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- "Non nobis, Imperator Rex, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam!"
- — Iron Templars credo, translasted from High Gothic, "Not unto us, o God-Emperor, not unto us, but unto your name grant glory!"
The Iron Templars are an ancient Chapter descended from the lineage of the venerable Dark Angels. Believed to have been created during the Second Founding following the bloody years of the Great Scouring, the Iron Templars have continued to follow in the footsteps of their genetic forbears, to relentlessly hunt down every single Fallen Angel and force them to repent. Despite their secretive nature and dedication to seeking out the Fallen, the Iron Templars have garnered a reputation as an honourable and dedicated Chapter who fiercely protect their planetary system of Aquitaine against the gathering darkness from Chaos, xenos and the myriad threats that threaten the Imperium on all sides. As a Chapter steeped in the feudal traditions of its Chapter home world, the Iron Templars' doctrines, traditions, and organisation reflect their particular approach to prosecuting the Imperium's wars.
Origins of the Iron Templars
To understand the secretive Iron Templars, we must return to a time more than 10,000 years ago, when the Emperor walked as a man, striding from the dark age of regression, superstition and subjugation. Although mankind had once plied the stars, all links between inhabited planets were long severed. Most human populations were enthralled by xenos or lived in the ruins of their once great civiliasations. It was in this bleak era that the emperor rose to reunite Terra, the fabled birth planet of Mankind. Out of his experiment to send out 20 primarchs the Angelus Tenebrae - the 'Dark Angels' Legion arose - led by Lion El'Johnson.
When the Space Marine Legions split into Chapters after the Horus Heresy, the Dark Angels Legion sired a number of new chapters, the Iron Templars being one of them. Though Imperial records do not explain exactly which particular Founding the Iron Templars were created, extant records indicate that in all likelihood they were created during the 2nd Founding in 021.M31.
Like All Dark Angels Successor Chapters they call themselves the Unforgiven, for their own inner circles are aware of the Legions History, and they too seek to absolve themselves of the ancient failure. Like the other Unforgiven Chapters the Iron Templars follow the Dark Angels Pattern of organisation, including their own corresponding levels of trust. However following the War on Morlaix they also have the further complication of maintaining and keeping the secrets of the Griffin and the sacred order of the Griffin. Their founding Master was Knight-Commander Gerard Pagincourt and since him there have been a line of successors to the Title of Grand Master, including the current Supreme Knight-Commander Bernard de Tremelay
The Iron Templars are a planetary-based chapter and have their Home planet of Outremer as their base. This is a feudal planet and they follow a strict medieval heraldic code and their heraldic devices and methods are detailed later on in this Tome. They seek to rid their planetary system of Aquitaine of all xenos and their influence and to this end have begun a quest the chapter call the 100 Planets War. They deviate slightly from the Dark Angels because of their need to keep the additional secrets of the Griffin Lore and due to the complications of their planetary roles, hierarchies and these other expectations and duties can never be fully forgotten.
The War on Crecy
Whilst on one of these planetary wars in the Aquitaine sector Grand Master Gerard founder of the Iron Templars and then a Company captain had his company wiped out practically to a man. Fighting to the last against a vastly superior force of vicious and cunning Orks his company was cut down. Only luck or fate saved Gerard and his standard bearer Mikael. In the thick of the battle the wounded Gerard stumbled over the prone body of the unconscious Mikael and was left for dead by the scavenging orks.
Waiting until darkness fell he lashed a litter together from the fallen battle standard and the broken poles and dragged Mikael who was still unconscious of into the night. For six days and nights he carried on dragging by night and hiding out and recovering his strength by day. On this sixth day whilst hiding from an Ork patrol Mikael finally regained consciousness. For two days and nights they rested hiding in a hole in the ground eating fruit and berries gathered by Gerard and on game taken with precious shots from his trust bolt pistol.
Strengthened a little in body but perhaps not mind they continued their journey hoping to find safety. On their twelfth night exhausted, delirious and having only narrowly escaped further ork patrols they stumbled into a deserted village. Forcing themselves on they searched the village until they found an intact building, the village forge where they collapsed exhausted and fell into a fitful sleep.
On waking they found themselves in woods staring up through green leaves and saw friendly faces. The villages who had been hiding in the woods until it was safe to return had returned to find the two marines and had dragged them of to safety. As the days wore on and with the help and care of the villagers Gerard and Mikael grew stronger. As the Ork presence also lessened the villagers returned to their homes and the Space Marines were welcomed in.
