Organization

From the Lexicanum article:

“The exact origin of the Blood Pact is unknown, but it is generally held they originated some 3,000 years ago on a planet known as Ghourra, sometimes pronounced Gaurra, at the edge of the Sabbat Worlds.

At that time, the tribal society of Ghourra was ruled by a feudal overlord, or Gaur (sometimes referred to as “Ghour” or “Gour”). The Gaur surrounded himself with an elite priesthood who conducted the ritual observances by which the Gaur made tribute to his god, Khorne. This militant-priesthood evolved over time into a bodyguard force which practiced its martial skills as diligently as it had once conducted its simple bloody rites.

As the Gaur’s influence grew and spread to neighboring worlds, it was this bodyguard force that led his conquering armies. It soon became a mark of respect to be ’bloody-pacted" to the Gaur. Numbers grew, recruited from vassal worlds, and the bodyguard force eventually became an army in its own right; the current Blood Pact.

Uniquely, every single member of the Blood Pact (and Imperial tactical estimates suggest there may be as many as three quarters of a million Blood Pact warriors) is personally inducted into service by the Gaur himself. To prove his allegiance in blood to both the Gaur and the Blood God, each aspirant ritually gashes his hands on the sharpened edges of the Gaur’s battle armor.

The Blood Pact were first encountered by the Imperium during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. An oft-disputed area, the Sabbat Worlds had first been colonised as part of the Imperium in M35, when Chaos was driven from the sector by the original crusade of Saint Sabbat, after whom the sector was named. In the middle period of M41, a vast Chaos host commanded by the warlord, Archon Nadzybar, swept through the Sabbat Worlds and tore them out of Imperial hands. Nadzybar’s host was not one single army, but in fact a cooperative alliance of many, each one led by its own warlord, known by his title of Magister. These warlords became Nadzybar’s lieutenants, and the names of many live in infamy: Anakwanar Sek, Enok Innokenti, Sholen Skara, Heritor Asphodel, Nokad the Blighted and Urlock Gaur of the Blood Pact.

In 755.M41, the High Lords of Terra charged Warmaster Slaydo with the task of raising a liberating army and retaking the Sabbat Worlds. Slaydo built a formidable Crusade and eventually took on a major part of Nadzybar’s strength at Balhaut. Though Slaydo himself perished in the battle, this was a famous Imperial victory. Archon Nadzybar was slain and his forces put to rout. After protracted infighting, a new Archon emerged from the ranks of the Chaos warlords to take Nadzybar’s place: Urlock Gaur.

Although Urlock was never counted among the most charismatic or tactically brilliant of Nadzybar’s lieutenants, his position as commander of a sizable, disciplined army within the Chaos forces allowed him to beat the other Magisters in the brief power struggle following Nadzybar’s death.

Gaur’s Blood Pact had been encountered in combat during the early years of the Crusade, but never properly identified. However, once he became Archon, the Blood Pact became a backbone element of the Chaos host. It is believed many other arch-enemy units and divisions, wishing to prove their loyalty to the new Archon, converted to the Blood Pact. Within just a few years, the Crusade forces came to recognize the Blood Pact as elite infantry of the arch-enemy.

This recognition was aptly demonstrated at the Battle of the Akkorite Peninsula on Belshiir Binary in 771. A vital and much-contested world due to its promethium wells, refineries and processing depots, Belshiir Binary was the site of a notable Blood Pact victory. A force of two hundred Blood Pact troopers, supported by just four stalk-tanks and two Loxatl brood groups, cut off and annihilated a force of three thousand Imperial Guardsmen. The outnumbered Blood Pact force was commanded by an officer called Vesh Etogaur (the second word possibly indicative of rank, as in ‘demi-gaur’ or colonel) whose strict command led to the Pact force lying in baking heat for three days without breaking cover until the Imperial forces had moved into the cone of their ambush. The resulting combat lasted twenty-two minutes. No members of the Guard unit survived the slaughter, and the Akkorite Peninsula refinery remained under Chaotic control for a further fifteen months.

