Black Templars

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Black Templars
Battle Cry "No pity! No remorse! No fear!"
Founding Second Founding
Successors of Imperial Fists
Chapter Master Helbrecht
Primarch Rogal Dorn
Homeworld Eternal Crusader (fleet-based)
Strength Somewhere between one to six thousand if not more (Reports about their crusades are unsure and GW changes the number on a whim), likely the biggest chapter
Specialty Assault, close combat, cosplaying as neo-medieval Templar/Teutonic knights, anger
Allegiance Imperium of Man
Colours Black with white shoulder pads
AIAaward.gif This article is awesome. Do not fuck it up.

"I have dug my grave in this place and I will either triumph or I will die!"

– Reclusiarch Grimaldus, Hero of Helsreach (he triumphed, by the way)


– Rare Black Templar war cry/motto

The Black Templars, also known as Absolute Lunatics (by Rogal Dorn), are a Second Founding Space Marine Chapter of the Imperial Fists. These Space Marines are as manly as the Manly Marines and as angry as the Angry Marines. They make a hobby of dressing up as the Knights Hospitaller and trolling the Inquisition with their larger-than-Codex-approved numbers. They're righteously angry for the Emperor, they're usually close combat focused and their idea of a charge is a giant zerg rush of a hundred angry Crusaders who won't hesitate to skullfuck the nearest alien/mutant/heretic with their power sword just because they look funny. Although they don't need swords that much...

The Black Templars and their iconography are of a mixture of the Knights Templar, Teutonic Knights and the Knights Hospitaller. Basically if you need someone's shit pushed in hard by a power armored fist, these are the guys you call.

Quite possibly the only Astartes heretics genuinely fear. Like "literally shat and pissed myself" fear. This fear is extended to Imperial allies, who the Templars have no problem weeding out those they see as weak in strength or faith with a polite bolt round to the head. So yeah, even the Imperium is afraid of these guys. Kinda explains why everyone in Helsreach was only moments away from shitting their pants every time they spoke to one of the Astartes. As of 9th edition they are said to be heading towards the Octarius clusterfuck as well.

About the Black Templars[edit]

"I came here to Purge Heretics and pray in chapels of the Emperor. And I don't see any Chapels."

The Black Templars have their origins in the first company of the Great Crusade-Era Imperial Fists, a group originally known as the Templar Brethren. They wore all-black armor and had black crosses on their right pauldron and shields, and were sworn to protect the Temple of Oaths (OK, the reality is that Forge World wanted to justify including Black Templars into Horus Heresy. They're really more Templar than Imperial Fist at this point already). Their Commander and First Captain of the Imperial Fists, Sigismund, started the tradition of the Emperor's Champion, in which a Templar would challenge the enemy's champions to single combat. The Black Templar mentality was born during the Siege of Terra, when Rogal Dorn allowed Sigismund to unleash himself in utter silence. After the Heresy had ended and Roboute Guilliman called for the Second Founding, Sigismund took his Templar Brethren to found the Black Templars during which Dorn, gift the new chapter a Tier VIII ocean war cruiser, Cross of Dorn.

They express their fury through burning heretical texts (as kindling for the actual heretics), pwning mutants, and skull fucking aliens. But you might say, "Isn't that what every other Spess Mehreen chapter does?" Well you'd be right, but they are the most proactive about it, celebrations on finishing one Crusade involve declaring a new Crusade, recruits are taken from all the planets they've been on then sent to join the fighting so that they never have to slow down, and they usually fight by zerg rushing their enemies with hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of heavily power armoured super humans holding power weapons while screaming a litany of curses at the top of their superhuman lungs. Also unlike other Chapters, they don't have scout teams, as they think they're not righteously angry enough. Instead all new Neophytes (read: meatshields) are given some crap and schooled in the field by a fully appointed Marine (called an "Initiate").

The foundation of Black Templar tactics are based on Sigismund's anger management issues teachings rather than Rowboat Gorillman's stupid book. This involves a bias for close-quarters combat (since the best way to make sure your enemy is well and truly dead is to skullfuck him with a chainsword), and a focus on duelling and honour-bound vengeance for the fallen. To quote the 4E Codex: "In battle, the Black Templars continue to fight in the style of their founder, Sigismund, preferring close combat to ranged warfare. Face-to-face with the enemy, a Black Templar can earn glory and respect and be sure that his foe is truly vanquished, fighting with righteous fury and the noblest ideals of honour. This is further emphasized by the fanaticism of Black Templars battle brothers, whose righteous anger makes them loath to retreat before an enemy. They will drive towards the foe relentlessly, their own casualties only serving to spur them on faster, hungry for vengeance on the slayers of their brethren."

The codex also notes that the Black Templars use two specific tactics most often, fairly similar in the broad strokes to how other Space Marines fight. The first tactic is the classical "death from above", where a devastating orbital bombardment is followed by a rain of drop pods and Thunderhawks, aimed to destroy vital targets. The other tactic is referred to as the "armoured spearhead", used if the Black Templars can land heavy equipment. Then they'll use bikes and Land Speeders to range and launch probing assaults, finding them smashing through the weakest spot in the enemy defences with Land Raiders, Rhinos, Predators and Vindicators. These columns will then slash left and right, eliminating and quite likely encircling individual enemy strongpoints until nothing is left.

