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.
"You will not be happy with anything until you become happy with now."
- Uriel Salazar, Confessions
"There is solace in losing everything. Strife gives you purpose. Survival makes you stronger. And losing everything means there is nothing left to hold you back." - Rogerius Merrill, The Glorious Struggle c.87.M30
The Primarch's pod landed on the largest crumbling hive of the world Profi Tiroedd, where he was found and adopted by a local tribe which titled itself Merrill. He grew and learned with the people there, becoming the tribe's most promising child. At the age of fifteen a group of men from surrounding tribes came with a message to the Merrill: Their seers and medicine women had consulted the spirits and believed that if this child was allowed to live, he would doom all within the "Hollow Mountain," as it was called by the planetary natives. The tribe rejected the offer and were informed that war would be the outcome. The Merrill tribe were skilled warriors and hunters, but they were few in number and faced the entirety of the tribes living within the ancient hive. They fought a running battle for six months, but ultimately lost. Every man, woman, and child of the Merrill were killed save the young Primarch.
In the following months, the Primarch was alone. With no one left to protect, he went on the offensive. He was new to warfare, but excellent at hunting, and thus he singled out his targets and eliminated them one by one while they slept in their tents. He moved from tribe to tribe, killing several in a night before moving on. Most fled from the mountain, as he would always come and he would always find ways to slip through their traps and defenses. Some tried to fight, but found themselves fighting shadows. Their enemy always eluded them. In the end, Merrill killed all who fought and didn't chase those who left the hive. As the tribes ran, they spread stories of his wrath, which became more inflated with each retelling. Eventually, the hive was abandoned by all save the Primarch himself over fear of the demon who haunted it.
During this time, another group of tribes united into a single council, calling themselves the Sikundus. They sought to unify the tribes in their own hive to ensure the safety and longevity of those who lived there. This led to a long war with others within their hive. As the war came to an end, their elder councils had been replaced by warriors. Warriors who now saw the threat of the tribes outside their own living areas. And so they raised their spears again to those tribes surrounding the hive. With each campaign coming to a close, they found new reasons to invade their new neighbors and bring their lands and people into their own. It was a long, slow war of expansion.
Nearly twenty years after the last of the tribesmen had left the Hollow Mountain, a group of refugees from the Sikundus campaigns found their way inside. They reasoned it would be somewhat safe from their enemies, as the rumors of the demon would keep other tribesmen at bay. While exploring the ruins, they came across the Primarch. After some discussion he reluctantly agreed to allow them to stay in the old Merrill grounds for a few months until they had collected the supplies to move on. Merrill quickly realized that these men were not quick nor stealthy enough to survive long within the Mountain, and taught them what he knew. As days turned into months, they became better hunters and developed their area more. As months turned into years, more refugees arrived with similar ideas. As years turned to decades, the refugees became a tribe of their own. Though they rarely interacted with the Primarch, every season they left a gift of food in thanks for his aid.
Eventually, news of the new tribe reached the Sikundus. They sent diplomats to the new tribe within the mountain. Fearing their eventual battle but refusing to surrender, the people went to Merrill. He was very angry with them for bringing the attraction of new and powerful tribes. But he ultimately relented and decided to assist them when confronted by the questioning of a young boy almost his own age when his own tribe died. For the next year they fought against the Sikundus, never relenting, and never allowing them to build a foothold in the mountain.
That was when the Emperor arrived and began peace talks to bring the Sikundus and all of Profi Tiroedd under Imperial Authority. During the talks, the Primarch and his men snuck into the Sikundus' camp and killed the entirety of their leadership, burning the camp to the ground. Some men of the Imperial Army witnessed the Primarch in the attack and the news reached the Emperor's ears. Without warning he went into the hive with neither armour nor weapons. After five days, he found his quarry. The Primarch wished for neither glory nor conquest. He wished to hunt. Over the next four days, the Emperor lived and hunted with his son. On the fifth, he told him to look at the tribe. They were successful, not because of glory or conquest, but because of this Primarch's leadership. He trained and taught them what they needed to defeat an enemy at impossible odds. He told the Primarch of His designs and plans, and that the Primarch would be left to his own devices. That he would hunt the most dangerous game in the galaxy. And with careful contemplation, the Primarch relented. And so both Emperor and Primarch left the planet, the Primarch finally being named Rogerius after a great warrior and hunter of old Terra and Merrill after his tribe.
