|Battle Cry||Pre-Retribution: "Knowledge is power. Guard it well."; Post-Retribution: "None shall find us wanting."|
|Successors of||Heavily hinted to be Thousand Sons|
|Chapter Master||Gabriel Angelos|
|Primarch||Unknown possibly Magnus the Red|
|Strength||Probably around 800|
|Specialty||Psykers, collecting "lost" relics, plot armor, Attacking in key positions|
|Allegiance||Imperium of Man|
|Colours||Red. Bone white pauldrons|
"I am a thief of knowledge, and in a survival way, I had to solve all the problems around me."
"Blood Ravens? Go lock the reliquary"
-Calato, Deathwatch Champion, to a random Stormtrooper upon encountering a Blood Ravens force.
The Bluhd Rehvehns are one of the better-known background Chapters, primarily from their starring role in the Dawn of War vidya series. They have waaaaaaaay too many psykers and are obsessed with
stealing finding lost relics, mostly because they don't know anything about their history. They have no records dating before the Age of Apostasy. This has led some to theorize that they are actually loyalist descendants of the Thousand Sons, which according to fluff, may be canon it's not canon is intentionally left in the grey area and even GW likes to tease us about this (like they did in the Prospero White Dwarf).
This chapter was specifically created by Relic and GW for the Dawn of War vidya games. This would remain their only claim to fame if Dawn of War hadn't spawned dozens of memes. Perhaps the most famous example of these memes is the voice acting of the Captain Indrick Boreale, who is the origin of the terms Empra and Spehss mahreens. They are also infamous on /tg/ for losing half their chapter in a single campaign, also thanks to Brother-Captain Boreale, who refused to fuck off when Vance Motherfucking Stubbs arrived. Davian Thule had the same thing happen when he refused orders to fuck off from Governer-Militant Lukas Alexander, but unlike Boreale, Thule actually won.
The Blood Ravens are also famous for their rav(en)ing kleptomania, discussed in greater depth below.
One of the few canonically confirmed, let alone interesting, things about their history is the possibility that they are descendants of a Thousand Sons schism cult. The short story "Rebirth" in Age of Darkness shows what might be the foundation of the Chapter, as hinted before in A Thousand Sons Horus Heresy book. That story shows that most of the Corvidae (as in the genus of birds to which the raven belongs) Fellowship of the Legion was sent away by Magnus during the Burning of Prospero. The leader of this Fellowship, Revuel Arvida, has a name very similar to Azariah Vidya, the legendary hero of the Blood Ravens, who utters "Knowledge is Power, Guard It Well", the motto of the Blood Ravens. Additionally, they have an unusually high number of unusually powerful psykers, with two full squads of Librarians in the First Company and were (at least until the events of Retribution) lead by a combination of Chapter Masters and Librarians. Finally, their obsession with lost knowledge and mystic relics mirrors pre-Heresy Thousand Sons. Hell, even their color scheme is suspiciously close to the one used by the pre-Heresy Thousand Sons. Also, if you want to read way too much into it, it should be noted that almost every other Traitor Legion has known, named Loyalist members, most of whom aided Malcador with the creation of the Inquisition... except the Thousand Sons and Night Lords (but they're a Chapter of psychics, not bloodthirsty butchers).
However, given the ambiguous and circumstantial nature of what little evidence exists, we may never know if this is true. For a time, there was a rumor of a Blood Ravens Codex produced by Games Workshop, which would probably expand on the theory. However, the codex never came out, the rumors quietly died out and do not look likely to be revived anytime soon.
The Blood Ravens have only two recorded mutations in their gene seed. The first one affects their Catalepsean Node, which grants them perfect memory but creates an inability to enter R.E.M sleep, forcing them basically to sleep while awake. For anyone other than a Space Marine, this would ultimately be fatal, but it would hardly be the first time such nonsense was found in Space Marine fluff. The second mutation, if it truly can be counted as one, is it's high frequency to produce or activate latent psychic power. Other, less documented (as in fan-developed) characteristics include a massive tendency to develop kleptomania, generate a gelatinous substance in their scalps to allow for the creation of hairetical hair, and something known as "unavailable original voice acting" which causes some members' voices to change periodically.
