|Battle Cry||"Repent! For tomorrow you die!" or "For the Lion!"|
|Successor Chapters||Hell of a lot of +++completely autonomous+++ Chapters, most notably the Blades of Vengeance, Angels of Defiance, Disciples of Caliban, Consecrators, Angels of Absolution, Angels of Redemption, Angels of Vengeance and Guardians of the Covenant.|
|Homeworld||The Rock, originally Caliban.|
|Strength||1,000 (officially, +++much more counting chapter serfs, officers, pilots and the like+++|
|Specialty||Plasma, terminators, bikes, +++hunting down the filthy traitors to the Imperium!+++|
|Allegiance||:+++Loyal since day one+++|
|Colours||Green, black, bone white|
|This article is being fought over by people undoing each other's changes.|
Please use the Discussion page for fighting instead of the article.
"The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one."
- – Margaret Atwood
"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
"Be careful who you trust, the devil was once an angel."
- – Unknown
+++Welcome to the Dark Angels Page, your entrance is being monitored by Interrogator-Chaplain Zacharias, any question you have will be answered to the best of our ability; doesn’t matter if you are a lowly servant of the emperor, an Inquisitor, Primaris Space Marine brother, or Dark Angel Initiate.+++ +++THIS ARTICLE IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND IS REWRITTEN FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION. ALL MESSAGES WRITTEN IN RED ARE THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH ABOUT OUR HISTORY.+++ +++Any intent to follow links without the approved authorization may end in your unfortunate demise.+++
- 1 Frequently asked questions
- 2 Litany of the Dark Angels: Space Hulk Deathwing
- 3 The Unforgiven
- 4 History
- 5 The Legion with "Dark" in its name
- 6 Cool Shit
- 7 Daily rituals
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See Also
Frequently asked questions
- Why are you called the Unforgiven?
- Why is your rank Interrogator Chaplain?
- Didn't I read that in the Index Astartes that your armour is black? Why is it green now?
+++Contrary to some heretic rumours, our armour is green so we don’t get confused with our Raven Guard brothers. The only Dark Angels wearing black are the operatives and pilots of our Ravenwing company, if you see some Astartes wearing Ancient gear with Dark Angels iconography please report them to the nearest Dark Angel officer so they be put in line with the Codex Astartes regulations.+++
- Wouldn't that get confusing with the Salamanders who are also green?
+++Our's is a darker shade of green. Totally can't mistake it for the Salamanders' brighter hue.+++
- I have seen some little beings with Dark Angels carrying some relics. What are these Watchers?
+++Worry not, these are just chapter serfs, not associated with xenos in any way+++
- Why are said serfs repelling daemons with their mere presence?
+++A good question, good servant of the Emperor. Please follow this servo skull to our debriefing room down this dark and totally not conspicuous hall and brother Librarian Ezekiel shall implant your mind with its secrets.+++
- What happened to Caliban, your homeworld?
- What happened to your Primarch? Where is Lion El'Jonson?
+++With a heavy heart we tell you he is lost, maybe killed by the forces of Chaos, none can say if his body was found, all evidence of his whereabouts were buried, but someday he will return to guide us again +++.
- What happened to the allies that were fighting alongside the Dark Angels who suddenly disappeared?
The Dark Angels (also known as the "The Unforgiven" are amongst the most loyal, honoured, 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.
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!
- ‘Listen well, initiates, for I bring light to the darkness. It is
- the weak-minded that crave comforts – the Dark Angels need
- them not. Wealth? The sons of the Lion covet no baubles, for
- they are meaningless to us. Sensual gratification? We know
- well its transitory nature. Pride? We are no whelps of Russ.
- By our actions alone shall we be known.’
