|This article, Blades of Dorn, is currently under active construction. The author, Algrim Whitefang, apologizes for the inconvenience.|
- "Follow me if I advance! Kill me if I retreat! Avenge me if I die!"
- — Lictor Ivan Gardorian, as the Blades of Dorn Chapter entered the Eye of Terror during the Penitent Crusade of Vengeance (112.M38)
The Blades of Dorn are a proud Chapter descended from Imperial Fists lineage, created as a part of the 12th Founding during the tumultuous centuries of the Nova Terra Interregnum during the 35th Millennium. This was a period of extreme unrest and civil strife, when the Imperium of Man had been split in twain. The Ur-Council of Nova Terra no longer recognised the rule of the High Lords of Terra and had seceded from the Imperium of Man, forming their own empire in the Segmentum Pacifiucs. This period of divided rule would last for nine standard centuries.
During this time, there were multiple foundings of Space Marine Chapters created to counteract the many outside threats to the unstable borders of the Imperium during this tumultuous period in Imperial history. The Blades of Dorn were one such Chapter, created to help provide much needed security to the borders between the Segementum Pacificus and the Segmentum Solar. Since their inception this Chapter has earned the respect of their forebears through their courage, battle-prowess, and centuries of service in the Emperor's name. However, there once was a time that the Blades' loyalty was called into question, for it is to the Chapter's eternal shame that they are successors of the formerly loyalist Crusaders of Dorn, who were corrupted after entering the Eye of Terror in 321.M37, as part of the ill-fated Abyssal Crusade, and reemerged centuries later in 112.M38, as the Chaos Warband known as the Brotherhood of Lethe.
The Blades of Dorn were created during the turbulent era of the Nova Terra Interregnum, when the Imperium was split into twin interstellar empires when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra had denounced the High Lords of Terra and claimed rule over the Segmentum Pacificus. This Age was marked by ongoing civil wars for reunification and disputes over old trade terms, tithes and wavering allegiances. During this period, multiple Foundings of Space Marine Chapters occurred during this centuries-long period of civil unrest. One such Founding was the 12th Founding, which occurred sometime during the 900's in the 35th Millennium. The Blades of Dorn were one of many Adeptus Astartes Chapters created during this Founding. Few records remain surrounding this Founding, which was believed to be created to try to counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders during this period.
Most of the cadre of the newly created Blades of Dorn were drawn from the 1st Veteran Company of the Crusaders of Dorn, a Chapter that was predisposed towards aggressive and bold styles of warfare, dispatched from warzone to warzone in order to battle Mankind's enemies. During the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Crusaders of Dorn were one of the most highly active Chapters prosecuting the Nova Terran secessionist forces, as well as responding to various emergencies and adding their strength to multiple ongoing conflicts, often tipping them in the Imperium's favour. They were eventually recognised by the High Lords of Terra for their efforts and were found worthy of begetting a new Chapter from their genetic stock. The Blades' first Chapter Master was a bellicose and brutal warrior named Saul Invictarius, the First-Captain of the Crusaders of Dorn Chapter. He was chosen for his zealous prosecution of his duties and strategic brilliance to lead the newly created Chapter. Though often times he was regarded by Imperial authorities as a bitter and hubristic individual, he was an undoubtedly competent commander whose personal valour was second to none.
Soon after their inception, the Blades of Dorn would claim the Feral World of Ostiarius as their new Chapter homeworld. Ostiarius was a planet whose human population was segregated into militant city-sates who had only recently developed the use of gunpowder weaponry, making their home an opportune recruiting ground. Constructing their fortress-monastery on Ostiarius' moon, the Warden, the Blades began to recruit from the Ostiarian populace, eventually setting out into the galaxy to prove themselves to their progenitors, their fellow Scions of Dorn Successor Chapter and their Primarch. In the aftermath of the Reign of Blood in M36, the enemies of the Imperium had taken advantage of the turmoil and advanced farther into Imperial space, and thus the Blades of Dorn had their work cut out for them. Aggressively challenging the enemies of Mankind, the Blades became known for exploits such as the eradication of the Cult of the Unclouded Eye, the purge of the Chaos-corrupted world of Rygel V, and the defeat of the Eldar Corsairs known as the Hand of Khaine, just to name a few. Soon, tales of the Blades' battles were becoming known throughout the greater Imperium.
The Years of Shame
Nearly three millennium passed, and the Blades of Dorn established themselves as a rising star among the more recently founded Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Honourable to their allies and implacable to their foes, this Chapter's valiant record might have seen them eclipse Chapters of more ancient provenance and heritage in time. But just as the Blades of Dorn where at their highest point, they were suddenly brought low by devastating news. The Crusaders of Dorn, their own progenitors, had been declared Excommunicate Traitoris after taking part in the massive Imperial Abyssal Crusade in 321.M37. It is unknown what they endured during their sojourn into the Eye of Terror, as Chapter after Chapter fell to the perils of the Eye, for the Abyssal Crusade had entered a hell from which very few emerged unchanged. The true account of what occurred within the Eye to the Crusaders of Dorn is unknown, but by the time they made their way back into realspace many standard centuries later in 112.M38, this once loyal Chapter was no more, for they had become the warband of Chaos Space Marines known as the Brotherhood of Lethe, wholly dedicated to the service of the Ruinous Powers.
