Supreme Lord of Atalantos, High Commander of the Galactic Core March
Space Hulk Palaestram Matyas
|Great Crusade Command||
4th Expedition Fleet
Innate technological skills, calculated aggression
|Hektor Heresy role||
The Atalantos Worlds
This page details people, events, and organisations from the /tg/ Heresy, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. See the /tg/ Heresy Timeline and Galaxy pages for more information on the Alternate Universe.
By way of conclusion, I should note that writing this text has been tremendously more difficult than the previous "Lives". In each case prior to this, I had the benefit of Arelex's brilliant recall, insightful criticism and careful editing. The loss has been far more devastating than I could have anticipated.
While I am not privy to the full workings of our administration, I have little doubt that Arelex's passing has been just as troubling to their work as it has been to mine.
(Excerpt from Arelex Orannis: as he was, by Gaspard Lumey)
Arelex Orannis was one of the godlike Primarchs created by the Emperor of Mankind and scattered throughout the Galaxy by the Ruinous Powers. After he was rediscovered, he led the War Scribes and played an important role in directing the campaigns of the Legiones Astartes as a whole. Though he had a few close friends and was cool to mere acquaintances, the Primarch's example is held up to the soldiers and citizens of the Imperium as a model of diligent service. Along with his military victories, Arelex Orannis is particularly well-remembered for his work in reforming the Imperium after the Hektor Heresy.
The long life of Arelex Orannis was characterised by a succession of great quests for lost treasures. While he was lost to the Emperor, Arelex sought the ancient heritage of the Iborak spacers. After his return to the Imperial fold, the Primarch planned great expeditions to liberate man from darkness, but he also set his great mind to seeking out mighty weapons and machines crafted in the Dark Age of Technology.
|The Serf's tale - Whitestone|
|All alone in that long night of space, the planet Whitestone huddles in close to her little red star. She stays near enough to warm and I hear there's hard-working folk still eking out living from her soil. But most of the times I've heard Whitestone mentioned it has nothing much to do with current events. When people speak of Whitestone, they're learned folk and they speak of her history - or they're old fools like me who can keep a tale straight in their heads.
Now, back in what the preachers call the Dark Age of Technology, even the meanest of Whitestone's people lived as lords and ladies do now. Ever faithful iron men tended their farms, taught their children, and even picked out their clothes! For generations, a life of sumptuous luxury was enjoyed by all - and that just couldn't last. The iron men realised - or, maybe they was taught - that their toil would end if only they did away with the troublesome men and women of Whitestone.
If it weren't for the awakening of Whitestone's cunning folk, more than likely every scrap of human life would have been picked from her. I say more than likely because nobody knows quite why those witches came into their powers during those bleak days. Maybe the shock of the iron men going bad yanked open their eyes so wide that they couldn't help seeing more than a person should. Or maybe the iron men went mad because they could feel the catastrophe coming, like animals do when the earth's about to quake. I've even heard it told, if quietly, that the iron men never broke their faith with mankind and only tried to cut the throats of the cunning folk, so as to save the rest of Whitestone's people. But for whatever reason, the cunning folk's great powers came to life and they unleashed hellfire and damnation on their former servants. Sometimes their tainted gifts came too late to save their lives and all that could be had was payback, but they kept paying back until there were no more iron men to look up at Whitestone's ruddy star. That was no kindness to anyone else, because the cunning folk felt like they shouldn't have to give up the luxury of days gone by and if there weren't iron men to do all the work then flesh men would be near enough as good.
Had those troubles just been Whitestone's to bear, soon enough they wouldn't be no trouble at all. Ships would bring comfort and take away those who needed more, the way they always do in decent times. Sadly, those weren't decent times. The whole galaxy was burning up with the very same ills as Whitestone, the Warp and the Machine letting loose on mankind like it was their one and only chance to punish us for all our misdeeds. Patient types, the Warp and the Machine, but they cling on to their chances and they'd keep on letting loose on men and women for fifty centuries. They didn't let up until the Emperor began to pierce the dark with his Light, and even then the Warp and the Machine, they'd be waiting and looking for another chance to whip us again. I reckon they're like any creature, if you treat them bad enough they'll get past mad and just learn to hate. So you keep that in mind: we might need the Warp and the Machine, but wrapped up in them is a powerful hate for all mankind.
