|This article, Phrygian Knights, was written by Wulfburk. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "Then, as throngs of his enemies bore down upon him and his Hypaspist said, "They are making at thee, O Warder," "Who else, pray," said Tlepolemus, "should be their mark? But Diodotus will come to my aid." This was his hope to the last, and to the last he kept watching eagerly for his Strategos; then a whole cloud of Drukhari projectiles were let fly at him and he fell.."
- — The death of Warder Tlepolemus during the Third Battle of Alamain, M38
The Phrygian Knights, also called the Warders of Phrygia, are an Imperial Fists Successor Chapter, founded by Antigonos Kertes, who was formerly a captain of the 547th Phalanx Warder Company. Their Primarch, Rogal Dorn, ordered the formation of the Phrygian Knights during the Third Founding in order to establish a firm and permanent presence of his sons in the galactic far east, between Hexos, Formund and Asylus. And so the warriors of Antigonos Kertes made their home the world of Korengal, in the Phrygian Sub-sector, during the dawn of the 32nd Millennium.
Since then the Chapter has battled against the enemies of Mankind, using the Phrygian Sub-Sector as a lynchpin for their expeditions. Their notable campaigns are many, such as the Three Battles for Alamain in M38, the Retreat from Qart-Hadast in M40, the Anabasis of Stratonike and the Battle for Korengal in M42, to name a few.
- 1 Chapter History
- 2 Chapter Homeworld
- 3 Notable Campaigns
- 4 Chapter Organization
- 5 Chapter Belief & Traditions
- 6 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 7 Combat Doctrine
- 8 Notable Phrygian Knights
- 9 Deathwatch Service
- 10 Chapter Appearance
- 11 Chapter Fleet
- 12 Chapter Relics
- 13 Relations
- 14 Notable Quotes
- "In those fateful days the Phalanx was our home, and we did not let it fall through our grasp, for we knew defeat was unacceptable. "
- — Warder Antigonos Kertes, formerly a Captain of the 547th Phalanx Warder Company of the VII Legion, M32
Planet of Korengal
Korengal is currently classified as a Hive-World, its colonists having conquered the whole surface of the planet around the 36th Millennium. Initially, during the times known as Old Night, the planet was colonized by humans of a nearby star system, them settling in the arid plateau in the main continent of Midaes. The world was quite diverse by this period, having large grasslands, thick forests, cold tundras and dry steppes.
- "In a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer."
- — An ancient Korengal legend
For the next few millennia the colonists merely survived in its surface, for the wild was ripe with dangerous beasts, and the lack of trade and resources kept the population low. It was in this context that the Great Crusade fleet commanded by Captain Antigonos Kertes of the 547th Imperial Fist Company arrived in the system, in the fifth year of the 31st Millennium. Compliance was done with immediate effect, and soon enough all five planets in the star system were claimed by the Imperium, while afterwards Antigonos continued his advance, conquering many systems near this region of the galaxy.
However, the appearance of the Ruinstorm during the first year of the Horus Heresy forced the Imperium forces to halt and consolidate their strength upon the already conquered worlds. Meanwhile, the light of the Astronomican was lost to the Navigators of Antigonos' fleet, and a dozen systems nearby had major uprisings, all followed by self-inflicted bloodbaths throughout their population. The strife in the region was eventually put down by the Imperial Fists under Antigonos, keeping tight his hold of the Phrygian Sub-Sector after initial failures in his attempts to leave the sector towards Terra, through the Ruinstorm. Around half a decade later, with the Ruinstorm finally and suddenly diminished, all Imperium forces left for Terra, leaving Korengal and the Sub-Sector ungarrisoned and defenseless.
It would take approximately one millennium since their departure for forces loyal to the Imperium to appear again in the orbit of Korengal. The Sub-Sector had succumbed to madness, with several warring tyrants ruling over the population of the few worlds still inhabited. Therefore Warder Antigonos, Lord of the newly founded Phrygian Knights, had to bring into compliance once more the world of Korengal and the Sub-Sector at large. After a brief month-long campaign of reconquest, the Phrygian Knights settled their fortress in one of the few large islands in Korengal, the isle of Aspetaea.
- "From this moment forth we shall be the Warders of Phrygia, and as it was with the Phalanx, we shall make the enemies of mankind tremble before the bulwark of the sons of Dorn."
- — Warder Antigonos Kertes, M32
Though initially Korengal was ruled with an Iron-fist by the Sons of Dorn due to the uprisings during the Horus-Heresy, in time the Phrygian Knights, whom did not wish to be governors but merely guardians of the enlightened worlds of the Imperium, granted control back to the local population. Korengal prospered under the protection of the Chapter, rising to become at first an agri-world that supplied the whole sub-sector, and later, around M36, it became the capital of the Phrygian Sub-Sector and was reclassified as a Hive-World. From the 36th millennium onwards, the entirety of the surface lands of Korengal, excluding the isle of Aspetaea, was inhabited by the common population. It is estimated that in M42 two hundred billion souls live on the planet. Though most of the oceans have for long become dry, the island of Aspetaea still remains separate from the main continent, this mostly due to the efforts of the Phrygian Knights themselves, as they place limits on the population expansion near the isle and make sure that the ocean around their Fortress-Monastery does not dry.
The Space Marines of the Phrygian Knights are revered across Korengal, lauded as saviours and protectors, and the loyalty to the Imperium by the citizens of the planet is unquestioned. Generally, the population lives in a moderate standard of well-being and they are usually ruled by competent Planetary-Governors. However, as it is with every Hive-World, there are billions of poor souls in its depths, and it is there that the Phrygian Knights have one of their two recruitment zones as they capture young promising children, those that were part of gangs, criminals or mere survivors. The other and main recruitment zone is the Feral World of Fortuna in the Hestea System.
The Fortress of the Chapter was designed and built by the first Tech-Marine of the Phrygian Knights, brother Nearchos, and Warder Antigonos Kertes himself. Its construction took near a decade, and the majority of the isle of Aspetaea, which would give its name to the Fortress itself, was engulfed in ceramite and concrete. The building is not considered holy or sacred by the Phrygian Knights, and so it is not referred to as a Fortress-Monastery, but only as a Fortress, though its belly holds many of the artifacts and relics acquired by the Chapter, as well as the Chapter's armoury and anything else that is required for the good functioning of a Space Marines Chapter.
In addition, inside Aspeatea there is the Hall of Remembrance, where all banners and symbols of lost Silver-Shields and Sergeants, respectively, are depicted. in the center of the hall there stands one massive stone slab, which is referred to as the Stele, that has engraved in its surface the names of each Phrygian Knight Space Marine that has been lost in the wars against the enemies of the Imperium. The Stele and the banners and symbols are updated during the centennial ceremony of the Vigil to the Honoured.
- "I am a portrait in stone. I was put here by Antigonos Kertes, where I remain forever, the symbol of timeless remembrance"
- — An inscription at the top of the Stele inside the Hall of Remembrance
The Sub-Sector of Phrygia is located in the Ultima Segmentum, near the center of a triangle made by the worlds of Hexos, Formund and Asylus. It is composed of nine star systems, with six of them being heavily populated in M42. The main ones are:
- Korengal System - Contains the Hive-World of Korengal, the Agri-World of Korinth, the Ipsus Shipyard and the mining colonies of Partros Prime and Partros Secundus. It also contains the barren world of Tyhre, formerly a civilised world until it was destroyed by the Iron Warrior invasion in M42.
- Hestea System - With two inhabited planets, the Hive-World of Hestea and the Feral world of Fortuna, this being the main recruitment world for the Phrygian Knights.
The other star systems are: Koile-Sigma, Kilikia, Lydia, Stratonike, Caria, Eurydice, Phila.
In total, the Sub-Sector in M42 has approximately 12 civilised worlds, 1 feral world, 2 hive-worlds, 4 agri-worlds and a dozen mining-stations and colonies. Additionally, there are seven barren-worlds, destroyed in the invasions that ravaged the Phrygian Sub-Sector.
This region of galaxy space was first colonized by humans during the Dark Age of Technology. A household legend across the Phrygian systems is that the colonists were Terrans from the mythical Achaemenid Empire, though such remains unconfirmed. Since the beginning of the firm presence of the Imperium through the Phrygian Knights Chapter, the Sub-Sector has thrived, but several times war was waged across its systems, the region suffering invasions from Orks, Heretics and Renegades. Currently the Cicatrix Maledictum blocks the light of the Astronomican from reaching the Sub-Sector, and amidst the chaos of Imperium Nihilus, it stands effectively alone, with the Phrygian Knights being the only hope of security and protection.
- Pyrrhus' Bane (30.M32) - Three decades after the founding of the Phrygian Knights, Pyrrhus, Silver-Shield (Captain) of the Hestea Company (2nd Company) and Strategos of an expedition fleet composed of two companies, engaged a World Eater warband on the Ultima Segmentum, near their former recruiting world of Bodt. These World Eaters had fought together with Antigonos Kertes, Pyrrhus and other Phrygian Knights veterans of the Great Crusade, though the number of those that had fought in such enlightened times were dwindling.
Pyrrhus' fleet answered a call for help from an imperial world, Sabyn, and as the Phrygian Knights arrived in the system they saw that a void battle was occurring in the orbit of the planet, the World Eaters having the upper hand against the imperial navy ships. Thus Pyrrhus plunged himself into battle and fought the World Eaters. The Phrygian Knights boarded their vessels and those of the Imperial Navy that had suffered boarding actions from the traitors. On the flagship of the Imperial Navy in the system the Phrygian Knights battled the enemy. It was clear to the Phrygian Knights that these World Eaters were not as corrupted as their brethren seen in the Siege of Terra and during the Scouring.
A foul game was at play in Sabyn. The World Eater commander, Odda, declared that they were loyal sons of the Emperor and were fighting against a rebellious world infected by Chaos worship, and supposedly Sabyn had escaped the Great Scouring by laying low, though Odda and the World Eaters knew of their true allegiance as Sabyn had supplied Horus' forces during the Battle of Bodt and beyond in the Horus Heresy. Doubt consumed Pyrrhus' mind while the battle went on, and many World Eaters were lost to the nails and assaulted the Phrygian Knights. Meanwhile, the forces of Sabyn rallied and attacked the ships of the World Eaters as well as those of Pyrrhus.
This three-way battle continued until Pyrrhus and the Phrygian Knights managed to be extracted by Thunderhawks from the Imperial navy flagship, the World Eaters, due to the nails, still attacking them in the process. After this, the Phrygian Knights focused their fire on the forces of Sabyn, and the World Eater vessels followed. A short moment later the battle was won, and Sabyn was at Pyrrhus' and Odda's grasp. An investigation followed which indeed brought to light that Sabyn was plenty with signs of Chaos worship, and the planet was bombarded into oblivion.
However, the Phrygian Knights had slain half of the World Eaters, and vice versa. It was then that Odda discovered the identity of the Phrygian Knights commander, Pyrrhus. Shame clung to Pyrrhus' heart and anger grew on many of the surviving World Eaters. For those newly forged Phrygian Knights, it was clear that there was more to it, and the bad blood between Odda and Pyrrhus was old. Soon it was known by all that the two had fought together in a campaign during the Great Crusade, where both Rogal Dorn and Angron were present, as well as the majority of the Imperial Fists and of the World Eaters. In this event, Odda's forces suffered a major setback, which he attributed to Pyrrhus' actions nearby. Angron, in reply, slayed many of the World Eaters under Odda for their failure and later banished the survivors from the fleet, sending Odda in an expedition on the edges of the galaxy, never to return to muster with Angron, Kharn and the World Eaters' main force.
As this came to light, the World Eaters prepared to engage the Phrygian Knights once again, and Pyrrhus drowned in shame once more, until Odda sent word to his flagship that instead of more loyal sons of the Emperor dying for Pyrrhus' mistakes, they should settle it between themselves in a duel to the death. Pyrrhus saw that it was as it should be, and he and Odda faced each other in the belly of a World Eater vessel. The duel was long, but Odda soon had the upper hand and slew Pyrrhus. it surprised those present, even the World Eaters, of how quick Pyrrhus had lost his footing, after defending successfully for so long against Odda's strikes. It was clear to Odda that shame had clung to Pyrrhus, and while Odda fought with anger, Pyrrhus' expression was of regret, passiveness and defeatism. Thus Pyrrhus chose to die, not wanting to live with his failures. Afterwards, the Phrygian Knights and the World Eaters went separate ways in peace.
