- "There is a fine line between faithfulness and betrayal, finer than the edge of your blade. Never forget it, lest you'll corrupt yourself with the blood and screams of our enemies."
- — Venerable Dreadnought Cole Solas, speaking to the assembled Apprentices of the Void Ravens, 905.M41.
The Void Ravens form an ancient and nefarious Crusading Chapter, whose history is plagued by bloodshed and atrocities. Born from the ashes and death of the Horus Heresy and delivered during the 3rd Founding, they have carved for themselves a reputation of bloodthirsty and sadistic Space Marines, which has led to downfall with their Progenitor, the revered Raven Guard. Operating in the depths of space, isolated from most of the Imperium during long decades, or even centuries, those Space Marines have come several times under scrutiny from the Inquisition for their malevolent behaviour and blatant disregard of human lives and sufferings. However, their dedication to the Emperor was always deemed sufficient to avoid the harshest of punishment that could have awaited them, keeping them among the forces loyal to the Imperium.
Few of their fellow Astartes appreciate them, or even want to fight with them, but for the Void Ravens, it is of no concern. The only thing which matters to them is killing heretics, traitors and xenos in the most terrific ways that they can achieve. Nine thousand years of unending Crusades have obviously imprinted their mark on this Chapter, which has distanced itself from its forebears by delving ever deeper in the shadows and carnages. From the borders of the Eye of Terror to the Eastern Fringe, those Brothers have fought all the enemies of Mankind, always eager to make them pay in blood the sufferings of Corax and his Legion during the Horus Heresy. Yet, despite their gruesome reputation, they are no berserks seeking the blood of their enemies, but warriors who believe that only terror can insure the safety of the Imperium. While not loved, and even cursed, by much of the other Chapters, their effectiveness and sheer talents have earned them the respect of those they fought with, albeit only grudgingly. The aggressive demeanour of this Chapter has led it almost to its doom many times in its history, but it has always returned, ever more determined to do its duty.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable Campaigns
- 2.1 The War Without End (XXX.M31-Ongoing)
- 2.2 The Rebirth of Nildril III (013-018.M32)
- 2.3 Terror on Abregado (233-254.M32)
- 2.4 Kale's Demise (888.M32)
- 2.5 The Dimantine Crusades (201-320.M33)
- 2.6 The Reclamation of Smirnia (303.M35-Ongoing)
- 2.7 Uldrian Carnage (650.M37)
- 2.8 The Infamy (828-840.M38)
- 2.9 The Crusades of Redemption (840.M38-256.M39)
- 2.10 The Indomitus Crusade (ca. 999.M41-111.M42)
- 3 Chapter Recruitment
- 4 Chapter Beliefs
- 5 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 6 Chapter Organization
- 7 Deathwatch Service
- 8 Chapter Combat Doctrine
- 9 Notable Void Ravens
- 10 Chapter Fleet
- 11 Wargear
- 12 Relics
- 13 Specific Relations
- 14 Notable Quotes
The history of the Void ravens isn't well know from the Imperium at large. Long centuries of silences are punctuated by decades long carnages and brutal purges. Yet, despite the atrocities which are the hallmarks of those Sons of Corax, there is proof that they bring the faith of the Emperor-God in the lost corners of the galaxy. Many a colonisation-fleet entered a system inhabited by men though to be pagans to discover whole civilisations venerating a Sky-God, its son the Raven and totemic symbols or more elaborate carvings which display an eerie similitude to the Void Ravens' iconography.
The Black Archives kept by the Chapter probably contains fountains of ancient knowledge, old poems and antic book depicting the Raven's quests toward the stars, but few, if any of the other servants of the Imperium ever led their eyes on it, save perhaps during the callous examinations which followed the Infamy, the most well-known engagement of the Chapter, and one which came extremely close to brand them as Excommunicate Traitoris. As of today, the void Ravens are still considered servants of the Emperor and are left to their own devices, most of the time. Still, many a Chapter or member of the Inquisition await with impatience the day the wandering crows will go too far and will finally be expunged from the Imperium.
The War Without End (XXX.M31-Ongoing)
The War Without End is the name given by the Void Ravens to what they consider their longest engagement. In fact, its start pre-date the creation of the Chapter. There is discussions about the precise beginning of this conflict, some claiming it was the Great Scouring, others seeing it at the onset of Istvaan III, or Istvaan V. What is unanimously accepted by the Ravens, however, is that this war has not ended and won't do so in the foreseeable future. Not as long as the Traitors remain.
While the rest of the Imperium treat Chaos Space Marines and cultists invasions and outbreaks as separated engagements against the Lost and the Damned, the Void Ravens see them as mere battles in the greater War without End. Even the mighty Black Crusades are but massive battles in a larger conflict, stretching time and space. For the Ravens, this unending war will finally meet its end only when the last Traitor breath his last breath, when the last cultist lay dead and that the whole Imperium is freed from the taint of Chaos. It is a daunting task, probably unachievable, but from Nuran Kale to Yafrir Valqash, it is a task which has driven the Chapter.
The Rebirth of Nildril III (013-018.M32)
Nidril III was the first planet to suffer the bitter hatred of the Void Ravens' full Chapter. Even today, nearly ten thousand years after their departure, the inhabitants of Nildril III still watch the depth of space with terror, chanting their endless payers to the Emperor ever louder as the night fall. Is is only on worlds belonging to the Imperial Cult that greater fervor in the God-Emperor can be found, and for the Void Ravens, it is proof enough that only pure terror can keep the masses of the Imperium in check. That all men and women older than 8 had had to be killed during the Rebirth does not matter.
The Void Ravens came to this world after years of silence, secretly hoping that the inhabitants had been enslaved by xenos or all killed already, for the alternative was too much an abomination for Nuran Kale and the survivors of the Heresy and the Great Scouring to contemplate. Therefore, when their star-ships entered the space around Nildril III to see the civilized world littered with vast monuments dedicated to the Chaos Gods, nothing could contain their wrath. The Ravens descended upon this world, where more than four billion souls still lived, and they began their slaughter. No one was safe during the five years of the campaign, save for the very young children who were still pure of body, who were spirited away by the Chapter and educated by its serfs.
When the reinforcements that the Void Ravens had called at the apex of their brutal campaign came, the Astartes left them a world utterly devoted to the Emperor, whose terrified youth was all the more ready to do anything to prove its loyalty. Never has any other force of the Imperium had to come again to restate the power of the Imperium on this world. After all, Kale warned the children : if the Void Ravens ever had to return to Nildril III, they wouldn't let mercy tie them as it had during the Rebirth.
Terror on Abregado (233-254.M32)
The First Hold, under the command of its first Marshal, Jorgvan Hetdol, answered a call for help from the beleaguered world of Abregado. This Fortress-World was besieged by waves after waves of greenskins who barrelled it in a never ending succession of wars since the end of the Great Scouring, slowly overwhelming the mighty defences of the world. When the Void Ravens arrived upon the planet, they discovered its defences in ruin, its cities under attack. Hetdol wasted no time and sent his Brothers into the fray, unleashing his ferocious but quite calculated terror-tactics against the Orks. The First Marshal ordered his forces to find and secure as many humans as they could, to ensure the safety of those still serving the Imperium.
While the nearby Orks sectors continued to pour out more and more warriors, reinforcement from other Chapters, the Imperial Guards and the Imperial Navy came to the rescue of Abregado. As the years went by, with no trace of possible victory over the endless hordes, the Void Ravens became more and more desperate, resorting to ever-more brutal tactics, going as far as to mutilate some Guardsmen to insure that their determination in the face of the enemy would not falter. Soon, under the leadership of Knight-Sergeant Udron Kay, the Void Ravens were feared more than the Orks among their allies.
The solace of Abregado came when a full Chapter from the Second Founding, the Death Templars, lashed out against the Greenskins, both on Abregado and their own worlds, where the brutes ended fighting each others after the death of several leaders. The Templars had quickly understood that they couldn't afford to be dragged in the prolonged battles on Abregado itself, but they diverted two Harrows to reinforce the Imperium on the planet nonetheless. The eight others were sent into the Ork's domains, were their unbending dedication allowed them to slay several warlords preparing to lead their forces to Abregado. The Death Templars also took part in the purging of Abregado. With their intervention, the fortress-world was finally cleansed of the invaders.
However, the cost of such victory had been heavy. Jorgvan Hetdol had been killed in the last months of the war, Udron Kay had taken control of the Hold as a Marshal in all but name since the death of his superior, leading to an increase of brutality towards the Imperial forces on Abregado and many complaints were levelled against the Void Ravens when the scope of the atrocities they had committed against some of their fellow soldiers of the Imperium came into scrutiny. Had it not be for the few remaining citizens of Abregado, who talked highly of the Ravens, charges of corruptions and heresy may have been laid against the brooding sons of Corax. But in honour of their fervour, the Void Ravens were left to depart, even if the Inquisition had began to take interest in their activities.
Kale's Demise (888.M32)
Nuran Kale, first of the Void Lords who presided over the destiny of the Void Ravens, lived longer than any other of his Battle-Brothers in his Chapter's history. Forever haunted by his past, more specifically what he saw on Istvaan and during the Heresy, Kale had unleashed is maddening grief upon the enemies of Mankind for centuries. But it was this very grief which led him to his doom against the hated Void Sirens. Kale was ambushed while he travelled from the Eight Hold to the First, the Wraith of Istvaan being brought out of the Warp by the Traitors' sorcery. Outnumbered two to one, the Ravens fought with even more brutality than they used to, driven to a formidable frenzy by their venerable Void Lord.
The Sirens failed to commandeer the Chapter's capital ship, but their talents with weapons combined with their discipline allowed them to make retreat with great ease once nearby Imperial Navy starships answered the call for help that the Void Ravens had launched at the beginning of the assault. The Consumed, the elite Veterans wearing Terminator armours held the lines and it seemed that victory, if bloody, wouldn't cost too much for the loyalist Chapter. Alas, Kale saw the Lord of the Sirens, whom he had personally fought with during the Great Crusade as a brother-in-arms. His hatred got the better of him and he defied Calios Kottel in duel as the Chaos Warlord was departing the Raven's vessel. The fight was brutal but ended quickly, when the Lord of the Void Siren managed to pierce the hearts of Nuran Kale.
While the Bell of Lost Souls tolled for the passing of Nuran Kale, his Brothers pursued their endless crusade among the stars, merely adding his name on the list of those for whom they had to kill the Traitors, wherever they may hide.
The Dimantine Crusades (201-320.M33)
The Dimantine Sector was an heavily fortified sector belonging to the Imperium, situated at the border of Segmentus Tempestus. For hundred of years it had stood as a beacon of imperial dedication. However, when Vandius ab-Slov became the Planetary Governor of Arkidia Secundus in 180.M33, the most powerful planet of Diamantine, the destiny of the sector took a turn for the worse. Vandius, a young and ambitious man seemed at first to possess great ideas for the sector, and he convinced several other Planetary Governor to cooperate in the Dimantine League. However, unknown to all, Vandius was a worshipper of Nurgle, who had vowed to bring the whole of Dimantine under the thumb of the Chaos God. Using fanatics to his service, he quickly blackmailed those who had joined the League, and coerced the other Planetary Governors to submit to him.
He bolstered the defences of his sector, knowing full well that the wrath of the Imperium would sooner than latter come to his newly founded realm. Dissenters and Imperial faithful were tortured and sacrificed by the hundreds to summon demons on every world. Lord Putrescent ab-Slov, as he called himself, was certain that nothing could topple him. However, if the forces of the Imperium took decades to react, they finally responded with a greater fury than he had expected. Several Chapters of Space Marines renowned for their brutality, which included the Blood Vultures, Imperius Ravagers, Marauding Eagles and Shadow Talons, answered in full force to the call of the Crusade. Among them were the ten Holds of the Void Ravens.
The Ravens entered the fray with an unusual wrath, and in one of the very few occasions were they did so in their history, they worked openly with the other forces of the Imperium, sharing all their intelligence and data. For them, the Dimantine Sector was lost beyond hope, the remaining faithful since long consumed by the hungry maws of Chaos. The Void Ravens fought for the whole duration of the Crusades, despite heavy losses, earning great renown for themselves, for even if their tactics were as brutal and merciless as ever, they displayed an open will to protect all the soldiers of the Imperium near them.
It is widely speculated that it was the hopeless state of the sector which led to this peculiar mindset among the Brothers, more than any will to truly protect the other forces of the Imperium: so dire was the situation that sacrificing even one soldier was deemed too dangerous by the Void Lord of the time, Baal Ignosis. While the Chapter as a whole didn't try to end the life of the Lord Putrescent, preferring to eliminate as many cells of fanatics as they could as the Crusade gained momentum, some of them still took part in the final battle in Vandius's stronghold. Void-Knight Vez ab-Corik and his squad secured the secret ways which could have been used by the Arch-Traitor of Dimantine to escape and that the Imperial forces had discovered beforehand.
The Reclamation of Smirnia (303.M35-Ongoing)
Smirnia is a world well acquainted to violence and war. It was conquered by the infamous Storm Draugar Chaos Warband when they made their entrance into the Exile Sector, at the onset of the Horus Heresy and then annihilated by the Everchosen when this host moved to the River of Exiles. Left alone for centuries, it was settled again by faithful believers of the Emperor and thrived for thousands of years. Until the return of the Storm. In 280M.35, the warband of the Blackspawn brothers returned to Smirnia and laid waste to it, toppling the great cathedrals to erect temples to the Chaos Undivided in their place. While the defenders of this world were quickly dispatched, they had had the time to make a call for help. Alas for the Ravens who answered it, the forces of the enemy were left unknown by this distress call.
When the Fifth Hold came to reclaim Smirnia, they discovered only a token force of occupation left after all those years. They quickly destroyed the cultists of the Chaos Gods and quickly deemed Smirnia utterly lost and prepared themselves to purge all the livings on this world. Alas for the loyalists, the Draugars came to protect their conquest. The two months long war was extremely brutal, with warriors of both side resorting to ever greater acts of brutality. Still, terribly outmatched both in skills and numbers, the Ravens were forced to flee this cursed planet, leaving behind themselves more than 50 corpses to be defiled by the Storm Draugars. Since that terrible failure, the Void Ravens have returned to Smirnia on multiple occasion, repeating a cycle of carnage against the Chaos forces of the River of Exiles, all a part of the greater Reclamation. For the Sons of Corax this campaign will only end when Smirnia is returned to the Imperium for good.
Uldrian Carnage (650.M37)
The short campaign known as the Uldrian Carnage saw the Void Ravens waging war against the Vile Blood Traitor Marines on a world since then beset by calamities. Once a verdant planet, used as a Paradise World for the powerful in the Exile Sector, Uldria is now nothing more than an haunted planet, whose ancient horrors still play the blood-bathes from the Carnage, as if not understanding that it has ended for thousands of years.
Coming back from the Occlusiad War, which had engulfed the Imperium for decades during the 37th Millennium, Void Lord Valien Torin had chosen to resupply at the Exile Sector, before leading his 500 odds Battle-Brother deep into uncharted territories. While the Void Ravens where resting, a call of distress came from Uldria. Strange phenomenons and terrific apparitions where happening on this world, the first signs of a Vile Blood invasion. Torin immediately led his weakened Chapter against the forces of Chaos.
In a six months campaign, Uldria was reborn in blood. Faced with the highly disciplined and somewhat honourable Vile Blood, the Void Ravens responded with the more Codex-oriented approach that their Void Lord favoured. It was soon proved that such tactics weren't effective, the Loyalists being largely outnumbered. With great distaste, Torin allowed the return of the more traditional battle-doctrines of the Ravens, and soon civilians suffered not only from the Traitors, but from the Astartes they had hoped would save them.
Despite savages battles and many atrocities from both sides, the Carnage ended inconclusively when the Vile Blood announced their depart from the now cursed planet. To prevent any knowledge of what the Void Ravens had done on this world, Valien Torin ordered the remaining survivors to be cleansed before the arrival of any reinforcement. It is widely speculated that it is this order, more than the loss of seventy Brothers during the course of the Carnage which led him to ever more reckless actions deep in space, until he died twenty years after departing from Uldria.
The Infamy (828-840.M38)
The event known has 'The Infamy', even among the members of the Void Ravens, is their greatest shame, and the one and only time in all of their bloody history where they truly stood at the brink of Excommunication. A war of influence had broken down on the Cardinal World of Saint-Iosaph. The Fifth Hold, led by a Marshal whose name as been expunged from all the records kept by the Chapter and is now only known as 'the Traitor', answered the call to arm from one of the faction, led by Father Hiropal, to the surprise of all. Blessed by the priests, the Hold unleashed its terror-tactics on a faithful population like never before or since. Soon, the streets were covered in blood and a tenth of the population had been killed. By then, the Bishops had vowed to support Father Hiropal, to end this madness. Alas for them, dementia had taken control over the Hold.
In an orgy of destruction, the Marshal ordered the mighty ship under his command, Terror's Doom, to unleash its ancient bioweapons on the planet. When the slaves and Astartes still on the ship refused to do so, he led his own forces against their Brothers, killing them all and burning their gene-seed. Saint-Iosaph was then bathed in viruses unseen on a world of Man since the dark days of the Horus Heresy. All living beings died, but it was not enough for the Traitor, who turned his forces against the nearby worlds, consuming them in his madness. Unbeknownst to him words of his atrocities had reached the Inquisition and his Chapter both.
Then begun a gruelling manhunt into the depths of space, Void Raven against Void Raven, all trying to avoid the forces of the Inquisition. It took six long years before the Traitor's Doom was located and commandeered by forces loyal to the Void Lord. The renegade Astartes, by now turned to Chaos, were captured alive when possible to be delivered to the Inquisition. The Traitor tried to escape but in the last moment was betrayed by his own men and brought before their former Brothers.
The trial on Saint-Iosaph lasted six years, during which the whole Void Ravens Chapter had gathered, opened all their archives and willingly submitted to the Inquisition. Many a Brother who had fought against the forces of the Traitor was deemed unfit to serve the Imperium, and sentenced to death, a sorrowful destiny for those warriors, but one accepted with grim resolution. It is probably this openness which spared the Chapter from Excommunication. Still, while the forces of the Traitor were burned on their stakes, the terms of the Chapter's redemption were laid down, and harsh they were - three hundred years of Crusade, without the right to replenish their ranks, under the watchful eyes of the Inquisition.
The Crusades of Redemption (840.M38-256.M39)
The Crusades of Redemption nearly wiped out the Ravens. They took to it with a dedication born from their shame. To have had brothers turning to the service of Chaos was the most atrocious crime that the Chapter had ever committed in the eyes of its members. Uncounted are the worlds where the Void Ravens fought and died during the Crusades of Redemption, from the fringe of the Eye of Terror to the depths of the Exile Sector, the realms of Orks and the planets of Man, they threw themselves against all the horrors of the Galaxy.
For a time, it seemed to the Inquisitors tasked with the surveillance of the Chapter that the Ravens were not so much seeking Redemption and a return to grace, but more a glorious extinction. Yet, the Chapter endured the more than three hundred years of Crusades and when the Siege of Verenos was finally lifted and that the xenos scum which had dared to try to conquer it was routed, after a twenty long years attrition war, the Inquisitors who had remained with the Chapter granted its 111 survivors the right to recruit once more. While the Inquisition hoped that the ways of the Ravens would change, the Chapter has returned to its root, but is now more careful and refuse to intervene in political wars on planets unless he has ascertained that Chaos or treason is truly at work.
The Indomitus Crusade (ca. 999.M41-111.M42)
The return of Robout Guilliman and the launch of the Indomitus Crusade saw the reappearance of the Void Ravens. Still led by Yafrir Valqash, the full might of the Crusading Chapter appeared near Terra and swore fealty to the new Lord Commander of the Imperium. No question about Corax's fate was asked, nor hoped, and the sable and deep blue Astartes fought alongside the armies of Primaris, Astra Militarum, Sororitas and other Astartes as openly as they had done during the long-forgotten Dimantine Crusade. Over the course of a century, their distasteful behaviour was as kept in check as they could afford, and the Brothers of the Chapter proved superb supplement to the powerful but still inexperienced Primaris.
The Ravens departed from the Indomitus Crusade only after the famous battle of the Pit of Raukos, having lost over 700 Astartes. Such losses came from their tendency to deploy in the thickest, deadliest of Zone Mortalis to purge them of the Chaos-tainted traitors and invaders they met; Roboute Guilliman offered to replenish those losses with Primaris hailing from the genetic lineage of Corvus Corax, many of whom felt honored at the prospect of joining such an old -if ill-reputed- Chapter, but Valqash and the Marshels politely declined. Breaking their vow of secrecy about their gene-flaw, they revealed it to the reborn Primarch and explained that they feared that, without the Touch of Istvaan, nothing could prevent their fall to maniac monsters.
With an heavy heart, Guilliman accepted, allowing them officially to not be sanctioned for their refusal to integrate Primaris in the Chapters. He, however, ordered the Void Ravens to truly think about amending their battle-tactics, however effective they may have been over thousands of years, so as to add the superior breed of warriors into their ranks in the future, for he did found their behaviour distasteful, to say the least. The commanders of the Chapter swore solemnly that they would do so, and perhaps one day, the ancient Chapter will manage to redeem his legacy and add the Primaris troops to its forces. After accepting this wisdom, the Ravens returned into the depth of space, replenishing their forces, until the need to unleash them against the enemies of the Imperium would call them back to war.
In recent years, some reports of sable and blue Primaris displaying the hailmark of the Void Ravens genetic idiosyncrasies have started to appear, and many an Imperial commanders on the good side of the Cicatrix Maledictum worries that, somehow, those Astartes have gotten their hands on the Rubicon process. As for their counterparts in the Imperium Nihilus, those news are said to be granted with revelations, for they know that some of the deadliest servants of the Imperium may have been strenghtened.
Being a Chapter devoid of any world to call their own, the Void Ravens have tended to recruit near their theatres of operations during the first four centuries of their existence. However, the attrition they suffered, coupled with difficulties to transform aspirants into Space Marines, which were even more pronounced that what was common among the other descendants of the Raven Guard, led them to seek other sources of recruits, going as far as to claim Void Borns as a source of aspirant. To the surprise of the Apothecarion, they discovered that those humans, bred in the depth of space since generations had higher chances of survival and transformation into a fully-formed Astartes. In mere decades, the Chapter's only source of new Brothers came from those people who had never walked on a planet. Such source of recruitment has obviously had effects, both on the psyche of the Battle-Brothers and their Gene-Seed.
However, the fact that such people insured that the Chapter's could indulge in its never-ending Crusades kept the Ravens from ever searching another source of recruits. To insure a fair supply of new Brothers, the Void Ravens don't hesitate to recruit among their very own crew members, but they prefer to claim some young Void Borns as tithes when they encounter other ships in the emptiness of space. They also have secret circuits which led them to old space-stations resting between the many systems of the Galaxy, where they are certain to gather hundreds of recruits if the need arise. Because of the many origins of the Battle-Brothers, the Chapter has developed a form of bastardized language, made from words of hundreds of other tongues, to be used by its members to understand each others, instead of using the Imperial Gothic which is only used when dealing with other Imperial Forces.
Like many of the other Chapters fighting for the Imperium, the Void Ravens do not see the Emperor as a God and do not partake in the Imperial Cult. However, they see the faith in the God-Emperor as one of the very foundations of the Imperium and therefore they try their best to protect or rekindle it on the worlds they fight on. However, this does not preclude them for being almost constantly under at least some form of scrutiny, when they are sighted in imperial space. Indeed, the Void Ravens have such an history of bloodshed and blatant disregard of civilians casualties that often-times their Chapter faced the risk of Excommunication. What they left in their wake has elicited many trials, but their effectiveness has constantly spared them.
Because of the characters of their Founding Brothers, the Void Ravens do not believe that neutrality exists. They firmly proclaim that one has to make a stand : either serves the Imperium fully or opposes it. Neutrality can't be afforded; in fact it is but the first step leading to betrayal. Just like their forebears faced enemies at all sides during the Horus Heresy, the Void Ravens see only foes and potential foes around them. Paranoia and suspicion often clouds the dogma of this Chapter. In a sense, they are a loyalist remnant of the Horus Heresy, a force adrift in a Galaxy where everyone could be a traitor. This is why they are particularly vicious when fighting against Chaos Space Marines. For the Void Ravens, the Long War is still going, and it is their duty to push the borders of the Imperium by destroying the bastions of the Traitors.
This is also why loyalty to one's oaths and the Imperium is so valued by the Void Ravens. Once a man gives his word, he has to be true to it, or he must be killed. The cult of this Chapter puts a great emphasis toward one's prowess with swords and bolts, but also with stealth and the ability to seed terror and fear in the hearts of their foes. They held the Emperor as the greatest warrior that Mankind ever birthed, while Corvus Corax is deemed as the unmarked guardian of His father's Empire, and they try to emulate both of those figures of the distant past. On their spaceships, the Void Ravens spend a lot of time praying and fasting, as a mean to protect their immortal souls from the corruption that they could bring upon themselves because of the way they conduct war. After all, not even Astartes can endure their battle-doctrines without questioning it or become bloodthirsty maniacs without such a strict faith to guide them.
Indeed, the Void Ravens bring terror to the unbelievers and the traitors alike, for it is their central tenets that, had Horus and the other Traitors been terrified by the Emperor, they would have remained steadfast in their dedication to His cause. And as the Primarchs who turned their backs to the Emperor have proven, no one is safe from the seeds of corruption. That's why making sure that humans know why some of them are killed in atrocious fashions, why some of them have to be brutality mutilated and left for all to see is a necessity. That it allows the Void Ravens to satiate deep and dark urges is only a bonus. This is the punishment for a wavering faith. If Mankind fear the wrath of the Emperor more than the madness of a vast Galaxy, then the Imperium will be preserved forever.
Just like their forefathers, the genetic material of the Void Ravens has been debilitated by the processes used by the Primarch Corax to replenish the Legion fighting forces after the Drop Site Massacre. Furthermore, the first brothers who formed the Void Ravens came from the most affected by the events of the Horus Heresy, and most of the Chapter's fighting force came from Raven Guard legionnaires whose gene-stock had had its growth rate accelerated. Therefore, some zygotes have been lost to the Chapter, the Betcher's Gland and the Mucranoid, as it is the case for the Raven Guard itself. However, it is far from being the sole defect, or at least undesirable effects that the gene-seed endured.
Indeed, the Battle-Brothers of the Void Ravens have their eyes turned entirely black mere months after their first implantation of zygotes. Their hair also darken, becoming pitch black as they age, contrary to what is common among other Astartes and normal humans. Their skin takes a distinctive greyish tint, although it could also be a resultant of the fact that the epidermis of many Void Borns is already far paler than the usual humans. The veins near their eyes also takes a pitch black colour which give those Astartes an even more disturbing appearance.
But the most important characteristic of their gene-seed is the 'Touch of Istvaan'. This anomaly has haunted the Chapter since its Founding. It begins with whispers half-heard, spoken in an ancient dialect of Kiavahr, which occurs only in the most heated battles of a campaign. Then, the afflicted battle-brother will hear them becoming louder and louder as he fights, until he finally understands them, while every other word is lost to his ear. When this stage is reached, all the Touch awaits is the decrease of the adrenaline present in the Astartes' body. When it occurs, the Void Raven is brought back to the dark days of Istvaan V. The present world is lost to him, his mind trapped in the guise of a Raven Guard Legionary of old, as the dark sands of this cursed world surround him. There, he can only suffer the betrayal which destroyed the Raven Guard during the Drop Site Massacre, witnessing the death of thousands of his Brothers and the grief of his Father.
Usually, such sensations are too much even for an Astartes to endure, and the afflicted Marine dies as his twin-hearts come to a definitive halt. However, some Brothers manage to endure this torment and then return to their Chapter, after hours or even days, trapped in the memories of a distant past. Their minds are forever scarred by what they saw and felt in their very bones, but their determination is only strengthened, for they have seen the face of Corvus Corax and bathed in an echo of his own sadness and sorrow. Such individuals quickly rise to the highest places of authority among the Void Ravens and it is they who lead the Chapter to other Crusades with a renewed hatred for those who betrayed the Imperium in those days of old. Despite the tolls it takes, the 'Touch of Istvaan' is actively sought by the Chapter, for its members believe that it is more a gift from Corax than a curse. Some Apothecaries even believe in secret that without the Touch, their Chapter would have turned traitor long ago, for they assume that the living memories of their forefathers keep them on track.
Being a Crusading Chapter, the Void Ravens operate from their own fleet of vessels. Since they are extremely active, despite their habit to strike from the shadows, they have never adhered to the tenets of the Codex Astartes. Instead of having ten Companies, they have ten Holds, of roughly 90 full Battle-Brothers and ten Scouts, fully independent structures, with their own forges, specialists and recruits. Each Hold is led by a Marshal, who is in charge of its organization, tactics and campaigns, except when the Void Lord choose to exert his will. The Void Lord rule the Chapter since the Battle Barge Wraith of Istvaan. He usually travel from Hold to Hold, sometimes calling all of them to gather. It usually means that the Void Lord wishes to launch a massive Crusade, but sometime he simply want to reunite the Chapter so its Brothers can remember that they are all part of something bigger than their Hold.
- Void Lord : The equivalent of a Chapter Master in a Codex Chapter.
- Marshals : They are basically the Captains of the Void Ravens, even if each one of them as more autonomy than usually afforded to the Captains in Codex Chapter. Deadly warriors and tactical geniuses, they are behind most of the Crusades underwent by the Chapter, down to very specific engagements. Their weapons are second only to those of the Void Lord.
- Void Bishop : The equivalent of the Reclusiarch in another Chapter.
- Void Priests : The Chaplains of the Void Ravens. Their is the duty to insure that their Battle-Brothers do not succumb to their dark instincts and follow the strict codes and ethics under which the Void Raven operates. It is also their duty to supervise those afflicted by the Touch, for as long as they endure it.
- Void Singer : The equivalent of a Chief Librarian in another Chapter.
- Cold Singers : The Archivists of the Chapter, who use the power of the Empyrean in the name of the Emperor, Corax and their Chapter. Their is also the task to preserve the lore, records and relics from the Void Ravens long History.
- High Preserver : He is the equivalent of the Master Apothecary in Codex-compliant Chapters. He is also one of the most trusted confident of the Void Lord.
- Preserver : They are the Apothecaries of the Chapter, whose duty is paramount. Because of the difficulties to transform a mortal boy, even a Void Born, into a member of the Void Ravens, and the deficiencies in the Chapter's Gene-Seed, those Brothers versed both in the arts of war and flesh are some of the most important members of the Chapter, and in greater number than in most Chapters. They always have the ears of their Marshals.
- Knight-Champions : They are the Company Champion in other Chapters. Deadly warriors, well versed in the arts of swords and shields, they carry the honour of the Void Ravens and Corax on their shoulders. They seek out the most deadly of foes in the midst of battle, to ensure that the Marshals can continue to lead the war effort to his inevitable success.
- Consumed : The Consumed are the Battle-Brothers tasked with the use of Terminator Armours, gathered around the Void Lord himself. They are sent into the fray only when the time for shadow tricks and subtlety has passed and that all which remains to be done is to crush the enemies of Mankind into a bloody pulp. Armed with the deadliest weapons that a Brother of rank can ever hope to wield, they leave in their wake only destruction.
- Knight-Brothers : They are the Sergeant of the Void Ravens, tasked with leading their Brothers into battle and during the many covert missions that the Chapter undergo.
- Void-Knights : The Void-Knights serve has the Vanguard Veteran among the Void Ravens. Well versed in the use of all kind of close-quarter weapons, they are chosen only among the most dedicated warriors, who have proven themselves time and time again. Each Hold posses its own unit of Void-Knights, who are never more than ten; therefore, the places into this prestigious order is extremely sought after by the Void Ravens. Often equipped with the finest Jump Pack that the Imperium can produce, they are quick and silent killers.
- Heralds : The Heralds are the Sternguard Veterans from the Chapter. There is only a very few of them and not all Holds posses them. However, they are always held in high esteem by their brothers since they deliver the wrath of the Imperium from afar with a deadly precision, having been selected among those Brothers able to use a bolter as if it was a part of them. Their title comes from the fact that they are often the first to kill when the Chapter launch an assault, their bolts heralding the embrace of the cold void.
- Apprentices : The Apprentices are the Scouts of the Chapter. There is rarely more than ten among an Hold, but they are a vital part of each, preserving its future and its legacy. They are particularly well versed in the arts of stealth and discretion, since they are often tasked with the missions requiring utmost discretion, something that a Power Armour would prevent.
Order of Battle
|Armoury||Reclusium||Apothecarion||Librarius||Master of the Fleet|
|Veteran Companies||Battle Companies|
|1st Hold||2nd Hold||3rd Hold||4th Hold||5th Hold|
|6th Hold||7th Hold||8th Hold||9th Hold||10th Hold|
The Voids Ravens have never sent many of their Battle-Brothers to the Long Watch. While their skills would be valuable and that the few who underwent it garnered success, their behaviour and their peculiar psychology never made them appreciated recruit for the Ordo Xenos' Chamber Militant. Furthermore, the 'Touch of Istvaan' is kept a secret by the Chapter and they will only send the Deathwatch those warriors who have already succumbed to it and survived, since the occurrence of the same Astartes suffering the 'Touch' twice in his life, is unheard off. That's why they don't have a specific profile for the Brothers sent to serve the Ordo Xenos.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
Despite the common belief that the Void Ravens are simply maniacs who like to inflict pain to their foes, the rules of engagements that the Chapter follow are very strict and well-defined. While they are extremely skilled with the uses of all sort of close-combat weapons and favour it over firing at the enemy, they also put a great emphasis on hit and run tactics. The loss of every Battle-Brother is a great tragedy for a Chapter which still has difficulties when it comes to transform humans into Space Marines. That's why the Void Ravens assault are particularly violent; they have to strike strong enough to weaken the enemy without staying engaged for too long. Those quick strikes and retreats are also a boon in their terror tactics, since they require discretion to be executed perfectly, which lead to constant paranoia in the ranks of their foes, since they can't ever be truly sure of being out of reach, save in their most well-defended bastions.
However, the Void Ravens clearly distinguish between their assaults which have a direct military purpose, and their terror attacks, which have another goal altogether. Indeed, when they strike fear in the heart of the common man on the planet they wage war, the members of this Chapter follow well-defined phases, at least when it is worth the effort. The first one is to locate populations who are still redeemable, either because the corruption has only taken root recently or because they don't know which side to believe yet. The Ravens then select between 10 and 100 individuals. Solitary Marines are then sent to kill them in gruesome fashion, and to place their victim's corpses in public places. Usually, the Marine will also write short messages encouraging the population to rouse and fight against the enemies of the Imperium. During this phase, the Void Ravens are ordered to not kill any other person than their targets, at all cost.
If the population still hesitate or slip even further into corruption, the same number of targets are selected, but this time the Astartes are given the right to kill anyone who could become a witness or simply is near their targets when they decide to kill it. At this moment, the first sighting of true butcheries begins to appear, as the Void Ravens do not hesitate to kill their targets when they are with their families and friends. Once more, clear messages are left, dictating to the population what they have to do to make the carnage stop. Then, all attacks cease during one week in local time. At this point, factions usually appears who wish to do has the mysterious killers ordered, and civil strife ensue. The Astartes then intervene to help the loyalists they have roused and launch vicious assaults on the forces trying to crush the insurrection.
However, it may also happens that the local population wholly and completely submit to corruption. Their hatred of the invaders overtake their fear and they choose to attack the soldiers of the Imperium, turning traitors as many worlds did during the Horus Heresy. At this very moment, the Void Ravens are given carte blanche by their officers. The settlements they attacked are considered lost so the Astartes can indulge themselves in atrocious acts of carnage, taking great pleasure in their purge of the traitors. It is usually those events which led to trials against them, since most of the other Imperial forces only see the Ravens killing potential Imperial citizens trapped in a war bigger than them.
This usual doctrine is known to be wholly discarded when the Chapter discover pocket of Imperial resistance on a world they have been tasked to purge. In such events, the one and only goal of the Void Ravens is to save and protect those loyalists at all costs for themselves. It is not unheard of whole Holds to be almost eradicated in the course of a single Crusade only to insure the safety of hundreds of ragtag resistant. Still for the Ravens, protecting those brave hearts in which the flame of loyalty has always burned bright is worth such a terrible cost. Those rare mortals are held in higher esteem by the Chapter than most of powerful of the Imperium, a fact which never cease to amaze outsiders, for with those men and women, the Void Ravens are incredibly protective and caring, feeling in them kindred spirits with their Founding Brothers.
Notable Void Ravens
Void Lord Nuran Kale : The first leader of the Void Ravens, Kale was only a Sergeant during the Drop Site Massacre. He was among the few Raven Guard who were separated from his Primarch in their retreat and dispersal on the black sands. He managed to gather around him roughly fifty of his Battle-Brothers, and half as much from the Iron Hands and Salamanders. Without any knowledge of his Primarch's whereabouts, Nuran Kale led a daring action against some Iron Warriors Thunderhawks and used them to seize a small frigate. Both he and his warriors then slipped away from the Traitors, vowing to make them pay in blood.
During the seven years of the Horus Heresy, Kale fought far away from his kin, as many did among the Shattered Legions, only reuniting with Corax after the death of the Arch-Heretic. The reunion was far from joyful, for both the Astartes and his Primarch had been deeply scarred by the betrayal of Horus and the subsequent battles. Corax promoted Kale to the rank of Captain for his actions and dedication. It was the last time that they saw each other. Months later, Corax had granted the Emperor's Mercy to the mutants he had created while trying to save his Legion and sequestrated himself in a room of the Ravenspire. Nuran Kale never saw his Primarch embark to the Eye of Terror, but it is said that when he learnt about it, he fell to his knees and cried like a young child.
When the 3rd Founding was in preparation, Nuran Kale petitioned for the right to lead a new Chapter. He gathered around him all those Astartes from the Raven Guard who were just as marked as he was by the Horus Heresy, those who could not simply stalk their enemies in the shadows but had to exorcise their inner daemons and torments in the very flesh of their foes. It is said that Kale took the title of Void Lord and named his Chapter the Void Ravens, not because he vowed that they would forever haunt the traitors from the void of space, but because he felt as if he had become an empty shell of his former self.
Marshal Udron Kay : Udron Kay was the leader of the First Hold from 255.M32 to 327.M32. He led daring Crusades deep into Greenskins' territories during his tenure, unleashing upon the brutes infesting those worlds all sorts of atrocities. His behaviour was so extreme that even his own Battle-Brothers began to believe that he was slowly falling into madness and corruption. His final faith would have probably be a grim betrayal of all the values of the Imperium, if he had not been the first Void Raven to succumb to the Touch of Istvaan. He had always heard half-whispered orders and screams since his inception in the Chapter, and they grew louder as he delved deeper into atrocities and useless torment of civilians. When the Touch finally claimed him he was tormented for four-full solar days, until he finally died. Since it was at that time an unknown symptom, it was meticulously archived, and then the information was quickly but secretly sent to the other nine Holds of the Chapter. Many Battle-Brothers who already heard the whispers then corrected their behaviour, out of fear.
Marshal Nolan Toldrik : Toldrik served as the Marshal of the Ninth Hold during no less than 800 years, reaching the venerable age of 1,000 years when he died. A great warrior and a skilled diplomat, Toldrik had been born on Deliverance and was a new recruit of the Raven Guard Legion in the closing years of the Horus Heresy. He was known for his harsh discipline and the leashes he imposed upon his fellow Void Ravens. He is perhaps the one and only member of this Chapter more revered, than reviled, by the rest of the Imperium. He personally led his Hold in several major Crusades, such as the Reclamation of Smirnia, the Conquest of the Lost Stars and the War in the Night. After his death, the Ninth Hold acquired an atrocious reputation, when its brother indulged their inner daemons, until they were censured by the Void Lord of that time, one of the very few occasions where the behaviour of Void Ravens Battle-Brothers elicited such a reaction from the leader of their Chapter.
Void Lord Valien Torin : Valien Torin was the leader of the Chapter from 500.M37 up to 836.M37. During his tenure, the Void Ravens launched more Crusades than ever before or since, for Valien wanted to atone for what he saw as the rampant corruption taking place in his Chapter. He willingly led his brethren against foul xenos and the most atrocious of heretics, so the urges of the Void Ravens would not drive them away from the light of the Emperor. He took the opportunity of the decade-long Occlusiad War to do battle with the forces of the Blind King at all costs, making a solemn oath that he would see the end of every Apostle serving this great heretic, an oath which cost the Chapter dozens of lives. Once this war was over, he gathered whatever force he could still muster and sent it against other dangerous foes, far beyond Imperial borders. When Torin finally died in action, the Void Ravens had been reduced to less than 200 Battle-Brothers and they took centuries to replenish themselves, being believed lost in space during that time.
Knight-Brother Bruce Cullen : The Knight-Brother Cullen became a hero of the Chapter when he and the nine Brothers he commanded were dispatched by the Fourth Hold to answer a call from the Hive World of Hellios II in 754.M38. Over a period of two years, he and his Brothers hunted down the cells of a vast cult of assassins and killers, hiding in the underbellies of each Hive-City and launching deadly strikes against the figures of authority on Helios. Cullen answered by unleashing his formidable knowledge in terror attacks against the population of the underhives, forcing them to reveal what they knew to make the horrors cease. This is how he managed to find a trail which led him to the leader of the cult, an old and demented Night Lords Legionary, who was following his own path of revenge against the Imperium. The Chaos Space Marine was felled by the Knight-Brother after a terrible fight which claimed the lives of four Void Ravens. Cullen and his remaining soldiers were retrieved by the Chapter mere days after their battle, but the Knight-Brother died from his wounds, which had been infected by some secret poison and refused to close. To this day, he is still seen as the epitome of what a Brother of rank must be among the Void Ravens.
Knight-Champion Ethmiel Kolkas : Kolkas was a Void Raven serving in the Third Hold during the second half of M38. He quickly proved to be incredibly skilled with a blade and a shield, but was also a true genius when it came to strategy. Most of the other Void Ravens believed that his ascension within the Chapter would be extremely quick, despite his sole apparent flaw - his arrogance. Ethmiel Kolkas was indeed quite conscious of his many talents and displayed a behaviour which confined with outright rebellion when dealing with both his superiors and other figures of authority from the Imperium. However, while he was doing his best to claim the position as the next Marshal of his Hold, he was taken by the Touch of Istvaan.
What he lived through the memories of those dark days is known only to him and it is a secret he brought with him to his tomb. But what is known is that, having survived the Touch, he made a solemn vow to never lead any Battle-Brothers and asked for the rank of Knight-Champion. Because of his talents, his request was granted and he devoted himself to his new task, protecting the honour of the Third Hold during no less than 300 years before he was finally killed in action. But even then his enemies couldn't claim the life of his liege and in death he insured the victory of the Void Ravens.
Venerable Dreadnought Cole Solas : Cole Solas is the oldest Dreadnought still in activity among the Void Ravens. When he was still able to walk the corridors of the Wraith of Istvaan, he was the High-Preserver of his Chapter. He had accumulated vast knowledges in the genome of the Void Ravens and how it had been imprinted both by the traumas of the Founding Brothers and the nature of the Void Borns who have become the sole source of recruitment for the Chapter for thousands of years. He was entombed within his Dreadnought sepulchre in 801.M38, when he was mortally wounded by an Ork Big Boss of incredible proportions. The fact that he is the oldest of the Venerable still active is both a testimony of the brutal battles that the Chapter undergo and of his personal resilience.
Entombed into his new body, Solas can't indulge the urges which are a part of his brethren's genetic and cultural legacy. He has however retained his level-headed and wise character, unlike so many of his predecessors, who, once turned into a Dreadnought, couldn't endure their new sensations and rushed to their second death. Even the Touch of Istvaan which has claimed him after his mortal injury, couldn't break his mind. Since he can't help his Chapter as an Apothecary, he has devoted himself to teaching and preaching to his younger Brothers, as a way to insure that the Void Ravens won't fall from grace in the pursuit of their wars.
Void Lord Yafrir Valqash : The current Void Lord of his Chapter, Yafrir Valqash has served the Imperium for more than 700 years. This grizzled veteran, whose face bears the scars of hundreds of campaigns and whose hair forms a dark mane around his grey skin, is renowned for his talents with the twin blades he has wielded for centuries, and an incredible cunning, matched only with his sadism. Valqash was born into an old spaceship, the Ghost of Moebius, which travels between several planets in the Gothic Sector. The Ghost was said to be cursed and for the Void Borns of other ships, their kin from this one was to be avoided at all costs. Those born there, they said, take pleasure in making others suffer.
Yafrir Valqash has proven time and again that they were right. While he can be almost charming at times, the way he deals with the enemies of the Imperium reveals the deep pleasure he takes in inflicting suffering and terror. In any other Chapter, such an individual would have been prevented from ever ascending to the rank of Chapter Master, but among the Void Ravens, Valqash has thrived. Among those Astartes, he learnt and then taught, how to seed terror in the hearts of traitors and heretics and how to make them suffer before killing them. And yet, Yafrir Valqash has displayed a strangely quiet and caring facet of himself when dealing with those who, trapped within enemy territories, still serve the Emperor with fervour. For them, and them alone, the Void Lord will take any risk, butcher any civilian and even bet his own life. And if in doing so, he can indulge his personal sadism, then it is all the better.
Marshal Lucius Odgen : Odgen is the current Marshal of the Tenth Hold. A man of few words, he has come to assume that the gene-seed of his beloved Chapter is flawed. The grief and suffering of its first Brothers infused in it, and the culture of the Void Ravens allowed it to grow, until the gene-seed became unbalanced. Therefore, Lucius doesn't try to force his Brothers toward other ways of conducting warfare. He himself knows all too well that the needs to inflict terror, even on the citizens of the Imperium, is too powerful to be suppressed. Far too often, he has let his desires take control of him, where a nobler Astartes would have endured them without giving in.
Still, the Tenth Marshal hopes to do the better with the cards he has been dealt and holds in hands. If his Brothers can't interact with the rest of the Imperium without hurting it, then interaction must be kept at a minimum. If their hatred and bitter grief consumes them from the inside, then he offers them solace on their foes, fall all are deserving of suffering. By doing so, the image of the Tenth Hold has improved without the need of the drastic measures which have always failed the previous efforts to change the Void Ravens from the inside. Only time will tell if the modus operandi of Lucius Ogden will have to become the norm for his Chapter, isolating it even more from the rest of the Imperium of Man.
The Void Raven fleet is just as old as its older Founding Brothers. It is comprised of ten Strike Cruiser and a Battle Barge, each accompanied by escort-ships and repair-ships, among which only the Everlasting Revenge has earned some recognition. This fleet is renowned for its ability to slip almost unnoticed, both because of the technology used for its most massive ships and the talents of their captains.
- The Wraith of Istvaan: The Battle Barge serving as the flagship for the Whole Chapter, where the Void Lord reside, is as old as the Void Ravens, for it was commissioned for them. Its prow looks like a raven's skull watching the depth of space and, much like the Raven Guard starship from the Great Crusade Era, it is able to disappear from the auspex and other radars, only remaining visible to the waking eye, at the cost of some speed and fire-power, just like all the Raven's Strike Cruisers.
