- "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."
- — John Donne, ancient poet and cleric, Old Earth, ca. M2
The Death Templars are a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of the 2nd Founding that occurred in 021.M31, following the brutal and bloody years of the Great Scouring. An ancient and proud Chapter, the Death Templars are scions of the proud line of Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists Chapter. Aside from an unbreakable sense of honour and a history of unparalleled skill at arms, the Death Templars share little in common with their forebears' culture and traditions. Left to operate alone at the edge of the Imperium has bred within them an isolationist and fiercely independent streak that has seldom been embraced by outside command. Over time they have also gained a shadowed reputation for themselves with other Imperial authorities as well as fellow Adeptus Astartes, who view their seemingly unnatural obsession with death and strange mortuary traditions with suspicion.
Formerly a fleet-based Chapter, during their inception the Death Templars launched a crusade from Terra towards the hellish realm known as the Eye of Terror. During this long and glorious campaign, they fought every kind of foe imaginable, including: renegades, heretics, apostates, xenos and the fell servants of Chaos. Over time, they earned the grudging respect and admiration of their forebears and their fellow Scions of Dorn for their stoic resolve and tenacious drive as they earned countless bloody victories in the name of the Emperor. After crusading for nearly two centuries, the Chapter settled somewhere within the Segmentum Obscurus. Here they claimed the newly rediscovered feral world of Vrykul as their Chapter homeworld and demesne. They built their mighty fortress-monastery, the Castellum Mortem (the "Fortress of Death") amongst the formidable peaks of the Valcan Mountains. Since that time, they have continued to launch various campaigns against the enemies of Mankind.
Recently, the Chapter suffered grievous losses while fighting against the Forces of Chaos during the 13th Black Crusade. This tragedy occurred at the hands of the infamous Khornate Champion, Khârn the Betrayer. The Chapter has since vowed to hunt down this maniac across the width and breadth of the galaxy, until they are able to enact their bloody vengeance against the former World Eaters Equerry.
- 1 History
- 2 Chapter Homeworld
- 3 Notable Campaigns
- 4 Chapter Organisation
- 5 Chapter Beliefs
- 6 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 7 Chapter Combat Doctrine
- 8 Deathwatch Service
- 9 Notable Death Templars
- 10 Chapter Fleet
- 11 Chapter Appearance
- 12 Chapter Relics
- 13 Allies
- 14 Enemies
- 15 Notable Quotes
- 16 Gallery
- 17 Video
- "Mortem omnibus, et omnes ad mortem!"
- — Translated from High-Gothic as, "Death to all, and all to death!" from the Credo Mortis
The Death Templars are an ancient and proud Chapter whose origins are found in the chaotic decade following the Horus Heresy. This Chapter are proud scions of the proud and stoic Imperial Fists Legion. Their patriarch was a fierce captain by the name of Vigo Malik. The inception of the Death Templars occurred during the 2nd Founding, which occurred in 021.M31. Upon taking his oath as the first Lord Marshal (Chapter Master), Vigo proclaimed a crusade against the foes of Mankind. The Death Templars would harrow the renegades, the apostate and the xenos in their places of strength, bringing them the fires of wrath with both blades and bolters.
Embarking upon their crusade, the Death Templars proceeded to make their way from the Segmentum Solar towards the hellish realm of the Eye of Terror. During their long sojourn, the Death Templars earned numerous honours as a crusading Chapter - despatched from warzone to warzone - in order to battle Mankind's enemies, honouring their Progenitors with each bloody victory as they began to forge their own legacy in the annals of Imperial history. Evidence of their presence and exploits can be found on battle shrines throughout the regions of the Segmentum Solar and Segmentum Tempestus. Often times the Death Templars responded to emergencies, adding their strength to ongoing conflicts, and often helped tipping them in the Imperium's favour. Though they garnered much glory, the Death Templars shunned such accolades, for duty was reward enough for them. Crusading for nearly two centuries, the Chapter finally settled somewhere within the Segmentum Obscurus.
Discovery of Vrykul
The Death Templars came upon the newly rediscovered Feral World of Vrykul near the western border of the Segmentum Obscurus. Vrykul was home to a small population of feral humans whose genes were pure and who had developed a remarkable neolithic warrior culture that produced strong and able bodied youth who were excellent candidates to be Death Templars recruits. Unfortunately, the Death Templars also encountered the detestable Drukhari, who had made a habit of raiding this human world for slaves, for millennia. Specifically, the Kabal of the Bloodied Blades had fallen upon the human world expecting to reap a bloody bounty amongst the populace. Instead, they found themselves facing an entire Chapter of Adeptus Astartes lying in wait for them. A grinding and bloody war ensued, and soon, the Dark Eldar Kabal found itself reduced to a shadow of their former might. Forced to flee in the face of such might, the Death Templars Chapter gave chase. They launch a xenocidal crusade that relentlessly pursued the wretched Drukhari across the sector and into the Eldar Webway itself. This brutal campaign resulted in the the eventual annihilation of the Kabal as well as the collapse of an entire sub-sector of the Webway. Since that fateful campaign, the Death Templars have continued to seek out the Dark Eldar on many occasions, fighting the foul xenos to the last with zealous indignation. Following their victory, Lord Marshal Malik declared the world now belonged to the Imperium by right of conquest. Malik had found a permanent home for his Death Templars, claiming Vrykul as their Chapter home world and its surrounding system as their demesne.
For over nine millennia, the Death Templars have continued to declare crusade after crusade against the Imperium's enemies, never resting in their duty to hunt and slay the mightiest foes. The Death Templars gained a reputation for fierce pack-tactics and a stubborn determination, striving even when it would be wiser to falter. Such resilience is common amongst the Scions of Dorn, however the Death Templars have taken this to the extreme, considering retreat in the face of the enemy, worthy of execution. Such iron resolve has salvaged many a victory from the ashes of defeat, but often at a steep cost in battle-brothers' lives. The Chapter has shown a tendency for achieving victory against impossible odds and surviving, time and again, taking savage losses which has often reduced the Chapter's active strength from around 1,000 to little more than 200 warriors. Although in doing so, they have secured for themselves a place of glory and honour in the roll of the Imperium's forces and amongst their fellow Successor Chapters. The Chapter's strength is always rebuilt with new waves of recruits, their victorious reputation seeing them favoured for the procurement of new wargear and supply, often over many of their peers.
Woe of the Death Templars
After long and illustrious service to the Imperium and the Emepror of Mankind, the Death Templars were finally laid low during the recent 13th Black Crusade. This was the largest incursion of the Forces of Chaos from the Eye of Terror since the Horus Hersey. They were led by none other than Abaddon the Despoiler. Lord Marshal Valdar ordered the mobilisation of the entirety of the Death Templars Chapter to take part in this glorious campaign to face their ultimate foes -- the Traitor Legions. During this campaign, Astropathic reports trickled in to the Cadian High Command. The most disturbing was a transmission from a Planetary Defence Force major upon the hive world of Tabor, located in the Bar-el System within the Agripinaa Sector, whose brutal accounts of the events afflicting his garrison made for gruesome reading. If the report was to be believed, none other than Khârn of the World Eaters Traitor Legion, the so-called 'Betrayer', had fallen upon that doomed world and shed the blood of its brave defenders in the name of his unspeakable patron Khorne the Blood God. The Death Templars answered Tabor's request for aid, and rapidly moved their Chapter fleet towards the besieged planet.
Despite the arrival of this fiend, Imperial forces managed to make gains upon Tabor and across the Agripinaa Sector. If the Imperial defenders could somehow contain Khârn's mad rampage, the strategic situation in that region would be, at the very least, somewhat more acceptable. When the Death Templars faced the blood-crazed berzerker and his large detachment of Khornate Berzerkers on the field of battle, the confrontation resulted in the destruction of almost half the Chapter, shattering it as a cohesive force. Lord Marshal Valdar swore a mighty oath of vengeance against Khârn, to take his head in retribution for the Chapter's fallen warriors, vowing to hunt down the Khornate Champion to the ends of the galaxy if need be.
As Abaddon the Despoilers' armies continued to rage unabated throughout the Cadia System, their ultimate objective was to seize the fortress world of Cadia at its heart. This victory would remove the last major bastion preventing Abaddon from unleashing his full force upon the Imperium of Man's defences and assaulting Terra for the second time in ten thousand years. Though the Imperial defenders valiantly defended Cadia, making untold sacrifices by doing so, ultimately, the fortress world was doomed. Abaddon reeleased the full daemonic fury of the Eye of Terror directly upon an already-battered Cadia. Though the arrival of some unexpected Imperial reinforcements prevented Abaddon from personally sealing his victory by crushing Cadia's defenders, and led to the destruction of the Blackstone Fortress Will of Eternity, the Despoiler unleashed a brutal contingency plan. He had the massive fragments of the Will of Eternity hurled from orbit like an artificial asteroid onto the surface of Cadia. The strike destroyed what remained of Cadia's faltering defences and the network of Necron-built Cadian Pylons that had long prevented the Eye of Terror from naturally expanding into the Cadian Gate. Within only solar hours, most of Cadia was in the process of being consumed by the Immaterium when the tectonic instability caused by the impact of the Blackstone Fortress finally caused Cadia to tear itself apart.
Yet all was not lost, as a handful of Imperial heroes had successfully escaped the fall of Cadia with the aid of the newborn Eldar faction known as the Ynnari through a Webway gate found on the ice moon of Klaisus in the Cadian System. Together, these Imperials -- the so-called Celestinian Crusade -- would forge an uneasy alliance with the xenos that would offer a new hope for the servants of the Emperor in their fight against the waxing power of the Archenemy -- the resurrection of the Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman.
The Shadow Falls
The 13th Black Crusade had been a triumph for the servants of the Dark Gods, and the Eye of Terror began to slowly expand without limit, opening Abaddon the Despoiler's coveted Crimson Path to Terra and creating the Great Rift. This great tear in reality, known also as the Cicatrix Maledictum by the Imperium, was a galaxy-wide warp storm that has essentially rent the territory of the Imperium of Man in half, spreading from the Eye of Terror to the Hadex Anomaly on the Eastern Fringe. To those on the Terran side of the rift, it is a tainted scar stretching across the sky. To those unfortunates on the far side, it is something much worse -- the very gates of Hell. Fortunately for the Death Templars, the Vrykul System escaped the worst of fates of the ever expanding tear in reality, being located as they were on the extreme edge of the Segmentum Obscurus. Nevertheless, the Death Templars were trapped on the Terran side of the Great Rift, as they were forced to withdraw southwards as the great tear in reality engulfed the entirety of the Agripinaa System. Despite suffering the loss of over half their Chapter, the Death Templars refused to give into despair, and instead, made the best of their dire situation. The Death Templars observed that the shadow of the Dark Gods had descended upon the realm of the Emperor, and that the innocent cried out in desperation for the Imperator Mortifex to judge the apostate and the heretic, and have his Angels of Death bring their holy wrath down upon them. Hearkening back to their early years as a crusading Chapter the Death Templars hurled themselves against the Imperium's enemies, never resting in their duty to the Emperor to seek out and slay the foes of Mankind.