Arelex's pod took a very strange route, emerging from the Warp inside an ancient Space Hulk, rather than on a collision course with a planet like most of his brothers' pods. The scattered tribesmen, descendants of the original crews from those doomed voidcraft, were amazed when the hulk left the Warp, but this time something stayed behind from its travels. Opening the pod, they found a young infant boy, and despite the ever-present fear of starvation, the tribe added him to their numbers and accepted one more mouth to feed and shelter from the darkness.
Arelex grew quickly, learning the hulk's ever changing ways from his elders and from first-hand experience. For one with his genetic gifts, the deadly serious business of day-to-day survival also became something of a game. Young Arelex delighted in putting his skills to use, climbing, crawling, sprinting and free-falling through every darkened corner of the colossal metal world, learning all he could of the ship's ways. He would often speak of "listening to the world's songs", and indeed, Arelex could foresee danger than none of his tribesmen even suspected, simply by catching minute fragments of sound that heralded disaster. On more than one occasion, Arelex convinced the tribe to pack up and move elsewhere, sometimes mere moments before an explosion or a swarm of mutant horrors would have descended upon them. In time, he became considered something of a seer, and the tribe's shamans initiated him into their deepest mysteries, his adopted father and tribal leader Ar-El chief among their membership.
Though Arelex was hopeless at reading the mists of time and possibility like his adopted elders, he proved unexpectedly gifted when listening to their oral histories, songs of the long-dead vessels that made up the hulk, and the various fragmented tales of their systems and equipment, and how to maintain them. By these eternal songs, passed down from shaman to shaman, the fragmented Geller Field generators were kept barely functional, providing the tribe "safe" havens when the hulk inevitably returned to the Warp once more. The songs spoke of many other wondrous things, but the tribe simply had no time to spare investigating their truth. Survival came first.
Arelex, on the other hand, was ill-content with this state of affairs. For most of his teenage years, he harassed the shamans to sing the songs over and over, memorizing their least detail. Every trinket, every relic, every heirloom the tribe still kept, all were mercilessly examined by the boy-Primarch. And miraculously... a few of them began to reveal unsuspected secrets. And he began to venture far afield.
For days, weeks at a time, Arelex would disappear into the fathomless depths of the hulk, and armed with nothing more than a few sharp pieces of hull metal, he would retrieve trinkets and baubles, dataslates and pass-codes, and the corpses of mutants, Orks, and other unknown xenos he had killed. The tribe ate well those days. Over time, some of the braver youths began to follow their hero into the blackness, and Arelex's little band of boys tore their way from one end of the hulk to the other, practicing a fearless style of patient combat. When outmatched, they waited. Watching. Stalking. Eventually, the mutant would make a mistake. The Ork would quarrel with his comrades. The xeno would slumber. And then Arelex and his friends would act, striking without restraint or fear, plunging their knives deep into the foe's vulnerable flesh. By these methods, the tribe prospered and grew.
And fragmented though they were, the tidbits of ancient times Arelex retrieved were beginning to form recognizable patterns in the Primarch's mind. One piece led to another, and the two together unlocked a third, and Arelex began to unlock doors held frozen for thousands of years, and awaken cogitators slumbering since their masters died centuries ago. It could not be called a "love" of learning, for the merciless needs of survival drove Arelex forward, not some intellectual pursuit, but learn he did, and value learning Arelex would. His genetically enhanced body let him kill, but his razor-sharp mind let him win. And with time, the teenage hellion grew into a gifted savage, an educated tribesman, a leader of his people.
The tribe was all, and all were the tribe. No greater sin than harming a tribesman existed, and the only possible sentence was exile to a certain death in the blackness. The camaraderie of friends and family was a faint light against the horrors of life, and Arelex grew up steeped in that warm embrace of people who work for each other as much as themselves. Despite life's harshness, the Primarch would occasionally remark on his upbringing as a high point in his life, something that many of his brother Primarchs could not say. The people quarreled from time to time, but true divisiveness was swiftly crushed by survival's labor. His adopted family, father, mother, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins, all knew him by name, and he knew them. Without those bonds, the tribe would have perished long ago, and Arelex took pride in maintaining them. And once Arelex rose to lead the tribe, those bonds helped him overcome their fears, and begin to push back the darkness.
