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.
|Battle Cry||"Paradise awaits!"|
|Original Name||Brothers of Death|
|Primarch||Johannes Vrach, the Healer|
|Strength||120,000 at the beginning of the Heresy|
|Specialty||Biochemical Warfare, Orbital Virus Bombings, Total Planetary Purgation and Reconstruction, Application of Combat Medicine|
|Colours||white and red|
The Life Bringers are a Traitor Space Marine Legion, led by the sombre Primarch Johannes Vrach. During the Great Crusade, they made a name for themselves not only as conquerors, but also as peerless doctors and biologists, fighting disease across the Galaxy as much as they did the foes of Mankind. Their signature tactics featured a liberal usage of chemical and biological weapons combined with swift and brutal assaults on the weakened enemy. Due to the progressive madness of their Primarch, they dedicated themselves to the Chaos God Nurgle and joined Hektor Cincinnatus's rebellion.
- 1 Summary of Legion XII
- 2 Legion History
- 3 Legion Doctrine
- 4 Naval Forces of the XIIth Legion
- 5 Notable Members
- 6 Johannes Vrach, Primarch of The Life Bringers
Summary of Legion XII
"The galaxy is filled with all manner of disease, and it is our responsibility to eradicate the illness within man no matter how harsh the treatment may be."
-Apothecary-Captain Phillipus Aureus at the Cleansing of Styphus.
The Life Bringers are a Traitor Space Marine Legion, originally one of the great Legiones Astartes created by the Emperor in order to reclaim the Galaxy in the name of Man. Although their name has long since become a synonym for treachery and perfidy, there was nary a hint of this grim future in their early years. Led by the Primarch Johannes Vrach, the Life Bringers established themselves as altruists who went to untold lengths not only to return stray worlds into the Imperium's fold, but also to ensure a brighter future for them. At the Primarch's behest, the Legion's Genetory worked day and night, supplying the newly taken worlds with perfect ecosystems and finding cures for the numerous diseases the Galaxy was so rife with. Tragically, their altruism eventually proved to be their undoing. Vrach's obsession over finding the panacea for all ills eventually drove him insane and prompted him to look for assistance in the Warp. But instead of help, he found only eternal damnation for himself and his entire Legion, now bound in eternal thrall to the Chaos god Nurgle. Left with no other choice, the Life Bringers joined Hektor's traitorous host in his campaign against the Emperor. Following the failure of the Heresy, the Legion split into several large warbands, the best known of which include the Green Men and the Mind Eaters. Following the ascension of Johannes Vrach to daemonhood, the remnants of the Life Bringers were taken over by High Genetor Wilmut Sachs, who still leads them in the name of his dark god to ever-new atrocities in the 41st millennium.
The Unification Wars
Not much documentation is preserved regarding the formation of the twenty squads of the Sacred Band, the first experimental combat unit comprised entirely of Space Marines and led by Hektor Cincinnatus himself. Back in this tumultuous era, the imperial bureaucrats had more urgent matters to attend to than meticulously documenting everything that was going on in the nascent Imperium. This situation was further exacerbated after the Heresy, when all of the relics or documents connected with the Arch-Traitor were destroyed en masse, with no regard paid to their value for the coming generations. Still, what little information is available about this obscure epoch allows the historians to assert with a certain degree of confidence that each of the squads was formed with a certain purpose in mind, based around the characteristics of the geneseed borne by its members. For instance, the geneseed of Johannes Vrach gifted his children with higher than usual resistance to toxic agents, which determined the role of the Twelfth Squad as hazardous environment specialists. With that purpose in mind, the squad was assigned not one, but two soldiers who received specialist training in field medicine: Edentis Pneuren, a physician of peerless skill, and Wilmut Sachs, a man of impressive theoretical knowledge. Pneuren and Sachs had been acquainted with each other before the formation of the Sacred Band, which contributed to the cohesion within the squad.
Their leader, Harel Meglin, quickly became the heart of the group. His men were drawn by his undeniable charisma and found a fondness for his signature gallows humour. Under Meglin's leadership, the squad has shown commendable results during the early stages of the Pacification of the Merican Hives. While hardly stellar, their performance was consistently adequate and their meticulous approach to clearing out the Hives drew comparison to surgeons excising a tumour. Reportedly, Hektor was not too pleased with the Twelfth's preferred tactical approach, preferring swift and theatrical operations, even if they required a clean-up afterwards. And so Meglin's men continued playing supporting roles, overshadowed entirely by by their peers in the First Section of the Sacred Band, until the greatest test of their abilities came up: the infamous Infiltration of Tarrant.
The Infiltration of Tarrant
The great Hive of Tarrant was the capital of Asphyxia, a petty empire ruled with an iron fist by a deranged alchemist named Hermes Geber. This once brilliant scientist was obsessed with the legendary Emerald Prophesy, stating that the one who would obtain every single chemical element in existence would gain the absolute power over the elements and the ability to transmute one into another at will. Of course, the obtention of new chemical elements was a difficult process requiring a lot of costly equipment and even more expensive raw materials, so he devised a diabolical plan to ensure a stable cash inflow to sustain his deranged experiments. First of all, he seized the power in the anarchy-ridden Hive of Tarrant with assistance from mercenaries he supplied with bullets made from radioactive metal. Once his authority was firmly established, Geber moved on to the second stage of his plan: he repurposed Tarrant's old chemical factories to pollute the air in and around the Hive to the point of toxicity. As a shroud of pernicious mist was enveloping the region around Tarrant, Geber began producing and selling oxygen to its suffocating dwellers. With his laboratories left as the only source of breathable air in the land, the people had no choice but to buy it for the steep price he demanded.
