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===Recruitment===
 
===Recruitment===
 
[[Image:Deathwing terminator.JPG|thumb|left|150px|Deathwing Terminator]]
 
[[Image:Deathwing terminator.JPG|thumb|left|150px|Deathwing Terminator]]
As the Dark Angels are no longer based on an actual world, they draw their recruits from a variety of planets, mainly highly primitive worlds. One of these worlds is the [[feral World|feral world]] [[Kimmeria]], from which [[Azrael]] himself was recruited. Representatives of the Dark Angels visit each recruiting world once within a normal human's lifetime, and take the strongest juveniles from the population. Each recruit is thoroughly screened, and from the moment he is accepted into the Chapter as a Space Marine his past becomes irrelevant.<sup>1</sup>
+
As the Dark Angels are no longer based on an actual world, they draw their recruits from a variety of planets, mainly highly primitive worlds. One of these worlds is the [[feral world]] [[Kimmeria]], from which [[Azrael]] himself was recruited. Representatives of the Dark Angels visit each recruiting world once within a normal human's lifetime, and take the strongest juveniles from the population. Each recruit is thoroughly screened, and from the moment he is accepted into the Chapter as a Space Marine his past becomes irrelevant.<sup>1</sup>
  
After the Heresy, the Dark Angels recruited from a single planet (known as the Plains World) whose inhabitants resembled Native Americans. Sometime before the 41st Millennium a group of returning Deathwing found that their planet had been overrun fifty years earlier by [[Genestealer]]s, with only a few untainted humans remaining. The Terminators, whose duty and honour required the extermination of the genestealers, prepared themselves for battle. Because the odds of their success were nearly non-existent, the Terminators engaged in their native death ritual. Instead of anointing their skin with white ash, they anointed their armour. The Terminators cleansed the world and rescued the enslaved populace, and in honour of those few Terminators, their armour was ever after white. Meanwhile, the Dark Angels leadership, the Inner Circle, recognized the folly of relying upon one planet for manpower and so diversified their recruiting grounds.<sup>3</sup>
+
After the Heresy, the Dark Angels recruited from a single planet (known as the [[Plains World]]) whose inhabitants resembled Native Americans. Sometime before the 41st Millennium a group of returning Deathwing found that their planet had been overrun fifty years earlier by [[Genestealer]]s, with only a few untainted humans remaining. The Terminators, whose duty and honour required the extermination of the genestealers, prepared themselves for battle. Because the odds of their success were nearly non-existent, the Terminators engaged in their native death ritual. Instead of anointing their skin with white ash, they anointed their armour. The Terminators cleansed the world and rescued the enslaved populace, and in honour of those few Terminators, their armour was ever after white. Meanwhile, the Dark Angels leadership, the Inner Circle, recognized the folly of relying upon one planet for manpower and so diversified their recruiting grounds.<sup>3</sup>
  
 
===The Deathwing===
 
===The Deathwing===

Revision as of 09:00, 1 May 2011

The Dark Angels were one of the twenty original Space Marine Legion. Their Primarch is Lion El'Jonson. This loyal legion was later re-organized and divided into several Chapters according to the Codex Astartes. One of them would keep the original name and assets.

Basic Information

Marine Basic Data Chapter Symbol
DarkAngel.jpg
- Dark Angels -
Legion Number: I
Primarch: Lion El'Jonson
Chapter Master: Azrael
Homeworld: Caliban (destroyed)
Fortress-Monastery: The Rock
Known Descendants: Angels of Absolution, Angels of Redemption, Angels of Vengeance, Guardians of the Covenant, Consecrators, Disciples of Caliban
Colours: Pre-Heresy: Black and white

Post-Heresy: Dark green, black and red; Deathwing: Bone colour with green and red trim;

Ravenwing: Black and white
Specialty: Deathwing: Terminator veterans and hunting the Fallen.
Ravenwing: Fast attack
Battle Cry: Repent! For tomorrow you die!1
Darkangelslogo.png
Miniature
DA new marine.jpg


History

The Great Crusade

Pre-Heresy Dark Angels Space Marine with jump-pack

The Dark Angels have the honour of being the first Legion created by The Emperor. Like the other Primarchs, Lion El'Jonson was lost while he was still in his infancy. He later turned up on the distant planet of Caliban, which bore some resemblance to early medieval Terra. Luther, who discovered El'Jonson and prevented his death at the hands of his fellow knights, was a member of the Order, an organization of knights, and the two become close friends. The Primarch eventually became the leader of the Order and the whole of Caliban.

