|Marine||Basic Data||Chapter Symbol|
- 1 History
- 2 Notable Crusades & Campaigns
- 3 Doctrines and Codex Adherence
- 4 Chapter Disposition
- 5 Recruitment
- 6 Chapter Elements
- 7 Images
- 8 Trivia
- 9 See also
- 10 Sources
The First Champion
During Horus's attack on the Imperial Palace, the Imperial Fists' primarch, Rogal Dorn chose his First Captain, Sigismund, as the Emperor's Champion; he was given the best armour and weapon and swore a holy duty to challenge the Champions of Chaos, and triumphed over all he met in battle.
Aftermath of the Heresy
After the Horus Heresy, Roboute Guilliman, the primarch of the Ultramarines, ordered the breakdown of the Space Marine Legions into chapters. Dorn thought Guilliman a coward for not being there during the defence of Terra. Guilliman, in turn, thought Dorn a rebel for refusing to accept the dictates of the new Codex Astartes. Neither would give in. Leman Russ of the Space Wolves and Vulkan of the Salamanders both sided with Dorn, as they did not want their Legions divided, while Corax of the Raven Guard and Jaghatai Khan of the White Scars sided with Guilliman. Again, civil war threatened to split the Imperium.
The Imperial Fists were persecuted for their so-called heresies and even fired upon by the Imperial Navy. When civil war seemed all but inevitable, Dorn finally relented and agreed to split his legion. The first Successor Chapters created from the Imperial Fists were the Crimson Fists and the Black Templars.
Creation of the Black Templars
Sigismund led the more zealous of the Imperial Fists with him to the founding of the Black Templars, and became their first High Marshal. Sigismund swore an oath upon leaving Terra, that he and his new chapter would prove their loyalty by never resting in his duties against enemies of the Emperor. Sigismund spent much of this time remaining vigilant over the Cadian Gate, insisting that Horus' Traitors would one day return to plague the Imperium. Despite the dismissals of many Imperial officials, Sigismund was proven right when Abaddon returned in the First Black Crusade. The Black Templar fleet was waiting, and a massive battle erupted that saw Sigismund slain by Abaddon himself.
Since his death, every High Marshal has renewed Sigismund's oath of never-ending crusade and as such, the Black Templars' Crusade has continued for over ten thousand years.
In 998.M41, the Black Templars would briefly come to blows with the Dark Angels, after the Templars refused to hand over a prisoner that the Dark Angels suspected to be Cypher. The incident is reported to the Adeptus Terra, and Inquisitor Archibald was assigned to lead the inquiry.
Age of the Dark Imperium
The Black Templars found themselves spread across the Galaxy when the Great Rift opened. By the end of the Noctis Aeterna, several Crusades were discovered to have vanished altogether while even those within the Imperium Sanctus found themselves scattered. Rather than using the reactivation of the Astronomican as a reprieve to consolidate and recoperate, the Black Templars instead undertook a vicious purge against the new wave of mutation and heresy within the Imperium Sanctus left in the wake of the Noctis Aeterna. Other Crusades redoubled their efforts against the enemies of Mankind, and new Chapter Keeps were raised.[5f]
It was during this time that Roboute Guilliman's Torchbearer Fleets discovered the Black Templars and delivered the Primaris Space Marines to them. Many thought that the fanatical Black Templars would reject the newcomers, and fearing conflict Guilliman himself met High Marshal Helbrecht aboard the Eternal Crusader. The High Marshal was in the midst of pursuing the Ork Warboss Ghazghkull, and was impatient to conduct diplomatic matters. In the ensuing meeting Guilliman was surprised by the willingness of Helbrecht to recognize the value of the Primaris line, while Guilliman did not turn out to be the commanding despot that the High Marshal expected. Guilliman gave Helbrecht the choice of accepting Primaris Space Marines and reminded the High Marshal that he was responsible to the whole of Mankind's realm as opposed to his own personal vendettas with the Orks. In the end, Helbrecht accepted the Primaris into his ranks and promoted a number of his own Sword Brethren to Marshals in order to command new Crusades made up of former Greyshields. Helbrecht's acceptance of the Primaris Space Marines helped convince the various Crusade Fleets to also incorporate these new warriors into their ranks.[5f] However the incorporation of Primaris Space Marines did not go entirely smoothly for the Chapter, most infamously in the Angevin Crusade[56b]
There has been some talk that Black Templars are especially resilient in crossing the Rubicon Primaris, and that it made be a reward for their faith in the Emperor. It is unknown if this is verified fact or simply a rumour.[5f]
Notable Crusades & Campaigns
- 781.M31 - The First Black Crusade. A Massive Black Templars fleet under Sigismund himself defends the Cadian Gate against the first of Abaddon's incursions. The Black Templars are ultimately defeated, and Sigismund is slain in a duel with Abaddon.
