"We are the hammer!" or "I am the hammer, I am the right hand of the Emperor, the instrument of His will, the gauntlet about His fist, the tip of His spear, the edge of His sword!"
During the Horus Heresy (31st Millennium)
666 (About 1,000 Astartes in the Chapter)
Kaldor Draigo, Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights
Steel Grey and Red
- "To the righteous we bring hope. To the tainted we bring fire."
- — Castellan Garran Crowe
The Grey Knights are a secret, mysterious Loyalist Chapter of Space Marines specifically tasked with combating the dangerous daemonic entities of the Warp and all those who wield the corrupt power of the Chaos Gods. They have the honour of being implanted with gene-seed engineered directly from the genome of the Emperor Himself. The Grey Knights act as the military arm or Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus, the Daemonhunters who form the oldest branch of the virtually omnipotent Inquisition. The Grey Knights' fortress-monastery is based on Titan, the largest of the moons of the gas giant Saturn in the Sol System, that is kept as a private preserve of the Inquisition. The existence of the Chapter is virtually unknown outside of the Inquisition and the highest echelons of the Imperial Adepta, and is a well-guarded secret enforced by mind-wipes and even assassination of Imperial citizens if necessary. Unlike other Astartes, every Grey Knight is a potent psyker. Yet, in the 10,000 standard years of Imperial history, no Grey Knight has ever been corrupted by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.
A light against the darkness, the Grey Knights stand against the greatest threat Mankind has ever faced. They are the champions of reason, order and righteousness, holding back Daemons and the scions of the Dark Gods. They are the Imperium's mightiest weapon against the Warp, superhuman Space Marine psykers, and its single enduring hope for salvation. There is no greater threat to the galaxy than the denizens of the Warp and the Ruinous Powers that rule them. Daemons and gods, these otherworldly horrors tear at the veil between the Realm of Chaos and reality, hungry for the souls of men and the ruin of worlds. If left unchecked and unopposed, Daemons would claim the universe for their own, pulling down the pillars of creation and fashioning a never-ending nightmare where once the galaxy had been. Daemons are unlike any other foe the Imperium faces, and against their unnatural horror men can find themselves powerless. The Emperor's armies are vast and numerous, from the void-borne fleets of the Imperial Navy and the endless ranks of the Astra Militarum to the superhuman Space Marines and the unimaginably powerful Titan Legions. Mortal foes cannot stand against the Imperium when it is roused to war, but the Daemon is not mortal.
History has proven that all men can be corrupted and even the mighty Space Marine Chapters are not immune to the unholy temptations of the Dark Gods. In his infinite wisdom the Emperor foresaw that even should He prevail against Horus the threat of Chaos would remain. He knew that of all the Imperium's many foes, the daemonic was the greatest threat, and so He created a brotherhood of incorruptible warriors to fight Daemons. These were the Grey Knights, and they would stand as the Emperor's ultimate weapon against the Gods of Chaos.
A Blade Against Chaos
- "One unbreakable shield against the coming darkness, One last blade forged in defiance of fate, Let them be my legacy to the galaxy I conquered, And my final gift to the species I failed."
- — Inscription upon the Arcus Daemonica, attributed to the Emperor of Mankind
The Grey Knights are the most mysterious of all the Imperium's warriors. Their creation was the culmination of a plan conceived in the dying days of the Horus Heresy, hidden from even the Emperor's armies lest it be uncovered by His foes. Even now few in the Imperium of the late 41st Millennium know of their existence, and those that do possess only fragments of the truth. Legends and myths surround the Grey Knights, and those tales told about them are filled with broad misconceptions and fanciful lies. The vast hordes of Humanity know nothing of the Grey Knights, and the handful of citizens that have heard the name uttered assume them to be an arm of the much-feared Inquisition or a Chapter of the mythical, superhuman Space Marines. Some of the stories and fables taught by the Adeptus Ministorum hold the barest hints of the existence of the Grey Knights, but they are portrayed as silver-armoured angels, ghostly manifestations of the God-Emperor or shimmering reflections of the saints themselves as often as not. Those soldiers that have fought alongside the Grey Knights and retained both their lives and their minds recall them only as an unknown Space Marine Chapter, their unique weapons and psychic powers attributed to forgotten technology and tactical doctrine. Other Space Marines know better should they see a Grey Knight in battle, but are wise enough not to dwell long in thought about these mysterious warriors.
Legend has it that the Grey Knights were Founded on the order of the Emperor Himself, in the final bloody days of the Horus Heresy. The Emperor knew that the time was coming when He would have to face his traitorous son Horus and that he might well not survive. However, He foresaw that, even if Horus and his armies were defeated, the power of Chaos would remain a constant threat to Humanity. His greatest warriors, the Space Marines, had proven fallible to the temptations of the Dark Gods and so the Emperor set out to create a new soldier in His bid to protect Mankind. This new breed of Space Marine would be stronger of will than his brothers, and unwavering in his loyalty to Mankind, able to stand naked before the power of the Warp and survive unscathed.
In this dark time the Emperor turned to Malcador the Sigillite -- His most trusted servant and the first High Lord of Terra. Malcador was a powerful psyker, lore keeper of the fledgling Imperium, and had stood at the Emperor's side since the Unification Wars. He was charged by the Emperor immediately after news had reached Terra of the Warmaster Horus' betrayal during the massacre of the Loyalist Astartes on Istvaan III, to gather a group of dedicated Imperial servants whose loyalty, courage, and strength of mind was unquestioned. As the Emperor prepared for the final battle with Horus, Malcador crossed the divided Imperium, searching corpse-choked battlefields and worlds drowning in blood for those the Emperor sought. No other man save the Emperor Himself could have been given such a task and hope to complete it. However, Malcador returned to the Imperial Palace even as Horus' forces laid siege to Terra. Only the Sigilite's psychic mastery and knowledge of the hidden ways into the palace allowed him to slip through the Traitor's battle lines to reach the Emperor's side.
When the Master of Mankind looked upon those Malcador had brought he knew that there was yet hope for Humanity. Twelve men in all had been gathered, four noble lords and governors of the highest order, complemented by eight Space Marines. These eight selected Space Marines all possessed paranormal skills as psykers that had been kept dormant as required by the edicts of the Council of Nikaea -- the Council had ruled during the Great Crusade that the use of psychic powers was forbidden to Space Marines because of the dangers innate to manipulation of the Empyrean. These warriors willingly cast aside their former loyalties to their given Space Marine Legions and Primarchs, either because of the corruption of these Legions by Chaos, or because they realised that loyalty to the Emperor required them to sacrifice all ties to their former Battle-Brothers. That some of these Battle-Brothers came from Legions that had turned Traitor proved the depth of their loyalty to the Emperor, for there can be no greater challenge for a Space Marine than to defy the word of his Primarch. After meeting the candidates, the Emperor is believed to have responded, "Malcador, you have judged well. These eight Space Marines do indeed have a vital role to play in the future of the Imperium, though veiled in secrecy will they be." Content that His plans could proceed, the Emperor bade Malcador and his charges leave for Titan.
The Grey Knights were created alongside what became the Inquisition and their goals intertwined. They would be the staunch allies of this new organisation, fashioned in the image of the Space Marine Chapters, their Battle-Brothers augmented by the Emperor's advanced science and genetic experimentation. Blessed with both superhuman physiology and the most advanced Imperial weaponry, the Grey Knights would be the elite of the Adeptus Astartes. However, it would not be enough for them merely to be strong of body and skilled at war, though in this they surpass even other Space Marines. To fight the Daemon the Grey Knights would need to be pure of heart as well, with an unblemished soul in which the corruption of the Warp could find no purchase.
A Refuge From the Storm
In Malcador's absence, the Emperor had prepared a concealed fortress-monastery on the moon of Titan. Hidden under layers of rock and shrouded by powerful technologies, the structure had eluded discovery by the Traitors, their armies focused on Terra where the fate of the Imperium was unfolding. After departing the Emperor's Palace, Malcador's charges parted ways. The four human lords created the framework for the Inquisition, tasked with rooting out heresy from within the Imperium. Malcador took the eight Space Marines to the fortress where he set about laying the foundations of a new order of Space Marines. Everything had been prepared for the coming of the Sigillite and the Battle-Brothers; an army of Servitors maintained the fortress while cryo-vaults hidden at its core contained vast stocks of gene-seed. Hundreds of thousands of recruits had also been gathered from the worlds of the Imperium. These would become the raw material that Malcador would fashion into the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter. Malcador's servants had chosen each of these recruits carefully; the recruits' minds deeply probed to see if they bore even the slightest hint of Chaotic corruption. The recruits were also chosen for their latent psychic gifts, so that once human flesh was implanted with Space Marine gene-seed organs they would grow into potent psykers, with a unique control over their abilities. To find so many suitable specimens Malcador's servants had searched the millions of planets of the Imperium, taking Aspirants from the seed worlds of the Loyalist Legions as well as from the ranks of the Imperial Army. Some were even taken from primitive worlds newly restored to the Imperium, their hardy people ignorant of the sky-war that had brought them to Titan but willing to do what the gods demanded.
For those first days Malcador guided the eight in the formation of the Grey Knights, overseeing the awakening of the great citadel and its new Chapter. However, events were coming to a close on Terra, and as the Traitor armies gathered for a final blow against the Imperial Palace, Malcador was summoned back to the Emperor's side. Before he departed, the Sigillite selected Janus from among the eight to continue the work he had begun. So it was that Janus became the first Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights. Malcador's final act on Titan was to weave a complex psychic ward about the moon to shield it from the mayhem raging across the galaxy. Whereas before the Sigillite's artifice had merely hidden the fortress from detection, it now concealed the entire planet. Wrapping Titan in a bubble of reality, Malcador sent it into the Warp, where it would ride out the final battle for the Imperium. His rites complete, the Sigillite returned to Terra to face his final fate in service to the Emperor.
For many standard years Titan remained absent from the galaxy. While the Emperor was interred in the Golden Throne and the Traitors fled into the Eye of Terror, the Grey Knights Chapter grew within the Warp. As the Loyalist Space Marine Legions hunted down the survivors of Horus' army during the Great Scouring, the Grey Knights trained and perfected their physical and psychic skill. Finally, many standard years after the end of the Horus Heresy, as the Loyalist Space Marine Legions were dividing themselves into Chapters in accordance with the newly-crafted Codex Astartes, Titan returned, just as Malcador had planned. However, time is subjective within the Warp, and where only standard years had passed in realspace, whole decades had slipped away in the fortress-monastery of the Grey Knights. Eight Space Marines and hundreds of thousands of raw recruits had entered the Warp; a full one thousand Grey Knights emerged. In Malcador's stead, Janus had created the formidable weapon dreamed of by the Emperor, and it now stood ready to begin its righteous task. By this time the human lords gathered by the Sigilite were masters of the Inquisition, and had long been awaiting the return of Titan. With great care and utmost secrecy, the Inquisitor Lords added the Grey Knights to the records of the Adeptus Terra as the 666th Chapter of Space Marines. Lost in the anarchy of the Second Founding, so many and varied were the names and Foundings of that time that few noticed the addition of another Space Marine Chapter. The only organisation to know the Grey Knights' true purpose was the Inquisition, and shortly after the return of Titan the Lords of the Inquisition travelled to the Chapter's fortress-monastery where they met with Supreme Grand Master Janus. What transpired between these great lords is recorded in the annals of the Chapter, the sacred words of Janus and the Inquisitor Lords marked out in ancient ink telling of this first secret pact between the Inquisition and the Grey Knights.
In the first centuries after the creation of the Grey Knights the Chapter was called upon many times by the Inquisition. In the wake of the Horus Heresy the Imperium still burned with war and was plagued by daemonic incursions. On the twin moons of Yyrm, silver-armoured angels were held responsible for the destruction of the Ithican Daemon Cruciform. Though none of the local citizens survived, they left behind crude drawings on the walls of their refuge-caves, depicting men clad in glowing silver impaling twisting shapes of burning crimson, all fangs and claws. The great Star-mirror of Vause records the coming of the Daemonhunters, though none of the ancient astronomers lived to speak of what they saw. In the inky depths of the mirror the fate of the Vause System can be discerned, every event to touch its worlds reflected, reaching back thousands of Terran years. When the Warp Wyrm came to Vause III to feed, a shining vessel appeared from the void. The warriors it disgorged set upon the Wyrm and its servants, cleansing Vause III in a war visible from space. During the Hell Rain of Korpolis, blind and deaf Ministorum monks witnessed the Grey Knights banish the Khornate Styrm-Lord. Huddled in the dripping cellars of their mountain sanctuary, their minds were tormented by the psychic blood rain that drowned the world. Such was the glorious presence of the Daemonhunters that even without eyes or ears the monks sensed their coming, "seeing" their deeds as fierce argent flashes in their minds. The Grey Knights fought their secret war wherever the threat of the Dark Gods appeared, seeking out those places where the fabric of reality grew thin and hungry Daemons turned their gaze to the realm of Man. This was to be the sacred duty of the Grey Knights, and their endless struggle against a foe without number or remorse.
Over the centuries, as the Imperial bureaucracy stablised following the Great Scouring, the Grey Knights eventually became the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus branch of the Inquisition. Fashioned in the image of the standard Space Marine Chapters, the Grey Knights' Battle-Brothers were augmented by the Emperor's advanced science and genetic experimentation. Blessed with both superhuman physiology and the most advanced weaponry, the Grey Knights would be the elite of the Adeptus Astartes. However, it would not be enough for them merely to be strong of body and skilled at war, though in this they surpass even other Space Marines. To fight the Daemon the Grey Knights would need to be pure of heart as well, with an unblemished soul in which the Warp could find no purchase. To combat Daemonkind all Grey Knights are trained to bend the powers of the Warp to their will, and each one is a powerful psyker. Mundane blades and guns will not suffice against daemonic foes, and so the Emperor ensured that the Grey Knights would have the skill to turn the weapons of the Warp against its denizens. Few mortal minds can master the powers of the Warp without becoming infected by the corruption of that nether realm, and many human psykers end their days wailing in madness or tearing at their ruined flesh with bloody fingers.
Grey Knights, however, are unique amongst Mankind in their control of their psychic gifts, their purity of soul and strength of will an impregnable wall against the horrors of the Warp. Even the Librarians of other Chapters cannot match the psychic mastery of the Grey Knights, and must always be vigilant against the insidious threat of daemonic possession or madness brought about by coming into contact with the Warp. A Grey Knight does not gaze into the Warp and fear what lurks within; rather, the creatures of the Warp recoil from him. Like the Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes, the Grey Knights are few in number, a mere handful when counted against the vast span of the galaxy and the countless foes of the Imperium. However, even a handful of these expert warriors are enough to turn the tide of a battle or vanquish a determined foe. There are few enemies of the Emperor that can hope to stand against a Grey Knight, even when they outnumber him many times over.
Few as they are, the Grey Knights appear only when there is a grave threat to the Imperium from the Warp, often in places where the Dark Gods have unleashed their Daemons upon reality. Theirs is a secret war against the Warp, the true extent of the threat from the Dark Gods hidden from most of the Imperium, much like the existence of the Chapter itself. It falls to the Grey Knights to contain the powers of the Warp, sealing breaches between the material universe and the Immaterium or banishing powerful Daemons that have taken physical form. Like a righteous storm of the Emperor's wrath, the Grey Knights will appear out of the void, their sleek Strike Cruisers plunging them deep into the heart of the daemonic sore upon reality. With exacting precision and pitiless fury they will purge a world of Daemons, slaying Daemonic Heralds and putting to death the Chaos Cults and Heretics that summoned them. Often the need of quelling a full-blown daemonic incursion will throw the Chapter into an existing warzone, where they will be called upon to fight all manner of foes. Alien monstrosities, xenos witches and Traitor Space Marines -– each fall just as easily to the sanctified Nemesis Force Weapons, blessed Bolters and psychic might of the Grey Knights. However, these are merely a distraction from the Chapter's true purpose: the eradication of the Daemon.
The Grey Knights are unique amongst the Space Marines as the only Astartes Chapter to have full knowledge of the dark secrets of Chaos -- they alone completely know of and understand the existence of daemons and of their ability to enter realspace, and they alone are best equipped to battle and defeat Mankind's most terrible enemy. While other Chapters and Imperial forces have some knowledge of daemons and how to fight them, only the Grey Knights are privy to the darkest, deepest secrets that the Ordo Malleus possesses on these creatures and how to defeat them. The existence of the Chapter is one of the most closely-held secrets of the Inquisition. Beyond the Inquisition, only the members of the highest echelons of the Imperium are aware of its existence, though even they are ignorant of the Chapter's organisation and methods. The reasons for this secrecy start with the policy instituted by the Emperor before the start of the Great Crusade: the existence of Chaos and the daemonic within the Immaterium was a secret that only the Emperor was to be privy to -- a secret that was only forcibly revealed thanks to the outbreak of the Horus Heresy.
The Inquisition, which was originally created for the purpose of waging a secret war against Chaos, applied the post-Heresy Imperial policy of secrecy, which closely followed the Emperor's own, to the entire Imperium. The existence of Chaos and the daemonic was privileged knowledge which was to be kept from the populace of the Imperium at all costs. This policy was instituted as a way of preventing the spread of Chaos' innate corruption to the easily corrupted common people of the galaxy. Because of this secrecy, unauthorised knowledge of the Grey Knights' existence by Imperial military personnel or civilians will result in the mind-wiping or execution of the subject, while even an Exterminatus may be considered and applied to a world whose population has learned the truth about Chaos. One exception to this rule is the Space Wolves Chapter, whose full complement of Astartes was granted knowledge of the Grey Knights' existence following the purges of Imperial personnel that resulted from the First War for Armageddon in 444.M41.
Few men have ever laid eyes upon a Grey Knight and lived long after the experience, perishing soon after either to the forces of the daemonic incursion or the zealous purity of the Grey Knights in the aftermath. Only the Grey Knights can be trusted to resist the lure of Chaos, and while armies of the Astra Militarum, Adeptus Astartes and other soldiers of the Imperium might aid in the destruction of Warp entities, they will likely become corrupted from the experience. Even the smallest risk of Chaotic taint is too great to ignore, and Guardsmen will be executed or subjected to telepathic scouring, while Space Marines might be mindwiped or sworn to secrecy with the gravest of oaths to their Primarch. So it is that when the psychic warriors are spoken of, if ever, it is only as legends and myths. Due to their secretive nature, little is known about the Grey Knights' operations. Yet, deep beneath their great fortress-monastery on the moon of Saturn called Titan lie countless Grey Knight heroes, although few outside the Inquisition and the Chapter itself will ever know that they existed.
- "Why should I fear the Daemon? He has no power over me."
- — Brother-Captain Castavor Drak
In the Space Marines' long history the Grey Knights hold the highest honour of all: no Grey Knight has ever turned to Chaos or betrayed the trust of the Emperor. This is a subject of much speculation and discussion within the Chapter and the Inquisition. Inquisitorial savants have written numerous treatises on the subject of the Chapter's inexplicable, continuing purity in the face of constant involvement with the Chaotic even when many Inquisitors have fallen to the Archenemy's corruption.
One possibility is that the Grey Knights have proven uncorruptible due to the unusual nature of their gene-seed: they each are imbued with the absolute purity of the Emperor Himself. However, several Primarchs, carriers of the Emperor's gene-seed, fell to corruption, even though they were much more meticulously engineered, their genetic creation undertaken and supervised by the Emperor before the Great Crusade during the ancient Primarch Project. Another view is that each Grey Knight must constantly reaffirm and retain the purity given to them by the Emperor's gene-seed through right thought and right deeds. There have been thousands of Grey Knights through the millennia, and therefore, countless opportunities for corruption -- yet none has ever fallen. This reality defies statistical probability, yet its cause remains unknown -- and perhaps unknowable. The debate on the incorruptibility of the Chapter continues, as no authoritative conclusion has been reached. Yet for those with faith in the Emperor, the truth is simple -- the Emperor protects.
- Foundation of the 666th Chapter (ca. 021.M31) - Titan returns to the galaxy during the Second Founding, and the Inquisition records the Grey Knights as the 666th Chapter. Under a veil of secrecy the Chapter begins its work, hunting down the daemonic enemies that threaten the Imperium.
