- "We are Knights of the Emperor. We are not children in a chorus dedicated to His majesty. We fight not for the men that cower behind His name, but for the ideal that He created us for. The defense of Mankind. We are the Penitent Knights, we are a bulwark against the foes of Man, and we are guardians of His people."
- — Lord Crusader Alarac, during the aftermath of a bloody battle with the Crow’s Children Warband. (941.M35)
The Penitent Knights are an ancient and fabled Codex-Divergent Chapter with an unknown origination from the 3rd Founding during the early years of the 32nd Millennium bearing a near chivalric culture and attitude. The most obvious difference from most other Astartes Chapters is that the Penitent Knights fiercely and zealously believe in defending the citizens of the Imperium, which is backed with a learned ferocity and determination. This noble and unwavering stance has many times earned them the ire of other, more cold-hearted Imperial forces. Often have the honorable Penitent Knights contested with other Imperial forces that civilian life is indeed worthy of protecting, as they point out, was their purpose: to safeguard humanity. To die fighting the abhorrent enemies of Mankind so that defenseless humans may escape death is held in the highest respect among the Knights, second only to do the same and live. Standing defiantly against the forces of Chaos in Segmentum Obscurus for many long millennia has provided them with many opportunities to earn these respects. In possession of the Aegimius System, of the Asteria Sub-sector in the very south of the Gothic Sector, very close to the Great Rift created early in M42, the Knights defended their home from frequent Chaos threats, as well as the revelation of their homeworld being a Necron Tomb World. With all of the adversity thrown at them, the Penitent Knights have become nearly depleted, spared destruction thus far by alliances with other Astartes Chapters, and by their own renowned fury.
The Liberation of Lor’dra (621.M32)
- "As we disembarked from our Thunderhawk, bolters and blades raised, even in our infancy, our fury saturated the ground with the blood of mindless beasts."
- —Knight Captain Balder Karn of the Order of the Gryphon, commenting on the Liberation
Highlord Lithandros, the first Chapter Master of the Penitent Knights, was among the number of Chapter Masters that eschewed the Codex Astartes. Thusly, he structured the Knights not into Companies, but Orders. These Orders fulfilled the same purpose of a Company, but instead focussed on specific facets of combat and war, to be deployed alongside at least one other Order to achieve maximum effectiveness. The Orders were to be commanded by a Knight Captain, chief amongst the brothers of his Order for prowess and a tactical mind.
Shortly after the Knights had amassed a sizable force of Astartes, High Lord Lithandros led the Chapter on a patrol through Imperial space in the Segmentum Obscurus. Eventually, the Chapter encountered a planet that was lost during the Age of Strife, and from their scans, still held human life. Descending onto the world to save the native humans of the planet of Lor’dra from an emminent doom at the hands of indigenous wildlife. These beasts were highly specialized and deadly, challenging opponents even for the Astartes of the Penitent Knights.
Lithandros pondered the fate of the humans he had saved, deciding to instead of bringing them into the Imperium as a civilized world, would make the planet the homeworld of the Penitent Knights, and to spare the populace from the rigors of Imperial life. Soon after, the nigh-impenetrable Fortress-Monastery of Galadhor was constructed and a massive city of the feudal humans shortly after surrounding the new home of the Knights. As to acquire the best source of recruits for the Chapter, Lithandros ordered groups of the humans to venture across the harsh and often desolate lands of Lor’dra and endure hardships likely to produce strong and promising candidates to become Astartes.
The 7th Order, the Order of the Crow, was led by Knight Captain Daedelus during the settlement of Lor’dra. Daedelus was always eager for war, infuriated by Lithandros’ sympathy for the pitiful and lowly humans that were to be the Chapter’s new serf. Over the years following the construction of Galadhor, Daedelus and the Order of the Crow began to act against Lithandros’ wishes, often abandoning their posts in the local Aegimius System to engage in warfare with their boltguns. The Scholars of the Chapter have guessed that Daedelus discovered the shadowed origination of the Chapter's gene-seed and this led to his downfall, but it is only a rumor.
Night of the Crow (627.M32)
- "Let no tale of that day be told without mentioning the sinister evil of the Betrayer."
- —Knight-Chaplain Gorladain Calvus of the Order of the Dawn
Lithandros, instead of choosing to gravely punish Daedelus and his restless subordinates, decided to give him what he craved and personally led the Order of the Crow and of the Lightbound, the Terminators of the Chapter, on a Crusade around the Asteria Sub-sector. Though, when the force entered the Warp upon Lithandros’ Battle Barge, “Brotherhood”, they were set upon by a Daemonic incursion in the ship. The Order of the Crows turned upon their brothers and assisted the Daemons in killing those aboard the Brotherhood. This slaughter started in the lower decks of the Brotherhood, the daemons appearing and killing all the crewmen and stray Knights that stood in their path. Lord Scholar Pellidan Carinus, the Chief Librarian, alerted Lithandros to invasion of Chaos, directing the Lightbound to lock down choke points along the Brotherhood to either contain or slow the daemonic tide while Pellidan worked to speed them out of the Warp. It was at that point that the Crows turned, opening fire and throwing grenades at the backs of the Paladins of the Lightbound. However, the Order of the Lightbound raged and held off their traitor brothers and daemons for hours before the Battle Barge exited the Warp, the entire Order of the Lightbound slain during the betrayal, the Paladin Captain Fortareis cut down saving Lithandros from a fatal blow. Their mutiny only partly successful, what remained of the Order of the Crow fled into the Warp with their new daemonic allies, to rebuild and become the Crow's Children Warband.
Cursing his own ignorance and mourning the loss of the Paladins of the Lightbound, when Lithandros returned to the Aegimius System, he ordered that two new Orders would be formed to avenge the evil wrought upon the Chapter; the Order of the Lightbringers would honor the martyrs of the Lightbound, and the Order of the Dawn would replace the Crows and always hunt and search for their wicked betrayers, slaying them with immense abhorrence.
Battle of Sanus (863.M32)
Following years spent in the Warp with their new Daemonic masters, the Crow's Children reappeared in the Aegimius System, and immediately set to laying waste to the Civilised World of Sanus and its young Imperial settlements. Descending upon the helpless populace with their Corvian-styled jump-packs, the Children massacred all they could see, reducing cities to rubble in a matter of hours with their Warp-forged weaponry. The Penitent Knights, however, rushed to annihilate the traitors with all speed, but alas arrived days too late to save the civilians of Sanus due to the Children virtually destroying all communication from the planet. When the Knights arrived on planet, they were greeted with a sea of bones and broken buildings. But in Thadeliv, Sanus' capital, the Crow's Children erected grand effigies of the Chaos Gods from the metal and bone reaped from the innocents of Sanus. A fierce battled followed as the loyal and traitor marines engaged within the confines of Thadeliv, with great costs to both sides. Lithandros and Daedelus dueled in the throne room of the previous Planetary Governor, while the rest of the Knights fought in an almost berserk state against their traitor brothers, for both their betrayal and the devastation they had caused. Ultimately, Daedelus had eventually tired out the Highlord to the point where he was able to knock Lithandros to the ground and rip off the loyalist's left arm from his body with his power fist before himself being wounded by bolter fire from Knight Captain Balder Karn, of the Order of the Gryphon. Subsequently, the Crow's Children retreated back into the Warp using a portal they had crafted.
