Soul Drinkers

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Purity through hate. Dignity through rage. Let the fire within light the fires without.

The Soul Drinkers are a Warhammer 40,000 chapter of renegade Space Marines, a successor chapter to the Imperial Fists.

They are the subject of a series by Ben Counter: Soul Drinker, The Bleeding Chalice, Crimson Tears (collected in a omnibus), Chapter War, and Hellforged and the serialized-but-later-compiled-into-a-book Phalanx, . In the first, they are nearly seduced into the service of Chaos, but reject it. Nevertheless, afterwards, they do not return to the service of the Imperium but forge their own path.

Please resist the urge to put examples on this page or link to this page on tropes unless you are citing from 40K novels in which the Soul Drinkers feature. Examples which are specific to rulebooks or other in-universe fluff should go on either the 40K page or in the Space Marines section of the Warhammer 40000 page.

Check out the character sheet.

Tropes used in Soul Drinkers include:
  • Above Good and Evil: Iktinos thinks that his work for Daenyathos and Abraxes is important to the Chapter, regardless of motive
  • A Father to His Men: Chapter War, at the climax Sarpedon tells Eumenes that the position of Chapter Master is not a prize for the proud but a position of responsibility. Then they Duel to the Death.
    • Arguably, Sarpedon qualifies as an Absent Father, in that he never seems to have a clue what's going on in his own chapter. Notable examples include Tellos' turn to Khorne, Eumenes' mutiny, Iktinos's Tzeentch cult, and Daenyathos being still alive.
  • Alien Geometries: Whenever Abraxes shows up the material world seems to screw itself. Also, the Necron tomb interior is so unnerving that the Soul Drinkers have a hard time just walking in a striaght line - which doesn't help the fact that you're being killed by ghost zombie robots.
  • A God Am I: Teturact, who seems to think he's a hybrid of Nurgle and the Emperor.
  • Axe Crazy: Tellos. How crazy? After losing his hands and the damaged nerves being unable to take prosthetics he decides the best idea is jam fan blades into the stumps and run around topless.
  • Back for the Finale: Phalanx features the return of Sister Aescarion and Lord Inquisitor Kolgo of the Inquisition, Reinez of the Crimson Fists, Captain Borgannor of the Howling Griffons, and Abraxes.
  • Badass Creed: Inquisitor Thaddeus gets a great one - bellowing the Inquistiorial version of the Miranda Rights while blasting bolts into a Nurglitch demagouge.
  • Bearer of Bad News: In Hell-Forged, despite Lygris's Frozen Face, Sarpedon can tell he brought bad news.
  • Big Bad: Each book has its own. The overall Big Bad of the series, however, is a Big Bad Duumvirate composed of Abraxas and Daenyathos, who have been manipulating the Chapter for millennia.
  • Big Book of War: The Catechisms Martial, written by Daenyathos which formulates the Soul Drinkers combat philosophy. May or may not have been designed to induce subconscious Chaos Corruption.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Phalanx. The Soul Drinkers are killed to the last man by fighting off a daemonic army summoned onto the Phalanx but but prove beyond a doubt their loyalty to the Emperor. Sarpedon, mortally wounded, dies dragging the architect of the chapter's downfall, Daenyathos, into the warp.
  • Blue Blood: Chapter War, Lord Sovelin Falken. At one point, he throws his weight around, pointing out that the governor is his great-aunt -- but that's because he has vital information, and he has to use anything he can to get it through.
  • Chainsaw Good: Comes with the territory, but taken to the extreme with Tellos.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Of course, it's still very violent and angry. Averted with Iktinos and Tellos, who are both very dark and very, very evil.
  • Defector From Decadence: Pretty much their original motivation.
  • Didn't See That Coming: In Soul Drinker If you don't have a long time interest in the game, you wouldn't get the hint about the Architect of Fate, which is Tzeentch's most oft quoted title.
    • That nice Chaplain Iktinos? Why does he have a psyker perpetually locked in a box at the bottom of a pool, in a giant spacehulk for months on end? To carry out a complex millenia long scheme to cripple the Imperium.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Crimson Tears. A Kabal of Dark Eldar that had given up and sworn to Slaanesh? Just possible, the little bastards enjoy changing allegiances almost as much as other people's pain, but one must remember that if Dark Eldar go anywhere near Slaanesh their soul are Mind Rape - d for eternity. Calling Grotesques "Haemonculi"? Mistake, pure and simple.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Sarpedon seems to be making a habit of it.
