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The Raven Guard were the XIX Legion of the original Space Marine Legions. Their Primarch is Corvus Corax . Their homeworld is Deliverance (originally named Lycaeus), a moon which orbits the Hive World Kiavahr.[2b] The Legion was devastated at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy and survived only by the most desperate of measures.

The Raven Guard specialise in guerrilla warfare, moving behind enemy lines with unrivalled stealth, and striking with precise application of force.[2a]

Marine Basic Data Chapter Symbol
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- Raven Guard -
Legion Number: XIX
Primarch: Corvus Corax
Chapter Master: Kayvaan Shrike
Homeworld: Deliverance
Fortress-Monastery: Ravenspire
Known Descendants: Ashen Claws,
Black Guard,
Carcharodons (Speculated)[39]
Dark Eagles, Death Eagles, Death Spectres,
Flame Eagles,
Hawk Lords,
Imperial Talons, Iron Ravens[40]
Knights of the Raven,
Necropolis Hawks
Raptors, Raven's Watch, Revilers, Rift Stalkers,
Shadow Haunters, Sons of the Raven (Speculated), Storm Hawks, Storm Wings
Colours: Black, White[33]
Specialty: Infiltration, Guerrilla Warfare, Fast Attack
Battle Cry: Victorus Aut Mortis (Victory or Death)
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Miniature
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History

The Great Crusade

Founding

Pre-Corax XIXth Legionnaire[30a]
Pre-Heresy Raven Guard Sergeant

Originally founded as the XIXth Legion, the Legion was used by the Emperor as his hidden hand in its early years during the Unification Wars on Terra. The original recruits of the Legion were firstborn sons drawn from tribes of savage yet technologically adept Xeric warriors of the Asiatic Dustfields, which regularly battled with the much larger Yndonesic Bloc.

In its earliest days, the XIXth Legion was used for infiltration, reconnaissance, and target identification operations. The Legion was covertly used to quickly annihilate any faction which refused to submit to the new Imperium, striking from the shadows without warning. The XIXth used terror tactics similar to the Night Lords.[14] One of the earliest known campaigns by the Legion was the conquest of the central Asiatic region, which was ruled by a tyrant known as Kalagann of Ursh. They won many battle honors on Terra, and later took part in the expansion of the Imperium into the rest of the Sol System, liberating Jupiter's moon of Lysithea from xenos. The battle on Lysithea proved costly for the Legion however, and for many years after veterans of the battle wore Jovian runes in its commemoration.[30]

In the early days of the Great Crusade, the Legion found itself in the shadow of Horus and his Luna Wolves. While Horus valued the XIXth greatly, the Legions forces were largely serving as support troops for the Wolves.[30]

The Legion's Primarch Corax was not reunited with the Legion for nearly two decades. When the Emperor discovered Corax on Deliverance, he had just liberated the moon from Kiavahr Forge-Guilds by using nuclear weapons.[30] The first meeting between Corax and the Emperor is shrouded in mystery, as the two spent a day and a night in private discussion, with no records kept about the conversation's contents.[2a] At dawn the next day though, Corax agreed to take command of the Legion, on the condition that Kiavahr be conquered and brought into the Imperial fold.[2a]

The Great Crusade was already a century old by the time Corax took command of his Legion, but quickly imposed his style of war he had learned on Deliverance on his new troops. Stealth, swiftness, and guile were impressed on a Legion already renowned for its reconnaissance and rapid-strike capability. In particular, the old ways of the Xeric tribes were purged. Corax also was disheartened by the way his Legion had been used as a repression, counter-insurgency, and occupation force; not unlike what he had fought against himself. He purged or banished the Legion of its old Terran commanders, such as Lord Arkhas Fal. Corax also used factories on Kiavahr to commission several vehicles unique to his forces, most notably the Shadowhawk, a stealth variant of the Thunderhawk as well as the Whispercutter.[30]

