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Relationship between Grey Knights and the Adeptus Custodes

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  • 1,308 posts
  • Location:Brisbane
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So, an interesting conversation came up on the Grey Knight forum, and I thought I'd ask my fellow companions in gold. What exactly is the relationship between the Adeptus Custodes and the Grey Knights? Besides them using similar ancient weaponry, both descended from the Emperor's Geneseed, and some sort of trust based of those two facts, what else is there? I'm actually genuinely curious and would want this expanded upon if possible.

Edited by Skywrath, 11 January 2021 - 02:39 PM.

  • Ryltar Thamior likes this




  • 21,111 posts

Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor's Legion has some good insight into this.


Both factions fight alongside eachother against daemons in the imperial palace.


While they don't hugely get along, they are respectful of eachothers prowess and understand the need for one another as part of the Imperium overall.


More specifically:


Cutodes view the GK with the contempt they do all Astartes: flawed, corruptible and less skilled. Them being psykers doesn't help either, but they understand why they are necessary.

  • librisrouge and Gederas like this




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I think this quote from The Emperor's Legion, from the POV of Valerian of the Custodes, is a useful start for the spirit of the relationship.




There is a profound distinction to be made here. We could both, Custodian and Grey Knight, slay daemons. We were both, to all intents and purposes, immune to their temptations and we were both effective against their many stratagems. There are two great repositories of lore against the daemonic in the Sol system: our own archives in the Tower of Hegemon, and the far greater librarium lodged on Titan itself. We are, as orders, steeped to our very cores in the fight against the Great Enemy. Perhaps you might say, Chaos is the reason for both of our existences.
And yet, we are different. Remember I told you that we were never warriors, not exclusively. We are certainly not an army, and we were intended, in the original scheme, for service in an empire that never came to be. We always knew of their existence. There are records, held privately in the depths of our archives, which chronicle their creation. We watched, ten thousand years ago, as He embarked on His last gambit. As the Great Enemy drew close to Terra, we observed the darkening of Saturn’s moon, and knew that one day it would return, its purpose fulfilled.
Consider what this history means. We know that they came after us, the more junior creation, and yet they were as closely associated with Him as we were. We both of us look to Him and Him alone as our progenitor, and share the same sense, cultivated over the wearing aeons, that we enact His designs when all others falter.
There are some among my brothers who do not see the sons of Titan as much more than specialised Space Marines, to be regarded with suspicion as part of that schismatic breed that caused us so much anguish in the past. A Space Marine may always fail, they believe, given enough time and enough reason, and thus they are all part of the same potentially aberrant strain.
Some think that. Others, and I myself have often speculated in such a vein, cultivate a different misgiving. We know well enough that they were designed as His last great weapon, fitted to an age that He foresaw near the end of His earthly embodiment. What if it were they, not us, who most faithfully embodied His final ­legacy? You will never hear one of us say as much out loud, but that does not mean the suspicion does not exist. It skulks around the corridors of Hegemon like a foul odour, faint but hard to eradicate.
From the speculum certus [the public and secret records of the Emperor's orders and speech] we know we were the finest and the most faithful. In the speculum obscurus [things they infer from the Emperor or believe he would have told them in time] there is, as always, more doubt.


Tension, never rising to e.g. Dark Angels/Space Wolves levels, neither force makes a big deal about, but it's there.


What I like about Valerian's reflection is the admitted concern over whose age is past and whose is here, the possibility of doubt over primacy without it being spelled out in huge melodramatic letters, the room for disagreement, and the acceptance that there are multiple views on the matter within the Custodes as most likely there are within the GK.


Of course this doesn't quite touch on the logistical, diplomatic or other aspects of their relationship but it's something. At one point when the GK send a smaller than might be expected force to aid the Custodes, Valerian wonders if this was a minor veiled insult. He knows how hard pressed the GK are of course - the galaxy's going to hell - but then he starts thinking about how the GK are also aware of the tension and probably knew what a big deal it was for the Custodes' captain-general to ask them for help and does that hint that this was a bit of a snub? Maybe, hard to say. The point is how far into his own head about it all Valerian was.


And then they fight together against the daemons and Valerian displays nothing less than polite and genuine respect at their skill. It goes well but you still get the impression that in a quiet moment they'd still be left awkwardly watching their words and then being glad when it's all over.

Edited by Sandlemad, 11 January 2021 - 03:20 PM.

  • Marshal Loss, Brother Lunkhead, Gederas and 3 others like this




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Id point out the Custodes dont have geneseed, and the concept of the "Emperors geneseed" in Grey knights is just a propaganda exercise to obscure their actual origins from various, (including traitor) gene-lines.

But yeah the above posters covered the relationship pretty well :) 

  • ranulf the revenant, MetalMammoth and BladeOfVengeance like this




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Id point out the Custodes dont have geneseed, and the concept of the "Emperors geneseed" in Grey knights is just a propaganda exercise to obscure their actual origins from various, (including traitor) gene-lines.

But yeah the above posters covered the relationship pretty well smile.png

Yeah, Custodes don't have geneseed at all. They're genetically augmented from infancy to be the ultimate form of human.

  • BladeOfVengeance likes this

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