|Battle Cry||"Repent! For tomorrow you die!" or "For the Lion!"|
|Successor Chapters||Hell of a lot of Chapters (THAT ARE NOT DIRECTLY COMMANDED BY THE DARK ANGELS IN ANYWAY SHAPE OR FORM) , most notably the Angels of Absolution, Angels of Redemption, Angels of Vengeance and Guardians of the Covenant.|
|Homeworld||The Rock, originally Caliban.|
|Strength||1,000 (officially, actually much more).|
|Specialty||Plasma, terminators, bikes, historical revisionism, HUNTING DOWN THE FILTHY TRAITORS TO THE IMPERIUM, AND THE FALLEN TOTALLY DO NOT EXIST WE SWEAR!|
|Allegiance||SO LOYAL AND PURE THAT EVEN GREY KNIGHTS TAKE LESSONS FROM US|
|Colours||Green, black, bone white|
“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one.”
“Got a secret, can you keep it? Swear this one you'll save! Better lock it in your pocket, taking this one to the grave.”
-The Pierces, Secret
The Dark Angels (also known as the "Dank Angels", "The Unforgiven") are amongst the most accomplished and powerful Space Marine Chapters in the Imperium. Their grim determination and relentless persecution of their foes are legendary, and their combat record tells a long tale of selfless heroism. THEY ARE WELL KNOWN TO BE ONE OF THE MOST LOYAL OF ALL SPACE MARINE CHAPTERS, *Ahem* So loyal in fact that even the Ultramarines shit their power armor on sight of a Dark Angel and say "Loyalist battle brother, teach me your loyalist ways!". Anyone who insists that the Dark Angels have never been the most loyal and treasured of all space marine chapters, or mentions The Fallen (WHO TOTALLY DO NOT EXIST, WE FUCKING SWEAR BY THE EMPEROR) shall be hunted down and beheaded for their Heresy!
- 1 Litany of the Dark Angels: Space Hulk Deathwing
- 2 The Unforgiven
- 3 History
- 4 After the destruction of Caliban
- 5 The Legion with "Dark" in its name
- 6 Cool Shit
- 7 Daily rituals
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See Also
Litany of the Dark Angels: Space Hulk Deathwing
Heralds of the coming Doom, by cry of Raven, we are drawn.
This oath of war and vengeance, on blade of exalted iron sworn, with blood anointed swords aloft, advance we, into Dread’s dark shade.
Punishment divine unleashed with hate, a wrathful storm of bolt and blade.
Purge with plasma, fist, and shell, bring cleansing fire’s righteous breath.
For the Emperor, Knights of Caliban! The Lion’s anointed Angels of Death!
Their Primarch is Lion El'Jonson a.k.a The Lion. As a result, the Dark Angels are totally AWESOME AND WITHOUT FAULT, their Primarch happening to be named after a homosexual poet who wrote a poem called "The Dark Angel" and might've dated Oscar Wilde. Oh, and their homeworld is called The Rock, A REFUGE FOR PEACE AND HARMONY WHERE NOTHING SINISTER EVER HAPPENS(it's actually a mobile Space station that can take out most of Battlefleet Solar on its own.). They're now the posterboys for both 6E and Citadel's "new" line of paints. Fuck yeah, we guess? Russian fa/tg/uys believe that Dark Angels are Jews for whatever reason (it's because ALL DA names are in Hebrew, silly). Interestingly, they also employ retainers known as the Watchers in the Dark. These ADORABLE SWORD HUGGING BEINGS ARE THE REINCARNATED SOULS OF FALLEN DARK ANGELS, AND ARE TOTALLY NOT CHAOS FAMILIARS OF ANY KIND, THE DARK ANGELS COULD NEVER POSSIBLY EMPLOY SUCH CREATURES FOR THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY LOYAL.
By the way, THIS ARTICLE IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND IS NOT REWRITTEN IN ANY WAY BY THE DARK ANGELS. ALL MESSAGES WRITTEN IN CAPS ARE THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED. THERE HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN ANY TRAITORS WITHIN THE DARK ANGELS, AND THERE NEVER WILL BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MOST LOYAL CHAPTER TO HAVE EVER EXISTED. The 1st Legion and its successors are composed entirely of THE MOST LOYAL AND STALWART SERVANTS OF THE EMPEROR. When dealing with the Dark Angels it is important to bear in Mind that they are the very embodiment of the phrase “the end justifies the means” and they will go to any lengths and do anything that they need to in order to accomplish their goals.
The new Codex heavily implies that they may be at Legion strength as no-one knows just how many worlds they recruit from or the number of recruits they actually have. The lack of clarification on this matter and the suspiciously close cooperation between the Dark Angels and their successor chapters hasn't gone unnoticed by the Inquisition, although their attempts at exposing the Dark Angels' secrets haven't met with much success thus far. However, one reason they and their successors work together so well is likely due to the fact that the pre-heresy Dark Angels Legion was already assembled out of chapters. After the heresy, they merely needed to give the chapters names instead of numbers and have the chapters adopt different heraldry and colors; as such, the Dark Angels and their successor chapters might still be (functionally and unofficially) a (more-or-less) cohesive Legion.
Their theme by HMKids,which SHOWS THEIR ABSOLUTE LOYALTY. If you have any doubts regarding the Dark Angels ABSOLUTE LOYALTY then you should make your way down this totally not in any way dark and ominous corridor towards room 42 where brother Asmodai will be waiting to answer any questions you might have.
