Black Templars: Unwavering Guardians of the Emperor’s Light

Black Templars: The Eternal Crusaders of the Emperor

The Black Templars are no ordinary Space Marines; they are a shining example of what it means to be a true servant of the Emperor. Their eternal crusade against the enemies of mankind is a testament to their unshakable faith and unyielding spirit.

I invite you to join me on a journey through the annals of the Black Templars’ glorious past, exploring their distinctive organizational structure and the righteous combat doctrines that have made them one of the most feared and respected Chapters in the Imperium. Together, we will uncover the secrets of these legendary warriors and gain a deeper appreciation for their unwavering commitment to the Emperor’s holy cause.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The Black Templars are a Second Founding Chapter known for their zealous devotion to the Emperor and their neverending crusades against the enemies of the Imperium.
  2. Unlike most Codex-compliant Chapters, the Black Templars have no homeworld and are instead organized into crusade fleets led by Marshals and their subordinate Castellans.
  3. The Black Templars are distinguished by their abhorrence of psykers, their preference for close-quarters combat, and their strict adherence to the Emperor’s Champion and their sacred vows.
  4. The Chapter has played a significant role in many of the Imperium’s greatest conflicts, including the Third War for Armageddon and the Indomitus Crusade.
  5. Despite their loyalty to the Emperor, the Black Templars’ zealous nature has sometimes brought them into conflict with other Imperial organizations like the Inquisition.

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Who are the Black Templars?

The Black Templars are a loyalist Second Founding Chapter descended from the legendary Imperial Fists and their Primarch Rogal Dorn. In the aftermath of the calamitous Horus Heresy, Dorn’s most zealous champion Sigismund led a band of like-minded battle-brothers to found the Black Templars, embarking on a never-ending crusade to purge the Imperium of heresy, xenos and witchcraft.

“Abhor the Witch, Destroy the Witch”

A defining trait of the Black Templars is their utter disdain for the warp and those who would wield its foul power. The Templars harbor a deep mistrust for all psykers, even those sanctioned by the Imperium.

Because of this, their ranks are devoid of Librarians. However, they hold a special reverence for Navigators and Astropaths as holy disciples essential for their Eternal Crusade.

Since their founding, the Black Templars have remained fleet-based, fervently pursuing crusades across the galaxy to eradicate the enemies of mankind. Unlike most Codex-compliant Chapters, the Templars have no homeworld, instead raising keeps on worlds they conquer to serve as recruitment and staging grounds for future crusades.

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Organization of the Black Templars 

The Black Templars are organized into autonomous Crusade Fleets rather than a typical Codex Chapter. Overall command falls to the High Marshal, while each individual fleet is led by a Marshal.

Their crusades are further subdivided into Fighting Companies, each headed by a Castellan and ranging in size from dozens to hundreds of battle-brothers along with their vehicles and support personnel.

The Emperor’s Champion: A Living Icon of Faith

A unique position within the Black Templars is the Emperor’s Champion. Before a battle, the Templars gather in prayer and one among them may experience a vision from the Emperor.

This battle-brother is then declared the Emperor’s Champion and ritually armed with the Black Sword and the Armor of Faith, becoming a figure of inspiration, righteousness and holy fury on the battlefield.

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From Neophyte to Initiate: The Forging of a Templar

When a Neophyte is selected to join the Black Templars, he does not serve in a dedicated Scout Company, but rather undergoes a grueling apprenticeship under the direct tutelage of an Initiate.

The bond between master and student is a sacred one – if the Initiate falls, his colleagues will vie to complete the Neophyte’s training. Only once judged ready by his tutor is a Neophyte elevated to the rank of Initiate.

The backbone of the Black Templars’ Fighting Companies are the Crusader Squads. These units mix Initiates and Neophytes, imparting the experience of hardened veterans to their eager students through the crucible of battle.

Most unique about their squad structure is the Templars’ preference for dedicating the entire squad to either fully ranged or fully melee roles.

In the Emperor’s Name: Righteous Zeal and Close-Quarters Prowess

In combat, the Black Templars exemplify the tenets of their founder Sigismund, emphasizing forward pressure and vicious close-quarters destruction of the enemy.

Bolters and blades in hand, the Templars crash into their foes like a thunderous wave, smiting the Emperor’s enemies with unmatched zeal and skill-at-arms.

Before battle, the Templars renew one of their four sacred vows:

  1. Suffer Not the Unclean to Live
  2. Uphold the Honor of the Emperor
  3. Abhor the Witch, Destroy the Witch
  4. Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds

Each vow directs the fury of the Templars in a specific way, from instilling them with resilience against psykers, to enhancing their prowess in the press of melee.

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Black Templars

Crusade of Righteous Retribution: The Black Templars at War

In battle, the Black Templars unleash their zeal in two key ways. The first is through mass drop pod assaults and thunderhawk landings following a devastating orbital bombardment.

Should the enemy survive this initial onslaught, the Templars then launch an armored spearhead of Land Raider Crusaders to crack the foe’s defenses and deliver the Emperor’s wrath.

Of recent memory, the Templars earned glory in the Third War for Armageddon, when Marshal Helbrecht led three mighty crusades to the beleaguered hive world.

