Methodical, Sober, Empathetic
|Hektor Heresy role||
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.
It is worth thinking about the human habit of making a thing "better". At the beginning, the thing is satisfactory. Then dissatisfaction is applied to it, then the thing is changed until it is satisfactory again. What does this accomplish?
- Uriel Salazar, Confessions
The primarch's pod landed on a jungle world Rai, near a small settlement. The young primarch was found and adopted by a doctor from an old and established line of healers, the family Vrach. Though the man had five children already, he could not help but take the child in. The boy was given the name Johannes and was raised him as a Vrach. Family was important on Rai, and the Vraches took to the new addition with characteristic warmth. This fondness was reciprocated by the young primarch, who was intensely devoted to his adopted family. He especially admired his father for his work healing the wounded and diseased, leading Johannes towards medicine and biology. Johannes displayed great talent in those fields, in time surpassing even his adoptive father's own prodigious abilities. The family Vrach soon gathered renown as the greatest team of doctors and medical researchers on the planet, finding cures for many of the diseases and afflictions that had tormented the population previously. Life expectancy rose considerably, then technology and overall living standards. The people could now advance further into the depths of the jungle, freed from fear of the many deadly spores and contagious viruses hiding within the untamed rainforests. It was a grand new era for Rai.
Unfortunately, the golden age did not last long. An exploration team looking for mineral deposits deep in the wilds found the remains of an ancient and mysterious ruin. The archeologists that followed began unearthed alien artifacts and metal tablets covered in an unknown language. Months after the ruin's unearthing, the first symptoms began to appear within the populace. At first the disease passed unnoticed, it's early symptoms being mild fatigue and a barely perceptible rise in body temperature. It's intense virulence and mild effects insured that it passed freely through the populace. A year after its appearance, intense nausea began ripping through the population and the fever and fatigue increased to crippling levels. The hospitals of Rai were overwhelmed, and the researchers were dumbfounded. As the best medical experts of the time, the Vrach family did their best to ease the suffering. Johannes' eldest brother Esau succumbed to the ravages of the disease. Johannes and his father worked tirelessly but, despite the Vraches' best efforts, no cure could be found.
As the nausea progressed to internal hemorrhaging and the fever caused dementia, the settlements of Rai emptied from infection and infighting. The few healthy people remaining desperately formed closed enclaves, violently attacking anyone who attempted to enter for fear of what had now become known as the Red Death. Their fear was understandable, the infected constantly screamed in pain and madness. As they succumbed the afflicted violently seized and vomited spouts of blood, this process took several torturous hours. The Vraches' work kept them outside of safety, one by one they began to succumb to its effects while superhuman immunity kept Johannes safe. He grew increasingly desperate, spending days and nights in his lab to no avail. As Johannes stood over the grave of the last of his adopted family, his youngest sister Ester, a massive construct appeared in the sky. Giant, golden-armored warriors stepped on the planet and Johannes met his father for he first time.
Johannes begged the Emperor to save Rai, and accepted his offer of a space marine legion immediately with the promise of his father's assistance. A number of magos biologis were ordered in, but their analysis showed that the Red Death was impossible to cure. The virus had been engineered by some xenos technology as a biological weapon, and engrained itself deeply in the organ systems of those it afflicted. The Emperor ordered a complete purge of all infected regions as well as most of the deep jungle, only those who sealed themselves in closed enclaves survived. Johannes now knew his duty was to eradicate all that is tainted, only then could new life flourish.
As he traveled with his father, Johannes came to realize the Imperium was like a potent antibiotic, eradicating the infections which afflicted the divided human race by bringing the light of the Emperor. Attempting to integrate or replace resistant indigenous cultures, solve their problems, and create economic ties is folly. Just as the Legions Astartes brought the light of the Imperium to the natives, so their delusions and corruption could infect the Imperium. Treatment of a difficult disease is often harsh and when those most infected worlds are wiped clean, new life will flourish free of taint.