- - Brother-Chaplain Valeforr
Their Primarch is Lion El'Jonson a.k.a The Lion. As a result, the Dark Angels are totally +++awesome and without a fault +++. Their Primarch happened 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 meditation where nothing sinister ever happens +++ (it's actually a mobile Space station that can take out most of Battlefleet Solar on its own). They were 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. Except the Lion). Interestingly, they also employ retainers known as the Watchers in the Dark. These +++adorable sword hugging beings are chapter serfs. They are so small because they need to be that small for cleaning the corners in the Rock+++
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 +++protect the Imperium from the perils of the universe.+++
The new Codex heavily implies that they may be at Legion strength +++as we have now more reinforcements from the Ultima Founding, which leads to more successor chapters. Thanks Lord Commander Guilliman.+++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 follow this servoskull 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) and the "last" jetbike in the Imperium (they might have a ton of them or be making new ones!). +++The honourable Custodes have Jetbikes as well. We would never commit a tech-heresy such as hoarding such precious tech-knowledge+++.
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, the Inquisition cannot call an Exterminatus on the Rock. +++Or if you have such evidence, please report yourself with the material in hand so we can fix this issue.+++
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 defenses 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 +++words of brother Ezekiel+++, 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 be detected. Basically all you need to do is put a Dark Angels Librarian near a +++fellow Dark Angel playing a millennia 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 killed a nearby librarian).
Unlike more warlike chapters like the Space Corgis or the Black Templars who would go into battle screaming about how they're going to skullfuck the enemies of man, the Dark Angels go into battle in cold, efficient silence, somewhat similar to that of Angry Marine Terminators who are so enraged that they march into battle with stone hearts and steel faces. In fact, their "Repent! For tomorrow you die!" is less of a battle cry and more of a foreboding proclamation against their real targets: +++the damnable traitors from the nine legions+++. This makes more sense the more you realize what the Chaplains do to the Dark Angels' greatest obsession +++teach them to love the Imperium and the real fiasco of following chaos.+++ within 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.
+++For the eyes of Dark Angels Commanders only; skip until you see the :) sign.+++
- 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 Legion's 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 Legion's infiltration, information gathering and espionage specialists (Alpha Legion says hi) (Or do they?)
- Deathwing - Veterans in Artificer Armour and Terminator Armour. There is an elite Deathwing unit called the Secta Mortis according to the Angels of Caliban novel. The Secta Mortis had gold helmets and wore Terminator Armour. They took over as Sanguinius' bodyguards after Konrad Cruze killed members of the Invictus and Sanguinary Guard.
- 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 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 mechanized 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, which every ork knows is better, they probably provide fire support (from here on I support the changing of the name to the Dakkawing).
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-esque sorting hat. 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 Heresy 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 4212 new recruits to the Legion. He would also reduce the time it took to implant and train new legionaries to about two years, so by mid-heresy there were around 45,000 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 Spess Lions 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 +++paper records are highly flammable, thus we put here all we could have recovered.+++
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 +++warp troubles.+++.Afterwards he returned home to Caliban only to find that shit hit the fan when +++ our kitchen servitors accidentally left all of our cooking gas lines running and this caused an explosion that destroyed our home planet. We suspect this to be the work of foul traitors.+++ When daybreak came Caliban was nothing more; only The Rock was left standing. +++ These stressful days were what caused the Lion to go on vacation. The remaining Dark Angels painted their armor green (as penance and because green was the shit back then).+++ All of this caused one battle brother to say "I hate Mondays"
Because Caliban was far away from many Imperial Worlds, the core leaders of the Dark Angels known as the +++Inner circle (because that band rocks) decided to destroy all history, evidence, and blueprints of the rock to protect it from falling into the wrong hands+++ The Imperium's not exactly sure what happened to Caliban as anyone who investigates this matter, even Inquisitors +++who are most welcome to never go back to their job after our wild parties.+++
Ahem, to carry on where my predecessor left off after his +++natural vacation+++, the Dark Angels became the most obscure chapter in the millennium following the Horus Heresy. Whereas 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 disappearring 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. +++We sincerely apologize, but we try to multi-task+++
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 grim nature+++. 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 +++capture enemies of the Imperium from the nine traitor legions+++, in order to prove +++that the Imperium RULEZ+++
+++INNER CIRCLE ONLY+++ Luther himself was kept within a special cell equipped with stasis fields; both to keep him from escaping (which didn't work so hot) and to prevent him from dying of old age before some kind of confession can be extracted from him. He was last publicly seen barking mad from Chaos withdrawing its influence from him. But his ramblings have occasionally assisted the Dark Angels in 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 is growing closer...
