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Grand Master Voldus

Grand Master Aldrik Voldus of the 3rd Brotherhood of the Grey Knights Chapter

Aldrik Voldus is the Grand Master of the Grey Knights Chapter of Space Marines' 3rd Brotherhood and also serves as the Chapter's Warden of the Librarius, essentially its Chief Librarian. Voldus was appointed to the position by Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights Kaldor Draigo himself and is the most powerful psyker the Grey Knights have known in many standard centuries. He played a role in the events of the recent Siege of the Fenris System by the Forces of Chaos and came to the aid of the Ultramarines during the Ultramar Campaign of the 13th Black Crusade that followed later in 999.M41. Already on the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge when the members of the Celestinian Crusade arrived through the Webway gate from the ice moon of Klaisus with the Eldar Ynnari after the fall of Cadia, Voldus assisted the newcomers in resurrecting Primarch Roboute Guilliman. Voldus and his Grey Knights then joined Guilliman in his reconquest of the Realm of Ultramar and on the Terran Crusade from Macragge to Terra so that Guilliman could meet with his father the Emperor and reestablish himself as the Lord Commander of the Imperium.

History

Aldrik Voldus has only recently been promoted to leadership of the Grey Knights 3rd Brotherhood, a position that was rapidly becoming renowned as a dangerous -- perhaps even cursed -- appointment, as Voldus became the third Grand Master of the 3rd Brotherhood in a single standard year. First, Valdar Aurikon fell when he and the 3rd Brotherhood came to the aid of the Space Wolves after the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red led an invasion of their homeworld of Fenris during the Siege of the Fenris System. Aurikon was killed by Magnus, after the Daemon Primarch caught the Grand Master's psychic lightning and hurled it back at him. This caused Aurikon's body to turn into nuggets of fool's gold. When the next Grand Master of the 3rd Brotherhood, Doriam Narathem, was slain by the vile Greater Daemon known as M'Kachen during an assault on the Fortress World of Longhallow, Brother Voldus unleashed a titanic psychic attack on the cackling daemon. So pure and powerful was Narathem's sacrifice and the psychic light of Voldus' mind in that moment that it guided the Grey Knights' Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo from the Realm of Chaos where he was trapped by a daemonic curse. Surging into battle, the legendary warrior fought alongside Brother Voldus to drive M'Kachen back into the Warp, the two forging their powers into a banishment of unstoppable force. In the wake of the battle, Draigo himself appointed the humble Voldus to the rank of Grand Master, lauding his exceptional heroism and phenomenal psychic prowess. Even as Draigo faded back into the Warp once more, Voldus swore an oath to live up to this great honour -- one which the self-deprecating hero did not truly believe himself worthy. He strives towards this goal in every battle he fights, offering prayers to the Emperor of Mankind for strength and guidance.

Ultramar Campaign

Soon after the Ultramarines defeated the invasion of Ultramar by the Daemon Prince M'Kar and his allies among the Iron Warriors Traitor Legion, the Grey Knights Prognosticars saw a frightening vision of a darkness drawing nigh to the light of Ultramar, and a black blade, inscribed with the infernal star of the Chaos Gods, thrust at a heart enthroned. Even as one cavernous maw yawned wide, another set of jaws closed upon Macragge and its sister worlds, ending the Prognosticars' visions in a sea of blood. Fearing that Ultramar, a vital bulwark amidst the greater ramparts of the Imperium itself was in danger of falling, and thus threatening the rest of the Imperium, Voldus ordered the entire 3rd Brotherhood to make its way to Ultramar and aid the Ultramarines in its defence. He sent word of the Grey Knights' coming to Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar, who graciously accepted the aid of the potent Astartes psykers. After the arrival of the survivors of the fall of Cadia who called themselves the Celestinian Crusade alongside their xenos Ynnari allies, Voldus shared the Ultramarines officers' suspicion of the newcomers' plan to revive the Primarch Rouboute Guilliman, long in stasis in Macragge's Temple of Correction. When the Forces of Chaos launched a massive assault on the temple to prevent Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl and Yvraine, the Ynnari priestess of Ynnead, the Eldar God of the Dead, from combining technology and divine power to heal Guilliman's mortal wound, Voldus fought hard to buy them more time.

