|This article is about the Gathering of Space Marines; for the other uses of Knight, see Knight (disambiguation).
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...'. Malcador then tasked Garro with several dangerous missions to recruit other Space Marines into the group.
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 psyker powers, which saved his comrades but earned him their censure for breaking the Edict of Nikaea.
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 .
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 .
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.
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.
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 .
Malcador dispatched Dravian Klayde, formerly of the Raven Guard, to traitor-occupied Mars. His mission was to activate the ancient weapon known as the Vertex Australis to wipe out all life on the planet and thus deny the Dark Mechanicum its stronghold. Though he failed in his mission, he sacrificed himself to kill the corrupted Iron Warrior Aulus Scaramanca.
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 to act as pathfinders to guide Russ on a subsequent mission to assassinate Horus. 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 initally 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].
Shards of Magnus
Dio Promus, Antaka Cyvaan, Yasu Nagasena and a force of Space Wolves under Rune Priest Bodvar Bjarki were later tasked by Malcador to recover several Shards of Magnus before the Thousand Sons could do the same. Promus' force first went to Kamiti Sona seeking a shard but were confronted by a raid by the Thousand Sons. The Remembrancer Lemuel Gaumon was captured by the Knights-Errant, who took him back to Aghoru in search of another shard. After Promus and the Space Wolves accompanying him were unable to defeat the shard, Menkaura, a Thousand Son also captured at Kamiti Sona, bound the shard into Gaumon as a daemonhost. The next destination for the Knights was Nikaea in search of another shard where they again met the Thousand Sons of Ahriman. After Gaumon was saved from possession when Ahriman extracted the shards on Nikaea and returned them to the Planet of the Sorcerers, the Rune Priest Bödvar Bjarki determined that Gaumon was "wyrd-wraith" and unable to be possessed by daemons in the future. The Wolves determined would take him back to the Sigillite for questions. At the end of the mission, Bjarki and his Space Wolves killed Promus after discovering he had murdered loyalists while attempting to assemble strong warriors for Malcador's plan on Titan.
Shortly before the Siege of Terra the Knights-Errant were busy battling Chaos Cultists and Daemonic manifestations that erupted across Terra in a foreshadowing of Horus' arrival. At White Mountain, the Knights fought a Cult led by the Lord of the Flies while Erebus' unwittingly mind-slave Tylos Rubio attempted to assassinate Malcador. After the battle, Malcador brought the remaining Knights-Errant before the Emperor himself who revealed their purpose: to battle a coming war against the Warp in order to prevent the future destruction of humanity. The Emperor made it clear that their part against Horus was done, and now a new fate awaited them.
The Chosen each received new names, erasing their old identities. These surviving Knights-Errant were subsequently dubbed The Titans:
- Ianius, the entity created from Revuel Arvida, Arvida's Tutelary of the same name and a shard of Magnus became Ianius (later stylised as Janus)
- Severian became Iapto
- Vardas Ison became Satre
- Tylos Rubio became Koios
- A member of the Dark Angels became Epithemius (later stylised as Epimetheus), implied to be The Nemean[20a].
- A member of the Raven Guard became Ogen. This was likely Balsar Kurthuri but could also have been Antaka Cyvaan.
- A member of the Space Wolves became Yotun. This was potentially Fyodor Stromgren.
- A member of the Night Lords became Khyron. This was likely Fel Zharost.
- Garviel Loken was intended to become Crius, but quit after he felt that his fate demanded that he confront the Sons of Horus one more time. He joined Nathaniel Garro and Helig Gallor, the two remaining Knights-Errant who were also not chosen to become Titans.
The Chosen Knights-Errant, eight from the group known as The Nine Who Are Named, would eventually be the forerunners of the Grey Knights, a unique Space Marine Chapter created to combat Chaos daemons. A fortress on Titan built in secret during the Horus Heresy would go on to become the Citadel of Titan of the Grey Knights.
The Council of Terra initially blocked amendments to the Principia Bellicosa that would place legionaries under the sole command of non-Legion personnel, arguing that to do so would create a phantom 21st Legion without the stabilising hand of a primarch. These bureaucratic obstacles were removed following the betrayal at Isstvan. Following expert testimony provided by Severian, an initial list of 217 possible Knights-Errant candidates was drawn up based on exemplary combat records and honour rolls from Crusade operations archives. The first 20 names were given to Nathaniel Garro as Agentia Primus, and other recruitment of Knights-Errant was also carried out by and with support of Knights-Errant, agents and operatives including Dio Promus, Macer Varren, Vardas Ison, Umojen, Callion Zaven, Tylos Rubio, Kaspian Hecht, Yasu Nagasena, Khalid Hassan and Amendera Kendel.