They have apparently also become the love-chapter of some of GW's writers, since they now have the best motorcycle squads around (yes, apparently even better than the White Scars), the "last" (they might have a ton of them or be making new ones!) jetbike in the Imperium, and invulnerable "Chapter Serfs".
Much like the Ultrasmurfs, the Dark Angels have some of the most stable gene-seeds of all the progenitor chapters, with no significant mutations documented. Due to this and the fact that they were the first Legion produced by the Emperor, they remain one of the most favorable ones to use for founding successor chapters. Although, the High Lords are supposedly iffy about using the DA's gene seed due to the rumors that all Dark Angel successors stay in one command structure, with the Dark Angels still calling the shots, effectively all of their descendant chapters still act as part of a legion. Never-the-less, because there's no official proof of this (and because anyone who would dare present any factual evidence about this would be GRACEFULLY DEBUNKED BY THE DARK ANGELS IN PRIVATE IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY WOULD BE COMPELLED TO TAKE A LONG, EXTENDED VACATION TO REFLECT ON THEIR FOLLY), the Dark Angels are still allowed to found future chapters in either case.
One of the Lion’s greatest legacy’s to his sons is his strategic genius – a quality passed on to his sons through the Chapter’s gene-seed. This trait manifests exponentially as a Dark Angel ascends toward the rank of Company Master. Such officers can plan a campaign to the last detail, execute faultless assaults, and assemble impenetrable defences instinctively. Central to this ability is the deployment of the correct mix of squads, vehicles and support elements. To this end, the Dark Angels form strike forces – self-contained armies assembled to prosecute a specific campaign or defeat a particular foe.
According to the Dataslate-Cypher-Lord of the Fallen at close ranges, Librarians from the Unforgiven can pick up the unique psychic signatures of those who bear traces of their shared Primarch. Even the most spliced or tainted gene-seed of Lion El’Jonson emits a distinct signal powerful enough to detect. Basically all you need to do is put a Dark Angels Librarian near a A FELLOW DARK ANGEL PLAYING A MILLENIA-LONG GAME OF HIDE-AND-SEEK and they might as well have a great big flashing neon light saying “SON OF THE LION HERE COME AND GET ME”. (This has precedent in earlier fluff, such as the battle for Rynn's World, where the death of 600 Crimson Fists nearly kills a nearby librarian)
Unlike more warlike chapters like the Space Corgis or the Black Templars, who would go into battle screaming on how they're going to skullfuck the enemies of man, the Dark Angels go into battle in cold, efficient silence, almost similar to that of Angry Marine Terminators, who are so enraged that they march into battle with stone hearts and steel faces. Infact their "Repent! For tomorrow you die!" is less of a battle cry and more of a foreboding proclamation against their real targets:
Fallen Angels DAMNABLE TRAITORS FROM THE 9 TRAITOR LEGIONS WHICH THE DARK ANGELS DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH. This makes more sense, the more you realize what the Chaplains do to the Dark Angels' greatest obsession: torture them TEACH THEM TO BE LOYAL TO THE IMPERiIUM in the depths of The Rock, until they repent.
The original Dark Angels had black armour, back in the days of the Corvus pattern helmets. Modern Dark Angels instead use a dark green colour, except for the Deathwing and Ravenwing companies, which are composed entirely of bone-white Terminators and black Fast Attack units respectively. They were introduced in the Deathwing expansion to 1st edition Space Hulk with a spiffy background story by Bill King.
- To paint your armour black was to show that you served the emperor directly in the same way Sigismund did when he was chosen to serve as the first Emperor's Champion.
- It could be that one of the reasons for swapping the black for the green was because they no longer felt worthy of it. The Dark Angels are literally wearing their shame for all to see but no one else knows it.
Veterans wear robes and capes and such on the field of battle representing any number of ritualistic ranks and titles that are mostly unknown to those outside of the Chapter but harken back to the traditions of "The Order", plus they look pretty awesome.
- Numeration: the 1st Legion
- Primogenitor: Lion El'Jonson
- Cognomen: The First, Primaris Angelus Mortis (Honorific)
- Observed strategic tendencies: Combined arms and multi-spectra warfare, Exterminatus and purgation campaigns, extended independent void operations.
- Noteworthy Domains: Caliban(home world), Terra, an unknown number of void outposts and watch fortresses on the Imperium’s fringes.
- Allegiance: Fedelitas Tenebrae(Latin for shadows/darkness or “to the”/”from, out of” the shadows/darkness; seeing as GW use dog-Latin, you could theoretically say that it could mean something like 'Questionable' or ‘Obscured Loyalty’).
Not simply a Legion numbered "one", they were quite literally the First legion created by the Emperor and in their earliest incarnation fought as the personal army of the Master of Mankind in the dawning years of the Great Crusade. HH: Extermination tells us that as the prototype Legion the Dark Angels served as the template for all the Legions that would follow after which the Emperor decided to make the following legions more specialised and engineered their development towards different roles, and as a standard by which these successors would be measured (however they would eventually get supplanted by the empire-building Ultramarines when times changed). So basically the Emperor simply intended the First Legion to sally forth and "just be Space Marines".
