|Ambiguous Term? This article is about the specialised Space Marines Chapter. For other uses of Grey Knights, see Grey Knights (disambiguation).|
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- 1 Overview
- 2 Origins
- 3 Organisation
- 4 Tactics
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Chapter fleet
- 7 Notable Grey Knights
- 8 Campaigns
- 9 Images
- 10 In film
- 11 Related Articles
- 12 Sources
The Grey Knights are the legendary Chapter 666 - and although nominally a Chapter of the Astartes, they are in the Chamber Militant of the Inquisition.[1a][1e] Each member of the chapter undergoes a gruelling and torturous selection process, and even once inducted, their harsh training regime is without equal. In battle, they move as an army of silver ghosts, surrounded by awe, and equipped to the teeth to deal with the worst foes that Chaos can raise to meet them.[Needs Citation]
Ever since the Chapter's founding, only the Inquisition and Chapter Masters have been allowed to know of the Grey Knight's existence. Many chapters believe the Grey Knights to be a myth, if they have even heard of them at all. Space Marines who encounter them are telepathically scoured, while Imperial Guard regiments they fight beside are simply executed. The Space Wolves know of their existence however, after slaughtering Grey Knights, Red Hunters and Inquisition Forces, during what the Grey Knights call the Months of Shame.
To battle such enemies as Daemons, creatures that are not of this realm but formed of sorcery and madness, a Grey Knight must embrace the power of the Warp to battle a Daemon with its own weapons. Each Grey Knight is an accomplished, powerful psyker whose psychic presence is anathema to creatures of the Warp. They are trained to channel their psychic energies into a halo of protective wards known as The Aegis. Thusly armoured, a Grey Knight's presence becomes unpalatable to Daemons, making him immune to corruption, able to wield forbidden black magic, harness tainted artefacts and scour blasphemous tomes all without risk of being overwhelmed by the cursed power of Chaos.[1a]
The Grey Knights hold a unique honour among the chapters of the Adeptus Astartes - in over ten thousand years of service, not a single one of their number has ever defected to Chaos.[Needs Citation]
Their armour is left unpainted, leaving the silver-grey of the ceramite exposed. This tradition is thought to have originated from their desire to lead lives of absolute purity. Acid-etched into their left gauntlet, as well as tattooed upon the flesh beneath, is the sigil of Malcador the Sigilite[22a]. Upon achieving the rank of Justicar one may display their personal heraldry on a shield on their shoulder. In contrast to this their armour is highly decorated, encrusted with protective symbols and engraved litanies.
Much of the Grey Knights history remains in mystery and secrecy or has been purposefully removed from archives. However according to legend, the Grey Knights began as a project during the final days of the Horus Heresy. The Emperor foresaw that the Heresy would likely end at such a great personal cost to himself that he would be prevented from actively defending mankind from the great threat of Chaos and its Daemons. So the Emperor set in motion a plan to form a defence against such evil. Malcador the Sigilite, closest of the Emperor's servants, was sent to search across the Imperium for men suitable to rise to such a burden.[1a]
Malcador found twelve worthy champions; four were lords and administrators, and eight were Space Marines from both loyalist and traitor legions. These included survivors of the Eisenstein incident, Nathaniel Garro and Amendera Kendel. During the founding of the organisation others would join them including Tylos Rubio, Macer Varren and Garviel Loken.   Many of the Space Marines that joined the cause hailed from Legions that had turned traitor, though they themselves had remained loyal to the Emperor. Once they had been gathered, the Emperor surveyed the chosen recruits and granted both his approval and consent to proceed with the project. So the recruits split ways to go off towards separate tasks; the four lords ventured off to lay the framework of the Inquisition, whilst the Space Marines and Malcador travelled to Saturn's moon of Titan.[1a]
Titan, through Malcador's mystical means, had been hidden away from the ravages of the Horus Heresy. When they arrived they found a Fortress-monastery already fully prepared and stocked with everything necessary to create a new army of Space Marines including supplies of gene-seed, which is suspected to have been taken from the Emperor directly, and all the necessary armaments. The fortress was also already populated with hundreds upon hundreds of suitable recruits from across the Galaxy. Some were raw and untrained, whilst others were selected in secret from among the ranks of loyalist Legions. This new army would be a Chapter - a smaller, tighter brotherhood of Space Marines than a Legion. Malcador could no longer remain and thus he appointed Janus, one of the eight original Space Marines, to be the Grey Knights leader and take the title of Supreme Grand Master. Before leaving, Malcador cast his greatest enchantment yet; he hid Titan away from Horus in the most unlikely of places, inside the Warp itself. Titan was protected by Macro-Geller fields and sigilic rites whilst the final battles of the Heresy took place in Real Space.[1a]
