House Minotos is a proud House of Imperial Knights that hails from the Knight World of Adrastapol. Like the other Adrastapolian knightly households, House Minotos is aligned with the Imperium of Man directly rather than with the Adeptus Mechanicus like other famous Noble Houses such as House Taranis or House Krast.
House Minotos has always possessed a reputation for great martial skill, even among the other seven Houses of Adrastapol, who recognise that none may match a Minotos Knight in battle. Despite their individual might, House Minotos has always stood in the shadow of the greater Houses such as House Chimaeros and House Draconis. Throughout its long and illustrious history, House Minotos has always faithfully served the High King of Adrastapol, although it has not held the title itself.
As with the other Knight Houses of Adrastapol, the origin of House Minotos is lost to the mists of Imperial history. The only accounts of those long-lost days now reside within the Thrones Mechanicum of the most ancient suits of Knight armour still in service. For most of its long history, House Minotos has enjoyed a reputation for martial excellency, but where the Scions of House Draconis are fierce and those of House Wyvorn were callous, the Knights of House Minotos are both courageous and noble. Together with House Chimaeros, House Draconis, House Manticos and House Pegasson, House Minotos fought and ultimately defeated the Renegade Knights of House Hydrax and House Medusos during the Horus Heresy, thus keeping Adrastapol within the realm of the Emperor.
When the Warboss Skarjaw led his Ork WAAAGH! to the Knight World, this ancient alliance of the Knight Houses of Adrastapol was reformed, for even mighty House Minotos could not hope to defeat Skarjaw's savage Greenskins and the towering Squiggoths they brought with them alone. Although House Minotos fought valiantly, the ultimate victory was claimed by House Draconis, whose Knights managed to slay Skarjaw and his personal guard, putting an end to the invasion. Yet the feral descendants of Skarjaw's horde proliferated across Adrastapol, giving way to what was later called the Ork Wars -- conflicts that House Minotos prosecuted with its customary zeal. It is commonly believed that it was during the Ork Wars that House Minotos developed its tradition of charging the foe at the sound of an ancient aria, each Knight of the House blasting this classic masterpiece from its built-in speaker-systems to sow fear in the hearts of their enemies.
Given its reputation, House Minotos has been at the forefront of every battle and war launched by the Noble scions of Adrastapol, including the Galhorm Crusade in whose wake the crown of the High King passed from House Chimaeros to House Draconis. Attrition levels in this particular campaign proved to be high, but House Minotos still had the numbers and resources to cope. As a firm friendship developed between the new High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis and the ruler of House Minotos, Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos, both Houses became staunch allies. A wise ruler, High King Tolwyn sought the support of the other Houses, elevating House Minotos alongside House Chimaeros and his own House into a central, ruling triumvirate that dominated the alliance formed by Adrastapol's knightly Houses.
More than other Houses, the Nobles of House Minotos rejoiced when news reached Adrastapol that the Imperium had mandated High King Tolwyn to launch the reconquest of the rebellious world of Donatos Primus. After having secured a bridgehead and forced the enemy back to its central stronghold, House Minotos was betrayed by House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn, which were secretly in league with the dark powers of Chaos. Severely diminished, House Minotos was barely able to disengage from the battle they had so eagerly sought, losing many scions and their mechanical steeds to the enemy's guns. The sole survivor of the ruling elite of Adrastapol, Grandmarshal Gustev, honoured Asrastapol's ancestral traditions and recognised the claim of Tolwyn's son, Danial Tan Draconi, to the title of High King. Knowing full well that unity was required more than ever, Grandmarshal Gustev took it upon himself to reassure the other military leaders of the Imperial war effort by renewing House Minotos' oath of fealty to the Imperium. The gallant Grandmarshal was later slain by yet another cowardly ambush of House Chimaeros, even if the ultimate survivors of House Minotos followed High King Danial to victory. In the wake of the Donatos Uprising, the survival of House Minotos now lies in the balance.
- Horus Heresy (Unknown Date.M31) - While the Imperium of Man tore itself asunder in the great interstellar civil war known as the Horus Heresy, Adrastapol had prospered under the aegis of High King Rhoderic Tan Chimaeros. But the taint of Chaos had also taken root on Adrastapol as both House Hydrax and House Medusos openly declared for the Traitor Warmaster, Horus Lupercal, and waged a war of conquest that took a heavy toll on the remaining Knight Houses. House Minotos joined the alliance formed by High King Rhoderic that ultimately vanquished these Renegade Knights.