That meant the Dark Angels had to figure out warfare all on their own, and the techniques they developed would have entire Legions built upon those principles when they were raised later on. By the time of the Heresy, there existed six specialised "Wings" or “Hosts”; each acted as an independent formation that was both a part of the main body of the legion but also separate from it at the same time. Each was dedicated to a different form of warfare, of which two survived into the later 40k:
- Ravenwing - Cavalry & Fast Attack. The Ravenwing protocol originated from the early Legiones rapid moving search and destroy formations. These formations were revived and expanded upon as they offered a form of rapid strike warfare that the Knights of Caliban both understood and had perfected over many generations.They also act as the First’s legions infiltration, information gathering and espionage specialists (alpha legion says hi)Or do they? The mystery continues).
- Deathwing - Veterans in Artificer Armour (later Terminator Armour). There is a special Deathwing unit called the Secta Mortis.
- Stormwing - Boarding Assault Marines. Possible void warfare specialists.
- Dreadwing - Were apparently the 1st Legion's "dirty tricks department" with all sorts of secret and very nasty gear that they really shouldn't have - really shocking stuff. The commander wields a big axe. They are called in when you just want something gone and you really don’t care about the collateral damage. “We have come. We are death.”
- despite the devastation caused by the Dreadwing upon Macragge Laurie J Goulding has hinted that this was actually them showing restraint and “you should see what they COULD have used…”
- Ironwing - Heavy emphasis on Battle tanks and mechanised infantry.
IronicallyInterestingly, the Ironwing protocol was used as the template for the Iron Warriors and the Iron Hands when it came time to raise those Legions, despite the fact they hadn't been named yet.
- Firewing - Because as we (and every Ork in existence) all know putting flames onto something automatically makes it better. (Why the actual fuck did they not call it the Flamewing? Firewing sounds fucking stupid) WRONG-Fire refers to dakka, as aevery ork knows is better, they probably provide fire support
The wings were originally organised into six hosts, collectively known as the hexagrammatron and run across and through the normal Dark Angels structure of orders, chapters, and companies (similar to how the DA company veterans work in 40k) and every Dark Angel from the lowest to the highest is a member of one of the wings. They were made this way so they could fight in any conceivable situation. Each of the wings/hosts is commanded by an officer known as a Voted-Lieutenant and several Voted-Successors who are outside of the normal legion command structure.
- Holguin - Voted-Lieutenant of the Deathwing, wields a 9 ft greatsword (as of Angels of Caliban is now in possession of the broken shards of the Lion Sword)
- Farith Redloss - Voted-Lieutenant of the Dreadwing (takes out a World Eaters Leviathan Dreadnaught with his axe)
- Griffayn ‘The Spear-Cast’ - Voted-Lieutenant of the Firewing (For some reason his rank is held in abeyance) *his legion rank is held in abeyance not his Firewing rank*
A Dark Angels membership to a particular wing seems to not only be based on their abilities but also their personality, attitude and personal mind set; for example the Dreadwing are made up of the most brutal, destructive and warmongering members of the Dark Angels whilst the Ravenwing (if they are anything like their 40k counterparts) are made up of the most impulsive, wild (by DA standards) and inquisitive members (being a speed freak helps). How they are designated into each wing is unknown perhaps they are given extensive physiological evaluations or maybe they just have some sort of harry potter style sorting hat.
- (*"-You would do well in the deathwing brother." brother Arthus proudly made his way towards the nearest table where he was greeted by wild applause.
- Astelan reached forward to place the hat upon his head but before he could even get close it screamed "-SLYTHERIN F***ING SLYTHERIN NOW GET AWAY FROM ME YOU SLIMY GIT")
The main body of the Legion seems to have been made up of at least 30 Orders(the 30th is the highest mentioned so far) each with a grand master and a paladin(Champion) in command of around 5000+ warriors split up into an yet unknown number of chapters each led by its own Chapter Master.
Guilliman noted that there were also many secret orders and mysterious hierarchies within the ranks of the Dark Angels; hierarchies of knowledge, trust and authority invisible to outsiders. Alongside the Orders, secret Hosts and Wings there was also mention of Thrones and Powers, whatever the hell they were. (It’s very likely that these are named after the Nine Choirs of Angels which consist of 1. Seraphim, 2. Cherubin, 3. Thrones 4. Domininations, 5. Virtues, 6. Powers. 7. Principalities, 8. Archangels, 9. Angels, with the lowest "Angels" being the standard battle brother)
- It has been hinted that because of the Dark Angels’ highly traditional and sectarian nature it made them ‘immune’ to the intrusions of the warrior lodges and acted as a similar buffer to infiltrations and manipulations from the likes of the Alpha Legion. http://gavthorpe.co.uk/2015/09/23/more-dark-angels-secrets-revealed/
- This is no longer "hinted" Luther laughed at Erebus's suggestion of the creation of a Dark Angel warrior lodge
In this fashion, acting all on their own without support from the other legions that followed they killed lots of Orks and other xenos scum for great justice and were the most successful Legion during the early years of the Crusade.