- Fate Unravels (938.M32) - The Daemon Ix'thar'ganix, the Slayer of Destinies, foresees the role that the Grey Knights will play in his downfall, and the threat they may eventually pose to the Dark Gods. Overcome with his own cunning, the Lord of Change begins a plan that will take eight thousand Terran years to come to fruition, seeding lesser Daemons on worlds all across the Imperium so that he might subtly manipulate future events.
- The Ghost Quell (832.M33) - On the desolate planet of Forlor, the Grey Knights corner the Radical Inquisitor Vetrix. After enacting the Psycantic Necrolarus upon the Segmentum Solar, Vetrix has been declared a Heretic by his Ordo. The Inquisitor is dragged back to the dungeons of Titan, pleading with his stony-faced captors that the Necrolarus is the Imperium's only hope for survival.
- The Final Sanction (093.M34) - Neodan, Brother-Captain of the 5th Brotherhood, slays the Butcher of Xor, an abattoir overseer possessed by a Daemon of Khorne. Only after the Daemon and its servants have been dealt with does Neodan discover that the creature had been tainting the meat-beasts of the blood factorums, and spreading them across Xor and its neighbouring worlds. With no knowledge of how far the corrupted flesh has spread, Neodan declares a final sanction against Xor, condemning millions to death rather than risking a daemonic incursion.
- The Hollow Cult (290.M34) - During their long war against the Hollow Cult and its many-limbed pleasure god, the Grey Knights lose almost the entire 7th Brotherhood. The Chaos Cult lays a series of cunning ambushes for the Grey Knights, bending reality to isolate each of the Battle-Brothers and overwhelm them in a tide of daemonic flesh. The Grey Knights' retribution is absolute, and Supreme Grand Master Calastan gathers the full might of the Chapter against the cult. In the end, the only memory of the Hollow Cult that remains is recorded in faded ink within the Sanctum Sanctorum in the Citadel of Titan.
- The Lost Brotherhood (708.M34) - Brother-Captain Edeon leads a dozen squads of the 2nd Brotherhood into the Veiled Region seeking the Daemonafex. All communication ceases, and eventually the Council of Titan declares them lost.
- The Haunting of Titan (566.M35) - The Chambers of Purity are sullied by haunting spectres of the Warp: the ghosts of vanquished foes clawing at the walls of reality and whispering portents of future catastrophe. The creatures warn of a time when the light of the Emperor will fail and the Grey Knights will stand alone against the darkness, the fate of Humanity resting upon the razor edges of their blades. The Purifiers endure the maddened tirades of these ghosts and the visions of the Imperium fallen into darkness and fire; they know that these shades are but echoes of the monsters they purport to be, barely connected to the Warp and able to do no more than spew forth lies. The Purifiers also know, however, that the daemonic ghosts are a symptom of something ancient and powerful that slumbers beneath the surface of Titan...
- Eye of the Storm (976.M35) - A Warp Storm descends on the Rorn System in the wake of the Pallid Prince and his Daemon host. A squad of Grey Knights are trapped by the storm on the Rorn Primarex shipyard, having destroyed the Pallid Prince and his Warp-iron vessel. Unwilling to risk discovery by the citizens of Rorn III, and denied Warp travel by the storm, the Grey Knights set out into the void at sub-light speeds, the Battle-Brothers entering stasis for their millennia-long voyage back to Titan.
- A Brotherhood Out of Time (108.M36) - Nearly two thousand Terran years after their disappearance, word reaches Titan of the lost Brother-Captain Edeon and his brothers. Unbeknownst to the Chapter, Edeon had followed the Daemonafex and its thralls into an area of the Warp that owed its existence to the echoes of forgotten moments. Edeon and his Grey Knights fought at the foot of the Daemon's Fortress of Deceit, each day falling to grievous wounds only to rise again, borne up by their unwavering resolve and psychic fury. Faced with their combined might, the Daemonafex was finally cast down, though it was to cost Edeon and his brothers their lives in the material realm. On their return to realspace, their bodies begin to atrophy at an alarming rate. Before he dies, the Brother-Captain only has time to send a coded signal to Titan, telling of the Brotherhood's victory.
- A Thousand Deaths (222-234.M36) - Xorgar the Cruel ascends to Daemonhood amid the blood-drenched battlefields of the Rusting War. The Grey Knights already fighting against the Ragged Host focus their attentions on Xorgar and slay him before he can fully manifest his newfound powers. However, it amuses the Dark Gods to torment their vassal by giving him life once more, and for the next twelve standard years the Grey Knights hunt and kill Xorgar hundreds of times on scores of worlds. Only when the Daemon's mortal shell is destroyed for the thousandth time do the gods tire of their game.
- A Daemon Assassin (493.M36) - The Slaaneshi Daemon assassin Hex'tan attempts to sneak onto Titan and hide among an intake of recruits. Initially successful, the Daemon lurks on the plains of the Xanadu Regio among the bones of the dead, awaiting a suitable candidate to possess and carry it back to the citadel. However, the creature's plans unravel when a strong-willed future Grey Knight hunts it down and imprisons it in the corpse of another recruit, unaware that this was not part of his trial.
- The Quiet Heresy (713.M36) - Tzeentchian Daemons rob the populace of Sundel of speech, every citizen rendered mute by Warp sorceries. In the silence that follows the Cult of the Severed Tongue is born, its debased members torturing and killing men and women with no voices to scream. For a standard year the cult reigns without opposition, turning the planet into a silent hell where corpses rot in the streets and men and women live like vermin in the shadows, fearful of making the slightest sound that will give them away. The Grey Knights confront the cult as Sundel stands on the verge of utter destruction, its cities completely given over to worshipping the very Daemons that orchestrated their ruin. In the empty silence, the only sounds to be heard are the bark of Storm Bolters and the crackle of Nemesis Force Weapons as the Grey Knights purify the planet and annihilate any in their path.
- The Tarnished Blade (121.M37) - The Astral Blades Space Marine Chapter is led down the path to Chaos by their prideful Chapter Master, who has been possessed by the Daemon Etherak the Unrepentant. The Daemon's servants use sorcery to possess almost every Battle-Brother within the Chapter's subterranean fortress-monastery one by one, slaughtering those strong enough to resist. As the blood of the last of the fallen is still cooling, the possessed Space Marines plunder the Chapter's gene-seed stores and set off for the Eye of Terror. However, when their Battle Barge, Sword of Stars, reaches high orbit, the Grey Knights are waiting for them. In the furious battle that ensues Grey Knight Terminators teleport onto the bridge of the Battle Barge and banish Etherak back into the Warp in the midst of a furious melee. Broken in body and spirit, the Chapter Master of the Astral Blades accepts the Emperor's mercy delivered at the hands of his "saviours."
- Daemon Maze (813.M37) - The Heretek Malforea the Mad constructs a vast maze structure of ghost-glass and etheric siphons in an attempt to harness the power of the Warp for his corrupt machines. The maze has the unintentional side effect of trapping Daemons, the creatures drawn toward the device only to become lost within its multi-dimensional twists and turns. When the Daemon Prince Kaslidi becomes ensnared, its rage shakes the structure to its foundations and it becomes a locus for the creature's essence. The Grey Knights arrive to find the Heretek a puppet of Kaslidi and his world on the verge of a full-blown daemonic incursion. To defeat the Daemon Prince, the Grey Knights enter the maze, hunting down the Daemons trapped within. A battle of reflections and illusions ensues, the Battle-Brothers surrounded by flickering daemonic faces and psychic manifestations. Reaching the centre of the maze the Grey Knight Justicar cuts down the Malforea flesh-puppet and shatters the ghost-glass face of Kaslidi, bringing down the structure and casting the Daemons back into the Warp.
- 1st Scouring of Coriolanthe (948.M38) - For three months a warband of the Night Lords Traitor Legion preys upon the gleaming marble cities of Coriolanthe, turning the white-flagged streets crimson with the blood of their victims and decorating the rearing stone towers with looped viscera and severed body parts. At length, the population rises in a maddened frenzy of terror plunging the planet into anarchy. When a Grey Knights Purgation Force, under the mandate of Inquisitor-Lord Baum, arrives to challenge the renegades and restore order, they are confronted not just by the Night Lords, but a force of Traitor Titans. Coriolanthe is reduced to ruins in the ensuing carnage, and the Inquisitor-Lord and all but a handful of Grey Knights are slain.
- The Damned Voyage (394.M40) - The Grey Knights Strike Cruiser Titan's Hand suffers a catastrophic Geller Field failure, leaving the warship unshielded against the Warp. Almost at once, the ship is engulfed with daemonic creatures hungry for the souls of those on board. The Grey Knights stand haloed by psychic energy against the Warp, each one shielding his mind and body through sheer willpower and the blessed seals of the Aegis. Against Servitors and Chapter Serfs turned into puppets of Chaos, the Battle-Brothers fight to reclaim their vessel. When the Hand finally makes an emergency translation back into realspace the surviving Grey Knights stand in the midst of a command bridge covered in the remains of their unfortunate crew.
- Convocation of Souls (453.M40) - The public execution of 666 Heretics on the planet of Horvar III has terrible consequences. Through the pageantry and extravagance of the event the nearsighted Planetary Governor unwittingly completes an ancient daemonic ritual. As the last Heretic dies with a curse upon his lips, the circle of sorcery is complete and a gateway to the Warp is opened. The Chaos well yawns wide and Daemons spill out, gibbering, howling and spitting lurid fire into the mass of terrified citizens. In a matter of hours Horvar III is turned into a daemonic playground of madness and death. The unfortunate Planetary Governor is possessed by the Slaaneshi Daemon Prince Laesydra and the Golden Host is released upon the world. The Grey Knights arrive in force to discover Laesydra hosting blood games with the surviving citizens, the Daemon forcing them to commit unspeakable acts of violence against each other or be hurled into the Warp-well. Turning its attention to this new foe, Laesydra crafts a series of tests for the Space Marines, shaping tangled labyrinths of living, screaming flesh around them and sending Seekers of Slaanesh to hunt them down. The hunters soon become the hunted, however, and the Grey Knights fight their way to the Warp-well where the Daemon Prince is holding court over the mutilated remains of Horvar's citizens, wearing the skin of their governor. At the cost of the lives of a score of Grey Knights the Daemon is cast back into the Warp. Before the Battle-Brothers depart they pile the citizens' tortured bodies onto the corpses of the executed Heretics, sealing the Warp-well with the blood of innocents.
- Garanhir Rebellion (649.M40) - A World Eaters warband, under the command of the notorious murderer Dhalahk, launches a mass incursion against the world of Garanhir, intent upon spilling the blood of the faithful in an unprecedented act of veneration of the Blood God. Expecting to find Garanhir unprepared for attack and ripe for the slaughter, what the Khornate Berserkers actually encounter as they charge from the assault ramps of their drop craft is a world already claimed by war, the populace armed and led by the famously militant Inquisitor Malphas Kroh and bolstered by a force of Grey Knights Space Marines. Battle is joined without delay, and while the warriors of Dhalahk make a lethal account of themselves, they are ultimately slain, the entire warband cut down by the defenders.
- Storms of Judgement (Unknown Date.M41) - The Storms of Judgement occurred along the Caradryad Warp fault. The entire Grey Knights Chapter responded as the dangerous Warp fault opened and three massive Warp Storms suddenly lashed the Caradryad Sector in the Segmentum Tempestus. The populated planets of the sector were plunged into anarchy and revolt as millions were driven insane overnight. Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Ferrando Qui first recorded his encounter with the Daemon Beast of Khorne known as Gorefeaster during this time. This foul abomination of Chaos is a creature taken by the Dark Gods and corrupted for the Blood God's entertainment after being possessed by the spirits of ravenous daemons. Tormented and driven insane by its hideous form, its soul is possessed by the base and bloody desires of the daemon within, seeking only to kill. Gorefeaster is a huge beast of muscle, sinew, fangs and claws with only one thought driving it -- to charge headlong into the enemy, tearing and goring a bloody path across the battlefield. The Inquisitor names the creature in his work the Ars Practica Animum Daemonica, and tells of his encounter and exorcism of the beast on his expedition to the Hel Quadrant.
- First War for Armageddon (444.M41) - The Space Hulk Devourer of Stars appears in the Armageddon System. Upon reaching orbit, it disgorges a vast Chaos horde -- led by the infamous Daemon Primarch Angron -- upon the world of Armageddon's continent of Armageddon Prime. The Chaos horde initially makes great gains, taking control of Armageddon Prime and threatening to overwhelm the other continent of Armageddon Secundus. However, the defences of the lower continent hold -- chiefly due to the valour of the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar and 300 of his brave Space Wolves -- allowing a full Brotherhood of 100 Grey Knights under the command of Brother-Captain Taremar Aurellian to arrive, carrying the battle directly to Angron and his diabolic horde of Khornate Berserkers and Khornate daemons. In a titanic clash, Angron and his Bloodthirster honour guard are eventually bested, though it costs the lives of almost the full Brotherhood -- 96 dead and 9 permanently disabled out of a total force of 109. The Space Wolves continued to fight in the First War for Armageddon through to its conclusion. The First War for Armageddon is also significant for the heroes it produces. Of the scant few Grey Knights who survive the final confrontation with the Daemon Primarch Angron, many went on to achieve high ranks within the Chapter. Arvann Stern, Caddon Varn and Dhark Tegvar fought as newly ennobled Knights on Armageddon’s dusty plains, as did the then-Justicar Vorth Mordrak. The battle has a profound effect upon one Knight in particular: upon returning victorious to Titan, Garran Crowe sets aside duty to his Brotherhood and enters the ranks of the Purifiers -- where he has served with unblemished honour to this day.
- Months of Shame (444-451.M41) - Although they had defeated all that the Forces of Chaos had thrown at them during the bloody campaign that was the First War for Armageddom, the victorious soldiers of Armageddon were doomed from the start. They had gained knowledge of the existence of Chaos, and been exposed to its corruption. The Inquisition had no intention of letting the wider Imperium discover the true nature of the daemonic foe that had attacked Armageddon, or of the ways and means victory had been achieved with the aid of the Grey Knights; the Inquisitors present voted to sterilise and quarantine-for-life the remaining population of the Hive World even though it was generally considered untainted, and ignorant of the truth concerning the existence of Chaos. The valiant Imperial Guard, PDF regiments and other human defenders of the world were to suffer the same fate or be liquidated. The Inquisition ordered all of the people who had fought on the planet, except for the Space Marines, to be rounded up at gunpoint, sterilised to prevent any possible Chaos-induced mutations in their offspring and placed in Adeptus Arbites work camps across the galaxy, with their world to be re-colonised by people from other regions of the galaxy with no knowledge of the war. Over the strident protests of the Space Wolves and their Great Wolf Logan Grimnar, the Inquisition followed through with this plan, and the Grey Knights frigate Karabela still in orbit of Armageddon was ordered to destroy the first Imperial Guard troop transport to leave Armageddon as it approached a Warp jump point off-world. Following this first incident, a years-long cat-and-mouse campaign later remembered as the "Months of Shame" took place between the Space Wolves and their human charges from Armageddon on one side, and the Inquisition and Grey Knights on the other. It was characterised by increasingly deadly fratricidal actions by both sides, and rapidly escalated into a full-fledged Imperial civil war between the Space Wolves and the Inquisition. However many of the attached Grey Knights were upset at their involvement in the purge, and were demoralised by having to fight the brother Astartes of the Space Wolves. Grimnar saw the Inquisition's actions following the war as betraying the very people who had honourably fought for their homes and for the Emperor, and if the Imperium did not protect those who fought for it, he did not believe it had any purpose. The Inquisition saw this policy as an unfortunate but necessary part of its mandate and duty in applying the Imperial policy of secrecy concerning Chaos, and it would not suffer the questioning of its authority. Finally, in an attempt to bring the conflict to an end, in 451.M41 the Inquisitor Lord Ghesmei Kysnaros ordered his growing Inquisitorial armada, including Grey Knights Chapter fleet vessels, to Fenris, the Space Wolves' lightly defended homeworld, in a last-ditch gambit to force those Astartes to comply with the Inquisition's wishes concerning the liquidation or imprisonment of Armageddon's survivors. Kysnaros' armada, including a multitude of Inquisition warships, Grey Knights vessels, and the entire Chapter fleet and strength of the Red Hunters Space Marine Chapter, arrived at Fenris and surrounded the planet in high orbit whilst targeting The Fang, the Space Wolves' fortress-monastery, for a devastating orbital bombardment. The planet was virtually undefended as the vast majority of the Space Wolves and their Chapter fleet were dispersed on missions across the galaxy. Kysnaros again asked for a parlay with any ranking Space Wolves present. A delegation consisting of Kysnaros, the Grey Knight Hyperion (who commanded respect amongst the Space Wolves as the "Bladebreaker") and Inquisitor Annika Jarlsdottyr, a native Fenrisian, arrived at The Fang for the meeting. The Space Wolves had awoken the Venerable Dreadnought Bjorn the Fell-Handed to deal with the Inquisitorial party. The ancient warrior who had once fought beside the Primarch Leman Russ during the Great Crusade immediately received the unbidden respect and reverence of the Inquisitorial delegation, and was thought to be a more temperate and wise representative for the Chapter than Logan Grimnar. Kysnaros asked for the Space Wolves' express obeisance to Imperial authority and the chain of command, and a Penitent Crusade to be undertaken to expiate the Chapter's guilt for their attacks upon the servants of the Inquisition. In exchange, the Inquisition and the Imperium at large would take no other action or censure against the Chapter. Before negotiations could go further, to the surprise of everyone, the Space Wolves' Chapter fleet under the command of Logan Grimnar translated from the Warp near Fenris. As the Inquisition delegation made haste to their flagship, a short, brutal fight ensued over the planet. Eventually Grimnar and his Wolf Guard teleported to Kysnaros' flagship's bridge, where the Great Wolf unceremoniously beheaded the Inquisitor Lord. Grimnar then proceeded to maul the last survivor of the Grey Knights' Squad Castian who had survived the conflict on Armageddon. To save his brother, Hyperion confronted Grimnar, and in the duel that followed, he used his psychic powers to crack Grimnar's ancient, venerated Frost Axe Morkai. As Hyperion then confronted Grimnar and twenty Space Wolves alone, Bjorn the Fell-Handed teleported to the bridge and put an end to the fight. Bjorn told Grimnar that the internecine war between the Chapter and the Inquisition on behalf of the survivors of Armageddon had to stop. The Inquisitorial force should be allowed to leave Fenris unscathed, and the Space Wolves should reach an understanding with the Imperium. He then addressed Hyperion and Inquisitor Jarlsdottyr, as the ranking Inquisition representatives present, and told them that no Inquisition vessel should ever again appear above Fenris. Additionally, the Space Wolves who had acquired knowledge of the existence of the Grey Knights would not be mind-scrubbed, as was customary, though the remaining Armageddon survivors would be handed over for mind-wiping and dispersion across the galaxy. The combatants accepted the terms, and shortly afterward, the Inquisitorial force left the system. Yet, the larger institutional dispute between the Inquisition and the Space Wolves was not resolved. As a result of what they continued to believe was a betrayal of the Imperium's core values, the Space Wolves have never again trusted the Inquisition and move to frustrate Inquisitorial designs at every opportunity. Since that time the Space Wolves have had little but hostility to show towards the Inquisition and few indeed are the Inquisitors allowed into The Fang in recent times. The Months of Shame caused extensive casualties among the Chapter, which lost almost 100 Astartes engaged in the combat. Several Grey Knights starships were lost or destroyed during the hostilities, including at least one capital vessel.
- Unwelcome Allies (601.M41) - Brother-Captain Ramstorn Fane tracks the fabled Bloodwulf to the world of Crytor, the Khornate Daemon leaving a trail of burning worlds across the sector. In the ghost-filled ruins of the dead planet, Fane and his Battle-Brothers corner the Daemon before a megalithic tomb of black glass. As the Bloodwulf and his Flesh Hounds turn to face the Space Marines, the seals on the tomb hiss open and metallic xenos warriors march forth. A bitter three-way combat erupts, with the Grey Knights fighting both Necrons and the Daemons of the Blood God. Fane finally manages to land the killing blow against the Bloodwulf as the Daemon tries to tear apart the Necron Lord. As the Daemon collapses in on itself in a cloud of smoke and blood, the Brother-Captain readies himself for attack from the Necrons, only to find their lord lowering his weapon in what appears to be an archaic gesture of parley. Deciding not to risk his remaining brothers against the xenos, Fane warily signals for them to withdraw, satisfied that their true quarry is no more.
