehicle prototypes had been stolen. Among them a Land Raider Eclipse and a Land Speeder Vengeance equipped with a Vokun projector. Both of these machines are said to utilise forbidden archeotech and xeno-tech respectively. To what ends the thieves may hope to achieve can only be left to speculation.
The Angels of Shadow made their homeworld upon Invalice Major, the innermost planet of the Invalice System.
Invalice Major is a feudal-world by description, being covered by two vast continents. The northern continent of Avodalend (lit. Absolution) is the larger of the two landmasses. Wrapping around the northern pole, Avodalend is a land of extremes. The middle of the continent is coated in ice and is subject to high winds and blizzards that can strip flesh from bone.
To the north-west lies a great extinct volcano, the name of which has long been lost to history. Within the caldera stands the gargantuan fortress-monastery of the Chapter, Rahseanhiim (lit. the Bastion of the Deities) or Angel Bastion in Gothic. The Bastion has spread since the Angels of Shadow found the planet, being built into many of the old volcanic chambers. Several towers have since been built to watch the coast and two mountain passes heading towards the Citadel.
On Invalice Major the people, for lack of a better term, worship the great reptilian beasts that roam the lands and soar the skies. The largest Saurians of the lower Continent, [NAME], are seen as divine beasts sent by the One True Light. The most accurate way of describing them would be to refer them as demi-gods. Thus when an Invalacian is able to tame one they draw ever closer to the One True Light. The pack-hunting Veredusaurs are prised as mounts for hunters and cavalry, and the massive Mortisaur is seen as a messenger of the One True Light, an omen bringer.
The Drakes that inhabit northern Avodalend are seen as higher still, literally entering the heavens if and when they please. Nine species in particular are seen as embodiments of the Nine Sons, such as the golden-scaled Stonehide Wyvern, a stubby brute of a beast that makes it's lairs in rocky mountains, or the crimson Bloodwing, a beautiful beast covered in deep red plumage. The largest of the Drakes is the Eclipse Drake, a rare creature so large it is said to be able to swallow a man whole. The appearance of the Eclipse Drake is an ill omen for whoever falls under it's shadow is said to have been denied the One True Light.
Codex Companies - III to IX
As per the Codex Astartes, the Third through to the Ninth Company are standard Companies in terms of their style of warfare; the 3rd, 4th and 5th are Battle Companies, the 6th and 7th are the Reserve Companies and the 8th and 9th Companies are Assault and Devastator respectively.
Where they differ from the norm is that each Battle Company holds a certain Rank within. As a Battle-Brother earns experience and accolades he will progress first from the Ninth to the Eighth as per the Codex, and from there into one of the Reserve Companies.
Brothers in the 5th Company have freshly left the Reserve Companies and are awarded the rank of Knight for the first time, whereas the 3rd Company holds veterans of dozens of campaigns whose next step is to be inducted into either the Blade Brethren or Saurian Knights.
Each Company maintains a number of Neophyte squads rather than having a dedicated Company. As scouting duties usually fall to the Saurian Knights, Neophytes are usually deployed as support units, with the most junior squads being armed with sniper rifles to watch and learn from the full Brethren from relative safety and those about to earn their Power Armour are armed like a Tactical Squad and deployed in either defensive roles or to support main line units such as Devastators.
The 4th Company, following the introduction of the Primaris Astartes, is comprised solely of Cawl's creations following the complete loss of the 4th Company to the Great Rift.
1st and 2nd Companies: Blade Brethren and Saurian Knights-
For all intents and purposes, the first two Companies of the Chapter act as their analogues within the Dark Angels. Where the Blade Brethren are a veteran, Terminator-clad strikeforce backed by Land Raiders and ancient Dreadnoughts, the Saurian Knights are pilots and outriders beyond compare.
Where they differ from their progenitors is the amount of information regarding the Fallen. Upon induction into either Company, a Battle-Brother will be informed of everything known by the Dark Masters. A lack of trust is seen as the key factor for the Fallen and the Angels of Light, both mistakes never to be repeated.
Company X: The Shadow Guard
The Shadow Guard were originally a garrison force, made up of Astartes that for one reason or another were unfit for front-line combat duty. They were the recruiters, the trainers and stewards of the Chapter Fortress as well as those awaiting transfer from one company to another or those serving penitential duties. When the Invalice system was engulfed in the Chapter Schism, the Shadow Guard took on a offensive role. Taking up arms deemed forbidden from deep within the Armoury, they held back traitorous forces from taking the Chapter Fortress, then later engaged in pursuit.
Today the Shadow Guard are the final sanction of the Dark Masters. When the Shadow Guard is deployed it is against a foe that must be exterminated in it's entirety. Wielding radioactive explosives, molecular acid, chemical and even vortex weapons designed not only to kill but to render the area uninhabitable for years to come. Their tactics are particular effective against foes that prove difficult to remove such as Orks, Tyranids, Hrud and even humans that utilise underground fortified positions.
However, the Shadow Guard has one other purpose. The complete eradication of those who have witnessed the Angels of Light and the Fallen. When the order is given, their weapons are turned against the allies and even enemies of the Angels of Light, for none can live to tell the tale. It is for this reason that those inducted into the Shadow Guard are judged to be too zealous in their pursuit of the Fallen, unable to be trusted to bring back the quarry alive. These Astartes forgo all name and rank, for their craft is as unsavoury, even going to say as vile, as those they are tasked with purging with extreme prejudice.
Battle Barge Eclipse Drake
Battle Barge Mortisaur
Strike Cruiser Sword of Invalice
Strike Cruiser Angel of Darkness
Strike Cruiser Shadow of Intent
Strike Cruiser Harbinger of Retribution
Strike Cruiser Knight of Twilight
Strike Cruiser Demise of Fear
Escorts of various patterns numbering over 30 from the Chapter's early Fleet-based existance.