Despite the encroaching darkness that surrounded them on all sides, the Death Templars did their Emperor-sworn duty, and brought death to those who would defy the will of the Emperor or seek to thwart His holy purpose. They brought hope to dozens of besieged worlds, helping to destroy the enemies of Mankind who sought the destruction of the Emperor's people, and bringing back hope to the downtrodden. Though their task was daunting, the Death Templars did not shy away from their chosen task despite the severe losses they had suffered at the hands of Khârn and his Khornate warhost.
A Light in the Darkness
As the Death Templars continued their crusade, unending war threatened to tear the galaxy asunder. The beleaguered forces of the Imperium's armies did their best as they fought in new wars across nearly every world in the Emperor's domain. Whole sectors of the Imperium were going dark, while others reported the onslaught of rabid greenskin hordes, aggressive Tau fleets or deathless Necron hosts, seemingly driven to conquest in the face of the expanding warp storm fronts. Heretic Chaos Cults and rogue psykers rose up in their billions, and every Imperial world now seemed set to burn in the fires of unending galactic war. But all was not lost, as a miracle-of-miracles occurred upon the Ultramarines' home world of Macragge -- the Primarch Roboute Guilliman had been resurrected from his millennia-long, deathless slumber!
The news of the rebirth of the Avenging Son quickly spread like wildfire across the Realm of Ultramar, and despite the difficulty of Astropathic communication, rumours had begun to trickle out of the besieged Segmentum Ultramar into the galaxy beyond. The resurrected Primarch and his Terran Crusade, faced untold hardships as they fought their way to the Throneworld, in order for Guilliman to commune with his father, the Emperor of Mankind. When the Primarch finally emerged from his father's chambers, he immediately assumed the post of Lord Commander of the Imperium and forcibly removed several High Lords of Terra from office and replaced them with individuals of his own choosing. As the terrible encroaching darkness descended upon the galaxy, the Primarch enacted his ultimate contingency plan, which had long been put into motion by Guilliman 100 standard centuries past. Utilising the sagacity of the Adeptus Mechanicus, combined with the long forgotten technology from the Dark Age of Technology, a new legion of transhuman warriors had been created beneath the surface of Mars - the Primaris Space Marines.
Guilliman had anticipated the need for a new breed of hero for this, the darkest age in the Imperium's history. He knew that the galaxy would need warriors resilient enough to stand against the Forces of Chaos as the Imperium was poised on the brink of annihilation. New armies were raised, in breathtaking numbers. Guilliman brought forth his new and terrible weapons whose fury even the worshippers of the Dark Gods would be unable to withstand. Gathering his new armada, along with elements of the Adeptus Custodes, the Silent Sisterhood and a vast war host of Primaris Space Marines from many newly founded Chapters, the Lord Commander of the Imperium launched his Indomitus Crusade. Strike forces from over a dozen pre-existing Chapters, including the Death Templars, led by their Progenitors, the Imperial Fists, joined the Indomitus Crusade fleet. Lord Marshal Valdar, along with those Chapter Masters who were present, sent delegations aboard Guilliman's flagship, and kneeled before the Primarch to swear their undying allegiance to him. Guilliman informed them of the newly created Primaris Space Marines - a gift to help alleviate the losses suffered by several of the Chapters that were present. The Death Templars' sorely depleted ranks were quickly replenished with hundreds of newly created Primaris Space Marines. Lord Marshal Valdar graciously accepted this profound gift from the resurrected Primarch and welcomed these new warriors into his Chapter's ranks.
With the welcome addition of the Primaris Space Marines, Intercessor Squads were quickly inducted into the ranks and spread throughout the various companies. Eager to prove themselves to their elder brethren, the Primaris quickly adapted to their Chapter's beliefs and culture. Their unpainted storm cloud grey Mark X 'Tacticus' battle-plate was painted in the Chapter's ebon and white colours. Despite initial misgivings by some within the Chapter, they quickly came to see the value of their new brethren as the Primaris Space Marines' superior combat capabilities and superlative combat acumen helped to turn the tide of battle during several campaigns. Though the Primaris were a step removed from their brothers, they still bore the gene-seed of their Primarch Rogal Dorn, and as such, had proven themselves to be worthy successors. Now, with their Chapter fully restored to its original strength, the Death Templars continue to prosecute their solemn duty against the myriad of threats which assails Mankind on all sides, determined not to let humanity go gentle into the long night.
When first discovered, the Death Templars claimed the Feral World of Vrykul by right of conquest. Located somewhere on the edge of the Eye of Terror, the exact location of Vrykul is a closely guarded secret and the entire system is heavily defended. This domain serves as a bulwark against Chaos incursion. All that is known is that the Death Templars operate from a world located deep within the dense stellar drifts of the Mors Pallida Nebula somewhere on the northern border of the Segmentum Obscurus. Although which world locked within its coruscating depths is Vrykul, is a matter they have kept deliberately obscure, to avoid being attacked by the many enemies they have made during their long and glorious service to the Emperor.
When this savage world was first discovered by the Death Templars crusade fleet nine millennia ago, they discovered that it was home to a population of feral humans. These primordial humans had somehow managed to not only adapt to living in the most hostile of environments, but to actually thrive in it. They proved to be incredibly strong and had developed superior reflexes compared to baseline humans. The Death Templars promptly rounded up hundreds of the ferocious humans and the Chaplains and Apothecaries of the Chapter set to work, testing their minds and bodies in soul-destroying trials to determine if there was any evidence of corruption caused by their long isolation from the rest of humanity. Though extremely backward and primitive, the Death Templars ultimately deemed them free of genetic or spiritual deviancy. Lord Marshal Malik saw the value of Vrykul. The inhospitable terrain and deadly fauna proved an ideal testing ground for his warriors, whilst the primitive humans already inhabiting the world could easily be moulded into potential Battle-Brothers.
The Death Templars are warriors shaped by the harsh environment of their savage world. The barbaric warrior tribes of Vrykul form the primary recruitment stock for the Death Templars. Today, Vrykul's people continue to endure a brutal life of constant inter-tribal bloodshed marked by elaborate mortuary rituals. Often times a Vrykulan youth will have taken hundreds of skulls before being chosen to become a Death Templars Neophyte and earning the opportunity to slay the enemies of the Emperor, who is worshiped as the great judge of the souls of the dead by the Vrykulan tribes. Vrykul tribal beliefs holds that life is transient and the manner of a warrior's death is all that matters. This world's hardy and brutal native population reside primarily across the equatorial regions' cave warrens found throughout the numerous mountain ranges across the planet.
The Vrykul System consists of three inhabitable planets, one gas giant and an outer ring of asteroids, mobile defenses and star-fortresses. Notable planets include the following:
- Vrykul - The Chapter homeworld of the Death Templars is a savage feral world of rocky windswept plains and endless deserts. The people of Vrykul are of hardy stock and dauntless spirit, having experienced many hardships in their history and surviving the harshest of environments. Nestled amongst the Valcan Mountains is the formidable Castellum Mortem (the "Fortress of Death") the mighty fortress-monastery of the Death Templars. Here, the Chapter spends their lives within the massive complex when not out on crusade -- the ceramite-rich mountains providing a natural layer of defense against conventional attacks.
- Mesar - This forgotten outpost of the Adeptus Mechanicus was from its inception in the early 30th Millennium, created to be a war-world -- a fane of weapons and armaments solely intended to serve the needs of the ever-advancing frontline forces of the Great Crusade. But following the events of the Horus Heresy, contact was lost with Mesar, due to the vagaries of war and every increasing warp turbulence that made interstellar travel and communication precarious, at best. Rediscovered by the Death Templars in the 34th Millennium, they found the Tech-Priests of Mesar's Cult-Mechanicus still loyal to the Emperor and His Imperium of Man. The Mesaran Priesthood swore their allegiance to the Space Marine Chapter when they helped to turn back a large full-scale invasion by the Forces of Chaos. The Warpsmiths of the Traitor Legions, long denied the technological wonders unearthed since the Horus Heresy, had led raids beyond counting to Mesar. Were it not for the stout defence of the Death Templars, Mesar would have fallen to the powers of Chaos. This forge world primarily provides war material for the Death Templars and its industrial heartland is also engaged in the production of arms and ammunition for other regional Imperial military forces. Mesar is ringed with concentric layers of orbital docking platforms, habitation modules and transit tethers, and beyond those rings lay outer boundaries of autonomous planetary defence batteries, kill-satellites and spatial mine fields guarding the world's approaches. These formidable protections are far greater than those possessed by other individual Forge Worlds. This world of science and technology is rarely contacted by the Death Templars, save for the Techmarines of their Chapter. Due to their isolation, the Masaran Tech-Priests have had free reign to create and build non-sanctioned patterns of weapons and vehicles, as they see fit.
- Crysemel - Originally a feudal world, Crysemel entered into operation as a fully managed agri-world by the time of the latter years of the Great Crusade. It is notable for being one of a relative handful of such worlds in the region, and therefore retains strategic significance because of this. The planet's principal product is high-yield fruits and grain as well as herds of grox. Crysemel knows little strife, with most of its inhabitants toiling endlessly in ignorance, unaware of the horrors the galaxy contains. Crysemel's orbiting moon, Dimalas, is a harsh volcanic orb the Death Templars utilise as training grounds for their Space Marine Neophytes.
The Castellum Mortem (the "Fortress of Death") is the fortress-monastery of the Death Templars Space Marine Chapter. This formidable Imperial bastion is located to the planet's southern polar region, deep within the Valcan Mountains, built into the heart of Vrykul's mightiest peak. The fortress-monastery comprises of dozens of ramparts, watchtowers and bastions. The ceramite-rich mountain provides a natural defence against conventional attack. Like all fortress monasteries, Castellum Mortem is armoured and void-shielded to withstand any siege or bombardment that might befall it. Armed to repel attackers from land, air or space, its walls bristle with enough heavy ordnance to flatten a hive city. Covering every entrance and approach, macro-cannon turrets, heavy bolter bunkers and missile batteries scan the horizon for foes, ready to unleash their deadly ordnance at a moment's notice. The fortress-monastery also incorporates shimmering void shields as added protection to ward off orbital bombardments or even assaults from Battle Titans. In addition to the thick rock walls and adamantium gates, the Chapter also utilises many other kinds of defences to discourage an assault. These consist of deadfalls, grav-mine nets and hidden automated defences. The area beyond Castellum Mortem’s gates is considered hostile, as the surrounding peaks are filled with deadly carnivorous predators and inhospitable terrain.
