|This article covers a topic that, by its very nature, is a magnet for flamewars. Try not to get too assmad at what you're about to read.|
|Battle Cry||"We Are the Hammer!" or in a few instances, "Vengeance for the lost!" also this ancient terran hymn sung before battle|
|Number||666, what a subtle and cool reference GW|
|Founding||Second Founding (sort of (close enough for paperwork))|
|Successors of||Knights-Errant, after a fashion|
|Chapter Master||Kaldor Draigo (unfortunately)|
|Primarch||None. Gene-seed made directly from Big E himself (Magnus the Red was offered the position but rejected it)|
|Specialty||Killing Daemons, Killing Loyalists, being better than you|
|Colours||Unpainted (hence, "grey" - Space Marine Power Armour is
"We are warriors of the Grey Knights, armored in Faith, shielded by Devotion, and armed with Purity of Purpose. But greater even than these, we carry the light of the divine Emperor of Man into the dark places to purge the daemonic wherever it may be found."
"There is nothing in the arcane and blasphemous arsenal of the forces of Chaos that can compare to faith. With the power of faith, our weapons become shining instruments of deliverance that can cleave the mightiest daemon in twain. With the power of faith, our minds appear as slivers of pure agony to the daemon, driving into the wretched forms of those who would dare stand before us. With the power of faith, our words become commands that cause the daemon to cower and cringe in terror. I could meet my enemies unarmed without a shred of fear in my chest, for I know that the Emperor watches over me and guides my hand. So let them come. We shall show them what the power of faith can do."
- – Brother-Captain Arvann Stern
"One unbreakable shield against the coming darkness,
One last blade forged in defiance of fate,
Let them be my legacy to the galaxy I conquered,
And my final gift to the species I failed."
- – Inscription upon the Arcus Daemonica, attributed to the God-Emperor of Mankind
The Grey Knights are a Space Marines Chapter, though unlike all other Chapters it was specifically founded for one purpose, and one purpose alone: to hunt down and destroy any and all Daemonkind encroaching upon The Emperor's realm. Pure of soul and of purpose, and armed with the best equipment and warships that the Imperium has to offer (outside the stuff the other Super Super Space Marines, the Adeptus Custodes, use). The Grey Knights grimly pursue the task given to them by the Emperor Himself, and woe to any Neverborn (or poor schmucks that even see them fight Daemons) that gets in their way. It is of note that in "The Buried Dagger" (the 54th book of the Horus Heresy series) it was stated that the founding members would be sent to Titan to build a new legion entirely focused on fighting daemons. Either this was an oversight by the author, or it is a matter of debate why they re-emerged at chapter strength instead in light of the fact that a legion would have been comprised of a lot more space marines than merely 1.000 marines.
- 1 Overview
- 2 The Secret Chapter
- 3 Pure of Purpose
- 4 Gene-Seed
- 5 Organization
- 6 5th Edition, /tg/, and how Matt Ward Bungled Shit Up
- 7 Grey Knights and the Adeptus Custodes
- 8 Notable Members
- 9 Daily Rituals of the Grey Knights
- 10 Badass Quotes
- 11 Gallery
- 12 See Also
The Grey Knights is a Chapter whose primary task is to hunt down and destroy Daemons whenever and wherever they manifest in the Imperium of Man. While your average Chapter will have, at best, a score of battle-brothers who are trained in safely using the powers of the Immaterium, each and every single battle-brother in the Grey Knights is a psyker. Though the psychic proficiency of each Grey Knight varies, each brother has been trained rigorously to turn their powers towards the destruction of daemons, whether by channeling it through their various Nemesis Force weaponry, or more overt displays such as roaring flames and searing lightning.
Another thing that sets apart the Grey Knights from all other Chapter in the Imperium is the fact that not a single member of the Chapter has fallen to the whispers of Chaos. Whether it is through their basic make-up -- one enduring rumor among the members of the Inquisition is that their geneseed comes from the Emperor Himself (probably untrue since he doesn't have any) -- or through their ridiculously arduous training process, not even the Grey Knights would say. What is certain though, is that the average Grey Knight is so pure that they are anathema to daemons, with the weaker of the latter crumbling into dust in their presence.
Guided by their Prognosticators and astride their fast Strike Cruisers (whose speed would make other Chapters seethe in envy), The Grey Knights take the fight directly to whichever battlefield or world the touch of daemonkind befouls. This is often a grim and very VERY thankless task, and the average Imperial citizen will never know how they often owe their lives to the battles the Grey Knights fight. The best that a Grey Knight can expect before he is laid to rest in the Dead Fields of Titan is that his deeds will be remembered by the brothers he leaves behind. As to why no one can know, well, see the following section.
The final factor differentiating the Knights from other loyalist forces is that they're allowed to kill other loyalists with no repercussions, as they are part of the Inquisition. And boy do they have no problem with it either. They have ritually murdered Sisters of Battle (
for their gamer girl bathwater admittedly to create wards to repel daemons, and this was retconned in 7th edition anyway), killed a bunch of first founding marines and completely obliterated at least one newer loyalist chapter, as well as routinely murder citizens and members of the Imperial Guard literally for being nearby. The Daemon Prince Primarchs have nothing on these guys. But they do this because in their eyes and probably in reality anyone exposed to the horrors of daemons is vulnerable to their taint, so they grimdark entire continents and fleets just to stop the possibility of taint remaining though they scour the minds of Adeptus Astartes who willingly do so to spare their own minds the horror and risk of corruption - which is why the Space Wolves and Grey Knights had it out because obviously the Space Wolves were having none of that.