While an early founding Imperial Fists Successor Chapter going renegade was a serious blow to all the scions of Dorn, it was particularly hard for the Blades, and not just because of the shock and feelings of betrayal that came with the report. The Inquisition quarantined off the Ostiarius Sub-Sector, placing the Blades of Dorn under the custody of the Ordo Hereticus to investigate them for potential heresy. Many felt at the time that the Crusaders of Dorn's corruption could have been a result of a deficient gene-seed, and as the Crusader of Dorn's progeny, the Blades of Dorn where made out as potential conspirators. Of course the Blades chafed at such accusations, refusing to submit to the Inquisition's screening and defiantly stating that they were no heretics. This defiance however only further convinced the Inquisition that the Blades of Dorn had something to hide, and many Inquisitors clamoured for the destruction of the Crusaders of Dorn's 'corrupted' bloodline. Tensions ran high, and no doubt the two factions would have come to blows if the Imperial Fists themselves had not intervened.
The Imperial Fists arrived upon Ostiarius to meet with the Inquisitorial representatives and gave them their proposal. Chapter Master Bronwin Abermort personally vouched for the purity of the Blades of Dorn, and proposed a solution to their dilemma. Abermort offered to test the truth of the Blades' conviction by interrogating one of their number through use of their own Pain Gloves aboard their mobile star fort Phalanx. Ivan Gardorian, the current Chapter Master of the Blades at the time, offered himself, personally, to be tested. Admiring his resoluteness, Abermort had his fellow Chapter Master were taken aboard Phalanx and secured in the archaic device. During his interrogation, Gardorian maintained that his Chapter was innocent, even while being tortured by the Imperial Fists' most skilled Castellans. While the majority of Dorn's lineage deemed this sufficient proof, the Inquisition was still not convinced. To truly prove the innocence of their Chapter, the Inquisitorial representative argued, the Blades of Dorn would be forced to undergo a Penitent Crusade through the Eye of Terror, to prove their loyalty to the Imperium by braving the temptations of the Ruinous Powers without succumbing to it's corrupting influence. If they managed to return uncorrupted, all charges against them would be dropped.
The Blades of Dorn held an emergency council to discuss the proposed Crusade, and after scant hours of debate, they acquiesced to the Inquisition's demands. They concluded that martyrdom was preferable to an existence of suspicion and doubt. They would not dishonour their Primarch, and would not be judged by their fellow Scions of Dorn as found wanting. The Blades of Dorn gathered their forces and in a solemn procession of Battle Barges and Strike Cruisers, they passed through the Cadian Gate and disappeared into the iridescent dust nebulae that surrounded the Eye of Terror, and entered that hellish realm of Chaos.
Penitent Crusade & Vindication
Little record of the actions or whereabouts of the Blades of Dorn since they launched their Crusade exist within the Imperium's archives, but there were unconfirmed sightings of the crusading Blades on numerous battlefields around the Fortress Worlds of the Cadian Gate fighting against the Forces of Chaos. It was reported that elements of the Chapter appeared in force to take the fight to their hated enemies on every possible occasion, and once victory was achieved, they would disappear yet again back into the Eye. Once thought destroyed, the Blades of Dorn finally resurfaced near Cadia, battered, but still fighting their long war against Chaos. It was their Chapter Master, Ivan Gardorian, who ordered the Chapter out of the Eye after a subjective twenty standard years of combat against the Traitor Legions. Gardorian saw the toll that the Eye was taking upon his brothers, and decided to end their Penitent Crusade of vengeance against the Forces of Chaos. To the Blades of Dorn's surprise, though only twenty standard years had passed for them in the Eye, almost eighty had gone by in realspace. Such are the all-too common time distortion effects of the Warp.
The Imperial Fists were notified by the Blades themselves of their re-emergence from the Eye of Terror. The Chapter's mobile star fort, Phalanx, alongside an Inquisitorial escort, was despatched to Cadia forthwith, and the Blades of Dorn were granted audience with their genetic forebears. The Blades were detained by the agents of the Ordo Hereticus and tested for the taint of Chaos. Enduring scrutiny from both the Inquisition and the Imperial Fists, the Blades of Dorn passed every test - physical, mental and spiritual. They were not found wanting, and were deemed uncorrupted. Satisfied by this news, the Inquisition formerly absolved the Blades of their progenitor's sins, and granted them the Emperor's forgiveness.