The tribesmen of Vrykul fear the "Fortress of Death," warning their children against even straying into its shadow, lest they summon the giant sky-gods themselves from their sacred mountain to come and take them away to the underworld. Once in a generation, there are those youths who are bold enough (some would say foolish) to venture into the Valcan Mountains on a spirit quest, to seek communion with the sky-gods. This is not a thing to be undertaken likely, for to journey into the mountains is a veritable death sentence. The jagged rock faces can slice flesh from bone, and the erratic weather and gale force winds can easily kill a person from prolonged exposure. This doesn't even account for the fact that the Valcan Mountains are crawling with deadly predators that are inimical to all human life. Those who face the impossible without faltering and who survive long past the point they should have perished are recovered by the Death Templars' Apothecaries, often having succumbed but not yet died, and revived, having been judged worthy of becoming an Astartes Neophyte.
The Death Templars' mighty edifice serves both as the abode and sanctuary for the Death Templars. This is where the Chapter safeguards its heritage and keeps its trophies of war. It is rare for more than a fraction of a Chapter to be in residence at any one time, since most of the Chapter's companies spend years away campaigning across the Imperium. Unlike many other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Death Templars have never once mobilised their entire Chapter to fight in the innumerable warzones across the galaxy. Each battle-brother has sworn a sacred blood oath that their fortress-monastery shall never be left undefended and each time the Chapter has been called to war, at least one company is duty bound to remain behind to guard it. Several times in the Chapter's history the masters of the Chapter have had their loyalty questioned when the rearguard company of Death Templars have refused the High Lords of Terra's requests for aid, when the rest of the Chapter is out on crusade. The source of this blood oath is unrecorded, but Imperial histories show that in the years following the Second Battle for Vrykul in 398.M37, when their sanctuary was penetrated by a small force of Chaos Space Marines, the Death Templars made a vow -- never again would their spiritual home be desecrated in such a manner.
When it is fully occupied, Castellum Mortem is home to the 1,000 Battle-Brothers of the Chapter and all their officers, with a supporting staff of Chapter Servitors and Chapter serfs, including scribes, technomats and functionaries that number a further 6,500 souls. Within the Death Templars' fortress-monastery, its halls are studded with alcoves and shrines to the honoured dead. Tiny niches are lit by delicate, diffuse lights, which hold stasis-sealed vessels containing some of the Chapter's holiest relics. Every portal and chamber are adorned with more skulls and only upon closer inspection does one realize that none of them are carved or fashioned by human hand. All are real, bleached human skulls made dusty with age. Along many of the fortress' walls are what appears to be seated statues that run along its length. Like the skulls, these forms are not actually statues carved from the stone of Castellum Mortem, but preserved human corpses. But these are no ordinary corpses. These seated figures are the preserved bodies of fallen battle-brothers who died in glorious combat, and now reside at the right hand of the Emperor. The monastery's Reclusium is similarly filled with memento mori, but with the skulls and bones of the Chapter's many foes claimed in the aftermath of victory upon thousands of battlefields.
- Terror on Abregado (233-254.M31) - Just over two centuries after their inception, the flee-based Death Templars still crusaded from Terra towards the hellish realm known as the Eye of Terror. One of their most notable campaigns during this time was known as the Terror on Abregado. During this time, the Imperial Fortress-World of Abregado was besieged by a massive tide of Orks, the largest greenskin army seen since the end of the Great Scouring. Slowly, the orks had begun to overwhelm the mighty defences of the Imperial world. The Void Ravens' vessel, First Hold, was the first to answer the call to arms. As the fighting intensified, more Orks from nearby sectors were drawn into the brutal war on Abregado. The beleaguered world was soon reinforced by other Space Marine Chapters as well as several Imperial Guard regiments and several detachments from the Imperial Navy's fleets. As the war ground on, the number of casualties remained high, with no end in sight to the ceaseless fighting. The solace of Abregado came in the ebon and white armoured forms of the Death Templars Chapter, who had received the astropathic distress call for help, and had diverted their crusading fleet with all haste. Death came to the greenskins both on Abregado and their own foul worlds, which resulted in the death of several of their Warbosses. This resulted in internecine fighting amongst the greenskin horde. The Death Templars determined that they couldn't afford to be dragged into the prolonged fighting on Abregado itself, and so, they diverted two Harrows to reinforce the Imperium on the planet itself. The rest of the Chapter harried the the Orks in their own domains, were their unbending dedication allowed them to slay several warlords preparing to lead their forces to Abregado. Successfully whittling down the xenos, the Death Templars would also later take part in the final xenocidal purges of Abregado itself.
- The Battle for Vrykul (269.M31) - The Death Templars discover the feral world of Vrykul within the Segmentum Obscurus. They also encountered the foul xenos known as the Drukhari – specifically the Kabal of the Bloodied Blades – which had come to the human world to inflict pain and misery upon the humans, before eventually retreating to the Dark City of Commorragh with a screaming bounty of slaves clutched in their merciless grasp. The raiders’ plans were foiled, however, as they didn’t count on facing an entire Chapter of Space Marines. Soon a bloody war ensued between the Death Templars and the Kabal. Over time, the attrition of the Drukhari forces left the xenos little choice, but to flee or face annihilation. The Death Templars gave chase, haranguing the Dark Eldar across the Segmentum Obscurus, and chasing them into a Warp Gate that led into the Eldar Webway itself. Over many long months, the Death Templars relentlessly pursued their foes through the twisted pathways of the Webway, bringing them to battle, and slowly ravaged their forces through their use of brutal shock assault tactics. In the end, it became too difficult for the Death Templars to keep up with their fleeing foes, as the Drukhari used their innate knowledge of the webway's hidden paths to outmanoeuvre their foes. In frustration, Lord Marshal Malik ordered his Death Templars to utilize heavy weapons and explosives to collapse a portion of the Webway, effectively blocking the Drukhari's path back to the Segmentum Obscurus. But this was merely a temporary solution, as the webway possessed more than one hidden gateway throughout the galaxy. The Death Templars knew that the Dark Eldar would return one day, and that when they did, they would finish what they had started.
- The Tenebra Uprising (014-103.M33) - The Tenebra Uprising was a massive sub-sector wide conflict that erupted in the Tenebra Sub-Sector located in the Caligari Sector, an ancient and nearly forgotten region located on the fringes of the Segmentum Tempestus. Several forge worlds formed an outlaw-technocracy, declaring their independence from the Imperium proper, and soon began raiding nearby worlds in their obsessive quest to obtain lost technology. When word reached the ears of the High Twelve, they immediately dispatched a large Imperial castigation Crusade in order to bring the wrath of the Emperor down upon the upstart forge worlds. Several Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, including the Death Templars, the Blades of the Lion, Imperius Ravagers and the Tempest Knights, alongside several Astra Militarum regiments and Skitarii forces of multiple forge worlds, joined the Imperial Crusade to take back the disputed sub-sector. As the conflict ensued for over a decade, the staggering death toll continued to climb into the hundreds of millions. With no end in sight, and lacking the resources to end the conflict decisively, the Imperial forces blockaded the system, to contain the sessionist technocracy forces. From the outer dark, an unknown Imperial force soon arrived, unheralded and unlooked for - the mysterious and previously unknown Space Marine Chapter, the Shadow Talons. With the arrival of such a fierce force, the tide of the entire conflict was about to shift in the Imperium's favour. Without preamble, the Shadow Talons officially entered the conflict during the Siege of Metis, which was under siege by both the Blades of the Lion and the Tempest Knights Chapters. Launching an all-out assault on the forge world's capital city, launching a Vanguard Strike force deep into the bowels of capital city's primary forge. Once they reached their intended target, the forge's main reactors, and then in an act of pure malice, they planted melta charges. In a series of coordinated explosions, the Shadow Talons caused a catastrophic chain reaction, which resulted in significant damage to the capital. The Siege of Meratis was effectively ended, and though the cost was high, it was nothing compared to the lives that would've been lost had the siege been protracted. Following the end of this conflict, the Shadow Talons would continue prosecuting this campaign, reaping a huge tally in enemy lives and establishing a fell reputation as harbingers of death.
- The Second Battle for Vrykul (389.M33) - The Drukhari returned to the Vrykul System to enact their revenge against the upstart Space Marine Chapter that had humiliated them two millennia earlier. A large Kabalite Raiding Party struck the feral planet in order to inflict as much suffering and terror as they possibly could. The Second Battle for Vrykul lasted many months, with both sides inflicting horrific casualties upon one another. Often, small strike forces would engage each other in smaller skirmishes that saw both sides fighting each other to mutual annihilation. Unbeknownst to the Death Templars, a small cabal of Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines had made a dark compact with the Drukhari raiders, who would distract the Death Templars in open conflict while the Word Bearers infiltrated the Death Templars fortress-monastery Castellum Mortem. Led by a Dark Apostle, the Word Bearers were intent on stealing the Chapter's sacred relics, but fortunately, the Chaos Space Marines were quickly discovered, and a small fire fight ensued, forcing the Word Bearers to retreat. Lord Marshal Valdar concocted a cunning plan that would trap both the Dark Eldar Kabalites and the Word Bearers on Crysemel's moon, Dimalas. Though it galled them to do so, the Death Templars feigned a tactical withdrawal from Vrykul, and made their way to the isolated moon. Sensing inevitable victory, both the Drukhari and Word Bearers believed they had forced the ignominious retreat of the Death Templars, and quickly gave chase. Luring them to the moon's surface, the enemy forces believed they faced the last of the Chapter's survivors, but this was when the Lord Marshal sprung his trap. The token Death Templars force drew the opposing forces into a ravine, where unknown to them, the rest of the Chapter's forces had been shielded and unseen. Falling into a fighting withdrawal, the Death Templars lured the Drukhari and Word Bearers further into the ravine. Then, the Lord Marshal ordered his Chapter to attack. At point-blank range the unsuspecting enemy were cut down by the hundreds, by the Death Templars' tanks and Dreadnoughts, catching them in a blizzard of missile and lascannon fire. Explosive pyres ignited in droves up and down the enemy's battle lines. Death Templars gunships raked across the sky, raining down phosphex and cluster munitions, screaming Thunderhawk gunships followed in their wake, and without warning, the Chapter's Terminator veterans of the elite 1st Company, cut their way through the enemy's flanks, murdering with ruthless efficiency, while the Death Templars fast-moving armour and mechanized squads encircled the Drukhari and Word Bearers before slicing into them with a surgeon's precision. In orbit, the Death Templars fleet, which had remained hidden by powering down their vessels to bare minimum power on the far side of the moon, launched a brutal orbital attack on the joint fleet of the Drukhari and Word Bearers. Caught unawares, the foul xenos and Chaos Space Marines were utterly decimated as the Death Templars secured swift victory before the full might of the foe could be roused to wakeful wrath against them. The Lord Marshal's plan was executed brilliantly. The few remaining Dark Eldar and Word Bearers' vessels were forced to retreat, leaving the majority of their vessels behind as ravaged and burning hulks within the moon's orbit. The enemy forces on the ground were utterly annihilated. The Death Templars ensured that their foes would never again rear their ugly heads within the Vrykul System.
