Silent King

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"He is the Breaker of Gods"

Silence Will Reign Teaser

"He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know. "

– Laozi, The Tao Te Ching

"The hardest choices require the strongest wills."

– Thanos

"Good thing they’re all incapable of telling me ‘I told you so’. "

– The Silent King himself, possibly as long as he never meets Orikan

"They are the rising storm, and you must become the shield. "

– His Majesty, Szarekh to Chapter Master Dante on Gehenna, referring to the space bugs that want to nomnomnom everything


The Silent King is the ruler of all Necrons, though in the 41st millennium his influence is starting to dwindle. Back when the Necrons were still the Necrontyr, it was a hereditary position occupied by the ruling member of the Triarch (which was itself composed of three Phaerons of powerful Dynasties). The name was derived from the tradition that the Silent King never spoke to his subjects, instead letting the other two Phaerons speak for him. The last Silent King, and the only one who's playable or fleshed-out (heh heh), is Szarekh.

The big S.K. was intended to be a background "ghost" character; to reinforce this, GeeDubs deliberately withheld giving him his own model and rules for four entire editions...

Until now.

Szarekh, The Last Silent King[edit]

He's back, and he's got a sweet pimp throne.

The last Silent King was named Szarekh, and it was he who sealed the pact with the C'tan in order to gain their power to fight against the Old Ones. Unfortunately for the Necrontyr, there was a catch: the bio-transference process that upgraded them into the metallic, immortal Necrons had the side-effect of stripping them of their souls and, for the most part, their free wills. The Silent King was placed in charge of the entirety of the Necron race, while the delicious souls went to the C'tan.

Szarekh was not happy about this (though he wasn't precisely angry either, given the loss of his soul), but he had no leverage to fight the C'tan -- what they had given, they could easily take away, and then some. Therefore, he fought the War in Heaven alongside the C'tan, and waited until the very moment of victory, when the C'tan were nearly spent, and turned on them with every warrior and weapon at his disposal, shattering the star-gods and binding the fragments that remained.

The War in Heaven left the galaxy a mess, and Szarekh decided that most of it was his fault, so he commanded the legions to rest in their Tomb Worlds to let the galaxy heal for the next sixty million years, relinquished control of the Necron nobles, and exiled himself from the galaxy in his flagship, the Song of Oblivion. His last instruction was to rebuild the Necrontyr Empire and return to flesh bodies, though how this happened was left up to any Phaerons who could make it happen. Szarekh then left for the intergalactic void, vowing to never return to the Milky Way...

...which lasted right up until he found out what was in the void: the Tyranids. When he encountered the vanguard of Hive Fleet Behemoth, he NOPE'd right back home, getting in touch with the remaining Praetorians to awaken every Tomb World still standing and unite against the swarm -- after all, if the Tyranids ate everything, there would be no bodies to return to, and nothing to rule over! The Silent King so disliked this possibility that he allied with the Blood Angels to fight off a Tyranid landing force, and even let them go on their way when the fighting was over.

He's back with the reveal of 9E. His new model even has a retinue, not unlike another influential bone-daddy and he even has a C'tan shard with him. His stands on top his personal pimp throne looking totes SWAG. It does NOT look happy with its current living conditions (It probably doesn't help that its heavily hinted that Szarekh is currently wearing its flayed skin as his cape).

Speculation[edit]

During the Alliance negotiations with Dante, the Silent King mentioned a similar conversation with their Primarch, Sanguinius. This would mean that Szarekh had already returned 10,000 years before the 1st Tyrannic War and one of the Primarchs was aware of the Tyranid threat. Common sense dictates that this happened just before it all went to shit and all the humans involved got killed (or sat on the Golden Throne) before spreading the alarm.

Either that or he lied with help from his High Chronomancer. Just as planned.