Though he was never a soldier, Johannes came to understand the necessity of warfare. He abhorred drawing combat out, taking no pleasure in protracted battles or needless destruction. The primarch learned utilize the application of death in the same manner he would administer a proscription, utilizing tailor-made poisons and diseases to efficiently eliminate those who opposed him. He brought this philosophy to the marines he assumed command of, and the legion quickly became known for their brutal virus bombings. Vrach also initiated the practice of officers in the legion engaging in cross-training as apothecaries and carrying medical equipment in addition to their command duties. Their medical expertise quickly made the Life Bringers popular with the legions they work alongside, they became noted for their devotion to their allies and battle brothers.
The Great Crusade
After taking command of the XII legion Johannes led them on the Great Crusade dutifully, but he moved forward in a manner much different to that of his brother primarchs. Along with the institution of apothecary cross-training, the Life Bringers also maintained some of the most advanced biological research facilities outside of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Utilizing the wealth of new information afforded to him by Imperial research, Johannes and his men turned this wealth of information to new ends, creating astounding new medical technology along with horrific biological weaponry. Upon discovering the nature of his birth, Johannes became obsessed with fashioning life.
As they turned toward the galaxy, Johannes and his legion set about correcting the disease they saw within it. Any world deemed pure and willing to join the Imperium peacefully received considerable aid from the Life Bringers, they immediately proceeded to deploy vaccines and cures against known diseases that were common in these worlds. New strains of crop-plants and livestock, designed by the Life Bringers, were introduced to their ecosystems and they were made prosperous. The manifold new diseases discovered throughout these worlds presented challenges to the legion, and Johannes could not help but feel he was fighting a war without end.
Any civilizations that refused to accept Imperial rule, or those who were obviously debased, were mercilessly and totally purged. Life Bringers first disable any anti-air defenses, then procede with a heavy bombardment of biological and chemical weapons to eliminate all life down to the microscopic level. From the smallest bacteria to he largest animals, the bare planet is seeded with astounding new life tailor made by the legion for survival. After the world was perfectly crafted, and approved by Johannes, settlers from crowded hive worlds were brought in. Their progress was comparably slow but, because of such dedication, the Life Bringers always left lush paradise worlds and exceptionally fertile agri worlds in their wake. The sectors they conquered became the bread baskets of the expanding Imperium, supplying vast amounts of food to busy Forge Worlds and expedition fleets.
The Life Bringers' library of biological research grew larger as they expanded outward, and their High Apothecaries and Master Genetors brought forth amazing new results. Each new battlefield was a testing ground for their grand work in an even greater war, the fight against disease and infirmity. Johannes was overwhelmed by the responsibility he felt toward curing the whole of the galaxy, he increasingly retreated from his brother primarchs and spent hours locked away in his gene-labs. If Johannes was truly determined to destroy the afflictions that ruined so many lives, he would have to defeat death itself.
The Hektor Heresy
The forward movement of the Legion slowed to a crawl as its high command turned almost entirely to the perfection of their science, fueled by Vrach's increasing desperation. Their research grew darker as time went on, their laboratories birthing horrific new creatures whose organs were reshaped by colonies of symbiotic bacteria. These sickly monsters looked like the very embodiment of disease, their skin thickened by constant inflammation and frequently ushering forth milky exudate from their orifices. The sickly odor of the beasts was immediately an indication of infection to those with medical training, but they were startlingly resistant to any toxin or sickness they were exposed to. The fungal immune system implanted within them was certainly effective. Johannes looked on his creations and saw their beauty, a permanently stable state of illness preventing death. The Sym-Biomes, as they became known, endured an existence of constant pain, but they nevertheless represented a new hope for Johannes. The High Genetors quickly turned to its application.
The genetors of the Life Bringers had long since experimented with the gene-seed implanted into their brother Astartes, though the actual use of these organs was strictly forbidden. Following the creation of the Sym-Biomes, Johannes himself lead the effort to apply their immunities to his Legion's stock, and it was to these experimenters he turned. High Genetor Wilmut Sachs worked with his Primarch to lace the specially designed bacterial colonies into the haemastamen, allowing them to quickly spread throughout the system upon implantation. The ossmudula would inject fungal colonies directly into the bone marrow, allowing them to replace the immune system over time. The largest change was to the secondary heart, it was enlarged in size greatly in order to compensate for the increased workload required of it by the constant infection. Sachs was gleeful as he went about his twisted work, taking the opportunity to add the new technology to his earlier experiments and made a few modifications of his own.