+++Watcher in the dark office memo+++
Unbeknownst to the Dark Angels, Lion El'Jonson is alive and well. After his duel with Luther we, the Watchers in the Dark, brought him to a hidden chamber in the depths of the Rock so he could be healed of his wounds. He is fully healed, 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 traitor marines from other legions+++ and Caliban's +++upgrade into being the most AWESOME SHIP+++. 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 +++traitor marines who like to wear black+++ had all been slain during the planet's destruction. Once +++said traitors+++ 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 chapter's dark secrets are revealed to them one by one.
The Dark Angels and their successors have spent the past 10,000 years hunting down +++said traitors+++, slowly and painstakingly piecing together the pieces of an elaborate jigsaw of lies and deceit. Who knows who was responsible for what happened all those millennia ago. Was +++this particular traitor and heretic+++ 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 +++traitor's lies+++, the Dark Angels have uncovered many unsettling truths that had been unknown to them before. Yet 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. Not least that the Black Legion includes (or included) +++traitors wearing stolen Dark Angels armours in obviously Black Legion colors+++
With the return of Magnus (and his assault on Fenris), as well as the return of Guilliman (with his Terran Crusade and subsequent Indomitus Crusade), the Dark Angels are probably scrabbling HARD to make sure that +++all disgusting traitors be captured+++.
Firstly, with the return of Magnus: the Dark Angels were duped by Tzeentch into leading their own crusade to bring the Space Wolves to account for their protection of the mutated Wulfen. This was eventually resolved with the intervention of the Inquisition who said they would raise their own conclave to deal with the matter. Unfortunately for the Dark Angels, +++those traitors escaped our watch +++ as the Inquisition had :+++given zero fucks +++
It would get worse for them later with Guilliman's return as the reborn Primarch's return to Terra was assisted by +++Ravenwing Dark Angels including one officer with a HUGE SWORD, obviously a TERRAN SWORD OF OLD+++. While Guilliman didn't have a clue what to make of +++these mysterious Marines+++, they were allowed to be part of the celebratory parade to the Emperor's palace so they would have been viewed by billions of bystanders. Though most people probably wouldn't know what to make of black Dark Angels, the Unforgiven were probably clinging to the TV sets while facepalming +++because their military parade walk wasn't the best+++. However, Guilliman did order +++these Marines+++ arrested when they finally reached the doors to the throne room. The Adeptus Custodes now have a group of +++undisciplined Dark Angels wearing non-codex colors+++ in their custody and it may be only a matter of time before they and Guilliman have some idea of what the Unforgiven have been up to (if they didn't know already). Guilliman did recognize the sword that +++said officer+++ carried and the sensation filled him with dread. Given that this may be the Lion's own sword, Guilliman may have some inkling as to what might happen if the sword (or whatever psychic imprint contained within) comes into contact with the Emperor, but has not decided to reveal or act upon that information. Bear in mind that having some knowledge directly from the mouths of +++Space Marine traitors+++ does not automatically provide the whole story on the actual +++building of The Rock+++.
Taking this further, even if Guilliman does find out (or happens to already know), he would have to be very careful with that information because of his own prior association with the Lion and the Dark Angels during Imperium Secundus and his own attempts at burying it (see the formation of the Scythes of the Emperor and his sealing of the Library of Ptolemy). He might not be aware of how much the descendants of the First Legion know about this "off the record" version of history. Even if some Fallen Angels came out claiming that the "Lion was a closet traitor who waited to see who won" and sincerely believed it, Guilliman is one of the few people who actually knew what the Lion was doing for much of the Heresy, even if the Dark Angels don't know themselves. This is on top of having to contend with the aforementioned unresolved "agenda" relating to the sword of the Lion (which Guilliman himself broke) and the unknown repercussions of what may come if it reaches the Emperor's throne room. All in all, Bobby G's got a lot on his plate.
