"A world of fire and slaughter, A bond of trust betrayed, The questing soul is broken, And broken is the blade. In blackened tower's shadow, The dracon there shall die, And from its scattered ashes, A queen, instead, shall rise..."
- — The prophecy of House Manticos
House Manticos was a House of Renegade Knights hailing from the distant Knight World of Adrastapol. While still hiding behind a veneer of loyalty to the Emperor, House Manticos' strength was irreparably shattered when the savage Orks of WAAAGH! Skarjaw descended upon Adrastapol and destroyed most of their keeps. That at least was the tale propagated by the Loyalist Houses in the wake of their victory. In truth, the Ork invasion had uncovered the rot beneath House Manticos' trappings of honour: the taint of Chaos.
In secret, some within House Manticos had been worshipping the Ruinous Powers, especially Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways. Upon discovery, the Loyalist Knights purged House Manticos' keeps and blamed the destruction upon the Orks. However, not every member of the House was deemed tainted. In order to survive, these remains of House Manticos entered a close alliance with the most powerful of Adrastapol's knightly households, House Chimaeros. This alliance was later formally sealed by the marriage of the House's ruler, Alicia Kar Manticos, and High King Gerraint Tan Chimaeros.
Unknown to the other Houses, the taint had not been eradicated and with one of their priestesses so close to the High King, the dark promises of Chaos slowly began to poison the sovereign's mind before spreading to the entirety of Houses Chimaeros and Wyvorn. The final treachery would occur during the dreadful events surrounding the Donatosian War. Declared reductum hereticum extremis and hunted down by the Loyalist Imperial Knights, House Manticos' strength has now been broken, but some of its members are still being hunted by the merciless Freeblade known as the Knight of Ashes.
Like the other Knight Houses of the Knight World of Adrastapol, the origins of House Manticos are now lost to the dust of ages. It is generally accepted that -- as with most Knight Worlds of the Imperium of Man -- Adrastapol was first colonised during the Age of Technology. However, the only reliable sources confirming this are the memories embedded in the Thrones Mechanicum of the oldest suits of Imperial Knights still in service on Adrastapol. House Manticos was founded at the same time as the other Houses, though it remains unclear which position it held in the complex system of political alliances and rivalries that defined Adrastapol's culture. When eventually the Emperor's Great Crusade reached Adrastapol, House Manticos was formally recognised as an Imperial Knight Household with direct ties to the Imperium of Man rather than to the Adeptus Mechanicus.
As was customary in these glorious times when the Emperor and His Primarchs still walked amongst their people, House Manticos contributed troops to the vast armies forging the Imperium, although Imperial archives are curiously void of any reference to their actual contribution to the Great Crusade. This lack of historical sources tends to suggest that the House was not of great import within the gargantuan military hierarchy of the nascent Imperium. If anything, their role seems to have been a secondary one, their glory far outshone by their rivals within House Hydrax and House Medusos. The fact that those two Houses would rebel against the Emperor during the Horus Heresy speaks of a privileged connection to the Traitor Warmaster, Horus Lupercal.
The Roots of Chaos
When the Emperor's most trusted son, the Primarch of the XVI Legion and Warmaster of the Imperium, Horus Lupercal, betrayed his father's trust, he did not do so alone: countless men and women of the Imperial Army, Armada Imperialis, the Legiones Astartes and the Titan Legions followed him into rebellion. On Adrastapol his agents were the Knights of House Hydrax and House Medusos. Led by High King Rhoderic Tan Chimaeros of House Chimaeros, the remaining Knight Houses -- House Draconis, House Minotos, House Wyvorn, House Pegasson and of course House Manticos -- combined their forces to defeat those that would see their homeworld fall to the Traitors. With the destruction of the Renegade Knights, the power balance of Adrastapol was considerably altered. The power vacuum created by the elimination of Houses Hydrax and Medusos created new room for the other Houses to expand -- and new opportunities for the corruption of Chaos to take root.
Words of Prophecy
Over the millennia, a Chaos Cult dedicated to the Chaos God Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, spread its baleful influence within House Manticos. Granted a vision by an ancient amulet having belonged to his grandfather, High King Danial Tan Draconis swore that the cult within House Manticos possesed a daemonic patron, a powerful daemon known only as "That Which Dwells In Darkness". During the countless rites, ceremonies and adorations a prophecy emerged from the daemon's lips. It foretold of events yet to come, of how in the shadow of a black tower, the dracon, the heraldic beast of House Draconis, would fall and its reign end, a necessary destruction before the rise of a queen, an aberration in the patriarchal culture of Adrastapol:
A world of fire and slaughter,
A bond of trust betrayed,
The questing soul is broken,
And broken is the blade.