Once the most numerous and powerful of the legions, their numbers would be depleted by decades of savage warfare, particularly in the wars of the Rangdan Xenocides where their numbers fell below 166,000 after they lost almost 50,000 marines preventing the destruction of the entire northern imperium by an unknown menace from the outer darkness. The scars of these battles would change them, as would their reunification with their Primarch and his adopted world of Caliban. Unyielding, technologically capable, ruthless and insular the Dark Angels by the time of the Hersey were once again a powerful and highly independent Legion used to operating on its own to conduct large scale campaigns and compliance actions. When the Legion was first reunited with their Primarch, the massive influx of warriors into the Legion following the rediscovery of Caliban was able to provide the First with an additional 20,000 new Dark Angels. However, this would not last as just before the Heresy started Luther, who had by then decided Caliban should be free of what he saw as the Imperium’s tyranny, began to starve the legion of any new legionaries, armour, weapons and ammunition. He began by cancelling the deployment of over 2000 new recruits to the Legion, he would then further speed up the process in which new legionaries were being trained so by mid heresy there was around 30,000 new Dark Angels on Caliban who were swearing oaths of fealty not to the Emperor but to Caliban and the Order. (Not everyone was pleased with this especially those who had originated from Terra)
Some time during the Crusade some planetary ruler insulted Leman Russ and he got all pissy about it. Then Lion ended up killing the leader and Leman was like "Whatchu do that fo' fool?" because he wanted to take the bitch-ass out. And Lion was like "fuck off, furry," despite his own furtastic name and his dickish kill-stealing. Leman, never being good with words, reason, or sobriety, megaton punched the Lion. The two of them fought for a day or two, an epic struggle between cool-headed tactician and hot-blooded barbarian, douchebag and bro-tard. Then Leman said "this is stupid" and started laughing... then the Lion knocked him out.
In true anime fashion, after Leman regained consciousness and was less-inebriated, the two eventually became best buds and treated it as water under the bridge; their respective chapters still carry on the friendly rivalry, a pair of champions engaging in sacred and non-fatal honour duels whenever the Dark Angels and Space Corgis meet. One particular incident during the Heresy had a member of the watch-pack that had been sent to keep an eye on Guilliman being paired off against the Lion himself after the wolves pushed the issue. The Lion who had more important things to do and wanted it over as quickly as possible stepped forward and nominated himself, the fight (if that’s what you want to call it) was as predictably hilarious as you would imagine it would be. And a couple of light years away, the Tyranids eat a planet while two of the most important Space Marine chapters waste time on this Nerf-chainsword-duel-honour-bullshit because that's how they roll.
- ++Much of the history of the First Legion during the events of the Horus Heresy are largely unknown to the Imperium at large, thus you will find that WHAT THE DARK ANGELS TELL YOU HAPPENED IS THE TRUTH, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MOST RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY WITNESSES IN THE ENTIRE IMPERIUM. ONLY THE GOD EMPEROR COULD POSSIBLY BE MORE RELIABLE OF A SOURCE.++
During the Horus Heresy Lion El'Jonson rushed to come to the aid of the Emperor, fighting his way through the Night Lords, Death Guard and traitor guard to reach Terra. Stopping off at Macragge to kick Roboute Guilliman out of inaction and start actually paying attention to the Horus Heresy. In fact, despite all of the mystery surrounding the intentions of the First Legion, the Emperor still had complete faith in them. A discussion between Him and Malcador the Sigillite during Graham McNeill's Vengeful Spirit proves that even the Emperor expected Guilliman to procrastinate and start building his own Empire and they were somewhat relieved when Russ told them that the Lion had intervened.
Despite all this he didn't make it to Terra in time because THEY RAN INTO WARP TROUBLES AND WERE UNABLE TO REACH IT IN TIME. THEY CERTAINLY DID NOT FUCK AROUND WITH KONRAD CURZE. Afterwards he returned home to Caliban only to find that shit hit the fan when ONE OF THEIR NUMBER THREW A HUGE PLANET WIDE PARTY, BUT ALL THE DARK ANGELS RAN OUT OF WINE AND WERE FORCED TO BLOW UP THE PLANET TO FLASH-FERMENT SOME MORE. The Lion THEN WENT BACK TO HIS STILL-INTACT FORTRESS AND HAD AN ARM WRESTLING CONTEST WITH THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR LACK OF BREW. NATURALLY A PRIMARCH ARM WRESTLING SOMEONE IS AMAZINGLY FATAL, SO HE DIED. When daybreak came Caliban was nothing more than an asteroid field, a result of SOMEBODY LEAVING THE GAS ON IN THE FORTRESS MONASTERY. When Dark Angel forces reclaimed the void shielded remnants of their headquarters they found that THE LION WENT OUT FOR SOME SMOKES HE'LL BE BACK IN A FEW MILLENIA. Oh, and the surviving Dark Angels painted their armour green TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE THE MOST LOYAL SPACE MARINE CHAPTER EVER, AND A COLOUR CHANGE WAS THE PERFECT WAY TO SIGNIFY THIS. This rather stressing turn of events caused one Dark Angel to comment "I hate Mondays".
Because Caliban was far away from many Imperial Worlds, the core leaders of the Dark Angels known as the "Inner Circle" decided to cover up THE COMPLETELY RANDOM ACCIDENT INVOLVING SOME FUCKTARD FIRING A FULL SALVO OF ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT CANNONS ON THE PLANET and mask it as an freakish warp accident. The Imperium's not exactly sure what happened to Caliban as anyone who investigates about this matter, even Inquisitors ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE AN EXTENDED HOLIDAY WITH BEER AND PRETZELS.
