House Krast is a Loyalist Imperial Knight House with strong ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus. House Krast hails from the Knight World of Chrysis, and was the first of its kind to be rediscovered by the Imperium at the outset of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium. Chrysis and its nobles are among the longest-serving allies of the Imperium. Chrysis retains a strong connection to the Sol System and Mars by a long-established stable Warp route. House Krast has dominated Chrysis since the time of the Great Crusade, sending its Knights into battle at the behest of the Fabricator-General of Mars and seconding its nobles into the service of the Legio Titanicus of Mars. However, Krast was the only knightly house on Chrysis to survive the calamitous events of the Horus Heresy, forcing its ruler to rely heavily on that Forge World's support to recover his losses. Thankfully, Mars was happy to oblige, for it was desperate for resources and Chrysis still had them in abundance. The most skilled Sacristans outside of Mars itself service House Krast; its Knights are functionally perfect, blessed by the Sacristans' digital-psalms and binary-hymns. In praise of their skills and in honour of Chrysis' ancient alliance with Mars, the nobles of Krast bow down to the Machine God, revering him as an aspect of the God-Emperor and as the patron of their world.
The Knight World of Chrysis was the first to be rediscovered at the outset of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium by Rogue Trader Militant Jeffers. Only a few dozen light years from Mars, the planet was quickly taken into the fold and oaths of allegiance sworn between its lords and the Emperor. Its proximity to Mars also meant that the knightly houses of Chrysis were able to swiftly resupply their Knights with new weapons and equipment. Having battled along against the dark for centuries uncounted, the houses of Chrysis welcomed the chance to be part of this new fledgling human empire. Foremost amongst these knightly houses was Krast, and their strength at arms was bolstered further still by their new alliance with the Mechanicum. Gladly did the full might of House Krast set forth at the bidding of Mars to fight in the Emperor's wars, leaving the lesser houses to consolidate the alliance with the Mechanicum on Chrysis. Tragically, they were soon to be swept up in the vast civil war between the Space Marine Legions, as their allies turned upon each other in a bitter galaxy-spanning conflict. This was to have long and dire consequences for the planet's nobles; in the final days of the fighting, the Arch-Heretic Horus scoured their world as he blazed a path to Terra, and almost all the noble families of Chrysis, and their Knights, were annihilated.
The Knights of House Krast returned to their planet only to find it devastated and the lesser noble houses all but erased from existence. Once a lush jungle world, Chrysis still bears the scars inflicted by Horus. Today, what were once continents thick with plants and oceans teeming with life have been reduced to skeletal, petrified forests and vast open basins, empty save for the fossilized remains of ancient sea creatures. The keeps of dead knightly houses still dot the landscape. On shorelines turned from wave-washed beaches into dry towering cliff faces, and on islands rising up above empty seas, their crumbling remains are a constant reminder of the treachery of Horus. In places where Virus Bombs fell from orbit, great toxic lakes still remain, as deadly now as they were ten thousand years ago when the Warmaster ordered an Exterminatus upon Chrysis. Periodically, huge dust storms scour Chrysis' surface, kicking up chemical clouds that roll across its dry ocean beds, killing anything in their path. Only the strongholds of House Krast remain, along with the Mechanicus mining platforms still leeching the world for its mineral wealth. In the shielded enclaves of the nobles some semblance of the world they once had remains, green gardens and artificial lakes protected from the ravages of Chrysis' ruined atmosphere. Even so, it is a parody of normalcy drawn from faded tapestries and half-remembered stories. When a Krastian noble stands atop his keep and stares out through the shimmering haze of its Void Shield he knows his world has been taken from him, and to whom he owes the blood-prize for its death. Ever since the Horus Heresy, the Knights of House Krast have vowed that whenever the threat of Chaos rears its malformed head, they will be there to sever it at the neck.
First to Fight
It is a point of pride for the nobles of House Krast that they were the first Knight World to make formal alliance with the Imperium during the Great Crusade. That they fought for the Emperor during the Horus Heresy, and suffered greatly in the process, only strengthens their sense of superiority over the other knightly houses. After their planet was ravaged by Horus, the Adeptus Mechanicus helped the nobles rebuild and strengthen their much-depleted households; in return House Krast swore eternal loyalty to Mars. It is a union that has endured for a hundred centuries, the manufactoria of the Red Planet maintaining the Knights of House Krast and the nobles heeding their calls to war. Their ties to the Mechanicus heavily influence Krastian society, and their nobles offer up prayers to the Omnissiah in the vaulted machine-shrines of void-shielded castles. It is to the Machine God they pray, hopeful that His blessed technology will not fail them. By contrast with the other knightly houses, Krast contributes more Knights to the Legio Titanicus of Mars than any other, with the exception of House Taranis. The nobles of Krast relish the glory in fighting alongside the Titans of Mars and crushing enemy war machines and fortifications under blazing cannon rounds and howling Reaper Chainsword assaults. Wisely, the current Fabricator-General maintains this eagerness among the nobles by offering them war wherever the taint of heresy and the stain of Chaos can be found.
