The Lions Malevolent are a Successor Chapter of the line of Primarch Lion El'Jonson, supposedly created during the 5th Founding sometime during the 33rd Millennium, as they were counted amongst the many Adeptus Astartes Chapters deployed during the Lagomort War fought in 238.M33. As descendants of the Lion they are a part of the Dark Angels Successor Chapters collectively known as the Unforgiven. Like the Dark Angels, they too, formed their own Inner Circle to guard the knowledge of their progenitor's secret shame. This Dark Angels Successor Chapter displays a particular zeal in prosecuting their quest against the Fallen Angels. Nothing can dissuade them from this most sacred of quests, to right the ancient wrongs of their progenitors. Even though the Chapter has proven itself in battle, their help is sometimes refused due to their reputation for acting against orders and on occasion withdrawing from a campaign in order to pursue their own, undisclosed ends.
As an Astartes Chapter of ancient provenance, the Lions Malevolent have a long and storied history, having fought in numerous campaigns and wars for nearly eight millennia. Though they didn't appear in official Imperial records until the widely recorded Lagomort War in 238.M33, sealed and secured records within the Inquisition's vaults might shed some light on the truth of the origins of this Chapter. The oldest of these ancient treatises on the wars of the Imperium of Man may be found within the pages of the Mythos Angelica Mortis, written by the savant-scribes of the Secretariat Militum of Terra in the late 35th Millennium. References are made of a Space Marine Chapter identified as the Leonum Malivolus. This text stems from a far older work, now lost, dating back to the mid 32nd or early 33rd Millennia. Within this text, it mentions the Ebon Blade Campaign, an oft-forgotten campaign that took place in the Scarus Sector in 532-542.M32, to cleanse a multitude of Chaos cult uprisings across four sub-sectors. The venerable Dark Angels are known to have taken part in this campaign, but did not make their presence known until the final campaign upon the Hive World of Gudrun. Two Chapters of the Unforgiven are known to have taken part. Though not specifically mentioned, one of these Chapters matched the panoply of the Lions Malevolent Chapter. As for the identity of the other chapter, it had been mysteriously omitted from the official record. This would indicate that the Lions Malevolent might be much older than originally suspected, perhaps founded during the 4th Founding or even as early as the 3rd Founding.
The Lagomort War
Whatever the truth to their origins, the first recorded action of the Lions Malevolent was during the Lagomort War against the Forces of Chaos commanded by Chaos Lord known as the Slaughter King, a fanatical follower of Khorne. During this campaign, the Lions Malevolent were joined by two other Chapters -- the Angels of Vengeance and their progenitors, the Dark Angels themselves. Unknown to any but the Unforgiven, the Lagomort War was in fact a cover for the hunt for a member of the Fallen -- those Dark Angels who followed the Arch-Betrayer Luther, the Ist Legion's second-in-command, into damnation and resulted in the destruction of the Dark Angels' home world of Caliban at the conclusion of the Horus Heresy. These so-called Fallen Angels have been continuously hunted for ten millennia by the Dark Angels and the Chapters of the Unforgiven.
This particular Fallen, known as Brother Luciferus, was well known to the Inner Circle, for he was a true heretic that was utterly devoted to the Ruinous Powers -- a powerful psyker who would appear before the Dark Angels' and the other Unforgiven Chapters' Librarians -- taunting them for their failures and their sad devotion to an Emperor and a Primarch long since gone. He would further insult them by naming himself Lion El'Jonson. He had been hunted for nearly two millennia, but always managed to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. Every time he was cornered by the Unforgiven, he would always somehow manage to effect his escape. Now Luciferus was operating openly on Lagomort IV, and the Dark Angels and their Successors were determined that this time, there would be no escape. The Inner Circle committed all available forces to the war -- three companies from the Dark Angels, one company from the Angels of Vengeance and the entirety of the Lions Malevolent Chapter, launching an all out assault on the Lagomort System.