It was further agreed that the truth of the Blades of Dorn's gene-ancestry would, forevermore, be kept from future generations of Blades of Dorn Battle-Brothers, as this revelation would no doubt break the resolve of the already battered Chapter. The Blades of Dorn had successfully returned from the Eye, having cleansed over two dozen worlds, and with nearly half of their overall forces destroyed. Despite their sojourn into this hellish realm of Chaos, they had returned alive and still devoutly loyal, nonetheless. Deemed free of corruption, the Blades of Dorn were welcomed back into the Imperium's fold with open arms. The Imperial Fists even lent the depleted Blades stores of their own gene-stock to not only help them to rebuild their shattered Chapter, but also to instill the purest bloodline of Dorn within them. The Blades were also gifted arms and equipment from the Imperial Fists' vast stockpiles to rebuild their stores of sorely depleted war material. Since their penitent crusade, the Blades of Dorn mainly focused on rebuilding their Chapter, determined to raise themselves to their former heights of glory.
The Blades of Dorn's Chapter homeworld is the feudal realm of Ostiarius. Discovered long ago during the Dark Age of Technology, it is a planet made up of an assortment of feudal lords and various kingdoms.
A Call to Arms
Permeating the myths and legends of cultures the world over, the stories of knights are a cherished tradition among the inhabitants of Ostiarius, many of whom revere the noble warriors as personifications of glory, righteousness, and the will of the people. Countless knightly orders serve distinct lords, causes and philosophies. Regardless of their exact means, heroes from all backgrounds and nations can serve as knights, hailed as harbingers of exaltation in life and immortalised as legends by their dedicated followers.
Knights often dedicate themselves to the honour of their homeland and the glory of their kingdom. These patriots defend their nation against outside threats or travel the world to spread the influence of their people. Knights who swear their allegiance to the same lord must often work together to achieve goals greater than themselves, though not all such alliances unite knights without strife, and even those who fight under the same banner might not see eye to eye because of ulterior motives. Philosophy can be as much of a motivator as religion or patriotism, and many are the crusaders who fight for a specific cause with no allegiance to god or country. Whether seeking self-perfection through trials of goodliness or delivering the iron fist of law to ignoble miscreants, knights dedicated to disseminating a particular way of thinking can be found acting alone or in large groups.
Of all the motives behind knighthood, honour is perhaps the most ubiquitous as well as implicit. Many are the soldiers who bear a sword as well as a grudge, and those who wish to prove their honor-whether to their people, their nation, or themselves - need look no further than the path of the knight. In addition to the aforementioned calls to arms, many knights follow a path defined by a particular quest, whether this expedition's mandate be divine, royal, or self-imposed in nature. A knight who dedicates her life to a singular goal or purpose is steadfast in her ways, and may journey her entire life in pursuit of such a quest. Although some knights make their odysseys in pursuit of a vile monster or some holy relic, there are those whose voyages are a simple search for wealth and treasure. Knights in search of monetary gain typically do so for the sake of their kingdom or their knightly order, and donate their valuable findings to the cause they believe in.
Notable Knightly Orders
Anyone aspiring to join the Blades of Dorn will have to earn it. First, they will have to attract one of the Chapter's many Chaplains' attention through some valorous deed or trait, such as prowess of arms, undaunted bravery, a thorough belief in chivalry or unerring piety in the God-Emperor. Once a Chaplain has noticed such persons, they will have to impress him with their adherence to a strict code of behavior. They must be just, loyal, courteous, generous, and, most importantly, reverent; they must protect the poor and weak, and never deny protection to a lady or maiden; the must remain clean and chaste in spirit and in flesh (though it is permissible to love from afar); they must strive for candor and flee from pride; and they must face death at all times with courage and good bearing.
Although the Chaplains are not foolish enough to believe that all of these initiates can live up to this code all of the time, they will not extend an invitation to undergo the Chapter's Trials of Initiation to anybody who displays more than minor variations from these standards. These standards are interpreted as the Code of Dorn. The code is rooted in deep faith in the God-Emperor, in the beneficence of a special order, and in the belief that a warrior prove their worthiness only to the extent that they serve an ideal greater than themselves.
- The Nova Terra Interregnum (Unknown Date.M35) - The Imperium of Man fractures into two interstellar empires, when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra dismissed the High Lords of Terra and claimed separate rule over the Imperium's worlds of the Segmentum Pacificus. The Blades of Dorn were one of several Chapters called upon by the High Lords of Terra to mobilise to this troubled region of the galaxy to help counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders. Fighting alongside the elder Ultramarines Successor Chapter - the Wardens of Orask - and their fellow Scions of Guilliman - the Imperius Ravagers - this powerful triumvirate deployed from one warzone to the next, fighting against secessionist forces as well as adding their strength to multiple ongoing campaigns. These three Chapters helped to tip the balance of several conflicts in the Imperium's favour.
