Not to be confused with a variant of Warhammer Fantasy Bretonnian knight. The Knights-Errant are/were a group of Space Marines brought together from various different Legions at the behest of Malcador the Sigillite in order to create a cadre of the best and brightest that the space marines had to offer, and use them to form a new Chapter to combat the threat of daemons and dark magic that the Imperium was not prepared to fight against, due to the erasure of all knowledge of them as part of the Imperial Truth. Members of the Traitor Legions which refused to follow their Primarchs into corruption made up a surprisingly large part of their number. Having proven themselves truly pure and strong of spirit in the face of absolute corruption and despair, the Knights-Errant offered these legion-less marines a new purpose, away from the taint of their old Legions.
There is evidence for them being the forerunners of Grey Knights. Despite what we think we know of the original Grey Knights and that eight of the initial recruits would become the first Grand Masters of the new chapters, those that initially joined the first member, Nathaniel Garro, were not necessarily destined to become Grey Knights themselves. Author James Swallow has come out and said as much himself in an interview. In any case, most of these Knights would not survive the Horus Heresy anyway, but it's worth knowing that these guys possessed a very special and believable type of awesome (unlike this guy), and loads of it.
Battle-Captain (the formal title of the 7th Captain of the Death Guard) and captain of the Eisenstein. The first member. The guy who fled the massacre at Istvaan III and managed to bring word of the Horus Heresy to the Imperium, thanks to his honor-brother, and a very cool guy, Saul Tarvitz of the Emperor's Children. On the way there, he also became the first of the Loyalists to encounter what would later be known as the Plague Marines, as the corpses of his traitorous legion-brothers came back to life as they traveled through the Warp.
He was given a list of twenty names from Sevarian (see below) who would become the Knights-Errant, and the task of collecting them would take him all over the galaxy during the Horus Heresy, from Calth (through the Ruinstorm no less) all the way back to Isstvan III.
He would attempt to sneak into the Phalanx to recruit some Imperial Fist librarians "incarcerated" there, but was caught and turned away as they were happy enough as is.
He would also win a duel with a mid-ranked Custodes, though even he admitted the effort taxed his abilities and he only won through playing to the particular individual's overconfidence.
Garro would also unwittingly uncover Malcador's plans to build a new Astartes force on Titan intended for the coming war after the Horus Heresy, though he initially believed it to be a traitor force because of the secrecy involved with its construction.
Partly because of those shrouded circumstances and the uncomfortable lengths the Sigillite would go to to protect humanity, Garro would repeatedly say that his ultimate fate would not lie on Titan, and previews for future BL books refer to him as "the first martyr of the Lectitio Divinatus". Therefore, while he is a major contributor to the Grey Knights, it seems likely that he either left Malcador's service or died before the Grey Knights were officially founded.
Given rules as part of the lead-up to Horus Heresy Book 6 'Retribution', Garro can be a trolltastic addition to an army. He's built up as a challenge character, earning double combat resolution scores and gaining a 3+ invulnerable save. Despite this, he's not a combat monster, as Libertas is only a two-handed blade with AP3, despite having Rending. However, Garro's Death Guard resilience shows through, having Eternal Warrior AND the chance to get back from death the first time he kicks the bucket during battle.
Captain of the Luna Wolves 10th Company, who is very much the protagonist of the first trilogy of Horus Heresy novels. He was known for being able to think independently and rationally, as well as being exceptionally humane for an Astartes. A true stoic and principled person, as well as a bad-ass. Was thought dead after Istvaan III was virus bombed and then fire bombed, followed by a 3 month siege by 4 traitor legions and a warlord titan, followed by being defeated by Abaddon in a duel and having a building collapse on him, trapping him in the rubble, while the planet was being bombed into dust for a third time, this time with cyclone bombs. But NOPE! When Nathaniel Garro first discovered him, survivor's guilt and distrust had driven him half mad and he was convinced he was the only Loyalist left alive in the Imperium. Calling himself Cerberus, due to an inability to remember his own name, he then forced a reign of terror upon the totally dead, but reanimated population (read: Plague Zombies) of Isstvan III. Was supposedly the final member that Garro would recruit according to Malcador, although other members were inducted after Loken himself.
His major highlights include:
- Being a member of the Mournival: the four advisors of Horus Lupercal, along with Abaddon, Tarik Torgaddon, and "Little Horus" Aximand.
- Hilariously making Lucius his bitch in a duel, pointing out beforehand, that the duel would not be about their skill in blades. As he saw Lucius make the first move, he dropped his sword and in one stroke won the duel, by breaking that arrogant prick's nose into smithereens with a single punch, ruining Lucius' "perfect" face and by making the first mark upon it. This trick was later over-exaggeratedly used again, by Saul Tarvitz.