Meanwhile, unknown to the people of Caliban, the Emperor was waging his Great Crusade across the galaxy, reuniting humanity and purging entire star systems of their alien oppressors. As the Imperium's wave of conquest advanced across the galaxy, Imperial scouts rediscovered the isolated world of Caliban. It was not long before the Emperor was at last reunited with El'Jonson and was filled with joy as would be a father on finding his lost son. The Emperor's first action was to give Lion El'Jonson control of his 1st Legion. This legion of Space Marines had been created by the Emperor from its Primarch's DNA samples and had fought alongside the other Imperial forces as the Great Crusade was waged across the galaxy.1

The 1st Legion was thereafter termed the Dark Angels, in reference to a Caliban legend that told of great, righteous heroes who held back monsters. Announced by the Primarch, the connotation was in fact first drawn by Luther, who quoted a section from the legend upon first seeing Astartes descending using jump-packs: "And the angels of darkness descended upon pinions of fire and light...the great and terrible dark angels."2

Caliban was made the homeworld of the Dark Angels and the whole of the Order moved to join the ranks of the Astartes. Those knights who were still young enough had the Legion's gene seed implanted within them. Those too old for this process underwent surgery to transform them into elite warriors of the Imperium. Although they were not full Space Marines, their enhancements granted them special abilities and a lifespan beyond those of normal men. The first to be brought into the Legion in this way was Luther, who became Jonson's second-in-command, just as he always had been within the Order. However, the Dark Angel's contributions to the Great Crusade had barely begun when the Lion sent Luther and a small contingent of Dark Angels back to Caliban, purportedly to garrison the world and increase the speed and quality of the training given to the Legion's recruits. Whatever the reason, the force sent back felt disgraced and rejected.2

The Great Crusade, had to go on: there were countless human worlds that were still under the influence of Chaos or suppressed by the harsh rule of alien races. So it was that Jonson and many of the Dark Angels continued on the Emperor's Crusade for the reunification of humanity while Luther was left behind in charge of the remainder of the Legion on Caliban. Despite the importance of Luther's position, it was not one that suited his ambitious personality.

Lion El'Jonson and his Legion performed well during the Great Crusade, although during a particular battle, he and Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves Legion, came to blows over the latter's action during the siege of the Crimson Fortress. This event began a feud which still continues strong in the 41st millennium, usually taking the form of a ritualistic duel between two elected champions, although it has been known to manifest itself in a very violent manner.

As Jonson's fame spread throughout the galaxy and reports of his great deeds and prowess in battle reached the Legion's home world, Luther felt robbed of his share of the glory. He wanted the fame and recognition that he felt he deserved as Jonson's equal. His role as planetary governor of some half-forgotten backwater world seemed more and more to him like an insult. The seed of jealousy and dissension that had been planted within Luther when Jonson was made the Grand Master of the Order now began to grow and rankle within his heart as the Primarch became more and more celebrated and famous.1

The Horus Heresy

Heresy-era Dark Angels

During the Horus Heresy, the Dark Angels were far from Terra, campaigning on the shield worlds, and were unable to participate directly in the events taking place there. Warmaster Horus ordered the Night Lords to intercept them on the Eastern Fringe and stop them from aiding the Emperor, but the Dark Angels were eventually able to set course for Terra after the siege began. Their impending arrival, closely following that of the Ultramarines and Space Wolves legions, (who had overcome similar obstacles), forced Horus to gamble everything on a duel with the Emperor, his former master. Horus was defeated by the Emperor, although the Emperor himself was fatally wounded and had to be entombed within the life-preserving mechanism of the Golden Throne. El'Jonson was stricken with grief over the fact that he had not been able to protect the Emperor against Horus.