- The Cleansing of Acralem (799.M41) - The notorious Daemon Prince M'kar the Reborn launches an attack on the world of Acralem, seeking to claim it as a throne world from which he can carve an empire. Acting on an Inquisitional request, the Grey Knights spearhead the Imperium's counter-offensive, and in the final battle the young Kaldor Draigo makes his name by banishing the Daemon Prince.
- The Battle of the Ghost Halls (800.M41) - A dire vision from the Prognosticars results in a Grey Knights strike force being dispatched to a point in space where no worlds were known to exist. On arrival the strike force encounters the massive, bio-acid scorched hulk of the Eldar Craftworld Malan'tai. Though its inhabitants have all but been destroyed by Tyranids, Malan'tai is not so empty as it first appears. The ancient Keeper of Secrets N'kari and his kind stalk the fallen halls, growing bloated with power on Eldar Spirit Stones. To fight such a foe would ordinarily be beyond even the Grey Knights, but the Prognosticars dictated more than the location of this new threat, they also bade Brother-Captain Pelenas to take as many Purifiers as he could muster. As the Grey Knights launch their assault on despoiled Malan'tai, the Purifiers lead the charge, a bow wave of cleansing azure flame preceding their advance. The fire roars through the desolate halls like a hungry spirit, crackling and growing as it consumes the Daemons in its path, scattering those hellspawn that survive and leaving them ripe prey for the advancing Grey Knights. N'kari is finally cornered in the shattered Dome of Crystal Seers. The Daemon fights with fury -- in a matter of moments his spear claims the lives of a dozen Purifiers and strikes down Pelenas. Yet, before the Daemon can strike the killing blow on the fallen Brother-Captain, Justicar Thawn throws himself into the Daemon’s path and is laid low in his Captain's place. With N'kari's weapon momentarily trapped in the prison of Thawn's flesh, the surviving Purifiers are able to complete the ritual of Twelve Bloody Swords, which drains N'kari of his stolen power and leaves him vulnerable to Pelenas' deathblow. In the battle's aftermath, the bulk of the strike force return to Titan with the bodies of the fallen. A score of Purifiers remain aboard the Craftworld, standing guard over the empty halls until contact can be made with another Eldar Craftworld, and the recovery of the remaining Spirit Stones can begin.
- The Raxos Civil War (841.M41) - Civil war comes to the Hive World of Raxos when the Planetary Governor -- through a series of intermediaries -- convinces some of the local military forces to rise up against his own regime. Confusion reigns for the first few local days of the coup, and casualties are minimal. However, when the insurrectionists seize control of a Deathstrike missile battery, the resulting bombardment disrupts Raxos' tectonic stability. Millions die in the span of a few days. The governor -- later revealed to be Tzeentch's Changeling in disguise -- harnesses the concomitant psychic upheaval to summon hundreds of his fellow Daemons. Alerted to the situation on Raxos four Brotherhoods of Grey Knights arrive amidst the ongoing civil war. Taking in the situation at a glance, Grand Master Drystann Cromm splits his Grey Knights into several strike forces -- three to strike at the portals from which the Daemons are drawing their power, and a fourth, under Brother-Captain Stern, to reinforce the spaceport's defences and its fleeing refugee shuttles. Whilst Stern safeguards the spaceport, Cromm casts broken fingerbones of martyred Imperial saints at the mouth of each portal to prevent further Daemons manifesting, and then performs the rites of cleansing and exorcism that finally seals the portals and banishes the remaining Daemons. Yet, as the first refugee shuttles lift off, Stern grows uneasy -- the Changeling's psychic spoor still lingers. With grim certainty, Stern realises that the Daemon must have boarded one of the refugee shuttles now heading for outer orbit. Knowing that his forces are too few to have any hope of uncovering the hidden Changeling in time, but all too aware of the anarchy that the Daemon will unleash should it reach another populated world, Stern orders the Battle Barge Bright Sword to destroy the shuttles. Hundreds of thousands are slain in the ensuing salvo, their lives sacrificed to preserve millions more on distant worlds.
- The Fall of the Red Talon (855.M41) - Brother-Captain Stern oversees the destruction of the Cult of the Red Talon.
- The Bloodtide Returns (876.M41) - Chaos comes to the Basilica of St. Mariel on the world of Van Horne. A statue of the Emperor is accidentally damaged during renovation work of the inner sanctum, disrupting the forgotten stasis-reliquary within. As the ancient prison crumbles to dust, the Bloodthirster Ka'jagga'nath, Lord of the Bloodtide, breaks free. At his bellowed command, a tide of gore washes through the vaults, corrupting everything and everyone it touches. It is only when the Grey Knights' 4th Brotherhood arrives on Van Horne that the Bloodtide is abated and the Greater Daemon vanquished. Before Ka'jagga'nath's essence can escape his ruined body, the Grey Knights are able to cast the Daemon's dark presence back into the Warp, and the psychic backwash banishes the Bloodtide and the legion of Daemons it drew forth.
- The Black Planet (888.M41) - Garran Crowe battles Skulltaker, the Daemon Champion of Khorne, on the Black Planet and, though he cannot best him in combat, he buys enough time for his brothers to foil the Daemon's plans.
- Purge of Jollana (913.M41) - Destruction came to the Great Librarium of Jollana in 913.M41 at the hands of the thrice-reviled Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion. Determined to take the secrets of the Librarium for himself, Ahriman wiped out Jollana's defenders and much of the Librarium was ruined. In the wake of Ahriman's attack, the Invaders Chapter dispatched 3 companies of Astartes alongside a relief army of Imperial Guard to Jollana to secure the Librarium. Unable to determine whether or not Ahriman's forces were still present in its catacombs, the Invaders nonetheless acted with their Chapter's famed recklessness and launched a full-scale assault -- though Ahriman was long gone. As the Chapter's Drop Pods crashed home, they unknowingly triggered the complex system of sorcerous wards that Ahriman had left in place as one last act of devilment. Scouring the fire-blackened rubble for any trace of the foe, arcane energies began to build and were eventually released in a violent cascade of pink Warpflame that incinerated the Guardsmen to a man. The Invaders fared better, protected from the sorcerous assault by their Power Armour. Yet the dangers to assail the Invaders had only begun. As the fires guttered and died, the walls of reality were torn asunder and daemons burst through into the Librarium's great hall. A contingent of Grey Knights then arrived in orbit of Jollana. The Invaders had been fighting for their survival for many solar days. Under such circumstances, an Exterminatus order would normally have been executed, but in the case of Jollana, this was not a viable option. The datastacks of the Great Librarium contained knowledge that existed nowhere else in the galaxy, and so the Grey Knights were ordered to retake the Librarium rather than see it and its precious knowledge destroyed. The Grey Knights teleported into the bloody melee between the daemons and the embattled Invaders. Through their timely intervention, 15 Grey Knights rescued near five time their number of fellow Space Marines. Though they emerged victorious, the Chaotic threat remained. The combined force of Invaders and Grey Knights assaulted the Great Hall, confronted another horde of daemons as well as the dire threat of a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch known as a Lord of Change. Of the Invaders, only a dozen survived, and none would be permitted to retain any memory of their deeds that day by the Inquisition. Nonetheless, a great victory had been won for the Emperor. Though the rebuilding would take many long Terran years, Jollana and its Librarium had been saved, and the daemonic threat against neighbouring star systems had been put down, at least for now.
- The Plague of Madness (941.M41) - Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo leads three full Grey Knights Brotherhoods against Ix'thar'ganix, the Slayer of Destinies, and his unwitting Nurgle pawn, Lurgon, on the doomed world of Decimalus.
- Pandorax Campaign (959-961.M41) - In the Demeter Sector, Abaddon the Despoiler led an alliance of Traitor Legions, including his own Black Legion and the Death Guard, in an invasion of the Imperial Death World of Pythos in the Pandorax System, the location of an ancient hidden gateway to the Warp. Another piece in his dark design to bring an end to the Long War, the Warmaster of Chaos fell upon the world with a small force of Daemon Engines and infernal war machines. In the space of a few bloody solar days the major hive cities were overrun and the local Planetary Defence Forces crushed beneath the might of the combined Traitor Legions. Only a small contingent of Catachan Jungle Fighters, the CLXXXIII Catachan Regiment of the Imperial Guard, managed to escape the destruction, trekking through the world's inhospitable jungle to the relative safety of the nearest mountain range. Abaddon commenced the complex rituals and sacrifices that would open the Damnation Cache, a portal between realspace and the Warp, breaking open seals that had remained untouched since the time of the Horus Heresy. Heeding the impassioned cries for salvation from Pythos, the entire Dark Angels Chapter, led by Azrael himself, came to the defenders' aid. Supporting these Space Marines were Grey Knights dispatched from Titan to deal with the escalating daemonic incursion and the dire peril that the Damnation Cache posed. Both Imperial forces smashed through the Traitor Legion blockade around Pythos, in an epic void battle that pitted the finest warships of the Imperium supported by The Rock, the Dark Angels' mobile fortress-monastery, against the ancient vessels of the Traitor Legions. After the Chaos warfleet was finally driven from orbit and back into the void, the Space Marines were able to send their troops down through the atmosphere, bringing war to its ruined hives and hostile jungles. Failing to allow this distraction to draw him away from the awakening of the Damnation Cache, Abaddon sent an alliance of Legions to hold the Loyalists at bay. Before either the Dark Angels or the Grey Knights could stop him, Abaddon finally opened the portal to the Warp, daemons spilling out across Pythos. The ensuing conflict devastated the world as reality itself bent and buckled under the raw power of the Empyrean. The unleashed energies created rampant psychic phenomena, and Space Marines fought under boiling skies of blood and in rolling clouds of keening spirits. All across the Demeter Sector, latent psykers were awakened to full and terrible awareness and rebellions sprung up like cancerous boils on dozens of Imperial worlds in the region. After a long and bitter struggle , a squad of Grey Knights managed to reach the Damnation Cache and close the Warp portal. Starved of their daemonic allies, the Traitor Legions were forced onto the defensive and finally into retreat. Abaddon's forces left Pythos, escaping the vengeance of the Imperium once again, but the world had been irrevocably tainted by the touch of the Warp, its once proud cities and vast wilds twisted into a nightmarish hellscape. Before the portal was closed, however, Abaddon took with him a psyker, rumoured to be of prodigious strength and the bearer of a unique gift that would aid the Warmaster of Chaos in his forthcoming 13th Black Crusade. This conflict is remembered in Imperial records as the Pandorax Campaign.
- Assault on Beroghast (963.M41) - When WAAAGH! Snappaklaw descended upon the Ice World of Beroghast, the 2nd Brotherhood of the Grey Knights assaulted the Ork horde. A series of decisive strikes left the WAAAGH! cut off from its supply lines and the final Imperial blow against the Greenskins was delivered on the banks of the River Gandor, where the Ork Warlord Snappaklaw himself was slain. Three days later, the Fire Lords Space Marine Chapter, under the command of their newly promoted Chapter Master Jaric Phoros, arrived on Beroghast to discover the Orks in full retreat and the primitive locals bubbling over with tales about their "Steel Saviours."
- Pandemonium of Sondheim V (997.M41) - The Agri-world of Sondheim V is overwhelmed by the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan just as the Daemon Prince M'kar the Reborn transforms the world into his own private Chaotic Pandemonium. The Sky Sentinels Chapter of Space Marines are the first to respond, but judges the world irretrievable and makes preparations to begin an Exterminatus. These preparations are delayed following the arrival of a Grey Knights strike force under the command of Grand Master Vardan Kai. Whilst Kai concurs with the Sky Sentinels' assessment that the planet cannot be recovered for the Emperor, he orders a stay of the Exterminatus whilst he and his Battle-Brothers attempt to capture the Book of Pandegaras -- the cursed tome of Chaotic sorcery that M'kar used to transform the planet below into his own private hell-world. The Sky Sentinels reluctantly decide to give Kai twelve hours in which to accomplish his mission, and the Grey Knights take to their Stormravens and deploy to the planet below. Upon landing, Kai hastily revises his time limit to a mere six hours—a nightmarish fusion of daemonic and Tyranid infestations have transformed Sondheim V into a Death World. Fortunately, running battles between the Tyranids and M'kar's daemonic thralls allow the Grey Knights to slip through the mutated landscape unimpeded, if not unnoticed. Unfortunately, when Kai 's forces reach the temple in which the Book of Pandegaras lies, they discover that the building has been almost completely surrounded and interpenetrated by Tyranid spore chimneys. Unperturbed, the Grey Knights hack their way through the xenos biomatter but draw the attention of the Hive Mind. Within seconds, Kai's forces come under attack by waves of Hormagaunts andGargoyles. By the time Kai finally carves a path into the lower levels of the temple, larger creatures start to arrive, and the Grey Knights' begin to suffer heavy casualties. Yet as Kai finally reached the Book of Pandegaras, unexpected aid arrived. Just as the earlier strike on the Tyranid biostructures had alerted the Hive Mind, so did the violation of the Chaotic artefact by the touch of the Emperor's servants now bring forth the wrath of M'kar's daemons. The twisted ruins of the temple erupted into a three-way battle. The Tyranids bore the brunt of the daemons' attack. With the Grey Knights surrounded by Tyranid bioforms, the daemons could reach them only by carving a path through the Great Devourer's minions. Bloodletters swarmed over a Tyrannofex, only to be cut down by volleys of Storm Bolter fire. Carnifexes smashed through knots of Grey Knight Terminators only to be immolated between the sanctified flames of Purifiers and the unholy Warpfires cast by the Flamers of Tzeentch. Amid the chaos, Kai was forced to abandon any pretense of a controlled retreat and he makes contact with the Sky Sentinels' fleet, who begin an orbital bombardment of the temple site. Protected by their Power Armour, the Grey Knights weather the storm of barrage bombs that explode amongst the ruins while their Tyranid and daemonic foes are less fortunate. When the bombardment ceases, Kai and the surviving Grey Knights evacuate the doomed world before daemon and Tyranid reinforcements can arrive. Less than an hour later, Kai's strike force begins the journey home to Titan to contain the Book of Pandegaras in the Chapter's vaults, whilst the Sky Sentinels begin the Exterminatus that will destroy Sondheim V and all of the horrors on its surface. In the wake of the Exterminatus, the Sky Sentinels surrender themselves for the standard mindwipe to the Inquisition so that all memory of the worst horrors of Chaos will be wiped away.
- The Return to Acralem (999.M41) - Kaldor Draigo returns alone to Acralem to free it from the clutches of M'kar the Reborn, hoping to end the Chapter's ancient feud with the Daemon Prince. Meanwhile, dark forces gather in the Warp, and something stirs deep beneath Titan's surface. The Prognosticars are plagued by visions of impending doom, and it seems that the Citadel of Titan itself might face the threat of attack.
The Grey Knights' strength of spirit and purity of body were the two most important gifts the Emperor passed on to the Chapter through His genetic legacy. Their military training, potent weaponry and powerful armour are simply tools to aid them in their duty. Without the psychic might to use his Force Blade or the inviolate will to resist the Daemon, a Grey Knight is the same as any other Space Marine –- a potent soldier in the Emperor's armies but nonetheless a mere shadow of his true potential. The Grey Knights are unique, in that their gene-seed was not descended from any of the original 8 founding Legionaries of the Grey Knights or the original 20 Space Marine Legions of the First Founding, but from a unique form of gene-seed engineered from the genome of the Emperor of Mankind Himself -- what is known as "the Emperor's Gift." Few warriors since the Horus Heresy have matched the flawlessness of the Grey Knights, nor are any so closely linked to the Emperor. It is that unique quality that the Emperor possesses, the nature of His spirit that allows Him to touch the Warp, shape it to His will, and yet remain beyond its madness, that He has gifted to the Grey Knights. Even the Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes are too far removed from their creator to embody such purity, their genetic integrity faded by hundreds of generations and thousands of Terran years, given to varying degrees of imperfection. Not so the Grey Knights, whose unblemished line reaches back to their maker in an unbroken chain.
Only an unblemished soul is proof against spiritual assault, and of all the servants of the Emperor the Grey Knights are among the rare few to be all but immune. Each Grey Knight is a one in a billion example of Humanity that has an instinctual command of his psychic powers, the rarest of genetic traits that, when combined with the unusually potent gene-seed of the Grey Knights, grows into a formidable and exceptional tool to combat Daemons. Without these gifts a mortal man might become a plaything for the powers of the Warp, his body twisted into vile and terrible new forms or his psyche ripped asunder by daemonic thoughts and visions. The Warp can corrupt even a Space Marine, the lies of the Chaos Gods subverting his martial pride or loyalty to the Emperor into a dark and dangerous thing. Power Armour and bolt rounds can protect neither man nor Space Marine from the Immaterium, should they be exposed to its baleful energies. The Emperor alone was said to be incorruptible before the Dark Gods, and it is this gift He was rumoured to have passed on to the Grey Knights. Certainly, despite countless battles against daemonic forces and in the hundred centuries since their creation, not a single Grey Knight has succumbed to the influence of the Ruinous Powers -– a testament to the skill of their creator and the dedication they embody.
The Grey Knights are unlike any other Space Marine Chapter, built around the tenets laid down by Malcador the Sigilite and the first Grand Masters of the Chapter. They do not follow the dictates of the Codex Astartes; their organisation, ranks and deployment are dictated not by the teaching of Roboute Guilliman but by the unique demands of their war against the Dark Gods. While the Grey Knights are technically Astartes, they do not involve themselves with the ordinary activities of the other Space Marines. They have no Primarch, as their gene-seed was crafted from the genome of the Emperor Himself, and so they are also not listed under any Founding. They are attached to the Ordo Malleus -- serving as its Chamber Militant -- charged with uncovering and expunging the heretical taint of Chaos wherever it is found.
The Grey Knights Chapter is organised into Brotherhoods, each one comparable in size to a Space Marine Battle Company. Brother-Captains lead these formations, under the auspices of the Grand Masters, who in turn are guided by the decisions of the Supreme Grand Master. This higher command is known as the Chapter Council, and meets only in times of great import or dire need, the eight Grand Masters often crusading far from Titan in the far-flung reaches of the galaxy. It is at these moments of crisis that the eight will gather in the inner conclaves of the citadel to determine the Chapter's course. Each Grand Master has an equal voice within the Council, though the Supreme Grand Master has the power, and the responsibility, to make the final judgements. However, the Supreme Grand Master can only be elected by the unanimous consent of the Grand Masters, and so is invariably a wise and trusted leader.
Order of Battle
The following Chapter hierarchy represents the current order of battle of the Grey Knights Chapter as it stands in 999.M41:
- Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo - Kaldor Draigo assumed mastery of the Grey Knights Chapter in the year 901.M41 following the death of Supreme Grand Master Geronitan. Draigo has since led the 666th Chapter in ceaseless defence of the Imperium for almost a standard century.
- 1st Brotherhood - Grand Master Vardan Kai, Steward of the Armoury - Vardan Kai commands the 1st Brotherhood with Cadrig Pelenas as its Brother-Captain. As Kai is Steward of the Armoury, his Brotherhood is often called upon when the Grey Knights require large numbers of Stormravens or Land Raiders, and it contains many of the finest pilots and drivers of the Chapter. Kai oversees the war machines of the Grey Knights and the Techmarines that maintain them, ensuring that they remain in perfect fighting condition. If the wards upon a Rhino are imperfect or the engines of a Stormraven less than pristine it is to Kai that a Battle-Brother must answer.
- 2nd Brotherhood - Grand Master Vorth Mordrak, Admiral of the Fleet - Vorth Mordrak commands the 2nd Brotherhood with Arno Trevan as its Brother-Captain. Mordrak's Brotherhood has a well-deserved reputation for rapid deployment and swift strikes, even by the standards of the Grey Knights. The Brotherhood makes use of large numbers of Interceptor and Strike Squads, using mass teleportation and teleport homer assault tactics to outmanoeuvre their enemies. The 2nd is often in the vanguard of combined Brotherhood assaults, seeding the way for heavier troops to follow. As Admiral of the Fleet, the Grand Master must possess a skill with manoeuvres that ensures the Grey Knights' rapid deployment to a warzone. Over time, these traits have become synonymous with the 2nd Brotherhood.