After Guilliman's successful resurrection following the battle in the temple, Voldus and his Grey Knights became a key component of the resurrected Primarch's strategy to retake Macragge and all of Ultramar from the Archenemy. After a campaign of seven solar months, much of Ultramar had been retaken, but the Chaos Gods proved more than willing to prevent the Primarch from using his abilities to aid the wider Imperium's defence from their growing power. Nurgle, the Plague Lord, unleashed a sorcerous disease upon the mortal soldiers of Ultramar. Called "the Sorrow," the disease possessed unnatural symptoms. In the midst of battle, warriors were blinded by endless streams of viscous, stinking tears that gummed their eyes open and soon turned them red raw. Overcome by sorrow, sufferers wailed and wept for solar days on end. In the worst cases, the so called "Weepers" were permanently blinded as their infected eyeballs festered and rotted from their skulls. But Guilliman discovered that wherever he made his presence known, those afflicted with the illness were miraculously cured.

So began long solar weeks of relentless pilgrimage for Guilliman, as he rushed from one site of sickness to another across the Ultramar region. The Primarch knew that while he was engaged in healing his followers, his attentions were drawn away from the wider war. Yet of all the Emperor's sons, Guilliman was perhaps the most human, and his compassion would not allow him to ignore his followers' plight if he could heal them.

Solar days became weeks, during which the Weeping continued to spread and -- worse still -- recur at sites that the Primarch had already cleared. Without Guilliman's peerless genius the reconquest of Ultramar began to suffer, the Chaos forces overturning Imperial victories in the Veridian and Tarvan Systems. All the while, the dreadful Warp Storms that had riven Ultramar and its surroundings worsened further. Soon, whispered the Navigators, the empire of the Ultramarines might be cut off from the wider galaxy altogether, just as it once had ten thousand Terran years before during the time of the Ruinstorm.

It was Aldrik Voldus who finally confronted Guilliman. In a heated argument, during which the Grand Master dared the Primarch's wrath, he forced Guilliman to acknowledge that which he already knew. Weeks of labour had been for nought. Guilliman was not healing his subjects, for such was not his gift. In the Weeping Plague, Voldus recognised all the hallmarks of Nurgle. Most likely, the Plague God was simply withdrawing his dubious blessings from his victims upon Guilliman's arrival, then gleefully restoring them once the Primarch had moved on. The Lord of Ultramar was playing into the Plague God's hands, his desire to save his people perverted into a never-ending trap of entropy and despair.

Though furious, Guilliman accepted Voldus' wisdom. Further, he saw that Nurgle's desire had been to trap him within his own realm, and to keep him from the wider galactic stage. The Primarch realised then that his desire for completeness, for a neat solution and an unsullied Ultramar was, in itself, an echo of mistakes he had made long ago. Nurgle did not wish Guilliman to leave Ultramar because there, the Primarch could be contained like a wasp in a bottle. But this war did not belong to Ultramar alone -- it was a war for the entire Imperium. Guilliman saw that he could waste no more time focussing solely upon his own stellar empire. He must tend, instead, to his father's.

The Terran Crusade

After his confrontation with Grand Master Voldus, the Primarch announced his intention to set out upon a great journey. Once before during the Horus Heresy, when the Dark Gods had threatened the Imperium of Mankind, the Primarch of the Ultramarines had reached Terra too late to do his duty. He would not make that mistake again. Guilliman intended to journey to Terra, to kneel at the foot of the Golden Throne and ask his father for guidance.

