The Corvus Legion are an Astartes Chapter that of Unknown Founding created from the line of Corvus Corax, like their parent Chapter they are renowned as cunning and patient hunters, adept at biding their time until the moment to strike was at hand and then attacking with overwhelming force that leaves their foes with no chance of resisting. Their Founding is unknown but many suspect that it was relatively early, perhaps as early as the 32nd Millennium, whenever their founding was they have served the Emperor with a cool-headed, even intellectual temperament, superb infiltration skills and skill at furious close-quarters engagements as the foes of Mankind are destroyed in a flurry of crackling Claws and the bark of Bolters, many an enemy has considered himself safe only to come face to face with the pale skin and jet black eyes of these Astartes.
The Corvus Legion are an old and storied Chapter with a history and record that would rival even Second Founding Chapters. Descended from the Raven Guard they are masters of stealth, able to strike from the shadows and attack with impunity. Although their exact Founding has never been confirmed but as noted above it is likely to have been early. The first recorded mention of the Corvus Legion was during the Battle of Alpha 11, an action to defeat Ork forces of the Deathskull Clan which took place in 784.M32. The fighting was particularly brutal as Imperial Guard forces had been bogged down for three years. Encircled by the Orks, the Imperial forces were unable to break out of their shrinking cordon. It seemed as though they were doomed to a slow destruction by the Kommandos and Stormboyz of the Orks, who delighted in their slow destruction of the Imperial Guard Forces. Finally receiving news that Astartes forces had arrived, their orders were to launch an assault when they saw the the Thunderhawks of their Space Marine rescuers. When the time came, they launched their attack, but were soon on the verge of destruction, when suddenly, the Orks seemingly lost focus and began to not only retreat, but to fight amongst themselves. Easily brushing aside the Orks, the Imperial Guards' elite Storm Troopers made their way into the Warlord's stronghold, only to find that he and his entire retinue had been killed, ripped apart by Lightning Claws and Chainswords. The Space Marines who had rescued them were nowhere to be seen, for they had returned to orbit and left without a word. In one surgical strike the Space Marines had turned the tide of the entire war. Later investigations determined that these unknown Astartes were the Corvus Legion.
- Battle of Alpha 11 (784.M32) - A Battle against Ork Forces, Corvus Legion arrive in 3rd year and eliminate the Ork Warlord and ending the Ork Manace.
- Centurion War (708-731.M41) - A Crusade against Secessionist and later Chaos Forces, the Corvus Legion's action were notable in the Battle of Sigma VI where they destroyed 4 regiments of the Atilla Legion without losing a Single Astartes.
- The Teutoburg Campaign (981-989.M41) - When a massive Ork invasion struck the Teutoburg System, the Adepta Sororitas Order of the Emperor Resplendent responded in kind. They sent seven whole companies of Battle-Sisters to assist the beleaguered sector. In one notable incident during the brutal campaign, the Order found themselves fighting alongside the Militia of Gaius City on Teutoburg VI as well as the notorious Death Ravens Space Marine Chapter, who had appeared and joined the war. They deployed their 6th and 7th companies. Also serving were the Charnel Brethren, Skull Reapers and Corvus Legion Chapters. Chapter Master Uric Draf denied Canoness Anastasia any tactical counsel whatsoever and even refused to meet with her. Talks between the two Imnperial forces was conducted by the Captain of the 6th Company, Shadow Captain Allokan. Many Sisters doubted whether Uric Draf was even present, but several reports indicated a giant Space Marine leading the Astartes forces. After nearly a century in leading her Sisters to war, occasionally alongside Space Marine Chapters, this treatment came as no surprise. But the Order's main grievance was with the way the notorious Chapter conducted themselves during the ensuing battle. The Battle-Sisters struck Warlord Nazgrubba's army as it changed positions from shelling the main Defences of Gaius City, to occupying the settlement. Battered by three days' bombardment, the population of Gaius City had dug underground and, under the careful ministrations of the Order's Sisters Superior, were determined to form an ad hoc militia to defend their homes. The Death Ravens and Charnel Brethren launched their attack on the Ork column when it was approximately one Imperial mile from Gaius City and, hitting the Orks in the rear and flanks, they drove the disorganised enemy into the Battle-Sister's waiting guns. Caught