- Castigation of Aetius (345.M36) -
- Defence of Amasis VII (389.M36) - Elements of the Blades of Dorn Chapter joined with entirety of the Ebon Knights Chapter to combat a huge Aeldari strike force that was assaulting the world of Amasis VII. The two Chapters were seriously outnumbered by the Aeldari forces. When all hope seemed lost, the Blades of Dorn reluctantly pulled out their sorely-depleted forces after sustaining heavy casualties in the open phases of the conflict. They promised to bring nearby reinforcements from their Chapter as soon as possible. For five days the Ebon Knights valiantly fought alone, holding the Aeldari at bay. The Ebon Knights' Knight-Commander, Renannius Cole, held a breach in the Imperial lines, slaying two Aspect Warrior Exarchs single-handedly. The Aeldari prepared to launch their final assault on the beleaguered Space Marines when reinforcements finally arrived. The sky of Amasis VII filled with Blades of Dorn Drop Pods. Soon the two Chapters fought in tandem which altered the course of the battle and destroyed the Aeldari forces completely. After the fighting, the Blades of Dorn praised the Ebon Knights' courage and tactical prowess. Both Chapters formed strong bonds of friendship and brotherhood during this campaign.
- Assault on Drusus (587.M36) -
- The Clovis Rebellion (112-114.M37) - When a Black Crusade is launched in the Clovis sector, a joint-Astartes strike force is sent to quell the five worlds that have become overrun by bloody insurrection. The Clovis Rebellion quickly escalates when a large force of Night Lords Heretic Astartes arrived and the Planetary Defence Forces of Clovis Prime crumbled. The Blades of Dorn, Blood Vultures, Brazen Lions, and the Ebon Knights launched a counter-attack to secure vital Imperial artefacts before Exterminatus was declared. It takes the three Chapters two more years of brutal conflict to cleanse the rest of the sector's worlds before they are declared free of corruption.
- Penitent Crusade of Vengeance (112-192.M38) - When the Blades of Dorn's genetic forbears, the Crusaders of Dorn, are deemed Excommunicate Traitoris following the events of the Abyssal Crusade in 112.M38, suspicion and doubt fall upon their progeny as well. Despite having their integrity and loyalty brutally tested by the Imperial Fists themselves, this is not deemed a good enough reason to allay the suspicions of the Ordo Hereticus. Therefore, the Inquisition forces the Blades of Dorn to undertake a penitent crusade into the Eye of Terror itself. Should they successfully prosecute this nigh-suicidal task, and emerge uncorrupted from this hellish realm, they would be deemed loyal and saved in the eyes of the Emperor. With no other recourse, the Blades of Dorn set course for the Cadian Gate, and then disappeared into the hellish realm of the Eye of Terror. Nearly eight decades later, the battered Blades of Dorn Chapter fleet once again reemerged into realspace near the Fortress World of Cadia. They were reunited with the Imperial Fists and granted an audience aboard their star fort Phalanx. They were detained and thoroughly tested by the agents of the Inquisition, both in body, mind and soul, and were not found wanting. Satisfied, the Inquisition absolved the Blades of Dorn Chapter of their progenitor's sins and granted them the Emperor's forgiveness. The Blades had successfully purged more than two dozen worlds within the Eye, but had lost nearly half their number in the process. To help assist them in rebuilding their shattered ranks, the Imperial Fists granted them some of their own genetic stock. This was both symbolic as well as practical, as the Blades would now receive the purest of Dorn's bloodlines, which would help tie them closer to their genetic forebears, as well as absolve them of the tainted gene-seed of their corrupted progenitors. The Imperial Fists also provided some of their most ancient relics, arms and equipment to help rebuild the fighting strength of the newly absolved Chapter.
- The Titan Wars (920.M41-925.M41) - (in progress)
Unlike their genetic forebears, the Imperial Fists, the Blades of Dorn are strong adherents to the dictates of the Codex Astartes, however they only nominally adhere to the Codex in terms of tactical and logistical division of their troops, with their insignia and command structure varying somewhat in structure and use. Most notably, the conventions of title and nomenclature used by the Chapter are of marked difference from the Codex. Feudal heraldic ranks that originated on the Chapter's homeworld of Ostiarius are traditionally appended to the nomenclature of the Blades of Dorn's command structure. The Chapter Master of the Blades of Dorn, for instance, is known as a Lictor. The Chapter's Lictor awards these titles in recognition for acts of courage and skill-at-arms performed by individual Battle-Brothers. Every rank is fully capable of making tactical decisions on the fly and are encouraged to act on their own initiative should those above them in rank, fall in battle.
Hierarchy & Rank Structure
- Lictor - Chapter Master equivalent.
- Seneschal - The Seneschal is the Lictor's second-in-command and field marshal, usually the Knight Marshal of the 1st Order.
- Knight Marshal Captain equivalent, charged with leading one of the Chapter's Orders (Companies).
- Paralictor - This rank is equivalent to the bygone rank of Lieutenant, which has been re-constituted from the days of the Great Crusade, following the introduction of the Primaris Space Marines into the Chapter's ranks.
- Grand Prelate - Reclusiarch equivalent.
