House Draconis is currently considered the most influential household of Imperial Knights upon the Knight World of Adrastapol as its current ruler is the high king of Adrastapol, a crown House Draconis only recently gained in the wake of the Donatosian War.
Like all of Adrastapol's remaining three Knight Houses, House Draconis has sworn fealty directly to the Imperium of Man and has thus escaped the more strict tenures of the Sidon Protocols with which the Adeptus Mechanicus ensures the loyalty of those Houses sworn directly to its service.
In the wake of the dire events of the Donatosian War where fully half of the Knight houses of Adrastapol turned Renegade, House Draconis' loyalty and that of its allies have been doubted and it is no secret that the house has now come under the close scrutiny of the Inquisition.
With the help of the Adeptus Ministorum, House Draconis laid waste to the keeps of the Renegade houses and awaited the arrival of their judge. For years no news reached Adrastapol until on the eve of the Second Ork War an Inquisitor arrived.
While still reeling from the losses inflicted by the Ork invasion, the Knights of House Draconis are beginning to mobilise to hunt the last Traitor of House Chimaeros who brought such infamy to their world.
- 1 House History
- 1.1 Rise of House Draconis
- 1.2 Succession of High King Gerraint
- 1.3 Betrayal
- 1.4 In the Shadow of the Black Tower
- 1.5 To the Brink
- 1.6 A Time of Recovery
- 1.7 Herald of the Storm
- 1.8 The Storm Breaks
- 1.9 Delaying the Inevitable
- 1.10 Return of the Prodigal Child
- 1.11 Enemy Breakthrough
- 1.12 High King's Last Stand
- 1.13 Lifting the Siege
- 1.14 Notable Campaigns
- 2 Notable House Draconis Knights
- 3 Notable House Draconis Personnel
- 4 House Strength
- 5 House Appearance
- 6 See Also
- 7 Sources
Like many Knight Houses, the origins of House Draconis are shrouded in mysteries. As with most Knight Worlds, their homeworld was first colonised during the Age of Technology, but the only reliable sources confirming this are the memories embedded in the Thrones Mechanicum of the oldest Draconis Knights.
House Draconis started as merely one of several Knight Houses to claim Adrastapol as their home, and of these it was neither the most powerful, nor the most influential. But the house quickly developed a reputation for temerity and martial excellence, and even nowadays it is said of the Draconis Knight that the fire of their heraldic beast burns brightly within their breast.
The association of House Draconis and fire is best exemplified by the location of House Draconis' ancestral fortress, the Draconspire, a mighty keep built in and around an active volcano. By the time the Great Crusade reached Adrastapol and the Knight World formally joined the Imperium of Man, House Draconis had developed much of its identity, but it lacked the political influence it would later acquire.
When Adrastapol joined the galactic empire that is the Imperium of Mankind, it was one of eight remaining Knight Houses beside House Hydrax, House Manticos, House Medusos, House Minotos, House Pegasson and House Wyvorn under the aegis of House Chimaeros which held the crown of the high king of Adrastapol.
The Imperial Knights of Adrastapol were included in many expeditionary fleets which would expand and protect the borders of the Imperium, but Imperial archives are void of House Draconis' efforts during this great endeavour. The next reliable data in Imperial archives concerning House Draconis dates back to the troubled times of the Horus Heresy and the reign of High King Rhoderic Tan Chimaeros.
When the Warmaster Horus Lupercal turned against the Emperor alongside half of the Space Marine Legions and Titan Legions as well as countless regiments of the Excertus Imperialis, he also managed to convince the Imperial Knights of Houses Hydrax and Medusos to follow him into sedition. Naturally, the remaining Loyalist Houses of Adrastapol formed a great alliance that would confront and ultimately defeat these Renegade Knights.
Rise of House Draconis
Since the 31st Millennium, the valour of House Draconis and the other surviving Knight Houses has been such that no enemy has been able to set foot on the soil of Adrastapol. However, the galaxy is an inhospitable place and Mankind's enemies are many.
Wherever Humanity has ventured into space, it has encountered the xenos, the impure, the alien, most often under the brutal guise of the Orks. Notoriously hostile towards Humans, Orks are a savage and warlike race that only respect strength. They covet it and where other races show their strength, the Orks will seek to overthrow it and prove their superiority.
It was then only a question of time until one of their military migrations and campaigns, a so-called WAAAGH!, would target Adrastapol.
While some WAAAGHs draw their strength from mechanised infantry and hordes of Warbikes, and others try to erect one of the towering Ork Titans, a Gargant, Skarjaws' horde made use of hundreds of towering greenskin warbeasts, the massive Squiggoths.
When Skarjaw's WAAAGH! descended upon Adrastapol, it was at the start of the reign of High King Gerraint Tan Chimaeros, a young, brave Knight of impeccable lineage.
Yet nothing could have prepared the young high king for the devastation the Orks would wreak upon his homeworld. The Adrastapolian Knights soon learned that divided they stood little chance of vanquishing the WAAAGH!, but before they could muster all their strength, the Orks had already attacked and razed several fortresses belonging to House Manticos -- killing the house's ruler in the process.
With this fearful devastation in mind, the Knight houses of Adrastapol quickly agreed to fight together. In a great battle, the united forces of the Knights faced the Orks, but some amongst their numbers failed to hold back the tide of greenskins.
The Knights of House Pegasson, less warlike than those of the other houses, were submerged by the green horde. They had faced Skarjaw and his elite troops, the biggest and meanest Squiggoth riders the WAAAGH! could muster, and these fearful warriors were now able to advance unopposed upon the Draconspire, which had few defenders with all its forces in the field.
But the Draconspire was not entirely without defenders. Cautious not to expose his son and heir to an open battle against such fearsome opponents as the Orks, the baron of House Draconis ordered the youngest member of his Exalted Court to remain at the Draconspire. His son's name was Tolwyn Tan Draconis and he carried the title of Gatekeeper to the Draconspire.
A junior position within a House's Exalted Court, it was the gatekeeper's sacred duty to ensure that his fortress did not fall into enemy hands. With the Draconspire now in danger, the Chivalric Code demanded that Tolwyn Tan Draconis protect the ancestral home of his house.
Gathering what forces he could, mostly squires or newly promoted Knights that had just undergone their Ritual of Becoming -- amongst them one Markos Dar Draconis -- Tolwyn gathered a small strikeforce of Imperial Knights that would take the fight to Skarjaw.
This unexpected counterattack surprised the Orks and proved unexpectedly successful when it killed Skarjaw himself and the towering Squiggoth the Warboss rode to battle. With their leader slain, the WAAAGH! broke apart, its remaining Orks mercilessly hunted down by the surviving Adrastapolian Knights.
However, as the Orks still numbered in the thousands and soon turned Feral, it would take the Imperial Knights many solar decades of campaigning to rid their homeworld of the Orkish taint.
This unexpected but well-earned victory catapulted House Draconis into the upper levels of Adrastapol's hierarchy. Being of roughly the same age, the high king formally acknowledged Tolwyn's role in their ultimate victory and a firm friendship between the two Knights was born.
It was also in the aftermath of Skarjaw's invasion that Gerraint Tan Chimaeros would encounter the even younger Alicia Kar Manticos and let himself be seduced by her false innocence and beauty. In hindsight, it would have been better had she burned with the remains of her home.
Succession of High King Gerraint
In the years that followed Skarjaw's death, the balance of power on Adrastapol continued to fluctuate. Having suffered severe casualties, both Houses Pegasson and Manticos needed time to rebuild their strength, but whereas the first remained independent, House Manticos became a client of House Chimaeros.
The growing love between Gerraint Tan Chimaeros and Alicia Tan Manticos was plain to see, despite their great difference in years. Once she was of age, Gerraint officially chose her as his consort and from this union a son was born, Luk Tan Chimaeros, the future Knight of Ashes. Having to track down the surviving Orks and the various fungal-based lifeforms that had accompanied them, the Knights of the remaining Houses had much to do.
A whole generation of Knights grew up hunting down the Feral Orks and burning their nests to cleanse the soil of their homeworld from their nightmarish influence. Heeding Alicia's counsel, High King Gerraint became a wise and much beloved ruler. As the birth of his second son coincided with the birth of Danial Tan Draconis, Tolwyn's own son, it was decided to raise the two boys together, their own friendship mirroring that of their fathers.
Once Adrastapol had been purged of the greenskin threat events took a turn for the worse. The Imperium of Man once again called upon the Adrastapolian Knights to march to war in one of its colossal campaigns. Sources regarding this particular campaign, the Galhorm Crusade, are scarce and virtually nothing is known about it in current Imperial records.
Yet, for the Adrastapolian Knights and especially House Chimaeros, the crusade's outcome was nothing short of a tragedy. Not one to shirk his duties, High King Gerraint fought at the frontlines of the crusade and was severely wounded. The damage to his body was so great that he was forever after forced to rely on the strength of an augmetic brace to move outside of his Knight's Throne Mechanicum.
However the scars on Gerraint's body were nothing compared to those on Gerraint's soul, for amongst the score of Knights slain in this crusade was also his firstborn son and designated heir, the Kingsward Gedric Tan Chimaeros.
The rules of succession to the throne of the high king of Adrastapol are complex, but one of its most important tenets is that the current sovereign has to assure the continuity of his bloodline by siring a legitimate male heir. With Gedric's death, Gerraint's bloodline was in jeopardy, even though he was also the father of the young Luk. Luk's claim to the throne was not considered a legitimate one because he was the product of a second marriage.
At a great conclave, the leader of the various Knight houses elected Tolwyn Tan Draconis as their new ruler, the first time in Adrastapol's long history that this honour was granted to House Draconis. While he shared his friend's grief over Gedric's death, Tolwyn Tan Draconis did not dare refuse the crown and thus became the new ruler of Adrastapol.
With the newly elected high king at their head, House Draconis prospered. It entered profitable alliances with both Houses Minotos and Pegasson while Tolwyn and Gerraint's friendship and that of their sons ensured House Draconis and House Chimaeros grew even closer.
Blinded by their new status, the leaders of House Draconis did not see the darkness that had begun to fester in Gerraint's heart and the political machinations he and his consort conducted over the following years.
Eventually, after both Danial Tan Draconis and Luk Tan Chimaeros passed their Ritual of Becoming, the Imperium called yet again upon the strength of the Knight houses of Adrastapol to lead the reconquest of the strategically important Industrial World of Donatos Primus.
This vital Industrial World's output was easily the equal of that of a Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus but it had fallen to corruption when a large portion of its working classes and Planetary Defence Forces were swayed by the dark promises of Chaos and rose up against the Imperium. With the death of the local planetary governor, the world soon descended into global civil war.
The Chaos Cultists benefitted from the help of the most fearsome and ruthless of the warriors of Chaos, the darkly famed Chaos Space Marines of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion, and their leader the baleful Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr, who hoped to use the bloodshed on Donatos Primus to fuel a grand ritual that would see him ascend to the rank of Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided.
Yet isolated pockets of resistance were able to send a distress signal which spurred the Imperium into action. A counter-invasion was quickly mounted and Segmentum authorities petitioned High King Tolwyn to take command of the Imperial fleet gathered for the task ahead.
The army High King Tolwyn commanded was truly vast. Beside the substantial force of Imperial Knights -- which numbered several hundred active Knights Paladins, Knights Errants and Knights Gallants, the army also comprised several regiments of the Astra Militarum. The largest portion of these supporting regiments were drawn from the Mubraxis Dustdogs, hardened soldiers similar to the famed Tallarn Desert Raiders, as well as a trio of regiments of the Tanhollis Highlanders and the Cadian Shock Troops.
The 454th Cadian in particular would closely cooperate with House Draconis for the entire duration of what would soon be called the Donatosian War. To support these ground-forces, the Imperial Navy's Aeronautica Imperialis also allotted several wings of Thunderbolt fighters and Marauder Bombers while simultaneously protecting the planet's orbital space.
The initial assault went well, the Imperial troops choosing to land on the Pentakhost Peninsula, an easily defendable spit of land that would function as Tolwyn's bridgehead on Donatos Primus. Encountering only lightly armed Chaos Cultists and their supporting vehicles, the Imperial counterinvasion made good progress, even linking up with the remaining Loyalist forces on the ground.