The Black Templars are THE largest loyalist ("codex following") chapter, estimated to have at least over two thousand marines in their ranks. This is primarily because the Black Templars sometimes split their crusade fleets to achive different campaign goals and they're scattered throughout the galaxy so the correct number of Templars in active service is only known by Helbrecht, himself High Marshal of the Black Templars. Unfortunately, they're unwilling to fight beside psykers except for Grey Knights, they got all buddy-buddy with them fairly quickly, enough so that they willingly shared the STCs for the Land Raider Crusader with them, mind-wipes not withstanding of course. They also have a fondness for holy worlds, making with all haste to prioritize their defence before anything else.

They are descended from the Imperial Fists, but obviously got more of Dorn's angry splooge than his patient splooge. They sometimes get to wear cool Crusader helms, which are at least ten times as awesome as the beakies' Corvus helms.

The new Space Marines codex has changed several things about the chapter. It now states they worship the Emperor as a God like the larger Imperium and they have close ties with the Ecclesiarchy. This also makes them good friends with the Sisters of Battle, whom they regularly team up with and have several alliances with. Emperor pity the heretics who have to face both of these groups of zealous nutters at once.

Alternatively, you could choose to ignore the fluff in the new codex that says that they worship the Emperor, as it is wrong and demonstrates a clear Ward-like level of disregard for previous (and better) fluff as it also says that out of all Astartes chapters, only the Black Templars worship the Emperor. This contradicts several novels that say the chapters they revolve around worship him. The first that come to mind are James Swallows series on the Blood Angels. THEN there's the fact that Grimaldus, the Black Templars' High Chaplain (you know, guy who knows better than anyone else what they believe), said that they DO NOT worship him in ADB's sequel to Helsreach, Blood and Fire.

Shame the newer fluff decanonizes the old, but advancement is advancement. Games Workshop says everything is canon so the debate is pointless. Besides, GW itself consistently holds that Space Marines do not worship the Emperor. GW lore even goes into details explaining that the Imperium accepts it as a quirk due to them being so physically and spiritually close to him that he only seems less divine to the Space Marines. The Inquisition and Ecclesiarchy don't like it, though. So, we have GW say "everything is canon" (In a multiple layers of reality due to Warp fuckery sort of way) and we have GW also saying that Space Marines do not worship the Emperor. Since they own Warhammer 40,000 we can safely say that Space Marines not worshiping the Emperor is the norm but there might be exceptions, a prominent example being the Blood Ravens from Dawn of War.

Regardless, they're utterly fanatical in enforcing the Emperor's will. Not what the Ecclesiarchy or Imperial Senate claims is his will, but his actual will. They refuse to work with (and often butcher) psykers because the Emperor said psykers and sorcery were no-nos. Logically, this means they would also respect his decree not to worship him and that he is not a god. The Black Templars were a Second Founding Chapter, so they would be fully aware of that.

As a curious aside, the Chapter's "fuck the man" policy has lead them to collect some odd friends. They are the only known allies for a few chapters, including the Celestial Lions, Libators, and Star Phantoms. This is also reflected by their largely independent attitude regarding anything. During the Great Apostasy, the Templars led the attack on the Imperial Palace to arrest Goge Vandire. It is also hilariously been confirmed that while Helbrecht is a fucking pussy and just accepts Primary-sues, some Marshals in the Chapter see them as borderline heresy and loathe them to no end. One chaplain and a band of like-minded marines in the Angevin Crusade took this hatred to its logical conclusion by killing the entire Torchbearer Fleet (albeit at great cost and nearly breaking the crusader host as a whole). This includes all the Primaris Marines, the Custodes escort, any Marine who voted against such an action, and Marshall Angevin himself! They justified this by saying the Primaris were Cawl's creations and thus impure, meaning anyone who supported them was a heretic (even the Custodes and Guilliman). Let it be known that wih enough blind zealotry, the Templars can damn near kill anything.

From this page, especially their accomplishments, you might think they're better than everyone at what everyone else tries to do. You'd be right. But nobody has a problem with that because they're absolute badasses full of righteous anger for the Emprah.