After the Heresy, the Dark Angels helped restore order to the Imperium. However, during this time, the Dark Angels who had been left behind on Caliban became agitated at being forced to essentially babysit a backwater planet. This led to the leader of the garrison, Luther, turning to the dark gods of Chaos, who had just been defeated with the death of their champion Horus during the Heresy.

The Great Betrayal

Dark Angels Space Marine, original colours

The Dark Angels returned to Caliban after the war, but they were fired upon by the planetary defences. They were forced to assault their own homeworld, where they found that their brethren had betrayed them. In a duel which mirrored that of the Emperor and Horus, Luther and Lion El'Jonson fought, resulting in Luther mortally wounding his former friend. Luther went insane upon realizing he had struck down his close friend and was captured. In a fit of rage at being defeated once again, the Chaos Gods opened a warp rift in the planet which scattered the traitorous "Fallen Angels" throughout the galaxy.1 One of the "Fallen Angels" who escaped is Cypher, who reportedly took with him the Lion Blade, the sword of El'Jonson, when he was sent through the warp.

The Dark Angel space fleet also bombarded the planet mercilessly, and this caused the structure of the planet to collapse. The bombardment, combined with the newly formed warp rift, broke the planet up and it is now an asteroid field.

This betrayal has tainted their honour in the eyes of the Dark Angels themselves. Given that the event was purely within the Legion itself, and was on a world far from Terra, nobody outside of the Legion knows it occurred. Within the Chapters itself, only the elite veterans are permitted this knowledge - in the modern Dark Angels Chapter, only the Deathwing and senior officers know this secret. The Chapter leadership will go to great lengths to ensure that this knowledge does not reach the Imperium at large, even at times going so far as to disobey direct orders from Inquisitors and cause overly curious individuals to "disappear".

Only the most senior members, known as the Inner Circle, know the greatest secret - that Luther, the great traitor, is still alive and insane, living in a cell deep within the Rock. Lion El'Jonson's body was supposedly never found; Luther claims, in his near-senseless mutterings, that the Lion is near and will return and forgive him. The Lion actually sleeps in the most secret chamber in the rock, his presence known only by the Watchers in the Dark and the Emperor himself, until the time he will awaken and lead his chapter on a new and even greater crusade.

Controversy of 'The Great Betrayal'

In the novel 'Angels of Darkness' by Gav Thorpe, a different version of the events of Caliban is presented. Here it is presented that a Terran Dark Angels 'Chapter Master Astelan' is the one that ordered the planetary defenses to shoot at the returning Dark Angels. This terrible truth is uncovered by the Dark Angels Chaplain Boreas.
This controversy is furthermore reinforced in the novel 'Fallen Angels' by Mike Lee, where Luther is portrayed as the 'savior of Caliban', the betrayal is pictured as a liberation from the empire for the sake of Caliban. Furthermore Astelan is put in charge of Caliban's entire defense.

The Aftermath of Caliban

Caliban was destroyed during the Betrayal, shattered by the warp rift and orbital bombardment. The remains now form a sizeable asteroid field. The largest piece, which survived due to the massive void shields in operation around the largest fortress-monastery, called the Tower of Angels, was hollowed out and became a gigantic spaceship/monastery which is now the home of the Dark Angels. This ship is known simply as The Rock. Sometime after the Betrayal, the Dark Angels changed their primary heraldry colour from black to dark green.

This story of treachery and betrayal is the Dark Angels' secret shame. None know of it other than some of the Dark Angels, their Successor Chapters and, maybe, the Emperor on his Golden Throne. Within the Chapter itself very few Brother-Marines know exactly what happened during those fateful days.

The organisation of the Dark Angels Chapter has been shaped primarily by events in its history. As a result it is different from that of any other. The Chapter is monastic in nature with much time being given over to worship and prayer. There are also many different levels within the Chapter which individuals may gradually rise through. On attaining each level, they find out a little more about the truth behind the Dark Angels' origins. Most Dark Angels themselves know nothing about the beginnings of the Chapter. It is only those at the very top who have learned the whole truth.

