The Obsidian Blades are a Codex-Deviant Space Marine Chapter of Raven Guard stock. Their heritage and geneseed lineage already leans them towards a more reserved, practical and cunning approach to war, which has only been exacerbated in recent centuries as the Chapter has faced many hardships and near extinctions.
The Obsidian Blades believe in ensuring the battle is won before a single shot is fired, sabotaging key structures and poisoning enemy supplies so that when the Obsidian Blades do emerge from the shadows like ghosts, the enemy is already weakened and debilitated. They creep forward under the cover of darkness and stealth, eviscerating lookouts and watchmen silently, utilising combat knives the use of which the Obsidian Blades have perfected.
Founded in the disastrous 21st Founding, the Adeptus Mechanicus biologus tech-magi sought to restore the use of the degenerated Betchers gland and Muchanoid that had long been absent in the Astartes of the Ravenguards lineage. The results were mixed, with restoration of the Muchanoid being non-conclusive, and the Betchers gland becoming over-productive and mutated.
The already sparse members of the Raven Guard gene family due to implantation issues and geneseed rejection, is depleted further still within the Obsidian Blades chapter due to the horrifically disastrous damage wrought upon them at the hands of the Alpha Legion.
995.M36: Chapter Inception
As happened with many chapters of the cursed 21st Founding, the Geneseed of the Obsidian Blades Chapter was tampered with and altered in a attempt to restore the use of the Muchanoid and Betchers gland. Niether venture could be considered a success, and soon the still flawed chapter was pressed into service, where it served with moderate distinction as a chapter excelling in urban warfare and close quarters fire fights. They were seen employing much older marks of armour and Jump packs than is normally seen within the Chapters of the imperium.
837.M37: Deceit and Treachery
While executing a campaign against the Tau occupiers of the plane Ziphon, the Obsidian Blades were deceived, assuming their opponents just the Xenos invaders, they executed their battle plan with little thought to the local population, and what may have occurred to them since the Tau's occupation. In the Tau's presence, faith in the God-Emperor had weakened, and in its absence, heresy had festered.
In the time since the Tau occupation, agents of the Alpha Legion had infiltrated the oppressed human population, and spread dissent and chaos. When the Obsidian Blades made planet fall at full chapter strength they executed their campaign without thought to the potential betrayal of the local population. When the Obsidian Blades besieged the planetary capital, the fighting was fierce, entrenched Tau forces proffered impressive defensive capabilities, and had the supplies to last potentially years. Their fall came from the incited and dissident human population of the city, who rose up against their Tau overlords, led in secret by the Alpha Legion insurrectionists. When the Siege was broken, dismantled from within by the ferocious hordes of imperial citizens, the Obsidian Blades expected to be welcomed into the city as heroes and saviours. Instead, the moment their forces relocated inside the city, they were turned upon by the blood drunk and heretical imperial citizens. Crushed by the massed throngs of now chaos cultists, the beleaguered and exhausted remains of the Obsidian blades were ruthlessly torn apart by concentrated gun fire and ripped limb from limb by hundreds of cultists. Tanks were swarmed and destroyed, explosives strapped to their undercarriages, left immobile and desecrated.
Those few Marines that managed to evade or fight free of the hordes retreated into the bowls of the Hive city, to survive and continue fighting a war in the shadows. Months went by as the marines fought a more and more desperate guerilla war with the cities inhabitants, trying to find some way to contact their fleet in orbit that not send them reinforcements for fear of the anti-aircraft guns that armed the city and not possessing enough troops and armour to attempt another siege. Their only hope was to disable the anti-aircraft guns and signal to the fleet to enact a retreat to orbit.
Months of secrecy and desperation dragged by, as the capital fell further and further into darkness. Finally, they were able to breach the imperial palace, and disable the anti-air guns that protected the cities skies, and send a message to their ships in orbit. Their fury unleashed, the Obsidian blades aerial support descended upon the city in a wave of fire and death. The remaining marines in the city rallied to the defence gun control deck, making their stand until they could be evacuated, for once they were off world, the whole world would be bombed from orbit. As they were evacuated on transports to orbit, the city burned, and their vengeance was exacted.
Only two hundred Marines escaped that campaign, almost all of their armour was wrecked, and Geneseed was unrecoverable, the chapter future almost doomed then and their.
284.M38: Reborn in the Shadows
The Obsidian Blades, refusing to consign their chapter to oblivion, learnt from their failures on Ziphon, and the months that followed while they were trapped within the city. They did not possess the numbers or equipment to undertake massed crusades and battles, they adapted, as true Raven Guard Genesons. Preservation of life and Geneseed, was prized above all else, as was tactical foresight, and strategic advantage. Operating in such small numbers, it was critical that the Obsidian blades utilize every advantage they could access to the fullest extent. They trained tirelessly to perfect the ancient Raven guard skill of Wraith-slipping, able to move silently through any and all terrain, evading detection and suspicion, and allowing them to infiltrate deep into enemy controlled areas, and sabotage key structures, before striking from the darkness like demons of the night. In this scheme, the use of combat blades and methods of silent assassination became second nature to the Chapter, and they became able to operate far behind enemy lines, sowing destruction and death in lightening fast raids, before melting back into the night.
