House Terryn is a Loyalist Imperial Knight House aligned with the Imperium of Man. The Knights of House Terryn are renowned for their skill at arms and ferocity in battle, each one a master of knightly combat. Ruled over by Patriarch Tybalt on the tropical world of Voltaris, detachments of the house range across the battlefields of the Eastern Fringe, from the cursed edges of the Ghoul Stars to the hellish warzones of the Damocles Gulf. Rumours speculate that the Knights' ferocity in battle and perchant for long off-world campaigns is a reaction to the tedium and oppressive peace of their homeworld, where convoluted ritual and endless ceremony permeate society. True or not, House Terryn boasts some of the finest nobles ever to fight for the Emperor.
House Terryn was founded in the 25th Millennium during the early days of the Age of Strife by Maximillian Terryn. At a certain point of his life, Maximillian experienced visions of a mysterious white stallion that appeared to warn him of danger. Ever since, the white horse's head on a blue field has been the house's emblem. Early on, the Knights of House Terryn fought for the cause of the Great Crusade, to help expand the burgeoning human empire known as the Imperium of Man. The golden age of the Great Crusade was to be cut short by the supreme act of betrayal known as the Horus Heresy, during which the galaxy was gripped by the most bitter civil war humanity had ever seen. Across the nascent Imperium, rebels clashed with Loyalists for the fate of Mankind. Space Marines fought Space Marines, Titans fought Titans and, alongside them, Imperial Knights fought Imperial Knights. As the Warmaster Horus led his armies to Terra, he left a trail of destruction in his wake hundreds of light years wide. His forces seemed unstoppable as garrison after garrison fell before his might, or changed allegiance and sided with the traitorous commander.
As the events of the Horus Heresy neared their tragic conclusion seven standard years after the fateful betrayal at Istvaan III, Horus was confronted and defeated by the Emperor aboard his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, though the Master of Mankind was mortally wounded and had to be interred within the cybernetic life support mechanisms of the advanced psychic augmentation technology known as the Golden Throne. Though Horus lay dead at the hands of the Emperor, so high was the cost of victory that many sought solace in hounding the fleeing Traitors across the stars rather than face the task of rebuilding the shattered Imperium. This campaign of vengeance is known as the Great Scouring. The surviving knightly houses with the strength to fight unanimously joined in this crusade of retribution. Believing the honour of the many to be stained by the treachery of the few, the Imperial Knights hunted down the knightly houses that sided with Horus with extreme prejudice, seeking to redeem their tarnished reputation. Filled with righteous indignation, a combined strike force of Knights from Houses Terryn, Cadmus and Borgius annihilated the turncoats of House Devine as Imperial forces reclaimed the lost Knight World of Molech. But there were rumours that some of the traitorous Knights of House Devine went unaccounted for. Presumably when Horus was defeated and Molech was reclaimed by Imperial forces, these survivors of the Chaos-corrupted Knight House fled alongside the Traitor Legions into the Eye of Terror, where they remain to this day. Ten millennia after his house's founding, in 239.M35, Seuitonius Thucidides Terryn took the oath of allegiance to the Emperor of Mankind and his world became a formal part of the Imperium. Under his auspices, Terryn Knights often fought alongside the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter.
Voltoris, An Oppressive Peace
The world of Voltoris is a tranquil place, largely covered in glittering emerald seas and dotted with jungle-covered islands. Despite its location close to both the Tau Empire and the encroaching Tyranid Hive Fleets, it has remained largely untouched by war for thousands of standard years. Even its predators –- the carrion vendell or the betentacled kroktars –- are little danger to a Knight. This freedom from strife or ceaseless assaults from xenos raiders has led to a society of tedious ceremonies and tiresome customs.