Doctrine and Record

Before the discovery of Corax, the Raven Guard utilized terror tactics similar to the Night Lords. However when their Primarch was discovered, he was disgusted with these methods and introduced changes.[14] Following the discovery of Corax the Raven Guard, based upon his teachings, became masters of sabotage, assassination and other covert operations. Planets that were thought impossible to take fell quickly as the Raven Guard applied precise military pressure to its vulnerable sectors.[2a] Such was the Legion's reputation that Warmaster Horus frequently requested their assistance to assure victory, though there was little admiration between the two; unconfirmed reports include the two sides nearly coming to blows on one occasion.[2a] In addition, Corax displayed a consistent ill-favor and mistrust towards veteran warriors of his Legion born of Terra as opposed to Deliverance.[37]

Tensions between the two boiled after during the Battle of Gate Forty-Two, where Horus had the Raven Guard launch a bloody frontal assault on enemy defenses that decimated the Legion's numbers despite Corax's warnings that the plan was reckless beforehand. After the battle the Raven Guard was reduced to 80,000 Astartes. Corax removed his forces from Horus' command, bitterly swearing to never serve alongside the Warmaster again.[30] He also began to send his Terran-born forces into forgotten Crusades on the galactic fringes, ensuring in his eyes that the Raven Guard who remain "pure".[38]

Notable Operations

The Horus Heresy

Corax leads the Raven Guard against the Dark Mechanicus during the Horus Heresy

The Raven Guard legion was one of the smallest legions during the Great Crusade, numbering 80,000 Astartes as well as an Imperial Army Regiment known as the Therion Cohort attached to the legion's expeditionary force.[12] As a legion they were a fierce enemy for anyone who opposed the Imperium of Man, using time honoured tactics of guerrilla warfare which Corax himself had learnt during the Revolution he himself had commanded to free his people from the merciless slavery forced upon them by the Tech Guilds of Kiavahr.[12] Extremely efficient and trained, the Raven Guard would engage in acts of mass sabotage along with infiltration, blink-of-an-eye Strikes, and expert covert operations, all of which they had perfected into what would look like ease to any other warrior.[12]

The Raven Guard were one of seven legions to be sent to the Istvaan system (Others present were the Iron Hands, Salamanders, Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors, Night Lords and Word Bearers) to quell a rebellion lead by the former Warmaster, HorusPrimarch of the Sons of Horus Legion (Formerly the Luna Wolves).[12] Horus and his other three traitor primarchs (Fulgrim, Angron and Mortarion) had entrenched themselves on the planet of Istvaan V, and lay in wait for the Loyalist forces to land and engage.[12] The fighting once joined was fierce and hot-blooded, brother versus brother, and no quarter was given on either side.[12] Mid way into the fighting, Horus and his allies retreated back into their fortifications for no reason that could be grasped by the loyalist factions.[12] The Raven Guard were in the thick of the fighting from the start, though out of their element due to the lack of tactical planning and the close-up-and-personal combat spreading like wildfire across the plains of Istvaan V. They fought both with as much honour and as much skill as any other legion would in the circumstances.[12] When the traitors made a surprise withdrawal back to their fortifications, the Raven Guard used this cease in the fighting to regroup and re-arm.[12] However, when they neared the "loyalist" defences (which were tenfold reinforced by the expert siege engineers of the Iron Warriors legion under their Primarch Perturabo's direction, they were fired upon by the very guns meant to protect them. Hundreds were gunned down in the first few minutes of the betrayal, before they even realised that there were traitors in there midst.[12]

Four of the seven loyalist legions sent to Istvaan V had thrown off the colours and pretenses of the Imperium, and set about playing out a totally new performance (hatched from long before Istvaan).[12] The Iron Warriors, Night Lords, Alpha Legion, and Word Bearers turned on their brethren in a bloody thunderstorm of bolters and blades, decimating their numbers in a multitude of seemingly never ending skirmishes and drudging battles for ground that cost lives for every metre gained or lost.[12] Corax and his legion were reduced from their mighty 80,000 warriors to a meager 3,000 battle hardened veterans.[12] Himself by now a brooding vengeful demigod, wielding a whip[12] in place of his normal customary left set of talons which were lost in a rage fueled duel with the traitorous primarch Lorgar, which would have ended in Lorgar's death had Konrad Curze, Primarch of the Night Lords (also known as the Night Haunter) not intervened and shattered it with a swipe of his own claws.[12] Respite came in the form of a single battle barge The "Avenger"[12], captained by Commander Branne Nev, a captain originally stationed on Deliverance as a garrison commander, with him came the battered remains of the Therion Cohort normally serving with the legion under Praefactor Marcus Valerius who ironically brought Isstvan V into compliance with Corax the first time. Unbeknownst to both sides, Corax only narrowly escaped death at the hands of Angron and his World Eaters thanks to the machinations of the Alpha Legion, whose own Primarch Alpharius had greater plans regarding the Raven Guard.[12]