Raised on the tales of the vile cowardice of those that follow the Ruinous Powers, and growing up seeing the ashes of their world every day from behind flickering energy shields, it is little wonder that the nobles of Krast have an unquenchable hatred for Traitors. There can be no greater reward for a Krastian Knight than punishing the Heretic, and in battle the house's young nobles are prone to recklessness if it offers the chance to claim a prestigious kill such as a super-heavy tank or Daemon Engine. The Headtakers are the greatest expression of this hate -- House Krast nobles who have destroyed Chaos Titans and earned their eternal place as heroes of Chrysis.
The Headtaker Titan Hunters
Of the bitter betrayals that led to the destruction of all but one of the knightly houses on Chrysis, House Krast holds the base treachery of the Legio Mortis to be the worst. As one of Mars' own Titan Legions, the Death's Heads fought alongside the Knights of House Krast on many occasions during the early years of the Great Crusade. However, after siding with Horus during the ensuing galactic civil war, the Death's Heads were reborn in the image of the Plague God Nurgle, and led the assault that devastated Chrysis and annihilated the planet's lesser houses. The Knights of House Krast have ever sought to avenge their fallen kinsmen, and seek out the Titans of the Legio Mortis above all others in battle. Should a Knight claim a Titan kill, his deed will herald many celebrations on his return to his homeworld. However, such revelry will pale in comparison to that on Chrysis should a Knight of Krast fell one of the Legio Mortis. The noble will be treated to a triumph in his honour and he will henceforth be known as a Headtaker. Each Headtaker bears a broken Death's Head symbol on his Knight suit or tabard –- a battle honour reminding all of his heroic deed and celebrating the destruction of a hated foe. Rumoured sightings of the Traitor Titans of the Legio Mortis amongst the Chaos forces besieging the Cadian Gate during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41 has led to House Krast redeploying to that war zone in great force.
Hammer of Traitors
In the middle of the Screaming Sea on Chrysis, on an island which was once a tropical paradise, a towering monument of Adamantium stands watch over thousands of miles of dry ocean bed and cursed earth. This is the Hammer of Traitors, and it is here that House Krast records its tally against the servants of the Dark Gods. At the top of the monument are chronicled the greatest kills, the Legio Mortis Titans vanquished by the Krastian Knights. The tally works its way down through Daemon Engines, super-heavy tanks and notable fortresses. Towards the bottom are Heretic armies that have been crushed; little more than the names of worlds, prominent commanders and cults, and then casualty numbers in their tens of thousands, as if an afterthought. The base of the Hammer of Traitors serves a different purpose, and its huge foundation is ringed in chains and collars. It is here that House Krast brings the most hated Traitors, Chaos generals, Heretics and betrayers, often secretly taken from war zones without the knowledge of the Inquisition.
These prisoners are stripped and shackled to the monument to suffer the foul work their gods have wrought on Chrysis. For most the poison air and chemical wind will kill them in hours, choking on their own bile and blood as their flesh burns and peels away. Stronger specimens, such as Traitor Marines, having been known to last for days, until a toxic storm washes over the island and flays their flesh away, leaving only scorched, smoking bones behind. Agents of the Inquisition have on occasion turned their attention to the knightly house, but always the might of the Mechanicus is there to confound their efforts. These strangers find no welcome on Chrysis, as likely to vanish as those sent to the Hammer. There are also no records of the Hammer of Traitors in any Krast datacore or Cogitator conclave, its location known only to the lord of the house and his most trusted nobles. The Adeptus Mechanicus is aware of the Hammer of Traitors and House Krast's dark secret, though the current Fabricator-General is content to let the nobles punish their foes as they see fit, provided Chrysis fights for the interests of Mars.