- 544.M32 - The War of the Beast. During the conflict, the Black Templars contributed a portion of their strength to rebuild the Imperial Fists.
- 401.M34 - The Howling
- 831.M35 - The Barbarus Incursion
- M36 - The Wars of Apostasy, also known as the Terran Crusade
- 543.M36 - The Second Purging of Lastrati
- 291.M37 - The Sanctimonia Conflict
- ???.M38 - The Arkron Crusade
- ???.M39 - The Aegisine Crusade
- 322.M39 - The Angevin Crusade
- 645.M39 - The Jerulas Crusade
- 985.M39 - The Donian Crusade
- ???.M41- The Battle of Schrodinger VII
- ???.M41 - The Ghoul Stars Crusade
- ???.M41 - The Nightfire Crusade
- ???.M41 - The Kotov Crusade. A squad of Black Templars take part in Lexell Kotov's expedition to discover the fate of the lost fleet of Vettius Telok. They are commanded by Reclusiarch Kul Gilad.
- Mid.M41 - Securing of the holy Las-Impulsor STC stolen from the Forge World Ixas by the Chaos Space Marines and Dark Mechanicus
- 790.M41 - The Nimbosa Crusade
- 833.M41 - The Vinculus Crusade
- 865.M41 - Verdeworlds Campaign
- 888.M41 - The Crusade of Wrath
- 955.M41 - The Crusade of Sorrow
- 998.M41 - The Dimaris Crusade
- 998.M41 - The Tiberior Crusade
- 998.M41 - The Third War for Armageddon - The Black Templars fielded three Crusades. In addition, High Marshal Helbrecht was appointed Commander of the combined Space Marine fleet that supported Battlefleet Armageddon against the orks in void skirmishes throughout the Armageddon System.[44a]
- 999.M41: The 13th Black Crusade - The Black Templars contribute a Crusade Fleet to counter not only Chaos forces, but also the nearby Ork Green Kroosade.
- ~999.M41: The Ultramar Campaign - Marius Amalrich emerges as the sole survivor of his Crusade after taking part in the campaign that saw Roboute Guilliman revived.
- ~???.M42: The Shrine World Crusade
- ???.M42: The Battle of Ophelia VII. The Black Templars aid the Indomitus Crusade in liberating the Holy World of Ophelia VII.[39a][39e]
- ???.M42: The Battle of San Leor
- ???.M42: The Battle of the Ophelia System
- ???.M42: The Angevin Crusades. Turns to mutiny over the issue of Primaris Space Marines.[56b]
- ???.M42: The War of Beasts on Vigilus. The Black Templars send a company strength formation.
- ???.M42: The Talledus War. Forces from the Rutherian Crusade under Castellan Dramos leads forces against the Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, and Night Lords in the Talledus System.
