Roman Albrecht

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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.

Roman Albrecht

The Blade of the Emperor


The Duelist, The Lord Knight, The Wild Warrior

Discovered (world)

Centauri Primus

Discovered (period)




Great Crusade Command

12th Expedition Fleet

Distinguishing Traits

selfless, courageous



Horus Heresy role



Unknown; likely perished in the Warp

There never was and never will be a finer swordsman. Roman Albrecht's mastery of the blade was exceeded only by the virtue of his character.

- Gaspard Lumey, Institutorum Astartes

Roman Albrecht was one of the gene-forged sons of the Emperor of Mankind. He led the Tenth Legion, better known as the Steel Marshals from shortly after the time of his rediscovery until his disappearance during the Scouring. His loyalty to the Emperor and humanity was beyond question, leading to him being venerated as the greatest of the Primarchs. It is sometimes contended that, had he not been lost to mankind, Roman Albrecht would have been fit to rule the Imperium as Regent after the Emperor was crippled.


Like his brothers, Roman Albrecht was the product of the Emperor's scientific and psychic brilliance. And as with all but Hektor Cincinnatus, agents of Chaos stole the infant primarch from the Emperor's laboratory and left him to drift through the timeless warp for ages.


Fate decreed that the primarch's incubation capsule landed upon the world of Centauri Primus, a planet of nobility and honor. Unlike many of his brothers, Roman Albrecht spent many years alone in isolation in the vast wilds of his homeworld, surviving by wit of his native strength and cunning. The primarch's isolation only ended when Olivaw Albrecht happened upon the feral child while out hunting. Olivaw was a nobleman of solitary nature, the last scion of a proud house who had made peace with being the end of his line. Yet on that day, the nobility of Roman's bearing and the intelligence in his eyes struck Olivaw as something extraordinary. The aristocrat at once felt it was his duty to bring such a fine specimen of manhood from beast-like squalor into the embrace of civilisation. But in the instant it took for that decision to be made, the primarch fled.

Portrait of Olivaw Albrecht, attired for travel.

Undeterred, Olivaw patiently tracked his quarry and slowly won the wild primarch's trust over a series of weeks. Some days he found the child waiting in the same place they had last met, while on others he spent from dawn until dusk searching in vain. Finally, the child took Olivaw's hand and returned with him to the aristocrat's estate. For want of another name, Olivaw dubbed his adopted son "Roman", for their long days spent roaming the wilds. Once brought into the realm of men, Roman learnt language and the other skills of a nobleman in a few short months. Astonished by his adopted son's prodigy, Olivaw took it upon himself to show Roman all of the world that he could, so that the youth might learn from experience what his father could not teach. It soon became the pattern that Olivaw would walk with Roman about a new place in the morning, and let his tireless son explore on his own initiative in the afternoon. Such a scheme suited the two well in the tranquil lands about the Albrecht estate, but it was ill-suited to the intrigues of the city of Nessus. After lunch, an eager Roman happened upon the manor of Valrious Talon, a rival of Olivaw Albrecht's eager to 'entertain' a kinsman of his foe.

Valrious politely trapped Roman, insisting that the youth view his gardens, gallery, enjoy the fruits of his kitchen, and then sample the best of his cellar. The entertainment went late into the night. Olivaw Albrecht began to search for his son as day turned to night and his enquiries led him to the Talon estate. Although he knew that Valrious would take the visit as an opportunity for an honour duel - and that such a contest would greatly favour the younger, fitter Talon - Olivaw could not resist the bait and willingly walked into Valrious' trap. Centauran gentility masked the deadly consequences for a few minutes. Valrious received his guest with honour and conveyed Olivaw to his son. After giving Roman time to gleefully embrace Olivaw and tell him of the the day's activities, Valrious politely interrupted and reminded his rival that there was business to be settled.

As the blades were brought forth and inspected, Olivaw explained the situation to Roman. The youth's question about the end of the duel brought a silence from his adoptive father, into which Valrious casually interjected, "The duel is to the death, of course." Though he was still a boy in many ways, the primarch already possessed a fine eye for martial prowess and knew that Olivaw didn't stand a chance. When the formalities of the pre-duel concluded Roman snatched up his father's blade and declared that he would answer the challenge to his house's honour. Olivaw saw the look of determination in his son's eyes and agreed, though his heart shrank in his chest at the thought of Roman being killed. Valrious readied himself with a sardonic smile and paid backhanded compliment to the "half-tame" youngster. The primarch's speed and strength quickly wiped the smile from Valrious' face, and seconds later took the head from his neck.