The Emperor required the ancient alchemical equipment gathered in Tarrant for his own experiments, but Geber's fortress was anything but simple to besiege. For one thing, it was permanently shrouded in an thick layer of noxious fog that even the breathing apparatuses of Space Marine power armour could have trouble filtering. To make matters worse, rumours persisted that Geber had much more in store than just poison gas for those foolhardy enough to dare intrude upon his domain. These complications rendered any kind of direct assault so valued by Hektor infeasible, leaving him with only a single viable option: an infiltration of the Hive by a team of hazardous environment specialists such as the Twelfth Squad, who would disable the chemical weapons before the rest of the Imperial forces could begin their offensive.
Meglin and his men realised perfectly well that this was their finest hour, the chance to turn their reputation around and emerge amongst the most glorious squads of the Sacred Band. Outfitted with the best filtering equipment in the armouries of the Imperium preliminary tweaked by Sachs to improve upon its efficiency even further, they used a system of ancient underground passages to enter the Hive from below. Moving swiftly and silently like the shadow of Death, they dispatched Geber's minions one after another, not giving them a chance to use their deadly polonium bullets. Alas, the Twelfth Squad were not a stealthy formation by any stretch of the term, and so they were inevitably discovered right when they began closing in on the chemical weapon depositories. Cursing the incompetence of his underlings, Geber activated Carnivorous Fog - the deadliest tool of death in his arsenal. At his command, a blasphemous alchematron began belching forth clouds of nearly invisible gas that deliberately sought out organic matter and dissolved it with a protein-degenerating reaction.
Meglin was the first one to fall to the deadly vapour. As he walked into its cloud without even noticing it, the Carnivorous Fog trivially bypassed his armour's defences like if they were nothing and started hungrily consuming his flesh. His skin, boiling with pustules spewing blood-tinted rot juices, peeled off in large rancid chunks, revealing his flesh that rapidly decomposed into a repugnant ooze. His bones cracked, letting out sticky streaks of decayed marrow, and his internal organs exploded like putrid grenades, covering everything around in malodorous slime. His best friend Hipocene Bubastus tried to drag his commander out of the toxic cloud, but instead got affected by the gas himself and died an equally horrid death before the eyes of his comrades. The members of the Twelfth Squad were deeply disturbed by the grisly scene they had just witnessed; unable to move, they stood in place and watched the gas turn their comrades into organic slime. Pneuren was the first one to shake off the shock and push his comrades back into the room where they came from before the Carnivorous Fog would reach them as well. But not all of his team members wished to retreat: well-known for his recklessness bordering on disregard for his life, Gaius Martinus Vira grabbed as many grenades as he could carry from the belts of his comrades and rushed back into the corridor. There, he used the blast waves from the explosions to dispel the toxic gas from the area, temporarily allowing him to move forward. While this move was incredibly risky, it ended up working fine in the end. Using grenades to clear his path, Vira eventually reached the chemical weapon depository and destroyed the alchematron producing the Carnivorous Fog.
All that remained to do now was to finish off Geber himself. Aflame with thirst for vengeance, the members of the Twelfth Squad found the man in his personal sanctuary. Alas, they were too late to have their revenge: faced with impending doom, the alchemist finally lost it and began ingesting the samples of all the chemical elements he managed to obtain during his tyranny, hoping that they would turn him into a demigod able to defeat the superhuman giants. The result of his delirious escapade was quite different from his expectations: his flesh simply melted off his bones from the heavy dose of radiation he received from the ingested radioactive elements.
A New Doctrine
While the pacification of Tarrant earned the Twelfth Squad glory and admiration of their peers, they were unsure how to proceed from that point. Harel Meglin, their spiritual leader, was dead, and his demise created a void not so easily filled. Theophrastus Salk, late Meglin's second in command, begrudgingly stepped in to at least restore the martial spirit. Famously modest, Salk considered his leadership skills vastly inferior to those of his departed commander and initially planned to step down as soon as a better candidate for this position revealed himself. But while he was in fact hardly Meglin's inferior, the two were indeed as different as life and death. Whereas Meglin was a charismatic leader whose gallows humour did wonders to the morale, his replacement was perpetually sombre and dour, with no sense of humour to speak of. While Meglin was the team's heart, Salk was its brain, and so he began his tenure as the squad's commander with analysing the lessons of Tarrant, hoping to at least partially compensate for the loss of two valuable soldiers with new strategic insights.
First and foremost, he was deeply impressed with the array of chemical weapons employed by Geber and his minions. The scene of two brilliantly trained, experienced Space Marines dying to something as simple as a cloud of toxic gas stayed with him for the rest of his life. He wisely deduced that if such weapons could bring down Terra's finest warriors with ease, then they would surely be even more effective against anything the technobarbarians could throw at them. With his mind firmly set on turning chemical weapons into an asset for the Twelfth Squad, Salk ordered Sachs to study the captured alchematrons and make them more suitable for usage in Space Marine assaults, while Pneuren was tasked with developing superior means of chemical and biological defence. Both achieved great success, and Salk made a decision to test his new strategy during the pacification of the Cyborgocracy of Xebek.