After the idols of the Chaos Gods had been utterly destroyed by the Penitent Knights, Lithandros deemed that the barren world of Sanus would become the Cemetery World of Penance, an eternal reminder of the consequence of their failure to defend the innocent from the wicked jaws of the Children.
The Mourning Years (921.M32-923.M32)
- "Look upon those days, Squires, and know what almost was. How we all could have been damned, were it not for the hearts of heroes."
- —Knight-Scholar Avernus
While Lithandros had slain hundreds of enemy champions upon the battlefield, led a great many of successful assaults on raiding Chaos Space Marine and Ork forces throughout the Segmentum Obscurus, he ultimately was given a most dishonorable death, but not at the hand of a traitor or xeno. Lithandros had always despised the general disregard of human life displayed by the government of the Imperium after the Emperor of Mankind could no longer rule it. Many of the planets that the Penitent Knights found with human life upon them in their Feudal stages or below, were often spared the governance of the Adeptus Terra and either were made into recruiting worlds or were later discovered by other Imperial entities.
There was undoubtedly a single act that sealed Lithandros' fate, which was a speech the High Lord of the Chapter gave after routing an Ork WAAAGH! from the local Sub-sector. In this speech, Lithandros dared to proclaim that "The tyrants in their halls of gold and bone look upon our charges -Humanity,- and see only worthless numbers, faithful and loyal citizens of the Imperium are NOTHING to them! If the Emperor could still speak, He would be disgusted by what is done in His name!"
Not long after the Adeptus Terra was informed of the Chapter Master's angered and perhaps even traitorous words, it was decided to cleave off this problem but leave the Penitent Knights, as the Segmentum Obscurus would have been far less secure without them there. And so, noble Lithandros was killed from the shadows by a turbo-penetrator round to the head while.
The entirety of the Penitent Knights Chapter grieved the loss of their great and fearless High Lord, with all of the Knights called back to the walls of Galadhor to mourn Lithandros. A grand funeral took place in the courtyard of the Fortress Monastery, the Knights assembled utterly silent for a full Terran week until a heated debate took hold of the Chapter. The Knight Captains squabbled among themselves, along with the Council of Lords put in place by Lithandros himself: The Lord Chaplain, the Reclusiarch. The Lord Forgemaster, chief among the Chapter's Techmarines. The Lord Scholar, the head Librarian. The Lord Apothecary, Lord Executioner and Lord Admiral. With all of the Penitent Knights' leadership furiously debated whether to avenge the wrong done to them by those that opposed Lithandros, the Chapter was paralyzed for two years until the stalemate was broken.
A Knight named Asterion rose from obscurity in the Order of the Winterbound and entered the Council of Lords' gathering chamber and is said to have closed the large stone doors behind him, proceeding to speak with the Lords for five days straight, shaming them for allowing the Chapter bicker and fall from their duty even for the brief time they did. When the doors of the chamber reopened, the Lords emerged and proclaimed that Asterion would become the Lord Crusader, and lead the Knights on their quest to defend humanity and find redemption in the eyes of the Emperor. Another ceremony took place soon after, in which Asterion commanded the Orders of the Chapter to end their solace in Terra's Hand and to reemerge with their hearts hardened with the same zeal that they carried under Lithandros.
Unfortunately, Asterion would not have reigned long as Lord Crusader among his brothers. As most of the Chapter had obeyed his directive and left to reestablish their presence among the Sub-sector, a giant Necron Tomb was opened only a few kilometers from the Fortress Monastery, spilling out the unliving xenos across the plains of Lor'dra to massacre the feudal humans. With only the Orders of the Gryphon and Winterbound, Asterion led a charge into the Necron Tomb, the following battle bloody and costly for the Knights. Weighing his own life and those of the ones he could save, Asterion ordered all of his forces to retreat from the Tomb complex, and detonated explosives at key structural weaknesses in the Tomb to collapse it. With their new Lord Crusader martyred to protect others, the remaining Penitent Knights refused to give in to their grief ever again.
Uprising of Noarilia (120.M33)
Noarilia was the center of the commonwealth System of the Asteria Sub-sector, prosperous and wealthy in its status. A perfect place to set a vile trap for the Penitent Knights, Daedelus knew. Under both the council of Peredrath and Savaathon, insurgents of the Crow's Children melded with the populace of Noarilia and waited for their time. Years past, until the Raptors of the Children descended upon the Governor's palace, violently tearing apart any PDF forces that stood in their way. Approximately an hour later, Daedelus himself broadcast a message across the entire planet.
"Denizens and wretches of the Imperium, hear these words. Your 'Governor,' is dead, his body being flayed by my brothers at this very moment. The weak Imperium cannot stand against us, blades of the Chaos Gods! Yes, you have all been lied to, nameless millions of slaves of the 'Emperor.' You know of what I speak- the nagging temptations you feel at every second, the suppressed desires you crave against the shackles of your law. NO MORE! Now, rise up, you who now know the truth of this universe! Chaos will have this galaxy, and all others! For now, that you have merely heard this simple truth, the Imperium sends its puppets to kill you all, because they fear the word of Chaos! Rise up, and deny your would-be murderers, or die like insects to their guns. The Gods accept all into their fold..."
Within hours, the agents of the Warband ensured that indeed a full Chaos rebellion took place among the cities of Noarilia, the people engaging in dark orgies of slaughter and degeneration at will. Daedelus looked down from the Governor's palace and smiled darkly as the Gods were given more sacrifices, and more to their flock. And sure enough, the Penitent Knights came again to meet their enemy upon the field of war.
However, when the Orders of the Winterbound and the Cleansing Flame arrived in Noarilia's orbit, they saw that it was not merely the Crow's Children that were their enemy, but the corrupted populace. Torn as they were never before since the death of Lithandros by the order of the High Lords of Terra, the Knights faced a situation where both civilian and traitor had to be put to the sword. For hours, they heatedly argued the next course of action, and the weight of sinning to strike down a civilian or to let this atrocity go unanswered. In grief, they deployed into Noarilia's surface.
When personally seeing the full degeneration of the twisted populace, the Knights of the Undaunted and Cleansing Flame knew that a quick death would be a far better end to them rather than to be further turned from the Emperor's light. The purgation was a slow but steady process, emptying ravaged forests of concrete after another, until both Companies stood before the Governor's palace, and at that point, hundreds of the Crow's Children leapt from the shadows and surprise attacked the Knights. Daedelus himself glided down from the tallest balcony of the palace, swinging both his power fist and daemon sword into many Knights. A fierce and bloody battle followed, but both Knight Captains of the Orders managed to drive off the Betrayer, and thus, the Children cackled maniacally as they ascended to another portal maintained by Peredrath the Ruiner. To this day, Noarilia is still a source of great shame on the Chapter of the Penitent Knights.