In blackened tower's shadow,
The dracon there shall die,
And from its scattered ashes,
A queen, instead, shall rise...
These words of prophecy were passed down from generation to generation, the Chaos Cultists determined to see it fulfilled. With a patience only the followers of Tzeentch possess, they bided their time, spreading their influence and growing strong until the day came when they could reveal their hand. Ultimately, House Manticos' doom bore the savage traits and green skin of the Orks. Led by a terrifying Warboss, an Ork WAAAGH! devastated Adrastapol and fell upon House Manticos' keeps, razing several of them. Even though the WAAAGH! was quickly defeated by a coalition of Adrastapolian Knight Houses, the damage had been done, for in the ruins of their keeps the Loyalist Knight Houses found proof of the Manticos cult's rituals. Horrified by what would happen if word of their discovery reached the ears of the Emperor's Inquisition, the Imperial Knights of Adrastapol resolved to purge House Manticos and blame its destruction on the Orks. In the wake of what would be called the Ork Wars, House Manticos was stripped of its honour and became a disgraced House within the Adrastapolian nobility.
However, the purge was incomplete. In the ruins of one of House Manticos' keeps, a young woman -- barely more than a girl -- had survived. Her name was Alicia Tan Manticos, daughter of the last ruler of her House and secretly an adoratrice of Tzeentch well-versed in the mysteries of the cult. Alicia was wounded in the attack on her home, trapped by debris and unable to free herself. She would have bled to death if the beautiful young woman had not been saved by a dashing young Knight who bore the crown of the High King of Adrastapol upon his brow: High King Gerraint Tan Chimaeros. Taking pity on the girl and seeing in her no more than an innocent child, the far older Gerraint freed Alicia from the debris that had trapped her and personally rushed her to the nearest medicae facility. From this act of kindness, the ultimate corruption of House Chimaeros would ensue, for unknown to the High King, the girl he had saved had been a leading figure of the Cult of Tzeentch.
Convinced that the ancient prophecy applied to her, the young Alicia Kar Manticos began to plot her rise to power. The obvious choice was to use her direct relationship to the High King as her stepping stone. Was it true love? It would seem so, for the High King and Alicia soon became inseperable. Honour prevented the High King from truly taking the heiress of a disgraced House as his new wife -- instead Alicia Kar Manticos was formally recognised as the High King's consort. To cement her status, Alicia even bore a son to the High King, Luk Tan Chimaeros, even though the High King already had a son and designated heir.
As the new woman at the High King's side, Alicia Kar Manticos soon wielded very real power. Swiftly, she became Gerraint's most trusted advisor and her diplomatic skills proved unmatched within House Chimaeros. Thanks to Alicia's efforts, House Chimaeros soon brought an age of peace upon Adrastapol. The Manticos dynasty reigned unopposed and deep bonds of friendship had been struck between House Chimaeros and House Draconis. Tolwyn Tan Draconis and Gerraint Tan Chimaeros were great friends, but their friendship paled before that of their two sons, Luk Tan Chimaeros and Danial Tan Draconis. As a mother and a wife, Alicia achieved everything the nobility expected of her and she revelled in the perfect facade she had crafted for herself. But secretly Alicia continued to practice the forbidden arts and rituals taught to her as a girl.
Hand of the Traitor
Unable to fully corrupt a Knight House on her own, Alicia Dar Manticos began to look for allies. She did not try to directly corrupt her consort, the High King, nor did she approach one of the Chimaeros or Manticos Knights directly. Instead, she turned her attention to those minds that could be swayed by her arguments and did not follow the strict tenets of the Chivalric Code: the Tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus. In Xededia Dar Mechanicus, House Chimaeros' High Sacristan she found just such a mind, for the Magos' thirst for knowledge easily swayed him to the Cult of Tzeentch. In exchange for his support and influence, Alicia offered him freedom -- freedom to pursue his research outside the limitations imposed by the Cult Mechanicus.
