Today Loremasters we speak of the oldest living Chapter Master of the Adeptus Astartes – Dante of the Blood Angels.
Dante is the current Chapter Master of the Blood Angels. Commander Dante is one of the most experienced and able Space Marine commanders. In no small part, this is due to the longevity of the Blood Angels, which he has ruled for 1,100 years. Dante is the oldest living Space Marine in the Imperium (excluding Dreadnoughts) and is held in awe by leaders of other Chapters, who can remember him being a famous commander when they were in the Scout Company.
Dante was born on Baals second moon, and his growth was stunted by malnutrition and radiation. When he took part in his clans trials at the Place of Challenge he showed no special promise, but nonetheless survived. Afterwards he was inducted into the Blood Angels Chapter as an Aspirant. He first drew notice when during his transformation after drinking the gene-seedsynthesized blood of Sanguinius, he went into a year long coma and cried out the names of fallen primarchs, dark gods, and long-banished Daemons. Upon emerging Dante was trained to become a battle-brother, and he took part in the Kallius Insurrection of M40, where every Captain of the Blood Angels but Dante himself was slain, it was decided by the gathered Chaplain and Sanguinary Priest that he would become the new Chapter Master.
His very presence inspires troops to acts of valour that are extraordinary even for Space Marines. Because of this reputation, when it came to choosing a leader for the Armageddon intervention, the Masters of the other two Chapters taking part (the Salamanders and the Ultramarines) unanimously asked for him to be placed in charge. Dante is a legend not just amongst the Blood Angels but also amongst the common citizenry of the Imperium, to whom he is a saviour, a golden-armoured hero who descends to save them in their darkest hour.
Commander Dante has led the Blood Angels to some of their greatest victories, from the bloody campaigns in Ultima Macharia to the Liberation of Canau. He clove the mighty Bloodthirster Skarbrand in two at the Gates of Pandemonium and drove the Orks from the twelve worlds of Blackfang.
Perhaps his most famous victories were in the Second War for Armageddon, where his leadership allowed the beleaguered defenders to triumph over the fury of Waaagh! Ghazghkull. There he led the valiant strike against the Orks attacking Hive Acheron, where the horde was ripped asunder by cannon and bomb as Dante spearheaded the reinforcements. And it was in the closing stages of the war that Dante’s tactical genius finally broke the back of the Ork army, leading a massed Drop Pod assault against the Orks assaulting Hive Tartarus, his Blood Angels slaying fully half of the Orks and driving them back to the ash wastes and jungles.
In the closing days of the 41st Millennium, heroes like Dante are points of light in the growing darkness. He stands, as he has done for a millennium or more, between the enemies of Mankind and the Imperium.
As a leader, Dante is utterly fearless, and full of drive and initiative. If his opponents ever make a mistake, Dante is on it in a flash, and he always exploits their error to the fullest. He has a reputation for leading from the front and can usually be found where the battle is fiercest. Plummeting from the skies at the head of his personal bodyguard, a halo of power playing around his head.
Yet for all of his success, or perhaps because of it, Dante has grown weary of his burdens. He has lived far longer than he should, and the burden of centuries grows even weightier. Only one thing prevents Dante succumbing to ennui. Recorded in the Scrolls of Sanguinius are the Primarchs visions of a great battle to overshadow all others, where one golden warrior will stand between his Emperor and the darkness. For many generations of the Blood Angels, these prophecies have been read as Sanguinius’s foreknowledge of his own fate, yet through some instinct, perhaps a lingering trace of his Primarch’s fabled far-seeing eye, Dante believes otherwise. One day, perhaps one day soon, the defence of the Emperor will rest in Dante’s hands, and he aims to fulfill this final duty.
“For eleven hundred years, I have fought and I have seen the darkness in our galaxy. I have seen the vileness of the alien and the heresy of the mutant. I have witnessed the sin of possession. I have seen all the evil that the galaxy harbours, and I have slain all whose presence defiles the Emperor. I have seen what you will see. I have fought what you must fight, and I have slain what you must slay… so fear not and be proud, for we are the sons of Sanguinius, the protectors of Mankind. Aye, we are indeed the Angels of Death.” ~Commander Dante
~ By the blood of Sanguinus