Chapter Contest Entry: Knights of Nihilus

Core Information

  • Chapter Name: Knights of Nihilus – Ultima Founding (999.M41)
  • Chapter Symbol: Wolf’s head (created in runes/knots) – Wolfs head chosen to represent their ties to their parent chapter and the use of runes and knots as a mark of honour to the customs of their recruitment world.
  • Homeworld: Traditionally a fleet based chapter, however after crossing the Nihilus Rift, have now adopted Theòrsa which they had primarily used as a recruitment world as their homeworld. Theòrsa is a feudal world with little technological advancement. The world is significantly covered in vast oceans, only broken up by long stretches of high-peaked mountainous terrain, craggy highlands with verdant forests and scarce fields dedicated to agriculture. Most islands and areas are under control of various tribes and clans, who maintain tenuous relationships over land, resources and control of harbours and seas, while battles and feuds are commonplace between clans, there is no outright war within this hierarchy, the people of Theòrsa believing that battle and strife strengthens ones resolve and tempers their primal spirits.
  • Gene-seed: Space Wolves Successor (Use Space Wolf – Codex Trait)
  • Chapter Master Name: Shield Master Davian Ye’man
  • Codex Adherent: As members of the Ultima Founding and students of both Guilliman and Belisarius Cawl they act in adherence to the codex astartes with regards to everything except for battlefield roles & company markings, these are depicted using a variety of runes and symbols adopted from their parent chapter and developed in line with the local customs of what would become their recruitment world. These are unique to the chapter and additional runes and markings on armour are in reward for significant deeds, battle honours or in remembrance of fallen battle brothers.
    • In terms of deployment, the chapter has 10 standard companies as per the codex, however has been known to diverge in levels of deployment of force to meet the increasing threats spreading through Imperium Nihilus, in some cases forces known as ‘Quests’ have been sent out with singular focus and purpose across the sector, these in function are similar to the function of the Saga’s carried by their parent chapter, however these are more reserved and tightly controlled due to the limited resources available to the chapter on this side of the rift a
  • Favoured Tactics: The Knights of Nihilus are a crusading and largely fleet based chapter, they excel in rapid deployment and shock assault, using the minimum required force to exact the heaviest toll on their opponents. The chapter is proud of its martial prowess and favours melee combat due to their rigorous training drills, in an effort to contain their feral spirits, as such units like Assault Intercessors and Bladeguard are heavily favoured and in many cases honoured positions. However the chapter has also been known to favour fast attacking elements and close support elements such as Outriders, Stormspeeders, Reivers and Incursors, seeking to chase down their fleeing foes or to coerce their opponents into the deadly shield walls and blades of the main assault.
  • Chapter Traits: Space Wolves Successors, use parent chapter trait.
  • Battlecry: ‘In battle we are tempered, In death we are unleashed!’
  • History / Interesting Information: See expanded lore below.

Expanded Lore

The Knights of Nihilus began their crusades in the Pit of Raukos amongst the unnumbered sons, alongside their gene brothers of the Wolfspear, tasked with standing as sentinels to guard the pit from further recursions of the forces of Chaos and to handle the cleansing of the remaining forces. Having fought valiantly alongside Guilliman for so long, this was taken as a slight, being asked to stand as mere guards while the Imperium cried out in peril. The Wolfspear and remaining unnumbered sons of the Space Wolves fractured, creating the Knights of Nihilus who took upon themselves to chase down the fleeing forces of Chaos across the great rift, the blood of wolves seemingly too strong within their veins to allow their quarry to flee unchallenged. This would prove to be a near fatal mistake for many of the Knights, the crossing of the Imperium Nihilus took a heavy toll on the newly formed Knights, with many casualties suffered during the crossing and many more in the running skirmishes with the forces of chaos thereafter. Having broken their vows at a significant cost the Knights of Nihilus took it upon themselves to protect all within their grasp and to hold to this as the one vow that would never be broken, never again would the chapter give in to base instincts, they sought to raise themselves above the blood and primal spirit of the wolves and beasts within. The chapter markedly changed in those early days upon discovering Theòrsa, a simple feudal world that had not only maintained the fighting spirit of their ancestors but had converted it into a system of taming their warrior and primal spirits. The Knights had found a home reflective of themselves, a planet where the lineage of ancestors was respected but never dominant within the lives of its people, people who saw the value in the bestial spirit within each warrior but only when unleashed at the right and just moment.  The chapter would come to use this as a recruitment and a pseudo home-world, never engaging with the feuds and battles of the clans directly but keeping a watchful and respectful eye upon them, only attending the planet once a year to participate within the ‘Clannad’, where young warriors would fight on behalf of their clan in various test of martial prowess, strength and tenacity, with those victorious raised to positions of honour within the clans, now chosen and raised further to the ranks of the adeptus astartes.

The chapter seeks to honour their genetic ancestry and wolves within, but never to allow this spirit to overcome them, lest they turn into the feral beasts of old, many knights do so through martial training or through solemn vows known as ‘Quests’ in which to focus their energies and keep their fighting spirit in check. However it has been a known flaw for many Knights to have fallen to the ‘Wolf-curse’ becoming nothing more than primal and savage warriors willing to throw themselves into the heat of battle with reckless abandon, breaking all bonds and vows for the glory of combat and inevitably death. This is a growingly common occurrence which seems to be linked to the Belisarian Furnace within each warrior, the furnace which normally triggers when primaris marines have suffered fatal wounds to trigger them into a battle frenzy of overwhelming force before succumbing to death, is even more erratic and uncontrollable within the Knights of Nihilus. It has become a sight of fear and untold death to many forces in the Imperium Nihilus, giving poignance to the battle cry of the Knights; ‘In battle we are tempered, In death we are unleashed!’

The chapter dons many unusual customs in a mix of heraldic knight traditions and those adopted of Theòrsa, intricate Theòrsian runes and knots depicted on the armor of each battle brother telling tales of their deeds, feats and losses. The chapter is well known for its use of shields to represent their knight’s vow to protect those who stand with them and as a mark of respect to the warrior clans of Theòrsa. The chapter also utilizes an interesting role developed from Theòrsian runes, being of Space Wolf descent inevitably resulted in an intrinsic and natural distrust of psykers, which has forced the chapter to turn to the elements of nature trapped within runestones of old Theòrsa, these battle brothers capable of controlling these elements act as the chapters psychic defence and often offence, but also offer a more valuable role on the battlefield, acting as spiritual leaders in much the same as the Chaplains of old would,  reading runes, portents and channelling or soothing the wills of battle brothers to keep the wolf curse in check. These have come to be known as the Rune-Guard.