Which makes the idea that the Minotaurs may or may not have teamkilled a strike cruiser full of Grey Knights for getting between them and their target a tasty bit of irony!
The Secret Chapter
The Grey Knights work alongside the Ordo Malleus as their Chamber Militant, and as they specialize in killing anything daemonic, they're typically called in to deal with giant greater daemons of death or Chaos Primarchs. However, despite being the Chamber Militant and therefore technically subservient to the Inquisition, they are considered by all means autonomous, though they oftentimes work directly under Inquisitorial authority on missions.
People outside the Ordo Malleus and High Lords of Terra do not know of the Grey Knights, save for some Chapter Masters and other notable folks. Even their base of operations and anything that happens within their Chapter are never discussed outside of these select few. This is a containment measure to protect any of the Grey Knights' secret equipment and rituals from Chaos forces, ensuring they'll always have the upper hand in a fight. However, as the First War of Armageddon, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, and Dawn of War: Soulstorm show, they'll work with other Chapters if the Ordo Malleus or one of their higher-ups decides that their presence is needed, or if their presence is requested by the overall commander of Space Marine operations, though the latter tends to be more an exception than the rule. More often, those that the Knights fight alongside get mind-wiped in order to preserve their secrecy, and some are even executed if they are deemed at risk of corruption after the battle is won.
Despite this, they aren't restricted to fighting solely daemons. They can readily deal with more mundane things like witches, mutants, and heretics; however, these forces would normally be left to the Ordo Hereticus and the Sisters of Battle, and they would rarely be called in to deal with such a situation unless it was believed that a daemonic incursion was imminent. Grey Knights also occasionally fight Xenos, which would normally be left to the Ordo Xenos and their chamber militant, the Deathwatch, which is composed of the hardest non-Grey Knight Space Marines around. Again, this is rare, as the Grey Knights and their Ordo Malleus allies will typically feel that this is a waste of their talent.
All of this changes when Xeno Warp entities like the Avatars of Khaela Mensha Khaine and Enslavers appear, or when said heretics, mutants, and witches bring out Daemons or some combination of the above; this tends to end up causing two, or if they're really unlucky, all three branches of the Inquisition to descend down upon the poor sap. Fighting the Sisters of Battle, the Deathwatch, and the Grey Knights all at once is a challenge that most sentient entities would much rather slowly gnaw all of their legs off than face. It gets even worse when you throw in Assassins and whatever force happens to already be present, i.e. yet more marines/guardsmen.
Pure of Purpose
"The Daemonic leads to two crimes; You turn away from the path of righteousness. And, you abandon the Emperor as the object of your devotion. For the first, death is merely a just retribution. The second is a heresy so terrible that no punishment can be sufficient. Yet the search for an appropriate penalty continues, and it shall be found."
- – Codex: Daemonhunters 3rd Edition
Grey Knights are also the most elite of the Space Marines, and are trained in the most ball-crushingly difficult process that even veteran Space Marines consider "hard". Oddly enough, the fact that the Chapter is comprised completely of psykers -- an already uncommon occurrence in a given population -- means that the Grey Knights have to have a significantly larger pool of potential recruits, if only to stack the odds in the Chapter's favor that it would be able to replenish its losses with not only the toughest, but also the most mentally fit. While the most stable source of recruits are the Inquistion's Black Ships, the Grey Knights can and will recruit from any planet it deems fit, even worlds already used by other Space Marine Chapters (as one notable instance with the Silver Skulls demonstrated).
Even with such a large pool to draw from, the Chapter's recruitment trials are so notoriously difficult and deadly that it has a washout rate that even Fabius Bile would appreciate. According to some of the Codices, it's common for only about one in a thousand to pass the first trial, and it only gets worse from there. Needless to say the weak of will, weak of constitution, or simply plain unlucky, get weeded out real early, but as a result only the best of the best gets picked. All told, maybe about one in a million survives to become worthy to receive the Emperor's Gift, and begin their training to become a lowly battle-brother. And this is all before they're introduced to the aforementioned 666 Rituals of Detestation. Harsh. These numbers sound like absolute bullshit, but remember that the Imperium contains one million worlds. It is impossible to pin down the number of people in the Imperium, but numbers in the quadrillions are on the conservative end with quintillions not being out of the realm of possibility. Gee Dubs is probably way off on the numbers, but perhaps only by 1:1,000 instead of 1:1,000,000. Even then that would make for possibly trillions of viable grey knight candidates, an army large enough to punch the great rift in the face until it dies. However, since Grey Knight aspirants are Beta or Alpha psykers or something close to them, it is bullshit. Their numbers would be utterly unsustainable. Even with normal psykers strong enough to be worth a damn. Not to mention the incredible waste of an extremely valuable asset that worlds risk being shot to pieces for not giving up. It is probably best to just utterly ignore the stupidity and assume they are careful not to waste this scarce resource. Unless the failures don't usually die and are simply mind-wiped and sent to some other organizations like the Librarius of other Chapters, Astropaths, Emperor food, etc.