569.M39: Night falls upon Crastus
For the second time, the existence of the Obsidian blades was put in jeopardy, this time, by the duel machinations of the Eldar and the Necrons. Unbeknownst to the Obsidian blades or their Death world inhabitants, countless Millennia before, the world had been the used to hold the ancient, slumbering Necrons, and they had started to awaken.
Drawn to the Necron threat by their own inscrutable means, Eldar Corsairs descended upon the planet, slaughtering the Death world inhabitants and setting the planets jungles ablaze, its deserts awash, and its mountains to dust. Their awakening accelerated by the Eldars presence and their global devestation, the Necrons marched forth from their catacombs and made war against the Eldar across the surface of Crastus, with the Obsidian blades caught in the crossfire.
With their fleets and companies away and the skeleton crew of an already sparse chapter left behind, the remaining Obsidian blades were unable to utilise their infiltration speciality, stuck as they were defending their fortress monastery and their invaluable geneseed. Fortifying as best they could, they shored up their monastery and made best they could a last stand, all the while calling for reinforcement. None would hear their plea.
By the time reinforcement from the Obsidian Blades fleet made Warp transition, the war had long since ended. The Eldar, in an attempt to prevent a full scale Necron awakening, initiated a devastating series of xenos bombs at fault lines around the planet, the resulting planetary destruction was incomprehensible. Whether the Necrons survived the destruction of the planet, they did not know, there was no living sign of the mechanized aliens. So too had the Eldar returned to the Webway, having executed whatever indecipherable plan they had set out to achieve. Of the Fortress Monastery, little remained, some sealed vaults survived the destruction, containing the holiest of the chapters relics, and samples of precious, precious geneseed, but over 90% of the Chapters history and genetic lifeblood was gone. Once again, they faced extinction.
567.M41: A Blade in the Night
For nearly two standard millennia, little to nothing was heard from the debilitated chapter. Fragmented reports of silent warriors bearing the Obsidian Blades heraldry came in from wide across the Imperium, but in every instance their armour had been repainted to camouflage into the local environment. Only their left shoulder pad remaining unaltered, with the grey and black crossed blades visible beneath the camo cloaks and foliage items that adorned their armour. These marines would depart as silently as they appeared, never counting more than a squad or two in total (or at leas that was all that was observed), and often remaining undiscovered by imperial forces. The only sign that they had came and gone were the slaughtered and destroyed outposts of enemy forces. Battlefield investigations showed that the fallen forces had been taken by surprise, after long term periods of sabotage and assassination, demoralising and weakening enemy forces. Sentries and scouts were found dead at their posts, slit throats and signs of muffled dorsal eviscerations the only calling card of the silent and deadly Marines.
It is unknown to most imperial authorities whether the Obsidian blades are still an active Space Marine chapter, but since they were never officially destroyed, they were never entered into the annuls of the dead. They seem to prefer it this way, as if most believe they do not exist, they may better enact their covert operations and stealth attacks. What reports of the enigmatic marines that do surface, all tell a similar story. Silent warriors clad in shifting cloaks of camo about their similarly disguised power armour, Bolters equipped with marksman's sights and Combi-weapon additions, and armour often cannibalised from fallen allies and enemies alike. By far their most distinctive trait however, is the often ornate, and exotic, combat blades that they bear as personal sacred items and markers of certain achievements.
Culture and Beliefs:
The illusive and secretive chapter keep much to themselves, and so official records of their customs and beliefs are few and far between, mostly compiled from scattered battlefield reports and the minimal contact the chapter keeps with allied imperial forces. One aspect of the Obsidian Blades that is uniform amongst the reports is the borderline obsessive pragmatism with which they hold themselves and their allies. If something can be done to enhance their battlefield prowess, it will be done, this can anything from arming squads with unusual equipment, to repainting the usually sacred chapter colours with camouflage patterns that do not always comply with traditional astartes patterns. Another cultural oddity is the strange reverence with which they hold their combat blades, which act as spiritual items, assassination tools, and achievement markers.