Szarekh as a hero[edit]

Szarekh is one of the most interesting head figures in Warhammer 40k. Morally he is a very complex character. Whereas other heads of factions could be qualified as good people in terrible situations, such as Guilliman or Farsight, while others are definitely just evil people doing evil for the evulz, such as Vect or Abaddon. Szarekh is in a weird spot that leaves much of his morality up for interpretation depending on how you see his actions.

Szarekh's actions have both been tremendously evil, such as what he did to his own people turning them into Necrons (though in fairness, he didn't know all the details of the deal), but also tremendously good, such as killing the C'tan and freeing his people from his own grip (like a certain someone also said he would do once humanity had evolved enough). Not only did he forsake power, but also out of guilt he left the galaxy. This does show some character development, more than most 40k characters get.

Then we don't know what he had been doing for 60 million years, it should be interesting to know what other galaxies think about the Silent King.

All we do know is that Szarekh came back, not just to save his people from the Tyranids, but to save most of the sentient life in the galaxy. And here is where motivation becomes extremely important to know where Szarekh lies within the moral spectrum.

You see the official reason why the Necrons are trying to save other sentient species from the Nids and the Great Beast is supposedly to later see if it is possible to make some reverse biotransference, which should mean Szarekh's desire to save other races is fueled out of selfish motives.

But the Indomitus book offers a different possibility for the motivation within the Silent King's attempt to save other sentient species. The plasmancer says that Szarekh ordered his Nemesors to try to preserve human life if possible in order to "use them as labor" in case biotransference is not possible. Now think about it, using humans as labor is a terrible idea if you are a Necron. Necrons have drones in droves to do manual labor, so autonomous humans who need amenities and extensively processed biomatter are useless as a workforce to them. Yet Szarekh insists on telling the Necrons to preserve the life of these meatbags for two ultimately futile endeavors.

What if he is actually just trying to convince overlords to not kill sentient species by using these two motives as excuses to justify such an order?

Szarekh has clearly done horrible things, but it is entirely possible that he is trying to redeem himself for his actions, both towards his people and towards the galaxy. Or he is a lighter shade of grey, not-so-Grimdark imperialist who just wants to rule over as many diverse subjects as possible without being a murderous dick. Clearly the morality of Szarekh requires a lot more study within the black library, after all we don't see many great redemption arcs in Warhammer 40k, and Szarekh can provide us with one.

9th Edition Crunch[edit]

With the reveal of 9th edition, Szarekh has his own model, and a butt-ton of rules to come with it. Seriously, this guy has around 15 abilities. His unit is composed of himself and two Triarchal Menhirs. Starting with the Menhirs- let's go! There are two Menhirs, and while they live, Szarekh is immune to damage and does not count as a Character for the Look Out, Sir rule. They have one weapon, a big, viridian beam of rape. The Annihilator Beam is a Heavy 1, R36", S12, AP-4, D6 weapon, and any tanky model hit by one is gonna feel the pain. Of course, it is possible to roll a 1 (the Menhirs have BS 2+, but they are not Core units- meaning abilities like My Will Be Done or Szarekh's Phaeron of the Stars will not affect them) and have the aforementioned rape-beam just not work. Assuming they do work, and they will most of the time, this is 6 damage per hit. Aside from this, they have 5 wounds each, they consistently move 8", they have 4++ AND 5+++ saves (NOTE: Where do you see a 5+++? This unit is a Dynastic Agent, so it doesn't get the Szarekhan code benefits), and as stated before, while they live, all incoming damage must be allocated to them. According to new GW fluff, the Menhirs are not piloted by the other Phaerons of the Triarch- those guys are actually standing on either side of the Silent King himself (they are standing on either side of the Dais of Dominion.)