Due to the screening process involved and the harshness of the training regimen, even the "average" Grey Knight battle-brother is much more powerful than the average Deathwatch marine of the Ordo Xenos, and are both more individually powerful and experienced than the Sisters of Battle. However they lack the experience and versatility of the Deathwatch who probably also marginally outnumber them, and are vastly outnumbered by the Sisters of Battle, which keeps a balance of power between the three orders of the inquisition.
Uniquely enough, upon death, Grey Knights seek to be interred in The Dead Fields, a burial site on Titan some distance away from the Grey Knights' fortress. Their equipment is then recycled and passed along to the next recruits in line, and the gene seed harvested before the burial preparation. (the process of which involves writing the 666 Words of Sanctity along the fallen Knight's body) This also accounts for the relatively low amounts of Dreadnoughts owned by the Chapter, though those that do exist are rarely awoken to help with the worst situations. These Dreadnoughts may also serve as commanders, and it's more than a little bizarre that there isn't a Dreadnought named character in the codex.
Unlike "regular" Astartes, the Grey Knights' gene-seed is made with Big Daddy Emps own unmodified genetic material. This buffs their natural psychic abilities and makes them even less appealing to daemons. Exactly HOW the Emperor managed to make this gene-seed, produced a full gene-vault's worth, got it to Titan, while stuck in the world's least comfortable recliner trying to keep the Chaos-gods from kicking in Terra's door, and his favorite son having an angsty rebellious teenager phase with half his Empire's military forces right in his front yard, is unknown.
In point of fact, the novel, Saturnine, makes it clear that the first Astartes ever produced were made with gene-seed directly from his own stock (Perhaps a number of First Legion Astartes include these first Marines and their gene-seed produced via Progenoids). The experiments were conducted and the ones that successfully produced the kinds of warriors Astartes were needed to be were deemed "templates" and then the Primarch gene-stock was integrated into the system to produce warriors that matched the template with the exceptions of qualities that suited the Primarch whose image they were made in. This directly contradicts decades of lore that said he made the Primarchs first then based the Astartes off of them, but then again Saturnine isn't known for sticking to the lore. That said, since the Emperor's body is just a biomancy creation of his, he would have to have created the gene-seed the very hard way in a lab from his DNA. He doesn't have a Progenoid, after all.
...Or is it the Emperor's?
Let's ignore for a minute that the Grey Knights like to claim they're descended from The Emperor's own gene-seed because: A) that's kinda stupid, and B) the Sons of the Phoenix probably like to claim that they totally carry the gene-seed of Rogal Dorn (and may even believe it themselves).
In Fury of Magnus, we have a bit of dialogue during the Siege of Terra between Big E and Magnus about creating a second legion under his command as a replacement for the Thousand Sons. The Emperor tells him that he's free to come back and be a part of the Imperium again, but between the Flesh Change and their dark sorceries further corrupting them, the Thousand Sons are a lost cause.
But Emps tells Magnus that he's already building him a new legion. A legion better than the Thousand Sons. Outright better than any of the other 19 too. A legion "Whose flesh will be flawless. Whose fists are steel. Whose hearts are armored in adamantium. And they would be the pride of the new Imperium,". A legion fit to be lead by the second greatest psyker to ever walk the galaxy.
Remind you of any silver (alleged) mary-sues?
Obviously Magnus turned it down despite Vulkan's pleas to accept it and officially declared his loyalty to Chaos on the spot. But, according to Emps, the new legion was already in the process of being created anyway. And it's not like founding a chapter from traitor legion stock is unheard of, either. This could also lend itself to better explaining the Grey Knights' resistance to chaotic corruption. The Rubric which would turn the vast majority of the Thousand Sons into dusty suits of armor also had an effect on the surviving members. Any psyker strong enough amongst the legion had their psychic powers supercharged and were untouched by any (unwilling) mutations. With the Grey Knights recruiting exclusively from already powerful psykers, and unlikely to willingly give into the gifts of chaos, perhaps the spell that became the ruin of the first sons of Magnus was also a bulwark protecting his second sons.
Since they exist outside the normal structure of the Adeptus Astartes, the Grey Knights have an organization similar yet distinctly different from Codex Chapters. Instead of the Codex-standard ten companies, the Knights are organized into 8 "Brotherhoods", whose lineages harken back to the original 8 founders of the Grey Knights by Malcador himself. Each of these Brotherhoods is known for their specialty; for example, the 1st Brotherhood is home to most of the chapter's pilots and vehicles, the 7th best maintains relations with the Inquisition and stores all the information on them, while the 8th is generally where most of the recruits are first sent. The ranks are as follows:
- Supreme Grand Master: The Chapter Master of the Grey Knights, elected by the eight Grand Masters unanimously. Kaldor Draigo serves as the current Supreme Grand Master. While he can assume command over any current Grand Master command or mission, he normally only does this if a Conclave Diabolus (the 101 daemons on their most wanted list) or a Daemon Primarch shows up (of course it's hard to assume command when you have been stuck in the warp for a undisclosed amount of time).