Some candidates refused recruitment, such as Codicier Yored Massak of the Imperial Fists. Dio Promus notably killed candidates who were deemed not suitable, even though they were loyalists, which Bodvar Bjarki deemed dishonourable and for which he had Svafnir Rackwulf execute Promus. Other recruitments failed, such as when Kaspian Hecht tried to recruit but was killed by Barthusa Narek.
There are 26 known named members of the Knights-Errant.
- Nathaniel Garro — Agentia Primus, former Battle-Captain of the Death Guard's Seventh Great Company.[4b]
- Tylos Rubio — former Codicier of the Ultramarines Librarius.[4c] Became Koios.
- Macer Varren — former Captain of the World Eaters Twelfth Company.[4c] While fighting on Terra he commits suicide rather than face possession by the Lord of the Flies.
- Garviel Loken — former Captain of the Luna Wolves Tenth Company.[4a] Was selected to become Crius, but refused in order to confront the traitorous Sons of Horus one last time.
- Iacton Qruze — Agentia Tertius, former Captain of the Luna Wolves Third Company. Killed aboard the Vengeful Spirit.
- Severian — former Luna Wolf of the Crusader Host. Became Iapto.
- Tubal Cayne — former Iron Warrior of the Crusader Host. Killed aboard the Vengeful Spirit.
- Ares Voitek — former Iron Father of the Iron Hands. Critically wounded aboard the Vengeful Spirit.
- Bror Tyrfingr — former Space Wolf. Killed during the Battle of Trisolian.
- Rama Karayan — former Raven Guard. Killed aboard the Vengeful Spirit.
- Altan Nohai — former Apothecary of the White Scars. Killed aboard the Vengeful Spirit.
- Callion Zaven — former Emperor’s Children swordsman. Killed aboard the Vengeful Spirit.
- Vardas Ison — former Librarian of the Blood Angels. Became Satre.
- Nemean — former Dark Angel and leader of the Blackshields warband the Dark Brotherhood, implied to have become Epimetheus.
- Helig Gallor — former Death Guard, one of The Seventy brought to Luna.
- Bajun Kyda — 'Bull of the Seventh', former Death Guard and one of The Seventy. Killed on first mission at Proxima Majoris.
- Dravian Klayde — 'The Carrion', former Techmarine of the Raven Guard. Assumed to have died on his mission to Mars.[13b]
- Revuel Arvida — former Sergeant of the Thousand Sons. Recruited by Khalid Hassan after the events of the Battle of Catallus. Became Ianius, the first Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights.
- Fel Zharost — former Chief Librarian of the Night Lords. Recruited while in exile from his own Legion on Terra. Likely became Khyron.
- Umojen — former Chief Librarian of the Salamanders.
- Balsar Kurthuri — former Chief Librarian of the Raven Guard. Sent to Terra by Corax to face judgement. Likely became Ogen.
- Varskjold — killed by the Death Guard on Algonquis
- Dio Promus — former Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines. Killed on Nikaea during the hunt for the Shards of Magnus
- Fyodor Stromgren — former Space Wolf. Likely became Yotun.
- Antaka Cyvaan — former Librarian of the Raven Guard. Possibly became Ogen.
- Kaspian Hecht — psyker legionary, killed by Barthusa Narek but embedded his psyche onto Narek's mind who took on Hecht's armour and identity.
- 1: Garro: Oath of Moment (Audio Book) by James Swallow,[Needs Citation]
- 2: The Flight of the Eisenstein (Novel) by James Swallow, Chapter 17, pg. 404
- 3: Garro: Sword of Truth (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- 4: Garro: Legion of One (Audio Book) by James Swallow,[Needs Citation]
- 5: Burden of Duty (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- 6: Grey Angel (Audio Book) by John French
- 7: Lost Sons (Short Story) by James Swallow
- 8: Vengeful Spirit (Novel) by Graham McNeill[Needs Citation]
- 9: Black Library Blog: The High Lords of Terra Convene (last accessed April 4, 2012)
- 10: Black Library Blog, entry dated August 8, 2012 (last accessed August 8, 2012)
- 11: The Watcher (Audio Drama), by C.Z. Dunn
- 12: Ghosts Speak Naught (Short Story)
- 13: Cybernetica (Novella)
- 14: The Path of Heaven (Novel), Epilogue
- 15: Child of Night (Short Story)
- 16: The Grey Raven (Short Story)
- 17: Distant Echoes of Old Night (Short Story)
- 18: The Crimson King (Novel), Dramatis Personae
- 19: Cybernetica (Novella)
- 20: The Buried Dagger (Novel) - Chapters 6-7
- 20a: Chapter 7, pgs. 119-120
- 21: The Last Son of Prospero (Short Story)
- 22: Pandorax (Novel)
- 23: Deathfire (Novel)
- 24: Garro: Vow of Faith (Novella) Limited Edition hardback insert