They are also notable for having a Librarian Chapter Master who dedicates himself to Khorne. Normally this would be a case of extreme bullshit writing,
but appears to make some degree of sense in that the Chapter Master/Head Librarian in question is never seen using sorcerous powers after revealing his new loyalty He Psycically projects himself onto Typhon, in order to trick the protagonists onto the planet to cause the Exterminatus. But after that, Daemon Princes, even of Khorne (which he ultimately transforms into), actually have massive psychic potential.
The Dawn of War III initial reveal page shows that good ol' Gabe is in fact alive, meaning that the Space Marine ending in Dawn of War II was in fact completely canon. Unfortunately, Gabe is no longer mostly bionic so who knows what's canon.
Anyways, the Blood Raven's new motto under Gabriel Angelos was "None Shall Find Us Wanting", which is the saying they use in Space Marine, unlike their old "Knowledge is Power, Guard it Well" schtick, indicating that the events of Space Marine occurred after DoW:Retribution. In any event, whether Space Marine itself is actually canon or not is up for debate, though GW's official stance is that most of it is not, which would mean that there is no evidence at all about what actually happens. You'll have to decide for yourself.
Interestingly, seen as a whole, this also means that Graham McNeill's incorrect statement that Gabe was the Chapter Master at the time he wrote the WD Blood Ravens Index Astartes article (published Nov 2004), is now retroactively correct, as Gabe does indeed becomes Chapter Master in the Space Marine ending of Retribution (released in Mar 2011)... unless this was already the intended direction of Relic/Games Workshop's plot arc from the beginning.
Knowing Games Workshop though, Eliphas is probably still alive. Probably a Daemon Prince, too. Because, as with all secondary 40K media: "Fuck coherency in the name of storytelling!".
The dust settled and the Ork horde lay dead at her feet. But with such a victory came sacrifice. The good General lay dead, his final words asking "Who wants to live FOREVEEER?" (Seeing as he's Freddie Fuckin Mercury in Space) with a wry smile on his face. The Imperial Guard had either died to a man or retreated when the Commissar Lord fell in battle. But it did not matter, her hat and her popped collar would hide any tears that she may have shed for them.
And then suddenly, there was a thumping. It couldn't be! She had bombed the area! She had drowned the orks in the bodies of the devoted guardsmen! She had evaporated the green tide with faith and fire! And yet... he still stomped through the ashes.
"ALRITE YA SQUISHY! I WANTZ DAT HAT!". He was as determined as he was arrogant, but even with his stubbornness, she could see something change in his face. Confusion had entered his small little brain. Perhaps it was because he was shocked that naught but a "pitiful" human could stand tall against the full force of a WAAAGGHHH. What was more amusing was that the Warboss had lost his patented pirate hat. She reached for her own hat, to tip it in torment at the Ork's incompetence... only to find nothing but hair in it's place. "WHERE IZ IT!? WHERE'Z DA HAT?!" the Ork roared in fury before noticing his own unprotected head. Shock turned to anger as both reached the same conclusion.
"DIOMEDES!" She screamed in unison to the Ork's own war-cries for "DEM'Z BLUDY MAGPIES HEADZ!". The eternal war made for some strange alliances, but none as strange as the Inquisitor and the Warboss hunting down the Thieves of Thieves, in retribution for their loss.
Diomedes sat with his new pirate hat. He thought it fitting for his position in a Chapter as renowned as his for "acquiring" gifts. "We Shahl Coll this maneuvah Stehl Stehl!" - The Ancient announced, as he disregarded his tattered old helmet for the Witch Hunter's headpiece.
Famous Blud Rehvens
- Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos - Original Badass and current Chapter Master of the Blod Rehvens, at least in the SM and IG endings of Retribution (the SM ending is canon, but he dies in every other ending). He is the first Blood Raven Chapter Master in recorded history AND not the same time being the Chief Librarian, probably because they finally realized that having a Chief Librarian/Chapter Master is a Bad Idea™. Gabe was the first Blood Raven character we were ever introduced to and has the most fully-formed character of anyone else. Known for his catch phrase "Walk softly and carry a big gun", which translates in "Steal the biggest thing and don't get noticed". He sentenced his own homeworld of Cyrene to Exterminatus after discovering extensively deep heresy on it (which he's still hurting over) and accidentally set the events of most of the series in motion by destroying a daemonic artifact known as the Maledictum and thus setting a Greater Daemon of Khorne loose. He still did his damndest to make up for it and succeeded.
