Adeptus Astartes Archangels Chapter
An ancient and venerable chapter, the Archangels have a long and bloody history that dates back to the Fourth Founding. Created in the aftermath of the galaxy spanning War of the Beast, the Archangels were created to help pacify the ongoing conflicts in the aftermath of the enormous Ork Waagghh that ravaged the Imperium.
Modelled much like their cousins, The Disciples of Caliban, the Archangels are a fleet-based chapter and have earned a fearsome reputation in notable conflicts throughout Ultima Segmentum and beyond. The Archangels first task was to push deep into the Ultima Segmentum and to eradicate any remnant of Ork forces that existed outside of the Charadon sector.
Pursuing and destroying Ork remnants north of the Charadon Sector took decades but eventually led the Archangels fleet to the edge of the Segmentum – that dark and menacing void known as the Ghoul Stars, where the Psychic Beacon weakens and aggressive xenos species launch forays into the Imperium.
Once the Ork threat was contained, the Archangels were free to pursue their “secondary agenda” – that of locating and capturing a small cadre of The Fallen that were rumored to be operating near the Ghoul Stars. Having been chosen from amongst the Dark Angels’ Inner Circle, the Archangels first Chapter Master Sariel knew what was expected of him and his recently founded “Unforgiven” successor Chapter.
The Fallen known as Agraxtes and his traitorous brethren were eventually located, captured, interrogated and destroyed but not before disrupting the slumber of something ancient on an unnamed world deep within the Ghoul Stars. This “trespass” would have ramifications for the Archangels which would not be known for centuries.
The Archangels have a rather large chapter fleet which easily rivals some Imperial Navy fleets. Such a large fleet was warranted due to the vast operational area that the Archangels were charged with securing. Their massive Chapter-barque, “The Indomitable” is larger than either a standard Chapter barge or Retribution class battleship.
“The Indomitable” was at one time nearly destroyed by a large Necron armada and crash-landed on a world in the Angelius System located to the south of the Ghoul Stars. Though the massive warship was repairable, this event would change the Archangels’ modis-operandi for at least a few centuries by forcing them to adopt and defend the populated worlds of the Angelius and other nearby systems.
The Archangels fleet continued operations throughout the Ultima Segmentum, but always returned to Fortis-Angelius when necessary to rearm and refit their vessels. Continued forays and minor crusades into the Ghoul Stars to exterminate hostile xenos gradually picked up in pace, but without the constant presence of “The Indomitable”, the Archangels vessels always eventually returned to Fortis-Angelius.
For several centuries “The Indomitable” served as their Fortress Monastery on Fortis-Angelius. But even after “The Indomitable” was space-worthy once again, the Archangels continued to view Fortis-Angelius as their home port. Fortis-Angelius was the Archangels “life-blood” for millennia.
The Archangels’ fleet was large enough to simultaneously pursue operations into the Ghoul Stars, defend their Angelius System and send a small flotilla to aid the beleaguered Crimson Fists when the Orks of the Charadon Empire smashed Rynn’s World. The Archangels were instrumental in the campaign to retake the Loki sector from the Orks, and to this day, help to contain the Orks within the boundaries of the Charadon Sector.
The Archangels recruited from worlds in the Angelius system to replenish their ranks whenever necessary, but all that came to an end once the Cicatrix Maledictum tore across the galaxy, consuming the Angelius system and destroying any infrastructure the Archangels had built there.
When the Archangels’ fleet first arrived in the Angelius System, auto-scribes noted that Fortis-Angelius, was a typical Class-M planet, with several continents and large oceans teeming with life. The majority of the planet was quite hot and tropical with high humidity. The polar caps were comparatively small but tropical rainstorms, which pummeled the planet during its 6 Terran month-long winter, help to stabilize the climate of Fortis-Angelius at the expense of massive flooding in many regions of the planet. Fortis-Angelius was home to many species of large reptilian carnivores which roamed the plains and jungles and preyed upon those unlucky enough to be caught out in the wilds.
Though the population was small and quite backwards by Imperial Standards, they were, never-the-less, loyal to the Imperium. The cities and towns of Fortis-Angelius were protective bastions which, though spartan in appearance, functioned effectively well.
The other planets within the Angelius System provided many other crucial resources. Raw minerals, pure water, rare and exotic gasses and bizarre foodstuffs could all be exported throughout the Ultima Segmentum from the worlds in the Angelius System.The Angelius System and two nearby smaller, “sister systems” were located to the south of the Ghoul Stars. Though all were populated systems, they were all some distance apart from each other. With the arrival of the Archangels Chapter, this collection of systems became controlled by navigator and trade households and were united and protected by the Archangels through the millennia.
The several habitable worlds that were maintained by the Archangels became quite civilized. Some having developed sprawling hive-cities and minor manufactoriums while others were agri-worlds which exported necessary foodstuffs.
All of the populations seemed to share a common and ancient Terran heritage of Albian ancestry. Though competitive by nature, all of the populated worlds regarded the Archangels’ presence with utmost esteem.
Many prominent households sponsored annual tournaments, the victors of which were taken by the Archangels as initiates. Though the winning of such a challenge was by no means assurance that the aspirant would complete the testing and training necessary to become an Astartes, the rigorous training by the competitors weeded out many who wouldn’t succeed the Archangel’s initiation rituals to begin with.