- Fighting Abaddon himself on Isstvan III.
- Making Kharn his side bitch by going toe to toe with him and then impaling the dude on the dozer blades of an advancing spikey land raider. What a fucking savage.
- Being present on Caliban during the Fallen uprising who had been largely ignorant of the Heresy, and quite possibly throwing a lit match on the whole powder keg.
- Possibly being a founding member of the Grey Knights.
- Giving Horus and an overwhelming majority of his traitor legion a virtual bitch-slap by turning his back on them when he was asked to join the rebellion.
Formerly the only member with tabletop rules in Horus Heresy, though that's his pre-Knight status, when he is a Legion Praetor character with Initiative 6 and a Paragon Blade, with the ability to get back from the dead once per game. Strangely he's the only Praetor with Power Armour (Sevatar, Ophion) rather than the standard issue Artificer Armour as the typical attire for Praetors, though he does get an Iron Halo which usually has to be bought for extra dough.
We've yet to see Loken as a Knight Errant, but no doubt Forgeworld will just take his original rules and slap on the option to upgrade to the generic "Knight Errant" rules for a few points in an updated list.
An Ultramarines Librarian who was the first member to be inducted by Garro. He was recruited in the midst of the Battle of Calth. Rubio would essentially become Garro's second in command for several missions, and got his own job of travelling to Baal to collect all of the wargear of the Blood Angels (to give to the future Grey Knights) when everyone thought Sanguinius had fallen at Signus.
Rubio is one of the more powerful/reliable psykers on the tabletop of his era that isn't one of the Thousand Sons (which isn't hard as his primary competition is generic Librarians or special characters with "repressed" abilities). So compared to a Librarian, he's a ML2 psyker who can reroll failed Psychic tests when manifesting Divination powers, meaning he's practically guaranteed to cast. He's also no slouch in combat either, with Init 5 stock and can invest his warp charges into his Force Sword granting +1 Strength for each charge not spent on a power, meaning he can quite happily smack a bitch, although only at AP3 since its still just a sword.
The Nemean Reaver
His real name is unknown, but it is widely suspected (and also confirmed by statements from himself) that he was a Dark Angel. Heavily injured in the Rangdan Xenocides, he is supposed to be a mess of scar tissue and Rage. Was the head of his own Blackshield fleet made up of dispossessed legionaries called the "Dark Brotherhood" until he was approached by Garro for recruitment, a meeting which the Alpha Legion did their best to foul up. It's notable that his Blackshield fleet was NOT a loyalist fleet nor was it allied with Horus, but instead a completely independent group that just happened to fight and pillage traitors instead of loyalists because they were in a sector that the Alpha Legion wanted. The Reaver's excuse for this was that, cut off from everyone and in prime traitor territory, he was merely doing what he had to do to survive. While loyal himself, his fleet was not, so he left it behind when he was recruited.
On the tabletop he's probably one of the higher tier challenge characters out there (not counting Primarchs), coming runner up to Sigismund in lethality but is superior in terms of survivability. He's got Toughness 5, Eternal Warrior, Adamantium Will, 2+/4+ saves and rerolls failed saves against Blast or Template weapons. He also has a S+1 AP2 sword which inflicts -1 WS to enemies in a challenge and strikes at initiative. He also causes Fear and is Fearless, meaning he can't be overrun and has a chance of just trolling generic legionaries who are not immune to fear.
There are two versions of him, representing him as the commander of the Dark Brotherhood in a Blackshields army, or can be taken by any Loyalist force if you upgrade to Knight-Errant, making him even deadlier in a challenge with Preferred Enemy (Traitors).
Trivia: Both his name and his armour are allusions to lions, which is no surprise given his supposed heritage. The Nemean Lion was slain as the first of the twelve labours of Heracles, while the pelt of the Cithaeron Lion was worn by Heracles and was said to be impervious, which accounts for the sheer number of benefits granted by his Kithaeron warplate.
- Macer Varren - A World Eaters Captain who was one of a group of loyalist refugees that fled to the Terran Solar system, a cockney-marine (despite being visualized as Scottish Gerard Butler) and an utter badass. Really pissed off at Angron for trying to have him killed. Although he's more rash and angry than his fellow knights, compared to his parent legion he's surprisingly level-headed for someone with the Butcher's Nails jammed into his brain.
