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Emperor's Champion

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Black Templars' champion. For other uses of Champion, see Champion (disambiguation).
The Emperor's Champion slays an Ork [6]

The Emperor's Champions are elite warriors of the Black Templars. These Battle-Brothers usually seek out the enemy's champions and challenge them to single combat, just as Sigismund first did in the Battle of Terra during the Horus Heresy.[1]


On the eve of battle, the Black Templars spend their time in meditation. It is alleged that at this point one of their number will be visited upon by a vision of the Emperor, guiding him to victory, he then presents himself to the company Chaplain for scrutiny. The Emperor's Champion is permitted to bear powerful artefacts from the armoury, namely the Armour of Faith and the Black Sword. Before battle, the Champion also leads the Templars in renewing one of the four Vows, each one adding a different effect during battle as it instills the Black Templars with righteous fury. Those vows are: "Suffer Not The Unclean To Live," "Uphold The Honour Of The Emperor," "Abhor The Witch, Destroy The Witch," and "Accept Any Challenge, No Matter The Odds".[Needs Citation]

In battle he goes out to fight the enemy in the name of the Emperor. His presence serves as a fantastic inspiration to the rest of his battle-brothers, leading the whole battle-group to feats of prowess beyond that of even normal Space Marines and even if the champion dies on the battlefield (which is a bad omen), his name and deeds are recorded and remembered for the rest of time. By tradition, there is only one Emperor's Champion for the entire chapter, but in practice there is usually one Champion per Black Templar Crusade.[Needs Citation]

History of the Tradition

The tradition of the Emperor's Champion dates back to the time of the Horus Heresy before the inception of the Black Templars. The first Emperor's Champion was First Captain Sigismund of the Imperial Fists Legion. The Primarch Rogal Dorn bestowed upon him the new title during the attack on the Imperial Palace, where he served victoriously. The practice of the tradition remained with Sigismund after his separation from the Imperial Fists to become the Black Templars first High Marshal.[Needs Citation][Note 1]

Known Emperor's Champions




  • Note 1: In the novel Fulgrim, Rogal Dorn is given the title of Emperor's Champion upon his return to Terra as head of the Emperor's guard, which might be the point of origin for the title.

Conflicting sources

Though most sources state that the Emperor's champion is a role unique to the Black Templars in the 41st Millennium, they have also been reported in other Chapters, usually Imperial Fists or their successors:

  • The novel Seventh Retribution includes an Imperial Fists Emperor's Champion in the Battle of Opis. Additionally, this novel indicates that the role is something that is competed for, rather than being granted based on visions had by the Space Marines.[2]
  • The Crimson Fists have also been recorded as using an Emperor's Champion, though far less frequently than the Black Templars. However, since the Invasion of Rynn's World, which devastated the Chapter, none amongst them have been gifted with visions of the Emperor. This may be connected with the explosion that destroyed the Chapter's Fortress Monastery, during the conflict with the Orks, and which likely destroyed the Crimson Fists' ancient and sacred vestments of the Emperor's Champion.[4]
  • The Blood Ravens also make use of the Emperor's Champion, by choosing a veteran Battle Brother within their Chapter. Their Champion wields the Thunder Hammer Deliverance and the Storm Shield Repudiation in battle; armaments known in the Chapter as the Holy Arms of the Champion.[3]

See also



Black Templars Forces
Headquarters High MarshalMarshalCastellanEmperor's ChampionChaplain (ReclusiarchPrimaris ChaplainJudiciar) • Techmarine (Primaris Techmarine) • Apothecary (Primaris Apothecary) • Ancient (Primaris Ancient) • Relic Bearer
Veteran Squads Sword Brethren (Primaris Sword Brethren) • Bladeguard VeteransSternguard VeteranVanguard VeteranTerminator SquadVeteran Intercessor
Battleline Squads Initiate (Primaris Initiate) • IntercessorInfiltrator
Close Support Squads Assault InitiateNeophyte (Primaris Neophyte) • Assault IntercessorInceptorReiverIncursorAssault Centurion
Fire Support Squads DevastatorHeavy IntercessorHellblasterAggressorEliminatorSuppressorEradicatorDevastator Centurion
Walkers Dreadnought (VenerableContemptorRedemptor) • Invictor
Vehicles Space Marine Bike (Attack BikeOutrider) • Invader ATVLand Speeder (Storm) • Storm SpeederRhinoRazorbackImpulsorLand Raider (CrusaderRedeemer) • Repulsor (Executioner) • Predator (AnnihilatorDestructor) • Gladiator (LancerReaperValiant) • VindicatorWhirlwindHunterStalker
Aircraft ThunderhawkOverlordStorm EagleStormravenStormhawkStormtalonDrop Pod
Special Characters HelbrechtGrimaldus