Their penchant for stealth and guerilla warfare means that unnecessary ornamentation of ones armour is frowned upon and not practised across the chapter, with instead these honours and feats being recorded in the blade of each Marines combat blade. Upon ascending from training to the Scout Company, each initiate forges his own blade with the assistance of the Chapters few techmarines. These individual blades are then carried as personal items by each marine until the day he dies, whereupon the blade is interred within the reclusiam of the chapter. For every battle and campaign a marine fights in and survives, he inscribes minute rune upon the blade of his Combat knife, along with runes that denote a change in rank or station, and others that describe important events, such as the acquisition of bionic augmentations or interments within Dreadnoughts. In this way, a warriors Combat blade becomes a personal history of that marine that may be read and honoured by the chapter forever, without becoming lost to the tides of time. Certain events and achievements are similarly honoured with small trophies tied with cord to the combat blades hilt. Such trophies are usually taken from powerful foes that marine has personally slain, such as Eldar Witches, Tyranid Hive Tyrants or Ork Warbosses. Some enemy’s remains are too dangerous or contaminated to take a trophy from, and in such a case other items may be taken in their stead that is symbolic of the defeated foe. Such symbolic items could be a small coin of metal imprinted with the universal symbol of “Toxic” to represent a slain Nurgle Warlord, or a small metal skull to represent a defeated Necron Overlord.
Little is known of the Death world Crastus from which the Obsidian Blades originally called home, and whether its population’s cultural customs influenced the Obsidian Blades own, though the practice of keeping personal histories on the blades of their combat knives originated there.
Due to the sparse and widespread nature of the Obsidian Blades, their organisational structure differs greatly from the standard Astartes layout. Since they operate on a greatly sub-par number of marines, their numbers estimated currently to be little above 400 marines in total, individual Squads are provided with much more tactical flexibility and autonomy. Each Squad has the ability to be outfitted with tactical, scout, assault and devastator weaponry, and maintains proficiency with all weapons in the Astartes arsenal. However, by far their greatest skill lies in their expert marksmanship with a Bolter and the silent assassination of their Combat Knives. Individually, an Obsidian Blades squad would have little to no hope of executing an armed intervention or lead a crusade into hostile territory, but their skill in the arts of infiltration and sabotage mean that a single squad can harry and debilitate an enemy force to the point where allied forces, usually Imperial guard or fellow Space marines, can crush them with impunity. This often means that the Obsidian Blades go unsung and unremembered, but they are content with their war in the shadows.
The Obsidian Blades hold next to no suits of Terminator armour, what few they possess, are only ever employed in the direst of need, as the heavy, clunking armour undermines their ambush style tactics. More frequently, their First Company Veterans Deploy armed in Power armour and armed with either Combi-bolters and special ammunition, or Archaic jump packs and deadly wrist mounted power-glaives.
A final shift from the regular Codex structure is the number of Apothecaries being employed across the chapter. Since Geneseed is so precious and limited within the chapter, no chances may be taken in its recovery, and every squad contains a member schooled in the apothecarions art. In this way, no matter how isolated a squad may be from the rest of the chapter, there is always the ability to recover Geneseed from fallen brothers.
Due to the current space borne nature of the Obsidian Blades, it can only be hypothesised that potential initiates are chosen from amongst the populations of the worlds they pass through, or from the members of the forces they fight alongside. Certainly a battlefield would be an ideal place to observe and judge potential recruits, who then once victory is secured, can be whisked away into the night, assumed dead, and inducted into the chapter.
While no official summons has ever been tithed of the Obsidian Blades, members of the chapter frequently submit themselves to the Long Watch to hone their skills and keep safe the Imperium from the machinations of the Alien. Here they consistently present themselves as skilled, if reserved and quiet Marines, whose marksmanship and sharpshooting are of some of the highest calibre the Watch fortresses have witnessed. They however, do not mesh well with Astartes from more headstrong, boisterous chapters, such as the Black Templars, Space Wolves and White Scars. They also seem to carry an air of bad luck with them whenever they are placed with marines not of Ravenguard lineage, permeating a superstition of cursed fortune around the chapters representatives. As a result, they are often deployed as Kill-Marines, operating solo to scout threats and evaluate potential targets of the Watch.
Unique Equipment and Load-outs:
Since the Chapter possesses so few Terminator suits, many weapons that are usually carried to battle upon their hulking frames are deployed in the hands of their smaller, power armoured brethren. Chief amongst these is the assault cannon, which is deployed by the chapters devastator squads to bring massed rending hails of fire to the enemy, to assist in making up for the chapters low numbers and by association, limited ability for sustained fusillades of fire. Similarly, are Chainfists employed by the chapters assault marines for tearing through enemy vehicles and armoured support, the contents of which are then immolated with hand flamers.
How the small chapter obtained these hand held flamer units is unknown, but it is theorised that they were either gifted to them by the Ordo-Hereticus for some long forgotten assistance. Or that they were manufactured for their assault company as thanks for supporting a Mechanicus military endeavour or STC recovery.