On land, the war on Donatos Primus would be decided by whomever would be able to control the Adamant Citadels, a series of near-impregnable fortresses specifically designed to control the surrounding region. These Citadels depended on the energy produced within Donatos' industrial heartland, the Valle Electrum. The sooner the Imperial forces took the Valle Electrum and knocked out the Adamant Citadels, the sooner Donatos Primus could be freed from the yoke of its Chaotic oppressors.
However, during Tolwyn's march on the Valle Electrum, the unimaginable occurred: in the middle of the battle, the Knights of House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn slowed their advance and turned their guns upon their fellow Adrastapolian Knights. At the same time, the Word Bearers, obviously in league with these Renegade Knights, locked down the most obvious escape routes, hoping to trap and annihilate the main Imperial army.
Reacting quickly, the high king identified a possible escape route and organised a fighting retreat, smashing through the Word Bearers that were trying to block the Loyalists' path. With his Knight's motive actuators nonfunctional, Tolwyn personally led the rearguard that held back the enemy long enough for the survivors of Houses Draconis, Minotos, Pegasson and their allies to cross the bridge and reach safety.
To prevent all attempts at pursuit, Tolwyn ordered his Sacristans to place Demolition Charges on the bridge, determined to preserve his House's legacy and the life of his children over his own. Unfortunately, the high king met his end in the Valle Electrum.
In the Shadow of the Black Tower
The tragic death of High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis was merely the beginning of House Draconis' ordeal. The leader of House Chimaeros, Viscount Gerraint, coveted his ancient title and had proclaimed himself the new high king of Adrastapol at the same time that he announced his intention to secede from the Imperium of Man.
To counter his claim, the remaining Nobles of the Loyalist Houses agreed to follow Tolwyn's last wish and proclaimed his son, Danial Tan Draconis as the true high king. Truth be told, the young Danial Tan Draconis was ill-prepared for the task at hand.
The bond of mutual trust between the different contingents of the Imperial army had been shattered by the unexpected treason of Houses Chimaeros and Wyvorn. Those that should have stood shoulder-by-shoulder to reclaim Donatos Prime in the name of the Emperor and Holy Terra were now scattered to the four winds and eyeing each other distrustfully. With the tension palpable, it took all the skills of the diplomatic Knights of House Pegasson to assure their Cadian allies of their continued loyalty to the Golden Throne.
With internecine bloodshed averted, High King Danial had time to assess the wider strategic situation of the reclamation effort. Both on land and in space, the enemy was now counterattacking, his lines further strengthened by the forces of the two Renegade Houses.
Even if the Imperials still had the strength of numbers on their side, their formations were cut off from each other and communication was impossible due to some sort of Chaos techno-virus that assailed their communication network. Confused and shocked by this unexpected turn of events, the Loyalists were losing ground as fast as they had gained it mere solar days before.
Focussing his attention on the forces directly under his command, High King Danial was forced to admit that they had been dealt a truly terrible blow: together, the survivors of Houses Pegasson, Minotos and Draconis barely numbered fifty Knights, many of whom would need to be repaired before they could take to the field again. Even amongst the Knights, the situation was tense as each Noble argued his or her case about what to do with Danial's closest friend, Luk Tan Chimaeros, who had accompanied the retreat and whose presence in the Loyalist ranks was much cause for debate.
Many wondered whether he truly was the last loyal scion of a Renegade House as he claimed to be. Some were more inclined to believe that he was just a spy working for his father. If quelling this internal dissension was not enough, High King Danial also had to ensure that the old guard -- those Knights of House Draconis that had fought alongside his father since the Ork Wars -- would not turn his own inexperience to their benefit.
Many of these seasoned warriors, including his mentor Herald Markos Dar Draconis, were crying out for vengeance against Gerraint and his Knights and claimed it was their honour-bound duty to avenge Tolwyn's death. Yet with the Renegades outnumbering them, this course of action could well lead to the ruin of their Houses, a fate High King Danial sought to avoid at all cost.
When word reached the newly-elected high king that a small party of Chimaeros Knights had been detected, Danial Tan Draconis knew he had to act. Forced to hold back, his Knights were growing restless and Danial feared that if he did not give the order to attack some would simply bypass his authority and attack themselves.
The party of House Chimaeros Knights only numbered a dozen, a formation consistent with the Knights' battlelore for hunting duties or the personal bodyguard of a ranked Noble. With the very real chance that they might catch Gerraint Kar Adrastapol or Dunkan Kar Adrastapol off-guard and isolated, High King Danial mustered his troops for war.
He would personally lead forty Knight against the hunting party and leave only a skeleton force behind to defend their camp. To lead the defence of the camp, Danial chose his own sister, Jennika Tan Draconis, whom he trusted completely. Tracking the enemy, the high king and his warriors found that their opponents had established a temporary base in an abandoned Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress which was itself located at the base of a series of great cliffs.
After slaying the guards and gaining entry into the keep, the Loyalist Knights were confronted by a trio of House Chimaeros Knights, one of whom was holding Alicia Kar Manticos within the palm of his Thunderstrike Gauntlet, ready to crush her. Their demand was simple: surrender, or the woman would die. After the high king refused, the tables were turned upon the Loyalists as Alicia Kar Manticos proved to be no prisoner at all, but the leader of this detachment.
Calling upon the sorcerous powers granted to her by her patron, Tzeentch, the God of Change, Alicia unleashed a terrible spell that turned the old Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos and his Knight Crusader into a gigantic Chaos Spawn which promptly attacked its neighbours.
Using this diversion to cast a teleportation spell, Alicia and the three Knights enacted the rest of their plan: detonating the hidden demolition charges in the cliffs' walls and causing a great avalanche of rocks that buried Danial's Knights beneath it.
To the Brink
Shortly after the high king's party had left their camp, the enemy was able to discover their location and launched a massive attack to eradicate the threat posed by the remaining Imperial Knights. The 454th Cadian and the Knights under Jennika Tan Draconis held the enemy foot-soldiers and Daemon Engines at bay while the evacuation was underway.
At the height of this battle, the Sacristans of House Draconis were finally able to develop a data-ward counteracting the crippling effects of the Chaos techno-virus, reestablishing communications. So it was through the vox that Jennika learned of the devastating ambush sprung by Alicia Kar Manticos: her brother lived, but they had lost twenty more Knights, effectively halving their fighting strength.
With the camp on the verge of being overrun, Danial ordered his uninjured Knights forward. Led by Markos Dar Draconis and Eleanat Dar Pegasson, the vengeful Knights attacked the Chaos army from the rear and promptly routed them.
While the Sacristans busied themselves repairing the stricken Oath of Flames, the high king's Knight, a council of war of House Draconis' most important members was called. Having vented their rage upon the Chaos Cultists, the more senior Knights were willing to consider retreat or at least linking up with other Imperial units to reassess the situation.
While the first pleaded their case to retreat as far as the Pentakhost Peninsula, High King Danial listened carefully before flatly dismissing their proposition. Retreating now, the high king argued, would be equivalent to defeat. If they retreated, they would let the enemy seize the initiative and with all the advantages he already possessed, Gerraint might well push them back into orbit.
Finally settling into the mantle of the high king, Danial set another course of action: to march on the Valle Electrum and knock out the Adamant Citadel.
Many considered this folly, a suicide attack at best, but for once luck was on their side. After the Loyalist communication network was re-established, Jennika Tan Draconis had intercepted an orbit to air vox exchange indicating that one approach to the Valle Electrum had been heavily bombarded by the Imperial Navy.
With their goal finally agreed upon, all of the surviving Knights marched on the Valle Electrum and to what they believed would be certain death. However, unknown to the Imperial forces, their chances of winning this conflict were indeed better than they thought. For Gerraint Kar Adrastapol and Varakh'Lorr had turned upon each other.
Upon reaching the Valle Electrum, the Imperial Knights were pleased to see that a sizeable Imperial army under the command of Sheik Halna'sir of the Mubraxis Dustdogs was already laying siege to the gateway to the citadel they had chosen to use. With the reinforcements under High King Danial, the Imperials now had the necessary strength to break through the heavily fortified outskirts of the Valle Electrum.
Having been rendered immune to the baleful effects of the enemy scrap-code, the Imperial Knights led the attack and destroyed the source of the baleful signal so that the Imperial Navy's aircraft could finish the job.
Through many heroic acts and the obstinacy of their new high king, the Adrastapolian Knights fought through the outer fortifications and penetrated to the very heart of the Valle Electrum. Despite the toll taken during yet another ambush, this time by concealed Knights of House Wyvorn, the remaining Loyalist survivors successfully confronted the enemy leaders, slew them and destroyed the source of the baleful scrap-code signal before extracting themselves just before the first bombs began to fall.
Through their heroic efforts, the Knights of Adrastapol had brought an end to the Donatos War and ensured that the planet would remain a part of the Emperor's domain. But in doing so, the three remaining Knight houses of Adrastapol had been bled dry.
A Time of Recovery
While victory on Donatos Primus was secured, the Donatos War had greatly depleted Adrastapol's military capacity. Of the more than two hundred Loyalist Knights who landed on Donatos Primus, only eight ended the war still battle-ready. However, several of the priceless Thrones Mechanicum of downed Knights had been saved from destruction and an equal number of Nobles now awaited new Knight armours to ride to battle again.
The Donatos War left House Draconis the uncontested ruler of Adrastapol, for both Houses Minotos and Pegasson had been virtually annihilated. The Adrastapolians rejoiced when they discovered that Marchioness Lauret of House Pegasson had in fact survived the disastrous First Attack on the Valle Electrum and would continue to lead her House.
Even before returning to Adrastapol, High King Danial declared House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn reductum hereticum extremis and ordered the confiscation of all their property, assets and riches. Where desirable, these holdings were reconsecrated to another House, and the rest destroyed.
Yet the corruption that had festered on Adrastapol could not be kept secret and warranted sanction. High King Danial and the members of his Exalted Court were ordered to await the arrival of an envoy of the Inquisition -- Inquisitor Massata -- who would determine Adrastapol's fate, but although they waited for long solar months and even Terran years for the inquisitorial delegation to arrive, the visit never came.
As the newly crowned high king gazed out upon the world he would now rule, he found it woefully undermanned. Having just survived one of the most horrific campaigns fought by any Adrastapolian, the Knights of Houses Draconis, Minotos and Pegasson were few in numbers.
Should any enemy attack Adrastapol, the Knight World was sure to fall. Unable to hasten the recovery of the Knightly Households, High King Danial therefore sought to defend Adrastapol through other means by granting the Knight's subjects more rights and additional missions.
Through a series of decrees collectively referred to as the "Adrastapolian Defence Decrees," the high king ordered vast changes. Having witnessed the effectiveness of aircraft first hand during the Donatos War, each of the Knightly Houses was ordered to transform portions of its household army into an air force.
To reach this goal, the high king negotiated a new trade alliance with the Adeptus Mechanicus domains of Korphos to produce the fighters, bombers and heavy landers needed in exchange for a portion of Adrastapol's natural resources.
At the same time, the household armies of the three remaining Houses were also vastly expanded as they were tasked with new roles such as the manning of several dozen new fortresses and planetary defence batteries to be constructed all over Adrastapol.
In all but name, Adrastapol now had a Planetary Defence Force, a step that many Nobles saw as an affront to their knightly honor since it implied that the Knights of Adrastapol were not able to defend their planet without the help of the commoners.
In order to equip all these new formations and construct the fortifications desired by their ruler, the Sacristans of House Draconis also undertook a massive industrialisation program to build the power production facilities required to supoport the new orbital Lance batteries and missile silos.
The first step towards this industrial autonomy was the planning and construction of a great dam destined to harness the power of the Valatane River. Called the Imperatus Dam, its construction was finished just before tragedy yet again befell Adrastapol.
Herald of the Storm
The festivities surrounding the opening of the Imperatus Dam were interrupted when an unidentified flying object pierced Adrastapol's skies and impacted close to the swarming camp of tents that housed the dam's countless workers and High King Danial's many guests.
Fearing an assassination attempt on the high king's life, the Imperial Knights tasked with the camp's security quickly surrounded the crash-site while Danial and his closest advisors were evacuated in the high king's personal Aquila Lander.