- ???.M42: The War in the Pariah Nexus
- ???.M42: The War for the Sithoza System
- ???.M42 - The Purgus Crusade[51a]
- ???.M42 - The Heimdel Crusade[51c]
- ???.M42 - The Battle for Vanadus VI[51c]
- ???.M42 - The Battle for Karastil II[51d]
- ???.M42 - The Proxica Crusade[51d]
- ???.M42 - The Battle of the Cyan Stars[51f]
- ???.M42 - The Battle of Hocheim II[51f]
- ???.M42 - The Oparian Crusade beyond the Ghoul Stars[51f]
- ???.M42 - The Gheidos Crusade[51f]
- ???.M42 - The Immotaria Crusade[51f]
- ???.M42 - The Octarius War
- ???.M42 - The Nachmund Rift War
- The Ajaxian Crusade
- Battle for Barbarossa IV
- The Battle of Sharlor
- The Crusade of the Ophidium Gulf
- The Declates Crusade
- The Defense of Aralan
- The Donorian Crusade
- The Benedictine War
- The Dathax Crusade
- The Thorados Crusade
- The Ledovar Crusade
- The Purge of Capitarius[51d]
- The Geonide Crusade
- The Hive Thetus Crusade
- The Lastrati Crusade
- Mephistari Crusade
- The Purging of Centrati's Eye
- The Purge of Krostein
- The Tanhelm Crusade[51c]
- The Rutger's Reach Crusade[51d]
- The War for Lilia Mundi
- The Taricus Crusade
- The Vornn Crusade[51d]
- The Purging of Orbial Hive 72 in orbit around Porphyr III
- The Battle for Cephian IV[51d]
- The Spire-wars of Thesjor[51d]
- The Arks of Omen Campaign
Doctrines and Codex Adherence
By their doctrine, the Black Templars abhor the traitor, the alien and the mutant. The last category includes psykers, but Black Templars do use psykers in other non-combatant roles, such as Astropaths and Navigators. Black Templars view these beings with special reverence as they see them as able to commune directly with the Emperor. The Black Templars are also one of the few Chapters to not utilize Librarians since the psychic catastrophe known as The Howling[39e]
Black Templars place great emphasis on close combat prowess and honour. As such they can often be seen charging into suicidal situations to avenge fallen comrades. Black Templar Marines also set themselves apart from standard Codex doctrine by including Neophytes into squads of fully initiated Marines to help teach them the ways of battle and the art of combat.
The Black Templars were the first chapter to find the design for the Land Raider Crusader and were the first chapter to make use of it. The Crusader design replaces the lascannons mounted on standard Land Raiders with Hurricane-pattern bolters, placing a greater emphasis on anti-infantry firepower and freeing up greater space within to carry larger squads.
The Black Templars are also notorious for defying Codex doctrine that states that a chapter may only number 1000 battle brothers. This is partly due to the divided nature of the chapter, being spread out everywhere on separate crusades (usually consisting of several hundred Battle-Brothers) and no one has thus been able to keep track of their exact numbers. However, it has been estimated that there may be several thousand Black Templars Companies spread out around the galaxy - an almost unstoppable force if gathered at one place and cause for the Inquisition to keep a close eye on the Black Templars.
Vows of the Black Templars[1c]
- Suffer Not the Unclean to Live
- Uphold the Honour of the Emperor
- Abhor the Witch. Destroy the Witch
- Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds
The Black Templars have continued in the style of their first High Marshal, preferring close combat over ranged warfare. This is further emphasised by the fanaticism of Black Templars Initiates, whose righteous anger makes them impulsive and headstrong.
When making war, the Crusade will focus on two main tactics. The first is orbital assault; where the Crusade will use drop pods and Thunderhawks to perform a mass-landing in the wake of a heavy orbital bombardment. If resistance is still strong after this, the Templars will land their heavy armour and launch an armoured spearhead against the weakest link in the enemy's defensive line, using Crusader-pattern Land Raiders.