- Ork Wars (Unknown Date) - When the Ork Warboss Skarjaw led his WAAAGH! to the Knight World of Adrastapol, all the Knight Houses gathered their forces under the aegis of House Chimaeros to defend their homeworld from the depredations of the Orks. Belonging to one of the most savage and feral tribes of his race, Skarjaw and his Greenskins rode to battle on towering warbeasts known as Squiggoths. These great beasts can easily pose a threat to Imperial Knights, a fact the defenders of Adrastapol became painfully aware of when House Manticos' ancestral home and fortress was destroyed by the invaders. House Minotos bravely fought these invaders but was not present during the invasion's pivotal encounter at the mighty fortress of House Draconis, the Draconspire, where Skarjaw was slain by Tolwyn Tan Draconis, then the mere Gatekeeper of Draconspire. Although the WAAAGH! had been defeated, the Orkoid survivors of this invasion soon turned feral and scattered. In the years that followed, the Knights of Adrastapol mercilessly hunted down the remaining Orks and Squiggoths until their homeworld was declared purged from the xenos filth which had tainted it.
- Galhorm Crusade (Unknown Date) - Very little is known about this obscure Imperial Crusade save that it was a costly battle for the Imperial troops involved and especially so for the Knights of Adrastapol. Following the death of the Kingsward, Gedric Tan Chimaeros, the crown of the High Kings of Adrastapol passed on to House Draconis.
- Donatos War (Unknown Date.M41) - Variously referred to as either the Donatos Insurrection, the Donatos Uprising and the Donatos War, this conflict marks the struggle for the possession of the Industrial World of Donatos Primus. Following an insurrection of Donatos' civilian population and some of its Planetary Defence Forces, it soon became apparent that elements of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion were to blame. Their leader, the Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr, hoped to attain daemonhood by sacrificing Donatos' menial classes and his own followers. The Imperium reacted with uncustomary swiftness, counterinvading Donatos Primus at the head of several regiments of Astra Militarum and the combined forces of the Knights of Adrastapol. Under the guidance of High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis, the Imperial troops soon pushed the insurrectionists back. In what was believed to be the final battle of this conflict, House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn betrayed their allies, catching them in a murderous crossfire which nearly brought about the end of House Pegasson and House Minotos. Suffering crippling losses, Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos nevertheless was able to maintain unit cohesion and lead its battered survivors to a safe haven. While House Draconis escaped with less casualties but mourned the loss of High King Tolwyn, House Pegasson was virtually crippled. Following his betrayal, Viscount Gerraint Tan Chimaeros proclaimed himself High King of Adrastapol, but true to their oath, the Nobles of House Minotos chose to stand with House Draconis and openly supported the claim of Tolwyn's son, Danial Tan Draconis. Upon the new High King's orders, Grandmarshal Gustev was appointed as liaison officer between the surviving Knights and their Cadian allies. As one of the more experienced military leaders, the Grandmarshal's voice was well-represented in the Loyalists' war councils. Hard-pressed against the resurgent forces of the Traitors, House Minotos committed much of its remaining strength to High King Danial's first counterattack. Although this assault succeeded in confronting and annihilating a small portion of House Chimaeros' numbers, the gathered Knights were led into a carefully planned ambush within an abandoned Adeptus Arbites Precinct Fortress. It was there that House Minotos suffered the loss of its leader when Grandmarshal Gustev and his Knight were transformed into a hideous and rabid Chaos Spawn by the terrifying Warp-infused powers of Alicia Dar Manticos, who was both a powerful Witch and an adoratrice of the Chaos God Tzeentch. Suffering further casualties in the collapse of the Precinct Fortress, House Minotos' soon possessed no more than a dozen operational Knights. Despite their losses, House Minotos resolutely stood by its allies and joined them in their desperate but ultimately victorious attack on the enemy stronghold within the Vale Electrum, a desperate battle which ended in the deaths of all the enemy commanders, including the Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr, Archduke Dunkan Tan Wyvorn and Viscount Gerraint Tan Chimaeros. Leaderless and scattered, the remaining Word Bearers quickly retreated from Donatos Primus whilst the vengeful Imperial Knights mercilessly hunted down the last of their traitorious brethren.
Notable House Minotos KnightsEdit
- Merciless - Badly damaged in the ambush struck at the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress, the Merciless had to be abandoned, the meagre resources of the remaining Loyalists not enough to ensure that Merciless would walk again. It is unclear if Merciless's wreck was salvaged after the end of the hostilities on Donatos.
- Song of Strength - Little is known of Song of Strength except that it used to be piloted by Sire Federich Dar Minotos. Like so many of its kin, Song of Strength was lost in the final Loyalist offensive during the Donatos Uprising.