The streets of Nessus

Shocked, Olivaw approached the boy, explaining what this meant. Since it was the House Albrecht that killed Valrious, House Talon would come under the fold of Albrecht, along with their vast network of wealth and power. Brimming with pride at not only protecting his adoptive father, Roman Albrecht had earned his last name and doubled his fathers holdings. It would not be the last time he would defend the honor of House Albrecht. He was quickly inducted into the Couro Prido as a full member, and his ascension was guaranteed.

As the young Albrecht rose to power, gaining fame and dominion over the competing houses, his rivals acted quickly to move against him. Disregarding the ancient Couro Prido, the rival Houses declared Roman a 'barbaric usurper', gathering their forces within their own cities. With outright rebellion not only against Roman, but the Couro Prido, the rival Houses gambled that Roman would step down from his title of 'Master Duelist' and give in to their demands. Much to their surprise, and to the astonishment of the people, Roman declared them renegades and enemies of the Couro Prido, and announced that he would break down their walls and bring them to justice. With great haste the young Primarch gathered his loyal men at arms, utilizing what little armored support they had, and set off to war. The campaigns of the Couro Prido still echo down through the ages to the sons of Centauri today, but suffice it to say that the Primarch's men where almost uniformly victorious. Those of their foes that surrendered honourably were treated with grace and mercy, while those who remained perfidious and defiant were given warrior's deaths.

Victory in the wars of Centauri brought Roman great respect and an unwelcome crown. He was not overly pleased to reign, but he saw rulership as one more duty and strove to perform it well. Unfortunately, Albrecht was not the best judge of character and he often had to call his men to war to put down a rebellion that might not have occurred under the watch of a more insightful monarch. Still, he remained popular and in his five years as King of Centauri he began to learn the arts of statecraft.

The Great Crusade[edit]

Roman's apprenticeship would be cut short by the arrival of a mighty giant from the stars. The stranger proclaimed that he was the rightful Emperor not merely of Centauri, but of all the worlds on which men dwelled. According to the traditions of the Cuoro Prido, Roman Albrecht defended his crown against the starfarer in an honour duel. To the astonishment of Albrecht's followers, the two were well-matched and traded intricate parries and ripostes for several hours. Roman quickly took the measure of his foe's skill and believed that there would be laxity there. The primarch was swifter than his foe, but had a shorter reach - no reason to think that either man should be at a great advantage. As the third hour wore on, however, Roman realised that his opponent had yet to show even the slightest sign of fatigue. The primarch's own godly stamina would have permitted him to continue a fight even at this intensity for many days, but the stranger was clearly indefatigable. So Roman Albrecht gambled. Rather than allow the starfarer to wear him down, Albrecht abandoned defence and attacked recklessly. He took a vicious cut to his chin that cleaved through flesh and bone alike, but the opening let Albrecht kick his opponent's legs out from under him and follow up by whipping the stranger's blade away. With a fierce grin, the Primarch raised his weapon for the coup de grace. But before he could deliver the deathblow, he looked into the starfarer's eyes and saw in them only warmth and paternal pride.

At once, Roman Albrecht realised that he was fighting his father. Worse still, the Primarch realised that he had almost become a patricide. While the Emperor of Mankind - for it was He - stood, Albrecht sagged, then threw himself at his father's feet and begged forgiveness. The Emperor gave a kindly laugh and helped His son stand, explaining that there was no shame in fighting so well and seeing so clearly. Roman was greatly comforted by these words and immediately gave orders to his followers that the duel was without need, for it was the rightful place of a son to serve his father. At the Emperor's prompting, the Primarch also gave instructions for his chancellor to assume governance as regent until such time as his return. After issuing those commands, Roman Albrecht began his long journey to the world of his creation, ancient Terra.