Now for the big guy himself (or more accurately, his Dais. No Necron has 16 wounds, only vehicles would be that tanky. As it happens, the Dais is a vehicle.). He has a damage table, as is common for superheavies and Lords of War. The table only affects the Move characteristic, though. He starts with 8", which degrades to 6", then 4" as his wounds drop. He has three different weapons- the Sceptre of Eternal Glory (which can shoot and strike), the Staff of Stars (this is what an autopistol is to an Exitus Rifle- more shots, but they suck), a ranged and melee weapon, and finally, the Scythe of Dust, a melee-only weapon. But, now I think about it...imagine Szarekh just slinging his scythe like a boomerang or glaive. But I digress. The Sceptre, when shooting, is an R24", Assault 3, S8, AP-3, D2 weapon. Nothing special there. The Staff is R24", Assault 9, S6, AP-2, D1. In melee, the Sceptre and Scythe really shine. The Sceptre is S+4, AP-4, D2, and will always use all of Szarekh's 6 attacks. Why? Because the Scythe and Staff have some special and very nasty abilities. The Scythe is S+3, AP-4, D3, but here's the thing- it makes 4 additional attacks, but it has a hard cap of 4 attacks per Fight phase. Oh yes, I can smell the feta and brie from across the fucking Tomb World. In much the same way (but literally all of its stats are worse compared to its cousins), the Staff of Stars can fight in melee too, but this really only helps against things like Guardsmen, Grots, Boyz, and some Lesser Daemons. It's Sx1 (S is equal to Szarekh's, hence S times 1), AP-2, D1, and will add three attacks like the Scythe does.

Now time for the abilities.

Szarekh's abilities, in a somewhat simplified manner, are as follows:

Noctilith Beacons: Szarekh, in the enemy Psychic phase, can attempt a Deny the Witch test as if he were a psyker. Obeisance Generators: Enemy units within Engagement Range of Szarekh will always fight last. No exceptions. Phaeron of the Stars: Friendly Core units within 6" of Szarekh can reroll to hit when shooting. Phaeron of the Blades: Friendly Core units within 6" of Szarekh can reroll to wound when in melee. Relentless March: Friendly Core units within 6" of Szarekh can move 1" further than normal. My Will Be Done: The classic ability given to Nobles. Gives a Core unit within 6" of the caster +1 to hit. Phaeron: What would Szarekh be if he wasn't a Phaeron? Allows him to cast My Will Be Done twice per turn. Voice of the Triarch: Once per battle, Szarekh can swap the active command protocol out for another. Remember, one use only. Use with caution. Triarchal Menhir: While any menhirs live, Szarekh is immune to damage, does not count as a character for Look Out, Sir, and if Szarekh does fall, any Menhirs still (somehow) alive die with him. The Silent King: Szarekh, if selected to be in your army, must be your Warlord. If he is your Warlord, gain 3 CPs. (This rule does not apply to Unbound armies.) Transtemporal Force Field: Gives Szarekh and his Menhirs a 4++ save. Preservative Auto-Torpor: When Szarekh drops to 8 wounds, he drops his Staff and loses Phaeron of the Stars. When he hits 4 wounds, his aptly-named Scythe of Dust turns to dust, destroying it and his Phaeron of the Blades ability. Vengeance of the Enchained: When Szarekh falls, roll d6. On a 4+ he explodes, making everyone within 2d6" of the fallen King eat d6 mortal wounds.

Jeez. That's a lot of abilities. Assuming Szarekh lives long enough to really start shooting, his foes are really gonna need to grab the nearest d100 and roll it. And all this for the cost of $120 to buy it, and 450 points to include it. And you get the three CPs.

Fanmade Rules[edit]

The above rules are great, but I have alternate rules- the official crunch is now for “The Silent King on Dais of Dominion”. He can, in this homebrew ruleset, be taken off the Dais, for a different role- rather than being more of a front line unit, this ruleset makes him and his entourage more of a buff-machine, but it can still hold its own in combat.

Szarekh is equipped with: Sceptre of Eternal Glory. Hapthatra the Radiant is equipped with: Staff of Stars. Mesophet the Shadowed Hand is equipped with: Scythe of Dust. The Triarchal Menhir is equipped with: annihilator beam. Your army can only include one of this unit.