- Thunderclap - One of the many Knight Gallants in service to House Minotos, Thunderclap used to be the Knight armour piloted by Sire Jeremial Dar Minotos, one of the House's most fearsome warriors. Surviving the initial Traitor onslaught on Donatos Primus, Thunderclap was lost in an artfully laid-trap by the Renegades of House Chimaeros. Standing too close to Thunderhymn, Thunderclap was immediately attacked by the giant Chaos Spawn the once noble Knight had been transformed into, the beast's many tentacles and other strange appendages preventing Thunderclap from fleeing the wave of debris that destroyed the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress where a portion of House Chimaeros' strength had been cornered by the Loyalist Knights of Adrastapol. Unfortunately for House Minotos, Thunderclap's Throne Mechanicum could not be retrieved.
- Thunderhymn - Thunderhymn was an ancient and revered Knight Crusader that served as the personal steed of Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos until it was lost during the fateful Donatos Uprising. For such a sacred item of the Cult Mechanicus, Thunderhymn suffered a fate worse than mere death, its entire mass -- including its pilot -- being transformed into a hideous Chaos Spawn of never before seen proportions by the baleful spell of the Tzeentchian Witch, Alicia Dar Manticos.
Notable House Minotos PersonnelEdit
- Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos - Gustev Tan Minotos was the revered ruler of House Minotos who bore the traditional title of Grandmarshal. A competent and fearsome warrior in his youth, age had not dulled Gustev's eagerness for battle. His long years had also gifted him with great wisdom, hiding a keen intellect behind a boastful facade and boyish cheerfulness. The most distinctive features of the Grandmarshal's appearance were his impressive beard and moustache which he wore in spectacular and eccentric patterns that required a great deal of wax to hold fast. Like all the Nobles of House Minotos, Gustev Tan Minotos was powerfully built, his stature further underlined by the ornate if archaic suit of battle armour he usually wore. Alone of the rulers of the three Loyalist Knight Houses to deploy to Donatos Primus, Grandmarshal Gustev survived the initial betrayal by his former allies among the Renegade Houses of Chimaeros and Wyvorn. As the most experienced of the remaining Loyalist leaders, Grandmarshal Gustev would have been well within his right to claim command of the Imperial war effort, but out of a sense of frendship for the former High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis, Gustev did not challenge Danial Dar Draconis' claim to his father's crown. Instead, the Grandmarshal supported the young High King by not questioning his decisions and taking it upon himself to reassure the Cadian regiments they fought alongside of their unshakable loyalty to the Emperor of Mankind. When Danial Tan Draconis led a counterattack upon a House Chimaeros hunting-party, Grandmarshal Gustev naturally took to the field at his side. The enemy hunting-party, some twenty Knights in total, had established camp in an abandoned precinct fortress of Donatos' Adeptus Arbites, a mighty edifice at the foot of gigantic cliffs. It was within the fortress' courtyard that Gustev Tan Minotos would meet his horrible end. Whilst conducting a parlay with the consort of the enemy leader, Alicia Dar Manticos, the Traitor revealed her true identity as a worshipper of Tzeentch and a Sorcerer. Using the baleful powers of the Warp, the Witch unleashed a powerful spell which changed the adamantium and steel of Gustev's Knight, the Thunderhymn, into living flesh. Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos died with a prayer on his lips, the invocation of the Emperor's name not enough to stop the rampaging and unholy transmutation that had befallen his Knight and him. Thunderhymn and its occupant fused together and became a hideous Chaos Spawn, a wriggling mass of gnashing teeth, gaping maws and hideous tentacles that lashed out at the nearest Knight. The thing that had been Grandmarshal Gustev attacked a member of its own Exalted Court while the Loyalist Knights fled from the trap laid before them, for before she vanished in a blaze of sorcerous fire, Alicia Dar Manticos had detonated hidden bombs which now brought the towering cliffs overlooking the Arbites fortress crushing down. The Chaos Spawn and its unfortunate prey were both crushed under tons of rocks and ferrocrete, never to be unearthed again.
- Sire Boriss Dar Minotos - Sire Boriss fought during the Donatos Uprising. He was one of the few survivors of that bitter campaign.
- Sire Federich Dar Minotos - Sire Federich was a simple Knight of House Minotos who fought during the Donatos Uprising. Whilst he survived both the initial treason of their former allies, the crippling ambush at the Arbites' precinct fortress and the heavy fighting for the Imperial mustering point, he died during the second attack on the Valle Electrum.