- Viceroy - An appointed position, serves as the Grand Prelate's second-in-command.
- Vicar - Chaplain equivalent.
- Paravicar - This rank is equivalent to a Chief Librarian. They are the leaders of an order's Signifiers, equal in rank to a Master of Blades.
- Signifier This rank is reserved for those battle-brothers who possess psychic abilities. (Equivalent to a Lexicaniusm, Epistolary or Codicier.)
- Forge-Thane - Master of the Forge.
- Forge-Smith - Techmarine equivalent.
- Medicae Primus - Chief Apothecary equivalent.
- Medicae - Apothecary.
- Knight Grand Cross - Not a rank, but a senior grade of chivalry (the Chapter's highest honorific title) given to a Knight who has knowledge, and achieved great accolades and monumental victories, above and beyond the call of duty. These Knight-Errants are entitled to wear Terminator Armour in battle.
- Knight-Errant - Veteran Marine equivalent.
- Prior - Veteran Sergeant equivalent, oversees a Priory (30 Astartes or 3 squads).
- Preceptor-Sergeant - Sergeant equivalent rank, oversees the command of a squad (10 Astartes).
- Preceptor-Brother - Preceptor-Brothers are those who have passed all the Trials of Dorn and are recognised as full battle-brothers.
- Armiger-Brother - Armiger-Brothers or Armigers, are not yet full members of the Chapter, serving as the Chapter's Scout Marines.
- Squire - Squires are those Neophytes who have passed the initial Trials of Dorn, but have yet to undergo the necessary surgeries to become Astartes.
- Esquire - Senior ranking Chapter serfs that have faithfully served the Chapter for several decades of loyal, dedicated service.
- Man-at-Arms - Known also as an armsman, these stalwart retainers serve as the maintainers of a Preceptor-Brother's arms and equipment.
- Page - A young Chapter serf that serves as an attendant to a Preceptor-Brother.
Order of Battle
As a semi-Codex oriented Chapter the Blades of Dorn are divided into ten Orders (Companies) comprised of 100 Space Marines each. Each Order is led by a veteran hero of the Chapter with the rank of Knight Marshal (Captain). In addition to their company command, these consummate warriors and leaders are also charged with a particular aspect of the Chapter's logistics.
Since the advent of the Primaris Space Marines being inducted into their ranks, the Blades of Dorn have effortlessly integrated these superior transhuman warriors into the various companies of the Chapter. Within some of the Chapter's companies, the Blades of Dorn have begun to incorporate the bygone rank of Paralictor (Lieutenant) - warriors whom serve as sub-company leaders - with two assigned per Order (Company), to help act as the right hands of their Knight Marshals by providing flexibility and helping to direct their fellow battle-brothers in engagements.
When the situation calls for it, Battle Companies can divide into two Demi-Orders (Battle Demi-Companies) of fifty Astartes each, in order to spread their forces across multiple combat zones. These demi-companies are led by a Paralictor, who leads his brothers unflinchingly into battle, therefore taking the burden of command on the ground off the Knight Marshal's shoulders, so that he can concentrate on the overall flow and every-changing fluidity of the battle, and can adjust his tactics accordingly.
Chapter Master of the Blades of Dorn
Master of the Forge
Master of Faith
(Epistolaries, Codiciers, Lexicaniums)
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|1st Order||2nd Order||3rd Order||4th Order||5th Order|
Master of Blades
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Order||7th Order||8th Order||9th Order||10th Order|
Like their genetic forebears, the Blades of Dorn are the epitome of Codex Astartes doctrine. All ranks are able to make tactical decisions and are encouraged to act on their own initiative, making this Chapter a truly flexible fighting force, able to adapt to almost any combat situation. The combat doctrines of this aggressive Chapter are those of the application of overwhelming force directed to where the foe is weakest. These shattering blows are used to utterly destroy enemy command cadres, vital strategic support structures and wreak terrible slaughter on the pride of an enemy's forces, often turning the tide of an entire conflict with a single, well-placed and savage attack. In accordance with the Codex Astartes, the Blades of Dorn combine all arms in flexible, balanced battle groups, each of which can present an opponent with a diversity of threats. The Blades of Dorn will then press their attack so swiftly that the foe is overwhelmed before they can react.
The Blades retain the traditional skills of the Imperial Fists in urban and siege warfare, although they are quite willing to engage and defeat the enemy in open battle in any type of environment. They use fortifications when on the defensive (which rarely occurs, as they are an aggressive Chapter), but only after all of the more aggressive options have been exhausted. Like the Imperial Fists, the Blades of Dorn's principal weakness is their reluctance to accept the possibility of defeat that sometimes blinds them to the risks inherent in their aggressive stratagems. The Blades will stubbornly hold their ground, refusing to withdraw from the field of battle, even when faced with annihilation by a numerically superior enemy force, despite being beneficial for them to do so.
