If you've been reading my blog thoroughly, you might remember that I wanted an army that was characterful, although not necessarily unique. I wanted it to feel as though it belonged with the other big named chapters. Once I had a name I was pleased with, the entire chapter needed to be fleshed out and codified, a set of design and painting rules that would govern the look of all my models.
I wanted my chapter and its insignia to be as codex as possible, I didn't want to do any major deviations. My earlier attempts did not end up very believable when I tried to make it too radically different, like Salamanders. After that, I took to following the Codex Astartes strictly and instead having the chapter history, tactics and characters be the defining element that gave it life rather than organizational deviancy. After that, I worked out the why for everything.
My original chapter had the same essential elements that the Blood Ravens now have, the increased number of Librarians who also have the same authority that is normally reserved for Command personnel, psychic talents present in all battle brothers, it even had Raven in the old name. Two years afterwards, Dawn of War comes out and I had to change all that. Not wanting to do something mundane, I wanted to try something bold, so I chose to create my own "Second Founding". This drew a lot of flak from some canon lawyers in Australia, but I'm far from deterred. I'm only more determined to make it seem believable.
As much as I'd enjoy explaining everything about the chapter, I'm going to stick to just the organizational aspect and the colour scheme. I like leaving little bits of history and information in my model posts for you to follow along and gather. A sort of fluff easter egg hunt, if you will. I don't want to run out of material just because of one post. Now enough of the personal talk about concepts and such, time to put on the Codex Voice and show you what I have done for my Chapter.
Void Raven Heraldry
Void Raven Helmet Colours and Meanings
2. All sergeants who are not of the First Company wear the white face plate, showing their command veterancy.
3. The veterans of the First Company all wear the white helmets indicating their veteran status.
4. Those of the First Company who have proven themselves of sufficient skill to enter the vaunted squads of the Raven Elite wear the black, a mirror of their former legion the Raven Guard.
The Void Ravens maintain the matte black armour of their former legion, but modified the pattern symbolically so that they would wear their penitence for as long as they lived. No longer should they wear the black of their origins, but faded grey. After the Istvaan V Drop Site Massacre, a certain number of battle brothers felt that they had failed their Primarch and their Legion. They felt they had not done enough to protect their brothers from the massed assault that laid low nearly the entire chapter. Some had fallen back with the Salamanders, having escaped the the fight with their fellow Legion and felt as though they had abandoned their brothers.
After the massacre and the Legion reassembled to assess their remaining numbers, three captains from various chapters petitioned their father to excise them from the Legion. They needed to atone for their failure and faults, the only possible way being to hunt down their traitorous kin and exact merciless vengeance. Not all of their companies followed, some felt their duty should be to their Primarch now more than ever. A scattering of others from the remaining companies felt as the three captains did and cast their lot in with them. Barely more than 300 battle brothers, requesting to be forgotten until they could so redeem their honour. They made this pact with Corax himself, and from then on, all would trim their pauldrons with the silver of chain. No matter what company they belonged to, this would mark them as united in this oath. This would be a remainder to all the Ravens, now and in future. Only the few who had earned enough honours would return to the black.
They had been so close to death and their oath that would bring them even closer to it, they would mark themselves upon fields of bleached bone. Their pauldrons would bear the colour of bone, be it their own or their traitorous brothers'. They would hunt the fallen for as long as it would take. It mattered not to the now Void Ravens. They would fight until they could fight no longer and their successors would have to take up the mantle for them. No matter how many generations, they would see their oath complete.
The Void Ravens spent their formative years being severely under strength. They had to adopt hard hitting and fast moving tactics in order to survive. Rynar, ever the forward minded, ensured his chapter's survival by forging alliances with the Mechanicus and establishing two Scout Companies. He did not expect their oath to be completed by them, thus taking steps to ensure their legacy continued. It took 7000 years before the chapter even begun to become fully populated, and by late M.39 the Eleventh Scout company began its slow deconstruction.
There you have it, just a little bit more insight into the Void Ravens and hopefully some inspiration for your own Space Marine Chapter. Don't forget to leave your comments, questions, concerns, flames or feedback.