A Grey Knights Chaplain is a specialist officer of the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter and like his counterparts that serve other Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters, serves as the appointed spiritual leader of the Chapter. Chaplains are the warrior-priests that minister to the spiritual well-being of their fellow Battle-Brothers, instilling in them the values and beliefs of the Chapter and promote the veneration or in rarer cases the actual worship of the Emperor of Mankind. Chaplains lead from the front as awe-inspiring warrior-priests, fighting wherever the foe is most fierce, leading his brethren and praising the Emperor through the destruction of His enemies. Rejoicing in the glorious act of war, Chaplains exhort their Battle-Brothers to ever greater deeds of bravery and devotion.
Grey Knights Chaplains act in a similar role to those of other Chapters by serving as the spiritual leaders of his fellow Battle-Brothers. However, the challenges facing a Grey Knights Chaplain are unique. The rigours of serving in the Grey Knights can sometimes be daunting, for the life of a Grey Knight is one of sacrifice and duty as they face the worst horrors of the Warp. They will never know peace or respite for their war is an eternal one, fighting against the vile Daemons of Chaos. Over many centuries of facing such malefic creatures, a Battle-Brother will lose many comrades, should he live long enough to survive the countless trials and struggles against his daemonic foes. Even the nigh incorruptible Grey Knight warrior can have his faith sorely tested; overcome by nearly overwhelming sadness and impotent rage at the loss of a close comrade or commander. To be a Space Marine required an extraordinary man, but to be a Chaplain required more. A Chaplain of the Grey Knights was a rare specimen indeed, and the Chapter had precious few. A Grey Knights Chaplain had to minister to the spiritual needs of soldiers destined to fight the most horrible of foes. The men of their flock constantly looked upon the Warp and heard the whispers of daemons, and yet, thanks to the Grey Knights Chaplain and those who had preceded him, not one Grey Knight had ever become corrupted by the enemy. But sometimes there was doubt, especially in regards to the futility in the Inquistion's task of defeating Chaos.
A Grey Knight never doubted the righteousness of their cause, for fighting the daemon was not a gesture of futility. They believed that is was a true and righteous purpose, for they had seen the results of the daemon's depravity. But their fight was only half the battle, for the daemon was but one manifestation of the Archenemy and its violence was but one weapon of the Warp. The Inquisition battled the plans of Chaos just as the Grey Knights battled its soldiers. But sometimes, even one of their number could fall to the pernicious will of the Ruinous Powers. Over the millennia, many Inquisitors had been lost to the temptations of Chaos, though a Grey Knight knew they should not speak of such things. Sometimes there were rogues that hid themselves amongst the Holy Ordos. No one knew how many other heretics were wearing the Inquisitorial Seal. There could possibly even be some that directed the Grey Knights themselves. A Grey Knights Battle-Brother knew that it was their place to leave the thinking to the inquisitors, but how could they trust them if they delved so deeply into the corruption of Chaos?
Sometimes a Battle-Brother questioned if the other half could ever be won. A Grey Knights Chaplain was there to ensure their troubled Battle-Brothers and assuage any doubts, for during their centuries of service they have led Grey Knights through every trial of the mind that Chaos could inflict upon them. The Archenemyʹs atrocities knew no bounds, and only men like the Grey Knights could stop it. In a Battle-Brother's moment of doubt, all they had to do was reflect on the fact that the Emperor continuously sent the Grey Knights to the bloodiest battlefields of the Imperium. This was no mere coincidence. By throwing themselves into those battles and butchering the daemon, they would see the Forces of Chaos broken and fleeing. A Battle-Brother had to take these victories and immerse themselves in them, letting victory blot out everything else. By glorifying in it, all doubt would vanish. The enemy had made a grave mistake in bringing the fight to the them, for the Grey Knights would punish that mistake.
All Grey Knights were Psykers. While most Space Marine Chapters made use of some psykers, only the Grey Knights required psychic potential from all their recruits. It was what made the Grey Knights capable of fighting the daemon, for a daemonʹs most potent weapons threatened the soul itself. Daemons brought with them corruption, and fighting them exposed a Grey Knight to that corruption. They were trained to resist it, taught prayers of will‐power so potent that they drove some recruits mad. Their armour was impregnated with sigils against the powers of the warp, the same symbols tattooed on their skins so that their bodies were shielded against corruption, but the most powerful defence was a Grey Knightʹs psychic shield. An Aspirant was taught in the very earliest stages of their training to imprison his soul in a cage of faith and contempt where no daemon could reach it. It was the only weapon a daemon truly feared: an incorruptible mind, anathema to the warp. The mere existence of the Grey Knights was a victory of sorts against Chaos.
