|This article is about the Raven Guard Successor Chapter. For other uses of Raptor, see Raptor (disambiguation).
The Raptors are a Successor Chapter of the Raven Guard, created in the Second Founding. They are famous for their exceptional survival abilities, and extremely skilled in guerrilla warfare and infiltration operations.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable Engagements
- 3 Known campaigns
- 4 Homeworld
- 5 Gene-seed
- 6 Organization
- 7 Noted Elements of the Raptors
- 8 Images
- 9 Trivia
- 10 See also
- 11 Sources
As many records of the Chapter's history are lost, the Raptors' exact origins are unclear. It is generally accepted that the Chapter is descended from the Raven Guard and was one of the first new Space Marine Chapters created during the Second Founding in M31. According to one widely believed theory, the Raptors originated as a Raven Guard Legion company of new initiates training on Deliverance at the time of the Drop Site Massacre. This company was subsequently sent against the followers of Horus in remote parts of the Galaxy, thus diverging from the rest of the Raven Guard. Having distinguished itself in the civil war, the company was subsequently reorganized as a Chapter amid the reforms initiated by the Codex Astartes. The fledgling Raptors then began their service to the Imperium as a fleet based Chapter hunting down the forces of the Traitor Legions in the Great Scouring.
Several centuries after their founding, the Raptors were granted a homeworld on the edge of the Eye of Terror, the name of which was lost in the passage of time. Sometime between M34 and M36, the Raptors' original homeworld was believed to have been destroyed some time during the 4th or 5th Black Crusade. In M37, Imperial records listed the Chapter as destroyed or missing in action; the Raptors disappeared for the next two thousand years.
In early M39, the Raptors suddenly reappeared on the Imperial order of battle during the Caberiad Wars at full chapter strength. By then, they were based on a new homeworld, Tarrengast, within the Sutters Spiral Nebula. However, the Raptors did not not reveal their new homeworld's exact location or name to any outsiders, including other Imperials.[8a]
In 701.M36 at the direct request of Segmentum High Command, the Raptors blockaded the Origo System. As a result all of the system's population disappeared. It remains a mystery what happened there and a dozen highly ranked Lord Inquisitors, in particular of the Ordo Xenos, have vanished in attempts to determine the truth.
775.M41-777.M41 (Fourth Quadrant Rebellion): The Raptors, along with the Dark Angels, Skull Bearers and Red Wolves are called upon to pacify the Fourth Quadrant and help quell the largest civil war the Imperium has seen in one thousand years. During their three-year involvement the Raptors fight alongside elements of Battlefleet Solar focusing on the Sulsalid Sub-sector where several Imperial taskforces have been unsuccessful at stamping out the ideas of "progress" and "democracy" which have taken root at the sub-sector capital Auranar. The Raptors take command of the Imperial Guard units and make use of them as diversions for the many precision strikes against the enemy's command and supply infrastructure. With the enemy forces in disarray following these strikes the Imperial Guard are able to overwhelm the majority of traitor units while the Raptors assault the sky-palaces of the Sulsalid Ordinators, mercilessly killing them and thus ending the revolt within the Sulsalid Sub-sector. It is worth noting that during this action the Raptors fought at full chapter strength, something unusual for the often independently operating companies.