The Great Crusade
After a term of education at Terra and another under the tutelage of Hektor Cincinnatus Merrill was granted control of the XX Legion which he proceeded to name the Iron Rangers. He brought them all to Profi Tiroedd, his home planet and the new center of recruitment and training for the Legion. They were assembled in simple clothes and their combat knives at the base of the Hollow Mountain and given one set of instructions: meet their Primarch at the top. Those who were unsuccessful perished in the maze of the former hive. Those who succeeded joined their Primarch in the reformation of their Legion. Merrill chose a more training-centric model for his men, with a chain of command that allowed both easier control and greater autonomy within the ranks.
With a Legion under his command, Merrill went forth. Throughout the Crusade, he led the 732nd Expeditionary Fleet (The 733rd through 738th also belonged to the Iron Rangers), and conquered numerous planets and systems in the name of the Emperor. His methods were considered slow by some, but they were efficient and effective. Merrill's banners brought more worlds into full compliance while utilizing less resources than most other fleets. He did this by reforming his legion into a large hunting tribe. To Merrill, any opponent was just a large creature to be hunted. And as such, you never hunted an animal into its own den. Even with superior intellect and arms the prey knew the area too well and would fight with a bestial desperation which could surprise and kill even the most experienced hunter. He knew that the best way was to lure it into your territory. There you would systematically eliminate its methods to harm you until it was defenseless. Only then would you take the prey outright. When dealing with an army, this meant destroying its middle command, logistics, and communications first. The army would still be capable of fighting limited fights, but would not be able to effectively mount any form of attack or defense. Once weakened to the point of uselessness, the killing blow would strike its leadership.
He began his Crusading as dour and nihilistic as ever. Yet for the first time in his life, Merrill had found purpose. He had a calling and a reason to pursue it. He no longer hunted just to survive. He hunted that which had plagued mankind for its history, his spear finding itself home within the corpses of false gods and xenos kings. The greatest monsters mankind had ever known fell before him- often before they even knew he was there. But something was wrong: Though he did not care of his brothers opinions, the words spoken behind closed doors and cups filled him with rage. More than once whispers that Merrill had been taken out of the jungle, but the jungle had not left him had reached his ears. Each time it burned anew. The Emperor, his own so-called father, looked upon Merrill as little more than a tool to be used until it was no longer needed. Merrill knew that look well. For each slight he threw himself at the enemies with renewed furor and vengeance. Each expedition he forced himself and his men to be more cunning and capable. Yet each new world conquered did nothing to salve his anger. And each world invigorated his critics.
Ultimately, Merrill found himself on the world of Diastram VI. As always, he dismantled his foes and struck down the planetary rulers without mercy or remorse. This world was unique. It was not rare to find a world made up of warring tribes vying for planetary supremacy. Or a world made up of a variety of geographically bound nations tied in their own political machinations. These were the tedious rule, rather than the exception. Sometimes the people would unite in favor or against unification. More often they would split into factions as some accepted Enlightenment while others preferred to remain in the dark or would attempt to leverage better terms. Diastram VI, however, did neither. They fought themselves even as they unanimously fought Merrill's men. Merrill stood over the last ruler's corpse as his life leaked over the stone floor of his castle. The pitiful creature pulled out a pagan holy book in its last breaths and read from it. Undoubtedly attempting to gain some level of comfort from his blasphemies before death. Merrill stood over the body as it made its last ragged breath. Curiosity was rarely a crime Merrill could be accused of, but something about this world and these people moved him. He knew they were still fighting across the planet. It would likely have to be sterilized. But this book pulled at him. Though his mind railed against his body, he picked the book up and began to read from it. Something changed deep within his mind, and he searched for and found many similar tomes. Once collected, his men returned to their ships and the world was brought to compliance through eradication of the populace. A new, wholly loyal population would be planted here shortly.
