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Knights-Errant

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Nathaniel Garro, former Battle-Captain of the Death Guard, the first of Malcador's "Knights-Errant"[1]

The Knights-Errant[3] were a small host of Space Marines gathered during the Horus Heresy on the orders of Malcador the Sigillite[1a].

Founding

Malcador's Sigil, which was inscribed onto the armour of the Knights-Errant[10].

While Horus's rebellion was raging across the Galaxy, Malcador was already thinking ahead to the future. When Nathaniel Garro, Battle-Captain of the Death Guard Legion, escaped to Terra aboard the Eisenstein after refusing to follow his brothers' treason, Malcador called an audience with him and two of his companions, Iacton Qruze of the Luna Wolves and Amendera Kendel of the Sisters of Silence. He gave them a new purpose by tasking them with serving the Emperor in a different way, as the forerunners of on organisation that would 'require men and women of an inquisitive nature, hunters who might seek the witch, the traitor, the mutant, the xenos...'[2]. Malcador then tasked Garro with several dangerous missions to recruit other Space Marines into the group.

Missions

Calth

The first of Garro's recruiting missions sent him to Calth, where he arrived in the midst of the Word Bearers's surprise attack to recruit Tylos Rubio of the Ultramarines. A suspicious Rubio said it was foolhardy for Garro to appear alone on a battlefield, "court[ing] death... like some ancient knight-errant." Garro, who had renounced his former rank, was amused to accept the title as fitting[1b]. He helped the Ultramarines fend off the Word Bearers' attacks but Rubio refused to abandon his company, and only left the battlefield with Garro after an overwhelming assault forced him to unleash his banned pysker powers, which saved his comrades but earned him their censure for breaking the Edict of Nikaea[1].

Sol

Garro's second mission took place in the Sol system itself when a group of refugee ships arrived from the Isstvan system, claiming to be loyalists. Along with Rubio and agents of the Legio Custodes Garro investigated the fleet, which was led by loyalist World Eater Macer Varren but included White Scars and Emperor's Children as well. Events soon incriminated the Emperor's Children as traitors, but Garro, Rubio and Varren realized they had been tricked when the White Scars murder the Emperor's Children and Custodes. All of Varren's men are killed but he, Garro and Rubio escape and destroy the ship with the White Scars aboard [3].

The Phalanx

Garro undertook a further recruiting mission alone, infiltrating the Imperial Fists star-fortress Phalanx to rescue a Librarian named Massic, who had been imprisoned by his Legion since the Edict of Nikaea. Garro reached Massic and the other Librarians but they refused to leave and he was caught by Rogal Dorn, who warned him and Malcador by proxy not to interfere again, but revealed that he was not imprisoning his Librarians out of blind obedience but to keep them safe for the war to come [5].

Isstvan

On Garro's final recruiting mission he, Rubio and Varren were sent to Isstvan III in the wake of Horus's virus bombing to recruit a survivor. Discovering a small colony of human refugees who survived their world's destruction they learned of 'the beast', a feral creature that attacks the survivors. Garro and Rubio tracked 'the beast' but it overwhelmed them before going after Varren. Seen to be an Astartes the beast killed several of the human survivors before being driven off by Rubio. However, Rubio later discovered marks of Nurgle on the bodies and the survivors were revealed to be plague zombies, which rose up and attacked the three who were only just saved by the return of the beast. After killing the zombies the beast turned on Garro, but Garro was able to restore the Astartes' damaged mind by revealing his true identity: Garviel Loken[4].

Caliban

Garviel Loken and Iacton Qruze were sent to Caliban to ascertain the loyalty of the Dark Angels garrison there. Loken was captured by Luther who interrogated him for information, and determined that Luther might be tainted but that he did not know of the Heresy and not to mention anything lest it be what tips Luther over the edge into betrayal. Freed by a Watcher in the Dark Loken reunited with Qruze, who was forced to shoot a Dark Angel so they could escape. They were then led to freedom by a mysterious Dark Angel who knew of the Heresy, Cypher[6].

Baal

Tylos Rubio undertook a mission of his own to Baal, bringing word to the small Blood Angels garrison there that with their primarch and Legion lost in the Signus Cluster they were to be disbanded and their fleet and armoury distributed amongst the other loyal Legions. The garrison's commander was prepared to kill Rubio to prevent this from happening, but before this could happen a message came through that Sanguinius and the Blood Angels had survived the ambush at Signus. Happy at this outcome Rubio returned to Terra [7].

Molech

The Knights-Errant undertook their first mission as a full squad at the behest of Leman Russ, who worked with Malcador to send a squad to infiltrate Horus's flagship, the Vengeful Spirit [8]. Placed in charge of the mission, Garviel Loken recruited nine other Knights-Errant: Rubio, Varren, Iacton Qruze, Ares Voitek, Tubal Cayne, Bror Tyrfingr, Altan Nohai, Callion Zaven and Rama Karayan [8a]. Only Severian refused to join the mission [8b].

After Severian joined them anyway the Knights, guided by Tubal Cayne's sensors and planning and flying in the ship Tarnhelm piloted by mortal woman Banu Rassuah, boarded the Warmaster's flagship undetected. Leaving a trail of futharc runes to guide a future Space Wolves assault the team moved up through the ship before eventually encountering Sons of Horus resistance. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder upon being back on the flagship Loken was too dazed to fight when the team engaged in a skirmish in an armoury, in which Severian, Varren and Zaven were wounded, the latter two badly. Despite Altan Nohai's ministrations, Zaven died shortly afterwards [8c]. Tubal Cayne voiced the opinion that Loken was unfit to lead, but the others vouched for him and he led them further into the ship, where they encountered a cult gathering presided over by Serghar Targost. Rama Karayan assassinated Targost from hiding with a bullet to the brain and the Knights slaughtered the cultists, only for Targost's corpse to reanimate, possessed by the daemon Samus, and rip out Tubal Cayne's throat. The others fought back but could not kill Samus until an Ultramarine prisoner, Proximo Tarchon, slew it with a ritual dagger. Altan Nohai attempted to remove Cayne's gene-seed but was shot through the head by Tormageddon, who had already surprised and killed Rama Karayan, as Sons of Horus led by Grael Noctua took the rest prisoner [8d]. The Knights-Errant were brought before Horus, who returned to his flagship after conquering Molech, and attempted to talk Loken into rejoining the Sons of Horus. Despite being tempted Loken was able to defy his former primarch and the Knights turned on their captors, initiating a brutal brawl that led to the mortal wounding of Ares Voitek and Proximo Tarchon and the deaths of Grael Noctua, Tormageddon's host body and Iacton Qruze. At that moment Loken was able to summon Banu Rassuah in the Tarnhelm, who blew out the room's windows and sucked the surviving Knights into space. Voitek, Tarchon and Varren were placed in healing comas while Rubio recovered and Bror Tyrfingr and Severian convinced Loken that the mission's failure was not his fault [8e].

Legacy

The Knights-Errant would eventually be the forerunners of the Grey Knights, a unique Space Marine Chapter created to combat Chaos daemons[9]. The Knights-Errant fortress on Titan would go on to become the Citadel of Titan of the Grey Knights.

Known Members

Macer Varren, former Captain of the World Eaters.[4]

There were 20 original members of the Knights Errant, either recruited directly from Malcador or recruited second hand.

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Sources