In a campaign as terrible and challenging as any he would fight for the Imperium, young Arelex rallied his people and struck outward, using his carefully accumulated storehouse of lore to access new parts of the hulk, and bring some of its systems back online. New Geller Field generators were found and re-powered, giving the tribe more safe houses to shelter in. Xenos and mutants were killed by reactivated auto-sentries, and their meat fed the tribe, allowing their numbers to grow. Guns were retrieved from ancient lockers, so the tribe could protect itself in Arelex's absence.
Arelex's crowning achievement, surpassing even the final bloodstained purges that reclaimed the entire hulk for his tribe, was reactivating the Navigator chambers from a long-dormant military cruiser embedded in the hulk's core. The Warp Drive of the ancient voidship was responsible for its uncontrolled descents into the Warp, and Arelex reasoned that by restoring these systems as best he could, perhaps the hulk could be aimed, even piloted. The risks were beyond calculation, but the hulk itself was singing a tale of death and destruction. All things come to an end, and their metal world had precious few Warp Jumps left in it before the whole hulk broke apart and doomed them all.
The Primarch would have to act soon, his hand forced by time's remorseless passage. The tribe's shamans carried thin remnants of intermingled blood from Navigators and psykers, forged in ancient days of interbreeding between stranded crew members. None of them had the long-lost Third Eye, only a faint ability to sense the Warp beyond the hull like a blind man groping in the dark. But it would have to be enough. Better groping hands than none at all.
And so the tribe braced themselves within the glowing borders of the Geller Fields, while Arelex and the shamans took their places deep within the hulk. For the first time, Arelex felt true fear, as he commended his entire tribe to the Warp, and the hulk's protection. The Primarch gambled all he had ever known on his own skills, and the strength of Mankind's works.
The hulk disappeared from mortal sight, leaving only blackness behind. Arelex thought of planets, and suns. Strange things known only from ancient stories, worlds with practically infinite space, where life was easy and the air was clean. Titanic balls of fire which nurtured life, rather than the fitful and often explosive emergency lights that dimly lit their world. Lands where water flowed freely, where food grew of its own accord without needing the blood of mutants to drink. Wonders beyond measure, surely. As the Warp howled close around them, Arelex put his faith in the stories, and chose to believe that such things could exist.
Forward. Ever forward. To turn back is to die, to become fearful is to fall into oblivion. Dashing from console to console, Arelex kept the hulk's fragile components alive, while his father and the other shamans turned their every thought to finding a path through the Warp, to the homeworld of humanity spoken of in so many ancient songs. To the Cradle of Man. To Earth. To Terra.
But the Warp would not let them pass so easily.
It was fortunate indeed that the hulk was located fairly close to Terra, for Arelex's journey would have been short by the standards of Imperial voidcraft. But with a jury-rigged composite of a thousand dead vessels? Without a Navigator? Without any real understanding of the Warp, or the void? Terra might as well have been in another galaxy. Their Warp jump began as smoothly as could have been hoped, and for a time the winds of Chaos were calm. The shamans' navigation was crude in the extreme, and their fumbling hands began to roil the Sea of Souls in their passage. The entire hulk began to shudder and groan, and Arelex's ears picked up the unmistakable sounds of imminent failure building in its components.
The rough seas became a sudden hurricane without warning, and their most skilled psychic, shaman Ke-Kos, burst into lurid flames of a million hues, dying horribly as the fury of the Warp forced itself through his brain. Something horrible began to pull itself through his smoldering body as it fell to the deck, but with his life force severed, the creature never fully manifested, vanishing from whence it came without the shaman's power to sustain itself. Even though it existed for the blink of an eye, Arelex would never forget the jagged shard of fear that shot through him in that moment. Hull-wraiths he knew. Hull-wraiths he had killed before, breaking their ghostly, icy forms with his bare hands. This was something far, far greater and more terrible than those. And as the hulk shrieked metallic sounds of pain, Arelex began to lose his confidence. The tribe had no choice, the hulk was dying. He knew this. But had he chosen the wisest path? Could they have pried a voidship loose and flown it to safety?
There was no time. Ke-Kos was dead, and to stop now meant certain death. Shaman Ar-El was the next best option. Arelex knew this. But he also knew it meant killing his own father. Committing the greatest of sins, kinslaying. With a face as grim and haggard as death itself, Arelex asked his father to die for the Primarch's sins, and find them a path through the storm Arelex had guided them into.