Danial was already airborne when the news reached him by vox that the unidentified object had not been a missile or a torpedo as feared but an Imperial landing vessel: the long-awaited Inquisitorial envoy had finally arrived on Adrastapol.
As soon as their identity was confirmed the newly-arrived Imperial agents were brought before the high king who received them in his lavishly decorated tent. The newcomers' leader introduced himself as Inquisitor Tane Massata of the Ordo Malleus.
Massata expected the high king's full and total cooperation during his investigation into the reasons for House Chimaeros' and House Wyvorn's corruption. He had also been tasked with determining if Adrastapol's remaining houses remained loyal to the Emperor. From the start, the Inquisitor had made it clear that if he found Adrastapol's loyalty wanting, he would not hesitate to order an Exterminatus action upon the Knight World.
Without pause to consider the impact of that threat, the Inquisitor next explained how his ship had been thrown off-course by turbulence in the Warp. His vessel had translated into realspace only to find itself in the path of a gigantic Ork armada heading straight for the Majestis System and Adrastapol.
No sooner had the Inquisitor relayed the nature of the new threat than the first warnings reached the high king that Adrastapol's auguries had indeed detected a large number of vessels entering the system.
With grim determination, Danial transformed the meeting into a council of war. The Second Ork War had begun.
As a squire, the future High King Danial had been quite the atypical warrior, spending more time pondering over old books rather than exercising on the training fields or hunting in the vast plains and forests of the Draconis' lands.
As a child he had been obsessed with the tales of his father's grand action during the first Ork invasion of Adrastapol. This intimate knowledge of the Orks' tactics and destructive potential was now put to the test in drawing up Adrastapol's defences against WAAAGH! Killfist.
The high king realised the folly of meeting the Orks head-on, and instead chose to evacuate the smaller, untenable settlements and focus on those fortified cities and other fortresses they could defend.
A small force of House Draconis Knights would be needed to supervise the evacuation effort, but the majority of the house's Knights would launch attacks on the Orks landing sites to prevent the smaller bands from coalescing into a vast horde that could potentially destroy the less numerous Imperial forces.
It was a delaying tactic at best, but it would keep the initiative in Imperial hands and offered the only chance to thin out the Orks ranks before the green tide became irresistible.
With the council about to conclude, Inquisitor Massata reminded the high king that despite the approaching threat he still fully intended to travel to House Chimaeros' lands and determine if any trace of Chaos corruption still lingered.
Inquisitor Massata asked for transportation, and the high king agreed and as a further courtesy provided the Inquisitor with an honour guard that included a full lance of Knights. The king's sister and first knight, Lady Jennika Tan Draconis, immediately volunteered to command the Inquisitor's honour guard, a favour Danial was quick to grant.
The Storm Breaks
In the few solar days that remained before the beginning of the invasion, House Draconis prepared itself as best as it could. While a few border towns refused to be evacuated and were left to fend for themselves -- none would survive -- the vast majority of the serfs of House Draconis heeded their masters' call and headed for the safety of House Draconis' mighty keeps.
Under the protection of their Knight escorts, refugee columns several Terran kilometres long made their way to House Draconis' ancestral keep, the Draconspire, as well as Fort Redfang and Mount Imperius which harboured Adrastapol's astrophatic choir and the military headquarters of the Draconis Household Army.
The evacuation effort was still not concluded when the vanguard of the Ork armada -- a fleet in excess of 4,000 vessels -- reached Adrastapol's atmosphere. Given the enemy's numbers, the local defence fleet, the so-called "Bastion Fleet," did not try to oppose the landings for it did not have the numbers to prevail. In accordance with the high king's plan, the Bastion Fleet retreated and launched their own attacks once the Ork Rokz landed.
Adrastapol's orbital defences opened up once the Ork vessels entered effective range, destroying hundred of the crude vessels, but the Orks easily had the numbers to cope with such losses. An estimated 2,000 Rokz and other vessels tried to make it to the surface of which a little over half succeeded.
Several dozen Rokz landed in the sea or on Adrastapol's polar continents to be assaulted and destroyed by the local mega-fauna, while others failed to decelerate before impacting the planet's crust or were shot down by Adrastapol's orbital defences. But even with these losses more than a thousand Rokz made planetfall.
During the first days of the invasion, House Draconis took to the field, several battlegroups of Knights attacking isolated Rokz or smaller warbands. It soon became evident that this breed of Orks were technologically superior to the greenskins that had previously invaded Adrastapol.
Wearing blue war-paint and making extensive use of captured Imperial war-engines such as Basilisks and Leman Russ tanks, these Deathskulls even brought their own combat walkers, a crude parody of the Draconis' own noble Imperial Knights.
Perhaps most unsettling was the weaponry of these walkers, such as electrified nets designed not so much to destroy their opponent as to allow for its eventual capture.
Some techno-savants estimated the strength of this WAAAGH! to be three or four times the strength of WAAAGH! Skarjaw which had nearly conquered Adrastapol in the past. The confirmed presence of super-heavy Ork walkers such as Stompaz ultimately made retreat the only logical course of action for the Knights of Adrastapol.
A solar week after the beginning of the invasion, the Orks had already successfully isolated each house on its own lands and captured several secondary fortresses.
The mountainous terrain of its homeland gave House Pegasson a slight edge over the attackers and only one mountain pass was taken by the Orks. However, their momentary success was cut short when the last Imperial defenders activated the demolition charges placed higher up the mountainside and buried the Orks in a triggered landslide.
House Minotos, which had refused to invest much of its wealth in the high king's outlandish reforms, suffered the most from the invasion, as the absence of orbital and aerial defences had allowed the Orks a relatively uncontested landing than within Draconis or Pegasson territory.
Whilst the high king was willing to come to his allies' aid, orbital scans and reconnaissance flights conducted by Draconis air assets showed that he would not be able to do so. The greenskins were massing their strength and marching on the Draconspire even as both Mount Imperius and Fort Redfang were already besieged.
Soon, Killfist's hordes would also reach the Draconspire and all hope of sallying forth to aid the other houses would be lost.
Aerial reconnaissance by swift Lightning-fighters soon identified the smaller of these two hordes to be led by a smaller war chief, another Warlord going by the name of Drogg whose troops and vehicles bore the markings of the Goff-klan.
With Killfist's larger army some six solar hours behind that of Drogg, High King Danial ordered the gathered might of House Draconis to muster for a sortie.
As Warlord Drogg's army advanced on the Valatane Plains, House Draconis exited the eastern gates of the Draconspire and assembled into five distinguished formations in front of the two-hundred Imperial feet high outer walls.
Each formation was led by one member of High King Danial's Exalted Court, with the high king himself riding to war in his faithful Knight Errant Oath of Flame, now upgraded to be fit to carry the high king of Adrastapol into battle.
Delaying the Inevitable
Some thirty thousand greenskins strong, Drogg's horde advanced across the Valatane Plains. Upon seeing their enemy, the Orks roared their anger and charged straight ahead, Warbikers, Trukkz and other Battlewagonz or scrap tanks soon outpacing their slower counterparts, leaving them open to counterattack.
As the frontlines were about to engage, a huge iron ball crashed into High King Danial's formation, felling three Knights and collapsing Ion Shields with its sheer kinetic energy. The enemy possessed a Gargant, a Titan-grade opponent!
Quelling the momentary surge of panic within his own heart and that of his Knights, High King Danial ordered the formation to shift and to counter-charge the Orks.
At the front of the Imperial attack, Knight Gallants tore into the larger Ork vehicles, ripping them to shreds as other Knights destroyed those vehicles trying to ram them at point-blank range.
Despite the casualties inflicted, the Orks charged on, embarked infantry rushing the far taller Knights and assailing the Knight's legs and vulnerable ankle and knee joints with their Choppaz. Ork Rokkitz crashed into Ion Shield or armour, while Heavy Stubbers roared back, picking off those Orks trying to climb the towering Imperial Knights.
Several of the brave Knights of House Draconis were felled in that manner, the Orks breaking through the Knights' hatches to exact bloody retribution on their pilots.
Even the mighty Oath of Flame suffered crippling damages to one of its legs as High KIng Danial's steed was charged by a band of Meganobz.
As Warlord Drogg's personal Gargant advanced into the melee, surrounded by its escort of lesser Morkanautz, Deff Dreadz and Killa Kanz, a Macrocannon-shot rang out from the Draconspire's tallest spire.
The gigantic shell -- designed to pierce a starship's armour -- was stopped by some Ork equivalent of a Void Shield. In response, the Gargant's secondary weapons opened up on the flanking forces led by the high king's herald -- Markos Dar Draconis -- and Lady Suset.
Filled with righteous fury, High King Danial ordered his Knights to ignore the tatters of the first wave and focus on the enemy Gargant. A second Macrocannon-shot collapsed yet more of the super-heavy walker's shields, which seemed to anger its crew.
The Gargant's colossal gut-cannon opened fire on the Draconspire itself, but the heavy iron ball harmlessly bounced off the citadel's own Void Shields. This inconclusive exchange of fire allowed no less than three formations of Knights to close with their quarry.
Beset on three sides, the Gargant's shields collapsed. Imperial Battle Cannon fire and missiles soon found their mark, and destroyed the Ork idol's secondary weaponry and ravaged its gun decks.
But the Gargant was far from defeated -- a strange energy weapon on the walker's right arm toppled no less than four Knights with one shot while its main cannon fired again, ripping an Imperial Knight in two. Warlord Drogg had by now exited his command-cuppola and defiantly roared his anger at th Imperials atop the Gargant's head.
Angered by the mounting casualties, the high king closed on the Gargant within Oath of Flames. Having located the Gargant's main power core, Danial expertly directed his Knights' fire to strip away his enemy's armour before Oath of Flames' Thermal Cannon delivered the kill-shot.
Ravaged by internal explosions, the Gargant tried to turn away but it was far too late to save it. In a catastrophic chain reaction, the Gargant's head was blown clean off its massive frame, incinerating Warlord Drogg in the process.
The following explosion ravaged the Orks' ranks, but thanks to their Ion Shields the Knights of House Draconis were mostly left untouched.
Grogg's demise and the destruction of the Gargant broke the greenskins' defiance. While some warbands still fought on, the vast majority fled the battlefield in fear.
Those Imperial Knights that were able gave pursuit, further thinning the Orks' numbers before Killfist's army arrived and the siege of the Draconspire began in earnest.
Return of the Prodigal Child
House Draconis' victory against Warlord Grogg's Goffs earned them only a short respite.
As soon as the field was theirs, the Sacristans of House Draconis came forth, retrieving those Imperial Knights which had been damaged or brought low in hope of restoring them for a later stage of the coming siege. Some would never walk again, but for most their precious Throne Mechanicum could be retrieved.
Great was High King Danial's sorrow, for one of the members of his Exalted Court was amongst the fallen: his master of faith, Sire Percivane Dar Draconis. Sire Percivane's Knight had been one of the unlucky few caught in the Gargant's strange energy beam.
Whilst the man still barely clung to life, horribly burned, his Knight would probably never march again. He was one of the heroes of the Donatos War, brought low by the unexpected technological mastery of the Orks.
With the Draconspire hurrying to ready its defences for Killfist's inevitable assault and Mount Imperius already besieged, no adept remarked upon the lone Imperial cruiser that translated from the Warp into the Majestis System at this time.
Its name was the Unbroken and instead of fleeing the Ork armada or trying to make for the safety offered by the squadrons of the Bastion Fleet, it headed straight for Adrastapol with the intent of breaking through the Ork blockade.
Evading the fire of several Kill Kroozerz, the Unbroken skimmed Adrastapol's atmosphere, releasing a string of drop-vessels and a single Drop-keep onto the planet's surface.
While the Unbroken had successfully delivered them to the surface, the drop had not gone entirely according to plan. Instead of landing well within the borders of House Draconis' lands, the Knight of Ashes and his companions had landed closer to the mountainous realm of House Pegasson, near to one of its many border forts which had already been overrun by the Orks.
Disturbing the stragglers as they were picking for salvage, Luk Kar Chimaeros was delighted to find that the fort's communication array still worked and that the Draconspire was within transmission range.
