|Golgothos the Fervent|
The Entombed Primarch, Prince of Terra, the Eternal, the Redeemer
|Hektor Heresy role||
Murdered by Aubrey The Grey
This page details people, events, and organisations from The /tg/ Heresy, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe.
"Golgothos has disappeared. From this day on many will ask if he is dead, and as the years turn to centuries men will more often believe that he could not have survived so long. I put it that the whole question is absurd. Golgothos' stubborn will embodied the spirit of mankind. So long as there is one man to wonder if the Primarch lives, it can be certain that he does."
- – (Excerpt from Golgothos the Eternal by Gaspard Lumey
Golgothos was one of the Primarchs created by the Emperor of Mankind to lead his Great Crusade. Golgothos led the Sixth of the Space Marine Legions, later known as The Entombed. Before his terrible wounding during the Ullanor Crusade, he was sometimes considered the greatest of the Primarchs.
Sepulchra. This was the name Golgothos chose for the world on which his incubation capsule landed, the place where he grew to manhood. It is certainly not the name that the men who dwelt there before Golgothos used, but by the time of the Primarch's arrival humanity had been scoured from Sepulchra by the feral Orks, leaving nothing behind but their ancient tombs and ruins. Trapped by the violence of the Warp and with no entertainment but brawling among themselves, the Orkish rulers of the world had withered into an even more degenerate state than their fellows elsewhere, seeking nothing more than the satisfaction of cracking another Ork's skull with a club or bullying the pitiful Grots.
Even so, a normal human child cast upon the rock of Sepulchra would have been doomed to die of neglect or worse. Not so for Golgothos. The Primarch leapt from his capsule already strong and cunning enough to evade the Orks and survive on their cruel world. As he grew in body and mind, Golgothos sought new challenges. At first he began to fight lone Orks, then learned to lure bands of the greenskinned aliens into broken terrain and pick them off one by one. The Primarch also delved into the ruins of Sepulchra and discovered something of the history of his world. He felt an instinctive kinship to the likenesses of long-dead men and women and a longing in his heart to protect them.
This urge sent Golgothos traveling about Sepulchra, searching for a place where humans still lived. He found nothing but Orks, and his urge to protect the vanished people of Sepulchra slowly transformed into a slow-burning flame of vengeance. The Primarch began to split his time between an unwinnable war against the fecund Orks and lucid hours among the relics of humanity. As time went on, he began to lose himself in rage for longer and longer periods, killing aliens in untold number - but never enough to diminish their unending supply.
In those red years, many Imperial vessels passed Sepulchra by. Rogue Traders saw no profit in a world inhabited by Orks. The Space Marine Legions were focused on liberating worlds on which humans still lived and vanquishing foes that might travel the void and threaten the growing Imperium. Only in the second century of the Great Crusade did the Emperor of Mankind travel close enough to Sepulchra to sense the psychic presence of one of His lost sons. Once He felt Golgothos' pain, the Emperor hastened to Sepulchra and landed with a bodyguard of His Custodes. According to the unimpeachable testimony of the Custodes, on first meeting his father Golgothos threw himself at the Emperor's feet and wept tears of joy, praising the Master of Mankind as a saviour deity.
The Great Crusade
On the long journey back to Ancient Terra, the Emperor began to explain the truth of the Galaxy to Golgothos, starting with the lesson that He was only a man of great ability. The Primarch learnt quickly, even by the standards of his brothers, and thrived during his time on the worlds of old Sol. Malcador the Sigilite, usually sparing in his praise for the Primarchs, announced Golgothos to the men of the Sixth Legion as their gene-sire and a leader who would bring them to the highest glories.
Such a leader was sorely needed. The Sixth had amassed no few victories in the first century of the Great Crusade, but their geneseed was difficult to replicate and the Legion remained too weak to field more than a single Expedition Fleet. Fresh genetic samples from Golgothos had allowed Pallas Eugenesis to prepare a substantial stock during the Primarch's stay on Terra, but recruits were more difficult to find. Unlike his brother Primarchs, Golgothos had no loyal people waiting for him on Sepulchra and the worlds of the Solar System had already been culled of all suitable aspirants.
