Sanguine Blades - Blood Angel Successor
The Sanguine Blades are a successor chapter to the Angels Encarmine. As such, Sanguine Blades suffer from the flaw that plagues all successor’s of the Blood Angels, and struggle against it. Unlike other successors who have tried to augment themselves to rid themselves of the flaw, the Sanguine Blades live with the flaw. The flaw is seen as part of their heritage. It is a scar on the minds of the brothers, but to try and remove it from themselves would change what it means to be a Sanguine Blade and a Son of Sanguinius.
The Sanguine Blades are a chapter on the brink. Due to continued attacks on them from a renegade band of Space Marines, an internal conflict that caused the loss of the reserve companies, and normal loses in the line of duty the chapter is now at only half strength. Luckily, many of the remaining are veterans of the chapter, and new aspirants are being trained. The chapter’s fate is very much in flux.
The Sanguine Blades were created during the M34. From their creation they were meant to patrol the north-eastern fringes of Segmentum Obscurus. Meant to be a fleet chapter it had no homeworld until their flagship Angelus Animus was attacked by a renegade contingent of Chaos space marines. Although the attackers were fought off, the Angelus Animus was so badly damaged that it had to perform an emergency landing on a nearby planet. The Angelus Animus was considered beyond repair by the tech adepts of the chapter, and the planet Elpis, classified as a death world, was were it found it’s final resting place. The chapter claimed this planet as it’s home world.
The chapter continued to patrol Imperium using Elphis as it’s hub. This has brought the Sanguine Blades into contact with the renegade space marines, dark eldar, and orks. The worst of these is a renegade space marine contingent called the Darth Raiders. This contingent has harried the Sanguine Blades since the they first entered the sector, and were the ones who caused the grounding of the Angelus Animus. The last encounter between the two ended with the Darth Raiders being driven from the sector, but left the Sanguine Blades with a depleted force.
Recruitment on the planet Elpis was not possible as the ecosystem is inherently hostile with much of the planet’s wildlife and fauna becoming aggressive and violent. With plants that release spores that sprout inside lungs and animals that the shoot from the earth with arms like turbine blades to puree victims. None but astartes could hope to make this planet home, so instead the chapter recruits from two feral world close to it’s home world. These planets, Ganald and Rozaphine, are sister planets that follow close to the same orbit around their sun. Both planets were once thriving world long ago, most likely in the Dark Age of Technology. Scattered across the surface are large ruins of cities, which give the impression of advanced worldwide communities. However, the husks of civilization now give shelter to largely nomadic tribes of humans that take up residence in these ruins to protect themselves from the dangers of the world.
Though both of these worlds follow roughly the same orbit, the climates and topography of the worlds are vastly different. Ganald has a very slow rotation achieving one rotation for every 100 terran years. This being the case, the tribes are constantly on the move as only a small portion of the planet is habitable by humans at any given time. The local wildlife has adapted to go into deep hibernation in extreme climates. This causes one portion of the planet to be full of life while the rest of the planet appears to be a dead world devoid of it. Rozaphine has a much better rotation speed for human life, approximately one rotation every 1.1 terran years and as such has a more stable climate. However, liquid water is scarce and due to it only being available when geothermal vents bring it to the surface. This causes a constant war between the nomadic tribes of the planet for liquid resources.
Both these habitats provide constant struggle for the human inhabitants. Breeding strong and innovative humans that are prime candidates for the Sanguine Blades. The unique genetics of the two groups cause different responses to the chemical treatments. Recruits from Ganald are lighter skinned, due to the years of living out of direct sunlight, and generally taller than the recruits from the Rozaphine.They also take to roles of orators and scribes more often. This shows as more than two thirds of both the chapter’s priests and chaplains hail from Ganald. Recruits from Rozaphine are darker skinned. They tend to be more bold and possess great skill in combat, but seem to be more likely to succum to the red thirst. Their nature leads them to be among some of the chapters greatest champions often leading charges and finding themselves in the thickest part of the fight.
The Sanguine Blades see themselves not as a spear tip, hammer, or anvil, but as the their name suggests a blade. Their part is not to plunge into the enemy, or to smash their foes, but to deftly cut the foe apart. Their part is to understand the weakness of their enemy, and to strike it; to take their enemy apart and destroy it piece by piece. It takes not only precision or strength, but both in equal parts.
Usual deployment is varied depending on the commander, but most forces contain a strong contingent of fast moving troops by either jump pack or vehicles. These troops are usually supported by long-range fire support to help cover the advance. Much like an expert swordsman, the approach is to focus on the weakness in an enemy and take advantage of it. Using the long range support to weaken a portion of the force, and then follow up with a powerful strike from the main contingent.
