- "Transendentia Excedenter!"
- —Warcry of the Knights of the Dark Prince
The Knights of the Dark Prince are a Chaos Space Marine Warband devoted to Slaanesh. Formed by a Champion of the Emperor's Children named Lord Ressiarch, the warband is an elite fighting force of Slaanesh's most devoted warriors. As such this warband has holds a place of awe, and envy among the followers of Slaanesh. Devoted to attaining perfection through the doctrine of their god, The Knights strike fear into the hearts of all those who do not bow to the Prince of Chaos.
- Cleansing of Polypsre - A crusade taken ot remove the taint of the false god Nurgle from the Daemon world of Polypsre. The world had losg been under the control of a Death Guard Warband. Ressiarch in his unquestioning faith towards Slaanesh declared the world's reverence towards Nurgle to be heresy. He immediately deployed the Knight of the Dark Prince to cleanse the world of Nurgles followers. The coming fight was brutal, but at the cost of 100 of his men Ressiarch successfully slaughtered the blighted pagans. However a further 250 of his men had survived, but had been infected by Nurgle's plagues during the fighting with the Death Guard. Considering these warriors to be tainted by the touch of Nurgle, Ressiarch commanded the rest of his Warband to purge these contaminated forces in order to remain pure in the eyes of Slaanesh. Following this conflict the Warband became inactive for three decades while they recovered from their losses.
This vain Warband follows the rites of their god to the letter. In particular is the focus on Slaanesh's holy number, 6. The warband maintains exact numbers at all times, always seeking to remain at a strength of 666. New members are recruited when the Warband loses members in battle, and the Warband will not fight unless at full strength, believing that to do so would offend Slaanesh. Likewise once the Warband is back up to full strength they will refuse to recruit even one more Astartes into their ranks.
When recruiting Ressiarch spreads word among the followers of Slaanesh about the openings. The Warband's elite reputation is such that Slaaneshi Marines travel from lightyears around for the honor of joining. These hopefuls are forced to take part in trials so rigorous that most don't survive, and they are forced to compete with one another to deadly effect. Even if a Marine passes all the trials and bests his rivals he might still not be inducted into the Warband. Ressiarch has final say on whether a Marine may join the Knights, and he will not accept any warrior that does not impress him during the trials.
The Warband itself is formed of 3 sub-groups. These are the 600, the 60 and the 6 in order of rank from least to greatest.
These are the rank and file of the warband. However it is not wise to view them as simple grunts. Due to the elitist nature of the Warband the Knights only accept truly adept Marines into their ranks. In another Warband these warriors would have a place of respect among their peers, but they gave this up to become a part of this elite, and exclusive brotherhood.
The 60 are the elite warriors of the Knights of the Dark Prince. In order to become one of the 60 a member of the 600 most not only show excellent skills in battle, but also strict adherence to the asthetics of Slaanesh's dogma. Operating as the warbands Chosen warriors the 60 go into battle with the finest gear. Wearing suits of Artificer or Terminator Armor, and wielding Master Crafted weapons the 60 sow devastation on the field of battle. Furthermore among their ranks are counted many who have given their bodies to Daemons, or have been genetically modified into deadly Enhanced Marines. It is little wonder that they are feared.
The 6 are the leaders of the Warband. The six Champions that lead their brothers into battle. The group includes Lord Ressiarch himself and his five most favored lieutenents. Ressiarch has remained as a member of the 6 from the beginning, but others were brought in to replace those that had fallen in battle. The 6 a viewed with such awe by other followers of Slaanesh that many believe that the Dark Prince communes directly with them, guiding them to glory. These rumors have never been proven, and may be outright false given that the Warband has a tendancy to spread propaganda. Despite this none would deny that the 6 are truly favored Champions of Slaanesh.
The Knights of the Dark Prince are extremely confident in their abilities. Their warriors are better on average than that of most other Warbands, meaning that the 6 can count on their men to outclass the opposition in most cases. Their pride in their abilities makes the warband shun certain tactics. For example the Knights do not believe in employing ambushes or sneek attacks. In the minds of the Warband such strategies are below them. They face their foes brazenly, and in the open.
Ressiarch believes in achieving absolute, perfect victory. To this end the Warband seeks to rapidly dominate their opponents. For this reason The Warband has a generous amount of troop carriers so that they can rapidly deploy and redeploy their elite infantry as needed. The warband is also adept a Deep Striking, often deploying squads of warriors deep in the enemy lines in order to strike where the foe is weakest, or to eliminate vital or specialized elements of the enemy force.