Although it took him more than an a solar hour of increasingly frustrating conversations with orderlies and officers of the Planetary Defence Forces, Chimaeros succeeded in getting a direct link with High King Danial. With no time to spare for a long reunion, Danial quickly brought his friend up to speed -- a gargantuan Ork horde of an estimated 70,000 greenskin warriors had begun to besiege the Draconspire and were attacking its walls even as they spoke.
While so far the Orks had failed to gain a foothold among the outer defences, their numbers were continuously growing as lesser warbands flocked to Warlord Killfist's banner. The Draconspire's Void Shields still held and while their ammunition stockpiles would last several solar weeks, all of their efforts so far had barely thinned the horde.
The high king revealed to his friend that their only hope of victory was to slay Killfist and fracture the horde's leadership. Yet so far the enemy warlord had not shown himself and it would take the combined might of Houses Pegasson and Minotos to break the siege of the Draconspire and take the fight to him.
Even as Danial tasked his friend to travel to the territories of the other houses and bring them to the Draconspire's aid, the vox-transmission was abruptly cut short.
In the Grand Strategium of the Draconspire, where just moments before High King Danial had been speaking to his long lost friend, all was darkness. Every cogitator, holoscreen, augur array, lumen and even the servitors manning some consoles had shorted out, some of them in a welter of sparks.
The Sacristans and Tech-priests present immediately picked up their chants to the Omnissiah, hoping to pacify the offended Machine Spirits and coax them back into life. When even the backup-generatoria refused to kick in, Danial realised how much trouble they were in.
Unknown to the high king, Killfist's personal Gargant had approached the Draconspire exterior wall and directed the strange looking cannon of its right weapon-arm at the Human-made mountain. This was no primitive if oversized black-powder cannon like the one the previous Gargants had wielded, but an exotic directed energy weapon.
It was so bulky it occupied the whole of the Gragant's right shoulder and part of its torso. It fired waves of debilitating, electromagentic energy that starved any electric device of its power source.
Imperial Knights had shut down as well, freezing mid-stride or slouching in uncomfortable positions in their fire-slits. Even the Lasguns of the house militia refused to fire.
Unimpaired by the strange energies released, hundreds of Ork tanks and artillery-pieces fired at the Draconspire and for the first time in more than a solar week these shots actually impacted the walls and battlements.
Thousands upon thousand of Orks charged directly at the wall, trying to climb them with the help of rocket-assisted grappling hooks. Desperate-looking militiamen cut them down with knives, swords or the butts of their now-useless lasguns.
The lord of House Draconis realised that the situation was untenable. With the vox no longer functioning, Danial dispatched runners to every strategic location in the fortress with orders to abandon the exterior wall, retreat to the second defence-line and barricade it.
Ancient weapon-cabinets were opened and the antique close-combat weapons and crossbows contained within distributed to the defenders. Barricades were erected between the intermediate and interior walls.
Leaving the King's Herald in charge of the defence, the high king departed, not out of fear, but because he knew that without more sophisticated weapons, they were doomed.
In truth, the retreat was more of a desperate rush than a coordinated effort. Having mercifully been spared the effects of the EMP-wave through their location higher up the Draconspire, the flyers of the Draconis Household Air Force took off, their Vendettas and Valkyries covering the retreat as best they could.
In the Blacksmith District, Sire Garath led a desperate charge of Knights against a group of Stormboyz that had managed to catch up with them.
High King's Last Stand
Lifting the Siege
- Horus Heresy (Unknown Date.M31) - While the Imperium of Man tore itself asunder in the great interstellar civil war known as the Horus Heresy, Adrastapol had prospered under the aegis of High King Rhoderic Tan Chimaeros. But the taint of Chaos had also taken roots on Adrastapol as both House Hydrax and House Medusos openly declared for the Traitor Warmaster, Horus Lupercal, and waged a war of conquest that took a heavy toll on the remaining Knight houses. House Draconis joined the alliance formed by High King Rhoderic and ultimately vanquished these Renegade Knights.
- First Ork War (Unknown Date.M41) - At the beginning of the reign of High King Gerraint Tan Chimaeros, Adrastapol suffered an all-out invasion by the savage xenos-species of the Orks. Under their terrifying Warboss, Skarjaw, this WAAAGH! had grown in power until it was able to threaten even the mightiest Imperial world. Skarjaw's horde was noted to be extremely savage, even by the standards of his own race. Where other WAAAGHs had been heavily mechanised, aligning Junka Trukks, combat walkers and Battlewagons, and sometimes even towering Stompas or Gargants, Skarjaw's forces trusted in the brute force and innate savagery of its half-domesticated Squiggoths. The arrival of the Orks on Adrastapol took all of the Knight houses by surprise, and before a coordinated counterattack could be launched, Skarjaw's minions had already attacked several keeps belonging to House Manticos, a fatal blow from which the House never truly recovered. As the Ork advance closed in on the ancestral fortress of House Draconis, the Draconspire, the battle was joined between the host of High King Gerraint and Skarjaw's Orks. Unfortunately for the Imperials, the savagery of Skarjaw and those near to him was such that the brave Knights of House Pegasson were unable to stop them from breaking through their lines. In his eagerness to plunder and devastate this world, Skarjaw attacked the ill-defended Draconspire. With the survival of his House in the balance, Tolwyn Tan Draconis, then mere Gatekeeper to his father, made a fateful decision: he personally led a sortie of the House's youngest and bravest Knights in an attempt to slay the enemy Warlord, leaving the safety of their fortress behind. Although hard-fought, the mission was a resounding success. Tolwyn's initiative not only led to the death of Skarjaw and his towering warbeast, but also scattered the leadership of the WAAAGH! which was then readily defeated by High King Gerraint's army. The survivors of this invasion would scatter through Adrastapol's wilderness from where Feral Orks would continue to pose a threat to the population of the Knight World. Under High King Gerraint's orders, the Adrastapolian Knights tirelessly campaigned to rid their homeworld of the taint that had befallen it, a tiresome campaign that lasted over several solar decades.
- Galhorm Crusade (Unknown Date.M41) -Though this Imperial Crusade is obscure and mostly forgotten, it constitutes an event of great importance in the history of House Draconis, for it was in the wake of this campaign that the mantle of High King would pass on to Tolwyn Tan Draconis -- the first time in Adrastapolian history that a scion of House Draconis would ascend the throne. Yet there was little celebration, for the House's casualties were many. House Chimaeros mourned the death of the Kingsward, Gedric Tan Chimaeros, Gerraint's only son and the loss of the crown from their house. At that time no one could have foreseen that Gerraint's consort, the beautiful and clever Alicia Kar Manticos, would turn the former High King's grief into a burning hate for the Imperium of Man and everything it stood for.
- Donatos War (Unknown Date.M41) - The Donatos War holds a special place within the chronicles of House Draconis both for the heavy toll it took upon the Adrastapolian Knights and for the glory they gained in bringing this rebellious world back to loyalty to the Emperor. Through the laxity of its rulers, Chaos Cults had taken power on the Industrial World of Donatos Primus, overthrowing the Imperial planetary government in place and killing the local Planetary Governor with the help of Chaos' most dangerous warriors: a warband of Chaos Space Marines. Seeking to further his own goals, the enemy leader -- the Word Bearers Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr -- led his Word Bearers to fight the remaining Loyalist regiments of the Donatosian Planetary Defence Forces and the incorruptible Adeptus Arbites. While vastly outnumbered, the Loyalists were able to hold some cities and to issue a general call for aid before astrotelepathic communication broke off. The Imperium acted with uncustomary swiftness, despatching a sizeable army of Astra Militarum regiments under the general command of High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis. Hailing from such different worlds as Cadia, Mubraxis and Tanhollis, these regiments of the Imperial Guard would support the gathered might of no less than six Houses of Imperial Knights: the High King's own Household, House Draconis, and its allies from Houses Minotos, Chimaeros, Pegasson, Wyvorn and Manticos. After initial success that left the Imperial forces ready to strike at the very heart of the enemy's strength, the Imperial reconquest of Donatos Primus was put in jeopardy when fully half the contingent of Imperial Knights turned Renegade and followed Viscount Gerraint Tan Chimaeros into secession. Visibly in league with the Word Bearers, the Renegade Knights of Houses Chimaeros, Wyvorn and Manticos turned their guns upon their former allies who only escaped total destruction by the heroic sacrifice and tactical accumen of High King Tolwyn. To oppose Gerraint's claim to the throne, the Loyalist survivors chose Tolwyn's son and designated heir, Danial Tan Draconis, as their new king. Danial was a young Knight many saw as unfit for the task ahead. With barely 50 Knights remaining out of several hundred, the remaining Imperial Knights could not assault their enemies head-on but needed to tread carefully. A limited counterattack turned into another disaster as House Chimaeros succeeded through duplicity and sorcery to lead the remaining survivors into another ambush that proved equally murderous. Left with little more than two dozen Knights, High King Danial finally assumed the true mantle of the High King and lead his Knights in a desperate but ultimately successful second assault on the Valle Electrum which eliminated all the enemy commanders and paved the way for ultimate Imperial victory.
- Salvation of Dakhera II (Unknown Date.M41) - While still recovering from the losses of the Donatos War, the Knights of Adrastapol sent aid to the beleaguered world of Dakhera II. Led by First Knight Jennika Tan Draconis, five Lances of Draconis Knights as well as four Lances from House Pegasson and a single Lance from House Minotos annihilated the pirates preying on this defenceless world.
- Second Ork War (Unknown Date.M41) - Five standard years after the ordeals of the Donatos War, Adrastapol was invaded by the numberless hordes of WAAAGH! Killfist. Where before the Knights of Adrastapol had stood united, they were now divided, for the wounds of Donatos had been left to fester and while the relations between House Draconis and House Pegasson remained cordial, House Minotos had become increasingly reclusive and only reluctantly accepted the high king's progressive ideas. With the Minotane portion of the planetary defence network far from complete, the Orks of WAAAGH! Killfist easily gained a foothold on Adrastapol. Swarmed by the greenskins' numbers and defeated on the field of battle, House Minotos was forced to fall back to its mightiest strongholds and fortresses, abandoning the countryside to the xenos. Further to the north, House Draconis had initial success at countering the Orks' orbital landings. Draconis forces succeeded in destroying several Rokz in surgical strikes and annihilated several smaller warbands before they could coalesce into the unstoppable green tide of a characteristic Ork assault. But soon even House Draconis was forced to retreat in face of the enemy's numerical superiority. Those townships that had not heeded the high king's order for evacuation were invariably razed to the ground and their population slaughtered by the bloodthirsty Orks -- and several fortresses suffered the same fate. With House Draconis and House Minotos pinned inside their ancestral keeps and the Orks closing on the territories of House Pegasson, a lone Imperial vessel braved the guns of the Ork armada to deposit a small relief force of Imperial Knights on Adrastapol, a band of Freeblades calling themselves "the Exiles." Their leader was none other than Luk Kar Chimaeros, the famed Knight of Ashes. Making planetfall on the edge of the Pegassine lands, the Exiles were able to establish a short-lived communication with besieged High King Danial who tasked them to gather what forces they could and hurry to the relief of House Minotos. Together they might stand a chance of breaking the siege of the Draconspire which had entered its third day. The communication was abruptly cut short on the high king's end, leaving the Exiles to fear for the worst. As they would later determine, Gogrok Killfist's personal Gargant had unleashed some kind of weapon upon the Draconspire which caused all electric devices to stop functioning, leaving the defenders to fight the Orks with blades, autoguns and antique crossbows. Filled with a great sense of urgency, the Exiles first rallied the Eyrie -- the principal fortress of House Pegasson -- where their small band was strengthened by several lances of Pegassine Knights. Thanks to the impressive numbers of the Pegassine air force the small army was transported by macro-lander to the plains of Minosaal where the forces of House Pegasson and House Minotos crushed the smaller Ork horde besieging the Labyrinth, the mighty fortress of House Minotos. Joined by the surviving Knights of House Minotos, the army quickly pressed north to break the siege of the Draconspire which was entering its last desperate stage, as the survivors of House Draconis had been pressed back to a handful of key locations. As High King Danial Tan Draconis duelled Warlord Killfist in the ruins of his throne room, the relief force launched their attack on the unsuspecting Orks, the din of their battle-horns momentarily outmatching the clamor of combat. Facing a fresh army and destabilized by the news of their warlord's demise, the Ork resistance began to crumble. Seeking to rout the enemy, High King Danial -- still bleeding from the wounds suffered in the battle with Killfist -- led a mounted sortie of House Draconis Knights from the Draconspire, for in the shadow of Killfist's towering Gargant the Orks were beginning to rally. Worse, the Gargant's energy-stealing weapon was being readied to fire again. With pinpoint accuracy, the Marchioness Lauret Tan Pegasson coordinated her house's firepower on the Gargant's weapon arm, annihilating it. With their mightiest weapon destroyed, the Orks finally fled the battlefield, pursued by the vengeful Knights of the gathered Knight houses of Adrastapol. Though the fighting would continue for many solar months to come, the Orks' hold on Adrastapol had been broken.