Upon escaping the tailing forces of World Eater's picket ships, "Avenger"[12] broke real-space into the warp, and headed for Terra.[12] Upon arriving Corax headed for the Imperial Palace, which was being fortified by Rogal Dorn and his Imperial Fists in preparation for the coming Siege (Siege of Terra), upon which after much argument with Dorn and Malcador the Imperial Regent, The Emperor himself boomed in a psychic voice for the arguing to cease and pulled Corax into a vision of extreme light, and showed him the secrets he had been asking for - The gene forging tech used to create the Primarch's by the Emperor himself.[12] After navigating the treacherous and dangerous contraption which was the ever shape-shifting maze on Luna, by using his advanced logic, and the skill of his sons to out-think its logic engine and freeze it in place, he retrieved the gene tech and returned to Deliverance under the watchful eye of the Adeptus Custodes (who were charged by Malcador to keep an eye on its safety).[12]

At first the Astartes created by the gene tech were a marvel, a splice of primarch and Astartes, but not in an imbalanced degree so as to cause malfunction, a perfect meld.[12] These new warriors were faster, stronger, and more intelligent than any of the older warriors of the Legion, and within a few weeks more aspirants had been successfully implanted with stable gene-seed than ever before (the new gene seed also meant that warriors matured into their new forms rapidly compared to standard Astartes).[12] The new warriors would be placed under the command of Captain Branne Nev under the moniker "Raptors", and would be used against a Word Bearer fortress as their first deployment, which would see them successfully slaughter veteran Word Bearers with the ease of much older warriors. Raptors would take injuries that would have killed even an Astartes, and still remain fighting due to their enhanced bodies.[12] Word of this reached the ears of Omegon, twin primarch of the Alpha Legion, whom had been laying dormant on Kiavahr below stirring up a rebellion amongst the tech guilds, and he sprung into action.[12]

The rebellion and even the Alpha Legionnaires supporting it were a distraction, while the Raven Guard were caught off guard, Omegon and several Alpha Legion operatives managed to covertly spike the gene tech with a daemon blood poison (while managing to keep the pure technology for themselves) using the Raven Guard gene-seed to produce deformed monsters.[12] The battle finally began as the first Raven Guard recruits to receive the secretly spiked gene seed were implanted, and by the time it raged into the gene labs of Ravendelve, only to be met by deformed warriors created by the spiked gene seed's effects.[12] While deformed, these astartes still fought with otherworldly strength, overpowering even the Alpha Legion Astartes.[12] By the time the battle was over, Agents had been found amidst the legion, explaining how news reached the traitors about the gene tech, and thus the loss of such a boon to the crippled legion, gene screening was to be implemented to find and destroy the agents with the stolen faces of Raven Guard Legionnaires.[12] Corax nevertheless led the Raven Guard in full strength (~4000 Astartes) and his allies (over 500,000 Therion Cohort, 100-150 Imperial Fists, ~20 Custodes against The Perfect Fortress, an Emperors Children stronghold[12e]. Planned to be conducted with his legion rebuild to be at least 10.000 Astartes strong, the Fortress was taken by luring the Traitor forces out with an failed assault by the Therion Cohort[12e]. While Raven Guard losses were small, the Traitor force was totally destroyed[12e]. The Perfect Fortress was on a important strategic planet for the whole sector, but Corax withdrew his legion to strike the next Traitor force, leaving the garrison to the Therion Cohort, and the expected Imperial Army and Titan Legion Reinforcements[12e]. Corax again led the Raven Guard in full strength against traitor forces in the Battle of Yarant, rescuing the Space Wolves. After the battle, Corax expressed his intent to continue to resist Horus from the shadows.[16]

Without the gene tech the Raven Guard Legion remained a small legion, though their continued work with small cells of warriors allowed them to remain no less of a fighting force, though fewer in number then before[12]. Tales of the Space Wolves report the use of Astartes more beasts than man[2]. The Space Wolves never reported this to any imperial authorities, most likely because they shared a sympathy with the Raven Guard because of their own similar flaw[2].