Under the light of their binary stars the nobles of House Terryn hold endless court, the expectations heaped on young nobles driving many to yearn for the call of battle where problems can be solved at the end of a Reaper Chainsword's blade. From the moment he awakens to the moment he returns to his sanctum, the noble of House Terryn must observe the ancient traditions of his family; ancestors must be honoured, observances spoken and rituals performed. To ease the burden on their sons, most families have oathsmen that shadow a noble wherever he goes, standing in for them when they are called upon to make an observance. An oathsman will perform such tasks as offering up a drop of blood to each of the noble's ancestors, opening his palm over barely healed scars so the noble can keep his own hands unblemished. By this same token, it is not permitted for a noble to finish eating before his guests, and an oathsman might find himself choking down ale and fermented vendell flesh long after his lord has taken his leave. Oathsmen also suffer punishments, and deliver them, in place of their lords, leading to all too common situations where servants play ritualistic castigation upone one another in the name of their masters.
Far from being an unwelcome position, becoming an oathsman is a proud achievement for the family of one blessed. To be forced to honour the ancestors of a noble is to touch the glory of the knightly houses. In fact, many oath-servants have begun lineages of their own, generations of men and women bound to a single noble family. It is a life of sacrifice lived in the shadow of greatness, but is the closest most common folk will ever come to the nobility that rule over them.
Beneath the tedium of House Terryn's reliance on ceremony is the ancient weight of the law, and though many lords chaff under the complication inherent in their daily life, the house does not hesitate to punish those that stray from the binding traditions. Men have been lashed to dead animals and set adrift to face the kroktars for mere breaches of protocol, but such a sanction will seldom affect the noble himself; rather, his oathsman will obediently take his place.
It is little wonder that with such a ritualistic culture the young noblemen of Voltoris are drawn to the danger and freedom that comes from piloting a Knight suit into war. Once a noble has completed the Ritual of Becoming he will find more and more excuses to be in his Knight. Regular "training" missions are fundamental to the daily routine, with the lord likewise finding reason to help his sons to master their Knights in the jungles and shallow seas around their keeps. Younger brothers can only look on jealously as their older siblings laugh and brag about days spent crashing through the forest canopies hunting for vendell, or using derelict ships as target practice for their cannon.
When Seuitonius Thucidides Terryn forged the formal alliance with the Imperium, he was canny enough to ensure that Voltoris law was changed so that any Knight under arms in the service of the Emperor was exempt from his ceremonial obligations to house and home. Since that time the Knights of House Terryn have sought off-world conflict across the galaxy, pursuing their foes with an aggression born of years of unrequited yearning for war. From the time he reaches adulthood to his twilight years a House Terryn noble will spend much of his life on campaign, returning to Voltoris only to ensure the continuation of his line and to show his fealty to the Patriarch. Even Tybalt, ruler of House Terryn, still leads detachments in wars against the Imperium's foes, though he is over a standard century old. The keeps of Voltoris are as a result often quiet and empty places, populated by industrious servants and petulant young sons, overseen by jealous wives and daughters. Furion Peak, House Terryn's vast keep, echoes to the sound of song and revelry only when Tybalt and his nobles are between campaigns. Then, as quickly as they arrived, the lord and his men will depart, leaving the servants to clean the feasting halls and restock the larders for the next time he should grace the keep.
The Long Hunt
At the end of the 41st Millenium, the Tau Empire entered into its Third Sphere Expansion, and the war across the Damocles Gulf flared again into terrible life. Voltoris itself came under attack from the Tau Commander Shadowsun. Though the forces arrayed against them were vast, the Imperium was able to lay a deadly ambush for the Tau in the shadow of Furion Peak, and the combined might of the Imperial Guard and knightly houses eventually defeated the xenos, driving them back from the world. In the aftermath, the Tau tried to extract as much of their forces as possible from Voltoris. Those Tau that could not reach the landing zones around the peak were forced to retreat into the jungle or make for the open oceans in an attempt to find respite from the Imperial assault. Tybalt personally led households of Knights in pursuit of these xenos remnants, hunting them down before they could muster their strength once again. While many of the alien units scattered, Tybalt eventually ran a regiment-sized formation to ground in the Weeping Reefs, the crimson-stained waters becoming a battleground for Knights and Tau Battlesuits. Rending their foes to scrap with their Reaper Chainblades, the nobles made a bloody example of the Tau. Tybalt was granted the honour of slaying the final alien, cracking open its suit and crushing it between the mighty foot of his Knight and razor-sharp coral.
