|This article is about the Dark Angels/ Unforgiven Chapters Terminators. For other uses of Deathwing, see Deathwing (disambiguation).|
The Deathwing is the First Company of the Dark Angels Space Marines Chapter. The Deathwing (and the chapter's second company, the Ravenwing) are not part of the standard Codex Astartes structure system, although the remaining companies of the chapter do adhere to the Codex. The Dark Angels' successor Chapters (collectively known as the Unforgiven) also have similar formations, although they are not referred to by the same title. The Deathwing is an honored position within all Unforgiven Chapters, and only upon ascension to the Deathwing can one eventually be admitted to the Inner Circle. The Current Master of the Deathwing is Belial.
The Deathwing formed mainly from the remains of the Host of Crowns of the Unification and Great Crusade-era First Legion. This Host was famed for its line breaking and marksmen abilities, and those of its Inner Circle who survived an infamous swore oaths that no member of the wing would ever leave the field of battle in the hands of the enemy, accepting death over dishonor or retreat. During the Horus Heresy they acted as a special operations unit specializing in not only line-breaking but also as elite veteran infantry and honor guards.
Today, the Deathwing is unique among the Space Marine chapters in that the entire company fights exclusively in Terminator armour. The company's armour is a bone white colour, rather than the dark green of the majority of the Chapter, or the black of the original Legion . This alteration of the color scheme applies only to the Dark Angels, not to their successor Chapters. The Deathwing's insignia is a variation of winged sword worn by the rest of the Chapter - the blade of the sword is depicted as being broken in Deathwing iconography. More so even than the regular Dark Angels, the Deathwing are notoriously stubborn and resistant, refusing to buckle under extreme pressure from enemy advances, even when it would be more advantageous to retreat.[Needs Citation]
The Deathwing is not solely a tactical formation - promotion to the Deathwing also means that an individual is bestowed many of the darkest secrets of the Chapter. The most closely guarded of these secrets is that of the betrayal of Luther and the Fallen, and the subsequent fate of their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson.
When a battle-brother is being considered for a place in the Deathwing, it is standard procedure for them to be judged by the Grand Master of the Librarius, who determines if they are worthy of ascension.
The Deathwing itself contains multiple specialized sub-formations, such as Deathwing Command Squads and the dreaded Deathwing Knights, who comprise the elite of this already veteran Company. As of the Era Indomitus, it has also come to include Primaris Bladeguard Veterans.
The Deathwing's unique white colour scheme was originally described as being a mark of remembrance for a lone squad of Dark Angel Terminators who freed a recruitment world from a Genestealer infestation and slew a Broodlord that had terrorized the Galaxy. As they did not expect to survive such a confrontation, they painted their armour white in preparation for their deaths. In the end the Deathwing triumphed and a vital part of the Dark Angels' heritage was saved. Later accounts portray this story (which is known as "The Tale of Two Heads Talking") as being one of a main legends that were told to young members of the Chapter. Other famous tales include the "Scouring of the Space Hulk Place of Fears", "Fall of the House of Pervigilium", the "Wisper in the Gloom" and "Vengeance of Beleagerest" amongst a lot of other. These stories tell about self-sacrifice and overwhelming odds so instil in every Dark Angel a zealous drive to right ancient wrongs and seek out the enemy no matter where he might hide. As they progress through the Chapter's ranks such preparing helps a Dark Angels to know the ultimate true about the dark past of their Chapter.
Notable members of the Deathwing
- Holguin — Deathbringer, Voted-Lieutenant of the Deathwing during the Horus Heresy
- Idravain Mors[11a]
- Belial — Current Grand Master of the Deathwing
- Gabriel — Previous Grand Master
- Lanval — Grand Master in 939.M41
- Azrael — Grand Master until 939.M41, current Supreme Grand Master
- Bartholomew — First Grand Master of the Deathwing
- Sachael — Grand Master in 544.M32
- Apharan - Primaris Space Marine
- 1: Codex: Dark Angels (3rd Edition)[Needs Citation]
- 2: Deathwing (Short Story)
- 3: Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pg. 16
- 4: Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pgs. 30–31
- 5: Azrael (Novel)
- 6: Angels of Caliban (Novel), Chapter 3
- 7: The Eye of Ezekiel (Novel), Chapter Three
- 8: White Dwarf September 2019 - Index Astartes: Dark Angels
- 9: Warhammer Community: The Road to Thramas – Part 4: Marvellous Minders (posted March 2 2020) (last accessed 3/7/2020)
- 10: Warhammer Community: Faction Focus: Dark Angels (posted 7/3/2020) (last accessed 7/4/2020)
- 11: The Horus Heresy Book Nine pg.104-105
- 11a: pg.124
- 12: Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition) pg.42
- 13: White Dwarf 127 (UK) pg.56