  • Vowing to go on an Eternal Crusade as part of their deal during the Second Founding and keeping it going non-stop for 10,000 years without getting killed or so diminished they had to settle down to rebuild! (Which is a really impressive feat even for superhuman Astartes.) Although the Horus Heresy novels have revealed that Sigismund didn't start this voluntarily, he was exiled by Rogal Dorn, and a lot of their more notable traits - like their absolute hatred of psykers - stems from Sigismund's butthurt over how he got exiled in the first place.
  • Not forgetting about the Chaos Space Marines who fled into the Eye of Terror. When Abaddon and company first busted back out of the Eye of Terror, Sigismund was up in their business within the hour. And he nearly killed Abaddon and lost for bullshit reasons. Even so, the Chaos Marines had such deep respect for him that they returned his body and wargear totally unharmed.
  • Taking back a hundred planets that were stolen by the blue space socialists after the Ultramarines realized the Tyranids were heading their way and prioritized stopping the all-devouring bugs over the bluies.
  • Killing an alien psyker and accidentally blowing out ten billion astropaths in the process, oops just as planned. To be fair, said psyker was too powerful to let live and the Black Templars didn’t know its power would explode (which implies this was not normal for psykers).
  • Wiping out countless alien species and actually sparing one alien species that was worshiping "The Voice of the Emperor" when they got there. They only destroyed their temples just in case this voice wasn't talking about who they thought it was. We can assume they spread some sort of teaching of Emperor-worship and possibly supervised the creation of new temples to the Emperor just to be sure. Or they were total dicks about it.
  • Successfully capturing Cypher! Then they were forced at gunpoint to hand him off to the Dark Angels chapter where he almost immediately escapes.
  • The Second Siege of Terra! When some crazy ass High Lord of Terra named Goge Vandire usurped all power in Imperium, thinking that he can do everything he wants, he wiped out some Templar fortresses with orbital strikes and when they found out they got all righteous angry! Assisting Sebastian Thor, the Templars gather around a thousand Crusaders and along with some other Chapters as well as the Martian techno-guard; the Black Templars, with all fury, wage a frakkin' second siege of Terra!


As the Black Templars are too busy being useful, they feel no need to have a permanent Chapter monastery. Instead, they will throw a keep on every few worlds they pass by, they are Imperial Fist successors after all. In fairness, their flagship the Eternal Crusader is a Gloriana class battleship. You know, the same class the Emperor Himself used as His flagship, so they don't really need a base beyond that.

Some fans have speculated that because of this, combined that they have been doing this for 10000 years, the Templars could have fuckhuge numbers of Marines. This is a retarded joke started by TTS that makes no sense. Not every Keep is staffed at all times. The 9th edition Supplement makes this fact abundantly clear.

When Keeps are staffed, they are commanded by a Castellan, who is responsible for the upkeep and defense of said Keep. He is also responsible for the recruitment of Aspirants into the chapter, who go through some of the most intense training of perhaps any chapter. By which we mean they are forced to fight each other, walk through traps in the dark, and throw their arm into a blazing fire while reciting fucking scripture, all while being indoctrinated into complete and unquestioning loyalty to "the will of the Emperor". Yeah, the Templars are absolute lunatics.

But how does one become an aspirant? It generally depends on the location of the Keep. On Death worlds, an aspirant might fill the back of some dangerous beast with swords and bring an offering. On other worlds, prospective warriors might be press ganged, or even kidnapped into service. Just to remind you that ADB's interpretation of the Black Templars can be full of shit.

To add further insult to Injury, the Templar's keeps serve no purpose defensively, or even to improve the lives of the people on the planet. They serve only the Black Templars interests.

Why no one has called out the Templars for leaving empty fortifications all across the galaxy that any genius could steal for themselves can only be called a miracle.


Since the Imperial Fists told Papa Smurf to go fuck himself and his Codex, the Black Templars have an organization different from Codex Chapters. They organize themselves into Fighting Companies, with much of it on the fly. Their ranks and positions include:

  • High Marshal: The Chapter Master of the Black Templars, who decides which Crusades the Black Templars will participate in, without bothering for an okay from the High Lords of Terra. Helbrecht serves as the current High Marshal. Interestingly enough, in their original Codex the High Marshal and regular Marshals typically do not go face to face with the enemy (to the point where Helbrecht never actually touched down in the Third War for Armageddon, he stayed in space dictating the orbital battle), Marshals and High Marshals prefer to stay back assessing the battlefield and advising the various squads through their communicators about where they should strike and shoot to make the most out of their troops. The irony of such a rage-happy rip-and-tear Chapter having a reasonable and intelligent command style is not lost.
  • Marshal: The commander of a Crusade, a Marshal is equivalent to a Captain, they're the ones that lead the individual Crusades. When a Crusade is called and there is no Marshal to lead it a candidate is chosen from among the sword brethren and if the High Marshal thinks he is fit for the task appointed Marshal. There has only ever been one case of a candidate being rejected by the High Marshall. It is from the ranks of the Marshals that the new High Marshal is picked should he fall in battle.
  • Emperor's Champion: Before an undertaking usually during battle preparations, one of the Black Templars may have a vision granted by the Emperor. This knight will be declared by the Chaplains to be the Emperor's Champion, as their founder Sigismund was ten millennia ago. He will be given the Black Sword and the Armour of Faith, and serve as an inspiration to the rest of the Crusading host. As with the first Emperor's Champion, Sigismund, it is the sole duty of those who bear the title to seek out and challenge any enemy champion the crusading force meets in battle. If he is killed before his mission is complete it is considered an ill omen indeed, though there is no requirement for every crusade to actually have one, the 8th edition codex says there is only ever one in the chapter at any given time. It is unknown what happens to the knight who is chosen after the completion of a Crusade as none have been shown to survive long enough for it to matter. Other chapters, most usually Imperial Fist's successors, occasionally have an Emperor's Champion who serves a similar purpose but without the artifacts.
  • Castellan: The lieutenants of the Marshal, a temporary position chosen by the Marshals (one guy cannot be everywhere) and who is a Castellan can vary depending on the current Crusade or even the current battle (pick who's best to lead the current fight). The Castellans lead the Fighting Companies of a Crusade, and they're also chosen from the Sword Brethren.
  • Sergeant: The only Codex rank the Black Templars employ. Also from the Sword Brethren (notice a pattern, yet?).
  • Sword Brethren: Roughly analogous to Veterans in Codex Chapters, Sword Brethren are the senior battle brothers of the Marshal. They also get to use Terminator armour.
  • Initiates: Rank and file battle-brothers. Marines (typically Neophytes) dying around them has a beneficial effect on Initiates, making them run harder into enemy gunfire for reasons unknown and oft-speculated upon.
  • Neophytes: While most Chapters have their neophytes serve in some sort of recon force, the Black Templars have their new Space Marines join the Crusade at the front lines and hit the ground running. Given that this has worked for ten thousand years, they may be onto something. Every Neophyte is assigned to an Initiate who is to train and tutor them. The Neophyte serves as the apprentice to the Initiate, sort of like Jedi in Star Wars but the Neophyte gets smacked if they even dare bitch about sand. They are also quite useful to Initiates to use as shields (literally) in battle.