Much to his pleasure, it worked out even better than he expected. Scores of cyborgs fell victim to the toxic agents unleashed upon them, and those lucky enough to survive were quickly finished off by the Twelfth Squad protected by the best chemical defence available on Terra. The Xebek operation set new standards for efficiency: the Hive was taken in record time, no enemies survived and the casualties on the Imperial side were trivial and mostly caused by the residual toxic gases inhaled by the Imperial soldiers. At first, Hektor derided the operation, considering the usage of chemical weapons a show of cowardice. However, the Emperor himself was immensely pleased by its outcome, pointing out to his son that not every enemy he would encounter during the upcoming Great Crusade would be deserving of an honourable fight. After considering his notion, Hektor reassessed the performance of the Twelfth Squad and decorated its members.
With Salk's new strategy an astounding success, his squad continued to implement it with minor alterations throughout the Unification Wars, with largely positive results. Although Vira's recklessness almost cost him his life several times, timely help from Pneuren or Sachs typically kept him off the doorstep of the Underworld, and the Twelfth Squad received no more casualties until the end of the great conflict. Although not without hesitation, Salk finally came to terms with his role as the leader, although his social skills remained just as poor. It was often that the brilliant battle strategies drafted by Salk were explained to the squad members by his right hand man Hashimoto the Red, a much more apt speaker than his commander. Deeply unhappy about this situation, Salk secretly took rhetoric lessons between combat assignment; but, as with most things concerning him, they were only secret in his own mind. His men knew full well about the lessons, but their consensus was that they were completely unnecessary. They came to love and respect their sombre commander the way he was, although it certainly warmed their hearts that he was so eager to improve for them.
Another important event happened near the end of the Unification Wars. The conquest of Terra was nearing its conclusion, and the conquest of the entire Galaxy was to follow. This conflict was promising to be much harder than the Unification Wars, and the Imperial commanders were already looking for ways to prepare for a war on such an unprecedented scale. The suggestions of the members of the Sacred Band were listened to with deep attention, for their skill and experience as warriors were beyond all doubt. Edentis Pneuren, who made a name for himself as a peerless field medic during the Wars, argued before Hektor for the establishment of a school for the medically-inclined amongst Space Marines, arguing that a good field doctor could save enough lives to turn the tide of any battle. His suggestion was met with general approval, and soon enough Hektor announced the opening of Asclepeion - a medical school for Space Marines.
Every single legion sent its representatives to this school, although the greatest number of new students came from the Twelfth Legion, whose members were probably inspired by the example of Pneuren and Sachs. Adept Biologis Lyster Larrey of Mars was invited to help found Asclepeion once Mars joined Terra in a permanent union. While Pneuren displayed the best medical skills and most dedication, Sachs quickly became the adept's favourite student, for his curious scientific mind reminded Lyster of his own. It was Larrey's idea to unite the positions of field medics and geneseed caretakers due to the numerous similarities and direct overlaps between the two. He suggested the name Apothecary for the new position, and it was ultimately approved by Hektor. Pneuren and Sachs became the first full-fledged Apothecaries to graduate from Asclepeion, thus being the originators of the entire Imperial Apothecarion.
The XIIth Squad of the Sacred Band
The men who led the Brothers of Death were among the most durable warriors in the Sacred Band. Their squads were brutally effective at hive clearing, utilizing flamers and noxious chem grenades developed with input from their own researchers to cause chaos within the structures before marching in themselves. Even for the Astartes, these methods were extremely risky, but none could deny the XIIth's effectiveness, and Hektor himself came to be an admirer of their apparent courage. The squad received numerous accolades during the Unification Wars, which they received with characteristic humility.
The members of the 12th Squad:
- Harel Meglin, the Happy Death (deceased; at the Merican pacification)
- Theophrastus Salk, the Somber (deceased; sacrificed himself at the close of the Nuroux campaign)
- Hashimoto the Red (deceased; at the Pulmn Campaign)
- Mafran Marchesani, Brother to All (deceased; at the Pulmn Campaign)
- Whitten Bennedik, the Nightingale (deceased; unknown time after the Unification Wars)
- Hipocene Bubastus, Oathkeeper (deceased; at the Merican pacification)
- Gaius Martinus Vira, the Reaper (survived to become Plague Doctor)
- Vanheim Paracel, the Angel of Death (deceased; unknown time between the Pulmn and Renyl campaigns)
- Edentis Pneuren, the War-Doctor (Survived to become Chief Apothecary)
- Wilmut Sachs; (surivied to become High Genetor)
The Great Crusade
The Brothers of Death
In the decades before the legions reunification with its Primarch, the Brothers of Death made a name throughout the galaxy, engaging in numerous bloody campaigns throughout the galaxy. Nearly one-third of the legion's leadership died in the early years of the Great Crusade, while more still fell as the legion continued to make a name for itself. They were integral to the Pulmn System Campaign, but the legion was devastated by the intense war of attrition that was Ork fighting on these worlds, and yet another third of its leadership was lost fighting against the armies of Mongo Mork. By the time of their Primarch's discovery, two of the four veteran commanders were dedicated medical specialists, and the legion was below half strength.