And so they laboured working in the forge by day to pay their way and working by night to find ways to once again build a fighting force and take revenge. With the help of the villagers they recovered much of worth from the battlefield, repairing and rebuilding suits of power armour and fixing and making new weapons. During this time a small number of other Space Marines also made their way to the village. A close bond formed between the villagers and the Space Marines occasionally used their skills and training to defend the villagers as the need arose. Soon the need for this protection spread but short on number Gerard and the other Marines started to train new recruits.
With the help of these Aspirant Iron Templars they built a fort and so the first Chapter Keep was established. The Aspirant training was a hard a demanding task taking a full six years to become a battle-brother. During their time in the forge in those early days Gerard had learnt a lot about patience and self-discipline and these were the founding principles of the Chapter from then on.
During this time the close links with the people meant a slightly different approach to life. The Space Marines live as leaders within the communities on Outremer and are a part of planetary life. It is here they have a large Chapter Fortress called 'The Citadel'. The Citadel Houses most of the headquarters staff, however the Armoury is housed more remotely in the 'Keep' in the mountains overlooking the citadel.
It begins – The Great Chaining
Outremeur III is the planetary home of the Iron Templars and has been so since the great chaining. A peaceful planet, ruled over by it's Space Marine overlords who live amongst the people, not aloof but rather integrated fully into planetary society. First settled in M34 following a successful liberation of the planet, the people were witness to one of the greatest technological feats of the age.
On their formation during the Second Founding, the Iron Templars were tasked with locating and taking control of a planetary fragment of what was once Caliban that is now known as 'Bell Rock'. After a lengthy search, Bell Rock was found and settled by the Iron Templars with the focus of their building and development being around the old Keep, an outpost from the age of the Knights of Caliban. As the chapter expanded none could have realised the true importance of their location and the existence of the Beastiary beneath their feet.
After the liberation of Outremeur III in M34 it was decided by the Inner Circle that this planet should become the chapters new homeworld, leaving the question of what should happen to Bell rock. Eventually, after years of planning Bell Rock was 'tethered' to Outermeur III in the great chaining and the two now make their journey through space and time together.
The Siege of Morlaix
In a generally peaceful planetary world, isolated from the Grim Darkness of the far future the siege of Morlaix came as something of a shock. Following successful deployment from an Ork Space Hulk, Morlaix, a small yet well-fortified town, was overrun by a tide of greenskins who descended from the heavens. A relatively remote town, which serves no real strategic importance, it was none the less chosen by the invading Ork horde as a point to hold as a beachhead and staging site for the impending Waaagh!
Kept a secret from all but the highest levels of the Inner Circle, a large cavern excavated directly beneath the central keep houses the cages for the Beasts of Caliban that had been captured during the time of the Knights of Caliban. While some now contain beasts, many remain empty but the Iron Templars steadfastly continue their search to recapture the missing and lost Calibanite Beasts. Blessings and curses often accompany each other and the Iron Templars draw strength in their quest from the Book of the Lost. Many thought the Knights slaughtered all the beasts, but in truth, many were captured for research or because they posed no direct threat to Caliban or the Chapter. By virtue, all of the captured beasts were catalogued into a truly mighty tome originally simply the Catalogue, but now given near religious veneration as the Book of the Lost.
Following the War on Morlaix and the emergence of the Griffin, they have been aided in their task by the Griffin and its growing brood. Attuned to Chaos and able to communicate telepathically, yet remaining free from the 'taint' of Chaos, the Griffins are able to assist in giving early warning of Chaos incursion and assist where necessary in boosting the Chapter Librarians' psychic abilities. Some might frown on the use of their powers and for this reason, their presence is a closely guarded secret that borders on Heresy.
Chapter Rank Designation & Heraldic Entitlements
Within the culture on Outremer and indeed within the Iron Templars itself heraldry plays a very important role in showing rank. It is rank that determines heraldic entitlement and most ‘ordinary’ space marines have no entitlement to bear their own coat of arms or heraldic devices but rather those of their company. This is detailed below in tables showing heraldic entitlements and is followed by a section on livery and maintenance showing company colours and entitlements.
These are deferred by chapter rank as described in the codex, not by Order entitlement. Orders have no visible hierarchical iconology to signify rank, simply the Habit and insignia of the particular Order. These are detailed in the orders section later on.