Chapter Strength[edit]

It's a lot like this, really.

Despite being a Codex Chapter (well, they're a Codex Chapter as of the newest Codex), they basically just cherry pick whatever they want from it. In particular, they're exploiting a loophole in the Codex Astartes that says a Crusading Chapter can go above the limit of 1,000 Marines, because they don't have a Fortress Monastery, a disastrous campaign or Warp mishap could destroy the entire Chapter if not for this stipulation. The Black Templars, however, take this to mean "have as many Marines as you want!" Seeing as they have multiple Crusades at once, they must be the best Marines around. Seeing as every other Crusading Chapter has roughly a thousand Marines (usually less). Guess that's what happens when you genuinely embrace righteous fury and unleash it upon the alien, the mutant, and the heretic.

However, it's not actually clear how many Marines they actually have. Some neckbeards (both fanboys and bitter opponents) exaggerate the actual numbers, referring to them as legion strength and/or believing that their numbers are figuratively without limit and end up with ridiculously high guesses. Given the vagaries of in-universe time due to warp phenomena and the inevitable depletion of assets due to the nature of their work, as well as the fact that they have shit record keeping due to a complete lack of Librarians, the actual number of active Templars would be in constant flux.

In Blood and Fire, Grimaldus mentions that they typically have dozens of Crusades going on at any point in time; other sources tell us that the Black Templars as an entire Chapter actually consist of a total of three "primary" Crusade fleets from which all other fighting companies are split from and deployed on their own "secondary" Crusades when necessary. This coincides with the original codex, which said that there were usually no more than three Crusades at any given time but that they can stretch themselves according to necessity, and states that in one exceptional case there were up to fourteen Crusades operating in the Segmentum Solar during the Treachery of Dalmark.

If we were to base the numbers off the estimate in the back of the 4th edition Codex: Black Templars, the deployment map totals greater than 6000 marines, with several of those Crusades routinely exceeding 500 marines. But when you factor in normal redeployment over the years that number isn't very helpful as many of those Crusades were finished by the time others arose. When you consider it like that, many other chapters have deployed en masse over the years and would also generate a similar deployment map. Furthermore, only a handful of Crusades numbered relatively close to one thousand, with only Armageddon passing it, with 1,232 Marines total and even that number was questioned (?) by the author; for this campaign, High Marshal Helbrecht was said to have mustered three crusades.

So we can either take it as written in the Order of Battle that the three crusades represent the "normal" three crusades and hence the entire chapter, giving us an absolute minimum of over 1000 marines, or we can assume that the three crusades are not the primary crusades at all, which still doesn't give us much of an indication of the chapter size, leaving us at square one.

To make things even more confusing, each Crusade will be accompanied by a Black Sword and a set of the Armour of Faith, to be used by the Emperor's Champion. The 4E codex said that every Crusade and fighting company would have its own Champion, but the 6E Codex and the newer novels changed this older fluff and said that there could only be a single Champion in the entire Chapter at any given time, and that only a handful arise every century. Plus, there are only ten Black Swords in the Chapter and they are held by the Chaplains, just in case they find the Champion within their Crusade. This implies that there can only be ten Crusades active at any one time; hence, if the three Crusades at Armageddon, taken to be around 1,232, are three-tenths of the Chapter's overall size, the Black Templars have around 4,000 marines.

However, the novel Eternal Crusader flat-out says that the whole Chapter could gather together on the Eternal Crusader itself and barely tax the capabilities of the vessel, and that "the mere'" 200 marines of Helbrecht's Crusade, which constituted one fifth of the Black Templars' total forces, meant that the vessel was mostly empty, making them far more Chapter sized. The book also shows High Marshal Helbrecht purposefully exaggerating the size of his contingent at Armageddon from 400 marines to 900 in order to gain overall command of the Astartes forces that had arrived (many Chapters had brought a lot more men than the Templars, and would have had more right to overall command). Helbrecht would later leave Armageddon briefly to muster "more" Black Templars (but only bringing the number up to what he promised), so it is easy to see how the size of his contingent would be misleading to an outside observer.

