Though of an unclear Founding, the Angels Resplendent were founded in M34, putting them around the 8th or 9th Founding. Like many of the less bloodthirsty successors of the Blood Angels, the Angels Resplendent practiced a wide variety of artistic endeavours alongside their martial practice and training. It was common, almost expected, for brothers to be artists when not on campaign, with emphasis placed on painting, sculpting, and calligraphy. As each marine was expected to partake in some form of artistic expression, the action itself became semi-meditative and the marines often found themselves mentally grounded and secured by creating art. As a result, for several thousand years, they fielded little-to-no Death Company and it was believed the ritual act of creation helped the body and mind of the brothers.
At some point during M41, Chapter Master Varzival took the 1st Company, the majority of the Librarians and many of the senior Chapter officers on a great crusade across the Imperium. During this time, the Chapter was left in the hands of the Chaplains and that is when the chapter changed forever. A stranger washed up on the shores of a river near the Chapter's Fortress Monastery, a tall and whip-cord thin man with a deep stomach scar and glowing eyes. The stranger was brought before the Chaplains and over the course of weeks and months he explained that the Chapter was hiding from the legacy of Sanguinius. The Chaplains would eventually his Lethean Revelation, declaring the man a prophet of the Emperor and that the Angels Resplendent were no more.
This led to a bloody if brief civil war, where several remaining Captains and all of the remaining Librarians were murdered by their brothers in a massacre within the Librarius. The gathered Librarians were set upon by a horde of their brothers whipped into a frenzy by the Chaplains' rhetoric. Faced with this they did not fight back, instead stopping the horde of murderous Angels Resplendent with the battle-cry of their Chapter, "We shall rise on burning wings!" For a moment it appeared as if it would work, until Chaplain Malvoisin stepped forward and shouted the new cry of the Angels Penitent, "The Emperor Condemns!" The Librarians were all killed. The Chapter Librarius was set on fire, and all great works of art in the Monastery and on the planet were broken. The Chaplains declared themselves to be the ruling council of the Chapter, known forever as the Council of Thorns.[Needs Citation]
The Angels Resplendent became the Angels Penitent, with brothers practicing extreme forms of self-mutilation and denial. All forms of artistic expression were banned on pain of death, and brothers were encouraged to betray one another to the Council for breaches of new Chapter dogma. Subsequently, the number of Death Company marines skyrocketed, to the point that several hundred marines are under the effects of the Black Rage and Red Thirst. It even became common for Scouts to suffer these genetic curses and the Chapter stands on the brink of extinction.
It is hoped by some who hold to the old ways in secret within the Chapter that Varzival will return and reclaim the Chapter, but it has been many hundreds of years. The unnamed Prophet still stands as ruler of the Council of Thorns along with Chaplain Malvoisin and has declared Varzival and the 1st Company dead, or worse, heretics. It is suspected by some within the Chapter that the unnamed Prophet is of Chaos origin, and that he had bewitched the Chaplains.
The Angels Resplendent were renowned for their skills in painting and sculpting, a trait inherited from their founding Chapter. However, after becoming the Angels Penitent, they began to punish any form of artistic expression with execution.
As the Angels Penitent, the Chapter wear the black of the Death Company with white lines, mirroring vines with thorns, snaking across their armour. Their symbol has become a skull with a crown of thorns.
- Varzival Czervantes — Chapter Magister.
- Athanazius — Chief Librarian.
- Satori — Architect Radiant.[4b]
- Relian — Reclusiarch.[Needs Citation]
- Icharos Malvoisin — Chaplain.
- Bjargo Rathana — Chaplain Castigant.
- Montaig — Sergeant.
- Undying Martyr — Spiritual Leader.
- In Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters, the Angels Resplendent and Angels Penitent were shown as different chapters with their own colours and badges.[6a][6b]
- 1: Chapter Approved 2001, pg. 117
- 2: The Crown of Thorns (Short Story)
- 3: The Thirteenth Psalm (Short Story)
- 4: The Reverie (Novel):
- 5: Codex Supplement: Blood Angels (9th Edition), pg. 31 — Successor Chapters
- 6: Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters: