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 Imperial 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 Tratoris 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 give 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 Glove 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 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 undergo a Penitence Crusade through the Eye of Terror, to prove their loyalty to the Imperium by braving the Forces of Chaos without succumbing to it's 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 reemergence 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 Attack on Aetius (345.M36) - (work in progress)
- Amasis VII (389.M36) - Elements of the Blades of Dorn Chapter joined with entirety of the Sable Knights Chapter to combat a huge Eldar strike force that was assaulting the world of Amasis VII. The two Chapters were seriously outnumbered by the Eldar 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 Sable Knights valiantly fought alone, holding the Eldar at bay. The Sable Knights' Knight-Commander Renannius Cole held a breach in the Imperial lines, slaying two Aspect Warrior Exarchs single-handedly. The Eldar 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 Eldar forces completely. After the fighting, the Blades of Dorn praised the Sable Knights' courage and tactical prowess.
- Assault on Drusus (587.M36) - (work in progress)
- 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, Sable Knights and Blood Vultures 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)
The Blades of Dorn follow similar fighting styles of that of the Black Templars and that they prefer fight in close combat than ranged warfair but with puting Assault Marines and Bikers at the front so that they can do more damage.
Notable Blades of Dorn
- Chapter Master Fortis Dostriun - Chapter Master Fortis Dostriun is the current Chapter Master of the Blades of Dorn Chapter.
- Chapter Master 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.
- Chapter Master 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.
- First-Captain Maximus Crowe - First-Captain Maximus Crowe is the commander of the Blades' 1st Veteran Company.
- Second-Captain Merrik Domitius - Second-Captain Domitius is the current commander of the Blades' 2nd Battle Company.
- Chaplain Meridius - Current Reclusiarch of the Blades of Dorn.
- Sergeant Longstride - Chapter Champion and personal bodyguard of Chapter Master Dostriun.
- Dorn's Spear -
- Golden Sword -
- Hammer of Iron -
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 Dorn and the Emperor of Mankind.
The Blades of Dorn primarily wear yellow and black coloured battle plate. The chestguard, vambraces, gauntlets, belt and groin guard are 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 (shoulder guards), cuisses (thigh armour), poleyns (knee guards), greaves (lower leg armour) and boots are black in colour. The shoulder pauldron trim, faceplace of the helmet, the vents of the backpack and details of the lower leg armour are gold in colour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is also gold in colour. 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). The right poleyn displays a white-coloured Roman numeral, which designates company number. It is not known how the Blades of Dorn designate squad number.
The Blades of Dorn's Chapter badge is a golden-coloured stylised gauntlet holding a sword aloft with its blade pointing rearwards as if preparing to strike, symbolising the Blades of Dorn's neverending crusade to take the fight to the enemy, centered upon a field of black.
- Death Templars - 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.
- Imperial Fists -
- Black Templars - 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.
- White Scars -
- Alpha Legion -
- Blood Axes -
- Hive Fleet Kraken -
- Word Bearers -
- Necrons -
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By the Blades of Dorn
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