The Ebon Knights are an ancient and proud Chapter whose origins are found in the chaotic centuries following the Horus Heresy. They were founded during the 2nd Founding as a Successor Chapter of the venerable Dark Angels Chapter. Their home world of Shadowmehr is located in the Ixaniad Sector in the Segmentum Obscurus. Here, the insular Ebon Knights have stood silent vigil over their demesne, ever vigilant against encroachment by the Forces of Chaos or malevolent xenos for nearly eight millennia.
For unknown reasons, the Ebon Knights are shunned by their Progenitors and fellow Unforgiven Chapters. The exact reason for this schism remains unknown to outsiders, but Imperial scholars have been able to speculate, tracing the most likely origin of this rift to the mid-32nd Millennium, during the so-called Crimson Blade Campaign, in the Scarus Sector. Despite their cold relations with their fellow Scions of the Lion, the Ebon Knights have garnered a reputation for being honourable to their allies and implacable to their foes. This Chapter's extensive list of valiant deeds has even seen them come close to matching Chapters of more ancient provenance and heritage.
The Ebon Knights' origins lie in the early 32nd Millennium when they were created during the 3rd Founding by the order of the High Lords of Terra. At their Founding, the Ebon Knights were granted fiefdom rights over the strategically important hive world of Shadowmehr located in the Ixaniad Sector in the Segmentum Obscurus. Their gene-seed was sourced from Dark Angels stock, whilst their initial command and training structure was composed of honoured warriors drawn from several Dark Angels' Successor Chapters. Their initial influx of Initiates were drawn from a mixture of Shadowmehr's military caste who served in the Planetary Defence Force and the violent kill-gangs of the world's sub-hive networks. Since that bygone era, Initiates have been chosen through a bi-annual process of trial by combat, fear and endurance known as the "Ordeal of the Angels." The Chapter's Master of Recruits conducts these series of bloody tournaments and they are carried out under the supervision of the Ebon Knights' Chaplains.
Since that time, the Ebon Knights have also recruited from several nearby worlds within the sector. Most notably, over time, they have appeared to have appropriated the feudal traditions of several of these recruitment worlds which live on in the Chapter's rites and character. This is especially noticeable in the rank titles bestowed upon the Chapter's leaders. Knightly terms are often combined with standard Codex Astartes-compliant titles, creating individuals with a wide range of ranks, such as Consul-Master, Captain-at-Arms, Knight-Sergeant or Brother-Ensign. In organisation and structure the Ebon Knights have always only broadly adhered to the Codex Astartes, and have sometimes come under deep suspicions by other Chapters who obey its tenets absolutely.
Ten millennia ago, the Imperium was almost annihilated by the calamitous galactic conflict known as the Horus Heresy. The Dark Angels and their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, remained loyal to the Emperor throughout this terrible war, fighting heroically against their traitorous brothers. In the Heresy's aftermath, Jonson and his Legion returned to their home world of Caliban only to find that one last, terrible treachery awaited them. Consumed by his jealousy of the Lion's glories, the heroic knight Luther -- formerly Jonson's closest friend and ally -- had embraced the Dark Gods of Chaos. Worse, his impassioned oratory had led all the Dark Angels on Caliban into heresy. The resulting struggle between the two factions of Dark Angels saw the Ist Legion home world of Caliban engulfed by a furious Warp Storm.
Already grievously wounded by the ferocious Loyalist Dark Angels' orbital bombardment, Caliban disintegrated, much of it swallowed by the Warp along with the surviving traitors. In the wake of this cataclysm, the loyalist Dark Angels descended to the surface of the last remnant of their world. Preserved by its mighty shields, Luther’s ruined fortress stood atop that shattered rock. It was here that they found the arch-traitor himself, gibbering and insane. There was no sign of Jonson, though Luther swore the Primarch had been borne away by robed figures. Perhaps worse, the renegade Dark Angels were also gone, bearing with them the dire tale of their Legion' s shame. Thus began the terrible, endless quest by the Lion's sons to find and silence those who would become known as the Fallen, to secure their repentance and finally wash away the stain upon their Chapter's soul.
In the wake of Caliban's fall during the closing years of the Horus Heresy, the Dark Angels' leaders concealed their terrible shame, forming a small, secretive group known as the Inner Circle. Hidden even from their own brothers, this organisation dedicated itself completely to the hunt for the Fallen, and to finally securing absolution for the Chapter. Amid the ashes of the Horus Heresy and the subsequent Scouring of the Traitor Legions and those that blindly followed the Arch-Traitor Horus into damnation, the Ultramarines, Primarch Roboute Guilliman, helped to initiate the Second Founding in 021.M31. The Space Marine Legions were fragmented into smaller existing formations, called Chapters, into the reorganised Adeptus Astartes. Each of the original Legiones Astartes Legions spawned a First Founding Chapter that retained its original name and identity, along with Successor Chapters responsible for becoming their own, entirely autonomous entities. The Dark Angels appeared to follow the tenets of Guilliman's newly-penned Codex Astartes, but in reality, the cataclysmic destruction of their home world was still fresh in their minds.
The Dark Angels followed their own hidden agenda. They sired at least three new Chapters, though more are rumoured to exist. Collectively, these Dark Angels' Successor Chapters became known as the Unforgiven, which also formed their own Inner Circles to guard the knowledge of the Dark Angels' secret shame. Though the Chapters of the Unforgiven claimed their own Chapter home worlds, heraldry and doctrines, their leaders attended clandestine meetings on the Rock with the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels. These ritual-laden gatherings saw the Unforgiven take their orders from the master of the Dark Angels, so that the ongoing hunt for the Fallen could continue in utmost secrecy. The Scions of the Lion could not risk these meetings becoming common knowledge. Yet rumours persisted of nepotism and legion building. Over time this has led to the Unforgiven being regarded with distrust and the primary reason the High Lords had passed over the Dark Angels for the creation of Successor Chapters.
Despite their impeccable gene-seed, the Dark Angels have frequently been passed over in subsequent Space Marine Foundings, even though they have periodically been requested to give gene-seed to found new Chapters to fight the Imperium's wars. Yet from time to time the Adeptus Terra have been forced to permit the Dark Angels another Founding, the records of which have mysteriously vanished shortly afterward. In this way, an uncertain number of Unforgiven Chapters have been created, each giving every outward appearance of fighting their own wars for the Imperium, while secretly aiding in the Dark Angels' hidden hunt.
One of these earlier Foundings occurred during the 3rd Founding in the first year of the 32nd Millennium. Though the Ebon Knights quickly went on to establish themselves as a valiant and worthy successor of the Lion, their deeds are less well known than those of the other Unforgiven Chapters. They shun laurels and fame, believing that it is more important to perform their sacred duty as protectors of Mankind, and thus, concentrate on their duties to the exclusion of all else. A proud and honourable Chapter, the Ebon Knights quickly garnered an unusual reputation amongst their fellow Successors for being uncharacteristically concerned with civilian casualties compared to most other Space Marines.
This Chapter firmly believes that one of their most important duties is to protect the lives of the Emperor of Mankind's innocent subjects whenever and wherever possible. It was this devotion to serving the will of the Emperor and His people that led to the Ebon Knights falling out with their Progenitors and their fellow Unforgiven Chapters.
Crimson Blade Campaign
While the Ebon Knights share the genetic heritage of the Dark Angels, they have no special links to the wider body of their Progenitor Chapter or any of the other Dark Angels Successors. Instead, the Ebon Knights look forwards, carving their own legends in the annals of the Imperium's history. The reasons for this animosity is unknown to outsiders, but the origins of this bad blood occurred only half a millennium following their creation. Like many of the Unforgiven, the Ebon Knights have fought in many campaigns and wars, both as a part of a greater Imperial force or as a single Chapter. But unlike their fellow Unforgiven Chapters, who are wont to stand apart from their own allies, the Ebon Knights believe in honour, selfless service and loyalty, especially to those who fight for the Emperor. This can be directly attributed to the multiple feudal worlds the Ebon Knights recruit from.
The Chapter's gene-seed has obviously suffered obvious mutation from the original source given to them. The hostile conditions of their potential Neophytes' lives, coupled with their traditions and monastic code of honour, began to permeate the traditions of the Ebon Knights. The Chapter's Astartes had initially been drawn from the ranks of the Dark Angels themselves, and their Successor Chapters. But over five centuries of constant warfare, a high attrition rate and the need to recruit from outside of their Chapter home world, the majority of the Chapter's Neophytes were drawn from multiple feudal worlds within the system. This, coupled with the deaths of their original command hierarchy over five centuries of campaigning against the foes of Mankind, they were eventually all replaced by Shadowmehr-borne Astartes. This changed the culture and traditions of the Chapter, so much so that by the mid-32nd Millennium, there were increasing tensions between the Ebon Knights and their fellow Lion-Borne Chapters.