Meanwhile, scattered Raven Guard survivors of Isstvan V managed to join with fellow Salamanders and Iron Hands aboard the Sisypheum, beginning a campaign of vengeance against those who had betrayed them.[28]

When Roboute Guilliman announced his "Codex Astartes" which would split the legions into organised chapters, Corax was circumstantially forced to adapt to the new rules, Albeit still retaining his legions overall structure, but in smaller chapters of 1,000 Astartes, As is how the Raven Guard chapter is to this day.[12]

Notable Operations

Horus Heresy Aftermath

The Raven Guard chapter birthed in the Second Founding from the Raven Guard legion remained a successful fighting force, even with diminished numbers (1,000 Astartes from the 3,000 survivors of the Drop Site Massacre).[4a] The hunt for Kernax Voldorius alongside the White Scars[11b], 4th Company's deployment of several Raven Guard warriors to aid the Ultramarines in their capture of Adaric Vaanes, and the defence of Ultramar[9], and many other campaigns have been successfully won by these masters of shadow.

Recent Events

Timeline

Raven Guard Space Marine

Homeworld

The Raven Guard homeworld is Deliverance, a moon which their Fortress Monastery "Raven Spire" is built on.[12] Deliverance was once known as Lycaeus, where 10,000 years previous to current events, Corvus Corax (soon to be Primarch of the Raven Guard Legion) lead a revolution to free his fellow slaves, and eventually the whole moon from the Slavery enforced on them by the Tech Guilds of the planet below, Kiavahr.[12] Kiavahr was converted into a forge world by the Adeptus Mechanicus upon the Emperor's arrival, due to Corax's wishes that the Tech Guilds no longer held sway, this meant that the Legion also recieved a vital supply line for materials.[12]

Gene-seed

The degeneration of the Raven Guard gene-seed means several of the unique organs of the Space Marines no longer work properly or no longer grow. Raven Guard do not have the Mucranoid or Betcher's Gland. The Melanchromic Organ has a unique mutation that causes the skin of the Space Marine to grow paler.[3] Eventually each Marine's skin becomes pure white while their hair and eyes darken, becoming black as coal. The main issues could have come from Corax's experimentation with the Raven Guard Gene-Seed to try and create stronger and faster-maturing astartes (although the Alpha Legion is primarily to blame for causing his project's failure), it is never fully stated what is the actual cause.[12]

In M32, a sudden degeneration afflicted the Raven Guard's Gene-seed, causing organs to fail and implants to be rejected. From this time onward, the Chapter is forced to rely on Gene-seed stocks from Terra, a factor that slows the Chapter’s recruitment rates significantly but does not curtail their willingness for battle.[36]

The Sable Brand

Since the earliest days of the Raven Guard, some of their number have been prone to a battle madness known as the Sable Brand. This consists of cold-blooded determination to fight on with no regard for self-preservation coupled with an inability to separate the whispers of the dead from the words of the living. Thought to be an original flaw in Corax's gene-seed that he himself may have suffered, it is marked by ones eyes becoming complete blackness. Though its effects are not permanent, it often is ever-present to those who suffer from it. During the Great Crusade Corax organized those afflicted into units of Shadow Killers. However after the Legion's near extinction on Isstvan V, the Primarch could no longer waste troops like this.[44e]

After Isstvan V, Corax labored with various methods to control the Sable Brand. He developed the Trifold Path of Shadow as a result in an attempt to control the outbreaks of madness. The doctrine has indeed led to fewer battle-brothers becoming afflicted with the Sable Brand. However should the afflicted not be slain in battle, they are eventually incarcerated in the Ravenspire and used in experimentation by the Chapter's Apothecaries. This attempt to cure their gene-seed is carried out in total secrecy.[44e]

