Grey Knights (Novel)
|Ambiguous Term? This article is about the novel by Ben Counter. For other uses of Grey Knights, see Grey Knights (disambiguation).|
|Followed by||Dark Adeptus|
On the world of Khorion IX, daemonhunter Mandulis of the Grey Knights is locked in a titanic battle with the daemon prince Ghargatuloth. In a fight that costs him his life, Mandulis manages to banish the foul daemon back to the warp for a thousand years. A millennium later, Justicar Alaric of the Grey Knights leads an elite team of his brothers to put paid to a prophecy which heralds Ghargatuloth's return.
999.M41: Justicar Alaric is wounded while participating in the capture of the rogue Inquisitor Gholic Ren-Sar Valinov. After Valinov's interrogation by the information psyker and Inquisitor Briseis Ligeia, the Ordo Malleus determines that the rogue inquisitor is attempting to summon Ghargatuloth back to realspace. Because the majority of the Knights have been dispatched to the Cadian Gate to combat the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade, only a small force can be spared. Identifying the place of Ghargatuloth's return as the Trail of Saint Evisser, Inquisitor Nyxos dispatches Alaric and Ligeia with a small contingent of Grey Knights aboard the Strike Cruiser Rubicon to prevent the Daemon's resurrection by any means necessary.
Journeying through the Trail, the Grey Knights slowly begin to uncover the clandestine corruption of the Imperial worlds by the agents of Tzeentch, battling heretics, sorcerors, and lesser daemons as they encroach upon the hidden temple that marks where Ghargatuloth will rise again.
Deeper investigations of the Chaos taint gradually reveal that Kelkannis Evisser was originally a construct of Ghargatuloth, a false saint created by the daemon to prepare the worlds of the Trail for his resurrection. Meanwhile, Valinov's final interrogations by the Inquisition reveal that the lightning-bolt-shaped Nemesis sword of Mandulis will be instrumental in preventing the Daemon Prince's return, and Ligeia dispatches her Death Cult Assassin bodyguards to Saturn, supposedly to retrieve the sword.
Covertly, however, Ligeia has ordered her bodyguard to prevent Valinov's execution at the hands of the Inquisition, and her death cult assassins successfully secure the rogue Inquisitor's release and escape. As Valinov flees to the worlds of the Trail with the intention of completing his master's ritual, Ligeia, corrupted by her prolonged exposure to the knowledge of Tzeentch, is arrested by her former comrades and tried as a heretic. Nyxos's attempts to interrogate the former Inquisitor meet with apparent failure as Ligeia replies in the blasphemous daemon tongues of the warp, and she is ultimately executed and her body destroyed.
Valinov, masquerading as a legitimate member of the Inquisition, arrives on the Trail world of Volcanis Ultor. Exploiting the veil of secrecy surrounding the Grey Knights chapter, the rogue Inquisitor convinces the Imperial Guard and Adepta Sororitas on Volcanis Ultor that the Grey Knights and their unknown strike cruiser are actually the vanguard of a Chaos battlegroup, and must be eliminated. The Rubicon is subsequently destroyed by the Imperial Navy that was originally sent there to quell the multiple cults erupting across the Trail, but the Grey Knights run the Imperial gauntlet and successfully make landfall with their contingent relatively intact.
Alaric and the Grey Knights are then forced to engage the Sisters of Battle, but their timely recognition by Canoness Ludmilla as forces of the Ordo Malleus halts the slaughter between the Imperial forces. The remnants of the Adepta Sororitas escort the Grey Knights to Ghargatuloth's hidden necropolis, where the Grey Knights do battle with the corrupted remains of Saint Evisser, and the Grey Knight Terminator Tancred successfully beheads the false saint with the sword of Mandulis.
It is then revealed that, rather than preventing Ghargatuloth's resurrection, the Grey Knights are ultimately responsible for completing the ritual that returns the Daemon Prince to realspace. After killing the majority of the remaining Grey Knights, Ghargatuloth, now manifested in physical form, explains to Alaric that he has manipulated the forces of the Ordo Malleus into bringing the sword of Mandulis to the Trail, and that use of the relic that banished him a millennium ago was a necessary requirement for his return. Alaric, undaunted, rejoins that the very fact that Ghargatuloth had to manipulate a whole train of worlds to secure his return shows just how much the daemon feared the Grey Knights' reprisal.
Alaric then asks to be allowed to speak some heroic last words, and the Daemon Prince arrogantly grants the Justicar his request. Alaric responds by quickly reciting the Daemon's True Name, granting him supremacy over Ghargatuloth. Ultimately, it is revealed that Ligeia, while driven to heresy, had successfully identified the Daemon Prince's True Name and conveyed it in what Nyxos and the other Inquistors had assumed to be the blasphemous daemon tongues spoken during her interrogations. Rendered vulnerable by the revelation of his True Name, Ghargatuloth is methodically banished back to the Warp by the combined efforts of the surviving Grey Knights, Sisters of Battle, and elements of the Imperial Guard. Valinov, his physical form decimated by his master's untimely destruction, is finally discovered by Alaric and promptly executed.
The book concludes with Inquisitor Nyxos recording the events and details leading to Ghargatuloth's second banishment in the second book of the Codicium Aeternum, and Alaric praying for Ligeia's soul at the place of her execution.
|The Grey Knights Omnibus||Grey Knights • Dark Adeptus • Hammer of Daemons|