Since the Chapter Spends so much time operating as individual units, they have developed a penchant for utilising smaller, more stealthy warp-capable escorts. As a result, they possess only a single BattleBarge, which houses the Chapters Reclusiam and Geneseed stores, the very past and future of the chapter. This Barge rarely leaves Imperial controlled Space, the value of its contents too high to risk in the unpredictability of open space.
- Lament of Crastus - Battle-Barge and mobile fortress Monastery, renamed from Midnights Wrath after the fall of their homeworld, Crastus sigma.
- Hallowed Edge - Strike Cruiser, designated Escort to Lament of Crastus.
- Narus Eye - Strike Cruiser, designated Escort to Lament of Crastus.
- Silvered Veil - Vanguard Cruiser, designation Unknown.
- Silent Cry - Vanguard Cruiser, designation Unknown.
- Astra Lamina - Vanguard Cruiser, designation Unknown, last seen 872.M41 orbiting Cadia.
- Kukri - Nova-class Frigate, designation Unknown.
- Balisong - Nova-class Frigate, designation Unknown.
- Katar - Nova-class Frigate, designation Unknown.
- Rondel - Nova-class Frigate, designation Unknown.
- Khanjar - Nova-class Frigate, designation Unknown, last seen 467.M41 delivering Brother Phoras to Watch Fortress Erioch.
- Qama - Nova-class Frigate, designation Unknown, last known trajectory directed straight into heart of oncoming Hive Fleet Leviathan, 672.M41, suspected destroyed.
Prior to the 21st Founding, Tech Magi of the Mechanicus Biologus attempted to restore function to the Betchers gland and Muchanoid within the Raven Guard Geneseed, both of which had long been absent since the days of the Horus Heresy. Results were mixed, with restoration of the Muchanoid being non-conclusive, and The Betchers gland becoming mutated and hyperactive. This resulting over-activity of the Betchers gland means that the marines of the Obsidian Blades are constantly producing acidic, toxic spittle. While their Marine physiology can withstand the constant onslaught of corrosive saliva, over time a Marines vocal cords, tongue, lips and cheeks will wear away. This gradual slope to muteness means that senior marines are almost always mute, and bear disfigured, skeletal jaws. As such, sign language is used as general means of communication between Marines and when speaking to chapter serfs. When meeting with other imperial commanders and organisations, it typically falls to the younger marines or chapter serfs to translate the will of their superiors into gothic. Marines that go to serve in the Death watch cannot expect the representatives of other chapters to understand this means of communication, and so are fixed with vox-grilles to facilitate communication, but maintain silence unless they wish to speak something of import.
Aside from these attempted restorations, the Obsidian blades suffer from the same Melanin deficiencies as their Raven Guard primoginators, which results in deathly pale skin, dark eyes and midnight black hair. A look that only adds to the Obsidian Blades Skeletal appearance.
Lord of Knives, Chapter Master/Chief Librarian
- "Emperor guide us, our numbers are few, but our spirit is strong, our hearts are pure, and our knives are sharp. Guide your scattered sons so they may best enforce your will, and should they fall, with haste return to your side."
- — Silent prayer of the Lord of Knives, as he prepares to consult the Emperors Tarot
The Lord of Knives is the Obsidian blades chapter master, and chief librarian, what name he held before attaining his office has long been lost to history, but his list of achievements ranks so long that He has had to forge and begin inscribing a second Combat blade. The Lord of Knives is impossibly old, but it is theorised he came into office at the time of the fall of Crastus, and has remained there since. This is partially due to his, and the majority of the librarius', interment upon the Lament of Crastus, where they continuously scry the strands of fate and consult the Emperors Tarot, in an attempt to best steer the limited numbers of the Obsidian Blades. As a result, the only new additions that are added to the Lord of Knives combat blade, are those that occur in the close vicinity of the chapters battle barge, and even then, rarely does he take the field. When he does however, the full brunt of his psychic might brought to bear upon the enemy, back up by his honour guard of peerless close combatants.
Lophess Ovair, 1st Company Captain:
- "I didn't even know he was there, Emperor damn it I didn't even notice him! I had been watching the road for a whole day, and when the Greenskin bikers came barrelling down, he just fracking materialised from the undergrowth right next to me! He had been there the whole time, I hadn't even seen him, three feet from my face!"
- — Frantic Imperial Guardsmens recount of his meeting with Lophess Ovair
Ovair is a ghost amongst a chapter that epitomises stealth and discretion, amongst the Obsidian Blades Chapter, none have better mastered the arts of Wraith-slipping and infiltration. Under his eye, whole armies have collapsed in on themselves from a dozen insignificant, but devastating series of accidents, assassinations and ambushes. Able to creep through any terrain without so much as displacing a leaf, Ovair can lead whole squads deep into occupied territory without the enemy being any the wiser, and launching from covered positions devastating fusillades of Boltgun fire. When the Obsidian blades must bring their full might to bear on opposing forces, these ambushes are reinforced by hails of accurate drop pod assaults, delivering payloads of deadly assault marines and Dreadnoughts. His relic Bolt gun, Mortipluva, Striking with accuracy and speed far beyond that of a typical Astartes, able to lay down withering hails of crack shots without pause, and when accuracy alone is not enough, he carries stocks of personally designed special ammunition. These deadly, confounding payloads are made using all manner of materials Ovair has acquired on his travels, from bone and animal venom, to plant toxins and unstable minerals, He has a bullet for every occasion and foe.