- Comes back in Dawn of War III wearing an impressive looking suit of Tartaros Terminator Armour, as well as making ridiculous front 360 flips in it.
- Chief Librarian Azariah Vidya (get it? cuz they are in a vidya gaem?) - Led the chapter soon after their founding in a campaign against Alpha Legion (who have slain their Chapter Master) with most of the 1st Company and most of their previous command structure. Vidya made use of some kind of Tactical Genius, and his already large experience battling Chaos forces, made him naturally "understand" where the enemy was, so that his Rehvens perfectly striked where needed. He essentially found the "I WIN" button for that campaign and pressed it while engaging his inner troll-face. Vidya is hinted to actually be 'Arvida', a 'Corvidae' or seer, from the Thousand Sons Legion.
- Isador Akios - Gabe's Librarian buddy. Was successfully tempted by Ssssiiiiindriiiiii into betraying the Blood Ravens, and was eventually killed by Gabe himself for that heresy (thus also enabling Gabe to spout an awesome one-liner while pulling the trigger).
- Captain Davian Thule - The only force commander to get 2 sexy voices in both games he appears in.....well that was until he got ripped by a Tyranid Warrior and interred into a Dreadnought, where he sounds just as scary as any near-psychotic Dread. Gets rekt by Eliphas in the first Chaos mission in Retribution, though. Way to punch the players in the gut, Relic.... We like to pretend that the Venerable Dreadnought honor guard in Retribution is Davian Thule, to soothe our deep emotional trauma. While the Space Marine ending to Retribution is canon, his character is never really addressed after Chaos Rising, other than the aforementioned humiliating annihilation, and could well be dead. It is still hinted that he and the 4th company fought during the 13th Black Crusade.
- Captain Indrick Baldeale - A master of STEEL REHN. He is quite dead at the moment. Unlike Davian though, nobody is in the least broken down about him.
- Force Commander Hair Gel - Though he is given the name Aramus in a novel, the game and the novels contradict each other so we'll never know what is what. Usually called Force Commander Vanilla Ice or Hair Gel for his hair-esy, he's also the youngest Blood Raven Force Commander ever. In Retribution, he's mentioned in the "Hammer of the Nameless" wargear, stating that the hammer went missing after he was branded renegade by Kyras. It is slightly possible that Vanilla Ice might return in the series one day since it's never implied that he was executed by Gabe or defected to the Black Legion. Retribution hints that the "slightly tainted" ending of Chaos Rising is canon (ending #3 out of five possible endings), and in that ending he was sent to the Eye of Terror on a 100 year penitent crusade. Dialogue indicates that Thaddeus was sent along with Hair Gel.
- Avitus - A Devastator Sergeant, who's so angry that he hates everything. On top of that hate lists are Imperial Guardsmen, when he was a regular human they were jerks who oppressed his neighborhood, and on Kronus he lost several battle brothers from the Guardsmen that stood against the Blood Ravens cleaning up their Chapters dark secret. Is an all-around badass who can fire plasma cannons and heavy bolters without needing to set up, given the proper upgrades. Has the same voice as the unknown heretic in Chaos Rising. In Retribution, he is stated to canonically be the heretic (who betrays the player and joins Eliphas' Black Legion warband) in the player's forces during Chaos Rising, as if him being fucking angry all the time wasn't enough of a dead-giveaway. He then gets killed by his ex-BFF Tarkus later on.
- Cyrus/Spike Spiegel/also Wolverine - A Scout Sergeant, who's so grimdark that he hates everything. He's also voiced by Steve Blum, which makes him awesome. Cyrus literally hates everything, short of the Emprah, and constantly bitches about how fucked up everything is during every briefing in the game. The whole "Spike Spiegel/Wolverine" name comes from his rather prolific VA's most famous characters, one from the anime Cowboy Bebop, the other from the X-Men cartoons and assorted games. Prefers to wear scout armor instead of tactical armor to show off he's that badass.
