- "We fight for the Imperium, not our souls. They are already lost or saved according to the Emperor's will."
- — Justicar Anval Thawn
Anval Thawn is a Justicar of some renown within the ranks of the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter. The many notable deeds performed by Thawn earned him the esteemed rank of Justicar not long after he entered the Grey Knights' ranks, and his name has come to rival those of the Chapter's greatest and most honoured heroes. Thawn was eventually slain upon the unholy spear of a foul daemon. When he was to be interred within the sacred crypts on the Grey Knights' homeworld of Titan, he was miraculously resurrected from death by unknown means.
Since that time, Thawn has died several times, but on each occasion, he somehow returns to life, ready to continue to battle the enemies of Mankind. Some believe he is an agent of destiny, the promised immortal warrior of prophecy who, at the last, will die surrounded by enemies at the foot of the Golden Throne itself. Whether this prophecy will come to pass remains to be seen.
The young Anval Thawn was found by the Grey Knights' Gatherers aboard one of the many Black Ships that continuously scour the galaxy to bring powerful human psykers to Terra. He was waiting for them at the airlock, a picture of calm amidst the muted terror of the doomed passengers aboard the Black Ship. He stated to them with surety that he had been "Waiting to leave with them." The Gatherers took note of the Imperial Aquila upon the boy's brow and the halo of psychic energy that surrounded him. The Gatherers deemed the youth a suitable recruit and brought him to Titan, anticipating great deeds to come from their newest recruit.
When he ascended to the rank of Knight, Thawn swiftly fulfilled these expectations. On the world of Vartos, Thawn struck a deathblow on the Bloodthirster Kor'agar'and. On Ghon, he stood guard over the fallen Grand Master Leorac, fending off two score Bloodletters until reinforcements arrived. On the Daemon World of Halkin VI, Thawn was the lone survivor when all his comrades were slain, lost amongst the hellgates of that world for weeks on end. Even though the population of the entire damned planet sought his death, Thawn refused to yield. Thawn's knowledge was invaluable, for he had learned much during his travels across the Hellgates of Halkin and when reinforcements arrived, he directed his Battle-Brothers to where they could maximise their damage. For this deed, Anval Thawn earned the rank of Justicar.
Thawn performed many more deeds and notable feats -- so many in fact that his personal legend soon came to rival those of the Chapter's greatest heroes. But then the unthinkable occurred. While scouring daemons from the deserted halls of the Eldar Craftworld Malan'tai, Justicar Thawn was slain by the unholy spear of the daemon N'Kari. When his body was returned to Titan to be interred into the catacombs of the Dead Fields, a miracle occurred. The cortège that bore Thawn was halted as a clamour arose from within the sarcophagus. With great haste and confusion, the bearers cracked the casket's seal to find Thawn alive and apparently unharmed.
This miraculous resurrection was greeted with suspicion by his Battle-Brothers -- though glad to have the Justicar amongst their number once again, they feared there was something sinister about his unexpected return to life. No matter how hard or long the Chapter's Librarians searched for a trace of explanation or Chaotic taint, none could be found. After long years of exhaustive and painful examination, Anval Thawn was returned to duty. In the decades since, Thawn has continued to battle the enemies of Mankind and has died several times, but on each occasion he has somehow returned to full life and vigour after his passing. The majority of the Grey Knights no longer question Justicar Thawn's seeming immortality. A few of his Battle-Brothers even believe that Thawn is an agent of destiny, the promised immortal warrior of prophecy who, at the last, will die surrounded by enemies at the foot of the Golden Throne itself. Whether this prophecy will come to pass or not remains a question that will remain unanswered for the time being.
For Thawn, his immortality is a curse. For over his long life he has seen the destiny of Mankind grow ever darker and the state of the Imperium more desperate. He knows that humanity's doom cannot be meaningfully altered through his actions, or even of those of his fellow Grey Knights. For in the end, the Dark Gods will have their inevitable victory and humanity will fall. Despite this foreboding destiny Thawn fights on, determined to stand fast between the Emperor's realm and the hosts of daemons and Heretics that would assail it. Anval Thawn has sworn to perform this duty even beyond death, and is determined to never be found wanting.
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pg. 43