- The Anteus Crusade (521-537.M34) - The Death Templars participated in the Anteus Crusade, which led to the conquest of the Kampala Sector for the Imperium, fighting alongside elements from their fellow Scions of Dorn Successor Chapters, the Tempest Knights and Holy Hospitallers' 2nd Priory. Anteus was a long-isolated star system, only rediscovered by the Imperium in the mid 34th Millennium on the outer fringes of the galaxy. Attempts were made to integrate its worlds into the Imperium, but the system had long been prosperous and independent, and scorned Imperial interference. The first missionaries from the Missionaria Galaxia were slaughtered, but when a second group of Imperial priests came to the system they brought with them the three Scions of Dorn Chapters and brought back the Kampala Sector under Imperial Compliance.
- The Fury Crusade (456-466.M38) – Leading a frenzied mass of lesser Khorne Daemonkin warbands, the Skullsworn invaded the Ixaniad Sector. In a series of psychotic assaults, this brutal Daemonkin warband slaughtered billions of Imperial citizens on multiple worlds in a celebration of wanton destruction and murder for the Blood God. The Death Templars, Sable Lions and Iron Scorpions were called upon by the High Lords of Terra to halt the slaughter, and so, launched the Fury Crusade into the Ixaniad Sector. The war that followed lasted for long, bloody years. But eventually, the triumvirate of the Scions of Dorn Successor Chapters brought an end to the brutal slaughter, though at great cost in both battle-brothers' and Imperial lives.
- The Third Battle for Vrykul (635.M39) - During this tumultuous period, the Segmentum Obscurus was punished by wave after wave of greenskin uprisings and invasions, the largest being an Ork WAAAGH! comprised entirely of Ork Speed Freaks led by the infamous Warboss Zhardsnark, "da Rippa," a brutal and grizzled Ork Warbiker. Numerous outlying sectors were overrun, until WAAAGH! Zhardsnark encroached upon the Vrykul System. With the majority of the Death Templars Chapter deployed upon crusade, only a token force remained on Vyrkul to defend the sector from the onslaught of the green tide. The Chapter's astropathic choir sends a desperate astropathic message recalling the rest of the Chapter back to Vyrkul. The timely arrival of the remaining Death Templars prevented far greater destruction from occurring within the sector, though it took a further eight months of grueling fighting to drive off the remainder of the WAAAGH!. The Death Templars launched a surprise attack upon the Warboss's headquarters, that nearly saw the death of Zhardsnark, who only avoided this fate after he fled upon his custom warbike, "da Beast". In his wisdom, at least for an Ork, Warboss Zhardsnark decided to recall his Boyz and left the Vrykul System in search of easier prey.
- The Scouring of Mehna (589.M40)
- Second Kilandros Campaign (271-276.M41) - In the 270.M41, the Mad Skullz Orks of the planet Kilandros and surrounding systems formed into WAAAGH! Golrag. WAAAGH! Golrag was large enough to not only devastate the Celtic Sector in the Segmentum Ultima, the home sector of the Iron Spears Chapter, but seven other nearby sectors as well. That was not all, as in 271.M41 the Imperium launched a reconnaissance strike on WAAAGH! Golrag's "capital world" of Kilandros and discovered the Orks were attempting to convert their homeworld's moon into a mobile fortress they dubbed 'Da Great Rok'. The Orks planed to use 'Da Great Rok' as the flagship that would lead WAAAGH! Golrag in an assault on Terra itself. To combat this threat, the Imperium deployed a fighting force consisting of numerous Imperial Guard Regiments, at least three Titan Legions, and Astartes from nine Chapters; the Death Templars, Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Imperial Fists, Iron Spears, Angels of Salvation, Mordekaisers, Storm Riders, and the Corvus Legion. The Imperium believed that such a large force they would easily be able to smash through the planets held by the Mad Skullz Klan, however this was not the case as the Ork WAAAGH! was far larger than initially believed. After five years Imperial forces finally arrived at the Kilandros System and attacked 'Da Great Rok'. Though while Imperial forces failed in their initial plan to disable the thrust system using meltabombs, the Astartes of the Storm Riders and the Corvus Legion managed to gain control of the area around the primary power generator and rigged it with manually activated incendiary devices. The Imperial forces were ordered to withdraw so that the power generator may be detonated. By then however, many Iron Spears had fallen victim to the Red Thirst, ignoring the order to withdraw and instead focused on personally slaughtering every Ork present, inspiring the Death Templars to do the same. It was left to the more "level-headed" Chapters such as the Angels of Salvation to successfully reign in the frenzied Iron Spears and forcibly remove them from the battlefield. It was through this that the Angels of Salvation earned the respect of the Iron Spears, something that could not be said for many sons of the Lion. Chieftain Thoore of the Iron Spears, having had his honor stained in a previous engagement, elected to stay behind with the detonator alongside a small group of other Marines while the other Imperial forces escaped in order to restore dignity to his name. The destruction of the primary power generator not only successfully destroyed "Da Great Roks" machinery, but also created massive tectonic upheavals that killed all the Orks on the planetoid. Despite their victory, the Imperium was once again unable to eliminate the Ork presence on Kilandros and the surrounding systems. The Imperium once again turned to conducting periodic raids in order to limit the Ork population and prevent further Ork expansion.
- The War on Mondas (917.M41) - The Death Templars received a distress message in the form of a garbled astropathic relay from the abandoned Imperial Ice World of Mondas in the Scarus Sub-Sector. When they finally arrived, the Death Templars discovered that the Iron Warriors had already culled the remainder of the planet's population. After reconnoitering the planet, the Chapter's Scouts quickly discovered that the Iron Warriors were busy excavating the ice caverns below the planet's surface in an effort to discover some unknown, ancient technology that would enable them to defeat the forces of the Imperium. However, unknown to both the Death Templars and the Iron Warriors, the world of Mondas was in actuality, a Necron Tomb World. The Iron Warriors' seismic activity caused by the use of explosives to delve ever deeper into the planet's crust had awoken the Necrons from their slumber. The Iron Warriors were forced to fight for their very survival. Lord Marshal Valdar led a lightning assault, intended as a crippling alpha strike, but was instead blunted by a series of impeccably-planned Necron ambushes on the Space Marines' Drop Pod and Thunderhawk drop zones. Soon the frozen caverns echoed to the roar of explosions as the Death Templars and Necrons fought a series of brutal close-assault battles over a period of six months. The Necrons were tenacious, and the never-ending tide of Necron Warriors soon resulted in a stalemate. Recalling his forces, the Death Templars departed the surface of the ice planet, and the Lord Marshal soon after ordered an Exterminatus upon the doomed world, which eradicated both the remaining Iron Warriors and the Necron forces.
- The Titan Wars (920.M41-925.M41)
- The Crimson Crusade (926.M41) - During the joint Crimson Crusade conducted by both the Death Templars and Star Reapers Chapters into the Golgenna Reach within the Calixis Sector, the two Space Marine Chapters found themselves heavily engaged against the large Death Guard traitor warband of Blight-Master Ussalax, upon the inhospitable feral world of Dusk. Ussalax is a vile Chaos Sorcerer that serves within the inner circle of the Daemon Primarch Mortarion. Blight-Master Ussalax travels from one warzone to the next, unleashing his vile plagues upon the innocent and harvesting the bodies of the victims. Both Chapters finally managed to run the elusive Chaos Sorcerer to ground upon the world of Dusk. As both sides engaged one another within the swamps that covered the planet, they were set upon by the first elements of a splinter Hive Fleet of Tyranids. Beset on both sides by the foul Plague Marines of Blight-Master Ussalax, and deadly Tyranid bioforms, both Chapters prepared to sell their lives dearly. With both their forces depleted to their mortis threshold, reports of strange black-armoured Space Marines bearing symbols of death and covered in burning flames began to crop up. Soon, both the enemy forces were beset upon, as squad after squad of black-clad Space Marines emerged from the swamp's rising mists, forming a cordon around the surviving Death Templars and Star Reapers. The relentless pounding of their bolters and the billowing flames of their heavy weapons blasted back the Tyranid bioforms scuttling around them, as well as making short work of the foul forces of Blight-Master Ussalax. The invading swarm and Traitor legionaries were shattered, dispersed and hunted to extinction. The surviving Chapter battle-brothers soon realized they had been saved by none other than the mysterious spectres known as the Legion of the Damned. The whereabouts of Blight-Master Ussalax remains unknown.
- The Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - When Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka launched the largest Ork WAAAGH! ever raised against the vitally important Hive World of Armageddon, the massive conflict quickly drew in over two dozen Space Marine Chapters, dozens of Imperial Guard Regiments and several Titan Legion into the brutal conflict. The Death Templars responded to the Imperial call to arms, deploying nine companies from their Chapter to the besieged world. Upon arrival, they coordinated their efforts with the overall Imperial commander, the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar, of the feral Space Wolves Chapter. The Death Templars were deployed to the Equatorial Jungles where feral orks had continuously infested the Armageddon jungles since Ghazghkull's first invasion over fifty years earlier. The Chapter set about attacking the largest nest of orks, known as Plateau Greenskin, which had proven, up until that point, to be impregnable. The approach to the mountain were rigged with all manner of ork booby traps, and only through the valiant efforts of the Departmento Munitorum Engineer Corps clearing a path to the mountain's summit, were the Death Templars able to launch a full scale assault. The orks proved highly adept at fighting within the jungle environment and this advantage was telling as they pushed the Death Templars to the limit as the conflict became bloodier by the day. After months of grinding conflict, the hive world had still not fallen. As the Imperium committed vast reinforcements to War Zone Armageddon, countless waves of Orks flooded to meet them and the war became a contest of grinding attrition with no end in sight. After a year of brutal fighting, the Death Templars were recalled to the Segmentum Obscurus, to face an even more dire threat -- that of Abaddon the Despoiler and his 13th Black Crusade.