- The Tears of Corax: The First Hold personal ship, the Tears of Corax is an almost standard Strike Cruiser, for the Void Ravens at least. It as earned an infamous reputation since it was given to the Chapter for its Founding, for the First Hold is known to use it has a last remainder of the terror they unleashed on the worlds they fought on, by firing at the planets they depart from in remote locations, simply to let visible scars on it.
- The Screams of Deliverance: Used by the Second Hold, this starship earned an almost as bad reputation that the Tears, for it is said that its coming herald brutal and bloody wars, where all hopes are lost and rivers of blood will be spilled by the innocents and the civilians. However, the ability of its crew to slip away from pursuers only to strike back at them from an unsuspecting position later on.
- The Wrath of the Emperor: This old vessel has been used by the Third Hold since the beginning of M33. Perhaps it is replacing an older starship or was obtained at that time is unknown. What is certain is that the Wrath is one of the less discreet weapon in the armoury of the Void Ravens. The Third Hold relish its brutal arrival in battles and they are known for operating more openly than most of their brethren.
- The Shadow Guardian: The main base for the Fourth Hold operations, the Shadow Guardian has been commandeered in the early days of the Great Scouring. While it's origin is unclear after millennia of use by the Void Ravens, it was probably an abandoned loyalist Strike Cruiser left alone to drift in space when it was almost totally destroyed in some ancient battle. Since the time of its repair, the Shadow Guardian as made the Traitors pay for the deaths of its previous owners, while protecting the domains of the Emperor.
- The Traitor's Doom: Used by the Fifth Hold, this Strike Cruiser is equipped with ancient bio-weapons and world-killer class weapon. The Fifth Hold is known for using it to destroy every Traitor world they stumble upon. It as also earned an atrocious reputation since the Fifth Hold used it several times while allied forces were still on the planet.
- The Torin's Will: This ship was renamed after Valien Torin's ascension from the rank of Sixth Marshal to Void Lord in 500.M37. It was a deliberate choice from Torin to distance its antique starship from its previous legacy of slaughter and infamy. Despite his more than mitigated success in changing his whole Chapter, the Brothers from the Sixth Hold have, since his days, stayed true to his ambition, and they thus try their best to hide the Torin's Will when they commit the atrocities which are the hallmark of the Void Ravens.
- The Seeder of Terror: This Strike Cruiser owe its name to the modus operandi of the Seventh Hold. Its Battle-Brothers delve far deeper than any other Void Ravens in the unexplored corners of the Galaxy. Once they discover worlds inhabited by humans, they descend upon them, bringing terror and death on all, to instil a religious terror toward the God-Emperor. They then sent messages to the forces of the Imperium to come and claim the "seeded" worlds.
- The Eternal Crusader: As its name imply, the Eternal Crusader has never ceased to launch Crusade after Crusade since the inception of the Chapter. It is always in repair by the Chapter's servants and slaves, for the Brothers of the Eighth Hold refuse to wait and rest between Crusades. Only the resilience of the Space Marines starship combined with the discretion of the Void Ravens' fleet allowed the ancient Strike Cruiser to survive the millennia.
- The Unbending Dedication: Used by the Ninth Hold, the Unbending Dedication is the most heavily armoured of the Void Ravens vessel. Used more often than not as a gigantic weapon by the Brothers of the Ninth, the Unbending Dedication has been nearly destroyed dozens of times, only to return to the fray, refitted and deadlier than before.
- The Shadow of Corax : The Tenth Hold use the Shadow of Corax as their mobile headquarters. It always remain far from the front-lines where the Hold operate, until the enemy has been demoralized by the Brothers. It then comes has a last harbinger of death, until it disappear once more in the depth of void, ready to strike anew against the enemies of Mankind.
- The Everlasting Revenge: This escort-ship is the oldest possessed by the Chapter. It was originally a starship used by the Iron Warriors' Legion and it is the one which was commandeered by Nuran kale when he escaped Istvaan. During the seven years of the Heresy, it was refitted again and again and not much remain of its original configuration, save for a lone plaque where was inscribed the previous name and origin of this ship. The Everlasting Revenge is mostly a ceremonial ship, which is only rarely engaged by the Chapter in combat, since it was kept as it was found at the end of the Heresy.
Being an ancient and crusading Chapter, the Void Ravens do not posses the finest or most recent weapons and armours used by the better supplied Chapters. Its Brothers still mainly use Heresy Patterns armours, or MKVi "Corvus", with only a handful of MkVII being in use by the Chapter. However, it doesn't mean that their ancient equipment has become obsolete, quite the contrary. The Void Ravens have tinkered with their weapons, Power Armours, Jet Packs and other bolters since the beginning of their Crusades to make them far more efficient in the way they use them. That's why, for instance, their armours and Jet Pack use a lot less energy than those of most other Chapters, and they are also a lot more discreet. It obviously comes at a cost, since they can't use some of their equipment as long as others Marines can. But those difficulties have bred a pragmatic approach in the minds of the Ravens, who have spent centuries devising the better ways to use the tools at their disposal to do their duty.
- The Shattered Armour : Despite its name, the Shattered Armour is far from being destroyed. It was the Power Armour used by Nuran Kale during the dark days of the Horus Heresy, when he led one of the warbands of survivors away from Istvaan V and into the territories claimed by the Traitors. This armour was repaired with the help of the Iron Hands and Salamanders he had gathered around him at that time, which made it one of the finest that an Astartes could have had at in the chaos of the Heresy. It comes with two deadly Raven Talon Pattern Lightning Claws and a silent but powerful jump pack. When kale became the first Void Lord of his new Chapter, he gave his old armour to the Marshal of the First Hold, replacing it by a new one, allegedly forged by Corvus Corax himself, and it has been common custom for all the First Marshals to wear the Shattered Armour.
- The Helm of the Dead Raven : This helm is used y the Void Bishop of the Chapter. Is was made by fusing together the bones of some Raven Guard Brothers killed on Istvaan V in the semblance of a huge raven's skull. How the Chapter retrieved such relics is unknown. Some claims that it was made from corpses brought back by Kale when he escaped the cursed planet, others that the Void ravens secretly returned to the black sands during their first years. In any case, this helmet seems to infuse the ones who wear it with an aura of dread and drive the Void Ravens nearby to greater act of devotions and sacrifice.
- The Sword of Kolkas : This mighty power sword was crafted for the Knight-Champion Kolkas. It is longer than the usual blade used by the Champions of Company and can be used both as a one-handed blade or as a two-handed. Since its creation, the Sword has taken more lives than any other weapon in the Chapter, save for the Claws of the Shattered Armour.
- The Book of Toldrik : This enormous grimoire was written by the Marshal Nolan Toldrik during his tenure. It is there that he wrote his thoughts about his Chapter and its future destiny, should its leader not reign in the paranoia and love of inflicting suffering that have run rampant among the Void Ravens since their inception. While his recommendations have not been followed in their entirety, the events which followed his death led to some control over the Chapter's tendencies to veer toward unnecessary slaughter.
- Mourn : Mourn is an ancient and revered plasma pistol, crafted during the dark days of the Age of Apostasy, which saw the Chapter striking against the forces of Vandire from the very day he claimed power over the rest of his fellow High Lords. Who crafted Mourn has been lost to time, but this weapon has been in service in the Fourth Hold since that time. Mourn's owe its name to the screeching sound that the weapon release when fired, which is said by the Cold Singers of the Chapter to be akin to the cries of lost souls which can be heard in the warp.
- The Most Vile Blade : Sealed away in the deepest vault of the Wraith of Istvaan, this corrupted sword is the sole relic brought by the Chapter from the cursed world of Uldria. Which member of the Vile Blood Traitor Marines wielded it before it was taken by the Void Ravens is unclear, but it was probably a high-ranking member of this warband, from a demon, albeit a minor one, has been trapped in the edge of the blade. The Cold Singers speak in hushed whispers of a maddened killer, which screams for the blood of the living.