When Titan eventually returned, the Second Founding was taking place. Whilst in the Warp, time had passed at a greater rate for Titan and so it had emerged not with the original eight Space Marines and their raw recruits, but with a full Chapter of one thousand fully trained Battle-Brothers. The Second Founding was being directed by the newly formed Inquisition under the control of the same lords who Malcador had selected years before. So they secretly included the Grey Knights amongst the growing list of new Chapters, designating them Chapter 666, despite there being barely 400 Chapters commissioned at the time. The Grey Knights, different from all the other new Chapters, were embedded within the Inquisition to serve as the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus to fight against all things Daemonic.[1a]
The Bulk of the Grey Knights Chapter is organized into Brotherhoods, fighting formations roughly equivalent to a Space Marine Company and consisting of around one hundred Battle Brothers. Each Brotherhood is overseen by a Grand Master There are eight known Grey Knights Brotherhoods plus the Purifier and Paladin Orders.[1d]
Most of the Chapter's strength is spread through the Imperium, ensuring that the fighting skills of the Grey Knights can be quickly called upon by the Ordo Malleus wherever a daemonic incursion may occur. These small forces are often stationed thousands of light years from their fortress-monastery for decades at a time, and are usually organised into small teams that have trained and fought together for their entire lives.[Needs Citation]
The current Brotherhood strength and commanders of the Chapter are:
|Hall of Champions||Chambers of Purity||1st Brotherhood||2nd Brotherhood||3rd Brotherhood|
Steward of the Armoury
Admiral of the Fleet
Warden of the Librarius
|4th Brotherhood||5th Brotherhood||6th Brotherhood||7th Brotherhood||8th Brotherhood|
Keeper of the Augurium
Protector of the Sanctum Sanctorum
High Seneschal of the Fortress
Knight Commander of the Recruits
Considering the role of the Grey Knights, potential recruits are put through even more stringent trials than other Space Marine Neophytes. Unlike most Space Marine Chapters, the Grey Knight recruits are often drawn directly from the Black Ships after they return to Terra they are then brought to Titan for testing. The most advanced bio-engineering and psycho-surgery available is utilised to condition the Neophytes, and each recruit must pass the six hundred and sixty six Rituals of Detestation, to prove that he is capable of withstanding horrors that would break even the greatest of 'normal' Space Marines. Upon success, the recruit also has the majority of their memories and personality erased[16a], to better ensure their absolute and unwavering loyalty to the Emperor. One of the main criteria for selection is that the recruit must show great psychic potential, as the entire Chapter is made up of psykers. Once accepted into the chapter and undergoing the standard process to transform into a member of the Adeptus Astartes, the new Grey Knight is also implanted with silver purity wards under his skin which cover his entire body.
During training each recruit is designated a number to be referred by, and only upon completion of training are they given a new name; they must discard their original birth name and be given a new one. This is in part to signify being reborn, but also in part because the training a recruit undergoes is so intense that they are unlikely to remember their past and original name anyway. Furthermore, each Grey Knight name is actually a fragment of magical lore that acts in perfect opposition to the true name of a particular Daemon, making even a Grey Knight's name a deadly weapon.[1a]
The fortress-monastery of the Grey Knights is based on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and is carved entirely of basalt. Within the fortress hang pennants, banners and flags commemorating the victories and sacrifices made by the chapter in their war against the daemonic, but none other than the Grey Knights would recognise the names of these campaigns. The chapter operates in oppressive secrecy, beyond the knowledge of the Adeptus Terra and even the High Lords of Terra - as a part of the Ordo Malleus, the Grey Knights are answerable only to the Ordo and the Emperor. Even the location of the fortress-monastery is known only to the Ordo Malleus. Titan itself is surrounded by the rings of Saturn and multiple confidential Malleus-controlled moons: Mimas, the prison and execution centre of the Ordo Malleus, Enceladus, home of the leaders of the Ordo Malleus and other influential Malleus Inquisitors, and several other worlds.