Ahem, to carry on where my predecessor left off after his COMPLETELY NATURAL AND IN NO WAY SUSPICIOUS disappearance, the Dark Angels became the most obscure chapter in the millennium following the Horus Heresy. Where as Imperial officials can try to order around chapters like the Space Corgis and Black Templars, the Dark Angels can never be approached because they can't be found 90% of the time. They are known for mysteriously appearing out of nowhere to aid Imperial forces and disappear just as fast, even if the forces they were aiding were still in need of their help. This has led to much complaint from Imperial commanders, who are often understandably pissed off.
After the destruction of Caliban
Ever since that fateful day ten thousand years ago, the Dark Angels have striven to prove to the Emprah and their Primarch that they are still cool guys to hang around with, despite
their earlier Heresy HAVING THE FLASHIEST BITS OF ANY CHAPTER. To this end they have acquired toys like plasma cannon jetbikes, more suits of Terminator Armour than most chapters can shake their chainswords at, and a mini-Gitmo in a flying chunk of planet to torture the Fallen ENEMIES OF THE EMPEROR FROM THE NINE TRAITOR LEGIONS, in order to prove that they are still loyal, and to attempt to disprove the rumour that that they are flaming homosexuals.
Luther himself is kept within a special cell equipped with stasis fields (both to keep him from escaping and to prevent him from dying of old age before some kind of confession can be extracted from him). He's still barking mad from
Chaos withdrawing its influence from him HIS OVERWHELMING LOVE FOR THE EMPRAH! But his ramblings have occasionally assisted the Dark Angels in apprehending the Fallen FINDING NEW WAYS TO IMPRESS CHICKS and locating lost relics within the Rock. Recently, he's been claiming that the time for the Lion to return and absolve the Chapter of its past SHOW HOW AWESOME THE DARK ANGELS ARE is growing closer...
Unknown to the Dark Angels, Lion El'Jonson is alive and well- after
his duel with Luther TRIPPING OVER A POWER SWORD THAT LUTHER FORGOT TO PUT AWAY, the Watchers in the Dark AFORMENTIONED LITTLE HUMANS IN CLOAKS brought him to a hidden chamber in the depths of the Rock so he could be healed of his wounds. He has long since healed now, and now all that is needed for the last loyal Primarch to return is for the Emperor to give him the signal to do so.
It’s important to bear in mind that the Dark Angels themselves do not have the whole story regarding the Fallen and Caliban's destruction. When the legion first arrived back at Caliban during the Scouring they would have been unaware of the events that had led up to Astelan ordering the attack on the fleet. After the destruction of Caliban they would have found themselves in a position where they had not only lost their Emperor and their Primarch but their home world as well. The legion had been tarnished beyond repair by those that they had once considered sworn brothers and worst of all they didn’t know why. All they had left was the Legion and so the assembled masters of the Dark Angels decided to cover up what had happened in order to protect and preserve what was left of the once mighty First; they had been under the impression that the Fallen had all been slain during the planet's destruction. Once the Fallen began to reappear it would prove to be a decision that would eventually end up damning them and all those that would follow. The present day Dark Angels are forced to shoulder the burdens and consequences of those decisions made so long ago, that they themselves had taken no part in. Where in other chapters the ascension into the higher ranks is a thing of justified pride and honour within the Unforgiven it is a soul crushing experience as their delusions of honour and false glory are systematically torn down around them as the chapters dark secrets are revealed to them one by one.
The Dark Angels and their successors have spent the past 10,000 years hunting down and interrogating the Fallen, slowly and painstakingly piecing together the pieces of an elaborate jigsaw of lies and deceit. Who knew what and who was responsible for what all those millennia ago, was this particular Fallen one of the architects of the betrayal or was he just an unwitting pawn who was just following orders and if so then who gave that order. As they have slowly filtered the lies from the truths and sifted through the many different contradicting Fallen accounts the Dark Angels have uncovered many unsettling truths that had been unknown to them before but still the masters of the Unforgiven are aware that they do not have the full story and that there are still many dark revelations to come.
The Legion with "Dark" in its name
After the Horus Heresy, the remaining Legions were forced to split into chapters of around 1000 men according to Roboute Guilliman's brand new Codex Astartes and the Dark Angels followed suit mostly because they had no Primarch to disagree; not that it mattered by this point anyway.
Where Rogal Dorn RAGED against the idea of splitting his legion, but eventually relented on the threat of civil war, the Dark Angels quietly split themselves up but maintained in covert contact with each other. Keeping the same chain of command as before, and mostly the same traditions and expectations. Particularly with
co-operation in the hunt for the Fallen Angels CHILLIN' OUT MAXIN' RELAXIN' ALL COOL, but they also refer to each other as "brothers" in arms. (Kaldor Draigo noted that the correct terminology for different chapter is "cousin" and resolved to have a word with Azrael over it) and the Supreme Grand Master of The Rock is deferred to as the highest authority on the secrets of the newly formed Inner Circle.
It transpires from Gav Thorpe's 2015 novel Unforgiven that the Inner Circle was in fact formed decades AFTER the Second Founding when Cypher revealed himself at The Rock and made it evident that survivors from Caliban would be dropping out of time and space who could reveal the truth of what happened. So the Grand Masters of the Twelve Second Founding chapters held a council and formed the Inner Circle to make sure their collective honour remained intact. Previous to that we must have assumed that the descendants of the First Legion were just relieved to have weathered the Horus Heresy and followed Guilliman's commands quietly.