|Chapter Master||Supreme Knight-Commander||Carries own, which determines chapter.|
|Master of Sanctity||Prolate|
|Captain (Company Master) 1st Company||Principal King of Arms|
|Captain (Company Master) 2nd Company||Knight-Commander||Own and Chapter Heraldry are the same.|
|Griffin Guard Knight||Knight||Military Order of the Griffin - own heraldry on terminator livery shield.|
|Veteran Sergeant 1st Company||Man-at-Arms||Own heraldic device over company colours on honour shield.|
|Veteran Marine 1st Company||Squire (All members of First Company are veterans.)||Veteran Company honour shield. White with black Templar cross.|
|Sergeant||N/A||Company colours, squad number and if accompanied by Veteran Sergeant, their own heraldic device in lieu of squad number.|
|Tactical Marine||N/A||Company colours, squad number and if accompanied by Veteran Sergeant, their own heraldic device in lieu of squad number.|
|Scout Marine||N/A||Scout Company colours.|
Known as Earls of the Court and Keepers of the Griffin, these consummate warriors are forged in the heat of 1,000 battles, for leading a company of Iron Templars requires a dedicated and battle-hardened veteran, a warrior who has proven his prowess and Chapter loyalty a thousand times over. Such heroes advance into the fabled Griffin Guard, the 1st Company, but in order to be considered for higher command, a Space Marine must distinguish himself yet further. Only those who show superlative leadership and tactical skills, who prove themselves to be the best of the best can ever rise to become a Knight-Captain.
The Iron Templars do not call their leaders by the typical designation of Captain, but prefer instead to add the honorific of Knight to this title in recognition of the fact that all have been fully inducted into the Sacred Order of the Griffin. Each of the ten companies is led by such a Knight-Captain, who ultimately falls under the control of the Supreme Knight-Commander. Each Knight-Captain bears additional honorific titles, reflective of his solemn duties within the Chapter. The Captains of the 1st and 2nd Companies hold the rank of Knight-Commander which is a rank higher than Knight-Captain but which is still under the command of the Supreme Knight-Commander. As the Space Marines of the Iron Templars are drawn from the population on their home planet Outremer III are rare but occasional instances where the Supreme Knight-Commander is also the planets King.
The Iron Templars are stoic and taciturn in nature, and these traits are exemplified by their Knight-Captains. However there are times when their planetary duties and obligations require them to fulfil duties fitting their role as leaders within the planetary communities and councils and to this end the Knight-Captains all hold the court rank of Earl or higher. This courtly rank is in some case deferred by birth and in others as a reward for service to King and Country.
With a signal, a Knight-Captain launches the Emperors finest into action. Few Chapters can claim to be more disciplined than the Iron Templars and they practise manoeuvres often in order that they can be flawlessly executed. A Knight-Captain meets each challenge with the same intractable resolve. Such learners are not only superb strategists, but also the most skilled of combatants. Armed with the finest wargear from the Keep's armoury, and with relics they will have maintained themselves since first becoming a scout, a Knight-Captain can cleave through alien hordes or cut down even the mightiest foe in a personal challenge.
As a part of the Inner Circle a Knight-Captain may join his first company brethren in battle, donning his terminator armour and leading one of the most feared formations in the galaxy. However they are most assured in the misdst of their own troops, leading their company to victory in the name of the Emperor and in defence of the secrets of the Griffin.
Many recruits do not survive the process that transforms them into space Marines, and fewer still can endure what it takes to become a space marine librarian. To prevent the spread of mutation, each chapter subjects their initiates to testing so vigorous that it is in itself life threatening. Such precautions are warranted for the consequences of corrupted gene-seed would be dire. Most neophytes who are suspected of being a psycho by the repeated screenings are given their last rites and slain and outright. Some few are spared and allowed to continue the space marine two options will be attending even harsher scrutiny.
The majority of those with psychic ability do not have to cerebral fortitude or immense will power to control their mental forces full stop to assess their resolve, those especially marked initiates are subjected two additional batteries of new tests: mind molding sessions that attempt to break their sanity, temptations that lure the wavering, the and mental barrages that overwhelm the unfocused. Most recruits are ruined in these stages, their weak wills betraying their flaws and dooming them to another fate entirely. There is only one solution for psykers who cannot be fully trusted. Yet some are strengthened by their mental ordeals and are thus allowed to continue.
The extra testing and more rigorous sanctions are put in place because psykers are naturally unstable, and their untutored powers leave them as conduits to apocalyptic dangers fall stop the mind of the psyker registers strongly in the warp, and should that spark attract the unwanted attention of the fiendish denizens of that murky realm, it is possible for the psyker to be driven insane or become processed for stop in such cases, psykers can be manipulated into doing great evils bowl, in the worst instance, tearing open the veil between real space and the Warp in a full scale daemonic incursion, threatening planets and entire star systems.