- Sevarian (The Wolf) - Not a Space Wolf, though artwork portrays him to look similar to one, but a Luna Wolf. He was a member of the Crusader Host (basically Space Marine Ambassadors to Terra) but was imprisoned on Terra with all bar the Imperial Fists due to suspicion. He broke out of prison and was brought back into the fold by the Samurai (not kidding) Nagasena. He is a latent psyker whose powers were unlocked by Magnus' psychic message that broke the Golden Throne, though Malcador explains it such that Sevarian uses them so instinctually that he does not know he has them, which makes him unique.
- Sevarian was also an early addition to the Knights-Errant, being recruited by Malcador directly about two years into the Heresy, but was recruited before Rubio since it was Sevarian's psychic abilities which that identified other potential candidates for recruitment, giving Garro a list of twenty names to find.
- Ares Voitek - Iron Hands Techmarine. Also knows how to whip up alcohol on the fly, and with such potency that only Space Wolves and White Scars would like seconds. Even Dorn gets in on it.
- Fel Zharost - A Night Lords Chief Librarian who was exiled by Sevatar after the Edict of Nikaea mostly because no-one could be bothered to care about the Librarius except Zharost himself. He somehow fled back home to Terra and was eventually collected for induction into the Knights-Errant. Notably one of the very very few loyalist Night Lords.
- Vardas Ison - A Blood Angels Librarian.
- Theodor Ruttveld - A Space Wolf, was assigned to watch over Konrad Curze and ensure that the Edict of Nikaea was obeyed. Heavily maimed by Curze and delivered to Terra as a message. It is uncertain if he is to become a Knight-Errant though he he kept alive on the Sigillite's Authority and it is made clear that he it to be kept as whole as possible and not interred in a Dreadnought.
- Kaspian Hecht \ Barthusa Narek: A bit of a mystery; Narek was a member of the Word Bearers who still believed in the divinity of the Emperor and wanted to kill Lorgar to sort out his Legion's problems; however he had no apparent interest in joining the "Loyalist" cause. He was captured on Macragge, and even though he wasn't a traitor, he was interrogated daily and to be executed if he incriminated himself. However he somehow escaped and was implanted with the memories of a separate person: "Kaspian Hecht" who was apparently on his way towards Macragge to recruit someone for the Knights-Errant. How or why this was done is as yet unknown, but Narek eventually sorts his memories out though it's not yet known if he'll remain as one of the Knights Errant.
As we know several members were inducted into the Knights Errant, but many did not survive, and considering that the number above is greater than eight, we know that several more will perish or find other duties.
- Iacton Qruze - Captain of the Luna Wolves' 3rd Company. One of the oldest members of the Luna Wolves and one of the few Legionaries who had been recruited before Horus was found. Referred to as "The Half-Heard" mostly because no-one was paying attention to what the old coot was saying. Got the job of overseeing the prisons on Titan for people who know far too much to be let loose in the Imperium, though is killed by Horus on board the Vengeful Spirit when an attempt at placing teleport beacons for the Space Wolves to deep strike aboard was discovered.
- Dio Promus - Former Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines, he got the job of sifting through wounded legionaries looking for experiences and memories that would help in Malcador's great project, then removing all evidence of his passing, even going so far as to destroy the space marines in question and the ships and crew they came with. He got roped into the quest to hunt for the shards of Magnus, but failed at Nikaea when Ahriman absconded with them. He was then slain by a Space Wolf who took exception to the job that Malcador had given him, seeing the destruction of loyal space marines to be traitorous.
- Bror Tyrfinger - An actual Space Wolf. Dies at the Battle of Trisolian. His name translates to "Brother Bullfinger" in danish, so that's at least something. Tyrfing is also the name of the sword made by dwarves in the Norse legend of Tyrfing. It was said that Tyrfing could cut through the hardest of stones and would never rust, dull or miss; however, it also carried the curse of having to kill a man each time it was drawn and would be responsible for three great evils. He's the only Knight-Errant to leave with the permission of his Primarch, though for sinister motives, as Leman Russ ordered him to kill Loken if he tried to go back to Horus. Fortunately Loken didn't, so Tyrfinger didn't have to.
- Tubal Cayne - Iron Warriors member of the Crusader Host like Severian.
- Rama Karayan - Raven Guard
- Altan Nohai - White Scars Apothecary
- Callion Zaven - Emperor's Children Champion.
Grey Knight Grand Masters
We knew that there were eight Grand Masters who travelled with Malcador to Titan when it was cast into the warp, unfortunately we don't yet know who they all are yet, and is made more difficult to guess since Grey Knights ritually change their names to mirror their daemonic foes. Recent fluff actually points to nine members rather than eight, with their names being given in the cast list for The Buried Dagger. This quite possibly means that the extra member doesn't get sequestered on Titan; or takes on a new role we haven't seen yet; or is forgotten about by the time of 40k.