As Guilliman traveled the Imperium leaving reinforcements and new toys in his wake, Supreme Commander Azrael ordered a summit of all Supreme Grand Masters to muster on the Rock to discuss the state of things. Considering the reports of Fallen massing in numbers never seen before, the Rock itself being attacked by a Fallen Angel daemon-prince which appeared to be the cover for the release of Luther, and a recent ambush by the Fallen that had left six chapters of the Unforgiven severely depleted in manpower, suffice it to say that things were looking rather grim. Coincidentally, the summit was gate-crashed by the arrival of Guilliman's fleet who demanded to board the Rock. The collected Chapter Masters were no doubt concerned by the arrival of an Imperial fleet when the Unforgiven had gathered together as a single Legion, and considered shooting them down. Luckily, it turned out that Guilliman was not there to censure the Unforgiven host but instead came bearing reinforcements in the form of thousands of Primaris Marines. Guilliman also permitted them to retain their 1st Company and 2nd Company organizations as an exception to his amendments to the Codex Astartes based on their "excellent service records", only stipulating that they continue to serve the Emperor well, suggesting he is willing to put up with their unorthodox methods for the sake of his brother.
Moreover as a "tactical genus" Guilliman isn't dumb enough to risk losing the unique capabilities that only the Dark Angels and their Successors are able to deploy at a moment's notice. Obviously, due to the current state of the Imperium, neither the Dark Angels nor Guilliman can spare a few moments for "Story time with Uncle Bobby and The Inner Circle." Good thing for Guilliman. The number of people who know/knew about the Secundus besides him can be counted on one hand, and all of them are either dead or unable to say anything about the matter.
It is also stated that the Inner Circle alone are aware of the very specific prey that they seek. Therefore while tidbits of information may be held by others outside of the chapter, they do not understand their significance or know what to make of them. Either way, they haven't acted upon that information so the Hunt still continues as normal.
The Legion with "Dark" in its name
After the Horus Heresy, the remaining Legions were forced to split into chapters of around 1,000 men according to Roboute Guilliman's brand new Codex Astartes and the Dark Angels followed suit mostly because they had no Primarch to disagree for them; 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. They kept the same chain of command as before and mostly the same traditions and expectations (particularly concerning co-operation in the hunt for the Fallen Angels but also in referring to one another as "brothers" in arms). (Kaldor Draigo noted that the correct terminology for a different chapter is "cousin" and resolved to have a word with Azrael over it). 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.
All in all, the Dark Angels and their successors still function unofficially as a Legion. This gets the Inquisition and the High Lords of Terra particularly worried, though they can't prove anything since on the surface each chapter has its own distinct chain of command and adheres to codex requirements.
It's not 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. 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. It is uncertain whether all of those chapters are actually aware of their history, given the Dark Angels 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 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 possesses formations equivalent to the Deathwing and Ravenwing, though usually operating under different names. This would mean that the collective Unforgiven have access to a whole bunch of surplus archeotech or possess the means to manufacture Terminator suits and fighter planes at a remarkable rate. They also trade recruiting worlds between each other, though each Chapter routinely has more than one anyway. They regularly transfer ownership between them for the specific purpose of ensuring that the Administratum's records become unreliable and get lost.
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?
+++INNER CIRCLE ACCESS GRANTED+++
Gav Thorpe's Angels of Darkness was intended to display that the Dark Angels' quest for redemption had made them sinister and brutal, not label them as being traitors (as the wider audience and /tg/ often treats them as). This is because most people took Astelan and the accusations he leveled at the modern-day Chapter and the Lion as truth, not 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). Astelan thought the Lion to be a traitor and opened fire on the fleet when they were in orbit around Caliban without any attempt at negotiation or communication. The fleet returned fire in self defense 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. It's possible it's something El'Jonson developed (or was tainted with) as an infant in the darkness of old Caliban. However, Astelan's mind and his recollections of things are unreliable - not only is he a Fallen Angel, he is trying to cause others to fall as well. We only have his word to take for it (not to mention that 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 and their honor. This confusion is the result of an attempt to raise the stakes. This coupled with the increasing plot emphasis on them abandoning their allies demonstrates some authors 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 all 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 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 has more to do with who they're loyal to. 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 than the rotting Imperium.