The Primi Medicae of the Legion quickly set about applying the new process in secret, the fruits of their labor kept hidden away from the general ranks. The Marines they created were universally thickened with edematous and inflamed flesh, but their capacity for feeling pain was greatly reduced. The powerful odor of infection their experimental predecessors had was present in the marines and they likewise proved immune to biological assault, though they did not exude nearly as much purulent drainage. The most obvious change was the grotesque, enlarged heart which bounded visibly in their chests, causing the need for slight modifications to the black carapace and the Marine's armor in order to accommodate it. The winged skull was replaced with an ornate, three-dimensional version of the Legion's symbol which covered their change. The new marines were a success, and the Primi Medicae set about implementing the change in the Legion at large.
(The LB's role in the Heresy is currently undergoing overhaul and the following is subject to change) The Life Bringers have left a terrible mark on every planet they fought on during the Hektor Heresy, spreading Nurgle's Rot and leaving countless worlds as uninhabitable, toxic Death Worlds. Johannes personally led his troops during the Isstvan Massacres, where their chemical bombardment crippled the Entombed and left a permanent scar on their geneseed. The Life Bringers were also present in the battles in Sol System and the siege of the Imperial Palace, supporting the Warmaster with their medical expertise, disposable cannon fodder in form of plague zombies and raining deadly biotoxins from their Whirlwinds. The residual traces from that battle still result in some rare cases of Nurgle's Rot deep in the underhives of Terra, long after the Heresy.
Following the loss of Rai after the end of the Hektor Heresy, the Life Bringers retreated into the Eye of Terror. Johannes' ascension to Daemonhood has greatly exaggerated his already grotesque forms. His chest is grossly distended by his immense, pulsing heart, and gigantic blood vessels erupt from his back. The massive organ is flanked by mammoth lungs, which expand and collapse in a horrifying manner, spewing forth toxins. His enormous organs hang below the massive cardiac-pulmonary complex above, distending Johannes' massive stomach. His flesh is swollen with mucous and smells of rotting meat, pustules and ulcerations dot his entire body in an eerily uniform way. When struck purulent drainage oozes forth from these holes, coating assailants with disease-ridden fluid. His odor is sheer pestilence, and flies surround Johannes at all times.
As he strides onto the battlefield, great spouts of viscous, mucous-filled blood erupt from the vessels on his back with each beat of his twisted heart. Everywhere they touch, enormous slime-molds formed of bacterial colonies spring up, and creatures coated with the toxic fluid are swiftly overtaken by parasitic fungi. His Pharmacaeum and Surgeon's Hand have been integrated into his very form, having been scaled up and improved as disease and medicine became one to the Life Bringers. The Pharmaceum now delivers a massive spray of the daemonic primarch's own infected fluids in addition to the various toxic ammunition, whose variety has only increased through the years. The thin claws of the Surgeon's hand now incorporate syringes full of various chemicals and diseases, delivering lethal doses to all they touch. Despite his power, Johannes only rarely deigns to leave the twisted paradise of his domain on the daemon world Eden, preferring to create new life in the toxic jungles of the planet and oversee grand and twisted experiments in the furtherance of his quest to cure the galaxy.
Vrach was a quiet man, but could never stand by while others suffered. Vrach was devoted fully to his medical work, and his patients found his natural calm and focus comforting. Within himself, Vrach bore a heavy burden in the constant responsibility he put upon himself for curing the ills of those around him. He was never the sort to accept that a situation was out of his power to repair, and every loss was felt deeply.