- Grand Master: The leader of a Grey Knights Brotherhood, this Grey Knight has seen centuries if not millennia of combat. There are only eight in total, in remembrance of the eight Space Marines Malcador the Sigillite recruited for the task. While each also manages the brotherhood fleet, manage recruits etc., they normally just give these task to a Chapter serf so they can go kill daemons. A better explanation for their limited number would be that their the Star of Chaos has 8 points, and that the Grey Knights need to counter Chaos on all of its aspects: if special mystical rituals, more than experience and a "political office" as in how Draigo was appointed (in the original status of the Knights Templar, the Grand-Master (articles 24 to 55) received the additional dignities of Primat, Patriarch and Sovereign, and received the powers to bless, forgive and retain his forgiveness, in addition to "supreme eminence, supreme authority and fullness of sovereign universal authority upon the Order") were required to appoint them, then the Grand-Masters could maybe be embodiment of, say, the virtues listed in the Canticle of Absolution... but Gros Wotour has yet to fly around the idea since third edition.
- Brother-Captain: Just like each Brotherhood has a Grand Master to lead it, so too is there a corresponding Brother-Captain to further delegate orders through the chain of command. Similar to the old Legion Astartes rank where Captains could also be squad commanders, except for the fact that they are always referred to as Brother-Captain. Grey Knight Brother-Captains can command larger groups the way a captain in a typical Codex Chapter would (this happened at the First Battle of Armageddon, for example), but the Knights only assemble in such numbers in response to the direst of threats, so most of the time they're left to run just a squad, albeit an elite one. In the modern version, the Captains are all lieutenants of the Grand-Masters, which does not makes much sense; in the Daemon Hunters codex, Brother-Captan was a title bestowed upon all Terminator squad leaders, since, at the time, the Grey-Knights were not at all Codex compliant, and had numbers allowing them to be much more logically spread over the Imperium albeit in small groups (this also served to explain the numbers of miniatures used on the tabletop wargame).
- Brotherhood Champion: Similar to a Company Champion, the Brotherhood Champion has renounced all forms of combat save for the sword. Given that all Grey Knights are psykers wielding Nemesis-force weapons, this means that a Brotherhood Champion will be charging a daemon with a flaming sword, evening the odds a little. Admittedly one of the cooler (in fluff) units, though on tabletop they're little more than one-trick ponies.
- Justicar: Similar in function to a Sergeant, a Justicar leads squads in battle, answering immediately to a Brother-Captain. The major difference between a Sergeant and a Justicar is that a Justicar may wear personal heraldry. They also often serve as a focus for the squad's psychic powers.
- Purifier: Purifiers are battle-brothers who are especially pure of spirit, possessing high psychic ability that can allow them to wreath themselves in holy flame that will burn anything Chaos tainted while leaving the Purifier untouched. So basically yo dawg we heard you like warriors of purity so we put extra purity in your extra purity so you can be extra pure while you're extra pure! Cool thing about them is that they aren't chosen based on combat abilities or heroics, but their psychic fortitude and purity of soul (how this is actually assessed remains a closely guarded secret) - For this very reason, there's only about 40 Purifiers at once anywhere in the galaxy. They hold some pretty bad secrets on Titan, stuff that they'll beat up other Knights if they ever try and take a hold of.
- Paladin: Paladins are a special group like the Purifiers, but whereas the Purifiers focus on spiritual purity, the Paladins are much more martial, serving as bodyguards to the Grand Masters. Membership is acquired when an Aspirant completes eight separate quests establishing his character and nobility. These things push them to the limit of what is super-humanly possible, both in their psyké and their physical power. Despite this there's a lot of Paladins compared to Purifiers, with about a hundred of them existing at a time. Note that virtually every Paladin is on the books to be promoted to Brother-Captain, though Justicars can also be promoted if they earn it through some appropriately heroic feat and prove they can lead well enough.
- Prognosticar: Think, Space Marine Farseers. These guys serve as the mission control for the chapter and inform the Grand Masters about serious shit that might be going down, and they're often Knights that've been injured badly enough such that they can't serve on the frontlines. Groups of them sit around all day in psychic echo chambers to divine the return of powerful daemons before they actually show up, allowing the Grey Knights to mobilize in time to put a stop to the enemy's plans. This helps to minimize the damage wrought, sometimes even halting the summoning rituals before their completion. They are also probably the most powerful psykers in the whole imperium bar the emperor, other grey knights describe them as blinding when they are suppressing their power.
The Grey Knight's Super Secret Box
Deep within the core of Saturn's moon, Titan, which had been hidden in the Warp during the Horus Heresy, in the heart of the Grey Knights fortress lies a super secret box containing something so super secret that only Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo and nobody else is allowed to know it exists, and even he doesn't know what is inside. Known only as the Terminus Decree, it is unknown what lies within the box, but it is believed that if it is opened that untold horrors would spill into the material world. That said, fucking anything could be inside the box, even a piece of string, a secret compartment within the actual secret box that holds one of the deepest and darkest secret of the Imperium that's triggered by pulling said piece of string, a good piece of Matt Ward fluff, or another secret box. It might even contain an embarrassing photo of the emprah from the Christmas party. On a serious note, it should be noted that the box is inscribed with the exact same insignia as that of the Golden Throne and it has instructions only to open it if all hope for humanity is lost.
The Horus Heresy novel Old Earth coincidentally has Vulkan install a Doomsday Device in the Golden Throne that when activated would destroy Terra to ensure that even if the Imperium fell the homeworld of mankind would be denied to the Ruinous Powers.