Culture and combat doctrine

Tactics

Raven Guard
The Raven Guard are known for hitting weak points in enemy defences hard and they perform lightning strikes upon locations of tactical importance to cripple their enemy. The Raven Guard disdain the notion of recklessly charging into enemy ranks. This differentiates their tactics from those of the Blood Angels. The Raven Guard rely heavily on their Scouts for pinpointing enemy positions and to scout for good drop sites. Because of their hit and run tactics they also make extensive use of Assault Squads. The Tactical Squads of the Raven Guard are often deployed via Thunderhawks or Drop Pods. The favorite weapons of the Raven Guard Commanders are the Lightning Claws and it is a common sight that their command squads also come equipped with these weapons in addition to their Jump Packs.[Needs Citation]

Raven Guard Captains are fiercely independent, and it's incredibly rare for the chapter to fight as a whole. Individual companies are completely autonomous and are quick to lend their aid to Imperial commanders across the galaxy, with or without the sanction of their Chapter Master. Such behaviour has led to some to question the Raven Guard's soundness, but most recognise that such fluidity of command proves the presence of formidable discipline, not its absence.[4a]

Core to Corax’s teachings was the Trifold Path of Shadow', often rendered in pictorial form as a short-bladed trident, or a threebladed lightning claw. The first path of the shadow is the Ambush, the second Stealth, and the Third vigilance. Mastering one Path, he taught, brought the possibility of victory; mastery of two rendered triumph likely, and accomplishment in all three made the foe’s defeat all but inevitable. From the very first, the Chapter’s Battle Companies were founded around this Trifold Path. Companies 3 through 5 each specialised in one branch, and a battle-brother’s promotion to the 2nd came only when true mastery was attained. Such promotion is far from guaranteed. Even amongst Corax’s sons, there are few who can replicate his skill so completely, and many battle-brothers live out a life of war in the same Battle Company, peerless in their own path, but never truly able to grasp the fathomless depths of the others.[44c]

Due to their specialised combat style, the Raven Guard makes less use of heavier vehicles and tanks (such as the Land Raider and Predator) than most chapters.[3]

Shadowmasters

Raven Guard battle the Tau

The Shadowmasters or Mor Deythan were a unit of Raven Guard during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. They were ordinary battle-brothers who had their primarch's ability to Shadow-walk. It was a quirk of the gene-seed in a few Deliverancian born Raven Guard that had more than just the standard gene code. One unique trait about the Shadowmasters is that they were completely unknown to their own legion. The marines were selected for testing "Thermal Technology" which was considered "highly temperamental. Corax and select apothecaries are the only marines in the legion that knew of the group at the time of the Horus Heresy. The Mor Deythan acted as an elite stealth team and saboteurs and communicated through Stalk-Argot while working in concert with the rest of the legion. The Shadowmasters performed flanking maneuvers and sabotaged columns of rogue Skitarii on Constinax. [20]

Culture and Traditions

Culture

The Raven Guard are known for their grim and brooding nature. However due to their history as liberators of slaves, the Raven Guard maintain close ties with mortals, particularly those of their homeworld Deliverance.[44a]

Rites of Shadow

The Rites of Shadow are a Raven Guard and Successor Chapter silent ritual with ancient roots. Conducted in complete silence, Corpsake sign language is used for traditional questions and answers. The Rites teach that the shadow contains both trues and lies, the purpose of each is the separation of one from the other, and glimpsing of verities otherwise hidden. This is applied to one's Battle-Brother's, one's cause, and even one's foes. Once one has completed the rites, they will earn the status of "Shadow". The title holds great respect, but no rank or authority.[44e]

Corvia

All Raven Guard during their initiation or as a form of meditation or spirit quest hunt the tiny ravens native to the forests of Kiavahr. It takes months of training and practice for recruits to sneak up on the small and alert birds, grab them in their bare hands and snap their necks. The skulls of these birds are worn as small totems hanging from a marine's belt on small chains. These totems are known as Corvia and represent a warrior's honor. If a battle-brother falls, one of his surviving comrades will recover his Corvia and carry it, and thus the fallen warrior's honor, into battle until he can return to Kiavahr and bury the small skulls in the soil of the Chapter's homeworld. [27]

Treatment of the Dead

Upon death, where practical, the body of the Raven Guard will be stripped of it's equipment and trappings (including the Corvia), harvested of it's gene-seed and left for the local carrion birds to feed upon [21b]

"Wraith-Slipping"

Described as being a combination of mental discipline and martial art, the process of "wraith-slipping" is to take advantage of one's surroundings to conceal one's presence. This is not a psychic power but rather a collection of disciplines and techniques that the Raven Guard use to conceal their visual and aural presence despite their use of power armour. It is a technique that is described both prior to the outbreak of civil war in the Horus Heresy[28] and up to the 41st Millennium[24a].

