Knights of Blood (Chapter)
|This article is about the renegade Chapter; for the Chaos Space Marine warband, see Knights of Blood (Warband).
A Successor Chapter to the Blood Angels, the Knights of Blood were a Renegade Space Marine Chapter. Although their frenzied warriors were dangerous to both friend and foe alike, they still purged the galaxy of the Imperium's enemies.[1a] They have since been largely destroyed and are now a Lost Chapter.
The Knights of Blood Chapter suffered from the Black Rage and the Red Thirst, like the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters and this ultimately proved to be their downfall. After the number of their Battle Brothers falling to the Chapter's Gene-seed curses, constantly increased. In their desperation to stop this, the Knights of Blood gave into the Red Thirst and by feasting on the blood of the innocent, the Chapter was able to stop their decline. While this helped for awhile, it damned the Knights of Blood in the end, as their consumption of blood caused them to begin physically mutating. The Chapter soon developed red skin, yellow eyes and sharp elongated teeth that crowded their mouths. After it was done, the Knights learned they now looked similar to the heavily corrupted Blood Angels, kept in the Tower of Amareo on Baal and that only feasting on blood kept the Black Rage from consuming them. Knowing that that they would be exterminated if their condition was discovered, the Knights decided that from then on they would only fight alone. No more would the Chapter fight beside other Imperials, including any of the Sanguinary Brotherhood.[5b]
The Knights started a galactic crusade to purge the foes of the Imperium, but committed so many excesses in the course of it that they were declared renegades by the High Lords of Terra in the beginning of M41[Needs Citation]. As such they kept their distance from any allies, to protect those allies from both the Inquisition and their own deficiencies. Some chapters ignore this decree, refusing to accept any declaration of renegade status from any other than a Space Marine, but other chapters are extremely zealous in prosecuting outcasts. There have been rumors of the presence of the Knights of Blood operating in the Jericho Reach for several years, but they have never appeared on any officially sanctioned order of battle, and as far as can be ascertained, no communications have been exchanged between them and the Achilus Crusade's high command.
During the Devastation of Baal, the Knights of Blood arrived on Baal to aid the Blood Angels against the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan. They were welcomed as allies despite their status as a Renegade Chapter and were among the Successor Chapters that defended Baal Primus during the Hive Fleet's invasion. This included the Flesh Tearers and this caused the Knights' Firstblade, Sentor Jool, to change the Knights long-held policy of not fighting beside other Imperials. As they too had an ill-reputation for similar reasons, Jool felt sure that the Flesh Tearers would understand what had befallen the Knights[5b]. Under the command of the Flesh Tearers' Chapter Master, Gabriel Seth, the Knights aided their fellow Successor Chapter in destroying numerous waves of Tyranids, until the Great Rift was created and a Warp Rift opened on Baal Primus. From its depths emerged the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha and the Daemon legions of Khorne, which fell upon both the Tyranids and Space Marines. Seth had earlier ordered for their forces to evacuate to Baal before they were overwhelmed, but Ka'Bandha's appearance had doomed the Knights. They were now deep within the thralls of the Black Rage and only Jool was able to control himself, due in thanks to being near the Reliquary of Amit, that Seth carried with him. With time short, the Firstblade explained how the Knights fell and how they could not escape to Baal due to their corrupted appearance and now being firmly in the grips of the Black Rage.[5b]
Jool thought Ka'Bandha was likely trying to corrupt the Knights to Khorne's will, as other Daemons had tried, but he vowed that would not happen. Instead the Knights would sacrifice themselves against the daemonic hordes and Tyranids, both in penitence for their sins and so that the Flesh Tearers could escape Baal Primus. The Firstblade then asked Seth to remember him and his Chapter and to strive to ensure the Flesh Tearers never suffer the Knights of Blood's fate. With that, Jool joined his Chapter in charging against their foes[5b]. Their sacrifice allowed the other Successor Chapters to escape from Baal Primus and the few surviving Knights of Blood were last seen by their brethren still fighting, but now fully enveloped by the madness of the Black Rage.
The Daemons would later disappear back into the Warp and the Hive Fleet was defeated with the arrival of Lord Commander Guilliman's Indomitus Crusade. In the battle's aftermath, Seth met with Commander Dante about the fate of his Chapter, the Flesh Tearers. Seeing the Knights of Blood being consumed by their Gene-seed's curses, led Seth to believe the Flesh Tearers would suffer the same fate. Dante disagreed, as they were able to pull themselves away from fighting Ka'Bandha and did not fall into mindless rage like the Knights of Blood had. Seth claimed, though, that the Knights saw themselves as too corrupted to return with the Flesh Tearers to Baal and had instead decided to sacrifice themselves for the other escaping Successor Chapters. He insisted that despite Dante's feelings towards them, the Knights had in their last moments chosen a clean end to their Chapter's corrupted bloodline. Seth regretted that the few remaining Flesh Tearers would not have that option, before they too fell to their Gene-seed's curses.[5c]
Dante revealed, though, that Lord Commander Guilliman had brought reinforcements to the Blood Angels and their Successors, in the form of the new Primaris Space Marines. He believed these new warriors miraculously did not suffer from the Red Thirst and Black Rage, as the depleted Sanguinary Brotherhood still did. Now with the Primaris' pure Gene-seed, Dante remarked, Seth could safely rebuild the Flesh Tearers and stave off any chance of their extinction. When Seth asked if the Knights of Blood could be reborn using the Primaris Space Marines as well, however, Dante refused to do so. He claimed the Knights' name was too cursed to be resurrected and the Imperium should remember the Chapter for their final heroic act on Baal Primus instead.[5c]
- Ousten Galael — First Chapter Master[5a]
- Sentor Jool — Firstblade during the Devastation of Baal[5a]
- 1: Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 54
- 2: Blood Angels Successor Chapters (Accessed 2010.06.03)
- 3: Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, pg. 65
- 4: Codex: Tyranids (8th Edition), pg. 29 — The Battle of Baal
- 5: The Devastation of Baal (Novel)