Few would ever accuse Merril of being a social butterfly. He much preferred his solitude. But as time passed after Diastram, he spent more and more time locked in his own personal chambers. His ventures to command and lead his men slowly reduced until he would only be seen when planning a new campaign and when his mission on a planet happened to align with those of others. Whispers began among not only his fellow Primarchs, but other Legions as well. Even the Iron Rangers themselves began to talk in hushed tones as to the nature of their Primarch's retreat. The truth was more insidious than the rumors: Something in the books from Diastram awoke deeply seeded doubts and concerns within the Primarch. Many of his brothers were brutes or idiots with no understanding of how the universe worked. Others were fops or dandies suckling at The Emperor's teat. Most of them had grown in luxury and comfort and did not truly comprehend the struggle that is life. At that, what right did man have to conquer the galaxy? Many others had been here longer. Other species were stronger, faster, or more cunning. Man was a weak, defenseless creature struggling to survive in a dark, hospitable and uncaring universe. If humanity were to succeed, the species needed to earn the right to do so. And only an all-encompassing conflict of unknowable proportions would be able to do so.
The Victory of Ullanor changed things. After spending much time in private discussion with Hektor, Aubrey, and Uriel, Rogerius Merrill returned to normal. He brushed aside the whispers and insults and attacked his prey with renewed vigor. He maintained communications with his subordinates and attended the minutiae of his Legion. Privately, he confided his concerns and ideas with many of his commanders and advisors. The final mission of the XX Legion before the onset of the Heresy seemed simple and raised eyebrows as to why it would require an entire Legion. A simple planet dealing with an unknown xenos threat required assistance. This menace however proved to be far more crafty and deadly than any other Primarch would have thought, as less than half of the Legion returned from the conflict.
The Hektor Heresy
"I brought Merrill to the negotiations because he is more than just another Primarch to me. He is a promise of violence, pain and death to my enemies."
-Hektor Cincinnatus, when asked about Rogerius Merrill's presence on a diplomatic mission
After the Voidwatcher's assault on Terra and Hektor's subsequent call for diplomacy at Ostium, Merrill swiftly sped towards his brother's moot. While traveling, he received a second signal from Hektor. He would have a special assignment. He watched the debate between Tiran Osiris and Hektor with cold ambivalence. Politics held no interest for him. Only the decision mattered, and Merrill knew the decision the council would come to. As Tiran left the Council halls, Hektor made a gesture which Rogerius recognized as his signal. This development made him slow. He and Tiran had never been particularly close, but Tiran was also one of the few Primarchs with which Merrill shared no ill will. His voyage to Diamat was one of the longest in his memory.
Merrill was no less consoled by the time of his arrival at Ostium. But he knew that his duties required silencing his own misgivings and forging forward. He had done it many times in the past and this would be no different. With a single decisive engagement he crippled Tiran's naval abilities and forced them to ground. The Scale Bearers fought well, but they were surprised and off-balance from the Iron Rangers' attacks. Merrill ensured his orders would be carried out amongst his troops with one specific caveat: Tiran would be left for Merrill himself. Merrill made an exception from his normal standards for Tiran. The Primarch was a good man and deserved to die respectfully.
The two Primarchs clashed in a fight that would be recounted for the ages. Blows strong enough to pierce plasteel and shatter rocrete were exchanged. When the dust settled Merrill stood wounded but victorious, the broken tip of his spear driven through his brother's chin. Merrill stood over the corpse of his brother for several seconds waiting for him to stand back up and continue the fight. But he lay there unmoving. As realization of Merrill's deeds dawned on him he let out a primal cry of many hues. Those who heard it said it was of anger, resentment, despair, hopelessness, remorse, and victory. The Iron Rangers froze in confusion from the sudden outburst of their gene-sire. Some of the less shaken Scale Bearers used this to push them back enough to retrieve their Primarch and reconsolidate into small squads. But the Iron Rangers' task was complete and Merrill recalled his dogs. After the battle he sat for a long time in the isolation of his own private quarters.