906.M41: The Raptors answer Inquisitor Legate Jarndyce Frain’s call for assistance fighting the Secessionist forces in the Badab Sector. Arriving alongside the Red Scorpions, Fire Angels and Salamanders, the Raptors, led by Lias Issodon himself, deploy their 2nd, 5th and 6th companies bolstered by assault reserves and scouts. The committed fleet elements for the Raptors include the battle barge War Talon, two strike cruisers, the Arias Vex and Shadow Stalker all accompanied by ten Gladius Frigates.[6c]
Offering himself for command of the loyalist Marine forces in the Badab Sector Lias Issodon is passed over and Master Carab Culln of the Red Scorpions is selected. This decision causes no ill will or resentment between the chapters and despite the obvious differences between them, many lasting bonds are formed.[6c]
The Raptors engage in frontline combat duties and act as mobile reserves during the first year and a half of combat in the sector. Of particular note is Operation Sedna wherein tasked with liberating the planet Surngraad, the Raptors devise a cunning plan to assault the polar defence fortress. The successful execution of the plan allows for the Raptors and Salamanders to retake Surngraad. Losses during Operation Sedna include severe damage to the battle barge War Talon, this however does not remove it from the war.[6c]
907.M41: Participating in some of the heaviest fighting of the war takes its toll on the chapter and by year's end it is estimated the Raptors have lost between 35% and 60% of their original fighting force. The worst losses are inflicted during fighting against the Mantis Warriors and Astral Claws in the Gargathea System and include the destruction of the strike cruiser Arias Vex. The losses are not in vain, however, as the Raptors help achieve the eventual victory on Gargathea III, a victory that in no small part is also due to the Raptors' ability to match the Mantis Warriors' tactics of ambush.[6c]
908.M41: Deemed "combat-ineffective" after suffering heavy losses and with the intent of allowing the chapter to rebuild, the Raptors are ordered withdrawn from the war. The Raptors now focus their attentions to the growing wars in the Ultima Segmentum. The Shadow Stalker and a small force do remain in the Maelstrom Zone for some time, however, though the exact reason for this is unknown.[6c]
In 969.M41, while en route to assault the Ork World of Gramnia Major in the Segmentum Solar as part of the crusade against the Arch Maniac of Calverna, the Raptors' ships were thrown off course while in the Warp. When they emerged, the chapter was forced to crash-land their battered ships on the nearest planet, the Death World of Jemadal.
Jemadal is an orb of dense, slimy jungle, stagnant and dank to a suffocating degree and teeming with voracious predators and carnivorous plants. The atmosphere of the planet is so heavily saturated with moisture that the air is literally suffocating. Previous attempts to terraform the planet by the Adeptus Mechanicus had been abandoned centuries before and to survive an hour on Jemadal is an achievement. The world is also infested with predators and each day the Raptors came under attack from swarms of carnivorous beasts and bat-winged creatures that could kill an ordinary man with a single bite.
As the breathable air in the Raptors' armour began to run out and the oxygen supplies dwindled, the Chapter's Techmarines desperately sought a solution. The Techmarines were able to modify the breathing apparatus of the Power Armour's helmets to incorporate an osmotic gill that filtered the oxygen from the heavily moisturised air. This modification proved highly effective and the Raptors were able to subsist on a diet of indigenous plants and fungi.
998.M41 — The constant struggle on Jemadal had transformed the Raptors into jungle warfare specialists, and with the outbreak of the Third War for Armageddon the Chapter and their skills are quickly called upon. Five Companies from the Chapter deploy throughout the equatorial jungle and vapour woods with the Armageddon Ork Hunters and Catachan Jungle Fighters where their deadly jungle warfare skills are put to best use.
998.M41: During the Taros Campaign the Raptors commit a strike force of the 3rd and 6th Companies, led by Captains Orelius and Kaedes, respectively.[4b] The companies are garrisoned abroad the Battle Barge War Talon during the operation.[4a] This force is initially responsible for spearheading the invasion of Taros and neutralising the planetary defences.[4c] During the eventual retreat of all imperial forces from T'ros, the Raptors are tasked with forming the rear guard and ensuring remaining Imperial forces and loyalists are able to flee in relative safety.[4d] While directing his battle-brothers, Captain Kaedes is struck repeatedly in the right arm and upper torso with molten shrapnel. He is later interred in a Dreadnought.[4d]
The Chapter planet's position at the northern edge of Segmentum Solar resulted in them being amongst the first Space Marines to respond to the returned Roboute Guilliman's call. Understanding the Chapters strengths, Guilliman instructed Chapter Master Lias Issodon to provide strike forces for three Crusade Fleets: Primus, Secundus, and Tertius. They proved invaluable in scouting and guerrilla operations as the Crusade set out into the greater Galaxy.