The Blades of Dorn are pious, zealous and uncompromising Astartes who have a deep and abiding faith in the Emperor of Mankind and their Primarch Rogal Dorn. But faith is not the only thing that drives their actions - they are also burdened by overwhelming guilt for the actions of their former genetic forebears - the disgraced Crusaders of Dorn. When encountered, these stoic and taciturn Astartes seem aloof and standoffish, most likely due to the actions of their forebears, which aroused much suspicion amongst their fellow Adeptus Astartes Chapters. During the Years of Shame, many aspersions and recriminations were cast upon them without just cause, as the actions of their progenitors often overshadowed the loyal and faithful service of the Blades of Dorn. Though ultimately vindicated of their forebears' sins and granted the Emperor's forgiveness, they are sometimes still treated with much acrimony and suspicion by more zealous Chapters. This has caused the Blades of Dorn to tread lightly when working alongside other Space Marine Chapters, but has also instilled within them an overwhelming drive to enact retribution against those who dare transgress against the God-Emperor and the laws of the Imperium.
As a Successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists, the Blades of Dorn share their genetic legacy with their genetic forebears, especially after receiving their progenitor's own gene-stock following their redemption of the Years of Shame. Due to this direct link with their forebears, they have inherited many of the characteristics of their common Primarch Rogal Dorn. The Chapter's gene-seed is highly stable, though the Imperial Fists', and therefore the Blades' genome is lacking the Betcher's Gland that allows a Space Marine to spit corrosive acid, and the Sus-an Membrane that allows him to enter a life-sustaining state of deep hibernation. The Blades of Dorn's gene-seed is remarkably stable and healthy, free of all other major mutations and Chaotic contamination.
Primarch's Curse: Only Honour in Death
Like their progenitors, the Blades of Dorn are more than willing to fight to the last, holding their ground with a siege-like mentality which sees them triumph or die in the attempt. This expression of duty can become exaggerated in members of the Chapter after long periods of combat, especially against foes such as Heretic Astartes. In these instances, these Battle-Brothers see only death; their comrades, the death of their world and the death of their foes. A Blades Battle-Brother believes that the only righteous path lies in the expenditure of their own life for these purposes and he faces his death with a stoic heart and a single-mindedness that can only lead to the complete annihilation of everything and everyone he faces, eventually including even himself and those who fight beside him. When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests itself in an affected Battle-Brother, it comes on in three stages:
- Stage 1 (No Retreat): As the odds mount so does the Battle-Brother's stubborn refusal to retreat, seeing only the glory and honour in defeating such overwhelming foes if even the barest glimmer of victory remains. Even if the doctrine and teaching of the Codex dictate retreat or flexible defence, the Battle-Brother will be loath to disengage until there is absolutely no choice, though often this can come too late.
- Stage 2 (Suffer not Defeat): Defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for the Battle-Brother and he would rather die fighting than accept that he has failed. This can lead to reckless behaviour as he throws himself into the fray or takes on excessive odds to win when prudence and tactical reason would dictate he withdraw.
- Stage 3 (Unto Death): The Battle-Brother has come to accept that perhaps only the cost of his own life will be enough to secure victory and is gladly willing to give it up. This can have dire consequences should the circumstances present him with a chance to martyr himself for the Emperor and bring ruin to the enemies of the Imperium. Should a Battle-Brother suffer mortal wounds, he gains a fatalistic desire to sell his life for the cause and will choose to expend his own life for a chance at victory or the safety of his brothers. This means he will fight on regardless of his wounds and continue to attack or place himself in the path of attacks even though the next blow could mean his end. He will also gladly accept suicidal or near suicidal tasks (such as disarming unstable warheads, leading a forlorn hope or holding a breach to buy time for his companions) without complaint.
Notable Blades of Dorn
- Lictor Fortis Dostriun - Lictor Fortis Dostriun is the current Chapter Master of the Blades of Dorn Chapter.
- Lictor Barathus Thornbur - Predecessor of Fortis Dostriun, he was one of the longest serving Chapter Masters of the Blades of Dorn Chapter, having served for over six-hundred years of faithful service to the Emperor.
- Lictor Ivan Gardorian - Chapter Master of the Blades of Dorn during the early 37th Millennium. When the Blades' progenitors were deemed renegades by the Inquisition, he voluntarily led his Chapter into the Eye of Terror on a Penitent Crusade, in order to take the fight to the Forces of Chaos and prove his Chapter's innocence. After nearly eight decades, the battered Chapter emerged from the Eye of Terror, and were subsequently tested for their purity of mind, body and soul. Found unwanting, the Blades of Dorn were granted the Emperor's forgiveness and brought into the Imperial fold. Chapter Master Gardorian would continue to lead the Blades for another five centuries, overseeing the rebuilding of his shattered Chapter, and prosecuting the Imperium's wars against the heretic, xenos and the daemon, until he was eventually killed during the 7th Black Crusade in 811.M37.