- Jonah Orion - Gabe's new Librarian buddy after Isador got executed on Tartarus. He played a rousing game of mindfuck with the Tyranid Hivemind to allow Angelos' fleet to enter the system during the first DoWII. He won in the end, the only remaining sane & alive Librarian on Gabe's ship. And he becomes playable in Chaos Rising. Died in all endings of Retribution at the hands of DOM-Kyras as Relic likes to keep up with the tradition that the black guy has a 99% chance of being killed in the end. He's also the first confirmed black Space Marine who isn't from the Salamanders, which is Awesome. Well, there was also that one Black Templar guy in Damnation Crusade. Later turned out to be not quite dead, and appears as the new Chief Librarian in Dawn of War 3.
- Martellus - A Techmarine, also voiced by Steve Blum. His job is to inform you of bad news all the time while chilling on the strike cruiser. Survived getting his Thunderhawk shot down and stranded on Typhon for months, canonically wasn't the traitor in Chaos Rising, and became a playable character in DoWII: Retribution. If he becomes a traitor due to the player's use of artifacts, he will attack you in a Chaos Predator, fucking your shit up. (Despite not being the canonical traitor, he is nonetheless selected as the default traitor if all members of the player's team have exactly equal corruption levels.)
- Tarkus - A Tactical squad Sergeant, who is bald and also the Ancient in Retribution. Noted for being surprisingly kind-hearted and dutiful for a Marine, Tarkus ever takes the role of a mentor and is a strict adherent to the Codex Astartes. Unusual in that if he falls to Chaos through artifacts, he does so with the express intention of using the daemonic weaponry to fuck over the Black Legion and Eliphas and bring Kyras to justice by his own hands. If turned to Chaos, he attacks with a Kai Gun (Read the nostalgic 3rd edition CSM codex for crunch and more detail), an ancient, daemonically possessed bolter that fucks things up with retardedly strong bolts of warpfire.
- Thaddeus - An Assault Marine Sergeant, the youngest and least grimdark of the gang. Is also a hair-etic and unsurprisingly joined Force Commander Hair Gel on his heresy during Chaos Rising. Canonically gets sent away on the penitent crusade alongside Commander Hair Gel after Chaos Rising, explaining his absence in Retribution.
- Apothecary Gordian - the man responsible for bringing Davian Thule back from the brink of death and overseeing his internment in a dreadnought. It's a pity that he gets virtually no screen time and gets killed when the Tyranids destroy your strike cruiser, since his few appearances mark him as a useful and generally cool character.
- Captain Apollo Diomedes- Captain of the veteran First Company and Honor Guard, and said to be the "greatest" warrior of the Blood Ravens history. He used to be a helmet-wearing jerkass of awesomeness until Retribution, where he is revealed to be bald. As such, this fa/tg/uy dubs him Abaldo Diomedes. Looks (and sounds) suspiciously like Indrick Boreale... "BRRUUUVAA I AM HITTT!" "IT IS DE BEEEIHNNNNBLEEEEHD!"
- Azariah Kyras - A Space Marine Librarian who falls to Chaos and dedicates himself to Khorne. In his early days he was stuck in a Spacey Hulk with a couple of marines, and after fighting in it for Emperor knows how long, he was corrupted by the Nurgle demon Ulkair. Was also Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens up until Retribution. Has a kickass VA ("Let the galaxy BURN!"). He looks like he hasn't slept since the time of the Ancient Sumerians (just look at those eye rings, someone give this man a tempur-pedic and some clonodine). He also happens to be one of the few psykers to gain the favor of Khorne in the history of 40k (apparently good enough to be granted daemonhood on top of all that too). This largely due him kicking Ulkair to the curb after he got owned by Commander Hair Gel, and decided to cater to the daemon of Khorne Gabriel released.
- Apothecary Galan - A traitor apothecary with a great voice, possessed by a daemon of Nurgle, trying to corrupt Abaldo Diomedes. Was part of the expedition that found Kyras aboard the Judgement of Carrion. Notable for bucking the "apothecaries aren't badass"-trend by carrying a chainsword that hits like a goddamn truck and having a bodyguard of assault terminators. If defeated in battle in Chaos Rising (optional objective), the daemon gets exorcised, and the actually repentant Galan (who was possessed against his will) gives you information that saves Diomedes' life... and then dies. Since Diomedes is alive in Retribution, that means canonically, Galan is dead.