Hektor's war continued raging without him for some time. In his absence, the Iron Rangers were forced to work under the guidance of Merrill's second-in-command, Cellweirwyr. When he finally returned from his chambers, he was different. Gone was his calculating nature. Now he was a true agent of Chaos. The longer the campaign continued, the less lucid the Primarch became. By the time Hektor arrived at Terra, Merrill no longer cared for the success or failure of the war or his men. He instead viewed the invasion as the galaxy's greatest hunting grounds. Little was seen of him on the lines his men fought. Merrill instead stalked the shadows of the hives and parapets slaughtering nobles and bodyguards. He hunted down the most dangerous men and women he could find and killed them in cold blood. Only when the Imperial walls were breached would Merrill rejoin the host to hunt and kill the Custodes now that they were fighting openly. Many believed he wished to slay the Emperor before Hektor had a chance. But that battle never came.
When the Warmaster fell, Merrill was amongst the first to withdraw his forces. Though many attribute it to cowardice or his known pragmatism, those closest believe his retreat was spurred because he believed there was no further need to stay attached to the traitorous forces.
"Fall? I did no such thing. I ascended above the fleeting and illusory trappings of power and control."
Ascension to Daemon Prince
The Books of Merrill
Merrill was responsible for two books written in his lifetime. The first, On Humanity, was a philosophical discussion on Humanity's right to the stars. Written during the Great Crusade, it was widely well-received. Many aspirants of various Legions were required to learn its lessons, and it was published in Low and High Gothic throughout the Imperium. It was divided into three parts: Suffering, Mastering, and Absolution.
Suffering dealt with the various setbacks, trials, tribulations, and disasters humanity had faced through the eons. More of an embellished tale of the horrors than a historical account, it was meant to put the reader in a frame of mind for the rest of the book.
Mastering covered how humanity overcame those obstacles, and each time forged itself anew.
Absolution was the truly philosophical part, discussing how necessary the past was in order to create a stronger mankind. "Suffering and Mastering," it states, "Are required for mankind to move forward. Only through evolving beyond our preconceived limitations can we truly come into the state we are now: conquerors of the Galaxy."
When Merrill declared himself for the traitors, many remembrancers toiled to keep the book in circulation, omitting the name of the original author and any references to the fallen angel and his comrades. The effort was dropped, and ultimately banned, when the second book was discovered. Titled On Society, it was far from the philosophical masterpiece of the original. Filled with inane and nonsensical rants, it discussed the need for humanity to tear down society and civilization in order to properly evolve. It argued that civilization was what held humanity back. The chains of oppression should be cast off, and replaced with anarchy and disorder.
When the Ecclesiarchy came into power, these books were declared Heretical. However, many Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus consider them vital materials to understand the cult.
The Cult of Merrill
The Cult of Merrill is a specialized cult dedicated to Chaos Undivided. Despite the name, members do not actually worship the Daemon Prince Merrill. Instead, they follow the tenets set forth in his books. It is largely believed to be supported and trained by the Iron Rangers as a small preliminary force to gain a foothold on a new planet. The individual cultists are mostly radical naturalists, anarchists, and psychotic individuals who reflect Merrill's ideals of destroying society and civilization. They ultimately believe that society and civilisation are hollow concepts. That power and authority are given by the masses, and seek to reclaim them, replacing all law and order with pure chaos.
Little is fully known of Rogerius Merrill. He confided in only a handful of individuals and much preferred solitary hunts or creating intricate patterns of dominoes in his quarters. Most interactions were in planning stages of major operations and the few ceremonies the Emperor deemed necessary. He would often keep to himself during these meetings, only adding input of how he and his men could benefit the greater cause. With those Primarchs who worked with him to use his Legion as he saw fit, he was considered a valuable asset. His ideas were effective if unorthodox and he would ensure a line of communication was kept between himself and his allies. Those who did not share his vision or otherwise indulge his desires found him obstinate, petty, and otherwise impossible to work with. As soon as planning was finished, he would be completely out of reach on a planetary surface leading his Legion's operations from the front lines.