But a lesson was learned by all Phrygian Knights. Pride was Pyrrhus' bane and his downfall. Though accepting the duel was an honourable thing on Pyrrhus' part, it was not enough, for he did not do his most during the combat. To prefer death instead of living on fighting for the Emperor, no matter one's failures and prospects, is to betray the Chapter, Dorn and the Emperor. Thus, the Phrygian Knights present were instead ashamed of their Silver-Shield, and they would bring his body back to Phrygia. However, Pyrrhus' Silver-Shield banner is the only one not present in the Hall of Remembrance. In contrast, Odda and the World Eaters under him gained the utmost respect of the Phrygian Knights and of their then Warder (Chapter Master) Antigonos Kertes.
Later, Odda was sought by Antigonos Kertes, and though it was kept secret from the Imperium, the Phrygian Knights made the Phrygian Sub-sector more isolated planets a haven for Odda's warband, to be used for resupply, repairs and respite whenever they needed. Odda's warband was not Blackshield, for they considered themselves the true World Eaters, those that held true the ideals of the legion, then called the War Hounds, before the arrival of Angron.
- Disaster on Karpoinan (300.M32) - An unknown enemy was ravaging systems in the Ultima Segmentum, as the only word of their attack was the silencing of astropathic communication and the termination of trade that occurred in their wake. In response, Warder Antigonos Kertes rallied three companies of the Phrygian Knights, and deduced, due to the patterns of the advance shown by the previous planets being silenced, that the next system to be attacked would be that of Karpoinan. All that is known from this moment forth is that, immediately upon arriving in Karpoinan, the Phrygian Knights fleet was assailed by an unknown Xenos breed, their void ships clearly superior to the Chapter's vessels and with some manner of camouflage, while the planet had already fallen into the hands of the Xenos, which were referred to, in posterity, only by "Karpoinan Raiders", as this battle was the only confirmed sighting of them by the Imperium at large.
The battle was short lived: With longer range weapons, the Xenos took a heavy toll on the Phrygian Knights as they left the warp. Antigonos ordered the fleet full ahead, into boarding torpedoes distance, and as that was achieved, he and over two hundred of his Astartes were thrown into the inside of the enemies' vessels. Squad by squad, contact with them was lost, and after two Terran hours, the last word, by Antigonos himself, was heard by the Kubernetes (Ship Captain) of the flagship Bellerophon, a Phrygian Knight named Edvaris. Antigonos ordered the retreat of the surviving vessels, and Edvaris complied, leaving two hundred Phrygian Knights behind, while over 70 more were lost in the void battle, with 4/5ths of the Phrygian Knights' fleet destroyed. Only the flagship, Bellerophon, and the 30 remaining Astartes in it returned back to the Imperium.
In the aftermath, Peithon, Silver-Shield of the Kilikia Company and Strategos of an expedition fleet, set his stone and was made Warder of the Phrygian Knights as the remaining strength of the Chapter gathered in Phrygia, this months after Edvaris had returned with the grave news. His first campaign, leading 6 Phrygian Knight companies, was the counter attack on Karpoinan and the other systems that had been ravaged, but no sight of the Xenos was ever achieved again, for all the planets were barren and lifeless, and the void empty. After decades in search, Peithon returned to Phrygia and the campaign was ended. Until this day, the Phrygian Knights seek information on the Karpoinan Raiders, to enact swift and complete revenge upon them. The description of the Raiders is based on a single unfocused pict capture of a faint shadowy creature in a dark and damp corridor, the picture having been relayed to the flagship Bellerophon during the boarding action in Karpoinan.
- Hundred Years Purge (546.M32-650.M32) - At the start of the War of the Beast, the complete strength of the Phrygian Knights was gathered in the Phrygian Sub-Sector while the Vigil to the Honoured occurred. As the rituals and ceremonies were held in the Chapter's Fortress, word of the ork Waaagh and of the demise of the Imperial Fists arrived. The call for muster of all Imperial Fists successor chapters on the system of Phall was heard, and Peithon, Warder of the Phrygian Knights after the death of Antigonos Kertes two centuries before, rallied eight of his nine companies and took to the void. Only Indutiomarus' Koile-Sigma (Third) Company remained in the Sub-Sector, as faint reports arrived of systems near Phrygia being lost, the astropath connection to them going dark.
Peithon and his 800 Phrygian Knights, with the bulk of the Chapter's fleet, were late, however. Their passage through the warp was both arduous and difficult, the fleet suffering with Gellar Field issues and losing several vessels. When finally they returned to the void and saw the planets of the Phall system, near two years had passed and there was no sight of the Imperial Fist reformed legion. Peithon then moved directly towards Terra, arriving in the Solar system months after the War of the Beast had ended. Considering such a delay a failure on the Chapter's and on his leadership part, Peithon immediately plunged forth into a crusade, purging the ork infested worlds that were still occupied after the War of the Beast. He vowed that due to his failure on upholding the Last Wall protocol, the Phrygian Knights would, for a hundred years, crusade against the ork remnants. Thus it was that the Phrygian Knights took the vanguard of the Imperium's campaign against the orks in the aftermath of the Beast. Even when Maximus Thane and the Imperial Fists returned for Terra, nearly a century later, the Phrygian Knights and Peithon still remained at the forefront of the Imperium's effort against the orks.
The hundred years purge saw the Phrygian Knights liberating, cleansing or purging over a hundred planets, while during this period several main ork pockets of resistance were entirely destroyed. After the Imperium's territory was thoroughly stabilized and no notable ork threat was in sight, the Phrygian Knights made their way towards Phrygia, this a couple of decades after Maximus Thane had returned to Terra. Of those 800 space marines that had left for Phall a century earlier, only around a hundred arrived back in Phrygia, Peithon still leading them, and he saw that the Sub-Sector was in quite a different situation than he had left it, due to the Phrygian Campaign.
- Phrygian Campaign (546.M32-654.M32) - The Silver-Shield (Captain) of the Koile-Sigma Company, Indutiomarus, was tasked with the defence of the Phrygian Sub-Sector while Peithon led the rest of the Chapter towards Phall and Terra during the War of the Beast. Having with him, excluding his company, only a couple dozen thousand soldiers of the Planetary Defence Forces of Korengal and of other planets in the Sub-Sector, and with only about a fifth of the Phrygian Knights fleet at the time, his forces were stretched thin. The ork invasion happened in year 546 of the 32nd Millennium, led by an Warboss afflitiated with the Beasts, and his orks numbered in the hundreds of thousands. At first they struck the Caria system, its defences being overrun quickly and Indutiomarus only managing to arrange an evacuation of its population towards Korengal. This first phase of the war, lasting nearly ten years, was the main ork offensive and resulted in the loss of 6 of the 9 systems of the Sub-Sector.
However, despite the loss in territory, most of the population of the Sub-Sector safely arrived in Korengal due to the efforts of the Phrygian Knights. Their effort was focused on two parts: delaying the orks until the rest of the Chapter could arrive, as outright victory was impossible due to how outnumbered they were, and protecting the civilians of the Imperium. Korengal thus became a hub for refugees, its population increasing tenfold. Most of the combat in this first phase happened in the void, as the Koile-Sigma company fleet defended evacuations from planets and protected the three remaining systems in the Imperium's hands. The second phase of the campaign, ten years into it, started when reports had arrived of the Warboss massing his forces in a bid to strike into Korengal directly. In a desperate move, Indutiomarus then sought to take the initiative.
Keeping most of his forces in the Korengal system for its defence, he planned surgical strikes against the ork Warboss. In the first time, an escort ship took 5 Astartes and, hidden, dropped them in the world of Lydia, where the Warboss mustered his forces for his attack. These five Phrygian Knights managed to infiltrate and eliminate the Warboss, sowing chaos into the ork ranks, and division and civil war happened in the waaagh as they sought to establish a new leader. For the next 94 years this strategy remained in place, the Phrygian Knights killing leader after leader in small unit operations, keeping the orks at their place and preventing any new major ork offensive. Twenty years into it, their effort was bolstered by the sudden arrival of Odda's Warband, the World Eaters fighting side by side with Indutiomarus and his Company against the orks. Their assistance managed to create more havoc into the orks and delay their advance for decades. However, 80 years since the start of the campaign, Indutiomarus requested to Odda withdraw from the Sub-Sector in search of the rest of the Phrygian Knights and, if possible, bring reinforcements to Phrygia.
Meanwhile, the assassination attempts on the ork leaders continued. This was done not without casualties however, and after all those years, even with accelerated recruitment happening in Korengal, only 10 Phrygian Knights of the Koile-Sigma company were still standing and Indutiomaris himself had fallen, leading the last unit against the second to last Warboss of the Orks in this waaagh against the Phrygian Sub-Sector. Though he managed to slay the Warboss, withdraw was impossible and his squad was overrun.
Thus it was that Harald was made Silver-Shield of the Koile-Sigma Company of 10 Astartes. With too few Phrygian Knights, and with no escort ships left, he had only the option to defend Korengal, and a year onto it the Waaagh, led by a new Warboss, arrived in the system. The orks quickly achieved orbit superiority and the Planetary Defence Force and the Phrygian Knights were besieged in the fortress of Aspetaea and in the main hives of the planet, respectively. Two months into the siege, that saw half of the planet taken by the orks, a new fleet was seen in the sky, and the battle barge Bellerophon, then Flagship of Peithon and the Phrygian Knights, struck into the ork vessels in orbit. Odda's Warband was with them, and the void battle reached its decisive moment.
With around 100 Phrygian Knights and 70 World Eaters, Peithon retook orbit superiority and lifted the sieges of Aspeatea and the main hives, rescuing Harald and his four Astartes left alive, as well as the few thousand PDF soldiers that still drew breath. Then the third phase of the Phrygian Campaign started, between 650.M42 and 654.M42. For these four years Peithon did as he had done in the last one hundred years: purging orks from rightful lands of the Emperor. All systems in the Sub-Sector were liberated at the end of the Campaign, the planets slowly being repopulated and rebuilt. For the next decade, the Phrygian Knights rebuilt their Chapter, growing back into a thousand Astartes strong Chapter.
Due to Indutiomarus' efforts, despite the loss of many a dozen planets the population of the Sub-Sector was mostly spared, and he was hailed as a hero of the Chapter, growing into a household name as familiar as Rogal Dorn and Antigonos Kertes to the humans of the Sub-Sector. Peithon, seeking to learn from brothers such as him, sought to imprint the importance of the safety of the Imperium's population into the Chapter's doctrine.
- "What we should lament is not the loss of houses or of land, but the loss of men’s lives. Men come first; the rest is the fruit of their labour"
- — Silver-Shield Indutiomarus, during his evacuation efforts in the Phrygian Campaign, M32
Before this event, the Vigil to the Honoured was a tradition that happened exclusively on the Fortress of Aspetaea, no contact happening with the humans of the Sub-Sector, but afterwards the tradition was held of the Silver-Shields each visiting a System in Phrygia, meeting with representatives of the population in feasts and prayers, while parades and other ceremonies occurred. Many a millennia afterwards, the only vestige of the ork invasion is the half a dozen barren worlds, those that were too ork infested to be repopulated, and thus suffered exterminatus by Peithon's command.
Odda's Warband left the system after the campaign, to continue their efforts against the traitor legions of mankind by themselves, but they were never seen again by the Phrygian Knights. In the Fourth Founding, as with every Chapter that was alive by then, the Phrygian Knights were ordered to release a portion of their veterans to form a Successor Chapter, and Peithon chose the Hetairos Aiakides and his Astartes to be the leaders of a new Chapter of Rogal Dorn's lineage, henceforth named as Host of Aiakides. Since then, the Aiakidoi have been great allies of the Phrygian Knights, but due to their doctrine, symbolism and traditions, a rumour has gained strength that the Aiakides were in fact first led by the surviving members of Odda's Warband, with him as Chapter-Master. By this rumour, Peithon, seeing how depleted the Phrygian Knights were after the Phrygian Campaign, instead offered Odda the choice of becoming the first company of the Host of Aiakides Chapter, in place of the Phrygian Knight veterans. Such is largely unconfirmed, however.
