The Vinculus Crusade was a Crusade of the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter declared against the Chaotic assassin cult warriors who had plagued the Peleregon Cluster in 833.M41. Black Templars Astartes under the command of High Marshal Ludoldus consented to fight alongside the warriors of Inquisitor Vinculus of the Ordo Hereticus. The Inquisitor, accompanied by a detachment of Adepta Sororitas from the Order of the Bloody Rose, had traced the origins of a network of Chaos Cult assassins to Peleregon IV, a hellish, mountainous world of shifting tectonic plates marred by constantly-flowing rivers of molten lava. The initial Imperial landings were met with little opposition, and eventually, the Black Templars -- including a young Neophyte named Helbrecht -- and the Adepta Sororitas pushed the cult's warriors back to the seat of a continent-spanning volcano. Ludoldus immediately assaulted the fiery mountain stronghold, his Sword Brethren capturing the main gate and holding it long enough for Imperial forces to breach the cult's defences. As the Black Templars and Adepta Sororitas stormed the huge, pillared interior of the volcano, Inquisitor Vinculus faced the cult's leader and slew him with his daemonblade, though he took a grievous wound in return.
This proved to be his undoing as the nascent daemonic presence that had been building within the cult leader was forced to manifest and, in a blaze of dark red light, it possessed the weakened Inquisitor. A massive daemon of Khorne took the Inquisitor's flesh for its own and turned upon his erstwhile allies, slaughtering Imperial warriors by the dozen. High Marshal Ludoldus, the Emperor's Champion Ulricus and Canoness Jasmine faced the daemon in what came to be known within the annals of the Black Templars as the Battle of Fire and Blood. Though sorely pressed, these heroes fought with great strength and indomitable faith, but it seemed as though the daemon would prove the stronger. In desperation, Ludoldus hurled a Holy Orb of Antioch, a bomb infused with volatile holy oils and high explosives, into the central chasm of lava. The resultant explosion tore the chasms apart and a massive earthquake shook the mountain to its core as rocks and pillars crashed down into the fiery pit. The daemon-possessed Inquisitor fell to his doom in the lava and the remaining Imperial warriors sought to escape the collapsing volcano before being buried forever with their foes. Thunderhawk gunships braved the fiery deluge to pick up the surviving Battle-Sisters and Black Templars and though many gunships were subsequently lost in the blinding clouds of ash and superheated rock, the majority were able to escape.
To ensure no trace of the daemon and its cult remained, Ludoldus ordered Peleregon IV bombarded from orbit until the massive forces unleashed tore the planet's crust apart and buried it beneath an ocean of seething magma.
Castellan Draco also first rose to prominence as part of Marshal Ludoldus' Sword Brethren during the bitter Vinculus Crusade, in which he stood his ground with help from other Sword Brethren against waves of blood cultists and other daemonic forms. He was badly wounded after the battle and his body was reconstructed with bionics. He was awarded the rank of Castellan and was given a relic suit of the Chapter's finest Power Armour for his valour. Draco was further recognised when he was presented with the former Inquisitor's blade as a mark of gratitude from the Ordo Hereticus.
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pg. 19
- White Dwarf 312 (UK), "Righteous Victories" by Graham McNeill, pg. 23