Beneath the fortress lies a cool, damp crypt. It is here that every Grey Knight wishes to finally reside, in the hallowed halls of the glorious dead. Almost every member of the chapter will have their body recovered and brought to this crypt beneath the Emperor's Temple. As a final tribute to those that have given their lives, the names of the dead are carved ceremoniously into a great basalt wall in the heart of the fortress. Among these names are some of the Imperium's greatest heroes who died in the most heroic circumstances imaginable. And like all other matters in regard to Grey Knights, they will remain almost completely unknown.
The fortress-monastery also contains the Librarium Daemonica, the Imperium's foremost repository of Warp lore and daemonology. The Librarium is a forbidding place, filled with the tens of thousands of the ancient tomes of diabolic lore the Ordo Malleus has accumulated over the millennia.
The hierarchy of the Grey Knights is drastically different from Codex-adherent Chapters. A council of the Chapter's eight Grand Masters serving under a Supreme Grand Master form the command echelon of the Chapter. Each Grand Master in turn oversees a specific aspect of the Chapter, such as the armoury or fleet.[1d] A Grand Master (or possibly Supreme Grand Master) is always a member of the Inner Conclave of the Inquisition.
- Supreme Grand Master
The highest rank attainable by a Grey Knight. Also referred to as the Chapter Lord, the Supreme Grand Master has complete authority over the chapter. However, a Grey Knight can only be appointed as the Supreme Grand Master with the unanimous consent of every other Grand Master, thus ensuring that an unsuitable candidate does not attain dominion over the chapter. 
- Grand Master
The Grey Knight chapter usually has 8 Grand Masters, each having command of a Grey Knights brotherhood. An unmatched daemonslayer, the Grand Master wears Terminator Armour and wields a powerful Nemesis force weapon in battle, He is also a powerful psyker. Few Daemons have been able to stand against a Grand Master 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 never will a common citizen know of him.
A Grey Knights Brother-Captain ranks below a Grand Master and is in command of one hundred of the galaxy's finest warriors - a heavy responsibility, but one undertaken with sombre dignity. Upon the battlefield, a Brother-Captain will be found at the forefront of the fighting, grinding his foes beneath his feet, setting an example for his Battle-Brother to live up to and commanding his troops through psychic communication.
Grey Knights Chaplains fulfil the same functions as in other Marine chapters, albeit on a much higher level, as they have to minister to the spiritual needs of soldiers destined to fight the most horrible of foes. They are rare specimens indeed, and the Chapter has precious few of them. Yet, thanks to them, not one Grey Knight has fallen to Chaos.[16d][16e]
- Brotherhood Champion
At the forefront of every Grey Knight Brotherhood is the Brotherhood Champion - a warrior who has forsaken all other forms of combat to become a master of the blade. His chief duty is to act as a bodyguard for his Brother-Captain and sacrifice himself if necessary. This ultimate sacrifice is rare, however, as few foes are skilled enough to defeat the Champion in combat.
Like all Space Marine Chapters, the battle-brothers wearing Terminator armour are the elite of the Grey Knights. Standing above even these elite warriors are the Paladins, warriors who are bound to protect one of the chapters Grand Masters.
- Battle Brother
The "standard" Grey Knight trooper, equipped in Power Armour. Grey Knights Battle-Brothers can serve in several different types of squad: Strike Squads - the most basic form of unit, Interceptor Squads - equipped with personal teleporters, Purgation Squads - heavy support squads carrying multiple heavy weapons or as Purifier Squads - elite units considered even more incorruptible than the rest of their brethren.
As with other chapters, the Grey Knights employ Techmarines to maintain and operate their war machines.