Merrill is ruthless, cunning, and values efficiency above all. To waste anything is a cardinal sin to him. Almost anything around him are tools to be used, and he uses them until they no longer serve a purpose. Though he does not view the world with such labels as "good," and "evil," he understands that some actions will result in the greater benefit, whereas others will be a detriment to all. That being said, he does actively work towards the benefit of all, but it is definitely HIS version of that idea, which can put him at odds with many of his brothers and often members of the Imperium and nobility.
While not a braggart, he was extremely arrogan, believing himself to be the smartest, fastest, or best fighter in the room at all times- If not all three. He is well aware of his own weaknesses, but he overestimates his strengths constantly, which leads to a borderline narcissistic sense of self worth. This trait is often materialized most in his ideas of leadership. He would take time planning with his men and leave them to pursue his own battlefield goals. To say that he trusted his commanders to perform well would be an overstatement. The process and requirements to command a contingent of Iron Rangers required an individual who thoroughly understood strategy and tactics, and would be able to adapt efficiently and expertly to a changing battlefield.
Merrill has been known to make the occasional impassioned speech or long discussion, but those are few and far between, and only when he deems them necessary. He says what needs to be said, usually being as sparse and direct with words as possible. He does not bandy with useless information, he simply cuts to the heart of the matter and is done with it. Some of his brother Primarchs consider his mannerisms to show a lack of tact or social graces. Others enjoy his blunt input, as he will give an unfiltered and honest opinion. Merrill himself believes that anything less than a blunt response is a disservice to others and a waste of time and could lead to further wastes of men, firepower, or equipment.
Merrill is smaller than almost all of the other Primarchs, yet still stands head and shoulders above your average Space Marine, with dark, reddish skin, and long, black hair, shaved along the sides. He is also considered softer of features, and, in comparison, seems one of the most unassuming. In stark contrast to this are his eyes. While soft brown in color, they have clearly seen hardship, giving a bitter, resentful look to what would otherwise be a rather bland face. He wears a lighter and softer version of his brothers' armor, leaving his neck, and arms exposed for greater flexibility. When not in a combat zone, he is often seen wearing soft leather and fur clothing, in the style of his homeworld.
He is among the physically weakest of the Primarchs, but what he lacks in brute strength, he makes up for in speed and cunning.
After his ascent to daemon prince, he became much taller, and gaunt. His skin is mottled, and constantly shifting colours, always making him blend in with his surroundings to some degree. Though still bipedal, he bears the legs of a great predator, with abnormally long, clawed hands and arms. Soot-black feathered wings sprout from his back, and his bestial head bears antlers, forming almost a ring as a mockery of a crown or halo. His hair, oddly, still remains, but hangs low and limp on his stooped form, braids and locks held in place with leather, stone, and brass clasps and ties inscribed with blasphemous symbols and rites. His voice simultaneously sounds like the rustling of leaves on the wind and the roar of a great predator.
Before the Heresy, he wore a lighter, slimmer variant of Artificer Armor, designed for speed and mobility. It also bore numerous antennae for various communications needs with his Legion and its allies. For weaponry, he carried a unique power spear, enhanced with tech from the Dark Age of Technology, and a long-range rifle for those few occasions he could not get up close with an enemy. He was known to carry a wide variety of grenades, though most of them were non-lethal, for creating havoc and confusion when he struck his enemy and defending himself when necessary.
A fan's Attempt at Rules
Unit type: Jump Infantry, Independent Character.
Wargear: Archeotech Pistol, Grenade Dispenser, Recon Artificer Armor, The Red Spear,
Special Rules: Adamantium Will, Bulky, Crusader, Eternal Warrior, Fear, Fearless, First Sight of the Battle, Fleet, Independent Character, It Will Not Die, Last Sight of your Life, Pragmatism is a Virtue, Swiftest of His Sons.