Those who prove themselves strong enough to accept the transplants and upgrades to their physical and mental abilities find themselves in training to be librarians, Mystic space Marine warriors who can wield awesome mental powers. In battle librarians can send out blasting psychic bolts to strike down their foes, hold all engines with butter gesture, or project near impenetrable force domes to protect their allies. Besides lending their might in war, librarians have other duties to the chapter. They are the official record keepers of the chapter, and it is not unusual to find them liaising with officers and leaders, for they have unnatural intuitive powers-sometimes able to pluck thoughts from the minds of their foes or use auguring skills to detect enemies movements. Librarians are also pivotal in the role of interstellar communications, being able to project their swords across time and space, sending and receiving messages to far distant Astro pass stations or other members of the chapter. Although at accepted by their brethren, something keeps librarians apart from their fellow space Marines, isolated even within a squad. Perhaps it is because strikers are generally abhorred within the Imperium, or maybe it is out of all for a figure who can stop incoming shells with his mind and seems privy to one's innermost thoughts.
Chaplains & Bishops
Known as Keepers of Chapter purity and Shepherds of the Incorruptible, it is the Chapter's Chaplains who guard the spiritual purity of the souls of their fellow battle-brothers. The Space Marine Legions were created long before the development of the Imperial Creed and the domination of the Adeptus Ministorum. As a result the Iron Templars chapter has its own cult practises and its own attendant priests. These spiritual leaders of the Iron Templars are also the leaders of the planetary churchs on Outremer. They are known as Chaplains and Bishops, Bishops, holding a court rank and thus having a voice in both planetary governance and within the Sacred order of the Griffin. For over a thousand years, they have led the holy rites of both the Chapter and the planet.
Iron Templar Chaplains are the keepers of the Reliquary, the central shrine within the Citadel. They work in rotation some guarding, protecting and learning from the Reliquary while the others preside over ancient chapter ceremonies – inducting neophytes into the chapter with Rites of Initiation, steeling the hearts and minds of veterans alike with the Vows of Intolerance, and leading all through prayer and dedication to battle.
Unlike other Space Marine chapters however the Chaplains and Bishops of the Iron Templars play an important role in the church on Outremer. They venture forth into the midst of planetary life, calling forth judgement on the sinners and the lost, seeking the traitor and the heretic and cleansing the planets population of the taint of Chaos.
If an Iron Templars Chaplain can prove himself through years of heroic service, he might be found worthy of acceptance into the Inner Circle. After an arcane and convoluted ceremony in the Inner Sanctum the chaplain is given the Test of Faith. Failures are led away and return to the priesthood on Outremer, never to take part in Chapter life again. But failure is rare as few are found worthy for the Test and those that are will nearly always be ready. Should he pass he takes the solemn vow of the Sacred order of the Griffin and will henceforth be given the title of Bishop. In addition to their previous role it is the sacred duty of the Bishop to protect the secrets of the order of the Griffin and become the will of the Griffin in action. They go throughout the land, seeking out heretics, and forcing their repentance before giving them a quick and speedy death.
Keeping wargear and fighting vehicles at peak efficiency while being on campaign for months or even years at a time is no easy task, for the wearer of battle grinds down even the toughest constructs. It is a techmarines sacred duty to ensure his brethren's ability to wage war is never diminished.
Ancient pacts allow space Marines to send warriors with technological aptitude to study the ways of the machine God, aspiring Iron Templars techmarine’s train for 30 years on Mars, learning rights of activation, hymnals of maintenance and the correct methods of calling forth the machine spirit or placating its wrath. Unlike most chapters the techmarine's of the Iron Templars maintain and repair the chapters war machines and wargear in a separate stronghold far removed from the chapter Citadel. This stronghold known to those within the Iron Templars as the Keep is also where they house their armoury. After instruction they return to the Keep, where they take up their sacred duties of repairing and maintaining the chapters war machines. They know that their role is essential to the battle readiness of the chapter and most relish the solitude of the Keep in preference to the busyness of the Citadel.
When assigned to a strike force, a Techmarine accompanies his brothers into action, for he is a warrior first and foremost. There, he ministers to sundered vehicles and retrieves prized wargear with a ferocity hitherto unseen by his comrades.
The highest-ranking Iron Templars are often accompanied by a Command Squad-handpicked unit of the five most able company veterans. The Codex Astartes sanctions the formation of these units largely as bodyguards for key masters of the chapter.