Over their first five centuries of existence, the Ebon Knights had fought with their Progenitor Chapter as well as several other Dark Angels Successors. Most notably, was during the Crimson Blade Campaign (532-542.M32) that took place in the Scarus Sector. A join strike force comprised of the Ebon Knights and Lions Malevolent were sent to halt the onslaught of a massive incursion by the Forces of Chaos. Over a period of five years, a series of bloody wars had engulfed the Scarus Sector. Dire portents and Chaos cult uprisings were rife throughout many of the sector's worlds. But unbeknownst to the Scions of the Lion, was that several of these corrupt cults were largely instigated by Deimos the Defiler and his splinter Alpha Legion warband, The Formless. The Ebon Knights and the Lions Malevolent began a decade-long campaign beset with many battles to hunt down and slay Deimos. During this time they successfully uprooted many hidden cults and corrupt officials across four sub-sectors. But the wily Chaos Lord always manages to elude his pursuers by staying one step ahead. The battles against this network of subversion brought much suffering to the Scarus Sector, before the corruption was finally subdued, culminating in the assault of the vitally important Hive World of Gudrun.
Just as the Ebon Knights and Lions Malevolent began the coordination for the final assault upon the hive's primus capital, they were interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the Rock, the Dark Angels' massive mobile fortress-monastery. The Dark Angels summoned the leadership of both Successor Chapters aboard the Rock to take part in a war council with Dark Angels' Supreme Grand Master Purson. The Supreme Grand Master informed the two Grand Masters that they had been following many clues that had led them to Gudrun, and had recently uncovered the unmistakable signs of the presence of multiple Fallen. Seeking to ensure that none escaped, the Imperial strike force blockaded the planet and unleashed the the 1st Companies of all three Chapters against the heretic forces. Fighting alongside Imperial Guard regiments from the Maccabian Janissaries, Gudrunite Rifles and the Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii legions, the Dark Angels and their Successor Chapters attempted to halt the cultists' onslaught and capture their erstwhile brethren. But little did they know that Deimos the Defiler had laid a cunning trap for the sons of the Lion.
Assault on Gudrunhive
The Lion-borne Chapters launched a swift planetary assault, Supreme Grand Master Purson divided the Unforgiven forces to better contest the world's remaining cities, but focussed his efforts on retaking the capital of Gudrunhive. In these early stages of the assault, the Supreme Grand Master was far from reckless, analysing terrain, reconnaissance reports and countless missives to ascertain the enemy's weaknesses. Much to his dismay, he found none. The maze of streets and bridges of Gudrunhive favoured the numerical superiority of the followers of Chaos. With no swift victory to be gained, and the enemy commander yet to rear his ugly head or show his hand, the campaign on Gudrun almost immediately became a war of attrition. Gudrunhive would need to be purged by sword and bolter.
Biding their time, the Unforgiven instead concentrated on inflicting casualties on the enemy and retaking the strategic initiative. But their primary objective remained -- to capture the elusive Fallen, that, according to intelligence reports, had taken refuge in the western industrial sector. Impatient to end the Hunt, the Supreme Grand Master ordered the Unforgiven's elite 1st Companies to press forwards, for his fury had been awakened. He admonished himself for allowing the Fallen too much time to prepare, therefore, he took the initiative and would cleanse the industrial district of the taint that had befallen it.
Despite the Ravenwing's warnings not to overextend the line or venture further into the city without proper reconnaissance, the elite companies of the Unforgiven did just that. The Unforgiven's first assault on the industrial district was a success as the Terminator-armoured elite cleared the cultist-manned gun nests in order to allow an armoured column of the Ebon Knights Chapter to advance. The Unforgiven's assault even prompted a reaction from The Formless, which deployed its Chaos Terminators into the fray. With battle flaring up between the two opposing Astartes forces, the Ravenwing arrived as reinforcements, clearing the road into the industrial sector of remaining cultists and forcing the Chaos Terminators to flee, the Ravenwing giving chase. But within the wreckage of the industrial refuse and fallen debris of buildings, in a little explored, and too quickly dismissed area, the The Formless had hidden from the Unforgiven's wrath and patiently awaited the moment to strike.
Elsewhere in the city, an Ebon Knights armoured column, bolstered by two battalions of Gundrunite Rifles, was cut in half when a large spire had fallen, blocking the main route of access to the inner city. Having no other choice, the Ebon Knights were forced to make a great detour in order to reach the main advance of the trio of elite companies, or risk being ambushed and trapped in Gudrunhive's narrow streets. Despite being informed of this major delay, the Supreme Grand Master ordered the 1st Company Grand Masters to press on. As they crossed the final bridge into the industrial sector, the Ebon Knights Interrogator-Chaplain Uzziel sensed something was amiss. He urged his 1st Company's Grand Master to proceed with caution, urging him to halt the advance and to properly scout the way ahead. Confident in the superior protection of their Terminator suits, the Unforgiven elite continued on. Again, they were wrong.
The Terminators were lured into a deadly trap. The Chaos Space Marines sprung their ambush, when three squads of Havocs let loose with a devastating barrage of missile, meltagun and autocannon fire. Left in shock and reeling from the surprise blow, The Formless pressed their attack. Fuelled by anger and a desire for vengeance, the Grand Masters ordered the advance not to falter. The relentless barrage of the Havocs heavy weapons took a brutal toll on the advancing Terminator elite. Nearly a third of their number fell before they could reach the other side of the bridge. The remaining Terminators took refuge behind the shattered plasteel walls of the remains of a large manufactorum building. The headhunter squads of The Formless scoured the area, purging it of survivors and seeking ingress to the defensive position of the remaining Unforgiven.
Meanwhile, as the Ebon Knights armoured column pressed on, the Chaos cultists made their move. Having lured the Unforgiven's elite companies away and ambushed them separately, The Formless collapsed a causeway beneath the combined advance of Gundrinites and Ebon Knights, disrupting the armoured column and killing most of the human soldiery at the same time. The scattered survivors, both Astartes and human barely had time to register what had happened that the crazed hordes of cultists, led by Traitor Marines, rushed them. Far from being beaten, the Chaos forces had laid in wait patiently within the hive city's subterranean sewers, and sprung their trap at the most opportune moment. The forces at the front of the Imperial advance fared the worst, effectively falling into the subterranean level, cut off from help and disoriented. Still the Ebon Knights fought on, often sacrificing themselves to protect their Gudrunite allies.
With the enemy finally rearing its ugly head, the Ebon Knights unleashed their wrath, hacking, slashing and wrecking a terrible toll amongst the enemy. Yet their valour alone could not save the day. As the situation looked grim, reinforcements arrived unexpectedly in the form of the badly battered Manticores Knights-Errant, the Ebon Knights' elite 2nd Company. These unexpected reinforcements kept the defeat from becoming a rout, and thus bloodied and bruised the Ebon Knights survived. Their losses had been high, but enough remained to still continue the fight against the servants of Chaos.
Surviving the Chaos Space Marine ambush, the Deathwing and the Lions Malevolent's Knights of the Lions prepared to launch an assault on the industrial citadel where the Fallen were supposedly ensconced. Meanwhile the Ebon Knights armoured column continued to push forwards trying to link up with their fellow Unforgiven. As night fell, there was no letup in the attack, and the Supreme Grand Master continued to push the Unforgiven elite forwards in the darkness. By dawn, they had cleared the western approaches to the industrial complex, as the enemy had fallen back in disarray. The industrial district was strewn with rubble and masonry scattered about in piles around the streets. Accompanied by armoured support, the Terminators jumped off its attack and was soon enmeshed in heavy fighting with the enemy defenders. The bone white and ebony and dark green armoured figures could be seen advancing through the ruins, as bright orange tongues of heavy flamer blasts burned the defenders out of their cover. The streets were littered with the dead. The renegade forces occupying the industrial complex were effectively cut-off from resupply and reinforcement. At that time, the surviving Ebon Knights armoured column finally arrived to lend their support in the final assault.
Supreme Grand Master Purson sensed they were close to achieving their objective, and arrived on the scene to personally lead his Dark Angels and the Unforgiven in the final assault. Dismounting his Land Raider, Purson led the assault as he plunged into the enemy ranks of Chaos Cultists, his black blade, the Sword of Secrets, cutting a bloody swathe. Though the assault inflicted painful losses upon the Unforgiven, the Traitors were unable to carry the day, as they were routed from their former inviolable position. The Unforgiven searched the ruins of the industrial complex but found no traces of their quarry. As they proceeded to hunt down and destroy the remnants of surviving Chaos Cultist forces, the Unforgiven received the desperate hails over the command vox that the Imperial Guard High Command's position was being overrun by a massive assault of Chaos Cultist forces, estimated to be a million strong. Five brigades of Imperial Guard regiments were effectively cut off and surrounded.