- 3rd Brotherhood - Grand Master Valdar Aurikon, Warden of the Librarius - Valdar Aurikon commands the 3rd Brotherhood with Arvann Stern as its Brother-Captain. The 3rd Brotherhood has always held a place of honour within the Chapter. It was, according to legend, Janus' own Brotherhood, and throughout the long history of the Grey Knights it has fostered many of the Chapter’s greatest heroes. Kaldor Draigo was Brother-Captain and then Grand Master of the 3rd, with Arvann Stern following in the Supreme Grand Master's footsteps. With a reputation for glory, the 3rd has also borne the attentions of some of the Grey Knights’ greatest foes. Many times during its history the 3rd has come close to extinction, daemonic adversaries seeking vengeance for the actions of its Brother-Captain or Grand Master.
- 4th Brotherhood - Grand Master Drystann Cromm, Keeper of the Augurium - Drystann Cromm, Keeper of the Augurium, commands the 4th Brotherhood with Ionan Grud as its Brother-Captain. The 4th Brotherhood contains many of the Chapter's most potent psykers, warriors with an instinctual understanding of the Warp that goes even beyond that of their peers. It is from the 4th Brotherhood that new Prognosticars are often chosen, after they become too badly wounded to fight. The Brotherhood has also displayed an uncanny ability to sense danger before it materialises.
- 5th Brotherhood - Grand Master Rothwyr Morvans, Protector of the Sanctum Sanctorum - Rothwyr Morvans, Protector of the Sanctum Sanctorum, commands the 5th Brotherhood with Tauros Hendron as its Brother-Captain. Some of the greatest heroes of the Grey Knights continue in their duty even after their bodies have been crippled beyond repair, entombed within one of the Chapter's Dreadnoughts. The 5th Brotherhood has long been the warden of the wealth of the Grey Knights' Dreadnoughts, its Grand Master as much the chronicler of their deeds as their commander. While other Brotherhoods contain Dreadnoughts, most of these begin within the Sanctum Sanctorum, their histories and glories carefully considered before they are honoured with entombment. Grand Master Morvans is one of the few that speaks with the ancient warriors, often awakening them for war. In battle the 5th will often be deployed alongside several Dreadnoughts, as Morvans is aware that if one of these deathless warriors is left too long dormant he might never be roused. It is a cycle of war that the Dreadnoughts are doomed to repeat endlessly, as long as the Chapter has need of their might.
- 6th Brotherhood - Grand Master Anval Laraon, High Seneschal of the Fortress - Anval Laraon, High Seneschal of the Fortress, commands the 6th Brotherhood with Caddon Varn as its Brother-Captain. Laraon is an exacting warrior, a trait that saw him ascend to the rank of High Seneschal and is reflected in the warriors of the 6th. The Grand Master believes in no wasted effort or force, often arguing to the Chapter Council against the use of more than a single part of a Brotherhood unless the most extreme circumstances call for it. Laraon understands there are far too few Grey Knights for the task of protecting the Imperium, and is loath to waste a single one. The High Seneschal believes that, striking at the right time and in the right place, a handful of Grey Knights can do the job of a whole Brotherhood.
- 7th Brotherhood - Grand Master Covan Leorac, Representative to the Inquisition - Covan Leorac, Representative to the Inquisition, commands the 7th Brotherhood with Darig Tegvar as its Brother-Captain. The Inquisition and the Grey Knights are inextricably intertwined, their goals often aligning. The 7th Brotherhood has a long history of operations alongside the Ordo Malleus, and many Brother-Captains have personal relationships with Inquisitors. As a result, respected Inquisitors are more likely to gain favour from the Brotherhood if they call for aid, as more than one Inquisitor has learned. Grand Master Leorac maintains the Chapter’s secret knowledge of the Inquisition, tomes of lore on the Inquisitors of each Ordo reaching back thousands of standard years. It is rare for individual Battle-Brothers to serve with the same Inquisitor more than once, lest either should learn too much of the other.
- 8th Brotherhood - Grand Master Aidan Perdron, Knight Commander of the Recruits - Aidan Perdon, Knight Commander of the Recruits, commands the 8th Brotherhood with Mithrac Tor as its Brother-Captain. When a newly forged Battle-Brother joins the ranks of the Grey Knights he will often be sequestered to the 8th Brotherhood. If he proves himself, he may then find a place within one of the other Brotherhoods, depending on his natural talents and the favour of the Grand Masters. In time, many of these Battle-Brothers remain with the 8th, understanding the importance of finding those rare recruits suitable to become Grey Knights and keeping the Chapter alive.
The bulk of the Grey Knights Chapter is organised into Brotherhoods, fighting formations roughly equivalent to the Battle Companies of other Space Marine Chapters. The Chapter comprises 8 such Brotherhoods, each corresponding to one of the 8 Astartes that were chosen by Malcador and the Emperor to be the initial core of the Chapter at the time of the Horus Heresy. On paper, each of the Chapter's Brotherhoods contains roughly one hundred Battle-Brothers under arms, though this nominal figure does not include the Brotherhood's officers: the Brotherhood's Captain in active command, the Brotherhood's Champion, and the Grand Master who holds final responsibility over the Brotherhood. Each Brotherhood contains roughly a hundred Battle-Brothers divided up into the various squads and formations of the Chapter. These each fall into several broad categories focused on the different fighting methods and specialised wargear used by the Grey Knights.
As with other Space Marine Chapters, Grey Knights are primarily organised into squads of ten Battle-Brothers, each of which can then further divide into two combat squads of five should the mission's tactical requirements so dictate. A Grey Knight squad is considered to remain effective with only five of its members battle-worthy, so with a small amount of duty reassignment and doctrinal flexibility, a Brother-Captain can keep his Brotherhood at an acceptable fighting strength, even with up to a third of his warriors out of commission.
Decisions concerning the exact breakdown of squad type within a Brotherhood rest entirely with its Brother-Captain and Grand Master. However, it has long been proven that a rough balance of squads—between three and seven operational units each of Terminator, Purgation and Strike Squads -- is by far the most effective combination. Accordingly, all but the most maverick of commanders follow this example, and make only minor changes to suit their tactical preferences. Regardless of role, all Grey Knight squads draw their equipment from the same Armoury of Nemesis Force Weapons, grenades, Storm Bolters and psi-enhanced heavy weapons. Each squad also independently practices its own psychic disciplines, the better to allow mental and physical prowess to act in reinforced harmony. The only drawback to this organisation is that when a Grey Knight moves from one type of squad to another he must learn anew how to wield his psychic potential in battle, suppressing all other applications he has learned to that point. Each of a Brotherhood's squads is led by a Justicar, a Grey Knight who holds a rank equivalent to that of a standard Space Marine Sergeant. It takes a powerful mind to lead Grey Knights in both battle and psychic unity, and only the most adept Battle-Brothers rise to this honoured rank. In addition to his bonds of leadership, it is the Justicar's duty to hone and focus the psychic powers of the Battle-Brothers he leads and to act as the conduit for their sorceries. Such a role places the Justicar in greater danger than his fellows, for as the squad's mystic focus he will be the first to suffer should things go awry.
During his career, a Battle-Brother of the Chapter will take on many different roles, from serving in the Terminator Squads with blade and Storm Bolter to the more lightly armoured Strike Squads or heavily armed Purgation Squads. It is the responsibility of a Grey Knight to become skilled in all of the weapons used by the Chapter, just as he must hone his psychic powers into a mystic blade with which to cut down Warp-spawn. All Battle-Brothers are trained in the use of every piece of wargear and armour possessed by the Chapter. Thus it is possible for a Battle-Brother to serve in different types of squads from one mission to the next.
Purifiers and Paladins
In addition to the Brotherhoods, the Grey Knights maintain two other main fighting bodies: the Purifiers and the Paladins. Purifiers are anathema to Warpspawn -- tainted creatures wither at their touch. The Purifiers can be considered a separate and entirely unique Brotherhood of the Chapter, albeit a small one. There are rarely more than forty Purifiers at any one time in the Chapter, and on those occasions when their numbers do as well, it inevitably foreshadows some great incursion. Just as the Purifiers are exemplars of the Chapter's spiritual heart, the Paladins are its martial champions. Though they act primarily as bodyguards to the Grey Knights' Grand Masters, Paladin Squads are commonly assigned to fight alongside the Brotherhoods -- their skill and experience can swing the odds of even the most desperate battle.
- Grey Knights Purifier - The Purifiers are an order apart from other Grey Knights, distanced from their Battle-Brothers by their nature and tradition. The Purifiers epitomise the Chapter's sanctity of purpose. Purifiers recruit only from those amongst their Battle-Brothers whose souls are considered to be utterly incorruptible and resistant to the temptations of the Warp - even by the exacting standards of the Grey Knights. So careful is the selection that there are seldom more than a few score Purifiers.
- Grey Knights Paladin - Paladins are Grey Knights who are warriors without peer. If a Grey Knight wishes to prove himself worthy of a place amongst the Paladins, bravery and skill are not enough -- he must complete eight quests to establish his character and cause. Given the perilous nature of these quests, it is little wonder that only the boldest Knights become Paladins. From the moment of his elevation, each Paladin is bound in service not only to his Chapter, but also to one of the Grand Masters for whom he will act as bodyguard, champion and advisor. Henceforth, his place upon the battlefield will be wherever the fighting is thickest and the peril greatest.
- Grey Knight Terminator Squad - Grey Knight Terminator Squads are the mainstay of the Chapter. Heavily-armoured warriors armed with Storm Bolters and a variety of Nemesis Force Weapons, these formidable warriors are always at the forefront of any Grey Knights attack. These are also the first weapons a Battle-Brother must master when he completes his initial training, learning to move in the bulk of Terminator Armour with speed and grace, while wielding his Nemesis Force Weapon like an extension of his arm. That the standard troops of the Grey Knights utilise the finest weapons and armour of the Imperium is a testament to their elite status and the perilous nature of the foes they face. In battle Terminators excel in shock assaults and cracking open enemy defences, their armour proof against most attacks while their complement of heavy weapons proves deadly at close range.
- Grey Knights Strike Squad - Strike Squads often form the vanguard of a Grey Knights' strike force. Strike Squads are used to capture vital locations and key objectives, deploying the Strike Squads via fixed teleporter to ensure a swift seizure of isolated or inaccessible locations. Once in place, a Strike Squad can lay down a punishing stream of storm bolter and psycannon fire in support of the main assault.
- Grey Knights Interceptor Squad - Interceptor Squads carry personal teleporters- backpack-sized devices that allow the squad to teleport site-to-site, without the massive arrays of machinery employed by conventional devices. Grey Knights equipped with personal teleporters can react to battlefield circumstances on the fly and cover huge straight-line distances by 'shunting' themselves through Warp space. Of all the warriors in service to the Imperium, only Grey Knights could hope to utilise such technology.
- Grey Knights Purgation Squad - Purgation Squads are the Grey Knights' foremost means of delivering punishing firepower. Each squad carries not one, but up to four of the Chapter's heavy weapons. In aspect, a Purgation Squad appears little different to the Devastator Squads employed by more conventional Space Marine Chapters. In doctrine, however, the two are markedly different. The weaponry wielded by a Purgation Squad is twice as deadly, a hundred times rarer and ten thousand times more valuable than the more commonplace armaments carried by Space Marine Devastators. Devastators will normally advance behind the main assault, seeking out suitable locations from which to unleash covering fire; Purgation Squads are ever required to keep pace with the main attack, all the while picking out suitable targets for their weaponry.
The Grey Knights are governed and directed by a Chapter Council. At this oaken table sit eight Grand Masters and the Chapter's true lord -- commonly referred to as the Supreme Grand Master. The structure of this council is one of the Grey Knights' oldest traditions, as laid down at the Chapter's Founding by Malcador and his eight Astartes recruits. Although the Chapter Lord's rule is absolute, he can only be appointed by the unanimous consent of the Grand Masters, so it is nigh impossible for a reckless or unsuitable candidate to achieve dominion over the Chapter. Each Grand Master holds sway over one of the Chapter's secondary bodies, such as the Chapter fleet or the Armoury. However, such roles are largely honorary -- the organisations in question need little oversight. A Grand Master's chief responsibility is on the battlefield. The Grey Knights are spread thin throughout the galaxy, and it is not always possible for a Brother-Captain to command every strike force. Thus the Grand Masters take charge of the most crucial campaigns where even an experienced Brother-Captain is not thought equal to the task. This most commonly happens when one of the Conclave Diabolus -- the one hundred and one Greater Daemons in which the Grey Knights take special interest -- is sighted in the mortal realm.
Considering the role of the Grey Knights in the Inquisition, potential recruits are put through even more stringent trials than other Space Marine Aspirants. It is the Chapter's Gatherers who set out across the galaxy in search of new recruits for the Chapter. The Gatherers are Grey Knights whose great age or severe injuries no longer permit them to undertake the primary work of the Chapter, but whose keen senses and minds can still detect an Aspirant hero from amongst the common rabble of humanity. It is the task of these Battle-Brothers to search the Imperium for suitable candidates and look into their minds for signs of weakness. As favoured agents of the Emperor, there are no sources of manpower denied to the Grey Knights -- the seed worlds of Space Marine Chapters, forbidding Penal Worlds and even the dreaded Black Ships are all open to them.
The strongest recruits are brought back to Titan to be tested. The Chamber of Trials is where Aspirants arrive and their training begins -- if they survive. Recruits are subjected to mental and physical torment to see if they will break, even before they face the horrors of the Warp. Shivering in the holds of antiquated shuttles, the recruits are brought down to the surface of Titan; some are taken to the citadel but many are released onto the desolate plain and made to walk to the great fortress gates. Even though Titan was terraformed long ago, its thin atmosphere remains freezing and inhospitable. This is more than just a test of endurance -- is it also one of conviction. Those recruits that turn from the distant black towers, favouring their chances in the wilds of Titan, have shown themselves undisciplined and willfully independent. The reward for this cowardice is always death. Those that reach the gates are given only the briefest chance to enjoy their accomplishment. They are immediately sent out once more into the cold, this time on a trek of a thousand miles to the shimmering tundra of caustic crystals, perpetually locked in a chemical haze, known as the Xanadu Regio. To breathe the strange vapours of this place is to feel one's mind slipping away, stolen by alien thoughts and nightmare visions. Even to reach Xanadu, a recruit must brave a score of deadly zones, from the Anarch High Pass, where a whispered word can trigger an avalanche of choking chemical dust, and the Rusting Desert, littered with the hulls of broken voidships and roaming packs of Servitors driven insane by time and decay, to the Saturnine Maze, an ancient weapon of war left over from the Emperor's conquest of Titan, filled with hidden nightmares and the spirits of vanquished warriors.
During his journey the recruit must also contain his immature psychic powers, and an inhibiter collar is fixed around his neck which is keyed to explode should he lose control. This can become almost impossible when the recruit reaches Xanadu and breathes deeply of the toxic chemicals, as reality comes undone around him. All who come to the Regio must bear witness to those who have failed, as thousands of headless skeletons are scattered across the landscape. Fewer than one in a thousand recruits will return from Xanadu. For those that do, long solar weeks of pain and sacrifice await. From the glyphite-stalked caverns beneath Ganesa Macula to the icy sub-surface oceans of Ios Antor, one test after another must be passed before the Grey Knights are content that the recruit has the strength of will and physical prowess to survive. Finally, the rare few that live to reach this stage are officially inducted into the Chapter, so that their true training might begin.
The most advanced bio-engineering and psycho-surgery available is utilised to condition these Aspirants, and each recruit must pass the six hundred and sixty-six Rituals of Detestation, to prove that he is capable of withstanding horrors that would break even the greatest of normal Space Marines. Upon success, the recruit also has all memory of their prior existence and identity erased using a mind-wipe, to better ensure their absolute and unwavering loyalty to the Emperor, and to prevent daemons from using the Aspirant's fears, memories, and feelings against him. One of the main criteria for selection into the Chapter is that the recruit must show great psychic potential, as the entire Chapter is made up of psykers. Once they begin to undergo the standard gene-seed organ implantation process to transform an Aspirant into an Astartes of the Grey Knights, the new Grey Knight is also implanted with silver hexagrammic and pentagrammic Purity Wards under his skin which cover his entire body and help to prevent daemonic entities from touching or contaminating him. Unlike standard Space Marines who first serve in their Chapter's Scout Marine company, Grey Knights Initiates are awarded a suit of full Power Armour (or Aegis Armour) and are immediately pressed into service. They then move through the ranks as detailed above; this is due to their elite training. They surpass any other type of Space Marine in combat and in every trial. They are the elite of the Space Marines and serve as the right hand of the Emperor. They are the greatest army of the Imperium and Mankind's most potent weapon against the Forces of Chaos. The creation of a Grey Knight is an expensive undertaking, even more so that the creation of a standard Astartes: it is said that only one in every one million Aspirants will ascend to the rank of a full Battle-Brother of the Chapter.
As an additional measure of protection, no Grey Knight bears the name he was given at his birth. This is in part to distance him from his previous life and loyalties -- an outward sign of having essentially been reborn into the service of the Inquisition. From the arcane lore stored within the Sanctum Sanctorum the Grey Knights bestow names to their new recruits, each one a carefully chosen title fashioned into a weapon. Just as every true name holds power over the Daemon who bears it, so too do the true names of men have resonance within the Warp. For this reason, when a Grey Knight is recruited his name is one of the first things scrubbed from his mind, along with much of his past. Once a Grey Knight's identity has been erased and rebuilt during training, he is unlikely to remember his past. By the time the hulking transporters set down on the frozen surface of Titan the men within have forgotten much of their lives. They enter the Citadel of Titan not as the warriors they once were but as the refined materials the Chapter will use to create new Battle-Brothers. During the long solar days and months of training these men have no names, only the designation given to them by the Chapter. Those that fall are buried in unmarked graves, if they are buried at all. Only upon completion of his training is a Grey Knight granted his new name -- until that point Neophytes are assigned only a number.
The tiny fraction of recruits that survive the gruelling trials on Titan and the process of genetic implantation are finally gifted with new names. Each name is actually a fragment of arcane lore, divined by the labours of the Chapter's scribes to act in perfect opposition to the true name of a particular Daemon. Thus, even the Grey Knight's name is a weapon against his hated foe. Like the true names of Daemons, the auspicious names given to Grey Knights are ever in flux. Nonetheless, some have resurfaced again and again over the millennia, gaining in power just as a specific Daemon is reborn from the Warp. So it is that a Grey Knight's name might have been borne by many Battle-Brothers before him. Each name is derived from the true name of a Daemon; a counter to its terrible meaning so that even to hear the Grey Knight's name spoken aloud causes the Warp creature pain, and to stand in the Battle-Brother's presence is the purest of agonies. Traditionally, it is considered an honour -- and a prophetic sign of great deeds in one's future -- to be given a name matching one of Saturn's moons. Such nomenclature is accordingly rare.
The information on the Grey Knight's true identity after his rebirth does not exist outside the sealed records of the Inquisition. It does not even exist within the vast data-stacks of Titan's Librarium. This data is rarely accessed, and in truth this kind of lore was often archived and forgotten, rather than consciously buried in the Sol System’s annals. Even amongst the Inquisition, only the most curious souls would care for such knowledge, as it is worthless beyond its value as a harmless curiosity. It offers no advantage over an enemy. The Grey Knights are trained and bound and scourged to rarely care about their former lives, and Inquisitors gain no special influence over them by possessing it. Few souls are curious enough to look. A handful every decade, but no more than that.
Unlike almost all other Space Marine Chapters, the Grey Knights do not follow the tenets of the Codex Astartes in the matter of force organisation. The Grey Knights' Chapter hierarchy, like that of the Space Wolves and Black Templars, is drastically different from that of other Codex-compliant Space Marine Chapters. Due to the unique manner in which the Grey Knights are recruited and trained, each warrior progresses through a series of preordained ranks and will operate in a particular squad lead by an individual of higher rank rather than being assigned to a particular Battle Company. As such, the leader of each Grey Knights squad is obeyed immediately and without question by those under his command. The biggest difference is that the Grey Knights do not technically have an acknowledged Chapter Master, being officially governed collectively instead by the Chapter Council. Though there are specialist ranks and positions within the Grey Knights that are very similar to those of Codex-compliant Chapters, there exist several unique specialist positions that are found only within the ranks of the Grey Knights:
- Grey Knights Supreme Grand Master - This is the highest rank that it is possible for a Grey Knight to attain within the Chapter. This venerable rank is equivalent to a Chapter Master of other Space Marine Chapters. Also referred to as the Chapter Lord, the Supreme Grand Master has complete authority over the rest of the Chapter. However, a Grey Knight can only be appointed as the Supreme Grand Master with the unanimous consent of every other Grand Master on the Chapter Council, thus ensuring that an unsuitable candidate does not attain dominion over the Chapter.