Iron Templars leaders use their command squads in a variety of roles, such as forming honour guards to spearhead attacks, shoring up defensive lines, or achieving special missions. Because of their elite nature, command squads can draw upon the keeps full arsenal of weaponry and equipment. The most prominent addition to any command squad is the Standard Bearer, for he carries one of the companies much revered banners. Since the Citadel was built and became the iron Templars base of operations the Great War Chamber has been lined with Company Standards, along with ceremonial banners, heraldic pennants and in pride of place, the Sacred Battle Standards. Every Iron Templer, from neophytes to the most battle-scarred veteran, will fight even harder beneath the presence of such a battle standard. Whether it is the company Knight-Captain leading a command squad with its company standard into the thick of the fighting, or the bearer of the Sacred standard marking the iron Templars hold over a rallying point, their heraldry is a call to war that is known and feared across the galaxy. Some command squads contain a specialist known as an Apothecary - a battle brother versed in the arts of combat medical aid. Working in the front lines, an Apothecary will use his narthecium - a field kit that contains all the tech, stim-packs and sacred ungents needed to patch wounds-allowing his brethren to return to battle. Not all the wounded can be saved, but between their ceramite armour, hale constitutions and self-healing bio properties, only the most horrific of wounds are mortal. When an Apothecary finds one past hope, he will calm the dying, perhaps helping them on their way with a deft cut, and take out his reductor. This special device from his narthecium is used to remove progenoid organs. From the secrets held within these organs, future generations of Space Marines are created, and the continuation of the Chapter is assured.
A Command Squad can also contain a company champion. Each company has unique rituals-most often some combination of duels contests of strength and mind battles of self-control. The winners of such competitions represent their company during the ceremonies held in the great Hall of the Citadel. These individuals embody the honour of their company, representing their brothers in the mysteries of rights as they do in war. On the battlefield, it is a Company Champions task to personally confront enemy warlords and captains, leaving the Company Knight-Captain free to conduct the wider battle.
During the final stages of a Scout's training he is attached to the Company of Horse and thus undertakes a role as a pathfinder. For those who show particular aptitude whilst training as a scout there is the opportunity for advancement into the Griffinwing, however they must first serve their time as Pathfinders. There is great honour in riding a steed to war and Pathfinders are often drawn from the planetary elite and the aristocracy. These aristocratic families tend to have a certain aptitude with horses due to the centuries of accumulated cavalry experience.
The steeds the pathfinders ride are tough and dangerous warhorses, often costing a small fortune to breed and train. They are taught to manage in the heat and noise of battle and they are trained to bite and kick and rear at their riders request. These mounts are bred for power and strength and are often given bio-chem treatments to enhance their combat potential. Trained for a life of battle, these warhorses do not shy away from the enemy or panic easily.
The Pathfinders are often used as mounted scouts who spend weeks or sometimes even months behind enemy lines, infiltrating and causing havoc where possible using the many means at their disposal. They are used to operating out on their own beyond the normal lines of communication. Able to forage and subsist of the land, Pathfinders are able to function for maximum durations behind enemy lines with only the minimum of supplies. Because they employ living mounts, rather than machines they need neither fuel nor maintenance and, unlike vehicles, they cannot be easily tacked with auspex or scanner. As such they are often used to harass enemy troop movements by means of hit-and-run tactics.
The mobility and speed of Pathfinders makes them a potent force on the battlefield, able to spearhead an attack as easily as running a flanking manoeuvre. Pathfinders carry a variety of weapons but the most deadly is without doubt the Chivalry Pattern Repeater Bolter. This bolter, carried in two hands has the same profile as a twin-linked bolter but needs to be used two-handed. It can be used two handed from horseback because the Pathfinders are such good horsemen they can control their mounts using just their knees.
Because of the enhanced abilities of the horses and because of the modifications made by the Chapters techmarines to ensure the pathfinders have an effective ranged weapon, in the form of the Morlaix pattern, revolving bolter the Pathfinders are counted as a Scout Bike Squad and are fielded as such in an Allied detachment to the main force. Their profiles are below but it is worth noting because of them being on a horse rather than a bike their toughness is not increased to five but stays as normal at 4. They are treated as cavalry rather than bikes but have the weapons of a scout bike.
Due to the esoteric and secretive nature of the 1st and 2nd Companies and in particular the exclusive use of Terminator Armour in the 1st Company the other companies need to find ways to incorporate and honour Space Marines who have shown great honour, valour or prowess.
Often given to grandiose displays and acts of self-aggrandisement due to their chivalric customs and after each engagement those whose action have merited it will be given honours in a solemn and sacred ceremony.
To be acknowledged before the assembled might of the Iron Templars is proud moment, one which the Iron Templars Space Marines strive towards. Their leaders who are robed in their ceremonial regalia of the Sacred Order of the Griffin are living legends, whose names are whispered in awe by even the most powerful men in the galaxy. To hear their name called out by such as them is one of the highest honours for an Iron Templar.
Each battle company from the 3rd to the 6th has a cadre of Space Marines who have been honoured in this way, the finest warriors of their kind. At times of need, a company can gather such Marines into a single unit, a powerful formation of company veterans. These formidable squads are deployed wherever the fighting is thickest and the need greatest. These veterans would usually only comprise 2 combat squads, totalling ten marines per company and could be configured with weaponry to suit the specified mission. On rare occasions they might be formed up into a ten-man unit.
