|Battle Cry||"Fire and Bone!" Or "Bless the Curse!"|
|Successors of||Unknown (believed to be the Salamanders)|
|Homeworld||Gauntlet (semi-mythical, Chapter is officially Fleet-based)|
|Specialty||Assault, having pointy retractable arm-blades|
|Allegiance||Imperium of Man|
|Colours||Black with a white Aquila and markings|
The Black Dragons are a Space Marine Chapter in Warhammer 40,000. Part of the 21st or Cursed Founding, the Black Dragons suffers from a mutation like the other Chapters of that founding. Specifically, they suffer from a mutated Ossmodula, which causes some gnarly bone growths to grow out of their forehead and forearms. It's unknown what mutation the Adeptus Mechanicus was trying to cure, as their Parent Chapter is unknown (they might've actually been trying to make them bigger and stronger- seems lots of Black Dragons are too large to fit regular Power Armour). Heavy speculation is that the Black Dragons are descended from the Salamanders, and those with more pronounced bone extensions are noted to have darker skin, reminiscent of the Salamanders' mutated melanchromic organ. The "osseovirus" responsible for the mutations was later isolated by the Haemonculus Coven known as the Hex and used to create the bone-mutating weapons known as the ossefactors.
Interestingly, rather than try to cure the bony crests, the Black Dragons instead embraced the mutation, having those with forearm blades coat said blades in adamantium and then inducted into special squads known as "Dragon Claws", and having them serve as Assault Marines (Space Marines + Wolverine/Baraka = awesome). They also incorporate this embracing of the mutation into their worship and doctrine as a chapter: such as the Chaplain calling upon the Emperor to "Curse thy servants" during prayer. This has raised more than a few eyebrows among the Inquisition, and several Chapters of Space Marines, such as the Dark Angels and the Marines Malevolent, have refused to fight alongside them (as if anyone wants the MMs anywhere near them, especially Salamanders descendants). Despite this, the Black Dragons are one of the few Chapters of the Cursed Founding still active as part of the Imperium of Man in late M41, where they committed nine of their ten companies to the 13th Black Crusade. They'd probably get on well with the Space Wolves.
They appear to have gained Primaris reinforcements with the dawn of the Dark Imperium, despite being a Cursed Founding (Or due to being so badass). The new KillTeam release mentions Black Dragon Reivers, and their prominent bone blades being used in KillTeams.
There is a novel featuring them, The Death of Antagonis. Quite a nice read, even while the description is misleading; the front and back covers feature Black Dragons fighting zombies, and while that does happen it's barely a third of the book. The last zombie "disappears" around page 90, and Exterminatus gets declared 20 pages later; the next 200 pages take place on city world Aeghis Mortis and the main enemies are Tzeentchian marines lead by a Rogue Cardinal who is on a jolly trip to discover a world engine. One member of the chapter (and the marines he convinces to follow him) gets convinced by an Inquisitor to try and purge his mutated brothers, but when they both fall to Chaos he gets his ass killed for treachery and not embracing his brothers' mutations as a means to be even more effective killing machines. Not to mention the asshole Inquisitor got his stomach slit open by a pissed off Canoness.
3:00 - Awakening: The Black Dragons wake up from their sleep and crawl out of their beds, which they refer to as 'hoards'. Chapter serfs claim that they are made out of gold coins and gems.
4:00 - Bone Sharpening: All marines who have been 'cursed' with bone growths spend the next hour sharpening and coating them in adamantine. Those who either haven't developed or don't have them sit around and wait on their brothers.
5:00 - Morning Prayer: The Black Dragons descend into the chapel and begin their prayers to the Emperor. The phrase 'Please Curse the Emperor's servantss.' has been outlawed after some unpleasant meetings with the inquisition. Marines wishing for their curses to be removed are generally ostracized. Marines who refer to themselves as 'scalies' or wish to become an actual lizard during their prayers are shot out of an airlock.
6:00 - Morning Firing Rites: Marines go to the firing range and begin firing at their targets. Most marines have trouble hitting the targets due to their bone growths messing up their grip on their bolters.
6:30 - Morning Sparring Practice: Though sparring practice doesn't officially start until 7:00 most marines get tired of not being able to hit and so they throw their weapons down and charge into the targets. Then they get into wrist blade fights and lock horns in a rather chaotic brawl. Marines who don't join in the fighting are generally given popcorn by chapter serfs.
9:00 - Clean Up: Most marines snap out of their fighting and, rather embarrassedly, clean up the damage they caused with their adamantine claws and blades for the serfs. Those marines who didn't join the previous fighting are then allowed to properly do sparring practice
12:00 - Midday Meal: Chapter serfs prepare a meal of mostly raw animals captured during previous planetary landings. Most marines are expected to cut the food with their claws then eat them raw. Marines without bone blades are to simply make do with chain swords and combat knives.
13:00 - Free Time: The Black Dragons begin their daily hour of free time. Most marines spend it sharpening their claws or polishing their 'scales'. Some marines try blacksmithing to get in touch with their suspected Salamander roots. Their horns or claws often get in the way so most give it up after the first try.
14:00 - Zombie Killing: The Black Dragons pull up to the nearest planet infected with chaos zombies and kill as many of them as they can get. The one who kills the most gets a free bag of thrones to add to their hoard.
15:30 - Tending to the Dragon Claws: Dragon Claws whose curses became too much to bear and went insane are given food and water for the day.
16:00 - Evening Firing Practice: Marines are once again sent to the firing range. This time the targets are much bigger and easier to hit to prevent another brawl.
17:00 - Evening Meal: The Black Dragons return to the mess hall for more food. Marines are fed nothing but pure meat, this time cooked and pre-cut, for dinner. Most marines express distaste for not being able to cut it themselves.
18:00 - Apothecary Visit: Every Black Dragon is herded to the Apothecary and inspected. Those who have not developed significant mutations are excluded. Neophytes are injected with a new gene-seed if they have not developed mutations yet.
20:00 - Evening Prayer: The Black Dragons begin evening prayers. Neophytes spontaneously screaming bloody murder and having bone growths emerge out of their head are a common occurrence.
21:00 - Returning to the Hoard: Marines return to their piles of coins and gems and go to sleep for the night.