- Battle of Herald's Fall (Unknown Date) - House Krast has been involved in a number of great victories over the Forces of Chaos, though they never shirk their responsibilities to their Adeptus Mechanicus allies should the Tech-priests of Mars summon them to war. During the Battle of Herald's Fall, four household detachments of House Krast's Knights fought the invading Ork forces of WAAAGH! Spleenrippa alongside the Legio Osedax (Cockatrices) Titan Legion. Though they lost fully half of their number over the course of the fighting, the three survivors above earned what passes for acclaim from the Fabricator-General himself after bringing down Spleenrippa's Great Gargant in a combined assault before it could smash apart the irreplaceable war machine known as the Ordinatus Mars. In the wake of the battle, Headtaker Forillus, the Knight who gutted the Warlord's Gargant with his Reaper Chainsword, was seconded to the Legion.
- Battle for the Gates of Obsilom (663.M33) - Cyan Krast leads his forces to a great victory against the servants of the Dark Gods, crushing the Golden Taint warband.
- Not Even In Death...(854.M40) - A trio of Knights from House Krast join Space Marines from the Ultramarines Chapter to defend the Mining World of Gorvax against a warhost of Eldar Ghost Warriors from Iyanden Craftworld. A Knight suit's Throne Mechanicum takes control after its pilot is slain by a xenos sniper, the echoes of spirits long dead guiding the unmanned Knight into battle once more. The Knight carves its way through countless Wraithbone constructs before two Wraithknights, the largest and mightiest of the xenos combat walkers, finally bring it down in an epic duel of giant war machines. Though the Eldar are eventually defeated, victory on Gorvax does not belong to the living.
- A Blade in the Void (512.999.M41) - A Chaos wolf pack attacks the Imperial heavy transport Penitent Blade while en route to the war zones of Heloeum. When the vessel is boarded, the nobles of House Krast mount their Knight suits and prepare to repel the Traitor Space Marines. In the vast vaulted cargo halls of the ship, the Knights crush the Traitors underfoot and blast apart their vanguard of Terminators and Helbrutes. When a fresh wave of Chaos boarders are sent against the Penitent Blade, the nobles order the cargo hall doors opened, so they might engage the incoming assault boats. Their craft scattered and destroyed, the Traitors retreat into the void.
- The 13th Black Crusade (995.999.M41) - Houses Krast and Arokon join the Imperial forces rushing to reinforce the Cadian Gate against the Chaos hordes spewing forth from the Eye of Terror. The inbound Knights of House Arokon are feared lost amid the fierce etheric tides of Warp Storm Baphomael. However, news soon filters back to the Imperium that four household detachments of Knights bearing Arokon's colours have been seen taking the fight to the Forces of Chaos, shattering two large formations of Iron Warriors siege tanks with righteous fury.
Notable House Krast Knights
- Redemption of Adamant - Knight Crusader of Baron Lagos
- Blade of Vengeance - Knight Errant of Dagos
- Headtaker - Knight Errant of Forillus
- Hexenhammer - Knight Errant of Teros
- Exorcist of Hate - Knight Paladin of Daimos
Notable House Krast Personnel
- Cyan Krast - In 663.M33, Cyan Krast led his forces to a great victory against the servants of the Dark Gods, crushing the Golden Taint warband in the Battle for the Gates of Obsilom.
- Lord Taben Krast - In 203.M36, Taben offered up his firstborn son to the Legio Titanicus of Mars as a mark of his allegiance to the Adeptus Mechanicus. In return, the Fabricator-General reaffirmed his support of the house's war against Chaos.
- Baron Lagos - Baron Lagos is the pilot of the Knight Crusader, the Redemption of Adamant. Over long years of service, the Redemption of Adamant has weathered the worst firepower and battle damage the enemies of Mankind could manage, yet always, the Sacristans have repaired its adamantium armour, and, if anything, Lagos and the myriad memory-figments within his Throne Mechanicum come back stronger, eager to exact revenge. As a Baron, Lagos' duties are to maintain his stronghold, to lead the Knights under his service, and to answer the call of the Princeps should he summon members of House Krast to war. Depending upon his liege's needs, Baron Lagos might send a household detachment of his Knights, go into battle himself, or lead his own favoured escort -- a Baronial Court -- into battle.