Unperturbed, Golgothos gathered the warriors of the Sixth and led a series of campaigns against the Orks of the Segmentum Obscurus. Led by the Imperium's foremost expert on the Orkish mind, the Sixth cut through the alien hosts in a series of swift and astonishingly lop-sided victories. Golgothos' victories not only elevated the Sixth in the eyes of their peers, but established contact with a cluster of worlds inhabited by warrior cultures hardy enough to withstand Orkish attacks. Young men from these planets would form the raw material for new cohorts of the Sixth Legion.
Barren Sepulchra also had gifts for the Imperium. Golgothos' homeworld, still plagued by feral Orks, was a fine place for training new Space Marines, but more valuable still were the stores of ancient technology. Many warriors who fell in Golgothos' first campaigns were interred into Dreadnoughts based on ancient Sepulchran walkers and these fallen heroes became the Legion's trademark and led to their nickname The Endless. The Sixth's fleet also benefited from Sepulchra's bounty, receiving refurbished warships that had been mothballed in the system's outskirts. Finally, fragments of ancient technology of less immediate importance were available to be traded to the tech priests of Mars for advanced armour and weapons. As the second century of the Great Crusade drew to a close, there were many larger Legions but none possessed more suits of powerful Terminator armour.
Transforming the Sixth from a small brotherhood into one of the mighty Legions of the Great Crusade was no small feat, especially as Golgothos did so while constantly pressing forward the borders of the Imperium. Had the Primarch's character been lacking in any respect, his successes might have inspired jealousy and suspicion. But Golgothos' forthright energy and courage, combined with his personal charisma, drew more admiration than bitterness. He was especially close to Onyx the Indestructible, a kindred spirit, and the noble Uriel Salazar. Those who expressed their dislike of Golgothos did so privately - alone among the Primarchs, he was never on the wrong end of Gaspard Lumey's poison pen.
Although Golgothos never sought vengeance against the War Scribes for their failure at Ullanor, he made his feelings all too clear. The Lord of the Entombed and his gene-sons almost never acknowledged the sons of Arelex Orannis again. In all the volumes of Imperial history, just one interaction between an Entombed warrior and a member of the War Scribes or one of their Successor Chapters can be found: after the Lightbringers relieved the Entombed during the terrible fighting at Mahys Point, Cardinal Erebus answered a formal apology from the Lightbringers' Chapter Master Kapitsa with the words, How can I forgive one who does not exist?
With the Emperor's great plans almost complete, the Master of Mankind directed his Primarchs to reduce the mighty Empire of Ullanor. This vast Orkish realm was the last obvious threat to human domination of the Galaxy and no warrior was better suited to planning its destruction than Golgothos. Drawing on the forces of his own Sixth Legion, Arelex Orannis's Second Legion, and Hektor Cincinnatus's First Legion, Golgothos orchestrated an almost-flawless campaign against the Orks. The Sixth Legion, supported by their battle brothers in Legio Mortis and elements of the Second Legion, delivered the coup de grace at Ullanor itself. Golgothos led his Terminator-armoured bodyguard at the point of the attack, seeking to destroy the Orkish leadership in person. The Sixth made it far but their allies in the Second failed to press the supporting attack with sufficient vigor. Golgothos and his bodyguards were cut off and suffered terrible losses before Knyaz Yevdokia and her Knights managed to break them out. Out of a hundred warriors, the cream of the Sixth Legion, there were only two survivors. Lieutenant Obitus had been struck down and suffered multiple skull fractures, as well as less serious injuries, but clung to life. The Primarch himself had been overwhelmed and his captors attempted to torture him to death. Among the many injuries Golgothos suffered, his right arm was torn from his body and devoured in front of him. The Knights of House Iaga bore the Primarch from the field believing that they were rescuing the corpse of a fallen hero.
Golgothos was not dead, but his injuries were so severe that even his supernatural vitality could not undo them. While the Emperor took command of the Ullanor Crusade and finished off the brilliant campaign that Golgothos had begun, the Primarch was prepared for interment in a mighty Dreadnought. The Fabricator-General himself supervised the operation, striving to grant the Emperor's fallen son as much of his old prowess as possible. Even so, Golgothos spent many months in a fugue state, regressed to his old life on Sepulchra and beset by Orks. Obitus recovered from his own injuries and resumed his watch over his master, listening to the Primarch's ramblings until at last Golgothos' mind found its way back to the Galaxy.