- Grey Knights Grand Master - The second highest rank attainable by a Grey Knight, a Grand Master is—by virtue of his esteemed rank—a member of the Inner Conclave of the Inquisition and the Chapter Council that governs the Grey Knights. By ancient tradition, there are eight Grand Masters of the Chapter. Each is the spiritual heir of one of the eight Founding Astartes of the Chapter during the Horus Heresy who are now recognised in Chapter tradition as the first Grand Masters. A master daemonslayer, a Grand Master always wears Terminator Armor and wields a force weapon in combat, and is also a powerful Psyker. Few, if any, Daemons have been able to stand against a Grand Master of the Grey Knights and survive. The death of such a powerful defender of the Emperor's will is always mourned by the Grey Knights and the Ordo Malleus -- though no common citizen of the Imperium will ever know of him. Due to the amount of experience, and enemy kills, needed to become such a warrior, Grand Masters are typically ancient, millennia old, Space Marines.
- Grey Knights Captain - A Grey Knights Brother-Captain is a senior officer of the Grey Knights Chapter. They stand amongst the Chapter's foremost warriors, and are second only in rank and battle-prowess to the Chapter's Grand Masters. They have direct command and authority over one of the Chapter's Brotherhoods, making them equivalent to a standard Space Marine Captain of Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters. In matters of strategy and planning, these Brother-Captains answer to no-one, not even to the Grand Masters themselves. The heavy burden of command over a Grey Knights Brotherhood is one of control of nearly unmatched power. A Captain of the Grey Knights is above such things as corruption by the power that they command in battle, for their souls are hardened against the promises and blandishments proffered by the daemons of Chaos.
- Grey Knights Terminator - A Grey Knight Terminator is a superlative warrior whose status as an elite amongst the elite form the heart of the Grey Knights' fighting forces. These warriors pursue the endless war against the daemons of Chaos, armoured in superior suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armour, facing the vile horrors of the Warp, always outnumbered by the baying foe. In addition to possessing more powerful armour, they also use their psychic powers actively as opposed to passively in combat. They wield the special weapons only found within the Armouries of the Grey Knights -- Incinerators and Psycannons (although they use wrist-mounted variants rather than the standard two-handed version) -- as their standard Power Armour-wearing Battle-Brothers. A Terminator's primary armament is a Nemesis Force Weapon of some kind, selected from the Chapter's Armoury according to the skills and preferences of its wielder. As there is no doctrinal restriction on the types and numbers of weapons carried, it is rare for two Terminator Squads to bear exactly the same weapons combination. Some prefer the crushing force of a Nemesis Daemon Hammer, others the flurry of attacks granted by a matched pair of Nemesis Falchions.
- Grey Knights Justicar - Justicars are the officers who lead the latest recruits to the Grey Knights—although it should be noted that such recruits may already have been fighting the Emperor's foes for up to a century. Holding this command is the first step on the path for a Grey Knight to become a Grand Master of the Chapter. Justicars also lead Grey Knight Terminator Squads, although such officers are usually referred to as a "Brother-Captain" rather than Justicar.
- Grey Knights Battle-Brother - The standard Grey Knight. Equipped with the famed suit of Aegis Armour, the standard armament of a Grey Knight also includes a wrist-mounted Storm Bolter of perfect craftsmanship and a Nemesis Force Weapon. Each weapon is unique to its owner, having been attuned to his particular psychic signal. They can take the form of a Halberd, Sword, Axe, Hammer, Mace, Maul, Scythe or even a Morning Star. Newly accepted Battle-Brothers will be inducted into fresh squads led by a Justicar, eventually developing their abilities in leadership, weaponry, psychic ability and armed/unarmed combat. Upon demonstration of above average ability in one of these areas they take their place in either the Assault Teleport, Heavy Purgation squads or become Justicars themselves to lead new batches of recruits.
- Grey Knights Apothecary - Few Battle-Brothers are as important to the Chapter's future as an Apothecary. It is his task to tend to fallen Battle-Brothers, healing them with his narthecium, or reclaiming the progenoid organs- and the precious gene-seed within - with his reductor should the wounds be too severe. Without Apothecaries, the Grey Knights' genetic heritage would be lost amid the ruin of battle, and the Chapter would cease to exist within a matter of decades. Thus do the Apothecaries receive the foremost guardians the Chapter can provide. On those occasions in which one of the Grey Knights' Apothecaries takes to the battlefield, his protection will be given over to a squad of Paladins.
- Grey Knights Brotherhood Champion - A specialist rank, a Brotherhood Champion holds foremost responsibility for the martial training of new recruits, but on the battlefield, his chief duty is to act as bodyguard to his Brother-Captain. This deadly warrior has forsaken all other forms of combat to become a master of the blade. They will willingly sacrifice themselves if necessary, but this ultimate sacrifice is rare, however, as few foes are skilled enough to defeat a Champion in combat.
- Grey Knights Chaplain - Grey Knights Chaplains fulfill the same function as in other Space Marine Chapters, albeit on a much higher level, administering to the spiritual needs of the Chapter's Battle-Brothers whom must face and fight the horrors of the Warp. These individuals are rare indeed as the Chapter has precious few of them. Yet, thanks to their vigilance in their duties, not one Grey Knight has fallen to Chaos.
- Grey Knights Librarian - Chapter Librarians are Grey Knights who have proven to possess a strength of mind far greater than that of their fellows and are able to wield their psychic abilities freely. These formidable Librarians possess a will of iron. They must, for the sorceries they wield are far more powerful than those of their Battle-Brothers. They are privy to secrets that even the rest of the Chapter is unaware of—secrets that they are never to divulge.
- Grey Knights Prognosticator - A Prognosticar is a powerful, highly specialised Astartes psyker who serves within the Grey Knights Chapter and who are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in the Immaterium. They read psychic tremors to predict the location and severity of forthcoming daemonic incursions. Based on the information they are able to gather from tremors within the Warp, they can predict a daemonic incursion before it happens.
- Grey Knights Techmarine - Techmarines are warrior-smiths of the highest calibre, responsible for the creation and repair of all the equipment employed by the Grey Knights. Techmarines are forever apart from their Battle-Brothers, for long years of training on Mars inculcate an entirely new set of traditions and rituals upon them. Many of these traditions and rituals stand in direct contradiction to the aims and goals of the Chapter. So it is that a Techmarine is called upon to balance these two opposed sides of his nature on a daily basis: to serve the goals and ideals of his Chapter, but according to the traditions of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
Most engagements of the Chapter will involve a single squad of Grey Knights supporting an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, or a local force of planetary law enforcement, military forces or Imperial Guard. For the most serious daemonic incursions, several squads of Grey Knights numbering usually about 20 Astartes are collected around the presence of a senior Captain, or even a Grand Master. In these circumstances, Tactical Squads will attempt to establish a beachhead in the Chaos-tainted area, before the Terminators and senior Astartes teleport down to the surface and engage the primary daemon, banishing it back to the Immaterium.
The very presence of Grey Knights upon the field of battle is painful to daemons and other Warp entities. The Grey Knights gestalt psychic purity and powers are combined through a squad's Justicar into the Aegis, a psychic "choir" that is amplified by the presence of additional squads "singing" in tandem. These normally inaudible sonorous chants of detestation act as a weapon that repels the daemonic and makes it hard for these entities to maintain a presence in the physical universe. The presence of Telekines in Grey Knights squads enhances the potency of the Aegis: by raising psychic shields, the Telekines allow their Battle-Brothers to advance on targets with relative impunity. This means that Grey Knights gain immense advantages against Chaotic opposition, but the high expense to the Imperium of creating even a single Grey Knight leads to its own tactical problems—for all their power, Grey Knights will always be badly outnumbered and must focus upon the fast and lethal application of force. A byproduct of the use of the Aegis is the absence of any warcry for the Chapter. Grey Knights attack in seeming silence, and take care of their objective with remarkable economy of both action and communication.
A Grey Knights force also contains a high proportion of troops who can teleport through the Warp into battle, a high-risk maneuver which can turn the tide of combat if deployed well. Teleportation may also require complicated battle-related arrangement and positioning and depending on the mission, can involve large number of squads teleporting in sync.
- "The Daemon has many forms. You must know them all. You must tell the Daemon from his disguise and root him out from the hidden places. Trust no one. Trust not even yourself. It is better to die in vain than to live in abomination. The zealous martyr is praised for his valour, the craven and the unready are justly abhorred."
- — Excerpted from the First Book of Indoctrinations
The Grey Knights are anathema to Daemons, their very presence raw and painful to the creatures of the Warp. No other warriors of the Emperor are so adept at fighting Daemons, and each Battle-Brother is expertly trained in the many methods of banishing and destroying these deadly yet ephemeral foes. There are many ways to banish a Daemon, almost as many as there are Daemons themselves. So it is that the Grey Knights possess a myriad means for vanquishing the denizens of the Warp, though not every method works on every Daemon, or even twice on the same creature. The Chapter is therefore always adapting to combat the ever-changing face of their foe. It is a constant war of escalation that has been waged since the inception of the Chapter and before, when the Emperor first began unravelling the secrets of the Warp. For every weapon and tactic the Grey Knights develop and employ, the Daemons counter with Warp-sorcery and trickery.
Chief amongst the Grey Knights' strategies concerning the vanquishing of a Daemon is obtaining knowledge of the beast's true name. Knowledge of a Daemon's true name grants great power, which is why many Daemons adopt misleading pseudonyms or titles and seldom use their true names save in their most secretive of dealings. In the hands of a psyker or sorcerer, a true name can be invoked to bind or even banish a Daemon, regardless of its power. Ordinarily, these complex incantations take long solar hours, or even days. Each word must be carefully enunciated and each gesture precise, lest the sorcerer become corrupted by the magicks of the Warp. Invoking a true name is a daemonic pact of sorts -- albeit one in which the Daemon is at a severe disadvantage.
For a Grey Knight, however, a true name is a weapon as reliable and immediate as the Storm Bolter borne upon his left gauntlet. Even the lowliest Grey Knight can invoke a true name with practice, disorienting and weakening his foe, and leaving the beast open for a killing strike from a Nemesis Force Blade or a well-placed bolt round. In the hands of an accomplished veteran of the Chapter, a true name becomes even more deadly, able to destroy the Daemon's physical form and cast it back into the Warp, leaving only a lingering sulphurous stench and ectoplasmic residue. To banish a Daemon in this manner is the closest that the Grey Knights can come to a lasting victory –- a Daemon bodily slain will return to the mortal realm far sooner than one banished body and soul.
Alas, if true names are a Grey Knight's surest weapon against the Daemon, they are also the hardest of all to acquire. As with all things daemonic, a true name is born of the Warp, and its reflection in the minds and tongues of mortal men is as shifting and mutable as the beast to whom it relates. So it is that in the candlelit chambers of the Grey Knights' Augurium, a veritable army of ebon-cowled scribes toil in shadow, endlessly sifting through the visions reported by the Chapter's Prognosticars, searching for clues to the ever-changing true names. It is a long and dangerous process, for no scribe can ever be trusted with more than a fragment of a true name, lest he become corrupted by the raw power it contains and threaten the very Chapter he seeks to serve. Thus, each scintilla of lore is inscribed onto a blessed scroll in sigils of the scribe's own blood -- mere ink cannot cage such knowledge. Each is then presented for collation and interpretation by one of the Chapter's senior Librarians and, in turn, bound into one of the blessed grimoires within the Citadel of Titan's Sanctum Sanctorum.
Words of Banishment
Daemons are beings of the Immaterium, and are made up of the very stuff of Chaos. This makes them creatures of nightmare, rage and fear, crafted from the base emotions and thoughts of Mankind. When fighting such a foe, strength of will and faith are as deadly as blades and bolt rounds, flesh tearing and ichor spillings with but a word of power. A Grey Knight will learn these words by heart and use them in battle to weaken or destroy daemonic foes, chanting them as he fires hammering shots from his storm bolter or cleaves apart his enemies with his Nemesis Force Halberd. The words are key to the most complex rituals of the Grey Knights, woven into their prayers and their rites of exorcism to increase their potency. There are 666 known words of banishment, each one a closely guarded secret by the Chapter and learned at great cost. Most men that look upon a word of banishment will lose their minds, its eye-searing symmetry and terrible definition breaking all but the strongest of wills. Even a Grey Knight Battle-Brother must temper his spirit before he learns even the most basic of these words. To date, only a single Grey Knight, the first Supreme Grand Master Janus, has ever learnt all 666 words of banishment, the weight of this knowledge almost too much for even the most accomplished Battle-Brothers to bear.
Just like the Warp, the words of banishment are always in flux, each one changing and mutating. The Grey Knights Librarians and Prognosticars must be ever vigilant for subtle variations within the words of banishment while they search for the true names of Daemons. The creatures of the Warp and even the Dark Gods themselves are constantly altering, as is the nature of the Immaterium, so that a word that once held power inevitably changes or loses its meaning entirely. An invocation against daemonic enemies that could once enslave or bind is therefore robbed of its power. However, such is the fickle nature of Chaos that for every Daemon that unravels a word of banishment, another is creating more for its own amusement; and so the endless war continues.
Not all weapons the Grey Knights use to defeat Daemons are human in origin. Over millennia of war and strife, the Chapter has scoured the galaxy for secrets to use against the Dark Gods, some of them deriving from alien technology and ancient xenos empires. Humanity is not the only race to have suffered at the hands of Daemonkind; countless races and worlds were wiped from history by daemonic incursions long before Mankind even stepped out into the void. In the dead remains of alien cities or the dust-swept plains of remote planets, the Ordo Malleus has recovered many artefacts that now rest in the vaults on Titan. Equally, elements of the Inquisition have even made deals with living xenos races, trading technology and aid in return for their knowledge of the Warp and its inhabitants. One such temporary alliance with the Necrons has yielded the Tesseract Labyrinths: strange objects crafted with heretical science by cunning alien hands. Each one is a cube, roughly the size of a Space Marine's fist, covered in a precise geometric web of circuitry. The Tesseract Labyrinths possess the ability not only to trap Warp creatures but also to contain them within the esoteric energy field of its zero-point reactor. The power of the Daemon is then contained by its own essence; the more it fights against the Tesseract, the stronger the bonds of its prison become. However, luring a Daemon into a Tesseract Labyrinth is no easy task, as most Warp creatures will choose to abandon their mortal forms and return to the Immaterium before they can be bound to the alien devices. To date only a handful of "inhabited" Tesseracts are held in the vaults of Titan, each one the culmination of a great battle or epic campaign in which the Grey Knights were triumphant.
For almost one hundred centuries Titan has been the secret fortress of the Grey Knights. Glittering in the darkness of Saturn's shadow, the ice moon bristles with orbital defence platforms and fleets of sleek grey vessels. Beneath its frozen surface generations of Grey Knights are created and laid to rest, in an endless cycle of birth and death. At the base of Mount Anarch, tallest of Titan's peaks, rise the black basalt spires of the Citadel of Titan, the Grey Knights fortress-monastery. Built by the Emperor over ten thousand standard years ago, the Citadel of Titan has endured through countless ages of war and strife. Covered with dust and shadow, the dark edifice is festooned with Macrocannons and massive Lance turrets, their heavy barrels aimed out into the night. It is a forbidding sight that welcomes no visitors and brooks no trespass. In fact, even the existence of the citadel is a closely guarded secret, and in the populous space lanes of the Sol System vessels give this satellite of Saturn a wide berth, their captains well aware that it does not pay to stray too close to the ominous moon. Within the frigid halls of the citadel, Servitors and Chapter Serfs shuffle along empty corridors and tend to the millions of menial tasks required to keep the fortress running. Occasionally, a towering Grey Knight will stride past, always with purpose and always cloaked in the menacing air of barely contained power. The citadel is the heart of the Chapter, a place for Battle-Brothers to rest, meditate and train between their endless battles.
The mighty citadel is also home to the Librarium Daemonica, the Imperium's foremost repository of information relating to daemons, daemonology, sorcery and the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. This mighty structure, designed to accommodate over a thousand Space Marines and all their weapons of war, stands largely silent and empty as squads of Grey Knights are scattered throughout the galaxy, in order to best respond to the threat of the Forces of Chaos, wherever they may strike. Unlike almost all other Space Marine Chapters, the Grey Knights do not follow the tenets of the Codex Astartes in the matter of force organisation. Due to the unique manner in which the Grey Knights are recruited and trained, each warrior progresses through a series of pre-ordained ranks and will operate in a particular squad led by an individual of higher rank, rather than being assigned to a particular battle company. These squads may be called upon to act independently from the main body of the Grey Knight force, and have to operate at full efficiency even when light years away from the rest of their Chapter. As such, the Brother-Captain who is the leader of each Grey Knight squad is obeyed immediately and without question by those under his command.
As the Grey Knights are an elite Space Marine Chapter engaged in fighting Daemonic infestation, they have access to specialised equipment not available to other Chapters. Ancient pacts with the Adeptus Mechanicus guarantee the most technologically advanced weaponry will be available to the Chapter. Highly unorthodox pacts with Xenos races have resulted in the availability and use of alien technology by the Chapter's warriors. Among these powerful and arcane items are the Psycannon, a powerful heavy weapon, armed with ritually inscribed silver and blessed 'bolts' which are capable of damaging Daemonkin far more than the standard Bolter. Another heavy weapon used by this Chapter is a sanctified Incinerator which utilises Promethium which is mixed with sacred oils and then is ritually blessed to give it an even greater effect on the daemons that it is used upon. Grey Knights may also utilise standard Space Marine weapons or equipment, although this is much rarer. In addition, Ordo Malleus Inquisitors and Grey Knight Hero units obtain powerful equipment designed to weaken the resolve and skill of Warp-spawned foes. This equipment can range from simple Storm Bolters to the powerful Psycannon or relics such as the Grimoire of True Names, and even a legendary Daemonhammer. Finally, all Grey Knights use Trecenti code, an encrypted language known only to themselves, which is often applied in battle cant.
Nemesis Force Weapons
The most distinctive weapon of the Grey Knights is the Nemesis Force Weapon, most commonly the Nemesis Force Sword and its variants. Finely tuned to the wielder’s mind, it is a perfect weapon to use against daemons and other denizens of the Warp. Nemesis Force Weapons are sanctified Force Weapons, usually taking the form of a sword, halberd or spear. Sometimes a rare Nemesis Hammer or Nemesis Mace will appear, though Nemesis Weapons can take the form of any close combat melee weapon. Each Nemesis Weapon is consecrated and anointed with sacred oils, psychically-charged, and inscribed with religious scripts that are anathema to daemons. The first Nemesis Force Weapons had Storm Bolters built into the shaft of the weapon, but newer models separated the ranged weaponry from the melee blade. It is said that the secret lore required to create Nemesis Force Weapons was first developed by the Emperor Himself before the Unification Wars began, and that this knowledge was one of the gifts he gave to the Grey Knights when the Chapter was Founded.
Like all Force Weapons available to the psychic warriors of the Imperium, the power of the weapon itself directly corresponds to the psychic talent of the wielder. As the Grey Knights are some of the greatest psykers in the galaxy, nemesis Force Weapons prove to be truly devastating in their hands. Because of this quality, the entire Chapter is able to wield these weapons, and every member is a hero in his own right. However, due to the inexperience of younger recruits, the Nemesis Force Weapon delegated to lower ranks will be weaker in terms of strength than their higher-ranked counterparts. This makes the weapon effectively "evolve" as the bearer progresses through the ranks, his psychic powers intensify and he slowly masters the weapon. In the hands of a Grand Master, these Force Weapons are some of the strongest in the galaxy, as a Grey Knight Grand Master is more than capable of beating a Daemon Prince or a Carnifex with a single cut.
- Nemesis Force Halberds - As ancient in design and purpose as the Grey Knights themselves, Nemesis Force Halberds are finely-crafted polearms with long, curved blades and sturdy hafts. A Grey Knight can easily use such a weapon one-handed in short deadly chops. However, the weapon becomes even more dangerous should he wield it two-handed.
- Nemesis Daemon Hammers - The most common Nemesis Force Weapon to be used by non-Grey Knights, the Nemesis Daemon Hammer is often used by high-ranking Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus. It combines the crushing power of the Daemon Hammer with the arcane construction of the Nemesis Force Weapon to craft a deadly bane of all things daemonic.
