"What do I ask of my officers? Merely that they do their duty with fire in their bellies and a prayer on their lips."
- —Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed
Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed of Cadia was the 50-year-old supreme commander of all Imperial military forces assigned to Cadia and also served as the Imperial Commander and Governor Primus of that crucial Fortress World, as well as the regimental commander of the 8th Cadian, "the Lord Castellan's Own." Creed is known to be a tactical genius who saved his world from falling to the Forces of Chaos again and again before it met its final fate against overwhelming numbers.
Creed most recently led the Imperial forces in the final, futile defence of Cadia from the massive invasion unleashed on the Fortress World by Chaos during Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41. Creed is considered missing in action and presumed dead following the fall of that world to the Archenemy and the retreat of the Imperial survivors to other worlds in the Cadian System and the Cadian Gate region.
In truth, while overseeing the evacuation of the last Imperial transports from Cadia in what Creed believed would be his final act, he was "rescued" by the Necron Overlord Trazyn the Infinite and captured within one of the Necron's Tesseract Labyrinths to be added to his collection of historically important persons and artefacts. That Labyrinth is now stored on Trazyn's Tomb World of Solemnace -- with Creed still trapped within.
Ursarkar E. Creed was discovered as a young, orphaned boy in the burning ruins of Kasr Gallan by soldiers of the 8th Cadian Regiment following the horrors of a Chaos attack upon Cadia. Clutching only a service pistol and a tattered copy of "De Gloria Macharius," that hard-eyed boy refused to speak of the atrocities he had witnessed at the time, and even now almost never speaks of it. However the horrors he had witnessed had not dimmed his faith in the Emperor of Mankind and had also honed him into a vicious and determined fighter. The 8th Cadian Regiment was impressed by this child and he was then raised by members of the regiment, where he learned all the arts of war from an early age. He quickly became an excellent soldier and was drafted into the Cadian "Whiteshields" corps, a dedicated and often suicidal youth force that supplemented the Cadian Planetary Defence Forces. From a young age, Creed excelled as both soldier and tactician, rising swiftly through the Whiteshields' ranks to earn a command of his own. This is where he met Jarran Kell, and the two quickly formed a life-long bond of friendship.
This stocky and intense young warrior possessed an intuitive grasp of strategy and was a natural leader. From squad-level decisions to exercises with vast regiments of military might, Creed displayed a genius that some whispered echoed that of Macharius himself. Blistering assaults, devious traps and impenetrable defences were Creed's trademarks, and within three solar decades the ragged orphan boy had earned acclaim as Cadia's greatest living commander. Only the strict structure of rank and privilege that governs the militarised society of Cadia now held Creed's meteoric career in check.
By the end of the five-year-long Drussite Crusade, Creed had become a Captain of the Cadian Shock Troops and Kell was his Colour Sergeant. Soon reaching the rank of Lord General, in action after action he proved himself a nearly flawless tactician and strategist. After not only resisting but utterly destroying an Eldar attack on the world of Aurent in 992.M41, Creed became the most successful living Cadian commander of his time, and the only thing preventing his rank from further progression into the rarefied heights of the Imperial military was his humble (or rather, unknown) birth.
In 999.M41, Creed was raised to the rank of Lord Castellan after a successful plot to assassinate the Cadian Governor Primus, Marus Porelska, and much of his High Command was carried out at the Battle of Tyrok Fields during the early stages of the 13th Black Crusade by the traitorous Volscani Cataphract regiments of the Astra Militarum. Creed rallied the survivors and gathered together a force strong enough to utterly defeat the Traitors and rescue the body of the governor from desecration. But the damage had been done. The Governor Primus was dead, his body decapitated, while Governor Secundus Karwyn, his lieutenant and successor, was feared lost as well. The assault had been at least partially successful in decapitating the Cadian leadership.
Cadia had always had two Planetary Governors, a Primus and a Secundus, so that if one was slain in an assault by the Archenemy, the other could continue to rule with no loss of continuity. But of the survivors among Cadia's leadership, none were willing or capable enough to take up the burden. At the same time, they had little use for Creed, whose outsider status seemed to preclude him from assuming the mantle of leadership.
It was then that Commissar Aldrad, the Officio Prefectus' agent in the 8th Cadian, stepped forth to nominate Creed to serve as the new Cadian Governor Primus for his valiant efforts to turn back the Traitors and unite the demoralised Cadian forces in this time of terrible trial. The Warmaster Ryse accepted the nomination and offered Creed the office of the Governor Primus, but Creed refused. Instead, he demanded to be named Cadia's Lord Castellan, a special rank only granted in times of emergency which granted him full command of all Planetary Defence Forces and Astra Militarum troops on the planet for life or until the crisis had passed. The Warmaster agreed, and Creed immediately set about preparing Cadia to meet the terrible onslaught of the forces of Chaos to come.
Creed was almost never seen without his Colour Sergeant, and perhaps only true friend, Jarran Kell, a deeply devout man who wore the Medallion Crimson, which is only awarded to Imperial Guardsmen who suffer horrific injuries yet have lost neither their faith in the Emperor nor the will to fight on. Creed was later named the "newly-instated Governor Primus" of Cadia, meaning that sometime after the start of the 13th Black Crusade he was also officially named the Imperial Planetary Governor or Protector of Cadia by the High Lords of Terra.