Conscious of the worsening Warp Storms lashing the space lanes of Ultramar, Guilliman announced his intention to make for Terra as soon as a suitable force could be assembled. The Primarch would not travel alone; the galaxy had become a dark and dangerous place, while the attempts by the Chaos Gods to tempt and trick him had shown Guilliman that his resurrection had drawn the eyes of the Ruinous Powers.

The war across Ultramar was still ongoing, however, and with Guilliman leaving, it would require strategically gifted warriors to keep pushing the Forces of Chaos back. As such, Guilliman gathered a select force of Battle-Brothers from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Companies of the Ultramarines to accompany him to Terra, and gave the honour of their command to Captain Cato Sicarius. He further requested that Grand Master Aldrik Voldus and the Grey Knights of the 3rd Brotherhood join this Terran Crusade. Others pledged their aid to the Primarch's cause, including the assembled strength of the Ultramarines' Successor Primogenitor Chapters, and Emperor's Champion Marius Amalrich and his Black Templars brethren. The Living Saint Celestine, the Inquisitor Katarinya Greyfax and Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl accompanied the Primarch also -- whatever aid they or the military forces under their command could provide the Primarch would be gladly given. Guilliman gratefully accepted all offers of aid before commanding Marneus Calgar, Chief Librarian Tigurius and Captain Severus Agemman of the Ultramarines 1st Company to remain and lead the continued reconquest of Ultramar.

Voldus and his brothers joined the Primarch on this Terran Crusade, their combat prowess and unwavering faith aiding the Imperial forces of the Crusade in all their trials and tribulations in the Warp rift known as the Maelstrom after their fleet was cast into the rift by a sorcerous ritual cast by the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red, who had been tracking his former brother's progress from Macragge.

Trapped in the nightmare of the Maelstrom, amidst fluctuating time streams and reality-warping energy storms, the damaged starships of the Terran Crusade struggled on. Within the Maelstrom lurked countless foes, for this was a region that had long harboured the warring minions of Chaos.

More than once when trapped in the Maelstrom, the Imperial ships were forced to fight off opportunist raids by sleek hunting packs of Traitor warships. Amidst a thousand-mile-wide cloud of corrosive spores, the Terran Crusade ships found themselves beset by swarms of vast plague flies as large as frigates. The monstrous insects took a savage toll upon the smaller ships of the Crusade, until Saint Celestine took to the Navigator's observation blister of the Ultramarines flagship Macragge's Honour. Unleashing her holy light in a blazing psychic shockwave, the Living Saint purged the hideous daemon beasts from the void.

In another uncharted reach, the Terran Crusade craft found ghostly phantasms whirling around their hulls. Howling Warp ghosts screamed through the corridors of the Space Marine craft, swarming around the ancient relics and honoured banners of their Reclusiam shrines. The Adeptus Astartes realised, to their horror, that these aetheric leeches were draining the holy energies from their treasured relics, dragging faint, screaming ghosts from the enshrined helms, blades and scrolls. In this fight, the Grey Knights came to the fore, Aldrik Voldus swiftly splitting his brotherhood and deploying them by rapid teleport strike into his allies' shrines. Fighting alongside the outraged Chaplains who guarded the relics, the daemon-hunting warriors drove the Warp leeches back and banished them to the void.

Eventually, the Crusade, with the aid of the Eldar Farseer Eldrad Ulthran, discovered a way out of the Maelstrom, marked by a massive graveyard of starships. But before they could make their way out of the Warp rift, the fleet was attacked by the Red Corsairs, a piratical group of Renegade Space Marines under the control of the Greater Daemon of Tzeentch Kairos Fateweaver. The Imperials were forced to surrender once Fateweaver used his sorcery to literally entrap the Primarch within psychic chains forged of his own guilt and frustration and threatened to slay him. Imprisoned in a Blackstone Fortress that Abaddon the Despoiler had given to the Red Corsairs, the Imperials were freed from what was intended to be permanent captivity by the machinations of the Fallen Angel Cypher and a troupe of Harlequins led by the Shadowseer Sylandri Veilwalker. After defeating the Bloodthirster Skarbrand the Exiled One at the cost of the life of Marius Amalrich, the Imperials successfully fled into the Webway through a massive gate located at the heart of the Blackstone Fortress.

