The Blood Ravens are a chapter of Space Marines that was created solely for use in the Dawn of War series, though they have slowly been bleeding into the official canon.
While the truth of the founding of the Blood Ravens is shrouded in mystery, their first known leader was a Librarian known as Azariah Vidya. While the Blood Ravens were fighting a Chaos-led uprising, both their Chapter Master and most of their elite units were killed. Vidya led the survivors along with a detachment of Imperial Guardsmen and used his psyker abilities to defeat the heretics, and was given a promotion to become the Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens.
Being driven by a thirst for knowledge and the need to discover the truth about their origins, the Blood Ravens are often sent on scouting missions into untold reaches of the galaxy. The unofficial slogan of their Librarians is "Knowledge is Power, guard it well."
In their recent history, the Blood Ravens chapter has been driven to the brink of extinction both from forces within and outside the chapter. It started with Captain Gabriel Angelos and his Blood Ravens fighting against several xenos forces on the planet of Tartarus (Dawn of War), continued with Captain Davian Thule on Kronus (Dark Crusade), and became dramatically worse when Captain Boreale failed miserably during his campaign in the Kaurava system (Soulstorm).
The Blood Ravens lost so many men that they retreated to their own recruiting worlds in sub-sector Aurelia in order to replenish their forces and supplies. Unfortunately, the conflict followed them home (Dawn of War II). First a splinter of the Tyrannid hive fleet Leviathan burrowed into their worlds and planned to consume or kill everything on them, until the Blood Ravens destroyed their Hive Tyrant. Then the Blood Ravens had to deal with a traitor in their midst when the forces of the Black Legion of Chaos appeared (Chaos Rising) and began burning their homeworlds. Though the traitor is never directly mentioned (and can change depending upon your corruption levels), it is hinted that the canonical traitor was the unnamed Force Commander from the campaign.
Unfortunately, this pales in comparison to the later threat: that the Blood Ravens' own Chapter Master Azariah Kyras is the real traitor behind everything. In the most recent title (Retribution), Captain Angelos ends up sacrificing himself as the Blood Ravens rally to destroy Kyras before he can become a true demigod of Chaos and the Inquisition decides to halt their Exterminatus of the Blood Ravens' recruiting worlds. With the use of cybernetic implants, Angelos is revived and now serves as the Blood Ravens' newest Chapter Master.
A group of Blood Ravens join the Graia Liberation Fleet. Captain Titus of the Ultramarines compliments them on their actions in Aurelia.
Notable Blood Raven Members from Video Games
- Gabriel Angelos - Captain of the 3rd Company (Dawn of War, Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising, Retribution)
- Isador Akios - Librarian of the 3rd Company. (Dawn of War)
- Davian Thule - Captain of the 4th and 5th Companies, later Dreadnaught of the 4th Company. (Dawn of War, Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising)
- Apollo Diomedes - Captain of the Honor Guard. (Chaos Rising, Retribution)
- Aramus - Captain of the 4th Company, Force Commander of the Aurelian Crusade. (Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising)
- Tarkus - Sergeant of the 4th Company (Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising, Retribution)
- Avitus - Sergeant of the 4th Company (Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising)
- Thaddeus - Sergeant of the 4th Company (Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising)
- Cyrus - Sergeant of the 10th Company (Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising, Retribution)