- Battle of Brant (361.M33) - After two centuries of relative peace in the Penitent Knights' home System, a Khornate Traitor Marine fleet assaulted the Aegimius System. The Knights, under the command of Lord Crusader Constantor, hurried to meet the heretical fleet at the Death World of Brant, bringing their nearly all of their own fleet to bear upon the enemy. It was indeed a long and bloody battle, both above the Death World, and upon it. The Khornate forces had strangely been scouring the surface of Brant for something when the Penitent Knights unleashed their Order of the Iron Lance, their assault bike and land speeder squads employing a hit-and-run tactic to wear down the on-foot Khornate berzerkers until the last traitor standing was crushed beneath the treads of their mechanical steeds. Meanwhile above Brant, the Penitent Knights' fleet broke and bloodied the heretical enemy fleet until what little remained of it retreated back into the Warp. Being such a quick and decisive victory so soon after the Mourning Years, this battle emboldened the Knights and helped solidify their morale to lead them to further glory.
- First Green Scourge (453.M33) - When a massive horde of Orkz under the ambitious Warboss Griggasmasha arose from the Asteria Sub-sector, threatening to spill out to cause havoc in Segmentum Obscurus, the Penitent Knights did not hesitate to heed the call to action. Coordinating with other nearby Imperial forces, Lord Crusader Galehaut Abendor divided off the Greenskin horde to be engaged individually targeted and destroyed. While Guardsmen regiments and other nearby Astartes Chapters dealt with the bulk of the xenos, Lord Crusader Galehaut led the Penitent Knights against a daring surprise attack on the Warboss on while he was trapped on the Mining World Hilsdrad. With over four of the Chapter's Orders deployed during the battle, Griggasmasha's host of Greenskins was decimated and the Warboss was killed by Galehaut himself. And while the Knights could not completely eradicate the orkz, a Chapter Keep was built upon the ground Griggasmasha was slain, named "Greenward Redoubt" in honor of the battle that took place.
- Burning of Ruecarro (731.M33) - The Asteria Sub-sector is for the most part, a wild and dangerous part of the void. Long had a particular System been a den and harbor of pirates and renegades, despite many attempts to cleanse it. However, among the dark and ill-used worlds there was an Exodite Eldar world. And for reasons unknown to the Penitent Knights, the said world, named Ruecarro by Imperial cartographers, was invaded by a massive army of daemons. Having portions of their fleet nearby, the Knights mobilized and entered the System to deal with the potential threat. Though, nearly all records of what transpired in the System have been lost, other than that Ruecarro was successfully destroyed, and that some groups of pirates were allowed to stay in the System, but if they left it, they also would be destroyed. This extremely lenient decree is a source of shame to the Knights, but they are compelled to honor it, and gladly punish the blackguards that disregard it. As another outcome of the Burning, is that the Exodite Eldar survivors blame the Penitent Knights for the destruction of their homes, and have developed a deep hatred.
- Scouring of the Coven (863.M33) - There was a brief time in the thirty third Millennia when the Penitent Knights had deployed most of their Chapter to Crusades and wars away from their home System, and this time was exploited by a wicked and hedonistic Dark Eldar Kabal who raided and abducted many Lor'dranian natives from the planet while the Knights were away. This Kabal, known as Tainted Blood, were accompanied by strange fire-wreathed constructs that did their diabolical bidding like servants. When the Order of the Gryphon returned from a forgotten Crusade in the Gothic Sector, they arrived too late for many of their subjects and instead hatefully destroyed every Dark Eldar they could, before the xenos fled to the Webway with many humans as their slaves. To this day, the Knights see the grievous failure as a sin that must be removed with as much xeno blood as possible.
- Galastram’s Charge (432.M34) - Patrolling the Sector on the hunt for foes of the Imperium, Lord Crusader Galastram and his fleet encountered a grave and dire situation: a Chaos invasion. The planet of Ostaenus had forces of the Dark Gods spilling across its surface while another Astartes Chapter hanged in orbit. The Penitent Knights beamed messages to the other Chapter’s fleet, and none were returned, only the fire of their guns, destroying one of the frigates accompanying the Knights' battle barge "The God-Slayer." Shortly after returning wrathful fire onto their aggressors, they received a distress call from Imperial Guard remnants upon Ostaenus' surface. The Guard were about to be overrun and their compound full of citizens would be filled with blood by traitor Space Marines. At that moment, the Lord Crusader Galastram Traitorbane made a decision to send the entirety of the Order of the Winterbound to evacuate the desperate Imperial Guard and their charges while he, his Knight-Exemplar, and the Order of the Lightbringers would use the God-Slayer's teleportarium to enter the renegade Chapter's battle barge. And so, the Order of the Winterbound under the command of Knight Captain Liowain deployed on the crumbling Guard compound and held their line while their own Thunderhawk transports evacuated civilian and Guardsmen alike. They faced both renegade Astartes and full Chaos Marines, but managed to close of entire corridors with the use of their Shieldbearers and returned bolter fire to their hated enemy. Galastram, his Knight-Exemplar and the Paladins of the Chapter appeared suddenly amidst the serf and Marine in the battle barge's Command Deck, immediately swinging blade and firing bolt to all around them. The host of the Chapter's elite managed to seal off the Deck from the rest of the ship while they did their work, turning the barge's guns upon its own traitorous fleet. It was at that moment that the Lord Scholar Helleburn informed the Lord Crusader of the construction of a Chaos temple upon Ostaenus' surface. Later receiving the report from Knight Captain Liowain that the Winterbound had evacuated the Guard and innocents but had taken tragic losses, Galastram turned the battle barge on a course to crash into the arising Chaos temple, and his host was teleported back aboard the Knights' "God-Slayer." Although they had fulfilled their duty by saving the lives of many civilians, the Order of the Honored had paid a high price for their duty. Reduced to only a few squads, themselves highly battered and bloodied. Knight Captain Liowain grieved for the loss of his brothers, and requested that those they had saved be taken as Chapter Serfs to avoid the Inquisition killing them and making his brothers' sacrifice mean something. Needless to say, Galastram agreed.
- Second Colonization (997.M35-009.M36) - While the rest of the Imperium was mired in the Nova Terra wars, the Penitent Knights were called upon to aid and escort numerous recolonization efforts to the Asteria Sub-sector. These efforts included other infant Astartes Chapters and also mere repopulation missions to suitable worlds. During these years, the Penitent Knights displayed their familiarity with their home Sub-sector, as well as their staunch bravery while fighting off native xenos races on worlds to be habituated.