- Scout Sergeant Priam - Got all his scouts kidnapped by a Sorcerer on Calderis, with the rest of them holed up in shitty clay structures against Chaos Dreadnoughts, havocs, and missile-carrying plague marines. Suffice to say, if Hairgel doesn't deploy every shred of tactical genius he has, everyone gets properly fucked.
LysandrosMEHTULBAWKSES - shows up on Calderis to destroy an empty town in the ass end of nowhere on orders of Kyras. Notable for being the eternal nemesis of Firaeveus Carron by spamming not just Rhinos, but Razorbacks. Tells Diomedes (the player) to fuck off and stop being a buzzkilling asshole. The player then proceeds to kill him. Obviously.
- Dreadnought - A random hero of the chapter. The Blood Ravens must have a bunch, since they're more spammable than Predators. Most players pretend (in vain) that the Venerable version you can sub out Martellus for in Retribution is Thule, and weep quietly as it instagibs infantry in the background with assault cannon sweeps.
- Unnamed Traitor - Siding with Kyras and Chaos, he shows up in the later stages of Retribution, becoming the greatest exemplar of the thieving might of the chapter by stealing a Land Raider Redeemer from the Blood Ravens themselves. Is also a teamkilling fucktard who fires off the Land Raider's frag assault launchers directly into a huge mass of cultists (on the same side as him) worshiping Khorne, resulting in ludicrous gibs.
- Squad Corvus Marines - Shows up in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine during the Chaos Invasion. Noticing a group of Black Templars traveling to join the Liberation Fleet heading for Forge World Graia, Squad Corvus attached themselves to the strike force in order to "acquire" more gifts for the chapter (specifically, more Titans). They show up during the Chaos invasion and kick major ass, despite there being only like four of them. Just goes to show how fucking strong Blood Raven plot armor is... or how strong their dedication to "acquire" relics for their chapter can be.
- Rhamah - The blackest of Irish lepers graced us with this librarian, who got pulled into the warp while fighting off a Gellar field breach on the Litany of Fury. He ended up on a Harlequin library planet with amnesia, where he met Ahzek Ahriman. Getting convinced that they were battle brothers, he wandered around the library while Gabriel Angelos and company were looking for him. The moment Rhamah was found, he got a viking haircut: courtesy of a space elf clown's power sword. The moral of the story is to avoid heresy. And also fuck C.S. Goto.
- Jensus Natorian - In the Deathwatch Overkill boxed game, Jensus is the librarian in Kill Team Cassius. Back when Jensus was a regular old human his parents got killed by orks. That made Jensus angry. Really REALLY angry. He raged so hard he developed psychic powers, started tearing hordes of orks into hamburger with his bare hands, and made Khorne himself raise his fiery eyebrows and say “…DAMN.” So yeah, he kinda went super saiyan. After Jensus ran out of greenskins to render down to their component parts, he was right about to be taken by the Black Ships when a chap by the name of Inquisitor Belicor decided that Jensus’ rage could be put to better use, shipped him off to the Blood Ravens, and later oversaw his induction into the Deathwatch, where his psychic contributions are less about mind bullets and more about mind RIP AND TEAR. Jensus also makes the Blood Ravens the only non-First Founding Chapter represented in the Deathwatch Overkill box, much to the disappointment of Black Templar players.
- Captain Arthrus Godfrey - The Captain of 4th Company that fought Hivefleet Behemoth with Inquisitor Kryptman in the series made by Eliphas the Inheritor. Scares the crap out of the Death Watch members who know that the Blud Rehvens are thieving bastards.
The Lazy Fuckwits of 4th Company
The Blood Ravens 4th Company is recognized as the laziest sons of bitches in the entire goddamn sector. For all of Dawn of War 2, these bastards sat around on Calderis, only to show up when Davian Thule gets KO'd by a Tyranid Warrior. Their battle strategy basically involves "let the Force Commander do all the work". So only about twenty marines and the rest of the Blood Raven scouts actually do shit, while the rest of these fat bastards sit around on Calderis getting chewed up by gribblies. Where the fuck are they when the Force Commander needs them!? Probably "discovering and obtaining" more artifacts. The Force Commander never actually needs them on the battlefield though: he and Cool Dreadnought alone are perfectly capable of blasting the stuffing from Cannon Fodder, Tyrants and Fatty Daemon Princess (if they are properly equipped and employing hit-run-cheat-hit tactic). Friendly Cannon Fodder is useless in hard battles anyway. Better let them loot friends and foes.