Techno-feudal auxilia, typical of those deployed by the Steel Marshals

En-route to humanity's birthplace, the Emperor's great voidship rendezvoused with the Expedition Fleet of Hektor Cincinnatus. Roman was greatly impressed by his elder brother and if the worthies of the First Legion questioned the new Primarch's appearance at first they were awed by the martial prowess he displayed when sparring with Hektor. Few could doubt that Roman was a finer blade, even if the match was officially a draw. It is likely that the Emperor had already made plans before even meeting Roman Albrecht, but the demonstration of such skills no doubt affirmed the wisdom of apprenticing the Primarch not to Malcador the Sigilite (the tutor of Hektor, Uriel Salazar and Shakya Vardhana) or Fabricator General Kalkas Tygian (who had shown Arelex Orannis the ways of the Solar System and Mars) but to the Lord Commander of the Imperial Army, Gufarnus Altmakar. Altmakar was a notorious disciplinarian and the living embodiment of the martial traditions of the Unification Wars. He was sparing in his praise for Roman, but it must be said that few drew so little criticism from the old general.

Strengthened by his apprenticeship to Altmakar, Roman Albrecht finally achieved his destiny and took command of the Steel Marshals. Despite difficulties with the Terran-born commanders, especially Dietmar Hohn, the Primarch soon commanded the faith of his gene-sons. He did not greatly disturb the organisation of the Legion, instead concerning himself with their ethics. Roman strove to keep the Legion's cutting edge sharp while diminishing the effect of conquest on civilian populations, reasoning that Non-Compliant humans were only Imperial Citizens who didn't know it yet. Such moderation made for easy propaganda pieces and a posting to the fleets of the Steel Marshals was prized among the Remembrancers of the Great Crusade. Roman Albrecht also sought to teach his men the lesson of humility and a willingness to serve, though these lessons were never well taken by the old warriors of Terra.

The Hektor Heresy[edit]

When the first shots of the Hektor Heresy were fired on Ostium, Roman Albrecht and most of his Steel Marshals were waging war against the Domain of Hathor. This large trans-stellar realm controlled key Warp lanes at the juncture of Segmentum Pacificus and Segmentum Tempestus, but had proven too powerful for a single Crusade Fleet to subdue. Roman had massed forces to crush the Hathorites but the going was slow and news of the battles at Ostium and Diamat reached his command centre with the Imperials still in the beachheads. Honour and military necessity demanded that the campaign be brought to some sort of conclusion. Uncharacteristically swift but with his trademark boldness, Roman Albrecht led a long-distance strike at Oasis, the throne-world of the Domain of Hathor and there forced the Hathor Empress to make terms. A generous peace secured the Steel Marshals' rear and Roman began his long journey back to Terra.

With the light of the Astronomican obscured by The Voidwatcher's foul sorcery, the Steel Marshals had to rely on more primitive navigation techniques. Albrecht's fleet split into two and made leap-frogging jumps through the Warp, with the Astropaths of the stationary element providing a short-range beacon for the moving element. This expedient was slow but steady and would have seen the Marshals to Terra in good time, but for the intervention of the Traitor Cromwald Walgrun and his Lions Rampant Legion. Cromwald's warriors ravaged the systems ahead of the Steel Marshals and forced a change of course. Roman directed his fleet towards the Segmentum Pacificus where he hoped to link up with gentle Tollund Ötztal and win the Mastodontii to the Loyalist cause. But before the Tenth Legion lost contact with their Traitor foes, the Lions Rampant launched an assassination strike against Roman's headquarters. The Primarch himself proved too much for Cromwald's daemonic assassins but his astropaths were less fortunate and the Steel Marshals fleets slowed to a crawl. Throughout months of short Warp jumps, the Steel Marshals' strength was eroded by misadventure and their morale sapped by inactivity and the knowledge that their Loyalist brethren were fighting alone - at best. Roman Albrecht felt these burdens as much as any of his sons or allied warriors, but as a true leader he strove to take their concerns upon himself and bouy up the Legion.