Theophrastus Salk, a sober and dedicated man, was the 2nd captain of the legion. He was well respected and held command since his predecessor, 1st Captain Harel Meglin, was killed during the Merican Pacification while holding enemy forces inside a fortification that was being assaulted with Pykon Gas by his brothers. Salk's devotion to the Emperor was pure and complete, he saw enough of his brothers die due to heroism that he hoped to make their sacrifice mean something by single-minded seeing the Great Crusade come to a close and the Imperium's goal met. He handed command of the Brothers of Death to Johannes Vrach following the Primarch's discovery, and acted as an adviser to the inner workings of the legion he had held in Johannes' stead.
The New Way
The primarch began spreading his philosophies throughout the Brothers of Death, rechristening them as the Life Bringers and charging them with a mission to alleviate suffering wherever they went through medicine as well as the merciful administration of death through chemicals. The new way was put to the test during the Cordian campaign, and Vrach showed his skill with chemical bombardments and scouring tactics against a militant and resistant human empire. The Cordian system was brought into the Imperial fold very quickly, and the Life Bringers made short work of the various diseases and famines afflicting its people, fortifying their lands with plants and animals designed for survival, and cleaning every trace of corruption and decay in the systems which governed them. The marines that had been Brothers of Death were unused to spending such a long time among the civilian population, but they soon found their nature to be favorably received by those they sought to relieve.
The lessons learned in the Cordian system was the real beginning of the Life Bringers as a legion of its own, whereas before they had been merely re-branded Brothers of Deaths they now resembled the physician army of their primarch's dream. Though most were grateful for a less harsh way of war, there were many within the 12th who could not change, and some railed against the new order. Johannes Vrach, ever the healer, did his best to hear the concerns of his men, but was unwilling to go against his grand plans in any meaningful way. Slowly, those who were warriors alone were denied recognition in favor of their peers' scientific accomplishments. As was common to those in Vrach's gene-seed, the marginalized legionaries largely kept silent. Many rallied around Theophrastus Salk, but the 2nd Captain was ever loyal and dutiful.
The Mongoid Ork Wars
The discovery of the devastated remains of the 8th chapter group, led by Vanheim Paracel of the legion's Sacred Band and lost at the close of the Pulmn Campaign, would lead to one of the most trying campaigns of the Great Crusade. Johannes, under heavy pressure from Captains Salk and Vira, outfitted an expedition to the nearby Renyl System to investigate the cause of the destruction. Salk was given command, but only a limited cadre of veteran soldiers were dispatched alongside himself and Captain Vira. The primarch reasoned that the majority of the legion would better serve the Imperium by continuing their relief work in the Life Bringers' tributary systems, and Paracel was infamous for his mercilessness and disliked by most. The resulting battle would prove to be one of the hardest tests of Vrach's command, and whether he passed or failed this test is a subject of much debate.
Johannes Vrach brought his biologic mind to command, bringing the firm belief that strongest individuals were most suited toward victory. Cultivating the best meant Life Bringers' stock of gene-seed was noted to be of a consistently excellent quality during their service to the Emperor, their High Genetors were fastidious in their duties. Marines were known to be the most robust and long-lived of any in the Imperium's service, outpacing their peers by nearly a hundred years on average. Their above-par resilience was utilized not as an excuse to engage in aggressive tactics, but combined with defensive maneuvering in order to outlast the enemy in wars of attrition. Their focus was on battlefield manipulation, creating hostile environments in select areas to push opposing forces into situations which presented perfect offensive opportunities.
The heart of the legion was always its infantrymen, the slow and thorough advance with bolter and flamer was much preferred to the reckless charge. Support was essential, and alongside its notorious apothecarion the legion utilized mechanized support with moderation but regularity. Terminators would be deployed across enemy lines and route enemy soldiers into an areas pre-designated as chemical operations zones where the XIIth's hazardous material operatives or Plague Doctors would bombard them with tailor-made toxins. Among the greatest at hive and city fighting, the Life Bringers were known for thorough eradication of the enemy and were frequently deployed against tenacious foes or entrenched positions.
Before the were reunited with their primarch, the Brothers of Death were known almost solely for vicious clearing actions against entrenched hostile forces, specifically hive clearing. The legion was no stranger to biochemical warfare before being reunited with their primarch, utilizing it as the preferred first-line tactic, but their tendency to follow up these actions with massed close infantry seemed an unacceptable risk to Johannes. Where they had previously strode alongside death, the legion would now bring life, and with it a change in strategy. No longer were the men of the XIIth expected to march unprotected into the hazard-zones they had created, they went from the among the most reckless legions to the most judicious when it came to the safety of its marines. Close-quarters combat was utilized only rarely and as a final resort, with squadrons expected to engage in long-distance heavy bombardment. Heavily equipped squads were fairly common, with dedicated artillery units being deployed early in campaigns to repeatedly shell cities and force their occupants into buildings, which would then be gassed. The same topic was often employed in reverse, forcing entrenched enemies out into the firing line.
