|This article, Angels of Damnation, was written by Farseer Aradrel. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "Captain, the Traitors took refuge in the Hive. Hunting Squad Faithfuls and Destoyers lost eye contact with them, and Squad Iron Will is yet to report. What are your orders Brother Captain?"
-"Order the closest Hunting Squads from Iron Will's last positions to go and recover their gene-seed. Send Thunderhawks 3 and 7 to recover them."
"And the Traitors?"
-"Their heresy has yet to infect the entire hive. The Strike Cruiser will destroy it from orbit. The Emperor will keep the souls of His people. The others can burn in hell."
- — Last vox transmissions of the Yllexus Hunt.
The Angels of Damnation are an ancient Chapter believed to hearken back to the Second Founding, whose origins has been lost to time and bureaucracy. Even the Chapter themselves can't remember the origins of their gene-seed. But the Angels of Damnation are more well known for their violent behaviour and traditions, giving them a reputation as psychopaths and careless killers. This bellicose Chapter has vowed to always, and until the end of the Imperium, to crusade against the Forces of Chaos, hunting down the heretic and burning out the corruption without care for the innocent lives in their way or the material damages.
Little is known about the Angels of Damnation's Founding in the 42nd Millennium. Records about them seems non-existent for the most part, or at best, misleading and contradictory, making it impossible for the Inquisition to find the Chapter's real origins.
There is at least one known source of reliable information that seems certain about the Angels of Damnation's past. Their first Chapter Master, Nihlus Cerach, was also known in Imperial Fists' records as a Captain of the Space Marine Legions before it was split into separate Chapters in accordance to the writings of the Codex Astartes. Nihlus was apparently authorised to help form his own Chapter by both the Primarchs Rogal Dorn and Roboute Guilliman and with the blessing of the newly-instilled High-Lords of Terra.
But what seems strange, is that the Phalanx's archives does not mention the existence of Nihlus Cerach at all, as if all records pertaining to him were purposely deleted, and his legacy was forgotten by his parent Legion.
After their mysterious Founding, the Chapter chose the Ice World of Mefera in the Ultima Segmentum to be it's Chapter home world. Since that bygone era, they have crusaded multiple times against the Traitor Legions, various Chaos Warbands and several Renegade Chapters, hunting their members with violence and extreme prejudice.
- The First Meferian Defense (Unknown Date; end of M31): The Chapter's Homeworld of Mefera comes under attack from an Ork Waaagh! a few years before the Fortress of Hunt is completed, forcing the Angels of Damnation to defend themselves and their relics with incomplete defenses and little to no contact with their allies. The Angels hold the line for several months against the Orks, defying the odds until reinforcements finally come in the form of an Astra Militarum regiment of the Valhallan Ice Warriors and the Novamarines Chapters. The combined Imperial forces push the Greenskins back from Mefera, but Nihlus Cerach is found amongst the dead, the heart of the Ork Warboss in his hands. A shrine is built on the spot where he died, and becomes the central point of the Initiates training.
- The Hunt for Yveria (564.M34): Several Hunting Squads are dispatched to track down the Sorceress of Tzeentch known as Yseria, head of the Chaos Warband known as the Mens of Yveria, during a conflict against the Aurora Chapter. While she is plotting the corruption of the Aurora Captain known as Tyrion, one of the Hunting Squads found Yveria in her throne room, and terminate her sorcery, leaving the Mens of Yveria leaderless. The Aurora Chapter executes all remaining Chaos forces, but never find out the identity of those who saved them.
- The Narvos Crusade (045.M35): The Angels of Damnation received words from a Rogue Trader that a strange cultist spread heretical words in the Narvos sub-sector. The Chapter deployed three Companies to investigate and found a Chaos cult created by Word Bearers Heretic Astartes. The Space Marines, loyalist and traitors, battle for two years on multiple planets in the sub-sector, seeking the annihilation of the other's faith in blood. The Crusades end when Force Commander Barthelemius discovers that the entire war was supposed to feed the Dark Apostle Yrigius's ascension to Daemonhood. Barthelemius and his Command Squad found Yirigius' lair and banishes the Daemon Prince, ending the Chaos invasion. Later, half of the sub-sector is subjected to Exterminatus.
- The Hunt for Lucius (500.M37): The Angels of Damnation decided that the actions of the Eternal Blades must be stopped, and send their Hunting Squads to track down the Slaaneshi champions. Despite their best efforts, the Champions proved too much for the three Huntinq Squads, who finally received orders to abandon the Hunt.