- — Silver-Shield Indutiomarus, during his evacuation efforts in the Phrygian Campaign, M32
- Galmor Chase (Unknown Year M34) - At the dawn of the 34th millennium, an expedition fleet, composed of two Phrygian Knight companies and led by Strategos Falkarth, moved to quench rebellions in the Imperium planets of the Rathyn Sub-Sector, in the Ultima Segmentum. This was done quickly, though Falkarth realized that some sort of power, either Xenos or the Arch-enemy, was behind the uprisings, as the humans wanted to be "uplifted by their overlords and brought into salvation" Investigating it further, the Silver-Shield discovered that all the different uprisings had started soon after the same, unregistered, vessel was sighted in orbit of the planets, and he, with the help of his Oracleos (librarians), managed to find out where the ship had left for the last time.
Arriving at the Galmor Sub-Sector, the Phrygian Knights pursued the ship out of the system, and thus the chase started, which saw the Chapter keeping the, now identified as Xenos, ship from doing its purposes in several Imperium planets, though it always managed to escape the Phrygian Knights. After this was repeated several times, the ship did not move against another Imperium planet, but instead vanished into the void. The Oracleos tracked the ship into a specific point in the empty void between the stars, and Falkarth, choosing not to travel to it through the warp, as he started suspecting doing such was giving away his movements to the Xenos, used several gravitational slingshots, and with his vessels powered off he accelerated into the point.
The Phrygian Knights fleet arrived there three years later, and though the ship was not there anymore, they found something else: two gigantic pillars in the empty void. Auspex scans did not read anything that their own eyes could not see, and the two pillars were thought to form a gate between them, though it was inactive, and so Falkarth awaited. Months later a flickering light was seen coming through, and the Xenos ship, now slightly damaged, accelerated into the space between the pillars. They briefly opened a gate between them, and Falkarth powered his vessels and pushed into the gate, the fleet managing to go through just in time. He arrived in between two similar pillars as those before, but now his ships systems indicated he was not near the Galmor Sub-Sector anymore. In fact, he wasn't in the Milky Way galaxy at all, for the galaxy itself was seen as a small speck far away into the void. The gate on this side was in orbit of a rogue extragalactic planet, grey, without any atmosphere and barren. The few Xenos installations in it, forming some sort of outpost, were the only sign of life. The Phrygian Knights were immediately fired upon, the enemy ships using some sort of gravitational weapons, crushing entire vessels in one instant. Falkarth then diminished the distance between him and his enemies, forcing them to resort to conventional weaponry.
The enemies weren't many, having only a dozen ships, and shortly after they were all destroyed by the Phrygian Knights, the Chapter losing less than half their own vessels. The engagement was followed by a thorough search and extermination in the planet below, though no resistance was met as the installations were mostly empty. Falkarth boarded one of the destroyed ships that plunged into the surface of the planet, and caught a few Xenos bodies: They had a humanoid shape and were lean, tall, hairless and with a crimson skin, wearing no sort of armor or cloths. They had no mouth, nose or ears, and had two thin slits in the place of the eyes that, the Iartros (apothecaries) of the expedition theorized, served all their senses. It was also theorized that they communicated through the release of odors, as a small gadget that captured and relayed smell were found in all the bodies, much like a vox link.
Next, the Phrygian Knights attempted to reactivate the pillars to no avail, and thus they awaited, until months later it was seen activating by itself, and Falkarth wasted no time getting through it. He appeared back into the gate by the Galmor Sub-Sector, and returned back to the Imperium. However, as they left, the two pillars imploded soon after and the gate was gone, as if the Xenos who had arrived into their destroyed outpost had deactivated it. One Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Explorator, named Nihilus Mor, who had a good relationship with the Chapter, was told of the discovery and years later started investigating the remaining debris of the Gate and its technology. These gates used a system outside the known webway or the warp, while The Crimson Xenos were only sighted again three millennia afterwards, after the battle of Serdaex, in M37.
- Extermination of Serdaex (910.M37-921.M37) - The decade long campaign in the Serdaex sector saw the Phrygian Knights once again putting down human uprisings, as an entire sector of the Imperium rebelled with their own sector fleet, Planetary Defence Forces and Imperial Guard Regiments. Warder Lakatos led five Phrygian Knights companies, several Imperial Guard Regiments and two Adepta Sororitas Preceptories, in the campaign of reconquest. One by one the planets were recaptured, though the population, repeating the pattern shown before the Galmor Chase millions of years earlier, were with an insatiable need to revere the so called Overlords. This time however, the population continued their mindless attacks on the Imperium forces, and after several attempts in peacefully managing them, it was decided that it was a foregone conclusion, and exterminatus was ordered into the planets contaminated by this xeno admiration. As the Imperium forces moved, a path of destruction and death was left in their wake. The capital of the sector fell at the end of the campaign, the Phrygian Knights achieving orbit superiority and using exterminatus on the planet.
The Adepta Sororitas became fond allies of the Phrygian Knights, as Warder Lakatos sacrificed many of his Astartes in operations to secure holy relics on temples and sacred sites in the surface of several planets of the sector, bringing them back to the fleet before the exterminatus of the worlds. In addition, the only world that was spared exterminatus had such a fate because one unconfirmed Saint of the Emperor, Saint Lanassa, through unknown means managed to cleanse the minds of the population by her appearance alone, though she would disappear soon afterwards with her vessel, during a warp jump. The image of a Saint, introduced to the Korengal Company right shoulder pauldrons afterwards, was both a gift and an oath of friendship by the Canoness Superior present during the campaign, for the Phrygian Knights efforts in securing the relics and on defending the Saint and investigating her disappearence. The investigation, done after the complete destruction of the Serdaex rebellion, eventually resulted in the assault upon Jerovian.
- Assault Upon Jerovian (993.M37) - The ship of Saint Lanassa was discovered, by the Agema Oracleos Dormatheos and his brothers, as having left the warp in the empty void near the Serdaex sector. Upon further investigation, a similar void gate as to the one found during the Galmor Chase was sighted, but it imploded itself in one swift stroke when the Phrygian Knights fleet shortened the distance between them. Thus Warder Lakatos, with the knowledge of the history of the Galmor Chase and the battle between his Chapter and those Crimson Xenos outside the Milky Way, sought contact with the Adeptus Mechanicus, in hope of reaching Magos Explorator Nihilus Mor or those that had continued his research. The sighting of the second Void Gate happened in year 925.M37, just five years after the Serdaex extermination.
Not only was Nihilus Mor still alive, but after three millennia he had made many discoveries about the nature of the Void Gates. He found out that the void gate near the Galmor Sub-Sector had only one route, and managed to pinpoint it to the extragalactic outpost that the Phrygian Knights had found. He also theorized that a second type of gates existed, where one could connect to several exit gates across the void, much like a hub. As he was brought by the Phrygian Knights to this newly discovered gate near the Serdaex sector, he requested years, decades even, to reactivate it, but he did manage to discover quickly, with the help of the Agema Oracleos, that it indeed led to a hub Gate on the other side, from which one could travel to countless locations. With this, Warder Lakatos temporarily withdrew his focus on the crimson Xenos, and instead deployed his companies as required by the Imperium's on-going wars, until, 65 years later, on year 990.M37, word arrived from Nihilus Mor that the Gate was ready to be reactivated.
The Warder then made the call for the muster of the Chapter and his allies. Three years later, the strength of the Crusade surpassed all expeditions led by the Phrygian Knights in their history: 9 (+900 Space Marines) Phrygian Knight companies, 4 Host of Aiakides companies, 8 Space Marine companies of 6 other Chapters, one Imperial Guard battlegroup of 7 Imperial Guard Regiments, three Imperial Navy battlegroups, and one Sister of Battle Order Militant. The expedition risked through the Void Gate in one go, as it was feared that the Xenos would implode the gate on the other side if they knew they were coming. As they appeared in the intergalactic void, above a rogue gas planet, they saw that they had discovered perhaps the very capital or hub of the Crimson Xenos, as was predicted by Magos Explorator Nihilus Mor.
The planet, first referred to by JLEXGP-037.2490141241 (Jupiter-like Extragalactic planet number 37, in the following quadrant) by Nihilus Mor and afterwards by the ad hoc name of Jerovian, was heavily protected, with near a thousand vessels accelerating to face the Imperium's forces and several orbital installations. It was a rogue extragalactic gas planet with the size and mass similar to Jupiter, and its name would give the name to the Crimson Xenos, henceforth named as the Jerovians by the Imperium. What followed was ten terran days of battle in the void, the Jerovians taking a heavy toll upon the expedition with their gravitational weapons. Lakatos ordered the boarding of the hundreds of their orbital stations, the size of massive cities, and only then the Imperium started turning the tide, as the Jerovians would not use their gravity weaponry near their own stations.
The Phrygian Knights Somatophylakes units were the first to board the enemy orbital plates, followed by the Space Marines of the other chapters and, lastly the soldiers and sisters of the Imperial Guard and the Adepta Sororitas. Battle continued in the void and inside the stations, one by one them getting cleansed by the Imperium as it was found that close quarters combat was not in the Xenos favour. The flagship Indutiomarus' Revenge, forged by the shipyards of Inwit in M33, took to the vanguard and broke through the Jerovian fleet, the rest of the Imperium forces following it. In a desperate measure, the Jerovians started using their gravity weapons without care of damaging their nearby space stations, and several ships of the Imperium were broken asunder. The Battle Barge of the Phrygian Knights, Kontos, made by the Ipsus Shipyard in the orbit of Korengal itself, was heavily damaged and broken in two by the Jerovians, the ship going adrift and captured into an orbit by the planet.
After several days, all the Jerovian space stations had been captured and then destroyed by having them sent into the gas planet below, them vanishing below the atmosphere. Inside them, the Imperium had also faced several thousand human indoctrinated slaves, and though the Phrygian Knights did find Saint Lanassa, herself heavily wounded and as if she had been tortured and examined, she perished in the arms of a Sister of Battle, her body vanishing.
When defeat was certain, the Jerovians sought to flee through a Void Gate on the other side of the planet and were chased by the Phrygian Knights cruisers. After gaining complete control of the planet, most of the Imperium forces returned through the Void Gate, back to the Milky Way and to the Imperium. The Phrygian Knights however, with the help of Magos Explorator Nihilus Mor, continued their pursuit of the Jerovian remnants, and through the Hub gate on the extragalactic planet of Jerovian they discovered inside the Milky Way more than a hundred exit gates, most of them near some sort of outpost of the Xenos, though they were only lightly guarded. And thus the xenocide of the Jerovians continued, the Phrygian Knights chapter, now by themselves, slaying each outpost one by one and destroying the portals. After fifteen years, all the exit gates, but one, had been dealt with, and the Phrygian Knights returned to the Imperium, though not before recovering the Kontos Battle Barge and repairing it and priming the Hub Gate in Jerovian to explode. The Assault on Jerovian saw 70% of the Imperium forces being lost, with only 300 Phrygian Knights surviving those ten days. The fifteen years campaign to exterminate the Jerovians across the galaxy saw further casualties from the Phrygian Knights, though not in any alarming rate as the bulk of the Jerovians had been destroyed in their capital. The xenocide of the Jerovians was complete, or so the Imperium thought.
- Three Battles for Alamain (201.M38-202.M38) The Three Battles for Alamain were fought between the Phrygian Knights and the Drukhari for the control of three pillars, separated between each other by hundreds of kilometers, of an unknown origin within the surface of the lava world of Alamain, a planet in the fringes of the galaxy. Stumbling upon the planet by chance after being lost in the warp, the Phrygian Knights under Warder Tlepolemus investigated signals from the surface and discovered the three pillars, which started an engagement with the Drukhari, as they were researching these technologies themselves. As Alamain's star had a highly eccentric elliptical orbit around a black hole, for most of its year the lava ocean encapsulated the entire surface of the planet, covering all pillars beneath the lava. However, for the three days when Alamain approached the black hole, gigantic lava tidal waves were formed and parts of the surface were cleared, opening a path to the pillars, though every hour a different wave would pass through each of them. This left a small window of opportunity for the pillars to be investigated, and the ever-approaching waves also had to be dodged at every hour.