Idria Salaman, 2nd Company Captain:
- "They were pushing us back into a tactical retreat, we had hoped to bottle neck them at the pass two clicks south, but we weren't sure that our forces would reach it with enough strength to repel them. Suddenly, as the next wave of cultists surged forward, the Divine Emperor delivered to us our salvation. The Heretic line was consumed in purifying fire as he descended from the skies, a Burning angel leading a cohort of his kin to glorious purification. They were Space Marines all, but when I look back to my memories, he burns like a beacon of purity, bringing the Emperors judgement to those who have turned from His light. We regrouped, and retreated as planned to the pass, where we held till reinforcements could arrive. We never saw the burning angel or his brotherhood again."
- — Sister Repentia, Ulina Cromley of the Order of our Martyred Lady
Salaman is to Ovair what fire is to water, the man is the polar opposite of the first Captains stealthy and conservative infiltration techniques. Salaman is instead a blazing comet of sudden, destructive fury, falling from the sky like a burning Angel. Salamans lightening fast deployments and hit and run style of warfare has left more than one foe dazed, shocked and confused, surrounded by the burning corpses of their comrades and the immolated husks of their vehicles. Flanked by his Jump pack equipped command squad, Salaman is a master of swift, fiery strikes and tactical, ordered retreats back into the haze of smoke and flames. In his hands he holds the revered power sword, The Daemons Nail, which burns with a fierce heat that sears even the souls of those struck by the blade. The only warning that an opposing force will receive that Salaman in coming, is the rain of fire that heralds his descent, and by that point, it is too late.
Leomon LeMarsch, 3rd Company Captain
- "If you cannot hit a one foot target at a hundred paces while sprinting, your not worth my time."
- —Famous words of LeMarsch to new recruits.
The infamously brutal and unrelenting third captain and Master of the Recruits, Leomon LeMarsch, if in fact the most senior of the Obsidian Blades Captains, and personally tutored both Salaman and Ovair as a Captain and Sergeant respectively. His great age, wealth of experience and exacting standards made him well suited to be the master of recruits for the greatly reduced Obsidian Blades. Due to their harshly reduced numbers, geneseed stocks and easy access to viable recruits, each aspirant is personally overseen by LeMarsch. Each ones progression, strengths and capabilities are well known to him, his faultless memory, especially for faults, an especially useful ability in this role. Lemarsch has standards that would make an imperial guard commissar baulk, and expects nothing short of the utmost ability from his recruits, and has no qualms about displaying what comes of recruits who do not meet these herculean ideals. Life as a Servitor is of the better fates awaiting an aspirant should he fall short of LeMarschs requirements, and rumours circulate that those aspirants who fail are turned into food for serving brothers. It is nothing but idle rumour, but it keeps the recruits on their toes. A famous crack shot to rival Captain Ovair himself, LeMarsch is famous for being able to loose shots at full sprint with a degree of unnerving accuracy and precision power that even for space marines is legendary. He is also a staunch believer in that the only weapon a space marine ever requires, at range and in assault, is a bolter, and has displayed this crippling close quarters bolter combat on a number of occasions. Often to great spurts of bloodshed and cheering aspirants.
Dannaras Verrec, High Keeper of Blades
- "Each blade at my belt is the soul of a brother, the life of a friend, and the history of one of the Emperors finest sons. To hold such a thing in ones hand, alone is an honour beyond measure, but to be the one who bears these treasures to their final resting place? Such is a privilege beyond words."
- —Dennaras Verrec
Verrec is the lord of the Obsidian Blades Reclusiam, and leads the chapter in its faith. As falls to the chapters chaplains, they collate and collect the blades of the fallen, and then in turn pass them over to Verrec, who interns them within the Chapter Reclusiam. Verrec is a character of duality, capable of swift turns of mood and demeanour, and possess the capability to be a raging flurry of blood and destruction one moment and then calmly debate the state of the imperium with his brothers while the blood is still sizzling off his lightning claws. In fact, so proficient is Verrec with these talons, that even though many warriors find them encumbering, Verrec is capable of dancing through enemy lines in a flurry of blood and scything claws. Each strike flawlessly flowing into the next with deadly precision, his brothers following suit in his dance of death, each parry and riposte whether it be with sword or dagger, falling with perfect precision and deadly force.