Roman's limbo came to an end when the Fifth Legion cruiser Persévérance made contact with the Steel Marshals fleet in the Ponvor system. Astropaths in service of the Fifth Legion had sensed Roman's makeshift Warp beacons from across the turbulent Immaterium, but their replies went unnoticed by the exhausted Steel Marshals psykers. Persévérance had been dispatched to make contact in person and exchange news. Roman was initially pleased to hear that the Legion he had once dubbed "Winged Victory" was coming into the fight, but his good mood was swept away by reports of the Mastodontii gone mad with bloodlust. Indeed, the Primarch at first refused to believe that Tollund's men could fall so far and had to be persuaded by hard evidence. In the following weeks, the Fifth's Primarch Gaspard Lumey provided that proof along with material aid, making good the Steel Marshals' shortage of Astropaths and seeing their fleets into the range of navigation beacons centered on the Al-Sherar Sector. Lumey invited Roman Albrecht and his command staff to confer at the Fifth Legion's homeworld Ciban IV but the Lord-Knight refused and instead set a course for nearby Rosskar. This decision was anything but malicious. Early in the Heresy, Rosskar had been attacked by gene-beasts and Selenar warriors under the command of Pallas Eugenesis and Roman knew that ignoring its plight could lead to bitterness with the Silver Cataphracts Primarch, Alexandri of Rosskar. Unusually, Gaspard Lumey refrained from a trademark volatile response and instead dispatched a fleet of his Fifth Legion to support the relief of Rosskar, though he remained at Ciban IV to continue mobilising his allies.

The arrival of the allied fleets at Rosskar sent the more rational parts of Pallas Eugenesis's army to flight. The Eclipse Queen herself had no stomach for a battle with the Space Marines and delayed her departure only long enough to signal the Loyalists her sarcastic congratulations of winning the "prize" of devastated Rosskar. Even this insincere message was somewhat premature, as the Steel Marshals together with their allies had to fight a short but hard campaign to purge Rosskar of gene-wrought monsters. The allies' victory at Rosskar also put them in position to greet Onyx the Indestructible when his enormous flagship Mount Everest arrived in system. The Stone Men were ill-pleased that their long wandering in the Warp had not even taken them out of the Segmentum Pacificus, but the opportunity to unite their forces with Roman Albrecth and Gaspard Lumey was fine compensation. Indeed, the news of a third Loyalist Primarch's arrival was good enough to draw Gaspard away from Ciban IV and, in orbit about Rosskar, the three Primarchs swore an oath to victory.

It is less well-known that Gaspard and Onyx imposed a secret condition in their talks. Roman's brothers were now confident enough of victory, but feared that they might defeat Hektor without saving the Emperor's life. Neither relished the prospect of an Imperium ruled by Alexandri and they insisted that Roman agree to put himself forward as the Emperor's heir if one was required. Disheartened but lacking an alternative, Roman Albrecht accepted this burdensome agreement. The allies completed their muster and surged towards Terra. Together with Onyx and his Stone Men, Roman led the Steel Marshals in a frontal assault on the Traitor cordon around Sol in order to draw off defenders who might have delayed the swift-moving Fifth Legion from making their best speed to Terra. Despite these sacrifices, the Fifth's arrival was in time for victory, but not to save the Emperor from his terrible wounding.



According to the Imperial Faith, Roman Albrecht had the temper of a fine blade. The Primarch could be ruthless without giving in to bloodlust, merciful without being weak, and proud without possessing a trace of selfishness. In the Institutorum Astartes, he is held up as the example that all Space Marines should strive to emulate.

The truth is never quite as good as the dogma, but it must be said that Albrecht was not merely an extraordinary fighter and general, but a highly honourable and selfless being. But for his hunger for glory, he was almost entirely free from self-interest, and if he often volunteered his Legion for the most daunting assignments he was always ready to listen to those who argued against them being deployed. For Roman Albrecht, it was a good enough thing to serve and a better thing to serve well, and he strove to impart this lesson above all others upon his men. None the less, he did have flaws to his character. The primarch was single-minded and could often be caught off-guard, especially by political developments. A related flaw was his tendency to be too trusting, a fault which allowed less than loyal warriors to prosper in the Steel Marshals' command.


Roman was taller than an ordinary man, but he was short for a Primarch - only slightly taller than most of his Astartes. If this bothered him, he rarely showed it. The Sacred Band's short-lived nickname for the newly discovered Primarch, "Short-sword", was quickly forgotten after he bested their champions, then Hektor Cincinnatus himself, in a series of somewhat friendly duels. The Primarch's short-cut brown hair and grey eyes framed a plain face, but Roman's unglamorous appearance did not detract from his natural charisma. He could inspire his men with but a look, and his scowl could rob a foe of courage. His voice was hugely powerful and capable of carrying across the batlefield even without amplification.