During the first battle, the Phrygian Knights surprised the Drukhari expedition and defeated them, but not before they changed the signals coming from the pillars, and the warp enclosed upon the system, allowing no ships to escape towards the galaxy. Since there was no time for the pillars to be investigated, the Phrygian Knights were forced to wait for Alamain to complete its orbit and approach the black hole again. After months, when this happened the Phrygian Knights quickly landed and captured the pillars, their Phrourarchos attempting to reverse their signals and clear the warp around the system, but the Drukhari struck once again, starting the second battle. In the ensuing battle the Phrygian Knights had to keep evading, with their thunderhawks, the gigantic lava waves while fighting the highly mobile Drukhari. Of the forces fighting in each of the pillars, one was entirely consumed by a wave when they attempted to assist the others and were instead bogged down in the open by the Drukhari, while the other two were forced by the enemy to retreat inside the pillars, and there they would remain for months, locked inside that Xenos structure that was somehow untouched by the lava ocean. This allowed the Phrourarchos inside to complete their investigations and two pillars were quickly activated, clearing most of the warp.
With two space marine companies in need of rescue in the surface, Strategos Diodotus, who had come to the rescue of his brothers at the finale of the second battle when one activated pillar had allowed his fleet to push through the warp, sent calls for reinforcements, and the Drukhari, unbeknownst to the imperium, also prepared for a third battle, as they attempted to retake control of the pillars and then force this significant imperial fleet to be caged in the system for several months, ready to be picked apart by a second wave of Drukhari reinforcements. In the ensuing third battle, the Phrygian Knights kept control of the pillars while attempting to secure an evacuation zone for most of those stranded in the surface. A flank assault by Tlepolemus, with the bulk of the chapter's Somatophylakes, advanced into what was thought to be the core of the Drukhari position, but that was a faint and they were encircled, resulting in their death by the Drukhari or by one of the waves. With the loss of that force, Agema Silver-Shield Seikilos, automatically promoted to Warder of the Chapter, took control of the engagement and, with a more cautious approach, secured the pillars and won the battle, ending the three battles for Alamain. Afterwards, the Phrygian Knights evacuated from the planet and the bulk of the imperial fleet left the system, some Adeptus Mechanicus ships and Magos remaining to complete the investigations started by the Phrygians. However, mere months after they had returned to the Imperium at large, all contact was lost with the Alamain system, and nothing was heard of it again by the Phrygian Knights.
- Retreat from Qart-Hadast (701.M40) The Retreat from Qart-Hadast, also referred to by the Phrygian Knights as the Evacuation from Qart-Hadast, initially saw the chapter and the Grecians (Hellenes) reinforcing the rich and populous Qart-Hadast system against a massive Ork Waaagh! under Warboss Galatai. When victory was at hand, a new enemy emerged from beneath the deserts of the system-capital planet of Qart-Hadast, and a void battle was begun. With almost a hundred ships being lost and little to no damage being inflicted on the unknown Xenos, Warder Seleukos of the Phrygian Knights, in command of the imperial fleet, ordered a full retreat from the system.
However, communication was being scrambled and the remnants of the Grecian fleet, as well as most of the vessels of the Imperial Navy, did not hear the call. After desperate measures to transmit the messages failed, Seleukos ordered his ships to retreat. The Grecians and the Imperial Navy, outnumbered, disorganized and outgunned, could do nothing but await their encroaching doom, and they cursed at the perceived betrayal of the Phrygian Knights. It was at this moment that the remnants of Warboss Galatai's fleet, until then in orbit of the planet of Garamantia, plunged themselves into the new foe. With their attention momentarily occupied, against all odds Strategos Minoan, Chapter Master of the Grecians, managed to extract a small portion of his forces from the system, thus ending the recorded imperial participation in the battle.
All that is known from that moment forth is that, when the imperial counter-attack fleet arrived in the system months later, the human population and all the orks of Warboss Galatai's Waaagh! were dead, and no signs of the Xenos remained, for the planet of Qart-Hadast had all but vanished.
- Anabasis of Stratonike (999.M41-003.M42) - During the Anabasis of Stratonike, the Stratonike Company under Silver-Shield Demetrius journeyed throughout the galaxy, at first in search of the Phalanx, and then to return to their homeland, the Phrygian Sub-Sector, that was split from the Imperium due to the Cicatrix Maledictum.
The Stratonike Company had been chosen by Warder Alketes, in the Vigil of the Honoured that took place in year 998.M41, to take the Path of the Oathtaking and renew the oaths of the Chapter inside the Phalanx, the flagship of the Imperial Fists. Under command of Silver-Shield Demetrius, they travelled across the Milky Way and as it became known that the Phalanx was headed towards Cadia, Demetrius moved his expedition fleet with haste towards that system. The fleet arrived in the edges of the system when Cadia was falling and the Phalanx leading the evacuation of the imperial forces. Demetrius' vessels soon were assailed by the enemies of mankind and he ordered a retreat as the Phalanx plunged itself into the warp.
Eventually, the Stratonike Company indeed did as intended and the Oathtaking was complete. However, the Phrygian Knights under Demetrius were now separated from the Phrygian Sub-Sector and from the rest of the Chapter due to the Cicatrix Maledictum. Demetrius' Company joined the Indomitus Crusade led by the returning Primarch of the Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman, though the Phrygian-bound path was always on the Phrygian Knights mind. Countless battles and campaigns were taken by the Stratonike Company in this time. During this period the Stratonike Company crossed the Rubicon Primaris, and though some failed, most were reborn and equipped as Primaris Space Marines.
After years, at last when the Indomitus Crusade entered Imperium Nihilus and Guilliman's armada moved towards Baal to assist the Blood Angels against the Tyranid invasion, the Stratonike Company, quite depleted from a hundred battles, was allowed instead to move towards the Phrygian Sub-Sector in search of the rest of the Phrygian Knights. After several encounters with a number of foes of mankind and repeatedly becoming lost in the warp, Demetrius and his company finally hailed a star within the Phrygian Sub-sector, Thalatta, a destination they greeted with a cry of exultation on the bridges of their vessels: "Thalatta, Thalatta!". Going deeper into the sector, they arrived in the Hestea system, aiding Kassandros' expedition fleet against the Alpha Legion. Later, the two companies under Kassandros, as well as the Stratonike Company under Demetrius and all the Imperial military and navy forces on Hestea, all returned to the Korengal system and joined the battle for Korengal.
- Uprising on Hestea (003.M42) - Reports had arrived to Warder Alketes of uprisings in the Hestea system, which were forcing the commitment of most of the Planetary Defence Forces of Hestea. The situation was aggravated when the orbital stations of Hestea were all captured by the rebels, and the planet became de facto under siege, all-out war happening in the hives. Though Alketes thought the most efficient response would be a rapid strike with the entire Chapter (except the Stratonike Company which was thought lost due to the Cicatrix Maledictum), a response which would, in his estimations, end the problem in less than a week, he was advised against it by his Agema Oracleos, a Phrygian Knight named Pythios. Indeed, all the Oracleos of the Chapter were foreseeing doom: a massive invasion fleet was about to strike Korengal. Each decision taken by Alketes meddled with the treads of fate, and the future of the Chapter and of the Phrygian Sub-Sector was unknown. The situation in Hestea was bogging down important imperial military and navy elements that could assist the Phrygian Knights.
Therefore, Alketes decided to stay put and prepare the defences of Korengal with six companies of the Chapter, while he sent Strategos Kassandros with the Hestea and Kilikia companies towards Hestea. Three days later, they arrived and saw civil war happening with the imperial forces, in the void and in the surface. The loyalists were soon identified and Kassandros' forces joined the fray, the Phrygian Knights trying to recapture the orbital stations. To their surprise however, the Phrygian Knights' ships were boarded by several traitor space marines of the Alpha Legion, and the orbital stations all exploded, wreaking havoc in the Imperial navy ships and on the Phrygian Knights. The focus of the battle then turned towards the inside of the Phrygian Knights' vessels, as Kassandros' attempted to secure his ships. Sabotage occured throughout, and the fleet was greatly damaged. As Kassandros' own bridge was attacked, the Stratonike company joined the fray and boarded the ships under Kassandros, and the tide was turned. Indeed, it was clear to Kassandros that if it wasn't for the arrival of Stratonike, the two companies under him would have been destroyed entirely. Next, Demetrius and Kassandros cleansed all the decks from the traitors, and eventually they would rout or destroy all the renegade imperial navy ships. Later, the three companies joined the combat in the surface of Hestea and after three weeks all the rebellions were put down.
However, the fleet under Strategos Kassandros was heavily damaged, specially the Kontos Battle-Barge. Indeed, the Alpha Legion had managed to make unoperational most of the warp engines of the vessels under Kassandros. Thus it was decided by Kassandros to repair all the vessels and muster a great imperial navy and military force from Hestea and of all the other systems of the Phrygian Sub-Sector, instead of returning to Korengal immediately with all the Phrygian Knights inside the fleet under Demetrius. The repairs and muster took four months, and after setting out the fleet arrived on Korengal as the battle for the system waged on.
- Bloodbath on Callatis (003.M42-004.M42) - Two days after the departure of Strategos Kassandros from Korengal towards Hestea, the massive Iron Warrior force was identified advancing towards the Phrygian Sub-Sector. Then, word came to Warder Alketes of the plight of the Host of Aiakides: after the Cicatrix Maledictum, their entire Chapter had become becalmed in the warp for months, suffering from Gellar Field failures and Chaos daemon invasions. When they managed to leave the warp, their ships were all heavily damaged, with no warp travel capabilities and they found themselves in the Callatis system, a world long abandoned by mankind, its settlements and ruins mostly conquered once again by nature.
This was the dream that Agema Oracleos Pythios had, of the incoming doom of the Aiakidoi. Thus Warder Alketes ordered an expedition fleet of two companies under Strategos Thorax to find and rescue the Host of Aiakides at all costs, now leaving Korengal with just four Phrygian Knights companies. Crucial to this decision was the fact that Warder Alketes thought that reinforcements were absolutely necessary for his prospects on the upcoming battle for Korengal. The destruction of the Aiakidoi would be a major setback for the Imperium and also spell doom for the Phrygian Knights themselves, this was certain. Nevertheless, due to the Cicatrix Maledictum no other imperial force was at hand.
After a year, Strategos Thorax finally arrived in Callatis, and a siege was taking place in its surface. A great World Eater warband and fleet had taken void superiority and was besieging the Aiakidoi in the ruins of Callatis. Later, it became known that the Aiakidoi Warlord (Chapter Master) Brennus had ordered the evacuation from their unoperational vessels towards the ruins in the planet, as he saw the World Eaters arrive in the edge of the system. Most of the World Eaters and their thralls followed and besieged the Aiakidoi on Callatis, leaving their own vessels lightly guarded. Hence, though Strategos Thorax fleet was heavily outnumbered, he advanced with haste and the Phrygian Knights boarded the enemy vessels, capturing them one by one. The table had turned, and now the World Eaters on Callatis suffered a great orbital bombardment. Later, one of the two companies of the Phrygian Knights made a drop-pod assault on the ruins, and with the Aiakidoi attacking from one side and the Phrygian Knights from the other, the World Eaters situation was grim, though they still outnumbered the loyalists. At the climax of the battle, an all-out melee started in the ruins of Callatis, the Aiakidoi sallying forth from their positions.
For hours the battle lasted, a massive bloodbath taking place in close-quarters with the thousands of humans that had followed the World Eaters dying. The World Eaters were not dealt with easily, however. Though they were surrounded, they took a heavy toll on the Phrygian Knights and the Host of Aiakides. By the end, of the original ~900 Aiakidoi that had taken their positions in the ruins, only 300 were still standing, and of the 200 Phrygian Knights that had fought in the void battle and in the surface, one hundred survived. Of the World Eater force of around 1.000 World Eaters and 100.000 humans, it was destroyed entirely, not one individual surviving the battle.
With the rescue of the Host of Aiakides, Strategos Thorax gave them the World Eater vessels captured mostly intact, and the two fleets returned as one towards Korengal until they separated when they were in the Phrygian Sub-Sector itself. Thorax and Brennus deliberately arrived in the Korengal system from opposite directions during the Iron Warrior invasion, their coming turning the tide.