Therefore the Dark Angels and their successors still function unofficially as a Legion, and this gets the Inquisition and the High Lords of Terra particularly worried, though they can't prove anything, since from the outside, each chapter has its own distinct chain of command and adheres to codex requirements.
It's not quite known how large the collective Unforgiven actually is; Statistics indicate that the Dark Angels successors make up around 15% of the total space marine chapters at large in the Imperium, and while this does not seem like a massive amount (Ultramarines make up around 50%-66%, depending on which author you ask) that would still be around 150 chapters. Though it is uncertain whether all of those chapters are actually aware of their history, given the Dark Angels would presumably prefer to have as few people with the damning knowledge as possible. Yet GW has never presented us with any Dark Angels successors who know of their heritage and yet who are not part of the Unforgiven (the Astral Claws, Relictors and Star Phantoms are all "maybes") so we can only assume that once you're in the club, you're in balls deep or you get erased.
What is known is that the Unforgiven are not beyond drafting new chapters without official sanction (like the Consecrators) or outright blackmailing the seal of approval out of the High Lords (as with the Disciples of Caliban). These chapters are raised with specific purposes in mind, and fill either supporting roles to the collective or are tasked with special missions that the others aren't prepared for. The officers of the successors also hold unique ranks and titles in the Inner Circle relevant to their Chapter's function or position within the Unforgiven.
Each chapter shares formations equivalent to the Deathwing and Ravenwing, meaning that the collective Unforgiven have access to a whole bunch of surplus archeotech, or the means to manufacture Terminator suits and fighter planes at a remarkable rate.
So far (and for ten thousand years) these indiscretions have passed as little more than quiet rumours, since the Unforgiven go to extreme lengths to protect their honour, plus they mostly keep to themselves so no-one knows what they're actually up to.
LOYAL? Or Traitor?
Due in no small part to Gav Thorpe's divisive novels, Angels of Darkness was intended to display that their quest for redemption had made them sinister and brutal, not proof of them being traitors as the wider audience and /tg/ often treats them as. This is because most people took Astelan and his accusations leveled at the modern-day Chapter and the Lion as truth, never taking into account his jealously of the Lion nor his skewed interpretation of events and logical fallacies (something that Gav himself has tried to remind people of), as he thought the Lion to be a traitor, and then opened fire on the fleet when they were in orbit of Caliban without any attempt at negotiation or communication - in defense, the fleet returned fire, so Astelan drew the perfectly logical and sound conclusion that the Lion had betrayed them. It doesn't seem to matter as much as people think it does, however, as Gav himself said that it wasn't an objective view of what happened on Caliban, but a character study on a member of the Fallen.
Admittedly, though, some of Astelan's theories do make just a little too much sense to be easily dismissed, like his belief that the Dark Angels' paranoia and obsession with secrecy is just as much an gene-inheritance from the Lion as it is a post-heresy development, something that El'Jonson developed (or got tainted with) as an infant in the darkness of old Caliban. However, Astelan's mind and his recollections of things are unreliable - not only he is a Fallen Angel, he is trying to make others fall as well. We only have his word to take for it, not to mention he ended up consorting with Typhus against the loyalist Dark Angels over the course of The Unforgiven.
Another factor that hasn't helped the First Legion's tainted reputation was the implication that the Unforgiven would be destroyed in their entirety if their secret went out - skewing the Dark Angels from ultra-loyalists trying their damnedest to reach some sort of absolution for their wrongdoings and mistakes, into a bunch of cowardly extremists concerned only with self-preservation. This confusion is the result of an attempt to raise the stakes; coupled with the increasing plot emphasis on them abandoning their allies demonstrates prioritizing shock value at the expense of any actual depth the Chapter might have once had. They are supposedly a calculating, heavily coordinated group orchestrating a covert operation of monumental proportions, yet they clumsily attract the attention of the very people they are trying to keep their secrets from.
About the only positive thing that can be said about this is that it at least provokes discussion - as it stands, it's simply lazy writing. The writers at GW could do a lot with what the Unforgiven would be willing to do or what to sacrifice in the name of their hunt for the Fallen, but right now it's demonstrative of just how threadbare DA fluff has become in recent years. As fun as it is to hypothesize whether or not they're loyal or traitor, the truth probably lies more in the middle - at least the Dark Angels themselves are more like the Soul Drinkers rather than full on Chaos Marines, more devoted to Emps and humanity as a whole rather than the Imperium itself.
To add to what is said above or rather to clarify is that the First Legion (and later Chapter and all their successors) are indeed Loyal and not Traitors. With the Lion having been quoted "Loyalty is it's own reward." sort of kills the whole "they might be closet traitors". There is even an example where the Dark Angels encounter a Consecrators Marine that had fallen to Nurgle. When he was captured, the Loyalists explained that there would be no taking him back to the Rock to be interrogated. They did not consider him "Fallen" since he was not deceived by Luther who led astray the Angels on Caliban. This traitor was considered weak for allowing Chaos to get to him and was promptly executed and his body left in the dust.