The Grey Knights often teleport themselves directly into combat, as near to the target as possible, both to ensure they arrive without any unnecessary losses and to minimise their presence. Any remaining hostile forces are left to be dealt with by additional Imperial troops, usually to whom squads of Grey Knights have been assigned as a specialist division.
Of all the armies of the Imperium, the Grey Knights can boast to have the most technologically advanced and murderously efficient weaponry under their command. This level of weaponry comes about from ancient pacts with the Adeptus Mechanicus and even some alien factions, the threat of the Daemonic considered to outweigh even considerations of race.[1a]
Some notable forms of Grey Knight equipment include -
- Nemesis Force Weapon - The characteristic weapon of the Grey Knights is the Nemesis force weapon. It can take the form of a halberd, sword, mace, axe, or the rarer hammer[16f]. It is a powerful force weapon, housing a psi-matrix attuned to the unique psyche of its owner. In original versions, the haft incorporated a bolter weapon, similar to the Adeptus Custodes guardian spear; on newer models of the Grey Knights the bolter is a wrist-mounted storm bolter, incorporated into the armour itself. Like all force weapons, the power of the weapon itself directly corresponds to the psychic talent of the wielder; as the Grey Knights are some of the greatest psykers of the Imperium, a Nemesis weapon is a truly devastating weapon.
- Incinerator - Similar to a Heavy Flamer but fuelled with special mix of consecrated promethium and blessed oils which are especially effective against daemons.
- Psycannon - Bolt weapons firing ammunition impregnated with negative psychic energy.
- Aegis Armour - The suits of power and Terminator armour worn by the Grey Knights are incredibly well crafted lattice of psychoconductive filaments and amulets*; anointed and inscribed with prayers and wards, ritually consecrated and psychically charged. Working in tandem with the Grey Knights' formidable psychic powers, the Aegis armour protects the wearers from the effects of the Immaterium and the Daemons it spawns. The armour's ritual blessings and psychic resonance also serve to confound the perception of any enemy, resulting in an effect called the Shrouding. The psychically charged nature of the armour allows its mere presence to induce intense terror and pain in any nearby daemons and warp spawn, also loosening their grip on the material realm.
- Dreadnoughts - Like other Space Marine Chapters, mortally wounded Grey Knights are sometimes placed within the massive battle armour known as a Dreadnought. Unlike other Chapters, however, Grey Knights do not look upon this extension of their life as an honour - all Grey Knights desire to be brought to the crypts underneath the Temple of the Emperor on Titan and laid to rest with their brothers over continuing life inside a machine. As such, Grey Knight Dreadnoughts are extremely rare.
- Nemesis Dreadknight - The chapter uniquely has access to a large suit of mechanised armour known as a Nemesis Dreadknight. The Dreadknight is designed to face Greater Daemons in one-on-one combat. This huge construct towers over even dreadnoughts.
Like other Space Marine chapters, the Grey Knights' primary mode of transport is the strike cruiser class of ship that is exclusive to the chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. The Grey Knights' ships however are specially modified in several ways. One is the hexagrammic and anti-daemonic wards that are built into the entire ship from bridge to landing struts and every bulkhead in between, similar to those that are placed under the skin of the Grey Knights themselves that lend the ship added protection from the forces of Chaos. Also, the Grey Knights' strike cruisers are equipped with significantly more advanced armour than the ships of other chapters. This is to allow them to close with more powerful foes and reach their destination safely since the Grey Knights have to fight more powerful enemies than the standard Adeptus Astartes chapters. Finally, the landing and drop pod bays are enlarged to be able to deploy larger numbers of marines faster.[Needs Citation]
The modifications to their ships are made possible by two factors. The first is their fortress-monastery's location in the rings of Saturn, its close proximity to Mars, the greatest Forge World in the Imperium of Man, allowing access to technology that was forgotten or is impossible to replicate anywhere else in the Imperium (this could also explain the high quality of all Grey Knights equipment). The other reason is the resources that the Ordo Malleus gives the Grey Knights due to their close working relationship as the Ordo's Chamber Militant.[Needs Citation]
- Fire of Dawn - Battle Barge[22c]
- Bright Sword - Battle Barge
- Emperor's Will - Battle Barge
- Redeemer of Souls - Battle Barge
- Ruler of the Black Skies - Strike Cruiser
- Karabela - Frigate
- Kaskara - Frigate[22d]
- Glaive of Janus - Frigate[22d]
- Flawless Reprieve - Destroyer[22c]
- Blade's Fall - Destroyer[22d]
- Argent Sceptre - Strike Cruiser
- Blade's Peace - 
- Righteous Dawn - Strike Cruiser
- Titanicus Rex - Frigate
Notable Grey Knights
- Supreme Grand Master Janus - First Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights.
