|Marine||Basic Data||Chapter Symbol|
The Astral Knights sacrificed their chapter to destroy the World Engine. This Necron weapon was a planet-sized spaceship, armed with gauss projectors capable of scouring planets of all life.[1a] The World Engine was attacked by a task force composed of elements from fifteen Space Marine chapters, plus elements from the Imperial Navy. Even the starships' mightiest weapons could not harm it. Drop pods and torpedoes could not penetrate its void shields and it was impossible to lock on to it with teleport beams. The Imperial task force tried twelve times to overwhelm it through sheer valour and firepower and was rewarded with a string of destroyed and crippled ships and millions of casualties. The World Engine destroyed a third of an Imperial Navy Battlefleet before Artor Amhrad, the Chapter Master of the Astral Knights, decided to ram the World Engine with his Battle barge, Tempestus[1a].
Engines at full power, the Battle Barge collided with the World Engine's shields, and broke through. Only once they were inside the shields did the Space Marines have a chance. The entire Astral Knights chapter deployed from Drop Pods onto the artificial world's surface. For one hundred hours, seven hundred seventy-two Astral Knights fought against tens of thousands of Necrons, destroying every flux generator, weapon forge and command node they came upon. But each victory came at a price. Only Amhrad and five battle brothers were left to launch the final assault. Fighting with the fury that legends are made from, the surviving Astral Knights made their way to the deepest part of the World Engine that housed many command nodes. In a final act of heroism, Amhrad detonated melta-charges that brought down the World Engine's shields and silenced most of its weaponry. The Astral Knights were gone.[1a]
But their sacrifice was not in vain. Seeing the foe defenceless, the Imperial fleet destroyed the World Engine with volley after volley of cyclonic torpedoes. A monument made of seven hundred seventy-two arbalstone statues and the wreckage of the Tempestus now stands on the lifeless world of Safehold, the final victim of the World Engine. This shrine is guarded by a score of Space Marines from the dozen Chapters who fought at the Astral Knights' side.[1a] Another Chapter, the Sable Swords, was formed to take custody of the Astral Knights' Fortress Monastery.[1a]
Following the sacrifice of the Astral Knights Chapter and the destruction of the Worldengine, it is Blood Angels Captain Donatos Aphael of the 2nd Company who proposes that a permanent shrine to the Astral Knights be raised upon the planet of Safehold. From that day forth, two Blood Angels of the 2nd Company are permanently assigned to stand guard over the memorial.
- Artor Amhrad - Chapter Master at the time of the encounter with the World Engine. Sacrificed himself during the battle to bring down the World Engine's Void Shields[4a]
- Hyalhi - Chief Librarian[4b]
- Masayak - Reclusiarch[4b]
- Pelissar - Captain of the 2nd Company[4b]
- Khurz - Chaplain of the 2nd Company[4b]
- Sufutar - Captain of the 3rd Company[4b]
- Mohari - Captain of the 4th Company[4b]
- Sheherz - Captain of the 6th Company and Master of the Fleet[4b]
- Ifriqi - Captain of the 7th Company[4b]
- Zahiros - Captain of the 8th Company[4b]
- Khabyar - Captain of the 9th Company[4b]
- Hadrach - Captain
- Thade - Dreadnought and one of the rare known survivors of the Chapter. Now acts as Chapter Master.
- Tempestus - Battle Barge and flagship. Badly damaged in the battle against the World Engine and not acts as a Shrine on Safehold.[1a]
The color scheme and iconography of the Astral Knights differ greatly in the novel The World Engine from its original depiction.
- 1: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- 2: Obsidian (Short Story) by Graham McNeill
- 3: Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pg. 16
- 4: The World Engine (Novel)
- 5: The Cost of Command (Short Story)
- 6: White Dwarf November 2019, pg. 25
- 7: Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters, pg. 13