- The 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - As the end of the 41st Millennium drew closer, the first signs of Abaddon's long-feared return came in the form of numerous sightings of drifting vessels emerging from the Warp in the sectors of Imperial space surrounding the Eye of Terror. The Death Templars, fresh from their war on Armageddon, made all haste to the bastion world of Cadia. When they finally arrived, the Chapter's fleet astropaths received disturbing reports from the Hive World of Tabor, located within the Agripinaa Sector, that they were besieged by none other than the brutal World Eaters Khornate Berzerker, Khârn, the so-called "Betrayer," who had fallen upon that doomed world and shed the blood of its brave defenders in the name of the Blood God. The Imperial forces hoped to make gains upon Tabor and across the Agripinaa Sector by attempting to contain Khârn's mad rampage. But the blood-crazed berzerker was not alone, as he was followed by a sizable force comprised of Khorne Berzerkers. When the two opposing forces met upon the field of battle they stained the ground of Tabor red with blood. But in the end, the Death Templars were shattered as a cohesive force, as nearly half the Chapter fell to the bite of Khârn's infamous chainaxe, Gorechild. As the followers of the Blood God hated all psykers, the majority of these casualties were from the Chapter's Librarius. The Chapter's spiritual leaders also suffered grievous losses as well. Both were almost completely wiped out. Despite their horrendous losses, the Death Templars were wont to leave the field of battle when an enemy still stood, but were forced to make a tactical withdrawal, when another large Word Eaters warband, Gladiator Group 138, arrived on Tybor to take part in the slaughter. Lord Marshal Valdar swore a mighty oath against Khârn -- that he would seek the blood-mad killer across the width and breadth of the galaxy -- promising him that he would die by the Lord Marshal's hands. Valdar would be the one to finally end him and claim his grisly prize -- Khârn's head -- in retribution for all the slain Death Templars at the butcher's hands.
- Indomitus Crusade (999.M41) - At the climax of the 13th Black Crusade, the titanic forces unleashed upon Cadia, caused the doomed fortress world to break apart and be consumed by the ever-expanding Eye of Terror. With the veil of reality and immaterium finally fraying to the extreme, the Materium was ripped apart as a large warp storm of prodigious size, tore open across the width of the known galaxy - from the Eye of Terror to the Hadex Anomaly in the Eastern Fringe. To escape the doomed Agripinaa System, the Death Templars were forced to withdraw to escape the gaping tear in reality. Despite suffering grievous losses, the Death Templars continued to fight on, to perform their Emperor-given mandate of bringing death to the myriad of foes that assail Mankind and the Emperor's sovereign domain. In the meantime, a miracle had occurred on the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge - the resurrection of the long-dead Primarch Roboute Guilliman! Taking command of his Chapter, the Avenging Son fought a brilliant campaign, cleansing his home world of the foul taint of Chaos. He then launched his Terran Crusade towards Terra, in order to reach the Throneworld in order to speak with his father, the Emperor of Mankind. After much trial and tribulations, Guilliman reached his destination. After speaking with his father, Guilliman assumed command of the entirety of the Imperium's military forces as well as his former position as the Lord Commander of the Imperium. He then revealed his ultimate contingency plan that had been ten millennia in the making - the creation of the genetically superior transhuman warriors - the Primaris Space Marines. Launching his new armada to take the fight to Chaos, the Indomitus fleet encountered dozens of battered and bloodied Chapters, including the Death Templars, and led by their Progenitors, the Imperial Fists. The Chapter Masters gathered aboard the Primarch's flagship and swore their fealty to the only known living son of the Emperor. Humbled, Guilliman then revealed the Primaris Space Marines. They were arrayed in the various livery of the Chapters that now stood before the Lord Commander. Guilliman presented them to the venerable commanders of the Adeptus Astartes, and ensured that those Chapters that had suffered significant losses would be bolstered by these superior gene-crafted warriors. With their Chapter's numbers fully restored, the Death Templars launched their crusade anew, intent on ridding the galaxy of the foul presence of the apostate, the heretic, xenos and daemonic.
The Death Templars are rumored to follow similar organisational structures as the Black Templars, but after their defeat by the hands of Khârn the Betrayer they were reduced to just under 500 marines. The Chapter's exact numbers before that fateful battle is unknown, but estimates range between 800 to 1,000 Space Marines, but following the tragic events of the 13th Black Crusade their numbers were reduced by half. The Death Templars originally had a scattered deployment, with Battle-Brothers on crusade all across the galaxy. However, with the formation of the Great Rift, the Chapter was forced to withdraw, regroup and consolidate their remaining forces. The Chapter's Librarius and Reclusiam also took heavy casualties during the Black Crusade and were almost wiped out. Despite their dire circumstances the Death Templars continued their never-ending battle against the myriad of foes, despite the chaos that raged all around them in a galaxy gone mad.
With the resurrection of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman, the launching of his Indomitus Crusade, the Death Templars numbers were reconstituted with the introduction of newly created Primaris Space Marines into their Chapter's ranks. These superior transhuman warriors were quickly inducted into the Chapter's various companies to bring them back to full strength. As the Death Templars began to forge new and glorious deeds in the annals of Imperial history, their newly inducted brethren proved their worth hundreds of time over, as they slaughtered their enemies with the same cold, calculating savagery of a true Death Templar Astartes. These new warriors' superior skills in the arts of death soon earned them the moniker of the bygone name of 'Moritat' ((from the ancient words mori meaning "deadly" and tat meaning "deed"). Inspiring their fellow battle-brothers with their intrepidity and valorous deeds, they have proven to be worthy Scions of Dorn.
The Death Templars' order of battle contains several specialist formations and officer positions not present in other Space Marine Chapters:
The senior ranking Astartes of the Death Templars and is equivalent to The Chapter Master of other Space Marine chapters. The Lord Marshal is unmatched in personal combat prowess, having gained centuries of experience from his time spent throughout the various ranks of the Chapter. A master of the arts of war, the Lord Marshal is a superb tactician and trained in all facets of military strategy to a level unmatched by mortal commanders. His authority holds sway over a 1,000 battle-hardened warriors, and he acts according to his own counsel and judgement, answerable to no one except perhaps, his fellow Chapter Masters and the Emperor of Mankind Himself.
|Moritat-Captain||Mortriarch (High Chaplain)|
The equivalent rank of Captain in the Death Templars Chapter, a Moritat-Captain is second only to the Lord Marshal in martial skills and tactical acumen. Moritat-Captains are greatly experienced warlords, unique in character, who have written a legend in blood in the Chapter's annals for themselves, and carry into battle the finest wargear and weapons known to man. They are the masters of war who command the hosts of the Death Templars into battle against mankind's foes.
Reclusiarch of the Death Templars Chapter. As part of his sacred duties, the Mortriarch is responsible for maintaining precise records of the Chapter's battles, so that lessons of both victories and defeats are never lost for future warriors of the Chapter. Only by right of bloodshed, by taking the lives of the Emperor's enemies, that the Death Templars be granted honour and placed in the Chapter's chronicles. He is also responsible for leading the Chapter's sacred funerary rites and to proselytise on the sacred duties and the virtues of service to the greater glory of the Emperor.
|Funerary Chaplains||Astral Seers||Mortis Sanator|
These are the Chaplains of the Death Templars who lead their fellow battle-brothers in the morbid funerary rites in which the Chapter engages. Funerary Chaplains are recruited from amongst the priest class of Vrykul. In battle, they can often be heard singing hymnal dirges and somber chants -- a warning to their foes that the Emperor's Angels of Death have come for them. They fight alongside their Battle-Brothers, often where the fighting is fiercest, performing insane acts of valour upon the field of battle. Thus, inspiring their brothers with their savagery as they praise the Emperor through the destruction of His enemies. They can also be seen ministering to the fallen and granting absolution to the dead.
These are the Librarians of the Death Templars Chapter, who can bend the powers of the Warp to their will for the benefit of their fellow Battle-Brothers and in service to the Emperor of Mankind. They serve as both combat psykers and Chapter lorekeepers. Beyond their psychic duties, the Astral Seers are expected to record the great deeds of their Chapter and maintain the Chapter's storehouse of ancient lore.
These specialist officers perform the same duties as an Apothecary in a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter. These dour warriors also combine the attributes of both combat medics, trained in the arts of healing and the lore of genetics, and tribal shamans, heavy with the accumulated wisdom of the ages. In fact, many Mortis Sanators were former shamans of their tribes before being spirited away by the Dark Templars' Funerary-Chaplains.
|Necros Champion||Death Knights||Shade Warden||Scourge|
Equivalent to a Company Champion in other Space Marine Chapters, a Necros Champion is a consummate Space Marine warrior who is charged with defending the honour of his Company, his Chapter and the Emperor of Mankind Himself. Honoured to wield the Chapter's sacred Black Scythes into battle, a Necros Champion engages the warlords and champions of the foe in single combat, leaving this Moritat-Captain free to conduct the wider battle, rather than engage in a series of personal combats.
These are Terminator-armoured veterans of the First Crusade of the Death Templars. Death Knights are front line breakers who often fight in conjunction with the Scythe Brethren. Indefatigable and relentless, the Death Knights march inexorably forwards, able to withstand the heaviest of fire. Distracting their foes, they draw the bulk of the enemy's fire, while the Scythe Brethren flank their position, and finally, deliver the hammer blow to crush their foes in a whirlwind of destruction.
A Shade Warden (Veteran Sergeant equivalent) is a grizzled and season warrior, having fought in countless campaigns and who has committed exceptional acts of valor and courage over several decades or centuries of service. It is these warriors who lead a Wraith Squad into battle, having proven their battlefield skills, and are respected and accorded veteran status within the Chapter.
These are the Chapter's Sergeants who lead a squad of Astartes into battle. They act as disciplinary officers to the junior battle-brothers of the Chapter. The Scourges also act as second-in-command to the Moritat-Captains.
|Scythe Brethren||Reaper Squads||Revenant Squads|
Scythe Brethren are equivalent to Vanguard Veteran Marines of other Chapters. These Astartes are veterans of long decades of service to the Chapter who have proven themselves as capable warriors. Specialising in close-quarters combat, every member is proficient in all manner of close assault weaponry. Scythe Brethren take to the fray armed and ready to reap like a scythe to wheat, armed with these ancient and revered Chapter heirlooms. Some of these squads utilise jump packs to close the distance in order to get to grips with their foes in bloody melee.
These are the Tactical Squads of battle-brothers that are the backbones of the fighting forces of the Chapter. It is the Reaper Squads fighting power, armed and armoured for battle in the harshest of environments and the deadliest war zones, which enables the Death Templars to defeat the enemies of Mankind time and again. One of the Death Templars' greatest assets in open battle is the massed, coordinated hail of Bolter fire these Reaper Squads can unleash.
Revenant Squads are the equivalent of Devastator Squads of other Chapters. They specialise in sieges and heavy assaults and are adept at close range and shock assaults from both mutual support and teleport deployment. Though rarely deployed, except by order of the Lord Marshal, they are loosed only when an enemy proves itself worthy of utter destruction.
|Spectre Squads||Wraith Squads||Death Seeker Squads||Moritat (Primaris) Squads|
These are the Assault Bikers of the Chapter's 3rd Harrow. They are responsible for reconnoitering enemy positions ahead of the rest of the Chapter, gathering intelligence and reporting back to Chapter command. They will also sometimes covertly attack an enemy camp, capturing a commander for interrogation or alternatively sabotaging equipment and supplies. In the heat of battle they utilize their superior speed to attack an enemy's flank when they are distracted in the front lines by the Death Knights.
