- "We fight to preserve the memory of those lost. Every brother who falls for the cause will live on forever! Never Forget!"
- — Chapter Master Griffith Vander speech given at his inauguration to chapter master
The Grave Bearers are a Successor Chapter of the zealous Black Templars, formed during an Unknown Founding.
- "With every victory our deeds shall live on forever! Through our surviving brothers we will endure! Never forget, Never forgive!"
- — Chaplain Xaphen, at the defense of a Hive City during the Mourning Crusade
The Grave Bearers are from an unknown founding, however, they have been spotted in battles as early as the 36 millennium.
The Grave Bearers derive their name from the ritual practice of engraving the names of the fallen brothers on the inside of their armor. The armor then becomes the grave of the fallen brother. The armor is past on to the next, bearing the grave of the last and his own. For this reason, the Grave Bearers will go to great lengths to recover a fallen brothers armor.
The Grave Bearers are a Codex-compliant Chapter with a few variations. Due to their founding chapter the Black Templars, the Grave Bearers despise Psykers. They also have a unusual amount of dreadnoughts because of their beliefs in carrying their graves with them and to recover every battle brother.
After the lost of most of the first company, they have not replenished their ranks. Due to the shame of so many brother dead and the loss of so much armor, the Grave Bearers are few in veterans and have very limited access to terminator armor.
- "There is no need to engage the enemy in close combat...because they will never reach us."
- — Master of the Forge Argos at the last stand of Takkow
The Grave Bearers usually find themselves in a defensive engagement. Fortified emplacements with rank of tactical squads in front of devastators. Dreadnoughts patrol the perimeter while jump infantry man the rear waiting to counter charge the enemy.
The Grave Bearers prefer a defensive position whenever possible. They will plan meticulously before deploying to the field of battle to minimize casualties. To some chapters the Grave Bearers are to overly cautious and are not ideal to spearhead an attack. However, as with their progenitors, they are masters at siege warfare and can hold a defensive line against even the most ruthless opponents.
- WAAAGH Gray Skull (567.M36) - The First company was sent to quell a WAAAGH! led by warboss Gray Skull. Unbeknownst to the first company captain, the orks where being culled by an Eldar Farseer to attack the planet because of a vision that it would save a craftworld in the future. The first company suffered horrible casualties at the hands of the Orks and Eldar with only 20 veterans and the captain surviving.
- Mourning Crusade (568.M36) - With the shame of his defeat and the loss of so many veterans, the first company captain Raldoron and the remaining veterans set out on a crusade to bring the Eldar to justice for their crimes.
- The Last Stand of Takkow (849.M37) - Takkow was a lonely planet on the fringe that had called for aid. The Cruiser Redemption was in the sector and responded. The Tau had made a tactical strike against the planet. Master of the Forge Argos was the ranking officer and deployed his dreadnoughts. The final battle came as an entire Tau tank company attacked a hive city and Argos mustering a defense so the citizens could escape. Suffering heavy losses, Argos manages to hold them off until the citizens where safe.
Notable Grave Bearers
- Chapter Master Griffith Vander - A relatively new chapter master, Griffith rose to the rank after witnessing his former master fall at the hands of a Ork Warboss. He charged the green skin and with shots rattling his armor came face to face with his enemy. After an intense battle and many injuries, Griffith managed to cut the beasts head off and turn the tide of battle.
- Chaplain Xaphen Cane - After the loss of so many brothers of the 1st company, Xaphen was permanently attached to the 1st company terminators. He was appointed this position to counsel and uplift his comrades and is now on the Mourning Crusade with the rest of 1st company.
- 1st Company Captain Raldoron - After the loss of 80 1st company veterans during the Waaagh Gray Skull campaign, Raldoron bares a hood to hide his face and shame. He is currently on a never ending crusade with the remaining 1st company to seek revenge for those lost under his command.
- 2nd Company Captain Zeed - 2nd company is the vanguard of the chapter. While most other companies prefer the defensive battles, Zeed's company is the tip of the spear. Mounted on his bike and accompanied by a bike squad. Zeed leads precision strikes into the enemies heart to win swift decisive victories.
- Master of the Forge Argos - Argos was deployed during a Tau incursion into the sector. He was instrumental in combating the Tau tank commander with his arsenal of venerable dreadnaughts. The two commanders had quite a rivalry between them which lead to many drawn out engagements. The Last Stand at Takkow was a defining moment for the Master of the Forge and cemented his name as one of the best siege strategist in the chapter.
The Grave Bearers primarily wear black coloured power armor. The shoulder pauldron trim, as well as the Aquila or Imeprialis on the chest guard is gold in colour. The white squad specialty symbol on the right shoulder pauldron (Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran) designates squad specialty. A black coloured Roman numeral centered within the squad specialty symbol designates squad number. A white coloured Roman numeral on the inset of the right shoulder pauldron designates Company number. The chapter badge is prominently displayed on the left shoulder pauldron.
The Grave Bearers' Chapter badge is a large white stylised skull centered on a field of black.