Creed and Jarran Kell fought to the end on Cadia when the Despoiler's legions finally made planetfall in late 999.M41. The pair made their last stand togther on the Elysion Fields before Abaddon himself. The Great Traitor, determined to crush Cadia's last resistance, led the Chaos Terminators of the Bringers of Despair against Creed's command formation. As the Black Legion warriors tore the Imperial defenders to shreds, Kell pushed the Lord Castellan aboard a Valkyrie and bade it take off.
Abaddon raised the bolt-riddled Sergeant up by the throat. Knowing he had saved his friend and master for the last time, Kell used the last of his strength to hawk a gobbet of bloody phlegm at his captor before hissing Creed's now-famous mantra -- "Cadia stands." With a clawed hand, the Despoiler crushed Kell's spine, and the Sergeant breathed his last.
Whether Kell's final act of defiance was in vain or not is uncertain. Creed continued to lead the Cadian defence up until the moment the planet was destroyed. Cadia fell that day, but as to the final fate of the Lord Castellan, none in the Imperium can yet say.
As befits a senior officer of the Cadian military, Creed is outfitted with a sturdy set of Carapace Armour equipped with a Refractor Field emitter, ensuring he is well-protected from the attentions of the enemy. Over this armour, Creed wears his trademark high-collared greatcoat and is rarely seen without one of his favoured cigars. Although his lofty rank as Lord Castellan of Cadia requires that he more often than not participate in battle from behind tactical arrays and hololith screens, on those occasions where he takes the field, many a Traitor to the Imperium has felt the deadly kiss of his twin master-crafted Hellpistols and ceremonial Power Sword.
However, Creed's greatest weapon is his mind. He had a natural genius for commanding men and women, whether in a single platoon or as an entire army, and his tactical genius is of a kind not seen in the Imperium for generations, on par with the legendary leaders of history like Lord Solar Macharius and the ancient Primarchs. His masterful ability to organise and lead the often blunt weapon that is the Imperial Guard has time and time again surprised and put to rout the enemies of Mankind.
Creed's best friend was Sergeant Jarran Kell, whom he met when both served as Cadian Whiteshields. The brooding, silent youth that was Creed and the garrulous, expansive soldier formed an unlikely friendship that has lasted for a lifetime. Where Creed was silent and calculating, Kell was roaring and booming as only a Colour Sergeant of the Imperial Guard could be.
He was a trusted companion who recognised early on that Creed was Cadia's only chance to survive the dark days ahead as the 13th Black Crusade prepared to break upon its shores. Kell had made it his life's work to keep Creed from harm and had the scars and wounds to show for this determination. Kell was rarely away from Creed's side, where his loud, booming voice drowned out the cries of the enemy and made sure that the Lord Castellan's every order could be heard and acted upon.
Wherever Creed went, so too walked the bullish figure of Colour Sergeant Jarran Kell. Friends for solar decades, Kell risked his life to preserve that of his oldest comrade on numerous occasions. His Vox-amplified voice rolled along the Imperial lines, ensuring the Lord Castellan's orders were followed to the letter.
Where Creed was silent and calculating, Kell was roaring and scathing, as only a Colour Sergeant can be. He was a fearsome fighter and Creed's right hand -- a trusted companion who long ago recognised that Cadia's best hope for survival was to follow the word of Creed. As such, keeping Creed alive became Kell's life work.
Jarran Kell served primarily as Creed's bodyguard, and was accordingly equipped with a set of sturdy Carapace Armour, a massive Power Fist, and a Power Sword which he wielded with tremendous skill. His indomitable will had allowed him to ignore the consequences of horrible wounds long enough to interpose himself before and kill any being foolish enough to attempt striking at Creed. As mentioned, Kell also had the honour of bearing "The Castellan's Own" Regimental Banner, holding it high and defending the standard with the same intensity with which he defended his friend. Lastly, Kell bore on his back a Vox-caster outfitted with an external amplifier, which he used to hurl a never-ending stream of orders, encouragements and profanities to any Guardsmen around, ensuring that Creed's commands were effectively carried out.
During the 13th Black Crusade, Abaddon the Despoiler teleported directly into the heart of Creed's command center and slaughtered almost all who were present. Kell was barely able to evacuate Creed onto a waiting Valkyrie gunship but was unable to board himself. He was killed by Abaddon moments later, his last words, "Cadia stands!"
Jarran Kell's Wargear
The appearance and personality of Ursarkar E. Creed are based loosely on the famous World War II-era British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, the American General George S. Patton, and the Roman Consul Gaius Julius Caesar.
The rules for Ursarkar E. Creed and Jarran Kell require that they be fielded together, and Kell doubles as a regimental standard bearer. The rules for Creed portray him at a point between the battle against the Volscani regiments and the full outbreak of hostilities during the 13th Black Crusade.
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 56, 87, 96
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Lord Castellan Creed," "HQ-Lord Castellan Creed, Colour Sergeant Kell"
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pp. 40-41
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 57
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pp. 10-11, 13, 30, 50-51
- White Dwarf 283 (US), "Heroes & Villains of the 41st Millennium - Ursarkar E. Creed, Lord Castellan of Cadia" by Pete Haines, pp. 68-73
- Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia (7th Edition), pg. 63