between Battle-Sisters and Space Marines, many Orks were slaughtered, with the survivors mounting their vehicles to escape with all haste. The Sisters first noticed something was very wrong when three mobs of Orks, deserted by their cowardly leaders, formed up and assaulted their front line, choosing to engage the Gaius City militia, rather than the Sisters' deadly accurate bolt guns. The Death Ravens and Charnel Brethren, apparently driven mad by some kind of battle frenzy, crashed into the Ork's rear ranks just as the first Orks reached the militia. The crazed Marines fell upon the Orks in an orgy of blood letting. Many Marines removed their helmets and, eschewing the use of pistols and other ranged weapons, set about the Orks with chainsword, chainaxe and knife and tooth. Canoness Anastasia witnessed in mute horror, Marines ripping out the throats of Orks with their bared teeth. The raw fury and love of carnage she saw in their faces as they literally tore the enemy apart made her shudder in fear. The Orks were annihilated within seconds of the Marines' attack, but the small number of the enemy were simply not enough for the Death Ravens and Charnel Brethren who by now seemed to have been driven into a fever pitch of absolute blood lust. With no more Orks for them to butcher, they scrambled over the barricades on the perimeter of Gaius City and smashed into the thin line of militia. Properly driven into a true battle frenzy now, the Death Ravens and Charnel Brethren performed acts of the most debauched nature in the name of violence. Men, women and youths, all fell beneath their blades. The old, the infirm, none were spared the Marines crazed attack. The Canoness later reported that she had personally witnessed cannibalistic acts committed by the frenzied Marines. She ordered a hasty withdrawal of her Sisters from the Death Ravens and Charnel Brethren with all haste, before they reached their positions. The Canoness later reported the incident to the Inquisition. Her report stated that both the Death Ravens and Charnel Brethren were unstable beyond redemption and that they were not fit for duty anywhere within their mighty Imperium. The Canononess firmly believed that it was evident that the Death Ravens and Charnel Brethren had devolved far beyond any point reached by a loyalist Chapter and requested their immediate destruction. The Corvus Legion and Skull Reapers were spared a request for their destruction. The last known sighting of these four Space Marine Chapters was made by an Explorator augury-beacon, which marked them tacking course through the Warp towards the Eastern Fringe. The current whereabouts and operational activities of the Death Ravens remain unknown.
Homeworld & Fleet
The Corvus Legion's homeworld is the Hive World of Coraxium that is located somewhere in the Segmentum Solar, but like their parent chapter, they are actually based on the planet's moon. Their Fortress-Monastery is known as the Fortress of the Raven, and like all Astartes' citadels, it is a massive structure containing everything that an Astartes' Chapter needs to wage war.
The Corvus Legion's Fleet is relatively small compared to other Chapter containing just 1 Battle-Barge and 4 Strike Cruisers but it contains far more escorts than is normal, the exact composition of the Fleet is not known at present.
The genetic material of the Corvus Legion come from Corvus Corax and has shown several mutations over the years and further degeneration in the gene-seed has caused several of the implants to fail. The Betcher’s Gland and Mucranoid gene-seed organs are no longer functional for Corvus Legion Astartes and other defects within the gene-seed cause Raven Guard Space Marines' skin to become paler over time until it is as white as their Primarch’s. The eyes and hair of all Corvus Legion Astartes will eventually become a deep black.
Organization & Wargear
While the Corvus Legion are organised along the guidelines of the Codex Astartes, their application of its principles are subtly different. Far more assault units are deployed and fewer Devastators, Armour is also used sparingly and the Chapter often deploys without them. Older Marks of Armour are used with a particular emphasis on the Mk VI Corvus Pattern that was named after their Primarch.
The officers of the Corvus follow their Parent Chapter and are known as Shadow Captains and the Chapter Master is called the Shadow Lord. Corax himself is reputed to have ordered the use of these titles in the Raven Guard before he disappeared and the Corvus Legion has made use of them ever since. Corvus Legion Captains are fiercely independent, and it is incredibly rare for the Chapter to fight as a whole. Individual companies are completely autonomous and are quick to lend their aid to Imperial commanders across the galaxy, with or without the sanction of their Chapter Master.