Corspake

Corspake is a form of sign language taught to all members of the Raven Guard. This allows them to communicate on the battlefield without having to risk themselves to exposure by speaking or using Vox technology. Notable signs include The Crowfane; the Feast of Bones; the Empty Chime; even the Murder Call, which calls for vengeance against the slayer of a great hero. The 2nd Company is known for its prodigious use of Corspake, and none can rise to the rank of Shadow Captain without mastering it.[44e]

Organisation

During the Great Crusade the Raven Guard Legion followed the basic organizational doctrine. The Legion was divided into chapters, chapters were divided into battalions, battalions into companies, and companies into squads. However companies were preferred for most independent operations. Legion officers devolved command responsibility to sub-commanders, allowing them to make tactical decisions and to seek the initiative without interfering with the command chain. The influence of Terran recruits from the Xeric tribes was the cause of this.[30]

After the Dropsite Massacre Corax was left with a tattered Legion and had to reorganize them. They were combined into divisions based on combat specializations. The tactical companies became the Talons, the assault companies became the Falcons, and light vehicle squadrons and air support were renamed the Hawks. Another unit of genetically enhanced Astartes dubbed the Raptors was later added as well.[30]

The Raven Guard are a Codex Chapter who generally adhere to the Codex Astartes in their Organisation.[7]

Headquarters

The current headquarters staff as of the Age of the Dark Imperium are as follows.[44a]

Headquarters
Chapter Master Reclusium Librarius
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ReclusiamSymbol.jpg
LibrariusSymbol.jpg
Armoury Apothecarion Fleet Command Support Personel
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Company Disposition

[18] Like all Codex chapters, the Raven Guard are divided into ten Companies. Each Company is led by a hero of the Raven Guard who bears the title Shadow Captain[6b] and who - in addition to his Company command - is in charge of a particular aspect of the Chapter's logistics. The current Company commanders are as follows:

Veteran Company Battle Companies
1st Company 2nd Company 3rd Company 4th Company 5th Company

"The Black Wings"

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Lord of Deliverance

"The Shadowborne"

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Master of Secrets

"The Ghoststalkers"

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Master of the Ambush

"The Silent"

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Master of the Fleet

"The Watchful"

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Master of Truth

Reserve Companies Scout Company
6th Company 7th Company 8th Company 9th Company 10th Company

"The Darkened Blades"

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Master of Liberation

"The Whipserclaws"

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Master of Lies

"The Unseen"

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Lord Executioner

"The Dirge Singers"

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Master of Relics

"The Subtle"