The bulk of the Dark Angels Chapter is organised along strict Codex lines, as laid down in the Codex Astartes. However, the First Company and the Second Company both have special organisations. The Second Company is known as the Ravenwing, and is trained as a special mobile formation equipped completely with either bikes or land speeders.

The First Company is the famous Deathwing, and although it appears superficially to be the same as any other Chapter's First Company, it is actually a highly specialised formation. It is only when Dark Angels reach the Deathwing that they learn the story of Luther's betrayal. More terrible still they learn that many of the Dark Angels that followed Luther are still alive. These damned warriors are known as the Fallen Angels, or simply "the Fallen", and it is the eradication of this stain on the Chapter's honour which drives and motivates the Chapter to this day. As long as still one of the Fallen stays alive, the honour of the Chapter will never be restored. Even within the Deathwing company there are various levels of admission, and with these come gradually increasing levels of knowledge.

The Fallen Dark Angels

In the eyes of the Dark Angels Space Marines, the only way that they can rid themselves totally of their shame, and restore their honour and trust in the Emperor's eyes, is if all the Fallen are found and are either made to repent or slain. However, since the Fallen were cast through the warp to all corners of space and time, this is no mean task for the Dark Angels to achieve. Unlike the Inquisitors and Grey Knights of the Imperium, whose role it is to root out the agents of Chaos at work within the galaxy, in this regard the Dark Angels are only concerned with finding the Fallen of their Chapter. Although the Dark Angels will be called upon for many different missions for the Imperium, the search for their Fallen comrades is a constant quest that they can never relinquish.

Not all of the Dark Angels' damned brethren have succumbed to the power of Chaos to the same degree. Some of the Fallen have embraced the ways of the Dark Gods totally, becoming true Chaos Space Marines. These Fallen do not belong to a warband or Legion of their own, like Angron's World Eaters. Instead they are dispersed throughout space and time as either isolated individuals or in small bands.

However, most of the Fallen realise that their actions prior to the fall of Caliban were wrong. Disgusted by the corrupting influence of the Chaos gods, and unable to reconcile themselves with their order, they lead a solitary existence. Many of them become mercenaries or pirates, roaming the galaxy as master-less men. Others are willing to atone for their sins and in an attempt to do so have integrated themselves back into human societies taking on the role of any ordinary person. This only makes the Dark Angels' task of finding the Fallen much more difficult, as they are not easy to identify as such. But it is still the Dark Angels' duty to try and track them down. In order to do so, they investigate any rumour or story relating to the Fallen in case it should lead them to one of their corrupted brethren.

The Dark Angels can go for years without hearing any rumours that might lead them to one or more of the Fallen. When they do, however, and their mission is a success, those Fallen that are captured are taken back to the Fortress-Monastery. Deep inside its dungeons, Interrogator-Chaplains attempt to make the Fallen repent. Occasionally they do, and in return for their confession their deaths are made quick and painless. More often than not, though, the captured Fallen refuse to acknowledge their wrongdoing, and so their souls are purified by extreme suffering, before an agonising death at the hands of the Interrogator-Chaplains.

Organisation

A Dark Angel

To outside observers, the Dark Angels seem to follow the Astartes organization. It is in the organization of the Dark Angels' higher levels that the chapter deviates from the dictates of the Codex Astartes. At the highest level of the Chapter is the Inner Circle, which consists of a number of officers who stand apart from the company organization, and include the Chapter's Librarians and Interrogator-Chaplains. Companies are each led by a Master, who is part of the Inner Circle. The first two companies are uniquely organized. The first company is called the Deathwing which fights exclusively in Terminator armour. The second is the Ravenwing, which is a formation consisting entirely of fast and highly mobile units such as bike and Land Speeder squadrons. The remainder of the Chapter is organized along Codex lines.