And so he did. A kind of golden aura surrounded Arelex's adopted father, something unseen and unheard of in any of the ancient tales. His strength seemed to multiply a hundredfold, and the hulk abruptly changed course in the Warp's shifting currents. Though they were no longer headed for Terra, Ar-El sang to the tribe, sang of a golden beacon in the madness that promised safety. Arelex believed his father mad, dying, grasping for hope where surely there was none. And yet, what choice was there? The Primarch bent his every skill to sustaining the physical vessel, while Ar-El guided them inexorably towards the beacon.
The hulk could take no more, and Arelex engaged the cogitators that would return them to reality. Shrieking in protest as they burst from the Warp, the hulk's systems flashed and died in showers of electrical sparks, never to awaken again. And shaman Ar-El died with them, his own form twisting and distorting horribly as the Warp claimed one final price in blood for disturbing it so arrogantly. His bones and muscle stretched and twisted, drawing themselves out like putty into the shape of a leering skull, then all caught ablaze in violet fire with a final howl of terror.
Nothing more than ash remained of Arelex's father, and even that ash was swallowed up into the Warp.
But, they had arrived around a planet, drifting just inside the orbit of its innermost moon, a beautiful white jewel orbiting above a colossal orb of blue, green, and brown. Its parent star burned a warm orangish-yellow, and Arelex wept as its light fell upon him, the first starlight any of them had ever known. And around the planet, a host of small stars burned brightly in the void, coming ever closer to the colossal interloper suddenly in their midst. The hulk had failed in its quest to reach Terra, but the Emperor had found another of his children. Immediately recognizing Arelex's presence, the Emperor's mighty flagship put on flank speed to reach his as soon as possible, pulling ahead of the fleet with haste.
The golden giant teleported aboard the hulk in a brilliant flash, only to see a stonefaced young Primarch standing apart from his tribe, bitter tears running down his cheeks. Though the people comforted his adoptive mother, Arelex himself dared not touch her. The Primarch made arrangements to have his tribe settled on the planet below, and to have the Space Hulk that had sheltered them all these years repaired and remade into an orbital station, a sentry to guard them forevermore. Arelex would see to it that his family led a good life, but he would never return to them again. The code of the tribe was absolute. A kinslayer must go into exile.
And so, Ar-El-Ex Or-Ann-Is, son of shaman Ar-El and of mother Or-Ann, would take the name Arelex Orannis, and become Primarch of Legio Secundus, the first Primarch to have been found beyond Terra, and brother to Hektor, who had remained upon Terra thanks to Malcador the Sage. Though stricken with grief, Arelex walled off the part of him that had been a tribesman aboard the hulk, and strode forward to an unknown destiny at the Emperor's side, with a new tribe to call his own.
He would not fail them as he had his adoptive father.
The Great Crusade
Joining Arelex on the Crusade were the warriors of the II Legion.
Over time, almost 10,000 of the most aggressive War Scribes split into smaller squads, ranging far and wide across the Galaxy in scouting expeditions, and their reconnaissance proved quite valuable to Imperial strategy and planning.
Some of the more prominent worlds near the Galactic Core, a few dozen in number, became known as the Atalantos Worlds, a realm where the embers of Humanity's past were slowly, painfully being rekindled into a blaze of power. Arelex's Space Hulk "homeworld" was not among these worlds, being so close to Terra and now firmly integrated into the Imperium, and so the War Scribes primarily recruited from Atalantos, the world for which the area was named, as well as the vast civilian and Legion Serf population aboard their colossal fleet.
At the Council of Nikaea, Arelex was...
The Hektor Heresy
To reinforce the Legion, all the exploration squads were immediately recalled, and more than 10,000 warriors returned to bolster the Legion's ranks. If not for their presence, Imperial scholars agree that the War Scribes would be no more than a footnote to history. Immediately, an urgent call for recruits was sent out to all the Atalantos Worlds, and a massive wave of War Scribes was created. Arelex suffered mightily during this time, as his Legion's need for gene-seed drained him severely. While he labored to heal his Legion, he could think of nothing but his own failures.