While the majority of the Astartes from the three Unforgiven Chapters fought against the massed forces of the Slaughter King, the Dark Angels elite 1st and 2nd companies (the Deathwing and Ravenwing) headed straight for the Fallen who was taking refuge within his stronghold. They would be joined by some of the finest Astartes the Lions Malevolent had to offer -- ten of their most promising recruits who had been chosen right at the start, by the Dark Angels, to form the Lions Malevolent own elite 1st and 2nd companies. Only the Grand Masters, their veteran elite and the Unforgiven Chapters Masters knew the full truth of this war and the Fallen in question. Using all the skill and determination that the Emperor's Astartes are famed for, the Lions Malevolent would prove themselves to be true Sons of the Lion. Brother Luciferus was captured after a long hard fought battle and the Slaughter King and his Khornate hosts were lain by the fury of the Lion-borne.
Turned over to the 'tender' mercies of the Interrogator-Chaplains, soon the prison cells of The Rock resounded with the agonised screams of the Fallen, who would either repent or suffer a long, agonising and drawn out death. The Interrogator-Chaplain chosen for this task would be the first Interrogator-Chaplain raised from the ranks of the Lions Malevolent themselves, Brother Anaziel. He would ultimately fail in his task, for Luciferus was utterly corrupted by the powers of Chaos, therefore he was granted extreme unction for his crimes. Anaziel would go on to become the Chapter's Master of Repentance and would eventually make four Fallen repent during his long and illustrious career, but would forever after be haunted by this failure for the rest of his days.
- Ebon Blade Campaign (532-542.M32) - An oft-forgotten decade-long campaign that took place in the Scarus Sector to cleanse a multitude of Chaos cult uprisings across four sub-sectors. Several of these corrupt cults had been largely instigated by Deimos the Defiler and his splinter Alpha Legion warband, The Formless. The Lions Malevolent and an unnamed Unforgiven Chapter began a decade-long campaign beset with many battles to hunt down and slay Deimos. During this time they successfully uprooted many hidden cults and corrupt officials across four sub-sectors. But the wily Chaos Lord always managed to elude his pursuers by staying one step ahead. When they finally cornered Deimos upon the vitally important Hive World of Gudrun, the venerable Dark Angels made their presence known, and took part in the final battle of the campaign. What exactly occurred is not recorded, but the Lions Malevolent were recognised by their progenitors and awarded command of the venerable Chapter Barque, the Undying Vengeance, whilst the other unnamed Unforgiven Chapter faded into obscurity following this campaign.
- Lagomort War (238.M33) - The first recorded official action of the Lions Malevolent Chapter. This was a joint campaign launched by the Dark Angels and two of the Unforgiven Chapters -- the Angels of Vengeance and the Lions Malevolent -- to quash the incursion of the Chaos Lord known as the Slaughter King and his Khornate war hosts. In reality, the Dark Angels and their Successors had their own secret agenda, and used the war as a cover to seek out and capture a notorious Fallen known as Brother Luciferus. Eluding capture time and again, the Fallen had finally made a mistake when he decided to operate openly on the world of Lagomort IV. While the majority of the three Unforgiven Chapters fought against the massed forces of the Slaughter King, the Dark Angels elite 1st and 2nd companies launched a planetary assault upon Luciferus' stronghold, alongside some of the finest Astartes the Lions Malevolent had to offer. At the campaign's successful conclusion, the Unforgiven succeeded in slaying the Slaughter King and laying waste to his Khornate war hosts. But the Unforgiven's true victory was achieved when they finally managed to capture Brother Luciferus, who was spirited away to the Rock, to be interrogated by the Dark Angels' malevolent Interrogator-Chaplains.
- The Centurion War (931-954.M41) - This was a brutal campaign launched by the several Adeptus Astartes Chapters to eradicate secessionist forces located in the Centurion Sector of the Segmentum Ultima. The secessionist forces included (sadly) two Renegade Astartes Chapters. The war would later be determined to have been the work of Chaos. The Lions Malevolent and the other Space Marine Chapters eventually pushed the Forces of Chaos to Iterium VI, and broke them in a cataclysmic final battle. One of the Astartes Chapters would be nearly destroyed while the other would fall to Chaos and become known as the Bringers of Change.
- Invictus War (980.M40) - The Lions Malevolent were called upon by the Segmentum Pacificus command to take part in a series of fleet operations against marauding Eldar Corsairs in the Invictus Asteroid Field. To this day, the dead vessels of the Eldar float lifelessly within the gravitational field of the asteroid field, a grim tableau of a brutal and swift victory.