In Aaron Dembski-Bowden's The Emperor's Gift, all eight are long dead and entombed together in the Chapter's cemetery on Titan.
Abaddon claimed to know of the eight original founders and stated that one was an Ultramarine while another was his "erstwhile brother". Thus it's increasingly likely that Rubio and Loken (or Sevarian) are two of the first Grand Masters.
Known to us as the first Supreme Grand Master and commander of the 3rd brotherhood, though his original name and legion were at first unknown. His one appearance so far in M32, describes him as a warrior saint, a venerable space marine of massive psychic potency yet also emanating a sense of holiness one step down from the Emperor Himself. He also has a squint in one eye, possibly due to an old injury.
- The true identity of Janus is almost certainly Revuel Arvida of the Thousand Sons. After arriving on Terra, he was taken by the Sigillite (to cure his rampaging flesh-change at Jaghatai Khan's insistence) in an attempt to bind a lost fragment of Magnus' psyche to his body and restore, at least partly, the broken Primarch into a state that could be used to keep the Golden Throne going. Instead of getting a reborn Primarch, they got something else: Arvida merged with the shard and became "Ianius" (the name of his Tutelary, who may have been Arvida all along), which is a variant wording of "Janus" . He also has a mass of scar tissue surrounding one eye, which perfectly matches Janus's description.
A Dark Angels psyker, and the "one who nearly unravelled everything" when half a legion turned to Chaos. Epimetheus is a psyker of prodigious strength who survived into the 41st Millennium by being stasis-locked in the Damnation Cache on Pandorax. Epimethius would eventually be captured by Abaddon and given to Fulgrim in a bid to gain the allegiance of the Emperor's Children for the 13th Black Crusade, Epimethius himself was intended to become the Avatar of Slaanesh.
- His original name is unknown, but one consideration could have been Zahariel who is/was the only psyker of note within Luther's Fallen Angels. Zahariel was later shown to be corrupted by the Ouroboros entity that was imprisoned on Caliban. Despite Grey Knights being known for their spiritual purity and Epimetheus was considered to be particularly incorruptible, this does not necessarily bar Zahariel from entry considering that the Ouroboros is a sentient warp engine that was capable of manipulating time and space, and strongly implied to have been used by the Old Ones in the creation of the Webway and was not a Daemon of the Chaos Gods. So whether or not Zahariel was cleansed of the Ouroboros, he was not necessarily bound to the service of Chaos.
- It gets a bit convoluted because Epimetheus somehow altered the time stream enough to wrong-foot a Lord of Change; as whoever actually became Epimetheus was supposed to become Cypher and vice versa. "Someone switched places with me. That is now his path to walk". Considering that 30k Zahariel took the role of Cypher, he would have to swap it with someone else in order to become Epimetheus. As far as we know, 30k Zahariel and 40k Cypher are the only individuals outside of the Watchers in the Dark and Lion El'Jonson who have any particular interaction with the Ouroboros/Tuchulcha devices capable of altering timelines. If Zahariel is not Epimetheus and is instead the 40k Cypher, it can be inferred that he was meant to become Epimetheus before any change in the timeline took place.
- In any case, Epimetheus spends the near entirety of the last ten-thousand years trapped in stasis, so any fallout related to his original identity would have been delayed until his later capture by Abaddon.
First Grand Master of the Eighth Brotherhood, with a name that, keeping in with the theme, is that of a celestial body near Saturn. His tomb on Titan depicts a helmeted warrior leaning casually on a halberd. The tomb's epitaph closes with "If you wish to grow wise, learn why brothers betray brothers". As the halberd and casual attitude was the hallmark of the Eighth Legion's First Captain Sevatar, and Jago Sevatarion was last seen in Imperial hands relearning his psychic gift at the end of ADB's The Longest Night, many Night Lords fanboys believe it is Sevatar. Having once betrayed the Emperor but then disillusioned with Chaos and Horus, could he have then betrayed his brothers in the the Eighth to return to the Imperial fold? Only ADB knows, and he hasn't gotten us that far yet. That said, the Night Lords were the 8th legion too...
The remaining names are given: Koios, Satre, Yotun, Iapto, Ogen and Crius bringing the total up to nine, but their original identities remain unknown. All that can be said is that -unless GW pull some hair-tearing retcon- at least one of them will not become one of the commanders of the eight brotherhoods.
Actually getting the names is interesting, as the greater proportion (but not all) of them are variations of names from the classical Titans of Mythology and stood in opposition to the Gods, which lends obvious cues to the Grey Knights mission from their home of Titan. Good thing none of their enemies are big into mythology or this would seem like a stupid decision that could've given their home away.
