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Kaldor Draigo

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Draigo Combat

Grey Knights Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo fighting against the Forces of Chaos

Kaldor Draigo was the Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter. Lost in the Realm of Chaos within the Warp for at least the last standard century, he is sometimes able to return to realspace to fight alongside his Battle-Brothers in the Grey Knights during particularly dangerous daemonic incursions. But one day, when his Chapter and the defenders of the Imperium of Man know their darkest hour, he will return to the mortal realm permanently to lead them to victory.

HistoryEdit

Kaldor Draigo's story began during the Daemon incursion on the Imperial world of Acralem in 799.M41. The Daemon Prince M'kar the Reborn and a daemonic army from the Warp had invaded the planet, and intended to corrupt not only Acralem, but the entire Vidar Sector of which it was a part. Against such a terrible daemonic threat only the Grey Knights could effectively defend the Imperium. Joined by 9 Imperial Guard regiments and companies of Space Marines drawn from the Astral Knights and Flesh Tearers Chapters, the 3rd Brotherhood of the Grey Knights came to the rescue of Acralem with Draigo among their ranks.

Had the Grey Knights not been present, there is little doubt that Acralem would have fallen to the daemonic horde. The tide was only turned when the Grey Knights' launched an unexpected assault upon the Daemon Prince M'kar's Warp-fortress. It was in this terrible battle that Draigo first made himself known, when he dealt the death blow itself to M'kar. Without their leader, the daemons who had invaded Acralem were cast back into the Warp. Yet the Daemon Prince held onto his grip in realspace just long enough to lay a terrible curse upon Draigo:

"Victory is yours this day, mortal, but know that if ever you set foot upon this world again, you and all who follow you shall walk with damnation for ten millennia."

Kaldor Draigo vs. M'Kar

Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights, Kaldor Draigo battling the Lord of Change M'Kachen

For his part in the victory on Acralem, Draigo was promoted to the rank of Justicar -- the first of many such elevations within the Grey Knights. For more than 200 Terran years Draigo served his Chapter and the Emperor of Mankind with unfailing distinction. He earned honours unequaled by any Grey Knight before him, save perhaps Janus himself, one of the founders of the Chapter whose deeds had helped to reshape the Imperium during the dark times of the Horus Heresy. Draigo ultimately rose to become the Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights in early 901.M41, following the death of the previous lord of the Chapter at the hands of the Daemon Primarch Mortarion. Draigo's first act as the new Supreme Grand Master was to carve his predecessor's name upon Mortarion's diseased heart -- an insult that the Primarch of the Death Guard has vowed to avenge.

Two hundred Terran years to the day since Draigo had defeated M'kar on Acralem, an Astropathic distress beacon brought the terrible news to Titan that Acralem had been invaded by the daemons once again. Upon learning of this, Draigo knew without a doubt that M'kar had been reborn, and this was the Daemon Prince's attempt to bring to bear the curse that the Daemon Prince had laid upon him. Draigo forbid his fellow Grey Knights to come to Acralem, lest they fall prey to the fate that he believed was his burden alone to bear. His Battle-Brothers agreed most unwillingly to their lord's command, though none disobeyed. Draigo then travelled to Acralem alone to meet his destiny. He spoke little to the Imperium's defenders already on-planet, but his grim purpose was plain as he trod once more the battlefields of memory that were now awash in fresh blood. During the siege of Castle Gorseth Draigo unleashed the potent psychic flame that swept the daemons and rotting Plague Zombies away, and he slew the decaying abomination of Nurgle that had led the assault. In the Trebarin Valley, Draigo held the Imperial rearguard alone in the narrowest part of the pass, and kept the daemonic horde back whilst the 912th Regiment of the Cadian Shock Troopers retreated. Survivors of the battle remembered that it was Draigo who had held the pass for two days, and never once did he retreat or tire.

The second confrontation between Draigo and M'kar took place atop Shadow Peak, in front of the Warp Rift from which the Daemon Prince drew his unholy power. As Imperial Guardsmen battled against the horrific daemon hordes, Draigo sought out his old foe, for he knew M'kar's death would once more end the daemon's plans of conquest on behalf of its dark masters, just as it had two centuries before. On the edge of the rift they fought as the Daemon Prince spat curses and insults at Draigo, but his words and sorceries found no purchase upon the pure soul of the Grey Knight. Again and again, Draigo summoned the sanctifying psychic flame of the Emperor, yet M'kar merely laughed at the charring of his flesh, and Draigo could not keep pace with his immortal adversary forever. M'kar's blade glowed darkly with Warpflame, and he unleashed a terrible blow with his daemonblade that struck home with a sharp crack, shattering the Grey Knight's Nemesis Sword halfway down its length and driving the Grey Knight to one knee. M'kar crowed loudly at his victory, and prepared to wield his corrupt blade for the killing blow.