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Master of the Recruits

Company Information

  • The 1st Company, known as the Blackwings. the 1st Company are the mightiest warriors of the Raven Guard known for their mastery of assassination. Besides standard Terminator Armour, they are given access to the best stealth wargear in the Chapter and thus many don Phobos Armour. Terminators are only deployed against the staunchest resistance. Similarly, they often utilize swift gunships than heavily armored ground vehicles. Besides their combat duty, they guard the Forbidden Apothecarion of the Ravenspire on Deliverance's Farmoon Night.[44d]
  • The 2nd Company, known as the Shadowborne. These are the Raven Guard's preeminent assassins. To join their number, one must prove their worth in the Trifold Path of Shadow and able to both sense their foe's movements and most inhibiting conditions. They are experts in wearing shadows as their skin and moving in complete silence. The 2nd Company makes extensive use of Infiltrators and Reiver Squads to compromise enemy positions ahead of heavier onslaught, disrupting communications and sabotaging key targets. The 2nd is unique in that it operates a Vanguard Space Marine formation alongside the standard Vanguard squads of the 10th.[44d]
  • The 3rd Company, known as the Ghoststalkers. Less subtle than most of their brethren, the 3rd uses sudden and overwhelming force to silence their foe. Of Corax's Trifold Path of Shadows, the 3rd strives for mastery of the Path of Ambush. . As such, their engagements utilize fast-moving squads which can encircle and eradicate enemy forces one portion at a time, always withdrawing to strike elsewhere before the enemy’s inevitable counter-blows land. Jump troops, Land Speeders and Bike Squads are traditional mainstays of the 3rd Company, supported by precision Drop Pod assaults. The 3rd rarely takes to the field together, but when they do they engage in fierce and audacious assaults that have nonetheless left them somewhat understrength. However, it is notable that more Shadow Captains from the Ghoststalkers have ascended to lead the Chapter as Master of Shadows than those from any other company.[44d]
  • The 4th Company, known as the Silent. The 4th strives for the second aspect of the Trifold Path of Shadow, stealth. While all Raven Guard are trained in stealth, the 4th takes it to a whole new level. The Silent are therefore contemplative and methodical in their approach to battle, judging rash action to be as dangerous as any foe. Their squads tend to be deployed on campaigns known from the outset to be long and arduous, where positioning matters more than sheer fury. Once unleashed, the Silent infiltrate deep behind enemy lines, carrying out precision operations of sabotage and disruption that leave the enemy True to their title, the 4th takes to war with no words or war cry and do not even use Vox commands lest they give away their position. Instead, orders are given by coded vox-pip or gestures. Both methods use Corspake - a secret language once used by the rebels of Deliverance in Corax's time. Specializing in infantry squads, what vehicles they do use are further modified to reduce sound and energy signature and are often used to distract from incoming foot assaults. In the Age of the Dark Imperium, the 4th has used prodigious use of Repulsor tanks. As the 4th often operates behind enemy lines and provides targeting data for orbiting war fleets, the Shadow Captain of the 4th is the Master of the Fleet.[44d]
  • The 5th Company, known as the Watchful. The 5th utilizes the third and final path of shadow, vigilance. This was held to be the most important of the three by Corax. Specializing in battlefield reconnaissance and countering enemy infiltrators. The 5th has the heaviest access to the Raven Guard's Armoury and uses large amounts of tanks and Centurion suits in battle. Their accuracy of fire is renown, a result of studying their foes weaknesses and habits. The weakness of the 5th is that it tends to brood upon unfolding events, awaiting a perfect moment rather than acting. To try and counterbalance this, the 5th operates the largest formation of Jump Infantry outside of the 8th Company in order to give them the ability to respond quickly. Beyond their battlefield duties, the 5th is guarded with watching over the Ravenspire and awaiting the return of Corax.[44d]
  • The 6th Company, known as the Darkened Blades. Unlike the Reserve Companies in other Chapters, the 6th of the Raven Guard is not tasked with reinforcing Battle Companies on campaign. Instead it is tasked with a specific purpose: to infiltrate enslaved worlds and deliver them anew into the Imperial fold. Taking true to Corax's upbringing as a liberator of slaves, the 6th will move against tyrannical regimes and aid in an uprising by the downtrodden. Their targets range from Chaos warlords, Genestealer Cults to the Tau. Sometimes they are even overly greedy or callous Imperial Governors. While sometimes utilizing overwhelming assault, the 6th's most favored method of liberation is that of disinformation and guerrilla warfare while training local resistance fighters.[44d]
  • The 7th Company, known as the Whisperclaws. The 7th specializes in hit-and-run attacks, maintaining an agile and responsive war footing. They make extensive use of Land Speeders and aircraft, catching their foe off-guard by speed as much as stealth. the latter, Whisperclaws squads often operate ahead of the main strike force, engaging targets of opportunity and setting in motion complex stratagems that will see the enemy eradicated. On the rare occasion they fight as a single unit, the 7th most commonly fights alongside Scout and Vanguard formations of the 10th Company as part of a greater advanced assault force that seizes strategic points and cripples enemy supply lines. The relationship goes both ways, as the 10th will often clear a path for squads of the 7th to strike into the heart of the enemy. So close is the bond between the two Companies that the warriors of the 7th eschew moving onto Battle Companies, instead serving as tutors and drillmasters for the 10th.[44d]
  • The 8th Company, known as the Unseen. The 8th serves as the Raven Guard's Close Support Squad reserves but in keeping with the Chapter's tenets are often found fighting their own campaigns. Its force provides the Raven Guard with a ready supply of close-quarters warriors, steeped in swift and deadly fighting styles of which Corax was once master. Favoring Jump Packs and Lightning Claws, the 8th will enter the fray from gunships and sweep down into the foe. Their Jump Packs are modified to mimic the hunting cries of Kiavahran rocs. However the Unseen are not without flaws, for the 8th suffers from the Sable Brand over any other Company and are known to suffer the worse attrition rates of any in the Chapter.[44d]
  • The 9th Company, known as the Dirge Singers. The 9th act as the Raven Guard's Fire Support Squad reserves. It is here that most recruits go after completing their training in the Scout Company. Often joined by Dreadnoughts, the Dirge Singers bring their heavy weaponry to bear upon the battlefield. Dreadnoughts hold great respect within the 9th, and they sometimes act as battlefield officers. The 9th operates formations known as the Chorus in which Dreadnoughts, Stormraven Gunships, and Fire Support Squads act together to deliver swift and punishing firepower to any point upon the battlefield. The 9th currently is notoriously hostile to Primaris Space Marines due to its conservative Shadow Captain, Vos Delorn.[44d]
  • The 10th Company, known as the Subtle. The 10th acts as the Raven Guard recruiting force and operates both Scout and Vanguard forces. Contingents of the 10th - known as Pinions - are frequently deployed in the heart of larger strike forces and act as infiltration and reconnaissance specialists. In trials by fire, aspiring Battle-Brothers prove their worth in highly dangerous missions.[44d]