Johannes was broader than average for a primarch, though slightly shorter as well, with black hair going down to his knees. His hair was always tied into a ponytail with many colorful ribbons, as was customary among the natives of his homeworld, Rai. Anyone familiar with the culture of those people would be able to tell the exact region and city he hails from by the color sequence and form of those ribbons. He usually carried a stern look on his face, reflecting the brooding nature of his intellect, though he was friendly and welcoming to anyone who approached him.
In battle, Johannes wore a master-crafted set of Tartaros pattern terminator armor, customized to appear a bit less bulky and bearing the bandaged heart of his legion at the center of its chest-plate. His preferred weapon was the Pharmacaeus, a unique needlegun of his own design. It's ammunition carried potent toxins or other vitriolic substances chosen specifically for their efficacy against a given target, allowing Vrach to more quickly eliminate his foes and return to his medical work. When made to fight up close, he used the Surgeon's Hand, an advanced Narthecium with thin and highly articulate blades not quite as large as a lightning claw's attached to the fingers. The tool also contained scissors, tweezers and other surgical tools mounted on small mechadendrites that were kept in sterile sealed compartments within the gauntlet. Though it was precise enough to perform field surgery, the Hand was more often used in treating a wide variety of wounds on both Astartes and unaugmented humans.
A fan's Attempt at Rules
Unit type: Independent Character, Infantry.
Wargear: Ambulaund Carapace, Assault Harness, Pharmacaeus, Surgeon's Hand, Target Locator.
Special Rules: Adamantium Will, Bulky, Eternal Warrior, Experimental Techniques, Fear, Fearless, Feel No Pain, Independent Character, It Will Not Die, Lord Medicae, Master of the Legion, Vivisection.
Ambulaund Carapace-Tartaros Pattern Terminator Armor, grants a 2+ 4++, immunity to Fleshbane, and poison only wounds him on a natural 6. It also allows Johannes to ignore any negative modifier to his statistical profile on a 3+ (excluding wounds).
Pharmacaeus- A Master Crafted needle pistol, S1, AP2, Assault 3, Poisoned 2+, Fleshbane, Virulent Doom (any model that suffers a wound from this weapon will suffer another wound every game turn, ongoing. You can negate this on a D6 roll of 6, rolled before taking the wound each turn).
Surgeon's Hand- A more advanced version of the Narthecium carried by Apothacaries, the Surgeon's Hand is a S:x2 AP2, fleshbane.
Target Locator- Johannes's armor contains a target selection interface that allows him to call down an orbital bombardment. He can forgo shooting to use one of the following: Virus Bomb, which is infinite range, S3, AP3, Fleshbane, Large Blast, or Ferophagic Bacterial Cannisters, which is infinite range, S4, AP5, Haywire, Large Blast, Ordnance.
Experimental Techniques-At the beginning of the battle, each troops choice in the army may be given one of the following: +1 toughness, +1 strength, or Feel No Pain 4+.
Lord Medicae- Johannes is one of the greatest biologists and surgeons in the galaxy, and as such grants all units with Legiones Astartes: Life Bringers FNP 6+, or +1 to their existing FNP, to a maximum of 4+. In addition, Johannes grants his unit FNP 3+.
Vivisection- If Johannes defeats and enemy or causes them to flee in melee, he and his unit gain Preferred Enemy against all units from that codex.
Johannes, much like Hektor, is a largely buff-focused primarch who's useful in a small game and becomes borderline game-breaking in a large point value games, though for different reasons. First off it's worth mentioning that even though he's buff focused, Johannes is still pretty wicked in melee, and dangerous at range (his gun's special rule is quite fun, considering that you could theoretically inflict 10 wounds from a single shot in an apocalypse game). Though most of his brother primarchs will whip him, he'll still puree a squad of terminators in a turn, and his gun makes Monstrous Creatures and Primarchs cry. The real reason you take him though is his special rules. Stick him in a unit of Terminators (or god forbid, some mechanicus MC's), and he'll make them next to impossible to kill with his 3+ FNP, and giving every troops choice a stat buff or FNP is great in small games, but in large games where you have potentially dozens of troops choices, it inflates his relative points value dramatically, adding hundreds of points worth of stat buffs to your army.
|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