Wraith Squads are specialist squads who are equivalent to regular Scout Marines in other Chapters, but what sets them apart from their counterparts, is that they are culled from veteran Scythe Brethren, not Neophytes that are commonly used by other Chapters. These squads specialise in conducting focused decapitation strikes upon specific, pre-designated enemy leaders against the backdrop of the carnage of battle. These squads often deploy from the holds of specialized transport vessels such as Storm Eagle Gunships, leaping from great heights to descend upon silenced retro thrusters of their Jump Packs directly onto the heads of their unsuspecting target. Their squad leaders, known as Shade Wardens, engage the selected target while his warriors cut down any retainers who dare attempt to intervene. The result of a successful decapitation strike is that it sows utter confusion in the ranks of the enemy, and the results in the complete breakdown of their chain-of-command.
The Death Seekers are a specialist unit of those battle-brothers who are afflicted by the genetic curse known as 'Dorn's Darkness'. Plagued by the waking nightmare of their Primarch's misery and paralysing fear of a galaxy without the Emperor to guide Mankind, they are consumed with suicidal urges and a blatant disregard for overall combat doctrine. They seek nothing more than a release from the waking nightmare that plagues their every-waking moment, seeking a glorious death in service to the God-Emperor. The Lord Marshal will often employ those afflicted by the curse to undertake suicidal Zone Mortalis missions, to help his warriors seek a glorious death and release them from the throes of the curse.
The Chapter's newly inducted Primaris Space Marines form the bulk of the various Harrow's Intercessor Squads. Known as Moritat Squads, they form the core of the Chapter's elite line infantry. With their enhanced physical aspects and superior combat skills these gene-crafted warriors are armed and armoured for battle with the most advanced equipment yet created by the Adeptus Mechanicus. They are utilised as an elite shock assault force in the harshest of environments and the deadliest war zones, crushing the enemies of Mankind time and again. Moritat Squads are highly flexible infantry units, able to attack or defend at will, assault heavily fortified positions and take and hold strategic objectives or simply slaughter an enemy comprehensively in almost any terrain or situation.
Order of Battle
As mentioned above, the Death Templars nominally follow the dictates of the Codex Astartes in most of their organisation. There are 10 Harrows (Companies) in the Death Templars Chapter and each is led by a Moritat-Captain who is protected by a Necros Champion, an elite Veteran Astartes who serve as his Honour Guard. The 1st Harrow is composed of the Chapter's Space Marine Veterans, warriors with experience forged in countless battles throughout the Imperium and trained in the use of the sacred and extremely rare suits of Terminator Armour, while the 2nd to 5th Harrow are the Battle Companies who carry the weight of the Chapter's combat duties.
The 6th to 9th Harrows serve as the Chapter's Reserve Companies and are composed of squads of the same overall type who often act as support for the Battle Companies, as well as providing replacements for the casualties suffered by the Battle Companies. The 6th and 7th Harrows are composed entirely of Reaper Squads (Tactical Marines), while the 8th Company is a made up of Wraith Squads (Assault Marines), and the 9th Company has a full complement of Revenant Squads (Devastator Marines). Finally, the 10th Company is composed of the Chapter's Spectre Squads (Scout Marines) and Wraith Squads. Squads of Neophytes (those who are not fully-fledged Battle-Brothers) are spread throughout each of the Harrows.
The following represents the order of battle of the Death Templars Chapter as it stands in 999.M41 following the tragic events that occurred during the 13th Black Crusade:
|Honour Guard||Reclusiam & Mortis Sanitorum (Apothecarion)||Armoury||Fleet Command||Librarius|
Necros Champion Vlad Radoslav, Exalted Moritat
30 Death Knights
Mortriarch Scar, Reclusiarch of the Death Templars, Master of Faith
10 Funerary Chaplains
20 Mortis Sanators
Forge Lord Grigori Demekos, Master of the Forge
40 Land Raiders
45 Stormraven Gunships
3 Battle Barges (Death's Vengeance, The Reaper's Rage, Eternal Fury)
7 Strike Cruisers
15 Rapid Strike Vessels (Escorts)
35 Thunderhawk Gunships
3 Thunderhawk Transports
Samael Nazr, Master of the Librarius & Chief Astral Seer 6 Epistolary10 Codiciers
15 Acolytum (Neophytes)
2 Furioso Librarian Dreadnoughts
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
||2nd Harrow||3rd Harrow||4th Harrow||5th Harrow|
20 Death Knights (including Terminators) Squads – 100 Death Knights
6 Neophyte Squad
4 Furioso Dreadnoughts
1 Moritat Squad (Intercessor Squad)
6 Reaper Brethren (Battleline Squads)
4 Scythe Veterans
4 Wraith Squads (Close Support Squads)
3 Revenant Squads
2 Neophyte Squads
1 Moritat Squad (Intercessor Squad)
5 Reaper Brethren (Battleline Squads)
3 Scythe Veteran Squads
2 Wraith Squads (Close Support Squads)
2 Revenant Squads
5 Neophyte Squads
1 Moritat Squad (Intercessor Squad)
6 Reaper Brethren (Battleline Squads)
2 Scythe Veteran Squads
2 Wraith Squads (Close Support Squads)
4 Revenant Squads
3 Neophyte Squads
1 Moritat Squad (Intercessor Squad)
5 Reaper Brethren (Battleline Squads)
4 Scythe Veteran Squad
2 Wraith Squads (Close Support Squads)
2 Revenant Squads
5 Neophyte Squads
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Harrow||7th Harrow||8th Harrow||9th Harrow||10th Harrow|
1 Moritat Squad (Intercessor Squad)
12 Reaper Brethren (Battleline Squads)
6 Neophyte Squads
2 Moritat Squads (Intercessor Squad)
8 Reaper Brethren (Battleline Squads)
2 Scythe Veteran Squad
1 Neophyte Squad
Moritat-Captain Leonti Ulric
10 Reaper Brethren (Battleline Squads) – 42 survivors (Formerly 50)
2 Scythe Veteran Squad – 3 survivors (Formerly 10)
1 Dreadnought – 1 survivor
5 Neophyte Squads – 3 survivors (Formerly 25)
Moritat-Captain Mordaan Vaako
1 Moritat Squad (Intercessor Squad)
10 Revenant Squads (Fire Support Squads)
4 Neophyte Squads
Moritat-Captain Dracul Merikh
1 Moritat Squad (Intercessor Squad)
12 Wraith Squads (Close Support Squad)
4 Scythe Veteran Squad
3 Spectre Squads (Assault Bike Squad)
1 Neophyte Squad
- "Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid."
- — From the ancient poem, Invictus, by William Ernest Henley, Old Earth, ca. 875.M2
The Death Templars, like many Chapters within the Adeptus Astartes, have their own and often unique cult belief system, martial philosophies and variations on the Cult Imperialis. Specifically, they practice a Mortuary Cult belief system, indigenous of their brutal home world of Vrykul. It is looked upon as a more extreme variety of beliefs by the more conservative elements of the Adeptus Ministorum. The Death Templars embrace their home world's feral beliefs of the God-Emperor in the manifestation as the Imperator Mortifex – the supreme judge of the souls of the dead and keeper of martyrs. Accordingly, the Death Templars see themselves as preordained killers – living manifestations of "Angels of Death" – consumed with the never ending task of bringing death to those who would defy the will of the Emperor or seek to thwart His holy purpose. The Chapter's tenet belief is that life is transient and that the manner of a warrior's death is all that matters. The Death Templars' doctrine demands that the fallen are honoured above the living, and no warrior is held to have truly served until he has passed on. Thus, the Castellum Mortem resounds through the ages with the mournful dirges of past heroes sung by life-bonded Chapter Serfs. These sonorous chants constantly emanate throughout, echoing throughout the halls of the massive fortress-monastery, ensuring that these heroes’ memories lives on.
The strange and elaborate funerary customs observed by outsiders is looked upon with some trepidation, as many fellow Astartes find the Death Templars' fascination with death as distasteful, but none would gainsay their effectiveness in battle. It is commonplace for battle-brothers of the Chapter to decorate their armour with the bones and skulls of worthy enemies as well as carrying small reliquaries containing the ashes of a fallen comrade. The display of such grisly adornments of hanging bones lends the battle brethren of this Chapter a fearsome aspect indeed, a practice purposely calculated to deepen the terror intended to sow in the hearts of their enemies. Some detractors darkly whisper, though always out of earshot, that the Death Templars have also taken to using the crushed bones of their enemies as lapping powder for their battle plate. But the truth of these rumours remain unanswered, and the Death Templars consider any queries into their cult practices as inherently presumptuous and cause for offence.
The Death Templars are proud exemplars of the line of Dorn, and like their progenitors, they too, exhibit the loss of some of the more minor genetic enhancements such as the use of the Sus-An Membrane that allows an Astartes to enter a healing state of suspended animation. They also do not have a Betcher's Gland that would normally allow them to excrete corrosive saliva that could be used to chew through iron bars or spit into the faces of their foes. The Death Templars do not lament such losses. Their gene-seed is very stable and exhibits no other signs of mutations. However, some Imperial Fists Successor Chapters have displayed a troubling genetic deficiency known as "Dorn's Darkness" – a genetic curse that afflicts random battle-brothers with visions of their Primarch at the moment he discovered the grievously wounded Emperor aboard Horus' flagship, the Vengeful Spirit. They feel the profound misery of Dorn and his paralyzing fear of what the galaxy would be like, even for a moment, of an Imperium without the Emperor.
Death Templars, like any of the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, are intensely loyal and do not take their oaths to the Emperor nor their duties lightly. Regardless, they have been observed to retain fatalistic tendencies which seem to cling to them even in their most triumphant moments. This isn't to say that they desire to die as it is an acceptance that death is the only end to the path that a Space Marine treads -- for only in death does duty end. Everything a Death Templar does is another step along this path and one closer to their eventual demise. These melancholic moods does not affect their willingness to do their duty nor make them turn from their battle-brothers, but it can press upon those they serve alongside all the same.
Primarch's Curse: Call to Darkness
The genetic curse within the Chapter's gene-seed manifests differently in the Death Templars Chapter than it does in their fellow Successor Chapters. Often, certain battle-brothers will display suicidal urges and a blatant disregard for overall combat doctrine. Gathered together in specialised units known as 'Death Seekers', these battle-brothers operate independently on the field of battle, and are often employed as efficient shock assault troops and assassins. The Lord Marshal will often utilise such afflicted brethren to undertake suicidal Zone Mortalis missions from which they are not expected to return. These battle-brothers will undertake such missions willingly, to rid themselves of the dark visions that plague their every waking moment, and to sell their lives dearly in service to their beloved God-Emperor.