As masters of stealth, infiltration and sabotage, all Corvus Legion Neophytes are trained by the finest Shadow Masters of the Fortress of the Raven. Despite their Astartes-enhanced physiology and their cumbersome armour, they are taught to move with silence and invisibility, shifting from one pool of darkness to another within the shadows. Like their Parent Chapter this art of silent and stealthy movement particular to Sons of Corax is known as wraith-slipping. Neophytes are trained in this art firstly in the Hives of Coraxium where they hunt the Gangs and Mutants that infest the lower Levels of these huge edifices, if they prove their worth here they will be returned to the Fortress of the Raven where they will gifted with the Gene-Seed of Corax and turned into Astartes, when this is complete they will undergo years of further training as their bodies grow and strengthen into Astartes, finally they will return to the massive hives but this time they are hunted by a Veteran Battle-Brother of the Chapter, their goal is to make it off-world and back to the Fortress-Monastery on Coraxiums moon. Only the very best recruits will make it back, most will be caught by their tracker but if they impressed enough they will accepted into the Scout Company but for those who do not impress their punishment is to killed by their tracker thus ensuring that only the very best are accepted.
- Moritat - Named for the Raven Guards formation the Corvus Legion's Moritat are certain Astartes who display suicidal urges and a blatant disregard for overall combat doctrine. Operating independently or in groups on the battlefield, these individuals are often employed as efficient shock assault troops and tactical assassins and they are often used to undertake missions from which they were not expected to return. They forsake all pretence of self-preservation, fighting with a terrifying, silent determination and the sole aim of causing as many casualties and as much destruction as possible before succumbing to their foe. This strange blood-soaked ennui that drives many amongst the Corvus Legion to sacrifice themselves in battle is known amongst thse Astartes as becoming "Ash Blind". They are formed into a special unit commanded by the the Shadow Lord Kaedes who is eerily named for the Moritat Prime of the Raven Guard.
The Corvus Legion, like their parent Chapter, generally follow the dictates of the Codex Astartes, though like the Raven Guard themselves, there are some differences in how they choose to carry out tactical deployments. The Chapter specialises in guerrilla tactics behind enemy lines, using precisely coordinated attacks and refraining from frontal attacks or protracted attrition warfare. The Corvus Legion will hit weak points in their foes lines and carry out precise strikes against important targets that will cripple the enemies ability to resist.
The Chapter's typical tactical doctrine consists of rapid maneuver engagements consisting of the deployment of Assault Marines, Land Speeders and Attack Bikes aimed at harassment, sabotage and the destruction of key strategic targets over the frontal engagement of enemy forces at large. The Chapter also relies heavily on Scout Units who will operate behind enemy lines for far longer than is normal for other Chapters to identify key targets who will then be destroyed in sudden strikes by the Chapters Assault units, in this way they operate as a series of Special Forces units, very much in the style of their Primarch.
Notable Corvus Legion Astartes
- Shadow Lord Aremis - The very first Chapter Master of the Corvus Legion, he fell sometime during the later years of M.32.
- Shadow Lord Rhargrimm - The Current Chapter Master he has led his Chapter for almost 400 Years. A massive Astartes that bears a striking resemblance to Corvus Corax himself, he is a master of stealth and has perfected the Arts of the Raven Lord.
- Shadow Captain Korax - Captain of the 5th Company and the Chapters Master of the Shadow, he strikes from the darkness with a speed that puts other Astartes to shame.
- Shadow Captain Kaedes - A dark figure of gruesome repute amongst the Astartes of the Corvus Legion and a sullen and withdrawn Astartes, Kaedes is a highly aggressive Astartes that has led the Moritat for 500 years.
- Corvus Talons - Master Crafted Lightning Claws fashioned after those of Corvus Corax himself, used by 5th Shadow Captain Korax.
- The Raven's Panoply - An exquisite suit of Artificer Armour with inbuilt Jump pack and combined weapons that are used by the Shadow Lord.
The Corvus Legion wear black coloured Power Armour with white coloured arms and shoulder pauldrons. The faceplate of their helmets are also painted white.
The Corvus Legion's chapter badge is the same as their parent chapter, a large black coloured stylised raven, centred on a field of white.