- Nemesis Doomfist - A variant of the massive Power Fists found on Dreadnoughts, the Nemesis Doomfist is a massive weapon easily able to crush a man in its grip. Nemesis Doomfists are only found as part of the Dreadknight battle suit.
- Nemesis Falchions - Always used in a pair, Nemesis Falchions can be carried by a Grey Knight with a Storm Bolter thanks to the Storm Bolter’s wrist mounting. The falchions contain monofilament circuitry that greatly enhance the speed at which they can be brought to bear.
- Nemesis Force Swords - A lighter version of the Force Halberd, a Force Sword can take many forms. Force Swords are crafted using arcane magicks and complex scientific formulae and incorporate a power field that is enhanced by the psychic strength of its wielder like all Nemesis Force Weapons. Its balanced grips and nearly indestructible construction makes it the perfect weapon for parrying the attacks of even the most powerful daemonic foe.
- Nemesis Greatsword - Found only on the Dreadknight battle suit, the Nemesis Greatsword is a massive blade of silver and iron so large that not even an Adeptus Astartes in Power Armour can lift it. Despite its immense size, it is perfectly balanced in the hands of a Dreadknight, and is a powerful tool against even a Greater Daemon.
- Nemesis Warding Staves - Of the many weapons forged in the Grey Knights' fortress-monastery’s subterranean foundries, few required the same complexity and care in their crafting as a Nemesis Warding Stave. Like any Nemesis-breed weapon, its inbuilt power matrix was a shielded, inert core awaiting psychic activation, and just like the more traditional blades, its functions could only be activated by the thoughts of the warrior it had been built for. And there the similarities ended. Every stave bore a headpiece of punishingly rare purity—a small handful topped by the armoured skulls of Imperial saints, or Imperial Sanctioned Psykers of great majesty. Some were topped with something that was rarer still—the skull of a Grey Knights Justicar or some other Chapter hero, haloed by consecrated gold. Veined by mercury-threaded circuitry, ceramite plating would preserve the relic for centuries to come.
Like other Space Marine Chapters, the Grey Knights favour Bolter weapons. Their brutal damage and potent armour penetration makes them ideal assault weapons—not to mention the demoralising effect on the enemy that seeing a comrade torn apart by a .75 calibre bolt round may have. Grey Knights also employ a number of special ranged weapons such as Incinerators and Psycannons, all of which are designed for maximum effectiveness against daemons, Warp-entities and psykers:
- Astartes Storm Bolters - Grey Knight Bolter weapons function in much the same way as standard Astartes Bolter weapons, albeit they are of a larger design and more robust manufacture. The advantages they gain from their size and superior ammunition quality is included in their profile. These weapons are common to the Grey Knights and often mounted on the wrist so that each Astartes might have a free hand to wield their Nemesis Force Weapon two-handed. Essentially incorporating two Bolters side-by-side, these weapons are often issued with Psybolt Ammunition. Grey Knights always wear their Storm Bolters on a special wrist mount that allows them to fire the Bolter while keeping their hands free.
- Astartes Incinerator - Incinerators are actually Heavy Flamers that use a psychically impregnated form of Promethium that burns hotter and more fiercely and is particularly damaging to daemons.
- Astartes Psilencer - The Psilencer does not fire traditional ammunition. Rather, it focuses and amplifies the psychic might of its wielder into an amplified energy pulse that is released as a beam of unstoppable force. These arcane weapons harness the psychic potential of the user, who must unleash a bolt of psychic force into the containment core of the device. This burst of energy is then amplified and directed by the crystals in the weapon. It is unknown how the Psilencer came to become part of the Grey Knights' arsenal. The technology is surly of xenos origin, for it is unlike almost anything else that can be found in the armouries of the Imperium. It is not known whether the Psilencer was constructed from stolen technology or technology given freely. The Grey Knights remain silent on this matter.
- Astartes Psycannon - An ancient weapon whose manufacturing process has long been lost to the Imperium, the Psycannon was specially designed for the Grey Knights. Psycannons always use Psybolt ammunition and incorporate special anti-gravitic suspensors which reduce their weight and make them easier to fire on the move.
The iconic symbol of the Space Marine, Power Armour is among the finest protections a warrior of the Imperium can ever hope to wear. The unique suits of Aegis Armour and Aegis Terminator Armour worn by the Grey Knights are incredibly well-crafted; anointed and inscribed with prayers and wards, ritually consecrated and psychically-charged. Working in tandem with the Grey Knights' formidable psychic powers, the Aegis warding within the armour protects the wearer from psychic attack unleashed by the effects of the Immaterium and the daemons it spawns, using the wearer’s own psychic power. The armour's ritual blessings and psychic resonance also serve to confound the psychic perception of any enemy, resulting in an effect called the Shrouding. As well as its psychic properties, the armour itself incorporates a Bolter weapon that is similar in function in much the same way as a regular Bolter weapon, albeit with a larger design and more robust manufacture. These weapons are common to the Grey Knights and often mounted on the wrist so that they might have a free hand to wield their nemesis Force Weapons two-handed. Essentially incorporating two Bolters side-by-side, these weapons are often issued with psychic force-touched ammunition known as Psybolt Ammunition. When combined with the skill of the Grey Knights' themselves, this lethal weapon can be used with equal effectiveness in both ranged and melee combat.
The following is a list of the panoply of wargear commonly worn by members of the Grey Knights:
- Crusader Helm - Grey Knights use older patterns of helmets – known as Crusader Helms –- for both their Aegis Power and Terminator Armour, giving their squads a distinctive appearance when placed alongside other Adeptus Astartes.
- Nemesis Force Halberd - Every Grey Knights Terminator carries a force blade attuned to his psychic will. The ritual to dedicate these weapons is long and arduous and so it falls to the Battle-Brother to preserve and honour his weapon in combat. After years of battle a Grey Knight's force weapon will retain a piece of his psyche imprinted upon its blade that will live on long after its wielder has fallen.
- Armour Etchings - A Grey Knight's armour is often an ancient relic drawn from the Chapter's armouries and has been worn by many warriors before him. Sometimes their names or deeds will be etched upon the plates and edges of the armour, a preserved memory of their lost glory.
- Purity Seals - When a Grey Knights Battle-Brother dons his armour its seals are blessed in complex and ancient rituals to preserve their integrity and keep the warrior safe from attacks both mundane and mystical. When a Battle-Brother returns to Titan it is a measure of his skill in battle and strength of will should these seals remain unbroken.
- Oath Shield - Battle-Brothers display their personal heraldry upon their shields, the simple designs displaying their deeds and glories. As a Grey Knight advances in rank he might add to his shield to reflect his elevated standing within the Chapter.
- Storm Bolter - Grey Knight Terminator armour incorporates a wrist-mounted Storm Bolter, an ancient pattern of that weapon that allows them to wield their halberd unimpeded.
The Codicium Aeternum
This dread tome contains the Grey Knights and Ordo Malleus' knowledge on many of the daemons the organization has faced and defeated in the long millennia of their existence. In the tomes madness-stained pages resides knowledge and calculations on where-and-when various daemons will manifest again and the means by which they can be defeated.
The Liber Daemonica
A copy of this arcane book, the Liber Daemonica, its contents drawn from material taken from the Librarium Daemonica on Titan along with the ancient battle rites of the Grey Knights Chapter, is carried into battle by every single Grey Knight, in a compartment in his armour's chest plate. The Liber Daemonica is an enduring symbol of the Grey Knight's devotion to his mission, and contains the cardinal tenets of anti-daemonic lore culled from the dark knowledge caged within the Sanctum Sanctorum's walls. The books themselves are also potent psychic talismans in their own right, with pages illuminated in silver and bound to a spine carved from the thigh bone of a martyred saint of the Imperial Cult. The book is also represented in the Grey Knights' iconography, on the chest plate and pauldron of both their Power Armour and Tactical Dreadnought Armour. It is a symbol of the greatest weapon of Mankind against the Forces of Chaos -- an unshakable faith in the Emperor of Mankind.
Like their fellow Space Marine Chapters, when a Battle-Brother of the Grey Knights sustains such grievous wounds that he is beyond even the skilled talents of their Chapter's Apothecaries, he may be interred within a cybernetic sarcophagus and placed within the formidable armoured shell of a mighty Dreadnought if he is found worthy of continuing to serve the Emperor. Unlike other Chapters, however, Grey Knights do not look upon this extension of their life as an honour—for it is the fervent wish of every Grey Knight that upon his death he be carried back to Titan to be interred in the consecrated crypts of the Dead Fields—resting for eternity alongside the greatest of the Chapter's heroes. They would rather find peace in eternal rest than continue their lives inside a machine. As such, Grey Knight Dreadnoughts are extremely rare.
Yet it is not the Dreadnought's armour, nor its Aegis reinforcement, nor even its armament, that make it such a deadly foe. That honour goes to the warrior that guides the goliath. Only the mightiest of the fallen are interred within a Dreadnought. This great warrior has long set aside all mortal frailties for a mechanical form that is as untiring and unyielding as his own will. Such is a Dreadnought's wealth of combat experience that, once fully awakened, it can adopt any role required. Indeed, amongst the Grey Knights, it is far from unusual for a Dreadnought to serve as a secondary commander, holding authority over the main strike force, thus allowing the Brother-Captain to direct efforts elsewhere. This should come as no surprise, for many Dreadnought pilots attained the rank of Brother-Captain, or even Grand-Master, before their internment, and relish the opportunity to apply their strategic acumen to fresh campaigns. To take battle alongside such a warrior is to walk in the shadow of a living legend and, in such company, a Battle-Brother will not be found wanting.
Due to their access to the Imperium's most advanced technology, the Grey Knights often field the extremely rare Mars Pattern Mark VI or Aegis Dreadnoughts that only this elite Chapter is known to possess.
Nemesis Dreadknights are a more powerful and advanced version of the standard Dreadnought. However, Dreadknights are not cybernetic combat walkers but advanced exoskeletons intended to be used by any Astartes trained in their use to enhance his physical strength and firepower beyond even the superhuman norm of the Space Marines. These warmachines are currently exclusive to the Grey Knights. Dreadknight exoskeletons were designed and built for the purpose of allowing a single Grey Knights Astartes to combat powerful Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes who are physically far stronger than even the oldest and most experienced Space Marine. In appearance, Dreadknights are drastically different from standard Dreadnoughts. They are taller, bulkier and appear as a humanoid-shaped exoskeleton. Unlike Dreadnoughts which sometimes replaces one of its manipulators for a weapon, a Dreadknight has two large Power Fist-like appendages that then can hold additional weapons (such as Heavy Bolters) that are mounded on the exoskeleton's wrists. This unique addition allows the Dreadknight to be armed with massive Nemesis Warhammers or Power Swords so that it can engage in melee combat with all of the fluidity and agility of a human being. The pilot's head is almost completely exposed in the top of the exoskeleton's pilot compartment, but can freely enter and leave the warmachine, unlike true Dreadnoughts, whose Astartes occupants have been hard-wired into the Dreadnought's cybernetic shell for all eternity. Despite this disadvantage, it is possible that the Dreadknight has greater flexibility, strength and agility in combat than a Dreadnought, making it more dangerous and effective in combat against the truly potent foes it must face.
Psychic Abilities of the Grey Knights
- "A Grey Knight’s greatest weapon against the Warp is not his blade or bolter but his mind and the will to bend reality and rend his foes with but a thought."
- — Brother Librarian Clavanus
The Grey Knights have many abilities that standard Space Marines lack. These powers are psychic in nature and work on a gestalt principle much like that of the Orks in which the more Grey Knights that are present in one location, the more powerful their psychic abilities become. Besides these powers, the Grey Knights are highly-skilled close combat fighters. Most Grey Knights who are masters of melee combat are able to win against even the most seemingly impossible of odds. Unlike Space Marine Librarians or other psykers, their power is deemed free of the taint of the Warp and they are the only psykers allowed, for instance, in a Black Templars Chapter Crusade army.
All Grey Knights possess a degree of psychic ability which is further developed and enhanced by their years of training on Titan. While only a handful of Grey Knights Battle-Brothers ever achieve the levels of power commanded by the Chapter’s Librarians, they are all capable of manifesting certain powers and abilities, especially in the company of other Grey Knights where they can combine their gifts to create great effects and more devastating psychic attacks. However, those who prove to have a strength of mind far greater than that of their fellows will go on to join the ranks of the Chapter's Librarians.
The Grey Knights’ selection of psychic powers has been formed over a millennia of combat against the worst monsters the galaxy has to offer. While these powers are most commonly used by Grey Knight Librarians, it is not unheard of for an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor to learn these abilities or an Imperial Guard Primaris Psyker to train in one of these rare Disciplines. The psychic powers of the Daemonhunter are not subtle—they are weapons of war against the most terrible foes of the Emperor of Mankind:
- The Canticle of Absolution - This ancient rite is used by the Grey Knights to banish Daemons and purify locations where they have laired; it is also known as the Six-Hundred-and-Sixty-Six Secret Words.
- Dark Excommunication - The Grey Knight weaves an enchantment that severs a Daemon's connection to its dark master, one of the Chaos Gods, causing it to dissolve into the Empyrean.
- Hammerhand - Focusing the raging power of their minds, Grey Knights can augment their already prodigious might. Even unarmed, such a warrior can crush flesh and bone—given blade or hammer there is little limit to what they can slay.
- Holocaust - Units of Grey Knights Terminators are able to make use of the Holocaust psychic power as a whole. A group of Grey Knights can harness their collective psychic powers to manifest this ability as long as the entire group remains focused on the manifestation. If successful, a Grey Knights Terminator can incinerate opponents at close range using this power. It is a manifestation of the hate the Grey Knights feel for the daemonic, and is completely capable of burning a Daemon's physical body to ash. This power is especially terrifying because whatever is destroyed by the Holocaust power dies in the Warp as well, its spirit extinguished like a candle. It can burn the souls of mortals to nothing and can banish Daemons as if they were but a bad dream. This power is a lesser version of the extraordinary final burst of psychic power used by the Emperor of Mankind Himself to snuff out the soul of Horus in the Warp at the end of the Horus Heresy during the final battle on Horus' Battle Barge, the Vengeful Spirit.
- Might of Titan - Summoning up the power of the Chapter's ancestors and calling on the sacred genetic heritage which all Battle-Brothers possess, the Grey Knight Librarian is able to harden muscles and boost the strength of those allies in close proximity to him.
- Mind Blades - The Grey Knight imbues the blades and other melee weapons of his allies with unerring accuracy and the ability to seek out even the smallest of chinks in their foes' armour, helping his friends land devastating blows to quickly despatch their enemies.
- Nemesis Hammerhand - When summoning this ability, a Grey Knight Librarian is able to put the strength of his mind behind the blows of his fists or weapons, striking fiercely enough to wound even the toughest foes.
- Quicksilver - Quickened by the Grey Knights Librarian's uncanny mind, his fellow Grey Knights' reflexes are increased to an uncanny speed and swiftness.
- Sanctuary - Chanting words of binding, the Librarian creates a shield of psychic turbulence to hinder his foes. This barrier extends out around the Librarian in a 10-meter radius and impedes all those who attempt to cross. The barrier does not impede a Grey Knight's movement in any way.
- The Shrouding - Through prayer and the combined gestalt psychic power of the Grey Knights, they are able to blind their enemies to their location through their sheer faith in the Emperor and the power from the Warp this faith can draw. This protects them from ranged attacks and enhances their stealth. The Shrouding extends out around the Grey Knight in a 20 meter radius and makes those within it hazy and indistinct when viewed from without whilst not restricting the vision of those within it.
- Smite - Lethal bolts of lightning leap from the Grey Knight Librarian's fingertips, tearing his enemies apart in a barrage of psychic energy.
- The Summoning - The Grey Knight Librarian is able to reach out through the Immaterium and call upon his allies, drawing them across the intervening distance in the blink of an eye. The Grey Knight can use this power on a number of allies, though he must have met each one personally and must know them by name so that he can recognise their presence in the Warp across space and time. When he invokes this power he "calls" to these chosen allies and they are instantly aware that he is summoning them. If they choose to answer the call they are instantly transported through the Warp to his side.
- Vortex of Doom - The Grey Knight Librarian is able to open a tear between the material realm and the howling destruction of the Warp, unleashing devastating energies that utterly consume his foes.
- Warp Quake - The Grey Knight causes the Warp to tremor, causing denizens of the Empyrean to lose their hold on reality and any device or technology that uses its power for guidance to fail.
- Warp Rift - With a simple gesture, the Grey Knight Librarian is able to rend the material realm asunder, condemning his foes to the caprices of the Warp.
Notable Grey Knights
- Supreme Grand Master Janus - During the dark days of the Horus Heresy the Emperor set plans in motion that would eventually win a wider victory against the Forces of Chaos from the bitter ashes of a most personal defeat. The Emperor had foreseen that the end of the Heresy would cost him greatly, so much so that he would no longer be able to take an active hand in Mankind's survival. Therefore, he chose his closest servant, Malcador the Sigillite, to scour the war-torn worlds of the Imperium for the men upon whose shoulders the burden of the future would be placed. By the time Malcador returned to his Emperor, Terra itself was under siege by the Traitor Legions of the Warmaster Horus. Only through the most artful of subterfuge were the Sigillite and his recruits able to pass unscathed through the battlelines and come unharmed and unseen before the Emperor. In stern silence the Emperor surveyed the robed figures that Malcador had brought before him, and he saw that his faithful servant had done well. Of the twelve who had been chosen, four were lords and administrators of the Imperium possessed of an inquisitive nature and an unyielding strength of mind. The other eight were Space Marines chosen from the Loyalist and Traitor Legions alike whose abilities were as peerless as was their dedication to the Emperor. Some hailed from Legions that had abandoned the Emperor's light in favour of Horus' dark promises, but these Battle-Brothers had never lost their loyalty and had fought the Heresy from within. Fulsome in his approval of the selection, the Emperor bade Malcador proceed with the next stage of his plan. So dismissed, Malcador and the twelve departed the embattled Imperial Palace as unremarked as they had arrived. The four lords left to lay the framework of what would become the Inquisition, while Malcador took the eight Space Marines to the moon of Saturn called Titan. Malcador oversaw the initial creation of the Grey Knights, but he could not remain to oversee their evolution, so he selected one of the eight to lead the Chapter in the years to come. Malcador's final act before returning to Terra was to appoint Janus as the first Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights, to guide the nascent Chapter through their first challenges. Legends of the Grey Knights' founding lord are as numerous as there are stars in the night sky—the champions he slew, the wars he won, the daemons he banished—and none alive now know how much they have been twisted through the centuries. Even their Chapter's records, meticulous as the Grey Knights liked to believe them, still suffered from human error when inscribed, and a great number of these records have been sequestered by the lords of the Grey Knights and their Inquisitorial overseers in the Ordo Malleus.
- Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo - During the daemonic incursion on the world of Acralem in 799.M41, then-Battle-Brother Draigo fought against M'kar the Reborn and his daemonic army. During a daring assault on the Daemon Prince's fortress, it was Draigo who dealt the deathblow to M'kar, and so cast the daemonic horde back into the Warp, but the Daemon clung to life just long enough to place a vengeful curse upon his slayer. Draigo was acclaimed to the rank of Justicar for his actions on Acralem. Through the next two centuries Draigo continued to serve his Chapter and Emperor with unfailing distinction - earning honours and glory unsurpassed - save perhaps by the Grey Knights first Supreme Grand Master, Janus. Two hundred years to the day since Draigo's victory the Grey Knights received an astropathic beacon bringing news to Titan that Acralem had once again been invaded by M'kar and his Daemon army. Forbidding his Chapter to involve themselves, Lord Draigo undertook the burden of facing M'kar himself. Upon the pinnacle of Shadow Peak, before the swirling Warp rift from which the Daemon Prince drew his unholy power, the two adversaries faced one another, once again. Draigo managed to deliver M'kar a fateful death blow with the broken blade of his Nemesis force weapon. But Draigo's ultimate victory was robbed from him as the Daemon Prince cast the Grey Knight into the collapsing Warp rift. Since that time, Draigo has been cursed to the hell of being doomed to walk within the Realm of Chaos, unable to escape. But when there is a Daemonic incursion in the material universe, and a Daemon Prince draws power from the Warp, Draigo is once again drawn back into the material realm. Reunited with his Chapter temporarily, Draigo fights alongside his fellow Grey Knights once again. But their victory is always a hollow one, as Lord Draigo is once again drawn back into the Warp. The fortitude of character that Draigo possesses to endure this half-life is unheard of, yet endures he does. He continues to walk the Realm of Chaos still, continuing his eternal battle against the Chaos Gods. But there is still hope, that while Draigo still lives, he will one day yet prevail and return to be reunited with his Chapter.
