Artefacts of the Blood Angels

With the new Codex: Blood Angels on the way, the Warhammer 40,000 loremasters over at Lexicanum have delved into the background of the Chapter to take a look at some of their artefacts and shared their findings with us…

Today we investigate a handful of the potent relics of the Primarch Sanguinius – artefacts whose powers still endure ten millennia after his death.

Sanguinius was perhaps the noblest and most selfless of the Primarchs. The Lord of the Blood Angels willingly went to his death at the hands of his brother Horus, with full foreknowledge of the results. He is honoured as an Imperial saint and held in higher esteem than most of his brothers by the Ecclesiarchy to this day. Today we will cover a handful of the most potent artefacts of the sons of Baal.

The Red Grail is said to hold the blood of Sanguinius. It is key to a Blood Angels ritual in which one of their number drinks from this holy vessel, believing they become closer to their dead Primarch in the process. To become a Sanguinary Priest, one must drink from the Red Grail. It is from these priests, the most senior of which is Brother Corbulo, that the blood is taken to be used in the rituals of transforming Blood Angels aspirants into fully fledged Space Marines. The Red Grail is often taken to the battlefield, where it provides a source of great inspiration for the Blood Angels.

The Blade Encarmine is known to have been wielded by an early Blood Angels Chapter Master, Belarius. The sword is said to only respond to and activate for those who carry the gene-seed of Sanguinius.

The relic was lost to the Ork warlord Garshul the Destroyer during a battle with the Blood Angels led by Captain Leonatos. Leonatos was exiled from the Chapter by Commander Dante himself until he recovered the lost blade.

In his quest to recover the Blade Encarmine, Leonatos and his group of fellow exiles tracked down the Ork warlord’s fleet, only to discover the warlord himself was host for a Daemon of Tzeentch. Following the Daemon’s Traitor Marine allies into the Eye of Terror, Leonatos once again searched for the sword across a Daemon world. He eventually recovered the blade, but at the cost of his own soul. The sword was returned to Baal by the two remaining exiles, who refused to rejoin their brothers. Instead, they themselves undertook a quest to rescue their commander from servitude to Tzeentch.

Alternative accounts say that the Blade Encarmine was broken during Sanguinius’ duel with Warmaster Horus on the Vengeful Spirit, and that its shards remain in Chaos hands to this day.

The Death Mask of Sanguinius is an incredibly lifelike golden mask that is said to have been modelled upon the features of the Blood Angels Primarch after his death. The Mask has been incorporated into the armour of the Blood Angels’ current Chapter Master, Dante. When Dante is in battle, it appears to come to life. A nimbus of golden energy plays about his head that strikes terror into the hearts of the Chapter’s enemies.

The Spear of Telesto was wielded by Sanguinius during the Great Crusade. He was shown using it against the Slaughter-Lord Morroga on the Tapestries of Riga, which hang in the fortress monastery on Baal.

Its blade is shaped like an elongated tear with a hollow in the centre to represent the single drop of blood Sanguinius shed when he swore fealty to the Emperor. The shaft is sculpted to show the Primarch as a hooded angel of blood, and beneath that is a purity seal with an oath allegedly hand-written by the Emperor Himself.

The spear can emit a blast of energy which vaporises anyone who doesn’t have the blood of Sanguinius coursing through their veins.

The spear was originally thought to have been lost during the Horus Heresy, but the Blood Angels’ Battle Barge Bellus was sent to recover it following the discovery of documents relating to its whereabouts on Evangelion, a mission whose outcome had profound consequences for the entire Chapter. The weapon was found among the Ork-held systems on the borders of the Segmentum Obscurus by a team led by Inquisitor Ramius Stele.

A fascinating look at some of the Blood Angels’ many sacred relics. Join the Lexicanum loremasters again next week for a peek at the many orders of the Dark Angels, and in the meantime, you can find out more about the Blood Angels in their new codex, available to pre-order now.

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