On the eve of battle one member of the Black Templars will take the mantle of the Emperor’s Champion. What is this duty? Let’s find out.
The Emperor’s Champion are elite warriors of the Black Templars. These champions usually seek out champions of the enemy and challenge them to single combat, just as Sigismund first did during the Battle of Terra during the Horus Heresy.
On the eve of battle, the Black Templar spend their time in meditation. It is alleged that at this point one of their number will be visited upon by a vision of the Emperor, guiding him to victory, he then presents himself to the company Chaplain for scrutiny. The Emperor’s Champion is permitted to bear powerful artefact’s from the armoury, namely the Armour of Faith and the Black Sword. Before battle, the Champion also leads the Templars in renewing one of the four Vows, each one adding a different effect during battle as it in stills the Black Templars with righteous fury. Those vows are: “Suffer Not The Unclean To Live,” “Uphold The Honour Of The Emperor,” “Abhor The Witch, Destroy The Witch,” and “Accept Any Challenge, No Matter The Odds”.
In battle he goes out to fight the enemy in the name of the Emperor. His presence serves as a fantastic inspiration to the rest of his battle-brothers, leading the whole battle-group to feats of prowess beyond that of even normal Space Marines and even if the champion dies on the battlefield (which is a bad omen) , his name and deeds are recorded and remembered for the rest of time. By tradition, there is only one Emperor’s Champion for the entire chapter, but in practice there is usually one Champion per Black Templar Crusade.
The tradition of the Emperor’s Champion dates back to the time of the Horus Heresy before the inception of the Black Templars. The first Emperor’s Champion was Captain Sigismund of the Imperial Fists. The Primarch Rogal Dorn bestowed upon him the new title during the attack on the Imperial Palace, where he served victoriously. The practice of the tradition remained with Sigismund after his separation from the Imperial Fists to become the Black Templars first High Marshal.
Known Emperor’s Champions
- Gerard Frah