- Supreme Grand Master Geronitan - Lord Geronitan was the predecessor of Kaldor Draigo as the Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights. He was slain at the hands of the Daemon Primarch Mortarion at the Battle of Kornovin in 901.M41. Grand Master Kaldor Draigo was then elevated to the rank of Supreme Grand Master amidst the din of the battlefield and vowed vengeance on Mortarion. Alone and unaided, Draigo smashed his way through Mortarion's bodyguard of Plague Marines, struck the ancient Primarch to the ground and carved Geronitan's name on the Daemon Prince's diseased heart. Though Mortarion ultimately escaped, it was many long years before he could enter the mortal realm once more and this was an insult that the Primarch of the Death Guard vowed to avenge.
- Supreme Grand Master Orias - Lord Orias was brought low in the 39th Millennium by the Daemon Prince and Plague Lord Herperitus. It is customary for a mortally-wounded Grey Knight to give his personal consent before becoming a Dreadnought, for many mortally wounded brothers prefer to rest with the Chapter's heroes in the Dead Fields, the massive crypt that lies far below the Citadel of Titan. Legend has it that when Grand Master Orias lay in the Apothecary following his battle with Herperitus, he was tended by the Chief Apothecary and his servo-meds as the entire Chapter awaited his death. All ten Brother-Captains stood watch over him awaiting any last words from Orias, before his soul passed into the Emperor's care. For three solar days and nights they waited, and Orias, his body a shattered shell, never moved. They thought that surely he was dead. But with the last of his strength, he gave a single nod of his head. The assembled Captains quickly debated and agreed, Orias' single motion must have been a nod of consent, with his last strength he had agreed to continue his service as a Dreadnought. Immediately a sarcophagus was prepared and the ritual of internment began.
- Supreme Grand Master Aeneas - Lord Aeneas lead the Chapter for 55 standard years during the 37th Millennium before he was mortally wounded by the Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion and was interred within a Dreadnought.
- Grand Master Epimetheus - One of the original Founding members of the Grey Knights, he stood before the Emperor alongside the other seven potential recruits that Malcador the Sigillite had selected in the hours before the Battle of Terra, and was given command of the 5th Brotherhood. Originally a Legionary of the Dark Angels Legion, he served on Caliban under the Arch-Heretic Luther. Regardless how Epimetheus became a Grey Knight, his original Progenoid Glands were removed and sealed in a stasis capsule beneath Titan along with the gene-seed of all the already-implanted recruits. It was then replaced with the new gene-seed set aside for the foundation of the Grey Knights. When the knowledge of Titan was hidden by Malcador as they entered the Sol System, Epimetheus was relatively young and inexperienced. However, when Titan returned to realspace, less than a decade had passed in real time, but for the warriors of Titan many centuries had elapsed. Men who were young during the twilight years of the war against Horus were now older than the oldest surviving veterans of the fragmenting Space Marine Legions. Those eight who had previously worn armour of a differing colour had accrued more years than even the most ancient and venerable of Dreadnoughts. Epimetheus was now older than any of the still living veterans from the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. During the Great Scouring, Epimetheus led a full Brotherhood of Grey Knights, according to his personal account, a period that lasted many centuries rather than the seven standard years the Legions spent fighting. The world of Pythos was one of the first missions the Grey Knights undertook. Three entire Brotherhoods and a quarter of a million Imperial Army soldiers set out to close the Damnation Cache, a Warp rift that had been opened during the early days of the war against Horus. It had supplied the Traitor forces with allies throughout the campaign, and with turncoat Legions fleeing towards the Eye of Terror the Daemons now turned their attention to the worlds surrounding Pythos, seeking to claim them as their own and establish their own debased realm on the material plane. The war to close the Cache was long and bloody. Of the 300 Grey Knights who had set out from Titan to cleanse Pythos, barely twenty survived. With no Athame to keep it permanently closed, it was decided to hide seven seals around the planet, each one different and only able to be undone in a specific order. Over the seventh and final seal to be placed, Epimetheus volunteered to be placed in suspended animation to stand sentinel over it for millennia. In the late 41st Millennia, when Abaddon the Despoiler came to unlock the Damnation Cache once more, Epimetheus was awoken from his slumber. At the conclusion of this campaign fighting against Abaddon and his Forces of Chaos, Epimetheus was led into a trap and taken prisoner. Abaddon wished to experiment upon the unique gene-seed of his captive, and hoped to pry the knowledge from the captured Grey Knight on where the other, still-living Grand Masters were located. Epimetheus' current fate is unknown.
- Grand Master Khyron - One of the original Founding members of the Grey Knights, Khyron stood before the Emperor alongside the other seven potential recruits that Malcador the Sigillite had selected in the hours before the Battle of Terra, and was given command of the 8th Brotherhood. His body allegedly resides within the Dead Fields beneath the Citadel of Titan, within the Tomb of the Eight, the sacred resting place of the eight original founding Grand Masters of the Grey Knights.
- Grand Master Vardan Kai - Vardan Kai commands the 1st Brotherhood with Cadrig Pelenas as its Brother-Captain. As Kai is Steward of the Armoury, his Brotherhood is often called upon when the Grey Knights require large numbers of Stormravens or Land Raiders, and it contains many of the finest pilots and drivers of the Chapter. Kai oversees the war machines of the Grey Knights and the Techmarines that maintain them, ensuring that they remain in perfect fighting condition. If the wards upon a Rhino are imperfect or the engines of a Stormraven less than pristine it is to Kai that a Battle-Brother must answer.
- Grand Master Vorth Mordrak - Vorth Mordrak commands the 2nd Brotherhood with Arno Trevan as its Brother-Captain. Mordrak's Brotherhood has a well-deserved reputation for rapid deployment and swift strikes, even by the standards of the Grey Knights. The Brotherhood makes use of large numbers of Interceptor and Strike Squads, using mass teleportation and teleport homer assault tactics to outmanoeuvre their enemies. The 2nd is often in the vanguard of combined Brotherhood assaults, seeding the way for heavier troops to follow. As Admiral of the Fleet, the Grand Master must possess a skill with manoeuvres that ensures the Grey Knights' rapid deployment to a warzone. Over time, these traits have become synonymous with the 2nd Brotherhood.
- Grand Master Valdar Aurikon - Valdar Aurikon commands the 3rd Brotherhood with Arvann Stern as its Brother-Captain. The 3rd Brotherhood has always held a place of honour within the Chapter. It was, according to legend, Janus' own Brotherhood, and throughout the long history of the Grey Knights it has fostered many of the Chapter’s greatest heroes. Kaldor Draigo was Brother-Captain and then Grand Master of the 3rd, with Arvann Stern following in the Supreme Grand Master's footsteps. With a reputation for glory, the 3rd has also borne the attentions of some of the Grey Knights’ greatest foes. Many times during its history the 3rd has come close to extinction, daemonic adversaries seeking vengeance for the actions of its Brother-Captain or Grand Master.
- Grand Master Drystann Cromm - Drystann Cromm, Keeper of the Augurium, commands the 4th Brotherhood with Ionan Grud as its Brother-Captain. The 4th Brotherhood contains many of the Chapter's most potent psykers, warriors with an instinctual understanding of the Warp that goes even beyond that of their peers. It is from the 4th Brotherhood that new Prognosticars are often chosen, after they become too badly wounded to fight. The Brotherhood has also displayed an uncanny ability to sense danger before it materialises.
- Grand Master Rothwyr Morvans - Rothwyr Morvans, Protector of the Sanctum Sanctorum, commands the 5th Brotherhood with Tauros Hendron as its Brother-Captain. Some of the greatest heroes of the Grey Knights continue in their duty even after their bodies have been crippled beyond repair, entombed within one of the Chapter's Dreadnoughts. The 5th Brotherhood has long been the warden of the wealth of the Grey Knights' Dreadnoughts, its Grand Master as much the chronicler of their deeds as their commander. While other Brotherhoods contain Dreadnoughts, most of these begin within the Sanctum Sanctorum, their histories and glories carefully considered before they are honoured with entombment. Grand Master Morvans is one of the few that speaks with the ancient warriors, often awakening them for war. In battle the 5th will often be deployed alongside several Dreadnoughts, as Morvans is aware that if one of these deathless warriors is left too long dormant he might never be roused. It is a cycle of war that the Dreadnoughts are doomed to repeat endlessly, as long as the Chapter has need of their might.
- Grand Master Anval Laraon - Anval Laraon, High Seneschal of the Fortress, commands the 6th Brotherhood with Caddon Varn as its Brother-Captain. Laraon is an exacting warrior, a trait that saw him ascend to the rank of High Seneschal and is reflected in the warriors of the 6th. The Grand Master believes in no wasted effort or force, often arguing to the Chapter Council against the use of more than a single part of a Brotherhood unless the most extreme circumstances call for it. Laraon understands there are far too few Grey Knights for the task of protecting the Imperium, and is loath to waste a single one. The High Seneschal believes that, striking at the right time and in the right place, a handful of Grey Knights can do the job of a whole Brotherhood.
- Grand Master Covan Leorac - Covan Leorac, Representative to the Inquisition, commands the 7th Brotherhood with Darig Tegvar as its Brother-Captain. The Inquisition and the Grey Knights are inextricably intertwined, their goals often aligning. The 7th Brotherhood has a long history of operations alongside the Ordo Malleus, and many Brother-Captains have personal relationships with Inquisitors. As a result, respected Inquisitors are more likely to gain favour from the Brotherhood if they call for aid, as more than one Inquisitor has learned. Grand Master Leorac maintains the Chapter’s secret knowledge of the Inquisition, tomes of lore on the Inquisitors of each Ordo reaching back thousands of standard years. It is rare for individual Battle-Brothers to serve with the same Inquisitor more than once, lest either should learn too much of the other.
- Grand Master Aidan Perdon - Aidan Perdon, Knight Commander of the Recruits, commands the 8th Brotherhood with Mithrac Tor as its Brother-Captain. When a newly forged Battle-Brother joins the ranks of the Grey Knights he will often be sequestered to the 8th Brotherhood. If he proves himself, he may then find a place within one of the other Brotherhoods, depending on his natural talents and the favour of the Grand Masters. In time, many of these Battle-Brothers remain with the 8th, understanding the importance of finding those rare recruits suitable to become Grey Knights and keeping the Chapter alive.
- Grand Master Vorth Mordrak - The sole survivor of the attack upon the Fortress World of Mortain by the Renegade Space Marines of the Red Corsairs, Grand Master Vorth Mordrak has continued to be protected by the ghostly apparitions of his fallen comrades. Determined to finally lay the fallen to rest, Mordrak has sworn to end the despicable individual responsible for his Battle-Brothers' deaths, the powerful Chaos Lord Huron Blackheart.
- Grand Master Mandulis - Mandulis led a force of three hundred Grey Knights on the Chaos-corrupted world of Khorion IX in an attempt to vanquish the Daemon Ghargatuloth back into the Immaterium. His Nemesis Weapon became a key device in a sequence of events that come into play after he vanquishes the daemon into the Warp for one thousand standard years. The sacrifice of the three hundred Grey Knights results in the banishing of Ghargatuloth. None, save the body of Grand Master Mandulis and his Nemesis Weapon, were recovered. His sword is thought to be the only weapon capable of destroying Ghargatuloth again.
- Castellan Garran Crowe - A noble exemplar of the Grey Knights, Castellan Crowe is both head and Brotherhood Champion of the Chapter's Purifier Order. Crowe is charged with warding the powerful artefact known as the Blade of Antwyr, a daemonic sword that continuously puts Crowe in both physical and spiritual peril, as it eternally tempts him with promises of power if he will embrace Chaos or threatens to bind his will with its black sorceries.
- Brother-Captain Taremar Aurellian - Brother-Captain Taremar Aurellian of the 3rd Brotherhood -– called Taremar the Gold for his maddeningly long list of noble deeds -– Warden of the 3rd Brotherhood and master of the flagship. He had been chosen to lead the ad hoc force of Grey Knights known as the "Ragged Brotherhood" against the Daemon Primarch Angron of the World Eaters, who had besieged the world of Armageddon with his Traitor Legion and the Forces of Chaos in 444.M41. As Grand Master Vaurmand, overall Lord of the 3rd Brotherhood, was bound to remain in the Grey Knights' fortress-monastery back on Titan, Captain Aurellian was chosen to represent the Grand Master during the First War for Armageddon campaign. The Grey Knights force was composed of 109 Grey Knights. A mere 18 remained on Titan. The rest of the Chapter were engaged in their own battles elsewhere across the galaxy. When the call came, the Grey Knights teleported into the midst of the advancing Chaos horde, surrounding the gigantic Daemon Primarch. The Grey Knights also faced the Twelve—the Cruor Praetoria, the twelve strongest daemons of Khorne whose lives and deeds most pleased their wretched Blood God. Taking heavy losses from Angron's enormous, tainted weapon, the Black Blade, the Grey Knights inflicted their own punishment, and eventually some of their attacking squads managed to come within melee distance. After Angron mangled his squad, Brother Hyperion of Squad Castian was the only Grey Knight left standing. Trying to protect a still-surviving squad mate, in a tremendous display of faith, power, and effort, Hyperion used his psyker abilities to shatter the Primarch's blade—while he collapsed into unconsciousness from the effort. Brother-Captain Aurellian of the 3rd Brotherhood, master of the Ruler of the Black Skies and a Knight of Titan, then boldly confronted the bladeless Daemon Prince of Khorne and managed to banish him back to the Warp for one hundred Terran years, though at the cost of his own life.
- Brother-Captain Leodegarius - Seeking to return home to Ultramar after the completion of a Death Oath in the Eye of Terror, the Omphalos Daemonium (a daemon train that traverses the Warp to wherever its daemon master wills it) dumps Ultramarines Captain Uriel Ventris and his Sergeant, Pasanius Lysane, on the world of Salinas. While upon Salinas, the stranded Ultramarines send an astropathic message to the Ultramarines' fortress on the world of Macragge. A Grey Knights outpost intercepts the message, and learns of Uriel's and Pasanius' foray into the Eye of Terror. A squad is immediately dispatched to test their faith and flesh. While on Salinas, and after these tests, the Grey Knights aid Uriel and the Salinites in defeating the 'Unfleshed' and vengeful spirits of wrongly-murdered Salinites.
- Brother-Captain Arvann Stern - Brother-Captain Stern has served the Grey Knights for many long years and is a prominent Daemonhunter. His most famous act was the destruction of the Cult of the Red Talon and the banishment of its master, the Lord of Change M'kachen, back to the Warp for one hundred Terran years and a day. When the vengeful daemon finally returned to realspace, he vowed to slay Captain Stern no matter the cost. M'kachen appears on the battlefield to face Stern every chance he gets, and if unable to come personally, sends one of his most powerful daemonic servants to attempt the deed for him. Stern is approximately 400 standard years old and has battled M'kachen three times so far. Each time, the Brother-Captain has proven his ability to withstand the power of the Greater Daemon and he has defeated the creature and its minions.
- Chaplain Durendin - A venerable Grey Knights Chaplain that always wore an enormous suit of Terminator Armour when seeing to the Chapter's spiritual health. One arm was painted a glossy black to signify his office as Chaplain and the rest was the traditional gunmetal grey. Durendin wore the same pair of ornate lightning claws that had been passed down since the chapter's earliest days.
- Justicar Alaric - Justicar Alaric found himself and the Grey Knights strike force under his command hunting down the Daemon Prince of Tzeentch named Ghargatuloth, the Prince of a Thousand Faces. In the course of this hunt, Alaric discovered a number of hidden Chaos Cults along the Trail of St. Evisser, a sequence of Imperial worlds scattered across the far western edge of the Segmentum Solar, who were servants of the Daemon Prince. When his ally in the hunt, the Inquisitor Ligeia, found her mind being altered by the powers of the daemons, and was subsequently executed at the Inquisitorial prison located on Mimas, another of the moons of Saturn, Alaric was forced to decipher the secrets of the Trail himself. His quest finally lead him to Vulcanis Ultor, the Hive Superior (Hive World) of the Trail. It was on Vulcanis, after a brief battle with the confused Sisters of Battle of the Order of the Bloody Rose, that Alaric made his way into the Fallen Saint Evisser's tomb and faced off against the Chaos-corrupted body of the saint and its unimaginable strength. It is only when his fellow Grey Knight, the Terminator Justicar Tancred, smote the Chaos-corrupted Saint that Ghargatuloth was able to emerge into realspace. By saying the daemon's true name, Alaric brought the creature into the physical realm, where with the help of all the loyal Imperial forces nearby they banished the Daemon Prince back into the Warp for another one thousand Terran years. Mental qualities normally destroyed by the training of a Grey Knight such as imagination and creativity were still found in Alaric. Combined with the physical and psychic abilities of a Grey Knight, his sharp mind was the decisive factor that later allowed him to survive on the Daemon World of Drakaasi where he was captured and stripped of his armor. These same characteristics are sometimes deemed by his peers as an unwanted risk amongst Grey Knights and may ultimately prevent Alaric from attaining the rank of Captain within the Chapter. However, Inquisitor Nyxos seems to have special plans to better employ Alaric's skills within the Inquisition in the days to come.
- Justicar Tancred - Tancred is revered within the Chapter as the best swordsman Justicar Alaric has ever seen, second only to Brother-Captain Arvann Stern himself. Tancred himself could become a Grey Knights Captain in his own right, but chose the life of the elite soldier instead. Having never met his match in battle, nor finding an agent of Chaos strong enough to contend with him, Tancred finally met his death following the summoning of the Daemon Prince Ghargatuloth. The Grey Knight strike force sent to stop the rising of the daemon met the Herald of the Prince of a Thousand Faces, who was none other than the daemon-warped corpse of the Fallen Saint Evisser. Standing four times the height of a Grey Knight, the Saint fought the strike force and slaughtered any Astartes who strayed too near. Tancred, wounded and wielding the Sword of Mandulis, rose from the smoke and approached the Fallen Saint, saying the time-honoured Battle Prayer of a Martyred Grey Knight, "I am the Hammer. I am the sword in His hand. I am the Gauntlet about His fist. I am the Bane of His foes and the woes of the treacherous. I am the End." With two of his Battle-Brothers, Justicar Santoro and Justicar Alaric, Tancred beheaded the Fallen Saint, and allowed Ghargatuloth to be born into realspace once more, giving Alaric the opportunity he needed to say the daemon's true name. In doing so, Tancred gave his life, but brought about the banishment of the Prince of a Thousand Faces. Neither Tancred's body nor his armour were found in the aftermath of Ghargatuloth's banishment, which has left some to speculate that he may still be alive within the mind-altering eddies of the Warp.
- Justicar Anval Thawn - Destined to perform great deeds, Anval Thawn was found by the Grey Knights' Gatherers aboard one of the many Black Ships that continuously scour the galaxy to bring powerful psykers to Terra. The many notable deeds performed by this valiant Grey Knight earned Thawn the rank of Justicar, and he soon came to rival the Chapter's greatest and most honoured heroes. Thawn was eventually slain upon the unholy spear of a foul daemon. When he was to be interred within the holy crypts on the Grey Knights' homeworld of Titan, he was miraculously resurrected from death by unknown means. Since that time, Thawn has died several times, but on each occasion, he somehow returns to life, ready to continue to battle the enemies of Mankind. Some believe he is an agent of destiny, the promised immortal warrior of prophecy who, at the last, will die surrounded by enemies at the foot of the Golden Throne itself. Whether this prophecy will come to pass remains to be seen.
- Battle-Brother Majoris Dvorn - Dvorn is firmly wedded to his Nemesis Force Hammer, an unusual weapon choice for a Grey Knight but perfectly suited to his aggressive personality. He has survived three major encounters with the Forces of Chaos and after the Massacre of Sarthis, Majoris Dvorn has been granted his own suit of Tactical Dreadnought Armour and a place amongst Captain Stern's retinue of Terminators.
