The Emperor's Champions are elite warriors of the Black Templars. These champions usually seek out champions of the enemy and challenge them to single combat, just as Sigismund first did during the Battle of Terra during the Horus Heresy. While one wonders how that's gonna work with, let's say, Tyranids, these guys are nevertheless pretty dope, largely because they all wield the Black Sword.
On the eve of battle, the Black Templars spend their time in meditation. It is alleged that at this point one of their number will be visited upon by a vision of the Emperor, guiding him to victory, he then presents himself to the company Chaplain for scrutiny. The Emperor's Champion is permitted to bear powerful artefacts from the armoury, namely the Armour of Faith and the aforementioned Black Sword. Before the battle, the Champion also leads the Templars in renewing one of the four Vows, each one adding a different effect during battle as it instills the Black Templars with righteous fury. Those vows are: "Suffer Not The Unclean To Live," "Uphold The Honour Of The Emperor," "Abhor The Witch, Destroy The Witch," and "Accept Any Challenge, No Matter The Odds".
In battle, he goes out to fight the enemy in the name of the Emperor. His presence serves as a fantastic inspiration to the rest of his battle-brothers, leading the whole battle-group to feats of assfucking beyond that of even normal Space Marines and even if the champion dies on the battlefield (which is a bad omen), his name and deeds are recorded and remembered for the rest of time. By tradition, there is only one Emperor's Champion for the entire chapter, but in practice, there is usually one Champion per Black Templar Crusade.
For reasons which have not been explained, it appears that the Emperor's Champion is now always a Primaris marine, and never firstborn. Maybe all previous Champions were made to do the surgery, obviously because pussies who would die on the operating table wouldn't be champion in the first place.
Ye Olde Tradition: AKA, how Sigismund kickstarted a Fight Club
The tradition of the Emperor's Champion dates back to the time of the Horus Heresy before the inception of the Black Templars. The first Emperor's Champion was Captain Sigismund of the Imperial Fists. The Primarch Rogal Dorn bestowed upon him the new title during the attack on the Imperial Palace, where he served victoriously. The practice of the tradition remained with Sigismund after his separation from the Imperial Fists to become the Black Templars first High Marshal.
|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
|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|