- Age of Apostasy - During the bloody and ruthless reign of Goge Vandire, the Penitent Knights were among the Astartes Chapters branded as heretics for adamantly opposing the High Lord's bloodthirsty abuse of power. So soon after the recolonization of the Asteria Sub-sector, the Knights found themselves with the duty of protecting the young developing worlds across the Sub-sector from the Ecclesiarchal forces of Frateris Templar sent to punish them. Such worlds were the major Forge World of the Sub-sector, and the future home of the Astral Warriors Chapter, Asteria. Even the Knights' homeworld of Lor'dra was attacked by the Templar, though the Ecclesiarchal soldiers soon discovered that it may be a Feudal planet, there were many hidden Planetary Defense Cannons and laser installations hidden among the vast mountain ranges of Lor'dra, cutting the enemy vessels apart before any damage could be done to the Knights' serfs.
- Purgation of Chyria (473.M38) - When called to join a small Crusade to put down a rebellious Imperial System, the Penitent Knights were hesitant to join the slaughter, but the Council of Lords concluded that they had turned from the Emperor, and they had chosen their fate, mournfully. And thus, the Orders of the Cleansing Flame and the Dawn were dispatched to the troublesome System and were met by another Astartes Chapter, the Templarii Scientae, or "Templars of Knowledge" in Low Gothic. Together, the rebels of the Chyria System were ravaged and laid low, but ultimately spared from a much harsher fate that would be delivered by another Chapter. Only those that had taken up arms against the Imperium were killed, and any that repented for the sins of their System were allowed to live. When the Knights and Templarii besieged Chyria's Forge World, the Astartes discovered something in the vaults of the rogue Mechanicus. Blueprints to the same Template once used by the Skylance and Stormbird Aircrafts. The Knights let the Templarii take the plans freely, stating that it fighting alongside such tenacious warriors of the Emperor was its own reward. Millennia of research and slowly accumulating knowledge, allowed the Templarii to design and build the so called “Skybreaker Gunship”, a ship that has been adapted to the now chapter-sized forces of the Imperium, rather than legion-sized. It sacrifices transport capacity for more weapons. This design has quickly proven itself to be very versatile. Up until now, the Astral Warriors, the Penitent Knights, who now have established close relations since several more cooperative campaigns, and the Templarii themselves.
- Rise of Lions (753.M38) - During a seeming golden age for Lor’dra, suffering no attacks by Necron or other forces, the Penitent Knights began again to patrol the Asteria Sector. They found a young Chapter of Astartes, the Astral Warriors, beset by a foul warband of Iron Warriors allied with the Dark Mechanicus. Never ones to abandon cousin Astartes in their time of need, the Knights under the command of Knight Captain Gaherion Morn, leader of the Order of the Gryphon, mobilized and made a decisive and quick strike against the traitor warband, the Steel Ravagers. After a day of bloody combat, naval and planetside, the Ravagers were driven back into the Warp after grievous casualties despite their evil and devious weaponry provided by the Dark Mechanicus. Before taking his force onward, Gaherion, with the Lord Crusader’s authority, declared the Astral Warriors allies of the Penitent Knights for their impressive display of valor during the battle.
- Coming of the Scions (312.M40) - Following their exemplary and heroic actions during a campaign against a Chaos worshiping xenos race known as the Vya, the Penitent Knights Chapter was given the honor of siring a new Successor Chapter, that being the Sons of Galastram. The Knights were heavily involved with the beginnings of the new Chapter, devoting an entire Order, or Company, to ensure that the young Astartes would receive the best training they could, even so far as to grant the Feudal World of Ostrava for the scions to call their own. Soon after the Sons of Galastram were considered ready for action they left the Aegimius System to patrol around the Gothic Sector for Crusades to join, eager to prove themselves.
- Second Green Scourge (653.M40-656.M40) - Once again the Aegimius System came under siege by a great green tide of Orks in the 40th Millennium, but unlike the previous instance of massive war against the greenskins the Penitent Knights had conducted, they now faced an incredibly dangerous Klan of extremely large Orks. Calling themselves simply "Biggunboyz," the xenos were of great individual stature, and the Klan's leader, a Mekboy named Thulgrom Gravesmasha, was known to be the size of dreadnoughts of the Penitent Knights. Needless to say, this fearsome attribute observed by Planetary Defense Forces defending against the raiding Klan was enough to send for the aid of the Knights. When they had thought they would simply perform a surgical strike to slay the Mekboy Thulgrom Gravesmasha, the Knights discovered that the vile greenskin would be possessed of a mind and managed to hide from the wrath of the Astartes, making instead slowly but surely thin the alien horde, until Thulgrom appeared on the battlefield beside his biggest boyz and wrought havoc on the Penitent Knights' line. Then the Lord Crusader's Knight-Exemplar in their ten blades strength surrounded the monster and fought with their lives, being reduced to four men before Thulgrom was brought low by a power sword through his throat. Their chief dead, the Biggunboyz scattered across the Sub-sector, where they were exterminated by Imperial Guard elements.
- "Thou shalt not yield, thou shalt not falter, and thou WILL send them screaming back to whatever gods they think can save them!"
- —Lord Crusader Graythorne leading his forces against the Crow's Children in the feudal city of Lor'dra
- Red Dawn (999.M41 - 003.M42) - After many years of relative uneventful and relative peace on Lor’dra, a new threat emerged from the red plains. Untold millions of Necrons emerged from their tombs under the command of the Necron Lord Luxthoris, the Granted. This unliving scourge destroyed all in its path and massed for a siege on Galadhor. The Orders of the Lightbound and Cleansing Flame had taken the duty of recuperating from war and manning the sacred Monastery and fought with hate in their hearts, and a thousand fold more when their ancient nemesis, the Crow’s Children, appeared from the Warp and descended on Stormguard. Lord Crusader Graythorne Crowslayer, took forces from the Orders present, commanded by Paladin Captain Vitalleus and Knight Captain Kveldor, and hurried to the defense of Lor’dra’s civilians while the remaining Knights held their Monastery. By the time Graythorne’s forces reached Stormguard, the heretical traitors had already begun to inflict horrors upon the people, with Daedelus at the center of the carnage. The Knights began the task of cleansing the colossal city of their foe while the Lord Crusader fought the Betrayer in single combat. This duel is said to have lasted hours before Graythorne emerged from the smoke with the severed head of the ancient Chaos Lord. His weapons and armor rent, he fought and slayed all remaining traitors before Paladin Captain Vitalleus found him to inform him that the city was saved, but Galadhor was near to fall. The defending Knights, under the command of the Lord Chaplain Marsidias, had signaled their off-world brothers and allies, the Avengers of Arathor and the Astral Warriors, for aid. Even after the Lord Crusader’s force returned to the Monastery, it was nearly broken. The Knights bitterly fought and did not dare give the Necrons ground before the reinforcement arrived. However, the defenders of Galadhor were reinforced by the returning Order of the Iron Lance, which deployed it's entirety of Knight-Hussar biker squads, landspeeders, and tanks onto the surface. Over the span of days, the mobile force continued to harass and destroy key elements of the Necron forces to alleviate the pressure on the Knights manning the Fortress Monastery, before allied ships tore open the Warp and emerged above Lor'dra's orbit. With the combined forces of the Astartes Chapters, and the Avenger’s new Primaris marines as well as Primaris intended for the Knights themselves, Luxthoris was forced to retreat back to the Tombs below. The next few years were spent destroying and driving back the remaining necron forces scattered across the world. Battered and nearly devastated, the Penitent Knights struggled to rebuild both their ranks and the city of Stormguard. Weary of their losses, the Lords convened to discuss the future: Would they accept the new Primaris forces offered by Guilliman. Under the advice of Chapter Master Aponatus of the Avengers, the Knights opened their ranks to the Primaris marines. However, the Necron armies did not simply disappear. Taking their new "brothers" of the Primaris and light forces granted by their ally Chapters, the Penitent Knights spent the next few years completely exterminating what was left of the xeno host. This included skirmishes against the larger Necron armies, assaults on outposts established after their awakening, and the detonation of numerous Tomb complexes. They had lost most of their numbers, but in the end, the Penitent Knights had survived the bloody Red Dawn of the Forty Second Millennium.