Much like the Blood Angels they largely abide by the Codex Astartes, the main difference being the inclusion of the Death Company and Sanguinary Guard that sit outside the bounds of the usual chapter hierarchy.
The Death Company are brothers that have fallen to the Black Rage and are now used as a blunt weapon to unleash upon the enemy in the hopes that they might fall in battle, and be given the honor of a glorious death in battle rather than meet their end after the last remnants of sanity has left them and they meet the executioners axe.
The Sanguinary Guard are the envoys of the Chapter in the Sanguine Blades. Seen as angels that herald the coming of the chapter they possess both martial and civil prowess. Along with the rigorous training that all Sanguine Blades take part in, they are given the best equipment available to the chapter, and are taught the subtle arts of diplomacy and tact.
The Sanguine Blades believe that the Emperor is the Savior of Mankind, and the guiding light of the universe. Through him is the only chance for human survival in the cold dark universe. It is only by his will and his guidance that humanity can be spared from the terrors of the warp and of the xenos. The Sanguine Blades are one of his tools to strike back at the foul void that seeks with every moment to swallow humanity in darkness and despair.
Sanguinius, the Great Angel, knew this as well and through his sight saw what must be done. Sanguinius with all his faith and fury, faced with certain death, boldly cut through the void of space and through the the terrors of the warp. Sanguinius was the Emperor's Blade, forged in the fires of Baal. A martyr in the darkest hours of the imperium, but still not lost. Sanguinius lives on in his sons.
The last gift of the Great Angel was to pass down his blade. His martial fury to his sons in hope that it could add the Emperor in his defense against the heretic, the daemon, and the xenos. These weapons are the Red Thirst and the Black Rage.
The Red Thirst must be honed and focused to destroy mankind’s foes. The Blades work to make use of the Red Thirst. The Sanguine Blades train not to completely suppress their flaw, but to hold it at bay when unneeded; like a blade in a sheath. When in engaged with the enemy they let the thirst drive them, pushing their martial skills. A Blade feels at home in close combat as the thirst takes hold feeling a connection with the Angel and the chapter knowing that this ties them together.
The Black Rage is the strongest and darkest weapon. To give your life to the Death Company is to become the embodiment of the Angels fury against all that harm the Imperium and the Emperor. Those under the throes of the rage are as close to the Angel as they can be; reliving their Primarchs final moments. Those in the Death Company are revered, and by some even envied, as they are the closest a brother can be to Sanguinius.
However, they are also pitied because the brother is lost forever. An astartes, as much as they are, can not endure the Primarch, his rage, and his sorrow long without his his mind coming apart. So the Death Company is sent into battle as the ultimate weapon of the Blades. Sent as the most destructive force the Sanguine Blades have into the heart of the enemy to find glory in battle and peace in death.
Other than the Flaw that comes with all successors to the Blood Angels there there are very few mutations to the Sanguine Blades gene-seed. The only widespread mutation is the Melanochrome which causes different reactions to the astartes based upon the amount of melanin already in the aspirants skin.
“Blades for the Emperor!”
The emphasis on close-combat has worked its way into many of the rites of the Sanguine Blades. Company Masters are known as the Council of Blades. It is set up so that the Company Master of the first company is the First Blade, Company Master of the second company is the Second Blade, and so on. When one of the Blades dies then a company wide tournament is held to determine the new Blade. The Chapter Master is the Master of Blades and is replaced in a similar fashion with a tournament between the Council of Blades.
The tournaments varies from company to company and each company has its own name and rules. For instance the 1st Company’s Circle of Brothers Tournament is fought with two handed broadswords in a large circle made by the rest of the company while the 8th Company’s Sky of Blood is fought while balancing on pillars 20 feet from the ground. The only similarities between these matches is all members of the company must participate and all matches are to first blood.
The tournament for the position of Master of Blades is known as the Trial of Blades. Though it follows a great loss to the chapter it is a cause of great excitement, and all battle-brothers available to attend do so. All the Blades return to the Fortress Monastery Angelus Animus to compete. Each Blade chooses which weapon they will enter with into the tournament and each match is fought in arena at the foot of the Fortress-Monastery. The Blades fight first between 1st and 10th then 2nd and 9th and so on with the most senior Blade getting a bye when necessary.
The Sanguine Blades have red power armor with a black trim on their shoulder armor. The Sanguine Blades chapter symbol is a winged blood drop with a sword, blade down, overlayed onto it. This represents the martial fury passed down through the blood of Sanguinius.Their aquilas are white. The Sanguinary Priests replace their black trim with white. Blades, their honor guard, and the Sanguinary Guard all wear gold armor to show their office while veterans have gold helmets.