- Grand Master Khyron - First Grand Master of the Eighth Brotherhood[22b]
- Grand Master Epimetheus - First Grand Master of the Fifth Brotherhood
- Supreme Grand Master Geronitan - Previous Supreme Grand Master before Kaldor Draigo. 
- Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo - Current Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights. 
- Grand Master Vorth Mordrak - The Haunted Knight of Mortain. 
- Grand Master Mandulis - Leader of the Grey Knight forces that banished Ghargatuloth on Khorion IX. [16b]
- Grand Master Joros - Oversaw operations in the First War for Armageddon, killed by Logan Grimnar.[22c]
- Grand Master Drystann Cromm
- Grand Master Vardan Kai
- Grand Master Orias
- Master Armourer Regis Vortimer
- Castellan Garran Crowe - Captain & Champion of the Purifier Brotherhood. 
- Brother-Captain Aurellian - Leader of the Brotherhood sent to end the First War for Armageddon. 
- Brother-Captain Arvann Stern 
- Brother-Captain Neodan
- Brother-Captain Edeon
- Justicar Anval Thawn 
- Justicar Alaric - Main protagonist of the Grey Knights novel series. [16c]
- Battle-Brother Hyperion - Also known as the Blade Breaker
- Brother Leodegarius - leader of a strike force to Salinas
- Librarian Aldred - led a small strike force of his Battle Brothers during the 13th Black Crusade and took part in The Scouring of Kasr XV
First War for Armageddon
In 444.M41, an entire Grey Knight Terminator brotherhood held back the last large-scale incursion but incurred heavy losses. Leader of the taskforce, Brother-Captain Aurellian died after personally banishing the Daemon Prince, Angron back into the Warp. Altogether, a bodyguard of over a dozen powerful Bloodthirster daemons, along with countless other minions of Khorne were destroyed by the Grey Knights, effectively ending the incursion. Only about a dozen Grey Knights survived the climatic battle, but the daemonic horde was completely decimated. The war is also notable for the veterans that survived, including future Grand Masters Vorth Mordrak and Mandulis; Brother-Captains Arvann Stern, Caddon Varn and Dhark Tegvar; and the current Castellan of the Purifier brotherhood - Garran Crowe.
After the war, the Grey Knights were instrumental in purging the Imperial Guard and civilian survivors to cleanse any remaining taint of Chaos. The Grey Knights also purged a multitude of planets and outposts that had come into any contact with the survivors. This led them into a conflict with the Space Wolves and the death of Grand Master Joros at the hands of Logan Grimnar. Some in the Grey Knights dub the entire aftermath of the war and ensuing conflict with the Space Wolves to be the Months of Shame.[22c]
- 290.M34 - War against the Hollow Cult
- 948.M38 - First Scouring of Coriolanthe
- 453.M40 - Cleansing of Hovar III
- 728.M40 - Thule Decimation.
- 601.M41 - The Battle of Crytor
- 799.M41 - The First Cleansing of Acrelem.
- 827.M41 - The Siege of Vraks
- 841.M41 - The Raxos Civil War.
- 855.M41 - The Destruction of the Red Talon Cults.
- 901.M41 - The Battle of Kornovin.
- 913.M41 - The Purging of Jollana
- 941.M41 - The Plague of Madness
- 959-961.M41 - The Pandorax Campaign
- 980.M41 - The Raid on Bakka
- 997.M41 - The battle for Sondheim V
- 999.M41 - The Purging of the Relictors chapter.
- 999.M41 - The 13th Black Crusade.