The Ebon Knights were the first to respond to the Imperial Guard's request for aid and proceeded to make all haste towards their position. As the armoured column departed the industrial sector, the Supreme Grand Master received intelligence reports from the Ravenwing that the Fallen had been sighted near Gudrunhive's starport and had likely commandeered a shuttle. The Supreme Grand Master ordered the Unforgiven to withdraw all forces from the planet's surface, as their quarry could not be allowed to escape.
Breaking protocol, the Ebon Knights Grand Master protested profusely with their progenitor's command to abandon their allies to their fate. The Supreme Grand Master reminded the Ebon Knights' commander that their first duty was to the Lion and their Hunt for the Fallen - all other concerns were secondary. The Lions Malevolent readily complied with the Supreme Grand Master's orders, but the Ebon Knights' personal code of honour wouldn't allow them to abandon their allies, and so, the Ebon Knights' Grand Master disobeyed their progenitor's orders and made all haste towards the Imperial Guard High Command. Enraged at the Ebon Knights' temerity, the Supreme Grand Master warned their commander, that if they refused to take part in the Hunt, they would forever after be ostracised -- they would no longer be one of the Unforgiven -- for to turn their backs on their sworn duty was tantamount to treason.
The Ebon Knights Grand Master would not back down, as he argued that their duty to the Emperor and his people should be first and foremost, as they were the sworn protectors of Mankind. They would not callously sacrifice so many lives in order to capture only a few Fallen. He then ordered all vox communications to be cut off with their progenitors. The Dark Angels and the Lions Malevolent took their leave and departed Gudrun to continue their pursuit. The Ebon Knights were left behind to their fate. In the ensuing final battle, the Ebon Knights managed to break the Chaos Cultist blockade, and proudly stood by their allies' sides as the Forces of Chaos launched their final devastating assault. The Ebon Knights fought valiantly alongside their Imperial Guard allies, but suffered the grievous loss of nearly a third of their Chapter's number.
Following the successful conclusion of the Crimson Blade Campaign, the Ebon Knights sought a reckoning with their progenitors, but the Dark Angels refused all communication with the upstart Successor Chapter. The Dark Angels would never be called to account for this callous act, as they were a First Founding Chapter, and no one would dare accuse them of cowardice. The Ebon Knights had been summarily condemned by their former Unforgiven brethren. They were no longer recognised as Scions of the Lion. The Dark Angels' Supreme Grand Master issued an Edict of Obliteration and ordered all contributions by the Ebon Knights to be excised from the official record. They would no longer be officially recognised as one of the Unforgiven -- they would henceforth be referred to as the 'Forgotten'.
- Vengeance From the Void (Unknown Date.M32) - Across a hundred scattered systems in the western marches of the Segmentum Solar, cult uprisings led by a core of Chaos Space Marine warbands drawn from the Iron Warriors, Night Lords and World Eaters Traitor Legions bring entire planetary governments to their knees in a year of blood and anarchy. With whole sections on the brink of collapse, events take a dramatic turn when a combined force of the Adeptus Astartes emerges from the black depths beyond the spiral arm and launches a sudden and overwhelming attack directly upon the uprising’s command. Though many Space Marines fall in glory, the warlords of the Traitor factions are slain and the uprising fractures into a thousand localized rebellions which are soon put down by local forces. Subsequent Inquisitorial studies claim that these Space Marines are drawn from several Chapters, including the Ebon Knights, Minotaurs, Carcharodons, Death Eagles and Angels of Absolution. This is the Ebon Knights earliest known recorded battle-honour. Other evidence however, including their projected deployment dates, contradict these assertions, consigning the entire event to conjecture.
- Jeriocho Reach Campaign (Unknown Date.M32) After an interregnum lasting over 1,200 standard years and often riven with bloodshed, the Imperium of Man's hold over the Jericho Reach is finally fully cemented, and it is re-designated the Jericho Sector in the great Imperium Universalis. The sector capital is the Hive World of Verronus which once served as a Great Crusade way-station and has maintained its likes to the wider human domains in the preceding centuries, while the Shrine World of Eleusis gains prominence some centuries later for its native saint and because, legend claims, it was blessed with the tread of the Emperor's own foot. The foundation of the sector is not without incident, however, as a suppression campaign is fought against shadowy xenos forces who had begun to prey upon the stars of the southern zone around the star system of Oertha. A large Imperial Crusade which comprises several Adeptus Astartes Chapters, which includes the Ebon Knights, take part in the bloody conflict that ensues, helping to drive off the alien menace.
- Crimson Blade Campaign (533-543.M32) - An oft-forgotten decade-long campaign that took place in the Scarus Sector to cleanse a multitude of Chaos cult uprisings across four sub-sectors. Several of these corrupt cults had been largely instigated by Deimos the Defiler and his splinter Alpha Legion warband, The Formless. The Ebon Knights and Lions Malevolent Chapters began a decade-long campaign beset with many battles to hunt down and slay Deimos. During this time they successfully uprooted many hidden cults and corrupt officials across four sub-sectors. But the wily Chaos Lord always managed to elude his pursuers by staying one step ahead. When they finally cornered Deimos upon the vitally important Hive World of Gudrun, the venerable Dark Angels made their presence known, and took part in the final battle of the campaign. At the height of the final assault on Deimos' fortification, the Dark Angels ordered both Unforgiven Chapter to redeploy at the moment of the Cultist army's final assault, leaving five brigades of Imperial Guard regiments alone to face the massive Chaos horde one million cultists strong. They ordered them to do so, as they received intelligence that their Fallen quarry was attempting to escape the planet's surface. The Lions Malevolent readily complied, but the Ebon Knights' personal code of honour wouldn't allow them to abandon their allies in the face of certain annihilation. Refusing to abandon their position, the Ebon Knights valiantly fought alongside their Imperial Guard allies, though they suffered the loss of one-third of the Chapter. The Dark Angels were never called to account for this act, as they were a First Founding Chapter, and no one would dare accuse them of cowardice in the face of the enemy. With the successful conclusion of the campaign, what exactly occurred was not recorded in the official record, but the Lions Malevolent were recognised by their progenitors and awarded command of the venerable Chapter Barque, the Undying Vengeance, whilst the Ebon Knights were condemned by their erstwhile former brethren. The Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels issued an Edict of Obliteration, and ordered all contributions of the Ebon Knights to be excised from the official record. They were no longer officially recognised as one of the Unforgiven -- they would henceforth be referred to by their former brethren as the 'Forgotten'.
- War of the Beast (544.M32) - The massive Ork WAAAGH! of The Beast rampages across the Imperium on a massive scale, growing in size until it becomes the greatest greenskin invasion that the galaxy has ever known, eclipsing even the one defeated by Horus upon the world of Ullanor during the height of the Great Crusade. The Beast's WAAAGH! continues to ravage several Imperial worlds and destroys several. The Ebon Knights, alongside several other battered Adeptus Astartes Chapters, take part in several notable campaigns, including the third and final campaign on The Beast's capital world of Ullanor, the seat of his greenskin empire, focusing upon the capital city of Gorkogrod. Eventually the greenskin forces of The Beast are defeated as the Imperium resorts to the most extreme measures, and at great cost to the Adeptus Astartes. The ranks of the Ebon Knights are sorely depleted, as they lose over seventy-five percent of their Chapter during this final campaign. It would be almost two centuries before the Sable Knights returned again to full strength as a Chapter.
- 3rd Black Crusade (909.M32) - Abaddon the Despoiler launched his Third Black Crusade, sending the Daemon Prince Tallomin against the Cadian Gate in a reckless and bloody frontal assault. The daemonic horde that followed in Tallomin's wake accounts for the destruction of millions of lives and draws in Imperial Guard regiments and several Space Marine Chapters from across the Segmentum Obscurus. The Ebon Knights, now at full Chapter strength after rebuilding their numbers over two centuries, answer the Imperium's call to war and help with the defence of the Cadian Gate.
- Crusade of Indignation (112-115.M33) - The Ebon Knights crusade makes planetfall on the enslaved Imperial world of Cadizar, driving out the Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines who had covered the entire surface with blasphemous temples to their gods. The Ebon Knights launch a massive co-ordinated lightning assault, deploying the entirety of their Chapter's strength. They viciously destroy the Traitor Astartes and their Chaos cultists allies wherever they are found in a brutal campaign that lasts for the next three years, cleansing the planet of their foul presence. Once their objectives have been achieved, the Ebon Knights depart as swiftly as they arrived.