When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests itself in an affected Battle-Brother, it comes on in three stages:
- Stage 1 (The Shadow of Death): The Battle-Brother starts to see death in everything. He becomes distant and makes little effort to forge new alliances with new squad members, knowing they will soon be in the grave. He becomes more dismissive of death and the praising of the dead, seeing little glory in their sacrifice, only the inevitable end to their duty and another corpse to feed the gods of war. This attitude can grate on those around the Battle- Brother and he suffers with his fellowship when dealing with other soldiers or members of the Adeptus Astartes.
- Stage 2 (Death Cometh): The Battle-Brother cannot help but reflect on the worst side of a new development and will endeavour to find the worst aspect of even the most favourable of circumstances. Quite apart from causing friction within his squad, the drawing of focus onto potential problems and unforeseen dangers (regardless of the actual likelihood they will impact on the squad's mission) can cause compromises in command and less than direct tactical judgements.
- Stage 3 (The End is Nigh): Death is inevitable and the Battle-Brother is already a walking corpse just waiting for the moment when an enemy's blade or bullet ends him. Filled with visions of his own demise, the Battle-Brother begins to act recklessly, accepting that it is his time and there is nothing he can do to prevent it coming. This will not only place him in danger but can endanger his entire squad. The Battle-Brother does not contribute to the squad's cohesion as he fails to adequately aid them in battle. In addition, he tends not to gain the benefit of hiding behind cover, as even when behind barricades and walls he exposes himself to fire with little mind to remaining concealed.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Death Templars have followed the same fighting style throughout their millennia of existence. The Chapter is well known for their skill at arms and close-range pack tactics. The companies of the Death Templars have a tendency towards aggressive and decisive spaceborne and planetary assault actions utilising highly mobile forces. This usually results in actions in which dedicated assault units, including the Death Knights and Wraith Squads, close with the weakest point of the enemy position at the earliest opportunity under covering fire, and then are supported by mounted tactical units and armoured forces to exploit the breakthrough. This then allows the assault units to carry on into successive enemy positions behind the front line, preventing an organised response, while the rest of the units conduct a mop-up of the remaining enemy and move into positions of support, pinning down the next target with available firepower.
The Death Templars have a long history of service with the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos of the Inquisition. The Death Templars send many of their more experienced battle-brothers to the Long Watch, especially those who have won great renown amongst their fellow warriors. Funerary-Chaplains, Scythe Brethren, Death Knights and Scourges are common candidates.
Notable Death Templars
- Lord Marshal Vigo Malik - Vigo Malik was a former Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion and veteran of both the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Having served during the greatest campaigns and most tragic events during this tumultuous age, his morose and often sombre mortuary beliefs were passed down to the warriors of the newly created Death Templars Chapter, when he assumed command as its first Lord Marshal. A superlative warrior and outstanding commander, his tactical acumen was second-to-none, as he led his Chapter to victory after victory, when his Chapter set out on Crusade from Holy Terra. After leading his Chapter for over three centuries, Lord Marshal Malik finally met his ultimate fate during the final epic battle against a large Dark Eldar raiding force as well as a substantial Word Bearers force during the Second Battle for Vrykul.
- Lord Marshal Gath Valdar - Lord Marshal Valdar is the current Chapter Master of the Death Templars Chapter. A grim and relentless warrior, Valdar first made his name as an Assault Marine Sergeant during the bloody Merikh System Purge in the early-700s.M41. After being elevated to the esteemed position of Lord Marshal following the death of his predecessor Than Mortanus during the First Tyrannic War in 745.M41. Since his elevation to Lord Marshal, Valdar has garnered a reputation as a ruthless and bellicose commander, although he was is an undoubtedly competent Chapter Master, whose personal valour is second to none.
- Lord Marshal Than Mortanus - Lord Marshal Than Mortanus was one of the longest serving Chapter Masters within the history of the Death Templars, having served his Chapter for nearly seven centuries before his death at the hands of the vile Tyranids of Hive Fleet Behemoth in 745.M41. He was preceded by Valdar as Lord Marshal.
- Lord Marshal Dhargus Voltan - Lord Marshal Voltan was the Chapter Master of the Death Templars during the 35th Millennium. He was notable for being a superb tactician and brutal strategist, able to draw his foes into elaborate ambushes that would utterly decimate the ranks of his Chapter's enemies. He was responsible for the tactically brilliant defence of Vrykul during the Second Battle for Vrykul.
- Mortriarch Vigo Zharhan - Vigo is the venerable and highly respected Death Templars' Reclusiarch and Master of the Faith. His inspirational words and fiery rhetoric in the heat of battle inspires his brethren to heights of suicidal bravery in the face of overwhelming odds.
- Chief Astral Seer Samael Nazr Samael Nazr is the Chief Astral Seer and current Master of the Librarius of the Death Templars. A formidable battle-psyker, Samael is often called upon to help with prognostications, to ensure the Chapter achieves victory against their foes. His powers of the Warp are formidable, and he is rightly feared by the enemies of Mankind for his mastery over the powers of the æther.
- Moritat-Captain Altair - Altair is the current commander of the Death Templars' elite 1st Harrow (the 'Death Knights'). Altair is a relentless and remorseless killer who excels in the field of suppression and pacification warfare. His peerless skills as a warrior and tactical acumen as a leader is all but unsurpassed within the Chapter, with the exception of Lord Marshal Valdar himself.
- Moritat-Captain Arkio - Arkio is the current commander of the Death Templars' 2nd Harrow.
- Moritat-Captain Avgust - Avgust is the current commander of the Death Templars' 3rd Harrow.
- Moritat-Captain Malvolius - Current commander of the Death Templars' 4th Harrow. He was a former Shade Warden (Veteran Sergeant) who was personally selected raised to this esteemed position by the Lord Marshal himself.
- Moritat-Captain Thanaton (Deceased) - Thanaton was the former commander of the Death Templars' 4th Harrow. He was tragically killed whilst battling Khârn and his Khornate Berserkers during the recent events of the 13th Black Crusade.
- Moritat-Captain Mortanius - Current ommander of the Death Templars' 5th Harrow. Mortanius was the squad leader of his own Wraith Squad and the senior-most surviving Scourge of his Harrow. He was personally selected for the honour of command by the Lord Marshal himself.
- Moritat-Captain Morana (Deceased) - Morana was the former commander of the Death Templars' 5th Harrow. He was tragically killed whilst battling Khârn and his Khornate Berserkers during the recent events of the 13th Black Crusade.
- Moritat-Captain Dragos - Dragos is the current commander of the Death Templars'6th Harrow.
- Moritat-Captain Vorus - Vorus is the current commander of the Death Templars' 7th Harrow. Vorus served as a Shade Warden before being selected by the Lord Marshal himself to assume command of his Harrow.
- Moritat-Captain Valdis (Deceased) - Valdis was the former commander of the Death Templars' 7th Harrow. He was tragically killed whilst battling Khârn and his Khornate Berserkers during the recent events of the 13th Black Crusade.
- Moritat-Captain Leonti Ulric - Ulric is the current commander of the Death Templars' 8th Harrow and the Lord of Executions. He is a ferocious warrior whose zealotry and lust for war is barely restrained between battles. His bellicose and often fiery temperament has served him well as the supreme commander of the Chapter's assault elements, and has seen him lead the warriors of his Harrow in snatching victory from the jaws of inevitable defeat on more than one occasion.
- Moritat-Captain Mordaan Vaako - Current commander of the Death Templars' 9th Harrow, Vaako formerly served as his Harrow's Necros Champion before being selected by the Lord Marshal himself to command.
- Moritat-Captain Aeron Than (Deceased) Than was the former commander of the Death Templars' 9th Harrow. He was tragically killed whilst battling Khârn and his Khornate Berserkers during the recent events of the 13th Black Crusade.
- Moritat-Captain Dracul Merikh - Merikh is the current commander of the Death Templars' 10th Harrow and also serves as the Chapter's Master of Initiates.
- Funerary Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought Vasile
- Dreadnought Demetrios
- Necros Champion Vlad Radoslav - Vlad Radoslav currently serves as the Death Templars' Necros Champion (Chapter Champion) and is responsible for personally protecting Lord Marshal Valdar in battle. He oversees the Lord Marshal's Honour Guard comprised of the Chapter's elite Death Knights, responsible for protecting their Chapter Master at all times.
- Scourge Carac
- Scourge Sadon Varrick
- Funerary Chaplain Samuil Illarion
- Mortis Vindictus (Warspite-class Battle Barge) - The ancient flagship of the Death Templar's Chapter.
- The Reaper's Rage (Battle Barge)
- Eternal Fury (Battle Barge)
- Shadow's of War (Strike Cruiser)
- Claws of Strife (Strike Cruiser)
- The Pale Spectre (Strike Cruiser)
- Doom's Herald (Strike Cruiser)
- Death's Wings (Strike Cruiser)
- Doombringer (Strike Cruiser)
- Fury's Fist (Strike Cruiser)
The Death Templars primarily wear even parts white and black coloured power armour. The power pack vents, chest plate, shoulder pad trim, fauld, vambrace, gauntlet on both arms as well as both knee guards and greaves are all black in colour. The helmet, main portion of the power pack, shoulder guard insets, lower torso, belt, groin and cuisse (upper leg armour) are white in colour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is also white in colour. The shoulder pads inset are bone white. The black coloured squad specialty symbol -- Tactical, Devastator, Assault and Veteran -- is located on the right shoulder pad. A white coloured gothic numeral is stenciled in the centre of the squad specialty symbol, indicating squad number. Company number is designated by a company symbol on the right knee guard. Personal honour and totemic symbols are often worn on the left knee guard.
The Death Templars Chapter badge is a white coloured open-faced equilateral triangle inside a white coloured open-faced roundlet. A white skull with glowing red eyes is centered within the triangle, on a field of black.
- The Reaper's Mask - This ancient Chapter relic was the skull-helm of Mortriarch Mordua, the Death Templars' first Reclusiarch. Fearsome in aspect, the leering skull was carved to resemble the face of a human skull, an ancient symbol of death that evokes the Emperor's wrath and marks the memory of the His terrible sacrifice for humanity. Since Mordua's death, each Lord Marshal has taken up this relic helm and worn it in battle, both to honour the dead and strike terror into mankind's foes. There can be no denying the pall of death that surrounds this malevolent relic, nor the power when one sees the baleful red glowing light shining from its optic lenses, cowering the enemies of mankind with its penetrating stare.