Sanguine Blades of Note:
Master of Blades Elron
Elron was a loyal but unnotable battle brother until the Battle of Night’s Wake, where the right side of his face was maimed and he lost his left arm. Upon recovering he gained notoriety in the chapter for his bravery during the battle. Within a century of the wound he had risen to the rank of 3rd Blade, and is well known for his leadership and charisma. He was present during the Treason of Angel’s Fall and was instrumental in the defence of the Angelus Animus from the Dark Eldar. Striking down the Homunculus that had corrupted the chapter and redeeming the chapter in the eyes of the inquisition.
Elron was held in such high esteem that during the last Trial of Blades some of the other blades threw their fights so that Elron could become Master of Blades, though they would not admit it. As Chapter Master, he is known for his fiery oratory and his love of heated discussion. Always having council on hand and never turning a deaf ear to the voices in the chapter, he has been quoted as saying, “A Space-marine without a mind is no better than servitor. For what use is a powerful weapon without the will and training to use it.”
In combat he uses a special combi-melta boltgun gifted to him by the Salamanders Chapter. His bionics have been upgraded as well; a special gauntlet that can project a compact disruptor field capable of ripping through thick armor has been added to his left hand, and a digi-laser added to the ornamental mask to cover the bionics in his face. The latter being received from the head artificer upon his promotion to the rank of 3rd Blade.
Chief Librarian Themis
Themis is the oldest Sanguine Blade alive, having been alive during the battle of Courage Falters. He is a trusted source of knowledge and wisdom and his council holds great sway in any major decision of the chapter. He is also well respected amongst the chapter despite being a psyker, and is very well liked amongst his battle brothers.
Themis, although a powerful psyker, does not have the breadth of powers that most of the librarium have. His powers manifest in the physical, and allow him great strength and speed during battle. The warp powers his muscles, and allow him great feats of strength and endurance. This combined with his hundreds of years of experience allows him to peer into the heart of those he fights, and seems to know how his opponent will react. All these things make him a monstrously powerful opponent in close combat, but afterwards the strain leaves him in a weakened state.
8th Blade Tellamy - ‘Forlorn Angel’
Tellamy is one of the youngest members in the history of the council of blades, and was the sole surviving member of the 8th reserve company after the Treason of Angel’s Fall. He had just earned his entry into the company when the takeover began and was the one to alert the rest of the chapter about what was going on at the Angelus Animus. Without his warnings to the rest of the chapter the entire chapter could have fallen.
While the alerted portion of the chapter made it’s way back to Elpis, Tellamy waged a one man war against the haemonculus coven distracting and hampering their work and sensors allowing the rest of the chapter to move back to monastery with the Dark Eldar unaware.
As custom dictates, he was raised to the rank of 8th blade though many thought it was inappropriate that a member so young was raised to the rank without the proper rituals of battle. These concerns were furthered due to Tellamy’s somber nature. Though many saw him as despondent, Elron saw that it wasn’t that he lost his spirit, but that he desperately wanted to fight. He wanted to and needed to strike at the enemies of the chapter. This along with the skills he picked up from fighting a one man war against the xenos invaders made him a great resources leading small teams behind enemy lines.
Tellamy has since become a key advisor for the Elron specializing in sabotage and disruption techniques. His normal duties of leading his company have been suspended due to it’s destruction, so instead he leads missions striking behind enemy lines. Constantly moving from war zone to war zone wherever he is needed. Tellamy now only seems to find peace on the precipice of war.
Battle of Courage Falters -
This was a fleet battle between the Sanguine Blades, and the Darth Raiders. The Raiders launched a surprise attack that caused the crippling damage to the Angelus Animus which eventually lead it to come to rest on Elpis. The Raiders achieved this with a much smaller force than the Sanguine Blade fleet by using powerful sorcery to bring the flag ship out of the warp before it’s intended destination separating it from the rest of the fleet. By the time the ruse was uncovered it was already too late.
Battle of Night’s Wake -
This engagement was on the planet of Ganald. A envoy of Sanguinary Guard and a small contingent from third company made landfall on the planet to pick new initiates for the chapter. However, upon touchdown they found ruinous powers at work. A dark sorcerer had been found seeking to corrupt the local populace as a way to sow the seeds of Chaos amongst the Sanguine Blade. Although, the dark sorcerer was defeated and driven away, the local populace was crippled. Many had to be purged so they could not corrupt the rest of the populace. It took over 10 generations before Ganald could be used as a suitable recruitment planet again.
This is something I have been kicking around for a long while now. Figured I should stop keeping it to myself and let it into the world. Any opinions or critiques to make it better is appreciated and welcome. Thank you.