Notable House Draconis Knights
- Blazeclaw - Blazeclaw was one of many Imperial Knights lost on the soil of Donatos Primus. The Knight armour piloted by Sylvest Dar Draconis, Lady Suset's brother, was lost in a particularly grisly way during the despicable ambush conducted by Alicia Kar Manticos at an abandoned Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress. Both the fortress itself and the towering granite cliffs overlooking it had been carefully prepped with Demolition Charges that would cause a massive landslide. While running from the devastation being wrought by these explosions, Blazeclaw was hit by falling debris, speared through its cockpit by one of the Gothic spires that Imperial architecture is particularly fond of.
- Crimson Blade - Crimson Blade was the Knight Gallant of Sire Nauman Dar Draconis during the Second Ork War. Crimson Blade was one of the few Knights that could be roused after the Orks' devastating electromagnetic pulse attack which shut down all of the Draconspire's electronically-controlled defences. As the Orks penetrated deep into the fortress, Crimson Blade was the only Knight left standing and successfully defended the Chamber of Ghosts until the remaining Knights could be restored to function once more.
- Draconsflame - Sire Olric's Knight, Draconsflame, was one of the few Knight Crusaders in service with House Draconis. Draconsflame survived most of the early battles of the Donatos War, including the hard-fought escape following the disastrous First Battle of the Valle Electrum and the ill-famed Ambush at the Arbites Tower. Sadly, Draconsflame was destroyed in the Second Battle of the Valle Electrum, caught in yet another ambush by the cowardly Knights of House Wyvorn who used the blazing inferno of Donatos' refineries to mask their generators' heat signature and attack from an unexpected quarter.
- Dracon's Ire - Dracon's Ire is the ancestral name of the Knight Errant piloted by Lady Melessa Dar Draconis during the Second Ork War. While attempting to destroy one of the gigantic Ork landing-ships known as a Rok, Dracon's Ire was damaged by an enemy walker classified as a Morkanaut. One of its weapon shot an electrically charged net that disrupted the Knight Errant's delicate electronic systems and severely wounded its pilot. Both the Knight and the pilot recovered but missed the rest of the conflict.
- Drake Ascendant - The Drake Ascendant was the Imperial Knight of Sire Natan which bravely shielded Tolwyn's Knight with its own as the Knights of House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn charged their line.
- Embersword - Embersword is the suit of Knight armour bonded to Gatekeeper Suset Dar Draconis and one of only eight Imperial Knights that survived the Donatos War.
- Fire Defiant - The Knight Paladin identified as Fire Defiant was one of the few suits of Knight armour to return to Adrastapol in fighting condition, although it had lost its Reaper Chainsword in the fierce fighting against the Renegades of House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn and the Space Marines of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion. The pilot of Fire Defiant is none other than First Knight Jennika Tan Draconis, the current High King's own sister. Although she had passed her Ritual of Becoming several years before the future High King, the Donatos War would be Jennika's and Fire Defiant‘s true baptism of fire. The Knight Paladin and its pilot both performed admirably throughout the close-won victories and many setbacks of this campaign. Without doubt, their greatest achievement was obtained in the decisive Second Battle of the Valle Electrum during which Fire Defiant faced and defeated not only the Archtraitor Gerraint Kar Adrastapol, but also the towering monstrosity known as the Iron God, an incredibly ancient and powerful suit of Knight armour identified as a relic Acastus Knight Porphyrion.
- Fires of Valour - Fires of Valour is one of the rare Knight Crusaders in service with House Draconis. It possesses an Avenger Gatling Cannon, Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon and Ironstorm Missile Pod. Its latest pilot is the young Sire Roget Dar Draconis.
- Firestorm - Firestorm was the Knight Gallant piloted by Sire Percivane Dar Draconis during the Donatos War. Selected as part of the High King's complement of Knights after the tragic death of Tolwyn Tan Draconis, Firestorm was part of the party of 40 Knights that annihilated an enemy patrol of Imperial Knights belonging to the Renegade House Chimaeros. The Renegade Knights had believed themselves secure in an abandoned Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress, a belief that soon proved to be false. During the Loyalists' attack on the fortress, Firestorm was the only armour to suffer damage when a lucky hit on its generator housing caused a chain of catastrophic overloads that forced Firestorm into an emergency shutdown. Fortunately for Sire Percivane, his Knight reactivated at the very moment the cowardly Renegade Knights detonated hidden Demolition Charges that destroyed the fortress and caused a massive landslide, allowing Firestorm to outrun the devastation. Others were not so lucky. Firestorm was amongst the surviving Knights that escaped the butcher's bill on Donatos Primus and it fought again during the Second Ork War.
- Fyreheart - As suited Knight armour used by the High King of Adrastapol himself, Fyreheart was the heavily modified Knight Paladin piloted solely by High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis. As the personal steed of the High King, Fyreheart had been equipped with an ancient and powerful weapon -- the heirloom of the High Kings, a powerful Tempest Blade probably passed down from monarch to monarch since the time of the Horus Heresy, or even before that. The tragic tale of Tolwyn's death recounts Fyreheart’s demise: during the fateful First Attack on the Valle Electrum, Fyreheart despatched several attacking House Chimaeros Knights until it was wounded by a champion of the Word Bearers. A well-placed hit with its Power Fist allowed the enemy champion to severely damage one of Fyreheart’s legs, slowing it down. As the Loyalist Knights were in full retreat, High King Tolwyn ordered all the other injured or crippled Knights to form the rearguard around him, buying time for the more mobile survivors to escape the trap laid for them by their enemies. Holding the line, Fyreheart bravely fought on until it was charged by a worthy contender: the usurper Gerraint Tan Chimaeros and his steed Therianthros. However, before his death, High King Tolwyn activated the detonators of the Demolition Charges set by House Draconis Sacristans, destroying the bridge and preventing any pursuit from the Renegade Knights.
- Honourblaze - The famed Knight Warden Honourblaze has seen many battles at the hand of its battle-hardened pilot: Markos Dar Draconis. According to the tales of House Draconis, it was in this suit of Knight armour that the then very young Markos rode to battle against the Orks of WAAAGH! Skarjaw, on the very day of his Ritual of Becoming. During the Donatos War, the veteran Knight would be at the forefront of the fighting, leading his Lance against such diverse enemies such as Renegade Knights, Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Cultists. Yet the Donatos War would take a heavy toll on Honourblaze, especially its legendary confrontation with the Iron God, a rare Acastus Knight Porphyrion piloted by Dunkan Tan Wyvorn. During this epic fight, Honourblaze not merely survived one, but three separate volleys of the Porphyrion's Magna Lascannons. At the end of this ordeal, Honourblaze was left barely able to stand. Half its heat-sinks had blown out, its reactor nearly went critical and its armour had been punctured in several places, chief amongst them its upper torso and cockpit. Blackened by multiple internal fires, with the bomber wings of the Imperial Navy rushing in to destroy the Valle Electrum, Honourblaze was abandoned. But its wreck was eventually retrieved and repaired once the Adrastapolian Knights returned to their homeworld.
- Honour Infernus - Honour Infernus was the Knight armour piloted by Sire Petaer Dar Draconis, one of the Knights selected by Jennika Tan Draconis to join her in the defence of the Loyalists' advance base. With most of their strength drawn away in yet another ambush, the Loyalists came under attack by a large horde of Chaos Cultists and their Daemon Engines. Fighting against three of these unholy mixtures of Daemon and machine, Honour Infernus was brought low and dismembered by the Daemon Engine's pneumatic claws.
- Iron Drake - The Iron Drake belongs to the Knight Gallant-type and its pilot is none other than Sire Garath Dar Draconis, one of High King Tolwyn's former bodyguards and the only one to outlive the esteemed ruler of House Draconis. The Iron Drake saw heavy fighting during the whole of the Donatosian War and was one of only eight Knights to remain battleworthy at the very conclusion of this bitter campaign. As such it participated in all the important battles fought by the Adrastapolian nobility, from the victorious establishment of the Pentakhost Peninsula Bridgehead to the disastrous ambushes at both the Valle Electrum and the Adeptus Arbites precinct-fortress and their final victory upon the Square of Unrelenting Toil. Having survived the Donatos War relatively intact, Iron Drake served the newly appointed Master At Arms of High King Danial during the dire events of the Second Ork War, where it saw much action. It was the Iron Drake that led the pursuit of the routing Orks of Warboss Drogg. The Iron Drake was disabled by a previously unknown Ork electromagnetic pulse weapon as it defended Ironclaw Gate on the Draconspire's exterior wall. The Knight abruptly shut down and refused to awaken, forcing Master At Arms Garath to abandon his noble steed and continue to fight on foot. It is unknown if the Iron Drake survived the Siege of the Draconspire as the Orks were able to seize and hold the exterior districts for many solar weeks before their final defeat.
- Oath of Flame - One of the eldest suits of Knight armour still in service within House Draconis, Oath of Flame was built from original STC data during Adrastapol's colonisation by Mankind in the Age of Technology. Oath of Flame is a venerable Knight Errant presented to Danial Tan Draconis on the day of his elevation to Knighthood. Originally equipped with a Reaper Chainsword and a Thermal Cannon, a configuration it featured throughout the entire Donatosian War, it is believed that as the personal armour of the ruling High King of Adrastapol, Oath of Flame now might bear the ancestral Tempest Blade of the High King's office in lieu of its Reaper Chainsword, the very same blade that was retrieved from the fallen Knight of the usurper, Gerraint Kar Adrastapol. Gerraint himself had stolen it from the mangled remains of Fyreheart, High King Tolwyn's Knight. To better protect their liege, the Sacristans of House Draconis fitted Oath of Flame with an enhanced Ion Shield generator which is vastly more powerful than that of a standard Knight.
- Pyrefang - The Knight Gallant known as Pyrefang was the Knight armour of Sire Daeved Dar Draconis, one of High King Tolwyn's two bodyguards during the Donatos War. At the front of the Loyalist advance upon the Valle Electrum, Pyrefang was severely damaged in the opening volleys of House Chimaeros' treachery. Shot from behind while its Ion Shield was directed to the front, Pyrefang lost an arm before it could counterattack. As High King Tolwyn tried to extract himself from the ambush being sprung, he ordered Pyrefang and the other Gallants to the front to clear a path through the militia-crewed enemy armour battalions. While the Loyalist survivors made good upon their escape, Pyrefang remained at the High King's side, holding back the enemy pursuit in a desperate rear-guard action until the bridge over which the survivors had escaped was destroyed and Pyrefang consigned to fiery oblivion.
- Pyromancer - The Knight Crusader identified as Pyromancer was the steed of Sire Reikhard during the tumultuous events of the Second Ork War. Alongside the Master at Arms' Iron Drake, Pyromancer was tasked with the defence of Ironclaw Gate, one of several gates in the outermost defence wall of the Draconspire, a task they successfully performed for an entire solar week before both Knights were taken out by a previously unknown xenos EMP-weapon that deprived their Knights of energy. Pyromancer’s current status is unknown.