Battle-Brothers in the Grey Knights are constantly exposed to horrible truths about the true threat of the daemon lurking just beyond the circle of the Emperor’s light. They will witness sights that would shake the faith of an ordinary Space Marine to his very foundations. A Grey Knights Chaplain must always stand ready to renew a Battle-Brother's devotion when he falters, and to remind him of his duty and his vows when hope seems lost. Their stern demeanour and critical eye watches over every action of a Battle-Brother from his initiation to his last breath in service to the Emperor, ever alert for signs of a slackening zeal or any wavering in belief. Above all, Grey Knights Chaplains remind their fellow Battle-Brothers to honour and keep their faith with the Emperor.
Young Neophytes must also be monitored and indoctrinated as they progress towards becoming full Battle-Brothers. Grey Knights Chaplains are treated with awed respect by their Battle-Brothers, and like many Chapters, it falls to them to choose which supplicants will undertake training to become full-Space Marines. During the Trials for new Aspirants, the Chaplains are the ones who inculcate the culture and values of the Chapter into them, as well as weeding out the spiritually weak and faithless individuals they find unworthy to become an Astartes. The development and guidance of such super-human warriors is only entrusted to the wisest and fiercest members of the Chapter, mighty heroes that have demonstrated their own enduring devotion and uncompromising zeal on countless occasions. Chaplains are renowned for their sense of duty and responsibility to their Battle-Brothers, knowing that only through unshakeable faith can a Space Marine stand firm against the darkness rampant across the galaxy.
- Aegis Power Armour
- Aegis Terminator Armour
- Skull Helm - The armour of a Space Marine Chaplain is a daunting sight, adorned with icons of battle and death. Every aspect of a Chaplain’s garb serves as a reminder of mortality’s impermanent nature, and thus, the significance of preserving the immortal soul. One of the most iconic elements of a Chaplain’s wargear is his skull helm, a stern visage that evokes the Emperor’s wrath. These helms may take many different forms and have been crafted by numerous Space Marine artificers across the galaxy. Universally, however, they are all fearsome in aspect.
- Crozius Arcanum - The Crozius Arcanum is a mace or staff that is used as both a melee weapon and the primary badge of office of Space Marine Chaplains.
- Rosarius - A Rosarius is a symbol of office for the clerical members of the Adeptus Ministorum and is also a symbol of office for the Chaplains of the Space Marines. A Rosarius normally takes the form of a gorget, amulet, or signet ring usually shaped into the form of the Imperial Aquila or a Gothic Cross, and houses a powerful protective Conversion Field emitter, protecting the wearer from attacks both physical and psychic that might otherwise break through the protection of even the mighty Space Marine Power Armour or the indomitable psychic strength of his own will.
- Astartes Combat Knife or other combat accessory
- Bolt Pistol, Optional
- Wrist-mounted Storm Bolter
- Plasma Pistol, Optional
- Nemesis Power Sword
- Lightning Claws, Optional
- Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades
- Psyk-Out Grenades
- Liber Daemonica - The Liber Daemonica is an enduring symbol of the Grey Knight's devotion to his mission, and contains the cardinal tenets of lore culled from the dark knowledge caged within the Sanctum Sanctorum's walls. Every Grey Knight carries a copy of the Liber Daemonica in a Ceramite case on his breastplate. These gnarled tomes contain the Chapter's rites of battle and detail the traditional duties of every Grey Knights' rank. The books themselves are also potent psychic talismans in their own right, with pages illuminated in silver and bound to a spine carved from the thigh bone of a martyred saint.
Notable Grey Knights Chaplains
- Chaplain Durendin - A venerable Grey Knights Chaplain that always wore an enormous suit of Terminator Armour when seeing to the Chapter's spiritual health. One arm was painted a glossy black to signify his office as Chaplain and the rest was the traditional gunmetal grey. Durendin wore the same pair of ornate Lightning Claws that had been passed down since the Chapter's earliest days.
- High Chaplain Greacris - A vaunted Chaplain of the Chapter, Greacris composed many sermons and composed the Index Beati eight centuries ago containing parables of some of the Chapter's greatest heroes, including Grand Master Ganelon.
- Dark Adeptus (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Hammer of Daemons (Novel) by Ben Counter