Lord kaldor draigo by piyastudios

Kaldor Draigo battling a horde of Daemons

But Draigo was not yet defeated. Roaring a battlecry of his own, he rose up from one knee and, double-handed, thrust his sword's severed stump into M'kar's foul heart. With that one blow, Draigo delivered Acralem from damnation for the second time. As death throes racked M'kar's body, so too did they begin to tear at the Warp rift he had summoned. The rift's energies rapidly began to subside and the howling daemons of his army, unable to maintain their anchor in realspace without the strength of the rift, faded away into nothingness. But, before the portal closed completely, with his last strength, M'kar wrapped his talons around Draigo's throat and heaved the Grey Knight into the collapsing rift. Yet the life of Kaldor Draigo did not end that day, for he survived his passage into the Warp and the Realm of Chaos. Lesser men would have been driven insane by their arrival in the domain of the Chaos Gods, where reality itself has been corrupted by the instruments of damnation. Yet Draigo's mind was hardened to the seductions of Chaos, and he endured long in this realm where no other mortal could.

For a time unknown Draigo wandered the frightening landscape of the Realm of Chaos. Into his path were strewn daemons of every shape and size, who sought to slay him or seduce him to the darkness, yet Draigo ultimately overcame them all. Atop the Blood Falls, where the sanguine fluids of Khorne's fallen champions pour into an endless chasm, Draigo slew the great Bloodthirster Kar'voth. With the silver fire of the Emperor he drove the daemonic taint from that Greater Daemon's massive battleaxe, and used the molten remains to reforge his own Nemesis Force Sword, which had been broken in his final combat with M'kar the Reborn on Acralem. He unleashed his psychic power again amongst the rotting jungles of Nurgle's garden domain, and for a long time afterwards the winds of the Realm of Chaos carried only the charcoal stench produced by burning daemonic vegetation. On a journey through the Whispering Meadows, six daemonic sisters, the chosen handmaidens of Slaanesh known as Daemonettes, sought to tempt Draigo with promises of glory, power and all the myriad riches sought by mortal ambition. Yet their temptations could not take up root in his incorruptible soul, and he scattered the Daemonettes' remains amongst the alabaster grasses of the Prince of Pleasure's domain. At the gates of the Inevitable City, the Lord of Change M'kachen offered Draigo a path homewards, but the Grey Knight would accept no boon offered by a daemonic agent of the Master of Sorcery. As his reply the Grey Knight brought down the city walls and left the bird-like Greater Daemon of Tzeentch entombed amongst their ruins.

KaldorDraigo01

Kaldor Draigo in his full panoply of war

Daemons no longer haunted Draigo's footsteps after he had been trapped for a long period in the Realm of Chaos. The Grey Knight had over and over again proved his utter resistance to Chaotic corruption and had left so many thousands of slaughtered daemons in his wake that only the most crazed of Khorne's minions continued to seek him out for combat. That something could exist in the Realm of Chaos that completely immune to the will of the Chaos Gods was a new impossibility in a domain defined by the impossible. Yet while the Dark Gods could not destroy or corrupt Draigo, neither could the Grey Knight win any meaningful victory against the power of Chaos within the domain defined by its anarchic energies. All of the daemons Draigo killed always were reborn into new bodies, Nurgle's daemonic jungle of fungus and rotting plants regrew from its ashes at the Plague Lord's amused whim and even the tumbled walls of the Inevitable City eventually restored themselves, brick by shattered brick.

Yet Draigo would get another chance to return to realspace. When the Heretic known as the Prophet of Jostero forged an alliance with the daemon N'kari, he drew a portion of the Realm of Chaos into the mortal world, and Draigo found himself forced through it as well. Draigo was briefly reunited with his Chapter, for a Grey Knights Brotherhood had arrived on Jostero to combat N'kari's threat. Draigo clearly had become unstuck in time as well as space during his sojourn in the Warp, for he did not know any of these warriors, yet they embraced him as their Battle-Brother, and they fought side-by-side until the mad Prophet of Jostero had been defeated and his daemonic allies had been banished from the mortal realm. Unfortunately, Draigo's victory proved to be a hollow one, for when the gateway into the Warp closed, the Grey Knight found himself drawn back through the rift and trapped again within the Realm of Chaos, just as M'kar's curse required. He had helped to save the world of Jostero, but his own salvation still remained beyond his grasp. This outcome had been repeated continuously ever since: Draigo walks the Realm of Chaos for indeterminate periods of time, sometimes returning to realspace for brief spans before being freshly imprisoned in the Warp after winning yet another victory for Mankind. It is hard to imagine the fortitude of mind, body and soul that lets Kaldor Draigo endure such hardship and shattered hopes over and over, yet he has never complained and his spirit has never broken. He walks the Realm of Chaos to this day, and will never end the eternal war against the Ruinous Powers so long as the breath remains in his body.

But the Grey Knights know one thing: One day, when his Chapter and the defenders of the Imperium of Man need him most, Kaldor Draigo will return to the realm of men.

WargearEdit

Lord Kaldor Draigo wears a suit of Grey Knights Terminator Armour. He is armed with a Storm Bolter, a Storm Shield, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades and Psyk-Out Grenades. His primary weapon, however, is a reforged Nemesis Force Sword called the Titansword which is a master-crafted blade and is an extremely potent anti-daemonic weapon, capable of badly injuring even the mightiest Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes of the Dark Gods.

SourcesEdit

  • Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pp. 38-39
  • Pandorax (Novel) by Christopher Dunn

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