“I am the Hammer. I am the Sword. I am the Gauntlet. I am the Bane of foes and the woe of the treacherous. I am the End.”
–Grey Knight Prayer
The Space Marines of the Grey Knights Chapter are amongst the most highly specialized of the Adeptus Astartes, designed to specifically defend the Imperium against the threat of Chaos. The Grey Knights are permanently attached to Ordo Malleus and their Chapter Master is rumored to be a member of the Inner Conclave of the Inquisition. No ordinary warriors, Grey Knights are chosen from amongst the most fearsome and savage feral cultures, each one an emergent psyker who has undergone arduous tests of faith, strength, endurance and courage that would break all but the strongest.
Grey Knights fight in baroque, heavily ornamented suits of armor, carrying mighty sigil-encrusted swords and halberds. These warriors alone can stand before the might of a Greater Daemon with any hope of banishing it back to the warp from whence it came. The millennia the Grey Knights have spent in battle against the forces of Chaos has furnished them with blasphemous knowledge, painstaking pieced together by the Inquisitors of Ordo Malleus. Each warrior carries a copy of the sacred Liber Daemonica, the holy battle rites of the Chapter, in a ceramite case on his breastplate, and it is this which most symbolises a Grey Knight’s most potent weapon; an unshakable faith in the Divine Emperor of Mankind.
Grey Knights in the Calixis SectorEdit
The Grey Knights are no strangers to the Calixis Sector and more than once since its founding they have hunted daemonic prey within its borders. With its proximity to both the Eye of Terror and the Halo Stars it is little wonder that the sector has spawned so many heretical cults and potent denizens of the Warp, not to mention the Tyrant Star, whose very presence remains a constant and lingering interest to the Inquisition. While the Grey Knight's presence in the sector is not great, nor permanent, the very fact that they are present at this time is significant given the many tens of thousands of sub-sectors in the Imperium and the relatively minute numbers of the Chapter. All of this speaks of the importance of the sector to the Ordo Malleus.
There have been numerous major confrontations between Warp creatures and the Inquisition during the history of the sector, and several of these have escalated to such a catastrophic level that it required the attention of the Grey Knights. Perhaps the most well-known of these (at least within Titan’s halls) was the Chapter’s confrontation with an avatar of the Arch-Daemon Balphomael. The great beast is the focus of a heretical malefic cult known as the Brotherhood of the Horned Darkness. As a result of a series of failed investigations by the Inquisition and an elaborate game of misdirection, a cult of Balphomael was allowed to thrive and multiply on the world of Landunder, festering in the shadows while the Imperium looked the other way. Only when Balphomael manifested, consuming thousands of innocent souls in his bloody transition into reality, was the danger realized. It was the quick arrival of the Grey Knights and the purge of an entire continent was the situation contained and the daemon’s physical form destroyed. The Grey Knights have long memories and though they vanquished the daemon’s avatar they know it still endures, lurking in the shadows of the Warp and waiting to once again manifest to wreak its vengeance. Then, the Grey Knights will finish what they began.
The Spinward ThreatEdit
In more recent times yet another great threat has arisen which demands the attention of the Inquisition and the Grey Knights. A powerful Warp entity is close to breaking the veil between the Materium and the Immaterium. Known as the Lord of Misrule, this greater daemon has only recently come to the full attention of the Inquisition, though its history stretches back centuries in myth and rumor. A number of horrific and destructive incursions have been blamed on this daemon’s manipulations, and all sources seem to indicate that its larger plans are just beginning to come to fruition. To combat this threat Titan has dispatched the Strike Cruiser Righteous Dawn and a cadre of Grey Knights under the command of Justicar Maligante. From their swift and heavily armed vessel they have been acting on Ordo Malleus intelligence and striking ‘hot spots’ across the sector, especially along the Periphery. Able to traverse the sector in record time, the Righteous Dawn hunts for the daemon’s trail and tirelessly works to contain incursions triggered in its wake. Maligante was chosen especially for this task as he has been declared the nemesis of the Lord of Misrule, a duty given to him by the mandate of the Grand Master. Thus, Maligante is driven to hunt down the daemon and vanquish it for the glory of the God-Emperor and the honor of his Chapter. This single-minded focus has more than once placed him at odds with members of the Calixian Conclave and brought him into the center of conflict between multiple Inquisitors.
While the Adeptus Astartes (and by extension the Grey Knights) sometimes employ the services of the Imperial Navy, they also maintain their own fleets of vessels. For a Space Marine Chapter this will often consist of several monolithic Battle Barges, many smaller and more agile Strike Cruisers, and various supporting escorts giving them the power to engage in significant space battles or even full-fledged planetary invasions. The Grey Knights, however, tend to favor smaller and faster ships better suited to the nature of their missions, which often call for small but rapid responses, and their own fleets (based in Broadsword Station above Titan) contain reliable Strike Cruisers, as well as many other voidships suited to the task. These are some of the most advanced craft in the entire galaxy, and are always ready to deliver Grey Knights wherever needed.
The Righteous Dawn is one such vessel, roughly equal in size to an Imperial Dauntless Light Cruiser but with the firepower and speed to take on ships much larger than itself. It functions as a staging point for the Grey Knights and carries enough equipment and weaponry to sustain them for years away from Titan. Much like the Grey Knights themselves, the Righteous Dawn is also designed for a single purpose: the combating of Warp-spawn. As such, it is heavily warded against daemonic assault, equipped with potent devices for measuring the strength of the barrier between Materium and Immaterium, and comes fitted with warded cells to hold daemonic captives.