To clarify, the First Legion (and later Chapter and all their successors) are indeed Loyal and not Traitors. With the Lion having been quoted "Loyalty is its 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 look back on it as a shameful memory with no guilt placed 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 a relatively innocuous "stomp the traitor" exercise has devolved into a millennia-long slog. The Unforgiven continues to skirt the grey area as each abandoned battlefield or trusted ally silenced adds to their burden of collective guilt. By now, the actions they have taken to continue the Hunt have become 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 in their ranks like the other eight legions did. Most Fallen were totally unaware of the Heresy and, as a result, they either fell to Chaos of their own accord or were deceived. Now in the 41st Millennium it's FAR too late to rectify this; the time for earning forgiveness is long past. 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 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. Furthermore, in Leman Russ - The Great Wolf by Christ Wraight we learn that the Lion knows about the Wulfen yet never called his brother or his legion out on it despite their mutual grievances, so some interesting revelations may yet come.
Despite the Unforgiven being prepared to do anything and everything 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 defense 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 assuredly be 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.
- With the resurrection of Guilliman, this oath would be tested like never before. With the knowledge that Guilliman had spent time around Cypher and members of the Fallen, Azrael had every reason to believe that the game was up when Guilliman's armada appeared above the Rock. The temptation to strike back against their potential executioners and to protect his brothers was very real. Yet despite the possible ramifications, Azrael kept true to his word and ordered the Unforgiven to stand down (good thing old Guilliman still doesn't know the truth).
With the release of the new Codex, Phil Kelly himself said on Twitch TV the full recount of the events on Caliban, short history Dark Angels Good, Fallen Bad, just kill the joke, its not funny anymore.
Primaris Marines and suspicions renewed
Initially, it seemed that the Dark Angels accepted their new reinforcements without much hassle or fuss, but the Dark Angels players knew this facade wouldn't last. The codex tells us that as of whatever the present day of the Imperium is (roughly 100.M42) not a single Primaris Marine has made it so far as Ravenwing, much less the Inner Circle. Excerpts from the Hellblasters show the Primaris have to fight tooth and nail for so much as a word of approval, to say nothing of recognition or acceptance. Hellblaster Sergeant Grellius accepts that it will be no small task to impress the Sons of the Lion and, in the typical stoic manner that should be expected of any member of the 1st legion, stated "And rightly so – for such duty were we created and trained." However, he and his Hellblasters had impressed Belial to the point that he may have actually "smiled", after which they seem to have earned their acceptance among their brethren.
War of Secrets (Phil Kelly again) drops all pretense and reveals just how bad it was for the initial batch of Primaris under the First Legion's care: a far cry from accepting valuable reinforcements, the Inner Circle considers the sons of Mars to be little more than Guilliman's spies. The Chaplains and Apothecaries routinely mind-wipe Primaris marines if they come into contact with Fallen-related missions, hypnotize them to stop asking questions, confiscate and erase their digital cameras, and even use fluids from an Arco-flagellant to keep them under mind control. The truly horrifying part? This is actually pretty routine for the Dark Angels, even before Guilliman woke up; Interrogator-Chaplains do the same thing to the rest of the Inner Circle, presumably to keep Fallen captives from being "accidentally" shot in the face before they can be interrogated. All chapters make use of hypno-indoctrination as part of their standard training, but this is normally used to add to their worth as Marines (see Deathwatch), while the Inner Circle wants to very much subtract the more troublesome aspects from their new "reinforcements". Though since the Emperor himself has been known to wipe the memories of both marines and Primarchs during the Heresy series, one could joke that the Dark Angels are simply proving their loyalty by following in his glorious example.