Through Xedediah and his unquestioning followers, Alicia gained the perfect vector to further spread her corruption, for the Nobles implicitly trusted the Sacristans to maintain their keeps, voidships and suits of Knight armour. Unable to corrupt the minds of the Knights directly, Alicia would distil her dark creed through the collective memories and neural interface sockets of each Knights' Throne Mechanicum. With Xededia's help, the Sacristan twisted the recipes of his holy oils and sacred unguents to Alicia's designs, adding powerful philtres of daemonbane and weirdroot designed to gradually open the minds of the affected Nobles to the temptations of Chaos. The full corruption of a Knight might well take Terran years, but Alicia Kar Manticos was patient enough to see this plan through. Yet, in the end, a dark twist of fate -- or a boon granted by the Architect of Fate -- would considerably further her plans.
The Imperium of Man is a realm locked in a perpetual war for its survival. As some of its mightiest warriors, the forces of the Imperial Knights are often stretched thin by demand, for their military power is only surpassed by that of the Titan Legions and the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. With their homeworld secured, the Imperium called upon the Adrastapolian Knights to fight in the Galhorm Crusade, a little-known campaign of which very few records have survived. Faithful to his oath, High King Gerraint Tan Chimaeros led a mighty host drawn from many Houses to war, not knowing that the victory would be a costly one.
At the end of the Galhorm Crusade, many Knights had been slain, with House Chimaeros and House Draconis suffering the worst losses. For Gerraint Tan Chimaeros, the outcome of the Galhorm Crusade was nothing short of catastrophic, for amongst the dead lay his firstborn son and designated heir, Gedric Tan Chimaeros. With Gedric's death, Gerraint lost not only his son, but also the crown of the High King of Adrastapol, as the ancient laws of Adrastapol prevented his second son, Luk Tan Chimaeros, from being recognized as the potential heir to the throne and no monarch could serve without a blood heir. Wracked by the loss of his son and the crown, Gerraint Tan Chimaeros became an easily manipulated target for Alicia Kar Manticos. After the throne passed to House Draconis, Alicia turned Gerraint's grief and shame into a deep-rooted hatred for the Imperium, its institutions, the God-Emperor and even his former friend and newly-elected High King, Tolwyn Tan Draconis.
With the leader of House Chimaeros now part of the conspiracy, Alicia's poison spread further and quicker to House Wyvorn and his leader, the callous Archduke Dunkan Tan Wyvorn. Yet, at the same time, Alicia was careful to maintain the ties of friendship linking them to House Draconis and its ruler. In the years after the Galhorm Crusade, both Houses interacted frequently with each other, as their heirs, Luk Tan Chimaeros and Danial Tan Draconis, became inseparable friends, and were consequently raised jointly by both Houses until the squires passed their Ritual of Becoming in preparation for the next big muster of Adrastapol's strength: the quelling of the Donatos Uprising.
In close vicinity to Adrastapol, the Industrial World of Donatos Primus had fallen to corruption from within, powerful Chaos Cults having called in Heretic Astartes reinforcements to overthrow the local Planetary Governor. With such powerful enemies to fight and no Loyalist Space Marines close enough to respond, the Imperium tasked the Knights of Adrastapol to link up with the surviving Imperial forces on Donatos Primus and reconquer the world in the name of the Emperor. For Alicia Kar Manticos and Gerraint Tan Chimaeros, it became clear that this would be the ideal opportunity to attain their goals: destroy their opponents, reinstall Gerraint as High King and declare Adrastapol's secession from the Imperium. In truth, however, Alicia sought to bring the ancient prophecy of her House to fullfillment.
The initial Imperial counterattack met great success, as the forces of High King Tolwyn Tan Draconis and his allies from the Astra Militarum successfully landed on the Penthakhost Peninsula. For Alicia's son, Luk Tan Chimaeros, this was his very first battle and both she and Gerraint faithfully played the part of the proud parents witnessing their son's first battle. The Renegade PDF and Chaos Cultists the Imperial forces encountered in these early stages of the reconquest proved no match for the might of the Imperial Knights now unleashed against them, and the campaign progressed swiftly.
Soon, the rebels and their Chaos overlords had been pressed back to the well-defended industrial heartland of Donatos Primus, a heavily fortified region known as the Valle Electrum. As consort to the ruler of House Chimaeros, seasoned advisor and personal friend of the High King, Alicia Kar Manticos was allowed to be present during each and every one of the High King's war councils.
