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Death Company

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The Death Company's sigil.

The Death Company is a special unit unique to the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters, consisting of former Battle-Brothers who have succumbed to the Black Rage.


Overview

Warrior of the Death Company

On the eve of battle, the Blood Angels pray and remember the sacrifice of their primarch Sanguinius while the Chaplains bless and study each battle-brother for signs of the Black Rage. Those who collapse into the Chaplains' arms during the chanting of the moripatris are taken away to form the Death Company. Their Power Armour is repainted black with a blood red saltire symbolizing the wounds of Sanguinius and hung with devotional scrolls and records of honours earned before the madness took them. From this point on, these battle-brothers are considered dead men walking.[1a]

It is known that before the battle members of the Death Company gain access to the Chapter armoury so they may fight their last fighting with a weapon of their choice.[3]

Consumed by the Black Rage, the Death Company fights without fear, heedless of the quality of their opposition or the wounds they suffer. Under the watchful eye of their Death Company Chaplains, the Death Company fights terrible odds to claim one last honour for the Chapter. Many of the Blood Angels' finest victories have come after the Death Company devastated the enemy forces. The Death Company's fearsome reputation has even spread to worlds that have not seen the Blood Angels in battle.[1a]

Those few members of the Death Company who survive an engagement usually perish shortly after, either from their wounds or by the hand of the Redeemer of the Lost. Since the Red Thirst inevitably follows the Black Rage, the Chapter considers it a better fate than turning into a mindless flesh-hungry beast.[1a]

Initially, it was thought that the new Primaris Space Marines were more resistant to the Black Rage. However this is not the case, and multiple Primaris Marines have now succumb. They too have been put into the Death Company, organized into Intercessor Squads.[5]

Origins

The advent of the Black Rage is associated with the end of the Horus Heresy, caused by the psychic shock felt by every Blood Angel when Sanguinius died at the hands of Horus.[1x] Prior to then, the Red Thirst was a rare but dreaded phenomenon, known only to Sanguinius and some members of his inner circle, including First Captain Raldoron, Sanguinary Guard Commander Azkaellon, High Warden Dahka Berus, and the Legion's Master Apothecary on Baal. On the rare occasions when a Battle Brother was lost to the Thirst, his armour's company markings were blotted out by black paint, and his geneseed was removed for analysis, rather than being returned to the Legion's stores.[2]

After Brother Alatros succumbed to the Thirst on Melchior, forcing Sanguinius to execute him, Raldoron applied the paint himself, swore the Apothecary, Meros, who had removed his geneseed, to total secrecy, and remarked to the corpse, "you are in the company of death. I hope you will find peace there."[2]

Variants

The Angels Encarmine colour their Death Company in alabaster white with black backpacks.[1b] While it has been stated that the Flesh Tearers' Death Company follow the same colour schemes as the Blood Angels'[1b], their Death Company have been shown coloured pale grey with red helmets, backpacks and pauldrons.[7] The Lamentors, who for a long time did not suffer from the Black Rage, have been shown painting their Death Company in quartered black and yellow colours.[8]

Angels Numinous are known to have little regard for their Battle Brothers afflicted with the Black Rage[8], as the Chapter believes that only the weak fall into its embrace. As a result of this, the Angels Numinous refuse to honour their Death Companies, as the Blood Angels do, and instead consider them to be nothing, but a shameful embarrassment to their pure and noble Chapter[9]. When the Angels Numinous go to battle, the Death Companies are hurled into the fray with no concern for their lives and are simply used as a blunt instrument to break enemy front lines.[8]

Within the Angels Sanguine, the brothers who enter the Black Rage are strapped to the Tablet of Lestrallio, in the Chapter's Fortress Monastery. Those who regain their senses are presented with the Shroud of Lemartes, as a symbol of their mastery of the Black Rage.[10]

Notable members of the Death Company

Images

Sources


Blood Angels Forces
Command Captain (Primaris CaptainDeath Company Captain) • Lieutenant (Primaris LieutenantVanguard LieutenantDeath Company Lieutenant) • Sanguinary Priest (Sanguinary Novitiate) • Librarian (Primaris LibrarianVanguard Librarian) • Chaplain (Primaris ChaplainDeath Company ChaplainJudiciar) • Techmarine (Primaris Techmarine) • Primaris ApothecaryChapter AncientCompany AncientChapter ChampionCompany Champion
Veterans Sanguinary Guard (Sanguinary Ancient) • Terminator (Assault Terminator) • Vanguard VeteranSternguard VeteranBladeguard VeteranCompany VeteranVeteran Intercessor
Battleline Intercessor (Heavy Intercessor) • Death CompanyTactical SquadInfiltrator
Close Support Assault SquadAssault IntercessorInceptorReiverIncursorAssault CenturionOutrider
Fire Support AggressorDevastatorHellblasterEradicatorEliminatorSuppressorCenturion
Scouts Scout
Dreadnoughts DreadnoughtContemptor DreadnoughtRedemptor DreadnoughtFurioso DreadnoughtDeath Company DreadnoughtLibrarian Dreadnought
Vehicles InvictorBike (Attack BikeScout Bike) • InvaderLand Speeder (Storm) • Storm SpeederRhinoRazorbackImpulsorPredator (Baal Predator) • GladiatorRepulsor (Executioner) • Land Raider (CrusaderRedeemerAngel Infernus) • WhirlwindVindicatorHunterStalker
Aircraft StormravenStormhawkStormtalonStorm EagleThunderhawkDrop Pod
Special Characters DanteAstorathMephistonTychoThe SanguinorCorbuloLemartesKarlaen