As part of their dedication to the Emperor and their Crusade, the Black Templars swear fell oaths of faith and protection. Before a battle, it is considered customary to renew one of these oaths, the particular vow serving as a focus on the particular aspect of their duties considered to be necessary to ensure success.
The Black Templars are not organised like a typical Codex Chapter. They give mere lip service to Roboute Guilliman's Codex Astartes, instead operating many roaming Crusades Fleets that battle the enemies of mankind across the Galaxy. The exact size of the Chapter is unknown save only to the High Marshal himself. There is little doubt however that the Black Templars are far larger than a standard Codex Chapter.[5d]
- The High Marshal is the equivalent of a Chapter Master; he is responsible for monitoring the progress of all Current Crusades.[5d]
- Each Crusade is led by a Marshal, chosen amongst the Sword Brethren during ritual combat and confirmed by the High Marshal. Only once was this approval known to be withheld, during the Gervahrt Repeal of M36.[1b] On especially momentous occasions, Marshals may meet with the High Marshal aboard the Eternal Crusader to hold a Chapter Council.[5d]
- Below the Marshals are Castellans, who command the Fighting Companies and act as their commanders' lieutenants. These figures are also charged with the rule of active Chapter Keeps and of occupied worlds.[5d]
- In addition to the general structure of the Chapter, there exists a special rank: that of the Emperor's Champion. An Emperor's Champion is selected on the eve of a battle just as Sigismund, the first Emperor's Champion and first High Marshal of the Black Templars, was. The champion is an Initiate who will have experienced a vision of the Emperor. When he reports this to the Chaplains, they will anoint him, and gift him with the finest weapons and armour available, known as the Black Sword and the Armour of Faith. These may vary from fighting company to fighting company.
Crusader Squads are made up of raw recruit Neophytes, rank-and-file Initiates, and elite Sword Brethren. These squads often form strong bonds and it is not uncommon for Black Templars to remain in them even upon becoming veterans. Initiates will sometime spend decades or even centuries in their role, whereas Battle-Brothers in conventional chapters tend to progress through the ranks steadily. However the Black Templars see Initiates as walking their own path, and only he and the Emperor may determine how he wields his skills in defense of Mankind. However as the years pass, most Initiates develop new skills and specialities, often taking on more specialized roles such as Assault Marines, Incursors, Aggressors, and so on. Others chose to ride and pilot vehicles or dawn Invictor Warsuits.[5d]
After especially notable victories or harrowing trials, Initiates are often given battle-honours, relics, and other such awards. Eventually, they will obtain the rank of Veteran, which is bestowed independently by a Chaplain or Castellan, or even a fellow Veteran. Veterans are excused of training of Neophytes and will often be deployed in specialized Veteran formations such as Bladeguard, Sternguard, Terminators, Veteran Intercessors, and so on.[5d]
Unlike many other chapters, the Black Templars do not have a homeworld. Eschewing the idea of one, they opt to live aboard their crusade fleets. These vary in size and are made up of dozens of Battle Barges, Strike Cruisers and other craft such as training vessels and huge forge ships.
Given this fleet-based nature, the Black Templars are rarely assembled as a Chapter, but are instead divided into many Crusades, every Crusade being responsible for its own recruiting as well as training of new Neophytes.[39c]
This flexible, mobile nature allows the Templars to continue the first mission of the Black Templars: to actively seek out the enemies of the Emperor and destroy them before moving onwards to find the next foe.
The exact number of Crusade fleets active at any one time, as well as the size of the individual fleets, varies according to the Chapter's needs and abilities.[39c][39d] The exact size of Crusade Fleets varies, with some numbering a handful of warriors while others may even number thousands. However the typical size of a Crusade Fleet is between 50 and 300 warriors.[5d]
The High Marshal himself has his own personal Battle Barge, the Eternal Crusader, a huge vessel that is the spiritual home of the entire Chapter and contains its most sacred relics, chapels, and reliquaries. It has been expanded and refitted many times and can currently hold twice as many Space Marines as a normal battle barge.[Needs Citation]
Many Imperial Citizens want to become a Black Templar, so they hone their skills which helps them later to enter the ranks of the Imperial Guard or planetary defence force even if they are not chosen to be Neophytes. Those who declare their intent to join Black Templars are known as Expectanten and have a long and dangerous journey to survive before they can became a simple Neophyte.