- Defense of Vaeturn (006.M42) - With the Cicatrix Maledictum torn open and the galaxy split in twain, the Penitent Knights began efforts to reinforce the Aegimius System against the horrors pouring out of the enormous Warp Rift. With the entirety of the Chapter's fleet defending the Fortress-System, the minions of Chaos were held at bay for a few brief years until a host of Chaos Marines broke through a weakness in the Penitent Knights' void patrols and were poised to assault Aegimius' Forgeworld Vaeturn. And thus, the Primaris of the Orders of the Winterbound and Gryphon were given their first challenge in a hurried support of the Forgeworld. However, due to the seeming dour nature of the Primaris Knights, unit cohesion was much more difficult between the new and old guard. Moreover, the Primaris Knights argued that it was best they focus on protecting solely the crucial factorums and leave the hab-blocks undefended, to the deep chagrin of their older brothers. While most of the Primaris accepted their orders, Primaris-Sergeant Alissar abandoned his quarter of civilian housing to reinforce the factorums, leaving the mortal workers to be slaughtered in their homes by Chaos' minions. When after days of continued war, Vaeturn was successfully defended, Alissar was shown the thousands of innocents slain by his disregard for them. And so, in shame and guilt, Alissar became the first Primaris Justicar, to mete out death to the Chapter's enemies armed with only a power sword to atone for deeds committed.
- Rift Bridge Salvation (022.M42) - In a joint operation with the Space Marine Chapters of Sub-sector Asteria, the Penitent Knights and their allies began securing a path through the Maledictum with a great congregation of Astropaths and Librarians. With the forces of the Astartes Chapters, the Imperials spent years successfully defending the constructed void station that oversees the Rift Bridge. And so, the Asteria Sub-sector had a more reliable way of crossing the galaxy-splitting Warp Rift.
As the Penitent Knights are heavily inspired by the culture of medieval warriors, much of their terminology is derived from chivalric societies. The Knights also disregard the Codex Astartes in favor of their own tried and true methods and systems, barring the practice of Legion building. Instead of Companies, the Chapter is made of Orders, each specializing in a specific form or kind of battle, such as close quarters combat, vehicles, or the use of flamer and melta weapons.
Of the many honors achievable to the Penitent Knights, to be named among the Knight-Exemplars and directly serve the Lord Crusader as his honor guard, is the highest many hope for. Very carefully selected personally by the Lord Crusader, Exemplars are given specially made masterwork arms and armor, sometimes even Chapter relics, and protect their Chapter Master with their lives or to take command of failing squads should the need arise.
- Knight Captain
The esteemed leader of an Order of the Chapter, Knight Captains embody the ideals of the Penitent Knights, noble of heart and wrathful in battle. Once a Knight of an Order to appointed to Knight Captain by the Council of Lords, he inherits the relics and trappings of his predecessor.
- Lord Admiral (Master of the Fleet)
Supreme commander of the naval forces of the Penitent Knights' fleet, the Lord Admiral is a battle-brother of venerable age with a gifted mind of strategy. When the entire Chapter and its Orders engage in battles in the void, they are coordinated by the Lord Admiral, to both keep as many of their brothers' lives and to take the enemy's.
- Lord Forgemaster (Master of the Forge)
Exemplary in all they craft and maintain, Lord Forgemasters are elected to the Council of Lords based upon the quality of what they create, and for their dedication to the Chapter and its goals. Often artificer grade power swords or pieces of power armor are fashioned by the Lord Forgemaster, centuries of practice of their craft and thousands of years of careful preservation of schematics and knowledge making the Lord Forgemaster a most worthy asset.
- Lord Scholar (Chief Librarian)
Arduously selected for extreme resilience to the beings of the Warp, and for great study done of the Chapter's full history, Lord Scholars are revered among the Knights of the Chapter. So great is the retention and knowledge of the Lord Scholar displays, that they are entrusted with the most sacred tome of the Penitent Knights: the Arcana Clerica.
- Lord Apothecary (Chief Apothecary)
Guardians of the sacred gene-seed of the Chapter, Lord Apothecary trains and recruits battle-brothers to the role of Apothecary, to mend their injured brothers and retrieve the gene-seed of the fallen. Responsible for the well being of all Knight-Brothers of the Chapter, the Lord Apothecary is a true master of healing, whilst also no stranger to killing with blade or bolter.
- Lord Chaplain (Reclusiarch)
Tasked with overseeing the purity of the Chapter's Orders, Lord Chaplains are required to be truly fervent in their faith of the Chapter's duty and the righteousness of their deeds. When the Lord Chaplain is not reinforcing the spirits of the battle-brothers, or gathering promising recruits for the Chapter from their feudal recruiting worlds, he can be found almost always by the side of the Lord Crusader.
- Lord Crusader
Revered by the Knights and infamous among the ranks of the enemy, the Lord Crusader is the Chapter Master of the Penitent Knights. A master strategist and legendary warrior, Lord Crusaders have been known to change the course of entire wars and the very future of the Chapter, harkening to the legacy of Asterion. A uniqueness to the rank is that it has other names given by the Lor'dranian peoples, including "King of Aelm," referring to the last feudal civilization that managed to survive the horrors of Lor'dra long enough for the Penitent Knights to arrive on the planet, and save the endangered humans.
- Forgemaster (Techmarine)
Charged with the upkeep and the manufacture of arms and armor for the Penitent Knights, Forgemasters are equally at home inside their armories in Chapter keeps as they are on the front lines of battle to both maintain and protect their Knight brothers as well as the Chapter's machines of war.
- Scholar, Polymath, Savant (Epistolary, Codicier, Lexicanium)
As their name suggests, Scholars are tasked with both the preservation of the Chapter's accumulated knowledge, and to use their psychic powers to bring doom to enemies that threaten their brothers and humanity. Nearly all Scholars are armed with force staves as well as sacred tomes of the Chapter, in which they have memorized every detail to heart. Scholars also record and detail events the Chapter takes part in, and actively seek knowledge about the origins of the Penitent Knights.