Under Johannes, each officer of the newly christened Life Bringers were taught in the ways of the medicine and biology. Sergeants were charged first with responsibility over the well-being of their men, this held paramount importance in the consideration of command roles. Dedicated apothecaries within the legion still existed, they are deployed to the areas of fiercest fighting in order to best perform their unique role on the battlefield. Gene-seed of the fallen was largely collected by the officers of a given squad, so dedicated apothecaries were free to unleash their myriad of terrible biochemical weapons on their enemies or tend to marines whose grave wounds would have ordinarily left them as casualties for the remainder of the battle. The most feared of their number are the Plague Masters, dedicated apothecaries with a talent for turning their craft to war.
The legion's favor for chemical weaponry increased drastically with their primarch's discovery, quickly going from a reliable tactic to outright dogma. Where the legion was once known for close assault, bombardment and ranged combat soon became the norm. At the first sign of a planet's resistance, marines are recalled and numerous low-air assaults and bombardments begin in an effort to remove any defenses. Once anti-air weapons have been crippled, the Life Bringers' fleet drops its terrible payload. Genetically engineered plagues and vitriolic chemicals are blasted into major population centers, whole forests are cleared, and what remains living is reduced to a sickly rendition of its former being. The robust marines then drop onto the poisoned soil below and meticulously eradicate all that lives, their superhuman immunity and equipment keeping them protected from the death which surrounds them.
There were no better cultivators than the XIIth legion, they were as thorough in scouring worlds as they were at terraforming them. The new planets left behind by the Life Bringers were lush and fertile, and the engineered flora and fauna introduced by the legion were always hardier and more bountiful than those they replaced. A High Genetor assigned to the rebuilding of a world treated it as he pinnacle of his art, ensuring its ecosystem could thrive no matter the imbalances wrought upon it. The legion was beloved by those few populations who survived an encounter with it, diseases afflicting the population were cured and they were welcomed as brothers to the Imperium. Planets would be uplifted with generative technology similar to that used on the worlds the legion eradicated, ensuring a cornucopia for the loyal.
The XIIth were often deployed alongside their brother legions during protracted or difficult campaigns where their talent for aiding the injured was of the most utility. Some of these legions saw the Life Bringers as a mere utility force, unable to do much alone, but those who fought alongside them knew they delivered death better than most. Most of the XIIth were well-liked by their fellows for their kindness and dedication to their fellows, and there are many tales of Life Bringers giving up their lives in an attempt to save those of their allies, while others saw their distaste for combat as suspect and their focus on healing was a needless detriment to the Imperium's advance.
Following the Hektor Heresy, the Life Bringers tactics changed very little, they still rely on bombardments and ranged attacks to erase cohesive resistance. Life Bringers marines now have little to fear from being caught in the blast of a virus-bomb, so drop pods are launched alongside the biochemical strike. The bloated plague marines joyfully stride out amidst the toxic explosions, led by skeletal Plague Doctors carrying needleguns. Plague Masters joyously give the gifts of their latest experiments and genetic alterations to their foes, eagerly charting the effects of some new contagion as their enemies fall. The war with disease has been made into an unholy peace, and the formerly sober marines are now a twisted and joyous foil to what they once were.
The Brothers of Death legion were slightly over strength at their formation. But by the time of their primarch's discovery, the legion's reckless nature left them drastically under strength. Following their re-branding, the XIIth Legion's Terminator armor had been partially reserved for the most skilled battlefield apothecaries, the Master Medics, with the idea that their role benefited most from added protection. Whirlwind tanks are the preferred mechanized unit of the legion, and are often utilized in its bombardments, but the legion's numbers of armoured vehicles deviate very little from the average. Following its primarch's discovery, the XIIth became well known for its officers carrying the standard equipment of the apothecary and the adoption of the narthecium as a close combat weapon. Marines typically adopt the standard bolter.
The astartes of the XIIth Legion viewed each other as family, and those who had served longest were respected, and they were exceptionally close-knit and devoted to each other. The terminator-armored High Apothecary-Captains and Plague Doctors were among the most respected, most held records of service in curing the galaxy. There was an emphasis on intelligence and selfless character among the Life Bringers, and sacrifice for one's brothers was viewed both as the ultimate expression of their values and as the highest tragedy. Battles won with great loss of life were lamented for months, marines wearing a black funerary ribbon in their braids for each of the deceased. The Life Bringers collected recruits of high intelligence from the various worlds in their domain, but all wore the complex braiding patterns in memorial to lost Rai. Some developed the primarch's dark skin, but most had his melancholic and meticulous nature. Every officer received specialized apothecary training and was expected to perform this role for their brothers in combat, those who dedicated their lives to this role were viewed with deep respect. Even those without specialized training used medical terminology casually.
The fleet of the XIIth Legion was of great importance to its main strategy of orbital assault. The Life Bringers converted a number of ships to suit their various ends. Roughly 100 escorts were converted for the transport of the wounded and diseased, these ambulances were equipped with a number of advanced life support technologies. Others were turned to less benevolent ends, many of these ships were utilized in the mass deployment of the horrific toxins of the legion. Even larger ships, such as the cruiser Man's Cure, which famously poisoned the entire population of the heretical hive world Qinn with caustic Zobyn gas.