- The Felerion Crusade (792.M38): The Angels of Damnation received a distress signal from Hunters of the Felerion Space Marine Chapter asking for help to battle against a Daemonic incursion. Answering the call for help, the Angels discovered that it was actually a trap laid by the Renegade Chapter Master of the Hunters of Felerion to seize supplies for his personal war against loyalist elements of the Chapter who resisted the corruption he had spread amongst his brethren. When the taint is discovered, the entire Angels of Damnation Chapter gathered and exterminate the Hunters of Felerion, divided by their own Chapter Civil War. Despise grievous losses, the Angels of Damnation are victorious and replaced their lost supplies with what remained of the Hunter's armoury.
- The Hunt for Ravachus (625.M41): The Night Lords Chaos Lord Ravachus is located on the Hive-World of Yllexus, hiding amongst the population and leading the spreading of words of Slaanesh. Several Hunting Squads are send throughout the hive cities, but none of them can find the Chaos Lord. The Angels of Damnation destroyed the hive world from orbit instead of entering into a high-attrition conflict, expected by Ravachus.
The Second Meferian Defense
When the Cicatrix Maledictum opened, it's malevolent aura shadowed the Astronomican and separated the Emperor's domain in two. Mefera stood in the Imperium Nihilus, weakened by the losses of three Companies, all sent away in various Crusades or Hunts, leaving the defense of the Fortress of the Hunt to only half of the First Company, the Reserve Companies and only two tiers of the Scout Company. Separated from their Chapter Master and battle-brothers that departed for distant stars, the Marines knew they wouldn't have to wait long before their enemies came to them.
Captain Mikaelus of the First Company prepared his brothers for battle, expecting the traitors or heretics to take advantage of their weakness. When ships darkened the skies of Mefera, he was surprised to see no heretic, but xenos at the doors of the Angels of Damnation's fortress-monastery. The Tyranids of Hive-Fleet Aristae appeared as a tendrils of two hundred bio-ships, led by another incarnation of the Swarmlord. Mikaelus, with the assistance of Chief Librarian Avros, stood against the Tyranids, hoping for the return of Chapter Master Luciverius from his Hunt of the Daemon Prince Bel'Akor.
What Mikaelus was unaware of, is that Luciverius was dead before the Noctis Aeterna, killed by the Dark One and his daemonic servant, along with all of his Honor Guard, with the exception of one brother that was enshrined in a Contemptor Dreadnought due to his wounds, and the entire Second Company. What remained of the Third and Fourth Company, assisting the Chapter Master during his Hunt, retreated under the command of Reclusiarch Haniel, who ordered their return to Mefera at once.
But their travel was interrupted by an ambush of the Thousand Sons Exalted Sorcerer Mat'kelth, and his Warband. Using a Space Hulk and the presence of the Cicatrix Maledictum, which forced the Chapter's fleet to travel through one short Warp jump at a time and regularly returns into Realspace, the Sorcerer sent his Daemons and Rubricae through Warp Portals inside of the Angels of Damnation's ships.
However, the attack brought the attention from nearby ships belonging to the Indomitus Crusade. When the Thousand Sons seems to take advantage on the Angels of Damnation, an Imperial Fleet arrived to assist them, lead by none other than the resurrected Primarch Roboute Guilliman himself. The reinforcement forced Mat'kelth to retreat with his forces, but considered himself still successful for one of his Tzaangor was able to steal one of the Chapter's most revered relics - the Blade of the Damned - wielded by none other than Nihlus Cerach during the foundation of the Chapter.
After the battle, Guilliman learned from Haniel the actual mission of the Astartes fleet, after the Reclusiarch refusal to join the Indomitus Crusade. The Primarch understood the Marines wished to secure their home world, and gifted them with Primaris Space Marine, and the support of the Aquilan Shield from the Adeptus Custodes, to ensure their safe arrival at Mefera. The Reclusiarch accepted this holy gift, and both fleets separated.
They arrived just in time to stop Hive-Fleet Aristae from entirely destroying the Chapter. The Tyranids were already inside of the fortress-monastery itself when the Crusade emerged from the Warp, and Reclusiarch Haniel found Captain Mikaelus on the brink of death against the Swarmlord, in the Shrine of the previous Chapter Master, the beast seeking the remnant of the Chapter's greatest hero. Mikaelus and Haniel defeated the Swarmlord, while the Chapter and it's Custodes allies confronted the Tyranids both in orbit, on the ground and inside the fortress-monastery.
The battle lasted for an entire year before the Tyranids were brought low. Mikaelus tried to thanks the Talons of the God-Emperor, but Shield-Captain Yrjaan and his warriors left Mefera without a word. After the battle was over, Haniel gathered all surviving Captains, Librarians and Chaplains for a Council, to reorganise the Chapter and choose a new Chapter Master. Without surprise, Mikaelus was choose as Chapter Master and Master of the Hunt. The Chapter found recruits in the surviving warrior tribes of Mefera, forcing the youths into the Scout Company, even if it meant they had to condemn an entire generation from more than one village. Despite this, the Chapter is still under strength at the time of the Plague War.