Ressiarch is an extremely adept commander, as are the rest of the 6. They have a geniune talent for drawing out the potential of the forces under their command regardless of the situation. This combined with the skills of their men results in a force that can compensate for their lack of covert tactics, and pontentially defeat forces much larger than the Warband.
Traditions and Beliefs
The Knights of the Dark Prince are a Warband steeped in ritual and ceremony. The Warbands shows an unusual level of piousness towards the edicts of their god for followers of Slaanesh. They believe that by piously following Slaanesh's path they will rach a point of perfection and transcendence. However it should be noted that while they may have fervant devotion to their religious doctrine, the doctrine itself is one of depravity and excess. Thus these religious zealots of Slaanesh are just as debased as other followers of the god if not more so. The Knights consider themselves to be absolutely pure in the eyes of Slaanesh. As such they refuse to sully themselves by sharing a battlefield with forces not devoted to their patron. In fact the Knights do not acknowledge the divinity of any of the other Chaos Gods. To them Nurgle and Slaanesh are merely powerful Warp Entities that try to decieve mortals into following them. They view Khorne as the ultimate evil, and pursue his followers with even greater zeal than they do the Imperium's servants. As a result the Knights of the Dark Prince have gained a reputation for crusading against other Chaos factions just as much as agains the thralls of the Corpse-God.
The Knights of the Dark Prince are universally despised by all those that do not worship Slaanesh. Their views regarding the other Chaos Gods results in them constantly warring against their followers, and those Chaos factions that are Undivided.
The Imperium and Eldar are also a target of the Warband's animosity. Ironically the Imperium recieves less aggression from the Warband than other Chaos factions. The Knights view the Imperium worship of the Emperor to be backwards, and actively wish to kill the Emperor, but the people of the Imperium are redeemed somewhat by the fact that they can be made to see the divine perfection of Slaanesh unlike those that have already devoted thehselves to a patron.
The Eldar and Dark Eldar are often a focus of the Warband. The Knights view the Eldar to be the property of Slaanesh. As such denying the Dark prince their souls in unacceptable. Thus the Knights are constantly killing both Eldar and Dark Eldar in order to send their souls ot Slaanesh. Though it should be noted that the Warband also takes pride in "enlightening" Eldar by bringing them into worship of the Prince of Chaos.
The Knights of the Dark Prince are viewed with mixed feelings among the followers of Slaanesh. The Knights have an excellent battle record, and are recognized as one of the truly elite Warbands among Slaanesh's followers. this and their pure devotion to their god has lead to them being held in awe, and high respect among many Slaanesh followers, particulartly certain hardcore fanatics.
However the Chapter has an equal reputation for extreme vanity. Furthermore many among the followers of Slaanesh see their lack of willingness to fight alongside other Chaos forces, and their refusal to use trickery as a weakness born of arrogance. Thus some among the followers of Slaanesh view the Warband as close-minded and preening. The Warband is held in famously low regard by Lucius the Eternal, who refused an offer to join the ranks of the Warband, and then humiliated Ressiarch in single combat.
- Lord Ressiarch - The Founder and overall leader of the Knights of the Dark Prince. Vanity is a common thing among Slaanesh's Champions, but Ressiarch takes this to an extreme. He whole-heartedly believes that he is Slaanesh's true, chosen mortal champion. He created the warband in order to gather the greatest warriors devoted to Slaanesh to serve him, and create a force worthy of him. Ressiarch shares his body with a Herald of Slaanesh named Lavisian. He is the only original member of the 6 that still lives.
- Crominor - Yet another member of the 6. Crominor occupies the position of the Champion of Ressiarch. As such he serves as Ressiarch's right hand, and it is he that fights in Ressiarch's name. Crominor's prowess as a warrior is legendary among the Warband. His most notable feat came about when he attained his place as part of the 6. His predeccessor had just left the Knights to start a warband of his own. Ressiarch was looking for a new warrior to be his champion. Crominor, then part of the 60, proved himself by eliminating all of his rivals, and more, for in his zeal to prove himself worhty he eliminated fully half of the 60. Needless to say Ressiarch was impressed, though Crominor would have to wait quite a while to enter his first fight as a member of the 6 since the Warband was forced to replace the losses that his show of might had cost it.