|Successors of||Emperor's Children|
|Colours||Black with bone white helmet and aquila skull with white inner pauldrons|
The Death Eagles is a Loyalist, Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter. Its exact Founding date is unknown. It is suspected by most Imperial scholars that the Death Eagles is one of the rare Successor Chapters of the Raven Guard. However, it is also possible that the Death Eagles' true and hidden origins may lie in the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium among those Astartes of the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion who remained uncorrupted by Chaos and loyal to the Emperor.
Another Chapter that has been left in the dust. Or so we thought, more on that later. These guys were supposedly a Raven Guard Successor. That has yet to actually help give us any idea of what they really do, until the fourth Horus Heresy Black Book came out. In said book, the 34th Millennial of the Emperor's Children sided with the Imperium and bore their colors with pride and fought against the traitors. What was the name of that Millennial? The Death Eagles. Their fate is considered "unknown" but we know that's just a front. How they survived the Great Scouring or anything afterwards is left up to interpretation. Probably because loyalists of traitor legions became Blackshields or whatever and eventually reconstituted as Chapters. Originally they just looked like Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children. But after a few editions, they were brought back as a Raven Guard successor. Bet GW had come up with the name only to have their fans point out they already exist. Forge World, who takes GW's usual fuck-ups and make them into something useful, decided that the Death Eagles were actually a loyalist branch of the Emperors Children. Thus making their old paint job make sense along with their new paint job.
The long-term viability of a Blackshield force surviving through the nightmare of both the Horus Heresy and the subsequent Great Scouring is difficult to say. However, given sufficient gene-seed and technical competence it is entirely possible for such a formation to maintain its strength over a protracted period, inducting and training new recruits in the same way as a normal Space Marine Chapter of the 41st Millennium.
There are certainly numerous cases cited throughout Imperial history where this has occurred, such as the Space Wolves 13th Great Company. This might explain how the Death Eagles were able to survive the Age of Darkness as well as the subsequent era of the Great Scouring to be reborn as a Loyalist Chapter in their own right. If the Death Eagles are indeed descended from Loyalist elements of the Emperor's Children, it would explain why their true origins have been purposely obfuscated.
Such a connection to a reviled Traitor Legion would also be a terrible dishonour and would explain why the Death Eagles' heritage and original Legion colours may have been deliberately obscured from the Imperial record.
- The Solar Rebellion (Unknown Date.M32) - Warbands from the Night Lords, Iron Warriors, and World Eaters gang together and start causing Chaos Cults uprisings in the western marches of the Segmentum Solar back in M32. Their mayhem comes to an end when a combined force of Death Eagles, Space Sharks, Minotaurs and the Angels of Absolution show up delivering vengeance from the void upon the Heretics.
- War of the False Primarch (860-940.M33) - Joined the Flesh Eaters, Red Talons, Space Sharks and the Charnel Guard in purging eleven other chapters. Notable because the Death Eagles don't have the brutal reputation of the other chapters, yet still were hand picked by the High Lords of Terra to form part of the Pentarchy of Blood.
- Reconquest of the Forsarr Sector (999.M41) - After the failed raid on Kastorel-Novem, WAAAGH! Garaghak grows across the Forsarr Sector to the point of threatening the Raven Guard homeworld of Deliverance. The Death Eagles help out the Aurora Chapter, Revilers and Imperial Guard forces to retake the sector from the hands of the greenskins.
The first known mention of the Death Eagles' existence was made in White Dwarf #123 (UK), published in March 1990. Within, the 'Eavy Metal team presented a section with conversions and specially painted Space Marine miniatures - among which there was a "Death Eagles Marine in armour variant".
His heraldry consisted of an asymmetrical scheme of alternate white-purple plates, with backpack and bolter in silver, and helm and cod piece halved in white and purple as well.
However in How To Paint Space Marines (2004) the Death Eagles appear already clad in black and white power armour.
It is possible that the reference in The Horus Heresy Book Four - Conquest to their origins lying among the Loyalist Emperor's Children that maintained their original heraldry (purple and gold, but also white in some plates) is a nod towards this first appearance.
Their original look before Grimdark began.