Chapter Organisation and Traditions
The Chapter is known for it's hatred toward Renegade and Traitors. They are also known for it's worship of the God-Emperor, rivaling the Black Templars in this domain, for they not only battle the heretic, but help the faithful.
For example, if a planet as been attacked by Traitor forces and all monuments to the God-Emperor has been damaged, or worse, corrupted, the Angels of Damnation will make sure everything is rebuilt, in a glory that shadows the previous incarnation of faith on those worlds. As such, the name of the Angels of Damnation is revered on many worlds for the cities and shrines they have built in the Emperor's name. This once lead to a confrontation with the Salamanders Chapter during the defence of the agri-world of Mindoir against the Drukhari. After the War, both Chapter stayed to help the civilians and the PDF to rebuild. However, the explosion of an Imperial manufactorum during the attack left a large portion of the capital city to be entirely rebuilt. While the Salamanders proposed for the construction of habitations and forge, the Angels of Damnation wanted the place to become a shrine, devoted to the resilience and faith of Mindoir's inhabitants. The two Chapters decided to choose the result in a battle of honour between Captain Gabriel and Captain Ash'an. This battle lasted for three days before the Salamanders stood victorious. But Gabriel's strength brought him the respect of the Sons of Vulkan, who left a portion of the area to the Angels of Damnation, where they could build a shrine, even of it wasn't as great as they first wished.
This veneration of the God-Emperor of Mankind and particularly violent hatred toward Chaos and Heretics make them staunch allies of the Ecclesiarchy and the Ordo Hereticus. Often, the Angels of Damnation will battle with the Sisters of Battle or escort an Inquisitor to confront a common foe.
But the Angels of Damnation are not always this protective and securing for civilians. Multiple times, they have not hesitated to destroy entire cities, sometimes by orbital strikes, to ensure the death of one heretic. When performing such an event, the Chapter simply explained their choice by the following quote:
"The Innocent are under the Emperor's protections. If they die by our actions, their sacrifice will be rewarded by the God-Emperor they have faithfully served. If not, then it simply mean we destroyed heretics"
This kind of thought has made them antagonist to certain Chapters, such as the Salamanders or the Ultramarines, for which the sacrifice of thousands of innocents is unacceptable. But sometimes, it makes them allies with more violent Chapters, like the Flesh Tearers.
The Chapter follow the edict of the Codex Astartes and revere it's knowledge as if it was a sacred book, written by a god. Deviation from it's writings are considered dangerous and heretical, for it is denying the gift of the Emperor's Son, Roboute Guilliman, the last of the Emperor's Primarchs. When waging wars, the Companies often gather in the form of a Crusade, which size can vary depending on the situation.
Every 50 years, the Chapter organises what they call a Hunt. The Master of the Hunt (also Chapter Master) will take a forces of his choice, and hunt down a particular Chaos Lord, Sorcerer, Apostle or Champion, slay him and bring his head back to the Fortress on Mefera. If the Master of the Hunt doesn't return before 25 years of the Hunt, or fails to kill his prey, then he is exiled, and must continue his quest alone with only his basic Tactical Power Armour and chainsword, while the remainder of his wargear is simply gifted to the next Chapter Master.
This tradition has been brought to the Chapter by the warrior tribes of Mefera. Those tribes are in constant war, using primitives weapons such as black powder guns or spears, and as such, only especially skilled warriors of the tribes are chosen to hunt down and kill a specific Tribe leader or champion from a rival tribe, and bring his head back to his family. The Chapter adopted this tradition at an unknown date, probably because those tribes served as recruitement zones for the Angels of Damnation.
As a Chapter of unknown Founding and Primogenitors, the Angels of Damnation are subject to many theories about their Primarch.
The first guess of most Inquisitors, is the Primarch Jaghatai Khan to be the father of the Angels of Damnation. The White Scars and the Angels share many traits in their traditions, especially with the Hunts and recruitment of savages on Feral Worlds. While most Inquisitors stopped the research here, some reject it, for the similarities can simply be due to a similar kind of recruitment, based on the inhabitants of Feral Worlds.
Some belive them to be from the lineage of Rogal Dorn, or more specifically to be descendants of the Black Templars. The arguments in favour of this theory are the great skills of the Chapter in construction and siege warfare, while sharing the Black Templar's veneration of the God-Emperor. This theory has long been rejected, for the Angels of Damnation are equipped with organs the Imperial Fists and their Successors have lost over several millennia.
Another possibility is that the Angels hail from the Ultramarines Legion. Like the Sons of Roboute Guilliman, the Angels of Damnation follow the Codex Astartes to the letter, and disapprove of those who ignore it's teachings. This theory has found little evidence proving it is wrong, and is as such, is more widely accepted by the Inquisition then the White Scars Theory.