Recruitment into the Chapter is a somewhat complicated process. When someone is accepted into the Chapter, their family are considered nobility until the next round of recruitment. Noble families are duty-bound to provide at least one son for the Chapter when required lest they forfeit their noble status. They are allowed three generations of genetic incompatibility before they lose noble status.
Non-noble families may offer up as many potential recruits as they wish, but to do so they must take part in a series of challenges to simply qualify for the privilege of trying out for recruitment.
The boys are all gathered in a dormitory, always built in the centre of a settlement (or in the centre of the habitation district within larger cities). When the time comes for the aspiring recruits to be collected comes a Storm Eagle with a Vokun Projector is deployed. This is always done in the middle of the day to make the most of the unnatural darkness the Vokun Projectors generate.
Once the potential recruits have been finalised they speak with the current High Redemptionist and Arch Magus of the Chapter. These two esteemed individuals watch over the recruits as they are faced with the Trial of Flesh, the Trial of Mind and the Trial of Soul.
The Trial of Flesh sees all potential recruits, now known as petitioners, dropped deep into the Nonvuloblaan forests with one goal: Return to the capitol of Nemesis in a week or die trying.
The Trial of Mind is based upon an old legend said to be from long lost Caliban. Those remaining are taken to the walls of the Chapter fortress. There they are left for a full night, which is historically the longest night following the shortest day before the winter darkness sets in. All through the night the petitioners are subjected to calls of weakness, offers of safety within the walls and threats of attack from the beasts of the night. Those that remain until the morning pass on to the final and hardest challenge.
The Trial of Soul is both the simplest and most difficult challenge to pass. One by one the petitioners are led into the fortress dungeons, to a special chamber. Within stands the High Redemptionist in full battle plate in the middle of the room. When the door closes behind the petitioner it appears as if there never was a door. To their left and right are two archways, one in pitch black and the other bathed in the warm light of glow globes.
The High Redemptionist asks the petitioner a series of questions, each answer judged by not only the Chaplain but also the High Oracle hidden from sight. The High Oracle probes the petitioner's mind looking for any weakness and passes the information to the High Redemptionist via secure vox, who then in turn attempts to use it to break the petitioner. If they pass ten questions in a satisfactory manor then they have passed and are considered a Neophyte.
Battle Standards or Chapter Banners (Optional):
At the core of all tactics employed by the Angels of Shadow lies a simple theory: The precise application of overwhelming firepower. Where some Chapters may deploy multiple Combat Squads backed up by Razorbacks, the Angels of Shadow always deploy full strength squads where they can. The speciality weapons squads are given will meet a singular purpose, being a counter to light infantry, heavy infantry or vehicles. At first glance this may appear to be in keeping with Codex teachings, it is the secondary tactics that show deviation.
It is generally accepted that using high-strength single-shot weapons on hordes of lightly armoured foes is a poor tactic. However the Angels of Shadow will deploy weapons such as Lascannons against such foes if with the goal of targeting leaders, special weapons wielders and other targets of interest.
In terms of Armour usage, the Chapter boasts a number of Land Raider variants considered to be uncommon in other Chapters and can deploy dozens of Storm Eagles. Additionally the Angels can deploy an unconfirmed amount of their version of the Ravenwing Darkshroud. Rarely will a deployment not be under the protective shadows generated by these arcane machines.
Like the Dark Angels, the exact number of those inducted into the 1st and 2nd Companies is unconfirmed. This is due to parts of those Companies, the Blade Brethren and Saurian Knights respectively, being deployed with the main Battle Companies. Full deployment of the 1st and 2nd, known as the Absolution Protocol, is reserved for theatres of war where Fallen are known to operate and must be approved by the Dark Masters of both Companies as well as the Master of Shadows himself.
Vaat zahkrii haali! (By the sword in my hand!)
As they were created and trained from the stocks of the Angels of Absolution, the Chapter has adopted their view that their members should harbour no guilt concerning the Fallen for it is belongs to the Fallen alone, but have the sacred task of bringing every one of those traitors to justice.
Something that was introduced from their homeworld's culture is the view that the sword is the weapon of the honourable. Thus the Angels take a personal insult when they see foes such as the twisted Dark Eldar or Heretic Astartes wielding such weapons, however they view the craftworld Eldar as honourable warriors worthy of wielding the sword in battle. Even the Orks, as primitive and barbaric as they seem, have a sense of honour that the Angels of Shadow recognise.
The Angels of Shadow revere the Emperor as the One True Light, with his Nine Sons. All that the Light touches falls under His mercy, and is protected by Eight of the Sons. However, not all that dwell in the Light are worthy of His mercy, thus the One True Light fades away into Shadow, a realm devoid of His mercy and protection. It is within the Shadow that the Angels dwell, bringing down divine wrath upon those that He has deemed unworthy of mercy.
One part of their belief that has, on occasion, strained relations with other Imperial forces namely the Ecclesiarchy, certain Inquisitors and even the more hardline Chapters of Astartes is the Angels' reverence for the dragons of their world. Each of the nice species are considered to be the living manifestations of the 9 loyal Primarchs, with the Eclipse Drake being worshipped beyond all others for its relation to Lion El'Jonson.
Dark Angels via Angels of Absolution. Slight malfunction of the Melanchromic Organ and Ossmodula resulting in brethren developing pale skin and developing into taller but leaner figures compared to other Chapters. This is especially prevalent in recruits drawn from Invalice Prime, a fact Chapter Apothecaries are unable to explain.
Edited by Cpt_Reaper, 10 January 2018 - 10:26 AM.