Whereas most of the ranks of the Penitent Knights are made solely for heavy combat, and rightly so, Consuls have another role. Mainly seen on expeditionary missions or far away Crusades, Consuls are appointed to play the part of diplomat to other Imperial forces, and always accompanied by a squad of Crusaders and Knights.
- Squire (Scout)
Recently inducted battle-brothers of the Chapter take the role of Squire, with their own Order of the Aspirant. This Order serves to teach, mold, and harden the fighting skills of the Squires while also making the young battle-brothers familiar with the lore, machinations, weaponry, and fortifications of the Chapter. The Order of the Aspirant stations between twenty to thirty Squires at one of the Chapter's keeps on dangerous planets, such as Greenward Redoubt on the planet Hilsdrad. These Squires will be overseen by either the Chaplain of the keep, or a veteran Knight who had volunteered to impart his knowledge to his new brothers. When time comes for the Squire to be knighted, he and the rest of his similarly ready brothers are taken to the Fortress Monastery of Terra's Hand, where either the Knight Captain or a selected representative will choose them based upon a proclamation of his oath of duty to Chapter, Order, and Emperor.
- Knight (Tactical)
As one might expect, Knights are the standard unit of the Chapter, equivalent to that of a Tactical Marine. These warriors make up the backbone of the Chapter's fighting force, with the expertise of the individual Knight being shaped by the Order to which he was knighted into.
- Knight-Banneret (Devastator)
The experts of heavy weaponry, Bannerets are most often found guarding Chapter keeps and Terra's Hand, their deadly guns ever vigilant to the threat of either feral xenos or blackhearted traitors. Bannerets are likely to be ones leading squads of their brother Knights while on defensive operations.
- Knight-Crusader (Assault)
Perhaps the most common aspiration of a young and upcoming Squire is to one day catch the eye of the Knight Captain of the Order of the Winterbound to become a Crusader. These particular Knights brandish power swords as well as the deft swordplay needed to truly make the deadly weapons fearsome. Crusaders, unlike the Chapter of the Black Templars, do not rely solely on the pure hatred of their foes to carry them through a battle. Quick thinking, controlling the battlefield, and martial prowess are required of the Crusaders, lest they shame the Chapter with a disgraceful death.
- Knight-Hussar (Bikers)
Utilizing the lightning-fast speed of assault bikes and land speeders, Hussars wield power sabers and spears to batter the enemy force so that their mount-less Knight brethren find them easier to eradicate. Often are the more reckless and adventurous spirits of the Penitent Knights find themselves seated on the saddle of an assault bike with spear in hand.
A unique role employed by a few squads of the Orders of the Gryphon and the Dawn. These marines arm themselves with a boltgun and a large Knight-pattern storm shield, sacrificing their accuracy for the ability to form a wall and give protection to those behind them.
When a Penitent Knight has committed a grave wrongdoing but is judged to not be executed, he is placed in a solitary vigil for an extended period of time, and has the chance of emerging from his sentence as a Justicar, eschewing the use of any weapon but a two-handed power sword, which he uses to find redemption in the eyes of the Emperor, often in his death.
- Paladin (Terminator)
To common Knights, to fight alongside a Paladin is the equivalent of their Knight Captain himself shedding blood with them. Paladins are the esteemed Terminators of the Penitent Knights, their mere presence inspiring to other battle-brothers. Recruitment to their Order of the Lightbound, occurs within the veteran squads of the other Orders, new Paladins themselves assembled into squads from different Orders to create versatility.
Order of Battle
The Chapter's order of battle as of late M41 is as follows:
|Veteran Order||Battle Orders|
|1st Order||2nd Order||3rd Order||4th Order|
|5th Order||6th Order||7th Order|
- "We may bloody and slay the foes of the Imperium across the stars, but remember where thou were born- for it is half of the reason thou were deemed worthy to join the Emperor's finest."
- —Knight-Chaplain Dagovale
Located within the Segmentim Obscurus, Asteria Sub-sector, the Penitent Knight homeworld of Lor'dra is a large planet with its native human population still in its Feudal stages, the most concentrated in a massive city surrounding the sprawling obsidian and silver Terra's Hand Fortress Monastery. The populace of Lor'dra are subservient to their Astartes lords, often seeing them as angels or divine beings. Lor'dra is at most times a harsh planet, with only the continent upon which Terra's Hand was built being the lone area of acceptable fertility to grow edible flora. The other continents of the planet are mostly barren and desert-like, of extreme heat and cold.
- "These obsidian walls have stood since the Thirty Second Millennium, brother. These walls have stood against nigh-civil war, vile slaves of the Ruinous Powers, uncounted hordes of Necrons. These walls are the Chapter, for we are the wall protecting our mortal charges. Galadhor is both our home, and our promise."
- —Knight Captain Ohlssos Bendryn, commenting on Galadhor
The Fortress Monastery of Galadhor itself is located among the Eversilver Mountains, its fortified and nigh-impregnable walls of the palace spanning between the peaks of numerous mountains. The path to walk up to the grand fortress-palace is perilous, the journey upward haven being undertaken only a handful of times by the feudal citizens of the Knights, to glimpse their ancient saviors, or to give them offerings. Inside the Monastery, there are several Halls dedicated to each of the Chapter's Orders, as well as a sprawling tower known as Scholar's Epitaph to serve as the Librarius, and of course the obsidian-wrought Keep of Knight's Vigil, the Reclusiam, and where the Council of Lords convenes.
At the base of the Mountains, is the single settled city of Lor'dra, Stormguard, as the natives call it. Constructed of stone and built into the side of the rising mountains and out onto the grassy plains, where most of the city's food is gathered. The Penitent Knights are also tied to the ruling of Lor’dra itself. The government of Stormguard, Lor’dra’s lone city, is in the form of a Court. A Count who reports directly to Chapter Command presides over a number of Earls in charge of different sections of the massive medieval city.
- "By the grace of Emperor’s Light, the Shield of Aelm, and the Sword of Avalon, I offer mine own self willingly in service of the Imperium, and its people. Mine own blade will stay the foe of our charges by the march of mine own boots, in worlds near and far. The declaration of thy faith rings true, and by the royal decree of the Emperor of Mankind and my appointed lieges, I will serve."
- —Mantra of the Aspirant
As per the ancient proclamation of Highlord Lithandros after the Liberation of Lor'dra, various warrior groups spread across the surface of the world, often pitting themselves against the remnants of the bestial horrors that once almost killed off the humans of Lor'dra. These warrior groups would retain their feudal culture and interact with each other as to not bear incestual children. Each seventeen years, a Knight, Chaplain, and Apothecary visit each warrior clan and glean the promising youths to become Squires of the Penitent Knights.
Due to the large size of the planet Lor'dra, the warrior clans living upon it have adopted to each of their own environments, making them far more likely to recruited into certain Orders. For example, the clan that inhabits the highly volcanic southern continent of Heivral are prone to joining the Order of the Cleansing Flame.
