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Grey Knights Supreme Grand Master

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"I do not know if daemons feel fear, doubt, or uncertainty in the face of their foes. If anything could elicit such a response in those damned creatures, then surely it would be the Grey Knights."
Inquisitor Lord Zagthusa Zeist, Ordo Malleus
Lord kaldor draigo by piyastudios

Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo combating daemons within the Realm of Chaos

A Grey Knights Supreme Grand Master is the senior-most Battle-Brother of the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter. This venerable rank is equivalent to the Chapter Master of other Space Marine Chapters. Also referred to as Chapter Lord, the Supreme Grand Master has complete authority over the rest of the Chapter. However, a Grey Knight can only be appointed as a Supreme Grand Master with the unanimous consent of every other Grey Knights Grand Master, thus ensuring that an unsuitable candidate does not attain dominion over the Chapter. As of 999.M41, the current holder of the title of Supreme Grand Master is Kaldor Draigo.

RoleEdit

The life of a Grey Knight is one of sacrifice and duty as he faces the worst horrors of the Warp and sends them screaming back to their foul masters. He will never know peace or respite and he will never know mercy from his enemies, not that a Grey Knight would ever hope for such things. For a Grey Knight, life only has meaning while in service to the Emperor and deeds only carry weight when undertaken in His name. Should he live long enough, however, and survive the countless trials and struggles against his daemonic foes, he can hope to rise up within the Chapter and take on another mantle, such as that of a Paladin or a Purifier, and be counted as an elite warrior even amongst the Emperor’s elite. Those very few Grey Knights who survive the centuries battling upon thousands of worlds, slaying daemons unnumbered, may be elevated to the elite rank of Grand Master, each a spiritual heir of one of the eight Astartes who helped to found the Inquisition ten millennia ago during the Horus Heresy and which is counted by ancient tradition as the Chapter's Founding.

The Grey Knights are governed and directed by a Chapter Council consisting of all eight Grand Masters and the Chapter Lord -- formally referred to as the Supreme Grand Master. The existence of this Chapter Council is one of the Grey Knights' oldest traditions, as laid down at the founding of the Inquisition by Malcador the Sigillite 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 lies on the battlefield. The Grey Knights are spread thin throughout the galaxy, and it is not always possible for a Grey Knights Captain to command every strike force. The Grand Masters take charge of the most crucial campaigns where even an experienced 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.

WargearEdit

  • Aegis Terminator Armour
  • Iron Halo
  • Wrist-Mounted 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.

Psychic PowersEdit

  • 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 Supreme Grand MastersEdit

  • 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 Calastan - In 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Supreme Grand Master Orias - Lord Orias was brought low in the 39th Millennium by the Daemon Prince and Plague Lord Herperitus. Mortally wounded but still alive, Lord Orias was interred within a Dreadnought and continues to serve the Chapter to this day.
  • 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 Kaldor Draigo - During the daemonic incursion on the world of Acralem in 799.M41, then-Battle-Brother Draigo fought against the Daemon Prince 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 promoted 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 standard years to the day after Draigo's victory on Acralem, the Grey Knights received an astropathic beacon bringing news to Titan that Acralem had once again been invaded by M'kar and his daemonic 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 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 at battle's end. The fortitude of character that Draigo possesses to endure this half-life is unheard of, yet endure it he does. He continues to walk the Realm of Chaos, continuing his eternal battle against the Chaos Gods. But there is hope that while Draigo still lives, he will one day yet prevail and be reunited with his Chapter.

SourcesEdit

  • Codex: Grey Knights (7th Edition), pp. 14, 19, 21, 27-29, 35, 44, 51, 61, 83, 86-89, 91, 98-99, 188
  • Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pp. 6, 12, 15, 22, 38-39

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