On the eve of the Imperium's attack on the Valle Electrum, Alicia Kar Manticos summoned the ancestral daemon to which her House had always prayed, a terrifying entity known only as That Which Dwells In Darkness. Through the daemon, Alicia communed with the true leader of the Donatosian rebels, Varakh'Lorr, a Dark Apostle of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion, and revealed to him every detail of High King Tolwyn's plan and the treachery soon to unfold. As House Draconis and their loyal allies pressed the attack, House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn would allow themselves to fall back and open fire into the Imperial advance.
Cunningly planned, the ambush took the Loyalist Knights totally unaware. As the Knights of House Minotos and House Draconis closed with the enemy, House Chimaeros fell back and opened fire at point-blank range. With their Ion Shields still directed to the front, the first shots wreaked havoc amongst the Loyalists, even as House Wyvorn -- tasked with long-range fire-support -- turned on House Pegasson. All three Loyalist Houses suffered severe casualties, including the loss of the Marioness of House Pegasson and the High King himself. Yet the ambush failed to eliminate the treat posed by the Adrastapolian Knights: Tolwyn's son and heir, Danial Tan Draconis, yet lived and was promptly crowned High King to counter Gerraint's claim to the vacant throne. Aimed at annihilating all other Imperial Knights, the ambush was a failure, as the Loyalists still numbered over 50 active Knights, a force to be reckoned with.
In the Shadow of the Black Tower
The Renegade Knights of House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn hunted for their Loyalist counterparts but failed to find them. With the scattered Imperial forces in retreat, the Renegades launched their own limited offensives to take back the ground they had lost, hoping to force the Adrastapolian survivors out of hiding. The bait was not taken. When Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr summoned his new-found allies to a war council, this left Alicia the heavy burden of dealing with the Loyalist Knights. Remembering the ancient prophecy of her House, Alicia searched for and found a suitable location to carry out her plan: an abandoned Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress whose central black tower was overlooked by mighty cliffs -- the perfect site for an ambush. Commandeering some of Xedediah's Sacristans, Alicia ordered these Tech-adepts to lace the cliffs and the fortress itself with Demolition Charges, as the gigatonnes of crumbling stone were sure to annihilate even an Imperial Knight. All she needed was adequate bait, one the Loyalists could not resist -- herself.
Using herself as bait was a dangerous decision. Alicia suspected that her own son, Luk Tan Chimaeros, would be among the Loyalists. But he suspected nothing of his mother's true allegiance. Second, as honourable Knights, High King Danial's warriors were still bound by the precepts of the Chivalric Code which required defending the weak and especially keeping women from harm. If she were put in danger, the Loyalists would be honour-bound to save her. Her escort would be small enough to let High King Danial think he would achieve an easy victory -- and because she needed more sacrifices for Tzeentch to further strengthen her sorcerous powers.
As was to be expected, the boy-king, Danial Tan Draconis took the bait, sallying forth with 40 of his remaining Knights. Hopelessly outnumbered, Alicia's escort was slaughtered until only a Lance of Knight Gallants remained. At their head stood Alicia's most faithful retainer, Sire Hectour Dar Manticos. While Alicia did her best to play a convincing victim, an ignorant helpless woman trapped in the palm of Blade Aggressor's Thunderstrike Gauntlet, Sire Hectour demanded the surrender of Danial Tan Draconis' forces in exchange for Alicia's life.
Despite the pleading of his best friend, Luk Tan Chimaeros, Danial Tan Draconis refused the bargain, leaving Alicia no other choice than to reveal her true allegiance. Chiding herself for thinking that Luk and Danial cared so much for her to break their vows to the Emperor, Alicia Kar Manticos unleashed her sorcerous might. Her first spell turned the aging Grandmarshal Gustev -- the leader of House Minotos -- and his venerable Knight Crusader Thunderhymn into a gigantic Chaos Spawn. The Loyalists could only watch horrified as steel and metal turned to gibbering flesh, probing tentacles and gnashing teeth. The thing that had been Gustev promptly attacked those Knights standing nearest to him.
Using the hesitation and confusion of the Loyalist Knights, Alicia summoned her power for a second spell, a ritual of teleportation that would transport her and the three Renegade Knights around her to a safe location while Sire Hectour activated the demolition charges. Re-emerging from the Warp a few leagues further, Alicia witnessed the destruction of the Adeptus Arbites precinct-fortress, the entire complex crushed beneath an avalanche of great stones and masonry. Confident that both the boy-king and her all-too-loyal son had perished and the prophecy had been fulfilled, Alicia turned her back on the scene of her victory, letting Sire Hectour carry her back to the Valle Electrum where her apotheosis awaited.