Of course, we'll never know since the box will only be opened when "All is lost", although the 8th edition codex does mention that Kaldor Draigo has asked the Grand Masters to consider opening it for the first time in their recorded history (which is fucking dumb since only Draigo knew the Terminus Decree exists. Then again, it's somewhat understandable, since Draigo's brain can be seriously frayed after all time he spent in the warp.). Given what happened the last time GW decided to move things forward, it may be best if we don't learn what's inside.
|This article or section involves Matthew Ward, Spiritual Liege, who is universally-reviled on /tg/. Because this article or section covers Ward's copious amounts of derp and rage, fans of the 40K series are advised that if they proceed onward, they will see fluff and crunch violation of a level rarely seen.|
|This article or section involves Plot Armor so asinine, that its sheer bullshittery warps and breaks the very fabric of the setting's universe. Expect Rage, Butthurt and accusations of Mary Sue being flung around in an endless Skub debate. THEY MAKE IT HAPPEN. You have been warned.|
When the 5E Grey Knights Codex was announced, there was considerable discussion amongst /tg/; finally, an army that needed it was going to get an update. Anticipation turned to balls-out horror, however, when it was discovered that Matthew "Spiritual Liege" Ward was going to do the codex. Matt was notorious for fucking up the fluff of the Blood Angels (turning them into necrophiliacs) and Space Smurfs (turning them into SECOND TO TEH EMPRAH marines, simultaneously infuriating those who actually liked the Ultramarines fluff in which they took their lumps but fought on (I.E. the manly route) and those who already disliked Ultramarines.) Considering that Matt had placed so much ascended fanboy wankery on the Ultramarines, many, especially on /tg/, were wondering how, exactly, he was intending to handle the fluff of the Grey Knights, who were trained to be the best of the best. The face-palm-worthy answer came in the form of leaked information regarding the Codex:
Grey Knights now roam around the warp, carving their names in the daemon hearts of daemon primarchs - you know, the ones that single-handedly destroyed empires and have ascended to daemonhood. That any man would be capable of this, given that the Warp is the very essence of the Daemonic and ergo their numbers are limitless and their powers inviolate and also is a realm that is in itself anathema to the laws of physical existence hence why the fucking ships have to use Geller Fields so they don't un-exist by entering the Warp, and the 10+ years of canon regarding just that was completely disregarded - because Matt Ward said so. So they have one guy (who is such a bit of lunacy that 1d4chan has given him his own article) running around the warp, killing Slaanesh's chosen handmaidens, burning down the gardens of Nurgle, and though it wasn't expressly stated in his fluff article, heavily implies figuring out Tzeentch's Infinite Labyrinth. True to all Matt Ward fluff, how Draigo managed to escape going insane from warp exposure, become Slaanesh's buttsex-slave after setting eyes on She who thirsts, being popped like a Zit by Khorne, not catching space daemon AIDS from being in the plaguefather and Mortarion's presence (let alone carving anything on his heart), or simply being drowned in bodies that make his armor/invulnerable saves irrelevant (the usual way to deal with Grey Knights on the tabletop) is never explained. This is Ward we're talking about, and he shows as much grace as black Irish lepers when handling fluff. Who knows, maybe Ward decided this guy is the Grey Knight's Primarch. At least that might make some sense...a primarch version of a living saint... mmmmm, why didn't Emps do that to begin with!? Oh right, the Imperial Truth.
Not content to rape canon with just one codex entry, he then made it so that Daemonhosts could be taken by a Grey Knights army. For the uninitiated, this was, again, another slap in the face of 10+ years of canon, since in literally every fucking work put out by Games Workshop, has had them view Daemonhosts as the darkest form of Heresy and dealing with those that harbor them the same way they deal with anything daemonic. Not content to leave well enough alone, they can now work with radical Inquisitors, who, again, now harbor the daemonic in the form of Daemonblades.
Then he gave most of the Sisters of Battle special characters to the Grey Knights, such as Lord Krazypantsoff, since - y'know, that army hadn't been brutalized enough for Matt's taste. Which is why he then included the Bloodtide. Look up Khornate Knights if you want to learn more about this...incident.
He then proceeded to give the Grey Knights an absolutely-ridiculous-looking (and widely mocked by /tg/) walker called a Dreadknight that counts as a monstrous creature, can do a huge personal teleport to get where it needs to be, and which basically is a Grey Knight Terminator hooked into a bigger armor suit - yes,
it's every bit as insane and retarded as it sounds just kidding, it's even worse than that because not only does it have no frontal armor, it leaves the head of the Grey Knight completely exposed. But hey, to be fair, it was designed for the purpose of fighting greater daemons 1 on 1, not to protect from bullets. These guys fight daemons in melee combat, and any extra protection against a greater daemon's weapon past termie armor and force fields would be redundant. As one clever Ultramarines player, fed up with Matt Ward's shit, put it:
"Yo dawg, we heard you like powered armor so we put powered armor in your powered armor so you can go to war while you go to war" 
Inexplicably, despite the fact that you could snipe the Grey Knight out of the Dreadknight, since apparently armoring the head is for losers, the rules don't display this. Exactly why Ward thinks that bullets are somehow less damaging against the Knight's head when it's put in a suit of armor that mostly covers its body and limbs is a mystery. (Although the codex does say something about there being an invisible shield of ridiculous strength protecting the pilot, without any regard to what kind of implications Super-Strength Force Fields have, simply because Matt Ward wanted to make the DreadKnight look like the Power Loader from Aliens) What he really got from it was a baby carrier attached to a chicken that got beaten by an ugly stick.