Lieutenant Seranis' strike force acted as the forward scouts for Battle Group Orphaeus of Fleet Primus, combating Eldar Corsairs along the fringes of the Great Rift. During the battle Seranis himself led a boarding action upon the Corsair flagship Valanith, slaying the pirate leader. Meanwhile, the Raptors accompanying Fleet Secundus fought alongside the Black Templars and surprisingly the two forces got along well and proved to compliment one another. While the Black Templars waged direct attacks, the Raptors conducted infiltration, assassination, and sabotage support. During these battles the Raptors earned fame on Dharrovar, infiltrating the facilities of House Mandrakor and eliminating 7 traitor Knight nobles. Fleet Tertius contains the largest Raptors contingent and are under the command of Captain Kassyan of 1st Company. Fighting primarily in Segmentum Solar, they have been engaged in a prolonged conflict with the Crusade of Slaughter and have suffered heavy losses.
As the Chapter wages the Indomitus Crusade, Chapter Master Issodon and his remaining battle-brothers continue to patrol the Sutters Spiral Nebula, responding to calls for aid and conducting punitive operations against Dark Eldar and Chaos Space Marine raiders. Issodon himself has led several disruptive strikes against Orks in the Vordast System.
- M31: Great Scouring
- 701.M36: Origo Blockade — Forces including the Raptors 5th Company are deployed.
- ~M39: Caberiad Wars
- 339-370.M39: Sancta Angelis Campaign — A Raptors taskforce isolated from Imperial support and communication by warp storms conducts a thirty-year campaign against Waaagh! Irongol culminating in the elimination of Warboss Irongol himself, ending the Waaagh! During this deployment the Raptors make use of desert camouflage.[3b]
- 775-780.M41: Fourth Quadrant Rebellion
- 901-912.M41: Badab War[6c]
- 969-976.M41: Jemedal deployment
- 998.M41: Taros Campaign[4b]
- 998.M41-???.M42: Third War for Armageddon
- M42: Octarius War
- M42: Indomitus Crusade
The Raptors are secretive, and they do not reveal to outsiders that their current homeworld is Tarrengast in the Sutter Spiral Nebula.[6a] The Raptors also maintain many more Recruiting Worlds in and around the Sutter Spiral Nebula as well as various secret sites to train their Aspirants. The Chapter also often recruits people from active warzones and newly conquered or liberated worlds; the Chapter's extensive recruitment stems from its high loss rate among its Aspirants and Scouts due to their gene-seed as well as constant combat deployments.
Like their predecessor chapter, the Raptors have a malfunctioning Melanchromic Organ, leading to pale skin and blackened hair. The Mucranoid is likewise missing. Unlike the Raven Guard, however, the Raptors still have a fully functional Betcher's Gland. It is unclear if the gland was somehow recovered or its loss among the Raven Guard occurred after the founding of the Raptors.[8b] The Chapter as a whole expresses a great skill at marksmanship, even by Astartes standards. It is uncertain if this is innate in the gene-seed or a result of superb training.[8c] The Chapter's gene-seed is less stable than that of many other Chapters, resulting in a longer adoption period for Aspirants as well as higher loss rates; combined with the Chapter's regular deployment of Neophytes and Scouts in war zones, this necessitates that the Chapter recruits new members all the time to prevent the Raptors from going extinct.
The Raptors follow their progenitors, the Raven Guard, in adhering to the broad organisational patterns and provisions laid down in the standard Codex Astartes, but as a Chapter, the Raptors see the Codex as a highly effective and proven set of strategic and operational guidelines rather than inviolable dogma to be obeyed without question. As a result, they maintain a high degree of flexibility in their deployments and structures. Each of the companies operates on a largely independent basis, fighting across the breadth of Imperium. It is only in dire situations that multiple companies will fight together.[8c]
Just like their parent Chapter, the Raptors make extensive use of their 10th Company and disperse their Vanguard marines and Scouts amongst their task forces. It is not uncommon for entire Raptors task forces to be composed of Infiltrator, Inceptor, and Reiver squads.