Though the battle had been won, Voltaris would never be the same. It was stained by the presence of the aliens and their foul ambitions, while scores of its favoured sons lay dead in the twisted remains of their proud Knight suits. Tybalt vowed revenge upon the Tau as he stood tall over the corpses of their dead, promising much blood to come for this gravest of insults against his house.
The Honourable Company
Many House Terryn nobles spend extended periods away from Voltoris, fighting wars on distant worlds under alien suns. These protracted sojourns into the void can sometimes go beyond what is considered dutiful to the house and stray close to the way of the Freeblade. More than one noble has become lost in the duty of his quest, his single-minded devotion to pursuing a foe or honouring a vow taking him far into the wilds of the Imperium. Patriarch Tybalt accepts that sometimes a Knight's journey will take him beyond the battlefields and banners of House Terryn and to a place where he must forge his own destiny.
This was the case with the Honourable Company. The Company was a detachment of five Knights fighting alongside the Forlorn Crusade in the southern wilds of the Eastern Fringe, that chose the path of the Freeblade to complete an honour-debt for a fallen brother. The Crusade had been fighting for centuries to reclaim the Storlar Sector from xenos empires and Heretic overseers when the Knights of House Terryn joined their campaign. The Knights played a vital role in dozens of engagements across the sector, from the destruction of the Ork scrap-hive on Orbalok II to leading the breakthrough of the Imperishable Line during the Battle of Bluefire. Each of the nobles earned a reputation for honour and courage among the crusaders, Imperial Guardsmen and Space Marine Battle-Brothers saluting the huge Knight machines as they thundered past on their way to the front line.
It was in the closing days of the War of Ashes, against the Swords of Khargoth Renegade Space Marine warband, that the Knights turned Freeblade. The Renegades had been fighting a war of scorched earth against the Imperium, falling back across the Laimean System, burning worlds in their wake and throwing armies of mutants, Chaos Cultists and worse against the Crusaders. Khargoth, the warlord of the Traitor armies, had noted the prowess of the Knights and had singled them out for retribution. Khargoth's daemonic assassins infiltrated the Imperium's forward camp and murdered one of the House of Terryn nobles while he slept in his pavilion, dissecting his body and laying it out in pieces for his lance-brothers to find. Not only was this perceived as a vile act of treachery by the nobles; it was also a terrible insult. For a member of the house to die outside his Knight suit was to dishonour him in the most fundamental of ways, a slight that could not be ignored. As one the other nobles vowed to slay Khargoth and destroy his warband at any cost. In the final battles of the war, the company strove to hunt down the Renegade Space Marine, often placing themselves or their allies in great danger. When the Swords of Khargoth escaped from the system the Knights followed, choosing the path of the Freeblade in order to fulfil their vow, and set off into the void after their hated quarry.
- The Death of Traitors (c.M31) - Horus lies dead at the hands of the Emperor. But so high is the cost of victory that many seek solace in hounding the fleeing Traitors across the stars rather than face the task of rebuilding the shattered Imperium. This campaign of vengeance is known as the Great Scouring. The surviving knightly houses with the strength to fight unanimously join in this crusade of retribution. Believing the honour of the many to be stained by the treachery of the few, the Imperial Knights hunt down the knightly houses that sided with Horus with extreme prejudice, seeking to redeem their tarnished reputation. Filled with righteous indignation, a combined strike force of Knights from Houses Terryn, Cadmus, and Borgius annihilates the turncoats of House Devine as Imperial forces reclaim Molech.
- The Battle of the Six Swords (776.M30) - Lord Brutus Terryn leads the house in the war against the Great Kroktar, a beast that has plagued his people for a decade, finally slaying the monster.