In the last years of the Great Crusade, Golgothos focused his energies on crusades and rarely appeared at state occasions, as did his Legion who now styled themselves The Entombed in honour of their sire. He spurned the Council of Nikaea, sending faithful Obitus to represent his staunchly anti-Psyker views. The decrees at Nikaea troubled Golgothos little and he was happy to set Obitus the task of training morale officers - Chaplains, as they came to be known. However, the trial of Gaspard Lumey brought Golgothos from his seclusion. The Entombed's Primarch growled out his disjointed vote to bring no sanction against Lumey for his actions in the Core Worlds Campaign, but the motion passed. Golgothos returned to his wars and would be constantly at the front until the crisis of the Hektor Heresy broke.
The Hektor Heresy
Golgothos was infuriated by The Voidwatcher's attack on Terra and was inclined to take swift action against the Lord of Ostium. He dispatched emissaries to both the Council of Terra and Hektor's Council at Olmer, but while his subordinates talked the Entombed began to disengage from their crusading efforts and concentrated at their stronghold on Sepulchra. When faithful Obitus returned back from Olmer and reported that the Primarchs there had tried to split him away from Golgothos, the Entombed were put firmly in the Loyalist camp.
Obitus also had information about the movements of the Olmer Primarchs. Uriel Salazar and his Justiciars were moving in force to Caria, a sparsely inhabited world within Sepulchra's tithe realm. When this dubious intelligence was verified by the Warp Runner Strix, Golgothos decided to strike at the Justiciars before they launched whatever scheme they were hatching. The host of the Entombed broke into Realspace in good order and quickly secured void superiority, seizing several Justiciars transports.
Uriel Salazar contacted Golgothos before the Entombed began to drop on Caria. Greeting Golgothos as his old friend and brother, Uriel joked that he had plenty of transports to spare and would have gladly handed ships over without any shots being fired. The traitor went on to arrogantly warn the Entombed not to land any troops, a threat that Golgothos considered unworthy of a reply.
The death of Golgothos in the labyrinths beneath Terra was a hard blow to the Imperium and particularly difficult for his decimated Legion. While the Entombed knew the truth of their gene-sire's grisly end, the surviving Loyalist Primarchs concealed the full story from their Legions, saying only that Golgothos had vanished. Shakya Vardhana took this myth to its fullest extent, hinting that one day the sire of the Entombed would return to aid the Imperium in a time of great need.
Golgothos was the primarch who changed the most over the course of the Great Crusade. When he just left his homeworld of Sepulchra, he was a morose recluse whose menacing appearance and demeanour belied a quiet scholar far more at ease thinking than talking. Frequently lost in thought, he only raised his voice when the matters discussed concerned him directly, but every word of his had the weight of tombstone granite. Few dared start arguments with him, not for the fear of losing, but rather out of respect for his grim wisdom. In any discussion, his words were usually either the first, or the last.
His first encounter with death left him deeply pessimistic and melancholic for the rest of his life. He stared the grim reaper in the eyes and recognised him as a foe who was far too strong for him. This, in its turn, led to his belief in the ultimate futility of all action. Although he filled this existential void in his heart with the ceaseless fighting of the Great Crusade, he remained sceptical about the outcome of this campaign until his last moments. In any endeavour, he always assumed the worst and saw even his successes as minor victories in the great war that humanity was bound to lose. That being said, he never allowed his scepticism to discourage his soldiers, preferring to keep it to himself.
Some say it was this unwillingness to share his true feelings that eventually drove him to madness. However, most people who knew him agree that his mind was ultimately shattered by his fixation on death. He both loathed it for its cruelty and destructiveness and admired it for its implacability and fairness; his feelings on the subject were perhaps far too complex to be adequately described by anyone but Golgothos himself. Suffice it to say, he spent much of his free time pondering death and its implications. Perhaps he was trying, without much hope, to learn its dark secrets that would help him to defeat it or at least see its point. Unfortunately, he was merely peering into a bottomless abyss that existed for no rational reason and held no secrets to be learned, and this great nothingness gradually drove him insane.
There were, of course, other factors that precipitated his fall. His interment into an experimental dreadnought caused minor damage to his nervous system that was exacerbated by years of constant battles and stressful situations. This caused Golgothos to grow increasingly unstable and unable to control his emotions. While he retained his calm out of battle, on the battlefield he transformed into a violent fiend revelling in destruction. Certain remembrancers noted that he embodied the quiet aspect of death on board of his flagship and its violent side when in combat. But, as the Great Crusade went further on, the violent side started taking over, and it wasn't long before the primarch became notorious for bouts of fury outside of battle as well. It was at this point that even his brothers who had held him in high regard before started getting reservations about him and questioning his character. Only the Emperor and Johannes Vrach knew the true cause behind the dreadnought primarch's deteriorating psyche, but Vrach was too ashamed of his failure to tell of it even to his closest friend, Gaspard Lumey.