Notable House Draconis Personnel
- High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis - Tolwyn Tan Draconis is a legendary figure within the chronicles of House Draconis, for he was the first Baron of House Draconis ever elected to the office of High King of Adrastapol. But his martial fame was earned well before this event, as he had also been one of the greatest heroes of the Ork Wars. Then the most junior member amongst his father's Exalted Court, Tolwyn, then Gatekeeper to the mighty Draconspire -- House Draconis' ancestral home -- led a suicide attack on the fearful Ork Warboss Skarjaw and his personal Squiggoth and slew them both. This led Tolwyn to be noticed by the young High King Gerraint Tan Chimaeros, and the two of them became firm friends. In the wake of the Galhorm Crusade and the tragic death of Gerraint's son and heir, Tolwyn felt a great deal of compassion towards his friend and only reluctantly agreed to follow him at the head of the Adrastapolian Knights. Tolwyn's rule proved a prosperous one. An honourable and wise sovereign, High King Tolwyn valued diplomacy and sought the consent of the other Knight houses on important matters of state. On the battlefield he was both an accomplished warrior and a good tactician, but in the end it was Tolwyn's shortcomings as a man that lead to his fall. Blindly trusting his friend, Gerraint Tan Chimaeros, Tolwyn did not see the seed of corruption within House Chimaeros before it was too late. Tolwyn died on Donatos Primus during the infamous First Attack on the Valle Electrum, sacrificing himself in order to buy the Loyalist Knights time to extract themselves from the trap sprung by the Renegade Knights of House Chimaeros, House Wyvorn and the Chaos Space Marines of the Word Bearers.
- High King Danial Tan Draconis - Son and heir of High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis, hero of the Donatosian War, Danial Tan Draconis is generally considered an almost mythical figure within House Draconis. His glory outshines even that of his father, himself an important figure of the House. The story of Danial's ascension is intricately linked to the accounts of the Donatosian War. Prior to the insurrection that led to the Donatos War, Danial Tan Draconis was a mere Squire, untrained in the arts of war. In this regard, his training was overseen by one of House Draconis' most high-ranking Knights: the Herald Markos Tan Draconis. Markos often found the Kingsward's attention and dedication lacking. From an early age, Danial showed great interest in his House's history and he was noted to have been a fervent student of the texts of Pollandros of the Quill and the great Sage Strategist Sendraghorst. Physically, Danial Tan Draconis was very different from his sister, Jennika Tan Draconis, as he had inherited his mother's blue eyes and blond hair. Close in age, Danial Tan Draconis became close friends with the son and heir to the Viscount of House Chimaeros, Luk Tan Chimaeros, later to become the Freeblade called the Knight of Ashes. When the Imperial order to march on Donatos Primus reached Adrastapol, High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis decided to hasten his son's training, so that he, Luk Tan Chimaeros and several other young Knights of House Draconis could undergo the Ritual of Becoming and strengthen the numbers of the Adrastapolian Knights. Hence, the Donatosian War was Danial's very first deployment and none could have foreseen the terrible hardships and tragedies the Imperial camp would endure in what started out as a simple pacification campaign. After initial success, the Imperial offensive quickly fell into disarray when the Knights of House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn turned Renegade and opened fire on their erstwhile allies. Decimated by this unexpected attack, House Draconis and its allies had to mourn the loss of High King Tolwyn, cut down as he led the rear-guard, and the heavy burden of the crown then came to rest on Danial. Lacking his father's authority and experience, the first decisions of the newly-elected High King were immediately side-guessed by many within House Draconis, especially amongst the most senior Knights that had formed Tolwyn's inner circle. The Knights' loyalty to the tenets of the Chivalric Code ensured they never acted openly against the High King's orders, but the first days of Danial's rule were largely wasted by the attempts to quell internal tensions fostered by the presence of Luk Tan Chimaeros within the Loyalist ranks. Danial's own mentor and bodyguard, Markos Dar Draconis, was often the most vocal in his opposition to the High King's will. It was largely to satisfy Markos' thirst for vengeance that Danial would lead 40 Knights in pursuit of a smaller force of House Chimaeros, hoping to gain an easy victory and perhaps eliminate one of the rulers of the Renegade Knights. This venture ended catastrophically when the High King's party was ambushed again, this time at an abandoned Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress. With the Loyalist Knights on the brink of conceding victory to the enemy and having drawn on the wisdom of the ghosts of his Knight's Throne Mechanicum, Danial finally provided his Knights with the unshakable leadership they required. Recognising that retreat would only lead down the path to ultimate failure, Danial Tan Draconis gathered his remaining strength for a last-ditch attack on the Valle Electrum, the enemy's stronghold where, unknown to him, Renegade Knights of Adrastapol and Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines had turned on each other. Fractured, the lackeys of Chaos stood no chance against the vengeful and determined Adrastapolian Knights united behind their new High King. With Luk Kar Chimaeros at his side, the High King personally took the fight to the enemy's leader, the Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr and slew the Word Bearer, also eliminating the hideous monstrosity the Dark Apostle had crafted from Donatos' Astropaths. With victory assured, Danial began the difficult task of rebuilding his depleted House and preparing for the inevitable Inquisitorial Audit that would follow House Chimaeros' and House Wyvorn's treachery.
- Baron Nathaniel Tan Draconis - Former leader of House Draconis and great-great-grandfather to Tolwyn Tan Draconis.
- First Knight Jennika Tan Draconis - Jennika Tan Draconis is the first-born child of High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis and Queen Polenna, and the elder sister of High King Danial Tan Draconis. Due to her many feats of arms on Donatos Primus, Jennika Tan Draconis is also the first woman to occupy the much-coveted position of First Knight within House Draconis. A beautiful woman by every measure, Jennika Tan Draconis showed much promise as a warrior, even if the Donatosian War would be the first major conflict she would fight in. Being several years older than her brother, Jennika mastered her Knight Paladin Fire Defiant far easier than the younger Knights did their mounts. She proved better able to shut out the whisperings of her Throne Mechanicum which often distracted the more inexperienced Knights. Even before the war on Donatos Primus, High King Tolwyn had formally acknowledged her talent by appointing her as his Gatekeeper, which made the defence of House Draconis' ancestral home, the Drakespire, her responsibility. Following High King Tolwyn's noble sacrifice in the disastrous first attack on the Valle Electrum, Danial's confidence in his sister's abilities both as a warrior and as a leader were such that he shortly considered renouncing the throne and offering it to his sister, but the Chivalric Code forbade it. Once her brother was crowned High King, Jennika became his second-in-command, counselling him as needed. It was her abilities as a leader that made her the perfect choice to command a secondary force of Imperial Knights that would stand guard over the Loyalist camp while the new High King led a retaliatory attack on House Chimaeros. With most of the Knights away, the camp was attacked by Traitor Planetary Defence Forces led by Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines and powerful if sometimes grotesque Daemon Engines which almost overwhelmed the Loyalists' defences. Only the timely return of High King Danial and his surviving Knights turned the battle in the Loyalists' favour. With barely twenty-seven functioning Knights, High King Danial returned to the Valle Electrum and launched a second attack which broke through, Jennika leading her own Lance in both the attack on the Valle Electrum and the Square of Martyrs where Word Bearers and Renegade Knights fought each other for control over the turncoat soldiery and Chaos Cultists. While Danial and the Knight of Ashes would press on into the cathedral proper, Jennika was left to deal with the Traitors present in the square. As force commander she claimed the honour of facing her father's murderer, Viscount Gerraint Tan Chimaeros, herself. As she fought her way through the other combatants to him, she formally declared Gerraint a Traitor to both the Imperium and Adrastapol, challenging him to single combat as the Chivalric Code demanded. She knew full well that Gerraint would not abide by those principles and when the dishonourable cur broke the Code, Jennika was ready for him, her Ion Shield perfectly aligned to deflect the shot intended for her Knight's cockpit. She retaliated with her Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon, depriving Gerraint's Knight of his own ranged weaponry, but before she could fire a second volley the Archtraitor had reoriented his own Ion Shield to ward himself from incoming fire, forcing her to fight blade-to-blade. Jennika was no fool: Gerraint's reputation as a swordsman was excellent and she knew he outclassed her, and yet she did not turn from the fight. In the end, it was a stroke of luck that would see her emerge victorious. With her own Reaper Chainsword damaged by a prior blow from Gerraint's energised blade, Jennika's close combat weapon became stuck in Gerraint's Knight's torso. Having suddenly become top-heavy, the Traitor was too slow to react when Jennika sacrificed her own Knight's weapon's arm and slammed her Knight's shoulder into Gerraint's armour. Its motive actuators overloading due to the additional weight of the Reaper Chainsword, Gerraint's Knight crashed sideways, locking its own blade beneath it. Powerless to right itself, Jennika emptied almost all of her remaining ordnance into the fallen Knight until the wreck burned and Gerraint Kar Adrastapol was no more.
- Herald Markos Dar Draconis - Closest friend and faithful ally to Tolwyn Tan Draconis, Markos Dar Draconis is a seasoned warrior, a veteran of the Ork Wars and the successful suicide-attack on Warboss Skarjaw which saved Adrastapol from almost certain destruction. Tolwyn's trust in Markos was so absolute that not only did he promote Markos to be his Herald when he took stewardship of House Draconis, but also entrusted the protection of his children into Markos' care. Due to Danial's close friendship with Luk Tan Chimaeros, Markos became the mentor and master-at-arms of both young squires until their Ritual of Becoming. But even after his wards became fully-fledged Knights, Markos' tutelage did not end as Tolwyn had also secretly appointed Markos to act as bodyguard for his son and daughter, and so the hot-blooded but disciplined old warrior left the side of High King Tolwyn to watch over the Kingsward, the designated heir to the throne of Adrastapol. During the Donatosian War, Markos Dar Draconis was appointed to lead a Lance formed by himself, the Kingsward Danial Tan Draconis, and Luk Tan Chimaeros. During the first operations on Donatos' soil, the threat was minimal, as the Adrastapolian Knights faced hopelessly outgunned Chaos Cultists equipped with simple Lasguns and the rare Traitor Leman Russ tank to worry about. Off the battlefield, Markos continued to perform his ceremonial duties as Herald, most importantly during the formal war councils held by High King Tolwyn with his allies of the Loyalist Donatosian Planetary Defence Forces and the Astra Militarum regiments deployed alongside them. True to his oath, Markos would protect the Kingsward during the disastrous first attack on the Valle Electrum, when the Renegade Knights of House Wyvorn and House Chimaeros opened fire on their fellow Knights. Unable to rush to his lord's side while he fought in the rear-guard, Markos Dar Draconis could only stare in horror as his oldest friend sacrificed himself to ensure the remnants of Houses Draconis, Minotos and Pegasson would be saved. The grief Markos felt quickly turned to a powerful thirst for vengeance that led him to lash out at Luk Tan Chimaeros, son of the Archtraitor Viscount Gerraint Tan Chimaeros. Had other Knights not prevented him from doing so, he would have killed Luk right where he stood. Unable to satisfy his thirst for vengeance, Markos became a vocal supporter of immediate retaliatory action against the Renegade Knights. As the most senior surviving member of Tolwyn's Exalted Court, Markos' words led most of the older Knights like Sire Garath Dar Draconis to align with him. Even when Danial Tan Draconis was proclaimed counter-King to Gerraint's claim and became the rightful ruler of all of Adrastapol's remaining Knights, Markos used his political influence and seniority to guide the young and inexperienced High King along the path of action he desired. But the newly-elected High King proved to be more strong-willed than Markos had anticipated and would not be goaded into sacrificing the Adrastapol's most potent fighting force on Donatos Primus in a glorious but ultimately futile last charge. Convinced of Luk Tan Chimaeros' innocence, the new High King ordered Markos to keep his anger in check, at least for a while. Yet Luk's presence so enraged him that at last Markos' restraint broke. Burning with rage and vengeance, Markos Dar Draconis challenged Luk to a duel, vowing to kill the Traitor in the Loyalists' midst. Drawing his draconblade, a fearful weapon named Orkbane that had already served him well in the Ork Wars, Markos stepped into the ring of bystanders and fought the young Knight he had helped to train. Even if High King Danial frowned upon this duel, he could not interrupt it without violating the Chivalric Code and forfeiting his honour. Both fighters landed telling blows and at the end of a hard-fought match, Luk Tan Chimaeros stood victorious over the broken remains of Markos' sword. To placate every further dissent amongst the Loyalists' ranks, Luk then took the Oath of the Freeblade and became known as the Knight of Ashes. Injured, but not fatally, Markos accepted this turn of events. True to his oath, Marcos rode alongside his new High King into battle when one of their scout parties located a hunting party they believed might be led by the Archtraitor Gerraint Kar Adrastapol. Taking 40 Knights with him, High King Danial tracked the enemy to an abandoned Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress which they quickly took by storm. However, the victory proved short-lived as the fortress was actually a carefully concealed killing ground. Humbled by this defeat, Markos and the other Knights agreed that they were now too depleted to fight on and that they would need to link up with other Imperial units if they were to survive. The High King would hear none of it. Understanding that a retreat would be equivalent to conceding victory to the enemy, High King Danial devised an almost foolhardy plan: to assault the Valle Electrum and seize control of the Adamant Citadels that gave the tactical advantage to the Traitors. In this second and glorious battle, Markos Dar Draconis entered the annals of House Draconis as a hero, facing and surviving a direct confrontation with a powerful Acastus Knight Porphyrion. With victory assured, the severely wounded Herald was given immediate medicae attention and would ultimately survive and be rewarded with the High King's renewed trust. Markos Dar Draconis currently acts as Herald to High King Danial Tan Draconis, honourably serving the son as he had served his father before him.