While Alicia Kar Manticos led the ambush on the boy-king, her husband -- Gerraint Tan Chimaeros -- achieved a new breakthrough: High Sacristan Xedediah had managed to locate the remainder of the Loyalist Adrastapolian forces who were hiding in a vast complex of underground warehouses. Sharing this information with Varakh'Lorr led to a large host of Chaos Cultists, Renegade Planetary Defence Force-troops and Daemon Engines affiliated with the Word Bearers Legion to be sent to crush the Imperial Knights once and for all. With the majority of the Loyalist Knights slain or marked for destruction, it was time for Gerraint Tan Chimaeros to enact the second part of Alicia's plan: to seize power over all the other Chaos forces on Donatos Primus.
This required eliminating the Word Bearers and their frightful leader, Varakh'Lorr, who was even now finishing the preparations for his grand ritual, a dark ritual during which thousands of Donatos' citizens were to be sacrificed, ensuring his rebirth as a Daemon Prince of Chaos. Varakh'Lorr had been so focussed on these matters that he did not suspect Gerraint's treachery, but as the ritual began, House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn betrayed the Word Bearers.
In those warzones furthest from the Valle Electrum, where few Chaos Space Marines had been deployed, the coup of the Renegade Knights was successful; but closer to Varakh'Lorr, within the confines of the Valle Electrum and especially in the vast plaza before the Imperial cathedral where the Dark Apostle had locked himself in, a vicious fight erupted. The Word Bearers defended their lord with fanatical devotion. Even as Alicia Kar Manticos was reunited with her love, terrible news reached them -- the Imperial forces were attacking the Valle Electrum and breaking through!
Unknown to them, Danial Tan Draconis had survived Alicia's ambush and after destroying the army sent against him, he led the last Loyalist Knights in a desperate attack to thwart the Heretics' plans. With Gerraint's Knight and tactical acumen needed on the battlefield, Alicia confronted Varakh'Lorr. In most circumstances an unaugmented human, even one who was a powerful psyker, had little chance to slay a Space Marine, but Alicia knew that the stress put on Varakh'Lorr's mind so close to his ascension to daemonhood would leave him weakened. Pleased with her actions, Tzeentch had restored her strength and further enhanced her psychic powers, which gave Alicia Kar Manticos a very real advantage over her foe. With a final goodbye to her husband and lover, the witch entered the cathedral while her escort and the remaining House Manticos Knights followed Gerraint into battle.
As predicted, Alicia Kar Manticos found Varakh'Lorr chanting proscribed verses in the Dark Tongue whilst countless human sacrifices were led into a sacrificial pyre of psychic flames. Even weakened, Varakh'Lorr's own powers were still a match for Alicia's, but what the Manticos consort had not planned upon was the presence of another squad of Word Bearers Heretic Astartes. A deadly firefight erupted within the cathedral's nave.
In response to the Bolter-fire of the Word Bearers, Alicia Kar Manticos launched orbs of sorcerous fire while deflecting the bolts striking her with a powerful shield of telekinetic energy. Both camps were surprised when Imperial Knights broke through the thick walls of the cathedral: two Knight Errants, one in the colours of House Draconis and the other bearing the livery of an unknown Freeblade. The Knights' armour identified them as Oath of Flame and Sword of Heroes -- Danial Tan Draconis and Alicia's own son, Luk Kar Chimaeros. Immediately reassessing the situation, the Word Bearers opened fire on the Oath of Flame, leaving the vengeful son to face his mother.
Although Alicia tried to reason with him, to convince her son to let her go, he would have none of it: activating his Knight's Thermal Cannon, Luk Kar Chimaeros fired at his mother, the woman that had lied to him all his life and tried to kill him. Even as the wave of superheated air closed upon her, Alicia crossed her arms in front of her, summoning all her power to project a powerful shield that kept her from death but the kinetic force of the blast was strong enough that she was flung against the cathedral's far wall, shattering the stone and vanishing from sight.