- Sire Jeremial Dar Minotos - Sire Jeremial was a member of the Exalted Court of Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos, House Minotos' inner circle and ruling council. Like his sire and liege, Sire Jeremial survived the initial phase of the Donatos Uprising only to perish at the ambush on the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress. Horrified by the cruel fate that had befallen Grandmarshal Gustev, Sire Jeremial was not quick enough to break formation, the attack of the mindless Chaos Spawn causing his Knight, Thunderclap, to stumble and fall. With the enormous Chaos Spawn trying to eat its way through his Knight's armoured plate, Sire Jeremial could not run or escape his steed before he was buried and crushed under the earth-shattering force of tumbling rocks and debris.
- Sire Rikhardt Dar Minotos - Sire Rikhardt also fought during the Donatos Uprising and emerged victorious and alive from the engagements of that terrible conflict only to be slain in the final battle when the deranged Archduke Dunkan unleashed the power of his Acastus Knight Porphyrion's Magna Lascannons against his severely damaged Knight Crusader.
- Sire Wilhorm Dar Minotos - Sire Wilhorm is one of the few survivors of the reconquest of Donatos Primus. He and his Knight -- Merciless -- survived the initial treason of their former allies and even the dire ambush at the Arbiters' precinct fortress, but only narrowly escaped with their lives. Crippled beyond immediate means of repair, Sire Wilhorm had to suffer the shame of having to dismount and fight the final battle of this campaign from the rear, inside a Sacristan crawler.
Before the disastrous turn of events during the Donatos Uprising, House Minotos was commonly considered the strongest of all the Knight Houses of Adrastapol, the individual might of its scions and Nobles even compensating for the greater numbers of Houses Draconis and Chimaeros. Conservative estimates indicate that House Minotos' ranks originally included approximately 100 suits of Knight armour, though many of these were lost during the conflict on Donatos Primus, leaving less than a dozen Knights to return to their homeworld.
Like the other Houses, the vast majority of House Minotos' Knights are of the Paladin pattern, with only a few of the other patterns of Knight suits still in use. Of the Paladin's many variants, the Knight Crusader and the Knight Gallant were the most common, the latter being particularly valued as its capabilities allowed the scions of House Minotos to make the best use of their expertise in melee combat.
In stark contrast to the other Nobles of Adrastapol, House Minotos has consciously preserved its ancestral traditions. Unlike more progressive Houses such as House Pegasson, House Minotos vehemently refuses to allow its female Nobles to ride into battle piloting a Knight suit. In a crowd of Adrastapolian Nobles, the scions of House Minotos will always stand out, as their baroque traditions demand that their Knights incorporate elements of plate armour, making them appear very much like giant knights from Terra's ancient medieval period. The male Nobles of the House's higher ranks also favour wearing great, waxed moustaches.
More than any other Knight House of their world, House Minotos values individual physical strength, even when not sitting on their Knight's Throne Mechanicum. As a result, a Knight from House Minotos will be notably more muscular and physically fit than the scion of another House. The physical prowess and fitness of Minotos Nobles surpasses that seen among the infantry Guardsmen of most Astra Militarum regiments as they frequently engage in different forms of ritualistic combat. As fierce as their reputation is on the battlefield, the scions of this House have an equally fierce reputation for debauchery in the dining halls and banquets that usually follow an Imperial victory. Once sufficiently inebriated, a Minotos Knight will boast for solar hours about the many victories he has won. This boorish behaviour has sometimes led other Knight Houses to frown upon House Minotos and their lack of decorum and self-control.
The colours of House Minotos are orange and brass, with black usually worn as a complement.
The arms of House Minotos display the great bull-head of the minotos, or minotaur in the ancient languages of Old Earth.
Where all of the other Nobles of Adrastapol favour the sword, House Minotos prefers the brutal efficiency of the warhammer. The great Minotosian warhammer is a ponderous, heavy weapon which requires great strength to wield, hence the focus on physical strength within House Minotos' ranks. While its detractors often argue that it takes little skill to master, the Nobles of House Minotos have elevated the use of a warhammer to an effective and utterly deadly art that focuses as much on the defence of the hammer's wielder as it does upon smashing through an enemy's guard with sheer, brute force. The skill required to effectively wield the Minotosian warhammer is the opposite, for example, of the great dexterity and concentration used by the swordsmen skilled with the elegant Pegassia rapier. Sturdier than the signature weapons of the other Houses of Adrastapol, a Knight of House Minotos can wait for his enemy to become tired and make a mistake, trusting that his warhammer can end the fight or break his enemy's weapon with but a single, well-timed strike.
- Kingsblade (Novel) by Andy Clark