Johannes Vrach sought to exemplify his values in each part of his legion, so some battle barges functioned as dedicated research stations or hospitals. Many times these were left to oversee particularly difficult epidemics away from the bulk of the fleet, dedicating themselves entirely to their research. Besides these few notable exceptions, the Life Bringers maintain the remainder of their spacefleet in a fairly conventional manner. Though the legion started with a larger than average number of ships, the reckless nature of their tactics as the Brothers of Death led to the loss of many ships, including their original Gloriana-class battleship. At the time of the Heresy the XIIth legion had 20 conventional battle barges, with 8 being turned to research and applications, as well as 26 battleships. At this time, the Life Bringers also held 244 light cruisers, 87 heavy cruisers, 112 destroyers, and 784 escorts turned to various ends under their control
The massive vessel which acts as the flagship of the XIIth legion is unlike those of the other astartes fleets, being an artifact of the Dark Age of Technology. The ship itself is monumental and, before the discovery of the legion's primarch, utilized its unique and powerful weapons systems to devastate many planets with initial bombardments. The ship was repurposed by Johannes Vrach to suit his own ends, eventually becoming known the largest and most advanced medical research and treatment facility in the Empire. Though it does still have formidable offensive and defensive weapons, the Valetudinarium is never willingly brought into the fire zone, as it's purpose as a center for scientific work is paramount to the primarch.
The mammoth ship contains city-sized wings dedicated to curing the many diseases which afflict mankind, these hospitals are the front line in Johannes war against disease and are constantly abuzz with activity. The genetic engineering labs of the High Genetors which maintain the legion's gene-seed are second only to those of the Emperor himself, their research into designing hardier and more useful life is unique among the legions. Biochemical weapons labs are constantly at work developing new and more efficient ways to eradicate the impure, the nightmarish scouring compounds and tailor-made viri that the Life Bringers employ are developed here.
High Genetor Wilmut Sachs, the Devil of Vischmauz
"He was my brother, the most brilliant man I had ever met, save Johannes or the Emperor himself. I loved him, but he could not love. All that could be said of Vrach, he did what he did out of love. Sachs did what he did for no reason other than that he could, that was why he was so wonderful, and that was why he became the disgusting monster that could kill a sweet man like Edentis. It was my responsibility to look after my brothers, I failed them, and now I will hunt down the man who caused all this and end his life."
-Gaius Vira to Sebastion Rex, The Meeting at Duranesh
Wilmut Sachs was a round man even before his corruption, he naturally gave the appearance of being soft despite his enhanced physiology. He wears a mustache and a monocle, both of which he has come to be known for. His doughy face and watery eyes give off the impression of a pudgy infant, but this is in direct conflict with the nature of their owner. Sachs, called the Devil of Vischmauz, is uniquely selfish among his legion and extremely calculating. His skill with genetic manipulation and engineering is among the greatest in the galaxy, and his time in Brothers of Death hardened him to its application. He probed areas that others never sought and was eventually responsible for introducing corruption into the Life Bringers through Vrach.
Though Sachs' hand in the discovery of the Bringers' process for creating Plague Marines is his most famous, it is hardly his sole accomplishment. The Great Sacrifice at Vischmauz, where Sachs unleashed the Unmaker Plague on a massive encampment of combined loyalist forces and earned his name, the horrors that the few unlikely survivors described were so great as to lead to their madness and eventual purgation, though many imperial scientists theorized this was due to the disease afflicting their very souls. The system-wide infection, whose principal symptoms involved the dissolving of connective tissue and the eventual collapse of the victim into a pile of organs and bone, ate at vast swathes the Imperium for centuries and recurs even in the 41st millennium.
Since the heresy, Sachs has earned a name for himself as a potent Genetor for-hire. Tales of his experiments, both those which have resulted in better and brighter marines and those which created unspeakable nightmare men comprised of mouths and numb swollen limbs. There are so many different forms his craft takes, as it is often subject more to function than aesthetics, and Sachs' dark eldar teaching is clearly evident in this. The Devil of Vischmauz carries a pair of potent liquifier guns with him on the field of battle, carried aloft by spindly limbs grafted to his underside, in order to test out his new creations. This is rarely anything less than a spectacular show for his followers.
Captain Gaius Martinus Vira, the Reaper
"There is no man in the galaxy so close to death who could avoid it for so long. He stands between two empires, rushing headlong in a galaxy of horrors, offering his services for many in pursuit of what he will not say. This is just what a man with a duty looks like, he has nothing left but to pursue it and I fear the day he accomplishes his aim."
-Urak the Black, Veteran of the Bulwark
The thin and disturbingly tall Vira is bone white in complexion, lending the greatest of the Plague Doctors a stark contrast in appearance to the Primarch he has long served. Though they differ so greatly in appearance, they bear the same somber expression and oft furrowed brow, as well as the same grave seriousness. Vira is completely hairless, having long-since destroyed his follicles by enduring the backlash of the myriad of chemical weapons in his employ. His prominent brow, sunken eyes, and prominent cheekbones lend to his frighteningly skeletal appearance, but he was known to be quite kind.
Vira was the longest serving member of the Life Bringers, having earned his name long before the discovery of its Primarch. It was he who was the first of the legion's Plague Doctors and the founder of it's practices. Along with Wilmut Sachs and Edentis Pneuren, who led the Genetory and Apothecarium respectively, Vira was among the most influential in the legion. Unlike Sachs and Pneuren, who survived their tenure in the Brothers of Death by avoiding combat in favor of medical treatment, Vira survived by sheer fortitude and combat skill. He was the most pragmatic of the legion's commanders, favoring more subtle tactics, and it was he who forged the biochemical warfare strategies which guide the legion to this day.