- Dagos - Dagos was a notable Krastian Knight who fought on the Vagorn Helfront against a major uprising throughout the Vagorn Sector of the Ultima Segmentum. Dagos, aboard his Knight Blade of Vengeance, and a detachment of Knights from House Krast, were deployed in the early stages of the conflict to attempt to destroy the Helfront core world of Crematis, and to slay its leader, the Warp-seer Neroteka the Unbound. Almost as soon as the Knights landed on the blasted ash wastes of Crematis they fell into a trap set by the Helfront, and their Imperial Guard allies were scattered and destroyed by the massed armies of the Traitors. Dagos and his lance-brothers fought valiantly against the Helfront army, but were eventually cut down by a trio of corrupted Shadowsword super-heavy tanks augmented by strange Warp-magicks that shielded them from Thermal and Battle Cannon fire. Its reactor fractured, the fallen Blade of Vengeance and its brothers were dragged in chains behind the Shadowswords as trophies to be presented to their dark master Neroteka. While the Heretics broke down the gates of their city to present their prize, Dagos coaxed Blade of Vengeance back from the dead, using his mastery of the Throne Mechanicum to bypass damaged systems and draw power from reserve compactors. With a shudder and a great blast on its war horn, the Knight came to life once more, and rose up over the howling Heretics. Dagos fired a point-blank Thermal Cannon blast into Neroteka's palace balcony, obliterating the Heretic and all of his generals as they gloated over their victory. Though Dagos was eventually slain by the frenzied Traitors, taking hundreds with him in a bloody last stand, he had vanquished their leader and their uprising was ultimately broken. To honour Dagos' sacrifice, a statue commemorating his final act of defiance stands vigil over the entrance to the fortress of House Krast.
- Forillus - Forillus was a notable Krastian Knight who fought in the brutal retribution campaign against WAAAGH! Spleenrippa on the world of Herald's Fall. Forillus was among a detachment of House Krast Knights sent to cleanse the world of Orks in support of the Legio Osedax Titan Legion. The Krastian Knights waded into the Ork-infested fens and hunted down thousands of Orks, incinerating the scrap-barges they roamed the swamps in and drowning those that tried to escape by crushing them under Adamantium feet. At the climax of the battle Spleenrippa himself charged the Imperial lines in his Great Gargant at the head of a huge army of Greenskins hungry for battle. Though a hail of fire, the Titans and Knights advanced across the rotting ground, rounds and beams sparking off adamantium hulls or cracking as they struck Void and Ion Shields. Forillus and his lance-brothers scored dozens of blows upon the Great Gargant's hull before the rest of the Stompas, Gargants and battle wagons arrived in force. Spleenrippa eagerly charged the Ordinatus Mars, largest of the Cockatrice Legion's Titans, but his hubris proved to be his undoing, as Forillus levelled his Thermal Cannon at the Great Gargant's head, turning it into molten slag. Headless, the war engine staggered into the Orks, crushing scores into the ground before keeling over to sink into the swamp. For his valour in saving the Titan, Forillus would be honoured by the Adeptus Mechanicus and inducted into their ranks as a member of the Legion.
- Daimos - Nobles on Krast learn to hate what the servants of the Dark Gods have done to Chrysis. For many, this anger and thirst for revenge is focused upon their foes, making them fearless warriors in the face of Chaos, but for others the hatred can poison their minds completely. Daimos was raised surrounded by the wasteland of Chrysis, a constant reminder of the treacherous nature of the Ruinous Powers. When he undertook the Becoming, the rampant hatred in his mind was further inflamed by the whispers of the Throne Mechanicum. The first time he strode to war it was against seditionists on the planet of Forsyn XII, a virgin wilderness world that had spent centuries cut off from the Imperium by roiling Warp Storms. As part of the Imperium's armies, Daimos helped to pacify the planet after it had refused to return to the Emperor's rule. In shadowy-night woods the Krastian noble torched villages and hunted rebels, the Forsynians having nothing that could match the might of a Knight. Though there was no evidence of Chaos taint on Forsyn, Daimos saw daemons in every fleeting forest shape and heresy in the eyes of every pleading citizen. When the newly installed Planetary Governor announced the rebellion crushed, Daimos did not accept that the true servants of Chaos had been dealt with. Risking the fate of a Freeblade, Daimos convinced his brothers to follow him on one final sortie into the Forsyn woods. Their journey took them to the forested slopes of the Shining Fall Mountains, where Daimos' perseverance was to pay off, as the Knights came upon a hidden fortress, cloaked from Augurs by eldritch fields and protected by Autocannon and Lascannon turrets. Erected by Traitors, the Chaos Space Marines of the Alpha Legion, the dark fortress was to be the first chink in the armour of the Forsyn and a haven where its rebellious citizens could be turned to the worship of the Dark Gods. Spearheading the charge against the Forces of Chaos, Daimos and his brother Knights made short work of the Traitors, utterly destroying the dark fortress and leaving naught but ash and rubble in their wake, though the Alpha Legion had slipped away.