- Augury Malifica - The Augury Malifica was crafted by the techno-seers of the Grey Knights Chapter. A heavily modified Auspex scanner, it is barely recognisable as the original device. Strange attachments have been added, subtle alterations have been made, and seven rituals of detection were performed to consecrate the Augury. The result is a piece of equipment that can, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, detect the malignant auras of daemons in the vicinity, and even, on rare occasions, predict an imminent Warp breach. However, the Augury’s presence in the Deathwatch Vaults is not with the blessing of the Grey Knights, for they are entirely unaware that the Deathwatch have it in their possession. Rather, they believe it lost to the foul hands of the Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines, and have been actively seeking its recovery for many years. It would be most detrimental to Chapter relations should the item’s real location be revealed.
- Blade of Antwyr - The Blade of Antwyr is a Warp-spawned weapon that was captured by the Chapter and is impervious to all means at the the Grey Knights' disposal to destroy it. The Grey Knights were reluctant to simply cast the dangerous artefact into the void of interstellar space where they knew that eventually a new bearer would be drawn to its evil aura or to seal it away in a vault within their fortress-monastery as it would only invite corruption to the Chamber's guardians. A fateful decision was made to place the Black Blade of Antwyr into the safest prison the Grey Knights could conceive; the hands of the Chapter's own Purifiers. Castellan Garran Crowe is the current guardian of the malefic weapon, and it continuously brings him into both physical and spiritual peril by tempting him with Chaotic promises of power or seeking to bind his will with black sorcery.
- Bone Shard of Solor - This bleached relic was carved from the thighbone of Brother-Captain Solor. Used as a stake to slay the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha, the shard has ever since been the bane of beasts, especially those dedicated to the Blood God Khorne, which recoil from its presence. When the veil between the Warp and reality grows thin, the bone begins to vibrate, the ancient essence of Solor reacting to the taint of Daemons and protecting the bearer from their otherworldly claws and blades.
- Cuirass of Sacrifice - The Cuirass of Sacrifice is a master-forged suit of Power Armour whose interior is etched with the names of the many regiments, orders and Chapters that have fought alongside the Grey Knights. None but the Grey Knights can be trusted to fight the creatures of the Warp and remain uncorrupted, and the fate of many other warriors that fight Daemons and survive is mindwipe or death. The Cuirass is a reminder to the Grey Knights that such sacrifice must not be forgotten, and the wearer swears a solemn vow not to dishonour the names of those who have suffered such a fate whilst even an ounce of strength remains in his body.
- Domina Liber Daemonica - Many Grey Knight Battle-Brothers carry with them a copy of the Liber Daemonica, a tool that can be as vital to vanquishing Daemons as blade or Bolter. The Domina Liber Daemonica is a relic of Supreme Grand Master Janus, the only Grey Knight to ever master all 666 words of banishment, each one painstakingly recorded on its pages. In times of need a hero of the Chapter will carry the book into battle, its bindings crackling with arcane energy as the words fill the air and lend the Battle-Brothers' blows the power to send Daemons howling back into the Warp.
- The Fury of Deimos - When the moon of Deimos was gifted to Titan by the Adeptus Mechanicus, it carried with it a voidship loaded with some of the finest weapons the Imperium has ever created. Among them was the Storm Bolter Fury of Deimos, a weapon crafted by the first Fabricator General. Superior in range, accuracy, rate of fire and reliability than a normal pattern Storm Bolter, it is a relic whose secrets have long been forgotten.
- The Nemesis Banner - Anointed in the blood of a dozen Grand Masters, the Nemesis Banner is one of the Chapter's most potent relics. The banner is abhorrent to creatures of the Warp, its psychic light burning so bright that Daemons cannot look upon it, their very essence burning away the closer they come to its presence.
- The Soul Glaive - Over centuries of war, a fraction of a Grey Knight's psychic essence may imprint itself upon his weapon, literally becoming an extension of his being. In rare cases, this imprint is so strong that it persists after death, and another can wield the blade in battle to combine their own psychic might with that of a fallen hero. The Soul Glaive is such a weapon, a halberd that in generations past was carried into battle by the 13th Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights, Lord Sylas Kalthorn, who defeated the Daemon Prince Ka'laedzar in single combat.
- The Terminus Decree - Deep within the Chambers of Purity in the Grey Knights' fortress-monastery, locked away in the chamber said to hold the tomb of Malcador the Sigillite himself, rests a simple wooden box, embellished with a golden seal. Within this box, written upon ancient parchment, is the instruction known only as the Terminus Decree. This artefact goes unrecorded in all the libraries of the Imperium, for it has been kept secret from all but the Supreme Grand Masters of the Grey Knights Chapter. Only a Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights knows how to open the box, and he will do so only when all hope for the future of humanity seems lost. The Terminus Decree is the ultimate sanction of the Grey Knights, a secret so vast it could bring the Imperium to its knees, or save it in its darkest hour. The exact nature of the document is unknown, and the only clue to its contents lies in the box's golden seal. It is whispered that it is the exact match of another seal, found only in one place in all the Imperium's many scattered worlds: the Emperor's Golden Throne.
- Titansword - A relic of the earliest days of the Imperium, the Titansword has been entrusted to the Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights since records began. Stories of the Nemesis Force Blade give it many names: Mind's Edge, Foebane and Lifedrinker to name a few. Legends say the Emperor forged the blade for a favoured general during the Unification Wars on Terra, teaching him how to use his mind to trigger its terrible powers. During the Great Crusade it then passed into the hands of his champions, spilling alien blood on a hundred worlds as Mankind reclaimed the stars. When Malcador the Sigilite took the first Grey Knights to Titan, one of the relics he carried with him was rumoured to be this ancient Force Sword. Along with his pure genetic legacy and psychic power, it was one of the Emperor's gifts to the newly founded Chapter. Renamed the Titansword by Janus, the first Supreme Grand Master, the blade must be psychically attuned to each new master. Only once it is keyed to the mind of the wielder can its true killing power be called upon.
Grey Knights Heraldry
The Grey Knights have endured for millennia, their Chapter built upon a web of ancient traditions and oaths. These sacred customs and doctrines are reflected in the weapons they use, the armour they wear and the heraldry they bear, each one a part of their proud history. Grey Knights heraldry is most ifte depicted upon the portion of their grey Aegis Armour known as the heraldric shield.
Red, white and black are the common colours of almost all Grey Knights heraldry, these being colours used by the first Grand Masters when they forsook their Legions and embraced the sacred duty the Emperor had given them. Each icon and colour has its own meaning within the Chapter; skulls indicate the quelling of powerful daemonic foes and swords battlefield honours, for example as shown above. Crenellated lines, divisions of colour and which colour is ascendant all represent a Battle-Brother's position within his Brotherhood, the colour, direction and gradient of the line or division each having its own meaning.
Grey Knights will sometimes incorporate symbology of their allies into their heraldry if they are especially deserving. In this case the dominate skull above bears the icon of the Inquisition, showing a great victory won over a potent daemonic foe but with the aid of one of the Holy Ordos. However, it is rare for these symbols to be adopted as there are few allies worthy enough to earn the respect of the Grey Knights. Sometimes a Battle-Brother will take the icon of an ally which has been exterminated or mind-wiped in the aftermath of battle. Thus the only reminder of their existence remains upon the Battle-Brother's heraldic shield, a forlorn reminder of their service to the Grey Knights while they lived.
The icon of a sword is a powerful symbol within Grey Knights heraldry. This can represent an act that preserved the Battle-Brother's squad, turned the tide of an important confrontation or brought about the destruction of a most hated foe. A white sword on red as above is a symbol of the Emperor's mercy, an act considered inspired by the Master of Mankind's benevolence. A black sword on red is a measure of the Emperor's wrath and is granted for acts of vengeance. Rarer are red swords on black that show the Emperor's righteous rage, and the madness that faith can bring. A Grey Knights Battle-Brother who bears a red sword has been driven to the edge of his duty and managed to claw his way back, bloody but alive.
The stylized symbol of the Imperial Aquila shown here is a sacred icon to the Grey Knights, and only its most proven heroes bear it upon their heraldry. It represents a great deed of service to the Emperor, something so significant as to eclipse all his other glories and take the dominate position upon his shield. Typically only Grand Masters, Brother-Captains and Paladins will be seen wearing the Aquila dominate, but in rare cases a Justicar or Battle-Brother will bear the symbol should they be worthy of the honour. The nature of this rare service is as varied as the Battle-Brothers honoured by it, the only commonality their devotion to the Emperor and the favour of the Grand Masters.
Symbols can be overlaid on a Grey Knight's heraldry to indicate a combination of meaning and the deeds they represent. The white sword blade driven through the horned skull shown here depicts an act of the Emperor's mercy that brought about the destruction of a powerful daemonic creature. While the Grey Knight will have destroyed the beast, it may have been at the expense of an innocent life, and is thus considered an act of benevolence. These deeds define a Grey Knight, and often a Battle-Brother will not further modify his heraldry after such an event, to show that at this moment he was most true in his duty to the Emperor.
Sometimes a Grey Knight will be called upon to step beyond the realms of reality to hold back the minions of the Dark Gods. This can mean stepping into the Warp, walking upon Daemon Worlds or standing under skies that weep the very stuff of Chaos. A Battle-Brother that lives through such an ordeal might mark it upon his heraldry as a stylized flame as shown here. A skull, sword or other marking will be depicted wreathed in this flame, showing that the deed in question was committed in a place where the power of Daemonkind held sway. It is accepted that a victory won within the Warp is far harder than one won in the material realm. A Battle-Brother that can best his foes while bathed in the dark radiance of the Chaos Gods is a great warrior indeed.
There are at least two different documented versions of the Grey Knights' Chapter colours. Earlier portrayals show the Chapter's Aegis Armour as being black, with ornate silver gauntlets, shoulder plates, and decorations with the Chapter symbol displayed in gold. The second source depicts the Grey Knights as wearing steel grey or silver Aegis Armour, with ornate gold decoration prevalent on many parts of the armour. The latter is the currently accepted livery, black and silver colour schemes being already well-used in several named Chapters, most notably the Deathwatch Space Marines who are the Chamber Militant of the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos.
In both cases, each individual Space Marine bears personal heraldry, either on their shoulder plate, or on a small shield positioned over the left shoulder, facing forward. The heraldry designs incorporate black, white and red, with iconography usually made up of swords and skulls. For Grey Knight Battle-Brothers and Justicars, heraldry often includes their squad markings. However, Grey Knights in Terminator Armour are permitted to use their own design, with one half typically depicting their own heraldry, and the other half simple battle honour markings.
The badge of the Grey Knights Chapter is an open book, the Liber Daemonica, with a sword stabbing through it. In all accounts of the Chapter, this always remains constant.
Like other Space Marine Chapters, the Grey Knights' primary mode of transportation is the Strike Cruiser class of Imperial starship that is exclusive to the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. However, the Grey Knights' starships are specially modified in several ways. One is the hexagrammic and anti-daemonic wards that are built into the entire ship from bridge to landing struts and every bulkhead in between, similar to those that are placed under the skin of the Grey Knights themselves. These wards lend the vessel added protection from the Forces of Chaos. Also, the Grey Knights' Strike Cruisers are equipped with significantly more advanced armour than the starships of other Chapters. This is to allow them to close with more powerful foes and reach their destination safely, since the Grey Knights must fight more powerful enemies than the standard Adeptus Astartes Chapters. All Grey Knights ships also contain teleportation chambers, and have specially modified Warp-Drives that allow them to reach their destinations much faster than conventional Imperial warships. The landing and Drop Pod bays of Grey Knights vessels are enlarged to be able to deploy larger numbers of Space Marines faster. The mortal crew members of Grey Knights Strike Cruisers are all strictly mind-wiped to prevent the possible taint of Chaos corruption, and are psychically implanted with a key word which will kill them automatically by shutting down their autonomic nervous systems should their vessel fall into the hands of the Forces of Chaos.
Grey Knight starships do not broadcast any known transponder codes, and the vessels do not exist in any Imperial registry. According to the Inquisition policy of secrecy, any unauthorised contact, however fleeting, with a Grey Knights vessel will subject the contactees to the appropriate countermeasures, including mind-wipe or liquidation.
The advanced nature of the Grey Knights' starships are made possible by two factors. The first is their fortress-monastery's close proximity to Mars, the greatest Forge World in the Imperium of Man, which allows the Chapter access to technology that was lost or is impossible to replicate anywhere else in the Imperium. The vast resources that the Ordo Malleus makes available to the Grey Knights due to their position as the Ordo's Chamber Militant also allows the Grey Knights to obtain nearly any piece of equipment or technology available from other Imperial Adepta.
Known Grey Knights Vessels
- Bright Sword (Battle Barge) - One of four Battle Barges commanded by Grand Master Vorth Mordrak, the Grey Knights' current Admiral of the Fleet.
- Emperor's Will (Battle Barge) - The Emperor's Will is one of four Battle Barges commanded by Grand Master Vorth Mordrak, the Grey Knights' current Admiral of the Fleet.
- Fire of Dawn (Battle Barge) - The Fire of Dawn was the flagship of the Chapter's 8th Brotherhood. It participated in the Armageddon containment campaign under the command of Grand Master Joros after the First War for Armageddon. The Fire of Dawn is one of four Battle Barges currently commanded by Grand Master Vorth Mordrak.
- Glaive of Janus (Battle Barge) - The Glaive of Janus was the flagship of the 1st Brotherhood for 10,000 years. It was destroyed in 445.M41 by the Space Wolves during the Armageddon containment campaign. All hands, including over 50 of the Chapter's most venerated Astartes, were lost with it.
- Redeemer of Souls (Battle Barge) - One of four Battle Barges commanded by Grand Master Vorth Mordrak, the Grey Knights' current Admiral of the Fleet.
- Ruler of the Black Skies (Battle Barge) - The Ruler of the Black Skies was the flagship of the Chapter's 3rd Brotherhood. It participated in the First War for Armageddon under the command of Brother-Captain Taremar Aurellian.
- Rubicon (Strike Cruiser) - The Rubicon served Grand Master Tencendur during the capture of the renegade Inquisitor Valinov and later transported Justicar Alaric and his strike team during the Hunt for Ghargatuloth. The Rubicon sacrificed itself to deliver Justicar Alaric and his warriors to the surface of Volcanis Ultor.
- Valour Saturnum (Strike Cruiser) - The Valour Saturnum participated in the Purging of Khorion IX.
- Vengeful (Strike Cruiser) - The Vengeful participated in the Purging of Khorion IX.
- Equinox Blade (Strike Cruiser) - The Equinox Blade was commanded by Brother-Captain Danicus during the Harrowing of the Night Reapers. The Strike Cruiser was damaged by the explosion of the Space Hulk Perun Cross. The Night Reapers Renegade Space Marine Chapter had hoped to turn the tide on their pursuers, the Red Templars, Minotaurs and Grey Knights, by destroying the wreck.
- Makhaira (Destroyer) - The Makhaira participated in the Armageddon containment campaign.
- Xiphos (Destroyer) - The Xiphos participated in the Armageddon containment campaign.
- Karabela (Escort Frigate) - The Karabela was the frigate and transport of the Grey Knights' Interceptor Squad Castian. It participated in the First War for Armageddon under command of Justicar Galeo, and in the Armageddon containment campaign under joint command of Brothers Hyperion and Malchadiel. It had the dubious distinction of firing the first shot in the internecine war between the Inquisition and the Space Wolves Chapter after the First War for Armageddon.
- Kaskara (Escort Frigate) - The Kaskara was lost in 445.M41 during the Armageddon containment campaign, likely destroyed by the Space Wolves.
- Spatha (Escort Frigate) - The Spatha was lost in 445.M41 during the Armageddon containment campaign, likely destroyed by the Space Wolves.
- Armistice (Unknown Class) - The Armistice participated in the Armageddon containment campaign.
- Blade's Fall (Unknown Class) - The Blade's Fall participated in the Armageddon containment campaign.
- Flawless (Unknown Class) - The Flawless participated in the Armageddon containment campaign.
- Solemnity (Unknown Class) - The Solemnity participated in the Armageddon containment campaign. It was destroyed in 445.M41 during the final phase of that campaign, the Inquisitorial siege of The Fang.
- Unforesaken (Unknown Class) - The Unforesaken was a massive and ancient Imperial warship of an unknown class. It was destroyed in 444.M41 while on duty in Titan's defence fleet, rammed by the Space Wolves Destroyer Veregelt when the latter translated into realspace within Titan's gravity well. The Veregelt had been compromised while trying to reach Titan with news of the coming campaign by Chaos to conquer the strategic Hive World of Armageddon in what would eventually become the First War for Armageddon.
- The Chapter Librarius employs specially trained Warpseers called Prognosticators. Unlike standard Grey Knights Librarians, who often act as line officers accompanying the Chapter's squads on missions, the Prognosticar is strictly a command staff position. They advise the Chapter Council and other top officers of the Grey Knights' hierarchy of their auguries on forming or yet-unrealised Chaotic threats. Lower-ranked Grey Knights are granted audience only if summoned by them. The Prognosticars are based in the Augurium, a tower within the Chapter Librarium on Titan.
- The Chapter's fallen are interred in the "Dead Fields" deep under its fortress-monastery on Titan. A special category of Chapter Serfs called Ferrymen are responsible for transporting the dead hero to his place of actual interment, and for inscribing his deeds on his funerary memorial. At least one such serf, the Ferryman Phlegyras who served during the middle of the 41st Millennium, was a highly unusual specimen, as he may have previously been a Grey Knight who was also, or had become, a Blank.
- The Grey Knights are fully embedded in the hierarchy of the Inquisition, being permanently attached to the Ordo Malleus as its Chamber Militant.
- Grey Knights do not normally retain any memories of their previous life. However, there have been exceptions.
- The Grey Knights' relationship with the Ordo Malleus has been described as one of "ruthless efficiency." If a representative of the Inquisition is present, the Grey Knights look to him or her for orders, no matter their rank, as seen when Justicar Alaric looked to Interrogator Hawkespur for orders, although he technically outranked her as she had not yet been raised to the rank of a full Inquisitor. When undertaking joint missions with Inquisitors, the Grey Knights command the military aspect of the operation, while the Inquisitor maintains a wider perspective of the mission and retains overall control of the direction of the campaign.
- Grey Knights refuse to work and fight alongside Radical Inquisitors, that is, those Inquisitors who attempt to harness the power of Chaos or xenos in an attempt to defeat them.
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Grey Knights (7th Edition)
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition)
- Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter (RPG), pp. 6-9
- Horus Heresy – Volume IV: Visions of Death
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 6-30, 157
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 137
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned, pp. 22-23
- Index Astartes II, "Purge the Unclean - The Grey Knights and Deathwatch Chapters"
- The Inquisition (Background Book)
- Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (1st Edition), pp. 272-277
- Warhammer: Dark Millennium (CCG), pg. 22
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 254-255
- White Dwarf 303 (US), "Rise of the Marines", pg. 30
- White Dwarf 279 (US), "Codicium Imperialis: The First Battle for Armageddon" by Graham McNeill and Andy Hoare
- White Dwarf 260 (AUS), "Index Astartes – Purge the Unclean"
- White Dwarf 259 (US), "Index Astartes: Purge the Unclean, the Grey Knights & Deathwatch Chapters"
- White Dwarf 114 (US), "Grey Knight Terminator Squads: Space Marine Chapter 666", pp. 11-14
- White Dwarf 113 (US), "Citadel Catalogue Pages", pp. 76-80
- Age of Darkness (Anthology), "The Last Remembrancer" (Short Story) by John French
- Dark Adeptus (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Garro: Oath of Moment (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- Garro: Legion of One (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- Grey Knights (Novel) by Ben Counter
- The Hammer of Daemons (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology), "Headhunted" (Short Story) by Steve Parker
- Victories of the Space Marines (Anthology), "Sacrifice" (Short Story) by Ben Counter
- The Emperor's Gift (Novel) by Aaron Demski-Bowden
- The Killing Ground (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Pandorax (Novel) by C.Z. Dunn
- Angels of Death - The Ghost Halls (Short Story) by L.J. Goulding
- Games Workshop - Brother-Captain Stern
- Games Workshop - Brother-Captain
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Terminators
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Purifiers
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Paladins
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Strike Squad
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Purgation Squad
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Interceptor Squad
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Crusaders
- Games Workshop - Grey Knights Nemesis Dreadknight