- The Fall of Agrellan (757.999.M41) - The Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion surges through the Damocles Gulf before striking hard and fast upon the Hive World of Agrellan. Though the Imperial forces are hard-pressed to counter the brilliant tactics employed by Commander Shadowsun, the timely arrival of several household detachments of Knights from House Terryn soon stems the tide. Time and again, the Knights sally forth from the hive city of Agrellan Prime, breaking through the xenos lines to take a heavy toll on formations of Broadside Battlesuits and Hammerhead gunships, using their Ion Shields to counter the devastating impacts of the Tau's rail weaponry. Only the mass deployment of prototype XV104 Riptide Battlesuits forces the Knights to cease these attacks, a course of action that ultimately changes the course of the war.
Notable House Terryn Knights
- Scythe of Light – Imperial Knight Paladin of Sir Myrcor
- Spear of the Righteous – Imperial Knight Paladin of Sir Yorac
- Unending Victory – Imperial Knight Paladin of Sir Orpheron
- Vermilion Shield – Imperial Knight Paladin Sir Capulan
- Voltoris Undaunted – Imperial Knight Paladin of Sir Monteryn
Notable House Terryn Personnel
- Maximillian Terryn – Founder of House Terryn, Maximillian founded his Knightly house in the 25th Millennium.
- Lord Brutus Terryn – Lord Brutus lead his house into war against the Great Kroktar and succeeded in slaying the beast in the 30th Millennium.
- Seuitonius Thucidides Terryn – Took the oath of allegiance to the Emperor of Mankind, forging a formal alliance between House Terryn and the burgeoning Imperium.
- Patriarch Tybalt – Tybalt Terryn is the current Patriarch of House Terryn. He is well over a century old and still leads his house into combat against many xenos enemies. Recently he had to defend his homeworld of Voltoris against a Tau invasion lead by Commander Shadowsun. Though the battle was won, Voltoris was stained by the presence of the aliens, which was the gravest insult to his house. Therefore he vowed to take revenge upon the Tau.
- Sir Monteryn – A notable Voltoris Knight, Monteryn accompanied Patriarch Tybalt to the Hive World of Agrellan to fight the invading Tau forces of Commander Shadowsun. During the course of the conflict, Monteryn and his lance-brothers Myrcor and Capulan became known as Tybalt's Triumvirate, for they fought at the side of the ruler of House Terryn in every sortie from the capital city's gates. At the Battle for Agrellan Prime, Tybalt's Triumvirate were in the heart of the fighting. Monteryn's moment of glory came when a Razorshark strike fighter lined up an attack run on Patriarch Tybalt's Knight, its course taking it directly over Voltaris Unndaunted. With a scything blow from his Reaper Chainsword, Monteryn hacked the aircraft's tail from the fuselage, sending it spinning into the ground in a cloud of flame and shrapnel.
- Sir Myrcor – On the planet of Tomark, Knights of House Terryn led by Sir Myrcor undertook a daring rescue of the Tomarkian governor from the jaws of a Tyranid invasion. The Hive Mind unleashed a torrent of Tyranid creatures against the Knights, and only Myrcor made it back to his lander, the terrified governor clinging to the undercarriage of his Knight. Myrcor accompanied Patriarch Tybalt to the Hive World of Agrellan to fight the invading Tau forces of Commander Shadowsun. During the course of the conflict, Myrcor and his lance-brothers Monteryn and Capulan became known as Tybalt's Triumvirate, for they fought at the side of the ruler of House Terryn in every sortie from the capital city's gates. At the Battle for Agrellan Prime, Tybalt's Triumvirate were in the heart of the fighting.