- The Invasion of Atteron Point (164-166.M33) - Atteron Point is invaded by the Ork forces of Big Mek Boltteef using previously unseen 'tellyporta' technology. Only the presence of the Ebon Knights prevents the world from being completely overrun.
- The Black Engineers (338.M33) - Stationed at a remote Adeptus Mechanicus research facility, a group of Tech-Priests had banded into a heretical techno-cult known as the Black Engineers. In their testing chambers, they began to explore long-forbidden sciences that was outside the purview of the Cult Mechanicus. Their heretical research resulted in a disastrous resonance cascade that tore a rift in reality which devastated the facility and enabled daemons to manifest in the material realm. Crusading in close proximity, the Ebon Knights answer the research facilities astropathic distress signal and make all haste. When they arrived, they fought alongside the mysterious silver-armoured Astartes of the legendary Grey Knights amongst the ruins of the research facility an attempt to eradicate the daemons and seal the rift. The surviving techno-cultists surrendered and were executed for their tech-heresy.
- The War of Moridan IV (582.M33) - At the dictate of Inquisitor Mazrael, the Ebon Knights exterminate a heretical cult on the Hive-World of Moridan IV. It is eventually discovered that a Tyranid Broodlord had infected the populace. Two squads of the First Company's Terminators are deployed into the underhive. The Chapter fights terrifying battles in cramped tunnels, access ways, vents and ducts but emerges victorious.
- The Hellion War (870.M33) - In the wake of the anarchy that followed the murderous internecine conflict of the War of the False Primarch and its aftermath, the Hellion Sector declares its secession from the troubled Imperium. Bloodily attacking its neighbours, it becomes quickly apparent that the sector's rulers had fallen then to the worship of Chaos, and its millions of men-under-arms were corrupted and given over to darkness, while its mass manufactora were turned to churning forth twisted war machines consecrated to the dark gods. A massive Imperial Crusade is organised and launched to cleanse the Chaos-corrupted sector. The ever widening war swells to ravage more than eighty inhabited systems and uncounted billions die in the fighting. Extant records indicate that it is during this conflict that the Ebon Knights first encountered a mysterious and unfamiliar Chapter of bellicose Astartes wearing sable-coloured battle-plate and adorned with fetishes of death. Though not explicitly named, many Imperial scholars believe that this unmentioned Chapter was none other than the darkly-fated Murdering Sons. The Ebon Knights' Chapter records go on to state that their new-found allies were a bellicose and bloody-handed Chapter that meted out Imperial justice in the most brutal ways possible. The two Chapter's found themselves of like-mind and temperament, and began working together in several joint operations, cleansing several recalcitrant worlds and bringing them back into the Imperial fold. The Ebon Knights continued to valiantly fight for another decade until inexplicably, and without explanation, they pulled their forces out of the conflict. By the dawning of M35, the Hellion Sector and its environs were reduced to little more than a waste zone of barren worlds and dead hive cities.
- The Downfall of the Hereditatem (278.M34) - The Ebon Knights of the Adeptus Astartes strikes expeditiously when the hive world of Korazon declares against the Imperial creed in favour of the council of elders known as the Hereditatem, whose charismatic oratory and persuasive powers allowed them to hold entire hives in their thrall. The renegades are exterminated, and the Heredity are hung until death from their own hive spires. The world of Korazon is brought back under Imperial compliance within the day.
- The Rydol II Campaign (641.M34) - The 4th Company of the Ebon Knights Chapter advanced 2,000 kilometres in a bold, armour-borne operation, crossing the Burning Plains of Rydol II's equatorial deserts and toppling the outflanked and ill-prepared rebel theocracy in a single night of retribution and bloodshed. The Ebon Knights instigated a brutal purge of the population, after which the people of Rydol II were declared free of heresy. Before taking their leave of the war zone, the Chapter asserted recruitment rights over the population, from which it draws Aspirants to this day.
- Siege of San Nuria (ca. Unknown Date.Late M34) - During this brutal and bloody campaign against an unrecorded xenos threat, the Ebon Knight's losses were so severe that they were forced to spend almost a century replenishing their ranks and their gene-seed stocks before being able to actively serve the Emperor and do battle effectively once more.
- The Geryon Incursion (974.M35) – The Ecclesiarchy attempts to rebind the sundered Imperium during the Nova Terra Interregnum, into a religious state that transcends political differences. Billions die in the religious wars that follow when the Ur-council of Nova Terra rejects the Ecclesiarchy's teachings, unleashing a terrible new civil war, the likes of which have not been seen since the Horus Heresy. Still operating largely in the Segmentum Pacificus during the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Ebon Knights take part in the fierce fighting in the Geryon Incursion. They search for signs of the Fallen, in addition to putting down those who rejected the authority of the High Lords of Terra and the Ecclesiarchy.
- The Kaitos Schism (200.M36) - At the height of this terrible civil war, when the world of Kaitos rose up in rebellion against the Imperium, Loyalist forces were surrounded by the foe when the entire Ebon Knights Chapter deployed in support. The Ebon Knights launched an immediate attack upon the enemy and, within five hours, the Ebon Knights had wiped out the schismatists' entire high command structure, breaking the back of the rebellion, and essentially winning the war. Their task complete, the Chapter withdrew without a word, as quickly as they had appeared.
- Trail of Sorrow (324-354.M36) - The Ebon Knights begin a three decades-long campaign that uproots hidden cults and corrupt officials across three sectors of Imperial space. In truth, the Chapter learned of twenty Fallen that were concealing themselves within the ranks of Osiris the Man Eater's Eternal Revenants (a Night Lords' warband) operating within these sectors. Beset with many battles to hunt down these traitors and despite several ambushes set by the Night Lords, the Ebon Knights eventually prevail as the Manticores located the Fallen on the plague-ridden world of Lithios Prime, capturing all of them at the Battle of Crimson Ridge.
- Defence of Amasis VII (389.M36) - The entire Ebon Knights joined with elements of the Blades of Dorn Chapter to combat a huge Eldar strike force that was assaulting the world of Amasis VII. The two Chapters were seriously outnumbered by the Eldar forces. When all hope seemed lost, the Blades of Dorn reluctantly pulled out their sorely-depleted forces after sustaining heavy casualties in the open phases of the conflict. They promised to bring nearby reinforcements from their Chapter as soon as possible. For five days the Ebon Knights valiantly fought alone, holding the Eldar at bay. The Ebon Knights' Knight-Commander Renannius Cole held a breach in the Imperial lines, slaying two Aspect Warrior Exarchs single-handedly. The Eldar prepared to launch their final assault on the beleaguered Space Marines when reinforcements finally arrived. The sky of Amasis VII filled with Blades of Dorn Drop Pods. Soon the two Chapters fought in tandem which altered the course of the battle and destroyed the Eldar forces completely. After the fighting, the Blades of Dorn praised the Ebon Knights' courage and tactical prowess.
- The Clovis Rebellion (112-114.M37) - When a Black Crusade is launched in the Clovis sector, a joint-Astartes strike force is sent to quell the five worlds that have become overrun by bloody insurrection. The Clovis Rebellion quickly escalates when a large force of Night Lords Traitor Astartes arrived and the Planetary Defence Forces of Clovis Prime crumbled. The Ebon Knights, Blood Vultures, and Blades of Dorn launched a counter-attack to secure vital Imperial artefacts before Exterminatus was declared. It takes the three Chapters two more years of brutal conflict to cleanse the rest of the sector's worlds before they are declared free of corruption.
- Ambush at Minboe Idull (346.M37) - A strike force from the Ebon Knights' 6th Company was ambushed during operations against the Night Lords Traitor Legion in the central lowlands of the world of Minboe Idull's primary continent. The only survivor was the mortally wounded Knight-Sergeant Centis, whose remains were later entombed within the armoured sarcophagus of a rare Venerable Castraferrum Pattern Mark IV Dreadnought. He vows to see the menace of the Night Lords eradicated from the galaxy.
- Corva V Crusade (581.M37-Unknown Date.M41) - The Chapter's involvement in the Corva V Crusade which focused on the worlds in the Elysian Sigma Sector of space, where the Ebon Knights have pursued, without recourse to the Crusade's high command, a series of raids against the Forces of Chaos holding the region. In all probability, the Ebon Knights are seeking to ascertain the truth of the rumour that the Night Lords Traitor Legion is active in the area, pursuing their well-known hatred of this particular enemy. The Chapter recently fought a void-duel against the notorious Chaotic Carnage-class Cruiser Black Maul, though they came off the worse in the engagement and were forced to withdraw, much to their chagrin.
- 7th Black Crusade (811.M37) - The Forces of Chaos spewed forth from the Eye of Terror past Cadia and then disappeared. This event is what earned this conflict its informal name of the 'Ghost War'. The following years saw a game of hide-and-seek played between the Forces of Chaos and the Imperium of Man. The Ebon Knights launched a Crusade into the Segmentum Obscurus to help defend multiple beleaguered Imperial worlds.