The old Codex also suggested somewhere between 5000-6000 "if certain accounts are to be believed" which places a level of uncertainty on the number, and if you consider the above statement would sound reasonable if you took Helbrecht at his word about the availability to Black Templar soldiers and could easily show how the Administratum has been misled into thinking the Templars are much larger than they actually are. A-D-B also suggested about 6000 in an offhand comment; therefore, it is currently our highest reasonable upper limit without resorting to guesses.

Also, Chapters in general have a habit of seconding Marines to "Honor Companies" which are basically autonomous companies or ones dedicated to certain tasks or seconded to other forces. The Codex allows for an infinite number of honor companies as they aren't within the Chapter's chain of command and are essentially their own miniature Chapter (though probably cannot get their own recruits). Chapters commonly use this to totally circumvent the recruitment restrictions. Which of course means the number of Astartes actually in the galaxy is impossible to know even if every Chapter had exactly a thousand Marines and there were exactly a thousand Chapters there could actually be a quadrillion fuck tons of Marines for all we know.

The author of Eternal Crusader later acknowledged on his blog that the Black Templars could have maintained extreme numbers in the past, but that the overall strength of the Chapter was reduced to a thousand (more or less) as result of a corporate decision by GW, not just of the codex authors. Heresy!

It is perhaps best to repeat the Black Library's own take on the fluff: 40k is in the fucking dark ages and everything written down could be a legend, propaganda, an event that happened, or a rumor based on a real event. Any guess as to the number of Marines in the Black Templars is just that, a guess, and a book offers only the author's point of view, or what he wants you to think, or he himself is a fabrications.

8th Edition still maintains the information confusion over the Black Templar's actual numbers, just like before. While the Imperial Index states that "each Black Templars battle-fleet contains thousands of warriors." The actual Space Marine Codex states that "the size of each can vary from several battle-brothers to several hundred" and though it also says there is no fixed number of Crusades.

The latest fluff from Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury gives the throwaway line that "each of the crusades is comprised of thousands of space marines" without substantiating how many crusades there actually are. There are are still only nine Black Swords in existence (Guilliman destroyed one to defeat Skarbrand during the events of Rise of the Primarch). So one could infer that there are anywhere between two and nine crusades at most, and their arrangement can change fluidly, just as mentioned above. Of course, since "thousands" of Astartes per crusade would still mean that at minimum there are four thousand Black Templars in the Chapter as that is the only way for the bare minimum of "crusades" plural and "thousands" for each.

...Not much seems to have changed, fanboys and opponents can believe what they want.

Apparently, the book "Throne of Light," states that the Black Templars number somewhere around 25,000 ASTARTES , spread across a myriad of crusades which all have their own cultural quirks about them. This is a stupidly high number of marines, and it can be presumed the only reason the Inquisition hasn't done anything about this is because the Templars are faithful, zealous, and really good at turning heretics into a grimy brown paste. That and the few inquisitors stupid enough to question the Black Templars openly have a nasty habit of walking face-first into bolt pistols.

Oh, also they have apparently stolen gene seed from other Imperial Fists successors in the past which is kind of fucked.

On Psykers[edit]

"...The navigators are psykers."
"Oh, yeah, that's true."
"And the astropaths."
"Yes, them as well. Warp travel and communications, I'll grant the psykers are pretty good at that."
"And the Grey Knights."
"WELL OF COURSE the Grey Knights. We'd be in a right mess without them now wouldn't we. But apart from the navigators, astropaths, and grey knights, WHAT HAVE THE PSYKERS EVER DONE FOR US?!"

– Brother Regulus addressing his squad

For most of their history the Black Templars didn't have any Librarians. This was generally thought as a pretty simple fact, they hate all forms of witches. They even have a special rule call "Abhor the Witch". That was until 6th edition when it was more explicitly stated that they had no real compunction against Astropaths and Navigators, since they were the only people who knew how to drive the massive Crusading fleets (pure unadulterated HOLY RAGE!! can't steer a ship through the Warp after all). Of course, this was always true since the BT always accepted those psykers that the Emperor himself had sanctioned (although they watched them closely), which includes Astropaths, Navigators and (surprise, surprise) the Grey Knights. Which invalidates the logic of the following paragraph.

According to the GW apologists, the major difference between their codex and 6E is their opinion on other psykers: In previous works, it was made pretty clear that they wouldn't suffer the witch no matter who they were (except for the aforementioned groups the Emperor sanctioned personally), and as such literally couldn't ally with any other psyker-using force except for the Grey Knights (and even then, it was AoC (Note: "AoC" is a 6th Ed construct)). Come the 6E Codex however, suddenly all their hatred for every psyker was scaled back to merely just being a hatred to all enemy psykers. Some may call this fluff-rape and all that in their neckbearded RAGE, but others realize that setting up tons of restrictions would ultimately serve to cripple the Templars and ultimately just kept things easier by just generalizing it, to say nothing of the fact that the Emperor himself was a psyker. Not to mention the whole organization of sanctioned psykers used by the Imperium. Those guys were permitted to operate by...uh...someone, right? If it was the Imperial Senate, then they speak with the Emperor's voice, so the Black Templars can suck it. If it was literally anyone else with that kind of authority then it would be someone even closer to the Emperor in authority than merely his voice. So, the general hatred of psykers just isn't feasible anyway.