The armouries of the Keep are opened wide for the company veterans so that, depending upon the mission, they might arm themselves in a variety of ways. Depending on need, a Veteran Squad could gear up entirely for close quarters fighting, load themselves up with heavy weapons or even equip themselves with plasma weaponry to negate the defences of a heavily armoured foe.
Because they are honoured and held within high esteem within the Company it is easy to pick out the Company Veterans. They wear their veteran honours in the form of a combat shield, either attached to arm or to their shoulder pad. On the battlefield, it is easy to mark out the Company Veterans for they fight as a band of heroes, weapons blazing with precision bursts and foes falling before them like wheat before a scythe.
Those who manage to distinguish themselves still further will be considered for promotion. The mightiest of warriors might be asked to join the elite ranks of the Command Squads or if they are the type who excel at passing on the knowledge of their experience to others, they might rise to the rank of Sergeant. Only the most dedicated, those most excellent warriors to whom Chapter Loyalty is all will be asked to join the Inner Circle and become a part of the 1st Company.
Order of Battle
The current Chapter order of battle as of 999.M41, is as follows:
The Supreme Grand Master heads a council made up of all of the Knights of the Order of the Griffin.
|Veteran Companies||Battle Companies|
|1st Comppany||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
"The Griffin Guard"
"The Griffin Wing"
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Comppany||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
The Sacred Order of the Griffin
Formed by Edvard Noirlet at the end of the war on Morlaix in the Aquitaine system it is an order devoted to the preservation and re-population of the Griffin and Griffin lore. Whilst seeking shelter during an electric storm Noirlet and his command squad found a large cavern. Setting up inside they noticed a number of disturbing sights, such as the mutilated remaind of what looked to be humans. A long sleepless night followed and during the night Noirlet was visited in his sleep by the vision of a man, a warrior of human origin riding a griffin. Half Eagle, half lion it was a fearsome creature and a sight to behold.
On waking Noirlet realized his companions were all still sleeping and quietly he headed of into the depths of the cavern, aware constantly of the vision and his growing desire to seek the purpose of the dream. At last he came into a wide cavern and all around there were the remains of Griffins and Orks. It was apparent to him that the Orcs had found the Griffins eyrie and had killed all the Griffins and then left, leaving the dead behind. It was then that Noirlet noticed a faint tapping sound coming from a nearby rock, Stepping closer to look he placed his hand on the rock and it shimmer for a moment before resolving itself into the form of a golden egg, mottled with specks of red. The tapping continued a beak appeared. Evard watched in astonishment as a Griffin hatched before his eyes and then looking around it walked over to him and laid its head against his leg.
Looking around the cavern again Evard noticed other eggs and quickly realized they had stumbled upon a nest. Seeing the power of what he had found and its potential in ending the war on Morlaix he quickly decided it was an opportunity that could not be missed. A plan formed and he quickly formed in his own mind a secret order the Sacred order of the Griffin. Sworn to protect the Griffins and their knowledge this was a secret that must go with them to the grave. He quickly explained this all to his quad members who swore solemn oaths to protect the Griffins and the knowledge with their lives.
The Griffin Riders
At any one time there are only four Griffins alive, one ridden by the Chapter Master and the other Griffins ('demi-griphs') ridden by three Griffin Riders. Griffin riders are chosen from among the Chapter Honour Guard (all whom are Griffin Knights) and they rotate as duties allow. When the Chapter Master chooses to go to battle on a Griffin he is always accompanied by three Griffin riders.
Headquarters Heraldry & Holders of Knights of the Order of the Griffin
Below is a full list of the heraldry of the current Knights of the Order of the Griffin (KG):
|Chief Librarian||Master of Sanctity||Master of the Citadel||Chief Apothcary|
Honour Guards (Knights of the Order of the Griffin)
|William de Bohn||Griffin Rider|
|Reginald de Cobham||Griffin Rider|
|Henry Percy||Griffin Rider|
|Thomas Ughtred||Chapter Champion|
|Walter Manny||Banner Bearer|
|Robert de Namur||Honour Guard|
|Bernard Arnaud de Preissac||Honour Guard|
|Thomas Ufford||Honour Guard|
|William Latimer||Honour Guard|
|Hugh de Stafford||Honour Guard|
First Company - Griffin Guard
Griffin Guard Temrinators
The Griffin Guard is the 1st Company of the Iron Templars and they are tasked with defending the secrets of Griffin Lore. They are considered one of the finest fighting forces within the imperium. It is made up of veterans and broken into three distinct types, Terminator Squads, Command Squads and Knights. All are elites entirely outfitted in terminator armour, a luxury few chapters can match. Prior to his successful induction into the 1st Company a hopeful must craft his 'Bastard sword'. This will be his weapon with him until he has the opportunity to forge a power pole-arm or he suffers the shame of a broken sword and consequently has to wear the shame of a black power fist.