- Teros - Teros was the seventh son of House Krast and it was only chance and a series of coincidences and tragedies that led to him sitting in the Throne Mechanicum. Each of his older brothers either died in infancy, youthful misadventures or training accidents before their Ritual of Becoming. Any fears of a curse or taint in the young noble was quickly washed away, however, by the blood of his foes. Teros displayed not only a special gift for finding psykers on the battlefield, but also a keen desire to destroy them. Teros proved his prowess against the witch while fighting Eldar raiders in the Gulf of Aeroth. For years, the alien pirates had plundered the Mechanicus void stations of the Gulf, appearing and then vanishing before the Imperium's forces could respond. In an effort to trap the pirates, Skitarii, Imperial Guard regiments and a few House Krast Knights were seeded among the stations. When the Eldar attacked the solar-sling station of Epsilon Kay, Teros was there waiting for them, having been drawn to the remote outpost from a hundred other possible targets. Led by an alien witch, the xenos pirates used foul sorcery to slip onto the station past the Imperial armsmen, where to their surprise Teros was waiting for them. The Knight smashed apart the invading forces, sending them swiftly into retreat. When the witch escaped back to the pirates' vessel, Terros linked his Knight's advanced Augurs to the station's Macrocannons, overriding its controls and unerringly blasting the Eldar voidship from the sky.
With such strong connections to the Forge World of Metalica, House Krast has ever borne the red of the Adeptus Mechanicus as its livery.
As House Krast was the lone survivor of the knightly houses of Chrysis in the wake of Horus' betrayal, in 976.M31 the house crest was changed by the unanimous consent of its nobles. Instead of the lion rampant, they adopt the symbol of a gauntlet crushing the serpent to show their hatred of Chaos. Each noble then swore a mighty oath of vengeance against the Traitor forces of Horus. Ever since the bitter wars of the Great Scouring, House Krast's Knights have been in the forefront of the fight against Chaos, relishing in their sworn role as the "Hammer of Traitors". In 663.M33, Cyan Krast lead his forces to a great victory against the servants of the Dark Gods, crushing the Golden Taint warband in the Battle for the Gates of Obsilom. They added a pair of crossed Witchhunter hammers behind the main crest, representing how they crush the Forces of Chaos wherever they might be. In 203.M36, Lord Taben Krast offered up his firstborn son to the Legio Titanicus of Mars as a mark of his allegiance to the Adeptus Mechanicus. In return the Fabricator-General reaffirmed his support of the house's war against Chaos. House Krast's personal crest took on its currently recognised form at this time; the half-cog Opus Machina symbol of the Adeptus Mechanicus prominently displayed in the centre of their crest. The dual-split displays House Krast's loyalty, which is equally divided between their house and the Machine Cult.
- The Gauntlet - The symbol of an armoured gauntlet crushing a serpent symbolises House Krast's hatred of Chaos. The warriors of House Krast are violent opponents of the Forces of Chaos. Historically they were the first knightly house to join their forces to the Great Crusade, and they took great honour in their part of the Emperor's galactic conquest. But when the Horus Heresy reared its head, they suffered terribly. Chrysis, the home planet of House Krast, was utterly ravaged by the Traitors, and left as little more than a husk, reduced to a poisonous wasteland by the virus weapons unleashed upon it. Even 10,000 standard years later, the nobles now live in Void-Shielded enclaves, and look out at their ruined world and feel a burning hate. Their icon is now the embodiment of their quest for vengeance, and they proudly tally the many Chaos worshippers they have defeated. Prosecuting this endless battle against the forces of the Dark Gods has become their driving motivation. Such is their venom that there is a secret place on their homeworld, known as the Hammer of Traitors. Here they carve the names of Chaos worshippers they have destroyed -- and, rumour has it, bring heretical prisoners to die terrible, gasping deaths in the poisonous air.
- Knightly Honours - Glorious kills are celebrated by Imperial Knights with icons to be worn on their personal banner or suit of Knight armour. These take many forms, from targetting symbols or small skulls to rings around weapon barrels. House Krast's greatest hate is for the Traitor Titan Legion of the Legio Mortis, who they hold accountable for the horrors unleashed on Chrysis long ago during the Horus Heresy. The broken death's head symbol utilised by the Knights of House Krast is a modified badge of the Legio Mortis, with a crack in the skull which denotes a Titan kill of their most hated enemies.
- Codex: Imperial Knights (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 42, 82-87, 104, 107-108
- The Imperial Knights Companion (6th Edition), pp. 15, 19, 90-99
- Titan Legions (2nd Edition), pg. 54