It is hard to ascertain what happened to the surviving members of House Manticos in the wake of their defeat on Donatos Primus. While some of them such as Sire Hectour have been confirmed killed in action, it is not impossible that some Renegade Knights still managed to escape Donatos once victory was secured by the Imperium. Alicia Kar Manticos' fate also remains a mystery as no tangible proof of her death was ever discovered. At least one Imperial Knight remains sure that she survived: Luk Kar Chimaeros, now the Freeblade known as the Knight of Ashes, who has vowed to track her down and punish her for the ruination of his House.
- Horus Heresy (005-014.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 root 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. The Loyalist Houses, led by High King Rhoderic, vanquished the Renegade Knights.
- Ork Wars (Unknown Date.M41) - When the Ork Warboss Skarjaw led his WAAAGH! to the Knight World of Adrastapol, the Knights were slow to react. Before their full strength could be gathered several keeps of House Manticos were destroyed and burnt to the ground, leaving the House severely depleted. Belonging to one of the most savage and feral tribes of his race, Skarjaw and his Orks rode to battle on towering Squiggoths. These great beasts can easily pose a threat to Imperial Knights, a fact the defenders of Adrastapol soon became painfully aware of. High King Rhoderic Tan Chimaeros leads an alliance of all Houses into battle, but the Ork leader is slain by another Knight: the young Tolwyn Tan Draconis which led a daring and unexpected surprise attack against Skarjaw and his closest retinue. With Skarjaw slain, the cohesion of his WAAAGH! was broken and the fractured Greenskins were targetted by the coordinated and unified Imperial Knights. The devastation left by the Orks, however, uncovers the presence of a Chaos Cult within House Manticos' ranks, a discovery to which the other Knight Houses react with implacable brutality. House Manticos is purged and its name falls into disgrace. Yet in the remains of one of House Manticos' fortresses, High King Gerraint Tan Chimaeros saves the life of Alicia Tan Manticos and falls in love with her.
- Donatosian War (Unknown Date.M41) - Through the laxity of its rulers, Chaos Cults had taken roots on the Industrial World of Donatos Primus. These cults grew powerful enough to overthrow the Imperial planetary government in place and kill 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 an 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 service to the Dark Gods. 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 who many saw as unfit for the task ahead. With barely 50 Knights remaining out of several hundred originally deployed, the remaining Loyalist 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 the use of sorcery to unleash another ambush on the remaining survivors that proved equally murderous. Left with little more than two dozen Knights, 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.
Notable House Manticos Knights
- Blade Aggressor - Blade Aggressor was the Knight Gallant piloted by Sire Hectour Dar Manticos during the Donatosian War. It is unknown if Blade Aggressor was initially commissioned with House Manticos, before their initial fall from grace or if Sire Hectour was re-issued an existing House Chimaeros Knight after he rallied to High King Gerraint's House. During the Donatosian War, Blade Aggressor fought in most of the great battles of that conflict and was the centrepiece in the devastating ambush at the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress that narrowly missed slaying the newly-elected High King Danial Tan Draconis. Rejoining his liege, the Knight Gallant led the assault on the principal generatoria bordering the Square of Martyrs in an attempt to crush the resisting Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines that were sheltering there, but was recalled after the Loyalist Adrastapolian Knights entered the fray. With Archduke Dunkan Tan Wyvorn having awakened his House's most powerful war engine and killing indiscriminately every Knight that stood before him, the Traitor Gerraint Kar Adrastapol ordered Sire Hectour and his Lance to kill the mad Archduke before he took a heavy toll on their forces. Outmatched by Dunkan's relic Knight, Blade Aggressor was cut in two by the powerful blasts of the Acastus Knight Porphyrion's Magna Lascannons.