Unlike his two surviving brothers in the Sacred Band, Vira could never develop a close relationship with Vrach. Though they were always polite, there was an unspoken rift between the two. Vira privately commented that he believed it was due to the primarch's inability to distance Vira from the death his biochemical assaults caused so many of their brothers, as those who walked the path of the Plague Doctor tended to fall by their own devices somewhat often. Whatever it truly was, this rift worsened as Vrach began his Infernal Experiments and the creation of the Plague Marines. Vira had a close but conflicted relationship with Wilmut Sachs, and Edentis Pneuren often acted as a buffer for the two.
By the time of the Heresy, Vira and some 70 battle-brothers stood alone against hundreds of marines in a legion that embraced an unholy alliance with death itself. After witnessing Pneuren's death at the hands of Wilmut Sachs, followed by the unleashing of the Unmaker Plague, he made his move. The Reaper and his men saw no choice but to run, their biochemical weapons were useless against their monstrous brothers. Though they lost nearly half their number in flight, the Reaper and his men escaped aboard the cruiser Eden's Burden and into the void. Vira vowing to kill the man he saw as responsible for the corruption of his legion and primarch.
Since that day, he had thrown his small band of former Life Bringers into various battlefields across the galaxy. Whenever reports of Life Bringers sowing destruction and disease grow loud, brutal tales of Captain Vira's retribution are not far behind. His natural affinity for operating within a hostile environment, as well as his potent chemical recipes which are capable of mitigating the effects of his former brothers' skills, make him a potent ally for any who seek to combat the Plague Marines of the XIIth. He has on rare occasions been known to enter into conflicts alongside his Bulwark allies, proving a brutal and tenacious combatant.
Chief Librarian Vertumnus Alraun, The Agromancer
"I would use Alrahon the Accursed as an example of how low the mon-keigh can fall, if it wasn't such a compliment for him to call him a mon-keigh."
-Farseer Meonan, Craftworld Yemoja.
The unchallenged Agromancer of the Druidic Circle, Vertumnus Alraun lends his foul magic to Galen's deranged cause. Hailing from a Feral World suffering from a perpetual famine, he was eventually recruited by the Life Bringers and quickly rose to the position of Chief Librarian thanks to his outstanding abilities. A witness to all the horrors of hardship, he had always dreamt of using his psychic powers to help those in need. Yet the strict ruling of the Council of Nikaea robbed Alraun of this dream and turned him into an embittered man completely disillusioned with the Emperor. Seeing the Librarian's dismay, the Legion's High Genetor Wilmut Sachs used him to summon Daemons of Nurgle for him. Utterly disgusted by what he was tricked into doing, Alraun joined the faction lead by Sachs's greatest rival in the Genetory, Nikephoros Galen. Since he shared a lot of the same dreams and aspirations with Galen and Bercilak, he quickly agreed to take part in their 'Green Men' project. Like everyone else who was injected with the Green Man genetic compound, Alraun turned into a heartless sadist who valued lives of plants more than those of humans. He has been a bane to Mankind ever since, following Galen and Bercilak in their incursions and blasting their enemies with vile plant-based sorcery.
Senior Genetor Nikephoros Galen, The Grim Sower
"It is a testament to my burning hatred for Sachs that I am eager to join forces with a monster like Galen to bring him to justice."
-Gaius Martinus Vira, the Reaper.
Notorious heresiarch, biomancer and Chaos Lord, Nikephoros Galen is responsible for countless act of omnicide across the Galaxy. Even the most well-learned members of Ordo Hereticus would be hard pressed to name many Traitors who managed to cause so much harm to the Imperium. Originally a high-ranking Genetor in the Twelfth Legion, Galen was primarily responsible for creating new forms of plant life and modifying existing ones to make them better suited to harsh conditions. It wasn't long before he started entertaining the thought that Humanity also needed gene modifications if it wanted to survive the horrors of the Galaxy. His research in this field, while originally benign and purely theoretical, eventually lead him astray and drove him insane. Convinced that humans needed to adopt the evolutionary advantages of plants, he created the Green Men - horrible amalgamations of man and plant that should not exist by natural law. His attempt to force the whole Legion to convert into Green Men eventually lead to his exile and rise to one of the preeminent warlords of the Eye of Terror.
Captain Tribulus Bercilak, The Dendrarch
"There are men who can still redeem their sins, and there are men whose sins are beyond redemption. Then there are those whose bare existence is sinful. And then there are the likes of Bercilak."
-Fabrice Diallo, Colossus Has Fallen speech.