In conclusion, the sons of the Lion are ostensibly Loyal, albeit with a massive guilty conscience that (unlike the White Scars who resolved their internal issues at the time and can look on it as something shameful, but has no bearing on the modern descendants of the Legion) the Unforgiven cannot let go of, because the sins of the past are not ancient history as long as these Fallen Angels keep falling out of space and time to remind them of it. So, what might have begun as something relatively innocuous, the Unforgiven continues to skirt the grey area; with each abandoned battlefield or trusted ally silenced, adding to the burden of their collective guilt while they enact the Hunt, to the point that the Hunt is now more shameful than the original crime. Therefore rather than the shame fading with the passage of time it only becomes more imperative for them to complete their task.
This is spelled out bluntly by Cypher himself in The Unforgiven. While every legion took part in the Great Scouring, the Dark Angels did so in secret, never admitting to having traitors and
Horus sympathizers (Most Fallen were totally unaware of the Heresy, and as a result they either fell to Chaos all of their own accord or were deceived) in their ranks like the other eight legions did. Now in the 41st Millenium it's FAR too late to rectify this; the time for earning forgiveness is long passed. However, perhaps the Dark Angels' true redemption is near, despite their long-running record of questionable actions. The Iron Hands have been recovering from their fatalistic attitude and their repressed emotions in the wake of the Gaudinian Heresy, perhaps the Dark Angels can finally get past their shame, especially since the recent Horus Heresy books and other lore have explicitly made the Lion's loyalties very clear, and with Leman Russ - The Great Wolf by Christ Wraight showing that he knows about the Wulfen and never called his brother or his legion out on it, despite their mutual grievances may show some interesting revelations to come.
Despite the Unforgiven being prepared to do anything and everything that they need to do in order to keep their secrets hidden, Supreme Grand Master Azrael has stated that should the day ever arrive when the Imperium discovers their dark history and turns its fury upon the sons of the Lion then the Unforgiven will refuse to raise arms against the Imperium. Not one shot will be fired or blade drawn in their own defence for although they are prepared to do some very shady things in order to keep their secrets hidden they are still unprepared and unwilling to plunge the Imperium into what would be assuredly a very costly civil war that the Imperium really can’t afford to fight. They will not be responsible for a second Horus Heresy, or a Badab 2.0. The recent lore has really hammered home that, in spite of how suspicious and shady the Dark Angels are, they have never been delusional. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they have a ten-thousand-year promise to fulfill.
As the very literal "First" Legion, they were equipped with gear that predated the pacts with Mars, and were supposed to have inherited much of their equipment from the Old Night and the armouries of ancient Terra, and were permitted to retain exclusive access to these items by the Emperor's own command. Much of which was never seen in other Legions which were raised to a standard template that followed afterward.
- Fellglaives equipped with Warp Cannons instead of Volkite Carronade and Vindicators which fired warp/vortex shells.
- Land Raiders equipped with Anti-Grav engines instead of tank treads.
- Stasis Missiles & Grenades
- Molecular Acid Boltshells
- Short ranged Plasma Repeater carbines.
- Phosphex Incinerator cannons
- A unique pattern of aircraft called a Swordstrike Interceptor
- A unique type of super-heavy tank which acted as a mobile Void Shield generator called a "Portcullis Mono-track"
Much of this gear would not see use in the 41st millennium (or the tabletop) and the chapter adheres to a slightly more "codex-equivalent" loadout, probably because GW re-uses the same space marine range for most chapters. Though it is strongly implied that the Rock still contains a hoard of archeotech within its dungeons from the old days.
So far, all they've got to show for themselves is bikes with plasma-guns and cool pick-axes, some sturdy but mediocre flyers, some minor Land Speeder variants and supposedly a disproportionate number of Terminator suits (taking potential casualties into account they have to have over 200 of the fucking things!).
Here's hoping that GW/FW remembers that the Emperor sent these guys out on Crusade before he sat down and actually made the other Legions, so they can get their act together and make Dark Angels distinct.
The Dark Angels Fleet
Both forgeworld and the black library books have hinted quite a bit at the Dark Angels Legion having had a very prominent void presence. They are noted to specialize in extended independent void operations and the 1st Legions artificers were known to create the distinctive 'Paravane' sub-type armour: "an idiosyncratic variant of the widely issued Mark II which was renowned for its enhanced void endurance and systems." Though this never really gets mentioned in later 40k, but there's no stopping you using the conversion kits to represent "Void Hardened" Armour in Zone Mortalis games, if you ever play those. This would also explain why they would have a crap ton of Terminator Armor.
Although they didn’t have the largest fleet nor have the largest number of capital ships, those honours belonged to other legions like the Imperial Fists and the Iron Warriors respectively. The First may still have owned arguably one of the most powerful fleets among the legions at that time, considering they used a whole bunch of weapon designs that were left over from the Dark Age of Technology, plus having a large number of void fortresses that nobody else knew about. During the Thramas campaign Sevatar’s reaction to seeing the full force of the First Legion's fleet bearing down upon the Night Lords legion can be summed up as “well we're fucked, time to run away” (place obligatory Monty Python joke here). Even when the Lion headed towards Macragge leaving the largest part of his fleet in the hands of Corswain the fleet assets he took with him were still described as being enough to casually wipe out the defences surrounding Guilliman's home and then split the world in two.
- Some of the fleet where armed with something similar to the Rift Cannons on the Dark Angels 40k Dark Talons but on a massive scale; such weapons would be devastating in a void combat environment.