The Primarch of the Second Legion was known to outsiders as stern, aloof and secretive. His men and few friends outside the Legion knew a warmer figure, patient, generous, and highly-protective of his loved ones. Whether due to his innate temperament, or the brutal conditions of life aboard the Space Hulk Palaestram Matyas, Arelex Orannis was slow to trust, even slower to form friendships, but extraordinarily loyal to those whom he named "friend". Those few who he called "brother" knew that there was almost anything they could ask of the Primarch - though Hektor Cincinnatus would discover to his cost that Arelex held his father in even higher esteem.
Indeed, none of the other Primarchs felt such a close attachment to the Emperor of Mankind. Arelex's speeches to his Legion are replete with heartfelt appeals to the War Scribes to make every sacrifice possible for their master. The loss of his gene-sons for the Emperor's Great Crusade chafed, no doubt, at the Primarch's conscience, and he ordered the construction of many monuments to the fallen on the legendary planets of the Atalantos Worlds. First among these, of course, is the spectacular Gift of the Emperor on Keilos. This magnificent Hive City stands as a tribute to the Emperor's sacrifice at the Siege of Terra. For a hundred centuries its teeming millions have dedicated themselves to the praise of humanity's fallen lord.
Those outside the Primarch's close circles of loyalty received little regard. A few fragmentary records from the Great Crusade point to Arelex Orannis ordering his men to preempt the actions of other Legions for the sake of acquiring a piece of ancient technology or lost data. Such finds were only released to the Mechanicum when absolutely necessary, and Arelex was not above using his position as the "son of the Omnissiah" to get his way with Fabricator-General Kalkas Tygian. Such high-handedness, and the War Scribes' bitter break with the Mechanicum after the battle of Dieseleum, would not be without its cost.
Arelex is a bald, hulking mass of scar tissue, shallow gouges from long-healed projectile wounds, and burn marks from both Warp energies and sparking electricity and plasma. Growing up inside the nightmarish tangle of metal and energy that is a Space Hulk left indelible marks even on the body of a Primarch. They are signs of a lifetime spent delving into dangerous places in search of relics and lore with which to protect his tribe, and the price that must be paid when attempting to reverse the decay of millennia. They are also the unmistakable marks of a man who has struggled with nameless mutant horrors with nothing more than fist, foot, and fury.
The right side of his jaw and cheek has much of the flesh replaced with bionics, a grim but treasured reminder of his second year spent among his Legion, hunting and being hunted, challenging them to reach new heights, and their final achievement in bringing their Gene-sire down at last.
Shorter in stature than most Primarchs, he stands only a few inches taller than the average Space Marine, though quite a bit broader at the shoulder and extremely muscular. His compact frame served him well crawling through the maze in which he grew to manhood, and his endurance is truly inhuman. Large hands and a short, thick neck give him something of a wrestler's look, and to fall into a grapple with Arelex is to court death.
Though his body is scarred, ravaged, and frightening, the Primarch's pale green eyes are oddly kind, a reminder of the gentler man he might have been had his pod not been spirited away.
Arelex's armor is well equipped for almost any need. Crafted by the finest Martian savants, it is a masterpiece of form and function. A multitude of useful tools are cleverly miniaturized and concealed beneath thick armor plates. Inside the expanded power pack lurks a powerful force-field of arcane design liberated from the Space Hulk where Arelex grew up. Enormous thrusters jut from the armor's shoulders, capable of lifting even a Primarch aloft. If needed, Arelex can remain airborne for considerable time, useful for both land and space operations. Finally, a complex array of sensors and communications arrays fill the helmet and run underneath each armor plate, using the entire suit as a resonator antenna to speak with troops on the ground and in orbit. With the advanced HUD systems, Arelex can maintain near-total battlefield awareness at all times.
Upon the helmet is a small silver plate reading Dominus Legio, "Master of the Legion".
Arelex's preferred weaponry is at first glance unassuming, appearing little more than a fancy las-rifle. It is obviously well constructed, and designed with a nearly imperviously rugged, utilitarian outer casing. Many firearms are larger, and many are more potent. This particular rifle is a tricky piece of equipment, however. With a simple mental signal from the wielder, the gun alters the energy it emits. At need, Arelex's rifle can produce energies analogous to Melta, Las, Plasma, Volkite, Gauss, and other, still more esoteric wavelengths. Though no more potent than a well-crafted version of each individual firearm, combining all of them into one tool is marvelously useful.