While not necessarily Knights-Errant, we also know that four humans were recruited by Malcador to form the founding members of the Inquisition.
- Kyril Sindermann (confirmed) - once an Iterator in Horus' own war fleet, he was considered old even during the close of the Great Crusade where he was somewhat of a mentor figure for Gavriel Loken. He escaped the massacre of Isstvan III as part of the flight of the Eisenstein and wasn't really heard from much during the Heresy itself. However, he reappeared 1500 years later as an Inquisitor named Veritus during the War of The Beast, having been kept alive thanks to a suit of specially adapted power armour. Despite several disagreements with Inquisitorial Representative Wienaud regarding their differing views of what the Inquisition should focus its attention on, he ended up working with her to found what would become the Ordo Malleus and the Ordo Xenos. Unfortunately, his colleague, Grand Master Drakan Vangorich of the Officio Assasinorum, got disillusioned with the High Lords' incompetence and selfishness during the war and proceeded to poison Veritus with a special toxin designed only to become dangerous when exposed to the chemicals in his life-support armor and kill off the other High Lords in The Beheading despite Veritus being one of the most competent of the High Lords at the time.
- Lemuel Gaumon (confirmed) a former remembrancer and psyker who was tutored by Ahriman himself. Escaped the destruction of Prospero but was captured and held by the Sisters of Silence for years until the quest for the shards of Magnus brought the Thousand Sons and Knights Errant to come looking for him. He would end up possessed by three fragments of Magnus' soul at the same time, only to be stripped of all that power by the Crimson King. Quite possibly the first person to be exorcised he was thereafter immune to any future daemonic possession and brought before Malcador to share his insights into Magnus and the Thousand Sons. Not before renaming himself Promeus in honour of the deceased Dio Promus. As Promeus, he would initiate the resurrectionist faction of the Inquisition after their formation, hoping to find a way to bring the Emperor back to life. This faction would later evolve into the Thorians.
- Moriana (confirmed) - Stated to be one of the founding four members of the Inquisition, and rumored to be a "handmaiden" of the Emperor. Claimed to have performed a vital role in the spreading of the Imperial Cult. Along with Promeus, sought to resurrect the Emperor. However, she turned to the forces of Chaos to do so, inventing Horusianism and becoming the first Radical Inquisitor. Exiled to the Eye of Terror, she eventually came into the employ of Abaddon the Despoiler as a seer and now answers directly to the Chaos Gods (who have seen fit to grant her a Daemon World to rule over). Of note, the original story of Moriana and Promeus didn't name the other two founders, but described one as being a man with an aged voice (In hindsight, probably Sindermann) and the other as being a man with a long, sharp, hawkish nose.
- Amendera Kendel - Agentia Tercius to Malcador (after Garro himself) and a former Sister of Silence. She is still a Pariah of course, but she gave up her vow to become one of the first members of Malcador's band of merry travellers. She is quite possibly the first "True" Inquisitor, by virtue of her background as a Witch-Hunter and the later development of her character which shows her radically using the authority granted to her by the Sigillite to get shit done: Co-opting Space Marines from the survivors of the Eisenstein into her retinue, and later ordering a battle-barge to enact Exterminatus on a planet turned renegade, despite the fact that no-one other than a Primarch or the Emperor himself had ever ordered such an act before her.
- Yasu Nagasena - the Last Samurai (eat your heart out, Tom Cruise) and expert tracker who was tasked with finding the Outcast Dead, then chasing down and killing Sevarian. He was only stopped from doing so by Malcador who wanted them both for his new project, giving Nagasena a rosette to mark his authority. Nagasena was a sage who was, according to legend, responsible for converting the Indo-Greeks to Buddhism.
- Khalid Hassan - A Stormtrooper who was into the Sigillite's employ to collect an artefact from Egypt, despite being told not to look into the box, he did and was brought before Malcador to explain himself. It turns out that the artefact was the Rosetta Stone and Malcador was part of an order that kept history and learning safe and intact. He also gets shown the doorway to the Emperor's Webway.
- Katanoh Tallery - a scribe who discovered that someone was using galactic scale tax avoidance schemes to fund and build a legion sized force under the Imperium's nose and within their territory. She was aided by Garro in finding who was diverting Imperial equipment in such an underhanded manner. Turns out it was Malcador and he was pissed at Garro for uncovering the Grey Knight fortress on Titan before it was finished, but was convinced to keep Tallery in order to better manage the bookkeeping. It's unlikely she is going to end up being an Inquisitor though (although, looking for funny spending would be an excellent way to find heretics... In fact, Eisenhorn uncovers a coven of heretics due to unusual accounting).