It makes sense that the Dark Angels fleet was on the larger size given that the majority of their successor chapters are Fleet based (the fact that being fleet based means that they are harder to keep track of and monitor is of course completely accidental and in no ways intended after all what could they possibly have to hide right?) However, by the time of 40k and their diminished status as a "Chapter". Discounting of The Rock itself, their fleet capabilities are certainly above average when you compare raw numbers to other chapters (with 8 battle barges, 16 strike cruisers and 21 rapid strike vessels they are twice the size of the Ultramarines fleet and almost three times the size of the Blood Angels) but by no means overwhelming (the Space Wolves have a lot more) and there has been little to no mention of their continued use of archeotech warships and weapons even amongst their successors.
However, the Dark Angels do make almost exclusive use of the Hunter-Class Destroyer. Other chapters have access to the template, but the Dark Angels prefer it because they don't like getting their new fleet assets from the same sources as the Imperial Navy. So the Hunter is like a naval Cobra Destroyer; acting as a small torpedo boat, but is a bit more maneuverable and armoured.
Despite this, unless you believe that the Unforgiven are purposefully concealing the fact that they have a whole bunch of leftover cool shit, it seems like those glorious days of "Legion" are long passed.
- In most Chapters all their aircraft from the sleek Stormhawk Interceptors to the hulking Stormraven Gunships are piloted by the Techmarines of their Chapter's armoury. Most Chapters can have anything between 20 and 40 Techmarines at any one time with the Dark Angels only having around 22 Techmarines compared to the likes of the Blood Angels that have 35. The low numbers of Techmarines within the Dark Angels can be put down to their distrust of their dual loyalties; this would normally be a problem for most Chapters, the Dark Angels are somewhat unusual amongst the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes in that their unique aircraft the Nephilim and the Dark Talon are not piloted by the Techmarines of their armoury. Instead, these agile hunting craft are flown into battle by the expert operatives of the Dark Angels 2nd Company, the Ravenwing - which gives them a whole (oversized) company that is capable of taking to the skies if they are needed. From “Death from the Skies” most chapters can field at least two “divisions” (24 to around 48 aircraft, but is dependent on the number of Techmarines the chapter can afford to deploy) where the Dark Angels have their 22 Techmarines and the Ravenwing which alone can field at least two “Companies” or six “divisions” (72 to around 144 aircraft dependent on the size of the Ravenwing at the time)
04:00-Morning Prayer: The Dark Angels are roused from their cells to begin prayer at the leadership of the Interrogator-Chaplain. Prayer is extra long compared to most other Chapters due to DARK ANGELS BEING SO LOYAL THAT THEY WANT TO SHOW THEIR DEVOTION TO THE EMPEROR AND THE LION.
06:00-Morning Firing Rites: The Dark Angels take to the ranges to begin firing practice.
07:00-Battle Practice: The Dark Angels descend to the Battle Cages to practice in close-combat. Members of the Ravenwing will practice with their bikes and land speeders, while members of the Deathwing will practice
counter-Fallen scenarios ENGAGEMENTS WITH THE ENEMIES OF THE EMPEROR, WHICH MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT INCLUDE ANY OF THE SONS OF LION EL'JONSON.
9:00-Torturin-*BLAM* CHOCOLATE MILK AND COOKIES BREAK .
12:00-Midday Meal: A light meal is prepared by the Chapter Serfs.
12:30-Tactical Indoctrination: The Dark Angels will engage in tactical briefings on opponents they will be facing in the future. Members of the Inner Circle will determine targets such as
traitors from the First Legion THE NINE TRAITOR LEGIONS WHICH REBELLED AGAINST THE EMPEROR, BECAUSE THERE ARE ONLY NINE TRAITOR LEGIONS.
At this point a battle-brother may visit the Apothecary, while Interrogator-Chaplains will interrogate
Fallen Angels they have been assigned to HERETICS WHO ARE AIDING THE EMPEROR'S ENEMIES, ALL FROM DIFFERENT LEGIONS AND CHAPTERS.
14:00-Afternoon nap with dimmed lights and soft instrumental music playing in the background.
16:00-Evening Fire Rites: The Dark Angels take to the ranges to begin firing practice. They usually use black-colored targets to better hone their skills at shooting
Fallen Angels in the dark FOUL TRAITORS WHO ARE NOT FROM THE FIRST LEGION WHO USE BLACK ARMOR AND THE COVER OF DARKNESS LIKE COWARDS.
17:00-Evening Prayer: The Dark Angels assemble for prayer under the Interrogator-Chaplains, who have just finished
torturing Fallen Angels SHOWING THEIR UNDENIABLE DEVOTION TO THE EMPEROR WHICH TAKES MANY FORMS.
19:00-Evening Meal: A feast is prepared by the Chapter serfs.
20:00-Maintenance Rituals: The Dark Angels will tend to the maintenance of their wargear, while also washing their robes. Members of the Ravenwing will perform maintenance of their attack bikes and land speeders.
00:00-The Dark Angels will retire to their cells for CO-ED sleep
with their non-human retainers, because that's what the Dark Angels do to ensure their silence about the Fallen BECAUSE THEY ARE PLAYERS.
Why is there a 3 hour break in the schedule? Would they be torturing the Fallen in that time? WHAT FALLEN? THERE IS NO 3 HOUR BREAK, THAT'S HOW NUMBERS WORK ON CALIBAN THE ROCK.
- Tactics/Dark Angels
- Dark Angel Shoulder Pad
- Unofficial theme song for the Dark Angels
- Unofficial theme song for the Unforgiven