- Battle for Korengal (003.M42-004.M42) - The Battle for Korengal saw the system become under attack for the first time after ten thousand years since the War of the Beast in M32. The Iron Warrior warband under Warsmith Leokrates targeted Korengal specifically due to it being the Homeworld of the Phrygian Knights, sons of Dorn. Though greatly outnumbered, Warder Alketes of the Phrygian Knights led the efforts of the Imperium in the system and managed to hold long enough in the Fortress of Aspetaea, in the surface of Korengal, until reinforcements from the two Phrygian Knights' expedition fleets could arrive. The battle resulted in the destruction of the Ipsus Shipyard, of the world of Tyhre, and in the death of 618 Phrygian Knights and 200 Aiakidoi. The Imperium was in the end victorious, but these losses resulted in a major reduction of the Phrygian Sub-Sector capabilities and of the Phrygian Knights strength. The Chapter and the system of Korengal still recovers from the battle.
Currently, the Chapter is only operational in the Phrygian Sub-Sector as it regrows to its full strength. A couple of years after the battle, Custodians of the Emperor arrived with the Primaris gene-seed. All the surviving members of the Chapter would attempt to cross the Primaris Rubicon, except Antigonos Gonatas who had already done so during the Anabasis of Stratonike (999.M41-003.M42). Warder Alketes, a veteran of a thousand battles, would die. Not in combat, not in a warp event or another catastrophic situation. Instead, the Warder of the Phrygian Knights died on his attempt to become a Primaris Space Marine. His recently made Agema Silver-Shield, a former Hetairos of the Korengal Company named Ariovistus, became the current Warder of the Chapter. Ariovistus had been chosen as Agema Silver-Shield by Alketes during the battle for Korengal, due to the death of Agema Silver-Shield Esteias.
The Phrygian Knights field nine Companies, nominally having 100 Astartes each, totaling 900 Astartes. Outside of these, the Chapter usually has about 20-60 Kubernetes, Ship Captains in charge of each vessel of the Phrygian Knights, four Hypaspist that are the praetorians of the leaders of the Chapter, and a varied number of Phrourarchos, Iartros and Oracleos. The Warder is the Lord of the Chapter, the name being a reference to the rank of Phalanx Warder in the Imperial Fist Legion, a rank that the first Astartes of the Chapter and their leader, Antigonos Kertes, were part of in the time of the Horus Heresy. The Companies are each named for one of the systems in the Phrygian Sub-Sector, and they are led by the Silver-Shields. Under them, there are the Hetairos, this rank being equivalent to the lieutenant rank in the VII Legion, and lastly there are the Sergeants, each commanding a squad.
The Chapter does not field a Scout Company, for newly forged Astartes are first deployed in the Fire Support / Devastator squads. Later, the Space Marine can either go to the Tactical / Battleline or Close Support Squads, depending on the strategic necessities, the losses taken, or his personal combat preferences.
However, only the most experienced and strongest warriors of each company take part in the Somatophylakes Squads, a unique unit type of the Chapter that carries breacher-shields (or Storm Shields in the case of the Korengal Company) and is the core of the Phrygian Knights' efforts to break the backs of its enemies. The greatest honour in the line ranks of the Chapter is to become a Somatophylakes of the Korengal Company (the Veteran Company). Before the Primaris Project, the Phrygian Knights did not field Assault Squads, as their role was taken by the Somatophylakes. But with the reform of the Chapter in M42, the Close Support Squads were created from the ranks of the Fire Support and Battleline Squads, with the difference that the Phrygian Knights Close Support units are not of the Assault Intercessor, Inceptor or Outrider types, as their role is taken by the Somatophylakes (who can deploy on bikes with their shields mag-locked to their left).
Furthermore, all eight standard companies (and so excluding the Korengal Company) are equals hierarchically speaking, and that trickles down to their individual Astartes. Thus, when two or more of these companies wage a war together, a non-permanent position of Strategos is used in order for the war effort to have a single unified command. Unlike Codex-compliant Chapters, the Phrygian Knights do not distinguish from Reserve or Battle companies, for all nine companies of the chapter are battle companies, while they are all similar in the composition of their squads, assets, support and vehicles, though the Korengal Company is the most well equipped, supplied, and with the greatest amount of vehicles, relics and Dreadnoughts. In this sense, currently each Phrygian Knight company has their own score of Vanguard Space Marines (Reivers, Incursors, or Eliminators).
Most commonly the Phrygian Knights form three expeditions, the main one under the Warder and two others under different Strategos, with one most battered company recovering in Korengal and organizing recruitment runs. However, in times of crisis the Chapter has been seen to muster in one consolidated command and to deploy with their full strength at a specified theatre of war, and in the opposite manner, more than three expeditions can still happen, even though it is rare.
The Agema Iartros, Agema Oracleos and Agema Phrourarchos are equivalent to the Master of the Apothecarion, Chief Librarian and Master of the Forge from standard Space Marine Chapters, respectively. Together with the First Company Captain, which is named as the Agema Silver-Shield, they act alongside the Warder in the main Phrygian Knights campaign in any given time.
From the First Company to the Ninth, the Phrygian Knights have named them thus: Korengal Company, Hestea Company, Koile-Sigma Company, Kilikia Company, Lydia Company, Stratonike Company, Caria Company, Eurydice Company, and Phila Company. It is tradition that the companies are referred to in the feminine form.
Command and Specialist Ranks
- Warder - Warder is the title given to every Chapter Master of the Phrygian Knights.
- Agema Iartros - Agema Iartros is the Master of the Apothecarion. Effectively, he acts as both the Master of Sanctity and Master of the Apothecarion, as he assists the Warder in overseeing the health of the Chapter, both in mind and in body.
- Agema Oracleos - Agema Oracleos is the Chapter's Chief Librarian. If the Agema Silver-Shield is the right hand of the Warder, the Agema Oracleos is the left, being an advisor in all aspects of warfare.
- Agema Phrourarchos - Agema Phrourarchos is the Master of the Forge of the Phrygian Knights. He commands the Chapter's armoury, servitors, orbital defences and other Tech-Marines. Generally, he deploys alongside the Korengal Company.
- Hypaspist - The Hypaspist are four permanent bodyguards of the high members of the Phrygian Knights, protecting the Warder, the Agema Iartros, the Agema Phrourarchos and the Agema Oracleos. They wear Tactical Dreadnought Armour and a number of different weapons, and walk as shadows behind those they are protecting, never leaving their side. These Space Marines are not in the regular chain of command, but as they have a seat in the Synedrion, they are counted upon to give advice and counsel at the most appropriate circumstances. They are the Praetorians of the Chapter, defending the members in the top of the chain of command. In this, they are a variation from the Huscarls of the VII Legion during the Great Crusade. Due to the lack of Terminator Armour in recent millennia, the Hypaspist are the only Space Marines of the Chapter that wear it, for those few that are available are withheld for them and for when strict requirements are met, such as the appearance of a Space Hulk.
- Agema Silver-Shield - Agema Silver-Shield is the equivalent to the First Company Captain from regular Space Marines Chapters. Thus, he commands the Korengal Company of the Phrygian Knights. He is the right hand of the Warder, and it is tradition that the Korengal Company is always deployed alongside the Warder himself.
- Silver-Shield - Silver-Shield is the Phrygian Knights equivalent to the standard Company Captains. They are also in charge of the rituals, traditions and the state-of-mind of their own respective companies, as the rank of Chaplain is not fielded by the Phrygian Knights. Each Company led by the nine Silver-Shields are named for one of the systems in the Phrygian Sub-Sector, the first Company, led by the Agema Silver-Shield, having the honour of being the Korengal Company.
- Strategos - Strategos is a non-permanent position in the Chapter that appears when two or more regular companies are deployed together. They are the overall commanders of a campaign or war, and the Silver-Shields present decide amongst themselves, either through an informal election, sparring matches or wargames, who shall take the position. When the Warder or the Agema Silver-Shield are in the theatre of war, the position is not applied as they both are automatically the commanders of the Phrygian Knights forces. This position is similar to the Fleet Master and Lord Castellan ranks in use in the VII Legion during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy.
All of the these aforementioned positions, in addition to the Kubernetes of the capital ships of the Chapter, form the Synedrion, the war council of the Phrygian Knights. If the Chapter is divided in many expeditions, each of them will have their own Synedrion, formed from the ranks listed above. The Synedrion acts as advisors to the leader of an expedition, be it the Warder, a Strategos or a Silver-Shield, and they gather when the expeditions are at a crossroads, when each decision creates unforeseen ripples in fate.
- Kubernetes - These are Space Marines that have shown a mastery of void warfare, and one of them is permanently assigned to every ship of the Chapter, captaining them without interruption. They act directly under the orders of the Strategos, Silver-Shield or Warder, depending on who is present. They do not see much of personal combat themselves, that occurring mostly only when their own vessels are boarded by their enemies. Currently there are 30 of them, assigned from the flagship of the Chapter, the Indutiomarus' Revenge, to their many escort ships.
- Hetairos - Hetairos is the Phrygian Knights equivalent to the lieutenants of the Imperial Fist Legion. Though this rank fell to oblivion after the Horus Heresy in most Space Marines Chapters, the Phrygian Knights continued fielding them throughout their history. Two per Company, they serve directly under the command of the Silver-Shields, and in turn they command the Sergeants. Each Hetairos leads a Formation, and the units under them are not permanent, but are chosen by the Silver-Shields in an ad-hoc fashion molded by tactical and strategic requirements in their campaigns. As with the Sergeants, the unit under the Hetairos' is named for them, as in, the Hetairos Bohemund's unit is referred to as the Bohemund Formation.
- Iartros - Iartros are the Apothecaries of the Phrygian Knights Chapter. In addition to their standard duties, they are also charged with assisting the Silver-Shields in relation to the state-of-mind of the Astartes of their company, effectively converging the duties of the Chaplains and of the Apothecaries. There is two for each Company, plus around twenty that serve in the Chapter's Apothecarion in the Fortress of Aspetaea. They rotate through their assignments, with usually one being tasked with the Apothecarion duty for at most ten years.
- Oracleos - Oracleos are the Librarians of the Chapter, one existing for each Company, plus one assigned to the Aspetaea Fortress. As with the Iartros, they rotate through their assignments, one holding the duty in the Chapter's Fortress for at most ten years.
- Phrourarchos - Phrourarchos is the equivalent to the Tech-Marines in standard Space Marines chapters. Nominally the chapter has eleven Phrourarchos: One for each of the nine companies, and several others assigned to the main vehicles of the Chapter, plus one being assigned to the command of the Aspetaea Fortress, and another to the Ipsus Shipyard. All of them are under the command of the Agema Phrourarchos, and they rotate through their assignments, with usually one being tasked with either of the two Korengal deployments, the Fortress and the Shipyard, for at most ten years.
- "Nobly comes death to him who in the van, Fighting for the Emperor's lands has made his stand."
- — Creed of the Somatophylakes, Phrygian Knights
- Somatophylakes - In addition to the standard Battleline, Fire Support and Close Support squads, the Phrygian Knights have since their inception fielded three squads of five Astartes per company. These Space Marines join combat with massive breacher-shields and carry a bolter, as well as a power sword or chainsword. They are the most veteran and renowned warriors of each of their companies, and generally they are deployed where the fight is expected to be the thickest. They seek to first hold the enemy advance, and then break through it and shatter the foes of the Emperor at its core. Furthermore, the Somatophylakes are experts in boarding actions, being the first ones to land in the enemy vessels from their boarding torpedoes. Occasionally, when the battlefield is large and wide enough, they also ride on bikes (regular ones, with the exception of the Korengal Company Somatophylakes, as they get to use the rare jetbikes still available in the chapter's arsenal) as they charge into the foe, their shields mag-locked to their left. When this happens, the Somatophylakes charge is a sight to behold.
Order of Battle
The current Phrygian Knights Synedrion is formed by Warder Ariovistus, Agema Silver-Shield Thorax, Agema Iartros Argaios, Agema Oracleos Pythios, Agema Phrourarchos Andronikos, Kubernetes Medeios, Kubernetes Pleisteas, Kubernetes Memnon, Hypaspist Plutarkhos, Hypaspist Karanos, Hypaspist Orestes and Hypaspist Stasanor.