The despicable Dendrarch has been leading the Green Men to new atrocities ever since Galen's transformation into the Tree of Woe. Originally an ecoterrorist and a folk hero on his horribly polluted Knight World of Hautedesert, he was eventually recruited by the Life Bringers and rose in their ranks to become one of the Legion's Captains. Extremely valued by his Primarch Johannes Vrach, Bercilak was renowned for his for his valiance and gallantry befitting of a knight far beyond the bounds of his Legion. Forever haunted by his youth on a desolate Industrial planet, he saw the main mission of his Legion in restoring life to the worlds damaged during the Age of Strife. His dream of making Industrial Worlds green again brought him together with Galen, which eventually lead to his damnation. Convinced that Galen was a peerless genius and that he knew what he was doing, Bercilak eagerly assisted him in all of his endeavours, even when they started to become morally questionable. He was amongst the first to be injected with the Green Man genetic compound, which, apart from turning him into a plantman, had an unexpected effect on his brain chemistry, making him extremely sadistic and susceptible to rage. The valiant knight of old had died, giving way to a deranged psychopath delighting in slaughtering the creatures of flesh. Although he has committed countless crimes against Humanity since then, his arguably most infamous act is the inhumanly cruel murder of Antoine Antonelle during the Battle of Rai.
Captain Ewen Jolyon
Called Captain Jolly by his men, and the Mind-Breaker of Delgado by the Imperium, Ewen Jolyon is a disturbing creature who delights in his twisted psychological experimentation. His round cheeks and nose, along with a weak chin, give the impression of a melting man. He was a dedicated psychological researcher under Edentis Pneuren, along with others who would come to become the Apothecarion of the Life Bringers, during their time as the Brothers of Death. Ewen's soft nature left him ill-suited to combat, unlike his superior who distinguished himself as a battlefield apothecary, and outright avoided the areas of heavy fighting that the Brothers of Death tended to find themselves in. When Johannes Vrach was found, Jolyon breathed a sigh of relief as the legion grew calmer and more medically focused.
Edentis Pneuren was given approval to create the office of the Apothecarion alongside those of the Genetory and the Biochemical Arms offices, and Jolyon received his own subdivision for psychiatric research. The primarch himself commended the strides that Jolyon made on hypno-conditioning and mental fortifications. The services provided by the office to the marines of the 12th legion led to an increase in overall effectiveness and morale. It's successes were so profound that even some other legions adopted various practices from the Life Bringers, though detractors and conservatives questioned too much toying with the minds of marines. Jolyon had friends throughout his legion, his lack of battlefield accolades swept under the rug in the new order. He even earned the friendship of Wilmut Sachs, the pair often enjoying long discussions about whether nature or nurture governed the nature of man more profoundly. In time, Jolyon attracted attention from the Emperor's own eye.
The Emperor took it upon himself to follow up to the concerns of some of his sons and audit the structure of the Life Bringers' Genetory and Apothecarion, ensuring that the offices were not prying too deeply into his own work. While the master of mankind praised certain aspects of the offices, such as the impeccable gene-stock and the highly advanced cures and treatments they had developed, he harshly criticized the experiments of some Genetors and Apothecaries. Jolyon's office was one of the first in the firing line, as bizarre and somewhat dangerous experiments on altering the minds of marines came to light. Harsh sanctions were placed on the office of psychiatric research, along with the genetory as a whole. Jolyon soon found himself out of favor with Pneuren and some of the more old-styled of his legion, but Johannes Vrach himself interceded on his behalf and Jolyon was permitted to continue his research in secret.
As Wilmut Sachs influence spread, Jolyon threw in his lot with the traitors, and he was allowed an even greater degree of freedom in his experimentation than ever before. As the influence of the new movement spread throughout the legion, overly vocal dissenters would be invited to speak with Captain Jolly. Their voices were heard only rarely after, and their jingoistic affirmations for the new order were enough to silence those who still dared to speak. Jolyon has since put his art to work on many, his mass experiment on the planet Gunaya led to the suicide of an entire civilized world and the incident at Delgado is sealed under tightest imperial records.
Captain Jolly has undergone the Plague Marine process of the Life Bringers completely, his bloated and distended stomach is larger than most and threatens to burst with each horrific laugh from its owner. The twisted captain gleefully runs throughout the battlefield, testing out new sonic controllers and mind eraser gasses, turning the most potent foe into a dribbling catatonic child or a deranged madman who is no longer capable of distinguishing friend from foe. Delgado rarely leads armies on his own, preferring to rule through controlling another warlord. One of his more ambitious endeavors has seen him revealed as controlling a large force of Imperial Guard through the mind controlled Commissar Janero.
Johannes Vrach, Primarch of The Life Bringers
Johannes Vrach was a quiet and sober-minded man, his brow was constantly furrowed and his eyes far away. The few that were close to him knew that Johannes was the kindest of his brothers, he could never allow suffering to go unabated and felt personally responsible for every man under him. Every loss, whether on the battlefield or in the field hospitals, wore heavily on his broad shoulders. Johannes was shaped, prior to his discovery, by the horrific loss of his large adopted family and clan to a terrible plague. For all his might and medical skill, he was powerless in the face of death. The Great Crusade was always secondary to the primarch's real goal, victory in the war against infirmity and disease, and the dark actions he took in 'winning' this war will forever mark his name.
|The Space Marine Legions of the /tg/ Heresy|
|Loyalist:||The Entombed - Eyes of the Emperor - Scale Bearers - Silver Cataphracts |
Steel Marshals - Stone Men - Thunder Kings - Void Angels - War Scribes
|Traitor:||Black Augurs - The Justiciars - Eternal Zealots - Heralds of Hektor |
Iron Rangers - Life Bringers - Lions Rampant - Mastodontii - Sons of Fire