The Primarch's chin bore a small scar, a memory of his fateful duel with the Emperor. He did not like to talk about the wound but he was prone to rubbing at the scar when deep in thought.


A fan's Attempt at Rules[edit]

Roman Albrecht: 470 8 5 6 6 6 7 5 10 2+/4++

Unit type: Independent Character, Infantry.

Wargear: Duelist's Mantle, Honor's Blade, Light, Steel Panoply.

Special Rules: Adamantium Will, Bulky, Crusader, Cuoro Prido, Duelist Exemplarii, Eternal Warrior, Fear, Fearless, Fleet, Furious Charge, Independent Character, It Will Not Die, Lessons of the Primarch, Master of the Legion, Sword of the Emperor.

Duelist's Mantle-In the tradition of the graceful duelists of his homeworld, Roman wears a weighted cloak, used to deflect blows, entangle blades, and distract the enemy. The mantle counts as a specialist weapon for the purposes of gaining a second attack with Honor's Blade, and allows Roman to reroll failed invuln saves of 1 in melee.

Honor's Blade-The famed blade of Roman Albrecht, this sword was reforged from the shattered pieces of Olivaw Albrecht's sword after his death. It is a specialist weapon that strikes with S:U,AP2, Master Crafted, Shred, gaining Instant Death in a challenge.

Light- Roman strongly preferred melee combat to range, but he wasn't so foolish as to not carry a gun. Light is a S7, AP4, Assault 3 weapon with 24 inch range and the deflagrate special rule.

Steel Panoply-It's primarch armor. 2+ 4++ crafted by the high shiggydiggy of Mars, blah blah.

Duelist Exemplarii- Roman has spent his whole life training as a duelist, and as such is the best swordsman in the galaxy. In a challenge Roman gains +1 WS, I, and A. In addition, Roman gains the Parry special rule, allowing him to negate a melee attack made against him in melee on a roll of a 4+, once per fight subphase, rolled after rolls to hit, before rolls to wound.

Cuoro Prido-Roman must give out and accept challenges whenever possible.

Lessons of the Primarch- All units with Legiones Astartes: Steel Marshals gain gain +1 on vehicle and fortification damage charts.

Sword of the Emperor-Roman has the honor of being the Emperor's Knight champion. As such, whenever he takes to the field, select enemy HQ or Lord of War. Roman gains Preferred Enemy against this model.

From a design standpoint, Roman was made to be a combat BEAST; in terms of how he plays, think the bastard lovechild of Fulgrim and Angron, raised on a steady diet of steroids and sword drills. Things he'll beat in a duel: All the major 30k and 40k challenge characters, including Sigismund, Abaddon, Jain Zar, Asurmen, and Draigo. Angron? He's Roman's bitch. Hektor? Will only inflict 0.2 wounds a round. Even fucking Horus can't take him in a melee. Even many things with Strength D won't be able to kill him, because his insane weapon skill and Parry rule means he's next to impossible to actually hit. but on the other hand, he'll do squat to buff your army, and he's very pricey. It's also worthy of note that he's not fond of tanks or walkers with good AV. A duel between him and Golgothos, for example, will statistically last until the game ends, because both are statistically unlikely to inflict a wound/strip a hull point each round. But even then, due to his insane durability, he'll still tie up any challenger till the end of the game even if he can't beat them. So he'll go through infantry and characters like a Khornate blender through a puppy made of butter, but he'll bounce hilariously off anything T9+ or with an Av of 12+. It's also worthy of note that every basic greater demon will lose in melee, but a couple of demon engines (looking at you, Lord of Skulls) are too tough for him to hurt, and a couple of the forgeworld uber-demons give him problems. The T10 GUO IC is tough for Roman to hurt, even with Preferred Enemy and Shred, and Aetaos'Rau'Keres will murder the fuck out of Roman in most battlefield scenarios, because he'll fly around above Roman's head dropping Apocalyptic "Fuck your Baneblade" blast templates on his head (then again, this is still kind of a victory, because it will take Aetaos a few turns to kill him, meaning that you've tied up a 999 point demon with a 500 point model for several turns that he could have been dumping ungodly amounts of psychic rape on 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