- Gatekeeper Suset Dar Draconis - A small woman of stocky build and dark hair, Lady Suset Dar Draconis descends from an ancient bloodline which has taken up its quarters in the Draconsforge, the part of the Draconspire where House Draconis' Sacristans toil to keep the House's Knights battleworthy. Like her older brother, Sire Sylvest, Lady Suset was renowned for her technical expertise, routinely spiking her Knight's augury systems to boost their performance -- much to the displeasure of the Sacristans and sometimes her own Knight's Machine Spirit. Like many younger Knights of House Draconis, the Donatosian War would be the first major conflict she would fight in as a newly-raised Knight. Despite her inexperience, Lady Suset survived both the initial Traitor ambush and the follow-up assault on the Adeptus Arbites precinct during which her brother was slain. Driven by her desire to avenge her brother's death, Lady Suset waged her own war upon the Traitors but was able to hold the legendary Draconis fury in check. Lady Suset repeatedly took to the field during the war's most devastating battles and always emerged victorious. She was part of the Lance led by Markos Dar Draconis faced and defeated the Iron God, the relic Acastus Knight Porphyrion piloted by the Traitor Archduke Duncan Tan Wyvorn. At the end of the war, Suset Dar Draconis was one of only eight still operational Knights of the more than 200 Imperial Knights that had landed on the Pentakhost peninsula. High King Danial was so impressed by her conduct and abilities as a warrior that he elevated her to the post of Gatekeeper of the Draconspire. However, tenacious rumours amongst House Draconis courtesans insinuate that feelings other than mere respect may have prompted her elevation into High King Danial's Exalted Court. The rumours proved true as soon after his coronation, High King Danial chose Suset Dar Draconis as his official Consort.
- Sire Garath Dar Draconis, Master At Arms - The old, battle-hardened Sire Garath was a longtime companion of High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis who rose to become one of the High King's trusted bodyguards. After House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn betrayed the Loyalist Knights on Donatos, Sire Garath was tasked with leading the rearguard which covered the extraction of the remaining fifty-seven Knights around High King Tolwyn. Unlike his king, Garath would not perish in the rearguard but survive to be present at the crowning of High King Danial. Garath was a vocal supporter of Sire Markos' misgivings about the true loyalty of Luk Tan Chimaeros, who still bore his family name and had not yet taken the Oath of the Freeblade. Like many of the older Knights present, Garath fell in league with Markos Dar Draconis and vehemently argued for an all-out counterattack on the Renegade Knights of House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn. Fortunately for the Imperial war effort on Donatos, High King Danial was wise enough to dismiss this proposition. When the opportunity presented itself for the Loyalist Knights to mount a small counterattack, Sire Garath was at the forefront of the Loyalists' charge, rushing into yet another trap prepared by House Chimaeros. Humbled by the severe losses suffered by House Draconis and its allies at the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress, Sire Garath was quick to propose a more cautious approach, even suggesting openly that the Loyalist Knights retreat to their bridgehead of the Pentakhost Peninsula. This earned him a firm and well-earned rebuke from High King Danial. Sire Garath would be counted as one of only eight survivors of the final fight for the control of Donatos Primus. Once back on Adrastapol, during the grim business of purging House Chimaeros' and House Wyvorn's lands, Sire Garath was appointed Master At Arms of High King Danial's new Exalted Court. He frequently clashed with Sire Percivane, unnerved by his friend's newfound faith and desire to help in any situation. As Master At Arms, Sire Garath directed his own lance of Knights during the Second Ork war and was also frequently put in charge of larger formations. During High King Danial's sortie against Warboss Drogg, it was Sire Garath who led the offensive's right flank and also his Knights that were tasked with running down the routing Orks. Losing his Knight to the Ork electromagnetic pulse-weapon that would precipitate the fall of the Draconspire's outer defences, Master At Arms Garath tenaciously fought on, and led one of the pockets of Imperial resistance holding out against the Orks until the forces of Houses Minotos and Pegasson came to their rescue.
- Sire Percivane Dar Draconis, Master of Faith - Sire Percivane was one of the Nobles who was nearly killed on Donatos during the ambush at the Adeptus Arbites Precinct Fortress. Firestorm, Sire Percivane's Knight, was the only Knight armour damaged in the Loyalist attack on the precinct, but it overheated, necessitating a full shut-down to prevent explosion. Just as Alicia Kar Manticos detonated the hidden explosives, Firestorm reactivated, enabling Sire Percivane to narrowly escape to safety. Thanks to his legendary luck, Sire Percivane ultimately survived the war on Donatos and went on to faithfully serve House Draconis. After Donatos, Sire Percivane was a changed man. His incredible luck and unexpected survival ignited the fires of faith within him. Thanking the God-Emperor for his survival, Percivane's fervor was such that High King Danial chose him as part of his Exalted Court. In the opening hours of the Second Ork War, like all members of the Exalted Court not caught up in preparing the Draconspire for a protracted siege, Sire Percivane escorted one of the many refugee caravans to the safety of the Draconspire and led his own taskforce against various Ork landing sites. The Master of Faith's incredible luck held throughout the Second Ork War when Sire Percivane yet again survived a direct hit by an Ork Gargant. Refusing to allow his wounds to slow him down, Sire Percivane had the Sacristans inter him within a medical exo-skeleton known as an Ambulator Frame. Confining himself to the Grand Strategium, Sire Percivane helped Gatekeeper Suset Dar Draconis to organise the Draconspire's defences until the Orks broke through and the control centre needed to be abandoned. Alongside a dozen remaining Knights, the Master of Faith held the last barricade in the Draconis throne room.
- Lady Alyssa Dar Draconis - Lady Alyssa was present at High King Danial's last stand in the Draconis throne room, pouring Bolter fire into the onrushing Orks with great accuracy.
- Sire Calluhm Dar Draconis - Sire Calluhm was one of the Knights tasked with the protection of the refugee-trains before the Second Ork War. At the Siege of the Draconspire, he was one of the Knights holed up alongside High King Danial, Gatekeeper Suset and Master of Faith Percivane in the Draconis throneroom. Despite their best efforts, the Orks never took the throneroom.
- Sire Colwyn Dar Draconis - Sire Colwyn was the Knight responsible for the perimeter patrols during the great ceremony marking the awakening of the Machine Spirits of the Imperatus Dam. His Lance of Knights was the first to close with Inquisitor Massata's downed dropship.
- Sire Daeved Dar Draconis - Sire Daeved was one of High King Tolwyn's bodyguards during the infamous Donatosian War. Faithful to his oath, Sire Daeved stood at Tolwyn's side during the first Imperial attack on the Valle Electrum. As House Draconis and its allies pressed the attack, Sire Daeved was the first to notice that the Knights of House Chimaeros were falling behind the main line. Daeved's Knight, Pyrefang was amongst the victims of House Chimaeros' first volley. Shot from behind, Pyrefang nevertheless shielded the High King but was soon crippled, losing an arm -- which did not hinder it from smashing through the Renegade tanks arrayed against them to prevent House Draconis' Knights from escaping. Faithful to his oath, Sire Daeved stood at his king's side while they covered the retreat of the survivors from House Draconis, House Minotos and House Pegasson. Sire Daeved was the last to fall, slain when High King Tolwyn activated the Demolition Charges the Sacristans had placed to prevent House Chimaeros' Knights from crossing the transit bridge over which the Loyalist Knights had escaped.
- Sire Eduard Dar Draconis - Sire Eduard was selected to be part of Inquisitor Massata's guard which was led by First Knight Jennika Tan Draconis.
- Sire Galharad Dar Draconis - Sire Galharad was one of the many Knights of House Draconis to be slain on Donatos Primus. Unlike many of his fallen brothers and sisters, Sire Galharad did not meet his end in the fatal ambush during the first attack on the Valle Electrum, but was slain later on in the conflict, during the defence of the Loyalist camp. Sire Galharad's Knight was destroyed by the coordinated attacks of two Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines that managed to make it trip and fall.
- Sire Gallaghor Dar Draconis - Sire Gallaghor was the local commander of Fort Charon, one of the many secondary fortresses built by House Draconis to ward their lands from invasion. Although the fortress fell during the first solar weeks of the Second Ork War, the bald and famously stubborn Sire Gallaghor was able to evacuate Fort Charon before it was overrun by the Orks.
- Sire Godwayne Dar Draconis - Sire Godwayne was one of the Nobles killed in King Danial's sortie against Warboss Drogg.
- Sire Horadio Dar Draconis - Sire Horadio fought alongside High King Danial and his Exalted Court during their sortie against Warboss Drogg.
- Sire Hugan Dar Draconis - Sire Hugan was one of the many casualties of High King Danial's sortie against Warboss Drogg. Sire Hugan's Knight was toppled when Drogg's Gargant fired a pair of gigantic bolas which entangled themselves in his legs.
- Sire Jaekeb Dar Draconis - Sire Jaekeb was part of the force led by First Knight Jennika Tan Draconis which preserved the Imperial world of Pyrodiah from falling to xenos. Although he survived this campaign, Sire Jaekeb was severly wounded and could not participate in the battles of the Second Ork War.
- Lady Kassendra Dar Draconis - Lady Kassendra was one of the young women inspired by the shining example of Jennika Tan Draconis. Kassendra was part of Sire Percivane's cadre of Knights who protected the evacuation effort of the northern Draconis lands and stood at his side throughout the Second Ork War. Fighting back to back with Sire Calluhm, Lady Kassendra held the final barricade in the Draconis throne room.
- Lady Kathaine Dar Draconis - Having passed her Ritual of Becoming some Terran years after the Donatos War, Lady Kathaine was part of a small force of Imperial Knights sent to Pyrodiah to defend it from xenos raiders. Lady Kathaine did not survive her first campaign.
- Sire Kristov Dar Draconis - Sire Kristov was one of the Knights whose mounts had been damaged in the first attack on the Valle Electrum and who was ordered by High King Tolwyn to join the rear guard at the transit bridge. Sire Kristov gave his life to allow the remaining Loyalist Knights to escape.
- Sire Kristun Dar Draconis - Sire Kristun was one of the many young Knights that passed their Ritual of Becoming after the Donatos War. With the imminent invasion from the Orks of WAAAGH! Killfist, Sire Kristun -- well known for his great patience and tolerance -- was sent to the southern part of the Valatane province to convince the isolationist villages of hardy woodsmen to abandon their homes and seek refuge within one of House Draconis' fortresses. Despite his best efforts, some villages refused to come and were subsequently slaughtered by the Greenskins.
- Lady Lorette Dar Draconis - Lady Lorette was one of the warriors fighting directly alongside the High King's Exalted Court during their sortie against Warboss Drogg. Although her Knight Warden lost an arm to the enemy's fire, Lady Lorette bravely fought on. During the Siege of the Draconspire, she was one of a dozen Knights making their last stand alongside the High King in the Draconis throne room.
- Lady Luka Dar Draconis - Alongside Ladies Lorette and Alyssa, Lady Luka mowed down Orks with accurate Bolter fire as they defended the Draconis throne room.
- Sire Mathias Dar Draconis - Sire Mathias Dar Draconis was the first Knight to be slain in High King Danial's valiant charge against the Goffs of Warboss Drogg. Sire Mathias was killed by a lucky hit by one of the Ork bombers.