Throw in a ton of extra cheese, a commander that out-Creed's Creed (it can Scout more units than Creed can with Tactical Genius) by a sizable margin, throw in a ton of retarded violations of fluff like the aforementioned, and several other bits of flaming stupid (such as the oversight which allows players to take entire armies of Jokaero, which, depending on who you are, could be a bad thing or a funny thing), and you have the 5th Edition Grey Knights Codex in a nutshell.
tl;dr a shitstorm happened.
Hauling Things Back on Track
Needless to say, when GW announced that the Grey Knights would be getting an update for 7E, people were far less than enthused. After all, nobody was exactly thrilled by the last codex, but the only way they could get any worse was to have someone illiterate write.
That said, the 7E Codex saw a massive cutback in terms of both fluff and crunch.
Gone was the aforementioned incident with the Sisters, as was any mention of Vorth Mordrak the Ghost-Master and Anval Thawn the Possibly-Perpetual Paladin (and one of Ward's few good ideas from 5th ed.)
Similarly, that bullshit story about Draigo forging a sword from a daemonic weapon was gone. It's still there, and you have to be retarded to consider this canon-rape as both Logan Grimnar's axe and Papa Smurf's gauntlets are both reforged trophies taken from Chaos (which is still canon-rape).
In terms of crunch, though, a lot more was cut, and the codex as a whole was beaten with the nerf bat pretty hard. First off, they were finally excised from that tumor that was the old Inquisition List. However, that removal did also mean that the Knights now lacked much in the way of anti-armor. Similarly, Thrawn and Mordrak were banished from the codex because they never had models. A lot of the more cheese options for the Grey Knights (Grand Strategy and allotment of psychic powers mostly) were also removed, as were the beloved Psybolts. In fact, the only unit that got buffed in the codex was the Dreadknight, who got a major price cut and was forced to be the only good unit, with the runner-up being the Librarian by virtue of his psychic variety. Oh, and Draigo got shoved into Lords of War while losing all the rules that made him OP.
In short, there were some price changes to units, a few units were switched into different slots, and there were nerfs all around with very, very little to compensate for the loss, save for a formation and a few relics.
Grey Knights and the Adeptus Custodes
Shield Captain Valerian provides a telling perspective about how the most elite warriors in the Imperium views their silver-armored cousins. Shield-Captain Valerian thinks it possible that M41 Custodians are individually more skilled than their Great Crusade era counterparts, owing to ten thousand years of extra experience and information gathering on mankind's enemies. However, in the book The Emperor's Legion, while working with and fighting alongside a Grey Knights company, Valerian does acknowledge to himself that while each individual Custodian is more than a match for their Grey Knight counterparts, the Custodes are not a self-contained army the same way as Space Marine Chapters are, since that was never their intended function. Nor are they possessed of any prescient gifts or supernatural abilities that would assist them against the Great Enemy. In this way, he further compares the Custodians to the Grey Knights, both being descended from the Emperor (in different fashions), were incorruptible and immune to the temptations of Chaos; the key difference is that the Grey Knights are a weapon of singular purpose against the Warp while the Custodians had been intended to be the guardians of mankind in a future without the Warp. Valerian privately speculates that it might be the Grey Knights who more faithfully embody the Emperor's final legacy considering how the Imperium eventually turned out, and isn't so sure about which agency is the finest or most faithful; and while he never says that he himself actually agrees with this sentiment, he acknowledges that a reasonable argument could perhaps be made. This is a shared sentiment that skulks around the other Custodians like a foul odour.
The missing element in the Custodes deployment has always been the Sisters of Silence, a force that most commanders very easily forget about, especially when faced with the awesome fighting prowess of the Custodes themselves. But it is worth noting that they were always intended to fight together. Sister Tanau Aleya believes that there is no physical opponent that the Custodians could not destroy [the Swarmlord recently being killed by a single, no-name Custodian without even a whole lot of fuss seems to support this assessment, irksome as Tyranid players may consider it] and that it was the role of the untouchable Sisters of Silence to anchor supernatural or warp tainted enemies into the physical realm where they can be wounded and destroyed by the golden warriors or by the Sisters themselves, whose null effect causes any daemons they strike down to be killed permanently. Thus, they act on the opposite end of the scale to the Grey Knights, who fight against the warp on its own terms, whereas the Talons of the Emperor deny the warp any purchase in reality to begin with.
Which method is more effective, it is actually difficult to say. From the Grey Knights' end, while superlative warriors even amongst the astartes, they are not the peerless physical combatants that the Custodes are; but then, nobody is. However, they were also never meant to be, and the Grey Knights are peerless psykers, which offsets the discrepancy somewhat. While certainly fighting creatures of the warp using harnessed warp energy is not so foolishly sounding as first appears, as it has real precedence; The God-Emperor himself does so, and the Eldar do it almost routinely. This is where it's also important to point out that there's a difference between Chaos and The Warp; Chaos needs The Warp to exist, but not vice-versa. If that's still not clear, then as an analogy, in Star Wars, there's a distinction between The Sith and the Dark Side of the Force, even if the two are sometimes thought of as interchangeable; The Sith are reliant on the Dark Side, but the Dark Side exists irrespective of the existence of The Sith. Not a perfect analogy certainly, but hopefully conveys the gist. But returning to the point, for perspective's sake, it is better to understand that it is Timing that is the main factor. When the Grey Knights arrive on the scene, it is already too late for everybody else: the great enemy already has all the cards, the dark gods have now found purchase into the material realm, the battle is effectively lost, and no number of battle tanks or titan god-machines will reverse the inevitable... and that is where the Grey Knights are forced to begin their fight.