Chapter Home World
The Chapter Barque Undying Vengeance serves as the Lions Malevolent's flagship and mobile fortress-monastery. This vessel of ancient provenance, is believed to be pre-Imperial in origin and constructed some time during the Dark Age of Technology. It is recorded to have participated as a vessel of the venerable Ist Legion in numerous Compliance campaigns of the Great Crusade. It is believed that the Lions Malevolent was rewarded the command of the Undying Vengeance by their Progenitors in the distant past, for their diligence and valour for some unrecorded campaign.
- "Your past life is irrelevant. From this day forth, you are simply a son of the Lion -- a Lion Malevolent -- nothing else matters. The Chapter is all that is of consequence."
- — Supreme Grand Master Balthasar addressing newly inducted recruits
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Lions Malevolent have no home world to speak of, and instead draw their recruits from a variety of different Imperial planets, mainly those feudal worlds with a pre-industrial level of technology like that of Caliban before the coming of the Emperor. Representatives of the Lions Malevolent visit each recruiting world once within a normal human's lifetime, and take the strongest juveniles from the population. Each Aspirant is thoroughly screened, and from the moment he is accepted into the Chapter as a Neophyte Space Marine, his past becomes irrelevant. Once the recruit is accepted he will undergo the normal rites to become a Space Marine. However, should he fail, his mind will be wiped clean and his body converted into that of a servitor, the mindless cybernetic automatons that carry out the labourious tasks of the Chapter. Unlike other Chapters, the Lions Malevolent do not make use of human Chapter Serfs or bondsmen, only servitors, as they fear that human serfs could be compromised to reveal all of the Chapter's secrets.
The Lions Malevolent are very close to their progenitor Chapter in both doctrine and temperament.
The Lions Malevolent, like their Progenitors and their fellow Unforgiven, are not organised according to the dictates of the Codex Astartes, instead maintaining their own unique order of battle which is intended primarily to aid their continued hunt for all of the remaining Fallen Angels, and to maximize their secrecy in doing so. The Lions Malevolent are organised exactly the same as their parent Chapter. Their 1st and 2nd Companies are specialist formations known as the Knights of the Lion and the Lions Claws. Both of these specialist companies work closely with their Dark Angels' counterparts -- the Deathwing and Ravenwing, combining their resources in order to hunt far and wide in search of their nemesis, the Fallen.
As descendants of the Dark Angels, the Lions Malevolent boast one of the purest and non-mutated gene-seed of all the Loyalist Primarchs, they are however, prone to the same stubbornness and resolve as their brother Unforgiven Chapters. The Lions Malevolent are also notably more aggressive than other Unforgiven, and have at times shown a disturbing and callous disregard for the lives of the civilians of the Imperium as long as their mission objectives are obtained.
Like their Progenitors, the Lions Malevolent follow the standard combat doctrine of the Codex Astartes, but their dogged resistance against overwhelming odds is legendary. The Lions Malevolent will stubbornly stand their ground in combat, refusing to give ground to the enemy, even if it is tactically beneficial to do so.
The primary driving force of the Chapter is the hunt and capture of the remaining Fallen Angels. Only by forcing every single one to repent do the Dark Angels believe they can restore their honour. If a member of the Fallen or someone who may know of the location of one, is present on the battlefield, the Dark Angels will ignore their objective and do all in their power to capture this individual. Everything else is second to the capture of a Fallen Angel, including any other human life. It is not unknown for the Lions Malevolent to fire upon friendly targets in order to prevent them from discovering the secret of the Fallen. Those friendly units that survive are often taken to The Rock to be turned into Servitors, to silence them forever.
The Lions Malevolent are also notoriously intolerant of non-humans and mutants, even those like Squats, Ogryns or Ratlings who are considered benevolent by the Imperium of Man. They are also highly mistrustful of the Imperial Inquisition, and will refuse to fight alongside any force that incorporates members of the Inquisition, or non-human soldiers, except in the most dire of circumstances. This is due to the fact that they do not want the Inquisition investigating the Chapter or discovering its dark secrets.
- Grand Master Mortikah - The first Grand Master was originally an Astartes of the Dark Angels, he was chosen to lead the newly Founded Chapter by the then-Supreme Grand Master Alloken of the Dark Angels. He fell some two hundred years later after assuming this position.