Although ranged hit-and-run tactics seem to be preferred over close quarters fighting, the encouragement of independent thought within all levels of the Chapter means that it is not uncommon for combat methods to differ widely either when operating in isolation or in concert with each other (the former being more common). This independent spirit allows for the most appropriate application of resources and/or tactics for a given mission ranging from the use of warzone specific camouflage to ad hoc unit composition and even working with local forces to ensure success.
Thanks to the Chapter's emphasis on independent thought, Captains and Lieutenants in particular are expected to be able to operate autonomously for extended periods of times, often with scant resources. This has led the Chapter to frequently utilize unorthodox and guerrilla tactics as well as working closely with local forces which they sometimes will take direct command over. The Raptors are known to oversee the creation of ad-hoc mixed units and the use of hand-picked kill teams of brothers equipped for various battlefield roles has become a signature of the Chapter in recent centuries.
Apart from the equipment found within a typical Astartes armoury, the Raptors are known to make extensive use of scouts and also keep a sizeable contingent of all Land Speeder variants and transport vehicles.[[#fn_14 |[14 ]]] The Chapter is notably missing all early trophies, records, and much of its most valuable and ancient wargear due to the destruction of their original homeworld in M34 or M36.[8a] They are also known to make greater use than perhaps any other Chapter of Phobos-pattern armour. For heavy support, they make extensive use of Invictor warsuits and fast-moving Impulsor transports.
The Raptors are well-known for their use of camouflage on their equipment, including armor, weapons, and vehicles. There is no fixed pattern, but rather several designs which are utilized depending on the biome they find themselves operating in. Some Chapters look down upon these modification, seeing it as unsanctioned and cowardly.
Noted Elements of the Raptors
- Tyrant's Standard - Captured Astral Claws standard
- Sanctus Gem - Force field device
- Holo-Shroud - stealth device
- Accipiter - Battle Barge which acts as the Chapters mobile Fortress-Monastery.
- War Talon — Battle Barge used during the Badab War and the Taros Campaign.[4a]
- Arias Vex — Strike Cruiser used and destroyed during Badab War.
- Shadow Stalker — Strike Cruiser used during Badab War.
- Coatal — Gladius class frigate used during Badab War.
- Deus Annihilatus — Predator Annihilator[3a]
- Phraetus — MkV Land Raider. Fought in the Origo Blockade[3c] (see above)
- Lias Issodon, "The Grim" — Chapter Master
- Kassayan — Captain of the First Company by M42.
- Orelius — Captain of the Third Company[4a]
- Guillem Garre — Captain of the Fouth Company.
- Benedict — Captain of the Fifth Company
- Mito — Former Captain of the Fifth Company[9a]
- Kaedes — Former Captain of the Sixth Company, wounded in the evacuation of Taros and now interred in a Dreadnought.[4d]
- Seranis — Lieutenant, head of Raptors involved in Indomitus Crusade Fleet Primus
- Octor Guerris — Veteran Sergeant
- Caelestis — Veteran Sergeant of Fifth Company, Assault Squad
Vehicles and Technology
The colour scheme and name of the Raptors have changed from their first appearance found in White Dwarf 101 (UK) where they were listed as the Raptor Legion with blue and yellow armour (see below). This same colour scheme also appears in the publication How to Paint Space Marines and at an unknown time on the Games Workshop website.
Raptors Space Marine
Raptor Legion original colour schemes during the Badab War[1a]
Raptors (original colours)
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Compendium:
- 2: Third War for Armageddon (Wayback Machine archive)
- 3: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition:
- 4: Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign
- 5: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 8
- 6: Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One
- 7: How to Paint Space Marines, pg. 83
- 8: Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter
- 9: Fire Warrior (Novel), [Needs Citation]
- 9a: Chapter 2
- 10: Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 9
- 11: Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 47
- 12: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Second Edition: War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 18
- 13: War Zone Octarius - Book 1: Rising Tide, pgs. 30-31
- 14: White Dwarf 494, pgs. 42-53 — Index Astartes - Raptors