Angels of Absolution
|Angels of Absolution|
|Successors of||Dark Angels|
|Homeworld||Allhallow (Fortress Monastery), Nachwald (Recruiting World)|
|Specialty||Getting over their dark and edgy past|
|Colours||Bone White and Green|
"You will wear your innate corruption for all to see. You and all those who consider themselves absolved, you will exhibit the sins of the fathers, and we will expose the truth within. There is no escaping it, the work of aeons has already begun"
- – Gohorael of the Fallen Angels, speaking through a proxy
The Angels of Absolution are a Second Founding successor chapter of the Dark Angels. They are perhaps the successor with their heads on the straightest, since they realize that the sins of their forebears are not their own, and thus they don't have to seek forgiveness from the Emperor; though that doesn't mean they don't join in a merry game of 'Hunt the Fallen Angels' once in a while.
The Angels of Absolution are for the most part similar in temperament, outlook and everything else to their parent chapter. It is just on the one belief that they (quite sensibly) differ; they believe the actions of their forebears in combating the corrupted angels during the Fall cleansed their blood of the guilt and that their many acts in the Emperor's name since then have only confirmed that. Considering they are talking about 10,000 years here you can see where they are coming from. Just how many oceans of blood does the Emperor need to wash that much guilt off, damn?
They are also proof that, deep down, the Dark Angels have a sense of humour. In the 7th Edition Dark Angels codex, they are cited as having a "gallows humour" and are prone to "sardonic banter" and "bleak irony." Which means they are awesome.
They don't yet have the balls to tell their parent chapter to man up and stop being so emo about the whole Fallen thing. Or, maybe they did and the Dark Angels ignored them. Or maybe the Dark Angels mistook it for them taking the piss?
Unlike many successor chapters, they have a number of mentions of campaigns they have undertook, which has given them some colour and personality.
They show up in Forgeworld's Siege of Vraks campaign towards the end under orders from Azrael to capture Arkos the Faithless and regain the honour lost by their parent chapter earlier in the campaign. Interestingly, the fluff in the book shows that the Angels of Absolution have Sternguard Veteran squads, or, at the very least, 1st company veteran squads that can use Specialised Ammunition, which is something that the other Dark Angels successors do not have access to since they all have Deathwing equivalents. (The only way to represent this on the tabletop would be to use Codex: Space Marines.). This has been corrected in the updated Imperial Armour: Siege of Vraks book, where the picture above has had the numbers switched to represent the "First" squad of the "Fourth" company, rather than the "Fourth" squad of the "First" company, citing that as members of the Unforgiven, the 1st Company only ever takes the field in Terminator Armour. Maybe one of the writers read this page?
The most recent fluff involving the Angels of Absolution is given to us in Phil Kelly's mess of overlapping themes: War of Secrets. The Angels of Absolution are specifically targeted by the Fallen Angel Gohorael who took exception to the fact that they consider themselves "absolved" of the sins of the past, despite the fact the Fallen Angels are a very real thing.
Gohorael creates a psychic plague that causes its victims register as psykers until they puke up infectious white energy and die. It is contagious to normal humans and space marines alike, with the specific exception of Primaris Marines for undisclosed reasons. The Fallen Angel manages to corrupt the population of the world of Allhallow, the homeworld of the Angels of Absolution, leaving Interrogator Chaplain Zaeroph of Dark Angels who had been chasing him there in a quandary. He could not enact the Exterminatus protocol without first getting the permission of Supreme Grand Master Azrael, or arising the ire of the Inquisition, but he also cannot engage the planet directly without being seen assaulting the home of their Successor Chapter. But due to the threat of a Fallen Angel they simply HAVE to make landfall without declaring their intentions to their allies.
This is where Phil Kelly loses his faculties, as some Tau who were also chasing the source of the plague happen to be on Allhallow, and come to an accord with Zaeroph: They'll wipe out the plague on Allhallow, while the Dark Angels wipe out the infected humans on Saltire Vex, a world that the Tau had already claimed. Though deal is struck offscreen, the Tau are given a Psyoccule that allows them to detect psykers so they can eradicate the victims of plague on Allhallow; meaning the Dark Angels involved were guilty of the capital offense aiding and abetting the xenos assault of a Chapter homeworld, something that the Primaris contingent were extremely pissed off at, but were curiously content to let slide by the end of the story when Zaeroph decided to initiate them into a circle of their own and share some knowledge of the Hunt (again, without the consent of Azrael). The Dark Angels then leave the planet shortly after the Fallen Angel is captured (because that's what Dark Angels do), leaving the Tau and the Angels of Absolution to duke it out with each other.
What's worse is that Master-Castellan Moddren of the Angels of Absolution is left standing at the end of the battle and finds the Psyoccule in the battlesuit of the Tau commander, and the Dark Angels had only gone and forgotten to file the serial numbers off!! leaving Moddren in no doubt who had facilitated the assault on his world, and none the wiser that a Fallen Angel was in his own back yard.
We are left to believe that Chaplain Zaeroph is either a monumental idiot or has gone rogue because of his lack of collaboration with the Inner Circle's chain of command: not only has he pissed on Azrael's shoes, but if he had contacted Moddren first, then the Angels of Absolution might have assisted in the Hunt, as is their right as members of the Unforgiven and then been left to clean up their own mess of the infection. This sets the Angels of Absolution with a collision course with their parent chapter at some point. Not to mention the Angels of Absolution would have certainly purged the crap out of their world's infection post-haste. The idea a group of Tau could do a better job than a Chapter of Astartes is ridiculous. Besides that, the First Legion doesn't do their dicking to their member Chapters. So, this fluff all flies in the face of everything established about the Legion, it's behaviors to outsiders and insiders, and its operating practices.
Relics & Honours
Like any other chapter, the Angels of Absolution have their own relics. Redemption's Lament was a master-crafted, sanctified power sword. It was handed over to the Deathwatch around the same time that the chapter stopped referring to themselves as "Unforgiven". The battle-brother who left it behind said: "its fate no longer dwelt with its brethren".
However, the blade completely FREAKS OUT the Angels of Absolution, subtly eroding their sanity with its presence, which is particularly interesting as per the rules, since the Angels of Absolution don't break down the same way that Dark Angels and other successors do. Instead they gain corruption if they fail to deal with their ever-increasing level of insanity, essentially becoming closer to renegades themselves. So it's clear that the blade is a reminder to members of the chapter of something particularly bad... perhaps they've been a bit premature about absolving themselves of their guilt?