The Helsreach Crusade in particular stands as a shining example of the Chapter’s fortitude, when Chaplain Grimaldus and but a hundred battle-brothers defied a savage ork horde in the defense of Hive Helsreach.

With the coming of the Great Rift and the Indomitus Crusade, the Black Templars have embarked upon some of the most far-flung crusades in their history.

Reinforced with the new Primaris brethren in a joyous reunion, the Templars now crusade with renewed purpose, to reconquer the galaxy for their beloved Emperor, smiting the enemies of the Imperium with bolt, blade and flame.

Notable Black Templars: Heroes of the Eternal Crusade

Throughout their storied history, the Black Templars have been led by some of the most zealous and uncompromising warriors in the Imperium. From Sigismund, the First High Marshal and Emperor’s Champion, to the current High Marshal Helbrecht, these heroes have exemplified the virtues of the Chapter and led their battle-brothers to countless victories.

Other notable Black Templars include Chaplain Grimaldus, the Hero of Helsreach, and Castellan Draco, a former champion who fell from grace and was declared Excommunicate Traitoris. Each of these figures has left an indelible mark on the Chapter’s legacy, for better or worse.

To carry out their sacred duties, the Black Templars employ a diverse array of weaponry, each tool a holy instrument in the pursuit of their crusades. From the humble bolter to the mighty blade, every weapon is a symbol of the Emperor’s will made manifest.

Some of the most iconic weapons in the Templar’s arsenal include the Black Sword, a massive two-handed power sword wielded by the Emperor’s Champion, and the Sword of the High Marshals, a relic blade forged from the shattered remains of Rogal Dorn’s own weapon. In the hands of the faithful, these weapons become conduits of the Emperor’s own fury.

Relics of the Black Templars: Sacred Artifacts of the Crusades

In addition to their mighty weapons, the Black Templars also possess a vast collection of sacred relics, each a tangible reminder of their duty and the sacrifices of their forebears.

These artifacts are as diverse as they are powerful, ranging from ancient banners and holy texts to the bones of long-dead saints.

Among the most revered of these relics is the Shroud of Saint Katherine, a blessed winding sheet that is said to heal the wounds of the faithful and inspire them to acts of great heroism.

Another is the Skull of Longinus, a grim trophy that is said to whisper the secrets of the enemy to those who possess it.

The Black Templars and the Inquisition: A Tenuous Alliance

While the Black Templars are unwaveringly loyal to the Emperor and the Imperium, their zealous pursuit of their own crusades has sometimes brought them into conflict with other Imperial institutions, particularly the Inquisition.

The Templars’ distrust of psykers and their propensity for independent action have led some Inquisitors to view them with suspicion, and there have been several notable incidents where the two organizations have come to blows.

Nevertheless, the Templars and the Inquisition continue to work together when necessary, united in their common goal of preserving the Imperium.

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Painting and Modeling: Bringing Your Crusade to Life

Templars are a joy to paint and model, their stark black and white heraldry an iconic yet beginner-friendly scheme. I love personalizing each brother with purity seals, chains, tabards, blades and grim helms.

When building your crusade, mix Primaris with Firstborn, Crusader Squads with Ancients and Sword Brethren – build a diverse force worthy of Sigismund and the Marshal.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Are the Black Templars a loyal Chapter?

A: Yes, the Black Templars are unwaveringly loyal to the Emperor and the Imperium, despite their occasional conflicts with other Imperial institutions like the Inquisition.

Q: Why don’t the Black Templars have any psykers in their ranks?

A: The Black Templars deeply distrust psykers and the powers of the warp, seeing them as a potential source of corruption. As a result, they do not maintain a Librarius like most other Chapters.

Q: What is the role of the Emperor’s Champion?

A: The Emperor’s Champion is a unique position within the Black Templars, chosen from among the ranks to serve as a living embodiment of the Emperor’s will on the battlefield. Armed with the Black Sword and Armor of Faith, the Emperor’s Champion seeks out the mightiest foes and inspires their battle-brothers to acts of great heroism.

Q: How do the Black Templars recruit new members?

A: As a fleet-based Chapter, the Black Templars recruit from a variety of worlds, often those that they have recently conquered or liberated. Recruits are chosen from the most promising youths and must undergo a grueling process of training and indoctrination before being accepted into the Chapter.

Q: What is the relationship between the Black Templars and the Imperial Fists?

A: The Black Templars were originally founded from the Imperial Fists Legion during the Second Founding and maintain close ties to their progenitor Chapter. However, the Templars have developed their own unique traditions and ways of waging war that set them apart from their parent Chapter.

Q: How can I learn more about the Black Templars?

A: If you’re interested in learning more about the Black Templars, there are many great resources available, including novels, rulebooks, and online communities. The website and YouTube channel are particularly good places to start, offering a wealth of lore and insight into the Chapter and its place in the broader Warhammer 40,000 universe.

The Unrelenting Zeal of the Black Templars

In a galaxy riven by heresy, there are few constants, but the zeal of the Black Templars is unrelenting. Across ten millenia, they have pursued their neverending quest, securing glory in the Emperor’s name and ensuring Mankind’s survival through their pious sacrifice.

By deepening our understanding of their history and emulating their devotion, we can all in our own way answer the Black Templars’ call. No Pity, No Remorse, No Fear!

If you are looking for a more in depth look at the Black Templars we recommend heading over to the 40k wiki!

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