- Sir Capulan – Capulan fought in the Ghoul Wars after the machine-dream awoke thousands of metallic Necron warriors from their ancient slumber. In a rare alliance, he sided with the Eldar on the world of Oranos. The Knight defended the Eldar psykers while they closed the Necron's eldritch portal, emptying his Battle Cannon into endless waves of the undying foe. Capulan accompanied Patriarch Tybalt to the Hive World of Agrellan to fight the invading Tau forces of Commander Shadowsun. During the course of the conflict, Capulan and his lance-brothers Myrcor and Monteryn became known as Tybalt's Triumvirate, for they fought at the side of the ruler of House Terryn in every sortie from the capital city's gates. At the Battle for Agrellan Prime, Tybalt's Triumvirate were in the heart of the fighting.
- Sir Yorac – Yorac has lived a charmed life, cheating death at the hands of countless foes. In the scrap-harvest of Scouros IX, Yorac was one the few survivors of a Dark Mechanicum ambush, his Knight climbing out of the waste reclamators covered in the broken remains of his enemies and allies alike to crush the armies of the Grand Dark Magos.
- Sir Orpheron - Sir Orpheron is a notable Voltoris Knight and pilot of the Imperial Paladin Unending Victory.
The proud heraldry of House Terryn incorporates the rich blue of their oceans, the white of their pure lineage and the gold of their wealth, both in resources and might. It is believed that when the knightly house of Terryn was first founded, the nobles chose the sapphire hue of their livery from the beautiful azure oceans of their homeworld. However, over the many thousands of standard years since House Terryn was established, microscopic algae found within the seas of Voltoris have gradually reacted with the system's twin suns to turn its waters an emerald green. Regardless of this natural phenomenon, the Knights of House Terryn proudly continue to bear the cobalt blue of their ancient ancestors.
In the 25th Millennium, Maximillian Terryn, founder of House Terryn, experienced visions of a mysterious white stallion which appeared to warn of danger. This stallion was incorporated into the original coat of arms of House Terryn, which was a simple blue shield with a white horse's head. The image of the white stallion's head has been a staple icon of the house since shortly after its inception. It is the preeminent symbol of the house and embodies the spirit of the dream horse that guided the first Terryn nobles when they came to the frontier world of Voltoris. The meaning of the chain around the stallion's neck is not known for sure, though some nobles see it as symbolic of the control and mastery they have over their destiny. The facing of the stallion's head is also important, and must always be presented on the shoulder facing forward, showing that the Knight is embracing his destiny.
In 776.M30, Lord Brutus Terryn led his house in the war against the Great Kroktar, a beast that had plagued his people for a decade, finally slaying the monster in the Battle of the Six Swords. The Terryn coat of arms was changed to reflect this momentous event, which now included a Knight's helmet above the shield, the House's name on a scroll centered below the shield, and six swords and four spears behind the shield, representing this famous battle. In 239.M35, Seuitonius Thucidides Terryn took the oath of allegiance to the Emperor of Mankind. Under his auspices, Terryn Knights fought alongside the Ultramarines Chapter. Without having any formal ties to a Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus, House Terryn's crest is dominated by a pair of stylised wings to acknowledge its allegiance to the Imperium of Mankind. On one side of the shield, the house emblem of a white stallion's head is proudly emblazoned upon Terryn's traditional field of azure blue, and on the other side an ebon-coloured Imperial Aquila is displayed on a field of crimson. This same dual-split is used throughout most Knight House heraldry, in this case, symbolising House Terryn's loyalty to be equally divided between their house and the Imperium.
House Terryn Personal Heraldry
Each Terryn Knight bears both the colours of its house and the personal heraldry of the noble who commands it. Each of the families within the household wear differing black and white patterns on their cloaks, a reminder of the clans among the first settlers, before the rise of House Terryn as the dominant power on Voltoris. Over time the heraldry of a Terryn Knight will change, growing as the noble gains experience and is tempered by the blood and fire of war. Most notably this will be on his banner, as he accrues badges and icons denoting his many victories and campaigns. However, the Knight suit hull will also bear marks left by the exploits of its Noble.
- Codex: Imperial Knights (6th Edition), pp. 19-20, 31, 42, 47-51, 103, 107-108
- The Imperial Knight Companion (6th Edition), pp. 7, 9-10, 11, 18, 20, 22-33