Known Recruitment Worlds
- Barbarossa IV - Agri-World. A Chapter citadel is located in the northern wastes.
- Lilia Mundi
- Purgatius III
When a Crusade Fleet conquerors a world, the Black Templars often raise a Chapter Keep upon it to maintain their vigil. Though smaller than the Fortress-Monastery of a Codex Chapter, these are nonetheless formidable bastions that can house 200-300 Space Marines as well as support personnel and Servitors, though few rarely garrison numbers this large. As Chapter Keeps are often raised on worlds ravaged by war, they are usually home to a violent and brutal population and are seen as prime recruitment material.[5d]
The following planets are known to host Black Templars keeps:
- Eternal Crusader — Battle Barge, Flagship of the Black Templars.
- Abhorrence — Battle Barge.
- Revenant — Battle Barge.
- Sigismund — Battle Barge.
- Sigismund's Fury — Battle Barge.
- Sigismund's Light — Battle Barge.
- Sigismund's Oath — Battle Barge. Fought in the Third Armageddon War.
- Apocalypton — Strike Cruiser.
- Blade of the Seventh Son — Strike Cruiser.
- Dorn's Sword — Strike Cruiser.
- Dorn's Wrath — Strike Cruiser.
- Excellent — Strike Cruiser.
- Ophidian Gulf — Strike Cruiser.
- Lightbearer — Strike Cruiser.[51c]
- Unmerciful — Strike Cruiser.[51a]
- Divine Mandate — Strike Cruiser.[51a]
- Adytum — Rapid Strike vessel.[8b]
- Cantatum Bellum — Vanguard Class Light Cruiser of the Angevin Crusade.[56a]
- Heracles — Forgeship.
- Valorous Vow — Light Destroyer.[Needs Citation]
- Cross of Dorn — Aquatic Warship.
Notable Black Templars
- Sigismund - Emperor's Champion and first Black Templar High Marshal.
- Helbrecht - current Black Templars High Marshal.[1d]
- Ludoldus - previous High Marshal, instigator of the eternal Morator Crusade, commander of the Vinculus and Jerulas crusades.
- Kordhel - High Marshal killed by a Champion of Chaos.[1d]
- Scharn - High Marshal.
- Bohemond - High Marshal during the War of the Beast.
- Sigenandus - High Marshal of the Terran Crusade (also known as the Wars of Apostasy).
- Constantine - High Marshal during the Age of Redemption.
- Actoan - Marshal.
- Ricard - Marshal, Commander of the Dimaris Crusade.[1d]
- Sendric - Marshal[51b]
- Amalrich - Marshal, Commander of the Tiberior Crusade.[1d]
- Armante - was a Black Templars Marshal, who led the Chapter's Lastrati Crusade.
- Adelbert - Marshal
- Austein - Marshal, Instigator and commander of the Donian Crusade in the Segmentum Pacificus; killed by Orks in 988.M39 on Nickel V.
- Werhner - Marshal, Austein's heir apparent, victor of the Donian Crusade after 17 years of fighting; became Marshal of the Thangdron Crusade.
- Brant - Marshal, Leader of the Black Templars sent to Armageddon.
- Magneric - Marshal and Dreadnought.
- Marius Amalrich - Marshal.
- Galan Mauger - Marshal[51e]
- Gheidon - Marshal[51c]
- Haeson - Marshal.
- Montfort - Marshal.
- Gervhart - Instigator of the Second Purging of Lastrati.
- Dramos - Castellan.
- Geraud - Battle-Brother.
