A return to posting today, with another installment of my Fandex work.This is mainly bread and butter stuff, along the lines of the organisation pages in the official Marine codex's; but with my usual generous helping of fluff.
I am particularly proud of the Chapter composition diagram, I produced it last year but have been tweaking it along with the rest of the Fandex ever since; those that have seen the original post over on Bolter & Chainsword will note I've done away with a bit of the perhaps overly excessive nods to the Imperial Roman army.
"With thunder in our hearts!" Blood Drinker battle cry.
The Blood Drinkers like all Blood Angel Successors; structure their Chapter as closely in form to Guilliman’s Codex Astartes as the Flaw will allow. They have however taken this discipline a step further than their brethren, eschewing the heraldic ancestry of the Blood Angels in favour of strict adherence to those laid down by the Codex.
As the codex demands, the Chapters nominal fighting strength is a thousand Battle Brothers divided into ten companies of around one hundred marines each.
The 1st Company's ranks are made up of the Chapters most experienced veterans, warriors who have mastered the craft of death through centuries of warfare; it is also home to the Chapters most venerable and ancient Immortals, the Furioso Dreadnoughts. The 1st hold the honour of being sent on the most testing undertakings and are always deployed where a battle is at its most ferocious.
The 2nd through to 5th are the Battle Companies, if the 1st are the Chapters fangs then these are its razor sharp claws. Always at the core of any strike force and each capable of fielding six Tactical, two Assault and two Devastator squads plus their support elements; these versatile formations can turn their hand to any campaign and bear the brunt of the Chapters undertakings. Their names are uttered in reverence by awe struck Neophytes, eager to earn a place in their legendary ranks.
6th and 7th are line Tactical Companies who act as reserve for the Battle Companies and can also reinforce a strike force during large scale deployments. These stoic Marines are also responsible for the Chapters many defence commitments, enshrined by ancient treaties and pacts, throughout the Draco Sector.
8th Company, as with most codex Chapters, is a specialist Assault Company; but one which differs slightly in its formation. The gene memory of their winged Primarch has produced amongst the Blood Drinkers many peerless masters of aerial combat; whose skills can be employed with Jump Packs, Land Speeders or Stormraven Gunships. As a result the 8th have been given stewardship of all the Chapters airborne assets; they rarely take to the field as a whole (but when they do, it is a sight of awesome and terrible beauty), instead being divided as support elements amongst the other companies.
9th Company is the specialist Devastator Company, the Chapters siege experts; again rarely fielded as a whole, the company’s skills are employed to crack the toughest of defences. It's Marines are accomplished Sappers, deft at finding and exploiting any defensive weakness; its squads mobile arsenals are capable of leveling bastions and turning armoured columns into super heated scrap.
10th Company is the Chapters Scout Company, where its Neophytes truly begin their service to the Chapter and the Emperor; getting their first real taste of combat as an Astarte. Once selected to one of the ten squads, each commanded by the Chapters most senior veteran sergeants. They serve as reconnaissance elements to the other companies; rarely if ever will the Chapter risk its future by fielding the 10th as a whole.
Although most of the Chapters companies can fight as seperate units, the most common formation for them to see combat in is a strike force. Made up of various elements drawn from several companies tailor made for a specific undertaking; it is traditional for the force to be unified under one name for the duration of that undertaking. This is chosen from the pages of the Liber Potoris by the Chief Librarian, often recalling a legendary hero, a celebrated victory or even one of the many virtues required of a Blood Drinker as laid down by Vladarius.
All companies apart from the 8th and the 10th maintain their own motor transport section consisting of Rhinos, Razorbacks and Black Shadow Bikes. In addition to this the Chapter Armorium houses an impressive number of specialist vehicles of the following types, Predators, Whirlwinds, Vindicators, Land Raiders and even a mighty Fellblade the Angelus Furor, a revered relic of the pre-Heresy Legion; though few have ever seen it woken from it's ancient slumber.
The Chapter also maintains a substantial fleet due to its Imperium wide commitments, with two ancient Battle Barges as its flagships, the Red Dawn and Crimson Tide.
"We will do what is ordered and at every command we shall be ready!" Blood Drinker Oath of Moment.
Ultimate rule of the Chapter rests with the Chapter Master, a mighty warrior selected by the co-consulship of the Sanguinary High Priest and High Chaplain. Having proved his worthiness to lead with countless heroic deeds and centuries of faultless service to the Chapter; it falls to him to continue the legacy of the Blood Drinkers as fearless guardians of humanity.
He does not walk this path alone however and is supported by a council consisting of all the most high ranking Astartes vital to the running of the Chapter. The afore mentioned heads of the Priesthood and Reclusiam sit alongside the Chief Librarian and the Chapters five Commanders who are in turn joined by the Captains of each of the Chapters ten companies.