Once a dynasty of philosophers, artists, and scientists the Thanatekh Dynasty spanned an entire star system far from the warring Necrontyr dynasties of old. Long had the dynastic rivalries been cast aside for the common goal of seeking truth through the expression of self and investigation of the world around them. The short lives of the Necrontyr were spent in the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment, a distant cry from the petty needs of their brethren.
On the throne world of Xan’dugua stood a palace covered with by a lush garden that was the pride and joy of the Thanatekh Dynasty and the envy of all who would gaze upon its awe. Gilded spires of ornate architectural complexity that graced the clouds with reliefs of Necrontyr history and lore crowned the forbidden city with a view unsurpassed in elegance and sophistication for light-years. Inside were some of the most advanced food production and weather control systems of the millennium. Technology made leaps and bounds without the pressure of constant warfare draining resources and time. The Thanatekh knew a standard of living most Necrontyr would never and could never dream.
Underlying this architectural marvel was a defense system bristling with some of the most advanced Necrontyr weaponry. Both Xan’dugua’s surface and orbits was riddled with hidden Gauss and Tesla weaponry that was superior to most conventional Necrontyr artillery of the era. While fighting and war was abhorred, the Thanatekh knew that they would need to be ready should they ever receive a visit from their envious kin to defend all they had worked so hard to build. Attempts to raid the advanced Thanatekh diminished over the centuries as word of their impenetrable defense network spread until they altogether stopped. The Thanatekh enjoyed prosperity and true peace for a time – but it was not to last.
With the foolish attack by their brothers on the Old Ones, the Thanatekh Dynasty was unwittingly drawn into the War in Heaven. Renowned for their advanced technology and fierce creativity they became the focus for demand of powerful and more destructive weaponry to be used against the Old Ones. Drawing upon some of the greatest military strategists, the philosophical nature of the Thanatekh was weaponized. Time and again the Thanatekh tried to break free of the war but could do nothing against the sheer numbers brought upon them by both the Old Ones and their own kin.
As the tide turned in the Old Ones’ favor, they received relentless pressure to innovate. Working with the scientists of the Silent King, they helped to discover the Star Gods that would be known as the C’tan. Using their advanced technological capabilities they aided in the development of the Necrodermis-based corporeal forms of the C’tan. As the Necrontyr turned to worship these Star Gods given form, the Thanatekh were hesitant to accept their would-be saviors. But given the immense power of the C’tan, they had no choice but to follow these beings and pray that they would end the war and usher in a new era of peace.
Upon hearing rumors of the immortality offered by Mephet'ran, many Necrontyr willingly gave themselves to biotransference. Sick of their old, frail bodies many ran in droves for the power and victory promised by their new forms. A nation of philosophers and free thinkers, the Thanatekh had pondered the price of immortality and had aeons ago rejected the notion as a sorrowful, meaningless existence. Without death, there could be no appreciation for life – however short it may be. But mounting pressure from other dynasties combined with a genuine desire to see and conclusion to the seemingly endless war pushed the Thanatekh dynasty to give themselves over to biotransference.
Reborn in their indestructible forms they wielded devastating arms previously inaccessible to their feeble Necrontyr forms. With their new forms and the collective power of the C’tan they obliterated the Old Ones and many of the races they had created. Entire star systems were voided of life as the Old Ones were systematically eradicated. Worlds burned in their wake, razed to the ground with nothing more than the sounds of otherworldly screams drowned by thunder and lightning. As the enslaver plague took its toll on the Old Ones and victory was finally assured, they turned on their former gods who had taken so much from them. Shattered, trapped, and utterly annihilated, the C’tan were driven into oblivion by the Necrons. Commanded to sleep before they could give thought to their new existence, the Thanatekh returned to their star system where they would sleep for the next 60 million years.
When they were finally revived by the Triarch Praetorians, the Thanatekh awoke to find their once-glorious dynasty in ruins. Spires that had once reached for the stars lay broken and defeated, reduced to a fleeting memory by orbital bombardment. Great reliefs and murals that lined the city walls were defaced and scarred by weapon batteries. Basilicas of immeasurable beauty reduced to rubble by artillery. The greatest blow however, came when scientists and scholars found themselves unable to rebuild their world. The passion and creativity that had burned bright in their souls was nowhere to be found. They lacked even the ability to despair for what they had lost. philosophers and artists found themselves unable to break the logic programs and subroutines programmed into their cold, unfeeling circuits. The C’tan and the War in Heaven had cost them more than their dynasty.
The Thanatekh swore revenge against the races that had destroyed their worlds; against the foresworn brothers who had dragged them kicking and screaming into a war they had not wanted. As a part of their crusade for vengeance the Thanatekh scour the universe for all life, capturing and experimenting on all that they find in the hopes that they may one day find the key to undoing the horrors of the C’tan.
(999.M41) The Thanatekh returned to the ruins of their crown city on Xan’dugua in an attempt to salvage what was left of their former empire. Amongst the ruins they hoped to find precious bits of their culture and perhaps even data that would allow them to restore the city to its former glory. Instead, they found an infestation of Orks squabbling with Imperial filth. While the Thanatekh would normally be content to let the carnage play out and obliterate the remnants of the victor’s side, they could not risk the loss of irreplaceable data and artifacts to collateral damage. Now they seek to cleanse their world of the infection that has taken root on the surface so that they may reclaim their birthright.
The Thanatekh prefer to avoid unnecessary combat where possible, only engaging the enemy with overwhelming firepower to ensure minimal losses.
Zan’tu – Known as the Warrior Philosopher, Zan’tu is renowned for devising many of the brutally efficient military stratagems used to conquer the Old Ones during the War in Heaven and shatter the C’tan. With centuries of warfare and the outcomes of countless battles stored in his memory, Zan’tu has a wealth of experience to drawn upon when formulating strategies to utterly crush his foes. In battle he wields Nirvana, a war scythe tipped with an ink-black blade shining with starlight that has claimed as many lives as his tactics – if not more. It is with this brush and the blood of his fallen foes that Zan’tu composes the records of his glorious victories.