The Black Templars Space Marine Chapter has no single Chapter homeworld. Instead, they live in their crusade fleets, upon many Battle Barges, Strike Cruisers, training vessels, and gigantic forgeships. The Black Templars establish Chapter keeps on every world they conquer or reclaim for the Emperor.
The main purpose of the Chapter keeps is to recruit new Space Marines from the population, and to act as staging posts for mustering the crusades. These Chapter keeps are sizeable, with chambers to accommodate two to three fighting companies of Space Marines, but are far smaller than the fortress-monasteries of other Chapters.
However, there have been hundreds of Chapter keeps established over the millennia, some of which are still standing, others which have fallen into ruin and disrepair and are no longer manned. The High Marshal himself has his own Battle Barge, the Eternal Crusader, and he can travel from crusade to crusade lending his military genius and spiritual guidance to those under his command.
The Eternal Crusader is gigantic, even for a Battle Barge, having been expanded and refitted over ten thousand standard years with extra docking facilities for Escort ships, additional launch bays for shuttles and Thunderhawk gunships, as well as accommodation for twice as many Space Marines than a normal Battle Barge.
This nomadic way of life also honours the Black Templars' original Founding Legion, the Imperial Fists, who were also a fleet-based Chapter, based upon the great mobile star fortress known as Phalanx. Each Crusade fleet is usually led by a Black Templars officer with the rank of Castellan or Marshal and is charged with carrying out a specific objective. Until that objective is achieved, the Crusade fleet will not join up with its brethren and its Astartes will not rest.
After the great Horus Heresy, Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists, resisted the breaking up of the Legions into smaller Chapters. It was only when the Imperial Fists were nearly branded Heretics that Dorn relented, allowing his beloved Legion to be subdivided into Chapters. One of the new Chapters born of this time was the Black Templars.
To prove his loyalty to the Emperor, the first Chapter Master of the Black Templars -- the High Marshal Sigismund -- assembled a massive war fleet and began the greatest Space Marine crusade in the history of the Imperium. It has lasted for 10,000 years.
Eschewing the establishment of a homeworld, the Black Templars took to the stars in a mighty war fleet. Rather than constructing a single Chapter fortress-monastery as most Space Marine Chapters do, the Black Templars determined to establish a chapter keep upon each world they conquered, to keep watch for treachery, to stage future crusades, and to recruit new Battle-Brothers.
The ten-millennia-long crusade of the Black Templars has seen its warriors embroiled in some of the most momentous conflicts ever to engulf the Imperium. The High Marshals have followed the example of their founder and taken the fight to the realms of the alien, the Heretic, and the witch. The Black Templars are crusaders, holy warriors battling to bring the truth and light of the Emperor to the unconquered worlds of the galaxy.
With bolt shell and chainsword, the Black Templars convert the benighted to the light of the Master of Mankind and destroy those who refuse to welcome His truth. Each crusade is directed by the will of the Marshal in command, and each is despatched by the decree of the High Marshal of the Black Templars to fulfil their prime mission to cleanse the stars.
Black Templars Crusade Organisation
The Black Templars are a fleet-based Chapter, their companies scattered across the galaxy into numerous crusades. Each crusade is led by a Marshal, while a single High Marshal is responsible for the progress of all the current crusades.
Below is the order of battle of the Arkron Crusade, launched into the Ghoul Stars during the closing years of the 38th Millennium. A typical Crusade, it numbered hundreds of Battle-Brothers, war machines and support elements, allowing it to campaign far beyond the Imperium's borders:
- Marshal's Household
- Fighting Company Edessor, "The First Sons"
- Fighting Company Antora, "The Righteous Fist"
- Commanded by: Castellan Antora
- Banner Bearer
- Land Raiders
- Centurion Warsuits
- Fighting Company Stenheir, "The Scythes of Retribution"
- Fighting Company Chalica, "The Hammer of Heldenhorst"
- Commanded by: Castellan Chalica
- Banner Bearer
- Land Raiders
- Predator Destructors
- Predator Annihilators
Era Indomitus Black Templars Crusade Organisation
One of the first Black Templars crusades to incorporate Primaris Space Marines and their new war machines, it is otherwise typical of its type, numbering hundreds of Battle-Brothers, war machines and support elements prepared to campaign across the system's multiple Shrine Worlds.
- Marshal's Household
- Fighting Company Brocas, "The Righteous"
- Fighting Company Bardolph, "Bearers of the Sacred Bones"
- Fighting Company Stebach, "The Emperor's Justice"
- Fighting Company Darras, "Bringers of the True Word"
- Codex Supplement: Angels of Death (7th Edition), pg. 30
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 44
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pg. 8
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 38-39