The Military Knights of the Sacred Order of the Griffin
Drawn from amongst the ranks of the 1st and 2nd Company the Knights of the sacred order of the Griffin are knights by rank but have not had the rank of Knight Griffin bestowed upon them. They are the eliete of the elite and should one of the Knights Griffin fall in battle a replacement will be chosen from amongst their ranks, These knights are all members of the inner circle but are also being groomed in the knowledge and lore of the order of the Griffin.
Military Knights Uniform & Heraldic Entitlement
All military knights upon their successful selection into the Military Order will be given a Knights Raiment. This is usually an aketon or tabard and sometimes a cloak which is of the deepest crimson, embellished with the symbol of the order of the Griffin, wings with a sword dividing. Apart from this there is very little to distinguish the knights from the other members of their company but they may if they choose wear their own heraldic devices on a small shield similar to a terminator honours shield.
Second Company - Griffin Wing
Griffin Wing Bikers
The Iron Templars' 2nd Company is called the Griffin Wing. They are the equivalent of the Dark Angels' Ravenwing. The members of the Griffin Wing 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. Riding a standard Space Marine Attack Bike and equipped with deadly power lances, these Space Marine bikers are a formidable foe, the equivalent to the knightly cavalry of the 41st Millennium.
Griffin Wing Knights
Mounted on powerful, heavily customised Griffin pattern Assault Bikes, the Griffin Wing Knights of the Chapter's 2nd Company, are heavily armed shock cavalry. Those who survive in the Griffin Wing long enough learn to take the doctrines of mobile warfare to the next level of mastery. Those found worthy are inducted into the Inner Circle of the 2nd Company. Riding their deadly Griffin pattern Assault Bikes equipped with deadly 'Plasma Talons' and wielding a Griffin Beak Hammer, these 'biker knights' can cut a deadly swathe through almost any enemy.
Chapter Recruitment & Training
When the chapter first started there was little need for extensive recruitment and training however following the defeat during the War on Crecy numbers were depleted almost to a point of no return. Consequently the battles for several centuries following saw the raising of temporary armies drawn from the populace, headed up by all the Space Marines available at that time and disbanded on completion of operations. Those from these 'temporary' armies who showed promise were inducted into the scout company and began their journey towards becoming a Space Marine and so numbers in the chapter slowly rose.
The Commission of Array
The Commission of Array was a legacy of the feudal obligation whereby every man between the ages of 16 and 60 was to serve his country in time of need. This blanket obligation was refined so that 'a selected force of the country was supported by the rest.'
It is also common knowledge that those who have not been put forward but who wish to join the Iron Templars may present themselves at the gates of the Citadel on the night of the three full moons which occurs every seven and a half years and they will not be turned away. It is however a long and arduous journey to the 'Citadel' and those that do make it are almost without exception deserving of a place as an Aspirant. This is only the first step on a long journey towards becoming a space marine.
Once accepted (through whichever means) the training can then begin and it is takes considerably longer than most Chapters. Very soon after the creation of the chapter, Kinght-Commander Gerard, recognizing the value of his training in the forge built the Chapter Keep high in the mountains above the Citadel. Here he hoped to create a place free from the hustle and bustle of daily life and routine. A place of reflection, tranquillity and worship to the Machine Spirits. Home to the wargear and machinery of the Iron Templars it also houses all the Chapter Forges and it is here that the aspirant Space Marine is first sent. It is the aspirant’s first responsibility to learn to maintain and care for the weapons stored in the chapter keep. During this time they learn through practical experience how to maintain and make close combat weapons. At the end of this time they are expected to make their own close combat weapon. They are then dropped behind enemy lines with only the weapon they have made. They are given six days and six nights in which time they should return with an ork head.
Those that complete this test are then deemed fit to take a place as a weapons maker in the forge. They are then given the task, along with others of making weapons for the rest of the chapter. During this time they work during the day in the forge and in the evening training with the weapons they have made, and in instruction on other aspects of warfare. Once the required level of competence has been achieved in all aspects of their Aspirant training they are sent on their final test. A group of 5 Aspirants led by a Veteran Sergeant of the Scout Company are given a twelve day mission. This would often be a small scale search and destroy mission against an Ork force.