So, regardless of what anybody else says, be proud of your silver dudes. For while they may be sometimes deployed as a preemptive force, Grey Knights are more often typically wrestling victory from the jaws of not only certain-defeat but a point where defeat has already happened. To win even when everything is already lost. They're the last prayer, they're final hail mary, the last roll of the dice. Don't be surprised if they lose, because everything is so stacked up against them. But when they actually win, that's something.
- Supreme Grand Master Kaldor Draigo
- Grand Master Vorth Mordrak
- Grand Master Aldrik Voldus
- Brother-Captain Arvann Stern
- Castellan Garran Crowe
- Librarian Hyperion
- Justicar Alaric
- Anval Thawn
Daily Rituals of the Grey Knights
04:00 - Rousing from their deep sleep. The Grey Knights emerge from their purity sealed, ceramite-plasteel composite beds.
04:30 - The Grey Knights initiate Morning Prayers. These are extra long to make the Grey Knights extra faithful.
06:50 - Morning Meal. A light meal is prepared by the Grey Knight's uber secret serfs. Each meal is blessed with holy water and purity seals.
09:00 - Purity Checks. The Grey Knights are inscribed with new protective wardens and are checked for their pureness.
10:00 - Battle Practice. The Grey Knights resume practicing on ways to kill daemons via Daemonhosts and even more Heretics.
11:00 - Midday Prayer. The Grey Knights initiate a prayer just as long as in the morning. This time on why the Emprah kicks ass and the Chaos Gods suck monkey cock.
13:00 - Midday Meal. A medium meal is prepared again by the secret serfs. More holy water and blessed ingredients are used to prepare the food.
13:30 - Tactical Indoctrination. The Grey Knights are informed on the latest daemonic incursions.
15:30 - Battle Practice. The Grey Knights pay a visit to a random
heretical planet to hone their heretic killing spree skillzzzz.
17:00 - Evening Firing Rites. The Grey Knights continue their target practice on captured Daemons and Heretics after returning from their daily heretic slaughter.
18:00 - Evening Prayer. A prayer is hosted in the evening to further indoctrinate the Grey Knights as to why they're 'special'.
20:00 - Evening Meal. A huge feast is prepared by the serfs. Not only are the food decorated in purity seals, dressed in holy water and blessed ingredients but is also cooked in holy Prometheum mixture, the same fuel used to fire up Purgation Squad's Incinerators. Usually the feast is celebrated by a successful Paladin.
22:00 - Purity Checks. More checks on the Grey Knights purity. Failure in filling up the daily purity quotient will lead the particular Grey Knight to go on a penance crusade to slaughter a million Daemons by himself. This is a minor nuisance as all of them succeed due to their plot armor. Of course, nobody failed in the first place, so they just draw sticks over who gets to waste 5 minutes of the free period slaughtering Daemons.
23:00 - Free Time. The Grey Knights have their free time. Those sent on a penance crusade came back with a bucket load of captured and slain daemons and heretics to be later used for tomorrow's target and battle practice. The rest of the Grey Knights use their time to worship the Emperor, honing in their psychic potential, blessing their equipment or reading their special 666 paged booklet of purging daemons. Techmarines spend the time preparing borrowed Xeno tech for general use. Additionally various recreational facilities are made available to Grey Knights; most notable of these is an ancient piece of archeotech called MS-DOS which runs a program from M3 known as "Doom" in which what is assumed to be a proto Grey Knight running around slaughtering daemons. This is of great entertainment to the Grey Knights as it reminds them that killing demons isn't just their emperor given duty, it can be fun too.
24:00 - The Grey Knights goes back to their deep sleep in their purity approved beds.
I am the hammer, I am the mail about His fist.
I am the Spear in His hand.
Though we are lost, I am the shield on His arm.
I am the flight of His arrows. I am the hammer.
I am the sword. I am the shield.
I am a soldier at the battle at the end of time.
I am the Hammer,
I am the edge of His Sword,
I am the tip of His Spear,
I am the mail about His Fist,
I am the flight of His Arrows,
I am the right hand of my Emperor,
I am the instrument of His Will,
I am His sword as He is my Armor,
I am his Wrath and He is my Zeal,
I am the Bane of His Foes and the Woes of the Treacherous,
Let us be His Shield,
Let us speak His Word as He fuels the Fire of Devotion,
Let us fight His Battles, as He fights the Battle at the end of time,
And let us join Him there, for Duty ends not in Death,
In Vengeance be true, In Valor be Strong,
I am the Hammer,
I am the Sword,
I am the Spear,
I am the Shield,
I am the soldier at the End of Time.
Lord Inquisitor version
I am the Hammer,
I am the point of His spear,
I am the mail about His fist,
I am the bane of His foes and the woes of the treacherous,
I am the End.
~~ Justicar Alaric, Grey Knights
Canticle of Absolution
Praise the Emperor for his sacrifice,
as He endures so shall we.
We who are Hunters of Daemons,
shall strive in his name eternally.