The negative influence from Inferox also didn't help the primarch's condition. The two brothers grew close based on their concealed religious feelings and frequently spent time together debating on the shape faith has taken in the militantly atheist Imperium. It was, perhaps, during these friendly discussions that some of the zeal Inferox was notorious for rubbed off on Golgothos. The dreadnought primarch practically worshipped the Burnt King for his blind, optimistic faith, so much purer than that of his own, tarnished by creeping scepticism and existential melancholy. His rational mind and philosophical disposition forever barred him from the pure faith of his brother, and Golgothos secretly despised himself for his useless sophistication. Eventually he began subconsciously imitating Inferox and his simple ways in an attempt to approximate his purity of heart, but by doing so he merely lowered his mind's rational defences that kept insanity at bay.
Driven to the brink of madness by his unhealthy fascination with death and pushed into its embrace by his faulty dreadnought suit and the poisonous influence of Inferox, Golgothos was a vastly different person by the end of the Great Crusade. From a quiet, melancholic fatalist he turned into a raving zealot who fully embraced his menacing image and revelled in it. Reckless on the battlefield and unhinged in times of peace, he was seen by many primarchs as a failure and a hindrance to the Great Crusade. It was only his fanatical loyalty that kept his brothers from making open moves against him, but nobody realised that Golgothos was only truly loyal to his own twisted vision for mankind. Nobody knows if he would have retained his allegiance to the Emperor if the tragic saga of his life wasn't brought to an abrupt finale by a treacherous strike from the Life Bringers.
Accounts of Golgothos' appearance before he was maimed and interred in a dreadnought are fragmentary. It is said that he rarely smiled, but he was thought handsome and surviving portraits depict a pale, lean face with soulful eyes framed by a black mane of hair. His lean, wiry frame towered over mortal men and space marines alike and he is said to have moved with tremendous grace. Most descriptions linger long on the voice of Golgothos and his ability to speak much with a short phrase.
The dreadnought that housed him after Ullanor is better-documented. Traditional depictions show the skull of the Primarch mounted atop it, though it is difficult to see how even one of the Emperor's superhuman sons could have survived such a transformation. Sages generally agree that this tradition goes back to the Reformation-era propaganda that describes the Primarch's walker "adorned with the skull of he who fell on Ullanor", but it is more likely that the trophy was an Orkish skull, perhaps that of Ullanor's ruler himself. It is certain that the war machine was of prodigious size, perhaps closer in scale to an Imperial Knight walker than the familiar Dreadnoughts of the Space Marines, and so powerfully armed that Golgothos' fury was undiminished by his wounding.
During the Great Crusade, Golgothos was interred in an Ossuary Pattern Dreadnought. His Dreadnought is massive, dull grey with white details, and his own skull is mounted for the head. The Leviathan-class Dreadnought has a minor modification: flanking the decorative skull, on either side, are repositories with the skulls of fallen Entombed veterans stacked within. These repositories, large rectangular things, would eventually be integrated into the bulkier design of later Dreadnoughts. On one side of the Dreadnought, where an arm should be, is a massive Demolisher Cannon, capable of leveling entire buildings. On the other side is a mighty power fist, which has crushed Golgothos' hated foes many times.
While being bound to a mighty siege Dreadnought presented certain perks for Golgothos, it was more of a curse than a blessing. Golgothos lacked many things his flesh body had taken for granted - sleep, to begin with. He would only experience something close to sleeping when he was placed into stasis hibernation. Always being awake put an enormous strain on his mind, a strain that would quickly break a lesser man. To pass the time and relieve the stress, Golgothos would spend a lot of time thinking - far more than any other primarch. Philosophical by nature, he held long, elaborate conversations with himself, about war, about peace, about life, but mostly about death. All this thinking made him a wise man, but the Great Crusade had little use for such wisdom.
Besides the sleeplessness, there was pain, and it was constant. His mortal body was sheathed in a cyberorganic web, laced into electro-fibre systems, and shut in an armoured sarcophagus. There was be no opportunity to manage pain the way he had done before, no mechanism for pain control. He had to simply hide it and endure, no matter how bad it was. And at times it was truly unbearable.