- Lictor Saul Invictarius - The first Chapter Master and patriarch of the Blades of Dorn, Saul Invictarius was the former First-Captain of the Crusaders of Dorn Chapter. When the 12th Founding occurred during the 35th Millennium, he was chosen for his zealous prosecution of his duties and strategic brilliance to lead the newly created Chapter. Though often times he was regarded by Imperial authorities as a bitter and hubristic individual, he was an undoubtedly competent commander whose personal valour was second to none.
- Knight Marshal Timon Reznor - Seneschal Timon Reznor is the commander of the Blades' 1st Veteran Company and is the Chapter's Master of Blades. He serves as the Lictor's Equerry and right hand.
- Knight Marshal Richard Greyson - Richard Greyson is the current commander of the Blades' 2nd Battle Company.
- Grand Prelate Lucan Valenburg - Current Reclusiarch of the Blades of Dorn.
- Viceroy Gaheris Huntinggard -
- Medicae Primus Gareth Palworth - Current Chief Apothecary of the Chapter's Apothecarion.
- Paravicar Asmodeus Grimgard - Current Chief Librarian of the Chapter's Libarius.
- Forge-Thane Erastil Blackstrong - Current Master of the Forge of the Chapter's Armoury.
- Prior Tristan Longstride - Chapter Champion and personal bodyguard of Lictor Dostriun.
- Dorn's Spear -
- Golden Sword -
- Hammer of Wrath -
Many Imperial scholars have noted that the Blades of Dorn tend to utilise the most ancient patterns of power armour, weaponry, vehicles and sacred relics. It is surmised that following their penitent crusade in the 38th Millennium, the Imperial Fists provided the battered Blades with the ancient VII Legion's most revered arms and equipment, in order to help bolster their severely depleted stocks of equipment and war material. The Blades of Dorn have continued to lovingly preserve their archaic arms and equipment, and have borne them down through the ages against the foes of their Primarch and the Emperor of Mankind.
The Blades of Dorn originally wore yellow and black coloured battle plate. The chestguard, vambraces, gauntlets, belt and groin guard were yellow in colour, dingy with the patina of millennia - the original yellow colour of the ancient Imperial Fists Legion. While the backpack, top of the helmet, shoulder pauldrons, cuisses (thigh armour), poleyns (knee guards), greaves (lower leg armour) and boots were black in colour, symbolising the Chapter's state of perpetual mourning for the loss of the Emperor and their Primarch Rogal Dorn. The shoulder pauldron trim, faceplate of the helmet, vents of the backpack and details of the lower leg armour were gold in colour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard was also gold in colour. The left shoulder pauldron proudly displayed the chapter's iconography, while the right shoulder pauldron bore the individual battle-brother's squad specialty markings (Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran). The right poleyn displayed a white-coloured Roman numeral, which designated company assignment. It was not known how the Blades of Dorn designate squad number.
Post-Penitent Crusade Livery
Following the corruption of the Blades' progenitors and the completion of their Penitent Crusade, the Blades of Dorn re-painted the majority of the their battle-plate in sombre black. Though this symbolic colour still marked the loss they felt for the Emperor's mortal shell and the death of their Primarch, it also came to encapsulate the Blades' eternal shame that they were descended from a Chapter of oath-breakers. Parts of their power armour are still detailed in their original gold colours, including the faceplate, parts of the backpack, gorget (neck armour), shoulder pauldron trim, couter (elbow guards) and details around the poleyns (knee guards). A golden coloured Aquila or Imperialis are often worn on the chest guard. The left shoulder pauldron proudly displays the chapter's iconography, while the right shoulder pauldron bears the individual battle-brother's squad specialty markings (Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran). Alternatively, sometime the squad specialty marking is indicated on the right vambrace. The right poleyn displays a white-coloured Roman numeral, which designated company number. Sometimes squad number is indicated by a small white coloured Roman numeral on the inset of the right shoulder pauldron or on the right vambrace.
The Blades of Dorn's Chapter badge is a golden-coloured stylised Imperial Aquila clutching a pair of swords in its talons which symbolises the Blades' never ending crusade to take the fight to the enemy, centered upon a field of black.
Like all Scions of Dorn Chapters, the Blades of Dorn have continuously maintained strong ties with their genetic forebears, the stoic Imperial Fists. Since their inception, the Blades' implacable drive to take the fight to the foes of Mankind proved pivotal during hundreds of campaigns, help them garner an enviable record that has seen them eclipse Chapters of more ancient provenance. They exemplify the stoic nature and intractable qualities of their Primarch Rogal Dorn, and have proven to be utterly unwilling to accept defeat in the face of overwhelming odds, thus earning the respect and admiration of their predecessors. Throughout the millennia of their existence, the Blades of Dorn have ensured that they maintain strong ties of kindship and brotherhood with their fellow Scions of Dorn, and on several occasions have gone out of their way to answer the call to arms to aid one of their fellow Chapters. Proving themselves worthy inheritors of Dorn, the Imperial Fists were the first to come to their aid when the Blades' progenitors fell from grace and they were declared guilty by association. The Imperial Fists were the Blades of Dorn Chapter's most vocal supporters after they returned from their sojourn into the Eye of Terror. Having played such an instrumental role in their vindication as well as providing the Blades of Dorn with the means to continue their existence, the Chapter has continued to be stalwart allies of the Imperial Fists.