So it was changed. The Black Templars hatred is only towards alien and rogue psykers and that they have great respect for the ones in the fleet (and don't go bugfuck nuts, which is no mean feat for a mortal psyker). So why no Librarians? There are three theories hypothesis in the codex:

  • They still enforce the Edict of Nikaea. Considered most likely, given their special rule "Abhor the Witch!"
  • A gene-seed defect.
  • They lost them during The Howling.

A small part of it likely has to do with their recruiting process. Since they recruit from the worlds they Crusade on, and they spend a decent amount of time purging renegade psykers, there probably aren't any psykers left for them to recruit and they're not likely to recruit Psykers found by somebody else. It still doesn't explain why they've never had a recorded incident of latent Psykers awakening once they've been recruited.

Rather hilariously, the Black Templars are not even certain why they don't have Librarians; because the Librarius usually maintains the records of the chapter, the Templars have allowed their understanding of history to fall into decay. For the time being, they have come to the conclusion that the loss of the Librarius is simply part of the Emperor's grand design, and should he see fit to bless them with Librarians again they would gladly use them.

Given how the Warp (and 40K in general) works as a genuine Clap Your Hands If You Believe setting, it could be that the Black Templar's own hatred of psykers causes any psykers or latent psykers they didn't realize were such to either become non-psykers or simply inactive/latent and remain that way.

To add to all the confusion above, the newest Codex says that the Black Templars flat out hate all psykers, and treat their navigators and Astropaths as little more than dignified slaves, throwing another wrench into the whole fucking situation.

Notable members[edit]

  • Sigismund: First Chapter Master/Soul brother who made the chapter when Dorn broke the Legion up.
  • High Marshal Helbrecht: Their current Chapter Master. Gets fucked up by Imotekh the Stormlord who proceeds to take his arm as a trophy. Helbrecht then manages to destroy his entire fucking flagship as retaliation. Currently on a manhunt for Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka alongside Commissar Yarrick Crusade to drive Chaos away from some Shrine Worlds.
  • Chaplain Grimaldus: THE most badass Chaplain in the entire Godsdamn Imperium, with the possible exception of Lemartes. He fought the biggest Ork WAAAGH in history on a very old temple that had relics and artifacts that were sacred to the Imperium. The battle only ended after the temple collapsed and buried every Ork and Marine under the rubble. But since Grimaldus was too badass to die, he crawled out of the temple with a few relics he managed to save. And besides the guy has the word grim in his fucking name! How can he not be badass? The main caveat about his description is in his depiction in the book Helsreach, featuring Grimaldus' service in Armageddon leading up to his title as "Hero of Helsreach", where we learn he is equally skilled at tantrum-throwing/sulking, as he is kicking lots of ork ass. But to be fair, this isn't the Grimaldus we know and love as first. Helsreach is about him manning up under constant pressure, him finding he has to stop feeling like he has to be his old boss's bitch all the time and learning to be the butch. He does manage to man up and becomes the badass we all know and love (by the end of things, like, the very last second before a cathedral falls on him and knocks him out and not a second sooner). Plus, he had the stones to do it all WITHOUT A ROSARIUS.
  • Tankred: He who endures. Also is partial to bitches.
  • High Marshal Ludoldus: A previous High Marshal notable for having led the Templars during two Crusades that were separated by over 2000 years, specifically the Vinculus Crusade (833.M41) and the Jerulas Crusade (645.M39). Considering that he was already High Marshall by the time of Vinculus, one can only conclude that Ludoldus was FUCKING OLD... and totally blows Dante out of the water as the guy even has old in his fucking name. Or you know warp shenanigans.
  • Castellan Draco: notable role in the Vinculus crusade, notably in killing Inquisitor Lord Vinculus after he got possessed, but not after his own losses; that is, he got buried in rubble after lacing the cult's massive fortress with explosives. For his valiant efforts, he got his lost parts replaced with bionics, a relic suit of armour and Lord Vinculus' sword. Declared Excommunicate Traitoris in IF supplement, becoming the first SM special character with a model who turned traitor in 40k. Well, "turn traitor" according to the Inquisition who just lost a Lord Inquisitor to him and embarrassing the entire Inquisition with such a reveal.
  • High Marshal Bohemond: Led the Chapter during the War of the Beast.
  • Marshal Magneric See Tankred above imagine if he was in command of his own Crusade. Unlike most dreadnoughts he still kept his name and rank and rarely slept which made him into a crazy fanatic (and implied to be the source of the religious zeal) spends most of his days hunting his old BFF Warsmith Kalkator until Orks of The Beast showed up.

Daily Rituals of a Black Templar[edit]

Think Angry Marines but with less copious cursing.