Krem Chernovost, Master of the Forge:
- "You think the time for repair and reconstruction is after the battle? in the safety of the forge with a hundred lackeys and servitors at your beck and call? No, no the true forge of the Omnissiah is the blazing heat of battle, the blasted ground his anvil, the booming of cannons his hammer, and the blood of our foes his oil. No, the battlefield is my forge. And I will make and break armour upon its anvil."
- —Krem Chernovost
Astride his mighty revving steed, Brother Chernovost is a thundering blessing to the tanks of the Emperor and a crushing bane to all who oppose him. Too skilled or too proud to ever bring the aid of his servitors to battle, Chernovost instead relies upon his own ingenuity, skill and the abilities of his servo harness to bring the blessings of the Omnissiah to allied vehicles and the Omnissiahs wrath to his foes. Armed with his custom built mass-reactive shot anti-armour rifle, Chernovosts inbuilt targeting relays and sight augurs seek out the weakest points in enemy armour and locate vital stricture points, such as power cores, engines and munition stores. As a result, Chernovost has been known to immobilise, dis-arm, or even outright destroy a tank with a single, well placed shot, and should that fail to wreck it utterly, his powerful servo arms make short work of any vehicle, no matter how well armoured.
Brother Avra Phoros, First Company Veteran
- "Hm? You mean Phoros? Yeah the pasty Raven-son kid. Good Marine, bit too sneaky for my liking but a damn good hunter, and there's no other Marine I would rather give me covering fire."
- — Rhargak Grimtalon, Space Wolf Representative to the Deathwatch
Brother Phoros is one of the youngest, and most talented Marines to enter the hallowed ranks of the Veteran first Company, and is currently serving his first Long Watch at Watch Fortress Erioch in the Jericho Reach. He has so far distinguished himself of a Marine of excellent moral calibre and skill, earning the respect of even those Chapter Representatives with whom the Obsidian Blades often come to blows with. This may in part be due to his young age, which means that his vocal chords and soft tissue are yet to succumb to the degenerative properties of the Chapters Betchers Gland, meaning he can speak and converse with fellow Watchmen without the need of a vox-grille.
The Astartes of the Obsidian Blades frequently work alongside other Imperial bodies, however they are not always aware of such alliances. The high level of secrecy and discretion with which the chapter holds itself results in many chapters and imperial commanders believing that the Obsidian blades to not even exist, that they died off a millennia ago following the fall of their homeworld. Those few who have seen them in action however, and those fewer still who have spoken to them, know that they are very much alive. Alive, and active, hidden in the shadows.
Not every Shadow.
But any Shadow.
Of those Chapters who know of the Obsidian Blades continued service, many dislike and condemn them for their stealthy, unorthodox approach to war. The Ultra-marines and their descendants are prime amongst this number, as the Obsidian Blades deviate to an inordinate degree from the teachings of Roboute Guilliman, and see them as an affront to the Space Marine ideal. Imperial fists, Blood Angels and Space Wolves, along with their descendants, also treat them with a mix of suspicion and distrust, even if they cannot help but respect the skill with which they execute their unorthodox methods. Their Ravenguard primogenitors and their sister chapters praise them for upholding the adaptive tactics extolled by Primarch Corax, but keep their distance all the same, as the Obsidian Blades carry within them the tampered Geneseed of the 21st Founding, and are regarded quietly by many of their kin as not true sons of Corax. Iron Hands and Dark Angels, along with their Successors treat the Obsidian Blades with indifference, as both chapters are heavily influenced by their own customs and cultures, and as a result, do not judge them for their own aberrations. However, Dark Angels will frequently if able refuse the aid of the Obsidian Blades, for reasons only known to them, the secrecy with which they conduct themselves matching the Obsidian Blades own in levels of paranoia.
To Imperial Guard Commanders, a squad of Obsidian Blades is a gift from the Emperor. Whether they are aware of the marines presence or not, the Obsidian Blades work excellently in concert with the forces of the Imperial Guard. The Marines harry the enemy for weeks or even months on end, striking from the shadows and crippling structures and personal before disappearing into the night. By the time Imperial forces are brought to bear, the sledgehammer of the Astra Militarum strikes a foe already debilitated from a thousand, individually insignificant wounds. Often times Imperial commanders are partially if not wholly unaware of the presence of the Marine detachment, putting down their easy victories to luck, the Emperors given blessing, or most insulting of all, superior strategy. The Obsidian Blades judge them not however for their ignorance, for waging a war of shadows is easier when most believe you nothing but a myth.