Before the current muster of the entire Chapter in the orbit of Korengal at ~111.M42, the Phrygian Knights were deployed in four separate expeditions. These were:
- Warder Alketes Fleet: Composed of the Korengal, Koile-Sigma, Caria and Eurydice Companies. The Agema Iartros, Agema Oracleos and Agema Phrourarchos are deployed alongside the Warder and the Agema Silver-Shield. This fleet successfully defended the Korengal system against a massive Iron Warrior invasion after the appearance of the Cicatrix Maledictum.
- Strategos Kassandros Fleet: Composed of the Hestea and Kilikia Companies. Kassandros was the Silver-Shield of the Kilikia Company. After his death during the battle for Korengal, Hetairos Eumenes of the Kilikia Company became the new Silver-Shield. This fleet successfully defended the Hestea system against Alpha Legion elements, and later it joined the battle for Korengal.
- Strategos Thorax Fleet: Composed of the Lydia and Phila Companies. Thorax was the Silver-Shield of the Lydia Company. This fleet was sent to assist the Host of Aiakides in the campaign that became known as the Bloodbath of Callatis. Later it would join the battle for Korengal. Thorax would later be promoted to Agema-Silver-Shield of the Korengal Company by Warder Ariovistus, after the deaths of Warder Alketes and Agema-Silver-Shield Esteias.
- Silver-Shield Demetrius Fleet: Composed of the Stratonike Company. This company had been chosen to take the path of the Oathtaking, towards the Phalanx. It would appear again years later and join the battle in Hestea and, afterwards, the battle for Korengal.
Now, the entire Chapter and its fleet is under the command of Warder Ariovistus in one single expedition fleet, who got the position after the death of Warder Alketes in his attempt to cross the Rubicon Primaris.
- Korengal Company. Agema Silver-Shield: Thorax.
- Hestea Company. Silver-Shield: Kleocharis.
- Koile-Sigma Company. Silver-Shield: Archamus.
- Kilikia Company. Silver-Shield: Eumenes.
- Lydia Company. Silver-Shield: Dromichaetes.
- Stratonike Company. Silver-Shield: Antigonos Gonatas.
- Caria Company. Silver-Shield: Polyperchon.
- Eurydice Company. Silver-Shield: Neoptolemus.
- Phila Company. Silver-Shield: Timandros.
Though the Chapter has a very significant fleet that has ranged from 30 to 70 ships throughout history, the Phrygian Knights have always had an important drawback in terms of vehicles, except for Thunderhawks. Each company has but a handful of vehicles, and the mobility of its forces when fighting in prolonged land engagements depends on the Thunderhawks and aerial superiority, which, if exploited by an enemy, can severely ground the Chapter's units.
The Chapter's recruitment is done in two zones, in the deep hives of their homeworld of Korengal or in the wilderness of the Feral World of Fortuna, in the Hestea system. Usually, it is the most battered company of the Phrygian Knights that stays behind in the Phrygian Sub-Sector, and its Silver-Shield is the one that picks the aspirants, all children, and organizes the trainings inside the Fortress of Aspetaea. The Silver-Shield is assisted in this by the Iartros, Oracleos and Phrourarchos that are present in Korengal, and if there is no Phrygian Knights company in their homeworld, the recruitment is done by these instead.
The Neophytes have a set of challenges they must complete, such as facing massive beasts from the world of Fortuna, and they receive their training and go through their operations for near a decade. Those that have survived thus far receive the black carapace and participate in the Forging, when they are elevated to a full Astartes of the Chapter. Only then will he join a Phrygian Knights company and have the opportunity to leave Korengal, when the company joins an expedition.
The Phrygian Knights have a number of humans that assist in the day to day business of the Fortress of Aspetaea, as well as in the vessels of their fleet. The latter are usually hand-picked humans from Korengal that have shown great strategic and tactical insight, and they assist the Kubernetes of the Phrygian Knights, being their right hand in the vessel's bridges. Those humans in the fortress of Aspetaea are, in contrast, mostly those that failed in the challenges they faced or had unsuccessful operations, and are instead made servants for the Chapter. However, many humans, out of recruitment age, face the wrath of the ocean around the isle of Aspetaea to serve the Phrygian Knights, and those that arrive in the shores of the island and are found uncorrupted and loyal, may be granted the honour of joining as a servant themselves.
Chapter Belief & Traditions
The Phrygian Knights are staunch believers of the Imperial Truth, though they do not enforce it themselves on the human populations of the worlds they conquer, nor on the Phrygian Sub-Sector. The Chapter is above all idealist, following the dreams of Rogal Dorn and the Emperor, but in light of the war against the arch-enemy and the heretic traitors, they accept that the Imperial Creed is one way to keep the humans further out of their treacherous grasps, and so though they do not believe the Emperor to be a God, they are more than willing to accept such beliefs from the citzens of the Imperium at large.
The Chapter usually has as a priority the protection of civilians in conflict zones, as well as the defence of holy-sites and of the Ecclesiarchy. On human populated planets they bring back towards the Imperium, though they do not seek to govern it, they stabilize it in all of its aspects, be infrastructure, defences, morale, compliance and resources, so that it may be a stable addition for the Imperium and strengthen the Emperor's realm.
They have a strong martial tradition that results in them having many types of different competitions for different purposes, such as the filling of most of the Officer ranks of the Chapter. The Phrygian Knights seek to banish pride and arrogance from their recruits and warriors, for this, they believe, is the hubris that may lead to defeat. And defeat for them is not when they are denied their goals temporarily, for the Phrygian Knights are masters of operational and strategic maneuvers during their campaigns, but when Astartes of the Phrygian Knights, and their allies, are lost in battle in vain through arrogance, pride, or poor strategic observations. In this, the Hall of Remembrance in the Fortress of Aspetaea exists not to show to the living the honour that exists in dying in combat, but the honour of those that are named or represented there have gained through their life service to the Emperor. Because of this, giving up the larger goal at hand, that is, the furthering of the lands of the Emperor and the protection of mankind, and deciding instead for a last stand simply because of pride on not living with tactical defeats or other failures, is the greatest shame for the Phrygian Knights.
Ironically, they thus are not against tactical withdraws or retreats at all, and indeed they do often pursue them, be it in a squad or a whole expedition fleet. However, the Phrygian Knights only do such when the alternative that they are seeking would result in a greater efficiency in the killing of their enemies. This rather calculist tradition is at odds with most of the Imperial Fists successors and has been badly received by many situational allies of the Phrygian Knights, such as some Imperial Guard Regiments and the Grecians (Hellenes) Space Marine Chapter.
In addition, the Chapter has, over the ten millennia since its formation, increasingly shown a certain attachment towards the Phrygian Sub-Sector and their homeworld of Korengal, in the sense that they fear, if the entirety of the Chapter is mustered elsewhere, that the Sub-Sector shall be destroyed. Since the Battle for Korengal and due to the Cicatrix Maledictum and the fact that the Sub-Sector is situated in Imperium Nihilus, the Phrygian Knights have shown this trait in excess: half of their forces are at all times in the Sub-Sector. If this is a sign of weakeness, passiveness, or simple necessary caution, it is not yet known.
The Phrygian Knights traditions:
- Feast of Blades - The Phrygian Knights take part in the centennial competition of honour amongst the Imperial Fists successors and the original Chapter. Usually, one single escort vessel captained by the aspirant Champion is sent for Inwit to join and participate in the feast.
- The Last Wall - The Chapter is bound to the Imperial Fists and their other successors. The oath that Antigonos Kertes took when he more than willingly accepted the Last Protocol in front of Rogal Dorn himself, is retaken when every new Warder is chosen to lead the Chapter, after the death of the previous. This Protocol calls for the unification of the Imperial Fists successors if Terra is threatened. The only known activation of it was during the War of the Beast, and Peithon, the then Warder of the Phrygian Knights, answered the call with over 800 of his Space Marines, though he was delayed and only arrived in the final days of the war.
- Vigil to the Honoured - Every 150 years or so the Chapter musters in its entirety in the Phrygian Sub-Sector, and at the Fortress of Aspetaea a ceremony led by the Warder is held in place, where every lost space marine of the Phrygian Knights is named by the Silver-Shields of their companies. The symbols of the Sergeants and the banners of the Silver-Shields that have been killed in action are also added to the Hall of Remembrance. Days afterwards, the entire Chapter joins in sparring competitions, regicide matches and tactical and strategic wargames taken across the Fortress of Aspetaea, and it is in this time that the composition of the new expedition fleets of the Chapter is made by the Warder. In the final days of the Chapter's muster, each Silver-Shield will take his company to the system in the Phrygian Sub-Sector that has given their names for their company, and will join ceremonies and parades across the worlds. These dates are the most important celebrations for the humans of the Phrygian Sub-Sector, as they get close with the Phrygian Knights, before the space marines plunge themselves into the void to wage the wars of the Emperor of Mankind.
- "During a parade in a Vigil to the Honoured, there is a story recorded about Geradas, a Phrygian Knight of really ancient times, who when asked by a korengalian child what their punishment for cowardice was, said: "There are no cowards among us, human." When the latter replied: "But what if there should be one?", Geradas' answer was: "His fine would be a great beast which bends over Midaes to Drink from Aspetaea." The child was amazed at this and said: "But how could there be a beast of such size?" At which Geradas laughed and said: "But how could there be a coward among the Phrygians?""
- — A legend as told by an Elder of Korengal, date unknown
- The Forging - The Forging is the ceremony taken when a Neophyte is ready to become a battle-brother of the Chapter. This is done on the Fortress of Aspetaea with any Phrygian Knights that are present, and they take their oaths to Rogal Dorn, the Emperor and Antigonos Kertes.
- The Oathtaking - Every 300 years, meaning, every other Vigil to the Honoured, the Warder of the Phrygian Knights chooses one Silver-Shield and his company to take the path of the Oathtaking after the ceremonies in the Phrygian Sub-Sector. This path leads to the Phalanx, the Flagship of the Imperial Fists Chapter. This honoured Phrygian Knights company crosses the galaxy for Terra or for wherever the Phalanx may be, and inside it, they retake their oaths from their Forging in the legendary Temple of Oaths. The Silver-Shield, in the name of the Phrygian Knights, also renews the oath of the whole chapter to the Imperial Fists and the Last Wall. Those that have made this path and returned mark the left knee-cap of their power armour with a black clenched fist.
- Setting the Stone - Setting the Stone takes place when a Sergeant, a Hetairos or a Silver-Shield is challenged in their positions from their direct subordinates, or when one of these ranks is vacant due to losses taken in the field. All those that have stepped forth for the vacant position, or those that have challenged their superior, alongside the challenged himself, participate in duels in sparring cages and wargames. The one that has the most victories in both categories wins the position. To set the Stone one must only proclaim it once through his unit and to his superior, though it is tradition that it does not takes place during active engagements. Being challenged is not considered a dishonour, but a chance to prove yourself, and if one fails, it means he wasn't the most fitting to lead his unit, and thus he has to work himself towards increasing his skills and his tactical and strategic grasp. And in the opposite view, challenging your superior does not means you think he is weak or unfit for duty, but only that, if there is anything to be improved, it should be tested thoroughly, and the way to do it is through these challenges. Of all officer ranks in the Chapter, only the Agema Silver-Shield and the Warder are not decided through the setting of the Stone, as the Agema Silver-Shield automatically becomes the Warder if he is lost in battle, and it is the Warder that chooses a new Agema Silver-Shield from amongst the Silver-Shields or, alternatively, Hetairos of the Korengal company.
- The Oath of Alketes - The Chapter is bound to the Host of Aiakides Chapter with the Oath of Alketes, when Warder Alketes pledged, invoking the names of Rogal Dorn, Antigonos Kertes and the Emperor himself, to answer any and all calls for assistance coming from the Host of Aiakides. The Warlord (Chapter Master) of the Aiakidoi then pledged the same. These oaths were sworn after the climax of the Battle for Korengal (003.M42-004.M42), when the Host of Aiakides came to the rescue of the Phrygian Knights and were decisive in the defeat of the Iron Warriors.
As with their parent chapter, the Phrygian Knights do not have the Betcher's Gland, which allows the Marine to produce acidic spittle, and the Sus-an Membrane, which allows the Marine to enter a state of suspended animation. The Chapter's gene-seed is extremely stable, and no mutations have been recorded in their history. Thus, the Chapter does not suffer from any malalgniments respective to their gene-seed, and indeed it has virtually remained the same as the ones of the Imperial Fist Legion during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Additionally, the Chapter is not impacted from any genetic deficiencies related to the disappearance of Rogal Dorn, or to Dorn's Darkness.