- Grand Master Balthasar - The Current Chapter Master of the Lions Malevolent, he is considered a warrior very much in the mould of Azrael of the Dark Angels, and has led his Chapter in the Hunt for the Fallen for thirty years. He wields an ancient and powerful master-crafted power sword of immense craftsmanship, and in the hands of the Grand Master, it is a deadly weapon.
- Interrogator-Chaplain Anaziel - First Interrogator-Chaplain drawn from the Lions Malevolent, he is considered the greatest Interrogator-Chaplain in the Chapter's history having made four Fallen repent, earning four black pearls for his Rosarius.
The Lions Malevolent are a fleet based Chapter that comprises the following vessels
- Undying Vengeance (Chapter Barque)
- Vengeance of Caliban (Battle Barge)
- Absolute Fury (Strike Cruiser)
- Unknown (Strike Cruiser)
- Unknown (Strike Cruiser)
- Repent (Strike Cruiser)
- Unknown (Strike Cruiser)
- 19 Escorts (Type Unknown)
The Lions Malevolent wear primarily black coloured power armour. The faceplate, chest guard, groin and upper leg armour is green in colour. The Aquila of Imperialis symbol on the chest plate is silver in colour. The specialist formations of the elite 1st and 2nd company also wear wear the same panoply as the rest of their fellow battle-brothers. The white-coloured squad specialty insignia (Tactical, Assault, Devastator, or Veteran) is indicated on the right shoulder guard, whilst the Chapter iconography is painted on the left shoulder guard. Squad designation is indicated by a black-coloured Gothic numeral stenciled on the centre of the squad specialty symbol. Company colours are designated on the centre of the right knee guard.
Like their parent Chapter and fellow Unforgiven, Veteran Lions Malevolent are commonly found wearing crimson-coloured hooded cloaks and tabards; this symbolises their shame over what the Fallen Angels had done near the end of the Great Crusade. Cloaks and hoods are worn by the Veteran Lions Malevolent and the Chapter's Inner Circle because they have learned enough about the Dark Angels' history, and thus their shame, prior to obtaining their rank within the Chapter.
The Lions Malevolent's Chapter Badge is a stylised white coloured lion head superimposed over a downward-pointing great sword, centred on a field of sable.
By the Lions Malevolent
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- "Remember the Fallen is our only goal, all others are secondary, and if anyone gets in our way..eliminate them."
- — Master Molochy, Lion's Claws Captain
About the Lions Malevolent
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- "I watched them gun down my brothers who drew too close to their prize. The sons of the Lion are always cold and capricious, but these scum are vile excuses of astartes and no brethren of mine. And come the day they need a friend in the shadows, I will not be there."
- —Lophess Ovair of the Obsidian Blades, on the Lions Malevolent.
- "To think they were once as brothers to us. They are sycophants to our elder brethren...blindly obeying without question and killing without remorse. They would put an entire world to death if it meant capturing even one of our wayward kin. I am ashamed we share the same bloodline."
- — Knight-Sergeant Linus Galatine of the Sable Knights, on the Lions Malevolent
- "Our Brethren believe that the ultimate victory will be found at the repentance of the Fallens' sins. I believe that they shall be sorely disappointed when they arrive at their goal, and look around to see nothing but ashes, all that remains of the Imperium they neglected to defend."
- — Zephyer Kize of the Invokers
- "You call me Fallen. You are wrong! I have risen from the ashes of Caliban itself! I rode the waves of the Warp on the corpses of hundreds of my so-called Battle-Brothers! What makes you think that you are worthy of anything but my axe at your throat?! You think yourself an Angel? You are nothing but a motherless, bastard-seeded, lap-dog of a betrayer and a whore! Death to you! Death to the Lion! Death to the Imperium of Man!"
- — Heshgar the Heathen, Draugar Lord of the Storm Draugar's 7th Storm, as he stands defiant with his forces during the Siege of Aludan against Master Nicodemus of the Lions Malevolent 4th Company
- "I usually get along with Unforgiven but not these guys. 'Malevolent' does not belong in a Space Marine Chapter Name or Astartes psychology."