Often bonds of brotherhood are forged in the heat of battle. Nowhere is this more true than the unbreakable bonds of alliance forged between the 4th Founding Shadow Talons and their elder cousin-Chapter, the Void Ravens. Since the first few decades, following their Chapter's inception, small Shadow Talons strike forces have reported to their Chapter command of mysterious sable and deep blue-clad Astartes intervening at the most auspicious times, when the tides of fate had seemingly taken a turn for the worst, and all hope was lost. These mysterious Astartes would strike from the shadows like avenging wraiths, killing their foes in a flurry of blades and lightning claws, and then disappearing just as quickly as they had arrived, leaving no sign of their passing.
Despite their best efforts, the Shadow Talons could not identify their saviours that had intervened on their behalf, time-and-again, throughout their history. It wasn't until the Dimantine Crusade in the early centuries of M33, when the identify of the Shadow Talons' saviours were finally identified, in the form of their elder Scions of the Ravenlord - the Void Ravens. The two Chapters fought a long and glorious campaign together, and thanks in no small part to the Void Ravens efforts, the Imperial forces emerged victorious over the Forces of Chaos. The two Chapters found themselves of like-mind and temperament, and forged unbreakable blood-bonds that would forever after tie the two Chapters in eternal brotherhood. Since that long-ago campaign, the Shadow Talons have come to regard the Void Ravens as bond-brothers, and will willingly answer the call to war should the occasion ever arise.
The Night Ravens are a rare Successor Chapter of the Raven Guard created during the ill-fated 21st Founding, the so-called 'Cursed Founding'. Despite their own genetic deficiencies and dark reputation, the Void Ravens regard their younger kinsmen with a measure of respect as well as admiration, for overcoming the inherent distrust and outright hostility often cast upon the Night Ravens, due to their ill-fortuned origins. These two Chapters have fought alongside the other on only a handful of occasions, but when they have, they have accomplished great things, often changing the tides of battle in the Imperium's favour. Forming bonds of brotherhood, despite their inherent distrust and paranoia of outsiders, these two Chapters will willingly answer the call-to-arms, should the need ever arise - an oath which has only been fulfilled on a handful of occasions.
The relationship between these two Chapters is an evolving one. Both being like-minded in stratagems and their methods, the Chapters seemed like a perfect match at first and, indeed, during the earliest days of their associations, an unspoken level of respect passed between them. To a later date, some event caused some level of disagreement, resulting in mutual respect leading to rivalry. However, to this day, the Void Ravens still refuse to even talk about it, simply trying to outdo the Star Reapers whenever possible.
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By the Void Ravens :
- "I still see the black sands. I see them even when I sleep, when I shouldn't see them. I died there. Everything which came back from there was an empty shell. The guise of a Space Marine hiding a deep void, gnawing at me. I will fill my void. We will all, Brothers. We will fill it with the screams and blood of traitors. Let them feel the embrace of the cold void."
- — Void Lord Nuran Kale, before his first action as Chapter Master of the newly formed Void Ravens.
- "I can still smell it... the blood of my brothers. I see the black sands... I see you... Father? No! Nevermore! NEVERMORE! NEVERMORE! NEVERMORE!"
- — Knight-Brother Laudacus Khim suffers a breakdown during the Battle of Kodalth, butchering several Traitor Marines of the Everchosen before succumbing to his wounds
About the Void Ravens:
- "You want me to embrace the cold void? I am the cold void, or the warm void at least, and hugging myself feels too much like a strait jacket. "
- — Calios Kottel, Lord of the Void Sirens.
- "And I used to think Blood Angels were emo...."
- "I killed quite a few of you sons of Corax during the Drop Site Massacre. Do not disappoint me, little one, for I have yet to see a Raven die with dignity since."
- — Brother Krandred, Draugar Lord of the the Tenth Storm of the Storm Draugar, challenging Knight-Champion Vadras of the Second Hold
- "Ha! What amusement! I am surrounded, cut off, and alone. Tis one against five. Forsooth, the Children of the Carrion Fowl are capable warriors! Now come, Knights of the Stern, face one of the Blood most Vile, and be awakened to the glory of the tooth and claw!"
- — The final words of Possessed Chaos Marine Simkertel of the Vile Blood
- "Ah! You think... you can kill... me? Haha... ahahahaha... AHAHAHHAHA!"
- — Crusader Dkokt Yict of the Crusade Eternal upon being impaled by a pair of lighting claws.
- "They are savages and butchers, an affront to all that astartes should strive to be. We were created to protect the Emperors people, not slaughter them in the name of loyalty. They are little better than traitorous Night Lord scum, but at least the heretics are honest about their motives."
- — First Smith Lord. Hesten Jah'Vax of the Dragons Amaranthine
- "Our elder brothers feel the pain of the Horus Heresy more than any brotherhood of the Ravens' sons, and I believe this pain is what drives their brutal fervor. While I don't deny many of their methods are distasteful, I will not judge those who have stood so long, and fought so hard for the Emperor and for Corax."
- — Lord of Knives, Chapter Master of the Obsidian Blades
- "I like how they think, I think we shall enjoy this conflict."
- — Nui-ta Pohatrix of the Star Reapers
- "Doz Raven Boyz sure are great at sneaken."
- — Deff Kommando Blaskit of the Iron'Ed Empire, indulging in his tribe's trademark tradition of sarcastic comments as a squad of Void Ravens set off a trip mine.
- "Our Void Raven kin epitomise our gene-sire's First Axiom of Stealth - to be other than where the enemy believes you to be - for they walk the shadows as if born to them. They are adept at moving silent and unseen through the shadows and attacking as and where they will, bringing silent death to their enemies."
- — Shade Captain Orfeo Kerith, Lord Blackwing, Master of Secrets of the elite 1st Company, Night Ravens
|Raven Guard Successor Chapters|
|3th Founding||Astral Reapers • Void Ravens •|
|4th Founding||Shadow Monarchs • Shadow Talons •|
|8th Founding||Crow Stalkers • Illuminators •|
|9th Founding||Void Wardens •|
|13th 'Dark' Founding||•|
|19th Founding||Ashen Crows •|
|21st 'Cursed' Founding||Abyssal Rukhs • Night Ravens • Nightscream • Obsidian Blades • Phoenix Brethren • Yearning Ruin •|
|23rd 'Sentinel' Founding||Accipiters • Corvus Claws • Void Basilisks • Winds of Fury •|
|24th Founding||Shadow Warriors •|
|25th 'Bastion' Founding||Accentors •|
|Ultima Founding||Crimson Blades • Riftborn Talons • Void Walkers • White Kestrels •|
|Unknown Foundings||Corvus Legion • Desert Crows • Dust Knights • Ember Sharks • Jackal Claws • Phantom Stalkers • Void Reapers • War Ravens •|
|Renegades||Lycaean Liberators • Polar Flares •|
|Third Founding Space Marine Chapters|
|Dark Angels Successors||Blades of the Lion • Judicators • Lion's Praetorians • Lion's Regents • Silver Lions • White Lions •|
|White Scars Successors||Falcon's Claws • Solar Falcons •|
|Space Wolves Successors||N/A|
|Imperial Fists Successors||Astral Paladins • Black Mastodons • Crimson Robes • Imperial Sentinels • Ironclad Templars • Phrygian Knights • Tempest Knights •|
|Blood Angels Successors||Blood Bearers • Draconian Impalers • Hussars Sanguine • Iron Spears •|
|Iron Hands Successors||Atomic Gladiators • Hell Conquerors •|
|Ultramarines Successors||Armageddon Sons • Imperators • Imperius Ravagers • Sons of Odin • Steel Hart • Warstalkers •|
|Salamanders Successors||Ashen Knights • Brotherhood of Embers • Doom Sentinels • Ember Drakes • Ignitors • The Pure •|
|Raven Guard Successors||Astral Reapers • Void Ravens •|
|Unknown Lineage||Champions of Mortis • Golden Torches • Penitent Knights • Steel Harbingers • Zero Legion •|