But once the Harlequins detected that the section of the Webway they had entered had been infiltrated by Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons Traitor Legion, Guilliman sensed a trap closing about the remains of the Terran Crusade.

Guilliman's mind raced, weaving fragments of fact and glimpses of information with his peerless strategist's intuition. It was Magnus, realised the Primarch. His manipulative brother -- who must have somehow known precisely how matters would play out for Guilliman -- had sent his cursed sons to intercept the Imperials.

Events began to fall into place in Guilliman's mind. Magnus had hurled Guilliman's Crusade into the Maelstrom not to destroy it, but to weaken it. He had propelled the Lord of Ultramar onto a particular path of fate that Magnus had either hoped or known would lead him to his capture, incarceration within that very specific gaol, and eventual escape into this section of the Webway. Guilliman could not know that the Crimson King had called upon his greatest champion, the Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman, to aid him with his stolen knowledge of the Webway's paths, but otherwise the Primarch's conclusions were entirely correct.

Swiftly and earnestly, Guilliman sought the counsel of his closest lieutenants. They had to determine what Magnus planned, and quickly, before they stepped straight into the Daemon Primarch's trap. It was Aldrik Voldus who -- drawing upon his knowledge of Titan's ancient libraries -- made the intuitive leap. There was a warded entrance to the Webway within the Imperial Palace. Voldus believed it to be heavily defended, bound shut with the most potent abjurations that the Imperium could muster, but still it existed. Perhaps Magnus knew of that gate, and sought to follow them to it?

Guilliman's strategic brilliance leapt ahead again, tracing patterns within patterns and perceiving the truth. Magnus already knew where the gate lay, he realised. There had been whispers that the Crimson King had passed that way before just before the outbreak of the Horus Heresy, and in so doing unleashed the catastrophe that fell upon him and his XV Legion during the Fall of Prospero.

Magnus did not need them to lead him to the gate. He sought instead to follow them through it, clearly hoping that the gate's defences would be deactivated to allow for Guilliman's arrival. The Daemon Primarch wanted to strike at Terra, at the very Golden Throne of the Emperor of Mankind, and he hoped to launch his attack as the gate was thrown open to permit the Ultramarines Primarch passage.

The Terran Crusade, ironically, could not emerge at Terra, Guilliman realised with something like despair, not if it meant allowing Magnus to strike at the cradle of Humanity. Yet Sylandri Veilwalker had never intended for them to take that road. Instead, the Shadowseer revealed a secret that the Eldar had long guarded.

Lying dormant for millennia, hidden behind a veil of wards that even Humanity's greatest psykers could not pierce, a lonely spar of the Webway stretched out upon the border between realspace and the Warp to connect to Luna, Terra's only natural moon. It was through that illusion-veiled gate that the Terran Crusade emerged.

But the Imperials were only partially successful. The Thousand Sons and their Daemon Primarch managed to follow them with a portion of their force through the Webway. During the vicious battle that ensued in the dusty void of Luna's surface, with Terra hanging high and bright over the combatants' heads, Aldrik Voldus and his Grey Knights fought valiantly, leading the charge at multiple times against the undying automatons of Thousand Sons Rubricae and uniting their psychic abilities with those of Inquisitor Greyfax to defeat the servants of the Lord of Change. The battle was won when Imperial reinforcements arrived to sweep the lunar surface clear of the Traitors and Guilliman succeeded in hurling Magnus back through the Webway gate while the Harlequins sealed it permanently.