- Valentia II Civil War (301-311.M38) - When the followers of the Cult of Urka'khar plunged Valentia II into anarchy and bloodshed, the Astra Militarum regiments of the Morana Black Guard bore the brunt of the fighting. The Morana Black Guard was repeatedly targeted by the maddened hordes, but held out against seemingly impossible odds until relief eventually arrived. By the time a relief force of the 3rd Company of Ebon Knights arrived, The regiments of the Black Guard had begun a determined counter-attack and victory was ultimately won.
- The Pertinax Smoldering (484.M38) - A rebellion led by devotees of the heretical Cimmerian Cult engulfed the isolated Hive World of Pertinax, until elements of the Ebon Knights Chapter of Space Marines were dispatched at the request of the Administratum to reclaim Pertinax's industrial output for the Imperium. In a meticulously planned campaign of surgical strikes and scorched earth assaults, the Ebon Knights decimated the cult's ranks, suppressing the Chaos Cultist uprisings and slayed their leaders.
- Angevin Crusade (322-384.M39) - The Angevin Crusade begins when Praetor Golgenna Angevin, a powerful noble from the Terran Court, is raised to the rank of Lord Militant in the Imperial Guard and granted a writ from the High Lords of Terra to persecute an Imperial Crusade to liberate and dominate the area of space designated as the Calyx Expanse. His Crusade's forces are drawn principally from the Segmentum Solar and number over 17 million levied troops who are divided into 4 battle groups and a strategic reserve, re-enforced by elements of the Titan Legios Venator and Magna, as well as the Ebon Knights, Black Templars, Tigers Argent, Sons of Medusa and Charnel Guard Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes and a significant naval deployment drawn from the Battlefleets Solar and Obscurus. A score of Rogue Trader and Explorator fleets range ahead of the main Imperial forces, identifying targets and providing active reconnaissance in this dangerous region of space. Swelling the force's already vast ranks are tens of thousands of 'pauper warriors' of the Frateris Militia whipped up into a frenzy of holy zeal by the Ecclesiarchy and innumerable petty hangers-on, opportunists and logistical transports, with supply trains leading back whole sectors away from the front. Using the well-established Frontier World of Sinophia as its forward staging post and marker, the Crusade’s main thrust is launched like an armoured fist into the heart of the Calyx Expanse across the Periphery in a two-pronged assault directed towards two prominent star systems where Rogue Traders had long-established pro-Imperial human contact: Malfi and Solomon.
- Cleansing of the ''Death of Integrity'' (887.M39) - In 887.M39, the Space Hulk, codified Death of Integrity was seen near the world of Vol Secundus. The ancient ruin had been encountered twice before in recent centuries, each time preceding the appearance of Tyranid forces upon nearby worlds. A general call for immediate Adeptus Astartes assistance was issued, with members of the 1st Companies of the Ebon Knights, Novamarines, and the Blood Drinkers Chapters responding to the call for assistance. Exhibiting a tremendous amount of co-operation, the three Chapters deployed nearly 200 Space Marines equipped with Terminator Armour to the massive Hulk. Over the course of two months, the combined forces thoroughly purged the Space Hulk of a rampant genestealer infestation. All three Chapters suffered terrible losses, as the xenos were well-suited for battle within the cramped and toxic environment. Though the battle was costly in terms of damage to armour and loss of life, the ultimate prize was stunning. Hidden deep within the hulk's ruins was a remarkably well preserved Standard Template Construct (STC) database containing information on countless lost technologies. The Adeptus Mechanicus gladly accepted this priceless artefact and went so far as to repay each Chapter with a newly commissioned Strike Cruiser.
- Purgation of the ''Harvester of Souls'' (ca. Late M39) - While conducting an investigating aboard the massive derelict space hulk designated the Harvester of Souls, which had recently materialised out of the warp, it was soon discovered that it was not as lifeless as was first thought, as they encountered a large force of Heretic Astartes from the notorious Nurglite Chaos Warband known as The Cleaved. A vicious battle quickly erupted between the opposing space marine forces, and the bulk of the Ebon Knights faced annihilation at the hands of the much larger Heretic Astartes forces. While the Ebon Knights fought a forced withdrawal, a squad of Assault Marines and a trio of Dreadnoughts volunteered to sacrifice themselves in order to take out the heretics once and for all. Advancing behind a trio of dreadnoughts, they made their way to one of the larger vessels egninarium and set cyclonic charges. As the final gunships departed the space hulk, the charges detonated, which started a catastrophic cascade effect and culminated in a massive explosion that utterly destroyed the space hulk and all those within.
- Nexxas Exculpation (561.M40) - The Night Lords Chaos Space Marines face the forces of the Imperial Guard and the 2nd ('Manticores') Company of the Ebon Knights on the world of Nexxas. Though ultimately the Imperial Guard forces and Ebon Knights proved victorious.
- The Gothic War (139-160.M41) - The Ebon Knights were one of many Space Marine Chapters deployed to the Gothic Sector to protect it against the vile Arch-Traitor Abaddon the Despoiler and his Chaos forces during the 12th Black Crusade.
- Huoxon IV (259.M41) - The Ebon Knights fought on Huoxon IV against the worldwide uprising of a powerful Chaos Cult. In the end they proved victorious and burned the heretic prophetess Elavix as justified retribution.
- Formenos Persecution (791.M41) - Rapid strikes by the Ebon Knights brought the Formenos Secession to a swift and bloody end.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - A vast tide of Chaos worshippers pour forth from the Eye of Terror into the Cadian Gate. A tide of heretic filth comprised of daemonic legions, Chaos Cultists, Renegade Chapters, spearheaded by the Traitor Legions and led by Abaddon the Despoiler, begin to assail the fortress world of Cadia and its surrounding systems. Detecting many Fallen amongst the horde, the Ebon Knights deploy their Chapter in its entirety in order to launch a headlong assault against the renegade forces. Coincidentally, the Dark Angels risk all by ordering the Unforgiven to join them in their assault against the Forces of Chaos. Though the Ebon Knights' presence isn't acknowledge by their Progenitors or their fellow Unforgiven, they nevertheless perform their sacred duty and begin to hunt down the Fallen in earnest. Unlike the rest of the Unforgiven, who split their forces across the Cadian Sector, the Ebon Knights chose to fight as one, and soon take part in many battles. However, increasing warp storm activity ensures that their fellow Unforgiven cannot reunite as a cohesive force.
- The Great Rift (999.M41) - Despite the best efforts of Imperial forces, the Cadian Gate finally falls. Though the arrival of some unexpected Imperial reinforcements prevented Abaddon from personally sealing his victory by crushing Cadia's defenders, and led to the destruction of the Blackstone Fortress Will of Eternity, the Despoiler unleashed a brutal contingency plan. He had the massive fragments of the Will of Eternity hurled from orbit like an artificial asteroid onto the surface of Cadia. The strike destroyed what remained of Cadia's faltering defences and the network of Necron-built Cadian Pylons that had long prevented the Eye of Terror from naturally expanding into the Cadian Gate. Within only solar hours, most of Cadia was in the process of being consumed by the Immaterium when the tectonic instability caused by the impact of the Blackstone Fortress finally caused Cadia to tear itself apart. The thin veil between realspace and the Immaterium is finally broken, as a massive tear in reality forms from the Eye of Terror and stretches all the way across the width of the galaxy, to the Hadex Anomaly. Every realm is touched by the Cicatrix Maledictum, or the Great Rift, blighting them with intense Daemon storms - howling tempests that carry a thousand types of death upon their fell winds. Thousands of Chaos cults emerged, and soon, planetary-wide rebellions erupted, plunging hundreds of worlds into bloody insurrection. The Ebon Knights took stock of the dire situation, and though battered and bloody, they resolutely stood against the tide of Chaos that now rode the upon the winds of the Great Rift. Despite the loss of over one-third of their Chapter, the Ebon Knights began to respond to the myriad distress calls that flood in from the isolated and warp-storm battered worlds of the galactic north. Though the Chapter continues their quest to hunt for the Fallen, the Ebon Knights ensure to put the needs of the desperate Imperial citizens before their own, and successfully break sieges and rescue several beleaguered populations.
