- "Today's ally is merely tomorrow's traitor. We will be watching you."
- — Grand Master Agraveld Tor speaking at the Antares Conclave
A Grey Knights Grand Master is the second-highest rank that can be attained within the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter. A Grand Master is a member of the Inner Conclave of the Inquisition and the Chapter Council of Grand Masters who govern the Grey Knights. By tradition, there are eight Grand Masters of the Grey Knights. Each is the spiritual heir of one of the eight founding Astartes of the Inquisition who served Malcador the Sigillite ten thousand standard years ago during the Horus Heresy. A master daemonslayer, the Grand Master always wears Terminator Armor and wields a Nemesis Force Weapon in combat, and he is also a potent 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 his existence. Due to the amount of experience needed to become such a warrior, Grand Masters are typically ancient Space Marines who have seen nearly a millennium of service to the Emperor.
By ancient tradition of the Chapter, there are eight Grand Masters of the Grey Knights. To reach this rank is to have battled on ten thousand worlds, to have slain daemons unnumbered and to have stood stalwart as an unfailing example of honour and purity, not only to your Battle-Brothers, but to every soul in the Imperium. Even then, a new Grand Master can only be appointed by the will of those whose ranks he would join. Before he can be raised, the Chapter Council must be unanimous in its approval.
Grand Masters hold responsibility for maintaining the Chapter's many alliances, whether with other Adepta within the Imperium, or the various alien races with whom the Grey Knights have covert dealings. The actual detail of such treaties, pacts and accords are worked out by the Chapter's scribes -- a warrior's time is too precious to be expended on such bureaucratic detail. The Grand Master's chief role in these matters is to attend all meetings with outsiders in his full regalia of war. He speaks as little as is necessary, his grim and martial aspect a stark warning to any who would think to abuse his Chapter's trust. The threat in his manner is clear: betray us, and a thousand warriors such as I shall seek revenge.
Of course, as one of the Chapter's finest warriors, a Grand Master's principal duty is to take charge of those battles so pivotal or perilous that even the hardened warrior-skills of a Grey Knights Captain are deemed insufficient to the task at hand. Such a campaign is sure to see the Grey Knights at the very pinnacle of their abilities, for a Grand Master has a keen eye for strategy, and an uncanny skill for ensuring his troops fight at peak efficiency. Under a Grand Master's guiding will, a Grey Knights strike force will often adopt non-standard doctrines with a precision and speed that is nothing short of uncanny. Indeed, it is said by some that a Grand Master is apt to psychically control his subordinates' minds if it will bring victory. Others claim it is simply the hallmark of a remarkable leader, but none can truly say where the truth lies.
- Artificer Aegis Terminator Armour
- Iron Halo
- Storm Bolter
- Nemesis Force Sword
- Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades
- Psyk-Out Grenades
- Liber Daemonica - The Liber Daemonica is an enduring symbol of the Grey Knight's devotion to his mission, and contains the cardinal tenets of lore culled from the dark knowledge caged within the Sanctum Sanctorum's walls. Every Grey Knight carries a copy of the Liber Daemonica in a Ceramite case on his breastplate. These gnarled tomes contain the Chapter's rites of battle and detail the traditional duties of every Grey Knights' rank. 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.
- 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 in close combat -- given blade or hammer there is little limit to what they can slay.
- Psychic Communion - By concentrating his psychic potential, a Grey Knights commander can make contact with the minds of his fellows, guiding them on the battlefield at the very moment they are most needed. Many a battle has been won or lost based on such timely counsel.
Notable Grey Knight Grand MastersEdit
- Lord Karas Vaurmand, Grand Master of the 3rd Brotherhood – Vaurmand's face betrayed his advanced age, while his burnished armour dictated victory upon victory in gold-leaf script. During the First War for Armageddon Vaurmand was honour-bound by Chapter tradition to remain on Titan, guarding the Grey Knights' fortress-monastery in his brothers' absence. He chose Captain Taremar Aurellian, of the 3rd Brotherhood, to lead the Grey Knights strike force to Armageddon in his absence. As Lord Vaurmand was the only Grand Master present on Titan at the time, tradition dictated this fate, no matter how he raged against it: Titan must always have one of the eight Grand Masters present to oversee the order’s operations. With Vaurmand, only a skeleton presence remained to walk the cold halls of the Grey Knights' fortress-monastery even as the Daemon Primarch Angron assaulted Armageddon.
- Grand Master Mandulis - One of the few survivors of the Grey Knights strike force that banished the Daemon Primarch Angron in the First War for Armageddon, Mandulis led a force of 300 Grey Knights onto the Chaos-corrupted world of Khorion IX in an attempt to vanquish the Greater Daemon Ghargatuloth back into the Immaterium. His Nemesis Force Sword played a critical role in a sequence of events that unfolded after he vanquished the daemon into the Warp for one thousand Terran years, though the victory took the lives of Mandulis and every one of his brothers. Only the body of Mandulis and his weapon were recovered by the Chapter. His sword is thought to be the only weapon capable of destroying Ghargatuloth again.
- 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.
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pp. 12, 22, 40