  • 03:50: Morning Call to Prayer: Initiates awaken their respective Neophytes from their comfortable slumber on bare stone floors. This often involves buckets of ice water, vox-casters playing hymns with the volume control knob broken off, or a power armor shod foot up the ass depending on the Initiate in question. Complaints that this awakening occurred ten minutes prior to scheduled reveille are met with readmistration of the waking aid.
  • 04:00: Morning Prayer: Neophytes are berated for their perceived failings by their responsible Initiates, who are in turn berated by the Sword Brethren, the Sword Brethren by the Castellans, up to the Marshal who berates the entire Fleet then swears a solemn vow to an icon of the Emperor that they will do better and prove themselves worthy by stabbing heretics in the throat with their swords. Tactics may also be discussed and orders of battle issued, assuming they involve rushing headlong at the enemy.
  • 05:00: Morning Firing Rites: The Initiates school their apprentices on the art of shooting xenos in the face while simultaneously swinging a chainsword. This shooting preferably occurs while rushing across the active firing range in order to close with the target and hit it with the bolt pistol if possible.
  • 07:00: Morning Battle Practice: Initiates inform their neophytes that if they are done being cowardly whelps they may now avail themselves of a sword with which to stab shit.
  • 11:55: Milk and cookies break. Any neophytes stupid enough to drink milk or eat cookies in front of their Initiate gets their meal pushed in their noses and eyeballs respectively. Things get interesting if they dipped their cookies in their milk.
  • 12:00: Midday Prayer: Neophytes are told how poorly they did during the morning exercises, any sense of pride or joy is rooted out. The Marshal leads the Fleet in prayer and promises the Emperor they will kill more things even more righteously this afternoon.
  • 13:00: Midday Meal: The chapter serfs provide cold cuts for the Brothers' enjoyment. Lunchmeat is usually collected by the serfs following each battle and stored in the ships' freezers. Naturally, Neophytes do not get something to eat yet as the Initiates insult them for even assuming they get to eat. The Neophytes soon learn that the Emperor has a sense of humor when the Initiates are informed that only Sword Brethren on up are allowed to eat.
  • 13:15: Tactical Indoctrination: Locations of the vital organs and blood vessels of xenos species that may be encountered on the current Crusade and the weak spots of Daemons are reviewed, occasionally an Initiate will cuff his Neophyte on the back of the head and reiterate "Yes that, you stab that retard." Other tactics may also be discussed as long as they involve inserting blades into things.
  • 14:00: Afternoon Battle Practice: Initiates attempt to kill their Neophyte with a power sword. If the Neophyte is not dead in four hours he passes muster.
  • 18:00: Evening Firing Rites: Neophytes are instructed in how to operate heavy and specialty weaponry dropped by their responsible Initiate when he abandons it so that he may swing his sword with both hands to better kill shit or is eaten by a monstrous creature which he bravely (read:stupidly) (read:RIGHTEOUSLY) tried to skullfuck in CQC.
  • 20:00: Evening Prayer: After short session of critique and berating, the Emperors' Champion leads a sermon about how awesome the Emprah is and how much He wants them to bifurcate/decapitate the current heretics/mutants/xenos they are fighting with power weapons.
  • 21:00: Evening Meal: A feast is served by the chapter serfs. Alcohol and anything that has a pleasant taste will not be consumed as the Emperor looks down on those that enjoy life. No hamburger, no cheeseburgers, no french fries, no milkshakes, no potato chips; you will drink water distilled from the Fleet's waste/reactor AND LIKE IT!
  • 21:30: Night-fighting/zero-gravity exercises: Initiates instruct their charges on stabbing things by the glow of a power sword and how to fight in a zero-gravity environment without jump packs (stab foe, use corpse as a springboard to assault another foe, repeat).
  • 23:15: Wargear Maintenance: Initiates encourage Neophytes to keep weapons in proper working order with phrases like, "Sharpen your shit you incompetent bastard" as the Emperor reserves great disdain for those that kill heretics with dull blades.
  • 23:45: Free time: The Initiate is free to challenge his Neophyte to a short duel. Wounds heal better during sleep anyway.
  • 00:00 Rest period: The Initiate sees his Neophyte off to bed, with one last punch to the face to help him fall asleep. The Sword Brethren then punch the Initiates in the face before they retire for rest period.

Note that this constitutes a day off for a Black Templar. A working day will involve 23 hours of rushing monstrous creatures with melee weapons. Neophytes are expected to pull bullet sponge duty so the Initiate is not distracted by little things like enemy gunfire (and that their spilled blood will allow the Initiates to glide on the ground to their enemy faster) as seen here:

Black Templar Combat Training[edit]

Brother-Initiate Teuton McTemplar: "Neophyte, get your ass over here and hold my Lascannon while I charge that Carnifex with my Power Fist!"

Neophyte Hans Wolfgang: "But sir I have not yet earned my power armour and a Lascannon weighs 100 kilos..."

Brother-Initiate Teuton McTemplar: "You are going to pick up that spotlight and burn some fucking xenos, and you are going to like it!"