  • Due to the Dead: Having been convinced that the Soul Drinkers were indeed loyal Astartes, the Imperial Fists inscribe the names of the Soul Drinkers who died fighting off Abraxes's army onto a memorial in the Apothecarion.
  • Duel to the Death: More like "duel to the spontaneous spiderleg mutation impalement".
  • Energy Weapon: The Soulspear, which makes two vortex blades that can cut through anything.
  • Endsemble Darkhorse: Despite appearing in only one book, Lord Commander Xarius is popular amongst a lot of fans.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Soul Drinkers just keep running into these.
  • Good Is Not Nice: It is quite violent and probably mutated. This is Warhammer 40,000, what else would it be? Ironically, the Soul Drinkers are arguably the most ethically moral Space Marine chapter (for the most part).
  • Healing Factor: Space Marines naturally have this, Tellos cranks up to 12 though.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Sarpedon finds himself saying this too much to feel comfortable. See "A Father to His Men".
  • I Die Free: According to Word of God, the entire series is turning into this for the chapter. They do.
  • I Gave My Word: Sarpedon's bound by it. Averted in Chapter War, he completely double crosses Eumenes.
  • It's Raining Men: ...and they're zombies. Lucky us.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Trial of the Soul Drinkers in Phalanx sounded to be set up as one, but Vladamir Pugh was pretty damn adamant about trying to avert this in spite of some people's best efforts.
  • Kneel Before Zod Or Stab Zod In The Heart!
  • Lawful Stupid: The inquisitor and his interrogator from the first book should really think about who they're trying to kill. Averted with Thaddeus from the second book.
  • Mutants: While initially proud for it, the Soul Drinkers now thinks a bad idea. Some of the more notable examples include: Sarpedon's spider legs, Tello's regeneration speed, Pallas's snake scales, and Graevus' mutated hand.
  • Numbered Homeworld: Typical of 40k.
  • Pride: The recurring theme of the series.
  • Primal Fear (really, the entire point of Sarpedon's "The Hell" psychic power)
  • Rebellious Rebel: A good number of Soul Drinkers, especially the young ones, realize that Chaos is tainting the chapter before Sarpedon does.
  • Red Right Hand: or Red Spider Legs. Or Huge Right Hand. Or Heals Insanely Fast. Or...
    • Practically a pun considering their relationship with the Crimson Fists...
  • The Reveal: In Phalanx: Daenythos, who is still alive, has manipulated the Soul Drinkers course since his "death" to become a force against the Imperium, using the Chaplains and the Catechisms Martial to ultimately turn the Soul Drinkers against the Imperium.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The Soulspear. All we know is that it's scarier then any other weapon wielded by a Primarch and coded to Dorn's blood.
  • Straw Vulcan: Archmagos Khobotov, to the point where anyone else would realize what happens when you piss off the Elite Space Marines of the Astartes and then present them with a nice big force to crush.
  • Take a Third Option: The Imperium or Chaos? They are the third option, and it's not very easy.
  • Taking You with Me: Turns up a lot in the series, often as a Heroic Sacrifice. Lygris, Sarpedon.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs
  • Too Dumb to Live: Archmagos Khobtov, the Inquisitor and Interrogator from Soul Drinker. Pretty much any Imperial character that is going after them without any assistance from the Astartes.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Daenythos's last words are a mindless scream of terror as he is dragged into the Warp by Sarpedon. Given what he can expect, this is perfectly justified.
  • We Have Reserves: Chaos loves this as much as the Imperial Guard, though in the first three novels the Guard never actually try this.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: About 75% of Bleeding Chalice, including ships redesigned as zombie-plague hypodermic needles and another set up to provide a zombie apocalypse orbit drop.
    • Happened earlier in Soul Drinker. It seems Nurgle loves the "infect-your-enemy-with-a-plague-and-then-resurrect-the-dead-as-semi-demonic-zombies" approach to expansion.