Headquarters

The ruins of Caliban are located in the Cadian sector, close to the Eye of Terror. Prior to the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy, the planet of Caliban was covered with lush forests inhabited by creatures warped by Chaos. The humans of the planet were a proud, martial people forced to live in great fortress monasteries of stone.

The Dark Angels rebuilt their fortress-monastery on the asteroid that had borne the old one, drilling deep into the bedrock and rebuilding the ruins. The new fortress is known officially as The Tower of Angels, but is more commonly referred to as The Rock. The Rock has been equipped with warp engines, enabling faster-than-light transit through the Immaterium.1

The warrens beneath The Rock are where the Dark Angels bring their fallen brethren to be redeemed by their Interrogator-Chaplains. It is believed by the Inquisition to hold many other secrets. One such secret is known only to the Inner Circle: Luther is still alive, imprisoned within the deepest cavern of The Rock, where he still insanely mutters that one day, El'Jonson will return and forgive him. That day, so the madman said to current Supreme Grand Master Azrael, is almost at hand.[Needs Citation]

However, even this pales in comparison to the greatest secret held by the Dark Angels. This secret is known only to the Watchers in the Dark, and to the Emperor himself. Deep within the bedrock of the asteroid which is their home there is a solitary chamber. In this chamber, attended to by the Watchers in the Dark, lies the sleeping form of Lion El'Jonson.[Needs Citation]

Recruitment

Deathwing Terminator

As the Dark Angels are no longer based on an actual world, they draw their recruits from a variety of planets, mainly highly primitive worlds. One of these worlds is the feral world Kimmeria, from which Azrael himself was recruited. Representatives of the Dark Angels visit each recruiting world once within a normal human's lifetime, and take the strongest juveniles from the population. Each recruit is thoroughly screened, and from the moment he is accepted into the Chapter as a Space Marine his past becomes irrelevant.1

After the Heresy, the Dark Angels recruited from a single planet (known as the Plains World) whose inhabitants resembled Native Americans. Sometime before the 41st Millennium a group of returning Deathwing found that their planet had been overrun fifty years earlier by Genestealers, with only a few untainted humans remaining. The Terminators, whose duty and honour required the extermination of the genestealers, prepared themselves for battle. Because the odds of their success were nearly non-existent, the Terminators engaged in their native death ritual. Instead of anointing their skin with white ash, they anointed their armour. The Terminators cleansed the world and rescued the enslaved populace, and in honour of those few Terminators, their armour was ever after white. Meanwhile, the Dark Angels leadership, the Inner Circle, recognized the folly of relying upon one planet for manpower and so diversified their recruiting grounds.3

The Deathwing

See main article: Deathwing

The First Company of the Dark Angels is the Deathwing. It includes 20 Terminator Squads, several Dreadnoughts and Land Raiders. Its command staff includes the Deathwing Master Belial, a Chaplain, an Apothecary and a Standard Bearer.

The Ravenwing

See main article: Ravenwing

The Second Company of the Dark Angels is the Ravenwing. It includes Attack Bikes, Land Speeders, and Bikes. Its command staff includes the Ravenwing Master Sammael, a Chaplain, an Apothecary, and a Standard Bearer.

Codex Companies (3rd - 10th)

  • Battle Companies (3rd, 4th, and 5th): Organized into 6 Tactical Squads, 2 Assault Squads, 2 Devastator Squads, as well as possessing Rhinos and Dreadnoughts.
  • Reserve Companies: Organized in this manner; 6th and 7th Company: 10 Tactical Squads; 8th Company: 10 Assault Squads; 9th Company: 10 Devastator Squads.
  • 10th (Scout) Company: includes the regular command staff and Scout squads.
  • Command Staff: Each company includes a Company Master (rank equivalent to a Captain), Chaplain, Apothecary, and Standard Bearer (No Standard Bearer for the Scout Company). Each Master is responsible for a particular area of the Chapter's logistics.

Noted Elements of the Dark Angels

Vessels

Notable Members

Heresy Era
Post Heresy

Notable Fallen Angels

Notable Battles and Campaigns

Sources

See also