- The Primarch's Summit (999.M41) - In the wake of the recent catastrophic events, Dark Angels Supreme Grand Master Azrael decided to convene an emergency council of the Unforgiven's Supreme Grand Masters, including the Renegade Manticores and 'The Forgotten' (the Ebon Knights), though Azrael was initially hesitant to do so. The Chapter's Librarians sent out a scattered astropathic summons - though several died in the attempt to pierce the veil of the Great Rift - and soon every available loyal son of the Lion prepared to embark on a perilous journey to the Rock. Not all found their way to that last fragment of their ancestral home, as entire Successor Chapters became lost in the Warp, while other found themselves bogged down in one of the galaxy's many raging conflicts. The battered Ebon Knights managed to find their way through the roiling storms, and soon arrived safely to dock with the Dark Angels' fleet, though they remained aboard their ships. Only Knight-Commander Marius Kyron and a small contingent of the Chapter's Inner Circle embarked to meet Supreme Grand Master Azrael aboard the Rock. After the Ebon Knights arrived, naturally they were treated with contempt by their peers. Nevertheless, a small Dark Angels Honour Guard were present to meet them as they disembarked from their Thunderhawk gunship. They accorded the Chapter Master and his delegation with the proper custom and courtesy and then reluctantly escorted the Ebon Knights contingent to the Rock's command chamber to meet with their fellow Supreme Grand Masters. Not long after their arrival, Azrael was informed of a new fleet transitioning into orbit around the Rock - that of the new Lord Commander of the Imperium - the resurrected Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman and his forces of the Indomitus Crusade. The Lord Commander had brought the Chapters of the Unforgiven much needed reinforcements. From the depths of Archmagos Belisarius Cawl's vast freighter-hulk marched Primaris Space Marines, created from the purest genetic material ever taken from Lion El'Jonson. Rank upon rank of them entered the Rock clad in new variants of power armour painted in the colours of the Dark Angels and their successors - including the Ebon Knights. At a brief war council, Guilliman outlined the threats facing the Indomitus Crusade. He also spoke of the updated Codex Astartes, and how his brother Lion El'Jonson's descendants had earned the right to maintain their specialised wings, as long as they continued to serve the Emperor well. So did Azrael and the other Supreme Grand Masters kneel before Guilliman, and pledged their Chapters to the new Imperium.
- The Indomitus Crusade (999.M41-Early Centuries of M42) - Newly reinforced, the Ebon Knights began to take the fight to the Forces of Chaos as they responded to the myriad distress calls that flooded in from the isolated and battered, war-torn worlds of the galactic north. Though there were some immediate concerns over their newly received Primaris Space Marine brethren, these initial misgivings were soon assuaged as the new warriors adapted to the Ebon Knights' ways of war and performed well alongside their battle-brothers. As campaigns progressed and decades passed, many of the Primaris Space Marines gained veteran status, and it remained only a matter of time before a decision had to be made to initiate one into the ranks of the elite Palatines. The Ebon Knights distinguished themselves time and again during the middle years of the Indomitus Crusade, earning much praise from the Lord Commander of the Imperium, and even reluctantly gained some admiration from their fellow Unforgiven Chapters, despite their pariah status. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the cold relationship between the Ebon Knights and their Progenitors eventually thaws, and The Forgotten are allowed back into the fold of the Unforgiven.
The Ebon Knights teachings are somewhat similar as those of their progenitors, with one minor divergence in regards to the Chapter's guilt concerning the Fallen. The Ebon Knights believe their own sins wiped clean by the actions of their Dark Angels forefathers in the Fall of Caliban. This Chapter fears no spiritual damnation from the inter-Legion war known as the Fall, but they do feel responsible for meting out the punishment upon the traitors as an act of repentance. Despite the rift between themselves and their fellow Unforgiven, the Ebon Knights feel bound to continue the Hunt for the Fallen, in honour of their gene-sire.
As well as their determined drive to capture the Fallen, the Ebon Knights also maintain a chivalric code of honour that is a guiding principal of their actions. They are fiercely loyal and honourable, who hold in high esteem the human values that many of their fellow Scions of the Lion have come to forget. The Ebon Knights are resolute in all that they do, willing and able to make all sacrifices for the mission and for their fellow Battle-Brothers. The difference is, they hold that the life of an innocent is more important than obtaining an objective. To the Ebon Knights, all other concerns are secondary. It has been observed on numerous occasions that the Ebon Knights, unlike almost all other Chapters, show compassion for ordinary humans. This is primarily due to the influence of their recruitment worlds, whose ancient chivalric codes have permeated throughout the Ebon Knights' ranks down the millennia, and which the Chapter eventually adopted as their own. A Ebon Knight is honourable to a fault, holding personal honour above all else.
As the Ebon Knights are descended from the Dark Angels, their gene-seed is one of the purest and least degraded of all. There are no known aberrations in the Ebon Knights' gene-seed.
Primarch's Curse: Blood of the Martyr
The genetic curse within the Ebon Knights' gene-seed manifests divergently from their Progenitors and other fellow Unforgiven Chapters. This Chapter also possesses a secretive, even introverted nature. The idea that outsiders are not to be trusted is drilled into the recruits from an early stage, and they are tested continuously to ensure their compliance until it becomes second nature. Even though the Ebon Knights will fight beside all of the branches of the Imperium's vast military, they prefer to stand beside other Space Marines.
Many, even brother Astartes, find the Ebon Knights aloof and uncommunicative. The Ebon Knights, for their part are impatient and unforgiving with strangers who pry into their affairs. In truth, those Ebon Knights who are aware of the existence of the Fallen are ever watchful for any sign of their activity. With a culture that emphasises self-sacrifice and code of honour, the Ebon Knights' taciturn nature and stubborn refusal to accept anything other than total victory over their foes has served them well.
When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests itself in an affected Battle-Brother, it comes on in three stages:
- Stage 1 (Honour Thy Code): The Battle-Brother weighs the facts of the situation, he sees his current course of action as the best one. Unwilling to let the innocents and defenseless perish. Holding to their chivalric code of honour and that the life of an innocent is more important than obtaining an objective.
- Stage 2 (No One Left Behind): The Battle-Brother will be unmoved and stand his ground against the enemy. He will not leave behind a fallen brother or imperial civilian even if the odds are stacked against him. The Codex Astartes doctrine and teachings my dictate retreat or flexible defence, the Battle-Brother will be loath to disengage until there is absolutely no choice.
- Stage 3 (Death Before Dishonour): The Battle-Brother has come to accept that perhaps only the cost of his own life will be enough to secure victory and is gladly willing to give it up. This can have dire consequences should the circumstances present him with a chance to martyr himself for the Emperor and bring ruin to the enemies of the Imperium. Should a Battle-Brother suffer mortal wounds, he gains a fatalistic desire to sell his life for the cause and will choose to expend his own life for a chance at victory or the safety of his brothers. This means he will fight on regardless of his wounds and continue to attack or place himself in the path of attacks even though the next blow could mean his end. He will also gladly accept suicidal or near-suicidal tasks (such as disarming unstable warheads, leading a forlorn hope or holding a breach to buy time for his companions) without complaint.
The Ebon Knights are organised along the same lines as the Dark Angels and so are considered to partially comply with the Codex Astartes. Like their progenitors, they maintain a pair of elite formations comprised of the 1st and 2nd Companies, known as the Palatines and Manticores, which are comparable to the Deathwing and Ravenwing. The Ebon Knights make use of very different terminology when referring to the Chapter's officers as compared to that commonly used by other Space Marine Chapters. This is because the Ebon Knights have continued to draw upon the ancient military traditions of the feral worlds they recruit from, in organising the Chapter.
- Knight-Commander (Chapter Master) - The Ebon Knights Chapter Master is known instead as the Knight-Commander. It is his duty to chair all meetings of the Chapter's Inner Circle, which serves as the Ebon Knights' replacement for the standard Chapter Council. Only the Knight-Commander is privy to all of the Chapter's dark secrets -- and even he does not know everything.
- Consul-Master (Lieutenant Commander) - Senior Captain who performs additional duties: Lord Executioner, Lord of Marches, Lord of Relics, Lord of Rites, Lord of the Fleet, Lord of Squires (Recruits).
- Captain-at-Arms (Captain) - A Captain-at-Arms serves as a Company Commander of the Chapter and is the Ebon Knights' equivalent to the standard Space Marine Captain of other Chapters. A Captain-at-Arms leads each of the 10 companies of the Ebon Knights and ultimately falls under the command of the Knight-Commander. Every Captain within the Chapter serves as a member of the Inner Circle, although even at this rank he is not privy to the entire truth surrounding the Chapter's dark past or all of the Chapter's many secrets.
- Senschal (Lieutenant) - An ancient feudal rank, this honoured position is equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant, an officer rank utilised by the Space Marine Legions of ancient times. With the influx of newly created Primaris Space Marines into the Chapter, this rank has been reconstituted amongst the hierarchy of the Chapter. A Seneschal serves as a Demi-company leader, with two assigned per full company of 100 Space Marines. These junior officers are considered 'Captains-in-training', and are accorded the proper respect and treated as such. Seneschals act as the right hands of their Captains by providing flexibility and helping to direct their Battle-Brothers in engagements. Space Marine Battle Companies are frequently divided into two Battle Demi-companies of 50 Astartes each in order to spread their forces across multiple combat zones. Command of each Demi-company falls to a Seneschal, who leads his brothers unflinchingly into battle.