- Alehart - Emperor's Champion.
- Navarre - Emperor's Champion.
- Tomas - Emperor's Champion of the Donian Crusade.
- Torund - Emperor's Champion.
- Ansgar - Emperor's Champion.
- Rynart - Emperor's Champion.
- Garrein - Emperor's Champion.
- Cenric - Emperor's Champion.
- Bethuel - Emperor's Champion of the purging of Orbital Hive 72.
- Horst - Emperor's Champion who took part in the Lastrati Crusade, when it came to the aid of the Imperium world of Arthas as it was being invaded by the forces of Nurgle.
- Draco - Castellan, veteran of the Vinculus Crusade.
- Gothchalcus - Castellan, commander of a fighting company in the Donian Crusade.
- Folkert - Castellan of the Nimbosa Crusade.
- Heinman - Castellan, commander of a fighting company in the Donian Crusade.
- Zvarin Roist - Castellan.
- Lazarus - Castellan, commander of a fighting company in the Donian Crusade.
- Clermont - Castellan during the War of the Beast.
- Brechan - Castellan
- Merek Grimaldus - Reclusiarch.
- Kul Gilad - Reclusiarch.[8a]
- Albanactus - Chaplain, member of the Deathwatch.
- Augustin - Chaplain, part of the Marshal's household in the Donian Crusade.
- Haldredd - Chaplain, who took part in the Nightfire Crusade against the Tau Farsight Enclaves.
- Leuter - Chaplain, part of the Marshal's household in the Donian Crusade.
- Ghermer - Chaplain[51f]
- Mavros - Chaplain.
- Ferdinand - Chaplain, who take part in Marshal Armante's Lastrati Crusade when it came to the aid of the Imperial world of Arthas, when it was invaded by the forces of Nurgle.
- Eckehart - Household Banner Bearer. Part of the Marshal's household in the Donian Crusade.
- Gerhart - Sword Brother, later entombed as the Dreadnought Tankred.
- Korneliusz - Marshal.
- Ecastus - Chaplain.
- Bachorath - Chaplain Dreadnought and later member of the Imperial Fists.
- Rammius - Dreadnought, close friend of Helbrecht.
- Emmerich Berengard - became First Captain of the Imperial Fists.
- Baldarich - Deathwatch member during the War of the Beast.[23b]
- Gerlach - Dreadnought that took part in the Donorian Crusade. See also his quote
- Bremen - Expectanten, who after the reconquest of the Barbarossa keep rose to Initiate rank.
- Hermann - Sergeant who fought on Barbarossa IV for the Barbarossa keep against the orks.
- Frederick - Initiate who fought on Barbarossa IV for the Barbarossa keep against the orks.
- Theodorich - Hierophant and Reclusiarch who fought on Barbarossa IV for Barbarossa Keep against the orks.
- Utrecht - Neophyte who fought on Barbarossa IV for the Barbarossa keep against the orks.
- Helbrant Alderic - Became Captain of the 8th Company of the Imperial Fists.
- Walker - Chapter Ancient[51e]
- Racej Lucerne - Sword Brother
- Siggard - Dreadnought.
- Adelard - Dreadnought known as Invictus Potens.
- Jarold - Dreadnought.
- The Black Templars are somewhat based on the Knights Templar, a military order of the Catholic church. In addition, their Germanic undertones and active crusading against "heretics" seem to be inspired by the Teutonic Order
- The Black Templars were stated to be 5,000-6,000 strong in the 4th Edition Codex. However in the 2014 Novel Eternal Crusader, they were stated to be Codex compliant, with 1,000 Battle-Brothers. Author Guy Haley went on to state on his blog that the Black Templars numbers are variable depending on the time of the setting and story requirements. In Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury it is restated that the Black Templars do not adhere to the Codex Astartes and are larger than a standard Chapter. Each of their Crusades is stated to be thousands strong.[38b]
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