- ???.M41 - The Gore Sun Incursion
- ???,M41 - The Battle of Stynarous IV
The Grey Knights will feature heavily alongside Inquisitor Torquemada Coteaz, in the upcoming short film The Lord Inquisitor. This marks the first fan project to receive full endorsement by Games Workshop. In contrast to other fan projects such as Inquisitor (film), The Lord Inquisitor is a fully animated CGI film comparable, but already seemingly greater in quality than the professionally produced Ultramarines - A Warhammer 40,000 Movie. The project is managed by Erasmus Brosdau - a digital artist employed at Crytek - and the script is currently being written by famed Black Library author Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Little is known about the plot, however, Coteaz and a large contingent of Grey Knights will be hunting a Demon and members of the Alpha Legion . A trailer and a teaser were released earlier this year.
- 1: Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition)
- 2: Codex: Daemonhunters[Needs Citation]
- 3: White Dwarf 109 (UK), Terminator Squads[Needs Citation]
- 4: White Dwarf 376 (AU), Nemesis Dreadknights
- 5: Index Astartes - Purge the Unclean; White Dwarf Issue 260 (Australian Edition)[Needs Citation]
- 6: John Blanche, www.tearsofenvy.com
- 7: The Inquisition (Background Book)[Needs Citation]
- 8: Games Workshop - Grey Knights
- 9: Games Workshop - Grey Knight Brotherhood Champion
- 10: Games Workshop - Space Marin Librarian in Terminator Armour
- 11: Games Workshop - Grey Knight Terminators
- 12: Games Workshop - Storm Raven Gunship
- 13: White Dwarf 279, Codicium Imperialis: The First Battle for Armageddon, by Graham McNeill and Andy Hoare
- 14: http://www.games-2workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat1140003&prodId=prod1160011a
- 15:Grey Knights Strike Cruiser
- 16: Grey Knights (Novel) - The Grey Knights Omnibus by Ben Counter
- 17: Headhunted (Short Story) by Steve Parker – Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology), p. 279.
- 18: Sacrifice (Short Story) by Ben Counter – Victories of the Space Marines (Anthology), pp. 382-387, 390-398, and 403-407
- 19: Garro: Oath of Moment (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- 20: Garro: Legion of One (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- 21: The Last Remembrancer (Short Story) by John French
- 22: The Emperor's Gift (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden[Needs Citation]
- 23: Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three pg.6-30
- 24: The Killing Ground (Novel) by Graham McNeill: Chapter 15, pg. 235
- 25: Pandorax (Novel) by CZ Dunn, [Needs Citation]
- 26: The Ghost Halls (Short Story) by Laurie Goulding, pg. 1
- 27: Crucible (Short Story), pgs. 3-9
- 28: Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter, pg. 106
- 29: Warrior Coven (Novel) by C.S. Goto - Kill Squad: A Deathwatch Omnibus, Chapter 9, pgs. 340-341
- 30: Codex: Grey Knights (7th Edition) - Chapter Organisation
- 31: White Dwarf 391 (UK), pgs. 58-61
- Warhammer: Dark Millennium (1994, for second edition), p. 22
- Games Workshop
- Games Warkshop - Grey Knight Brother-Captain
- Games Workshop - Space Marine Techmarine
|HQ||Supreme Grand Master • Grand Master • Brother-Captain • Brotherhood Champion • Librarian • Ordo Malleus Inquisitor • Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor • Ordo Xenos Inquisitor|
|Elites||Techmarine • Purifier Squad • Venerable Dreadnought • Paladin Squad • Callidus Assassin • Eversor Assassin • Culexus Assassin • Vindicare Assassin • Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband|
|Troops||Terminator Squad • Strike Squad|
|Fast Attack||Stormraven Gunship • Interceptor Squad|
|Heavy Support||Purgation Squad • Dreadnought • Nemesis Dreadknight • Land Raider • Land Raider Crusader • Land Raider Redeemer|
|Transports||Rhino • Razorback • Inquisitorial Chimera|
|Special Characters||Kaldor Draigo (HQ) • Vorth Mordrak (HQ) • Arvann Stern (HQ) • Garran Crowe (HQ) • Anval Thawn (Troops) • Torquemada Coteaz (HQ) • Fyodor Karamazov (HQ) • Helynna Valeria (HQ)|