The holy gene-seed of the Penitent Knights is said to be an enigma. While it has been noted for bearing "perfection" in its lack of any mutation or flaw, it is unknown from whence or whom it came. This unknown has long caused discomfort and even grief to the brothers of the Chapter, but it is borne as one of the many burdens the brothers must bear to atone for past sins.
- "Trust thy brothers to grind them to dust, as they trust thee to guard their flank!"
- —Knight Sergeant Carlican
The Knights follow a doctrine adhering to a extremely versatile philosophy of battle with the Orders of the Chapter alternating between varied specialties of combat, always deploying alongside at least one other in battle. In battle, the Orders will effortlessly form joint squads with each other, overseen by Knight Captains who oversee the control of the battle. While they fight in ranged engagements with stern determination, the Penitent Knights greatly enjoy close quarters combat, brandishing power weapons with learned righteous ferocity. When the enemy force has been withered or shows signs of weakening, the elite Order veteran squads enter the fray and utilize their superior weaponry and experience to demolish the enemy.
The culture of the Penitent Knights follows many doctrines of a knightly order, valuing honor and valiant service in the highest regard. Last names for Battle-Brothers of the Chapter are reserved for the more distinguished Knights, usually for those that achieve the rank of Knight-Sergeant, or those who display grand acts of valor and courage. The act of receiving a surname is a sacred ceremony for the Knights, a Chaplain will have the honored Knight kneel before him and touch each of the brother's shoulders with crozius twice and bid him rise, and bestow the second name upon him. Sometimes said name is reminiscent of the Knight's heroic deed, or the name of a hero of old Lor'dra.
The Knights of the Chapter share a special bond with their Serfs. All Knights are taught to not look down on their human servants, and to treat them with courtesy and generosity. Occasionally, Chaplains and Forgemasters will mingle with the Serfs, telling them tales of noble Knights of old and present and guidance for their duties. On the rare times when Galadhor comes under siege, the Serfs gladly take up arms to fight alongside their masters. The Serfs hold rank, much like the Knights themselves. These ranks are “Labourer, Hand, Servant, and Page.” Pages, being the most regarded of the Serfs, have the opportunity to become a Squire, if they can survive another Squire in a contest of Melee for three minutes without being knocked unconscious.
Even the way of speaking for the Chapter regressed to medieval forms, sometimes causing slight confusion for any allied forces fighting alongside the Knights.
The Penitent Knights have a three tone color scheme with a black helmet, shoulder-pads, hands, and feet. The chest, legs, arms and backpack are grey, with yellow knee-pads, shoulder trim, and backpack exhausts. The ranks of Veteran and Sergeant are distinguished by a red face-plate for Veterans, and a full red helm for Sergeants, while Lords and Knight Captains don silver helmets.
The Chapter's Symbol is a white lion against a black shield, a red line running diagonally upwards in the left direction. The Scholars of the Chapter have concluded that the origins of the emblem was a an embroidered banner gifted to Highlord Lithandros by the feudal humans of Lor'dra after the Liberation.
The mythology of the lion, known to the Lor'dranians as "the Lion of Aelm" is one of a stalwart guardian and warrior, and the red stripe through the lion is to symbolize that each Knight's oath to defend the domain of the Emperor is bound by the blood in his veins.
The Penitent Knights long debated the idea of the Emperor of Mankind being a deity, and often ask themselves- is better to serve the god of humanity, or a man that could challenge gods? Thus, for a long time the Knights had maintained a neutral stance on the Imperial Cult, until the days of the Fortieth Millennium. A new sect had arisen in a neighboring Planetary System, one affected by the long-ingrained humanitarianism of the then venerable Chapter. Soon this version of the Imperial Cult eventually was introduced to the Penitent Knights after fending off an Ork warband, and priests of the new sect praising the Knights and their actions. When conversing with the present Knight Captain, the priests requested that they spread their faith in the sanctity of all human life to the Chapter's home system, and they were granted. Surrounded by their subjects proclaiming that the Penitent Knights were quite literally doing the Emperor's appointed task for them, the Chapter grew warmer to the idea of their Emperor as a god, and became quite commonplace among the Knight-Brothers.
As the origination of the Penitent Knights' gene-seed is a mystery as ancient as the Chapter itself, they revere all of the loyal Primarchs respectively for the traits they personified. Lion El'Jonson as a commander and knight, Jaghatai Khan for his tenacity and desire to unite humanity, Leman Russ for martial skill, Rogal Dorn for honor and stoic zeal, Sanguinius for nobility and sacrifice, Ferrus Manus for championing the strength of humanity, Roboute Guilliman for tactics and statecraft, Vulkan for his stalwart and honorable nature, and Corvus Corax for cunning and precision.
The Arcana Clerica
Arguably the most treasured artifact in the possession of the Penitent Knights alongside the sword Avalon, the Arcana Clerica is an ancient tome of the Chapter that bears the entirety of the Knights' history, tales of far past exploits, records of wars long forgotten perhaps from the Horus Heresy itself, the dictates of Highlord Lithandros, and many other such topics. As one might surmise, the Arcana Clerica contains thousands and thousands of pages, the size of the tome itself growing over the many Millennia since its creation, with each new addition penned by the Lord Scholar of the Chapter in the book's Index Penitent, the section which details campaigns and wars, their outcomes and secrets learned from said exploits.
But the Arcana Clerica does not merely hold the records of the Chapter. Indeed, it is akin to the Codex Astartes in that the tome contains battle stratagem in the Tacticum Penitent penned by Highlord Lithandros himself. One important excerpt from the passages that the Knights proudly adhere to is: "In accordance with the specialties and proficiency of each Order of the Penitent Knights, never shalt one Order fight alone in wars near and far. Trust in thine battle-brothers, those that may hold sword whilst thee may incinerate the enemies of the Imperium with flamer, or vice versa. Always will we Knights fight in unity, with brothers familiar and distant."
Another section of the Clerica that continues to grow is that of the Record of the Honored which, as the name implies, displays the names and deeds of heroes of the Chapter, and even later on, those of the Sons of Galastram. For the Lord Scholar to record these battle-brothers, he has deemed that they cannot be allowed to fade into the obscurity of myth or forgotten. Instead, they shall live on through the sacred pages of the tome.
However, there is one particular theory penned by the first Lord Scholar, Pellidan Carinus, featured in the book that states that even in his time, the Penitent Knights did not know the origins of their Chapter, but that rumor amongst the Lords was that, quoting:
"Considereth for a few passing moments, that we noble of mind and deed, mayhaps have an origination not entirely so. Forsooth, we of the Emperor's finest, of no father and no Legion, are an enigma amongst our brethren. Our sympathies for the timid and those whom cannot defend themselves separateth us from many of our kin, whilst we do not share the mutations plaguing the noble Salamanders of Vulkan.
Alas, in mine own visions gifted by the aether, I see Astartes clad in full sable black, a world destroyed, a lion's roar of betrayal and rage. I see lamenting of fooled warriors, of a home engulfed in the flames of heresy."