If you wanted to split hairs, you could argue that the rest of the 4th Company is the reinforcements you call in when your squads get KO'd and you run back to a satellite dish/strategic point to heal up. This begs the question to why they don't just deploy full-sized squads to begin with and overwhelm the enemy from the start.
The rest of the company are probably deployed to other theatres, performing side objectives or just minimizing the number of reinforcements that jump in front of Thule's assault cannon.
Blood Ravens are also known to steal and loot artifacts, relics and practically everything else that isn't bolted down (and it doesn't even stop them from stealing from dreadnoughts), due to the fact they are not an official chapter and must make do with what they find. In case you haven't noticed this far: they are named after an intelligent bird known for feasting on the dead, which makes them value the spoils of war more than any other chapter. Their battle gear include (and ae not limited to) scraps from Ultramarines, Space Wolves, Imperial Fists, Salamanders, Dark Angels, Iron Snakes, Blood Angels, Black Templars, Iron Hands, Grey Knights, even the Adeptus Custodes and at least one Primarch. One must wonder how the fuck they got away with the latter.
In addition, they are always on the move, implying heavily that they are the Space Gypsies of the Warhammer 40k. This makes further sense when you consider that "Gypsies" is derived from "Egyptian", and the Thousand Sons are Egyptian-themed (Although gypsies are actually ethnically Indian). Maybe the White Scars like them, but they only hang out with their successors anyway.
In Dawn of War II, the Blood Ravens have numerous opportunities to receive Wargear for them to use in battle. Strangely, a good number of them are obtained through vague circumstances or described as "gifts", either implying that they were salvaged from the dead who aren't Blood Ravens or were downright stolen from both loyal and traitor marine chapters and other Imperial organizations. How they got away with that is something only the Emperor would know. Seeing as they've jacked at least one bolter and suit of power armor from the fucking Adeptus Custodes, the Emperor probably is the only one that could know.
I don't know...But I'm pretty sure they are a textbook case of Mass Kleptomania, which could be explained as an unnoticed gene-seed corruption (because when you're checking for thing like growing the wrong number of limbs, a compulsion to steal is going to be a lot less visible).
Of course, will you question the Omnissiah and the Machine Cult when it comes to handling artifacts?
Abaddon's weapon is pretty cool too, I guess.
And neither are his other beloved Special Snowflakes.(at least they partly admit they stole this one)
- A Blood Raven marine sneaking off with an Ultramarine Land Raider with incomprehensible stealth.
- It is worse than we imagined.
- Much worse.
- So bad, they would steal from each other (Though why would they want THAT particular relic is anybody's guess).
- Stole not one, but two whole Primarchs before they were even found.
The Blod Rehvens have also been known for their excessively fangirl-esque behavior, including forging weapons for other chapters and declaring them relics after the receiving chapter rejected them, and naming wargear after off-hand comments by famous chapters, though by now they themselves are a very famous chapter.
Alternatively, they may just enjoy trolling the hell out of other chapters. For a chapter that gives all of zero fucks about slaughtering the Sisters of Battle and Imperial Guard, it could really go either way. Either this, or Relic are massive trolls themselves and all of the Space Gypsy stuff is just as planned.
An alternative alternative is that Tzeentch is actually seeing how much he has to piss off other chapters in the Blood Ravens name in order to get them to turn completely traitor. He may even be pretending to be Khorne, since that's the only god anyone is apparently willing to worship anymore. Hey, its better than being completely forgotten like a certain Slaanesh...
A third alternative is that, given how much relics they
steal acquire, they may be trying to come to good terms with other chapters by spreading their loot around. With that being said, it is also entirely possibly that it serves as a way of fencing stolen goods: take stuff, disguise true origins, and then offer the things back to their original owners with the certainty that they will reject it as an inferior copy of something they think they still have in their armory.
Darnath Lysander is not amused.
The (Incomplete) Loot List
- Every weapon and armor the Magpies have been "gifted"
- More items. Curiously, none of them are gifts.
- The Squats.