Naturally, there were also rage and anger - the farther into the Great Crusade, the worse they got. Despite the devastating power bequeathed to him as a Dreadnought, he missed his mortal state. Initially, he resented his death, regretted the circumstances of it, fixated upon it, hated the cold-shell life he had been given in exchange. He consequently went through all of the stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression - only he was grieving for himself. Finally, he came to terms with his death and accepted it as a fact that couldn't be changed. Already going insane at this stage, he even started finding positives about it. From seeing himself as a pathetic cybernetic zombie, he came to see himself as a true immortal, and the inconveniences of being in a dreadnought as the price he had to pay for immortality. And this thinking naturally led to his desire to share this gift with the rest of Humanity.
A fan's attempt at rules
Unit type: Walker, Independent Character.
Wargear: Ossuary Pattern Dreadnought, Vindicator Magnus, The Black Hand, Reliquary Shell.
Special Rules: Adamantium Will, Bitter Rage, Carry On, Enraged Smite, Eternal Warrior, Fear, Fearless, Fleet, Independent Character, It Will Not Die, Master of the Legion.
Ossuary Pattern Dreadnought- Unique Leviathan variant dreadnought. Gives Golgothos the walker unit type. Also keeps him from joining all units save for Dreadnought talons.
Vindicator Magnus- A cannon specially crafted by the Techmarines of his legion when he found the weapons of his armor lacking. It fires with the same profile as a demolisher cannon, but Assault 2, range 36.
The Black Hand- A Dreadnought power fist with an underslung Heavy Flamer that also grants the following special rules to attacks made in melee: Armorbane, Instant Death, and Wrecker. Also adds the Furious Smite special rule, which allows Golgothos to exchange half his attacks (rounded down) to make one of his remaining attacks Strength D.
Reliquary Shell- Golgothos has the adamantium-plated skulls of fallen legion veterans displayed on his armor's carapace. This grants him the following rules: Flare Shielding, Armored Ceramite, and Gaze of the Fallen (counts as having assault grenades). Additionally, no attack may ever cause a penetrating hit on Golgothos on any roll other than a natural 6 (does not affect strength D attacks).
Bitter Rage- Golgothos's sarcophagus does nothing to ease his great pain. Roll a D6 at the beginning of every turn. On a roll of a 2 or 3, Golgothos gains Rage until the next turn. On a 4 or 5 he gains Hatred (everything) until the next turn. On a 6, he gains both rules, and on a 1, his pain becomes too much for him, and he loses 1 WS, I, and A until the next turn.
Carry On- Golgothos embodies the bitter determination of mankind. As long as Golgothos is on the field, all friendly units on the field ignore casualities from shooting. If Golgothos dies, they lose these benefits but gain Zealot, and units with Legiones Astartes: The Entombed gain Relentless and Rage.
The Processos- Golgothos's elite dreadnought bodyguards and subcommanders. For +40 points a model, one dreadnought talon receives the following: +1 front armor, +1 attack, Chosen warrior, fleet.
Golgothos is a giant goddamn battering ram you send screaming up the field with a bunch of dreadnoughts, watch half of them die to enemy fire, then watch the remainders murderously kill your opponent's army to death! Really though, Golgothos does basically the same thing a dreadnought does, but on steroids. He'll eat pretty much any other primarch in a fight, because most of them have a really hard time actually hurting him, what with his AV 14, IWND, and 8(!) hull points. He'll murder pretty much anything you put in front of him, up to and including a freaking bloodthirster or another primarch. His army wide morale buff is also useful in pretty much all conditions, and it'll always be fun to see the look on your opponent's face when he finally kills your towering death machine of bitter rage, and suddenly your entire freaking army goes berzerk, and starts charging up the field, firing heavy weapons as they go, to kick his fucking teeth in. That said, like any primarch, he has his weaknesses. He's not especially fast, and he won't fit in most transports, so he's slow, and you have 650 points wrapped up in a package that's one D-strength hit away from dust. On top of this, he's also not very point efficient in terms of straight offense or defense. By comparison, a squad of Leman Russ tanks will have more hull points and put more fire downrange, for less points, though they'll also lose combat effectiveness as they're damaged, and your army won't lose their god damn minds and flip out if the tanks die. Is he worth it? You decide.
|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