- Armour of Death - The traditional relic artificer armour worn by each Lord Marshal, the Armour of Death is a highly modified Mk IV 'Maximus' Pattern Power Armour made to resemble bleached bone; the breastplate is formed from long ribs, bent and fashioned into the proper shape, the Imperial Aquila at its center is also skeletal. Every piece of this great warrior's armour, from the greaves to the vambraces, cuissart and gorget is formed from bone. Similarly to the ceremonial skeletal eagle worn on his armour's chestplate, the rear of the cuirass has a second skeletal eagle as a head-guard that emerges from the shoulders when worn over the backpack of the armour. This is known as the Aquila Mortis, an archaic device that protects the Lord Marshal similarly in function to an Iron Halo. This device emits a very strong gravitic conversion field around its wearer, which makes his armour even harder to pierce with enemy weapons. In addition, it also provides its wearer with immense resilience to even the most potent weapons on the battlefield.
- The Black Scythe - This relic weapon is a massive two-handed battle scythe of unknown provenance, its ebon blade spanning as long as most human warriors are tall. A powerful relic of war, The Black Scythe has long been the chosen weapon of each successive Lord Marshal (Chapter Master) of the Death Templars. This great scythe is perfectly balanced, having been made of micro-folded adamantium, etched at a molecular level with liturgies of harm and destruction. But what makes The Black Scythe so special is its disruption field generator, which is far more powerful than that found on a standard power weapon and which gives the blade its devastating strength. In the skilled hands of a Lord Marshal, the scythe can bisect even a Chaos Terminator in a single blow or shatter granite without so much as marring the blade's mirror-like finish.
- Doom's Pistols - A pair of baroquely-styled energy weapons similar to a plasma pistol, these unique weapons utilise individual charged shells to produce powerful laser-like blasts capable of cutting swathes through even heavily armoured foes.
- The Book of Death - This ancient and revered tome is utilised by the Chapter's Funerary Chaplains as a chronicle of the Chapter's victories since their inception. The Book of Death also marks the individual paths of glory forged by each Death Templars battle-brother. The slaughter-tallies of the Chapter's honoured dead are entered within the tome's ancient, dessicated pages with their own blood and are recounted during holy feasts and ceremonies. Mortriarch Scar is the current guardian of The Book of Death.
- The Claws of War - The Claws of War are a set of unique lightning claws and a long-cherished artefact of the Death Templars Chapter that was gifted to the first Lord Marshal Vigo Malik by Rogal Dorn himself. In close combat, the Claws of War are all but unmatched weapons, as the unidentified phase-frequency disruption fields imparted to their cutting edges prove able to slice though solid matter at a sub-molecular level, parting ceramite and adamantine plate effortlessly and sundering all energy fields and force barriers they encounter. The Claws of War are currently wielded by Moritat-Captain Altair of the 1st Harrow.
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The Death Templars look up to their progenitor chapter as many Scions of Dorn do, although with a slightly fanatical fervour. The Death Templars Funerary Chaplains teach recruits to revere their Primarch and their founders second only to the Emperor Himself, for it was he who stood by his father's side during the darkest hours of the Horus Heresy, during the final pivotal battle known as the Siege of Terra. It was the Imperial Fists who resolutely held the line against the tide of Chaos that assailed the Imperial Palace, despite facing overwhelming odds and potential defeat at the hands of the Arch-Traitor Horus. Therefore, in their eyes, the Imperial Fists are held as the pre-eminent Chapter amongst the ancient First Founding Chapters, and are considered living legends to the Death Templars. Therefore, the Imperial Fists are treated with a mixture of awe, reverence and the utmost respect. The Death Templars consider it a high honour any time they have the opportunity to fight alongside their genetic forebears.
The Death Templars and Black Templars share an unusual brotherhood, even for Space Marines. Like their fellow Successor Chapter, the Death Templars also have a penchant for close, melee combat to ranged warfare. This is further emphasised by the shared fanaticism of both Chapters, for their righteousness and zeal allow them to face and to overcome the most terrifying enemies facing the Imperium. No one is quite sure when such a bond occurred, but what is known, is that the two Chapters will fight alongside one another until the bitter end.
The Death Templars and Dark Angels share a mutual debt involving a fearsome Ork Warboss and the purging of an Ork-infested Space Hulk. While the two don't fully trust one another, they share a strong respect for one another as warriors, and will fight alongside one another without comment.
The Star Reapers and the Death Templars first crossed paths during the Scouring of Mehna in 589.M40, when the Death Templars were given the duty of defending a critical manufactorum from a brutal Ork onslaught. The Death Templars eventually abandoned their defensive position in favor of a devastating counter-attack. The Chapter were quickly overwhelmed however, by the masses of Orks. The Star Reapers then decided to come to their aid, valiantly launching a decisive counter-attack that saw the Chapter strike down the Ork Warboss directing the assault and scattering the greenskin forces. The Death Templars have never forgotten their debt owed to the Star Reapers have sworn to always come to the aid of their brother Chapter whenever they have been called - a debt that has only been called upon twice, in over a thousand years.
The Blades of Dorn and Death Templars have fought alongside one other throughout the centuries. The attack stratagems of both Chapters complement one another -- the Death Templars are the encircling hammer, and the Blades of Dorn the immovable Anvil. It is not known when the Blades formed a bond with their more venerable cousin-Chapter, but when these two Chapters have crusaded together they have often proven to be worthy allies, playing a pivotal role during several dozen major Imperial campaigns down the millennia. When called upon, each Chapter often eagerly responds to aid their fellow Scions of Dorn, without question.
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The Death Templars hate the World Eaters above all else, for it was they who laid their Chapter low, taking half the their number of battle-brethren during the recent 13th Black Crusade. The Death Templars long for revenge, and will go out of their way to take part in a campaign, especially if the World Eaters are involved.
The Death Templars hold Khâarn the Betrayer and his Khornate Berzerkers with the utmost contempt, and will go to any lengths to prosecute them and bring them to meet the Emperor's justice if there is even a whisper of their presence in local space.
The Ork klan known as the Evil Sunz earned the Death Templars eternal animosity following the Third Battle for Vrykul, when Warboss Zhardsnark and his Ork WAAAGH! led a brutal and devastating invasion of the Vrykul System. The population of Vrykul suffered terribly at the hands of the marauding greenskins, but fortunately the Death Templars' timely arrival averted even more brutal bloodshed. Though both sides suffered devastating losses, the Death Templars' tenaciousness paid off in the end, when they launched a devastating surprise attack that saw the death of most of Zhardsnark's Nob retinue, and the breaking of his WAAAGH! Though the "da Rippa" escaped the Emperor's Justice when he fled the wrath of the Death Templars. Whenever the Death Templars hear rumours of Zhardsnark's presence, they endeavour to despatch a strike force across the width and breadth of the galaxy in the hopes of finishing what began over a millennia earlier, in the hopes that they will one day bring back the prize they have sought for so long -- Zhardsnark's head.
The Death Templars harbour a special hatred for the Drukhari for what occurred thousands of years earlier during the First and Second Battles for Vrykul, as the Chapter despises those who prey upon the weak. When they have encountered these treacherous xenos over the centuries, their discipline and judgement has been known to slip occasionally when facing these vile foes in battle.
The Death Templars loathe the brutal Marines Malevolent Chapter and their excessive use of force against civilian populations. They especially hate their flippant attitude in regards to collateral damage and disrespect towards those they are sworn to protect. The Death Templars have been known to outright refuse to fight alongside them should they be a part of an Imperial Crusade or campaign force. Tensions will often simmer just below the surface when these two Chapters encounter one another, and so far, on a number of occasions the two Chapters have even come to blows, but thankfully, these incidents have been minor altercations. No one knows the exact circumstances that have earned the Marines Malevolent the Death Templars' ire, but some Imperial savants have been able to pinpoint the origins of this seething animosity between the two Chapters, to the events that transpired during the Titan Wars.
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By the Death Templars
- "KHÂRN!!! You can't escape for long. You will be hunted down like the animal that you are, and when you are all alone, I will be there to see your death at my hands. The Death Templars will have their vengeance for the fallen battle-brothers that you butchered."
- — Lord Marshall Valdar to Khârn The Betrayer during the 13th Black Crusade.
- "Many will say that the Legion of the Damned are warp-tainted and need to be purged, and others will say that they're the Emperor's will made manifest. But we Death Templars see them as fellow battle-brothers that want to die in battle with honour."
- — Necros Champion Vlad Radoslav, Exalted Moritat, following the Crimson Crusade
- "I suggest you should be more careful Marine Malevolent! Treat the innocent with disrespect again and you will see what it feels like to have a mass reactive shell go through your thick head!"
- — An unknown Death Templars Astartes, threatening a Marine Malevolent for treating Imperial citizens with disrespect during the Titan Wars
About the Death Templars
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- "Death as a skull, or a serpent's coil, the dead tell no tales, bar the reapers toil. "
- — Unknown Mortarchs Serpentia Astartes
- "Prepare to move out, our morbid hungry brothers will be here soon, and they will not appreciate us taking their kills. Move out to the next target, leave no trace behind."
- — 1st Captain Ovair of the Obsidian Blades
- "Hmph, no, you are far too obsessed with your own mortality to embrace the life eternal that chaos can offer. I have neither the time nor patience to enlighten you, so I will simply deliver unto you that which you desire so much."
- "Though these warriors are dark of aspect and morose by nature, they have shown to uphold the khabar and asabiyya as true Scions of Dorn. My bolter and blade are theirs, if the need ever again arises."
- — Rafiq Ardeth Tizqar of the Sable Lions Chapter, 2nd Kárdake, in a rare display of admiration for the Death Templars, following the Fury Crusade, ca. 466.M38
- "Even I have found him, and thus them, grim, that's a fact. It is also a fact that their fascination with death is distasteful. Still. If the one I fought with is a paragon of his brethren, then to say that it makes them weak is a lie. And lying is what make us weak. Now, go make penance for such weakness."
- — Anonymous Sons of Iron Veteran Battle-Brother recalling his time in the Deathwatch with a Death Templars Astartes, ca. 998.M41
- "Alas, before me are brothers-in-arms that have embraced death while they are still among the living. Reminds me of myself."
- — A Laughing Skull Astartes commenting on a Death Templar
|Second Founding Space Marine Chapters|
|Dark Angels Successors||Ebon Knights • Iron Templars • Seraphim of the Abyss •|
|White Scars Successors||•|
|Space Wolves Successors||•|
|Imperial Fists Successors||Death Templars •|
|Blood Angels Successors||Golden Seraphs • Sanguine Templars •|
|Iron Hands Successors||Iron Gorgons • Iron Harbingers • Templars of Iron •|
|Ultramarines Successors||Angels of Calth • Knights Celestial • Storm Wraiths • Swords of Guilliman •|
|Raven Guard Successors||•|
|Renegades||Iron Invictors •|
40K Theories Youtube channel featured the Death Templars as their first Homebrew of the Week on their youtube channel. Enjoy!