On the other hand, the Primaris Marines during "War of Secrets" didn't exactly help their course by being remarkably disobedient and downright disrespectful towards the older marines, with some referring to the veteran marines as armored Ogryns behind their backs. Nor did them referring to the Dark Angels as a Chapter built on lies and swearing to "Get to the heart of it and expose it all", calling them traitors, and making statements like "You’ll get what you deserve soon enough. We Primaris Marines are the future and we will be the death of you", were ever going to get them on the Dark Angels' good side.
Despite their initial reluctance in accepting the Primaris Marines, the Primaris Marines are very slowly and painfully earning their place among the Chapter. Those that prove themselves and demonstrate their loyalty to the Chapter may be inducted into the new Primaris Circle. Though they can not be brought into the full Inner Circle, it is only a matter of time.
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. They were permitted to retain exclusive access to these items (by the Emperor's own command) which were often never seen in other later Legions which were raised to the standard template.
- 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 used by Terminators according to Angels of Caliban
- 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 a supposedly 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 legions like the Imperial Fists and the Iron Warriors respectively), the First may still have owned one of the most powerful fleets among the legions at that time.
Chalk it up to the fact that they used a whole bunch of weapon designs that were left over from the Dark Age of Technology and had 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 Lord's 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 defenses 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 end 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", even when excluding The Rock itself their fleet capabilities are certainly above average when you compare raw numbers with 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'. However the Space Wolves have a larger overall fleet 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; it acts like 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 past.
- 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. While most Chapters can have anything from 20 to 40 Techmarines at any one time (the Blood Angels have 35),the Dark Angels only have around 22 Techmarines. The low numbers of Techmarines within the Dark Angels can be put down to their distrust of their dual loyalties. While this lack of specialists 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 Jetfighter 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” we learn that most chapters can field at least two “divisions” (24 to around 48 aircraft) but they are dependent on the number of Techmarines the chapter can afford to deploy. By contrast, the Dark Angels have their 22 Techmarines and the entire Ravenwing which can field at least two “Companies” or six “divisions” (72 to around 144 aircraft depending 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 Alpha Legion scenarios+++
9:00- +++Chocolate milk and cookies break while listening to Enigma or Gregorian music. Also, free meditation time+++.
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 determine targets.
At this point a battle-brother may visit the Apothecary. Meanwhile, Interrogator-Chaplains interrogate +++heretics and traitors+++.
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.
17:00-Evening Prayer: The Dark Angels assemble for prayer under the Interrogator-Chaplains, who have just finished their +++lively discussions+++.
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 sleep.
- Why is there a 3 hour break in the schedule?
+++Time is relative in the Rock+++
Welcome sir, let's start your "interview"
- Tactics/Dark Angels
- Dark Angel Shoulder Pad
- Unofficial theme song for the Dark Angels
- Unofficial theme song for the Unforgiven
|Forces of the Dark Angels|
|Command:|| Apothecary - Company Master - Interrogator-Chaplain |
Chaplain - Librarian - Techmarine - Deathwing Knight
Dark Angels Grand Master
|Troops:|| Assault Squad - Deathwing - Company Veterans |
Devastator Squad - Scout Squad - Tactical Squad
Ravenwing Black Knight - Watcher in the Dark
|Walkers:|| Dreadnought (Venerable Dreadnought - Contemptor Dreadnought) |
Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought - Mortis Dreadnought
|Transports:|| Land Raider (Land Raider Phobos - Land Raider Crusader |
Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Ares
Land Raider Solemnus Aggressor) - Rhino - Drop Pod
|Vehicles:|| Bike Squad - Razorback - Predator - Vindicator - Hunter |
Stalker - Whirlwind - Land Speeder Vengeance
|Flyers:|| Dark Talon - Nephilim Jetfighter - Stormraven - Storm Eagle |
|Allies:||Space Marines - Primaris Marines|