Grenade Dispenser: Due to frequently deploying alone, Rogerius learned to make due without the battlefield support his brothers so often had. He counts as having Assault Grenades, Melta Bombs, one Void Canister and a rare type of bomb that uses a focused vacuum implosion to pull a great cloud of dust and sediments towards the blast point, granting the user shrouded for one game turn. Additionally, all units within 6" of the user (including the user) must pass a toughness test or suffer from Strikedown.
Recon Artificer Armor: A very light, flexible variant artificer armor, based on the armor worn by legion scouts. Provides a 3+/4++, and counts as a Nuncio Vox. Grants Move through Cover, Acute Sense and all "Sniper" weapons must refill successful to hit rolls.
The Crimson Spear: A weapon named not by Rogerius himself, but as a grim joke by his sons. The spear is unpainted grey. S:U AP2, Mastercrafted. The advanced archeotech built into the spear can be activated for one assault phase of your choosing, granting +2 S, I, and Haywire.
First Sight of the Battle: Rogerius has stealth. On the first turn of the game, he has shrouded. Additionally, he gains infiltrate and outflank.
Last Sight of Your Life: Rogerius gains the Hammer of Wrath special rule and inflicts 1D3 hits instead of 1. On the charge, Rogerius gains D3 extra attacks. In an assault, any roll to hit of 4+ is a successful Precision Strikes roll (as it it was a 6).
Pragmatism is a Virtue: If Rogerious wipes out a unit in close combat before the beginning of the next phase, he can make use of a single grenade or special/heavy weapon that unit possessed.
Swiftest of His Sons: Rogerius counts as Jump infantry and can make jump moves in the move and assault phases of the same turn, and has the Hit and Run and Move Through Cover special rules. (He doesn't actually have a jump pack, he's just that fucking fast.)
Jesus, where do you even start with this guy? Well let's start with weaknesses: Rogerius will blow over in a stiff breeze. The guy has 3+/4++, and one less T and W than most primarchs. In a fair fight, almost every other primarch will whip his ass. Lucky for you, Rogerius lives by the creed, "If you're in a fair fight, someone did something wrong." He's much meaner than most on the charge, getting a potential 9 S6 attacks plus your HoW hit, and he has assault grenades as a cherry on that murder milkshake. So sure, in a straight up fight he'll usually lose, but he has hit and run, so you can jump in, hit him with a charge, then Hit and Run away, to charge again next turn. Plus he's the fastest primarch (kind of), what with his fleetcrusaderdoublejumpmovethroughcover shenanigans. Also, while it may seem at first glance that he does nothing for his sons, look again. His armor's nuncio vox combined with his infiltrate and outflanking mean that you'll be able to accurately drop some elites right in your opponent's face, turn 2, and his pragmatism rule mean you could, say... Assault a squad with Rogerius, wipe them out, then throw their assault grenades at another unit, which can then be charged by his sons. Or barring that, you can just shoot some shit; wipe out a couple termis with a plasma gun, pop an enemy's tank with his own rocket launcher. Use your imagination. Roger is however very fragile for an almost 500 point unit. Seriously, a squad of legion terminators that costs half of what he does will be twice as durable against most things, and they'll probably be more useful against tanks (don't be fooled by those melta bombs and one charge's worth of haywire attacks, Rogerius gets to kill one tank). Use him wisely. He's also not a fan of fearless. Most units will get charged, loose combat, break, and be overtaken and murdered. Fearless and Stubborn both throw a wrench in that plan.
- Followup thoughts from a secondary perspective: Something something skill over force something something. He's best on the tabletop working as a pinball to hamstring your opponent's capabilities and being a one-man area denial unit. Don't use him to go after special characters and warlords (well, most of the time) right off the bat. Use him to systematically take out your opponents' special/heavy weapons and squad leaders (he'll basically win any assault on the charge, and with 4+ Precision Strikes with 7-9 S6-8 Attacks, you can severely hurt any squad's leadership and firepower) or otherwise just negating units one at a time. Force your opponent to move where they're open to the rest of your army, and then bring down havoc on his rear lines. But keep in mind that either in an extended assault or out in the open, he's little more than an expensive paperweight. And will die faster and harder than any other Primarch.
|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