- High Tormentor - The High Tormentor, also known as the Master of Chaplains, serves as the Ebon Knights' Reclusiarch, or High Chaplain, and oversees the duties of all of the other Chaplains of the Chapter. His most important duty is to train the Ebon Knights' special class of Tormentor-Chaplains and he is usually a master of their art of interrogation and psychological manipulation. He is a member of the Inner Circle and is thus one of the only members of the Chapter privy to the whole truth surrounding the Fallen.
- Palatine Apothecary (Chief Apothecary equivalent) - The Palatine Apothecary serves as the Chapter's Chief Apothecary and oversees the medical needs of all Ebon Knights as well as all biological research conducted by the Chapter. The Palatine Apothecary's most important duty is to preserve and maintain the purity of the Chapter's stock of gene-seed. He is a member of the Inner Circle and is thus one of the only members of the Chapter privy to the whole truth surrounding the Fallen.
- Grand Vizier (Chief Librarian equivalent) - The Grand Vizier serves as the Chapter's Chief Librarian and oversees the Librarium. He is responsible for maintaining all of the Ebon Knights' Chapter records and the security of its secrets. He is a member of the Inner Circle and is thus one of the only members of the Chapter privy to the whole truth surrounding the Fallen.
- Tormentor-Chaplains (Interrogator-Chaplain equivalent) - The Ebon Knights maintain a very special cadre of Chaplains known as Tormentor-Chaplains who are tasked with getting any Fallen Angel who has been captured by the Ebon Knights to admit their sins and repent of their betrayal of the Emperor. Tormentor-Chaplains are as skilled in the arts of interrogation, torture and psychological manipulation as the most experienced members of the Inquisition. Tormentor-Chaplains are not members of the Inner Circle, though their duties require that they have knowledge of many more of the Chapter's secrets than is normal for Ebon Knights of their rank.
- Librarian (Epistolary, Codicier, Lexicanium)
- Knight-Veteran (Veteran Marines)
- Knight-Sergeant (Veteran Sergeant)
- Preceptor-Sergeant (Sergeant)
- Armiger-Brother (Battle-Brother)
- Brother-Ensign (Scout Marine) - Probationary rank.
- Squire-Brother (Initiate)
- Intendant (Chapter Serf)
- Palatines - The Ebon Knights' 1st Company of veteran marines is referred to within the Chapter as the Palatines. They are the Dark Angels' equivalent of the Deathwing. The Palatines are comprised solely of Ebon Knights veterans who only take to the field of battle in sable and gold-coloured Terminator Armour. The Palatines are tasked with the mission of continuing the Hunt for the Fallen, which takes precedence over all other missions for the Chapter, even though they may be called upon to fight a wide range of foes. The bulk of the 1st Company is composed of Terminator Squads, indefatigable warriors who blast apart their enemies with Storm Bolters whilst advancing into melee assault range. Palatine Terminators feature a mix of weaponry, for both long-ranged and close combat oriented roles.
- Manticores - The Ebon Knights' 2nd Company is called the Manticores. They are the equivalent of the Dark Angels' Ravenwing. The members of the Manticores are chosen not only for their skill at fast assaults using bikes and Land Speeders but also for their resilience to the heretical rantings of members of the Fallen Angels. All but the highest members of the Chapter's Inner Circle are oblivious to the true purpose of the Manticores, which is to hunt down and capture every last member of the Fallen. Like the Palatines, the Manticores does not conform to the ideal of Space Marine Chapter organisation as laid out in the Codex Astartes, though the other Ebon Knights' companies are considered to be Codex-compliant. The Manticores Company is mostly composed of Bike Squads and squadrons of assault Land Speeders. These vehicles are then divided into two groups; one serves as an attack squadron and the other as a fire support squadron.
- Ebon Paladins (Deathwing Knights equivalent) - A Ebon Paladin is a fell-handed warrior of the Ebon Knights, a member of the elite 1st Company whose glorious deeds on the field of battle are matched only by his unflinching devotion to the Chapter. Ebon Paladins are a truly imposing sight, for in them lives on some semblance of the Lion himself. Only the most veteran Palatines are given the title of Ebon Palatines, the uppermost level of the order before being named a Knight-Veteran. They become the ultimate upholders of ancient Chapter traditions and the most skilled fighting unit of the Ebon Knights. In the stratified Chapter organisation of the Ebon Knights, the Ebon Paladins represent the elite -- only the Captain-at-Arms and Consul-Masters of the Chapter rank higher, and they are only chosen from among the company of the Ebon Paladins, who are also members of the Chapter's Inner Circle.
- Knights-Errant (Ravenwing Black Knights equivalent) - Mounted on powerful, heavily customised Mark IV Assault Bikes, the Manticores Knight-Errants of the Chapter's 2nd Company, are heavily armed shock cavalry. Those who survive in the Manticores long enough learn to take the doctrines of mobile warfare to the next level of mastery. If they can pass the Seven Rites of the Manticore, they will be inducted into the Knights-Errant, the Inncer Circle of the 2nd Company. There, they will learn the real reason behind their hunt for heretics and the truth about their Chapter's history. To signify their exalted status, Knights-Errant carry Corvus Hammers, which are patterned after an ancient Calibanite weapon used to hunt the Great Beasts. The Knights-Errants' riding skills are supreme, and they can drive at top speed through almost any impediments to close on their foes.
Order of Battle
The current Chapter order of battle as of 999.M41, is as follows:
Knight-Commander Kyron leads a council of officers drawn from the senior-most members of the Inner Circle. This council's composition changes depending upon the wishes of each Knight-Commander.
|Inner Circle||Librarius||Knights of Nachthold|
The Master of Nachthold serves as the Chapter's Master of the Forge; he is NOT a member of the Inner Circle because of his shared allegiance to the Adeptus Mechanicus.
|1st Company||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Company||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
- "Trust in your training. Trust in yourselves. Trust in the Lion. Never doubt what you have done. All your decisions have brought you to this point."
- — Tormentor-Chaplain Gadriel Morretanus speaking to new Squire-Brothers before battle
Though the Ebon Knights still draw many recruits from their home world of Shadowmehr, they typically draw the majority of their recruits from a variety of different Imperial planets, mainly those feudal worlds with a pre-industrial level of technology like that of Caliban before the coming of the Emperor. Representatives of the Ebon Knights visit each recruiting world once within a normal human's lifetime. Initiates are chosen through a bi-annual process of trial by combat, fear and endurance known as the "Ordeal of the Angels." The Chapter's Master of Recruits conducts these series of bloody tournaments and they are carried out under the supervision of the Ebon Knights' Chaplains. They then take the strongest juveniles from the population.
Each Aspirant is thoroughly screened, and from the moment he is accepted into the Chapter as a Squire-Brother, his past becomes irrelevant. Once the recruit is accepted he will undergo the normal rites to become a Space Marine. However, should he fail, he will be made into an Intendant (Chapter Serf) to carry out the labourious tasks of the Chapter. Unlike other Unforgiven Chapters, the Ebon Knights make use of human Chapter Serfs or bondsmen. The Chapter's Tormentor-Chaplains maintain a strong vigil, ensuring that the Chapter's human serfs are not compromised to reveal the Chapter's secrets. If one is suspected of breaking their vows of loyalty or suspected of corruption, they are converted into a mindless servitor, and taken away to work in the Chapter's forges.
The Ebon Knights have been committing Battle-Brothers to the Deathwatch for millennia. In most cases however, the Space Marine has stood but a single vigil before returning to his parent Chapter. It is whispered by some that the Chapter only ever allows its brethren to stand the Long Watch if and when it suits them. But the truth of the matter, is that their Progenitors have several of their brethren who serve in the Deathwatch, with many of them occupying senior appointments. Due to the sour relations between the two Chapters, the Ebon Knights will only send a handful of their battle-brothers to the Deathwatch.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
Like their Progenitors, the Ebon Knights nominally follow the standard combat doctrine of the Codex Astartes. Like many Scions of the Lion, the Ebon Knights have a reputation for stubbornly standing their ground, even if it is not tactically beneficial for them to do so. They are stubborn in defence and relentless in attack, though this sometimes leads to them taking disproportionate casualties when others would have withdrawn to pursue alternative tactics. Though the Ebon Knights are driven to capture all of the remaining Fallen Angels and force them to repent for their sins, unlike their Progenitors and their fellow Successor Chapters, they will not do so at the expense of innocent lives. The Ebon Knights maintain a strong chivalric tradition of protecting the weak and defending those who are unable to defend themselves. Everything else is secondary to the protection of the innocent, as the Ebon Knights hold in esteem all human lives.
