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- "Once, mankind spanned the breadth of the galaxy, and it shall do so again. But this time our species will be armed with the Truth and the Sword, and all who challenge the Emperor's dream will fall prey to both."
- — Legion Master Amalaric Pendrar after the Chonma Campaign
Legion History Edit
Once simply known as the IVth as the Legion set out from Terra by order of the Emperor of Mankind, the Gryphon Knights are the dutiful warriors of the Primarch Lordin Bellator. Before the IVth were reunited with their beloved gene-sire, the Legion had accrued a reputation for being fair-handed to the lost worlds of Man and implacable in war to any alien scourge.
The Great Crusade Edit
Discovery of Lordin Edit
Known to be a compassionate man but also a fearsome commander during his adult life, Lordin Tolken was placed upon the Feudal World of Boletaria after being stolen away from the Emperor by the forces of Chaos. Boletaria’s human population had, after millennia of degradation in the Old Night, had their technology reduced. They were also plagued by another misfortune- beasts afflicted by the Warp. During a particularly horrid Warp Storm near the planet, the wildlife of Boletaria was affected by the chaotic taint of the Immaterium whilst the now Feudal humans had established cities in the shadow of great mountains, hidden from the Warp Storm’s effects until it passed.
However, these Beasts would develop a maddened hunger for human flesh and assaulted the many mountain-fortresses of humanity across Boletaria. Thusly, orders of noble warrior hunters were formed after years of sustaining siege by savage monsters to slay the Beasts before they could threaten their respective homelands. Lordin Bellator himself was discovered on one of these great hunts as an infant, later taken as a ward of the Regent of the mountain city Forossa and was hailed as a holy child sent by the ancestors to save the city, the 'misunderstanding' coming from Lordin's mutant form which consisted of avian wings sprouting from his back. As is customary for such children taken in by the Regent, Lordin was given a far better education than many in Forossa received, and trained to become a Knight-Hunter and join the Hunt of the Beasts. Indeed, it seemed Lordin required very little in the way of martial instruction as the young man proved to have an innate sense for battle.
Upon reaching an age of early adulthood, Lordin had finally proved himself on his first Hunt, their prey being the conjoining of an avian and a great feline, a Gryphon. Several of his comrades were torn to shreds by the talons of the great Beast, their basic power armor giving little protection. However, Lordin hefted up his spear as the Gryphon swooped down at the Knight of Forossa, the forest around them filled with the death screeches of the pierced monster. Returning to Forossa with the Gryphon’s head as a trophy, Lordin was showered in praise from all, until an elderly monk approached the young Primarch and warned both him and all of Forossa of the coming of an eldritch darkness, a great evil rising in the far east. Whereas Forossa and many of its sister cities were hidden from the Warping effects of the Warp Storms, one city had been struck by the powers of Chaos. A malignant Warlord had arisen and sought destruction and command over the world of Boletaria, heralding himself as the Black Knight with legions of warped beasts at his command.
Immediately knowing the danger of this man, Lordin undertook a quest to unite the strongholds of Mankind across Boletaria to be ready for the coming evil, refusing the resort of conquering his neighbors whilst doing so. Along the way, Lordin began the task of taming young Gryphons, the taint of the Warp absent from their bodies. With the people of Forossa and elsewhere training their new bestial companions, the young Primarch was able to sway more kingdoms to his cause with a show of power, or acts of heroism to better the lives of those around him. After years spent on his errand, Lordin marshalled all of his new strength and set himself against the Black Knight of the East, fielding a grand army of warriors clad in elementary power armor and primitive versions of boltguns, armored cavalry, Gryphon-mounted Knight-Hunters and even a great airship of ancient design, one of the few pieces of technology the Boletarians had managed to save. In a climactic war, the free peoples of Boletaria stood against the Black Knight and his hordes of despicable mutants, the final battle of which, the Black Knight managed to almost crush Lordin under the foot of a giant primate Beast, only to find the Primarch’s spear lodged in his chest. When Lordin looked upon his army again, the skies opened and the Emperor himself descended onto the battlefield to find his lost son.
After bringing the awe-struck Lordin up to the grand capital ship, the Bucephelus, the Emperor of Mankind showed his lost son the glorious technology of the Imperium and explained to Lordin of how he and all his brothers were taken from their father, and that the galaxy was to be conquered for Humanity. Lordin Bellator knelt before his golden father and swore eternal fealty to him and to Mankind, and he was met with his destined portion of the Legio Astartes, his Legion of Space Marines.
Soon after the rediscovery of Lordin, Boletaria was elevated in its technology up to the that of the Imperium, with the mountain cities becoming modernized and revitalized into towering versions of themselves, firmly set in their Feudal traditions.
Legion Organisation Edit
Harkening to the different knightly orders of hunters from Boletaria, the dutiful guardians that were able were given the honor of becoming Adeptus Astartes, keeping their honored name while serving Lordin in his Legion, bound together by duty and loyalty to their Primarch. These Orders that would replace the formations of Chapters numbered four in total with thousands upon thousands of battle-brothers each, their names listed:
The Vanguard - I
The stalwart and deadly elite of the Gryphon Knights Legion, the Vanguard number just over a thousand brothers, each clad in Cataphractii Tactical Dreadnought armor. Deployed as Lordin’s bodyguard, or as a hammer that shatters the lines of the Legion’s enemy after their brothers have weakened them. Commanded by the former Lord Commander of the Legion, First Master Amalaric.