Note: It would be nice if this could happen, but in reality, you can only arm Neophytes with shotguns or bolt pistols with CCWs, though you were able to arm an initiate with both a Lascannon and a Power Fist in their original codex. Hilariously too you could go completely overboard and have one marine armed with a Power fist, three bolt pistols (or two bolt pistols and a bolter), a Chainsword, a Power Weapon, a Heavy Bolter, a Missile Launcher (or a Multi-Melta), a Lascannon, and a Plasma Cannon ALL AT THE SAME TIME (though while funny is still a terrible thing to put on the battlefield as he can still only fire one per turn, pistols notwithstanding). Talk about a jack of all trades...

See Also[edit]


Forces of the Black Templars
Command: High Marshal - Marshal - Castellan - Emperor's Champion
Brother-Captain - Chaplain - Techmarine - Apothecary
Troops: Sword Brethren - Terminator Squad
Black Templar Neophyte - Initiate
Crusader Squad
Walkers: Castraferrum Dreadnought
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Rhino - Razorback - Land Speeder
Predator - Vindicator - Whirlwind - Stalker - Hunter
Land Raider (Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Crusader)
Flyers: Thunderhawk - Stormraven - Stormtalon
Stormhawk - Storm Eagle
Spacecraft: Drop Pod - Boarding Torpedo
Space Marine Landing Craft
Allies: Sisters of Battle - Space Marines - Primaris Marines
Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes
First Founding
Blood Angels - Dark Angels - Imperial Fists
Iron Hands - Raven Guard - Salamanders
Space Wolves - Ultramarines - White Scars
Second Founding
Angels of Absolution - Angels Encarmine - Angels Porphyr
Angels of Redemption - Angels Sanguine - Angels of Vengeance
Angels Vermillion - Aurora Chapter - Black Consuls
Black Guard - Black Templars - Blood Drinkers
Brazen Claws - Crimson Fists - Destroyers
Doom Eagles - Eagle Warriors - Excoriators
Fists Exemplar - Flesh Tearers - Genesis Chapter
Inceptors - Iron Snakes - Libators
Lions Sable - Marauders - Mortifactors
Nemesis - Novamarines - Obsidian Glaives
Patriarchs of Ulixis - Purple Stars - Praetors of Orpheus
Rampagers - Raptors - Red Talons
Revilers - Silver Eagles - Silver Skulls
Soul Drinkers - Storm Lords - White Consuls
Wolf Brothers
Third to
Twelfth Founding
Astral Claws - Angels Revenant - Charnel Guard
Dark Paladins - Executioners - Flesh Eaters
Halo Brethren - Howling Griffons - Iron Knights
Mantis Warriors - Marines Malevolent - Night Swords
Sable Swords (initial) - Scythes of the Emperor - Space Sharks
Sons of Guilliman
Thirteenth Founding
Death Spectres - Exorcists
Fourteenth to
Twentieth Founding:
Angels of Fire - Avenging Sons - Celebrants
Twenty-First Founding
Black Dragons - Blood Gorgons - Fire Hawks
Flame Falcons - Lamenters - Minotaurs
Sons of Antaeus - Tiger Claws
Twenty-Second to
Twenty-Sixth Founding
Angels of Vigilance - Celestial Lions - Dark Hunters
Disciples of Caliban - Emperor's Spears - Fire Angels
Imperial Harbingers - Iron Lords - Knights of the Raven
Marines Errant - Mentors - Fire Claws/Relictors
Star Phantoms - Subjugators
Ultima Founding
Angels of Defiance - Black Vipers - Blades of Vengeance
Castellans of the Rift - Fulminators - Knights Cerulean
Knights of the Chalice - Knights of Thunder - Necropolis Hawks
Nemesors - Praetors of Ultramar - Rift Stalkers
Silver Drakes - Silver Templars - Sons of the Phoenix
Storm Reapers - Umbral Knights - Unnumbered Sons
Valiant Blades - Void Tridents - Wolfspear
Unknown Founding: Absolvers - Accipiters - Adulators
Angel Guard - Angels Eradicant - Angels of Retribution
Astral Knights - Blood Ravens - Blood Swords
Brazen Drakes - Brothers Penitent - Crimson Castellans
Crimson Consuls - Crimson Scythes - Dark Hands
Dark Sons - Death Eagles - Emperor's Shadows
Fire Lords - Guardians of the Covenant - Graven Spectres
Hammers of Dorn - Harbingers - Hawk Lords
Invaders - Iron Crusaders - Iron Talons
Jade Dragons - Knights of Blood - Knights Unyielding
Marines Exemplar - The Nameless - Night Watch
Rainbow Warriors - Reclaimers - Red Hunters
Red Scorpions - Red Seraphs - Red Templars
Retributors - Sable Swords (refounded) - Shadow Wolves
Solar Hawks - Sons of Orar - Star Dragons
Stormwatchers - Storm Giants - Storm Wardens
Valedictors - Viper Legion - Vorpal Swords
White Templars - Storm Wings
Unsanctioned Founding: Consecrators (founding unknown, but likely after 2nd Founding)
Sons of Medusa (separated from parent Chapters, ratified by edict)
Steel Confessors (de facto 22nd Founding, de jure ratified by edict)
Others: Astartes Praeses - Deathwatch - Grey Knights