When the Cicatrix Maledictum “event” occurred, a large Warp-tear consumed one of the two smaller inhabited systems near the Angelius System. The massive gravitational disturbance flung planets in the Angelius System into one another. Daemons appeared and ravaged the surviving populations on other worlds which were not consumed by the Warp or destroyed outright.
The destruction was so fast and so complete that there was nothing the Archangels could do except to try to save what they could and flee. Everything the Archangels had known for millennia was gone.
The Archangels fleet regrouped and took stock of their fleet assets, troop dispositions and chapter resources – and as ever, vowed to continue the fight.
There is nothing that stands out as truly unique about the
organization of the Archangels. Due to the vast size of their chapter fleet,
Archangels’ task forces tend to be quite autonomous and can operate for
extended periods with little contact with the rest of the chapter. Most task
forces are made up of demi-companies supported by elements of the 1st,
2nd and 10th companies.
As one of The Unforgiven chapters, they are organized exactly as the Dark Angels. Though their first company dons silver colored terminator armor, they are structured identically to the Deathwing. The Archangels second company wear the regular chapter livery but also follow the same structure as the Dark Angels’ Ravenwing.
Planetary Assaults - The Archangels have always preferred to let their massive fleet weaponry do most of the serious work of pummeling their foes from orbit. After prolonged bombardment, the Archangels will then employ ground forces to mop up. Criticized as being heavy-handed at times, this doctrine has served the Archangels well for millennia but only recently has become a necessity.
When deploying their ground forces, the Archangels prefer to make extensive use of Land Raiders, Razorbacks transported by Thunderhawk Transporters. Dreadnoughts arrive by drop pod and pummel the enemy from behind their lines as the Land Raiders and Razorbacks race forward. First Company Terminators are then teleported onto the surface to decapitate enemy leadership assets or seize a vital objective. Due to dwindling replacements, Astartes squads tend to be small but flexible and armed with a multitude of melta and plasma weaponry.
Space Combat – Ship to ship combat seems to be a forte of the Archangels. They excel at boarding actions by employing Caestus Assault Rams and Boarding Torpedoes after intense bombardment by Archangels’ vessels. Teleport homers are rapidly placed by boarding Astartes and First Company Terminator squads appear inside to quickly overwhelm and subdue the enemy.
The Archangels rely heavily upon their Librarius and Navis Nobilitae assets. Operating such a vast fleet over such a large expanse often at the edge of the Segmentum has taught the Archangels how to operate, navigate and communicate efficiently despite being cut-off from the Psychic Beacon at times. Nearly every task force includes a number of Librarians who are critical to prosecuting successful operations at the edge of the Ultima Segmentum.
The Archangels are virtuous and noble and utterly unflinching in their duty to defend the Imperium of Man. The Archangels feel that the mission of defending the Imperium comes before all else. Even hunting The Fallen takes a back-seat to campaigns the Archangels may be prosecuting.
Perhaps it is their unflinching devotion to the Imperium that allays any suspicion Inquisitorial investigators have towards them as one of The Unforgiven chapters. But the Archangels do adhere rigidly to The Unforgiven structure and do partake in missions alongside their parent Dark Angels Chapter to hunt The Fallen even if only rarely so.
The destruction of their Home-port has left an indelible mark on the psyches of the Archangels. Though considered lucky by many to have survived with most of their Chapter assets intact, the Archangels have become even more dour and determined to pursue the Emperor’s foes.
Interrogator-Chaplains have had to increase their spiritual ministrations to ensure that newer recruits blend as seamlessly as possible within the Archangels’ ranks due to an element of mistrust that has begun to emerge between veteran Archangels recruited from the Angelius systems and newer recruits which have come from other source planets. This is especially true of the newly created Primaris Astartes.
The Inner Circle of the Archangels is grappling with the notion of allowing Primaris officers, whose gene-stock was created/manipulated on Mars, into their Inner Circle. This mistrust is the same as that that exists between Techmarines, who are trained on Mars, and thus prohibits them from ever being allowed within the Inner Circle.
As with most Dark Angels successor chapters, the Archangels have near flawless gene-seed. Typical characteristics are the dour, grim faced aspects shared by most of the Dark Angels kin. Millennia of recruiting from within the Angelius system has fostered a sense of honor and humility not found in many chapters today. However, some aspects of traditional Archangels’ values seem to be slipping since being forced to recruit from new worlds spread throughout the Ultima Segmentum.
With the galaxy virtually ripped in two by the Cicatrix Maledictum, the destruction and corruption of their home-port of Fortis-Angelius has compelled the Archangels to accept the newly established Primaris gene-stock technology, but a lack of raw recruits has caused the Archangels to have only a handful of operational Primaris units.
Though the Archangels maintain their complete stock of geneseed, their struggle to find enough suitable initiates hampers the effectiveness of the Archangels Chapter. The “Battle Companies” are kept at full strength, but the reserve companies are dwindling in numbers with an inadequate number of replacements for their losses.
Created and Maintained by Glenn Davis copyright 2005-2017
Some images and names are Games Workshop copyright.