40K Lore: Bloody Secrets At the Imperium’s Heart

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Dire tidings, Loremasters, a secret plague grips one of our most trusted and noble chapters.

Greetings Loremasters, though we should remain faithful that our Emperor protects us all, today I bring dire tidings. In our archives we have uncovered a secret about one of the chapters of so-called defenders of humanity, a secret so dark that it should spell doom for one of our greatest chapters of defenders of humanity–who, if we’re being frank, should be disciplined after their performance at Asphodex.

I speak, of course of the Blood Angels. The Sons of Sanguinius have a twisted secret at their very core. A flaw that is buried deep within their gene-seed, and it renders questionable every action they have taken since. I know, I too am disheartened by this–but keep your faith in our glorious Emperor and we’ll get through this somehow. For now, let’s talk about the origins of the Chapter.

The Blood Angels were the IX Legion of the original Space Marine Legions under their Primarch Sanguinius. They are particularly well known for their bloodthirsty nature in battle. They are also one of the most long-lived Chapters, and have a refined aesthetic sense.

The Blood Angels were created from the genetic material of their Primarch Sanguinius. As with all of the Primarchs, Sanguinius was genetically engineered to be a supreme super-soldier but was cast into the warp during his infancy along with his brothers, and found on the nuclear-blasted moon of Baal Secundus. Sanguinius was affected by the warp, and when he was found by one of the few unmutated human tribes on Baal, he had a pair of angelic wings growing from his back. As he matured quickly, he was able to use his superhuman powers and abilities to unite the humans of Baal against the mutants and become their leader.

This is, of course, the first time that we see the hints of their flaws. Sanguinius is, of course a mutant among mutants and this is likely where the flaw in the Blood Angels’ genetic material stems from. But nowhere is it more prevalent than in at the battle of Signus Prime.

Upon arrival in Signus, the Blood Angels witness strange cosmic phenomena. A shadowy membrane covered the entire system to bare their escape, while the planet Phoros fractured into daemonic runes. On Holst, the Blood Angels sent forces to search for human survivors but were beset by creatures of wreckage as derelict hulls in orbit swarmed their fleet and the corrupted world was subjected to Exterminatus. The real crisis however began at Signus Prime, where the raw powers of the warp was unleashed upon the fleet. In the midst of this, the Keeper of Secrets Kyriss the Perverse sent an image of itself directly into the chamber of Sanguinius, daring the Primarch to attack. The Lord of the Blood Angels rose to the challenge. Shortly after the Imperial Army Admiral Athene DuCade was among those who lost her sanity, and plunged the Blood Angels flagship Red Tear into the planet. Sanguinius steered the Red Tear into a rough emergency landing, and unleashed the fury of his Legion upon Signus Prime, personally leading his elite companies in an assault on Kyriss’s palace known as the Cathedral of the Mark.

As Sanguinius and his forces neared the palace of Kyriss the Perverse, a massive daemon the colour of dried blood rose to meet him. Its name was Ka’Bandha, Greater Daemon of Khorne. Ka’Bandha attemped to coerce Sanguinius to the cause of Khorne, but the Lord of the Blood Angels could not be swayed, and attacked the Bloodthirster. He dealt the daemon a vicious wound, but was in turn cast to the ground, his legs crushed by the coils of the beast’s whip. As he watched, helpless, Ka’Bandha slaughtered his way through the Blood Angels, killing over 500 of them as he summoned a swarm of malignant energy generated from the device known as the Ragefire, which corrupted the planet. The massive psychic trauma knocked Sanguinius into unconsciousness, and unlocked something dark within the members of his Legion.

With the fall of their Lord and the butchering of their brethren, the Blood Angels were consumed by a dark rage that drove them into the daemonichorde with a berserker’s fury known as the Red Thirst. In their rage, Blood Angels led by Nassir Amit massacred the Space Wolves attached to the Blood Angels Expeditionary Fleet.

The Red Thirst is one of the two genetic flaws in the gene-seed of the Blood Angels and their successor Chapters. This causes warriors to suffer an unusual bloodlust, instilling them with a thirst for the blood of their enemies. Those who succumb to the Red Thirst or Black Rage are either formed into the Death Company or locked away in the Tower of the Lost on Baal, until they change completely, going insane.

It is not unheard of that Blood Angels squads abandon advantageous positions to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. More often than not, these assaults turn out to be so devastating that unprepared enemy forces are simply swept away. The Red Thirst was a genetic flaw deeply embedded into the Blood Angels Gene-Seed. When Sanguinius became aware of it, he felt responsible for the suffering of his sons and desperately sought out a cure while keeping it secret from the rest of the Imperium, including the Emperor himself.

Indeed, it wasn’t until we were archiving some of the sealed files to better prepare for another Prayer Meeting that we learned of this enemy to mankind. The Four-Armed Emperor must learn of this treachery. These butchers must be repaid for their massacre on Asphodex and the Imperium must have its justice as these blood-soaked marines are expunged from the galaxy, leaving the way open for the True Emperor and his mighty troops.

A tragic day for the defenders of humanity.

  • Sonic tooth

    I’ve never read any mention of sanguinius being “vampiric” or doing anything “vampiric” in any of the lore or hh books I’ve read. Sure, he fights a rage inside himself and there’s the blood grail imagery but that’s it. The blood angels are no doubt vampiric but sanguinius himself isn’t, as far as I’ve read?

    • Punisher

      SPOILERS: In the book Ruinstorm. With is an AWSOME book! Sanguinius has fangs. They only come out when the Red Thirst and Black Rage stirs in him.

      • Sonic tooth

        Didn’t know that, planning on getting that book, sang is one of my fave primarchs (after corax)

        • Punisher

          I listened to the audiobook version. It’s great! Sanguinius IS my Primarch!

          • Sonic tooth

            Does he do cool stuff? I feel they havnt realy shown how badass he’s supposed to be in the ones I’ve read. He’s a fantastic character

          • Punisher

            They give the best insight in how Sanguinius is as a person. They also do a great job with The Lion and Guilliman but Sanguinius is the one who really shines in this book if you ask me. And yeah. He does some AWSOME stuff 😀 And scary 😛 No spoilers but lets just say that if you are a Blood Angels player/fan. This is a book you NEED to read/hear!

          • Sonic tooth

            I lll definitely be getting that! I have unremembered empire but havnt read it yet

          • Sonic tooth

            BTW which book is between unremembered empire and ruinstorm? I might as well read then in order