But considering the Chapter hold very little information about it's past, in the end, we may never know...
Chapter's Notable Characters
Chapter Master Mikaelus
Mikaelus was raised as Chapter Master after the Second Defence of Mefera. He was the First Captain of the Chapter during the battle, and it is only thanks to his skills as a fighter and a strategist that the warriors under his command could survived long enough for the reinforcements to save Mefera from the Tyranids. He battled against the Swarmlord itself and defeated it with the help of Reclusiarch Haniel. He was also a former Apothecary, and still possess his Narthecium, even if does not carry the duty of an Apothecary on the battlefield.
Before his recruitment, Mikaelus came from the Tribes of the Blue Stone, one of the many warrior tribes of Mefera. He was hunting the Meferian Tiger, a local predator, and battled the creature with his knives. Despite his youth, Mikaelus killed the beast and returned it to his people. When he arrived, he found the villages in flame, and most of his people kidnapped or killed by their rivals, the Tribes of the Red River. Filled with hatred and thirst for revenge, the young hunter took his father's spear and the tiger's fur, and hunted the Red River's warriors when they were away from their village.
After two months, the Red Rivers' chief decided to kill the mysterious boy. The two hunters fought, and the older warrior prevailed. However, when the old hunter was about to end the boy's life, a bolter shot exploded bloodily within his chest, revealing the presence of Chaplain Haniel. The Chaplain took Mikaelus to his Chapter's fortress-monastery, were he would pass the test to become an Astartes. After he survived the implantation, Haniel taught him the ways of the Chapter with the other Scouts, until he became a full battle-brother, then a Sergeant, and finally, Captain of the Fourth Company.
During the Hunt for Lucius, First Company Captain Yvanus died from the blade of the Emperor's Children's Champions, and Mikaelus, a close friend of the deceased Captain, took his place, a veteran of four-hundred years of battle.
Mikaelus is a noble warrior, who leads by example. His goal as Chapter Master is to cleanse the Chapter of their merciless reputation towards innocent civilians. These radical ideas are opposed by many veterans, Captains and more specifically, his mentor, Reclusiarch Haniel, who believes that no sacrifice is too great to commit in the name of the God-Emperor. Despite this, Chapter Master Mikaelus is highly respected by his warriors and is a fortifying presence on the battlefield, wielding his master-crafted power fist and melta gun in hand.
A paragon of faith and loyalty, brutal and without mercy, Haniel was a son of the Tribes of Blood, a tribe who tried to conquer Mefera by destroying all other tribes. They failed when the tribes united against them, the strategist of the Blood Tribes betrayed and killed their Queen, Haniel's mother. The Tribes decided to sacrifice him to the Angels protecting Mefera before their Fortress of Metal. Instead of killing the boy, the Astartes took him, and trained him as one of their own. Learning of the God-Emperor and still angry at the traitor who killed his mother, Haniel learned to hate all form of betrayal, transferring his hatred toward the Traitor Legions and other heretics. This philosophy made the destruction of entire cities and planets acceptable to him, even if it meant Traitors suffered from it. His zealous faith and fiery hatred obviously lead him on the path of becoming a Chaplain, and eventually saw his meteoric rise to the esteemed position of Reclusiarch, and then Master of Sanctify, after many battles.
Heaniel was also a close friend of Luciverius, the Angels' previous Chapter Master, and owed him his position as Reclusiarch. He was there when the Daemon Prince Bel'akor killed the Chapter Master and threw his body in the middle of a horde of Flesh Hounds. Despite his anger, the Reclusiarch respected his friend's last order and retreated with what remained of his men, saving Talarius, Captain of the Honour Guard, in the process. Since that fateful day, Haniel has prayed many time for a moment of vengeance against the Dark One, to avenge his friends and fellow warriors.
After the Second Defense of Mefera, Haniel became opposed to Mikaelus' choice of forbidding the Chapter from committing unnecessary sacrifice in the Emperor's name. Haniel thought it would weaken the Chapter's Hunts and Crusades. As such, he still carry this tactics in the campaigns he lead, despite his Chapter Master's order.
The Angels of Damnation primarily wear black Power Armour]], with the exception of dark red arms, waist and legs. Both poleyns (knee guards) are also black. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest, as well as the helmet, are white. The white squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) is indicated on the right shoulder guard. A black Roman numeral centered in the middle of the squad specialty symbol indicates squad number. Shoulder trim colour indicates company number in accordance with Codex-approved heraldry -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), etc.
The Angels of Damnation's Chapter badge is a large white skull with wings displayed and elevated, centered upon a red starburst. This is centred on a field of black.