- Lady Melessa Dar Draconis - Lady Melessa was one of the courageous few female Knights that entered House Draconis' fighting forces following the illustrious example of Jennika Tan Draconis and her exemplary conduct during the Donatos War. Lady Melessa first saw action against the Orks during the Second Ork War and had the honour of fighting alongside the High King during several daring raids on the xenos landing zones. It was during one such raid that Lady Melessa was terribly wounded when her steed, Dracon's Ire, got caught in an electrified net launched by a Morkonaut. The voltage flowing through her body burned her horribly and only the swift intercession of Sacristan Banaxos medicae-Servitors saved her life.
- Sire Natan Dar Draconis - Sire Natan was the pilot of the Imperial Knight Drake Ascendant. After his Knight was damaged in the First Battle of the Valle Electrum, Sire Natan was ordered to join the doomed rearguard that covered the retreat of the Loyalist Imperial Knight. Sire Natan was one of the first to perish when the Renegade Knights of House Chimaeros charged the Loyalists' rearguard.
- Sire Nauman Dar Draconis - Sire Nauman was one of the younger Knights who saw action during the Second Ork War. In the early stages of the conflict, Sire Nauman had the honour of personally fighting alongside High King Danial and his Herald, the veteran Markos Dar Draconis. During the fateful Siege of the Draconspire, Sire Nauman defended the Chamber of Ghosts alone from the baleful intentions of Gogrok's Meks and Big Meks.
- Sire Olric Dar Draconis - The fair-haired Sire Olric embodied all what was best in the younger generation of Knights who would replace the older Nobles who had risen to prominence under High King Tolwyn. In the eyes of those senior Knights, Olric and many others of his cohort were too soft for their own good, but the Donatosian War provided a formidable crucible that served to forge their resolve and courage into far more potent weapons than the noble fury of their ancestors. Level-headed, Sire Olric was always a firm supporter of High King Danial and the sometimes unpopular decisions he was forced to take. In the High Court, Sire Olric often took the role of moderator, especially during the dark days where House Draconis needed to lie low and regain its strength after the terrible blow it had been dealt during the first attack on the Valle Electrum. Sire Olric soon became the voice of reason and caution within the Draconis war council, a feature High King Danial would come to value. As one of High King Danial's most trusted advisors, the High King bestowed upon him the honour of being the third member of his own Lance during the famed second attack on the Valle Electrum. It was there, after having broken through the fortification lines, that Sire Olric perished, slain in an ambush by a Knight Errant of House Wyvorn.
- Sire Petaer Dar Draconis - Having survived the first part of the Donatosian War relatively unscathed, Sire Petaer was selected by Jennika Tan Draconis as one of the Knights under her command who would guard the Loyalist camp while High King Danial led a counterattack on what he hoped would be a hunting party led by either Dunkan Tan Wyvorn or Gerraint Tan Chimaeros. With most of their numbers having left camp, the Loyalists were attacked by a large Traitor army. Hopelessly outnumbered, Sire Petaer was killed as the Daemon Engines of the Word Bearers bore down on him.
- Sire Poldred Dar Draconis - Sire Poldred was one of the casualties suffered by House Draconis in its desperate escape from the Traitor ambush at the Valle Electrum.
- Sire Reikhard Dar Draconis - A young Knight who had passed his Ritual of Becoming after the Donatos War, Sire Reikhard was one of the Knights of House Draconis charged with the protection of the refugees heading to the Draconspire. Tall, dark-haired and generally considered handsome, Sire Reikhard held Ironclaw Gate alonside Master At Arms Garath Dar Draconis during the Siege of the Draconspire by the Orks of Warlord Gorgrok Killfist. When his Knight, Pyromancer, was disabled by an Ork EMP-weapon, Sire Reikhard was forced to abandon his Knight and continue the fight on foot.
- Sire Reith Dar Draconis - Sire Reith was one of only two House Draconis Knights chosen by Jennika Tan Draconis to form the armed guard that would accompany Inquisitor Massata into Adrastapol's wilderness.
- Sire Roget Dar Draconis - Sire Roget was a young Knight who first fought in the Second Ork War. Alongside Sire Nathan and Lady Melessa, Sire Roget had the honour of being lead personally in the field by none other than High King Danial himself.
- Sire Sylvest Dar Draconis - Sire Sylvest Dar Draconis was the pilot of the Knight armour known as Blazeclaw, one of the many Knights deployed by House Draconis during the Donatosian War. A dependable warrior, Sire Sylvest was the brother to Lady Suset who gained much renown during that conflict. Sylvest Dar Draconis survived the initial ambush led by House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn and followed the newly-elected High King in his quest for vengeance against the Adrastapolian Renegade Knights. Sadly, Sire Sylvest was killed during the infamous ambush at the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress, his Knight proving too slow to escape the all-crushing wave of debris that killed so many of his brethren's numbers.
- Sire Tylen Dar Draconis - Sire Tylen was one of the young Knights slain on Pyrodiah when First Knight Jennika led a detachment of Knights against an unidentified species of xenos.
- Sire Vancenz Dar Draconis - A young Noble at the time of the Donatosian War, Sire Vancenz would survive the Traitors' ambush and join the survivors gathered around High King Danial in their continued efforts to reclaim Donatos Primus in the name of the Emperor. When tensions flared yet again between Markos Dar Draconis and Luk Tan Chimaeros, it was Vancenz that went to warn the High King about the incident. His final fate remains unknown.
- Sire Wallian Dar Draconis - Sire Wallian was a survivor of the dreadful first attack on the Valle Electrum and the terrible ambush sprung by the Renegade Knights of Houses Chimaeros and Wyvorn and their allies from the Word Bearers. He also participated in the famed and hard fought second attack on the Valle Electrum where his accuracy at long range proved paramount in neutralizing enemy automated defence-systems and artillery. Sadly for Sire Wallian, after having survived a third ambush, this time at the hand of the Knights of House Wyvorn, Sire Wallian's Knight was deemed too damaged to continue the fight. Time being of the essence, his Knight could not be salvaged and Sire Wallian had to suffer the ignominy of riding into battle as a mere passenger on one of Polluxis' Crawlers. Sir Wallian was noted to be quite the gambler, and his luck at dice seemed almost uncanny to many within House Draconis.
- Sire Yusef Dar Draconis - Sire Yusef was slain during the Second Ork War when High King Danial led a sortie from the Draconspire. Sire Yusef died in a particular horrible fashion when his Knight was hit by a gigantic projectile fired by the Ork Gargant leading the horde.
- Polluxis Dar Mechanicus - If House Draconis was able to wrestle victory from defeat on Donatos Primus, it was due in no small part to Polluxis' tireless efforts to keep their mechanical steeds battleworthy. As High Sacristan, Polluxis was not only responsible for the maintenance and repair of House Draconis' suits of Knight armour, but also for the monitoring of the wider battlefield through the many sensors of the Heavenly Host, a small army of Cherubim which gave House Draconis extensive knowledge of enemy movements. When the Heavenly Host and the Loyalist Imperial Knights fell prey to the chaotic scrap-code engineered by the Word Bearers, it was Polluxis who maintained the short-range Vox channels. Having preserved the integrity of his own Crawler's systems, High Sacristan Polluxis was able to develop potent data-wards capable of protecting the remaining Loyalist Knights for the rest of the conflict, thus enabling High King Danial to mount his decisive attack on the Valle Electrum. When Archduke Dunkan Tan Wyvorn unleashed the tremendous power of the relic-pattern Acastus Knight Porphyrion against House Draconis, it was yet again High Sacristan Polluxis who came up with a plan to further destabilise the Archduke's already stressed mind and push it past its breaking point, thus enabling Sire Markos and his Lance to fell the mighty war-engine.
- Captain Bannoch - Captain Bannoch is the commander of High King Danial's personal bodyguard from the House Draconis Militia. When not at the High King's side, much of Captain Bannoch's time consists of training his men until they reach the high standards he demands from them. Captain Bannoch's requirements are so taxing that the king's bodyguard would not shun comparison to the Astra Militarum's best troops, the elite Tempestus Scions. Captain Bannoch's men proved their worth during the dark days of the Siege of the Draconspire, ambushing Ork assault parties in that fortress' corridors and hunting down Ork Kommandoz. The valiant captain stood at the side of the High King until he was ordered to assist Gatekeeper Suset. He helped to hold the Grand Startegium and choke the corridors with Ork corpses before finally being forced back to the Draconis throne room where he fought bravely. Captain Bannoch was slain in the final hours of the siege as he battled one of Gogrok's own Meganobz, the brute's Power Klaw ripping his head off as the Warlord fell beneath the blows of the High King.
As with the other houses of the Adrastapolian Nobles, the numbers of House Draconis before or after the Donatosian War are difficult to judge.
It is generally believed that prior to the Galhorm Crusade, House Chimaeros -- then the house of the ruling High King -- and House Draconis were more on less on equal footing with approximately 110 Knights each, which would place House Draconis in the lower secundus rank.
However, in the wake of the gruesome struggle on Donatos Primus, House Draconis' numbers were severely depleted, leaving no more than 10 active suits of Knight armour remaining in their inventory. As with the other Houses, House Draconis heavily favours the Knight Paladin and its other variants, especially the Knight Errant.
As proven by the Donatosian War, House Draconis' true strength not only rested in the number of Knight armours it could field, or even the skill and morale of its Nobles, but also in the quality and efficiency of its support cadre.
To allow for greater tactical insight and accumen, the leaders of House Draconis had long sought to develop a way to coordinate and expand the sensor-readings of their gathered Knights, combining the fragmented view of each Knight into a global picture of the battlefield.
This goal was finally achieved with the creation of the Heavenly Host, a small army of cybernetically engineered Cherubim capable of casting a wide sensor-net over the whole battlefield.
Largely ignored by the enemy, these Cherubim allowed House Draconis to keep an eye on enemy movements beyond their immediate surroundings or accurately pinpoint weaknesses in the enemy battleline.
House Draconis' main colours are red and black, both displayed in equal proportion on every Draconis Knight's armour. It is generally believed that red is a sign of the House's close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicum, even if its is officially a House of the Questor Imperialis.
Secondary colours include a fiery yellow and white, especially on banners, as well as common pyroclastic motiffs such as burning flames, preferably displayed on the black portions of a Knight's armour. These are believed to echo the burning heart of the volcano House Draconis has chosen as its most important domain -- the Draconspire.
Usually a Draconis Knight is trimmed in silver or polished metal.
As with the other Knight houses of Adrastapol, House Draconis derives its name and emblem from the mightiest of the mythological beasts of Old Earth. The dracon -- also known as dragon, drakk or drake in other parts of the Imperium -- is a fearsome flying reptile capable of breathing fire and equipped with razor-sharp teeth and claws.
House Draconis' crest fields a dracon de gueules (red dragon) on a sable field (black), with a demi-Aquila of the same colour on a bisected field of red.
Save perhaps for the strange chimersword, the ancestral weapon of the now deposed House Chimaeros, House Draconis' favoured weapon must surely be the most exotic weapon wielded by an Adrastapolian Noble.
When deactivated, a draconblade closely resembles an ordinary broadsword of superior craftsmanship. It would only be on second glance that the observer would notice the inbuilt fuel reservoir that coats the blade in burning flames when activated.
More than a mere theatrical effect, the flames of the ignited draconblade can prove deadly in combat, as even a glancing blow can cause an opponent's clothes to catch fire. To maximise the effect of this weapon, the Draconis' swordsmanship relies on large, sweeping movements that leave roaring fire-trails in the wake of the blade's pass.
Most opponents, be they man or beast, instinctively recoil from the flames, leaving the Draconis Nobles to go on the offensive. The fire-trails also serve to shield the Noble by blocking the most direct routes for a counterstrike. However, a well-protected enemy may realise that the flames cannot truly harm him and use the blind spots created by the draconblade to attack from an unexpected quarter.
As with most martial cultures within the Imperium, it is common for Nobles of House Draconis to name their blades in honour of previous victories. As a veteran of the Ork Wars, Herald Markos Dar Draconis named his impressive blade Orksbane, a name it carried until the weapon was broken in an Honour Duel held against Luk Kar Chimaeros, the Knight of Ashes. High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis used to wear his own draconblade, Drakesclaw, whenever he appeared in public.
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