Similarly to the Imperial Guard, the daughters of the Emperor are frequently assisted, if not knowingly, by the forces of the Obsidian Blades. Sororitas crusades are rarely subtle, covert and impulsive affairs, and the Obsidian Blades are usually well forewarned of the event of a Sisters of battle purification. In response, the chapter will usually send a vanguard stealth force to the target planet or system in question, and initiate a series of insurrections, assassinations, accidents and power struggles, destabilising the planet and in some cases, destroying or crippling key fortifications and armaments. By the time the Adeptus Sororitas crusade force arrives on the planet, they find the enemy in disarray and proceed with the cleansing on a schedule much faster than what had originally been expected.
With such little information available on the customs and beliefs of the Obsidian Blades, it is hard to gauge what their relationship, if there is any at all, is like with the Adeptus Ministorum. Aside from breaking numerous codes in the Codex Astartes, it is not known whether the Obsidian Blades conduct any practices which directly contradict those of the Ecchlesiarchy. In any case, their intervention is often hailed by Ministorum representatives, whether knowingly or not, as a Emperor given miracle.
The Obsidian Blades are one of the failures of the 21st founding, and as such are a stain of shame upon the Tech magi of the Mechanicus Biologus. Aside from this however, the Chapter has very little contact with the Tech Priests of Mars, perhaps only a single brother in perhaps every half Millennium being sent to Mars to undertake training as a Tech-Marine, so few are their numbers and fewer still their need for the tech priests skills. The Mechanicus' military forces respond to the Obsidian Blades presence in much the same way as their Imperial Guard counterparts, but usually cotton on to the fact that there is something amiss faster than the Astra Militarum commanders.
Relations between the chapter and the Inquisition are almost universally cordial, which is almost rare amongst Astartes Chapters. The Chapters unorthodox, if effective style of warfare suits many Inquisitors own preferences, and as such the Chapter has on more than one occasion been selected for its stealth and discretion to assist Inquisitorial retinues with certain tasks. This is usually however, only when a Deathwatch Kill-team can not be procured, or if there is not great enough need for such a team of specialists. Likewise have the Ordo Xenos experienced excellent relations with the Marines tithed from the chapter by the Deathwatch, whom they find quiet, strategic, skilled and most importantly, loyal.
Almost all of the Chapters most holy Relics were lost along with their fortress monastery and their homeworld of Crastus Sigma, however some survived, or were absent at the time, and others have risen or been found since.
- Mortipluva - This Relic carried by the Captain of the First Company, Lophess Ovail, is an ancient, Hesh Pattern Boltgun that has belonged to the chapter since the 36th Millennium, when Veteran Brother, and later Captain, Kinsa Imolio brought it back from his term within the Deathwatch. Due to the time correlation with the discovery and production of Hesh Pattern bolters for the Deathwatch and Brother Imolio's service period, it is suspected that Mortipluva may in fact be one of the first ever Hesh pattern Bolters produced for the Deathwatch.
- The Daemons Nail - This power sword is one of the more recent additions to the Reclusiums relic collection, in being that the sword was made for, and is still wielded by, Captain Idria Salaman, forged when he was still a sergeant. The sword gained its renown when it was employed by Salaman to pierce a Daemon Prince's chest and pin it to the ground, giving the Inquisitor present time enough to banish the daemon from the material plane. However, since the day, the sword has held the fiery heat of the beasts molten core, and can strike with blows impossibly powerful for even a mighty Space Marine.
- Cloak of the Dark Miracle - Worn exclusively by the Lord of Knives, the Cloak of the Dark Miracle is a strange, potentially eldritch cowl of midnight black, which when powered by the Lord of knives psychic might, deepen to such depths that it is akin to the void of space. Within this void there can be seen dots of white starlight that seem to shift and sparkle as it moves, disconnected from the actual shape of the cowl. How the Cloak functions is unknown, but when powered, if a bullet strikes it, or blade pierces it, the blow with disappear into that inky darkness, as if it had never existed at all. Melee strikes seem to pass straight through without so much as scuffing it, never to reach the Marine behind it, simply evaporating into the void within the cloak.
- "Knives in the Dark."
- — Chapter Motto
- "We adapted, we survived, we ensured that would still be able to protect the Imperium, its people and the Emperor. We did not immolate ourselves in a senseless crusade so that we could bask in the peace of post-mortem glory. We chose the harder road. We chose to Live."
- — Obsidian Blade Neophyte to an Imperial Fists' Captain, relaying the words of First Captain Lophess Ovair.
- "Let them celebrate brother. They may believe the day carried by their own strength, but so what? Let them believe. Their lives are short, and you have given them what will no doubt be the greatest achievement they ever attain. For every one of us brother, there is a thousand guardsmen down there alive. Be proud in that fact."
- — Unknown Sergeant to Battle-Brother given in sign language
Feel free to add your own.
- ""Command, this is Delta Platoon, I would like to report an update to the status of the Greenskin Garrison in Fort Loxlei."
"This is Command, Delta Platoon, what is your update?"
"They are dead sir."