The Chapter gives equal attention to melee and ranged combat, a tradition caught from the Imperial Fist Legion. The Phrygian Knights' doctrine calls for the identification of the center of gravity of the enemy, where their efforts will be most optimal and efficient. Once identified, the position, leader, ship or unit is attacked by the Phrygian Knights, them concentrating their efforts. The Somatophylakes' units generally lead the main assault from the flanks, with several other units and vehicles in support, while the rest of the chapter ties the enemy down. In the void, the Warders of Phrygia are masters of ship-to-ship combat and of boarding actions. In such battles, the Phrygian Knights attempt to achieve the greatest efficiency in their combat efforts, combining the assets of the vessels themselves to the Astartes of the Chapter. In this manner, no boarding action is uncoordinated with the gunfire, targets and movements of their vessels.
The three main weaknesses of the chapter are their dependency on aerial superiority for long range mobility, the relative lack of heavy armour and vehicles (except Thunderhawks), and the predictability of its set-piece battle tactics in land engagements, which can be exploited by clever enemies, as was the case of the Drukhari during the Third Battle of Alamain in M38. Due to the reliance on the Somatophylakes units, them acting as the hammer while the rest of the chapter acts as the anvil, the concentrated presence of the Somatophylakes in a location gives it away that it is there where the Phrygian Knights will focus their attempt to behead the enemy.
Since the Chapter always seeks to engage in set-piece decisive battles, the Phrygian Knights usually attempt to evade besieging their enemies by drawing them out in the open. Thus, even though the Somatophylakes units makes the chapter specially efficient while being besieged, they are not specialized in siege warfare, unlike their progenitors. Again, this is mostly because of the Chapter's relative lack of heavy armour and artillery vehicles, though their fleet makes it up with an impressive orbital bombardment.
Notable Phrygian Knights
- Warder Antigonos Kertes - Antigonos Kertes was the Captain of the 547 Phalanx Warder Company of the Imperial Fist Legion. During the Heresy, he was unable to return to Terra due to the Ruinstorm. After it was weakened, he took to the void and attempted to cross the galaxy. His fleet arrived in the Solar system about the same time as Guilliman's, and he joined the fight. Later, he would fight in many battles during the Scouring, one of them being the Iron Cage. He and the surviving members of his company remained with the Imperial Fist Chapter until the Third Founding, when the Phrygian Knights were formed, with Antigonos as their first Warder. Effectivelly, the Phrygian Knights have been molded by Antigonos, him setting much of their traditions, combat doctrine, and indeed their beliefs. Additionally, the Somatophylakes' units were his creation. He perished in the Disaster on Karpoinan in early M32.
- Warder Peithon - Peithon was Antigonos Kertes' protege during the final battles of the Great Scouring. Initiated into the Imperial Fists during the early years of the Scouring, Peithon did not fight in the Siege of Terra. Nevertheless, he quickly grew in the ranks of the Legion and eventually was made a lieutenant of Antigonos' Company. Once the Phrygian Knights were formed in the Third Founding, Peithon and all other surviving members of Antigonos' original 547th Phalanx Warder Company of the Imperial Fist legion joined the Chapter as the First: the veterans of the Horus Heresy or the Great Scouring. The First's were either made Silver-Shields of the Chapter or took other posts in the Korengal Company. As for Peithon, he was made Silver-Shield of the Kilikia Company and, after the death of Warder Antigonos Kertes and Agema Silver-Shield Lysimachus in the Disaster on Karpoinan, Peithon set his stone and eventually became the second Warder of the Chapter. He would lead the Phrygian Knights for near a thousand years, overseeing major victories such as the Hundred Years Purge and the Phrygian Campaign.
- Silver-Shield Indutiomarus - Indutiomarus was also one of the First, and was made Silver-Shield of the Koile-Sigma Company, holding the post for over five hundred years. He met his end during the Phrygian Campaign in the aftermath of the War of the Beast. Due to his efforts, the population of the Sub-Sector was spared during the ork invasion. His sacrifices proved essential to the survivial of the region and his ideals have shaped much of the Chapter's views since then. The flagship of the Chapter, Indutiomarus' Revenge, forged in the shipyards of Inwit in M33, was named in his honour.
- Silver-Shield Demetrius - Demetrius was the Captain of the Stratonike Company by the end of the 41st millennium. His Company had been chosen by Warder Alketes to take the path of the Oathtaking towards the Phalanx, the flagship of the Imperial Fists, and to renew the oaths of the Chapter towards their Primarch and their Legion. Due to this, he was separated from the rest of the Chapter as the Cicatrix Maledictum spawned across the galaxy. Thus his Company joined the Indomitus Crusade under Lord Commander of the Imperium Roboute Guilliman, and they crossed the Primaris Rubicon. Years later, Demetrius would manage to arrive in the Phrygian Sub-Sector during the battle for Korengal. The sacrifice of the Stratonike Company proved essential to the survival of the Chapter, Demetrius himself being killed by one of the Iron Warriors' captains, Kydrean.
- Silver-Shield Kassandros - Kassandros was the Captain of the Kilikia Company and Strategos of an expedition fleet during the battle for Korengal in the early years of the 42nd Millennium. With his arrival during the battle, he saved the world of Korinth from destruction and rescued the remaining ships of the Phrygian Knights and the Imperial navy. Next, he led the imperial war effort in the void until his death in the explosion of the Ipsus Shipyard. His leadership was unparalleled and it is clear that he would have been promoted to Agema Silver-Shield, had he not perished during the fight.
- Agema Silver-Shield Thorax - Thorax is the current Agema Silver-Shield of the Korengal Company. He was promoted by Warder Ariovistus in the aftermath of the Battle for Korengal, where he, as a Silver-Shield of the Lydia Company and Strategos of an expedition fleet, proved decisive for the imperial victory. Before that battle, he had rescued the Host of Aiakides in the Bloodbath of Callatis (003.M42-004.M42) campaign.
- Warder Alketes - Alketes was the Chapter Master of the Phrygian Knights for most of M41 and during the early years of M42. A veteran of a thousand battles, his decisions proved essential to the imperial victory in the battle for Korengal in M42. Though at first sight his splitting of the Phrygian Knights was unoptimal, it is clear that the returning expeditions, reinforced by the Host of Aiakides and many imperial navy assets, caught the Iron Warriors off guard and turned the tide of the battle. In the aftermath of this conflict, Alketes failed to cross the Rubicon Primaris, and perished.
- Warder Ariovistus - Ariovistus is the current Chapter Master of the Phrygian Knights. Before that, he was one of two Hetairos (lieutenants) of the Korengal Company. He, alongside 400 other Phrygian Knights, defended the Fortress of Aspetaea during the battle for Korengal, and was in its aftermath promoted by Warder Alketes to the position of Agema Silver-Shield of the Korengal Company, due to the death of Esteias. However, as Alketes perished in his attempt to cross the Rubicon Primaris, Ariovistus thus automatically became the new Chapter Master of the Phrygian Knights.
- Agema Oracleos Pythios - Pythios is the Agema Oracleos (Chief Librarian ) of the Chapter for over 700 years. Indeed, he and Kubernetes Medeios, captain of the Indutiomarus' Revenge flagship, are the oldest of the current Phrygian Knights. Pythios advices proved decisive for the survival of the Chapter before and during the battle for Korengal, in M42, his foretelling of that incoming invasion making sure that the Chapter was not caught off guard and also resulting in the rescue of the Host of Aiakides.
- Kubernetes Medeios - The current Captain of the Indutiomarus' Revenge flagship, holding the post for near a thousand years, Medeios is the oldest Phrygian Knight alive. During the battle for Korengal, his command of the flagship was as effective as possible, the vessel taking a heavy toll on the Iron Warriors. Indeed, though Strategos Kassandros had taken overall command of the void battle once he arrived, the exact disposition of the loyalist fleet, its tactical movements and targets were all directed by Kubernetes Medeios from the bridge of his flagship. Thus, much of the victory of the outnumbered Phrygian Knights' fleets falls upon Medeios' efforts.
The Phrygian Knights have taken an oath towards the Deathwatch, and thus their Astartes are eligible to be sent towards it. The tactics employed by Silver-Shield Indutiomarus during the Phrygian Campaign of the War of the Beast were virtually identical to the tactics that brought the need the creation of the Deathwatch: a small unit infiltrating and acting separately from the Chapter, them seeking to slay the Ork leaders. Thus, Warder Peithon of the Phrygian Knights was a staunch supporter of the Deathwatch initiative once he returned to the Phrygian Sub-Sector, and the Chapter has followed his stance ever since. As is tradition, it is the Warder of the Chapter that chooses which Astartes shall be recruited by the Deathwatch. For the Phrygian Knights, to be chosen is a great honour. Few of them survive to return to the Phrygian Sub-Sector, but those that do are held in high esteem. Indeed, it is virtually unknown in the Chapter of a Phrygian Knight that served in the Deathwatch but, once returning, did not rise in the ranks of the Phrygian Knights. In this manner, there were a number of Warders and Silver-Shields of the Phrygian Knights that had previously served in the Deathwatch. Of the current members of the Chapter, Silver-Shield Antigonos Gonatas is the sole Phrygian Knight that has served in the Deathwatch and returned alive.
The Badge of the Phrygian Knights depicts an ancient ornate helmet, found in the caves of Korengal, surrounded by nine shapes, each representing one of the star systems of the Phrygian Sub-Sector.
The colours of the Phrygian Knights are brown, gold and grey. They do not use different coloured company trims, and instead all members of the Chapter have it golden.
There are slight differences in the colour of the power armours of the Sergeants, Hetairos, Silver-Shields, Veterans, Veteran-Sergeants and Veteran-Hetairos.
Sergeants are like the main Astartes, but with dark grey helmets; Hetairos are the same as the Sergeants but with a gold cheek-guard in their helmets and wear a cloak; Silver-Shields have silver knee-guards and shoulder-pads, as well as silver and gold coloured helmets, and they wear in their right shoulder-pad the symbol of an upside down anchor. They also wear silver-coloured cloaks.
The Korengal Company, the Veteran Company, wears bronze/beige shoulder-pads and knee-guards and have in their right shoulder-pad the symbols of an eagle across all its ranks but the Agema Silver-Shield (as that one uses the same pattern as the other Silver-Shields in the Chapter). The difference between the ranks are in the helmets, as the Veterans have brown helmets as with the rest of the Chapter, the Veteran Sergeants have dark grey helmets, and the Veteran Hetairos have the same helmets as the Veteran Sergeants, but with a golden cheek-guard. Additionaly, the Korengal Hetairos wear beige cloaks and have in their knee-guards ornately crafted symbols of their choice, depicting their own banners.
Veteran and Silver-Shield badges
Both the Korengal Company and the Silver-Shields of the Chapter have richly ornamented right-shoulder pads. The Silver-Shields right shoulder-pad depicts several writings in High Gothic, unique to each Silver-Shield, and an upside down anchor, common amongst the 9 Silver-Shields in the Chapter. Legend says that it means that, no matter how far away the expeditions of the Phrygian Knights may be, they are still anchored in the Phrygian Sub-Sector, and whenever the Sub-Sector needs their arrival, it comes without delay. The Silver-Shields took up this symbol after Indutiomarus' campaign of defence of the Phrygian Sub-Sector, in M32.
The Korengal Company's right shoulder-pad depicts an eagle, an ancient artwork found throughout the Phrygian Sub-Sector dating to the Age of Strife, that is interpreted as referring to the unity of Mankind and the loyalty of the Phrygian Sub-Sector towards the Imperium.
The squad markings of the Chapter are standard, though with the addition of the Somatophylakes squads' symbol. However, each Sergeant is free to choose a symbol to his squad, and his unit will depict it in their right knee-guard. These symbols mostly refer to enemies slain, campaigns won, worlds conquered, or traditional symbols of their homeworld, be it Korengal or the feral world of Fortuna.