The Blood Pact, originally consisting of soldiers from the worlds around Ghourra, is a diverse organization. As the Blood Pact rose to prominence amongst the forces holding the Sabbat Worlds, many lesser war bands and forces submitted to their rule and were absorbed. The leaders of the Pact willingly encourage the integration of other Chaos war bands, especially traitor Imperial Guard regiments and soldiers. The Blood Pact is also allied with alien races and mercenaries, such as the Loxatl. The Blood Pact is a highly organized army, consisting of soldiers rather than blood-crazed cultists. They often have support in the forms of plundered tanks, which are often looted from defeated Imperial armies or manufactured in captured Forge Worlds. They are drilled and trained in warfare techniques to a standard of competence at least equivalent to the Imperial Guard. They have excellent (often captured) communication systems, and a firm chain of command, meaning that they can be confidently deployed with tactical precision. A Blood Pact General is called an Etogaur. The Blood Pact can hit specific targets or accomplish specific missions, and individual warriors have the intelligence and field training to operate independently, if necessary, for the Pact’s interests. This is what makes them so dangerous. They are not mindless fanatics; they are excellent battlefield soldiers in the sworn service of Chaos.

Certain elite or veteran sections of the Pact form the so-called Death Brigades, representing the finest and most ruthless storm squads in the Blood Pact. Though few in number, the Death Brigades are often encountered at the spearhead of assaults, as the private company of senior Chaos leaders, or deployed on specialist missions, and are the most dreaded of all Blood Pact units."

Ranks

From the Warhammer 40000 wiki:

“The Blood Pact ranking system is completely different from that of the armed forces of the Imperium. The rank of a soldier, unlike in the Imperial armed forces, is stated after the individuals name. For example, the warrior Mabbon Etogaur is a soldier named Mabbon and Etogaur is his rank in the Blood Pact. Higher ranks use the Archon’s traditional Blood Pact rank, Gaur, as the base, to symbolize the rank-holder’s increasing closeness to the Pact’s master. Known ranks, and their rough Imperial equivalents, include:”

  • Sirdar (equivalent to junior regimental commissioned officer, such as a Lieutenant)
  • High Sirdar (equivalent to senior regimental commissioned officer, such as a Captain)
  • Damogaur (equivalent to senior regimental commissioned officer, such as a Major or Colonel)
  • Etogaur (equivalent to High Command rank, such as Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, General, etc.)
  • Gaur (supreme commander of the Blood Pact; currently Urlock Gaur)

In addition to military ranks, the Blood Pact embraces the Sanguinary Worlds civilian/bureaucratic/paramilitary ranks as well. These include:

  • Excubitor: Paramilitary occupation law enforcement officer. Seemingly a separate military force that has attached itself to Chaos forces on occupied Imperial planets.
  • Ordinal: Government bureaucrat in charge of local organizations, or local militia commander.
  • Senior Ordinal: Government bureaucrat in charge of large scale organizations (often continent and/or planetary in scale); military rank equivalent to Colonel, but only found in use in occupation forces.
  • Pater: A senior cult leader, often at the diocese level. Military rank equivalent to general.
  • Magister: Senior civilian leader, often in charge of whole departments and/or . Military rank equivalent to Field Marshall, Full General, General of the Army, etc.
  • Archon: civilian and military commander-in-chief (“overlord”) of all Chaos forces of the Sanguinary Worlds and allied forces. Equivalent to a Sector Lord or Governor. Urlock Gaur holds the distinction of being both the Archon of the Sanguinary Worlds and Gaur of the Blood Pact.

Unit Organization

In the field, the Blood Pact tends to field mixed-type units of infantry and armour supported by cult shock troops, loxatl xenos mercenaries, and/or psykers known as “Gore Mages.” Their units are mostly organized along Imperial Guard standards, but three unit types stand out in particular.

  • Philia: A sworn brotherhood of troopers, and the smallest unit fielded by the Blood Pact. Roughly 30-50 men, equivalent to platoon size. in the field, these tend to be supported by one to three Stalk Tanks.
  • Death Brigade: An elite unit of heavy shock troops. Organized into regimental units of roughly 10,000 soldiers, with heavy armor support.
  • Loxatl Brood: Three to twenty xenos mercenaries (often of a single family group led by a matriarch). Broods are organized into larger units known as a clutch, often 200+ in size.

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