Voldus, his brothers and their allies were finally ferried to the Imperial Palace on Terra after the battle on Luna. There, before the Eternity Gate of the Inner Palace leading to the throne room of the Emperor where Guilliman would meet his father for the first time in ten standard millennia, many of the waiting crowd reached out with awe to offer their devotion and thanks to the Grey Knights Grand Master and his brethren. Guilliman emerged a solar day later from the Palace and was soon restored to his former position as Lord Commander of the Imperium. As Guilliman prepared to launch a massive counteroffensive against the gathering forces of the Ruinous Powers, there was no doubt that Aldrik Voldus and all the Grey Knights would stand at his side and face the enemies of the Emperor to their dying breath.

Wargear

AldrikVoldusMini

Grand Master Aldrik Voldus in his fearsome panopoly of war

  • Aegis Terminator Armour - The Aegis Terminator Armour used by the Space Marines of the Grey Knights Chapter is similar to the standard Indomitus Pattern Terminator Armour, but is inscribed with a complex network of protective prayers, runes and other wards which are psychically charged to provide better protection for a Grey Knight Astartes from the sorcerous powers of daemons and other servants of Chaos. The only major difference between Aegis Terminator Armour and the standard Indomitus Pattern besides the extra layer of psychic protection is the suit's helmet, which has been constructed to be very similar to that used by the ancient Mark III Iron Pattern suit of Power Armour.
  • Malleus Argyrum - Crafted over a standard century by the blind smith Hulliver, this beautifully weighted Force Hammer is a conduit for psychic energies. So empowered, it streaks through the air as though it weighed nothing at all, only to strike with the force of a caged thunderbolt.
  • Storm Bolter - The Storm Bolter is a double-barrelled version of the standard Bolter. As it is heavier and causes more recoil than a normal Bolter, it is even more rarely used than the Bolter by the regiments of the Astra Militarum. Instead, Storm Bolters are the standard weapons employed by Space Marine Terminators or as a pintle-mounted weapon on an Imperial main battle tank. Storm Bolters are also used by the Astartes of the Grey Knights Chapter as a gauntlet-mounted weapon with its feed mounted on the rear of their armour.
  • Iron Halo - An Iron Halo is a symbol of high office amongst the Grey Knights; it is not merely a token or treasure, but a powerful defence in its own right. Beneath the halo's shining metal lies a powerful energy field generator that can thwart even the most cataclysmic blow.
  • Psyk-Out Grenade - A Psyk-Out Grenade is a very rare type of grenade used by Grey Knights Astartes, high-ranking Inquisitors and Assassins of the Culexus Temple as a potent anti-psyker weapon. Outwardly, a Psyk-Out Grenade looks much like one of the Frag Grenades in use by the many military forces of the Imperium. Its rarity and potency stems from the special additive that is laced within its explosive charge. The Adeptus Custodes reverently gather the dust that forms from the body of the Emperor of Man where He is entombed in the Golden Throne. This byproduct of the Golden Throne's arcane workings possesses a strong anti-psychic charge and can produce an effect in psykers and Warp entities similar to those produced by a psychic Blank, a being afflicted with the Pariah Gene. When a Psyk-Out grenade detonates, the sacred dust is spread over the whole of the blast radius. Any psyker caught within it will find his or her link to the Warp violently severed, and any psychic power active in the radius will be terminated due to its sudden loss of Warp power. This traumatic experience will prevent psykers from using any of their powers for a certain time, depending on the psyker's strength, and interrupt the action of any psychic power with potentially fatal consequences for the user. The severing of the connection to the Warp is also a potent tool to be used in the fight against daemons: Lesser Daemons will be banished from realspace outright, unable to maintain their physical form, and even mighty Greater Daemons will find themselves severely weakened and liable to easy banishment.
  • Frag Grenades
  • Krak Grenades

Sources

  • War Zone Fenris: Wrath of Magnus (7th Edition), pg. 105
  • Gathering Storm - Part Three - Rise of the Primarch (7th Edition), pp. 18-93, 124, 126

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