"Who? Your Platoon?
"No Sir, the Greenskins sir, they are dead, sir, Every last one of them. They are all dead.""
- — Imperial Guard Recon Platoon, upon discovering aftermath of an Obsidian Blades attack
- "Hehehe... These guys are so GOOD at peek-a-boo! Too bad they're such sore losers. I guess it's because the Corvus emo-gene got carried over to another Chapter. OW! It's just a joke."
- —A Laughing Skull Marine after stumbling upon an Obsidian Blade Marine waiting for the enemy.
- "Your intelligence was wrong, there are no Mon'Kai her-eughhh..."
- — Eldar Raider mistakenly thinking the jungle absent of foes
- "Several Kroot-ally scout parties, along with three pathfinder squads have been dispatched into the forests in search of the Gue'la sabotaging our efforts to subdue the local military forces. Of those sent, four Kroot Squads returned and only a single unit of Pathfinders made it back. Of their quarry or the other squads, they found no sign. We are assuming them destroyed."
- — Tau Commander debriefing his Ethereal on the Gue'la harrying the Tau invasion force of Giryon Delta.
- "I have heard tales about them. I do not know if they are true. All I know is that they are from the Cursed Founding and the line of Corax feeble children. But if they do exist in our days, then I hope that I can't ever see them, so it would mean that our enemies can't either."
- — Tuomas Vahanen, Fifth Captain of the Sons of Iron.
- "Let these assassins slink in the shadows and strike their foes from behind, like a thief in the night. I prefer a more direct approach. I'm a firm believer in the ancient Persepolis proverb, 'You may know a lion by his claw.' How will my enemies know whom they face, if I do not face them personally, to deliver the Al-Malik's divine justice to the kafir with my sword? Though I do not agree with the Obsidian Blades' methods or how they conduct warfare, I would daresay -- the dark brethren of this Chapter maintains a strong asabiyya to each other, and to their comrades-in-arms. I cannot gainsay their effectiveness at dispatching the Emperor's foes -- their aim is true and their knives are sharp...that's good enough for me."
- — Castellan (Captain) Dagan Enkidu, First Captain of the Sable Lions Chapter and Baal of the 1st Kárdake
- "I can smell them, Sons of the Raven... they are near. Very near!"
- —Fuil Óga Kreshesh as his squads Rhino is struck with a barrage of krak grenades[src]
- "They may be filthy loyalists but you have to admire their proficiency with their blades. "
- —A traitor of the Crusaders Once Crossed speaking to another heretic after combating the Obsidian Blades
- "An ambush! We are surrounded! Excellent! Ahahahahaha!"
- — Myrx Danzig, Crusader of the Crusade Eternal Chaos Space Marine Warband
- "Their skills as infiltrators are unmatched by any other Chapter and their modesty in hiding their contribution to Imperial victories is altogether admirable. All for the Emperor and nothing for Self is only to rarely seen in the Imperium"
- — Malleus Skotus[src]
- "Sir! This outpost has been cleared, it's littered with the Ork bodies. Someone must have gotten here before us."
"You hear that marine? It's the silence. Blades are still planetside. The situation here is under control, we are needed elsewhere."
- — Chapter Master of Blood Wights - Agathus Colchian addressing a Scout Marine after receiving a distress signal from an Ork infested world
- "Hast the sons of the Raven Sire decided finally to face us? Forsooth, this is a grand occasion. Or it would be, were they not womanly knaves."
- —Odaving the Stout during the Habsbast Massacre[src]
- "An opportunist kills with a knife, a warrior kills with a sword. That is why my enemies die by a blade in the front rather than a dagger in the back."
- —Ancifités Morgancia, Captain of the White Lions 2nd Company
- "Hello little brother. I see you in the darkness. I can feel your suffering. Despair not. You are not alone in the void, you're wrath and sorrow is not unheard. We will make it ours. For it, we will spill oceans of blood and fill the cold void with the screams of our foes. For we are all the Sons of the Raven Lord."
- — Yafrir Valqash, Void Lord of the Void Ravens.
- "You're stepping on my foot."
- —A Star Reapers Shade Marine on a joint operations with the Obsidian Blades.
- "Do you know Sergeant, the difference between us to these men, is that while we destroy the battlements, force open the doors and break down the walls of a fortress... They, however, have been inside and opened the door for us. Don't ever loose faith upon them. The Son's of the Deliverer always comes through no matter the cost."
- — Silver Knights 1st Company Captain Taranius Guillahad to Veteran Sergeant Armeione after a planetary-wide scan spotted friendly Astartes force deep behind enemy lines.
- "Welcome to the shadows brother. May they hide you always. Now, come. There is work to be done."
- — Dread Echoes Marine to Obsidian Blade Marine. Note: These two Chapters share a strong bond, both due to their shared lineage and Founding.