The Blades of Dorn and Black Templars share an unusual brotherhood, even for Space Marines. Like their fellow Successor Chapter, the Blades of Dorn also have a penchant for close, melee combat and ranged warfare. This is further emphasised by the shared fanaticism of both Chapters, for their righteousness and zeal allow them to face and to overcome the most terrifying enemies facing the Imperium. No one is quite sure when such a bond occurred, but what is known, is that the two Chapters will fight alongside one another when called upon.
The Brazen Lions possess an excellent relationship with the ferocious Blades of Dorn Chapter, and on many occasions have helped them during their most trying times. A proud and imperious chapter, the Brazen Lions have on multiple occasions, have shared common cause. Fighting alongside one another down the millennia, decimating their foes in a hail of bolter and blade, ensuring their foes die in agony and fear.
The Death Templars and the Blades of Dorn have fought alongside one other throughout the centuries. The attack stratagems of both Chapters complement one another -- the Death Templars are the encircling hammer, and the Blades of Dorn the immovable Anvil. It is not known when the Blades formed a bond with their more venerable cousin-Chapter, but when these two Chapters have crusaded together they have often proven to be worthy allies, playing a pivotal role during several dozen major Imperial campaigns down the millennia. When called upon, each Chapter often eagerly responds to aid their fellow Scions of Dorn, without question.
Sometime during the 35th Millennium, when the Imperium had been split in half following the secession of the Segmentum Pacificus from the Imperium of Man, several Chapters were created in order to help bring much needed security to the realm of Mankind. The Blades of Dorn were one such Chapter created to help counteract the many outside threats to the unstable borders of the Imperium during this dark period of unrest and civil strife. The Imperius Ravagers were one of several Chapters called upon by the High Lords of Terra to mobilise to this troubled region of the galaxy to help counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders.
The Ravagers soon found themselves fighting alongside the newly created Blades of Dorn, which quickly garnered a reputation for being one of the most highly active Chapters during this conflict, deploying from warzone to warzone fighting against secessionist forces as well as responding to various emergencies and adding their strength to multiple ongoing campaigns. Fighting alongside the Blades and their fellow Scions of Guilliman - the Wardens of Orask, these three Chapters often helped to tip the balance of several conflicts in the Imperium's favour.
Forming unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood in the heat of battle, the Imperius Ravagers were one of the few Chapters that continued to support the Blades of Dorn following the fall from grace and eventual excommunication - of their progenitors - the Crusaders of Dorn. Despite the aspersions, suspicions and outright hostility shown to the Blades, the Imperius Ravagers stood by their cousin Chapter, and vehemently argued on their behalf, that they were both honorable and devoutly loyal, despite their progenitor's sins. Whenever called upon, the Imperius Ravagers have eagerly answered the Blades' call, and have fought alongside this dedicated and stalwart Chapter several times down the millennia.
The Wardens of Orask are a stoic and proud Successor Chapter descended from the noble lineage of Roboute Guilliman. Following the Blades' inception during the Nova Terra Interregnum sometime during the 35th Millennium, the Wardens deployed enmasse to the troubled borders between the Segmentum Pacificus and the Segmentum Solar to help counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders. The Wardens soon found themselves fighting alongside the newly created Blades of Dorn Chapter, which quickly garnered a reputation for being one of the most highly active Chapters during this conflict, deploying from warzone to warzone, fighting against secessionist forces as well as responding to various emergencies and adding their strength to multiple ongoing campaigns. Fighting alongside the Wardens, these two Chapters helped tip the balance of several conflicts in the Imperium's favour. Forming unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood in the heat of battle, the Wardens were one of the few Chapters that continued to support the Blades of Dorn following the fall from grace, and eventual excommunication, of their progenitors - the Crusaders of Dorn. Despite the aspersions, suspicions and outright hostility shown to the Blades, the Wardens stood by their cousin Chapter, and vehemently argued on their behalf, that they were both honorable and devoutly loyal, despite their progenitor's sins. Whenever called upon, the Wardens have eagerly answered the Blades' call, and have fought alongside this dedicated and stalwart Chapter several times down the millennia.
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By the Blades of Dorn
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About the Blades of Dorn
- "I remember your Chapter Master Ivan Gardorian. He had the audacity to glare at me when I suggested that your Chapter was not as pure as they professed themselves, considering the dead he had left behind. I can see a little of him in how you glare at me now. I am glad that I now bear the mark of shame on my armour for having been proven wrong - you children are far greater than your forebears."
- — Phoenix Commander Deus Krost of the Unbroken Spears