Notable House Manticos Personnel
- Alicia Kar Manticos - The dire events of the Donatosian War and the treachery of Houses Chimaeros and Wyvorn can be traced back to a single individual: Alicia Kar Manticos, consort to Viscount Gerraint Tan Chimaeros and heiress to the throne of House Manticos. At the time of the Ork Wars and the discovery of House Manticos' corruption, Alicia was just a child. While roaming through the ruins of one of House Manticos' keeps, the then High King Gerraint discovered her frail and wounded body trapped by debris. As every honorable Knight would do, he rescued her, her frail body easily fitting into his strong arms before bearing her to his Imperial Knight and making way for the nearest medicae facility. From this seemingly random encounter, true love was born as Alicia and Gerraint quickly grew fond of each other. Back then, nobody would have dared to insinuate that Alicia Kar Manticos, an innocent and beautiful girl from a disgraced House was anything other than that, but in truth she was already an adoratrice of Tzeentch and quite possibly a witch. As Alicia grew into womanhood, her affection for Gerraint also turned into intimacy, the High King even recognising her as his official consort. From their love a child was born, Luk Tan Chimaeros, Gerraint's second son. In the years that followed Luk's birth, Alicia acted as a trusted and wise advisor to the High King, her diplomatic skills and personal friendship with many of the other House rulers ensuring that Gerraint's reign was a prosperous one. Even when House Draconis inherited the crown of the High King, her counsel was sought and highly praised, but in secret Alicia Kar Manticos was already plotting for a change of regime. In her frequent communions with a daemon, known only as That Which Dwells In Darkness, Alicia had become privy to a prophecy heralding the fall of House Draconis and the rise of a powerful queen. For Alicia, there was little doubt that she would be the foretold queen and with a patience so typical of the Chaos Cultists venerating the Lord of Change, she bided her time. First she sought allies within House Chimaeros, and found a ready friend in the House's High Sacristan Xededia Dar Mechanicus who would allow her to slowly corrupt the Manticos Knights' minds through filters of daemonblood and weirdroot applied to their Thrones Mechanicum. In the wake of the Galhorm Crusade and the death of Gedric Tan Chimaeros, Gerraint's son and heir, Alicia sunk her claws deeper into the mind of the former High King, turning his grief into anger at the merciless Imperium of Man, its cruel God-Emperor and the usurper now sitting on the High King's chair -- Gerraint's closest friend, Tolwyn Tan Draconis. Alicia Kar Manticos played an instrumental role in planning the great betrayal of Houses Chimaeros and Wyvorn during the Donatosian War, seeing it as her best chance to seize power. It was she who secretly contacted the enemy leader, the Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr, and told him of Tolwyn's attack plan, and even offered herself as bait for a cunning ambush intended to kill the pretender Danial Tan Draconis after his father's death. She also orchestrated House Chimaeros turning on its Word Bearers allies and personally confronted Varakh'Lorr in a sorcerous duel for control over the Donatosian Renegades and Heretics. Her sorcerous powers were immense, strong enough to survive a direct blast of a Knight Errant's Thermal Cannon, but ultimately her ploy failed: Gerraint Kar Adrastapol was slain, his army annihilated and even though Varakh'Lorr died as well, the resurgent Imperium proved victorious. With no one to turn to, Alicia fled from Donatos Primus, knowing full-well that she would be hunted down by the most implacable foe there was: her own son, Luk Kar Chimaeros -- now the Freeblade called the Knight of Ashes. For he was the son she had been ready to sacrifice in the name of her future glory.
- Sire Hectour Dar Manticos - With the official heiress to House Manticos still but a child, Sire Hectour acted as leader to those Knights of House Manticos deemed pure enough to be welcomed inside House Chimaeros. His skill at leading men would eventually ensure that by the time the Donatosian War dawned, Sire Hectour had become Viscount Gerraint's right-hand man. Sire Hectour was one of the very first Nobles to become corrupted by the powerful drugs and potions of Alicia Kar Manticos and her hold upon Sire Hectour only grew stronger. Formerly he was known to have been a jovial Knight who harbored no ill-will to House Draconis, even spending much time with future High King Danial in his youth. However, this changed dramatically following his corruption by Chaos, which unearthed an unsuspected cruelty in Sire Hectour's heart. Sire Hectour's role during the ill-fated ambush at the Adeptus Arbites precinct fortress where Grandmarshal Gustev Tan Minotos of House Minotos was slain was paramount for he posed as the leader of the Chimaeros detachment holding Alicia Kar Manticos captive before they sprung the trap on the unsuspecting Adrastapolian Loyalists. Escaping the destruction wrought by the ambush through sorcerous means, Sire Hectour would return to the Traitor camp and fight in the Second Battle for the Valle Electrum, where he was slain while leading a glorious last charge against the deranged Archduke Dunkan Tan Wyvorn and his relic Acastus Knight Porphyrion.
Having lost its independence in the wake of the Ork Wars, the colours and arms of House Manticos had gradually vanished and been supplanted by those of House Chimaeros.
The colours of House Manticos have been purged from Imperial records.
The arms of House Manticos are absent from Imperial records.
- Kingsblade (Novel) by Andy Clarke