- Paragon Blade "Avalon"
A weapon so treasured and valued as to almost be a symbol of the Chapter itself, this incredibly rare artifact has been wielded by many Lord Crusaders, having claimed thousands upon thousands of xenos, traitors, and daemons. Currently, this exalted sword that has stricken down foes as if they were driftwood, is in the care of the Lord Crusader Graythorne. A weapon so ancient as to have been Highlord Lithandros' personal weapon, but Avalon is a dangerous thing to wield, and is very capable of killing a weak-willed user. Indeed, one of the final trials to become Lord Crusader of the Penitent Knights is to take up the ancient weapon and display their mettle by surviving with the sword.
- Combi-melta Boltgun "Fury"
A venerated combi-Boltgun of mastercraft make, forged by the Lord Forgemaster, Glungorias. Truly, a weapon that could rival those of the Mechanicus. Currently wielded as a secondary weapon alongside Avalon by the Lord Crusader.
- Modified Thunder Hammer "The Grey Fist"
One of the most vaunted weapons of the Penitent Knights, this mighty Thunder Hammer in the shape of a great fist smashes its targets asunder, like the fury of the Emperor. The current wielder of this hammer is the esteemed Lawbringer Captain, Vitalleus.
- Phobos Pattern Bolter "Protector"
The Penitent Knights, especially those of ranged expertise, venerate this holy boltgun that can be traced back to the Avengers of Arathor Chapter, who gave this as a sign of respect. The Knight who bear this weapon is Knight Captain Sentilinal.
- 20 Suits of Mark IV Maximus Power Armor
- 5 Suits of Mark III Iron Power Armor
- Brotherhood (Battle Barge)
- The God-Slayer (Battle Barge)
- Spear of Lithandros (Battle Barge)
- Pride of Alarac (Strike Cruiser)
- Asterion’s Ram (Strike Cruiser)
- Myrmidon (Strike Cruiser)
- Last Hope (Strike Cruiser)
- Charlemagne (Strike Cruiser)
- 15 Unnamed Frigates
Notable Penitent Knights
- Lord Crusader Graythorne Crowslayer
- Lord Scholar Jerath Karnfeld
- Paladin Captain Vitalleus Varel
- Lord Chaplain Marsidias Ashbringer
- Lord Forgemaster Glungorias Grauth
- Knight Captain Sentilinal Corterus
- Justicar Kynthelor Viros
- Venerated Dreadnought Claudius the Enduring
- Highlord Lithandros
- Knight-Chaplain Gorladain Calvus
- Knight Captain Balder Karn
- Justicar Vortihad Thentre
- Forgemaster Galarch
- Lord Crusader Asterion the Hero
- Consul Kainell
- Lord Crusader Galastram Traitorbane
- Greenward Redoubt - Mining World Hilsdrad, Aegimius System
- Caer Foross - Death World Brant, Aegimius System
- Galadhor, Fortress Monastery - Lor'dra, Aegimius System
For their chivalric belief in the protection of the small people of the Imperium, the Penitent Knights have developed less than favorable relations with both the High Lords and the Inquisition, as well as any Astartes Chapters that treat common humans with clear disdain. Though, they have been known to fight alongside commonly mistrusted Chapters due to mutations in their gene-seed, leading some to question the purity of the Knights. However, Chapters that share their kind view of normal humans will find fast friends in the Knights.
By the Penitent Knights
- "My armor is my shield, my flamer is my hate, my duty is my soul!"
- —Mantra of the Cleansing Flame
- "Sure and furious as the northwind, shudder before your death!"
- —Mantra of the Winterbound
- "Bow thine heads, Knights of the Emperor. For unbridled hell and vileness awaits us all. But despair not, for if we sons of Lor'dra are destined to die fighting this eldritch chasm in the galaxy, then we will die with blade and bolter in hand, and surrounded by the corpses of our foes. Valor burns away corruption!"
- —Lord Chaplain Marsidias Ashbringer, on the Cicatrix Maledictum
- "Look to me, guardsmen! Gaze upon a Knight of the Emperor, and know that His eyes are upon us! Make me proud to fight alongside you!"
- —Knight-Exemplar Bruloas Moriam
- "Hast thee pondered whom our father could be, brother? The Ultramarines now have their Primarch returned to them, whilst we do not even know whom ours is. And even if we knew the truth, would he even care for us, and what we have done? Perhaps not, but surely the Emperor would..."
- —Knight-Brother Gorleon
- "They cleanse the wicked. They cull the evil. Under my command, these specially trained Knights show no mercy unto the enemies of the Imperium. In the name of the Emperor, soothly, they shalt unleash their purifying flames against the fiends of the galaxy. The flames of Lor'dra speak, brothers. They speak through US."
- —Knight Captain Kveldor Valkorus, on the Order of the Cleansing Flame
- "The Crows are now dead, their traitorous and abominable souls sent screaming to their "Gods." While we, true servants of our Emperor, stand still, bloodied and battered. Honor and redemption are ours, brothers."
- —Lord Crusader Graythorne Crowslayer
About the Penitent Knights
- "To thee, O' divine warriors from the heavens, we are indebted for eternity. To thee, O' wrathful saviors from great metal birds, we shall forever exalt. To thee, O' knights from the stars, we shall pledge service to thee for the rest of our days. Take thine right, and we of Aelm shall be yours."
- —Feudal human to the host of Penitent Knights during the aftermath of the Liberation of Lor'dra (062.M32)
- "Trust me, we've explored all avenues open to us to find corruption within the ranks of that Chapter. From the Third Founding, yet deviant from the Codex Astartes, and their misplaced loyalty to commoners? You would think they would slip up, and we would find the skeleton in their closet, per se. Yet, nothing. We found nothing, only thing relating to the matter of corruption was millennia ago, and as some would say, redeemed. But, I will keep my eye on them. Those 'Penitent Knights,' have earned my attention."
- —Unknown Inquisitor
- "Thank the God-Emperor Himself that when vile Orks sought to to pillage and loot our Hive that His angels, the Penitent Knights, were nearby! I remember a few of them holding down a Hab-block while evacuating people to the inner parts of the Hive. They gladly took greenskin fire to save even a handful of us mortals. Bless the Knights, and bless the Emperor for not sending one of their cousins like... I believe the Malevolent Marines? Something along those lines."
- —PDF Commander Steveus Sova
-Feel free to add your own-
While the Penitent Knights are less than favored by the Inquisition, the Chapter's presence in their dangerous place in Segmentum Obscurus has amassed a long experience fighting the forces of Chaos and several xenos races. There have been Knights that have been called to the service of the Deathwatch, although their Chapter's morality can sometimes clash with other members of their Kill-Teams. However, there even have been some Lord Crusaders that have answered the call of the Inquisition, even Graythorne himself.
If you find a glaring issue with canon lore in anything I've written, or an idea to expand on the ol' Knights, feel free to drop me a message about it or leave a message on this article's talk page. Please, do the same if you feel interested in having the Penitent Knights interact with your own Chapter, for better or worse.