The main vessels fielded by the Chapter, in M42 and after the battle for Korengal, are:
- Indutiomarus' Revenge (Victory Class Battleship of the Tribune variant) - Born from the shipyards of Inwit, the homeworld of Rogal Dorn, in M33, Indutiomarus' Revenge design is based on the Tribune and its nine sister ships that took to the void during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy, serving under the Imperial Fists Legion. Unlike the original ships however, the main vessel of the Phrygian Knights is equipped with standard broadside weapons batteries. The Warder of the Chapter use it as his flagship during his campaigns. Its current Kubernetes is the Astartes named Medeios. The Spear of Dorn was the sister ship of the Indutiomarus' Revenge, but it was lost in the battle for Korengal in M42.
- Bellerophon (Battle Barge) - This legendary vessel hails from the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Its exact origins are unknown, though it was the flagship of Antigonos Kertes' expedition to the Phrygian sub-sector in M31. The ship has faced several refits throughout its history, and it is said that the fact that it is still serving is a massive surprise to the Phrourarchos of the Chapter. Its current Kubernetes is Pleisteas.
- Kontos (Battle Barge) - This was the first, and so far the only, large vessel produced by the Ipsus Shipyard. It is a standard Battle Barge, though it took the efforts of the Phrygian Sub-Sector near a millennia to finish it, and they gifted it to the Phrygian Knights at its end, at the start of the 37th Millenium. Its current Kubernetes is Memnon.
Currently, the Phrygian Knights also have 5 Standard Strike Cruisers and 2 Vanguard Strike Cruisers, plus 20 Escort vessels of various classifications, making the total of their fleet numbering 30 vessels of all sizes.
Before the battle for Korengal and the current mustering of the entire Chapter in Korengal in ~111.M42, the Chapter's fleet was divided across its four separate expeditions as follows, at the start of the 42nd Millennium:
- Warder Alketes: Indutiomarus Revenge flagship, Spear of Dorn Battleship, eight Standard Strike Cruisers, three Vanguard Strike Cruisers and thirty escorts.
- Strategos Kassandros: Kontos Battle Barge, one Standard Strike Cruiser, and five escorts.
- Strategos Thorax: Bellerophon Battle Barge, one Standard Strike Cruiser, and four escorts.
- Silver-Shield Demetrius: two Vanguard Strike Cruisers and three escorts.
Now, the entire Chapter and its fleet is under the command of Warder Ariovistus in one single expedition fleet, who got the position after the death of Warder Alketes in his attempt to cross the Rubicon Primaris.
The many relics of the Chapter are available only to the members of the Synedrion and the Somatophylakes of the Korengal Company. However, due to the many casualties the Chapter took recently in the Battle for Korengal, several ancient relics were lost. And before that, the single engagement that resulted in the greatest loss of relics was no doubt the Third Battle for Alamain in M38, when Warder Tlepolemus' force lost many Knights to the Drukhari, and then they were all swept away by a massive tidal lava wave. A great number of ancient relics, equipped by Tlepolemus and his Somatophylakes, were lost forever beneath the waves of Alamain. Of the relics still available to the Phrygian Knights, some of note are the following:
- Aethon - Aethon is a venerable Jetbike of the Phrygian Knights. This jetbike of Antigonos Kertes, that he used during the Great Crusade and beyond, is still within the armory of the Chapter. To be used solely by the Warder of the Phrygian Knights, this venerable jetbike bears the marks of the 7th Legion.
- Argyraspis - Argyraspis is a powerful and ancient shield that has been transferred from Koile-Sigma's Silver-Shield to Silver-Shield since the death of Silver-Shield Indutiomarus, in the Phrygian Campaign. Every new Silver-Shield of the Koile-Sigma company marks his promotion, and honours the previous Silver-Shields, by taking Argyraspis and holding it to his company to see.
- Sword of Fortuna - Sword of Fortuna is an ancient power sword with seemingly magical powers. First used by Peithon during the Scouring when he was a Phalanx Warder of the Imperial Fist Legion, during combat the sword grants its bearer an incredible prescience, though in a very short near future, allowing the one wielding it to predict the attacks from his foe. As it has its uses almost exclusively during personal combat, it is tradition that it is to be wielded by a Silver-Shield, as these are expected to engage in hand to hand combat more often than the Warder. The sword was in the hands of Silver-Shield Demetrius during the Anabasis of Stratonike. Before he challenged Captain Kydrean of the Iron Warriors for a duel during the Battle for Korengal, to give his few remaining Astartes time to escape the hundreds of enemies that hunted them, he had given Antigonos Gonatas the sword, so that it would not be captured by the traitorous sons of Perturabo. The Sword of Fortuna remains with Silver-Shield Antigonos Gonatas ever since.
Host of Aiakides
An ally of the Phrygian Knights since their foundation, the two chapters have fought side by side in many campaigns and battles throughout the ages, the last one being the Battle for Korengal in M42, when the arrival of the Host of Aiakides turned the tide and saved the Phrygian Knights from the certainty of defeat.
Imperial Fists and Successor Chapters
The Phrygian Knights have always sought good relations with the other sons of Dorn, and their oaths to the Last Wall are to be upheld in all circumstances. Of the many chapters, the Imperial Fists themselves and the Crimson Fists are no doubt the ones that the Phrygian Knights have fought side by side with the most, and thus the two are considered as the finest allies the Phrygian Knights could have.
Since his retreat from the Battle for Korengal in M42, Warmisth Kydrean has vowed to enact swift revenge on the Phrygian Knights. Ever watchful for an opportunity to strike at his arch-enemy, he is preparing another great host, to destroy, once and for all, the Phrygian Sub-Sector, a bastion of light in the darkness of Imperium Nihilus.
Ptolemaios Keraunos, the Kinslayer
The only recorded traitor in the history of the Chapter, Ptolemaios Keraunos was a Sergeant of the Phrygian Knights, that had taken his Forging, the ceremony when a Neophyte is ready to join the Chapter as a full battle-brother, alongside Antigonos Gonatas. However, since then Ptolemaios Keraunos was slowly consumed by envy and evil thoughts, for while Antigonos Gonatas repeatedly beat him in the chapter's competitions and was held in high esteem, rising through the ranks and becoming a Hetairos of the Chapter before the Battle for Korengal, Ptolemaios Keraunos had remained as a Tactical Space Marine. Harboring these thoughts and sharing them with no one, as he knew he would not find an audience among his kin, he built up his anger, seeing insults and attempts to disgrace him where there were none. He saw Antigonos Gonatas have the honour of being chosen to serve in the Deathwatch, and after decades, he returned triumphantly, further increasing Ptolemaios Keraunos' envy.
Later, when Antigonos Gonatas and the Stratonike Company under Silver-Shield Demetrius were thought lost due to the Cicatrix Maledictum, Ptolemaios Keraunos, unlike all his brothers, was quietly delighted. But to his surprise, not only did Antigonos Gonatas return, but he did so once again triumphantly, for he was the sole survivor of the Stratonike Company during the Battle for Korengal and was made its Silver-Shield, while due to the high casualties the Chapter took in the battle, Ptolemaios Keraunos was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Many years after the Battle for Korengal, half of the Chapter undertook a campaign against Chaos Daemons in a world near the Phrygian Sub-Sector. There, Ptolemaios Keraunos finally found an audience, for amidst the battle his thoughts were probed by a Daemonette of Slaneesh, and he entered her hall by himself, as he was split from his squad due to the battle. The Daemonette easily seduced him.
- "I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; and my veil no mortal has hitherto raised. All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own. Except yours, for it is but an embrace away"
- — A Daemonette of Slaneesh seduces Ptolemaios Keraunos, M42
Consumed by desire and ecstasy, Ptolemaios Keraunos gave himself freely to the Daemon, as he sought to overtake Antigonos Gonatas in fame, to have his name become a household name among the Phrygian Knights and even the population of Korengal. And this he achieved, but not like he thought. As his squad approached the Hall, he left and joined them in the fighting, but in the process he slew them one by one, in order to fulfill his contract with the Daemonette. After this was done, Ptolemaios Keraunos was given the opportunity to unleash a horde of Daemons to where Antigonos Gonatas and his company were fighting, but as he did so his true intentions were announced to all in the battlefield, and he indeed surpassed Antigonos Gonatas in fame, for he had become the sole target of several Phrygian Knight companies.
- "Thus they let their anger and fury take from them the sense of strategy, and demonstrated that no beast is more savage than a Space Marine when possessed with rage answerable to his power."
- — The Phrygian Knights attack the Daemons unleashed by Ptolemaios Keraunos, M42
Seeing what had become of his plan, Ptolemaios Keraunos fled while the Daemons fought, and he further gave himself to the claws of the Daemonette and Slaneesh. As he escaped the planet and the Phrygian Knights took the field of battle, a thorough investigation was done, and his squad was found. Henceforth Ptolemaios Keraunos gained the epithet Kinslayer, and the Phrygian Knights ever search for him, to execute the traitor, while he has joined with the powers of Chaos and now seeks to destroy Antigonos Gonatas and the Phrygian Knights, those that, in his mind, never appreciated him.
By the Phrygian Knights
- "Many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little."
- — Hypaspist Plutarkhos to Warder Alketes, during the Synedrion before the Battle for Korengal, M42
- "Think of Pyrrhus, brother. Do not allow pride to cloud your judgement. The whole of life is but a moment in time. It is our duty, therefore, to use it, not to misuse it."
- — Strategos Kassandros to Silver-Shield Therseus, after the void battle over Partros Prime during the Battle For Korengal, M42
- "The Chapter's tale has gone crooked, and i cannot plead before the inexorable Emperor. All that remains is survival. Survival no matter the odds, no matter the dishonor, no matter our pride. We run."
- — Warder Seleukos, during the Evacuation from Qart-Hadast, M40
- "The future bears down upon each one of us with all the hazards of the unknown. The only way out is through."
- — Silver-Shield Demetrius' speech to his company, when they were separated from the rest of the chapter due to the Cicatrix Maledictum, Anabasis of Stratonike, M42
- "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Drukhari, we shall be utterly ruined."
- — Warder Seikilos in the aftermath of the Three Battles for Alamain, M38
About the Phrygian Knights
- "Any debt that the Phrygian Knights owed to the VII Legion was repaid in their hundred years purge of ork infested worlds. Even now, as my path takes me towards Terra, they shall continue waging war in the edges of the Imperium. They were the last to join the Wall, it is fitting that they shall be the last to finish their duty."
- — Maximus Thane, Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists, a hundred years after the War of the Beast, 632.M32
- "Most see our lineage, the colour of our armour and the icons on our shoulder-pads. The Phrygian Knights only see what we truly are: loyal sons of the Emperor. None despise the traitors, and indeed Angron, more than us. That is enough for them. "
- — Odda, leader of Odda's Warband, reflecting on the assistance he received from the Phrygian Knights, M32
- "Trust me, you dont want to be an asset under the Phrygian Knights."
- — An unknown captain of an Imperial Navy vessel, commenting on the pragmatism of the Phrygian Knights
- "The dishonourable and cowardly actions of the Phrygian Knights have once again shown us the error in operating outside our given charge. From this day, The Grecians shall hold the Knights responsible for the deaths of our Brothers."
- — Genikos Leonidas Lacedaemonian of the Grecians (Hellenes), in regards to Phrygian Knights during the Retreat from Qart-Hadast, translated from Grecian
|Third Founding Space Marine Chapters|
|Dark Angels Successors||Blades of the Lion • Judicators • Lion's Praetorians • Lion's Regents • Silver Lions • White Lions •|
|White Scars Successors||Falcon's Claws • Solar Falcons •|
|Space Wolves Successors||N/A|
|Imperial Fists Successors||Astral Paladins • Black Mastodons • Crimson Robes • Imperial Sentinels • Ironclad Templars • Phrygian Knights • Tempest Knights •|
|Blood Angels Successors||Blood Bearers • Blood Wraiths • Draconian Impalers • Hussars Sanguine • Iron Spears •|
|Iron Hands Successors||Atomic Gladiators • Hell Conquerors •|
|Ultramarines Successors||Armageddon Sons • Imperators • Imperius Ravagers • Sons of Odin • Steel Hart • Warstalkers •|
|Salamanders Successors||Ashen Knights • Brotherhood of Embers • Doom Sentinels • Ember Drakes • Ignitors • The Pure •|
|Raven Guard Successors||Astral Reapers • Void Ravens •|
|Unknown Lineage||Champions of Mortis • Golden Torches • Penitent Knights • Steel Harbingers • Zero Legion •|