We the Order of the Hammer,
shall delve into the Dark Shadows.
We shall seek out the Tainted,
we shall pursue the Vilest Evil.
It is we who stand guard,
our Eternal Watch shall not fail.
For we are the Ordo Malleus!
We Grey Knights are the Hammers,
we slay the Darkness without fear.
Founded in great mystery we were,
Chapter six hundred and sixty six.
Though on Titan we be hidden,
yet our eyes encompass the Galaxy.
No Devil shall elude our gaze,
no Daemon shall elude its Fate.
We shall be the Keepers Immortal,
all Secrets shall be our Knowledge.
We are the Guardians of Mankind!
Caution and secrecy are our code,
watchfulness and patience are our way.
Hidden from the Eyes of Chaos,
we strike without warning or dread.
Though we find ourselves in Shadows,
no Blackness will enter our Hearts.
No treachery will touch our souls,
no pride will sully our thoughts.
We shall be Pure amongst Impurity,
we shall be Innocence amongst Guilt.
We are the Imperium’s Hidden Saviours!
We are spread across the Heavens,
our watch is untiring and ceaseless.
The Emperor shall guard our Souls,
as we Guard those of others.
Our will shall be our weapons,
our faith shall be our armour.
Our minds will be secure fortresses,
no Temptation will weaken our resolve.
Though unnumbered lurking perils await us,
our blades will ever be ready.
For we are the Emperor’s Vengeance!
Masters of all weapons are we,
no defence exists against our wrath.
With the Nemesis shall we fight,
with an Aegis to shield us.
In bloodshed shall we save Mankind,
Death shall be our Everlasting Creed.
War Unending shall be our Fate,
in battle shall we be steeped.
We shall be unstinting in Hatred,
we shall hunger for Holy War.
For we are Swords of Justice!
When all flee in hideous disarray,
strong and sound shall we stand.
Cowardice is wholly unknown to us,
our courage comes from the Emperor.
Unbowed and unshaken against all foes,
we shall claim victory with blood.
Steady and surely we hunt them,
those who dare oppose our wrath.
Death stalks us in many forms,
the grotesque and the utterly inhuman.
We are the Bringers of Hope!
Bloody battles unending constantly await us,
redemption the reward for our vigilance.
When Possession rears its unspeakable head,
ours is the blade that descends.
When Empyrean Horrors invade our realm,
our Exorcisms shall hurl them back.
There is no Chaos spawned horror,
which can resist our indomitable anger.
With undaunted courage we shall prevail,
no arcane magicks shall overcome us.
We are the Bearers of Victory!
No corruption shall blemish our Galaxy,
no Immaterial Fiend shall be spared.
No Malevolent Spirit will oppose us,
no Creation of Sin shall survive.
No Unholy Deed shall go Unpunished,
all Blasphemous Acts shall be Atoned.
No Spawn of Misrule shall avoid us,
all are banished to the Void.
Nothing shall evade our Cleansing Fire,
not Daemon or Spawn or Renegade.
For we are Mankind’s Divine Blade!
Heavenly Blessings are laid upon us,
the Warp is ours to Tame.
Though Sorceries shall be against us,
no Witchcraft will bring our Doom.
Though Spell or Incantation blocks us,
the Emperor shall see us Victorious.
No Hex can overcome our determination,
our resolve is strong as steel.
Sigils and wards shall watch over us,
prayers shall serve as our Guide.
For we are the Emperor’s Chosen!
There is much darkness awaiting us,
yet the Emperor lights our path.
Falsehood surrounds us at every turn,
yet no Traitor shall confound us.
No despicable trickery will thwart us,
No Damnation shall bring us low.
There is no peace for us,
for an eternity we will strive.
Though mere mortals in His service,
everlasting shall be our True Duty.
~~ Codex: Daemonhunters 3rd Edition
We must remember, however, that many players have embraced Ward's Grey Knights. And they are, to a man, insufferable.
Disregard the Ward. The Knights and Sisters are the best of bros.
- The 666 Rituals of Detestation - All Grey Knights initiates must pass these trials before they become a full-fledged battle brother.
- Exorcists, who totally are not budget Grey Knights.
- The Ultimate Grey Knight Cheese List The Ultimate (in Cheese!) Grey Knight Army for 6E right at the start of the edition, before things were updated. Seriously, though...don't play it or your opponent will murder you in real life.
- Grey Knight Brotherhood Creation Table - Create your own Brotherhood with anons or otherwise.
- Grey Knights Tactics
- Watch a Grey Knight get armored up in Aegis Terminator Armor IN OVER 1080p!
|Forces of the Grey Knights|
|Command:||Brotherhood Champion - Grand Master - Librarian |
Techmarine - Chaplain - Apothecary
|Troops:||Grey Knight Paladin - Interceptor Squad - Justicar |
Purgation Squad - Purifier - Strike Squad - Terminator Squad
|Walkers:||Dreadknight - Doomglaive Dreadnought - Venerable Dreadnought|
|Vehicles:||Land Raider (Land Raider Crusader - Land Raider Vortimer) |
Rhino - Razorback
|Flyers:||Stormraven - Stormtalon - Stormhawk - Thunderhawk|
|Spacecraft:||Aquila Lander - Boarding Torpedo |
Drop Pod - Space Marine Landing Craft
|Allies:||Inquisition - Sisters of Battle|