Name M WS BS S T W A Ld Sv Cost
Szarekh, the Silent King 6" 2+ 2+ 5 6 6 6 10 3+ 140 pts.
Hapthatra the Radiant 6" 2+ 2+ 5 6 6 4 10 3+ 90 pts.
Mesophet the Shadowed Hand 6" 2+ 2+ 5 6 6 4 10 3+ 110 pts.
Triarchal Menhir 6" 6+ 2+ 5 7 5 1 10 3+ 50 pts.

Weapons:

Name Range Type S AP D Abilities
Sceptre of Eternal Glory (shooting) 30" Assault 3 8 -3 2
Sceptre of Eternal Glory (melee) Melee Melee +3 -3 2
Scythe of Dust Melee Melee +3 -4 3
Staff of Stars (shooting) 30" Assault 9 6 -2 1
Staff of Stars (melee) Melee Melee +1 -2 1
Annihilator beam 36" Heavy 1 12 -4 6

Abilities (Szarekh)[edit]

  • Living Metal, Command Protocols
  • Noctilith Ankhs- Szarekh may attempt to deny one psychic power in each of your opponent's psychic phases as if he were a psyker.
  • My Will be Done- In your Command Phase, you may choose a friendly NECRONS CORE or TRIARCH unit within 6" of Szarekh. That unit gets +1 to hit until your next Command Phase.
  • Phaeron- Szarekh may cast My Will be Done twice a turn.
  • Phase Shifter- Szarekh has a 4+ invulnerable save.
  • The Triarch's Will- When selecting your command protocols, you may choose one protocol to be active for two battle rounds.
  • Voice of the Triarch- Szarekh, once per battle, may swap out your active command protocol. If he does this, then during either player's Command Phase, choose an inactive command protocol- this protocol becomes active until the end of the battle round.

Abilities (Hapthatra)[edit]

  • Living Metal, Command Protocols, Dimensional Translocation
  • Phaeron of the Stars- Friendly NECRONS CORE units within 6" of Hapthatra may reroll failed hit rolls while shooting.
  • Radiant Shield- This model has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, whenever this model loses a wound, roll a d6- on a 6 that wound is ignored.
  • Radiant Movement- If this model advances, treat any roll of 1 or 2 as 3 instead.
  • The Triarch Awakens- Unit coherency for this model is 6". In addition, this model may leave unit coherency, but while it is outside of 6", it gains the CHARACTER keyword, but can benefit from Look Out, Sir.

Abilities (Menhir)[edit]

  • Living Metal, Command Protocols, Dimensional Translocation
  • Phaeron of the Blades- Friendly NECRONS CORE units within 6" of Mesophet may reroll failed wound rolls in melee.
  • Shadowed Shield- This model has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, wound rolls of 1-3 against this model always fail, regardless of any abilities the attacker may have.
  • Shadowed Charge- This model may reroll failed charge rolls.
  • The Triarch Awakens- Unit coherency for this model is 6". In addition, this model may leave unit coherency, but while it is outside of 6", it gains the CHARACTER keyword, but can benefit from Look Out, Sir.

Abilities (Menhir)[edit]

  • Living Metal
  • Noctilith Construct- EnemyPSYKERs suffer Perils of the Warp on any roll that includes doubles, instead of just double 1 or 6.
  • Guardian Construct- This model must remain within 2" of Szarekh, but while it does so, enemy models may not target him with ranged weapons.
  • Explodes- If this model is destroyed, roll a d6- on a 6 this model explodes, and every unit within 3" takes one mortal wound.
Notable Necrons
Necrons: Anrakyr the Traveller - Illuminor Szeras - Imotekh the Stormlord - Nemesor Zahndrekh
Orikan the Diviner - Szarekh the Silent King - Trazyn the Infinite - Vargard Obyron
Dawn of War: Necron Lord of All Kaurava - Necron Lord of Kronus
C'Tan: Aza'Gorod - Mag'ladroth - Mephet'ran - Nyadra'zatha - Tsara'noga