Arelex made the simple addition of a Power Bayonet for close quarters combat himself, and named the gun Lux Universalis, "Universal Light".
A fan's attempt at rules
Unit type: Independent Character, Jump Infantry
Wargear: Archeotech Pistol, Lux Universalis, Utilitae Plate, Neural Data Suite.
Special Rules: Acute Senses, Adamantium Will, Bulky, Crusader, Deep Strike, Enhanced Awareness, Eternal Warrior, Fear, Fearless, Fleet, Hit and Run, Independent Character, It Will Not Die, Night Vision, Master of the Legion, Perfect Coordination.
Lux Universalis- The famous rifle of the second Primarch. Lux universalis is one of the most complex weapons ever created, an archeotech rifle that fires a wide array of different energies. When shooting, choose one of the profiles listed below. In assault, use the melee profile.
|Melee||U||2||-||Shred, Specialist Weapon|
|Las||3||-||24'||Assault 15, Shred|
|Gauss||S4||AP5||30'||Assault 6, Gauss|
|Volkite||S5||AP4||36'||Assault 5, Deflagrate|
|Plasma||7||2||30'||Assault 4, Blast|
|Melta||8||1||24'||Assault 3, Melta|
|Mass Driver||10||1||72'||Heavy 1, Lance, Large Blast, One Use|
Utilitae Plate- Mastercrafted armor from the forges of Mars, with a few extras added at the Primarch's request. In addition to adding a 2+ 4++, it counts as having a Nuncio Vox, Arelex inflicts D3 hammer of wrath instead of 1, and he and his unit do not scatter when deepstriking. Additionally, the thrusters in his backpack allow him to function as Jump Infantry or if he chooses, to fly as a flying monstrous creature, with all the movement rules that implies.
Neural Data Suite- Arelex's custom made sensory data suite and HUD, constantly streams battlefield data and tactical information. It counts as a Cognis Signum, and provides the following benefits: A rerollable 5+ to seize the initiative, you may begin rolling reserves on turn 1, and all deep striking units in his army halve their scatter distance.
Enhanced Awareness- Arelex's many years in the space hulk trained his awareness and instincts to an incredible level, even beyond that of his brothers. Any ranged attack made by Arelex has the Ignores Cover special rule. Arelex is also immune to Blind and Concussive, and gains the Acute Senses and Night Vision special rules.
Perfect Coordination- Arelex grants any elite slot unit with Legiones Astartes: War Scribes Outflank and Deep Strike, so long as they are infantry and have no dedicated transport.
Arelex is... Weird. There's really no comparison for him in any other character in the game, though he kind of plays like a mix of Asurmen and Bharroth. Kind of. He's obviously intended to jump or fly around the battlefield, using his insane firepower to blast the crap out of anything that gets in front of him. He'll be a pain to fliers, what with taking his Melta and Gauss into the air, he can mulch Guardsmen and minor demons with his Volkite and Las functions, and Tanks and Lords of War with his Melta and S10 AP1 Lance, Large Blast, "Fuck your general area" single-shot mass driver. He can threaten literally anything, is hard to catch and almost impossible to pin down, and offers some fun army bonuses. On the other hand, he's not great at fighting any one thing. In melee, he's the weakest Primarch in the game, /tg/ or canon, and he's unlikely to earn back his point cost across the game purely on damage like other Primarchs will (unless you get lucky and pop a Spartan or a group of Snowflake Terminators with his mass driver), but with his insane mobility and his respectable versatility and his army buffs he's still quite useful. Add to that his very low point cost (for a Primarch), and he's actually one of the more practical choices for a Primarch, especially in a 2000 point game or smaller.
|The Primarchs of the /tg/ Heresy|
|Loyalist:||Alexandri of Rosskar - Arelex Orannis - Brennus - Gaspard Lumey - Golgothos |
Onyx the Indestructible - Roman Albrecht - Shakya Vardhana - Tiran Osoros
|Traitor:||Aubrey The Grey - Cromwald Walgrun - Hektor Cincinnatus - Inferox - Johannes Vrach |
Rogerius Merrill - The Voidwatcher - Tollund Ötztal - Uriel Salazar