Recruitment

Raven Guard Veteran assault marine

Owing to the instability of the Raven Guard gene-seed and the experiments of Corax, much of the chapter's genetic stock has been irreparably damaged. Now, much of their genetic material comes from supplies held on Terra. This means the cycle of recruitment for the Raven Guard is much slower than other Chapters and fewer Raven Guard candidates for the Chapter prove able to survive their training and genetic modification. This means the chapter is constantly short-handed.

The Raven Guard's chapter planet Deliverance is said to lack the population resources available on other chapter's homeworlds. By the time of the Horus Heresy only a few thousand marines in the Raven Guard's number were recruited from Deliverance, the rest made up of the original Terran forces inducted before the Great Crusade.[1]

Equipment

Armour

The Chapter makes wide use of the "beaked" and older marks of Power Armour (Mk. IV-VI). After their near-destruction at Isstvan V, the Raven Guard techmarines created ad hoc suits using salvaged parts and components from other suits or vehicles.[12g] When battle barge Avenger returned to Deliverance, Raven Guard received shipment of 2 000 suits of Mk. VI Power Armour. [12h] At that time, the Mark VI, designed as Corvus suit, was the newest and most advanced version. Because this mark of Power Armour carries name of primarch Corax it is natural that the Raven Guard feel bond to this mark of armour. The Raven Guard's chapter planet and base of operations has the production capacity of a small forge world, ensuring that the Raven Guard rarely lacks for the material to prosecute its campaigns.[4b] Raven Guard's Power Armour utilises enhanced cooling systems that which helps to blend in better with the background. By this means Raven Guard's warriors are hard to be detected by thermal or infrared devices.[11a]

Vehicles

The Raven Guard makes use of an array of unique vehicles tailored to the Chapter's specialization in stealth assault. These include the Whispercutter.

Fleet

During the Horus Heresy, the Raven Guard's fleet was equipped with special stealth technology: a ship's void shields could be modified so that they provided only minimal protection, but at the benefit of making the vessel nearly undetectable either visually or by sensors. It took only a few minutes for this adjustment to be made.[12a] The Raven Guard also operates a stealthy variant of the Thunderhawk, the Shadowhawk

Noted Elements of the Raven Guard

Relics and Artefacts

Main article: Raven Guard Armoury
Raven Guard Reiver[42a]

Chapter Fleet

Known Named Vehicles

Notable Members

Heresy Era

Post-Heresy

Unique Troops & Vehicles

Related Articles

Trivia

While stated in the background that all Raven Guard have black hair, there is at least one instance where Games Workshop showed a miniature with a different hair colour (accessed 2011/09/08). If this is a mistake or deliberate is unknown.

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Sources