Success in this final Aspirant test means they are now eligible to be inducted into the scout company and they are given their Scout Armour. This will however always be a battle damaged suit and they may not be fully inducted into the Scout Company until they have fixed it and got it into good working order. This along with the close combat weapon they made will remain their armour and weaponry until they complete their scout training and move on to becoming a fully-fledged Space Marine.
Once fully inducted into the Scout Company their training takes place like any other Space Marine Chapter.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
- "Let His wrath fill our hearts. Death, war, and blood; in vengeance serve the Emperor and the name of The Lion!"
- — Iron Templars Battle Catechism
Notable Iron Templars
- Supreme Knight-Commander Bernard de Tremelay - Chapter Master Bernard de Tremelay is the present, and some would say greatest, Supreme Knight-Commander of the Iron Templars. While Berndard's complete tale remains hidden within the undisclosed Chapter records, some details of his rapid rise through the ranks are known. As with all members of the Iron Templars was born on Outremer. It is clear he was one of the few who gained entry into the ranks through seeking entry to the 'Citadel' and that he comes not from a noble family like some of high rank but from lowly peasant stock - the bastard son of a blacksmith who was a drunk and a mother who was a common street whore. His heritage never seemed to hold him back however, indeed it seemed to make him more determined to find his true calling and a life on the streets, fighting for his survival on a daily basis gave him a good grounding in all things martial. Despite his humble origins, Bernard entered the Imperial Commanders household guard and excelled in all aspects of training. Formidable in combat he was also an excellent tactician and soon caught the attention of the Templars. Rising quickly through the ranks he made is name at the siege of Ascalon rushing into the breech in the walls of the city and holding it with his squad against the tide of Orks before help arrived. During this siege the Iron Templars started for the first time hanging the beheaded bodies of their Ork foe over the walls for all to see. His talent was never in doubt and once he became a Company Captain at age 23, it became fairly clear to all who would be the next Chapter Master.
- The Book of Lost Lore - Found by Sergeant Carlos de Suzia during the War on Crecy this book contained clues to the secrets of the Griffin along with notes and passages pertaining to a lost civilisation known only as the Empire. Much study has gone on since finding this book and further Tomes of information have been found. These books collectively are termed the 'Tomes of Lost Lore'. Most of what is contained within them is highly secret and known only to those in the inner circle. Indeed much of the Chapter's hierarchy is derived from these works. The 1st Company are unofficially known as the Lore Keepers and in recognition of this wear the badge of a book on their shoulder paudlrons.
- Greathelm of the Griffin - An ancient artefact, the Greathelm of the Griffin was said to have been crafted by Grand Master Gerard himself, following the War on Crecy. It is also said that the feathers in the helm are Griffin feathers taken from the Cavern of Souls on that fateful day. It is able to generate a powerful force field which has protected many Supreme Grand Masters in its time. To don the hem is to take up the challenge to lead the Iron Templars to victory or die in the attempt. The Greathelm is carried by a squire, charged with remaining as close as possible to the Supreme Grand Master as possible.
- Griffin's Fury - Made following the War on Crecy, the Griffin's Fury is a legendary master-crafted archeotech pistol borne by many a Supreme Grand Master.
- The Protector - Worn by every Supreme Grand Master, The Protector is a suit of master-crafted artificer armour that protects its wearer from even the most dolorous of blows.
- Sword of Mysteries - The Sword of Mysteries is a unique master-crafted power sword that has been acid-etched with mystic runes using the blood of a dying Griffin almost 1,200 year ago. It is the mightiest of the so-called Griffin Forged blades, created in the Cavern of Lost Souls that night on Morliax by Edvard Noirlet and his squad. They have since become revered and although they have been re-hilted many times down the millennia, the blades have never failed, with one exception. The shards of this blade were re-forged into the blades of the Halberd of Outremar and the tip for the Lance of Outremar.
Livery & Maintenance
Although each captain has their own heraldry their company doesn't display it (it isn't their coat of arms) instead, they display the company livery which is sometimes (but not always) derived from the company captain's heraldic colours. These are displayed on each battle-brother's right shoulder pauldron and may in some circumstances also be displayed on tabards, for instance in the case of sergeants and veteran sergeants. These along with the Company standards and Sacred war banners help the Space Marines carry the honour of their company and their chapter at the forefront of their minds.
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By the Iron Templars
- "In times of war, as in life, surround yourself with people of value, virtue and high morals, because it's always better to lose, perish and vanish in glory than to live in shame."
- — Supreme Knight-Commander Gerard Pagincourt following the conclusion of The War on Crecy
- "You must know your enemy to beat him at his own game, but be ready as well for the ultimate sacrifice, for nobody comes out of hell unscathed."
- — Tomaz Banastre, Principal King of Arms, Master of Foot (KG), Commander of the elite Griffin Guard
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