Notable Ebon Knights
- Knight-Commander Marius Kyron - Current Chapter Master of the Ebon Knights Chapter, Knight-Commander Kyron embodies the nobility of the Lion and is an exemplar for his fellow battle-brothers to emulate. Born upon the Feudal World of Avalonia which is ruled by a number of knightly orders, Marius Kyron was destined to become a warrior and leader and was raised accordingly. As soon as he was able to lift a sword, Marius was taught the principals of chivalry, military strategy and the precepts of command. Recruited by the Ebon Knights, Kyron quickly rose through the ranks, proving his mettle and tactical acumen during countless campaigns, and earning numerous accolades and honours. His meteoric rise eventually saw him assume the esteemed position of First Captain of the Ebon Knights' elite Palatines Company, a position he excelled at for over a century, until the death of the Ebon Knights' previous Knight-Commander, at the hands of a large Storm Draugar assault in 798.M41. Since that time, he has continued to lead the Ebon Knights in the hunt for the Fallen and their never-ending quest for redemption in the eyes of the Emperor. Knight-Commander Kyron is the epitome to which the Ebon Knights aspire.
- Consul-Master Orian Sevetikan - Current First Captain of the elite 1st ('Palatines') Company and Equerry to Knight-Commander Kyron.
- Sword of Retribution - One of the legendary power swords collectively known as the Heavenfall Blades, this formidable weapon is carried by the current Knight-Commander of the Chapter. Chapter lore states that these blades were forged from the core of a meteorite that struck The Rock in orbit around the Feral World of Al Baradad. The blade of the Sword of Retribution was cut from this single block of obsidian, and is said to be able to bisect even a Chaos Terminator in a single blow or shatter granite without so much as marring the blade's mirror-like finish. This potent weapons has not chipped nor lost its keen, razor-sharp edge over its many millennia of bloody use.
The Ebon Knights wear primarily black coloured power armour. The shoulder pauldron trim, wrist armour, tops of the gauntlets and greaves are golden in colour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chestguard is also gold in colour. A gold-coloured, open-faced squad specialist symbol on the right pauldron indicates Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran. A gold-coloured gothic numeral stenciled in the center of the squad specialty symbol indicates squad number. A gold coloured gothic numeral stenciled on the right poleyn (knee guard) designate company number.
The Ebon Knights Chapter badge is a gold-coloured winged-sword pointing upwards, centered on a field of sable.
The Blades of Dorn are a proud Chapter descended from the lineage of the stoic Imperial Fists. On several occasions, the Ebon Knights have serve alongside these noble Scions of Dorn. Through their courage, battle-prowess and indomitable spirit in the face of overwhelming odds, the Blades of Dorn have earned the Ebon Knights' undying gratitude and respect. When called upon, they willingly answer their cousin Chapter's call-to-arms when they are able.
A ferocious and bellicose Chapter, the Blood Vultures are a vicious Blood Angels Successor Chapter of dark repute. Despite their well-deserved fell reputation, these savage and unrelenting Astartes are greatly admired by the Ebon Knights for their stalwart dedication to both the Emperor and the Imperium, and well as how they carry out their righteous wrath against those who would dare harm the innocent. Despite their brutal and merciless ways, the Ebon Knights have served alongside these brutal Astartes on several occasions down the millennia, earning several monumental victories in the face of overwhelming odds.
The Exalted Seraphs, like the Ebon Knights, are another Dark Angels Successor Chapter that are openly scorned by their progenitors and the chapters of the Unforgiven. It was only recently discovered by agents of the Ordo Hereticus, that this Chapter was in fact, a Successor Chapter that hailed from the lineage of Lion El'Jonson - not Rogal Dorn - as originally believed. However, it was also discovered, by those Unforgiven that were present, that this Chapter's founder and first Chapter Master was none other than a traitorous Fallen Angel! When the origins of the Exalted Seraphs were eventually discovered by the Ebon Knights, they openly embraced their wayward cousins, for they knew better than anyone, what it was like to be ostracised by those who shared the same blood. On a half dozen occasions, the Ebon Knights have fought honourably alongside the Exalted Seraphs, forging unbreakable bonds of brotherhood in the fires of war. However, though the Ebon Knights value their intractable kindred Chapter for their zealotry and thoroughness in how they prosecute their campaigns, they do not necessarily agree with their draconian methods. Despite some misgivings, both Chapters still maintain relatively close relations to this day, and will answer one another's call to arms should the need ever arise.
The Morana 'Black Guard' is the name of the formidable Astra Militarum shock troop regiments that hail from the post-nuclear Death World of Morana, located in the Uhulis Sector in the Segmentum Tempestus. Despite suffering several tragedies in their long and troubled history, the people of Morana have risen up from the ashes of ruination, becoming a fiercely independent and industrious people. The elite Black Guard regiments willingly volunteer to fight in some of the most brutal and deadliest warzones imaginable. During their long and glorious history, they have fought alongside the Ebon Knights in several campaigns, earning much admiration for their stoic determination in the face of overwhelming odds and casual disregard for their own lives in combat. Humble and dedicated, they eschew such accolades, seeing service to the Emperor as its own reward.
Like all Dark Angels Successor Chapters, the Ebon Knights loathe those renegade Space Marines who were once members of the Dark Angels Legion that spat upon their oaths to the Lion and followed the Arch-Betrayer Luther into damnation. The Ebon Knights relentlessly pursue the Fallen across the breadth and width of the galaxy, determined to capture them and force them to repent, in order to achieve forgiveness in the eyes of the Emperor.
Dark Angels & Fellow Successor Chapters
Though not 'enemies' per se, the relations between the Ebon Knights and their Progenitors and fellow Successor Chapters has been noticeably sour since the Crimson Blade Campaign that took place in the mid-32nd Millennium. They are not even recognised as being fellow Scions of the Lion, and when on campaign within the same region, are treated with cold indifference.
By the Ebon Knights
Feel free to add your own
- "We are the Ebon Knights, the Sons of the Lion. As we draw breath, we stand. As we stand, we fight. As we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath! "
- — Orian Sevetikan , of the elite 1st ('Palatines') Company, 1st Captain
- "To think they were once as brothers to us. They are sycophants to our elder brethren...blindly obeying without question and killing without remorse. They would put an entire world to death if it meant capturing even one of our wayward kin. I am ashamed we share the same bloodline."
- — Knight-Sergeant Linus Galatine of the Ebon Knights, on a fellow Successor Chapter, the Lions Malevolent
About the Ebon Knights
Feel free to add your own
- "Skilled Astartes of fine calibre, that can be in no doubt, but that even their own sister Chapters hold them at arms length suggests to me a dark secret of which the Imperium at large is not aware."
- — Lophess Ovair, Obsidian Blades 2nd Captain
- "Do not speak of the Forgotten in my presence whelp, lest I cut your wagging tongue from your mouth! We do not speak of those who turned their backs on duty, their kin and the Lion."
- — Brother-Sergeant Taraziel of the Black Knights chastising a Scout Marine
- "Treasonous swine! Betrayers of Caliban! Dogs of the whore-sired Lion! Come, face me! Face my axe you motherless swine!"
- — Heshgar the Heathen, Draugar Lord of the 7th Storm, Storm Draugar Warband, cutting down several Ebon Knights Battle-Brothers during the infamous Battle for Koldur Depot
- "Lions who hate lions who hate lions? How much fun those family reunions must be. All those knightly wills and ways, and yet none of them realize that they are all as bad as each other."
- — Calios Kottel, Lord of the Void Sirens
- " I do not know if I should respect them for their wish to walk alone, separated from their kin, or if I should hold them in contempt. Perhaps I should let my successor choose to either follow their path or repudiate it..."
- — Kardan Rauth, Chapter Master of the Sons of Iron
- "You give the guardsmen too much credit, cousin, they did nought but clog the enemies guns in the blood of their dead."
- — Eulitus Ephrain, Chapter Master of the Wings of Salvaxes
- "Contempt is as fine a weapon as any steel, but be careful, lest it cut it's own."
- — Teridax, Nuixden-ka of the Star Reapers
- "A group of Astartes worthy of giving a man of crimson's welcome to the Imperium. They are men we shall look toward and appreciate!"
- — Stros M'karr, Valerian Sergeant of the Crimson Templars
- "I do not fear you Astartes...I got my stripes by beating one of your brothers to a bloody pulp, now I kill you for a living. Come, show me you're worth my time!"
- — Captain Emanuel Vrodr, Hell Dogs Astra Militarum Regiment