The Wingborne - II
Stern and heroic in their own ways, the Wingborne were recruited from the Boletarians that mastered the art of Gryphon-riding, the II Order contains the scouts and marksmen of the Legion, the lightly armored scouts riding atop the majestic beasts of Boletaria, utilizing the silent flight of the Gryphon over the loud engines of a Thunderhawk. Commanded by Second Master Valamir.
The Gilded Lances - III
Jovial and prideful in their craft, the Gilded Lances make up the Gryphon Knights’ vehicular arsenal, including all bike squadrons and armored assault craft, such as Land Raiders and Predators. Commanded by Third Master Alatheus.
The Chalice Templars - IV
Making up the bulk of the Legion, the Chalice Templars contains most of the rank and line battle-brothers and are usually first or second deployed into a war, tied with the Wingborne. Named after the act of cementing peace between the kingdoms of Boletaria, the offering of a chalice of wine, the Templars have grown ever-more fond of bringing lost worlds into the Imperium through diplomacy, but are not prone to shy away from drawing bolter or spear on a branch of Humanity that refuses compliance. Commanded by Fourth Master Carahad.
Each of the Four Order is made of smaller Chapters, themselves numbering just over a thousand Astartes, with each Chapter commanded by a Paladin. And higher above them, is the Arch-Paladin of the Order, traditionally a very close brother to the Master.
Legion Mutations Edit
While the Gryphon Knights are valiant and embody strength of character, their Primarch-Progenitor's gene-seed bears mutations that would cause discomfort to many mortals that beheld them. For instance, Lordin Bellator himself is "gifted" with a pair of aquila-like wings sprouting from his back, as well as eyes with striking resemblance to his Legion's namesake, the gryphons of Boletaria.
Mutations within the Legion are shown to be progressive, in that over the span of a marine's life his body will not only be gifted the Astartes anatomy but their eyes will deviate to the state of their gene-father, their hands becoming reminiscent of claws, and eyes like Lordin's. In the case of the eldest marines of the Gryphon Knights, it has been noted that white feathers grow from their backs, below the arms. Needless to say, it has become common for the noble Gryphons to always be fully armored in the presence of others to hide their deviations, and this behavior is even present in Lordin himself, to his brother Primarchs sometimes.
Legion Culture & Beliefs Edit
When reunited with the Legion of Astartes made from his gene-seed, Lordin made it a point to spend a great deal of time with his new sons, learning of the ways they had adopted in his absence. Until finding both gene-sire and Boletaria, the Legion was recruited from the sons of Terran nobility, and thus adapted well to the honor-bound and noble traditions introduced by Lordin. Learning of their battles in the Great Crusade thus far, Lordin molded the Legion into Knight-Hunters, molding the new Gryphon Knights into a deadly force against the threat of great bestial xenos species or foolish lost fragments of Humanity. Honor and duty are valued as the fundamentals to each Gryphon Knight, a result of the Legion having a chivalric philosophy with the core tenant of “We hunt and slay for the billions that cannot do as we can, those billions of human lives that depend upon us, each soul a flame amidst the darkness of the galaxy.”
Rank and prestige among the Gryphon Knights Legion are relatively simple things, with the standard blue shoulder trim displaying a standard battle-brother, ascending to green, indicating a Sergeant. Red signals that the battle-brother is a veteran, and a gold trim given to those of Chapter Master or Captain. The merit or prowess of individual brothers are often displayed through trophies that they bear with pride, such things as simple like necklaces or wristbands of teeth, skulls of deadly alien species sported on shoulderpads, or cloaks fashioned from the pelts of the Gryphons of Boletaria worn by Lordin’s chosen elite, called simply the Vanguard.
Notable Legion Members Edit
- First Master Amalaric Pendrar - Born the western portion of the old land of Europa on Terra, Amalaric received many accolades after being recruited to the Legion of the Adeptus Astartes that would become the Gryphon Knights, and became its Lord Commander in the absence of its Primarch. But with the coming of Lordin, he instead became the Master of the Vanguard, the Legion’s legendary elite. Clad in artificer Cataphractii Armor and armed with a deadly power spear, Amalaric has grown fond of his new Primarch, greatly appreciating Lordin’s praise of his service before he could command the Legion.
- Arch-Paladin Pelinus Boran - The Gryphon Knights recruited from the hardy warriors of Boletaria seek nobility through duty, honor through courage. Pelinus embodies this philosophy. One of the warriors that personally fought at the side of Lordin against the Dark Knight’s mutant horde, Pelinus and two of his siblings were found to be suitable candidates for the Astartes recruitment process, and thus without hesitation they joined the Legion to follow their knight-king. Proudly wielding a Boletaria-pattern Power Sword, Pelinus has become the wrathful hand of the Chalice Templars.
- Second Master Tirion Euric - Lethe and possessed of nigh-infinite patience, Tirion was born the youngest son of a declining noble family and thus struggled for most of his young life. But it would pale in comparison when his home city was sacked and pillaged by the mutant hordes of the Dark Knight, and Tirion was forced to live entirely on his own in the wilds, the threat of his life being taken by either the great Beasts of Boletaria, a patrol of mutants, or a mere infection. But despite the odds stacked against the young man, he survived in the wilds of his homeworld and eventually proved instrumental to Lordin’s war against the corrupted masses, and eventually came to command the Gryphon’s Wingborne Order, the deadly and silent scouts and snipers of the Legion.